Hullo. A couple of quick thank you’s before we get on with the business that is this weeks Nobody’s Listening.
Firstly, i’d like to thank Poolie Exile, Author, sharer of excellent facebook videos and all round good egg Paul Brazill for his kind share t’other week. Do yourself a favour and check his site and buy his books here..Paul Brazill.
Next, i’d like to pass on my gratitude to Rachel Warner for her continued support in this endeavour. It’s nice to know that somebody IS listening and reading, despite the self depreciating title of this playlist, blog, bloglist playblog, whatever, I do love it when people take the time out to enjoy/endure it..so, yeah, cheers!
Right, grovelling done. What have we got in store this week?
Let’s get ready to crumble..
Track 1. Sweep Around Your Own Back Door by Lulu.
It’s Lulu! That’s right, flame haired, god awful transatlantic accented, big gobbed Glaswegian and Take That bothering pop midget, Lulu! I do her a disservice there of course, she always had a cracking pair of lungs. Just take the time to listen to that fizzing performance of The Isley’s ‘Shout!’, go on, take the time to REALLY listen to it, it’s an absolutely stunning feat. This, from her 1970 album ‘New Routes’, was recorded at the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studio and has some cracking guitar work from one Duane Allman. A shotgun of a start to this weeks proceedings.
Track 2. Don’t let Me Down by Dillard & Clark.
We stay in the ’69-70 period for our second choice this week. A cover of The Wackers’ b-side to ‘Get Back’, it’s the closer to D & C’s second album ‘Through The Morning, Through The Night’ and features some gorgeous pedal steel from the Flying Burrito Brothers’ Sneaky Pete Kleinow. It always amazes me how quickly bands of the time could reinterpret The Beatles work, sometimes days after release. There’s covers out there by Jimi Hendrix and Ramsey Lewis who put their own slant on these timeless songs mere hours after the original versions hit the shelves.
Track 3. R2 Where R U? by Flying Lotus.
Let’s head off into galaxies far, far away for our next couple of selections. First up, something brand new from FLYLO. This is a track taken from Rick Rubin’s new project, ‘Star Wars Headspace’. A bug-infested instrumental which takes audio samples of the chrome domed droid, intersperses them with threepios expression from where the title derives it’s name, and crunches them up into beats.
Track 4. Passport To The Future by Jean Jacques Perrey.
Next up, and completing our intergalactic Segway we have electronic music pioneer Jean Jacques Perrey with an instrumental from 1970. The debt to Joe Meek’s superb ‘Telstar’ is obvious on this track which remembers those early days of satellite communication with fondness. It’s easy to forget this is all analogue shit!
Track 5. Gut Feeling by Devo.
I had this as an earworm for days a few weeks back which wasn’t an unpleasant experience whatsoever. I tell you what was unpleasant, the time I had Mariah Carey’s (admittedly great) festive blockbuster ‘ All I Want For Christmas..’ lodged in my noggin for about a week. In August. *shudder*. Anyways, you could do a lot worse than to spend a week or so with this magnificent piece of post punk stuck in your napper.
Track 6. Swetheart by Maria Muldaur,
‘Midnight At The Oasis’ songstress up next with an album cut from her second LP ‘Waitress In A Donut Shop’. A jazzy little number which swings along with a breezy confidence. The clarinet break in the middle is a swoozy joy, as is Muldaur’s always silky tone.
Track 7. Feeling by Bibio.
Back to the present day next with a brand new funky soulful offering from Stephen Wilkinson’s forthcoming eighth album, due out on Warp imminently.
Track 8. Suffering You, Suffering Me by Slow Club.
Sheffield’s Slow Club were a charming lo-fi two piece when they first appeared almost ten years ago. Since then they have evolved into a Motown influenced big number outfit. Rebecca has always had the voice for it and she’s never sounded better than on this massive slice of soul infused goodness. Check out those strings and the way they lift you up and carry you along with their swooning majesty. Big voice, big song, big ambition.
Track 9. La Chanson de Jacky by Jacques Brel.
Like many, I came to Brel’s work through the interpretations Scott Walker gave in the late sixties. The definition of the theatrical singer, his performances were a master class in storytelling. Covered by everyone you can think of, from Sinatra to Bowie, to hear these songs in their original tongue adds a certain continental mystique.
Track 10. Yeh Mera Dil Yaar Ka Diwana by Asha Bhosle.
A brimful of Asha on the 45 next with the most recorded artist in history. This 1978 release has squelchy disco synths, marvellous brass stabs and Ms Bhosle on top form.
Track 11. River Song by Dennis Wilson.
I had a major beach boys obsession in the early nineties, devouring every release including solo projects and abandoned follies. When I heard Drummer Dennis had released a highly regarded solo effort in the late seventies, I set about trying to procure it. Now these were pre internet days and it wasn’t as easy as just logging onto the first available streaming site, some digging was involved. Eventually a good friend (Cheers Lee!) managed to get his hands on a cassette copy of ‘Pacific Ocean Blue’ and I was smitten. Always in the shadow of his brothers Brian and Carl, the only Beach Boy who could actually surf showed he had the same songwriting chops as his siblings. He had shown his ability on BB album tracks such as the stunning ‘Forever’ and Manson-involved ‘Never Learn Not To Love’, but this is glorious, from the rolling Piano motif, to the choir backing to Denny’s grizzled vocal. A true Californian pastoral.
Track 12. With My Face On The Floor by Emitt Rhodes.
Moving on from a one man Beach Boys to the man dubbed as a ‘One Man Beatles’. I first heard this week’s cover star at a friends garden party around 20 years ago and I’ve been a fan ever since. So much so in fact that my son was very nearly named Emitt. That was until I discovered that there’s a character in the soppy Vampire ‘Twiight’ series with the same name..This is McCartney through and through, check that Bass. Rhodes has made a comeback after 40 years in the wilderness and has just released a new album which I’m yet to hear. I’m sure he’ll be making further appearances in NL once I get the chance to listen.
Track 13. Rocket USA by Suicide.
Without Suicide,there would be no Spacemen 3. For this, I am eternally grateful.
Track 14. Is It Love You’re After by Rose Royce.
I watched ‘The Martian’ the other night. All the way through, Matt Damon’s character bemoans the fact that the only music he has to listen to whilst abandoned on the red planet is Disco. And just what’s wrong with disco? In the late seventies there was a backlash movement named ‘Disco Sucks’. A scheme dreamt up by a white American DJ who was obviously threatened by the black and gay communities from which the genre was born and thrived in. I’m surprised that in 2016 people still hold these prejudiced beliefs. Disco was and is one of the most inventive periods of late twentieth century popular music. This is a prime example. I danced around to it on my own just a few nights ago, and I tell you what, I moved like a demon.
Track 15. Ann Wants To Dance by Papooz.
We’ve got a Latin triptych up next, the first of which is some modern day bossa from France. The duo Papooz are new to me and there’s precious little info on the net that isn’t in French. I note they have a debut LP out soon, if it’s filled with similar fayre as this I’ll be extremely pleased.
Track 16. Come On Eileen by Nouvelle Vague.
Staying on the other side of the channel, next up we have a Gallic reinterpretation of Dexy’s transatlantic smash from 1982. Performed in their usual breezy style, this is from their ‘Late Night Tales’ compilation. It certainly fits that side of midnight when the second bottle is almost gone and you’re contemplating a third.
Track 17. Tuyo by Rodrigo Amarante.
Anyone who has seen the excellent Netflix series ‘Narcos’ will recognise this as the theme tune. I initially thought it was a traditional Spanish folk song, as early in the show Pablo Escobar cites it as one of his favourite songs. It was, however, written especially for the drama and Amarante nails the romantic yet dangerous feel of the programme.
Track 18. Little Black Buzzer by Yorkston/Thorne/Khan.
I’m not sure if I’ve featured Ivor Cutler in any form on NL thus far. If I haven’t, that’s very surprising. Well here’s one of his songs covered by James Yorkston, Jon Thorne and Yusuf Khan with the female vocal coming from Irish singer Lisa O’Neill. It’s a wonderful blend of Celtic and Indian folk which I’m sure the late, great curmudgeon would whole heartedly approve of.
Track 19. Fearless by Pink Floyd.
Surely this needs no introduction or a pithy paragraph to explain who it is and why its here. If you are unfamiliar with it then just sit back and let it wash over you, that’s the best way to appreciate Floyd. It’s done me no harm in all the years I’ve been listening to their music.
Track 20. Tears Fell by Baby Washington.
We close with our traditional ‘Soul Slowie’, this week it comes from a vocalist Dusty Springfield cited as her favourite all time singer. An early single from 1960, it still has the power to knock you off your feet some 56 years later.
And that’s it for another week. See you next week with more of the same and maybe something different.
Until then, sleep on the left side, keep the sword arm free.