John, Paul, George, Ringo, David, Patti, Charlie and Harry: Tonight’s Needle Meets Vinyl Has It All!

needle meets vinylYour lucky number for tonight is 18: That’s how many top-flight, straight-from-vinyl nuggets Brian Bringelson is bringing you on an all-new edition of Needle Meets Vinyl. The fun begins at 8pm ET (5 pm PT) on Pure Pop Radio.

Bob Dylan, with the Band in tow, kicks off tonight’s festivities. Next up: tracks from the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young, who’s featured with a trio of top tunes: “Out On the Weekend,” “Revolution Blues,” and “Little Thing Called Love.”

brian bringelson

Brian Bringelson

Brian continues to bring the vinyl love with tracks from Stevie Wonder, Patti Smith, David Bowie, Paul McCartney and Wings, Etta Jones, Charlie Rich, Big Star and lots more.

Don’t miss tonight’s all-new Needle Meets Vinyl. Tune into Pure Pop Radio at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT) and dig the tunes.

Needle Meets Vinyl is the weekly show during which all songs are played from vinyl records. The music spans the decades during which popular music has flourished. Curated and presented by Brian Bringelson, a member of the band Anchor and Bear and a solo artist under the name Paul Starling, the show airs every Wednesday night at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT). An encore performance runs on Sunday afternoons at 1 pm ET (10 am PT).

purepoplogoAlan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the original 24-hour Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. From the Beatles to the Spongetones, the Nines, Kurt Baker, the Connection and the New Trocaderos, we play the hits and a whole lot more. Tune in by clicking on one of the listen links below.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Brian Bringelson’s Needle Meets Vinyl Hits the Pop Spot Right Out of the Gate

needle meets vinylLast night’s premiere episode of Brian Bringelson’s Needle Meets Vinyl hit the pop and rock spots with a great mix of classic and lesser-known songs from a variety of fabulous artists.

Here’s what Brian played:

The Kinks | “Victoria” from The Kink Kronikles
Buffalo Springfield | “Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing” from Greatest Hits
The Beatles | “Talkin’ Bout You” from On Air: Live at the BBC Volume 2
The Beach Boys | “Wake the World” from Friends
The James Gang | “Funk #49” from Rides Again
Fleetwood Mac | “I Know I’m Not Wrong” from Tusk
Derek and the Dominos | “Keep On Growing” from Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs
Bob Dylan | “New Pony” from Street Legal
Oasis | “Hey Now” from (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?
Amy Winehouse | “Love Is a Losing Game” from Back to Black
Aretha Franklin | “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)” from The Best Of
Paul McCartney | “Not Such a Bad Boy” from Give My Regards to Broad Street
Harry Nilsson | “Best Move” from Flash Harry
Randy Newman | “Baltimore” from Little Criminals
Billy Preston | “Do What You Want To” from That’s the Way God Planned It
Barbara Lynn | “Suffering City” from Here Is Barbara Lynn
Bonnie Raitt | “Runaway” from Sweet Forgiveness
Joan Baez | “The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down” from Blessed Are
Nina Simone | “I Loves You Porgy” from Little Girl Blue
Harry Nilsson | “Marry Me a Little” from Nilsson Sessions 1967-1975

Brian returns next Wednesday, October 28, with a special program devoted to the scariest holiday in existence…Halloween! Don’t miss it! The ghostly fun begins at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT) right here on Pure Pop Radio.

Needle Meets Vinyl is the weekly show during which all songs are played from vinyl records. The music spans the decades during which popular music has flourished. Curated and presented by Brian Bringelson, a member of the band Anchor and Bear and a solo artist under the name Paul Starling, the show airs every Wednesday night at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT). An encore performance runs on Sunday afternoons at 1 pm ET (10 am PT). Needle Meets Vinyl has its own Facebook page; click here to be magically transported, and please hit the “like” button. Thanks!

Listen to Brian invite you to listen!


purepoplogoAlan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the original 24-hour Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. From the Beatles to the Spongetones, the Nines, Kurt Baker, the Connection and the New Trocaderos, we play the hits and a whole lot more. Tune in by clicking on one of the listen links below.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Brian Bringelson’s Needle Meets Vinyl Premieres Tonight at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT)

needle meets vinylIt’s finally here! Brian Bringelson’s terrific, all-vinyl radio show, Needle Meets Vinyl, premieres tonight at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT) on Pure Pop Radio. We couldn’t be more excited to debut this outstanding program, chock full of classic tracks, both familiar and un-.

Now, we know you have many specialty shows and radio stations and other media folks calling for your attention, so we appreciate you tuning in tonight. Your ears will be rewarded with great songs from the Kinks, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Harry Nilsson, Billy Preston, Barbara Lynn, Bonnie Raitt, Fleetwood Mac and Buffalo Springfield. And then there’s Brian’s easygoing, knowledgeable deejay patter, which will captivate you and put a big smile on your face.

gary gebler trax on waxTake our word for it: This is a great show that fits perfectly within the Pure Pop Radio universe. But if you need more convincing, listen to none other than Gary Gebler, owner of Baltimore, Maryland’s premiere vinyl shop, Trax on Wax, who has become an instant fan of Needle Meets Vinyl.

Gary says: “As soon as the needle drops on the record and you hear that warm crackle, you know this is something special. Nothing takes you back to this special place like hearing your favorite songs by the Beatles, the Smiths, Dylan and the Stones to name a few on glorious vinyl. Needle Meets Vinylis one bad-ass program and gets two thumbs up from Trax on Wax.”

brian bringelson

Brian is a member of the glorious pop band, Anchor and Bear, and releases solo records under the name Paul Starling (his latest, The Wild Wolf, is currently playing in rotation on Pure Pop Radio). Brian has a golden ear that’s tuned into the great and melodic music of today and yesterday. And don’t forget that, for vinyl aficionados everywhere, this is the place to be every Wednesday night because every song heard on Needle Meets Vinyl is played from records. Sweet!

kinks victoria picture sleeveNeedle Meets Vinyl makes its Pure Pop Radio debut tonight at 8 pm ET with a typically engaging and tuneful show that runs the gamut from straight-ahead pop (The Kinks’ “Victoria”) to classic, melodic rock (the James Gang’s “Funk #49”) and the classic standard show numbers of yesteryear (Harry Nilsson’s sublime rendition of Stephen Sondheim’s “Marry Me a Little,” from Sondheim’s homonymous Off-Broadway revue). In between, Brian spins tunes from the likes of Bob Dylan, the James Gang, Barbara Lynn, Joan Baez and, of course, the Beach Boys and the Beatles, and relates cool facts and figures about them.

needle meets vinylEach Wednesday night, Brian will bring you a new, wonderfully-realized and impeccably curated show that brings together the sounds of the run of decades in which popular music has flourished. We are proud to be adding Needle Meets Vinyl to Pure Pop Radio’s slate of specialty shows. We think you’re going to enjoy yourself each and every Wednesday night.

Set your alarm clocks for tonight, Wednesday, October 21, at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT). Don’t miss the premiere of Brian Bringelson’s Needle Meets Vinyl, right here on Pure Pop Radio!

Needle Meets Vinyl is the weekly show during which all songs are played from vinyl records. The music spans the decades during which popular music has flourished. Curated and presented by Brian Bringelson, a member of the band Anchor and Bear and a solo artist under the name Paul Starling, the show airs every Wednesday night at 8 pm ET (5 pm PT). An encore performance runs on Sunday afternoons at 1 pm ET (10 am PT).

purepoplogoAlan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio is the original 24-hour Internet radio station playing the greatest melodic pop music from the ’60s to today. From the Beatles to the Spongetones, the Nines, Kurt Baker, the Connection and the New Trocaderos, we play the hits and a whole lot more. Tune in by clicking on one of the listen links below.

Listen to Pure Pop Radio on the go using your Android and iOS devices! Download Our Mobile App.

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

The Musician’s Opinion #2: The Legal Matters’ Chris Richards, Andy Reed and Keith Klingensmith: Favorite Songs

legal-matters-largeFor the second edition of The Musician’s Opinion, we asked the Legal Matters’ Andy Reed, Chris Richards and Keith Klingensmith to talk about some of their favorite songs. Their choices may well surprise you. You will certainly be delighted. (The Legal Matters’ self-titled, debut album took a top spot in Pure Pop Radio’s Favorite Records of 2014. Read the entry here.)

andy-reedAndy Reed:

brendan-benson“Tiny Spark,” by Brendan Benson | I was very lucky during the beginning of my musical career. My first official album was recorded and produced by Brendan Benson in his home studio in Detroit. I had been a huge fan of Brendan’s first record, One Mississippi. I was a sponge during those sessions, as I realized I was in the presence of a true genius. Then the moment came about half way through the record. Brendan turned on his tape machine and played me a track he had been working on. The song was “Tiny Spark.” I was blown away instantly. The song had everything I loved about music wrapped up in three minutes. When we finished recording and mixing, Brendan gave us our CD. He also gave us a CD of what would later be released as his album Lapalco. This was the first album I had ever made and my CD never made it into the car CD player on the way home.

harry-nilsson“One,” by Harry Nilsson | Nilsson will always be my favorite vocalist of all time. He could sing just about anything and transform his voice to fit the tune perfectly. There is a lot of beauty in the lyrics and the melody of this tune. If you are going to write a sad song, this is a great one to take notes on.

chris-bell“I Am the Cosmos,” by Chris Bell | I am a huge Big Star fan but I may be an even bigger Chris Bell fan. The song itself is gut-wrenching in the best sort of way. The vocal performance is even more so. You can hear and feel Chris’ pain. It also sums up what I love about Big Star. The guitar tones are huge and warm. The production is flawless.

xo“Waltz #2 (XO),” by Elliott Smith | I caught on to Elliott Smith late in the game. The first record I bought was XO; it was referred to me by a friend. I was instantly drawn in. I will still say that Elliott is the closest we would get if Lennon and McCartney were one guy. He had Lennon’s desperation and McCartney’s melodic sense and musicianship. This became my favorite track early on and still is to this day. The imagery of the lyric is very trademark Elliott. This haunting track still gives me chills when I listen.

chris-richardsChris Richards:

sloan“The Good in Everyone,” by Sloan | Picking a favorite Sloan album would be hard enough…but a favorite track? Please. That being said, for this exercise I shall choose “The Good In Everyone,” the leadoff track from the brilliant 1996 release, One Chord to Another. After spending big Geffen money on their first two records, Sloan found themselves looking to flip the script in a sense and record their third record minus big label funds (their first two records had 100K budgets; this masterpiece was recorded for 10K). This song is really Sloan at their core–it has an enormous hook elevated by harmonies that will resonate in your memory for what should be a lifetime. And if you really want to feel the power of this song, watch the video–it’s a majestic piece that reenacts a scene from the movie Easy Rider in its intro. This is a band that couldn’t be stopped.

nick-lowe“Marie Provost,” by Nick Lowe | Nick Lowe was more important to the secondary British Invasion than sales would indicate. His imprint on what was coming out of the UK in the late ’70s through the 1980s was undeniable; consider the countless records he produced by such artists as Elvis Costello, Graham Parker, and the Damned. Nick Lowe’s records were charming, witty and rocked, despite the overt poppy overtones. “Marie Provost” perfectly molds all that is Nick in one song. You get incredibly funny lyrics based on a very true and tragic story of a Canadian silent film actress who died alone in her apartment amongst countless liquor bottles, a $10 promissory note to Joan Crawford, and a barking dog that  may or may not have tried to take matters into its own paws, as far as food goes.

kinks-village-green“Big Sky,” by the Kinks | I suppose I could’ve selected any track off the Kinks’ exemplary 1968 release, The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society. This is truly a mind-blowing record as a whole, but when you take a track out of the original mix,  you see how these little English classics can live on their own. “Big Sky” may be the perfect Ray Davies composition, in my opinion, as it has the key elements that make a great Kinks song, such as the immediate, yet simple melodic hook married to an introspective lyric. This song is delivered as a heavier rock piece, a style that the very proper Kinks were clearly moving away from.

the-who-magic-bus“Pictures of Lily,” by the Who | At one point I hope the world realizes the brilliance of Pete Townshend as a holistic composer; his ability to wax poetic on an array of simplistic, yet direct subjects and write complex, truly diabolic songs about introspective demons made him the genius that we have today. “Pictures of Lily” will always be a favorite of mine. I especially love the key change in the second half of each chorus that takes you to the breakdown, at which point Keith Moon brings you to the best part of the song: the ba-da- da-dum-dum–“Pictures of Lily!” This is followed by an amazing French horn “solo” by John. Lyrically and in two minutes and 35 seconds, Pete tells a full story of an individual with insomnia who is given a picture of a pin-up girl (the eponymous Lily) from his father. The individual falls in love with the pin-up girl, which leads to sleep and the realization that the girl has been dead since 1929.

keith-klingensmithKeith Klingensmith:

pet-sounds“Please Let Me Wonder,” by the Beach Boys | I’m firmly in the Pet-Sounds-is-the-greatest-record-ever-made club, but side two of The Beach Boys Today contains every bit of that same magic. “Please Let Me Wonder” starts the side off with a perfect dose of Brian Wilson longing. I’m a harmony guy and as heartbreaking as this song is, the Beach Boys’ harmonies are mixed so loud they could almost be considered the second lead voice. I wish every song was mixed this way! I could happily spend the rest of my life listening to Beach Boys vocals-only mixes; you need to do yourself a favor and check out the “Please Let Me Wonder” vocals-only outtakes, if you haven’t already.

the-byrds-lady-friend“Lady Friend,” by the Byrds | There are times when I think this amazing David Crosby song is my fave song of all time. If I could ever manage to make a favorite songs list, this would be near the top for sure. Everything I still love about pop music is entirely contained in this song–an inspired melody, giant harmonies, driving guitars and horns. Some top-notch girl lyrics can never hurt, either. There’s mystery to this song. I can never fully get to the bottom of why all these pieces are able to combine in a way that destroys me every single time. If I ever had to play a single song to define myself musically, I’d be comfortable playing this one.

the-undertones“Teenage Kicks,” by the Undertones | That sound! The sound of this record kills me. This song sends electricity directly from the speakers to my nervous system. Something about that opening riff is pure magic. Feargal Sharkey never sounded better or more alive, and the solo just ruins me every time. I didn’t hear the Undertones’ first record until the Ryko re-release in the mid-’90s, but it’s been in regular revisit rotation ever since.

del-amitri“Keepers,” by Del Amitri | Somehow, Del Amitri’s self-titled, first LP gets ignored and belittled by every Del fan that came after this record. No single LP made more of an impression on me than this one; I seriously love every single note contained within. “Keepers” has always been a fave song on the record. It’s an absolute epic with multiple peaks, told from the point of view of a man who only appears to only be interested in owning females. But like all great pop music, this song is wrapped up in gorgeous paper so that the lyrics take a few listens to sink in. Always an appreciated bonus. Go find this record!

(Read the first entry in the Musician’s Opinion series by clicking here!)

Click here to download our app for listening on the go with Android and iOS devices!

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Ooh, Scary Good! A Look Back at Harry Nilsson’s Son of Schmilsson

(The following essay was written for the Discoveries Magazine website as part of their countdown to the release of the Harry Nilsson RCA Albums Collection on July 30, 2013, and is reproduced here by permission.)

Harry Nilsson's Son of Schmilsson. Ooh, scary good!

Harry Nilsson’s Son of Schmilsson. Ooh, scary good!

Without question, Harry Nilsson’s Son of Schmilsson was the right album for the right time. When it was released in 1972, I was 17 and had my sights set on college. I was especially open to new ideas. Enter into my record collection this completely unhinged set of songs that perfectly summed up the artist’s newfound penchant for baiting the listener with a love song and, in the next heartbeat, pulling out the rug from under you and dialing up an in-your-face rocker preceded by a healthy belch.

Despite all that, this was a pretty typical Nilsson album. He hadn’t abandoned his gifts for melody or whimsy; he just dressed them in funkier clothes. For every lowbrow joke on the record—the aforementioned belch preceding the wild and wooly rock ‘n’ roll oldie, “At My Front Door,” there was a straight-ahead, old-fashioned, sweet little number like “The Lottery Song,” in which a couple flirts with winning the big prize amidst hopes of growing its value in Las Vegas. Well, sort of sweet, anyway. And there was “Turn On Your Radio,” a beautifully-arranged, pretty song about hope and being at peace with the one you love, even if that person is far away.

There were other, more sanguine numbers that threatened to eclipse the less dainty ones. “Remember (Christmas)” was one, a beautiful, wistful look back at a life lived to the fullest. There were a few, emotionally-invested rockers, too: the bluesy, horn-infused “Spaceman”; the equally bluesy, late-night jazz club vibe of “Ambush”; and “Take 54,” a take-the-chick-and-run song of the highest order. And—oh yeah, that was about it.

That leaves the jokes, and they were plentiful. Low and even lower still, but plentiful. And melodic, too, wonderful compositions that showed that Nilsson hadn’t abandoned the things that got him here, wherever that was. There was the faux country song “Joy,” delivered in a mock country crooner tone and actually—somewhat suspiciously, some might say—released as a country single under the pseudonym Buck Earl by RCA. And let’s not forget the jokey-on-the-surface “I’d Rather Be Dead,” sung with gusto by Harry and a group of senior citizens. Believe me, even at 17, the sentiment was not lost on me. Who wants to wet their bed?

Of course, the song on everybody’s lips was the infamous “You’re Breaking My Heart,” which proudly flaunted the f-word and sent parents around the world running towards their kids’ stereos with hammers. Such language!

The backside of Son of Schmilsson!

The backside of Son of Schmilsson!

That leaves this album’s centerpiece, the anthemic love song “The Most Beautiful World in the World,” a two-part number that eschewed the obvious frat boy jokes for a more sentimental approach. Sort-of. The song’s first section, adopting a catchy, pop construction colored with a faux island beat, finds Harry professing his love for the whole, entire world. The second section is an altogether loftier proposition. Here, Harry gets down to business, calling out the world’s various attributes (“Your mountains when you’re mad/Your rivers when you’re sad/And those deep blue seas/I love you for your snow/Your deserts down below/I love the way you wear your trees”) and declaring that he “just couldn’t stay here without you.”

But Harry’s not fooling anyone. The punch line is right around the corner. “So when you get older/And over your shoulder/You look back to see if it’s real/Tell her she’s beautiful/Roll the world over,” he sings, and, bingo, the payoff!: “And give her a kiss/And a feel,” as the orchestra and Hollywood blockbuster chorus swell behind him. A beautiful setup followed by a tiny, smutty joke. Really, a song about a girl? Who knows. Pure Harry.

Surely, Son of Schmilsson was not the work of the man who made Pandemonium Shadow Show. Or Harry, even. This was the work of an artist bent on market self-destruction, a man who began making the recorded left turn his raison d’etre. But it’s the Harry album that I always come back to because it synthesizes the various colors of the artist’s writing and performing gifts. The songs make you laugh, cry, laugh again, and shut the door and put a towel at the bottom to keep your parents from hearing the smutty jokes.

"Seven ball in the corner pocket, eh John?"

“Seven ball in the corner pocket, eh John?”

Son of Schmilsson is the most beautiful album in the world, to put it mildly, and an astounding 42 years after its initial release, it remains my favorite Nilsson platter. Plus it’s got Richie Snare, George Harrysong, Nicky Hopkins, Peter Frampton and Klaus Voorman making the songs come alive, and it’s got a deep, resonating belch. Who could ask for anything more?

Alan Haber
June 16, 2013

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes

Click on the image to listen to Alan Haber’s Pure Pop Radio through players like iTunes