Thrifty Boogie

Whilst others might take a more scholarly look at the origins of the term ‘boogie’, a quick search of this blog will reveal such gems as this, this, this, and even, erm, this. Such is the scope of our vision.

Yes, ‘Boogie’ can mean many things to many people. It means several things to me too, though my strongest affection is for that brief burst of fashionability around 1977-78, when ‘boogie’ was a catch-all term for funky-disco-pop, duly exploited and rendered virtually meaningless by the likes of Ronco on their muddled compilations of the time…

Even a ‘respectable’ label like EMI got in on the act, with this collection which features a reasonable amount of boogie-pop from the likes of Tavares, Sheila B Devotion and La Belle Epoch, some top notch tunes from Taste Of Honey and Sylvester, whilst also drifting into Marshall Hain’s “Dancing In The City”, Clout’s “Substitute”, some unexpected reggae from Matumbi and, somewhat desperately, T-Rex’s “I Love To Boogie”.

So, there you have it:  ‘Boogie’, in a nutshell.


Chart Runners Part 2

Just in case readers were thinking this was now only a place for ‘serious’ vinyl appreciation, here’s some fresh Ronco action from that most forgettable of years, 1983.

Worth the price of admission for the post-‘Tron’ sleeve design, but also the typical blend of overly-familiar pop picks (‘Down Under’, ‘Sexual Healing’), nice-to-be-reminded-of chart hits (‘Tunnel Of Love’, ‘Heartache Avenue’, ‘European Female’) slightly left-of-centre noble failures (John Foxx’s ‘Endlessly’, Shriekback’s ‘Lined Up’), briefly popular discotheque hits that failed to cross-over to the charts (Mahagonay’s “Ride The Rhythm”), complete euro-twaddle (“A Cha Cha At The Opera”) and let’s just forget White & Torch’s disastrous “Let’s Forget”.

Okay now I’m on a mission to find ‘Part 1’….


The Colour Field – Virgins & Philistines


From slap-bang in the middle of the dreaded 1980s, here’s Terry Hall’s post-Specials, post-Fun Boy Three project. I bought this cos I still have a soft-spot for the hit single “Thinking Of You” – an elegant, bossa-tinged slice of purest pop that seems a long way from the empty bombast of most of their contemporaries of that period. The whole album, produced by Hugh Jones, is still a pretty good listen, particularly the follow-up single “Castles In The Year”, with plenty of Terry’s sharp observational lyrics on offer.


The Associates – The Affectionate Punch


I’ve been a fan of the ‘Sulk’ album for many years, so its surprising really that I’d never explored The Associates’ 1980 debut. My expert-associate Farmer Glitch informs me that I have found the ‘best’ version of the album – apparently there is a later, re-recorded edition with different sleeve, that lacks the jagged edginess on display here. Bracing stuff, particularly Mr. Rankine’s vicious guitar lines!

Incidently, this record was in a terrible state when I found it, but I could tell that the filth was only skin-deep, and after a good clean the vinyl looks (and plays) almost good as new. A bit of elbow-grease goes a long way!


Albums Reggae

King Kong – Funky Reggae

Well, here she is fellas: the holy grail of MFP budget records – a collection of hit tunes covered inna reggae stylee.

Imagine the Top Of The Poppers session band out of their minds on collie weed, bashing out a righteous, skankin’ version of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” like it was some divine hymn to Jah.

Alas, we can but dream…

According to Roger St Pierre’s (surprisingly informative) sleeve notes, this was the debut album by King Kong, though I can see no evidence of any further recordings by this tragically forgotten reggae combo. The only clue to their identities being the writing credit Othen-O’Donell-Lucas on the self-penned Heavy City.

But at least they inspired Todd Rungren’s “King Kong Reggae”, from his album Todd, released in the same year.



Brass Strings and Beautiful Things

A selection of stuff from the awesome Telefunken label – picked it up for the Klaus Wunderlich track due to the use of a Moog – all the other numerous Wunderlich Lps I own (and there are far too many) – all have him tinkling along on standard organ – this one sees him laying down some phat-moog-bass before sprikling it with drums and organ – niiicceee,

The rest of the LP is to put it mildly a very mixed bag – including a rather creepy ‘Greensleeves’ where for some unkown reason the bass player thinks it is funk-track whilst everyone else sticks to smulch !!

Also contains a couple rather pitiful Beatles covers – but a rather rousing ‘ Day by Day’ (orchestral-stylee).. !!


Dalek I Love You



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?


That Silk Cut Sensation


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.


Françoise Hardy – ‘FH 1’


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.




Non Stop Pepsi Party


Of course, it was sheer morbid curiosity, coupled with a weakness for ’70s cheese and brand-exploitation that compelled me to shell-out on this little MFP ‘beauty’. It’s from 1974, and features Denny Wright and the Hustlers murdering glam-stomp classics like Suzi Quatro’s “Can The Can” and Slade’s “Gudbuy T’Jane” although they sound far more confident when tackling the latin repertoire, and the instrumental version of “Something” is, for some inexplicable reason, quite listenable. And it really is ‘non stop’, no gaps between songs..except the bit in the middle where you have to turn the record over, naturally.

And if the sleeve design looks a bit familiar, its because it was pasted-up by the same chap, one David Wharlin.  When will Dave be acknowledged for his distinctive contribution to the world of ’70s vinyl sleeve design..?