When three veterans of Los Angeles' music scene got together in 2010 to invent and record a "lost title track" for the Rolling Stone's Exile on Main Street, they had no idea that it would lead to a 10-song album, acclaim from classic rock heroes like Alan Parsons and Richie Cannata, and playing sets at some of the most influential record stores in the nation on March 14. Coming out on vinyl (with CD in package) March 10, the Title Trackers' Lost Title Tracks is a concept album that parodies and pays homage to the band's rock heroes. (Vinyl available online at Amazon, band website, and in stores via Cobraside Distribution.)
Andy Hill, David Tokaji, and Russell Wiener–known collectively as the Title Trackers–have written and recorded title tracks for 10 albums that do not have one. A title track is a song whose title is the same as the album on which it appears. While many albums have title tracks (Let It Be, Born to Run), many do not (Exile on Main Street, The Joshua Tree).
"So many of our favorite albums have such evocative titles but no song with that title," says co-founder Hill. "So we asked ourselves, what might a song called 'Exile on Main Street' have sounded like had the Stones recorded it, and how can we put our own imprint on the song by amping up the Stones' sound, attitude, and all the quirks we love about them?"
Project co-founder Tokaji adds, "Each of our singing voices was influenced by these artists, so we were able to maintain our own personality while creating recognizable parody. It's not about impersonation–we're creating songs in both their image and our own."
The final product is a 10-song odyssey through the glory days of vinyl album rock. The album includes tracks that satirize the Who, Bruce Springsteen, the Doors, the Clash and many other rock legends. As co-founder Russell Wiener put it, "It's the kind of album you can drop the needle on at a party or in a vinyl shop like a ready-made rock-and-roll playlist." With song titles like "Living in EXILE ON MAIN STREET," "Checking in to the MORRISON HOTEL," and "Throwing Stones at GLASS HOUSES," featuring Billy Joel's longtime sax player, the album sounds like "The Greatest Hits NEVER Written" as the Trackers jokingly put it.
Their March 14 "Rolling Trackers Revue" one-day vinyl shop acoustic tour kicks off at 1pm at Hollywood's Amoeba Records. Throughout the afternoon they will be appearing at Eastside staples Vacation Vinyl (2pm), Origami Vinyl (3pm), Rockaway Records (4pm) and High Fidelity Records (5pm). All these stores will carry the album. They will end at a secret Hollywood location for a 6:15pm happy hour set (location to be revealed on social media the morning of the tour.) All the shows will be brief and free, and each set will be different. Die-hard "Trackies" are invited to ride along in the Tracker Tour Bus for a behind-the-scenes look at the mayhem and drinks. Tickets can be bought here.
The three members of the Title Trackers have put decades into performing, writing and producing music in their respective bands and projects–and honoring those that have influenced them through the years. Russell Wiener has worked with some of his musical heroes, engineering and producing sessions and live events for Ray Manzarek, Alan Parsons, David Pack, Steve Perry and others. Hill created Dylanfest–an annual all-day concert dedicated solely to the music of Bob Dylan. Tokaji is the frontman and songwriter for Dry September, a band that pays tribute to influences like MLK, Cesar Chavez, James Joyce and the Beatles.
Disclaimer: The project has no affiliation with, nor is it endorsed by, any of the artists being parodied.
For more information, see thetitletrackers.com.