Friday Playlist

Here’s a little playlist for you as I dig thru some of my 45s. Have a great weekend.

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BLONDIE: Hanging on the Telephone (the original by The Nerves is also great)

DONNA SUMMER: Mac Arthur Park (Check out the Original Jimmy Webb Version too)

SPIRITUALIZED “RUN”.  (Glow in the dark record jacket-really cool)

NEW ORDER “TEMPTATION” (I always preferred the rougher sounding mix on the 7′ to the 12′ )

 

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THE CLASH “Pressure Drop” (actually the B side and of course also a cover version)

STONE ROSES “One Love”

BOWIE “Boys Keep Swinging”
SOUNDGARDEN “Hunted Down”

Happy Birthday To Will Sergeant of Echo and The Bunnymen

One of my favorite bands, favorite guitar players and favorite people has a birthday today.

If you have not checked out his art, definitely do so.   I am proud to say I have a few pieces hanging in our home.

Echo and The Bunnymen have so many great songs, its hard to narrow it down to a favorite, but I always liked The Cutter,  as well as the title track from the album it featured on, Porcupine.

Actually, one of my favorite LPs is “Reverberation” which was the one record with lead vocalist Noel Burke after Ian left the band.  Produced by Geoff Emerick, its really a sonic gem, but has kind of been forgotten.

Here’s some photos of Will visiting NYC on my old rooftop and at the MOMA.

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A blast from the past…

Paul was digging for something in the storage closet and found these instead, and thought it would be fun to post some of the shows he’s attended and worked on over the years.  

What a treat that I have gotten to work with some of these bands.

I think the oldest credential in my collection is from the “Escape from NY” tour where I saw Debbie Harry, Ramones, Tom Tom Club. That was amazing.

I’m still a Duranie after all this time, so those shows are aways a treat. There’s embarrassing photos of me out there grinning like a kid meeting Le Bon and Rhodes.

The Bowie/NIN double head line tour was one of my favorite shows I’ve seen and that one is certainly a highlight. It was a creative high for both bands I think.

Working with the Stones at Juillard was an experience not to forget.  They sounded great, and it was just the core band, no back up or horn sections so that was something you don’t really get to see. The excitement on the lawn of Lincoln center that day was fantastic.

-PB

Ladies who rock-singles collection

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Here are some of my ladies who rock:  Debbie Harry, Siouxsie Sioux, The GoGo’s (all of them) and Suzi Quatro.

Blondie’s “Dreaming’ from the Eat to the Beat LP is one of my favorite tracks the band recorded.  Perfect pop, it could have been sung by Ronnie Spector, its just a catchy melody, in fact,  it does sound a bit like the melody of Abba’s “Dancing Queen” to some people.

Siouxsie & The Banshees “Fireworks” is an often-overlooked single, likely because it feel between the releases of the LPs JUJU and A Kiss in the Dreamhouse.

The Gogos “Head Over Heels” is another catchy upbeat pop gem. However, going back and listening to lyrics and knowing the battles singer Belinda Carlisle faced, its really a sad cry for help. The Gogos were such a great band. Jane Weidlen had already co-written the Fun Boy Three Hit “Our Lips our Sealed” by the time the band recorded their first album, the song later of course became a hit for them too.

Finally Suzi Quatro.  Definitely a pioneer with her own brand of Michigan fueled rock and glam.

-PB

 

 

 

Cocteau Twins Promo Only LP

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Released as Promo Only in 1991, this 1 LP set features songs from the Cocteau Twins box set of EP’s and Singles.

Some of my favorites are here: “Aikea-Guinea,” “Hazel” and “Pink Orange Red” along with the popular “Pearly-Dewdrops’ Drops” and previously unreleased “Dials”

This is a great compilation and the fact that is was promo only (I used to run a record store) makes it all the more collectible.

 

-PB

 

 

 

Artie Shaw

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Thanks to the German TV mini series Babylon Berlin, I’ve been getting into a lot of late 1920s/1930’s jazz, and a bit of Swing/Big Band again.  I picked up this Italian pressing of Artie Shaw’s “Story” and it is a winner.

Side note: If you find yourself in my current hometown of Frankfurt, and you are jazz fan, you are in for a treat. Analogetontraeger has an amazing jazz collection, which is where I picked this gem up.  They’ll even fix you up with a coffee and let you listen to your finds. 

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The back jacket liner notes are both in English and Italian, but I can’t figure out when this pressing was released. I would guess in the 1950’s if I had to.

Artie Shaw was quite a controversial character.  Married and divorced several times to the likes of Ava Gardner, Lana Turner and Katherine Windsor to name a few, he also dated Judy Garland.

More noteworthy, is the fact that he was the first white band-leader to hire a black full-time singer whilst touring the segregated south.  The singer? None other than legendary Billie Holiday.  By the late 1940s he was performing classical music at Carnegie Hall with Leonard Bernstein.

This compilation is fantastic because it gives you a great survey of his work.  Definitely a great one to throw on the turntable. Shaw was a great bandleader and colorful character in the world of Big Band.  Worth discovering…

-PB

 

 

 

 

Japan: Exorcising Ghosts

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Once again there’s one of those Facebook Challenges going around asking friends to nominate each other to list 10 Albums that had a profound effect on their life. Of course there are “rules.” One must not explain anything, just post a picture, nominate a new person each day…..blah blah blah…None of that is fun. I want to know more about why my friends picked the records.

Who starts these challenges and makes these rules anyway?  

Back to Japan and “Exorcising Ghosts.” This album comes to mind for me as a record that had a lot of effect on me.  Although it is a compilation, better or worse, it was my introduction to this seminal band.  If you grew up in the USA in the 1980s, you will remember the “import” section of the record store.  That was were the “good stuff” really was.  All the 4AD (Cocteau Twins, Bauhaus) and rare 12″ singles of bands like Heaven 17, Soft Cell, Simple Minds (pre-Don’t you forget about me era) were there. They were expensive.  A lot more than domestic US releases.

Somehow, my local Musicland (chain store) had this album in the clearance bin for like $4.99. Probably because exactly 5 people in the suburb I lived in would have known what or who this band was.  It was regularly $24.99 which in 1984 was a lot of money for a record.  So I grabbed it.  I had heard a lot about Japan and David Sylvian the singer particularly,  but didn’t really know much of their stuff.

WOW. These guys sounded like a more ethereal Duran Duran. Only Japan came first, haircuts, outfits and all I would soon discover.

Case in point: *coughs*

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Just as they were reaching their peak, and the androgynous New Romantics were conquering the charts, the band called it quits.  Leaving the doors open for the likes of Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and so on.

The only thing I really don’t like about this 2-LP set is that was pressed on somewhat thin vinyl, so the sound quality suffers a bit.

That said, its a great compilation, featuring some of the bands best known songs, drawing from their later albums “Quiet Life, ”  “Gentlemen Take Polaroids” and “Talking Drum,”  and two instrumentals from the live “Oil on Canvas.”
Vaugh Oliver created the artwork, which fits his 4AD mold.

 

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The tracks here are incredible.  From the Proto-Moroder “Quiet Life” to the ambient “Taking Islands in Africa ” (featuring Ryuichi Sakamoto), the 2LP set is a winner in my book.

All the band went on to create quite amazing arty music on their own, and unfortunately  bass player Mick Karn passed away in early 2011. The members briefly reformed before his passing for the Rain Tree Crow album, which was essentially Japan but wisely called another name to distance themselves from their past.

If you like synth pop from the 1980s and somehow haven’t heard Japan, you should really check them out.  This is a great LP to start with.  Beware: the CD release of this doesn’t have 5 of the tracks, they were left off for timing issues so they could fit it on one CD.

 

-PB