19 July 2008

"ride captain ride" || blues image || 1970

I'm not a fan of most music from the '70s. In fact, I once made the argument to my brother that one is very hard pressed to find a hit song from the '70s that wasn't campy or ridiculous in some way. Obviously, there are exceptions ("Imagine" by John Lennon, I suppose), and I don't really consider this one of them.

British music was really really really really really cool in the early '70s, so I think it's neato that this little band from Tampa was able to pull off a hit song amidst all the Brit-hype. Singer Mike Pinera has a very unusual voice for this kind of music. He almost sounds like an aging blues singer who can't fully break from his gutteral nature to sing a rock song. The really cool thing, though, is that it totally works.

I read this quote from Pinera about the process of writing this song, and I absolutely need to share it here:

"I went into the bathroom, and I shut the door, and I just meditated. I calmed my mind, and I started hearing music. I went out and sat at the piano, which was a Rhodes Model No. 73, which had 73 keys. So I say, 'Okay, I need a first word.' And what came into my head was 73. I liked the rhythm, and I went, '73 men sailed in, from the San Francisco Bay.' The song sort of just wrote itself from there." (Source)

It's a cool little story that matches one of the coolest, if not the coolest song from that era.

It's a shame that Blues Image was never able to match the success of their hit song, but really, did they need to? This song is still an icon of the '70s, and it still often appears in '70s flashbacks in popular movies and television shows. And if that doesn't tell you that you wrote a cool song, I don't know what does.


Available On:
Anchorman (Soundtrack)UniversalB0002864-02CD