Pet Shop Boys re-issue three more of their albums today following in the remaster plus 'Further Listening' bonus material Catalogue series. The three albums Nightlife (1999), Release (2002) come in bumper 3 disc editions while Fundamental (2006) is a two-disc item.
As I never really took to either Release or Fundamental, Nightlife is perhaps the last PSB album I ever fully appreciated. Listening to it on Spottyfly (where not all of the bonus tracks are available - never quite understood why that sometimes happens) this morning it still sounded sounded good even though I was already used to a pristine sounding 1999 CD. But I'm sure they've added bits and stuff on some tracks. Little synth parts on the opening For Your Own Good and Closer to Heaven were unexpected. Singles I Don't Know What You Want... and You Only Tell Me You Love Me.. aside, Radiophonic and Footsteps remain favourites.
The wee Radiophonic video I made for youtube was taken down last year for 'copyright' reasons, so here's one with Spanish subtitles which is obviously perfectly acceptable and does not infringe any copyright at all.
Another Peel mixtape this time from May 1979 when a lot of interesting new stuff was coming out. I've stretched it to a C90 this time and waived the one track per artist rule (Tubeway Army, Undertones) and there ar no sessions. As always, I'm limited to what is documented on the Peel Wiki and what's available on Spotty-fy. Anyway, enjoy! SIDE ONE
The Undertones - Jimmy Jimmy
XTC - Life Begins at the Hop
David Bowie - Boys Keep Swinging
Minny Pops - Footsteps
L.K. Johnson - It Noh Funny
The Tourists - Blind Among the Flowers
Tubeway Army - Replicas
Tubeway Army - It Must Have Been Years
Elvis Costello - Accidents Will Happen
The Human League - The Dignity of Labour pt. 3
Lene Lovich - Say When
The Specials - Gangsters
Fischer-Z - Acrobats
Stiff Little Fingers - Gotta Gettaway
The Pop Group - Blood Money
The Undertones - I Gotta Getta
Gang of Four - At Home He's a Tourist
Skids - Masquerade
The Damned - Love Song
Magazine - Feed the Enemy
Iggy Pop - Don't Look Down
Devo - The Day My Baby Gave Me a Big Surprise
Steel Pulse - Babylon Makes the Rules
Shoes For Industry - Can't Help It/Falling in Love Again
The Adverts - My Place
Dalek I - Freedom Fighters
Capital Letters - Run Run Run
Smash Hits, May 3 1979 (Billy Idol cover) incl. Bitz: 'Idol Chat', Granny Pursey, Bowie in punch-up, Return of The Damned; Interviews: J-J Burnel; Lyrics: I'm an Upstart, Singles - reviewed by L. Lovich: Jimmy Jimmy, Say When, Boys Keep Swinging, Does Your Mother Know; Albums: Second Hand Daylight, Manifesto, Music for Aiports; Gigz; Back page: Squeeze.
Smash Hits, May 17 1979 (David Bowie cover) incl. Lyrics: Say When, Boys Keep Swinging (incl. A pictorial history of David Bowie), Roxanne, Jimmy Jimmy, Love Song Bitz: The Police, Mike Oldfield, Angelic Upstarts; Features: Sex Pistols Past Present and Future (D. Hepworth), Singles: Accidents Will Happen, The Cost of Living EP, Sunday Girl; Albums: Black Rose, Life In A Day, Live at the Witch Trails (Fall); Gigz; Back page: the Police.
Smash Hits, May 31 1979 (Debbie Harry cover) incl. Lyrics: Number One in Heaven, Life Begins at the Hop, Shine a Little Love, Capital Radio/I Fought the Law, Sheena is a Punk Rocker, Features: Undertones - Parka Power; bitz: Blondie, Mods, Gary Numan/Tubeway Army, Sparks, Damned, Ian Dury; Centrespread. Bowie; Singles: Getta Gettaway, Masquerade EP, Life Begins at the Hop, Are 'Friends' Electric?, Wake Up + 3; Albums: Voulez-Vous, Mission Accomplished But the Beat Goes On, Lodger; Gigz; Back page: Lene Lovich.
Here's my first playlist / mixtape of tracks from John Peel shows, from January 1980. Rules are that tracks (singles, album tracks sessions etc.) were played for the first time around the stated period, and try to keep it to max. 60 mins (30 mins each side), and one track per artist (unless there are more worthy of playing, eg. in the case of a session..). Playlist available on Spotify.
Simple Minds - Premonition (session)
The Cure - Play For Today (new album, Seventeen Seconds)
Pretenders - Tattooed Love Boys (new album Pretenders)
Magazine - A Song From Under the Floorboards (session)
Silicon Teens - Judy In Disguise (single)
John Foxx - He's a Liquid (album Metamatic)
The Selecter - James Bond (B side)
The Durutti Column - Requiem for a Father (new album The Return of..)
Siouxsie & Banshees - Drop Dead/Celebration (B side)
The Flying Lizards - TV (single)
Martha & the Muffins - Echo Beach
Madness - In the Rain (B side)
OMITD - Red Frame/White Light (single)
Bauhaus - Dark Entries (single)
The Vapors - Turning Japanese (single)
Simple Minds - Room (session)
Smash Hits January 10 1980 (Pretenders cover), incl. Lyrics Tears of a Clown, Too Much Too Young, My Girl, What Do I Get?, John I'm Only Dancing; Bitz: Inmates, Two-Tone, clash, Sex Pistols, Skahe, John Foxx, The Cure, XTC; features: Pretenders, Madness, Mike Oldfield, Selecter, Centrefold. Pink Floyd. Singles. My Girl Albunms: none! Back page poster. Clash
Smash Hits 24 January 1980 (Sparks cover): lyrics: Angels (L. Lovich), Someone's Looking At You, Three Minute Hero, Sweet Suburbia, 7teen. Bitz: Paul Weller, Hugh Cornwell, Elvis Costello, Madness, SLF, Regents, PIL, Squeeze, Tom Robinson, features. Sparks, Beat, Centrespread. Pretenders; Gigz.
A strange year for music as there seems to be quite a lot of stagnancy about and far too many of those 'greatest hits' type albums. But here's a list of my faves of this year anyway:
1. Station to Station - David Bowie
- he seems to have left his Ziggy Stardust years well and truly behind. A bit of a mish mash of long and shorter tracks but most of them are ace! Looking forward to the next one already which is apparently going to be made in Switzerland.
2. Timeless Flight - Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel
No hits à la Come Up and See Me.. on this one but it's a grower. Didn't like their Beatles cover much though (not on here).
3. Blue For You - Status Quo
The Quo were on top form for this one and Rain should've got to no. 1. Pity I spilled a whole bottle of patchuli over the sleeve that night...Stinks a bit now. Might have to get the 8-track for the car.
4. Wings At the Speed of Sound - Wings (duh!)
Another corker from Macca and Linda and their mates, even though the singles were a bit soppy. Apparently he called round to Lennon's flat in NY in April but it didn't come to much cos Lennon was too busy looking after the baby.
5. Manfred Man's Earth Band - Roaring Silence
Wow .. just check out the full length version of Blinded By the Light!! It'll just blow your mind, man! That stupid punk rock rubbish will never be any better than this. Or the Quo.
6. A New World Record - ELO
Jeff Lynne and his orchestra just get better and better. They need to do a double album I reckon. In space.
7. Boxed - Mike Oldfield
It's a box set (geddit?) of his previous studio albums and some extra stuff but it's all been re-mixed in (wait for it) QUAD SOUND! This is the future, man. (Pity nobody's got a quadraphonic record player yet)
8. A Day at the Races - Queen
Their little gig in Hyde Park last summer must have been a real blast, and it certainly pulled a bigger crowd than that stupid Punk Rock festival in OXford Street or whatever. This new album is top stuff too. Somebody to Love was a great single but check out the opener Tie Your Mother Down...yeah!
9. Arrival - ABBA
OK, OK, ...Quo, ELO or Queen it ain't but these saucy Swedes can kick out a good tune when they want to (except for that Fernando single which was cr*p and thankfully not included here). Opening track: 'When I Kissed the Teacher' ! Naughty! (Check out those white boiler suits...phwooar!) Nice helicopter too.
10. Oxygene - Jean Michel Jarre (French import)
Some nice, spacey electronic music LP my cousin brought back from Paris cos he said it was all the rage over there. It'll never catch on here though - no songs, no lyrics...and it's French!
Well, that was my 2016 ... hope you had a good one guys. Looking forward to 1977 already.
Not so much bottom but for of thigh and leg on this one although these is a hint of a pair of buttocks on this most unusual and controversial of Hipgnosis sleeves.
What we have here is a kind of surreal bathroom setting where a half naked (bottom down) young lady is taking advantage of an almost half naked (bottom up) young man (the plumber?), forcing him against the wall in the bath/shower. Oh and the title is a pun on the word 'fawcett', ie. a tap (hence bathroom setting, geddit?).
I know nothing about the record, or indeed about the band, other than it was published in 1975 and was their fourth studio album. It didn't chart and neither did it spawn any hit singles although according to allmusic, songwriters Schenker and Moff were finally finding 'their groove' on this one and "the group launches itself wholeheartedly toward the hard rock direction that would make them stars". Fair enough.
Anyway we're more concerned with the cover here and to that end there are one or two interesting points. Firstly, wiki would have us believe that the bathroom twosome on the cover are couple Genesis P. Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti, a pair of scamps indeed who got up to all kinds of controversial tricks in the 70s (and beyond) with their COUM Transmissions "performance art" project. We haven't found evidence or confirmation that it is actually them although given that they got up to much bawdier tricks than just posing half naked in a bath back then, one wouldn't put it past them. Orridge and Tutti also formed their own band Throbbing Gristle with Chris Carter in 1975.
Second point of note is that those prudish USA people had to publish their own version of the album cover in which the couple are basically invisible, a nice piece of early photoshopping, which probably took about a month to do in those days. Plenty of 'force-its' still on display though.
Force It was remastered and re-issued in 2007 - you can listen to ithere.
Haven't had a bottom for a bit, and what better place to look for one than the Hipgnosis back catalogue, as they seem to have been quite partial to the odd bottom.
Released in 1977, Going for the One is the eighth studio album by the UK prog super group Yes. The album marks the return of their original keyboard wizard, Rick Wakeman who had left last time because he couldn't get on with the others.
After many successive and famous album covers with Roger Dean, Yes contacted Storm Thorgerson’s and Aubrey Powell’s design group Hipgnosis to create artwork for their new album. As well as a very handsome male bottom, the album cover features the facades of the Century Plaza Towers in Los Angeles, also known as the Twin Towers - not be confused with New York's Twin Towers which aren't there anymore.
Going for the One is one of Yes' best known albums, not least as it contained a couple of their few hit singles, namely Wonderous Stories and the album title track. European (but not prudish UK) releases also used the bottom for the single sleeves.
Exactly the kind of thing Spotify is good for, and worth paying a monthly subscription for! ie. something you're interested in hearing but don't really want to shell out the cash for .. and it's Bowie related.. It's the soundtrack to The Man Who Fell To Earth, 1976 film starring Bowie although the music is not by him at all. It's by - quote: "John Phillips of The Mamas & The Papas fame (who composed specifically for the film), and Stomu Yamash’ta" unquote.
Not sure if it's any good, and to be honest I've always struggled a bit with the film itself, so let's see if the music stands up by itself. You can buy the 2xCD now andin November there will be a deluxe 2CD/2LP but in the meantime, listen here!