Saturday, 31 March 2007

Doctor Who

There's a lot of excitement among the boys in this house at the return of Doctor Who tonight.
To celebrate have a listen to this brilliantly awful disco version of yhe theme tune.

Friday, 30 March 2007

The Moondogs

Doing the school run a couple of weeks ago I got talking to one of the other dads and told him about my USB turntable. He was very interested because like me he hasn’t had a turntable for several years and all his records are in storage, so I invited him round to browse through my collection and see how I convert them. He said he had about 1000 mostly punk and new wave singles and I was welcome to and borrow/copy anything I want. Yesterday he came round with two boxes of singles which were mostly pretty hardcore punk, which isn’t really my scene, but I picked out about 60 less punky ones to check out over the weekend. He’s going to unearth more boxes and bring them round over the next few weeks. You can be sure that any interesting items will be featured here.
Here’s a record from his collection I had never heard until last night. It’s a great piece of powerpop from Derry’s The Moondogs. It’s a sort of Undertones meets the Beatles song.
There’s an excellent Moondogs site here and you can buy their CD’s here.
Finally, thank you to Richard who's generosity and record collection made this possible

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

So far, so good...

It’s only three weeks since I started blogging I have had over 400 hits - far more than I ever imagined and due in no small part to referrals from the Vinyl Villain. I have thanked him for this and he was kind enough to say I have posted some interesting records, which is all very well but that’s no good if no-one knows they are there. I have decided the best way to say thanks is by featuring a great jock’n’roll single for him and his readers who decided to take a look.
Also thanks to everyone who has left encouraging messages. Your feedback is much appreciated.
This is a double A-sided single from Scotland’s Positive Noise from 1981.
Side A is Give Me Passion, which reminds me of Magazine and side AA is Ghosts, which is a bit Joy Division-y . The 20-year old me who bought this record preferred Ghosts, and to be honest I still do but Give Me Passion is much better than I remember it and probably more typical of the band.
Vocals are by Ross Middleton who went on to form Leisure Process with saxophonist Gary Barnacle, guest musician on what seemed like hundreds of British records in the 80’s. You can expect some Leisure Process in future posts.
As far as I know there are no Positive Noise CDs currently available but you can find their records on ebay.

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Pop with attitude

Before I started my research the only thing I could remember about the Mo-dettes was that one of them, Jane the bassist, was once married to Woody from Madness.

I can now tell you they formed in London in 1979 and disbanded in 1982, released six singles and one album: “The Story So Far”. They are often described as an all girl punk band, which may be true but I have only heard this single from 1981, which I would describe as pop with attitude.

For more information look here.

For a John Peel session look here.

The line-up on this single is:
Ramona Carlier – Vocals (She’s from Switzerland, hence the wonderful spoken french in the middle of the song)
Kate Korus – Guitar
Jane Crockford – Bass (Who apparently once shared a flat with Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten)
June Miles-Kingston - Drums

MP3: The Mo-dettes - Tonight

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Quiet Men

Sorry about the lack of activity from the vinyl archives this week but I’m afraid I’ve had sick children to deal with. Anyway, here’s something keep you going til the weekend.
One of my favourite Ultravox songs is the single version of Quiet Men as featured on my old Three Into One album. A few years ago I got a copy of The Island Years, an excellent 16 track compilation, which apparently featured all 10 Three Into One tracks. However, the Quiet Men featured on this was the Systems of Romance album version. It’s still a great song but I prefer the single mix with the extra drum machine.
Fast forward to nearly a year ago (still way before I got my new turntable) Island Records released remastered versions of the first three Ultravox! albums. I immediately ordered a copy of Sytems Of Romance because:
(a) It’s my favourite Ultravox album.
(b) One of the bonus tracks was Quiet Men (Full Version) which I assumed was the single version.
And maybe it is but it sounds terrible – so trebbly and toppy that it hurts my ears to listen to it. It’s just this track – the rest of the CD sounds great.
So, just in case anyone else has experienced the same problem here is Quiet Men as featured on my old vinyl copy of Three Into One.

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Dreams To Fill The Vacuum

I realise I should be more informative about the artists featured on this blog but in many cases I don’t know anything beyond the fact they made a record I obviously liked at the time.

A good example is Dreams To Fill The Vacuum by I’m So Hollow (1980); Heard it on the John Peel show, liked it, bought a copy, never heard of them before or since. I think a bit of Googling is required.

I’m So Hollow are a short lived band from Sheffield, contemporaries of Cabaret Voltaire, Human League, Clock DVA etc. They released a handful of singles and had tracks featured on compilations but never released their own album.

Band members were:
Yosef (Joe) Sawicki - drums
Rod Leigh - vocals/guitar
Gary Marsden - bass
Jane Wilson - synths/vocals

One unkind review had this to say: “This moderately unpleasant new-dance quartet from Sheffield has two awful singers, a solid drummer and a penchant for tossing in odd noises and “treatments” when the songs bog down. The music is competently dull, but the vocals are a real detriment.” I can only agree with one part of that. This is a good post-punk song augmented by “odd noises and treatments”.

I'm So Hollow - Dreams To Fill The Vacuum

Live footage of them can be seen in the Made In Sheffield DVD available here.

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Happy Birthday to two petite Scottish ladies

Today is my wife's birthday and, coincidentally, also Clare Grogans.

So there's only one song I can possibly post.

Altered Images - Happy Birthday

Get it here

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

A Lost Synthpop Classic

With so many synthpop records being released in the early 80’s it was inevitable that some good ones would slip through the net and not get the acclaim they deserved. For example, Is There A Reason by The Mood, from 1981.

In their short life span they released five singles and no albums. I’ve been championing this one as a lost classic for over 25 years now and most people I’ve played it to agree, apart from those who have an aversion to the genre. If you’ve ever liked synthpop give this a listen.

You can find out a little bit more about The Mood on this wikipedia entry.

The Mood - Is There A Reason (12-inch version)

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Some cool tunes from 1976

Why 1976? Just because that’s the year I really started collecting records. There are a few embarrassing ones but I’m posting these to give the impression my taste that really quite cool.

Some of you older readers will remember how you would be playing records and then one would be (or at least seem) twice as loud as the others. Cherry Bomb is one of those records. It grabbed you with the opening riff and didn’t let go for two and a half minutes. When I started digitising my old vinyl it became an instant favourite with my three boys (ages from 3 to 6) so I think that qualifies it as a timeless classic, in our house at least.

Oh and er…yes I really did cut pictures out of the NME and stick them to the sleeve. Well, picture sleeves weren’t common in those days so I was being creative, not sad. Honestly.

The Runaways - Cherry Bomb

Another timeless record but for different reasons is Can’s I Want More. This song defies categorisation, which is probably why it still sounds so fresh.

Can - I Want More

Buy The Runaways here

Buy Can here

Friday, 9 March 2007

One of those great gloomy early eighties songs

Here’s a good song with a connection to yesterdays post. Troy Tate was the teardrop’s 3rd guitarist following Mick Finkler and Andy Gill. This is a solo single released in 1981 while he was still in the band. He talks about it in an interview here.
Speaking of Teardrop Explodes connections I suppose this would also be a good time to listen to Julian Cope’s best known solo effort.
Julian Cope stuff can be found here.
For Troy Tate best try here.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Bouncing Babies

So my wife got me a USB turntable for christmas and I thought as well as converting my record collection it would be nice to share it. Most of it dates from the mid 70's to the mid 80's, so if that's your era keep visiting.

For no particular reason I have decided to start with Bouncing Babies, the 2nd single (I think) from The Teardrop Explodes. This single is from 1979 on the Zoo label and is a less slick version of the song featured on the on the excellent Kilimanjaro album, which you can buy here.

The Teardrop Explodes - Bouncing Babies MP3

I'm new to blogging so please leave a comment and let me know if you have download problems.