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

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The first time I went to New York for work I was at a loose end and made several walks into and around Central Park as some were like pilgrimages I needed to make. To go to the Guggenheim Museum as it featured in the work of Richard Hamilton (the subject of my collegiate thesis) but first to go and stand at the Dakota Building to pay my respects to where John Lennon lived, worked and was taken from us and I walked across the road from the park and stood in the doorway as near to the entrance gates as I could. 
I couldn't stay for long as it was too intense suddenly being impacted by how much this was exactly where he died was so heavy to say the least and surprised as to how much it hit me but I stood for a moment and hung my head thinking about what John meant to me. I had a hanging tooth threatening to come out on the plane over and as I stood by the park and looked back at the building where John was murdered, I ripped the tooth (a big back molar) and the piece of hanging bloody flesh still holding it in place and pulled, casting the bloody vestige of my tooth containing my DNA into the foliage of the trees and shrubs nearest to the Dakota! Somehow a piece of my own DNA cast out into the park land brought me comfort and I walked back to my hotel in silence.

“John And Yoko leaving The Dakota..

I wonder if Yoko was at home?
Because . . . . . . 

On this day in music history: October 30, 1995 - “Different Class”, the fifth album by Pulp is released (US release is on February 27, 1996). Produced by Chris Thomas, it is recorded at Townhouse Studios in London from Late 1994 - Mid 1995. Having endured numerous ups and downs and several line up changes since forming in their native Sheffield, UK in 1978, the Britpop band led by charismatic front man Jarvis Cocker hits their stride by the early 90’s. Pulp makes their through in the UK charts with the album “His ‘n’ Hers” in 1994 after signing with Island Records. Radio play on Modern Rock stations in the US also earn them a cult following in the US. For the follow up, the band work with veteran producer Chris Thomas, best known for his work with The Pretenders, The Sex Pistols, INXS and Elton John. The albums’ title is inspired while Cocker is hanging out one night in a London night club, making a dual commentary on Britain’s social class system and categorizing Pulp’s music as being “in a class of its own”. The albums’ release is proceeded by the first single “Common People” (#2 UK), which is an instant smash in their home country and across Europe, priming audiences for the full album which is enthusiastically received and enters the UK album chart at #1, selling over 1.2 million copies in Britain alone. The albums’ cover photo features life sized cut outs of the individual band members posed with an actual wedding party. The initial release of the album in the UK features six double sided interchangeable inserts, allowing fans to “choose your own cover”. Standard releases feature the wedding photo as front of the CD booklet. Regarded as one of the quintessential albums’ of the Britpop movement, it is Pulp’s most successful album on a worldwide basis. The Japanese and German releases of “Different Class” feature a limited bonus disc with ten additional bonus tracks, including non-album B-sides, single mixes and two tracks from their 1994 “Sisters” EP release. When the album is remastered and reissued in 2006, it includes a second disc with eleven additional bonus tracks. “Different Class” spends two weeks at number one on the UK album chart and is certified 4x Platinum, peaking at number thirty four on the Billboard Heatseekers chart in the US.

thanks to the most excellent Jeff Harris' blog 'Behind The Grooves

curiously I left the purchase of Pulp albums with 'His/Hers' which I still consider the peak of Jarvis' song writing  and didn't get this one again finding it somewhat commercial and preferred the earlier previous albums . I did buy it later if only to complete my collection but 'Hard Core' too I didn't get until much much later . . . .

On this day in music history: October 30, 1971 - “Meddle”, the sixth album by Pink Floyd is released (UK release is on November 5, 1971). Produced by Pink Floyd, it is recorded at AIR Studios, Abbey Road Studios and Morgan Studios in London from January - August 1971. It is the first album to be solely produced by the band. It also marks the beginning of the bands transition away from their more psychedelic influenced material toward more tightly structured songs that carries them into their most commercially successful period. The record is also unique in Pink Floyd’s catalog as it is one of the few not to focus on a central concept or theme. The centerpieces of the album are the opening track “One Of These Days”, and the twenty three minute side long atmospheric piece “Echoes”. The albums’ enigmatic cover art is designed by Storm Thorgerson of Hipgnosis (photographed by Bob Dowling) and is a close up shot of an ear underwater. Featuring a group shot of the band on the inside of the gatefold, it is the last time that any photos of the members of Pink Floyd appear in their album packaging (other than one of the posters included in “The Dark Side Of The Moon” LP) until “A Momentary Lapse Of Reason” in 1987. Though the album receives very little support from their US label Harvest/Capitol Records, it grows in popularity over the years as Pink Floyd’s audience increases, first going Gold two years to the week after its original release, then eventually reaching Double Platinum status in the mid 90’s. The UK release of the LP features no text on the front of the sleeve, and only the catalog number and “Stereo” printed on the back. US copies have the artist name and title printed on the front and the track listing on the back of the gatefold sleeve. Reissued on CD and vinyl numerous times over the years, the classic album is remastered and reissued in September of 2016 as a 180 gram vinyl LP, with the album cover artwork featuring the textured gatefold sleeve (as originally manufactured by Garrod & Lofthouse Limited), found on the original UK Harvest/EMI release. “Meddle” peaks at number three on the UK album chart, number seventy on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA. 

Pretty sure this was the last Pink Floyd album I bought and not even when it came out but shortly after hearing it . . . . . . I have said elsewhere that my brother bought the next album their most commercial and successful album of all possibly 'Dark Side of The Moon nd he did not understand why I found it less than previous albums in terms of appeal to me and whilst I had been a huge fan of bass player Roger Waters, this was where I realised I disliked his song writing intensely find them trite and obviously cliched 

largely just because . . . . . . great voice and classic song

On this day in music history: October 30, 1965 - “Rescue Me” by Fontella Bass hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 4 weeks, also peaking at #4 on the Hot 100 on November 20, 1965. Written by Carl Smith and Raynard Miner, it is the biggest hit for the R&B vocalist from St. Louis, MO. The daughter of famed gospel singer Martha Bass (Clara Ward Singers) and sister of R&B singer David Peaston (“Two Wrongs (Don’t Make It Right)” ), Fontella Bass gets her big break working as a background singer for blues legend Little Milton (“We’re Gonna Make It”), who records for legendary Chicago R&B label Chess Records. Bass auditions for staff producer and songwriter Billy Davis who is blown away by her powerful and soulful voice, who signs her to the label in 1964. Bass has a hit right out of the gate with “Don’t Mess Up A Good Thing” (#5 R&B, #33 Pop), a duet with Bobby McClure in early 1965. The follow up “You’ll Miss Me (When I’m Gone)” (#27 R&B, #91 Pop), doesn’t perform as well, and Davis looks to find more material for Bass to record on her own. Turning to Chess staff songwriters Carl Smith and Raynard Miner, the pair write “Rescue Me” over a weekend in August of 1965, with Bass also contributing lyrics (though she is not credited on the released record). Certain that they have a hit, Davis goes into Chess’ Chicago studio with the pair to cut the instrumental track. “Rescue Me” is cut with the labels’ studio band which includes a then twenty three year old drummer named Maurice White (Earth, Wind & Fire), Charles Stepney (vibes), Louis Satterfield (bass), Leonard Caston (piano), Sonny Thompson (organ), Gerald Sims and Pete Cosey (guitars), and a seventeen year old receptionist and secretary named Minnie Riperton on background vocals. Bass records her lead vocal in just a couple of takes. Released as a single on Chess’ Checker Records subsidiary in September of 1965, “Rescue Me” is an immediate smash, racing up the R&B and pop singles charts simultaneously. Though Fontella Bass does not match the success of her million selling single, “Rescue Me” has enduring popularity and is regarded as one of the greatest R&B records of all time. The song has been covered numerous times over the years, including versions by Linda Ronstadt, Cher, Pat Benatar, Tom Jones, Melissa Manchester and Diana Ross. Bass’ original version is used to hilarious effect in the Whoopi Goldberg film “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” in 1986. Fontella Bass’ original recording of “Rescue Me” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2015.

Born on this day: October 30, 1939 - Former Jefferson Airplane/Starship lead vocalist, songwriter and artist Grace Slick (born Grace Barnett Wing in Highland Park, IL). Happy 78th Birthday, Grace!!!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

XTC - Skylarking

On this day in music history: October 27, 1986 - “Skylarking”, the eighth album by XTC is released. Produced by Todd Rundgren, it is recorded at Utopia Sound Studios in Woodstock, NY and at Cavum Soni (Sound Hole) in San Francisco, CA in Early = Mid 1986. Having recorded their previous album “The Big Express” with David Lord (Peter Gabriel), and the side project EP “25 O'Clock” under the name the Dukes of Stratosphear, XTC come to the US in 1986 to record their next album. The band work with musician Todd Rundgren, best known his own diverse and eclectic work also a solo artist and with the band’s Nazz and Utopia, as well as producing Meat Loaf, Hall & Oates and Grand Funk. Coming to the studio armed only with a clutch of guitars, XTC soon finds out that Rundgren has different musical ideas in mind. Interested in utilizing current technology including synthesizers, sampling keyboards and a drum machine, do not always suit the band’s fancy. The recording sessions are tense, with Andy Partridge and Rundgren often not seeing eye to eye creatively during the recording process. They argue frequently throughout the sessions, over arrangements, instrumentation and even the speed the recordings are tracked at. Eventually, the pre-programmed drums used during the tracking sessions are replace with live drums played by Prairie Prince (of The Tubes). Rundgren eventually quits the project after mixing the entire album three separate times, but none are to XTC’s satisfaction. One set of mixes are chosen, and the deficiencies are corrected during the mastering process. The initial pressing of the LP is released without the song “Dear God”, which is first issued as the non-LP B-side of the UK only single “Grass”. It finds favor with US radio stations who begin playing it. This forces the band’s US label Geffen Records to quickly reissue the album with the song added on (cutting “Mermaid Smiled” from the reissued edition). “Dear God” peaks at #37 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, subsequently becoming one of their best known and most popular songs. In 2010, the album is remastered and reissued on vinyl  with the full track listing, on Andy Partridge’s own Ape House Records label, having regained the rights to XTC’s masters from Virgin and Geffen Records. It also restores the original cover artwork, which had been replaced on the US release. It is also reissued on CD in 2014, correcting the previous CD release which had the stereo channels reversed by mistake. “Skylarking” peaks at number ninety on the UK album chart and number seventy on the Billboard Top 200.

and finally for today . . . well so far . . . . . .there is XTC and this album and single meant a lot to me and I have said elsewhere that they were amongst my very favourite bands (and the loudest!) and 'Dear God' about nailed my burgeoning atheism after so long as a confirmed agnostic (isn't that an oxymoron ED? tautology?) anyway
I know I did 

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

On this day in music history: October 27, 1983 - “Infidels”, the twenty second album by Bob Dylan is released. Produced by Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler, it is recorded at The Power Station in New York City from April - May 1983. The album marks Dylan’s return to secular music after his conversion to Christianity at the end of the 70’s. The material on his three previous records heavily reflected his then newly found spiritual beliefs. With many of the songs focusing on love and loss as well as environmental concerns, it is his best received album in many years both by fans and critics. The album features guest musicians such as former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor and Robbie Shakespeare and Sly Dunbar. It is also Dylan’s first album to be recorded on digital recording equipment. It spins off two singles including “Sweetheart Like You” and “Jokerman”. Originally released on CD simultaneously with the vinyl LP and cassette configurations, it is remastered and reissued in 2003 as a hybrid SACD. The high resolution disc is replaced with the standard redbook CD release in 2004. “Infidels” peaks at number twenty on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA. 

and there is much to say about this album (yes bought when it came out although almost immediately destined for the bargain bin), I LOVE this album and don't see the critics point at all who almost universally slammed it. 'Underneath a Red Sky' it ain't, 'Self Portrait' it ain't heck it ain't even a 'New Morning' it is a work of solid rock IMHO and love almost every track. How many artists can you say that of around the early eighties?!

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

On this day in music history: October 27, 1982 - “1999”, the fifth album by Prince is released. Produced by Prince, it is recorded at Kiowa Trail Home Studio in Chanhassen, MN and Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood, CA from January - August 1982. Even before the tour for his fourth album “Controversy” wraps, Prince’s restless creativity sends him back into the studio in January of 1982. More ambitious than ever, the musician looks to push the boundaries of what he has done previously, but also reach a wider audience without any artistic compromise. Ironically enough, the first song recorded for the new album is the one that will be its closing track (“International Lover”), and its opening track (“1999”) is the last one completed. By the time recording wraps, Prince realizes he has more material than can fit on a single LP. When he suggests to his label Warner Bros. that he wants the album to be a two LP set, they are initially hesitant. A compromise is reached, releasing it as Prince intends, but issuing it with a lower $10.98 list price, rather than normal list price of $13.98 or $14.98 for a two album set. “1999” is the first to be credited to “Prince And The Revolution” (the latter written in reverse on the front cover), is his breakthrough to a wide mainstream audience. It spins off four singles including “Little Red Corvette” (#6 Pop, #15 R&B), “Delirious” (#8 Pop, #18 R&B) and the title track (#1 Dance, #4 R&B, initially peaked at #44, re-charted in 1983 peaked at #12 Pop). Prince supports the project with the now legendary “Triple Threat Tour” featuring The Time and Vanity 6 as the opening acts. “1999” spends over three years on the pop album charts and nearly two years on the R&B chart, including almost three consecutive months in the top ten on the pop chart, and several more in the R&B album top ten. Prince also receives his first Grammy nominations for Best R&B Vocal Performance (“International Lover”) and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male (“1999”) in 1984 (losing to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and “Thriller”). When the album is first released on CD, it omits the track “DMSR” since it would breach the seventy minute time limit placed on a single disc at the time. The track is restored to the album in 1992 when the CD is reissued. “1999” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2008, making it Prince’s first album to receive that acknowledgement. The album is reissued on vinyl in 2011 by Warner Bros’ Rhino Records reissue division, replicating all of the original cover artwork, inner sleeves and the custom “eye” labels used on the original pressings. After Prince’s untimely passing in April of 2016, “1999” re-enters the Billboard Top 200, peaking at number seven, surpassing its original chart peak of number nine on May 28, 1983. “1999” peaks at number four on the Billboard R&B album chart, number seven on the Top 200, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

and despite all the brouhaha since his tragic death from yet more over prescribed legal medication opioids and such, we can still sit back and boogie to this amongst my favourite top three Prince songs, check the lyrics and wonder. The man was a genius! Guitarist and songwriter par excellence!

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

just because, well it IS Saturday!


On this day in music history: October 27, 1956 - “Ain’t Got No Home” by Clarence “Frogman” Henry is released. Written by Clarence Henry, it is the debut single and first hit for the New Orleans, LA born singer and pianist. Issued on Chess Records’ Argo imprint, the song quickly establishes Henry’s music career, and make him a staple of the Bourbon Street strip in his hometown. The rock & roll classic peaks at #3 on the Billboard Rhythm & Blues chart and #20 on the Best Sellers chart in January of 1957. “Ain’t Got No Home” become a pop cultural touchstone, later being featured in several films including “Diner”, “The Lost Boys” and “Casino”, and has been covered by numerous artists over the years including a version by The Band.

See what I mean . . . . . . . .just because it's Saturday here's one that encapsulates the Nawleans Novelty record that they did so well [Rockin' Pneumonia and The Boogie Woogie Flu anyone?] and Clarence was no exception but a R 'n' B artist and then some 

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

Friday, October 27, 2017

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott sing Hap
and perhaps my favourite Pink Floyd album of all . . . . and yes bought when it came out and still have it somewhere . . . . . . down in the vaults past the dungeon and down beyond the ha-ha . . . . in a box somewhere . . . . . . with my collection of bicycle bells

On this day in music history: October 26, 1967 - “The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn”, the debut album by Pink Floyd is released. Produced by Norman Smith, it is recorded at EMI Abbey Road Studios in London from February 21 - May 21, 1967. Formed by Roger Waters (bass) and Nick Mason (drums) and Richard Wright (keyboards, guitar), they are joined by Syd Barrett (vocals, guitar) in mid 1965 after numerous line up and name changes. It is Barrett that comes up with the name Pink Floyd, after blues musicians Pink Anderson and Floyd Council. Originally playing more rhythm & blues influenced music, their sound begins to evolve, largely due to Barrett’s guidance. They become the talk of London’s underground music scene, with record companies courting the band. They’re signed to EMI Records’ Columbia label by former Abbey Road engineer Norman Smith (The Beatles). Recording their first single “Arnold Layne” b/w “Candy And A Currant Bun” (#20 UK) with Smith during January and February, it is issued in March of 1967. Prior to its release, Pink Floyd begin recording their debut album with Syd Barrett as the driving creative force. The song “Interstellar Overdrive”, an early staple of Pink Floyd’s live shows becomes one of the album’s centerpieces along Barrett’s “Astronomy Domine”. The album’s now iconic “kaleidoscopic” cover photo is taken by photographer Vic Singh. Released in the UK first in early August of 1967 (mono mix, followed by the stereo version in September), “Piper” quickly establishes them as leaders of the British psychedelic rock movement. Soon after, Syd Barrett begins to display erratic behavior brought on his deteriorating mental state, and his increasing intake of LSD. Held back in the US until October of 1967 to coincide with Pink Floyd’s first American tour, it is released on Capitol’s Tower Records imprint. The US version contains nine songs instead of eleven, dropping “Astronomy Domine”, “Bike” and “Flaming”, adding the single “See Emily Play”. Shortly after making their US debut at the Winterland Ballroom on November 4, 1967, the tour is aborted when Barrett’s condition worsens. Making a now infamous appearance on singer Pat Boone’s TV show, Syd stares blankly into the camera instead of lip synching to the song “Apples And Oranges” as had been previously rehearsed. The band return home, and guitarist David Gilmour is added to act as a back up for Barrett. It marks the beginning of the end of Syd Barrett’s tenure in the band, leaving in mid 1968. In time, “Piper” is regarded a masterpiece and a definitive psychedelic rock album. Reissued numerous times over the years including a three CD set, it is most recently remastered and reissued on CD in 2011, with a 180 gram vinyl LP (stereo mix) released in 2016. “The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn” peaks at number six on the UK album chart, number one hundred thirty one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

The title comes from a favourite book Chapter VII of Kenneth 'Wind In The Willows'

"The Willow-Wren was twittering his thin little song, hidden himself in the dark selvedge of the river bank. Though it was past ten o'clock at night, the sky still clung to and retained some lingering skirts of light from the departed day; and the sullen heats of the torrid afternoon broke up and rolled away at the dispersing touch of the cool fingers of the short midsummer night. Mole lay stretched on the bank, still panting from the stress of the fierce day that had been cloudless from dawn to late sunset, and waited for his friend to return"

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

Thursday, October 26, 2017

well it is Thursday after all . . . . . . . . . . 

Wanda Jackson - Hard Headed Woman

3,141 plays
Hard Headed Woman

On this day in music history: October 25, 1969 - “Ummagumma”, the fourth album by Pink Floyd is released (US release is on November 10, 1969). Produced by Pink Floyd and Norman Smith, it is recorded at the Mothers Club in Birmingham, UK on April 27, 1969, Manchester College of Commerce in Manchester, UK on May 2, 1969 (live tracks), and Abbey Road Studios in London in June 1969. The nine track double album by the UK progressive rock band consists of four tracks from their then current live set list and five newly recorded tracks in the studio. The albums’ title comes from a Pink Floyd roadie who describes it as a euphemism for “sex”. Though the album is well received by fans and critics, though the band themselves later admit to not being fond of it, feeling it to be to be “excessive” and “a failed experiment”, especially the studio half. The original LP cover art features a photo of the band with a picture hanging on a wall of them in the same pose but with everyone in a different place. The photo is also notable as it shows a copy of the “Gigi” soundtrack album on the floor next to guitarist David Gilmour. The US and Canadian covers is airbrushed white on subsequent re-pressings (over copyright concerns). The cover art is eventually restored when it is reissued on CD. Reissued numerous times over the years, the album is most recently remastered and reissued on CD in 2011. It is also reissued as a double vinyl 180 gram LP set in 2016, replicating the original UK album packaging. “Ummagumma” peaks at number five on the UK album chart, number seventy four on the Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

The third of the five Floyd Albums I bought upon release and a favourite on the turntable back then but sounds rather hackneyed and trite and full of cliche now. I left them at 'Meddle' and didn't buy 'Dark Side . . .' for reasons we have discussed elsewhere. 
'Careful with that Axe Eugene' remains a favourite despite it's dated appeals now and rumour has it we were at 'Mothers' in Birmingham when it was recorded but I have no memory of this (sic!) I am almost certain we saw them at Alley Palley back in the day but would need to check the detail . . . . . it's a long story!


Rest in Peace - Antoine 'Fats' Domino 1928 - 2017

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Fats Domino’s children have released a statement after the rock and roll pioneer passed away on October 24, 2017 from natural causes at the age of 89, honoring the rock icon and thanking fans for the “outpouring of love and tribute.” The statement explains Domino “passed away peacefully at home surrounded by those he loved and those who loved him.” “His music reached across all boundaries and carried him to all corners of the world,” it continues, before quoting lyrics from his 1960 song “Rising Sun.” Funeral arrangements are pending. Many celebrities have honored the rock legend, including LL Cool J, Harry Connick Jr., Adam Weiner of Low Cut Connie, Samuel L. Jackson, Questlove of The Roots and more.  - Billboard

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and Big O have re-posted this classic live collection

Disc 1 (Early Show)
Track 101. Intro 1:19 (2.2MB)
Track 102. I’m Walkin’ 3:26 (5.8MB)
Track 103. Hello Josephine 2:10 (3.6MB)
Track 104. Staggerlee 4:23 (7.4MB)
Track 105. Let The Four Winds Blow 3:22 (5.7MB)
Track 106. Instrumental 2:32 (4.2MB)
Track 107. Shu Rah 4:51 (8.2MB)
Track 108. I’m In Love Again 2:27 (4.1MB)
Track 109. I’m Gonna Be A Wheel Someday 1:08 (1.9MB)
Track 110. Blue Monday 2:28 (4.1MB)
Track 111. I’m Ready 1:18 (2.2MB)
Track 112. Going Home 2:22 (4.0MB)
Track 113. Blueberry Hill 2:30 (4.2MB)
Track 114. Saints Come Marchin In 6:52 (11.5MB)
Track 115. Outro 0:31 (878k)
42 mins
Disc 2 (Late Show)
Track 201. I’m Walkin’ 2:35 (4.3MB)
Track 202. Blue Monday 2:20 (3.9MB)
Track 203. I’m Gonna Be A Wheel Someday 2:07 (3.6MB)
Track 204. I Want To Walk You Home 2:27 (4.1MB)
Track 205. Let The Four Winds Blow 3:35 (6.0MB)
Track 206. I’m In Love Again 3:25 (5.7MB)
Track 207. Jambalaya 3:18 (5.5MB)
Track 208. Walkin’ to New Orleans 2:25 (4.1MB)
Track 209. Shake, Rattle and Roll 2:14 (3.8MB)
Track 210. Blueberry Hill 4:05 (6.9MB)
Track 211. Mardi Gras In New Orleans 2:51 (4.8MB)
Track 212. Ain’t That A Shame 0:48 (1.3MB)
Track 213. So Long/CC Rider 5:22 (9.0MB)
Track 214. Saints Come Marchin In 5:16 (8.9MB)

43 mins

Now it is worth my saying that Fats was never right up there in my favourites from New Orleans and though I appreciated him and this set from Big O is well worth collecting and listening to, there is something for me that means he isn't up there with Fess, Archibald and Tuts Washington, the Neville Bros, Huey Smith and the good Dr John and all those more hard core 'Nawleans' artists somehow. Maybe it is originality and Fess for example was a true artist writing all his own material for the most part but where does that leave someone like Dr John who can excel at both? I don't know and as this is the time of Fats' passing away at the ripe old age of 89 perhaps disrespectful or just the wrong time to reflect on this but he was a great great piano player and singer, he popularised the Nawleans sound and his cross over to white audiences is a tribute to all the hard work and his place history of Rock 'n' Roll is assured. He appears to have been a self effacing humble guy who didn't quite understand his fame and expressed surprise it had gone on quite so long ' It's only Rhythm and Blues' but he lived all his life in his home town and was staunchly loyal to New Orleans playing as recently as 2007 to support the victims of Hurricane Katrina - tralla hoola malla walla tee nee nah

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

and so how about this  . . . . . . ?
 . . . . . just because, well Madeleine Peyroux covers Leonard Cohen

Madeleine Payroux - Dance Me To The End of Love

1,371 plays
Although structured as a love song, "Dance Me to the End Of Love" was in fact inspired by the Holocaust. In an interview, Cohen said of the song: 
 “ 'it's curious how songs begin because the origin of the song, every song, has a kind of grain or seed that somebody hands you or the world hands you and that's why the process is so mysterious about writing a song. But that came from just hearing or reading or knowing that in the death camps, beside the crematoria, in certain of the death camps, a string quartet[2] was pressed into performance while this horror was going on, those were the people whose fate was this horror also. And they would be playing classical music while their fellow prisoners were being killed and burnt. So, that music, "Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin," meaning the beauty there of being the consummation of life, the end of this existence and of the passionate element in that consummation. But, it is the same language that we use for surrender to the beloved, so that the song — it’s not important that anybody knows the genesis of it, because if the language comes from that passionate resource, it will be able to embrace all passionate activity."

Madeleine's version comes for her second album here from 2004 'Careless Love'  and still features as part of her live set . . . . . . 
and again bought when it came out and I still have this single in it's original sleeve . .. . . 

On this day in music history: October 24, 1970 - “Abraxas”, the second album by Santana hits #1 on the Billboard Top 200 for 6 weeks (non-consecutive). Produced by Fred Catero and Carlos Santana, it is recorded at Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco, CA from April 17 - May 2, 1970. Recorded in only two weeks and released just thirteen months after their self-titled debut, it is an even greater success for the San Francisco based rock band. The album takes its title from a line in German author and poet Herman Hesse’s (“Steppenwolf”, “Siddhartha”) book “Demian”, which is quoted on the back of the original LP jacket. The albums’ now iconic cover art features a painting by artist Mati Klarwein (“Bitches Brew”, “Live-Evil”) titled “Annunciation”, painted in 1961. A major critical and commercial success upon its release, it spins off three singles including covers of the Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac) penned “Black Magic Woman” (#4 Pop) and the Tito Puente latin jazz classic “Oye Como Va” (#13 Pop), both becoming FM rock radio staples as well as major pop hits. Sony Music issues a remastered CD of “Abraxas” in 1998 featuring three live bonus tracks. Long a favorite of audiophiles, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab releases of a limited edition double vinyl LP mastered at 45 RPM in October of 2016, pressed with MFSL’s “one step” pressing method for unsurpassed sound quality. “Abraxas” is certified 5x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, and is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999.

Oh yes, another in the burgeoning series of music (albums or singles) bought when they came out and Santana's first three album count amongst these. We loved Carlos and though he strayed from his original and roots of his playing and left us hanging for a while he is undertaking a current return to form we think. 

This however we adored! and you can tell why, as near to perfection as it gets . . . . 

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

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Rolling Stones - I Got The Blues

• download

Yup bought when it came it out and curiously one of the only Stones albums that I got this way, unlistened to and straight from the record shop unlike several others which I got from my brother . . . . . the first album for example and still a favourite but this is where I left them . . . . . . . until returning somewhat later 

Complete with with zip and Warhol cover! 

My very favourite Stones of all time . . . . . . .

Monday, October 23, 2017

for Halloween 

a favourite song, although first heard by me by the supergroup (so called) of Stephen Stills, Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield 'Super Session' of '68

Sunday, October 22, 2017

  • Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)
  • Bob Dylan
  • Before the Flood 

one of the finest live albums ever and this opening track is a scorching angry 1974 version of the beloved 'Blonde on Blonde' 1966 track 'Most Likely You Go Your Way (and I'll Go Mine)'

  • Superstition
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Talking Book
Superstition | Stevie Wonder
because of course why not . . . . . .bought when it came out which we have mentioned and hey superstition ain't the way . . . . . . . . .

Saturday, October 21, 2017


Live in Florence Italy 1999

over at the legendary and most excellent Voodoo Wagon  we have a new release into the damp and musty evergreens and swamp lands from Mr Waits yessuh!

Wonderful recording and frankly anything that includes tracks from my very favourite album 'Mule Variations' means we're in for a treat 

Tom Waits - Live Teatro Comunale
Florence, Italy 
July 24, 1999
Soundboard @320

I got the style but not the grace / I got the clothes but not the face / I got the bread but not the butter / I got the winda but not the shutter

enjoy - I know I did

this too . . . . . 

again bought when it came out both this single and 'Never Mind The Bollocks!' which version? Not telling . . . . . . . .

Friday, October 20, 2017

and again because it's Friday and this is really REALLY lovely!
a swappers special