Week 16 - Fri 18 Dec

Welcome to the penultimate RPM Seven Day Soundtrack of 2020........I'm compiling this a bit later than normal so it's in the order of my inbox, as I'm just working my way down the list of emails. Here we go; it's over to...............

Dave -

"Enjoying your tunes and insights into your picks . Here’s my favs this week. Happy Christmas every one in these strange times."

Mashin On The Motorway by DJ Shadow -


Sonny Got Caught In the Moonlight by Robbie Robertson -


Summer Here Kids by Grandaddy -


Bonus Track - "I watched the Shane MacGowen documentary film Crock of Gold this week. Didn’t disappoint."

Rainy Night In Soho by The Pogues -


Tony -

"Here are my choices for this week. Have a nice Tier 2 Christmas everybody."

Neutron Dance by The Pointer Sisters - "My first track this week was going to be "Sundown" By Gordon Lightfoot but Philip beat me to it.

This track doesn't often get played but I heard it on the radio this week so thought I'd share it with you. The fact that the girls appear to have legs that go all the way up to their shoulders has got nothing at all to do with me choosing it!"


Kansas City by Wilbert Harrison - "Covered by The Beatles on "Beatles For Sale" but the similarity stopped after the title words and it was combined with "Hey Hey Hey Hey". I like the Beatles but I prefer the original."


Nadine by Chuck Berry - "The incomparable Chuck as ever with words that paint pictures and that carry real humour. Shakespeare is remembered for coining so many words and phrases we use today and I believe that Chuck should be similarly recognised in years to come."


Piers -

"Hi to all of you lovely folks. Christmas is nearly here and I am pleased to be able to say that we have survived it this far so I hope that you all have a great time over the next couple of weeks. Thank you all for posting over the last few months. Your tracks have helped keep Jayne and myself focused. I look forward to hearing more in the new year. Of course I don’t expect Tim to put up our selections made next Friday, so I have taken the liberty of including yet another bonus track…

(There will be a 7DS next week, so if you can get 3 tracks to me, they will be posted up as per normal. Tim.)

I am sure that you will understand my dilemma. I really, really tried to get it down to just three tracks but there are so many great Christmas tunes out there.... ! (on which subject - did anyone catch the Shadow's documentary? If you did, does anyone know where I can get a pair of shorts like the ones Cliff wore for their comeback? I didn’t realise that you could get speedos with sequins!)

Carrying on from last week's hill country extravaganza… "

Jessie’s Boogie by Jessie Mae Hemphill -


"And her paternal grandfather............"

Eighth of January by Sid Hemphill (Covered by Lonnie Donegan as the Battle of New Orleans) -


".....And one of the 'Big Names’ in the Hill Country pantheon…."

Ida Reed by Otha Turner -


"Which brings me to my Xmas season bonus, which is one which I might have obliquely mentioned last week. Something not exactly festive, but you can play along with your own sleigh bells if you like. Or just pretend."

Joe's Blues by Joe Pass -


John -

"Hi RPMers, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. Best wishes for 2021 - it has to be better than 2020! Here are three tracks that will brighten even the darkest of days..."

Small Axe by The Wailers - "Small Axe is also the title of a series of films by film maker and artist Steve McQueen. If you haven't seen any of them, I can thoroughly recommend them - they are currently available on BBC iPlayer. The series is based on the real-life experiences of London's West Indian community and is set between 1969 and 1982. Very moving...."


Not Guilty by Aswad - "The opening track on their wonderful 'Live and Direct' LP which was recorded at the 1983 Notting Hill Carnival."


Chant Down Bobby Rome by Popsy Curious - "There are a number of songs called 'Chant Down Babylon' (Bob Marley, Culture, Burning Spear etc.) all calling for an end to oppressive systems of government, policing, religion etc.. This song is an obvious play on words of that phrase. In fact, when I first heard this track I thought that was what was being sung....! Another fine example of British Reggae from the offspring of the Windrush generation."


Jayne -

"Thoughts this week have tended towards the turning of the year as we approach the Winter Solstice. Here are three tracks that have a crumb of relevance to now, and the times we are sharing, sent to you with love."

Splendid Isolation by Warren Zevon -


Slouching Toward Bethlehem by Joni Mitchell -


Tar Barrel in Dale - The Unthanks


Jean -

"This week definitely called for ROCK to lift the spirits. Happy Christmas everyone. Keep safe and well. See you in 2021. "

Enter Sandman by Metallica - "Shock Horror – Tim. Bill Bailey chose this rock anthem to dance a Tango to on Strictly Come Dancing last week! It was reduced to 1minute 30 seconds so the riff was there but not the substance. Had to play the original to really get the Heavy Metal back."


King Bee Shakedown by Joe Bonamassa - "Great blast of a track from Redemption."


Last Ride of the Day by Nightwish - "Scandi Metal with Celtic tones and marvellous vocals from ‘Imaginarium’."


Bonus Track – ".......as it’s Christmas time."

Run, Run, Rudolph by Bon Jovi - "For a bit of fun............"


Philip -

"Still thinking about my end-of-year lists..............Meanwhile, I've been listening to a few Country records...and here are three of them, one each from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. I hope everyone is able to enjoy their socially-distanced Christmas and that at some point in 2021 RPM will be able to resume in-person gatherings. Best wishes to all."

What Made Milwaukee Famous by Jerry Lee Lewis - "Once upon a time (well it was the mid-1980s actually) there was a small record shop in St. Augustine's Street. I went in one afternoon and began rifling through the album sleeves when the owner interrupted the conversation he was having with a customer at the counter to ask if I was looking for anything in particular. I said I was looking for Jerry Lee Lewis's Country material, and the customer at the counter said "Jerry Lee isn't Country, he's Rock 'n' Roll." Of course I could have given him the five-minute argument or the full half-hour... but he was bigger than me."


Bargain Store by Dolly Parton - "Can there really be anyone out there who still thinks Dolly Parton is a "dumb blonde," or that she is anything less than a great singer and a great songwriter (not to mention an astute business-woman and a person with her heart in the right place)? I'll grant that she can be a little twee at times, but she has also pushed the boundaries of what women can sing about in Country Music in much the same way as Loretta Lynn. This song, for example, was effectively banned by Country radio stations on the grounds that it was "dirty." Given that it is perfectly clear that she is saying she has been hurt in a previous relationship but is prepared to try again for love, and that if a man had expressed similar sentiments it would have been deemed acceptable, could it be there was a case of double-standards here?"


Am I Blue by George Strait - "George of course was, along with Reba McEntire, one of the biggest names in Country during the 80s. I'm not a huge fan of Reba's but I do think that Mr. Strait is one of the great pop vocalists. A Texan, he is a master of Western Swing, as this song demonstrates. It was on his excellent 1987 album "Ocean Front Property," which also includes "All My Exes Live in Texas" and a title track that claims "I've got an ocean front property in Arizona, and if you'll buy that I'll throw the Golden Gate in free."


Alan -

"Three early nineties Detroit Techno tracks for you this week. Around that time much of the techno/acid house, especially the Italian, Dutch and SF techno output, mirrored in the UK by The Orb amongst others seemed to me to relate to the experimentalism of the early seventies work of Brian Eno and some of the 'Kraut-rock' groups. These three tracks come from the Jeff Mills, 'Mad' Mike Banks, Robert Hood stable under the Underground Resistance parent label which, despite the 'genre' being known as 'Detroit Techno' is actually based in Chicago. Mills is perhaps the most well known of the trio thanks to his work at the legendary Tresor club in Berlin, several film projects for the Louvre Museum, and 'live' performances during showings of Fritz Lang's 'Woman in the Moon' and 'Metropolis'. Not content with the usual two turntables set up, Mills initially featured three turntables plus a Roland TR-909 drum machine before switching to four CD turntables in 2011 for his live appearances. The photo-shy, reclusive Mike Banks entered music as a bass guitarist, finding fame with Parliament/Funkadelic before teaming up with Mills. When Mills and Hood left the UR set-up Banks established his own Submerge imprint, releasing tracks mainly in the acid house style but featuring extremely controversial political messages. Hood is the least known of the trio. After splitting from UR in 1992 (after featuring heavily on the X102 disc) he founded the minimalist techno label M-Plant before experimenting with a mélange of techno, house, disco and Gospel!!

All three of these releases regularly command prices in excess of £75."

Underground Resistance- 'The Seawolf' (12" one sided/laser etched US single, World Power Alliance label))


The Martian- 'Star Dancer' (12" US single, Red Planet label)


X102- 'Groundzero (The Planet)' (From 'X102 Discovers The Rings Of Saturn', 2x12" double sleeve US singles, banded between tracks. Tresor label)


"Say safe, don't take chances...... there'll be another Christmas next year!!!

And, for those enjoying the recent Beatle covers featured here, can I plug my 'How to get a hit' article in the 'Soundcheck' section if you haven't already seen it which features 20 cover versions of Beatle songs."

Nina -

"Hey 7DS kids! No themes, just what I've been listening to and enjoying during a lot of laptop bashing again this week. Take care, stay safe & cosy warm plus early Happy Christmas folks! "

Northern Skies by I Am Kloot - "Thanks for the reminder, John - haven't listened to them in ages, luv 'em!"


Winter Wonderland by Goldfrapp - "Sublimely twinkly, shimmery and beautiful. Antidote to the musack that various esteemed members of this group have bemoaned. This track, 2000 Miles by the Pretenders and a newly discovered favourite (below) is all I need for Christmas listening."


Last of the Melting Snow by the Leisure Society - "This is 11 years old, but I heard it for the 1st time this week and was instantly transported somewhere Nordic & gorgeous. Visualised tromping through freshly fallen, powdery loveliness, snow angels, snowball fights, flakes landing on your nose........."


Morra -

Alien for Christmas by Fountains of Wayne -


12 Punk Days of Christmas by Stain -


Count Down to Christmas by Frank Kelly -


Jackie -

Purple Rain by Prince - "Amazed at what one can sell on Ebay. Prince 2007 Earth Tour ticket stub? No problem..........six quid thanks very much."


Blue Christmas by Elvis Presley - "Well, it's just not Christmas without playing the Elvis' Christmas LP, is it?"


Tim -

"If you’re listening to this on Saturday (19th), in two days time it will be the shortest day of the year; the Winter Solstice. So, my three tracks this week are themed around mid-winter with a hint of the upcoming Yuletide thrown in for good measure."

Fire and Wine by Steve Ashley – “I must confess to knowing nothing about Mr Ashley and a read of his website is in order and long over due………This wintery / Christmasy song is the first track from Steve’s first solo album, Stroll On, released in 1974. I came across it by accident in a sale of withdrawn LPs in Bury St Edmunds library sometime in the early to mid-80s, a purchase made mainly because I liked the bucolic hippy vibe of the album cover. And it proved to be a little gem, Steve’s supporting musicians comprising folk rock hierarchy in the form of various Fairporters, Pentanglers and Albion Country Banders.”


Wild Winter by Smoke Fairies – “If you shun the mainstream seasonal pop faire foisted upon us at this time of year, and something a little darker and left field appeals, then you won’t go far wrong with Smoke Fairies 2014 “Christmas album”, Wild Winter. With guitars sounding as expansive as a December sky glittering with stars, the Fairies supply a set of highly original songs which avoid all the usual Christmas song cliches….they also manage to squeeze in a couple of covers in the form of Captain Beefheart’s Steal Softly Through Snow and the Handsome Family’s So Much Wine. I’ve been giving my copy (on suitably wintery white vinyl) a bit of a spin this week…….and here’s the title track.”


Ring Out Solstice Bells by Jethro Tull – “Gotta have it! Taken from one of my all-time favourite Tull albums, Songs From The Wood.”