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Friday, 30 September 2016

Yellowcard - Yellowcard (September 2016)

Yellowcard - Yellowcard
Hopeless Records
Produced by Neil Avron
Released 30th September 2016

Rest In Peace

The Hurt is Gone

 Tracklist
1 Rest In Peace    
2 What Appears    
3 Got Yours    
4 A Place We Set A Fire    
5 Leave A Light On    
6 The Hurt Is Gone    
7 Empty Street    
8 I'm A Wrecking Ball    
9 Savior's Robes    
10 Fields & Fences

If I find any other links for songs on the album I'll add them as they become available.
********************

(There's loads of links below, click on them to hear loads more music from Yellowcard)

The Tenth Studio Album from Yellowcard is sadly their final hurrah! The Self-Titled album, released today will be followed by a Farewell World Tour.

DIY
April 1997

Yellowcard
    Ben Dobson – lead vocals
    Ben Harper – lead guitar
    Todd Clary – rhythm guitar
    Warren Cooke – bass guitar
    Longineu W. Parsons III – drums, percussion
Others
    Ryan Key – background vocals
    Sean Mackin – violin, background vocals

Since the first album Midget Tossing in 1997 the band has undergone a number of line up changes. Ryan Key and Sean Mackin who were merely guests on the Debut are well and truly entrenched as members. Key had formerly been in Craig's Brother (a band that I really liked years back. Their Debut, Homecoming on Tooth and Nail is worth checking out) and joined the band after the second album Where We Stand. In 2000 Key would make his debut as lead vocalist with the Still Standing EP. The third album was released in April 2001, One For The Kids.

A place on the charts had eluded them until the release of the brilliant Ocean Avenue in July 2003. The title track became their first charting single in the US (reaching #37) whilst Way Away was their first charting single in the UK. Lights and Sounds (2006) broke into the Top Ten (peaking at #7), Paper Walls (2007) made it to #13. The band then went on hiatus for a couple of years before reuniting in 2010 and then releasing  When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes (2011) - #19.

In 2012 they released Southern Air which peaked at #10. It is probably my favourite album of theirs (with Ocean Avenue a close second). Songs like Awakening, and Here I Am Alive I particularly love from this record. I wasn't so taken with Lift A Sail that followed in 2014 (#26), it was a bit too much of a departure from what I was used to hearing from them.

The last album sounds a little like the Ocean Avenue/Southern Air style of things. It's a shame that they are calling it a day. One thing that can be said about them is that they certainly have come a long way since Midget Tossing was released in 1997. Listening to this new record you can see how much they have matured and become better at their craft.


Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 274 - The Beat

I Just Can't Stop It - The Beat
Go-Feet Records
Produced by Bob Sargeant
Released May 1980
UK #3
US #142


 A-SIDE
1.MIRROR IN THE BATHROOM.
2.HANDS OFF SHE'S MINE.
3.TWO SWORDS.
4.TWIST and CRAWL.
5.ROUGH RIDER.
6.CLICK CLICK.
B-SIDE
1.BIG SHOT.
2.WHINE and GRINE / STAND DOWN MARGARET.
3.NOISE IN THIS WORLD.
4.CAN'T GET USED TO LOSING YOU.
5.BEST FRIEND.
6.JACKPOT.

Wha'ppen? - The Beat
Go-Feet Records
Produced by Bob Sargeant
Released May 1981
UK #3
US #126


A-SIDE
1.DOORS OF YOUR HEART.
2.ALL OUT TO GET YOU.
3.MONKEY MURDERS.
4.I AM YOUR FLAG.
5.FRENCH TOAST.
6.DROWNING.

B-SIDE
1.DREAMHOME IN N.Z.
2.WALK AWAY.
3.OVER AND OVER.
4.CHEATED.
5.GET A JOB.
6.THE LIMITS WE SET.

Special Beat Service - The Beat
Go-Feet Records
Produced by Bob Sargeant (except "Pato and Roger a Go Talk" produced by Ranking Roger and Mike Hedges)
Released October 1981
UK #21
US #39


A-SIDE
1.I CONFESS.
2.JEANETTE.
3.SORRY.
4.SOLE SALVATION.
5.SPAR WID ME.
6.ROTATING HEAD.

B-SIDE
1.SAVE IT FOR LATER.
2.SHE'S GOING.
3.PATO AND ROGER A GO TALK.
4.SUGAR and STRESS.
5.END OF THE PARTY.
6.ACKEE 123.

***************** 
I took a wee fancy last night to listening to the three albums from The Beat (or The English Beat as they were/are known as in the USA). Then I couldn't decide which one to post about because they all have some nice touches to them and so I decided for better or worse I'd post all three!

As you are aware there are two versions of The Beat going around: The Beat feat. Ranking Roger in the UK and The English Beat with Dave Wakeling in the USA.

Today The Beat featuring Ranking Roger release a brand new album entitled Bounce.





The English Beat with Dave Wakeling are almost at an end of their UK tour with a just a few more dates to go in October.
In 2017 they are planning on releasing a brand new album Here We Go Love that was made via a Pledge Music Campaign.

The English Beat Live in 2016


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

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 273 - Ruts

  The Crack - The Ruts
Virgin Records
Produced by Mick Glossop
Released September 1979
UK Chart #16




 Personnel
Ruts
    Malcolm Owen - vocals
    Paul Fox - guitar, organ, backing vocals
    John "Segs" Jennings - bass guitar, piano on "Jah War", backing vocals
    Dave Ruffy - drums, backing vocals


Additional Personnel
    Richard Mannah - backing vocals on "S.U.S" and "Criminal Mind"
    Mick Glossop - synthesizer on "It Was Cold"
    Gary Barnacle - saxophone
    Luke Tunney - trumpet

Singles on The Crack

June 1979: Virgin, VS 271
 also released as a 12 inch single
UK  # 7


 
August 1979: Virgin, VS 285
 UK # 29
 
Jah War  / I Ain't Sofisticated
  November 1979: Virgin, VS 298
Did Not Chart
 
(Back Cover of French 12")

12" 
1979 Virgin Records France, Virgin 2141 248 

************************
I had thought of writing a whole new piece on The Crack album and went back to remind myself what I'd written last time I spotlighted it here on the blog. After a quick read I thought to myself that I didn't think I can better it, so in the good fashion of TV let me state for the record that this is a repeat pretty much with a few tweaks here and there.

The choice of the Ruts album The Crack today takes me right back to my teenage years in South East London, Forest Hill to be precise (I was 16 years old when it was released). It makes me think about many of the friends who I used to hang about with - the Forest Hill Punks. Some of them I know are still around, and like me have grown up, got married etc. Others I have no idea about, except the ones who are no longer with us.

Listening to the album makes me think not just about good times but bad times as well because there's lots of stuff going on lyrically that made an impact upon our young lives - the attitude of the cops toward us (Sus and Jah War), the violence of the age (Something That I Said), the bleakness (It Was Cold), the addictions (Criminal Mind), the betrayals (Backbiter), and the smell of danger (Out of Order).

It makes me remember hanging around Counterpoint Records in Forest Hill listening to the latest music when some of us should have been at school, or day trips, when we bunked off school, to go up to the Portobello Road and hang around Virgin Records' Offices hoping to scrounge new posters, badges etc of our favourite bands on that label (Skids, Sex Pistols, The Members and the Ruts).

When I hear it now I don't, to quote that great Pete Shelley song, wish "I was sixteen again". Time has moved on but a lot of stuff that happened in those days shaped who I am today and that's fact.

But listening to the album also makes me think of the band who made it. Segs and Ruffy lived in Forest Hill at the time and I reckon that they are still one of the best Rhythm Sections around, only Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare are better! In 2016 they are still playing many of these songs but also writing and performing new ones with Ruts DC. It makes me think of guitarist Paul Fox who was one of the most exceptional around, people always talk about the sounds that a guitarist like The Edge makes when he plays but Foxy was able to make some incredible noise without even a third of the technology that U2 have at their disposal. Sadly Foxy is no longer with us having passed away after a battle with cancer in 2007. Also it makes me think of Malcom, the volatile frontman who tragically died of a heroin overdose in July 1980 aged 26, ten months after the release of this album. It was a life snuffed out far too young! It makes me think about what could have been.

Finally it's an album that makes me remember that life goes on, inspite of all that I went through, what this band went through, there is still a life to be lived. 


There's not a poor track on it and from start to finish you enter a world where Punk and Reggae meet on a level playing field and this wonderful sound just blows your mind. You feel the anger, the discrimination, and perfectly understand the violence conveyed because it was exactly what your life was like at the time and was clearly what was going on in society at the time.
 
Ruts DC have this past month released a brand new album and it's well worth checking out. You can catch my thoughts on it and watch some live footage of the band in action as well as some new Promo Videos HERE.

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

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The Soundtrack4Life Concert Series: Blondie (#2)

Two shows. Twenty Years apart. Blondie at the peak of their success and then reuniting to make their first album together for 17 years.

Perfect Pop!


Live At The Apollo Theatre Glasgow
1979




Live At The Town Hall, New York 
1999


Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 272 - Blondie

Eat To The Beat - Blondie
Chrysalis
Produced by Mike Chapman
Released 28th September 1979
US Chart #17
UK Chart #1


Personnel
    Deborah Harry – lead vocals
    Chris Stein – guitar
    Frank Infante – guitar, background vocals on "Die Young, Stay Pretty" and "Victor"
    Jimmy Destri – keyboards, background vocals on "Die Young, Stay Pretty" and "Victor"
    Nigel Harrison – bass

    Clem Burke – drums

Additional personnel
    Mike Chapman – background vocals on "Die Young, Stay Pretty" and "Victor"
    Donna Destri – background vocals on "Living in the Real World"
    Robert Fripp – guitar on "Heroes" bonus live track
    Ellie Greenwich – background vocals on "Dreaming" and "Atomic"

    Lorna Luft – background vocals on "Accidents Never Happen" and "Slow Motion"
    Randy Singer (Hennes) – harmonica on "Eat to the Beat"

Eat To The Beat 
Video Album
 Every song on the album had a video made for it and it was released on VHS/Betamax Video and Videodisk. The sequencing was a little different to the album with Dreaming ending the album rather than starting it.



Singles on Eat To The Beat
Dreaming / Sound-A-Sleep (UK B-Side) / Living in the Real World (US B-Side)
September 1979
US Chart #27
UK Chart #2

November 1979
UK Chart #13

January 1980 
US/Canada Release
US Chart #84
Canada #86

US Chart #39
UK Chart #1

*********************
I've been a huge fan of Blondie dating right back to their Debut single X-Offender and of course witnessing them in all their early glory as support to fellow New Yorkers Television at the Hammersmith Odeon.

After a fairly unsuccessful Debut Album released on Private Stock, Blondie signed with Chrysalis Records and almost immediately began having hit singles and hit albums. Plastic Letters arrived in 1978 reaching #10 in the UK and contained a couple of Singles that made their mark on the charts Denis (#2) and (I'm Always Touched By Your) Presence Dear (#10). In their homeland hits proved harder to come by. Then came Parallel Lines and that was their first #1 album in the UK (#6 in the US). Picture This (#12), Hanging On The Telephone (#5) were followed by two #1 singles Heart of Glass and Sunday Girl.

Eat To The Beat (their fourth studio album) would become their second #1 Long Player in the UK and again there was a handful of great singles released from the album. My favourite of them all is Union City Blue (I still cannot understand the reluctance on the part of their label to not release it as the second single in America and rather opt for The Hardest Part - which did not do well at all chartwise!).

Alongside the album release there was also an Eat To The Beat Video Album that featured promos for every track on the album. It was the first such project in rock music. Most of the songs were filmed in and around New York, the exception was the 'Union City Blue' music video, which was filmed at Union Dry Dock, Weehawken, New Jersey. Each video was directed by David Mallet and produced by Paul Flattery. The video was initially available as a promotional VHS in 1979 and subsequently released on videocassette and videodisk in October 1980.

Producer Mike Chapman (who had also worked on the Parallel Lines album) said about the making of the album: "They wanted to try anything. And I was right there with them. We also had a title for the album at a very early point, so we had a concept of sorts: Eat to the Beat. I tried to have Debbie explain exactly what it meant to her, but in her normal fashion she simply confused me and I was forced to give it my own interpretation. . . . [Drugs] found their way to the studio and presented us with yet another obstacle. The more drugs, the more fights. It was becoming a real mess. . . . The music was good but the group was showing signs of wear and tear. The meetings, the drugs, the partying and the arguments had beaten us all up, and it was hard to have a positive attitude when the project was finally finished. . . . Was this the record that the public was waiting for, or was it just the waste of seven sick minds? I had never experienced this kind of emotional rollercoaster before, and I have never forgotten the sounds, smells and tastes that came with it. I guess that was what they meant: Eat to the Beat."


I thought on first hearing it that it was the best thing they had ever done, some might disagree and point to Parallel Lines but I felt that the band showed a whole lot of progression and it would hopefully pave a way for more interesting sounds on their next album (and the story of Autoamerican is one for another day).

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



Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 271 - Skinhead Reggae

Dawning Of A New Era - The Roots of Skinhead Reggae - Various Artists
Trojan Records
Released 2005


Dawning Of A New Era - The Roots of Skinhead Reggae
Tracklist

CD1
1.: John Jones - Rudy Mills
2.: Give Me Back - Derrick Morgan
3.: In Like Flint - Good Guys
4.: Tommy's Dream - Tommy McCook
5.: Son Of Reggae - Sylvan Williams
6.: Quaker City - Eric Barnett & Theo Beckford Group
7.: Regga Beat - Pioneers
8.: Groovin' At The Cue - Dandy & His Group
9.: Revenge - Derrick Morgan & Desmond Dekker
10.: Fat Man - Derrick Morgan
11.: South Parkway Rock - Val Bennett
12.: Rescue Me - Reggae Girls
13.: What You Gonna Do - Reggae Boys
14.: Night Of Love - Ansel Collins
15.: Wala Wala - Pioneers
16.: Mix It Up - Kingstonians
17.: Forest Gate Rock - Lester Sterling
18.: Soul Scorchia - King Cannon & Harry J All Stars
19.: She's So Fine - Glen Adams
20.: Magic Touch - Junior Soul
21.: Reggie On Broadway - Lester Sterling
 
CD2
01. Another Scorcher - The Tennors
02. Avengers - Tommy McCook
03. 5 to 5 - Lloyd Charmers
04. Rock Steady Gone - Dandy
05. Reggae Hit the Town - The Ethiopians
06. Su Su Su - The Pioneers
07. Dip It Up - The Sparkers
08. Splash Down - The Crystalites
09. Peanut Vendor - Tommy McCook
10. Wooh Oh Oh - Keith Blake
11. My Argument - Lloyd Charmers
12. Wise Message - Rico & The All Stars
13. Cool Hand Luke - The All Stars, , Brother Dan All-Stars
14. Drop Pon - The Crystalites
15. Eastern Organ - The All Stars, Brother Dan All-Stars
16. Baby Baby - Val Bennett
17. Cat Woman - Glen Adams
18. Parapinto - Karl Bryan and Johnny Moore
19. Last Laugh - Lloyd Charmers
20. Reggae Girl - The Tennors
21. Spoogy - Lester Sterling

*******************
It's always a cool thing when you just sort of stumble upon something that delights you. I have loved discovering many of the great treasures that Trojan Records have put out in the form of the various Boxsets spotlighting particular aspects of Reggae (Rocksteady, Ska etc) and so finding a set that I hadn't seen before was a real thrill.

Dawning Of A New Era - The Roots of Skinhead Reggae came out 11 years ago and surprisingly I had never heard of it until recently. Forty-Two slices of early Reggae, mostly drawn from 1968-69 with a few of the tracks having been recorded in London

I was surprised to see this on Amazon going for such a ridiculous price (£78.14 New and £51.48 Used!).

Dawning Of A New Era - The Roots of Skinhead Reggae seems to be a good companion to another Trojan Records release this time from 2003: Dancehall '69: 40 Skinhead Reggae Rarities. Again on Amazon it's a bit of a shocking price - £270.24!

I'm pretty sure that if you hunt around the Internet you'll be able to find both of these albums at a more reasonable price.


CD1


CD2

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

Monday, 26 September 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 270 - Madness


Absolutely - Madness
Stiff Records
Produced by Clive Langer & Alan Winstanley 
Released 26th September 1980
UK Chart #2
US Chart #146



A1 Baggy Trousers
A2 Embarrassment    
A3 E.R.N.I.E.    
A4 Close Escape    
A5 Not Home Today    
A6 On The Beat Pete    
A7 Solid Gone    
B1 Take It Or Leave It    
B2 Shadow Of Fear    
B3 Disappear    
B4 Overdone    
B5 In The Rain    
B6 You Said    
B7 Return Of The Los Palmas 7

Personnel
Madness

    Graham McPherson (Suggs) – lead vocals; percussion
    Mike Barson (Monsieur Barso) – piano; organ; vibraphone; marimba; harmonica
    Chris Foreman (Chrissy Boy) – guitars; sitar; slide guitar
    Lee Thompson (Kix) – tenor; baritone saxophones
    Daniel Woodgate (Woody) – drums; fire extinguisher
    Mark Bedford (Bedders) – bass guitars
    Cathal Smyth (Chas Smash) – backing vocals; trumpet; lead vocals on "Solid Gone"

Singles on Absolutely
September 1980
UK Chart #3

The Business was the instrumental version of Take It or Leave It

In 1981 Madness released a film called Take It or Leave It. In October 2013 it was reissued as a CD/DVD package.

November 1980
UK Chart #4

January 1981
UK Chart #7

*********************
Almost a year after the successful Debut Album One Step Beyond had smashed its way to the number 2 spot on the charts Madness released their second album Absolutely that would contain a further three Top Ten Singles.

Hard to believe but where there had been a lot of enthusiasm for the Debut Absolutely was not a hit among all critics (as I've said often, "what on earth do they know?") but to the people that mattered, ie The Record Buying Public, they bought enough of it to also take it to #2 on the UK album chart.

I had to giggle a little at the ignorance of Rolling Stone magazine, who were not huge fans of the ska revival and infact were quite scathing ("The Specials wasn't very good") , and only awarded the album 1 out 5 stars.  They declared that Madness were simply "the Blues Brothers with English accents". I was particularly grieved to discover that the words had been penned by a writer that I'd actually enjoyed a lot, Greil Marcus! I guess there's just an Englishness about the album that cannot be comprehended even by the great Mr Marcus!

(Original Artwork)

The front cover sees the band standing in front of Chalk Farm tube station in Camden. When the original vinyl was released the first, more sombre, cover photograph was changed to a more animated pose after around 10,000 albums were pressed. The two sleeves can be distinguished by Mike Barson's holding of the umbrella: in the earlier pressing he holds it up to his chin while in the later, and subsequently used, releases the umbrella is on the ground. I don't think the album is worth a whole lot of money with the original cover though so you can't go planning that Caribbean Cruise!

As I said above there's a real Englishness about the songwriting of Madness that really came out on their first few albums. Baggy Trousers was a wee gem about schooldays. Suggs said, "I was very specifically trying to write a song in the style of Ian Dury, especially the songs he was writing then, which [were] often sort of catalogues of phrases in a constant stream". He contrasted "Baggy Trousers" with Pink Floyd's hit Another Brick in the Wall: "I was writing about my time at school. Pink Floyd had that big hit with 'teacher, leave those kids alone'. It didn't really relate to me, because I hadn't been to a public school where I was bossed about and told to sing 'Rule Britannia!' and all that".

John Reed in his magnificent book House of Fun: The Story of Madness says of Baggy Trousers that it was "three minutes of unbridled pop ebullience which still resisdes to this day...From the opening sound of a school bell, the song tapped into the timesless images of schooldays in a long-standing tradition from the Jennings novels to the on-screen mishaps of St. Trinians and Will Hay, the Bash Street Kids' capers in the Beano or the BBC's latest hit TV series Grange Hill".

Embarrassment was written by Lee Thompson and the music by Mike Barson. Racism is not the type of thing you often hear being sung about in a pop song and for some people it was a reality they experienced daily. I often think of my own Sister when I hear the song because there were elements of it that were a part of her experience as well. The plot of the song reflected the unfolding turmoil following the news that his teenage sister, Tracy Thompson, had become pregnant and was carrying a black man's child. The subsequent rejection by her family, and the shame felt, was reflected in the song.

It was a brave choice of single for a band who had been seen as a mere novelty band and it paid off by giving the band their third Top 5 hit!

E.R.N.I.E. (Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment) was not a cover of that novelty hit by Benny Hill Ernie The Fastest Mikman in the West, but was an ode to the Premium Bond! If you don't know what that is you can read a little bit of the history of it here.

Madness were keen to not make a One Step Beyond MKII. "We were concious of not making a carbon copy of the debut. Like The Specials, we were always aware we needed to move on with each album" (Suggs).

There was some carry over from the Debut with Close Escape which picked up where In The Middle of the Night left off with the character now seen as a phone call pest.

Shadow of Fear spoke about the paranoia of life in London; Not Home Today dealt with the issue of families who make up excuses to cover up the fact that one of their children is has been sent to Borstal or Prison; On The Beat Pete was a spotlight into the world of a local Bobby (Policeman).

A quality little album and one that is guaranteed to but a smile on your face whilst listening to it...and if you can only sit still whilst listening to it then I'd ask someone to check your pulse to see in fact if you are alive or not!


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

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 269 - Aztec Camera

Love - Aztec Camera
WEA
Produced by Tommy LiPuma, Russ Titelman, Roddy Frame, David Frank, Michael Jonzun, Rob Mounsey
Released November 1987
UK Chart #10
US Chart #193

Tracklist
A1 Deep & Wide & Tall    
A2 How Men Are    
A3 Everybody Is A Number One    
A4 More Than A Law    
A5 Somewhere In My Heart    
B1 Working In A Goldmine    
B2 One & One    
B3 Paradise
B4 Killermont Street


Singles from Love


September 1987
UK Chart #79


Reissue October 1988
UK Chart #55



January 1988
 UK Chart #25



Somewhere In My Heart / Everybody Is A Number One (Boston '86 Version)
April 1988
UK Chart #3



July 1988
UK Chart #31

******************
Three years after the Mark Knopfler Produced album Knife, where Roddy Frame had said that he intentionally wrote songs with a sound that he thought the Dire Straits frontman could work with, Roddy Frame was back in the spotlight with a new album.

Still under the banner of Aztec Camera (Frame being the only member of the band) the third album Love was an interesting little beast. Written with a clear aim of breaking America (the album was recorded in America against the wishes of his label) and with big name Producers, it was Frame's take on R&B/Pop.

The first single that arrived a month before the album - Deep & Wide & Tall - was an almost funky tune and at first I wasn't too taken with it. The B-Side was of far greater interest to me - Bad Eduction - a song that was originally performed by Manchester band The Blue Orchids

The second How Men Are is one of those quality songs that only Roddy Frame could write. If the B-Side on the previous single was an interesting one then a rendition of The Red Flag was a very strange choice indeed!

The next single and the one that propelled the album up the charts - Somewhere In My Heart - Frame said in 2014 that the song has been "great" for him, but at the time of creating the album, the song was not "in keeping" with the rest of Love. Frame revealed in a radio interview with the "Soho Social" program, presented by Dan Gray, that he considered "Somewhere In My Heart" an odd song and initially thought it would be best as a B-side. Frame concluded, "I can't pick them [the successful songs]." It would become Aztec Camera's most successful single peaking at #3 on the UK Chart.

Working On A Goldmine was the final single from the album to appear in July 1988 (discounting a Reissue of Deep & Wide & Tall in October 1988) and was one of the first songs to be recorded for the Love album. It's another one that I really have grown to like over the years.

What about the rest of the songs on the Love album? Everybody is a Number One is a cheesy sound pop tune that still to this day doesn't impress me much. More Than A Law to me sounds a bit like Aztec Camera of old. One & One is an all out attempt at funk, there's elements of the song I like but overall it's not one my favourite Roddy Frame songs (though I do have to say that live in concert it sounded really good). Paradise is one of my favourite tracks on the album, love the little nod at the end to one of my favourite songs (If Paradise is) Half As Nice, a song that Roddy had actually recorded with Andy Fairweather Low. Lastly but in no way least, the majestic Killermont Street. Even recording in America Scotland was not far from the heart of Roddy Frame and this is one of my favourite of all his songs.

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

Saturday, 24 September 2016

The Soundtrack4Life Concert Series: The Psychedelic Furs

Today's Concert Series post is from Germany and Broadcast as part of the Rockpalast Series on German TV in 1981and features The Psychedelic Furs in action.

The 14 song set feature a couple of tunes from what was to be their newest album Forever Now as well as songs from their first two albums.


Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 268 - The Psychedelic Furs

Forever Now - The Psychedelic Furs
CBS
Produced by Todd Rundgren
Released September 1982
UK Chart #20
US Chart #61


Forever Now (UK Version)
 UK Tracklist
A1 President Gas   
A2 Love My Way    
A3 Run And Run    
A4 Merry-Go-Round  
A5 Sleep Comes Down
B1 Forever Now    
B2 Danger
B3 Only You and I     
B4 Goodbye
B5 No Easy Street

Personnel
The Psychedelic Furs
    Richard Butler – vocals
    John Ashton – guitars
    Tim Butler – bass guitar
    Vince Ely – drums


Additional personnel
    Todd Rundgren – keyboards; saxophone; marimba
    Gary Windo – horns
    Donn Adams – horns
    Ann Sheldon – cello
    Flo & Eddie (Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan) – backing vocals

(US Cover)

Forever Now (US Version)


There was different Track Listing on the American Release

A1 Forever Now    
A2 Love My Way    
A3 Goodbye    
A4 Only You And I    
A5 Sleep Comes Down
B1 President Gas    
B2 Run And Run
B3 Danger    
B4 No Easy Street
B5 Yes I Do

Singles from Forever Now
Love My Way / Aeroplane (Dance Mix)
July 1982
UK Chart #42
US Chart #44

October 1982
Did Not Chart

May 1983
Did Not Chart

******************

After an absolutely pulsating debut album and then a tricky second album (Talk Talk Talk) Forever Now, their third Studio album in as many years was always going to be a challenge.

The challenge came from within as Sax player Duncan Kilburn and Guitarist Roger Morris left the band under a bit of a storm cloud! Steve Lilywhite was unavailable to produce after overseeing the duties on the first two albums and the band had been forced into the situation as a four piece, though there were also questions regarding the commitment of Drummer Vince Ely that forced the remaining three - John Ashton, Tim and Richard Butler - into creating some new music without the use of drums! I don't know the full extent of the issues regarding Ely but he's on the album but did depart the band after the recording had been completed.

Bringing Todd Rundgren on board as Producer was an interesting move and he added some new elements to their sound as well as bringing in Flo and Eddie to do backing vocals. The band were not too keen at first on this move but it's interesting to see that besides their work with The Turtles in the sixties, Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention in the early seventies, they had sung back up on an interesting array of projects with the likes of T-Rex, Ray Manzarek, Roger McGuinn, David Cassidy (!), Keith Moon, Stephen Stills, Alice Cooper, Blondie and they had also sung backing on Hungry Heart by Springsteen!

Love My Way is probably the track that most people know of from the album and whilst it charted it was not a real smash hit, which is a shame really because in its essence it is an outstanding pop song.

Personally my favourite track on it is President Gas, it sounds more like the Furs that I know and love from the first couple of albums.

Tim Butler has said that Forever Now is his favourite album, I wouldn't go that far myself. It's good but the album that was to follow eight months later would be way much better (Mirror Moves).

A point about the difference between the UK and US editions of the album. Personally I don't understand this. Richard Butler says that when he first saw the replacement cover, he "actually burst into tears" and rightly so because it looks terrible and exceedingly drab in comparison with the explosion of colour of the UK release created by the late great Barney Bubbles (I must at some point do a post dedicated to the great Artwork of BB). Record Executives at Columbia clearly had no sense! Given the choice I would rather put the UK artwork on my wall because at least it actually looks like a piece of art!

The changes to tracklisting and sequence as well were uncalled for as that rush of sound with President Gas, Love My Way, and Run and Run on the UK edition is (I think) a much better way to kick off the album than Forever Now, Love My Way and Goodbye! Maybe you can make your own mind up by listening to them both above!

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

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