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Saturday, 31 October 2015

45RPM: #58 Tower of Strength - The Mission (1988)

I'm not really a fan of The Mission, I know a little bit about them, and a few of their songs were a bit familiar to me and so I was little bit stunned this week when I sat down and listened to their A's and B's Collection that was recently released and found myself singing along to quite a number of the songs! How this happened I don't know because back when the singles came out I never bought them and yet there they are stuck in the jukebox of my memory!

This little "accident" has led this week to actually sitting down and listening to the band and discovering that I seemed to have been a bit too quick to dismiss them as just Goths with funky hats!

For this 45RPM post I could have chosen any number of singles but today I heard this again and thought it has to be the one. Great lyrics as well.

Tower of Strength / Fabienne / Breathe

January 1988

 UK Chart #12

A-Side: Tower of Strength


To coincide with the Sum and Substance compilation that was due for release in February 1994 The Mission released a Remix of Tower of Strength done by Youth of Killing Joke in January of 1994. It was released on 12" and CD featuring different tracks and mixs. I'm not a huge fan of remixes but for sake of it I'll post them anyway.

* Not available on CD

 Limited Edition CD Mixes

The Cover for the CD was Blue and featured the same image as the 12".

Friday, 30 October 2015

U2 - The O2 London 29th October 2015

Third Night in London for the boys from the Northside of Dublin and their guest for the evening was one who is no stranger to the U2 stage or to their music. She appeared at the 25th Anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside Springsteen and U2 for a rousing Because the Night  and appeared with them on the Vertigo Tour at The Gardens in New York. She has performed and recorded the U2 song Until the End of the World (and U2 recorded Dancing Barefoot).

Patti Smith took to the stage during the encore as Bad faded into Bono giving the G.L.O.R.I.A. chant and then launching into a thunderous version of People Have The Power.

Loads of links for the Set and I'll try and find more later, this is all I found so far. Click on them to enjoy the music.

Setlist: The O2 London Night #3 29th October 2015

    The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)
    Gloria / Van Morrison's Gloria (snippet)
    I Will Follow/Iris (Hold Me Close)
    Cedarwood Road
    Song For Someone
    Sunday Bloody Sunday
    Raised By Wolves / Psalm 23 (snippet)
    Until The End Of The World / Love And Peace Or Else (snippet) / Words (snippet)
    (Intermission - The Fly)
    Invisible/Even Better Than The Real Thing
    Mysterious Ways / Burning Down The House (snippet)/Elevation
    New Year's Day
    Every Breaking Wave
    October/Bullet The Blue Sky / Ode To Joy (snippet) / 19 (snippet)
    Zooropa/Where The Streets Have No Name / California (There Is No End To Love) (snippet)
    Pride (In The Name Of Love)
    With Or Without You

    City Of Blinding Lights
    Beautiful Day / I Remember You (snippet)
    Mother And Child Reunion (snippet) / Bad / Patti Smith's Gloria (snippet with Patti Smith)
    People Have The Power (with Patti Smith)

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Rewind: 1979 Dirk Wears White Søx - Adam and the Ants

Prior to the release of their debut album their first recorded output by Adam and the Ants came on the John Peel Show when they laid down four tracks for a January 1978 Session (Deutscher Girls, Puerto-Rican, It Doesn't Matter and Lou featuring Jordan). On the 24th January 1978 they re-recorded the Deutscher Girls track for Derek Jarman's Jubilee Movie and laid down some overdubs on a version of Plastic Surgery that had originally been recorded in 1977 at a Demos session.

A second Peel Session came in July 1978 and was broadcast on the 17th of the month (tracks included: You're So Physical, Cleopatra, Friends and I'm A Zerox Machine).

Decca Records signed them and only one single was released on October 20th 1978: Young Parisians / Lady. Most people I know prefer the B-side to the A-side.

A third John Peel Session was broadcast in April 1979, songs featured were: Tabletalk, Ligotage, Animals and Men and Never Trust A Man (With Egg On His Face).
After Decca had let them go they signed with Independent Do It Records and released their second single Zerøx / Whip In My Valise in June 1979.

Debut Album Release
On this day in 1979 Adam and the Ants released their debut album Dirk Wears White Søx. It holds the distinction for being the first ever #1 album on the UK Independent Albums Chart in Record Week.

Not long after the album was released Malcom McLaren took over the management of the band after Adam had gone to him frustrated with the lack of commercial success.

On 26 January 1980, McLaren convinced the rest of the band – then comprising guitarist Matthew Ashman, bassist Leigh Gorman (who had replaced Andrew Warren in November 1979) and drummer Dave Barbe – to leave Adam and the Ants and form Bow Wow Wow, fronted by Annabella Lwin.

Between February and April 1980 Adam Ant set about putting together a new band that would feature Marco Pirroini (formerly of Siouxsie and the Banshees - he played guitar at their first ever show at the 100 Club in 1976 as part of the Punk Rock Festival - Sid Vicious played Drums - , and he was also a member of The Models - who released a classic single in 1977: Freeze / Man of the Year on Step Forward Records) on guitar and partner in writing many of Adam Ant's future hit singles right on into the 1990's.

As a contract filler for Do It Records in February 1980 Adam and the Ants released a re-recorded version of Cartrouble / Kick. John Moss (formerly of punk band London - who had recorded an album Animal Games and two singles: Everyone's A Winner and Summer of Love - and had played with The Damned prior to their first break up and was to become the drummer of Culture Club) played on the single (he is credited as Terrys 1 and 2). Marco did the guitar and bass parts.

Unaided by label support the new band (now consisting of Adam Ant - Vocals, Marci Pirroni - Guitar, Kevin Mooney - Bass, Chris 'Merrick' Hughes and Terry Lee Miall both on Drums) hit the road for The Ants Invasion Tour and were rewarded a contract at the end of it with CBS Records.

I have to confess that I was not a huge fan of the material he put out on CBS and I much prefer everything prior to it!

Dirk Wears White Søx - Adam and the Ants
Do It
Produced by Adam Ant and Chris Hughes
Released on 30th October 1979
UK Independent Album Chart #1
UK Album Chart #16
 The Line - Up that recorded the album was:
    Adam Ant – vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, harmonica
    Dave Barbarossa (as Dave Barbe) – drums
    Matthew Ashman – guitar, piano
    Andrew Warren – bass guitar

 Side One.
Cartrouble (Part 1 and 2).
Digital Tenderness.
Nine Plan Failed.
Day I Met God.
 Side Two.
Catholic Day.
Never Trust A Man (With Egg On His Face).
Animals and Men.
Family Of Noise.
The Idea.

The albums was re-released in 1983, no doubt to cash in with the band's success on CBS. I have no idea who on earth made the decision to drop The Day I Met God and Catholic Day from the running order! But they did and added The single version of Cartrouble and Kick to start the album and Side two began with Zerøx and ended with Whip In My Valise.

1983 re-release
Side A
1.     "Cartrouble"       3:23
2.     "Kick!"       2:05
3.     "Digital Tenderness"       3:03
4.     "Nine Plan Failed"       3:10
5.     "Family of Noise"       2:34
6.     "Tabletalk"       5:33
Side B
"Zerøx"       3:45
2.     "Cleopatra"       3:15
3.     "Never Trust a Man (With Egg on His Face)"       3:13
4.     "Animals and Men"       3:16
5.     "The Idea"       3:24
6.     "Whip in My Valise"       3:58

The 1995 CD Release did reinstate the tracks but not in their original order:
1.     "Cartrouble (Parts 1 & 2)"       6.51
2.     "Kick!"       2:05
3.     "Digital Tenderness"       3:03
4.     "Nine Plan Failed"       3:10
5.     "Family of Noise"       2:34
6.     "Tabletalk"       5:33
"Zerøx"       3:45
8.     "Cleopatra"       3:15
9.     "Never Trust a Man (With Egg on His Face)"       3:13
10.     "Animals and Men"       3:16
11.     "The Idea"       3:24
12.     "Whip in My Valise"       3:58
13.     "Catholic Day"       3.08
14.     "Day I Met God"       2:58

The 2004 Reissue that had been remastered finally sorted the original Tracklisting order out and you can listen to it in full here:
1.     "Cartrouble (Parts 1 & 2)"       6.51
2.     "Digital Tenderness"       3.03
3.     "Nine Plan Failed"       5.18
4.     "Day I Met God"       2:58
5.     "Tabletalk"       5.34
6.     "Cleopatra"       3.15
7.     "Catholic Day"       3.08
8.     "Never Trust a Man (With Egg on His Face)"       3.13
9.     "Animals and Men"       3.20
10.     "Family of Noise"       2.36
11.     "The Idea"       3.26
12.     "Zerøx"       3.48
13.     "Whip in My Valise"       4.00
14.     "Kick!"       1.36
15.     "Physical"       3.59
16.     "Cartrouble (Parts 1 & 2) (Hughes Mix)"       6.36
17.     "Friends"       2.40
18.     "Cartrouble (Single Version)"       3.24
19.     "Kick! (Single Version)"       2.06

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

45RPM: #57 Teenage Depression - Eddie and the Hot Rods (1976)

After the first two singles flopped (Writing on the Wall and Wooly Bully) Eddie and the Hot Rods released their first classic record, the Live at The Marquee EP (UK Chart #43, they even got on Top of the Pops performing Get Out of Denver!) and followed it up with the single Teenage Depression (also the title to their debut album also on Island Records).

Eddie and the Hot Rods were not really a Punk/New Wave band but they did find their music resonated with many of the Young Punks. A year on from this Paul Weller would write that immortal line "You can't dismiss what is gone before/ But there's foundations for us to explore" and in many ways that kind of summed up what Eddie and the Hot Rods were all about. They wore their influences on their sleeves and blasted out their tunes from the stage showing that the music from previous times still mattered (songs by The Who, Sam Cooke, Joe Tex, Them, Bob Seger and many others were part and parcel of their live performances) and of course they were also a band that were pretty much about the present. Teenage Depression dealt with the issue of Teenage Angst, about how kids were bossed around by authorities (whether that be Parents, the Law, School Teachers, Employers and even the Politicians) and were seeking solace elsewhere in the seedy world of alcohol or drugs. The isolation, the preventing of a person being who they really are, all of this and more burst out of the song and in the space of  2mins 59secs our young lives were laid bare (Eddie and the Hot Rods would continue with such themes in future singles like Do Anything You Wanna Do and Quit This Town).

It's quite staggering to think that this Single is 39 years old today. Takes me right back to when I was 13 year old kid hearing it for the first time!

Teenage Depression / Shake
Produced by Ed Hollis
Released 28th October 1976
UK Chart #35

A-Side: Teenage Depression

B-Side: Shake

Teenage Depression
40th Anniversary Show
18th June 2015

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Music is The Doctor #25 Cover Version (2)

For the 25th Music is the Doctor Playlist we return to a theme done before way back on Playlist #3 - Cover Versions.

On the Playlist
...Baby One More Time - August Burns Red.
I wonder what Britney would make of this!

Airplanes - The Ready Set
Decent cover of the B.o.B. (featuring Hayley Williams) hit.

Royals - Youth In Revolt
Have to say that I really do love this cover. Springsteen of course did a version when he played down in New Zealand but this version outshines The Boss!

Babylon's Burning - Die Toten Hosen
Fairly faithful cover of Ruts classic.

River Deep, Mountain High - The Saints
Released in 1977 on their 1-2-3-4 EP and then added to the 2004 remastered version of (I'm) Stranded album.

Time is Tight - The Clash
Cracking wee instrumental from The Clash performing Booker T. and the MG's Time is Tight. Their version was first released on the album Black Market Clash from 1980.

Police On My Back - Willie Nile
Originally done by The Equals. The Clash's version appeared on Sandinista and on the Tribute Album The Sandinista Project Willie also covered it.

The Magnificent Seven - Joe Grushecky and the House Rockers
Taken from the Tribute Album The Sandinista Project.

I Fought The Law - Ducks Deluxe
Another almost Clash related one! Love this. What a band The Ducks were! One of the founding bands of the whole Pub Rock Scene in the 1970's. So much history tied up in this one band alone: Brinsley Schwarz - his Pub Rock band named after himself included Nick Lowe and he would go onto be a part of Graham Parker and the Rumour. Sean Tyla - who would form The Tyla Gang,  would produce for Stiff Records, and even guested on Joan Jett's eponymous album back in 1980 (that was re-released as Bad Reputation in 1981). Martin Belmont - former roadie for Brinsley Schwarz and would be a founding member of The Rumour - backing band for Graham Parker, they were also joined by Nick Garvey - who would go on to form The Motors and Ken Whaley (RIP) -  bassist who went on to be a part of The Tyla Gang but he had left before they recorded anything.

Everywhere - Yellowcard
Another from the first album in the Punk Goes Pop series. Always like this tune as done originally by Michelle Branch (a single and also appears on her album The Spirit Room). Really got into Yellowcard a few years ago when they released their album Southern Air in 2012 and love what they do with this one.

Teenage Kicks - The Offenders
Have heard this a few times being covered but I have to say that I'm quite taken with The Offenders version of what was John Peel's favourite song ever!

Until the End of the World - Patti Smith
This version can be found on the cover mount CD - "AHK-toong BAY-bi Covered" that was released via Q magazine.

Another Girl Another Planet - The Lightning Seeds
Quite a few folks have covered this but there's something quite charming about Ian Broudie and his band ripping through it that makes me smile.

Do Anything You Wanna Do - Michael Monroe
With his band Demolition 23 he covered loads of great punk tunes and on other solo releases he's included various covers as well.

Ballroom Blitz - MotörDam
 Motörhead and The Damned combine for a rousing version of The Sweet classic.

Mama Weer All Crazee Now - The Runaways
Keeping with the glam how about The Runaways covering Slade for their 1979 album And Now...The Runaways.

20th Century Boy - Placebo (featuring David Bowie)
Siouxsie and the Banshees did a worthy cover of this, as did Girlschool. Def Leppard covered it (and we'll say no more about that one!). This one though was pretty cool, a performance at the Brit Awards in 1999.

 You Better Move On - The Boys
A 1961 classic by Arthur Alexander that was recorded at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama done so perfectly by The Boys for their To Hell With The Boys album and it was released as a single on Safari Records in 1980.

Darling, Let's Have Another Baby - Kirsty MacColl and Billy Bragg
Originally released in 1978 on Chiswick Records by Johnny Moped and was written by Johnny's Bass player Fred Berk. Kirsty teamed up with Billy Bragg to record it as a track on Walking Down Madison CD2. This version is taken from a BBC Session for Nicky Campbell's Show and was included on the reissue of Electric Landlady.

I Wanna Destroy You - Uncle Tupelo
Written by Robyn Hitchcock and originally released by The Soft Boys as a single in 1980. It was featured on their album Underwater Moonlight. The Uncle Tupelo version was recorded in 1991 and released as a B-Side to Gun on Rockville Records. The Circle Jerks have also covered it and Sham 69 covered it on the album Their Finest Hour.

45RPM: #56 That'll Be The Day - The Crickets (1957)

On this day in 1957, The Crickets started a three-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'That'll Be The Day'. It was also a No.3 hit in the US where it went on to sell over a million. The song was inspired by a trip to the movies by Holly, Jerry Allison and Sonny Curtis in June 1956. The John Wayne film The Searchers was playing and Wayne's frequently-used, world-weary catchphrase, "that'll be the day" inspired the young musicians.

A-Side: That'll Be The Day


Monday, 26 October 2015

Happy Birthday Natalie Merchant (2015)

(Photo by Dan Winters)

 Born on this day in 1963
 Natalie Anne Merchant 
in Jamestown, New York.

Today also marks the anniversary of the final 10,000 Maniacs album that Natalie appeared on - MTV Unplugged - it was released on this day in 1993.

An S4L Top Ten: Natalie Merchant

#9 Lulu.
#1 Wonder

Rewind: 1967 Soul Men - Sam & Dave

Sam and Dave's biggest hit and best remembered song, "Soul Man" (R&B #1/Pop #2), was released in August 1967. It was the number #1 song in the US according to Cashbox magazine Pop charts in November 1967. Sam & Dave won the Grammy Award in 1967 for "Best Performance – Rhythm & Blues Group" for "Soul Man", their first gold record. "Soul Man" was voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. The song helped popularize the term to describe the emerging music genre "Soul Music" that would be so popular in the late 1960s. According to co-writer Isaac Hayes, the title was inspired by news reports of soul pride that emerged after the 1967 race riots, where stories that painting the word "soul" on your door was a message for looters to bypass your house. Hayes-Porter extrapolated that to "I'm a soul brother, I'm a soul man.". It has been recognized as one of the best or most influential songs of 50 years by the Grammy Hall of Fame, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Rolling Stone, and R.I.A.A. Songs of the Century. "Soul Man" was used as the soundtrack and title for a 1986 film, a 2008 film Soul Men, a 1997–1998 television series.

The Soul Men LP (October 1967) was Sam & Dave's third Stax LP, reaching #5 on the R&B charts and #68 Pop. Musicologist Rob Bowman called Soul Men "One of the greatest soul music albums of all time." "Don't Knock It" from the LP was released as a single in France, but other songs were not released as U.S. singles due to the long run by "Soul Man" on the Pop charts (15 weeks), by which time "I Thank You/Wrap it Up" was ready for release. "May I Baby", the b-side of "Soul Man", is also regarded as a classic non-hot 100 song on the LP by Whitburn's "Top Pop Singles" Guide, and was a popular live song performed frequently by Sam & Dave.

Soul Men - Sam and Dave
Produced by Issac Hayes and David Porter
Released 26th October 1967
US Pop Chart #68
US R&B Chart #5

    Sam Moore - vocals
    Dave Prater - vocals
    Booker T. & the MG's and the Mar-Key Horns - instrumentation:
        Booker T. Jones - keyboards
        Steve Cropper - guitar
        Donald "Duck" Dunn - bass guitar
        Al Jackson, Jr. - drums
        Charles "Packy" Axton - tenor saxophone
        Don Nix - saxophone
        Wayne Jackson - trombone, trumpet
        Isaac Hayes - organ

Apologies for the Sound Quality on this

Sunday, 25 October 2015

An S4L Peel Day Playlist 2015

I hadn't forgot that today is John Peel Day. To honour the day I thought I'd stick together a playlist of some of my favourite Peel Sessions spread over the course of many years and involving a number of very different bands and styles.

I've chosen 60 (though a couple of the vids include Complete Sessions - The Smiths that kicks it off, Joy Division, Jesus and Mary Chain, Napalm Death, and there's also a live session with The White Stripes which I recall was pretty exceptional). Some of the other artists included are for example: The Fall, Cocteau Twins, The Damned, Prince Far I and Creation Rebel, Culture, Syd Barrett, Pulp, XTC and Fugazi, The Models, The Bodysnatchers, Billy Bragg, The Men They Couldn't Hang, Steel Pulse, The Wedding Present and Million Dead to name but a few.

I also felt that this should be posted as it got dark because Peel was on the radio at night mostly and it's when many of these Sessions were first heard. Not that you can only listen to them in the dark because you may not have time to do that now. Whenever you get the chance to listen I hope you enjoy them. On any number of Peel Sessions there would be songs that maybe were later released as singles or album tracks etc and many of the bands got their first airplay (or even their only airplay) on Peel's show on BBC Radio One as a result of a session or a single.

45RPM: #55 Between The Wars EP - Billy Bragg (1985)

I was thinking about the song Between the Wars this morning and thought why not share it as part of the 45RPM Series.

What I loved about it was the simplicity of it, just one bloke and his guitar rattling of his heart about the state of world as he saw it. There's no glitz and glamour, no great thrills, just the Bard of Barking and no guitar hero histronics.

This was his debut EP. He had previously released two projects prior to this, 1983's Life's A Riot With Spy Vs Spy and 1984's Brewing Up With Billy Bragg. Spy Vs Spy could have actually been considered an EP with it's 7 tracks, 15mins and 57secs of music and it's 45RPM speed but strangely enough it qualified as an album (I have no idea how this was differentiated).

Between the Wars was inspired by the UK miners' strike (1984–1985). The choice of other songs on the record was also relevant to the dispute - "Which Side Are You On?" is an American pro-trade union song from the 1930s, whilst Bragg's own composition "It Says Here" is critical of the political bias of British newspapers, most of which opposed the strike.

The proceeds from sales of the record were donated to the striking miners' fund.

It's quite incredible to think that this record is over 30 years old and yet there is still a relevancy about the lyrical content.

Between the Wars EP
Go Discs
Produced by Kenny Jones
Februay 1985
UK Chart #15

Top of the Pops Performance
Between the Wars
A-Side: 1. Between The Wars.
B-Side: 1. World Turned Upside Down.
B-Side: 2. It Says Here.

Between the Wars
Rockpalast 1985

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Revisiting Raising Sand - Robert Plant and Alison Krauss (2007)

Every now and again an album comes along that just throws you for a loop because you imagine there is absolutely no way on earth that it's ever going to work. Bringing together two artists from what would seem diametrically opposed genres, sticking them in a studio to record together and expecting that it is going to bring forth a record that could be labelled a masterpiece could be seen as vainly hopeful. So the pairing of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss on paper looked like it would never work but, under the supervision of T-Bone Burnett it more than worked out!

"Gone, Gone, Gone (Done Moved On)" won Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals at the 50th Grammy Awards.

On February 8, 2009, the album won all five awards for which it was nominated at the 51st Grammy Awards: Album of the Year; Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album; Record of the Year (for "Please Read the Letter"); Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals (for "Rich Woman"); and Best Country Collaboration with Vocals (for "Killing the Blues").

There were rumours of a follow-up but Robert Plant has said that recording attempts in 2009 had not proved successful. In a way I'm glad there wasn't as I think it would have maybe lessened the affection I have for Raising Sand.

Hard to believe this was released 8 years ago, it doesn't seem like that at all!

There's loads of links below of Promo Videos, Interviews and Live Performances by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Click on them and enjoy.

 Raising Sand - Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
Produced by T-Bone Burnett
Released 23rd October 2007
UK Chart #2
US Chart #2

    Robert Plant – vocals
    Alison Krauss – vocals, fiddle

Additional musicians
    Riley Baugus – banjo
    Jay Bellerose – drums
    Norman Blake – acoustic guitar
    T-Bone Burnett – acoustic and electric guitar, six-string bass guitar
    Dennis Crouch – acoustic bass
    Greg Leisz – pedal steel guitar
    Marc Ribot – acoustic guitar, banjo, dobro, electric guitar
    Mike Seeger – autoharp
    Patrick Warren – Keyboards, pump organ, toy piano

Singles From Raising Sand
Rich Woman. (Link is the Later with Jools Holland Live Version).

Live Videos + Others
Live at Wembley May 2008.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Uncovered - Shawn Colvin (September 2015)

Uncovered - Shawn Colvin
Produced by Steuart Smith
Released 25th September 2015

Shawn Colvin released an album of Cover Versions as her third album back in 1994 called Cover Girl. And Twenty One Years later she's released a Second album of Covers for what is now her Eleventh Album all together (and her Ninth Studio Album).

I'm not always a huge fan of Covers albums unless they are done by a variety of artists so I was a bit taken aback when I listened to Shawn Colvin's lastest album Uncovered and found myself enjoying it immensely (I guess there's a first time for everything isn't there?).

There's a quiet simplicity to all the tracks as sparse instrumentation is used throughout and the results are quite wonderful. David Cosby features on a stripped down version of Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street that has to be heard to be believed! Songs by Paul Simon, Springsteen, Crowded House, Tom Waits, Tammy Wynette, CCR, The Band, Stevie Wonder and Brenton Wood's Gimmie A Little Sign (that features Marc Cohn) are all tackled to marvellous effect.. 

Tougher Than The Rest

Other Shawn Colvin Vids associated with the Uncovered Album
Features Three songs: Diamond in the Rough, Sunny Come Home and a cover of Tammy Wynette's Till I Get It Right that's featured on the Uncovered Album.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

The Saints - Stranded Documentary 2015

 This film explores the unique set of circumstances in 1970's Brisbane that fostered The Saints; the sweaty rebellion of Brisbane's oppressed youth as punk counterculture challenged QLD's notorious police force. Featuring interviews with the members of the band, including its leaders Ed Kuepper and Chris Bailey, as well as the likes of Sir Bob Geldof, former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra and Buzzcocks guitarist Steve Diggle, the documentary is set to examine how the oppressive and conservative government of Joh Bjelke-Petersen in the 1970s helped act as a catalyst for the rise of punk rock in Australia, and how as a result The Saints went on to be one of the most influential bands this country has ever produced.

 Great Australian Albums Series:
(I'm) Stranded - The Saints 1977

(I'm) Stranded - 1976 Promo Video

For More Music etc from The Saints

Wisdom, Laughter and Lines - Paul Heaton + Jacqui Abbott (23rd October 2015)

Very excited for tomorrow when hopefully the brand new album from Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott should drop through the letter box.

Until then here's a couple of tracks they've released from the new album Wisdom, Laughter and Lines.

T in the Park 2015

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Happy Birthday Steve Cropper

Steve "The Colonel" Cropper - today is his 74th birthday.

If you possess in your music collection any music that was released on the Stax Records label between 1962 and 1970 then you might already be aware that Steve Cropper was part of the house band (that in essence was Booker T. and The MG's). He was also a songwriter and Co-wrote Sitting on the Dock of the Bay with Otis Redding, Eddie Floyd's 634-5789 and Knock on Wood, Booker T. and The MG's Time is Tight, Green Onions, Soul Limbo (plus many more) and Wilson Pickett's In the Midnight Hour and Don't Fight It - to name but a few.

He's also famous for being part of The Blues Brothers Band

He's played on records from a wide range of artists including John Prine, Rod Stewart, Levon Helm, Jeff Beck, Ringo Starr, Pop Staples and Bruce Foxton to name but a few.

He's released a number of albums on his own as well, including 2011's Dedicated - A Salute to the 5 Royales which was a tribute to the legendary 5 Royales and not forgetting his brilliant With a Little Help from My Friends from 1971.

Mojo magazine named him as "The Greatest Living Guitarist" back in 1996.

A Little Bonus
Whenever I think of Steve Cropper I always think of legendary bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn.
Here's a link for the final ever US performance of Time is Tight that Donald "Duck" Dunn played on alongside his friend Steve Cropper. Dunn had played alongside Cropper from 1962 as part of the house band at Stax and as a member of Booker T. and The MG's. Dunn died in his sleep May 13th 2012 in Japan. He was on tour with Steve Cropper and Eddie Floyd.

S4L Presents: The Best Debut Albums #24 - Madness (1979)

Two months prior to the release of their debut album Madness had released their debut single The Prince / Madness on 2Tone. They had a Top 20 hit to kick off with and then they signed to Stiff. Both tracks would be re-recorded for the album (though Madness was not credited on the tracklist or on the label and is sandwiched between Mummy's Boy and Chipmunks Are Go!) and are slightly different from the 2Tone version.

The album has been reissued a couple of times now, firstly in 2009 as part of the reissue programme by Madness (and released by Union Square). A bonus disc included their 1979 John Peel Session, B-Sides, Italian and Spanish versions of One Step Beyond, a demo of My Girl with Barson on vocal and a ballad version of My Girl done for Flexipop magazine, the remaining tracks from the Work Rest and Play EP and three live tracks from the Film Dance Craze.

The 2014 Reissue included a 14 song rehearsal tape from April 1979 and due to space issues a further 6 tracks were made available from the Madness website, iTunes and Amazon - though only two were available on each.

I think it still sounds great all these years on and more than worthy to the listed among S4L Presents: The Best Debut Albums.

One Step Beyond... - Madness
Stiff Records
Produced by Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley
Released 19th October 1979
UK Chart #2

    Graham McPherson (Suggs) – lead vocals
    Mike Barson (Monsieur Barso) – keyboards
    Chris Foreman (Chrissy Boy) – guitars
    Mark Bedford (Bedders) – bass
    Lee "Kix" Thompson – saxophones, backing vocals, lead vocals on tracks 5 and 10
    Dan Woodgate (Woody) – drums, percussion

    Cathal Smyth (Chas Smash) – backing vocals, fancy footwork, lead vocals on tracks 1 and 15
    NOTE: Smyth was not an official member of the band at the time or the album's recording or release. He would formally join Madness only a few weeks after One Step Beyond... was issued in October 1979.

Singles/EP's from One Step Beyond...
26th October 1979 
UK Chart #7

21st December 1979
UK Chart #23

Work Rest and Play EP
March 1980

Tv Performances etc
One Step Beyond (Top of the Pops)
My Girl (Top of the Pops)
Night Boat To Cairo (Old Grey Whistle Test)
Bed and Breakfast Man (Old Grey Whistle Test)

Land of Hope and Glory (Dutch TV 1979)

Madness Live
 The Prince, One Step Beyond and Night Boat To Cairo.

One Step Beyond, My Girl, Swan Lake,
Razor Blade Alley, Night Boat To Cairo, Madness and Don't Quote Me On That.

You'll have to pump the volume up a bit for this as the sound is quite low. A great little insight into the live performance of the band. Not sure if this was done for a TV show. This must have been on The Absoultely Tour I think.

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