This is a personal inclusion. The song doesn’t relate too closely to the concerns of the Sovereign Professional … other than in the refrain:
I got no chance of losing this time.
Ignoring the irony and the narrator’s self-delusion, of course.
The song first appeared on Jerry Garcia’s 1972 solo album, Garcia, but I heard it on the Grateful Dead’s 1981 album Dead Set. That was a long time ago.
One of the first job interviews, sometime in the 1980s, required me to travel and stay overnight, then catch a bus the next morning to my prospective employers. I was nervous as hell. It was a country house hotel and, in those pre-internet days, the first glimpse I had of the hotel was from the end of its long, winding drive. And, it felt right. And, I felt good. And, that refrain was in my head.
Here’s the Dead from 1983 …
And the album:
Incidentally, that cover, more than anything else made me want to see San Francisco. The back cover has an almost mirror image, but showing a view over Manhattan and Brooklyn.
This song has been hijacked so many times, not least by the UK’s loony left, protesting against Margaret Thatcher. Wikipedia will tell you it’s a protest against protest folk songs.
Take the song at face value: as a protest against wage-slavery and a call for the freedom of sovereign professionalism.
There are numerous recordings of this. I love the original, from 1965’s Bringing It All Back Home, but the version from 1979’s Bob Dylan At Budokan is perhaps my favourite.
Here’s the infamous Newport Folk Festival:
And the original album, 1965’s Bringing It All Back Home:
(This post originally appeared on the Burning Pine site)
Sometimes you just need a little lift and Journey’s anthemic Don’t Stop Believin’ just hits the spot: the insistent keyboard intro, the soaring guitar and, of course, Steve Perry’s incredible vocal.
This live video’s a little faster than the album version…
The track is the opener on Journey’s 1981 album Journey, which took them to megastar status and cemented them in place as the very definition of slick and smooth, radio-friendly AOR.
The sovereign professional walks a solitary path. Sometimes you need a lift, something big and empowering and energising.
This has been the opening song on my daily soundtrack for the last few months.
“God, I feel so strong!”
The following comes from a TV show and looks fairly contemporaneous with the original release…
And, if you have Alice Cooper‘s Billion Dollar Babies album, check out Generation Landslide and Elected.
Cooper, always much more than a shock-pop-rocker, has written some great songs over the years, but he didn’t write this. Hello, Hooray was written by Canadian songwriter Rolf Kempf.
Over on Steve Hoffman Music Forums, I learnt that the song was originally recorded by Judy Collins. Hoffman’s post includes both versions along with a 1990s recording by Kempf himself. I have to say that Collins’ version doesn’t really work for me – but then I’ve grown up with the Alice recording.
Kempf tells the story of the song on his blog, here.
Let the show begin, I’ve been ready.
Image credit: alicecooper.com