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Cult Sights & Sounds, Bristol, Spain & South America

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Every Album I Own

Every Album I Own: T is for Turtles, “The Battle of the Bands”  

Everybody knows the Turtles. You just don’t know that you do. If the Monkees were a demented, pre-X Factor imitation of the Beatles that was consumed by its own contradictions and produced not only great pop music but a great counter-cultural film in Head, the Turtles were an even more demented, Militant-style entryist imitation of the Beach Boys, with insane, falsetto vocals, wilfully crass lyrics and some nifty, tongue-in-cheek pop chops e.g. Elenore and You Showed Me. Continue reading “Every Album I Own: T is for Turtles, “The Battle of the Bands”  “

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Every Album I Own: S is for Spirit

Was there ever a band as under-rated as Spirit, a drummer as tonsorially challenged as Ed Cassidy, or a guitarist as subtle and restrained as Randy California? Was that even his real name? Let’s hope not. Continue reading “Every Album I Own: S is for Spirit”

Every Album I Own: R is for The Residents

Since I don’t own any albums by bands beginning with Q (no, not even Queen) it’s on to R, and the Residents. I well remember the first time I heard the Residents. It was the early 1980s. I had escaped secondary school at sixteen for the superficially freer atmosphere of Filton “Tech”, a College of Further Education on the outskirts of Bristol. Half the students were apprentice mechanics* and the other half were pretentious twats like me, studying art and drama and film, and attempting to emulate their elders by throwing dinner parties to impress their new friends. At least I was. Continue reading “Every Album I Own: R is for The Residents”

Every Album I Own: P is for Pere Ubu

Geoff Nicholson’s book The Lost Art of Walking covers all aspects of perambulation, including the many musical references to using our feet. Among others,  Nicholson name-checks Johnny Cash (I Walk The Line) Patsy Cline (Walkin’ After Midnight) Nancy & Lee (Boots) Aerosmith (Walk This Way) and even Yoko Ono (Walking on Thin Ice) all of which I love, yet he makes no mention of Pere Ubu, who dedicated an entire album to The Art of Walking. Continue reading “Every Album I Own: P is for Pere Ubu”

Every Album I Own: N is for NEU!

We have a tradition in my house where, every January 1st, I play the three “classic” NEU! albums (Neu!, Neu! 2 and Neu! ’75) one after the other. Okay, so we didn’t have that tradition until 3 days ago but I think I’ll be doing it again next year, so Happy NEU Year everyone! Continue reading “Every Album I Own: N is for NEU!”

Every Album I Own: M is for Magic Muscle

I only possess one Magic Muscle album (Laughs and Thrills) and it’s not even very good – a scrappy compilation of early live tracks cobbled together from different gigs – but then again, Magic Muscle were essentially a live band, and, more than that, a way of life. Continue reading “Every Album I Own: M is for Magic Muscle”

Every Album I Own: L is for (Patti) Labelle

… and for Lady Marmalade, although that’s only the tip of the iceberg which is the Labelle canon. Formed in the early 60s as the Blue Belles, or Bluebelles, Labelle rose to fame with a Busby Babes-style front four of Patti Labelle (formerly Patricia Holt), Cindy Birdsong, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash, singing perfectly acceptable but unremarkable bubblegum pop-soul. In 1967, Birdsong left to join the Supremes, which is probably where she belonged, and the remaining trio changed their name, their look and their musical style radically, to become the freaked-out funk/soul/disco/rock hybrid we know and love. Continue reading “Every Album I Own: L is for (Patti) Labelle”

Every Album I Own: K is for Kiss Alive II

You wanted the best and you got…. Kiss. I was going to devote this post to King Crimson, just so I could wax lyrical about how under-rated and under the radar Robert Fripp has been for most of his career, considering the part he has played in the music of David Bowie, Daryl Hall and the mighty KC themselves (as in Crimson, not the Sunshine Band, mighty though they also are). I didn’t want to talk about Kiss, and have people think that all I ever listen to in my little flat is Blue Oyster Cult and Judas Priest and Kiss, even if it’s true. Continue reading “Every Album I Own: K is for Kiss Alive II”

Every Album I Own: J is for Judas Priest (The Killer Wail Part 2)

Earlier this year I posted about the poet Garcia Lorca, the album Tim Buckley recorded in his honour, and the ordeal of the Arctic explorer Apsley Cherry-Garrard who, in The Worst Journey in the World, described how killer whales tried to smash the ice to get at his ponies. I said that Tim Buckley had an amazing voice, which could slither along in a cetacean fashion, “seemingly going nowhere, then suddenly erupting, breaking the ice and hitting the high notes mere mortals cannot reach” and that he had “a killer wail”. Continue reading “Every Album I Own: J is for Judas Priest (The Killer Wail Part 2)”

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