Week 24 - Fri 11 Jun
Everything Flows by Teenage Fanclub - "Live at the Reading Festival 1992.
The Outdoor Type by The Lemonheads - "Unlike dreamy Evan Dando I am an outdoor type, just as well....."
Prejudices by Tim Minchin - "Honestly, had this lined up before reading Morra's comments last week. Gotta luv the serendipity....."
Deep Breath by Riley Downing -
Ways and Means by Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band - "As you know, there are three of them (including the Rev)."
United Nations Stomp by Dumpstaphunk - "Some multi-racial idealism from New Orleans featuring a couple of Nevilles and a notable cameo from young guitarist Marcus King."
"Hoping that everyone is remaining safe and well. As for me, I'm back at school! Let's hope there's no need for any more closures. Best regards."
"Punk controversies over, it was good to see some psych stuff from Piers last week. Couple of points tho'......... The Grateful Dead, previously known as 'The Werewolves'?(** see below.) Hmmm...... not a name that I can remember coming across in any of the bio's/books I've read. The consensus seems to be that, after the 'Mother Macree...' appendage, they moved onto The Warlocks (see the Jerry Garcia 'family tree' here: https://jerrygarcia.com/bands/ ) until a record was released by a band of that name in 1965, possibly the Velvet Underground or, more likely, an obscure Illinois garage band. Re 'Workingman's Dead', this was almost a return to the simpler blues of the self titled debut, but here the band had come under the influence of CSN&Y and decided that, in addition to featuring Garcia's recent purchase of a lap top steel guitar (featured hauntingly on Dave Crosby's 'If I....' album), the band would step back from the time consuming multiple overdubbing and re-recording of their previous two albums and, to quote Garcia, ".... do it all in three weeks and get it the hell out of the way", a feat they actually achieved in just nine days!! This move from psychedelia towards what we now know as 'Americana' is reflected in the subtle colouration of the sleeve, in direct contrast to its two predecessors ultra bright packages. Great selections as they are, I do prefer, say, 'Viola Lee Blues' from the Deads debut album (with its reversed and unintelligible "In the land of the dark, the ship of the sun is drawn by the Grateful Dead" album 'header') and the extremely fiery 'The Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil' from the Airplane's fantastic 'Live at Monterey 1967' album (released on Thunderbolt in 1990). As usual, there was another fine selection of tracks last week and there's always a couple of real surprises from outside of my own 'comfort zone(s)' so, to almost paraphrase Piers' "Peace, Love and continuing Good Health.....", it's onwards and upwards to my first selection from tracks I've played this week....."
Peace, Love and Understanding' (initial release on 'New favourites of...' album and 7" single mid 1974, United Artists label. Also available on 'Live at Sheffield Black Swan 8th December 1974' double cd available direct from Ian Gomm). - "Almost fifty years old(!!), here's a song as relevant today (if not more so) as the day it was first recorded. Since that time there have been at least sixty cover versions with styles ranging from post punk to rap, electronica to folk and Latin to jazz. Here I've selected a light hearted live German TV appearance where the Brinsley's appear to be in full 'Shadows' mode (they may even have done this routine at the Black Swan but, after 'several pints of Guinness....... well, you know what I mean!). Formed not a million miles away, Woodbridge Suffolk, when Brinsley and his school chum Nick Lowe decided to form a band in 1964, they were soon out on the road as 'Sound 4+1' and toured US bases in Germany during their school summer holiday. They morphed into 'Three's a Crowd' when the line up changed in 1966 and, again, in 1967 a further line up change in saw them become the more pastoral 'Kippington Lodge', essentially the line up which became 'Brinsley Schwarz' in 1969, although they kept the previous name for scheduled 'pop' concerts during the next several months!. Under the 'Lodge appellation they had recorded five singles (and many demo's and radio appearances) but, as there were no chart hits, the band retreated to a shared house in Beaconsfield to think over their musical direction. It was here that The Band (as in Dylan's The Band!!) decided to use the house and the Brinsley's equipment for rehearsal purposes whilst on a UK/European tour. The Brinsleys quickly realised, like many other UK musicians at that time, that The Bands music was a form which delved deep into the history of all of America's varied music styles. Unfortunately, no UK studio at that time (and certainly not with the meagre backing the band were afforded by Liberty/United Artists) could give them the sound which The Band achieved and, as a result, their efforts often sounded under-recorded by comparison. Their reputation was not enhanced when manager Dave Robinson devised a plan to earn the band extensive publicity. They were to open for Van Morrison and Quicksilver Messenger Service at the Fillmore East in New York City, on 3 and 4 April 1970. Robinson arranged to fly a plane full of British journalists to the show so they could review it in order to get pre-publicity for the soon to be released debut album. Though the band had planned on leaving a few days earlier in order to rehearse, visa problems prevented this and so they flew into Canada and entered the US in a light aircraft. Arriving in New York shortly before they were due on stage, they had little option but to use hired equipment with which they were unfamiliar. The journalists, who were due the following day, had their plane delayed for four hours so, following free use of the bar, they eventually arrived at the show either drunk or hungover. The show did not go well, and the band received a flood of negative reviews over the following weeks, including bad reviews of their first, self titled album which was released shortly after their return to the United Kingdom whilst the press was still in vitriolic form. This incident became infamous as 'the Brinsley Schwarz Hype'. The band returned to isolation but, after seeing US country rock band Eggs over Easy earning some extra cash at Kentish Town's Tally Ho public house on an off day whilst supporting John Mayall, the band realised that there was a huge untapped market waiting in pubs the length and breadth of the country. And thus, it came to pass that 'Pub Rock' was born......... and great nights were had by all!!!
The Electrician by The Walker Brothers (from 'Nite flights' album and 7" single released July 1978. GTO label) - "Definitely the least commercial album released by the 'Brothers', and a clear pointer to the later work by scream-idol Scott Engel. This, their sixth LP, is more of a compilation featuring four tracks each by Scott and John and two from Gary. In addition to this track being the lead off (and only) single, all four of Scott's tracks were strangely also released as the 'Shutout' EP! 'The Electrician' is an early example of Scott's confrontational examinations of US torture policies, which continued throughout his later career, and bore the hallmarks of the Bowie/Fripp/Eno triumvate 'Berlin period' recordings, with Bowie even covering 'Nite flights' on his own 'Black Tie White Noise' album in 1993. Indeed, the sound of Scott's four tracks would not only be brilliantly refracted in Joy Division's brief recorded output but also, in the case of 'The Electrician', (and unforgivingly in my opinion) give Madge Yor the inspiration for the behemoth which was 'Vienna'!! Vocals on the track are primarily by Scott, with John featured on the chorus, and instrumentally there's Frank Gibson on drums, Dill Katz on bass, Morris Pert on percussion with 'Big' Jim Sullivan adding his special magic on atmospheric guitar. Of course, for a contract fulfilling group low on enthusiasm, with little or no publicity expended by the label and no prospects of live gigs, it was unsurprising that the album failed to sell and was quickly deleted. It would only be when the album's reputation began to grow that an initial low price CD reissue was released in 1996 and further, sometimes enhanced versions have also been released in the last few years. As a result of the growing interest, copies of the album now seem to attract around £30 for an original vinyl pressing whilst the 'Shutout' EP commands around £100!!!"
Wang, Dang, Doodle by P J Harvey (b-side to 'Man Size' single released July 1993. Island label. This from 'Later with Jools Holland') - "Initially a thinly disguised 'braggadocio' song written by Willie Dixon, possibly based on an older lesbian song entitled 'Bull Daggers Ball', Howling Wolf's initial 1960 recording was probably a little too raw for that era's general record buying public's acceptance. At Dixon's insistence, label boss Leonard Chess brought Koko Taylor into the studio in December 1965 and re- recorded the song as a duet (with Dixon sharing the vocals), with Buddy Guy on guitar and Lafayette Leake on piano. Following this sexual 'volt face' the label was rewarded with a number 4 r&b hit and a number 58 on the pop listings. Fast forward almost 30 years and Peej would take the song and expand on its sexually unambiguous form. Top side to the single was the (perhaps) third person, equally 'braggadocio' 'Man Size', taken from 'Rid of me'. This was the last time the guitar would be the primary feature on her recordings and, afterwards, there would be a greater reliance placed on acoustic guitars and orchestration. Even the lyrics on the follow up album ('To bring you my love') would veer away from the overtly aggressive form of those earlier albums with the title number and 'Meet Ze Monsta' borrowing lyrically from her new acquaintance Captain Beefheart and 'Teclo' and ' I think I'm a mother' showing traces of Beefheart's melody lines. Perhaps 1994's BRIT Awards duet with Bjork, singing the Stone's '(I can't get no) Satisfaction', was the swansong for the overtly sexual Polly?"
Hopeful bonus track (first in a few weeks Tim!!):
"** It is worth noting, however, that the 'Dead did play Warren Zevon's 'Werewolves of London' on a couple of occasions, namely (or, as Deadhead Johnathan Lane helpfully tells us):"a few times in 1978, and thereafter only on Halloween, in (1)1985, (2)1990 and (3)1991.
You're Gorgeous by Babybird -
"I'm missing Percy Peacock who was my "baby" bird in Norfolk.....but we've now got 2 baby blackbirds in our courtyard who are very tame and will happily sit a few feet away from you."
Black Mattie performed by Robert Belfour -
Bam Ba Lam by The Alabama 3 -
"I had already selected the tracks that I have posted above, when, last night, I went with Jayne to Wells-Next-The-Sea (I know you all know which one, but I like to see it written down) to go to the cinema in the Maltings. 'We saw Judas and the Black Messiah'. Keen RPMers will be aware that I have played a bit of the soundtrack here in the past. It is a remarkably powerful film. All the better for skilful use of music. But don't be surprised if next week I'm Black and I'm Proud!"
"Dear RPM comrades, please keep posting your sublime tracks. This week I’ve got a Newcastle folk duo recorded a couple of years ago, a new release from a Cheshire singer songwriter who has gone a bit nu-disco, and a bit of consciousness raising from the US (also shiny new)."
Song of the Lower Classes by Cath and Phil Tyler -
Solarised by Jane Weaver -
Hopeful by Curtis Harding -
"Hi everyone, hope you're all keeping fit and well.
Before I give you my choices for this week, I'd like to answer a couple of questions posed by two fellow RPMers last week.....
Liberty Belle by Super Furry Animals -
Hero And Heroine by Strawbs -
Gypsy Rock by Benny Hill -
"Best wishes as ever to all RPMers - I'm a bit behind with working through last weeks stuff but I'll get there eventually I'm sure. I blame the sun and the easing of lockdown."
Who Do You Love performed by Ronnie Hawkins with The Band - "Did anybody else see the recent excellent documentary about Robbie Robertson? Here the teacher is reunited with the young apprentice for the first time since Robbie quickly outgrew his early association with him, ceased to be one of his "Hawks" and eventually became a founding member and the driving force behind "The Band". This is, of course, an extract from "The Last Waltz" where Ronnie guested along with Joni Mitchell, Van the Man, Slowhand et al."
Makin' Whoopee performed by Nilsson - "This track is taken from his album which presented a collection of songs from the great American Songbook as reworked by him and like every other track on it the intro is a decoy taken from another song - in this case 'As Time Goes By'. Harry remains a firm favourite with me."
Use Me by Bill Withers - "And just to mix up the genres a bit more here's some funk from the late lamented talent that was Bill Withers."
"Hi everyone I enjoyed your tunes from last week. Here’s my 3 favs from this week."
"Jon Boden and Black Keys still getting a heavy airing this week but also dug out some real oldies from the vaults.......so here're my three highlights."
Father to Son by Queen - ".....from Queen II, their best and rockin'est album in my view.......before they went all TOTP and commercial......however, Queen at Wembley Arena in 1984 is still the best, most amazing stadium concert I've been to."
The Sick Bed of Cuchulainn by The Pogues - "....and some stompin' folk punk to finish off with.....oooppps, did I mention the "P" word!! From the classic Rum, Sodomy and the Lash LP. Jayne's Pogues track a month or so back reminded me how great they were."
'Til Next Time.....