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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Rewind: 1976 Sex Pistols Release 'Anarchy in the U.K.'

It was the single that would change the musical landscape for many and add a whole new perspective to our Soundtrack4Life. 

I was 13 years old when it came out and whilst it was a catalyst for a change of musical scenery for me there were many other bands who would shape my taste buds in the years to come. But it is an important record and one that set about change to a more wild side of life and caused many youngsters up and down the land to start bands of their own.

From a personal standpoint I actually prefer the B-Side! (Yes, beat me with baseball bats etc!).

Formed in London back in 1975 (though the classic line-up didn't emerge until August of that year), Johnny Rotten (Vocals), Steve Jones (Guitar, Vocals), Glen Matlock (Bass, Vocals) and Paul Cook (Drums), were all under the "watchful" eye of manager Malcom McLaren.

Their debut show at Central St Martins College of Art and Design was on the 6th November 1975 supporting Bazooka Joe, that featured Stuart Goddard, who would later become Adam Ant, and John Ellis who would go on to form The Vibrators. The Pistols performed a number of cover versions but prior to launching into some of their own material the plug was pulled by the headliners because their instruments were getting trashed by the Pistols. Goddard was so taken with the Pistols that he left his Bazooka Joe to form his own band The B-Sides that would morph into The Ants.

After many other shows including important ones supporting Eddie and the Hot Rods at the Marquee, playing the 100 Club in Oxford Street, and even their first show outside the U.K. in Paris, and of course the famous Punk Rock Festival at the 100 Club where they headlined the opening night, sandwiched inbetween was their TV debut:

On October 8th 1976 the band were signed to EMI Records on a two year contract. And then on this day back in '76 'Anarchy in the U.K.' was unleashed upon the world. It was not that first Punk single though to be released. That fortune fell to The Damned and their classic 'New Rose'. The debut single would only reach #38 in the UK Singles Chart but the Sex Pistols were already front page news after their TV performance on the Today Show with Bill Grundy on 1st December. They had been last minute replacements after Queen had pulled out, and they left their mark on the programme and upon the rest of the land with insults and bad language (at 6pm it was not the done thing!!).

In January 1977 EMI were forced to fire the band from the label after much political pressure was put upon them.

By the start of February Matlock was gone from the band and Sid Vicious was brought in as bass player. The band would go on to sign to A&M on 10th March 1977 (only to be dropped six days later!). Their second single 'God Save the Queen' was scheduled to be released, 25,000 copies were pressed but it never saw the light of day. Some copies of course did make it out and go for a nice price these days (an impressive asking price over £5,000!).

In May 1977 the band signed to Virgin Records and on the 27th 'God Save the Queen' would finally be released. Two more singles would follow ('Pretty Vacant' and 'Holidays in the Sun') and finally the debut album, 'Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols' was released on October 27th 1977. Within a couple of months the band would be no more. Their final live performance was at Winterland, San Francisco on January 14th 1978.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Bruce Springsteen - High Hopes Set For January Release

The links in this post are not for the officially released versions that will appear on the album but are live or official video releases.

Note From Bruce:
I was working on a record of some of our best unreleased material from the past decade when Tom Morello (sitting in for Steve during the Australian leg of our tour) suggested we ought to add "High Hopes" to our live set. I had cut "High Hopes," a song by Tim Scott McConnell of the LA based Havalinas, in the '90s. We worked it up in our Aussie rehearsals and Tom then proceeded to burn the house down with it. We re-cut it mid tour at Studios 301 in Sydney along with "Just Like Fire Would," a song from one of my favorite early Australian punk bands, The Saints (check out "I'm Stranded"). Tom and his guitar became my muse, pushing the rest of this project to another level. Thanks for the inspiration Tom.
Some of these songs, "American Skin" and "Ghost of Tom Joad," you'll be familiar with from our live versions. I felt they were among the best of my writing and deserved a proper studio recording. "The Wall" is something I'd played on stage a few times and remains very close to my heart. The title and idea were Joe Grushecky's, then the song appeared after Patti and I made a visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. It was inspired by my memories of Walter Cichon. Walter was one of the great early Jersey Shore rockers, who along with his brother Ray (one of my early guitar mentors) led the "Motifs". The Motifs were a local rock band who were always a head above everybody else. Raw, sexy and rebellious, they were the heroes you aspired to be. But these were heroes you could touch, speak to, and go to with your musical inquiries. Cool, but always accessible, they were an inspiration to me, and many young working musicians in 1960's central New Jersey. Though my character in "The Wall" is a Marine, Walter was actually in the Army, A Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Infantry. He was the first person I ever stood in the presence of who was filled with the mystique of the true rock star. Walter went missing in action in Vietnam in March 1968. He still performs somewhat regularly in my mind, the way he stood, dressed, held the tambourine, the casual cool, the freeness. The man who by his attitude, his walk said "you can defy all this, all of what's here, all of what you've been taught, taught to fear, to love and you'll still be alright." His was a terrible loss to us, his loved ones and the local music scene. I still miss him.
This is music I always felt needed to be released. From the gangsters of "Harry's Place," the ill-prepared roomies on "Frankie Fell In Love" (shades of Steve and I bumming together in our Asbury Park apartment) the travelers in the wasteland of "Hunter Of Invisible Game," to the soldier and his visiting friend in "The Wall", I felt they all deserved a home and a hearing. Hope you enjoy it.
Bruce Springsteen 25th November 2013.

There will be CD/Vinyl and a special CD/DVD version of the album released. The CD/DVD, which from what I know so far is going to be a Limited Edition only from Amazon and is on Amazon's US site for Pre-Order already.

The AMAZON BONUS LIMITED EDITION version also includes a live DVD of Bruce and the E Street Band performing the entire "Born In The U.S.A." album in London, England, during the historic Wrecking Ball World Tour

Bruce Springsteen
“High Hopes”

Release date: January 14, 2014

01. High Hopes
02. Harry’s Place
03. American Skin (41 Shots)
04. Just Like Fire Would
05. Down In The Hole
06. Heaven’s Wall
07. Frankie Fell In Love
08. This Is Your Sword
09. Hunter Of Invisible Game
10. The Ghost of Tom Joad (Duet with Tom Morello)
11.The Wall
12. Dream Baby Dream

High Hopes and Dream Baby Dream are available as single tracks at the moment on iTunes as from today.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Rewind: 22nd November 2009 Clarence Clemon's Final Show with Bruce and the E Street Band

Four years ago today The E Street Band took to the stage for the final show of the Working On A Dream Tour and what a night it was at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo with Bruce taking the crowd and the band back to start as he played in sequence for the one and only time 'Greetings From Asbury Park NJ'.

Little did anyone imagine that a couple of years later he would be dead.

Click on the links to enjoy the music.

Wrecking Ball (with Curt Ramm)
The Ties That Bind
Hungry Heart
Working on a Dream
Blinded By the Light
Growin' Up
Mary Queen of Arkansas
Does This Bus Stop at 8nd Street?
Lost in the Flood
The Angel
For You
Spirit in the Night
It's Hard to Be a Saint in the City
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
The Promised Land
Restless Nights
Surprise, Surprise
Green Onions
Merry Christmas Baby (with Curt Ramm)/Santa Claus is Comin' to Town (with Curt Ramm)
(I Don't Want to) Hang Up My Rock and Roll Shoes
Boom Boom
My Love Will Not Let You Down
Long Walk Home
The Rising
Born to Run
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out (with Curt Ramm)
* * *
I'll Work For Your Love
Thunder Road/American Land (with Curt Ramm)

Dancing in the Dark
Rosalita (with Curt Ramm)
Higher and Higher (with Curt Ramm and Willie Nile)
Rockin' All Over the World

Rewind: This Day in 1968 The Beatles Release The White Album

I'm not really a fan of The Beatles (shock horror! I can sense my mate Mark in Detroit reaching for the phone and calling the Music Police already and I'm only one sentence in!), but I have to confess that I do make an exception when it comes to 'The White Album' as it has commonly become known. There's a couple of naff tunes on it but the good ones far outweigh the bad.

For an album that received a lot of flack by music critics back when it was released (even back then you couldn't trust 'em!) it is amazing that today it is considered to be one of the best albums ever released!

With no further comment from me, have a listen to the album yourself.

Happy Birthday Little Steven

Born on this day in 1950 Little Steven Van Zandt. Click on the Links to enjoy the music.


Thursday, 21 November 2013

Billie Joe + Norah - foreverly (2013)

Due for release next week this has to be one of the strangest collaborations since Alison Krauss teamed up with Robert Plant in what turned out to be a really great project with 'Raising Sand'.

My figurative hat is tipped to them because they have actually made a really classy record together that is a track for track remake of The Everly Brothers' 1958 Classic 'Songs Our Daddy Taught Us'.

Two Tracks have been posted on You Tube that deserve a listen or two. Firstly 'Long Time Gone'. And the second is a music video for 'Silver Haired Daddy of Mine'.

This one turned up just a little too late to be included in the best albums of the year but I have a feeling that it's going to be an album that's really well received because it is actually really impressive. The harmonies of Armstrong and Jones are just way beyond beautiful and it's actually pleasant to hear Billie Joe actually singing!

Rolling Stone Article About The Album.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The Soundtrack4Life Albums of the Year 2013

It's a tough choice this year thinking about what the possible favourite Album of the Year is. I started with a very long list and have edited it down to a bit of a shorter long list. Out of that I selected what I can consider to be my best of the year. I make no apologies for the choices because they are my choices. They may not have been the biggest selling albums or even by artists who are particularly "hip", but they are my choices. These are the things that excited me in music this year and as ever it is a nice mixture of different sounds that somehow have collided together give me a whole lot of joy.
Here's a Playlist of some of my favourites from the year including many that didn't quite make the Top Ten.

Boz Scaggs - Memphis

 Click here to see a previous post where I spotlighted the 'Memphis' Album.

Eddie and the Hot Rods - Live at The Rainbow 1977
Previous Post relating to 'Live at The Rainbow 1977'.

Jars of Clay - Inland

Jelly - Troubadour, Wizard, The Queen and The Machine

Various Artists - A Concert For Kirsty

Previous post regarding Kirsty MacColl that included a spotlight on this superb concert.

The Godfathers - Jukebox Fury

Interview with Del Bartles of The Godfathers originally posted in March 2013.

The Strypes - Snapshot

Tankus The Henge - The Last Days Are Coming.

Previous post spotlighting Tankus The Henge and this really exceptional album.

John Fogerty - Wrote A Song For Everyone

Previous post from May 2013 spotlighting this brilliant album by a true Rock and Roll Legend.

Ruts DC - Rhythm Collision Volume 2

Monday, 18 November 2013

Rewind: This day in 1975. Bruce Springsteen's Debut UK Show

So, after all the press speculation about this kid from New Jersey and his band that had been tearing up venues in the USA, and a couple of albums released two years before and a brand new one just out called 'Born To Run' the British debut took place at a sold out Hammersmith Odeon on this night way back in 1975.

Happy Birthday Graham Parker

Click on the links to Enjoy the Music.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Rewind: 16th November 1985 A Good Heart

On this day in musical history, former Undertones singer Feargal Sharkey had his only UK #1 single with the Maria McKee song 'A Good Heart' written about her relationship with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers keyboard player Benmont Tench

'A Good Heart' was the third single release for Fergal as a solo artist ('Listen to Your Father' and 'Loving You' preceded it). It was released in September 1985

It was #1 in the UK for two weeks but didn't fair so well in the USA where it only peaked at #74.

Apparently Boy George did backing vocals on it! (Not sure that's ever been properly confirmed though).

In 1986 Sharkey followed up the hit single with the Tench written 'You Little Thief', this time about Tench's relationship with McKee and his response to McKee's 'A Good Heart'.

The single reached only #5 in the UK Singles Chart.

Maria Mckee wrote 'A Good Heart' when she was 19 years old but never released the song herself until the 2007 album 'Late December'.

Friday, 15 November 2013

The Soundtrack4Life Single of the Year

Ian Prowse - Rosalita/Dan Donnelly - Cecilia.
Click on the links to enjoy the music.

It's that time of year again when I start thinking of the best music to be released throughout the year. I begin with the easiest choice, Single of the Year. I don't really buy singles at all these days (I seem to say that every year when I do this) so it's a rare thing to be so taken with a particular song that it becomes your favourite thing of the year.

Now this record won't win any prizes for being the biggest seller in history and neither did it reach the dizzy heights of #1 on the Singles Chart. But the single was done for a great cause by two different Dads performing a song after which their own offspring is called.

The Prowse version of the Springsteen classic 'Rosalita' was always going to be an interesting one and you can tell by the way the song sounds that Ian is a huge Bruce fan and wanted to make a version of the song that was worthy of its writer. He did that and so much more. One of the fun sounds of Summer 2013 in my mind.

As for Dan's cover of Simon and Garfunkel's 'Cecilia', well it gets a nice revamp with a wonderful violin part penetrating the very core of the song that gives it almost a hoedown feel. He did a great job on it and again it's a rare thing to hear such a great cover of a classic song.

I have no regrets making this The Soundtrack4Life Single Of The Year.

Released in collaboration with the Charity Check 'em Lads for Fathers Day June 16th 2013 on Limited Edition [250].

Check out Eighties Vinyl Records for more information.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Happy 21st Anniversary

I don't usually post stuff of a personal nature on this blog but I couldn't resist mentioning the 21st Wedding Anniversary of my wife Kerstin and I.

We first met in 1991 in Hamburg, Germany and we got married on the 14th November 1992. Best decision of my life ever. It was a case of  Baby, Now That I Found You....

I find it incredible to think about spending 21 years with one person. Back when I was a teenager (such a long time ago now!) I thought reaching the age of 21 was something I might never make due to the wild lifestyle I had and that heart cry of Pete Townshend, "I Hope I Die Before I Get Old". But 29 years have past since I reached that age, and 9 years since I reached it for the second time and I'm still here!

I wouldn't trade the life I have now with anything. I love my wife far more than words on a blog, an anniversary card, or on a facebook comment can tell.

I can still remember the day as clear as the blue sky (though we don't have many of them at the moment). Friends and family had travelled to Essen in Germany for the big day from all corners of Europe to celebrate with us on what was a pretty nice November day.

The service was in German, translated into English and the Pastor who preached the Wedding Sermon was from Holland. So a Dutchman preached in English and was translated into German.

Kerstin always reminds me that when she entered the church that I didn't look at her until she reached the altar. I maintain to this day that it was because I wanted to be surprised by her beauty when she first stood beside me, and boy was she a beauty! And by the way, she still is a beauty.

We had a marvellous service and a friend of Kerstin's even took time out to come and play the bagpipes on the Church steps.

All in all it was the perfect day for the both of us. We laughed, cried, took great delight in the antics of friends and family who had prepared little skits and songs, and we feasted on fine food.

21 Years down the road and I'm still blown away by the fact that I have been blessed with the gift of a wonderful wife who has been a rock and a fantastic support to me. I rejoice that everyday I get to wake up knowing that I have the opportunity of being loved and more importantly, of sharing love from the bottom of my heart with the one person that I can be myself with and know that I am still loved. Every thought of her reminds me that the night still stands still.

So, I dedicate this post to Kerstin. I love you my sweetheart as I have done from the moment I set eyes upon you. In the words of Tom Petty, Our Love Was Built To Last.

Here's some of the songs that have been part of the Soundtrack4Life on the journey. Click on the Links to enjoy the music.

I could easily post a hundred more but will limit myself to the above.

Lots of love to my sweetheart Kerstin.

Doug. xxx

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Tankus the Henge - Cakewalk Video

The First Official Tankus The Henge Video

Friday, 8 November 2013

Happy Birthday Bonnie Raitt

She has been releasing music since 1971 but it wasn't until the 1989 release 'Nick of Time' that she got to enjoy some major success that she deserved. 'Nick of Time' was her first #1 album and that was followed by a #2 in 'Luck of the Draw' (1991) and another #1 with 'Longing in Their Hearts' (1994).

On the Singles front she has not fared so well, but she's really an album kinda girl. Her biggest single was a 1994 #1 with 'Love Sneakin Up On You'. Her only other Top 20 Singles were: 'Have a Heart' (1990 #16), 'Something to Talk About' (1991 #3), 'Not The Only One' (1992 #13), 'You' (1994 #16), 'You Got It' (1995 #11 from the Boys On The Side Soundtrack), 'Rock Steady' (with Bryan Adams 1995 #17).

A few other Bonnie Raitt Vids that might be worth checking out:

Click on The Links to enjoy the Music.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Nick Lowe - Quality Street (2013)

Anyone who knows me will be fully aware that Christmas Music is something I find quite unappealing (and I don't like listening to any Christmas Music before at least a week before the event) but I'm going to have to change my mind for just one record! The brand new Nick Lowe album 'Quality Street' is a real smasher.

When approached by his label about making a Christmas album Nick Lowe's response was, "rather snooty and quite negative. I didn't want to soil my reputation", he told Uncut magazine. "But that feeling lasted about thirty-six and a half seconds, before I came to and thought, 'Vulgar, tawdry commercialism? Yes, please, when do we start?' Seriously, I thought, 'Wait a minute, this could be really good fun."

Listening to the album you can hear just how much fun it was.

From Nick Lowe's Website:
Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection For All The Family is a twinkling blend of traditional hymns, forgotten gems and Lowe originals. From the opening rockabilly-charged "Children Go Where I Send Thee" and the comfy hush of "Christmas Can't Be Far Away," the record includes the beatnik bop of "Hooves on the Roof" (written especially for the project by Ron Sexsmith), Roger Miller's wistful classic "Old Toy Trains," before wrapping up with a ska-flavored take on "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day." Of course, it's all performed in Nick's singular style and, as Nick would say, "in a sleigh-bell free zone!"


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