Week 6 - Fri 5th Feb
Welcome to the RPM Record Club Seven Day Soundtrack....more aural delights for your delectation, week ending Friday 5th February. We've a full thermos of tea, half a pack of gypsy creams and we're wearing dark sun glasses; hit it.............over to...
"Quick picks this week - people from 60s shows that I saw as a teenager."
"Here's my 3 for this weeks set. Best wishes to everybody."
I'm Walkin' by Fats Domino - "One of my favourites from one of my favourites."
Shazam by Duane Eddy - "Back in the day we were lucky to have loads of instrumentals to listen to as part of the general output. Here's one which, I believe, still sounds good today."
Main Street by Bob Seger and the Silver Buller Band - "Bob's a good 'un. Here's a track from Night Moves......"
"1984 x 3"
"Hi RPMers, hope you are well and ready for the snow next week! Here are my 3 tunes."
Ballet of Apes by Brigid Dawson and the Mothers Network -
A cheeky 4th........(....otherwise known as a bonus track, I think - Tim.)
Said The Shovel by Osees -
"A blast (or 3) from the past…."
"Hi RPMers, hope you're all keeping safe and well."
Sweet Suburbia by The Skids - "I first saw the Skids when they supported The Stranglers at their notorious Battersea Park gig in the summer of 1978. They were arguably the best out of the many support acts which included Peter Gabriel and punk comedian Johnny Rubbish! My 7" single of this is on white vinyl."
There Goes My Life by Captain Soul (from the album Beat Your Crazy Head Against The Sky) - "Any band that takes their name from a Byrds track* and their album title from a Lovin' Spoonful lyric** can't be all bad.... at least that's what I thought when I invested a pound at a car-boot sale last summer! In fact, it's a very good album although the Byrds and Lovin' Spoonful influences hardly extend beyond the band name and album title.....
*From 5th Dimension. Tim's Byrds choice last week also came from that album. So thanks for the reminder Tim, it prompted me to give my car-boot acquisition a spin!
**Beat Your Crazy Head Against The Sky - This is a line from the Lovin' Spoonful song 'Darling Be Home Soon'....."
It Takes Two by Otis Redding & Carla Thomas - "I love the Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston version but this is truly amazing. Taken from the 1967 King & Queen LP which is my favourite album on the Stax label. Play it very LOUD!!"
"I see that some right-wing Tories and others further to the right such as the mountebank (nice word- must try to use it again sometime) Farage are already pushing for an easing of lockdown restrictions. I think this has been part of the problem for the Government all along- there are a lot of Tories who value money and property (theirs) over life (ours). Bo Jo and co. have had to work hard to resist these people - hence the fact that correct decisions have been taken, but usually too late. The point is, economies recover, dead people don't.
On to the music, and I've been having a Gram-athon."
One Hundred Years From Now by The Byrds - "The man makes a good point."
Love Hurts, by Gram Parsons with Emmylou Harris - "The best version of this song, IMHO."
Return of The Grievous Angel by Lucinda Williams and David Crosby - "The title track from the tribute album put together by Emmylou."
"My choices for this week are three classics that I have loved and cherished for many years. One that I was reminded of by Tim's post last week.........
Give Me Oil In My Lamp by The Byrds - ".......The Byrds went through many changes but they were always really rather good."
I Scare Myself by Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks - "While the Byrds wore the psychedelic crown for a while, Dan Hicks deserved it even more, and this is spooky!"
You’re The One That I Want performed by Arthur Mullard & Hylda Baker - "This is rather nice, and very much of its time. With the unusual exception of The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, I don’t usually enjoy comedy records but accept that there is a time and place for everything. On the other hand I did have my Covid vaccination just last night and as a side effect may have left my judgement impaired?" (We'll let RPMers decide, shall we.....? - Tim)
"Hope you're all ok. Another week, another 3 tracks. Take care folks.....Cheers!"
Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones - "Not a big Stones fan, but pretty apt as I'll be homeless in a few weeks' time. Bet I'm not the only 1 who enjoys the talents of the lovely "backing" singer more than listening to Mick Jagger."
Cut Me Down by Lloyd Cole & the Commotions - "Mega vinyl listening sesh this week during the declutter cull. Packing boxes.....plus unpack and rifle through boxes that were untouched since I moved here 10 years ago.....then pack them again! Lockdown probably brings out the Marie Kondo in all of us....."
"Good to see 'Dark was the night' get another play and a further mention in the last couple of weeks. It gives me the opportunity to drift back to the days of ex RAF overcoats, rainy November Wednesday nights and putting car shampoo and red dye in the Fargate fountain in Sheffield en route to concerts!!! Loadsa bubbles when we came out!!!! One of the best gigs at that time was a Canned Heat/Groundhogs double header where a new member of our crowd attended his first ever gig. Both bands, and the audience, were more than adequately hirsute, which didn't stop our newbie climbing on stage during the Heats encore........ in full skinhead regalia (No 1 crop, white drainies, red braces, 8 hole ox red Docs and Ben Sherman shirt) and dance with The Bear.
So, putting together the Groundhogs and 'Dark was the night', here's..........."
Light Was The Day by The Groundhogs (taken from 'Blues Obituary' released September 1969. Liberty Records.) - "The classic 'Hogs line up with their 'variation' on 'Dark was the night', and what a cracker. Surprisingly, in spite of their popularity on the club and Uni circuit, this album (their second) failed to chart. The band had realised that the blues scene was now packed with equally talented line ups, and had been told by John Walters that he (now) 'hated the blues'. This had forced a re-think in their output and a decision to try to stretch their musical horizons. The re-mixed album track 'BDD' (with the excellent McPhee solo 'Gasoline' on the flip) failed to chart in the UK but did, however, hit number one in errrrr, Lebanon!!! Exposure to King Crimson live at the Marquee, listening to Indian raga's and having a love of Yardbirds type 'rave ups' saw the band incorporate these disparate influences in the studio for 'Blues Obituary' and record the seeds which blossomed a couple of years later with a trio of classic albums, 'Thank Christ for the Bomb', particularly 'Split' and 'Who will save the world', all of which hit the top ten (top 5 for 'Split') in the album charts, and a tour as support to The Rolling Stones in 1972 at Jaggers personal request."
Someone to love Pt 2 by The Yardbirds (initially unreleased, this from 'The Yardbirds 'Shapes of things' double LP compilation, Bomb Records Canada, 1978) - "And speaking of the Yardbirds and 'rave ups'......... here's an early instrumental run through for 'Lost Woman', released on the 'Yardbirds/Roger the Engineer' album. Here, the song is stripped of its (cursory) vocals and extended mouth harp solo, and Beck's guitar work is placed well to the fore, complete with an additional feedback section (always a bonus for me) plus, importantly, it's over a minute longer too!!! 'Roger the engineer' (its 'unofficial' title) refers to a sketch by Chris Dreja of the album's audio engineer Roger Cameron as its front cover. This was the 'Birds only UK studio album and their only album to achieve UK chart status, reaching number 20 in July 1966. The double comp this is taken from also included 'Someone to love Part 1', the early vocal version of 'Lost Woman', a couple more unreleased tracks, the 'Five Live...' album, various singles and tracks from the, at that time unreleased in the UK, 'Little Games' album."
Shake 'em on Down by Savoy Brown Blues Band (taken from 'Shake Down' album, released mid 1967. Decca label) - "The band's debut album features a photo of the multi racial line up wearing a real mixture of clothes... there's the ultra mod Kim Simmonds and full on proto hippie Martin Stone with Brice Portius, Ray Chappell and Leo Mannings caught in between the apparel of the other two. Sleeve note writer Neil Slaven calls it 'moody' and, as the band are framed in a house in a state of serious disrepair I suppose that's a good word for it. Following a popular residency at Battersea's Nags Head, a gig with John Mayall at Klooks Kleek was attended by Mike Vernon who signed them to his Purdah label, recommended them to Decca and went on to produce this disc, with Gus Dudgeon engineering. There are covers of songs by all three Kings (Freddie, BB and Albert.... but no Solomon or Carol!!), three Willie Dixon tunes and a couple from the band, including this barrelhouse 'Trad arr' tune featuring Bob Hall (a founder member of the Groundhogs) on piano. Workmanlike rather than outstanding, this was a young band finding its feet in the burgeoning 'blues rock' scene and, over the years, there would be a staggering myriad of personnel changes with only Simmonds from the initial line up remaining. On 'Shake 'em on down' it's Simmonds to the fore on the first guitar solo with Stone stepping up for the second, complete with extra feedback, with the rest of the band keeping up a furious pace throughout. Stone went on to be a member of the Action, Mighty Baby, Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers, Southern Comfort, the Pink Fairies and Wreckless Eric amongst many others before passing away in 2016. Savoy Brown, meanwhile, concentrated on the US market and were rewarded with several Top 100 albums and singles in the early seventies. Still active, the band released their 43rd album last year!!!"
A hopeful bonus?....(...yes, go on - Tim.)
Hilton Valentine RIP:
The Animals 'Going down slow' (from 'Animalism' album, US release, MGM label, 1966)
A founder member of the Animals, following the skiffle outfit The Heppers and the much wilder (sic) Wild Cats. It was his arpeggio at the beginning of 'House of the rising sun' which launched many guitar beginners into the land of rock and it's now well known that Alan Price 'borrowed' and copyrighted the intro as a means of ensuring his pension, without informing the rest of the band. In addition to his sterling rhythm parts, Valentines solos peppered the first three Animals albums and it would be easy to select from any of those or their early singles. However, in his memory, I've selected a great track from the US only 'Animalism' album, which featured uncredited guitar from the albums initial producer Frank Zappa on two tracks, 'All night long' and 'Other side of this life'. There had initially been 'Animalization', then 'Animalism' in the US (with a slight track difference), plus the similarly entitled 'Animalisms' in the UK (with a different track listing entirely) before the band splintered in late 1966. 'Going down slow' has been covered many times since it was originally written by Jimmy Oden/St Louis Jimmy in 1941 and here, over 6 minutes, Hiltons continually evolving 'fills' blossom into a great extended solo showing all his dexterity. Within a year of this recording Hilton would join Syd Barrett in the 'acid casualty' ward, leaving the band and relocating to San Francisco where he released his 'acid folk' album 'All in your head'. He took part in several Animal reformations, low key tours the US with Skiffledog and released a brace of albums before teaming up with Norwich's finest SF ex-pat Big Boy Pete to release 'Merry Skifflemas' in 2011. A much under-rated guitarist whose death leaves us with just two of the original Animals line up remaining.
"On the 'good news' front........... vaccine now in the arm; but it won't change my life!!!!
Thanks to the Brazilians and South Africans, not to mention the Kentonians (????) it's still not safe to venture out.
Is it me or............ We are told that, once again a new strain is said to be 'more transmittable' but 'no more deadly'. However, say 50% more people catch the virus, doesn't that mean there'll be a corresponding increase in fatalities? I've heard 'off the cuff' remarks by various experts in the last week of 'perhaps 150,000' (that's 150,000) deaths in total!!!! Jeez........................... whoever mentioned 20,000?
Keep safe, take all precautions necessary and thanks to everyone for keeping the excellent music flowing."
"I doubt I'll choose anything this week which will cause as much debate (with Alan and Piers) or seemingly inspire as many music choices as my Byrds selection from last time seems to have done; most surprising.......so it's onwards with the third and last part of my "folk-music-that's-important-to-me" extravaganza.........."
Castlerock Road / Greengrass by Damien O'Kane and David Kosky - "I first came across the wonderful banjo playing of Damien O'Kane on an album call Box On (2006) which he recorded with accordion player Shona Kipling and which was an astonishing piece of work by the duo. My perception of banjo previously was that of an instrument used for a bit of plinky-plonky back up, as with the Pogues for example, although Charlie Piggott of De Dannan and Gerry O'Connor were two exceptions. Hearing the banjo playing on Box On was a bit like opening a tin of fireworks to find them already lit! Pretty startling stuff, in other words.....and the way Shona's accordion blended with the banjo was so good. Unfortunately, I can't find any tunes from the Box On album on YouTube.....so we'll move on, past Damien's first solo album, Summer Hill (2010), to what I consider his finest work, an album of tunes recorded with guitarist David Kosky entitled The Mystery Inch. There is a whole new body of "trad tunes" being written by contemporary folk musicians, and for me Castlerock Road is Damien O'Kanes best. It's so uplifting!"
One Way by The Levellers - "Lead off track from the Levelling The Land LP.......another musical wake up call and my first, and indeed, the first ever RPM Record Club Mystery Album way back in July 2012. The chorus says it all."
Medley; Lark in the Morning / Rakish Paddy / Fox Hunters Jig / Toss the Feathers performed by Fairport Convention - "I blame my folk obsession on Liege & Lief....(it was my Mystery Album in July 2014)....and upon this set of tunes in particular. You just know that any piece of music that begins with a cowbell is going to be killer!" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3pP4O3nkAc