Thursday, 26 January 2012
No one? Really?! It's actually not as terrible as you think. Tony Martin is on vocals and... well the eighties is certainly there. As well as riff titan Tony Iommi and some session players. It's Sabbathness is debatable but good lord it's got some good riffage buried in there. It's like wading through a confusing eighties sea (see extended metaphor on Mixcloud description).
See you in the nineties - !
Tuesday, 17 January 2012
This first song is clearly The Stealer by Free. This is taken from their 1970 Isle of Wight show - which has had many releases over the years - but the one I own was released in 2006. It's cover is also the basis for the show's one. Next week's is even weirder but you'll have to wait for that. Free were a very young band when they started (Andy Fraser on bass was sixteen) and quite quite basic really. I maintain that they are quite overlooked (with the exception of that one song) and their self-titled album "Free" is one the most beautiful blues rock records released in the sixties. I recommend you investigate further!
Then it came to pass that Robin Trower showed up. This particular rendition of the well-travelled blues standard Further on Up the Road was performed by the gurning Trowerman on the King Biscuit Flower Hour in 1977 - the chap is just... phenomenal. I love him entirely and saw him in Sheffield once in the past. The distant past.
A bit of non-standard Lynyrd Skynyrd balladry here from their 1973 debut album "Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd" - like Free it's good to investigate the bands behind the endless greatest hits albums and *spits* Kid Rock rip-offs. Despite this and free bird, Pronounced has some very kicking tunes on it. And blimey if it ain't as darn tootin' Southern as I am. But in the US. They don't like their cider as much as us Somersetians though, that's for gosh sure yar danketty
Bit of an odd transition - and it won't get less odd. Straight on to Joy Division's She's Lost Control from the second side of 1979's "Unknown Pleasures". It's dark and angular at the end of the seventies and Joy Division with their repetitive rhythms and tragic shadows summarize it wonderfully. A new addition to my ears this, and a little out-of-step with everything else but hopefully like Mingus last week it'll prick your mind up and displace you.
And without much warning there was suddenly Rush. This is from the last disc of 1997's "Different Stages" which comes from a Hammersmith Apollo show from '78 - the song is A Farewell to Kings from the album of the same name and it's a rollicking rendition. Like Deep Purple you can't have a seventies show without them, or an eighties show, a nineties show, a current show or a show about music or life or ANYTHING. I FUCKING LOVE RUSH SHUT UP.
There's something quite addictive about this song. The Pretty Things have some mighty catchy songs - here they are riding a bit of 1974 glam rock tidal wave (or torpedo) and sound closer to Mott the Hoople or one of those lads than in their majestic psychedelic 60s heyday (S.F. Sorrow is one of the greatest concept records of all time) - they handle the change (or torpedo) well though and it's a transition (or torpedo) that pays off (or .... torpedos off? Is torpedo a verb? IF IT ISN'T IT SHOULD BE)
See you in the eighties and thank you so much for listening :D
Thursday, 12 January 2012
This is just a wee accompanying blog to the "radio show" of Owen in Rock which you can catch on Mixcloud generally -
It opens with The Beatles - Twist and Shout one of the tracks on the bloated "Live at the Hollywood Bowl" which is probably the worst live record of any major band. The reason is pretty clear - you can barely hear anything as they famously played stadiums with tiny amplifiers and girls... just wouldn't stop screaming. I bookend the show with a sort of phased effect on the screaming ladies. Because it's seriously weird. Just listen to how constant it is. It's an interesting document and was released in the late seventies - worth getting the copy with the press conferences on it as the band are hilariously sardonic throughout.
What follows is the Jimi Hendrix Experience - Hear My Train a Comin' which was recorded for... Top Gear or one of those BBC radio shows from the sixties. It's a session from the BBC Sessions album (2003) which is amazing, if only for randomly having Lulu talking to Jimi Hendrix pop up on shuffle and bewuddle you.
The Kinks - Young and Innocent Days is from Arthur (or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) a 1969 concept record that was classically Kinkesque in the manner of it's twee concepts and the like. Above is a Pythonlike Victoria cutout that came in the album and sums it up for me. That and fear.
Steppenwolf - The Ostrich a typically 'wolf song about conformity and ignorance. It's hugely dated of course, but all kinds of endearing. From their debut in '68 - both this and Eric Burdon's Wind of Change are quintessential San Francisco psych records for me. A sixties show would be poorer without Steppenwolf, that's for sure.
The Yardbirds - Here 'Tis IS a live track but it's from a largely studio album called (beautifully) "Having a Rave Up With The Yardbirds" from 1965 - they had a wonderful one-foot-out-of-skiffle garage boogie thing going on here and I can't get enough of them. Interestingly enough side one of the album had Jeff Beck playing guitar whilst the second had Clapty-Wapty-Woo on it. Here 'Tis is written by the master of the boogie Mr Bo Diddley who we'll hear more from later...
Next, for something completely unfamiliar - the early Deep Purple's version of Hey Joe from their debut "Shades of Deep Purple" released in the year of our (Jon) Lord 1968. The cover has to be seen to be believed.
Next is I Can't Reach You by The Who - again, you can't have a sixties show without the superlative Who - this is from the utterly unique "The Who Sell Out" record from 1967 which is littered with fake commercials by The Who for real things. Fairly subversive I suppose, given they were literally selling out and making a comment on it.
Following that there is a tiny instrumental work-out from Fat Mattress - intriguingly called Eric the Red. Fat Mattress are memorable for being started by Noel Redding (bassist with the Experience) their '69 debut is chock full of twee anthems to gnomes and the like as well as the (seminal) Petrol Pump Attendant. Ahah?
Then a bit of uncharacteristic doo-wop from our favourite Bo Diddley; Bo Diddley. Somewhere is from his 1960 album "Bo Diddley Is a Gunslinger" and is a departure from his normal chugging square guitaritude.
Led Zeppelin - Black Mountain Side is from their first album - and is a bit of Page channelling (or copying) Bert Jansch's arrangement of a traditional Irish folk song. Page's version has some nice Eastern percussion on it though - makes for a good atmosphere.
TIME FOR AN UNSCHEDULED JAZZ FREAKOUT in the form of Solo Dancer (Stop! Look! and Listen, Sinner Jim Whitney!) by Charles Mingus. Lilting and not a little disturbing - from "The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady" (1963). I can't find out who Jim Whitney was apart from a baseball player in the 19th century...
THEN BANG it's Janis with Big Brother and The Holding Company with Farewell Song from a performance at Winterland in '68 - I cut out a bit of her banter here but she begins talking about the next band on stage and describes them as being "out of sight" which is an expression I think should be used a lot more. You could write about Janis and her wonderful voice for ages but it's nowt next to listening. So do.
A bit more instrumental follows from the extraordinary Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation - it's called Mutiny and it's from their '69 self-titled album. Aynsley Dunbar is a drummer - and he seems to have drummed for absolutely everyone.
Finally it's Johnny Winter time - almost inevitably. Hustled Down in Texas is from "Second Winter" a 1969 record that Johnny recorded with his similiarly-albino (but significantly more insane) brother Edgar. It's also, bizarrely, a four-sided album with only three sides. The second vinyl had a blank side. I love his voice though, it sounds like a muppet.
That's that then. Seventies show'll appear next week at some point and it'll have SEVENTIES MUSIC ON IT. I'm warning ye now..