Week 17 Playlist
Welcome to week 17 of the Isolation Room Listening Booth, songs as chosen by RPM club members week ending Friday 17th July. So here we go again, alphabetical by 2nd letter in Christian name, obs, it’s over to……………
Dave – “Hi RPMers hope you are all well!! Enjoyed your tunes last week. Here’s my 3…………”.
Spit on a Stranger by Pavement -
Am I in Heaven by King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard -
Swastika Eyes (Spectre Mix) by Primal Scream -
Jayne – “Keep keeping safe everyone and, as Alan rightly pointed out, Don’t believe the hype. Like Nina last week I’ve been revisiting performers I saw at festivals back in the day.”
Billi by Kanda Bongo Man
Iguefan by Etran Finatawa
Jarabi by Toumani Diabate
Jean – “You must have all realised that I love nearly all stage musicals. These are 3 that I have seen live- 2 in London and one in New York. They are quite different from each other but only one has a happy ending.”
Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera 1987 music by Lloyd Webber/ lyrics by Charles Hart – “Most people were amazed that Michael Crawford could sing let alone be the lead in operetta. I was lucky to see his last performance. He had an amazing voice and presence on and off the stage. He always took his roles to another level. I saw him in Billy Liar and Barnum (where he had learnt several circus skills and stunts). This was an amazing production much better than the film made a few years later.”
Prologue From West Side Story 1961 music by Leonard Bernstein/ lyrics by Stephen Sondheim – “I remember seeing the film at a local cinema. It was so innovative and modern. This sequence led into the view of downtown Manhattan and it’s harsh environment. So different to my neighbourhood. The very modern dancing and music right from the start was mind-blowing. Bernstein and Sondheim were geniuses.”
Pumping Iron from Starlight Express – “1984 music Lloyd Webber/ lyrics Richard Stilgoe
There has never been another show like this. The cast had to sing, dance, act and race around the stalls and two levels on the stage on roller skates. Nowadays the races are shown on a screen - not so exciting as on the tracks through the audience. And they didn’t go slowly either. The cast are all train carriages or engines, which is a lot of fun and costumes are fantastic too. Stilgoe’s lyrics are double entendre at times but he always wrote lyrics that made you smile. There’s a great saxophone solo on this track.”
Philip –“Best regards to one and all. By way of a complete change this week I thought I'd choose 3 of my favourite-ever TV theme tunes, so here goes………”
Cimarron Strip by Maurice Jarre – “Celebrated of course for film scores such as "Lawrence of Arabia," "Doctor Zhivago," and "Witness," but this was work for TV in the 1960s on one of that era's better Westerns. There are links here to both opening and closing credit sequences, about which there is some controversy: is Stuart Whitman uncomfortable on a horse or is he simply riding downhill? Can any horse rider among us offer an opinion?
Hill Street Blues by Mike Post - “In the '60s Mike Post was in The First Edition, but in the '70s he found his niche as possibly the greatest composer of TV theme tunes ever. I might have chosen "The Rockford Files" or "Law and Order" but in the end it had to be this, just so I could repeat the immortal words of Sergeant Phil Esterhaus: "Let's be careful out there”……….”
Treme by John Boutte – “A short version of this was used for the opening credits of this outstanding drama about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans R'n'B is alive and well in the 21st century, and here's the full version of the song to prove it.”
Aiden – “Here’s my 3…………”
Tax Man by The Beatles –
Roygbiv by Boards of Canada -
Through My Head at Night by Locust Toybox -
Play That Funky Music by Wild Cherry - “I have been playing a lot of Mandolin lately and as a matter of course kicking over the traces a little. As I explained last week, (Locked Down but not Out! Week16), I scored a little kudos with my mando version of 6345-789 in an Elmham Garage, so I have been casting about for another unlikely mando tune…………… No I won’t be doing that, even though it only has a couple, or three chords…. Oh maybe!”
Never Gonna Break My Faith performed by Aretha Franklin ( with The Boys Choir of Harlem) - “After checking out 'Wild Cherry’, I turned to Aretha as I often do. Being on Youtube my next choice came up, though I had never heard it before. I don’t usually just let Youtube scroll on its own but, fortuitously, that day I did and had to scuttle over to the screen to find out more. Aretha had a number one hit in every Decade since the 1960s including this one 2020. She got there posthumously with Never Gonna Break My Faith……”
Up Above My Head by Rhiannon Giddens – “And Aretha often effortlessly takes me to Sister Rosetta but, even if she is one of the most underrated and influential guitarists ever, (especially on me), I side stepped Rosetta, just a little. Singing one of Rosetta Tharpe’s biggest hits, I have chosen to present this lovely interpretation by Rhiannon Giddens’. She is a fabulous performer and supporter of young talent.
Alan – “I was going to groan on about Covid 19 here: how, on a 7 day rolling figure, we are currently losing around 3 people per hour based on the latest figures. Since the first of March deaths have averaged almost 14 per hour!!! So far, 45,000 deaths officially and counting (remember when '25,000 would be a good result'?).... with a new threat of a 'worst case scenario' of 125,000 to follow later this year!!! I'm not going to say anything more...............
This week we lost Judy Dyble, perhaps best known as the original vocalist with Fairport Convention. I'm sure other RPM'ers will pay their own tributes, so I'll leave the musical choices to them but would recommend the Fairport debut as a great place to start.
Meanwhile, here's the 'follow up' to last week’s French girls selection……….”
Dodecaphonie by Antoine et les Problèmes S/T EP, France only. 1966.- “This from 'Incredible Sound Show Stories Vol 5. Yellow Street Boutique' Released 1996.
One of the leading, yet conversely minor, lights in French music, Antoine was largely responsible (with his Problemes) for dragging the homegrown ''ye ye' music into the (mid) sixties beat and r&b era. French folkie Hugues Aufrey persuaded Antoine to give up the day job as a student and start recording his music in 1965. Within months he was signed by Vogue (France's major label) and released his debut single 'La Guerre' followed in January 1996 by his influential album 'Les Elucubrations d' Antoine', both big hits and both clearly influenced musically by Bob Dylan. However, he differed from Dylan lyrically with his vaguely narcissistic, semi-ironic view which included a barely disguised criticism of France's 'Elvis', Johnny Hallyday (of whom more soon). Hallyday is lampooned as 'passe' and is imagined imprisoned in the Maderno Circus and this public criticism led to a long running feud and, probably indirectly, to Hallyday updating his musical output to a more current style. For his next EP, Antoine was influenced by the Rolling Stones but, by the time of the release of 'Dodecaphonie', he was also incorporating US garage and mod into his output and allowing Les Problemes to take a bow vocally. Lyrically, however, the song is an appeal to his girlfriend Dorothea to stop playing Chopin, Faure and Khatchaturian and, if she wants to 'charm' him, she should play ' harmonic waves, Dodecaphonic music'! Now, I'm sure you RPM'ers will know that Dodecaphonic music is a 'twelve-tone technique, twelve-tone serialism, and twelve-note composition.... a method of musical composition first devised by Austrian composer Josef Matthias Hauer, who published his "law of the twelve tones" in 1919'. Must admit though, I didn't!! Anywaze, within a year Antoine had radically changed his image and his music, incorporating 'chanson' and operette and concentrated on the Italian market before, in 1974, embarking on the first of several round the world sailing expeditions, recording traditional Polynesian songs and writing two autobiographies. After a series of advertisements for ATOL Optical (parodied by younger French musicians) he began recording in a more contemporary style in 2012 but still including message based lyrics regarding the de-crimilisation of prostitution amongst other issues.”
L'idole (Je n'en peux plus) by Jacques Dutronc, EP, Released 1970 – “This from Spanish EP. More lyrical madness, this time from France's second most popular male vocalist and, incidentally, husband to Francoise Hardy. Here, Jaques and his then co-composer Jaques Lanzmann, bemoan his musical stature as 'L 'idole' by listing, among other problems:
Being 'forced' to appear on stage by his managers
Wanting to see those managers burned at the stake
That the exploitation will (expletive deleted) kill him
The abundance of cocaine
Groupies and fans of his earlier material
His 'blackmailing' co-lyricist!!
His generally unhealthy life-style.
Oh well, it's a tough job but...... After composing for ZouZou (an artist whose records have so far escaped my clutches) and future wife Ms Hardy in 1964/5, Dutronc began recording in late '66 and hit immediately with 'Et moi, et moi, et moi' (a 1973 hit here as 'Alright, alright, alright' for Mungo Jerry, fact fans) and was immediately hailed as France's first, true rock vocalist. His debut album sold over a million copies and there were further chart toppers to follow. By 1973 he had successfully branched out into films but, despite Steven Spielberg's opinion that Dutronc was the best French actor around at that time, he missed out on the role as Rene Balloc in 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' as his English was considered not adequate. However, in 1992 Dutronc was awarded the César for Best Actor for the title role in Maurice Pialat's biopic 'Van Gogh' and further awards followed. He also began his musical comeback with both albums and live performances, including a series of gigs featuring Dutronc, Hallyday and Eddie Mitchell billed as "Les vieilles canailles" ("The Old Gits"). He now lives, separately from Hardy, in Corsica. Here's a pretty tough live performance from 1970.”
Amen by Johnny Hallyday – “Released on 'Rivière... Ouvre ton lit' album (AKA 'Johnny 69'). May1969. This from 'Le Roi de France' compilation CD released 2010.
Johnny Halliday, the holder of two 'unofficial' titles. Number One, the biggest rock star you've never heard of. Number Two. The 'French Elvis' To prove both, here's a few facts 'n figures:
Sales of more than 110 million records making him one of the world's biggest sellers.
5 'Diamond' (?) albums, 40 Gold albums and 22 Platinum albums.
187 tours and 3257 shows including 1,000,000 to see him perform at the Eiffel Tower in 2000, with a further 10,000,000 watching live on TV.
190 books about him and over 2500 magazine covers in his lifetime.
Beginning his recording career as a 17 year old in 1960, the young Hallyday (given name Jean Phillipe Smet) had been bitten by the 'Elvis' bug in the late 50's. His first single 'Laisse les filles' topped the charts in France and his debut album and second single, 'Let's twist again' each sold a million copies and topped the charts in most European countries. He appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show live from Paris and, in late 1966, befriended Jimi Hendrix after seeing him on his UK debut club gig. Around the same time he paired up with guitarist Mickey Jones (later to become a very rich 'Foreigner') to produce a string of more contemporary albums than previous releases. He was regularly supported on disc by Brian Auger, Big Jim Sullivan, drummer Bobby Graham and Jimmy Page (who came out of 'session work retirement' to play for Halliday) but, for my choice this week I give you The Small Faces who never were!! The Small Faces had toured Australia with the Who in early 1968 and, unsurprisingly, after a year in the studio they were a little 'rusty'. Marriott also began to resent the shared composer credits he had agreed to with Ronnie Lane and also viewed the proposed upcoming US tour as another potential disaster. During the Australian tour Marriott instructed manager Tony Calder to fly back to London and 'poach' Peter Frampton from the Herd to become an extra guitarist and potential co-composer. The band were reluctant, to say the least, to bring Frampton into the fold and a prolonged period of friction began, culminating in Marriott walking offstage mid-gig on New Years Eve 1968. However, January 3rd to the 7th saw the band, plus Frampton, in the Paris Studio Des Dames with Hallyday laying down 'Reclamation' and 'Regarde pour moi' (both later recorded by Humble Pie as 'News Report' and 'What you will'), a cover of the Small Faces album track 'Just my way of giving ('Je N'ai Jamais Rien Demandé') without band involvement and, my choice, 'Amen' (recorded by the Small Faces as 'That Man'). Following a short tour of Germany during January the band split in April 1969 with Marriott and Frampton teaming up with Small Faces acolytes Greg Ridley and Jerry Shirley. One interesting thought is, did Marriott and the Faces ever demo the two 'Pie' songs? Anyway, Hallyday continued to record, including a session with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (with a curious Otis Redding jetting in from the States to watch the session) earlier in 1967, and eventually became the 'Riff Clichard' of France's rock scene, releasing competent but unremarkable albums until his untimely death on 5th December 2017. I was lucky enough to see him at Ostends Kursaal in August 1965... what a show. A truly great talent who perhaps deserves more attention via a box set here in the UK?
John – “Here are my selections for week 17………..cheers.”
Thirsty Generation by Kala – “I love the line "Life is far too serious to take seriously".........”
The Ballad Of Cursed Anna By Jonathan Kelly – “I'm sure you've all encountered LPs where each side of the album is distinctly different from the other (e.g. acoustic side/electric side, live side/studio side etc.). But there are instances where the differences are much more subtle. For example, without being able to explain why, I've always felt that both sides of Led Zeppelin 4 were very different in their own cohesive way - none of the tracks on side one would have sat easily with the tracks on side two and vice versa. It was a masterclass in sequencing. In the case of 'In The Wake Of Poseidon' by King Crimson, the more accessible songs were on side one and the more experimental stuff was on side two. As for Jonathan Kelly's album 'Twice Around The Houses' (from which this track is taken)..... well, I played it on Tuesday for the first time in quite a few years. Side One; great, it was so familiar that I knew every word to every song from start to finish - very enjoyable. Flipped it over and it was like hearing something for the very first time.... couldn't get into Side Two at all!
By the way, I bought the LP in 1972 after seeing him supporting The Strawbs and, yes, The Ballad Of Cursed Anna is on Side One....
By the way again, some of the backing musicians on this album are worth a mention; Tim Renwick, Donal Lunny, Peter Wood and Gerry Conway to name but four.”
Gimme A Little Sign/Funky Broadway by The Ray King Soul Band – “Yes, you guessed it.... my record collection is arranged alphabetically and I got stuck in the 'K' section. This is from their Live At The Playboy Club LP.”
Tony – “Best wishes to all you RPMers, especially the ones I've exchanged emails with over the lockdown - it's been (and hopefully will continue to be) a lot of fun. My selections for Week 17 are as follows…………”
Those Shoes by The Eagles - “This track is taken from the album "The Long Run" which was their 6th studio album and had the difficult task of following the hugely popular "Hotel California". For some reason original tracks from this album are non-existent as far as I can make out on Youtube, but this live version is pretty true to the original, and was played on the last evening of last century.”
Please Read The Letter by Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - “From the brilliant collaboration of Plant and Krauss produced by T Bone Burnett on the album "Raising Sand". This track first saw the light of day on "Walking Into Clarksdale" by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant but they take it to a whole new level in this version. Having bought and loved the album when it first came out, I bought tickets to see them perform live (at Wembley I think) and they didn't disappoint.”
The Pretender by Jackson Browne - “I'm revisiting an artist that I've chosen before in week 4. I love Jackson Browne's lyrics in this song which was the title track of his 1976 album e.g. "We’ll fill in the missing colors in each others’ paint-by-numbers dreams" and "I've been aware of the time going by, they say in the end it’s the wink of an eye”……..”
Morra – “Oh I seem to have given myself a theme 😂……….”
Sleeping Satellite by Tazmin Archer – “Great acoustic Pop rock with a beautiful vocal performance.”
Satellite of Love by Lou Reed -
Satellite by Sex Pistols – “The closest I think they got to writing a love song.”
Tim –“No themes or “inspired bys” for me this time, just 3 tracks that got stuck in my head from the mix of music I’ve played this week.”
Tripswitch by John McSherry – “If you’re “into” Irish trad music, one of the best places to look online is Claddagh Records……..which is what I do every 4 months or so just to keep up with what’s new and to pick up anything interesting I may have missed. So, perusing the site recently, I realised I’d never got around to obtaining a copy of Tripswitch, the 2006 CD by uilleann piper, whistle player and composer extraordinaire, John McSherry with fiddler DÓnal O’Connor. Soon remedied.
Listening to the album, the title track, a slow reel, really stands out as a quality tune which also sits comfortably amongst the tunes taken from “the tradition”. It made me think that there are in fact a lot of contemporary trad players who are now writing great new tunes……..which is fantastic, as it stops “the tradition” becoming staid and preserved in aspic, in my opinion, and is also expanding the repertoire with fresh, exciting material. This tune was written jointly by McSherry and O’Connor, after trying to light a cigarette using a toaster, and spectacularly knocking out the power………don’t try this at home folks. Unable to find the studio version, so here’s the lads playing it live.”
Halo Round The Moon by Steve Earle – “If you love old guitars, then Steve Earle’s new Youtube series, Guitar Town, highlighting instruments from his collection will be right up your street. After showing you the delights of an early Martin acoustic, he then plays a song that he wrote upon that instrument. So, haven’t been able to get Halo Round the Moon out of my head ever since he played it on an 1870s Martin 2-24 in episode 2.”
Guitar Town episode 1 here………(Steve has microphone issues, as the sound is very poor…………subsequent episodes are fine.)
Awake and Nervous by IQ – “Yes, I really have played a lot of “Prog” this week, so this has to be included as I have a bubbly keyboard earworm stuck in my head………… recorded during the The Wake tour of 1985, live version from the Living Proof LP which has had quite a few spins this week.”