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Saturday, 11 July 2020

50 Americana Albums You Should Hear Before You Die - Anodyne

It probably won't come as a surprise to anyone that an album by Uncle Tupelo is featuring in this series although I'm sure that some would have thought that it would be their 1990 debut No Depression that would appear here.
Rather I've gone for their 4th and final album Anodyne from 1993 and released on the Sire label.
Before anyone gets sniffy about me featuring their only one released on a major label I should point out it was recorded from May to June in 1993 at Cedar Creek studio in Austin. The album was recorded live in the studio and each song was recorded in one take.

It was the first Uncle Tupelo album I bought so therefore it is probably the one I have listened to most.It was only relatively recently that I got round to picking up No Depression having previously had a few on the songs from it on an anthology.
The New York Times states that the album is certainly derivative (citing Neil Young and Little Feat) but the band isn't seeking to reinvent its source ,merely to honour them.
As I said yesterday about The Cramps - that's good enough for me.

Jay Farrar wrote six of the songs and Jeff Tweedy five with Doug Sahm providing lead vocals to the only cover which is his song Give Back the Key to My Heart
Within 6 months of the ablum's release Uncle Tupelo were no more. Following an acrimonious break up Tweedy went on to form Wilco with Farrar forming Son Volt.
Who knows if one or  other or maybe both will feature later in this series.

Uncle Tupelo - Acuff-Rose

Uncle Tupelo - The Long Cut

Uncle Tupelo - Chickamauga

Friday, 10 July 2020

.... Off The Bone

I was struggling to think of something to post today so here is ... Off the Bone by The Cramps to keep you going until I come up with something.

From 1983 on the Illegal label it is a compilation of 16 previously released tracks by the band although my copy is a CD version from1987 on Zonophone which contains two extra tracks.
So sadly not the one with an anaglyth on the cover and a pair of paper red and blue 3D glasses inside  the sleeve for viewing it.

Described by Sounds as a hell-fire cocktail of gutter riffing and chattering Rockabilly voodoo strum into which is dropped an electric sugar cube of psychedelic power

That's good enough for me

The Cramps - The Way I Walk

The Cramps - Garbageman

The Cramps - I Can't Hardly Stand It

Thursday, 9 July 2020


For those that can remember as far back to last week which is no mean feat these days I can tell you Band A covered Band B who in turn covered Band C
Therefore this week then Band C will cover Band D who will then cover Band A. Simples

The identities of A,B and C were revealed last week with Band A being the 3 O'Clock and Band B the Bangles. Band C were The Dream Syndicate who I am blaming for all of this given that I am a big fan and it was through them that a found the album 3x4 where the 4 bands cover each other.I won't say swapsies again so as not to offend Spence.

So that leaves Band 4 who are Rain Parade. It is name that I recognise but I can't say that I am thst familiar with their music.
Just to clarify (for me as well as everyone else ) this week The Dream Syndicate cover You Are My Friend which is a Rain Parade song and Rain Parade cover As Real as Real a song from the 3 O'Clock . Easy peazy.

The good or bad news depending on your standpoint it I might get round to doing all this again - twice - at some stage

The Dream Syndicate - You Are My Friend

Rain Parade - Real As Real

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Second is better than first. Part 3.

George writes:

I bet some people think October is a better album than Boy. There will be others who rate Boy better than October. And there will be most who say “I can’t stand either, or the rest of the load of cobblers released by U2). So you can rest assured, dear reader(s), their second album will not be part of this series, that is dedicated to groups and singers whose second album is better than their first. Today’s choices were actually proposed by a friend of mine who I’d emailed to say I was writing this series. But dear readers you can’t blame Ian, I had already most of this a week before his message.

I’m playing This Was at the farm. It’s driving the sparrows crazy. OK, maybe it was Billy the cat who was doing that. And it has sent Parsley the goat (in the foreground below, in front of Barney McGrew) away from the gate nearby me over to our border with the neighbour.  I think it’s the drum solo on “Dharma for one” that was the final straw for Parsley (well, he might just have wanted to stretch his legs).
It’s a bit of a mish-mash of an album some straightforward blues tracks (“It’s breaking me up”) that would not be out of place on a Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac album, some jazz-flavoured songs (Serenade to a cuckoo), proto heavy metal (Cat’s squirrel), and, of course, plenty of folky-proggy-flautistry (My sunday feeling).  Maybe it was the latter that caused Mick Abrahams to leave “The Tull”.

So a perfectly good album, and like many good albums, one or two tracks are not that good but overall, one that is certainly not in the “what the hell was I thinking” pile (Mary Black for example, LL Cool J, Muse….) 

The “difficult second album” is Stand Up. Now of course there will be some misguided souls who think Stand Up is almost unlistenable Pah! What do they know? It’s more focused than the first album, and the music is becoming that almost trademark Jethro Tull sound, a more acoustic tone, changes of musical direction in a song (Back to the family being a fine example), lots of flautistry. There’s something about songs such as “Look Into The Sun” that have a sort of understated feel, as if the singer is bottling up a feeling (Shaggy has just wandered over, to nod his seal of approval).

 And as I listened to “We Used To Know” I thought it sounded very familiar. What do you think?

Do you think The Eagles were early Tull fans?

And there’s not enough acoustic-prog on these pages:

I do like both albums, though, but Stand Up is one of those albums where……….. “Second is better than first

Thank you kindly

CC writes:
FFS - Jethro Tull. No wonder one of the goats peed on his foot.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

The Celtic Soul Brothers

I was quite surprised to find that Dexys Midnight Runners have only ever graced these pages once before with a couple of tracks from their brilliant debut album Searching For The Young Soul Rebels.

I've dug out the follow up album Too-Rye - Ay from 1982  for you today. A reasonable album but not in the same league as its predecessor and one which hasn't really stood the tests of time. It did however contain  a couple of good pop songs though including the ubiquitous Come On Eileen.
It is now an album that I can never look at in the same light again after obtaining Apples & Oranges by the Blue Ox Babes and discovering that Kevin Rowland has effectively pinched the Celtic Soul sound from Kevin Archer and poached Helen O'Hara into the bargain.

Jackie Wilson Said of course obtained a certain noteriety when instead of putting up a picture of the great R&B singer Top of the Pops featured a picture of the darts player Jockie Wilson instead

Toodle langa langa Toodle langa lang indeed

Dexys Midnight Runners - The Celtic Soul Brothers

Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile)

Monday, 6 July 2020

Heaven or Hell - 11

A victory of almost Curtiseque proportions by Tavares/ Heaven over Neil Diamond/Hell making the scores now Hell 7 Heaven 3.
A quick slap on the wrists for Swiss Adam for spoiling his ballot paper. Sometimes you just have to hold your nose and put an X in the spot.

To see whether Heaven can get two in a row for  what might be the first time in this series we have The Kane Gang with the super smooth Closest Thing to Heaven.
You don't get too many smooth songs abour Hell but Dutch band Bettie Serveert just about pull it off with Hell = Other People. In case you were wondering they are named after a book written by Dutch tennis player Bette Stove. You may remember her as the one who let Virginia Wade win Wimbledon in Jubilee year.

Who's it going to be
Heaven or Hell, the choice is yours.

The Kane Gang - Closest Thing To Heaven

Bettie Serveert - Hell =Other People

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Down and Out - The Sad Soul of the Black South

Some wonderful Southern Soul for you today courtesy of the great German label Trikont and their 1998 compilation Down & Out -The Sad Soul of the Black South.
As the review in AllMusic has it these songs believe in a love so pure, it can only be consummated by murder, suicide, or an act of divine intervention such is its emotional intensity.
They are not wrong there

You will not hear a better song today than the opening number  Crying in the Streets by George Perkins & the Silver Stars. Fact. It is a song based on observation of Martin Luther King's Funeral.
When I googled Dicky Williams the first entry was about a Welsh rugby player.
It is however more likely that The Same Motel was performed by North Carolinan Leonard Thomas Williams more commonly referred to as Dicky
Texas Blues man Juke Boy Bonner appears to be experiencing similar domestic problems to Dickie given that he has been Carried to the Cleaners and Hung Out to Dry

George Perkins & the Silver Stars - Crying in the Streets

Dickie Williams - In the Same Motel

Juke Boy Bonner - Carried to the Cleaners and Hung Out to Dry