Mott The Hoople - Roll Away The Stone / Where Do You Come From / Through The Looking Glass 7" (1974)
Why a single with 3 songs? Because this single was released 6 months apart with 2 different B-sides. The first version in November 1973 (in UK, reaching n°8 in the charts) with a non-album track called "Where Do You Come From", a Stones-backing-Dylan song, the way Ian Hunter likes it, not a great one, but an interesting track. The second version (US one that did not chart) was backed with one of the best songs ever written and sung by Ian Hunter but also in the whole music history, "Through The Looking Glass", a mix between the Kinks "Sitting In My Hotel" and David Bowie's "Bewlay Brothers". Can't listen to it for the last 36 years without shivering like a naked child lost in a cold night. This is from this song that is derived the name of a monthly paper I write in Xroads (you remember it's a French rock magazine) and called Diar(rh)y. A song beginning by " I'm feelin' ugly - I'm feelin low" could not be something else than my fave song. I don't think Ray Davies, Lou Reed, Bowie, Hammill, Steve Harley or anyone else has done a song being both so somptuous and intimate. The A-side was a bubble gum melody in the Roy Wood vein (or in other words the Spector one), not a great one, but that puts some light in the grey of the days. Enjoy it here.
Through the Looking Glass. I'm feelin' ugly - I'm feelin low - mornin' mirror - you ain't no rose And did I mean it - or did I lie - or did I dream it - Oh! Christ I'm tired. Why then did ya have to grin, now the blood rolls down my chin - Oh You know you painted so much blue, and I'm much younger than that too Oh mirror - what did I do to you? You're my voyeur - see every line - chase them to destinations - On through time And you're my diary - yeah, the bitter truth - unexpurgated - a mis-spent youth, oh - Do you have to paint teeth green, when they're snowy, white and clean? Do you have to make eyes red, when they're clear and fresh instead? - Oh mirror, I wish you'd lose your head - Sometimes I'm on a gig, and I'm feeling kinda good I run and look at you, just like a pop star would But you just glare at me with those dark accusing eyes That say My make-up's good... I'd like to.... I'd like so much to.... - Oh I'll never look at you again - 'cause I'm really not that vain - Seven years bad luck ain't that long - before I smash you, hear my song - Oh mirror, I'm sorry you were wrong.
Below is the Mott TV appearance on Top of the Pops in 1973. They had quite the look I think. And seeing Ian Hunter is always a pleasure. But before a nice video done for "Through the Looking Glass".
And now the great DK. No, nothing to do with me. DK for Dazzling Killmen, one of the greatest and wildest band in history. I hope you have their 2 albums, in particular Face of Collapse, a pure masterpiece. Between them, they released this single with 2 non-album tracks, and more notably a fantasty cover of the PIL's "Poptones" (the track in streaming below). An unexpected influence but after all, there was something of the non-rock dimension in both musical universes. In the single featured a comic book I scanned and included in the rar file. It's a welcome addition to your noise collection. After DK, Nick Sakes formed the great among the greats Colossamite, a band I'll try to post one day since they were really stunning. While this blog is still on, satisfy your appetite if you got one for this kind of music here.
Poptones. Drive to the forest in a Japanese car The smell of rubber on country tar Hindsight does me no good Standing naked in this back of the woods The cassette played poptones I can't forget the impression you made You left a hole in the back of my head I don't like hiding in this foliage and peat It's wet and i'm losing my body heat The cassette played poptones This bleeding heart Looking for bodies Nearly injured my pride Praise picknicking in the British Countryside Poptones
I've been asked to remove my post on Strawbs (specifically the "Lay Down" single, why not the other ones I ignore it). Surely A&M who asked for it (you imagine, 2 songs from a 1973 single, this may kill them). I removed also the other Strawbs singles that were on the blog. And I'll remove the Strawbs name from my language. And do the same, remove all references to Strawbs, even on your shopping list. Specially the ones they released on A&M. We have our old vinyls, no use to give them money to have some bonus tracks. They imagine that the MP3 is of similar quality than their CDs? Hummmm, strange remastered versions ! No picture, no streaming, no dl. Nothing today. The way these majors would like to see internet. One thing is consolating. They'll soon be dead. Buy music directly to the artists. These labels hunting the bloggers are predators that need to be eliminated.
This afternoon, my external hard drive felt on the ground and has given back his soul to the God of computering. There was a large amount of data on it, and most of the MP3 for this blog. Another hit on the head after the upload problem of last week. I don't know if I'll have the courage and motivation to go on. There was also all I had written for ages on it. I know it's being a stupid asshole not to save all on 2 different supports. But it's like I am attracted by the thrill of the risk to lose it all. Well done. I lost it all. I feel like my past is dead. A mix of sorrow, anguish and dysphoria. The image above shows how I feel these days. And particularily tonight of course. Since I got no rope with me, the only thing to do is to sleep I suppose. Stay in line, maybe there'll be more, who knows.
You thought that Eugene Robinson, David Yow, GG Allin, Costes or, for women, Wendy O' Williams, Liza Suckdog and Beth Ditto were the thrashiest, nudest and most extreme performers in rock history. Forget it, here comes Stephanie from Tinsel Teeth. She goes where few else have gone. Not in the dirty side of it (no scat here, no freak show due to big tits or big belly, not even sex although she is often half naked and wear fake dick), but something more related to tribal transe and spontaneous exorcist choregraphy. I'm much more troubled by her than by all the previous ones and I find she touches something purely metaphysical that deals with human condition. The proof with the pictures below that reminds me of the "Shout" by Edvard Munch. Maybe only a woman could show a real equivalent to this legendary painting (although Munch was a little bit misogynic in his imagery). Musically, the band does not match the scenic level of their singer and is under our hopes, but actually there's not much studio testimony of how they sound and most is from live sets as is this fake EP (28 min) recorded at the Whore Island on the 05-17-2008 and due to lotofnoise here. I'm curious to hear what will be their first proper studio recording. I'll keep you informed. Meanwhile, let throw an ear here and run to see them onstage if you're American (I guess we will have to wait some years before they'll come this side of the ocean and unfortunately they'll probably be less wild than they are).
If you want to see more, go to their myspace, there's plenty of stage pic in their picture space here.
You have to look at the videos below to understand what all this is about.
This single was released with The Hoople LP in march 1974, the first Mott The Hoople without Mick Ralphs on guitar (gone to form Bad Company with Paul Rodgers, an apparent good idea that turned in a bad affair musically) and it was clear that Ian Hunter had taken the commands of the team, for my greatest pleasure I must say. Ariel Bender, previously known under the patronym of Luther Grosvenor, took up the guitar job and honestly I always thought his style was better for the band than the Ralphs more Rolling Ston-y one. But I know I'm not representing the majority. Anyway, this first single was contrasted, with a tribute to Rock 'n Roll on A-side, a good song but not really the Mott I prefer, and a moving Procol-Harum-backs-Dylan-like song called "Rest In Peace", and a nice companion to "Rose" (listen and dl the latter here). The text is not so dark and down that the music and the title suggest but all in all, it's not all joy and happiness. Both "Rose" and "Rest In Peace" will feature on the Live album that will be released at the end of 1974, and still feature in the Ian Hunter sets, showing that they were not fillers but classic Hoople ones. I did not create a cover sleeve, having no nice picture to put and maybe it's not such a good idea to create cover sleeves for singles that got one (all the single sleeves across the world I have found are in the rar file). Enjoy here.
Rest in Peace. Oh if my wheel could take another turn And if my life replaced itself again, I wouldn't want a single thing to change. Oh it's been good, though it's been strange. And if my dreams were willing to come true, Oh i would not even try to let them through. I'm sure there's things i've missed, that others preached. The goals they reached, they weren't for me. Rest in peace, Even though the worries seem to mount, Don't let them count. Rest in peace. Throw all those smiles and paper miles away. You make willow pattern pictures through the rain. And swallow when your heart begins to breathe, Just like a bird, do what it please. 'cause i ain't gonna be here all that long And when i'm old i want to know i sung. If there's a road ahead, i'll jump right in. Just got to win, this is my hymn. Rest in peace, Even though your worries seem to mount, Don't let them count. Rest in peace.
The promo video can be seen here (don't know why the integrated tool was desactivated). Below is their playback at Top of the Pops in 1974 (superb high quality because from a BBC4 show broadcasted last year). Ian had the class I must say, what I call a Rock 'n Roll look.
My connexion is so slow I can't upload anything for days. Don't know what's happening and all I do to fix it is useless. Thanx to stay in line in the few next days. I may find something to solve it. It would be sad to close this blog for such a stupid technical problem. Sorry. My technical skill in computers is not better than my English.
This is the last great Steve Harley's song (subjective assertion of course) and it's 30 years old. This is extracted from the deceiving The Candidate LP, deceiving but better than the really weak Hobo With A Grin one released the previous year. "Freedom's Prisoner" is the best track of the LP and the lyrics are about the scoptophilic obsession of the narrator (Harley I suppose) concerning a girl he goes to see dancing day after day, anywhere she performs, and feels he's becoming a prisoner of this monomania. It's a Blue Angel synopsis and for the sleeve (the original single did not have one) I first imagined taking a Marlene Dietrich picture but in definitive, it is more likely to be about Cyd Charisse, since she reached the peak of her popularity (in Vincente Minelli film The Band Wagon in 1953) in the fifties, and may have more likely exerted her attractive power on the young Steve Harley than Marlene. Not a great deal actually, the important is that the song remains as strong today as it was at the time. The swansong for Steve Harley who would disappear slowly in oblivion in the next years. Really strange destiny. On the B-side, featured the rather good "One More Time" and both are maybe what's to keep from The Candidate. Enjoy it here.
Freedom's Prisoner. I wanna be the jiver you'd wanna meet I wanna be yer danger man in the street I wanna be the biggest thing in site I wanna be yer dancer in the nite Wanna be macho, wanna be cool Wanna be treated like a jewel To get hold of you babe I know that i can Gotta get to you n be the man When i see you coming weaving across the floor always Wanna feel n beg for more Whenever yer move them legs i always feel a pain Wanna get with you again n again n again When you've got yer finger on the pulse Then all i see, is a wonderful place I always wanna be I hear from all the girls you're quite a bitch That sounds so wrong, sacrilege Put on a little make-up n jive tonite I'd even do the hustle to catch yer site You're like the elemental child My crazy dancer, sexy wild When you pout yer lips n wriggle yer hands I wanna be bad, bad, bad like the boys in the bands I'm always there to watch yer come Slithering across the floor I get so hot, stare in awe I seen you dance in new york, london and la Swear i'm gonna do it with you one day It's gotta be the wonderful, magic movements that you do I'm FREEDOM'S PRISONER watching you
Actually, this is not completely a fake single. "Shine On" (also called "Shine On (Her Hymn)" or "The Sun Will Shine On You And Me") has been released on a single only but as a B-side of a "Lay Down" / "Ruby Tuesday" A-side EP, the latter being reorchestrated in 3 (???) versions. What a stupid idea! "Shine On" is a great song that was worth a release by itself. So I do it now. With a do-it-myself cover sleeve (beautiful picture) that is inspired by the lyrics. On the B-side, I included a full orchestral version of "How Can I Help You Say Goodbye", a cover from a hit of 1994 that could be found on Silver Aniversary (here) in an acoustic version. Here the arrangements are quite gorgeous. Both make a delight of a single. Never too late to discover it. I know many among you are not enthousiastics as I am about Melanie. They're wrong. She's a hell of a singer and I pity you if you don't see why. We've not the same neurons and synapses between our ears and our limbic system, that's all. For the other ones enjoy it here.
Shine On. If I should flow through the rivers of darkness If I should drown in the deep salt sea I’d like to cling to the notions I harbour Until the sun shines down on me And when our names have been forgotten And our faces all washed clean If we hold onto one another The sun will shine on you and me The sun will shine on you me, I know And the truth shall set us free, oh yeah When our names have been forgotten And our faces all washed clean Aww, the sun will shine (shine on me) The sun will shine on you and me (shine on me) The sun will shine (shine on me) The sun shine on you and me (shine on me) When all mankind stands up united On that day we shall be free When we can trust in one another The sun is gonna shine on you and me The sun is gonna shine on you and me The sun will shine on you me, I know And the truth shall set us free, oh yeah When our names have been forgotten And our faces all washed clean Oh The sun will shine (shine on me) The sun will shine on you and me (shine on me) Yeah shine, shine The sun will shine (shine on me) The sun will shine yeah, yeah, yeah…
Rare are the bands influenced by the seventies, and more specifically by both the Beatles and the Blues Boom, that transcend their adoration for this period and provide something reaching the level of credibility if released in the 70's. In France, it's more than rare, there was actually no example. Astral Quest are the first. This band, whose leader is an inspired guitarist named JM Devaux (a real dandy in the 70's acception), has reached on this LP (their second) a new gold standard for neo-70's music. The influences are large (Devaux has a fragile voice not far from Ray Davies and melodies are inherited from McCartney & Harrison) and never this sounds as plagiarism of a unique reference as it's often the case in bands imitating their ancient idols. The main reason is that they often sound quite Stoner (in the Kyuss vein), a style that is very posterior to the period we talk about. And there's also some reminiscences of Syd Barrett, the Soft Boys or Television Personalities, you imagine my pleasure. I encourage you to dl and listen to this album, you won't be deceived I think. In particular, listen to the B-side, a 17 min suite called "The Atomic Shack Suite" (based on a traumatic and dramatic personal experience of JM Devaux), and a real gem, with "As The Children Play" a truly wonderful song. In brief, if you want to hear the Beatles fronted by Ray Davies playing Stoner, this is the LP for you. Enjoy it here. And don't forget to buy the LP if you like it. You can get it there.
Below, 2 songs showing 2 sides of the band, the soft electrick Stoner blues one with "Someday (We'll Go Back Home)" and its superb final , and the delicate ballad one with "As The Children Play", a peaceful song that provides some peace in the tortured minds of doomsters like I am.
I made errors in the Silver Anniversary and Arabesque posts (yes Melanie, don't laugh at me please). For a reason I ignore, I forgot the song "Too Late (To Go)" in the former and included the Silver Anniversary version of this same song in Arabesque. Strange. You'll find the correct albums setlist here for Arabesque and the missing track there for Silver Anniversary. The links have been changed in the corresponding posts. For excusing me, here are the 2 versions of the songs below. The first is the version on Arabesque (1982), the second the version on Silver Anniversary 11 years later. The picture above was taken during the Arabesque period (look at the hat and the curled hairs), the picture below in the nineties.
Too Late To Go. Too late to go Too late, too late to go Too late now, baby I already let my hair hang down Too late too late to go It’s too late to stay To late to stay, I say away Too late now, baby I already let my hair hang down Too late, too late to go You already seen my best So you might as well see the rest And it's too late, too late to go Too late, too late to go Too late to go Too late too, late to go Too late now, baby I already let my hair hang down Too late, too late to go I knew from the first time we met That you wouldn't be staying for my second set And it's too late, too late to go Too late, too late, too late Oh you ask me what's the score I don't know what the game is But I wanna play some more And it's too late, too late to go Oh and it’s to late, too late to go You already see my best So you’re gonna have to see the rest And it’s too late, too late to go Oh and it’s too late, too late to go It’s too late, too late, too late Doo lang, doo lang, doo lang Doo lang, doo lang, doo lang to go Doo lang, doo lang, doo lang to go To late, too late, too late to go
OK, it's hard to deny that this posthumous LP from the great Alex Harvey is a disappointing affair and I even hesitated to post it, but felt it was relevant to the "forgotten songs" option of this blog since some of the songs in it are worth to be saved and not punished to belong to a weak album. Difficult to say who is responsible for the weakness of the project. The production is rather bad, the band's not the best Alex was backed by (don't know if they are the Electric Cowboys Alex was touring with in 1982) and the songs sometimes not reaching the level of quality according to the Alex standards. One indication of the problem of inspiration facing Alex is that the best song of the whole is the one that is driven from the Roman Wall Blues album, released 15 years before, the eponym "Roman Wall Blues" song. But I wonder if the main responsability of the deception are not the keyboards, mainly the moog and other awful synth sounds that destroy some of the best ideas. Terrible years where this kind of sound could be considered as a credible enbellishment of the sound. Makes me throw up listening to that now (and made me at the times). It's difficult to know how much Alex was involved in this LP, death taking him by surprise whilst waiting for the ferry in Zeebrugge, in Belgium. He was 47. Since my 47s, I always feel a candidate for sudden death and it modified my way of seeing life. So, it's a little hommage to this great man I do here in proposing this last LP under a nicer sleeve cover than the ones used for the vinyl and the CD versions, both mediocre. I did my best to imagine something he would have liked but I know it's a subjective ambition. If you wanna try, dl the LP here.
Roman Wall Blues. Over the heather the wet wind blows Lice in my tunic, a cold in my nose The rain comes falling out of the sky I'm a soldier on the wall and I don't know why The mist is lying on a hard grey stone My woman is gone, and I'm sleepin' all alone There's somebody else hangin' 'round her place I don't like him, I don't like his face! I saw a Christian worshipping a fish There would be no kissin' If he had his wish She gave me a ring, I gambled it away And I want my woman, and I want my pay When I'm old, and I only got one eye There'll be no more soldiering, just lookin' at the sky I'm a soldier on the wall, I'm a soldier on the wall, A soldier on the wall, and I don't know why! Over the heather the wet wind blows Lice in my tunic, and a cold in my nose The rain comes falling out of the sky I'm a soldier on the wall and I don't know why The mist keeps lying on a hard grey stone My woman is gone, and I'm sleepin' all alone There's somebody else hangin' 'round her place I don't like him, I don't like his face!
I suppose most of you don't know Christophe (his family name is Bevilacqua) if you're not French. It's, with Alain Kan, Jean-Claude Vannier and some few other ones, my fave French singer songwriter since 1974, the year of its great Les Mots Bleus (Blue Words) album. In the seventies, his wife was the Alain Kan's sister, the reason why we found the two of them collaborating on one album, Pas Vu Pas Pris (Not Seen Not Taken) the one that followed the today's one. If I post Le Beau Bizarre (The Beautiful Weird One I would translate) it's first because it's for me one of his best (the best being probably Comme Si La Terr' Penchait (As If The Earth Was Inclined) in 2002 and the last one, Aimer Ce Que Nous Sommes (Love The One We Are) in 2008). But back in 1978. Punk was here, and Christophe released one of his rockest album, but a rock one in the same vein that Procol Harum was rock, that's mean with a quite decadent sophistication, full of neon lights, night creatures and men full of frustrated desire for them. Lyrics were by Bob Decout, a strange guy who worked here and there on weird projects (in particular with the actress Annie Girardot, his lover at the time) and who probably wrote the texts who have been the most adapted to the Christophe personality during his career. This great album alternates deliquescent songs on piano with a cabaret flavour, and some rockier ones with aggressive electric guitars (but don't expect the Stones or ACDC). The album was not a success and no hit was driven from it, a mistake that Christophe will not reproduce, being for most of French, a variety singer, a kind of effeminate Tom Jones, with one hit for dancing slows on the beach bars, but producing innovative music in his albums, bought by his true fans. The worst is that the vinyl discography of Christophe has been released on CD first in 1989 and 1992 with the original sleeves, but in remastered versions in 2004 with awful coloured sleeves versions. I wonder who was responsible for this stupidity. Here it is with the original sleeve for you. And in streaming, one rocker, "Saute Du Scooter" ("Jump From The Scooter").
1973 & 74 were Mott years. This band summarized all that we loved in the glam movement at the times. They succeeded in mixing a real heavy, dirty and thick rock sound with the glam sophistication. Ian Hunter seemed the real unreaching star for us. But we did not know that it would not last long and that in 1975 all this would be an old souvenir (and now history with its nostalgic bandwagon). In each single, the band was nice enough to put a non-album song, and often it was a gem, sometimes quite different from what the band was known for. And its the case with this single, in which "Honaloochie Boogie" (the single following "All The Young Dudes" in UK and released in May 1973 and reaching n°12 in this country) was backed with a miraculously delicate and moving song called "Rose" It's quite clear reading the lyrics that Ian Hunter is more than sad to see a girl drowning in dope and here it's more like a paternal than a rock star song. There was a fabulous live version of this song on Mott Live one year later. It's for this talent to reach our soul so deep inside than I loved (and still respect) Ian Hunter. Only Alex Harvey and Steve Harley would have this genious. Neither Bowie, Bolan, Ferry or the Mael brothers could compete. As you guessed, it's not the original cover sleeve above but a fascinating Sally Mann picture from her Immediate Family series (taken between 1984 and 1991 so not relevant to the single I must admit) and that I find to perfectly fit with this 7". Let's have a thought for all the Rose throughout the world and the decades that lost their youth and their life in this awful dope cul-de-sac. Enjoy it here.
Rose. It ain't so long ago since we were just two kids Remember well memories we all hid But you're much older now, although you still are young I know you well, I'm like you Hey Rose, you're finer than you know Why hang around with clothes of another name Hair so dyed she lost too much inside Ain't nothing left to hide in the game Hey Rose, how do you laugh in your own show Try to fight the fears that rise within Rock 'n' roll slag, oh my, you're such a drag Trying to find the corner to inject Hey Rose, so silently she goes Careful not to make up, see your maker Hey Rose, how do you laugh when she's on show Try to fight the fears that rise withinHey, rock 'n' roll slag, oh oh, you're such a drag Trying to find the corner to inject Hey Rose, you're finer than you know And I hate to see you cold on a summer day
Some call it Black Metal, and Malefic (the one man band of this name) has a look for it and used to play that. Some call it Funeral Doom since the music shares many elements of this sub-doom style, and it's true there's everything in it to be called like this even if Funeral Doom, the genre usually named like that, is quite different. In fact, I would call it catacombal atmospheric gothic doom. It succeeds in being more depressive than Esoteric. A tour-de-force. For those who have mainly 70's references, imagine the darkest passages of King Crimson and Strawbs, when the mellotron covered everything of its foggy sheet and seemed to take us back in the darkest times of medieval barbary. For those who have some doom notions, this can be described as a mix between the old Anathema and Tiamat. For others again, you can imagine God and Scorn in their bleakest moments (on the fantastic "All Reflections Drained"). And of course, there are some dark metal element but far from the classic emphasis approach of this genre, not my cuppa blood. But all this is quite a loss of time since I give you the link to dl it just below. What it's essential is that it's... essential hearing. Not music to be listened to anyplace anywhere anytime. Not only because it stinks death and desolation, but also because the production is specially muddy and does not fit with the usual contempory criteria. I suppose Malefic doesn't care and wants his music to sound like this and he's probably right, the risk to sound artificial (unfortunately the majority of the bands) is lowered. This is the last album of Xasthur, released last year. Sad that the drawing on the cover sleeve is rather ugly. The music worths a better one. Interestingly, Melissa Nadler, not really a singer songwriter swimming in the same dark waters than Malefic, is doing concerts with Xasthur and seems to be collaborating to his next album. Hope it will not attenuated the power of the music. Meanwhile, try this one here.
In streaming, the incredibly oppressing eponymous track. Don't know why the track stops at about the 4th min and all the dl rar files I found have the same problem. Maybe on the CD this goes on the 7 min as announced. If you know tell me. Did not find the lyrics on the Xasthur site here.