Hullo. It’s good of you to have me back in your homes and ears with another twenty tunes to cast your runes to. I’ve had a lovely break, thanks for asking, filled with music, sunshine and plenty of sitting about nursing a torn intercostal muscle.
I won’t bore you with stories of sporting injuries, let’s get straight on with the business of this weeks selection, which as always includes my very good friend, bandmate and milliner to Celine Dion, Paul D’Cruz and his Pick Of The Week.
We’re going to have a good time, we’re going to have a party..
Track 1. Nuclear War by Sun Ra And His Arkestra.
Kicking off with our cover star this week and it’s a bit sweary, so if you like to get the playlist into you whilst the bairns are kicking about, may I suggest you exercise caution. I could wax lyrical about Sun Ra, his life, work and influence at great length, but an artist who recorded over 100 albums and 1000 songs can’t be done justice in a short paragraph. I’ll just say this, the title track from his 1982 album is as relevant today as it was over thirty years ago.
Track 2. The Valleys by Electrelane.
Taken from their second LP, 2004’s ‘The Power Out’, this features the combined voices of Chicago A Capella and lifts a large part of Siegfried Sassoon’s 1917 poem ‘A Letter Home’, all backed by farfisa, drums and guitar. A stylistic melting pot that works beautifully.
Track 3. I Won’t Hurt You by The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band.
Gentle psychedelia is the order of the day here. This is the second track from their second LP, 1967’s confusingly titled ‘Part One’. Their influence can be felt through The Velvet Underground to Spacemen 3.
Track 4. Something Here In My Heart by The Paper Dolls.
Released just a few months after our previous track, this couldn’t be anymore different. A light piece of bubblegum pop from a trio of girls from Nottinghamshire, it made No.11 in the U.K. charts and was their biggest hit. The Doll’s couldn’t build on it’s success and wound down in 1970. Things could have been different but for a studio mix up. They were earmarked to record ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’ but failed to turn up for the session. As it is, the song was consequently handed to The Foundations who went on to shift over a million copies in the U.S. alone.
Track 5. The Rhythm Changes by Kamasi Washington.
This next track, released just last year has a lovely Stevie Wonder ‘Mistra Know It All’ vibe to it. Taken from the American Saxophonist and band leaders aptly titled three hour triple LP ‘The Epic’, it has some truly wonderful playing on it and a gorgeous, melty vocal courtesy of Patrice Quinn.
Track 6. Alabama Railroad Town by Doug Firebaugh.
Clocking in at just under a minute and a half, this pedal steel heavy piece of mid seventies country is a slight, but beautiful tale of small town life ending abruptly with the eerie line ‘Seven men more, left to die, left to be burned in their eyes, you can still hear them screaming.’ No vid available I’m afraid.
Track 7. Fugue In D Minor by Egg.
Johann Sebastian Bach gets the prog work-over by Dave Stewart and his early seventies outfit.
Track 8. Steal Away by Robbie Dupree.
I have a real soft spot for seventies soft rock such as this. Your Andrew Golds, Your Stephen Bishops, your Michael McDonald’s, that sort of thing. In fact this could very well be a re write of McDonald’s and the Doobies magnificent ‘What A Fool Believes’, such is the similarity. Tunes like this always take me back to my childhood where MOR radio was never far from my impressionable ears. There’s no nostalgia kick or guilty pleasures to be had here. I genuinely love these soft pieces of songcraft from a more innocent time.
Track 9. Baby Your Light Is Out by Young-Holt Unlimited.
Eldee Young and Isaac ‘Red’ Holt were the other two thirds of The Ramsey Lewis Trio before they struck out on their own in 1968. They scored a big hit with ‘Soulful Strut’ which was the instrumental backing from Barbara Acklin’s ‘Am I the Same Girl.’ This track comes from that parent LP.
Track 10. Man On The Moon by Moses Sumney.
L.A. based singer songwriter Moses Sumney has been releasing tracks like this for a few years now. Beautiful, folk tinged soul cuts that always seem a few seconds from falling apart. This is from his 2014 E.P. ‘Mid-City Island’.
Track 11. Jack The Ripper by Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds.
****PAULO’S PICK OF THE WEEK****
Nick Cave has always been one of those artists that I hear from time to time and think, ‘You know, I should listen to more of this…’ then never get round to it. Where do you start with such an expansive back catalogue? From The Birthday Party through to The Bad Seeds, Grinderman and his film scores, there’s just so much to pick from. Thankfully PPOTW has come up with the goods and a friendly finger in the right direction with this cut from 1992’s ‘Henry’s Dream’. I promise I’ll start from there and work my way backwards, forwards and sideways.
Track 12. Between Us by The Rutles.
This first came to my attention when it was featured on an early Teenage Fanclub B-side. Not knowing its origins, I assumed it was either a fannies original or a long lost Beatles track, which I suppose was the original intention of Idle, Innes and co. Parody or not, it’s a lovely little song in its own right.
Track 13. Under Your Spell by The Range Of Light Wilderness.
Taken from the bands self titled debut LP from two years ago, our next choice is a shuffly, folky gem. Originating from Big Sur California, TROLW have captured the sunshine and relaxed atmosphere of their surroundings on this airy, summery track.
Track 14. Saturday Night Inside Out by The Avalanches.
I promised to feature more Antipodean music a few weeks back and after Paulo’s Nick Cave track, here’s our second visit down under this week. I must admit that I wasn’t entirely enamored with The Avalanches return single, ‘Frankie Sinatra’ when I first heard it a few weeks back. To re-emerge after sixteen years with a ploddy ragtime pastiche that evoked horrible memories of mid nineties comedy dance record ‘The Doop’ seemed a strange choice for one of the most anticipated come backs in years. Thankfully, their return LP ‘Wildflower’ is a joy. This is the closing track and has all the Avalanches tropes we fell in love with in that balmy summer of 2001.
Track 15. Song Of Innocence by David Axelrod.
Featuring legendary session musicians including keyboardist and conductor Don Randi, guitarist Al Casey, bassist Carol Kaye, and drummer Earl Palmer, this is the title track from Axelrod’s 1968 experimental baroque pop L.P. It’s a stunning piece with psychedelic breakouts and innovative jazz fusion techniques which still sound ahead of its time almost fifty years later.
Track 16. Nervous Conclusion by Cherry Fog.
This comes from a compilation from last year ‘Original Funk Masters’, and that’s pretty much all the info I can gather. I’ve absolutely no idea when or where it was recorded, or indeed who Cherry Fog are/were. What I do know is that it’s a break heavy organ workout that is sure to get those things at the end of your legs moving.
Track 17. In And Out Of The Shadows by Dion.
This Gerry Goffin/Phil Spector penned song featured on Dion’s Spector produced 1974 LP ‘Born To Be With You’ a record that was effectively disowned by the former …and the Belmonts man on release. He described it as ‘Funeral Music’ which, given that it bears a striking resemblance to the Spector produced Leonard Cohen track, ‘True Love Leaves No Traces’, probably isn’t wide of the mark as descriptions go. Having said that, Mr DiMucci is in fine voice here, his delivery fighting the bombast of mad old Phils trademark wall of sound with spectacular results.
Track 18. Strawberry Rain by Ellison.
Our next track comes from the excellent compilation from a few years back, ‘Forge Your Own Chains: Heavy Psychedelic Ballads And Dirges 1968-1974’. A collection of heavy psych from all five continents, it has some hidden gems not least being Ofege’s masterful ‘It’s Not Easy’ and this, from early seventies Canadian psych-rockers Ellison.
Track 19. Goin’ Home by McCoy Tyner.
Tyner was the pianist in John Coltranes quartet from 60-65 appearing on what is probably the saxophonists most famous works including ‘My Favourite Things’ and ‘A Love Supreme’ He left the quartet when Coltranes music became more free and atonal, increased use of percussion threatening to drown his delicate touch out. From here he went on to become a band leader in his own right, releasing critically acclaimed albums including 1970’s ‘Asante’ from which this track is lifted.
Track 20. Dearest Darling by Doris Troy.
Doris was an in demand singer in the sixties, she appeared on records by The Stones, Nick Drake, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin among countless others. In 1969 The Beatles signed her to their Apple label, as an artist, writer & producer, releasing her debut solo LP in 1970. Those sessions featured Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills, Leon Russell & Ringo Starr and bore this, our soul slowie closer for this week.
Okaaaay then. That’s yer lot this time around. It’s good to be back sharing these sounds with you, I hope you’ve missed your weekly dollop of goodness. Fret not, I’ve no plans to take any holidays in the near future and there will be another twenty tracks at the same time, same place, next week.
Don’t forget you can contribute sounds and enjoy a daily dose of music not featured on the playlist at our facebook group here…Nobody’s Listening Facebook Group. Now, I’m off to apply an ice pack and attempt breathing without wincing in pain. See you in seven of your Earth days.
Until then, don’t throw your love away no no no no.