Friday, 22 May 2015
Today's track is from way back in the mists of time, 1991 when we were all a bit more optimistic, less jaded and cynical. How else can you explain a term like Hip-house where you could sample Donovan and The Hombres and come up with something this funky but with no added cheese. The Definition of Sound boys were not averse to sampling 60s tunes. The follow-up found them sampling Gloria by Them and on other releases they lifted sounds from the likes of Tom Jones and Syl Johnson. This is the best though.
Have a good weekend people
Definition Of Sound - Wear Your Love Like Heaven
Thursday, 21 May 2015
It's a few weeks since we have had anything from "the mighty Fall" and what with a very good new album released last Monday I have an excuse if any were needed. This track is from the gruppe's tenth Peel session broadcast on 09-07-1986. R.O.D. was the opening track on that year's excellent album Bend Sinister which according to Piccadilly Records site has been strangely omitted from the Beggars re-releases later this month.
The Fall - R.O.D.(Peel Session)
Wednesday, 20 May 2015
I was going though a couple of the boxes of singles at the weekend looking for things to bring to your attention, when a cover caught Leo's eye. No mean feat as he was engaged on Youtube watching and listening to the inane drivel of one StampyLongNose. "What's that record?" he said. I knew as soon as I saw the 45 he was pointing to that there was a good chance that he may like it as it's loud, fast and a lot of fun. I was right although he says it's not as good as Too Much Apple Pie (Kennedy) he did jump about alot to it and asked for it to be respun at least four times.
Destination Zululand, I must confess I also first picked up because of it's cover, It was during one of my lunchtime visits to a mate's father's cupboard of records, for the full story see here . I'm not sure whether Scott had a special relationship with Stiff records or whether the label had pushed out the boat on the promotion of King Kurt's first single for the label but he had a copy of the 7" single, 12" single and a rat, I think it was a rat , lying across bins shaped picture disc. I asked C how much he wanted for the 12" single and went away with it. I took the record home after school and tried to play it but it wouldn't play on my Sanyo music centre as the record played from the inside out and my player could not handle that stopping the turntable every time I tried to put it on. I kept the 12" but went back and got the single for 50p. It is a record that I think I played for a couple of weeks and then forgot about for a few years until I became part of the scooter scene when the tune was frequently heard at dos and runs and I'm sure that I sold the 12" to one of the Hamilton Ghosts ( a nearby scooter club with a few psychobillies) for a handsome profit, keeping the seven, Looking back now I wish I had made it a clean sweep and taken the picture disc as well. I did also get the album from the same source which I think was sold on in the same manner as the 12".
King Kurt - Destination Zululand
Tuesday, 19 May 2015
I can find out very little about Marie Adams other than she appears to have worked with Johnny Otis after releasing a couple of singles on Peacock Records out of Houston Texas in the early 50s. She moved to LA where she continued to record through the 60s and is thought to have died in 1972. This is a blinder of an R&B track.
Marie Adams and The Tommy Dodson All Stars - That's The Way To Get Along
Monday, 18 May 2015
Ranking the tracks that are included from thirty five to twenty one was probably the most difficult batch to put in order as there isn't much between any of them for me they are all of a similar quality and if I were to listen to them all again then the order may be different but not by much.
35. Debbie Taylor - Don't Let It End
For me Ms Taylor has two outstanding northern singles this and Don't Nobody Mess With My Baby and until very recently that was the one for me, however over the last wee while this furiously paced stormer has been the one. Not sure why. Released in 1969 on the New York based GWP records.
34. Bobby Paris - I Walked Away
The first of two "blue eyed soul" records within this batch. Paris is probably best known for his song Night Owl which was huge with the scooterists in the mid to late 80s. I Walked Away is a different song, a perfect last tune of the night for me. There is so much emotion in the track, it's incredible and when it reaches the crescendo any doubts of Bobby's soul credentials are well and truly dispelled. Paris as with quite a few of the artists featured is no longer with us. He was unaware that his music which bombed in the US had a following in the UK until Ian Levine contacted him in the late 90's.
33. Barbara McNair - You're Gonna Love My Baby
Another belter of a Motown track that absolutely bombed Why? Maybe because it was a feckin' b-side to begin with! The more I find out about the songs that were never released or not deemed good enough to be the plug side and artists who were sidelined in favour of others within the Motown organisation the more it looks to me that Gordy's luck was better than his judgement and that if there hadn't been such a deep wealth of talent in Detroit things may not have turned out as well as they did for the label. This is another of those tracks that as soon as I hear the opening bars I get goose pimples that are stil there long after the song is over. McNair's vocal just seems so effortless and classy. McNair couldn't just sing, she could act as well, with her own TV series parts in loads of TV series in the late 60s and 70s and starring alongside the likes of Sidney Poitier and Elvis Presley. She was also quite stunning.
32. Tony Gala - In Love
The second of our "blue eyed soul" singers in this batch. In Love was released on the Swan label in 1967. Gala is still performing today and on his website he states that In Love became "a national cult hit" in the US and throughout Europe". If he means that it was championed by the northern soul fraternity he is correct with the track receiving a lot of attention over the past few years. However, I'm not quite sure that that is the impression Mr Gala is trying to put across. No matter what it ls a great track to jig to.
31. Bobby Womack - Home Is Where The Heart Is
What's that on the intro a solo electric guitar? This can't be northern soul and it was released in 1976, surely your taking the piss! Well no, just listen to it and tell me that this does not deserve to be in anybody's top northern soul tracks. This is one of those that always reminds me of the Calla Grand Togetherness weekenders back at the turn of the century, good times indeed.
Sunday, 17 May 2015
Friday, 15 May 2015
Today's track is not really indicative of the type of thing that I was listening back in 1992 as it is neither progressive nor especially housey. I bought the featured track after hearing it one night in a chemically enhanced state after coming back from clubbing. As you do, I came in, raided the fridge, bunged on the telly and heard this song playing on what I think would have been The Hit Man and Her, not my usual viewing either I hasten to add. The next day and for most of the following week the tune refused to dislodge itself from my brain and so when in town on the Saturday I rifled the shelves of Fopp and 23rd Precinct for something called Nothing Last's For Ever or something similar. I certainly wasn't going to ask anyone if they had that tune that was on that programme with Pete Waterman in it, was I. I eventually got a hold of it in HMV.
I'm not quite sure what it is about the song that I like, could it be the sugary, some may say sickly sweet vocals, pretty vacuous lyrics, the really annoying piano or the equally as grating synths or maybe the over used breakbeat. I can't be certain but I do know that it has been played quite a few times over the years, although I am loathed to admit it, probably a lot more than some of the Cowboy or Guerilla records from the time that I own. Strange really. And since deciding last week to feature it here today, I have listened to it four or five times, yes it is dated but it is far from unpleasant listening.
Have a good weekend people. Since the football season has now finished, L has bought paint and I fear that I cannot put off any longer the decorating of the living room.
Ultacynic - Nothing Is Forever
Thursday, 14 May 2015
I have been playing the parent album of today's track a hell of a lot over the past week or so. It still sounds as fresh, sleazy and essential as it did all those years ago. Hannett's production is just perfect. Strangely this album never features on those lists of albums you really should own but you really should get yourself a copy of Bummed if you don't already own it. For me Performance is the best song the Mondays ever did, a baw hair in front of Wrote For Luck.
Happy Mondays - Performance
Wednesday, 13 May 2015
I think if I remember correctly that 1991 was quite a good year. It was for me. There was so much going on musically with new "what the fuck is that?", in a good way, records coming out on a weekly basis. I think the reason why Can You Dig It sticks in my memory so much is that it wasn't an out and out dance record but it has that sort of optimistic vibe that even a miserable git like me had at the time. Another band that for me the one great single was enough and I wasn't tempted to explore any further. The version posted is the Steve Proctor remix which is the one I always seem to turn to.
The Mock Turtles - Can You Dig It?
Tuesday, 12 May 2015
I believe that this is not only the finest thing that Sinead O'Connor has ever done but also one of the two best songs from the past twenty odd years dealing with the injustice of people being killed by the law enforcement authorities on both sides of the Atlantic. The other being American Skin.
Sinead O'Connor - Black Boys On Mopeds
Monday, 11 May 2015
Here we go with the next five in the run down and oh dear looking at the fifteen tracks so far it appears that I also favour female vocalists when it comes to my rare soul as well. You will just need to wait and see if it evens itself out in the end.
40. Linda Jones and The Whatnauts - I'm So Glad I found You
This is not your typical northern sounding tune, released in 1972 on Stang records and another of the tunes played at the Mecca which illustrated the difference in styles of there and the Casino. The bit where Jones' vocal starts always sends shivers up my spine.
39. Darrell Banks - Open The Door To My Heart
Another of those songs that gives me a warm fuzzy feeling from the opening stabs of brass to that sweet soulful pleading vocal there is nothing to dislike about this record. This was one of the few northern plays that was actually a hit prior to it being played on the scene, charting in the States in 1966. Banks tragically was shot and killed in 1970 by a policeman in Detroit.
38. Betty Lloyd - I'm Catching On
I first heard this song on "The Stafford Story" Goldmine compilation from 2000. This cd brought together tunes that broke at the Top Of The World club in Stafford in the 1980s. I don't know much about this record other than it was released on the Detroit label BSC.
37. The Steinways - My Heart's Not In It Anymore
My Heart's Not In It Anymore just edges the other side You've Been Leading Me On. I love how you can have such an upbeat song about breaking up. The lead vocal is provided by Yvonne Gearing who went on to front the Glories who have become one of my favourite Girl Groups over the past 18 months or so but who strangely do not appear in this run down.
36. Charlie & Inez Foxx - No Stranger To Love
No Stranger To Love by the brother and sister duo from Greensboro' North Carolina was also a hit in 1966 in the U.S. They are probably best known for Mockinbird from 1963 but it is No Stranger that is the one for me. There is something about Ms Foxx's vocal on this track.
Sunday, 10 May 2015
I had half forgotten about this "Scottish Supergroup" until a track came on the ipod the other week. If you have too you really should reacquaint yourselves with them. If on the other hand you are thinking who? Just go and buy both cds, you won't be disappointed.
The Reindeer Section - Cartwheels
Saturday, 9 May 2015
Thursday, 7 May 2015
I'm sure you don't need me to tell you that there is the small matter of a General Election happening in the UK today. Therefor I implore those of you on our shores to get out and vote. I would prefer you to vote for a party putting forward progressive policies and an alternative vision but really just go, spoil your paper even vote Tory if you absolutely have to but please vote!
The Redskins - The Power Is Yours (Live)