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RECOMMENDATIONS ARCHIVE

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Autumn 2003


Well this may take some time. It's already 5.15 in the morning and I've only just started on this page. Tell the truth I fell asleep with both the TV and the record player both on at the same time, and woke abruptly to the sound of the record player still going round the run out groove and the telly booming out a BBC repeat for deaf people. So, stuck with very few options (go to sleep again and oversleep or just go and write) here I am with the latest round up of what is really quite good. Looking at the pile of LPs / singles in front of me this is a mixture of both old and new records that are both old and new, if you catch my drift. Like some are old but new to me, some aren't - you know what I mean.

THE MASTER SINGERS - THE HIGHWAY CODE
well start with the worst and it can only get better. This is a George Martin production that I would imagine he's forgotten about. Four lovely talented young men singing the Highway Code in a King Singers stylee. Except for one track where they sing the Highway Code in a pub folk stylee.

I am almost speechless but have listened to is several times now and it has not got any better.


SHELL NATURE RECORDS: Had no idea these existed, then found one, then six month later which is about now, found a whopping pile of them. Seems like those lovely people at Shell Oil decided in the sixties to be all eco goody two shoes and issued a long series of wildlife recordings, especially birds. I reckon you had to collect coupons or just buy their supergrade oil or something in order to get them for 'free'. Anyway, I have about nine of these eps now, all with sweet little covers. Not bad recordings either, and if you find any doubles of these please let me know. I reckon I have about three to get now, but if you have any info about them please let me know. Thanks.

NIGHT OF THE HUNTER: Not really the soundtrack, but the film narrated by Charles Laughton who has a voice like melting licorice. Also included is some superb background music by Walter Schuman, some scary talk from the evil Mitchum and some fantastically spooky and all too brief kids singing. This is supposed to be one of the rarest RCA Victor records of all time, but now the internet exists we all realise there is no such thing as a super rare record and I got this with a little help from my computer for sod all. And it's great.

SOUND AND SILENCE - CLASSROOM PROJECTS IN CREATIVE MUSIC
Still obsessed with amateur oddness this is another killer kids LPs where they just make really out-there music for their teachers, then it gets pressed by a University then ends up on the vinyl scrapheap only to be abused by the likes of me. This has certainly one of the oddest covers I've ever seen, along with some of the oddest music. I mean there are iddy biddy kiddies here making music concrete, and like 'Stroking Piano Strings' which I believe is an offence these days.

THE WORLD OF HARRY PARTCH
Bit late in the day with this one, but I've never wanted to pay silly money for it and it's seems like this LP was only destined to come to me now. Mr Partch, what a guy eh? Makes his own plinkyplonky instruments, makes his own plinky plonky sound all based on classical Greek mythology 'n' that and even gets Emil Richards along to hit things out of time. Superb. What a lovely man. His LP is on the Music Of Our Time Label which doesn't exactly rock but really does take your mind into this funny place you don't got to to often. I bought this at Honest Jon's, downstairs in da jazz basement which is now open again like it was in the old days.

SPERMULA - JOSE BARTEL: Has anyone seen this film? Seems like lady space beings come down and extract sperm from men. Like whatever, but it's good music in a kind of sick disco fashion, with a really bad Marilyn Monroe pastiche song, which is not what you'd expect from a mid 70s alien. Download this image as a 1024x768 desktop wallpaper.


MONICA ZETTERLUND / CARL AXEL ORCH
What a filthy bird! I don't mean this really but the more info I dig up on the Zetterlund, the ruder she gets. Seems like this Swedish looking little jazz minx used to have it away with all and sundry - well quite a few jazz musicians from Europe and to be honest I wouldn't say no either. Amazing voice too, quite addictive in a way I find quite difficult to describe. And just to show you how loverly she really is, here's a painting of her by Stig Claesson. Click the image for a bigger pic.


SORTIE DE SECOURS - PHILLIPE SARDE
Bought this on the blind because I love the cover and have wanted it just because I'd never seen it in the flesh. I had one of those 'I must have it' urges mixed with a 'regardless of what it sounds like' urge which has lasted about six years. Well I got it, and boy is it a little sleeping beast. It very unpredictable with lots of French sounds, some great mixed in filmic speech and one mighty bass heavy jazz oddity. I am made up.

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UN PEAU DE SOLEIL DANS LEAU FROIDE - LEGRAND: Played this on the show a few weeks back and realised for the first time how good it actually was. There's one incredibly strange psychey track on there and the rest is like what you'd expect but it's really quite beautiful.

CAIN - FRANCOIS COUSINEAU: Seems to be a bit of a French thingy going on here, but this is French Canadian which is definitely very different. This is the score to a film I've never heard of by a composer I like. He's a bit unpredictable old Cousineau, but very good in a jazz fashion. This LP is a delight for many reasons - it's clever, wonderfully played, has some kooky singing on it and a dinky little track in 5/4 time which gets me every time.

DELICATESSEN - CARLOS D'ALESSIO: I'm sure you are familiar with both the film and music here - however as I'm not a CD kinda guy I never got it. So imagine my delight, and almost instant hardening excitement when I found a copy of this on vinyl. Korean only pressing, this is beautiful, especially the saw bit and the fact that it's ooooh on vinyl ooooh sexy.

CHERYL LADD - CHERYL LADD: Phwoar, the Charlie's Angle warbles! Not a bad voice, quite a nice silky baseball fashion jacket she's wearing too. Not the best of celebrity LPs, but hey, she looks loverly, she's got good American teeth and there's a track on this called "Skinny dipping", a sort of soft soul sexy number which apparently is an underground classic. But I checked with my mother and she doesn't remember so whether that's true or not is yet to be confirmed. It's now 20 past six in the morning and I'd like to confirm that Cheryl Ladd no longer does it for me like she used too. However this may be due to the time of day.


CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY - READ BY ROALD DAHL. Nice one! Scrumdiddlyumptious and all that! Could not leave this behind when I saw it as I never even knew it existed. A very pleasant spoken word LP to drift off to, however, even though Roald is the master of this strange childrens literary world, he's not the best narrator. He almost sounds a bit pissed about having to read it out loud but once you get used to that it's great. Good cover too, really belongs in a frame and not the record pile. Well that's what the bird says.


FUN IN SHARI LAND - SHARI LEWIS: One for Derek here. This was Shari's first LP, and I bought it the same day and in the same place as the Roald Dahl one. It's quite embarrassingly bad, as are most ventriloquist LPs, but the track "play a little song" sung by Shari, Lambchop and Charlie Horse is my kind of kitsch crap. Please also note the following: Shari's Teeth, The Horse's Teeth, the super knitwear and the fact that she also has a sock puppet called Hush Puppy who says very little. Derek, if you have a suitable Shari link here, take it away...

Derek writes:Fun in Shariland was one of 5 nominees in the "Best Recording for Children" category at the 1st Grammy Awards in 1958 (The winner was "The Chipmunk Song" by David Seville). As Jonny knows I've always had a soft spot for the Shari lewis.

Pocket-sized Shari was one of my top crushes as a liitle kid along with Valerie Singleton & Julie Stevens which gives some indication of my carbon date

Shari was a huge star in the states in the fifties and sixties and apparently was a writer on the original Star Trek TV series. Strangely enough I have just realised that there has been a picture in the odd gallery of her 'Hush Puppy' puppet for some time now.
Ah 'tis destiny.

Follow these links for more on the talented and lovely Ms Lewis.
tvacres.com
tvtome.com


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THE PHENOMENAL BERNARD WRIGLEY: A classic, underrated and quite brilliant folky dude. Also known as The Bolton Bullfrog, he has a distinctive cutting nasal style all his own. I had been obsessed with his rude song "The Molecatcher" for some while and eventually dug up the LP which Includes a wonderfully blubby tune all about meeting and Indian Lass. Some awesome and dare I say heavy bass concertina moments too,

BILLY JACK - RELAXED MUSCLE: Not one for contemporary things that often, I was recently charmed by the skeletal Jarvis in a rare live performance of this recording. This is like glam, electro and rock and stuff like that all together, with the usual classic Cocker vocal hooks and humour. If you ask me, the man has found his true voice but what do I know eh?

THE GLITTER BAND - MAKES YOU BLIND. Glam, did I say glam. Well this is anything but Glam. And despite the raging masturbatory title, this is quite a horny disco B side. Yes, that's right, a stomping disco number by the Glitter Band.

THE SARR BAND - DOUBLE ACTION

This is here simply because the nature of the house disco bag used. It's a woman with sexy red stilettos on, with her gold panties down around her ankles. And in close up. Which only confirms the old adage 'Red shoes no knickers'.


BROADCAST - LATEST LP. One day I will get this album. I know it's great, I like what Broadcast do and they are big fans of not just super film music but they love Basil Kirchin too. So go and buy it and tell me how good it is when you do. I nearly bought it yesterday but simply baulked at the £17 price tag.

GRAVENHURST EP: Got no idea who this bloke is but he plays guitar and sings very sweetly. I got given this and it's one of those tunes / songs that pops into my head all the time now which is great and really bloody annoying sometimes.

THE MEMORY BAND - SWEET FANNY ADAMS: Wahey! Well done Steve! Great new folky dokey ep! Also seems like Fanny Adams came from Alton, a town close to where I grew up, which is interesting isn't it. She got murdered by all accounts. My advice, stay away from Alton.

THX1138 - LALO SCHIFRIN: At last, the Schifrin / George Lucas futuristic masterpiece is out for the first time. I shall say no more because I don't have to.

THE CHAMELEON - LASSE FERNLOF

You have to admire someone like Lasse. He's got polio but never the less gets on with his life and makes jazz to die for. In typical Swedish style, this LP has it all - it's a soundtrack with long and short bits of magical fusion - unpredictable yet totally obvious all the time. Killer cover too. RCA Sweden only I think, but worth spending time tracking one down.


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DARK SUNDAY - ARTHUR AND CLAY SMITH
It's now hitting seven am and it's time for a hearty breakfast, so this will be the last of the current LPs and what a weirdy one to finish on. This all began when I realised I had this 'thing' about privately pressed soundtrack LPs. This has to be up there with the oddest of them all. I mean what the hell is going on here.

Produced buy the E.O Motion Picture Company, the company seem more intent on showing you their film lot (complete with with map and key to offices) than they are anything about the music produced.

Weird as hell, I think it's a murder film scored with electronic bits going off and twangy guitar all really badly played and out of time, and to be honest, I love it.

Murder!


Invite a few friends over