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Monday, 19 April 2021

Unhalfbricking

 


A week or so ago George forwarded me an article from the Guardian on Beeswing an autobiography by Richard Thompson with a number of references to Fairport Convention. It looks like a good read and has been added to the list.

Even more kindly he then forwarded me a copy of Unhalfbricking the band's 3rd album from 1969 on Island. It's the first time I've heard it in its entirity. I was familiar with about half the tracks as they feature on The History of Fairport Convention an anthology  which was the only album of theirs I had, along with a couple from Sandy Denny.

One of the songs I hadn't previously heard was Autopsy which is very good indeed. Not quite as good as Who Knows Where The Time Goes voted, quite rightly , as the greatest Folk song of all time. It has featured here before and no doubt it will do so again.

That's Folk been on these pages for two successive Mondays - a potential series in the making?

Fairport Convention -Autopsy

Fairport Convention - Who Knows Where The Time Goes?

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Val's Vinyl

 


It's the end of an era as we feature the last Val's Vinyl post. If my calculations are correct this is the 25th post.

We started on the 1st of November 2020 with Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond. It is only proper that now just over  6 months later we finish with Neil Diamond with his 12 Greatest Hits Vol 2 a 1974 compilation on the MCA label.

There are some sadly which have not quite made the grade. Portrait by The Nolans for instance. We have already had Making Waves and you can have too much of a good thing. I've decided to spare you Nature Boy  a single by George Benson as I have already featured an album  and I  couldn't bring myself to subjecting you to him again.

There are a further two Neil Diamond albums Rainbow ( a pretty dire covers album) and Serenade.See my comment about the Nolans above. Finally I'm not featuring Off the Wall by Michael Jackson for obvious reasons.

I reckon I'll probably keep about a third of the records and donate the rest to charity. It's what Val would have wanted. For the record Mrs CC likes Neil Diamond so this one is likely to be a keeper.

There is now a rather large Sunday void requiring to be filled.

Thanks Val. Legendary status now assured.

Neil Diamond - Beautiful Noise

Neil Diamond - Love on the Rocks

Saturday, 17 April 2021

If it Ain't Stiff....

 


In the absence of inspiration for my Saturday posts I shall continue with compilations of a certain vintage.

Stiff Records founded by Dave Robinson and Jake Riviera were active from 1976 to 1986 and were one of the UK's most legendary Indie labels.

The CD compilation If It Ain't Stiff ...  from 2001 on Union Square Music by and large concentrates on records from the later part of that decade. It features many artists that you know and love such as Dr Feelgood, Wreckless Eric, Dave Edmunds and Kirsty MacColl. Indeed I have featured it here before with a concentration on some of the more classic tracks

Today I'm going to concentrate on some of the more obscure acts (to me at any rate) tucked away towards the end of the 21 tracks (numbers 13,17,18 and 19 to be precise)

The Deviants were an English garage band in the 60s but had a second wind when billed as Mick Ferren & the Deviants in the late 70s recording a one off EP for Stiff called Screwed Up in 1977 which includes the track below.

Any Trouble were a band from Crewe who signed to Stiff in the late 70'S with the single below being released in 1980. The band included Clive Gregson who went on to become a successful musician and music producer.

The Equators were a Birmingham Ska band descibed by Marco on the Bass as the best Ska band you've never heard. Here they do a cover of the Equals classic Baby Come Back.

There are two bands called Dirty Looks (take note Ernie) One are a rock band from San Francisco .The other and the ones who feature here are from Staten Island  featuring singer Patrick Barnes who does a rather good Joe Jackson impersonation.

Mick Farren & the Deviants - Outrageous/Contagious

Any Trouble - Girls Are Always Right

The Equators - Baby Come Back

Dirty Looks - Let Go




Friday, 16 April 2021

Gene Sequencing

 


Don't worry I'm not about to get all scientific on you. Rather I thought we could do a little musical gene sequencing  today

I believe that it is importance in matters such as this that things are done chronologically .

Therefore, we will start as far back as 1956 when Gene Vincent & his Blue Caps released Be-Bop-a-Luba to an unsuspecting world. Things were never quite the same again.

Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa was a song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal Davis  and although it has been covered many times it was of course originally a hit by Gene Pitney in 1963

Fast forward to 1968 and we have the Duke of Earl himself Mr Gene Chandler performing River of Tears.

Finally we conclude our gene sequence in 1974 with Life's Greatest Fool the late great  Gene Clark from the brilliant No Other album.

Gene Vincent - Be-Bop-a-Lula

Gene Pitney - 24 Hours From Tulsa

Gene Chandler - River of Tears

Gene Clark - Life's Greatest Fool


Thursday, 15 April 2021

Trains, Boats and Planes


 Thursday is Irish Indie day on CCM.

Trains,Boats and Planes could very well be the title of a new series (and it may well be some day). It is also the title of a 1992 debut album by Cork band The Frank and Walters on Setanta/ Go Discs. The bulk of the production is from Edwyn Collins with Ian Broudie also getting in on the act.

My favourite track from the album is Happy Busman which featured here fairly recently as part of my Happy Hippy Chick Mix mini-series.

Therefore I've gone for Fashion Crisis Hits New York a track that I had as a single prior to picking up the album. Also attached is After All which you may recognise given that it reached number 11 in the UK Singles charts. You can definitely hear the Broudie influence on this one.

It's not on the album but I'm throwing in a Julian Cope cover for good measure

As the band may say what a hippy dippy crazy world.

The Frank and Walters -Fashion Crisis Hits New York

The Frank and Walters -After All

The Frank and Walters -Elegant Chaos



Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Make a Move

 


We are doing a fair bit of genre jumping this week. Monday was folk music and Tuesday Americana.

Today we have some North Mississippi Hill Blues for your listening please

Hill Country Revue were a side project of Cody Dickinson (vocals/guitar)  and Chris Chew (bass) from the North Mississippi Allstars. They are joined by Daniel Coburn (vocals/harmonica), Kirk Smithheat (guitar) and Edward Cleveland (Drums)

The third member of the North Mississippi Allstars Luther Dickinson makes a guest appearance as do Aaron Julison, Duwayne Burnside and Garry Burnside with most of the songs , including those featured below, being written by Garry.

So two of Jim Dickinson's boys are involved aling with two off R.L. Burnside's. That's quite a pedigree.

From 2009 on the Razor & Tie label Make a Move was followed in 2010 by Zebra Ranch on the same label and that appears to be your lot.

Hill Country Review -Hill Country Review

Hill Country Review -Growing Up in Mississippi

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

The Train Wreck is Behind You


When I replaced New Miserable Experience by the Gin Blossoms back on the Americana shelves after last week's post I noticed that the 2001 album The Train Wreck is Behind You  by the band Gingersol  on Idea Prone Recordings was adjascent to it. Is it was a while since I had listened to it (probably as far back as July 2016 ) I felt it was  due an airing.

Coincidentally Gin Blossoms get a mention on thr blurb on Spotify (lifted from All Music) which states Los Angeles band Gingersol plays delightfully melodic, rough-edged rock that recalls the Replacements, early Wilco, or a more scruffy Gin Blossoms -- but with their own, distinct sonic stamp.

Pop Matters also make reference to Wilco and the Replacements throwing  Neil Young and  the Wallflowers into the mix for good measure

So a lot to live up to and I think they do a pretty good job

Not to be confused with Gingerol ( properly as [6]-gingerol, is a phenol phytochemical compound found in fresh ginger that activates spice receptors on the tongue.)

Gingersol -Where Do I Stand?

Gingersol - Face Up Again

Gingersol -Make It Stick


 

Monday, 12 April 2021

Prodigal Son


 Some traditional folk music to start your week.

I first came across Martin Simpson with a live version of his brilliant song Never Any Good appearing on a sampler from Proper Records called That's Proper Folk. It made such an impression that it featured on my 3rd ever post back in December 2012. A song written about his relationship with his father.If this doesn't move you best check to see if you still have a pulse.

I've since picked up two or three of his albums including  2007's Prodigal Son (on the Topic label) on which the song first featured.It quite rightly won the Best Original Song Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2008.Oh, and the album won too. You will probably recognise Kate Rusby on backing vocals.

As it's Monday I'm also going to sneak in a long song with his version of the traditional folk song Andrew Lammie

Martin Simpson -Never Any Good

Martin Simpson - Andrew Lammie

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Val's Vinyl

 


It's the penultimate week of Val's Vinyl and it is the pièce de résistance as far as Mrs CC is concerned.

From 1970 it is the original triple album box version of  All Things Must Pass by George Harrison on the Apple label. It is in remarkably good condtion given that it has been lying in Val's attic for a few years with no major issues as far as the records are concerned.

It would get me a few bob on Discogs but that would also get me divorced. My Sweet Lord is obviously the best known song on the album but given that it is Mrs CC's favourite it has appeared here before. Instead I have gone for two with Dylan connections.I'd Have You Anytime was co-written with the Bobster. My second selection is a cover of Dylan's If Not For You a song from his 1970 album New Morning and a love song to his then wife Sarah.

All Things Must Pass becomes the third triple album on the shelves joining Sandinista and Urk a live album by Dutch band Nits. I've no idea how the latter ended up there and don't recall ever having listened to it.

It's the final countdown next week.

George Harrison - I'd Have You Anytime

George Harrison - If Not For You

Saturday, 10 April 2021

That Summer! - Side B

 


Side B of That Summer! the greatest soundtrack album of all time this week and four tracks for you with one act making their CCM debut

The Boomtown Rats appear twice on the the album once with She's So Modern whick appeared a few weeks ago as it is also on The Sound of the City. This time out Kicks the last song from their self titled 1977 debut album gets an outing.

Ian Dury & the Blockheads appeared last week. No apologies for them appearing again this week given that the song is What a Waste, one of Ian's finest numbers.

I've got Jesus of Cool by the great Nick Lowe and So it Goes and 36 Inches High have previously graced these pages. Today it is the turn of I love the Sound of Breaking Glass.

I'm pretty surprised that Richard Hell and the Voidoids have not featured here before. Today they make their belated debut with the magnificent Blank Generation.

I'm not sure yet whether it will be more of the same next week

Boomtown Rats - Kicks

Ian Dury & the Blockheads -What a Waste

Nick Lowe -I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass

Richard Hell & the Voidoids -Blank Generation

Friday, 9 April 2021

Covered by The Polecats

 


The Polecats were one of the new wave of Rockabilly bands who shot to prominence in the late 70's alongside the likes of The Stray Cats and The Shakin' Pyramids. They also had  Boz Boorer the future guitarist, musical director and co-songwriter of right wing lunatic  M*******y within their midst.

Although the wrote  many of their own songs they also were not averse to a cover or two of famous songs by much more famous acts.

The first two were taken from their 1981 album Polecats Are Go! on the Mercury label with the first getting to number  35 in the UK singles charts and the second  reaching number 53. The third MP3 was a 2017 single on Raucous Records. My copy has an Anti Nazi League symbol on it suggesting that it might also have featured on a compilation somewhere.I won't insult your intelligence  by telling you who sang the originals.

Seeing as it's Friday and I like you, you are also getting an Altered Images cover of song two. Don't say I'm not good to you

The Polecats - John I'm Only Dancing

The Polecats - Jeepster

The Polecats - What Do I Get? 

Altered Images - Jeepster

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Sky Valley High

 


Mudflat Walkers are a band who came to my attention via George. He does the work so we don't  have to

Here is all you need to know about them courtesy of their record label OGS Records

Mudflat Walkers were a country/folk band based in the Skagit Valley in Washington State, comprised of Matney Cook on guitar and vocals, Kevin Olney on bass, and Jeff Lacy on drums and backing vocals. They released the EP FEELS LIKE HOME (OGS-006) in 2013 and their debut full-length SKY VALLEY HIGH (OGS-007) in 2014. Both records saw a rerelease on OGS Records in 2020

The vocals of Matney Cook remind me of someone but I can't quite put my finger on it. Zoe Muth maybe or even Jesse Sykes or perhaps a less polished Laura Cantrell? Any thoughts

I'll own up to having only given Sky Valley High a cursory listen so far - so much music, so little time. I have the feeling though that it could well become a grower over time.

If you have a similar feeling pop over to  Bandcamp where you can pick up  both the records detailed above for a reasonable price.

Mudflat Walkers - All I Want

Mudflat Walkers - Feelin' Like a Wreck


Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Found Out About You

 


The 1992 album New Miserable Experience by Tempe, Arizona power pop band Gin Blossoms found it's way into the CD player over the weekend.

This in turn led me to looking out the CD single of Found Out About You which features on the album and had also appeared on their 1989 debut Dusted.

It was written by their guitarist Doug Hopkins and is based on a compilation of episodes with several of his girlfriends. Sadly Hopkins had personal issues and alcoholism which led him tp be fired by the band. Even more sadly this led to a downwards spiral with him completing suicide in December 1993 around the time this came out as a single.

I have two versions of the single and have selected the one which contains live versions of their other big song Hey Jealousy (also written by Hopkins) and another couple from the album.

Gin Blossoms - Found Out About You

Gin Blossoms - Hey Jealousy (live)

Gin Blossoms - Hold Me Down (live)

Gin Blossoms - Mrs Rita (live)

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Some Evil Ways

 


Martin John Henry is a fairly recent discovery.

I probably first stumbled across him as part of Henry and Fleetwood (with Gillian Fleetwood)as part the the Olive Grove Archipelago EP series

This in turn led me to pop over to bandcamp  to pick up their On the Forest Floor EP.

A chat with Lloyd Merideth the main man at Olive Grove led to me discovering that he had been in the band De Rosa. I subsequently snaffled their album Mend from a Fort William charity shop.

The latest Bandcamp Friday saw me acquiring his 2018 solo album Some Evil Ways You should do so too.

Henry & Fleetwood - On the Forest Floor (Rhiwaddolion)

De Rosa - Sylvia (ft Georgia Cecile & Gillian Fleetwood)

Martin John Henry - Some Evil Ways

Monday, 5 April 2021

Gold


 Stop! Come back! It's not the Spandau Ballet song but an Anthology by the late great John Martyn called Gold which was given an airing on Easter Sunday chez CCM

Given the religious connotations it seems appropriate that John the Baptist is one of the songs that I've opted to share with you today. It also had me muttering  1,2,3,4 John the Baptist knows the score

One World is not religious, as far as I am aware, but seems to be advocating peace and harmony so it too gets the nod.

Finally The Wizard of Oz is always likely to be on a telly channel somewhere over the holiday weekend so here is John's version of Over the Rainbow. I once heard this version being played at a funeral which was rather moving.


John Martyn - John the Baptist

Half Man Half Biscuit - God Gave Us Life

John Martyn - One World

John Martyn - Over the Rainbow

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Val's Vinyl

 


As we rapidly approach the end of Val's Vinyl it is time to feature the last of the late 70's Soul albums.

From 1977 and on the Atlantic label Blue Lights in the Basement is the 6th studio album by Roberta Flack.

On the first play I was a bit unsure of it as it of it's time and pretty much soul lite with touches of jazz on occassions. After a second listen I'm gradually coming round to it and it may very well be a keeper. There is no denying that she has a great voice and that her duets with the late great Donnie Hathaway are much,much better than her later ones with Peabo Bryson

After You is one of her favourite recordings and you are getting the solo version as oppsosed to the one with Peabo.

The penultimate Val's Vinyl next week😞

Roberta Flack & Donnie Hathaway -The Closer I Get to You

Roberta Flack - After You


Saturday, 3 April 2021

That Summer! Side A


After the minimum of persuasion I'm continuing my Saturday New Wave Compilation series with an absolute cracker.

That Summer! is a 1979 soundtrack album from the film of the same name. The film by all accounts is an absolute shocker.Fortunately I have not seen it but it seems to be as bad as the music is good.

I had a copy of the soundtrack which I played to death and was subsequently went missing. Jamie very kindly stepped in and provided my with a copy. When I featured this before it was well received especially by Brian who is even more passionate about it that I am.

Enough of that - to the music. Same rules apply. Only artists and/or songs who have neved graced these pages  before will feature. This time around it is a two parter - side A and side B

This series is proving useful  for spotlighted songs by Ian Dury & the Blockheads which I have been criminally negligent in ignoring before.The opening track Sex & Drugs & Rock'n'Roll  deserves to have featured before.

The Zones, along with Mink De Ville , were probably the least well known act on the album . A Scottish band formed from the remnants of PVC2 after Midge Ure left to join the Rich Kids with Glen Matlock. They make their debut here with New Life.The split up shortly thereafter with members going on to join Endgames and the Skids.

We finish today with one of the greatest songs of all time. You will be suprised that I have never featured it before. Well I have sort of with the Peel Session version. Better late than never

Side B next week

Ian Dury & the Blockheads - Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll

Zones - New Life

The Only Ones - Another Girl, Another Planet

 

Friday, 2 April 2021

Good Friday

 


Today is Good Friday. So called because it is a Friday and I get a day off work and that's good.

As I'm in a holiday mood I've decided to do something non taxing namely posting a couple of songs with Good in the title and a couple featuring the word Friday.

Not rocket science and probably not that original although I've never been lazy enough  thought to do it before.

In the Good camp Susan Cadogan with the wonderful Hurts so Good followed by new favourite band Dropkick with a song off their recent Best of album and taken from their 2008 album Dot the I.

For Friday we start with Richard Thompson and his cover of an Easybeats classic. Finally The Associates who are off to splint their hips and bruise their lips. As you do.

I'm off to roll my egg or maybe just a roll and egg.

Susan Cadogan - Hurts So Good

Dropkick - Good Vibes

Richard Thompson - Friday on my Mind

The Associates - Tell Me Easter's on Friday


Thursday, 1 April 2021

Curtis


 I made a second trip to the HMV 2 for 30 quid sale a few days ago. One of the albums I came away with was Curtis the debut album by Curtis Mayfield. I paid more a couple of years ago to see Ayr United play Peterhead for goodness sake.

From 1970 (over 50 years ago - unbelieveable) it was released by the Curton label it represented a shift from  the pop harmonies of The Impressions to a more funky and psychadelic approach with the subject matter being more political and socially aware. The result - a stonewall classic and a great album cover to boot!

I don't really trust my USB turntable with new vinyl and as there was no download I've dug up a couple of the tracks from the hard drive

Take nothing less
Than the supreme best

Curtis Mayfield - Wild and Free

Curtis Mayfield -Move On Up

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Psychedelic Funk, Black Rock and Cosmic Slop

 


Almost exactly a year ago I featured a Mojo compilation called Heavy Soul Vol.2. At the time I elected to feature a couple of new to me artists

The title of this post is the strapline on the CD cover and this time round I thought I would go with some old favourites whose music very much fits the bill

Psychadelic Funk? Ladies and gentlemen I give you Shuggie Otis with a song from his 1971 album Freedom Flight

My mind's at ease that I know you're on my side.
That ice cold daydream took me for an ugly ride.

Black Rock? Look no further than Mr Swamp Dogg with Family Pain from his recent album Sorry You Couldn't Make It

If you were to look up Cosmic Slop in the dictionary it may very well say see Arther Lee and Love

Time to fry your brains

Shuggie Otis -Ice Cold Daydream

Swamp Dogg - Family Pain

Love - Young & Able (Good & Evil)

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

In The Gloaming


 Sorry to disappoint you but In the Gloaming is not a collection of Scottish Country Dance music but is in album  by North Carolina Americana band Jolene.

From 1998 In the Gloaming is their second album and their first for one of the big boys namely Sire.They only lasted briefly there before being picked up by the great German Americana label Blue Rose.

There are fairly obvious comparisons to early R.E.M. and Wilco which is no bad thing with Allmusic describing their music as  guitar-based songs set in a rural America that many of us see, but all too often take for granted. 

I've also got the 2000 album Antic Ocean.All available for buttons on discogs

Along with Nadine they remain one of the only two bands that I've seen in Helensburgh. 

Jolene - Pensacola

Jolene - Two Sisters & the Laureate

Monday, 29 March 2021

Boo

 


In Saturday's Herald magazine journalist Teddy Jamieson had an interesting article on Boo Hewerdine and his recent move to Glasgow .

This had me reaching for Harmonograph a collection of many great songs he has written over the years.

Boo was the lead singer if the band The Bible in the the 80s who were probably best known for the 1986 album Walking the Ghost Back Home (an album I picked up in Dunbar) which includes the songs Graceland and Mahalia.

He is excellent singer as Weatherman demonstrates but is probably best known as a songwriter primarily for Eddi Reader but his songs have also been covered by the likes of Kris Drever, Heidi Talbot, Mary Chapin Carpenter and KD Lang. 

He's also a producer and is carrying out song writing classes with Findlay Napier. A multi-talented man.

The Bible - Graceland

Boo Hewerdine -Weatherman

Eddi Reader - Ontario

Kris Drever - Harvest Gypsies


Sunday, 28 March 2021

Val's Vinyl

 


Sadly we are rapidly nearing the end of Val's vinyl but not before we have a couple of slices of soul funk fusion.

Michael Henderson is a new name to me. It seems that he is an American bassist best known for his bass playing on Miles Davis albums in the early 70's.

He also enjoyed a solo career with 8 albums between 1976 and 1986. From 1979 on the Buddah label Do It All is the fourth.

He has also recorded with Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin,Marvin Gaye and Dr John so a pretty impressive CV.

This album has late 70's soul written all over it and is one I suspect that will not be a keeper.

Michael Henderson - Playing On The Good Thing

Michael Henderson - Do It All

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Even More Sounds of the City


 The third and final instalment from The Sound of the City compilation featuring the songs/and or artists who have never graced thes pages before. We will do them in the order that they come up on the album.

First up is The Pretenders with Brass in Pocket. I don't know why but I never really took to them which is strange as there are far worse bands, their songs are by and large ok and Chrissie Hynde seems quite sound apart from the abberation of marrying Jim Kerr. The nearest I ever got to seeing them was listening to them from outside the Free Trade in Newcastle with George as they played across the Tyne in Gateshead.

The band making their debut are Generation X. Billy Idol has also never featured before. My pal Raymie, who gave me Radio Clash. has blonde hair. He was once accosted by a Glasgow urchin who looked him up and down before proclaiming "Gen X, big man" Ah, the banter!

Last but be no means least we feature Stiff Little Fingers a band fronted by Jake Burns who was born in Belfast but spent many years in Newcastle before moving to the States. He took out American citizenship so he could vote against Trump.

I'm in two minds as to whether to keep this going of a Saturday with a similar, but better, compilation and would welcome your views.

The Pretenders - Brass in Pocket

Billy Idol - Dancing With Myself

Stiff Little Fingers

Friday, 26 March 2021

Cortez the Killer

 


If you were to put me on the spot and ask me what my favourite Neil Young song was I would probably plump for Cortez the Killer although it would be closely followed by Powerfinger.

The original from the 1974 album Zuma is a fairly gentle affair. The same, however, cannot be said about the  live version om 1991's Weld

However for me the definitive version is from another live album 1979's Live Rust. Unfortunately that one is not on the shelves at the moment something that I really need to rectify. I used to have it on cassette. There is a story there which I will save for when I get round to re-acquiring it.

Interestingly on Weld Cortez is followed by Powderfinger whereas on Live Rust it is the other way round. Two songs that were clearly meant to be together in whatever order.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Cortez the Killer (Zuma)

Neil Young & Crazy Horse -Cortez the Killer (Weld)


Thursday, 25 March 2021

Charmer

 


Recently we've taken to  listening to playlists from the old I-pod over dinner. It is excellent exercise as I am constantly getting up and wandering over to see who is singing.

One such artist who caught my eye recently was Aimee Mann.I have acquired a couple of  her albums in charity shops and also have a couple of burns.

One such album is Charmer the 8th out of the 9 studio albums that she has released. It is from 2012 and is on the Superego label.
Her music is of a consistantly high standard but has never really had the recognition or commercial success that she probably deserved. Having said that she has one two Grammy awards and in 2006 she was named by NPR as one of the world's greatest living song writers. She must be doing something right.

She used to be one of those artists who had posts taken down by the Blog police.If there are no links below maybe she still is. However in these days of Spotify where artists get buttons for tens of thousand streams maybe she'll cut me some slack as I extol her virtues and promote her music.

Aimee Mann - Barfly




Wednesday, 24 March 2021

" Love and Theft"

 


Rightly or wrongly I've always considered Time Out of Mind (1997),  "Love and Theft" (2001) and Modern Times (2006) as a trilogy. What is not in doubt, howver is that Bob Dylan's 30th, 31st and 32nd studio albums represent a return to form.

Today I'm concentrating on the middle one with the other two now very much in my radar for future posts. OK by now his voice is a bit shot but that merely adds to the appeal.I still consider this a relatively  new album although it is now 20 years old.

As always when is comes to the Bobster there have been screeds and screeds written about the album exploring it in minute detail. I'll settle for this  piece by Rolling Stone describing how he plundered the entire history of American music to make a pre-rock masterpiece

Me, I'm happy just to listen to the music.

Produced by Jack Frost, which is an alias of Mr Zimmerman as opposed to this one:


Bob Dylan - Mississippi

Bob Dylan - High Water (for Charley Patton)




Tuesday, 23 March 2021

The Great Escape

 


Over the years I've picked up the entire Blur discography with the exception of their final album The Magic Whip. I can't say that I'm bothered that I don't have it but if I saw it cheap I would probably nab it for the sake of completeness.

A couple of them are still to feature here one of them being The Great Escape their 4th album from 1995 on the Food label. The one which featured Country House their first number one single  beating Oasis' Roll with It when Britpop hype was at its peak. Thereafter they began to become more experimental with the cracks in the band beginning to show

Critical acclaimed at the time of release  selling nearly half a million copies in the fist month following its release but maybe one which has not stood the tests of time.

Having said that I quite enjoyed listening to it, and in particular the singles, for the first time in ages.

Blur - Stereotypes

Blur - Charmless Man


Monday, 22 March 2021

You Don't Know Me


 What better way to start the week than with a single by Emmylou Harris?

From 1994 on The Grapeline Label  the lead song You Don't Know Me is a cover of the 1955 Country standard written by Eddie Arnold and Cindy Walker which I imagine many of you will recognise.It is a song which has been covered many times Indeed, as you would expect, it has been the subject of a Single Song Sunday by our pal Ernie Goggins

It is joined by A Ways to Go with both tracks being taken from her 1993 album Cowgirl's Prayer.

I'm unsure where I picked up the CD single but I picked up the CD of the album early in 2015 from the Red Cross charity shop  in Auchterarder along with  Brand New Dance.

Happy days

Emmylou Harris - You Don't Know Me

Emmylou Harris - A Ways to Go

Sunday, 21 March 2021

Val's Vinyl

 


Unlike many of the Blogging fraternity I do not have a pathalogical hatred of the Eagles. Indeed, I would go as far as to say that I actually quite like some of their earlier stuff. However I'm not that fussed about Hotel California (1976,Asylum) particularly the title track where the cocaine clearly kicks in.

Val on the other hand is clearly a fan being the previous proud owner of the album. I was going to say that she was one of the 32 million to purchase the album (the equivalent of the population of Peru, Angola or Malaysia), It turns out she was not as there is a poster with the album, which has actually been on someone's wall, with the name J.K.Lindsay on the back..The same name is also on the inner sleeve..Therefore I appear to be at least the third owner.

Val's Vinyl - you can check out any time you like but you can never leave

Eagles - New Kid in Town

Eagles - Life in the Fast Lane

Saturday, 20 March 2021

More Sounds of the City

 


The second instalment of  The Sound of the City and the same format as last week namely three songs which have never featured here before and one act making their debut.

The act making their debut are probably the first punk band namely The Damned. I must admit I'm pretty gobsmacked that they haven't graced these pages before. Note to self I must get round to posting New Rose and Neat Neat Neat which are better than Love Song which is still a pretty good number.

Then we hit some technical problems as the next two song are the first two on side 2 and a handily places scratch was causing some problems.

Therefore for the first of the two Hanging Around by the Stranglers I've had to resort to burning a copy from the Rattus Norvegicus CD. They always struck me as a band who jumped on the New Wave band wagon. I mean what other band around then featured an organ or had a song which lasted for over 4 minutes for goodness sake.

No danger of an organ featuring on a Sham 69 record or of it lasting over 4 minutes.  A band who attracted an unhealthy following through no fault of their own they were probably not that musically gifted but recorded some glorious anthemic shouty songs. I would put If  The Kids are United fourth in line behind Hersham Boys, Hurry Up Harry and Borstal Breakout.

The final three next week

The Damned - Love Song

The Stranglers - Hanging Around

Sham 69 - If the Kids Are United


Friday, 19 March 2021

Hank Ballard & the Midnighters




I was scrolling through the hard drive the other day (as you do) when I stumbled across a folder containing about half a dozen songs by Hank Ballard & the Midnighters.
It wasn't a name that initially struck many bells so further exploration was clearly required.Let's face it anyone called Hank is probably worth a listen.

It seems that he was an American R&B singers in the 50s who was one of the first rock'n'roll artists. He wrote and recorded The Twist  but as you all know it was Chubby Checker who became an international superstar on the back of that song.
Undeterred they went onto have a number of hit singles in 1962 including the first two featured below. I must admit I can't remember whether I ws bopping along to them in my pram.

Some good Friday Night music




Thursday, 18 March 2021

Teenage Fanclub Vinyl Reissues - The Singles 2

 

Last week Grand Prix, this week my favourite Teenage Fanclub record 1997's Songs From Northern Britain.

If you can remember as far back as last week you will recall that I bought both of these albums towards the end of last year for the first time wever on vinly as part of the super deluxe edition re-issues which all came with a bonus single.
I'm focussing on the singles.
The single which accompanies the album has a red centre this time round as opposed to the green of Grand Prix

Middle of the Road is the b-side of I Don't Want to Control You and is appearing on vinyl for the first time.
Broken is a b-side from Ain't That Enough and again is making its debut on vinyl. I picked up the CD single version along with Start  Again as part of a pretty impressive haul in Muir of Ord.



Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Olson and Louris

 


I always associate The Jayhawks with Gary Louris, Mark Olson and Marc Perlman.
It is easy to forger that Olson left the band in 1995 with his successor Tim O'Reagan having been a member for longer and having featured on more albums than he did.

Therefore it was good to see Olson back together with Louris in 2008 for a collaboration Ready For The Flood on the New West label
Allmusic gave the album 3 out of 5 with Mark Denning stating that the album was unlikely to disappoint fans of their old band. But while they mine a thoughtful country-folk vein that's not far removed from Jayhawks territory, Olson and Louris take a somewhat softer, more acoustic-based, balladic approach here than they did in the Jayhawks days, lending Ready for the Flood a warm, honeyed glow
Paste  gave it a slightly more generous 8.5 out of 10

Olson joined the band again from 2009 to 2012 during which time the album Mockingbird Time was released in 2011.

Not to be confused  with Marc Olsen as my pal Goggs once did buying his 1999 album Didn't Ever.. Haven't Since


Mark Olson & Gary Louris - Saturday Morning on Sunday Street

Mark Olson & Gary Louris -When The Wind Comes Up

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Ask The Animals

 


Earlier this year Ernie Goggins drew my attention to an album called Do it With Love by Starry Skies on the basis that "they come from your neck of the woods".It is a very pleasant listen

I responded that I had an album Ask The Animals from when they were known as Warren McIntyre & the Starry Skies (Mecca Holding Co,2012) but that I hadn't listened to it for a while. I have now  and very good it is too.

I nearly saw them once at  the Come Rain Come Shine event at Kelvingrove Park but the need for curry and beer won out. To assuage my guilt I purchased a copy of the album.

Warren has met Chuck Berry at a crossroads and has been asked to dance on stage with Nina Simone which sounds a bit like an introduction from Only Connect.

Some further information from is this music? and Murray Easton's excellent Everything Flows blog for you. The entire digital discography is available at Bandcamp for a very reasonable price.

I'll leave you with  the words of Alan McGee - best live singer I've ever heard

Warren McIntyre & the Starry Skies - Let Love Come Back to You

Warren McIntyre & the Starry Skies - Time Alone

Monday, 15 March 2021

Where The Killers Run

 


I have a copy of this album from a friend and last week I listened to it for the first time in years. I couldn't find much in the way of information about them probably because I thought the band name was Via Rosa as opposed to Viarosa Searching using their proper name didn't yield that  much more information

Discogs reveals that Where the Killers Run was their first album from 2005 on the Pronia label followed up in 2008 by Send for the Sea. There was a CD EP in 2005 called Porous and a 2009 single Tourniquet and that appears to be that.

Their Bandcamp page is slightly more expansive describing them as a country wired Echo and the Bunnymen and quotes Uncut who describe them as outstanding, like the Birthday Party doing Johnny Cash. I can certainly see the Nick Cave comparison. Comparisons are also made on Amazon to Americana band 16 Horsepower.

They were from Oxford with the main man being Richard Neuburg and I'm afraid that's your lot.

Viarosa - Blindfold

Viarosa -Where The Killers Run

Sunday, 14 March 2021

Val's Vinyl

 


Val is back on safer ground this week after her short dalliance with the Christian Pop of Amy Grant.

We are back on the Soul train this week albeit late 80's soul which was not it's greatest era. The artist featuring is one Benjamin Earl Nelson better known to me and you as Ben E King. Yes indeed the man who sang Spanish Harlem and Stand by Me. Nothing of that quality here today unfortunately.

From 1978 Let Me in Your Life is his 11th solo studio album and the 4th on the Atlantic label.I can't find very much about it on the internet other than Allmusic gives it 3 out of 5 albeit with no review..

I've gone for two of the three songs written and produced by Lamont Dozier originally for the Motown group The Originals which are as you might expect the best tracks on the album.Background vocals courtesy of The Jones Girls

The voice is still there and certainly not the worst soul record in Val's collection

Ben E King - Let Me Live in Your Life

Ben E King - Sweet Rhapsody


Saturday, 13 March 2021

The Sound of the City


 I'm following up on the last two Saturdays which featured the brillaint compilation The Sound of the Suburbs with the not so brilliant  The Sound of the City.

Whereas every song on the Suburbs was a stick on classic some of these sadly do not fall into that category. Same format as last time I will only be featuring songs which haven't appeared here before.

By my reckoning that is 9 out of the 17 tracks with 3 acts taking their CCM bow. So that should fit fairly neatly into  posts  for the the next three Saturday. I shall feature them in the order that they appear on the record.

The opening song is She's So Modern by the Boomtown Rats from the period before Bob Geldof got completely up himself although the early signs were there. My favourite of theirs from this period was Mary of the 4th Form which remains one of the missing singles.

Sheena is a Punk rocker is the first song I ever heard by the Ramones and the one that first brought them to the attention of a UK audience. Fortunately they went onto much better things.

The Ruts are making their CCM debut this week with Staring at the Rude Boys. I remember seeing them at Strathclyde Uni where they were supported by The Flys. I can't say that I really remember this song. Babylon's Burning would have been a much stronger option.

Another three next week. Haud me back, I hear you cry

Boomtown Rats - She's So Modern

Ramones - Sheena is a Punk Rocker

The Ruts -Staring at the Rude Boys


Friday, 12 March 2021

Teenage Fanclub Vinyl Reissues - The Singles

 

At Christmas I thought that I would upgrade my two favourite Teeanage Fanclub albums from CD to vinyl. This decision was helped in no small part as there was a sale on for the Super Deluxe reissues which originally came out in August 2018. As a bonus each album in the series came with a single. There were 5 albums availablre but I could only stretch to two.

Grand Prix is probably my second favourite album by the band and songs from it and previous CD singles have featured here before. Today it is the turn of the single which came with the album.

Every Step is a Way Through is a B side from the  CD single  Neil Jung and this is its first appearance on vinyl.

Some People Try to Fuck With You is a B side from the CD single  Mellow Doubt which I picked up in a charity shop in September last year when such things were an option.

Stay tuned for part two

Teenage Fanclub - Every Step is a Way Through

Teenage Fanclub - Some People Try To Fuck With You




Thursday, 11 March 2021

World Service

 


When I featured One Eyed Jacks by Spear of Destiny as far back as November 2015 I commented that I had another album of theirs called World Service which I said I must get round to listening to sometime.

Well it has finally happened. I gave it a listen to earlier this week. The things you do when you have a week off work in lockdown and there is nothing open.

As I commented previously it came as a bit of a surprise to stumble across this as I had no recollection of it. There is a scored out Eastwood Distict Libraries sticker which may mean that if I didn't buy it it came via Mrs CC or her sister.

From 1985 and on the Epic label it is the bands third album and the follow up to One Eyed Jacks and reached the UK top 30. Here is a little bit more info from Louder than War on the occasion of the release of the 35th anniversary re-issue.

I can't say it doeas much for me and as the review says it is bogged down on mid-80S production. There is certainly nothing on it of the class of Rainmaker or the mighty Liberator.

It might take another lockdown for me to dust this one down again.

Spear of Destiny -World Service

Spear of Destiny - All My Love (Ask Nothing)

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

A Lost Single Rediscovered

 


Recently I have found myself thinking about some singles which have gone missiong over the years.

One such single was The Morning of Our Lives by Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers. It its absence I dusted down my Modern Lovers Live album to record the version there and threw in New England for good measure.

Then when I went to put the album back in it's sleeve there seemed to be a blockage stopping it and lo and beyold there was my copy of the single!From1977 and on the Beserkley "Home of the Hits" label.

Result! Therefore I'm giving you the single version which I think is taken from the live album in any event..Unfortunately the b-side, Roadrunner (Thrice), which does not appear on the live album has a slight scratch on it causing  it to jump. Worry not, however, as I have retreived a copy from the hard drive.

Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers - The Morning of Our Lives

Modern Lovers - New England

Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers -Roadrunner (Thrice)

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

This is Radio Clash


 My pal Raymie had a fairly eclectic record collection.

One reason maybe tha his family were friendly with a Radio Clyde DJ Frank Skerret whose musical tastes were such that he thought The Carpenters were punk rock.

This connection led to a few promos and records coming Raymie's way and on occasions there were doublers. One such doubler was the 12 inch version of This is Radio Clash which I was happy to take off his hands.

Side 1 containes This is Radio Clash and Radio Clash a remix with additional lyrics. It was the intention of the band that they be heard as a single entity and who am I to argue?

The Clash - This is Radio Clash/Radio Clash

Monday, 8 March 2021

Crowsdell

 


In the comments from my recent Waxahatchee post George queried whether I thought that there were similarities with Crowsdell. Regular Friday night commenter Spence  felt that there may be a similarity. I didn't feel that I could comment as I hadn't  listened to the only thing I have by them the 1995 album Dreamette on the Big Cat label in the longest time.

Crowsdell were a threesome from Jacksonville, Florida who consisted of Shannon Wright (guitar and vocals), Paul Howell (base) and Laurie Anne Wall(drums). They released a couple of albums, an EP and a handful of singles before Shannon went on to pursue a solo career.

I've now given Dreamette a listen and to be honest I'm not really hearing the comparison. They remind me more of the likes of Hole and Pavement (maybe the later is not surprising given the album is co-produced by Stephen Malkmus). I'm thinking that they are slightly more grungey than Americana and that a shelf transfer is perhaps required

Crowsdell - Down

Crowsdell - Sugar Coated

Sunday, 7 March 2021

Val's Vinyl

 


I'm not adverse to featuring a bit of Gospel on occasion on a Sunday but I think that this may be this first (and last) time that Christian Pop has graced (see what I did there?) these pages.

And who better that the Queen of Christian Pop herself Amy Grant with her 1982 album Age to Age on the Myrrh label.(£1.50 Fishers of Men Christian Charity).

Presumably Val was seeking some redemption after her Janet Jackson Nasty period.

The album that ushered her into stardomand also contrbuted to the creation of the mold for the modert Contemporsry Christian music star. Not only that, voted number 92 in the 2001 book CCM Presents:The 100 Greatest Albums in Christian Music (a must read).

It seems that Amy slightly dented her Christian credentials by divorcing and then marrying Vince Gill. I'm not sure which caused the most offence.

Pretty sure I've had a kebab from the El Shaddai

Amy Grant - Share Your Praise to the Lord

Amy Grant - El Shaddai



Saturday, 6 March 2021

More Sounds of the Suburbs

 


Those of you who can remember as far as back as last Saturday will have been rewarded with 4 of the 7 tracks from the great The Sounds of the Suburbs compilation which had previously not featured on these pages.

Time then to complete the jigsaw with the final three and I'm sure you'll  agree they are well worth waiting for.

Elvis Costello is no stranger to these pages but one of his most famous songs 1979's Oliver's Army has not made an appearance. When he plays in Glasgow with the boys of the Mersey and the Thames and the Tine sees the Tine being replaced by the Clyde. Does this happen elsewhere?

Ian Dury hasn't featured here nearly often enough so it is good to hear the bouncy Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick today.Je t'adore, ich liebe dich,

Now for a band making their debut her The Vapors. Their classic song Turning Japanese  howver has appeared here before with a cover from Liz Phair. I'll leave you all to decide whether the song title is an urban myth or not

I've got the follow up The Sound of the City on vinyl and whereas it is perhaps not quite the same gold plated standard as this one I may look to continue this series.


Elvis Costello & the Attractions - Oliver's Army

Ian Dury & the Blockheads - Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick

The Vapors -Turning Japanese