Friday, June 25, 1971

The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” hit the charts

Updated 1/21/2019.

Won’t Get Fooled Again

The Who

Writer(s): Pete Townshend (see lyrics here)


First Charted: 6/25/1971


Peak: 15 US, 9 CB, 8 HR, 9 UK, 9 CN, 14 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales *: -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US + UK)


Radio Airplay *: 1.0


Video Airplay *: 29.1


Streaming *: --


* in millions

Review:

One of rock’s most celebrated anthems kicks off by singer Roger Daltrey’s iconic blood-curdling wail, “considered one of the best on any rock song.” SF There is an uprising in the first verse, those in power are overthrown in the second verse, and then, in the end, the new regime is just like the old one (signified by the classic lyric “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”). SF Interestingly, the title never appears in the lyrics, although there is the line “we don’t get fooled again.”

While many have assumed that “Won’t Get Fooled Again” is a revolutionary song, CR-671 Pete Townshend, the band’s chief songwriter and guitarist, explains that it is actually “a song against the revolution.” TB He says “it’s interesting it’s been taken up in an anthemic sense…when in fact it’s such a cautionary piece.” RS500 “Revolution, like all action, can have results we cannot predict.” WK He “felt revolution was pointless because whoever takes over is destined to become corrupt.” SF

Townshend originally wrote it for the intended Lifehouse project. Townshend crafted the concept of a futuristic world in which an enslaved people are freed by rock ‘n’ roll. He conceived the idea while The Who toured in support of their 1969 rock opera Tommy. The project became so confusing to everyone else that it was aborted in favor of a more direct album. The resulting Who’s Next became one of the top 100 albums of all-time.

When the song was released as a single, it was edited down from its album running time of 8:30 to 3:35. Daltrey told Uncut magazine, “I hated it when they chopped it down…After that we started to lose interest in singles because they’d cut them to bits. We thought, ‘What’s the point? Our music’s evolved past the three-minute barrier and if they can’t accommodate that we’re just gonna have to live on albums.’” SF


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Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.

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Tuesday, June 22, 1971

Joni Mitchell released Blue: June 22, 1971

Originally posted 6/22/12. Updated 3/1/13.

image from greenobles.com


Release date: 22 June 1971
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) 1. All I Want 2. My Old Man 3. Little Green 4. Carey (9/4/71, #93 US) 5. Blue 6. California 7. This Flight Tonight 8. River 9. A Case of You 10. The Last Time I Saw Richard

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 1.0 world (includes US and UK)

Peak: 15 US, 3 UK

Rating:


Review: “‘Write about what you know’ is advice few have followed as thoroughly as Mitchell did on this set of laments” BL in which she “exposes a fragile, battered heart in an exquisitely sad and lovely song cycle.” UT “She was only 28 when she recorded Blue, but she shaped the songs of decades to come” RV with this “brutally bleak masterpiece.” VB It is “the quintessential confessional singer/songwriter album.” AMG When country singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson heard the songs, he said, “‘Joni, save something for yourself.’ It was advice she chose to ignore.” BL

“From the bare arrangements of acoustic guitar and piano with maybe a hint of dulcimer, to the lyrics – ‘All I really want our love to do/ Is to bring out the best in me/ and in you, too,’” TL her “songs are raw nerves” AMG which “paint a picture of a vulnerable and pained woman.” RV “Mitchell whittles her journal entries and melodies down with poetic economy and relies on her falsetto to add the dramatic tension.” TL

These are “tales of love and loss (two words with relative meaning here) etched with stunning complexity; even tracks like All I Want, My Old Man, and Carey – the brightest, most hopeful moments on the record – are darkened by bittersweet moments of sorrow and loneliness.” AMG “‘All I Want’ highlights Mitchell’s desire to escape loneliness in the arms of someone who loves her. Mitchell and James Taylor provide flamenco-flavored accompaniment as she describes her perfect mate: ‘I want to talk to you, I want to shampoo you, I want to renew you again and again.’” RV

River

“At the same time that songs like Little Green (about a child given up for adoption) and the title cut (a hymn to salvation supposedly penned for James Taylor) raise the stakes of confessional folk-pop to new levels of honesty and openness.” AMG “It’s hard to think of a more emotionally naked song than the title track where Mitchell exposes her pain like a folk-inflected Billie Holliday.” RV “For Mitchell, blue is more than an emotion or a style of music, but also the nickname given to her lover.” RV

“Enjoyment depends entirely on your tolerance for sincerity, but even cynics concede the greatness of lines like, ‘I could drink a case of you and still be on my feet.’” TL “Unrivaled in its intensity and insight, Blue remains a watershed.” AMG

A Case of You


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Award(s):


Saturday, June 19, 1971

Carole King's Tapestry hit #1: June 19, 1971

First posted 6/19/2012; updated 12/10/2019.

Tapestry

Carole King


Released: February 10, 1971


Charted: April 10, 1971


Peak: 115 US, 4 UK, 18 CN, 3 AU


Sales (in millions): 13.0 US, 0.6 UK, 25 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: adult contemporary/pop


Quotable: brought “the fledgling singer/songwriter phenomenon to the masses” – All Music Guide


Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. I Feel the Earth Move * (Carole King) [3:00] (4/16/71, #1 US)
  2. So Far Away (Carole King) [3:55] (8/4/71, #14 US)
  3. It’s Too Late (Carole King/Toni Stern) * [3:54] (4/16/71, #1 US, #6 UK)
  4. Home Again (Carole King) [2:29]
  5. Beautiful (Carole King) [3:08]
  6. Way Over Yonder (Carole King) [4:49]
  7. You’ve Got a Friend (Carole King) [5:09]
  8. Where You Lead (Carole King/Toni Stern) [3:20]
  9. Will You Love Me Tomorrow? (Gerry Goffin/Carole King) [4:13]
  10. Smackwater Jack (Gerry Goffin/Carole King) [3:42]
  11. Tapestry (Carole King) [3:15]
  12. You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman (Gerry Goffin/Carole King/Jerry Wexler) [3:59]
* released as a double A-sided single


Review:

Carole King made a name for herself in the 1960s as a songwriter with her husband, Gerry Goffin. They wrote hit songs for the Shirelles (“Will You Love Me Tomorrow?,” #1 in 1960), Bobby Vee (“Take Good Care of My Baby,” #1 in 1961), Little Eva (“The Loco-Motion,” #1 in 1962), Steve Lawrence (“Go Away Little Girl,” #1 in 1962), the Drifters (“Up on the Roof,” #5 in 1962), the Chiffons (“One Fine Day,” #5 in 1963), Herman’s Hermits (“I’m into Something Good,” #13 in 1964), the Righteous Brothers (“Just Once in My Life,” #9 in 1965), the Animals (“Don’t Bring Me Down,” #12 in 1966), the Monkees (“Pleasant Valley Sunday,” #3 in 1967), Aretha Franklin (“You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman,” #8 in 1967), and Blood, Sweat & Tears (“Hi-De-Ho,” #14 in 1970). (See a list of the top 50 songs written and/or performed by King here).

“Always a superior pop composer, King reaches even greater heights as a performer.” AMG The album “created the archetype of the female singer-songwriter” TL by bringing “the fledgling…phenomenon to the masses.” AMG King “insists on being heard as she is – not raunchy and hot-to-trot or sweet and be-yoo-ti-ful, just human, with all the cracks and imperfections that implies.” RC She “is casual, intimate, and tough; she covers all the emotional ground of the post-liberated woman with ease.” AZ It is “an intensely emotional record” AMG delivered with “disarming simplicity, and humane, undisguised sincerity.” GS Taylor said the album was comprised of “very personal, very accessible statements, built from the ground up with a simple, elegant architecture.” BN

“The music is loose, earthy, L.A. session-pop” AZ and while this is “Pacific rock…[it is delivered] with a sharpness worthy of a Brooklyn girl.” RC Tapestry “is not over-produced, which makes up a big part of the album’s homespun charm.” DV It “is a light and airy work on its surface, occasionally skirting the boundaries of jazz.” AMG It relies “on pianos and gentle drumming” AMG “with a few sonic flourishes and some saxophone and guitar here and there.” DV

“Instead of the music, Tapestry is carried by the hooks and riveting vocals from King.” DV Her “voice has limits, range chief among them, and that’s a critical part of Tapestry’s charm.” TL

You’ve Got a Friend

It took a push from King’s friend James Taylor to get her to start recording and performing her own songs. She released her first solo album, Writer, in 1970 and then the monstrous Tapestry followed a year later. She was working on it at the same time Taylor was recording his Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon album. They both recorded “You’ve Got a Friend,” which she wrote, using the same players. It came out first on her album, but his version became the chart-topping single. Both versions won Grammys – hers for Song of the Year and his for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

Will You Love Me Tomorrow/Natural Woman

King also tapped into her songwriting catalog for a couple of the album’s recordings. While they may “have been worn thin by time and uninspired covers by every lounge singer in the world,” BN they “take on added resonance when delivered in her own warm, compelling voice.” AMG When “heard in the voice of the original songwriter, they still sound astonishingly fresh.” BN “Her take on ‘Natural Woman’ feels more vulnerable than Franklin’s, her slowed down Will You Love Me Tomorrow? more poignant than the Shirelles” TL by adding “adult nuance” AZ and backing vocals from James Taylor and Joni Mitchell.

I Feel the Earth Move

The hit “new songs…rank solidly with past glories.” AMG Their “white-soul realism and maturity put pop hits to shame.” AZ I Feel the Earth Move “actually rocks.” GS In 1989, Martika took a dance-pop version of the song to #25 on the Billboard Hot 100.

It’s Too Late

“If there’s a truer song about breaking up…the world (or at least AM radio) isn’t ready for it.” RC It is one of two songs on the album co-written by Toni Stern. The double-sided single of “I Feel the Earth Move” and “It’s Too Late” went to #1 for 5 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. Gloria Estefan revived the song in 1994 with her version that hit #31 on the adult contemporary chart.

So Far Away

That song might be rivaled by So Far Away. “With its universally recognized ‘doesn’t anybody stay in one place any more’ line, [it] is among the best ballads ever written.” GS It was a top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. For Tapestry’s 25th anniversary, an album was released with various artists covering all the album’s songs. Rod Stewart took his version of “So Far Away” to #2 on the adult contemporary chart.

Where You Lead

“You’ve Got a Friend” wasn’t the only song from Tapestry to get a remake and have chart success from another artist while the album was at its peak. Barbra Streisand had a top 40 hit with “the jolly upbeat country rock of Where You LeadGS on two occasions. Her initial 1971 recording hit #40 and then a year later a live medley of the song with “Sweet Inspiration” bested it by a few notches with a #37 peak. In 2000, King reworked the song with her daughter, Louise Goffin, for the theme song to television’s The Gilmore Girls.

Beautiful

Beautiful may not be the best song in existence, but it's certainly one of the most optimistic ones.” GS Along with “Where You Lead,” Barbra Streisand also recorded this song on her 1971 album Barbra Joan Streisand. The song also served as the title for the 2014 Broadway musical about Carole King’s early life and career.

Smackwater Jack

“That oh-so-Seventies outlaw tale is completely and absolutely out of touch with the rest, but it’s good clean fun anyway.” GS This was, yet again, another example of a song which was covered by another artist even as Tapestry was still riding the charts. Quincy Jones not only covered the song, but used it as the name of the album he released in late 1971.


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