Hullo. It’s back to business as usual after our colossal fiftieth edition last week. Here we are once again with twenty new and old sounds that may be familiar or unfamiliar depending on the size of your musical gland.
A few months ago I toyed with the idea of ending this playlist and blog after 50 or maybe 52 editions but for now, I’ve decided to plough forward until it becomes a chore and at the minute it is very much a part of my life that I enjoy. However, don’t be surprised if you’re waiting around for it one week and it doesn’t happen. Just remember, you never miss a good thing until it’s gone!
Paulo is back after his break last week and he’s gone for another superb choice. I’m guessing again of course as he’s yet to submit it as I write. My very good friend, bandmate and writer of the intel inside jingle has yet to let us down though, so I’m confident it’ll be up to his usual ace standard.
Before we start, just your usual weekly reminder that you can join in and contribute at our dedicated facebook page Here!
Ok then, Let’s take our chance and fly away somewhere, alone..
Track 1. Walking Away by Lia Pamina.
We begin with this brand new track from Spanish pop singer Lia Pamina which is taken from her first full length debut LP released today. A delicate piece of chamber pop anchored by a clavichord which has elements of late sixties/early seventies songwriting, notably in the last thirty seconds or so which bears more than a passing resemblance to The Beach Boy’s ‘You Still Believe In Me’.
Track 2. Don’t Ever Leave Me by Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs.
Probably most famous for ‘Stay’, their 1962 chart topper which featured on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack (a film to this day I’ve never seen), this band were a doo-wop collective who went through a few name changes before settling on the Zodiacs tag. This is a Northern soul floor filler and is delivered in Williams’ more natural baritone than the falsetto he employed for their biggest hit.
Track 3. Trouble by Girl Ray.
This single on Moshi Moshi isn’t released for another few weeks yet but it has already got deep under my skin. Gorgeous vocal harmonies and simple yet effective hooks abound on this debut release from the North London four piece. These are definitely ones to watch and I await further releases with relish.
Track 4. Wiggy (November) by Hal Blaine.
The first of an instrumental segue next with a track from legendary Wrecking Crew Sticksman Hal Blaine. This unsurprisingly drum-led piece is taken from his 1967 LP ‘Psychedelic Percussion’, a collection which does exactly what it says on the cover.
Track 5. Goodbye by Goat.
Our second track sans lyrics comes from saviours of world-psych-rock Goat, a band regular NL facebook contributor Brian Barnes has championed for some time now. From quiet beginnings, this track soon picks up with a bass line that grabs you by the hair and drags you along for eight glorious minutes of trippy goodness. No video unfortunately, and if you can’t play the spotify link below, I urge you to seek it out on whichever platform you can. Enjoy the ride.
Track 6. You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice by The Lovin’ Spoonful.
I initially had the Spoonful’s ‘Do You Believe In Magic?’ pencilled in for this slot but, as we’re in the business of providing you with lesser known cuts, decided on their follow up single. This has been cited as an inspiration for the composition of the song ‘God Only Knows’ and you can hear where Brian took his cues from in this folky, harmony driven piece of pop perfection. Zal Yanovsky’s subtle guitar line than runs just under the mix is an absolute delight.
Track 7. You Know You Know by Mahavishnu Orchestra.
****PAULO’S PICK OF THE WEEK****
Here he is, better late than never and he’s come up with the goods yet again. A cut from their debut LP, 1971’s ‘The Inner Mounting Flame’, this early piece of jazz-rock fusion has stellar work from latter day eighties synth botherer Jan Hammer on keys and a delicate backing from Billy Cobham on the skins. You may be familiar with this track as it was sampled heavily on Massive Attack’s ‘One Love’ which also featured the vocal skills of Horace Andy.
Track 8. Show Me To The Window by Robert Lester Folsom.
Another week, another overlooked gem that has been unearthed decades after it was made. This time around it’s the 8-track demo version of a song that would later be released on his studio LP ‘Ode’. This version was included on ‘Music And Dreams’, a wonderful, privately-issued album released by Folsom in 1976. As is the case with most demos, it captures a raw moment before studio techniques smooth over rough edges.
Track 9. Jakten genom skogen by Dungen.
Up next we have a brand new track from Swedish psych rock stalwarts Dungen, a band that features two of former NL alumni The Amazing. This is taken from their forthcoming ninth LP ‘Häxan’ which is inspired by their work on an original score to Lotte Reiniger’s 1926 film ‘The Adventures of Prince Achmed’, believed to be the oldest surviving full-length animated feature film.
Track 10. Dead Alive by The Shins.
A long overdue return for one of my favourite bands of the last fifteen or so years and an act that I still haven’t had the chance to catch live due to one reason or another. I’m hoping to put that right next year as James Mercer has announced a new LP slated for release in early 2017 and will hopefully make the trip over the Atlantic to support it with some UK shows. Here he is with the first fruits of that forthcoming fifth album.
Track 11. Long Time Man by Bobby Darin.
Bobby Darin made a gradual transition in the sixties from big band crooner to more folky-country fayre. These shiftings are evident here on the opening track from one of his five LP’s released in ’63 alone, ‘Earthy!’.
Track 12. Make Her Mine by Hipster Image.
We stay in the same decade for our next track which made a splash on the club scene in 1964. Hipster Image were a short lived band who only managed to record a handful of songs. This particular track was a b-side produced by Alan Price which has since gone on to become an acknowledged Mod classic.
Track 13. Nightbird by The Fabulous Three.
This six-piece retro soul combo released a few records in the early 2000’s which could have easily been recorded decades earlier such was their dedication to the authentic funk and soul sound of the sixties and seventies. Essentially the brainchild of producers Jeff Dynamite (who also plays bass, keyboards, and percussion) and Leon Michaels (who handles sax, flute, keyboards, bass, and percussion), the Fabulous Three sessions featured a number of key players on the East Coast retro-soul scene. This instrumental track can be found on the complete collection of their work released in 2010 and titled, not without a hint of self-belief, ‘The Best Of The Fabulous Three’.
Track 14. Sory Bamba by L’Orchestre Kanaga De Mopti.
This West African modern Orchestra had been a going concern since the sixties and traded under different names before settling on L’Orchestre Kanaga De Mopti in the early seventies. Their most famous album was released in 1977 and has since become the holy grail of Malian music. This is one of the six songs featured on the LP and is a praise song extolling the virtues of the bands leader, Sory Bamba.
Track 15. These Words by The Lemon Twigs.
Well now, these two young precociously talented siblings are a very exciting prospect indeed. Brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario are the offspring of Ronnie D’Addario who had a brief career in the seventies and eighties with a style that owed a great deal to the big ‘B’ bands of the sixties and seventies, Beatles, Beach Boys, Badfinger. His lads have obviously inherited their father’s DNA, playing every instrument on their debut LP which was released last month. Their sound isn’t a million miles away from his either proving these two apples haven’t fallen far from the tree by any stretch of the imagination. I’ve included a live performance of the track below so you can marvel at the 17 and 19 year old’s wise beyond their years mastery of their craft. Another sign that the kids are indeed, alright.
Track 16. Think It Over by The Crickets.
I’ve loved Buddy for as long as I can remember, preferring his idiosyncratic stutters and yelps to the smoothness of Elvis. One of the first albums I recall buying with my first pay packet was The Best Of Buddy Holly And The Crickets. This obviously featured and quickly became one of my favourite Crickets tunes, thanks to the ba-ba-ba backing and thumping piano bass notes in the middle eight. Recorded almost sixty years ago, this is 1 minute 43 seconds of ground being broke.
Track 17. Darklands by The Jesus And Mary Chain.
The title track from JAMC’s sophomore album, this marked a move away from the hard noise of their debut towards a more crowd friendly indie sound. William (stepping up to vocal duties here) still gives it the big guns on his Gibson, but reigns it in enough to provide a memorable riff on the fade out.
Track 18. A Little Piece Of Leather by Donnie Elbert.
Recorded in 1965, this number didn’t dent the hit parade until seven years later when it made No.27 in the UK charts thanks to its popularity on the Northern Soul scene. Elbert’s falsetto is the main selling point here, just the right side of frantic it powers the song along like nobodys business. I Hope you enjoy the video I’ve chose to accompany it this week featuring Bettie Page.
Track 19. Here, There And Everywhere by Bobbie Gentry.
I believe this is the second showing on NL for this weeks cover star. Bobbie was a great loss to the world of music when she decided to quit the business in the late seventies, maintaining an air of mystery to this day. A fantastic singer songwriter, she was one of the first female country artists to compose and produce her own material. Here she is with a cover of McCartney’s ode to Jane Asher.
Track 20. Who Do You Love? by The Sapphires.
Our soul slowie closer this week is by a trio from Philadelphia who didn’t manage to make any big waves in their short mid sixties lifespan. After a few singles that made small inroads into the billboard hot 100 they went their seperate ways. A big shame as this floaty piece of Motown inspired soul, and probably my favourite of theirs, ‘Gonna Be A Big Thing’ showed lots of promise.
Alright then, that’s your twenty pop picks for this week. It’s nice to be back and searching for sounds that I know You’re all going to dig. Expect more of the same in seven days.
Until then, I’ll be your mirror.