Week 53 - Fri 31 Dec
Welcome to the last RPM Record Club Seven Day Soundtrack of 2021. Wishing you all the best of vibes for 2022....and despite what "The Fates" may have in store for us during the next twelve months, we certainly have it in our power to keep all the good music flowing. Can't wait! Happy RPM New Year and over to......
"Here's my final 3 for 2021. It's been a great RPM year, Tim, and your efforts to keep us going are very much appreciated. I've tagged my top 5 on the end of the email so I can get it away in time for you to bring it all together.
(Check out the Top 5s of 2021 under the new Top 5 End of Year Lists page...Tim)
Wishing you a very happy new year."
Today I Sing The Blues by Aretha Franklin - "When I was going through some stuff looking for things to illustrate my end of year offering I came across a 1973 repress of Aretha' s very first LP on Fontana cut in 1960. It demonstrated that she was clearly very special and that she was bound to go on to greater things."
Honky Tonk Women performed by Rick Nelson - "Here's another idea which popped up from the same mixed box of records.
Like the Everly Brothers, Rick(y) started out as part of his family's show on local US radio and went on to become a teen idol (a tag coined for him) in the late 1950's. Ricky had a great voice and I have all his early albums but for me he lacked personality while performing although he had enough hits to ensure his early induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.. He was much better in front of a crowd when he adopted the more mature version of his name - Rick - and recorded some good stuff particularly with his backing musicians the Stone Canyon Band. He never really bothered the charts after his many hits of the 50's and early 60's except for 'Garden Party' which was written around the imaginary attendance at the said party of a mixed bag of notables past and present, real and imaginary. His take on this Rolling Stones classic is certainly different. Rick himself died in a plane crash on New Years Eve in 1985 at age 45 so it's a fitting time to pick one of his tracks for our weekly get-together."
It Don't Bother Me performed by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - "I got my copy of the new Plant/Krauss album as I hoped for Christmas. Here's their interpretation of a Bert Jansch number and Alison Krauss takes the lead on this one."
"Here are three seasonal offerings, chosen to take us into the New Year. With all good wishes to the RPM faithful."
"Happy New Year to all RPMers. Here's a sample of what I've been listening to in the final week of another strange year..."
"A happy and healthy new year to all RPMers.
Firstly, I thought I'd add another "Top 5" in the form of a little New Year quiz.
Here is a list of celebrated quotations from my all-time favourite films, giving the year of release in each case. Can you identify the films?"
1. "That'll be the day." (1956).
2. "Round up the usual suspects." (1942).
3. "In Switzerland they had brotherly love, and in 500 years of democracy and peace what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." (1949).
4. "Nobody's perfect." (1959).
5. "I never dreamed that any mere physical experience could be so stimulating." (1951).
(Answers hopefully supplied next week.....Tim)
"And now, some music selections for this week, all from 2021 albums. Once again, best wishes and let's hope 2022 is better than the last couple of years. "
Sitting On Top Of The World performed by The Flatlanders -
"Happy New Year everyone!! Stay safe, well & wonderfully musical in 2022. Two from Tom Lumley & the Brave Liaison this week...saw them at the Waterfront recently, very impressive despite a teeny tiny turnout."
"This weeks choices; three pretty frantic dancers from my new arrivals.
Happy New Year to everyone at RPM, thanks once again to Tim for the perseverance and to you all for your selections. Stay safe"
(The) 'S-W-I-M' by Bobby Freeman - (7" single released late 1964. PYE International)
"Freeman graduated through San Francisco's doo-wop scene in the mid fifties before signing with Jubilee in 1957 and hitting immediately with perhaps his most popular song, the self composed 'Do you want to dance', which reached number 5 on the US pop charts in early 1958. There were a couple of smaller hits and tours with Jackie Wilson and Fats Domino before further success with 'Shimmy Shimmy' on the King label in 1960. Many of his recordings for King remain unreleased so it was no surprise when he signed to influential Frisco DJ Tom Donahue's new label, Autumn, in 1964. Also on board at Autumn was hot DJ Sylvester Stewart from radio stations KSOL and KSAN who was not only pioneering what later became known as the 'Underground radio' format (i.e playing album tracks, non chart material and live sessions), but also producing Autumn's expanding roster of artists. These included The Great Society, The Emergency Crew (or the Grateful Dead as they later became known), the Beau Brummels, the Mojo Men and the Psyrcle (later to morph through the Rockets to become Crazy Horse) with only the Brummels achieving any major chart success. Stewart and Donahue (under his birth name Tom Coman) composed Freemans next charter, 'C'mon and swim' which hit the charts in early 1964 and the same pair followed it up with this goodie which duly hit the charts in late '64. It's a fine performance from Freeman and I suspect it's Stewart's new backing band, The Stoners, who provide the fiery backup with great brass parts and, possibly, Stewart on guitar and/or organ. His chart status declined and, for the rest of his career Freeman played at many of the West Coast's clubs including the notorious Condor Club where the pnuematic Carol Doda was center stage as a topless (hardly!!!) go-go dancer. Freeman's recordings went on to become popular on the UK Northern Soul scene in the seventies and he passed away as recently as 2017."
Feel Good About It' (Part 1) by Joey Dee and Starlighters- (7" US only release, Jubilee label. Released mid 1966) "A late release here from one of the original 'twisters', taken from his 1966 album 'Hitsville' which, in common with, say, Sandy Nelson and the Ventures, saw Dee covering many of that year's hits with a couple of his own, including this goodie. Here, Dee co-comps with producer Trade Martin whose career started out as multi instrumentalist on recordings by doo-woppers The Earls before going on to produce and arrange for Ellie Greenwich, Lesley Gore, The Tokens, Ian & Sylvia, Ricky Nelson and Solomon Burke amongst many others. There's a pretty in depth bio on Dee and the Starlighters on Week 20/Isolation Room playlist (gawd!!! What a long, strange trip it's been!) but, on this disc, I'm not sure of who constitutes the Starlighters; one thing for sure, they show a lot of muscle on this track. Once again this is another which is spun pretty regularly on the soul scene and who can blame 'em!!!"
Bonus Track - Psychotic Reaction performed by Joey Dee and The Starlighters -
"A bonus request here please, Tim, for a 'Hitsville' album track, a cover of Count Five's psychedelic classic (also covered by the Five's label mate Brenton Wood and Aretha Franklin!)."
Nobody But Me by Human Beinz - (7" single released late 1967. US issue on Capitol)
"Initially The Premiers (not the 'famous' Premiers of 'Farmer John' fame!) before changing to the hipper Human Beingz for the dawning of Aquarius, it was all to no avail. When their new label Capitol issued this superb debut, someone in the top office decided to try to link the band to the popular 'Human Be-In' gatherings in San Francisco by amending the name and promising to revert to the band's original spelling for consequent releases, a promise never fulfilled.. The band had already recorded (the first cover of) Them's garage classic 'Gloria' in early 1966 for the Gateway label which inexplicably failed to sell and the band were left to watch enviously as The Shadows of Knight hit the charts with their equally excellent version that summer. 'Nobody...' (with its record breaking repeat of the word 'No' in the lyrics, over 60 times don'tcha know!!) hit number 8 in early 1968 but their follow up, a cover of Bobby Blands' 'Turn on your lovelight', struggled to a paltry number 80. Despite its failure in the US, it was a huge hit in Japan, where it remained at the top of the charts for several weeks, and was followed by a Japan only release ('Hold on Baby') which also hit the top slot. Despite the release of two albums and a contractually obliged tour of Japan, the band sundered as soon as they returned to the States. There have been several reformations of various line ups since and 'Nobody...' has gained further exposure after being used in Tarantino's 'Kill Bill Vol 1', Scorsese's 'The Departed' and the US version of Ricky Gervais' 'The Office'. Another record guaranteed to fill the dance floor with 'frugging' patrons of select clubs!!"
"For this New Year’s Eve, I want you all to pack up 2021 and all its problems and tragedies and dance them out of the house. Then, dance a brand new year and hope back into your home. Here’s some tracks to throw yourself around to.
Happy and Healthy New Year to everyone. I’m hoping I will get to meet up with some of you soon. It’s been far too long. Keep listening and dancing – it lifts the spirit."
Dancing In The Street performed by David Bowie and Mick Jagger -
"Happy New Year fellow RPMers, hope you all had a good Christmas . Here’s my 3 tunes this week."
"This last year has dragged a little....far too few high points for us, but not too many lows! We have survived. Feel for poor Jayne; although progress is slow, I am still twiddling away on my concertina…
A couple of tunes that I have taken up this morning (Old Years Eve)......."
Histe Up the John B. Sail by The Cleveland Simmons Group - "Although there have been many recorded since, this is by far my very favourite version of this song, If I remember my sleeve notes… The Cleveland Simmons Group was with whom Joseph Spence first performed…"
Greenland Whale Fisheries performed by Van Dyke Parks - "I had forgotten that I have a copy of this album until the other day. The whole album is far better than I remembered. Bursting with potential concertina classics! I have picked this track as a friend has asked me to perform it in the new year."
Auld Lang Syne performed by Andy Stewart and the White Heather Club - "This is a reminder how the turning of every Old to New Year was marked when I was growing up. I imagine my dad waiting outside the front door, clutching a piece of coal, for the moment when the clock chimed and mum opened all the doors and windows to let the old year out, and the new year in, for our annual ‘first footing’ ceremony."
Bonus Track - "If I am allowed a short bonus, I will leave you all with something more appropriate…The way I imagine Hogmanay should be celebrated."
The Drinking Song (Brochan Lom) from Whisky Galore -
"Here's my old year night three. Happy New Year everyone."
The World is Waiting for The Sunrise performed by Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France - "Waiting for the sunrise, not only upon a new year but also on more normal times...pretty seamless link to get some Django into the playlist, huh?"
Eternal Wheel by Ozric Tentacles - "The turning-of-the-year, an ending of the old and the start of new, another revolution of the eternal wheel. Hopefully, next time around we'll be getting a little more air in the cosmic tyres."
Good Morning Nightcap Set performed by Matt Molloy, John Carty and Arty McGlynn - "The first of these 3 trad reels is called Say Good Morning To Your Nightcap....hilarious Irish humour.....and perhaps next year we might be saying exactly that."
'Til Next Year....