Any Major Soul 1973 – Vol. 2

April 16th, 2015 2 comments

Any Major Soul 1973_2

What a great reception the first volume of Any Major Soul 1973 received! Such nice comments. Be assured that your comments — here and on Facebook (become my friend) — keep this blogging gig going.

I think I’ve mentioned most of the artists featured here before, and I’ve got other deadlines to take care off, so here’s part 2 of the 1973 soul mix, which I think might be even better than the first. Plus, there are two bonus tracks I could not squeeze into the CD-R timed playlist. Enjoy! (PW in comments)

1. Joe Simon – Power Of Love
2. Lamont Dozier – Breaking Out All Over
3. Al Wilson – For Cryin’ Out Loud
4. The Intruders – To Be Happy Is The Real Thing
5. The Dells – My Pretending Days Are Over
6. The Ebonys – You’re The Reason Why
7. Tommie Young – You Came Just In Time
8. William Bell – Gettin’ What You Want (Losin’ What You Got)
9. Bobby Powell – I’m Going To Try You One More Try
10. The Sweet Inspirations – Sweet Inspiration
11. 8th Day – I Gotta Get Home (Can’t Let My Baby Get Lonely)
12. First Choice – Newsy Neighbors
13. Kim Tolliver – Learn To Get Along Without You
14. Jackie Moore – Willpower
15. Claudia Lennear – Goin’ Down
16. Gloria Jones – Tin Can People
17. The Temptations – Law Of The Land
18. The Dynamics – She’s For Real (Bless You)
19. The Main Ingredient – I Am Yours
20. Willie Hutch – I Just Wanted To Make Her Happy
21. The Majestic Arrows – Another Day
22. Marlena Shaw – Waterfall
23. Gladys Knight & The Pips – It’s Gotta Be That Way

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Should Have Been A UK Top 10 Hit – Vol. 1

April 9th, 2015 9 comments

Should Have Been A Top 10 Hit

Every year an American radio DJ invites the public to vote for songs that should have been Top 10 hits in the US. Billing the vote as It Really Shoulda been a Top 10 hit!”, Rich Appel releases the annual list to coincide with 15 April, the big tax day in the US (hence the initials IRS).

Borrowing the concept, here’s the first lot of UK hits that missed the Top 10. More will follow, for UK chart outrages are many. But to keep the number of tracks in check, I instituted certain rules. The songs must have had a shot at the Top 10, so only songs that reached the Top 40 qualified (though on my shortlist there are a couple of exceptions) . If songs were Top 10 hits in the US, they were usually disqualified, so were songs that are now bona fide classics, else the Motown catalogue alone would flood my already long shortlist. And I used the year 1990 as a cut-off, since after that the UK charts gradually lost any meaning, even if the Oasis vs Blur battle for #1 was big news a few years after.

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While promotion strategies and pure chance often decided whether a song would become a Top 10 hit or not, it is inexplicable why some of those included here failed to climb such heights. How did The Whole Of The Moon, a real classic, stagnate at #26, when in the week the song peaked the Top 10 included such garbage as Elton John’s Nikita and Jennifer Rush’s The Power Of Love? How did The Undertones’ utterly glorious Teenage Kicks get stuck at #31 when awfulness such as Frankie Miller’s Darlin’, Smokie’s Mexican Girl and, have mercy, Father Abraham & The Smurfs’ Dippety Day ranked above it?

And what injustice befell The Cure’s Inbetween Days to get stuck behind such horrors as Baltimora’s Tarzan Boy, Opus’ Life Is Live, Amazulu’s Excitable and Tina Turner’s We Don’t Need Another Hero?

One song here that failed to even crack the Top 30 did make it to #1, in a way, when Dexys Midnight Runners hit the top with Geno, a song dedicated to soul singer Geno Washington which references his #39 hit Michael (The Lover) from 1967.

And for the UK election in May, let’s have The Redskins’ song as the anthem, even as the return of the ghastly David Cameron seems inevitable.gallery-1As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-charted covers. PW in comments.

1. The Undertones – Teenage Kicks (#31 1978)
2. Aztec Camera – Oblivious (# 18 1983)
3. Big Sound Authority – This House (Is Where Your Love Stands) (#21 1985)
4. The Blow Monkeys – Diggin’ Your Scene (#12 1986)
5. Hipsway – The Honeythief (#17 1986)
6. The Waterboys – The Whole Of The Moon (#26 1985)
7. The Redskins – Bring It Down (This Insane Thing) (#33 1985)
8. The Jesus And Mary Chain – Darklands (#33 1987)
9. China Crisis – Black Man Ray (#14 1985)
10. Prefab Sprout – When Love Breaks Down (#25 1985)
11. The Colourfield – Thinking Of You (#12 1985)
12. ABC – When Smokey Sings (#11 1987)
13. Geno Washington – Michael (#39 1967)
14. The Foundations – Back On My Feet Again (#18 1968)
15. The Young Rascals – A Girl Like You (#37 1967)
16. Jesse Green – Nice And Slow (#17 1976)
17. The Beginning Of The End – Funky Nassau (Part 1) (#31 1974)
18. Osibisa – Sunshine Day (#17 1976)
19. Kiki Dee – Star (#13 1981)
20. Susan Fassbender – Twilight Cafe (#21 1981)
21. The Alarm – Sixty-Eight Guns (#17 1983)
22. The Cure – In Between Days (#15 1985)

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In Memoriam – March 2015

April 2nd, 2015 3 comments

The mind that co-wrote one of the great rock classics is no more: Andy Fraser, bass player of Free, has died at 62. He was a founding member of Free at 15, having had a previous (!) stint with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. He was not yet 18 when he wrote All Right Now, with the help of Paul Rodgers (himself barely 20 years old). His career after Free couldn’t reach the heights of his time with Free.

Something similar can be said of Michael Brown of the Left Banke, who co-wrote the classic Walk Renee and follow-up hit Pretty Ballerina at the age of 16 and 17. By 18 he left the group and never really had notable success again. It is said that Brown wrote the lyrics of both songs about Renée Fladen, the platinum blonde girlfriend of The Left Banke’s guitarist Tom Finn, on whom he had a crush. Tony Sansone, who co-wrote the lyrics for Walk Away Renée, claimed that the titular name was just a random riff on French names in the aftermath of the Beatles’ Michelle, which had come out a year before Renee was released in 1966.

gallery1It was no shock to learn of the death at 59 of Mike Porcaro, the bassist in the Porcaro family dynasty that also included brothers Steve on keyboards, the late drummer Jeff, and percussionist/drummer father Joe. Mike had been ill with Lou Gehrig’s disease for many years. He began his career as a young session bassist for acts like Seals & Croft, Lee Ritenour, Christopher Cross, Donna Summer and Michael McDonald (including on That’s Why, which I nearly featured on Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 4, posted three days before Porcaro’s death). He also played on the Grease soundtrack. In 1982 he finally appeared with Jeff, Steve and Joe on a Toto album — on one track, playing the cello. But after that hit album, Toto IV, came out, bassist David Hungate left the group, and Mike finally joined his brothers’ band. He stayed with Toto until illness forced his retirement in 2007, while still continuing his session work.

British singer and songwriter Jackie Trent was a fine interpreter of songs by the likes of Jimmy Webb and Burt Bacharach, but she also co-wrote with Tony Hatch a string of hit songs, much in the vein of Burt and Webb, for herself and others. These include her UK #1 hit Where Are You Now (My Love) and the masterpiece that is Scott Walker’s Joanna. Trent and Hatch wrote prolifically for Petula Clark — including Don’t Sleep in the Subway and I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love (about Hatch and Trent’s affair before they got married in 1966)— as well as for the likes of including Frank Sinatra, Jack Jones, Nancy Wilson, Shirley Bassey and Dean Martin. In the 1970s Trent and Hatch turned to writing musicals, as well as Stoke City’s run-out song We’ll Be With You. Having emigrated to Australia in 1980, they composed the theme for the soap opera Neighbours.

The trouble with trumpeters is that they rarely work alone, and therefore don’t get much attention as soloists, the way a saxophone player might. One way of determining how good they are is by looking at their catalogue: who worked with them, and on what. By that standard, Lew Soloff must rank among the greats. He was a member of Blood, Sweat & Tears’ great brass section in the group’s heyday. As a session man he played on hits such as Chaka Khan’s What Cha’ Gonna Do For Me, Paul Simon’s You Can Call Me Al and Bonnie Tyler’s Holding Out For A Hero. He backed artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Boz Scaggs, George Benson, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Art Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra, The Four Tops, Roberta Flack, Chaka Khan, Eric Clapton, Herbie Mann, Mongo Santamaria, Bob James, Stanley Clarke, Chuck Mangione, Spyro Gyra, Roy Ayers, O’Donnel Levy, Frankie Valli, Odyssey, Ian Hunter, John Mayall, Angela Bofill, Marlena Shaw, Peter Tosh, Marianne Faithfull, Michael Franks and especially Gil Evans, with whom he released a number of albums.

The list of Jewish soul singers is fairly short, more so those who recorded at Stax with Booker T & The MG’s and Isaac Hayed backing them. But so it was with Sharon Tandy, who was born in Johannesburg as Sharon Finkelstein. She had early success in South Africa, including an appearance in the country’s first beat movie , Africa Shakes. In 1964 she moved to England, where she released several singles, none of which charted. In 1966 she became the first white singer and first non-American to record for Stax, a gig arranged by her connected manager and husband, Frank Fenter. Only one song from that session was ever released. In 1967 she opened for the 1967 Stax/Volt Tour of Europe. Fenter then hooked her up with another one his acts, the British psychedelic rock outfit The Fleur de Lys. In 1970, frustrated by lack of a commercial breakthrough and having split with Fenter, Tandy returned to South Africa, where she had sporadic hits in the 1970s. In the 1990s her work was rediscovered in Britain, and Tandy was delighted to be performing again.

For a rock musician, checking out while touring might be second best only to checking out while playing. So it was with AJ Pero, drummer of Twisted Sister in their heyday, who was touring with his latest band, Adrenaline Mob, when his bandmates couldn’t wake him. While driving, he had died in his sleep, at only 55.

gallery2Country musician Billy Block, who has died of skin cancer at 59, might not have hit the big times as a recording artist, but as a mentor and patron to many musicians, he helped form the alt.country scene that is often referred to as Americana. His long-running live radio show was alt.country’s equivalent to the Grand Ole Opry. Artists such as Buddy Miller, Lucinda Williams, Elizabeth Cook were showcased by Block who also helped mainstream stars such as Miranda Lambert and Kacey Musgraves on their road to success.

Don Robertson, who has died at 92, will best remembered for the impossibly catchy The Happy Whistler, a big hit on both sides of the Atlantic. His greater contribution was his songwriting, which included Hummingbird (Les Paul & Mary Ford, Frankie Laine), Help Me I’m Falling (Hank Locklin), Ringo (Lorne Greene), and several songs Elvis recorded, including I Really Don’t Want to Know, Anything That’s Part Of You, No More and There’s Always Me.

In Britain, the great guitar instrumental Apache belongs to its original interpreters, The Shadows. In North America, however, it was a big hit in the version by Danish guitar virtuoso Jørgen Ingmann, who has died at 89. Ingmann was quite a star in Europe as well, especially in Germany, where he had a string of hits. In 1963 he won the Eurovision Song Contest for Denmark with his then-wife Grethe.

 

Brian Carman, 69, guitarist of surf rock band The Chantays, on March 1
The Chantays – Pipeline (1963)

Orrin Keepnews, 91, jazz producer and writer, co-founder of Riverside Records, on March 1
Bill Evans Trio – My Man’s Gone Now (1961, as producer)

Ryan Stanek, 42, drummer of death-metal band Broken Hope (1988-97), on March 1

Ted Reinhardt, 62, jazz and prog-rock drummer, in a plane crash on March 4
Spyro Gyra – Morning Dance (1979)

Jim McCann, 70, Irish folk musician (The Dubliners 1974-79), on March 5
Jim McCann – Clare To Here (1979)

Jimmy Sacca, 85, member of vocal group The Hilltoppers, on March 7
The Hilltoppers – Trying (1952)

Lew Soloff, 71, jazz trumpeter (Blood, Sweat & Tears 1968-73), on March 8
Blood, Sweat & Tears – Spinning Wheel (1969)
Bataan – Laughing And Crying (1975)
Chaka Khan – What Cha’ Gonna Do For Me (1981)

Wayne Kemp, 73, country singer and songwriter, on March 9
Johnny Cash – One Piece At A Time (1976, as writer)

Jerry Brightman, 61, pedal steel guitarist (Buck Owens), on March 9
Arlo Guthrie – This Troubled Mind Of Mine (1973, on pedal steel guitar)

Flabba, 38, South African rapper, stabbed to death by his lover on March 9

Jimmy Greenspoon, 67, keyboardist with Three Dog Night, on March 11
Three Dog Night – Shambala (1973)

Billy Block, 59, alt.country musician, showcase host and mentor, on March 11

Daevid Allen, 77, Australian guitarist and singer (Soft Machine, 1966-67), on March 13
The Soft Machine – Hope For Happiness (1968)

Mike Porcaro, 59, session bassist, member of Toto, on March 15
Seals & Crofts – Castles In The Sand (1975, on bass)
Toto – Good For You (1982, on cello)
Natalie Cole – Starting Over Again (1989, on bass)

Don Robertson, 92, country performer and songwriter, on March 16
Don Robertson – The Happy Whistler (1956)
Lorne Greene – Ringo (1964, as co-writer)

Andy Fraser, 62, bassist of Free and songwriter, on March 16
Free – All Right Now (1970, also as co-writer)
Robert Palmer – Every Kinda People (1977, as writer)
Andy Fraser – Obama (Yes We Can) (2008, vocals and as writer)

Bruce Crump, 57, drummer of rock band Molly Hatchet, on March 16
Molly Hatchet – Flirting’ With Disaster (1980)

Michael Brown, 65, keyboardist of The Left Banke and songwriter, on March 19
Left Banke – Walk Away Renee (1966, also as songwriter)

A. J. Pero, 55, drummer of Twisted Sister, on March 20
Twisted Sister – I Wanna Rock (1984)

Paul Jeffrey, 81, jazz saxophonist, on March 20

Sharon Tandy, 71, South African-born soul singer, on March 21
Sharon Tandy – You’ve Gotta Believe It (1968)

Jackie Trent, 74, English singer-songwriter and actress, on March 21
Jackie Trent – Where Are You Now (My Love) (1965)
Scott Walker – Joanna (1968, as co-writer)

Jørgen Ingmann, 89, Danish guitarist, on March 21
Jørgen Ingmann and His Guitar – Echo Boogie (1961)

Lil’ Chris, 24, British singer-songwriter, TV personality and actor, on March 23

Gabriela Maumus, 28, bassist of Argentine rock band Asalto Al Parque Zoológico, in Germanwings crash on March 24
Asalto al Parque Zoologico – Sonnen (2014)

Scott Clendenin, 47, bassist with death metal bands Death and Control Denied, on March 24

John Renbourn, 70, guitarist of British folk-jazz band Pentangle, on March 26
Bert Jansch & John Renbourn – East Wind (1966)

B.J. Crosby, 63, singer, stage and TV actress, on March 27
B.J. Crosby – Hound Dog (1995)

Josie Jones, 57, English singer (The Mighty Wah!), announced March 28
Big Hard Excellent Fish – Imperfect List (1990)

Preston Ritter, 65, drummer, on March 30
The Electric Prunes – I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) (1966)

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Saved! Vol. 6 – The Angels edition

March 30th, 2015 7 comments

Angels cover

Easter is coming and, as tradition demands, this means I’ll post another SAVED! mix. But this lot is not particularly riffing on religious themes, even though angels are very much part of religious (and pagan) dogma.

So this mix of songs addresses the subject of angels from different perspectives: as those ethereal beings with wings, of course, but also as good-hearted people, love interests and metaphors. Unless the angels in heavy metal, who must either bleed or fall or are evil, those represented here mostly are doing saving through acts of love — and that suits the theme of Easter.

And I managed to cobble together this mix without resort to Robbie Williams, U2, The Eurythmics or Sarah MacLachlan, nor songs about one-night stands. I even had to leave some good songs out.

What is remarkable, though, is that three songs about angels here were released posthumously: those by Jimi Hendrix, Gram Parsons and Hank Williams.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-winged covers. PW in comments.

Happy Easter, all.

1. Jimi Hendrix – Angel (1970)
2. The Black Crowes – She Talks To Angels (1990)
3. Delbert McClinton – Sending Me Angels (1997)
4. Aretha Franklin – Angel (1973)
5. Abba – Like An Angel Passing Through My Room (1981)
6. Martina McBride – Wild Angels (1995)
7. Glen Campbell – Angel Dream (2008)
8. Rilo Kiley – The Angels Hung Around (2007)
9. Jordan Trotter – Angels By My Side (2008)
10. Mindy Smith – Angel Doves (2004)
11. Cry Cry Cry – Speaking With The Angel (1998)
12. Jack Johnson – Angel (2008)
13. Chris Rea – God Gave Me An Angel (2000)
14. David Sylvian – When Poets Dreamed Of Angels (1987)
15. Emmylou Harris – Angel Band (1987)
16. Bob Dylan – Three Angels (1970)
17. Kris Kristofferson – Hall Of Angels (2009)
18. The Stanley Brothers & The Clinch Mountain Boys – Angel Band (1955)
19. Hank Williams – Angel Of Death (rel. 1954)
20. Edna Gallmon Cooke – Angels, Angels, Angels (c. 1950)
21. The Crew-Cuts – Angels In The Sky (1955)
22. Bobby Helms – You Are My Special Angel (1958)
23. The Louvin Brothers – The Angels Rejoiced Last Night (1959)

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Copy Borrow Steal – The Collection

March 26th, 2015 20 comments

Copy Borrow Steal

 

Like many people, I’m conflicted about the jury’s decision that the inspiration Pharrell and Stripey Rapey Guy took from Marvin Gaye’s Got To Give It Up for their hit Blurred Lines constitutes plagiarism. Much has been said on the subject, and I still don’t know where I stand. The precedent the verdict has set disturbs me.

It seems that the real credit for Got To Give It Up resides not with Marvin Gaye. On his blog David Hepworth writes: “It was recorded from various jams, often surreptitiously, by Marvin Gaye’s engineer Art Stewart, who is quoted in David Ritz’s Marvin Gaye biography Divided Soul saying, ‘Marvin wasn’t sure of what I was doing but he left me alone to piece the song together.’”

The Marvin Gaye family seemed to be reaching points of hubris in the wake of their courtroom triumph, making the claim that Pharrell also ripped of Marvin’s Ain’t That Peculiar for Happy. Apart from the fact that the songs sound nothing alike, the battle would not be the Gayes’ to fight, but for Smokey Robinson, who produced it and co-wrote it with the other Miracles.

So, with all that mind, here’s a collection of songs from which later artists borrowed, copied or stole, or which otherwise bear strong resemblance. Some led to courtcases that found in favour of the original artist or were settled out of court. Others might have inspired the later writer, and some might be purely coincidental, taking into account that there are only so many chord progressions.

Some artists were pretty honest about where they borrowed from, especially The Beatles — George Harrison cheerfully admitted that he nicked from The Byrds for If I Needed Someone. Likewise, Chuck Berry was quite open about it that his breakthrough hit Maybelline was a reworking of Bob Willis’ 1938 song Ida Red.

Of course there are loads more examples that might have been included. I’ve tried to include tracks that are lesser known.

The most famous plagiarism case, at least before the one involving Pharrell & Thicke, is George Harrison’s My Sweet Lord, which supposedly ripped off The Chiffons’ He’s So Fine. In his defence, Harrison said that he took inspiration rather from the Edwin Hawkins Singers hit Oh Happy Day, though more in vibe than in melody. And if one listens to Billy Preston’s version of My Sweet Lord, recorded and released before Harrison’s, then one might be open to giving Harrison the benefit of doubt.

The most involved story here is that of the Rolling Stones’ The Last Time, which Jagger and Keef quite evidently ripped off from the Staple Singers song, which in turn has been said to have borrowed from the Original Five Blind Boys of Alabama’s 1953 song of almost the same title.

The Last Time (Stones version) was adapted in 1966 as an instrumental by their manager Andrew Loog Oldham. He sold his contract to the cut-throat Allen Klein. By 1997, Klein controlled the Stones’ 1960s back catalogue. At that time British band The Verve secured permission from Klein to use Oldham’s string loop as a sample for Bitter Sweet Symphony. When Klein heard an advance copy of the song, he threatened to sue, claiming that the use of the sample exceeded what had been agreed on. The band and publishers settled on a 50/50 royalties split.

As the album hit the shops, Klein reneged on the agreement and demanded 100%, successfully so, because by now the album could not be pulled from the shelves. The out-of-court settlement was a defeat for the Verve – and, to some extent, for Oldham. All royalties were ceded, and the songwriting credit went to Jagger & Richards, even though their version of The Last Time had no significant influence on Bitter Sweet Symphony. And they picked up a Grammy for Ashcroft’s song…

The progression from Otis Redding’s Try A Little Tenderness, from crooner song to soul classic, goes back to 1951: his take was only the fourth (and final) stage of the tune’s evolution as a soul classic.

Before Otis, Sam Cooke had recorded a fragment of the song as part of a rather lovely medley on his 1964 Sam Cooke At The Copa album. It was in fact that fragment which gave Stax executives the idea that Redding should cover it in 1966. Otis did so with great reluctance, not because he hated the song, but because he felt he could not measure up to his by now deceased hero Cooke. Produced by Isaac Hayes and backed by Booker T & the MGs, Redding did all he could to mess up the song so that it could not be released. He failed, and the song is now irrevocably his.

Redding apparently knew only Cooke’s version (hence the abridged lyrics). Cooke in turn had decided to include Tenderness in his medley after having heard the song on Aretha Franklin’s 1962 album The Tender, The Moving, The Swinging Aretha Franklin. As fine an interpreter of songs as Franklin would become (and already was at the age of 20), her version — soul-inflected vocals backed with an easy listening string arrangement — seems to have drawn from that by the forgotten Little Miss Cornshucks, whose 1951 recording was the first to Try A Little Tenderness the R&B treatment.

Some of these songs featured in the Copy Borrow Steal series, with backstories. The series was inspired Tim English’ fine book Sounds Like Teen Spirit.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-copied covers. Songs in blue are NOT included, but are the songs that copyborrowedstole or otherwise have intentional or coincidental similarities with or were inspired by the older songs. PW in comments.

  1. Edwin Hawkins Singers – Oh Happy Day (1968)
    CBS: George Harrison – My Sweet Lord
  2. Jorge Ben – Taj Mahal (1976)
    CBS: Rod Stewart: Da Ya Think I’m Sexy
  3. Bobby Womack – (If You Want My Love) Put Something Down On It (1975)
    CBS: Rod Stewart: Da Ya Think I’m Sexy
  4. The Javells & Nosmo King – Goodbye Nothing To Say (1974)
    CBS: Maxine Nightingale: Right Back To Where We Started From
  5. William Bell – I Forgot To Be Your Lover (1971)
    CBS: Van Morrison – Have I Told You Lately
  6. Natalie Cole – Our Love (1977)
    CBS: Seal – Kiss From A Rose
  7. Badfinger – Day After Day (1971)
    CBS: Joe Jackson – Breaking Us In Two
  8. The Byrds – Bells Of Rhymney (1965)
    CBS: The Beatles – If I Needed Someone
  9. Johnny Ace – Pledging My Love (1954)
    CBS: John Lennon & Yoko Ono – Happy X-Mas (War Is Over)
  10. Spirit – Taurus (1968)
    CBS: Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven
  11. Robert Johnson – Terraplane Blues (1937)
    CBS: Led Zeppelin – Trampled Underfoot
  12. Rex Griffin – Everybody’s Tryin’ To Be My Baby (1936)
    CBS: Carl Perkins – Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby
  13. Bob Wills – Ida Red (1938)
    CBS: Chuck Berry – Maybelline
  14. Hank Williams – Move It On Over (1947)
    CBS: Bill Haley & The Comets – Rock Around The Clock
  15. Little Miss Cornshucks – Try A Little Tenderness (1951)
    CBS: Otis Redding – Try A Little Tenderness
  16. Sam Cooke – Try A Little Tenderness/(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons/You Send Me (1964)
    CBS: Otis Redding – Try A Little Tenderness
  17. Horace Silver – Song For My Father (1964)
    CBS: Steely Dan – Rikki Don’t Lose That Number
  18. Ringo Starr – Back Off Boogaloo (1972)
    CBS: Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out
  19. The Banana Splits – The Tra La La Song (One Banana, Two Banana) (1969)
    CBS: Bob Marley – Buffalo Soldier
  20. Humphrey Lyttleton – Bad Penny Blues (1956)
    CBS: The Beatles – Lady Madonna
  21. Staple Singers – This May Be The Last Time (1961)
    CBS: The Rolling Stones – The Last Time
  22. Original Five Blind Boys of Alabama – This May Be The Last Time (1953)
    CBS: Staple Singers – This May Be The Last Time
  23. Paul Robeson – No More Auction Block (1962, folksong)
    CBS: Bob Dylan – Blowin’ In The Wind
  24. Burl Ives – Lord Randall (1960, folksong)
    CBS: Bob Dylan – A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall

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Any Major TV Theme Songs Vol. 3

March 19th, 2015 5 comments

Any Major TV Theme Songs Vol. 3

Here’s a third mix of the full versions of TV themes, some the original songs that were picked up as the title melody, and others extended versions of the short themes.

In the case of the former, there sometimes are incongruities. For example, what does a 1990s grunge song, great though it is, have to do with a TV series set in the 1920s, as we have with The Brian Jonestown Massacre providing the theme for Boardwalk Empire?

I have seen at least one episode of 16 of the featured 24 shows, and of these I have faithfully watched (or, in the case of Better Call Saul, will watch) at least one season in nine cases. How about you?

There will still be a fourth and final mix.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-couchpotatoed covers.

1. Mike Post – Theme from Magnum P.I. (1982)
2. Bill Conti – Theme from Cagney And Lacey (1982)
3. Sammy Davis Jr – Keep Your Eye On The Sparrow (Baretta) (1976)
4. Heinz Kiessling – Temptation Sensation (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) (1970s)
5. Jeff Beal – Main Theme of House Of Cards (2013)
6. Dave Porter – Theme from Better Call Saul (2015)
7. The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Straight Up And Down (Boardwalk Empire)(1996)
8. Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers – This Life (Sons Of Anarchy) (2011)
9. Washed Out – Feel It All Around (Portlandia) (2009)
10. The Scrantones – Theme of The Office (2005)
11. Mike Post – Main Theme of Quantum Leap (1989)
12. Jack Elliott & Allyn Ferguson – Theme from Barney Miller (1975)
13. Tom Scott – Gotcha (Starsky & Hutch) (1977)
14. Lalo Schifrin – Theme from Mission Impossible (1967)
15. Quincy Jones – The Streetbeater (Sanford & Son) (1973)
16. Sonny Curtis – Love Is All Around (The Mary Tyler More Show) (1970)
17. W.G. Snuffy Walden & Stewart Levin – Main Theme from thirtysomething (1991)
18. Angelo Badalamenti – Theme from Twin Peaks (1990)
19. James Newton Howard – Theme from E.R. (1994)
20. Triple X – The Truth (X-Files Theme) (1995)
21. PSAPP – Cosy In The Rocket (Grey’s Anatomy) (2005)
22. Bear McCreary – Main Theme from The Walking Dead (2013)
23. The Presidents of the United States of America – Cleveland Rocks (The Drew Carey Show) (1998)
24. Morning Runner – Gone Up In Flames (The Inbetweeners) (2005)

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Any Major TV Theme Songs Vol. 1
Any Major TV Theme Songs Vol. 2
84 Original Length TV Themes
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Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 4

March 12th, 2015 9 comments

Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 4

And we’re still not feeling guilty. This is the fourth mix in the series, and I think there are still one or two good ones to come.

Kenny Loggins’ Who’s Right, Who’s Wrong has been done much better by Randy Crawford and Al Jarreau on the wonderful Casino Lights album, but this version is notable for the backing singer: Michael Jackson.

Bill LaBounty has featured on previous mixes — his Living It Up is one of the best tracks on any of these mixes — and he returns here with a 1979 re-recording of a song he had previously released in 1975. Incidentally, LaBounty released what might well be my favourite album of 2014, Into Something Blue.

Very few who’ll hear this mix will have any idea of Karl Kikillus is, and that isn’t surprising. Kikillus was a radio DJ in South Africa, and then the presenter of the country’s first pop video show in 1983, the year his jazzily grooving Another Shore was released, as a b-side to a song called Fallen Angel. As far as I know, that’s all Kikillus released.

Greg Guidry’s story had a sad ending. He wrote for the likes of Climax Blues Band, Robbie Dupree, Exile, Johnny Taylor, Sawyer Brown and Reba McEntire, but his 1982 album Over The Line was his only one for 18 years. In 2003 his charred body was found in his garage in an apparent suicide. He was 53.

Another singer featured here who died relatively young is Paul Davis, who is perhaps most famous for his hit I Go Crazy (covered to superior effect by Lou Rawls). In 1986 he survived being shot in the abdomen in a robbery in Nashville. He died from a heart attack in 2008, a day after his 60th birthday.

Eric Tagg featured before in this series, on Volume 3 with Is It You, though the credit went to jazz-fusion guitarist Lee Ritenour, with whom Tagg recorded several songs (and who produced the Dreamwalking album on which No One There, with a Rit solo, appears).. Indeed, he is probably best known for these, even though he released three LPs between 1975 and ’82, and a fourth in 1997.

As always, this mix is timed to fit on a CD-R, and includes home-baked covers. PW in comments.

1. Average White Band – Atlantic Avenue (1979)
2. Steve Winwood – Valerie (1982)
3. Greg Guidry – (I’m) Givin’ It Up (1982)
4. Karl Kikillus – Another Shore (1983)
5. Bobby Caldwell – Can’t Say Goodbye (1978)
6. Bill LaBounty – Lie To Me (1978)
7. Valerie Carter – What’s Become Of Us (1978)
8. Christopher Cross – Never Be The Same (1979)
9. Kenny Loggins – Who’s Right, Who’s Wrong (1979)
10. Firefall – Just Remember I Love You (1977)
11. Paul Davis – Cool Night (1981)
12. Sweet Comfort Band – Don’t Tell Me You Love Me (1979)
13. Michael McDonald – I Gotta Try (1982)
14. Adrian Gurvitz – Untouchable And Free (1979)
15. Eric Tagg – No One There (1982)
16. James Vincent – You’ll Be Right There (1980)
17. Elkie Brooks – Fool If You Think It’s Over (1981)
18. Little River Band – Reminiscing (1978)
19. Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds – Fallin’ In Love (1975)
20. Stephen Bishop – On And On (1976)
21. Deliverance – Leaving L.A. (1979)

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In Memoriam – February 2015

March 5th, 2015 4 comments

Now only one of Buddy Holly’s Crickets is still alive, following the death of John B. Mauldin this month. Buddy, of course, died the day the music died; guitarist Niki Sullivan in 2004. The last survivor is drummer Jerry Allison, now 75 years old. In 2012 the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame corrected a huge clanger which they had dropped in 1986 when they inducted Buddy Holly but not the other Crickets; by special committee decision Allison (who, after all, co-wrote hits like Peggy Sue and That’ll Be The Day), Mauldin and Sullivan were included, as was Holly successor Sonny Curtis. Alas, Mauldin was too ill to attend. After the Crickets, Mauldin worked as an engineer in LA’s Gold Star studios, where Phil Spector made all those great records.

gallery-1The curse of AMDWHAH struck again: one moment I was playing music by Visage, in preparation for the Life in Vinyl 1981 post, next moment Steve Strange, the frontman of Visage, was dead, of a heart attack at only 55. Strange, who was born Steven John Harrington, was a pioneer in the New Romantic movement which would shape 1980s pop music, especially in Britain. Before he donned the make-up, he was active in the punk scene, booking The Sex Pistols’ first gig in his native Wales, and playing in a punk band, The Moors Murderers, that also included Chrissie Hynde, future Psychedelic Furs drummer Vince Ely, and future Clash drummer Topper Headon. Before his breakthrough with Visage, Strange and fellow Visage member Rusty Egan ran the legendary Blitz club in London’s Covent Garden, the cradle of the nascent New Romantic movement.

In early December, all members of the classic four-member line-up of The Manhattans were alive. With the deaths of two members in December and now that of Kenny ‘Wally’ Kelley, only lead singer Gerald Alston is still alive. The other two founding members of the group are also dead, George ‘Smitty’ Smith, whom Alston replaced, died 1970, Richard Taylor, who left in 1976, in 1987. Kelley left The Manhattans in 1990 to pursue his Ph.D. studies. He became a high school biology teacher.

The obituaries for Lesley Gore tended to focus on her string of classic 1960s hits, from It’s My Party to You Don’t Own Me to Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows. But what is also noteworthy is Gore’s activism for the LBGT community, among which she counted herself, including hosting a TV show aimed at LBGT communities. Gore received an Oscar nomination as co-composer, with her brother Michael, of the ballad Out Here on My Own from the film Fame.

Clark Terry, the trumpeter and flugelhornist who has died at the age of 94, is said to be one of the most recorded jazz artists of all time. After serving in a US Navy band during World War 2, he played with Charlie Barnet (1947), Count Basie (1948–1951), Duke Ellington (1951–1959), Quincy Jones (1960) and Oscar Peterson (1964-1996). Giants like Miles Davis and Quincy Jones have acknowledged his influence. And when he wasn’t blowing his trumpet, Terry was known for his scat singing, especially as a member of the Tonight Show house band in the 1960s, which led to a hit record with Oscar Peterson titled after his nickname, Mumbles. He played for eight US presidents and received many awards, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.

Another great session musician went with keyboardist Bobby Emmons. You’ll have heard him on many recordings from Memphis’ American Studios, including Elvis’ Suspicious Minds, In The Ghetto and Kentucky Rain, Dusty Springfield’s Son Of A Preacher Man, Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline and B.J. Thomas’; Hooked On A Feeling. He backed musicians like Bobby Womack, Waylon Jennings (for whom he wrote the hit Luckenbach, Texas), Kris Kristofferson, John Prine, Wilson Pickett, King Curtis, Joe Tex, Dionne Warwick, Roy Orbison, Willie Mitchell, Herbie Mann, Hubert Laws, Billy Swan, J.J. Cale, Crystal Gayle, Willie Nelson, George Strait, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Highwaymen, Shirley Caesar and many more.

The most shocking death of the month probably was that of Charmayne ‘Maxee’ Maxwell, a member of 1990s soul trio Brownstone, whose 1994 hit If You Love Me is one of my favourites in the genre of that decade. Her death at 46 is shocking because of its freakishness: apparently she cut her throat with a wine glass after accidentally falling down a flight of stairs. This being the age of the Internet and Twitter idiocy, a rumour quickly made the rounds Maxwell died as a result of suicide. Where is the decency and compassion in spreading such rumours? And who would believe that anyone would kill themselves by such a method?

Only the most devoted Motown fans will have known the name Marlene Judy Barrow-Tate, who has died at 73. More probably knew of the Motown backing band The Andantes. But everybody will have heard the voices of Barrow and co-Andantes Louvain Demps and Jacqueline Hicks. It was them, not the other Supremes, who sang with Diana Ross on Someday We’ll Be Together. And they sang on a galaxy of Motown classics. To keep things short, here gallery-2are just some of them: My Guy, Jimmy Mack, Love Child, Marvin Gaye’s I Heard It Through The Grapevine, How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You), I’ll Be Doggone, Ain’t That Peculiar, Too Busy Thinking About My Baby and That’s The Way Love, as well as The Four Tops’ hits Reach Out, I’ll Be There, I Can’t Help Myself, Baby I Need Your Loving, It’s the Same Old Song, Bernadette, and Standing In The Shadow Of Love. They also appeared on non-Motown hits such as Jackie Wilson’s Higher And Higher and The Dells’ Stay In My Corner, and released a few singles under their own name. Listen to the backing-vocals-only version of I Heard It Through The Grapevine.

Anita Darian was a much admired soprano in the fields of opera, on stage in musicals and even in jazz. But most of us know little of that. Almost all of us, however, will know her voice from a hit record that didn’t even credit her: Darian’s soprano provides the high-pitched counter-melody in the saxophone solo of The Lion Sleeps Tonight, The Tokens’ bowdlerised version of Solomon Linda’s South African classic Mbube.

In South African pop, Zayne Adams was for a time a superstar, as the singer with the jazz-funk-soul outfit Pacific Express in the late 1970s and as a solo artist in the 1980s. He gigged till the end of his 67 years, whenever gigs would come his way, which was not always. This monyth he weas supposed t be appear at the famous jazz festival in Cape Town, for the first time, but death killed that dream. While he even played in Australia in his latter years — the South African expat community is big there — show business, the only business he knew, could not afford him a good living. At one point he was broke and homeless; eventually he died a man without means. And the life and death of Zayne Adams, a man few readers of this blog would know, raises a universal question: how well do your communities take care of their musicians, their writers and poets, their playwrights, their painters and sculptors, and all those who enrich through their art?

 

Danny McCulloch, 69, bassist of Eric Burdon & The Animals, on Jan. 29
Eric Burdon and the New Animals – When I Was Young (1967)

Anita Darian, 87, soprano, on Feb. 1
The Tokens – The Lion Sleeps Tonight (1961)

The Jacka, 37, rapper, shot dead on Feb. 2

Zane Musa, 36, saxophonist of The Nikhil Korula Band, on Feb. 2
Nikhil Korula Band – Stay For A While (2007)

Mary Healy, 96, actress and singer, on Feb. 3

William Thomas McKinley, 76, jazz composer, on Feb. 3

Celina González, 85, Cuban singer and songwriter, on Feb. 4

Joe B. Mauldin, 74, bassist of The Crickets, recording engineer, on Feb. 7
Buddy Holly – Well…All Right (1958, also as co-writer)

Martin O’Connor, 36, drummer of country group Declan Nerny Band, in a hit & run on Feb. 7

Mosie Lister, 93, gospel singer-songwriter, original member of Statesmen Quartet, on Feb. 12
Elvis Presley – Where No One Stands Alone (1967, as writer)

Steve Strange, 55, Welsh New Wave musician (Visage), on Feb. 12
Visage – Visage (1981)
Visage – Lost In Static (2013)

Sam Andrew, 73, guitarist of Big Brother and the Holding Company, on Feb. 12
Big Brother & the Holding Company – Combination Of The Two (1968)

Richie Pratt, 71, jazz drummer, on Feb. 12

Louis Jourdan, 93, French actor and singer, on Feb. 14
Louis Jourdan – Gigi (1958)

Hulon Crayton, 58, smooth jazz saxophonist, on Feb. 14
Hulon – Sax Machine (2010)

Sergio Blanco, 66, singer with Spanish duo Sergio y Estíbaliz, on Feb. 15

Melvan Whittington, rock guitarist, on Feb. 15-16
Love – Time Is Like A River (1974, on guitar)

Lesley Gore, 68, pop singer, on Feb. 16
Lesley Gore – Maybe I Know (1964)
Lesley Gore – Coca Cola commercial (1967)

Gavin Clark, British folk singer-songwriter (Clayhill, Unkle), on Feb. 16

Kenneth ‘Wally’ Kelley, 72, founding member of The Manhattans, on Feb. 17
The Manhattans – The Day The Robin Sang To Me (1973, also as writer)

Dave Cloud, 58, rock musician, on Feb. 18
Dave Cloud & The Gospel Of Power – You Don’t Need Sex (2008)

Mats Olausson, 54, Swedish keyboard player with Yngwie Malmsteen, on Feb. 18

Gérard Calvi, 92, French film score composer, on Feb. 20
Gérard Calvi – Theme d’Asterix le Gauloise (1968)

Francisco ‘Paco’ Carreno, 49, drummer of punk bands Conflict and Inner Terrestrials, on Feb. 20

Clark Terry, 94, jazz trumpeter and flugelhornist, on Feb. 21
Count Basie Orchestra – Blee Blop Blues (1949, on trumpet)
Dinah Washington – My Song (1952, on trumpet)
Oscar Peterson Trio and Clark Terry – Mumbles (1964)

Zayne Adams, 67, South African soul and jazz singer, on Feb. 22
Pacific Express – Give A Little Love (1978)

Bobby Emmons, 72, keyboardist and songwriter, on Feb. 23
Bobby Womack – Moonlight In Vermont (1968, on organ)
John Prine – Angel From Montgomery (1971, on organ)
The Crusaders – Luckenbach, Texas (1980, as co-writer)

Marlene Judy Barrow-Tate, 73, member of Motown backing singer band The Andantes, on Feb. 23
The Andantes – Like A Nightmare (1964)
Mary Wells – My Guy (1964)
Jackie Wilson – (Your Love Is Lifting Me) Higher And Higher (1968)

Robert Belfour, 74, American blues musician, on Feb. 24

Chris Rainbow, 68, Scottish singer (The Alan Parsons Project), on Feb. 25
Chris Rainbow – Give Me What I Cry For (1978)

Leonard Nimoy, 83, actor, director and singer, on Feb. 27
Leonard Nimoy – Highly Illogical (1968)
Leonard Nimoy – I Walk The Line (1969)

Charmayne ‘Maxee’ Maxwell, 46, singer with R&B trio Brownstone, in a fall on Feb. 27
Brownstone – If You Love Me (1994)

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Any Major Soul 1973 – Vol. 1

February 26th, 2015 9 comments

Any.Major.Soul.1973_1

Is 1972 the greatest year in soul music, or is it 1973? We have had two mixes covering 1972 (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2), and now we have the first volume of 1973. Either way, it was the golden age in which utter gems like Leroy Hutson’s Love Oh Love went by quite unnoticed. To have these two years concentrated in one mix, check out Any Major Soul 1972/73, perhaps one of the greatest soul mixes ever compiled — and the credit for that goes not in any way to the compiler, but to the great people who made that music.

And here’s the mindblowing thing: when you hear the fine music on this mix, remember that just a few of them were hits; most of them were not, many were even just album tracks. Hutson’s Love Oh Love was released as a single: it reached #75 on the “Black Charts”.

One of the album tracks was the Isley Brothers’ If You Were There from the outstanding 3+3 LP. Eleven years later it was covered by Wham!, on their Make It Big album, introducing this fine song to a teenage audience.

On the Undisputed Truth’s Law Of The Land album Girl You’re Alright (spelled on the label incorrectly as “your”, anticipating Facebook grammar by almost four decades) is Track 3. It’s a fine song, but the track of greater interest is the one that precedes it: the original version of Papa Was A Rolling Stone. One day I’ll make a mix of original recordings of songs that became big Motown for others, and the Undisputed Truth will feature with that.

Margie Joseph’s Touch Your Woman might also feature in the “Covered With Soul” series — it was a hit the previous year for Dolly Parton. Dolly sang it in a way that suggests that a nice embrace will get her over the present spat (apart from one knowing inflection in the delivery of the title), but there is no doubt what Margie is talking: passionate make-up sex.

Letta Mbulu’s 1973 Naturally LP was an eclectic affair, with the sounds of her native South Africa, Afro-soul and straight soul. The featured track was written by the late, lamented Joe Sample.

Finally, I assure you that the sequencing of Darondo’s Didn’t I followed by Sylvia Robinson’s song of the same title is purely coincidental. They just went well together.


1. The Three Degrees – Year Of Decision
2. Freda Payne – Right Back Where I Started From
3. Bobby Womack – Lookin’ For A Love
4. Margie Joseph – Touch Your Woman
5. Denise LaSalle – There Ain’t Enough Hate Around (To Make Me Turn Around)
6. Irma Thomas – She’ll Never Be Your Wife
7. Four Tops – It Won’t Be The First Time
8. Leroy Hutson – Love, Oh Love
9. Baby Washington & Don Gardner – Lay A Little Lovin’ On Me
10. The Isley Brothers – If You Were There
11. John Edwards – Spread The News
12. The Spinners – One Of A Kind (Love Affair)
13. Bloodstone – Outside Woman
14. Al Green – Have You Been Making Out O.K.
15. Darondo – Didn’t I
16. Sylvia – Didn’t I
17. Terry Callier – Just As Long As We’re In Love
18. Inez Foxx – You’re Saving Me For A Rainy Day
19. Pat Lundy – He’s The Father Of My Children
20. Letta Mbulu – Now We May Begin
21. The Undisputed Truth – Girl You’re Alright
22. Sly & the Family Stone – Skin I’m In
23. Lyn Collins – Take Me Just As I Am

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A Life In Vinyl: 1981

February 19th, 2015 3 comments

A Life In Vinyl - 1981

With violent death of John Lennon just as 1980 drew to a close, the first few months of 1981, the year I turned 15, was spent on Beatles binging. I had been a fan before, but the only way to honour John Lennon was to go into manic overdrive. I even liked Yoko Ono’s single — and Walking On Thin Ice is a indeed a fine song on its own merit. It was the song John and Yoko were working on that 8 December, before Chapman shot Lennon dead outside the Dakota, apparently while John was holding the master tape of the song.

In February I bought Bruce Springsteen’s The River double album. On that day I had an eye test which for a few hours almost blinded me — I lacked the sense of knowledge or irony that might have prompted me to crack a “Blinded By The Light” joke. The second side of the album — starting with Hungry Heart and ending with the title track — and in between the glorious You Can Look (You Better Not Touch) — turned me into a Springsteen fan. Or was it simply the first track, the very underrated The Ties That Bind, which did the trick? It helped that Springsteen looked very cool, much like Al Pacino, on the cover.

From Springsteen it was a short jump to Garland JeffreysEscape Artist, a hit-and-miss affair that came with an EP, on which the E-Street Band’s keyboardist Roy Bittan and organist Danny Federici played. Bittan and drummer Max Weinberg also appeared on Jim Steinman’s Bad For Good album, a ridiculous and thoroughly entertaining affair which had been intended for Meat Loaf. The cover and the spoken track, Love And Death And An American Guitar, are so magnificently mad that Bad For Good should reside in every serious record collection.

Later I bought Nils Lofgren’s Night Fades Away; Lofgren would, of course, later join the E-Street Band. I listened to the LP again not so long ago. It’s not great, though Lofgren’s version of Peter & Gordon’s I Go To Pieces (written by Del Shannon) is pretty good. Around the time, or maybe a bit earlier, I also bought Neil Young’s Re-ac-tor LP, with its red and black sleeve. I listened to it again a while ago. I was reminded why I never listened to it back then. It’s awful. Even Opera Star, which prompted me to buy that LP.

81_gallery-1

I didn’t own Kids In America on record, and I didn’t really like it very much (though I did like Kim Wilde), but the song was so ubiquitous that hearing it beams me back to 1981. I rather enjoy it now. I also didn’t own Kim Carnes’ Bette Davis Eyes on record, though I taped it off the radio. It was a hit when my sister’s boyfriend returned from a visit to Colorado. For a German boy who had been around a fair bit in Europe, the USA was nevertheless terribly exotic. I expected that all of America sounded like Kim Carnes’ song and Juice Newton’s Angel Of The Morning. Which in 1981 much of the USA possibly did.

The year was also the time when the New Wave broke big. Visage’s double whammy of great singles with great videos — Fade To Grey and Mind Of A Toy — as well as Duran Duran’s Girls On Film and the OMD songs provided a whole new sound. Best of them was Ultravox’s Vienna. One of the great songs of the 1980s, and still it was held off the British #1 spot (when that still meant a great deal) by the ghastly novelty song Shaddap Your Face. Well, that nation re-elected Thatcher, so it had — and evidently still has — a surplus of idiots. Alas, last week, shortly after I had prepared this mix, Visage’s Steve Strange passed away at 55.

I bought the Rolling StonesTattoo You album, freshly released, on the day we were making a trip to East Germany. I taped it as we packed the car for our driving entertainment. At the border I hid the tape in my jacket pocket. I left the tape (and other contraband we smuggled over, at some risk) with our friends in the GDR. I wonder whether they knew to capitalise on having the brand-new Stones album. I have been told that my act of smuggling tapes and Bravo magazines (West Germany’s big pop and sex education publication) was greatly appreciated.

As autumn broke I bought Billy Joel’s Songs In The Attic LP, an album of songs recorded in concert which in their studio versions had been considered unsatisfactory by Joel. It is a near-perfect album, to this day an all-time favourite. In 1981 I played it to death. This and the older Turnstiles, The Stranger and 52nd Street LPs (I always hated Glass Houses) provided the soundtrack for and solace in many dark teenage days.

My quartet of acts that I was obsessed with in 1981 — Beatles, Springsteen, Joel — was completed at the end of the year by the German band BAP. Their story is remarkable: they sung only in Kölsch, a dialect unique to the city of Cologne, yet they went on to become Germany’s biggest act for several years. Their rock sound was catchy and their live performances incendiary. In 1984/85 I saw both BAP and Springsteen in concert within eight months or so of one another. The energy was comparable, though the quality of the music not so much.

81_gallery-2

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-reared covers. PW in comments.

1. John Lennon – Watching The Wheels
2. The Look – I Am The Beat
3. Yoko Ono – Walking On Thin Ice
4. Bruce Springsteen – The Ties That Bind
5. Garland Jeffreys – R.O.C.K.
6. Jim Steinman – Bad For Good
7. Kim Wilde – Kids In America
8. Ultravox – Vienna
9. Visage – Mind Of A Toy
10. The Specials – Ghost Town
11. Kim Carnes – Bette Davis Eyes
12. Rolling Stones – Waiting For A Friend
13. Nils Lofgren – I Go To Pieces
14. Billy Joel – Summer, Highland Falls
15. Stray Cats – Stray Cat Strut
16. Foreigner – Juke Box Hero
17. Fischer-Z – Marliese
18. Hazel O’Connor – (Cover Plus) We’re All Grown Up
19. Bap – Verdamp lang her

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