Greg Easterling's Blog

Weekdays Midnight - 5am

5150 Van Halen
Posted:Tuesday, 04/15/2014 at 04:04am by Greg Easterling
It was Van Halen... this time from 1986, another platinum seller and the first one to feature the lead vocals of Sammy Hagar, formerly of the band Montrose with a number of solo albums to his credit. Hagar replaced original Van Halen singer David Lee Roth, not missing a beat and moving in right away to help write material for the upcoming 5150 LP. They came up with a handful of winners that includes "Dreams", "Best Of Both Worlds", "Love Walks In" and the Top Five single, "Why Can't This Be Love". We listened to Side 2 this time.

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Blackmore's Birthday
Posted:Monday, 04/14/2014 at 04:04am by Greg Easterling
We began a new week this morning with a birthday salute to Richie Blackmore, longtime lead guitarist for Deep Purple and a founder of the band. Although he's been gone from the band for several decades now and has been a sometimes controversial figure, he will always be remembered for his tenure during the most fruitful times in the history of Deep Purple. This morning we went back to the early days of the band with Rod Evans on vocals for a side from the Warners compilation Purple Passages which drew songs from Shades Of Deep Purple, The Book of Taliesyn and the third, self titled album. We listened to Side 1 this morning which featured their big early U.S. hit, "Hush" plus their cover of "Hey Joe".

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Dylan's Greatest Hits and Why....
Posted:Friday, 04/11/2014 at 03:04am by Greg Easterling
Today is the anniversary of the date that Bob Dylan made his New York City debut at Folk City back in 1961. It was the most visible start of an amazing, long running career that continues even to this day. It's hard to imagine classic rock without the songs and significance of Dylan through his own classics such as "Like A Rolling Stone", "Knockin' On Heaven's Door", "Blowin In The Wind" and "Mr. Tambourine Man". And then there's many others who covered his songs and did well....Jimi Hendrix, The Byrds, Eric Clapton, The Band, Guns n' Roses and more. This morning we put the needle down on a Dutch import version of Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, one I picked up in Paris many years ago. It has an additional song on each side compared to the American release. We listened to Side 2 with the "bonus" track, "One Of Us Must Know".

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Allman's Brothers and Sisters
Posted:Wednesday, 04/09/2014 at 04:04am by Greg Easterling
We cruised into midweek this morning with a longtime favorite...the legendary Allman Brothers Band and their 1973 Brothers and Sisters LP. It was a time of major change for the band; the original lineup had been forever altered by the loss of founding members Duane Allman and Berry Oakley, both killed in separate motorcycle accidents in the town of Macon, Georgia. Now it was up to Brothers Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts to step and lead. New players Chuck Leavell(keyboards) and Lamar Williams(bass) were added to the lineup pictured on the cover of Brothers and Sisters. Side 1 included the big Betts penned hit, "Ramblin' Man". Other highlights included "Come And Go Blues", a song that Gregg would revisit on one of his next solo albums.

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Guitarist Steve....and Howe!
Posted:Tuesday, 04/08/2014 at 03:04am by Greg Easterling
We paid tribute to Steve Howe this am. It's his birthday. Steve, the longtime guitarist for Yes and also Asia. Actually Steve was not the original Yes guitar player....that was Peter Banks I believe but Howe has been with Yes so long he might as well be the original. Steve is actually pictured on the second Yes record, Time and A Word but didn't fully debut with the band until The Yes Album. He has that soaring, transcendent sound in his playing that can literally lift you off the ground...and your spirits too! This morning we put the needle down on Side 1 of the 1972 Yes classic Close To The Edge, an album the band will be featuring this summer on tour. We listened to the full title track in four parts.

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The Origins of Fleetwood Mac
Posted:Thursday, 04/03/2014 at 04:04am by Greg Easterling
We are featuring Fleetwood Mac on The Drive today. They got their start as a Brit blues band starring the once legendary Peter Green who had replaced Eric Clapton in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Of course, Fleetwood Mac has always included the locked in rhythm section of John McVie on bass and drummer Mick Fleetwood. This morning we had the early lineup's second US album entitled English Rose which was repackaged for Stateside comsumption! We tracked Side 2 this time including "Stop Messin Round" and "Something Inside of Me".

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On the Dark Side Again
Posted:Monday, 03/24/2014 at 04:03am by Greg Easterling
This morning we celebrated the 41st Anniversary of the release of Dark Side Of The Moon, one of rock's greatest and also best selling albums...it's nice when there's a connection between the two! Capitol Records already knew that Pink Floyd was bound for another record label, Columbia and that Dark Side was their last for Capitol. They might have ignored the album and refused to promote it properly but the then current president of Capitol recognized this was an important recording and made sure it was a priority. The rest is rock history as we put the needle down on Side 1 this time. Pink Floyd's legendary Dark Side Of The Moon.

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Supertramp's Crime
Posted:Friday, 03/21/2014 at 03:03am by Greg Easterling
We finished up our week of late night vinyl with Supertramp a little while ago. They weren't well known over here in the States when Crime Of The Century was released in 1974 but the success they achieved with it went a long way to change that. Crime made it to #38 on the Billboard album chart while both "Bloody Well Right" and "Dreamer" got significant FM radio airplay. It was a definate table setter for the next five records, all of which did well, especially Breakfast In America, which spent six weeks at #1. This morning we tracked Side 2 of Crime including "Dreamer" and the title track.


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The Best of ELP
Posted:Wednesday, 03/19/2014 at 04:03am by Greg Easterling
We hit the midpoint of our week with ELP this morning. These days they are sometimes overlooked especially by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But back in the day, they were a monster prog rock band blending the classics with rock. They adapted classical pieces by composers such as Copeland for a more rocked up approach. Both Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer were virtuoso performers on keyboards and drums respectively; the vocals of Greg Lake were an identifiable...and attractive feature of the band. This am, we tracked Side One of The Best of Emerson, Lake and Palmer...."Lucky Man", "Hoedown", "Karn Evil 9" and two others.


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Surviving on The Drive
Posted:Tuesday, 03/18/2014 at 03:03am by Greg Easterling
We continued our late night vinyl this morning with Chicago hometown heroes Survivor. Formed in the late Seventies by then former(and again current)frontman of The Ides Of March Jim Peterik, Survivor played area clubs and eventually secured a recording contract. Cutting "Eye Of The Tiger" for the film Rocky was a huge break. And in 1984, they recorded this morning's featured album Vital Signs and found success with two big Top Ten singles, "High On You" and "The Search Is Over". We played both of those as well as "I Can't Hold Back" as we tracked Side 1 this morning.

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