leejohnson's current selection is:
Hour Of The Wolf
by The Hassles, feat. Billy Joel, piano/vocals

[Over to my second favourite solo artist of all-time, after David Bowie - the unmatchable Mr Billy Joel. His time with the rough-round-the-edges fledgling 'prog pop' outfit 'The Hassles' is outlined below, from that reliable oracle of music wisdom, "AllMusic". I think the chosen track, at 11:45 long, will be a challenge to listen to in itself:]

Artist Biography by Chris Woodstra

'The Hassles' found their place in music history as Billy Joel's first recorded moment, but musically they deserve more. Though they only released two albums, 'The Hassles' were a pretty proficient, highly enjoyable, though not particularly groundbreaking act that saw a fair amount of local attention in the Long Island area. 'The Hassles' were a 'blue-eyed soul' band, modelled somewhat after 'The Rascals', formed in Long Island in 1964 by drummer Jon Small, singer John Dizek, organist Harry Webber and guitarist Richie McKenna. Webber was fired from the band in 1966 due to erratic behaviour and Billy Joel, who had earned a local reputation as a keyboardist with 'The Echoes', 'The Lost Souls' and 'The Commandos' (as 'Billy Joe Joel'), was enlisted to take his place on the condition that the band also take on bassist Howie Blauvelt.

Though still a teenager, Joel was also able to add prodigiously soulful lead vocals and harmony. The group's new sound quickly found a following through constant gigging throughout Long Island. 'United Artists' signed 'The Hassles' in 1967, releasing their self-titled debut by November the same year. The single, a cover of Sam and Dave's "You've Got Me Hummin'", made it to No. 112 outside the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, but the album failed to make any impact outside of the band's local following. In 1968, they followed with the more psychedelically inclined "Hour of the Wolf".

The group disbanded the following year when Small and Joel left to form the heavier organ-and-drums duo 'Attila'. 'Attila' released one album for 'Epic' in early 1970 that went justifiably unnoticed at the time and remains an embarrassment for Joel to this day. Joel went on to an incredibly successful solo career, and Small went on to become a video producer. In 1999, "The Best of the Hassles: You've Got Me Hummin'" compiled the best of 'The Hassles' recordings, adding four unreleased cuts as well.

[We all had to start somewhere, no matter how insignificant or unimportant our roles in life were, and Joel was no exception. Like all the other artists featured in this Hashtag series, there was a vitally crucial period of groping around in the dark, looking for the light switch (so, metaphorically, hit the light switch and you make it big into a glittering future of untold riches and fame). For those who were unlucky enough never to find the switch during their groping around, I have the utmost sympathy.]
1968 - United Artists - United States - From the album of the same name.
Posted: About 2 hours ago
Rewind to the Seventies! But #BeforeTheyWereFamous .......
Born in 1954, leaving education by 1972, 'glam' was my thing, "Ziggy" Bowie my hero. I was even the only guy in my town with the haircut (though not the carrot red colouring!). Therefore every seventh selection is a Bowie track.
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