Week 19 - Fri 13 May
Welcome to the RPM Record Club Seven Day Soundtrack, week ending Friday 13th May 2022, bringing you yet another overflowing cornucopia of musical bountifulness. Over to...
"Hi RPMers. Firstly I’d like to thank everyone for the warm welcome to this tuneful online gathering. I’ve been enjoying browsing and remembering fantastic songs that I’d forgotten and being introduced to many more I hadn’t known. Hope this finds everyone well and you enjoy my three for the RPM bundle this week."
"The first is from a cd that a friend gave me recently as he knew I enjoyed John Prine. This is a cover of one of his..."
Pretty Good performed by Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats -
"This next song is one I’ve been practicing recently on guitar and so it’s been playing either on the stereo or just me thrashing it out...one more time won’t annoy my partner too much I’m sure."
The Weight by The Band -
"Lastly is a song from a Billy Bragg album I recently bought. Love this for the country bounce with an Essex burr."
Freedom Doesn't Come For Free by Billy Bragg -
"Hi RPMers, thanks for some great selections last week. Here are my three for this week."
"But firstly, here's a Norfolk event date for your diary..."
Glass House by Peter Tosh - "From the wonderful 'Mama Africa' LP which, I'm sure I've mentioned before, is my favourite Peter Tosh album. It's so uplifting; I've played the whole album at least twice in the past few days."
Time And Space by Gnidrolog - "I have some great memories of seeing Gnidrolog at the local Art School dance in the early seventies. I've no idea if, on that occasion, they played this particular track which is from their debut LP 'In Spite Of Harry's Toenail'."
If I Could Build My Whole World Around You by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell - "Two great voices. Two tragically early deaths."
"Hi RPMers, hope you're all well. I'm certainly going to the record fair at Holt to see what honest John will have on his stall to temp me with...
Here’s my 3 favs for this week..."
"Who'da thunk it? Headline from one website.......... "The Rolling Stones are struggling to sell tickets to their Hyde Park gigs........ two months after going on sale thousands of tickets for June 25 and July 3, starting at £95.75, are still unsold." When we saw them at Donny Gaumont, on 24th September 1964, tickets were 12/6 maximum, with the programme a further 2/=. Now that's what they call inflation!!!!
Well done to Kevin, bursting his bubble with The Reverend............. way to go!!!!
Oh............ and old!!!??? I think "I look pretty young but I'm just backdated" or should that be "outdated"?
Three from the Harvest label this week (all 7" single b-sides). Stay safe."
Do Ya by The Move (7" single b-side to 'California Man' released 14th April 1972.) -
"Here's the Move's final single, composed by new member Jeff Lynne and recorded at the same time as tracks for the Move's then spin-off group, the Electric Light Orchestra, which had been Wood and Lynne's project to explore the horizons opened by the Fab Four's 'I am the walrus'. The record company was unsure whether the project would fly and so the Move continued in order to finance the new unit but, following the popular success of the debut album, the Move was quickly wound down which led to 'Do Ya' being recorded by both bands whilst the second album was being laid down. We saw the Electric Light Orchestra at Sheffield City Hall on May10th 1972 on what proved to be their only tour which featured the original line up. Differences with the bands manager, Don Arden, saw Wood walk out following the tour, repair to a nearby studio where Birmingham band Mongrel were recording. Wood asked the members if they would become his new band, Wizzard, who were then managed by...... Don Arden!!! Wizzard, of course, went on to record Christmas fave 'I wish it could be Christmas every day' whilst Electric Light Orchestra faded quickly into obscuri...... no.... hold the press!!!...... apparently they became quite popular on a global scale whilst recording material which certainly didn't explore the horizons opened up by 'I am the walrus'!!!"
Lonely Android by The Shirts (7" single b-side to 'Running through the night' released October 1978) - "Other than the fact my copy is a 'demo' pressing, I'm hard put to remember why I picked this up at a car boot sale! I remember that they did feature on an early 'tribute' album to bands who had become popular by playing at New York's CBGB club in the mid/late seventies but they certainly hadn't made any conscious impression on me. We had seen CBGB legend Patti Smith on her UK debut at London's Roundhouse in May 1976, and we also saw CBGB regulars the Ramones and Talking Heads on their debut tour in May 1977 at Donny's Outlook, six months after we had seen the Sex Pistols at the same venue. The Shirts varied between an eight piece and four piece unit and had released their debut album in 1978 which was produced by the UK's hottest producer, Mike Thorne, later to become famous for his work with Soft Cell. Signed to EMI in the UK and its sister company Capitol in the US, this split deal proved problematic later in the band's career. The recording of the album in London was regularly interrupted by lead singer Annie Golden's film commitments in the US for the musical 'Hair' but it proved popular in Europe with the lead off single ('Tell me your plans') hitting the charts in the Netherlands and this was backed up with a support on Peter Gabriel's tour. 'Running....' was the second single from the album but this fairly ordinary ballad failed to sell. Their second album, 'Street Line Shine' was again produced by Thorne, this time in NYC and again they hit the Netherland charts, with 'Laugh and walk away', but US and UK success eluded them. There was a third album, this time solely for Capitol, still produced (disinterestedly, apparently) by Thorne, but it's commercial failure saw the demise of the band in 1980 until they reformed in 2003 with two new lead vocalists (Caren Messing and Kathy McCloskey) whilst Golden had decided to concentrate on her now successful stage and movie career. 'Lonely Android' is hardly a classic (and puts me in mind of Split Enz who we saw around this time) but it is an interesting look at one of the 'alternative' CBGB/Max's Kansas City lesser lights."
Former Airline by Wire ( 7" single b-side to 'A question of degree' released 8th June 1978) - "One of my favourite groups who we have seen in concert several times, and whose three albums for Harvest should be in any discerning record buyer's collection. Both sides of this Mike Thorne production were initially a 'single only' release and illustrate the surfeit of fine songs the band had at that time, indeed the '154' album also included a 'free' EP of 'solo' tracks by the bands individual members. One perceptive reviewer of the single stated that 'A Question of Degree' is ......one of Wire's many moments of pop inspiration with an off-kilter center that leaves you feeling slightly queasy...... it's similar to a David Lynch movie - misleadingly normal on the outside, but with an unsettling and slightly uneasy world view ' and that 'Former Airline' is experimental, abrasive, repetitive, and not for the faint of heart.' To my mind, 'Former Airline' preempts the sound, and atmosphere (sic) that Joy Division would bring with tracks such as 'New Dawn Fades', 'I remember nothing' and 'Interzone' from their classic debut album 'Unknown Pleasures'. Both tracks were included on initial re-releases of '154' but, such is Wire's contrariness that 'Former Airline' was excluded from the 2006 reissue as the band felt it "diluted the conceptual clarity of the original statements"."
After a couple of week's absence here's...
Alan's Musical Funnies -
"Good stuff last week. I enjoyed your Magnum track, Tim - saw them a few times at the LCR after my brother-in-law recommended them and my favourite album is 'On a Storytellers Night'.
Here's my 3 for this week."
Sweet Baby Jane by Manfred Mann & Mike Hugg - "Twixt the breakup of Manfred Mann and the formation of Manfred Mann's Chapter 3 they were at a loose end and did a couple of promotional tracks for Ski Yoghurt. I found a copy of the 45 this week (not in the original sleeve though) and this is the 'B' side to the forgettable 'A'.
Incidentally Alan, I have a pristine dj copy of 'Why Should We Not'. I don't suppose there are too many copies of that debut out there."
Heartbreak Hotel Frijid Pink - "Here's a track from another 45 I found up at the same place. It's a US pressing on the Parrot label but is a reissue of this song and 'House Of The Rising Sun' on the other side. Worth a pound."
Walkin' After Midnight Patsy Cline - "I heard Patsy's rendition of 'Crazy' during the week and decided to offer this less played track. From the age of the rhinestone cowboy, heavily flared skirts and pedal steels but she didn't half have a good set of pipes."
"Greetings to all RPMers...I enjoyed the selections from new member Kevin last week.
I'm just back from a Lake District holiday during which I haven't listened to much music, but I have been reading about it as I purchased two music books while in Cumbria.
The first was a brand new hot-off-the-press copy of Bob Stanley's latest tome, "Let's Do It," which tells the story of pop music from its' beginnings to the advent of rock 'n' roll- a sort of prequel to his "Yeah Yeah Yeah" on pop since the 1950s. It has been acclaimed in some quarters as an even better book than its' predecessor, but I do think that the publisher's claim on the flap of the dust-cover that it is "the first book to tell the definitive story of the birth of pop" is a little disingenuous and dismissive of the work of writers such as our own Peter Doggett ("Electric Shock") and Americans including Elijah Wald ("How The Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll"- a much better book than its' flippant title might lead you to expect) and Kevin Phinney ("Souled American").
The second, bought for £1 from a charity shop, was a copy of Jackie Kay's poetic little book "Bessie Smith."
My choices this week are based on this reading matter, with songs mentioned in chapters one, two and three respectively of Mr. Stanley's book- and choice three is a performance by Bessie Smith. All numbers over a hundred years old, and all still familiar to us today. Pop music is not always ephemeral- it sometimes becomes folk music.
Colonel Bogey - "...the version from "Bridge Over The River Kwai", as the British prisoners march into the POW camp."
The Entertainer by Scott Joplin - "...here played on guitar by Chet Atkins."
Alexander's Ragtime Band by Irving Berlin - "...here performed by Bessie Smith."
"Hi folks...Hope you're all well.
Unfortunately I finally succumbed to the dreaded 'Rona this week. It's knocked me for six; no energy, despite minimal movement. Can't wait to be in and on the fabulous Cornish waters again.
Enjoying listening to music in between snoozes.
This week's choices are by 3 artists who are performing at the Minack theatre next Friday. Hopefully I'll be well enough to see them...Take care & keep well all."
What is Keeping You Alive Makes Me Want to Kill Them For by Kathryn Joseph - "...rolls off the tongue!"
"Greetings RPMers one and all and an especial welcome to Kevin. Two golden oldies sandwiching a golden new one from me this week."
"Here's my 3..."
Down at the Doctors performed by Dr Feelgood - "Last Tuesday was the 70th birthday of Lee Brilleaux....Nina messaged last weekend to say she was on Canvey Island due to a work commitment, so I replied asking if she would still be there on Tuesday (10th) as there was a Dr Feelgood gig at the Oysterfleet Hotel to celebrate this fact. Unfortunately, she was heading back to Cornwall by then...so, here's Lee and the Feelgoods (Mk2) to remind us what a brilliant RnB (in the true sense of the term) band they were."
Do The Milkey Way by The Comet Is Coming - "Love these guys......they are so original and have become their own genre, in my opinion. I listened to their complete Leaf record label output this week...don't think I've had this track before...and the official video is hilarious as well. Brilliant!"
On The Edge Of The World by Magnum - "Yep still listening to Magnum....and after John's comments of a few weeks ago, I played Chase The Dragon and Storyteller's Night back to back....and would agree with John that there's not much to call between these two albums. It got me thinking as to why we like particular records better than others. In the case of these two, the quality of the music is outstanding and is, I'm sure, recognised by fans as Magnum's golden period. Chase The Dragon has a slightly more 70s prog feel to it whereas Storyteller's Night is a bit more streamlined, as evidenced by John's choice of Just Like an Arrow, which is a song I would put forward as an exemplary example of concise rock song writing. So there's something else which influences our choices, and I think it's possibly to do with when we bought the particular album, teenage years being particularly influential, combined with experiencing the band within a live context. Even though I'd bought Chase the Dragon (and Magnum II) before Storyteller's Night, it was when touring the Storyteller's Night album that I first saw Magnum live...and I think it is this that has made a lasting impression upon me and created a (nostalgic?) link to these songs and this album. Just an idea....doesn't explain why my favourite Hawkwind opus came out 11 years before I saw them live, but then there are always exceptions to the rule, aren't there? Anyhow, here's a track from Chase the Dragon; the band still perform Soldier of the Line, The Spirit and Sacred Hour from it to this day, which indeed shows what an important recording this one was for them....but I've always had a bit of a soft spot for On The Edge Of The World..."
'Til Next Time...