Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

The Faces

Currently I am reading Andy Neill’s biography of The Faces which also covers in some detail the pre Faces careers of the band taking in amongst others Small Faces, Jeff Beck Group, Steampacket, The Birds and many more it is a great read and can be bought HERE

Below is one of my favourite Faces performances.

The recorded version came via Rod Stewart’s solo album “Every Picture Tells A Story” which as everyone knows was more or less a Faces record anyway.

The song was of course originally recorded by The Temptations and was another step away from the group’s softer records recorded with Smokey Robinson as producer, a change that Norman Whitfield had begun with “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” earlier in the year.

“I’m Losing You” features a much more dramatic arrangement than most contemporary Motown songs: a rock-styled guitar riff (devised by Temptations road manager/band director Cornelius Grant), sharp horn blasts, and the Temptations’ doo-wop vocals paint the backdrop for one of David Ruffin’s trademark raspy lead vocals.

July 2, 2011 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Books, Cover Stories, R&B, Soul, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Blast From The Past – Gene Vincent

Vincent Eugene Craddock (February 11, 1935–October 12, 1971), better known as Gene Vincent, was an American musician who pioneered the styles of rock and roll and rockabilly. His 1956 top ten hit with his Blue Caps, “Be-Bop-A-Lula“, is considered a significant early example of rockabilly.

Gene Vincent’s 1970 self-titled album (shown above), later released in the UK the following year under the title “If Only You Could See Me Today” was the first of a pair of records released by Kama Sutra Records in 1970. Recorded at the legendary Sound Factory recording studio in Hollywood, CA just a year before his untimely death in 1971.

The album was undoubtably an attempt to cash in on the roots-rock surge of the late 60s and early 70s. Just as Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson, Link Wray, and the Everly Brothers were busy updating their images and fashioning new sounds for the changing times, so was Gene Vincent.

Fortunately, Gene and his band, which featured L.A session ace and Kaleidoscope co-founder Chris Darrow as well as not one, but three members of the infamous Sir Douglas Quintet (Harvey Kagan, Johnny Perez, and Tex-Mex Farfisa fanatic Augie Meyer), were able to deliver an excellent record that expands upon Gene’s classic sound while simultaneously creating a melting pot of numerous roots-rock styles; with touches of Cajun, Tex-Mex, Swamp Rock, Soul, R&B, Country, and Folk.

The first track, a cover of Mickey Newbury’s (also see earlier post on Mickey by clicking HERE) “Sunshine”, is quite possibly the finest version of the song that’s been recorded to date.

When Gene sings “Sunshine, you may find my window/But you won’t find me…Sunshine, as far as I’m concerned don’t be concerned with me,” his lazy laid-back delivery truly embodies the voice of the character in the song–a man who’s tired of struggling to keep out the darkness and has resigned himself to a life of depression and isolation. Almost entirely gone is the rollicking rockabilly style of his younger years, in its place is a laid back yet emotionally expressive vocal style.

“Sunshine” – Gene Vincent

Unjustly dismissed upon its initial release, mostly ignored by long-time fans and deemed a failed attempt at a comeback by much of the rock press of the era, perhaps the time is right for him to receive the credit due for what is not only an excellent time capsule of funky early 70s roots-rock sounds, but actually a really great album with an interesting and varied sound that could’ve and should’ve taken Gene’s career in a new direction had years of  hard livin’ not taken him away from us too soon.

While not extremely pricey, original vinyl copies of Gene Vincent can be a tad tricky to come by, however, Rev-Ola has issued a cd compilation entitled “A Million Shades of Blue” that consists of Gene Vincent as well as the Kama Sutra follow up Day the World Turned Blue.

Original source is from the great blog The Rising Storm

 

To buy the music of Gene Vincent click HERE

June 23, 2011 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Old Music, Rock and Roll | | Leave a comment

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

Haven’t had much reggae here recently so here is Marcia Griffiths and her version of one of Ewan MacColl’s greatest songs.

“The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face” – Marcia Griffiths

The song was written for Peggy Seeger who later became his wife and is cherished as a MacCall song devoid of politics.

The song entered the pop mainstream when it was released by Peter, Paul and Mary (Album: See What Tomorrow Brings, 1965), and was later recorded by Roberta Flack, in 1972. The Flack version was much slower than the original: an early solo recording by Seeger, for example, clocked in at two and a half minutes long, whereas Flack’s is more than twice that length.

MacColl reputedly hated almost all the recordings of the song, including Flack’s.

His daughter-in-law is quoted as saying:

“He hated all of them. He had a special section in his record collection for them, entitled ‘The Chamber of Horrors’. He said that the Elvis version was like Romeo at the bottom of the Post Office Tower singing up to Juliet. And the other versions, he thought, were travesties: bludgeoning, histrionic and lacking in grace.”

June 22, 2011 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Cover Stories, Folk, Old Music, R&B, Reggae, Soul, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Blast From The Past – Beat Surrender

 

 

Beat Surrender” was The Jam‘s final single released on 26 November 1982.

It became the band’s fourth #1 UK single for two weeks in December 1982. The 7″ was backed by the B-side “Shopping”.

A double 7″ ( as per sleeve above) and 12″ single version was available with additional studio cover versions of The Chi-Lites‘ “Stoned Out Of My Mind”, Curtis Mayfield‘s classic “Move On Up”, and Edwin Starr‘s “War”.

The song was a turning point for Paul Weller as he left behind his initial mod influences of The Who and Small Faces to adopt the more recognised influences of the modernists Soul and Jazz and as such hinted at the “style” to come with his  next band, The Style Council.

The decision for the Jam’s final single was between “Beat Surrender” and “A Solid Bond In Your Heart”, later a Style Council single in 1983. The Jam’s version of “A Solid Bond In Your Heart” was not released until 1992 on the Extras album, although Rick Buckler, the Jam’s drummer, claimed that the Style Council had pinched his original drum track recording.

“Beat Surrender” was previewed live on the first ever episode on The Tube, a live music show broadcast on Channel 4, on 5 November 1982.

The recording featured future Respond Records artist Tracie who featured in an earlier post click HERE

Come on boy, come on girl
Succumb to the beat surrender

All the things that I care about (are packed into one punch)
All the things that I’m not sure about (are sorted out at once)

And as it was in the beginning, so shall it be in the end
That bullshit is bullshit, it just goes by different names

All the things that I shout about (but never act upon)
All the courage and the dreams that I have
(but seem to wait so long)
My doubt is cast aside, watch phonies run to hide
The dignified don’t even enter in the game

And if you feel there’s no passion
No quality sensation
Seize the young determination
Show the fakers you ain’t foolin’
You’ll see me come runnin’
To the sound of your strummin’
Fill my heart with joy and gladness
I’ve lived too long in shadows of sadness

 

June 21, 2011 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Television, The Who, Video | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Father’s Day meets The Old Grey Whistle Test

With it being Father’s Day here in the UK on Sunday I set of this evening bleary eyed to Braehead to do a bit of relevant shopping.

It was only when I set foot in HMV that the concept of time passing hit me straight between the eyes.

It seems like only yesterday I was buying my Dad albums such as “100 Great Church Organ Tunes” or later Shirley Bassey “The Stripper” yet there in front on me on the HMV Father’s Day special display was “Dad’s Rock” 3CD set, “The Old Grey Whistle Test 40th Special Edition” and “New Wave For Dad”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In shock I settled for a book token from Waterstones and returned home and to cheer my self up I downloaded the aforesaid Old Grey Whistle Test CD, 60 tracks for under £10 many of them exclusive live recordings from the show.

So here is an Old Grey Whistle Test special.

From the album and for all cool Dad’s everywhere here is some live music from Tom Waits.

“Small Change” (Live In The Studio) – Tom Waits

To buy the CD click HERE

As a bonus and in celebration of Whispering Bob Harris’s recent OBE award here are some clips from the vaults.

…………….finally perhaps the most famous clip of all.

Coming soon the Old Grey Whistle Test through the ages.

June 17, 2011 Posted by | Blast from The Past, New Releases, Old Music, The Who, Video | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Peck Of The Week – Do You Wanna Dance

“Do You Wanna Dance?” – Bobby Freeman

To buy the music of Bobby Freeman click HERE

June 16, 2011 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Old Music, Peck Of The Week, Video | , | Leave a comment

Blast From The Past – An American Trilogy

Mickey Newbury is a songwriter most famous for a song he arranged, but did not write.

One night in Los Angeles, at a time of national distress over war and race issues in the U.S.A., Newbury spontaneously combined a southern anthem (written by a northerner, D.D. Emmett), a northern anthem (written by a southerner, William Steffe), and a third song that was originally a Jamaican slave song (All My Sorrows).

In the audience that night were many celebrities, Odetta, Kristofferson and Streisand among them. The trio of songs brought tears to Odetta’s eyes. It came to be called An American Trilogy, and would be adopted by Elvis Presley as the centerpiece of his later concerts.

This clip is an extra from LIVE AT THE HERMITAGE, the new Mickey Newbury DVD, and features Marie Rhines on violin. The clip is uploaded with the permission of the Newbury family, and the DVD is available in the cd store at www.mickeynewbury.com

The track formed part of his 1971 concept album “Frisco Mabel Joy”


The original Mickey Newbury version reached #26 in 1972, and #9 on Billboard’s Easy Listening chart. Later in 1972, Elvis Presley’s version reached #66, and peaked at #31 on the Easy Listening chart.

This is from a concert that was headlined by Elvis Presley, and broadcast live via satellite around the world on January 14, 1973. It was watched by over one billion viewers worldwide and remains the most watched broadcast by an individual entertainer in television history.

To buy the music of Mickey Newbury click HERE

June 14, 2011 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Video | , | Leave a comment

Peck Of The Week – Maria McKee

Here is a great live acoustic version of a Springsteen classic from Maria McKee (Lone Justice)

“Backstreets” (Live) – Maria McKee

McKee was a founding member of the cowpunk/country rock band, Lone Justice, in 1982, with whom she released two albums. Several compilations of both previously released and unreleased material and a BBC Live In Concert album have been released since their demise. Her band opened for such acts as U2.

When she was 19, she wrote Feargal Sharkey‘s 1985 UK number one hit “A Good Heart“, a song she has since recorded herself and released on her album Late December.

The song was originally written about her failed relationship with musician Benmont Tench. Sharkey would later go on to also cover “To Miss Someone” from her self-titled solo debut, on his third solo album “Songs From The Mardi Gras”.

In 1987 she was featured in the Robbie Robertson video “Somewhere Down the Crazy River”, and contributed back-up vocals to his debut solo album, which included the song.

She released her first solo, self-titled album in 1989. Her song “Show Me Heaven“, which appeared on the soundtrack to the film Days of Thunder, was a number one single in the United Kingdom for four weeks in 1990.

She refused to perform this song in public up until recently, when she sang it for the first time in eighteen years, at Dublin Gay Pride.

Following her debut, McKee has released five studio (and two live) albums. The later three, High Dive, Peddlin’ Dreams and Late December, were released independently via her own Viewfinder Records label (distributed in the UK via Cooking Vinyl).

 

To buy the music of Maria McKee click HERE and for Lone Justice click HERE

 

June 11, 2011 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Cover Stories, Old Music, Peck Of The Week, Video | , , , , | 1 Comment

Blast From The Past – The Who TV Advert

 

Sentimental post today as I bought the album as advertised above at Hall Audio in Dumbarton in 1977.

The young lady who served me and posed me the awkward question “do you want a glossy or matt sleeve? would 30 years later become my sister-in-law!

 

June 7, 2011 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Family, Fiona, Mrs D, Television, The Who, Video | | Leave a comment

Blues Monday – The Bishops

Too Much Too Soon
Till The End Of The Day
Taking It Easy
Train Train
Someone’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight
Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White
Don’t Start Me Talking
Baby You’re Wrong
I Don’t Like It
(I Want) Candy

Although amounting to little more than a footnote in the early days of English punk rock, the Count Bishops were a fine, energetic, R&B-based band capable of kicking out a fierce racket of noise that sounded like a grimier version of seminal British R&B revivalists Dr. Feelgood.

Originally fronted by journeyman American singer Mike Spencer, the Count Bishops’ 1975 debut EP, Speedball, (see previous post HERE )released on Ted Carroll’s wonderful Chiswick Records, was a straight-ahead slice of R&B that featured the spooky, exhilarating “Train, Train.”

“Train Train” (Live Album Version) – The Bishops

Surprisingly, the band unceremoniously dumped Spencer and recorded their self-titled debut with fellow Englishman Dave Tice, who had a voice so gruff it sounded as though he gargled with ground glass.

The live album above, originally released as alimited edition 10″,  followed (by this time they had dropped “Count” from their name), but it was clear that the band was simply treading water.

By 1979, the thoroughly mediocre Cross Cuts was released to public apathy, guitarist Zenon de Fleur was killed in a car wreck, and lead guitarist Johnny Guitar hooked up with Dr. Feelgood. The Bishops called it a day.

To buy their music click HERE the live album is available as a download from eMusic HERE

June 6, 2011 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Blues, Old Music, R&B, Video | , | Leave a comment

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