This single is the 6th of SAHB and the last not to chart. Not a surprise, the surprise being that they thought it would be a hit, cause it's not a singalong song appropriate for Tops of the Pops. Moreover, the song was proposed in an edit (short) version on A-side and a long one on B-side, the long being the one from The Impossible Dream, an album released in november 1974. Not a good thing actually. It would have been a better idea to put a live version on the B-side. That's what I do here. It's true that it would have been difficult to put the 16 min live version recorded in Cleveland on the 9th december 1974 (and that you can find on the US Tour 74 album released in 2006) on a 7". But now we can do it (making of this real single a fake one). The version is not exceptional and it's clear that Alex Harvey fails to make the main tune the anthem he would have liked to make the audience sings. You can see a much more fantastic version on the youtube video I post below, recorded in NY, on the same tour. Shorter and more focused, one can see what an incredibly fascinating singer was Alex Harvey. Vicky Silva is the girl on vocals and she's doing a great job. "Anthem" was actually a very important song for Alex Harvey. A real tribute to his Scottish roots, and to have these pipers playing on it in this rock dreamland, must have been a moving experience for him. He had actually travelled to the USA with these players, not used to the Sex & Drug & Rock 'n' Roll on the road life. No need to say more. Nothing really rare here but another tribute to the great Alex. Enjoy it here.
Anthem. If you don't put me on trial Then why don't you turn me loose You can throw the key away Let me chase the wild goose Your progress is my desire You shouldn't do me wrong Although it's true I'm worried now I won't be worried long Telling stories to the peacocks Selling systematically Just a counterfeit engraving Of the way you used to be Just another one-way number Just another two-way song Although it's true I'm worried now I won't be worried long Don't encourage me to murder 'Cause it pays to advertise Don't treat me with suspicion Don't tell me no more lies You know I love your company You shouldn't do me wrong Although it's true I'm worried now I won't be worried long Although it's true I'm worried now I won't be worried long
This is the single driven out of the sublime My Dark Places album from 2006. The B-side, "Any Love Is A Good Love" was not on the album and must be possessed by TV Pers fans but also anyone who is not indifferent to great sad songs. If I post this single this evening it's also because it seems Dan Treacy will play tonight, not far from home, in a French festival called Mo' Fo', but it's full and I got no ticket. I did not anticipate that there would be no place (even dark) left. I could try to go to see if I can get in (shouting "I'm the great dk, I interviewed Dan Treacy when you were still shitting in your pants and fed by your mum, and it's maybe in reading my papers in the press that you stopped listening to U2, Radiohead or any other crap you were listening to, to turn your ears on this genius!" But it's not really my style (and probably false), even when I'm drunk (a thing I'm not often, but you don't give a shit, and it's "all at your honour" as say Jean Rhume, the funniest forumer all over the world (who sometimes puts a comment in this blog)). Moreover, even on his blog, Dan Treacy writes that his presence is not confirmed at the festival, and knowing as he can be like changing waters, I feel too old to find the motivation (and the resistance) for staying in the cold and then in the crowd, hours and hours for a putative appearance. So, I'll listen to Dark Places instead. I hope everything will go fine for Dan and the young public that will see him for the first time. I was sincerely sure that he would be dead by now when he has his so serious health problem by the summer of 2006. But we're both alive. Maybe not for long but the best is to go on and do the only things we think to be able to do correctly. Enjoy this unreleased gem here or here in streaming below. You can also look at the video of the A-side, the minimalist "All The Children On crack", featuring Dan Treacy son I think (but not absolutely sure).
All The Children On Crack. All the young children on smack, All the young children on crack. They diserve something better, Let's give them something back. I don't believe that anyone is born bad, I don't believe that anyone is born sad,But some people are born... mad.
Six months after the WPLJ concert in New York, we find a new Procol Harum. New because Robin Trower is now gone and his place has been taken by Dave Ball, new because they have now a full-time bassist (Alan Cartwright), and new because the band, probably a Brooker's wish, goes back to the music they played before Home, more keyboards driven than the one they played the 2 former years due to the Trower's influence toward a more straight rock sound. Honestly, it doesn't work so good here. The band does not find the magical atmosphere that these songs from the first 3 album deserved. In particular, Gary Brooker seems quite not at his most confortable on the oldest tracks, often missing the beginning of the words. The tracks from Home are the best, leaving Dave Ball show his style, quite different from the Trower's one, and who did not fit well with the Procol's style, in particular when he had only to be a discrete companion of the piano-keyboards duo. The frustration of Ball will be that he has no proper song to play and this must have been quite uneasy to deal with. But of course, any live set from Procol can be listened with pleasure for BJ Wilson, as good as ever here. Actually, it's a precious document of the transformation of the band from the rock era of Home and Broken Barricades to the classical ear of Live with the Edmonton Orchestra and Grand Hotel. This live set is here recorded from a good source apparently and is due to theultimatebootlegexperience blog, which is no more active it seems but maybe I don't have the new link. One of the best moments here is the extracts of the "In Held Twas I" suite, haunted and rough as rarely and from which I put in streaming "In the Autumn of my Madness" which was sung originally by Matthew Fisher but fits well to Gary Brooker. The end is pure doom and even Black Sabbath did not play so funeral music. Enjoy the whole set here.
In the Autumn of my Madness. In the autumn of my madness when my hair is turning grey For the milk has finally curdled and I've nothing left to say When all my thoughts are spoken (save my last departing birds) Bring all my friends unto me and I'll strangle them with words In the autumn of my madness which in coming won't be long For the nights are now much darker and the daylight's not so strong And the things which I believed in are no longer quite enough For the knowing is much harder and the going's getting rough
God of Hell (the only one I know), Huata is the best doom band this side of the ocean since the death of Robespierre (my hero for ever). Incredible. I've waited for such a band in this country since I discovered EyeHateGod, Buzzov-en or UpsideDownCross 20 years ago. This is exactly the music I consider the flower of evil, the rose of death, the cream of blood. All else seems so useless compare to this fuzzy walk of neanderthals getting out of their graves to make us know that we ruined their project of a peacefull and loveable world, and that religion, specifically christianism, has led us to the worst divorce between brain and body in animal world. But all my prose is fucking nonsense and what you need to do is listen to this great EP. It's in free dl on their myspace and you can also dl it here. It's all dirty and extreme, an evisceration of sounds, it makes your archaïc brain vibes and shakes your nucleus accumbens (this I fear, will only make sense for the students or searchers in neurophysiology who read this blog, probably not much). There's also traces of Mudhoney or Tad in it, a grunge smell in some way (real one, not the rubbish called like it and played by Pearl Jam or Stone Temple Pilot). It seems that they're searching for a new drummer to go on. Hope they'll find it quick and release a full time LP on a normal label soon cause they are a revelation. The second decenny of this 21st century after the birth of the Christ is theirs.
1978 is a strange year for Melanie. A strange and difficult one. After her excellent Photograph LP failed surprisingly to put her again in the front of the spotlights, we found her musically and physically changed with this album, sometimes considered by her fans as one of her worst, but I think it's too severe. Actually, the music here is quite different from the folky (although often pop and rough) side she was known for. This is rock with a white funky atmosphere, targeting the US market. In TV shows, Melanie does not appear with her guitar anymore but as a singer, and worst of it, no more as a composer since all the singles she will release this same year, and all the songs she will sing on TV, will be covers. Only 4 from the 10 songs of the album are her owns. Physically, she has changed a lot too, with these curled haircut and more strikingly, her new silhouette, having apparently lost quite a lot of weight (that she would have partly took 3 years later judging by the videos we can see). When I asked her why she did that changes (musical and physical), she told me that she was unhappy at the time. And it's true that she seemed quite out of her universe in this new role of variety singer. And all this will be ineffective, the album and the single (a cover of "Oh Boy" of Buddy Holly, strangely not included in the album, and that I've never found in vinyl, CD or MP3 format, so I post a german TV excerpt below of her prestation, you'll be surprised of how she moves and looks although here she has her guitar) failed to make any impact in the charts. Germany only was kind with her (and still is). She also appeared in a Beatles tribute show where she interpreted 3 songs ("Rocky Raccoon", "The Long And Winding Road" and "We Can Work It Out"), but unfortunately only the latter featured in the album. Thus, Phonogenic could have been a 13 song album, and maybe this would have helped its commercial career. Another miss was the cover sleeve. In UK, they put a picture of Melanie who seem to mimic Bonnie Parker but in a more romantic pose, and this is in no way appropriate to the content. Disliking this sleeve, she asked for a black cover with only her name and the title (ironic since for the first time she tried to fit with the physical rules of her times) on it for the US market. No need to say that it was still worst commercially speaking. The highlights of the album are the Beatles cover ("We Can Work It Out") that she sings divinely and the Mama's & Papa's rendition of "California Dreaming", one of the peak of her career, an interpretation that makes me shiver. Tears are not far. Melanie has this talent to reveal the underlying emotive part of pop song lyrics, that the tunes and the poppy arrangements had buried. This is this latter song I put in streaming. In the file, you'll find all the lyrics and some informations about musicians. David Sanborn played on some songs and it's quite obvious when you hear it. All in all, a good album that, excepted for some really weak songs (such as the 3 first ones of side 2) would have merited a CD edition. Enjoy it here.
California Dreaming. All the leaves are brown And the sky is grey I was takin’ a little walk On a winter's day I’d be safe and warm If I was in L.A. I’m California dreamin’ On such a winter's day I stopped into a church I passed along the way And I got down on my knees And I pretended to pray You know the preacher like the cold He knows we're gonna stay I'm California dreamin’ On such a winter's day I’d be safe and warm If I was in L.A. I'm California dreamin’ On such a winter's day All the leaves are brown And the sky is grey I went out takin’ a little walk On a winter's day I'd be safe and warm If I was in L.A. I'm California dreamin’ On such a winter's day
Don't ask me questions about this UK progressive psychedelic band (with a rather dull name I must say), I don't have any information about them except the ones, sparse, I found on various blogs these late years. All I know is that this album is a fascinating testimony of the creative peak of these years that seemed to allow all fantasies and experiments. I wrote about this LP in a series entitled "S'Heaven Tease" and published in a French Rock mag called Xroads. Pussy is in the last issue, published these days. Since it's not so easy to get it by now, I propose to listen to it here and taste if you like it as much as I do. It's not a masterpiece, but an excellent album with some wonderful moments such as this "Tragedy in F minor" (in streaming below), maybe borrowed to some classical tune but no matter since the arrangements make these short minutes a moment of rare beauty and emotion, perfectly fitted for the most depressives among us. You'll see that throughout the album, the influence of Syd Barrett is "pregnant", but sometimes one may think of the Doors or Steppenwolf. An unusual melting pot that should have provided to the band more recognition at the time but the critics were less than enthusiastic. It's time to rehabilate this underrated gem.
Here we doom again with Lumberjack Feedback. Strange name for a band and strange name for a track. There must be an explanation but I ignore it. They are French and someone advised me to listen to them recently, and I immediately found myself convinced how good they were. Since I am an Omega Massif amateur, it was difficult not to succumb to the assaults of their atmospheric and sludgy instrumental doom, less Pelicanesque that I feared at the onset of the track. They have played recently with Kylesa and they should find a way to the international scene soon I think (but in doom, the impossible and the possible walk hand in hand, the "hands of doom" of course). Sad that they did not propose at least 2 tracks, it would have been easier to create a fake single (or more exactly EP since the track is 15 min long). And moreover they could have released a CR-R with a sleeve and so on, for weird old men like me, nostalgic of the object. If I feel free to post this track, it's because they propose to dl it freely on their own site. Moreover, I'm sure that to be posted on a blog in MP3 is better for a band than to wait for a potential buyer, rich enough to spend money on a record he listened to 30 s only. So bath yourself in this muddy darkness and enjoy it here.
This album is another missed chance for Melanie in her attempt to come back since there was in it all she needed to show that she was a great artist, scandalously underrated. This was her 4th attempt for a comeback after Photograph in 1976, Phonogenic in 1978 and Ballroom Streets in 1979, and she must have thought that she was damned not to succeed in finding the way to a larger public that her small following, when she had been one of the biggest selling singers between 1969 and 1972. But the wheel had turned. And I can understand that in 1982, the world was not really ready to consider this record, consisting of a large mix of different styles, most of them belonging to the past, as excitating as she would have hoped. Listening to it now, it's easy to see that it was a great injustice, but I'm not sure that at the time I would have been interested at all. And the cover was like murdering it definitively, with a picture from apparently the same photo session than the one on Phonogenic, not a problem if the picture was good, but honestly, with her hat and her feathers around the neck, Melanie looks terrible. That's the reason I decided to do a fake cover with a picture taken also in 1978 by Dan Littlejohn, a professional photographer, but more in line with the content and the title (and with some "ressemblance" with the cover of Sin of Pride of the Undertones). So here it is, another album that never beneficiated of a decent CD edition (although released by RCA at the time, not an independant label). Among the 11 songs, 5 are reprises, but the best comes from the songs Melanie wrote. In particular, the thrilling "Love You To Loath Me" (and not "Love You To Love Me" as it is stated on certain sites), one of the most sentimentally incorrect songs of all the times, but actually the kinds Edith Piaf and Billie Holiday had sung in their times. Only that it is not usual to hear a woman sings such things since the 60's. This is the song I put in streaming below. In the file, you'll find all the lyrics I collected for you. One of my other fave is the apparently funny "when You're Dead And Gone" but the text is really depressing actually. But most of it is at least good, sometimes great. Have a good time in listening to these Arabesque songs here.
Love You To Loath Me. The way you mistreat me, you torture and beat me Well it doesn’t even make me blue ’Cause it’s truer than strange and stranger than true I just love you to loathe me like you do The human condition, we honour the victim So being a martyr does even make me blue ’Cause it’s truer than strange and stranger than true I just love you to loathe me, oo-oo-oo I just love you to loathe me like you do The way you despise me, insult and criticise me Ah each new insult gives me something new ’Cause it’s truer than strange and stranger than true I just love you to loathe me oo-ah-ah I just love you to loathe me like you do
Since I discovered Rose Kemp's Unholy Majesty, I became quite obsessed by this singer, presently the most talented female singer (why "female"?, actually both sexes confounded) of these times. You could hear one song from this album on my (unsuccessfull if I judge by the dl rate) d(k)oom compilation here, but if I created this fake 7" it's because you can help her in pre-ordering her next album here. She wants (and I think she's right), to shunt the record labels and sell directly her music to the listeners. She needs the money to do the promotion and the tour (lately she opened for Porcupine Tree, not the kind of band she should be associated with I think) and you can contribute to it (I did it yesterday) by this simple act. You're sure that the money goes to the artist and you are active and not just the spectator of the difficulties of your fave artists to create in this sharks world that is music biz. I chose these two songs for this fake single because they share a common contemplative atmosphere, less doomy or acoustic than other songs of the album, and because there are on youtube 2 live documents of their playing live onstage shot recently. So it's a good package. But of course if you have the album, there's nothing new for you. Enjoy it here.
If you don't have the album, buy it the quickest you can (not dl it in poor MP3 format, it's a great waste, this music warrants the best quality to provide its full dimension).
Wholeness Sound. As the wholeness sounds Width and omens resonate Tell me how to see Talk to me without your tongue Chandelieralarbra Chalk board in a red / black room Oh, you're the wallpaper Flattened in a vain cartoon Never leave my side There no direction I can look I've never been afraid To stand beside myself before Tell me I can thrive here Although I'll never be a part Of the soud of eight people And only one beating heart
Saturday Night. The leer on your face And the colour of the cocktail remain in my mind Why? It's been years / And I thought the bruises would fade And I'd look back and I'd smile It hasn't happened yet and I fear it my take a while Because we're all lairy and lost and this is such a pointless cost Because it's young and I'm saturday night and I'm last train gone Because it's young and I'm saturday night and I'm not all bad But this is the worst weekend that I've ever had Because we're all lairy and lost and this is such a pointless cost Because we're all lairy and lost and this is such a necessary lust
Jay Reatard is dead. After Vic Chesnutt and Rowland S Howard in 3 weeks (and I may have missed some other ones), it's a hard time for good music. And in the case of Jay Reatard, it' seems all the more injust, that he seemed to be on the way to become at least a sort of star, not in the sense that Beck, the Strokes or the White Stripes have been. No, this kind of star born only by the common vibration between a man and people via a certain arrangement of notes. In a way, it was more as Kurt Cobain became one 20 years ago. But it will not be the case. Those who looked at my songs selection for 2009 here saw that I chosed a song from his last album in the 14. It was "I'm Watching You". An infectious melody I had in my head days and days when I got the album, and that I still listen to with pleasure (and today with a great sadness). I think it would have been a great single A-side. The one I fakely create today (act of derision but what else?) with another great track from the splendid Watch Me Fall album, "Nothing Now". The 2 can be interpreted differently now he's dead. If they don't represent the main atmosphere of the album (much more pop punk that this, and when I say punk, I mean the one played by the Adverts, not grunge or college rock), they show where Jay may have been able to go if he had been left the time. A real waste. When I listened to this album (and reading some bad reviews made me mad and wonder what kind of shit have some self-claimed critics in their bloody ears), I also think of bands such as Polyphonic Spree (for the voice) and Sparks (for the voice too but first for the melodies) and the 2 songs posted today are both anthemics of these comparisions. I was too very touched by the constant self-depreciating lyrics, an elegance I appreciate although many simulate it more that they feel it deep inside. No more words. If you have the LP, this fake single has not a single interest but if you never had heard about Jay Reatard, try it here and share our regrets, with reatard.
No lyrics, but for streaming, both songs. And a video of "I"m Watching You" live from a show in Brooklyn raising one question: did they play in front of statues or of real humans? Seeing how the "things" in the audience don't move their ass on this fantastic song, I bet it is the first hypothesis.
Yes, I know I already posted this song before. But it seems, looking at the download rate, that many did not understand that The Real Rock Drill meant that "Mrs Blackhouse" had been removed and the initial real closer song, "No Complaints Department" (sorry, I mispelled it on the DIY cover of the 7", omitting the "s" of "complaints", but once again, it was too time consuming doing it again), a legendary rarely heard song, included as it was in the first vinyl version of the album, the one I bought at the time it was released. Maybe to find it, one must write the title song as keywords in the research engines they use, so the best is to create a fake single with this song as main title (actually fake A-side) and therefore the problem is solved. I won't say much here about this masterpiece, everything was explained there. On the (fake B-side), I chose a Rock Drill song with a similar melancholic atmosphere, "The Dolphins", making of this unreal single one of the most real moving ones in music history. The charm of the blogs is to allow everyone to create our own vinyl alchemy. Once again, I inform that "No Complaint Department" has never been released on CD, that I never found it on blogs or on the net, and that this is a rip from my own vinyl. Enjoy it here or there (mf, better uploader service) and a tender hello to Alex wherever he is.
Below, a rare picture of the band with Tommy Eyre (on the left), who replaced Hugh McKenna on keyboards for the Rock Drill sessions and the tour. And more below (belower?), the 2 songs for streaming with their lyrics.
No Complaints Department. I've seen stars disappear in a hurry overdoses of satin and silk, some others who can't feed their children 'cause they don't have the money for milk. Saw my best friend die in a plane crash, my brother was killed on the stage, so don't be upset if I'm angry, and seem in some kind of a rage. There is no complaints department, it's only up to you, no complaints department, no complaints department blues. I've got friends who are armed with magnums, they don't get their money from me, 'cause it never is no kind of pleasure, to see somebody suffer you see.There is no complaints department, it's only up to you, no complaints department, no complaints department blues. They took my old pal to the madhouse, in horror, in fear and in pain, with surgery done in a hurry, to do a transplant in his brain. There are some folks got nothing to live for, some folks got nothing to lose, so don't ask me for pity, no complaints department blues. There is no complaints department, it's only up to you, no complaints department, no complaints department blues.
The Dolphins. We watched the dolphins swimming down the fractured avenue Drilling through the rock bed Making hell of the morning dew Making hell of the morning dew Prayin' just ain't no way of saying To the monarchs sitting silly In the excrement from there own cigars This is no truce; This is the truth from hillbilly guitars! You wana play tricks on the hicks, And all we wanna do is be rock and roll stars! Ha! Hypnos was a Greek He could take the wild and the weak He could take your brain And hang it on the end of an iron chain The master showed his slave that a man ain't nothin' but a man! But before I'm gonna let that dumbbell beat me down, I'm gonna die with that hammer in my hand! ...That hammer in my hand! We watched the dolphins swimming down the fractured avenue, Drilling through the rock bed Making hell of the morning dew Making hell of the morning dew We watched the dolphins swimming down the fractured avenue, Drilling through the rock bed And making hell of the morning dew Making hell of the morning dew Making hell of the morning dew Where were you little man, When I laid down the foundations of your universe? I constructed the perimeter of your thoughts! I constructed where and what your flesh and bones would realize! Making hell of the morning dew...
Too long without doom's never good for health for those whose food is death. So here's another band, actually an Australian one (wo)man-band whose first (and last) LP has been one of my fave of the year 2008. Categorized as old-school doom, the music of Mandy VKS Cattleprod (and a drummering woman) is for me much more inherited from Nico fronting Black Sabbath (try to imagine) than from Pentagram as usaully said. However, don't expect the Iommi's riffs except the slower ones that he played on Master Of Reality. The album is quite in the same bloody vein than the Rose Kemp LP released the same year, Unholy Majesty, although less inventive and more contemplative, much darker and deleterious (see the cover to imagine the atmosphere) than Rose universe. There is something of Esoteric in this macabre cocktail but you'll add your own references if you are a connoisseur of the genre I'm sure. To summarize, you will appreciate it if you like depressive music sung by desperate and angry women (there is a real anger under the apparent resignation). Only the 3 first tracks (30 min the whole) compose the LP, the 5 next are demos recorded previously, but the best is to listen to this as a whole LP. Not impossible that it will be the only release of Miss Cattletprod under this name since I found no news (even on their unofficial myspace) of MurkRat. I added the video of "Believers" you can find on youtube, a very interesting visual object, perfectly in line with the aural atmosphere produced by the "band". I chose another song for the streaming "The Predatory Herd". Suffer it here.
Here's a rare picture of the band.
Often known as Robin's Last Stand, and sometimes (wrongly) announced recorded live in Dallas, this set is from a radio show recorded in live conditions, but standing in New York. The title (Robin's Last Stand) is due to the fact that this is the last appearance of Robin trower with the band before their late (and bad) reunion in the nineties. The band had issued Broken Barricades some weeks prior to this American tour, and Robin Trower had announced his decision to leave but accepted to join the band for this tour. At first it did not seem a tragedy since Trower and Brooker musical pathways were more and more diverging these late years, but it became a putative disaster when it appeared that Trower would have liked to take with him B.J. Wilson (not a surprise, it was the best drummer in the world and sure than many other bands had thought about asking him to join, and some did actually). But B.J. declined the offer (I don't know whether he hesitated or not) and Procol Harum could go on (Gary Brooker later told that without B.J. Wilson, it would have been the end for the band under this name). This live set is really extraordinary because there is a raw atmosphere in there and Robin Trower produces some of his finest moments with the band. It's particularly spectacular on "Whaling Stories" (the song in streaming below), on which he takes one of the most intense solo (surprinsingly more in the Paul Kossoff vein than in the Jimi Hendrix, his new hero, one) he would take with Procol Harum. I'm not really amateur of the music he would do once gone solo, but here he's a master of the axe. I did the sleeve cover myself and I'll do it for some live Procol bootlegs since the original ones are often absolutely ugly. I've not the ambition to make artistic ones but at least ones that respect the band's music. In a further post, we'll listen to the band 8 months later, once they'll have their new guitarist, Dave Ball. You'll see how they will change their sound and more spectacularily their setlist. Enjoy this fantastic moment of music here.
I make no mystery that Television Personalities is one of my fave bands since they released their first single, more than 30 years ago. I sometimes lost my interest for them (more precisely for Dan Treacy, because it's the only permanent member of the band), but never too long actually. The today fake single is a poignant testimony of the band playing live some months after the release of their wonderful The Painted World LP. They play here a fantastic version of the last track of the album, "Back To Vietnam", and on it Television Personalities sound a little like the Fall with emotion (since this is what lacks most in the Mark E. Smith's world). It's about war and Dan Treacy treats this theme with the same innocence and authenticity than inter-lovers relations, a candid approach that few else than him can assume without sounding flat. This track is extracted from a double-vinyl LP released in a single-CD version in 1992 and compiling some songs played at this place between September 1984 and July 1985 by bands invited by Leigh Goorney, who was briefly the Social secretary of this place. On the album (entitled Communicate), one can find Mark Perry, Jesus & Mary Chain and even Sonic Youth, but the sound is crappy most of the time and precluded me to post the whole LP here. One of the rare exceptions to this bad sound quality is by chance this long "Back To Vietnam" version (more than 11 min and not 1 less than genius). Since there was no other track by the band, I decided to create a one-song fake 7". I am conscious that the Vietnam pictures I used for the sleeve could be considered as indecent for a rock band, but reading the lyrics below (only parts of it since he changes them a lot on stage), you'll see it's not inappropriate. Moreover, if most of you know the classic one shot in front of the children running, the other one, shot in the back of the children is much less known. This is a modest way to perpetuate the souvenir of this terrible scene and to say once again, in our troubled times, that war is not a choice anymore (as it was during World War II), only a crime. Remember the great band was Television Personalities on stage at this time here.
Back To Vietnam. They'll send him back Send him back Send him back Back to Vietnam They're bringing back conscription They're going to give everyone over seventeen a gun And the housewhife in the kitchen All she can think of Is what to give her husband for tea But he won't be back Do we have to go through it all again? It's all the same: Vietnam, Korea First World War, Argentina, Falkland Islands Another war, what is it for? Now he's in a home For Vietnam refugees He's frightened He's in an institution He's in a wheelchair War is the last creative act I thought we might of learned some lesson Richard Nixon on Channel Eleven I heard it first Happy birthday, happy Christmas Guns go bang bang
This is the 3rd single by the Soft Boys. The lineup had changed, Andy Metcalfe being replaced by Matthew Seligman on bass. Since Alan Davies had been replaced by Kimberley Rew on the previous single, only Morris Windsor on drums and of course Robyn Hitchcock were from the original Soft Boys formation that played on Give It To The Soft Boys that you can hear here. The music changed quite a lot, being more straightward and this is the Soft Boys I always liked the most. One month before the Underwater Moonlight LP, one of the great masterpieces of the music of the eighties, this 3-track single was released with a T. Rex crossed with Pink Floydian harmonies, "Kingdom Of Love", on A-side (a shame it was not a hit) and with 2 non-album tracks, "Vegetable Man", a cover of a rather rare Syd Barrett Pink Floyd-era song (the comics on the back of the sleeve is about this song and can be read below if you click on the cover), and "Strange", one of my fave Robyn Hitchcock song, all times confounded. It is a very emotional song about a man who freezed her wife immediately after her death and who tells us as it is strange when he goes down to see her lying in the freezer. This song always reminds me of the Dr Martineau, who had tried to maintain his beloved wife in such an artificial state in the minutes after she died, hoping she would benefit from a resurrection when science would be able to cure her illness. This mad plan was so romantic in a way that I never had the heart to judge the poor man ridiculous. And there is no mockery in the Robyn Hitchcock text, just a respectful narration of the atmosphere of this strange scene. I put the lyrics and the song to read and listen to below. For the whole single, click here.
This fake EP only to provide to visitors a bonus track featuring on a special version of the Kinks Choral Collection and entitled "Postcard From London". Sung with past-lover Chrissie Hynde, it's a really moving song, full of nostalgia and sadness, but as always with Ray Davies, sweetened by a gently smile, far from any pathos. Finding such lyrics and such a melody, hommage to a city and a woman he loved long ago, is a tour-de-force that no-one better than this great artist could have achieved. Honestly, I don't want to compare, but I doubt Dylan or Lennon-McCartney (I don't even speak about the pale copies most consider as songwriters these 20 last years) could reached such celestial horizons in a 4-min format song. Only Brian Wilson was able to do it. The idea of this EP is to gather 3 songs that Ray Davis wrote about London during the last 40 years. The first is "Waterloo Sunset", one of the 5 best melodies of all times (and it's not only a subjective judgement, it is often the result when some polls are driven among various panels), here in its choral version (from the Kinks Choral Collection LP released this year). The second is "London Song", a fantastic and under-rated song that closed the Storyteller album released about 10 years ago. And the last, this year, "Postcard From London". Enjoy it here.
For streaming, you can hear first "Postcard From London" (take a handkerchief with you) and then "London Song". You can also watch the video and read the lyrics (if you click on the youtube video) of the former below.
Here we find Procol Harum 20 months after the concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra that gave the official Live release everyone knows. The band played 7 times with an orchestra between these 2 dates (but I don't know any bootleg from these concerts, if you know tell me please) and the Hollywood Bowl concert will be the last experience of the band with a complete orchestra until 1992, with (again) the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Compared to the Edmonton concert, the band seems in more relax mood this time and personnally, I prefer this last one even if some may find that the music is less somptuous, which is the case. I'm not usually amateur of live bootlegs but I've always made an exception for Procol Harum since hearing the various interpretations of their songs is a constant delight. Hearing how they slightly modify a thing here and there, raising shivers in your back at different moments, is a for me a consolation in life for more than 35 years. This is a reason Procol Harum will be the rare band I'll share some of them here. At the time they played with the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra, they had released Grand Hotel 5 months before an album that was received enthusiastically worldwide but did not sell as much as expected. Mick Grabham had taken the guitar after the short Dave Ball staying. Actually, this concert sounds as a Grand Hotel with Orchestra more than the previous one that closed the 60's period of the band. The sound is quite good for a bootleg and one can listen to it as an official one without being bothered by the production. I post here the version edited by Lobster records a decade or so ago. I don't think the sound is different from the ones found here and there but I don't think so. For streaming I chose one of my fave Procol song, "Simple Sister". The version here is much better than the one released as bonus track on the Salvo re-release of the Edmonton concert. Enjoy this fantastic moment of music here or there.
Below is the lineup of the concert
And below some pictures taken during the concert (or the rehearsal) by Roberta Holyoak and sent to the Beyond the Pale site by Mick Grabham himself.
This is a much more difficult exercise than usual for me, because music , although omnipresent in my life, has been more often present in its nostalgic form than associated with a true desire for exploration. Let’s dispose of nostalgia immediately, with what will be my album of the year, the Ray Davies’s Kinks Choral Collection recorded with his child neighborhood choir (Crough End). All the titles get a new "grandeur" with this choral treatment and all should listen to it. I cheated a little (just a little) to insert The Go-Betweens, a wonderful group whose poetry and music led me to work their repertoire.The city council of Brisbane decided to give their name to a bridge of the city ; I would have chosen a street or an avenue, that is why I’ve extracted "Streets of Your Town" from the sublime 16 Lovers Lane Acoustic Sessions. Then two albums from which I expected a lot and for who did not disappointed me. Ian “still alive and well” Hunter's "Up & Running" from his Man Overboard LP (this man definitely improves with age) and Prefab Sprout 's "Let’s the Change The World with Music" (which isn’t a new album but an LP rejected by the label in 1992) and which is nevertheless a true solo album by Paddy McAloon whom magical talent exploded again in "Sweet Gospel Music". Then Elvis Costello, for an astonishing foray into the world of bluegrass and his energetic "Complicated Shadows", and Solas with "Seven Curses", a song from their amazing 2008 album Love & Laughter but with a version recorded in October 2009 (so this is relevant to this compilation) at the Festival Mandolines de Lunel (which, I remind you, John Paul Jones is the godfather). For opening, The Nits (the most underrated band of the pop planet) whose nickname is "the three Beatles", and "Hawelka" does not lie this adage. To close with individualities, Mr Patterson Hood (singer, guitarist, composer and soul of Drive by Truckers) taken from his second solo album Murdering Oscar, ”Screwtopia", a quite funny title, but he tells anyone that he ‘s a die heart Todd Rundgren fan since he is twelve. This year was musically characterized by a rather "laid back" attitude as you see (hear), but I bet that 2010 will bring me back to more electric sounds such as those one can find in the fantastic Trail of Dead’s last opus The Century of Self (band of the decade definitely). I hope the Conrad Keely ‘s genius ,which is condensed here in "Isis Unveiled" will be acknowledge before the band split. My last musical choice for 2009 (but the order of this presentation is not the order of the songs on the compilation) is an edited one. I actually just gathered the first and last tracks of the Baroness Blue Record, the way I'm sure it was recorded during the sessions. And here it is, as a complete track. The pictures for the virtual sleeve were chosen by dk and were taken by Peter Franck (his site here). For the songs, it is here. Below, the streaming is the Nits song.