Hullo. Well, it seems the new truncated version of Nobody’s Listening is going down quite well. I realise the old twenty track NL may have been a bit of a mouthful for the casual listener, having said that, you’re under no obligation to listen to the complete list. As I’ve said time and again, if one person takes away one new sound from each weeks selections then it’s job done as far as I’m concerned.
What have we got in store for you this week then? Well let me tell you, ten more tracks of genre hopping goodness, that’s what. If ten pop picks isn’t quite enough for you, don’t forget you can get an extra track a day not featured on the playlist by visiting our face book page Here. You can also add your own recommendations free from ridicule or judgement. We’re a nice bunch over there.
My very good friend, bandmate and prolific contributor to the Mills and Boon romantic novels Paul D’Cruz is here with us. His selection this week is a band that I’ve been a fan of since their early days. I’ll regale you with stories later.
Ok, Shall we do the hustle?
Track 1. Time Has Come Today by The Chambers Brothers.
We kick things off with this trippy behemoth. I’ve recently had my sizeable nose in Rob Chapman’s excellent book ‘Psychedelia and Other Colours’, a weighty tome which explores the influence of mind altering substances on music and culture. This song is singled out for particular praise and with good reason, it is a landmark track of that era. Recorded in 1966 and released the following year, it is one of the earliest examples of psych rock with it’s fuzz guitars, extensive use of reverb and fades and persistent cow bell throughout, it must have blown a fair few minds on the Haight-Ashbury scene. Director Hal Ashby used the complete eleven minute version for the closing scene of his 1978 Vietnam movie ‘Coming Home’ and it has been covered by various acts from The Ramones to Bootsy Collins.
Track 2. Saturday-Sunday by Doug Tuttle.
Taken from ‘It Calls On Us’, Tuttle’s sophomore LP from last year, this is a track of two halves. The first three minutes is a throwback to the sixties/seventies country-folk he does so well with acoustic guitars backed by organs and the odd electronic effect. It then kicks into an instrumental jam for the second half which has an almost McCartney does Krautrock feel to it. Lovely, floaty stuff which is easy to get lost in.
Track 3. Sunday Morning by Flo Morrissey And Matthew E. White.
And so, from Saturday-Sunday we head into Sunday morning. This thing isn’t just thrown together you know. Ok. It is. I must admit I was sceptical when I read that NL favourite Matthew E White had teamed up with BRIT school folk-popper Flo Morrissey to cover this Velvet underground stone cold classic, but I was more than pleasantly surprised when I heard the results. White has upped the tempo a few notches and added some sunshine into proceedings with Beach Boys-esque backing vocals and an infectious guitar line just underneath the mix while Morrissey’s vocal fits the arrangement perfectly, bereft as it is of Nico’s famous detachment. I actually think Lou Reed would have given it his approval.
Track 4. Move Me Baby by Gwen McCrae.
Perhaps best known as the wife of George ‘Rock Your Baby’ McCrae, Gwen had her own slice of success with a billboard top ten hit, ‘Rockin’ Chair’ in 1975. The LP which followed (also titled ‘Rockin’ Chair’) included this early example of Disco. With a strong, soulful vocal, this is a dancefloor funker that can move the most stubborn of feet towards the glitter ball.
Track 5. Wanderlust by Wild Beasts.
****PAULO’S PICK OF THE WEEK****
I first chanced upon Wild Beasts ten years or so ago when I paid a visit to the smoke to watch a friends band. The support act that night shuffled onto the small Camden pub stage and I was immediately gobsmacked by the soaring falsetto of the lead singer which was backed by angular guitars and shifting time signatures. Turns out they were a Leeds based band who were beginning to make waves with their wonderfully wobbly debut single ‘Brave Bulging Buoyant Clairvoyants’. On returning to Yorkshire I managed to catch them a number of times on home turf and quickly went about promoting them to all and sundry. With the release of their stunning debut LP ‘Limbo Panto’ and the equally great follow up ‘Two Dancers’, Wild Beasts went on to critical and commercial success, headlining festivals and becoming Indie darlings in the process. I’ve only taken a passing interest since then, but whenever they release a new record my ears prick up and recall the time they first heard that new sound. Here, Paul goes for the lead single from their fourth album, 2014’s ‘Present Tense’.
Track 6. Obá, La Vem Ela by Jorge Ben Jor.
Jorge is one of Brazil’s most famous sons, his blend of bossa, samba and funk selling millions in his home country. This particular track is lifted from his 1970 LP ‘Força Bruta’ and is a typical example of his oeuvre, slinky, funky, string laden, cuica smothered class in a glass.
Track 7. Baby I Don’t Care by Kiki Dee.
This weeks cover star is undoubtedly best known for her duet with Captain Fantastic, the 1976 chart topper ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’, the first number one record I can recall being aware of. Previous to this, the Bradford born lass was a blue eyed soul singer of some calibre singing backing vocals for Dusty and becoming the first British white female artist to sign to Motown. This particular track is the b-side from her fourth single ‘(You Don’t Know) How Glad I Am’ released on Fontana in 1964. The below clip was recorded for a German thriller series made four years later, check out the gadgie on tambourine.
Track 8. Souvenir Shop Rock by Savoy Motel.
These Nashville based glam revivalists surfaced last year with their assured self titled debut LP. This is the first track on the record and sets their stall out from the off. It’s a stomper with synth brass stabs and some superb guitar heroics firmly rooted in the decade that dullard commentators say taste forgot. Personally, I say it’s the decade taste was moulded, refined and never really bettered. As you can tell from the below video, they wear their influences proudly on their bri-nylon sleeves.
Track 9. Total Immersion by TVAM.
Speaking of the seventies, and I will at great length, given the opportunity, this next act takes his cues from another of the many movements of that most eclectic decade. Krautrock is the genre of choice here with all the elements you would expect. Motorik drums, check. Neu-inspired guitars, check. Atmospheric swirling synths, check and mate. Wigan based producer Joe Oxley is the sole member of TVAM and he unleashed this superb instrumental in late November gone, although to these ears it could have easily been recorded and released approximately forty years previously.
Track 10. Teardrops On Your Letter by Hank Ballard And The Midnighters.
Track ten and as usual we reach soul slowie closer time. This weeks pick is a 1959 single from one of the progenitors of rock n roll, Hank Ballard. Although this piano led heartbreaker had moderate success, it is the b-side which is the more famous of the platter. Penned by Ballard himself, the song would resurface two years later providing the planet with a new dance craze and Chubby Checker with a career.
There you go then, ten more of the best. Hope you enjoyed at least one of them if not all, and why shouldn’t you? We only select the choicest cuts for your delectation so get them all into you. Go on, fill your boots.
Regarding boots, these ones were made for walking.
Until next week, hold on tight to your dreams.