Hullo and welcome to the first blog accompaniment to the not at all fancied ‘Nobody’s Listening’ weekly playlist.
The general idea is to give some background as to why particular tracks have been chosen for inclusion on any given week. It’s by no means exhaustive, just a little insight into the reasons they appear. So here we go…
Nobody’s Listening. No.9. 14.12.15.
Track 1. Gimme Some by Nina Simone.
I’m kicking off this weeks selection with the Doctor herself. A joyful noise first heard on her 1965 LP ‘I put a spell on you’. I’ve gone for the remix featured on Verve Remixed vol.4 from a few years back as it has a lovely bass running through it that kicks proceedings off nicely.
Track 2. Back To The Flood by Blank Realm.
This Brisbane quartet have been doing the rounds for over a decade now and this, from last years ‘Grassed In’, is probably my favourite thing of theirs. Cracking guitar underpins a reverby psych vocal that gets under your nails like coal dust.
Track 3. Lady Luck by Richard Swift.
A top pop pick that has echoes of Sly and the Family Stone. Swift’s falsetto belies the mountain of a man he is in the flesh. Another driving bass carries this soulful cut to it’s beautiful conclusion.
Track 4. Delusion Habit Of Spring by Matsuki Ayumu.
Taken from his ambitious double album from a couple of years back,this slice of Japanese fuzz pop comes from a feller described in certain quarters as ‘A Japanese Gruff Rhys’..easy to label but a bit more difficult to define. Released through Cornershop’s Ample Play label.
Track 5. Burnin’ Coal by Les Mccann.
Jazz/soul piano thumper very much in the Ramsey Lewis mould. I first heard this on Craig Charles’ Funk and Soul show a few years back, its been a fave rave ever since.
Track 6. Henkan by Bo Ningen.
Acid Punk from Japan. I missed their show in Leeds recently and I’ll be kicking myself until I get the opportunity to make/miss their next tour. Storming stuff.
Track 7. Hey Yo Mr White by Junior Oliver.
Brand new to me this one, it caught my lugs by surprise whilst I was chopping the Sunday veg last week. I’ve still got to get round to listening to the full album but if it’s as good as this piece of relaxed jazz loveliness, I’m in for a massive treat.
Track 8. Jumble Sale by Jake Thackray.
The ‘North Country Noel Coward’ with one of his best from his debut. Jake actually taught at the School around the corner from where I live in Leeds. I often wonder if his brogues pounded the same part of the path when I’m walking the hound..
Track 9. China Steps by Women.
I was lucky enough to see Women live shortly before they imploded. Man, they were good. Malevolent and a bit challenging,but there was always a melodic core bubbling under the surface. This particular track has a Silver Apples-esque bass line running through it and you’re never quite sure if it’s going to take off or remain doggedly anchored.
Track 10. Push th’ Little Daisies by Ween.
This song had massive rotation on Mtv back in the early 90’s. It always stood out as a ray of sunshine in the over earnest arse end of grunge soaked times. It still puts a massive beam on my coupon every time I hear it. I’m smiling now just writing about it!
Track 11. Moving The River by Prefab Sprout.
Paddy Mcaloon has had a hard time of late, largely ignored and suffering from detached retinas and tinnitus. He really was out in his own field in the eighties. Crafting sumptuous pop masterpieces that still stand up as classics today, and this from the undoubted brilliance of ‘Steve McQueen’ is one of his best. Hope you’re Turkey hungry and chicken free, Paddy.
Track 12. Baby Be Good by The Ray-ons.
No real info on this rare soul 45 but it’s a beauty. All girl soul stomper with a male spoken word interlude that fades abruptly and shouldn’t really work but does!
Track 13. Less of Me by The Everly Brothers.
Taken from ‘Roots’ their 1968 foray into country rock, this wouldn’t be out of place on a Gram Parsons record. Don and Phil’s trademark harmonies are there in full effect with a lyric that preaches selflessness. Lovely.
Track 14. Why Do You Do This To Yourself by Evan Dando.
Lemonheads man Dando’s first solo Lp from 10 or so years ago is a forgotten gem, filled with his languid voice and quietly strummed guitar and this track taken from it features both in spades.
Track 15. Tomorrow Morning by The Blue Nile.
It was hard work being a Blue Nile fan in the eighties, two albums with a five year gap and then another 7 year wait until their third LP turned up in 1996. This track alone was worth the wait, unexpected use of acoustic guitars and Paul Buchanan’s unmistakeable voice combine to create another stunning moment from the not exactly prolific trio.
Track 16. You On My Mind by Swing Out Sister.
Guilty Pleasure? Nah, don’t believe in that shite. This is great because it’s great. It doesn’t suffer from the production of it’s time, has some fantastic brass, and is as catchy as a catchers mitt.
Track 17. Crossroads Theme by The Tony Hatch Orchestra.
Evoking memories of school nights at 6:30, a belly full of crispy pancakes and supermousse, and Meg Mortimer ruling the titular Midlands Motel with an iron fist.
Track 18. The Baron by Eric Dolphy.
Free Jazz. Wait! Don’t run away! This is quite accessible. Dolphy’s bass clarinet is a joy to behold on this tribute to his ex boss, the great Charles Mingus.
Track 19. Rise & Shine by The Cardigans.
Easily forgotten in the wake of their big hit, the annoying ‘Favourite Game’, this is their shining hour. That guitar figure, Nina’s sweet vocal and listen to those drum fills! Wonderful.
Track 20. The Sweeter He Is by The Soul Children.
We end this weeks picks with the traditional soul slowie I like to wrap these compos with, a Stax boy/girl band masterminded by Isaac Hayes & David Porter.
Thanks for not listening and not reading, see you next week for more smash hits!
P.S. Don’t forget, Nobody’s Listening. Numbers 1-8 & The Halloween and Christmas specials are all still available under my Spotify account.