This isn’t a music post but I guess that feeds into it. I’m an 80’s boy really but just watching Lauda vs Hunt on BBC2 there really is something uniquely beautiful about the 1970’s. I don’t know if it’s the way it’s filmed, the side burns, the dolly birds (apologies), the cigarette advertising or something else but I never tire of watching anything 70’s based. I know posting photos is not easy so I’ll just leave a virtual picture of James Hunt in his red and white after a night on the sauce with a young thing on his arm to your imagination and throw the conversation out there. ….
Following on from the Thread Of SHITE I thought we should dig deeper and find those tracks from your favourite artiste that make your toes curl. You wonder how they produced some of your favourite music but also managed “that”. An off day, change of direction, bad advice or just a shite song that proves we’re all human.
Mine is Billy Mackenzie’s ( as The Associates) cover of “Heart Of Glass”. Desperate for a hit, no producers knowing what on earth to do with him or that voice. Some bright spark decided to take Blondie’s finest added the worst excesses of 80’s production and asked Billy to tone the singing down a bit. Then there’s the video. ….. Did Steely Dan do a stinker? Is there such a thing as bad Beatles? Did Kate Bush do any clunkers? Over to you. ..
As we are are searching for the definitive in a wide range of genres. This thought came to me this morning while listening to Tears for Fear’s “Seeds of Love”. To my ears it is the definitive CD album. The one you would go to if you wanted one album to give an alien the best example of a CD. My guess for vynyl would be “Seargent Pepper” and for the streaming era Ed Sheeran’s “Divide”. What’s your suggestions?
I’ve just excitedly got my tickets out of the drawer for Darryl Hall and John Oates at Wembley Arena tonight. I’ve been looking forward to it since I brought them for my other half for Christmas. Our day is planned and it’s going to be great, except……… the tickets are for last night. I’m so angry at myself I could cry. I’ve even had two reminders telling me stage times etc. So I’ve obviously come here to vent and ask for some Hall and Oates therapy and some other stories of complete and utter gig idiocy that may make me feel less of a bellend. I’m going away somewhere dark to cry……..
It is hard to argue 1979 was the greatest year for the “single” Has any other year been the centre of such a musical Venn diagram. Punk, disco, new wave, pure pop, soft rock, reggae, ska, the beginning of the electronic revolution and the first rap and hip hop. I’ve never noticed before how influenced by Chic Nick Heyward was. “I Want Your Love” could be a missing “Pelican West” track. Jimmy Pursey makes me laugh, for good reasons. The Police were very good. Disco is the best music to walk to. I bounced around my post round to “Ring My Bell” and “Born To Be Alive”. I wondered if any casual observers could tell what I was listening to. I like to think of myself as “The Disco Postman”. The Beat were wonderful. The intro to “Cars” is THE best electronic intro ever. Radio 1 just could not fail in 1979. Imagine doing your playlist for millions of listeners. I really miss Top of The Pops. I may have to concede that 1979 was better than 1982, maybe….
This wonderful piece of 80’s electronica came up on my postal walk today. It got me thinking it’s well over 30 years since it was released and it must be another 30 plus years before that when the Hiroshima bomb was dropped. I’ve checked and the dates are as follows:
Hiroshima 6th August 1945. Song released 26th September 1980
So it is actually over 38 years since the song was released and the song was released 35 years after the bomb was dropped.
Not sure what it means but I thought I would share. It’s a “Bloody Hell!” from me………
A bit of a giggle for a Friday. I give you The Cult “Big Neon Glitter”
On this mornings round my IPod decided it would play me “Tomorrow Started” by Talk Talk. It’s from their second album “It’s My Life”. Following the thread about the death of Mark Hollis it seems to be the considered opinion round here that anything they did before “Colour of Spring” is either not worth listening to or is like they were a different band. I believe that after hearing this you’ll agree it was a sign of things to come.
So I thought it might be interesting on a Saturday evening to find out if there are any other examples of bands or artists giving a hint in their formative years of unimagined excellence to follow. Over to you for any more signs of things to come
I’m know we’ve had this conversation before but since becoming a postman it’s become more relevant to me so I’m firing up the “how do you listen to your music?” chat once again. I’m out and about for 5 hours a day and it’s a great opportunity to listen to music and I’m also hoping to get into some podcasts (recommendations welcome). Currently I have Spotify premium on my phone but I don’t have endless data and not a huge amount of storage space so I haven’t found it very user friendly as I constantly lose internet connection with my BT Wi-Fi. Also their recommendations and lay out are frustrating. The endless choice however is a major plus. Today however I dug out my old iPod classic and just hit shuffle. 5 hours of varied listening with no loss of signal but I lose the ability of trying some new or new old without committing to it.
Being a postman is lovely, physically more challenging than I expected but getting out of the rat race to deliver letters and parcels in the fresh air means my music spending has to be carefully monitored. So it boils down to choice, » Continue Reading.
Was 40 years old this week. Was there ever a better 7″ single? I think not….. You?
What does it sound like?:
Oh Gilbert, what do you sound like? Music Hall mixed with a voice in the “squeaky” range. It’s charming and harmless and tuneful and melodic. It’s just lovely. Then you dig a bit further into what he’s actually singing in those lovely songs and you begin to realise that here’s a young man who had lived a bit and like a musical observational comedian had taken all those experiences and turned them into 3 minute takes on life that are quite unique and exceptional. “Permissive Twit”, Nothing Rhymed” Alone Again, Naturally” even “Matrimony” when you really listen are exquisite windows into Gilberts world that will strike a chord with you somewhere. Thete are some less familiar tracks that leap out. “Im A Writer Not a Fighter” is a slicee of funk with Gilbert talking the intro in a strange mid west accent which then kicks into some more extraordinary lyrics. This album was from the “Music For Pleasure” collection and it seems just right for Gilbert O’Sullivan. My only complaint is that there’s no “We Will”.There’s a lovely introduction, for want of a better word, on the back by Nigel Hunter of Music Week » Continue Reading.
I’ve been restocking my old vinyl. Nothing new there, it was never the biggest collection but it was mostly late 70’s early 80’s and there would be no surprises in there for anyone who knows me. I surprised myself today however when trying to remember what was there I realised that I never owned “Lexicon of Love”. I had all the singles but for some reason in my peak record buying year of 1982 it passed me by. I will put that right at some point. What album are you surprised you don’t own?
Phil Jupitus tweeted this morning about his first gig and asked his followers to do the same. Mine was Echo and The Bunnnymen at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford Upon Avon. Now the EATB Twitter page has tweeted a link to this interview about a new album of old songs re-imagined. Mac at his best. I’m off into the garden now for an hour of the second greatest band to come out of Liverpool….
After all the navel gazing I think it’s time for a party. Please send out invites to all your mates old and new to come and join the fun in a good old fashoined YouTube knees up. Any song will do, everyone’s invited and you’re all welcome to stand around and chat if you don’t feel like dancing. My tune is in homage to Moeen Ali who seems to be bowling England to victory again. “Mo Mo Mo Mo Mo Mo Mo Mo Mo Moeen Ali”
Dave Amitri on It’s been 21 years…….
21 years ago this week Billy MacKenzie took his own life in his Dads shed. It was the end to a sometime glorious, often difficult, sometimes beautiful but ultimately unfulfilled life. For some reason I don’t quite understand Billy affects me more than any other pop star. Something about his ridiculous talent alongside his suffocating vulnerability and self doubt constantly draws me back. Like most of us he only came to my notice through his appearances on Top of The Pops in the summer of 1982. He laughed and pissed around while performing the still ahead of it’s time “Party Fears Two” and the impossibly catchy “Club Country”. He looked like someone with the world at his feet he had the looks, the swagger and that voice from some otherworldly place like nothing heard before or since. I went a bought “Sulk” expecting 10 more foot tapping pop songs and was left scratching my head at the likes of “Bap de la Bap” and “Nude Spoons”. It still confuses and delights in equal measure. After that despite insane record company spending and Billy wasting time and money on his whims and fancies only » Continue Reading.
Yesterday I was listening to the Spotify playlist that KFD put together from the recent early 70’s pop thread. “Roxette” by Dr Feelgood leapt out at me and leads me to investigate “Pub Rock” further. I’m aware of Dr Feelgood, mainly from here and “Milk and Alcohol” that my brother owned. I’ve listened to Kilburn and The Highroads through my love of Ian Dury but that’s about it unless early The Jam counts as “Pub Rock”. So can those better versed in this genre than me help me put together a New Years Eve Pub Rock Playlist?
How should I approach it? With wing backs for a start…
* Or more specifically that period between the end of The Beatles and the start of punk.
The David Cassidy talk recently got me thinking about this. I was 5 in 1970 but music was around me through my older siblings and the radio. Aged 11 in 1976 and I was ready for the next 10 years that formed my whole musical future. The 5 or 6 years in between seem like a wasteland of only a few memories. My own record collection from those times, for what it was, was made up of The Wombles, The Rubettes, Racey and a bit of Abba. I remember owning “Can’t Smile Without You” by Barry Manilow, a well intentioned Christmas gift from an Aunt and that’s about it. So what am I missing from the era that filled the gap between them and that?
What does it sound like?:
Tears For Fears release their latest greatest hits collection, the imaginatively titled “Rule The World” to coincide with the announcement of their world tour next year. Let their be no doubt for those who don’t know already that I’m a fan, a fan that is happy to declare that Roland Orzabal is a genius and Curt Smith is a damn good looking man. A happy combination for any band especially one that came to the fore in the early 80’s. Not many recognised Orzabals genius back then and probably even fewer do now but by the end of the first two tracks “Everybody wants To Rule The World” and “Shout” no one should be in any doubt that despite their inauspicious beginnings as a ska band Tears For Fears became seriously heavy hitters with a gift for a tune using all the technology available with canny nod back to the guitar, bass and drum sound of their predecessors that set them apart from some of their contemporaries. This collection is all the hits put together along with some lesser known and new. The Erasure sounding new song “I Love You But I’m Lost” follows. » Continue Reading.
Following the “Abba Wars” (copyright @disappointmentbob ) on the (Un)Fashionable thread I’ve been on an Abba binge. I decided today that “Super Trouper” is possibly better than “SOS” and “The Day Before You Came” or at least as good.
The video is awful but maybe there’s a clue on the eyes of Anni-frid. I’ve never really “listened” to it before because it just sounds like one of those pop songs Abba released that went to Number 1 (their last in the UK) all over the world and just gets lost among the greatest hits. Now I have listened to it, Jesus it’s sad. Coming at the end their golden era it’s a plea for it all to stop hidden behind another hook filled Benny classic pop tune. I don’t have the skill to deconstruct it properly but this section will do for me.
“Facing twenty thousand of your friends How can anyone be so lonely? Part of a success that never ends Still, I’m thinking about you only (Still, I’m thinking about you only) There are moments when I think I’m going crazy (Think I’m going crazy) But it’s gonna be alright (You’ll soon be changing » Continue Reading.
Everything about this video screams naff but in my warped view of the world it is one of the coolest things I’ve seen, whatever that means. Have I got this one wrong too?
I heard this on the radio yesterday and the phrase “Pure Synth” popped into my head from nowhere. It has been my earworm ever since and to these ears is a joyous 5 minutes of pop music. I think there are no other instruments used than synthesisers, I’m no expert and of course Alison Moyets voice. So can we have a chat about pure synth? Good thing? Bad thing? Best and worst examples? 80’s, non 80’s.
What does it sound like?:
It sounds like a lot of things you’re sure you’ve heard before but it retains that certain something that is Nick Heyward. There’s some Turin Brakes, then an absolute Country yeee hah song including that thing that sounds like a ruler boinging on the edge of a desk. There’s a smokey roomed piece of swing and an acoustic guitar / xylophone instrumental that could have come from Lloyd Cole backing track. With perfect timing as if some tribute to Oasis there are a couple of songs straight out of Britpop that Noel would have given his eyebrows for to put on “Be Here Now”. To top it off there are a couple of love songs that remind you what an enormous pop star Nick Heyward should have been. Woodland Echoes is an eclectic mix in which Heyward proves he’s lost none of his ear for a pop tune. If he had the airplay Rick Astley enjoyed with “50” Heyward too could be enjoying a revival that he fully deserves. It’s a wonderful, happy, life affirming album that makes for a fantastic day.
What does it all *mean*?
It could mean Nick Heyward is struggling » Continue Reading.
I would always answer “The Monkees”. Similarly if asked Blur or Oasis? I would answer “Pulp”. I realised this morning I would also answer The Specials or Madness? with “The Beat”.Any others?
It was a large brightly lit stage. Above three red X’s hung menacingly like guillotines, we were revolutionaries defying the accepted order of things. We started slowly, eyebrows were raised, scorn was offered but we carried one as one of the red X’s screeched its disapproval. I’ve never met any of my cohorts but Twang and Bob were there, their chosen weapons screaming out their notes challenging, empowering. Bri was in control of his own rhythm in a haze of carefully considered brushstrokes keeping us all together with Rob C in perfect deep harmony. I was at the front delivering a pitch perfect accompaniment, notes soaring and flying from where previously there was only a flat, nasal, monotone. The crowd at first unsure, felt the wave of soulful, musical perfection washing over them and began to get to their feet. As we came to our climax. “Aaaaaah summer, summer breeze makes me feel fi-ine” Twangs guitar screaming out with the rest of us in absolute one-ness I awoke with a startle as David Walliams dressed as Marie Antoinette screeched “it’s a yes from me”. It could never happen could it?