Monday 29 July 2019

Monday Long Song

Here's a slice of golden age prog from If's second LP, released in December 1970, just three months after their debut. The band featured the saxophonist Dick Morrissey, who would not only go on find success in the 1980s as half of Morrissey-Mullen, but also as a session player on a multitude of famous recordings by other artists - there's a fighting chance that you have something by him in your collection. That's him on 'The Love Theme From Bladerunner' and on Style Council's 'Confessions of a Pop Group and on 'Press to Play' by Paul McCartney and on Orange Juice's 'Rip it Up' and on Peter Gabriel's third self-titled LP.

If - I Couldn't Write and Tell You

Monday 22 July 2019

Monday Long Song

Time for writing is short, but fortunately this week's tune is long, and magnificent. It's recently been noted elsewhere what a very good year for music 1981 was. Produced by Martin Hannett, 'The Presence' is not only Crispy Ambulance's finest 13 minutes, but, in my opinion, is up there with the finest music to emerge from anyone in 1981.

Crispy Ambulance - The Presence

Saturday 20 July 2019

Red Gold & Green #32 - 50 Years Ago Today

I was 9 years old in July of 1969, the perfect age to be captivated and obsessed by all things space travel related. Unfortunately my parents didn't think I was quite old enough to stay up into the wee small hours to watch Neil and Buzz taking mans first steps on the moon, Dad did though and took a series of grainy photos of the TV screen to prove it. Those old photos are in a box somewhere in this house. Also in a box, I hope, is a handwritten and drawn school project entitled 'Space and Space Travel', created by yours truly in 1970 or thereabouts. If I'd have had my wits about me I would've located it long ago and shared it with you today - some other time perhaps.

Here's an aptly titled Bunny Lee production, released in 1969 by Derrick Morgan, who, after periods of ill heath, is still going strong at 79. This one's for Neil, Buzz, Micheal and Dad.

Derrick Morgan - Man Pon Moon 

Wednesday 17 July 2019

This Is My Home, The Place Where I'm Lonely

A photo of Swede Towers taken in the late 1800s

It's been a long stretch - two six day working weeks followed by a seven day one. Keeping mind and body busy is definitely a good thing for me at the moment and the exhaustion guarantees I get at least a few hours sleep each night. It's the coming home from work that's the difficult part though. The house is quiet and empty and the person I want be in it with is no longer here. I'm trying not to rush into anything, but I need to decide what my next move, if any, is going to be. Do I stay in a house that I love, is bought and paid for, but is full of memories and too big for my needs, or sell-up, downsize and take a chance somewhere else?

Husky Rescue - My Home Ghost

Thursday 11 July 2019

Red Gold & Green #31 - Ken Boothe

Still working at the age of 71, Ken Boothe is probably best known to the world at large for his cover of Bread's 'Everything I Own', which reached the UK Number 1 spot for three weeks in October 1974. To quote Joe Strummer in '(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais', '...Ken Boothe for UK pop reggae...'. Boothe's career, however, stretches back to the late 1950s, with his first recordings appearing as part of a duo with Stranger Cole in 1963. His solo career began in earnest in 1966 with a series of ska and rocksteady tunes for legendary producers such as Leslie Kong, Sonia Pottinger and Phil Pratt. Boothe also recorded for Coxone Dodd's Studio One label and here he is on that very imprint in 1968, with his superb rocksteady reworking of a song written and recorded the previous year by another Ken, UK entertainer Kenny Lynch.

Ken Boothe - Moving Away

Monday 8 July 2019

Monday Long Song

The catalogue of the splendidly monikered Dire Wolves (Just Exactly Perfect Sisters Band) is deep and daunting, featuring as it does a large number of bafflingly obscure cassette releases on a multitude of different labels, going back to 2009. I'm sure I'm not alone in hoping for some form of more readily available reissue program in the not too distant future. Fortunately, over the past couple of years, the band has begun to put out some of their new music on vinyl, although other limited releases continue to appear alongside these 'official' recordings. Long story short - it's confusing. What isn't confusing, or daunting, is the quality of the band's output. 2017's 'Excursions to Cloudland' , a masterpiece of cosmic freakoutery, has recently been joined by its far-out follow up on Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records, 'Grow Towards the Light'.

Monday 1 July 2019

Monday Long Song

Who amongst us hasn't, at one time or another, wondered how a two minute Ramones classic would sound if stretched out to over 10 minutes by a contemporary Kentucky based Krautrock band? I know I have. Wonder no more. Step forward Verstärker with the frankly remarkable opening salvo from a 2017 various artists tribute album, 'Here Today, Gone Tomorrow, A Ramones Reverence'. (Check out more music from the band here).

Verstärker - (Hallo) Commando

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