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Monday, 29 February 2016

Rewind: The Story of The Clash - The Clash (29th February 1988)



During the lifetime of The Clash there were no "Greatest Hits" Compilations, infact the only Compilation that was released whilst they were on the go was Black Market Clash that was released in October 1980 as a 10" EP and contained 9 tracks that were not at the time available in the USA (some B-sides, a couple of album tracks from the Debut and an unreleased version of Time is Tight). It was deleted in 1993 when it was replaced with Super Black Market Clash ( the 9 tracks had been expanded to 21).

The first comprehensive look at their career came in the form of The Story of The Clash Volume 1 (I don't recall their ever being a Volume 2!). Surprisingly the album reached #7 in the UK (only London Calling and Combat Rock went higher, both reaching #2).

Now, I do have a bone or two to pick at about this compilation. Firstly, who on earth was responsible for putting it together? The album might be called 'The Story of The Clash' but it is so messed around with that the beginning of the story doesn't even come until the second disc (or sides 3 and 4). It's disjointed, telling the story backwards, forwards, sideways and back again! It's like buying a book that the printers messed up when they were putting it together giving you the ending first and the beginning at the end! Actually, saying it gives the end first is not quite correct because obviously anything from Cut the Crap is absent and most compilations that followed discarded anything from it (This is England single was part of the Singles Boxset release in 2006, even the mammoth boxset Sound System avoided anything from Cut The Crap!)

Secondly, the draw for any fan of The Clash would have been the inclusion of the Interview on The Circle Line (not the full version either, but only part two of it) from the Captial Radio EP that was a Freebie back in 1977 for the NME. Apart from that everything on it most sensible fans of the band would already had in their collections.

I'm not always a huge fan of these types of albums but I will say that if you had wanted an album better than this that told the actual Story of The Clash then the 1991 3CD Boxset released as Clash on Broadway was a much better release, at least it gave the story in pretty much chronological order. Also it contained a few more rarities in the form of live tracks, some demos, and unreleased studio tracks

 The Story of The Clash - The Clash
CBS/Epic
Various Producers
Released 29th February 1988
UK Chart #7
US Chart #142


The Soundtrack4Life Concert Series: Paul Heaton + Jacqui Abbott

A double header from Paul Heaton + Jacqui Abbott. First up a charity show from back in January this year where they performed an hour long acoustic set.

And then a show from their first tour back together from 2014.


Acoustic Show
Hotel Football
Manchester 
19th January 2016

O2Academy 
Liverpool
June 2014

New Video: Paul Heaton + Jacqui Abbott - (Man Is) The Biggest Witch Of All (Feb 29th)


(Man Is) The Biggest Witch Of All is the brand new single and video from Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott and is taken from thir smash hit album Wisdom, Laughter and Lines.



Previous Videos from the album

Taking One For The Team - Simple Plan (February 2016)

Not really a huge fan of Simple Plan (I saw them with MxPx in Glasgow a few years back) but I heard their latest album over the weekend and was quite taken with some of the tracks on it. Have a listen, see what you think about it.
 Taking One For The Team - Simple Plan
Atlantic
Produced by Howard Benson
Released 19th February 2016


Taking One for the Team is the fifth studio album by French-Canadian pop punk band Simple Plan. It was released on February 19, 2016 through Atlantic Records and represents the band's first full-length record in nearly five years. "I Don't Wanna Go to Bed" featuring American rapper Nelly as the official lead single for the album on October 16, 2015.

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 60 - Subterranean Jungle

Making Subterranean Jungle, the seventh studio album from Ramones was not a real happy event. Cracks in band unity were beginning to manifest themselves with Joey and Marky drinking way too much and Dee Dee's ever increasing drug habit was also complicating matters, though strangely enough his relationship with Johnny took a step up as they jointly penned Psycho Therapy, the song that saved the album!

Joey only contributed three songs to the album (and personally speaking I think only My-My Kind of a Girl stands up as good), and Dee Dee five Outsider, Highest Trails Above, Somebody Like Me - being the best. He also takes the lead vocal for Time Bomb) . The remaining three tracks were cover versions, two of them opened the album (only one of them I thought was good, Time Has Come Today)!

Johnny had taken more control of the band insisting that the band "be focused and stop worrying about getting played [on the radio] and just make a good record." He wanted the album to have a more Punk Rock edge and he clearly got his way on some of the tracks. Producer Richie Cordell was not well liked either by the band.

This would also be the final album for Marky until his return for the Brain Drain album 6 years later. He appears on the cover but as you can see he is almost hidden behind the window and not alongside his fellow band members. Johnny asked George DuBose to do so because "they were kicking him out of the band, but he didn't know it yet". Marky recalled that he "liked that shot", but he knew "something was up." Marky played on the whole album apart from Time Has Come Today, on which Walter Lure's drummer Billy Rogers played drums on and new drummer Richie Ramone appears in the video.

Whilst it's probably not my favourite album by the Ramones, there are a few songs on it that I love dearly to this day - Outsider, Highest Trails AboveSomebody Like Me, Psycho Therapy and My-My Kind of a Girl.


Subterranean Jungle - Ramones
Sire
Produced by Richie Cordell
Released 23th February 1980
US Chart #83


Ramones
    Joey Ramone – lead vocals
    Johnny Ramone – Lead guitar
    Dee Dee Ramone – bass, guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals on 'Time Bomb'
    Marky Ramone – drums (on all tracks apart from Time Has Come Today)

Additional musicians
   
Walter Lure - extra guitar
    Billy Rogers - drums on Time Has Come Today.

Cover Versions of Songs from Subterranean Jungle
Psycho Therapy - Hormones (Female Ramones Tribute Band).


Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 59 - Sunday Morning Favourites #7 Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band


Probably one of the first ever Bootlegs of Bruce Springsteen I ever had was the legendary 1975 Hammersmith Odeon show. I can't recall where I stumbled upon it but it was probably somewhere down in London at a Market Stall in either Camden or Soho. But the one I had wasn't from the first night but the second date 6 days later. Opener Thunder Road and It's Hard to be a Saint in the City were missing from the Soundboard version, but a later release of it spliced Audience recordings of the two songs to complete it. For your persual here's that show...CLICK HERE.

The film footage down below was initially released as a DVD as part of the   Born To Run 30th Anniversary Boxset back in November 2005 and a few months later on this very day in 2006 the Concert was released as a 2CD package.

The show was recorded on 18th November 1975 at the Hammersmith Odeon in London. History records that Mr Springsteen, visiting the shores of the UK for the first time, was none too pleased with some of the publicity posters for the show and quite possibly the Venue Sign Board that declared "Finally London is Ready for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band".


I thought I'd stick it up again here today because it's always a wee gem that I enjoy having a listen to time and time again. The second night might be the better show as the gloom Springsteen felt on the first date appears to have lifted and the band seem to be play with a greater freedom.

I was too young to be there, so I'm not one of the 100,000's who declare they were there! Having been to the Hammersmith Odeon for a number of shows when I was a bit older I can tell you it doesn't hold anywhere near that amount of people!



Setlist
THUNDER ROAD / TENTH AVENUE FREEZE-OUT / SPIRIT IN THE NIGHT / LOST IN THE FLOOD / SHE'S THE ONE / BORN TO RUN / THE E STREET SHUFFLE - HAVING A PARTY / IT'S HARD TO BE A SAINT IN THE CITY / BACKSTREETS / KITTY'S BACK / JUNGLELAND / ROSALITA (COME OUT TONIGHT) / 4TH OF JULY, ASBURY PARK (SANDY) / DETROIT MEDLEY / FOR YOU / QUARTER TO THREE

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 58 - Jake Clemons

Happy 36th Birthday to Jake Clemons

The year that Jake Clemons was born Bruce Springsteen's album The River was released. Jake at the time was not even 8 months old. It's quite fitting that on his birthday that he gets to play in one of the greatest Rock 'n' Roll bands on the planet in Rochester, New York and play 'The River' album as part of the latest tour by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

Jake of course stepped into the shoes (if that is even humanly possible) of his Uncle Clarence "the Big Man" Clemons after he had passed away and did his Uncle proud with his performances on The Wrecking Ball Tour. I've included below the first playing of Jungleland (that link is from the Working On A Dream Tour in 2009, Clarence's last tour with The E Street Band) since Clarence's passing from Gothenburg late July in 2012 and Jake does a wonderful job on that as he had done on others that his Uncle had played on.

Outside of The E Street Band Jake Clemons also performs solo (and sometimes with a band). He's a songwriter, plays a number of instruments (and not just a master of the saxophone) and has released music of his own. I love what it says on his website, "Jake lives on a perpetual world tour, constantly releasing new music and engaging his growing fan base." He's not only done club gigs but he even did a whole tour performing Living Room Shows. Here's a performance of his song 'Song For Hope' from one of those Living Room Shows from last year in Galway, Ireland and also 'A Change Is Gonna Come' from the same show. There's quite a number more on You Tube from various shows, go check them out.

Hope he has a lot of fun tonight in Rochester and that it will be a birthday to remember for him.

Have a great one Jake.


 Jungleland
Gothenburg 28/07/12


Love'll Never Change

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Friday, 26 February 2016

Livin' On A High Note - Mavis Staples (February 2016)

You may think reading this that today I'm in the mood for the music of Old People!

Mavis Staples is 76 years old and is still making great music. Her last two albums were produced by Jeff Tweedy and for her latest she's gathered up a wealth of fine songwriters to get across the message that she's still Livin' on a High Note!

I still have a lot of time for her music old or new. Anyway, have a listen, there's so nice tunes on it.


(Photo by Chris Strong All Rights Reserved)


Tracklist and the Songwriters
01 Take Us Back (Benjamin Booker)
02 Love and Trust (Ben Harper)
03 If It's a Light (The Head & the Heart)
04 Action (tUnE-yArds)
05 High Note (Valerie June)
06 Don't Cry (M. Ward)
07 Tomorrow (Aloe Blacc/John Batiste)
08 Dedicated (Justin Vernon/M.Ward)
09 History Now (Neko Case)
10 One Love (Son Little)
11 Jesus Lay Down Beside Me (Nick Cave)
12 MLK Song (M. Ward / Martin Luther King)

Post Pop Depression - Iggy Pop (March 2016)

Post Pop Depression - Iggy Pop
Loma Vista Recordings
Produced by Josh Hommes
Released 18th March 2016

It's been four years since Iggy Pop's last outing and this is indeed a welcome return (isn't always with him). I read somewhere that this is possibly his last album ever! Seriously! If it is, he certainly left the best to last!

It will be the 17th Studio album from Iggy Pop and for it he's teamed up with Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal and Them Crooked Vultures fame. Also featuring on the album is Artic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders and Dean Fertita also of Queens of the Stone Age.

Work on the album began last year after Iggy had sent Homme a text (in 2014 when they began discussing the possibilty of writing together) and it had pretty much been a secret until news filtered out early this year. There's a good interview with Stephen Colbert where they talk about it and get to play a couple of songs from the album.

 Iggy Pop and Josh Homme on Jonesy's Jukebox

Also worth checking out is the latest Mojo Magazine that has Iggy and Josh on the front cover and contains a superb interviews with the both of them.

On first listen to the album I thought vocally Iggy sounded very David Bowie like in places. Maybe it's just me that hears that! In a way it's maybe not so surprising considering Iggy's link to Bowie via his albums The Idiot and Lust for Life.

There will be a tour to promote the album and you can check out the dates and other information here on the WEBSITE.

Post Pop Depression Album


A few Tracks have been issued by Iggy Pop and stuck up on You Tube.

The Soundtrack4Life Concert Series: Iggy Pop

With Iggy Pop about to release his final album 'Post Pop Depression' on March 18th this year, I thought it would be good to stick up an Iggy show from last year, filmed in Lyon, France.

Just a warning, there is some bad language at various points in the concert and if you find this at all distressing you can just hit the stop switch.


Setlist
01 No Fun
02 I Wanna Be Your Dog
03 The Passenger
04 Lust for Life
05 Skull Ring
06 Five Foot One
07 1969
08 Sister Midnight
09 Real Wild Child (Wild One)
10 Nightclubbing
11 Some Weird Sin
12 I'm Bored
13 Funtime
14 Neighborhood Threat
15 Down on the Street

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 57 - Take Back The Power

'Take Back The Power' by Los Angeles based Ska band The Interrupters has been on my mind the past few days. It's taken from their self-titled album that was produced by Rancid's Tim Armstrong (who also features on the album singing the song 'Family') that was released on Hellcat Records back in 2014.

The video for 'Take Back The Power' was issued last year during August.

I have to say that I love the lyrics to this song and I think they have a much wider reach than just the authorities taking away our power. 

I think when it comes down to issues like Bullying (whether it be Cyber Bullying or real Physical/Emotional Bullying) that there is a case for standing up and being strong and Taking Back the Power to be the you that the Bully is trying to steal. So find a trusted friend, teacher or even a caring Parent (yep kids, your folks do have the ability to care and love you!) and tell them, that is the first step to Taking Back the Power.

The issue of Image as well is one where people should feel the need to Take Back the Power. I remember the Angelic Upstarts song 'Teenage Warning' and there's a line in it that goes something like "Is my image right for your fashion parade/If it don't look right your days are numbered", and that threat "if it don't look right" is one that's worth standing up against. Who is the one to decide what looks right and what doesn't? The issue of image though is not just about the clothes you wear, it's essentially about who you are. The media pressures a woman to look a certain way, and presents the perfect woman time and time again in the pages of the magazines. But that idea of perfection is so far off what most normal women/girls are. Take Back The Power and be who you are, not who others expect you to be!

I don't know where you are at today, what your situations are but maybe there's a little voice in your head that's telling you that it's time to Take Back the Power that others have stolen from you, let this song be an encouragement to you today.



Take Back The Power
What's your plan for tomorrow
Are you a leader or will you follow
Are you a fighter or will you cower
It's our time to take back the power

Whatcha gonna do
When they show up in black suits
On your street in army boots
And they're there to silence you
Whatcha gonna say
When they strip your rights away
And the taxman makes you pay
For every bead of sweat you bled today

We don't need to run and hide
We won't be pushed off to the side

What's your plan for tomorrow
Are you a leader or will you follow
Are you a fighter or will you cower
It's our time to take back the power

Who you gonna trust
When the judge is so unjust
And the jury must discuss
Said you don't look like one of us
Where you gonna turn
Now the court has been adjourned
And the lessons that you learned
Are not as many as the bridges burned

We don't need to run and hide
We won't be pushed off to the side

What's your plan for tomorrow
Are you a leader or will you follow
Are you a fighter or will you cower
It's our time to take back the power 

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Happy Birthday Mike Peters

Birthday Greetings 
to  
Mike Peters
Born on this day in 1959


Strength (Acoustic)

From The Fans All Around The World!


One Step Closer To Home (and Intro)
16th May 2015
The Cluny, Newcastle

45RPM: #79-80 A Liverpool Double Header (1980)


Two brilliant singles were released on this day in 1980 both stemming from Liverpool. First up Teardrop Explodes and their third single on Zoo RecordsTreason. It was a #3 hit on the Indie Charts and when re-released when they signed to a major label a year later it reached #18 in the UK Charts. The B-Side is absolutely brilliant, Co-written by Julian Cope and Ian McCulloch of Echo and the Bunnymen.

And then Wah! Heat's Debut single on Inevitable Music. I realise I already posted it on The Brits piece I did moments ago but it does sit a whole lot better here.




Treason




 
Better Scream

B-Side: Hey (Disco) Joe.

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 56 - The Brit Awards

Well, it seems once again I have been successful in totally avoiding The Brit Awards. I didn't even realise they were on until I saw a status update on Facebook by a friend bemoaning his immense dislike for Ellie Golding. Whilst all this was going on I was happily listening to Manchester City playing Dynamo Kiev on the Radio and doing my Music is the Doctor playlist for the week.

I can't even recall the last time I actually sat down and watched The Brits but the morning after I always go and have a look and see who won and shake my head in disbelief because most of the winners I've never even heard of. This tells you I'm either just an old fuddy duddy who can't keep up with the times or I'm a wise old goat who clearly has some discernment about what is good and what is bad when it comes to music.

So, this year I hadn't heard of Jack Garratt who won a Critic's Choice Award. I have no idea on what criteria they were voting but maybe the ballot question was "The Artist You Think Is In Most Need of A Shave"! I only say that after seeing a picture of the mysterious Garratt for the first time ever over at The Guardian.

The British Breakthrough Act is also a band I've never heard of, Catfish and the Bottlemen. Apparently they come from Llandudno in Wales, which is a place I know well. According to The Guardian this band are one of "Britian's Big Guitar Bands" and their live shows "attract a fearsomely committed audience" - yep at the price of tickets to shows these days you have to be "fearsomely committed"!

British Male Solo Artist James Bay is someone who I have heard a bit of, well, a bit of is a stretch considering that I saw an advert for his album on the TV a few weeks back and promptly turned the channel over to BBC News 24!

If I had been eating my breakfast at this point I would have spat my Honey Waffles out all over the laptop when I saw that Bieber had won International Male Solo Artist. His competition apart from Father John Misty I'd never heard of except in passing. So I'm guessing that they just had to go with the guy who didn't sound like an iffy priest!

The International Group award always sounds like it could throw up some one decent but again I have to ask who on earth are Tame Impala? Seeing the nominees I thought Alabama Shakes might have a shot (I've heard of them and possess their albums!), Major Lazer I'd never heard of and clearly Eagles of Death Metal were on the list for some kind of sympathy thing and U2 were put in the wrong category again as the The Brits failed to create The We Are Still Pissed Off At U2 For Invading Our iPhones Award!

As for Adele winning the Album of the Year Award - well when you look at the Nominees they really had no choice did they! She somehow managed to collect another three statues over the evening including one for World Domination or something like that...the leaders of North Korea and Russia are currently taking lessons from Ms Adele about how this is done!

Best British Group went to the band who should never be mentioned. Those bandits almost ruined my Super Bowl experience a few weeks ago and the less said abut them the better.

I could go on but I'm already bored writing this rant.

I feel I should finish with a piece of  good music (not from any of those who were nominated or won at The Brits last night) because after all this is a Music Blog.

 Better Scream - Wah! Heat
Released 25th February 1980

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Music is the Doctor 2016 #8 Europe


Thought this week on Music is the Doctor that we'd take a look at Europe seeing that it is all that's going to be on the minds of many of us here in the UK other the next few months.

All the music on the playlist is gleaned from all over Europe, though some Countries might not be represented due to my lack of knowledge for some music from those Countries so apologies if your land is not represented.


On The Playlist
Plastic Bertrand - Belguim
Die Toten Hosen - Germany
Metal Urbain - France
Hanoi Rocks - Finland
Backstreet Girls - Norway
The Hives - Sweden
Iceage - Denmark
The Clash - England
The Alarm - Wales
Stiff Little Fingers - Northern Ireland
Edwyn Collins - Scotland
Imelda May - Republic of Ireland
Giuda - Italy
Kleenex - Switzerland
Killed By 9V Batteries - Austria
Triángulo de Amor Bizarro - Spain
Golden Earring - Holland
Wickeda - Bulgaria
Luno - Czech Republic
Bedwetters - Estonia
The Hobos - Latvia

The S4L Interview 2016: The Face On The Moon + Shelter Review

I'm really pleased to be able to introduce a band that has its base in Lanarkshire, Scotland and has played in venues across Glasgow since forming. The Face On The Moon are about to release their debut album Shelter (more about that later) with a show on the 27th February at Ivory Blacks, Glasgow.

There's a number of links below where you can get further information regarding the band and also details of where to get a copy of the album. Click on them to get access.

 (Stevie J Brown Photography, all rights reserved)

Lead Vocalist of The Face On The Moon, and Songwriter Steven Leonard has kindly downed tools for a brief moment and has stepped away from the practice room to answer some questions and tell us all about the band. 

(Photo by Permission of Cat Leonard)

S4L: The Face On The Moon, how did you stumble on the band name? I always find it either funny or  interesting how this happens? 

Steven: The name came from sitting on Google one night for hours with my wife going through loads until just as I was about to turn out the light I closed the curtains and there it was, 'The Face On  The Moon' up in the sky and I turned to my wife and said it and hence we both agreed it was  great name and posted it in Facebook to great feedback , also subconsciously, it's a childhood thing, where I used to think there was a man on the moon as you can see a face in it all the time. 


S4L: Introduce us to the band and tell us a little something about what they bring to the band that makes you all work so good together.  

Steven: Me, Lead Vocals and Guitar and Songwriting
Derek Parlane - Guitar/Backing Vocals/Harmonica/Keyboards and Songwriting.
Alan Hislop - Bass Guitar/Backing vocals.
David McKeown - Drums and Percussion.


(Stevie J Brown Photography, all rights reserved)

We are 4 individuals with a lot of the same tastes and influences, we bring great musicianship and strong friendships and we work so well together cos we know what each other is thinking musically.   


S4L: Shelter is your debut album, you released an EP awhile back as well, how satisfied are you seeing all the work that goes into the creation of a song finally fall into place and now having pride of place on your debut album? 

Steven: Well this is a work that has been ongoing as the songs grow in the studio while rehearsing and then take on a life of their own in the recording studio. I write everything on acoustic guitar first then take it to the band and nurture and water it and it gives it life and that is a magical thing. 

S4L: Ten songs made the cut for the album but did I hear a rumour that you did a Springsteen and wrote way more songs than you needed? How did you decide what fitted the body of work your new album was to become?


Steven: Well I write all the time, a constant flow of songs. Dez (Derek) has recently come into his own as a songwriter too. I write everything but we both have hundreds of songs for more albums and b-sides but the 10 we selected flow beautifully on the album and others will be on the next record.
 

S4L: Are you excited to see people's reaction to the album? Will you be playing any shows to promote the album?
 

Steven: Yeah , we put the album up online as a pre-release and the reaction has been really positive and encouraging.We have an official album launch at Ivory Blacks Sat 27th February where we will be selling hard copies of the album. 

S4L: Have you put this album out yourselves or have you got a deal with a company? I take it that you are all working full time and are not full time musicians? Would that be something you'd want to explore?
  

Steven: Yeah the album is all self-financed, self-promoted, independently released, we don't have a deal, we have freedom and complete artistic control in what we do, we promote and manage ourselves through social media, setting up gigs and will be sending the CD to radio stations for sure.

Yeah most of us work full time but everyone's dream is to be a full time musician but even if that doesn't happen, as long as we are still happy and enjoying it and making records that's what's important but 'making it' would be amazing.


(Stevie J Brown Photography, all rights reserved)

S4L: What are the influences of the band? I presume that with different members that there's a wide range of artists that inspire you? 
Steven: I am a massive fan of 60s and 70s, The Beatles, The Kinks, Led Zepplin, Cream, Hendrix, David Bowie, among others my modern day one is Weller of course!
The rest of the guys are cut from the same cloth, The Stones, Neil Young, Crosby Stills & Nash.
David is from a rock background so there's a lot of different influences in there.



S4L: Where can people find the band on Social Media and the Internet? And where can they purchase your album from?


Steven: We are on Facebook, Soundcloud, Twitter and bandcamp and that's where the album can be purchased from and the gigs of course.
 

S4L: One question I always like to ask at the end of an interview is what songs/albums form the Soundtrack of your life?


Steven: Songs that are a soundtrack for me are :

1. Come Together - The Beatles .
2. Love Reign o er Me - The Who .
3. Going Underground - The Jam.
4. Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks.
5. Dazed and Confused - Led Zeppelin.
6. Ziggy Stardust - David Bowie.

Albums .
Sgt Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band - The Beatles .
Plastic Ono Band - John Lennon .
The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Startdust - David Bowie.
After The Gold Rush - Neil Young.
Led Zeppelin 1.
The Wall - Pink Floyd.
 (Stevie J Brown Photography, all rights reserved)

Shelter - The Review

Be Glad
The Face On The Moon

(Links on this review are taken from The Face On The Moon's Bandcamp page are the versions of the songs included on the album Shelter)

There's a tendancy to want to compare a new band releasing their first album with what has gone before and I have to confess I've always found that to be a bit unfair because rarely does it offer you the opportunity to actually listen to the band the way they want you to listen to them. So I have decided I will not make any comparisons with anyone and just allow them to speak for themselves.

I love the fact that the Lanarkshire lads have done everything on this album and have not had the pressure of a record label to pester them into putting out an album that's not really them. There's no cover version to try and make it a bit more accessible but just ten quality songs that have come from their own hand.

Steven Leonard is the principal songwriter here, but Derek Parlane has two with Honey Bee and Daylight and Between You and Me was a Co-write between Steven and his wife Cat.

As you would expect on a Debut there are a few songs that are older (Like It Won't Bring Me Down which is about five years old and Rocket which has been two years in the writing) but songs like the title track Shelter, album opener Your Worth, The Road of Confidence, and album closer Light The Candle were all penned within the past year. The band come across as having a confidence in the studio because pretty much all the songs have been tried and tested live.

I like the fact that they haven't strayed too far from how they play the songs live, it gives it a more genuine edge. 

Overall it's an album that displays quality musicianship (there's some fantastic guitar work across the album especially on Honey Bee) and beautiful songwriting (Between You and Me, and The Road of Confidence really stand out I think). There is nothing that overpowers and for a band making their Debut themselves they can be proud on all spheres they managed to get a perfect balance soundwise whether it be vocally or with the instrumentation.

I'm excited for the band as they release the album this coming weekend at Ivory Blacks in Glasgow (27th February). I hope that it does well for them. Shelter is a great start for them and it does make you wonder what their next album would be like in the hands of a producer of note if they chose to go that route. For the moment they seem to be doing well handling it all themselves.

I don't really do ratings but I would happily give this a 9/10 (I don't want to give them a 10/10 just incase they think they have arrived! Just kidding).

Just to remind you: You Can Get A Copy of Shelter from The Bandcamp Page

It is also available on Spotify and iTunes.

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 55 - Divine Madness!


In 1992, six years after Madness broke up, Virgin Records released a Compilation of the Hit Singles by the band entitled Divine Madness. Virgin had tried this before with varying results: Utter Madness (UK Chart #29), It's...Madness (1990 did not chart) and It's...Madness Too (1991 did not chart).


This time around though it would be different. Virgin had managed to get the band together to agree on the release of this new compilation. Cathal (Chas Smash to the uninitiated) was the first one on board and he had a desire to get the band back together again to play live, not just the old hits but new music as well.

It Must Be Love was reissued in time for Valentine's Day and surprisingly made it to #6 on the UK Singles Chart.

The album was released and also a VHS Video alongside it. The numbers for the album are quite outstanding: More than 900,000 copies of the album were sold as the album hit the top spot (their second #1 album, the other also a Compilation - Complete Madness back in 1982 on Stiff). The album spent three weeks at #1. Another remarkable fact about the album was that it stayed on the charts for 96 weeks and a last fact about Divine Madness is that it has gone Platinum three times here in the UK. The Video sold more than 100,000 copies.

The success of the album led to the first Madness live concert for six years...Madstock!


Divine Madness - Madness
Virgin
Released 24th February 1992
UK Chart #1


Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The Smiths Top 10

Here we go with The S4L Top Ten of The Smiths

Some songs you might expect to see in a Top 10 are absent that's because these are the ones that I like!
 
 

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 54 - The World Won't Listen



The World Won't Listen is a collection of Singles, B-Sides and album tracks gleaned from The Smiths Catalogue between 1985-1987. It includes a couple of tracks that were once considered as singles (You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby that was dropped in favour of Shoplifters of the World Unite and There is a Light That Never Goes Out that was passed over in favour of Ask).

The title of the album is something to do with Morrissey's complaint that the Radio Stations, mainstream media and Record Buyers were still not taking much notice of the band. Personally I think he did himself no favours with his constant moaning about such things and it did put people off. I was not a huge fan of the band, though there are a number of singles that I love very much and also a couple of albums that I still regard as special.

The album spent 15 weeks on the chart peaking at #2. The album was considered by many in the music press as "inessential" (but that honestly could be said of many "Greatest Hits" type of albums).

A couple of months after its release Sire Records in the States decided to release Louder Than Bombs (which was a far more comprehensive look at the band and some of their music that had not been released in the US at the time) and Rough Trade issued it here in the UK.

I've included both albums on here today. I tend to favour Louder Than Bombs myself.

 The World Won't Listen - The Smiths
Rough Trade
Various Producers
Released 23rd February 1987
UK Chart #2

Tracklist
A1     Panic     2:19
A2     Ask     3:16
A3     London     2:06
A4     Bigmouth Strikes Again     3:12
A5     Shakespeare's Sister     2:09
A6     There Is A Light That Never Goes Out     4:02
A7     Shoplifters Of The World Unite     2:56
A8     The Boy With The Thorn In His Side     3:15
B1     Asleep     4:09
B2     Unloveable     3:54
B3     Half A Person     3:35
B4     Stretch Out And Wait     2:44
B5     That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore     3:49
B6     Oscillate Wildly     3:26
B7     You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby     3:30
B8     Rubber Ring     3:46


Louder Than Bombs

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Monday, 22 February 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 53 - Dr. Feelgood

If you could track down a copy of the Musicians Joke Book I'm pretty certain that three quarters of it will be filled with jokes about Bass Guitarists! Whilst they are the butt of many a joke we tend to forget that there are some truly wonderful Bassists out there providing their paricular take on the art of the four strings (yes I know there are six string ones as well but all the greats are masters of four).

I could reel off a few of my favourite bassists here to make the point even clearer - The Ox (The Who), Jean-Jacques Burnel (Stranglers), Garry W. Tallent (E Street Band), Segs Jennings (Ruts DC), Youth (Killing Joke), Robbie Shakespeare (Sly and Robbie), Mike Herrera (MxPx), Duncan Reid (The Boys and Duncan Reid and the Big Heads), Alan Lancaster (Status Quo), Paul Gray (Eddie and the Hot Rods and The Damned) and Tina Weymouth (Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club) to name but a few.

"Doug", I hear you say, "why on earth are you talking about Bassists?" A good question indeed and the answer is a simple one...Today is the birthday of one of the legendary Bassists in the world of Rock and Roll...Mr John B "Sparko" Sparks ...of those wonders of Canvey Island, Dr Feelgood. So surely that is worth making some noise about!

John was born on this day in 1953 and today we salute him and his band.

I've included below the first four albums because they feature the guitar work of Wilko Johnson (though I do have respect for Gypie Mayo as well and what he brought to the band between April 1977 and March 1981) and the classic line up of Dr Feelgood.


Down By The Jetty (1975)

Malpractice (1975)

Dr Feelgood
from left to right
Wilko Johnson - Vocals and Guitar (January 1971 - March 1977)
John 'The Big Figure' Martin - Drums (January 1971 - April 1982)
 Lee Brilleaux -- Vocals and Harmonica (January 1971 - April 1994)
John B. 'Sparko' Sparks - Bass
(January 1971 - April 1982)


Stupidity (1976)

Sneakin' Suspicison (1977)

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

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