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Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Revisiting Nebraska - Bruce Springsteen (Sept 1982)

Richard Williams wrote in Q magazine that Nebraska "marked the point at which Springsteen the career strategist began to take over". Williams considered that Springsteen's attempts at "'honest' roughness" for his working-class characters was "at best misguided, at worst patronising" and added: "Nebraska would simply have been a vastly better record with the benefit of the E Street Band and a few months in the studio."

Whenever I read those comments of Richard Williams I always have a chuckle because whilst Q magazine were not overly thrilled with it the album far surpassed any expectations that Springsteen, Jon Landau and Columbia Records had for it. Also the affection that some Springteen fans have for the album leaves Richard Williams' comments in the dust like a piece of discarded litter!

Nebraska is probably my favourite Bruce Springsteen album, I know that sounds bizzare when you are talking about things like Born to Run, Darkness at the Edge of Town and The River (and I love all those albums by the way) but there's an absolute simplicity to this album that shows Bruce the Storyteller at the peak of his powers. The album has it all, Life and Death. Despair and Hope. Guilt and Innocence. Love and Hate. It has moments of great gentleness and moments of heart wrenching callousness.

It's a great album to pull out and play today. A couple of years ago on the 31st anniversary of its released I posted a blog that included some comments from a few fans. Go and have a read if you haven't seen it before.

 Nebraska - Bruce Springsteen
Produced by Bruce Springsteen
Released 30th September 1982
US Chart #3
UK Chart #3

Bruce Springsteen – vocals, guitar, harmonica, mandolin, glockenspiel, tambourine, organ, synthesizer

78th Show on  The Wrecking Ball Tour
Live at Centurylink Center in Omaha, NE
15th November 2012

Nebraska Tracks Highlighted
Reason to Believe
Johnny 99
Atlantic City

Hungry Heart
We Take Care of Our Own
Wrecking Ball
Death to My Hometown
My City of Ruins
Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?
Sherry Darling
Lost in the Flood
State Trooper
Open All Night
Shackled and Drawn
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
Raise Your Hand
Highway Patrolman
Land of Hope and Dreams
Thunder Road
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out

Show Notes from Backstreets Website

Thursday night's show was in Omaha, Nebraska.  Yes, the state that gave title to Bruce Springsteen’s sixth album, and he sure was aware of it.
Things started with the album's closing track, "Reason to Believe," in the rocking arrangement that was a staple of the Magic tour, with Bruce wailing away on harmonica and the bullet-mic distortion effect applied to his vocals. This tour debut served as a great opener and had the crowd immediately energized.

As the band immediately followed this up with "Johnny 99" and "Atlantic City," many fans were wondering: could this be the night that Bruce performs the entire album? Not quite, but six Nebraska songs ties the record for a single "My Father's House,"live show. A seventh,  was rehearsed at the pre-show soundcheck but alas, did not make the set. Tour premiere number two and song number four from Nebraska was "State Trooper," a mesmerizing performance by Bruce solo on a Gretsch electric guitar.  It was reminiscent of the Devils and Dust tour version, but was sung straight (rather than in the falsetto used in 2005) and at a slightly faster tempo.

Two songs later, Bruce signaled to Roy to start the piano introduction of the jump-blues arrangement of "Open All Night," Nebraska song number five. A feature for the horn section, it included an extended trombone solo for Clark Gayton. Clark had a particularly great night, standing out not just during "Open All Night," but also earlier in the set on "Johnny 99" and "Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?"

The final Nebraska selection was a full-band version of "Highway Patrolman," the song's first performance by the E Street Band since 1985. Bruce started out solo before the band kicked in, including some understated keyboards from Roy and prominent accordion and violin parts from Charles and Soozie, respectively.  The E Street Choir joined in on the chorus to great effect.

With such an emphasis on Nebraska, Thursday night was already a dark, intense affair, and that mood was enhanced by several additional setlist choices from Bruce. Just including "State Trooper" in the set is one thing, but then to bookend it with sign requests for "Lost in the Flood" and "Trapped" was phenomenal. This three-song run showed exactly how useful signs can be when Bruce finds ones that fit the mood of the show. Then, following "Highway Patrolman," Bruce elected to skip "The Rising," and instead cued Roy to start the piano introduction to a surprise "Backstreets" — a performance that could have been the highlight of the show, had this not already been such an extraordinary evening.

Bruce did manage to include a few moments of levity, as he granted a request for "Sherry Darling," and again used "Hungry Heart" as an opportunity to crowd surf from the middle of the floor back to the stage. Late in the encore, a fourth tour premiere came out in the form of the year's first "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town." When collecting signs earlier in the show, a Santa hat was thrown on stage and was jokingly dismissed by Bruce as being too early — "it's not even Thanksgiving yet!” By the end of the show, perhaps intending to bring a bit more fun to the proceedings, he had changed his mind.

"Santa" was predictably well received by the crowd but also bittersweet, as the song's debut reinforced the absence of Clarence. Eddie and Jake ably shared the sax solo, but the start of the song was a different matter altogether. Without Clarence on the stage, Bruce quickly realized that he had to do the trademark "ho-ho-ho" laughter himself. Raising his arms to the sky, he called out "Big Man, we need you!" When it came time for "better be good for goodness sake" he called on the entire crowd, who gleefully and eagerly filled in. - Glenn Radecki reporting  

Rewind: 1985 Mad Not Mad - Madness


Mad Not Mad - Madness
Released 30th September 1985
Produced by Cliver Langer and Alan Winstanley
UK Chart #16 
Singles From Mad Not Mad
  1. Yesterday's Men
    Released: 19 August 1985 UK Chart #18
  2. Uncle Sam
    Released: 14 October 1985
    UK Chart #21
  3. The Sweetest Girl
    Released: 10 February 1986

    UK Chart #35
    Suggs (Graham McPherson) – lead vocals
    Chris Foreman – guitars
    Mark Bedford (Bedders) – bass guitars
    Lee Thompson – saxophones
    Daniel Woodgate (Woody) – drums, lynn drum programming; keyboard sequences
    Chas Smash (Cathal Smyth) – backing Vocals; lead vocals on "Tears You Can't Hide"
    Steve Nieve – keyboards

Session musicians
    Roy Davies – piano
    Judd Lander – harmonica
    Luís Jardim – percussion
    Tom Morley – computer supervision
    Gary Barnacle – horns
    David Bedford – strings and MD
    Trevor Ford – strings
    Rupert Bowden – strings
    Bill Benham – strings
    Belinda Blunt – strings
    Rusen Gunes – strings
    Adan Levine – strings
    Basil Smart – strings
    Afrodiziak (Caron Wheeler and Claudia Fontaine) – backing Vocals
    Jimmy Helms – backing vocals
    Jimmy Thomas – backing vocals
    Jimmy Chambers – backing vocals

Mad Not Mad is the sixth studio album by the British ska/pop band Madness. It was originally released in late 1985, and was their first official release on their own label Zarjazz, which was a sub-label of Virgin Records. The album was recorded over a period of two months in 1985, at Westside Studios in London, and at Air studios also in London. The album is generally regarded as the culmination of the smoother, more adult-oriented sound of the band's later work. It features three prolific guest backing vocalists, including the female duo Afrodiziak (composed of Caron Wheeler and Claudia Fontaine), and Jimmy Helms. The album is notably the band's only album not to feature their keyboardist and founding member Mike Barson, who had left the group the previous year to spend more time with his now ex-wife Sandra in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Barson's keyboard parts were filled by synthesizers and Steve Nieve joined the band to take his place. Two years after the album Madness disbanded, but Barson did join them for the recording of their one-off single, "(Waiting For) The Ghost Train". The album was their last recording of original material until they officially reformed in 1992. The album peaked at number 16 in the UK charts, and achieved silver status from the BPI. However, the album remains the band's poorest selling studio album to date. It featured the songs "Yesterday's Men", "Uncle Sam", and "Sweetest Girl" which were all released as singles, with corresponding music videos. The three singles that were released all reached the top 40 in the UK charts, however the latter two failed to make the top 20, which was a first for any Madness single. The aforementioned "Sweetest Girl" was a cover version of a song by the British post-punk/new wave band Scritti Politti.

On release, the album was received favourably by the majority of music critics, although opinions have become much more negative in subsequent decades. And after only a few weeks of its initial release, the writers of NME listed this album at number 55 on their list of the "100 Best Albums of All Time". The band themselves have been quite vocal in that they were less satisfied with the album. In a BBC Radio 1 interview in 1993 their lead vocalist, Suggs described Mad Not Mad as "a polished turd" (referring to its distinctively glossy mid 1980s over-production by Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley, whom had both produced all of Madness' work since their debut). However, NME are still favourable for the album, including it in their 2015 list of "50 Albums Released in 1985 That Still Sound Great Today".

The album was re-released in the United Kingdom, in October 2010 on Virgin featuring rare bonus content. The reissue was a 3-disc set which comprises a 14-track with the original album digitally remastered from the original 1/2" mix tapes; alongside three bonus single remixes and '(Waiting For) The Ghost Train'; a Bonus 10-track CD including demos of all the album's singles and their respective B-sides; plus a Bonus DVD containing all the music videos for the singles as well as live performances from five BBC TV shows. It also features liner notes written by comedian and Madness fan, Phill Jupitus.

Despite the lack of success of the album it still remains an album of theirs that I really love. Burning the Boats is one of my favourites and Yesterday's Men I think is one of their finest singles, even if it is a bit out of character for them.

Burning the Boats and Time - Whistle Test 26/11/85.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

45RPM: #39 He's On The Beach - Kirsty MacColl (1985)

It's a constant amazement to me when a Single, that clearly has all the boxes ticked, fails to make it to the charts or if it does it seems to stumble and fall way out of reach of the Top 40.

The singles of Kirsty MacColl are a great example because besides the five that did reach the Top 30 (two Top Ten singles) there are a pile that didn't get very far at all.

One of them is He's On The Beach, it never even got into the lower reaches of the UK Chart and yet it is a brilliant Pop Song.

I was thinking about this last night when on my iPod came an excellent Acoustic Version of Kirsty's song (video below) that was recorded for a Live BBC Acoustic Session back in 1994. I thought it was about time to add Kirsty's name to the list of great Singles that we have looked at as part of the 45RPM series here on Soundtrack4Life

 He's On The Beach / Please Go To Sleep
Stiff Records
Produced by Steve Lilywhite
June 1985

Promo Video

Acoustic Version for Radio 1 Session 7th March 1994

Music is the Doctor #21: Dancing The Night Away

The 21st Playlist in the series Music is the Doctor is dedicated to all things Dance.

On The Playlist
Land of 1000 Dances - Wilson Pickett.
Sadie Hawkins Dance - Relient K.
Do You Wanna Dance - Ramones.
Let's Dance - Silicon Teens.
Life Begins At The Hop - XTC.
King of the Bop - The Nipple Erectors.
Shake - Eddie and the Hot Rods.
The Magnificent Dance - The Clash.
Safety Dance - The Donnas.
Dancing With Myself - Generation X.
Spin-O-Rama - The Primitives.
Four Simple Words - Frank Turner.
Dance This Mess Around - The B-52's.
Twist and Shout - The Isley Brothers.
Do The Dog - The Specials.
Mystery Dance - Elvis Costello.
Sally Can't Dance - Lou Reed.
Let's Dance - David Bowie.
Dancing the Night Away - The Motors.
Miss Europa Disco Dancer - Manic Street Preachers.
Mary Jane's Last Dance - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Dance to the Bop - Gene Vincent.
Pogo Dancing - Chris Spedding and The Vibrators.
Demolition Dancing - The Ruts.
The Politics of Dancing - Re-Flex.
Wardance - Killing Joke.
Juke Box Jive - The Rubettes.
Non-Stop Dancing - The Jam.
New Dance - Secret Affair.
Bring On The Dancing Horses - Echo and the Bunnymen.
Land - Patti Smith.


Rewind: 1992 Our Time In Eden - 10,000 Maniacs

Our Time In Eden - 10,000 Maniacs
Produced by Paul Fox
Released 29th September 1992
US Chart #28
UK Chart #33

10,000 Maniacs
    Jerome Augustyniak - drums, percussion
    Robert Buck - electric and acoustic guitars, electric sitar, banjo, pedal and lap steel guitars, mandocello
    Dennis Drew - Hammond organ, piano, keyboards, accordion
    Steven Gustafson - bass guitar
    Natalie Merchant - vocals, piano

Additional musicians
    Larry Corbett - cello
    Paulinho Da Costa - percussion
    Bruce Dukov - violin
    Charles Fleischer - harmonica
    Pamela Goldsmith - viola
    Kim Laskowski - bassoon
    Ralph Morrison - viola
    Mary Ramsey - violin, viola
    Atsuko Sato - bassoon
    James Brown - horns
    Alfred "Pee Wee" Ellis - tenor saxophone
    Maceo Parker - alto saxophone
    Fred Wesley - trombone
    Paul Buckmaster - string quartet arranger/conductor

Our Time in Eden is a 1992 album by 10,000 Maniacs. It is their fifth studio album, and their last studio album with the original lead singer, Natalie Merchant. The album included her future replacement Mary Ramsey on viola on such tracks as "Stockton Gala Days", "Jezebel" and "How You've Grown".

Singles From Our Time In Eden

Monday, 28 September 2015

Don Henley - Cass County (25 September 2015)

With the Eagles finally completing their "Farewell Tour" (again!) Don Henley has time to release his first solo album in 15 years! His fifth album was recorded in Nashville over a period of years alongside the original drummer for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and long time collaborator Stan Lynch. Both Lynch and Henley Co-Produce the project. A host of guests appear on the album, some just doing backing vocals! The all-star guests include Merle Haggard, Mick Jagger, Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Ashley Monroe, Dolly Parton, Lucinda Williams and Trisha Yearwood. The album is released on Capitol Records.

It's a Country Album, but Henley doesn't see that as a bandwagon he's jumping on but something that is an extension of the person he is (he's a Texan born boy so Country music is in his veins!). Eleven songs penned by Henley and Lynch and a few seasoned covers thrown in for good measure.

Here's a few thoughts about the tracks:

Bramble Rose (featuring Miranda Lambert and Mick Jagger)
For the most part the album works really well and the opener is pretty good up until the point that Mick Jagger's vocals enter the fray! Kind of ruined it for me as it's a great wee tune.

The Cost of Living (featuring Merle Haggard)
This is actually one of a number of tracks that I could almost hear the Eagles doing! Haggard knows a lot about The Cost of Living and so brings an authenticity to the song.

No Thank You
Don Henley almost sounds like he's been steeped in a lot of modern Country by the likes of Urban, Brooks, Church etc. A good stomper of a tune.

Waiting Tables
This another that has that Eagles type sound. It shows Henley as a great storyteller in song.

Take A Picture of This
This is one of those songs that you are going to see turn up with photo montages etc of people's lives. It's good though and Henley's voice sounds great on it.

Too Far Gone
Not bad, a bit of a slow ballady type of tune.

That Old Flame (featuring Martina McBride)
One of the standout tracks on the album I think. His voice fits well with McBride's. I saw a review that said she owns him on this song, and I don't think that's right at all. She doesn't overpower but does enough to really enhance the song.

The Brand New Tennessee Waltz
Wasn't overly fussed about this one, it's a bit twee. Originally released by Jesse Winchester back in the early 1970's

Words Can Break Your Heart
Reminiscent of his earlier work on End of the Innocence album I think but still a great set lyrics speaking some down to earth truth.

Whe I Stop Dreaming (featuring Dolly Parton)
A beautiful reading of the old Louvin Brothers song.

Praying For Rain
Lucinda Williams does the backing vocals on this one and it's a delicious song, another standout track.

Too Much Pride
Lyrically this sounds like a typical Country song, tales of regret, hopelessness, sin etc. It's the kind of song you'd expect from a drunk old fella at the bar giving a lesson on morality! Not meaning that it's a poor song, it's just the kind of image that came into my head. 

Tracklist for Deluxe Edition
1.     "Bramble Rose" (featuring Mick Jagger and Miranda Lambert)     4:30
2.     "The Cost of Living" (featuring Merle Haggard)     3:40
3.     "No, Thank You"       3:45
4.     "Waiting Tables"       4:47
5.     "Take a Picture of This"       4:06
6.     "Too Far Gone"       3:43
7.     "That Old Flame" (featuring Martina McBride)     4:25
8.     "The Brand New Tennessee Waltz"       3:20
9.     "Words Can Break Your Heart"       3:40
10.     "When I Stop Dreaming" (featuring Dolly Parton)     3:06
11.     "Praying for Rain"       5:00
12.     "Too Much Pride"  3.45
13.     "She Sang Hymns Out of Tune"       3:15
14.     "Train In the Distance"       4:47
15.     "A Younger Man"       4:20
16.     "Where I Am Now"       2:34

Expanded Edition from Target includes
It Don't Matter To The Sun (featuing Stevie Nicks).
Here Comes Those Tears Again (featuring Alison Krauss).

Music Complete - New Order (25th September 2015)

Music Complete - New Order
Mute Records
Produced by New Order, Stuart Price and Tom Rowlands
25th September 2015

 New Order
    Bernard Sumner – vocals, guitar, synthesisers
    Stephen Morris – drums and percussion, keyboards, programming
    Gillian Gilbert – keyboards
    Phil Cunningham – keyboards, guitars, electronic percussion
    Tom Chapman – bass, synthesisers

Music Complete is the tenth studio album by the English rock band New Order. It was released on 25 September 2015 by Mute Records, their first album on the label. The album features guest vocals from Elly Jackson of La Roux (on Tutti Frutti and People On The High Line), Iggy Pop (on Stray Dog) and Brandon Flowers (on Superheated). Music Complete was released on CD, digital download, vinyl and limited-edition clear vinyl. An 8×LP deluxe vinyl box set that was released also features the album as well as extended versions of all eleven tracks. The cover artwork for the LP (including the limited-edition clear vinyl release), CD, download, as well as the 8×LP deluxe edition will differ based on color schemes. The deluxe LP box set will be released on 20 November 2015. On 29 July, "Restless" was released as the album's lead single. On 16 September, "Plastic" was released as the second single.

It's the first New Order without Peter Hook (who since his departure has not been so gracious to his former bandmates), and so on bass this is the debut for Tom Chapman and he does a pretty good job if I may say so. It's also the return of Gillian Gilbert (she last appeared with the band in 2001 on Get Ready).

Having had the opportunity to play it a few times over the weekend I'm pretty impressed with it. Tracks I'm impressed with thus far: Restless, People On The High Line, Stray Dog, Academic and Unlearn This Hatred.

Barry Walters of Rolling Stone wrote: "Just as Curtis' suicide inspired his bandmates to reinvent themselves as New Order in 1980, Hook's departure frees them to create their most varied and substantial work in decades." - I would add a thumbs up for that comment because he's totally spot on.

45RPM: #38 Hysterie Connective - Métal Urbain (1978)

French Punk Rock, yes, not that big in France at all back in 1977 (though of course there was a Punk Rock Festival there that The Pistols, The Clash, The Damned, Eddie and the Hot Rods and a bundle of other UK based artists played). But one of the bands who had formed in 1976 in Paris found a hearing in the UK thanks to John Peel and to Rough Trade. That was Métal Urbain.

They only released three singles (Links for the first two are at the bottom of the page) and an album before disbanding (though they have been reunited at different points since and currently have two members who were in the band from 1977. They have also released new music as well as a number of compilations).

I really liked this single and did get to see them live a couple of times which was a rather interesting time as although they were quite punky their electronic side was not very welcome among some rather closed minded individuals.

Hysterie Connective / Pas Poubelle - Métal Urbain
Radar Records
Produced by Rough Trade/Metal Urbain
Released 28th September 1978

First Two Singles
1977 - Panik / Lady Coca Cola Cobra COB 47004
1977 - Paris Maquis / Cle De Contact Rough Trade RT001

Sunday, 27 September 2015

S4L Presents: The Best Debut Albums #22 - (The) Status Quo (1968)

In 1962 Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster formed a band whilst they were still at school (Sedgehill Comprehensive School, Catford, South East London - a few miles down the road from where I grew in Sydenham) and they called that band The Scorpions. They made their live debut a year later in Dulwich, South East London at a sports club.

In the same year that they played live for the first time John Coghlan took over the drum stool and the band changed their name to The Spectres. Writing their own material they met Rick Parfitt (around 1964 I think) and by the end of 1965 Parfitt and Rossi were good mates and made a commitment to continue working together (though Parfitt would not join the band until 1967). Parfitt was involved in a cabaret band called The Highlights.

July 18th 1966 The Spectres signed a record deal with Piccadilly Records, a five year deal and in 1966 they released two singles: 'I (Who Have Nothing)' and 'Hurdy Gurdy Man'. In 1967 they relased a third single, 'We Ain't Got Nothing Yet', a song originally released by a New York Psychedelic band The Blue Magoos. None of the singles reached the charts.

In 1967 they changed their name to The Traffic Jam and then had to change it again due to confusion with Steve Winwood's  band Traffic. Under this name they released another single ('Almost But Not Quite There') that also failed to chart. The new name of the band was The Status Quo and with Rick Parfitt now on board their fortunes were about to change.

Released in January 1968 the first single from The Status Quo was 'Pictures of Matchstick Men'. It would reach #7 on the charts and I love Francis Rossi's explanation about how the song came to be written:
"I wrote it on the bog. I'd gone there, not for the usual reasons...but to get away from the wife and mother-in-law. I used to go into this narrow frizzing toilet and sit there for hours, until they finally went out. I got three quarters of the song finished in that khazi. The rest I finished in the lounge."

The follow-up, 'Black Viels of Melancholy' though did not chart and was thought of as just a copy of their debut single! 'Ice in the Sun', written by Marty Wilde followed and again they had a top ten single (eventually peaking at #8).

By 1969's Spare Parts album they had dropped "The" and were just known as Status Quo.

Whilst it's true that they made much better albums than the debut, and it's not really "great" due to the fact that it did not chart in the UK (and neither did their next three albums - all of which I still regard as special for one reason or another). It's an album I have a real affection for and that's why it would be on my list of The Best Debut Albums.

(These introductory comments were taken from a previous blog I posted called The School of Quo 1962-77

Picturesque Matchstickable Messages from the Status Quo - Status Quo
Pye Records
Produced by John Schroder
Released 27th September 1968
UK Chart: Did Not Chart
German Chart #8

    Francis Rossi - vocals, lead guitar
    Rick Parfitt - vocals, rhythm guitar
    Alan Lancaster - bass guitar
    John Coghlan - drums
    Roy Lynes - vocals, organ

The 2009 Deluxe Edition
Disc 1 featured the album in Mono + Extras
Disc 2 featured a Stereo Mix of the album + BBC Sessions as The Spectres, Traffic Jam and The Status Quo

Singles From The Album
January 1968
UK Chart #7
US Chart #12

April 1968
Did Not Chart in the UK
German Chart #36
Dutch Chart #18

September 1968
UK Chart #8
US Chart #70

Withdrawn from Release

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Rewind: 2000 Good Charlotte Release Debut Album

A band I have a little affection for is Good Charlotte (well at least for their first four albums - the fifth one was pretty poor). Formed in Waldorf, Maryland in 1996 when they were at School and they made a name for themselves in DC by performing at HFStival in 1998 and 1999 and by playing around small bars.

They did release an EP (very limited to 50 Copies!) in 2000 and all four tracks ended up on their debut self-titled album.

Now whilst the album didn't sell so well at first reaching the very lower reaches of the Album Chart it would be their second album (The Young and the Hopeless released in 2002) that would catapult them to stardom.

I saw them a couple of times in Glasgow and they did put on a great show. Check out the performance from Switzerland (I think) in 2003.

Good Charlotte - Good Charlotte
Daylight/Epic Records
Produced by Don Gilmore and John Feldmann (The Click)
Released 26th September 2000
US Chart #185
UK Chart #194

Good Charlotte
    Joel Madden - lead vocals
    Benji Madden - lead guitar, backing vocals
    Billy Martin - rhythm guitar, additional backing vocals on "Little Things"
    Paul Thomas - bass guitar, additional backing vocals on "Little Things"
    Aaron Escolopio - drums, additional backing vocals on "Little Things"*
Additional Personnel
    David Campbell - string arrangements

*Aaron would leave the band after the album was made.

(this is the running order for the 2003 Re-issue)
01 Little Things
02 Waldorf Worldwide
03 The Motivation Proclamation
04 East Coast Anthem
05 Festival Song
06 Complicated
07 Seasons
08 I Don't Wanna Stop
09 I Heard You
10 The Click (Japanese Edition Bonus Track)
11 Walk By
12 Let Me Go
13 Screamer
14 Change
15 Thank You Mom

Singles from Good Charlotte Album
  1. "Little Things"
    Released: March 27, 2001 US Chart #115
  2. "The Motivation Proclamation"
    Released: August 7, 2001
  3. The Click (Video Only Release)
  4. "Festival Song"
    Released: 2001

45RPM: #37 Found Out Too Late - 999 (1979)

It's quite surprising that 999 are still on the go today with pretty much the same personnel as they had back when they began. They have only had minor changes in the band, mostly on the bass (Jon Watson had left the band in 1986 and his replacement Danny Palmer played between 1986-87), and from 1993 to the present day they have Arturo Bassick (also of The Lurkers) thumping the four strings, Nick Cash, Guy Days and Pablo LaBritain are still there. There's not many bands around today who hail from those heady days of Punk who could say they still possess the same players! The band has split up twice (first in 1982 but they returned a year later and then again in 1987 only to resurface again in 1993).

On this single Ed Case is playing the drums as Pablo had been in a car accident in 1978, he did return to the band proper in 1980 (though he does appear on this single).

999 were always frowned upon a bit as bandwagon jumpers which I think is pretty unfair. People point out that Nick Cash (Keith Lucas) had been in Kilburn and the High Roads - as if that's some badge of dishonour! (Ian Dury was the lead singer and when he entered the fray not many gave him as much stick!).

They started life in 1976 as The Dials, changed their name to 48 Hours (only to discover The Clash had a song called that), so briefly they became The Fanatics before settling for 999. Their first show as 999 was up in Northampton on the 22nd January 1977 and their debut single I'm Alive / Quite Disappointing appeared in August the same year. Two months later their first single on a major label (United Artists) was released (Nasty Nasty / No Pity). Also in 1977 they supported The Runaways on their UK Tour.

Over the years they have released more than 15 singles and 12 studio albums. Some singles made the charts and even a couple of albums broke into the Billboard Album Charts in the US! They have continued to this day playing live, and whilst maybe not the powerhouse they were back in the day the live DVD below from 2006 shows that they are still impressive enough. For a few albums by the band you can click here and have a listen.

Whilst I love a lot of the singles from 77-78 Found Out Too Late is probably my favourite 45 of theirs. It was a one off deal with Radar Records (home to Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Yachts etc) before they moved to Polydor Records

A Found Out Too Late 3:44
B Lie, Lie, Lie, 2:57
Radar Records (ADA 46)
 Produced by Vic Maile
Released 26th September 1979
UK Chart #69

Nick Cash - vocals and guitar
Guy Days - guitar and vocals
Jon Watson - bass
Ed Case - drums
Pablo Labritain - percussion

A-Side: Found Out Too Late

B-Side: Lie Lie Lie

999 - Nasty Tales Live

Friday, 25 September 2015

New Archive Release From Bruce Springsteen (September 2015)

The latest release from the Bruce Springsteen Concert Archives comes from the Devils and Dust Tour from 2005 and spotlights the night of 31st July at The Value City Theatre at The Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus, OH.

The video below is taken from the Bootleg A Night of Debuts (to which someone has kindly added a few bonus tracks from 15th May Show at Cleveland State University (these tracks are not available on the official release).

You Can Get The New Release HERE!

Set List
31st July 2005
01 "This is Obscure"
02 Lift Me Up
03 Reason To Believe
04 Devils & Dust
05 Lonesome Day
06 "First Teenage Party"
07 Long Time Comin'
08 "Hang Your Ass Out There, Boss!"
09 Back In Your Arms
10 For You
11 State Trooper
12 Cynthia
13 One Step Up
14 Reno
15 When You're Alone
16 Valentine's Day
17 Lost In The Flood
18 The Rising
19 Further On (Up The Road)
20 Intro
21 Jesus Was An Only Son
22 Two Hearts
23 "Easier Said Than Done!"
24 The Hitter
25 Matamoros Banks
26 Ramrod
27 Bobby Jean
28 "North Jersey, South Jersey"
29 The Promised Land
30 Dream Baby Dream

Bonus Tracks: Cleveland State University, Wolstein Center, Cleveland, OH. May 15, 2005
31 Intro
32 My Beautiful Reward
33 Youngstown
34 Black Cowboys
35 "I Wasn't Filled With Much Love"
36 Stolen Car (tour premiere)
37 Maria's Bed

Live premiere of Lift Me Up, tour debut of Back In Your Arms and the first ever live acoustic version of Cynthia.

Piano songs are "Back In Your Arms", "For You", "Valentine's Day", "Lost In The Flood", and "Jesus Was An Only Son". "Reason To Believe" is with the bullet mic. "Dream Baby Dream" is on pump organ. "Lift Me Up" and "When You're Alone" are on electric piano. "State Trooper" is with the falsetto vocal.

1989 - Ryan Adams (21st September 2015)

If for some bizzare reason an alien visiting planet earth for the first time stumbled upon 1989 by Ryan Adams as it searched for the music us humans were listening to and knew nothing of its history I think it would be amazed by the noise that springs forth from it. 

If he/she then stumbled on 1989 by Taylor Swift I'm sure he/she would be confused because that record is nothing like the Adams record, and I'm pretty sure the alien would get back in his/her spacecraft and leave with only the Ryan Adams album as a prize possession!

Ryan Adams first announced his Swiftian endeavor in August. On Instagram, he previewed his annotated copy of the "Welcome to New York" lyrics and revealed that he would record the synth-y pop songs in the style of the Smiths! Well, he didn't quite get that part right but it's pretty impressive I think.
Adams' 1989 is released digitally for now, though he has indicated that CD and vinyl versions will also be released.

One of my friends mentioned a rumour that Taylor Swift might record a cover of Ryan Adams' Heartbreaker album, now that would be quite interesting to hear!


Taylor Swift - 1989*
* I couldn't find the whole album on You Tube so the above Links are just for the Promo Videos for the Singles released from the 1989 Album.

Rewind: 1967 Strange Days - The Doors

Strange Days - The Doors
Produced by Paul A. Rothchild
Released 25th September 1967
US Chart #3
French Chart #10

The Doors
    Jim Morrison – vocals, percussion, Moog synthesizer on track 1
    Ray Manzarek – Vox Continental organ, Fender Rhodes piano bass on tracks 4 and 10, harpsichord on track 3, backwards piano on track 4, marimba on track 9
    Robby Krieger – guitar
    John Densmore – drums

Additional musicians
    Douglas Lubahn – bass guitar on tracks 1–3, 6–9

Following on from their hit debut album that was released at the start of 1967, The Doors released their second on 25th September and it would peak at #3 in the charts and produced two further hit singles.

Strange Days consists of songs that were written in 1965–66 but which did not make it onto The Doors, such as "Moonlight Drive", which was one of the first songs written by lead singer Jim Morrison. A demo of the song was recorded in 1965 and a proper studio version was recorded for their debut album but was not used. In 1967, a final version was recorded and released on this album.

There's a number of tracks on the album that I really like but the final track on it - When The Music's Over - is my favourite track by The Doors.

 Side A   
1.     "Strange Days" (written by Jim Morrison)     3:11
2.     "You're Lost Little Girl" (written by Robby Krieger)     3:03
3.     "Love Me Two Times" (written by Krieger)     3:18
4.     "Unhappy Girl" (written by Morrison)     2:02
5.     "Horse Latitudes" (written by Morrison)     1:37
6.     "Moonlight Drive" (written by Morrison)     3:05
Side B    
7.     "People Are Strange" (written by Morrison and Krieger)     2:13
8.     "My Eyes Have Seen You" (written by Morrison)     2:32
9.     "I Can't See Your Face in My Mind" (written by Morrison)     3:26
10.     "When the Music's Over"       10:58

Singles From Strange Days
    "People Are Strange"/"Unhappy Girl"
    Released: September 1967 US #12
    "Love Me Two Times"/"Moonlight Drive"
    Released: November 1967 US #25
(Links are not necessarily the studio version released as the single but live versions from various shows between 1967-68)

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Rewind: 1983 Labour of Love - UB40 Hits #1

Labour of Love - UB40
DEP International
Produced by Ray Falconer and UB40
Released 1st September 1983
UK Chart #1
US Chart #15

Reached #1 in the UK on this day in musical history.

These days it's not unsual for artists to do an album loaded with Cover Versions but back in 1983 it was a very odd move (I'm sure there were probably albums out that were full of Covers but I cannot think of a single one, especially one that made it to #1!).

When the whole Two Tone Movement hit the big time it lead to loads of people tracking down the early Ska records and I'm not sure if it was in the minds of UB40 but maybe there would likewise be a new interest in some of the great Reggae records. I've included links below for all the songs represented on Labour of Love as done by the originals (or in some cases a cover version - Red Red Wine and Keep on Moving for example).

I know that these days there's a lot of craziness going on within the UB40 camp and with Ali Campbell but it's good to remember the band when they were at their best. 

This was their Fourth Studio album and it was an ode to the music that inspired them as a band. I know there are lots of people who have no time for UB40 and some who would probably wonder why I am posting about them on my blog but I feel they are an important band within the sphere of British Pop music. They were the first band to get a Dub Album into the charts with Present Arms in Dub . Their Debut Album Signing Off was recorded in a bedsit!...the album reached #2 in the charts on indie label Graduate. Up to the release of Labour of Love they had already had 8 Top 40 singles (King/Food For Thought reaching the highest spot of #4).

Another reason for posting about it is that it's still a brilliant album. You may not agree, I'm fine with that.
    Singles From Labour of Love
        Red Red Wine
        Released: August 1983 UK Chart #1 US Chart #34 (though when reissued in 1988 it went to #1)
        Please Don't Make Me Cry
        Released: October 1983 UK Chart #10.
    Many Rivers to Cross
        Released: December 1983 UK Chart #16.
    Cherry Oh Baby
        Released: March 1984 UK Chart #12.

45RPM: #36 Jackie Wilson Said (I'm In Heaven When You Smile) - Dexy's Midnight Runners(1982)

When Kevin Rowlands and Kevin "Al" Archer "stepped aside" from The Killjoys there was absolutely no telling what they would do next. Kevin Rowlands immeresed himself in Vintage Soul Music and so was born Dexy's Midnight Runners in 1978.

Their first single Dance Stance was released on Indie Label Oddball Records in 1979 and crept to #40 in the UK Singles Chart. I got to see them at The Marquee not long after that single was released and they were really impressive, a fantastic brass section as well. It was not long after when they got signed to EMI that they stood their ground on the release of their first single. EMI wanted the cover Breakin' Down The Walls of Heartache but the band were insisting on Geno, which the label thought was a mere B-Side! The band also refused to allow for a Double A-Sided Single and so on March 15th Geno was released and slowly climbed up the chart to reach #1 in May 3rd.

By the time Plan B was released in 1981, their fifth single, the band were in dispute with EMI. After the release Liars A To E the band had undertaken a very, very different image and direction musically.

Rowland then recruited fiddle players Helen O'Hara (from Archer's new group, the Blue Ox Babes), Steve Brennan and Roger MacDuff, known collectively as "The Emerald Express". With the addition of new bass player Giorgio Kilkenny, this line-up recorded Too-Rye-Ay in 1982, a hybrid of soul and Celtic folk, the new sound accompanied by a new look, with the band attired in dungarees, scarves, leather waistcoats, and what was described as "a generally scruffy right-off-the-farm look", or "a raggle-taggle mixture of gypsy, rural Irish and Steinbeck Okie". Rowland said of the new image: "These are my best clothes. Again it just feels right for the music. Everybody else is dressing up sort of straight-laced and pretty down-to-earth and we come in wearing these and it's like, y'know here we are, a bit of hoedowning is even possible".

The first single, The Celtic Soul Brothers, reached number 45 on the UK charts but the follow-up, Come On Eileen, became a Number One hit not only in the UK, but also in the United States, where it peaked at #1 in April 1983 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The follow-up Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile), a cover of a Van Morrison tune, also reached the top 5 in the UK singles chart. The band sang this song on the UK comedy The Young Ones. When the band performed this single on the BBC TV music show Top of the Pops, instead of a picture of Jackie Wilson, the American soul singer, the band performed in front of a photo of Jocky Wilson, the Scottish darts player.

 Jackie Wilson Said (I'm In Heaven When You Smile)

B-Sides on 12"
Mercury Records
Produced by Kevin Roland, Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley
UK Chart #5

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