Week 20 Playlist

Welcome to week 20 of the Isolation Room Listening Booth, songs as chosen by RPM club members week ending Friday 7th August. Yet more music from the virtual box of virtual 7” singles and I’m sensing there’s a bit of subversion and pushing boundaries going on……over to…..

Morra -

The Stranglers - Straighten Out

Adam and the Ants - The Day I Met God

Iggy Pop - Neighbourhood Threat

Piers –

“Hi All…….This week Jayne and I have been clearing out our shed! 30 year old roof racks, spare beetle bumpers, wire wool, Hammerite, Nitromorse and TCut, paint rollers and trays, the starter handle from my old Morris 1000 woody, emulsion, gloss, and vinyl silk, (all set solid), only undercoat was still liquid, so that was the one I dropped, (the only spillage)! Galvanised baths and bent buckets, sieves, 2 rusty hoes with broken handles, at least 3 flymos, oh I don’t need to spell it out, but, all patinated with cob webs and plaster dust! So some classic summer shed clearing music ensues….

This week I might have played some Billy Bennington, Ali Farka Toure, Aldus Rodger and the Lafayette Playboys, The Trio Bulgarka or even Tony Joe White. But…..”

Ja Funmi (Fight For Me) by King Sunny Ade - “Summer isn’t really summer without some King Sunny Ade! There was such sheer excitement and exuberant joy to be experienced when King Sunny Ade fronted his Big Band. 30+ musical giants, dressed in immaculate, electric pastel suits, dancing and swaying with the sparkling chorus singers. Each section of the band arranged by suit colour. A rainbow picked out by spotlights in an otherwise pitch-black night full of dancers. By the end of that night I was physically and emotionally exhausted and all but in tears…. Sorry folks you had to be there!”

Doing The Cowboy Mambo by Barrence Whitfield and Tom Russell – “That song polluted my mind… these days I can’t hear King Sunny Ade’s name without thinking of the opening line form Cowboy Mambo, “When King Sunny Ade First Came to New York, Politically Correct Man poked him with a fork…”

Twist With The Morning Stars by S E Rogie – “Someone else who gets a mention on that track is another of my favourites… I had had the Album ‘Palm Wine Music’ for over 20 years, and when S E Rogie toured in the 1980s I took it with me to get his signature…..What a nice man!”

Bonus Track:

Improvisation by Rouzbeh Motia & Reza Samani – “As I implied above, this week, my selections were incredibly hard to make, and ‘That Alan’ always sneaks in a little extra (hhmmm….Tim) so I thought I might follow suit, and this Is rather lovely….. I have to admit that, being a bit dim, for a very long time, (in fact many years - I really don’t catch on too quickly), I thought that Santoor & Tombak were a musical duo… It turns out that they are Iranian instruments which are often played together.”

Tony –

“Here's my 3 for this week. Best wishes to all RPMers”

Dirty Work by Steely Dan – “This song is not very 'Steely Dan' as it's taken from the band's debut album "Can't Buy A Thrill" made in 1972 and is sung by David Palmer.

Palmer was brought in by the label's executives who were worried that Fagan (who suffered from stage fright early on) didn't have a strong enough voice to appeal. This seems very strange in retrospect when you remember that the album included "Do it Again" and "Reeling In The Years" - both Steely Dan Classics. The song was a minor hit but Palmer's time with the band was short-lived and he left in 1973. I was fortunate to be able to see the band at the Hammersmith Apollo even though it was a standing only ticket and it was a steaming hot night, especially at the back in the circle. They had one of the best group of backing singers I've ever seen. They remain one of my favourite bands. At the start of the accompanying video (around 0.20) there's a long-haired female playing guitar who I would swear was Tina Weymouth of Talking Heads but she was never associated with Steely Dan - anybody else think it's her?”

Bitter Creek by The Eagles - “A fine song from the band's second album "Desperado" released in 1973 which was themed on the old west. This track was written by Bernie Leadon who sang lead vocals.”

Coming Up For Air by Davy Knowles and Back Door Slam – “Davy Knowles hails from the Isle of Man and this is the title track from his 2009 follow-up to his debut on an album by 'Back Door Slam'. I was impressed enough to buy a ticket to see the band at the 100 Club in London and wasn't disappointed.”

Dave –

“Here’s my cheeky 4 🤪, RPMers. Hope you are all well. I look forward to continuing my music education in music Genres. I enjoy your song introductions even though I don’t give any. I have always loved music and doing the play list every week gives me a chance to look back on my collection and rediscover artists I might have forgotten about. Here’s my picks……..”

Pattern Recognition by Sonic Youth -

Bugs by Bobby Gentry -

The Letter by The Box Tops -

The Private Psychedelic Reel by The Chemical Brothers -

Jayne –

“Greetings again to the RPM collective. Thank you for submitting (and writing) such interesting stuff. My choices this week continue my theme from last week….”

Shalder by Erland Cooper – “……an Orkney composer and performer (shalder = oystercatcher).”

Hela’r Dryw (Hunting the Wren) by Fernhill -

Flight of the Pelican by Lal Waterson and Oliver Knight -

Philip –

“Greetings and best wishes to all. Last week I chose 3 songs from albums released in the first quarter of 2020, so this week it's on to the second quarter.

Steve Earle would have been a contender and something from Dylan's superb new record would have been a dead cert, but Tim got there before me in both cases, so I'll choose something else………….” (would be interesting to hear what caught your ear, though, Philip…….Tim)

(I'm Gonna Get Over This) Some Day by Logan Ledger – “…….from his debut album produced by T Bone Burnett. This particular number is written by T Bone... but he could not have sung it like this guy.”

Overseas by Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit – “A "Live" version of a song included on the "Reunions" album, written for his wife Amanda Shires while she was out on tour. Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Steve Earle, Jason Isbell. His name is not out of place in that list.”

Wildflowers by Rose City Band – “………from an album entitled "Summerlong," on which more critical superlatives have been expended than just about anything else I can remember in a very long time. Rose City Band is actually Ripley Johnson and a guest drummer, and I think I can safely say that fans of West Coast psychedelia (Mr. Johnson is from Portland) will love it.”

John –

“Here's what I've been listening to in week 20....”

Everyone Else by London Grammar - “In years to come, will we speak of London Grammar with the same reverence that we bestow upon The Cocteau Twins and Mazzy Star? I hope so.... they deserve it.”

Buffalo Soldier by Bob Marley & The Wailers - “So much to learn, so little time.... You may find this interesting... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_Soldier . I would also recommend the novel 'Mudbound' by Hillary Jordan.

Captain Cellophane/Sidewalk Ship by A Band Called 'O' - “A band from Jersey. Saw them a couple of times around 1975; once at the Marquee Club in Wardour Street and once at another London venue, the name of which escapes me (south of the river, out towards Beckenham...only a few thousand to choose from). This is from their debut album.”

Aiden -

Out Of Time by Blur -

Ya Mama by Fatboy Slim -

Soul Suckin Jerk by Beck -

Alan –

“It's back to the 'bee's' this week, thanks in no small part to a proverbial jab in the ribs via Jean's selection of the ultra-groovy 'Mashy' by the Routers (every football fan will be familiar with the top side, 'Let's Go (Pony)', whether they're aware of it or not!) . Here's three of my favourite singles bees from that era…….”

Wail by Royaltones (b-side to 'Poor Boy' 7" single. London label 1958) – “Early Frat or garage rock.... the choice is yours!! Here's the b-side to their lone top 20 hit, although they managed a smaller hit (a lowly 82 with 'Flamingo Express') in 1961. Formed in Dearborn, Detroit in 1957 as The Paragons, the band featured George Katsakis on tenor saxophone, Karl Kay on guitar, and two brothers, Mike Popoff on piano and Greg Popoff on drums. As a band, they quickly fell out of favour in the early sixties as hard rockin' instrumentals became passé. However, when Del Shannon became embroiled in disputes with both his management and label, he returned to the studio to record some of his better blues and country material backed by a later line up of the band (with Bob Seeger also sitting in on the sessions). The 1964 singles 'Handy Man', 'Do you wanna dance', 'Keep searchin'' and others featured the band and saw Del return to regular touring and the charts. Perhaps because of the Royaltones influence, Del then began to show a decided 'garage rock' influence with 'Break up' and 'Move it on over' but when these singles stiffed, he returned to a more commercial sound with a cover of 'The Big Hurt'. By this time the Royaltones had split up and, to all intents and purposes the story ends there... except hip NYC label Norton Records coupled up all their late 50's/early 60'srecordings and issued a joint CD also featuring the Ramrods.”

Peppermint Twist Part 2 by Joey Dee and the Starliters (b-side to 'Peppermint Twist Part 1'. Columbia label, released late 1961) – “It's mid-1961, the Twist is not only the most popular dance with teenagers but, thanks to the apparent ease with which the dance could be performed, the 'elite' of society want to 'get down durdy' in NYC's hip clubs (or as The New York Times put it at the time “Instead of youth growing up, adults are sliding down.”). Nowhere was hipper than the Peppermint Lounge where the band (JD and his outfit) would lay down the required beat and, on most nights, Joey would leave the stage to personally give Twist lessons to such as Jackie Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Liberace, Audrey Hepburn and the ever elusive, enigmatic Greta Garbo. Jackie K even arranged a 'temporary' Peppermint Lounge at the White House on several occasions!! Just 178 people could crowd into the bar and, such was its reputation that a film purporting to be Dee's life story was made (Hey! Let's Twist). Sam Cooke referred to the club in 'Twisting the night away', the Beatles were filmed there during their debut 1964 US tour (with the Ronettes 'attaching' themselves to Ringo) and regular gigs featured the Beach Boys, the Crystals, Ronettes, Isley Brothers among other famous names and even Madonna made her professional debut there!!! Strangely, photos of the Beatles leaving the club show a poster in the doorway advertising their visit but mis-spelling them as the Beetles!! The regular Starliters were David Brigati (brother of Eddie Brigati, singer with the Young Rascals), Carlton Lattimore on organ, Billy Butler on guitar, Jerome Richardson on sax, and Don Martin on drums. The line-up changed over the years and, at one time included Jimi Hendrix before its most famous line up which featured almost the entire personnel of the soon-to-be Young Rascals. It's also reputed to be the club where 'go-go dancing' was first performed and, if so, it's the clubs own 'Peppermint Twisters' Janet, Dottie, Misty and Lois who must take the credit. Playboy founder Hugh Hefner was so impressed with the 'Twisters outfits that he used them as the model for his soon-come Playgirl bunny costumes. 'Peppermint Twist' was initially over 4 minutes long and the record company took the decision to release it as a 'two-sider' (the better known 'a' side being primarily vocal) and were rewarded with a number one US single for three weeks in January 1962. The single also charted in the UK, hitting a peak of number 33 during its eight-week residency. The wilder b-side has always been my favourite however but, sadly, this side very rarely gets an outing so, if you've never heard it before..... start rotating those feet and hips, swing those arms and enjoy!!!”

Bonus Track – “……just to help you Twist (courtesy initially of Vaseline Hair Tonic and, later, John a couple of years ago, but unfortunately without the instruction book!!)”

2000lb Bee Part 2 by The Ventures (b-side Liberty label single, late 1962) – “So many stories about this single..... reputedly the first ever use of a fuzz pedal with Jimmy Page requesting a pedal be made as soon as he heard this back in '64 and, weirdly, a pact was made between John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd that whoever died first would have this track played at their funeral! In addition to that, the Ventures were one of the first rock bands to record with a twelve-string guitar, they pioneered the use of 'reverse tracking' two years before the Beatles 'Revolver' album and were also among the first to use 'flanging' and 'voice box' effects in rock music. They also recorded rock's first concept album (with 'Colorful Ventures' in 1961) and recorded four 'instructional' albums 'Play guitar... bass.... etc with the Ventures', of which the guitar and bass releases both hit the US top one hundred!! 'The Ventures are/were legends in Japan with total worldwide album sales exceeding 110 million. Their US chart history consists of 38 albums and 14 singles including five in the 1963 charts at the same time. There were, however, just a paltry two UK top ten singles and a further two top fifty. However, ground-breaking this single may be, it only achieved a lowly number 91 in February 1963's Billboard chart and never featured at all in the UK. Again, in common with 'Wail', this record could be seen as an influence on the mid-sixties US 'garage rock' bands thanks to its wild guitar work, something the Shadows Hank Marvin only ever achieved with the 'Man of mystery' single. Those wanting even wilder guitars should seek out the excellent 'Strummin' mental' albums released a few years ago........ totally wild!!! Here's both parts of the single for added pleasure.”

Nina –

“Hope all's well. Here's my 3+ selections; dance-y, party vibe as my sister & niece are coming to visit for a few days. Haven't felt much like dancing lately, even more reason to dance - fake it till you make it and swing your party pants people! Take care, wear masks, wash hands & stay safe folks…………..”

One More Time by Daft Punk -

Zombie by Fela Kuti – “Gotta love a funky anti-government song.”

Can't Wait for the Weekend to Begin (Charlie Darker Remix) by Michael Gray -

Bonus Track: “Taking a leaf out of Alan's book 😉, here's a bonus track to keep the groove going…………..”

In Degrees (Purple Disco Machine Remix) by Foals – “Good lyrics - "No more wasting my time, how can I persevere"….”

Jean –

“This week I’ve listened to artists that I haven’t played for RPM before – so quite a mixed bag….”

Carnival Begin by Lindsay Buckingham and Christine McVie from their 2017 Album -

“They split the writing between them for this get-together but as Lindsay always seems so aggressive I prefer the tracks by Chrissie more. This is one of them. Mick Fleetwood and John McVie are very noticeable in the music too. It amazes me that, after all the trials and tribulations and relationships of Fleetwood Mac, the members forget the past and still get together for the sake of the Music.”

Over You by Will Young from ‘From Now On’ Album 2002 - “Part written by Will this track has a Latin rhythm and easy, bluesy feel. This was his debut album after winning (Pop Idol). He has 2 Brit Awards and won an Olivier Award for his portrayal of the M.C. in the original stage play of Cabaret. I saw this in London and he really did a great job. He has acted on screen, stage and television while still recording and doing tours. He leads a quieter life now, and, as well as writing his biography has written books on Philanthropy too.”

Us by Celine Dion from ‘Let’s Talk about Love’ Album 1997 - “A typical powerful ballad for Celine. She is the best selling Canadian artist with over 200 million record sales. When she sung for Switzerland in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1988 she didn’t speak English (She had grown up in French-speaking Quebec). She quickly learnt so she could make her debut recording with Epic records in 1990. She had an enormous hit with ‘My heart will go on’ from the film ‘Titanic’ and has gone on to incredible success with her series of shows in Las Vegas.”

Tim –

“Three toons from the past week encompassing the worlds of space rock and the mandolin; what else, of course…….intrigued? Then keep going……..”

Smeceno Horo performed by Planxty – “…..sheer brilliance…….Andy Irvine on mandolin, Donal Lunny on blarge (big bouzouki)…..Liam O’Flynn on Uillean Pipes, Christy Moore on guitar and bodhran, Matt Molloy on flute; simply the masters. I’ve been digging out some older folk/Irish albums this week looking to refresh my memory of tunes I used to play on mandola plus looking for some new tunes to learn and add to the list. Planxty are always a first port of call to get inspired and side-tracked by…..9/16 time?.....you gotta be kidding!”

The Beauty Spot / Sporting Nell performed by Luke Plumb – “You may know Luke Plumb as the mandolinist from Shooglenifty……however, he released a gem of an album in 2008 of solo mando with low key percussion accompaniment entitled A Splendid Notion. It’s a recording I keep going back to as it’s all about quality through simplicity, both in the playing and arrangement of the tunes and in the recording and production of the album. Amazingly I couldn’t find A Splendid Notion anywhere on You Tube. So, here’s Luke playing a couple of the tunes live.”

Silver Machine by Hawkwind - “Hold on…it’s not the 7” single version you’ve heard zillions of times before……this is from (get this for a title) Vibrations from the Cosmic Brainstorm; Hawkwind live at the BBC 1972, a limited (prob bootleg?) first-time-on-vinyl release of tracks recorded by the band at the Paris Theatre for a live concert broadcast, and also at the Maida Vale Studio for a Johnny Walker Radio 1 Session. This double LP has had a lot of play-time on the turntable this week. News of its existence came from Brian Tawn who has run a HW newsletter for like forever…..tracked down a sensibly priced copy online in Germany…..and it’s a very nice package, too; white splatter vinyl and super cover art. Have chosen the Johnny Walker recording of Silver Machine because it’s a pretty good live rendition and it’s the shortest track on the album (!), but also for the “pop DJ” voiceover at the end of the track which contrasts brilliantly with the chaos which has gone before.”

OH….and here’s my 10 Hawkwind bonus tracks……only joking………this time.