Friday, November 30, 2007
Ah, a sultry Spanish-accented vocal, lush disco strings and a lyric that deploys the oldest euphemism in pop (‘I can boogie all night long’ – I bet you can love).
They’ll have worked ages on that dance routine too.
My French pen-pal had a cassette compilation of disco classics and I’m certain this was on it, along with Donna Summer’s sublime ‘Down Deep Inside’ from 'The Deep’ (music by John Barry).
Phew. Baccara and Donna Summer moaning and Jacqueline Bisset jumping in and out of the sea in the most famous white T-shirt in movies. For me 1977 was a year of awakening - and punk rock had nothing to do with it…
Thursday, November 29, 2007
I can't claim to have been a Rod Stewart fan back in the early 70s (I was really more of a Chigley fan at the time) and when I had got old enough to be buying records regularly, he'd gone rubbish disco, leopard skin & spandex and 'Sailing' (worse was to come) and was therefore the antichrist; but of course like any right-thinking person I had always acknowledged the genius of 'Maggie May' and in 1991, when it was all My Bloody Valentine and Catherine Wheel and Ride around here, I forked out somewhat controversially on this two CD set one Saturday shop in Camden, determined to finally get my head and ears around seminal early Rod.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
I thought it thrillingly original when I first heard it - the tense little guitar and piano intro, the big-riff saxophone rush to the West Side Story finger snaps and groovy bass line, the lyrics about a world we actually lived in ('little Judy's trying to watch Top Of The Pops') the dramatic shifts in tempo and melody - and it used to go down a storm in the lights-out school hall as the Class Outsider flailed his scrawny limbs and twisted his four-foot-nothing frame into weird shapes to narrate the whole thing from the centre of the dance floor like the manic lead of some avant garde ballet troupe.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Some of you may have formed the unfortunate impression from these pages that I am some crusty old pint-swilling nostalgist, but as I'm sure you will conclude when I share with you my current enthusiasm for this lot, I am actually a hip urban warrior who is 'down' with the 'kids'.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
'...they were a fabulous band, especially live - all soaring melodies, urgent brass, elatory vocals and humanistic commitment. Lead singer/writer Billy Franks was a passionate and charismatic frontman - even when long after the band's glory days (supporting The Alarm!) performing to a few hundred with his soul band in 'The Leather Bottle' pub in Wimbledon Chase'.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Ah yes, a couple of Nurofens and a slug of Lemsip and a long hot shower and a bit of a lie down and I'll be fine.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
It was yesterday's Frida post (Happy Birthday Frida!) that set this off in the end, but it's been weighing on my mind for a while and I need to let it out.
Phil Collins has made some of the worst records I have ever heard, records so bad I would leave the room, cross the road or throw myself off of the proverbial train to avoid hearing; surely that bloody 'Against All Odds' whinge and the sputum-inducing 'Another Day In Paradise' are literally execrable and the whole chirpy cockney geezer and cuddly multi-millionaire Tory-donates-to-charidee schtick is beyond endurance - and, and, AND...! YET....
1. The man can play the drums (big, muscular, right-through-your-diaphragm thumping, sounds like no-one else).
2. I flipping well love quite a lot of Face Value (and I bet you do too)
3. He gave Genesis some much-needed welly when Gabriel left and they had seriously disappeared up their own harrises (they disappeared back up there again soon afterwards of course).
4. Despite a largely nonsensical lyric, this Philip Bailey track from the PC-produced album of (almost) the same name is a CORKER (a great vocal yes, but those drums! again!!) and a frequent and elatory accompaniment to our good time Friday nights.
Pah! Don't ask me to explain or justify - never explain or justify that's my motto - and please don't burden me with all that guilty pleasures mallarkey (guilty? about music? No, feel guilty about lovers betrayed and violent crimes committed against the person, not about the records you like).
But thank you for listening.
And no, Abacab isn't anywhere.
Philip Bailey - 'Walking On The Chinese Wall' (1984)
(Oh go on then, here's the drumming gorilla too).
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
That there Frida from ABBA is 62 (!) tomorrow.
Mind you, as her mother was Norwegian and her father German, perhaps I should have posted Happy Birthday in a language other than Swedish - and you'll probably tell me its incorrect anyhow, but hey! that's why I love ya.
Poor old Anni-Frid...never voted Rear Of The Year and forever Not The Blonde One (in fact she has shown a remarkable predeliction for dying her hair a range of unfortunate colours over the years) she was a pop star of some standing in Sweden before ABBA (yes! like the Blonde One!) but despite tirelessly chipping away at it in the 80s and 90s failed to crack that post-group solo career. I blame Phil Collins, for this and many other things, frankly.
I wanted to post a video clip of Frida singing 'I Wonder (Departure)' from The Album to celebrate, but no such footage is to be found on YouTube, unless we include photo-montage thingies posted by borderline psychotic "I HEART FRIDA!!!!" fans, and I really don't think we should.
So here instead is an equally cracking track from the 'Voulez Vous' album. I like to hear this of a Friday night with our in-house disco lights going, personally.
I confess it was all Agnetha, Agnetha, Agnetha for me too as a pre-adolescent tike, but in maturity I am glad to say that I have found much consolation and joy in the arms of brunettes....
Monday, November 12, 2007
Your Monday heartstarter comes courtesy of my local charity shop where last week I picked this up on CD for £1.00. Less than the bus fare there! (except I walked). Don't you just love it when in amongst all the 'Uncut' magazine Playlist CDs and Dance Trax 95 compilations you find a real gem like this?
(Buy here - or keep trawling them charity racks...Thanks for all the comments to the 'last post' x)
Sunday, November 11, 2007
In memoriam all victims of war.
Friday, November 09, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
The story goes that in his 80s the great artist Pablo Picasso is invited onto a TV talk show. The talk show host thinks it would be a wheeze if Picasso creates a work of art during the show's live transmission. Picasso agrees. They cut to another item for a few minutes and when they return to Picasso he has completed a simple pen doodle on the paper supplied him.
'Well come off it Mr Picasso' says the talk show host. 'It's taken you maybe two minutes to do that drawing, but it would probably sell for a million dollars. How do you feel about that?'
Picasso looks him in the eye and says
'My friend, it took me 80 years to draw that'...
I feel the same about this simple sketch by a musical artist often compared to Picasso (whom he very much admired).
On the surface it's a simple instrumental version of a decent little pop song.
But listen carefully and you hear 60 years of artistry and emotion inside it.
I've posted the original too because feckit, I quite like that as well.
Miles Davis - 'Time After Time' (1985)
Cyndi Lauper - 'Time After Time' (1983)
[The Miles originally from this and the Cyndi available on this]
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I put 'Carousel' on for my girls on Sunday. They watched it for a bit, then went upstairs to play.
I watched it all and ended up in pieces. Again.
Baz Luhrmann - 'Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen' (1999)
Material feat. William S. Burroughs - 'Words Of Advice' (1994
Monday, November 05, 2007
My favourite cover of my favourite song from my favourite Elvis Costello album (probably) - just for November 5th.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
I went to meet my very good friend Dr Al for a pint up at Notting Hill Gate recently and with lots of time to spare and a nice evening settling in, decided not to take my usual bus up there from Shepherd's Bush Green but to stay on the Hammersmith & City Line to Ladbroke Grove and make the walk up Portobello Rd.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Tonight I went out driving, just to the supermarket - load up with wine and get the ingredients for a Good Fish Pie, that always cheers me up. And I drove through the most amazing South West London suburban sunset as an Airbus A320 sliced across the sky, kind of low - on its way into Heathrow. A big, pink/golden stretched London sky, and the fumes from the MOT-failing car in front of me spewing up my air con.
Last knockings of summer, 1st of November.
This playing on the in-car CD. *sigh*
Tom Waits - 'Grapefruit Moon' (1973)
Moments like this, you know you're alive.
[That's not my picture. No camera in the car. But the sky was even pinker; you'll have to trust me on that.]
It's Fileden's 'time of the month' again which means that because of bandwidth mallarkey the older MP3 files here won't be downloadable for a day or so. Yawnsville.
I've switched the music in all the posts since and including Pegged to the very sparkly new Mediafire hosty thingy though, which seems to be working well enough for Young Michael, so I hope your experience of it here will be satisfactory.
Meanwhile here's a little amuse bouche (also via Mediafire) to tide you over for 24 hours...
Pinch, punch, first of the month, etc.
Gorillaz - 'November Has Come' (2005)