Week 14 - Fri 4 December

Welcome once more to the music highlight of the week.....yes, it's the RPM Seven Day Soundtrack, as selected by RPMers week ending Friday 4th December. Let's dive straight on in; it's over to.......

Jayne -

"Last Friday I came across the phrase, ‘With the right music you either forget everything or you remember everything’ which I think might be an appropriate summation of the RPM way.

This week I read an interesting interview with Roland Gift hence the FYC track, heard this lovely collaboration by The Kronos Quartet and Malian musicians Trio Da Kali from their album Ladilikan, and was reminded that I need to practice my (easy) version of I Giorno."

Johnny Come Home by Fine Young Cannibals -


Sunjata by Trio Da Kali & Kronos Quartet -


I Giorno by Ludovico Einaudi -


Philip -

"It's pretty hard to think of cover versions of Beatles songs that cut the originals... I could come up with only three that (arguably) do so. Best wishes to all RPMers, I trust everyone is keeping safe and well."

Lady Madonna performed by Fats Domino - "Paul McCartney cited Fats as the inspiration for this song, and here is the teacher acknowledging his student."


Hey Jude performed by Wilson Pickett - "This of course features my favourite guitar player, Duane Allman, who died in a motorcycle accident at the age of 24. It was Duane who persuaded Rick Hall and Wilson Pickett himself to record it, when neither of them thought it was a good idea. One listen should be enough to convince anybody that it was a great idea."


Got To Get You Into My Life performed by Earth, Wind and Fire - "Recorded for the soundtrack of Robert Stigwood's movie production of "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," a film so dire that it was an embarrassment to everyone involved with the possible exception of EWF, who succeeded in turning Rubber Soul into Real Soul."


Nina -

"Hiya..........Hope all's good with everyone and thanks for another marvellous mixture of listening loveliness last week.

This week I have a "moving" theme; moving on, moving up, up and away, as I'm itching to get away somewhere out of the UK. On a more dreary level, will be moving house in the not-too-distant future - lockdown decluttering frenzy ahoy!

Take care, keep safe and stay cool all. Here we go..."

Keep Movin' On by Sam Cooke -


Movin' On Up by Primal Scream - "........on The Word in 1991 (truly awful programme, but some good musical acts). Sad that Denise Johnson passed away this year, beautiful lady with an amazing voice."


Keep on Movin' by Soul II Soul - "Caron Wheeler; another amazing singer."


Bonus track.....

Tip it Over by (teeny, tiny) Little Barrie Cadogan - "Bobby Gillespie and Johnny Marr's moptop love child?"


Jean -

"This week I’m celebrating the wealth of British talent in the 70s. It was a very diverse selection of music in that decade but we had the most talented singers, song-writers and musicians. There’s no gold star for seeing the link between my choices. Wishing everyone good health and a happy time listening to music. "

Black Night by Deep Purple (1970) -


It’s Gonna be a Long Night by Gerry Rafferty (1979) ( Piers – listen out for the mandolin)


Piers -

"Hi folks.........I hope that this new period of release from 2nd wave lockdown finds you all well, unconfused and still sane!

I am humbly grateful for having been saved (last week) by an editorial intervention from our dedicated co-ordinator, which prevented the exposure of a cultural gaff of such gargantuan proportions, that it would have caused me great, and lasting embarrassment. (My own fault for skimming on line articles and then arrogantly incorporating my half arsed understanding into my post). Luckily disaster was averted. Thanks Tim. (......no problem....but you've let the cat out of the bag, now....Tim.)

I thought that in payment for my rescue, and perhaps penance, or at least reciprocal balance for all those ‘bonus tracks’ I have sometime snatched, I would send just the one track this week! But hard as I tried, it is impossible........"

Watermelon Man by Herbie Hancock - "The first track that I have selected this week was hugely influenced by the second recording… If you doubt that, listen to end of the fabulously funky ‘Watermelon Man’ at around 4.20....."


Music of the Rain Forest Pygmies (Colin Turnbull) - "And just to prove that the influence between the Rain Forest Pygmies and our western cultures don’t just flow one way tune in at 22:42...."


Djo’oko by Orchestre Patengué - "And finally something a little more modern… Still by Rain Forest Pygmies and still fabulously funky…"


John -

"Hi RPMers, I hope you're all keeping safe and well. Dare we say that there is light at the end of the tunnel - even in these darkest of days.....?"

Backfield In Motion by JB's Allstars - "Great version of this Mel & Tim classic. JB, by the way, is ex-Specials drummer John "Brad" Bradbury who sadly died in 2015. There are hardly any versions of this on Youtube and most are not very good quality. However, this clip from The Tube is excellent (Backfield In Motion comes in at about 6:40).


Easy Way Out by Green On Red (From the 'Gas Food Lodging' LP) - "Saw them at The Waterfront in the eighties...... awesome!"


The Unquiet Grave by Gryphon - "During my time at St. Oyth's College in the mid-seventies, the Social Secretary would normally book bands from the usual college circuit/pub-rock roster. Hence we had some great bands including Cado Belle, Starry Eyed & Laughing, The Stranglers, Sailor etc. However, occasionally he would go for something a bit different and book bands like Spriguns Of Tolgus and Gryphon; equally brilliant. The concert hall was on campus so a five minute walk with a 40p ticket and beer at Union Bar prices guaranteed a great night out!"


(Note: Gryphon's Brian Gulland (bassoons, recorders, organ and crumhorns) appears on The new Richard Durrant album, Rewilding, which I've played you a few tracks from lately.....Tim.)

Alan -

"First up, great stuff again last week...... seems like something entered the water supply out Elsing way with all the superb electronic/ambient stuff that was offered up. Secondly, thanks to Tim for blowing my mind with the Hendrix clip, I hadn't seen that for years (two idiot dancers, two 'invisible' on stage camera men, a 'shed in a field' stage and Hendrix on incendiary form.... what more could you ask for?), it's from the Rainbow Bridge movie I seem to remember? (...yes, it is....terrible movie, great Hendrix music, Tim.)

On to this week's offerings. A couple of weeks ago, after parking the car in a Cromer side street, I espied a young guy with a Ricky Nelson Greatest Hits album under his elbow. 'Do you like Ricky' I chanced, 'Never heard any of his stuff, it was going cheap in the new Market Hall*' he replied. Conversation commenced (with me recommending Ricky's great versions of 'Summertime' and 'Milk Cow Blues') and eventually got round to 'Have you heard....' etc. Having imparted a few choice psychedelic bands to him, he proffered 'Heard of Geeshie Riley?'. Gulp.... 'No, who's that?'. 'A female blues singer, only released a few records' he said, casual like. 'I'll check her out' sez I, almost itching to get home and fire up t'internet. Well, I did... and what a great find that casual conversation was. So, this week, here's three 'unsettling' blues songs, two from my collection plus the track that was recommended.

* 'new Market Hall' is the old Town Hall/plumbing supplies store opposite the Library. Apparently there are 'thousands' of records for sale there.

Enjoy, keep up the great selections and stay safe (as I type the current death rate is roughly one person every 3 minutes!!)."

Death Letter Blues by Son House - "Born in 1902, Edward 'Son' House slipped in and out of a musical career several times after initially taking up singing in 1927. His career was interrupted (as were many other blues musicians) after being sentenced to the infamous Parchman Farm Penitentiary. This enforced 'rest' allowed House to develop an individual style which was soon spotted by the blues legend Charlie Patton who was so impressed that he invited House to record with him in 1930. When there was no improvement in his circumstances he returned to playing the barrel houses where he became an influence on the young Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters. He was invited to record in New York by archivist Alan Lomax in 1940 but, when this also proved unsuccessful he retired from music until, in 1964, following years of searching the Delta for him, blues enthusiasts Nick Perts, Dick Waterman and Phil Spiro tracked him down to his place of employment at Rochester Railway Station. After being convinced that his music was actually proving popular, House returned to regular touring and on April 12th 1965, after 'refresher' guitar lessons from Canned Heat's Al Wilson, he recorded 'Death Letter Blues' for Columbia Records. 1970 saw him touring Europe for the final time before his retirement in 1974 and he passed away in Detroit in 1988."


Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground by Blind Willie Johnson - "Probably my absolute favourite blues performance.......... Johnson's life story is almost the archetypal blues singer's tale. Born into absolute poverty in Pendleton, Texas to a sharecropper's family, he attended church from an early age, expressing a desire to become a church minister but, at the age of five, his musical career began when his father gave him a 'cigar box' guitar. His already poor eyesight is rumoured to have been exacerbated by his step mother throwing a caustic solution into his face during a parental argument. It was this event that probably sealed his direction towards music as, within a few years, he could be found singing on street corners around Hearne, Texas, sometimes sharing the same street corners as Blind Lemon Jackson. December 3rd 1927 saw Johnson in Frank Buckley Walker's temporary recording studio in Dallas where he recorded just six songs and was paid the then generous sum of $50 per 'usable side'. His first release on Columbia was 'I know his blood can make me whole' which sold an amazing 9400 copies, far in excess of a concurrent release by Bessie Smith, and warranted a further pressing of 6000 copies. 'Dark was the night...' followed as beeside to 'It's nobody's fault but mine' which prompted respected blues critic Edward Abbe Niles to praise Johnson in his 1928 review for The Bookman, emphasizing his "violent, tortured, and abysmal shouts and groans, and his inspired guitar playing". There were three further recording sessions but, as a result of the onset of the Great Depression, Johnson and all other bluesmen found that their core audience were no longer able to afford the luxury of records and record players. His life would end in tragic circumstances.... his home in Beaumont, Texas was destroyed by fire but, due to his extreme poverty, Johnson continued to live in the gutted building. He contracted malarial fever in early 1945 and, because of his race and pre-existing health issues (i.e. blindness and syphilis), no hospital would admit him and he passed away September 15th. The exact whereabouts of his grave is unknown but researchers have erected a memorial in his honour at the site of the graveyard. There was also one other notable posthumous honour; 'Dark was the night....' was selected by historian Carl Sagan to be included as part of the 'Voyager Golden Record' which was included on the still continuing journey of the Voyager 1 deep space mission which has now passed outside our galaxy and is on course to pass close (relatively so, at just 1.6 light years) to the planet Gliese 445 in a mere 40,000 years!! I wonder what Gliesians will make of this classic recording should they have a record player handy?"

Here's the disc:

Last Kind Word Blues by Geeshi Wiley - "And here's the song that has given Geeshi her reputation amongst blue aficionados. Geeshie may have been born Lillie Mae Boon in Memphis, possibly in 1908. She may also have been born as Wadie May Wiley in Oxford, Texas in 1905. What is known is that, in April 1930 she went to Paramounts Grafton studio and pressing plant with regular partner Elvie (L.V.) Thomas and recorded just four tracks, each person singing lead on two tracks and providing harmonies and guitar on the other two. They may well have returned the following year to record a further two tracks. It's understood just 10 (ten) playable copies of this disc exist. The history of Geeshi (and Elvie) has taken many years to be (possibly) discovered and has led to much ill feeling and threats of legal action between various historians."


"For those who want to know more, here's a great article:"

The Ballad of Geeshie and Elvie - The New York Times


Tony -

"A great set of music yet again last week and thanks to Nina, I now have a lovely new adjective I can't wait for an opportunity to use .ie. "Mahoosive". Continued best wishes to everybody - especially those of you who get in touch from time to time. Can't wait to see you all again - hopefully very soon. Here are my 3 for this week."

I Think It's Going To Rain Today by Neil Diamond - "I've picked this one having got severely rained on yesterday and it poured overnight too. Snow here today which isn't what you'd call an improvement. This track is taken from an album called "Stones" which remains one of my long term favourites."


I'm Gone by Kris Barras Band - "I saw this band at the Brickies in 2018 - hope that the venue survives this devastating virus and if he and his band re-visits I'll definitely go see them again."


Don't Kill It Carol by Manfred Mann's Earth Band - "After seeing the Earth Band at the UEA, I caught wind that they were going to play a gig at The Oval in Norwich (this was before they built the Rock House extension). Many of you will probably know that the pub was run by a guy called Cbris Hiles who was once a roadie for Iron Maiden and retained many contacts with other bands. I managed to blag a couple of tickets somehow and on the night (Nov 26th 1991) we squeezed into the bar of the pub and watched from just a few feet away while they performed a fabulous full set. Sadly I wasn't able to repeat the trick and get tickets to see "The Nodding Donkeys" aka "Iron Maiden" when they appeared at the same venue the following June. This track is taken from "Angel Station" and this isn't the lineup I got to see but - so what.


Tim -

"Hi Folks...........still on the turntable / car CD player / computer this week were Bruce Springsteen (a lot), Richard Durrant, Ozric Tentacles, a mixture of old blues (to keep inspiring my attempts at playing guitar in open G) and Tom Petty. Yes, at last we get to hear the 10 songs which never made it onto TPs Wildflowers album. First impression was; how come any of these songs have never seen the light of day before? These are vintage Petty compositions, not cuttings off of the studio floor, or whatever the audio equivalent would be. So, as I've had selections from the albums mentioned above, here's songs from Wildflowers & All the Rest, or, in other words; Tom Petty week part 2. First two are from All the Rest, third from the original Wildflowers album and one of my favourite and most uplifting Petty songs."

Climb That Hill by Tom Petty -


Something Could Happen by Tom Petty -


A Higher Place by Tom Petty -