1. John Lennon | #9 Dream
Ah! Böwakawa poussé, poussé!... Arin Fazio, who plays some bass & guitar on the new record, turned me onto this one. When we were recording Soft Connections in our apartment, we were sort of rediscovering The Beatles’ solo stuff. I know they’re all classics by now and everyone goes on about The Beatles, but, fuck!, George was peaking by the time The Beatles split and John made the Plastic Ono Band record, which is quite a listening experience. Anyways, beautifully effortless tune. It really does sound like a dream.
2. Donovan | To Susan On The West Coast Waiting
Always loved the way Donovan’s records sound. He has a way of making it sound like he’s in the room singing right into your ear. In this particular track, I always noticed you can hear the sound of his wet mouth & tongue shifting around as he’s singing. Always an intimate listening experience.
3. The Peppermint Trolley Company | Baby You Come Rollin’ Across My Mind
Late 60’s group probably best known for doing the early Brady Bunch theme song. Precious strings & thick harmonies really get me. Tears will roll.
4. Rabbitt | Gift Of Love
South African band, broke up in late 70’s and members went on to form Yes & the Bay City Rollers. I once had my hands on an old Roland Paraphonic 505 that got a sound pretty close to the synth on this. Love the drone of it, great harmonies and melody. It’s simple, gets stuck in your head, and makes you dream.
5. Yes | Sweetness
Bass was my first instrument, so naturally Yes was pretty exciting as a kid. People might recognize this track during the end credits of Vincent Gallo’s Buffalo 66. Love the subtle hard-panned wah during the verses.
6. Townes Van Zandt | The Velvet Voices
Townes has always reminded me of two important men in my life: my father & my grandfather. My father was a bass player who died from liver cirrhosis - T.V.Z. obviously had his issues with alcohol as well. My grandfather played lap-steel in a number of small Country groups and was a big influence early on. Needless to say, this stuff sparks some sentimentality in me.
7. Chris Spedding | Video Life
Devon Williams turned me onto this song. I’d seen Spedding’s name on stuff as a session guy and heard his demos for Never Mind The Bollocks, but never really investigated further into his solo stuff. But wow, this song is so great! Love all the wobbly guitar bits.
8. Carpenters | Only Yesterday
What can you say about this companionship that hasn’t already been said? They truly made magic and Karen was an angel. I actually grew up in Norwalk & Downey California, the latter being the Carpenters’ hometown. Beautifully arranged and the drums fills are really something by Jim Gordon, who’s played on everything from Pet Sounds to Nilsson’s Aerial Ballet. You can find a track of isolated drums & bass for this one. Really worth a listen!
9. Fleetwood Mac | Sunny Side Of Heaven
Bare Trees was the first Fleetwood Mac album I ever bought because of the sleeve art. Gorgeous instrumental - love the way everything gracefully builds then falls. Sounds like the cover.
10. The dB’s | Black And White
Classic track. No bullshit. It’s Punk to my ears and everyone is playing so tight. What a great songwriting combo Chris Stamey & Peter Holsapple were. The first dB’s record was definitely on a lot when I was recording this new LP.