TV Related

Children Talking

Children Talking

As the title suggests, this features the ‘mashed potato’ sample as used by Aphex Twin on the track “Children Talking” (spoken by a boy from Burnley, in case you were interested).  There’s a couple of other bits I recognise that were sampled by lesser dance artists, too.  But let’s face it, an all-spoken word record like this was begging to become sample fodder for the more eccentric producers.

I don’t remember the original BBC series as it was back in the ’60s, but it’s still an amusing listen. As any fellow parent will know, little kids come out with the funniest, most bizarre comments sometimes!

Interesting to note how polite most of the children are, usually refering to the interviewer as ‘sir’. Y’see, this was back in the days when kids could expect a good clip round the ear if they forgot their manners.

7 inchers

Microgroove Frequency Record

Found neatly stacked next to some old Perry Como and Burt Bacharach LPs – 1 quid – a lot for a somewhat scuffed 7 inch in a musty charity shop perhaps – but worth every penny…

A blast from the past for certain – a head-ripping surge of upper frequency tones slowly descending in pitch (or cycles-per-second even) until a totally satisfying and almost essential 100 cps leads us neatly into the gut-rumbling and subwoofer responding 50cps ….    Perfect sample material for all you bass-headz and a slice of history for you researching the ‘International RIAA Standards for Microgroove Discs’ – and lets face it – who isn’t ?


All Platinum

All Platinum Gold

All Platinum was the record label run by Sylvia Robinson in the ’70s before she founded Sugar Hill Records and started signing/exploiting artists from the nascent hip hop scene. This collection is useful because it features disco-soul hits like Shirley & Co‘s ‘Shame, Shame, Shame’, The Rimshots‘7-6-5-4-3-2-1 (Blow Your Whistle)’ and those two gorgeous Top 10 offerings from The Moments, ‘Girls’ and ‘Dolly My Love’, along with a host of lesser-known numbers. So it combines nostalgia with education – just the way I like it!

I particularly enjoyed Sylvia’s own saucy l’il number ‘Pussycat’ and the label’s overall production style, which aspires towards lush arrangements yet retains an earthy low-rent flavour. Nice snappy drum sound, too. A most pleasing purchase!



Unpredictable Jimmy Smith

There’s a lot of crap Hammond Organ records out there, and I should know cos I own quite a few (more on those another day), so it’s always nice to come across a genuinely great Hammond player, like ‘the unpredictable’ Jimmy Smith.  Part of the Verve Series on His Master’s Voice, I found this record for a quid and it’s in pretty nice condition for its age (c. mid-60s), featuring Jimmy backed by The Big Band on side 1 and in a more introspective mood with his Trio on the flip. Excellent stuff! I just wish there were more decent jazz records in the bargain bins…

Compilations Uncategorized


For me, 1983 is the cut-off year for pop compilations. It was the year of the first ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’ collection and the beginning of the end for K-Tel and Ronco’s dominance of the market. Things seem to lose their fun and innocence after that, though I’m sure that’s just coming from my own warped perspective.  Perhaps I just associate ’83 with the end of my own (pre-teen) childhood and the general loss of innocence that brings.  It was also the year that I began to become aware that there was an alternative to chart-pop music. But perhaps in another ten years I’ll start being attracted to the post ’83 pop mileau. Age can do funny things to one’s brain!

I found Volume 2 of K-Tel’s ‘Chart Hits ’83’ first…


..then several months later I found Volume 1…


…and when you put them together…






I had a mate at school who had these. I remember borrowing them and taping my favourites. Always had it in the back of my mind to own the originals.

The thing I really like about this type of contemporaneous budget pop compilation is the way they’re like a snap-shot in time. They aren’t subject to the tasteful stylistic revisionism that accompanies any modern-day retro CD compendiums. This is pop culture as it happened, when it happened, and you can be sure to find a few slices of buried treasure (and some utter dross) that today’s nostalgia peddlers conveniently forgot about.  My memory keeps telling me that 1981 was one of the best years for pop music ever. These records might prove the reality was a bit more uneven than that, but I favour the facts over the rose-tinted fictions.



The ‘Buy One Get One Free’ marketing ploy started sometime around the turn of the ’80s. Ronco Records started the trend. I found this some time ago:


Finally found it’s companion last week:

Disco U.K.


Studio 80

This one came out on the German label Ariola around 1979, so you get a few familiar tunes and quite a few unknowns – presumably big disco hits in Germany. Always good to hear Eruption‘s “One Way Ticket”, though.
I got really curious about the pictures of the semi-naked lady who appears gyrating on the front and rear sleeve, so I scanned them into the laptop and reversed the negative effect, to get a better idea what she looked like:





Black Magic

Black Music

One of several soul/funk/disco compilations I found in the PDSA this week. Apparently they’d just arrived that morning, so I was able to cherry-pick the best stuff.

Released in the mid-70s on Arcade Records, ‘Black Music’ is a pretty decent survey of then currently popular music by black artists. As you’d expect, it’s mainly soul and funk, with Rupie Edwards’ “Ire Feelings (Skanga)” the only representative of Jamaican reggae. I vaguely remembered the song’s catchy ‘skanga, skanga’ refrain from childhood, as this was an unlikely top 10 hit back in November 1974. The interesting thing I notice about the song now is that it is, in essence, a dub reggae track, almost totally stripped-down to the backing rhythm, with occasional flashes of guitar and organ, lashings of echo etc. Yet it has a full vocal on top, which seems quite unusual to my ears. And I’m sure it would’ve been a bit of an oddity at the time. The only example of a hit novelty dub record in the UK charts?

Also nice to finally have The Tymes’ “You Little Trust Maker”, even though that one jumps a lot near the end (the vinyl isn’t in great condition unfortunately) along with the O’Jays’ magnificent “Love Train”. Lots of warm sounds from my childhood leaking through here.

It still has the original price sticker, which reveals that it’s first owner bought it in Woolworths for £2.49.


PDSA – Staple Hill

PDSA – Staple Hill, originally uploaded by enemee.

Undoubtedly my favourite local charity shop. They turn-over the stock on a fairly regular basis and nearly all 12″ vinyl is 49p regardless of condition. Such a low price tends to encourage those risky purchases that I might not otherwise make and I’ve found many gems here. And a couple of stinkers too.