Week 4 - Fri 28 Jan
Welcome to the RPM Seven Day Soundtrack, week ending Friday 28th January 2022. First month of the new year gone....
Here's what caught the ears of our RPMers this week...over to...
"Hi Everyone, hope you're all well and still being cautious despite our new 'freedoms'. Here are three songs I've listened to in the past week."
Comes A Time by Neil Young -
Sweet Little Mystery by Wet Wet Wet -
Tapestry by Robin & Barry Dransfield -
Cool Water by Marty Robbins -
(Film Bonus "Worth Waiting For")
Sweet Betsy From Pike performed by Suzy Bogguss - "I first came across this song in 1963 when, on a ship's visit to Glasgow, I bought the newly released eponymous album by Jackie DeShannon which had a short quirky version of this song on it. I like this version though as it's very witty with seemingly unending verses."
Midnight At The Oasis by The Brand New Heavies - "...and after all that thirsty travelling...it was a toss-up between a track by Camel or this one. I thought this version might make a change from the original by Maria Muldaur."
"Have spent a frenetic week at work; pointless bureaucracy and hoop jumping in order to meet an arbitrary time frame. So here are my 3 choices of my take on work."
"Hi folks. Hope you're all well. Thanks as ever for your fab selections.
Twice (Little Dragon Cover) performed by Lianne La Havas -
Cyclone (The Village Sessions) by Sticky Fingers -
Bonus Track - Please, Tim. January 22's been a slog.
"So BoJo continues to hang on. I suppose we shouldn't be surprised. Mind you, looking at the state of that Tory front bench, perhaps we should be careful what we wish for!
Meanwhile I've been reading obits to Robbie Shakespeare, and thus being reminded of having seen Sly and Robbie twice. Once when they were backing Black Uhuru on the Stones' "Still Life" tour in 1982, and then in about '87or '88 when they were touring their "Rhythm Killers" album- that was the loudest gig I've ever been to (Robbie's bass made your rib-cage vibrate!).
Hence this week's selections, the first from one of the greatest reggae albums of the '70s, and then two that can be found on the album "Sly and Robbie Present Taxi." I know John knows much more about reggae than me, so I hope he approves of my choices.
Best wishes to everyone. I hope you're all staying safe. I had a positive LFT result the other day and I am currently self-isolating. I'm glad I had the jabs though, because I'm really not feeling very ill (touch wood)."
"Some extended workouts this week by three of my favourite seventies artists."
In Every Dream Home a Heartbreak by Roxy Music - (from 'Viva! Roxy Music', released August 1976. Island label) "Roxy's peon to, ahem, a man's affection for an 'inflatable lady' which features those memorable lines 'I blew up your body, but you blew my mind' before one of rock music's most memorable guitar solos!!! There's an excellent first performance of the song on OGWT in 1973, the superb studio version on Roxy's second album 'For your pleasure' but I love this live version recorded at Ferry's home town gig (Newcastle City Hall) in November 1974. It's strange that the early Roxy Music rarely get the credit they deserve nowadays as a truly original, experimental band, perhaps because of Ferry's overbearing presence in both musical and personal terms. However, here, on live tracks recorded over a three year period, the band retain that experimental edge on a selection of album tracks (dominated by the 'For your pleasure' album) and their underrated second single 'Pyjamarama' thanks, in no small part, to Brian Eno's (sometimes maligned) replacement, Eddie Jobson, late of Curved Air, and the drafting in of King Crimson's John Wetton on bass. Ferry and original bassist Graham Simpson formed the band in 1970 but Simpson left the band immediately after the release of their self-titled debut album due to increasing bouts of depression following his mothers early death through cancer. He spent many years touring the world investigating differing cultures and religions and converted to Sufism before returning to London in 1982. Interestingly, he is the focus of both a short film, entitled 'Nothing but the magnificent', as well as an as yet unreleased feature length version starring movie director Mike Figgis and Bryan Ferry titled 'Mighty'. 'Viva'...' was released as the band took its first hiatus, reforming in 1978 with a more 'mature' (i.e. less experimental) direction which, conversely, saw the band become even more successful commercially. There were hit singles and number one albums plus, of course, Ferry/Roxy Music's 'Jealous Guy' tribute to the recently assassinated John Lennon which topped the charts for two weeks in March 1981. The band finally split in 1983 but, although there have been several partial reformations which have played festivals and worldwide tours in the 2000's, there has been no new material released despite all the original band members rumoured to have taken part in recording sessions in 2007. Trivia time...1970 saw Bryan Ferry and Reg Dwight audition for the vacant position of vocalist for King Crimson with Ferry running through '21st Century Schizoid Man'. Fripp turned Ferry down but advised him to form his own band and contact EG Management in whose offices Ferry bumped into Brian Eno...and the rest, as they say..."
Radio Ethiopia by Patti Smith Group - (from 'Radio Ethiopia' album, released October 1976. Arista label) - 'Difficult second album'? Definitely.... but then again, Patti's genre defining classic debut 'Horses' was always going to be difficult to follow. Here, allegedly at bassist Ivan Krahl's insistence, Patti and Arista handed over the controls from debut producer John Cale to hot producer Jack Douglas (not that Jack Douglas of 'Carry on...' fame!!) who had recently helmed albums by CheapTrick, Lennon/Ono, the Who and the Blue Oyster Cult. However, that was never going to sweeten Patti's lava hot music and, although the album contained the almost 'pop' songs 'Ask the Angels', 'Poppies' and 'Pumping (My Heart)', these were counterbalanced by 'Pissing in a river', 'Ain't it strange' and the 'live in the studio' 10 minute title track which I've chosen for you this week. Critics, and fans, were divided by both the album's commercial 'sheen' and what was seen at the time as the self indulgence of this track in particular. It certainly saw Patti and the band stretching themselves out instrumentally and, according to Patti, the lyrics refer directly to Patti's hero, the poet Arthur Rimbaud's 'dying wishes'. The album package was also 'punks' most lavish at the time featuring stylised images of Patti on the front and a sleek image of the group on the reverse, plus a four page inner sleeve containing further images (including a photo of Patti in Paris taken by her sister some years before under a graffitied slogan 'vive L'anarchie'). Critics opined that "Smith seems to lack the direction necessary to live up to her own best ideas" (perhaps unsurprisingly from a review by the then 'conventional' Rolling Stone magazine) whilst there were favourable reviews from Creem's Richard Meltzer, who wrote "there really ain't no way I'm gonna be anything but thrilled to my shorthairs by a Patti LP and this one's no exception." and the Village Voice critic Robert Christgau who stated that the album's sound "delivers the charge of heavy metal without the depressing predictability; its riff power ... has the human elan of a band that is still learning to play.". Me? I love the sound of bands learning to play and at the same time extending themselves musically, so this album remains one of my favourite Smith outings."
It Begins with a Blessing-Once I Awakened-But it Ends with a Curse by Kevin Ayers - (from 'The Confessions of Dr. Dream and Other Stories' LP released May 1974. Island label) - "In common with Patti's 'Radio...' album, production work here was handed over to then hot producer Rupert Hine for Ayer's Island label debut outing. Additionally, Ayers, or Island, employed a veritable array of Island's finest musicians, including one of rock music's greatest unsung guitarists, Ollie Halsall, who would go on to support Ayers as a member of The Soporifics until Ollie's untimely death in 1992. Again, like Patti, the album is a beast of two heads with 'commercial' songs such as the opening trio of 'Day by day', 'See you later' and 'Didn't feel lonely 'til I thought of you' being counterpointed by the second sides continuous musical exploration into 'The confessions,,,,' psychodrama and side one's triptych of 'It begins....etc', which is an extended (some reviewers said 'bloated') version of Ayer's former band The Soft Machine's 'Why am I sleeping'. The NME's Nick Kent felt the album was "Ayers' most formidable recorded work to date" and, retrospectively, Julian Cope's respected Head Heritage website lauds the whole album and, particularly, 'It begins.... etc. Lol Coxhill features on a sax break early in the song, Mike Giles (ex King Crimson) and John (G) Perry (ex Caravan) provide a strong rhythm base and engineer Steve Nye features strongly on organ but top 'o the bill, of course, goes to Ayer's basso profundo vocals. And I haven't even mentioned the 'Ice Maiden' Nico who guests on the titular song cycle................ Excellent 'prog' and damn fine psychedelia too!!!!"
"Hi everybody hope you all are well . Here’s my 3 tunes..."
"Some things I used to listen to from time to time..."
"I actually haven't listened to a massive variety of music this week, so it came down to these 3...
Death To The Red Sun by Earthless - "New LP The Night Parade of 100 Demons (based on a Japanese folk tale) from probably the best "jam band" ever, comprises two instrumentals. Track one encompasses two sides of vinyl....so here's track two which only occupies side three at a mere 20 mins long....yes, I know; a short one, then."
Rockabilly Banjo by Brian Setzer - "Only other music I've listened to this week is a couple of Brian Setzer's albums...and this one was a must for RPM. Rockabilly and banjo; what's not to like?"
'Til Next Time...