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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 152 - Talking Heads

Speaking in Tongues - Talking Heads
Produced by Talking Heads
Released 31st May 1983
US Chart #15
UK Chart #21

I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Talking Heads. Way back when I was a kid I got to see them support Ramones on tour in the UK and although vastly different from what Ramones were doing I actually quite loved them. Their first couple of albums Talking Heads: 77 and More Songs About Building and Food are two of my favourite albums. Fear of Music and Remain in the Light have a few tracks on them that I liked but overall are not my favourites. What I did like though was their willingness to make changes and explore other sounds in an effort to make interesting records rather than just churn out something fitted to a particular sound (though saying that there's not really a particular Talking Heads sound as all their albums tend to be very different).

When it came to their fifth studio album Talking Heads managed to get their first and only Top Ten hit in the USA with Burning Down the House. I don't know why I thought it but I could have sworn that the single placed in the UK charts as well but I can't seem to find a record of it at all. I do love the video for it as well, and that's another thing about the band I liked is that besides the music having a bit of an arty feel for it the visual images that go with the songs always impressed me. Of course that was so wonderully brought to life when touring Speaking In Tongues as they filmed their brilliant Stop Making Sense movie and live album (a film I regard as one of the best concert films of all time).

The cassette version on release actually had extended mixes of five tracks:  "Making Flippy Floppy", "Girlfriend Is Better", "Slippery People", "I Get Wild/Wild Gravity" and "Moon Rocks". It is that version that is posted above.

Talking Heads
    David Byrne – vocals, keyboards, guitars, keyboard bass, percussion
    Chris Frantz – drums, backing vocals, synthesizer
    Jerry Harrison – keyboards, guitar, backing vocals
    Tina Weymouth – bass guitar, keyboard bass, backing vocals, guitar

Additional musicians
    Wally Badarou – synthesizer
    Raphael DeJesus – percussion
    Nona Hendryx – backing vocals
    Richard Landry – saxophone
    Dolette McDonald – backing vocals
    Steve Scales – percussion
    L. Shankar – double violin
    David Van Tieghem – percussion
    Alex Weir – guitar
    Bernie Worrell – synthesizer

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

Monday, 30 May 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 151 - Billy Bragg & Wilco

I don't have time today to write a lot about the wonders of this album so I apologise off the bat for that.

It's the second in the Mermaid Avenue series featuring the songs of Woody Guthrie performed by Billy Bragg & Wilco.

It was released on this very day back in 2000.

Mermaid Avenue Vol. II
Billy Bragg & Wilco
Produced by Billy Bragg, Wilco and Grant Showbiz
Released 30th May 2000

    Jeff Tweedy - guitar, vocal, clapping, Mellotron, cabasa, 12 string guitar, slide guitar, mandolin, Wurlitzer
    Jay Bennett - guitar, backing vocal, slide guitar, shaker, saw, 12 string guitar, B3 organ, Leslie pedals, Farfisa organ, mandolin, piano, tambourine, electric sitar, soloing, nylon string guitar, banjo, harmonica, drums, upright bass, Delayaphone, bells
    John Stirat bass, backing vocal, claps, upright bass, baritone guitar
    Billy Bragg - guitar, vocal, resonator guitar
    Ken Coomer - drums, tape box, tambourine, percussion, backing vocal, hollering, kick drum, gas heater

Additional Musicians
    Mike Henry - backing vocal on "My Flying Saucer"
    Natalie Merchant - guest lead vocal on "I Was Born"
    Leroy Bach - piano on "Remember The Mountain Bed"
    Corey Harris - guest lead vocal and acoustic guitar on "Against Th' Law"
    Eliza Carthy - violin on "Joe DiMaggio Has Done It Again"

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

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 150 - The Monkees

Good Times! - The Monkees
Produced by Adam Schlesinger
Released 27th May 2016

I don't know if you'll believe me or not but the first Studio Album from The Monkees in 20 years (Justus in 1996) might actually turn out to be their best album ever!

It's been 50 years since the release of their debut album The Monkees and also their debut single Last Train To Clarksville and listening to the new album there is a real feel for the late sixties on it whilst also maintaining a very contemporary feel to it.

Some bits of the album have their roots in tracks going back to the 1960's: album opener Good Times was originally a 1967 demo from Harry Nilsson that they managed to turn into a duet between Micky Dolenz and Nilsson! There's also Love To Love, which had been a discarded song written by Neil Diamond and is here with an updated backing track but with the original vocal by Davy Jones (it's actually quite cool hearing him alongside the band again). Whatever's Right and also Gotta Give It Time use music from tapes recorded in the 1960's.

It's the songs written by newer artists that are the most surprising though. I can remember when I first heard about this project I thought that's just going to sound strange hearing songs written by the likes of Paul Weller/Noel Gallagher, Andy Partridge (XTC), Ben Gibbard (Death Cabe for Cutie) and Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne) performed by The Monkees, but you know, these songs sound like they were something that only The Monkees could perform!

Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith (coming out of semi-retirement) also have contributed a song each. Most of the vocals are by Micky Dolenz but Peter Tork takes the lead for Little Girl and the Carole King & Gerry Goffin penned I Wasn't Born to Follow, and Michael Nesmith for I Know What I Know. Gibbard's Me and Magdalena has Dolzenz and Nesmith singing together as does Weller & Gallagher's Birth of an Accidental Hipster.

I know I get a little excited about music from time to time and with this new album from The Monkees I feel the excitement is well worth it.

Most of the reviews I've seen so far for the album have been pretty glowing, and rightly so. This album joins the pile for The Soundtrack4Life Album of the Year!

A Sneak Peak at Good Times!

Good Times!
Track Listing (with songwriters noted)
1. "Good Times" (Harry Nilsson)
2. "You Bring The Summer" (Andy Partridge)*
3. "She Makes Me Laugh" (Rivers Cuomo)*
4. "Our Own World" (Adam Schlesinger)
5. "Gotta Give It Time" (Jeff Barry/Joey Levine)
6. "Me & Magdalena" (Ben Gibbard)*
7. "Whatever's Right" (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)
8. "Love To Love" (Neil Diamond)
9. "Little Girl" (Peter Tork)
10. "Birth Of An Accidental Hipster" (Noel Gallagher/Paul Weller)
11. "I Wasn't Born To Follow" (Carole King/Gerry Goffin)
12. "I Know What I Know" (Michael Nesmith)
13. "I Was There (And I'm Told I Had A Good Time)" (Micky Dolenz/Adam Schlesinger 
14. Terrifying (Zach Rogue)
15. "Me & Magdalena (Version 2)"  (Ben Gibbard)

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

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 149 - The Professionals

I Didn't See It Coming - The Professionals
Produced by Nigel Gray
Released November 1981

With the demise of the Sex Pistols the question was what will they do next was on the horizon. Rotten reverted to Lydon and formed Public Image Ltd, Sid Vicious went off the rails and got arrested for the murder of his girlfriend and died from an overdose before the case came to trial, Cook & Jones flirted briefly with the possibility of a combination of Sham 69 and the Pistols but that came to naught except for a few recordings (Check on You Tube for more). A few recordings for what became The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle Soundtrack offered some light on what the future might offer (Lonely Boy and Silly Thing especially).

Andy Allan played bass on Silly Thing and Lonely Boy and after Cook & Jones parted ways with McLaren they teamed up and became The Professionals. Just Another Dream was released as a single in July 1980 and 1-2-3 in October also was issued as a single. An album was recorded and due for release but legal issues relating to Andy Allan (he had no contract with Virgin Records meant that the album was shelved as Allan sued claiming he had not been credited or even paid by the label. Kick Down The Doors had been relased on the Cash Cows Compilation but was withrdrawn during the legal process.

With Allan's departure Paul Myers (formerly of Subway Sect) came in on bass and Ray McVeigh came in as 2nd guitarist. Some of the previous material on the album was re-recorded so that Allan had no claim to future royalties.

In May 1981 the brilliant Join The Professionals single was released (infact it was 35 years ago yesterday). Little Boys In Blue came out as a freebie split single from Sounds music paper and then in October The Magnificent (backed with a re-recorded version of Just Another Dream) was issued as a single and finally in November the album appeared.

A UK and US tour was set up to promote the album but whilst in the States the band had a car accident that saw Cook, McVeigh and Myers injured and that cut short the promotion. The band split in 1982 mainly due to drug issues with Jones and Myers.

Cook & Jones did have some of their music feature in a movie in 1982, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains (with Ray Winstone). Join the Professionals was one of four songs featured in the Soundtrack. Paul Simonon of The Clash does bass duties for The Looters in the film.

The Professionals were out and about doing some live dates in the UK in 2015 and 2016 but without Steve Jones. Tom Spencer was on vocal duties and guitar.

Last year a boxset was also released called The Complete Professionals that's worth getting hold of as it has BBC Sessions, both albums, Sham Pistols songs and The Looters as well.

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

Friday, 27 May 2016

The Members: Work The Night Shift & Living The Dream (2016)

Those cheeky chaps The Members have been sneaking new videos out the past couple of months. Here's two that I seemed to have missed, the first from late March and the second released this month.

Both tracks appear on the excellent One Law album alongside the other recent video releases Emotional Triggers and Robin Hood In Reverse.

Work The Night Shift

Living The Dream

45RPM: #89 God Save The Queen - Sex Pistols (1977)

When was the last time that music really, and I mean really upset the establishment? Yep, I'm scratching my noggin trying to remember if there is anyone who so disturbed the nation's leaders that they got shut down pretty much everywhere they went. 

Back in 1976 and 1977 the Sex Pistols did just that. It is said of The Beatles that they were the "four lads that shook the world", well the Sex Pistols did exactly that, upsetting everyone and leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. They were front page news and banned from airplay by the BBC (although John Peel had continued to play the single!) and pretty much all of the Independent Radio Stations.

After being dismissed from A&M Records (their second record label who they had signed with on 10th March 1977 outside Buckingham Palace! Though six days later they were fired!) they were like musical lepers that no one would touch! But in May along came Richard Branson and Virgin Records to the rescue! Virgin became their third label in less than a year!

The band have said that the song was never really about the Queen's Silver Jubilee that was to be celebrated that summer. Paul Cook saying that "It wasn't written specifically for the Queen's Jubilee. We weren't aware of it at the time. It wasn't a contrived effort to go out and shock everyone." Johnny Rotten has explained the lyrics as follows: "You don't write 'God Save The Queen' because you hate the English race. You write a song like that because you love them, and you're fed up with them being mistreated." His intentions were apparently to evoke sympathy for the English working class, and a general resentment towards the monarchy. Steve Jones has said, "I don't see how anyone could describe us as a political band. I don't even know the name of the Prime Minister." (that always gave me a good old chuckle!)

I have vivid memories of the day of the Silver Jubilee because everywhere there were street parties and a few of us trundled off to one on Sydenham Park Road and managed to get the DJ to play White Riot, In the City and God Save The Queen. The Pistols song of course created a lot of shock and horror with bemused residents complaining and then having us forcibly removed because we didn't actually live on the street! That was such a fun day invading various parties around Sydenham and Forest Hill and upsetting the locals because we were all punk rockers!

There was a bit of a consipracy to prevent the song reaching the #1 spot on the UK Charts and as a number of Record Outlets like W.H. Smiths had banned the sale of it their chart just had a blank line at #2 and Rod Stewart was at the top of the pile with his Double A-Side I Don't Want To Talk About It/The First Cut is the Deepest.

God Save The Queen - Sex Pistols
Produced by Chris Thomas
Released 27th May 1977
UK Chart #2 (though really was #1)

God Save The Queen

Did You No Wrong

It was going to be released on A&M Records but the band got the sack before it made it out. Apparently there were 25,000 copies pressed, most of them were destroyed. There are surving copies around and they go for big money! Record Collector magazine named the A&M single the most collectable record of all time.

The original B-Side was going to be No Feelings.

Jamie Reid's Original Promo Poster

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 148 - My Dark Places

My Dark Places
Acoustic Version
Jake Burns

I realise that I've posted about this song before but the theme of the song is one that never seems to go away. Depression is a tough issue for folk. We maybe don't grasp hold of the fact that it touches the lives of so many from family members, loved ones, and close friends. It has claimed the lives of artists and filmstars over the years and today some are in that dark place and yet are afraid to talk about it.

Here in the UK we recently had a week of spotlighting issues to do with Mental Health but the harsh reality is that for some people the dark place is somewhere they live 24/7. 

I love the fact that Jake Burns has been quite open talking about Despression and his own situation and of course eventually writing this song which he said was quite "carthartic"

In an interview with Tyler Vile of Punk Globe he had this to say, "...I'd heard of people who suffered from depression, I probably knew people who had suffered from it, but I didn't realize it because they were very good at hiding that sort of thing. I hadn't actually realized how disabling it is. I didn't want to anything, so that's why it took so long to write the song. I didn't want to get out of bed, didn't want to seize the day. People would call me up and say, "Hey, do you want to go out for a beer?" I went, "You know what, I'm just going to stay home," I started making excuses and lying. It was very cathartic to actually write about it. I had the idea for the tune first, which is unusual for me. When I write, I start with a really strong title so that I kind of know where the song's going to go. The guitar part for this one came to me one day when I was fooling around at the studio, so I recorded it. It followed a standard verse-chorus-verse pattern. Once I had the chords and the melody in place, I went, "what's it about?" I sat at the computer, played it over and over again, and started to feel helpless about the whole thing. I could feel the depression creeping up on me again. One minute I'm absolutely fine, the next minute, for no reason whatsoever, a dark cloud just comes over me. I started to write down how I felt and the only thing I changed when I felt better was that I went back and put a positive spin on the last verse. It is a serious subject, a lot of people suffer from this, and many people are embarrassed about it. It's not that you're being weak; it's just that you've been too strong for too damn long and you can't take it anymore. I'm sort of terrified of becoming a poster boy for depression, but I'm happy to stand on the stage and be able to talk about it and I'll talk about it to anyone who wants to bring it up afterwards. Talking about it made me feel better and I think it helps a lot of people to realize that they're not alone."

On SLF's FB Page they even give out a link to Suicide Hotlines for those battling with depression. Jake also has spoken a little about it when the band play live as well (Check out a performance of My Dark Places from back in March this year in Nottingham).

Personally I think the song contains so much of a picture of what Depression is and also some of the things that might aid in the battle. My favourite lines in the song are:

"Well, I got there in the end
With the help of many friends
Some who helped by simply just believing"

Maybe today the song shines a light on your dark places, or maybe you might be a friend to someone struggling with this weighty issue in their life, whatever the case let's hope some good things come your way.

My Dark Places - Jake Burns
Well it cuts just like a knife
Takes away your love of life
 Puts out your fire and leaves you in the ashes
And you lay there in the hole

What you loved now leaves you cold
It's hard to get the strength to face the morning
Somedays you really feel like hiding
Somedays you you swear you'll never go out anymore

And I'm not going back
I'm not going back to my dark places
And I'm not going back
I'm not going back to my dark places

Well the days drag slowly by
All you want to do is cry
Nothing makes sense nothing has a reason
And the world is not the same
And you're the one to blame
Before too long you feel just like a prisoner
Some days you really feel like screaming
Some days you swear you'll never smile anymore 

And I'm not going back
I'm not going back to my dark places
And I'm not going back
I'm not going back to my dark places

It's something they can't see yet it seems so real to me
Can't explain just how I feel when what I feel is no emotion
It's not a tragedy, yet that's how it seems to me
I wish you could see or even for one minute be me

Well, I got there in the end
With the help of many friends
Some who helped by simply just believing
And the days look brighter now
yet I know someday, somehow
I could end up back there in an instant
Some days I really feel like laughing
Some days I realise I must stay on my guard

And I'm not going back
I'm not going back to my dark places
And I'm not going back
I'm not going back to my dark places

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

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 147 - Reggae Chartbusters

I can't recall where and when I first stumbled on these Reggae Chartbusters Compilations on Trojan Records but I have a feeling it was via my eldest sister Kim, well at least for the first one.

Though the original series was only the three albums back in 2009 they released Volumes 4-6 which were all 20 Track CD Compilations and were loaded with classic Trojan Reggae.

I don't even know why these came to mind today but they are worth a listen if you like old school reggae.

Reggae Chartbusters - Various Artists
Trojan Records
Released 1969

Tracklist on Original Vinyl
A1 –Jimmy Cliff - Wonderful World, Beautiful People
A2 –Dandy - Reggae In Your Jeggae
A3 –Desmond Dekker & The Aces - Israelites
A4 –Simaryp - Skinhead Moonstomp
A5 –Pioneers - Poor Ramases
A6 –Harry J. All Stars - Liquidator
B1 –Upsetters - Return Of Django
B2 –Tony Tribe - Red Red Wine
B3 –Pioneers - Long Shot Kick The Bucket
B4 –Boris Gardner - Elizabethan Reggae
B5 –Desmond Dekker - It Mek
B6 –The Melodians - Sweet Sensation

Reggae Chartbusters Volume 2 - Various Artists
Trojan Records
Released 1971

Tracklist for Original Vinyl
A1– Desmond Dekker - You Can Get It If You Really Want    
A2– Freddie Notes & The Rudies - Montego Bay    
A3– Nicky Thomas - Love Of The Common People    
A4– Teddy Brown - What Greater Love  
A5– Desmond Dekker - Pickney Gal    
A6– Derrick Harriott - Message From A Blackman    
B1– Bob Andy & Marcia Griffiths* - Young Gifted And Black   
B2– The Maytals - Monkey Man    
B3– Horace Faith - Black Pearl    
B4– Nicky Thomas - God Bless The Children    
B5– The Rudies - Patches    
B6– Jimmy Cliff - Vietnam

Reggae Chartbusters Volume 3 - Various Artists
Trojan Records
Released 1972
Tracklist on Original Vinyl
A1–Pioneers - Let Your Yeah Be Yeah
A2–Nicky Thomas - Tell It Like It Is
A3–Dave & Ansel Collins - Monkey Spanner
A4–Greyhound - Follow The Leader
A5–Bob & Marcia - Pied Piper
A6–Bruce Ruffin - One Big Happy Family
B1–Dave & Ansel Collins -Double Barrel
B2–Daniel In The Lion's Den - Dancing In The Sun
B3–Greyhound - Black And White
B4–Dandy - Salt Of The Earth
B5–Bruce Ruffin - Rain
B6–Desmond Dekker - The Song We Used To Sing

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

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

The Soundtrack4Life Concert Series: Mike Peters

Stumbled on this today and couldn't resist posting it. The full show from the Caves in Edinburgh by Mike Peters filmed seven days ago as part of the Spirit of '86 in 2016 UK Tour.

18th May 2016
Part One

Part Two

Happy 72nd Birthday Charlie Harper

(Photo by Mark Latham)

Happy 72nd Birthday
Charlie Harper

100 Club, London
21st May 2016

from the New Album
Ziezo (2016)

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 146 - Paul Weller

A Big Happy Birthday To
Paul Weller
58 Years Old Today

To celebrate I thought I'd throw together a 20 Song Playlist of some of my favourite Paul Weller tunes gleaned from his career with The Jam, Style Council and his Solo work. They are in no particular order of preference. Most of them are from Weller's own pen.


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

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

The Soundtrack4Life Concert Series: Camper Van Beethoven

Ah, the wonderful Camper Van Beethoven in concert is today's choice for The S4L Concert Series.
The show was performed on the release date of their latest album EL CAMINO REAL.

 Camper Van Beethoven
Live (full set)
June 3, 2014
The Casbah, San Diego, CA.

The Band
David Lowery
Victor Krummenacher
Jonathan Segel
Greg Lisher
Chris Pedersen
David ImmerglΓΌck

Set List:
It Was Like That When We Got Here
Too High For The Love In
Eye Of Fatima Part 1
Eye Of Fatima Part 2
When I Win The Lottery
Pictures Of Matchstick Men
Northern California Girls
Darken Your Door
White Riot
Shut Us Down
R 'n R Uzbekistan
I Live in L.A.
All Her Favorite Fruit
Summer Days (1:04:15)
Take The Skinheads Bowling
Sad Lovers Waltz
The Long Plastic Hallway

The Day That Lassie Went To The Moon
Club Med Sucks

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 145 - Camper Van Beethoven

Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart - Camper Van Beethoven
Produced by Dennis Herring
Released 24th May 1988

One of the things I really love about doing this blog is the opportunity to share what is for all intents and purposes a little of what my music collection looks like. I don't think I have spotlighted Camper Van Beethoven before on the blog which is something I rectify today focusing on their fourth studio album release and their first for Virgin Records.

The lineup on the album included David Lowery on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Jonathan Segel on violin, mandolin, keyboards, guitar and backing vocals, Victor Krummenacher on bass and backing vocals, Greg Lisher on lead guitar, and Chris Pedersen on drums. It was the first Camper Van Beethoven album not to feature founding guitarist/drummer/multi-instrumentalist Chris Molla.

Like most people I first stumbled on Camper Van Beethoven with the release of their debut single Take The Skinheads Bowling in 1985. I can't even recall where I first heard it but it just really appealed to me from the moment I heard it. I didn't really know too much about them except they hailed from Redwood in California and had found a place within the Cali hardcore Punk Scene before exploding into places I'm sure they never thoought they'd go. Their first album, Telephone Free Landslide Victory had been released on I.R.S. and then the second (II & III - that included the very great titled ZZ Top Went To Egypt among its 19 tracks) and third (Camper Van Beethoven) were on Indie label Pitch-A-Tent.

The album featured the band's trademark eclectic mix of musical styles, including folk, ska, Eastern European music, Americana, psychedelic rock, and Middle-Eastern music. Despite this, it had a more mainstream sound than the band's previous, more garage-rock oriented albums, largely due to Dennis Herring's production.

Hope you'll enjoy this one today.

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

Monday, 23 May 2016

The Damned - Royal Albert Hall 20th May 2016

A good number of friends were in London last Friday for the 40th Anniversary Celebrations of The Damned at the Royal Albert Hall. By all accounts it was a pretty top night with the band covering quite a bit of territory from those 40 years and in typical fashion by the band it was done chronologically backwards!

In 1977 the band were hoping to actually play at the Royal Albert Hall only be informed that " this is not considered to be a suitable group for appearance here" (read more about that here).

I've seen a couple of good reviews of the show as well that are worth checking out:

And of all the strangest places to find a review of a show by The Damned - The Telegraph.

*Songs Marked with this are not available on the Playlist. If I stumble across them I will add the links at a later date.

Nature's Dark Passion
Thrill Kill 
    Alone Again Or (Love cover)
  Sanctum Sanctorum
Street of Dreams
Grimly Fiendish
Shadow of Love
    Eloise (Paul Ryan cover)
     Stranger on the Town
     Under the Floor Again
Second set
  Life Goes On
   Disco Man
    Limit Club
 Wait for the Blackout
Twisted Nerve
     The History of the World (Part 1)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Love Song
   Machine Gun Etiquette
    I Just Can't Be Happy Today
Plan 9 Channel 7
Smash It Up
Feel the Pain*
Fan Club
 Neat Neat Neat
See Her Tonite*
1 of the 2
New Rose

Curtain Call


Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 144 - Graham Parker & The Rumour

Having already signed a deal with Arista Records and preparing for the album that would become Squeezing Out the Sparks, Graham Parker & The Rumour were still required to provide one more album for their outgoing label Mercury. They signed off their term with The Parkerilla, a double disc live album that was recorded at Winter Gardens, Bournemouth, Manchester Opera House, Apollo Theatre, Oxford and The Palladium, New York City; and mixed at Rockfield Studios, Wales.

The album didn't break any new ground (which is understandable as they wanted any new music for the new label) and is probably a faithful rendition of a typical live show by the band. The critics were not so nice toward it (they rarely are when it comes to live albums) as they were, like the rest of us, awaiting new music.

The Parkerilla - Graham Parker & The Rumour
Produced by Mutt Lange
Released May 1978

    Graham Parker – vocals, guitar
    Brinsley Schwarz – guitar, slide guitar, backing vocals
    Bob Andrews – organ, piano, keyboards, backing vocals, musical director, horn arrangements
    Martin Belmont – guitar, backing vocals
    Andrew Bodnar – bass guitar
    Steve Goulding – drums, backing vocals

The Rumour Brass:
    Ray Bevis - tenor saxophone
    John Earle - tenor and baritone saxophone
    Chris Gower - trombone
    Dick Hanson - trumpet, flugelhorn

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

Sunday, 22 May 2016

45RPM: #88 Endless Art - A House (1992)

Endless Art - A House
Produced by Edwyn Collins
Released June 1992
UK Charts #46

I want to dedicate this one to my mate Skinny for the timely reminder of just how good A House were.

A wee spotlight on the magificent single Endless Art from Dublin's A House. I won't say too much here about them as I'm planning in the near future to do a post looking at their music in a bit more depth.

Feel a need for an update on the 2006 Version so here it is, kind of thrown together in a chronological order of passing!  Mainly those related to the music scene who have passed over to the other side.

Endless Art 2016 (Late 2006 to April 2016)
New Version compiled by Doug Watson
Original lyrics are by A House

All art is quite useless according to Oscar Wilde
Syd Barrett 1946 to 2006
Arthur Lee 1945 to 2006
Sandy West 1959 to 2006
James Brown 1933 to 2006 RIP
Kelly Johnson, Jeff Healey, Danny the Phantom Federici
Bo Diddley 1928 to 2008
Issac Hayes 1942 to 2008
Four Top Levi Stubbs
Mitch Mitchell 1947 to 2008
Ron Ashton 1948 to 2009 RIP

All dead, yet still alive
In endless time, endless art

Masters of their arts
Lux Interior 1946 to 2009
Mick Green Teddy P and Malcom Mclaren
Solomon Burke 1940 to 2010
Ari Up, Polystyrene
Clarence Clemons 1942 to 2011
Amy Winehouse 1983 to 2011
Fred Milano, Etta James, Davy Jones. Levon Helm RIP

Adam Yauch 1964 to 2012
Donald Duck Dunn 1941 to 2012
Ray Manzerack, JJ Cale, Lou Reed Pete Seeger RIP
Bobby Womack 1944 to 2014
Tommy Ramone 1949 to 2014
Alvin Stardust 1942 to 2014
Ian McLagan, Bob Montgomery, Joe Cocker RIP

All dead, yet still alive
In endless time, endless art

Steve Strange 1959 to 2015
Percy Sledge 1940 to 2015
B.B. King 1925 to 2015
Bryn Merrick, Allen Toussaint, Phil Taylor
Lemmy Kilmister 1945 to 2015
John Bradbury, David Bowie, Dale Griffin, George Martin, Prince RIP

All dead, yet still alive
In endless time, endless art

45RPM: #87 Whole Wide World - The Soup Dragons (1986)

Whole Wide World - The Soup Dragons
Subway Organiztion (Subway 4)
Released 30th May 1986
UK Indie Chart #2

A-Side: Whole Wide World

The 12" also included Pleasantly Surprised on the A-Side.

It was almost like the second coming of Buzzcocks hearing Whole Wide World (not to be confused with the Wreckless Eric song of the same name) by The Soup Dragons.

They hailed from Bellshill which is just up the road from where I am living now. I must admit that I actually prefer the early stuff from the band and wasn't too much fussed with the whole rock/dance crossover material on the likes of Lovegod album and I'm Free single etc.

Anyway, this one is my favourite single of theirs, a real Indie classic.

B-Side: I Know Everything

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 143 - The Specials

The Specials - The Specials
2 Tone Records
Produced by Elvis Costello and The Specials
Released 19th October 1979
UK Charts #4
US Charts #84

One of the great debut albums of the late 1970's came from The Specials from Coventry. They had been on the go since 1977, had supported The Clash on the On Parole Tour along with America's Suicide back in the day when they were called The Automatics (though they did change their name either during the tour or prior to the tour to The Special AKA).

In 1979 keyboardist Jerry Dammers formed 2 Tone Records with the debut release being a split single between The Special AKA and The Selecter.

Although when the album was released it received mixed reviews from the music press it sold well peaking at #4 in the UK and the band were responsible for spearheading a new interest in the great old Ska records of the 1960s and early 1970s.

If ever there was a reviewer you like to slap upside the head it has to be David Hutcheon (only kidding Mr Hutcheon!) who whilst reviewing the 2002 reissue, for Mojo said that "Specials doesn't feel quite as exciting as it did 23 years ago" - really! I actually think it does and seems even more fitting to the times we are in here in 2016.

Today is the birthday of Jerry Dammers
Born on this day in 1954.

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

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 142 - Marvyn Gaye

What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
Produced by Marvin Gaye
Released 21st May 1971
US Chart #6
UK Chart #56*

*This was in 1996! I'm sure it must have charted before!

What's Going On

I don't intend to say much today about my choice of album for today's post apart from the fact that I consider it to be one of The Best Soul Albums of All Time.

I'm not alone in that thinking as down through the years many have given it a very high place of regard.

Consequence of Sound (2010): The Top 100 Albums Ever - #19.
Gear (American Lad's Mag 1999): The 100 Greatest Albums of The Century - #2.
Rolling Stone (2003): The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time - #6.
The World Critics Best Albums of All Time (1987) - #4.
The Guardian (1997) - The 100 Best Albums Ever - #1.
Melody Maker - All Time Top 100 Albums - #24.
Mojo (1995) - The 100 Greatest Albums Ever Made - #6
NME (1985): All Time Top 100 Albums - #1.
Q (1998): The 50 Best Albums of the 70s - #20.
Sounds (1986): The 100 Best Albums of All Time - #15.
The New Nation (2005): Top 100 Albums by Black Artists - #1.
The Observer (2006): 50 Albums That Changed Music 1956-2006 - #6.
and there are so many more from various countries around the world.

What's Going On (Live 1972)

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

Friday, 20 May 2016

45RPM: #86 Your Love Alone Is Not Enough - Manic Street Preachers (2007)

There's been a number of singles by the Manic Street Preachers that I have liked over the years. This one in particular I was quite taken by.

Your Love Alone Is Not Enough was the lead single from Manic Street Preachers' album Send Away The Tigers (2007).

According to singer James Dean Bradfield the title was the last line of a suicide note left by the friend of someone close to the group. Nina Perrson of The Cardigans joins the Manics on vocals for a song they always felt was going to be a duet.

The song's lyrics reference past classic British rock songs:

The lyrics "You stole the Sun straight from my heart" is a quote from Manic Street Preachers' own earlier hit of the same name on the album This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours.
    The line "trade all your heroes in for ghosts" is a reference to Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here".
    "I could have seen for miles and miles" is a nod to The Who's "I Can See for Miles".

Besides being released as a Limited Edition 7" it was also released as a CD Single, CD Maxi Single, and A Digital Download (it was sales from this that took it into the charts prior to the Physical release of the 7" and CD's). It spent 7 weeks on the chart and is the second best perfoming single by the band (top of the list of course is A Design For Life).

Your Love Alone Is Not Enough ft. Nina Perrson/Fearless Punk Ballad
Produced by Dave Eringa
Released 30th April 2007
UK Chart #2

Your Love Alone Is Not Enough
ft. Nina Perrson

Fearless Punk Ballad

Additional Tracks
(Click on the Links to Listen)


CD1 Promo
Your Love Alone Is Not Enough (Instrumental).
 Digital Download
* Not the actual version released via Digital Format but from a Virgin Radio Session.

The Soundtrack4Life Concert Series: Manic Street Preachers

A little Manic Street Preachers Triple Header today with shows from 1992, 2007 (highlights only) and 2011.

 Live at The Roundhouse

Astoria, London
20th February 1992

Highlights from Glastonbury 2007

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