Curved Air – Back Street Luv (Leaping Ahead #272)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #272: 160928

[Song from 28.9.71]

Formed in 1970 by musicians from mixed artistic backgrounds, including classical, folk, and electronic, the resulting sound of the band was a mixture of progressive rock, folk rock, and fusion with classical elements. Along with High Tide and East of Eden, Curved Air were one of the first rock bands after It’s a Beautiful Day and the United States of America to feature a violin. They released eight studio albums, the first three of which broke the UK Top 20, and had a hit single with “Back Street Luv” which reached number 4 in the UK Singles Chart.

Janis Joplin – Mercedes Benz (Leaping Ahead #269)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #269: 160925

[A song about cars (2)]

The song’s lyrics were written at Vahsen’s, a Port Chester, New York bar at 30 Broad Street on August 8, 1970 during an impromptu poetry jam between Joplin and songwriter-friend Bob Neuwirth.The lyrics were inspired by the first line of a song written by San Francisco beat poet Michael McClure, “Come on, God, and buy me a Mercedes Benz.” Joplin heard it sung by a friend of McClure’s, and she began to sing it, too. At the Port Chester bar, Joplin sang the line a few times and began riffing on the McClure lyrics, while Neuwirth copied the new lyrics onto bar napkins, which he kept for years. She sang the new version for the first time that night at her concert at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester.

The song was recorded in one take on October 1, 1970. It was amongst the last tracks Joplin ever recorded as she died three days later, on October 4.