Week 11 - Fri 17th Mar
Welcome to the RPM Record Club Seven Day Soundtrack, weekending Friday 17th March...happy St Pat's day, and mine's a Guinness. So while that's settling, (you can't rush these things), over to....
"Hi RPMers, hope you are well. Enjoying your tunes; here’s my 3..." . .
Minimum Brain Size by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard -
"RPM consistently delivers a great soundtrack for the week so thank you everyone, especially Tim. Here are my choices for this week as we cross the Spring Equinox and head towards those lighter evenings."
I’d Rather Be Tending My Sheep by The Furrow Collective -
"Hi Everyone, great selection of tunes last week... Here are my three tracks from LPs I've listened to this week."
Vagabond Ways by Marianne Faithful - "Title track from the LP 'Vagabond Ways' which was released in 1999. It's a bit melancholy but has some very well observed slices of life among the grooves. Chronologically, it's in the middle of ten albums Marianne Faithful released between 'Broken English'(1979) and 'Give My Love To London' (2014). The contrasting contents of those albums illustrates what a mercurial life Marianne Faithful led.... and this is before we consider the half-dozen LPs she released in the Sixties which were of a more folky and whimsical nature! Another time perhaps...."
Bermejo And The Devil by St. Paul & The Broken Bones - "I've praised this band before on a couple of occasions via RPM. Initially, this was in response to a stunning performance at last year's Cambridge Folk Festival. Just prior to playing this LP, I was checking out the Line-Up for this year's Cambridge Folk Festival with a view to booking my ticket.... very disappointing. Needless to say, I haven't yet booked my ticket. On the other hand, Folk In A Field looks a far more exciting proposition (already got my ticket) so I'll see a few fellow RPMers there as usual!"
The Ghost In You by The Psychedelic Furs - "From their 'Mirror Moves' album (1984) which, for them, was a bit on the 'mellow' side. Nevertheless, every track is a gem."
"It was excellent to see all Mr. Lineker's presenting and punditry pals coming out in support of his right to speak his mind... not on air mind you, but in a tweet for crying out loud! And he's not even involved in presenting news or analysis of current affairs! The public support was pretty strong too, so could it be that the great British public trusts the BBC more than they trust the Conservative Party?
Still, it gave the permanently outraged raving righties (if you can have "loony lefties"...) a chance to attack the Corporation again.
What is the real threat to BBC impartiality though? How about Tory cronies in the positions of Chairman and D.G.? Funny how all these self-proclaimed "culture warriors" who complain of "wokeness" and "cancel culture" are so quick to try to cancel anyone of prominence who disagrees with them. Perhaps some of them could try governing.
This week I have been listening to Marty Stuart in anticipation of his new album due next month, and to a new British folk group (new to me anyway)."
High On A Mountaintop performed by Marty Stuart - "...from his 1992 album "This One's Gonna Hurt You.""
Way Out West by Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives - "The title track from their 2017 album."
Daring Highwayman by Hack-Poets Guild - "Their album is terrific, with fascinating lyrics throughout, many of them taken from broadsides in the Bodleian Library. There's one track which features electronically altered vocals, which I could do without, but apart from that I highly recommend the record."
"Best wishes everyone."
"Hi to you and all my RPM track-pickers once again - hope you are all well and enjoying the bracing temperatures!
I'd like to add a small tribute to those that others have already made to David Lindley to mark his passing even though he was never at the forefront of my mind throughout his career he was, when I read the tributes to him, often there entertaining me. I fondly remember playing "Running On Empty" (and, incidentally, "Frampton Comes Alive") to death when it came out even though I've never particularly been a fan of live albums and Lindley must have had a big hand in making it such an enjoyable piece of work. The newspaper "I" runs a daily slot called "Life In Brief" and he was featured in today's paper which reminded me of the Jackson Browne link. It mentions that Acoustic Guitar magazine once referred to him not as a a multi-instrumentalist but a maxi-instrumentalist."
Running On Empty by Jackson Browne - "This clip has a great photo montage..."
The Load Out/Stay by Jackson Browne - "These tracks encapsulate the theme behind the album of life on the road and Stay features David Lindley on backing vocals. The segue to "Stay" starts around 5.25."
"This week’s theme is Good Friends/ Good Music and Good Wine. That’s all I need to make my life enjoyable. Enjoy the week ahead everyone. Cheers."
"And continuing the Tamla theme of the last couple of weeks, here's some very early tracks from the days just after Berry Gordy would lease out his recordings to other labels until he actually formed Tamla. Initial releases were on the End label and United Artists but, in June 1958 and courtesy of an $8000 loan arranged by his family, Berry formed the Tamla label. Originally the label was to be called Tammy , after the then popular Debbie Reynolds hit single, but a label was already registered under that name. Berry came up with Tamla and, in January 1959, 'Come to me' by Marv Johnson became the label's first release. Now, all these early tracks attract considerable amounts of moola but, thankfully, the Not Now Music label released a triple CD set cunningly entitled 'Super 60's Soul' which, for those who read the small print, proved to be a veritable goldmine of early Tamla tracks, many of which went unreleased in the UK. Unusually for me, therefore, this week's selection not only doesn't come from my vinyl collection.... all three tracks are taken from this excellent, recommended collection which can be picked up on Discogs for a paltry £3.00!!! Now that's what I call a bargain..."
Saundra Mallett and the Vandella's- 'The Camel Walk' (initial US release 1962)
"Before 'Martha and....', here's the super soulful Saundra on her lone 'solo' release. In common with several other Tamla girls (and groups) Saundra then spent the next two years kicking her heels (doin' the Camel Walk perhaps?) before she was incorporated into the then hitless Downbeats who were then renamed the Elgins and, of course, they went on to become one of Tamla's best loved groups until they split in 1967. When the Elgins belatedy broke through in the UK in the early seventies Saundra was offered the lead vocalist position for their UK tour but she decided to remain in retirement. There were a few minor label releases over the next 25 years before Saundra passed away in 2002."
Chico Leverett- 'Solid Sender' (initial US release April 1959)
"Taking a sabbatical from the day job (Charles/Chico was the lead vocalist for the Tamla vocal group The Satintones) here's Chico's debut single which he wrote following a 'dare' to write a secular song by his minister uncle. Leverett answered an ad in a music trade paper, placed by Berry Gordy, for 'singers, composers and players' and became one of the label's original artists. Chico is backed by the Satintones bass man Robert Bateman on this slice of earthy r&b/doowop but his time at Tamla as a recording artist was short lived when he moved into the songwriting arena of the label in 1960. One interesting point is that, when Gordy was looking for a name for a new offshoot label, Leverett suggested the name of an early Satintones single.... 'Motor City'!!! "
'Singin' Sammy Ward- 'That child is really wild' (initial US release Spring 1960)
"Here's an early Gordy/Robinson co-comp, released as the b-side to the ballad 'Who's the fool' and both sides seem to not only be prime slabs of r&b but, with 'That child....', the feel and sound of mid sixties Tamla, say, Marvin Gaye or the Miracles, seems to be making an appearance. James T Woodley was renamed by Gordy's wife Ramona prior to making his Tamla debut on 'Lover', a duet with Sherri Taylor. 'Who's the fool' was not the original, or even second choice as the single's top side but, eventually, it broke into the Billboard charts and reached a credible number 23 and, in doing so, became Tamla's fourth hit single. After several more unsuccessful singles Ward, in common with some of the labels other 'earthy' r&b singers, left Tamla but, after just one single on the Groove City label, he retired from the music business until Ian Levine signed him to his Tamla 'rest home' UK label, Motorcity', but following several re-recordings of his earlier songs, he disappeared from sight once again. Levine, rather uncharitably, later said that "(Ward) was almost impossible to record, as he couldn't stick to any melody at all, and merely improvised in a bluesy voice..." . Me, I rather like that 'bluesy voice'!!"
"Interesting report on BBC Text this week which is good news to all RPMers I suspect:
"Vinyl record sales outperformed CDs in the US for the first time since 1987, according to a new report:
Just over 41 million vinyl records were sold in 2022, to the tune of $1.2bn (£.99bn). Only 33 million CDs were sold, amounting to $483m. It was the 16th consecutive year of growth for record sales, about 71% of physical format revenues.
Recorded music revenue in the US grew for the seventh consecutive year and reached a record high of $15.9bn. Overall, revenue for recorded music in 2022 increased by 6%, according to the report released by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), driven largely by streaming but also by physical music format sales.
The report found that revenue for physical music formats has steadily risen over the years, marked by a "remarkable resurgence" in 2021 after being muted by Covid-19 in 2020. Physical music revenues as a whole were up 4% last year, propelled by vinyl records which saw a 17% increase. Meanwhile, revenue from CDs fell 18%.
Physical copies of music continued to perform better than digital downloads, the report found, which saw yet another decline in revenue, dropping by 20% to $495m. It's a stark contrast from the peak popularity digital downloads once held, having made up 43% of recorded music revenues in 2012. Since then, downloads have plummeted - to just 3% last year.
Revenue from streaming, which includes "paid subscriptions, ad-supported services, digital and customized radio, social media platforms, digital fitness apps and others," grew 7% to a record high $13.3bn. It accounted for 84% of total revenues.
Last year's vinyl record sales demonstrate that vinyl is "cementing its role as a fixture of the modern music marketplace," RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier said in a post on Medium "Music lovers clearly can't get enough of the high-quality sound and tangible connection to artists vinyl delivers," Glazier said, "and labels have squarely met that demand with a steady stream of exclusives, special reissues, and beautifully crafted packages and discs." "
"Hola everyone. Hope you're all well. Enjoyed your choices very much last week.
2 tracks in Spanish, to mark the approaching end of my travels in Central America & 1 Irish choice for St Patrick's day. Slainte!"
"I've heard this twice in the past week in 2 different places."
"Here's my trio of tunes..."
'Til Next Time...