Hullo. There’s gonna be some sweet sounds coming down on the nightshift this week.
Yes, I’m on the graveyard for the next few days so forgive me if this weeks blog comes across as a bit grumpy and/or rushed as I’m going to try and sneak in a few paragraphs between failed attempts at sleep.
This week marks the second anniversary of the playlist but I’m holding off until NL 100 for any big celebrations. Be warned!, that landmark list may also be the last ever, I haven’t quite decided yet…
Anyways, what have we got in store for you lovely people this week then? Well, among others, we’ve got some good old honest rock n roll, sixties jazz, seventies soft rock and a familiar song with a not so familiar voice.
Paulo is of course here and for the second week running he’s ahead of schedule with his pick. A million thanks to my very good friend, bandmate and wardrobe assistant to ex Blue Peter presenter Lesley Judd.
Enough chatter, let’s go all the way..
Track 1. Search And Destroy by The Stooges.
What a way to kick off this weeks proceedings. This, if you aren’t already familiar, and you should be, is the incendiary opening track from The Stooges classic 1973 LP ‘Raw Power’. Presented here is the original 1973 Bowie mix as opposed to Iggy’s own remix from the late nineties. A stunning attack of a song, it’s pretty much a template for all things that would explode three years later with each of the Detroit boys in ferocious, punky mood particularly James Williamson’s lead guitar which he plays for his life, probably much to the chagrin of the recently ‘demoted’ to bass Ron Asheton. Don’t worry if you’re a precious little flower, things get a lot tamer from hereon in.
Track 2. Colour Television by Eddy Current Suppression Ring.
Although not quite yet as this Aussie garage quartet make their second bow on the playlist, and as I mentioned on their first appearance back in December last year, they owe quite a debt to our previous act, shit, doesn’t every single band since? This, as did their track from last year, comes from their award winning 2008 LP ‘Primary Colours’ and is a minimalistic but powerful song with frontman Brendan Suppression’s Melbourne drawl backed by slow builds until frequent explosions of noise occur. A fine opening salvo of noise terror.
Track 3. Seabird by Alessi Brothers.
Going the other way musically, we have another returnee in the shape of The Alessi Brothers and their easy-going soft rock to the playlist. In fact it’s the first of a run of three seventies songs which sail close to the AOR/MOR shore so if you’re offended by undemanding, but beautiful craftsmanship, go back to the opening brace of songs on this weeks list to sate your headbanging ways. The Long Island siblings previously appeared on NL with their fantastic 1977 worldwide smash ‘Oh Lori’ and this is another cut from their debut self titled album which was released in the previous year and recently featured on ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’, a 2016 New Zealand adventure comedy-drama film.
Track 4. Speak Your Mind by Marc Benno.
If I had to pick a favourite song from this weeks selections, it would probably be our next choice. This Texan Musician is a new discovery for me and his 1971 LP ‘Minnows’ from which this beautiful song comes is receiving heavy rotation on the turntable in my mind. A bluesy, swampy record on the whole, there is also room for slower, soulful songs such as this string backed slice of gorgeousness which is perfect late night drinkin’ music. Benno was the other half of The Asylum Choir, a duo he formed with the late Leon Russell in 1968 which bore two LP’s before striking out on his own. He also contributed the second guitar to The Doors’ ‘LA Woman’, and can be heard bubbling just under Robby Krieger’s lead.
Track 5. Native New Yorker by Frankie Valli.
It was soul-dance band Odyssey who made it big with this 1977 disco colossus which was penned by long-time Valli associates Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell but the erstwhile frontman of The Four Seasons was the first to record their song when it featured earlier in the year as an album track on his “Lady Put The Light Out” LP. I’m not sure which version I prefer as they are incredibly similar and it was a toss-up as to which take to feature this week. In the end, the little feller from New Jersey wins out in the name of obscurity. Either way, it’s a classic of the genre and a song I could never tire of.
Track 6. Black Fire by Andrew Hill.
This is the title track to Hill’s second LP which was released in 1963 and was the first of a dozen records he recorded for Blue Note over the course of a decade. Although flirting with the more avant-garde free jazz movement this piece has more of the characteristics of modal post bop. The quartet featured here comprises Hill on Piano, Joe Henderson on saxophone, Richard Davis on bass and the legendary Roy Haynes behind the kit.
Track 7. Montague Terrace (In Blue) by Scott Walker.
During the summer, there was a BBC Prom dedicated to the late sixties works of Scott Walker focusing on those four enchanting, numbered solo LP’s from 67-69. This, which was performed admirably by the great Richard Hawley for the concert, featured on the first of those albums, 1967’s ‘Scott’ and was one of a handful of self penned songs which nestled alongside covers by Jacques Brel and others. It is an augur of his masterpiece, the magnificent ‘Scott 4’ which was the final record of that purple patch and consisted entirely of songs written by the erstwhile Mr Engel. The Prom itself is well worth catching if still available, in particular the tracks covered by John Grant whose baritone is akin to Walkers golden tone.
Track 8. Fluid by Jestofunk.
****PAULO’S PICK OF THE WEEK****
Acid jazz quickly became a dirty word in the music press during the nineties, another example of the snobbery peddled by the unwashed, guitars or nothing hacks who infected the rags at that time. On any given week, I recall the NME and Melody Maker would be peppered with put-downs with special ire reserved for the (admittedly frequently twattish) Jamiroquai. I was a fan of the genre and still am, but this pick from Paulo by Italian practitioners Jestofunk has passed me by until now. It’s a solid and funky example of that unfairly maligned movement and I shall be exploring ‘Love in a Black Dimension’ their 1997 début album from which this is lifted in the coming weeks.
Track 9. Frozen Garden by Emily Jane White.
Hailing from Oakland California, this singer songwriter has been active for just over ten years now releasing five albums in that time. This particular track was the lead single from her latest, ‘They Moved In The Shadow Altogether’ which hit the shelves last summer and is a prime example of her lilting, poetic folk-pop.
Track 10. Your Precious Love by Linda Jones.
The Soul Slowie Closer this week comes from our cover star and northern legend ‘The Late, Great Linda Jones’. This was her comeback single which was released in 1972 and is a powerful interpretation of Jerry Butler’s ‘For Your Precious Love’. Sadly, her reemergence was short lived as she passed away shortly after, succumbing to diabetes at the ridiculously young age of 27. Her music lives on through the Northern Soul clubs however, where her forceful gospel voice is rightly regarded as one of the finest to ever grace wax.
And with that, we reach the end of another ten pop picks. I’m now off to enjoy a week of leave with my family incorporating a trip to that mousey theme park in gay Paris. Unfortunately, this means you’ll have to wait a fortnight for NL 94, but it will be worth it, trust me. If you simply can’t hang on that long for your fix of quality sounds, don’t forget you can get a daily dose on the facebook page linky thing up the top there.
Also, as there’s all hallows eve to consider while I’m away, fulfill all your spooky requirements with the Nobody’s Listening Halloween Special from a couple of years back.
So, I’ll see you all in two weeks time.
Until then, never give up on a good thing.