Public Image LTD “Generic”

 

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Having just watched “Beware of Ginger Baker” I had forgotten that Baker played on the Public Image LTD “Generic” record.  This prompted a listen, and I haven’t stopped all week.

Recorded in 1985 at Power Station, Electric Lady and Quad studios, the album features a dream-team line up.  Ginger Baker, Steve Vai, Nicky Skopeltitis, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Bernie Worrell, and Bernard Fowler all feature on the album.

Coming hot off the heels of Lydon’s Time Zone “World Destruction” duo with Afrika Bambaataa, the album is considered one of PIL’s best and the single “Rise” did comparatively well for Lydon.
Village Voice’s Robert Christgau gave the album a B+ and claimed “This isn’t a Lydon record that (the conveniently uncredited) Bill Laswell happened to produce, it’s a Laswell record custom-designed for Lydon”

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Both the album and single “Rise’ hit the UK top 20.

 

 

Guitarist Steve Vai has a bit to say about the recording on his website.

It is definitely a departure for Lydon and a lot of people still have issues with the 80’s “rock” vibe that Vai in particular brought to the mix.  I love it, and I think it’s probably one of my favorite albums, and definitely of the PiL recordings I go back and listen to.

Here’s a hilarious interview from the period – ENJOY.  – PB

David Jones no more….

 

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This week was when David Jones officially changed his name to David Bowie, with the release of his first solo effort, after abandoning his previous group The Mannish Boys. This name change was of course to avoid confusion with Davy Jones from the Monkees.

“Can’t Help Thinking About Me” was released on 14th January, 1966 on the PYE record label, backed with the song “And I say to Myself”

If you own this original single, you probably already know that the UK vinyl release averages  £600 and  the UK  & the US  Promo copies value around £1000.
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As the previous material he’d done with Mannish boys, this song didn’t chart but “got great critical acclaim” …in other words it was a flop. Bowie would not have any chart success until “Space Oddity” would peak at #5 on the British Singles charts in 1969.

The song was produced by Tony Hatch, who had also produced Petula Clark’s hit “Downtown.”  Hatch also performs on the track.

Here’s David and his band dusting off “Can’t Help Thinking About Me”.  This was from a long-awaited appearance on VH1’s “Storytellers.”

I was at this show, and the energy was great, although honestly some of the storytelling felt a bit forced and he seemed to be “reaching” at parts of it. Regardless the performance was incredible.

Check out the exchange with the ever quick witted Reeves Gabrels regarding the lyrics from the Tin Machine era…

 

 

 

 

 

Paul’s picks of the year

There’s a lot of great new music out there and here’s some full lengths and singles that caught my attention this year.

In no particular order here are but a few of the records that stood out to me this year…

KellindoWhen Flowers Could Dance” single

 Listen Here.

Kellindo Parker’s debut single has already gotten a lot of attention, and if you have seen him live either solo or  with Janelle Monae, there is no question—we’re going to be hearing a lot more from this talented guitarist. Look for his full-length this year. I call his music Glam Funk because it sounds like Bowie jamming with P Funk. This tune is more on the Glam side of things, and that’s no complaint here.

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Thom Yorke –Suspiria Soundtrack 

 

Being a fan of the original film and corresponding soundtrack by Italian Prog-Rockers The Goblin, I was pleasantly caught off guard at how much I enjoyed the remake (re-telling?) of the original film.  Likewise, Yorke did a brilliant job with this.

ACTORS Self Titled

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I am usually wary of bands that recall the sound of some of my favorite post-punk bands. In this case, the hints of early New Order and Sisters of Mercy didn’t drive me away, probably because they’ve done something of their own with the sound.  Start with the haunting video to We Don’t Have to Dance and then explore the rest of the album…

Reade Truth – Wires Everywhere-Full Length

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Well, anyone who knows me won’t be surprised that this is on my list after listening to this album.  I’ve always been a fan of the darker side of techno and Reade doesn’t let up on this anticipated release.  Check his band camp site to give this a listen.

Various Artists–Babylon Berlin Soundtrack 

Technically, this came out in Nov 2017, but I’m going to let it slide and count it for 2018. The 3LP vinyl set is brilliant.

Featuring music by Bryan Ferry and his Jazz Orchestra, the standout track is this gem:

If you haven’t seen the mini-series check it out.  Some amazing work.

Bryan Ferry OrchestraBitter Sweet (Full Length)

The packaging is absolutely fantastic. Musically,  I’m particularly impressed with what he did on “Boys and Girls” which is one of many of my absolute favorites.  I thought it was clever how there’s that hint of the famous riff from “Carmen” in there, when the original had that unmistakable drum click reminiscent of from Pink Floyd’s “Time” .  To me it showed a bit of thought, like “what song or riff would have influenced this track instead of “Time” had the song been written in the Jazz Age”. Perhaps that’s me reading more into it just because I am such a big nerd music  listener. Hahaha
“New Town” and “Limbo” are also favorites here, so I was excited to see both represented,   Of course, “Bitter’s End” sort of evoked that jazz era I always thought at least, so that’s a natural fit.
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Gorillaz-The Now Now – Full length

Fujiya & “Miyagi-Subliminal Cuts” -single

Big Joanie-“Fall Asleep”(single)

This single has really gotten under my skin.  They are great live—I caught them as a support for Parquet Courts and loved the live set.

Chaka Khan -“Like Sugar” (single)

The video is amazing too.  This was THE song of the summer of 2018 for me

The Internet – Hive Mind (full length)

Featuring this hit Come Over this band gives me hope for R&B/Hip Hop

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Calexico The Thread The Keeps us (full length)

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The Orb “Rush Hill Road” Single

Since the debut “Little Fluffy Clouds” decades ago, Dr Alex Patterson has consistently delivered great tunes.  Rush Hill Road gets back to his dub-tacstic roots

David BowieNever let me Down (reimagined 2018)

Jungle-For Ever-Full length

I loved their debut a few years ago, and the first single, Happy Man really caught my attention.  Great full length listen.

Lizzo-“Boys” Single

This is just good fun  and what’s not to like about Lizzo?!

 

Today’s Vinyl Shopping

Found  a few great eclectic gems at my local record stores Lucky Star Records, and Analogetontraeger

 

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I was very excited to find a reasonably priced “North By Northwest” soundtrack.
Probably one of my favorite film composers, Bernard Herrmann created a lot of great Hitchcock scores, and this is one of my absolute favorites.  If you have attended the enthralling “Sleep no More” theatrical experience in NYC, they use a lot of Herrmann’s music in that.

 

This next one was also a great find: The legendary Hamilton Bohannon.

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“Insides Out” features side one with more dance, early Disco tunes, while side two is a more uptempo lounge, jazzy.

Bohannon began touring with Stevie Wonder when he was only 13 years old, and due to songs like “Disco Stomp” featured on this album is often credited as one of the grandfather’s of the Disco ‘Four on the floor” sound. He was a huge influence on the Talking Head’s spin off group The Tom-Tom Club led by Tina Weymouth and Chris Franz, and has been sampled by the likes of Jay Z, Justin Timberlake and Snoop Dog, just to scratch the surface.  He performed and recorded with many Motown legends : Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and the Supremes and Smokey Robinson.

If you don’t know his music, and love disco/dance music, then you have to go to the source and check him out.

You probably know this tune of his (although it’s not on the above mentioned album):

 

A lot of my vinyl shopping these days is either replacing classic LPS of artists whose vinyl I either sold when I switched to CD format, or was sadly part of the few crates stolen in a storage area when I was in between apartments.   The next batch is representative of that. In fact, I think for Aerosmith I went right from 8-Track to CD.  The years in between those formats I wasn’t listening to them much I guess.

The Hendrix one is a German compilation featuring some of the live at the Fillmore takes.   Same for the Floyd one, an 1980s or so compilation of the Syd Barrett era line up, featuring two of my favorites from that era “Apples and Oranges” and “Arnold Layne”

 

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Nite Flights

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1978, Scott Walker broke his spell of retirement to reunite (briefly) the Walker Brothers, of course, a massive influence on David Bowie.
Ironically, what broke Walker’s silence as an artist was being so moved by the “Low” and “Heroes” albums Bowie and Eno had released.
You can hear the influence. Bowie repaid the homage with a tip of his hat on his album “Black Tie White Noise” produced with Nile Rodgers covering the song himself. As if the legacy of this tune can’t get any better—Bowie dusted it off on the “Outside” tour letting Reeves Gabrels and Gail Ann Dorsey loose on the live arrangement. Here’s the original version by Scott Walker and the Walker Brothers. It is one of my favorite songs.
Here is Bowie rehearsing both Andy Warhol and Nite Flights for the outside tour
He also performed it live on the Jay Leno show when the album Black Tie White Noise was released.
And a link to the audio of the original Scott Walker version.