High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Friday, August 20, 2010

Perfect Storms: The 10 Most Exciting Records...Ever! (Part 12)

Now let's have a look at the 5 most exciting records to come out of the United Kingdom during the rock 'n roll era.

5. “Won’t Get Fooled Again” – The Who (July 1971)

Featuring one of the greatest primal screams in rock history, "Won't Get Fooled Again" just had to be included on my list
of most exciting songs.

The 45rpm edit version is a blast, but the full length Who's Next album track is an eight-and-a-half minute thrill ride that's hard to beat! No foolin'...

4. “Whole Lotta Love” – Led Zeppelin (December 1969)

Led Zeppelin brought the 1960's to a close by crushing it to death with a heavy metal steamroller - 5-and-a-half minutes of musical madness and mayhem entitled "Whole Lotta Love."

By decade's end sweet soul music was all funked up. Reluctantly at first but later with great enthusiasm I embraced hard rock performed by Joplin, Hendrix, Cream, Steppenwolf and Iron Butterfly; yet nothing prepared me for Led Zeppelin. The sound this English band was putting down was so new to me that it seemed to have been imported, not from another country, but from another galaxy! A huge fan of soul and the blues, lead vocalist Robert Plant derived "Whole Lotta Love" from "You Need Love," a song written by blues giant Willie Dixon and recorded in 1962 by blues legend Muddy Waters. Plant, Page and company took the song to its ultimate extreme.

Came a roar and a thunder men had never heard
Like the screamin' sound of a big war bird!

3. “My Generation” – The Who (January 1966)

As a teenager I belonged to a Who tribute band. We called ourselves the What When Where Why & How?

In an ill-conceived attempt to make our stage act even more exciting than that of the originals, we routinely destroyed our musical instruments... before each performance! It didn't take long for our dreams of stardom to fuh-fuh-fuh-fade away!

2. “Helter Skelter” – Beatles (November 1968)

The Beatles pulled out all the stops in an effort to record the hardest rock song of their career. The result was the blistering "Helter Skelter," one of the best known tracks on the White Album.

Listening to "Helter Skelter" can be a harrowing experience...

especially when one remembers how the song and the album fueled Charlie Manson's fantasies of world domination.

1. “I Only Want to Be With You” - Dusty Springfield (February 1964)

How, you might ask, can a pop solo by Dusty Springfield surpass all of the hard rock anthems on my list? Remember how Michael shocked the house and wowed millions of TV viewers with his moonwalk on Motown 25? It was one of those a star is born moments.

Watching Dusty sing "I Only Want to Be With You" in front of a live audience thrills me just as much. When recording artists sing live rather than performing a lip sync they sometimes disappoint. Not so with Dusty Springfield. Her ability to sell the song, to punch it out with total confidence is what catapulted her to the top of my exciting list. To me nothing can match the excitement of a single performer summoning the courage to do what would petrify most of us - stand alone on stage and face an audience of millions with one chance to get it right - no prerecorded vocal track to use as a safety net - no band mates on stage to take up the slack in case of a stumble or forgotten lyrics. Dusty met that awesome challenge. She brought her best.

Watch, listen, and learn as Dusty Springfield delivers one of the most exciting performances of the rock 'n roll era. This was Dusty's moonwalk. This was her star is born moment!

That, ladies and gentlemen, is called nailing it!
It's pure joy! It gives me goose bumps!

That completes the semifinal competition in all four music categories: Pre-Beatles, Post-Beatles, R&B/Soul, and British Invasion. Don't miss Part 13, the last of the series, coming up this fall. Finalists from each division will go head to head to determine The 10 Most Exciting Records...Ever!

Have a Shady day!


  1. I am really impressed, but I guess I shouldn't be, that you included the info about the original "Whole Lotta Love" recorded in the Doo Wop era. I can't say that many people are aware of that bit of trivia.

  2. In the interest of full disclosure, complete candor, and absolute transparency, I must admit that I looked into the history of the song only after Mr. Jerre Slaybaugh informed me of its origin. Thanks for your comment, Jerre!


You talkin' to me?