Can’t Get Enough

All my life, there’s a sound I’ve associated with early fall. It’s the trilling of the tree frog. I have never actually seen a tree frog—in fact, I don’t even know if the sound is really made by tree frogs, or if it comes from something else. But my mother always called them tree frogs, and that’s good enough for me. When we’d start to hear them, she’d say, “Six weeks till frost.” That wasn’t always true, of course, but it was usually close. The tree frogs would come out in mid-to-late July, and our typical first frost up here in southern Wisconsin comes during the last week of September.

Maybe it’s a consequence of the weird summer weather we’ve had, or global warming, or something else, but I haven’t heard any tree frogs yet this year. As a result, September has sneaked up on me. Last June, after summer had sneaked up on me, we took a look at summers past, one song at a time. So let’s try it again with fall, grabbing the Number 40 song from the Hot 100 on Labor Days past to see what they can tell us about the season to come.

1970: “All Right Now”/Free (eventual peak: #4, October 17). The fall of 1970 is where time begins for me, and this was the hardest-rockin’ thing on the radio when I first started listening. One of the memories it brings back is an an odd one. We’re on our way back from Thanksgiving dinner at my grandparents’, I have cajoled my dad into turning on WLS while we drive home, and this is one of the first songs we hear. It’s not his cup of tea, but it’s definitely mine.

1974: “Can’t Get Enough”/Bad Company (eventual peak: #5, November 2). Sometime in the fall of 1974, I would discover FM radio, and switch my allegiance from WLS and WCFL to Madison’s Z104 and WACI from Freeport, Illinois. (I think I probably heard “Can’t Get Enough” for the first time on Z.) As a result, I would spend a lot of time that fall listening to my music on the big console stereo downstairs—better speakers—and would eventually retire the portable radio and record player I had in favor of my own stereo system.

1976: “Don’t Fear the Reaper”/Blue Oyster Cult (eventual peak: #12, November 6). That big console stereo was located in a little room on the front of our house that we called the sunporch. By 1976, it was equipped with a couple of comfortable chairs and upholstered with an unforgettable orange-and-yellow shag carpet. Although the console stereo and the shag carpeting are long gone, the sunporch is still one of the most pleasant rooms in the house I grew up in, although nobody spends much time there anymore.

1979: “Young Blood”/Rickie Lee Jones (peak position). My college radio station was under new management this fall. The program director and music director who had run the place during the first semester of the year had left school; the new guys installed an album-rock format lifted from a successful album-rocker in Milwaukee, where one of them had worked. I was paying close attention, and the semester wouldn’t be very far along before I decided I was going to run for program director in January.

1981: “The Night Owls”/Little River Band (eventual peak: #6, November 7). My term as program director was up in January 1981, and I didn’t go gracefully—I spent the next semester constantly criticizing everything the new regime did. During the summer, as one of the few students spending the whole summer at school, I anointed myself the de facto station PD—and found myself officially reappointed to the position that fall when the guy who had been elected in January quit. At the time, it seemed to me like a restoration of the natural order. In actuality, given the way I’d left, it was the most unlikely resurrection since the Resurrection.

(Speaking of resurrections, Echoes in the Wind will return to the Internets tomorrow. You can bookmark it here. A couple of our fellow bloggers have tried to pick up the slack during whiteray’s brief absence: AM, Then FM, and Any Major Dude With Half a Heart.)

Although I have played “All Right Now” 10,000 times on my own radio shows, it only sounds right to me in its remixed-and-shortened 45 version—which I don’t think I’ve ever played on the radio.

“All Right Now” (single version)/Free (buy it here)

9 thoughts on “Can’t Get Enough

  1. gary

    Thanks for the Free posting. Years ago I had a promo copy that was actually edited to 3:30 for AM stations, chopping most of the guitar break out. That’s how many of us remember the song from those great days of the 70’s. Just like the radio edit of Whole Lotta Love by Zeppelin. You’d think with all those completeist collections out there they would show up, but I think most of these groups would rather not put those on their CD’S because AM means nothing anymore probably did not to most of the bands like Free and others back then.
    Anyway, thanks for a great daily read from all of us 70.80,and 90’s jocks out here.
    Now if only somebody could post McCartney’s Jet promo from 1974 that would be an AM keeper!
    Take care.

  2. Yah Shure

    The only problem with the 4:14 1970 “All Right Now” 45 was that it was saddled with that long-ditched and crappy-sounding HAECO CSG process. There was also a 1970 mono promo “2:70” edit. The 1975 “3:30” reissue on A & M 1720 actually ran 3:44.

    But at least all of those singles were based on the same take. The general consensus over on the Top 40 Music on CD site was that the 45s and the LP were from two completely different takes. That may explain why the 45 sounds “right.”

    Gary, the “Whole Lotta Love” promo 45 was short/long, and the short version did make it onto some reissue 45 copies during the ’70s. And the sheer awkwardness of the edit on the mono side of the “Jet” DJ 45 may be the biggest hindrance to its ever being issued commercially. If I were Sir Paul, I’d probably keep it in the vault.

    There is some renewed interest in the original 45 versions of many past hits. Rhino has just introduced a for-download “Digital 45” series, complete with original B-sides. Be aware, though, that not all of these Digital 45s have featured the *actual* 45 versions. Some ’60s artists (Tommy James & The Shondells, Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Jay & The Americans) have also recently seen complete mono singles CD releases. If these sell well enough, there will likely be more to come.

  3. porky

    I have a mental list in my head of hits that greatly benefitted from editing. “Don’t Fear the Reaper” probably tops that list.

    Local station always chops out guitar solos on Chicago songs but routinely plays their version of “I’m a Man” in its entireity.

    And no one plays “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” with its complete guitar solo (yeah, I like guitar solos. Good ones).

    Oh, I could never hear anything by Bad Company again and live the rest of my years in utter joy. Their first LP (and Boston’s ) have to be the most over-played classic rock staple.

  4. gary

    thanks for the info yahshure, good info, but it is the craziness of the jet promo edit that ALMOST brings into so bad its good edit. but capitol edited all of wings single releases in the mid 70’s and most of them pretty muched worked, silly love songs,
    let em in, even band on the run wasn’t awful but jet stands out as one the weirdest edits i ever heard.
    agree with you on boston and bad company, when was the last time you heard the promo edit of feel like making love on the radio, which actually made the song a little better in my estimation. ah, for the good ol days!

  5. Yah Shure

    Gary:

    I agree 100% with you on “Feel Like Makin’ Love.” That was one of the first tracks I edited digitally to match the DJ 45.

    The funny thing about “Jet” is that the mono edit was all I ever played at the college station when it was current, and thought nothing of it. I hadn’t played it since then until digging it out of the stacks a couple of years ago, and the train-wreck-of-a-splice stood out like a sore thumb. It *still* sounds… odd. But then, so does the dropout on the “Junior’s Farm” mono DJ edit.

    I actually like the Boston 45 versions for no other reason than that they *haven’t* been ground into the classic rock dirt.

  6. gary

    And last but not least Andrew Gold’s Lonely Boy promo edit which is now the standard cut on so many copilations, which was better than the commercial single or lp! Sometimes they do get it right!

  7. Miles

    Fall has always been my favorite season. When I lived in Chicago, it was a certain smell, rather than sound, that I associated with that time of the year. The air suddenly smelled a little more crisp and fresh and burning leaves let you know the frost and Winter were on the way. Now that I’m in Florida, those scents are gone but I still like the Autumn most.

  8. Bear with me as this may seem a bit non-sequitir initially but it is related…

    On a Chicago message board I frequent the discussion of what might have happened with Chicago had Terry Kath not died in 1978. He was unhappy at the time of his death and was contemplating leaving the band. So the discussion turned to how a post-Chicago Terry Kath would have ended up. I tossed out the idea that he either would have teamed up with a strong lyricist (like Elton John & Bernie Taupin as he wasn’t a bad composer but wasn’t much of a lyricist) and pursued a solo career OR he might have teamed up with other musicians who had left their respective groups to form a supergroup of sorts. One of the names I tossed out as a possibility was Paul Rodgers.

    I kind of wonder what a Terry Kath/Paul Rodgers collaboration might have sounded… there’s something telling me it would have been better than how The Firm ended up sounding as I think Terry & Paul would have complemented one another more musically than Jimmy Page & Paul Rodgers did.

    Oh and I LOVE LOVE LOVE The Night Owls! Great song!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.