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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Happy Birthday To Dion DiMucci The King of The New York Streets

A Very Happy 78th Birthday 
Dion DiMucci
The King of the New York Streets.

Born in The Bronx on this day in 1939.

He's been singing and playing for 60 years and is still sounding in good voice and is making music and playing live and he's just as passionate about it now as he was back when he started at aged 17!

This collection is actually not just Dion and The Belmonts but includes many of his solo songs as well.

Below is a playlist of some of my favourite songs throughout Dion's career. I never tire of listening to his music.

78th Birthday Celebration Playlist
(I originally put this together last year but have added more songs to the Playlist this year)

Photo by Jerry Finzi
February 2016

Sunday, 16 July 2017

S4L Radio: Show #6 Playlist

The latest Playlist on S4L Radio is another great collection of tunes that includes a nod to some fantastic Power Pop tunes, the Berserkley label, and a spotlight shines on a number of tracks that were released in July 1977 and are celebrating 40 years since their release.

There's music from Australia, France, U.S.A., Northern Ireland and England. There's some big bands/artists and a few who barely raised an eyebrow except to those who purchased the records. 

Enjoy, until the next time when we do it all over again.

 The Playlist

On The Playlist

Who Listens To The Radio - The Sports
Australian band The Sports had originally released the single in 1978 in their homeland on Mushroom Records and had a minor hit with it (#55 in the Australian Charts). There are actually two different versions of the song and I can't work out what version came first. The Sire Records release is different to the version which I have included on the Playlist that released by Stiff Records also in 1979. I have a feeling that Stiff Records released the original version but on You Tube I have noticed there are a couple of places that say this version is a remix! Who cares who is wrong or right on this one, I loved the single when it came out.

Sticking with that Power Pop Theme here's a three play from the Beserkley Label
I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend - The Rubinoos
Some people were quite dismissive of The Rubinoos but they released a number of cracking singles (this being one of them). The band had been on the go since 1970 and released their Debut Single in 1975! The band got some attention a few years back for taking Avril Lavigne to court for plagiarism for her song Girlfriend. The parties condfidentially settled out of court. I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend was their fifth single in the US and the UK but was actually  first released in the UK in July 1978 (it was a more than a full year later in their homeland - August 1979).

Roadrunner Once - Jonathan Richman
On the B-Side was Roadrunner Twice by The Modern Lovers. There was also a Roadrunner Thrice - You can listen to all three in one hit here.

I Can't Stop Hurting Myself - The Greg Kihn Band
At aged 68, this year Greg Kihn recently released a cracking new album called ReKihndled. He's another artist on the Beserkley label who is often overlooked. Dig through his catalogue and there's quite a few gems to find.

Schooldays - Starjets
There were so many great bands coming out of Northern Ireland in the late 1970's and the Starjets were just one of many. Only one album (God Bless Starjets) and a handful of singles were issued on Epic Records between 1978-1980. War Stories was the only chart success peaking at #51 (it did get them a spot on Top of The Pops). It was the follow up single though that I loved the best from them, Schooldays. After a change of name to the Tango Brigade and not finding any success Terry Sharpe later found some success with The Adventures.

Who's Gonna Tell Mary? - The Moondogs
The band from Derry, Northern Ireland only released a handful of Singles and one album, That's What Friends Are For (1981) and they also had their own TV Show - Moondogs Matinee! It only ran for seven shows but hey, a TV show is not bad for a band who had very little chart success". Who's Gonna Tell Mary? was their second Single.

It Shows In Your Face - The Gas
Debut Single from The Gas, this one is for my buddy Crawford who is a huge fan of The Gas. It was released in 1980 on Polydor Records.

Nobody Loves Me - The Letters
Only single ever released back in 1980 on the Heartbreat label that was based in Bristol.

Rock and Roll Love Letter - The Records
Formed out of the ashes of The Kursaal Flyers the band got a good start by backing Rachel Sweet on the Be Stiff Tour in 1978 and then got a deal with Virgin. They are probably more well known for their song Starry Eyes. This was a Cover of the Tim Moore song that The Bay City Rollers had also done.

The Letter - Hoobastank (featuring Vanessa Amorosi)
Don't know why this one came into my head but it seemed to fit the little theme of the last couple of songs The Letters, Rock and Roll Love Letter etc. 
It was actually only an Australian release as a Single probably due to the fact that Vanessa Amorosi is herself an Australian artist in her own right.
I always wondered about Hoobastank, besides having a funny name, they had a huge hit with The Reason and then kind of went underground a bit. They are still on the go apparently but haven't released new music for a number of years.

Spotlight on July 1977
There are quite a number of Singles that have their 40th Anniversary this month so I thought I'd spotlight a few of them.
 All Around The World - The Jam
Single #2 from the boys in suits from Woking and their first Top Twenty hit (peaked at #13). Both A and B-Sides do not feature on the Debut Album In The City. Released 15th July 1977. On the Playlist is their performance on the Marc (Bolan) Show from 1977.

Look Alikes - The Drones
Debut EP from Manchester band The Drones called Temptations of A White Collar Worker. Released on their own O.H.M...S label. The band had begun in 1975 as Rockslide and had even released a Single but when it failed to make an impact they reinvented themselves as a Punk band playing their live debut in 1976 with Generation X as support. Relocating to London they played The Roxy supporting The Vibrators, X-Ray Spex, Chelsea and somewhere in the middle of that they also headlined one night.
The EP sold quite well and was released with three different coloured sleeves - Black/Red, Blue/Red and Green/Red.

This Perfect Day - The Saints
At the start of July in 1977  Australian band The Saints released what was their third single and their second for Harvest.
There was a Limited Edition 12" of it available that included the bonus track Do The Robot. Although they got on Top of The Pops the Single itself never made it beyond #34 on the UK Chart.

Swallow My Pride - Ramones
Originally released in the USA in February 1977 but Sire Records got it all wrong releasing this one in the Summertime in the UK as the follow-up to Sheena Is A Punk Rocker. The opening line, "Winter is here", seemed very out of place! Nevertheless, the song did reach #36 on the chart but in their homeland it hadn't charted at all. The UK Single also included a live cover version of Let's Dance as well as a studio version of Pinhead. Released 15th July 1977.

Old, New, Borrowed and Blue
 Just Another Teenage Anthem - New Hearts
Debut Single in November 1977 on CBS for Ian Page and Dave Cairns before they moved on to bigger and brighter things with the Secret Affair. Both bands made their live debut supporting The Jam. When this was released New Hearts were the support band for The Jam's Modern World Tour.

Move On - The Spitfires
Watford based Mods released this 19th May 2017 as a Download and as a 7" Blue Vinyl Record.

All Or Nothing - Little Bob Story
Released on 15th July 1977 a mighty fine Cover of the Small Faces classic.
Little Bob Story were from France and played music with a blues and rhythm 'n' blues influence. They have been on the go since 1974 and are still playing in 2017.
Baby Blue (What Have They Been Telling You?) - Stiff Little Fingers
From the 1994 Get A Life Album.

The Parting Shot
Say Goodbye - Green Day
 "Say a prayer for the ones that we love
Say goodbye to the ones that we love"

From their 12th Studio album Revolution Radio. Released in October 2016 the album hit the top spot on release in both the USA and the UK.
Have to say that it's an album that I really enjoyed and wasn't expecting to as I had been a little disappointed by previous albums (though saying that there were some songs from various albums after American Idiot that I liked).

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Revisiting Phantasmagoria - The Damned (1985)

Phantasmagoria - The Damned
MCA Records
Produced by The Damned and Jon Kelly
Released 15th July 1985
UK Album Chart #11

Side 1
 Side 2

    Dave Vanian - Vocals
    Roman Jugg - Guitar, vocals on Edward The Bear, keyboards
    Bryn Merrick - Bass
    Rat Scabies - Drums
    Andy Richards - Additional keyboards
    Luís Jardim - Percussion
    Gary Barnacle - Saxophone

Singles On Phantasmagoria

Released 18th March 1985
UK Chart #21

On White Vinyl


Released 10th June 1985
 UK Chart #25

2x7" Limited Edition
A The Shadow Of Love    
B Nightshift
C Let There Be Rats    
D Wiped Out



A The Shadow Of Love (The Pressure Mix)    
B1 Nightshift    
B2 Would You

Released 13th September 1985
UK Chart #34

A Is It A Dream (Wild West Express Mix)    
B1 Street Of Dreams    
B2 Curtain Call *   
B3 Pretty Vacant    
B4 Wild Thing

* The link is not for the version that appeared on the record but a tv performance.


By 1985 The Sex Pistols were a long gone distant memory and The Clash were on the verge of demonstrating just how vital Mick Jones and Topper Headon had been to the band and how their departure would inflict a fatal blow to the band with the up and coming release of their Sixth and what was to be their final album Cut The Crap (it's still painful to listen to after all these years)!  But amid all that there was one band still standing and still making exceptional music, despite changes in personnel...The Damned.

Nine years on from their Debut Single New Rose and Eight Years from their Debut Album Damned Damned Damned  it was quite apparent that the intervening years had seen the band moving in a different direction to what they might have started out as.

Band members had come and gone in those years, infact the whole band at one point in early 1978 had called it quits and had upped sticks to new ventures but the lure of the darkness can only be resisted for a short time and before you know it they were back in business. "Second time around" (to quote one of their songs) there was no Brian James and The Captain had switched to guitar as Algy Wood (formerly of The Saints) moved into the bass position (a place he held for just under two years before being replaced with former Hot Rod Paul Gray - though by the time of Phantasmagoria he had also left the band).

Three years on from their Strawberries album (which actually had given them their first Top 20 album reaching #15) there were was no Captain Sensible (he had left the band in 1984 and was enjoying a bit success as a Solo Singer!) and was replaced by Roman Jugg (he had previously been playing Keyboards for the band on the Strawberries album) and on Bass was Bryn Merrick who had replaced Paul Gray in 1983.

There was also a new Record Label in MCA Records (their previous label Bronze they only released one album and a couple of singles and they had also released a single on their own short-lived label - Damned Records).

Image-wise there was a real Gothic influence, but that should come as no surprise as the band had always flirted around Gothic concepts, none more so than lead vocalist Dave Vanian. In comparison though to bands like The Fields of Nephilim, The Mission and The Sisters of Mercy etc The Damned would probably be considered Goth-Lite!

Three singles were released from the album and although Grimly Fiendish reached the highest chart position of the trio I am a huge fan of Shadow of Love, which I thought was the much better Single and deserved to go further than its #25 placing. Is It A Dream wasn't too bad but personally I didn't think it was a good choice for a Single but it was a good album track (Street of Dreams might have been better). Maybe they should have just left it at the two releases.

I do really rate this album. Despite its success Strawberries didn't appeal too much to me and I really felt with Phantasmagoria the band gained a new lease of life as they were about to go into their Tenth Anniversary (here's a wee half hour shot from their show in 1986 at The Town and Country Club in Kentish Town that demonstrated that live they were still a force to be reckoned with).

Six months after the release of Phantasmagoria, The Damned would have the biggest selling Single of their career when they released a cover of Barry Ryan's Eloise. It peaked at #3 on the UK Chart.

Friday, 14 July 2017

45RPM: #128 Dedicated To The One I Love - A Brief History

On this day in 1926 Lowman "Pete" Pauling was born. He was the guitarist of The "5" Royales, who in 2012 were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (after twice being nominated and failing in 2002 and 2004!). Sadly, none of the band were alive to celebrate this great achievement. Pauling passed away in December 1973, from an apparent seizure after battling alcoholism for years.

You might be thinking, "What on earth has he got to do with the song Dedicated To The One I Love?" Well, the answer to that question is simple, he was the man who wrote it and his band were the first to record and release it.

Here's a brief history of the song. It has been recorded a number of times by many different artists ( there's a load of links down at the bottom of the page to check out) over the years for albums and released as an A-Side and B-Side for a few artists as well and below is just a snapshot of its release on 7" Vinyl.

 The song was featured on the Debut Album of The "5" Royales entitled Dedicated To You (Listen To the Album Here).
They also released it as a single in December 1957 and it was a minor hit!

Dedicated To The One I Love / Don't Be Ashamed - The "5" Royales
Released December 1957
US R&B Chart #13

 Dedicated To The One I Love / Look A Here Baby
Released May 1959
US Chart #83

The first time around the fourth Single for The Shirelles was a very minor hit creeping into the lower reaches of the chart but when re-issued in 1961 it became their second of five Top Ten Hits between 1961-1963.

 Dedicated To The One I Love / Look A Here Baby
Scepter Records
Re-issue May 1961
US Chart #3
US R&B Chart #2

Dedicated To The One I Love / Miracle of Love - The "5" Royales
Re-issue (different B-Side) 1961
Did Not Chart

I am assuming, as I don't know the release date for the re-issue of The "5" Royales' version of the song, that King Records had sought to give it a new lease of life in response to The Shirelles having a huge hit

Runnin' Bear '65 / Dedicated To The One I Love - Johnny Preston
Hall Records
Released March 1965
Did Not Chart

 Dedicated To The One I Love / Free Advice - The Mamas & The Papas
Released February 1967
US Chart #2
UK Chart #2
Australian Chart #3

(German Picture Sleeve)

Probably the version that most people are aware of was recorded by The Mamas & The Papas in November 1966 and then released as a single in February 1967. It was a huge hit both sides of the Atlantic. It was their fifth Top Five Single in the USA and their second Top Five Single in the UK.
This release for The Mamas & The Papas was a little different as it was the first to feature as the lead vocalist Michelle Phillips.

Love Machine / Dedicated To The One I Love* - The O'Kaysions
ABC Records
Released November 1968
US Chart #76

*Can't seem to find a version of this on You Tube

Dedicated To The One I Love / I Love You, You Love Me - The Temprees
We Produce Records
Released August 1972
US Chart #93
US R&B Chart #17

Dedicated To The One I Love / Broadway Baby - Bernadette Peters
MCA Records
Released August 1981
US Hot 100 Chart #65

Dedicated To The One I Love / It Keeps Rainin' (Live) - Bitty McLean
Released March 1995
UK Chart #6

Other Cover Versions of Dedicated To The One I Love

A Wee Bonus
Dedicated  - A Salute to The 5 Royales - Steve Cropper
429 Records
Released 2011

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