We're taking a break this week from the top-10 hits of the 1970s to provide a new list of Retro Roundup's favourite YouTube channels — since our last installment, I have subscribed to many new channels exploring retro music, TV and movies.
Pop Goes the 60s: This is an extremely thoughtful, intelligent series hosted by Matt Williamson, who takes deep dives into numerous aspects of 1960s music, including a recent two-part series on the musical career of Marianne Faithfull, and even a detailed explanation of the context behind an argument between Paul McCartney and George Harrison during the filming of what became the Let It Be movie.
Soul On Top: This channel is named after a fairly obscure James Brown album of the late 1960s, and is chock full of Brown rarities, including the first (that I've heard) stereo mix of the full-length version of one of JB's best songs, Super Bad. The song has been in stereo in its (Part 1) single version, basically the first few minutes of the nine-minute groove; and in stereo for its entirety with fake audience noise added, but to my knowledge, never without the "audience." A recent addition is a first-time stereo mix of another masterful song, the usual mono-only Doing It To Death, credited to the JBs. Other entries are extremely obscure JB-related singles by other artists.
AnotherProf and The45Prof: Both channels include a massive amount of hits from the past in their mono (and some stereo from the late 1960s) 45 RPM single versions. Unfortunately, while the songs sound very good on my home Mac, they sound low-fi and tinny on my Android phone.
The Beach Boys Basement With Steve Lewis: An excellent deep dive into all things Beach Boys, from album reviews, to what was happening with the group and music in particular years, to detailed explorations of Beach Boys-related information, such as the pre-Beach Boys career of Bruce Johnston, who joined the group in 1965. I have provided written comments on many of these videos, and Lewis has done me the honour of mentioning my name several times in his videos.
ElvisMixer, The Ultimate Elvis Channel By Leon: The first channel is a treasure trove of alternate mixes of Elvis Presley songs, from mono to digitally extracted stereo, to different stereo mixes using alternate takes. The second channel is a nice mix of discussions, comparisons of live versions of Elvis songs, particular songs from first takes to master recordings complete with overdubs and, my favourite, music sequences from many of Elvis's movies with the songs presented in their best RCA/Sony mono and (mostly) stereo remasters.
Slydogmania - When I was young, I always wondered when the day would come that, I, in Canada, would be able to see channels from around the world. Of course, with the advent of the Internet and satellite TV, anyone can watch live TV from numerous locales. But this channel provides the retroactive ability to watch musical performances and interview with artists from TV channels in far-off New Zealand, and other countries. Thanks to channel host Simon Lynch of Auckland for alerting me to this valuable treasure trove of footage from the past 50 years.
FredFlix: Numerous lengthy videos of TV program promos and commercials from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Those who check out this channel, and who have watched syndicated versions of classic TV shows, will be surprised to see original program intros very prominently featuring the episode's main sponsor, and on this and other channels, alternate closing credits, in which the sponsor's product is shown on the left-hand side of the screen. Many programs even featured a show's characters promoting a product in full-length commercials.
BEACH BOYS UPDATE: According to former Beach Boys engineer Stephen Desper, the long-awaited Feel Flows box set of 1969-71 material will be coming out July 22. Desper has said he was not interviewed for the liner notes — I hope that changes. His innovative sound was key to the recordings of that time.
Next time: The top-10 hits of the 1970s featuring artists and groups beginning with the letter R.