Week 4 - Fri 25th Sep
What's caught the ears of RPMers this week....? Let's have a listen...it's over to......
"Hi RPMers.......hope all's well........enjoying your tunes . Here’s my 3 of the week."
Troubled Times by Screaming Trees -
Identity by X-Ray Spex -
The Stomach by Tim Koh -
"Here's my 3 for this week. Looks like we will be needing this bit of fun for some time to come! Best wishes to you all."
Reason To Believe by Tim Hardin - "In town during the week I came out of the back end of Debenhams and dived into a charity shop where I've found records before. Bought 3 which included one by Tim Hardin on the Verve Label which played perfectly and well worth 99p."
Hi All..........Hope you're all OK. I'm sure your amazing weekly selections will help us through these further (necessary) restrictions... Here are three tracks chosen from stuff I've been listening to in the past seven days.
The Man Who Called Himself Jesus by Strawbs - "I first saw Strawbs back in early 1972 and I've seen them quite a few times since then in various incarnations....the only constant was mainman Dave Cousins. I've met him a couple of times, once in Fakenham. His sister and Sal used to 'car share' when they both worked at the same place. His brother-in-law was a local music 'entrepreneur' who secured him top billing (!) at the folk club at the back of The Great Eastern pub in Fakenham (demolished in the nineties). Dave Cousins is a very amiable chap, always willing to chat. Anyway.... enough of this idle banter, this track is from Strawbs self-titled debut LP.
"Greetings as always to all RPMers. This week I've been inspired by my wife's singing during the Wolves v. Man. City game on television the other evening. It can't have escaped everyone's attention that football is back with us, and of course players, managers and medical experts are complaining about the number of fixtures being crammed in to a foreshortened season. The view from the top seems to be "never mind the well-being of the athletes, there's big money involved." Arguably it was ever thus... I think of all the players who have used cortisone injections to play on through the pain rather than be allowed full recovery from injury. Each choice this week, then, is dedicated to a Premier League footballer, and I might have started with The Madison or It's Madison Time or even Madison Blues, but this would have been too obvious and nowhere near silly enough, so I'll go with....."
Woolly Bully by Sam The Sham and The Pharaohs - "Dedicated to Wolverhampton's French centre-back. (Thank you Jacquie!)"
Hurricane Shakedown by The Deslondes - "........from New Orleans, dedicated of course to Tottenham's England centre-forward. (I know, I know, the jokes are getting worse)."
Sideshow by Blue Magic - "Dedicated to Arsenal's Brazilian centre-back, David Luiz. Okay, I'll explain that one... he reminds me of Sideshow Bob in The Simpsons... it's the hair."
"I’m basing my soundtrack this week on celebrating STAX. Just watched a rerun of a Prom with Jules Holland and his Blues Band and some legendary names who are still going strong. Regards to all the gang. Keep safe."
Soul Man by Sam and Dave -
In the Midnight Hour by Wilson Pickett -
Private Number by William Bell and Judy Clay -
"Recent listening included many staples, The Beatles 'Slow Down' being a particular delight thanks to Lennons rhythm playing, The Art Woods 'Live at the Klooks Kleek' bringing back the atmosphere of several dingy venues and PJ Harvey's latest 'Demo's' album all found their way onto the turntable, but here are three songs which have stuck in my mind this last week."
Outdoor Miner by Wire - (7" single. Released January 1979. Harvest label, Ltd Edition white vinyl)
Here's what lead singer Colin Newman said of this gem of a single:
“I considered it my duty to supply the band with singles, and this was an obvious one from the get-go". They extended the album version to almost 3 minutes with a little help from producer Mark Thorne, who added a piano solo and played “virtual Mellotron.” “Mike made up a 24-track tape consisting of dubbed tape loops of me doing ‘aahs’ in the various notes of the scale,” Newman says. “It was then just a case of pushing up the right faders to get chords of ‘ahhs,’ and it saved me a lot of singing. The piano solo has ‘ahh chords’ coming in throughout the second half, a highly original effect for the times. In my excitement to get the tune married to a lyric, I didn’t pay any attention to the meaning of the song which, in fact, is inspired by the life of an insect – a leaf miner – which lives inside a leaf". The band later decided the song wasn’t “tough enough” for inclusion in its live set, so the only performances of it are the studio recordings.
Me? I think it's a great, lost single which should have gone further than one week at No 51 and a TOTP appearance which was aborted thanks to EMI's alleged attempt to 'buy' the single a higher chart placing. Such is the strength of the song, however, that it became the subject of a whole album of cover versions (entitled "A Houseguest's Wish: Translations of Wire's "Outdoor Miner") featuring Lush and Flying Saucer Attack amongst others. The only other song I can think of which has received this 'honour' is the classic 'Louie, Louie' on Rhino Records 'Best of....' mini album."
Hedda Gabbler by John Cale - (taken from 'Animal Justice' EP, released August 1977. Illegal label) "Loosely based on Ibsen's play of the same name (but with only one 'b') this is a majestic, brooding epic, a format which Cale has frequently returned to throughout his career. There's a softly played electric piano at the forefront of the mix, an atmospheric slide guitar and a (Cale played?) viola in there too. And let's not ignore the church organ either!! This is a languorous (I've been dying to use that word somewhere) ballad reflecting on Hedda's family and lifestyle in Norway, twisted from it's late 19th Century placement to (presumably) 1930's Germany but still reflecting the plays morbid fascination of a family of murderers where Hedda's brother is fascinated by Adolph Hitler and her mother (or even Hedda herself) hangs her banker husband in a cupboard. The play itself is now viewed as the female equivalent of 'Hamlet' and has attracted film, TV and many stage productions featuring some of the worlds greatest actresses in the lead role including Ingrid Bergman, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Claire Bloom, Glenda Jackson, Isobel Huppert, Cate Blanchett, Jane Fonda (!) and, one I would have loved to have seen.... the sultry voiced Fenella Fielding!!!
The 'Animal Justice' EP is notorious for its 'celebration' in the song 'Chicken Sh*t' of Cale's beheading of a chicken on stage the previous April at Croydon's Greyhound Inn, before throwing body parts into the audience. This resulted in vegetarians drummer Joe Stefko and bassist Mike Visceglia exiting stage left and a very bemused, queasy audience not knowing quite what to expect next!"
Song to the Siren by Tim Buckley - (Taken from 'Morning Glory: The Tim Buckley Anthology' released 2001. Rhino label. ) "From the very last Monkees Show ('Mijacogeo' aka 'The Frodis Caper') 25th March 1968. Perhaps one of the most beautiful songs ever written, its genesis was when lyricist Larry Beckett went to Buckleys flat at breakfast time and told Tim he had a new set of lyrics. One brief read later Buckley went to his bedroom, returned with his 12 string guitar, completed his breakfast and played the song through, almost as if he had the tune waiting for Becketts lyrics. Originally, the lyrics were "I am puzzled as the oyster" (as they are on this initial live recording) but, after playing the song to Judy Henske, Buckley asked Beckett to change the lyric after Henske burst out laughing at the line and so "I am puzzled as the newborn child" was substituted. However, 'oyster' does make more sense when placed in the context of the whole song and Buckley had to amend the way the line was sung in order to include the extended phrase. For many years this live version from The Monkees TV show was thought to be the only version to include the original lyrics but, around 20 years ago I was at a street market in Malta and spotted 'The dream belongs to me', a CD of out-takes which includes an early studio version of the song. However, the first recorded version of the song was released in 1969 by that well known 'folk rocker' Pat Boone, complete with a horn section and the opening lines of "Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum" sung whilst laughing! Buckley and Becketts thoughts on this version are not known!!! Amongst the 30 or so other versions are those by Robert Plant, Half Man Half Biscuit, Sinead O'Connor, Snuff, Fryan Berry, George Micheal and, of course, This Mortal Coil.
Here, for your delight, are the Monkees in full LSD/folk-rock/protest mode in the sketch leading up to Tims performance, announced off camera by Mickey Dolenz. And why the Monkees show I hear you ask? Buckley had befriended Peter Tork years before whilst appearing at 'pass the hat' shows at LA's Troubadour Club.
"How odd: As one season ends and a new one begins, Tommy DeVito of the Four Seasons passes away.
Love the Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayners quote in PM Question Time last week:
"Next time a man with COVID-19 symptoms drives from London to Durham it will probably be for the nearest COVID test." Classic!!!!"
Little Sadie performed by Jack Rose and The Black Twig Pickers - "Along with having had to purchase a couple of Charlie Musselwhite albums this week, (in response being reminded just how great he truly is, by a recent irresponsible post from Phillip), one of the albums that the post lady brought me this week was, at a cost of 1€ plus 1€ postage, an ex public library item, (via Ebay Italy!). The fact that the cover is over stuck with interesting stickers and sellotaped warnings, doesn’t detract from this classic by the late Jack Rose. An Artist that I have only recently been introduced to, by a friend during a conversation about John Fahey and Michael Hedges. Although Jack Rose died 11 years ago, I have no idea how I missed such a great young performer.
I Can’t Stand the Rain performed by Anne Peebles - "Jayne and I set up a 1,000 litre tank on our allotment on Thursday. It feeds from the gutters which we attached the roof of our 6 foot x 9 foot shed. By 3 PM today it had filled by a quarter! So this track is fitting, if not quite 100 % true..."
When The Music’s Over by The Doors - "I enjoyed a few recent outings to perform with friends in the yard behind The Crown in Fakenham, but it would seem that the tentative explorations that some of us have been making into a return to making live music, have finally been quashed by the shortening days, the weather and the government edicts....."
"Here's this week's 3......."
"Greetings Fellow RPM colleagues, here’s trusting that you are keeping safe and sane. Here’s my choices for this week…"
"Here's my 3 for this week.........."
Crystal Gnome by Gong - " Taken from the live Gong LP, Live at Sheffield 1974......which I'd been trying to find a non-tatty, reasonably priced copy of for ages, and which has just had a very nice Record Store Day special edition coloured vinyl re-issue. Cosmic."
Of Leaf by Mark McDowell - " Piers alerted me to the fact that the complete Mark McDowell back catalogue was available as a download for a little over twenty quid. Bargain. This is from the Modern Folk Group EP."
Our New Day by The Levellers - "New Levellers album Peace installed permanently in the car's CD player at the moment......had Four Boys Lost a few weeks ago; here's another track from it."