City Of Tiny Lights

FZ album(s) in which song has appeared

Tour(s) on which song is known to have been performed (main source: FZShows, v. 7.1)

Comments

Foggy G, "The Songs That Were Played," We're Only In It For The Touring

1976-77: Essentially performed as on "Conceptual Continuity" from Beat the Boots Volume II, with the standard deviation coming in Ray's solo. As always, Ray treats us to some of his inimitable vocal accompianment during his solos, and then continues on and proves that it is not only for his vocal skills that Frank hired him. Oddly enough, we also get a short O'Hearn bass solo after Ray's solo, which eventually leads us back into the composed guitar theme. In the closing vocal section, Ray sings his heart out, and proves that even if he were the worse guitar player in the world, Frank would still be forced to hire him due to his amazing vocal abilities. While it is nowhere near as crazy as the early '80's versions, these closing verses also contain some slight musical mayhem, courtesy of Frank and some well-used guitar effects. Finally, once the lyrics are finished, Frank and Ray usually engage in some competitive jamming, with Ray vocally improvising on the "over there" line, and Frank ripping off some licks, and an occasional full-blown solo. A version worthy of the "City of Tiny Lites" name.

1977-78: Essentially performed as on "Sheik Yerbouti", with the standard deviation coming in the solo section. Over the course of the tour, we get a variety of solos, ranging from nothing-but-O'Hearn bass solos in the early days of the tour, to the standard Frank guitar outings in the remaining shows. Frank's solos were usually a bit longer than the one we have on SY, but they were not yet quite the tour-de-force solos that this tune would deliver on later tours. Note the written guitar part to close the solo section, and the little piano break before the return to vocals—two aspects of this song that would disappear in the '80's.

1978: Essentially performed as on "Saarbrucken" from Beat the Boots Volume I, with the standard deviation in Frank's solo, and in the occasional Denny slide solo. Like several other tunes on this tour, this is the hyperactive drum version, so called because of the dominance of Vinnie's drums. This guitar solo had still not reached the somewhat epic proportions that it would reach on later tours.

1979: Essentially played as on "Anyway the Wind Blows" from Beat the Boots Volume I, except for the fact that the solo on that version sucks. On any other night, Denny rips the roof off the place with an incendiary slide workout, forcing Frank to collect his wits and prove to the world that no sideman is going to outdo him. In the waning days of the tour, Frank starts to experiement with this tune, inserting an early instrumental version of "Outside Now" into the solo section. The results are not that smooth, but they are musically quite interesting. Finally, to finish off the tour, the final "City of Tiny Lights" performance on this tour (4/1), contains a very rare keyboard solo (Wolf), and the smoothest of the "Outside Now" workouts. This turns out to be a pretty successful tour for this tune. Notable Versions—3/19/79 [with "Filthy Habits" rif], 3/31/79 [with original "Outside Now" solo]

1980 Mar-Jul: One of the repeated highlights of the tour. Essentially performed as on YCDTOSA Volume V, allowing for obvious differences in instrumentation, and with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. For the US portion of the tour, we get the '79 guitar solo vamp, as can be heard on "Anyway the Wind Blows" from Beat the Boots Volume I, complete with the composed segue from the solo back into the vocals. For the European portion, however, we get the debut of the Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression, and to celebrate, Frank makes sure he gives us solos worthy of such a progression. They are excellent workouts, with Barrow and Logeman keeping a solid groove going beneath them. The post-solo vocals are not yet tweaked, however, though Ray's always incredible singing more than compensates for the lack of musical fireworks. [CARLOS SANTANA CONCEPTUAL CONTINUITY CLUE—During his solos on both 6/21 and 6/22, Frank quotes—at length—the song "She's Not There", a Zombies' song covered by Santana in the late '70's.]

1980 Oct-Dec: This is the tour for "City of Tiny Lites" guitar solos. Frank's incredibly high energy coupled with Vinnie's frantic drumming and the Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression create some of the most insane guitar masterpieces. Frank plays as if he has just slammed an entire pot of coffee and has only one way to exert his newfound energy—through the guitar. These solos sound as if Frank's guitar has exploded, pouring forth a violent spew of twisted and perverse guitar notes. Simply exhilirating. The version we get this tour out is essentially the same as the YCDTOSA Volume V performance, with the guitar based opening, the Carlos guitar vamp, and the randomly orchestrated post solo vocals (which seem to be a lot more fun than the instrumental festivities which would occur on the '82 tour). For me, this tour gives us the definitive version of this guitar solo classic.

1981: A monster version of this tune, essentially played as on YCDTOSA Volume V, with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo, and in the conducted-by-Frank theatrics of the post-solo section. Throughout the tour, there were standard vamps and musical dramatics that the band would perform in the post solo section, but the order, length, and arrangement of these parts were not the same nightly. Frank reconstructed the song at each performance, maintaining a slight regularity, but not simply repeating the same dramatics in each performance. For this tour, this post-solo section is not as overdone as on the following tour, as the rhythm section seems oblivious to what the rest of the band is doing. Despite the madness that is going all around them, Thunes and Wackerman keep a steady beat going throughout. The guitar solo in this version contains the "Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression" solo vamp.

1982: A monster version of this tune, essentially played as on YCDTOSA Volume V, with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo, and in the conducted-by-Frank theatrics of the post-solo section. Throughout the tour, there were standard vamps and musical dramatics that the band would perform in the post solo section, but the order, length, and arrangement of these parts were not the same nightly. Frank reconstructed the song at each performance, maintaining a slight regularity, but not simply repeating the same dramatics in each performance. The guitar solo in this version contains the "Carlos Santana Secret Chord Progression" solo vamp, and "That Ol' G Minor Thing Again" from the "Guitar" album is a "City of Tiny Lites" extract.

1984: This tune was sort of weak, this tour out. The beginning was arranged similar to the '82 version found on YCDTOSA Volume V, with the opening chords played on guitar with no other accompaniment. The tune proceeded as normal, with a subdued "Carlos Santana Chord Progression" as the solo vamp. Sadly, Frank's "City's"solos never really took off on this tour (possibly sick of the song by this time). And the post solo section—without the written guitar part or the piano break—was played such as on the '88 tour (without the silliness of the '82 tour). To my ears, this song was almost inconsequential on this tour. It just never seemed to carry the weight that it did on practically every other tour.

1988: Essentially performed as on MAJNH, with the standard deviation coming in Frank's solo. One of the things that is sorely missing from Frank's mix of this tune is Keneallly's wicked rhythm work throughout the song. [Carlos Santana Conceptual Continuity Clue—Prior to his solo during the 2/17 performance, Frank sings the line "Got a Black Magic Woman".]

 

 

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