By Madeline Bocaro ©
My favorite first album track is Alice Cooper’s bombastic ‘Hello Hurray’ on Billion Dollar Babies in 1973. Let the show begin!
‘Hello Hooray’ (written by Rolf Kempf) was sung by Judy Collins live and on her 1968 album Who Knows Where the Time Goes. Alice Cooper has adapted it with different lyrics and different spelling of the title.
‘Ready as this audience’ that’s coming here to dream / loving every second, every movement, every scream”
That is how exciting rock concerts used to be – especially seeing the spectacular original Alice Cooper Group! We would hang on every word and movement – and it was a true spectacle! And those were the days when an album came with all kinds of goodies like panties inside a school desk (School’s Out) , gigantic billion dollar bills and a fold-out wallet jacket with Billion Dollar Babies!
Listen – Judy Collins: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DB0TtT6NVcA
Watch: Performed by the song’s composer Rolf Kempf:
In a similar vein, Cheap Trick start their 1977 album In Color with ‘Hello There’ asking if we’re ready to rock. It’s just short of two minutes long, yet explosive introduction to their amazing second album!
Shonen Knife do the same (in tribute to Cheap Trick) with ‘Konnichiwa’ which is the same length as ‘Hello There’. It kicks off their Happy Hour album in 1998.
‘Hello Goodbye’ is a Paul McCartney song – a non-album Beatles single in 1967. It was included on the American release of Magical Mystery Tour. An innocuous song, typical of Paul.
‘Hello, I Love You’ was a 1968 No. 1 hit by The Doors on their album Waiting For the Sun. The impulsive Jim Morrison falls in love without knowing someone’s name. He must scream ‘HELLO’ at the end of the song as the ‘queen of the angels’ ignores him. Even in their simplest songs, Jim manages some pure poetry;
Sidewalk crouches at her feet / Like a dog that begs for something sweet
Do you hope to make her see you fool ? / Do you hope to pluck this dusky jewel ?
(I wonder if this is where Iggy got the idea for The Stooges’ ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog”.)
‘Hello, this is Yoko.’ A track called ‘Telephone Piece’ ends Side Four of Yoko Ono’s album Fly (1971). A telephone rings six times, Yoko answers it and says ‘Hello, this is Yoko’. It is so cool that she voiced it in the language (and ringtone) of each country that the Fly album was released in; USA, UK and Japan. This track is sampled in Yoko’s song ‘Talking To The Universe” on her album Rising (1995). Telephone Piece then evolved into an interactive museum piece at her exhibitions. A telephone sits atop a pedestal in the middle of a Plexiglas maze (actually, her artwork called Amaze) with the instruction:
When the phone rings, Know that it’s me. Y.O.
Listen to all three versions here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60foC_3pPLg
(In the case of the UK version, the phone ring is different. On the Japanese vinyl, Yoko answers, “Moshi moshi, Yoko desu.”)
Read my full story about Telephone Piece
‘Hello New York’ is by Silverhead (1973) featuring singer Michael Des Barres (later of Detective) and Nigel Harrison (later of Blondie) on their second album Sixteen and Savaged. It’s a great song with an Alice Cooper Group feel to it,
‘Hello It’s Me’ was first recorded in 1968 by Todd Rundgren with his band The Nazz. He later re-recorded it as a solo artist, releasing it as a single from his 1968 album Something/Anything.
The Glam rock band Hello had a hit with their song ‘New York Groove’ in 1974. The song was written by Russ Ballard of the band Argent. It became an even bigger hit when it was covered by Ace Frehley of KISS on his 1978 solo album.
Listen – Hello: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zox2qo-wzb0
Ace Frehley: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKdHy18rZcI
‘Hello Earth’ is on Hounds of Love (1985) by Kate Bush. It features a sample from a Georgian song ‘Tsintskaro’. The voice uttering, “It’s in the trees! It’s coming!” comes from a séance scene in the 1957 horror move Night of the Demon. Kate has said that the song is about “ …a person who is alone in the water for the night. It’s about their past, present and future coming to keep them awake, to stop them drowning, to stop them going to sleep until the morning comes.”
Hello earth /With just one hand held up high
I can blot you out / Out of sight
Peek-a-boo, / Peek-a-boo, little earth
David Bowie’s industrial techno ‘Hallo Spaceboy’ from his 1996 album Outside was co-written by Brian Eno. The Pet Shop Boys did a remix (with Bowie’s new vocal) incorporating cut-up lyrics from ‘Space Oddity in 1997. This song also has a lot of ‘Bye Byes’ in it, which segues into our Goodbye songs…
Watch Bowie perform ‘Hallo Spaceboy’ with The Foo Fighters on his 50th birthday:
‘Go Now!’ by The Moody Blues was released in 1964 in the U.K. and in 1965 in the USA. the singer begs his love to leave before she sees him cry. It was previously recorded in 1964 by American singer Bessie Banks, but the British Invasion version usurped her success.
‘Here She Comes Now’ is on the second The Velvet Underground album, White Light / White Heat. I am still not sure if she ever comes.
Also from The Velvet Underground we have ‘There She Goes Again’ which appears on their first album (The Velvet Underground & Nico, 1967). The intro borrows from Marvin Gaye’s ‘Hitch Hike’ (1962).
Listen (mono version): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=124QxMlef4I
Listen – Marvin Gaye, ‘Hitch Hike’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmClweWITZQ
‘Goodbye’ was written by Paul McCartney (credited as Lennon/McCartney) for the lovely singer Mary Hopkin. It was released on The Beatles’ label, Apple Records in March 1969. Mary previously had a huge hit with ‘Those Were the Days’, also on Apple. Of all her songs, this one highlights her sweet voice the best. She married renowned record producer Tony Visconti in 1971. Listen to Paul’s pure vocal gorgeous home demo release on the Abbey Road 50th Anniversary edition in 2019.
Paul McCartney’s home demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EIcqz-sjy4
Serge Gainsbourg released the single “Je suis venu te dire que je m’en vais” (‘I just came to tell you that I’m Going’). He pretentiously includes the sound of a woman softly sobbing throughout the song. It has been performed by many others during tributes to Serge (listen to Marianne Faithfull below). Jarvis Cocker of Pulp recorded the song in 2006 for the album from Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited.
Listen -Serge Gainsbourg: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zN17XrPrHZM
Listen: – Marianne Faithfull Live on Serge Gainsbourg tv Special – Taratata:
Listen: Jarvis Cocker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JKJLlNKy5k
Although they began recording it album in 1973, The Rolling Stones’ album It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll’ was released in 1974 – just before guitarist Mick Taylor left the band. ‘Till The Next Goodbye’ is a beautiful ballad – but it is soooo funny the way Mick pronounces ‘elderberry waaaaane’ like a country bumpkin! The album cover painting was done by Guy Peellaert (whom David Bowie secretly nabbed to do his own 1974 Diamond Dogs album cover after seeing the artist’s work for the Stones). It’s based on the German photo below depicting Hitler and his troops descending a staircase surrounded by his minions. The Stones, in the same scenario are surrounded and feted by beautiful Grecian maidens. Jagger felt the need to pal around with Hitler’s cinematographer Leni Riefenstahl that year, creator of the iconic Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will.
Watch & Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS-pwTsmcnw
‘Never Can Say Goodbye’ was a hit for The Jackson 5 in 1971 with 12-year old Michael Jackson on lead vocals. The arrangement makes nice use of a xylophone. The song was disco-fied by Gloria Gaynor in 1974.
Listen – The Jackson 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvmqYZr0RFo
Gloria Gaynor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCSvNZWpXaM
‘Goodbye To Love’ was a huge hit for The Carpenters in 1972. Tony Peluso who plays the fuzz-guitar solo on ‘Goodbye To Love’ was interviewed for a PBS documentary on The Carpenters. This was the one of the first power ballads. Richard Carpenter said that they got letters from fans complaining that The Carpenters had sold out when that song became a big hit. I did not like The Carpenters at all (especially after they made a rude comment about Mott The Hoople!) but years later when Mick Ronson told me how much he liked them, I began to listen more closely. This is truly a great song.
As the writer and arranger of many of Klaus Nomi’s songs, Kristian Hoffman told Scott Woody to replicate the guitar solo on this song on Nomi’s second album titled Simple Man in 1982.
Klaus Nomi ‘Simple Man’ – Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6AvbfXeN_g
My Klaus Nomi story: https://madelinex.com/2017/12/02/klaus/
The rockin’ glam ‘Gudby T’ Jane’ by Slade was on their third album Slayed? in 1972 – a big hit in the U.K. The band is notorious for spelling their song titles in a very weird way. A couple of their best tunes were made into American hits in the 1980s by Quiet Riot’ (‘Cum On Feel The Noize’ in 1983 and ‘Mama Weer All Crazee Now’ in 1984).
The Elton John song, ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ is the title track and single from his 1973 double album. Bernie Taupin has said that his lyrics are about being disillusioned by fame and high society, and about a crossroads in his relationship with Elton. Taupin grew up on a farm in England. He also loved the movie The Wizard of Oz – the first film he had ever seen as a child.
As a country boy now witnessing a completely different life of fame and fortune due to Elton John’s huge success, Taupin longs for his simple life on the farm. “I should have stayed on the farm / I should have listened to my old man.” For him, the future lies ‘beyond the yellow brick road’ – on a trip back to the simple life he once had. “So goodbye yellow brick road / Where the dogs of society howl / You can’t plant me in your penthouse / I’m going back to my plough…”
There is a theory that L. Frank Baum, author of the Oz books meant for the yellow brick road to represent the gold standard for U.S. currency. Oz. is the abbreviation of ‘ounce’, and the road is yellow/gold. The ruby slippers were originally silver in the Oz books. The Scarecrow character was to represent American farmers and their late 19th century plight.
‘The Saturday Gigs’ was Mott The Hoople’s farewell song released in October 1974 with Mick Ronson on guitar (when Ariel Bender left the band). I ordered ‘The Saturday Gigs’ single as an import from England and was elated to receive it weeks later. But upon hearing the ‘goodbyes’ at the fadeout of the beautiful ballad – a lyrical tribute to their fans – I realized that the band was breaking up (they already had by the time I got the single) and I cried!! The record was a bit warped at the end, so the ‘goodbyes’ sounded even more eerily sad!! I was honored to attend their 2009 reunion gigs at Hammersmith, with ‘The Saturday Gigs’ performed as their final song, with the ‘Goodbyes’ echoing endlessly.
My review of Mott The Hoople’s 2009 reunion gigs:
Also see my review of Mott The Hoople’s 2019 gig in NYC…
At the end of every Def Leppard concert, singer Joe Elliott tells the cheering crowd, “Don’t you ever forget us, and we’ll never forget you!” (the words that Ian Hunter speaks over the farewell ending of ‘Saturday Gigs’).
See my Interview with Joe Elliott about Mott The Hoople:
‘Glad To See You Go’ is on The Ramones’ second album, Leave Home (1977). It’s about a guy who shoots his girlfriend and is glad to see her “go, go, go, go, goodbye.” Still, you can’t help enjoying this crazy song!
‘Goodbye Girl’ by Squeeze appears on their 1979 debut album Cool For Cats. The singer meets a girl who absconds with all his stuff after a night at a motel.
(The Squeeze video for a different song on the album ‘Up the Junction’ was made in the kitchen at John and Yoko’s Ascot home Tittenhurst Park.)
‘Up The Junction’ – Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=RQciegmLPAo
The fabulous ‘Goodbye To You’ by Scandal was a hit in 1982. It’s a fantastic pop song with a Farfisa organ solo and the vocals of Patti Smyth who went on to record solo albums. Patti was married to Richard Hell and to John McEnroe
Watch & Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_50-gOeBilc
‘Too Late For Goodbyes’ is a reggae pop tune on Julian Lennon’s debut album Valotte released in 1984. Julian is a wonderful solo artist, however the critics are always blinded by the legend of his father.
Due to John Lennon’s tragic death, Yoko Ono has several Goodbye songs; ‘Goodbye Sadness’ is on her album released six months after John’s passing, Season of Glass (1981) – a work of beauty, sadness and healing. It is sometimes emotionally trying, but we become enveloped in its delicate aural mist. “My voice kept cracking while I recorded the songs. I finally thought maybe I shouldn’t put the album out. Then it occurred to me there were probably many people in the world whose voices were cracking for many reasons. I realized my songs were the songs of the desperate. It was all right to show myself as how I was.” – Yoko
See my full story about the album Season of Glass:
‘Never Say Goodbye’ from Yoko’s album It’s Alright (I See Rainbows) in 1983 contains a sample of John’s screaming vocal from their Wedding Album (1969). Their young son Sean wakes Yoko from a nightmare. ‘Goodbye My Love’ is on John’s final album, released four years after his death by Yoko, titled Milk and Honey. The songs were from the 1980 Double Fantasy sessions of dialogue between John and Yoko. ‘There’s No Goodbye Between Us’ appears on her 2013 album ‘Take Me to the Land of Hell’. A rough version was released on Onobox (Rykodisc, 1992). This could be a beautiful love song about anybody, but obviously John has never left Yoko. Mellophones and backward piano loops bring a wonderful other-worldliness to the song.
Goodbye Sadness: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRAl5Kqfy0g
Never Say Goodbye: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXkIwcICnk4
Goodbye My Love: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVAQSL8JzuI
There’s No Goodbye Between Us: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOsPpnq2trU
The Jangly pop tune by The La’s from Liverpool – ‘There She Goes’ (1988) has the same stops and starts as The Velvet Underground’s ‘There She Goes Again’ borrowed from Marvin Gaye’s ‘Hitch Hike’ (see above)! The single sleeve is evocative of Roald Dahl’s Kiss Kiss book cover (1960). Dahl also wrote the story of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
See my ‘Playlists’ category
for more themed playlists.
Also see ‘About a Song’
(My stories about specific songs)
A Chain of Songs
Eat to the Beat