Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cover-ups + I’m worried already!

The car boot sale season is upon us once again. Hooray!

My first foray into the fields of England this year drew a blank but my second trip proved very fruitful.
The inaugural haul of 2010 included the following:

The Upsetter (Trojan LP 90s reissue)
Siouxsie & The Banshees – The Scream (LP)
Jackson Browne – Saturate Before Using (LP)
Jimmy Ruffin’s Greatest Hits (Motown LP)
Teddy Pendergrass – Only You (12” single)
Jean Carne – You’re A Part Of Me (LP)
Rose Royce – Put Your Money…./Car Wash/I Wanna Get Next To You (white label 12”)
Lulu – Leave A Little Love (45)
Fatback Band – Yum Yum (45) *
Fatback Band – Are You Ready (Do The Bus Stop) (45) *
* my copies are getting a bit worn!
Gloria Scott – Just As Long As We’re Together (45 UK demo) – more of this in a future post
Pioneers – Broken Man 1976
+ a couple of other bits and pieces that I picked up with the intention of selling on.
All for a total of only £8 – not bad!

It seems the Pioneers “Broken Man” was covered up by at least one Northern DJ as Spiral Staircase “No Heart”. The act of covering up a record’s true identity has long been a practice of DJs, especially those on the Northern Soul scene. The idea was to keep the sound exclusive, and elusive. DJ oneupmanship. Of course if the DJ had his head screwed on (and spinning at the right speed? Ha ha) I daresay he would have picked up a few copies of said cover up, then, after a time with demand fuelled, leaked it’s true identity, sold his spares for eye watering amounts, and ridden off into the sunset. 

Because of the Pioneers reggae pedigree it’s often described as a reggae record but it certainly isn’t that. Equally, I’m not sure how “Broken Man” would have gone down on the Northern scene. Eddy Grant had steered them more towards soul in the mid 70s. But is it soul? Is it pop? I guess it doesn’t matter, it’s catchy and that’s enough.    

I was at the boot sale quite late so people were packing up by the time I was about to leave. At the last pitch  all singles were reduced to 25p – or "you can have the lot for er, um, £6". I had already looked through many of them and hadn’t seen anything that really grabbed me, it was mostly 70s and early 80s pop/disco and pop/soul. But they were in generally excellent condition, and there were a lot for only £6. Oh no, I thought, I don’t really want these but I have a sneaking feeling I’m not going to be able to stop myself buying them". I know, I’ll offer £5, he will say no, and I will walk away. But he said yes and so I walked away with my arms full of singles.  

(Note to self: in future leave well before the end of car boot sales or risk having to build an extension to house all the vinyl I will end up buying! Now, where did I put that psychiatrist’s telephone number?!)        

Over the last few days I’ve spent some time sifting through the 168(!) singles I bought. There is nothing remotely rare in the stack, nor anything in all honesty that will remotely enhance my life through owning. Nevertheless I did get a lot of enjoyment sorting through all the records, playing them, in some instances having my memory jogged, and researching a few. There are about 25 I will keep and another 25 I reckon with a bit of luck I may be able to sell on. There you are. I’ve justified my action!

The sifting included playing both sides of many of the singles because I have learnt that every now and then there is a gem tucked away on a B side. Here is a case in point, much better than the A side in my opinion. Below the prominent rock tinged beat there are shades of Detroit and Philly, making for an interesting amalgam of pop and soul. For a bit of fun I am presenting it as a cover up. Internet research turned up lots of interesting information (at least, interesting to me, but then I am a bit of an anorak!) surrounding this track, and filled in a few more pieces of a seemingly endless musical jigsaw. For now all I will tell you is it was issued in 1975 as a B side to a Top 10 UK hit, and was also an album track. It was written by two guys who had an association with another group who had big UK pop hits in the 70s (in fact the A side bears a striking resemblance to one of that pop group’s big hits), and the song was originally written for and recorded by a female group in 1972. Said female group hailed from South Carolina but enjoyed their biggest successes after moving their base to England.

Cover up 1975 (This cover up was Mac & Katie Kissoon singing Hold On To Me)

Any idea who this is, and who the other groups referred to are? I will reveal all in a week or so (if you haven't told me already).
Coming up next:  from “Broken Man” to broken records!  


Raggedy said...

I am speechless -- I'd never guessed "Broken Man" was sung by The Pioneers. This tune is disco through and through. Barry White could have written it and forgotten in his drawer ... I like it, though.

ally. said...

oh you lucky thing. i dream of booties. but they don't go will with being a soho pedestrian

ana-b said...

hmmm, major league Flirtations fan here....



Darcy said...

Spot on with the Flirtations for the original. But then it's straightforward for a Flirtatious one like you Ana :)

The Flirtations sort of happened before I got interested in music for the first time and, apart of "Heartache", had never crossed my radar since. This has prompted me to catch up with them on Youtube. Listening to their songs I think it is noticeable that some are very reminiscent of the Rubettes hits. The Rubettes were the British pop group I referred to and Wayne Bickerton and Tony Waddington were responsible for writing and producing many of both groups records. I have to say I never cared for the Rubettes - at the time (mid 70s) they were deeply uncool to a still impressionable teenager like me who was into, to my mind, much more serious acts like Bowie and Roxy Music.

I'll keep the cover up - er - covered up for a few more days.