Archive for Briefcase Full of Blues

Great Rock Albums of 1980: The Soundtrack to The Blues Brothers

Posted in 1980s, films, Humour, Music, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on June 26, 2013 by 80smetalman

220px-BluesbrotherssoundtrackWhat happens when two known comedy actors produce a cool musical album? Well back in 1980, Dan Akroyd and John Belushi took their characters of Jake and Elwood Blues and made a hilariously smashing movie with a fantastic soundtrack. “The Blues Brothers” was probably the funniest film of 1980, (the only other contender would have been “Airplane”,) and ranks up there in the all time list. But what makes this film stand out more is that fact that not only was it a funny film that had me rolling in the aisle, but it had one hell of a soundtrack.


Some people were slightly disappointed that none of the songs from the Blues Brothers’ studio album “Briefcase Full of Blues” were featured in the film, especially the hit single “Soul Man.” My answer to that was that it didn’t need  to be. The songs in the film were totally magnificent enough to stand on their own. Many of the songs still had that great sound with Belushi, or should I say Jake Blues’ vocals powering away with a phenominal assembly of studio musicians behind him. Elwood (Dan Akroyd) also lends his hand in both the lead and backing vocals department. In addition, there are some songs from the great artists who graced the screen with their talents like Cab Calloway, Ray Charles and Artetha Franklin. The result is a great mix of good old fashioned blues and soul that is completely mind blowing.

Blues Brothers with Aretha Franklin

Blues Brothers with Aretha Franklin

Track Listing:

1. She Caught the Katy

2. Peter Gun Theme

3. Gimme Some Lovin’

4. Shake a Tail Feather (vocal by Ray Charles)

5. Everybody Needs Somebody to Love

6. The Old Landmark (vocal by James Brown)

7. Think (vocal by Aretha Franklin)

8. Theme from Rawhide

9. Minnie the Moocher (vocal by Cab Calloway)

10. Sweet Home Chicago

11. Jailhouse Rock

The Blues Brothers Band

The Blues Brothers Band

Jake Blues (John Belushi)- vocals

Elwood Blues (Dan Akroyd)- vocals, harmonica

Steve Cropper- guitar

Matt Murphy- guitar

Donald Dunn- bass

Murphy Dunne- keyboards

Willie Hall- drums

Alan Rubin- trumpet

Tom Malone- tenor saxophone

Lou Marini- alto saxophone

So if you want the combination of a good laugh and some great music, then go and watch The Blues Brothers film. I know that you will find that this film has plenty of both to go around.

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Great Rock Albums of 1979: Blues Brothers- Briefcase Full of Blues

Posted in 1979, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 9, 2012 by 80smetalman

This album taught me a valuable lesson: Never judge an album until you’ve heard it all the way through. I first saw the Blues Brothers on the old Saturday Night Live show and seeing that the band was fronted by Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi, I expected it to be some kind of satirical take on music. After all, Gilda Radner introduced us to punk rock star Candy Slice on the show. As a result, I was somewhat disappointed at first when the music didn’t have me rolling on the floor with laughter.

That changed one night in early 1979. I was at the roller rink, skating hard in an attempt to ignore all the disco being played when “Soul Man” came blasting out of the speakers. My first thought was, “This song is good” and then I recognised the voice of John Belushi as Jake Blues. The song immediately went to number one in my mind and a week later, I got to hear the album “Briefcase Full of Blues” in it’s entirety. I was hooked!

The other thing that made me a bit wary of this album was that it was a blues album. I remember John Belushi saying in an interview that he had been getting tired of rock and roll and that was why he turned to the blues. Back then, I was way too naive to realise that rock music came out of the blues.  This album taught me different and I’m forever grateful for it. “Briefcase Full of Blues” is a bonefide classic album with some great tracks other than “Soul Man.” “Rubber Biscuit,” Messin’ With the Kid” and “Hey Bartender” all do it for me. What helps make this album so good is the fact that Ackroyd and Belushi were able to round up some of the best studio musicians that were around at the time, including Paul Schaffer, who most people know from the David Letterman Show.

Track Listing:

1. Opening: I Can’t Turn You Loose

2. Hey Bartender

3. Messin’ With the Kid

4. (I Got Everything I Need) Almost

5. Rubber Biscuit

6. Shot Gun

7. Groove Me

8. I Don’t Know

9. Soul Man

10. B- Movie Boxcar Blues

11. Flip Flop and Fly

12. Closing: I Can’t Turn You Loose

Jake Blues (John Belushi)- lead vocals

Elwood Blues(Dan Ackroyd)- backing vocals, lead vocals on “Rubber Biscuit,” harmonica

Matt “Guitar” Murphy- lead guitar

Steve “The Colonel” Cr0pper- lead guitar

Donald “Duck” Dunn- bass

Paul “The Shiv” Schaffer- keyboards

Steve “Getdwa” Jordan- drums

Lou “Blue Lou” Marini- alto and tenor saxophones

Tom “Triple Scale” Scott- alto and tenor saxophones

Tom “Bones” Malone- tenor and baritone saxophones, trombone, trumpet

Alan “Mr Fabulous” Rubin- Trumpet

This album opened my eyes to the wonderful world of the blues and forced me to appreciate its influence on rock. It also showed me that even people who have a reputation for being funny, can be serious singers too. A great album that helped me to see there are more types of good music out on the horizon.

Next post: Blondie- Parallel Lines

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