So today I fell through a wormhole and was asked by the Fabulous FAB (“Thunderbirds Are Go”, but no Bomb The Bass here) to open up my music player, let 10 random songs play and then blog about them. Well I’d been having some problems with my MP3 player and had to reinstall the software before doing this (and wipe everything off it first) and I kinda cheated by only putting ten songs on before doing this, I’ll get more on now…. But here are my 10 “random” songs:
1. “Morning Way” by Trader Horne – acid folk at its very best, the title track of the duo’s only album – and what a combination: sometime Fairport Convention member Judy Dyble and Jackie McAuley ex-guitarist with Them and Belfast Gypsies (dig all that stuff Kim Fowley produced for the Gypsies, but especially “People Let’s Freak Out”). Well Trader Horne couldn’t last but this is just fabulous, those vocal harmonies have me in ecstasy, and if you tell me this is fey I’ll kick you….
2. “Quiet Days In Clichy II” by Country Joe McDonald. Yeah, the title track to the legendary Jens Jorgen Thorsen screen adaptation of the Henry Miller book. The film is one of the finest examples of Situationist detournement ever (Thorsen was a member of the 2nd Situationist International) and one of my favourite movies of all time. Country Joe is good, nice little tune over which he sings filth.”
3. “Purified By The Fire” by Henry Flynt. Personally I can’t get enough of radical avant-garde hillbilly music and Flynt does us proud on that front. He knew all the names in the New York scene of the sixties, being close to La Monte Young, Tony Conrad, Jack Smith and others, but went his own way as a result of his interesting critique of art andserious culture. He also stood in for John Cale at some Velvet Underground performances when the Welshman was sick. There is an interview with Flynt up on my website at - http://www.stewarthomesociety.org/interviews/flynt.htm – but this is about activities other than his music. But check the music, it is great!
4. “Get Your Tits Out” by Heavy Metal Outlaws. On this MillwallRoi Pearce formerly ‘singer’ with failed early eighties British skinhead band The Last Resort tried to make a nineties come back by crossing heavy metal with rap – and it doesn’t hold up against real talent like Run DMC, but it is funny. One of the worst records ever made: “Ever since I was eight years old I was a fan of the centre-fold, girl’s good looking andshe’s got class, I stick my cock right up her arse, my mate’s doing time or so I heard, so I’m going round there to shag his bird, bend me break anyway you take me all you gotta do is masturbate me, come on the heat I’m a sex machine, I’m really going down like a submarine, tits out for the boys, get your tits out for the boys… fuck you, fuck you, fuck you…”
5. “Why Don’t You Smile Now” by The Downliners Sect. This is from the third album “The Rock Sect’s In” by this legendary sixties British freakbeat band. For this platter they bought in a few songs from Tin Pan Alley tunesmiths, this one being knocked out by Lou Reed and John Cale; and it’s actually what the Velvet Underground would have sounded like if they’d been good. The Sect were also the first to do another Tin Pan Alley song “Hang On Sloopy”, but they decided it wasn’t strong enough to release as a single – so it was The McCoys who had the international smash with it despite recording and putting it out after the Sect had got there first….
6. “So Greedy” (remix) by 999. What a difference a producer makes! This is produced by Vic Maile and as an indie release actually sounds a lot better than anything Nick Cash andco. did when they were on the major UA label. For comparison purposes check out the difference in the three singles punk band Satan’s Rats put out, with the Maile produced “You Make Me Sick” standing head and shoulders above the other two. I saw 999 at least a dozen times in London in the late-seventies, just coz all the punks went to see them, and they were never that great. But the “Concrete” album this appeared on in the original mix has some other great tunes (and some not so good ones), but their version of “Fortune Teller” is a gas.
7. “N-E-R-V-O-U-S” by Trash. Another A1 production job, this time by legendary American maverick Shel Talmy, the man behind the early Kinks and Who sound. This is just fabulous, I bought this and the first Trash single “Priorities” when they came out, after seeing the band (who I recall as being from Reading) playing on a multi-bill event at some London suburban university. Power pop doesn’t get any better than this! There were a lot of great British pop records that came out in the late-seventies and didn’t make the charts, and I particularly love this one.
8. “You’ll Always Be In Style” by Sidney Barnes. A non-hit from the Red Bird label, and a classic example of stomping sixties soul. “Everybody do the jerk and the monkey too, but by this time next year there’ll be something new… you know the clothes we’re wearing are changing every day, what was new in December will be out by May…. but I wanna tell you sweet honey child, you’ll always be in style…” This was one of the Divine birthday CDs… and I’ve been playing it a lot ever since getting it as a gift from Andrew Divine….
9. “Street Tuff” by Rebel MC. I loved this from the first moment I heard it. Yeah it might be a pop record but the MC knows exactly what he’s doing and went on to respect on the Jungle scene, not a trick easily achieved by someone who has had a massive pop hit. Back when I was leaving school in 1978 we used to talk about liking EFM (standing for extra fast music) and this is really fast, and wonderful mix of reggae, hip hop and rapping… Great tune too. Grooves don’t come any better than this! Can’t believe it’s already about twenty years old!
10. “Memphis Underground” by S.O.U.L. Yeah, the Herbie Mann original is great, but so is this, and unfortunately I don’t have a copy of the Roy Ayres version of the tune (anyone wanna get me an MP3 of that?). This is also the title of a novel I had out a couple of years ago. It comes from the band’s first album “What It Is”, and what a platter! Check the cover of “The Ghetto” which is every bit as good as the original, and the same goes for “Express Yourself” or “Message From A Black Man”. And what about tracks like “Burning Spear”? This is just one track from an absolutely crucial rare groove album. This tune is great but you need the whole platter.
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – http://www.stewarthomesociety.org/ – you know it makes (no) sense!