Week 3 - Fri 21 Jan
Welcome to the RPM Seven Day Soundtrack, weekending Friday 21st January 2022. Here's this week's RPMer's music selection; cool eclecticism at it's best. Over to....
"I have to start by making my apologies for the mistakes and dreadful typing in my selections last week. My only excuse is that I was very late submitting it, it was late in the evening, and I was ‘all thumbs’!
No! I don’t know what I was running on about either…
Though I do know that I could have gone with three tracks by Ronnie Spector, who provided a happy part of the soundtrack of my youth, and whose continued output was always so very good, so thanks to those of you that did. I do know that I still have a crook back from ‘roving’ that Parkray! (Whatever that meant!). I even spent yesterday on my back, distracting myself with all sorts music. So a varied bunch this week."
Lonesome Desert by Michael Cleveland - "This mandolin recording strongly reminds me of the tune for a song, which I first heard in the 1950s, ‘In the Pines’ as sung by ‘Tennessee’ Ernie Ford, - or ‘Black Girl’ by ‘Leadbelly’. There are lots of wonderful renditions, including some beauties by ‘Bill Monroe And The Bluegrass Boys’ and another from that same era performed by The Louvin Brothers, and there is also a lovely live version by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant that is also available on YouTube too."
Aire (by Thomas Morley) performed by Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne - "And even though I have been learning ‘Hunting the Squirrel’ to play with a friend, and this performer plays a lovely version of it, it only servers to remind me of my shortcomings, so I will choose another by the remarkable box player from Granny’s Attic."
"Hi ya all, hope you are all well. Nearly to the end of January all ready! Here’s my 3 from this week."
"Here's my 3 for the week (and a cheeky additional if allowed please) and I'm using a few favourites that have occurred to me for various reasons this week. Best wishes to all, we are seeing some daylight in the fight against the bug at last."
Steamroller by James Taylor - "Sweet Baby James remains one of my favourite albums and here's a great track which he loves to do an embellished (and much extended) version of when performing live."
Rain Fall Down by The Rolling Stones - "From "A Bigger Bang"..."
Life During Wartime by Talking Heads - "Performed during The Big Suit tour as done in "Stop Making Sense" which is a great watch. I never got to see them or David Byrne live but I'd love to put that right someday."
Will You"Hazel O'Connor - "Sad to hear today that Meatloaf has passed away but I'd like to shine a light on Hazel who is currently fighting a serious illness but latest news is that she is coming through it ok. Was lucky to see her in the intimate setting of Beccles Public Hall and Theatre in October 2015 and she and her backing musicians, which included a brilliant female saxophonist, came to mingle with the theatregoers for ages after the show. I took some vinyl just in case and managed to have a nice chat with her and get it signed..."
"I do like to watch as much as I can of the Australian Open Tennis every year – and it’s on now. Therefore, tunes related in some way to Oz seem appropriate. If anyone is celebrating on the 25th – Happy Burns Night. Take care everyone."
"Hi folks, Hope you're all well, bearing up and finding ways to enjoy the New Year. Minimal politics this week, apparently we have to wait for the results of the official enquiry from Sue Gray..ok..and hope BoJo doesn't magic a war to ameliorate his woeful popularity, à la Thatcher.
Thoroughly enjoyed all your choices last week; great variety as ever - the perfect soundtrack for nutting out the legal blurb, survey reports and minutiae involved in house selling and buying. Soothing sounds from Dave, Jayne and Piers, I was blown away by the beautiful vocal talents of Julie Fowlis and Eve Adams - stunning. Good bit of rawk from Tim too, yeahhh!
Take care everyone. "
The Bewlay Brothers by David Bowie - "Heard for the 1st time ever this week. Quirky, interesting, layered. Understand it's about his brother and all that that entails."
Re: Stacks by Bon Iver - "Sublimely beautiful, just love Justin's mastery of words and rhythm."
Hold Your Own by Kate Tempest (Glastonbury 2015) - "Multi-talented lass, creative powerhouse in my opinion."
You may recall that some months ago concern was expressed about the physical health of BoJo the clown. I am sad to say that I think we must now question the mental wellbeing of our ever-popular showman. After recent events it seems his best (only?) defence is "I'm too stupid to realise I was breaking my own rules," and that his best hope is that a senior civil servant agrees with him. Let us hope that the conclusions in the much-anticipated report do not amount to fifty shades of gray.
To test his current state of mind I enquired as to whether he still thought it appropriate to compare himself to Churchill. He nodded his head vigorously and gravely intoned "Oh Yes!"
The Rock'n'Roll Doctor (a doctor of heart and a doctor of mind).
"Some tunes this week dedicated to BoJo ... perhaps at least one of them will cheer him up. Best wishes and good health to all RPMers."
"Hi Everyone, My selections this week are all from purchases made at the Record Fair in Norwich last weekend..."
Awnafin by Tamikrest - "Tamikrest is a group of musicians who belong to the Tuareg people. The band was founded in 2006 in Mali and they mix traditional African music with Western rock and pop influences. This is the opening track from their latest album 'Tamotait'. Like Tinariwen before them and Imarhan after, Tamikrest are among my favourites within the Desert Blues genre."
Song To Comus (Live 2008) by Comus - "I first saw Comus in 1971, a year before the original line-up split. They re-formed in 2008 and played a number of gigs in Europe and the UK. It was at this time that I saw them play an excellent gig at Norwich Arts Centre. This track is from a CD called 'East Of Sweden - Live at The Melloboat Festival 2008."
History by Benjamin Zephaniah - "I bought Benjamin Zephaniah's second LP from 1990 called 'Us An Dem' at the weekend and I had intended to play the track 'Progress' from it as one of my RPM selections. But....it seems that many of the tracks from this LP are not on YouTube. Fortunately, this one is!"
It's Too Late Now by The Swinging Blue Jeans- ' (7" single released June 1963. HMV label) "Initially the Bluegenes, a 'trad jazz' band formed in 1957, the band played the club circuit in Liverpool, including the Cavern, before they gained a residency at the Star Club in Hamburg in 1962. Their first night saw them still in their 'trad' guise but within minutes they were booed off the stage. A quick visit to a musical instrument shop the next day saw the newly rechristened Swinging Blue Jeans take to the stage with a set full of rock and roll standards! When the Beatles broke big, and the record labels rushed to Liverpool in early 1963, HMV signed the band and placed them in the studio to record this Ray Ennis composed mid paced beater which just sneaked into the charts for a couple of weeks. The follow up single 'Do you know' failed to sell and so, in time honoured style, it was cover version time and the band hit big with the Lennon vocal inflected 'Hippy, Hippy, Shake' in December 1963. Their debut album did not include any of the first four sides, featuring just one band composition amid a plethora of covers including two Marvin/Welch songs. Members had come and gone since their inception and, by 1964 they were down to the familiar four piece line up which was stabilised for a couple of years thanks to an intermittent run of hit singles here, and particularly in Europe, during the next 18 months. The start of 1966 saw the band recruit Terry Sylvester, late of the Escorts, who was closely followed by band mate Mike Gregory as the 1964 line up continued to splinter. The band tried an adventurous cover of the Knickerbockers 'Rumours, Gossip, Words Untrue' in 1966 but its lack of success hastened the bands retirement to the 'chicken in a basket' clubs."
Let's Dance by Brian Poole and the Tremeloes - (taken from 'Big, big hits of '62' album, released May 1963. Ace of Clubs label.) "Famously signed on New Years Day 1962 by Decca in preference to The Beatles, despite the famous quote from either Dick Rowe, Tony Meehan or Mike Smith that 'guitar groups are on the way out Mr Epstein'. Personally I would discount Smith as it was he who first alerted Decca, attended two Cavern gigs and recorded the band live in situ at that time. Rowe denied the quote almost to his death bed so it's quite possible that Meehan could be the guilty party but, more importantly, The Tremeloes (as they were then titled) were an established group who already had a regular BBC radio slot and had played across England gaining a substantial following. The Beatles meanwhile, had spent 1961 (and indeed most of 1962 too!) playing almost exclusively in Liverpool, the exceptions being a three month residency in Hamburg and the ill-fated one nighter at Aldershot's Palais Ballroom, famously attended by just 18 bored or curious locals. Plus, more importantly, the Trems' were 'local' to Decca studios and would therefore be easier to contact and call into the studio. Decca promoted vocalist Poole to acknowledged front man and, unusually for that time in Britain, allowed the band to produce their own recordings. Their early singles, however, failed miserably and this is reflected in the band's debut album appearance on 'cheapo' offshoot label Ace of Clubs. They had appeared in 1962's teen movie 'Just for fun' alongside Jet Harris, Sounds Inc, the Vernon Girls, Cloda Rogers and others but, here, the band recorded an albums worth of anemic medleys of 1962's chart hits. After this nadir of sorts, the band recognised that the rejected Beatles were having success in both the album and EP charts with their cover of 'Twist and Shout' and June 1963 saw the Trems' at number four in the singles charts with their fast tempoed cover version. Further success followed when their follow up 'Do you love me' (copped from Faron's Flamingos after a Cavern gig) knocked 'She Loves You' from it's pinnacle and this was followed by several other hits, including the guitar fest 'Candy Man' and the saccharine 'Someone, Someone', before Poole retired from recording and live performances for many years to set up his own businesses including a record label."
No Time by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich - (7" single released 29th January 1965. Fontana label) "Following on from Dave Dee's (actually Dave Harman) involvement with Eddie Cochran's fatal accident he formed Dave Dee and the Bostons in 1961. Youth clubs, Social Clubs and pubs were their initial bookings but, like many of the Merseyside bands, they did play residencies at the Star Club in Hamburg and, additionally, the Storyville in Cologne. A tie-in with songwriters Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley led to a proposed recording session with Joe Meek in 1964. Meek asked the band to record their songs at half speed and advised he would speed the resulting songs up and add his 'special effects' later. The band refused point blank and Meek threw one of his famous hissy fits, as well as a cup of coffee, and stormed out saying the session was canceled. Ken Howard then changed the groups name to the now familiar one in an effort to highlight the bands individual personalities (e.g. Dozy allegedly unwrapped a chocolate bar, threw away the chocolate and kept the wrapper, hence his nickname) and they were soon signed by Fontana. There were two false starts with 'No Time' and its follow up 'All I want' before the band hit the top thirty with 'You make it move', the first of fourteen top 40 hits, including two Number Ones. They were the UK equivalent of the US 'bubblegum' scene but, despite this, they made very few inroads in the US with 'Zabadak' achieving the highest position (No 52) of their three small hits. Also in common with the US 'bubblegummers', the band recorded some pretty tough album tracks and b-sides to their singles with 'He's a raver' (to 'OK') being a personal fave. 'No Time' finds the band in ultra-commercial territory on a song which sounds like a Honeycombs out-take complete with a singalong melody and added whistling in the background ..... a deserved failure to be quite honest. Flip side 'Is it love' is yer typical Beatles/beat ballad and is slightly more impressive thanks to a short George Harrison like solo and some fine massed harmonies behind the title refrain."
"I had a quick scan round t'internet regarding the 'Three steps to heaven' UK 78rpm pressing. Having looked at the 45 Worlds webpage it seems the comments dry up in 2019, but the 2020 RRPG still lists this (London HLG9115) with a mint value of £400. However, there are no signs of any sales of the pressing on Discogs so maybe there never was a 78 issued....... but then again, the GlobalDog 'London HLG 9000' listing (compiled by Paul Pelletier who is mentioned as the UK compiler for the 45 World website!!) does show both 45 and 78 pressings.
Re Sharon Sheeley, she went on to solo songwriting success for Ricky Nelson and Glen Campbell and then, as co-composer with Jackie De Shannon, there were hits for Brenda Lee, the Fleetwoods and Irma Thomas before teaming up, strangely, with the Searchers Chris Curtis on P&B Ryan's late b-side 'Nighttime'. She was also the first female to compose a US number one single and was instrumental in creating the US hit TV show 'Shindig' with her husband Jimmy O'Neill.
"This year celebrates the 550th anniversary of Shetland becoming part of Scotland. So here's some Shetland themed music."
(....and carrying on with the Shetland theme, Jayne had similar thoughts this week...Tim)
Norseman’s Bride by Inge Thomson -
Da Trow’s Jig performed by Chris Stout and Catriona McKay -
Paper Böns by Herkja -
"Here's 3 taken from this week's listening..."
Jay by The Spell Songs Singers - "Inspired by the book The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and artist Jackie Morris, musicians Seckou Keita, Karine Polwart, Julie Fowlis, Kris Drever, Rachel Newton, Bethany Porter and Jim Molyneux got together to set some of Macfarlane's words to music. Here's my favourite from Spell Songs II."
Staring At The Moon by Ozric Tentacles - "Well, I'm having a good old sort out, aiming to sell duplications and discs no longer played etc...I have a complete set of Ozric Official Bootleg cassettes from the 80s which are on the off-loading list as they have been subsequently reissued on vinyl. I'm currently playing through the tapes to check if they are still...well, playable, as they are 35 years old, and this track from the There Is Nothing opus stood out....so here it is."
Around The Fairy Fort performed by The Good Tune - "Here's the tune I'm learning on tenor banjo this week, composed by trad Irish flute player Vincent Broderick."
'Til Next Time...