Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cola Boy - 7 Ways To Love 7"

People of the Earth, apologies for the lack of updates. I've got a huge backlog of shit to serve up for you, but life continues to be a whirlwind of family and work commitments.

In the meantime, please accept this wee nugget.
7 Ways To Love was written by Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs of St Etienne, who hoped the track would be their first step in building a Stock, Aitken & Waterman / Brill Building / Hit Factory style songwriting empire.

Cola Boy was a duo, consisting of Janey Lee Grace and Andrew Midgley. Andrew had worked with Bob and Pete on studio material in their pre-St Etienne days in the late 1980s. Janey had been a backing singer for numerous pop acts, including Wham and Pasty Kensit’s Eighth Wonder, and was a radio broadcaster on LBC.

Sarah Cracknell sang the vocals on the original white label version of 7 Ways. After that initial batch sold out, it was re-recorded with vocals by Sarah’s friend Janey Lee Grace, as Sarah was under contract to another label and was not permitted to sing on non-St Etienne releases.

Janey’s version of 7 Ways is the one that was subsequently picked up and released by Arista Records, but in the meantime the original Sarah version was heavily bootlegged, costing Arista many thousands of sales. A further Cola Boy connection with Sarah was that the duo were managed by Sarah’s mother, who had previously worked with and managed a number of acts, including Wee Papa Girl Rappers.

There was a second Cola Boy single, He Is Cola, which was spectacularly unsuccessful. That fulfilled the two-single deal with Arista, and the contract was not renewed.

With other labels interested in picking them up, Janey was keen to continue working on new Cola Boy material, but Andrew had by then started work on a new project, Blinder, and was writing darker, non-pop dance material.

Cola Boy fell apart in late 1991/early 1992, and Andrew moved to north. Blinder enjoyed some limited cult success on the northern England and Scottish rave circuit, before dissolving towards the end of 1993. Andrew subsequently moved into journalism and composing music for television.

Janey continues to perform and record, and released her last album in 2006. She has also continued with her broadcasting career, and has long been a key member of Steve Wright’s Radio 2 team. She can be heard on air most days, taking part in the programme and reading out 'factoids'.

Vinyl rip at 320 Kbps

Link Expired.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Felt - Forever Breathes The Lonely Word

This is the sixth album, released on Creation in 1986.
Forever Breathes The Lonely Word was eight tracks running at a shade over half an hour. Contrasting the lack of vocals on [previous album] "Let The Snakes Crinkle Their Heads To Death", "Forever Breathes The Lonely Word" was Felt's first completely conventional song album. Concentrating more on the Hammond organ of Martin Duffy and the disparate range of Lawrence's lyrics, spanning black humour ("All The People I Like Are Those That Are Dead"), advice to young naïve music hopefuls ("Down But Not Yet Out") and soul-bearing honesty ("Hours of Darkness Have Changed My Mind"). Overlaid with an immaculate John Rivers production and the intricate guitar picking of Tony Wille, this album deserves the rare accolade of "Perfect."
This is certainly one of their best.

Duffy, who's out-of-focus face adorns the rather glorious cover, later went on to join Primal Scream, fact fans.

Vinyl rip at 320 Kbps.

Link Expired.

Mojo Various Artists - The Score

I don't usually bother with cover mounted CD compilations, but this one is worth revisiting, for sure. 'The Score' was given away in May 2002 with Mojo Magazine issue 103 and features a pretty faultless selection of movie themes, tracks and related pieces.

I was on board from the get-go due to the inclusion of the brilliant Peter Cook performance of Bedazzeled from his 1967 film of the same name. This was hard to come by back then.

Regardless, this is a great selection of stuff which has been soundtracking my own little internal film this week on the foggy commute into town.

The full tracklisting is:

1. Brother on the Run - Johnny Pate and Adam Wade
2. God's Children - The Kinks
3. Something's Cookin' - Quincy Jones
4. Dark Days - DJ Shadow
5. Get Carter - Roy Budd
6. Frankie Machine - Elmer Bernstein
7. You Cut Up the Clothes - Melvin Van Peebles
8. Time Is Tight - Booker T. & The MG's
9. Midnight Cowboy - John Barry
10. Bedazzled - Peter Cook & Dudley Moore
11. Arabesque - Henry Mancini
12. Watermelon Man - Mongo Santamaría
13. Linus and Lucy - Vince Guaraldi
14. Taking of Pelham 123 - David Shire
15. Truck Turner - Isaac Hayes
16. Death Line - Wil Malone
17. A Fistful of Dollars - Ennio Morricone
18. Johnny Too Bad - The Slickers
19. God Moving Over The Face Of The Water - Moby
20. Let It Be - Nick Cave

Link Expired.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Echo And The Bunnymen - A Promise 12"

Isn't this sounding absolutely great?

Vinyl rip at 320 Kbps.

Link Expired.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bill Nelson - The Love That Whirls/La Belle Et La Bête

Bill's second solo album was another limited edition double, which like "Quit Dreaming And Get On The Beam" came with a strangely brittle and yet spangly instrumental album entitled "La Belle Et La Bête".

We should probably deal with the main album first. "The Love That Whirls" might just have been Nelson's commercial high point - at least, since the almost-there days of Be Bop Deluxe. The thing about Bill is that (just like us), he's just a wee bit too "off" to ever truly appeal to the herd, so even his commercial successes are still a bit too niche.

Just the way we like 'em.

In truth, this is a superb art pop album, brimming with great tunes, melodies, performances and inventiveness. But then that was what we had come to expect. When I was about 16, I mail ordered a brilliant compilation VHS from Cabaret Voltaire's nascent DoubleVision label. Nestled among the Cabs' disturbing ambient washes, the multitudinous American shorts featuring images of Frankenstein's monster intercut with graphic childbirth and the frankly fucking disturbing Renaldo And The Loaf video, was a breathtaking B&W video for Nelson's "Flaming Desire". I promise to you now, that in those pre-internet days and STARVED of decent non-mainstream stimulus (indeed, even ANTI-mainstream thrills), I played this fucking tape till the magnetic particles had all but fallen off. It was his wife in the video. It was scuzzily low tech and low budget, but had a towering ambition which effortlessly negated those obstacles. I was the BEST VIDEO I HAD EVER SEEN.

And then, the album. A sojourn to Earthquake Records one Saturday, returning home with not one, but two albums. Textured sleeve. Inner sleeves. An inner A4 sheet, asking me if I wanted to join the fan club with the promise of quarterly 7" EPs (I did join, the promise was kept faithfully).

"The Love That Whirls" is filled with really, really good pop songs. Much less angular that the "Sound On Sound" and "Quit Dreaming..." albums. Ever current, Nelson was transmogrifying from post-prog innovator, through new wave spikiness, onwards and upwards into the brave new world of cheapening technology and brave-new-world electropop. What an amazing success this album is. His voice and lyrics alone are worth the price of admission.

"La Belle Et La Bête" purported to be a soundtrack album of a staging of (Nelson's hero) Jean Cocteau's 1946 filmed version of Beauty And The Beast by The Yorkshire Actors Company. Revisiting this album, I had convinced myself that this was probably an elaborate ruse, but re-reading the sleeve notes again, I'm thinking that this was probably true. If there is anyone out there who was either involved in this company, or saw one of their performances, I would dearly love to hear from you.

The instrumental album itself is a glorious affair. Many, many short tracks and fragments of delicious fragility combine to make a seamless whole. Ironically, it is here that the angularity of Nelson's earlier work bubbles it's way to the surface. There are bells. This record was one of my earliest encounters with proper ambient, or "Furniture Music", although I definitely had some Eno stuff by the time this (and his previous record) appeared. I was once again thrilled that there was more of this stuff appearing. Although "The Love That Whirls" has been subsequently reissued, this second album never has been, as far as I know. I'm pretty sure that some Orb samples have been sourced from this album. So, you know, we're in pretty good company here.

"What's he been up to since?" I hear you ask. Well, there is a predictably extensive back catalogue of self released stuff available from the the man himself over at his website. There remains a dedicated set of fans who support him and the stuff he produces continues to follow his obsessions of a romantic, shiny new future in an endearing and heartwarming way.

What a guy.

Vinyl rips at 320 Kbps with full artwork.

Link Expired.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

There's A Breakdown At The BBC

This weird little thing backdoored it's way into my life a few weeks ago. Making it's presence felt like a horrible, ugly cuckoo chucking the eggs out of my otherwise pristine nest. I don't know what the hell this is about, but it's a beautifully twisted pop throwback which somehow manged to avoid being strangled at birth, or thrown in a sack and dumped, mewling into the canal.

Perhaps I'm being unfair. There's a lovely melody at the heart of this and an extended "Memory Of A Free Festival" singalong choral vibe flapping it's malformed arms, but I dunno - something just isn't quite right.

There's a part one/part two thing stretched across two all too brief sides of white vinyl which I have kindly conjoined into a single track for your uneasy listening.
Dave Lazonby (ex of the remarkable Lazerboy amongst others) is one of the most endearing & quirky people i've ever met on the Leeds scene. His band Geese have collaborated with Damo Suzuki from Can on some serious improv freeform projects in recent years & now shout out with their debut 7" 'The Plane's Gone Dad', a white vinyl treat in two parts. It's got that shimmering, sky gazing feel, a sweet wistfulness like Spiritualized if they drank scrumpy & watched WW2 documentaries rather than talking to god through a heroin haze. They call it an apocalyptic torch song and they're not wrong, this one's got some serious sad eyed space rock tentacles but bags of heart & soul. Part 2 fizzles out into organic cyber bleeps & crackly field recordings posing a big ? as to what to expect next from this curious collective.
There's more available here, including an immense return to form from a reinvigorated Genesis P-Orridge's Psychick TV, spunked across a blood red splatter vinyl 12'. I can't imagine that those will be hanging around for long, so get on board if it's not too late already.

Sweet dreams.

Vinyl rip at 320 Kbps.

Link Expired.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mansun - Three EP.

Mansun were so high concept that my best friend and partner in crime, Steve could simply not countenance them.

It might even have been this very song that got him riled him right up. Stripper Vicar? Egg Shaped Fred? Fuck right off, he quoth. I can see his point, but there's a wonderful, inventive Joie de vivre at work here. The arrogance to create and inhabit your own little universe should not be disregarded.

They went even further off piste with later releases, that I really wanted to like, but simply couldn't because they were shit (letters to the usual address). This, though. This, right here is fucking jaw dropping.

So eff off, Steve.

Link Expired.

M|A|R|R|S - Pump Up The Volume 7"

Surely one of the greatest records of all time. I dug this out yesterday for the simple reason that I wanted to hear it again. It still sounds utterly wonderful. Although emblematic of the burgeoning acid and turntablism cultures, this record somehow manages to sound out of time - in and of itself, in it's own defined space. And that doesn't happen very often, does it. The B side, should not be easily dismissed, either.

Vinyl rip at 320 Kbps.

Link Expired.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cocteau Twins - Bluebeard.

Here's the last of my Cocteau Twins posts. Seemingly bright, and with a new sense of clarity, the actual story is much, much darker.

"Are you the right man for me?
Are you safe? Are you my friend?
Or are you toxic for me?
Will you mistreat me or betray my confidence?"

Link Expired.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Danny Saul - Armchair Dancefloor 024

Popular Posts