Week 21 - Fri 27 May
Welcome to the RPM Record Club Seven Day Soundtrack, week ending Friday 27th May 2022.....and it's also a warm welcome to James, another new RPMer who thinks that choosing three songs and then letting them loose on the world at large with a bunch of others from like minded folks is a good idea. Good man....we're gonna get on OK. Let's get going....over to...
"Hi RPMers, hope you are all well enjoying your tunes as always. Here’s my 3 this week."
"Summer seems to be here at last and the folkiness is still rolling along in my life. If I had posted this on Tuesday morning, I would have been sure to include something from The Boys of the Lough's rather lovely album 'Regrouped' which I had, until very recently, entirely missed! It would most likely have been, ' I'll buy boots for Maggie'.
But ...I woke up on Wednesday morning with a different tune in my head.... one that I haven't heard since before my favourite pub in Southend, 'The Grand Pier', was pulled down to make way for a shopping mall. It took me an hour to remember its name. 'The Charabanc'! Then there was a search for the music, which it turned out (after another hour or so hunting in the darkest corners of 'The Session' and ABC web sites)... was mentioned in the notes on the video, and are printed in a book which I already own! But by then nostalgia for live music and teenage deauchery in what used to be called 'The Scrumpy Bar' had set in...
Suddenly I needed to listen to the toons of my youth, so I found myself listening to tracks from one of my favourite albums ever, Chuch of Anthrax, and of course in turn, that lead to something a bit more soulful!"
Bonus Track -
"....and just to prove that I don't live entirely in the distant past, could I please include this slightly more modern piece of loveliness!"
Hit 'Em Back by Shemekia Copeland -
"Hi Everyone and a warm welcome to James,
Fields by The Skids - "I first encountered The Skids as a live band when they supported The Stranglers at their notorious Battersea Park gig on Saturday 16th September 1978. I first encountered them on record around this time via their superb single 'Sweet Suburbia' which I have on white vinyl. The track I've chosen is from their fourth LP called 'Joy' (1981) when they started to get a bit 'folky' by way of incorporating influences from their Scottish heritage into their music."
War Ina Babylon by Max Romeo & The Upsetters - "Up until recently I've always avoided the music of Max Romeo. This was basically due to his novelty hit single of 1968 'Wet Dream'. I felt that I could never take him seriously despite the fact that his album 'War Ina Babylon' frequently featured in many 'Best Reggae Albums' lists. Now, as the hipsters say, I get it..... thanks to the purchase at the Holt Record Fair of a superb Reggae compilation CD which included this track."
Aloysius by Cocteau Twins - "From the 1984 LP 'Treasure', a firm favourite in our house during the past 38 years!! It still sounds as fresh today as it did the day Sal bought it..."
"Here’s my first offering which is continuing with the one cover each week plan. It’s originally by the Stones from their Exile on Main Street album..."
"And lastly ..."
Brassneck by The Wedding Present -
"Hi everyone....Here's 3 songs I've been listening to this week...kind regards."
Never Felt Like This Before by Charlie Smalls - "I heard this on the soundtrack of John Cassavetes' film 'Faces' a few years ago and after a search to identify it, came across it on YouTube. Recently another song by the writer was mentioned to me, which brought this back to mind and I've been listening to it again this week."
Traveling Tune by Gov't Mule - "I've been a big fan of Warren Haynes, since I first heard him playing on an Allman Brothers Band live album in the 90s. I've seen his band Gov't Mule a couple of times. This track is on the album 'Revolution Come...Revolution Go' , which I heard for the first time this week and is an instant favourite."
Haunted by As The Story Unfolds - "This is the first track from a just released album by a Dutch band that I really like. You can find the whole album on Bandcamp and Spotify and its well worth hearing in its entirety. I have been a big fan of the Edwin de Herder (who did all the music on this) for many years, ever since I heard him play what is probably my favourite guitar solo on a record, which is on the track 'Lovely' by his band Spot."
"I've been dog-sitting a lab called Lola this weeks, so obviously humming Kinks songs."
"Three cover versions this week to enjoy..."
(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay performed by The Thursdays - (From 'Earcom 2: Contradiction' EP released 5th October 1979. Fast Product label) "The Edinburgh based Fast Product label was formed by Bob Last in December 1977 and released its first single ('Ever been in a riot' by the Mekons) just 3 weeks later. Record company slogans were popular at the time and Fast Product was no different with "difficult fun" and "mutant pop" summing up the labels output perfectly. Although based in Edinburgh, the label was important for releasing early 'thought provoking' singles by the Human League, Gang of Four and, on 'Earcom 2' there were two out-takes from Joy Division's mighty 'Unknown Pleasures' album. The Thursdays were an enigmatic, short lived Edinburgh based band formed by the author, poet and visionary Peter Reekie when he was just seventeen years old. Although Reekie was known to be quite gregarious, he was also prone to outbreaks of violence with reports of teachers being headbutted, a butcher who employed him as an apprentice being threatened with a cleaver and a friends new girlfriend being bitten when introduced to Reekie for the first time! The Thursdays only two tracks (both featured on Earcom 2) show Reekie possessed a world weary voice which has echoes of not only Ian Curtis but also the Only Ones Peter Perrett. At the same time as forming the Thursdays Reekie befriended Irvine Welsh prior to his rise to fame and, later, performed as a member of the poetry collective known as the Three Edinburgh Writers. His poetry was published in that collectives self titled book and he also had his own book, 'Zap' published but, in 1996, he ran into legal difficulties with the auto biographical 'Submission' which attracted a lawsuit from his ex-wife resulting in the recall of all sold copies and the pulping of the 10000 published run. Welsh published one of Reekies poems ("When Caesar’s Mushroom Is In Season") as the frontispiece to his book 'The Acid House' in 1994 and it was at this time that Reekie dipped his toe back into the music scene and, as a result, befriended Stone Roses/Primal Scream bassist Mani. His perceived fear of having his work rejected saw Reekie become more reclusive and dependent on benefits whilst still writing poetry, which remains unpublished to this day. Early June 2010 found Reekie at an extremely low point and, after visiting a pub with several friends, he returned to his flat and committed suicide. Spread out on his table were two letters from the DWP. One advised that his housing benefits were being stopped and the other advised the discontinuation of his incapacity benefit. A sad end for someone whose potential was never fully realised."
Private Life performed by Grace Jones (Long version) - (12" single released June 27th 1980. Island label) "What to write about such a well known person....... nay, an icon even!! Born in Jamaica in 1948, Grace's family moved to Syracuse, NY, in 1961. Grace soon showed her rebellious streak, signing to a theatre company and relocating to Philadelphia whilst at high school. She then 'dropped out', joined a hippie community and experimented with LSD and other hallucinogens. She returned to NYC in 1969 and was immediately signed to the Wilhelmina Modelling agency who realised the potential of Jones's unusual, androgynous, bold, dark-skinned appearance, and so did Elle, Vogue and Stern magazines and fashion designers including Yves St Laurent and Kenzo Takada. Island signed her in 1977 and released her first album, the almost middle of the road cum disco 'Portfolio', which included musical standards such as 'Send in the clowns', 'What I did for love' and 'Tomorrow' on the top side but, on side two, Grace stretched out on an extended 'La vie en rose' and three of her own songs. Two further disco influenced albums followed, both well received in that market, but Grace aired her dissatisfaction to Island and expressed a desire to 'return' to her Jamaican roots. 1980 found her in the Compass Point Studio, home to Sly, Robbie, Sticky Thompson and Mikey Chung amongst others, where Grace began work on the 'Warm Leatherette' album. There was just one song by Grace but her choice of cover versions showed her appreciation of many genres. In addition to this, perhaps better than the original, Pretenders track, there's tunes from Roxy Music, the Miracles, Tom Petty and cult hero The Normal (whose second album was the poorly received "Live at West Runton Pavilion") and, as a bonus, Joy Division's 'She's lost control' out-take as the b-side to 'Private Life'. Grace was rewarded with a top fifty placing for the album and, as a result, a further two albums were recorded at Compass Point for Island both of which placed highly in the album charts. There was just one further Island release, the concept album 'Slave to the rhythm' (originally intended for Frankie goes to Hollywood!!), appearances in films ('Conan' and James Bond), groundbreaking photo shoots, legendary club gigs and, of course, that famous 'Russell Harty' moment before she signed to the Manhatton label where she was succesfully, but not as imaginatively produced by Nile Rogers. Since that time Grace has become something of a cartoon figure, drifting between stage, film and recording outings but never quite achieving the levels of the early to mid 1980's."
Room Full of Mirrors performed by The Pretenders - (7" single b-side to 'Hymn to her' released December 1986. Real Records label) "Possessor of one of the damn sexiest voices since.... well, the Ronettes possibly, here's Chrissie Hynde and the gang with one of the best covers of a Hendrix song put to vinyl. Electo, dub-ish, great wig out guitar, I'm sure Jimi would have loved it. Born in Akron, Ohio (remember when THAT was the centre of the musical universe.... for 5 minutes!??), Chrissie became involved in the hippie lifestyle before enrolling at Kent State University, along with future Devo head honcho (and music composer for the essential Rugrats cartoon) Mark Mothersbaugh, in 1969. Kent State, of course, was the scene of one of the most notorious National Guard actions against anti-war protesters on May 4th 1970 when several hundred students were driven over a rise, away from the cameras, and then fired upon resulting in nine injuries and four deaths. Sixty seven shots were fired in just 13 seconds and, when the camera's arrived, it was heartbreaking to see the father of Allison Beth Krause prostrate over his dead daughter's body, a film clip seared into my memory for all time. Whilst at Kent State Chrissie joined her first band (Sat. Sun. Mon) but her thoughts had always been to relocate to London and it was no surprise when she washed up on our shores and soon landed a job at the NME before moving to Vivienne Westwoods SEX boutique. Whilst there, Westwood proposed that, initially John Lydon and then, as he was 'too busy', John Ritchie accompany Hynde to the registrar's office and get married in order to gain a residency permit. Fortunately for Hynde the office was closed and the 'opportunity' passed to become either Mrs Rotten or Vicious!. She relocated to France for a short period, then returned to the USA before returning to the UK via another sojourn in France. It was at this time that Chrissie started to attend auditions for bands which would soon become popular (999, the Damned and line-ups including Mick Jones, Jon Moss and Steve Strange) before recording a demo tape in1978 which she handed to Real Records boss Dave Hill. He advised Chrissie to take her time and form a permanent band and so, several months later, The Pretenders entered the studio with Nick Lowe and produced their first single. 'Stop your sobbing', which saw them reach the lower reaches of the chart and this was followed by 'Brass in pocket' which reached number one. Further hits followed, sporadically, and there were numerous lineup changes before Chrissie and the Pretenders were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. Chrissie has also lent her vocal support to many others, of course. Mick Farron, Chris Spedding, the Specials and INXS recruited her for backup vocals and there were duets/triplets(?) with Lisa Kudrow ('Smelly Cat'!!), Cher and Neneh Cherry (plus EC himself) and, almost unbelievably, Frank Sinatra!! I'm glossing over perhaps her most famous, and popular, duet (a number one single no less) and her marital arrangements with some Scots bloke and I'll finish with the mention of a more 'arty' outing when she appeared on BBC 4's Songwriters Circle with John Cale and Nick Cave."
Alan's Musical Funnies -
Bonus Track -
I Saw Her Standing There by The Beatles -
"Just six weeks after its release on 22nd March 1963, the Beatles 'Please Please Me' LP hit the number one slot on the Record Retailers chart on the 5th May, a position it retained for 30 weeks!!! After discounting the idea of recording the group live at the Cavern (what an album that would have been!!) George Martin had called the band into EMI's Abbey Road studio to record what was in effect the group's stage act. In just 585 minutes the group had completed the requisite ten tracks (plus an unfinished 'Hold me tight' which appeared on 'With the Beatles') at the enormous cost of £400. The band received the 'standard' fee of £7.10.00 per group member for each three hour session, meaning the album had actually been recorded in less than 540 minutes!!*** Initially George Martin had wanted to call the album 'Off the Beatle track' with a cover photo of the group posing outside of London Zoo's insect house but, when the final title was decided on... and a more sensible photo taken on EMI's stairwell, Martin used the title for his 1964 instrumental LP of Beatle songs. The 'Please Please Me' album remained at number one until December 1st 1963 when it was replaced by 'With the Beatles'. That remained at number one until 26th April 1964 when it was succeeded by the Rolling Stones debut LP which reigned until 19th July and the arrival of the Beatles 'Hard Days Night' soundtrack. This was eventually replaced by 'The Beatles for sale' on the 13th December, a position it retained for a paltry seven weeks before 'The Rolling Stones No 2' album hit the top on 31st January 1965. Of the remaining 48 weeks of 1965, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones topped the charts for 28 weeks (via 'Help', 'Rubber Soul' and 'No 2') with only Bob Dylan and the 'Sound of music' soundtrack denting their total domination. In a total of 138 weeks, that duopoly topped the charts for 118 weeks!! I doubt that such a feat will ever be achieved again, no matter how long the music charts are compiled.
"A few new things this week...and an unforeseen last minute oldie."
Didn't I Love You by The Black Keys - "The Black Keys seem to be on a creative roll at the moment. Following on from last May's hill country blues influenced Delta Kream outing, we have a new album this May as well in the form of Dropout Boogie. Stylistically this is the Keys going back to what I would call their psych pop blues form to produce another fine bunch of cool, enjoyable songs."
The Present Not The Past by Magnum - "New to me, but Magnum's "new album" in fact came out in January and I've only just caught up. As I've said before, Magnum consistently produce quality material as shown with this clutch of new songs; a solid enough outing, I'd say, but not a classic. Don't know what's going on with the cover, though; no Rodney Matthews art work to drool over this time? It's like Iron Maiden ditching Eddie! Anyway, hoping to catch them live somewhere at the end of the year."
Parrallels by Yes - "RIP Alan White, drummer with Yes since 1972, who died this week. Found on the album Going For The One, here's one of my favourite Yes tracks.
'Til Next Time...