Friday, 30 March 2012
I never got into the Prodigy, Charly just annoyed me and the later stuff like Fire Starter and all that I couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. It all seemed to me rather cartoonish and obvious. The slightly "edgier" other side of the coin to the bland trance of Faithless.
No Good (Start The Dance) I did like so much so that I went to a shop miles away where I was unlikely to bump into anyone I knew and bought the 12" single. Don't ask me why I like this over any of the other Prodigy stuff as it has the breakbeats, the female on helium vocals etc. I have no idea I just do.
Have a good weekend people.
The Prodigy - No Good (Start The Dance)
Thursday, 29 March 2012
This past week I have mostly been listening to Spiritualized.
Last Thursday's gig at the ABC is possibly the best SPZ concert I have ever seen and an early contender for gig of the year, it will have to be something extra special to knock it from the podium. The band were note perfect even during the wig-outs and although I thought that the sound was a bit low for the first couple of tracks it was soon turned up to a good level. The set list was nigh on impeccable, every tune just seemed to fit and I'm glad that the two backing singers seem to now be a permanent feature as they certainly add something special to the mix.
Although they didn't play the new album in it's entirety as was the case last October, the tracks they did play were all excellent and I'm waiting for this release more eagerly than I have for anything else for a good few years as I reckon it's going to be a belter and I urge you all to go out and buy it on the 16th April. You will not be disappointed.
Here is one of the highlights of last weeks gig, shit they were all highlights even the lengthy encore, Cop Shoot Cop a track which it must be said I have had a certain ambivalance towards in the past.
Spiritualized - Lay Back In The Sun
Wednesday, 28 March 2012
In 1990 a compilation album of interpretations of Cole Porter songs was released to raise awareness of Aids and money for Aids charities. There are some great covers on the album. I initially bought it for Aztec Camera's beautiful version of Do I Love You. other favourites include the tracks by The Neville Brothers, David Byrne and Lisa Stansfield.
The standout by far has to be Well Did You Evah by Debbie Harry and Iggy Pop which is firmly tongue and cheek but still sounds great and also sounds like the two of them had great fun recording it. I have also posted the rather bizarre video but then again what else would you expect from something by Alex Cox.
Deborah Harry & Iggy Pop - Well, Did You Evah!
Tuesday, 27 March 2012
Monday, 26 March 2012
Here is a lovely piece of soul to start the week off with. Don't know very much about this track other than it was a double a side with Prepared To Love and came out on the Magic City Record Corporation label in 1967.
Thelma Lindsey - Why Weren't You There.
Saturday, 24 March 2012
Friday, 23 March 2012
No words that I could write could adequately convey the sheer brilliance of today's track, so I'm not going to bother.
Released in 1993 on the Boys Own label, I don't think that anything else released by Underworld ever came close to Rez.
Have a good weekend people.
Underworld - Rez
Thursday, 22 March 2012
Off to see Spiritualized tonight, directly after Max's Parents Evening. Must admit, that I have been looking forward to this since October when I saw the band preview the new album, nearly in it's entirety at the Queens Hall. That tour got quite a bit of negative comments but the Edinburgh gig was splendid, although a little on the cramped side for the Spiritualized sound which I think will sound even better in the ABC.
The new album Huh? is released on the 16th April. The week prior to this the single Hey Jane will be released on vinyl but if you can't wait, it is a belter of a track, it is available now as a download from the usual places.
Here is a version of the single which the band performed during the second half of the gig that night. The version posted is from the Other Voices Festival from the start of this year which was streamed live on the Guardian's website.
Spiritualized - Hey Jane (Live)
Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Well it's budget day in the UK and if Newsnight is to be believed we should all rejoice, well the 1% of us who earn more than one hundred and fifty grand a year, as we will no longer be paying 50p in the pound on our earnings over that amount.
Do you fall into this category? No, me neither but let's not get involved in the politics of envy.
As has been stated many times, the tax was only bringing in a billion a year, as those fine, upstanding citizens were finding ways to avoid paying it. But do they get hunted down like the "dole scroungers" or benefit cheats"? No they get a fucking tax break to incentivise them into paying their share.
My question is, if these fuckers don't like paying their fair share, what makes the heir to a wallpaper fortune and future baronet think that they will pay his more progressive taxes and not find perfectly legal ways or not so of avoiding them?
I'm sure the 23 millionaires in the cabinet will be happy with the tax break.
The Flying Lizards - Money
Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Monday, 19 March 2012
It's becoming a bit of a habit starting the week with some soul and like all habits it is becoming increasingly difficult to break. But when the tunes are as good as this, then why should I?
This is a belter of a track from 1967 and probably one of the very few northern tracks to use a melodica. Also check out the label that this tune first came out on.
The Precisions - Why Girl
Sunday, 18 March 2012
Probably not the most uplifting songs to post on Mothering Sunday but My Mom by Chocolate Genius is one of the most emotional songs I own. Written by Marc Anthony Thompson after visiting his parents after a prolonged absence, it deals with his mothers decline due to Alzheimers. Cheery, eh?
It's a toss up between this and Training Wheels by Cloud Cult as to which tune makes me get "something in my eye" more.
Chocolate Genius - My Mom
Friday, 16 March 2012
Bloody iTunes, once again it lost it's way to the bloody external drive and I've had to import the whole of my library again. On the website it's easy, just follow the steps and voila your whole library appears as before. Not for me, well, once it did but not on the last two occassions. It's going to take me weeks again to get all my playlists back.
But enough of my tribulations, it's Friday which means one thing. Yes. Another in the series that refuses to just give up the ghost and fuck off. Due mainly I must admit to my lack of imagination and effort to come up with something to replace it with.
So, it's back to 1992 and a speaker shaking, structural damage creating if played too loud dub mix from a duo who were consistently on top of their game and probably along with Underworld the biggest names in Progressive House.
Release The Pressure was released in 1992 and was Leftfield's third release. The track posted is from the white label Release The Dubs ep, which helpfully has no track listing on it, side two, track one is my favourite and apologies for all of the crackling at the start, I don't think that the vinyl that it was pressed upon was of particularly good quality, fortunately it only lasts for the first 20 secs.
Have a good weekend people.
Leftfield - Release The Dubs 3
Thursday, 15 March 2012
Wednesday, 14 March 2012
In the early 80s after disbanding The Jam and forming The Style Council, Weller also set up a record label, Respond Records. Tony Burke and Julie Hadwen wrote to Weller asking him to sign their band, Big Sound Authority after seeing an advert seeking artists for the label. The band went on tour with other groups rostered to the label and were offered a contract, the band, however decided to sign to MCA Records offshoot Source.
The band scored a hit with their single, This House and went on to release another 3 singles and an album for the label before they split up in 1986.
I always liked Big Sound Authority and owned This House, the follow-up, A Bad Town and a live tape recorded from Radio 1 In Concert but for some reason never bought the album. So when I saw An Inward Revolution for two quid in Oxfam Music for two quid I bought it.
Although the album sounds very much of it's time, especially the brass it still sounds good to me especially Hadwen's vocal. The track posted is the one that was the highlight of the live recording for me.
Big Sound Authority - My Hell Shaped Room
Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Weller has been popping up all over the ship recently and also Gareth at How Does That One Go Again posted a blissed out hippyfied version of today's tune last week.
I remember when I first heard that the Style Council had covered on of my favourite House records. I was a bit incredulous that Weller who for me had been peddling retro blue eyed soul for the previous six years was covering one of my favourite House records. However when I thought about it a bit more the content of the lyric, the themes of solidarity and freedom did chime with the sentiments and content of a lot of the Style Council output.
I still had a kind of forboding about where Weller would take this anthem but was pleasantly surprised with the outcome which is not radically different from the original albeit some what shorter in it's 7 inch form which is the only version that I used to listen to. A couple of years ago I picked up a copy of the 12" for 50p or something in a charity shop and was surprised to find that the extended version wasn't as bad as I remembered and which I have played a few times since them.
Apparently Weller and Co had recorded a whole album of house music, entitled Modernism: A New Decade which was rejected by Polydor.
The Style Council - Promised Land
The Style Council - Promised Land (extended mix)
Monday, 12 March 2012
A few weeks ago I featured Ella Washington's version of He Called Me Baby. Here's the flip side, a more up tempo tune where Ella tells her no good, cheatin' man that he better shape up or ship out and the subsequent tears would no longer be hers, go on girl.
Music doesn;'t get much better than this, well apart from the new Burial ep which sounds ten times better on vinyl than it does on mp3. My copy arrived on Saturday and I don't think that a twelve inch has been played as many times during the one weekend since the release of Loaded. If you own a turntable you need to purchase this record.
Ella Washington - You're Gonna Cry, Cry, Cry
Sunday, 11 March 2012
A couple of weeks ago JC and I were talking about nothing in particular between bands at the Spector gig at the Wah Wah hut, when he mentioned the Dorian Linksey book, 33 Revolutions Per Minute and in particular the Frankie Goes To Hollywood chapter and we were both in agreement that it was a very unsettling time with a lot of scary shit going on.
I really don't want to sound like some old codger with the "you had to be there at the time" kind of shit but I'm not sure that anybody under the age of thirty can really grasp how close we came. Not as close as in October 1962 when it really can down to the wire. But a couple of times during the 70s/80s not least when the USSR invaded Afghanistan it looked as though we could be heading for a nuclear showdown.
I remember asking my uncle Jimmy if he remembered where he was when Kennedy was killed to which he replied, " Aye and I also remember where I was when he nearly bloody killed us all!" referring to the Cuban missile crisis. I can't say that I could pin point a time in the 80s that was just as serious as that.
I 'm not sure if I became obsessed with nuclear annihilation but I spent a lot of my youth with a pessimistic outlook which made me think that the world didn't have a a cat in hell's chance of reaching the year 2000. That may sound over dramatic but you watch The War Game and Threads and see if you can keep up your sunny disposition.
At the time we had an American President that thought of the USSR as the "evil empire" and himself as the good guy in some Western who was going to save the world. Over here a Prime Minister that would bend over backwards to do Ronnie's bidding and in Russia, christ we didn't even know if the President we saw on the news footage was even alive. These factors did not lead to a rosy world overview.
Being involved in the Youth CND movement didn't help either all those figures about how many times over we could blow up the planet, facts about nuclear winters and EMPs. Finding out that just outside Lanark there was a Royal Observer Corps Bunker, that the race course which had fallen into disrepair was the location of the mass burial ground after an attack and also reading the Government's Protect and Survive pamphlet didn't give much hope for the future.
Living in Lanark, at the time we had a part time fire service and also the State Mental Hospital seven miles away from town. What the hell has that got to do with any of this, I here you asking? Well it's simple, any time there was a fire within the jurisdiction of the local fire station or every second Thursday at one o'clock the siren would go off, the same siren that would go off in the case of a nuclear strike. Not many, if any of my peer group realised this fact and if in the same class as me first thing after lunch on every second Thursday looked at me rather strangely as I would stiffen in my seat as soon as I heard that horrible sound. I used to try and rationalise it to myself, saying that it was just the test for the Penni siren but there was always that, "what if it isn't, what if it's just a coincidence that it's going off at 1 o'clock on a Thursday?"
I spent the early to mid eighties going to demos in Barrow In Furness, Coulport, Greenham Common and RAF Mildenhall amongst many other lovely locations surrounded by razor wire and patrolled by men with guns with live ammunition and nothing I had seen at any of these places gave me a great hope for the future. It seemed to be inevitable that we were going to come to a sticky end before we even got a chance to get into the nineties.
Which brings me to the main point of this ramble, at this time we had loads of bringing the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction to the masses. Who can forget Duran Duran with their hard hitting protest diatribe Rio. or Spandau Ballet with their critique of the sheer stupidity of the arms race "True". Bands as diverse as Gillan with M.A.D and Timezone's frightening World Destruction took up the cause but it took Paul Morley, Trevor Horn and the demo from a band from Liverpool to produce the ultimate anti war track of the 80's which in equal measures scared the shit out of you but also made you want to dance.
With it's myriad of remixes and formats it is also responsible for the rise in bands having the sole intent of bankrupting their fans by releasing their singles and albums in multiple formats and mixes. Which in turn would lead to the chart authorities putting limitations on the amount of different formats which would be counted when calculating your chart position.
Here are a couple of the mixes
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Two Tribes (Annihilation)
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Two Tribes (Hibakusha)
Friday, 9 March 2012
I will be driving up the road from Nottingham when you are reading this, wasn't going to chance a delayed flight home on a Friday night.
Following on from last week, here is another Warp classic from 1992. Kid Unknown, or Paul Fitzpatrick was a dj at the Hacienda. He produced a couple of singles for Warp, the track posted and the equally as good Devastating Beat Creator, a more in your face Rave track before moving on and setting up LCD records and recording under the moniker of DJ Nipper.
Have a good weekend people.
Kid Unknown - Nightmare
Thursday, 8 March 2012
Here's a track from back in the day when Saint Etienne seemed to effortlessly pen quality dance/pop crossover tracks. Unlike their latest single, Tonight, the first in seven years which, to me feels like they are trying too hard. I'm really not sure what I mean, the track is okay but there is something about the production that irritates me which makes the track seem a little insincere.
Doesn't change the fact that this track is brilliant and deserved to be a single in it's own right and not a double a side with Join Our Club.
Saint Etienne - People Get Real
Wednesday, 7 March 2012
Last year my favourite track of the year was a lovely piece of down tempo house from Birmingham. Free School released their follow-up single back in January and although I didn't instantly fall in love with it, it has grown on me over the weeks.
Here is the Mark E remix, not that Mark E. I am still none the wiser as to what the title means.
Free School - Unravelling After The Lottery (Mark E mix)
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
"Not more soul" I hear you say.
In a word, yes.
Never knew why this was included on a northern compilation, as for me the tempo is way too slow but it is such a good song. The b-side of the 1965 release Ooh Honey Baby on Mira Records.
Earl Cosby - Send For Me I'll Be There.
Couldn't find a scan of the label, so here is a nice picture of a 1978 Lambretta GP, lovely.
Monday, 5 March 2012
I can't think of a better way of starting the week than hearing some sweet soul music. Darrell Banks is best known in northern circles for Open the Door To Your Heart, one of my favourite northern tracks ever.This track is a bit different and became a bit of an anthem in 1983.
My copy of I'm The One Who Loves You is a repress from 2010 on the Outta Sight label and has an until then, criminally unreleased track by Banks on the flip which is as good as anything previously released, however the a-side is still the one for me.
Darrell Banks - I'm The One Who Loves You
Saturday, 3 March 2012
There has not been enough hip-hop on this blog.
Here's a great track from 1988 produced by Teddy Riley which contains a myriad of samples including Lyn Collins 1972 song Think (About It).
I remember buying this 12" single from the Woollies bargain bin for something like 50p.
Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock - It Takes Two
Friday, 2 March 2012
Let's have some early Warp in the form of Coco, Steel and Love Bomb.
Initially released on Instant Records in 1991 and subsequently picked up by Warp the following year. This is a sparse, minimal, House classic which does not sound dated even now. There were so many bloody good records coming out at this time not least on Warp by the likes of Nightmares on Wax, Kid Unknown and the like.
Have a good weekend people.
Coco, Steel and Lovebomb - Feel It
Thursday, 1 March 2012
Evie Sands has featured here before with her sublime version of Anyway That You Want It. Today's track features her first collaboration with Chip Taylor and first single for New York label, Blue Cat.
It was a recurring feature of Sands' career that she released great versions of songs which would be subsequently recorded by others who would be far more successful with what are in, not only my opinion inferior versions of the song. In this instance it was Jackie Ross who had the hit with the track, after an employee at the Chess label got their hands on a test pressing rushed Ross into the studio to record the track. The version which is good has nothing on Sands sublime rendition.
Evie Sands - Take Me For A Little While