Monday, December 31, 2012

Have a good one

Our daughter has been laid low since Xmas Eve with something flu like so we will be staying in to keep her company tonight. No pot and pan bashing for us this year, we will be seeing in the new year with our feet up watching Jools and his Hootenanny - including Bobby Womack and Betty LaVette, and our Ruby of course.

A happy birthday to me, I'm 10 this year (: 2x5 :)  

A Happy New Year to all of you. Thank you for dropping in this year.        

Archie Bell & The Drells - Where Will You Go When The Party's Over 1976 

PS: Bandwidth almost exhausted, but another month just around the corner.

Friday, December 28, 2012

PK: a kindred spirit

Hang on - it's Friday. Holiday time always throws me. Hope you had/are having a good one. 

The eagle eyed among you may notice that the initials PK appear on the label of this record. The same initials appeared on the Cimarons 45 I featured a few days ago, although that would have been almost impossible to spot. 

The holidays are allowing me to catch up with records I picked up out in the wild this year and I have a whole batch with the initials PK on them. All from the mid 70s and all top notch soul and funk. I think I remember the boot sale and the box these came from now and that I left quite a few others behind because I already had them. PK was obviously a kindred spirit.

Today's track is a beautiful slice of mid paced soul, the B side of "Honey Bee", and the side in my opinion. It was originally released in 1972 and reissued on EMI International in 1975. 

Johnny Johnson & The Bandwagon - I Don't Know Why 1972    

Monday, December 24, 2012

Door #24

And so the final door opens at this year's Feel It Advent...ure. Not a Santa or bauble in sight but I hope you have enjoyed the daily tunes this month. At least the label is red today!

To the regulars and those just passing through I wish you all a Merry Christmas.    

Happy Holidays. I hope it's a real humdinger for you.

J.J. Barnes - Real Humdinger 1966 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Door #23

Over the holidays I have resolved to stop the incessant hunt for vinyl for a few days and concentrate instead on playing more of what I already have. I pulled out a handful of jazz albums this morning which I also intend to copy onto CD for mum.  

I've featured a track off this budget label Marble Arch album before. Until now the track here had passed me by, but it's on repeat right now.

"Flame And Frost" is a great title, not least because I think it perfectly describes the feel of this track. 

I close my eyes and imagine the driving rhythmic nature of the music as a perfect soundtrack to the masses rushing (or possibly shuffling) about doing their last minute Christmas shopping - including Mrs Darce.

And as I keep my eyes closed I relax and let the effortless cool of the music wash over me.

Sshhh! Don't tell Mrs Darce.

Sonny Stitt & Benny Green - Flame And Frost 1965            

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Door #22

Here is another VOICE.  In 1995 at the age of only 45, tragically, Phyllis Hyman took her own life. A beautiful woman with an exquisite voice, she is, and always will be, greatly missed.   

The track here is taken from the album “Sing A Song”. The album is quite rare I think, being released only in the UK and parts of Europe (with a different cover). Six of the tracks on the album made an appearance on the US released “Somewhere In My Lifetime” – including the irresistible “Living Inside Your Love” - but the track here was not among them.

The intro reminds you of something?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Door #21

First this blog is linked on an Oldham Athletic fan forum(!) and now I'm honoured to be featured on WFMU's Beware Of The Blog. I tell you, you ought to stick around, this blog is going places!

Seriously, a big thanks to Doug for the "shout out" on Beware Of The Blog.

It's the traditional annual local pub crawl for me tonight, kicking off in about 90 minutes time. There will be plenty of Christmas parties happening tonight too I expect. I know my daughter is at one. So we better have some party music.  

Here is something of a curiosity. The Cimarons were a UK based reggae group active from around 1967. Here they cook up a generally faithful version of The Fatback Band's "Wicki Wacky". It works well and I particularly like that guitar motif running throughout the track. Referring to 45cat it seems this 45 was released twice, with the A and B sides being flipped. No mention of the Fatback Band members in writing credits I notice.

Cimarons - Wicki Wacky 1975

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Door #20

My place of work is a quiet office for most of the year. Almost library like at times. But at this time of year, specifically the last couple of days before our extended festive break, it all changes as our boss in his infinite wisdom “treats” us to Classic Gold on the tinniest of radios. I am ready to throw myself out of the window by 11 o’clock in the morning.    

We don’t have much turnover staff-wise but this year a new “young” (30something) colleague has joined the team. He was ready to throw himself out of the window by 10 o’clock I think.

At times to try and combat the general cacophony we discussed music.. er.. worth talking about (in a music snob type kind of way, of course). I have turned him on to Augustus Pablo lately and he is in the process of recommending early hip-hop and rap that I should investigate. I can’t remember precisely why now, but he mentioned the name George Clinton today. “God” was my immediate response.  I urged him to explore all of the Parliafunkadelicment Thang catalog.

Funkadelic – Music For My Mother (single version A side) 1969  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Door #18

The blog has experienced a spike in hits today. On investigation the popular page is Door #15. Why? Not for the music it turns out, not even for the reference to Chelsea. No, many of my visitors today have one thing in common, they are Oldham Athletic fans and they are following a link to Door #15 (posted by an evident fan of Feel It, and Latics fan, in Thailand!) all for a picture of Jim Steel. Who is Jim Steel? Well, it must be the footballer in orange in the picture on the front cover of the Chelsea program who is obviously a Latics leg-end! (I've looked him up and he played for them between 1978 and 1983 and has been described as a big, aggressive centre forward - those were the days!).  

Just one small example of the power of the Internet!

From Door #15 back to Door #18, by way of Door #3! I don't normally do requests, but it's Christmas after all.

Here's another one from Brixton Cat.

Joe's All Stars - The Judge 1969

PS: Coincidences - I have said before that I love them. Here's another one: In 1982 while Jim Steel was still at Oldham Athletic, they appointed a new manager, and I'm sure many Latics fans would say he was their greatest ever - his name was Joe Royle. I therefore clearly have to dedicate this post to Oldham Athletic fans everywhere, thus ensuring another bumper day of hits here at  Feel It!  :)  


Monday, December 17, 2012

Door #17

Note to self: instead of constantly looking for the next piece of vinyl to buy, have a look through your own collection and you might be surprised at what you find. 

I bought the album that this track is from at a boot sale at least a couple of years ago now I reckon. Played it once, nothing grabbed me, so it was filed. I came across it a few days ago, and it is currently staying very close to the turntable. The trick is, of course, to play an album a few times and let it sink in. In my my increasingly obsessive and crazed hunt for vinyl, more and more of it, I too often don't do that.   

Lenny Williams has one of those voices - give him a telephone book to sing and it would be worth listening to. My introduction to him was as the lead singer with Tower Of Power. He had a few solo 45 releases in the late 60s on Fantasy and Galaxy before he joined TOP. The track featured here comes from his first solo album after leaving the Oakland Strokers. The album is called "Pray For The Lion" although that title does not appear anywhere on the cover. The best description I can come up with for this album is understated, but give it a chance and there are some gems to be found... and of course there is also Lenny's voice.

Lenny Williams - Keep On Keeping On 1974 


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Door #16


For me, first it was Nina Simone.

Soon after it was The Tamlins.

Those records have been in my collection for over thirty years now. Yesterday, at a charity shop, I picked up a copy of Randy Newman's "Little Criminals" and so, finally, I got to hear the original.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Door #15

I still have some records at my Mum’s. (in fact I may be filing some more there soon as space is rapidly running out here). This record – “Fuse One” - relocated to chez Darcy a few days ago after spending its entire life at my Mum’s. So be gentle with it, it is still getting used to its new environment.

Back in 1980 Jazz-Funk was very much my bag and I used to spin a lot of it at a club in Bath. Back then Saturdays were often spent thus: jump on the train to London (65 minutes Bristol Parkway-Paddington non stop for £4.50 I think, chance would be a fine thing now); tube to Fulham Broadway; walk to the wiggle at the bottom end of King’s Road; listen to latest imports at Disc Empire and buy a few; grab something to eat; watch Chelsea (then often to be seen in the 2nd Division); tube and train back to Bristol by 7.30pm; drive over to Bath; wheels of steel ‘til 2am.       

I always thought I had bought this record at Disc Empire. Well I did, but I have just found a letter tucked into the sleeve that tells me I must have tried to but it wasn’t in stock so I must have ordered it and had it mailed. The very nice letter (from Mandie) was dated 15th December 1980 and apologised for the more than 3 week wait for the delivery of the record from Japan.

Hmm, I thought, roll back a little over three weeks from that date and who would Chelsea have played then? Sheffield Wednesday it turns out – a “big” Second Division game 3rd v 4th. A quick dive into my stash of football programmes, and yes, I have it. So I probably ordered this record the day I watched Chelsea beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 – 22nd November 1980 (as good as it got that season for Chelsea, they failed to score in any of their last eight games of the season! Also, coincidentally, that season I notice Chelsea were drawn away to Southampton in the FA Cup, as they are this season). 
Back in the day this album’s attraction would have been all about the two dancefloor friendly tracks “Grand Prix” and “Double Steal”, and I probably never really settled down to appreciate the rest of the album. Listening to it again now after all these years I’m really liking the whole thing, and it has great fidelity.

I remember thinking the group were known as Fuse. Received wisdom (not just Wiki actually) tells me the group were in fact Fuse One, and their first album was eponymous. But I’m not so sure, the label and inner sheet both quote FUSE as well as FUSE ONE so it seems the either the group or the album were at least originally intended to be called Fuse.

PS: Disc Empire is sadly no more, gone the way of many independent record shops. The address is now home to The ChelseaTeapot

Friday, December 14, 2012

Door #14

Meco meets Moroder, they lend the Doobies a cow bell and it all gets a bit Chicy - with a Dusty coating. Kitchen sink in there as well I think.

Well, that was my immediate impression. What's yours?

Dog's breakfast? Absolutely not, I love it. Completely missed this one when it was released.

Rescued from a box of about 150 45s I picked up for next to nothing at a Booty earlier this year (there were keepers, ones I can maybe move on, and warped ones only fit for the tip in equal measure).  

Dusty - That's The Kind Of Love I've Got For You 1978

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Door #13

Lucky Dip.

Top drawer Soul of a deep and Southern variety. Recorded sometime in the early 70s is my guess.

I can find no background info on Betty Bibbs. She has an entry on SirShambling (as she quite rightly should), but even the good Sir can shed little light on her, and the link on her page, that tantalisingly hints at more info, is broken. It seems her real name may be Betty J Batiste. A quick Google search led me to a Facebook page for a Betty J Batiste which looked promising, but I'm not on Facebook. A bit more Googling tells me that Betty Batiste is not that unusual a name so the hunt for more information on her will likely be a long one.       

Unfortunately I think my copy of this 45 (on just this side - darn!) is pressed fractionally off centre, although Betty's superb vocals seem to cut through that problem.

Betty Bibbs - First Come, First Served 197?

PS: Piccie above was taken mid spin, I didn't know I could do that without it blurring!  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Door #12

By rights I should have posted this at 12:12, today being 12/12/12.

No matter, I will mark this day with a 12" single.

There was talk at work today of the world ending, but I think they got the date wrong - it's the 21st isn't it? (when the Mayan calendar ends).

Just in case I propose we start partying now.

Floyd Beck - Party Is The Solution 1980

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Door #11

Change emerged in the days immediately after the Disco bubble burst, and so managed to avoid that tag, the one that many people still seem to think is a dirty word. Their sound is generally described as being post-disco or boogie, and they were noticeably influenced by Chic.  Their initial singles – “Lover’s Holiday”, “Glow Of Love”, and “Searching” - are generally recognised as classics now,  and I love them.

I also love this track, which was recorded very late in their career. Whenever I put this on the deck it feels like sunshine pours out of the speakers.

We are feeling the first icy blast of Winter here in the UK, but Change are warming me up very nicely. I hope they do the same for you.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Door #10

Ssshh, Door #10, like Door#9, reveals a mellow place.  

I'm late to the David Axelrod party, but I want more.

This is the final track on his 1977 album Strange Ladies and is a tribute to his third wife. 

David Axelrod - Sandy 1977  

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Door #9

I make door to door deliveries in our area for the local Wildlife Trust magazine. Today I also delivered a round for someone else who was ill. I want their round, it was truly a wildlife experience. First I get to deliver to a Lord Bearpark. Then, at another house, as I was posting the magazine through the letterbox, I realised I was being watched - inside, looking straight at me, there was a life sized zebra wearing large green sunglasses! Truly surreal.  

Back to Earth, except not exactly, here is something perfectly suited to a quiet Sunday evening in by the fire.

Gloria Lynne - Out Of This World 1965      

Buy Gloria Lynne - Love Songs: The Singles Collection

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Door #8

Back to the Reggae compilations again, and this rounds off my recent hat trick of finds. These two tracks come from "20 Dragon Hits" which was released in 1973 I think. 

Rhythms have always been shared and "versioned" amongst reggae artists and producers. But sampling is something I don't think of associating with any record pre 80s. This I-Roy track sampled The Meters "Sophisticated Cissy".   

Freddie McKay - Our Rendezvous

I-Roy - Dr. Who

Friday, December 07, 2012

Door #7

It was a stay at home day today, waiting for a new gas cooker to be delivered. When it arrived the installer said he couldn't do it because there was something wrong with our gas meter. So no new cooker but a new gas meter instead! This new meter looks like it has come out of the ark. The old one was nice and compact, had a digital display, and was silent. The new one is none of those things and is, in fact, so big we can no longer completely shut the door of the cupboard it’s housed in. Not exactly progress.  

On the positive side while I was hanging around I did a bit of a record filing and reorganizing, and in the process dug this little Stax nugget out of the I-M box.

It has that irresistible slinky Memphis groove. Jump up, grab your partner, or your favourite tipple, or the cat, engage a slow wiggle, and shuffle around the sofa, or the kitchen table, or the Christmas tree.

PS for Ally: sorry, chocolate in tummy again.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Door #6

This one dropped through the letterbox today. It came out of the mailer 10 minutes ago and you are hearing the result of its first play on my turntable.

Patti Drew is Miss Reliable, I find.

PS: I reckon I am going to be sailing close to the wind with my bandwidth this month so have started using Mediafire again. The download stats on Mediafire seem a bit flaky nowadays so can anybody confirm that downloading is OK?  

UPDATE: It seems the Mediafire links are causing problems. The link above has been updated (to download: right click and save as.. - I think!). Let me know how this one works out. 

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Door #5

As one door closes another opens.

After playing my Honey Cone 45 yesterday I put on this one by Ike & Tina Turner. In it there is a line “... one monkey don’t stop no show…”, which it just so happens was the title of one of Honey Cone’s 1971 top 20 hits.

I like coincidences.   

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Door #4

When I picked this up at a car boot I didn’t notice it had a crack, all the way from the edge to the label. All things considered it plays pretty well. Could you say that about a CD?

Honey Cone were Carolyn Willis, Shelly Clark, and Edna Wright and were active between 1966 and 1973. 1971 was their big year – “Want Ads” made #1 in the US and they had another couple of top 20 hits that year too. By 1972 this single barley made the top 100 in the US. My UK issue would have been one of only a few to have troubled the UK chart compilers I guess.   

Their Wiki entry tells me that Shelly Clark married Verdine White of Earth, Wind & Fire. So they have now been hitched for about the same number of years as Mrs Darce and me.

Honey Cone – It’s Better To Have Loved And Lost 1972  

Monday, December 03, 2012

Door #3

I promised more from my recent hat trick of Reggae/Ska album finds. I picked up “Brixton Cat” for the princely sum of 15p at a car boot. Whoa! The only shame is that the previous owner tried to peel the sticker off the front cover. I would have been perfectly happy with an intact big yellow 19/11. Never mind.

As the back cover says: “Joe’s All Stars present their first album for your dancing pleasure”. That’s Joe Mansano, featuring here, ladies and gentlemen, the great Rico Rodriguez, MBE.

Ethereal, and hypnotic….

Joe’s All Stars – Reco’s Torpedo 1969   (link corrected)

(you may have to crank this one up a bit, it's a quiet pressing). 

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Door #2

Behind door #2 we have another NOLA based label that doesn’t scan well!  

Here’s a great double sided slab of R&B slanted Soul from Bobby Powell. Everything I know about Baton Rouge native Bobby I read here (how I miss the Brown Eyed Handsome Man! J )

I bought this 45 recently from a, by all accounts, legendary UK based Northern Soul dealer who has just moved into semi-retirement due to ill health. I suspect it had occupied his garage (or wherever he stored his records) for more years than it had spent in its place of birth. Something I find fascinating.

Buy Into My Own Thing (You may have heard the term "Rip Off Britain". Here is an example - the CD linked is issued by Westside a UK based company. On Amazon UK it is c£21 on Amazon USA it is correctly described as an import and is only c$16. Huh?!) 

Saturday, December 01, 2012

All I want for Christmas?

I’m a bit of a grumpy old Darcy at the moment:  had a tooth out a few days ago (of all the ones it had to be the one with the gold crown – reminds me of one of my favourite Steely Dan tracks “.. you throw out your gold teeth…” ), it remains as painful now as it was before it came out …hmm… did he take the wrong one out I wonder? On top of that the car wouldn’t start yesterday, so that is bound to be more pain (in the wallet). And then of course there is my football team and the little problem of the basket case owner with loadsamoney and no sense. Never mind, keep drinking the wine, and the whisky (for medicinal purposes, of course).

Oh well, at least its December so I get to have a chocolate every day from my Advent calendar.

And a chocolate a day means a record a day, that’s the way it works here now.    

First up is The Ballads, a West Coast (SanFran) harmony/ sweet soul group that formed in the early Sixties and had a number of releases through into the Seventies with little success. Four of those releases came out on the Venture label which was set up by MGM to feature Soul acts.

I’m really liking this one at the moment. Leon Ware and, latter day Supreme, Susaye Greene on writing credits (reading Susaye’s Wiki entry I see she shares a birthday with my mum). Warm vocals, tasty background harmonies and a memorable arrangement. The Ballads deserved some success with this one.