What's All This Then

Why should I care what this guy has to say?

The correct answer is that you shouldn’t. We’re all entitled to our opinions. Develop your own. I try to be sane and rational, but that may change with the level of caffeine intake. I’m just telling my stories in the hopes they may amuse and/or inform others. And... I Confess... I'm showing off my bitchen collection a bit.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Iggy Pop Lust for Life

In the mid seventies, Iggy Pop and David Bowie fled to Berlin to excise themselves from the drug culture in Los Angeles.  Both had serious problems at the time with cocaine (Bowie) and heroin (Iggy).   While in Berlin, the pair sobered up and churned out several records.  This one is the second Iggy Pop title from that period.   

What emerged is one of the most life affirming records about overcoming addiction ever made.

Iggy Pop - Lust For Life  (RCA 1977)

And that cover!  Iggy's face shows a bit of wear and tear, but his happiness shines through.  It's a bit out or character and unsettling to see him smiling so big.  This is like a rock and roll Mona Lisa.  Hard to look away.

This records begins with the title track featuring the coolest drum sound ever pressed onto vinyl.  The CD reissue doesn't do it justice.  It must be heard on vinyl.

The aforementioned title track is from the point of view of a happily sober person resisting the enablers that surround him.  So infectious is the joy in this track, it was used for a cruise line advertisement.  They tended to focus on the 'Lust for Life' chorus.  They cut it off after the line 'Here comes Johnny Yen again.'  I expect to hear it followed by 'With the liquor and drugs and the sex machine.  He's gonna do another striptease.'    Probably would attract the wrong crowd to the ship.

Side one ends with a beautiful duet between Iggy and Bowie about nursing someone through a drug withdrawal on 'Tonight'.  Bowie later recorded it as duet with Tina Turner.

Bowie plays keyboards.  Bass and Drums by Soupy Sales' sons Tony and Hunt.   Get this one on vinyl. 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Clash Singles Part 2 - Trying to Crack America

The second phase of The Clash's career.   Breaking (somewhat) in America.

(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais b/s The Prisoner (CBS 1978)

The A Side a reggae tune, the B side a classic rocker.  The band is beginning to branch out a bit.

The cover came in several different colors.  I got a yellow one.

Next Up

Tommy Gun b/w 1-2 Crush On You  (CBS 1978)

The fist single culled from the Give 'em Enough Rope LP. Produced by Columbia arena rock producer Sandy Perlman in attempt to sound like what Columbia thought the kids would dig.

English Civil War b/w Pressure Drop (CBS 1978)

The second single pulled from Give 'em Enough Rope.  The B-side is a reggae cover delivered in Clash fashion.

The band wasn't all that happy with the direction the album seemed to be taking them.  So they fired their manager and tried to go conquer America on their own terms.  The stop gap in early 1979 was this EP

The Cost of Living EP  (CBS 1979)

Tracks include:  I Fought the Law, Groovy Times, Gates of the West, Capital Radio

A nice transition.  I Fought the Law became a minor hit for the band, thus forcing Columbia's hand at issuing their first album in the USA.  Columbia had rejected it as too lo-fi.  Subsequently it became the largest selling import album in the country.

The finger over the bar code makes me laugh every time.

Now we get to the real breakthrough - the London Calling LP.

London Calling b/w Armagideon Time (CBS 1979)

Mick Jones was a huge Mott the Hoople fan.  When it came time to get a producer, they enlisted Guy Stevens who produced Mott's early albums.    The title track was the first single.

Train in Vain b/w Bankrobber/Rockers Galore (CBS 1980)

Originally a hidden track at the end of side 4, it became a hit for the band.  No UK release for the single, only this Dutch one that plays at 33.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Ned Kelly

The soundtrack to Ned Kelly, where Mick Jagger played the Australian outlaw.  It was not a hit.  Then girlfriend Marianne Faithful was set to co-star, but in typical Marianne fashion, she OD'd and spent time in an Australian hospital instead.

Original Soundtrack - Ned Kelly (United Artists 1970)

Mick contributes one song to the soundtrack.   The Wild Colonial Boy.  Not his finest hour. 

According to legend, Mick spent the time in Australia waiting for Marianne's replacement and tending to her in hospital.   Brown Sugar and Wild Horses were supposedly written during this time.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Put the Bone In

Quite possibly the worst B-Side ever.  To me the A Side is pretty annoying as well.

Terry Jacks - Seasons in the Sun b/w Put the Bone In (Bell 1974)

Sorry if you have an earworm.

I will spare you the audio of the B-Side.   Below are the lyrics.

Put the bone in she asked him at the store
Because my doggie's been hit by a car
And I do want to bring him home something
Put the bone in, she begged him once more.

The meat from the pork is sweet.
Give the bone from the pork meat to me.
Put the bone in she begged in as she paced around the floor
Put the bone in she yelled out once more.

Put the bone in she asked him at the store.
‘Cause my doggie's been hit by a car.
And I do want to bring him home something.
Put the bone in she begged him once more.

Why would she want the butcher to put the bone in when her dog is dead?  Why would she be begging and yelling about wanting someone to put the bone in?  Certainly not for the dog because raw pork can be dangerous.   Could she be? Does she want?   Oh, I get it.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Clash Singles Part 1 - The First Album

The Clash put out so many singles that I'm going to have to break this up into parts. 

Here was a band who started in the UK punk boom of the seventies and released their share of two minute epics.    Here are few that were released around the time of their first album.  All are UK Pressings.

#1 White Riot b/w 1977 (CBS 1977)

Their debut.  Neither side is longer than two minutes

#2 Remote Control b/w London's Burning (live)  (CBS 1977)

Pulled from the first album against the band's wishes.  B-Side is live take of an album track

#3  Remote Control b/w City of the Dead (CBS 1977)

Great early single.  Both sides awesome.  The cover is a photo of the actual amp Mick Jones was using at the time.

#4 Clash City Rockers b/w Jail Guitar Doors (CBS 1978)

The last early single.  From here it was off to the USA to work with an arena rock producer at the insistence of the record company.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

RIP Series - DJ Fontana

A week or so before the passing of Nick Knox, we lost DJ Fontana.

DJ was Elvis' drummer.  The man who invented the sparse rockabilly backbeat that became a staple in rock and roll.    Never featured on the covers of Elvis records and rarely credited, most fans of early Elvis are well familiar with DJ, Scotty and Bill.

So here's Elvis's 2nd album to take a gander at......

Elvis Presley - Elvis (RCA 1956)

Elvis was the first artist to have two albums go straight to Number 1 in the same year.   I found this one at an estate sale in my neighborhood.   I had a reissue in fake stereo, but was thrilled to see it in glorious mono.

The cover was a bit beat up, but what I ended up with was a first edition complete with the ad back.  As you can see, RCA's output at the time did not contain ANY rock and roll artists. 

The record sounds surprisingly clean considering the condition of the cover and appearance of the vinyl.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

RIP Series - Danny Kirwin

The mainstream press will probably ignore this one.

Danny Kirwin, an early member of Fleetwood Mac left us earlier this month.

Who, you ask?

We'll need to go back and trace the history of Fleetwood Mac.  Let's start with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers.  Peter Green was the stellar guitarist that replaced Eric Clapton in that band.   The rhythm section consisted of Mick Fleetwood on drums and John McVie (Mac) on bass.  All three left Mayall to form Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac along with second guitarist (and Buddy Holly fanboy) Jeremy Spencer.  After two blues records, the band recruited Danny Kirwin.

This five piece line up produced the classic

Fleetwood Mac - Then Play On (Reprise 1969)

This contains the early FM classic track Oh Well.

When the band was on tour promoting the record, Peter Green went to a party in Germany, dropped acid and never returned.

This left a four piece to do their next album (and my favorite of theirs)

Fleetwood Mac - Kiln House (Reprise 1970)

The heavy blues influence is now gone.  Jeremy Spencer is free to do three Buddy Hollyesque tracks (This is the Rock, Mission Bell and Buddy's Song). This is the record that Danny Kirwin gets to shine with Station Man and Tell Me All The Things You Do.

After the release of this record, Jeremy Spencer left the band to Join a cult in the middle of a tour.   Christine McVie joined followed by Bob Welch.  Danny Kirwin got fired.   It was all downhill from there when Stevie Nicks joined and permanently diluted the brand.   (Tell us what you really think Duke).  Their sound became watered down under the influence of cocaine and catty relationships.  The industry is still reeling from the amount of money they put up Fleetwood Mac's nose during this period.