A look back at the music performed by Taylor Hicks and the era....by Taylor's Angels

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

1970-1972

Take Me To The Pilot





Bernie Taupin wrote and composed this song for Elton John's second album in 1970. Bernie has no clue what the lyrics mean but says it all sounded good together. According to Elton, this and other songs recorded during this period were inspired by the science fiction books Bernie was reading at the time.

Take Me To The Pilot from cydter on Vimeo.


Taylor performed "Take Me To The Pilot" at the Ameristar Casino in Kansas City. It was the first time he added this song to the concert tour set list.

Relix Magazine had this to say about Taylor performing this song:

"Perhaps what made Hicks a contest champion became evident by show’s end as the band eased into Elton John’s “Take Me to the Pilot” without a hint of misplaced showmanship. The man appears determined to deliver the entertainment goods his way and if that means that he earns his crown via the road one gig at a time then it is certainly a setting he embraces without qualification."


Levon


This song is a tribute to Levon Helm the drummer from THE BAND. This is from Elton John's sixth album released in 1971.



Taylor sang this song on American Idol saying it was a song about family value. He dedicated it to his father. Simon gave him great reviews on this performance and told him he was wrong when he told him he could not make the finals.


Call Me The Breeze


"Call Me the Breeze" is a song by J.J. Cale . It first appeared on his 1971debut album, Naturally, as the opening track. The song consists of a 12-bar blues guitar shuffle over the backing of a primitive dru m machine.


Call Me The Breeze from cydter on Vimeo.

Taylor performed this on tour for the first time at Universal Studios in Orlando. It was also featured in Work Play DVD with LMBO. It was a favorite cover, often performed by Taylor and LMBO.


Going Mobile


This is about taking a vacation by riding around in a car with no particular destination. It was something Pete Townshend liked to do.
Pete Townshend wrote this. It was part of his "Lifehouse" project, which was a film script featuring The Who in a future world where Rock 'n' Roll saves the masses. When the movie lost funding, The Who scrapped plans for a double album and released most of the songs on Who's Next. This was much lighter and more simplified than the other songs on the album.
For the solo, Townshend ran his guitar through a device called an Envelope Follower. It was a type of synthesizer distortion that made it sound like he was playing under water.


Going Mobile from cydter on Vimeo.

Taylor first performed this cover at none other than the Mobile Civic Center in Mobile, Alabama! He said he was listening to the original and thought this was a good song to describe the mood they were in while on tour.



Take Me Home Country Roads



This was released as a single in the spring of 1971. It broke nationally in mid-April, but moved up the charts very slowly. Denver pushed RCA records to keep promoting the song, and their persistence paid off when it became a huge hit that summer.

This was John Denver's first big hit ("Friends With You" charted at #47 earlier in the year), and it established him as a crossover artist with appeal to Pop, Country and Easy Listening audiences.

Denver didn't write this song. In fact, when he recorded it he had never even been to West Virginia. Two musicians, Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert, wrote it while driving to Maryland - they'd never been to West Virginia either! Danoff got his inspiration from postcards sent to him by a friend who DID live there.



Randy thought it was a decent choice but that the vocal was not that great, with little personality. Paula agreed and said that the song choice didn’t highlight his abilities . Simon thought it was safe, boring, lazy with no rehearsal and nothing special. This was not one of Taylor's favorite performances according to interviews that followed.




Use Me

This song is about a guy whose girlfriend walks all over him. His friends try to convince him to break up with her, but he enjoys the abuse and won't consider leaving.
Still Bill was Withers' second album. It also included his hit "Lean On Me."
Artists who covered this song include Grace Jones, Al Jarreau, Hootie & The Blowfish, Better Than Ezra and Widespread Panic.



Taylor only played this song once during his tour, he performed it at HOB in NOLA. It was also featured as a duet on the Workplay CD/DVD with Elliot Yamin and LMBO.
Taylor performed it once again during the Asian Tour in 2007.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a fabulous idea and I am loving it all. Thanks so much for this, TA!

~Gypsee~

juliegr said...

Facinating ~~~ loved the direct comparisons of Taylor's performances with the original artists.

Thanks

KarinP said...

Great job on this blog, TA! Interesting information to read and I loved the videos too.

Thanks!