Naked In The Jungle

Naked in The Jungle

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Van Morrison: “Naked in the Jungle” Play this track

I like Van Morrison’s rarely heard raucous side as evidenced on this beauty. He left it in the can for twenty-something years until he released his The Philosopher’s Stone collection of outtakes in 1998. If you like this track, check out Van’s “John Henry” from the same collection. You can listen to that one on NHT’s A Little is Enough podcast from 2018. Just head over to and stream or download it gratis. If you like Wild Man Van’s wild side, do yourself a favor. —Rock Stamberg

Van has soul. Van has swing. Van has uncovered the mystery of love and longing. But Van does not rock and roll. Oh yes, he does. Right here. As is often the case, it’s the acoustic piano that sets the tone of rock that swings. But it’s Van’s bark that bites on this tune that make it a great undiscovered gem that Rock unearthed. — John Stix

Sting & Wynton Marsalis: “Roxanne” Play this track

A sturdy standard but the twist is the soprano sax that answers, echoes and adds its own lead voice. A true duet. And one of the best. Short and oh so sweet. —JS

Leon & Mary Russell: “Say You Will” Play this track

I’m a longtime Leon Russell fan and the two records he recorded with his former wife in 1976-77 are real favorites of mine. This song is a great example of what grabbed me about both records. Nothing sounds like this ridiculously catchy song. —RS

It’s got that island vibe with a huge smile attached. Once discovered this has got to be a first call vacation love song. Gentle waves and piña coladas
for everybody. —JS

John Fogerty: “Bad Bad Boy” Play this track

This song grabbed my ear the first time I heard it. A perfect vehicle for John Fogerty to stretch out on guitar and boy, does he play beautifully. He’s an unsung guitarist and a devoted musician. —RS

Swampy and slashing guitar parts highlight this heartbeat tempo tune. It’s Fogerty writing a Dire Straits tune and playing like Mark Knopfler. The song is slinky and the guitar playing inspired and immaculate. A gem of a find. —JS

Chris Difford: “Battersea Boys” Play this track

Chris Difford (lyrics) and Glenn Tilbrook (music) are, of course, the brilliant songwriting team who have fronted Squeeze for 40-something years. While Tilbrook handles most lead vocals there, Difford has sung a few in his distinctively low vocal register. Anyway, when he put out his first solo album I Didn’t Get Where I Am in 2002, I was pleasantly surprised at how his voice easily carried the entire record and what a good frontman he was. What’s more, he employed co-writers whose last name wasn’t Tilbrook, and the songs were stellar. This beauty is from his 2008 sophomore effort The Last Temptation of Chris. An amazing song with amazing lyrics amazingly sung. The album was dedicated to his brother Les, who I presume the song is about and who died shortly before the album was released. -RS

Sounds like an autobiographical song about his own days growing up. Enchanting melody and lyrics in ¾ time. I was thinking of doing a segment on story songs. I’m still inclined to suggest it, but I’ll have to find another winner to play. —JS

Little Feat: “Dixie Chicken” Play this track

This alternate take shows just how strong Little Feat was in the studio sans overdubs. —RS

Insiders will spot the differences, and newbies will be introduced to a minor classic that really should be considered a bedrock song. —JS

Nick Lowe: “Cruel to Be Kind (Acoustic)” Play this track

Mr. Melody sings it alone with an acoustic guitar. Again, we have a happy melody with dark lyrics. It’s one of my favorite musical ironies: smiling on a sinking ship. —JS

Blood, Sweat & Tears: “Just One Smile” Play this track

They weren’t on the Woodstock records. They weren’t in the movie. Who knew they were there? I did because I was there. David Clayton Thomas kills it on this Al Kooper tune from Child is Father to the Man. Another NHT gem. —JS

Wings: “Spin It On (2022 Remaster)” Play this track

Taken from Wings’ 1979 swan song Back to the Egg, “Spin it On” rocks as hard as McCartney ever has. Evidence the album didn’t deserve the dismissive reviews it received at the time. Hot stuff. —RS

I’ve heard him do “Lucille” and other rockers and I enjoyed them. I love this barnburner. This original tune goes in my “Use This” folder. You want to rock, you got it. —JS

Johnny Winter: “I Hate Everybody” Play this track

You know I love a swinging shuffle. So, the first chance I got to include this one, I did. Dig those lyrics. And that’s brother Edgar on organ and sax. The best of the Winter Brothers. —JS

Steely Dan: “My Old School (Isolated Lead Vocal & Lead Guitar)” Play this track

Oh, how I love this one. It’s a totally fresh take on a classic you know all too well. These two elements stand alone and tell the story completely. In case you didn’t know it already, you are listening to the best Jeff Baxter’s guitar playing on record. His playing is just fabulous. —JS

Edward Van Halen & Sammy Hagar: “Love Walks In” Play this track

Okay, I like Van Halen but have never really thought about Sammy Hagar’s talents one way or another … until I heard this. A rare duo performance with Edward Van Halen on piano and backing vocal and Hagar singing lead is simply stunning. Amazing. John found this and now it’s one of my favorite recordings by anybody. A+. —RS

Here are EVH and Sammy Hagar naked in the jungle. It’s a story well worth listening to. —JS

John Lennon: “Help! (Piano / Vocal) [Home Recording]” Play this track

It was after the Beatles had broken up and Lennon was revisiting “Help.” It’s just his voice and piano as he plays this classic from memory. We hear him struggle to remember how it went, but the sentiment and the tempo still clearly represent his original vision for the song. —JS

Paul McCartney: “Hey Hey We’re the Monkees” Play this track

A bit of fun warming up for an all-acoustic show at the Colosseum in Rome. —JS

The Beatles / Shaggy: “Let It Be / It Wasn’t Me (Mashup)” Play this track

Fun in the sun combining two massive hits that work together beautifully. —JS

Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir & Vince Welnick (of The Grateful Dead): “The Star-Spangled Banner” Play this track

I call this three-song segment “What are they doing here?” Yes, the Grateful Dead did this, and it worked. —JS

Elton John & Jack White: “Two Fingers of Whiskey” Play this track

The duo collaborates on an Elton John & Bernie Taupin-penned blues song for 2017’s The American Epic Sessions. A stripped-down piano/guitar/vocal performance that sounds like it was recorded in an empty room with one microphone (that’s a compliment). Elton John would do well to keep moving in this direction because he shines here, as does the always inimitable Jack White. —RS

Alice Cooper: “Billion Dollar Babies” Play this track

The original Alice Cooper Band rocked hard and wrote great, great songs. Like this one. —RS

Genesis: “Behind the Lines” Play this track

My first and still favorite Genesis album was Duke. “Behind the Lines” opens the record and is the most majestic, intricate, and tuneful prog rock songs I’ve ever heard. Of course, Duke signaled the start of the band’s transformation into a more commercially oriented affair, but still. The entirety of Duke is just as stellar. —RS

I love the majesty and fanfare of the opening. There’s not been much prog on NHT, but it was a big part of my early music listening. I was a big Nice fan, then I got into ELP, Jethro Tull, Yes and King Crimson and they all got a lot of turntable time. Not so much early Genesis. But this tune belongs on anyone’s Best of Prog list. I’m also a big fan of Phil Collins’ solo version, which is more like a Motown take on this same song. —JS