All posts by Steve

Steve

About Steve

Born in the 60s.

Schooled in the 70s.

Started work in the 80s.

Married in the 90s.

The rest is gravy.

Welcome Back My Friends……

So in the real world I haven’t been able to get into my actual refuge for the last couple of months due to house redecorating ‘stuff’ going on. That all changed this weekend….

So Emerson, Lake and Palmer are now down to just my namesake, a sad state of affairs – all virtuosos in their own right who became pompous and overblown when together and playing at their best. Excellent stuff.

I remember exactly where I was when I heard a voice intoning “Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, We’re so glad you could attend, Come inside, Come inside” (aka the start of ‘Karn Evil 9 – 1st Impression, Part 2’) for the first time. It was a Saturday afternoon, my dad was driving me into Maidenhead (in a brown Ford Cortina – WRD 634J – motoring fact fans) and we were listening to Alan “Fluff” Freeman, when those words emerged from the speakers. I didn’t know who it was but decided I had to find out.

I eventually got the LP, Brain Salad Surgery, some years later from Notting Hill Record and Tape Exchange and it’s remained with me ever since. A couple of the tracks I could do without (“Jerusalem” is too plain and “Benny the Bouncer” too throwaway) but if I’m ever famous enough to go onto Desert Island Discs I’ll try to get the Karn Evil 9 suite classed as one ‘song’ and take it with me.

and they could hit the same thing live (albeit with a prolonged drum solo in the middle)

Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Brain Salad Surgery (1973) – Vinyl

  • Jerusalem
  • Toccata
  • Still….You Turn Me On
  • Benny the Bouncer
  • Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression – Part 1
  • Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression – Part 2
  • Karn Evil 9: 2nd Impression
  • Karn Evil 9: 3rd Impression

Rate – 4/5

Listening Since Day One

CDs – 37, Vinyl Singles – 17, LPs – 22, Downloads – 5, Cassettes – 1

Total Tracks: 866, Time: 64h 28m 49s 

How’s My Stylus Doing?

A second mystery is – how come I add no new posts for six months and in that time I start getting more hits than ever before. I understand that distance makes the heart grow fonder but does silence make the writing more profound? (somehow I doubt it……)

Anyway –

So this band are meant to change my life; they get excellent reviews in the ‘head press’ for their experimental, psych, noise approach to music.

This album is meant to be ‘it’ according to the sleeve notes –

“This might just be the single greatest side of OTT psych/noise guitar oblivion ever put to wax, a suitably enigmatic, nada-information ultra-limited LP w/printed off-set covers featuring a shades-less Mizutani, an enigmatic insert with nothing but a colour ocean-front snap and two ludicrously extended blown-out takes on primo material from the most legenadry Japanese underground group of all time, Les Raillez Denudes…..”

And then, as you read on, the sleeve notes start referring to tracks that aren’t on this limited orange vinyl release (nbr 529 of 1000) ……… double bluff, hype, lack of attention to detail or just my own stupidity?

Anyway it’s about the music, the experience, right?

Well, sorry I don’t get it – if I was experiencing it in person I might but on vinyl with (poor) bootleg recording quality I don’t.

When “Strung Out…” started I genuinely thought there was something wrong with my stylus whilst “The Last One” sounds like a migraine on Mandrax (one that lasts for 22 minutes). Things get slightly better (only slightly and starting from a very low base) with “An Awful Eternity” but even this is an attempt at c1970 Hawkwind in an offkilter, unturned, bootleg jam type of way……

My first 0/5 vinyl LP

Les Rallizes Denudes – France Demo Tapes (198?) – Orange Vinyl, Limited Edition 2016 Release

  • Strung Out Deeper Than The Night
  • The Last One
  • An Awful Eternity (Cruel Love)

Rate – 0/5

Listening Since Day One

CDs – 37, Vinyl Singles – 17, LPs – 21, Downloads – 5, Cassettes – 1

Total Tracks: 858, Time: 63h 43m 47s 

He Leans On The Hood Telling Racin’ Stories

One of the mysteries of having a record collection for a number of years is where do some of the records disappear to???

I bought this on vinyl in the early 80s (shortly after discovering Springsteen thanks to “The River”) and immediately fell in love with the story telling in his lyrics – here they were so much more expansive than in his (then) later work.

So what happened to the vinyl?

Well it disappeared somewhere and recently I reintroduced this into my collection, this time on CD. The tracks all still work for me and, on a personal level, remind me of my late teens when the only real worry I had was ‘do I have enough beer money?’

 

Bruce Springsteen – Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. (1973) – CD

  • Blinded by the Light
  • Growin’ Up
  • Mary Queen of Arkansas
  • Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?
  • Lost in the Flood
  • The Angel
  • For You
  • Spirit in the Night
  • It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City

Rate – 4/5

Listening Since Day One

CDs – 37, Vinyl Singles – 17, LPs – 20, Downloads – 5, Cassettes – 1

Total Tracks: 855, Time: 62h 57m 38s 

I’m Just Digging a Chinese Ditch

So you go into work and all of a sudden three months have disappeared…..Thank God for annual leave.

Whilst fun, the New York Dolls to me always sounded safer than their image promised – I listened to them, they had their moment on the turntable and then I moved on. But when Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan formed The Heartbreakers they produced something more down and dirty, something I liked…….

Now it would be fair to say that, thanks to the drug habit, Johnny wasn’t the nicest, or most reliable, of guys but when he was on form he could drive that guitar with the best of them.

The one studio album they managed to make was initially drowned in a mix of sludge but now after a number of ‘finds’ and releases there is the definitive edition which on vinyl is spread across three LPs. Here we have –

  • LAMF – Restored from the Track LP (no album master exists – it’s a long story)
  • LAMF – Demo Sessions and Alternative Mixes
  • LAMF – Alternative Mixes

To be honest a bit too much overkill for me on the alternate mixes but sometimes you have to have something just because someone’s labelled it a ‘definitive edition’ – yes, I’m a marketing man’s dream.

Excellent music and memories – now where’s my guitar……….??

Heartbreakers – L.A.M.F. (1977) – Definitive Edition Triple Vinyl – 2013 Release

  • ….L.A.M.F. Restored….
  • A1 – Born To Lose
  • A2 – Baby Talk
  • A3 – All By Myself
  • A4 – I Wanna Be Loved
  • A5 – It’s Not Enough
  • A6 – Chinese Rocks
  • B1 – Get Off The Phone
  • B2 – Pirate Love
  • B3 – One Track Mind
  • B4 – I Love You
  • B5 – Goin’ Steady
  • B6 – Let Go
  • ….Demo Sessions and Alternative Mixes
  • C1 – I Wanna Be Loved
  • C2 – Pirate Love
  • C3 – Goin’ Steady
  • C4 – Flight
  • C5 – Born To Lose
  • C6 – Can’t Keep My Eyes On You
  • C7 – It’s Not Enough
  • C8 – I Love You
  • D1 – Take A Chance
  • D2 – Do You Love Me
  • D3 – Let Go
  • D4 – Chinese Rocks
  • D5 – Born To Lose
  • D6 – Born To Lose
  • D7 – Born To Lose
  • D8 – Baby Talk
  • D9 – Baby Talk
  • ….Alternative Mixes
  • E1 – All By Myself
  • E2 – All By Myself
  • E3 – It’s Not Enough
  • E4 – It’s Not Enough
  • E5 – Chinese Rocks
  • E6 – Get Off The Phone
  • E7 – Pirate Love
  • E8 – Pirate Love
  • F1 – One Track Mind
  • F2 – One Track Mind
  • F3 – I Love You
  • F4 – Goin’ Steady
  • F5 – Goin’ Steady
  • F6 – Let Go
  • F7 – Let Go
  • F8 – Can’t Keep My Eyes On You
  • F9 – Do You Love Me

Rate – 5/5

Listening Since Day One

CDs – 36, Vinyl Singles – 17, LPs – 20, Downloads – 5, Cassettes – 1

Total Tracks: 846, Time: 62h 20m 27s 

A Wild Nobility

At the time the diversity of music available through mainstream media didn’t strike me as anything special.  But now, looking at the mediocrity of what’s generally available and the splintering of music into niche radio/tv/online channels (which become a self fulfilling prophecy as users never discover new genres), I realise how lucky I was to be around in the late 70s/early 80s.

For me this CD makes the point – out of nowhere you had Adam and the Ants ripping apart the charts with tribal, duel drummer driven music. Nowadays I can use the internet and immediately find out that this is based on Burundi beat but all those years ago it was just fresh and exciting. And it still stands up now – when “Kings of the Wild Frontier” steps up a gear at 1m53s I still get goose bumps some 36 years after I first heard it.

Eventually Adam began to believe his own hype (playing Vive Le Rock at Live Aid – shameful) and slowly disappeared from the music scene, but now he’s back touring this very album – a key concert for me to catch this year.

Every music lover should have a copy of this and listen to it on a regular basis…..

 Adam and the Ants – Kings of the Wild Frontier (1980) CD – 2004 Release

  • Dog Eat Dog
  • Antmusic
  • Feed Me to the Lions
  • Los Rancheros
  • Ants Invasion
  • Killer in the Home
  • Kings of the Wild Frontier
  • The Magnificent Five
  • Don’t Be Square (Be There)
  • Jolly Roger
  • Making History
  • The Human Beings
  • Antmusic (Alternative Mix)
  • Antmusic (Demo)
  • Feed Me to the Lions
  • The Human Beings (Demo)
  • S.E.X. (Demo)
  • Omelette from Outerspace (Demo)

Rate – 5/5

Listening Since Day One

CDs – 36, Vinyl Singles – 17, LPs – 19, Downloads – 5, Cassettes – 1

Total Tracks: 800, Time: 60h 04m 23s