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Thursday, 30 November 2017
I only own a couple of The Peel Session EPs on Strange Fruit Records.
One that I do have is SFPS018 the Artist being The Specials recorded on 23rd May 1979 and first broadcast on 29th May 1979 with production by John Sparrow.
The band as listed as Terry Hall, Jerry Dammers, Roddy Radiation, Sir Horace Gentleman and Neville Staples.
This is side 1.I suspect that I will be forced to feature side 2 shortly.
They recorded a furter two sessions on 12th January and 23rd October 1980 and one as The Special AKA on 12th September 1983.
The Specials were pretty special.
The Specials - Gangsters (Peel Session)
The Specials - Too Much Too Young (Peel Session)
Wednesday, 29 November 2017
Another slightly more glaikit picture of your humble author showing off his booty acquired recently in The Bookshop in Wigtown
If you blow up the picture (which may not be a bad idea) the more observant will note that the album nearest my chin is by the Violent Femmes.
It is in fact Hallowed Ground their second album from 1984.
A band I am not hugely familiar with. I know that their self titled debut album, and in particular the song Blister in the Sun, is very highly regarded round these parts.
The only other song I knew was the first song on the album Country Death Song which has previously featured here as it was included on the Rough.Trade Country 1 compilation
I like this album but first time out it only lasted a couple of songs before Mrs CC demanded that I turned it off. No such problems with the third album which will appear sometime next week
Violent Femmes - Jesus Walking on the Water
Violent Femmes - Hallowed Ground
Tuesday, 28 November 2017
Ladies and gentlemen please be upstanding for the Reverend.
Industrial Sounds and Magic is the 1991 debut solo album on the Cooking Vinyl label by English folk rock artist Stephen Ryan better known as Rev Hammer.
According to his website the album was recorded in a cow shed in Essex on a budget of nothing with a little help from his friends. The friends in question being The Levellers who provide the backing duties.
As well as a chum of the Levellers he was a founder member of The Red Sky Coven with poet Joolz and Justin Sullivan of New Model Army fame.
He also subsequently performed with members of the Levellers as Drunk in Public.
Round these parts we know a thing or two about Caledonia Rain
Rev Hammer - Down by the River "O"
Rev Hammer - Caledonia Rain
Monday, 27 November 2017
Brian's recent Matthew Sweet related posts had me scouring the shelves for my copy of The Thorns.
From 2003 it is the debut album, and indeed the only album, from a supergroup consisting of Mr Sweet, Pete Drodge and Shawn Mullins and legendary drummer Jim Keitner.
They toured in the US and Europe supporting The Dixie Chicks and The Jayhawks. This may explan why there is a faithful cover of the Jayhawks' Blue on the album.
Some wonderful harmonies .Like a Crosby, Stills and Nash for the millennium.Only better.
It is an album that I hadn't played for ages but one that has been on heavy rotation in recent days.
The Thorns - Think it Over
The Thorns - No Blue Sky
Sunday, 26 November 2017
Another extremely close contest last week. A last minute intervention by Spence in favour of The Man in Black led to a 7-6 victory (if my arithmetic is correct) over Laughing Len with their versions of Bird on A/The Wire
So afte a shaky start Johnny is on a roll with the score now being Cash 4 The Rest 2.
Another tricky one today and one which I suspect could go either way. Johnny is up against Nick Cave with his interpretation of The Mercy Seat taken from American III:Solitary Man.
I know that there is a lot of love out there for Mr Cave and the original is pretty stunning.
However as you may have come to expect I am going for Johnny again this week as there is just something about him singing songs which have religious references that gives him a slight edge.
Others, I'm sure, will choose to disagree. This one will go to the edge.
Back to Saturdays next week
Johnny Cash - The Mercy Seat
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - The Mercy Seat
Saturday, 25 November 2017
Would you believe it - Charity Chic Music is five years old today
Unlike last year I've actually remembered to mark the anniversary on the actual date.
If anyone has read any of the previous anniversary posts you will have had to put up with me gushing about how great a stress buster the blog is, how it has made me listen to old records again and buy new ones, how I have met many new virtual friends and even some in the flesh (or thankfully fully clothed) and how grateful I am to Mrs CC for all her support.
No point in my writing any of that then given you have heard it all before.
Rather let's concentrate on the music. Five songs today for you with a five theme. And yes I have been eagerly waiting for the last five years to post the first one!
David Bowie - Five Years
The Jam - Just Who is the 5 o'clock Hero
Carl Perkins - Jive After Five
Shaver - Old Five and Dimers
Louis Jordan - Five Guys Named Moe
Johnny's back tomorrow
Friday, 24 November 2017
Another era today and indeed another Elvis.
As opposed to yesterday's Declan Patrick MacManus today we give you Elvis Aaron Presley.
From 1999 on the RCA label Sunrise is a two disc compilation of Elvis Presley's Sun Studio recordings from 1953 to 1955 prior to his move to RCA.
The first disc has all the 18 professionally recorded songs from his stint at Sun with the second disc featuring alternate takes and some acetate recordings.
This should set me up nicely for Peter Guralnick's Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley which kicks off in 1958.
I'm considering a move to Memphis ....
Thursday, 23 November 2017
There is also a new Elvis song You Shouldn't Look at Me That Way accompanying the closing credits.
Fast forward a couple of days and I am playing 1994's Brutal Youth on the commute to and from work. He has had some good albums since then but for me this was probably his last truly great album.
Lights red touch paper and steps back .....
Elvis Costello & the Attractions - Pump it Up
Elvis Costello - Still Too Soon to Know
Wednesday, 22 November 2017
I haven't featured Bjork very much on these pages probably because the last time I did so I received a DMCA takedown notice.
We'll see how we get on today.
The world's most famous Icelander is one of those artists who I didn't really get into at the time but quite like now.
Back then I was totally immersed in Americana and probably thought her a bit weird and slightly out my comfort zone.
Now I still think she is a bit weird but I have grown to appreciate her music having picked up 3 or 4 of her records on my charity shop trawls
Bjork - Joga
Bjork - Venus aa a Boy
Tuesday, 21 November 2017
The Bookshop in Wigtown is the largest second hand bookshop in Scotland .It has approximately 100,000 books and the last time I visited it one box of records, Guess who came away with 3 records and no books?
Lest I am accused of being a Philistine I had half an hour earlier purchased Peter Guralnick's book Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley in the Old Bank Bookshop across the road.
The more observant among you or those who go to the trouble of blowing up the picture will note that the album at the forefront of the three albums pictured is Planet Waves the 14th studio album from 1974 by Bob Dylan.
Not his best by any means but certainly not the worst. Probably nestling in just about the middle if you were to rank them.
He is joined by The Band on an album which he describes in his art work on the cover as consisting of cast-iron songs and torch ballads.
The other two purchases will feature in due course.
Bob Dylan - On A Night Like This
Bob Dylan - Forever Young
Monday, 20 November 2017
The legend that is Jon Langford turned 60 in October. I read about it at the time but have not got round to posting about it until now. Better late than never I suppose
From Newport in Wales he has been resident in Chicago for many years where he has been a stalwart of Bloodshot Records and the Godfathers of insurgent country music.
I would be here until after Christmas were I to list all his collaborations and bands he has been been involved with so for now I'll settle for The Mekons, The Three Johns, The Waco Brothers and The Pine Valley Cosmonauts.
Here he is in some of his various guises.
Jon Langford - Nashville Radio
Sally Timms & Jon Langford - I Picked Up The Pieces
Jonboy Langford & the Pine Valley Cosmonauts - Give my Love to Rose
PS- apologies to anyone who appears to have dropped off my blog list.
I inadvertently deleted it and have tried to rebuild it. I suspect I may have missed out a couple who were on previously.
Please let me know if I've missed anyone.
Sunday, 19 November 2017
The second Motown compilation recently acquired in my local charity shop is Tamla Motown: Big Hits & Hard to Find Classics Vol 4.
Fantastic stuff. Maybe not quite as good as Connoisseurs but then again that compilation sets the bar pretty high.
Again I could have posted any of the 20 songs as they are all equally good but I have decided to go for a brace of Barbaras
Barbara Randolph have a brief stint with the Platters prior to joining Motown where she released two singles on the subsidiary Soul Records label. This is the first one I Got a Feeling which was also an album track on the Four Tops On Top album.
She recorded two albums with Motown with her unreleased Baby A Go Go being a huge hit on the UK Northern Soul scene
Barbara Randolph - I Got a Feeling
Barbara McNair - Steal Away Tonight
Saturday, 18 November 2017
My prediction for a unanimous victory for Johnny over Depeche Mode with his version of Personal Jesus very nearly came true. There was only one naysayer (you know who you are!) although many were at pains to say it was a close call with two terrific versions.
For the first time Johnny takes the lead with the score now being Cash 3 The Rest 2.
This week I am again predicting a rousing victory for Johnny. Although Bird on The Wire from his 1969 album Songs From a Room is considered as one of Leonard Cohen's signature tunes it is nowhere as good as the version by The Man in Black on American Recordings the first in the Rick Rubin produced series from 1994.and the one which set the bar pretty high. Johnny , like many, calls it Bird on A Wire.
Johnny totally bosses it. Other's of course, may choose to disagree.
Next week's offering will be on the Sunday for reasons that will become clearer nearer the time.
Johnny Cash - Bird On a Wire
Leonard Cohen - Bird On The Wire
Friday, 17 November 2017
The most recent edition of Mojo has really come up trumps with their monthly cover Cd.
Entitled True Faith it consists of 15 tracks of soul-stirring gospel, country and blues.(here)
A fair proportion of gospel giants feature and I reserve the right to revisit this at a later date and feature some of them probably on the Sunday slot.
Initially I have been grabbed by the two songs below
The first track is a rehearsal version of Slow Train by Bob Dylan which features horns. A terrific version available on Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series Vol 13 (1979 -1981)
I only have Volume 4 Bob Dylan Live 1966 : The "Royal Albert Hall" Concert.
I should probably get more.
I've not heard much stuff by Odetta but what I have heard has been top quality. This traditional gospel song from 1960 is no exception
Bob Dylan - Slow Train (Rehearsal)
Odetta - Go Tell It On The Mountain
Thursday, 16 November 2017
As the British Government debates the EU Withdrawal Bill I can't get Billy Bragg's new single Full English Brexit out of my head.
I first heard it when Walter posted it a couple of weeks ago and I immediately ordered up Bridges Not Walls - a CD featuring Billy's last 6 singles.
Powerful songs of protest but sadly too few are listening. Buy it and don't be one of them
A country which voted to Leave after having been told a pack of lies and fed xenophobic hatred by a bunch of public school boys reenacting a playground spat.
Truly an Accident Waiting to Happen
Billy Bragg - Accident Waiting to Happen
Wednesday, 15 November 2017
The Strokes were one of those bands who emerged surfing a sea of hype.
In 2001 in the run up to their debut album Is This It they were all over the mainstream press and media as well as the music press
It was met with 4 or 5 star reviews and entered the charts at number 2. Unbelievably in 2009 NME ranked it as best record of the 2000's.
I had a burn of it on the shelves and recently spent 50p to upgrade it.I think I probably enjoyed it much more at the time than I do now.
Maybe an age thing or perhaps like similar hyped bands The Fratellis and Razorlight their music does not appear to have lasted the tests of time.
Still it was probably worth the 50p for Last Nite if nothing else.
The Strokes - Last Night
The Strokes - New York City Cops
Tuesday, 14 November 2017
Us bloggers are occasionally guilty of ignoring an artist's greatest hits and focusing on some of their lesser known numbers.
I'm as guilty as the next man or woman given that I have featured Cornershop on more than one occasion but never with their biggest hit and their only number 1 Brimful of Asha.
A song based on the history of Indian film culture namechecking Asha Boshle a playback singer in countless Hindi films.
It originally only reached number 60 in the UK charts in 1997 before reaching number one in February 1998 with a remixed version by Norman Cook.
I've had the album version from When I Was Born for the 7th Time since it's 1997 release picking up the above CD single version some years later.
Cornershop - Brimful of Asha
Cornershop - Brimful of Asha (Norman Cook Remix Single Version)
Monday, 13 November 2017
More Revery is a 6 track EP released by Will Oldham under his Bonny Billy nom de plume in 2001 on the Temporary Relevance label.
It is covers of songs by John Phillips, PJ Harvey, Bill Withers, The Renderers, John Holt and Tim McGraw
It was originally released in 2000 as Volume 7 of the Travels in Constants subscription series and was recorded live at the Palais du Congres in Shelbyville, Kentucky.
This is the re-issue with different song mixes and the crowd noise removed.
You are getting Bill Withers and New Zealand band The Renderers
Bonny Billy - Some Love That Made Me Laugh
Bonny Billy - A Dream of the Sea
Sunday, 12 November 2017
Last Saturday I popped into by local charity shop and came away with two Tamla Motown compilations.
40 tracks for a pound - outstanding value.
Today we will concentrate on Tamla Motown Connoisseurs (2001) - 20 in-demand tracks most of which have never featured on CD before.
I've gone for two female artists whom I have never featured before.
First up is a 1966 recut of the Frank Wilson classic Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) by Motown's queen of blue-eyed soul Chris Clark recorded four months after the original
She cut two albums between 1967 and 1969 (Soul Sounds and CC Rides Again)and was the secret mistress of Berry Gordy.
She wrote the screenplay for the Diana Ross picture Lady Sings the Blues and received an Academy Award nomination and became an executive for Motown Film and TV.
Brenda Holloway first recorded for Motown in 1964 at the age of 17. She left Motown in 1968 due to her
disillusionment with Motown and with her management, and her fear of being drawn into a lifestyle which conflicted with her religious convictions
This song is from 1965 written by Robert Staunton and produced by Berry Gourdy
Second instalment next Sunday
Chris Clark - Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)
Brenda Holloway - Tell Me Your Story
Saturday, 11 November 2017
A second win on the bounce for JC last week albeit by the narrowest of margins over Elvis Costello with his version of The Big Light.
So we are back to even stevens with the score being Cash 2 The Rest 2 .
Back to the American Recordings series and American IV: The Man Comes Around again with one of his most iconic covers from the series. Probably second only to Hurt.
Good though the Depeche Mode original of Personal Jesus is there is clearly only one winner this week. Given his well known Christian faith Johnny sings this with utter conviction and sounds as if he really means it
He really does reach out and touch faith and makes it his own.
I see this has also been covered by Marilyn Manson. Fortunately I've never heard his version and I hope that is still the case by the time I to go to my grave.
The easiest yet for me this week. It's Cash for me.I suspect it may well even by unanimous.
Others, of course, may choose to disagree. But they will be wrong there.
Johnny Cash - Personal Jesus
Depeche Mode - Personal Jesus
Friday, 10 November 2017
Some Antipodean punk rock to round off your week? Right you are.
Released in February 1977 (I'm) Stranded by Brisbane band The Saints is probably the best known punk album to emerge from the Southern Hemisphere.
The single of the same name from September 1976 was declared by Sounds to be Single of the week and every week so it is only fair that it is featured below.
Named as one of the top 30 Australian songs of all time with the album being listed as the 20th greatest Australian album.
Don't you just love such lists? Perfect for starting many a pub argument.
They are still on the go but lead singer and also later guitarist Chris Bailey remains the only ever present having had 36 fellow band members over the years. Australia's answer to Mark E. Smith perhaps?
The Saints - (I'm) Stranded
The Saints - Erotic Neurotic
Thursday, 9 November 2017
The Arch Druid has graced these pages on a few occasions and almost certainly will do so so again.
A couple today from Floored Genius - The Best of Julian Cope and the Teardrop Explodes 1979-91 released on Island in 1992
Among his many compilations released since there have been a further 3 Floored Genius albums:
1993 Floored Genius 2 – Best of the BBC Sessions 1983–91
2000 Floored Genius 3 – Julian Cope's Oddicon of Lost Rarities & Versions 1978–98
2009 Floored Genius 4 – The Best of Foreign Radio, Rare TV Appearances, Festival Songs & Miscellaneous Lost Classics 1983–2009
He's nothing if not eclectic
There are 4 phases to the record:
Phase 1 with the Teardrop Explodes November 1978 - November 1982
Phase 2 June 1983 - March 1985. -An Elegant Chaos from the 1984 album World Shut Your Mouth is from this phase
Phase 3 September 1985-October 1988
Phase 4 April 1989 - March 1991 from where Beautiful Love from the 1991 album Peggy Suicide is taken.
The other 18 songs on the album are just as good
A national treasure
Julian Cope - An Elegant Chaos
Julian Cope - Beautiful Love
Wednesday, 8 November 2017
I'm sure we can all come up with examples of bands that we really thought would make it but didn't.
Then we compare them to some who did and shake our heads in disbelief and proclaim that life is just not fair.
One such band for me were Whiteout a Greenock band who I got into around 1995.
Signed to the Silvertone label I got their album Bite It, the CD single of Starr Club and the 12 inch single of the single Jackie's Racing.
They flirted with the upper echelons of the charts with Bite Out making it to number 71in the album charts Starr Club to number 80, Jackie's Racing to 72 and two other singles No Time and Detroit making it to number 83 and 73 respectively.
Close but no cigar. Which is a great shame as they made some wonderful jingly jangly melodic guitar music in the style of Teenage Fanclub.
Here are the tracks on the Jackie's Racing single
Whiteout - Jackie's Racing
Whiteout - Cousin Jane
Whiteout - So Confused
Tuesday, 7 November 2017
I have never seen Robert Redford's 1998 film The Horse Whisperer nor have I any desire so to do.
Therefore I was presently surprised at the quality of the Original Soundtrack brought home from a charity shop excursion by Mrs CC.
Executively produced by Mr Redford himself it could have been lifted straight from the Americana section in the muso room given that it features the likes of Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch . Hell there is even the rarity of a good post 1995 song by Dwight Yoakam!
The only artists on it who don't grace the shelves are Don Walser, Don Edwards and George Strait. 9 out of 12 ain't bad.
A pleasant surprise
The Flatlanders - South Wind of Summer
Iris DeMent -Whispering Pines
Monday, 6 November 2017
I stuck on Searching For The Young Soul Rebels the other night for the first time in ages. I'd forgotten just how good it is. One of the best debut albums out there.Scarily now 37 years old so look out for the deluxe 40th anniversary issue in 2020.
It got me wondering how many times Dexys have featured previously on these pages. To my shock and embarrassment the answer was once with a compare and contrast with Chuck Woods for their versions of Seven Days Too Long.
Geno would have featured on my short lived namechecking series if I had anything by Geno Washington which I don't.
Dexys Midnight Runners - Burn It Down
Dexys Midnight Runners -Tell Me When my Light Turns Green
Sunday, 5 November 2017
A holiday purchase which slipped the net and one which could only really feature on the Sunday morning slot.
The Easter Ross town of Invergordon on the Cromarty Firth enjoyed a period of boom time in the 70's with the development of an oil rig fabrication yard at nearby Nigg Bay.
It is much quieter now and has resorted back to a pleasant sleepy backwater.
I got to the charity shop 10 minutes before closing and came away with Buena Vista Social Club presents Ibrahim Ferrar for 75 pence.
Well known in his home country Cuba he shot to international fame at the age of 70 as part of the Ry Cooder produced Buena Vista Social Club project,
This his 1997 solo album received a Latin Grammy for best new artist (at 72!) He won a Grammy in 2004 but was not allowed to enter the enlightened country that is the US of A to collect it.
Unfortunately he died in 2005 so only got to enjoy his fame for a relatively short period of time.
Ibrahim Ferrer - Mami Me Gusto
Ibrahim Ferrer - Silencio
Saturday, 4 November 2017
At last the Man in Black is finally on the score sheet - but only just.
Johnny beats the Eagles by the narrowest of margins by 6 votes to 5 (7 if you count Mrs CC)
Swiss Adam even tried to vote twice. Sorry Adam, OMOV applies here.
So the score is now Johnny 1 The Rest 2
This week we have a cover offed up by the original surfer of the zeitgeist Ernie Goggins from the ever eclectic 27 Leggies blog and it is one that I am not familiar with.
I'm familiar enough with the original version by Elvis Costello from his wonderful 1986 album King of America(Credited to The Costello Show).
Johnny's version is from the year after and from an album called Johnny Cash is Coming to Town. Bang in the middle of the wilderness years before his career was rescued by Rick Rubin and the American Recordings series.
Nevertheless Ernie plumps for Johnny as in his opinion Johnny romps home what with the horns and assorted Carters on backing vocals
And who am I to argue with the great man.
Others,of course, may choose to disagree
Johnny Cash - The Big Light
Elvis Costello - The Big Light
Friday, 3 November 2017
Yesterday Scottish political folk, today female Japanese rockabilly - CCM catering for all tastes (and none!)
From TokyoThe 188.8.131.52's started out as a foursome before graduating to a trio.
Their main and probably only claim to fame is a brief appearance on Tarantino's 2003 film Kill Bill Volume 1.
In case you were wondering they currently consist of Yoshiko "Ronnie" Fujiyama, Sashiko Fujji and Akiko Omo. I couldn't be 100% sure that this is the line up for these songs although the Fujiyama sisters definitely feature.
These songs are taken from Bomb the Rock - Early Day Singles released in 2003 probably on the back of Kill Bill. One of my brother's in case you hadn't guessed.
I'm not sure whether Mr Lee is a tribute to Bruce. I am sure that it is completely bonkers.
The 184.108.40.206's -Woo Woo
The 5.6.7..8's - Dream Boy
The 220.127.116.11's - Mr Lee
Thursday, 2 November 2017
A wee bit stuck for inspiration now that the holiday and post holiday purchases have been exhausted and then I came up with this.
I finally got round to taking Gaughan Live! at the Trades Club out of the library.
I've seen it there for years , thought about it but never got round to it. Now I am about the 6th person in as many years to take it out and am kicking myself for not having done so earlier.
Recorded in the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge,North Yorkshire in December 2007 and released in April 2008.The Greentrax label website explains that:
One of the many reasons Dick has so much affection for the place is that it is a solidly working class venue and is one of the few venues where the idea of a performer having to explain why their work contains commentary on political and social issues would be absurd - it is not only taken for granted, but expected, that working class art and politics are inseparable.
He is not alone.JC visited there recently and wrote a great piece about it here
No Gods has featured here before and also at JC's and at Drew's place and I make no apologies for playing it again. It does no harm for a nation to take a good hard look at itself.
Sadly Dick is now in very poor health but still remains a true legend and a giant of Scottish folk music.
Dick Gaughan - No Gods
Dick Gaughan - Thomas Muir of Huntershill
Wednesday, 1 November 2017
I have had a burn of 13 by Blur for a reasonable length of time and very rarely play it.
However when I saw a copy of the CD in my local charity shop for 50p the completist in me kicked in..
I obviously then felt compelled to give it a listen. To me it is a combination of some pretty good pop songs such as the two singles featured below together with the virtually unlistenable such as Bugman.
Released in 1999 when the band were beginning to show the signs of cracking. Strained relationships, the split between Damon Albarn and Justine Frischmann and Graham Coxon's drinking all played their part.
Coxon left shortly thereafter and there was then a hiatus until 2003's Think Tank
They wanted to go in a more electronic direction leading to longtime producer Stephen Street being replaced by William Orbit.
From a completist point of view only The Magic Whip to go. I shall hold out until I can pick it up for 50p!
Blur - Tender
Blur - Coffee & TV