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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Van Morrison - Covered

To celebrate the birthday of Van Morrison I thought I'd bring together in one place a number of cover versions of his songs. Enjoy. Click on the links to enjoy the music.

Happy Birthday Van Morrison

Born on this day in 1945
Van Morrison

In honour of Mr Morrison's birthday I thought a Top Ten of my favourite Van tracks would be a good thing.

10. Have I Told You Lately That I Love You - From 'Avalon Sunset'.
09. Brown Eyed Girl  - From 'Blowin; Your Mind'.
07. Jackie Wilson Said - From 'Saint Domonic's Preview'.
06. Someone Like You - From 'Poetic Champions Compose'.
05. Bright Side of the Road - From 'Into the Music'.
04. Into The Mystic - From 'Moondance'.
03. Tupelo Honey - From 'Tupelo Honey'.
02. And The Healing Has Begun - From 'Into the Music'.

Of course everyone will have a different Top Ten to mine but hey, that's cool.

Glenn Tilbrook - Happy Birthday To You

Born on this day in 1957
Glenn Tilbrook
Happy Birthday Chappie

Click on the links to enjoy the music of one of the great talented writers of some of the finest pop tunes that have ever graced the airwaves.

This show they were supporting David Bowie on his Glass Spider Tour.

Rewind: 1968 - Rolling Stones Release 'Street Fighting Man'

On this day in 1968 Decca Records released what has been called The Rolling Stones most political song, 'Street Fighting Man', written after Mick Jagger attended a March 1968 anti-war rally at London's US embassy, during which mounted police attempted to control a crowd of 25,000. The single was kept out of the US Top 40 (reaching No.48) because many radio stations refused to play it based on what were perceived as subversive lyrics.

The song has been covered down through the years by:


Tidy Tune #243: 90 Miles An Hour Down A Dead End Street - The Empty Hearts

Saturday, 30 August 2014

John Peel - Would have been 75 today!

Born on this day in 1939, John Peel, BBC radio DJ. journalist and TV presenter, born John Robert Parker Ravenscroft. He was the longest running BBC Radio 1 and the most influential British DJ ever. He was one of the first broadcasters to play psychedelic rock and progressive rock records on British radio, and is widely acknowledged for promoting artists working in various genres, including pop, reggae, indie rock, alternative rock, punk, hardcore punk, breakcore, grindcore, death metal, British hip hop, and dance music. Peel died in Cuzco, Peru of a heart attack on 25th October 2004 aged 65.

Click on the links to enjoy the music.

The Peel Sessions
(Dates Are Broadcast Dates).
 To The Old House 
Still ill 
This Night Has Opened My Eyes.

She's Lost Control
Love Will Tear Us Apart
Twenty Four Hours
Sound of Music.

Wax And Wane
Alas Dies Laughing
Feathers Oar/Blades.

Another Song
 Full Moon In My Pocket / Blam!! / Full Moon etc
Harmony In Your Bathroom
International Rescue
Read About Seymour.

1. Thick As Thieves
2. The Eton Rifles
3. Saturday's Kids
4. When You're Young.

1.Truth 2. Senses 3. I.C.B. 4. Dreams Never End 5.Turn the Heater On {Keith Hudson Cover} 6. We All Stand 7. Too Late 8. 5-8-6 .

1. Natural's Not In It
2. Not Great Men
3. Ether
4. Guns Before Butter.

1. Johnny Was
2. Law And Order
3. Barbed Wire Love
4. Suspect Device.

1. Love Und Romance
2. Vindictive
3. New Town
4. Shoplifting.

1. T.C.P.
2. Brickfield Nights
3. Classified Susie
4. Boys.

1. The Prince 
2. Bed And Breakfast Man 
3. Land Of Hope And Glory
4. Stepping Into Line.

1. Read It In Books
2. Stars Are Stars
3. I Bagsy Yours
4. Villiers Terrace.

Loads more Peel Sessions can be found on You Tube.


Tidy Tune #242: It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels - Kitty Wells.

Born on this day in 1919 Ellen Muriel Deason who became known as Kitty Wells. Her June 1952 hit 'It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels', made her the first female country singer to top the US country charts (it spent 6 weeks at #1), and turned her into the first female country star. The song was an answer to Hank Thompson's 'Wild Side of Life', that had been released in March 1952 (and had spent 15 weeks as #1 on the Billboard Country Charts).

Both 'It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels' and 'Wild Side of Life' have been covered many times down through the years with artists like Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, Skeeter Davis, Lynn Anderson, and The Knitters (a side project of seminal LA Punk band X) covering the former and Status Quo, Burl Ives, Rod Stewart and Waylon Jennings (to name but a few) the latter.

Kitty Wells

Hank Thompson's 'Wild Side of Life'

Friday, 29 August 2014

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Tidy Tune #240: Father to Son - Mike Peters

In memory of my Dad. Today would have been his birthday. The picture above was taken on his last birthday before he passed away.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Primitives - Spin-O-Rama (2014)

 *The Primitives are on an indie pop record label to make you dance, dream, feel, love, laugh, and cry*

Limited Edition 7" Only 500 Copies! Get It Here.

Spin spin circling
Let's go round again
Turn turn to unlearn
The things we need not know

Grown so fast nothing lasts
Let's go round again
Take a ride by my side
Hold on tight let's go

Come on climb aboard with me
And we'll spin right back through memory
In the corners of our minds
The childhood dreams we try to find
Reverse the ride
Follow me round

Spin spin circling
Let's go round again
Turn turn to unlearn
The things we need not know

Reel around
Lost is found
Let's go round again
Take a ride by my side
Hold on tight let's go

Come on climb aboard with me
And we'll spin right back through memory
In the corners of our minds
The childhood dreams we try to find
Reverse the ride
Follow me round

Take a ride by my side
Let's go round again

Come on climb aboard with me
And we'll spin right back through memory
In the corners of our minds
The childhood dreams we try to find
Reverse the ride
Follow me round

Gems From My Collection: The Mod Revival Part Two

We begin the second part of this reflection of the music of The Mod Revival (and I think I might have to stretch to a third part as well) with a band that I had the pleasure of working with briefly back in early '80's - Long Tall Shorty.

Click on the links to enjoy the music.

Their first single was released on Warner Brothers as part of a collection of bands signed up by Jimmy Pursey of Sham 69 (the others were Angelic Upstarts and The Kidz Next Door), but due some dodgy tactics by the label the single never really got the shot it deserved.

What I liked about LTS was their ability to not only draw upon the great weight of fine 60's tunes but also their nack of writing great songs themselves clearly inspired by the whole Punk scene (something that many a Mod would never admit to!). When they got back together again in 2000 it was not uncommon for them to be playing songs by The Heartbreakers and Angelic Upstarts.

The Purple Hearts were another band I really liked and they managed to release a few cracking singles starting with the anthemic 'Millions Like Us'. They were another band who had their roots in the Punk movement, they had formed in 1977 as The Sockets and changed their name and sound in 1978 heavily influenced by The Jam of course.

In support of their debut single they hit the road with Secret Affair and Back To Zero on 'The March of The Mods Tour'.

Quite a number of the bands from back in 1979-80 are still out playing today, Purple Hearts are among them.

For more information on Purple Hearts check out their Official Website.



 Described by Charles Sharr Murray as - 'the best piece of teenage whingeing since 'Teenage Depression' by Eddie and the Hotrods'

What Am I Gonna Do Now.

 A Side

Tidy Tune #239: Born Running - Glen Matlock and the Philistines

Me and Mr Matlock
The Gathering 19

Click on the links to enjoy the music


Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The Return of The King Rocker - Billy Idol

Billy Idol is set to release his first album in almost decade in October.  The album is produced by Trevor Horn and is entitled 'Kings and Queens of the Underground'.

 Track list:
1. Bitter Pill
2. Can’t Break Me Down
3. Save Me Now
4. One Breath Away
5. Postcards From The Past
6. Kings and Queens Of The Underground
7. Eyes Wide Shut
8. Ghosts In My Guitar
9. Nothing To Fear
10. Love And Glory
11. Whiskey And Pills

For more information check out Billy's Website.

His last album was in 2006 called 'Happy Holidays' but for the last original material you have to go to 2005's 'Devil's Playground'.

He will at the same time publish his self-penned autobiography 'Dancing With Myself' with Touchstone.

He's also Touring in November Check Out The Dates Here.

Can't Break Me Down - New Single from Billy Idol

More Music

Day By Day
Youth Youth Youth
Your Generation.
From The Heart
Rock On
Gimmie Some Truth
No No No.

Generation X Singles

Billy Idol Solo
The Singles

Happy Birthday Jet Black

 Old Codger

Click on the Links to enjoy the Music.

Hanging Around
I Feel Like A ***
Goodbye Toulouse
Something Better Change

Tidy Tune #238: I Got You Babe - Holly Beth Vincent and Joey Ramone.

On this day in 1965, Sonny & Cher were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'I Got You Babe', the duo's only UK No.1. Sonny Bono was inspired to write the song to capitalize on the popularity of the term "babe," as heard in Bob Dylan's 'It Ain't Me Babe.

There's been a few good covers of the song down through the years and this one by Holly and Joey is my favourite.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Happy Birthday Elvis Costello

Happy Birthday 
Elvis Costello
Born on this day
in 1954

Glastonbury 2013

Click on the links to enjoy the music.

Rewind: 25th August 1975 - Born to Run Released

This is a reposting of a couple pieces I did a couple of years back (and stuck together for effect). I have edited it a bit and added some new links.

Between January 1974 and July 1975 Bruce Springsteen was in the studio with The E Street Band trying to create his third album. His first album ('Greetings From Asbury Park , N.J.') did not sell so well - only 25,000 copies in the first year alone! Neither for that matter did the follow up ('The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle'), which hit the streets 8 months later and was dogged by slow sales.

There are two things that stand out to me about Springsteen at this time. Firstly, his record company signed him with an awful lot of hype that he was the "New Dylan", but Bruce has never been the "New Anyone", he's always been himself no matter what the expectations of his label or the music press were. Secondly, the first two albums, whilst good, fail to actually capture the true nature of Springsteen's music, for that you would have to rely on his live shows to get a real feel for how these first 16 studio creations should sound. I've heard quite a number of bootlegs from these days and they are phenomenal (for 1973 shows click here. For 1974 shows click here. And for 1975 shows click here. Can't be totally sure that the links to the bootlegs are actually still working but it's worth having a shot at them).

The songs that made up the first two albums became another lifeforce when played live and maybe as he entered the studio in January 1974 to begin work on the new album that was in the back of his mind because he was about to create an album that was a sonic assault on the senses after the fashion of Phil Spector's Wall of Sound!

With a bigger budget to "play with" and the added pressure of his record company expecting to claw some money back after the first two failures (in their eyes, though both albums garnered critical praise) he began crafting the songs and finely tuning them to become the 8 songs that make up the release, surely one of the best 39 minutes and 26 seconds ever carved out on Vinyl! The process probably took a lot longer than he wanted (14 months) and it didn't help that he got stuck for six months working on the title track alone!

On it's release it finally broke the top ten in the USA peaking at #3 (it had entered the Billboard Charts at #84 on September 13th 1975 and the following week had a massive jump to #8) whilst in the UK it reached #17.

All of this success elevated Bruce Springsteen to such dizzy heights - appearing on the cover of both Time and Newsweek in the same week and his record company almost went into overdrive to see the album gain international success (most of this type of hype though was quite despised by Springsteen himself).

I was 10 years old when Springsteen's first two albums came out (ok, technically for the first one I was still 9 years old) and although I really didn't have much of a clue what he was singing about half the time, I mean did you know what a "month long vaction in the stratosphere" (from 'Growin' Up') was when you were 9? Neither did I but I remember hearing songs like 'Blinded by the Light' and being totally amazed at the amount of words he was using in a song and I was hooked. And when the second album came around I probably still hadn't matured enough to even begin to know what he was talking about in 'Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)' when he sang, "The only lover I'm ever gonna need's your soft sweet little girl's tongue Rosie you're the one," but it sounded a little exciting!

  On August 25th 1975 I was 12 years, 3 months and 19 days old (or young), I was heading for my teenage years fast and on that day Bruce released the album by which set the standard he would be judged by the rest of his career. Eight songs about going places, cars, and girls (I had pretty much discovered them at such a tender age and they weren't smelly like we thought and they were actually really nice to kiss without running away!). I think I even knew at that age that the place I lived would not confine me the rest of my days and so when the final line of 'Thunder Road' kicks in - "It's a town full of losers/And I'm pulling out of here to win," - I know exactly what Bruce is saying and he's telling me that there's a road to be travelled that you'll never discover it if you stay!

I wanted friends like Bruce had in 'Tenth Avenue Freeze-out' like "Scooter and the Big Man" and I had a feeling that I'd know by experience quite soon that "Somewhere tonight you run sad and free/Until all you can see is the night" (from 'Night'), and that desire in 'Born to Run' - "I want to know if love is wild/girl I want to know if love is real" - I didn't realise then that it would take many, many years to have that one answered! I was still on the journey of discovery and there was a word of hope that seemed to stick with me like a friend throughout all of those days, months and years:

"Someday girl I don't know when
we're gonna get to that place
Where we really want to go
and we'll walk in the sun
But till then tramps like us
baby we were born to run"

Clinton Heylin's book 'E Street Shuffle: The Glory Days of Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band', speaks about the eventual release of 'Born to Run' and he reckons that originally "Springsteen was seriously planning to leave off 'Born to Run'. Thankfully, wiser counsel prevailed." (p111)
The track list that Springsteen wanted to go with was this:

Side One

5. Night

Side Two

I don't know about you but it's hard to imagine if this album would have been as successful had 'Born to Run' not been included! Also, and Heylin doesn't mention this, I wonder what the album title would have been?

It also throws up the question whether Bruce would ever actually know the kind of success he enjoys today had he left the track off of the album.

Don't you just love 'What If's'?
Born To Run Covered

Tidy Tune #237: Ain't It Fun - Paramore

Live in Mexico 2013
01 - Moving On
02 - Misery Business
03 - Decode
04 - Now
05 - Renegade
06 - Pressure
07 - Ain't It Fun
08 - Fast In My Car
09 - Ignorance
10 - Looking Up
11 - Anklebiters
12 - Thats What You Get
13 - Proof
14 - Brick by Boring Brick

Paramore - Reading Festival 22nd August 2014

Still Into You
That's What You Get
For a Pessimist, I'm Pretty Optimistic
The Only Exception
Last Hope
Brick by Boring Brick
Misery Business
Let the Flames Begin
Part II
Ain't It Fun

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Gems From My Collection: The Mod Revival Part One

Bank Holiday Weekends always remind me of times down at a beach town (especially Brighton and Hastings). I found myself there a few times back when I was younger. Firstly for a UK Subs show on Hastings Pier with local Mod band Teenbeats as support. Another time it was Brighton when I accompanied seasoned DJ Jerry Floyd for a huge show on The Lambrettas Beat Boys in the Jet Age tour. Another time it was for a show by The Chords.

The music of the Mod Revival of 1979 is a bit of a pick and mix, not all of it was great but there were a few bands who were fantastic live and just happened to make brilliant records. I thought I'd share a few bits and pieces that I have in my own collection that still thrill me when I hear them today. Click on the links to enjoy the music.

You cannot really focus on The Mod Revival without actually thinking about The Jam. They popped up in the nation's conciousness back in May 1977 with their ground breaking debut album 'In The City' on Polydor records.

Another band in 1977 who were destined to play an important part in The Mod Revival of 1979 are Power Pop's New Hearts featuring Ian Page and Dave Cairns. They only released two singles on CBS before regrouping and forming what would be one of the stand out bands of the time in Secret Affair.

My World.
I'm Not Free (But I'm Cheap).
Glory Boys.
Going To A Go Go.

Their debut on I-Spy Records, 'Glory Boys' I still think stands the test of time and is loaded with brilliant songs including the excellent 'Days of Change' and 'I'm Not Free (But I'm Cheap)'. After another two albums they packed it all in back in 1982 but are currently back on the circuit and released a new album 'Soho Dreams' (Listen to 'Walk Away' here) in 2012.

The Chords were another at the forefront of the new Mod movement and they released some cracking material. Their debut album, 'So Far Away' doesn't have a single track on it that you would skip over (the whole album used to be on You Tube but I can't seem to find it now).
Now It's Gone.
It's No Use.
Something's Missing.
Maybe Tomorrow.
Tumbling Down.
Happy Families.
So Far Away.

Lastly for this post one of my favourites from back then and a band I got to see many many times - Teenbeats. Their first single was a cover of The Troggs classic:

And probably one of the best singles ever to be released from a band as part of the Mod Revival - Teenbeats' 2nd single on Safari Records:

Coming up in Part 2: Long Tall Shorty, Purple Hearts, Back to Zero, The Killermeters, and more.

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