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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 335 - 1-2-3-4 Punk & New Wave 1976-1979


Four of the songs are missing from the Playlist above and I have included the links for them below in the Tracklist.

1-2-3-4 Punk & New Wave 1976-1979 - Various Artists
Universal Records
Released 1999

Disc one   
    Complete Control - The Clash
    Anarchy In The UK - Sex Pistols
    New Rose - The Damned
    Blitzkrieg Bop - Ramones
    Shadow - The Lurkers
    Thinkin' of the USA - Eater
    Ain't Bin To No Music School - The Nosebleeds
    Borstal Breakout - Sham 69
    I Hate School - Suburban Studs
    G.L.C. - Menace
    One Chord Wonders - The Adverts
    Right To Work - Chelsea
    Johnny Won't Get To Heaven - The Killjoys
    Bone Idol - The Drones
    Wher Have All The Boot Boys Gone - Slaughter and The Dogs
    C.I.D. - UK Subs
    I Can't Wait 'Til '78 - The Wasps
    Ambition - Subway Sect
    (I'm) Stranded - The Saints
    Orgasm Addict - Buzzcocks

Disc two    
    In The City - The Jam
    Your Generation - Generation X
    First Time - The Boys
    (Get A) Grip (On Yourself) - The Stranglers
    Don't Dictate - Penetration
    In A Rut - The Ruts
    Big Time - Rudi
    Don't Ring Me Up - Protex
    Justa Nother Teenage Rebel - The Outcasts
    Solitary Confinement - The Members
    Emergency - 999
    19 & Mad - Leyton Buzzards
    I'm In Love With Margaret Thatcher - Not Sensibles
    Romford Girls - Riff Raff
    Sick Of You - The Users
    Gabrielle - The Nips
    Where Were You? - The Mekons
    Murder Of Liddle Towers - Angelic Upstarts
    Oh Bondage Up Yours! - X-Ray Spex
    Sweet Suburbia - Skids
    Television Screen - The Radiators From Space
    Alternative Ulster - Stiff Little Fingers
    Teenage Kicks - The Undertones

Disc three    
    Teenage Depression - Eddie And The Hot Rods
    Rich Kids - Rich Kids
    Baby Baby - The Vibrators
    Suffice To Say - Yachts
    Roadrunner - Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers
    Don't Care - Klark Kent
    Nervous Wreck - Radio Stars
    Up Against The Wall - Tom Robinson Band
    So It Goes - Nick Lowe
    Police Cars - Larry Wallis
    Hard Lovin' Man - Johnny Moped
    Love And A Molotov Cocktail - The Flys
    Where's Captain Kirk? - Spizzenergi
    Sonic Reducer - Dead Boys
    Search & Destroy - The Dictators
    Born To Lose - The Heartbreakers
    Modern Dance - Pere Ubu
    F*** Off - The Electric Chairs
    California Uber Alles - Dead Kennedys

Disc four    
    (I Belong To The) Blank Generation - Richard Hell & The Voidoids
    10:15 Saturday Night - The Cure
    Rip Her To Shreds -Blondie
    I Can't Stand My Baby - The Rezillos
    All I Want - Snatch
    Looking After No. 1 - The Boomtown Rats
    Take Me I'm Yours - Squeeze
    Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll - Ian Dury And The Blockheads
    Spanish Stroll - Mink Deville
    Is She Really Going Out With Him? - Joe Jackson
    Whole Wide World - Wreckless Eric
    Part Time Punks - Television Personalities
    Safety Pin Stuck In My Heart - Patrik Fitzgerald
    You Can't Put Your Arms Round A Memory - Johnny Thunders
    Psycle Sluts (Part 1) - John Cooper Clarke
    Jilted John - Jilted John
    Kill - Alberto Y Los Trios Paranoias
    Paranoid - The Dickies

Disc five   
    Public Image - Public Image Ltd.
    Warsaw - Joy Division
    The Staircase (Mystery) - Siouxie And The Banshees
    Damaged Goods - Gang Of Four
    You - Au Pairs
    How Much Longer - Alternative TV
    Read About Seymour - Swell Maps
    Young Parisians - Adam & The Ants
    The Monochrome Set - The Monochrome Set
    We Are All Prostitutes - The Pop Group
    Typical Girls - The Slits
    Mannequin - Wire
    Shot By Both Sides - Magazine
    Science Friction - XTC
    Do The The Standing Still - The Table
    Another Girl, Another Planet - The Only Ones
    Young Savage - Ultravox!
    Puppet Life - Punishment Of Luxury
    Jocko Homo - Devo
    Marquee Moon - Television 

The 1-2-3-4 Punk & New Wave 1976-1979  5CD Boxset is a bit like looking at the soundtrack to my teenage years. I pretty much had all of these records and it's kind of cool having them all in one place.

DJ Gary Crowley is fond of saying on his radio show that "Punk and New Wave is a Broad Church" and in a way he is totally right but that does not mean that everything which is a little quirky that came out during the years of 1976-79 should be considered "a fit" particularly with regard to including it in a box set that spotlights those years.

So off the bat it's worth point out one of the things that just does not belong on this set - Is She Really Going Out With Him by Joe Jackson - I have no idea why on earth this is included as it is as far away from Punk and New Wave as Abba are from Heavy Metal!

As for the other 99 Tracks that make up 1-2-3-4 Punk & New Wave 1976-79 they do kind of fit "the mould" (if such a thing even exists!) and so what you get is a steady stream of Punk, New Wave, and even a spot of Post-Punk, along with a couple of novelty songs for good measure.

Amid that there are a few deficiences as well. There is an over-reliance upon material released by some of the big labels whilst many of the smaller Indie labels are overlooked (there are a few tracks represented though). Thankfully Cherry Red Records have come to the rescue and have recently released a Box Set spotlighting the "small guys" with their brilliant Action Time Vision: A Story of Independent UK Punk 1976-1979. The good points though do actually outweigh the bad. I was a bit puzzled by the Product Description that I have seen repeated in a few places written by Everett True that's on Amazon because a couple of the artists mentioned are not even on this particular set!: 

"Five CDs, featuring 100 tracks from the good, bad and downright ugly of punk.

This is a compilation for the historical completist, taking in everyone from the early trail-blazers (Sex Pistols,
New York Dolls, Ramones, Television) through to the 1978 Rough Trade independent outburst (Raincoats, Slits, Pop Group) and the politically-charged (Gang Of Four, Au Pairs, Tom Robinson Band).

The post-punk "new wave" explosion is represented by the Buzzcocks, Devo and XTC as are the art-rockers by Siouxsie, Ultravox and Pere Ubu).

Even the novelty records get a mention: Jilted John and Television Personalities."

There's a few Northern Irish acts - Radiators From Space, Rudi, Protex and The Outcasts - as well, and not just The Undertones and Stiff Little Fingers. Foreign acts are pretty much absent apart from The Saints and the American bands.There's about sixteen Stateside bands represented and none of them are a real surprise (Ramones, Television, Dead Kennedys, Electric Chairs, Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, Mink DeVille, Dead Boys, Blondie, Johnny Thunders, The Heartbreakers, Snatch, The Dictators, Pere Ubu, Richard Hell & The Voidoids, The Dickies and Devo). They missed an opportunity to include maybe a couple of the French bands like Little Bob Story or Metal Urbain as well.

The novelty factor is the usual Jilted John (that record turns up on loads of compilations) and also Klark Kent (which was the side project of Stewart Copeland, drummer of The Police).  I certainly wouldn't include the Television Personalities as a novelty (unlike Everett True - see above).

Billy Bragg's outfit Riff Raff don't turn up on a lot of these types of collections so that was a nice plus. They didn't make a whole lot of music in their time that was known to a wide audience so I'm sure this would have peaked the interest of many. Leyton Buzzards' 19 & Mad was always one of my favourite singles when I was a teenage punk but it is shocking to think that they went on to become Modern Romance!! 

I tend to quite enjoy these types of boxsets depsite their obvious flaws. Rhino Records released a similar one in 2003 in the USA called No Thanks! The '70s Punk Rebellion. They actually made the same mistake by including the Joe Jackson song (which again is worth pointing out that is not and never should be classed as anything but a great Pop Single!). They also included a lot more American Bands like X, The Runaways, New York Dolls, The Stooges, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Suicide, The Germs, The Dills, The Weirdos, The Avengers, Black Flag, Fear, The Cramps, Talking Heads and many of the same American artists that appeared on 1-2-3-4 Punk & New Wave 1976-1979. The Boxset is bereft of any Sex Pistols though and I heard it said this was due to Rhino scuppering the release of a Pistols Boxset on their label a couple of years does pay to upset Mr Lydon! It's another good collection with a few flaws but they are easily overlooked with the good again outweighing the bad!

So there you go. Last one for November and you get not just one great boxset but three to checkout at your leisure.

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

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 334 - The Animals

The Most Of The Animals - The Animals
Produced by Mickie Most
UK Release
Released 1965

 (Australian Cover)

A1 We've Gotta Get Out Of This Place    
A2 Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood    
A3 Boom Boom    
A4 Baby Let Me Take You Home    
A5 Bright Lights Big City    
A6 I'm Crying    
A7 House Of The Rising Sun    
B1 It's My Life    
B2 Mess Around    
B3 Dimples    
B4 Bring It On Home To Me    
B5 Gonna Send You Back To Walker    
B6 I'm Mad Again    
B7 Talkin' 'bout You

The Best Of The Animals - The Animals
MGM Records
Produced by Mickie Most 
US and Canada Release
Released February 1966 (Though there are some that date it as 1965!)
US Chart #6

A1 It's My Life    
A2 Gonna Send You Back To Walker    
A3 Bring It On Home To Me    
A4 I'm Mad    
A5 House Of The Rising Sun    
B1 We Gotta Get Out Of This Place    
B2 Boom Boom    
B3 I'm In Love Again    
B4 Roberta    
B5 I'm Crying    
B6 Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

Dedicated to Hughie

If you look at the Discography of The Animals you will spot that there have actually been quite a few albums that bear the titles The Best of The Animals and The Most of The Animals. Some have the same artwork and most have a different tracklisting.

Today I thought I'd go right back to the original versions of the albums from 1965 and 1966.

The Most of The Animals was a UK release and comprises of some of the hit singles released by The Animals between 1964-65. Many of the songs had also been released on various EPs released between late 1964 and 1965.

 (The Debut EP released in the UK December 1964 but it actually wasn't the first one to be recorded)

In March 1964 the band released their debut single Baby Let Me Take You Home which reached #21 in the charts but it was their second single, House of the Rising Sun that was to have a huge impact and not just in the UK as it hit the top spot in Sweden, Australia, Canada and most importantly America.

(The House Of The Rising Sun - US Picture Sleeve)

The album contains another five Top Ten singles (I'm Crying - #8, Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood - #3, Bring It On Home To Me - #7, We Gotta Get Out Of This Place -#2, and It's My Life - #7).

The Most Of seems like an unusual title but it actually refers to Producer Mickie Most.

(We Gotta Get Out Of This Place - Danish Picture Sleeve)

The Best Of The Animals was the first American compilation and was released early 1966. The album hit the Top Ten and stayed in the charts for two years. It also has the distinction of being the only album by The Animals to go Gold!

The Animals were one of the first bands that I really loved as a kid and although these two albums came out when I was the tender age of two the music that is contained within them shaped my love for all things musical. It was so good listening afresh to these last night and it was one of my friends on Facebook (Hughie) who inspired this post today after he had posted a great clip of the band performing Boom Boom at Wembley in 1965.

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

Monday, 28 November 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 333 - Eddie And The Hot Rods

The Best of Eddie And The Hot Rods The End of the Beginning - Eddie And The Hot Rods
Island Records
Released 1993

Singles and EPs featured on The End of the Beginning
Live At The Marquee EP
Released July 1976
UK Chart #43
A-Side: 96 Tears / Get Out Of Denver*
B-Side: Gloria* / (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction*

Teenage Depression* / Shake
Released October 1976
UK Chart #35

At The Sound Of Speed EP
12" Version
Released June 1977
A-Side: Hard Drivin' Man */ Horseplay / Double Checkin' Woman / All I Need Is Money
B-Side: On The Run*

Do Anything You Wanna Do* / Schoolgirl Love*
Credited as Rods
Released July 1977
UK Chart #9

Til The Night Is Gone (Let's Rock)* / Flipside Rock
Robin Tyner & The Hot Rods
Released November 1977
Did Not Chart

Quit This Town* / Distortion May Be Expected (Laughbagindub)
Released December 1977
UK Chart #36

Life On The Line* / Do Anything You Wanna Do (Live)
Released March 1978
Did Not Chart

The Power and The Glory* / Highlands One Hopefuls Two
Released March 1979
Did Not Chart

*All tracks on the album


There are a few Compilations of Eddie And The Hot Rods that have come out over the years: Do Anything You Wanna Do...18 Hot Rods Rockers (Anagram 1996), Do Anything You Wanna Do (Spectrum 2000) and The Singles Collection (Captain Oi! 2009) but the one I go back to is the first major Best Of released by Island Records in 1993.

They pretty much got the balance of material right for this one spotlighting some of the Hit Singles, tracks from the live EPs recorded at The Marquee and The Rainbow, B-Sides and a few album tracks thrown in for good measure.

 (I Might Be Lying Picture Cover. The single was released in April 1977 and reached #44 in the UK Chart)

My one and only grumble with tracks that were left off the album was with regard to I Might Be Lying. Though only a minor hit (#44), it is I think one of the great Hot Rods songs. The B-Side Ignore Them (Always Crashing In the Same Bar) - again another classic flip side - was not quite missing as they used the album version from Life On The Line entitled Ignore Them (Still Life).

Though never really regarded as a Punk/New Wave band by many I've always felt that Eddie And The Hot Rods are part of its history and are (along with Dr. Feelgood) one of the cogs in the development of the whole scene. Many would disagree with that and say that they were "just a Pub Rock Band" - but think about it for a moment, there's not many bands that can say that they didn't begin their musical careers playing in Pubs and Working Mens Clubs! Plus, many of the early Punk bands owe a great debt to the many Pubs that opened their doors as music venues across the country and gave them opportunities to play live.

For me Eddie And The Hot Rods were the stepping stone into Punk. I have said that often to people and I'm not going to change my mind on it either.

This year is the 40th Anniversary of the release of their Debut Album Teenage Depression (released 22nd November 1976. #43 UK Chart) and that means that I have been listening to them for 40 years as well. They are, and will always be considered as one of my favourite bands and the above compilation offers a brilliant account as to the reasons why.

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

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 332 - Natalie Merchant

Retrospective 1990-2005 -Natalie Merchant
Released 27th September 2005

2CD Limited Edition Version

The album was released as a 2CD Limited Edition with the second disc featuring Outtakes from her own recordings and also a number of collaborations with other artists including Billy Bragg, The Chieftans, R.E.M. and Susan McKeown and the Chanting House.

The album was set like a Hard Bound Book with a Hessian Cover and  contained a 24 page booklet with photos and detailed liner notes on each song written by Natalie Merchant.

It was also issued as a single CD featuring only songs on the first disc.

Missing from the above playlist (mainly due to the fact that I couldn't find any versions on You Tube are Track 10 from the first disc and track 15 from the second disc.

Singles featured on Retrospective 1990-2005
The Links in this section are not necessarily the actual versions that were released as single. I have included some links to TV Performances and Live shows.
Released 1995
US Chart #10
UK Chart #147

Wonder / Baby I Love You
Released 1996
US Chart #20
UK Chart #96

Jealousy / Sympathy for the Devil (Live)
Released 1996
US Chart #23

Kind and Generous (Album Version) / Frozen Charlotte (Album Version) / Wonder (Album Version)
US Chart #18

Break Your Heart (Edit) / Break Your Heart (Album Version) / Carnival (Album Version)
UK Chart #124

Life Is Sweet (Remix/Edit) / Life Is Sweet (Album Version)
Did Not Chart

Within the framework of the 15 years this compilation represents Natalie Merchant had only released four studio albums, one live album and seven singles. It's not a lot but sometimes quality overrides the need for quantity.

In the her liner notes for the song Carnival she says, "In 1993 I left the saftey of a band that I had helped form when I was 17 years old. Although I was excited about writing and recording my own songs, the task of finding musicians daunted me." 

The first song she had written once she had departed 10,000 Maniacs (I May Know The Word) is not included as part of the Retrospective but it did appear as B-Side to her debut solo single Carnival (which reached the Top Ten), and also has a place on her debut album Tigerlily. A further two singles were drawn from the album, Wonder and Jealousy. It's amazing to me to see that Wonder only made it to #20 in the US. It's considered one of her signature songs these days and has had a profound effect on the lives of many down through the years.

Seeking creative control, Merchant chose to fund Tigerlily herself, refusing the advance from the record company. She also wanted to work with a core group of young musicians who she felt would be enthusiastic about the music. The group would consist of guitarist Jennifer Turner, bassist Barrie Maguire, and former-Wallflower and eventual boyfriend to Merchant, Peter Yanowitz, who played drums on the album and who continued to do so with Merchant until their abrupt split in 2000.

The follow-up Ophelia appeared three years later (1998) and gave us three of her most beautiful songs as singles Kind & Generous, Break Your Heart and Life Is Sweet. She says of Kind & Generous that it "is probably the most popular song that I have ever written...It makes people feel good, like a pop song should." The message of Life Is Sweet couldn't have been any clearer, in her liner notes she says, "Childhood innocence seems more likely to be exploited than protected, and it's a situation that brings me great sadness. I fear for the future if children don't know how to be joyful. I just wanted to write something to remind them that they don't need to be contaminated by all the pessimism and cynisism that's choking the air around them."

Motherland was released in November 2001 and Natalie Merchant caused a bit of a stir on The Late Show with David Letterman when she appeared 12th November playing the single Just Can't Last and the next night was invited back to play a rousing version of Build a Levee. That doesn't happen too often! Build a Levee is one of my favourites of hers and she has Mavis Staples sing on it for the album (Staples also sang on Saint Judas).

Motherland was her final album for Elektra and her next album, The House Carpenter's Daughter would be released on her own label Myth America Records. The Retrospective draws two songs from the album and that completes the first disc. The album would be very different to what she had released before as it was mainly covers Traditional American Folk songs and also some Contemporary Folk songs. Whilst the two songs included are here are good I prefered Which Side Are You On. Poor Wayfaring Stranger and the old A.P. Carter song Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow are other favourites on a very underrated album.

The second disc has some great collaborations. I love the ones she has done with Billy Bragg down through the years. My favourite (not included on this album is Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key that they did for the Mermaid Avenue Project). Also included is the beautiful The Lowlands of Holland that was with The Chieftans that was recorded for their Tears of Stone album.

All in all it's a brilliant insight into the musical heart of Natalie Merchant and the causes and concerns that have moved her to record many of these songs. Well worth spending some time listening afresh to today.

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

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Albums of the Year for 2016: Shine a Light: Field Recordings from the Great American Railroad - Billy Bragg & Joe Henry

 Shine a Light: Field Recordings from the Great American Railroad - Billy Bragg & Joe Henry
Cooking Vinyl
Produced by Joe Henry
Released 23rd September 2016

Side A
A1 Rock Island Line   
A2 The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore   
A3 The Midnight Special   
A4 Railroad Bill   
A5 Lonesome Whistle   
A6 KC Moan   
A7 Waiting For A Train 

Side B
B1 In The Pines   
B2 Gentle On My Mind   
B3 Hobo's Lullaby   
B4 Railroading On The Great Divide   
B5 John Henry   
B6 Early Morning Rain


When you are planning a 4 Day Train Journey most people would make sure they at least had a good book and maybe a few DVD's to watch on the laptop to pass the time. For Billy Bragg and Joe Henry their source of entertainment through 2,278 miles was to record an album!

Yep, that's what you heard! Recording in Station Waiting Rooms or on the Platforms as the train stopped to pick up passengers on the way, Bragg and Henry captured the very essence of all those great country and folk songs about travel on the railroads that the likes of Johnny Cash and Hank Williams performed decades ago showing the humble Hobo criss-crossing the nation by rail in search of work, new life or just getting away from a bad situation.

Recorded on board the Texas Eagle 421 Service, upon platforms and in station halls, from Chicago to Los Angeles via San Antonio, 14-18 March 2016, except for "Waiting For A Train," recorded in Suite 414 of the Sheraton-Gunter Hotel, San Antonio, TX, March 17." 

What you get is a set of 13 cover songs recorded pretty much live with all the hussle and bussle of a busy station going on around them as they played. There's little fancy studio trickery to rectify the sound of life rushing by as they sing songs like Gentle On My Mind (made famous by Glen Campbell) or The Carter Family's Railroading On The Great Divide.
I must admit I've never quite heard anything like it! Surely for the absolute genius of the idea itself should Shine a Light: Field Recordings from the Great American Railroad be considered as one of the Albums of the Year for 2016.

It may not end up on many of the music magazines best of the year reviews but it's ended up on mine.

Grab your ticket and get on board!

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 331 - Generation X (#2)

 Perfect Hits 1975-1981 - Generation X
Released 1991

There are a number of links below, feel free to click on them to listen to more music from Generation X.

Singles featured on Perfect Hits 1975-1981
UK Chart #36

*Version on the album is from the John Peel Session 20th April 1977.

   1977 – Wild Youth b/w Wild Dub 
Did Not Chart

    1978 – Ready Steady Go b/w No No No 
UK No. 47

B-Side not on the album

    1978 – King Rocker b/w Gimme Some Truth 
UK No. 11

    1980 – Dancing with Myself b/w Ugly Rash
UK No. 62

12" included Loopy Dub and Ugly Dub on the B-Side both written by Billy Idol, Tony James and Terry Chimes.

B-Side not on the album

Dancing By Myself was the also the Debut Solo Single for Billy Idol in 1981 and a slightly longer version appeared on the Don't Stop EP both credited to Billy Idol and Gen X

When it was re-issued in 1982 it was simply credited to Billy Idol (though Tony James' writing credit was still present).

New Order (Save My Life) 
1977 at The Marquee 
Unreleased track that appeared on Perfect Hits 1975-1981

Perfect Hits 1975-1981 was the second "Best of" by Generation X released by their label Chrysalis

The first, The Best of Generation X, had been released in 1985 four years after the band had split and no doubt to cash in on the solo success of Billy Idol. It was actually quite a shoddily put together album and whoever was responsible forgot to add Your Generation (their first single and first minor hit). Four songs from the Debut Album, five from Valley of The Dolls, and and 3 from Kiss Me Deadly the final album plus Wild Youth single made up the album.

The label spared no expense with the artwork either using the album cover from the Debut Album as the main part of the front cover!

So when Perfect Hits 1975-1981 came along on CD it was with a certain amount of skeptism.

The Cover art is actually front cover of the 1965 book from which the band took their name.

As a whole I actually really like this Compilation, it's way much better than the 1985 one as whoever was responsible for putting it together did so with a much more careful ear and included some of the band's best songs (though clearly the absence of the great B-Side No No No might beg to differ!). But it does have a few issues.

Firstly the Title of the album Perfect Hits 1975-1981, it doesn't take a genius to know that Generation X did not actually exist in 1975! They formed in late 1976 after Idol, James and Towe had departed Chelsea leaving Gene October without a band! Secondly, the Perfect Hits is a bit of a shady representation of what is on offer because there are actually only four "hits" among the fifteen tracks!

For me one of the big draws to the album was the inclusion of New Order (Save My Life as it is sometimes known - see video above). This song hadn't been on any of the releases by the band before but was a song that dated back as early as 1977. The other unreleased track was a John Peel Session version of Day By Day that was recorded as part of their Debut Session for the BBC

There would be nothing from the shelved 1979 "third album", we would have to wait another 7 years for that to finally appear (it was released by German label Empty Records in 1998 as K.M.D. Sweet Revenge).

Once you get past some of the obvious flaws in the album and the absence of a track here and there that would have been better served by its inclusion you have a full on album of delights that includes a couple of masterful tracks from the Debut (Kiss Me Deadly, Youth Youth Youth, and One Hundred Punks Rule), both A & B Side of Wild Youth (Wild Dub being a really landmark track of theirs I reckon), one track from Valley of the Dolls (English Dream), the singles Your Generation, Ready Steady Go, King Rocker (and B-Side Gimmie Some Truth), and Dancing With Myself (though the other two tracks from the Gen X Kiss Me Deadly album - Untouchables and Triumph are both good but really are the weakest songs out of the 15 tracks I think) and the already mentioned unreleased tracks.

These types of compilations don't always please everyone but there's enough on this one, despite it's flaws, to warrant a recommendation for it from me.

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

Friday, 25 November 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 330 - Aretha Franklin

After waking up this morning and seeing the storm that a 74 year old Soul Legend has caused by singing the National Anthem in a way that was very different to the norm I thought I'd shine the spotlight on Aretha Franklin today. First let's deal with the National Anthem issue from yesterday at Ford Field, Detroit.
Aretha Franklin
The Star Spangled Banner
24th November 2016

There was a lot of reaction to Aretha singing the National Anthem at Detroit yesterday. Some of it was good, some of it quite funny, but some of it was down right hateful and very disrespectful! 

Here's a few comments drawn from Social Media, I have purposefully avoided any of the hateful ones and did include one from someone who thought she was disrespectful to those who have defended the country! My personal take on it is that she honoured her Country and her flag with that performance!

"God forbid she took too long. Listen not to the haters. I have never been this moved by a performance of our National Anthem. In fact not sure I was ever really moved when hearing this performed until now that is. WOW! Almost made me proud to be an American at this perilous time in our history. Thank you Aretha for reminding every single one of us what this song is truly about."

" Let's applaud America and glorify individualism, until somebody doesn't conform for three and a half minutes to the way we expected, right?"

"At a time when the morale in our country seems to be at a all time low this is kind of special in my eyes!"

"Aretha Franklin is the Queen of Soul, who has a decades long career. She can sing the national anthem any damn way she pleases. She earned that right. Folks need to get off their high horses. When was the law passed that the national anthem had to be sung one particular way?"

"What she did was disrespectful to every person who has fought to defend our flag. It IS the National Anthem. Sing it like it was written , It does not need a personal interpretation."

 "In a country of no attention spans, it's hardly surprising that 4 minutes is considered too long." 

"Gee, for all the fuss about Colin Kaepernick and the national anthem, you would think patriotic America would never want the song to end!"

" We demand people stand for the National Anthem, but were not going to stand that long. Make up your minds people."

2016 marks the 60th year of recording history of Aretha Franklin. Her first album, Songs of Faith was released on J.V.B. Records in 1956 and included two singles Never Grow Old and Precious Lord.

She signed with Columbia in 1960 and was with them through to 1967 before she got her big breakthrough with Atlantic Records. On Columbia she released 9 studio albums and more than 20 singles. Most of these when they did reach the charts it was the bottom end. The 1961 single Rock-a-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody achieved the highest placing at #37. On the album front The Tender, The Moving, The Swinging Aretha Franklin was the highest placed a #69.

The compilation below, The Queen of Soul is drawn from her Columbia albums:
 1961 Aretha: With The Ray Bryant Combo
1962 The Electrifying Aretha Franklin
1962 The Tender, the Moving, the Swinging Aretha Franklin #69   
1963 Laughing on the Outside   
1964 Unforgettable: A Tribute to Dinah Washington       
1964 Runnin' Out of Fools #84   
1965 Yeah!!! #101
1966 Soul Sister #132
1967 Take It Like You Give It

A word should be said regarding the title of this compilation because there are actually a number of other Aretha albums entitled Queen of Soul (CBS 1968), Aretha The Queen of Soul (Warners 1991), The Queen of Soul - The Atlantic Years (Rhino 1992),The Queen of Soul - The Very Best Of (Rhino 1994) The Queen in Waiting - The Columbia Years 1960-65 (Columbia 2002) or The Queen (Sony 2013). A year after this one was released Atlantic Records issued an 87 track, 4CD collection called The Queen of Soul.

The Queen of Soul - Aretha Franklin
Not Now Music
Released 2013

1. Won't Be Long
2. Sweet Lover
3. It's So Heartbreakin'
4. Right Now
5. Love Is The Only Thing
6. All Night Long
7. Maybe I'm A Fool
8. Just For You
9. Exactly Like You
10. (Blue) By Myself
11. Today I Sing The Blues
12. Just For A Thrill
13. Rock-A-Bye Baby With A Dixie Melody
14. It Ain't Necessarily So
15. You Made Me Love You
16. Try A Little Tenderness
17. Don't Cry Baby
18. That Lucky Old Sun
19. Nobody Like You
20. I Surrender Dear

1. Rough Lover
2. I'm Wandering
3. Lover Come Back To Me
4. Without The One You Love
5. Are You Sure
6. I Apologize
7. How Deep Is The Ocean?
8. I'm Sitting On Top Of The World
9. Blue Holiday
10. Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive
11. God Bless The Child
12. Who Needs You?
13. Look for The Silver Lining
14. Over The Rainbow
15. Yield Not To Temptation
16. I Don't Know Anymore
17. While The Blood Runs Warm
18. I Told You So
19. There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood
20. The Day Is Past And Gone

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

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