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Preface: Upon witnessing the Resurrection, in which the Son of God rose from his grave, Mary Magdalene exclaimed, "Jesus Christ!" Continuing with the theme from Holy Week, this week will feature songs that mention Jesus.
Monday (3/24/08): The Doobie Brothers - Jesus Is Just Alright [Toulouse Street, 1972]
Comments: I'm not a huge fan of The Doobie Brothers, but I like the philosophy behind the title of this song (regardless of what the song may or may not actually be about). "Jesus is just alright with me." I believe that Jesus, if he was anything like the stories say, was a pretty cool dude. That having been said, to relegate him to the status of "Son of God" is dangerously excessive. Preaching Jesus' message of peace and love is one thing (for Jesus was truly the first hippie), but worshipping at his altar, then going out to kill and persecute in his name, is too much.
Tuesday (3/25/08): ZZ Top - Waitin' For The Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago [Tres Hombres, 1973]
Comments: ZZ Top is a classy band, with blues roots, and a somewhat overlooked but talented guitarist in Billy Gibbons. This track (or tracks) is almost humorous, if it weren't for the seriousness of the band. "Jesus just left Chicago, and he's bound for New Orleans." The blues famously migrated from the delta up to Chicago where it went electric. Sounds like the savior's takin' the return trip.
Wednesday (3/26/08): Aerosmith - Jesus Is On The Main Line [Honkin' On Bobo, 2004]
Comments: Aerosmith is a good rock band, but they've never really been among my favorites. But when I heard they were gonna release an album of blues covers, I jumped on it. One thing Aerosmith has, is good taste in musical influences. They've covered some of my favorite artists, including The Yardbirds, and Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac. At any rate, their blues album, Honkin' On Bobo, is a great listen, although maybe not what most Aerosmith fans might expect from an Aerosmith record.
Thursday (3/27/08): Silvertide - Foxhole Jesus Christ [Show & Tell, 2004]
Comments: The epic closer to Silvertide's one and only album (unless you have the Japanese version which includes an even better bonus song), Show & Tell. Silvertide was a great modern rock band in the classic rock tradition, but it looks like forces have conspired against us, the fans, as it's been four years, and by all accounts, Silvertide is dead in the water. Oh well, enjoy what's available, right?
Friday (3/28/08): The Rolling Stones - I Just Want To See His Face [Exile On Main St, 1972]
Comments: The Rolling Stones, singing about Jesus? Sure, they represented the dirty youth with few prospects and loose morals, but they weren't evil, man. Besides, one thing the Stones should be known for, is their diverse interests in the grit of roots music, be it country, blues, or even gospel. Still, this is considered the band's grittiest album, recorded during a period of pure excess and drug-addlery. But then again, who ever said you can't find God in the gutter?
Saturday (3/29/08): Bob Dylan - In My Time Of Dyin' [Bob Dylan, 1962]
Comments: "Voice of a Generation" aside, Dylan's debut album is still an enthralling testament to the mystery and darkness he was capable of channelling. On this track (as many others on the album), he pulls out an old tune and sings it with the conviction of a man truly dying. Dylan may be responsible for changing the title of this song from Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dying Bed, to In My Time Of Dying. The tune was later covered by certain rock bands, including Led Zeppelin.
Sunday (3/30/08): Neil Young - Soldier [Journey Through The Past, 1972]
Comments: A melancholy piece from the soundtrack to one of Neil Young's early experimental forays into directorial filmplay - and among the few albums even now still not released on CD. If you have a chance to see Journey Through The Past, though, it's a fascinating look into not only Young's early musical career, between his stint with Buffalo Springfield, the ignition of his solo career, and his initial collaboration with Crosby Stills & Nash, but it's also a nice document of some of the lofty ideals and the paranoia that ensued in the wake of the hippie era.