Hullo. Well, it’s been a while, four weeks in fact. You look different, have you lost weight? That tan you’ve picked up makes you positively glow. My, You do look well.
Yes, it’s the return of your favourite playlist and blog, Nobody’s Listening. As I type, I’m currently seated in the salubrious surroundings of Wolverhampton Railway station passenger lounge. The delights and wonders that surround me are too numerous to mention, so I won’t.
I’ve had a smashing few weeks off thanks for asking, I trust the summer break is treating you equally well and you’re thrilled to have your weekly dose of ten quality tracks back and better than ever.
Paulo is back with us of course, and my very good friend, bandmate and inventor of the much missed Cadbury’s Spira chocolate bar has gone for a pick which fits in nicely to this weeks opening salvo.
Shall we get on with it then? Yes sir, we can boogie..
Track 1. Aren’t You Glad by The Beach Boys.
Just a couple of weeks back I caught the legend that is Brian Wilson in concert at Newcastle Times Square. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and trumped the previous occasion last year at The Albert Hall which was a much more sedate affair complete with polite applause. The thing is, those songs were made for dancing and singing along to and the crowd, undampened by the typically moist north-east weather, didn’t hesitate to help the 76 year old out at the top of their voices, myself included. This track is taken from their 1967 LP ‘Wild Honey’ and is a Brian fronted ditty that is light, fluffy and soulful all at the same time. A rare trick to pull off, but this weeks cover stars do it with aplomb aplenty.
Track 2. Misty Lane by The Chocolate Watch Band.
****PAULO’S PICK OF THE WEEK****
We stay in ’67 for Paul’s pick this week and a song from one of the (at the time at least) overlooked groups that surfaced during the infamous ‘Summer Of Love’. This stand alone single was their second 45 release and has all the tropes you’d expect from a psych garage band with added California sunshine. After renewed interest, the band reformed in 1999 and are still a going concern today although only two original members remain, lead vocalist David Aguilar and drummer Gary Andrijasevich.
Track 3. I Scare Myself by Dan Hicks And His Hot Licks.
1967 was also the year that Dan Hicks supplemented his role as guitarist in seminal San Francisco psychedelic rock band The Charlatans with a new project, Dan Hicks And The Hot Licks. Initially formed as a duo with David LaFlamme, the violinist was replaced soon after by virtuoso “Symphony” Sid Page who shines on this track from the groups third LP, 1972’s ‘Striking It Rich’. Famous for his idiosyncratic gypsy/jazz/bluegrass style, Hicks, who passed away just last year, was rightfully feted as a visionary and is still held in high esteem today.
Track 4. Boyfriend by Best Coast.
We reach my long goodbye to Leeds feature next, a goodbye which hopefully won’t take too much longer as we’ve actually found somewhere back in my native north east. Here we are in 2010 and a band which had the unfortunate pleasure of sound-tracking a particularly nasty bout of food poisoning in that years early months. It was their track ‘When I’m With You’ that swirled around my noggin for two whole days whilst I writhed in agony and became more familiar with a toilet bowl than I ever wish to again. I still can’t listen to it to this day which is a great shame as it’s a fantastic song and you should make yourself familiar with it immediately. Despite all that, I remained a fan of the band and I was lucky enough to catch them at an intimate gig in a pub back room shortly afterwards. The track featured here proved to be their breakthrough hit a few months later.
Track 5. Troika by Peter Perrett.
This is a brand new track from The Only One’s frontman Perrett and featured on his debut solo LP ‘How the West Was Won’ which was released a couple of months ago. After years of drug abuse, Peter is now five years clean and his musical ability is remarkably intact. The songs contained within are expertly crafted, lushly produced epics all fronted by that unmistakable voice which belies its 65 year old owners withered frame. A truly welcome comeback from an artist who could have so easily joined the ranks of punk casualties.
Track 6. Lazyitis (One Armed Boxer Remix) by Happy Mondays.
Often overlooked in favour of the big hitting singles, this, for me, is the Monday’s finest hour. Taking The Beatles, Sly Stone, David Essex and the nursery rhyme ‘This little piggy’ and mashing them all together is an inspired move in itself. Add the genius stroke of featuring early sixties Scottish country star Karl Denver on guest vocals, and it becomes a mess of some brilliance and the only Happy Mondays seven inch I own. Spotify only has the original version which featured on their 1988 sophomore LP ‘Bummed’ so do yerself a flavour and get on the youtube link below..
Track 7. Quit It by Miriam Makeba.
Next up, we have a brace of beauties from two seventies soul sisters. First to the plate is South African legend Miriam Makeba and an anti drug song from her 1974 LP ‘A Promise’. Known to many through her 1967 smash and former Nobody’s Listening Daily Dose track ‘Pata Pata’, Ms. Makeba was also an actor, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist. Her back story and life is fascinating and I couldn’t do it justice in just a few pithy lines so I’ll leave it to you to find out more about her life, work and the wonderful music she made such as this small example..
Track 8. I Love Every Little Thing About You by Syreeta.
Next, we have the opening track from Syreeta Wright’s debut LP which was released on Motown’s West Coast subsidiary Mowest in 1972. From the off there’s no mistaking this track is the work of her ex husband Mr Steveland Wonder. Initially recorded by Wonder for his Music of My Mind project which was released earlier that year, this version benefits from Syreeta’s light vocal style. There’s also some cracking covers on the album including the Smokey Robinson classic ‘What Love Has Joined Together’, and The Beatles’ ‘She’s Leaving Home’.
Track 9. Vida Antiga by Erasmo Carlos.
Our penultimate track this week is featured on the latest in the long line of always excellent ‘Late Night Tales’ compilations, curated this time around by the Canadian quartet BadBadNotGood. It comes from Brazilian singer Erasmo Carlos and serves as a reminder that Summer days and nights are not quite dead just yet. Squeeze every last second you can from this briefest of seasons and soundtrack those seconds right. You can’t go far wrong with fayre such as this..
Track 10. You Don’t Know Nothing About Love by Carl Hall.
Soul slowie closer time and a track I’ve been itching to share with you since I heard it for the first time a few weeks back. Radiohead bassist Colin Greenwood did an excellent job when he deputised for Craig Charles’ funk and soul show which airs every Saturday 6-9 on BBC Six Music. A soul aficionado, he selected some truly wonderful deep cuts including this absolute stormer. At first, I was completely unsure if the voice I was hearing was male or female such is the range and power. It’s a truly stunning performance and a record that hasn’t strayed far from my ears since I first encountered it. You need this in your head without further delay.
There you have it then. Thanks for having me back in your lives and make sure to join us again in seven days time as I painfully drag this enterprise’s sorry carcass towards that all important NL #100.
Until then, spread your love like a fever.