Eclipsing Music: Our Burn-Your-Eyes-Out Playlist

Word on the street is that everybody will be staring at the sky Monday, billions of eyes gazing at the heavens. We anticipate that there will be all kinds of theme parties, barbeques and dances and so on. Everybody will take the day off. The highways will be jam packed over the weekend as people pack up and make their way to one of the better vantage points. Price gouging is rampant as the public seeks unique and personal ways to experience this very rare event. We’ve jumped on the bandwagon with our custom ‘Burn-Your-Eyes-Out’ Playlist. Please take a listen.


Although “Ring of Fire” sounds scary the term really refers to falling in love – what June Carter was experiencing with Johnny Cash at the time. Some say that Carter had seen the phrase “Love is like a burning ring of fire,” underlined in one of her uncle’s Elizabethan books of poetry. She worked on a song inspired by the phrase, like her uncle did when she was little. She wrote: “There is no way to be in that kind of hell, no way to extinguish a flame that burns, burns, burns”.


 “Here Comes The Night” reached No. 17 on the Kent Music Report in Australia and peaked at No. 2 on the Irish Singles Chart. The single is the highest charting single for Van Morrison in the England, and Morrison is still waiting for a No. 1 single in both the U.K. and in Ireland. This song was released on the Parrot (U.S.) version of the album THEM in July 1965, and it appears on the album The Story of Them. It was also re-released on the Deram label in 1973 but did not chart.


Double Vision was the first of many other recordings in which A&R executive John Kalodner would have his name listed twice in liner notes, as a play on the title of this album. The phrase “John Kalodner: John Kalodner” originated when the producer Olsen was wondering just how to credit Kalodner’s involvement in the band and the album. In keeping with the double vision theme, guitarist Mick Jones suggested doubling the name and the band started using it.


Manfred Mann’s Earth Band released a version of this song on their 1976 album The Roaring Silence. The track reached #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Canadian RPM charts. Manfred Mann’s Earth Band’s recording of “Blinded by the Light” is Springsteen’s only Number 1 single as a songwriter on the Hot 100.


“Sunshine” is a country folk song from 1971 by Jonathan Edwards, released as the first single from his debut album Jonathan Edwards. The single reached into Top Five territory at number 4 on the Billboard charts, and it earned a gold record. “Sunshine” was not originally planned for release, but when an engineer accidentally erased the master of a track called “Please Find Me” near the end of sessions for the album, “Sunshine” was used to fill the hole.


Burnin’ Sky is album number four from Bad Company, released on March 3, 1977. Burnin’ Sky was recorded in July and August 1976 with future Rolling Stones engineer Chris Kimsey, but its release was delayed until March 1977 as to not compete with the band’s then-current album Run with the Pack. The album peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 and No. 17 on the U.K. Albums Chart. The album cover is similar to the poster for the 1969 Sam Peckinpah film The Wild Bunch and in the movie Almost Famous, the fictitious band Stillwater’s first tee shirt is strikingly similar to the Burnin’ Sky album cover.


First released on his 1971 album Teaser and the Firecat, “Moonshadow” is a song written and performed by Cat Stevens. It’s one of the songs that convinced him to release his Greatest Hits album. When he was a guest on The Chris Isaak Hour in 2009, he said: “I was on a holiday in Spain. I was a kid from the West End (of London) – bright lights, et cetera. I never got to see the moon on its own in the dark, there were always street lamps. So there I was on the edge of the water on a beautiful night with the moon glowing, and suddenly I looked down and saw my shadow. I thought that was so cool, I’d never seen it before.”


“Sunshine Superman” reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, and subsequently became the title track of Donovan’s third album, Sunshine Superman. Chart positions were No. 1 (U.S.), and No. 2 (U.K.) (the single was released in December 1966 in the U.K.). It was Donovan’s only single to reach No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 survey. A different mix of “The Trip” (without harmonica) is also included in the album. It was the first product from the highly successful three-year collaboration between Donovan and producer Mickie Most and is generally considered to be one of the first examples of the musical genre that came to be known as psychedelia. The song features styles of psychedelic folk, psychedelic pop and folk rock.


We know that airlines are scheduling charter flights to follow the eclipse. Hope they all have nice flights. Anyway, Scottish hard rock band Nazareth reworked this Joni Mitchell song in 1973 to make it their own with a powerful, driving hard-rock treatment which was a hit in Canada, Germany (where it reached number one) and the U.K. It was produced by Roger Glover of Deep Purple. The single reached number 11 in the U.K. charts in November 1973. The band re-recorded the song in 1991 for the album No Jive.


The single from the album became a gold record, selling two million copies from 1969 to 1970 and reached number three on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in April of 1970, where it lasted for 15 weeks in the Top 100Billboard ranked the record the No. 22 song of 1970. It climbed to number one on the U.K., Australian and Canadian charts in 1970. Rolling Stone ranked “Spirit in the Sky” No. 333 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song was featured on the 1969 album of the same name. 


In the 2013 documentary History of the Eagles, JD Souther and Glenn Frey discuss at some length the process of Browne’s work methods while Browne was working on the song over a period of some months. The three lived in adjacent apartments; the future Eagles would hear Browne, through the walls, at work on his piano every morning.

And we’ll close with a second version of ‘Ring of Fire’…

The focus on the alternative rock scene helped bring attention to Social Distortion. The singles “Story of My Life” and “Ball and Chain” were able to find an audience on alternative rock radio and on MTVSocial Distortion was one of the band’s most successful albums to date and their first to enter the Billboard 200; the release peaked at number 128. By 1996, Social Distortion had sold at least 250,000 copies, becoming the band’s second best-selling album in the United States.

If you’d like a souvenir as a remembrance of the solar event we have a commemorative edition here:

There are dozens more music selections that could fit right in with these videos — perhaps we will have another go at finding and adding some more decent songs and be ready for the next total eclipse!

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