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Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Blue Moon


Rol featured the Cowboy Junkies  at the weekend in an excellent cryptic clue as part of his brilliant Saturday Snapshots series.

This lead to me pulling their masterpiece The Trinity Sessions from the shelves. The track Blue Moon Revisted (Song for Elvis) had me thinking of  the versions of that song that I have.

I don't go as far back as 1934 when the original was written by Rogers and Hart. It was originally a hit in 1949 for both Billy Eskstine and Mel Tormé 

The oldest version I've got is probably the one by Billie Holiday from 1952.

As the Cowboy Junkies alluded to it was subsequently covered by Elvis Presley.There are two versions on Sunrise the 1999 album featuring his Sun recordings from 1953 to 1955 .As I'm a generous person I'm giving you both.

Finally a more recent version from 2019 by Tenament and Temple the duo that are Johnny Smillie and Monica Queen

There are many more versions out there including three by The Marcels, Bobby Vinton and Sam Cooke in the film An American Werewolf in London. I don't have those

Cowboy Junkie - Blue Moon Revisited (Song For Elvis)

Billie Holiday - Blue Moon

Elvis Presley - Blue Moon

Elvis Presley - Blue Moon (Alt Take)

Tenament & Temple - Blue Moon

Nearly a Single Song Wednesday there Ernie

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Altered Beast


2020 Charity Shop Purchases 66 - Matther Sweet

Some power pop for you today as we feature Matthew Sweet with Altered Beast his 4th album from 1993  on the Zoo Entertainment label. The album cover comes in five different colours (yellow,blue, green, orange and purple). As the picture above suggests my copy came in blue.

The follow up to Girlfriend (which I've still to get) it was released to mixed reviews with a score of  4/5 from Allmusic and 3/5 from Rolling Stone.

Rolling Stone stated that it had inspiring moments, the problem is finding them. Allmusc felt that the album was all over the place and it takes a bit of time for all of it to make sense , but after a few listens it falls together.

That is somewhat reassuring as after being pretty chuffed to find it after a first listen I was not entirely convinced. It is certainly a bit of a curate's egg. I hold Mr Sweet in high regard so I shall persevere.

It joins it's successor 100% Fun  (1995) and 1999's In Reverse on the shelves.

Matthew Sweet - The Ugly Truth

Matthew Sweet - Do It Again

Monday, 30 November 2020

Monday Long Song


Given that I don't have any prog rock and very little in the way of psychedelia on the shelves I don't often participate in this feature.

However the Mojo Almost Famous compilation which I featured on Friday contained a track which fits the criteria and which is worthy of inclusion.

From 1979 Funk You Up by The Sequence on Sugarhill was the first hip-hop  song to be released by a female rap band. It was the second single on the  Sugarhill label following on from the brilliant Rapper's Delight by the Sugarhill Gang.

The three rappers were Southern gals from South Carolina namely Cheryl "the Pearl" Cook, Gwendolyn "Blondy " Chisolm and Angela "Angie B" Brown the lead singer who later went on to record as Angie Stone. I have Black Diamond one of her CDs on the shelves bought for a fiver from Europa Records in Stirling. I must give it a listen.

The Sequence - Funk You Up

Sunday, 29 November 2020

Val's Vinyl


We are out of the chill out zone and back on the dance floor this week with Sister Sledge.

Love Somebody Today from 1980 is the fourth studio album by the band joining their third We Are Family on the shelves.
On the Cotillion label (a division of Atlantic) it was written by the legends that are Nile Rogers and Bernard Edwards.One of the four albums that the Chic duo put out that year along with albums by Sheila B Devotion, Diana Ross and Chic themselves. Diana Ross got Upside Down and I'm Coming Out. It would have been good to see the sisters tackling those songs.

It is pleasant enough but gets a bit Jazz Funk in places and may have benefited from the tracks being a couple of minutes shorter.You would be knacked dancing to the first one in particular.

I guess you could say that the sisters reached their peak with We Are Family. 

Saturday, 28 November 2020

50 Americana Albums to Hear Before You Die - Walk Alone


Three albums to go to complete this series and at least one of them is a bona fide classic. Maybe not this one though.

But wait the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash as described by Rolling Stone as pure Americana heart and soul. Wiki  states that they are an Americana/alternatve country band so there you go naysayers (you know who you are)

Fronted by Mark Stuart they received permission from rthe great man himself to use his name and he personally invited them to record songs for Walk Alone at his home in Henderson, Tennessee.  Bonus tracks on the album were produced by his son John Carter Cash That's good enough for me.

Walk Alone is their 2001 debut full length album on Ultimatum Music//Artemis although they had a 6 track demo EP from 1996 and a 9 track Lasso Motel from 1999 both released indepedently by the band.A furher five albums were released up to 2013 along with 3 live ones.

I saw them playing live at Glasgow's ABC 2 which has now been sadly demolished after being caught up in the second Art School fire. I think William Elliott Whitmore may have been the support act

Maybe the wouldn't have featured had I got round to editing that list but their inclusion is worth it alone for Truckstop in La Grange

Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash - Texas Sun

Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash - Truckstop in La Grange

Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash - Trains Gonna Roll

Friday, 27 November 2020

Almost Famous

2020 Charity Shop Purchases 65 - Various Artists - Almost Famous (Mojo)

Almost Famous -20 Early Rarities a Mojo Collections CD from Autum 2001 looked quite interesting.

Early songs from famous artists before fame came knocking and according to the blurb songs that should you wish to buy them on originsl 45s and LPs, would currently set you back over £1500.With the vinyl revival lets up that to two grand.

Now it is fairly easy to identify most of the artists - Sex Pistols, Marc Bolan, David Bowie (who appears twice once with The Lower Third) and the Kinks among others.

In some of the other cases it is not as easy to work out

Nico for instance is relatively well known.I mean to say she was a girlfriend of John Cooper Clarke for instance.There was also some involvement with the Velvet Underground and a banana. This cover of a Gordon Lightfoot song is rather lovely.

If I mentioned the band First Gear to you I imagine most of you wouldn't have a scoobie. If I said First Gear (feat Jimmy Page) it would be a different story. The song isn't much cop but the guitar solo ..

The Bystanders were a band from Merthyr Tydfil. That alone should qualify them for inclusion but apparantly they are a previous incarnation of Man. I can't say I'm any the wiser.

As I said above quite interesting

Nico - I'm Not Sayin'

First Gear (feat.Jimmy Page) - Leave My Kitten Alone

The Bystanders - When Jesamine Goes

Thursday, 26 November 2020

Mermaid Avenue


I was playing Mermaid Avenue (the first one ) by Billy Bragg & Wilco over the weekend and was wondering whether it had featured here or not. Over eight years now and it turns out it hasn't. Time to right that wrong.Obviously both acts have featured here several times in their own right.

There is a sticker on the front of my copy which tells the tale of how this album came to be and it is probably easier for me to copy it verbatim rather that cobbling something up myself

Mermaid Avenue , Coney Island is where Woody Guthrie lived with his family in the late 1940's and early 50's. Here he wrote hundreds of songs which he never recorded.When he died he left only the lyrics. Billy Bragg and Wilco have written new tunes to these songs. Features California Stars plus guest vocals by Natalie Merchant.

That pretty much covers it  other that to say that Billy was asked by Woody's daughter Nora to carry this out. There was a subsequent falling out between Billy and Jeff Tweddy  but not before Volumes II and III and The Complete Sessions were commited to tape.

Oh and if you were wondering who Eisler was wonder no longer

Billy Bragg & Wilco - California Stars

Billy Bragg & Wilco -Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key

Billy Bragg & Wilco -Eisler On the Go