Week 2 - Fri 14 Jan
Welcome to the RPM Seven Day Soundtrack, week ending Friday 14th January 2022. Here's the week's hot tunes to banish the January chills...over to...
"Hi Folks. Here he goes, here he goes, here he goes.. or not?
Should I Stay or Should I go by the Clash -
Angst in my Pants (live) by Sparks -
Mouthful of Shit (Country & Western Version) by Chumbawumba - "I've included Mouthful of Shit on RPM selections before, possibly more than once. Tory scum; repeat the Chum (bawumba)."
(Here we go...Tim) Bonus Track - "Across the Sand Sprinkled Road by Martin Hughes
Three Steps To Heaven c/w Cut Across Shorty by Eddie Cochran (on 78rpm) -
Weekend c/w Cherished Memoriesn by Eddie Cochran (78rpm) - "Released in 1961, cherished Memories was written by Sharon Sheeley, Eddie's girlfriend who was with him in the private hire car that crashed and resulted in Eddie's death the following day. It was the very last track that Eddie cut on 8th January 1960 before flying to England."
"Some fine choices to start the year last week and, as a bonus, we bumped into Piers and Jayne in Cromer last Friday. After a year of not seeing a familiar face it was great to chat for 15 minutes or so before the wind started to chill the marrow. A mixed bag this week for your delectation (with plenty of notes especially for Jayne!!) Stay safe."
Electricity by Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band - (from 'Safe as milk' LP released June 1967. Pye International label) - "The Captain (A.K.A. Don Van Vliet) was an associate of Frank Zappa's earliest forays into music when Frank was drummer for the Blackouts. Frank and the Captain had started recording together at High School and, later, several tracks were completed at Franks Studio Z in Cucamonga which were released in 1996 as the 'Mystery Disc' by Zappa. However, the Captain soon stamped his own mark on music when he joined Alexis Snouffer's Magic Band who regularly gigged with the Blackouts in 1964. As lead vocalist (and probably due to the sheer force of his personality) the band were re-christened to the more familiar title and were signed to Herb Alpert's A&M label where they released a brace of singles with the second, 'Moonchild', being written by David Gates. The band presented demo's for much of 'Safe as milk' to A&M but these were rejected, allegedly because Jerry Moss (the 'M' in A&M) had played 'Electricity' to his daughter who described the track as 'too negative' (sic). The band moved to Buddah (in the US) and Ry Cooder was drafted in on lead guitar by Beefheart to complete the album. On its release the album was quickly picked up by the 'underground' radio network and, here in the UK, Fab Two John and Paul waxed lyrical about the album. Lennon even displayed two of Beefhearts promotional 'baby bumper stickers' on his sunroom window and, later, expressed a desire to sign the Captain to the Apple label. Despite this, Beefheart regularly maligned the Beatles (most cruelly with the 'Strictly Personal' album track 'Beatle Bones n' Smokin' Stones'), and particularly after Lennon didn't acknowledge Beefhearts public support during the much criticized Lennon/Yoko bed-ins. The band were scheduled to promote 'Safe as milk' with an appearance at the Monterey Festival but this was canceled after 'Electricity, the band's set opener at the warm up gig at the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival on Mount Tamalpais proved to be the sets closer too. Beefheart allegedly walked off stage at its completion and collapsed face down in the grass, later saying this was due to his seeing a girl in the audience turn into a fish and begin blowing bubbles out of her mouth!! Cooder immediately left the band and thus began the ever continuing roundabout of members of the Magic Band. Plans for a second (double) album never materialised and the eventual follow up album ('Strictly Personal') was treated with perhaps the densest 'phasing' ever known to rock music which alienated many early fans. 'Electricity' stands apart from 'Safe as milk's' blues soaked tracks and it was perhaps for that reason that Buddah released the track as a US only single in mid 1967. Legend has it that the force of Beefhearts vocals shattered the microphone during the recording process of this song."
You Don't Love Me by Gary Walker (7" single released February 1966. CBS label) - "Gary Leeds (A.K.A. Walker) is often seen as a minor light in the Walker Brothers story but he played an important part in the admittedly short lived success of the group. John Maus and Scott Engel had progressed separately through T.V. appearances and surf and pop groups in the early sixties before Maus formed a locally popular duo with his sister. Engel had been a session bassist in LA before joining the Routers, soon to hit with Frat/footie favourite ''Let's go (Pony)' which was followed by a short stint backing Maus and his sister. Engel then toured as a member of the Surfaris in a group put together to cash in on the success of 'Wipe Out' before he and Maus decided to form the Dalton Brothers and then founding the initial version of the Walker Brothers, with Al 'Tiny' Schneider on drums. Leeds meanwhile had been the drummer and second vocalist for the US charters the Standells before signing to tour the UK at the height of Beatle-mania as drummer for P.J.Proby. Maus and Engel secured a deal with Mercury and released a single prior to meeting Leeds in an LA club where Leeds, and new best friend Brian Jones, persuaded the duo to relocate to London. Once there they recorded the turntable hit 'Pretty girls everywhere' before hitting the top 30 with 'Love her' and becoming the UK 'scream-agers' new favourites whilst the Fab Four were exploiting their success just about everywhere else on the planet. With music progressing and incessant UK touring tearing the band apart (the final tour had the Brothers headlining over Jimi Hendrix, Cat Stevens and Englebert Humperdink!!) the group went on to separate careers. Leeds had signed a solo deal with CBS before the groups eventual demise and, in common with Scott and John, began a parallel recording career with this heavy r&b effort, jointly produced by his 'brothers', and was rewarded with a UK top 30 placing. The excellent guitar on this track, by the way, is by Billy Bremner, late of Leeds United (😉), the Luvvers, Neil Innes Fatso and, later, Rockpile. There was a follow-up minor hit before Leeds decided to milk the Japanese market with his excellent new backing group, The Rain, featuring Joey Molland on vocals who would later find success with Badfinger, and a mysterious bassist called John Lawson!! Leeds and the Rain were rewarded with several hits in Japan and released a Japan only, much sought-after, album (entitled 'No 1') before splitting in 1969."
After the Flood by Van Der Graaf Generator - (from 'The least we could do is wave to each other.' LP released February 1970. Charisma label) - "Digressing slightly, in 1962 I read 'The Drowned World' by J G Ballard, a novel describing a post-apocalyptic future in which global warming had caused the majority of the Earth to become uninhabitable. At the time this was almost unique in its subject matter and seems very prescient, especially as it is set in what is now almost the present era, the fast approaching 2145. The book was well received at the time, even though this was only Ballards second book. Kingsley Amis called Ballard "one of the brightest new stars in post-war fiction," and described the book as containing "an oppressive power reminiscent of (Joseph) Conrad." whilst his son Martin later opined "it is the measure of [Ballard's] creative radicalism that he welcomes these desperate dystopias with every atom of his being," So, just what does this have to do with 'After the flood'? The title is probably the giveaway as Peter Hammill looks towards what, in 2022, seems our impending and inevitable doom which is followed in the song by the final extinction of mankind when the water recedes. This final verse contains a quote from Albert Einstein about his concern over the then nuclear threat which Hammill delivers in a highly distorted, terrifying voice, ending the album on a truly apocalyptic note . 'The least we can do....' is perhaps my favourite VDGG album (in fact it's in my top 5 favourite albums of all time) incorporating a myriad of themes including both personal and romantic relationships, witchcraft and the Malleus Maleficarum, the terror of school homework (!) and Hereward the Wake and numerology. Not yer average pop songs then, and coupled with new member Dave Jacksons 'twelve tone figure' played in a 'variety of different mood and style changes' on this track, the album does demand a modicum of concentration by the casual listener to appreciate its beauty. The album was recorded in mid December 1969 and was initially mixed by John Anthony before the band requested a remix by Shel Talmy. Still dissatisfied, the band requested a further remix by Anthony but it was Talmy's mix which escaped on the initial few hundred collectable copies before the second remix was sanctioned. A remix of fan favourite 'Refugees' (with added orchestration) was even issued as a single and the band promoted the album with a BBC session and an appearance on German TV's Beat Club*."
Bonus Track - "*And (hopefully) the band in its full live glory in 1970."
"Remembering Ronnie Spector."
Takin' It To The Streets by The Doobie Brothers - "I watched a Doobie Brothers concert this week. What a great band and still going strong despite the fact that they are all a lot older than when ‘Listen to the music’ was a hit. Here’s a track highlighting the Sax player. I love the mood that instrument makes."
Wah Wah by George Harrison - "One of my favourite events is ‘Concert for George’. The song ‘Wah Wah’ was new to me but I really enjoyed the joy and fun all the artists had bringing it to the Albert Hall. George would have been proud. There were at least 4 full drum sets, numerous guitars, at least 3 keyboards, a full orchestra and all on stage singing too, Eric Clapton and Dhani Harrison being the loudest."
Just A Little Talk With Jesus by The Million Dollar Quartet - "While looking for my tracks on YouTube I came across ‘The Million Dollar Quartet’. I’m sure I’m the only one of the RPM gang that had never heard of this. I loved the blend of the 4 legends together. So here’s a sample."
"Have a good week everyone and keep safe. Cheers."
"Greetings and best wishes to all RPMers. I thought I should start this week with a tribute to Ronnie Spector, and then it's two golden oldies I happen to have heard this week, one being played (and sung along to by Jacquie) in the kitchen, and one in a Sky Arts documentary.
BTW, is "I thought it was a work event" the new "I was testing my eyesight"? "
Say Goodbye To Hollywood sung by Ronnie Spector - "Nothing to do with The Great British Bake-Off."
"Hello Everyone, I hope you're all safe and Covid-Free. This week I've been listening to a number of albums I haven't played in ages. Here are my selections."
If You So Wish by Kaleidoscope -
What Are Their Names? by David Crosby -
I Thank You by Sam & Dave -
"Three gentle tracks to continue to ease us into the year (It is still a bit new isn’t it?). Keep well, kind RPM comrades."
Lá Róúil performed by Julie Fowlis -
Ancient Calendars by Brad Barr -
Store Away For A Winter’s Day by Ben McElroy -
"Hi everyone, hope you are all well. Enjoying your tunes thanks. Here’s my 3 this week."
"I have spent a lot of time this week Using a cold chisel and lump hammer to chop an old cast Iron Parkray out of a brick chimney breast, to disconnecting the pipes which used to connect the back boiler to the C/H system, before roving it outside. So I have been breathing a mixture of dust, soot and vermiculite, I have needed something cool and groovy to keep me on an even keel...
Next week. I hope to hear Eve Adams new album... 'Metal Bird' but until I do this will have to suffice... "
"My topical 3..."
'Til Next Time...