Doggone, how I love them old songs

No one can claim that Dodger Stadium, or any stadium, has the best acoustics for rock music, or any music.  But this is 2017, and the sound technicians these days are capable of wondrous things.

If the musicians involved still have the chops to offer convincing live performances, there’s no reason why such events can’t be an overwhelming success.

Witness the universally acclaimed “Desert Tour” three-day event out on the Coachella grounds in Indio, CA, last October.  Loads of money — $160 million — was made on that baby, a fact that didn’t escape the attention of other promoters.

ClassicWestcoverIrving Azoff, the scrappy multi-millionaire who got his start micro-managing The Eagles in their heyday, sure as hell noticed.  He saw an opportunity to copycat that success with “The Classic,” a two-day event featuring six major classic rock bands (all of whom he manages, by the way).  He would one-up things by staging his concerts on BOTH coasts — July 15-16 in L.A. and July 29-30 in New York.

He was right, of course.  The LA extravaganza last weekend was a huge win commercially and, luckily for him, it was a dramatic artistic success as well.  Not perfect, mind you, but really friggin’ awesome.

As usual, the cynics (and there were many) raised questions.  How many of the original members were still on stage in the lineup?  Could anyone still hit the high notes?  Would they be a shadow of their former selves?  Let’s take a look.

Night #1

The Doobie Brothers

There have been more than two dozen musicians over the years who could claim to have been a Doobie Brother at some point.  And the group has always been something of a dichotomy:  The rock and roll boogie music of the original 1972-1975 Tom Johnston era, DoobieBrothersCoverand the softer R&B-laced music of the 1976-1982 Michael McDonald period.  But this gig was all about the early stuff; McDonald was nowhere to be seen, choosing to remain a solo artist.  And that was fine with me, if not with a segment of the audience.

Johnston was the founder, the singer/songwriter/guitarist behind the classic rock warhorses like “Listen to the Music,” “China Grove,” “Long Train Runnin’,” “Rockin’ Down the Highway,” “Sweet Maxine,” “Take Me In Your Arms” and “Jesus is Just Alright,” and he led the band through spirited versions of all of these.  Just as important, however, is the great Pat Simmons, the singer/songwriter/guitarist who served in both versions of The doobies2Doobies.  His songs have played an important roll in the group’s legacy, from sleepers like “Clear as the Driven Snow” to perhaps their most popular track, the southern/country staple “Black Water.”

Multi-instrumentalist John McFee, who joined the band back in 1979 and has been pretty much a steady member ever since, was on hand to contribute some fine guitar, vocals, fiddle and harmonica as needed.  And it was a pleasant surprise to see the great Bill Payne (from Little Feat) holding court on keyboards.   Otherwise, the stage was filled with new faces providing drums, percussion and bass.

The sound quality was rather erratic, sad to say; sometimes the guitar solos rang out clear as a bell, yet in other instances the mix was rather muddy.  Primarily for this reason, I give them a grade of 7.5 on a 1-10 scale.  Not bad, not bad at all, but I’ve heard them much sharper in previous shows.

Steely Dan

Except for its first year or two of existence, Steely Dan is, in fact, not really a band at all, but the brainchild of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker.  These two musical wizards 815176942wrote all of the wondrous songs in the repertoire, and have assembled an ever-changing gang of crack session musicians to capture the guitar, keyboard, sax and background vocal parts they envisioned for their quirky but irresistible material.

Becker was absent at this gig, apparently with some sort of undisclosed illness, but his shoes were capably filled by jazz guitar virtuoso Larry Carlton on guitar, who had Classic_West_Steely_Dan_07152017_MA_002played the key guitar solos on Steely Dan recordings like “Kid Charlemagne,” “Don’t Take Me Alive” and “Josie.”  The rest of the lineup included the mostly anonymous types Fagen has employed for decades who deserve our attention, especially the dominant four-man horn section, and the young drummer (not identified) who mastered the difficult time signatures and drum fills of numbers like “Aja” and “Bodhisattva.”

Fagen, meanwhile, did his usual admirable job on vocals and keyboards, leading the band through its tricky paces on “Green Earring,” “Time Out of Mind” and “Babylon Sisters.”  The Steely Dan catalog is such an extraordinary cornucopia of fabulous songs, from the oldies “Dirty Work” and “Reelin’ in the Years” to later work like “Hey Nineteen” and “Black Cow,” which allow ample room for the various musicians to stretch out.

A great, although brief, set; they were ushered off far too quickly, in my opinion.  Still, I give their gig an 8.5, leaning toward 9.

The Eagles

This was the one everyone was talking about.  It was the first time the band attempted a full-blown live show since Glenn Frey‘s death 18 months ago, and plenty of people wondered about the wisdom of staging an Eagles show without him.  Hell, Led Zeppelin disbanded when they lost their drummer.  Shouldn’t this band hang it up without their co-founder/co-songwriter/co-singer?

SonFor this special concert, they came up with a clever way to fill the void:  They invited Frey’s talented son Deacon Frey to play guitar and sing with them, AND they recruited country music giant Vince Gill to offer his vocals and guitar as well.  The result was a thoroughly satisfying, emotional, energetic performance of 20 songs from The Eagles’ enviable catalog of sweet ballads and kickass rockers, carried by stellar harmonies throughout.

Appropriately, the setlist leaned mostly toward material that Frey had sung and/or written — “Take It Easy,” “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” “Tequila Sunrise,” “Already Gone,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” “New Kid in Town,” “Heartache Tonight” — with either Gill or young Frey leading the way.  The latter song was marked by a surprise appearance by Frey’s old Detroit friend Bob Seger, although his vocals were largely hidden under the thick harmonies.

Don Henley, of course, played a crucial role as ringleader, drummer, occasional guitarist and singer of classics like “One of These Nights,” “Witchy Woman” and “The Best of My Love,” and a rare performance of “The Last Resort,” the dramatic closer on their “Hotel California” album.  I was pleased they still made room for Timothy B. Schmidt‘s warm moment in the sun, “I Can’t Tell You Why,” a huge crowd favorite.

mgid-uma-image-cmtBut here’s the thing about Saturday night’s show:  The crowd was actually treated to not three attractions, but four.  The irrepressible Joe Walsh, a mighty solo artist in his own right, hijacked the final third of the show with a six-song set that featured his amazing guitar work and immediately identifiable voice, cranking up the energy level a few notches in the process.  There was “In The City,” his tune from “The Long Run”; there were “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Hotel California,” both highlighted by Walsh’s searing guitar riffs and solos; there were his two biggest solo hits, “Rocky Mountain Way” and “Life’s Been Good”; and there was even a welcome dip back into his James Gang days with 1970’s “Funk #49.”

Grade:  9.5

It’s not at all clear whether The Eagles will tour (or record) with this lineup after these two Classic appearances.  Henley hedged the subject by thanking the fans for their decades of support:  “In case this is our last dance, I want to thank all our fans in Southern California.  It all started right here with you in Los Angeles 46 years ago…and we’re very grateful.”

 

Night #2

Earth Wind and Fire

It’s a testimony to this band’s founder and visionary, Maurice White, who died last year, that they are able to continue on without him in such a vibrant, polished way.  Anchored by the vocals and on-stage leadership of Philip Bailey, the ensemble that makes up Earth ewf12Wind & Fire did the impossible:  They got 50,000+ aging rock fans to get up off their asses and dance in the hot sunshine.

“Sing a Song,” “Shinin’ Star,” “Getaway,” “September,” “That’s the Way of the World,” “Fantasy,” “Got to Get You Into My Life,” “After the Love Has Gone” — you all know the hits, and boy, did they play them.  The 10-man assembly, which included original members Verdine White on bass/vocals and Ralph Johnson on drums/vocals — gave a well choreographed, dynamic performance that included a heartfelt tribute to White in a photo montage during “Serpentine Fire,” and the stadium crowd responded enthusiastically.  Grade:  8.

Journey

For me, this was the puzzle piece that didn’t fit in The Classic’s six-band roster.  Journey was a mid-’70s progressive rock/fusion band born from the breakup of Santana’s original lineup who then made the switch to power ballads and high-volume rock with the addition of Steve Perry in 1978.  Perry chose to part company years ago, and although he was happy to show up for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a few months back, he declined to participate in this high-profile event.

No matter:   The group discovered — through YouTube — an uncanny Steve Perry imitator 815809360named Arnel Pineda, who is already approaching 20 years with the group, and he can (and did) convincingly belt out every Journey track you could possibly want.  And he jumped around the stage like a mischievous chimp, despite being almost 50 himself, making most of the 60+ folks who walked this stage over the weekend look like geriatrics in comparison.

Not sure why, but the sound crew for Journey felt the need to crank the sound levels way beyond tolerable — many decibels beyond every other band we heard over the weekend — and that made their set a bit of an endurance test.  I won’t lie, I’m not much of a Journey fan to begin with, and I sure didn’t need to hear their setlist at rocket-launch volume.  But I was journey12certainly impressed by Neal Schon‘s incendiary guitar work, Jonathan Cain‘s keyboards, and Pineda’s exuberance.

The crowd absolutely loved Journey, and their greatest hits set list:  “Open Arms, “Wheel in the Sky,” “Who’s Crying Now,” “Separate Ways,” “Any Way You Want It,” “Lights,” “Faithfully,” “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin'”…  so I guess I’m in the minority, but these guys were by far my least favorite of the six acts.  I give them a 7.

Fleetwood Mac

With the bar set pretty high by The Eagles’ impressive headliner show the previous evening, expectations were fairly lofty for the kings and queens of LA classic rock to come through with a memorable performance to close out the proceedings on Sunday night.

960x0Some critics, most notably the LA times reviewer, lambasted them for “phoning it in” with a setlist identical to other recent gigs.  While I agree the band could’ve juggled the agenda a bit with a couple less-often-heard album tracks (“Over My Head”? “Sisters of the Moon”? “Blue Letter”?), it’s my view that the band stepped up with a solid show that thrilled the faithful and demonstrated their popularity remains sky-high.  I can confidently give it a solid 9.

Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie — the two ladies whose beautifully constructed songs of cunning mystery and sunny pop, respectively, have put Fleetwood Mac on the charts for so many years — didn’t disappoint.  From the warm melodies of McVie’s “Everywhere” abcnewsradioonline.comGetty_FleetwoodMac_032917-c991e0143b136b68d293d9831f97ea6593b3acecand “You Make Loving Fun” to the compelling dramas of Nicks’ “Gold Dust Woman” and “Rhiannon,” the balance struck between them provided a satisfying mix of light and dark, made clearer by visuals and lighting that complemented the work at hand.

But make no mistake about it:  Lindsey Buckingham is the guts and the genius of this group.  His astonishing acoustic guitar on 1987’s “Big Love” and sizzling electric guitar on the amazing “I’m So Afraid” and the encore, “Go Your Own Way,” reminded one and all who holds the baton in this Mac symphony.  Any list of the premier guitarists in the 25661_show_landscape_large_01business should include Buckingham in the Top Twenty.  And his songwriting and vocals are crucial as well.

Buckingham said in a recent interview that he agreed to do this gig only as a favor to manager Azoff, because otherwise, his attention is focused, as always, toward the present and the future, not the past.  He and Christine McVie, in fact, have just released an excellent “duo” album of accomplished tracks that, with Mick Fleetwood on drums and John McVie on bass for most of the recordings, essentially amounts to a new Fleetwood Mac album…if only Nicks would have contributed 3-4 songs from her latest in-the-works solo project.

***********

And that begs the question:  Why aren’t these bands trying to challenge their audiences, even just a little, by playing some of the songs they’ve written and recorded recently?  In the case of Buckingham/McVie, they’re heading out on the road soon to support the new album, and apparently chose to hold the new stuff for those shows.  But what about The Eagles?  They put out a remarkably great album, “Long Road Out of Eden,” in 2007 that has several great tracks worthy of inclusion in a 2017 setlist.  Journey, too, released a top 5 album, “Revelation,” in 2008 but ignored it on Sunday.  And Steely Dan had a Grammy-winning LP, “Two Against Nature,” in 2000, and another, “Everything Must Go,” in 2003.  Why not give us a taste?

I’ll tell you why:  This was, after all, “The Classic (West),” and the idea, clearly, was to offer classic rock bands playing exclusively classic rock music.  Of the 97 songs performed by these six artists, only two are more recent than thirty years old (The Doobies’ “The Doctor” from 1989, Fleetwood Mac’s “Bleed to Love Her” from 1997).  These bands know what their bread-and-butter fans want:  a trip down the proverbial memory lane that these love fests provide.

They delivered, and then some.  And I guess it’s kind of hard to argue with that.

 

Every single day, I’ll be watching you

“They call it stormy Monday, but Tuesday’s just as bad… Wednesday’s worse, and Thursday’s also sad…  The eagle flies on Friday, and Saturday I go out to play… Sunday I go to church, and I kneel down and pray…”  T-Bone Walker, 1947

**********

I was heading out early on a recent gloomy Monday morning, and sure enough, the radio was playing the 1966 classic, “Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day…”

How appropriate, I muttered to myself.  And naturally, it occurred to me that “songs about days of the week” might make a decent topic for exploration on this blog.

weekly-blank-calendar-on-dry-erase-boards-with-key-chain-holder

It should probably come as no surprise that there are more popular songs with lyrics and titles about Saturday and Sunday than all the other days combined.  Why not?  We love our weekends, after all.

Curiously, there don’t seem to be many songs about Friday.  Perhaps that’s because it’s both a workday and a weekend night, so the day is actually a bit schizophrenic.

It’s interesting to note that, according to my rudimentary research, it’s dreaded Monday that ranks third in pop song mentions.  Maybe it’s because we love to complain about the things we dislike almost as much as we love to celebrate the things we like.

And consequently, it makes sense that there are precious few songs about those nondescript days in midweek, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

***********

cover_4For poor Wednesday, I could come up with only two — Simon and Garfunkel’s obscure 1964 ballad “Wednesday Morning 3AM” (which doesn’t even mention Wednesday in the lyrics), and a silly track sung by Seal called “Ashley Wednesday” from 2016’s tongue-in-cheek parody film “Popstar:  Never Stop Never Stopping.”

*************

Thursday fared only a little better.  The Pet Shop Boys 12th album, 2013’s “Electric,” includes “Thursday,” which finds a young man eager to know if the girl he’s pursuing on Thursday will be sticking around through Sunday:  “Thursday, then Friday, it’s soon gonna be the weekend, let’s start it tonight, babe, stay with me for the R-1062557-1479095850-3643.jpegweekend, it’s Thursday night, let’s get it right…”  David Bowie came up with a great tune on his 2003 LP “Hours…” called “Thursday’s Child,” and on Donovan’s second album “Fairytale” (1965) is a strange little ditty called “Jersey Thursday.

************

I identified a half-dozen tunes whose titles mention Tuesday:

Tuesday’s Dead,” from Cat Stevens’ “Teaser and the Firecat” album (1971);  “Tuesday Afternoon,” the classic single from the Moody Blues’ landmark 1967 LP, “Days of Future Passed;  “Sun Comes Up, It’s Tuesday Morning,” The Cowboy Junkies, 1990;  “Tuesday’s maxresdefault-27Gone,” the seven-minute opus from Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 1973 debut;  “Tuesday Heartbreak,” a catchy funk tune on Stevie Wonder’s 1972 LP “Talking Book”;  “Everything’s Tuesday,” Chairmen of the Board (1970);  “Sweet Tuesday Morning,” an obscure album track from Badfinger’s “Straight Up” (1971);  and The Rolling Stones’ third #1 single, “Ruby Tuesday,” from their “Between the Buttons” album in early 1967.

***********

Friday is represented in a big way by the 1967 Easybeats classic “Friday on My Mind,” which discusses how we bravely endure the work week as we look forward to monday_i_have_fridaycelebrating the arrival of the weekend each Friday:  “Monday morning feels so bad, everybody seems to nag me, comin’ Tuesday, I feel better, even my old man looks good, Wednesday just don’t go, Thursday goes too slow, I got Friday on my mind…”  Also worth noting are “Black Friday,” the leadoff track from Steely Dan’s excellent 1975 album “Katy Lied,” which touches on the day the stock market crashed in 1929;  “Friday,” an energetic Joe Jackson song from his influential “I’m the Man” LP (1978); and a spooky progressive rock track by Peter Gabriel-era Genesis called “Get ‘Em Out by Friday,” from their “Foxtrot” album (1972).  Lastly, “Friday I’m in Love,” one of two songs by The Cure to make it to the Top 20 on the US singles chart, celebrates the day when everything goes right:  “Monday you can fall apart, Tuesday, Wednesday, break my heart, oh, Thursday doesn’t even start, it’s Friday I’m in love, Saturday wait, and Sunday always comes too late, but Friday never hesitate…”

**********

Pop songwriters have had little good to say about Mondays:

mondaymondayPapa John Phillips of The Mamas and The Papas came up with the “Monday, Monday” lyrics that permanently cursed Monday in pop culture:  “Every other day of the week is fine, fine, but whenever Monday comes, you’ll find me crying all of the time…”

The Bangles rode to success in 1986 on the strength of Prince’s song “Manic Monday,” which reminds us of the drudgery of another workday commute and how much fun Sunday was by comparison:  “It’s just another Manic Monday, I wish it was Sunday, that’s my fun day, my I-don’t-have-to-run day…”

Bob Geldof of The Boomtown Rats isn’t all that well known in the US, except for his pivotal role in organizing the Live Aid concerts in 1985, but he was a star in his native England, where his biggest hit was a 1979 chart-topper that went like this:  “Tell me why I Don’t Like Mondays, I want to shoot the whole day down…”

Lindsey Buckingham’s “Monday Morning” from the 1975 Fleetwood Mac LP starts out positively, saying “You look so fine,” but soon moans, “First you love me, then you fade away, I can’t go on believing this way…”

The songwriting team of Paul Williams and Roger Nichols had their first major success with “Rainy Days and Mondays,” a #2 hit for The Carpenters in 1971:  “What I’ve got they used to call the blues, nothing is really wrong, feeling like I don’t belong, walking around, some kind of lonely clown, rainy days and Mondays always get me down…”

Monday honorable mention:  “Come Monday,” Jimmy Buffett, 1974;  “New Moon on Monday,” Duran Duran, 1983;  “Blue Monday,” Fats Domino, 1957.

***********

Ahh, but Saturday!  Several dozen songs turned up in my search, a few with sad overtones but mostly praising the week’s best day/night.

another-saturday-night-sam-cookeAnother Saturday Night,” a hit for Sam Cooke in 1963 and later Cat Stevens in 1974, finds the narrator alone: “How I wish I had someone to talk to, I’m in an awful way”;    The Eagles’ lament “Saturday Night” from their “Desperado” album asks, “Whatever happened to Saturday night, finding a sweetheart and holding her tight, she said ‘Tell me, oh tell me, was I all right?’  Whatever happened to Saturday night?”

Frank Sinatra comes right out with his bleak critique in the 1944 torch song “Saturday is the Loneliest Night of the Week“;

Mostly, it’s good times all the way:

Robert Lamm of the venerable band Chicago spent a Saturday afternoon in Central Park, listening to the steel drums and singers, watching dancers and jugglers, and said, ‘Man, I’ve got to put music to this,” and he wrote “Saturday in the Park” “People dancing, eadc34484d68f48d8e1ba0347762c3a3--song-quotes-music-quotespeople laughing, a man selling ice cream, singing Italian songs… and I’ve been waiting such a long time for Saturday…”

The Grateful Dead were arguably at their peak in 1972 when they released their outstanding 3-record live package, “Europe ’72,” which includes the rousing “One More Saturday Night”:  “The temperature keeps rising, everybody getting high, come the rockin’ stroke of midnight, the whole place gonna fly, oh hey, one more Saturday night…”

Good ol’ boy Charlie Daniels, God love him, came up with “Saturday Night Down South,” a soothing beauty from 1989 in which he paints a serene picture of how the weekend night can also be delightful when it’s mellow and slow-paced:  “Full moon shining through the long-leaf pines, fireflies playing in the honeysuckle vine, everybody’s groovin’, everything’s just fine, ’cause it’s Saturday night down south…”

In 1973, as they collaborated on the songs for the landmark “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” LP, Elton John and Bernie Taupin came up with “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting,” which says it’s okay now and then to get involved in a few dust-ups on a weekend night: “Don’t give me none of your aggravation, I’ve had it with your discipline, Saturday night’s alright for fighting, get a little action in…”

The tragic story of multi-talented Nick Drake, who died a young troubled man in 1974, includes the poignant “Saturday Sun,” from his 1969 debut LP, “Five Leaves Left”:  “Saturday sun came early one morning in a sky so clear and blue, Saturday sun came without warning, so no one knew what to do…”

Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd turned Saturday night into a chilling tale of murder in their 1974 song “Saturday Night Special,” referring also to the gun he uses to commit his foul deeds:  “Mister Saturday night special, got s barrel that’s blue and cold, ain’t good for nothing buy to put a man six feet in the hole…”

The great Brill Building songwriting team of Barry Mann & Cynthia Weill came up with the endearing “Saturday Night at the Movies,” a #18 hit for The Drifters in 1964 (#3 in England):  “Saturday night at the movies, who cares what picture you see, when you’re hugging with your baby in the last row of the balcony?…”

Saturday honorable mention:  “Saturday Nite,” Earth Wind & Fire, 1976;  “The Heart of Saturday Night,” Tom Waits, 1974;  “Saturday Freedom,” Blue Cheer, 1969;  “Drive-In Saturday,” David Bowie, 1973;  “Saturday,” The Judybats, 1992;  “Saturday Night,” The Commodores, 1981;  “Saturday at Midnight,” Cheap Trick, 1982;  “On a Saturday Night,” Journey, 1976;  “Save Me a Saturday Night,” Neil Diamond, 2005;  “Almost Saturday Night,” John Fogerty, 1975;   “Saturday Night Forever,” Pet Shop Boys, 1996;  “Black Saturday,” Soundgarden, 2012;  “Saturday Night,” Bay City Rollers, 1978.

*************

Finally, supposedly our day of rest, Sunday:

sunday-bloody-sunday-nyc-iran-550x298Bono and U2, always fiercely Irish, made an emphatic statement in 1983’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday” about the January 1972 Sunday afternoon killing of unarmed protesters by British soldiers in the early ’70s.  But it’s really a cry out against violence and unrest everywhere:  “Mothers, children, brothers, sisters, torn apart, Sunday, bloody Sunday, how long?  How long must we sing this song?…”

Carole King and soon-to-be-ex-husband Gerry Goffin wrote “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” a critical look at the monotony of suburban life,  just as their marriage and songwriting maxresdefault-28team were falling apart, and The Monkees made it a big #4 hit in 1967:  “Another pleasant valley Sunday, charcoal burning everywhere, rows of houses that are all the same, and no one seems to care…”

Kris Kristofferson, songwriter extraordinaire, came up with “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” a gem about dealing with the hangovers and regrets of Sunday following the excesses of Saturday.  He and Johnny Cash each recorded it, and they performed it together part of The Highwaymen:  “Well I woke up Sunday morning with no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt, and the beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad, so I had one more, for dessert…  And there’s nothing short of dying, half as lonesome as the sound, on the sleeping city sidewalks, Sunday morning coming down…”

When the relationship doesn’t work out and you wake up Sunday morning on your own, The Doobie Brothers’ “Another Park, Another Sunday,” from 1974’s “What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits” should help ease the pain:  “My car is empty and the radio just seems to bring me down, I’m just trying to find myself, a pretty smile I can get into, it’s true, I’m lost without you, another lonely park, another Sunday, it’s dark and empty, thanks to you…”

Sunday Will Never Be the Same” is a classic bit of vocal bubblegum pop from Elaine “Spanky” McFarlane and Our Gang in 1967:  “I remember Sunday morning, I would meet him at the park, we’d walk together hand in hand ’til it was almost dark, now I wake up Sunday morning, walk along the lane to find, nobody waiting fort me, Sunday’s just another day…”

Blondie_sundaygirlBlondie’s song “Sunday Girl,” from their 1978 hit album “Parallel Lines,” describes an elusive girl who wants to join the fun but has doubts and reservations:  “I know a girl from a lonely street, cold as ice cream but still as sweet, dry your eyes, Sunday girl, hey, I saw your guy with a different girl, looks like he’s in another world, run and hide, Sunday girl…”

Paul McCartney’s solo career is full of joyous anthems and embarrassing filler, but there are also beautiful sleepers like “Heaven on a Sunday,” a lovely piece from 1997’s “Flaming Pie”:  “Peaceful, like heaven on a Sunday, wishful, not thinking what to do, we’ve been calling it love, but it’s a dream we’re going through, and if I only had one love, yours would be the one I choose…”

Sunday honorable mentions:  “Sunday,” The Cranberries, 1993;  “Everyday is Like Sunday,” Morrissey, 1988;  “Sunny Sunday,” Joni Mitchell, 1998;  “Sunday Morning Call,” Oasis, 2000;  “Sunday Kind of Love,” Etta James, 1960;  “On Sunday,” ‘Til Tuesday, 1986;  “I Met Him on a Sunday,” The Shirelles, 1961:  “Black Sunday,” Jethro Tull, 1980;  “Loving You Sunday Morning,” The Scorpions, 1979;  “Sunday in New York,” Bobby Darin, 1964;  “Sunday Morning,” The Velvet Underground, 1967;  “Raining on Sunday,” Keith Urban, 2002.