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Wednesday, 17 January 2018

New Music For 2018: Encore - Anderson East (12th January 2018)

Encore - Anderson East
Produced by Dave Cobb
Released 12th January 2018

The Playlist doesn't contain the whole album but selected songs performed live* or are a Promo Video**.
On the Playlist is:
King For A Day*
This Too Shall Last*
House Is A Building*
Sorry You're Sick*
All On My Mind**

Side 1
 Sorry You're Sick is a Cover Version of a Ted Hawkins song from the 1982 album Watch Your Step.

Side 2
Somebody Pick Up My Pieces is a Cover Version of a Willie Nelson song that he performed with Emmylou Harris.


So, the first album of 2018 that I'm giving some props to comes from Anderson East. I was aware of him a little as he co-wrote a couple of songs and sang on Miranda Lambert's latest album (The Weight of These Wings) and also has connections with Chris Stapleton and Holly Williams.
His own music I have to confess I am quite unaware of before this latest album (he has two self-released albums and his major label Debut Delilah from 2015).
What drew me to him at first was I had heard a cover of Sorry You're Sick, which is an old Ted Hawkins song (and I love the music of Ted Hawkins) and was struck by how soulful it was and how it sounded almost borderline like "Wicked" Wilson Pickett! For a guy who is connected to the world of Country Music to sound that good meant I should further investigate.
Hopefully from the short Playlist above you'll get a bit of a feel for how good this album is. It's a real combination of sounds ranging from Southern Soul, R&B, Country, blues and folk roots rock. It's fascinating stuff and I think even from the first month of the year that this is going to be an album that is going to get a lot of play in our house.

Great songwriting and musicianship and another feather in the cap for producer Dave Cobb, who has produced Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Zac Brown Band and Amanda Shires (to name but a few) and also he produced the excellent Southern Family album that was released in 2016.
Anderson East, remember that name!

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

S4L Radio Show 2018 Playlist #2

Lots of new music this week on Playlist #2 covering many different musical sounds. Hope you enjoy it.

On The Playlist

Play This Song On The Radio - NOFX
From the 1992 album White Trash, Two Heebs And A Bean.

In Memory of the Recently Departed

Question - The Moody Blues
Ray Thomas was a founding member and served with the band until 2002. He passed away 4th January 2018. 

When You Don't See Me - Sisters of Mercy
Chris Tsangarides was a Producer of some renown having worked with the likes of Gary Moore, Judas Priest, Tom Jones, Depeche Mode and The Tragically Hip to name but a few. He passed away 6th January 2018 from Heart Failure after a bout of Pneumonia.

Motörhead - Motörhead
"Fast" Eddie Clark, guitarist with Motörhead passed away 10th January 2018. He had served with the band from 1976 through to 1982. After Motörhead he had formed the band Fastway. 

Zombie - The Cranberries
Dolores O'Riordan passed away 15th January 2018, so far the cause is unknown. She was 46 years old.

New Music for 2018
Echo - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
From their brand new album Wrong Creatures on Vagrant Records released on 12th January 2018.  

The Signal and The Noise - Simple Minds
Taken from the brand new album Walk Between Worlds that will be released 2nd February 2018.

We Fight - Dashboard Confessional
Taken from the brand new album Crooked Shadows that is due for release 9th Febrauary 2018. It is first new studio album since 2009's Alter The Ending.

Always Ascending - Franz Ferdinand
Title track of their brand new studio album (first one since 2013) due out 9th February 2018.

The Joke - Brandi Carlile
From the up and coming album By The Way, I Forgive You due for release 16th February 2018.

International Blue - Manic Street Preachers
Taken from the new album Resistance Is Futile that is due in April 2018.

Year of The Tiger - Myles Kennedy
Title track from the Alter Bridge frontman's Debut Solo album that is due for release in March 2018.

Like A Motherless Child - Moby
From the brand new studio release Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt that is due for release in March 2018.

Connected by Love - Jack White
From the new album due in March 2018 Boarding House Reach.

Lie To Me - The Number Ones
Taken from the Another Side of The Number Ones EP released 5th January 2018 on Static Shock Records.

Disappear (feat. Lynn Gunn - Tonight Alive
Taken from the album Underworld released 12th January 2018 on Hopeless Records.

Some Oldies But Goodies:
In A Rut - Ruts
Released 11th January 1979. The video on the Playlist is a live performance from 1980 in Paris. 

King Rocker - Generation X
Released 5th January 1979. 

The Lion and The Lamb - TV Smith.
From the 1992 album March of the Giants.

The Parting Shot

Hello, Goodbye - The Beatles.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Dolores O'Riordan (The Cranberries) - 6th September 1971 - 15th January 2018

Dolores O'Riordan 
(Getty Images)

Have to confess to being in a bit of a state of shock after only just hearing of the passing of Dolore O'Riordan, lead vocalist of The Cranberries. She was only 46 years old and the details regarding her death are still being investigated.

I was quite pleased last year when The Cranberries returned to releasing music after a five year layoff, Something Else was their second studio album since reuniting in 2009 (the first album, Roses, was released in 2012). Although the album was new acoustic and orchestral versions of some of the older songs by the band it was still nice to hear that familiar sound of O'Riordan's voice again (I have mentioned before on here about how I love singers with an accent like Amy MacDonald and Sinéad O'Connor).

Plans were afoot to tour last year in Europe and North America with the band playing tracks from The Cranberries catalogue and from Dolores' solo releases but those plans came to a grinding halt not long into the European leg as the band were forced to cancel the remaining dates of the tour due to O'Riordan having some health issues. Whether this was related to the Bipolar Disorder, which she had been diagnosed with two years before but only spoke of it for the first time in May 2017, I do not know.

She was in London for a recording session and she passed away in a hotel in Central London. As I said there are no other details regarding the cause at present.

I had planned to include the album Something Else in part two of The Best of 2017: The Honourable Mentions. But it seems fitting to place it here as a stand alone album in honour of the short life and musical legacy of Dolores O'Riordan.

The Cranberries 2017

Something Else - The Cranberries
Released 28th April 2017
UK Chart #18
Irish Chart #17
US Independent Albums #5

Monday, 8 January 2018

Remembering The Music of James Carr (13th June 1942 - 7th January 2001)

Yesterday was the 17th anniversary since the passing of one of the best soul voices ever. James Carr was a troubled man who struggled most of his days with drugs, drink, manic depression and bipolar, which of course made him very unstable alongside the pressures of recording and touring. He eventually left this world after a long fight with Lung Cancer in 2001 aged 58.

Stax Records had passed on him (obviously thinking that he was too similar to the voice they already had with Mr Otis Redding) and he ended up on Goldwax Records (a label set up by Doc Russell and Quinton Claunch in 1964) - a label that specialised in Southern Soul and Gospel Music.

There's loads of links down below so click on them to listen to more music from James Carr and for information regarding his life.

Prior to his first hit single, You've Got My Mind Messed Up/That's What I Want To Know (February 1966: R&B #7, Pop #63), James had released three singles also on Goldwax that set out his stall despite not gaining any major attention: Only Fools Run Away/You Don't Want Me (October 1964), I Can't Make It/Lover's Competition (February 1965) and She's Better Than You/ Talk Talk (September 1965).

Other minor hits followed on both the R&B Chart and the Pop Chart: Love Attack/Coming Back To My Baby (June 1966: R&B #21, Pop #99), Pouring Water On A Drowning Man/Forgetting You (September 1966: R&B #23, Pop #85), The Dark End of the Street/Lovable Girl (December 1966: R&B #10, Pop #77), Let It Happen/A Losing Game (May 1967: R&B #30, Pop #106), I'm A Fool For You/Gonna Send You Back To Georgia (August 1967: R&B #42, Pop #97), A Man Needs A Woman/Stronger Than Love (December 1967: R&B #16, Pop #63), Life Turned Her That Way/A Message To Young Lovers (July 1968: Pop #112), Freedom Train/That's The Way Love Turned Out For Me (October 1968: R&B #39), To Love Somebody/ These Ain't Raindrops (March 1969: R&B #44).

Ace Records and Kent Records have done a great job in keeping his music alive and last year Kent released a brand new Best of compilation which I have included below along with his 1967 Debut Album.

The song for which James Carr is most readily acquainted is of course The Dark End of the Street written by Dan Penn and Chips Moman. Whilst not his biggest hit of all his singles it has certainly been the most enduring of his rather short career. 

The song was written by Penn and Moman during a break from playing cards whilst at a DJ Convention in Memphis. Goldwax founder Quinton Claunch allowed the pair use of his hotel room with the stipulation that the song that they wrote would be given to James Carr to record. The song was written in about 30 minutes and the writers kept their word and James Carr was the first one to record the song. It has been covered by many folks down through the years but the James Carr version is by far the best version of it (in my thinking at least).

In 1991 Carr made a return to recording with the album Take Me To The Limit(ACE). He toured and played various festivals even around Europe during this time and then released his final album in 1993 with Soul Survivor (ACE). By the mid-1990's he was diagnosed with Lung Cancer and passed away in 2001 at a Memphis nursing home.

I still regard him as right up there with Otis Redding (and maybe just a notch above) as one of the greatest Soul Singers that we have ever had the pleasure of listening  to. I hope this post today gives you just a sense of the absolute wonder of his voice and the quality of some of those songs he bestowed upon us.

The Best of James Carr - James Carr
Kent Records
Released November 2017

The Vinyl version of the album has only 12 tracks whilst the CD version has 20, Your Love Made A U-Turn is missing off the Playlist as I couldn't find it on You Tube.

The Debut Album

You Got My Mind Messed Up - James Carr
Goldwax Records
Released 1967

Further Reading:
James Carr Way Out On A Voyage by Robert Gordon (1992).

Friday, 5 January 2018

Soundtrack4Life: The Best Albums of 2017 - Honourable Mentions Part 1

I mentioned I was going to do a post highlighting a few of the Albums released in 2017 that are deserving of an Honourable Mention even though they didn't make my list of Top 20 Albums for the Year (You can find all of the links to that list at this link).

As I mentioned when I was putting that list together these are my personal choices and so they may not be the choices you would make. 

Like most of my listening throughout last year this group of albums are very diverse musically from each other. They are in no particular order of merit.

There are links below to a few tracks from each album where available.

Crooked Calypso - Paul Heaton + Jacqui Abbott
Virgin EMI Records
Released July 2017

Tracks To Listen To:

Third Album from Paul + Jacqui and continues on from their first two with great pop tunes (this time with a bit of a funky/soul sound in places) alongside the sometimes humourous lyrics from Mr Heaton.

Velvet Magic - Devil's Witches
Cursed Tounge Records (Vinyl)
Forbidden Place Records (CD)
Golden Dawn Recordings (Cassette)
Released June 2017

I wanted to take a moment to point out this one because it's by a friend of mine in Glasgow. James Abilene plays pretty much everything on it as well as writing the songs. Much to his surprise the album really hit a nerve among the community who thrive on this Doom Metal, Stoner Rock and Psychedelia. The Album was a real success selling out Vinyl stocks and the Cassette release in a very fast time. The Vinyl has been reprinted a couple of times and I believe is getting repressed again. The CD stock also sold out. The album would also end up on Best of Lists in various Countries as it spread its wings to South America, USA and around Europe.

I wanted to apologise to James as well because I did promise him at some point last year I would try and get an interview with him for Soundtrack4Life but I failed miserably to get my act together to do it. I hope James this makes up for that just a little. I am so proud of you fella. 😀

Check out Devil's Witches at:

Kicking Up The Dust - Cast
Cast Recordings
Released April 2017

Tracks To Listen To:

We have had to wait six years for a brand new Studio Album from Cast but the wait was worth it I think. The band still sound so brilliant. Kicking Up The Dust was their Sixth album (the first four were released between 1995-2001). Troubled Times (released in 2011) was a magnificent return for the band and this latest one further cements the case for Cast being considered as one of the finest bands to come out of Liverpool.

Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie - Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie
Atlantic/Warner Music
Released June 2017

The album was pretty much a Fleetwood Mac record only without any input from Stevie Nicks! Songs on the album were written by Buckingham (5 songs) and McVie (2 songs), with them co-writing Feel About You, Red Sun and Too Far Gone. The project was quiet a success with the album Debuting on the Chart in the USA at #17 and in the UK at #5. It was the best chart placing they both have had outside of Fleetwood Mac. It's a great pop record I think and it was great seeing Lindsey and Christine writing together again (it's been a long time since Tango of the Night!)

I have a few more albums that I believe are worthy of an Honourable Mention and I'll try and tackle them next time around.

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band Olympiastadion, Munich, Germany 17th June 2016

Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band
Olympiastadion, Munich, Germany
17th June 2016
Attendance 54,119

I seem to have missed this when it was first posted on You Tube back just before Christmas last year, so I thought I'd stick it up now, after all, somewhere in the world it's always BOSS TIME!

Watch The Complete Show Here:

Prove It All Night ('78 Intro)
Out in the Street
Sherry Darling
Two Hearts
No Surrender
Hungry Heart
You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
Death to My Hometown
My Hometown (tour debut)
Johnny 99
Murder Incorporated
The River
American Skin (41 Shots)
The Promised Land
Working on the Highway
Darlington County
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
I'm on Fire
Because the Night
The Rising
Thunder Road
Land of Hope and Dreams

Born in the U.S.A.
Born to Run
Seven Nights to Rock
Dancing in the Dark
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

Encore 2:
For You (solo acoustic)

New Music 2018: Magic - Simple Minds

Due for release on 2nd February 2018 the brand new Studio Album from Simple Minds.

On 4th January 2018 they released the Promo Video for a track taken from Walk Between Worlds entitled Magic.

Magic - Simple Minds
Released 4th January 2018

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

S4L Radio Show 2018 Playlist #1

First Playlist of 2018 and as usual you'll find the sublime, the good, the bad, the down right ridiculous and maybe the "I wonder why on earth he included that, it's terrible!".

There's a little spotlight on some great singles that were released in early 1978 that were part and parcel of my Soundtrack4Life when I was 14 going on 15 years old. You might enjoy a few of them.

The Playlist

On The Playlist
Cry About The Radio - Mary Weiss.
It was Mary's birthday a few days ago (28th December) and so I thought I'd kick off this first Playlist of 2018 with a song about the Radio and a track from her album Dangerous Game.

Give Him A Great Big Kiss - Johnny Thunders.
The New York Dolls used to perform this cover of a song made famous by The Shangri-Las and Johnny when he was with The Heartbreakers and then solo continued performing it. This was on his Debut Solo Album So Alone released in 1978.

Train From Kansas City - Shop Assistants.
Another cover of a song recorded by The Shangri-Las as a B-Side to their 1965 single Right Now and Not Later. Edinburgh's Shop Assistants included it on their Debut Album.

Past, Present and Future - The Shangri-Las.
One of my favourite songs from The Shangri-Las was their 1966 single Past, Present and Future. It only reached #59 on the US Charts.

Goodbye December - Nervous Passenger.
Even though it's an old song now it still resonates for me come the start of every new year. Nervous Passanger were an Edinburgh based band and Neil Alton was the vocalist. Still sounds great and hopefully you'll find something of yourself in the song.

Two Rivers (Live in Glasgow 2017) - Mike Peters and The Alarm.
Opening track from the second album release of 2017 by Mike Peters and The Alarm, Viral Black. I was not totally bowled over by either album (Blood Red was the other one) but there were a few songs on each that impressed me.

Love In Hard Times - Jars of Clay.
Taken from the Double Disc album 20 which was released to celebrate the band's 20th Anniversary.

How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live - The Del Lords.
Don't know much about this lot but was quite taken with their cover of Blind Alfred Reed's 1938 classic How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live. The song has been covered by many down through the years including UB40, Ry Cooder and Springsteen with his famous dedication to "President Bystander" (George W. Bush).

Songs which got a release in 1978

Rich Kids - Rich Kids.
Glen Matlock former bassist for the Sex Pistols had a new band and they released their debut single 13th January 1978. Also in the band was Midge Ure who had departed PVC2 not long after their Debut single Put You In The Picture was released. PVC2 would go on to become The Zones.

What Do I Get? - Buzzcocks.
 Second single on United Artists for Manchester's finest. Almost didn't get a release due to problems at the pressing plant who objected to the B-Side! Released 20th January 1978.

Shot By Both Sides (Live on So It Goes) - Magazine.
Howard of course had been a member of Buzzcocks but departed not long after the Debut Spiral Scratch EP. He returned with a cracking band.

No Time To Be 21 - The Adverts.
Fourth single and third label (Stiff, Anchor and now Bright, they would be on another label later in the year!) for The Adverts saw the release of this little beauty 20th January 1978.

I Am The Fly (Peel Session) - Wire.
The single, the band's second, was released in February 1978 but the Peel Session version was recorded in January 1978.

Safety Pin Stuck In My Heart - Patrik Fitzgerald.
Not quite in the same league as John Cooper Clarke when it came to poetry but Patrik managed to put out some fairly decent records in his time including this one which is the title track of his Debut EP released on Small Wonder 27th January 1978.

5 Minutes - The Stranglers.
Fifth single from The Stranglers and a non-album track released 27th January 1978.

Emergency - 999.
Second single from 999 on United Artists and was released 13th January 1978

The Home Stretch

Oh Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison (with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra).
This one was released last year and in 2018 there is going to be a tour with The Big O appearing as a Hologram! Not totally sure what to think of that but the album was quite outstanding and incredibly fresh sounding considering the age of most of the songs that were featured.

Shadow of a Doubt (Live on Fridays) - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
This one is for all who are still coming to terms with the loss of Tom Petty in 2017. Taken from the album that really did raise the bar for him and The Heartbreakers and sent him into the big leagues.

Be More Kind (Live at Cambridge Folk Festival 2017) - Frank Turner.

It's only the second day of the year but you probably have broken every resolution you made on Day 1! But here's one that is really worth keeping hold of throughout this year and infact for the rest of our lives. Frank Turner every now and again writes a song that spotlights what's going on in the world and what our response to it should be. This latest one I think is one of his finest.

Here's the lyrics in full.
 Be More Kind
Written by Frank Turner

History's been leaning on me lately
I can feel the future breathing down my neck
And all the things I thought were true when I was young, and you were too
Turned out to be broken, I don't know what comes next

In a world that has decided that it's going to lose its mind
Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind

It seems like everybody's raising walls now
Like hackles raised upon a cornered cat
On the borders in our heads between things that can and can't be said
We stopped talking to each other and there's something wrong with that

So before you go out searching, don't decide what you'll find
Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind

You should know you're not alone
Trouble comes and trouble goes
How this ends no one knows
So, hold on tight when the wind blows

The wind blew both of us to sand and sea
And where the dry lands stands is hard to say
As the current drags us by the shore we can no longer say for sure
Who's drowning, or if they can be saved

But when you're out there floundering, like a lighthouse I will shine
Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind
Like a beacon reaching out to you and yours, for me and mine
Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind
In a world that has decided that it's going to lose its mind
Be more kind, my friends, try to be more kind

The Parting Shot

We're Coming Back - Cock Sparrer.
The Kings of Oi and Street Punk Cock Sparrer have done a lot of great songs in a career that has spanned more than 40 years and this one is a real favourite of mine from their Shock Troops album in the early 80's.
The Bouncing Souls also covered the song on a Split Album with Anti-Flag and was also included on The Worldwide Tribute to The Real Oi! Volume 2.

"We're Coming Back"
We're coming back, we're coming back
We're coming back to you
We're never gonna go away again
Hold on a little longer, try a little harder
'Til we're arm in arm together to the end

So remember, out there somewhere
You've got a friend, and you'll never walk alone again

Don't get worried, don't get scared
We're fighting to get there
Never doubt we're gonna get through
We're gonna run, we're gonna crawl, kick down every wall
It won't be long we're coming back to you


So remember, out there somewhere
You've got a friend, and you'll never walk alone again

We're coming back, we're coming back
We're coming back to you
We're never gonna go away again
Hold on a little longer, try a little harder
'Til we're arm in arm together to the end


 So remember, out there somewhere
You've got a friend, and you'll never walk alone again

See you again soon, have a great 2018!

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