Get Outa My ‘Ouse

August 1, 2017

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Hustler were a great band from the mid 1970s that deserved better breaks.

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Top Fifteen

August 1, 2017

For the last twenty years Radio Caroline has been available first via the Astra satellite and then later via the Internet. They will shortly be returning (legally) to the Medium wave band, but you’ll only be able to listen using that “old fashioned” method if you are in the Essex area. I visited the Radio Caroline website and saw that they broadcast a Top 15 chosen by listeners each weekday morning. They give you a clickable list of their Top 500 albums to select your Top 15 from. I struggled to find much there. How many more times can people listen to “Dark Side of the Moon” or “Stairway to Heaven”? Anyway this was the list I ultimately chose:-

15 Janis Joplin – Mercedes Benz
14 Lou Reed – Perfect Day
13 Loving Awareness Band – Existence
12 Hazel O’Connor – Will You
11 John Lennon – Gimme Some Truth
10 Bob Dylan – I Want You
09 Alice Cooper – Poison
08 Love – Alone Again Or
07 Iggy Pop – Some Weird Sin
06 Argent – God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll To You
05 Beach Boys – Here Today
04 Frankie Goes To Hollywood – The Power Of Love
03 Earth & Fire – Maybe Tomorrow, Maybe Tonight
02 Elvis Costello – What’s So Funny ’bout (Peace, Love & Understanding)
01 Shakespear’s Sister – Hello (Turn Your Radio On)

It was only after I’d submitted that list that I discovered I could have chosen tunes not in the Top 500 albums, but they’d only be used if Radio Caroline had the songs in their library so I’m sure that would exclude most of my current favourites. I doubt they’d play Robb Storme’s version of “Here Today” if I’d asked them, much as that is the sort of variety they should be aiming for.

My Top 15 was played on Radio Caroline a couple of weeks ago. But given free rein and my very own radio station I would no doubt be subjecting people to stuff like this:-

Thirty Two

Thirty Three

Closet mixes

August 1, 2017

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The VU’s third album was a great contrast to the high energy of the previous ones. A mix by MGM/Verve’s Val Valentin was originally used but there was also another mix by Lou which changed the dynamics of the tracks considerably.

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The final frontier

August 1, 2017

Don’t drag no more

July 1, 2017

Today

June 1, 2017

Today is the oldest

you’ve ever been.

Today is the youngest

you’ll ever be.

So enjoy Today while it lasts.

My little town

June 1, 2017

“Nothin’ but the dead and dyin’ back in my little town”, sang Simon and Garfunkel back in 1975. “This town’s becoming like a ghost town”, sang the Specials in 1981. In hindsight the seventies and eighties was a golden age. My little town had a hundred thriving independent shops then. And even a Woolworths. I surveyed the desolation of my local town yesterday and wondered why the whole lot can’t be bulldozed down so they could start again. One bank has been turned into flats. The others are derelict. The few crumbling three-storey Victorian shop fronts still trading are great if all you are looking for is a new tattoo and some ecigs. Long gone are the Bakers, the 5 Butchers shops, the Fishmongers, the Ironmongers, the 4 Shoe shops, the 7 Clothes shops, the Photographers, the 3 Record shops, the Model shop, the fruit and veg shops, the Cinema, the Hat shop! etc etc. There are six tatty Charity shops now though dotted amongst the numerous boarded-up premises.

I’m currently reading a book entitled “When the lights went out: Britain in the 1970s” written by Andy Beckett. Although a bleak picture is painted of Industrial unrest, political upheaval (that’s nothing that’s any different in any decade) and inflation, I don’t recall any empty shops on the High Streets then. In the early 1970s I lived in the West Midlands. There were loads of small shops to visit. Newsagents on every street corner had Marvel and DC comics. Every town had two or three independent record shops. Charity shops were in their infancy. Perhaps there was an Oxfam shop. Far more common were second-hand shops and junk shops. Again, in hindsight I probably bought the wrong things from them. Victoriana was for sale for a few shillings. I was more interested in the boxes of second-hand singles and LPs.

So in the 1970s I began collecting Ska, Rock Steady and early Reggae singles. Strange colourful labels, often with different artists on each side of the single. Sometimes the B side was an instrumental version/backing track of the A side. And the music was so uplifting. Now I’m in my sixties I tire of listening to the “serious” Rock LPs/CDs I used to love. They seem destined to never leave their shelves again. But listening once more to stuff like this really cheers me up.