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Friday, 31 March 2017

25 Years Old Today: Human Touch/Lucky Town - Bruce Springsteen


Hard to believe that Human Touch and Lucky Town are 25 years old today.
To celebrate I thought I'd put together a new playlist of every song from both albums played live across the years.

I've also included below some links to a few cover versions of songs from both albums.

On The Playlist
 Human Touch - Adelaide 2014 
Soul Driver - Portland 2005   
57 Channels (And Nothin' On) - Milton Keynes 1993   
Cross My Heart - Uniondale 1992   
Gloria's Eyes  - Hartford 1992  
With Every Wish  - East Rutherford 1992  
Roll Of The Dice  -
Uncasville 2014
Real World  - Christic Benefit 1990  
All Or Nothin' At All - Houston 2014   
Man's Job  - Stockholm 1993 
I Wish I Were Blind  - Hunter Valley 2014  
The Long Goodbye - Frankfurt 1992    
Real Man  - Stockholm 1992  
Pony Boy - East Rutherford 1992

 Better Days - Albany 2013    
Lucky Town - Leipzig 2013   
Local Hero - Leeds 2013   
If I Should Fall Behind  - Adelaide 2014  
Leap Of Faith - Uncasville 2014   
The Big Muddy - East Rutherford 1992 (I think)    
Living Proof  - East Rutherford 2016  
Book Of Dreams - East Rutherford 1992
Souls Of The Departed  - Milton Keynes 1993 (I think)  
My Beautiful Reward - Pittsburgh 2014

Human Touch
Produced by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau, Chuck Plotkin and Roy Bittan
Released 31st March 1992
US Chart #2
UK Chart #1
Lucky Town
Produced by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau and Chuck Plotkin
 Released 31st March 1992
US Chart #3
UK Chart #2

Songs From Human Touch/Lucky Town Covered
Human Touch

Lucky Town
If I Should Fall Behind - Faith Hill.           

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

40 Years of Punk & New Wave: The Sounds of 1977 #7 Playlist

The Seventh in our series The Sounds of 1977 features another twenty tracks drawn from Singles, B-Sides, Sessions and Album Tracks.

On The Playlist

Police and Thieves - The Clash
Taken from Side Two of their Debut Album released in April 1977 and is their classic cover of the 1976 Single by Junior Murvin.

Art School - The Jam
Opening song on the Debut album released in May 1977 on Polydor.

Gary Gilmore's Eyes - The Adverts
Released in August 1977 on the Anchor label it was their only Top 20 Single reaching #18.

Rock On - Generation X
Taken from their second John Peel Session recorded 12th July 1977 and broadcast on 21st July 1977. Officially released on CD in 2002 on Strange Fruit.

(German Picture Sleeve)

Everyone's A Winner - London
Debut Single released on 7" by MCA Records in June 1977.

Lovers of Today - The Only Ones
Debut Single on Vengeance Records released in July 1977. They would go on to sign with CBS.

Radio Wunderbar - The Carpettes
From their Debut Self-titled EP and the third release from Small Wonder Records in December 1977.

Sick Of Being Sick - The Damned
B-Side of Stretcher Case Baby Single that was a Limited Edition of 5,000 copies given away at concerts at The Marquee in July 1977 to celebrate the first anniversary of the band. The version on the Playlist is from the John Peel Session recorded in May 1977 for their second session.

Action Time and Vision - Alternative TV
The Single wasn't released until August 1978 but the band recorded a version of it for their Debut John Peel Session that was broadcast on 12th December 1977 and that's the version on the Playlist.

Insane Society - Menace
Y Side of the Debut Single Screwed Up (X-Side) on Illegal Records.

 Nobody's Scared - Subway Sect
The single wasn't actually released until March 1978 but the band did record a version for their Debut Session for John Peel that was broadcast 24th October 1977 (that's the version I have included on the Playlist).

Carbona Not Glue - Ramones
Was included on the initial release of Leave Home but due to a possible Copyright Suit it was removed and replaced with Babysitter in the UK and Sheena Is A Punk Rocker in the US. On the Playlist I have included a Live version from The Second Chance at Ann Arbor on 26th June 1977.

Mony Mony - Celia and The Mutations
Debut Single from Celia and The Mutations on United Artists.
The Mysterious Mutations were of course none other than The Stranglers!
On the B-Side was a song written by The Stranglers.

Saints and Sinners - Johnny and The Self Abusers
One and only single on Chiswick Records from the Scottish band who would go on to much greater things as Simple Minds.

 (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures - The Rezillos
First single for their new label at the time Sire Records and it was a Double A-Side along with Flying Saucer Attack.

Common Truth - Amazorblades
Debut and one and only single released on Chiswick Records in October 1977, the band would all but be a very small footnote in musical history by 1978! I don't know too much about them apart from they hail from Brighton and that members of the band went on to work with the likes of Jah Wobble, Magazine and The Yachts.

Lookin' After No. 1 - The Boomtown Rats
Debut single released on Ensign in 1977 that reached the heady heights of #11 on the UK Singles Chart.

Moving Away From The Pulsebeat - Buzzcocks
From their Debut John Peel Session in September 1977. Still one of my favourite tracks by the band and ended up on their debut album Another Music In A Different Kitchen in 1978 on United Artists.

Smokescreen - The Desperate Bicycles
Debut single on their own label Refill Records in April 1977. They released a few singles and even an album (all on their own label) in 1979 before splitting in 1981.

The Beginning of the End - Eddie and The Hot Rods
Final track on the exceptional second album Life On The Line released in 1977 that reached #27 in the UK Album Chart. The track was written by Dave Higgs and is probably one of my favourite tracks ever by the band.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

40 Years of Punk & New Wave: The Sounds of 1977 #6 Playlist

Here's the sixth playlist in our series The Sounds of 1977.

There's a fair few here that I have not listened to for 40 years!

On The Playlist
Radio Fun - The Zeros
The A-Side of a Double A-Side released as the second single on Small Wonder Records in October 1977. They only recorded another couple of singles before vanishing without a trace in 1979.

Don't Push Me Around - Zeros
Released on Bomp! in 1977. Despite having the same name (without the 'The' though) as the previous band this lot were from Southern California and were active between 1976-1980 and have reformed a number of times since the 1990's.

 The Worm Song - The Yobs
B-Side to the excellent Run Rudolph Run which was released in November 1977 on Nems. The Yobs are of course none other than The Boys!

Suffice To Say - Yachts
Debut single from Liverpool based band on Stiff Records (BUY 19) who would go on to sign for Radar Records. They would release a number of singles before splitting up in the early 80's. Members would reappear in bands like Pink Military, It's Immaterial and The Christians at a later date.

She's So Square - XTC
Features on the debut 3D EP on Virgin Records.

Can't Wait 'Til '78 - The Wasps
Included on the Live At The Vortex album and released as a Split single with Mean Street on the Nems label

London Girls (Live) - The Vibrators
Second single release of 1977 on Epic Records and it was a live release (strangely) that featured Stiff Little Fingers on the B-Side.

Nothing To Declare - Suspects
The band included Pete Davies who would turn up later as drummer for the UK Subs and Andy Riff  and who would become guitarist for The Dark.

Hanging Around - The Stranglers
Last track on Side One of the Debut Album Rattus Norvegicus and also released as part of the US EP. The version I included on the playlist is a live in Studio performance that I had actually never seen before today.

Office Girl - The Stoat
Released on City Records in November 1977, it reminded me a little of Eddie and the Hot Rods. Don't really know much about them except they were a three piece from South West London who released one other single in 1978 before calling it a day.

 Victimized - Rikki and The Last Days of Earth
B-Side to the City of the Damned single that was released in November 1977 on DJM Records. Another band I don't really know an awful lot about but they were quite interesting and a wee bit different to a lot of Punk/New Wave groups at the time.

Talk Talk Talk Talk - The Reaction
Their only release in 1977 was on the Streets album put out by Beggars Banquet. The song was written by Ed Hollis and his younger brother Mark Hollis. Ed of course is known as manager/writer/producer etc for Eddie and the Hot Rods. The band would only release one single in 1978 on Island Records (I Can't Resist) before disbanding sometime in 1979. Mark Hollis reappeared with a new band called Talk Talk who had some major success.

Youthanasia - The Pigs
Released on New Bristol Records in late 1977. It was the only record the band made and by 1978 they were unheard of. I did notice on You Tube that they must have reformed at various points and played some shows. It's not brilliant by any stretch of the imagination but it's worth including here as they were playing live back then as support to fellow Bristol Punks The Cortinas.

Development Corporations - The Now
The band were from Peterborough and their debut single was released on The Ultimate Record Label (which I am guessing was their own label). The band played at The Roxy and The Vortex back in '77 but I really don't know too much about them. I always found this single to be quite a quirky little thing.

Then I Kissed Her - The Lurkers
Taken from their Debut John Peel Session recorded in October 1977. It would be included on their Debut album Fulham Fallout in 1978 as Then I Kicked Her!

All I Can Do - The Jolt
This was the other A-Side to The Jolt's Debut single You're Cold on Polydor released in October 1977.

All Around The World - The Jam
Second single from the Woking Wonders. The version I included on the playlist is from the Marc Show in 1977.

Blockheads - Ian Dury
Taken from the Debut album New Boots and Panties!! on Stiff Records.

One Way Love - The Damned
A Double D-Side with Don't Cry Wolf released in December 1977 on Pink Vinyl. It would be their last single for Stiff Records and after breaking up they would return again in 1978-79.

Garageland - The Clash
Taken from their Debut Album released in April 1977.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Rewind: Funplex - The B-52s (2008)


Funplex - The B-52s 
Produced by Steve Osbourne and The B-52s
US Chart #11
UK Chart #73

    Fred Schneider – lead vocals
    Kate Pierson – backing vocals
    Cindy Wilson – backing vocals
    Keith Strickland – guitar
    Tracy Wormworth – bass
    Sterling Campbell – drums
    Paul Gordon – keyboards

Pink Cover
There were a couple of variations to the cover for some releases in the US

Rainbow Cover

In the States at Target a special Limited 2CD Edition was exclusively available. It included five classic tracks performed live by The B-52s:

 2-01 Party Out Of Bounds (Live) 3:46
2-02 Channel Z (Live) 5:28
2-03 Roam (Live) 5:16
2-04 Strobe Light (Live) 4:40
2-05 Rock Lobster (Live) 5:33

All were recorded Live at The Roxy in Los Angeles 16th November 2007 (Here's an interview with the band and a few songs from the show, not necessarily the ones that were released as part of the Target Limited 2CD Edition)

On iTunes there were two exclusive Live Tracks from the same show on their Exclusive Deluxe Version:
     12. Private Idaho (Live at the Roxy) – 4:00
    13. Planet Claire (Live at the Roxy) – 5:28

Promos From Funplex
There were no Singles as such released from the album but there were a couple of Promo Singles anda video for the title track.


The B-52s Glasgow Academy 
21st June 2008
Photo by Doug Watson (Me)

16 years is a long time to wait for an album of totally new music from an artist you like but like many fans of The B-52s I bided my time hoping that one day they would release a follow up to the excellent Good Stuff album!

Within those 16 years of waiting there had been little to hope that it would become a reality. There was a couple of new songs on the Time Capsule: Songs For A Future Generation Compilation in 1998 (Debbie and Hallucinating Pluto), there was also the awful Meet The Flintstones single released as The BC-52's in 1993 (which shockingly is their second highest placed single in the UK reaching #3!) and yet another compilation in 2002 (Nude On The Moon: The B-52's Anthology - Rhino) that contained absolutely nothing new apart from some new Edits, Mixes, a couple of live tracks and an unreleased Outtake Version of Queen of Las Vegas from the Whammy! sessions. Add to that the song The Chosen One (recorded for PokΓ©mon the Movie 2000 Soundtrack), a parody version of Love Shack called Glove Slap for The Simpsons in 1999, Orange You Glad It's Summer for an advert for Target in 2002 and in 1996 Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson also recorded a cover of McFadden and Whitehead's Ain't No Stopping Us Now for the movie Soundtrack of The Associate (starring Whoppi Goldberg) and that was also the year that Cindy rejoined the band. All through this time the band were still playing live.

It's one of the things that irritates me a little when I see bands out on the road with no new material out for years and it's almost like a going through the motions just to make a buck or two! They just delve deep (depending on how many songs they have) into the back catalogue and put together a basic set of crowd pleasers and seem to do that year in year out! As a fan it's rather frustrating because you are just longing for something, anything that might be new!

Anyway, back on point, Funplex was recorded over the course of two years (2006-2007) and in 2007 they were already playing a few new songs in their sets which was brilliant for the fans. Keith Strickland was inspired to create an updated sound for the band and had encouraged them to get Steve Osbourne in to produce after he had been listening to New Order's album Get Ready. Strickland wrote the music and Fred Schneider, Cindy Wilson (making her recording return to the band for the first time since 1989's Cosmic Thing) and Kate Pierson came up with the lyrics, harmonies etc.

Whilst it's not a bad album it was going to be hard to top the likes of their Debut Album, Wild Planet, Cosmic Thing or even Good Stuff. The album entered the US Charts at #11 and was their second highest place chart album - Cosmic Thing had reached #4. In the UK it didn't do so well chartwise not even making the Top 50! Their previous two albums had both stalled at #8 so only making it to #73 was a huge letdown! Despite that there's a few quality songs on it and the return of Cindy Wilson certainly added to the likeability factor for it.

I saw them on the tour for the album in Glasgow and they were really exceptional playing a mix of Classic tunes but also a number of tracks from the new album. Here's a few of the photos I took that night.

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