Week 11 - Fri 18 Mar
Welcome to The RPM Record Club Seven Day Soundtrack, week ending Friday 18 March 2022, your weekly musical sanctuary. Over to....
"No reason to explain my posts this week, Don Julin is a master! And despite the fact that I find Billy String's name too reminiscent of that ancient horror 'Billy Sausage', (please see attached photo!) here I am still listening to him, and just to prove that 'Little Maggie' isn't necessarily as fast and loose, as she is often played, a bonus from Lauren O'Connell please!" (Oh, OK. Tim)
"It's soul Jim........... but not as we know it." Well, perhaps Spock may have said this if the usual trio of Cap'n Kirk, McCoy and he had beamed down into a late sixties, early seventies riot torn USA. Here's three tracks which blend gospel, blues, r&b, soul, funk and rock influences to create a hot stew that reflect the period."
Turned On by Grover Mitchell - (7" single released 6th September 1968. London (American) label) "Born in Atlanta, Mitchell began singing in the 50's as a member of the Blue Dots, the Cashmeres and the Marktones on the Cindy label before branching out solo in the early sixties. The first of many label changes saw him release the r&b flavoured 'Lonely without your love' and 'Time brings about a change' singles for Veejay and this was followed by a move to Washington DC where he hooked up with Chester Simmons, Al Bell and a pre-Atlantic Eddie Floyd on the (US) Decca label. They supplied him with the deep soul 'Midnight Tears' and 'I will always have faith in you' in the mid-sixties but, despite being equal to much of the Stax/Atlantic singles of the time, they sold poorly. There were further singles in 1966/67 for the Josie label, including the double sider 'I'm still in love with you' and it's these sides which feature Paul Goddard and Barry Bailey on guitars, both of whom would go on to join the famed Atlanta Rhythm Section. Late '67 and early '68 saw Mitchell touring with Roy Orbison and, on May 3rd 1968, Orbison pulled Mitchell into the Nashville studios and recorded the 'Turned on/Blue over you' single. The b-side could perhaps be described as 'country soul', but with the emphasis on the former, and it's this side which probably bears the biggest Big O influence, probably because it's a Mitchell co-comp with Orbison's regular co-composer Bill Dees. Dees would also have songs recorded by Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Skeeter Davis, Glen Campbell, Billy Joe Royal, Frank Ifield and Gene Pitney amongst others. With 'Turned on' however, Dees and Mitchell seem to have partaken of some suspicious chemicals as this is one of the most psychedelic soul tunes in my possession. Strangely, this single was never released in the US and, despite its rarity in the UK, it can be picked up for anything between £8 and £30. The late sixties saw Mitchell relocate to Philadelphia where, at the behest of his good friend Len Barry, he released singles on the UA and Vanguard labels. Perhaps because of the influence of Barry White, these tracks were vastly over orchestrated and Mitchells fine soul vocals were lost amidst the lush arrangements and it's unfortunate that these were the last tracks that he recorded. According to his close friend 'The Mighty Hannibal' (AKA James Timothy Shaw) , Mitchell won $20,000 on the 'numbers', spent the entire amount on heroin and overdosed in the early seventies."
In The Midnight Hour performed by Chambers Brothers - (from 'The Time has come' LP, released November 1967. CBS label) "I've placed a couple of tracks from 'The Time....' on the RPM site in the past and, such is the quality of this groundbreaking album, I will probably be posting others in the future! These brothers had started out in Carthage Miss. before going on to the gospel circuit in Southern California but, in 1965, they initially relocated to NYC where they began playing the folk circuit before returning to the LA folk clubs where they supported Hoyt Axton, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Reverend Gary Davis and Barbara Dane. Dane recorded with the Brothers backing her and it was at this time that they 'upgraded' to electric instruments and signed up a drummer. They supported Dane on her 1965 tour and, as a result, they were spotted by Pete Seeger who signed them up to appear at the 'legendary' 1965 Newport Folk Festival. Joe Chambers remembers that the crowd for their act 'broke down the fences and rushed the stage". Contrast that with the reception that Dylan would receive when he played a similar 'electric blues' set the following day!! Despite their popularity on the day, it would be 1966 before the 7" version of 'Time has come today' reached the US charts (Number 11 in September/October) and this was followed by its parent album which reached number 4 in the Billboard album charts. Here's a truly wigged out version of Wilson Pickett's much loved soul classic and it would have been good to hear just what the 'Wicked' Pickett thought of the track."
Stop The Music by Love - (from 'Reel to Real' LP released December 1974. RSO label)
"At the time of preparation for this week's SDS we have the spectre of riot police evicting Ukrainian supporting 'squatters' from an empty London mansion belonging to a Russian oligarch who is subject to sanctions regulations 😱. Honest, you couldn't make it up!
"Greetings RPM comrades. Here are three Vashti Bunyan collaborations to ease you into another week..."
Crown Of The Lost - Piano Magic (featuring Vashti Bunyan)
Martha My Dear performed by Max Richter and Vashti Bunyan -
The Thoughts Of Mary Jane performed by Vashti Bunyan and Gareth Dickson -
"Hi Everyone, hope you're all keeping well. Last week was one of those weeks when I played loads of albums I hadn't played in ages . My first two choices are from two of those albums."
Dark Eyed Sailor by June Tabor and The Oyster Band - "This track is from 'Freedom And Rain', the first collaboration between June Tabor and The Oyster Band which was released in 1990. A great LP which, alongside some classic traditional folk music, also includes cover versions of such diverse acts as Billy Bragg, Velvet Underground and The Pogues. In 2011 they got together again to record 'Ragged Kingdom' which contains some equally inspiring cover versions by the likes of Joy Division and P J Harvey as well as the superb Soul classic Dark End Of The Street."
Stood Before St. Peter by The Icicle Works - "This track is from 'Blind', the very wonderful fourth album by The Icicle Works and the last to feature the original line-up."
"Hi RPMers, hope you are all well and enjoying the mainly lovely weather. Here’s my 3 tunes."
"Greetings to all from Swanton Morley. We finally got to go to a game at Portman Road the other day... we've decided we are now definitely fair weather football supporters.
Speaking of football, Jacquie filled in an on-line questionnaire for the EFL (English Football League for non-supporters) the other day. It asked questions such as do you feel safe in the stadium, have you witnessed racist behaviour in the stadium, and what would you do if you did witness such behaviour. But the question that surprised me was the very specific "have you witnessed the snorting of cocaine in the stadium?" Not "drug use" but specifically cocaine!
I suggested her response should have been "I haven't been in the boardroom." Apparently this wasn't an available option.
Anyway, all that preamble was an excuse to play..."
Woo Hoo by 5 6 7 8's -
Same Team by Alice Merton -
"Looking back at my desert island albums, I realised there was a serious omission, someone who's been at the top of my draughts and who somehow dropped off!! How did that happen? So here's the remedy."
"A mixed bag this week....but then, isn't it always?"
The Elemental by Gong - "Gong played in York on Friday night, so a few Gong tracks were played whilst decorating at home this week. Here's one from their last long player."
A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall by Bob Dylan (Live Rolling Thunder Bootleg Series version) - "Bob has also had an outing, especially the Bootleg series Rolling Thunder live opus from 1975."
Born Under The Same Sun by Oysterband - "And oh look! After 8 years of being "busy" doing other things, a new album from our fave English folk rockers hits the streets."
'Til Next Time...