Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Feeling bad

It's been a bad week. 'nuff said.

Mel & Tim - Feeling Bad  1970

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Hokey cokey belly buttons

Here we go then.

Quite why we, the Great British Public, are being entrusted with a simple yes no vote on something that could significantly effect our future, and our childrens' future, I have no idea. Then again, it could turn out to be of little significance. There's the rub, after all this campaigning we still have little or no idea, do we, really? 

By the way, that question is not designed to spark a political debate, I don't do politics here. It is a good excuse to play a Willie Hutch track though, and I have a feeling Willie had something else on his mind when he recorded it.

Willie Hutch - In And Out  1982       


Friday, June 17, 2016

I'm playing Reggae - come out sun, you know you want to.

Go away clouds. I thought some reggae might help to coax the sun to come out, and stay out!

Reggae is always difficult to find “in the wild”, so I got excited when I found half a box of it at a car boot sale recently. My excitement was tempered somewhat when the seller proceeded to check them all on Discogs before naming a price! This is the first time this has happened to me. In a way I could sort of accept what he was doing- he is evidently a dealer and his stall is effectively his shop. Nevertheless it sort of takes the fun out of the digging process. In the end he quoted prices I was in most cases willing to pay so came away with a handful of 12” and this early '80s compilation of full length Mighty Diamonds releases from, mostly, the late 70s.

I have waxed lyrical about the Mighty Diamonds before I think, I saw them live only a few years ago and they have beautifully sweet voices. Add to this the fact that I noticed a track on this album was Danger In Your Eyes and it became a must buy.

Danger In Your Eyes has been a long time reggae favourite of mine ever since I heard John Peel play a version by Judah Eskender (aka Yabby You aka Vivien Jackson) on his programme back in '77 or'78. (I still have that on a John Peel mixtape). I am a little confused by the history of the song. It seems it was originally recorded by Don Evans & The Paragons but its recording date is a bit of a puzzle. The original (?) issue was on Coxsone I think. On the label it states 1966 but I think the Coxsone 45 was released in 1976, and I can't find any concrete evidence of an official 1966 release.

The Mighty Diamonds version dates to around 1978 (again, I think – dating reggae releases is notoriously difficult) when it was released on the Gussie Roots label - on this release they were to modest to refer to themselves as Mighty. It is a more laid back version than Judah Eskender's but I like both equally. (On its original 45 it was backed with a reimagined version of Fools Rush In which is also on this compilation and also gorgeous).

Thursday, June 09, 2016

First (technically)

I have been told of not one but two new record shops that have opened in my neck of the woods during the last couple of months. As they keep saying, vinyl is making a comeback.

I visited one of these on its opening day at the end of April. A friend had mentioned an ex colleague of his was opening a new record shop, he was going along to the grand opening and would I like too as well. Yes, of course. Although I am, I suppose, a bit of a vinyl nut I am, frankly, not tuned in to the local vinyl grapevine and hadn't picked up on either of these new ventures so I was thankful my friend alerted me.

Arriving at the shop it turned out I know the owner through bumping into each other and engaging in general record b*llocks talk occasionally at a local car boot in the last couple of years. All I can say is good luck mate - you are very brave. The shop is Longwell Records in Keynsham (that's K-E-Y-N-S-H-A-M).

I picked up a couple of things out of the yet to be priced bin which I'm very happy with, one of which was this great comp from the early 00s - JohnnyOtis & Friends - Watts Funky.
If you are a regular here you may remember I have posted more than one Johnny Otis 45 in recent years and I have become a huge fan of his, especially his largely obscure late 60s & 70s funk, jazz, and disco infused productions.

On one level at least this album could be said to be the first record ever bought in Longwell Records. I asked Ian, the shop owner, to tuck it behind the counter while I continued to browse, although a lady did beat me to actually handing over readies for something. Talking with another record hound at (yet another generally fruitless) car boot recently he said that Ian apparently did not quote Watts Funky as the first purchase though. From his point of view I suppose he's right as he would have been focussed on the record that put the first takings in the till. I would maintain that it is at least a moot point. 

Down home....

A groove, and love the keyboards....

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Tomorrow is here!

Now, how do you go about this blogging lark again?

Since my last post “I will do a post tomorrow” has been a thought that has crossed my mind many times. But those tomorrows have come and gone and the thought has remained just that, nothing more than a dream – until now!

The crazy busy time at work has subsided for now – a project with an increasingly unrealistic deadline finally sensibly rescheduled.

On the home front we now have a lovely new shower room – just a few cracked tiles to sort out :( . This project had a negative effect on the vinyl front. The front room which is home to the hi-fi had been full of shower room stuff awaiting installation – including among other things a toilet, which may have proved a good listening perch except that, unfortunately, the turntable was essentially unreachable.

So the recent vinyl purchases have been mounting up. But I'm back in the grooves now.

Considering Al Green was one of the first singers that introduced me to the wonderful world of Soul music I have surprisingly few of his singles. Al Green's Greatest Hits probably had something to do with it. Back in the day when my fledgling vinyl habit was supported by pocket money alone the Greatest Hits album was a godsend, and Al Green's was (still is) a treasured copy in my collection It meant I bought few of his singles; not, for example one of his big hits, Let's Stay Together. I finally added a copy of this single to the collection last week when I found one at a car boot in reasonable condition (thinking about it, Al was a household name in the 70s and had quite a few big hits, but I hardly ever come across his records “in the wild”).

The A side is warm and familiar and brought back memories when I gave it a spin. The B side I didn't know but made me purr “ooh that's good”. Tomorrow's Dream pre-dates it's A side by a few years, it appeared on Al's first album for Hi, Green is Blues, released in 1969. The track has a sort of gritty “down home” feel to it – the Hi sound is unmistakable but more of an undercurrent, listening it is almost like you are witnessing the birth of the classic Willie Mitchell sound of the 70s; and Al's vocals have yet to receive that extra polish. I think it is a very wonderful thing, and it has been a highlight of a gruelling few weeks trawling the charity shops and car boots.

PS: let me know if the link fails to download, I realise it maybe new account time again at Box.