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September 2008

Archived recommendations go back to Spring 2000.

For various reasons the list of recommendations this season is quite short. I won’t go into exactly why, but I did then think that I could ask if any readers of this site would like to send in their very own recommendations to help the page along a bit. What I mean by this is that if you have a record that you are enjoying at the moment, please write up a brief explanation of it, scan the cover in the style established on these pages (at 300dpi), and submit it all to:

send to.

It could then magically appear, in the newly established Readers Recommendations, below the ones already written on this page. If no one writes in and this all new Trunk experiment fails, then we’ll just have to stick with what I’ve already put here, which is alright anyway. Well I’m not complaining. And until anything else arrives, this is what is spinning around in the front room…

It is sometimes worth digging in to early 1980s film music. And then sometimes it isn’t. I like this one at the moment as the percussion and overall grooves are most unusual, and very commercial. Also, this has none of the bum pinching cheeky style of music one can often associate with Italian film music.



Collin Bates made an album back in the 1960s which is apparently worth about a grand. This is not that one. On the front of this one he is drinking tea, and sitting in an attempted lotus position. The album is quite straight, only until you start listening really hard and then it changes a bit, and gets quite interesting. Sometimes I wish I knew loads more about jazz and then I’d be able to blab on and on about progressions, structures and other unimportant musical things like that. Milk in first please Colin.


In the good old days of British synthesiser purchasing, if you went to EMS and ordered and then bought a Synthi, you got a free flexi disk demo thing. I don’t have a synthi, but I do have the flexi disk. And this really is a terrific, dare I say historic little oddity. It’s also a small triumph in terms of type and design, but that’s another story. Anyway, it’s a stiffer flexi than normal, and sounds pretty fine too, with less of the plastic rumble you normally expect with such a thing. As the disk begins we have Tristram Cary introducing the Synthis, and then introducing various adventurous bits of music and petrifying SFX made on the electronic suitcase by various leaders of the British electronic scene - Derbyshire, Hodgson, Simpson, Zinovieff, Vorhaus and more. Strangely dark, strangely groovy too, especially when it sticks and forms a funny locked groove loop. Well it does on mine. Just had another thought. The artwork might make a very good tee shirt.



Cor, a French film ep with a naked girl all covered in food on the front. Yummy. It doesn’t really get much better. Musically good too, with Ward Swingle writing cutesy jazz hip things to eat up French ladies to.



I’ve always wondered what the expression “All The Way” meant and now I know. It means let’s make a record using a whole KPM album and then let’s get one of our sexy lady friends to grunt and moan and squeal all over it loads. Once we’ve done that, we go and press it up with no tracklisting at all, and finally add no cover art to speak of except a small photocopied stamp-like picture of two people kissing stuck on the front. I think that’s what it means anyway.



This sums up why I like buying records. It’s unexpected, charming and totally rubbish all at the same time. Big Police choir from Cornwall makes album of choral standards that no one buys. But 40 odd years on this album takes on a whole new character, like it sounds all beautiful and ghostly now and I really have a different opinion of policemen now. And I’m loving that Rhododendron in the background.



Another curiosity from the BBC archive, this little old vinyl lady is a series of monologues from Woman Hour in the 1960s. There are a few highlights, especially the first track, where this woman talks about going on a package holiday. The tour guide is a rip off merchant and the drinks at one of the coach stops gives her and her husband chronic wind.



This double CD issued by Cosmos who I know nothing about and has a name that keeps running out of my brain. It’s called “We are all doing something or other with the stars”. Well you know what I mean. And it looks really good and is in fact, really good, which is saying something in the ever so crowded folk market. My favourite track is the first one on CD two, the one all about bees.

Cosmos Folk



I will admit now that this vintage tape box is in the list purely for show. And doesn’t it look all grubby and classically British. Good to read that Babs is still doing well. I also like the fact it’s issued by “Lydcare”. It looks like the company only really cared about rude things, so possibly a better name would have been something like Bumcare. Or Sexcare or something. Click the image to read text. Click here to see how the Lydcare Lesbians evolved.

Lesbian Orgy


A few years ago the Italo / cosmic disco lark all kicked off. I avoided it quickly as I didn’t like the idea of buying 12 inch records with about 25 seconds of good groove for £100 a pop, and the closest I’d got was that funny studio LP by Estrak Lancios and I didn’t like it that much either after a bit. But I bought a box of disco things on a wildish punt recently, and in there was this, which is nuts in a slowed down fashion. And it has lovely writing on the front cover as a bonus. And before anyone writes in and says this is not Ital or Cosmic or whatever, I don’t really give a fig.



This is bloody marvellous. It’s a truly bonkers ride through a couple of decades of musical madness, stopping off at some unexpected places on the way. Like a town called jazz, a small village called almost classical and all followed by a quick visit to let’s smash that thing up and record it. This is not an album to hear if you have any kind of headache or related brain thing going on.




Congratulations to Jonny White, the first person to submit recommendations.

Francis Lai's music for a film called “The Bobo” starring, as you can see a blue faced Peter Sellers. It's not a winner from start to finish, but I've been gently lilting to the handful of nice bossa tunes, and two tracks that feature Sellers singing Flamenco, lamenting the sad lot of a lonely matador. These last two are priceless. Brings new meaning to the term “blue & lonely”. Ole! listeners.



Yes! 12" of Jan's Hammer. Three tracks on this but the track I really like is the moody Vangelis rip-off, "Crockett's Theme". Just the thing to put on by yourself in the evening, pour a strong drink and pretend that you're Don Johnson it a bit of a bad mood. Still available in charity shops near you.



Sid Ramin wrote the music to this 1969 film called "Stiletto". I haven't seen it, but it must be about a man with a very sharp knife. I hope he didn't hurt Britt Ekland. The music is very groovy, jazzy and brassy with nice drums. Some nice, slower cool moments too and a lovely song, "Sugar In The Rain". If you had a very bad memory and someone played it to you as the soundtrack to Bullitt, you might well believe them. The image shows Alex Cord with Britt.



This is a Peer International Library record from 1972 and it's very lovely. I don't know how many guitars David Johnson had, but they make a beautiful sound. Some of this music reminds me of Vision On, you know, Tony Hart doing pictures and stuff on the TV. Unlike a lot of library records, you can stick this one on and let it play without getting irritated by a really nasty tune. I personally like it in the morning.



Harper Valley P.T.A. by Jeannie C. Riley is that rare thing: a country concept album. A girl comes home from school with a letter from the P.T.A. that lectures her mother on her loose morals. In the songs that follow, the small towns' stories and secrets are laid bare and its hypocrisy exposed. Jeannie's voice is ballsy and sassy and the band sort of funky in a country way with much twangy guitar. The whole thing is blessed with tongue in cheek humour. If you like to swing your pants in a country stylee then this is for you.



Bikers, fights, guns, surfers, handsome men and pretty women. That might be enough for some people but the music is really good too. It's by Pete Rugolo, with a main title written by Lee Hazlewood and sung by Dusty Springfield. Its all good 60's stuff, some bossa, some pop, some jazzy bits and a great deal of people going doo doo doo and la la la laaa. I have heard it called "scat" but I don't really like the images that that brings to mind. We shall just call it wordless singing if you don't mind.



Apparently the theme tune from the American TV series "Taxi" is called "Angela". One's education never stops eh? I like the way it starts with a recorder (playing a little tune that wouldn't sound out of place on Children's BBC c.1976) but then moves to slick easy NYC dinner jazz, complete with breathy flute and electric piano. Don't rush to track down all Bob's stuff though; the B side is rubbish.



Once I heard that this actually existed, I had to get it. A fully fledged reggae version of the "Coronation Street" tune? How could you not? Proper dub version on the B side too, with trumpets echoing all over the place. As they say at the bar in The Rovers Return : irie!



I bought this record by Pierre Dutour because I had heard some of the cool records he did with Jack Arel for the Chappell music library. This is nothing like that at all. However I think I'll be listening to this long after I tire of frantically grooving to the trendy stuff. Its all watery with titles like "Soleil sur la Mer", "Oceanide" and "Lagon Tropical". It's mainly keyboards with mournful trumpets and flutes thrown in. Not a beat in sight, which is why I tend to put it on when I have a hangover. It's on the French Library label  'Patchwork'  by the way, No. 69. 



This LP by Andre Brasseur is imaginatively called "This Is Andre Brasseur". I suppose it must be the one with the moustache. It has a tune on it called "A Trip To A Fancy Castle". He owns a powerful organ of the Hammond variety which gets played a lot on this record, uses lots of brass instruments and French people shouting "Hey", "Wow" and clapping there hands. They sound like they're having a party. I have heard that this kind of music is called "jerk", but my wife often uses this word while I'm dancing around the house and I don't think it's very nice.



Oh dear. Lovely Jane Birkin doesn't look very happy! She doesn't sound that happy either as she breathily sings songs written by her husband Serge Gainsbourg with titles like "Depressive", "Ex Fan Des Sixties", "Nicotine" and "Apocalypstick". I suppose this last one is all about what happens when your make-over goes wrong, but I couldn't be sure because the whole record, entitled "Ex Fan Des Sixties"  is sung in French. This LP from 1978 was arranged by Alan Hawkshaw, but don't be expecting any dancing tunes. Go to your local disco instead.

Jane Birkin


Francis Lai composed the music for the 1970 French thriller "Le Passager De La Pluie" (or "Rider On The Rain") and it's very beautiful indeed. Lots of the tunes (20 in all) are nice and short so you never get bored, and he uses flute, xylophone, acoustic guitar, oboe, piano, violins, sitar, trumpet and probably other things too. It's a little bit classical (without getting dull),a bit jazzy and a touch scary. There is also a nice French song sung by someone called Sèverine (she's a woman). I think the movie is about a man terrifying women and maybe also killing them, which I don't really care for much; seemed to have been a popular theme back then. Charles Bronson is in it and I suppose he caught the baddie in the end. 

Rider On The Rain


This Italian library record contains compositions by Cicci Santucci and Lesiman (real name Paolo Renosto). It moves along at a nice gallop, sometimes cheeky, accompannied by fuzzy guitars, flutes, organs and the like, occasionally slowing down for a nice Latin number or while someone plinks away on a harpsichord.  If you like some of music that Easy Tempo were re-issuing a few years ago then this will float your boat and probably blow your skirt up at the same time.

Rider On The Rain


There's a lot of piano on this Italian library release. I think it's a very fine instrument. The style moves from melancholy, reflective and romantic to Baroque, poppy and rinky dink. There is also a lot of whistling along to the tune and someone sort if humming, a bit like that famous pianist Glen Gould, but better (at humming, that is). I stick it on when no one else is around.

Rider On The Rain



These images were sent in by Johan who writes: "Both are from a German book called 'Kristallspiegel im Heim', which was released in 1966 by the 'Spiegelglas- und Gußglas-Verkaufsgesellschaft', a Cologne-based mirror and window manufacturer." Groovy. Thanks Johan!

Why not send any old 'listen with friends' images you may have lying around. BOLLOCKS! Oh sorry: html Tourette's.

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