portrait of this blog's author - by Stephen Blackman 2008

Saturday, September 30, 2017

I'm in a Kate Rusby mood . . . . . 

Life on A Paper Boat

Hunter Moon

and finish with a favourite . . . . . . 

Maybe play it later if your little ones won't go to sleep . . . . . . . 

Kate Rusby website
Don't think I bought this when it came out but the album later and this single stuck in my head for the extraordinary brilliant video. I had begun to believe this was the artwork of the future 
Always admired Peter G and 'Us' and 'So' must be up there in the pantheon . . . .  great artist and musical ambassador via his work to spread the word about World Musics through his founding WOMAD etc

On this day in music history: September 29, 1992 - “Us”, the sixth album by Peter Gabriel is released (UK release is on September 28, 1992). Produced by Daniel Lanois and Peter Gabriel, it is recorded at Real World Studios in Box, Wiltshire, UK from October 1989 - June 1992. Issued as the long awaited follow up to his breakthrough album “So”, the songs explore the numerous issues in Gabriel’s personal life, including the break up of his first marriage, his relationship with actress Rosanna Arquette, and growing distance in his relationship with oldest daughter Anna-Marie. It spins off three singles including “Digging In The Dirt” (#24 UK, #52 US Pop), “Kiss That Frog” (#46 UK) and “Steam” (#10 UK, #32 Pop). The music videos for “Digging In The Dirt” and “Steam” win Gabriel Grammy Awards for Best Shortform Video in 1993 and 1994. The musician also supports the album with the “Secret World Live” Tour which is documented with a concert video (also winning a Grammy Award for Best Longform Music Video in 1996) and album released in 1994. The album is remastered and reissued on CD and as a double vinyl LP in 2002, and again on CD in 2010 when Gabriel reacquires the rights to his master tapes from Virgin and Geffen Records. A limited edition, numbered double vinyl LP pressing, mastered at 45 RPM is released in 2016, with a standard half speeded mastered 33 1/3 double vinyl set following in 2017. “Us” debuts in its peak position of number two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

Friday, September 29, 2017



largely just because it's Friday but also well I bought everything when it came out and the 12" singles in particular but the first album too just because. . . . 
 I loved this band (do try to remember they're a band!not just the figure head of the wonderful Debbie)
They do fascinate and they're still playing at the top of their game IMHO as shown in the BBC One Show link I posted before but here's some prime Blondie from the OGWT in 1979 Enjoy and have a great weekend 

Blondie link from 19th May

Thursday, September 28, 2017

On this day in music history: September 27, 1994 - “Monster”, the ninth album by R.E.M. is released. Produced by Scott Litt and R.E.M., it is recorded at Kingsway Studios in New Orleans, LA, Crossover Soundstage in Atlanta, GA, Criteria Studios in Miami, FL, Ocean Way Recording in Los Angeles, CA from April - May 1994. Marking a dramatic shift away from the quieter tone of the bands two previous albums, “Monster” features more loud, aggressive guitar driven material. The band experiences numerous set backs during the recording sessions, with drummer Bill Berry and bassist Mike Mills becoming ill on different occasions, bringing a halt to recording. Once recording starts again in Miami, sessions are stopped once again when lead singer Michael Stipe has to have emergency dental surgery. These events put the band way behind schedule in completing the album, leading to tensions that nearly cause R.E.M. to break up. The first single “What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?”, whose title is inspired by an incident in which CBS news anchor Dan Rather is victim of an unprovoked attack by two mentally disturbed men shouting the phrase at him. “Monster” spends two weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

Well because I bought it when it came out and really enjoyed the more heavy rock and guitar driven sound and every time they step up a gear it grabs my attention, check the affect of 'Living Well is The Best Revenge' on Accelerate - fine album as is 'Monster'

Turn it up would be my best advice

thanks to the most excellent Jeff Harris' blog 'Behind The Grooves  On this day in Music History

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Angela Davis on 'Violence'

"Oh, is THAT what you're asking me . . . . . . . . ?"

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On this day in music history: September 26, 1995 - “Outside”, the nineteenth album by David Bowie is released. Produced by David Bowie, Brian Eno and David Richards, it is recorded at Mountain Studios in Montreux, Switzerland from Late 1994 - Early 1995.  David Bowie reconnects with his former collaborator Brian Eno when Bowie marries Somalian supermodel Iman in 1992. At the wedding, Bowie and Eno talk about working together again (for the first time since “Lodger” in 1979), but at first is unsure what musical direction they will take. Unlike their previous projects, they enter the studio without any material prepared ahead of time.  What they come up with is a concept album based on a short story by Bowie entitled “The Diary of Nathan Adler” which revolves around a dystopian world on the eve of the twenty first century.Bowie and Eno write many of the albums songs along with Tin Machine guitarist Reeves Gabrels.  It spins off three singles including “Hallo Spaceboy” and “The Hearts Filthy Lesson” (#92 Pop), the latter of which is heard over the end credits of David Fincher’s film “Se7en”. “Outside” peaks at number twenty one on the Billboard Top 200.

Again I have said that it is (was) Brian Eno who introduced me to the work of David Bowie after all that glam rock stuff .I thinkI started with Low and yet this album passed me by and the work with Trent Reznor and N.I.N but I enjoyed them immensely when I discovered them later. 

thanks to the most excellent Jeff Harris' blog 'Behind The Grooves  On this day in Music History


On this day in music history: September 26, 1969 - “Abbey Road”, the eleventh album by The Beatles is released (US release is on October 1, 1969). Produced by George Martin, it is recorded at EMI Abbey Road Studios and Trident Studios in London from February 22 - August 20, 1969. Following the acrimonious recording sessions for “Get Back/Let It Be” earlier in the year, the band decides to put aside their personal differences to record one more album free of the conflict that marred those sessions. Though it won’t be exactly like their past working relationship, the sessions are productive and largely problem free. The first half of the album consists of individual songs, while the second half comprises mostly of a nearly side long medley running nearly sixteen and a half minutes with most of the songs written by Paul (“You Never Give Me Your Money”, “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window”, “Golden Slumbers”, and “Carry That Weight”, with “Mean Mr. Mustard” and “Polythene Pam” being written by John). The end result of the sessions is one of the strongest albums of the bands career, though it actually receives mixed reviews from critics who also complain when it is released with a then record high list price of $6.98. The albums iconic cover photo is taken in the zebra crossing in front of the famed recording studio. It spins off the double A-sided single “Come Together/Something” (#1 Pop). “Abbey Road” spends eleven weeks at number one (non-consecutive) on the Billboard Top 200. It is the first of The Beatles albums to pass the ten million mark in sales worldwide in 1980, becoming their largest selling studio album. It is the first Beatles album to be issued on CD, when it is released by EMI/Odeon in Japan in 1983 as part of the “Black Triangle” disc series. However, it remains in the marketplace for only a brief time before it is withdrawn, as it has been released without legal clearance from Apple Corps. “Abbey Road” is officially released on a worldwide basis in 1987, and is remastered and reissued in 2009. The vinyl release of the album, out of print since the mid 90’s is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram LP in 2012.  "Abbey Road" is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1995, and is certified 12x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, receiving a Diamond Certification.

thanks to the most excellent Jeff Harris' blog 'Behind The Grooves  On this day in Music History
Not that I bought this when it came out I just think it is one of the most classic pop singles of all time 

On this day in music history: September 26, 1964 - “Oh, Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks. Written by Roy Orbison and Sam Dees, it is the biggest hit for the legendary singer and songwriter born in Vernon, TX. The song is inspired by Orbison’s wife Claudette. When Roy asks her if she needs any money (to go shopping), Dees says to her “a pretty woman never needs any money”. Deciding that “pretty woman” would make a great song title, the two get right to work, writing the song in an afternoon. Recorded at Monument Studios in Nashville, TN in the Summer of 1964, “Oh, Pretty Woman” is completed in only two takes.  Released in early August of 1964, it is an instant smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #51 on August 29, 1964 it hurdles to the top of the chart four weeks later. Ironically, “Oh, Pretty Woman” is his last major hit for almost twenty five years. In the years following, Orbison suffers major personal tragedies when he loses his wife Claudette in a motorcycle accident in 1966, and two years later loses two of his three sons in a house fire while he’s away on tour. After the devastating losses, he won’t perform publicly for nearly ten years. He experiences a major career resurgence in the 80’s as a member of The Traveling Wilburys with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne. That success restarts his solo career when he records the album “Mystery Girl” with Lynne and Petty co-producing. Sadly, Orbison passes away from a heart attack on December 6, 1988. He scores his tenth and final top 10 hit with “You Got It” (#9 Pop) posthumously in April of 1989. “Oh Pretty Woman” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

I often wondered . . . . . . . . I well recall the Black Power salute by Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the Mexican Olympics in 1968 and admired them for such a stand. I was young enough [15] to register the event with shock and excitement with the frisson that something was happening and did not yet understand the full implications or ramifications but occasionally wondered at the white man who came third and what his story might be . . . . . . . . they discussed what they intended to do with Peter Norman the Australian athlete and he quickly found a fellow Olympian with a Human Rights badge and wore it on the rostrum.

 As a result he was ostracised and became a footnote in sport and he died broke and sick and dishonoured by his countrymen and elsewhere. Tommie and John turned up in Australia to carry his coffin when he passed away in 2006. Of course we focussed on the actions of Smith and Carlos but I wondered about the Bronze medallist. All three men an awesome part of Black Rights, Human Rights, and standing up for what you believe in. I am indebted to Ice T who posted this on Twitter in case we forget our collective history 

 PHOTO: Tommie Smith (left) and John Carlos carry the coffin of Peter Norman in Melbourne in 2006. (AAP: Julian Smith)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Big O is not just a music blog!
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History gets rewritten as Ken Burns and Lynn Novick look at The Vietnam War, a 10-part series where truth is replaced by a glib, post-modernist “We are all searching for some meaning in this terrible tragedy.” By John Pilger.
One of the most hyped “events” of American television, The Vietnam War, has started on the PBS network. The directors are Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Acclaimed for his documentaries on the Civil War, the Great Depression and the history of jazz, Burns says of his Vietnam films, “They will inspire our country to begin to talk and think about the Vietnam war in an entirely new way”.
In a society often bereft of historical memory and in thrall to the propaganda of its “exceptionalism”, Burns’ “entirely new” Vietnam war is presented as “epic, historic work”. Its lavish advertising campaign promotes its biggest backer, Bank of America, which in 1971 was burned down by students in Santa Barbara, California, as a symbol of the hated war in Vietnam.
Burns says he is grateful to “the entire Bank of America family” which “has long supported our country’s veterans”.  Bank of America was a corporate prop to an invasion that killed perhaps as many as four million Vietnamese and ravaged and poisoned a once bountiful land. More than 58,000 American soldiers were killed, and around the same number are estimated to have taken their own lives.
I watched the first episode in New York. It leaves you in no doubt of its intentions right from the start. The narrator says the war “was begun in good faith by decent people out of fateful misunderstandings, American overconfidence and Cold War misunderstandings”.
The dishonesty of this statement is not surprising. The cynical fabrication of “false flags” that led to the invasion of Vietnam is a matter of record - the Gulf of Tonkin “incident” in 1964, which Burns promotes as true, was just one. The lies litter a multitude of official documents, notably the Pentagon Papers, which the great whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg released in 1971.
There was no good faith. The faith was rotten and cancerous. For me - as it must be for many Americans - it is difficult to watch the film’s jumble of “red peril” maps, unexplained interviewees, ineptly cut archive and maudlin American battlefield sequences.
In the series’ press release in Britain - the BBC will show it - there is no mention of Vietnamese dead, only Americans. “We are all searching for some meaning in this terrible tragedy,” Novick is quoted as saying.  How very post-modern.
All this will be familiar to those who have observed how the American media and popular culture behemoth has revised and served up the great crime of the second half of the twentieth century: from The Green Berets and The Deer Hunter to Rambo and, in so doing, has legitimised subsequent wars of aggression. The revisionism never stops and the blood never dries. The invader is pitied and purged of guilt, while “searching for some meaning in this terrible tragedy”. Cue Bob Dylan: “Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?”
I thought about the “decency” and “good faith” when recalling my own first experiences as a young reporter in Vietnam: watching hypnotically as the skin fell off Napalmed peasant children like old parchment, and the ladders of bombs that left trees petrified and festooned with human flesh. General William Westmoreland, the American commander, referred to people as “termites”.
In the early 1970s, I went to Quang Ngai province, where in the village of My Lai, between 347 and 500 men, women and infants were murdered by American troops (Burns prefers “killings”). At the time, this was presented as an aberration: an “American tragedy” (Newsweek )  In this one province, it was estimated that 50,000 people had been slaughtered during the era of American “free fire zones”. Mass homicide. This was not news.
To the north, in Quang Tri province, more bombs were dropped than in all of Germany during the Second World War. Since 1975, unexploded ordnance has caused more than 40,000 deaths in mostly “South Vietnam”, the country America claimed to “save” and, with France, conceived as a singularly imperial ruse.
The “meaning” of the Vietnam war is no different from the meaning of the genocidal campaign against the Native Americans, the colonial massacres in the Philippines, the atomic bombings of Japan, the levelling of every city in North Korea. The aim was described by Colonel Edward Lansdale, the famous CIA man on whom Graham Greene based his central character in The Quiet American.
Quoting Robert Taber’s The War of the Flea, Lansdale said, “There is only one means of defeating an insurgent people who will not surrender, and that is extermination. There is only one way to control a territory that harbours resistance, and that is to turn it into a desert.”
Nothing has changed. When Donald Trump addressed the United Nations on 19 September - a body established to spare humanity the “scourge of war” - he declared he was “ready, willing and able” to “totally destroy” North Korea and its 25 million people. His audience gasped, but Trump’s language was not unusual.
His rival for the presidency, Hillary Clinton, had boasted she was prepared to “totally obliterate” Iran, a nation of more than 80 million people. This is the American Way; only the euphemisms are missing now.
Returning to the US, I am struck by the silence and the absence of an opposition - on the streets, in journalism and the arts, as if dissent once tolerated in the “mainstream” has regressed to a dissidence: a metaphoric underground.
There is plenty of sound and fury at Trump the odious one, the “fascist”, but almost none at Trump the symptom and caricature of an enduring system of conquest and extremism.
Where are the ghosts of the great anti-war demonstrations that took over Washington in the 1970s? Where is the equivalent of the Freeze Movement that filled the streets of Manhattan in the 1980s, demanding that President Reagan withdraw battlefield nuclear weapons from Europe?
The sheer energy and moral persistence of these great movements largely succeeded; by 1987 Reagan had negotiated with Mikhail Gorbachev an Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) that effectively ended the Cold War.
Today, according to secret Nato documents obtained by the German newspaper, Suddeutsche Zetung, this vital treaty is likely to be abandoned as “nuclear targeting planning is increased”. The German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has warned against “repeating the worst mistakes of the Cold War… All the good treaties on disarmament and arms control from Gorbachev and Reagan are in acute peril. Europe is threatened again with becoming a military training ground for nuclear weapons. We must raise our voice against this.”
But not in America. The thousands who turned out for Senator Bernie Sanders’ “revolution” in last year’s presidential campaign are collectively mute on these dangers. That most of America’s violence across the world has been perpetrated not by Republicans, or mutants like Trump, but by liberal Democrats, remains a taboo.
Barack Obama provided the apotheosis, with seven simultaneous wars, a presidential record, including the destruction of Libya as a modern state. Obama’s overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government has had the desired effect: the massing of American-led Nato forces on Russia’s western borderland through which the Nazis invaded in 1941.
Obama’s “pivot to Asia” in 2011 signalled the transfer of the majority of America’s naval and air forces to Asia and the Pacific for no purpose other than to confront and provoke China. The Nobel Peace Laureate’s worldwide campaign of assassinations is arguably the most extensive campaign of terrorism since 9/11.
What is known in the US as “the left” has effectively allied with the darkest recesses of institutional power, notably the Pentagon and the CIA, to see off a peace deal between Trump and Vladimir Putin and to reinstate Russia as an enemy, on the basis of no evidence of its alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The true scandal is the insidious assumption of power by sinister war-making vested interests for which no American voted. The rapid ascendancy of the Pentagon and the surveillance agencies under Obama represented an historic shift of power in Washington. Daniel Ellsberg rightly called it a coup. The three generals running Trump are its witness.
All of this fails to penetrate those “liberal brains pickled in the formaldehyde of identity politics”, as Luciana Bohne noted memorably. Commodified and market-tested, “diversity” is the new liberal brand, not the class people serve regardless of their gender and skin colour: not the responsibility of all to stop a barbaric war to end all wars.
“How did it fucking come to this?” says Michael Moore in his Broadway show, Terms of My Surrender, a vaudeville for the disaffected set against a backdrop of Trump as Big Brother.
I admired Moore’s film, Roger & Me, about the economic and social devastation of his hometown of Flint, Michigan, and Sicko, his investigation into the corruption of healthcare in America.
The night I saw his show, his happy-clappy audience cheered his reassurance that “we are the majority!” and calls to “impeach Trump, a liar and a fascist!” His message seemed to be that had you held your nose and voted for Hillary Clinton, life would be predictable again.
He may be right. Instead of merely abusing the world, as Trump does, the Great Obliterator might have attacked Iran and lobbed missiles at Putin, whom she likened to Hitler: a particular profanity given the 27 million Russians who died in Hitler’s invasion.
“Listen up,” said Moore, “putting aside what our governments do, Americans are really loved by the world!”
There was a silence.

Note: John Pilger, renowned investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker, is one of only two to have twice won British journalism’s top award; his documentaries have won academy awards in both the UK and the US. Visit johnpilger.com. The above article was posted at CounterPunch.
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Sunday, September 24, 2017


"Here’s to strong women, may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them". - Unknown 

Well as it's Sunday . . . . . . . . .let's head West!

“Speedy West
Speedy West

Aaah Alex Chilton and the albatross around his neck but we loved this track when it came out and made it a hit single here in the UK. We considered it very much a one hit wonder and indeed it was until much later we realised that Alex was anything more than the Boxtops but largely he was to remain well known over here solely for this classic track and this probably sits in my top 30 singles of all time quite comfortably. That voice!

On this day in music history: September 23, 1967 - “The Letter” by The Box Tops hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 4 weeks. Written by Wayne Carson Thompson, it is the debut single and biggest hit for the Memphis, TN quintet fronted by lead singer Alex Chilton. Songwriter Wayne Carson Thompson (“Always On My Mind”) is inspired to write “The Letter” when his father comes up with the lyric “give me a ticket for an aeroplane”. Thompson quickly write the rest of the lyrics and melody around that line. Once the song is complete, Thompson takes it to his friend, producer Chips Moman who also own American Recording Studios in Memphis, TN. Moman in turn tells his songwriting partner Dan Penn about the song. Penn is working with a young rock band featuring a sixteen year old lead vocalist named Alex Chilton. Penn hears the song and decide that it is perfect for his young charges first release. Recorded in the Spring of 1967, the band (with songwriter Thompson also playing guitar on the session) cut the track in about eight hours, recording thirty takes to come up with the final master. For the final touch, producer Dan Penn overdubs the sound of an airplane flying over toward the end of the song. When Moman objects to the addition, Penn threatens to cut up the tape with a razor blade rather than remove the sound effect. Moman allows it to remain on the finished record. At the time the band records the single, they do not have a name. One of the members jokingly suggests that people “send in 50 cents and a box top” with their possible group name. From that, the band are dubbed “The Box Tops”. Released in July of 1967 on Bell Records Mala imprint, “The Letter” quickly becomes a huge hit. Entering the Hot 100 at #85 on August 12, 1967, it leaps to the top of the chart six weeks later. The song is covered by a number of artists including The Arbors, The Ventures and Don Fardon. Joe Cocker has the second most successful recording of the song when his version hits #7 on the Hot 100 in June of 1970. “The Letter” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

thanks to the most excellent Jeff Harris' blog 'Behind The Grooves  On this day in Music History

THE DOORS - Strange Days

A seemingly never ending list of sounds bought when they came out and this album still evokes very particular feelings and emotions, quite unique in the rock pantheon it is psychedelia at it's truest expression. Certainly we felt strange . . . . . .up there in my top ten and no mistake 

On this day in music history: September 23, 1967 - “People Are Strange” by The Doors is released. Written by The Doors, it is the third single release for the rock band from Los Angeles, CA. Written in early 1967, the initial idea for “People Are Strange” comes while Jim Morrison and Robby Kreiger are hiking to the top of Laurel Canyon. Feeling depressed at the time, Morrison’s lyrics reflect his feelings of alienation, outsider status, and vulnerability. Though the song is penned by Morrison and Krieger alone, the entire band receives writing credit. The musicial portion of the song is also inspired and influenced by The Doors’ fascination with European cabaret music (explored on tracks such as “The Crystal Ship” and their cover of Berthold Brecht and Kurt Weill’s “Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)” on their debut album). The song is issued as the first single from the bands second album “Strange Days”, two days before the LP. “People Are Strange” peaks at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 on October 28, 1967. “Strange” is covered a number of times over the years, most notably by Echo & The Bunnymen, whose version appears in the film “The Lost Boys” in 1987.

some time later . . . . . . .well a couple of days in fact . . . 
the album is released

On this day in music history: September 25, 1967 - “Strange Days”, the second album by The Doors is released. Produced by Paul A. Rothchild, it is recorded at Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood, CA from May - August 1967. With their debut album finally taking off with the release of “Light My Fire” the same month, The Doors begin recording the follow up.This time, the band have more advanced technology at the their disposal, recording on an eight track multi-track tape machine. They also have one of the first Moog synthesizers built to experiment with. Having previously covered Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s “Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)”, many of the songs on “Strange Days” have a darker and moodier feel like that German cabaret song. That feel is most apparent in the first single “People Are Strange” (#12 Pop), though many of the songs were written at the same time as their debut and represents what they have in reserve. Those songs include “Moonlight Drive”, based on a poem written by Jim Morrison and “My Eyes Have Seen You”. The cover photos are taken by photographer Joel Brodsky, though do not feature The Doors themselves. Instead it uses a group of street performers including a strong man, a musician, a juggler, acrobats and twin dwarfs (seen individually on the front and back), in an alley way. With these type of performers hard to come by even in New York, a cab driver is commandeered and paid $5 to participate in the photo shoot, with Brodsky’s assistant standing in as the juggler. The Doors themselves are represented on the cover in the form of a poster on the alley wall with the album title posted underneath it. In spite of this, Elektra Records affixes a sticker to the shrink wrap to make it more easily identifiable as a Doors album. Released only nine and a half months after their debut, “Strange Days” starts off strong but quickly loses momentum and sells considerably less. It spins off two singles including “Love Me Two Times” (#25 Pop), with the closing track “When The Music’s Over” also becoming an airplay favorite. Issued with both dedicated mono and stereo mixes, part of the original press run of mono LP jackets are printed in error with the stereo LP prefix “EKS” on the sleeve spine instead of “EKL” as indicated on the front and back. Originally issued on CD in 1985, it is remastered and reissued in 1999, and is reissued again for its fortieth anniversary in 2007 with new remixes. The album is also reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP by Rhino Records in 2009. “Strange Days” is also issued with 5.1 surround remixes (and the original stereo mixes) as a hybrid SACD by Analogue Productions in 2013. The mono mix of the album, out of print since 1968, is reissued as 180 gram vinyl LP on Record Store Day in April of 2015, individually numbered and limited to 12,500 copies. “Strange Days” peaks at number three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

thanks to the most excellent Jeff Harris' blog 'Behind The Grooves  On this day in Music History

Saturday, September 23, 2017

I haven't posted much jazz recently (well at all ED) and came across this on Big O by coincidence really as one of the trolls on the site has moaned so constantly I thought I would give this one a listen! He had described it as "incoherent chaos" so I was intrigued. It is simply a wonderment! 
As coherent as such a sophisticated dialogue (if you speak the language? ) can get and chaos it ain't
Troll Backfire I guess! 


If uncertain I recommend listening to the first track 'Tropical Jam' and prepare to have your gob well and truly smacked! Duelling pianos are a rarity but this two handed (four surely? ED) dialogue is positively breathtaking if you ask me


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A couple of really good posts at Big O this morning. A Bowie and a fine extraordinary jazz piano set from the Tokyo Jazz Festival last year by Michel Camilo and keyboard wunderkind Hiromi. If there are any fans of either Bowie or Jazz piano at it's best these are both really worth checking out. I appreciated they are very different so may post them separately here . . . . . . 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Quiet extraordinary cover of a McCartney song . . . . . if you were going to choose one song which would it be? If you're Screaming Jay Hawkins the answer is obviously 'Monkberry Moon Delight' Obvious really! . . . . ?

From the brilliant . . . 

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins :: Monkberry Moon Delight

I recently wrapped up reading Mark Binelli’s 2016 tome Screamin’ Jay Hawkins All-Time Greatest Hits. Part novel, part historical account, the book offered Binelli a chance to explore the enigmatic singer, and the excellent author dug far deeper than his trademark 1956 hit “I Put a Spell on You.” Over his many decades, Hawkins excelled at crafting a myth from his own life, employing theatrical absurdity and over the top humor to achieve transgressive power. He was exceptionally good at spotting macabre brilliance — on 1979’s Screamin’ the Blues, he applied his one of a kind touch to Paul and Linda McCartney’s 1971 jam “Monkberry Moon Delight,” from Ram, one our favorite records of all-time at Aquarium Drunkard HQ. His take — like his persona and outlandish career — was truly original. words / j woodbury 

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins: Monkberry Moon Delight

Thursday, September 21, 2017


This is worth downloading and though we haven't recommended any Bob Dylan lately and the period covered by this with Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers we have sampled elsewhere, this set is a real curio and fascinating artistic document if ever there was one. Not least because it is legendary from the point of view of being almost unlistenable for the audience at the venue. Listen and check out the notes to see what I mean

Big O say:

Minneapolis 1986 [Charlie Miller Soundboard, 2CD]Live at the Hubert H Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN; June 26, 1986. Very good soundboard.

Thanks to Charlie Miller; Rick Pavek; and billydee for sharing the show at Dime.
billydee noted:
Tape flips in Breakdown and In The Garden. Thanks Rick Pavek and, of course, Charlie Miller for all he does!
Regtrademark, Dime:
WOW! This an incredible find. This is the rare case where the tape sounds 100 times better than what the audience heard at the concert! This was the worst sounding show I ever attended. It was the first concert ever put on at the Metrodome, the sound bounced around so much you couldn’t make out anything. I always suspected that I had seen a great performance, but who could tell? There was an audience tape that accurately captured how crappy it sounded in the seats, but now THIS! Thanks!…
I was there and that old tape was what it actually sounded like in the Thunderdome. This new soundboard sounds great, though.
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 Helen Folasade Adu
simply because . . . . . . . as in how could you not post this glorious shot of the breathtaking Sade

One of my favourite soul hits of the time and only bought by yours truly on the This Is Soul compilation album of '68 Dance in your pants! You know you want to!

On this day in music history: September 17, 1966 - “Land Of 1,000 Dances” by Wilson Pickett hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, also peaking at #6 on the Hot 100 on September 10, 1966. Written by Chris Kenner, it is the third chart topping single for the R&B vocal icon from Prattville, AL. After less than a year of working successfully with musicians at Stax Studios in Memphis, Wilson Pickett has a major falling out with the studios house band and label co-founder Jim Stewart. As a result, Stewart tells Atlantic Records executive and producer Jerry Wexler that he is banning all non-Stax recording artists from working at the labels Memphis studio. Wexler instead sends Pickett to work with producer Rick Hall at his FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. While deciding on material to record, one of the songs chosen is “Land Of 1,000 Dances”. Written and originally recorded by New Orleans born singer Chris Kenner (“I Like It Like That”) in 1963 (#77 Pop), the song becomes a party anthem and is covered numerous times including versions by Thee Midniters (#67 Pop) and Cannibal & The Headhunters (#30 Pop), the latter being the most successful version to date. Wilson Pickett records his version of the song on May 11, 1966 with members of the Muscle Shoals rhythm section including Roger Hawkins (drums), Spooner Oldham (keyboards), Junior Lowe (bass), Jimmy Johnson (guitar) along with Memphis based musicians Chips Moman (guitar), and horn players Charlie Chalmers, Andrew Love (tenor sax), Wayne Jackson (trumpet) and Floyd Newman (baritone sax). As soon as recording is completed, all agree that they have a hit on their hands. Released in late July of 1966, Pickett’s high octane version of “Land Of 1,000 Dances” quickly rises up the R&B and pop singles charts simultaneously, becoming one of Wilson Pickett’s signature songs, and a highlight of his frenetic live performances.

thanks to the most excellent Jeff Harris' blog 'Behind The Grooves  On this day in Music History

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


On this day in music history: September 19, 1967 - “Itchycoo Park” by the Small Faces is released. Written and produced by Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane, it is the eighth single release and biggest hit for the rock band from London, UK. Guitarist Steve Marriott and bassist Ronnie Lane meet each other in 1965, when Lane walks into J60 Music Bar in Manor Park where Marriott works. Marriott and Lane quickly become friends, and decide to form a band. They recruit Kenney Jones (drums) and Jimmy Winston (keyboards), calling themselves the Small Faces. Signing with manager Don Arden (Black Sabbath, ELO), he assists in getting them signed to Decca Records. The Faces quickly land a hit with “Whatcha Gonna Do About It” (#14 UK), hitting the Top 20. With that success also come problems, with Marriott and Winston fighting over control of the band. Winston is fired and replaced by Ian McLagen. In 1967, the Small Faces part ways with Don Arden and Decca when they have reaped little financial reward. Soon after, they meet former Rolling Stones manager and producer Andrew Loog Oldham who is starting his own label Immediate Records.Oldham signs the band and puts them in the studio. Experimenting with psychedelic drugs like LSD and amphetamines, it begins to influence their work. The Faces first Immediate single “Here Comes The Nice” (#12 UK) becomes a hit, and surprisingly avoids being banned by the BBC for its obvious drug references. For the follow up, Marriott and Lane write “Itchycoo Park”. The initial idea comes from Ronnie Lane borrowing from the hymn “God Be In My Head”, and the lyrics “over bridge of sighs” and “dreaming spires” while passing through the town of Oxford in the English countryside. The title “Itchycoo Park” is the nickname for Little Ilford Park in London, where a flower called a Stinging Nettle grows prominently, which can cause a rash when touched. The lyrics about skipping school to get high and the refrain “it’s all too beautiful” come from Marriott. The track is recorded at Olympic Studios on June 24, 1967, with Glyn Johns and George Chkiantz engineering. During the session, Johns suggests that they add flanging (or 'phasing' in the UK) to the song to emphasize its psychedelic theme. The effect is created by synchronizing two copies of the same recording, with one of them slightly out of sync, giving a swirling and swooshing sound which is recorded to a third tape machine. Released in the UK first on August 4, 1967, it becomes a smash, peaking at #3 on the UK singles chart in spite of temporary ban by the BBC. Issued in the US six weeks later, it also hits the charts, peaking at #16 on the Hot 100 on January 27, 1968. The Small Faces original version is re-released in the UK in 1975, hitting the top ten a second time, peaking at #9. Regarded as a psychedelic pop classic, the song makes a lasting impression, also being covered by Rymes with Orange, Tasmin Archer, Blue Murder, Ben Lee and UK dance group M People.

Yes we bought this when it came out and liked to think Ronnie had written the song about Oxford and the parks we wandered through on a daily basis back in the day. We found you could start in University Parks and make your way taking about a day to walk from there to Headington staying almost totally in parks and gardens and crossing only one road. This was our soundtrack . . . . . . . . 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


John Lydon & Nora Forster, married over 30 years.
‘Now there’s a saucy girl,’ he grins. ‘It’s love, you know. I’ve always loved that woman. And she knows it. When we met we didn’t expect to get on. We’d both been told the other was a bad ‘un. But blimey. Sparks flew. It was instant attraction. And that’s never gone. I never expected to feel like that. I never thought I was in any way attractive. Or anyone’s idea of a good date.
‘It’s volatile, the marriage. Which one isn’t? Nothing better than a good, full-on row. Get it all out. Say rude and nasty things. And then be sorry. Genuinely sorry, afterwards. But you know I can’t think of a better woman on God’s earth than Nora. If we ceased to function as a couple tomorrow there would be no one else. Not ever. I mean it.’

I had no idea and why should we know about our musicians partners, wives and girl and boyfriends etc. but this struck me as brilliant as quotes go. He came to Oxford to do a signing after I had left Blackwell's Book Shop but those that went really enjoyed it and said how lovely he was which I wasn't expecting from 'Johnny Rotten' I think I was actually too scared to go but have most recordings or certainly the classic ones, the Sex Pistols album and PIL's Metal Box

Re-post from 2009 . . .from the excellent Voodoo Wagon 

If you don't have this radio broadcast set you really need to try it. Available in FLAC format so the fm quality recording is wonderful

Leonard Cohen
Beacon Theatre, New York, NY 
Feb. 19, 2002

01 Dance Me To The End Of Love
02 The Future 
03 Chelsea Hotel No. 2
04 Tower Of Song
05 Suzanne 
06 The Partisan  
07 Hallelujah
08 A Thousand Kisses Deep  
09 Take This Waltz 
10 So Long, Marianne 
11 First We Take Manhattan
12 Democracy

source: FM broadcast