12 inchers Reggae

Jackie – “Girl Overboard” b/w D-Roy Band – “42nd Street Dub” (DRDD 07) (1979)

SAM_0277I Roy and U Roy, yes. But D-Roy? Nevererdovim.

In fact, D-Roy is the name of the Kensel Green, London record label ‘pon which this reggae 12″ was pressed. Home to Black Uhuru, Linval Thompson, Johnny Clarke, etc. D-Roy also released a fair amount of Lovers’ Rock in its time, including the “A” side featured here. Of more interest to me is the “B”, dubbed up, as it is, blacker than dread.

50p today in Hythe, yay!


Pete Seeger



In Case You Didn’t Know Already…


Albums Gospel

The Original Roberta Martin Singers (LP 480)

SAM_0274Though it appears to be the original 1959 Kenwood/Apollo edition, this is actually the Nashboro re-issue from sometime in the early 70s (to judge by the label). Warm piano, solo and choir gospel picked up last week for a pound from Demelza House in Hythe; makes for excellent Sunday morning communing.SAM_0275The “Factory Sealed For Your Protection” (for my protection, how so?) sticker is actually there to cover up the drill hole underneath. Cheeky.SAM_0276

Albums Soul

Ike & Tina Turner – River Deep – Mountain High (AMLB 1021) (1970)

SAM_0267A schizoid, grab bag Lp of half-Spector/half-Ike productions. Tina can’t half pick ’em.

But let us not wring hands about the alleged assholism of the men in Turner’s life; no, let us celebrate a soul album, over-the-top on all fronts, unlike any other. SAM_0268In fact, I’ve never been a huge fan of the title song, a bizarre, desperate lyric (easy to imagine as the contents of a psychiatrist’s notebook) overwhelmed by echo of Grand Canyon proportions. Still, it’s almost car-crash compelling. The other Spector productions are likewise grand. Ike’s stuff is stripped down by comparison and more R&B. SAM_0266This is a 1970 re-issue on A&M’s budget offshoot, Mayfair, of the 1966 Lp. The liner notes retrospectively detail writer Tony Hall’s involvement in successfully breaking the troubled project in the UK (it famously flopped Stateside). I’d never heard the album till I picked it up today at Demelza House in Hythe for one pound sterling.

Albums Reggae

Toots & the Maytals – Pass the Pipe (MLPS 9534) (1979)

SAM_0262Produced by the relatively unheralded Karl Pitterson, this is easy vibes, commercial (but not too commercial) reggae courtesy Island subsidiary, Mango. SAM_0263One gets the overall feeling that the un-militant roots stylings of Pass the Pipe could have been created by any of a number of top reggae artists; nonetheless Toots’ Otis Redding-like timbre and delivery remains a distinctive and soulful instrument. 8/10 shall we say?SAM_0261

Albums Classic Rock

The Everly Brothers – Two Yanks In England (W 1646) (1967)


(Burbank, California) – It is the last feud the famously fractious siblings will have, but Reprise Records insisted that Phil Everly, not brother Don, be the one to pass away yesterday as part of efforts to promote the Billie Joe Armstrong/Norah Jones Everly Brothers tribute album foreverly. After a strong top 40 début chart placement, sales of foreverly have dropped off sharply in subsequent weeks, necessitating Phil’s sacrifice.

Reprise executive Dick Schmoozely likened the arguments to “a playground spat” with both desperate for the honour of dying in order to draw attention to the mediocre product on Warner/Reprise. Don Everly argued that, as the oldest, he should go first while Phil claimed that since he was a lifelong smoker, “it simply made sense” for him to kick the bucket before his older brother.

“Back and forth it went for days,” Schmoozley recollected. “They certainly lived up to their quarrelsome reputation, but frankly, we were getting fed up since this death was supposed to have happened in time to boost Christmas sales [of foreverly].”

In the end, no deal could be reached and Warner Bros. Records chairman Mo Ostin had to flip a coin in the Reprise boardroom. “You should have seen Don’s face when he realised he’d be the one to sit through hours of eulogy for his despised younger brother,” recalled a laughing Ostin. “What a picture!” At this point, Schmoozely reported that Phil turned to his brother, smiled mischievously, said “So long, sucker” and went home to die of complications from lung disease.

However, all is not lost for Don. Rhino/Handmade are set to release a 15 Lp/7 cd Complete Warner Bros. Recordings collection in early 2015 featuring all 13 albums the duo recorded for Warners in the 1960 along with two Lps worth of rarities and outtakes and have expressed interest in the elder Everly dying peacefully in his sleep to help raise consumer awareness of the deluxe box set.

12 inchers Reggae

Pancho Alphonso & The Revolutionaries – “Never Give Up In A Babylon” b/w “Love Is A Pleasure” (TACK 8) (1979)

SAM_0256Originally set up as house band for Jo Jo Hookim’s Channel 1 and responsible for the tough new “rockers” sound, the Revolutionaries counted among their ranks  Sly ‘n’ Robbie, Ossie Hibbert,  Ansel Collins, Uziah “Sticky” Thompson, Noel “Scully” Simms, Tommy McCook, Herman Marquis, Bobby Ellis and Vin Gordon. The fact that most of these people also jobbed in Joe Gibbs’ backing band The Professionals is an irony important enough to mention, but not examine too closely.

The Alphonso tracks here are very well-produced, rich examples of the Revs late style, the more “cultural” A side segueing into a blissed-out dub, while the flip straightforwardly takes on matters romantic. Truly, this is the reason why people seek to listen to reggae in its single format.

Albums Classic Rock Compilations

Finnish Graffiti – Rautalankaa ja Beat-Musiikkia 1961-1965 (FL 1500-1501) (1979)

SAM_0254Replete with sub-Cruisin’ cover and half-assed allusion to a then six-year old George Lucan film, this double Lp various artists compilation on Finnlevy posits an alternate universe in which Duane Eddy comes from Helsinki, Dick Dale surfs the Gulf of Bothnia, teens dance “the Jenka” and The Feenades, not The Shadows, are the premier pre-Beatles guitar band.

Subtitled Suomalaisen Rockin Historiaa Vol. 1 (“Finnish Rock History Volume One”), Levy (disc) one consists entirely of Rautalankaa (literally translated, Iron or Steel Wire) music; i.e. instrumental guitar rock in the Chantays or Surfaris vein, though a bit tame compared to Nuggets. And, despite general assent that Finnish ain’t the best language to rock in, Timo Jämsen, The Sounds and others attempt just that, with mixed results on the second levy. Others try their hand at English, including both Danny & the Islanders and Andy & the Islanders. The former improbably claim, in song, to be born in East Virginia while the latter’s take on “Farmer John” is perfectly insane. There’s even a Finnish take on Lennon/McCartney’s Peter & Gordon castoff, “A World Without Love”, here recast as the slightly less catchy sounding “Maailma Ilman Rakkautta”.

It’s a thrift store oddity, for sure.


Albums P-R-O-G spells Prog

Quiet Sun – Mainstream (HELP 19) (1975)

IMG_0193It’s the New Year and I’m still banging on about Island records I bought in 2013. Mainstream is anything but, a somewhat jazzy counterweight to the aggressive stylings of EG stablemates King Crimson, Quiet Sun shares the obscurantism and woozy time signatures shifts characteristic of things proggy. And if there enough tranquility about to suggest the band was not mis-named, there are still enough heavy passages to remind one that this is Prog Rock. 

Charles Haywood, Dave Jarrett, Phil Manzanera and Bill MacCormack with Eno and Ian MacCormack.
Charles Haywood, Dave Jarrett, Phil Manzanera and Bill MacCormack with Eno and Ian MacCormack.

A one-off “re-union” album of sorts, Quiet Sun were Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera’s band before he was in Roxy. Subsequent to the Ferry vehicle’s taking off, Quiet Sun re-grouped along with gadfly noise-nik Brian Eno in tow to record this confident début.

Quiet Sun heavy card inner sleeve
Quiet Sun heavy card inner sleeve