Episode 188: Humble Beginnings

Episode 188: Humble Beginnings
Grab your cake pops and wine glasses as Pat and Co-Host Christy Stratton play songs from debut albums that did not quite set the music world on fire.
From February 19, 2014

With your hosts:

Pat Francis

Christy Stratton

00:00:00 Pat and Christy welcome us to the show. We begin with movie talk. Everybody saw Into the Woods and LOVED IT!!!!!... okay, not really. "Terrible," says Kyle. "I went in not knowing anything and left the same," says Christy. Tracey Ullman is in it. She had a music album, which I never knew about. Inspector Kyle looks it up. In the meantime, Christy mentions that she brought wine and cake pops. Yummy. Inspector Kyle finds nothing so far. Maybe it was a one-off like Arsenio as Chunky A, says Pat. Christy has no recollection of that. "The brain is fascinating," says Christy. There are things that she is sure she remembers from the 80s, then she’ll look it up and find no mention ot it. For example, asks Christy, was there a moment in the 80s when Bruce Springsteen, on stage, would plant a full-on mouth kiss on Clarence Clemons? Pat answers with a "yes." Yes. YEEEEEEESSSSSSS. Bruce would kiss Clarence Clemons on the mouth during the Born in the U.S.A. tour. Christy could find no corroboration of this online anywhere. Kyle found it immediately... like in two seconds. You better sharpen those internet skills, Christy. Oh, and Inspector Kyle sees that Tracey Ullman had two albums.
00:05:00 This is a late night record, so things are a bit more relaxed as these late night records usually are. And finally, a Christy Stratton episode without that bum Mike Siegel. What a weight off everyone's shoulders. Christy drops a bombshell and says that she sat next to Mike at Jimmy Pardo and his wife Danielle's wedding! She was single at the time. Mike had ZERO interest in her. Also, Pat got super hammered at the wedding. And Chekov was there too! Star Trek Chekov, not author Chekov. Though if author Chekov was there, I'm sure they would have found a use for him somehow.
Every time Pat gives Christy a topic, she gets scared. Oh Christy. Christy wants to do a goosebumps episodes, but it will take some time for her to get the songs. Goosebumps as in "songs that give you goosebumps" and not "songs inspired by a children's horror anthology."
00:10:00 Pat says songs make him cry more than give him goosebumps. Trust us, Pat, we know. But goosebumps doesn't necessarily mean "scary," it could also mean "empowering, thrill-inducing." For Christy a goosebumps song would be "Hair of the Dog" by Nazareth. Seriously. She loves that song, whenever it's played. She first heard it in the 3rd grade when a kid brought it in for show and tell. Christy was enthralled by the album cover and the song itself. Pat plays the Guns N' Roses version for Christy. It sounds pretty good. "A little too on-the-nose," says Christy.
Today's topic: Humble Beginnings! Some bands immedately hit it out of the park with their debut album. But with some bands, it takes them a few albums to get going and to be strong as they ended up being. Today's songs showcase those first albums that didn’t set the world on fire. Christy starts us off with Cheap Trick. Pat says that the first Cheap Trick album is phenomenal. Hmmmmmm, responds Christy. The song she plays is off their self-titled debut album and it's called "Hot Love".
00:15:00 Christy says the first album is not her favorite Cheap Trick album, but she does like "ELO Kitties." Pat once called a radio station when he was a teenager and requested that song, but he pronounced it "E.L.O. Kitties" like the band E.L.O. What a maroon.
And Pat does not even get a chance to redeem himself because his first pick is "The Groover from Vancouver" Bryan Adams. Pat plays "Hidin' from Love" off his self-titled debut album. Adams was 21 when he made this album.
When they recorded their debut album Dirk Wears White Sox, Adam and the Ants was a completely different colony. Christy plays the song "Zerox". The song is about a guy who listens to bands and steals their music.
00:20:00 A shocking pick by Pat, The Rolling Stones' self-titled debut. Pat says he picked it because the first Rolling Stones album is nothing but Blues covers. Pat plays "Route 66". The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Who all had original compositions on their debut albums. But then again, it was customary for many British Invasion bands to cover American Blues artists.
Once again, Christy extols the virtues of radio stations playing three songs in a row off the same album. Don't get nervous, Christy isn't playing anything from The Cars' first album because that would be silly. Instead she decides to highlight Robert Palmer and his debut album Sneakin' Sally Through the Valley. She plays the opening track "Sailing Shoes". 54 when Mr. Palmer kicked the bucket. Pat had tickets to see the reformed Power Station live minus John Taylor. But Pardo had free tickets to see Chicago at the Greek. They thought they could make both shows, but they only caught Chicago. So Pat missed seeing Palmer live.
00:25:00 Christy calls Robert Palmer a mysterious man because he wasn't really out in the public eye that much. He got famous with the videos on MTV, but nothing really personal every got out about him.
"[Robert Palmer] died of a heart attack."
- Kyle

- Christy

"You just don't know that's coming, do ya?"
- Pat

"Well, he was addicted to love."
- Kyle
Pat's next pick is a band that didn’t break through until their 9th album, REO Speedwagon. Off their self-titled debut album, Pat plays "Sophisticated Lady". All 9 of those albums were on the same label. Crazy how a label would hang on like that back in the day.
It wouldn't be proper for Christy to not play Bee Gees. Off the album The Bee Gees Sing and Play 14 Barry Gibb Songs, Christy plays "Follow the Wind". Christy wants a lyrics episode just so she can talk about "New York Mining Disaster 1941."
00:30:00 Billy Joel's debut album Cold Spring Harbor was originally mastered at a higher speed which made Billy sound like a chipmunk. I'm sure he took that very well. Pat plays the song "You Look So Good to Me". Christy can't imagine putting something out to the world at 20 or 21. She would be a train wreck. Steven Tyler wrote "Dream On" at 19. Bruce Springsteen wrote "Born to Run" at 24.
00:35:00 Christy loves ZZ Top. She plays the song "Squank" off of ZZ Top's first album, creatively called ZZ Top's First Album. What the hell is "Squank?" Christy says it's a song about air pollution. Inspector Kyle says that squank is either the pure essence of music, OR the pungent aroma that is brewed after two people dance the sideways tango and make sweet sweet love gravy. Yeah.
While Christy refills the glasses with the nectar of Bacchus (read: delicious wine), Pat plays his next pick. Off the album On Through the Night, it's "Rock Brigade" by Def Leppard.
00:35:00 When Def Lep hit Hysteria, Mutt Lange had sufficiently secreted his essence all over their sound. They went from a hard rock, metal band to a poppy metal band. Mutt also liked doing retakes over and over again. Can't imagine AC/DC tolerating that very much.
Pat may call bullshit on Christy's next pick, but she bravely presses on. It's The B-52s and their self-titled debut album. When Christy first heard it, she had no idea what it was, but she loved it. She plays the song "Lava". Pat might call bullshit because of the song "Rock Lobster." Pat would hear it being played at school dances and he jig and sock hop his way into all the ladies' hearts.
00:40:00 Pat saw The B-52s around 2000. The Pretenders opened for them, which is pretty strange. Mike keeps wanting someone to photoshop the hosts onto the B-52s album cover. Ta-dah!
Credit to Adam Jones.
Up next for Pat is James Taylor. Off his self-titled debut album, Pat plays "Rainy Day Man". He was 20 when he recorded this. Amazing. You know what else is amazing? Pat is drunk. Seriously, he is a little bit drunk off the two glasses of California chardonnay that he drank tonight. Christy got it from AmazonFresh, where you can order groceries online and get them delivered to you. Welcome to the future, you lucky so-and-so's.
00:45:00 A type of song that Christy hopes dies and never comes back is the "Man who shoots his woman" song. Christy's next pick is a woman giving the men a taste of their own medicine. It's Olivia Newton-John with "Banks of the Ohio" off the album If Not for You. She kills him, but the song is actually a traditional about a guy killing a woman. In fact it's part of a whole genre of songs called Folk Murder Ballads. Can't wait to see the late night infomercial about that one.
00:50:00 Pat mentioned earlier that it took REO Speedwagon nine albums to break through. Well it only took the Irish rockers Thin Lizzy six. Pat plays "Look What the Wind Blew In" off their self-titled debut album.
"It took [Thin Lizzy] six albums before the Jailbreak album came out-"
- Pat

"-And let all those wife murderers out."
- Kyle, with the line of the episode.
Christy goes a little glam with her next pick, Mott the Hoople Off their self-titled debut album, she plays "Laugh at Me". It sounds a lot like Bob Dylan and it was originally written by Sonny Bono.
01:00:00 Pat's next pick is Journey without Steve Perry. He plays "Of a Lifetime" off their self-titled debut album. Gregg Rolie is a pretty good singer on his own, but when he teams with Perry on "Feeling That Way"/"Anytime" it is magic. This reminds Kyle of a Journey mystery! Kyle and Pat were at Pat’s parents house. Mama and Papa Dodson like Perry Como, Josh Groban, patriotic music, and Michael Buble. 25 CDs tops, no order to them. A bored Pat rifled through the CDs and finds a Jonathan Cain solo album called Back to the Innocence. WHAT?!??! The Dodsons have no idea where the album came from. They assumed that Pat planted it. Maybe Papa Dodson just bought it at a yard sale at random. We hears some of the song “Wish That I Was There With You.” It’s awful.
01:05:00 Pardo once owned the album on cassette and promptly threw it out the window. Cliche-a-palooza. Not good. To cleanse the palette, Christy plays another possible bullshit choice. It's Robert Plant with the song "Burning Down One Side" off the album Pictures at Eleven. Pat and Christy name their favorite solo Plant songs.
Christy announces that she is working on her own webseries! They are going to be less than five minutes an episode because those are the ones that work. It's called "Everyone's Crazy but Us." It's a couples show, a Mad About You for the modern world: A married couple who disagree about everything except that everyone else is crazy. It's gonna star Diedrich Bader from Office Space and The Drew Carey Show and Janet Varney from The Legend of Korra and Dinner and a Movie.
01:10:00 Fingers crossed that Christy's five-year-old son Johnny is gonna be in a few episodes. Christy isn't gonna be in it because she says no one wants to see her. Christy always wants to remake classic album covers like Rumors and The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan with Diedrich and Janet's characters. Cool.
Well Pat played Journey, so now he has to play Styx, pre-Tommy Shaw. Pat plays "What Has Come Between Us" from their self-titled debut album. Christy was an adult before she realized that "Come Sail Away" was about aliens.
01:15:00 Crack that whip, it's Devo. Christy plays "Uncontrollable Urge" off the debut album Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!. Pat calls the big Bullshit on this one. The album did go to 12 in the UK, but it only went to 78 on the Billboard pop charts.
Mike Siegel is here and in the background. They tell him the wedding story. Mike reminds Christy that Pat co-erced his wife Pilar to have sex upstairs of the reception. And she was very pregnant at the time. Pat, you naughty dog.
It wouldn't be Pat Francis without Kiss. And it wouldn't be Kiss without a shitty Kiss song. Off their self-titled debut album, Pat plays the clunker "Kissin' Time". These are the guys that parents thought were devil worshippers? Who did they think were anarchists, BulletBoys?
01:20:00 Pat is so drunk that he doesn't realize that he already announced that Mike Siegel was here. And he's had, what, two cups of wine? He isn't a lightweight, he's a featherweight. But I have a feeling that Christy's last pick will knock some sobriety into him because it's The Police! Christy says that Outlandos d'Amour wasn't a hit right out of the gate. Inspector Kyle investigates and reveals that the album reached #6 after A&M re-released Roxanne. It was a top 40 hit. For crying out loud, Christy. Where are our allegiances supposed to lie?!?!?! Christy plays the song "Truth Hits Everybody".
Pat's reaction to Christy playing The Police.
Pat gives apologies to Hall & Oates. For his last pick, he plays "Uncle Arthur" by David Bowie off his self-titled debut album.
01:25:00 The song is so far from what he became. Christy credit Stevie Ray Vaughan for the longevity of the Let's Dance album. In other news, Mike Siegel has a tight new haircut. And we get the plugs, of course.
01:30:00 Maybe Elliot Easton can do the theme song for Christy's webseries. A girl can dream. But in the meantime, Kyle plays us out with Nine Inch Nails. Off the demos for Pretty Hate Machine, it's a song called "Maybe Just Once".
Time Song Album Artist Who
00:10:00 Hot Love Cheap Trick Cheap Trick Christy
00:15:00 Hidin’ from Love Bryan Adams Bryan Adams Pat
00:15:00 Zerox Dirk Wears White Sox Adam and the Ants Christy
00:20:00 Route 66 The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones Pat
00:20:00 Sailing Shoes Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley Robert Palmer Christy
00:25:00 Sophisticated Lady REO Speedwagon REO Speedwagon Pat
00:25:00 Follow the Wind The Bee Gees Sing and Play 14 Barry Gibb Songs Bee Gees Christy
00:30:00 You Look So Good to Me Cold Spring Harbor Billy Joel Pat
00:35:00 Squank ZZ Top’s First Album ZZ Top Christy
00:35:00 Rock Brigade On Through the Night Def Leppard Pat
00:40:00 Lava The B-52’s The B-52’s Christy
00:45:00 Rainy Day Man James Taylor James Taylor Pat
00:50:00 Banks of the Ohio If Not for You Olivia Newton-John Christy
00:55:00 Look What the Wind Blew In Thin Lizzy Thin Lizzy Pat
00:55:00 Laugh at Me Mott the Hoople Mott the Hoople Christy
01:00:00 Of a Lifetime Journey Journey Pat
01:05:00 Burning Down One Side Pictures at Eleven Robert Plant Christy
01:10:00 What Has Come Between Us Styx Styx Pat
01:15:00 Uncontrollable Urge Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! Devo Christy
01:15:00 Kissin’ Time Kiss Kiss Pat
01:20:00 Truth Hits Everybody Outlandos d’Amour The Police Christy
01:20:00 Uncle Arthur David Bowie David Bowie Pat
01:30:00 Maybe Just Once Pretty Hate Machine (Demo) Nine Inch Nails Kyle