Thursday, 27 March 2008

A guilty pleasure?

This probably counts as a guilty pleasure. In the early 80s my girlfriend had three friends who shared a house and had regular parties. I used to make mix tapes for them; three C90s of the latest dance tunes. I figured after four and a half hours everyone would be too drunk to notice or care if the first tape went back on. One of the big hits at these soirees was the 12-inch version The Quick’s Rhythm of the Jungle. The standard version could be found on the album Fascinating Rhythm, an early 80s pop gem that I once had on tape but lost or broke years ago. I have also posted the B-side because it is more representative of the album’s sound. I waited in vain for a CD release but now the plan is to buy a second hand vinyl copy. This is fairly typical early 80s pop. If I had to compare it to anything it would probably be early Wham! It may seem odd now but it wouldn’t have been uncommon in those days for me to listen to these and follow them up with some Joy Division or Echo & the Bunnymen.

Sorry about the cheesy picture at the top of this post. The single came in a plain sleeve so I was going to post a picture of myself and friends at one of the parties but I bottled it.

mp3: The Quick - Rhythm Of The Jungle (12-inch version) (1981)
mp3: The Quick - To Prove My Love (1981)

Wednesday, 26 March 2008


I’m about to pre-order the new B-52s album which will be my second new (as in not back catalogue) CD of the year. This means it’s only March and I am about to double last year’s total. This got me thinking about my old vinyl copy of Mesopotamia. A few years back, before I got my new turntable, I had the urge to hear ‘Throw That Beat In The Garbage Can’ so I downloaded it and to my surprise it sounded nothing like I remembered it. I have since discovered through this wikipedia entry that initial copies of the UK version of the album contained different or remixed versions of some songs and the whole album was remixed in 1991. What I think I’ve got here is the original UK version (I got the LP as soon as it came out) but it could be the original US version. Got that?

mp3: B-52s - Throw That Beat In The Garbage Can (1982)

Saturday, 22 March 2008

One possible reply…

Inspired by this post (I even stole the picture)
Todd Rundgren - God Said

From this

Friday, 21 March 2008

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Thompson Twins - Make Believe

It didn’t feel right posting a song I don’t really like so to make amends here’s a really good one from the same year. I’ve already posted a live version of this here but I’ve finally got my hands on the original single. From the days before the Thompson Twins were a trio it’s a great pop song with eastern influences and still my favourite.

mp3: Thompson Twins - Make Believe (Let’s Pretend) (1981)


Do you remember the ‘crap’ box I mentioned in this post? Well, this is a record I placed in there on purpose – an experiment that didn’t work out. Looking at it in the box all I could remember was it was vaguely like Pigbag, so I decided to rip it and see if it deserved its place in the box of records I had so little regard for that I left them in a dark, dusty corner of my garage for several years. I have to say it still sounds all wrong to these ears but I decided to post it anyway because Rip, Rig & Panic do have a certain cult status and I’m sure many of you will appreciate this.

mp3: Rip Rig & Panic - Bob Hope Takes Risks (1981)

Monday, 17 March 2008

St Patrick's Day?

That'll be Mrs Mick's birthday then. This is our tune...

Friday, 14 March 2008

That's nice, dear...

I was so busy celebrating my blog birthday last Saturday that I forgot my mum’s 80th birthday on Sunday. Not in the real world, of course, but in the blogging sense. I had a fairly lengthy piece in mind about how she’s never in when I call because she has a much busier social life than me (which I think is great) and how the family is convinced the character played by June Whitfield in Absolutely Fabulous must have been based on her (with examples to prove it) but I couldn’t find the time.

The song I was going to post was Oh Babe What Would You Say by Hurricane Smith because that is one of the few records I remember her buying. By a terrible coincidence Norman ‘Hurricane’ Smith, former Beatles engineer and producer of early Pink Floyd died (age 85) just a few days before.

So, better late than never Happy Birthday Mum and RIP Hurricane.

Take it away Normal…

In case you're wondering about the title of this post that's one of her catchphrases and it's been said by June Whitfield on Ab Fab several times.

Missing Scientists

I’ve been looking for this single and it turned up in my mini crap box, which is mostly full of records that I bought in a moment of madness and experimental purchases that didn’t quite work out (but I couldn’t quite bring myself to throw away). I certainly didn’t put it there on purpose. My guess is I stuffed it in there in a hurry when I was moving (and I moved a lot in the 80s).

Missing Scientists featured members of Television Personalities, a band centred around Dan Treacy with a long history that I won’t attempt to cover. Best place to look is here.

Big City Bright Lights (a cover of Dandy Livingstones Big City) and the b-side Discotheque X both have a reggae feel and feature dub effects. This single was their only release (unless any of you know different). Discotheque X caused me some problems when I was ripping it because the sound continues on the runout groove and therefore carries on until I decided to fade out. I waited for about thirty seconds so you get the idea.

Here are the credits as listed on the back cover with the real names in red.
Joe from Hendon : lead vocals, synthesizer and bass (Joe Foster from TVP)
DanDan : guitar, synthesizer and backing vocals (Dan Treacy from TVP)
Empire : percussion and backing vocals (Mark Sheppard of TVP)
Jacki : synthesizer (Daniel Miller of Mute Records fame. Surely responsible for the two very Silicon Teens-esque synth solos.)

mp3: Missing Scientists - Big City Bright Lights (1980)
mp3: Missing Scientists - Discotheque X (1980)

Saturday, 8 March 2008

1st Birthday...

Hey! My blog is one year old today! I’ve had over 29,000 hits in the past year which I consider pretty good considering I started off with about 15-20 a day and I’m not listed on Hype Machine (more on that later). I love the way it grows word of mouth style with people stumbling across it and some becoming regular visitors. Time to say a few thank you’s...

First JC AKA the Vinyl Villain. I contacted him when I first discovered mp3 blogs to ask him to re-post Paul Quinn and Edwyn Collins’ brilliant version of Pale Blue Eyes which he duly did. As a thank-you I sent him a copy of Fingerprintz Dancing With Myself when I got my USB turntable and had rescued my records from the cupboard at my mum’s house. He advised me to start my own blog and said “Your life will never be the same again” which I took to be a slight exaggeration. But it’s true, isn’t it?

When I first discovered mp3 blogs I thought it was all about getting free music so I checked Hype Machine regularly for stuff I might like without giving much thought to the content of the blogs. That changed when I started this blog and started getting comments and exchanging views with other bloggers. You slowly get to know these people and want to hear what they have to say. For example, I look forward to Londonlee’s recollections of 70’s London knowing I’m as likely to hear a dodgy Bay City Rollers track as a great Motors song. And I find myself listening to music new to me because I value the judgement of the bloggers I read. You don’t always like it but what would be the point if we all liked the same thing and had the same records/CDs? I sometimes visit Davy’s brilliant blog to find he’s posted another jazz song and I hate jazz with a passion, but I’m a secret prog rock fan so who am I to complain? I want to read what he says and I love the soul and funk posts. Similarly, Steve’s Festive Fifty posts; your never going to like all the music he posts there (he doesn’t like some of it himself) but you have to applaud his style and enthusiasm for his subject and he’s an all round great guy. If you’ve exchanged messages with him you’ll know this.

That brings me on to the whole ‘community’ thing. You meet some really nice people on the blogosphere, except you don’t actually meet them at all, do you, but I consider them friends. People who read your blog and take the trouble to contact you and say “you might be interested in this..” I’ve got some great music from Davy and Planet Mondo like this.

Here’s a quick roll call of people I want to thank and recommend:

The Vinyl Villain who’s blog was the initial inspiration for this one.
Davy, who has contributed to this blog more than anyone else.
Steve, whose blog is a labour of love which is what makes it so readable.
Iain, who I think must have the best record collection in the world.
Londonlee whose posts have such resonance for people of a certain age.
Jon from the other side of the pond who somehow manages to post every day when I struggle to do more than a couple a week.
Crash, who inadvertently turned my most personal post into one of my biggest hits when he linked to it from his blog.
TutuVicar who disappeared for a while and then returned.
Planet Mondo, for reminding me that I actually used to really like dance music.
Kippers and Spike over at Too Much Apple Pie for making the blogosphere fun.
Mick, who annoyingly often posts songs I was planning to, but that’s the reason I like his blog.
The guys at The Post Punk Progressive Pop Party. A great site and when they feature this blog the hit counter goes up.
Ian, whose posts I have to read when there’s no chance of being disturbed to really appreciate.
The now defunct Retro Music Snob whose links to my blog really helped it to grow.

Finally, everyone who has taken the trouble to read this and leave comments in the past year, with a special mention for Dick Van Dyke whose comments on this and other blogs always make me laugh.

So what song should I post to celebrate my birthday? I’ve chosen this one because it led me to discover mp3 blogs about 18-months ago. My brother and I found we had been listening to lots of old progressive rock so we made a CD for each other. The one he made for me featured a song by a band called Pacific Drift that I liked so much I Googled them to find more info. This linked me to a blog called ChrisGoesRock, which had previously featured a Pacific Drift album. From this I found Hype Machine and The Vinyl Villain and the rest is history. Don’t be put off by the fact it’s a prog band. It’s only two minutes long and it features some great harmonies.

mp3: Pacific Drift - Tomorrow Morning Brings (1970)

Friday, 7 March 2008

Later on ITV...

Featuring one of the all time great theme tunes...

mp3: John Barry - Theme From The Persuaders

Before our next programme...

So you’re home from school watching ITV and they’ve got a few minutes to fill between Magpie and the Tomorrow People: what are they going to show?

I bought a new VCR in 1995 and I was overjoyed to discover the demo tape that came with it had this cartoon on it.

mp3: Roger Glover - Love Is All (1974) (Buy)
That’s Ronnie James Dio on vocals. Unbelievably, I don’t think I’ve ever heard him singing anything else but he sounds great on this.

Another b-side by request

This is for anonymous (possibly from Kentucky – it depends if my analysis of Site Meter is correct) who requested Greenacre Bay by China Crisis two weeks ago. This is one of the tracks on the b-side of Christian that found it’s way onto a mixtape they used to listen to. I have also included an instrumental called Performing Seals (for the Animal Liberation Shop, Liverpool it says on the sleeve), the other b-side track.

mp3: China Crisis - Greenacre Bay (1982)
mp3: China Crisis - Performing Seals (1982)

More later if I can find the time…

Monday, 3 March 2008

Blancmange live

It’s been one of those hectic weekends that didn’t leave much time for blogging and that’s likely to continue for most of this week but I’ll but I’ll do my best…

I recorded several live shows in the early 80's so here’s a little preview of the sort of thing you can expect from my tape rummaging over next few months. This is the first song in a six track live set from 1982…

mp3: Blancmange - God’s Kitchen (Live) (1982)