Hullo. How are you this week? Good? Good. Hopefully this weeks selections will maintain that spring in your step as we hurtle into another bank holiday weekend. If this schizo weather sorts itself out the following ten tracks could be the perfect accompaniment to a few snags on the grill or a lovely drive in the country. However you take your weekly dose, I hope you enjoy these handpicked beauties.
Speaking of beauties, the elfin-like Paul D’Cruz is of course with us. This week my very good friend, bandmate and the second cousin of Art Attack’s Neil Buchanan has selected a lesser known track from two of a quartet of bonafide leg-ends.
Shall we get on with it then?
Ok, here it comes, here comes my time in the sun..
Track 1. Rock & Roll by The Velvet Underground.
Like most, my introduction to The Velvet Underground was that iconic and influential debut. I must say though, over the years their fourth LP, 1970’s ‘Loaded’, is the one I return to more than most. So titled as the record Co bigwigs asked for it to be packed with radio friendly hits, it is probably their most accessible work thanks to the increased involvement of Doug Yule. Though this is a Lou Reed penned track, it is Yule’s turn on lead guitar that dominates, adding character and depth to Reeds Paean to the advent of Rock N Roll.
Track 2. Hip Bounce by Scuba Z.
This Big Beat/Breakbeat track comes from the only LP produced by this Scottish outfit, 2001’s ‘The Vanishing American Family’. Hypnotic and hyperactive, its cacophonous stylings are irresistible and can instantly transport one to those heady days of the late nineties/early noughties when we danced like there was no tomorrow. Unfortunately, tomorrow came and with it the rise of David Guetta type shallow EDM. Still, the kids seem to like it. The fucking idiots.
Track 3. Sax In The City by Let’s Eat Grandma.
I first heard this weeks cover stars when they appeared in session on Marc Riley’s 6 Music show last year. Childhood friends Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingwood started making music together at the tender age of thirteen and released their debut LP ‘I, Gemini’ shortly after they both turned seventeen last year. This is a track from that album and features a gloriously ridiculous sax alluded to in the title as well as helium vocals spouting a cryptic lyric. Great stuff, and I look forward to their appearance at Deer Shed festival in July.
Track 4. Mucha Muchacha by Esquivel.
Mexican band leader, pianist and composer Juan Garcia Esquivel,often referred to as ‘The King Of Space Pop’, was incredibly popular during the late fifties/early sixties lounge boom. His use of pioneering stereo effects is evident on this track which may be familiar to some as it has appeared on a number of movie soundtracks including The Big Lebowski, Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind and Nacho Libre. It’s great fun and should be taken with a glass of something fruity and alcoholic garnished with an umbrella and curly straw.
Track 5. Love Is A Hurtin’ Thing by Gloria Ann Taylor.
Regular visitors to our Facebook page may recognise this next track as it appeared as a ‘Daily Dose’ a couple of weeks back. Although that feature was designed to showcase songs not available on the weekly playlist, this pick is just too good not to warrant inclusion here. A single from 1973, it begins with a burst of psychedelic guitar before evolving into an epic, lushly produced slice of early disco which also has one foot firmly planted in deep soul. Outstanding.
Track 6. Made Of The Sun by Heliocentrics.
Something brand new next from London based genre-defying collective Heliocentrics. After three LP’s of instrumentals, this is the first release to feature vocals which come courtesy of a young Slovakian singer called Barbora Patkova. Her strong, striking voice carries this track to somewhere else and bodes well for the rest of the forthcoming LP ‘A World Of Masks’, their first release with NL favourites Soundway Records.
Track 7. Sitting In The Park by Billy Stewart.
I initially had Georgie Fame’s interpretation of this track earmarked for inclusion this week but as Mr Fame has featured previously and indeed been a cover star, I decided to plump for Billy Stewart’s original version of his own song. This is one of those tracks that has sunshine ingrained in every note. From the woozy backing vocals to the organ bubbling just underneath the mix, it elicits memories of long summer days that bleed slowly into warm scent filled nights. Now if April can kindly do one and let us enjoy those rarefied times, that would be just peachy.
Track 8. The Lee Shore-Live by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
****PAULO’S PICK OF THE WEEK****
Paul’s pick this week comes from ‘4 way street’, the third album by Crosby, Stills & Nash, their second as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and their first live LP. The track he’s gone for is essentially a David Crosby solo piece backed up on harmonies by Graham Nash. Paul specifically requested this live version, but as it’s unavailable on yootoob, the video below is a demo version recorded in 1969 with Crosby overdubbing vocals in 1991. The original, however is on the spotify playlist and is a superior version as it features a stunning lead from the younger Crosby, a performance that one Robin Pecknold from Fleet Foxes must have studied incredibly closely..
Track 9. Gonna Hurry (As Slow As I Can) by Whitney.
Mellow Chicago indie rockers Whitney have graced these pages before with the wonderful ‘Golden Days’, their lead single from 2016 debut album ‘Light On The Lake’. They have followed it up with a new 12″ single that features a couple of cover tunes, ‘You’ve Got A Woman’, a 1975 track from the Dutch psych-pop band Lion, and this absolute peach which is a semi-obscure number from the great Dolly Parton. The band make it their own, smothering it in their hazy, melodic style.
Track 10. This Is Beautiful by Shirley Ellis.
Our soul slowie closer this week is the b-side to Ellis’ slightly annoying 1965 hit ‘The Clapping Song’. This however, is a different kettle of fish. No gimmicks, just a straightforward love song that makes the most of Shirley’s wonderful, sultry voice. Her other big hit 1968’s ‘Soul Time’ has also become popular in the last few years with the resurgence of interest in Northern Soul.
That’s yer lot for this week. Hope you done dug it. I’ll see you back here in seven days for ten more of the best.
Until then. take it easy, chicken.