Archive for the ‘records’ Tag

1978 in Music

I wrote about 1971 as the key year in music this time last year and this week David Hepworth has released a book on exactly the same theme. I started thinking about this in 2013 when I had a discussion at BAFTA with Malcolm Garrett, designer of the covers of Another Music in a Different Kitchen and Love Bites (referred to below) – Malcolm argued for 1970. Today my friend & best man Stuart Rubenstein proposed 1978 as an alternative. I don’t really buy it as the most significant year but it was a landmark, dynamic one.

Here are a dozen of the LPs that got my blood racing that pivotal year of my youth and I write this listening to Stuart’s 1978 playlist.

1978 was the year I fully got the punk bug thanks to Buzzcocks who released 2 great LPs during those palpitating 12 months. So in no particular order:

023f296ee6ada0becc00aa830b49d25634c3ce0b

(1) Give Em Enough Rope – The Clash

I trudged through the snow to Loppylugs in Edgware to buy this. I saw the tour at the Electric Ballroom in Camden Town with Mikey Dread and Joe Ely supporting, one of the greatest gigs of my life.

Siouxsie_And_The_Banshees_-_The_Scream

(2) The Scream – Siouxsie & the Banshees

Was transfixed by this band, not least the track Switch. Saw them at Hammersmith Odeon and the Music Machine in Mornington Crescent around this time.

Buzzcocks_-_Another_Music_In_A_Different_Kitchen_-[front]-[www.FreeCovers.net]

(3) Another Music in a Different Kitchen – Buzzcocks

Got this as a Christmas present (at my own request) from someone I didn’t much like. The single from it (which I got first from Smiths in Chichester), What Do I Get, was what opened me up to Punk. The sleeve design was really striking with its silver and fluorescent orange. It was a kick years later to meet its super-talented designer Malcolm Garrett through work. My copy now bears his signature.

Patti_Smith-Easter

(4) Easter – Patti Smith

I was transfixed by the hairy armpit in the cover photo by Robert Mapplethorpe.

51hWYnWq96L

(5) Plastic Letters – Blondie

I had a crush on Debbie Harry as Debbie had on Denis. I saw them for my 2nd ever gig at Hammersmith Odeon, as well as outside their record label, Chrysalis, near Bond Street.

51kn4lfa+FL

(6) Stage – David Bowie

One of the few things outside of punk to catch my attention.

handsworth-revolution

(7) Handsworth Revolution – Steel Pulse

Can’t recall how I came across this but it will have been thanks to the Punk-Reggae axis.

51siK7RY4rL

(8) Public Image – Public Image Ltd

How could Johnny Rotten transcend the Pistols? With a single as startling as anything those bad boys did.

the_doors_-_1978_an_american_prayer

(9) An American Prayer – Jim Morrison & The Doors

I still reckon Jim was a significant and talented poet.

marvin-gaye-here-my-dear

(10) Here My Dear – Marvin Gaye

As intense as records ever get – I pictured Marvin alone in the studio in the dark, laying his voice over and over itself.

26715-raw

(11) Moving Targets – Penetration

Something a little exotic from the regions

Tom+Robinson+Power+In+The+Darkness++Stencil+316808

(12) Power in the Darkness – Tom Robinson Band

My very first gig at Hammersmith Odeon with PJE. I used the stencil which came with this on my school bag.

A parlour game for Easter

This has flown in from Dan McKevitt in Carlingford (via Facebook). A musical parlour game for the holidays.The emphasis is on records that have meant a lot to you rather than the all-time greatest.

“Here are the rules. Post up 12 albums on to your timeline that have stayed with you for whatever reason. One album per Artist/Band. Tag 12 friends and get them to do likewise, include me so I can see your choices. Don’t overthink it. Enjoy. No Compilations.”

1 Kind of Blue – Miles Davis [how to become tranquil in 5 easy steps/tracks]


2 Jesus Christ Superstar [as a young teen I used to spend hours and hours drawing and colouring to this]


3 What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye [I played it the night my fist born made his appearance]


4 Another Music In a Different Kitchen – Buzzcocks [my route into punk]


5 A Love Supreme – John Coltrane [took me somewhere higher]


6 Hot August Night – Neil Diamond [the first LP I bought myself – helluva jean jacket]


7 Let’s Dance – David Bowie [helped me find the joy in my first year away from home]


8 Glorious Fool – John Martyn [prompted me to recognise that JM was the greatest singer of them all …ever]


9 Give ’em Enough Rope – The Clash [trudging through the snow to get this from Loppylugs the day it came out – there’s never been such anticipation]


10 Moondance – Van Morrison [contains my eponymous wedding dance]


11 The White Album – The Beatles [teen memories of discovering the Fab Four and others with JRT]


12 The Scream – Siouxsie & the Banshees [will life ever get more exciting?]

Hot_august_night

By the way, here are the Best Albums ever

And here are some more music lists

Passing the baton

bob Dylan Desire record cover art work

I had the great honour and pleasure of explaining to Enfant Terrible No. 2 this afternoon how a record player works – and indeed how a record works. “So if you turn it over are there more songs on the other side?”

It reminded me of the time the four of us were in the car listening to a Sherlock Holmes story and I had to pause the tape to explain what a ‘typewriter’ was, as the mystery revolved around a typewriter with a dodgy E.

So I walked down to Alan’s record shop on our high street with the ETs and No. 2 bought his very first piece of vinyl, a Rolling Stones (later) hits LP – he was after the track Wild Horses. He asked me to show him how to play it in the shop. I demoed on the knackered old deck. “So the lines are different songs?”

I showed him how to check the record for blemishes, how to handle the disc, how to check the weight/thickness.

It’s interesting how they came to this place, to the point of being introduced to Alan as customers after one and a half decades of just being local kids. After years of wall-to-wall rap the younger one recently got into reggae, then Dylan and The Stones; the older one into The Doors and Dylan. When Snoop Dogg put out a reggae album as Snoop Lion he provided the bridge for ET2 into the rasta world. And Yelawolf’s Nashville connections prompted thoughts in the head of ET1 of Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan. After years of Mac Miller and Wiz Khalifa how amazing to get a text saying: “Just been listening to Bob Dylan’s song ‘Hurricane’ – the man’s a genius”.

What’s also interesting to see is how all the musical education/indoctrination did actually get in and get noticed. I used to make them tapes for their birthdays based on what they were interested in – so at 4 for example it was cops, robbers and superheroes – cue Police & Thieves, The Batman theme (The Jam), etc. Now tunes like Riders on the Storm (from the cowboys & Indians phase) are resurfacing in their consciousness.

This afternoon’s lads’ trip down the road was a real landmark and a deep pleasure.

rolling_stones_with_brian_jones

The Box

box of 50 records

So the idea was simple: 50 songs from 50 friends/family to mark 50 years. All in a box decorated by the Enfants Terribles. In short, Now That’s What I Call a Birthday Present 50.

Various people asked me what was in The Box so I’ve finally gotten round to listing the gifts, all 7″ vinyl singles. There turned out to be 65 songs in the box as some people decided to give one song per decade, some very naturally hedged their bets as choosing just one is tough as we all know from Desert Island Discs and the like. (There’s no special significance about the first nine, that’s just how WordPress decided to cut&paste and the wisdom of five decades dictates that life’s too short to tidy up such things.)

  1. She Loves You – The Beatles [Jonathan & Julie] (No. 1 the weekend after I was born)
  2. Righteous Man – Little Roy [Nigel]
  3. One by One – Ruefrex (Good Vibrations) [Conor & Aoife] (given to him by Terry Hooley)
  4. Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys [Meabh & Orla] (I gave them Pet Sounds – the first CD they ever owned)
  5. Like a Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan [Sean]
  6. I Want That Man – Deborah Harry [Maura]
  7. Carmen – Malcolm McLaren [Maura]
  8. Higher & Higher – Jackie Wilson [Patsy]
  9. From Me to You – The Beatles [Anthony & Ruth]

box of 50 records

10. Send Another Moses – The Willows (CoxSone) [Neil]

11. Run Run – Delroy Wilson (Studio One) [Neil]

12. Door Peeper – Burning Spear [Neil]

13. There Ain’t Half Been Some Clever Bastards – Ian Dury [Neil]

14. Telegram Sam – T-Rex [Neil]

15. Something – The Beatles [Neil]

16. Double Barrel – Dave & Ansil Collins [Neil]

17. The Ayatollah Song – Not the 9 O’Clock News [Dave & Nicole]

18. Murphy’s Law – Cheri [Elizabeth & Des]

19. Close to Me – The Cure [Eileen] (we saw them live together in Wembley Arena)

20. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd [Matthew]

21. LA Woman – The Doors [Jon]

22. Cat People – David Bowie [Jon]

23. Changing of the Guards – Bob Dylan [Jon]

24. Wet Dream – Max Romeo [Peter]

25. Go Wild in the Country – Bow Wow Wow [Judyth]

26. Modern Love – David Bowie [Mike] (we saw him together live in Grenoble on the Serious Moonlight tour)

27. A Paris – The Style Council [Mike] (we once bumped into each other totally by chance in the Louvre)

28. Speak Like A Child – The Style Council [Mike] (Mick Talbot shares the same birthday)

29. Universal Soldier – Donovan

30. Young Parisians – Adam & The Ants [Noah]

31. Pictures of Lily – The Who [Dylan] (he wanted My Generation but couldn’t find it – I taught him how to spell WH question words using a photo of Keith Moon’s drumkit)

32. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – Gil Scott-Heron [Dan & Steff] (we saw him together at Somerset House shortly before he died)

33. Denis – Blondie [Paul] (we went to see them as his first and my second gig)

34. Thank You Very Much, Mr Eastwood – Dermot Morgan [Elizabeth-Ann]

35. Come Fly With Me – Frank Sinatra [Cecelia] (we both adore Frank)

36. Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye [Stuart]

37. Don’t Worry Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin [Stuart]

38. The Celtic Soul Brothers – Dexy’s Midnight Runners [Stuart] (he mispronounced ‘Celtic’ in his best-man’s speech at our wedding)

39. Baby I Love You – The Ronettes [Seth]

40. Live at Hollywood High – Elvis Costello [Joan]

41. The Next Day – David Bowie [Ela]

42. Shady Lane – Pavement [Alfie]

43. Congratulations – Cliff Richard [Annie]

44. Blanket on the Ground – Billie Jo Spears [Annie]

45. Ernie – Benny Hill [Dan]

46. Tears of a Clown – The Beat [Dan]

47. Ball of Fire – The Orb & Lee Scratch Perry [Sarah]

48. Nelson Mandela – Amy Winehouse [Farrah]

49. It’s a Sin – Pet Shop Boys [Anita & Don]

50. Nothing Compares 2U – Sinead O’Connor [Maud] (my favourite female voice)

51. Irish Heartbeat (Billy Connolly) [Maud]

52. A Dreams A Dream – Soul II Soul [Maud]

53. Take It Easy – The Wilf Brothers [Maud]

54. Dedication – Thin Lizzy [Maud]

55. Round About Midnight – Miles Davis [Una] (Debbie Gould sang this magnificently at my party)

56. Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright – Bob Dylan [Una] (we named a son after him)

57. Breakfast in Bed – Lorna Bennett [Sue]

58. Wildwood – Paul Weller [Sue]

59. Streets of London – Ralph McTell [Katherine]

60. September – Earth Wind & Fire [Ja]

61. Life’s What You Make It – Talk Talk [Ja]

62. Reasons to Be Cheerful – Ian Dury [Ja] (source of Simple Pleasures blogs)

63. Running Up That Hill – Kate Bush [Ja]

64. 2-4-6-8 Motorway – Tom Robinson Band [Ja] (my first gig)

65. Love Will Tear Us Apart – Joy Division [Ja]

Late Additions:

66. The Boys Are Back in Town – Thin Lizzy [Eddie]

Long Players

whats going on - marvin gaye After playing the 100 Greatest Songs of all time parlour game with my friend Doug Miller over Christmas (me in the North of London, him in the South of France) he came back with the 50 Greatest LPs of all time challenge (no compilations, only one record per artist/band). I failed miserably – couldn’t boil it down to less than 75. So here they are – the 75 best LPs ever (of course, I’ll be popping back from time to time to make the odd sneaky change):

Beauty Stab – ABC
The Stars We Are – Marc Almond
The Last Waltz – The Band
The White Album – The Beatles
Post – Bjork
Go Tell It on the Mountain – Blind Boys of Alabama
Plastic Letters – Blondie
Space Oddity – David Bowie
Love Bites – Buzzcocks
The Clash – The Clash
A Rush of Blood to the Head – Coldplay
* A Love Supreme – John Coltrane
Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me – The Cure
* Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
Don’t Stand Me Down – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
Hot August Night – Neil Diamond
The Doors – The Doors
Pink Moon – Nick Drake
Blood on the Tracks – Bob Dylan
Bill Evans – Conversations with Myself
Tiger in the Rain – Michael Franks
* Stay Human – Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Score – The Fugees
* What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye
Flesh – David Gray
Guys & Dolls movie ST
Are you experienced? – Jimi Hendrix
The Miseducation of – Lauryn Hill
Yarona – Abdullah Ibrahim trio
All Mod Cons – The Jam
Jesus Christ Superstar
Unknown Pleasures – Joy Division
On Song – Brian Kennedy
Led Zeppelin IV – Led Zeppelin
Imagine – John Lennon
Cinquieme As – MC Solaar
The Snake – Shane MacGowan & the Popes
Madness – Madness
Correct Use of Soap – Magazine
Exodus – Bob Marley & the Wailers
* Solid Air – John Martyn
New World Order – Curtis Mayfield
Monk’s Dream – Thelonius Monk quartet
A Night in San Francisco – Van Morrison
Blues and the Abstract Truth – Oliver Nelson
Throw Down Yours Arms – Sinead O’Connor
Meddle – Pink Floyd
Dummy – Portishead
Metal Box – Public Image Ltd (in the metal box)
O – Damien Rice
Some Girls – The Rolling Stones
Stranded – Roxy Music
Rumblefish OST (Stewart Copeland)
The Crack – The Ruts
Abraxas – Sanata
Gymnopedies – Eric Satie
Never Mind the Bollocks – The Sex Pistols
* Songs for Swinging Lovers – Frank Sinatra
The Scream – Siouxsie and the Banshees
Six Days in June
Easter – Patti Smith
The Specials – The Specials
The Rising – Bruce Springsteen
We’ll Never Turn Back – Mavis Staples
Tea for the Tillerman – Cat Stevens
Brilliant Trees – David Sylvian
Remain in the Light – Talking Heads
Sweet Baby James – James Taylor
Stan Tracey – Under Milk Wood
Joshua Tree – U2
Signing Off – UB40
Live in Leeds – The Who
Talking Book – Stevie Wonder
Harvest – Neil Young
*Road to Freedom – The Young Disciples

And in case you’ve ever lain awake at night wondering what the top 7 LPs of all time are in order, here you are:

1 Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
2 What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye
3 A Love Supreme – John Coltrane
4 Songs for Swinging Lovers – Frank Sinatra
5 Solid Air – John Martyn
6 Road to Freedom – The Young Disciples
7 Stay Human – Michael Franti & Spearhead

Doug’s top 50 is somewhat more sophisticated as befits an international man of mystery:
1. Mariano/Vant’hof/Catherine – Sleep My Love
2. Garbarek/Gismonti/Haden – Folk Songs
3. What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye
4. Songs in the Key of Life – Stevie Wonder
5. Beyond Skin – Nitin Sawhney
6. Soro – Salif Keita
7. Leftfield – Leftism
8. John Coltrane – A Love Supreme
9. Airto Moreira – Seeds on the Ground
10. Khomsa – Anouar Brahem
11. Santana – Caravanserai
12. Edu Lobo – Cantiga De Longe
13. Remain in Light – Talking Heads
14. Eastern Sounds – Yusef Lateeef
15. Devotional Songs – Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
16. The Velvet Underground and Nico
17. Gabor Szabo & Bobby Womack – High Contrast
18. The Isley Brothers – 3+3
19. This Is My Country – The Impressions
20. Pharaoh Sanders – Journey To the One
21. Miles Davis – In a Silent Way
22. DJ Shadow Entroducing
23. Keith Jarrett – The Koln Concert
24. Sigur Ros – Takk
25. Let it Bleed – The Rolling Stones
26. Brian Eno/Harold Budd – The Plateau of Mirror
27. Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd
28. Tabula Rasa – Arvo Part
29. Mothership Connection – Parliament
30. Lou Reed – Transformer
31. Led Zeppelin – 2
32. David Sylvian – Secrets of the Beehive
33. Free Will – Gil Scot Heron
34. David Crosby – If I Could Only Remember My Name
35. Spirit – 12 Dreams of Dr Sardonicus
36. Jdilla – Donuts
37. Five Leaves Left – Nick Drake
38. Clube De Esquina – Milton Nascimento
39. Sonny Rollins – Saxophone Colossus
40. Lonnie Liston Smith – Expansions
41. Anthony and the Johnsons – I am a Bird Now
42. TheInflated Tear – Rahsan Roland Kirk
43. Blue Camel – Rabih Abou-Khalil
44. What Colour is Love – Terry Callier
45. Fat Albert Rotunda – Herbie Hancock
46. Diamond Dogs – David Bowie
47. Assagai – Afrorock
48. Biosphere – Sub-Strata
49. Ein Deutche Requiem – Brahms (Simon Rattle)
50. The Nordic Quartet – Rypdal/Surman/Storaas.Krog

Feel free to join in…

%d bloggers like this: