I decided to post each Shocking Blue single here, in a chronological order, not all gathered in a compilation, since I think each one merit an individual post (I should have done the same for Cockney Rebel and Steve Harley but I know most of you prefer to get all of them on the same one). Before "Venus" and "Love Buzz", the band had released a single that did not make it in the charts, although it was a great one. Sincerely, I was surprised that Kurt Cobain chosed "Love Buzz" to cover when "Send Me A Postcard" had much more a pre-grunge style with its heavy guitar and psyche-garage sound. If you look at the cover, you see that Mariska Veres had curled hair but would adopt very soon her classic Grace Slick hairbrush, and like her American model, would go back to the curled hair some years later. She seemed to say that they were not her real hair but I'm not sure it's true. Strangely, "Send Me A Postcard" was not included as bonus track on the At Home LP that gathered the songs only released in singles, but was included as bonus track on Scorpio's Dance, the second one. It's true that the single was issued in France only some years later, and offered when you bought petrol for your car (the petrol company was Antar that disappeared many years ago). I post the (ugly) cover below for testimony. The picture of the band is, I think, a shoot taken the year this single was released, judging by the look of the members (clothes and faces). The B-side has been included as bonus track on At Home and is a good although a little dated psychedelic-pop song à-la Steppenwolf. Taste it here.
Send Me A Postcard. Before loneliness Will break my heart Send me a postcard,darling How can I make you understand I wanna be your woman Here I'm waiting for a little sign Waiting till the end of time Send me a postcard,darling Send me a postcard now I can't taste a lonely night I need someone I can turn to Look out for the day I get a little sign I want to know your own mind Now Now please don't let me down Ain't no lover like me in town Send me a postcard,darling
Send me a postcard now
No need to include a streaming tilidom, the Youtube version of the song is of high quality.
In August 1985 was issued one of the greatest songs of the 20th century: "Primitive Painters" composed by Laurence, the leader of the band Felt. I've never been a fan of this band and honestly doesn't consider the rest of their discography as my cuppa tea but "Primitive Painters" is unbelievable. Of course, the participation of Liz Frazer on vocals and of Robin Guthrie as a producer (both of Cocteau Twins) is surely what makes the difference. But this would not have made this song so great if it was not a gem per se. Tonight, don't know why, but I had the melody of this song in my head, and since it was my project to post it here one day or another, it's the right time. Even if you're allergic to the 80's sound, give a hear here to this masterpiece, it's worth the listen I assure. Below a pic of Laurence, who was a kind of Pete Doherty of the times.
Primitive Painters. I just wish my life could be as strange as a conspiracy I hold out home but there's no way of being what I want to be The dragons blow fire angels fly spirits wither in the air I'm just me I can't deny I'm neither here, there nor anywhere Oh you should see my trail of disgrace (Oh oh you should see my trail of disgrace) It's enough to scare the whole human race
I said, oh you should see my trail of disgrace (Oh oh you should see my trail of disgrace) It's enough to scare the whole human race, yeah, eminence I don't care about this life, they say there'll be another one Defeatist attitude I know will you be sorry when I've gone Primitive painters are ships floating on an empty sea Gathering in galleries were stallions of imagery Oh you should see my trail of disgrace, (Oh oh you should see my trail of disgrace) It's enough to hold the whole human race I said oh you should see my trail of disgrace (Oh oh you should see my trail of disgrace) This is a new trance, yeah, an entrance too (You should see my trail of disgrace) And there's a look on your face, it's a human race And if you just can't stand it, ah, I swear This is a new trance, yeah, an entrance too (You should see my trail of disgrace) And there's a look on your face, it's a human race And if you just can't stand it, ah, I swear I said it thinner This is a new trance, yeah, an entrance too And there's a look on your face, it's a human race And if you just can't stand it, ah, I swear This is a new trance, yeah, an entrance too And there's a look on your face, it's a human race And if you just can't stand it, ah, I swear This is a new trance, yeah, an entrance too (I just swear, light on me) And there's a look on your face, it's a human race (Your bitter trance) And if you just can't stand it, ah, I swear (Yeah yeah) This is a new trance, yeah, an entrance too And there's a look on your face, it's a human race Hold on) And if you just can't stand it, ah, I swear (Hold on love, on and on) This is a new trance, yeah, an entrance too And there's a look on your face, it's a human race And if you just can't stand it, ah, I swear (The way I see it, yeah yeah) This is a new trance, yeah, an entrance too (In your father's life) And there's a look on your face, it's a human race And if you just can't stand it, ah, I swear (Painters of my life) This is a new trance, yeah, an entrance too And there's a look on your face, it's a human race And if you just can't stand it, ah, I swear (Swear I'm your life) This is a new trance, yeah, an entrance too (Do you feel it?) And there's a look on your face, it's a human race (I'm good) And if you just can't stand it, ah, I swear (Yeah, we?re jamming on) This is a new trance, yeah, an entrance too And there's a look on your face, it's a human race (I can feel through your head) And if you just can't stand it, ah, I swear This is a new trance, yeah, an entrance too (All through your life) And there's a look on your face, it's a human race And if you just can't stand it, ah, I swear This is a new trance
Shocking Blue has always been one of my fave 70's band, and not only Dutch band. More mainstream pop than Jefferson Airplane, there was a special flavour in their rather simple and rudimentary rock that made them one of the bands that I preferred when I was a kid. I since got all their singles and LPs (more than 6, not the one-hit wonders they are considered to be) but no use to post them here since they are all very easy to dl on several blogs. I admit that Mariska Veres, the gorgeous singer, did a lot to make me appreciate this band. Not only for her beauty but also her voice and her candid I-don't-know-I'm-a-sex-symbol-for-all-teens-and-truck-drivers style. Finally, they will be remembered mainly for 2 songs: "Venus" of course, one of the all-times greatest hit on the planet earth, and "Love Buzz", the present subject of the post, because Nirvana covered it on the A-side of a Sub-Pop single in 1988,3 years before their commercial breakthrough. It's not that this song is a great one, Shocking Blue did many better ones (such as the B-side I chose for this fake single, the superb "California, Here I Come", that featured with "Love Buzz" on their first LP in 1969), but it's a quite forgotten version I think. And it allows me to make a sleeve with Mariska on it. She died 3 years ago, at 61. This is an hommage to her, and my, youth. Enjoy this love buzz here.
Love Buzz. Would you believe me when I tell you You're the king of my dreams? Please don't deceive me when I hurt you; It just ain't the way it seems. Can't you hear my love buzz? Can't you hear my love buzz? Can't you hear my love buzz? I need you like a desert needs rain; I would rather like to die. Darling I hurt when I do not see you, So spread your wings and fly. Can't you hear my love buzz?
Below a video hommage to the band using "California Here I Come".
Tomorrow evening, the fathers of sludge are in Paris and this is the occasion to post their first LP, first released in France in 1990 i.e., 2 years before the US, on a French label called Intellectual Convulsion (they also released the first Dazzling Killmen before the US). This seminal LP is one of the most essential in rock and maybe the most important in sludge. The only difference between the French and US version was the cover sleeve and that's the only thing this post can add to an album that is easily found to dl on many other blogs. There's not much to say about this band. Many will not be receptive to this vomitive way of considering music. Some, as I am, find here something that I would call metaphysical, even if the members of the band would probably consider this as intellectual masturbation from an old faggot and they're maybe right but I can't change anymore. Judging by the videos on Youtube, it seems the band is still a must-see. Anyway, here everything began. I included this album on the 120 1987-99 essential albums issue of the Xroads music mag and I'm quite proud of that. Meanwhile, suffer it here.
Below, more than 30 min of a show by the band in 1993. Good sound (except you can't hear Mike Williams singing) and nostagia for sure.
If it was necessary to have a demonstration that the disc industry considers that we are only paying pigs and that it's no use to respect us, this compilation would be one element of the trial. Actually Peter Hammill recorded 6 sessions for this show, 4 with 3 songs and 2 with 4 songs. So, when in 1995, a Peter Hammill's Peel sessions album was released, we could hope to have 20 songs on it. There were actually only 14. The 2 first sessions were not included. We could imagine that these recordings were lost, who knows, but when the remastered versions of the original studio albums of Peter Hammill were released 4 years ago, the second sessions appeared miraculously on The Silent Corner and the Empty Stage. But, would you believe, not the 3 songs, only 2, "A Louse is not a Home" being replaced by a late live playing of "The Lie". And no trace of the 1st Peel session on Chameleon in the Shadow of the Night. All this is impossible to understand but the result is that 4 songs played by Peter Hammill at the Peel sessions are nowhere to find. So, I do not promise here the complete, but the less incomplete collection of the songs played by Hammill at this radio show. I don't need to say that these sessions are seminal, not only for Hammill's fans but for anyone who appreciate intensity and deep introspective examination. The 4th session in particular, following the release of the LP Over, is a must hear for everybody. This is one of the songs played at this session I streamed below, one of his strongest songs in his complete career. Be careful, the last session is a rather special period for Peter Hammill, going into cheapelectronic 80's sound. Not listenable now. Enjoy it here.
Betrayed. When I began I was full of altruistic dreams, Believed in princes and princesses, kings and queens - Now I find they're all human inside, All bitterness and pride, So why shouldn't I be like that too? It seems that I've forgotten all I tried so hard to learn; It seems there's not an ounce of love or trust Anywhere in the world. Friends - they're all harbouring knives To embed in your back our of revenge, or spite, Or indifference, or lack of other things to do - In the end who's going to be a friend for you When they kick you in the guts as your hand Holds out the pearl? It seem that there is nothing left but Hatred and lust in the world. I don't give a damn anymore - I've only wound up betrayed. It's all been absolutely worthless - All the efforts I've made to be gentle and kind Are repaid with contempt, Degraded by sympathy, and worthless kindness And love that isn't meant. I'm through with joy and company, I've done with pretty words, Betrayed... there's no hiding place Anywhere in the world. I've nothing left to fight for except making my passion heard - I don't believe in anything Anywhere in the world
Here I am again, after hard times I must say. And nothing better than a true great doom band for a come back. Here is Mother Susurrus. They are finnish and this 2-track EP is a massive achievement agreggating sludge and doom. It's dirty, heavy, but there's space for the listener and they don't use a wall of noise to impose their music. This is this stoner approach that makes Mother Susurrus a band that has its own universe and honestly one of the rare in the last past months that I can say I would recognize the style (some bands are great but don't succeed to develop an idiosyncrasy). The music is not based on long developments but on several fragments intricated and sometimes they could be considered a bit progressive (in the good sense of this term, as was King Crimson for example). But don't worry, this is heavy as lead shit. Strangely, at the 6th min of "Apocatastasis", the second track (20 min long), the voice becomes soft and more conventional. I hope this is not an indication of a future vocal choice since I am not fond of this singing in doom. Time will tell. But then the track becomes a gigantic sonic airplane flying over the smoky horizons and it's, you can believe me, orgasmic. The second part has an Indian flavor that gives the band a king of psychedelic dimension (maybe the reason of this strange but nice cover sleeve). You see, nothing of your usual doom canteen. Enjoy it here
No time to post today, don't need to menace me with this gun. I gotta work for living. Yes I know all life we work but work is bore, and that if life's for livin' what's livin' for. It's Ray Davies who sang it 40 years ago... and nothing's changed even with all this damned shitty technology that only scotomize our voluntary servitude as wrote La Boetie... longer ago still. Tomorrow, I promise. PS. The pic is from the great Gottfried Helnwein.
Oklahoma USA. All life we work but work is bore, If life's for livin' what's livin' for, She lives in a house that's near decay, Built for the industrial revolution, But in her dreams she is far away, In Oklahoma U.S.A. With Shirley Jones and Gordon McRea, As she buys her paper at the corner shop, She's walkin' on the surrey with the fringe on top, Cos in her dreams she is far away, In Oklahoma U.S.A., She walks to work but she's still in a daze, She's Rita Hayworth or Doris Day, And Errol Flynn's gonna take her away, To Oklahoma U.S.A., All life we work but work is a bore, If life's for livin' then what's livin' for.
I fear that not many of you see the importance of Tinsel Teeth but honestly I think you're wrong and that you should be in the truth before the masses. This has been one of my main musical pleasure in life to have believed in some bands before they became successfull or (more often) cult. I remember how it was hard to defend that Black Sabbath was the best band in the world in 1971 (I was just a kid, not even a teen, teens were for us stupid arsehole listening to Hendrix, the Beatles, the Doors or Janis Joplin and saying that all that was good was gone and that Sabbath was music for prehistoric men, and they were somewhat right). And that was the same with Alex Harvey in 1973 (compared to Bowie, it was gutter rock), and with Alternative TV in 1977 (compared to Clash, it was a nonsense), and with Jesus Lizard when they released Pure (you had to listen to Sonic Youth) and Today is the Day, and Electric Wizard. All this past bullshit useless ruminations of mine because I would really like that Tinsel Teeth become an important part of the scene, a kind of Gossip for the second decade of the century with Stephanie as a destroy Beth Ditto. But after all, you do what you want. One member of the band made me the honour to leave a comment here to inform me that they had released a 3 demo EP 2 years ago. Some weeks before their strongly awaited album, I post it here as teasing. It's much more satisfying for the ears that the live testimony I posted the other day but both are necessary in your ear life. Enjoy it here. PS. I did the fake cover sleeve. Didn't find the official one if there were one.
If someone'd asked me what's my fave Ian Hunter's song, I'd answer withouth any hesitation "Shallow Crystals", even if it's on a weak album (Overnight Angels) and somewhat altered by the awful production of Roy Thomas Baker (if he could have stayed Mister Queen it would have been great). Even Ian Hunter, who regrets to have recorded this album (although songs are rather good, but he sings them too high and the production is more pretentious than you could imagine, even more than the Queen one) says that it's a great song. I'm surprised he so rarely sang it afterwards since the text seems one of his most autobiographical and intimate. It's about a mother who seemed to be so cool that she destroyed the members of her family. Not a usual way to revisit negatively his education. All this is written it seems, by a son who sees her growing old and tired, maybe dying. And he's full of bitter words for her and recriminates her past attitude. The melody, music and arrangements (he really worked hard with Earl Slick on the guitar parts he admitted) make this song one of the peaks of his career, one of my all-time favorite songs since it was released in 1977, even if at the time, my musical preoccupations were far from Ian Hunter's world. Since he never released it anywhere else than on the album, I decided to create one of my (quite stupid I know) fake singles, putting the other great song of the album, "Ballad of Little Star" on B-side. For the sleeve, I chose pictures of Hans Bellmer puppets that seem to me the perfect visual equivalent of these songs. You see I'm a sickened mind. Enjoy it here.
Shallow Crystals. Her life gets smaller in his eyes And he wonders if he thinks he should cry Oh mother the colour's gone and left your hair And he wonders if he thinks he should care She told him how to play a guitar She told him how to be a star But mother were you really there My friend don't speak he's such a mixed up boy I wonder if she sold him his toys A kiss on the cheek a conversation decoy In his cute little corduroys Oh she taught him how to win the game She taught him everything is your name Oh mother did you have to destroy Mother if you really cared You'd talk to him cry for him All you every did was dream All you ever said was be cool be cool be cool And I think you made a mess of his life And I think he made a mess of your life And I think it made a mess of my life Mother if you really cared You'd talk to him cry for him All you every did was dream All you ever said was be cool be cool be cool And I think you made a mess of her life And I think she made a mess of your life And I think it made a mess of my life I think you made a mess of my life I think you made a mess of my life
Among the best bands in the world living today, here's Tweak Bird. They are one of these formations that decided to give up the boring guitarist obligation (and often solo performances or rock 'n roll conventions) and to function as a duo bass & drums (+ voice). And honestly, based on a Melvins paradigm, what they achieve should propulse them in the intergalactic success (but people have such awful musical tastes these days that I doubt it will be the case, imagine they believe that Muse, Radiohead or Coldplay are great bands). There's something that I liked so much in Budgie 35 years ago, a strange collision between heavyness and nursery refrains. What is strinkingly good is that they really play songs that you can hum and have in your head the whole day throughout. Moreover their melodies are even catchy and rather sweetly sung. With Boat, Polyphonic Spree, Kate Nash and Mitch Easter, these are the ones I preferred over the last 5 years. Here is their 2008 EP Reservations. If I post it (although recommend, as I did, to buy it), it's because they will release soon their first LP, and I optimistically think (hope) that those who give me some musical credits will lend an ear to this EP and agree with my opinion above. Moreover, they seem great guys and I love their sane relation with nudity and nature. Yes I know I'm a body naked addict but I assume. As said Catherine Ringer from the Rita Mitsouko "the body is the last modern adventure". Tweak Bird will be in Europe in may, don't miss them. Meanwhile, enjoy it here.
Below an hommage to the Who Sell Out cover sleeve (one among many I must say)
Here an interview with the 2-men band
Here a nice video with a non-EP song.
Here a TV show video in which they play the great "Spaceships" from this EP.
This is not the real "Saturday Gigs" single but what should have been the "Saturday Gigs" single. Actually, the band had changed since "Foxy Foxy". Ariel Bender had left and was replaced by Mick Ronson, yes, THE GREAT Mick Ronson. But the transplant will not take, the rest of the band complaining about Mick Ronson's behavior, quite distant and only talking with Ian Hunter such as it seemed that Mott The Hoople was only the vehicle for a Hunter-Ronson duo. However, they rehearsed and recorded some tracks among which "Saturday Gigs" and "Lounge Lizard". In fact, "Saturday Gigs" was recorded with Ariel Bender under the name of "Saturday Kids" and Ronson added his guitar on the final version whereas "Lounge Lizard" was recorded with Ronson. But the latter did not feature on the single cos Ian Hunter apparently refused, wanting a live track (actually a medley with "Jerkin' Crocus, Sucker & Violence") for a reason I can't explain except maybe to put this song on his first solo LP (that'll be the case). So here it is the version that could have been. That would have made a great single. Of course "Saturday Gigs" is a marvellous song, the story of the highs and lows of the band in 4 min and the announce of the end of Mott as a band, maybe less chart-able than than the band was thinking but now a cult one (see below the videos of the original one and the version of Ian Hunter last year). "Lounge Lizard" is also a great one, and I wonder if I do not prefer the Mott version than the Hunter-Ronson one recorded some months later after Mott disbanded. Enjoy it here. PS. Yes I've changed the sleeve and removed the Live medley for "Lounge Lizard".
Saturday Gigs. Sixty-nine was cheapo wine,Have a good time,What your sign? Float up to the Roundhouse On a Sunday afternoon. In Seventy we all agreed A King's Road flat was the place to be 'Cause Chelsea girls are the best in the world for company. In Seventy-one all the people come Bust a few seats but it's just in fun Take the Mick out of Top of the Pops We play better than they do (yeah, yeah, yeah) In Seventy-two we was born to lose We slipped down snakes into yesterday's news I was ready to quit But then we went to Croydon Do you remember the Saturday gigs? We do, we do Do you remember the Saturday gigs? We do, we do The tickets for the fantasy were twelve and six a time A fairy tale on sale Oh, Seventy-three was a jambouree We were the dudes and the dudes were we. (oh oh oh oh oh) Did you see the suits and the platform boots? (oh dear, oh boy, ...) In Seventy-four on the Broadway tour We didn't much like dressing up no more Don't wanna be hip - but thanks for a great trip. Do you remember the Saturday gigs? We do, we do Do you remember the Saturday gigs? We do, we do But now the kids pay a couple of quid 'Cause they need it just the same It's all a game A grown-up game But you got off on those Saturday gigs And we did, we did 'Cause you got off on those Saturday gigs And we did, we did Don't you ever forget us We'll never forget you We're going to sleep now You better be good, right? (ha ha ha) See you next time [...?] So long for now
The name of this band comes from the so-called "suicide song" posted yesterday. The title of the LP from an essay by the great Nietszche. I once thought they were russians but they are from Suede. This album was a fave of mine (and not because songs titles often borrow to chemical products I take or took) the year it was released and I use the name pretext to post it here. It's very dirty sludge in the EyeHateGod tradition but with something more fuzzy and still more muddy (yes they can). In the Last Chapter webzine, the reviewer called it "sludgy doom metal punk". Not wrong. The last track ("Dead Love Autumn") is a masterpiece and still sounds as exceptional today as it was at the time it was issued (actually I'm not sure the album was not recorded earlier than its release). The inside image conceived about the 11th september (reproduced below) is quite a different approach of the event that the journalistic soup that is usually served but seems to me more relevant to the inside motivations of all this terrorist shit that the similar political theory they claim. The band stated recently that they were "neither dead nor in jail" and that they were "rehearsing new material". That's a good news, we need bands like that to give musical equivalent to our own disgust of this world. Meanwhile, go deep down in their catacombal derelicted sludge doom here (inside booklet with lyrics is enclosed).
No video, no lyrics, only a streaming of the massive closing track of the LP. Listen until the end please, it's monstruous.
This terrifying drawing is from the great Alfred Kubin
Gloomy Sunday. Sunday is gloomy, My hours are slumberless, Dearest the shadows I live with are numberless Little white flowers will never awaken you Not where the black coach of sorrow has taken you Angels have no thought of ever returning you Would they be angry if I thought of joining you Gloomy Sunday. Gloomy is sunday with shadows I spend it all My heart and I have decided to end it all Soon there'll be candles and prayers that are sad, I know, let them not weep, let then know that I'm glad to go Death is no dream, for in death I'm caressing you With the last breath of my soul I'll be blessing you Gloomy Sunday Dreaming I was only dreaming I wake and I find you asleep in the deep of my heart dear Darling I hope that my dream never haunted you My heart is telling you how much I wanted you Gloomy Sunday.
Let's be optimistic (yes folks, I'll try this time, it's Easter after all, the resurection of the Christ). All love stories don't turn as bitter jokes and end as buried cadavers in the back of our mind like in the back of our gardens. Some cross the decades and only death can separate the lovers. This is one of them that Ian Hunter had the chance (and the talent cos it's quite a talent to keep alive a love story) to live since for more than 36 years now, he's still with Trudi (at least I believe but I can be wrong, if it's the case, don't hesitate to tell in comments). And the B-side of this single is the one he tells how it's good to be loved this way. A really simple and wonderful song driven from The Hoople LP. On A-side, it was, unusually, a non-LP track, once again a Spectorian song (the way Roy Wood did it with Wizzard). Not a great achievement. Released in June 1974 (3 months after "The Golden Age of Rock 'n Roll") it was surely supposed to candidate for the summer hit but it was a miss (only 33 in the charts). This was a sign of the cul-de-sac in which was going the band at the time. And the dawn was on the horizon. Anyway, give it a try here.
Sorry, no video from the band playing any of these 2 songs on TV or live.
Trudi's Song. She doesn't have to say - she only has to look I think she sees Through me - reads me like a book And I'm in love with her, and she's in love with me And the love goes sailin' on - across the stormy seas. Mmmmm, I got my babe, Mmmmm, I got my babe, She's a right-on child, she goes smilin' Sometimes I go over the line, she has to bring me down, And the pride pulls heavy, makes some evil sounds. But I'm in love with her, and she's in love with me And the sea runs calmer now, I kiss the love that sleeps. Mmmm, I got my babe, Mmmm I got my babe,She's a right-on child, she goes smilin' Mmmm, I got my babe, Mmmm I got my babe