Wednesday, 21 April 2021
Sunday, 18 April 2021
Cover version of the month #66
Love cover Manfred Mann
The genius partnership of composer Burt Bacharach and lyricist Hal David combined to write My Little Red Book for Manfred Mann and the song featured in the 1965 film What's New Pussycat?
Los Angeles psychedelic pop group Love then covered the song in 1966 for their eponymous debut album (it was also their debut single) and it was through Love that I was introduced to the song many years later.
Love's 3rd album, 1967's Forever Changes was an album that I felt I had to own after reading so many of my favourite groups mention it during interviews. So, from memory, I bought that first and then worked back through their catalogue, helped by the fact that FOPP were selling Love albums on CD for a fiver!
Then, somewhat remarkably, Arthur Lee and a modern day incarnation of Love (the band Baby Lemonade) were announced as playing King Tuts Wah Wah Hut! Arthur was fresh out of prison and thanks to having an incredibly loyal fanbase in the UK (Liverpool and Glasgow in particular) he was on tour. Would he show up? How would he sound after years/decades of substance abuse?
It's safe to say that there was a buzz in King Tuts that night. It wasn't sold out, I recall people sitting on the floor before the band came on stage. Arthur looked strong and tall, he sounded magnificent, within seconds everyone knew they were witnessing something special. You could have heard a pin drop during You Set The Scene, my favourite Love song, I still think of Arthur singing as the band dropped down to a low groove I see your picture, it's in the same old frame ... his voice was wonderful.
Arthur announced that customs had lost their equipment so they were playing with instruments borrowed from Belle and Sebastian. I was transfixed and caught them a number of times over the years at the Liquid Room, Usher Hall, Academy and I'm sure I saw them 3 times at Tuts. Certainly twice.
Love's My Little Red Book is two-and-a-half minutes of garage pop perfection. I love when Arthur hums in the short instrumental. You believe him every time he sings there's just no getting over you, oh no. The whole song aches with passion, regret and soul.
Manfred Mann's version is tame in comparison. It's the same song, but the urgency isn't there, it's more theatrical. It's just not quite right. Bacharach himself has been quoted as saying "It's just a very nervous sounding record. They were uncomfortable with that song." (Record Collector)
I count myself extremely fortunate that I got to see the maestro Burt Bacharach at the Kelvingrove Bandstand in the summer of 2019. He was grateful that Love recorded the song and breathed new life into it and he was impressed by the cheer of the crowd when he mentioned Love.
So although Love's version is a cover, in this case, they most definitely make My Little Red Book their own.
You can check Bacharach's own version along with that of Love's and Manfred Mann's below. They have also been added to my Spotify playlist.
Click (or search for) Everything Flows cool cover versions on Spotify for a playlist of the covers I have blogged about and read on for a full list and links to previous cover of the month blogs.
Previous covers of the month
40. Jumpin' Jack Flash
44. Witchi Tai To
45. Our Lips Are Sealed
46. Sunshine Of Your Love
47. Here Comes The Sun
48. I Think We're Alone Now
49. Don't Let Me Down
50. It's Oh So Quiet
52. Summer Holiday
53. Who Do You Think You Are?
54. Head On
55. Nothing Compares 2 U
Tuesday, 13 April 2021
Later this month Dinosaur Jr will release Sweep Into Space, their 12th studio album, on 30th April. Co-produced by J Mascis and Kurt Vile, my appetite for the LP has been hugely enhanced by I Ran Away which is the sound of vintage Dinosaur Jr.
J Mascis' voice is beautifully strained and soulful, his guitar playing still makes me want to pick up an electric guitar, his rhyming style is at peak flowing levels.
All in all, I Ran Away is everything I could possibly hope to hear from Dinosaur Jr in 2021 and more. Are they still this good, this fresh, this exciting - YES!
Sweep Into Space will be the bands 5th album since Mascis, Barlow and Murph re-united back in 2005, playing shows that then led to 2007's Beyond LP.
Mascis and Barlow continue to release solo/Sebadoh albums, but there is no denying that they create something special when they come together with Murph on drums.
The meet me where I know 3rd verse is written in exactly the same style and structure as the first two verses, but it's delivered differently, like a middle eight, it's so clever, so brilliant. And J's fills after each line in the chorus are sublime, the rhythm section is just constant, allowing the magic to happen. J's guitar solo is 25-seconds of escapism and pure joy.
35-years since their debut album, Dinosaur Jr continue to amaze and excite. Roll on the album and I hope we see the band return to Glasgow next year.
You can order Sweep Into Space from the good people at Monorail by CLICKING HERE
Wednesday, 7 April 2021
Trust Me # 23
After 3-months of featuring Teenage Fanclub songs by Norman Blake, Gerry Love and Raymond McGinley, the monthly Trust Me feature in my blog veers off into wildly different territory courtesy of Orbital and their song Belfast, one of the most sublime, blissful, dreamy and euphoric tunes I have had the pleasure of hearing and experiencing.
I say experience, as watching Orbital perform Belfast in the Barrowland to a sea of saucer eyed fans with hands in the air, or in a sweaty tent at T in the Park, or listening to it in a pub/club or post club party was always an experience.
Belfast is a song that cuts through the air like a knife, it makes you stop in your tracks. If you've heard it before then a broad smile will begin to plaster itself across your face. If you're hearing it for the first time then you may well ask 'what the f**k is that?'
I think the first time I heard it was in O'Henry's Bar (now the Yes Bar) in Drury Street in Glasgow, across from the famous Horseshoe Bar. Some friends and I used to book the downstairs basement, set up decks and play an eclectic mix of music. It was usually me, my friend's Reddy, Phil and Chris.
Chris played a great mix which took in everything from Candy Flip covering Strawberry Fields Forever to crazy techno. But the end of his set was one he stuck with for at least a couple of years - Orbital and Underworld. Chris ended the night by playing Orbital's Chime into Rez by Underworld, into Belfast - heaven on earth!
Still sounding fresh, vital and futuristic 30-years since it was released, Belfast begins like a cinema soundtrack, as if you know something important is going to happen ... something is!
Synths begin to bubble, the chords become warmer, then we are introduced to the fantastic use of a sample of soprano Emily Van Evera performing O Euchari that heightens the senses and really starts to take the listener off on a beautiful dreamy journey.
Loads of synth sounds are introduced, beats become heavier, there are multiple layers and then a riff comes in to whisk you higher still.
The sounds, the layers, the production, the way everything is pieced so beautifully and so perfectly together is just sublime.
At 3 minutes 30 seconds everything cuts to beats, it's only for a mere 19 seconds, enough for you to catch your breath, before the synths start bubbling again and we're in for another 4-minute ride to the stars.
This is electronic psychedelia, created in a cupboard at the top of the stairs (see link below to Paul Hartnoll's story). Kind of punk, kind of crazy, all kinds of amazing, sheer bliss!
Around 6-minutes things start to slow down gradually, this is when Belfast reaches peak bliss (at least for me), things slow, leaving you kind of hanging in a higher state of consciousness as the song edges towards conclusion at 8-minutes 10 seconds.
This epic slice of electronic heaven received the title Belfast after Orbital played the Art College in Belfast in May 1990. The duo had been booked by David Holmes and Alan Simms, leaving behind a demo tape which included the track subsequently named Belfast in recognition of the positive experience they'd had in the city.
Trust me - this is as good as it gets. Even if electronic music isn't normally your thing, try this out with your headphones on and your eyes closed.
Check the original demo Belfast - the original jam
Read the story behind Belfast by Paul Hartnoll
And below you'll find the released version in all it's ecstatic, euphoric, electronic splendour + a live version from one of the many incredible sets that Orbital have played at Glastonbury over the years.
You can find a playlist of songs in my Trust Me series by searching for Everything Flows Trust Me on Spotify, or CLICK HERE You'll also find links to all previous blogs in the series below.
Previous Trust Me blogs
Saturday, 3 April 2021
Barry McLuskie and Alan Clarke joined me again to record the second Teenage Fanclub Fanclub podcast. This time we focused on 2005's Man-Made album.
"We hardly took any equipment, just some guitars and a pair of drumsticks." - Norman Blake
As we recorded the Long Way Round podcast in February, the three of us found we had been listening to (and greatly appreciating) Man-Made. Three songs made it on to our Long Way Round (imaginary) compilation.
There is a freshness to the album. The band have moved on from Creation/Sony, the 2003 career spanning compilation 4766 Seconds - A Shortcut to Teenage Fanclub helped to draw a line in the sand, Francis MacDonald returns on drums, the band have set up their own PeMa label and they have decamped to Chicago to record with John McEntire from Tortoise on production duties.
We hope you enjoy the discussion surrounding the album, each song, b-sides and shows from the era, our thoughts and the odd tangent we head off on!
And here are the promo videos for the singles, plus a link to the excellent b-side Please Stay.
It's All In My Mind - video
Fallen Leaves - video
Please Stay - b-side to It's All In My Mind
Friday, 2 April 2021
Welcome to the latest additions to my Never Ending Mixtape on Spotify.
I recently read the excellent Barbed Wire Kisses by Zoe Howe on the Mary Chain and as a result a healthy dose of The Jesus and Mary Chain songs added to the playlist, as well as their Sister Vanilla project with their sister Linda.
The BBC iPlayer is currently showing an incredible documentary on Shane MacGowan. The archive footage of a young teenage MacGowan discovering himself in London as punk is breaking is sensational, he was there at early gigs by The Pistols and The Clash, all of a sudden he discovers himself and an identity. The live footage from Pogues shows is spine tingling and breath taking, mild chaos on stage and on the floor, MacGowan the conductor. I've never really dug deep into The Pogues catalogue, but I've enjoyed checking them out. Sadly, some of the interview footage with MacGowan is pretty harrowing, always with a beer or wine close to hand, looking at least 20-years older than he is.
Elsewhere we have a new track from UNKLE and I intend to blog on their latest album soon. Two gems from The Charlatans Between 10th & 11th feature, including the superbly titled Chewing Gum Weekend.
You'll also find some northern soul, glam pop, early Primals, some stunners from Damon Albarn's Gorillaz - just listen to Bobby Womack on Stylo!
There are now over 1,900 songs on my Never Ending Mixtape. Search Everything Flows Never Ending Mixtape on Spotify or CLICK HERE. Scroll down to get to these songs, or click shuffle and enjoy.
Here are the latest additions;
cellaphone - FKA Twigs
Solid Gold Easy Action - T-Rex
Life's A Gas - T-Rex
Mini, mini, mini - Jacques Dutronc
Psycho - The Sonics
Gonna Give Her All The Love I've Got - Marvin Gaye
Coz I Love You - Slade
Do Yourself Some Good (Ronin Throwdown) - UNKLE
Chewing Gum Weekend - The Charlatans
(No-one ) Not Even The Rain - The Charlatans
Mama Soul - The Soul Survivors
On The Wall (Portastudio Demo) - The Jesus and Mary Chain
Art School - The Jam
I'll Be Your Mirror - The Velvet Underground & Nico
We Go Down Slowly Rising - Primal Scream
I.O.U (Campbell session) - The La's
Nine Million Rainy Days - The Jesus and Mary Chain
Cherry Came Too - The Jesus and Mary Chain
Far Gone And Out - The Jesus and Mary Chain
Don't Get Lost In Heaven - Gorillaz
Demon Days - Gorillaz
Dirty Harry - Gorillaz
Stylo - Gorillaz (featuring Mos Def & Bobby Womack)
Parthenon Drive - Echo and the Bunnymen
Why Can't There Be Love? - Dee Ewards
To Know You Is To Love You - Syreeta
Get It Up For Love - Ned Docheny
Girlfriend - The Jesus and Mary Chain
Something I Can't Have - The Jesus and Mary Chain
Drop - The Jesus and Mary Chain
Can't Stop The Rock - Sister Vanilla
K to be Last - Sister Vanilla
Jamcolas - Sister Vanilla
Totp - Sister Vanilla
Volcano Girls - Veruca Salt
A Rainy Night In Soho - The Pogues
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah - The Pogues
Love You 'til The End - The Pogues
The Broad Majestic Shannon - The Pogues
Saturday, 27 March 2021
Albums have helped provide glimmers of light, hope and escapism to music fans across the world over the last year. Tim Burgess listening parties on Twitter certainly helped me to escape reality on a number of occasions. Music has that power. I got lost in albums I hadn't listened to in ages, gained even more appreciation for some as I learned of the stories behind the writing and recording and just generally loved listening to a full album and switching off from the news and the world.
With some time on my hands, I looked back through my blog to check on albums I have written about. I thought I would compile them (plus a few EP's) in one blog, largely for my own amusement, but also just in case it helps anyone who visits my blog to discover or rediscover albums that I enjoy.
There is a wide mix of music from my youth, through albums released during the lifetime of the blog; DIY artists from Scotland, real favourite artists and some of my all-time favourite blogs.
One of the other reasons I looked back on my blog was because I realised I hadn't been blogging on albums as much as I used to. I only wrote 5 blogs on albums through 2020, in comparison to 10 in 2019 and 11 in 2018. I have a number of unfinished album features in my drafts folder that I hope to get round to finishing.
Anyway, enough about that. Here is a list of blogs I have written on 76 albums and 3 EP's.
Take a look and thanks for visiting.
Shadows by Teenage Fanclub, blog from December 2010
Screamadelica by Primal Scream (20-years on), blog from February 2011
Ocean Rain by Echo & The Bunnymen, blog from May 2011
Nevermind by Nirvana, blog from June 2011
Definitely Maybe by Oasis, blog from August 2012
BMX Bandits In Space by BMX Bandits, blog from October 2012
Big Inner by Matthew E White, blog from February 2013
Kingdom Of Wires by Kevin Harper, blog from June 2013
Drop Out by East Village, blog from January 2014
Morning Phase by Beck, blog from February 2014
Rave Tapes by Mogwai, blog from February 2014
Ever Evolving Lounge by Dr Cosmos Tape Lab, blog from July 2014
Psychocandy by The Jesus & Marychain, blog from November 2014
The Second Coming by The Stone Roses, blog from December 2014
Modern Nature by The Charlatans, blog from January 2015
Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance by Belle & Sebastian, blog from January 2015
Sparks To Fire by Flash Talk/Sonny Marvello, blog from January 2015
Everything Ever Written by Idlewild, blog from February 2015
Natalie Prass by Natalie Prass, blog from February 2015
Matador by Gaz Coombes, blog from February 2015
Beyond The Silver Sea by Dr Cosmos Tape Lab, blog from April 2015
How Many Glasgow by Jad Fair, Tenniscoats & Norman Blake, blog from April 2015
Grand Prix by Teenage Fanclub, blog from May 2015
Destroy Rock n Roll by Mylo, blog from May 2015
Highest Point In Cliff Town by Hooton Tennis Club, blog from August 2015
The Beginning Stages of the Polyphonic Spree, blog from September 2015
Some Friendly by The Charlatans, blog from October 2015
(What's The Story) Morning Glory by Oasis, blog from October 2015
Music Complete by New Order, blog from October 2015
Hotchspotch by kIDD, blog from December 2015
In Search Of Harperfield by Emma Pollock, blog from February 2016
Faults by The Second Hand Marching Band & Benni Hemm Hemm, blog from February 2016
Bryter Layter by Nick Drake, blog from March 2016
Homemade Lemonade by Ette / Carla J Easton, blog from July 2016
Wildflower by The Avalanches, blog from July 2016
Barbara, Barbara, We Face A Shining Future, blog from July 2016
Here by Teenage Fanclub, blog from September 2016
Teenage Fanclub Have Lost It EP, blog from January 2017
Pacific Ocean Blue by Dennis Wilson, blog from April 2017
Sirens EP by TeenCanteen, blog from April 2017
Friday Night The Eagles Fly by The Bar Dogs, blog from April 2017
Into the Light by Medicine Men, blog from May 2017
BMX Bandits Forever, blog from May 2017
Weather Diaries by Ride, blog from June 2017
Different Days by The Charlatans, blog from June 2017
Songs From Northern Britain by Teenage Fanclub, blog from July 2017
How The West Was Won by Peter Perrett, blog from August 2017
Erratic Cinematic by Gerry Cinnamon, blog from September 2017
There Are No Saints by Siobhan Wilson, blog from September 2017
Returned From Sea by Sister John, blog from September 2017
Peel Sessions by Teenage Fanclub, blog from October 2017
Permo by Spinning Coin, blog from November 2017
The Winter Garden Playtest by Radiophonic Tuckshop, blog from December 2017
Moon Safari by Air, blog from January 2018
Cardinal by Pinegrove, blog from January 2018
Silver Dollar Moment by The Orielles, blog from February 2018
A Northern Soul by The Verve, blog from June 2018
Lush by Snail Mail, blog from July 2018
The Immaculate Collection by Madonna, blog from August 2018
Hope Downs by Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, blog from August 2018
Technique by New Order, blog from September 2018
And Nothing Hurt by Spiritualized, blog from September 2018
The Original Memphis Recordings by Primal Scream, blog from October 2018
Impossible Stuff by Carla J Easton, blog from October 2018
The Good Will Out by Embrace, blog from February 2019
Innocence and Despair by Langley Schools Music Project, blog from February 2019
Varshons 2 by The Lemonheads, blog from February 2019
Badbea by Edwyn Collins, blog from March 2019
Morning Dove White by One Dove, blog from March 2019
Music For Megastructures by L Space, blog from April 2019
A Catholic Education by Teenage Fanclub, blog from July 2019
Pii 3 by Stephen Solo, blog from July 2019
Dogrel by Fontaines DC, blog from October 2019
The Soft Bulletin by The Flaming Lips, blog from April 2019
Comes A Time by Mark W Georgsson, blog from September 2020
McCartney by Paul McCartney, blog from October 2020
The Creatures We Were Before We Are Ghosts by The Son(s), blog from November 2020
McCartney II by Paul McCartney, blog from December 2020
The Loves Of Your Life by Hamilton Leithauser, blog from December 2020
Two Sunsets by The Pastels & Tenniscoats, blog from January 2021