24 February, 2009

THE JAM - The Modern World

THE JAM 'The Modern World' / 'Sweet Soul Music' 'Back In My Arms Again' (Polydor 2058 945) Oct 1977

This was the third single by Woking band The Jam and 'The Modern World' continued their Who fixation with slashing guitar from Weller on top of a punk backbeat. The song had been considered for the B-Side of the second release 'All Around The World' and was recorded for a John Peel session in April 1977. But the band must have decided to elevate the song as a single in it's own right.
Unfortunately 'The Modern World stalled at number 38 in the UK Chart. The flip contains two soul covers that do nothing for me but was evidence that Weller was one of the few musicians in '77 with a fondness for Motown and Northern Soul.

Special mention also for the rather good Warhol(esque) picture cover.

THE JAM - The Modern World

22 February, 2009

THE RAMONES - Rock 'N' Roll High School

THE RAMONES - 'Rock 'N' Roll High School' / Do You Wanna Dance?' (Sire SRE 1051) Sept 1979

This was the last Ramones single of any relevance before the quality control dipped and irritating 80s production values reared it's head along with Phil Spector who got a credit on this record for remixing the production by Ed Stassium.

'Rock 'N' Roll High School' mixes surf with punk in a great way (similar to early Barracudas). The flip is a loud live version of 'Do You Wanna Dance?'.....a worthy two sider.

THE RAMONES - Rock 'n' Roll High School

20 February, 2009


THE STRANGLERS - 'No More Heroes' / 'In The Shadows' (United Artists UP 36300) Sept 1977

This record was a big hit for The Stranglers reaching Number 8 in the UK Charts.

"Whatever happened to Leon Trotsky? He got an ice pick that made his ears burn."

17 February, 2009


STIFF LITTLE FINGERS - 'Gotta Gettaway' / 'Bloody Sunday' (Rough Trade RT 015) May 1979

Belfast band Stiff Little Fingers quickly became one of my favourite bands for a year or so before I discovered The Byrds (and that changed everything)... Most of the hip kids at school were kiddie punks in the late 70s but it wasn't until January 1982 that I got to see SLF (as we all used to call them) play a gig and then, like waiting for a bus, two more gigs came around the corner in quick succession.
I'm a hoarder and throw nothing of importance or sentiment away and to this day I've still got the three ticket stubs from those three gigs at Newcastle City Hall.

Sadly, the venue was pulled down some years ago to make way for a fancy new cinema complex and a trendy wine bar. Still memories and the music and my punk records live on.

16 February, 2009

THE SEX PISTOLS - God Save The Queen

THE SEX PISTOLS - 'God Save The Queen' / 'I Did You No Wrong' (Virgin VS 181) May 1977

Second triumphant single by The Sex Pistols to co-incide with Lizzies Silver Jubilee. Not only can I remember the thrill of hearing this as a 12 year old I can also remember the Street Party we had on our Council Estate to celebrate HRH's 25 years on the throne.

THE SEX PISTOLS - God Save The Queen

timeline:In contrast to the celebrations punk band the Sex Pistols sailed down the Thames on Jubilee Day (7th June 1977) playing their controversial version of "God save the Queen".
Radio stations were banned from playing the single but it still managed to reach number two in the charts.
The group were arrested as they left the boat but had achieved their aim of distracting people from the main celebrations.

14 February, 2009


JOURNEY TO A HIGHER KEY - 'The Best of Sitar Psychedelia: Volume 1 (Nava Rasa Records) 1998

Mention the word 'sitar' to your local knuckle draggin' garage inbreed and you'll probably get laughed at then stabbed by one of his/her cuban heels.
I too, was one of those garage inbreeds in an earlier embodiment but I strangely always had a relaxed mynd to seek out psychedelia and in particular music containing a sitar.

This rare and obscure comp LP came out in the late 90s with a limited pressing of 350 copies. Try finding one now! They're rarely offered for sale.

The track I've chosen to represent the album is 'Barshat' by a Swedish mushroom munchin' sage called Handgjort. It's from his impossible to find 1970 LP on Silence Records.

So get out your bong and light up, for you're about to be taken to a higher key.


12 February, 2009


THE MUSIC EXPLOSION - 'Sunshine Games' / 'Can't Stop Now' (Laurie LR 3400) Aug 1967

'Sunshine Games' was a sizable hit for The Music Explosion and I can see why because it's a catchy bubblegum tune. The song was compiled in the 80s on Mindrocker Volume 5.

The flip 'Can't Stop Now' credited to hitmakers Kasenetz-Katz & Chiprut has some fuzz, brass and organ (farfisa?) and remains uncomped. Hmmn, did The Music Explosion actually play on this record or was it studio musicians??

They were from Mansfield, Ohio by the way and when singer Jamie Lyons went out on his own ,the band eventually morphed into The Crazy Elephant.

picture taken from http://www.buckeyebeat.com/


11 February, 2009


THE BEAU BRUMMELS - 'Laugh Laugh' / 'Still In Love With You Baby' (Autumn 8) Dec 1964

Sometimes common 45s or popular bands are overlooked simply because they sold lots of records or were on a major label. I've never been able to understand this blinkered snobbery?
When I first got my 60s infatuation way back in the early 80s, it didn't take me too long to discover The Beau Brummels from San Francisco and they promptly became one of my favourite bands of all time.

They had a wealth of memorable rhythm and beat songs heavily influenced by the new English sound sweeping the world. Ron Elliott's 'Laugh Laugh' is a perfect pop song laced with harmonica and tambourine. Mixed with the wavery vocal style of Sal Valentino it would have been an injustice if this record wasn't the big hit it became.

The flip 'Still In Love With You Baby' another Ron Elliott original, is also rather good It could have easily been a hit in it's own right.

related info: John Candy as Uncle Buck played his 'Laugh Laugh' 45 and did the boogaloo with a neighbour in one of the films scenes. Now if that ain't a recommendation for the godlike Beau Brummels, what is?


09 February, 2009


An early line-up of The Beatles before Brian Epstein cleaned them up and re-branded them as lovable Merseybeat mop tops in matching suits. Pictured from left to right: Pete Best, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison.

08 February, 2009

THE SLEEPLESS KNIGHTS - You're Driving Me Crazy

THE SLEEPLESS KNIGHTS - 'You're Driving Me Crazy' / 'Don't Hide Your Love For Me' (Jerroc JR-1000) 1967

According to 'Fuzz, Acid & Flowers' The Sleepless Knights hailed from Philadelphia, PA. So far they have not had that much attention from garage collectors, although 'You're Driving Me Crazy' did crop up on Garage Zone Volume 2 some years back.

I can see why because it's a bit of a mover with hammond organ and punchy bass runs. In other words if you had any inclination to do your best 'Dad dance' you could probably cut some shapes on the dance floor with this song. As far as I know the record has become sought after by collectors of Northern Soul and a few soul dealers are listing this one.

The flip 'Don't Hide Your Love For Me' is more of the same action but this time with some real primitive drumming

07 February, 2009

PRESTON - This World Is Closing In On Me

PRESTON - 'This World Is Closing In On Me' / 'Water Falls' (Sound Patterns 110) 1966

Incredible two sides of demented psychedelia from Preston Carnes possibly backed by Lenny and the Thundertones. The latter had several classy Ventures styled raunch/surf instrumentals in the very early pre Beatles era. Indeed Lenny Drake from the band wrote 'This World Is Closing In On Me'.

The Sound Patterns version of 'This World Is Closing In On Me' is the more punkadelic fuzz take. Sounds like a Sean Bonniwell sound carnival. The song was re-recorded for a further release on United Artists under the name Chris Carpenter but most of the thrilling fuzztone was gone?

The flip 'Water Falls' is a wacked out acid trip with rattlesnake tambourine, water effects, echoey vocals and other strange noises. Seems that Preston got his fair share of LSD-25 at this session.

I'd like to get the full story of this psych masterpiece one day.

Label scan of the Chris Carpenter release on United Artists from Jim Wynand.

information from Lenny Drake:
Hi, I am Lenny Drake of Lenny and the Thundertones, Bill Carnes sang the song, middle name is PRESTON. The string section of 4 from The Det. Symphony played my arrangement. Danny Dallas had the strings play it again in 3 different octives made it sound like a Symphony. DANNY DALLAS Recording Engineer was a Genius! There were No Drugs or Pot on the session. Sidra Records remixed the 8 track tape change the Artist name to Chris Carpenter and sold it to UA .