‘Fabulous Flip Sides’ of July 2015 issue

By Warren Kurtz

In our July 2015 issue, we feature acts including Ringo Starr, the Ides of March, and Deep Purple. Again this month we continue to share some lesser known flip sides from these acts to discover or rediscover.

Ringo Starr Down and Out

Ringo Starr

Flip side: Down and Out

A side: Photograph

Top 100 debut: October 6, 1973

Peak position: 1

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“Photograph” was the first of three Top 10 singles from Ringo Starr’s biggest album, 1973’s “Ringo.” While the flip sides of the next two Top 10 singles, “You’re Sixteen” and “Oh My My” could be found on the “Ringo” album, the flip side of “Photograph” was an exclusive rarity not on the album called “Down and Out.” Ringo Starr’s lyrics were sad and bluesy, “I’m down, so down and out,” but the lively music and steady rock beat hid those emotions. It sounded like a musical party with a rock entourage, similar to what moviegoers saw with Ringo Starr in George Harrison’s the “Concert for Bangladesh” film and what fans witness with Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band since its 1989 inception. There were slide guitar solos, plenty of horns, and a piano solo after Ringo Starr offered a brief introduction of “all right Gary” to Gary Wright before his key pounding rock and roll piano break. In 1991, the Ringo vinyl album was released on CD, which included the original ten songs, plus both sides of the “It Don’t Come Easy Single,” and ended with “Down and Out.”

 

Ides of March HomeThe Ides of March

Flip side: Home

A side: Superman

Top 100 debut: July 4, 1970

Peak position: 64

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In 1970, the Ides of March’s powerful, brass driven “Vehicle” became their highest charting single, reaching number two. Its flip side “Lead Me Home, Gently” was softer. For a follow up single, Warner Brothers wanted more of the same power of “Vehicle,” and the group delivered with the brass filled “Superman.” Its flip side, like the preceding flip side, was the softer “Home.” With a touch of Neil Diamond and a Classics IV sound, Jim Peterik sang that he wanted to be “home before snow covers falling leaves,” with a universal theme which could be applicable at the time to travelers and soldiers in Vietnam. The sound built up to a light brass and orchestral ending. “Home,” along with “Lead Me Home, Gently” and “Superman,” were included on the Ides of March’s 1970 “Vehicle” album. The soft side of the Ides of March continued in 1971 with their final Warner Brothers charting single “L.A. Goodbye” which peaked at number 73 nationally, from the album “Common Bond.”

 

 

Deep Purple Super TrouperDeep Purple

Flip side: Super Trouper

A side: Woman From Tokyo

Top 100 debut: April 21, 1973

Peak position: 60

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In January 1973, the year began for Deep Purple with the release of their album “Who Do We Think We Are.” Keyboardist Jon Lord was featured on both organ and piano on the opening track “Woman From Tokyo.” Ian Gillan’s pronunciation of the city seemed a bit unusual, and the back side of the album cover actually listed the song as “Woman From Tokayo.” FM radio played this song, the rapid “Smooth Dancer,” and other selections from the album. The single “Woman From Tokyo” made it into the Top 100 for a brief two weeks in April, peaking at number 80. The flip side, also from the album, was “Super Trouper” with Ian Gillan singing like his “Jesus Christ Superstar” album role with the opening line “I was a young man when I died” later followed by “I’m just a shadow in a rock and roll sky.” The keyboard and guitar blend heard throughout this Deep Purple era was present, and Ritchie Blackmore offered a bluesy guitar solo. The album went to number fifteen. Eventually, “Smoke on the Water” from the prior year’s “Machine Head” album caught on with AM radio, going to number four, and became the only gold single for the British quintet. As “Smoke on the Water” exited the Top 100, Warner Brothers re-issued “Woman From Tokyo” with “Super Trouper” on the flip side again, and it peaked at number 60.

 

Warren Kurtz writes the column Fabulous Flip Sides for Goldmine’s print publication.

857_Cover.inddThe article above references Goldmine‘s “Shining Starr″ issue (July 2015, Volume 41, No. 8, at left). If you would like a digital copy of the issue, click here. It’s only a $4.95 download! Or if you would like a print copy (the cover itself is worth framing!) call 1-800-726-9966, Ext. 13369, or e-mail missy.fenn@fwcommunity.com.

 

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