Search This Blog

Thursday, 31 March 2016

45RPM: #82 Because the Night - Patti Smith Group (1978)

On this day in 1978 Patti Smith Group released the first single from the album Easter, Because the Night. I'm not totally sure why it took almost three weeks for it to be released in the UK but I'm guessing maybe when it started hitting the charts and rising that Arista thought they could get away with releasing it in the UK as well. Saying that Arista in France maybe didn't have much confidence in it as it was only released as the B-Side to Frederick in 1979!

You know the story of the song no doubt. Bruce Springsteen wrote it during the recording sessions for Darkness at the Edge of Town but didn't think he could do much with it as it was "another love song", a tape was passed via Jimmy Iovine to Patti and she ended up rewriting parts of the song and did so as message to the love of her life Fred "Sonic" Smith. The end result a massive hit single.

Springsteen often performed the song live with his lyrics but didn't release it until the album The Promise was issued in 2010 (and on that album he used Smith's Lyrics!). They performed it together (along with U2) at the 25th Anniversary of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen had actually performed it together before but you have to go way back to 30th December 1977 at CBGB's in New York when Patti first played it live and Bruce was playing guitar and providing vocals (I'd love to hear that version!).

Because the Night / God Speed
Produced by Jimmy Iovine
Released 31st March 1978 (US)
US Chart #13

Because the Night/ God Speed
Produced by Jimmy Iovine
Released 19th April 1978 (UK)
UK Chart #5

Because the Night
Old Grey Whistle Test 1978

Because the Night
Olympia 20th October 2015

Lucky Town (Live) - Bruce Springsteen

Here's a Playlist of the whole of the Lucky Town album played live. Most of the versions are taken from tours between 2005 and 2014, but there are a couple from the Lucky Town Tour in 1992-93.

1. "Better Days"   
2. "Lucky Town"      
3. "Local Hero"     
4. "If I Should Fall Behind"  
5. "Leap of Faith"   
6. "The Big Muddy"     
7. "Living Proof"    
8. "Book of Dreams"     
9. "Souls of the Departed"     
10. "My Beautiful Reward"       

Human Touch (Live) - Bruce Springsteen

Here's a playlist of the whole of the Human Touch album played live. Versions are taken from various shows spanning 1992-2014.

1."Human Touch"   
2. "Soul Driver"   
3. "57 Channels (And Nothin' On)"  
4. "Cross My Heart" (Springsteen, Sonny Boy Williamson) 
5. "Gloria's Eyes"    
6. "With Every Wish"    
7. "Roll of the Dice" (Springsteen, Roy Bittan)  
8. "Real World" (Springsteen, Roy Bittan)   
9. "All or Nothin' at All"      
10. "Man's Job"     
11. "I Wish I Were Blind"    
12. "The Long Goodbye"     
13. "Real Man"      
14. "Pony Boy"

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 91 - Bruce Springsteen

Four and a half years of album silence was shattered on this day in 1992 when Bruce Springsteen not only a released a new album but he released two albums on the same day!

Human Touch was recorded mainly in Los Angeles and came about after Springsteen heard three songs that Roy Bittan had been working on and that led Bruce to write lyrics for those tunes and to set about writing himself. Bittan was the only member of the East Street Band in touch at this time after Bruce had called them and told them after the Tunnel of Love Tour that it was all done and dusted and he was breaking up the band!

A considerable number of songs were recorded for the album, way more than the 14 that showed up on the release. Some of those outtakes ended up being released on the Tracks Box Set, B-Sides, and one on a Children's Album.

Human Touch was going to be released earlier (maybe in 1991) but was held back by Springsteen as he had another creative burst recording 11 songs (he would end up releasing ten, the eleventh, Happy, turned up on the Tracks Box Set). These tracks would form another album and became Lucky Town.

I don't quite know how or why they came to the conclusion to release both albums on the same day but they did and there was a rather mixed reception regarding both albums.

Now, I've read, and heard many Springteen fans totally dismiss Lucky Town and Human Touch and it is often deemed his worst album (personally speaking I think Working On A Dream fits that criterea). Others have said he should have picked the best songs from each and gone with a single album. Whatever the case made for or against the release of the albums they are out there, bear his name and there's precious little anyone can do about it!

For me, I actually like both albums, I maybe prefer Lucky Town a little more but some of the tracks from Human Touch did sound pretty great live I thought (and the live playing of these songs is another area of great contention, not necessarily for me because I loved the band he went out on the road with, yes they were different but maybe that's exactly what Bruce needed at that point). Almost a year later (infact on this very day in 1993) we went to see him play at the SECC in Glasgow and he was absolutely brilliant.

The Set list for the night was:

Lucky Town was filmed for Top of The Pops and Broadcast the very next night. It had been released as a single on the 29th March 1993.

I like the fact that Springsteen has often seen fit to return to some of the tracks from both albums in a live setting. It's funny that the haters of what came to be called as "The Other Band", (a name I think that is disrespectful to the musicians) who played these songs live over two years, are not so vocal in their opposition to the songs when The E Street Band play them!

Cue the music: 

Human Touch
Produced by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau, Chuck Plotkin and Roy Bittan
Released 31st March 1992
US Chart #2
UK Chart #1

Singles from Human Touch
    01. "Human Touch"
    Released: March 21, 1992
    02. "57 Channels (And Nothin' On)"
    Released: July 1992

    Bruce Springsteen – guitar and lead vocals, bass on "57 Channels (And Nothin' On)"
    Randy Jackson – bass
    Jeff Porcaro – drums and percussion
    Roy Bittan – keyboards
    Sam Moore – backing vocals on "Soul Driver", "Roll of the Dice, "Real World" and "Man's Job"
    Patti Scialfa – harmony vocals on "Human Touch" and "Pony Boy"
    David Sancious – Hammond organ on "Soul Driver" and "Real Man"
    Bobby King – backing vocals on "Roll of the Dice" and "Man's Job"
    Tim Pierce – second guitar on "Soul Driver" and "Roll of the Dice"
    Michael Fisher – percussion on "Soul Driver"
    Bobby Hatfield – harmony vocals on "I Wish I Were Blind"

(Limited Edition of 2000 Copies in Austria. Both CD's are housed in a wooden box with a Metal Plate stating "Bruce Springsteen Limited Edition", inside was also a certificate that was numbered as well as the respective booklets for each album. Have seen this recently online for 299.99 €)

Lucky Town
Produced by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau and Chuck Plotkin
 Released 31st March 1992
US Chart #3
UK Chart #2

Singles from Lucky Town
    01. "Better Days"
    Released: March 21, 1992
    02. "Leap of Faith"
    Released: October 12, 1992
    03. "If I Should Fall Behind"
    Released: December 1992
    04. "Lucky Town"
    Released: March 29, 1993

    Bruce Springsteen – guitar, lead vocals, keyboards, bass guitar, harmonica, percussion
    Gary Mallaber – drums
    Roy Bittan – keyboards on "Leap of Faith", "The Big Muddy" and "Living Proof"
    Patti Scialfa – backing vocals on "Better Days", "Local Hero" and "Leap of Faith"
    Soozie Tyrell – backing vocals on "Better Days", "Local Hero" and "Leap of Faith"
    Lisa Lowell – backing vocals on "Better Days", "Local Hero" and "Leap of Faith"
    Randy Jackson – bass guitar on "Better Days"
    Ian McLagan – organ on "My Beautiful Reward"

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Rewind: 1966 The Kink Kontroversy Released in The USA

The Kink Kontroversy was the third studio album from North London based The Kinks. It was released on this day in the USA, having had an original release date in the UK back in November 1965. Quite why it took so long to get released there I don't know but it could have something to do with the fact that there had been onstage fights (a famous one being between Drummer Mick Avory and Dave Davies which left Davies with 16 stitches in his head after being hit with a cymbal! That was in Cardiff and took place after the first song of the set!), and riots at shows in Europe that saw them banned from playing live in the USA for four years!

It's one of my favourite albums from The Kinks and it contains the brilliant Till the End of the Day single that had Where Have All the Good Times Gone as the B-Side!
The Kink Kontroversy - The Kinks
Pye (UK) / Reprise (US)
Produced by Shel Tamy
Released 26th November 1965 (UK)
Released 30th March 1966 (US)
UK Chart #9
US Charts #95

Track list:
Side One
1. "Milk Cow Blues"
2. "Ring the Bells"
3. "Gotta Get the First Plane Home"
4. "When I See That Girl of Mine"
5. "I Am Free"
6. "Till the End of the Day"

Side Two
1. "The World Keeps Going Round"
2. "I'm On an Island"
3. "Where Have All the Good Times Gone"
4. "It's Too Late" 22:53
5. "What's in Store for Me"
6. "You Can't Win"

    Ray Davies – lead and backing vocals, rhythm guitar, harmonica
    Dave Davies – lead guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals on I Am Free and What's in Store for Me, shared lead vocals on Milk Cow Blues and You Can't Win
    Pete Quaife – bass guitar, backing vocals
    Mick Avory – drums (tracks Milk Cow Blues,Ring the Bells  and Where Have All the Good Times Gone), percussion
    Clem Cattini – drums (tracks Gotta Get the First Plane Home, When I See That Girl of Mine, I Am Free,Till the End of the Day,The World Keeps Going Round, I'm On an Island, It's Too Late, What's in Store for Me and You Can't Win)
    Nicky Hopkins – keyboards
    Rasa Davies – backing vocals (track Till the End of the Day and Where Have All the Good Times Gone)
    Shel Talmy - guitar on It's Too Late

The Soundtrack4Life Concert Series: Magazine

Okay, a trifecta of Magazine posts come to a conclusion with a double blast of the band live in concert action. Two shows 29 years apart!

First up is a 1980 performance in Berlin that was broadcast as part of the Rockpalast Series in Germany.

Secondly, 29 years later the band had reunited (minus of course the late John McGeogh) for a series of dates and would release a brand new album in 2011 entitled No Thyself.

Apologies that the BBC Electric Proms show is not the complete performance, it was what was broadcast on the TV at the time.

 30th October 1980
Berlin, Germany

(my photo of Magazine in action at The Carling Academy in Glasgow on the Reunion Tour)

22nd October 2009
The Roundhouse, London
BBC Electric Proms

Magazine - The John Peel Sessions 1978-1980

Since we were thinking about Howard Devoto and Magazine I thought it would be good to post their sessions for John Peel recorded between 1978-1980.

1st Peel Session
Broadcast 20th February 1978
Touch and Go.
The Light Pours Out of Me.
Real Life.
My Mind Ain't So Open.

2nd Peel Session
Broadcast 31st July 1978
This from the Repeated Session on 28th August 1978
I Love You, You Big Dummy.
Give Me Everything.

3rd Peel Session
Broadcast 14th May 1979
This is from the repeated Broadcast on 5th June 1979
Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself Again.
TV Baby.

4th John Peel Session
Broadcast 14th January 1980
Song From Under The Floorboards.
20 Years Ago.
Look What Fear Has Done To My Body.
Model Worker.

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 90 - Magazine

Magazine's follow up to the highly acclaimed Real Life (1978) had a lot to live up to, and in the eyes of some critics (yep, those pesky folk again!) it maybe didn't quite hit the mark. But Howard Devoto was never a man to rest on his laurels and was always seeking to create a new sound. He did so along with the band who contributed to the creation of the nine tracks with Howard supplying the lyrics. 'The Thin Air' is an instrumental mainly because they ran out of time in the studio and Devoto couldn't write lyrics for it.

If it sounds a bit Bowie-esque in places it might have to do with Colin Thurston's production. It was his first Producer's credit having previously been an engineer on David Bowie's 'Heroes' and Iggy Pop's 'The Idiot'.

Secondhand Daylight - Magazine
Produced by Colin Thurston
Released 30th March 1979
UK Album Chart #38

Remastered 2007 CD Version Added some Bonus Tracks

    Howard Devoto – vocals
    John McGeoch – guitar, saxophone, backing vocals, keyboards ("The Thin Air")
    Barry Adamson – bass, backing vocals
    Dave Formula – keyboards
    John Doyle – drums, percussion

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 89 - Mott The Hoople

The Hoople - Mott The Hoople
Produced Dale "Buffin" Griffin, Ian Hunter and Pete Overend Watts
Released 29th March 1974
UK Chart #11
US Chart #28

The last Mott the Hoople studio album to feature lead vocalist Ian Hunter. Not long after a live album (also released in 1974) Hunter left with Mick Ronson (who had replaced Ariel Bender, his real name was Luther Grosvenor and he played on The Hoople album as he had replaced Mick Ralphs who had left in 1973 to form Bad Company).

Two hit singles on the album were Roll Away The Stone (UK Chart #8) and The Golden Age of Rock 'n' Roll (UK Chart #16, US Chart #96).

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Monday, 28 March 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 88 - Run D.M.C.

Run D.M.C. had formed in 1981 in Queens, New York. They were to become one of the innovators of the new school of Hip Hop along with the likes of LL Cool J, Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys (all of whom were New York based).

They had begun singing at Two-Fifths Park in Hollis, and Run (Joseph Simmons) had recorded a single, 'Street Kids' that largely went unnoticed but joining forces with DMC (Daryl McDaniels) and DJ Jam Master Jay (Jay Mizell) they released their first single, It's Like That backed by Sucker M.C.'s late 1983 that peaked on the US R&B Charts at #15.

A cover of Hard Times originally released in 1980 by fellow New Yorker Kurtis Blow followed in late 1983 proving that they were not a one hit wonder. Rock Box was the single that really stood out as it fused Rock and Hip Hop (of course they would go on to explore this later with King of Rock and Walk This Way with Aerosmith), it also was their first video.

Their debut album was the first of the genre to go Gold. In 1989, the album was ranked number 51 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s. In 1998, the album was selected as one of The Source's 100 Best Rap Albums. In 2003, the album was ranked number 242 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time 

Run D.M.C. - Run D.M.C.
Produced by Russel Simmons/Larry Smith
Released 27th March 1984
US Chart #53

Track listing
   01. "Hard Times" – 3:52 (Bralower, Moore, R.Simmons, Smith, Waring)
    02. "Rock Box" – 5:30 (McDaniels, J.Simmons, Smith)
    03. "Jam-Master Jay" – 3:11 (McDaniels, Mizell, J.Simmons, Smith, R.Simmons)
           04. "Hollis Crew (Krush-Groove 2)" – 3:12 (McDaniels, J.Simmons, Mizell)
    05. "Sucker M.C.'s (Krush-Groove 1)" – 3:09 (N.S.Hardy, Jr., McDaniels, J.Simmons, Smith)
          06. "It's Like That" – 4:50 (McDaniels, J.Simmons, Smith)
    07. "Wake Up" – 5:31 (J.Simmons, Smith, R.Simmons, Hayden)
    08. "30 Days" – 5:47 (D.Simmons, Smith, Moore)
    09. "Jay's Game" – 4:25 (J.Simmons, Smith, Mizell, R.Simmons)

Deluxe Edition (2005) 
 Bonus Tracks
    10. "Rock Box (B-Boy Mix)" – 5:52
    11. "Here We Go [Live at the Funhouse]" – 4:06
    13. "Sucker M.C.'s (Live at Graffiti Rock)" – 3:25
    14. "Russell & Larry Running at the Mouth" – 4:37

    Jam Master Jay – Percussion, Keyboards
    Darryl McDaniels "D.M.C." – Vocals
    Joseph Simmons "Run" or "Rev Run" – Vocals
    Eddie Martinez – Guitar

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Sunday, 27 March 2016

The Soundtrack4Life Concert Series: Willie Nile

A double hit of one of another favourite songwriter from New York City, Mr Willie Nile. Both shows are full band performances from Nile and feature a full on rock and roll experience. 

Hope you enjoy them both.

Cunard Centre
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Light of Day 2016
The Cutting Room New York
13th January 2016

Willie Nile - World War Willie (1st April 2016)

Willie Nile's 10th Studio album, World War Willie, is due for release on 1st April on River House Records.

The album features 7 songs he's penned himself and four co-writes with Frankie Lee and Jefferson Gizzard (two each) and a cover of Lou Reed's Sweet Jane (a song he's performing live for a few years now).

Other songs included on the album are Let's All Come Together (which he played at Light of Day 2016) , When Levon Sings (which has been around for a few years). There's 12 tracks in all.

Yesterday he released a video for the opening track from the album. Forever Wild.

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 87 - Sunday Morning Favourites #11 Ryan Adams

I jumped on the Ryan Adams train quite late but I'm glad I discovered his music as he's one of those characters who impresses on so many different levels because musically he's on so many different levels. He's also one who I'm guessing can be a difficult at times as well as he's had run ins with a critic who gave him a bad review, singled out a fan who jokingly asked him to play Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams (he got the houselights turned on, found the guy, gave him a refund and told him to leave the venue!) and maybe has an off day from time to time where he doesn't play nice with others!

I know next to nothing about his band Whiskeytown that he left in order to begin a Solo career back in 2000. I know they made three albums (never with the same line up apart from Adams and a bloke called Catlin Cary).

Heartbreaker was his debut solo album, and not very received by some critics (those lousy people get everywhere don't they?) and didn't make the charts (apart from very low on the ladder in the UK and outside the Top 50 in Ireland). You would think though that an album that got it's inspiration from a Mariah Carey poster where she was wearing a t-shirt with the word 'Heartbreaker' on it and begins with an argument regarding the Morrissey song 'Suedehead', that it would be worth crossing the other side of the road and avoiding in the hopes that across the road there might be something better to listen to! But that would be a wrong course of action to take.

What you get is a pretty fine alternative Country album, and one that would keep me interested in finding some more of his stuff. He has also dipped his toes into metal and punk as well, which seems so bizzare when compared to this debut album. He's produced albums for Fall Out Boy, Willie Nelson, Jesse Malin, and Jenny Lewis. His list of collaborations makes for an interesting read: Counting Crows, Weezer, Norah Jones, Cowboy Junkies, Toots and the Maytals and even has played alongside Bob Mould!

Last years cover of Taylor Swift's 1989 album was fascinating as well (yes, not just one Taylor Swift song, but the whole album!). I had heard that he had also recorded a cover version of The Strokes' debut album Is This It that has never seem the light of day!
Heartbreaker - Ryan Adams
Produced by Ethan Johns
Released 5th September 2000
UK Chart #183
Irish Chart #67

 1.     "(Argument with David Rawlings Concerning Morrissey)" (An argument regarding the Morrissey track "Suedehead".)           0:37
2.     "To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High)"
3.     "My Winding Wheel"
4.     "AMY"
5.     "Oh My Sweet Carolina"
6.     "Bartering Lines"
7.     "Call Me On Your Way Back Home"
8.     "Damn, Sam (I Love a Woman That Rains)"
9.     "Come Pick Me Up"
10.     "To Be the One"
11.     "Why Do They Leave?"
12.     "Shakedown on 9th Street"
13.     "Don't Ask for the Water"
14.     "In My Time of Need"
15.     "Sweet Lil Gal (23rd/1st)"


    Ryan Adams - vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonica, piano, banjo
    Ethan Johns - drums, bass, Chamberlain, glockenspiel, B-3, vibes, backing vocals (2)
    David Rawlings - backing vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo, tambourine
    Gillian Welch - backing vocals, banjo, acoustic guitar, electric bass, "voice of Lucy"
    Pat Sansone - piano (5, 9, 11), Chamberlin and organ (6), backing vocals (2)
    Emmylou Harris - backing vocals (5)
    Kim Richey - backing vocals (9)
    Allison Pierce - backing vocals (11)

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 86 - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Southern Accents is the sixth album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, released on March 26, 1985, through MCA Records.
The lead single for the album, Don't Come Around Here No More was a co-write between Tom Petty and Dave Stewart of Eurythmics and it gave them their sixth Top 20 hit (they also won an MTV Video Music Award for it).
Apparently the album was going to be a concept album but a spanner was thrown into the works of that idea with the inclusion of the three co-writes with Dave Stewart and the cutting of a number of songs caused a little tension between the band.
I'm not totally sure what led to it but whilst mixing the opening track Rebels, Petty got a bit frustrated and crazy and punched a wall resulting in a broken left hand that required surgery with pins, wires and screws to hold his hand together!
In the summer of 1985 Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers would play Live Aid in Philadelphia. Their four song set that day was:
The title track was later covered by Johnny Cash (and featured some Heartbreakers on backing). Diana Vickers, who I think I remember being on the X-Factor in the UK, covered the song Don't Come Around Here No More as a promo for her second album Music To Make Boys Cry (though it wasn't actually on the album at all!). Drive-By Truckers released a cover version of Rebels on the compilation Fine Print. The Sons of Bill have also performed Rebels (with Jason Isbel).
Southern Accents - Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
Produced by Tom Petty, Mike Campbell, Jimmy Iovine, David A. Stewart, Robbie Robertson
Released 26th March 1985
US Chart #7
UK Chart #23

All songs written by Tom Petty, except where noted.
Side One
1."Rebels" – 5:21
2."It Ain't Nothin' to Me" (Petty, Dave Stewart) – 5:12
3."Don't Come Around Here No More" (Petty, Stewart) – 5:07
4."Southern Accents" – 4:44
Side Two
1."Make It Better (Forget About Me)" (Petty, Stewart) – 4:23
2."Spike" – 3:32
3."Dogs on the Run" (Petty, Mike Campbell) – 3:40
4."Mary's New Car" – 3:47
5."The Best of Everything" – 4:03

Singles From Southern Accents
    Don't Come Around Here No More / Trailer
    Released: February 28, 1985
US Chart #13, UK Chart #50
    Rebels / Southern Accents
    Released: March 25, 1985
US Chart #74
    Make It Better (Forget About Me) / Cracking Up (Nick Lowe Cover)
    Released: June 3, 1985
US Chart #54
Southern Accents
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers   
Tom Petty – vocals, guitars, piano, keyboards, percussion, producer, bass guitar
    Mike Campbell – guitar, bass guitar, Dobro, keyboards, vocals, producer, slide guitar
    Benmont Tench – piano, keyboards, piano (electric), vocals, vibraphone
    Stan Lynch – drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals
    Howie Epstein – bass guitar, vocals, harmony vocals

Additional Musicians and Personnel
    William Bergman – horn, sax (tenor), sound effects, vocals (background)
    John Berry, Jr. – trumpet, horn, sound effects
    David Bianco – engineer
    Ron Blair – bass
    Dick Braun – trumpet, horn, sound effects, vocals (background)
    Steve Breitborde – photography
    Sharon Celani – vocals
    Jim Coile – horn, sax (tenor), sound effects, vocals
    Malcolm Duncan – saxophone
    Molly Duncan – saxophone
    Joel Fein – engineer
    Dean Garcia – bass
    Bobbye Hall – percussion
    Jerry Hey – horn, horn conductor
    Winslow Homer – artwork, cover painting
    Garth Hudson – keyboards
    Jimmy Iovine – producer
    Clydene Jackson – vocals
    Phil Jones – percussion
    Martin Jourard – saxophone
    Dennis Keeley – photography
    Jim Keltner – percussion
    Richard Manuel – vocals, harmony vocals
    Stephen Marcussen – mastering
    Marilyn Martin – vocals
    Kurt McGettrick – horn, sound effects, vocals
    Jack Nitzsche – string arrangement on "Southern Accents"
    Dave Plews – trumpet
    Robbie Robertson – producer
    Daniel Rothmuller – clarinet, cello
    Don Smith – engineer, remixing
    Greg Smith – horn, saxophone, sax (baritone), vocals
    Stephanie Spruill – vocals
    Steele Works – design, cover design
    Tommy Steele – art direction, design, cover design
    David A. Stewart – bass, guitar, keyboards, sitar, vocals, producer
    Julia Tillman Waters – vocals
    Maxine Waters – vocals
    Alan "Bugs" Weidel – engineer
    Maxine Willard Waters – vocals
    Shelly Yakus – engineer, remixing
Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Friday, 25 March 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 85 - Jesse Allen and The Message of Easter

So I heard somewhere yesterday that Cadbury's had taken the step to remove the word Easter from their Chocolate Eggs because they didn't want to offend anyone who doesn't believe in Easter! How bizzare indeed is that! (Edit: this is infact totally untrue!..Apologies to those who have rushed out to burn their Easter Eggs in protest! Doug 3.25pm)

In a way it doesn't surprise me as even with Christmas people have tried to remove any traces of the Story behind it and have come up with fancy names for it in the hope that it doesn't offend anyone (though it's quite tragic because they end up offending millions around the world who do actually believe in Christ!).

I know there are many people who don't believe in the message of Easter, and I know many others who think it's just about Chocolate Bunnies, and Egg Hunts etc. So it's always refreshing to stumble upon a song that just tells it as it is.

I have to admit I know nothing about Jesse Allen, and it wasn't even this particular song that originally drew me towards his music. It is the last track on his album The Way Life Was Meant To Be (You can get the album here or on other sites like Amazon I'm sure).

Enough words from me, let the music speak.

For Loving Me That Way

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Thursday, 24 March 2016

New Video: The Members - Robin Hood In Reverse (March 2016)

The Members have issued a brand new video taken from their highly acclaimed latest album 'One Law'

The song is a highly charged look at Mr George Osborne, the Tory Chancellor. As Ben Elton would say, "A little bit of Politics!"

JC of The Members posted this headline on his FB page today. Is Labour's Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell a secret fan of The Members?

The Soundtrack4Life Concert Series: Slade

Two live excursions today from one side of the Atlantic to the other. Both feature Noddy Holder, Jimmy Lea, Dave Hill and Don Powell - collectively known as:

First stop is The Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco for a 1975 performance by Slade. The set features The Bangin' Man, Gudby T' Jane, How Does It Feel, and Mama Weer All Crazee Now among the 58 and a half minute set.

Secondly, not really a concert as much but a Six song performance that features most of the songs that appeared on Slade Alive! It was a special live performance for Granada TV here in the UK in June 1972.

Winterland, San Francisco 
4th August 1975

Live on Granada TV
Set Of Six
13th June 1972 
(and not 71 as it says on the video)

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 84 - Slade Alive!

I know of at least two people who will be raising the volume in order to celebrate the release of one of the finest live albums ever recorded, that would be me and a certain Welsh Gentleman who I regard as a dear friend. 

Slade had begun to make some headway in 1971 with two of their singles having finally made into the charts with Get Down and Get With It which reached an honourable #16 and then their first ever #1 Single with Coz I Luv You. In early 1972 Look Wot You Dun had peaked at #4.

Whilst the singles seemed to be making some progress and gaining the band some success, on the album front they were not doing so well. Their first two albums (Beginnings, 1969 and Play It Loud, 1970) had not charted at all in the UK (Play it Loud did chart in Canada!). As the only real money was coming in via their solid live performances a decision was made to make the new album a Live Album! Actually this was a rather crafty move on the part of manager Chas Chandler and the band. The band didn't go out on tour and get recordings of a particular show, rather what they did was hire for three nights a new studio in Piccadily called The Command Theatre Studio. It seemed a bit like cheating recording it in a studio but there was an audience of 300 Fan Club Members and so it could easily get away with being regarded as a Live Album. Most of the album is apparently taken from the second night. In total it cost the band £600 to record it and it was released, warts and all (I'll mention a bit more about that later), without any overdubs!

The album would reach #2 in the UK and spent 58 weeks on the chart! In Australia it would become their first international #1 and an even more remarkable statistic is that Slade Alive! was the biggest selling album in Australia since 1967's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles! The album that supplanted Slade Alive! from the #1 spot in Australia just happened to be the follow-up album Slayed? 

Slade Alive! was voted #2 in the NME Top Ten Albums for 1972.

As to the songs featured on the album, surprisingly there are only seven!

Side One
Hear Me Calling is an Alvin Lee song originally released by Ten Years After. Lee apparently told Noddy Holder when Slade were on tour in the States that he had earned more money from their version of the song than he had done from his own version! The song had been a show opener for Slade for quite some time.

In Like A Shot From My Gun was a Jimmy Lea, Don Powell and Noddy Holder composition. Apparently they never did a studio recording of the song because, according to Don, "we didn't think that we could do it any more justice by doing it in the studio".

Darling Be Home Soon was written by John Sebastian and originally performed by his band The Lovin' Spoonful. It's the only ballad on the album (Slade proved many times over that they were not just a powerhouse rock 'n' roll band but they could do sensitive ballads as well). I mentioned that the album was released "warts and all" and that is clearly heard on this track as Noddy accidently burps into the microphone whilst singing! He later admitted on an interview with Frank Skinner that the band had indulged in some alcoholic libations before the show and that folks would from then on be disappointed when they played it live and he didn't burp at the precise spot! Fans are funny that way!

Know Who You Are was a band song that originally began life as the instrumental Genesis that had been released as a single in 1969 when they were called Ambrose Slade. It was reworked for the Play It Loud album in 1970.

Side Two
Keep On Rocking was another band song and yet another that was never recorded in the studio! It's a classic Rock and Roller in the line of the great Little Richard who was the inspiration for them to recording the next song.

Get Down and Get With It was a Bobby Marchan song (actually called Get Down With It) that was covered by a number of people including Little Richard. It was his version that inspired Slade to record it for themselves.

Last but not least is the stomping version of Born To Be Wild, a song originally done by Steppenwolf that had been a part of Slade's live sets going back to 1969 when they recorded it as Ambrose Slade for their album Beginnings. That version sounds quite tame compared to the live version on Slade Alive!

Critical reception for the album was interesting. Record Mirror said, "It's a rocking album and the excitement of the group and crowd has been captured well, but it's not easy listening, somewhat frenzied!" NME said, ""Slade Alive!" is just what it implies, having been recorded before a rowdy crowd of fans at Command Studios. If you've ever been to one of their noisy gigs, you'll know exactly what I mean." Melody Maker wrote, "Because it was recorded in a studio proper, before an audience, they've achieved the kind of balance and sound not often heard on a live recording."

Classic Rock magazine did a feature on Slade in 2010 and looking afresh at Slade Alive! they said, "Released nervously after two studio albums that had flopped, ‘Slade Alive!’ was (much as ‘Alive!’ was for Kiss) the live record that saved Slade’s bacon." 

Slade Alive! - Slade
Produced by Chas Chandler
Released 24th March 1972
UK Chart #2
Australian Chart #1
NZ Chart #3
US Chart #158


    Noddy Holder - lead vocals, rhythm guitar
    Dave Hill - lead guitar, backing vocals
    Jim Lea - bass guitar, backing vocals
    Don Powell - drums

Additional credits
  Tambourine on "Know Who You Are" - unknown member of audience

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

45RPM: #81 The Staircase (Mystery) - Siouxsie & the Banshees

I kinda like it that the first two singles from Siouxsie and the Banshees were not included on their debut album The Scream or the follow-up Join Hands. They were both stand out on their own way that maybe didn't particularly fit with the ethos of either album (both tracks were added as Bonus tracks when The Scream was reissued as a Deluxe Edition and both were also included on Once Upon A Time: The Singles).

Hong Kong Garden had been a massive hit for them reaching #7 in the charts in the UK. It already showed that they were moving away from the Punk sound and the debut album whilst containing many of the songs that had steered them through Punk also held out a view that their music was going to be much bigger than Punk could ever hope to be.

Melody Maker had declared that "The Staircase (Mystery) hasn't anywhere near the commercial potential or immediacy of Hong Kong Garden, but nevertheless it's a great song. A sinister almost mesmerising tune, dominated by Siouxsie's unorthodox vocals – it grows and matures with each play."

It's funny looking at the lyrics to this all these years on from when it first came out because I didn't really have a clue what she was singing about then and 37 years later I still don't...Maybe that's The Mystery!

I love the B-side of this as well. They had already shown a knack for picking great cover versions (their version of Helter Skelter I think is the best cover of it...move along Bono!) and this one from the songbook of Marc Bolan worked really well for them.

The Staircase (Mystery) / 20th Century Boy - Siouxsie and the Banshees
Produced by Nils Stevenson
Released 23rd March 1979
UK Chart #24

 A-Side: The Staircase (Mystery)

B-Side: 20th Century Boy

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 83 - The Future King Debuts!

Elvis Presley - Elvis Presley
Produced by Sam Phillips (Sun Recordings) and Steve Sholes (RCA Recordings)
Released 23rd March 1956
US Album Chart #1
UK Album Chart #1*

*released in the UK as Elvis Presley Rock 'n' Roll

Yesterday we spotlighted The Beatles debut album and said that it was the album that changed Pop Music in the UK forever. But a few years before that album and only two before The Beatles first got together as a group there was the debut album from Elvis Aaron Presley. This album took Rock 'n' Roll to the masses!

Now, I'm not really a huge fan of Elvis but as someone who loves music there is absolutely no denying hhe has a place at the very top of rock 'n' roll's tree! I actually really love a lot of stuff he did when he was at Sun Records and then once he signed with RCA a lot of his charm wore off on me with songs that personally I couldn't care tuppence for (see many of those terrible songs that turned up on his movie soundtracks if you want proof!). But this debut album is a thing of wonder in and of itself.

Five of the songs on the album were originally recorded for Sun Records and produced by Sam Phillips. Basically what had happened was that the young Mr Presley had begun to get a lot of attention with his singles breaking into the Country and Western Charts and his manager Colonel Tom Parker managed to get Steve Sholes (the head of the Country and Western and Rhythm and blues division at RCA) to buy his contract from Sun Records for what I'm sure in those days was big money, $35,000. It was a big risk for a label like RCA because Rock 'n' Roll was quite untested but a #1 single straight off the bat with Heartbreak Hotel and then this album peaking at the top spot (and staying there for 10 weeks) surely calmed any nerves they had regarding signing such an unknown entity. It was the first Rock 'n' Roll album to top the charts and it would be RCA's first album ever to sell more than a million copies in that genre and earn them more than $1,000,000!

Heartbreak Hotel was not included on the album as it was the practice back then that the best songs be reserved to be released as singles and songs of a lesser quality be put on an album. But RCA took the decision to release all the tracks as singles (6 A-Sides, 6 B-Sides) and thus blew the chance for Elvis to have a hit record with Shake Rattle and Roll backed by Lawdy Miss Clawdy. And we all moan if a band we like these days releases more than two songs off an album as singles!

Blue Suede Shoes of course seemed like a natural single to release but it was held off (by agreement between Sun and RCA) being released for a further 6 months as Sun Records were still promoting the Carl Perkins version (Perkins of course is the writer of the song) even though the song had been released on the first day of the year in 1956 (it was still gaining momentum on Radio and in sales even when the debut album by Elvis was released. At one point it was selling as many as 20,000 copies a day!).

On the 17th March 1956 Perkins had reached #3 on the Rhythm and Blues Chart (the first Country artist to do so) and on that night he played it on TV for the first time as he appeared on ABC TV's Ozark Jubilee (I couldn't find this performance but here's Carl playing it on 26th May 1956 on The Perry Como Show). On the same night over on rival channel CBS Elvis was on Stage Show performing the same song for the 2nd time on TV! (I couldn't find the Stage Show performance but here's the third time he performed it on the Milton Berle Show on 3rd April 1956).

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Music is the Doctor 2016 #12 The End is Nigh!

This will be the last Music is the Doctor in the series for the time being. I may post the odd one here and there in future days. The main reason for doing so is merely because whilst people seem to visit the page whenever I post it so few people actually seem to be pressing play on the The Playlist. It's a little discouraging as almost two or three hours goes into thinking about the music that goes into each playlist and the fact that they are obviously not being played is very clear as I'm able to see the numbers!

This will be the 47th Playlist. If you have taken the time to watch then a big thank you for your time. I hope you have enjoyed some fine tunes and some of the themes we have looked at since beginning back in May last year.

This is the Playlist

On The Playlist
Let's Submerge - X-Ray Spex
Originally the B-side to their single 'Identity'
Germ Free Adolescent - The Mongrel Jews
A rather interesting take on what was a single for X-Ray Spex and the title to their Debut album.
20th Century Boy - Siouxsie and the Banshees
B-Side to The Staircase (Mystery) single and a fine cover of Marc Bolan's tune.
Get It On - T-Rex
The man himself performing one of his big hits. Footage is from 1971!
Fox on The Run - Sweet
One of many hits from one of the great glam bands of the 1970's.
Ballroom Blitz - Motördamn
A cross between Motörhead and The Damned. The song did appear on the B-side of two singles one by Motörhead ('Over The Top') and the other The Damned ('I Just Can't Be Happy Today').
Coz I Luv You - The Wonder Stuff
The Stuffies have actually done a couple of covers of their Black Country Brethren Slade.
Gudbuy T'Jane - Slade
Slade did wonders for the education system clearly adding to the problems for kids and their spelling!
Ever Fallen In Love - Thursday
I must admit I hadn't actually heard this one before putting this together. There have been a fair few versions of this Buzzcocks classic but I must admit that I find this one to be quite appealing.
Moving Away From The Pulsebeat (Live) - Buzzcocks
One of my absolute favourite tracks by Buzzcocks and it always sounds even more immense live.
Brickfield Nights - Plastic Tears
Don't know an awful lot about Plastic Tears at all. I have a feeling they might hail from Finland. Anyway, they released this cover of The Boys classic Brickfield Nights as a single back in January this year and it's pretty tidy.
1976 - The Boys
The song that gave them the title to their long awaited album Punk Rock Menopause. It's always a joy to hear that they are still getting out on the road from time to time. Still one of my favourite bands stretching way back to 1977!
Quit Your Life - Implossion
Not totally sure where these two hail from, I'm going to say Mexico (I think I may be correct!). Anyway, I have to say I was very impressed with this cover of a great MxPx tune.
Stay on Your Feet - MxPx
There's something about MxPx that just make me smile whenever I play their music. It always has the ability to lift the spirit and with such great lyrics like the ones in this song it's no wonder.
London Calling - The London Community Gospel Choir
The video on this is a bit deceptive because it says it's with Mick Jones and I thought that's gotta be an interesting watch, but Mick only gives a short introduction and talks a little about how and why the song was written. The rest is left up to the LCGC and it's really quite fascinating to hear the famous Clash song done like that!
Clampdown (Live at Lewisham Odeon) - The Clash
Taken from the London Calling album and a gig that was not far down the road from where I grew up in London. I never went to that one myself. Have no idea why!
Do Anything You Wanna Do - Michael Monroe
Could easily have gone with the great cover by Die Toten Hosen as well but I like old Michael, he's still got a bit of the punk spirit about him. A real gem when released in 1977 by Eddie and the Hot Rods.
The Beginning of the End - Eddie and the Hot Rods
Quite easily my favourite track on Life on the Line album (which funny enough also featured Do Anything You Wanna Do).
Roadhouse Blues (Live in Glasgow 1976) - Status Quo
This might seem out of step with the rest of the music that has gone before but hey it's nice to throw a spanner in the works from time to time. I absolutely love this, their live album in 1976 is in my opinion one of the best live albums ever. This Doors classic was originally released on Quo's Piledriver album.
When The Music's Over - The Doors
It seems fitting to end this Music is the Doctor series with a song that contains the lyric "when the music's over, put out the light!"


Blog Archive

Popular Posts