Sunday, 2 June 2013

What's In Yir Box? P

Where P certainly does not stand for pish. There are a more respectable number of singles this week

First up we have the single that this blog takes it name from. If you don't know the story check out the first post on the blog and it will tell you all you need to know about this song. All you really need to know is that it is a brilliant song in whatever form, the album version, the single version but for me the 12" mix is the one  and that is why I think that this is the only single that features in both my "best" singles box and also the 12"/album box. I will be forever indebted to  Debbie, wherever she is,  for first playing this tune to me.

The Pastels had been releasing music for five years before the release of Crawl Babies but this was the first single that really caught my attention. It was released in 1987 when I was eighteen and running about on a Vespa GS and listening to a lot of Northern Soul but the Pastels were the sound of now , then? When I play this these days I am transported back to a time when every cool  band seemed to be coming out of Glasgow or Lanarkshire. When I was riding into Glasgow at the weekend, going to Fopp and Listen and then down to Flip then over the road to pose in the Rock Garden in the uniform of the day either a bowling shirt or short sleeved American Marine Gunnery Sergeant shirt ( I loved that shirt!), green MA1,  faded 501s, oxblood Docs and flat top. A life time ago!

The next single from the box is Summer Babe by Pavement. Yet more indie!. Somebody once said to me " you like the Fall, don't you?  you should check out Pavement then" and so I did and I liked what I found but I have always suspected that the sound is quite contrived not that it makes it any less good but I do have that feeling. Shambolic is a word that I have seen more than once applied to the Pastels and rightly so, sometimes live but I would use the word to describe Summer Babe, I think it has a lot to do with the drumming and the lo-fi sound. Malkmus did make a huge mistake when he tried to cover The Fall on the Minor Leagues ep.

I saw Candie Payne years ago in King Tut's and she could hardly hold the mike she was that nervous but when she sang she had the place captivated. One More Chance was her third single and the one which I was sure would see her break through but it bombed not even reaching the top 100 in the UK. I think that the timing was out,  as if the single had been released the following year just after Duffy set the heather on fire with Mercy, there would have been an audience more receptive to this blue eyed sixties style soul. The single version of One More Chance differs from the album version, as it is produced by Mark Ronson who does exactly what you would Mark Ronson to do to a track.

I could be wrong, but I'm not sure that many people had high expectations from a release by John Lydon and PiL in 1986. A couple of years previously there had been an album and the brilliant collaboration with African Bambaataa but I don't think that anyone expected the tour de force that was Rise. I'm pretty sure that the first time I heard it was also the first time I saw the video and it was on The Tube not only was the song brilliant but Lydon on the evidence of the video had lost none of his menace.

We are back in 1987 with the next single from the pile. But it is a couple of months later, the flat top is still in place but I've relocated to Aberdeen and frequenting a place called the Mudd Club of a Monday night. Beaver Patrol is not big and it is not clever but it did fill the dance floor on those dreich Monday nights at the end of 1987, in Aberdeen at least. It wasn't until the mid 90s that I found out that it was actually a cover version. A couple of years later I was sitting, blootered,  in the back of a car outside the McDonalds at the Forge in Glasgow when one of the staff walked past and I had the sudden urge to roll down and hang out the window humming the tune of Beaver Patrol to her and then singing "litter patrol" on account of what it said on the back of her jacket which I found hilarious but the rest of the car just shook there head at and told me to " get in and roll up the fucking window!"

Next up is Elvis Presley with That's All Right, where it all began apparently and who am I to argue.

Followed by another Elvis record, the second ep from the film King Creole which includes my favourite Elvis track,  Crawfish. The scene where Elvis sings it in the film, is up there with the motorcycle escape attempt in the Great Escape, the "Charly don't surf" scene in Apocolypse Now or the final scene in Casablanca for my favourite film scene ever, seriously how cool does E P look in that scene? The ep also includes Young Dreams, Dixieland Rock and Trouble which I once had on 7" by Gillan and which if I remember correctly was rather good.

Stop Your Sobbing is probably the single I've owned the most copies of, currently on my fourth. I think the first one was scratched but the second and third both cracked, not sure if it was pressed on a bad batch of vinyl or I have just been rougher on this single than all the rest. There is something about Chrissy Hynde's vocals on this single that thirty three years later still gives me goose pimples. The first single by the band and for me the best single by a fag paper from Kid.

The last P in the box is by Primal Scream and it's not Loaded or Come Together, they are both in the big box but neither is it All Fall Down or Gentle Tuesday, it's  Sometimes I Feel So Lonely. I know that others consider this a Primal Scream ballad by numbers with all the right constituent parts but there is a certain something that really appeals to me, I love the banjo, the harmonica, and when the strings come in on the second chorus I get a wee bit weepy and even Bobby G's vocals and rubbish lyrics don't irk me. "Nothings as it seems, boy, you can be redeemed". It is actually quite lovely.

So that's the Ps for ya.

The Pale Fountains - Across The Kitchen Table (dble pk)
The Pastels - Crawl Babies
Pavement - Summer Babe
Candie Payne - One More Chance
PiL - Rise
Pop Will Eat Itself - Beaver Patrol
Elvis Presley - That's All Right
Elvis Presley - King Creole Vol.2
Pretenders - Stop Your Sobbing
Primal Scream - Sometimes I Feel So Lonely

Pretenders - Stop Your Sobbing


e.f. bartlam said...

All my Elvis Presley is in the E's but, I get P.J. Harvey in the trade..

50ft. Queenie, Rid of Me, Man Size

Pixies...too numerous

Palace Brothers
Palace Songs
Palace Mountain
Palace Music

The Pink Faries - Walk Don't Run, Tomorrow Never Knows

Prince...way too numerous but, Take Me With is, among monumental competition, the hands down favorite.

Pulp - Mis-shapes

Pavement...forget it, though I too have Summer Babe on, Debris Slide, Home, From Now On...and on and on.

I don't know if contrived is the word I word I'd use but, there was an obvious and deliberate effort not to come across as earnest or genuine about anything. They were explicitly reacting to the cause oriented acts of Alternative or College Rock and to the emotional damaged of thrift store-indie rock.

You rarely hear anybody talk about how mean or morally ambiguous and emotionally vapid those early songs the extent that you could make out anything at all.

The sound was willfully naive too...they just ripped The Fall and Swell Maps, The they were Chuck Berry. Conduit for Sale is New Face in Hell. But they were genius rips. Malkmus' brilliance peaks through in those early records when a surf rock, bop bop bop sensibility is pasted over these "covers"'s art-rock as pop art rock.

They were more of a recording project at that point and a lot of people thought Gary Young was behind the whole thing. Then they became a damn good band...then I think Malkmus started to take himself seriously and the whole thing fell apart.

The Classical cover is a big dud...I think it's a middle finger, not to the Fall, but to Pavement itself.

Swiss Adam said...

Pulp- Es and Wizz, Disco 2000, Common People

Public Enemy- Fight the Power
PiL- Public Image

Simon said...

An old mate of mine who used to be a promoter at various clubs had one of those 'superstar djs' on. They had a big ruck about payments and length of set and crap with the dj's hangers on. So anyway my mate, who was constantly drunk and chemically enhanced by about 9pm at his nights got the hump. He pissed on the dj's records.

dickvandyke said...

The Piranhas 'Tom Hark' on Sire.
Play (or You Tube) the 2 wondrous b sides; 'Getting Beaten Up (Is Part Of Growing Up)' and 'Boyfriend'.

Sums up the time perfectly.

dickvandyke said...

The boys might like this ..

drew said...

Jeez, Dickie, that takes me back to YMCA discos in the days of burgundy stay press and white socks

dickvandyke said...

Haha - exactly mate. Couldn't have put it better meself.

I still have the album on vinyl.

Zoot Alors!