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Wednesday, 5 September 2018

I'm Still Here...Now Playing!

Just in case readers of this blog have been wondering if I have somehow stepped into the back of my wardrobe and ventured into Narnia and can't find the way back home or have visited the Costume Shop and suddenly found myself, like Mr Benn, at sea in the middle of a storm and awaiting The Shopkeeper to appear as if by magic to save me from a watery grave, may I calm your fears...I am still here!

Yes it's been a long time since I last posted but I did mention that I might struggle to post on a regular basis due to some medical issues etc and current state of mind. So today you got me in a good moment and for that you are rewarded with a Playlist of a few things I've been listening to over the past couple of months. Hope you enjoy this rather eclectic mix.

Thanks for your patience.

Doug. 😀

Now Playing Playlist

I'm Alive -999
Debut single from the brilliant 999.

Keepin' It Close To My Heart - Drivin' N Cryin'
Don't really know much about these guys but I really liked the sound of their album Too Late To To Turn Back Now.

Lose My Mind - Lucy and The Rats
Lucy was formerly in The Spazzys and is now apparently based in London. With her new band she has released a Self-Titled album that is pretty cool. Vocals at times remind me of early Kirsty MacCall and also of Andrea from The Darling Buds.

Rock and Stick - Bozz Scaggs
From his latest album Out of the Blues. Still sounding brilliant by the way and still out playing shows.

Get Your Shirt - Underworld and Iggy Pop
A bit of a bizzare collaboration but it actually works pretty well. Taken from the EP Teatime Dub Encounters.

1st (Acoustic Version) - Leah Daniels
Country singer from Uxbridge, Middlesex. Not exactly known as a hot bed of Country Music but she's recently put out a nice wee EP that includes a full band version of this song.

Just Found Heaven - Daughtry
From his latest album Cage to Rattle

Sheriff Fatman - Carter USM
This one appears on a new compilation called C89 which has some really cool Indie tunes.

Waiting For Winter - Popguns
Also on the C89 Compilation

Tony Hadley - Peruvian Hipsters
A last one from the C89 Compilation. Why anyone would want to sing a song about the ex-lead vocalist of Spandau Ballet is beyond me, but hey, those Indie Kids were a strange bunch!

Something Worth Fighting For - The Spitfires
Latest track to be released on Limited Edition 7" (28th September 2018) and also features on their excellent Year Zero album.

Verse & Chaos - The Droggettes
Philly Punk From the album Clockwork Girls

Future Me Hates Me - The Beths
Title track of the latest album from a band that were new to my ears. They hail from Auckland, New Zealand.

Wildflowers (Tribute to Tom Petty) - The Church Sisters
Another Country outfit that were new to my ears. Their latest album A Night at The Opry is well worth a listen.

Outdoor Miner - Wire
From the Special Edition of Chairs Missing.

Toxic - Ian McNabb
From his latest album Our Future In Space. Ms Spears is the last person on earth you would ever imagine to be covered by the Neil Young lovin' Ian McNabb!

Save Me - Aretha Franklin
From the 1967 album I Never Loved A Man The Way I Loved You. Recently heard a great cover of this by The Saints, and Jimi Hendrix does a version of it as well. But the voice of Aretha is one that's going to be missed. Thank goodness for the treaure of her musical legacy that's left behind.

I'd Give A Kidney For You - Hailey's Comet
Not quite sure where I stumbled over this but I'm always impressed when people write songs with either amazingly funny titles or ones that are thought provoking!

Supernatural - The Slow Readers Club
My mate Gary in Manchester is always on my case about listening to The Slow Readers Club and so I thought I would finally surrender, and they are none too shabby!

Riot On The Strip - James Williamson & The Pink Hearts
Track from the brand new album by former Stooges guitarist entitled Behind The Shade.

Old Enuff To Know Better! - Pink Fairies
The old Psychedelic Anarchists are back! This one was written by Larry Wallis and is featured on their brand new album Resident Reptiles.

Crazy Kids - Walter Lure & The Waldos
Taken from the new album Wacka Lacka Loom Bop A Loom Bam Boo. Old Walter is still kicking it big time after more than forty years of playing and he's never sounded so good.

Thursday, 26 July 2018

45RPM #129 Freebird - Lynyrd Skynyrd (November 1974)

I can hardly believe it's been more than a year since I last did a post in the 45RPM series and so I thought why not kick start the old beast again with a real classic from the vaults of Rock Music History.

Mention the name Lynyrd Skynyrd and your are guaranteed to hear mentioned one of two songs from their arsenal of classics, one would be Sweet Home Alabama and the other of course would be Free Bird

We all no doubt have at one time or another been to a concert when the particular performer asks for requests and more often than not there will be at least one person standing there, pint in hand, shouting out loud "Free Bird"! This happens at gigs of all sorts of bands and not those dedicated to the playing of Classic Rock.

And so, we turn our attention towards Free Bird (the Signature song of Lynyrd Skynyrd) and ponder afresh the absolute wonder of it and the sheer beauty of of a band, each with a specific part to play, bringing into being what is surely one of the greatest Rock songs of any time and quite simply of all time.

It's one that I dig out every now and again because if it is over-played it begins to lose a little of its wonder and I heard the original 1972 version recorded at Muscle Shoals recently and it got me thinking about doing this piece today.

Free Bird / Down South Junkin'
MCA Records
Produced by Al Kooper
Released November 1974
US Chart #19
UK Chart #21

1974 Single Version

More Links Below for other versions of Freebird and more music from Lynyrd Skynrd.


Released on the 2013 Muscle Shoals Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Republic Records).

Lynyrd Skynyrd
Free Bird
Studio version (1973)

    Ronnie Van Zant – vocals
    Allen Collins – lead and acoustic guitars
    Gary Rossington – rhythm and slide guitars
    Ed King – bass guitar
    Billy Powell – piano
    Bob Burns – drums
    "Roosevelt Gook" (Producer Al Kooper) – organ, mellotron

Additional personnel
    Steve Gaines* – Addition of lead and rhythm guitars

*Gaines had replaced guitarist Ed King who left the band in 1975 and on his third gig playing for the band they were recording what was to become their One More For The Road live album. Gaines was also one of the band members who sadly died three days after the release of their 1977 album Street Survivors in a plane crash along with Ronnie Van Zandt, Cassie Gaines (back up singer and sister of Steve Gaines), and assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary, and co-pilot William Gray were the other fatalities! 

(1976 UK 7" Picture Sleeve)

One of the greatest musical crimes ever committed by a record label has to be by MCA Records releasing Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd as a 7" Single in 1974 cutting four minutes and twenty seven seconds off of the version that appeared on their 1973 debut album 'Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd' (I mean they could have been crafty enough to at least split the song into two parts and have part two as the B-Side, but they didn't!). Such an act, if done to a movie or a book would be greeted with such horror as a vital part of the film or story would be lost! Likewise with the "editing" of this classic song, the cut removes aspects of the song that make it stand out as one of the finest songs ever recorded by a rock and roll band. 

Now, of course I understand that it was merely done for the purpose of having the song played on the radio at the time (I wouldn't have imagined that there were that many DJ's who would have got away with playing the full length album version) but still....

The song has been included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll, was listed as #193 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In 2008 it was listed at the #3 in Guitar World's 100 Greatest Guitar Solos.  In 2009 it was considered by VH-1 to be the 26th Best Hard Rock Song of All Time. In the Digital Age the song has sold over two million copies worldwide!

Freebird was originally recorded at Muscle Shoals in 1972 but the tracks from those sessions never saw the light of day until 1978 when Skynyrd's First and...Last was released (but Freebird wasn't actually included in that release! It only turned up on the 1998 Reissue entitled Skynyrd's First: The Complete Muscle Shoals Album and was also included as part of the Soundtrack for the film about Muscle Shoals).

The introduction to the song was put together by piano-playing roadie Billy Powell (with Al Kooper adding some nice touches on the Organ and Mellotron) and when the band heard it (he was apparently playing a piano version of the song during a break at an event in 1972 when Skynyrd were playing a Prom event at The Bolles School in Jacksonville), they included it in the song and then invited him to join the band as keyboard player (a position that he held between 1972-77, 1979 and 1987 until his death in 2009)! The extended guitar solos on the studio version (performed by Allen Collins and Steve Gaines) initially were used as part of the live set due to the band playing several sets a night in the clubs thus giving vocalist Ronnie Van Zant a chance to catch his breath and preserve his voice for the work ahead. Behind the guitar dynamics of Collins and Gaines was the steady hand of Gary Rossington keeping the Rhythm Guitar section motoring forward alongside the Bass of Ed King and the beat master on the Drum stool was Bob Burns.

To this date Gary Rossington (the last remaining member of the original band) is out on the road with Lynyrd Skynyrd as they play their Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour, the US leg began in May and stretches into September and dates are expected outside of the USA as well. Brother of original vocalist Ronnie Van Zandt, Johnny Van Zandt is on the lead vocals (he's been the frontman since 1987), and sometimes he really does sound like old Ronnie! There's actually a nice touch and tribute to Ronnie during the performance of Free Bird during the Farewell Tour shows that you can see below.

 Lynyrd Skynyrd - Free Bird
Jones Beach, June 23 2018

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

S4L Radio Show #10: The Seventies

This time around on the S4L Radio Show our ears are to be enlightened by the music of the 1970s. We go from long hair and flared jeans to short cropped dyed hair and drainpipes. From old hippies to young punks.

It's a nice mixed bag of Classic Rock, Glam, New Wave and Punk. The Playlist is loaded with music that I love from that particular decade and the reality is that it could have had a lot more songs than 23 because there was so many great records released back then. It's easy to dismiss a lot of stuff that came before the whole Punk and New Wave Scene and many did and thus miss out on some terrific music. Hopefully you'll find maybe a few tracks here that will make you tap your toes.

On The Playlist
Rock and Roll - Velvet Underground
Into The Mystic - Van Morrison
The Shape of Things To Come - Slade
Looking At You - MC5
Roadhouse Blues - The Doors
As Long As I Can See The Light - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Changes - David Bowie
48 Crash - Suzi Quatro
Teenage Rampage - Sweet
The Golden Age of Rock and Roll - Mott the Hoople
Search and Destroy - The Dictators
Lust For Life - Iggy Pop
Land - Patti Smith
Little Johnny Jewel - Television
In The Flesh - Blondie
Sheena is a Punk Rocker - Ramones
Psycho Killer - Talking Heads
Neat Neat Neat (Peel Session) - The Damned
Police & Thieves - The Clash
Your Generation - Generation X
Schooldays - The Starjets
(My Baby Does) Good Sculptures - The Rezillos
The Beginning of the End - Eddie and the Hot Rods

Friday, 20 July 2018

New Music 2018: Subversions - U.K. Subs (June)

Subversions - U.K. Subs
Cleopatra Records
Produced by Pat Collier and U.K. Subs
Released June 2018

Released on Limited Edition Red Vinyl (500 Copies) and on CD

Listen To The Album In Full Here:

Click on the links to hear the original versions:
A1 Kick Out The Jams (MC5)    
A2 Train Kept A Rollin (The Johnny Burnette Trio)    
A3 I Don't Need No Doctor (Ray Charles via Humble Pie)    
A4 Boston Babies (Slaughter and The Dogs)    
A5 Tired Of Waking Up Tired (The Diodes)    
A6 This Perfect Day (The Saints)    
B1 Get Out Of Denver (Bob Seger)    
B2 Feel Good Hit Of The Summer (Queens of the Stone Age)   
B3 Bomber (
B4 Roadrunner (The Modern Lovers)    
B5 1969 (The Stooges)    
B6 Suffragette City  (David Bowie)


2018 seems like a busy year for the U.K. Subs as not only are they out on the road and releasing two 15CD Box Sets containing the full set of their albums in Alphabetical Order (Volume 1 is A-M and Volume 2 is N-Z), a brand new studio album plus a new EP coming in November but Charlie Harper (vocalist) released (in April) his second solo album, 'Little Black Crow' (Road Dog Records - his Debut Solo was called 'Stolen Property', it was an album of covers and released in 1982!), he also received the 'King Rocker/Icon' award at the Vive Le Rock! Awards in March and has also had an exhibition of his art alongside Gaye Black down in Sussex. Alvin Gibbs (bassist) is due to release his Debut Album in December under the banner of 'Alvin Gibbs and The Disobedient Servants'. Jamie Oliver (drummer) also has a side project called You and they released their Debut Single (in April) entitled 'Selfish'.

U.K. Subs are no strangers to Cover Versions as over the period of 40 plus years they have played a fair few and even recorded and released some - 'She's Not There' (lead track on the 1979 EP), 'I'm Waiting For The Man' (B-Side of 'Warhead') - and there have been a fair few released on various albums as well but a whole album's worth is something they have not done before (at least as far as I can remember!).

Of all the tracks on Subversions I have to confess to not actually knowing two of them (the Queens Of The Stone Age track 'Feel Good Hit of the Summer' and Canadian band The Diodes' 'Tired Of Waking Up Tired').

As for the other ten they are pretty magnificent. The U.K. Subs are not over fancy and what you get is 12 tracks of raw power from beginning to end. The choices are interesting as there's a couple that would no doubt have been played by the teenage David Charles Perez ('Train Kept a Rollin' and 'I Don't Need No Doctor') and would be quite obscure to the rest of the band possibly and the rest, there's a number of Classic Rock tracks spanning the early 70s, a few Punk/New Wave Classics, a wee tribute to the genius of Lemmy's Motörhead, and the "newest" track is the Queen of the Stone Age song (and that's 18 years old!).

At 74 years old it's great seeing and hearing Charlie still doing what he loves and the current line up of the band is pretty tight and tidy as well. How much longer it goes on who knows but while they are still up and at 'em I'm going to enjoy listening and watching as I have done so for as long as the band have been around! 

U.K. Subs
Live at 100 Club, London
19th May 2018

Friday, 13 July 2018

S4L Radio Show Playlist #9: Singing Song Songs

When I was playing my iPod recently on shuffle I noticed that quite a number of songs following each other had the word "Song" in them. Of course this got me thinking about put together a wee playlist under the banner of Singing Song Songs.

It's a mixture of the wild and whacky (what else would it be from me?) from the seriousness of Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash & Joe Strummer to the plain daft of The Yobs!
There's Pop, there's Rock and everything inbetween and outside the lines. Hope you enjoy it.

The Playlist

On The Playlist
Radio Song (Tower of Luv Bug Mix) - R.E.M.
The Gold Song - Bouncing Souls
Song For A Future Generation - The B-52's
Song For Whoever - The Beautiful South
Wrote A Song For Everyone - John Fogetry (ft Miranda Lambert & Tom Morello)
Song For A Friend - Aztec Camera
Sing All The Saddest Songs - The Mighty Wah
The Worm Song _ The Yobs
Swansong - The Alarm
Tower Of Song - Leonard Cohen
This Is A Love Song For The Loveless - The Juliana Theory
The Mystery Song - Transvision Vamp
The Breakup Song - The Greg Kihn Band
Sea Song - Penetration
Looking For A Song - Big Audio Dynamite
Redemption Song - Johhny Cash & Joe Strummer
Empire Song - Killing Joke
Festival Song - Good Charlotte
Fort Bragg (The Kool-Aid Song) - Beki Hemingway
Like A Song - U2
Authority Song - John Mellencamp
The Parting Shot
The Last Song - Thousand Foot Krutch

Sunday, 1 July 2018

New Music 2018: Let's Ride - MxPx (June 2018)

Let's Ride - MxPx
From the fortchcoming album MxPx due out July 2018

 New Album Tracklist:
01. Rolling Strong
02. All Of It
03. Friday Tonight
04. Let’s Ride (RADIO SINGLE)
05. Uptown Streets
06. 20 / 20 Hindsight
07. The Way We Do
08. Life Goals
09. Pipe Dreams
10. Disaster
11. Moments Like This

Haters Gonna Hate!
MxPx Respond to "Fan" Comments

MxPx, now in their 26th year of life, are getting ready to unleash their crowd-funded Self-Titled new record, their tenth studio album by the way if you were counting. 
They released a brand new video for a song from the new self-produced work entitled Let's Ride. The album was recorded in their hometown of Bremerton, Washington. It will be available as a Download and I think the CD is only available to those who ordered it on the Kickstarter site for the album. Not totally sure about the Vinyl and what kind of quantities it will exist in.

Live in Jarkartar, Indonesia
May 2018

Friday, 29 June 2018

New Music 2018: Equals - The Alarm

There's loads of links below for every track on the new album as well as for playlists of some older albums and also for more information regarding tour dates etc. Enjoy.

Equals - The Alarm
The Twenty First Century Recording Company
Produced by George Williams
Released 29th June 2018

Equals Promo

One little gripe I have is that if the band are wanting maximum exposure for the album then the little promo above should actually be made public rather than unlisted as folks wouldn't be able to find it.

*Not on the Vinyl Edition of the album

Click on the links above to listen to all the songs on the album.

No one has done more to keep the name and spirit of his band alive and kicking than Mike Peters.

Equals is the first worldwide released album from the band for a good few years (Direct Action in 2010 I think was the last one) and there’s a lot of excitement once again about seeing the music of The Alarm on the shelves in Record Stores across the globe.

Earlier this year there had been a little taster with the Where The Two Rivers Cross EP that was released on Record Store Day and was subject to a Transatlantic Promotional Challenge with Mike Peters performing in the UK (Wales and London) and the USA (New York City and Los Angeles) within the space of 24 hours.

2018 has been a busy year for The Alarm as prior to these releases there had been the reissues of Eponymous and Declaration on Vinyl and CD that stem of course from the early days of the band when they had got signed by I.R.S. and also a Digital only release of 21 (Redux).  The 21 (Redux) album featured new mixes and remastered songs from In The Poppy Fields (2004), Under Attack (2006), Guerilla Tactics (2008), Direct Action (2010) and the Vinyl Soundtrack (2013) and was a glimpse into the life and music of the band since Mike Peters resurrected the name of The Alarm with a brand new backing band that has featured James Stevenson on Guitar (Chelsea, Gene Loves Jezebel, Generation X, Kim Wilde and stacks more), Craig Adams on Bass (Sisters of Mercy, The Mission and Spear of Destiny), Steve Grantly on Drums (Eighth Wonder and Stiff Little Fingers), Steve “Smiley” Barnard on Drums (Robbie Williams and Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros), Mark Taylor on Keyboards (Belinda Carlisle, Elton John and Simple Minds) and Jules Jones Peters on Keyboards and Backing Vocals (Mike Peters and The Poets of Justice). 

The current line up of the band is:
Mike Peters Vocals and Guitar
James Stevenson Bass, Guitars, Backing Vocals
Jules Jones Peters Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Steve “Smiley” Barnard Drums.

On top of the releases there has been a Tour (both UK and Europe), the annual event The Gathering in Wales and also for the first time The Gathering also took place in New York and Los Angeles.

Promotion for the new album will consist of a number of Record Store appearances with Mike performing, signing and I think also a few Q&A’s. There will also be a tour in the USA as well (see The Alarm website for dates). By no means are they sitting on their laurels but are out to unleash “fresh music” upon the masses!

Now, you will note about that I put “fresh music” in quotation marks and I did so for a reason because whilst many of the songs will be new to the unsuspecting public at large they are actually well known to those within the ranks of The Alarm fan base. Last year Mike Peters issued two albums under the banner of The Alarm (Blood Red and Viral Black) that were only available from The Alarm website. What they have decided to do is draw from those two albums what they think are the best songs and release them as a stand alone album. The big question of course is how do they stand up and what sounds can we expect?

There's a new podcast available where Mike speaks about the new album and the songs that are a part of it. Click here to have a listen

Have a listen and see what you think. My own personal view on it is that I am pretty pleased with the choices they made for the album and whilst I still don't get Thirteen Dead Reindeer the rest of the album sounds pretty good to my old ears.

The standout tracks for me are Two Rivers, Coming Backwards, Peace Now, Cenotaph and Tomorrow.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

New Music Video: A Place They Called "Forgotten Town" - Henry Priestman & Les Glover

Taken from the album 'six of one & half a dozen of the other' by Henry Priestman & Les Glover. The video was actually unleashed on the 22nd June 2018.

There's also a few links below where you can check out other music from Henry & Les.

A Place They Called "Forgotten Town"
Henry Priestman and Les Glover

(Les Glover & Henry Priestman)

The song is a reworking of the debut single by The Christians (1987, it reached #22 in the UK Charts) and was written by Henry Priestman, who was also a member of the band. The track was also featured on their self-titled Debut album that reached #2 on the UK Album Charts and spawned four other charting singles with Ideal World reaching the highest placing of #14.

Forgotten Town
The Christians

Henry & Les regularly perform songs from Henry's days in the Yachts (Love You Love You and Yachting Type) and The Christians (Ideal World) as well as songs from Les Glover's Loved Up Les (Men of a Certain Age).

S4L Radio Playlist #8

It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted anything. So here's a new playlist to kick off.

It's a wonderful mix of the old and new with more new than old.

On The Playlist
On The Radio - Donna Summer
We kick off as usual with a song about the Radio on the only Radio Show that's not really a Radio Show at all! I had forgotten about how good this one from Donna Summer sounded all these years on from its release.

Get On Out Of The Rain - Roger Daltery 
Although he's been in my bad books a little for some of his recent comments regarding political issues here in the UK I still have some respect for the voice of The Who on his latest solo offering. Quite like this track (one of many good ones on the album). 

The Kids Are Alt-Right - Bad Religion 
 Heard this one only yesterday and thought it was a pretty interesting take on stuff that's going on in America at the moment. Not sure that I would consider that all the kids though fall under the banner of the Alt-Right though!

Tell Me One More Thing - Wilko Johnson
Good seeing Wilko back recording new music again. Blow Your Mind is a pretty tidy album of trademark blues from the former Dr Feelgood guitarist.

I'm A Mess - Bebe Rexha
 I was slightly put off at first by Bebe Rexha mainly because I really disliked that song she did with Florida Georgia Line (who seem like a kinda fake Country band to me!). But I was quite taken with some of the material on her album Expectations.

Bigger - Sugarland
Another spot of Country Music with the title track to their latest album.

Beautiful - The Alarm
The new album = (Equals) get released tomorrow and here's a track from it. The video was released a short while back.  Maybe it's going to give Mike Peters and The Alarm some exposure beyond their usual fanbase and MP is undertaking some promotional duties with signings and playing live (check out The Alarm website for details).

Love Is A Wonderful Colour - The Icicle Works
Don't Worship Me - Pele 
The two Ian's (McNabb of The Icicle Works and Prowse of Pele and Amsterdam) have had pretty long careers playing in bands and as Solo artists and I have to admit that I do prefer Mr Prowse. I don't really know too much of his band Pele though (apart from a few songs here and there) and must give myself some time to listen to more.
As for Mr McNabb, there's quite a number of of his albums with The Icicle Works that still sound good to my ears and he's done some decent Solo records as well (Head Like A Rock is the best I think).

Knobheads On Quiz Shows - Half Man Half Biscuit
Taken from the brand new album 'No One Cares About Your Creative Hub so Get Your F*****' Hedge Cut'. Half Man Half Biscuit come up once again with a set of songs with some of their best ever on their latest record including Man of Constant Sorrow (with a Garage in Constant Use) and Harsh Times in Umberstone Covert.

I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous - Frank Turner
There's a Special Edition of Love Ire and Song to celebrate its Tenth Anniversary of release. It's one of my favourite Frank albums.

Gave You Everything - The Interrupters
 Taken from the new album Fight the Good Fight that is released tomorrow. It's been a couple of years since their last album and they are sounding in fine form with that Punky/Ska edge that is their trademark sound.

Caught In The Middle - Paramore
Another single taken from the excellent After Laughter album.

Don't Be Hiding - Middle Kids
This lot were new to my ears and I really like them a lot. This is taken from their debut album Lost Friends. The video was released yesterday. The album by the Sydney, Australia, trio was released back at the start of May 2018. They have toured recently with the likes of Ryan Adams and the Cold War Kids.

Latchkey Kids - Family of the Year
 Another band who were new to me just a year ago with their fine self-titled debut album have their second album out at the moment entitled Goodbye Sunshine.

The Walking Wounded - Roseanne Cash
Taken from the excellent Johnny Cash: Forever Words album that contains songs written by The Man in Black that were found in various notebooks and hence unrecorded and unreleased. A real quality album that contains Alison Krauss and Union Station, Brad Paisley, Kris Kristofferson, T Bone Burnett, John Mellencamp, Elvis Costello and many others.

Beautifully Broken - Plumb
It's been a few years since the last Plumb album and so it's cool to see Tiffany Arbuckle Lee releasing another record of down to earth pop songs that have issues of faith at their heart. This is the title track to the new album.
My Lucky Scars - Hilary Williams
Waiting On June - Holly Williams
Holly Williams is someone I have spoken of with great affection on this blog before and it's nice to see her sister Hilary finally recording some music as well. My Lucky Scars is the title track of her debut album. Waiting On June is taken from Holly's impressive album The Highway.

The Parting Shot
Drift Away (Live) - Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
I was listening to the Dobie Gray version of this a few days back and it's a song I've loved for years. Fortunately Springsteen has played it a few times live over the years as well and I always get a kick out of his version. This one is taken from a performance in 2013 in Hannover, Germany on The Wrecking Ball Tour.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Rewind: Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band - Munich 17th June 2016

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
The River Tour 2016
Olympiastadion, Munich
17th June 2016

Watch the Concert In Full Here:


Prove It All Night ('78 intro)
Out in the Street
Sherry Darling
Two Hearts
No Surrender
Hungry Heart
You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)

Death to My Hometown
My Hometown (Tour Debut)
Johnny 99
Murder Incorporated
The River
American Skin (41 Shots)
The Promised Land
Working on the Highway
Darlington County
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
I'm on Fire
Because the Night
The Rising
Thunder Road
Land of Hope and Dreams

* * *
Encore 1
Born in the U.S.A.
Born to Run
Seven Nights to Rock
Dancing in the Dark
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out

* * *
Encore 2
For You (solo acoustic)

Songs highlighted in Blue are from The River album

A strong 31 song set spanning three hours and twenty one minutes opens with the first play on the tour of Prove It All Night with the '78 Intro. My Hometown was the only Tour Debut of the night.

Despite the tour being called The River Tour 2016 only six songs from the album were actually played on the night in Munich. It actually wouldn't be until the second night in Paris (13th July) that the band would actually perform the whole album in sequence for the first time ever on European soil. It would also get played in Gothenburg (23rd July) and Oslo (28th July).

Thursday, 14 June 2018

A Few Favourite Albums: Coverage - Mandy Moore (October 2003)

An Introductory Note

More than a few people will be surprised to see this particular album among my favourites and will probably assume that my mental state is somewhat on the decline! Never a fan of the Music Police I take heart in the fact that I like what I like and I'm not overly bothered if others sit and grumble, turn up their noses and wave their fists toward me in despair!

Some might assume that this is some kind of guilty pleasure but I personally do not have such things. As I have said if I like something then it's my own personal choice, you don't have to agree with me but don't write it off without actually listening because there's nothing worse than musical snobbery that's rooted in ignorance (I would confess to having been guilty of that myself in the past but have been doing my best to rectify such sad behaviour!).

 Coverage - Mandy Moore
Produced by John Fields
Released October 2003
US Chart #14

1 Senses Working Overtime (Andy Partridge) 4:10
2 The Whole Of The Moon (Mike Scott) 5:03
3 Can We Still Be Friends (Todd Rundgren) 3:40
4 I Feel The Earth Move (Carole King) 3:10
5 Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters (Bernie Taupin and Elton John) 4:51
6 Drop The Pilot (Joan Armatrading) 3:46
7 Moonshadow (Cat Stevens) 3:01
8 One Way Or Another (Debbie Harry and Nigel Harrison) 3:34
9 Breaking Us In Two (Joe Jackson) 4:28
10 Anticipation (Carly Simon) 3:23
11 Help Me (Joni Mitchell) 3:31
12 Have A Little Faith In Me (John Hiatt) 4:03

CD/DVD Edition
DVD contains an Interview with Mandy Moore and Have A Little Faith Promo Video.

    Mandy Moore – vocals   
    Jim Anton – bass
    Kevin Augunas – bass (electric), engineer
    Tommy Barbarella – synthesizer, piano, organ (Hammond), piano (electric)
    Michael Bland – drums
    D.J. Bonebrake – vibraphone
    Ken Chastain – bass, percussion, tambourine
    Julius Collins – vocals
    Dorian Crozier – percussion, drums, engineer
    Evan Dando – guitar (acoustic)
    Christina Ehrlich – stylist
    John Fields – bass, guitar, guitar (baritone), guitar (electric), French horn, keyboards, vocals, and string arrangements
    Dirk Freymuth – guitar
    Loren Gold – piano
    Billy Hawn – percussion
    Eric Heywood – pedal steel
    Kenny Holmen – flute, sax (tenor)
    Dave Jensen – trumpet
    Kathy Jensen – sax (baritone)
    Ameena Maria Khawaja – cello
    Noah Levy – drums
    Matt Mahaffey – piano, drums, Chamberlin, effects, Minimoog
    George Scot McKelvey – guitar
    Josh Myers – string arrangements
    Danielle Nesmith – violin
    Mike Ruekberg – guitar (acoustic)
    Phil Solem – guitar (acoustic), guitar, mandolin, vocals
    Audrey Solomon – violin
    Steve Strand – trumpet
    Danny Wilde – vocals
    Dan Wilson – vocals
    Jordon Zadorozny – guitar

Singles On Coverage
Have A Little Faith In Me
Released July 2003
US Pop Chart #39

Drop The Pilot*
Released October 2003
Did Not Chart

*Couldn't find any artwork for this at all, even on Discogs!

Senses Working Overtime (Live Sessions@AOL)
Released January 2004
Did Not Chart


Coverage is the fourth studio album from Mandy Moore and her last (apart from a Best of) for Epic Records before departing the label in 2004 due to "creative differences" - roughly this can be translated as Moore having been with the label since she was 15 years old, cutting her teeth touring with the likes of the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC and being promoted along the same lines as Britney Spears and Christine Aguilera, basically didn't want to continue with that route, preferring to adopt a more musically mature sound that spotlighted songwriting and proper musical instrumentation. Epic were not so keen on this new direction and she was released from her contract. 

This new direction would come to fruition with her 2007 release Wild Hope (The Firm Music) and 2009's Amanda Leigh (Storefront) on which she co-wrote all of the songs.

Now, I have not always been a fan of Covers albums because there's too many of them around these days and some tend to be a bit sloppy and unimaginative. What I liked about Coverage is that here was an artist who was trying to find her real place within the music industry (although she was already branching out into film etc) rather than continuing to fit into the template her label wanted. 

Her choice of songs for the project was interesting (all songs are drawn from the 1970s and 1980s) and whilst they maybe didn't all work out, the fact that she was willing to give it a go was impressive enough to me and proof that she was doing the right thing in moving away from that manufactured pop stuff.

The album did receive very mixed reviews but that was always going to happen when a "Bubblegum popstar Princess" breaks out of their mould! The album did reach #14 in the Billboard 200 Chart (her highest chart placing for an album) despite selling a disappointing 315,000 in the USA (it wasn't released worldwide and I seem to remember picking up an Import copy).

About The Tracks*
(Access to the original songs can be found by clicking on the links)

The opening track, "Senses Working Overtime" is a cover of the English band XTC, released in 1982 and written by Andy Partridge. "The Whole of the Moon" is a cover of the band The Waterboys, originally released in 1985. "Can We Still Be Friends" is a cover of singer Todd Rundgren. The lyrics describe a relationship to which Rundgren and the woman to whom he is singing have given great effort, but simply cannot work. The song is generally assumed to be about Rundgren's breakup with long-time companion Bebe Buell in 1977. "I Feel the Earth Move" is a song written and recorded by pop singer-songwriter Carole King. "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" is a 1972 song from the Elton John album Honky Château. It was written by Bernie Taupin and is his take on New York City after hearing a gun go off near his hotel window during his first visit to the city. "Drop the Pilot" is a song written and originally performed by Joan Armatrading. It was the first single to be released from Armatrading's 1983 album The Key. "Moonshadow" is a song from the album Teaser and the Firecat, released by Cat Stevens in 1971. "One Way or Another" is a song by American new wave band Blondie. Written by Debbie Harry and Nigel Harrison for the band's third studio album, Parallel Lines (1978), the song was inspired by one of Harry's ex-boyfriends who stalked her after their break-up. "Breaking Us in Two" is a cover of singer Joe Jackson, while "Anticipation" is a song by Carly Simon. It was the most famous track from her 1971 album of the same name. "Help Me" is a love song written, produced and performed by Joni Mitchell, from her 1974 album Court and Spark"Have a Little Faith in Me" is a song written and performed by John Hiatt that appears on his 1987 album Bring the Family.

* Borrowed and edited from Wikipedia

It's been a long time since Moore has put new music out but there are plans afoot for more. For the time being though she can still be heard singing every now and again on This Is Us in her role as Rebecca Pearson. The show has won various awards and had numerous nominations including a Golden Globe Nomination for Mandy Moore in 2017.

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