Week 22 - Fri 3 June
Welcome to the RPM Record Club Seven Day Sound Track, week ending Friday 3rd June, where indeed every week is a jubilant soundwave celebration of musical diversity; over to....
Brother Green by Redwood River Band - "Listening to Twisty Turns video Tim picked a couple of weeks, brought to mind Redwood River Band. I saw them at the Hyde Park Folk Festival in Leeds a few years ago and was really really impressed. This is the title track of their EP which I bought at the gig, and it doesn't appear that they've recorded since making that, which is shame as they were excellent."
My Friend The Sun by Streetwalkers - "This was posted recently to a facebook group of which I'm a member. Its a song I've loved since first hearing the Family studio recording many years ago. This is probably my favourite live version so far. It takes a little while to start, but worth persevering with the video"
(...and is that Nicko McBrain occupying the drum stool? Why, yes it is...and after a few other bands, drummer with Iron Maiden since 1982, fact fans...Tim.")
Patterns by Moulettes - "I saw Moulettes in Sheffield recently and it was was one of the best live shows I've seen. They are touring again in October and well worth seeing."
"This next is my weekly cover version, a Massive Attack song given the Horace Andy and On U Sound slant."
Safe From Harm performed by Horace Andy -
"And to round off my selections for the week, an old favourite..."
Don't Bother Me performed by The George Martin Orchestra (from 'Off the Beatle track' LP released 3rd August 1964**. Parlophone label) - "For a first (recorded) effort, this George Harrison tune has always been one of my favourite Beatle tracks, featuring the inclusion of an Arabian bongo and some of the band's earliest experiments with tunings and recording techniques. John's new Rickenbacker was 'compressed' to achieve an 'organ' sound and, in the bridge, is treated to 'reverb' whilst Ringo provides a busy 'stop/start' rhythm on drums and percussion. The songs lyrics are particularly downbeat for the Fab's output at that time, indeed John's desperate 'Help' wouldn't be released until a full two years later, and the lyrics apparently reflect George's moroseness when he was bedridden for several days whilst the group were appearing in a Bournemouth residency. Hence the "So go away, leave me alone, don't bother me" refrain at the chorus' conclusion. Martin's versions of the Beatle songs on this album do not include any of the Beatles early 'joie de vivre', merely being 'straight' orchestral interpretations of the basic songs with little or no deviation to the melody. On the plus side though there are some fine Beatle photos on the sleeve which come complete with witty (and almost cynical) notes by John."
Strawberry Fields Forever performed by The Ventures (from 'Super Psychedelics' LP released June 1967. Liberty label) - "Formed in Tacoma in 1958 by guitarists Bob Bogle and Don Wilson, the duo purchased their first guitars from a Seattle pawn shop. They had initially met when Bob bought a car from Don's family second hand car dealership and, as their shared interest in music grew, Don joined Bob working on the city's building sites. As their musical proficiency increased they traded in their bargain buy guitars for Fenders and began playing Seattle's clubs as the Versatones where they befriended guitarist Nokie Edwards and drummer George Babbitt whose inclusion saw the band change their name to the Ventures and release their first single, 'Cookies and Coke' on their own Blue Horizon label (no relation to the later UK label). Their next single, chosen from a Chet Atkins album, saw a change of drummer and a runaway worldwide hit. That single, of course, was 'Walk don't run', a record which has been namechecked by such luminaries as George Harrison, Joe Walsh, John Fogerty and Stephen Stills. Not only were the band an influence on these musicians, they were also musical pioneers. They utilised 'fuzz guitar' on 1962's mighty '2000lb Bee' single, one of its earliest commercial uses, they were the first 'rock' group to use twelve string electric guitars, 1963's single Telstar' was doused in 'flanging', in 1964 their '...In space' LP was littered with studio effects including reverse tracking and their 1965 'Christmas album' even featured a 'talk box', many years before it was popularised by Peter Frampton! There were lineup changes aplenty between 1962 and 1967's Super Psychedelics' LP, a pattern that has continued throughout their long lifetime, and there were also a total of 22 albums during the same period, of which 13 reached the top forty and only one failed to chart at all. They also achieved almost 'Beatle' type popularity in Japan, a market where they remain incredibly popular to this day. As with the George Martin cover above, this version of 'Strawberry Fields Forever' is, of course, 'of its time' and, although the drums and keyboards sound remarkably similar to the Beatles classic, the guitar seems to merely pick out the tune instead of living up to the albums title (unlike the more inspired guitar playing on the 'Psychedelic venture' and 'Psyched out' tracks). The band have released around 70 studio albums, over 30 'live' albums, including a dozen recorded in Japan and a couple of 'vocal' albums featuring Bobby Vee and popular Japanese vocalist Yuya Uchida."
Eleanor Rigby performed by Book T and the MG's (from 'Soul Limbo' LP released September 1968. Stax label) - " 'At last', I hear you sigh, 'a decent cover of a Beatles goodie'. And not only that, perhaps one of Booker and the guy's better LP's to boot! This was the group's seventh album and the first to be issued on the Stax label following the purchase of their partner label Atlantic by Warners. The Stax/Atlantic deal had stipulated that Stax would supply finished masters of their recordings to Atlantic who would manufacture, distribute and market the record. The downside became apparent when Warners purchased Atlantic and Stax found that, under their partnership deal, Atlantic owned the Stax masters. At a stroke they lost all the recordings by their most popular artists of the previous seven years and a further, more serious blow was delivered when, just months after their separation, the labels biggest selling act, Otis Redding, died in an air crash alongside several members of the Mar-Keys, the labels house band. As part of the Mar-keys conglomerate, Booker T and the MG's (short for Memphis Group by the way) backed virtually every Atlantic and Stax artist during their heyday years between 1962 and 1968, a list that includes Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Bill Withers, Sam & Dave, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Johnnie Taylor and Albert King. Indeed, it was King's request to Stax staff composer William Bell to come up with a single to follow his r&b charter 'Crosscut saw'. Bell had been toying with an idea for his own single based on astrology and he developed this idea with Booker T who came up with the 'non standard', in blues terms, musical arrangement. The success of Kings single saw the MG's place their stunning version on the Soul Limbo' album alongside a superb version of Hendrix's 'Foxy Lady', the ever popular title track (perhaps overly familiar thanks to its use as the theme to BBC's cricket coverage), the excellent 'Hang 'em high' and 'Over easy' plus the almost cocktail jazz of 'Willow weep for me'. Their 'wah wah' laden cover of 'Eleanor Rigby', which also features some excellent guitar soloing from Steve Cropper can be seen as a direct predecessor to 1970's 'McLemore Avenue' album which aped the Beatles 'Abbey Road' right down to the album cover shot. Booker considered 'Abbey Road' the perfect album statement and, at short notice, called the band together to record their version of the complete album, but with the track order rearranged to better suit the MG's style. The result saw them achieve just their second chart album in the UK, following their 1962 debut 'Green Onions' number 11 with the rather lowly number seventy. Booker's love of the Beatles was reciprocal as Lennon was an avid fan of the group who he called "Book a Table and the Maitre d's" and, in tribute to them, and possibly as a response to the 'McLenore Avenue' album, he recorded the 'Beef Jerky' track as "Dr. Winston and Booker Table and the Maitre d's" for the 'Walls and Bridges' album. It should also be noted that the Beatles had originally announced that their 1966 sessions for what would become the 'Revolver' album would take place at the Stax studios but this was swiftly cancelled when the studio was immediately inundated with Beatle fans and there were similar scenes when it was disclosed that the nearby Atlantic studios and Detroit's Motown Hitsville were mooted."
Alan's Musical Funnies -
"Jubilee of Queen...?"
"....oh..., sorry, it's the Queen."
"A bit last-minute this week, and a bit short of inspiration, so I'm starting with two songs from the '70s of which I've heard snippets on TV this week. I can't remember whether they were in adverts or trailers for programmes, and the first may surprise some of you since I think you're aware that I'm not exactly the world's biggest Bowie fan."
"My third choice was inspired by the fact that the mystery word on "Wordle" a week or so ago was "bayou." Since then, my lovely wife hasn't been able to get Hank's "Jambalaya" out of her head. By coincidence it is one of the covers on Delbert McClinton's new album, so we'll have that version."
"Best wishes to all RPMers ."
"Hi Everyone, hope you're all keeping fit and well. I've cheated a bit with my first choice as it wasn't a track I'd listened to in the past seven days but one from an album I had listened to the week before. My other two tracks are definitely from the past seven days..."
You Will Become by Glen Hansard - "Many of you may know Glen Hansard as Outspan from 'The Commitments' or the busker from the film 'Once'. This track is from his first solo album 'Rhythm and Repose'. I was particularly impressed with the LP sleeve image which is a portrait of Glen Hansard by the artist Colin Davidson. Subsequently, I did a bit of research to find out more about this artist and I discovered this: http://www.colindavidson.com/silent-testimony-2015/ By clicking on the individual 'thumb-nail' images, the stories of each of the eighteen people portrayed will be revealed. All are connected by their individual experiences of loss throughout 'The Troubles' in Northern Ireland - very moving."
Butcher Boy by Doll By Doll - "The chief songwriter of Doll By Doll was Jackie Leven who, as a solo artist, I have previously featured as one of my RPM choices. This is from Doll By Doll's debut LP 'Remember', released in 1979."
Axe Victim by Be Bop Deluxe - "Another LP with superb cover art. This is the title track from their first album, released in 1974."
"Hi RPMers, here’s my 3 this week..."
"Best wishes to all as ever, coming to the end of my 9 days dog sitting (phew)...had these ready and almost forgot to send them!"
Harvest Moon by Neil Young - "Not the song I heard on the radio recently but it caused me to choose something by him for this week. This is what I settled on."
Frozen Love by Buckingham Nicks - "No surprise that Fleetwood Mac wanted Linsey Buckingham to join them when they needed a new lead guitarist based on his work on this song and thank goodness that he insisted Stevie Nicks had to be part of the deal."
Kelly by Del Shannon - Here's a decent 'B' side from Del Shannon's "Two Kinds of Teardrops" single. I had several of Del's singles in my meagre collection of records at the beginning of the 60's (six shillings and eight pence was a LOT of money back then and getting two good songs on a single eased the financial pain).
"Here's three from albums listened to this week..."
Blackberry Girl by The Waterboys - "A new clutch of Mike Scott's idiosyncratic songs is just out in the form of All Souls Hill, the new Waterboys album. This is the one that immediately caught my ear...and to be honest, it's the only one that caught my ear, as the rest of this album just comes across as Mike amusing himself; too many songs that are too much about himself...oh, and one ridiculous "political" anti-Trump song which lacks imagination and immediately has a very limited shelf life. Oh dear. Anyway, as the whole point of the 7DS is to let others hear what you've listened to during the week, I'm putting this track into the selection....although I doubt you will hear me choose anything else from this latest offering.
R30 Overture by Rush - "Oh yeah...some proper, excellently executed and imaginative music...Found a copy of the Rush R30 live album in the car and popped it into the CD player. Being an overture, this was obviously the first track to come on, and I can remember how amazing this piece of music was when I saw them on that 2004 tour at Birmingham NEC (or whatever it's called now); as they were performing it, you were wondering what classic Rush riff they'd segue into next, and how long it would last. The Overture, in fact, incorporates six early Rush songs, one from each of the first six studio albums, into a complete instrumental piece. Just so you know, the song excerpts in order of appearance are Finding My Way (Rush), Anthem (Fly by Night), Bastille Day (Caress of Steel), A Passage to Bangkok (2112), Cygnus X-1 Prologue (A Farewell to Kings) and Hemispheres Prelude (Hemispheres)."
The Day After The Night Before by Magnum - "Still playing The Monster Roars, the most recent Magnum opus (boom boom🙃🤘), and although I'd still say it's not a classic as in the same league as Storyteller's Night, Chase The Dragon or the more recent Lost On The Road To Eternity, it is certainly a "grower"...as evidenced here with this track which crept up and lodged itself in my brain.
I still think it's a terrible album cover, though....""
'Til Next Time....