Sunday, July 26, 2009

(In my case): pleased with my junk and covered in loft dust

It seems I’ve spent almost the entire weekend surrounded by junk – other peoples and mine. First of all I took in two car boot sales in search of the holy vinyl. Not much to report unfortunately, but for the record here is what I invested in this time around:

Stevie Wonder – Fulfillingness’ First Finale LP (1st issue)
Gruppo Sportivo – 10 Mistakes LP (remembered this group from John Peel shows – good fun)
Elton John – Honky Chateau LP (I have all Elton’s earlier albums on vinyl except this one which I bought on the then new fangled musicassette. Have been on the look out for vinyl copy recently to fill my collection. Bought this copy for the cover - the original gatefold one still complete with it’s extra flap thingy- which was in perfect shape. Alas, more than can be said for the record itself. Still, half way there)
Hot Hits 11 – LP & Capitol’s Country Festival LP (bought these for the covers – they both have, ahem, pretty girls on them. I have to say I’m getting a bit worried about this trend in my record buying!)

Today turned into a rainy day in (last year at about this time I posted Gwen McCrae’s “It Keeps On Raining” and said ‘rain rain go away come again another day – preferably next year’. So the washout July - in the west of the UK at least - is all my fault!). So what else to do on a rainy day in but have a tidy up? In my case, as I am a hoarder, a “tidy up” essentially means rearranging the various junk lying around the house as opposed to actually throwing any of it away. This can lead to some tense moments with Mrs Darce who is at the other end of the spectrum and whose motto is “get rid”. The tidy up process typically takes most of the day as I frequently pause to read an old magazine, build a lego model – or look at my old music cassettes (of course).

And so it was today that I came across one of my John Peel show compilations AND an old Sony Walkman cassette player! It had to be done – I put some new batteries in the Walkman, hooked it up to our DAB radio and was transported back to the Spring of 1979 and a blinding selection of reggae, punk, and a dash of r&b and funk. Most of the tracks are very professionally faded in and out (even if I say so myself – I’ve no idea now how I did that) so not much is heard of John Peel - but enough, as you can hear below. I’ve played this tape through twice today now and I was moved enough to wipe the dust off hi-fi cassette deck and hook it up so I could transport you back to 1979 too for some long overdue reggae here on Feel It.

Jimmy Riley – Complain1979 (you can just hear John Peel in the fadeout, and he’s right!)

Culture – Down In Jamaica 1979

Judah Eskender – Danger In Your Eyes 1979 (with John Peel at the end)

John Peel (the man himself!) Spring 1979 (mp3)

My quest now starts to find the Jimmy Riley and Judah Eskender tracks on 12". It could take a long time.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Haircut - 100(p)

I was so bored at work on Monday I took a day off today to get on with some household stuff. We are fast running out of storage space so I decided it was time to board the loft space over our kitchen extension. Not very exciting I know, but more exciting than the office at the moment.

Managed to fit in a haircut as well and on the way I dropped into a few charity shops (like you do).

I was taken by the cover of this LP by Luiz Loy (and His Set) but if I hadn’t seen that it was 4 records for £1 I might have left it on the shelf. I found a Donnie Elbert single (a good B side as it turns out which I may feature at some point) but was struggling to find another two records for my £1. In the end I settled on (another) Shirley Bassey LP (I've learnt that there are often hidden gems on Shirl's LPs - although not in this case) and Boney M's Nightflight To Venus (yes, I was really struggling by then).

Anyway, back to Luiz Loy. This LP was released in 1969 in his native Brazil and in 1970 here in the UK by the looks of things. I'll be honest I bought this for the cover, but it turns out there are a few decent tracks in the grooves. It sounds like a mix of two completely different albums - there are some very cheesy instrumental versions of the likes of "Judy In Disguise" and "With A Little Help From My Friends" but also some "proper" Brazilia with the cover girls(?) on vocals. Definitely worth the money - and the haircut.

Luiz Loy e seu Conjunto - Chove-Chuva 1969

(from the LP "Balanco pra Frente")

As a bonus (think of it as a little hair tonic), whilst searching for more on Luiz Loy on t'net I stumbled across these two tracks which are both gorgeous and I think need to be shared:

Who will be the first to say what the Judy Roberts track is a dead ringer for?

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The fields of England – harvest notes

I have been, variously, too hot, too lazy, and too busy to blog in recent days.

Things have cooled off a little now, enough for me to bring you news of my latest car boot sale haul (the suspense has been killing you I know :). After an initial success a few weeks ago I had decided my mission this year would be to visit as many boot sales as possible in pursuit of the holy vinyl. But recent weekends had been full of other pleasures so it wasn’t until this last weekend that I actually got a chance to get to some more.

No prize marrows, nevertheless my basket runneth over! My latest harvest has a distinctly poptastic, “Radio 1 is wonderful” vibe going on for the most part. Getting these home and playing them transported me back to my early teens when it was all about the Top 30 show and the simultaneous depress of the play and record keys on the cassette deck. For every single or album I bought back then, there were 10 other tracks I had to make do with on a BASF C60 (together with the occasional Fluff Freeman interjection). Now, it seems, I can buy them all in their original (and best) vinyl form for 20 odd p a pop in a field somewhere (once I’ve located them under a mountain of unwanted videos that is).

The latest harvest:

Procol Harum – A Whiter Shade Of Pale
Alice Cooper – School’s Out
Slade – Cuz I Love You
Susan Maughan – Bobby’s Girl
The Supremes – Stoned Love
Stevie Wonder – Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday
Chairmen Of The Board – Give Me Just A Little More Time
Syreeta – Spinnin’ And Spinnin’
McGuiness Flint – When I’m Dead And Gone
Love Unlimited - Walkin’ In The Rain With The One I Love
Stevie Wonder – Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours
Nils Lofgren – Shine Silently / Keith Don’t Go
Peter Sellers – A Hard Day’s Night / Help
The Jam – Setting Sons (LP) - looks and sounds unplayed!
(total outlay £4)

Here’s a succulent selection of these sounds for you to keep you going for a bit. My next two weekends are again of the long and leisure filled variety, so postings will be scarce.

Love Unlimited - Walkin’ In The Rain With The One I Love 1972
(How good does this sound all these years later?!)

Chairmen Of The Board – Since The Days Of Pigtails (and Fairytales) 1970
(Every bit as good as the A side.)

McGuiness Flint – When I’m Dead And Gone 1970
(Oh how I loved this- and still do.)

Nils Lofgren – Keith Don’t Go 1976
(A backstory here – last Friday I caught the end of Guitar Heroes on BBC4. In the past I have vaguely thought I should listen to some Nils Lofgren but never really got around to it. The program included this track. I had never heard it, or even been aware of it, before but it blew me away. In all my digging I don’t remember ever coming across a Nils Lofgren single before but less than 24 hours after the BBC4 program I found this single at a car boot sale! BTW Keith is, of course, Keith Richards.)

Peter Sellers – A Hard Day’s Night 1965
(Genius – even through the crackles.)