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Ten loooooong years.

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Mulling over a return to my Art Garfunkel series … but for tonight, no.

Wikipedia led me where it would the other night, and I ended up reading, album by album, through the career of Ten Years After.

The inescapable conclusion from this initiative: You could fill an entire box set with Ten Years After songs with boring, banal or otherwise unappealing names.

From start to finish, TYA’s work is shot through with song titles that evince:

  • rockheaded stupidity
  • a total lack of creative inspiration
  • grunting machismo
  • endless hey-play-that-riff-again-Charlie jamming
  • all of the above

So, I decided to compile the Ten Years After Playlist from Hell. I’m not going to go to YouTube to find videos for all these; you can just turn the names over in your head and imagine what they sound like.

(My teenage exposure to TYA suggests that most of these songs probably aren’t any more interesting or better-crafted than their names suggest. Messrs. Lee, Lee, Lyons and Churchill may have had less to say than any successful band of their generation — which is saying quite a bit.)

I’m told the radio on the bus into purgatory leans heavily on this playlist:

From Ten Years After (1967):
“Adventures of a Young Organ”
“Love Until I Die”
“Don’t Want You Woman”

From Stonedhenge (1969):
“Woman Trouble”
“A Sad Song”
“No Title”

From Ssssh (1969):
“Bad Scene”
“Two Time Mama”
“Stoned Woman”
(this, incidentally, comprises the entire first side, minus a seven-minute throttling of “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”)

From Cricklewood Green (1970):
“Working on the Road”
“50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain”
“Year 3,000 Blues”
“Love Like A Man”

From Watt (1970):
“Gonna Run”
“I Say Yeah”
“The Band with No Name”
“My Baby Left Me” (these are all originals, BTW; this isn’t an Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup cover)

From A Space In Time (1971):
“One Of These Days”
“Baby Won’t You Let Me Rock n’ Roll You”
“Hard Monkeys”
“Uncle Jam”

From Rock N’ Roll Music To The World (1972):
“Convention Prevention”
“Turned-Off TV Blues”
“Standing At The Station”
“You Can’t Win Them All”

From Recorded Live (1973):
“Classical Thing”
“Scat Thing”
“Extension on One Chord” (it runs 10:46)
“Silly Thing”
“Slow Blues in C”

From Positive Vibrations (1974):
“Nowhere To Run”
“Positive Vibrations”
“You’re Driving Me Crazy”
“I Wanted to Boogie”

From About Time (1989):
“Highway of Love”
“I Get All Shook Up”
“Saturday Night”

As a fitting coda to this exercise, the final TYA studio album to have its own Wiki page, 2004’s Now, ends with a song with the thoroughly unpromising title of “Changes.”

(How much you wanna bet “change” ends up being rhymed with either “stay the same” or “rearrange”? How much you wanna bet on both?)

# # # # #

In the interest of not dousing everything I write about in vinegar, I’ll be kind enough to close with a YouTube clip of 1972’s “Choo Choo Mama.”

It doesn’t move as nicely as I thought it did when I was 15, but it still represents TYA doing what it did best, more or less, such as it was at the time.


One response »

  1. Surprised you didn’t add “As the Sun Still Burns Away” from Cricklewood Green. Maybe it’s the tune you hear after arriving at purgatory?


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