Archive for the ‘Midnight Cruise’ Category

Saturday Single No. 665

Saturday, November 9th, 2019

We’re going to pick up where we left off yesterday, scanning the list of about 350 tracks with the word “midnight” in their titles. We’ll take a look at three of them randomly and then choose one to be our featured single of the day. So let’s see what happens as take what we’re calling a Midnight Cruise.

And we start with “Way After Midnight” by Billy “Red” Love, an unissued track recorded for Sun Records in Memphis in 1954. According to the website Black Cat Rockabilly, Love’s career began when he recorded his composition “Juiced” only to see Sam Phillips release the track on the Chess label under the name of Jackie Brenston as a follow-up to “Rocket 88.” A couple of Love’s recordings were released on Chess, but – the website says – got little promotion and had little success. “Way After Midnight” and “Hey Now” came out of a January 1954 session at Sun, but were never released. The former of those two came my way in the JSP box set Memphis Blues: Important Postwar Blues. Love, who was born in Memphis in 1929, died in 1975 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. As to the track, it’s a reed-heavy moaner with a decent vocal and a nice sax solo.

Next up is “Midnight In Memphis,” an instrumental track by J. J. Cale. It’s an outtake from some 1972 sessions in Muscle Shoals when Cale was working on his second album, Really. It’s a nice mid-tempo shuffle that features some nice solos, especially Cale’s laconic guitar work. It was included on the 1997 release Anyway The Wind Blows: The Anthology. I’m not sure how it came my way.

And we come to “Midnight Train” by a group called Brethren, an early-1970s country-rock band. The track was the leadoff to the group’s self-titled 1970 debut, and it sounds a lot like that year, with the caveat that the intro sounds a lot like “Jessica” by the Allman Brothers Band, which came out three years later. There doesn’t seem to be a lot out there about Brethren; even the page at discogs is pretty light on facts beyond the band members’ names, although it does tell us that “Midnight Train” was released as a promo single that evidently went nowhere. The group released a second album, Moment Of Truth, in 1971. I’m not sure how the group’s first album showed up on the shelves here, probably from some blog looking at out-of-print stuff from the Seventies.

So, where do we go? Well, I think we’ll head to Memphis and Billy “Red” Love’s unreleased session. “Way After Midnight” is today’s Saturday Single.

‘Midnight’

Friday, November 8th, 2019

I was puttering online last evening with iTunes keeping me company, and the strains of “Midnight In Harlem” by the Tedeschi Trucks Band came from the speakers. As it played, I wondered how many tracks on the digital shelves have the word “midnight” in their titles.

So I started a search on the RealPlayer. And the answer is: I don’t know.

As with all such searches, the software showed me every mp3 that has “midnight” in its title, in the album title or in the performers’ names (and for that matter, in any notes appended to the mp3). That total was 511.

But I have to winnow out a lot of stuff to get to the number I want, removing several albums by Dexy Midnight Runners as well as albums like Midnight Radio by Big Head Todd & The Monsters, Across From Midnight by Joe Cocker, Midnight At The Movies by Justin Townes Earl, Giorgio Moroder’s soundtrack to Midnight Express, all three editions of Levon Helm’s Midnight Rambles, most of the soundtrack to Midnight Cowboy (with tracks by John Barry and Elephant’s Memory*) as well as Peter Nero’s similarly titled album, and on and on.

When all the weeding is done, I would guess we lose about a third of the mp3s in the search results, so we have about 340 or so to play with.

There are, of course, multiple versions of some songs. There are sixteen versions of “The Midnight Special,” thirteen versions of “Midnight Rider,” seven takes on “After Midnight,” seven as well of “In The Midnight Hour,” five of the theme from Midnight Cowboy, four versions of “Midnight In Moscow,” and on and on again.

I’ll only pull one track today, though, and we’ll pull it at random. I’ll order the tracks by running time, set the cursor at the midpoint and click until we have a track with “midnight” in its title.

And we land on a generally recent tune, “Midnight Bottle” by singer Colbie Caillat. It’s from her 2007 album Coco. It’s a decent piece of pop.

Midnight bottle take me, come with few of my memories
Everything will come back to me
Midnight bottle, make it real what feels like make believe
So I can see a little more clearly
Every single move you make
Kissing me so carefully
On the corners of my dreaming eyes

I’ve got a midnight bottle, gonna drink it down
A one-way ticket takes me to the times we had before
When everything felt so right
If only for tonight

A midnight bottle gonna ease my pain
From all these feelings driving me insane
I think of you and everything’s all right
If only for tonight

Got a midnight bottle, drifting off into the candlelight
Where I can find you in your time

Midnight bottle, I forgot how good it felt to be in a dream
Just like you had me
’Cuz lately, I’ve been stumbling
Feels like I’m recovering
But I think it’s only for tonight

I’ve got a midnight bottle, gonna drink it down
A one-way ticket takes me to the times we had before
When everything felt so right
If only for tonight

A midnight bottle, gonna ease my pain
From all these feelings driving me insane
I think of you and everything’s all right If only for tonight
If only for tonight, oh, if only for tonight
If only for tonight

I’ve got a midnight bottle, gonna drink it down
A one-way ticket takes me to the times we had before
When everything felt so right
If only for tonight

A midnight bottle, gonna ease my pain
From all these feelings driving me insane
I think of you and everything’s all right
If only for tonight, yeah

Midnight bottle, take the time away From where we are

*The group Elephant’s Memory is likely best remembered among my generation for backing John Lennon and Yoko Ono on the studio portions of their 1972 album Some Time In New York City.