Any Major Morning
Here’s a mix I have played more often than perhaps any I have ever done on this site. I dreamt it up, almost literally, when I had to drop my son at the airport for a red-eye flight. Trying to cheer myself up, I sang the “Good Morning” song from Singin’ In The Rain, “Good Day Sunshine” by The Beatles, and “It’s Four In The Morning” by Faron Young. Funny enough, none of these made it into this eclectic mix.
It kicks off with the full version of the song you’ll know as the theme to The Sopranos, by London band Alabama 3. I hope you’ll have better mornings than the subjects of the song. It’s based on the 1989 killing of English wife-beater Malcolm Thornton by his wife Sarah, who stabbed him 20 times. A trial in 1990 found her guilty of murder; a retrial in 1996 reduced the verdict to manslaughter and Sarah was set free for time served.
The version featured here of Kevin Ayer’s infectious “Religious Experience (Singing A Song In The Morning)”, the psychedelic rocker’s first single in 1970, is the longer one which remained unreleased until 2003. It has Pink Floyd legend Syd Barrett on guitar, while The Ladybirds, who are best known from The Benny Hill Show, perform the backing vocals.
Perhaps the most obscure track here is Joyce Williams’ “The First Thing I Do In The Morning”. This gospel-funk number burns it up, with its hot flutes, sizzling wah-wah guitar and incendiary bass. The only other record Williams seems to have recorded was a single titled “Dance The Wrangler Shake” (take that, Harlem) six years earlier, in 1966 — for the jeans company.
A few songs here are covers of well-known songs. Harry Nilsson covers Louis Jordan’s 1947 hit “Early In The Morning”, Paul Weller does Paul Lightfoot’s “Early Morning Rain”…
And listen to the drums on the Tim Rose. Yes, it’s our friend Bernard Purdie again.
As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-brewed covers.
1. Alabama 3 – Woke Up This Morning (1997)
2. Velvet Underground – Sunday Morning (1967)
3. Harry Nilsson – Early In The Morning (1971)
4. Tim Rose – Morning Dew (1967)
5. Kevin Ayers – Religious Experience (Singing A Song In The Morning) (1970)
6. The Jesus and Mary Chain – Deep One Perfect Morning (1987)
7. The Lilac Time – This Morning (2001)
8. The Pogues – Tuesday Morning (1993)
9. Paul Weller – Early Morning Rain (2004)
10. Brandi Carlile – Late Morning Lullaby (2007)
11. Lyle Lovett – Just The Morning (1994)
12. Rusty Wier – Texas Morning (1974)
13. Dolly Parton – Early Morning Breeze (1971)
14. Isaac Hayes – Early Sunday Morning (1971)
15. Joyce Williams – The First Thing I Do In The Morning (1972)
16. David Ruffin – Morning Sun Looks Blue (1979)
17. Al Jarreau – Mornin’ (1983)
18. Major Harris – Each Morning I Wake Up (1974)
19. The Temptations – Love Woke Me Up This Morning (1972)
20. Tim Buckley – Morning Glory (1967)
21. Townes Van Zandt – I’ll Be Here In The Morning (1968)
22. Bobbie Gentry – Mornin’ Glory (1968)
23. Joan Baez & Bill Wood – So Soon In The Morning (1959)
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