Week 11 Fri 13th Nov
Welcome to the RPM Seven Day Soundtrack, week ending Friday 13th November 2020. Friday 13th...?......a possible theme opportunity going on there......or maybe it's selections from RPMer's week's listening. Let's find out; it's over to........
"What will we do with ourselves if we stop doing this each week? I thought I’d show the RPM gang that Zumba classes use all types of music. I’ve picked some of my favourites from my local class. If anyone wants to try some moves I recommend Marc Bosman on YouTube!"
"Hi folks...........Thanks for your choices, luv listening to them all. Heard Karine Polwart on Mark Radcliffe's Armistice show on Wednesday, so popped one of hers in & a couple of cover versions........"
"Going for the pretty boys this week.........."
"Good news at last! Human decency in the White House (assuming they can prise Agent Orange out of it), and confident expectation from scientists of safe and effective vaccines in the new year give hope that 2021 can be a better year than 2020. In the meantime, continue to stay safe everyone.
In celebration, my first two selections are a new song of community spirit, and a motivational tune from 50 years ago. I'll follow that with a number to mark a 75th birthday. Best wishes to all, "
Cinnamon Girl by Neil Young and Crazy Horse - ".........a live on-stage version from 1991. My newspaper noted that today (Thursday 12th) is Mr. Young's 75th birthday. The song of course was first heard on "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" (1969)- still one of my favourite Neil Young records."
"In all honesty, over the last couple of weeks, since Jayne and I got back from Shetland, and my immersion in tunes from the islands, I have also returned to my ongoing interest, in Richard Thompson’s recordings. That is what has dominated my recent listening. (Especially in the early mornings). It has been nice to go back to tracks that I thought I knew well, and find something fresh. Even some of the material with Linda T has been given a spin, and with an older, more tolerant pair of ears, (and 45 years distance), it doesn’t seem quite so bad! (Mostly). But I admit that I have found time to listen to some other stuff as well as RT. Some classic Sandy Denny era Fairport Convention, and via Fairport, some of Dave Swarbrick’s solo output, which lead me around to Aly Bain and back fiddle music from Shetland. What goes around, comes around!
The rest of my days have all a bit wistful! "
Panama Hat by Eric Bibb - "After almost entirely spending my time, ever since lockdown began back in March, concentrating on learning and playing fiddle tunes on Mandolin, for the first time, in 8 or 9 months, this week, I have been playing guitar again. I have been reinterpreting a couple of Tom Paxton and Dylan songs, (which I first played when I was about 14 years old), in open D and delving into the bluesier side of my playing. This song fits in nicely with that…."
Car Wreck by The Devil Makes Three - "...........As does this. A tune I first heard played live by the brilliant but sadly now defunct local band, ‘Wolfs Wood’, whose version, sung by Al, I recall, was even better that this, the original, from the album ‘Do Wrong Right’….."
Strange Moon Rising by Smoke Fairies - "Having fallen deeply under the influence of the recent post by RPM’s masterful facilitator, a couple of albums by Smoke Fairies have remained close to the top of my pile, for a while. This track from ‘Through Low Light And Trees’ gets the most play and may well be the reason for my return to guitar playing!"
"I'm refusing to comment on the US elections..... just!! Tongue almost bitten through tho'. 🤐........
50,000 and counting......... who knows if any vaccine will work for everyone so, as usual, stay safe, take all the precautions required to protect yourselves, your loved ones and everyone else you may chance to meet.
On to this week's choices which are a mixed bunch from amongst those that hit the deck..........!"
Anathea by David Hemmings (From 'David Hemmings Happens' album. Released September 1967. MGM label.) - "David Hemmings!!! THAT David Hemmings? Yep............ such was David's reputation as a singer that none other than Benjamin Britten wrote an entire opera for him to sing ('The turn of the screw'), just before he asked the 9 year old David's father if he could 'adopt' him 'part time'!!! His father's response is not known at this time but it appeared that Britten 'lost interest' in Hemmings when his voice broke!!! Moving on..... Around this time Hemmings enrolled at Epsom School of Art and began singing in local folk clubs before moving into stage and film in the mid fifties. The early sixties saw him in his first substantial role opposite Oliver Reed in 'The System', a pairing reprised thirty years later in 'The Gladiator'. After starring in (one of my favourites) 'Blow Up', Hemmings relocated to LA where he was approached by MGM to record an album. Time was (very short) and so he was paired with Jim Dickson (renowned fast worker) and his hip, happening band, The Byrds! Into the studio they trooped on April 17th 1967 with respected sessioneers James E Bond Jnr on bass and drummer Ed Thigpen and, a few days later, Mike Deasy, Earl Palmer and Milt Holland. In just six days nine tracks had been laid down, including an unreleased song by soon to be ex-Byrd Gene Clark and a cover of Tim Hardins 'Reason to believe', as well as two by Monkees collaborator Bill Martin. Hemmings and Roger McGuinn* adapted/co-comped three more and there were a couple of folk standards, all done in the then current 'psychedelic' stylee. The album is what you could call 'a mixed bag'...... or 'an acquired taste', and, unsurprisingly, sales were minimal in the US, probably the only market where the album was released. It remained an undiscovered gem until Revola reissued it on CD in 2004. I have chosen perhaps the most 'straightforward' track for you, but I would recommend the album for those who like something 'exotic' to listen to occasionally.... errrr, VERY occasionally!!!"
(* 'Anathea' appeared on Judy Collins 1963 release, the 'No 3' album, featuring, and produced by, Roger McGuinn).
Season of the Witch by Bloomfield, Stills and Kooper- (From 'Super Session' album. Released July 1968. CBS label) - "Having groaned on above, let's move quickly on to..... Kooper contacted Bloomfield with a view to lay down some improvisational jazz and blues based tracks reflecting the music their most recent bands line-ups had played. Although both had played on Dylans legendary 'Like a rolling stone' session, as well as appearing with him at his (in)famous Newport Festival concert, Kooper was now at a loose end after leaving Blood, Sweat and Tears and Bloomfield had recently walked from Electric Flag. After just one nine hour session, Bloomfield failed to appear and left a note saying "Couldn't sleep, Bye". With the studio booked and top sessioneers Eddie Hoh, Barry Goldberg and Harvey Brooks on their stools, Kooper contacted all and sundry, including Randy California and Jerry Garcia, before hitting on Steve Stills, then on the point of leaving Buffalo Springfield for CS&N. Here, it's Stills giving a guitar masterclass on this well known, and oft covered Donovan song, coming to the fore with some startlingly original soloing through the Vox 'wah wah' pedal and, as a bonus, wonderful glissando and harmonics at the songs finale. To everyone's surprise, the album hit Number 12 on the album charts and sold over a million copies. Not bad for a $13000 outlay!"
Run by Sandie Shaw (Single. Released August 1966. Pye label) - "Been playing a couple of Sandie's albums recently but here's an untypical outing from Dagenham's most famous songstress (probably!). Yep, it's the usual Chris (Yesterday Man) Andrews composition and Ivor Raymonde is on orchestral duties but, this time, the lyrics are very dark and there's a nagging organ riff running (oops, sorry!) throughout which again puts me in mind of Del Shannon (see my earlier post about Magazine's 'My mind ain't so open'). The storyline appears to be Sandie trying to escape a possessive or abusive (ex?) lover, and, perhaps because of its subject matter, the single only achieved a lowly number 32 chart placing, which must have been disappointing following the previous single's ('Nothing comes easy') top 20 placing. Looking at her two albums around that time, 1965's 'Me' (passable, with Sandie's first solo composition, the equally dark 'Till the night begins to die') and 1967's inconsequential, all covers 'Love me, please love me', it's just a pity she wasn't allowed to build a genuine piece of work around this single. Perhaps that would have introduced her to the kind of audience she aspired to with the later '....Supplement', 'Reviewing the situation' albums and 'White is White' single? However, the Marble Arch compilation 'Sandie Sings' does give us a glimpse of how an album may have sounded as it compiles several of her 1966 singles plus a couple of scarcer recordings but, to date, this particular goodie has escaped my clutches. We should also note that this was also only the second of Sandie's first ten singles not to gain a US release, which is strange really, especially considering that even her non-hit debut (July 1964's 'As long as you're happy Baby') escaped on the Mercury label."
"Hi ya all.........hope all is well with you vinyl junkies!! Enjoying your tunes !!! Here’s my 3. As the great man said keep on rocking in the free world !!"
"Here's my three for the week.....Best wishes to all - keep the great mix of music coming! "
Just What I Needed by The Cars - "Heard this on the radio this week and was reminded how much I loved The Cars. This song was regularly performed by a great local band I used to follow back in the day called "Doozoot" featuring John Tuttle lead vocals, sax, keyboards and rhythm guitar with Harry Curry playing lead guitar."
Ghosts by The Strawbs - "I've seen the band many times as full lineup or as The Acoustic Strawbs. I was lucky enough to sit down and have a couple of pints with Dave Cousins and Dave Lambert after a show they did at The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft. It was worth standing a couple of rounds to get all my Strawbs Vinyl signed. I was also in touch for a while with John Hawken who played keyboards for them on "Ghosts" and "Hero and Heroine". and he also played with Renaissance, Spooky Tooth and The Nashville Teens. He helped me identify a couple of signatures on an album inner sleeve signed by him and just about everybody musical who was in the film "That'll Be The Day" including Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, Graham Bond, Billy Fury, David Essex, and Neil Aspinall (Beatles Road Manager and credited as producer of the record). The uncredited unknowns were in Billy Fury's (Stormy Tempest's) band and turned out to be Keith Moon's personal assistant (Peter "Dougal" Butler) and drum technician (Mick Double) on guitar and bass respectively."
Never Give In by King King - "King King are a band formed by Alan Nimmo - one of the Nimmo Brothers. I've seen them once at The Apex in Bury St. Edmunds and they are a superb live band but a lead guitarist/singer who sports a kilt takes a bit of getting used to!"
"Hi RPMers.........Hope you're all keeping safe and well. Here are my three for this week..... "
Mary Anne With The Shaky Hand by The Who - "I really love the acoustic guitar on this track. Talking of acoustic guitars, thanks Jayne for the wonderful Gwenifer Raymond track last week..."
News At Ten by The Vapors - "I was in a band in the early eighties that had the pleasure of supporting The Vapors at the legendary West Runton Pavilion. They were a really nice bunch of chaps. You may notice a similarity to The Jam....well, their manager was Paul Weller's Dad!"
Soul Finger by The Bar-Kays - "This always reminds me of the late Stuart Henry's Saturday lunchtime show on Radio One in the mid-sixties. This was the theme tune. He was a great DJ who always pushed the boundaries of the BBC's play-list. The Bar-Kays story is one of tragedy and triumph; four members of the band died in the plane crash that also took the life of Otis Redding. The two remaining members (one who survived the plane crash and another who was on another flight) rebuilt the band. Subsequently, they became a hugely successful funk band."
"Hi RPM colleagues. Best wishes to you all. This week I have chosen three tracks that I think can transport the listener to another place (metaphysical not physical)."
"Here’s some songs from albums played this week……….."
Living With Ghosts by Smoke Fairies – “Hope you tuned in to the Smoke Fairies live stream gig last Sunday night….very enjoyable, if a bit surreal at the same time. This is their first single from 2008 found on the Ghosts compilation CD collecting all of their early recordings together onto one handy package.”
Cypress Grove Blues by Skip James – “I’ve been "ebaying" a lot of items this week from my RPM Music Market stock, one LP being Skip James: The Complete Early Recordings from 1930 on the Yazoo label. Now, on paper, this is a very cool record from the legendary blues man, not something one would want to part with….only problem is, it becomes a bit hard on the ears as the recordings seem to have been transferred directly from the original 78s; very vibey, but also very crackly, my cleaned up CD release being much more listenable to, and indeed, it got a couple of spins, Cypress Grove being one of the stand out tracks. I really love the cascading run of notes he puts between the first and second lines of lyrics. Piers had my other real favourite last week.”
Devil Put The Coal in The Ground by Steve Earle – “Still watching Steve’s Guitar Town Youtube films highlighting all the nice old guitars in his collection, so after catching up with the last few, I just had to put on the new LP again….already chose All About Blood a while back and this is the second strongest track on the album, in my opinion.”
Thanks again everyone for your songs........as no one really latched onto the Friday 13th thing, I'm going to end with a themed bonus track.........be hearing you next week.