Hullo. This weeks playlist was initially planned as an epic. I came up with the idea to compile twenty tracks all over ten minutes in length but in reality this would have proved to be an endurance test even I would have found hard to stomach. Anyway, I just love three minute pop songs.
Some fragments from this idea remain however. You’ll notice tracks 1, 5, 10, 15 and 20 are all over ten minutes long, but with some pop gems in between which make the whole affair far more palatable. Having said that, this weeks selections run to almost 2 hours, making it the longest Nobody’s Listening EVER!..ever..ever…ever..
Of course, Paulo’s Pick Of The Week joins in the fun with his own long song, in fact my very good friend, bandmate and habitual glue sniffer was the genesis of my abandoned folly with his selection for this week.
Ok, let’s shake some action…
Track 1. Circular C by Mountains.
****PAULO’S PICK OF THE WEEK****
We kick straight off with PPOTW. This is the track that prompted me to consider a marathon playlist, but as mentioned above, it proved to be a mammoth task. This comes from the Brooklyn duos 2013 LP ‘Centralia’ and is a gorgeous, ten minute fusion of acoustic noodling and electronica which can move you to a different place. Not ideal when you’re on a busy M40 and you really should be paying attention to the road instead of drifting off to another plain..
Track 2. Pink Frost by The Chills.
We make what I believe is our first stop in New Zealand next with cult eighties band The Chills and a cheery gothic romance about someone accidentally killing their lover in their sleep. The opening guitar figure was borrowed almost wholesale for Cate Le Bon’s 2013 single ‘I Can’t Help You’.
Track 3. Never Gonna Leave You by Evans Pyramid.
Coming across like Chic on a budget, this 1978 slice of emotional soul has no less clout. Andre Evans worked with some big names before striking out on his own to produce long lost smooth disco tunes like this. Names such as the genius that was Isaac Hayes, more of him later…
Track 4. Christo Redemptor by Charlie Musselwhite.
Legendary blues-harp man Charlie Musselwhite up next with his signature tune that featured on his 1966 LP ‘Stand Back! Here Comes Charley Musselwhite’s Southside Band.’ Charlie was allegedly the inspiration for Dan Akroyds character Elwood J. Blues.
Track 5. Marquee Moon by Television.
Our next refugee from the long songs project is a track that should be familiar to every music lover on the planet. Just how magnificent is this? A classic I know every single part of intimately but it still never fails to blow me away every single time I hear it. I had this cranked up to ear damaging levels on my journey home last week, and as I passed the other vehicles on a packed M1, there were a few smiles of recognition as it pumped out of my open windows. Me? I grinned like a goon throughout its glorious ten minutes and forty eight seconds. Then I put it on again.
Track 6. Doria by Ólafur Arnalds.
This is the final piece from Icelandic multi-instrumentalist and producer Arnalds’ ‘Island Songs’ project which began in June this year. Releasing a new piece every Monday for seven weeks, he took us on a musical journey through his homeland. ‘Doria’ brings us to his hometown of Reykjavik and it’s a beautiful piece of work. Piano and strings sweep us along, capturing the magical essence of this most mythical of landscapes.
Track 7. Go Down Gamblin’ by Blood Sweat And Tears.
The opener from their fourth LP released in 1971 ‘BS&T 4’, this couldn’t be anymore different from the preceding track on this weeks playlist. A ballsy, rocky, brassy number with a growly vocal from David Clayton-Thomas who left shortly afterwards, just one of many in the almost comical rotation of players who had spells with the band.
Track 8. Light Flight by Pentangle.
I think this is the first time I’ve selected a track with the accompanying video in mind. Light Flight was released in 1969 and became a surprise chart hit after it was used as the theme to the TV show ‘Take Three Girls’. The below clip from the following year is a delight to behold, from the guitar interplay between Jansch and Renbourn, the light jazz fills of Terry Cox, Danny Thompson’s nimble Double Bass and of course, Jacqui McShee’s floaty, dreamy vocal. A Jazz-folk masterclass.
Track 9. Prayer For The Dying by Lisa Hannigan.
Our cover star this week first came to my attention when she featured in a tribute concert for Nick Drake. Her take on ‘At The Chime Of A City Clock’ was a charming, unaffected treat. This brand new track comes from her latest LP ‘At Swim’ released just a fortnight ago and showcases her mournful voice harmonising with itself to wonderful effect.
Track 10. Roadhouse by Gnoomes.
Our third escapee from the long songs project is a band that I hadn’t heard of until I received their album as a birthday gift a couple of weeks back. At almost 16 minutes long, the LP version (the version on the playlist) is best experienced somewhere dark and cranked up as loud as you can allow. The four minute radio edit seems to be the only video available on the net, but I have managed to source a ten minute live rendition which captures the essence below.
Track 11. Baby You Got It by Brenton Wood.
And after a 16 minute Krautrocky epic for your main meal, here’s a two minute slice of poppy soul to cleanse your palate. This was the follow up to Wood’s million selling 1967 single ‘Gimme Little Sign’ but despite it’s similarity in style, failed to dent the charts.
Track 12. You Don’t Know Me by Caetano Veloso.
The lead track from his 1972 LP, ‘Transa’ which was recorded while the Brazilian was exiled in London under orders of the Military dictatorship which ruled his country at the time. A protest song which switches between English and Portuguese, it has a laid back, typically Brazilian folky feel belying the anger he felt at towards his fascist overlords.
Track 13. Rouge Rouge by Christie Laume.
It’s been a while since we had some Ye-Ye. Let’s put that right with this Fuzz guitar ridden piece of Gallic Joy from 1967. Kick off your shoes and do that shaky head dance thing you see in every sixties pop film. You’ll feel better for it, trust me.
Track 14. These Ringing Hills by Belbury Poly.
I mentioned Ghost Box recordings a few weeks back when Paul chose The Advisory Circle as his pick of the week and it seemed amiss to not feature their other ‘big’ act Belbury Poly, so here they are with the lead track from their latest LP ‘New Ways Out’. I know a certain Darlington FC fan by the name of James Dryden will be pleased to see their inclusion as he’s a massive fan. But, as I suspect he never reads the blog, he’ll never know. The little shithouse.
Track 15. Autumn Leaves by Cannonball Adderley.
From the 1958 Blue Note album ‘Somethin’ Else’ comes our penultimate ten minute plus track. Recorded by Adderley whilst still a member of the Miles Davis sextet, the saxophonist drafted in his boss for trumpet duties. one of the few times Davis featured as a sideman.
Track 16. Sweet Love Bandit by The Stampeders.
Next, we have another two and a bit minutes worth of frothy pop to ease you out of our last track. This Canadian rock trio started as a five piece in 1964 but didn’t make any real inroads until the early seventies. They then began chalking up hits on the Canadian charts including this 1976 single which reached the giddy heights of No.39 on the Canuck hit parade.
Track 17.By Your Side by Sean Rowe.
Deep voiced, real life grizzly Adams Rowe has been making music since he was 12 years old and is an avid naturalist. Here he is with a cover of eighties chanteuse Sade’s ‘By Your Side’ released last year. The video below is a live performance and it’s an absolutely beautiful rendition. He really does make it his own.
Track 18. Moments Like These by The Amazing.
I’m quite sure I’ve featured The Amazing on N.L before now and I’ll continue to do so until the rest of the world is convinced of their brilliance. I first discovered the band around six or seven years ago now but, as yet, I’ve failed to meet or talk to anyone else who’s heard of the Swedish act. This is from their fourth LP released a couple of months back, ‘Ambulance’. Give it a spin then go back and listen to their entire back catalogue, you won’t be disappointed. No vid, Bah!
Track 19. Free Love by Cornershop.
Taken from their criminally ignored 2009 album ‘Judy Sucks a Lemon For Breakfast’, this is Cornershop at their best. A nagging, almost stuttering bass line, understated sitar and Tjinder Singh chanting a lyric in Punjabi. There really is no other band like them, my only wish is that they’d make more records.
Track 20. Walk On By by Isaac Hayes.
There really was only one option for the soul slowie closer to our jettisoned epic playlist, and this simply had to remain as one of the escapees. Hayes’ take on Bacharach has to be heard to be believed. Just listen to the arrangement, it’s absolutely faultless. I’d go as far to say that it’s my favourite version of the track, even beating Dionne Warwicks definitive take. There’s just SO much going on here. And so much to love. Please don’t settle for the edited version, you have to take in all 12 minutes of this album cut. I can’t think of a better use for your ears.
Well then. There you go. I think you’ll concur that it was still an epic. I’ll maybe consider knocking out a short song playlist in the future for those of you with attention deficits. Looking back at this week’s selections, I’d say it’s one of my Favourite NL’s so far. I hope you agree. And I hope you’ll join us again at the same time and place next week. In the meantime, please feel free to join in the fun at our facebook page Here. Ta ta for now, see you next time.
Until then, don’t go wasting your emotion, lay all your love on me.