Uncle Ray's Psychedelic Soul

Episode #9 Influence.

Monday, March 17

One of the most fun things about social media is passing around  lists , contributing your take on top 10s. Whether it be films or movies actors, records, books, restaurants  or whatever the case, it’s always fun to see what influenced and excites your friends and your peers.

Of course when we are at home figuring these out, many of us consider the coolest things to put up on our list to make us as hip as possible and  to show you where our taste lie.

I’ve responded to no less than 10 of these and they change a little now and then but as far as the albums go,  I know of my top 10.  So I’ve almost got my desert island discs memorized

It goes something like this

1) Sly and the family Stone

“There’s a Riot Going On”

2) The Pretenders  S/T

3) Love S/T

4) The Specials S/T

5) Steely Dan  “Aja”

6) The Beatles “Rubber Soul”

7) A Tribe Called Quest “The Lower End Theory”

8) Cheap trick “At Budakan”

9) Beck “Midnight Vultures”

10) The B-52s S/T

This is a collection of big influences, if not that, records I could listen to every day, over and over.

One time while filling out a Facebook one I ran across an acquaintance’s list and he actually opened my eyes to where my true influences came from. His list consisted of so many records that were huge of my childhood, and he got me thinking,

Is it really influential records or the first records we heard over and over that influence our tastes?


The real list looks a little more like this-

Sesame Street


Three Dog Night “Harmony”

3 Dog Night


Bay City Rollers s/t

Bay City Rollers


Herb Alpert “Whipped Cream”



Jackson 5ive “I Want You Back” (cut from the back of a cereal box)


The Osmonds “Phase 3”


Multiplication Rock


American Graffiti soundtrack


“This Is Tom Jones”


Elton John

“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” (*)


Kiss “Alive” ($)


(*) there’s a great and important story from my perspective on why “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” was such an influential record to me.

My family was going on a trip to the Virgin Islands in 1973. We were staying at a friends vacation home and my mother told us they had a stereo down there and my sister and I started packing records to take with us. We’re trying to figure out (her with LPs me with 45s) how to gingerly pack vinyl into our suitcases. When my mom figured out what was going on she threw a fit and told us we could each take one record, as there would be plenty of records down there, as the family had several teenagers.  I brought was the last thing that I had purchased, a 45 of the Carpenters singing “Mr. Postman”, I’m embarrassed to say. My sister just bought the double vinyl of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” Looking back surely one of the coolest thing she ever did. Unfortunately for my parents they didn’t have many records down there in the islands of St. Croix (I kind of knew teenagers don’t leave their music behind). Their collection included Sinatra’s greatest hits, of course, some Dionne Warwick, The 5th Dimension,  and maybe a James Bond soundtrack, and thanks to my sis, Elton John’s latest work.  At the time I had a voracious appetite for music so I was about to devour every corner of this record, no matter what it was.

First thing about this album is it has every genre on it, and it jumps all over the place, both sonically and sociologically as well.

“Funeral for a Friend” starts the whole thing off with the coolest latest synthesizer sounds performing an epic Prog epitaph. “Love Lies Bleeding” is it’s better half, it sounds like a great, later day Beatles song with updated sounds, killer harmonies and amazing and tasty rock ‘n roll changes. “Candle in the Wind” is a perfect ballad to bring everyone back to earth, simple, beautiful and as iconic as its subject matter.

Third song (really fourth, but third in the track listing) is Benny and the Jets. Pound for pound maybe one of the best singles to ever climb the pop charts, it’s a self referential rock/mockumentary song performed in front of a fake live audience. So far ahead of its time it doesn’t make sense to go on talking about it.

Here’s a little secret,  I can say it influenced me to put the best song (in my opinion) 3rd on every album I’ve produced.

Without getting into too much detail this LP goes on with songs about killers, hookers, junkies, sluts, and broken Hollywood dreams. It had ballads and rockers about fallen heroes, metropolitan same sex affairs, dilapidated lives, degenerates, drunks and of course, sex, drugs and rock and roll. It lead to a lot of confusion and questions at the time.

Two of my favorite songs from this album were pretty controversial for eight-year-old the time. The first one, a reggae song called “Jamaica Jerk- Off” caused me to inquire what the jerk off song was about. My mom was taken aback and none to pleased.  The second one, “Sweet Painted Ladies” has an amazing melody and the lyric “getting paid, for being laid, guess that’s the name of the game” I had to inquire about that one as well. I don’t remember answers.

$ – Kiss “alive” was the first LP I purchased with my own money, along with Steve Miller Band’s “Fly Like an Eagle”  and “Wings over America”. I’m sure I bought a few singles that day as well, but I can’t remember what they were.

Episode # 9

Revolution #9   The Beatles

Join Us! bumper

Till the End of the Day – The Kinks

Here Comes the Night – Bowie

Soot Black Suit – Mumlers

She Comes in Colors – Love


The Wait & Brass in Pocket – The Pretenders

Nikka Costa

Ride Your Pony – Paul Revere & The Raiders

Come On And Love Me – Lenny Kravitz

Come on and Love Me – Kiss

Hot Legs – Rod Stewart

Get Down, Make Love – Queen


I Think I Love You   – Partridge Family

One Bad Apple –  Osmonds

Stubborn Kind of Fellow – Marvin Gaye
Until You Come Back To Me – Aretha Franklin

Funky Bumper

I’m Your Puppet -Bobby Purifie
I Wanna Be Where You Are Jackson 5ive
Float On -The Floaters

The Walk – Mayer Hawthorne
Reefer Bumper
Stoned out of My Mind – The Chi-lites
I’ll Be Good To You -The Brothers Johnson
The Watcher (instrumental) – Dr. Dre / announcements

Lesson #1 DJ- Double D & Steinski
MC Lyte
ex Girl to the Next Girl – Gangstarr
Doobie Ashtray – Devin The Dude
Breakadawn – De La Soul
Livin’ For The City- Stevie Wonder

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