This time Llama came to me with Classic Rock songs Phish hasn’t played. He said into the 80s, my mind thinks of AOR (album-oriented rock) from FM radio in the 70s. Well that is easy enough, I thought, but there are so many options, ones Phish could play as a joke, ones that could be venue specific, or maybe even ones that can join Rock and Roll or Drowned in the cannon. I went with the last option, so in no particular order here are my 5 Classic Rock Songs From The Late 70s, Early 80s That Deserve To Be In The Rotation
Paul McCartney - Band On The Run
One of the most prolific songwriters ever is woefully underrepresented in the Phish catalog with the White Album not producing any staples for the band. The multipart feel fits Phish perfectly and Page would shine singing those lyrics.
The Police - Driven To Tears/When The World Is Running Down
This combo from The Police’s Zenyatta Mondatta would be a great chance for Fishman to shine and Trey to do some interesting textures before hitting the badass break of the former and slipping into the groove of WTWIRD.
T. Rex - Bang a Gong (Get It On)
I mean, Phish doesn’t straight rock enough and this may be up for the best groove of the 70s. No brainer for Mike to tell us what we already know ‘Get it on’.
Spirit - Mr. Skin
Randy California and Spirit put out some of LA’s best psychedelic rock in the late 60s and early 70s but never had the kind of breakout success as other local bands. Still, their Family That Plays Together and 12 Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus perfectly sum up LA’s grittier version of psychedelia. Mr. Skin is a stand out on 12 Dreams and would be a great vehicle for the band to get lost in with its furious beat and wall of sound approach.
Genesis - Abacab
Trey’s love for Genesis is well known. I chose this because of the open-ended nature of the middle section which could give the band a lot of space to explore. While the lyrics fit right in with the dark side of Phish.
Foreigner - Jukebox Hero
This is the perfect cover to complete a Soul Planet, More, and Shade set one run.
Golden Earring - Radar Love
I am a bit surprised Phish hasn't covered this song yet. With its extended instrumental section, it is already road-ready for the band.
Ram Jam - Black Betty
Fishman has to talk the vocal lead on this song. Ideally, this song would be played after or before another riff-heavy jam, like Carini or Martian Monster.
The Guess Who - No Sugar Tonight / New Mother Nature
Ideally, this song would open up an unimaginably evil second set but only the No sugar part and the song segues into evil Split Open and Melt. Then the set continues as one long jam with the final segue being into the New Mother Nature half of the song.
Paul McCartney - Live and Let Die
This song is the perfect arena rocker and to see Phish do it would be spectacular. This would have to be the closer or the final encore song though, that's the only way this cover would work.