Twelve years ago today, March 31, 2011, the Australian band Men At Work lost the appeal against a ruling that their now 40 year old 1983 hit song “Down Under” was plagiarized from the folk tune “Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree.” More than a baseless allegation, it’s an argument that appears beyond ridiculous. You be the judge:
Men at Work Flautist Greg Ham, depressed and dejected in the wake of such accusations, no longer laughing in the old gum tree, died soon thereafter in 2012, perhaps of a broken heart. Their song serves as a springboard for today’s playlist “Flute Thing – Pop & Rock Songs Featuring Flute.” Speaking of copying, the Beastie Boys “Flute Loop,” borrows the flute line from Al Kooper’s playlist title song “Flute Thing.” I suppose they credited the sampling, making it legal and acceptable.
So songs you know and love prominently featuring the flute include Firefall’s “You Are The Woman,” The Mamas & The Papas “California Dreamin’,” Canned Heat’s “Going Up The Country,” this video a cool glimpse into the early ‘70s:
The Beatles “The Fool On The Hill” and “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” The Rolling Stones “Ruby Tuesday,” Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See,” one of the best known flute intros to a popular song:
as well as their “Heard It In A Love Song” and “Fire On The Mountain,” and several songs by Jethro Tull, The Moody Blues, Genesis, and Traffic. Flute seems to have been a popular instrument among progressive rock bands of the ‘70s.
Other bands of the ‘70s explored the flute as well, including Heart with “Dreamboat Annie,” Eric Burdon’s “Spill The Wine,” The Association’s “Along Comes Mary,” The Guess Who’s “Undun,” and Manfred Man’s “The Mighty Quinn.” Of note, another ‘70s song, Van Morrison’s “Moondance,” also appropriately on the list, also makes the list of songs with great piano solo, saxophone solo, flute work, and bass line, appearing on my playlists highlighting songs prominently featuring each of those instruments, making it in my humble opinion one of the most musically well-rounded songs ever recorded.
A few sleeper songs include Bob Seeger’s “Jody Girl,” such a beautiful song, and Cat Stevens “Katmandu.” And for better or for worse, who can forget Van McCoy’s “The Hustle.” I remember that song being played as a highlight, or perhaps lowlight of our sixth grade dance. And of course there’s this, one of the most epic flute solos to start a song (click hot link below):
On to the playlist:
I hope that this music and my blog truly serve as a “revival: a new presentation of something old,” a springboard to return to the music of your youth, or perhaps to find artists you want to discover anew. Rediscover the passion of music in your life.
Live in the moment.
Enjoy the moment.
Love the moment.
Listen to the MUSIC!