Dalek I Love You

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The price tag reveals that this second hand record was once on sale for a respectable £5, but was then progressively reduced until it ended up in the £1 bin, which is where I found it on a recent rummage through the vinyl junk in Plastic Wax Records. In fact I only paid 50p for it, having taken advantage of their ‘ten for a fiver’ policy.

Why this particular album proved so hard to shift is a bit of a mystery. It is in excellent condition. It’s not particularly rare, but copies aren’t exactly in abundance either. The ’80s are meant to be ‘In’ these days aren’t they? It has a striking sleeve image, with a slightly unsettling suggestion of sexual violence. The group, led by Alan Gill, emerged from the Liverpool post-punk scene, and had connections with bands like Big In Japan, Teardrop Explodes and OMD. The quality of the music is a bit uneven, but when it’s at it’s best, as on the opening track “Holiday In Disneyland”, it’s an excellent example of quirky, left-field pop.

So why doesn’t anyone like Dalek I Love You?

Published in: on May 14, 2010 at 3:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Greatest Adventure Yet From Captain Kremmen

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Back in 1980, when this record was released, I probably thought Kenny Everett was the funniest, most anarchic, irreverent, saucy, outrageous, cutting-edge comedian working in mainstream entertainment. But what did I know? I was only 11 years old!

But still, I have fond memories of the Kenny Everett Video Show, from whence the Captain Kremmen character, along with his sidekicks Lady Carla and Doktor Heinrich Von Gitfinger, were born, as an animated feature. This is a Wireless Workshop production, featuring lots of electronic special effects, but Everett remains the star of the show, providing all the voices for the various characters. It still has a few moments worth a chuckle, but clearly humour could be a lot different back then. Here’s a typical ‘gag’ from the record…

CARLA: Captain!! I’ve just been graped!!

KREMMEN: Don’t you mean raped?

CARLA: No, there was a whole bunch of ’em!

The storyline for this futuristic sci-fi romp was set in the year 2009, which makes me feel even older than I already did…

Published in: on May 13, 2010 at 7:14 pm  Comments (2)  
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Disco Dynamite!

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By rights, this anonymous album (on the notoriously mediocre Stereo Gold Award label) should be dreadful.  It’s a confused and confusing blend of early disco hits ( “The Hustle” , “Fly Robin Fly”)  and Santana-like salsa grooves (“Oye Como Va”, “Dippin’ Wet”) and yet…and yet…somehow these jaded session players sound…possessed. The grooves are stone cold in-the-pocket, the organ and clavinet riffs are smokin’ hot and even the occasional vocals are of an acceptable standard.

We may never know who the performers were, but I salute them!

Published in: on May 13, 2010 at 8:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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Caribbean Carnival

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My first thought when I spotted this baby was “Exotica!!”. But closer inspection reveals that this is an early example of British exploitation of the burgeoning West Indian market, triggered by the immigration explosion in the early part of the sixties.

The music is performed by Russ Henderson and his Caribbean Boys. Apparently, London-resident Russ got the gig because he was originally from Port-Of-Spain, Trinidad and “had no difficulty in finding artists from his country with the right feeling and rhythm necessary to produce an authentic recording”.

Included are standards we know and love like “Walking The Dog”, “Yellow Bird” and a steel band rendition of “Peanut Vendor”, along with the energetic ska of “Sammy Dead Oh!” and equally morbid “Stone Cold Dead In De Market” (another version of which featured on our mixtape) and finishing with an instrumental rhythmic orgy called simply “West Indian Drums”.

Published in: on May 13, 2010 at 8:13 am  Comments (2)  
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That Silk Cut Sensation

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Back when I was a smoker, I tried various brands including Benson & Hedges, Embassy No.1 and, inevitably when the tax rises came, Lambert & Butler. But I never smoked Silk Cut.

But if the ‘Silk Cut Sensation’ felt like Rita Coolidge’s “We’re All Alone”, or Kiki Dee’s “Star” or Alessi’s “Oh Lori”, as suggested by this sublime compilation, then perhaps I was missing out.

Spotify Users: Here’s the playlist, so that you too can experience that Silk Cut Sensation in all its streaming glory. The only slight difference being that Andy Fairweather-Low’s catalogue has yet to be Spotified, so instead I’ve included the Top Of The Poppers version of “Wide Eyed & Legless”, which feels entirely in keeping with the spirit of this blog.

Published in: on May 13, 2010 at 6:55 am  Leave a Comment  
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Françoise Hardy – ‘FH 1’

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An original pressing on the French Disques Vogue label from 1963. How this ended-up languishing in a charity shop in Filton, UK is anyone’s guess, but I was more than happy to give it a loving home. Nice gatefold package. Can’t understand a word she’s singing or make head-nor-tail of the sleeve notes – should’ve paid more attention in French lessons at school.

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Published in: on May 12, 2010 at 10:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Latin Sound Of Henry Mancini

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Well I wouldn’t want anyone thinking I was only listening to ‘serious’ latin jazz all of a sudden.

Published in: on May 11, 2010 at 11:21 am  Comments (2)  
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Getz Au Go Go

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One of my colleagues featured a Stan Getz record quite recently, and here’s another one. The original Verve album was released in 1964, but this must be a repress (hence the Our Price sticker) that faithfully reproduces the original artwork and gatefold sleeve.

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Recorded live at Cafe Au Go Go (the legendary Greenwich Village jazz coffehouse) this album is…unbelievably great. As Gene Lees states in the sleeve notes “…the audience was electrified. There was something about the sound which was so sure, so complete – it was as if four men had been molded into one unbelievable musical unit.”

I usually prefer my latin grooves instrumental, but actually Astrud Gilberto’s vocals are just perfect on this.

Published in: on May 11, 2010 at 7:57 am  Comments (2)  
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