Hullo. I’m aware that not everyone has access to Spotify, the platform on which these playlists exist so I’ve decided to add youtube/soundcloud links after each track to reach a wider audience. This also means you can cherry pick exactly what you want to listen to if the thought of another twenty minutes of free jazz fills you with dread.
Of course, if you take these compilations as a whole, you’re going to experience them as intended. But my friends, that decision is entirely yours.
This weeks PPOTW is a beauty. At the time I’m writing this intro he hasn’t submitted it yet, the slackarse, but that’s how confident I am in my very good friend, bandmate and twenty third in line to the throne of American Samoa.
Ok, we’re going to a go-go..
Track 1. Burn The Witch by Radiohead.
Had to start with this. When it first dropped with that Trumpton/Wicker Man video last week, it was difficult to disassociate the two but having given it the old road test in the car, it’s opened itself up. Thom’s voice and those pizzicato Bernard Herrmann-type strings are magnificent. I never fail to get goosebumps by the end. Great to have them back, I’m giving the LP a spin later tonight. ‘cited.
Track 2. Look Away by The Spencer Davis Group.
The lead track from their second album, ‘The Second Album’. Here we find young Stevie Winwood in fine voice, and fine keyboards and fine lead guitar. He was only 17 at the time, talented swine! I’ve gone for the far superior mono version on the playlist, however the vid below is in poorly recorded stereo. Just get Spotify alright?
Track 3. Fickle Sun (iii) I’m Set Free by Brian Eno.
When I first heard this brand new track unannounced on the radio last week, I instantly recognised it as a cover of The Velvet Underground, but couldn’t place the voice. It was familiar but different at the same time. When Marc Riley cleared up the mystery afterwards it was obviously Eno. That same voice of ‘Here Come The Warm Jets’, an album which i have loved for years, hadn’t changed much but there seemed to be an added warmth. Judge for yourself.
Track 4. The Children Scream by Kingsley Chapman And The Murder.
This made me sit up and listen when i first heard it a week or so ago. I’d not been familiar with The Chapman Family, Kingsley’s previous band, but apparently they were really well thought of in certain circles. I’m quite sure my old band were earmarked to support them at a gig in Leeds a few years back, but that’s as deep as my knowledge goes. This is lovely though, dark baroque pop at it’s best. It’s a brand new track released just last month, a quick scan over their other output reveals it’s no fluke, they’re choc full of haunting, beautiful tunes like this. Ones to watch.
Track 5. Green, Green Rocky Road by Oscar Isaac.
I recently got around to watching the Coen brothers ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’, as is the case with most of their output, it was brilliant. The titular character, played by Oscar Isaac isn’t exactly likeable but i found myself rooting for him, mostly due to the fantastic talent he has. This was penned by the man who the film is loosely based on, Dave Van Ronk, but it’s Isaac’s voice and guitar you can hear. Oscar is also new Star Wars hero Poe Dameron. Talent and a toy made in his image, Lucky man.
Track 6. I Don’t Care by Final Solution.
Taken from a lost soundtrack recorded in 1974 by an obscure Chicago band for a Blaxploitation film that was never made. The Final Solution (unfortunate name but apparently they were unaware of the Nazi connotations) composed the soundtrack for said film ‘Brotherman’ and after the movie failed to get the funding, it was shelved for thirty years, the band breaking up soon after it was recorded. Horn and string parts were never laid down but that’s our gain, we’re left with pure funk, vocals high in the mix and stupendous guitar work.
Track 7. Dieuleul-Dieuleul by Aby Ngana Diop.
Aby Ngana Diop was the most famous taasukat in Dakar, Senegal in the 1980s and 1990s. Taasu is a Wolof-language poetic style, usually performed by women griots over frenetic drum patterns, with an aggressive verbal flow thought to presage rap. Her only album Liital was groundbreaking in the history of Senegalese music because it was the first commercial recording to feature a traditional female taasukat performing to the modern accompaniment of mbalax, Senegal’s quintessential pop genre.
Track 8. In Between by Jib Kidder.
Noo-Yoiker Sean Schuster-Craig released his self produced debut last year and this is from it. Lovely warbly acid pop with echoes of Ariel Pink and Animal Collective, the LP is a bit much to take in one sitting. Sampled in isolation however, tracks like this could make your day.
Track 9. Moral Itch by Bad Breeding.
I’m aware the beginning of this weeks list has been a quite low key affair. Ready for something noisy? Stevenage’s Bad Breeding are a political noise band who released their debut album for free last month. It’s a screamy, clanking joy with obvious debts to Crass. This is a taster, and, as it’s not available as a stand alone track, below is that LP in full. Enjoy.
Track 10. Cyborg Manifesto by Pinkunoizu.
One of the best things about driving long distances is i can leave my ipod on shuffle and it throws up tracks i’d forgotten about. As i stopped updating it about five years ago now, there’s a lot of stuff on there from about 2005-2012, and this is one of those bits of stuff. Dreamy folk pop that sounds like it was recorded underwater.
Track 11. Sister Sue by Jobriath.
Little known but fanatically followed, Jobriath released two albums in the seventies full of overdramatic, overblown glam pop. He was ridiculously talented, a born entertainer, possessed razor sharp cheek bones and was the first openly gay rock star to be signed to a major label. Tragically, he was also one of the first musicians to succumb to AIDS, passing away in 1983 aged just 36. I’ve drawn a blank when it comes to sourcing this track from his second LP as a video, so instead here’s possibly my favourite song he recorded.
Track 12. Bronze Dance by Donald Byrd.
Taken from his 1959 Blue Note release, ‘Byrd In The Hand’, this is a be-bop piece composed by the pianist in his quartet, Walter Davis Jr. Byrd’s trumpet gives way to Charlie Rouse’s Tenor sax who plays it hot n sweet before Davis Jr takes over his piece with some impeccably tickled ivories, Byrd wrapping things up nicely.
Track 13. Lost At Sea by Cashier No.9.
As the yootoob comment says, this band should have been huge. I can’t help but think they were held back by that terrible name. Produced by fellow Belfaster David Holmes, their debut album is bursting with instantly likable fayre such as this. They’ve recently resurfaced with a new name ‘EXMAGICIAN’, not a giant leap forward in band-name greatness, but their knack with a baggy melody is thankfully still present and correct.
Track 14. I keep Asking You Questions by Black Ivory.
Taken from the excellent compilation ‘The Best Of Perception & Today Records’, this 1972 cut was sampled by Raekwon on his 1995 track ‘Criminology’. Great falsetto R&B with some stellar, punchy brass.
Track 15. Home Again by Carole King.
Cover star time, doesn’t she look great on that photo up the top there? That smile! You could drop the needle anywhere on ‘Tapestry’ and instantly fall in love with it, such is the masterful songcraft and warmth nestled in every groove. I’ve gone for this as it’s one that doesn’t get as much airplay as the other tracks but just listen to Carole’s voice as she sings ‘Chills My Soul Right To The Marrow’ there’s a little break at the end that just gets me. A true legend.
Track 16. Friction by Television.
Now I’m aware that these playlists can get a little seventies heavy at times, but I truly believe it was the greatest decade for music. Just compare and contrast the last three choices, Carole and her beautiful Laurel Canyon songwriting, Black Ivory and their funky Harlem R&B and this from one of the stone cold classic albums of the ‘decade that taste forgot’. All released in a time span of seven years, if you took three artists from 2009-2016 you’d be hard pushed to find ground being broke. There’s not much i can say about Television that hasn’t been said, or you don’t already know. Just listen.
Track 17. Fall Of Another Year by CAN.
Although CAN made their mark with Damo Suzuki in the seventies, their original vocalist Malcolm Mooney set the tone with their psychedelic jams on the first LP. This is featured on their 1976 compilation ‘Unlimited Edition’ and is an unreleased gem. In lieu of it not being available as a video, below is Mooney and his band recorded live earlier this year.
Track 18. The Oscillator’s Hum by Frog Eyes.
****PAULO’S PICK OF THE WEEK****
I remarked up the top there that Mr D’Cruz had been dragging his heels with his selection this week. Well it was worth the wait as he has indeed come up with the beauty I predicted. This is a manic, addictive track from their 2004 LP ‘The Folded Palm’ and it’s absolutely bonkers.
Track 19. Night And Day by Django Reinhardt.
When Django teamed up with Stéphane Grappelli and formed ‘Quintette du Hot Club de France’ we were blessed with one of the finest pairings in musical history. Just listen to how they compliment each other on this, Cole Porter’s swooning, romantic song from The Gay Divorcee. It’s a masterclass of understanding and intertwining brilliance.
Track 20. P.S I Love You by Lee Andrews & The Hearts.
And so to our Soul slowie closer. This week we’re taking a trip to 1961 with this Philly R&B quintet taking on Johnny Mercer’s song from 1934. Andrews passed away in March, another golden voice taken from us in this cruelest of years.
And that’s another twenty pieces of gold for you to spend as you will. Or stash away for a rainy day. Hope you’ve enjoyed it and made use of the vid links i’ve now added, as it was a right ballache finding them. More of the same next week.
Until then, kill your television.