It has been a busy few months, and I have been up to my ears doing very little. I have bought a few records though, and some of them I have written about below...
Recently I found myself in an empty bar having a drink. I quite enjoyed it. The bloke behind the bar was doing a lot of cleaning and was playing a mix CD thing, possibly the bar’s ipod. Anyway, Come With Me Now by Tania Maria started playing and I realised I’d not heard it for about 20 years. I bought the LP the next time I saw it. The I noticed that Tani is doing her rabbit impression on the front cover.
Not sure if this is an old bootleg, a made up record, or real record or what. It’s interesting though, mainly because of the curious electronics on it. The main theme has quite clearly been lifted from an old VHS copy of the film, which gives it this ghostly, worn out kind of funky sound which seems quite appropriate. Actually, I think it’s a bootleg. Of course it is.
ELLA FITZGERALD SINGING MATCHMAKER MATCHMAKER:
Could she be singing about the famous chocolate sticks which come in mint, orange or just plain. I doubt it somehow. That aside, this is a wondrous gently singing thing that sort of gets me feeling a bit soppy. And it’s from a funny Ella Fitzgerald record I bought from a nice bloke in Bristol, in an old market. I bought a magic roundabout jigsaw at the same time. Well about ten minutes later. Also worth noting is the poor photo of Ella, where she does look a touch draggy, Which reminds me
THIS I MARC FUNNY RECORD:
Yes, dating from about 1980 but with a distinctly earlier sound. I like this because the music is all simple and subtle and quiet. It’s also quite slow which seems to suit my brain pattern at the moment. Nice public sculpture on the front too.
Bought a British Tamla original pressing of this on line for £4.50, which I thought was a real bargain, I know it doesn’t have the flappy bit that comes with the American copy, but it sounds incredible. And it is incredible. The bloke I bought it from said it had water damage. I think he was an idiot, because there isn’t any.
A BOLLYWOOD SPORTS ALBUM:
Recently I have put together a Bollywood compilation for Demon. I did it with my mate Joel. As a result I have ended up listening to these kinds of records a bit, and wish to write about this most unusual slice of Anglo Indian madness. It’s a Bollywood film set in London. And it’s all about cricket. As a result I have come up with this all new musical equation: Bollywood + Bob Willis = Reggae.
THIS ALBUM WITH NUMBERS ON:
It’s called Four Notes In Search Of A Tune and I’m still in search of a tune on the record. I think this is some sort of science based musical lark, but I really don’t know. Lovely cover though. And quite good unexpected things going on some of the time.
GIRL ON THE BEACH:
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to get James Clarke onto my radio show. He’s a most entertaining character. And this is an exceptional record he made back in the late 60s for KPM, that came out as a normal commercial album. It is very beautiful in many ways and it’s a shame we can’t see just how lovely the girl on the front cover is. Maybe she’s a bit of a moose close up.
THE COLONEL ELLIOT RECORD:
Over the weekend of July 20th lots of people got excited about the moon landing anniversary. Forty years and that. I got really excited and was lucky enough to play at a silent space disco where everyone wears headphones and dances in silence. I had to get out all my space records, and this is one of them.
Over the last few weeks I have read Love Will Save The Day, that book all about the birth of disco. The I realised I had one of the records mentioned, this superbly mixed DJ album. Tom Moulton was the man behind it, and it seems like he was the monster at extending records into long 12” extravaganzas. It’s a great record and has a killer tune on it by Curtis Mayfield but I cant remember the name of it. What I really like about this record is it look very bad, but is actually very good. It also has a list inside it of all the famous DJs and nightclubs it was sent to at the time, which is quite interesting.
There are two of these America Giovanni records, and I only have one of them, and it’s number 2. It’s a library album where the Italians are trying to pretend they are cool American musicians, which is a bit daft really considering they are pretty good when they are pretending to be themselves.
OPERATION SAN PIETRO:
A few years a go I found a bizarre Italian Ice Cream compilation with a couple of track from this soundtrack on it. I have now bought the actual soundtrack and the best bit is the novelty sleeve which has little peep holes in it so you can see all the Swingle Singers and put a names and faces to all the la la las. Nice to see Michel Legrand’s sister getting in on the act too.
THIS TERRIBLE JIMMY SAVILLE RECORD:
Now then now then, this is rubbish. But I still keep listening, And still keep playing it to my three year old and anyone else who comes around. One for the great celebrity record dustbin in my house.
ANNETTE'S PAJAMA PARTY:
There's something quite reliable about an Annete soundtrack, Whether she’s having a party in bed or on the beach, they are all relentlessly happy, upbeat and teeny bit manic. I find this a wonderful record to hoover to, and the noise of the hoover actually seems to improve the sound.
A few weeks ago a mint stereo copy of this album sold for close to £200. Apparently the early stereo Bond albums are very desirable and I suppose stereo was rare in the very early 60s. Anyway, I started listening to it again and noticed 1) the sexy swimming costume on the front and 2) how superb it is as an album in many ways. I have listened again and again in fact.
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:
Over the August Bank Holiday I went to a tiny festival in a cherry orchard. I drank a little too much, got in the mosh pit, and ended the evening dancing on the bar with some teenagers and a gang of surfers from North Devon. The next day I was a little unwell so I spent most of it in my tent with a battery powered record player and these four rather marvellous bits of vinyl; I think they saved my life.
This is just lovely syrupy Indian mid 80's romantic pop. I suppose if they were singing in English and didn't have tablas, sitars and all the other bits and bobs it might sound rubbish. But they do, and it doesn't.
LIFT TO THE SCAFFOLD:
Miles Davis. French cinema. Jazz. Film music. It all sounds a bit too cool to be true, but it's all here on one record. This is Davis' 1959 jazz soundtrack to the film "Lift To The Scaffold" on Fontana. Sparse and beautiful, except for two very annoying, very fast tracks that do a hangover no favours.
LOUIS AND ELLA:
How sweet do they look? Utterly charming Louis and Ella record with the quietest Buddy Rich drumming that you will ever hear (tippy tap pschhhh). 'Moonlight In Vermont', 'They Can't Take That Away From Me', 'Cheek To Cheek' and many more. Louis Armstrong has a wonderful vibrato at the end of each note that I had never really noticed before. I used to just think that he was all frog.
Not a very Brazilian sounding name is it? Well it's a very Brazilian sounding record that will have you shaking a leg, even if you are lying down in a tent. I was particularly pleased with it because my friend from Rio popped her head round my flap to ask what the great music was.
(round your flap? - Ed)
I also visited my mother-in-law in the West Country over the summer. She lives in a town with a hilarious record shop. The proprietor insists on pricing his stock according to the 2007 Record Collector guide and only uses the top (mint) prices. But his records are never mint or even close: £30 for a Roxy Music lp anyone? £6 for a scratched Barbara Streisand 7"? It just goes on and on. Anyway, he was away for the day and to cut a long story short, his replacement and I agreed that he was mad and I walked out with a bundle of records for £15 that were priced up at over £40. That is called 'having it off'. Here are two of them:
THE YOUNG ONES:
Sweet. Sounds like a funny old musical, which I suppose it was. Has a very good Shadows tune on it called 'Peace Pipe' and the Mike Sammes Singers on on it too. Great Cover, nice old green Columbia label. In fact, come to think of it, it looks better than it sounds.
One of those 7" children's singles that has a read-along-to-the-record- book inside the gatefold sleeve. The prize here is the song 'Black Beauty', a jazz waltz with harmony vocal group intoning "Black Beauty, through the wind and the rain, Black Beauty, knew the meaning of pain". Could even be the ubiquitous Mike Sammes Singers again.
And so to recent online auction purchases and high street finds...
YES, YES, LOOK HOW SHINY IT IS:
Johnny Mandel jazz and stuff from a Paul Newman film from 1966. Nice private eye music and a great little 60's dance number called 'Mexican Breakfast'. If I remember correctly that tune plays in the film while a saucy woman in a bikini does the hand jive on a diving board and Paul eats a sandwich. Those were the days...
Fast forward (or rewind) to 1982 and this schlocky looking Wolf Gremm movie from Germany starring a pretty desperate and greasy looking Rainer Fassbinder. (He directed films too, by the way). The music, written by a bloke from Tangerine Dream is all synthy and strangely relaxing. Two tracks have the titles 'Police Disco' and 'Police Therapy Centre', but I think there must be a misprint because the therapy centre music is much more fun to dance to and the disco music is quite tense. I found it amongst all the rubbish in Brick Lane... never stop looking...
This is good. Henry Mancini from 1958. Charlton Heston rather hilariously played a Mexican in this brilliant movie that also starred the film's director Orson Wells (looking more desperate and greasy than Rainer Fassbinder). Latin jazz, big band sounds and a little sax-led 50's rock 'n' roll.
This has a cool loping bass, nice hammond and a jazzy guitar line that sounds like George Benson being a bit lazy. What I really like is that there is no crap 'b' side, just a continuation of the same tune. I think it means 'Long Live The Discarded'. I also like the sleepy Mexican incorporated into the record label name, 'GORDO', which incidentally means:
fat, thick, stout, plump, corpulent, portly, fleshy, top, porky, rotund, Fatso Always nice to learn a bit of Spanish.
Terrible name for a band, up there with 'Snow Patrol' and 'The Editors', but what a fab jacket. I want one. Early 70's soul/funk thing going on here, mostly instrumental, which is nice, lots of clavinet and some spacey sounds too. Possibly music to play while getting ready to go out on a Friday night...
This, on the other hand is only for playing once or twice a year. Muhammad Ali fights Mr. Tooth Decay, with help from Richie Havens, Frank Sinatra, a gang of kids and some other folks I've never heard of. Maybe it would have made a good novelty single, but for some reason they stretched it into a whole lp of Ali and co. talk-singing over odd bits of music, culminating in a boxing bout with Mr. Tooth Decay. Has a 'Sesame Street' feel to it.
Quite interesting fact: Buried deep on side 2, underneath some message about the dangers of cake, one can hear the great 'Peer Library' track, 'Zenith'. Well, interesting to some anyway.
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