I'm In Love With That Song

Welcome to the “I’m In Love With That Song” Podcast. Each episode, we’ll take one of my favorite songs and dive deep into it, listening to all the nuances that make it a great song. You may be unfamiliar with some of these songs, while others you’ve probably heard a hundred times, but I bet if we listen closely, we can discover something new. Of course, there’s no definitive answer to what makes a great song—beauty is in the ear of the beholder—these are just my personal favorites, but I hope you love these songs, too. We're proud to be a part of Pantheon - the podcast network for music lovers.

Music Commentary
Music History
Tom Petty - "I Need To Know"
At the time they released their 2nd album in 1978, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers were a struggling band hoping to break through. They had plenty to prove, and there was still a punky edge to their sound-- clearly evident on the first single from the album, "I Need To Know". At a tight two-minute-and-twenty-six-seconds, there's no fat on this track-- just a great song, a taste of the brilliant music to come.
13 min
The Temptations - "Papa Was A Rolling Stone"
Norman Whitfield turned The Temptations from a typical Motown vocal group into Psychedelic Soul pioneers. Their collaboration reached its zenith with "Papa Was A Rolling Stone", a dark, atmospheric, orchestral showcase for both the Temptations and Whitfield's genius. This would be the last #1 hit for The Temptations, and they would stop working with Norman Whitfield soon after. But they left behind this monumental masterpiece.
21 min
Bloodrock - "D.O.A."
Welcome to our 2nd Annual Halloween episode! This time we're exploring the gory details of "D.O.A." by Bloodrock, one of the most gruesome songs to ever make the charts. In predictable fashion, a song almost designed to get banned from radio & freak out your parents in the '70's, the song predictably became a Top 40 hit.
15 min
Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psyc...
Perhaps the most influential compilation album of all time, the original "Nuggets" album was lovingly assembled by guitarist/author Lenny Kaye in 1972. Collecting some of the greatest psychedelic garage rock onto one collection was no small feat, but the album went on to inspire tons of musicians in the US and the UK. On this episode, we honor the 50th anniversary of this landmark collection with a look back at some of the best tracks by these long-gone, and mostly forgotten, bands.
27 min
B.B. King: The King Of The Blues
B.B. King created a sound with his electric guitar that changed the world and made him a legend around the world. In this episode, I'm joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Daniel De Vise, author of "King Of The Blues: The Rise & Reign of B.B. King" to share 5 songs that encapsulate the story of this iconic musician.
47 min
Yes - "Siberian Khatru"
Yes were at their peak when they released their "Close To The Edge" album in 1972. This episode, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of what many consider to be the greatest Progressive Rock album of all time with a deep dive into the song "Siberian Khatru".
32 min
How Cheap Trick Became Cheap Trick - with speci...
Cheap Trick is one of the great American bands. The new book, "This Band Has No Past: How Cheap Trick Became Cheap Trick" by Brian Kramp details their history from the very beginning up to their breakthrough album, "Cheap Trick At Budokan". It's an incredible story of hard work & dedication. On this edition, Brian joins me to discuss 5 songs that reveal how unique and special Cheap Trick was in their early years. If you only know this band from their hits, this episode is a good introduction to what makes Cheap Trick Cheap Trick. Besides being an author, Brian Kramp is the host of the "Rock And/Or Roll" podcast, one of my all-time favorite podcasts-- an absolute must-listen for every music junkie. Check it out.
38 min
Marvin Gaye - "What's Going On"
Few albums in history have had the cultural impact as Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On". Universally loved by music fans around the world, it's an album like none before it. Few records have captured the zeitgeist and remained as relevant as this album -- Marvin's crowning achievement. On this episode, we take a deep dive into the title cut to discover the elements that make up this masterpiece.
27 min
The Angels (Angel City) - "Look The Other Way"
The Angels (known as "Angel City" in the US) are one of those fantastic bands that made it big in their home country-- in this case, Australia-- but never caught on in the US. A shame, because these guys had it all: big riffs, great hooks, and clever lyrics. Let's check out this great track from the band I like to think of as "the intellectual AC/DC".
11 min
Creedence Clearwater Revival - "Run Through The...
Creedence Clearwater Revival were quite the phenomenon from 1967 to 1972. During that short period-- only 5 years-- they racked up ten songs in the Top 20, 5 of them making it to #2. In the middle of that run, they released "Run Through The Jungle" in April 1970. The song is often identified with the Viet Nam war, but we explore the true roots of the song and listen to the individual elements that make up this great track.
16 min
Todd Rundgren - "Real Man"
Todd Rundgren never became a household name, but he has legions of fans around the world. I'm one of 'em. What has always drawn me to Todd, then and now, is not just his way with a tune and a willingness to do anything musically-- it's his search for something deeper, more meaningful, than your typical pop song. This is a prime example of melding melody and message, producing pop with purpose. What does it mean to be a "real man"? Todd answered that question in 1975.
14 min
The Beatles - "Hey Jude" (with special guest Ja...
It's nearly impossible to pick the "best" Beatles song, but by nearly every measurement-- sales, chart success, cultural impact-- it's hard to beat "Hey Jude". Author James Campion's new book, "Take A Sad Song", is an in-depth look at the history and legacy of "Hey Jude". He joins us on this episode for a deep dive into this legendary, iconic song. A true classic.
54 min
The Electric Prunes - "I Had Too Much To Dream ...
Music was expanding in all directions in the 1960's; one of my favorite genres is the psychedelic/garage rock from that era. Few songs capture the sound & the spirit of that style as "I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)" by The Electric Prunes. Take a trip with me back to those halcyon days with one of the flagship songs from the psychedelic period.
11 min
The Albums That Made Us - Deep Purple "Burn" wi...
Greg Renoff, author of “Van Halen Rising: How a Southern California Backyard Party Band Saved Heavy Metal” and “Ted Templeman: A Platinum Producer’s Life in Music”, joins us to talk about a pivotal album in his youth, "Burn" by Deep Purple. It also happens to be one of my favorite albums, too. We also spend some time talking about the first solo LP from bass player Glenn Hughes, another personal favorite of mine.
44 min
David Bowie - "Starman"
Before there was Ziggy Stardust, there was Arnold Corns... Thanks to a legendary performance on "Top Of The Pops", "Starman" was Bowie's first hit since "Space Oddity" and proved he wasn't a one-hit wonder. In this episode, we dig into the history of this song and the origin of Ziggy Stardust.
24 min
The Night That Live Music Saved A City (James B...
After almost 2 years of COVID-19 shutdowns, live music is beginning to return. Let's celebrate the power & importance of live music by looking back at a critical moment in history. April 5, 1968: Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated the day before. America was on edge and riots were breaking out in cities across the country. But the city of Boston, MA held it together. Why? Because the Godfather Of Soul-- James Brown-- was in town.
21 min
The Edgar Winter Group - "Frankenstein"
In our previous episode, we looked at the history of instrumental songs that topped the pop charts. For my money, there's never been a more unlikely hit instrumental than the synth-infused, riff-heavy stomper that is Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein". This episode, we break down this instrumental classic featuring Edgar Winter on keyboards, sax and drums.
16 min
Whatever Happened to the Instrumental Hit Song?
Years ago, instrumental songs were everywhere-- on the radio, the jukebox, and the Billboard Hot 100 chart. But over time, the instrumental faded from mainstream popularity. When was the last time you heard a new instrumental, or saw one topping the charts? In this episode-- our 100th show-- we explore the history of the pop instrumental as we ask the question. "Whatever happened to the instrumental hit song?"
38 min
The Albums That Made Us - Richard & Linda Thomp...
The "Albums That Made Us" series continues as Brian Jacobs joins us with a look at two central albums that have grown with us over the years. The older we get, the better these albums get: "Shoot Out The Lights" by Richard & Linda Thompson, and Bob Dylan's "Blood on The Tracks".
40 min
Badfinger - "In the Meantime/Some Other Time"
Nothing came easy for Badfinger. Though they had success with their first few albums (all of them must-have classics), they soon had a tough time, thanks to terrible management, record label indifference and bad timing. In 1974, worn-down & exhausted from the non-stop touring/recording/touring again grind, they dragged themselves into the studio... and, with help from producer Chris Thomas, made one of their best albums. Many fans say it IS their best. Unfornuately, few people heard it as it was withdrawn from stores shortly after its release, thanks to legal shenanigans. Things only got worse after that. But this record is a masterpiece; let's celebrate it with a look at the song "In the Meantime/Some Other Time".
22 min
Aerosmith - "Kings And Queens"
Aerosmith was a band on the brink of self-destruction when they set up in an old convent to record their next album in 1977. But despite the tension, drug abuse and general bad behavior, they managed to lay down a few classics, including "Kings And Queens". Let's dig into this Aerosmith classic.
20 min
Wilson Pickett - "Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won't...
Wilson Pickett only recorded 9 songs during his time at Stax in Memphis, but they were defining records. "Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won't Do)" is the last of those singles, released in May 1966. Though not as well-known as "In The Midnight Hour", "634-5789" or "Mustang Sally", this song is still a stone-cold classic in my book. Let's see what it's made of.
11 min
Special Edition: The Beatles "Get Back" Documen...
After 50 years locked away in a vault, the world finally got to see and hear some of the abandoned footage from the Beatles "Let It Be" sessions. The new documentary "Get Back" gives us almost 8 hours of never-before seen film and an unprecedented look at The Beatles at work. It was worth the wait. On this Special Edition of the podcast, we're joined by 3 of the biggest Beatle fans I know-- Ken Mills, Craig Smith and Brian Jacobs-- to discuss this fascinating look at the most important band in rock history.
68 min
Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush - "Sister Change"
When Frank Marino announced his retirement in 2021 due to a medical condition, his fans were shocked. "Tales Of The Unexpected", indeed. So let's take a few minutes to appreciate this great guitar player with a look at one of his funkiest tracks.
13 min
BONUS HOLIDAY SONG: The LeeVees - "How Do You S...
It's our annual Bonus Holiday Episode - This year, we're celebrating Hanukkah with a song that also doubles as a great Power Pop song. Happy Holidays. everybody!
10 min
The Albums That Made Us – Led Zeppelin "IV" wit...
We're back with another Albums That Made Us episode; this time my guest is author Christy Alexander Hallberg, who's new novel "Searching For Jimmy Page" is a must-read for any Led Zeppelin fan. On this episode, Christy shares how discovering "Led Zeppelin IV" was a life-changing moment, how the music has brought comfort over the years, and inspired her book. We also discuss one of my first album purchases, Queen's "Day At The Races".
46 min
When Rock and Comics Meet - With Ken Mills & Er...
November 2021 marks 60 years since the first issue of "Fantastic Four", the comic book that launched the Marvel Universe. Rock music has had a love affair with comics for years; on this episode, we take a look at a handful of songs from the crossroads where Rock and Comics meet. I'm joined by 2 legendary podcasters, Ken Mills (PodKISSt, Zilch, Cheap Talk with Trick Chat, Pop!) & Eric Miller (Pods & Sods, The Daily Bern), who are equal fans of both comic books and rock 'n' roll.
36 min
Blue Oyster Cult - "Don't Fear The Reaper"
Join us for this Halloween Episode where we take a deep dive into one of the spookiest songs to ever hit the charts. There's a reason why this song has shown up everywhere from TV shows like "Supernatural", to films including "Halloween", the videogame "Ripper"-- its lyrics are even quoted in Steven King's "The Stand": because few songs are able to create a mood as deep and rich as this one. And it features one of the best guitar parts of all time. (And yes, we mention the cowbell.)
20 min
The Kinks - "Shangri-La"
In the novel Lost Horizon, Shangri-La is the mystical, hidden paradise of legend. In the The Kinks song, it's the name given to the humble home of Arthur, the main character in Ray Davies' concept album/rock opera Arthur (Or The Decline and Fall of The British Empire). Written as the accompaniment for a TV movie that was never produced, Arthur still stands as one of The Kinks' best works, and "Shangri-La" is the stand-out track from this album.
18 min
The Albums That Made Us – Jethro Tull "Songs Fr...
The "Albums That Made Us" series returns to explore the ways in which music has impacted our lives. This episode, we're joined by Jon Lamoreaux, host of The Hustle Podcast. Join us for a conversation about Jethro Tull, David Bowie, and the power of music to send us in new directions.
26 min
The Rolling Stones - "Can't You Hear Me Knocking"
1971 was a banner year for great rock albums, and one of the best of the best that year was "Sticky Fingers" by The Rolling Stones. On this episode, we take a dive into a key track from that album, "Can't You Hear Me Knocking", where the Stones begin with a killer Keef riff and end up 7 minutes later in a completely different place. How did they get there? Let's take the journey with them… and along the way, we'll pay our respects to the late, great Charlie Watts.
19 min
The Who - "The Real Me"
The Who released a string of classic albums, but many consider Quadrophenia to be their best. It's certainly one of their most ambitious. Pete Townshend wrote the songs, but the stunning performances by Roger Daltrey, Keith Moon & John Entwistle bring the songs to life. Nowhere is that more evident on "The Real Me", which features all four members in top form, showing why they were one of the all-time great bands.
17 min
Led Zeppelin - "Achilles Last Stand"
Sure, everyone knows "Stairway To Heaven", but "Achilles Last Stand" may be Jimmy Page's greatest masterpiece. Layers of guitars intertwined & augmenting each other in a virtual guitar orchestra, with stellar performances from the rest of the band. In this episode, we take a closer look at this underrated classic.
21 min
The Albums That Made Us - with Special Guest Ch...
For another episode in "The Albums That Made Us" series, I'm joined by Chris Czynszak, co-host of the "Decibel Geek" podcast and the organizer of the RockNPod Expo, to talk about how the same band, about 10 years apart, had a huge affect on both our lives.
41 min
Motorhead - "Ace Of Spades"
If Motorhead is to be remembered for one song, it would be "Ace Of Spades". The title cut from their most commercially successful album, a track that encapsulates Motorhead-- fast, loud, defiant. Let's dig into this heavy metal classic to see what makes it work.
16 min
George Harrison – "Beware Of Darkness"
George Harrison emerged from the rubble of The Beatles breakup with all cylinders firing. After years of working in John & Paul's shadow, George had amassed a stockpile of great songs. It all burst out in 1970 on his triple-album set, All Things Must Pass. One of the standout tracks was "Beware Of Darkness", a warning to everyone (including himself) to be wary of corrupting influences. Featuring an all-star band, wall-of-sound production, and the introduction of George's slide guitar playing, which would define his sound for the rest of his career. Let's listen to the song many consider George's masterpiece.
22 min
The Albums That Made Us - Rolling Stones "After...
It's another episode of our "Albums That Made Us" series, where we explore how music has made a big impact on our lives. We'll be joined by a guest to discuss an album that shaped their lives in some way. Join Chris Porter & myself join us for a discussion on "Aftermath" by The Rolling Stones and The Who's "Who's Next".
31 min
1971 - The Year That Rock Exploded
Inspired by David Hepworth's book, "Never a Dull Moment: 1971 - The Year That Rock Exploded" (and the documentary based on his book), we take a quick look at many of the great albums released in 1971.
27 min
Sugar Pie DeSanto - "In The Basement (Pt 1)"
Sugar Pie DeSanto (born Peylia Marsema Balinton) was a ton of dynamite in a tiny 4' 11" frame... and still is, at the time of this recording. Let's have a listen to this super-fun classic track, recorded with the great Etta James in 1966.
11 min
Foghat - "Honey Hush"
Let's give some overdue respect to a band of 4 great players who knew how to rock. Here's a guitar-driven update on an old blues classic, from one of the best live albums of the '70's. As a bonus, we take a side trip to explore the origins of a familiar guitar riff.
19 min
The Albums That Made Us - Living Colour "Vivid"...
Here's the first episode of a new series that we'll be exploring occasionally here on the "I'm In Love With That Song" Podcast. I'm always interested to hear about music that made a big impact on other people's lives; in this series, I'm inviting some fellow podcasters and friends in the music industry to discuss an album that shaped their lives in some way. For this first episode, Podcaster Extraordinaire Eric Miller joins us to talk about Living Color's "Vivid". And I discuss one of my influential albums, "Anthology" by Sky & The Family Stone. Hope you enjoy the conversation!
27 min
The Ohio Players - "Fire"
The Ohio Players paid their dues for 15 years before their first #1 Top 100 hit, but by then, they were on fire (pun intended). Built on an incessant groove that won't quit, they brought heavy funk to the top of the pop charts. On this episode, we take a look at all the elements that make up this funky classic.
13 min
The Language Of Rock
What's the difference between a "riff" and a "lick"? Between "reverb" and "slapback echo"? We try not to get too technical on this podcast, but occasionally some listeners will get stumped by some of the terminology. So for our 75th episode, I thought I'd explain some of the terms we use on this show-- and why it's necessary to have this "language" to begin with. (Because there's no sheet music notation for "fuzz tone".)
28 min
Something Happens - "Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello...
Every once in a while you hear a song by a band you've never heard of and it knocks you out. This was one of those songs for me. A band from Ireland comes out of nowhere (as far as the USA is concerned), gets some radio play with a great song, and then is largely forgotten here. Same ol' story. Should'a been a big hit, if ya ask me. But what do I know? Listen to this track along with me and see if you love it as much as I do. "Hello Hello Hello Hello Hello (Petrol)" (Written by Something Happens) Copyright 1990 Virgin Music, Inc. (ASCAP)
11 min
Big Star - "The Ballad of El Goodo"
Sometimes, when times are tough and it seems like the world's against you, a song like this can keep you going. A stunning mix of jangling guitars, sparkling harmony vocals, and a heart-wrenching lead vocal by Alex Chilton, this is my favorite song from my favorite album by the band often referred to as "the greatest band you've never heard".
19 min
Deep Purple - "Burn"
I'll happily go out on a limb and say Deep Purple was THE hard rock band of the '70's. They could shift from monster guitar riffs to complex classical-influenced passages to outright improvised jams-- all within one song. Built around a trio of top-of-their-game players (guitar, organ & drums), with a series of distinctive, powerful singers & bassists -- the lineup changes so iconic they became known as Deep Purple Mark I, Mark II, Mark III, etc. This episode, we'll break down the classic Mark III track, "Burn", and listen to all the ingredients in this witch's brew.
19 min
Merry Clayton - "Country Road"
Merry Clayton never had a big hit, but her voice can be heard in dozens of songs you know (we've listened to one of them here before, see episode #42). One of the legendary background singers profiled in the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, most of her solo work is largely unknown-- which is a shame, because there's some great music on those albums. Take this example from her first album, Gimme Shelter. Merry takes this James Taylor classic to a whole new place, one of my favorite cover songs of all time.
14 min
BONUS HOLIDAY SONG: He 5 - "Silent Night"
It's our annual BONUS HOLIDAY EPISODE - This time, we travel back in time & around the world for a truly psychedelic Christmas trip with the He 5. See you on the other side!
21 min
Humble Pie - "Thunderbox"
Some songs call for you to speak out & demand action. Some songs explore the deepest depths of your soul. Some songs are timeless expressions of love. This song... it just kicks ass. Humble Pie was a guitar riff machine, and Steve Marriott was 5' 5" of vocal dynamite. Add a trio of the finest backing singers-- Venetta Fields, Clydie King and Sherlie Matthews-- and you've got a party.
19 min
John Lennon - "Nobody Loves You (When You're Do...
It's been 40 years since the death of John Lennon, a senseless loss that still stings. Here's one of my personal favorite Lennon tracks. We'll follow it from its early stages through to the final album version.
21 min
Fleetwood Mac - "The Green Manalishi (with the ...
There's never been any shortage of drama with Fleetwood Mac... long before the soap opera of Rumours, there was the psychodrama of Peter Green (and Jeremy Spencer, and Danny Kirwan...). The saga of how Peter Green-- one of the brightest guitarists to come out of '60's Britain, right up there with Clapton/Beck/Page-- was lost to a drug-fueled spiritual black hole is one of the great "if only..." tales in Rock History. When he passed away in July 2020, I knew it was time to tackle a Green-era Mac classic... I just had to gin up the courage to revisit the nightmare that awaits in "The Green Manalishi (with the Two-Prong Crown)"
22 min
Rare Earth - "I Just Want To Celebrate"
Rare Earth's sound was equal parts funky soul and straight-up rock. For decades, when there's cause for celebration, folks have been crankin' up this chunk of funk rock. Let's take a closer look at how Rare Earth carved their place in history with this track.
15 min
Alice Cooper - "Elected"
When Alice Cooper recorded "Elected" in 1972, it was a satire about a rich, grandstanding, self-obsessed celebrity running for president. He's a "yankee doodle dandy in a gold Rolls Royce". We all laughed. That could never happen in real life, right...?
16 min
The Thorns - "No Blue Sky"
When Matthew Sweet, Shawn Mullins & Pete Droge (aka The Thorns) recorded "No Blue Sky" almost in 2002, they had no idea that the skies over the Western US would be thick with smoke, or that a global pandemic would isolate us in our homes. "It ain't right, it feels like forever..." pretty much sums up the year 2020. I'm fascinated in how songs can find new relevance years later. Let's listen to this gorgeous song and watch the sun go down together.
14 min
Queen - "Keep Yourself Alive"
Some bands take time to develop a unique sound, but Queen sounded like Queen right from the beginning. "Keep Yourself Alive" was the opening track on their first album, and it contains all the requisite Queen elements: the heavy riffs & orchestrated guitars, the vocal harmonies, dramatic musical shifts and Freddie's powerful voice. The band would go on to scale bigger heights, but the magic was there from the start. Let's have a listen.
15 min
Marvin Gaye - "I Heard It Through The Grapevine"
Hard to believe now, but Motown was resisted releasing this song as a single. Marvin's version sat on a shelf for months before being relegated to an album track-- until some DJ's discovered it, and the rest is history. It became Motown's biggest selling hit at that time. A true classic. This episode, we'll look at how the track was put together and marvel at Marvin's performance. One of the greats.
20 min
The Merry-Go-Round - "Listen Listen!"
Emitt Rhodes had an extraordinary gift as a songwriter, a fantastic voice and was a remarkable musician-- he was one of the first artists to record by himself, playing every instrument on his albums. He passed away in July 2020, leaving behind a small but significant collection of albums. In tribute to this under-appreciated talent, I've selected a song from his most successful band, The Merry-Go-Round, a song that itself is a celebration of great music & great bands. Psychedelic '60's pop never got better than this.
13 min
Sweet - "Fox On The Run"
Picture this: You're a successful chart-topping band, but your managers are writing all your hits and ignoring the songs you're writing. You wrote a track on your latest album that has potential, but the record company thinks you can improve it. So, without your managers knowing about it, you re-record it & release it as a single-- and it's a hit. That's the story of Sweet and "Fox On The Run".
15 min
Boston - "Hitch A Ride"
It Came From Boston (Vol. 3): MIT graduate/Polaroid employee Tom Scholz recorded an album's worth of songs in his basement studio after work, and somehow the record sold 25 million copies worldwide. Along with Brad Delp, Sib Hashian and some other guys (maybe?), were they the inventors of Corporate Rock or the most successful DIY debut of all time? You decide.
27 min
Pink Floyd - "Us And Them"
Pink Floyd released "Us & Them" in 1973, but it fells like it could've been written yesterday. Can we ever get past our compulsion to separate "us" from "them"? This is a song for the ages, with some brilliant performances across the board from everyone involved-- band members, guest artists, backing singers and recording engineers alike. Let's try to listen to this song afresh and rediscover what makes this classic track great. "Us & Them" (Roger Waters, Richard Wright) Copyright 1973 Pink Floyd Music Publishers and Warner/Chappell Artemis Music Limited
24 min
57 on '57
This being Episode # 57, I thought it would be fun to revisit '57 -- as in the year 1957. With the loss of Little Richard recently, virtually all of the early pioneers of Rock 'n' Roll are gone now, so let's take a look back at rock's first big year.
22 min
Earth, Wind & Fire - "Shining Star"
Earth, Wind & Fire's 6th album, That's The Way of The World, was ostensibly a soundtrack album; when the film bombed, the album was on the verge of fading away, too-- until "Shining Star" was released as a single and it became their first (and surprisingly only) #1 Top 100 Hit. The whole band is on fire here; beneath the pop sheen is the heaviest of funk grooves, with particularly tasty guitar & bass work. Let's climb inside this funk machine & see what it took to create this stellar track.
13 min
Todd Rundgren - "Parallel Lines"
A Todd Rundgren album can vary between pure pop to bossa nova, guitar rock to wild experimentation; like the proverbial box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get with the next Rundgren album. Released in 1989, the Nearly Human album is Todd at his best, a pop masterpiece of well-crafted songs performed impeccably, live-in-the-studio. "Parallel Lines" is one of the strongest cuts, initially written for an off-Broadway musical based on the script for a never-produced 3rd Beatles movie.
15 min
Small Faces - "Tin Soldier"
The best British band from the '60's that never hit the bigtime in America-- Small Faces. Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane, Kenny Jones and Ian McLagan would become rock legends due to their future projects (Humble Pie, The Who, The Faces, etc) , but it all started for them here. Small Faces recorded a number of psychedelic pop gems, but "Tin Soldier" may be the pinnacle. Shall we have a listen?
21 min
Buzzcocks - "What Do I Get?"
Back in '77, one thing UK punk bands didn't have much use for was love songs. But Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks wrote what could be called "modern love songs"; honest songs about longing, romance, loneliness, and yes, love -- all laced with self-deprecating humor. But their music was aggressive, all raging guitars, pounding drums & pummeling bass. With those thoughtful (dare I say, sensitive) lyrics on top, it was the best of both worlds. On this episode, we take a deep dive into the Buzzcocks classic "What Do I Get?"
12 min
Edwin Starr - "War"
"War" was originally written for The Temptations, but when Motown was too squeamish to have one of their top acts release an overtly anti-Vietnam song, Edwin Starr stepped up and secured his place in history. His no-holds-barred delivery of "War" resulted in one of the most commercially successful protest songs ever recorded. Though Edwin Starr never reached these heights again, he left his mark with a song that transcended its Vietnam-era roots: It was one of the songs on Clear Channel's no-play list after September 11, 2001.
15 min
Billy Squier - "Lonely Is The Night"
It Came From Boston (Vol. 2): Local boy from Wellesley MA pays his dues in & around Boston and New York; eventually becomes a solo artist and strikes gold on his 2nd solo album, Don't Say No. "Lonely Is The Night" was the 2nd single and my favorite track from the album, so let's have a listen to this classic song from the early '80's.
13 min
Was 1965 the Most Revolutionary Year in Music?
For the 50th episode of the podcast, we're mixing it up a bit. I just finished reading a fascinating book my Andrew Grant Jackson where he lays out his belief that 1965 was "The Most Revolutionary Year In Music". Let's have a listen to some of the sounds of '65 and see if we agree. The Beatles, the Stones, the Byrds, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Motown... it's all there.
29 min
Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians - "Airscape"
A Robyn Hitchcock song is so unique, it could only come from the mind of Robyn Hitchcock. From his first recordings with The Soft Boys in the '70's through to his solo work today, Robyn is a singular artist with a vision all his own. This is a track from my favorite Hitchcock album, Element Of Light.
14 min
Roxy Music - "In Every Dream Home A Heartache"
Wealth and excess go together; emptiness and detachment are right around the corner. This song delves into all of that, along with a particular obsession. What do you do when money no longer buys you a thrill? Bryan Ferry has some thoughts...idea...
19 min
Rush - "Subdivisions"
To say Rush has a devoted fan base would be an understatement. I know, because I was a card-carrying member of the "Rush Backstage Fan Club" back in the '80's. Perhaps no Rush song connected so directly with their fans as "Subdivisions". On this episode, we celebrate Neil Peart with a deeper look at this fan favorite.
21 min
Starz - "X-Ray Spex"
On this episode, we revisit the great '70's hard rock/power pop album Attention Shoppers! by Starz. "X-Ray Spex" is a blast of punky pop with some interesting use of studio effects. Turn it up!
9 min
BONUS XMAS 2019 EPISODE: Favorite Christmas Songs
On this special Bonus podcast, it's time for another holiday pick.  Here's an ol' Christmas classic with a power pop twist: "We Three Kings" by Odds.  Happy Holidays, everyone! "Kings Of Orient (We Three Kings)" (Traditional) Odds, 1991
7 min
Michael Carpenter - "Kailee Anne"
Michael Carpenter is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer & engineer from Australia who, in a better world, would be a lot more famous. A master of hooks & harmony, he's one of the best modern power pop artists out there. Here's a track that's a personal favorite of mine. Check it out & then go buy some of his music.
12 min
The Cars - "Just What I Needed"
It Came From Boston: 5 experienced musicians come together to make something new: keyboard whiz Greg Hawkes; the bassist with the killer voice, Benjamin Orr; drummer David Robinson from the legendary Modern Lovers; one of the tastiest guitarists in the business, Elliot Easton; and singer/songwiriter/guitarist & mastermind Ric Ocasek. Merging classic guitar rock with the burgeoning synth-pop sounds to bring New Wave to the masses, The Cars defined that sound for the late-70's/Early '80's. It all started on local Boston radio with this song.
15 min
The Rolling Stones - "Gimme Shelter"
There's no shortage of great songs in the Rolling Stones catalog, but "Gimme Shelter" may be the song that tops them all. Dark and foreboding as only the Stones can do, this track has all the hallmarks of the Rolling Stones at their best: iconic guitar riffs by Keef, Jagger at the top of his game, and the Watts/Wyman rhythm section doing what they do best (plus Nicky Hopkins on piano). But what pushes this one from merely brilliant into sublime is the vocal performance by Merry Clayton-- for my money, one of the greatest moments on record.
19 min
The Beatles - "Rain"
"Rain" was the first glimpse of The Beatles exploration of psychedelia. Perhaps more than any other Beatles track, this song highlights the rhythm section with brilliant performances by Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. Add Lennon's lyrics and great vocals, and you've got one of the best songs to come out of the trippy, mind-expanding '60's. On this episode, we take a closer look at the individual performances and studio trickery-- backwards, forwards, sped up & slowed down-- that went into this classic track.
17 min
The Temptations - "I Can't Get Next To You"
The Temptations' first #1 Hit on the Billboard "Hot 100" chart was "My Girl" in 1965. 4 years later, they had their 2nd #1 with "I Can't Get Next To You", and the difference between these 2 songs tells you a lot about the 1960's. "I Can't Get Next To You" features a different lead vocalist, a more aggressive, funky beat and a trippy vibe courtesy of producer & songwriter Norman Whitfield. The early Temptations songs are great, but for my money, they were never better than when they teamed up with Whitfield and created "psychedelic soul".
15 min
Richard Lloyd - "Backtrack"
If you know Richard Lloyd at all, it's either as a member of Television (the first band to play CBGB's) or as the guitarist on many of Matthew Sweet's best tracks. But Richard released some great solo work in between those gigs, including an album called Field Of Fire. Overlooked & forgotten, this is one of the best records of the 1980's (in my opinion, of course). The title song features some of his best ever guitar work. On this episode, we're listening to a great rockin' track called "Backtrack" that's as close to "classic rock" as Richard Lloyd will ever get-- and I mean that in the best possible way. Keith Richards would be proud of this guitar riff.
12 min
The Kinks - "Autumn Almanac"
The Kinks earned their place in Rock History on the basis of "You Really Got Me", "All Day & All Of The Night", and "Where Have All The Good Times Gone" alone. But it didn't take long for Ray Davies to stretch out beyond riff-driven, teenage anthems to write songs that could only have come from his imagination. "Autumn Almanac" is one of the first Kinks songs to show Davies reaching for a whole new level of songwriting-- both musically and his interest in writing about characters, which would become the focus of his songwriting over the ensuing years.
11 min
Stevie Wonder - "I Wish"
Stevie Wonder was on an unrivaled creative streak starting in 1972, releasing 5 brilliant albums in a row, culminating with Songs In The Key Of Life in 1976. That album spawned 2 hit singles, including "I Wish", the subject of this episode. A masterpiece blending funk with pop sensibilities, it's a celebration of youthful innocence and simpler times.
15 min
Graham Day - "Glad I'm Not Young"
After a few longer-than-usual episodes, I thought it was time for a quick take on a straight-forward rocker with a premise not often heard in rock, pop, metal or rap -- Graham Day & The Gaolers (pronounced "Jailers") with "Glad I'm Not Young".
8 min
Yes - "Owner Of A Lonely Heart"
Few bands have changed their sound as drastically as Yes did on their 90125 album, a radical departure from their previous progressive rock style. But it ended up giving them their one & only #1 hit, "Owner Of A Lonely Heart". In this episode, we follow the song's evolution from Trevor Rabin's solo demo to the final production, including its innovative production techniques (such as being one of the first rock songs to use samples).
18 min
David Bowie - "Space Oddity"
50 years ago today -- July 16, 1969 -- Apollo 11 was launched and human beings first stepped on the moon. Let's celebrate that occasion with the most famous song about space travel: David Bowie's "Space Oddity", a song that exploits our fear and wonder of the final frontier. In lesser hands, this track could've been nothing more than a goofy, one-joke song for the Dr. Demento crowd, but the clever songwriting, brilliant production and a vocal performance that captures Bowie's innate other-worldly, alienated style makes this track so much more than a novelty song.
18 min
David Bowie - "Station To Station"
Among the many high points in David Bowie's catalog, "Station To Station" stands as one of his most epic compositions. Written when Bowie's life was at its most fractured point-- having split with his longtime manager, suffering from cocaine psychosis and obsessed with the occult, "Station To Station" transcends the insanity to become one of his most monumental works. This episode, we're taking a deep dive into the live version of "Station To Station" from the 1978 Isolar II Tour, as captured on the Stage live album featuring brilliant guitar work from Adrian Belew.
19 min
Jethro Tull - "My God"
Aqualung was the album that made Jethro Tull famous, and features 3 songs that became classic hits. But the song at the heart of the album is "My God", Ian Anderson's very personal statement on religious institutions. It's the most instrumentally adventurous track on the album and features great guitar by Martin Barre and a flute workout from Anderson.
17 min
Utopia - "Winston Smith Takes It On The Jaw"
70 years ago this month, George Orwell's "1984" was first published. So let's give George an ol' Rock & Roll salute by looking at one of the many songs inspired by his book. Sure, I could've done David Bowie's "1984", but that would be too easy. I'm a big Utopia fan, so this is a good excuse to take a look at another one of their tracks. It's Utopia in dystopia!
15 min
The Beach Boys - "You Still Believe In Me"
When Brian Wilson heard The Beatles Rubber Soul album, it inspired and challenged him to create an album of his own that would stand as an equal. And he pulled it off. Universally considered one of the greatest albums of all time, Pet Sounds is a testament to Brian's genius as a songwriter, arranger & producer. Here's one of my favorites on the record-- "You Still Believe in Me".
19 min
Paul McCartney & Wings - "Little Lamb Dragonfly"
Another overlooked song in the McCartney catalog, "Little Lamb Dragonfly" is an emotional piece, composed of 3 sections in different keys that effortlessly moves between each segment. A wistful, haunting song about loss and the struggle to accept it. How does this song affect you?
12 min
Kiss - "King Of The Night Time World"
On this episode, we revisit the Destroyer album and take a look at the song "King Of The Night Time World" to see how it evolved from an obscure track by a short-lived LA band into a teenage anthem by larger-than-life rock legends. We'll listen to both versions and hear what changed & what remained. Come live your secret dream!
13 min
The Zombies - "Care Of Cell 44"
The Zombies only released 2 albums during their prime, so how did they get into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame? Because one of those albums is a bona fide classic: Odessey and Oracle is widely considered to be one of the greatest albums of the '60's, holding its own against classics by The Beatles, the Stones, Velvet Underground, The Who... by virtually any measure, it's an iconic album. And it was a complete flop when it was first released, along with its first single, "Care Of Cell 44". But over time, it's been recognized as a true masterpiece.
15 min
5 Favorite Guitar Solos
Welcome to the 25th episode of the "I'm In Love With That Song" Podcast! I thought we'd do something a little different for this episode: I've picked a handful of my favorite guitar solos and we'll take a listen to what I think makes a solo great. In my book, it doesn't have to be flashy or technically brilliant, but it does have to be memorable, it has to fit the song, and it should take the song to another level. I'm not saying these are the greatest solos of all time, they're just a few that I think are pretty special.
18 min
Thin Lizzy - "Rosalie"
Why this song? Simple: because Thin Lizzy was as good as a 4-piece rock band could be and this song has everything you want in a rockin' song-- a killer guitar riff, a singable chorus, a great hook for the lyrics, and a perfect performance. Written by Bob Seger, Thin Lizzy took it to another level and added some of their special sauce to make this song their own. I truly love this song!
15 min
Todd Rundgren - "Cliche"
This is the episode where I try to explain why I think Todd Rundgren's "Cliché" is the most beautiful song ever written. Of course it's all subjective, but I don't know how anyone could deny the beauty and emotional resonance of this song. I probably can't do it justice, but here's my attempt anyway. .
16 min
Aerosmith - "Seasons Of Wither"
By the time Aerosmith recorded their 2nd album, they had refined their sound, improved their songwriting chops, and Steven Tyler had found his authentic voice. "Seasons Of Wither" is one of the moodiest tracks Aerosmith ever committed to vinyl. Still sounds every bit as great today.
13 min
Superchunk - "Me & You & Jackie Mittoo"
Do we expect too much from music? A great song can do a lot, but it can't fix everything. This song is 2 minutes of joy... sometimes, that's enough.
10 min
The Who - "The Naked Eye"
Let's start the year off with one of the Greatest Rock Bands Of All Time. There is simply no other band like The Who. Genius and violence, vulnerability and madness... all words that can be used in equal measure to describe The Who. Four larger-than-life characters that created a dozen indelible classic albums; a band that recorded so much great music that a song like this was tossed aside, eventually released on a ramshackle album of leftovers & outtakes. Most bands would give an arm & a leg for a song this good.
12 min
B.B. King - "There Must Be A Better World Somew...
See "Description" for details. His career spanned over 60 years; he toured around the world (playing 200 shows a year, well into his 70's), and released more than 50 albums. But B.B. King will be remembered primarily as one of the most influential guitarists in history. His impact is so embedded in the DNA of the guitar that no player is untouched by his influence. This is one of many great songs in his vast catalog; a great example of his powerful voice, his ability to embody a song, and his mastery as a guitar soloist.
15 min
Graham Parker & The Rumour - "Stupefaction"
Graham Parker arose from the UK Pub Rock scene, a back-to-basics sound that was a precursor to Punk. Along with his band, The Rumour (which included guitarist Brinsley Schwarz, a legend in his own right), he recorded a handful of essential albums in the '70's and has released a string of great records throughout his long career. A notable songwriter with a distinct edge and a wonderfully biting voice, he's influenced many artists that followed. Here's one song that represents everything I love about Graham Parker.
8 min
The Band - "Whispering Pines"
When the band released their first 2 albums in 1968 & 1969, they set off a musical revolution; the psychedelic sounds of the '60's were out and a return to the roots was back in style. "Whispering Pines" is their most haunting, beautiful ballad, with a lead vocal from Richard Manuel that's so vulnerable it makes you ache to hear it. The Band were at their peak during this time, with every member writing & performing at their best.
11 min