Sunday, September 27, 2015

September's Picks

1. PRINCE BUSTER-"Judge Dread (Judge Four Hundred Years)"
For the past several months I have been on a serious Prince Buster kick which has resulted in my tracking down several of his mid 60's sides on Buster and Blue Beat.  Known to most of you through it's inspiration for The Special's "Stupid Marriage", "Judge Dread (Judge Four Hundred Years") stands as a landmark to both his sense of humor and his biting social commentary.

2. THE JAM-"I Got By In Time"
For ages I failed to draw all the then contemporary references reviewers made to the Who in regards to the Jam's debut LP "In The City".  It was only recently in the midst of my nostalgic Jam rediscovery (interestingly preceded by a similar journey with the Who's '64-'66 catalog) that I discovered how much many of the albums tracks DO resemble the '65 era Who.  "I Got By In Time" with it's call and response backing vocals and soulful chord changes reminds me of The Who doing "Heatwave" or "La La La La Lies".

3. THE LEFT BANKE-"Goodbye Holly"
60's American bands were always quick to claim their devotion as devout Anglophiles but all this usual amounted to was the odd awful fake accent and some ludicrously hideous Swinging London gear. "Goodbye Holly" by the Left Banke shows this was not 100% correct as it sounds entirely like something recorded in the U.K. before pop was dosed with psychedelia.

4. ALEX CHILTON-"Jumpin' Jack Flash"
Few people can pull off Stones covers. Alex Chilton did in 1970.  Admittedly I am not the world's biggest Alex Chilton fan because for the past 30 years I've been force fed  by all and sundry about his "genius" (ditto for Big Star).  But this bare bones, gritty, swaggering take on "Jumpin' Jack Flash" is brilliant in all it's lo-fi, sloppy, stroppy glory.

Released on Deram a full three days before Macca & Co.'s version this glam (or known to some as "boot boy glam") cop of "Jet" sunk without a trace and has become incredibly collectible.  It's brassy, ballsy and full of footstomping fun. I was always curious what Paul thought of it....

6. DUFFY POWER-"There You Go"
This tough unreleased 1965 cut unearthed on Duffy's "Vampers And Champers" CD compilation (previously  released on an LP in 1971 as "Innovations" ) it features some tough/jarring guitar playing from John McLaughlin and Duffy's  unmistakable bluesy vocals and harp blowing.

7. THE SOFT MACHINE-"She's Gone"
Culled from a compilation of possibly slightly dubious nature titled "Jet Propelled Photographs" this '67 Soft's number has none of the meandering, over indulgent 15 minute track constraints the bulk of their work has for me.  Short and sweet it's not too dissimilar to mid 60's U.S. garage bands with a flair for the avant garde.

8. DEE CLARK-"That's My Girl"
My current fave tune at this moment is this incredible flute led soul groover from '64 that owes more than a little to Jimmy Gilmer's 1963 hit "Sugar Shack".  Sadly slated as a "Northern soul classic" for some inane reason it's infectious despite the cheezy Wigan disco connotation.

9. LAMBERT, HENDRICKS & ROSS-"Charleston Alley"
Led by the stellar voice of Annie Ross this track rates as my fave from L, H & R incredibly hip 1962 album "The Hottest New Group In Jazz".

10. THE FACES-"Maybe I'm Amazed"
The Faces studio version of Macca's soulful hit will always be one of my fave tracks by them, from Ronnie Lane's brilliant lead vocals on first verse, Woody's acoustic guitar, Rod's rasping and above all Mac's powerhouse ivory pounding it kicks the guts out of the original in my book.

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