Wednesday, 24 December 2008
Thursday, 18 December 2008
I’ve been following Bill since 1976 when, as a 15-year old, I bought the Hot Valves EP and didn’t stop playing it for months. The most money I’ve ever spent on a record was for one of his: £40 for the ‘Teenage Archangel’ single about ten years ago. I didn’t even have a turntable at the time and had to go to a friends house to play it. Today I checked out his website and found he has a single for free download. I don’t know how long these songs will be available so my advice is get them now.
As a treat for any Bill Nelson fans dropping in here, here is a 1981 instrumental by Bill under the pseudonym ‘Revox Cadets’:
mp3: Revox Cadets - Tony Goes To Tokyo (and rides the bullet train) (1981)
Saturday, 6 December 2008
Just added this song thanks to Dick's comment:
Saturday, 22 November 2008
This song turned up today via Mr Shuffle when I was doing the housework. It’s from the soundtrack of the 1985 Ridley Scott film Legend…or is it? It depends which version you watch. It was certainly there when I saw it on TV about 5 years ago.
Apparently the original score was by Jerry Goldsmith but it didn’t go down well with preview audiences so the film was re-edited (and shortened) and a Tangerine Dream score was substituted. If you buy the US Ultimate Edition of the movie you get the original cut with the Goldsmith score, which many people consider to be his finest, and the short cut with TD, but to really confuse things if you buy the UK DVD you get the short cut with the Goldsmith score which pleases nobody. I didn’t know any of this til a few hours ago but I’m in a sharing mood.
Until I saw this on TV I wasn't aware that Jon Anderson had ever recorded with Tangerine Dream. I know he has his detractors but I love his voice and was totally captivated when this song came on. The line "teaching us to love for goodness sake" is just so Jon Anderson.
mp3: Tangerine Dream with Jon Anderson - Loved By The Sun
Saturday, 15 November 2008
Anyway, to celebrate I’ve decided to post my theme tune. It’s from one of Todd Rundgrens ‘difficult’ proggy albums but it’s actually a wonderful piece of psychedelic pop and the words seem to fit.
mp3: Todd Rundgren - Real Man (1975)
Finally, here is the number one UK single from 15th November 1960:
If you’re wondering about the heading in mathematics 48 is a semiperfect number, sometimes referred to as pseudoperfect. Now that sounds like me.
Friday, 14 November 2008
mp3: After The Fire - One Rule For You (1979)
mp3: After The Fire - Laser Love (1979)
mp3: After The Fire - Joy (1979)
Joy is the b-side of One Rule For You and it lives up to it’s title. I played it as much as the a-side in the 70s.
Monday, 10 November 2008
Released early in 1978 when hippies were regarded with particular suspicion by the music press Opium For The People by Planet Gong (or No Wave Planet Gong if you prefer) attempted to cross the hippy/punk divide and probably pleased no-one as a result. Well almost no-one; I bought it. Steve Hillage, another former Gong member, recorded a similar, and in my view superior, punk/hippy crossover called 1988 Aktivator for his Live Herald album which I would post but I still haven’t got my new stylus.
Back in the day I preferred the b-side Poet For Sale which was perhaps more the sort of thing you would expect from the people involved.
No Wave Planet Gong were Daevid Allen & Gilli Smith with the Here & Now Band.
mp3: Planet Gong - Opium For The People (1978)
mp3: Planet Gong - Poet For Sale (1977)
Friday, 31 October 2008
One of them plays a piccolo in my ear
Another one makes me smell things that aren't there
And they know where to hide
And they know everything that's inside
Of my head
Tiny demons, inside me
One of them ties a lasso around my heart
Another makes me nod when I drive the car
And they won't ever leave
But they won't show their faces to me
And they wait 'til I feel
Like they're gone and they jump out and steal
Tiny demons, inside me
Todd Rundgren - Tiny Demons (1981)
Thursday, 30 October 2008
Here’s my advice to all involved:
Jonathan and Russell: Grow up
Everyone else: Get over it (especially the politicians getting involved like Justice Minister David Hanson and conservative ‘Culture Committee’ MP Nigel Evans. Haven’t you people got anything more important to do?)
I haven’t got a copy of The Fortunes ‘Storm In A Teacup’ so have a Fawlty Towers clip.
Fawlty Towers – Excerpt from Basil the Rat
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Saturday, 25 October 2008
The Herd’s I Don’t Want Our Loving To Die reached No 5 in 1968 and featured a very young Peter Frampton on guitar and vocals. I’ve featured a nice clean digital copy of the song here but when I eventually get my new stylus I think I’ll replace it with a crackly vinyl rip that would be much more in keeping with this blog.
mp3: The Herd - I Don’t Want Our Loving To Die (1968)
The picture below is even older than the record.
Friday, 24 October 2008
mp3: Monsoon - Tomorrow Never Knows (1982)
mp3: Focus - Soft Vanilla (1975)
mp3: Focus - Hard Vanilla (1975)
Saturday, 18 October 2008
“i love this music and i loved those times,my older brothers had lent me their,cream,who,hendrix,etc lps,but i wanted something to earmark my own adolesence for a future reference,something that i could say that i had found, and was all mine,and be bop deluxe was that band…”
Of course my punctuation would have been better but the sentiment says it all. Bill Nelson was my guitar hero at the time; for you younger readers such things were popular before punk came along. I loved Crying To The Sky as a 16 year old. Maybe it was the haunting melody and lyric …who am I kidding? It was the fucking brilliant guitar solos, particularly the first one. They were the greatest thing I’d ever heard and they still sound pretty damn good! See for yourself and turn it up to 11 at 1:47 and 3:02
mp3: Be Bop Deluxe - Crying To The Sky (1976)
This is from Sunburst Finish, my first Be Bop deluxe album because it included the hit single and had a naked lady on the cover...
Friday, 26 September 2008
Friday, 19 September 2008
Interestingly, considering the events this week, the last time I saw him was at a Think Floyd show where his daughter (my niece) was appearing in a production of The Wall.
mp3: Fashion - Move On (Audio Extra)
Another post to follow later (probably).
Monday, 15 September 2008
Friday, 12 September 2008
You know those album tracks that you loved but weren’t singles and never appear on ‘Best of…’ compilations and don’t even get a little tick next to them on Allmusic reviews? That’s what this is about. It might be part of a series or it might be a one off – it depends how drunk I am and how I feel about it tomorrow.
First up, my favourite track from Journeys To Glory (after To Cut A Long Story Short and The Freeze obviously).
mp3: Spandau Ballet - Confused (1981) (Buy)
mp3: Joyce Sims - Lifetime Love
Play loud and stick your head between the speakers around the 3:40 mark
Saturday, 6 September 2008
1. for shame
used to express great discontent, dissatisfaction, disappointment, often in a funny way; usually used after someone (including oneself) has done something wrong, committed a party foul, or said something not cool (either stupid or politically incorrect)
Friday, 5 September 2008
It was my middle sons birthday today and he’s been hinting for weeks that he wants The Legend of Zelda for the Wii so I dutifully ordered it for £30 from HMV (Amazon was out of stock and ironically I don’t use Play because I find them a bit slow). I got an email on 27th Aug saying it had been sent and I looked forward to receiving it. It still hadn’t arrived yesterday (that’s eight days after it had been ‘sent’) so I gave them a call. They said it had definitely been sent but isn’t considered lost until 14 days after the despatch date. But I could get a refund if it arrived late (or not at all).
So, today: We gave him some presents first thing this morning and told him there would be a special one when he got home from school, the idea being if it didn’t arrive today I would nip out and get another. So I waited for the post…and waited. The post was much later than usual today and, of course, when it arrived there was no game. I phoned all the local shops and nobody had it in stock. I started phoning neighbouring towns and the first place I found that had it was HMV (again) in Woking – only now the game was £40 plus a 30-mile round trip in the pouring rain. Anyway, by 2 o’clock I was back home with the game and I finally relaxed. I should have known better. The boy gets home from school, gets all excited about the game and puts it in the Wii…and the f***ing disc is faulty!!!! So, back to Woking, it’s their last copy of course, get refund, go to Game on the floor below and buy yet another copy!! Thank Todd this one works (but I still seem to be £70 out of pocket).
End of rant.
mp3: XTC - Complicated Game (Buy)
Just so we’re clear, this isn’t an anti HMV rant – they’ve actually been very helpful.
Wednesday, 3 September 2008
Thursday, 7 August 2008
I mention this now because I thought it might be nice to post the Abba cover what with all the Abba mania presently going on, so I dug the CD out of its hiding place in the garage and listened to it properly for the first time. Guess what – it’s pretty damn good. The Leather Nun are a Swedish band* and Force of Habit is actually a ‘Greatest Hits’ CD. The main influence is obviously Velvet Underground/Lou Reed but there are also elements of Throbbing Gristle, Iggy Pop and even a hint of Roxy Music. A quick Amazon search suggests none of their albums are currently available in the UK, which is a shame.
The Abba cover, Gimme Gimme Gimme, is actually one of the weaker songs so I’ve decided to post some others to better represent the disc.
mp3: The Leather Nun - Jesus Came Driving Along
mp3: The Leather Nun - For The Love of Your Eyes
Or should that be For The Love of Your Pale Blue Eyes?
mp3: The Leather Nun - Gimme Gimme Gimme
mp3: The Leather Nun - F.F.A.
The funkiest song on the album. Parental Advisory: My kids were in the room when I was first listening to it and I had to reach for the skip button pretty sharpish.
See this fan site for more information.
Thursday, 31 July 2008
It’s been a while since I did the gloomy post-punk thing. Don’t know anything about The Bodies so I can only give you my thoughts. When I bought this I would have been hoping for a Gary Numan or Ultravox style gloomy electronic record. I didn’t get the electronics but it didn’t disappoint on the gloom front. This record builds in a relentless way that makes the ending perfect.
mp3: The Bodies - Art Nouveau (1979)
It also came in a fold-out poster. Click above for the lyrics if you want to sing along.
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
That’s apparently how Belfast band Starjets were once described because of their clean cut image and pop sensibilities. Singer Terry Sharpe later found more success with The Adventures.
mp3: Starjets - Schooldays (1979)
mp3: Starjets - Shiraleo (1980)
Now remember kids these scratchy old vinyl rips will only be here for a limited period. If you like what you hear you can buy nice shiny digital versions here.
Friday, 25 July 2008
mp3: Crash Course in science - Kitchen Motors (1979)
This doesn’t appear on any of the numerous Monochrome Set compilations, presumably because of some licensing issue. As opening lines go ‘Don’t ski naked down Mount Everest with lilies up your nose’ takes some beating. It’s advice that I’ve always tried to follow. This is just the first of many ‘don’ts’ in the song. There are also many ‘do’s’, ‘Play hoopla with Saturn’s rings’ and ‘Tie a knot in Errol Flynn’s’ being my favourites along with ‘Squeeze the spots out of the sun’. The classic Monochrome Set combination of witty wordplay with deadpan delivery and sprightly backing.
Mp3: The Monochrome Set - Ten Don'ts For Honeymooners (1981)
Friday, 18 July 2008
I’ve known the original since I was a kid due to it being part of my brothers collection so I bought the Banned version out of curiosity. The original wins on energy, vocals, style and, well…being the original. I’m told it was a favourite with John Peel back in the day. The remake gets by on cockney charm. But that’s just my opinion. See for yourselves:
mp3: Paul Revere and The Raiders - Him or Me (1967)
There used to be a good Youtube clip of this but now there’s just a very poor quality one. It’s worth seeking out just for a look at their silly stage clothes that stopped them being taken seriously.
mp3: The Banned - Him or Me (1978)
I’ve just found out The Banned have reformed and recorded a new version of their first single Little Girl and a cover of Friday On My Mind. They are available to download from their website.
Thursday, 17 July 2008
mp3: The Dukes - Leaving It All Behind (1979)
Charlie Tumahai was bass player and backing vocalist for Be Bop Deluxe from their 2nd album onwards. His singing features more prominently on this song than any other I can think of (not including live recordings):
mp3: Be Bop Deluxe - Forbidden Lovers (1976) (Buy)
The Dukes were a bit of a sideman supergroup as they also featured Jimmy McCulloch, who had previously played in numerous bands including Thunderclap Newman and Wings for whom he wrote and recorded the rather splendid (and possibly autobiographical) Wino Junko.
mp3: Wings - Wino Junko (1976) (Buy)
Friday, 4 July 2008
Delia Derbyshire was a pioneer in electronic music who worked for many years for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, her most famous work probably being her performance of Ron Grainer’s Doctor Who theme.
I first heard this about five years ago on a BBC documentary called Alchemists of Sound. The whole show was fascinating but this was the most memorable piece of music in it. It’s from a 1966 episode of Out of the Unknown, based on an Isaac Asimov story, called The Prophet. A piece of music of robots singing praise to their ‘God’ was required. I’ll borrow some words from Delia Derbyshire interviews to describe it:
"I did the music for the whole programme. It was probably in the mid '60s. [...] I never watched the stuff. I had a script, that's all. The actors, I got them to chant. The words they were singing were, "Praise to the master, his wisdom and his [reason]" [...] I turned it backwards first, then chose the best bits that sounded good backwards and would fit into a rhythm, and then speed-changed the voices. Then I used just this one bar repeated which had [previously] been rejected from a science and health program for being too lascivious for the schoolchildren. It was like a science program... it was supposed to be about sex, but under another name. And then the producer had the nerve to turn down my music, saying it was too lascivious. It was just twangy things with electronic pick-ups, and I just used a single note and then did little glissandos on it and pitched it and treated it. But the 'Ooh-ooh-ooh' isn't me... that's wobbulator, pure wobbulator. That's a piece of test equipment that does wave sweeps."
But that’s just words. Listen for yourself. Just under two minutes of brilliance.
mp3: Delia Derbyshire - Ziwzih Ziwzih OO-OO-OO
Saturday, 28 June 2008
A couple of weeks ago I happened upon a wonderful blog called Star Maker Machine which has the simple but brilliant idea of having a weekly theme for contributors to post songs on. They have regular contributors but also encourage outside contributions. Next weeks theme is particularly good: They plan to post 50 songs with the name of an American state in the title (and nobody is sure if there is a song for every state). This immediately got me thinking. I’ve got loads of songs with American states (Idaho, California, Georgia, Arkansas, Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, Indiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi immediately sprang to mind) in the title. After a while I couldn’t get a certain Jonathan Richman song out of my head but alarm bells started ringing. I checked with Wikipedia and sure enough New England is not a state but a region consisting of six states (this, of course, won’t be news to my American readers). Still a bloody good song though.
One thing I particularly like about this song is all my friends and family said “What the f*** did you buy that for?” Always a good sign! I thought it had something and I remain unrepentant.
mp3: The Modern Lovers - New England (Live) (1977)
Sadly, a lovely American girl from Boston I worked with in the 90’s always talked about how great New England was but she had never heard of Jonathan Richman. I always imagined he was a local hero.
Anyhow, this discussion led BrotheRay (54) from Dorset to proclaim ‘Gino’, a largely forgotten Hall & Oates song, ‘one of the great seventies singles’ and he may have a point. I’m pretty sure I picked it up for 10p in 1976 (it was released in 1975) and it quickly became a favourite in our house. At the time I used to do impressions of my dad which he knew nothing about (or so I thought but that’s another story) and I found it particularly amusing to have him sing ‘Gino-no-no-no-no-no-no-no-no-no…’ You probably had to be there but, believe me, it was funny at the time. For any other Hall & Oates fans out there the mix on this single is punchier and better than the version that appeared on the 1975 ‘Silver Album’, still their best in my opinion.
mp3: Daryl Hall and John Oates - Gino (The Manager)(SingleVersion) (1975)
Trivia: When I got my USB turntable on Christmas day 2006 this was one of the first singles I ripped.
Friday, 27 June 2008
Matt Fretton supported Eurythmics, Depeche Mode & The Boomtown Rats, released four singles and recorded an unreleased album in the 80s. I loved this at the time so it’s odd that I don’t remember seeing or hearing any of the follow ups. You can hear more at his myspace page.
mp3: Matt Fretton - It's So High (1983)
Friday, 20 June 2008
In these days of CDs and DVDs being given away by newspapers and magazines on a regular basis it’s easy to forget that they used to be expensive and a free cover mount CD was quite a novelty. This is from 1989 and it’s called Offbeat, which was probably the name of the magazine but I can’t remember for sure. It’s a Parlophone sampler featuring five acts of the day and quite an eclectic collection it is too.
1 Marc Almond – Tears Run Rings (Extended Exclusive Mix)
It’s described as the ‘Extended Exclusive Mix’. No idea how exclusive it is now.
2 Goodbye Mr. MacKenzie – Green On Red
Goodbye Mr. MacKenzie are one of those bands I remember hearing about more than hearing if that makes sense. They are probably best known now for featuring Shirley Manson, later of Garbage, as a keyboard player and background vocalist. According to CDDB this is called Green On Red but I believe the correct title is Green Turn Red. Whatever the title it’s a good late 80s indie dance song.
3 The Neighbourhood – Big Long Line
The least interesting song on the CD in my opinion. It sounds a bit Hue and Cry to me.
4 Bliss - Your Love Meant Everything
If memory serves this was a single on an indie label but I’m not sure if this is the original single version. This features a brilliant heartfelt vocal by Rachel Morrison. Bliss was another of those bands that came and went without me really taking any notice but they sound quite interesting now. As much as I love this I think I felt at the time a whole album of this would do my head in.
5 Zeke Manyika - Bible Belt
The pick of the bunch here. If you only download one of these songs make it this brilliant anti apartheid song.
Monday, 9 June 2008
I’ve already featured Fashion singles here and here. This brilliant medley of songs is the final track, in fact I would describe it as the climax, from the debut album Product Perfect.
The final section (The Innocent) was released as a single in its own right in some territories. Play it loud and you will know why.
mp3: Fashion - Big John-Hanoi Annoys Me-The Innocent (1979)
Can this really be nearly 30 year old?
Saturday, 7 June 2008
Back in the early 70s I had a special way of listening to this record. My friend would bring it round, I would take the speakers off the wall, put them on the table and we would stick our heads between them and play it at high volume. It had some great panning stereo effects. Unfortunately, I’ve only managed to track down a mono version but it’s still undeniably great. This is Jon Pertwee ‘singing’ in character as Doctor Who. Jon Pertwee was my doctor; you would never catch him talking in a mockney accent (actually the only thing I have against David Tennant). I’ve had to track down a dodgy internet version of this because my friend Michael had his copy stolen and we’ve both spent years trying to track down a copy. (Somebody who went to Leeds University in the late 70s/early 80s is going to hell.)
mp3: Jon Pertwee - Who Is The Doctor
I recently discovered it’s on this compilation, so I should have a decent copy soon.
Friday, 6 June 2008
Thursday, 5 June 2008
I was saving these for a college juke box post that I’ve had in mind for ages but can’t seem to get written. I probably would never have taken any notice of this incarnation of The Pirates if they hadn’t played at Salisbury Tech in 1977 and subsequently got an EP on the juke box. These tracks are great examples of Mick Green’s lead/rhythm guitar style that Wilko Johnson obviously liked so much (the choppy guitar playing on Don’t Munchen It being a particular favourite of mine). Feelgoods fans will love this.
mp3: The Pirates - Don't Munchen It (1977)
mp3: The Pirates - You Don't Own Me (1977)
Songs available here
First up, how about some classic jangly melodic new wave power pop punk?
mp3: Manufactured Romance - Time Of My Life (1980)
Wednesday, 28 May 2008
mp3: Blue Rondo A La Turk - Klacto Vee Sedstein (1982)
Ripped from the Chewing The Fat LP
mp3: Blue Rondo - Masked Moods (1984)
Ripped from the 12-inch single
P.S. Mondo, if I had Me and Mr Sanchez I would have posted that too.