Sunday, 31 May 2015

Friday, 29 May 2015

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance



I am  stunned that I have never posted this tune before, I was positive I had. It's an absolutely stonking reworking of a weird bit of late 60's Jamaican psychedelic reggae. What do you mean you didn't know there was such a genre? I think it was invented for this song and this song alone. The original song by Nora Dean called Angie La La is reinterpreted by that french bloke Pilooski who was very productive a few years ago but who has sort of disappeared recently from what I can see. I have been meaning to post the original for ages and will try and fit it in next week. The Pilooski record came out on the New York label Rvng Intl. label as number 10 in the Rvng of the Nrds series of releases. It was released to 1005 single sided, etched copies with around 250 in four different coloured chipboard covers, 2 dub plates and 5 test pressings. I get a bit of a voodoo vibe from this tune,

Have a good weekend people.

Pilooski - AAA

Thursday, 28 May 2015

I Am Mark E Smith



I am really enjoying the new Fall album both the vinyl versions of the tracks and the cd ones. The ratio of good to pish is much better than it has been for some time and there is less of the unintelligible growls and yelps than of late too which is good. Having said that the version of Face Book Troll on the vinyl is probably one of the worst things I have heard in many a year.  I still have no idea what the fuck Smith is going on about most of the time which strangely I have never really bothered about anyway, I am not one of those fans that hang upon his every utterance. One line which is all too clear and which makes me smile is "i'm a big fat man pushing a little pram"

I have two gripes though. Firstly and I shouldn't really be surprised the album art and packaging is shite which brings me to the second one, having to buy both the vinyl and the cd as there are different mixes/versions on both formats. The vinyl is a tad expensive at twenty two quid, granted it is a double album but not in a gatefold sleeve and no download so I am going to have to spend time ripping the vinyl to mp3, not the most unpleasant job in the world but effort that should not be needed when paying over twenty pounds on the vinyl.

Anyway,  here is the Fat White Family  one of whom, at least worryingly thinks that he is MES. Check out their album it is very good and a little unsettling not least the artwork.

Fat White Family - I Am Mark E Smith

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Sun Smells Too Loud



Sometimes I forgot just how wonderful Mogwai are and then something like Kappa or New Paths To Helicon will drift through the headphones leading me scroll through the mp3 player and an hour or two will be lost in some of the best music to come out of this country in the last couple of decades, as yes it is twenty years since the band formed. Here is a belter of a track from the 2008 album, The Hawk Is Howling.

Mogwai - The Sun Smells Too Loud

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Eighty Fucking Four!



Sorry about this but I am going to have a bit of a rant and those of you with no interest in UK politics shouldn't read any further.

I was reading an article in the Guardian last week where Gerald Kauffman called the new SNP intake in the Commons as "goons" for haranguing Dennis Skinner from his "usual" seat in the chamber. I wasn't that bothered about Kauffman name calling or other disparaging remarks, what caught my attention was his age, 84, eighty fucking four and just elected for another five years! And the man he was defending, the beast of Bolsover is also in his ninth decade. I began wondering how many MPs in the UK are over 70 so I scoured the web, actually put "MPs over 70" into a search engine and after looking at the first couple of entries gave as as I couldn't be arsed. I am all for people working later in life, I realise that I will be working 'til I drop but these two are taking the piss. This will probably come across as ageist and to tell you the truth I probably am being but I think it's about time both of them stood aside and let someone a bit younger with some fresh ideas have a go but they have probably got so used to the gravy train after the forty plus years that they can't bear to give it up.

Frank Hutson - Old Man Me

A Little Sensitivity



A little bit of early 90s South London Gospel anyone?

This was dug out from one of the cupboards on Sunday. Before she retired my mother was a head teacher and at her last school one of her parents was a plugger for Virgin and London records and every so often he would donate a load of white labels and promo tapes when they were having a fund raising jumble sale or the like and I would pick through what was on offer if I was helping out mostly it was chart fodder but I did pick up some promos by the likes of Photek and Orbital but mostly it was just chart fodder. I did however pick up a white label by someone called Lavine Hudson. I had never heard of her before but decided to take it home. The lady has an amazing voice, however the a-side is marred by a horrible early 90s production, the stripped down gospel mix on the flip however does justice to Hudson's voice. Not sure what happened to her as she doesn't appear to have produced anything since 1991. From the entry for her on Discogs she appears to have recorded a version of Abraham Martin and John which I would like to hear.

Lavine Hudson - A Little Sensitivity (Gospel mix)

and here is the less good mix

Lavine Hudson - A Little Sensitivity (12" mix)

Monday, 25 May 2015

My Northern Soul Top 50, 30 - 26



This instalment of the chart also has a heavy emphasis on the female vocalists with only one of the singles sung by a male.

30. Gladys  Knight - No One Can Love You More.

Another Motown gem unreleased in the USA and hidden on the b-side over here of a promo only single, that was brought to the attention of the scene in the last decade or so,  which has you shaking your head and wondering "why was this not released" and not for the first time either. From the slow expectant intro you sort of know that you are in for a treat. Knight's vocal just seems so effortless even when she does on occasion let rip. The tune was produced by Johnny Bristol.

29. Scotty Williams - In The Same Old Way

Our only male vocal in this batch but what a vocal it is, with a real gritty delivery. All I know about Williams was that he was from New York and cut two singles this one on the Jubilee label in 1967. The flip side which is a big ballad is also very good.

28. The Elgins - Heaven Must Have Sent You.

Heaven Must Have Sent You is hardly the rarest piece of soul on the planet having reached both the R&B and Pop Charts on release in the US in 1966 and number 3 in the UK charts when re-issued in 1971. This joyous, Holland, Dozier, Holland penned song never fails to get my arse moving and after hearing it life always feels that little bit sunnier which probably has more than a little to do with the lovely vocal delivery from Saundra Mallet.

27. The Sweet Delights - Baby Be Mine

Another group I know very little about other than the Sweet Delights were four girls and one guy from Philadelphia who cut this track for ATCO in 1968. This was one of those records that I bought years ago which languished at the back of a box before being re-discovered a couple of years ago and which has been played every over week ever since. Love it!

26. Velvelettes - These Things Will Keep Me Loving You

Another Motown single, that's three out of  this batch that are straight out of Hitsville USA. This track was the last single by the trio and was a minor hit in the USA on release and like the Elgins track broke the top forty in the UK on it's re-release in 1971. The song was co-produced by Johnny Bristol, again and Harvey Fuqua, Berry Gordy's brother in law. I used to prefer a far inferior version by another Detroit group called the Blue Sharks until a couple of years ago I realised the error of my ways.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Mellow Sunday




I think my love of the last Slowclub album has been made apparent on these pages and elsewhere  over the past wee while. When I heard that they were releasing an album of cover versions for Record Shop Day, well I nearly decided to get out my bed at 04:30 drive into the town and join the queue outside of monorail, nearly but not quite.  As this was a limited release of just 400 I held out very little hope of being able to bag a copy after all the mania had abated. This was further reinforced checking ebay after the event where copies of I Swam Out To Greet You were listed for north of 50 quid! However the Saturday after the event I found a listing by Record Collector, an independent record shop in Sheffield offering the vinyl for face value plus postage which would have been plain silly not to grab.

There are covers of artists from such as the Eagles through to Future Islands and the album is a worthy addition to any collection but there is a really rank rotten version of The Killing Moon which is best avoided. I particularly love this version of a track from Jamie T's latest album Carry On The Grudge.

SlowClub - The Prophet

Friday, 22 May 2015

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance



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

R.O.D.



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

Humdiddledu Mhaowahaya



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

That's The Way To Get Along



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

My Northern Soul Top 50, 35 - 31






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

Mellow Sunday



This is a lovely track from Allo Darlin's excellent third album released last year which is up to the usual standards of Allo Darlin' records. I love Elizabeth Morris' voice.

Allo Darlin'  -  History Lessons

Friday, 15 May 2015

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance



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

Performance



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

One Little Kiss Isn't Anything.



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

Black Boys On Mopeds.



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

My Northern Soul Top 50. 40 - 36



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

Mellow Sunday



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

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Vote Now!



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)

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Oh Dear, Here's Another One



I Am The Mob was the first single from Catatonia's second and breakthrough album International Velvet. The single entered the top 40 in the UK, only just,  in October 1997, the follow up Mulder and Scully would see the band breakthrough big time, giving them their highest placing hitting number three the following year. I just love Cerys' vocals on I Am The Mob,  just the right side of manic and with some very funny lyrics to boot. It is one of those records that have to be played very loud,  which has been fired onto the turntable late at night after much drink has been consumed on more than a few occasions.

Catatonia - I Am The Mob

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Not Another Female Fronted Band Drew?



At the weekend I was accused of having a bit of a thing for "foxy" female fronted bands and probably today's track will be seen as further evidence for the prosecution. Although I would describe Ali from Lucky Soul as "cool" rather than foxy.

Up In Flames is my favourite track from the band's second album, A Coming Of Age released in 2010 and I think would have made a cracking single. Since the release of that album very little has been heard of Lucky Soul. There was an entry on the band's website in May 2011 stating that the band were in the studio working on the third album but since then nothing.

Lucky Soul - Up In Flames.

Monday, 4 May 2015

My Northern Soul Top 50, 45 - 41



45.  Ellie Greenwich - Baby 

The first of a few records in the list that you wouldn't think of as strictly soul. This record penned and sung by one half of one of the greatest song writing partnerships ever was released on Shadow Morton's Red Bird label in 1965 and for some reason bombed. The  flip side of this is also a belter of a song and probably my favourite Greenwich composition after Be My Baby but not a northern soul tune.

44.  Jimmy "Preacher" Ellis - I'm Going To Do It By Myself

I don't know much about this record apart from it was the b-side to Go Head On and  originally released on the Jewel label out of Louisiana by coincidence the same year the Greenwich single above,  and was written by the blues writer Fats Washington. Mine's is the re-issue that came out in 2013 on the Austrian label Record Shack which had this as the a side and Go Head On as the b side. This track has a funkier feel to it than most of the tunes that were popular with the original northern crowd.x

43, Azie Mortimer - Haunted

I can find out very little about Azie Mortimer. She released her first single in 1960 and as far as I can gather began her career as a jazz vocalist before moving into soul. She recorded a couple of good singles on Okeh in 1970. You Can't Take It Away featuring here back at the tail end of 2013. Haunted which was released in 1973 has also been posted before, at Halloween predictably is the one which does it for me most.

42. Mamie Galore - It Ain't Necessary

It ain't Necessary was penned by Jerry Butler, a  singer, as a solo artist as well as a member of the Impressions is well known within the soul fraternity. This single was released on the Chicago label, St Lawrence in 1966 and is backed by the nearly as good Don't Think I Can Stand It.

41. Johnny Bragg - They're Talking About Me

Last up in this batch is one of the first northern soul records I ever heard as it was on the Out On The Floor inferno released on Neil Rushton's Inferno label. I bought this album back in 1985 which contains another 4 or my top fifty amongst its 16 tracks. This album was responsible for starting my obsession with this type of music and probably in no small part for me purchasing my first scooter a year or so later.

Johnny Bragg cut this single while detained in a correctional facility in Nashville in 1967, which was not his first time in prison, being convicted of 6 counts of rape in 1943 at the age of 17. This sentence was commuted in 1959.  He was also responsible for penning the Johnny Ray hit Just Walking In The Rain. Bragg died from lung cancer in 2004.


Sunday, 3 May 2015

Mellow Sunday



The original version of this song by Jackie DeShannon is a bit saccharine sweet with it's over fussy production making the hippy dippy lyrics a bit much to stomach . The song was co written by Jimmy Holiday  and I have wondered why he didn't do a more soulful version of the song. There is a version by the Isley Brothers but it doesn't do anything for me either.  It was a few years ago now that I first heard the David Ruffin version of the song included on the 1969 album Feelin' Good which for me has become the only rendition of the song worth listening too.

David Ruffin - Put A Little Love In Your Heart

Friday, 1 May 2015

It's Friday . . . Let's Dance



I went to my first hustings since 2001 last night. it was quite enlightening. In Lanark there are five parties standing and all turned up apart from the UKIP guy which was no great loss. The Liberal Democrat was unintentionally funny and didn't really have a clue, the Tory was well, a typical Tory, The SNP lady struck me as being very young, slightly inexperienced but showed promise not least in not being intimidated by another member of the panel. Our incumbent Labour MP unfortunately came over very aggressive and arrogant but I suppose that's what comes with being untested in 27 years and having a 13 000 majority at the last election. I suspect Mr Hood will not find it as easy this time around and the realisation of this may account for his quite hostile attitude towards the SNP candidate.

Anyway, enough of this pish I hear you shout just give us the dance music.

While rooting around the dance music for something to compliment last week's Fatboy Slim remix I found something by Stretch and Vern that I have no recollection of buying but must have bought it for playing when I used to dj in a local pub back in mid 90s.  I was not allowed to play northern soul, 80s indie and progressive house all night, hardly at all really. The owner and I had "musical differences" on more than one occasion, I can think of no other reason for having purchased it. On listening to it again the original it's not that bad with it's Earth Wind and Fire sample and I can imagine the punters at the time in the Woodpecker enjoying it. The Fatboy Slim mix is the one to headto for me.  It is a bit Big Beat by numbers, the sort of thing Norman Cook was rattling out on what seemed to be a  near weekly basis back then but still worth a listen.

Tomorrow is the last home game of the season and as is the tradition with the Wilson brothers it means that a night out in Airdrie is warranted. We have quite a bit to celebrate this year as at the turn of the year it looked like we were relegation bound but we have pulled off another "great escape" finishing 5th,  with a play off place for the Championship just out of reach and we also finish above Dunfermline irrespective of the result tomorrow which has pleased me but it would be good to finish off with a win against the Pars.

Have a good weekend people.

Stretch & Vern - I'm Alive (Fat Boy Comes Alive)