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Friday, July 12, 2013

A 60's & 70's Summer Sensation

dazed and confused #1
When I was a teenager, every single summer started with me watching the 1993 film 'Dazed and Confused'.  It was a ritual that I associated with the beginning of summer.  The movie is all about life within a small town outside of Austin, Texas.  The movie by Richard Linklater chronicles the life of high school and junior high (transitioning into high school) students during the summer of 1976.  It featured up and coming stars like: Parker Posey, Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Jason London, Cole Hauser, Milla Jovovich, Joey Lauren Adams, Rory Cochrane, Adam Goldberg, Anthony Rapp, Wiley Wiggins, and Marissa Ribisi.  The soundtrack (which I still have) has artists like: Alice Cooper, Steve Miller Band, Black Oak Arkansas, Deep Purple, Ted Nugent, ZZ Top, War, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.  It is definitely my top pick for movie soundtracks and it helped get this film to cult status.  

I love the film not only for the music but because it captures the lack of innocence teens had during the 70's, when music was bitchin' and every kid longed to live in the previous decade.  The movie shows kids smoking pot and drinking beer.  Everyone listened to Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Aerosmith seemingly.  Even though funk and disco were creeping onto the airwaves, the kids in this Texas town only liked good old Southern classic/hard rock.  1976 was a fascinating time in music and counter-culture.  By this time, kids were not 'hippies' anymore.  

The sixties were long gone and 70's fashion and music has already established itself as its own entity.  Bell bottoms, halter tops, hot pants, baker boy hats, moustaches, and platform shoes.  Music was transforming from psychedelic hard rock into arena rock, progressive rock, bedroom rock (music that you'd lay down in your bedroom and listen/make out to), and eventually disco.  There was also soul/R&B/funk which easily bled into the disco category at times.  Music and fashion were transforming.  

So with that being said.  Here is a collection of 10 songs that I'd put on a swinging soundtrack that show the transition from the sixties to the seventies.  Everyone knows that if I had to choose to live in another decade, it would be in the mid to late sixties and early to mid seventies.  That, to me, was the golden age of rock n' roll music.  Yes, of course there's the fifties with Elvis, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, and Ritchie Valens.  But the fifties were too uptight, slow, and well segregated for my taste.  So I'd jump to the sixties to experience an age like no other.  The 60's and 70's were full of protest and angst.  

The anti-Vietnam war movement, Civil Rights and Black Panther movement, American Indian Movement (AIM), gay movement, environmental movement, feminist/woman's rights movement, and Chicano movement all were signs of the times.  I would have been part of probably all of the above and I would have fought for everyone's rights.  I'm an activist and an artist, so it's obvious that I'd be at home in the 60's and 70's.  For now I'll just listen to the sounds of those times and have them take me back to a time when altruism and revolution were givens.  

So here is my 60's&70's soundtrack:

1) 'In the Summertime' by Mungo Jerry (1970)

2) 'Hot Fun in the Summertime' by Sly and the Family Stone (1969)

3) 'Summer Breeze' by The Isley Brothers (1974)  


The Seals and Croft version from 1972

4) 'Guitar Man' by Bread (1972)

5) 'Jim Dandy (to the Rescue)' by Black Oak Arkansas (1973)
(original by LaVern Baker in 1956)

6) 'It Wouldn't Make Any Difference' by Todd Rundgren (1972)

7) 'Dust in the Wind' by Kansas (1977)

8) 'Summertime' by Janis Joplin (1968)
(original by George Gershwin 1935 for Porgy and Bess)

9) '(Love is Like a) Heat Wave' by Martha and the Vandellas (1963)

10) 'Summer in the City' by Lovin' Spoonful (1966)

I hope you enjoyed my selection of sounds from the 70's and 60's.  I might also pop in 'Dazed and Confused' and continue my ritual.  If  you haven't seen the film before, I strongly recommend watching it.  They had a little shin-dig in the town they filmed it in a few years ago.  I wonder if they're doing anything for its 20 year anniversary.  Who knew that such a little indie film would gain such prestige and launch many careers.  Cheers to the 1960's and 1970's!

Groovily and bitchin'ly yours,


1 comment:

M said...

LOVE this post.

I also love Dazed and Confused and the music from it and like you re-watched it every year. I think the 70s was one of the most culturally and politically transformative eras musically diverse periods. Amazing music from all genres that I'd love to say existed harmoniously but suspect that not to be the case at all.

I wrote my own take on D+C a while ago but it's no where near as in depth as yours. Love your choices. Glad you included some Janis x