Week 8 - Fri 19 Feb
Welcome RPM folks, to another plethora of pleasing musical vibrations, guaranteed to soothe the soul and calm the mind. Concoct your cocktail of choice......green ginger wine and rum is the fave in our house at the moment or a classic G+T, of course.........settle back into your comfiest chair and it's over to.........
"Here are my 3 tracks for this week........."
On Broadway performed by George Benson - "George Benson started out as a Jazz Guitarist before finding fame as a singer. This song, written by the great pairing of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weill in collaboration with Leiber and Stoller, was one of my favourite songs by the Drifters but this version is just as good."
Baby Grand by Billy Joel feat Ray Charles - "This is a fond reminder to me that I was lucky enough to be able to see the great Ray Charles perform his very last concert in the UK at the Hammersmith Apollo. Would love to see Billy Joel perform live too but concert prices in this country are always exorbitant now and I don't play that game any more (surrendering to industrialised ticket touting)."
Dr Feelgood by Aretha Franklin - "Here's Aretha at the height of her powers."
".........and in view of Tim's recent news, I'd like to sneak in an extra link which is not musical but is as a reminder of what life could be like for you in the very near future."
Four Yorkshiremen by Monty Python - "Mock rather than Rock."
"This week, the News came from Tim and Jackie that they is orf to Gods Own County! I won’t wave farewell just yet, but I dedicate this first track to them for the huge amount of hard work they have put into enriching the cultural life of Elsing and the much broader community… You have both made my life more entertaining, one way or another, Cheers Guys you’ll be missed!!
Of all the fabulous new music which arrived on this planet in 1967, without much doubt, ‘Electric Music For The Mind And Body’ was my favourite. It is almost true that it became part of my genetic make up…. Those of you familiar with Flann O’Brien’s 'Third Policeman' and his Sturmey Archer Syndrome will understand immediately. (A policeman spends so much time on his bicycle that some of the molecules of the saddle become absorbed into his bottom, and so the policeman is no longer entirely human, but part man and part bicycle. The outcome of this is that, as a result of his great familiarity with the operation of the three speed hub, such a fellow will walk faster up hill, than down…. ) I played this album so often that I must have absorbed many of those sound waves. But, and this really is a big but (one T!) It is already true that everytime I hear this track now…. I think of Tim and the music that he plays. So, if you don’t already know the reason, pay special attention at around 4minutes 42seconds."
"If this has whet your appetite, seriously consider listening to the Track ‘Grace' from the same album, and perhaps wonder which famous Grace from that year was the girlfriend that Country Joe dedicated the track to...
Another Radio3 find: As I often do, I listened in last week, to the regular Saturday afternoon Film Soundtrack show. There was an interview with Mark Isham in which he explained how he transcribed tunes by Rhassan Roland Kirk for string quartet. This album is the result. I was so impressed that I downloaded the album as soon as I got home! Being folk of great distinction I am sure you will all love it too…. Well perhaps not Morra…."
Judas and the Black Messiah Soundtrack by Mark Isham & Craig Harris -
Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet performed by The Corn Potato String Band
"Hi everybody- I trust you're all keeping safe and well. Jacquie has had her first jab, but I suspect I might have to wait a few more weeks for mine.
I'm trying to stay fit with lots of walking, but it's all around the village of course, so it's hard to come up with different routes.
Last week's 7DS as usual had a lot of good stuff, and I was particularly interested to hear Roy Hamilton's recording of "Don't Let Go," which I don't think I'd heard before, but which led me to listen again to this great cover version....."
Don't Let Go performed by Colin Linden and Luther Dickinson with The Tennessee Valentines - "The song was written by one of the people identified by Nick Tosches as an "Unsung Hero of Rock'n'Roll," Mr. Jesse Stone, who knew Duke Ellington and Chick Webb and was a friend of Louis Jordan. He was also very important in establishing Atlantic as a successful record label. This cover is from the 2019 album "Amour," which draws from blues, R & B, country, and rock'roll, and is a treat for lovers of guitar music."
Jubilee by Jake Xerxes Fussell - "Sticking with the rootsy stuff, this song is the best-known number on the album "Out of Sight." This performance was for a radio station."
Where Did You Sleep Last Night? performed by Jake Blount - "Sometimes known as "In The Pines," there are many versions of this song including a celebrated one by Nirvana. It's usually credited to Huddie Leadbetter but I suspect it's origins are older than that. Jake Blount is a recent discovery for me- this comes from his 2020 album "Spider Tales," the title of which refers to West African folk tales about Anansi the spider, a storyteller and trickster who repeatedly gets the better of bigger and stronger adversaries by using his wits. (cf. Brer Rabbit). This version removes any trace of romance and is quite chilling."
"I expect Tim and Jackie are busy settling accounts, emptying cupboards and filling boxes. This is the best time to throw out those kitchen gadgets that you have never used. Don’t forget to wrap the cocktail cabinet up well so it makes the journey in one piece.
As a person who hates saying goodbye at the last minute I’m going to pick appropriate songs for you right now. Take care everyone."
Goodbye-eee by Pete and Dud - "Thought I’d end with a laugh. It’s a shame that most people only remember Dudley Moore as a Hollywood film star. I will always remember his jazz trio and what an amazing pianist he was. I admit I’m biased as he went to the same Grammar School as me."
"Thank you RPM collaborators for your curated medleys each week. Wishing you all health and safety (!)"
Firmament by Nitin Sawney (from the 2008 album London Undersound) -
Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings (from All The Good Times to be released in UK in March) -
Foussa Foussa by Anansy Cissé (from his new album Anoura) -
"Hi RPMers, here are my 3 favs this week."
"3 I want at my funeral........"
Isn’t It Grand by The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem - "....as they carry me out."
"Hi folks, hope you're all well. Wishing Tim, Jackie & family all the best for their move oop north, they'll be hugely missed, but at least we can keep in touch via the music.
Here's my 3......take care all."
All You Ever Wanted by Rag 'n' Bone Man - "Heard this track several times over the last 7 days. Not a particular fan, but quite like this 1, shades of Killers amongst others....."
Candy by Paolo Nutini (live at the Isle of Wight festival 2015) - "I've been on hold to EE this week..a lot.. which meant listening to PN amongst others & I still enjoy watching festival performances online. Not as much as the real thing of course, but..
My Little Brown Book by Duke Ellington & John Coltrane - "Soul soothing tinkly loveliness to ease us through stressful times."
"This week's listening has been pretty varied but, for the second time in recent weeks, I'm going to stick with a single artist/group, the 'boppin' elf' himself, Marc Bolan.
Before the delusions of grandeur and the extra stone or two kicked in (not to mention the effects of 'marching powder') Marc could do no wrong for a curious mix of out of time hippies and teeny boppers. Sure, we sneered at the screaming hordes (I'm thinking Sheffield City Hall May 17th 1971 here) but, even then, there was something to almost perversely admire about the mix of Eddie Cochran, Tolkien and the soon to be 'glam rock', which was instigated by T.Rex's appearance on TOTP wearing glitter on their cheeks. Some of the old favourites still made the playlist, thanks to his new fans exploring the back catalogue and, in 'Ride a white swan' and various debut T.Rex album tracks there were still strong echoes of the 'Perfumed Garden' era Marc. The original Tyrannosaurus Rex had played a short, unsuccessful string of concerts in America in late 1969, with Steve Peregrin Took being threatened with serious financial consequences if he didn't complete the tour, even though he had officially left the band. These gigs were, by and large, poorly attended and left the audience totally bemused but, amongst those who did attend were members of the Ramones, New York Dolls, Sparks and even Iggy and the Stooges! Following the success in the USA of 'Get it on (AKA 'Bang a gong')', the new band undertook extensive stateside tours during May 1970, April and December 1971 and February 1972.......... as well as constantly touring the UK, Eire, Scandinavia, Germany and France before ending 1972 and the dawn of 1973 with one off gigs in Canada, the USA, tours of Australia and the Far East and yet another European jaunt!!! Little wonder that, by this time, the band was dissolving and the recorded output was suffering a serious decline in quality and, hence, sales too. None of these tours led to a breakthrough into the broader American consciousness (a fate to befall Slade in 1975) but, nevertheless, the band scored 11 consecutive top ten singles in the UK and four top ten albums before 1974's 'Zinc Alloy.....' album only achieved a paltry number 12, whilst the concurrent, non album single 'Zip Gun Boogie' topped out in the mid forties. But, before that fate, let's remember some of the highly original music Marc recorded....."
The Perfumed Garden of Gulliver Smith (from 'You scare me to death' 7" single, Cherry Red label released 1981) - "Initially recorded with Johns Children, the song was never completed by the band but did make appearances on later compilations in various forms. Here, however, we have the Marc Bolan version from 1966 (initially comped on 'Beginning of Doves' LP in 1974) with additional (1981) backing from (amongst others) Bernie Holland (guitar), Graham Jarvis (drums), Brian Odgers (bass) and Dyan Birch on back up vocals."
The Lilac Hand of Menthol Dan' (from 'Return of the Electric Warrior' EP, Rarn Records released 1981) - "Another MB demo, recorded at Advision Studio in June/July 1967 with Johns Children showing all their 'talents' on this pretty basic groover which, again, turned up on the 'Beginning of Doves' comp. Marc's vocals are, by this time, fully developed into those which would entrance (or enrage) those who happened upon either a John Peel roadshow, where an unsigned Tyrannosaurus Rex were the regular support; one of the regular appearances of the duo on Peels 'Perfumed Garden' radio programme; their 1968 debut album 'My people were fair.......' which featured, you guessed it, John Peel reading mystical tales written by Marc.
The 'Return of.....' EP is worth checking out if, like me, you dashed home (early) to catch a resurgent Marc's teatime TV show which featured, amongst others, Eddie and the Hot Rods, The Damned, Generation X (surely the ultimate Bolan tribute band?), The Jam, David Bowie and, strangely, a solo appearance by soon to be Queen Roger Taylor!! Also on the EP are the title track to the show, 'Sing me a song', and an overly speedy cover of Jody Reynolds 1958 atmospheric US No 5 hit 'Endless Sleep', a No 4 charter here for Marty Wilde and, coincidentally, later covered by Ex-GenXer Billy Idol."
Tyrannosaurus Rex- 'King of the rumbling spires' (7" single released on Regal Zonophone label, released 25th July 1969) - "A mighty number 49 chart placing (for one week) and the first appearance of an electric guitar on a Tyrannosaurus Rex recording, or should that be a multitude of electric guitars?
Here's how 'The Seth Man' on the 'arch droods' (AKA Julian Cope) excellent web site Head Heritage reviewed the single: " ....here for the first time was not only the entrance of electric guitar but a whole gang-bang of them as they busted down the door distorted, overdubbed and jacked up through fuzztones then set upon a stomping beat over a nearly full band backup. Introductory double floor toms fanfare resound as though a cymbal-less kiddie’s drum kit has been commandeered by Steve Peregrin Took, now looming over it in a methedrine haze and pounding it into the floor while even that rarest of instrumentation in Tyrannosaurus Rex’s musical lexicon, snare drums, appear...... all previous Tolkien’n’Maxfield Parish art nouveau stylings were temporarily replaced by a straight ahead production enmeshed with an army of simple and aggressively placed fuzz-drenched guitar riffing that BRAAAAANG-ed out throughout the entire A-side in what was to be Bolan’s first significant axe attack on record since John’s Children."
Couldn't have put it better meself!!!!
I eventually tracked down a copy of the single in 1998 in a tiny collectors shop in Rotherham, gulped at the price (a hefty, for the time, £6) and proffered the required amount. Nowadays, a copy in mint condition (mine's probably VG) would probably set you back in excess of £40, with the picture sleeve demo you'd need to add another £400+ (but it's only a mere £400 for the pic sleeve-less demo!!). Following this single, Took descended into 'mandrax sunset variations' (phrase courtesy of The Alberto's!!) on the aforementioned US tour and, after gifting two compositions to Twink for his upcoming album, Bolan and his management ousted him from the group. Within a year Bolan adopted the abbreviated T Rex, used by producer Tony Visconti on the studio tape boxes as he quickly tired of writing their full name on their sessions, signed Mickey Finn and, after the excellent 'A Beard of Stars' album, began his commercial success with the equally excellent 'T Rex' debut album and, of course, the 'Ride a White Swan' single."
Bonus Track - "Now, I know that we all wish Tim and Jackie all the best with their (impending) move to north of the 'Mersey-Humber Line' (sounds almost as romantic as the Mason-Dixon Line dunnit?) but, afore ye go, here's a bonus track (well, I would, wouldn't I?) to remind you to wear an essential item of clothing during the all to frequent inclement weather 'oop north'!!!!!"
"Stay safe, keep the good stuff flowing..........."
"Hi All RPMers. As the dominant news in the RPM world this week concerns the departure of our esteemed founder and leader, I thought I'd dedicate my selections to Tim. In the 27 years that I've known Tim we've had many discussions about music. Although there were many areas where we differed in our tastes and opinions, there was also a lot of common ground......"
Blood Wedding by Oysterband - "One day in the late nineties Tim came into my shop and said, "How would you like to play a gig at The Waterfront?". After an emphatic response in the affirmative, Tim asked another question, "How would you like to play a gig at The Waterfront supporting Oysterband ?". Stone me! Quadruple YES! There followed some very enjoyable rehearsals expanding the acoustic version of Tim's band Folklaw to an electric line-up with me on bass and Marty on drums. The result was an amazing gig on Tuesday 17th March 1998 (St Patrick's Day no less) to a packed-out Waterfront. One of my all-time favourite musical experiences...!"
My Sunday Feeling by Jethro Tull - "Apart from a few years in the late sixties and early seventies, it's never been hip to like Tull (as us fans call them, ahem...). Both Tim and I appreciate their mixture of Prog and Folk, although our favourite albums come from different periods of the band's history. However, we both agree that the first album, 'This Was', is very special. 'My Sunday Feeling' is taken from that album. I bought the album fifty years ago, in mono, so I've chosen the mono version for your pleasure...."
Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again by Bob Dylan - "Classic!!!"
"Unintentionally, it's gone all folky again this week! After a few emails back and forth between myself and Jonothan (ex Elsing resident, some of you know) concerning the progress of England's rugger team in the Six Nations, he sent me a link to a most wonderful website called Folk On Foot. Hosted by Matthew Bannister, it's a podcast where he goes on a walk with a musician from the folk world in their home locality....and it's just a delight to listen to. So far this week we've had walks with Richard Thompson, Martin Simpson, the Rheingans Sisters, John Jones, Duncan Chisholm and Jon Boden. All choices this time feature favourite songs by some of these artists."
Here's the website link to check out later......
A Precious Place by Duncan Chisholm - "A lovely haunting tune from Duncan's Sandwood album. Mr Chisholm is also fiddle player with Wolfstone who were a choice for my Burns Night selection."
April Queen by Jon Boden - "Found on his Songs From The Floodplain recording, this is one of the best original contemporary folk albums in the last 15 years, in my opinion, and this a most beautiful song."
Never Stop Moving by John Jones - "A track from the-voice-of-Oysterband's 2nd solo album, this ties in nicely and coincidentally with John's choice.......playing alongside friends like John supporting Oysterband was great fun and a pretty cool memory........was that the gig where the band's rider of beer was out of date........?"
"Thank you for all your good wishes and songs......the great thing about 7DS is that it can function where ever one is located, so we can stay in touch with each other via the music each week. Keep the tunes a-comin'."