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Thursday, 25 October 2018

Keeping It Peel 2018

On the 14th anniversary of the death of John Peel once again it's time to celebrate musically by Keeping It Peel.

I have chosen 30 John Peel Sessions spanning the years (the oldest dating back to 1968) and taking in many different musical styles just like his Radio Shows of old did back in the day.

I hope you enjoy them.

Keeping It Peel Playlist

On The Playlist
Roxy Music 1972
The Cramps 1986
The Psychedelic Furs 1979
T.Rex 1970
Leonard Cohen 1968
The Slits 1977
Linton Kwesi Johnson 1979
The Sisters of Mercy 1984
Killing Joke 1979
Joe Jackson 1979
Joy Division 1979
The Human League 1978
Motorhead 1978
Wire 1978
The Adverts 1977
Elvis Costello and The Attractions 1978
The Vapours 1979
The Ruts 1979
Ultravox! 1977
Culture 1982
Buzzcocks 1977
The Fall 1985
Siouxsie and the Banshees 1977
The Cranberries 1992
The Only Ones 1978
Prince Far-I and Creation Rebel 1978
The Damned 1979
Graham Parker and The Rumour 1976
The Motors 1977
Half Man Half Biscuit 1985  

Friday, 19 October 2018

Rewind: Madness and Specials Unleash Debut Albums On This Day in 1979

One Step Beyond - Madness
Stiff Records
Produced by Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley
Released 19th October 1979
UK Chart #2

Specials - Specials
2 Tone
Produced by Elvis Costello
Released 19th October 1979
UK Chart #4

Two of the bands at the forefront of the 2 Tone Ska Revival released their Debut Albums on this day in 1979. Madness of course had moved on from the 2 Tone label to the "Most Flexible Label in the World", Stiff Records and The Special A.K.A. had been dropped in favour of the more simple Specials.
Out of the two I preferred One Step Beyond, mainly because I didn't think that Elvis Costello had properly captured the urgency and frenetic nature of the Specials that they displayed when playing live, whilst with Madness, Langer and Winstanley did manage to capture the energy of the band.
It was One Step Beyond that had the upper hand when it came to the Charts peaking at #2 whilst Specials made it to #4.
Both bands are still out and about playing live (with newer personnel) and I think I read somewhere that the Specials are hoping to record a new album soon. Can't Touch Us Now in 2016 is the latest studio album from Madness (their 11th) and the first not to feature Cathal Symth (Chas Smash) who had left the band to focus on a Solo Career.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Rewind: Moving Targets - Penetration (3rd October 1978)

Moving Targets - Penetration
Proudced by Mick Glossop and Mike Howlett
Released 3rd October 1978
UK Chart #22

Side One

Side Two

    Pauline Murray - vocals
    Fred Purser - lead guitar; keyboards on "Reunion"
    Neale Floyd - guitar
    Robert Blamire - bass
    Gary Smallman - drums, percussion


It's amazing to think that Moving Targets is 40 Years Old today! It's an album that I have never had to blow the dust off or brush off the cobwebs because it gets played often and even after 40 years I never tire of listening to it.

Penetration were formed in 1976 in County Durham but at first were called The Points and played their debut live show at the Rock Garden in Middlesbourgh in October 1976. Their second live performance saw them supporting The Stranglers at Newcastle City Hall! The change of name came from the Iggy and The Stooges track Penetration that was released in 1973 on the Raw Power album.

The band signed to Virgin Records and in November 1977 released their debut single Don't Dictate which is widely regarded as a Punk Classic. They followed up in March 1978 with the excellent Firing Squad single. 

 (Firing Squad Picture Sleeve)

Neither single dented the chart and the single released as the forerunner to the debut album, Life's A Gamble, didn't set the chart on fire either! 

It's a shame because all three singles were really decent quality tunes and fortunately the debut album would be the one to open the door to some much deserved chart activity.

The first two singles were not included on the album though when reissued on CD both A & B Sides were present.

A John Peel Session was recorded on 5th July 1978 and it included Future Daze, Vision, Stone Heroes and Movement, all of which would appear on the Debut album.

Nine of the eleven tracks were written by members of the band and it ends suprisingly with two cover versions, firstly Nostalgia which had been on the second album Love Bites by Buzzcocks (released only a month before!)  and secondly Free Money, written by Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye (and had originally appeared on the Horses album from 1975).

Whilst those cover versions are excellent it's actually the quality of their own writing that really stands out for me. They had grown musically as a band from their debut single to what is offered here on the debut album. A lot of that I think can be put down to the twin guitar attack of Neale Floyd (who had replaced the original guitarist Gary Chaplin, who departed in March 1978) and Fred Purser (who joined in July 1978).

Whilst the studio versions of the songs are just brilliant it was actually the live performances that really captured the sheer force and energy of the songs.

Listening to this once again brings up great memories of shows at The Marquee in Wardour Street and The Lyceum Ballroom down at The Strand in London. 

"Sometimes there's a song in my brain
And I feel that my heart knows the refrain
I guess it's just the music
That brings on nostalgia for an age yet to come" 
- (Nostalgia - Pete Shelley)

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