17th December 2012
I’m away now until after the New Year hols so, to everyone who has found something of interest in these pages...
& Happy New Year
2012 was probably the most crowded year yet for The Blind Guitarist, with 280+ transcribed songs added to the site. As promised at the beginning of the year, there was a focus on songwriting partnerships.
There were new pages for The Modern Lovers, Leonard Cohen, Sam Cooke, Amy Forrester, Peter Green, Lianne La Havas, Joni Mitchell, Tim Rice-Oxley, Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson, Kevin Godley & Lol Creme, Graham Gouldman & Eric Stewart, Mick Jagger & Keith Richards, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stolle, Shingai Shoniwa & Daniel Smith, Joe Jackson and “Tom” Jobim.
There were also re-vamped and new-look pages for Jonathan Richman, Paul Kelly, Nerina Pallot, Missy Higgins, David Byrne and Chris Difford & Glenn Tilbrook.
A 6-week blitz for Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers produced an astonishing 78 transcribed songs. And a 3-week blitz for Mick Jagger & Keith Richards produced lengthy transcriptions of 19 Stones songs.
Odd Ditties, originally somewhere to put the odd (i.e. occasional) song, now has 118 songs. It’s getting somewhat unwieldy. I think it’s time for a re-vamp... But how...?
In total, the song count is currently an eye-watering:
It’s such an eclectic collection, (from I WanNa Be Like You (The Monkey Song) to Ride My Face To Chicago, with absolutely everything in between), that I would be surprised if there weren’t something here with which to impress your fans.
Even as we speak, another extraordinary, and as yet undiscovered, song is being written. So, I’m looking forward to bringing you more great songs next year.
I hope you’ll find yourself at a house-party, hoe-down or hootenanny on the 31st! And when your host insists that, this year, you really ought to sing for your supper, you’ll be able to smile, reach for the guitar and step centre-stage. Isn’t that, after all, where you belong...???
Have a great holiday and, whatever you do...
12th December 2012
I thought I didn’t have any more Syd stuff but here is one I found in an old binder and offer here for your playing pleasure. Hope you like is If It’s In You from Syd Barrett’s 1970 album The Madcap Laughs, Check it out on the Syd Barrett page.
11th December 2012
Elephant Girl is another gorgeous Squeeze song: catchy and definitely buskable. It’s hard to believe that it was thrown away as a B-side to When The Hangover Strikes. Check it out on the Chris Difford & Glenn Tilbrook page and enjoy! This is one of my favourites from the boys.
7th December 2012
Difford & Tilbrook are songwriters who are deservedly spoken of in the same breath as Lennon & McCartney. Check out anything Chris and Glenn have written. Thought you might like to play When The Hangover Strikes from Squeeze’s 1982 album Sweets From A Stranger
2nd December 2012
Some more Joe Jackson for your playing pleasure... Hope you enjoy the classic Steppin’ Out from his 1982 album Night And Day.
27th November 2012
I found an old transcription of an early song by The Kinks. Hope you like The Village Green Preservation Society from their 1968 album The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society. Check it out on the Ray Davies page and enjoy! Easy chords and sounds great
Here is the last of my Syd Barrett transcriptions that I thought you might like. Milky Way was one of those long lost songs from the original Madcap sessions that EMI eventually decided to release on Opel (1984), while It Is Obvious is a lovely song from Barrett (1971).
24th November 2012
A few updates to some Sondre Lerche songs, which you can find on his page. Some are fairly small. For example, ending Modern Nature on Dmaj7 (x57675) instead of D. It’s The little touch / That means so much. As a solo acoustic guitar, you need to mix it up a bit with stuff like that...
I’ve also updated the chorus chords a bit to the beautiful When The River. This now sounds spot on. Check them out on the Sondre Lerche page and enjoy!
23rd November 2012
I hope you’ve liked the Joe Jackson stuff... Here comes a couple more classics. I hope you enjoy It’s Different For Girls from the 1979 album I’m The Man and One More Time from the 1979 album Look Sharp! Check them out on the JJ page.
Here, too, are Feel and No Good Trying from Syd Barrett’s The Madcap Laughs (1970).
19th November 2012
Here are two more songs from the pen of Joe Jackson. I hope you like Be My Number Two and Happy Ending from his 1984 masterwork Body And Soul.
Here are two Syd Barrett song transcriptions that I thought I’d published long ago. Instead, I find them languishing in my working folder. Easy chords, so I hope you enjoy Love You from The Madcap Laughs (1970) and Love Song from Barrett (1971)
12th November 2012
Here is a Syd Barrett song, Opel, that you can find on the 1988 album of the same name. It was recorded during the sessions for The Madcap Laughs but was left languishing in the EMI vaults for 18 years. It’s an honest and painful song. Poor Syd: he was trying...!.
9th November 2012
Welcome to a new page for Joe Jackson, a songwriter I’ve neglected up to now, (which is fairly weird because I have six of his early albums).
Some of you will be too young to remember his classic Is She Really Going Out With Him? from his 1979 debut album Look Sharp! but check it out on YouTube! It’s catchy, lyrically very funny and echoes what many of us guys are thinking. It also has one of the great bridges in popular song. Check them it on the new Joe Jackson page.
Check out, too, Breaking Us In Two from his classic 1982 album Night and Day.
5th November 2012
I transcribed the Phil Judd song Sweet Dreams about 15 years ago but it was the abbreviated version that Crowded House used to perform in their early days. The Split Enz original had two lengthy passages in the middle, which I thought I ought to include here. If you were busking this you’d probably want to leave these out but see what you think... Check it out on the Split Enz page (go via Neil or Tim Finn). From the album Second Thoughts (1976).
And here’s another early Split Enz song that was a B-side to their debut single For You. Here, from 1973, is Split Ends, written by Phil Judd and Tim Finn.
31st October 2012
Phew, another extensive tab of another Neil Finn song, written for Split Enz, that was a live favourite. This is One Step Ahead that you can also find on Split Enz’s 1981 album Waiata/Corrobee (the album was called Waiata in NZ and Corrobee in Aus). Head back to the Split Enz page and enjoy this one.
Here, too, is another Squeeze song. I hope you enjoy The Truth from their 1991 album Play. Check it out on the Chris Difford & Glenn Tilbrook page.
27th October 2012
Continuing my Squeeze obsession, here are two cool songs from the 1981 album East Side Story Hope you enjoy Labelled With Love and Tempted. You can find them on the Chris Difford & Glenn Tilbrook page.
23rd October 2012
Here Is an extensive tab of History Never Repeats, a Neil Finn song from 1981 that became a Split Enz classic. You can find it on their album Waiata/Corrobee (or on YouTube, of course). Head over to the Split Enz page (via Neil or Tim) and check it out.
Here, too, is another great Squeeze song: Black Coffee In Bed from the 1982 album Sweets From A Stranger. This one is complete with a fully tabbed guitar solo. Hope you like! It’s on the Chris Difford & Glenn Tilbrook page (if you were wondering).
20th October 2012
Here’s some new tab to Squeeze’s anthemic 1989 song, If It’s Love. A song that can raise stadiums... It’s claimed by many Squeeze fans to be their favourite song (along with Some Fantastic Place), so check it out on the Difford & Tilbrook page. This song is eminently buskable, especially if there are two of you!
Have decided to re-vamp D & T’s page as the number of song transcriptions was mounting. Expect a few more down the line... Hope you like the new look!
Judging by the various attempts at a tab of David Bowie’s classic song Changes from Hunky Dory, it would appear not to be easiest song to work out. Well, it’s really a piano song. If you want to work out a version for guitar, you need to find the bass notes and add those to your chords to make it recognisable. DB loves his added bass notes. Check out any of the early songs on the David Bowie page and you’ll see. He really is a consummate songwriter.
Here is my transcription of Changes. Hope you enjoy!
17th October 2012
I saw a great BBC4 documentary about the songwriting partnership of Chris Difford & Glenn Tilbrook, and how they wrote those classic Squeeze songs. I’m sure it’ll be repeated so, if you can get BBC4, keep an eye out for it! (If you’re in the UK, you can watch it on BBC iPlayer.) As Bob Clearmountain said, you may not know who D & T are, or even who Squeeze is, but you certainly know the songs. They’re the ones that put a silly grin on your face when you hear them...
Inspired by this, I’ve added Take Me I’m Yours to their page. A few more will follow, I think. So, watch that space!
My Squeeze transcriptions date, more or less, from when the songs were released i.e. many years B.I. (Before Internet) So, they would be hand-written words and chords on lined paper in my ring-pull song-binder with absolutely no tablature. Life is too short to hand draw tab. So, it’s time to update these and add some tab where it’s going to help. Sometime, I’ll add those extraordinary guitar solos in Another Nail In My Heart and Pulling Mussels... But it will take a while...
Tilbrook’s solos are integral parts of his songs and, importantly, contribute to the melody. That’s why they’re so memorable!
14th October 2012
Here are two more songs from Noisettes. Ragtop Car is on their latest album Contact and is unusually folky. More recognisably them is Wild Young Hearts, a very catchy song from the 2009 album of the same name. Check them out on the Shingai Shoniwa & Daniel Smith page. Enjoy!
10th October 2012
More Paul Kelly for your playing pleasure... Here is the classic Deeper Water from the 1995 album of the same name. And here, too, is Sydney From A 727 from his 1991 album Comedy. (Or is that a 747...? Hmm, my aircraft recognition is usually quite good...) Check them out on the Paul Kelly page and enjoy!
Another song from Noisettes. This is Winner and is destined to be the next single from their latest album Contact. Head over to the Shingai Shoniwa & Dan Smith page and check it out!
5th October 2012
Here is one of those classic 1960’s American folk-songs by the late-lamented John Stewart. Lovin’ Spoonful had a minor hit with Never Going Back in 1969 or so, but I would check out the version on JS’s solo album California Bloodlines. Here it is in Odd Ditties.
It has a great chord sequence that has since been borrowed by others. But that probably happens a lot. There are only 12 notes in the western Diatonic scale, after all. Woody Guthrie once advised a budding songwriter, just take a tune you like and change a few notes...
Also, a couple of new Sondre Lerche transcriptions. Here, from his astonishing debut album Faces Down, are All Luck Ran Out and No One’s Gonna Come. Both have fairly easy chords, so hope you enjoy!
A small update, too, to Sondre Lerche’s Like Lazenby, where a chord in the second verse should be the same as the corresponding chord in the first verse. Sorry ‘bout that: very sloppy transcribing... I’m presently re-visiting some of my SL stuff to check for such errors and to be consistent with chord names.
1st October 2012
If I Could Start Today Again, from Paul Kelly’s 2001 album ...nothing but a deam, is likely to be one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful songs you’ll hear. Check it out on the Paul Kelly page and enjoy!
Here’s another great song from Noisettes. Never Forget You was the third single from their 2009 album Wild Young Hearts. It was used in an advert for Vodafone Italia and became a massive hit in that country. (Vodafone probably did OK from it, too!) Check it out on the new Shingai Shoniwa & Dan Smith page.
28th September 2012
I thought you might like an update to one of my epic Sondre Lerche tabs. This is The Curse Of Being In Love from his Duper Sessions album. I always have an issue about the naming of the chords I find. So, I’ve updated the transcription to be more consistent. I’ve improved the tablature, too. Hope you like! Check it out on the Sondre Lerche page.
27th September 2012
I have an apology to make... I found that my transcription of Sondre Lerche’s Days That Are Over was empty except for the chords... I’ve no idea what happened there, but please accept an update (complete song this time) on the Sondre Lerche page. It’s a cool song, so I hope you Sondre fans enjoy it!
More Paul Kelly for your playing pleasure... Here are two tracks from his 1994 album Wanted Man. Hope you like Love Never Runs On Time and, a favourite of mine, Summer Rain. A Belgian interviewer once asked PK why he was celebrating rain in the summer. (Hmm, listen to the song, sir!) Check them out on the Paul Kelly page and enjoy!
Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve) is a classic by The Buzzcocks from 1978. This usually gets everyone jumping up and down. Check it out in Odd Ditties.
24th September 2012
More Paul Kelly for your playing pleasure... Here are two tracks from his 1994 album Wanted Man. Hope you like Love Never Runs On Time and, a favourite of mine, Summer Rain. A Belgian interviewer once asked PK why he was celebrating rain in the summer. (Hmm, listen to the song, sir!) Check them out on the Paul Kelly page and enjoy!
Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve) is a classic by The Buzzcocks from 1978. This usually gets everyone jumping up and down. Check it out in Odd Ditties.
23rd September 2012
Here is another Amy Forrester song for you. This is Oh My Word from the i SPY EP. You can find my transcriptions on her page. Hope you like them!
Here are a couple of old Split Enz songs that I’ve had in the Working Folder for...well...about 10 years, probably. This issue with the site has given me the opportunity to re-vamp a couple of pages and get some old transcriptions ready for publication. Take a stroll over to the Split Enz page (via Neil Finn or Tim Finn) and check out Poor Boy (Frenzy 1979) and I See Red (True Colours 1980). Hope you like!
Am presently working on some more Noisettes stuff, so have decided to make a new page for Shingai Shoniwa & Dan Smith. So head on over and check out the latest. I’ve also moved That Girl over from Odd Ditties.
Have also dispensed for now with the Walter Becker & Donald Fagen page as it only contained one song, Rikki Don’t Lose That Number. This, I’ve moved to Odd Ditties. This has entailed a bit of site re-organisation and a new upload. But you ought not to have any problem finding stuff...
21st September 2012
Check out another new song by Amy Forrester. This is The Good Ones, not yet released but hope to see it on her next CD. I couldn’t make out all the lyrics so, if you know what they are, let me know (see the Contact Us page). Here, too, is Womaniser from her i SPY EP. You can find my transcriptions on the Amy Forrester page.
By the time a band and a producer have got hold of your song, it can change beyond recognition. So it’s nice to hear a song played the way Neil Finn wrote it. This is the original version of Something So Strong. This is a slow ballad on acoustic guitar. Compare it to the 1980’s West Coast power ballad that we all know from the first Crowded House album. Check out this one on the Neil Finn page and enjoy!
17th September 2012
Sorry for the silence. I had a problem with the site software and had to do some site repairs that took longer than expected. I hope it now looks as it did a few weeks ago.
Let’s start with the last single from Noisettes, a catchy, buskable, summery song called That Girl from their 2012 album Contact. How can you sit down to this song (unless you happen to be transcribing it)...? The last album had a very 60’s feel to it and was full of upbeat, catchy songs, so I might be featuring some more Noisettes stuff soon.
Yes, the song does sound a bit (well, a lot, actually) like The Wonders’ That Thing You Do from the film of the same name but who cares, if it puts a silly grin on your face...? Just now, you’ll find That Girl in Odd Ditties. Enjoy!
Here are a couple more Amy Forrester songs from i AM AMiTY’s debut EP i SPY. Hope you enjoy Bedpost and Sailor Tattoo. Check out the songs on YouTube! You’ll find my transcriptions on the Amy Forrester page!
One of my favourite Paul Kelly songs is Taught By Experts from the 1992 album Live, May 1992 and the 1999 studio album Smoke. There’s a cool Music Max Sessions video of this on YouTube, with Katy Steele guesting. Check out my transcription on the Paul Kelly page.
6th September 2012
Paul Kelly has a gift of writing incredibly catchy tunes with only three or four chords. Add to that lyrics about love and separation and youth and childhood and you have the makings of a master minstrel.
As promised, a few more PK songs... Dumb Things and the classic To Her Door can be found on his 1987 album Under The Sun. Check them out on the re-vamped Paul Kelly page and watch this space for more PK coming soon!
Here, too, for your playing pleasure is another new Amy Forrester song, which I hope we’ll see on an upcoming new album. Hope you enjoy Heart Over Head. Check it out on the brand new Amy Forrester page.
3rd September 2012
It’s often tempting to head for the bar when the support band is playing. (You’ve done it before, haven’t you?) But it’s a risk because you might miss a doozy of a performance from a new, and unknown, artist. At Komedia in Brighton last Thursday to see Paul Kelly, we caught a real doozy from i AM AMiTY, aka Amy Forrester, a one-woman band and singer-songwriter of prodigious talent. Hell, she was asked back for an encore...!
Here is a beautiful song called For You from her EP i SPY Check out her Website (www.iamamity.com) for a download or a CD order. So, welcome to my new Amy Forrester page where I plan to add further transcriptions of her stuff over the coming weeks. Why not check out For You on YouTube and play along!
2nd September 2012
A song that I really wanted to hear more of than 10s at the Olympics closing ceremony was Don’t Stop Me Now from Queen’s 1978 album Jazz. But it’s quite difficult for anyone except Freddie Mercury to sing it. As the song is based around Mercury’s piano-playing, you’ll have to make your own arrangement for a solo acoustic guitar. But here are the chords... Hope you like! Check it out in Odd Ditties and enjoy! This is a great song.
Paul Kelly has been acknowledged as Australia’s best singer-songwriter, and at Komedia last Thursday he gave us a master-class. I love Paul’s stuff and consider him to be a Master Minstrel. I’ve been inspired to work on some new transcriptions of some more of his songs. So, watch this space for more PK coming soon!
30th August 2012
Shipbuilding was a gorgeous song written by Elvis Costello and Clive Langer, that appeared on EC’s 1983 album Punch The Clock. But it was a massive hit first in 1982 for Robert Wyatt, who performed a heartbreakingly beautiful version (in A). Written on piano, I’ve tried to transcribe it for guitar. It sounds OK to me but see what you think! Check it out on the Elvis Costello page and enjoy!
Am off to see Paul Kelly, the Poet Laureate of Aussie culture, in Brighton tonight. It’ll be in the tiny back-room of Komedia, so should be close up and personal. Hope to find some stuff from the gig on YouTube, later!
25th August 2012
Thanks to the the movie High Fidelity, a number of really cool songs were given a global audience.
Fallen For You, is a charming and poignant piano song of unrequited love by Sheila Nicholls, that you can find on her 1999 album Brief Strop (and also the High Fidelity Soundtrack). Here it is transcribed for guitar. Check it out in Odd Ditties and enjoy!
20th August 2011
A classic from the Leon Russell catalogue, that was covered by several artists (most memorably by Joe Cocker) was Delta Lady from his eponymous first solo album. You may have difficulty, now, finding the album but the song is on YouTube, as is much else of Life... Check it out in Odd Ditties and enjoy!
15th August 2011
Here is my transcription of Joni Mitchell’s Help Me from her 1974 album Court And Spark. The album track has quite a slick production and speeds along. See what you make of my take on it, which is meant for a solo acoustic guitar and voice, so is stripped back (e.g. no horn or parts transcribed for guitar). You have to think how you would play this if you were performing for a bunch of friends...
The tuning is Open Dmaj7 (DADF#AC#), which might be a new one for many of you! It certainly makes all those major seventh chords easier to play. So get re-tuning and enjoy! You’ll find it on the Joni Mitchell page.
10th August 2012
Now we are 2 years old...!
Phew! That’s another year that passed at light-speed. Well, several new pages, a few re-vamped pages and 200+ song transcriptions later, and here we are again. If you haven’t changed those guitar strings yet, I really think you should... It’s been a year, now, since the last time, hasn’t it...? I wasn’t going to mention it, but they look quite disgusting...
Both Sides, Now was an eye-wateringly beautiful, early Joni Mitchell song that was released on her 1969 album, Clouds. It sounds amazing with its open tuning, so hope you enjoy my transcription. Check it out on the brand new Joni Mitchell page.
And here is an update to Human Hands by Elvis Costello, which will make that flanged chord part, after the chorus, much less of a stretch to play (barrι chords at the 7th fret, instead). This is a gorgeous jazz-flavoured song with not one jazz chord-shape in it. Definitely one for your repertoire! Check it out on the Elvis Costello page, and enjoy!
5th August 2012
As promised, here is my transcription of one of Joni Mitchell’s possibly best-recognised songs. Hope you like Big Yellow Taxi, which you can find on her 1970 album Ladies Of The Canyon. This one is Open D, capoed at 4. Check it out on the brand new Joni Mitchell page. Enjoy!
1st August 2012
Have been working on a couple of Joni Mitchell songs that I heard again recently. JM was a big fan of open tunings and has reportedly written songs in 50 different tunings over the years. If you’re unused to open tunings, you should try them out. You won’t look back...
First up is Free Man In Paris featured on the 1974 album Court And Spark which marked her flirtation with jazz rhythms and harmonies. It’s catchy and cool to play! Check it out on the brand new Joni Mitchell page and enjoy!
Watch this space for Big Yellow Taxi coming soon...
27th July 2012
As promised, another Lianne La Havas song, transcribed from her launch gig at Rough Trade East, London on 9th July. Here is They Could Be Wrong from her debut album Is Your Love Big Enough? Check it out on the LLH page!
25th July 2012
Managed to catch up with Lianne La Havas at some awesome shows in London to launch her debut album Is Your Love Big Enough? Here, from that album, is the song Everything Everything. Check it out, along with a couple of updates, on the Lianne La Havas page. Enjoy!
Watch this space for some more stuff from Lianne, coming soon!
23rd July 2012
Here is Jill Scott’s classic song He Loves Me from her 2000 album Who Is Jill Scott? Words & Sounds Volume 1. I would suggest, guys, that this is more one for the girls to sing (even if you swap all the hes for shes) but, nonetheless, this is a great song. Check it out in Odd Ditties and enjoy!
20th July 2012
What better way to mark the Big Seven Double-O than with another beautiful Nerina Pallot song? Here, for your playing pleasure, is Will You Still Love Me? another piano song from her 2011 album Year Of The Wolf. So, why not check it out on her page...?
Yes, you can now find here 700 songs transcribed for the guitar, in celebration of some extremely talented songwriters. More than enough songs for your repertoire, I should think, and songs for every occasion.
Phew, it was only in March that we made it to the Big 600...
17th July 2012
Here are another two gorgeous Nerina Pallot songs from her 2011 album Year Of The Wolf. So, I hope you enjoy All Bets Are Off, another piano song transcribed for guitar, and the heartbreakingly beautiful If I Lost You Now. Check them out on the Nerina Pallot page!
This woman can really really write songs. So, why isn’t she already a global giga-star...? I suppose there aren’t enough of us around to make her one...
15th July 2012
Hallelujah, I Love Her So is a cool RnB song by the legendary Ray Charles, that used to be taken by him at break-neck speed. It doesn’t need to be that fast: he was just showing off... Humble Pie used to play a great version of this in concert. It’s catchy with a nice groove. Here, too, is an update to my acoustic version of Mr Brightside by The Killers. You’ll find them both in Odd Ditties. Enjoy!
Am off to see Lianne La Havas at the Village Underground in London on Monday night and am looking forward to another cool show. I’ll be starting work on a few of her new songs as soon a copy (that works) of her just released album is delivered. Hmm, maybe there’ll be some new stuff on YouTube by now...?
11th July 2012
Another Kevin Ayers song, while I’m in the zone... The 1974 album The Confessions of Dr Dream and Other Stories was the first time Kevin played with Ollie Halsall. It would become a life-long friendship and Ollie would add his extraordinary liquid groove guitar to many Kev songs over the years until Ollie’s untimely death in 1992.
Check out the video of Didn’t Feel Lonely Till I Thought Of You on YouTube: a performance for Spanish TV with Ollie and Andy Summers duetting (some would say duelling) on lead guitar. But Andy never had anything to prove. He was lead guitar in a couple of Kev bands, starting with The Soporifics. Check it out: pure pleasure!
It’s hard to believe that this song has only three chords. Here it is on the Kevin Ayers page.
8th July 2012
Just a swift update to Falling In Love Again... and a re-write of the notes. I wrote to SecondHand Songs to say they were missing the Kevin Ayers cover version of this song and they now have a new entry with some info that I didn’t know. Reginald Connelly wrote the lyrics to the Kevin Ayers cover version. I don’t know what was different to the Lerner/Friedriksson version but my apologies to Reg....
7th July 2012
Day By Day was a really cool single that Kevin Ayers released in 1974, and that you can find on his album The Confessions Of Dr Dream and Other Stories. Check it out on the Kevin Ayers page
Falling In Love Again was a lovely Bossa nova cover by Kevin Ayers of the Marlene Dietrich original, written by Sam Lerner and Friedrich Hollaender. I’ve included it on the Kev page because it was his cover (in G) that I transcribed. Marlene’s original is in F which is an awkward key for me (and possibly others) to sing in. Boy, is that low... You’ll also find it in Odd Ditties. This is a nice one to have in your back pocket so, enjoy!
Am off to see Lianne La Havas in London on Monday. She’s starting a nationwide UK tour this month, so hope to catch her a few times. Watch the Lianne page for some new songs coming soon!.
4th July 2012
If you have a holiday today, I hope you’ll get the guitar out of the case and have a bit of a play. And if the kids are with you, why not add this to your repertoire?
Top Cat was a very early, Hanna-Barbera cartoon that ran for 30 episodes on ABC prime-time TV in the U.S. from 1961-62. ABC didn’t think the show had a future and no further episodes were made. There you go... The show has since sold to 25 countries, there is a DVD box-set, a film, and those 30 episodes are shown on constant rotation on Cartoon Network.
Hoyt Curtin was the Musical Director on the series and co-wrote the theme tune (as he did for other Hanna-Barbera productions; (see my transcription of Meet The Flintstones...). So get the DVD box-set for your kids/nieces/nephews, while they’re still as innocent as those 30 episodes were, and enjoy! And play them the theme song at your next kids’ party. You’ll find it in Odd Ditties.
I suppose the show’s global fan-base only gives weight to the notion that you never miss something until it’s gone.
30th June 2012
Have you seen the British Airways London Olympics TV advert? They hijacked The Clash’s anthem London Calling. (I wonder how long it took the ad agency to come up with that one...?) I have that album somewhere but I never bothered to transcribe the song. It’s actually quite easy so, if you want a bit of a play, here it is on the Joe Strummer & Mick Jones page.
27th June 2012
Originally released as a B-side to his 1986 single, Stepping Out, Only Heaven Knows by Kevin Ayers was re-recorded and re-released on his critically acclaimed 2007 album The Unfairground. This is a catchy song with quite easy chords, so hope you enjoy! Check it out on the Kevin Ayers page.
24th June 2012
Here is an update to a classic Kevin Ayers song, Shouting In A Bucket Blues from his 1973 album Bananamour. I saw that I’d left out some chords to this for some inexplicable reason. You should have told me...! Oh, and it was also in the wrong key. But, otherwise...
I apologise to all who have downloaded this. You’d better try again, if you haven’t already filled in the gaps yourself...
23rd June 2012
Red, Green And You Blue is a lovely Bossa-nova by Kevin Ayers from his 1970 album (with The Whole World) called Shooting At The Moon. This is a great song to play now that summer is (allegedly) with us. Check out the exquisite soprano saxophone solo by the legendary Lol Coxhill. You can find it on YouTube. Check out the song on the Kevin Ayers page.
I’ve also updated KA’s lovely song(s) May I? and Puis-je? (the same song, one has French lyrics). They are redolent of summer sun and pavement cafιs and wine and girls. (What else did Kev sing about in the early 70s...?) And a beautiful sax accompaniment from Mr Coxhill.
KA’s songs were the first that I worked out how to play as a 14 year old, learning the guitar. Here were songs that I could commune with. They have an innocence that is hard to find now.
KA’s Website says that he will no longer be touring or giving interviews. That doesn’t sound good. I hope he’s OK...
21st June 2012
A bit more Colin Hay for you, while I’m in the zone...
Here is Are You Lookin’ At Me? from his 2007 album of the same name. There are probably too many verses for it to be a good busking song, but see what you think..
Maggie, from the 2000 album Going Somewhere, is another great song (in my definition of great (see below)). It’s catchy, has fairly fast strumming and, although sad, would be a great song to busk, I reckon. You’ll find them both on the Colin Hay page. Enjoy!
19th June 2012
How do we know if a song is a great song? Or if this song is better than that song? It simply cannot be demonstrated. You know a great song when you hear it, because it puts a silly grin on your face, or brings a tear to your eye.
Dear Father from Colin Hay’s 2011 album Gathering Mercury, is one of those songs: sad, poignant and beautiful. Give it a listen, here, http://colinhay.com.br/site/lyrics/dear-father and then check it out on the Colin Hay page!
18th June 2012
Was at Bush Hall in Shepherd’s Bush, London on Saturday to see the great Colin Hay. Interestingly, the show was filmed for some sort of Aussie TV advert for their Olympic team. We were encouraged to sing along to that really annoying mega-hit, Down Under, that Men At Work had. I was sitting (yeah, we had to sit...) in the front row so might be making my Aussie TV debut soon.
CH played a nice mix of oldies and newer stuff, which I hadn’t heard before. I loved a song called Dear Father on his 2011 album Gathering Mercury, so will see if I can work out how to play that one. Watch this space!
16th June 2012
A small update to Sondre Lerche’s The Curse Of Being In Love. That Em7 (5x543x) used in the INTRO and VERSEs really ought to be Gadd9 (5x540x), I think. Sounds a lot better to me.
15th June 2012
If you’d like to impress a loved one with some really cool jazz guitar, check out Everyone’s Rooting For You, from the 2006 album Duper Sessions by Sondre Lerche and The Faces Down Quartet. A couple of jazz chords which, by now, won’t be at all unfamiliar, and the rest of the song is quite easy. Have fun with this. You’ll find it on the Sondre Lerche page. Enjoy!
I wasn’t a big fan of Duper Sessions when I bought it back then, but six years later, it’s growing on me. I’m always playing “catch-up”...
13th June 2012
I inadvertently published a “working” version of this song, which is why it now states “updated” on the Sondre page. Sorry ‘bout that... This means that if someone pounced on this already, he/she is advised to download it again. The updated version is the good version!
So here, for your playing pleasure, is The Curse Of Being In Love from the 2006 album Duper Sessions by Sondre Lerche and The Faces Down Quartet. This is an uber-cool jazz-guitar piece, which is actually not too difficult to play. The chords are fairly OK (compared to some of the stuff Sondre has us play), but you really need to find the groove... So, listen closely to the recording and you’ll be OK.
Check it out on the Sondre Lerche page.
12th June 2012
Another song from the Sondre Lerche catalogue for your playing pleasure. Here is an old one from the 2007 Phantom Punch album. Now this one, John, Let Me Go, you can busk! This has easy chords, is fast, catchy and upbeat! You really ought to add this to your repertoire, if you’re out and about this summer. Check it out on the Sondre Lerche page and enjoy!
Now I can feel another Sondre song coming on... Do you remember The Curse Of Being In Love from the 2006 Duper Sessions album? This is a cool jazz-guitar song that I’ve been listening too, and thought it would be good to learn how to play it. I think the first chord is D (the “happy chord”). That’s as far as I’ve got. But it’s early days... Keep watching this space!
10th June 2012
For the Sondre Lerche fans amongst us, here, as promised, is I Guess It’s Gonna Rain Today. This is a cool song to play but there are a lot of chords to remember, so you’re unlikely to want to busk this. But they are great sounding chords. So, why not fire up the song and play along...? Some of the chords are complex, so the transitions might need a bit of practice. But we’ve seen those “6b5 (sixth flattened fifth)” chords before: classic jazz chords that SL loves...
Check out this great song on the Sondre Lerche page.
8th June 2012
The latest Keane album, Strangeland, matches their debut for melodic content. Here, from that album, is Sovereign Light Cafι. Check it out on the Tim Rice-Oxley page. That completes his page for now, so I hope you enjoy these great songs from a talented songwriter.
Have just started working on another Sondre Lerche song. This is I Guess It’s Gonna Rain Today from his 2009 album Heartbeat Radio. It seems fairly complex and is likely to take a few days, though. Lots of chords, a few of which have fairly exotic names, so I hope I’m on the right track, here. But we’ve come to expect a few jazz chords from Sondre... The result is usually a beautiful melody. Watch this space!
5th June 2012
A small update to Sondre Lerche’s Go Right Ahead where E7+5 (xx0110) is replaced with Dm7b5 (xx0111) in the verses. It’s only a half-tone shift but it can make all the difference... Thanks to Joe Ringer for raising the question!
I’ve made a similar update to When The River where, in the chorus, the Emadd11 chord (20210x) is replaced with A7sus4 (202200).
If you’ve just downloaded these songs, sorry ‘bout that... You’ll have to download them again.
4th June 2012
I’ve been re-visiting some old Sondre Lerche transcriptions in order, partly, to learn the songs. I made some changes to the names of a couple of the more complex chords in Domino and in When The River. The fingering hasn’t changed, just the chord-names. I hope now they’re a bit more consistent.
The naming of complex chords is a subject in itself, but basically the same voicing (fingering) can have more than one name depending on its tonal context. Just to make life confusing...
3rd June 2012
While I’m back in Sondre Lerche mode, I thought I’d make a couple of updates, so here are slightly updated versions of Two-Way Monologue and Words and Music. The intro to Words and Music is now spot on, I think, and I’ve changed a couple of chords elsewhere in the song and cleaned it up a bit. I hope it’s all right. It sounds OK to me, but check it out and see what you think...
2nd June 2012
I thought it might be good to complete my transcription of Sondre Lerche’s Red Flags from his eponymous 2011 album. So, here it is...
I’ve had some requests for it and it’s been in my “working” binder for too long. But seeing Sondre in London Tuesday night was very inspiring. See what you make of it. It’s a beautiful song, that’s played as a waltz, but it was a nightmare to transcribe... ;) That completes his page for now (unless someone thinks a favourite is missing), so I hope you enjoy these amazing songs from this talented songwriter.
1st June 2012
Was at The Garage in Islington, London on Tuesday night to see the amazing Sondre Lerche. It was just him, a guitar and 500 or so people. He took audience requests, and kindly played Red Flags when I asked him. But, I’m afraid that didn’t make it any easier to follow how he played it... I started a transcription some months ago, but eventually put it on hold. That song is so complex. But as there’s the long Jubilee holiday in the UK, this weekend, I’ll go back to it and see how far I get...
Keane’s 2004 debut album Hopes and Fears, was a classic collection of melodies. Here are a couple more for your playing pleasure: Bedshaped and This Is The Last Time. Hope you enjoy... You’ll find them on the Tim Rice-Oxley page.
27th May 2012
Thought you might like a couple more songs from the pen of Tim Rice-Oxley. Here, from Keane’s 2006 album Under An Iron Sea, are Is It Any Wonder? and Nothing In My Way. Hope you enjoy... You’ll find them on the Tim Rice-Oxley page.
24th May 2012
W*O*L*D is a song about a fictitious local radio DJ, written by the late Harry Chapin, that you can find on his 1973 album Short Stories (and on YouTube, of course). It has quite a catchy chorus that you’ve probably heard before without knowing whose song it was. Why not give it a listen and check it out in Odd Ditties...?
21st May 2012
Two more classics from Tim Rice-Oxley and Keane’s 2004 debut album Hopes and Fears. Here, for your playing pleasure, are Everybody’s Changing and the heartbreaking We Might As Well Be Strangers. And here, too, is a new one from the 2012 album Strangeland: the gorgeous Black Rain. Enjoy!
17th May 2012
Albatross is a guitar-based instrumental, written by Peter Green, that was a UK #1 for Fleetwood Mac in 1969. You can find it on the compilation albums The Pious Bird Of Good Fortune (UK) and English Rose (US). It’s only two chords throughout, so quite manageable. That completes Peter Green’s page for the time being. Hope you enjoy!
16th May 2012
The name Tim Rice-Oxley will already be known to zillions of Keane fans, however, that’s still not everyone... Keane songs are usually, and generously, credited to all band members. However, T R-O is the principal songwriter. So, I’ve created a new page and hope to add some classic Tim songs over the coming weeks and months. Keane are purveyors of what has come to be called “piano rock”, so transcribing their songs for guitar is interesting... Hope to have a few more soon, so watch this space.
If there is someone out there who is still unsure as to melody’s longevity, check out these songs on the Tim Rice-Oxley page. Here, to start us off, is an old one and a couple of new ones... Enjoy!
14th May 2012
The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore was originally released by Frankie Valli in 1965 but, unfortunately for Frankie, didn’t do very much. The Walker Brothers released a version in 1966 that became a UK #1 and reached #13 on the US Billboard Top 100. This is the version most of us know, and the one that is transcribed here. Easy chords, so why not check it out in Odd Ditties. This is a great song. Enjoy!
11th May 2012
Man of the World was a haunting and sorrowful song by Peter Green that was a UK hit single for Fleetwood Mac, reaching #2 in 1969. I transcribed the electric lead guitar part and also a part for acoustic guitar. If you’re a solo guitar and voice, you could probably work something out based on the acoustic guitar part. Hope you enjoy!
7th May 2012
Don’t Wake Me Up is a haunting love-song by Lianne La Havas that you can find on her EP Live In L.A. (and on YouTube, of course). Lianne’s ability at vocal phrasing is particularly evident in this song. It would make even Sinatra sit up and smile. If this girl does not achieve global recognition, then there is no justice...
Check out the song on her page! Hope you enjoy...
4th May 2012
I’ve created a new page for Peter Green, the founder of Fleetwood Mac and writer of many of their melodic songs of the 60s and early 70s. Here, to start us off is Black Magic Woman, that first appeared as a Fleetwood Mac single in 1968. Carlos Santana had a massive hit with this song in 1970. Enjoy!
1st May 2012
Love Will Tear Us Apart was a UK Indie #1 for Joy Division in 1980 and was one of the few songs on which Ian Curtis played guitar (albeit somewhat minimally). I transcribed the guitar part but the guitar is really only there in the song’s intro and outro. So, I also transcribed an acoustic version which is possibly more suited to a solo guitar and voice. See what you think... You can find them both in Odd Ditties. Enjoy!
30th April 2012
Here is another amazing song from Lianne La Havas, the Sultana of Soul and the Godmother of Funk. Check out the title track from her soon-to-be-released debut album, Is Your Love Big Enough? on the Lianne La Havas page. Here is how to play a cool piece of funk. Enjoy!
29th April 2012
Whoops! It looks as if I missed the second bridge in my transcription of Liannes La Havas’s song Age. Sorry ‘bout that!
You can get the update on the Lianne La Havas page.
28th April 2012
Here are two more gorgeous songs from Lianne La Havas. Lost & Found was a single that you can find on the EP of the same name. And Tease Me is a live favourite that you can find on another EP called Live in L.A. (available as a free download from her Web-page). Check out both songs here on the Lianne La Havas page! Enjoy!
27th April 2012
I was listening to a cool JR import, this week, from 1996, called Surrender To Jonathan. Here are three catchy songs from that album... Just Look At Me, My Little Girl’s Got A Full-time Daddy, Now and Not Just A Plus One On The Guest-list, Any More... Check them out on the Jonathan Richman page!
That makes an astonishing eighty accurately transcribed Jojo songs that are perfect for any playing occasion. Just enjoy...!
26th April 2012
Here is Forget, another gorgeous song from Lianne La Havas which you can find on her EP of the same name. I hope you like it. I hope to get more of her songs up soon. Keep checking her page...!
Here are a couple more Odd Ditties for your playing pleasure... What A Wonderful World is the song that Louis Armstrong made famous and which since has been hijacked by Hollywood (e.g. Good Morning, Vietnam). Not to be confused with Sam Cooke’s Wonderful World which you can also find on the Sam Cooke page.
And then, Where Do You Go To My Lovely? was a #1 hit, and Ivor Novello Award winner, for a dodgy-moustachioed Peter Sarstedt in 1969, and become a standby song for that generation of buskers. Enjoy!
25th April 2012
I’ve created a new page for Lianne La Havas, a talented, young (English) singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. (So cool to find new talent from this Small Island...) I love her stuff!
She writes soulful, jazzy songs with cool melody lines. Check out these two, to start with, from her 2011 Lost & Found EP... Age has a great Bossa nova-ish feel to it and some lovely jazz chords for you to try out. No Room To Doubt is a heartbreakingly beautiful song that is not too difficult to play. If you have the chance to see her play, then go! The Lianne La Havas page is a work-in-progress. There’ll be several more LLH songs coming here over the next few weeks, so watch this space...
Oh, and while you’re here, check out one of my favourites, the beautiful, lilting Au Cinιma from her EP Forget. Enjoy!
24th April 2012
I thought it was time to re-vamp the Missy Higgins page, so I hope you like the new pics. I’ve added a few new songs, too... So, here, from the 2004 album The Sound Of White are the title track and Katie. And from the 2007 album On A Clear Night are Where I Stood and Steer. Enjoy!
And here are a couple of gorgeous piano songs that I’ve transcribed for guitar for your playing pleasure. From Nerina Pallot’s 2009 album The Graduate, is this catchy, upbeat song When Did I Become Such A Bitch. On learning that she had been dropped by Polydor, Nerina wrote Idaho, which you can find on her second, critically-acclaimed, 2005 album Fires. It’s melancholic but also strangely uplifting. Great chords
NP is one of the great songwriters out there... Check out her songs on the Nerina Pallot page!
20th April 2012
Here are another three classics from the pen of Jonathan Richman. Check out Behold The Lilies Of The Field from his 2004 album Not So Much To Be Loved As To Love and El Joven Se Estremece is another cool song with Spanish lyrics about...well... about that guy and girl thing... However, This Kind Of Music, from the 2004 album Jonathan Sings! is another great song, with easy chords, that you really ought to keep in your back-pocket in readiness for those times when you’re asked to step centre stage. Enjoy...!
17th April 2012
Two more great songs from Jonathan Richman’s gorgeous 1998 album I’m So Confused. So, here are Hello From Cupid and Le Printemps Des Amoureux Est Venu, a song in French that you can try out. Catch them on the Jonathan Richman page.
And here, also, is Put Your Hands Up from Nerina Pallot. It’s a track from her 2011 album Year Of The Wolf. Easy chords and cool to play. Check it out on her page!
15th April 2012
Here’s another Lou Reed song from the the first Velvets album The Velvet Underground and Nico (1967). I hope you like Femme Fatale. You’ll find it, of course, on the Lou Reed page
Love Me Like I Love is another gorgeous Jonathan Richman song from his 1998 album I’m So Confused. Great chords, upbeat and weirdly uplifting considering the message is a plea for love.
12th April 2012
I hope you enjoyed your Easter weekend... I couldn’t leave it another week without a couple more gorgeous songs from Sam Cooke. So here, for your playing pleasure, are Chain Gang and the classic A Change Is Gonna Come. That completes his page for now, so hope you enjoy a few of his classic songs!
And, of course, I couldn’t leave without another song from the great Jonathan Richman. Here is Yo Tengo Una Novia (which translates as “I Have A Girlfriend”) from the 2001 album Her Mystery Not Of High Heels And Eyeshadow. One of my favourite albums... Enjoy!
10th April 2012
Two more Talking Heads songs for you to try out. Here are Once In A Lifetime from Remain In Light (1983) and And She Was from the 1985 album Little Creatures. And She Was is a really cool song to play. You’ll find them on the David Byrne page.
5th April 2012
Here’s something for the (Easter) weekend... I’ve finally got around to working out the Spanish lyrics to Es Como El Pan from Jonathan Richman’s 2008 album Because Her Beauty Is Raw And Wild. This is a cool philosophical song from the man, which will entertain your audience. Do check out, too, True Love Is Not Nice from I’m So Confused (1998).
And two more gorgeous Sam Cooke songs for your playing pleasure: here are the beautiful You Send Me and Another Saturday Night, available on any Sam compilation. Hope you enjoy those and I hope you have a great extended weekend!
4th April 2012
You couldn’t get very far in the late 70s and the 80s without coming across the massively influential Talking Heads. Here are two more songs from their catalogue. This Must Be The Place from the 1983 album Speaking In Tongues has been borrowed by a couple of Hollywood films, including the eponymous film, whose release is imminent, starring Sean Penn. Wild, Wild Life was a cool rocker that you can find on the 1986 album True Stories. Check them both out on the David Byrne page!
3rd April 2012
As soon as you hear that first word, those first two notes, you recognise the song... And now you’ll be able to play Cupid. Just check out the Sam Cooke page!
Here, too, is another beautiful song from the pen of Jonathan Richman. From his 1998 album I’m Confused, check out I Can’t Find My Best Friend. An emotional Jojo song and great chords...
2nd April 2012
Two more songs from The Modern Lovers that completes their page. I hope you like The Mixer (Men And Women Together) and Walk Up The Street, which you can find on the live album Precise Modern Lovers Order that was released in 1994. In fact, I think you now have all the songs that they ever released. But I’ll check... Enjoy!
I’ve created a new page for the late, great Sam Cooke. You probably know more SC songs than you think you do. He (and Ray Charles) were considered to be the progenitors of Soul music. Just think: without Sam and Ray, we might never have found Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Otis Redding and James Brown. Oh...my...God...
In the coming months, I hope to bring you some of the great songs, written by Cooke, that everyone loves to hear and that soon, you will be able to play. I’ve moved over Nothing Can Change This Love from Odd Ditties and have added Wonderful World. Enjoy those two...! Watch this space for more Sam Cooke coming soon.
31st March 2012
Here are a couple more songs from Jonathan Richman, which you’ll find on his page. New England was a surprising UK hit in 1977, when JR visited for the UK for the first time, and when the album Rock and Roll With The Modern Lovers was released.
That’s How I Feel is a really cool instrumental with easy chords and a jazz feel to it. The easy chords are taken extremely quickly, though. (It’s just practice...) The piece is a cover and was actually written by William H “Prez” Tyus who wrote doo-wop hits in the 50s and 60s for a variety of artists. I was unable to find the original (which may be quite different, of course), but check out Jojo’s version from his 1995 album You Must Ask The Heart.
29th March 2012
Here are a couple of classics... Me And Bobby McGee, written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster, was a major hit for Roger Miller in 1969 before it was a hit for KK a year later. Easy chords, and a good standby song to have in the back-pocket.
Nothing Can Change This Love, a beautiful, beautiful song written by the late, great Sam Cooke, can be found on his 1963 album Mr Soul. It is hard to emphasise enough how influential Cooke was to be as a singer and songwriter. He and Ray Charles are considered to be the progenitors of Soul Music.
Check out both songs in Odd Ditties!
27th March 2012
Here are a couple more songs from the Jonathan Richman catalogue. Everyday Clothes is a gorgeous paean to his wife that you can find on the 1989 album Jonathan Richman. Ride On Down The Highway is a cool rocker on a live album by The Modern Lovers, released in 1994, called Precise Modern Lovers Order.
Check them out on their respective pages... Enjoy!
25th March 2012
Some more Leonard Cohen for your playing pleasure. From his 1967 debut Songs of Leonard Cohen, is the classic Suzanne.
Here, too, is Foggy Notion, recorded by The Velvet Underground in 1969 but not released until VU in 1985. This was also covered by The Modern Lovers in 1971. Check it out on the Lou Reed page.
22nd March 2012
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I thought I might create a new page for Leonard Cohen. So, here it is... I’ve moved over Here It Is from Odd Ditties and added Hallelujah, which is always a favourite to play. I went for John Cale’s cover of the song as his choice of lyrics tends to be the one that everyone else covers. Legend has it that when JC told Cohen he wanted to cover the song, and asked Cohen for a copy of the lyrics, he received fifteen pages worth... It has easy chords, so enjoy!
20th March 2012
96 Tears was a hit for Question-mark & The Mysterians in 1966 and was subsequently covered by such diverse artists as David Byrne, Aretha Franklin, Iggy Pop, The Stranglers, and The Modern Lovers. You can find it in Odd Ditties.
Here, too, is After Hours, written by Lou Reed and available on the eponymous 1969 album, The Velvet Underground (where it was sung slightly out of tune by Mo Tucker. But maybe that was the idea... Nice chords, though!). Check it out on the Lou Reed page.
18th March 2012
This has been not so much a Modern Lovers Tornado, more a Tropical Depression... But that still means a lot of songs... Here are two more of the obscurer ones you can find on a live album, Live At The Longbranch And More from 1998. (And also on YouTube!) So here, for your playing pleasure, are Womanhood and Wake Up, Sleepyheads.
These are two cool songs, so why not check them out on The Modern Lovers page?
17th March 2012
Dodge Veg-O-Matic is an old JR & The Modern Lovers song that you can find on the 1977 album Rock ‘n’ Roll With The Modern Lovers. On the same album, you can also find the strikingly beautiful Fly Into The Mystery, that used to be performed by the original incarnation of the The Modern Lovers, but was never released by them. You can find that version on the live Precise Modern Lovers Order.
Check them out on the Jonathan Richman page.
16th March 2012
Whoo hoo! Today we have 600!
That’s right, The Blind Guitarist has now reached 600 song transcriptions!
And, yes, #600 is a song from The Modern Lovers... Here is I Wanna Sleep In Your Arms from their eponymous 1996 album. Hope you like that one as it is officially Transcription #600! Time for a slice of cake, I think...
15th March 2012
Here are three more classics from The Modern Lovers. Check out Old World, Government Center and Someone I Care About. Hope you like them!
14th March 2012
As promised, here are a couple more songs from the The Modern Lovers’ eponymous 1976 album. So, here are I’m Straight, and Modern World. These songs are proto-punk classics! Hard to believe that they were originally written ca 1972. I suspect that, had they been released when they were written, they would probably have sunk without trace...
It cannot be stressed enough just how influential this band was. Listen to the guitar sound. And then check the 1976 punk bands. Some people lead... And others follow...
The Modern Lovers page is accessed via the JR page. Am still deciding which of their pictures to use... Any suggestions?
13th March 2012
Here It Is is a beautifully spooky, and weirdly affecting, song by Leonard Cohen from his 2001 album Ten New Songs. I love LC’s stuff and am thinking of opening a new page for him. Watch this space for that...! You can find Here It Is in Odd Ditties. Enjoy!
And here is Angels Watching Over Me, an early Jonathan Richman song from the 1977 album Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers.
The JR page has so much on it now that I thought some re-arranging was in order... So, I’ve created a new page for The Modern Lovers stuff and moved that over. You can access it from the JR page. They’ll be some more Modern Lovers songs coming soon!
12th March 2012
The Jonathan Richman Tornado is now officially down-graded to a tropical storm... So far, I make it forty-five accurately transcribed songs in eleven days. Pheww! But while we’re here, why not try a couple more of his exquisite songs...? Here, as promised, is the delightful Vampiresa Mujer, with which you can practise your Spanish. Another Spanish song you might like to try is Con El Merengue... Very easy chords...! You can find both of them on Her Mystery Not Of High Heels And Eyeshadow (2001).
From O Moon, Queen Of The Night (2008) is the gentle and very beautiful, The Sea Is Calling Me Home. And, from Because Her Beauty Is Raw And Wild (2005), I give you the title track. Hope you enjoy those four songs. You’ll find them on the JR page.
11th March 2012
Another three songs from the legendary Jonathan Richman... One of my favourites is the title track from his 2001 album, Her Mystery Not Of High Heels And Eyeshadow... Just a beautiful song... From the same album, I hope you also enjoy Springtime In New York.
You can find Vampire Girl, another old favourite, in English and Spanish versions. Here, to start with, is the English version which you can find on the 1995 album You Must Ask The Heart. Watch this space for Vampiresa Mujer, coming soon.
As always, you can find all three on the JR page. Enjoy!
10th March 2012
This is now not so much a Jonathan Richman blitz, more a way of life. Please find three more Jojo songs for your playing pleasure... Here, from his 2004 album, Not So Much To Be Loved As To Love are My Baby Love Love Loves Me and the magnificent In Che Mondo Viviamo. And why not check out Our Drab Ways from his classic 2008 album Because Her Beauty Is Raw And Wild. Enjoy!
9th March 2012
The JoJo celebration shows no sign of abating. Man, these are great songs...! So, here are three more extraordinary songs from a master songwriter. From his 1995 album You Must Ask The Heart, I give you Let Her Go Into The Darkness plus the album’s title track.
If you’ve heard Sa Voix, M’atisse, from O Moon, Queen Of The Night (2010), you’ll know what a great song it is. With French lyrics (but not many) it’s really cool to bring out when you’re put on the spot. Your audience will be blown away. Hope you like that one!
Check out all the transcriptions on the Jonathan Richman page. Enjoy!
8th March 2012
Some more Jonathan Richman for your playing pleasure... Here from the 1985 album Rockin’ And Romance are Now Is Better Than Before and I’m Just Beginning To Live. Two beautiful songs... Enjoy! And, from Not So Much To Be Loved As To Love (2004), is The World Is Showing Its Hand and the beautiful title track from the album.
Check out all four on the JR page!
7th March 2012
The JoJo blitz continues... Sometimes, when you’re in the zone, you’re in the zone. First up, here’s I’m A Little Dinosaur from the 1977 album Modern Lovers Live. It’s a good one to have in the back pocket in case you’re expected to entertain and there are very young kids around. That one and I Wanna Be Like You are always good to bring out at such times.
Here, too, is a classic from his 2008 album Not So Much To Be Loved As To Love. This song tells a good philosophy, He Gave Us The Wine To Taste It. Hope you like that one! And, from the same album, is another song about another of his favourite artists, Salvador Dali. Check them out on the Jonathan Richman page...!
6th March 2012
Here comes more Jonathan Richman for your playing pleasure... It’s been pointed out to me that the song These Bodies that I transcribed from the Bush Hall show is actually from his 2010 album O Moon, Queen Of The Night and, to give it its full title, is These Bodies That Came To Cavort. Phew, glad that’s sorted out!
Because Her Beauty Is Raw And Wild is my favourite album of the moment; it has a nice feel to it... Am playing catch-up with this one because it was released in 2008... So, here are The Lovers Are Here And They’re Full Of Sweat (classic JR!), When We Refuse To Suffer and Time Has Been Going By So Fast.
Hope you enjoy those three! Watch this space for more JR coming soon...!
5th March 2012
Phew! The Jonathan Richman blitz continues... Here are a couple of songs about two more of his favourite artists. First, the marvellous Vincent Van Gogh from the 1985 album Rockin’ And Romance. An absolute classic! More recently, from the 2008 album Because Her Beauty Is Raw And Wild, is the beautiful No One Was Like Vermeer. Hope you like those!
And here is an oldie classics: Roller-Coaster By The Sea was the B-side to the UK pressing of Egyptian Reggae. You can also find it on 1977s Rock ’n’ Roll With The Modern Lovers.
And here also is one of my favourite JR songs: Give Paris One More Chance, his love-song to the city. That one you can find on the 2001 album, Her Mystery Not of High Heels and Eye Shadow. Check them out on the JR page, if you fancy a bit of a play! Enjoy!
4th March 2012
Jonathan Richman has been known to change the lyrics, and even the music, in his songs, even old songs. Here is a transcription of Bohemia which, to my knowledge, you can find only on a couple of obscure bootlegs. At Bush Hall, last Wednesday, we were treated to a different version (with audience participation). At least you can find this song on YouTube! Check out my transcription on the JR page! And while you’re there, you might be interested in playing two other new songs: These Bodies and Sea, both of which may or may not have been made up on the spot...
Here, also, are Girlfriend, and Pablo Picasso, both of which are glorious oldies from the 1975 album The Modern Lovers. Enjoy!
3rd March 2010
I’m afraid that his could be the start of another blitz... I was inspired by Jonathan Richman’s gig at Bush Hall, Wednesday night. One song, a sort of monologue about London, might have been made up on the spot! So here, for your playing pleasure, is a transcription of London (the song didn’t have a name).
Hope you also enjoy Abominable Snowman In The Market and Here Come The Martian Martians from his 1976 album Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers; and Chewing-gum Wrapper from 1985’s Rockin’ And Romance. And why not check out an old favourite from live shows, the classic I Was Dancing In The Lesbian Bar from his 1992 album I, Jonathan.
There’ll be a lot more to follow, so watch this space...!
2nd March 2012
An awesome time had with Jonathan Richman at Bush Hall on Wednesday. JR was in fine form, playing lots of songs I didn’t recognise! I hope to work on some of those... Am feeling inspired to transcribe some more of his songs, which are infused with a child-like innocence that is easy to mock and parody. But I love them: an antidote to modern living. JR is unique!
Here, to start with, are The UFO Man from his 1985 album Rockin’ And Romance and Rooming House On Venice Beach from I, Jonathan (1992). You can find them on the JR page. Enjoy!
29th February 2012
If you fancy yourself as a street-musician, you really ought to be able to busk anything... However, here’s one that’s cool to play anywhere and at any time. Some of you will be too young to remember, but Perfect was a hit for Fairground Attraction in 1988. A good song to have when you’re put on the spot. Everyone knows it and it has easy chords... You’ll find it in Odd Ditties.
Am off to see the legendary Godfather of Punk, Jonathan Richman at Bush Hall in London tonight. JR and the first incarnation of The Modern Lovers were a huge influence on what was to become punk music. JR is one of my musical heroes, so am looking forward to visiting, and worshipping at, The Source... Here, for your delectation is The Morning Of Our Lives... You can find it on the JR page. Enjoy!
23rd February 2012
In the summer of 1979, you could not avoid hearing My Sharona by The Knack. It was everywhere, and annoyingly catchy. And then, in 1994, it was chosen to be part of the soundtrack to Reality Bites (Ethan Hawke/Winona Ryder/Janeane Garofalo) and became a hit, all over again, to Generation X. It does have a cool bass-line...
Ethan Hawke also insisted on having the beautiful Stay (I Miss You) included in the film’s soundtrack, which helped to make that song a mega-hit for Lisa Loeb. Thank God the production company listened. You can check them both out in Odd Ditties, too...
20th February 2012
This is a song with a great groove that you should play for loved ones... Guaranteed to get people up and dancing and singing along. Ain’t Nobody was written by David Wolinski and was a hit in 1983 for Rufus and Chaka Khan. KT Tunstall used to play a great acoustic version of this in live performances... But then, as a former street-musician, she can busk anything. If you fancy adding a great groove to your repertoire, check it out in Odd Ditties... Enjoy!
11th February 2012
Whooo! Happy Birthday to me...! I’m off now for a few days but before I go, I thought you might like some more Mick and Keef. So, here is some pure rock’n’roll from their 1983 album Undercover. an album they were pitching at the MTV generation.
Includes some classic Chuck Berry licks, so you can really let go with this one. Check it out on the Mick Jagger & Keith Richards page. Enjoy!
9th February 2012
Well, here, at last is my tab of The End, which has been in my working binder for about three years... I hope it’s worth the wait. I’ve transcribed it for three guitars including an over-dubbed second lead guitar. So, you can take your pick. Ideally, get a couple of guitar-playing mates to get in on the act. You’ll find the transcription on the John Lennon & Paul McCartney page. Enjoy!
4th February 2012
Here are a couple more 10cc songs that you’ll find on the Kevin Godley & Lol Creme page. That completes their page for now. Clockwork Creep closes Side 1 on 10cc’s 1974 album Sheet Music and was a song, with clever lyrics, about a conversation between an aeroplane and a bomb that was sitting in it. I know what you’re thinking... But that’s Kev and Lol!
And Lazy Ways, with some complex and delightful melodies written by Lol Creme and Eric Stewart, was on their 1976 album How dare you! Hope you enjoy!
1st February 2012
Here’s a great song to busk if you have a good sense of rhythm (and you ought to have...). I Want You Back is a 1969 song that was the debut single on Motown Records for The Jackson Five. It was a #1 hit in early 1970. I suspect that some of you will be too young to remember that, but you can always find early TV performances of theirs on YouTube. Check it out in Odd Ditties. Enjoy!
31st January 2012
I thought I’d start a new page for Walter Becker & Donald Fagen, who wrote all those classic songs for Steely Dan in the 70s. Their first album of new material, released in 2000, collected four Grammy awards.
I only have one song of theirs at the moment but it is a good one. You remember Rikki Don’t Lose That Number ? (No, probably not... But check it out on YouTube.) Some great sounding suspended chords which, if you remember, was their stock-in-trade... Enjoy!
28th January 2012
Another classic Stones’ song was Gimme Shelter from the 1969 album Let It Bleed. Here is a tab of Keith’s rhythm part. Hope you like! Check it out, as usual, on the Mick Jagger & Keith Richards page.
26th January 2012
Considered by some critics to be an “art-music masterpiece”, Shattered (on Some Girls (1978)), reflects life/lifestyles in 1970s-era New York City. Influenced by the punk rock movement of the time, Jagger’s narrative lyrics also foreshadowed the upcoming rap movement. I wrote down bar-numbers to help me keep track of a long tab. Hope you can use them... (It made me feel like a real transcriber!)
Check it out on the Mick Jagger & Keith Richards page. Enjoy!
25th January 2012
As promised, some more Mick & Keef for you playing pleasure... Here are a couple of oldies: Street Fighting Man from the 1968 album Beggar’s Banquet is instantly recognizable from that glorious strummed intro. It’s mostly C, F and G. Amazing what you can do with 3 chords...
And here, also, is As Tears Go By, which Andrew Oldham gave away to the 17-year-old Marianne Faithfull for her to record. Check them both out on the Mick Jagger & Keith Richards page!
23rd January 2012
Gong Xi Fai Choi
Happy Chinese New Year! If you’re celebrating Golden Week and you need a break from the relatives (or even if you’re not (and don’t)), here are a couple of transcriptions for the Stones’ Paint It Black from their 1966 album Aftermath. One is a tabbed version for solo acoustic guitar; and the other is a tab for the album version for rhythm and lead guitars. Both are pretty straightforward. The song, you may be pleased to hear, is in standard tuning. You’ll be able to check them out on the Mick Jagger & Keith Richards page. Hope you like...! More Mick & Keef coming soon, so watch this space!
21st January 2012
Connection is a cool song that dates from the 1967 album Between The Buttons. It was a favourite at concerts on the Stones’ 2005 A Bigger Bang world tour. You can find a great version on the DVD of Martin Scorsese’s Shine a Light documentary. Check it out on the Mick Jagger & Keith Richards page. Enjoy!
19th January 2012
My current Jagger/Richards blitz/obsession continues... Having received the DVD The Biggest Bang for Xmas, it struck me why millions (1.5m on Copacabana Beach, one night in 2005) of kids go to see guys who are old enough to be their grandfathers... Because The Stones are also kids...projecting sex, magic, excitement and raw energy...
Great songs will always remain great songs, and Get Off Of My Cloud, from a long-forgotten 1965 album december’s children (and everybody’s) is a prime example. It’s mostly E, A and B, so why not check it out on the Mick Jagger & Keith Richards page. Enjoy!
17th January 2012
Here is Happy, another substantial tab from The Stones’ 1972 album Exile On Main Street. It’s just Keith Richards’s rhythm part. Some day, I’ll get around to transcribing Mick Taylor’s part but for now, here’s quite a lot for you to practise... And, while we’re here, here also is an acoustic version of Sympathy For The Devil from Beggar’s Banquet (1970). Quite a cool song and easy chords. That completes their page for now. I think I’ve covered my favourites from EOMS. Check them out on the Mick Jagger & Keith Richards page. Enjoy!
16th January 2012
Two more songs from the Stones’ 1972 album Exile On Main Street. Here you have Soul Survivor and a tab of the album-opener Rocks Off. Check them out on the Mick Jagger & Keith Richards page.
15th January 2012
Here’s a classic Mick & Keef song for the electric-heads among you to try out: a substantial tab of Brown Sugar from the 1971 album Sticky Fingers. Hope there aren’t too many errors. I can only see dashed lines in front of my eyes at the moment... You’ll find it on the Mick Jagger & Keith Richards page. Enjoy!
14th January 2012
Two more songs from the Golden Years of 10cc... Art For Art’s Sake was a cool guitar track, with easy chords, on their 1976 album How dare you! And I’m Not In Love (a love song that Eric Stewart wrote for his wife) was possibly their most famous song and was a global mega-hit in 1975...
Interestingly, the song was almost dropped because, in the 10cc democracy, if anyone didn’t like a song, it was out... Kevin Godley thought that Graham Gouldman & Eric Stewart’s demo (a sort of bossa-nova) was “crap” But individuals in the record company thought the song had something so Godley said OK, but all the chords should be done vocally and the famous multi-layered, multi-tracked chorus was developed. The result was several light-years ahead of anything else that was happening at the time.
The creative energy that these guys had leaves you open-mouthed... Youll find a transcription for acoustic guitar on the Graham Gouldman & Eric Stewart page. On a personal note, this song introduced me to the A/B chord (A with B in the bass), such a yearning chord..
13th January 2012
Well, I said that Exile On Main Street was my fave Stones album so, as promised, here are a couple more songs from that album for your playing pleasure... I hope you like Sweet Black Angel and Tumbling Dice. This latter sounds great in Open G tuning... Of course, you’ll find them on the Mick Jagger & Keith Richards page...
12th January 2012
The songwriting partnership of Graham Gouldman & Eric Stewart produced some extraordinary songs for 10cc. Here are a couple more for your playing pleasure... Donna, from the eponymous first album was a parody of those 50s doo-wop songs and was critically slated when it was released (It was a parody, guys, check out the ironic lyrics!). It still sold enough to be a global hit, though, reaching #2 in the UK.
And, opening side 2 of my vinyl copy of Sheet Music (1972), is Silly Love, a fast rocker with lots of fifths... 10cc never wrote using a traditional song structure. More often than not, their songs would have more than one bridge. (Or maybe they weren’t bridges at all...? You would have to ask the boys...)
11th January 2012
Another Songwriting Partnership that wrote classic songs for Tamla Motown in the 60s and 70s was Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson. Sadly, Nickolas Ashford passed away in August 2011 (a sad month for songwriters as Jerry Leiber also died that month) but their legacy of songs is immense. Here to start off their page is Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, which was a huge hit first for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell; then for Diana Ross. Hope you like... Welcome to the Nick & Valerie page.
10th January 2012
A couple more Mick and Keef songs from the Stones’ classic album Exile On Main Street. So here are Rocks Off, the album-opener and Shine A Light. You’ll find them on the Mick Jagger & Keith Richards page (in case you were wondering...)
Keep an eye open for more Mick & Keef stuff from my fave Stones album...!
9th January 2012
Here are a couple of cool songs from the pens of Graham Gouldman & Eric Stewart... I’m Mandy Fly Me was a surprisingly poignant song from 10cc’s 1975 album How dare you!
Rock ‘n’ Roll Lullaby, also written by Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman, from the same album, is a song with lovely lyrics that you’ll wish you had written for your kids... Enjoy!
8th January 2012
Continuing the theme of Songwriting Partnerships, let me introduce you to Jerry Lieber & Mike Stolle. Sadly, Jerry passed away in August 2011. But together they produced some of the classic songs of the 50s and 60s. We all know these songs when we hear them but we don’t often think about who wrote them. I’ve moved Ruby Baby (an old Drifters hit) over from Odd Ditties and added Hound Dog, a blues that became a massive hit for Big Mama Thornton in 1953 and later, of course, for Elvis, and Jailhouse Rock, another big hit for Elvis. Check out their new page and check them out on Wikipedia. They were giants...
7th January 2012
Here’s one that I wasn’t expecting... I came across the first chord (D6add9 - 022432) while working on a Sondre Lerche song, and thought I recognised it from somewhere else. Of course, it’s the opening to the chorus of Steely Dan’s Rikki Don’t Lose That Number which, for a while, (1974) was to be heard everywhere, and at all hours of the day or night, to the point of madness.
I was never a big Steely Dan fan but I remember this song and it has some nice sounding suspended chords which were a feature of Walter Becker & Donald Fagen’s songs. Hmm, maybe I should start a page for them, as I’m currently featuring songwriting partnerships...? But I’ve only done one of their songs so, just now, you’ll find it in Odd Ditties
6th January 2012
Any discussion of Songwriting Partners etc will soon enough lead us to Mick & Keef They did, after all, write the majority of The Rolling Stones’ song catalogue, so probably deserve a mention... ;-)
I’ve held off from transcribing their stuff thus far, as I was never a massive fan, although I thought Exile On Main Street was a classic from the first playing of my vinyl copy, way back when... You will also be able to find transcriptions of Stones’ songs, of varying quality, on numerous tab-sites and Stones’ fan-sites. So I thought: what can I add to that...? Possibly, not much...
But if you like the transcriptions here, why not check out the Mick & Keef page. I’ve moved Angie (my lone Stones tab) from Odd Ditties to the new page and added a new one, Sweet Virginia from EOMS, which is a cool song and very easy to play.
I hope to make some more favourites from EOMS available over the coming months... Young Keith loves his open G tuning and you’ll find a few songs in Open G from that album.
Welcome, then, to Mick Jagger & Keith Richards...
5th January 2012
Here’s a song from Lol Creme and Eric Stewart... Life Is A Minestrone was a global hit for 10cc in 1975. It reached #7 in the UK chart. You’ll find it on the Kevin Godley & Lol Creme page. There was a lot of cross-pollination with the 10cc boys and I could have a page for each combination of writers. (But I won’t.) Godley & Creme and Gouldman & Stewart were the principal partnerships, so any 10cc song will end up on one of those pages depending on who was the first credited songwriter.
And here is an extraordinary Gouldman & Stewart song... The Wall Street Shuffle was a cool rocker that opened 10cc’s 1974 album Sheet Music. That makes the song almost forty years old. Yet it could have been written yesterday... The lyrics are clever and as relevant today as they ever were. (Just ask any former Lehman Brothers employee.) And the song has a bridge and a middle-eight to die for...
4th January 2012
Interestingly, Eric Clapton’s 461 Ocean Boulevard comprised mostly covers but here is one of EC’s own from that album that I transcribed way back then. Hope you like Let It Grow. Here, also, is the gentle Please Be With Me, written by Charles Boyer in 1971, and covered by EC on the same album. Check them both out in Odd Ditties!
3rd January 2012
I re-discovered an old vinyl of Eric Clapton’s 461 Ocean Boulevard, that I bought when it was released. Over time, you tend to lose the vibe for some of the music you were into as an early teen but now I know why I bought the album... These are great songs!
Here is the classic I Shot The Sheriff, a Bob Marley song, originally from The Wailers’ 1973 album Burnin’. EC’s version, on 461 Ocean Boulevard, is sung an octave lower than Bob’s so, for me, it’s always been a bit friendlier. You’ll find it in Odd Ditties!
2nd January 2012
I’ve been wanting to expand the Songwriting Partners section and celebrate some great partnerships and some classic songs. Let’s start with these guys...
10cc were unique, I believe, in having two extraordinary songwriting partnerships in the band. Godley & Creme were the arty/funny writers, whilst Gouldman & Stewart could have been Tin Pan Alley craftsmen. In fact, Graham Gouldman was; having already written several hits for other artists as a nineteen-year-old. How often do you get four outrageously talented musicians / producers / songwriters in the same band...?
But they all wrote with each other in various combinations during an amazingly creative period in the early 70s and could, and did, all play and sing lead and harmonies. For four years, from 1972-76, they produced four classic albums, had globally a string of top 10 singles and wrote some of the wittiest, most inventive, melodic and enduring pop songs. In short, they were on fire...
I’ve re-structured the Songwriting Partnerships, split it in two, and added these two new pages. They are works in progress... Welcome to Kevin Godley & Lol Creme and Graham Gouldman & Eric Stewart! Here are a couple of songs from each to start us off, with more to follow.
1st January 2012
Welcome back! I hope you had a great time on the 31st.
Here are a couple of songs that I promised to work on. So, I hope you enjoy my attempt at a tab of Creep from Radiohead’s 1982 album Pablo Honey. I just hope that the notes are on the right strings. All those dashed-lines really mess with your head after a while... Anyway, it’s one for the electric-heads amongst you. You’ll find it in Odd Ditties... Enjoy!
And while the guitar is still plugged in, why not try Tell Me You Love Me, originally from Frank Zappa’s 1970 album Chunga’s Revenge. This song can be found, in different versions, on a couple of FZ albums. On the live You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 1, it is played literally twice as fast as the original. So, all the notes are sixteenths! Easy? You try it... Live, FZ always liked to show off the talent of his musicians. Their virtuosity just leaves you open-mouthed... But FZ liked to engage the best.
A small update to Sondre Lerche’s beautiful song You Know So Well due to a typo. In standard tuning, Gm should be 355333, not 577555. Sorry ‘bout that. Comes from forgetting what tuning you’re in..