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

Cover Story – Dirty Old Town

“Dirty Old Town” is a song written by Ewan MacColl in 1949 that was made popular by The Dubliners and has been recorded by many others since.

The song was written in reference to Salford, then in Lancashire (now in Greater Manchester), England, and the place where Ewan MacColl was brought up. It was originally composed for an interlude to cover an awkward scene change in Ewan MacColl’s Salford-set, 1949 play Landscape with Chimneys, but with the growing popularity of folk music the song became a standard.

The song paints an evocative yet ultimately bitter picture of industrial northern England, and presages to some extent the Angry Young Man school of the 1950s.

When MacColl first wrote the song, the local council were unhappy at having Salford called a dirty old town and, after considerable criticism, the words of the song were changed from “smelled a Spring on the Salford wind” to “smelled a spring on the smoky wind”.

The Spinners made the first popular recording of the song and they sang “Salford wind”. This was hardly surprising as the lead singer on the track was Mick Groves, a Salfordian.

The song was therefore written about an English town; but because of the song’s later association with The Dubliners and The Pogues, many people tend to think of it as an Irish song, and as such, in Ireland the lyrics are popularly thought to refer to Dublin or Derry – a counter-part to the latter being Phil Coulter‘s “The Town I Loved So Well“.

My favourite version is by Rod Stewart.

 

To buy the music of Rod Stewart click HERE

June 25, 2011 Posted by | Cover Stories, Folk, Old Music, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck turned 66 today, one six short of a crossroads meeting though.

Some of his best work came early on in his career as this short piece of film taken in the studio with Mickie Most and Rod Stewart illustrates.

Notwithstanding the above his recent work should not be disgarded.

To buy the music of Jeff Beck click HERE

June 24, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, New News, Video | , | Leave a comment

Come On England!

Tonight it is time to head for the bunker/pub so here are memories and some tunes to take with you though not from the above release.

Yabba Yabba Doo!

“Easy Easy” – The Scotland World Cup Squad 1974

Each to their own euphoria.

June 12, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Footbal, Humour, Old Music, Video | , , | Leave a comment

New News – Red Faces

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water following Queen with Paul Rodgers let me present………….

The Faces are set to play the Vintage At Goodwood festival in August with Simply Red’s Mick Hucknell on vocal duties.

Now Paul Rodgers would have been a better choice here.

Original frontman Rod Stewart is not part of the set-up for the show, set to take place on August 13-15 at Sussex‘s Goodwood Estate. Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock, playing in the place of the band’s late bassist Ronnie Lane, will join original members Ronnie Wood, Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan.

The band reunited last October to play London‘s Royal Albert Hall – their first gig since 1975. Wood said that because that gig went well, they were happy to take another booking for this summer.

“We got together to receive a PRS Lifetime Achievement award last year and very simply the magic was still there,” he said. “Playing with the boys again just felt right so we thought well why not? It’s exciting to be on this path again and I hope that the Faces fans are excited as we are – I’m just really looking forward to seeing them this summer – bring it on!”

Drummer Jones added: “Expect the classics and also some incredible guests when we get back on the road, it’s going to be lots of fun.”

Source :- www.nme.com

Here are the real Faces…………….

To buy the music of The Faces click HERE

To buy the music of Simply Red visit another site.

May 25, 2010 Posted by | New News, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

Willie Mitchell (March 23, 1928 – January 5, 2010)

Willie Mitchell, who has died aged 81, was an icon of Memphis music. As producer, arranger and sometimes co-writer, he moulded the careers of the soul singers OV Wright, Otis Clay, Ann Peebles and, especially, Al Green. Out of his shabby studio at 1320 South Lauderdale came Wright’s A Nickel and a Nail, Peebles’s I Can’t Stand the Rain and I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down, Syl Johnson’s Take Me to the River, and Green’s Let’s Stay Together – recordings now regarded as imperishable classics of soul music.

“I Can’t Stand The Rain” – Ann Peebles

“Let’s Stay Together” – Al Green

Born in the small north Mississippi town of Ashland, Mitchell was educated at Rust College in nearby Holly Springs, where he learned trumpet. His models were the jazzmen Fats Navarro and Clifford Brown, but his own direction would be somewhat different. In 1954, following army service, he settled in Memphis, where he led the orchestra at the Manhattan Club and the house band for the Home of the Blues label.

In 1961, he began working for Hi Records, a Memphis independent label that had made an impact on the jukebox market with funky instrumentals. Mitchell had a few minor hits of his own during the 60s with similar fare such as Buster Browne and Soul Serenade, and over the years would issue more than a dozen instrumental albums.

“The Champion” – Willie Mitchell

“That Driving Beat” – Willie Mitchell

 But his position at Hi gradually shifted to the other side of the control-room window, as he supervised sessions and drew together the peerless rhythm section of drummer Al Jackson and the three Hodges brothers, Charles, Teenie and Leroy.

In 1970, with most of Hi’s original partners dead or out of the business, Mitchell became the company’s executive vice-president and quit touring as a bandleader. The following year he met Green and, as the music historian Charlie Gillett wrote in The Sound of the City, “used all his experience to galvanise [Green] into a series of masterly performances in the early 1970s. At last, soul found itself a true star, as Al Green crooned, beseeched, and insinuated his way into real acceptance by pop radio and its listeners, without losing the black fans of rhythm and blues music”.

In the late 70s, however, Green exchanged soul singing for soul-saving. Its star lost to the church, Hi foundered and was sold. Mitchell – who kept the studio – was by then internationally known for his skill at colouring blues-based music with tints of orchestral strings and brass, without sacrificing the intensity of the original hue. In 1975, he contributed as both arranger and engineer to Rod Stewart’s album Atlantic Crossing, and over the next three decades he would be repeatedly hired by artists who recognised the ambience he could bring to a recording – among them were figures as disparate as Tina Turner, Keith Richards, Memphis bluesman Preston Shannon and the Scottish band Wet Wet Wet, whose debut album he produced in 1987.

“This Old Heart Of Mine” (Alternative Version) – Rod Stewart

He resumed his association with Al Green in the mid-80s, producing the album Going Away, and again in the new century, when they worked together on the albums I Can’t Stop and Everything’s OK.

In 2004 the stretch of South Lauderdale including Mitchell’s Royal Studios was renamed Willie Mitchell Boulevard. The neighbourhood might have changed in 30-odd years but the premises are little altered: the studio is still a scruffy, slightly makeshift-looking room, its carpet threadbare. But thousands of hours of great music have soaked into the walls, and the place feels like a cathedral of soul. Or perhaps one should say a family home. “Willie is like my brother, my father,” Green said recently. “He treated me like a son,” said Otis Clay. “I learned so much from him … how to survive in a business that isn’t always kind.”

Mitchell himself might have shrugged off such eulogies. “This business, man, it’s not so hard,” he said. “If you got the heart and the ears, you can make it. That’s really all you need.”

In 2008, he received a lifetime award from the Grammy Foundation. Although he had passed the day-to-day management of the studio to his grandson Lawrence (“Boo”), he continued to drop in most days, and was working on various projects, including a new album by Solomon Burke, until he was slowed down last September by a broken hip.

He is survived by his daughters Yvonne and Lorrain, his stepson Archie Turner, his grandsons Archie and Lawrence, granddaughter Oona and nine great-grandchildren.

Words from www.guardian.co.uk

“Strong As Death (Sweet As Love) – Al Green

Strong as death, sweet as love
with the grace, of a dove
Oh baby
Let me in your life

We don’t have that much time
There’s no need in us crying
Hey baby
I’m in the mood for love

If I could tell a story
Of just how it was
Before there was you and me
Before there was love
It was a sad affair

I got to go ahead with myself
Before I find ???
Help me off the shelf
Sweet baby

One more thing I got to say
Strong as death,
You’re a power to be
Sweet as love,
To you and me
Hey baby
Take a chance on me

Strong as death, sweet as love

Hey let me just sing
Strong as death, honey, sweet as love
Strong as death, honey, sweet as love

Strong as love, sweet as love
ah, you’re playing to much music for me

January 9, 2010 Posted by | New News, Old Music, R&B, Soul | , , , | Leave a comment

Long John Baldry

Long John Baldry, “Long” because he was 6’7″, had Rod Stewart as a featured vocalist in “The Steampacket” as did for a period piano player Reg Dwight and saxaphone player Elton Dean.

Reg was in awe of both Elton and John…..the rest they say is history.

“Baby Don’t You Do It” – The Steampacket

To buy the music of Long John Baldry click HERE

December 10, 2009 Posted by | Blues, Old Music, Video | , , | Leave a comment

P. P. Arnold & Rod Stewart

PP Arnold

I definitely seem to be in an early Rod Stewart groove so here is a duet he recorded with the great P. P. Arnold the Goffin/King song was produced by Mick Jagger and featured amongst others Keith Emerson then of The Nice.

“Come Home Baby” – P.P. Arnold & Rod Stewart

I know just how bad Ive hurt you
Oh yeah
Make it all up to you some way
What can I do just to prove I love you ?
Should I beg on my knees baby please come home ?

Come home baby
Baby just come on home
Come home baby
I need your love so bad
Come home baby
Yes I do
Come home baby

Ill be good to you, I promise
Ill do anything that you say
I want your kiss, I cant go on like this
Treat me bad if you must, baby just come home

Come home baby
Baby baby baby
Come home baby
I need your love so bad
Come home baby
Baby come on home
Baby come on home
Baby baby baby come home

What can I do just to prove I love you ?
Should I beg on my knees baby please come home ?

Come home baby
Baby just come on home
Come home baby
Any old time you wanna
Come home baby
Ill be right here, you know that, you know that
Come home baby
Come home
Come home baby
Need you right here
Come home baby
Baby come home
Come home baby
Please please come home
Come home baby
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

 

 

Pat Arnold (born Patricia Ann Cole, 3 October 1946, Los Angeles, California), professionally known as P.P. Arnold, is an American born soul singer who enjoyed considerable success in the United Kingdom in the 1960s and beyond.

After several years touring the United States with the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, she came to England in 1966 when the Revue toured there in support of The Rolling Stones. Impressed by her powerful and soulful voice, Mick Jagger convinced Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham to sign Arnold to a recording contract with his newly founded Immediate Records record label. Arnold quit the Turner band to remain in London and establish a solo career.

She enjoyed several major British hits on Immediate, including songs written for her by Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lanefrom labelmates The Small Faces, who also backed her on several recordings. Arnold also provided backing vocals on the group’s hit “Tin Soldier as well as touring with them during 1968.

Her first backing band, The Blue Jays, had been inherited from American soul singer Ronnie Jones. This was followed by The Nice, led by Keith Emerson. During this period Pat toured alongside Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Kinks, Blind Faith, David Bowie and others, and she scored several hits including a cover version of “The First Cut Is the Deepest” and “Angel of the Morning“, plus the Marriott-Lane song “(If You Think You’re) Groovy”.

After the collapse of Immediate in the late 1960s, Arnold signed a production contract with the Robert Stigwood Organisation and released two singles on the Polydor Records label, produced by Barry Gibbof The Bee Gees, but a planned album with Gibb was never completed.

Since then she has continued to record and appear as a session singer, however, she is now perhaps best known as a touring backing singer having worked with numerous big names such as Eric Clapton and Roger Waters.

A varied career on the musical stage should not be ignored.

For more information click HERE

To buy the music of P.P. Arnold click HERE

October 10, 2009 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Old Music, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Fiona She’s Never Far Away

IMG_0103

I have a random screen saver on my computer which picks photographs from my picture file which must have over a thousand pictures in it, this morning it chose the above picture which was taken EXACTLY a year ago today.

Maybe the title of the posting is not as far fetched after all.

“Every Picture Tells A Story” – Rod Stewart

To buy the music of Road Stewart click HERE

October 8, 2009 Posted by | Family, Fiona, Mrs D, Old Music, Photography, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

Rod Stewart

rod-stewart

Your view on Rod Stewart may well be defined by your age or at worst your musical taste.

Fortunately for me I can easily dismiss the majority of his work post 1975 and enjoy some of the greatest R&B drenched rock produced by a white British male singer.

The Faces “A Nod Is As Good As A Wink….To A Blind Horse” is a classic album from 1971, though ironically my favourite track is the brilliant “Debris” which was of course written and sung by the greatness that was Ronnie Lane.

“Debris” – The Faces

two, three, four

I left you on the debris
at the Sunday morning market
you were sorting through the odds and ends
you was looking for a bargin

I heard your footsteps at the front door
and that old familiar love song
’cause you knew you’d find me waiting there
at the top of the stairs

I wouldn’t of went back
just to see how far it was
and you looked shocked to tell me
but I had to love her myself

there’s more trouble at the depot
with the general workers union
and they said they’ll never change a thing
well, they won’t fight and their not working

oh you was my hero
hell you are my good friend
I’ve been there and back
and I know how far it is

but I left you on the Debris
now we both know you got no money
and I wonder what you would have done
without me hanging around

 

the faces

By this time Rod embarked on his solo career with “An Old Raincoat Will Never Let You Down” (1969) and “Gasoline Alley” (1970), and over the next five years produced a string of classic albums:-

May 1971 “Every Picture Tells A Story”

July 1972 “Never A Dull Moment”

October 1974 “Smiler”

August 1975 “Atlantic Crossing”

This was the watershed for me, the title of the album said it all really and although this album retained some of the energy of the earlier releases it was much more polished and was the last we heard of the raw Rod The Mod.

He crossed the Atlantic and for me forever more became a caricature of all that was wrong with music at the time, from the hair do to the lycra the music had been taken over by the image emphasised by the string of blonde girls on his arm.

This was probably the turning point.

This week sees the release of “The Rod Stewart Sessions 1971-1998”

The Rod Stewart Sessions 1971-1998

Fortunately thanks to iTunes I was able to cherry pick the tracks that I wanted and surprisingly, especially to me, a couple of the better tracks are in fact stripped down versions of songs from some of the latter albums which I have dismissed above which with some rough and ready versions of earlier album tracks and a couple of cover versions amounted to £8 well spent.

Here is a great version of a Isley Brothers 1966 hit

“I Guess I’ll Always Love You” – Rod Stewart

“You’re In My Heart” – Rod Stewart

I didn’t know what day it was
When you walked into the room
I said hello unnoticed
You said goodbye too soon

Breezing through the clientele
Spinning yarns that were so lyrical
I really must confess right here
The attraction was purely physical

I took all those habits of yours
That in the beginning were hard to accept
Your fashion sense, beardsly prints
I put down to experience

The big bosomed lady with the dutch accent
Who tried to change my point of view
Her ad lib lines were well rehearsed
But my heart cried out for you

Chorus:

You’re in my heart, you’re in my soul
You’ll be my breath should i grow old
You are my lover, you’re my best friend
You’re in my soul

My love for you is immeasurable
My respect for you immense
You’re ageless, timeless, lace and fineness
You’re beauty and elegance

You’re a rhapsody, a comedy
You’re a symphony and a play
You’re every love song ever written
But honey what do you see in me

(chorus)

You’re an essay in glamour
Please pardon the grammar
But you’re every schoolboy’s dream
You’re celtic, united, but baby i’ve decided
You’re the best team i’ve ever seen

And there have been many affairs
Many times i’ve thought to leave
But i bite my lip and turn around
’cause you’re the warmest thing i’ve ever found

(chorus)

Finally here is perhaps his best known song……..before it had a title!

“Maggie May” – Rod Stewart

 

 To buy the music of Rod Stewart (and The Faces) click HERE

October 5, 2009 Posted by | Blast from The Past, New News, Old Music, Video | , , | Leave a comment

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