Tuesday Tunes 98: Heart

A few weeks ago, lovely Carol chose heart as the keyword for her Saturday Snippets post. If you haven’t seen it, you’ll find it here. These posts are fabulous, as Carol introduces us to a wide range of interesting facts about the keyword, and shares some related songs. I mentioned to her that this would be a good theme for a piece in this series, and she agreed, saying that she could possibly guess some of the songs I might choose. Ever up for a challenge I have decided to eschew some of the more obvious ones on the list of thirty songs I came up with, without much brain ache – this is an easy one, and I may well come back to it. So, Carol, if you were expecting to see Blondie, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Heart, Buddy Holly, Janis Joplin, Don Henley, Jackson Browne and several others here, you may have to await a follow up post! Today I’m giving you guys eight crackers from the list I compiled, and as ever I’m hoping that some of them will be new to you amongst the more familiar ones.

I’ve remarked before that I am a huge fan of Led Zeppelin, and as I always like to get these selections off to a rousing start I thought this one of theirs would fit the bill nicely:

You may well already know that Heartbreaker was the opening track on side two of Led Zeppelin’s second album, which was called… wait for it… Led Zeppelin II. This was released in October 1969 and was a huge success, giving the band their first #1 album in both the US and the UK, and also topping the charts in Australia, Canada, Denmark, The Netherlands, West Germany (as it was back then), Finland, and Spain, and was top three in France, Italy and Sweden. To date it has sold more than 18m copies and is generally regarded by critics as being one of the most influential rock albums of all time. I bought it when it first came out (much to my Mum’s disgust!) and have loved it ever since: it is a fantastic album, with not a dud among its nine tracks.

Moving now from a heavy rock band to one that was always classified as prog rock. For them, this one rather bucked the trend:

Yes released Owner Of A Lonely Heart in October 1983 as the lead single from their album 90125, which followed in November. I loved it, and still do, but I was surprised to see that it wasn’t as big a success here in the UK as I remembered, only reaching #28. But it made #1 in the US so I think the band’s bank balance survived unscathed. The album wasn’t as successful as most of their previous efforts, either, possibly reflecting the fact that it was three years since their last release and a lot had happened in pop music trends during that time. It reached #16 in the UK albums chart, but again it performed better in the US, where it got to #5.

I feel in a reflective mood this week, and the next four choices are examples of that. All are lovely songs, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. All are from acts that I have featured here before, but they probably deserve more of an airing than I have given them. As part of redressing that balance, this next tune is stunningly beautiful, and comes from a guy who is probably only remembered by most for one song. That is so unjust, as I think this shows:

Whatever’s Written In Your Heart was a track on Gerry Rafferty’s second album, City To City, which was released in January 1978. The album included that song we all know – Baker Street – and peaked at #6 in the UK and #1 in the US. That megahit reached #3 in the UK and #2 in the US, and was notably more successful than the other four tracks from the album to be released as singles, including this song, which was the fifth in line and didn’t make the singles chart. It is still for me a beautiful song, though, and one which shows that you should explore his music further if you only know Baker Street.

This next one is also a thing of simple beauty:

Keep Me In Your Heart is the closing track on Warren Zevon’s final album, The Wind, which was released on 26 August 2003. Zevon began recording the album in late 2002, shortly after he was diagnosed with inoperable pleural mesothelioma (a cancer of the lining of the lung), and it was released just two weeks before his death on September 7, 2003. It was typical of his nature that on learning of his cancer diagnosis he determined to record a final studio album. His record label gave him a large budget for the project, and he got help from several high-profile musicians and friends. Warren was inspired to include a Bob Dylan cover (Knocking On Heaven’s Door, of course) after Dylan performed several of his songs in concert in 2002. The album was awarded the Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album, and the track Disorder in the House, performed by Warren with Bruce Springsteen, won the Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance (Group or Duo). Songs from the album, including this one, were nominated for an additional three Grammys but the two posthumous awards turned out to be the only ones he received. And he still hasn’t been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame: I’ve said before that I think that is criminal, given the mediocrity and irrelevance of some of the acts who have somehow been admitted. Many of his songs have been covered by other artists, notably Linda Ronstadt, and he enjoyed collaborations with many others, including R.E.M. The album reached #12 in the US and became only his second to make the UK charts, where it peaked at #57. The clips in the video are taken from a VH1 special about the making of the album, which is well worth a watch if you can find it: it makes very poignant viewing. You will have noticed many familiar and famous faces amongst the assembled participants, showing the high esteem in which Warren was held by his peers

Today’s next tune is also by an American artist who has been a long time favourite of mine and who has also done little or nothing in the UK charts. At least some of us were buying his records! This is a piece of musical magic from Ry Cooder:

As the video shows, The Way We Make A Broken Heart was a track on Ry Cooder’s ninth album, Borderline, which was released in October 1980. Like many acts who enjoy a loyal cult following, Ryland Peter Cooder has never really troubled the charts: the only entry Wikipedia shows for this album is #43 in Australia. But I’ve always loved his music, and his albums are all excellent. Highly recommended: start with this album and its predecessor, Bop Till You Drop, if you want to explore further. The song was written by John Hiatt, who recorded his own version with Roseanne Cash in 1982. It was intended to be a single, but Geffen Records didn’t like it and chose not to release it. Roseanne Cash recorded a solo version of it in 1987, for her album King’s Record Shop, and it became a #1 single in both the American and Canadian country charts: strike one for Columbia Records!

This next one is the last of that run of four reflective songs I mentioned earlier. The song was written by John Martyn, and was on his 1971 album Bless the Weather, but I’ve always liked the cover version America did on their album Homecoming. Finding a live performance, admittedly from a lot later, tipped the balance on which version I’d play for you:

John Martyn’s album didn’t make the charts, and as a single he only released this track as a B side. America, on the other hand, were much more successful: Homecoming was their second album, released in November 1972, and it reached #9 in the US and #21 in the UK. This was the only one of the album’s ten tracks not to have been written by the band, which may be why it didn’t feature either as an A or B side on the three singles taken from it. The best performer of those was Ventura Highway, which reached #8 in the US and #43 in the UK.

I said at the outset that you wouldn’t be hearing anything by Janis Joplin, either solo or as a member of Big Brother and the Holding Company. But I am playing the original recording of one of her bigger hits, for the simple reason that I like it:

Isn’t that fantastic? Piece of My Heart was written by Jerry Ragovoy and Bert Berns, and Erma Franklin’s recording was released in October 1967. It peaked at #62 in the US, though it did get to #5 on their R&B chart, but wasn’t a hit here in the UK. That live performance from twenty five years later shows that she had lost none of the power in her voice, and I love it! I think it was a coincidence that in 1992, the same year as that video, her record was re-released here after it had been used in a Levi’s ad, and this time round it fared much better, making #9 on our singles chart. Joplin’s version, which was elongated by more than a minute and which is too overblown for my taste, did better in the charts, reaching #12 in the US. It was also on the album Cheap Thrills, a US #1. I still much prefer the Erma Franklin version, though.

Today’s final tune is from a guy who features here fairly often, reflecting the fact that he was a favourite of mine right back from his first album. Tom Petty has more than one heart song to his name: I’ve chosen to give you this one, as I think one of the other possibilities (i.e. the one with Stevie Nicks) was too obvious a choice. Anyway, it’s always good to go out with a bit of a blast:

Listen To Her Heart was a track on Tom’s second album with the Heartbreakers – You’re Gonna Get It! – which was released in May 1978 and peaked at #23 in the US and #34 in the UK. This was the second single taken from the album, but it only reached #59 in the US and #66 in Canada. His years of superstardom were yet to begin!

I hope Carol and everyone will feel that I have done justice to the heart theme. As I have said, there are many more I could have chosen for this, and I think I’ll be coming back to this theme. And I may venture away from just the songs, too. I’ve included The Heartbreakers in this piece, but there are other bands with the word in their name: Heart, obviously, The Head and the Heart, the Wandering Hearts, the Heartland Roots Band, among others. And I may play some of the more obvious songs I’ve omitted this week, too – you’ll have to come back again and see, won’t you!

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s music and that I’ll see you again soon. In the meantime, let us all hope for an end to the murder of innocent people in Ukraine. Take care. 🇺🇦

61 thoughts on “Tuesday Tunes 98: Heart

  1. Pingback: April Eyes | Take It Easy

  2. My husband’s favorites were the first 2, but he knew them all, except one. You were able to find an artist he hadn’t heard before! Warren Zevron. He wondered if you heard the group Porcupine Tree before, they have a song with heart in it. “Heart attack in a layby” strange title, its a mellow song.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m pleased to have found one he didn’t know! If he looks through Warren’s catalogue he may well find some familiar songs in there, as there have been many covers. Poor Poor Pitiful Me by Linda Ronstadt, for example, is one of his. I’d never heard of Porcupine Tree or that song, so I looked them up and was surprised to find they are British. They have completely bypassed me I’m afraid. They have barely dented the charts in more than 30 years so I excuse my ignorance! Wikipedia suggested that they are a bit like Pink Floyd, but on the evidence of that one track I’d have said Radiohead was a better comparison.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You should be pleased, its hard to do, though my guess is that you are one person where he has met his match. LOL! He liked that meme you had too.
        I will tell him what you said about Radiohead. You are excused for not hearing of them, can’t know them all, even if from your own country! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I liked that meme too. I thought it suited me well!

        That may be the only song of theirs that has a Radiohead feel – I can’t be sure as it’s the only one of theirs I’ve heard! I was a bit surprised not to have heard of them, but I think that may be something to do with them starting around the time we had the kids and finding new music was way down the priority list!

        Like

      • LOL about having kids, yes that does make everything else take a backseat doesn’t it.
        Brad, my husband, said that Porcupine Tree does have variety with their songs. That some do have a more Pink Floyd vibe to them.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Clive! Great tracks here. I must confess that my first thought was Blondie, Heart of Glass. A little too predictable I guess. Or maybe it’s just THAT good of a song?? 😉 The blog looks fantastic and I am happy to be back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Nichol. Thanks for dropping by and I’m glad you enjoyed them. Thanks also for your kind words and it’s good to see you back again. As I said in the piece, Blondie would have been a good choice but I deliberately avoided the most likely usual suspects. Maybe in part two…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. two great songs to start off with; I always thought that Led song sounds a bit like John Fogerty singing…

    I was not familiar with the Gerry Rafferty song, but it was quite nice; he has such a pleasant voice…

    a wonderful song from Zevon; it is amazing that he is not in the Hall of Fame…

    nice song from Ry…

    I was not familiar with that song from America, but I’ve always liked their music; was fortunate to see them in concert back in the 70s!

    great version of a classic song from Emma..

    great song to close with.

    Heart certainly provides a lot of material!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a very fruitful search, and I have loads more to share on this. Expect a part two very soon!

      Not sure about the Fogerty comparison tbh – I’ve always found Robert Plant’s voice instantly recognisable.

      That is just one of many fabulous songs Gerry Rafferty gave us. Sadly missed.

      The whole story around the Warren Zevon one is wonderful and only he could have closed the final album he knew he could make with a song like this.

      I’d expect nothing less from Ry!

      You were lucky to see America. This has always been one of my favourites of theirs, which is a little ironic considering they didn’t write it.

      And I’m pleased you enjoyed the two closers, too.

      Thanks for dropping in, Jim. I hope all is well 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Clive
    I think it was great that you didn’t go with the expected songs for the heart theme.
    The first two jammed and led us into the four reflective ones and that was new music for me.
    I sorta recognized the ending Petty song but I think there are a lot of his songs I don’t know…

    Oh and the Levi’s advertisement bumping a song reminded me of when Adam Sandler’s movie had Styx on a
    Phone recording and that led to them going on tour !

    Liked by 1 person

    • I just had to do it differently, but there will be a part two where some might sneak in!

      I’m pleased I found some new ones for you – I always try to do that with my selections.

      I don’t think I know the movie you mean, but as I’m neither a fan of Adam Sandler or Styx that may not be surprising!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think the movie was Big Daddy and it was before Adam Sandler made movies that were all bombs (meaning they are horrible) and in the movie he has a few times of playing older music.
        And I am not a huge Styx fan but like a few songs that made the charts.
        -/

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t know the movie but just looked it up on IMDb – I don’t think I’ll bother watching it! The only Styx song I can recall is Babe, which I have always thought was awful 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hangman was the first song I heard from Styx! And I have faint memories of seeing them have a concert on TV when I was young – and hangman song starts slow and builds – “the jig is up the news is out…. they finally found me…” and is a good song
        – also – you might really
        Enjoy Big Daddy so maybe give it a try and watch for 20 minutes before deciding. Or not….
        but it had some fun little culture things – like one of the lawyer ladies used to work at “Hooters” and there were jokes on that
        And then a scene trying to make it To McDonalds before they stop serving breakfast at 10am (funny because it used to be kind of a running joke that if you get there at 10:01 you were “SOL”
        Also the story is cute- a kid shows up for a roommate and Adam’s character tries to take care of him for a little while….

        Okay – enough of that
        Hope your week is going well
        Rain here for next two days

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t know that one. To me they were just another of those AOR American bands who didn’t do much for me, like Toto.

        Big Daddy isn’t streaming here at present. I’ll wait to see if it does rather than spending real money for it 😂

        The week is ok thanks. At least we don’t have rain, even though it was forecast. The wind keeps blowing my window shut though!

        Take care 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Clive
        Hope the wind had died down! Things here are chilly (and I know it is still early spring and to be expected, but still…)
        And only liked one song from Toto! And hearing that band name was flashback

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hahahaha – yes
        Six Saturdays can be a very good thing after a nice career….
        We are doing some minor updates in the kitchen and I picked out the tiles today! Small
        Light Gray subway tiles and then some thinner ones for a border if we want. That was a nice way to spend a Saturday.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sounds like fun, as long as you don’t have to do the work. Especially the grouting: so boring!

        It’s after midnight here so I’m taking my leave for today. Enjoy your evening, and I bid you goodnight 😴

        Liked by 1 person

    • Still one of my favourites too, even after all those years. Glad you liked the Gerry Rafferty one: he wrote many beautiful songs. Each to their own on the Janis one – I was never really a fan of hers.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent, excellent, even perfect selections! I am also a huge Led Zeppelin fan. I remember hearing their first LP over the radio during a local station’s ‘play the full album’ day. I obtained it as quickly as I could; then every LP after that. A house fire took my entire LP collection in 2015, but I recently purchased the first two Led Zeppelin LPs. When I played them, oh my, it was just as sweet as I remembered.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed the selections. I’m sorry to hear about the losses in the fire, but it’s good to know that you’re managing to rebuild your collection. I must admit that I mostly use Apple Music these days, having had to give up my vinyl collection after the divorce downsizing, and nowhere to keep them. I think my CD collection makes up for it, though they don’t get played all that often 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, it is a strange feeling when one mentions LPs and CDs and the folks one is talking with look at one with a dazed expression. I’m not sure if they don’t even KNOW what LPs and CDs are, or they just cannot fathom that anyone plays and listens to them anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The odd thing is that vinyl is making a bit of a comeback and is now seen as trendy. To me, that just means that the record companies charge silly prices – roughly twice the price of a CD. They saw the cool kids coming 😊

        Like

  7. Great selection of songs. Many of them were already favorites, especially Yes and Tom Petty. The track that I had never heard before that made the biggest impression on me was America’s version of the John Martyn original. What a beautiful piece of music!

    Liked by 1 person

Please leave a reply, I'd like to know what you think

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.