Monday, 29 August 2011

Sweet Dancer by The Waterboys

Phil writes: This great track by the Waterboys (from the album of songs based on poems by W.B Yeats) is due out as a single shortly.

SWEET DANCER by The Waterboys

Sunday, 28 August 2011


Phil writes: Joe's recent Leadbelly post reminded me of the British Skiffle movement of the 50's, very much influenced by Leadbelly, and itself an enormous influence on later developments. Lonnie Donegan was the leading proponent and his debut release broke records here and was also successful in the US. For anyone who wants to know more, the wiki article is informative.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Waterloo Sunset/pain plus pop

Joe writes: Here's an article by Nick Hasted that nails what makes The Kinks' Waterloo Sunset such a great song - loneliness and melody; pain plus pop. You could say something similar about a lot of great pop songs (Nothing Compares 2 U and Crazy by Gnarls Barkley spring to mind).

Where Or When - surely one of the most haunting love songs ever written

Phil writes: I like this version by Harry Connick Jnr:

Lieber and Stoller wrote more than one kind of song

Phil writes: Is That All There Is? was based on a Thomas Mann story! It's hard to believe that anyone could have performed it better than Peggy Lee.

Jerry Lieber

Joe writes: This article by Richard Williams in the Guardian explains what a brilliant lyricist Jerry Lieber was, and what an amazing life he led.

Ben E King - Stand By Me

Monday, 22 August 2011

This blog on the Now Playing show with Tom Robinson on 6 Music

Joe writes: Here's an article I wrote for their blog and here's the clip on YouTube:

"Come sail your ships around me, and burn your bridges down. We'll make a little history baby, every time you come around."

Joe writes: Some people think Nick Cave's The Ship Song is sad (apparently it's a favourite at funerals), but what could be more expansively romantic than that opening couplet?

I posted a great version of The Ship Song here. Now the Sydney Opera House have done a "BBC Lou Reed Perfect Day" on it.

Friday, 19 August 2011

music from Fiji and South Africa

Joe writes: I love both of these tracks for their amazing energy and vocals, and they're both from the Southern hemisphere. Is that reason enough to include them in the same blog?

Holy Spirits - Bokang Modimo from South Africa

Black Rose - Raude from Fiji

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Leadbelly - Pick A Bale Of Cotton

Joe writes: I can't remember where I heard this Leadbelly track but I think it's one I Shazamed. There's a middle ground between Moby and Rednex that needs filling with a remix of this.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

ghetto stories

Joe writes: Two of my favourite Jamaican tracks of recent decades both have "ghetto" in the title

Ghetto Revolution by Sizzla

and Ghetto Story by Cham

here's Village Ghetto Land by non-Jamaican Stevie Wonder

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Rhapsody - Emerald Sword

Joe writes: I first heard this some years ago on the cover CD with Hard Roxx magazine. The UK record label were incredulous when I told them I liked it - it was one of their worst sellers. But Rhapsody (AKA Rhapsody Of Fire) were genuinely big in their native Italy and other parts of Europe. I love everything about Emerald Sword - the melodies, the melodrama, the Dungeons & Dragons connotations in both the music and the artwork... It has an orchestral and choral intro that lasts over a minute but has sadly been cut off by whoever uploaded it to YouTube.

Joe Cocker - Feeling All Right (live)

Joe writes: Pure onstage charisma and a great singing voice too. I wouldn't be surprised if Paolo Nutini had seen this video.

Crystal Fighters - Plage

Joe writes: This is top 10 on iTunes in The Netherlands. You can see why.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

To Care by The Four Tops

There used to be a record shop in Manchester called Power Cuts that had a big annual sale, selling vinyl cut outs from the US for next to nothing - stuff like Bummed by The Happy Mondays, Mistrial by Lou Reed (probably not worth 50p), a Hank Williams Jr album, a pressing of the Sally Cinnamon single by The Stone Roses on Revolver Records (10p), and Testing Positive 4 The Funk, the fourth in George Clinton's Family Series of compilation albums. This album is hit and miss but it does contain To Care by The Four Tops from 1978 and not a fans' favourite but my favourite. The album also has a good front cover (see below), an amusing interview with George Clinton where he explains how cool The Four Tops are, and instructions for what to do if you want to sample any of the tracks on the album.

[The above is an update of a post from 14/01/08. The track in question is now available on iTunes and seems to be called Love Enough To Care featuring Levi Stubbs.]

Friday, 5 August 2011

Washed Out's Rough Trade mix

Joe writes: I just ordered Washed Out's album from Rough Trade. I am quite interested in Washed Out but really just wanted to get my hands on the mix that comes with it. Some classics, some lesser known songs by well known artists, but just about every track is a killer.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Wolf Gang's best song

Joe writes: for me the best Wolf Gang song yet is their album closer Planets. It's an odyssey in melody of the kind you don't hear too often nowadays. It reminds me of ELO and my favourite Procul Harum track Salty Dog.