With so many records passing through my hands, it’s often easy to overlook the music that is contained within the grooves. I try to offer a high standard of service, so nearly all of my second hand stock is cleaned on a record cleaning machine before it is dispatched, & on some occasions it is necessary to play check the vinyl before it is listed, to give an accurate visual & aural grade. So I’ve decided to do mini reviews of albums that I’ve either not listened to or would probably not listen to!
I confess to not being the biggest of folk fans, so maybe I can educate myself to see if I’ve unfairly judged this genre. Today’s album is “Morris On”, also a folk super group with John Kirkpatrick, Richard Thompson, Barry Dransfield, Ashley Hutchings, & Dave Mattacks. As you can probably guess from the title & image on the front cover we are in morris dancing music mode. The accordion features heavily on all the tracks, & I’ve never been a fan of said instrument, but actually it’s really good (& fuses well with the electric instruments). The “Cuckoo’s Nest” is the stand out track for me, with lyrics laced in innuendo, & a first time I’ve ever heard this expression for a ladies genitals!.
I can safely say this is a good album & not a bad foray into the folk world for me, haunting melodies sung by Shirley Hutchings on “The Willow Tree” & “Staines Morris”, & some tasteful and dexterous guitar work from Richard Thompson. Nice to see the iconic Raleigh Chopper featured in the front cover photo, setting this very much in the early 70’s, the perfect mode of transport to the electric morris dancing gig.
This track was the theme tune to my Friday night. As a long haired 13 year old, I’d lie on my bed listening to Tommy Vance on the Friday Night Rock Show, drinking cheap larger recording the show on a portable cassette recorder and heading into town the next day to purchase records that he played. This track was written by George Martin and his version was the opening and closing tune for Radio 1, but the Generators version is the best!
Today I’m repping my home town & going for a local release. Edentree hail from Norwich & only released one 45 on the Major Minor label. “Call My Name” is the B-Side of “You Are All I Need”. I love blue eyed soul like this track, the hammond player sounds very reminiscent of Alan Hawkshaw & overall this sounds like it was recorded earlier than 1970. It surprises me that they didn’t get past one release as this is a strong tune & really deserves more exposure.
Few can boast a career as long as Little Anthony & The Imperials, forming in the late 50’s as a Doo Wop/R&B combo to being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 2009. The 45 that I’ve chosen for today, is their version of “Let The Sunshine In”, which was composed by Galt MacDermot (who wrote the music to the hit musical “Hair”). The vocal on this cover drips with energy & sweat & I think this is my favorite version of this track.
Little Anthony & The Imperials “Let The Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures)”
I hear a lot of people moaning about how music & the music industry has changed, & indeed it has, I think it’s termed as “progress”. When you look at the manufactured bands being churned out by reality shows, this really is no new concept & it maybe surprising to know that the 45 I’ve gone for today, is a manufactured band for the 60’s. Paul A. Rothchild & Frazier Mohawk had already been instrumental in helping form Buffalo Springfield, so they decided to put another group together, & so Rhinoceros was born. “Apricot Brandy” is a great piece of hard bluesy rock, with heavy drums, a dirty fuzz guitar riff & some cool hammond abuse thrown in for good measure, this was apparently used as a BBC Radio theme tune.
This is a collaboration between Pierre Henry & Michel Colombier, Henry is widely known for his “concrete music” & Colombier for his soundtrack composition. Psyché Rock is the track that most seek out on this EP, & it sounds very reminiscent to the theme tune to Matt Groening’s “Futurama”. I picked this EP up at a great record shop in Rennes (France) called “Blind Spot”, & I would recommend visiting the shop when you’re in that neck of the woods. “Jericho Jerk” brews a heady mix of beat & psych, with crazy organ, moog & FX’s firing off all over the place, like a Turkish delight fused with a Crunchie, that sounds wrong, but is oh so right!
I only discovered the Left Banke a few years ago, when a work colleague brought in a couple of their albums, so I have to say a big thanks to Derek for introducing me to them. The term “Baroque Pop” is often used to describe their sound, & actually it’s a pretty good description, as they fuse chamber music with pop music, & I’ve got a soft spot for a harpsichord! This track features some lovely harmonies & I would recommend checking out all of their back catalogue, as it’s all great.
Few can lay claim to shaping modern music in the way Little Richard has, from playing a major part in the foundation of Rock ‘n’ Roll, to his wild on stage antics, he really deserves the title of a legend. “Hurry Sundown” features in the film of the same title, & was composed by Buddy Kaye & Hugo Montenegro. This is a beautiful song that lifts & builds, & Little Richards vocal is soaked in soul, makes you want to testify!
The Motown catalogue has been plundered over the years, & many crimes have been committed against this legendary label (Bowie & Jaggers “Dancing In The Street” being a prime example). Mongo Santamaria takes on “Cloud Nine” (the classic Temptations track) & wins!, heavy bass, drums, percussion & mega loud cowbell backs up the brass cavalry for a full funky latin jazz onslaught. This track reminds me of the Jimmy Castor Bunch “It’s Just Begun” , I think it must be a bass & cowbell thang?.
I think people are more familiar with the Mighty Clouds Of Joy’s version of “Time”, which is great, but doesn’t hold a candle to Jackie’s version. This powers along with some seriously fat drums, choppy wah wah guitar & some tight memphis sounding horns, I love this track, & I remember when I first found this single, playing it over & over again, because I couldn’t believe just how good it is!