Week 1 - Fri 7 Jan
Welcome to the first edition of this year's RPM Seven Day Soundtrack, week ending Friday 7th January 2022. Let's dive straight in...over to...
"Thought I’d play a few old favourites from across the decades. They will either remind me of a person or of a certain event. Hope everyone has had a good start to the year. Keep safe."
Bonus Track - "And just for me..."
The Jean Genie by David Bowie -
"This weeks choices...
Happy New first RPM submissions of 2022! Somebody recently suggested that 2022 is just a 3rd attempt at a 2020 reboot! It does feel a bit like that, but with luck, this is the start of a better brighter future. Let's hope so!
I really look forward to hearing everybody's choices each week. It is always a treat. RPM has been a great source of music, new and familiar, each week and has really helped me roll through the last couple of years. Thank you all for all of your contributions. Hooray for every one of you, and of course especially, Hooray for Tim, for being there for us. I am sure that the coming year will be just full of delights and surprises.... In the immortal words of Lowell George.... "Let it Roll!" "
Your Picture Has Faded by Tom Doughty - "A slidey toon from an old friend of mine."
The Oxygen Girl by Jeni Hankins - "I do like a story song especially with a happy ending…"
Hares On The Mountain performed by Shirley Collins - "This song is attributed to the traditional song collecting of Cecil Sharp. There is however a new play called Folk focusing on the two half sisters, Lucy White and Louie Hooper, from whom Sharpe sourced a lot of his Somerset folk songs and whom nowadays have been forgotten about."
"Here's a link to The Guardian review which expands upon the ideas behind this new production."
Lord Randall performed by Martin Carthy - "Hares on the Mountain made me think of Lord Randall, a song my mother used to sing."
"Three late sixties 'plank spankers' to kick 2022 off: So, heads down, amps on 11 and get ready for an expedition into a territory I rarely visit..... 'rawk'!!!"
I'm a Man by Chicago Transit Authority- ' (from 'Chicago Transit Authority' double LP released April 28 1969. CBS label.) - "Formerly a Chicago clubland covers band The Big Thing, the band had morphed from two other clubland bands in 1967 and immediately incorporated brass into their extended line up (eventually an eight piece) before being guided towards Los Angeles by manager James Guercio where they were quickly signed by CBS and changed their name to the (unwieldy) Chicago Transit Authority. Their debut album gained excellent reviews and eventually reached number 17 in the US charts but, due to its experimental nature, it failed to yield a hit single. Guercio had earlier produced the similar Blood, Sweat and Tears second album which had gained a Top 50 placing, mainly as a means to convince CBS of CTA's validity (which was gained when the band accepted a lower royalty rate) and, also, to finance their desire to release a debut double album. They played as regular support at LA's Whisky A Go Go where headliner Jim Hendrix was quoted as saying "Jeez, your horn players are like one set of lungs and your guitar player is better than me." This meaty cover of the Spencer Davis Group swansong single is, perhaps, my favourite track off the album featuring some great Hammond organ, brass and, after the drum solo, a great re-entry into the song via a short burst of feedback at around 4'30 (air guitar is almost compulsory at this point in the song!!). Sure, there's a couple of tracks which point ominously towards the blander sound which would gain the band huge commercial success but, with tracks such as 'Free Form Guitar' (recorded in one take with no FX pedals), 'South California Purples' and, especially, 'Prologue/Someday (August 29th 1968)', which featured live recordings from the Chicago Democratic Convention riots, the band lived up to their original concept. Whilst touring the album, the band were presented with a 'cease and desist' writ by the real Chicago Transit Authority which saw them truncate the name to the more familiar Chicago. Here's a live version from German TV's excellent Beat Club."
B.D.D. by Groundhogs (from 'Blues Obituary' LP released September 1969. Liberty label) - "Stalwarts of the mid-sixties blues scene, the band backed Little Walter, Jimmy Reed, Champion Jack Dupree and, famously, John Lee Hooker, from whose song 'Groundhog Blues' the band took their name. Band leader Tony (T.S.) McPhee had left the instrumental outfit the Seneschals to join the Cruickshank brothers in the Dollar Bills who quickly morphed into, initially, John Lee's Groundhogs before it was shortened at McPhee's suggestion. There were several interruptions to the bands progress through the sixties with McPhee recording solo tracks and duets with Champion Jack Dupree and Jo Ann Keely as well as forming the short lived psychedelic outfit Herbal Mixture. Their first album, 1968's 'Scratchin' the surface' (produced incongruously by future Womble in chief Mike Batt!!) reflected their stage set at the time but the follow up saw the band reflecting both the incoming heavier blues sounds of Cream, the Purp's and LZ et al with nods to both the past, with the cunning oriental rewrite 'Light was the day' (i.e. 'Dark was the night' by Blind Willie Johnson) and Howlin' Wolf's 'Natchez Burning'' and a nod to 'prog' in the Family-like 'Express Man'. The 'Hog's were supported by King Crimson on one of their earliest outings and it was this which led directly to drummer Ken Pustelnik pushing the band away from the blues towards a more experimental approach. The 'Blues Obituary' title then became a signpost, and the direction they took saw them chart with their next three albums, including their tour de force 'Split..... recommended to all air-guitarists!!! The album's opener 'B.D.D', was released as a 'mono' mix single which did nothing in the UK but, unbelievably, it spent several weeks at the top of the charts in Lebanon!!!
And the 'T.S.' and 'B.D.D.' acronym's?? 'T.S' was the 'tougher' addition to McPhee's name by producer Mike Vernon for the recording session with Jack Dupree and stands for 'tough sh*t'!! whilst 'B.D.D.' stands for 'blind, deaf and dumb'..."
Hear Me Calling by Ten Years After - (from 'Stonedhenge' LP released 22nd September 1969. Deram label) - "Not my favourite group by a long chalk, who can forget the ar*e numbing 10 minute plus 'I'm goin' home' from Woodstock? Leader Alvin Lee (Nottingham's finest???) generally took the 'gunslinger' route to guitar playing, a sort of 'how many notes can I get in this bar?' approach which, I suppose, makes him one of the original 'shredders'? Backed by a pedestrian bassist and drummer and a pretty unadventurous keyboard player they certainly didn't float my boat at the time but............ I must admit I loved 'Hear me calling' from my first hearing on a jukebox in some gawd forsaken pub. Formed from the remains of Ivan Jay/Jaycats line ups, the band managed to get several London gigs as backup musicians for the Ivy League in 1966 before changing their name, initially to Blues Trip/Yard and then following a magazine article header advertising a book entitled (Suez) Ten Years After to their familiar moniker. Signed by thrusting new agency Chrysalis, the band were launched at the 1967 Windsor Jazz Festival and signed by Deram. Their self-titled first album included a couple of blues standards, several Lee 'originals' and 'I want to know' written by Sheila McLeod. Those with a long memory (if not refer to my 'Can blue men sing the whites Part 2 article) will remember that this tune was actually a Paul Jones song (Ms McLeod being Paul's wife) written for the Eric Clapton/Powerhouse sessions. The album was followed by the live 'Undead' (Jeez, youz guyz!!! Great pun!!!) which included the first version of 'I'm goin' home' and apparently "amply illustrates Lee's "eclectic" use of the pentatonic scale mixed with other modalities". Ahem..... OK, I believe you! Further festivals in the US followed the release of 'Stonedhenge' (a UK number 6), culminating in Woodstock of course. Their biggest selling single ('Love like a man') and fifth, and most successful album, 'Cricklewood Green' (UK number 4), followed in 1970 and was promoted with an appearance at the Isle of Wight festival and a label change to the new Chrysalis outlet. However, further growth eluded the band and, after just three more albums the inevitable split occurred with Lee forming the perhaps ironically named Ten Years Later. Popular on the gig circuit, it made sense for a reformation of sorts and, in 1983, the band relived past glories at the Reading Festival. There was a further (partial) reformation in 1988 which lasted until 2003 when Lee was eased out of his own band and replaced with Joe Gooch (me neither?). Lee continued solo until he passed away following a routine operation in 2013."
Bonus Track - "As it's only week one, is it too early for a bonus Tim? Here's another band I couldn't really get on with. After a promising mod-ish/blues debut it all seemed to go Canned Heat-ish by the time of their third album. Here's Savoy Brown with Waiting in the Bamboo Grove."
"My three this week are tracks that didn’t quite make it onto recent playlists. Best wishes to RPM colleagues one and all and thank you for your tunes."
Call Me A Fool by Valerie June (featuring Carla Thomas) -
"I trust everyone is safe and well. Re lists...I too am a "Sharpe" fan and have read the new "Assassin." Currently re-reading "Havoc," which I once borrowed from the Library and is the only one of the series that until Christmas was missing from my collection.
I've restarted the twice-weekly LFTs so that I can continue to go into school from this week, and obtained a "Covid passport," principally so that I can go to football matches- the ridiculous thing is that this expires a month after issue. How meaningful, really, is this document anyway?"
"Now, the answers to last week's quiz:"
1. "That'll be the day" is the famous line spoken 4 times by John Wayne in "The Searchers," which in my opinion is not only the finest Western movie ever, but the greatest movie of any genre. ("Citizen Kane" is very clever, but I've never managed to sit through the whole of "Vertigo," both of which tend to receive lots of votes as "best ever" from film critics). A thought: Is Debbie Ethan's daughter from a pre-war affair with his brother's wife?
2. "Round up the usual suspects" is of course spoken by Claude Rains in "Casablanca," preceded by "Major Strasser has been shot."
3. The "cuckoo clock" speech (which I think I slightly misquoted) is spoken by Orson Welles as Harry Lime as he gets off the Ferris Wheel in "The Third Man." Certainly a candidate for the title of best ever British film.
4. "Nobody's perfect" is the last line spoken in "Some Like It Hot," by the amorous Joe E. Brown after Jack Lemmon in drag says "I'm a man!"
5. The "I never dreamed..." speech is delivered by Katherine Hepburn, channelling Eleanor Roosevelt in "The African Queen" after riding the rapids.
"I think this week's music selections should therefore have a connection with these films. Best wishes to all."
"An atmospheric scene from "The Third Man" featuring some of Anton Karas's zither music."
I Wanna Be Loved By You performed by Marilyn Monroe - "...from Some Like It Hot."
"Hi RPMers, hope you're all keeping safe and well. Let's hope 2022 will be a good one; I've eased into the New Year with a few old favourites..."
"Happy New Year, RPM Massive!! Hope you're all keeping well.
Two lively tracks and one maudlin number this week; 2022's been a bit bumpy so far, jumping around to loud music always helps.
Big thanks to Tim for keeping this going.
Wassailing at Elsing tomorrow evening - another great Chipping event. (Thank you, Nina...Now taken on by Luke of Folk in a Field, Tim)
Take care all"
Rock and Roll performed by Foo Fighters ..and pals Jimmy Page & John Paul Jones
(Live at Wembley 2008) - "Dave Grohl smashes it on drums, as per."
Don't Let Me Down Gently by Wonder Stuff - "Gotta luv the Stuffies! Saw them a few years ago at the Waterfront, older but still lively."
"Hi RPMers, wishing you all the best for 2022 . Here’s my 3 tunes from the week."
"Happy New Year.
As I promised (or threatened depending on your point of view) in my end of year offering I'm featuring 4 (short) tracks from the set of 78 rpm vinyls I own which were issued over a period of 4 years on a private label called "Cruisin' The 50's"
Shakin' All Over c/w Please Don't Touch by Johnny Kidd & The Pirates - "The first song is a particular favourite of mine as I went to a Christmas gig at the old Grosvenor Dance Hall on Prince of Wales Road in Norwich in 1962 when on my first leave after joining the Royal Navy. It was a great gig but made more special because I met up with my future wife having split up with her a few months earlier. The band was originally called "The 5 Nutters" but thankfully they worked out a gimmick and a great catchy name to go with it. Fred was a class act and in my opinion he was one of the best UK Rock'n'Roll front men and writers in the business. both these tracks (and quite a few more really good tracks) were written by Heath.
I gleaned the snippet (link below after the two tracks) from the internet and noticed that it reported my actual win on Ebay of this particular numbered copy which I bought directly from Cliff Buckland who set up the "Cruisin' The 50's" label. The link also holds an interview that Record Collector magazine made with Cliff about his project. It took a great deal of pushing and shoving by him to get this project off the ground and it was only made possible because of the co-operation of EMI licensing, Abbey Road and an award winning sound engineer to oversee the operation of hand pressing a series of high quality 78rpm records on original equipment to the highest standards on heavyweight vinyl rather than shellac or the inferior vinyl used in the US. This pressing married up two 'A' sides, one from 1959 and one from 1960."
"And this is the link to the article which explains how the series of vinyl 78's was conceived and created."
Wild One c/w Old Black Joe by Jerry Lee Lewis - "Wild One was recorded in 1958 but was not released until 1964 as an album track and Old Black Joe similarly recorded in 1960 as a 'b' side to Baby Baby Bye Bye on the Sun Label."
"I'll feature two pairs of sought after tracks by Eddy Cochran next week."
"This week I've listened to (and played) a lot of traditional tunes; started off Irish but by the end of the week American old time started to feature quite heavily. I'm trying to be more proactive with my banjo/mandola practicing this year which means learning a couple of new tunes each week and committing them to memory (very good for combatting forgetfulness, apparently), plus properly sorting out the physicality's of playing such as always wearing a strap so the instrument is in the same position every time and consistently using the same fingers at fret positions for increased fluidity....hmmm, we'll see how it goes. Thanks to Piers for giving me a tune nudge with his Top 5 list and recent 7DS posts, reflected here in my first choice."
Booth Shot Lincoln / Rock Andy performed by Jim Taylor and Friends - "Yep, thanks to Piers for reminding me of the first of these tunes which I first heard on the Comet album by Cordelia's Dad. I'd learnt how to play Rock Andy a few weeks ago and was looking for another tune to go with it...and look what I found from the lovely recordings of Jim Taylor."
Cold Frosty Morn performed by Josh Turknett - "Here's my favourite tune I've learnt to play this week. Taken a bit slower than a lot of other folks, Josh makes the tune shine through."
Obviously Five Believers by Bob Dylan - "I decided to give Blonde on Blonde a spin this week to clear my head a bit from all that diddly-diddly music. Up until now, I've never been a big fan of this album, feeling that it's been built up into the stuff of legends which then has never lived up to my expectations. Well, it was actually OK this time around...does this mean it could be a grower after about 40 years?"
'Till Next Time...