Archive for the ‘General Music’ Category

23 Songs For Today

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019

1) One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later) -Bob Dylan
2) Tangled Up In Blue -Bob Dylan
3) Series Of Dreams -Bob Dylan
4) Black Diamond Bay -Bob Dylan
5) Ballad of a Thin Man -Bob Dylan
6) Candy’s Room -Bruce Springsteen
7) Jackson Cage -Bruce Springsteen
8) Tonight She Comes -The Cars
9) I’m Not The One -The Cars
10) Cathy’s Clown -The Everly Brothers
11) All I Have To Do Is Dream -The Everly Brothers
12) What’s Happening Brother -Marvin Gaye
13) God Is Love -Marvin Gaye
14) Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) -Marvin Gaye
15) You Get What You Give -New Radicals
16) Aftermath -R.E.M.
17) Welcome To The Occupation -R.E.M.
18) It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) -R.E.M.
19) Wendell Gee -R.E.M.
20) Harborcoat -R.E.M.
21) Why Don’t You Write Me -Simon & Garfunkel
22) Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall -Simon & Garfunkel
23) Right Now -Stephen Stills

Three Sad Losses

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

It’s only the third day of the year, but the music world has already had three sad losses – Daryl Dragon, Pegi Young and Dean Ford have all passes away in the last few days. Daryl Dragon is best known as part of the Captain And Tennille but was part of the touring Beach Boys band for a while, and co-wrote Cuddle Up. Pegi Young was married to Neil Young for 36 years, while Dean Ford was the lead singer of Marmalade.

Old Year And New Year

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019

Happy new year to all blog readers – a time to reflect on the year past and year ahead! Musically, 2018 was a good year -new albums by Kacey Musgraves, Paul Weller  and The Last Detail  come to mind, but there were many others. We also saw archival releases from the Beatles, Bob Dylan and the late Christmas Beach Boys surprise.

What does 2019 have in store? It feels like Brian Wilson’s touring is coming to an end, but there are a few 2019 dates.  We may see some new studio music from Brian, or at least some recording. It’s the 50th anniversary of 20/20 and Abbey Road – while we’ve already had the 20/20 studio sessions, we would still expect some archival music from both the Beatles and Beach Boys -with the 1969 Beach Boys release likely to relate to recording of Sunflower.

In terms of other music, long awaited new music from Prefab Sprout and A Girl Called Eddy seems to be on the cards -and no doubt there will be some great new unexpected music. So here’s to a great year -musically and otherwise.

23 Songs For Today

Thursday, December 27th, 2018

1.Donna and Blitzen -Badly Drawn Boy
2. You Were Right -Badly Drawn Boy
3. Happiness Is A Warm Gun -The Beatles
4. Blackbird -The Beatles
5. Hey Bulldog- The Beatles
6. Junk – The Beatles
7. Child of Nature  -The Beatles
8. Munich -Editors
9. Who Do You Want For Your Love? -Icicle Works
10.Oh My Love -John Lennon
11. Places -The Last Detail
12. Photographs -The Last Detail
13. Despite Repeated Warnings -Paul McCartney
14. The Back Seat Of My Car -Paul McCartney
15. Bluebird -Paul McCartney & Wings
16. Mayfly -Paul Weller
17. What Would He Say? -Paul Weller
18. Aspects -Paul Weller
19. Books -Paul Weller
20. May Love Travel With You -Paul Weller
21. A World Without Love -Peter & Gordon
22. I Just Wanna Hold Your Hand (On Christmas Day) -The Yearning
23. Airplane (Fly Me To Mexico) -The Yearning

Christmas Bounty Sprouting

Saturday, December 15th, 2018

The Beach Boys Christmas bounty continues – a week after two 1968 studio collections were released, an extensive live set was announced. On Tour:1968  consists of 114 tracks from seven shows from 1968, including live performances in both the USA and UK.

Regular blog readers will know my love for Paddy McAloon and Prefab Sprout, and in particular, I Trawl The Megahertz.  So, in interesting news, this obscure but brilliant record will get a re-release  in February 2019, interesting re-positioned as a Prefab Sprout record, rather than a solo. Even better news is the possibility of a new Prefab Sprout album in September 2019 -the Sprout bounty may not at Christmas, but could herald a musically very good 2019. Santa seems to be very generous this year.

50 Years, 30 Directions

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

Almost eighteen months after Sgt.Pepper ( a gap longer than Pet Sounds to Smiley Smile), the Beatles released their next album, simply called The Beatles, in plane white packaging. It was the single biggest outburst of new Beatles music; 30 unheard tracks, none released on a prior single or available for early listening on Spotify…

The title and white packaging may indicate a move towards simplicity and group harmony. There was certainly a move away from the psychedelia of 1967, but in about 30 different directions. We got the softest side of the Beatles (Goodnight, Honey Pie) at the same time as the hardest (Helter Skelter, Yer Blues), the weirdest (Revolution 9) alongside straightforward rock and pop. It’s unlikely you will love all 30 tracks, or even want to listen to some of them again, but it’s also very possible that some of your favorite Beatles songs, if not your favorite songs of all time, are part of this album.

And now the White Album is exactly 50 years old, and tearing up the charts again,courtesy of a comprehensive 50 year anniversary release, showcasing the legendary Esher demos plus a lot more on the deluxe editions. The Esher demos demonstrate that John, Paul and George were not short of inspiration after Rishikesh. George, in particular, was starting entering his composing high-point, where one song per side of a Beatles record would not accommodate his brilliant creativity –Long Long Long is probably my favorite “unknown” Beatles song.

Indeed, the White Album sessions in retrospect indicated the beginning of the end for the Beatles as a group, and the white color is pretty much the only unifying theme of the album. The brilliance is very much there, but there is a sense of disunity and division, which is very much a theme of our 2018 world. We can’t run away from this reality, but we can temporarily forget about it in the brilliance of this album, or at least the parts that reflect our own musical idyll.

23 Songs For Today

Friday, November 16th, 2018
  1. Under -Carla Werner
  2. Sweet Ride -Courtney Jaye
  3. Strawberry Wine -Deana Carter
  4. This Land Is Mine -Dido
  5. Hold Me Like a Gun -Elise Davis
  6. Dreaming Trees -Emma Stevens
  7. Oh Do Not Fly Away -The Innocence Mission
  8. In Perfect Time -Jill Barber
  9. Bo Ba Bo -Joanna Wallfisch
  10. Love Is a Wild Thing- Kacey Musgraves
  11. You’re Not Mine -The Last Detail
  12. Everywhere I Go -Lissie
  13. Going Home -Mary Fahl
  14. Lying To The Moon -Matraca Berg
  15. Wrong Impression -Natalie Imbruglia
  16. The Way It Is -Nicole Atkins
  17. Manhattan -Sara Bareilles
  18. I Could Not Ask for More -Sara Evans
  19. Starry Eyes -Sarah Darling
  20. Sounds of Water/ Change Your Mind -Sarah Slean
  21. I Know Myself Too Well -Swan Dive
  22. You On My Mind- Swing Out Sister
  23. Snow Canyons -The Watson Twins

First Blood

Saturday, November 10th, 2018

Yesterday saw the 50th anniversary re-release of the White Album, and there will be more on that on this blog in due course.  But another classic album has just given the “official bootleg” treatment, and it is my favorite Dylan album Blood On The Tracks.

More Blood, More Tracks may sound like a death metal record, but the heart of the collection is a disc of early takes of the entire album plus Up To Me, which reflects a stripped down alternative version of the classic album. Blood On The Tracks was always a fairly acoustic album, but this alternative version is more like Blood On The Tracks..naked, with just Dylan, his guitar and harmonica.

The anger of Idiot Wind is replaced by a more world-weary resignation, but the album shows that the song were fully-formed and brilliant from the start, with an interesting twist to the track order, including a strong finish with Idiot Wind, You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go and Up To Me, with the final track providing a more a downbeat finish than the slightly more optimistic Buckets Of Rain. The original album is in my views Dylan’s most “perfect” album, but this is a very interesting alternative take on one of the all-time classic records.

Eddy, Back At Last (Detail)

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

In the first half of the naughties, A Girl Called Eddy (Erin Moran) delighted with us with her eponymous debut album,  plus a few EPs and singles. Then, for 10 years, nothing. In 2014, there were a few guest vocals on a Gramercy Arms album, and the first rumblings of a follow-up album. But nothing concrete until this year- and specifically the release of The Last Detail album.

The Last Detail is Erin Moran and Mehdi Zannad from Fugu. It is a collaborative album, but on Fun Fair, You’re Not Mine, Fairweather Friend, Talk To Me and Lazy, it feels like a reunion with an old, dear friend that you haven’t seen for almost 15 years. The romantic, world-weary vocals accompanied with breathtaking melodies are all there, and that alone is worth the price of admission. But the contributions from the other half of the band are also noteworthy, especially the gorgeous pop tunes Places and Trust Your Buddy. The final track, Photographs, is a fitting seasonal closer, and the only real duet on a great album.

But…that isn’t all. Eddy is now promising her second solo album early in 2019, a few months after this wonderful release. It’s not so much London buses, but it feels like a long-lost, beloved railway branch line now has a full service of regular trains. Thank-you A Girl Called Eddy (and Mehdi Zannad), for making a weary world suddenly a better place.

The Engineer Of The Beatles

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

Sad news today is the passing of Geoff Emerick, the sound engineer for the many of the Beatles best known recordings. You can read about his important contribution to the Beatles legend here.