Week 15 - Fri 9 Apr
Welcome once again to the RPM Seven Day Soundtrack.....this week, again, in order of arrival into the inbox. Over to..............
"I thought I'd submit my choices early this week, because I feel that I owe an apology. You see, last Saturday morning my sixth sense detected a cry of anguish or possibly disgust coming from several miles away through the ether. It was along the lines of "WHAT ABOUT THE STONES YOU ****** FOOL!" I can only assume that this was a reaction to my assertion regarding The Allmans and Led Zep. (Was it you Alan?). Therefore I think by way of partial reparation for this offence I must offer as my first selection for 1972 a number from Exile On Main Street. Hoping that everyone is staying safe and well."
Shake Your Hips performed by The Rolling Stones - "A cover of a Slim Harpo song. Under-rated on its' release but reassessed over the years, "Exile" is now widely regarded as the culmination of everything The Stones were about."
Clyde by J.J. Cale - "I know there are more obvious choices from "Naturally," (Call Me The Breeze, After Midnight, Crazy Mama), but I have a soft spot for old Clyde, "... on the porch without no shoes, a-picking his bass and singing the blues."
Lean On Me, by Bill Withers - "This came out in '72, but this is a live performance from '73. Never was a truer sentiment expressed- particularly pertinent during this pandemic."
"Hi everyone. Bit edgier this week.....Till next time, take care folks. Cheers!"
Nudge It by Sleaford Mods ft. Amy Taylor - "Luv this, skillful wordsmiths & bouncy bolshoi-ness."
Never Fight a Man with a Perm by Idles - "Joe Talbot asks for sass from his audience. Plenty of onstage sass from the guitarist strutting around in his pants!"
Can't Stand Me Now by Libertines - "Not a fan of the hype that surrounded them back in the day, but I like this track & its pithy lyrics."
"This week it's three songs, all different, but sharing the same title and subject matter (probably)....... that 'heaven and hell drug' as it was known or, more correctly, LSD25. Keep safe everyone and keep the music flowing."
The Trip by Kim Fowley (7" single UK release June 1966. Island label. Original US release July 1965, Corby label) - "One of my favourite singles, which I picked up in a covered market in Durham (funny how these things stay with you, yeah?) around 35 years ago. Here, before virtually anyone else, is Fowley spelling out the effects of LSD, with only the US instrumental band The Gamblers, with their 1960 b-side LSD 25 (definitely not a psychedelic song as the title was only chosen for the track by their manager after he saw the phrase in a newspaper article headline), and the folk group The Holy Modal Rounders (with 1964's 'Hesitation Blues' mentioning having the 'psychedelic blues' amongst other complaints) predating him. However, as neither of these two progenitors could be classed as 'psychedelic' bands, it's safe to credit Kim with being there at the very beginning of the movement. The track itself is full of lyrical references to the drugs effects (check out “ a world of frogs / and green fountains / and flying dogs / and silver cats / and emerald rats / and purple clouds / and faceless crowds / and walls of glass / that never pass / and pictures hanging upside down / won’t ask / where you are...” ) plus it's also a fine piece of 'garage/punk' rock, with Fowley himself playing all the instruments. 1965 saw Kim at the centre of the nascent 'freak' scene in LA, leading a motley crew of proto-hippies down from the Canyon area to clubs such as Bido Lito'sand Ciro's where they would take over the dance floor with the group eventually rotating around a 'blissed out' Fowley. Prior to that, Fowley, the product of a malfunctioning family, tells us he spent most of his early childhood running herion for his father and, in his teens, pimped himself out to elderly ladies!! Of course, Fowley was an inveterate truth bender, as well as a visionary with regards to musical trends before they happened. As I mentioned the other week, Fowley was instrumental in helping the formative WCPAEB as well as producing early recordings by Soft Machine and Slade. He also recorded with or produced, the Mothers of Invention, Plastic Ono Band, the Seeds, Steppenwolf, a late era Them (the Belfast Gypsies) and even Toyah (!) amongst many others. There are plenty of comp's of Kim's vast, and varied output around, mine is 'Mondo Hollywood Vol 1'."
The Trip by Donovan (b-side to 'Sunshine Superman' 7" single. UK release on Pye label December 1966. US release July 1966) - "If only this had been released in the UK at the same time as in the US! Contractual difficulties saw the parent album not only delayed until June 1967 (where it was perhaps overlooked as it was in direct competition with the Fab Fours 'Sgt Peppers....) but, such was Don's prolific output at the time that, when the UK version was belatedly released it was a compilation of that album and it's US follow up 'Mellow Yellow'. Don frequently lived in LA during 1966/7 and it's that locale which permeates the album with references to Mama Cass, Jefferson Airplane and, with this particular track, a homage to the famed LA club bearing the name plus, of course, a nod to his then current 'drug de jour'. There's a melange of exotic instruments and Jimmy Page on lead guitar, giving us a curious mix (for the time) of medieval vibrations, Indian ragas and Western rock, far outstripping Dylan's punchy r&b and equalling the Beatles 'Revolver' album for sheer experimentalism. In fact, the observant may have noticed that, in the 'promo' film for the Fab's 'A Day in the Life' track, it's Don's US 'Sunshine Superman' LP spinning wildly on the turntable, not the Beatles own platter, which shows the high regard they had for Donovan."
The Trip by Ultraviolet Catastrophe ('Trip Harder' remix) (12" single released on Hardkiss label, April 1993) - "From the same label which bought you '3 Nudes in a purple garden' by Hawke, here's what's described as "U.S., Classic Tribal Acid Techno Breakbeats" on some websites or, according to Hardkiss, " a new generation (of) psychedelic funk techno sound collages". This SF label was started by the Hardkiss 'brothers' Scott (Freidel), Gavin and Robbie in 1990 after they had debuted with radio shows and club dates. Their initial compilation album 'Delusions of grandeur' made the Billboard charts and topped Rolling Stone magazines Alternative Album chart in 1995 and is now considered a collectors item. 'The Trip' was recorded in a Belmont (Silicon Valley) garage belonging to the UV members Jon Taylor and Jeff Drukman but, in actual fact, the song was initially conceived by Scott Hardkiss with additional live percussion provided by J J Freckles and 'Slim', Samples from a John Williams track, a soundtrack CD entitled 'Power of One and strings from a track by Orbital were all added to the mix and the resultant mammoth mixing session produced this behemoth of techno. And the bands name; well it comes from the following (deep breath everyone!):
"At the end of the 19th century, the puzzle regarding blackbody radiation was that the theory regarding how hot objects radiate energy predicted that an infinite amount of energy is emitted at small wavelengths, which clearly makes no sense from the perspective of energy conservation. Because small wavelengths correspond to the ultraviolet end of the spectrum, this puzzle was known as the ultraviolet catastrophe". You'll be pleased to know this 'puzzle' was solved by Prof Max Planck and, for this he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1918. His theory on vibrating atoms and molecules opened the door for the birth of quantum physics (I don't think even Sheldon Cooper namechecked that, fact fans!!)."
"Here are my 3 (or so) for this week and I've picked them from a wonderful selection of tracks I've been playing on a 3 CD set called 'Atlantic Gold'. I'm still about 3 weeks away from a professional haircut but looking forward (through my curtain-like fringe) to a glimpse of what life used to look like. I suppose I should be grateful to have a thatch that refuses to totally desert me."
Shake Rattle and Roll performed by Big Joe Turner - "This is a great first version of a song written by Jesse Stone using a phrase that goes back to the early part of the 20th century and set the scene for what came to be regarded as Rock'n'Roll. Joe charted with this in 1954 a few months ahead of Bill Haley's hit version and although Elvis recorded it the following year while with the Sun label, it didn't get released until he was signed to RCA Victor."
"There is also a live tv version by Joe and it's worth comparing the lyrics of each to see how some slightly raunchy lyrics were re-jigged and tamed down for tv."
Money Honey performed by Clyde McPhatter & The Drifters - "This is another song with great lyrics written by Jesse Stone and performed by Clyde McPhatter with an assembly of musicians hired to back him called The Drifters. Clyde had previously been one of the leads for Billy Ward's Dominos and was the first in a long line of leads for this group - take a look at the wiki pages for The Drifters and try not to go dizzy tracing the merry-go-round of changes, replacements, additions and returns of group members."
If You Need Me performed by Solomon Burke - "He became known as the King of Rock'n'Soul even though his chart success surprisingly never matched his contemporaries. He was one of the founding voices of what became known as 'Soul' music . This is a great song and if you want a little more of the same look up 'Cry to Me' or 'Everybody Needs Somebody To Love' on Youtube."
"The Darts League is on this week and I thought I’d pick walk on music for some of the players.....Keep well everyone."
Seven Nation Army by White Stripes - "...for Michael Van Gergen...."
The Boys Are Back In Town by Thin Lizzy - "...for James Wade."
"Hi RPMers. Here are my three for this week....."
I Sowed Some Seeds by Martin Carthy - "I first heard this in 1983 when Martin Carthy played it as part of his latest John Peel session. Peely's show was essential listening; nowhere else on the airwaves would you hear The Stranglers, Be Bop Deluxe, Scientist, Cocteau Twins, The Bothy Band and Musical Youth all on the same show...."
Spanish Caravan by The Doors - "This is from the 'Waiting For The Sun' LP, one I rarely play. I played it this week (obvs!!) and when I flipped it over to side two and let the stylus settle into the groove, I realised that I should be playing it more often. This song opens side two; everything you'd want, need or expect from a Doors song.... all in less than three minutes!"
"Hi everyone, hope you all had a good Easter!! Here’s my 3."
"Greetings to RPM colleagues wherever you may be right now. This week I’ve chosen tracks that were friends’ faves way back in the day."
It’s All Just Talk by Clive Gregson & Christine Collister -
"I do hope that everyone is comfortable, well, and happy. In these days of medical emergency, perhaps this is in bad taste but seemed appropriate......."
"This week, there has been quite a lot of variety in my listening, as well as a couple of tracks inspired by former posts from you lot.........there is something pretty...."
"Here is something astounding from 1957 which I was inspired to dig out after listening to the Little Richard track posted by Tony last week........"
"And remembering past choices made by both Jean and Nina, a notice for all you fellow fans of one of the greatest voices of my generation.....
April the 9th sees the release of a new Album from Merry Clayton, whom, after a car crash a few years ago, suffered a double amputation (of her legs) but came out of the experience still singing..."
"This week, I've been reacquainting myself with the solo output of one of my favourite guitarists, Huw Lloyd Langton, caused by two events; firstly, our move and secondly, spotting an interesting Youtube guitar link...........things just evolved onwards from there."
On The Move by Huw Lloyd Langton - "I intended to have this track in a theme based around moving when we.....well; moved. But that seemed to change into my Elsing live music retrospective and then the North Country focus the week after that. This track found originally on Huw's second solo LP, Like An Arrow, released in 1986, is one of a number of what I would call "space jig" instrumentals that he composed over the years. This, however, is the re-recorded version from his 1997 On The Move album.......the drums are recorded much better than on Like An Arrow, plus he has evolved the lead guitar parts into something more fully realised and satisfying, whereas the original in comparison sounds more like a demo."
Got Your Number by Huw Lloyd Langton - "What started me off on my HLL trip this week was spotting a Youtube link to The Weirdest Guitar Lick I Know. This turns out to be a run of notes that our Huw certainly made into a signature lick and that would often feature in his live improvised solos in particular. I have never heard any other guitarist use this lick, although Cameron our Youtuber also notes that American guitarist (with Ozzy Osbourne, amongst others) Jake E Lee has used it.....something I now obviously need to check out. (I'm expecting Alan to now tell me of half a dozen other examples from the 60s, as well. 😉) Huw's musical CV included 70s rockers Widowmaker and Leo Sayer's touring band, but it is Hawkwind that most of his fans see as his musically spiritual home, and it is into their long improvised passages that a lick like this sits perfectly. It first grabbed my attention on the song Motorway City (as it did young Cameron's) found on the 1980 Levitation album, and Huw continued to use it throughout his second stint (he's on the 1st HW LP but left straight after, rejoining in 1979) with the band up until his departure in 1988-89. Got Your Number was a song written by Huw and performed in the early 80s by Hawkwind, but never recorded onto a HW LP. Instead it found it's way onto the Night Air LP, Huw's first solo outing in 1985. It's always been a favourite Huw song of mine and is still worryingly relevant today as we seem to be heading into a more state controlled society than even seemed possible under Thatcher. Oh......almost forgot; check out the weirdest guitar lick at around 3 mins 18 secs.........is that cool, or what?! This version is also from the On The Move album....although the original '85 recording is my personal favourite, it (annoyingly) doesn't feature the lick which he would invariably include when played live."
FÜr Kirsty by Huw Lloyd Langton - "Huw always had an acoustic guitar side to him as well as the soaring electric space rock persona. On Levitation there is a superbly atmospheric classical guitar intro to the instrumental Fifth Second of Forever, for instance. The older he got, the more this acoustic aspect of his playing was brought to the fore and when supporting his old band Hawkwind, it would be just himself with an acoustic guitar. A lasting memory I have is of Huw on acoustic guitar and Dave Brock on harmonica performing a spirited version of Hurry On Sundown at the Hawkwind 40th anniversary gig at the Porchester Hall, Notting Hill Gate in 2009. His final solo album in 2011, in fact, comprised entirely of classical guitar pieces and indeed was entitled Classical Guitar Tales. So here we have Huw's other guitar side; a lovely classical guitar composition supported by some subtle synth drones from the Night Air album and entitled for his daughter. Huw died in December 2012."
"..........til next time......"