Thursday, 2 October 2014

Wishbone Ash

Badge from the Singing Bear Collection

Often unjustly forgotten when the names of British rock greats are wheeled out for inspection, Wishbone Ash made a handful of excellent albums through the 70's, the finest of the bunch being the brilliant Argus LP from 1972.

Passing the time in a Bath record shop the other day, I came across the 'deluxe' version of this beauty for a mere handful of pounds and duly snapped it up, having parted ways with the vinyl some time ago. It's been receiving repeated plays ever since. With a double lead guitar line-up, the band were vaguely an English version of the Allman Brothers except there was less R&B and a distinctly folky influence as well.

Throw Down The Sword (1972)

The first Wishbone Ash album I purchased back in the olden days was actually their 1974 release, There's The Rub which saw founder member, Ted Turner, leave to be replaced on guitar by Laurie Wisefield.

Another really solid set, There's The Rub included the lovely, 'Persephone'.

Persephone (1974)

Very much of their time, WA suffered in the face of the the rising punk tide, being blown away by the necessary clear out of all things overblown and ever so slightly ridiculous but they did regroup later in the 80's and are still going strong in a much reformed line-up to this day. Not sure about their recent stuff but, for me, the 70's output is pure gold.

Vas Dis (1971)

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Film Fun

Remember The Wonderful World of Disney*? Every Christmas and Easter time (too), the BBC would allow us a magical glimpse into the world of Walt Disney (who's dream got debased) so we could see what we were missing when these films hit the flicks. I seem to recall that many of these fab compilations were introduced by either Ed 'Stewpot' Stewart or (ahem) Rolf Harris. What a world. Thought I'd introduce a similar concept here with some clips from a few of my own favourites every now and then.

* On second thoughts, was it called Disney Time? TWW of D was similar but weekly, I believe.

Going way back.

La Voyage Dans La Lune (1902)

Now a clip from the first film that touched my soul deeply. I must have seen it on the telly in the early 70's.

The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter (1968)

I'm always up for some rollicks at the kitchen sink.

Poor Cow (1968)

Hope you enjoyed this feature. More Film Fun soon.

Time Makes Fools Of Us All # 6: Mick Jones

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Happy Birthday, Boppin' Elf

Born this day in 1947, the unforgettable Marc Bolan, my first musical hero.

T. Rex
'Jeepster' (1971)

Monday, 29 September 2014

Youth Club Disco: Cozy Powell

It's another trip to the Youth Club Disco. The girls, the untouchable girls, are clad in rainbow hues of voluminous garb and the boys, the ridiculous boys, are dressed a little less conservatively. Remember those 'One-Eyed Jacks' t-shirts? Seems like most of us managed to get one from the market. It's orange squash and crisps at the 'bar', so we're ready to roll.

Na Na Na (1974)

'Na Na Na' was the third solo single from drummer, Cozy Powell, except it wasn't really 'solo' because he now had a band of pretty anonymous faces who gave it their best on this great glam stomper. The Jeff Beck Band had come before for Mr. Powell; Rainbow and even a stint as the 'P' in ELP were for the future. Some might suggest his chart-worrying, short-lived mid-period saw him create his best work and who am I to argue?

Here are the chaps on Top of The Pops:

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Sunday Service: The Inspirational Choir of the Pentecostal First Born Church of the Living God

Pick Me Up (1983)

Bought this on a 7" from Stiff Records way back when. Credit to Stiff for being its adventurous self and putting this one in the charts - at least the lower reaches, thereof. You can find 'Pick Me Up' on the veritably wonderful Big Stiff Box Set.  Surely one of the best 'band' names ever?

Friday, 26 September 2014

The Live Album Series: Jerry Lee Lewis

I'm in the midst of revisiting some of those great live recordings that have fueled my heart and soul over the years. I'll admit I've often had mixed feelings about what is frequently a very mixed-bag concept when it comes to both quality and necessity: some albums are unquestionably essential (e,g. Dylan in Manchester 1966 or Van The Man's It's Too Late To Stop Now) whilst others (no names, no pack-drill) are more, 'thanks but no thanks'. A great live album must capture the spirit of the artist at that moment in time and should always bring that little bit extra to the table that could never be caught in the studio.

So, to be begin, we go way back in rock and roll history to the roots of much of what was to come - please lend your ears and time to Jerry Lee Lewis Live At The Star Club, Hamburg, recorded in 1964, backed by The Nashville Teens. Lewis was actually in the doldrums at the time, his star having waned following scandal and the rise of guitar wielding 'beat groups'. However, listening to this set, you'd actually think he was King of the World - he probably still thought so. Quite amazing.

Here's a taste with Jerry recreating 'Money (That's What I Want)' in his own image:

Then there's this classic:

Does rock and roll get any better? No need to even try to answer that, just let your ears pound and taste the sweat.

Here's the whole set (well worth it):