Week 14 - Fri 2 Apr
Welcome to the RPM Seven Day Soundtrack, week ending Friday 2nd April 2021. What's the best thing to do over the traditionally cold and cloudy Easter Weekend? Have a brew and a slice of cake..........or toast and marmalade, if per chance you listen in the morning, and let the 7DS whisk you away to who-knows-where without getting stuck in traffic or trying to avoid crowds. In order of submittance, over to..........
"Time for some noise (with a capital 'N') I think. Here's three (relatively) recent US bands who have graced the deck this week. Keep safe everyone, now is not the time to relax at all." (Unless listening to the 7DS, off course. Tim)
Blue Tomb by Comets on Fire - (from 'Blue Cathedral' LP released 2004, Sub Pop label))
Whatever Happened to my Rock and Roll (Punk Song) by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - (from 'B.R.M.C. album released April 2001, Virgin label)
Manipulation by Black Angels - (from 'Passover' album released April 2006, Light in the Attic label)
"Greetings as always to all RPMers wherever they may be.
I see that the consultant appointed by a right-wing government has declared that there is no institutionalised racism in the UK. This seems to me typical of the approach of high-powered "business consultants," whose technique is to read between the lines of their brief in order to produce a report that tells the employer exactly what they wanted to hear. The evidence used to do this is highly selective- any inconvenient facts are set aside. The said consultants are of course paid exorbitant fees for this type of service.
Now, to 1971, identified by the ever entertaining David Hepworth as the "annus mirabilis" of the rock album. My choices this week are......"
Clean Up Woman by Betty Wright - "One of the trends in early '70s black American music was "The Miami Sound," featuring stars such as Ms. Wright, George ("Rock Your Baby") McCrae and his wife Gwen, Benny Latimore, Timmy ("Why Can't We Live Together") Thomas, songwriter/performers Harry Casey (KC) and Rick Finch of KC and The Sunshine Band, and musicians such as guitarist Willie "Little Beaver" Hale who is to be heard all over this record. The Bee Gees' disco period is also an example of the Miami Sound. Betty Wright, now sadly deceased, recorded this rather mature-sounding piece of advice at the age of 17."
Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin - "Jimmy Page has always (understandably I think) taken offence at classification of Zep as "heavy metal." No doubt they've been hugely influential on all manner of hard rock and metal bands, but I prefer to think of them as one of the two greatest ever blues-rock bands, the other being The Allman Brothers' Band in its' original incarnation with Duane at the helm.
The two bands began roughly contemporaneously, but The Allmans being not only American but Southern were playing music that was part of their natural cultural heritage, and they added elements of jazz, country, gospel and soul to the mix.
Zeppelin on the other hand were among those British rockers for whom playing this music was in and of itself an act of rebellion, and they brought in early rock'n'roll (Little Richard in interview claimed never to have heard this track, in which Bonzo keeps a knockin') and British folk music (and Norse mythology, etc.). Any jazz or soul influences probably came mainly via the contributions of John Paul Jones. I'll give the last word to Robert Plant, from a 1989 interview: (The music) "...was not just token cloning or token theft... it was wholehearted, and we gave it all a new personality."
I Don't Want To Talk About It by Crazy Horse - "The original and still definitive version of this much-covered song, sung here by the man who wrote it, Danny Whitten. Their first album, on which the song first appeared, was issued in 1971 and is a very fine record. The group, following Danny Whitten's death, became best known of course as Neil Young's most frequently used backing band."
"I’m California dreaming this week. There’s so many songs to choose from, so I’ve picked artists and tunes that I have never bought. Best wishes for a good Easter to everyone and as they said in Hill Street Blues, ‘ be careful out there’."
"I hope that all RPMers have a good Easter and can find space to enjoy our collaborative soundscape apart but together…."
The Hour of the Blackbird by Ninebarrow (with Hart Voices and The Chantry Singers) -
"3 for Easter."
"Hi folks, Whilst still hugely optimistic, in this bright spring season of lifted lockdown, and looking forward to the opportunity to soon meet, play music, stroll, and socialise with old friends and make new acquaintances, I can't help but think that there is a deep cynicism to the announcements, of a new era of freedom to associate, by a government which at the start of the pandemic, praised the concept of, unvaccinated, 'herd immunity', and has recently embraced repression of political thought and action. I admit that I wonder just how much difference mass vaccination will minimise the lethal effect of the predicted third, fourth, and fifth waves of the virus.
It has been a week of listening, playing and wondering whether I should go to Norwich to attend the ‘Kill The Bill’, 'anti-anti-protest legislation, protest', in the City Centre on Easter Saturday......."
The Old Revolution by Leonard Cohen - "Love him or hate him, (and I know that there are those that revere him), I am sure that even the haters would agree that Laughing Lenny honed his lyrics until they could cut like a stiletto. Initially I felt that the lines “I fought in the old revolution, on the side of the ghosts and the king, of course I was very young, and I thought that we were winning…. “ were the most applicable to me, but as he says “even damnation is poisoned with Rainbows”…...."
Forked Deer / Big Sciota by Chris Thile & Michael Daves - "I have been playing a bit of Mando recently. I admit that, on occasion, over breakfast, I have attempted to gently pluck each of these tunes. But nothing like this!!"
Pallet On The Floor Jimmy Yancey And Mama Yancey - "I have several recordings of this old blues. Performed in lots of different ways, including ‘High and Lonesome’ bluegrass, Dixie, 60s Soul, Delta, Piedmont, and deep Southern blues. Even Sandy Denny recorded it. (If you are inquisitive, do check out ‘Tuba Skinny’ busking it, in a New Orleans street, on Youtube). And although I play tune this very differently, this classic, slow, rolling, emotive, Chicago ‘South Side’, stride piano, version of ‘Make Me a Pallet’ was the first that I ever heard. (Or owned). As a result, In my mind it is the definitive version, that all others must be compared to! (And most, but certainly not all, are found wanting)."
"Here's my choices for this week and I'm picking up on Morra's observation last time that there hasn't been a lot of rock'n'roll on offer since we started this. I've avoided being too fixated with the genre in my weekly lockdown selections even though it remains on of my very favourites but would like to offer up 3 plus a bonus as they are all typical rock'n'roll era length i.e. 2½ ,minutes or less."
Treat Me Nice performed by Elvis Presley - "With rock'n'roll it's easier to know who to put in than leave out and I have to include a track by the man who grabbed my attention with 'Heartbreak Hotel" when I was only 9 years old. This one was unsurprisingly written by Lieber and Stoller and included in the film "Jailhouse Rock" with Elvis backed by Scotty, Bill and D.J. plus Mike Stoller on piano and the Jordanaires with backing vocals. Ok it's more R&B than R'n'R but it's from the peak of the era and I like it a lot."
She's Got It by Little Richard - " 'Little' Richard Penniman claimed he was the King of Rock'n'Roll and I think he was justified in thinking so even though many always looked to Elvis when deciding who should wear the crown. I've chosen this particular track as it's one of only a few of his many releases on the 'Specialty' label that he recorded with the superb 'Upsetters' who not only looked the part when performing with Richard on the road but sounded great by virtue of the inclusion of 3 of the members on tenor sax, plus a baritone sax."
Bang Bang by Janis Martin - "Janis Martin only ever had one hit record in the US and never charted in the UK but RCA dubbed her the female Elvis - not because of her voice but because she was said to move very much like him in the early days when performing. Her big claim to fame was that RCA (South Africa) issued a 10" LP entitled "Janis and Elvis" around 1958 which was very quickly withdrawn because RCA thought it suggested they duetted (and I think that Elvis' manager may have thrown a wobbly because on the advice of her parents the young Janis had turned down his offer to be her manager). I have lots of original Elvis albums but this one has eluded me due to it's scarcity and therefore value and I've had to make do with a French re-issue. I think she deserved a higher profile as a singer."
High School Confidential by Jerry Lee Lewis - "Here's my sneaky bonus track because 'The Killer' is so hard for me to leave out of a rock'n'roll selection. I've seen him live twice - the second time when he did a two concert tour to celebrate his 80th birthday and it was hard to watch as he had to be propped up so he could traditionally kick his piano stool away at the end of his shift. In his day though, what an exciting power house - and a great country singer too."
"I might have another go at Rock'n'Roll sometime and tease out a few Brit efforts when I do so. Meanwhile make sure you all hang in there safely for a wee while longer and keep the great music coming."
"Hi All...........Hope you're all enjoying the extra little bit of 'freedom' we now have at our disposal.....Here are few more tracks inspired by Electric Eden*."
Who Knows Where The Time Goes by Sandy Denny & The Strawbs - "Most people familiar with this song would probably know the version Sandy recorded with Fairport Convention on the 'Unhalfbricking' LP in 1969. This is a slightly earlier version recorded in Copenhagen with The Strawbs."
Reynard The Fox by Julian Cope - "From his second solo LP, 'Fried' (1984)."
Way Back In The 1960s by The Incredible String Band - "I don't have any albums by The Incredible String Band but, after a bit of a ramble through my collection, I realised that I have six tracks from five different Folk/ Psych compilation albums. I didn't really 'get' The Incredible String Band at the time of their existence but I'm slowly warming to their eccentricities..... after 55 years!. By the way, this track was released in 1967 !?!"
*See 7DS Week 13.
Handle Me With Care performed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers -
While My Guitar Gently Weeps performed by Tom Petty and guests -
"Hi RPMers.........here’s my picks."
"Hope everyone is ok. Looking forward to another aural feast - I really enjoyed jumping about to Jackie's Tina Turner selections last week.
This week was quite acoustic-y.......then a bit more lively and I've thrown in a daft track as a "bonus" at the end. Happy Easter & take care, folks. "
Easter Bunny Bop by Bounce Patrol - "Nothing like watching a grown man in bright pink flares boogie to make me want to "bop, bop"....."
"As it was April Fool's Day yesterday (as I write), what better opportunity for going with a theme this time around? Here's some fool songs for you."
Fool For Your Loving No More by Whitesnake - "The best and original recording from 3rd LP Ready An' Willing...........not the re-recorded 1989 version found on the terrible Slip of the Tongue album, which just has too much American big hair........"
Fooled Again (I Don't Like It) by Tom Petty - "Simply superb TP."
(Btw, I didn't know Jackie was having some TP as well this week until she told me what her choices were....)
Won't Get Fooled Again by The Who - ".....what else was this theme gonna end upon?!"