Thursday, 12 January 2012

Sixties I


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.
Be wary of the hairy. That's Ritchie Blackmore sporting the delightful pseudofro on the far right there and our (Jon) Lord in the centre. I fucking love that tasche. There's something ridiculously OTT about this version of Hey Joe that makes Jimi's sound thoroughly modern by comparison. Of course Deep Purple weren't to get truly righteous until Glover and Gillan got recruited. But it's interesting to see the start of it here - and worth hunting out is a video of a young Purple playing in the Playboy mansion...

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..

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