5 Songs You May Not Have Realized Ry Cooder Played On
Given that he’s sitting comfortably in the top 10 of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, you won’t be surprised to learn that Ry Cooder’s skills as an axe-man have been utilized by many bands and singers over the years, but here are five songs that you may not have realized Ry was playing on.
1. Paul Revere and the Raiders, “Get It On” (1966): Cooder was only just getting started in the music business when he contributed bottleneck guitar to “Get It On,” or at least we’re pretty sure he did. There aren’t actually any credits listed on the album, but Cooder has spoken of the sessions for the album in previous interviews, as it’s where he first met Van Dyke Parks.
2. Pat Boone, “Friends” (1968): Ry contributed to the last three songs on Boone’s 1969 album DEPARTURE, but he mixed things up a bit musically. On “Bad News,” he plays electric bottleneck guitar, but he broke out his mandolin for “Break My Mind” and this track, which closes out the album…eventually. (You’ll understand what we mean after you’ve listened to it.)
3. The Monkees, “As We Go Along” (1968): This track from the HEAD soundtrack is remembered by Micky Dolenz in particular because – as he recalled to Entertainment Weekly – “Carole King had to teach me to sing in 5/4 time,” but you can tell that he’s still damned proud of the fact that the song features guitar work not only by Cooder but by Neil Young as well.
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4. The Rolling Stones, “Love in Vain” (1969): Rumors abound about how many Stones sessions Cooder sat in on over the years, but one remark that’s been confirmed is that he was in the running as a replacement for Brian Jones but apparently opted out in favor of doing his own thing. All things considered, that was probably the better choice.
5. Randy Newman, “Mama Told Me Not to Come” (1970): One of the songs that helped put Newman on the map, thanks to Three Dog Night’s iconic cover version, but Newman had Cooder in his camp, which means his version is still cooler.
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