Tuesday, 16 January 2018
I've just finished reading Last Train to Memphis the first volume of the Elvis Presley biographies by Peter Guralnick. I've got the second volume Careless Love, Stewart Cosgrove's Memphis 68 and Iain Banks Raw Spirit: Story of a perfect Dram still to read.
I thought I would start with something less taxing Lonely Boy the memoirs of former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones lent to me by my brother.
It is a pretty easy and entertaining read - the usual sex and drugs and rock'n'roll cliches with some childhood abuse and neglect, voyeurism and thieving thrown in for good measure.Amusing and toe curling on occasions and he is brutally honest as to his foibles.
He has come out the other end and is now sober and a successful radio presenter in Los Angeles with his Jonesy's Jukebox show.
It spurred me into featuring something from Never Mind the Bollocks which I have been meaning to do for a while.There are two copies on the shelves- one of which probably used to belong to my brother.
Sex Pistols - No Feelings
Sex Pistols - Anarchy in the UK
Monday, 15 January 2018
I seem somehow to have found myself on the mailing list of Inner Ear records from Greece.
They send me lots of stuff to listen to but unfortunately no free downloads these days.
Most of it is not really my cup of tea. I'm not a huge fan of Greek psych rock.
However every now and then something catches my eye and more importantly my ear
The splendidly named Tango With Lions featuring the dulcet tones of Katrina Patachristou are about to release The Light their first album in 5 years on 19th January and available to pre- order on Bandcamp
If the rest of it is as good as this I may well be chucking a few Euros in their direction.
The only other one of their artists I have explored further is My Drunken Haze whose eponymous album, and currently their only one, was released in November 2014 and again is rather good..Also available on Bandcamp
My Drunken Haze - Carol Wait
My Drunken Haze -Endless Fairytale
Sunday, 14 January 2018
This second recently acquired single is one which will please Walter who I know is a big fan.
Entering the UK singles chart on 8th December 1973 Pool Hall Richard by The Faces remained there for 11 weeks peaking at number 8.
All Music critic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine, described the song as unremarkable. He's wrong there it is a terrific tune. From when Rod was good.
The B side is a credible live cover of the Temptations song I Wish It Would Rain.
My copy (as was the case with Kim Wilde) has a plain paper sleeve as opposed to the picture sleeve featured above.Ronnie Laine appears on the sleeve but does not appear on the record as he had left the band before it was recorded and released as a single.
Another one next Sunday.
The Faces - Pool Hall Richard
The Faces - I Wish it Would Rain
Saturday, 13 January 2018
When Swiss Adam and C cast their votes for Bruce Springsteen then you know that Johnny is in serious trouble.
And so it proved. Only a vote by George prevented a total landslide for The Boss with the original of Highway Patrolman.
The scores therefore are now Cash 7 The Rest 4.
The Man in Black has probably covered dozens of Hank Williams songs over the years and indeed I have a few.
I've opted for his version of I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry on America IV: The Man Comes Around where he is accompanied by Nick Cave. I suppose you could argue that 2 against 1 is hardly fair but let's face it you probably would need haunners if you were up against the Hillbilly Shakespeare.
I think that the tag team just about shade it. Others, of course may choose to disagree.
Johnny Cash (with Nick Cave) - I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
Hank Williams -I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
Friday, 12 January 2018
Apologies to anyone tuning in and expecting to hear Barry Biggs.
Side Show was a 2010 album by Scottish/Canadian super folk group The Burns Unit.
I got it out the library shortly after it's release and it has always been an ambition to replace it with a physical copy.
It was never quite top of my wish list and always fairly expensive. I played it just after New Year and checked the price to find it was pretty reasonable and swooped.
The collective consisted of Emma Pollock, Future Pilot A.K.A., King Creosote, Kim Edgar, Karine Polwart, Mattie Fouls, Michael Johnston and MC Soom T who had originally met at Burnsong a Scottish songwriting retreat
They played a few gigs and festivals but only ever recorded the one album.
KC and KP take the lead on the first track featured and Soom T on the second.
The Burns Unit -Since We've Fallen Out
The Burns Unit - Send Them Kids to War
Thursday, 11 January 2018
I was quite surprised to discover that Pulp have only appeared on these pages once before and that was with Help the Aged from a compilation album.
Although 1995's Different Class which I took from the shelves and played in the car this week was the album which shot them to fame it was in fact their 5th album with the band having been on the go from as far back as 1978.
I sometimes think that Different Class can be seen as the Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret for the 90's.
Both albums having a number of brilliantly written slightly seedy and sordid songs and three cracking singles - in Soft Cell's case Tainted Love, Bedsitter and Saw Hello, Wave Goodbye whereas Different Class has the two below and Sorted for E's & Whizz.
Pulp - Common People
Pulp - Disco 2000
Wednesday, 10 January 2018
Some time just before Christmas I featured The Handsome Family with 1000 Dollar Car taken from the 2017 Bloodshot Records Sampler.
In the comments Gram Lynch mentioned that the original of the song was by St Louis band The Bottle Rockets.
This led George to track down their 2011 album Not So Loud -An Acoustic Evening With The Bottle Rockets which he kindly shared with me.
Here then is their version which to these ears is not quite as good as the Handsomes.
To keep the numbers theme going here is another track from their album Smokin' 100's Alone. I've no idea in this context what a 100 is - a make of cigarette I assume.
The Bottle Rockets -1000 Dollar Car
The Bottle Rockets - Smokin' 100's Alone
Tuesday, 9 January 2018
It's about time that Ska revival band The Beat graced these pages once more.
Their debut single from 1979 Tears of a Clown/Rankin' Full Stop is on the mighty 2 Tone label and reached number 6 in the UK singles chart.
Thereafter they set up their own label Go- Feet which predominantly featured their own records and also singles by The Mood Elevators and Pato & Roger and a couple of singles and an album by Cedric Myton & the Congos
Sadly still on the go on the retro circuit with two competing versions featuring former band members.
Let's remember them as they were.
The Beat -Rankin' Full Stop
The Beat - Too Nice To Talk To
Monday, 8 January 2018
My Chuck Prophet post the other day awoke some brain cells from their festive slumber - particularly those of the gentlemen named above.
They all got quite excited at the thought of Green on Red and in particular their 1985 album Gas Food Lodging and in Dirk's case the opening track That's What Dreams.
My copy is a second hand one from Missing Records which was a bargain at £1.99 and I was fortunate enough to see them play at King Tuts on 4th September 2006.
When you google Gas Food Lodging the first reference is to a 1992 film about a waitress trying to find romance while raising two daughters in a trailer park.
Something wrong there surely but I wouldn't be surprised if it took it's name from the classic album by a brilliant band.
Green on Red -That's What Dreams
Green on Red - Easy Way Out
Sunday, 7 January 2018
A New Year - a new series.
Popped into my local charity shop yesterday and someone had handed in a pile of singles in reasonable condition and at 50 p a pop. So I picked up a few which I will feature over the next few weeks.
First up is Kids in America the debut single from Kim Wilde on the RAK label.Released on 26th January 1981 it reached number 2 in the UK singles charts during a 13 week stint.
The first of her 25 singles in the top 50 and along with You Keep Me Hangin' On her biggest hit. Sadly for her she never quite made the top spot.
She is now a horticulturalist (winning a gold award at the Chelsea Flower Show) and a TV and radio presenter. She is also still making music with a tour scheduled for later on this year.
Kim Wilde - Kids in America
Kim Wilde - Tuning In Tuning On
Saturday, 6 January 2018
A reasonably comfortable win last week for Johnny over Beck with his version of Rowboat but also an acknowledgement that the original was pretty tasty also.
That takes the score to Cash 7 The Rest 3.
In my Springsteen Covered series the Man in Black was soundly thrashed by the Boss for his version of Johnny 99. There were comments at the time that had I featured Highway Patrolman that it would have been a lot closer.
Time then to put that to the test. I agree that it is miles better than his take on Johnny 99 but anyone, even the great man himself, would be pushed to better any of the songs on Nebraska and here he falls just short.
Others, of course may choose to disagree.
Johnny Cash - Highway Patrolman
Bruce Springsteen - Highway Patrolman
Friday, 5 January 2018
No me neither - A description from Wiki describing the music of Gemma Ray. They also use the terms noir-pop, sideways blues and gothic folk. I clearly have to get out more.
Of her seven albums I only have the first one The Leader from 2008. I featured it before and it was interesting to see if the same songs jumped out at me this time. Yes and no is the answer.
Track 5 Rise of the Runts caught my attention as it did the last time along with Hard Shoulder. But I was also taken with On Your Own.
A post a day means I am probably going to be re-visiting old material more often and I'm not sure whether I will be able to maintain my enthusiasm and motivation but we'll see how it goes.
Gemma Ray - Hard Shoulder
Gemma Ray - On Your Own
Thursday, 4 January 2018
There are a few great artists out there who I am at a loss to explain why I have so few of their records.
Matthew Sweet is one such artist who immediately springs to mind and Chuck Prophet is another.
I only have two of his solo records and four in all if you count Green on Red. I've probably seen him more times than that.
1997's Homemade Blood is the last thing of his that I have. So criminally nothing from the last 20 years then although anything of his I have heard during that period has been never short of excellent.
A possible New Year's resolution in there I feel.
Chuck Prophet - Credit
Chuck Prophet - Whole Lot More
Wednesday, 3 January 2018
2018 is only a couple of days old and sadly we have the first musical casualty in the shape of the legendary Rick Hall who died on 2nd January at the age of 85
The man who was the owner and proprietor of FAME Studios which put the small Alabama town of Muscle Shoals on the musical map and which produced some of the great Southern Soul records of all time.
If you don't already have it you should make it your business to acquire The Fame Studio Story 1961-1973 - Home of the Muscle Shoals Sound on Ace.
You should also get hold of Peter Guralnick's book Sweet Soul Music:Rhythm & Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom and Muscle Shoals the brilliant documentary from 2013
A true legend. Rest easy Rick
Clyde McPhatter -A Shot of Rhythm & Blues
Etta James - Tell Mama
Mitty Collier -Take Me Just As I Am
Tuesday, 2 January 2018
The first record to (gently) shatter the New Year tranquility at CCM HQ was Songs from Northern Britain the 6th studio album by Teenage Fanclub released in 1997. 21 years ago so you can argue that it has come of age.
It wasn't that well received by the critics at the time but what do they know. For me it's up there and depending on my mood sometimes their best.An argument for the pub I feel.
No hangover to report on New Year's Day but if I had this would have been the perfect remedy..
The band members share the songwriting credits but on this album, as indeed on others, I find myself graduating to the songs by Gerard Love.Another pub argument topic
Teenage Fanclub - Ain't That Enough
Teenage Fanclub - Take The Long Way Round
Monday, 1 January 2018
Happy New Year to you all. Let's hope it is a good one (without any fear).
The more long suffering among you will know the drill by now.
New Years Day is the day when CCM pays homage to two absolute musical giants who both happened to die on this day.
They have both influenced many other artist and indeed my record collection.
Hank Williams died on New Years Day in 1953 aged just 29.But what a legacy of music he left behind.
Obviously I never got to see Hank but was fortunate enough to see the late great Townes Van Zandt who died on 1st January 1997 aged 52 twice.
Again it is traditional to state that it will obviously be downhill now on these pages for the rest of the year.
Hank Williams -Your Cheatin' Heart
Townes Van Zandt - Flying Shoes