Saturday 27 March 2010

News, Views and Music Issue 57 (Top Five) EP Rarities

♫ And its a happy EP day to all of you! Most of our readers born post-1970 probably won’t have a clue what I’m talking about, but back in the 60s many artists used to release Extended Play records, a sort of halfway house between singles and album tracks. They usually contained four tracks, came at a cheaper price than albums and occasionally contained exclusive material. Back in the 1980s when CDs lead to many classic AAA artists’ material being released there were a spate of EP compilations (The Kinks even memorably stretched to two!), but nowadays most of these tracks tend to be added as ‘bonus’ tracks on a full album. Here, in this week’s top five, is our handy guide to the AAA songs that – used to - be exclusive to EPs and where to find them now.

5) Poison Ivy (The Rolling Stones, ‘The Rolling Stones’ EP 1963 – still waiting for CD release!): In an alternate universe The Stones became the 60s’ biggest draw after The Beatles much earlier than their turning point as the bad boys of rock in 1964. ‘Poison Ivy’ was intended to be the band’s debut single, recorded as far back as August 1963, but was passed over for the vastly inferior Chuck Berry b-side ‘Come On’. What is there not to like about this cover? It’s funny, sassy, rocky and about as subversive as the censors would allow in 1963 (it skirts mighty close to being about sexual disease, even if the worst the boy narrator gets from his girlfriend is a bit of scratching) and perfect for what The Stones would become, even though they hadn’t actually got there yet (Andrew Loog Oldham only made the band an ‘anti’ Beatles the following year). Along with the band’s other key early song-that-nobody-knows, ‘Fortune Teller’, the band ignored it and stuck it on an EP (the latter overdubbed with fake screams to sound like a live recording!) and left it to The Hollies to release perhaps the definitive version instead (even though they too never released ‘Poison Ivy’ at the time). ollH

4) When I’m Not There (The Hollies, ‘I’m Alive’ EP 1965 – still only available on ‘The Hollies EP Collection’, now out of print although !) A forgotten Tony Hicks song – the first time any of The Hollies got solo billing apart from the Clarke-Hicks-Nash writing team – is, together with its partner ‘What Kind Of Girl’, one of the rarest of all released Hollies songs. And it doesn’t deserve to be – a short but soulful burst of Northern 60s pop, it’s a typically tight Hollies performance full of handclaps, chiming guitars and sudden bursts of adrenalin from drummer Bobby Elliott. Do you ever dream of me when I’m not there? Well, if this song is missing from your Hollies collection then you should dream of it. A lot.

3) Disguises (The Who, ‘Ready Steady Who’ EP 1966, now found on ‘A Quick One’): One of Pete Townshend’s key early compositions is strangely abandoned on this sea of leftovers including off-key covers of surfing songs ‘Barbara Ann’ and ‘Bucket T’ as sung by non-singing drummer Keith Moon and a run through the Batman theme tune! A loud, crunching, bass heavy song is given an extra murky riff to make it sound swampy and impenetrable, just as the girl in the song keeps changing her appearance, dress, mannerisms and opinions much to the narrator’s confusion. No wonder the band can’t work out what’s going on either – like many a song from 1966, the playing is all over the place. The Jam later covered this song in the late 70s, rescuing this song from its relative obscurity – and I’m glad, more fans should know about this song, if only because its a dry run for the equally ever-changing classic single ‘Substitute’ the same year.

2) I Call Your Name (The Beatles, ‘Long Tall Sally’ EP 1964, now found on ‘Past Masters Volume One’): The Beatles released loads of EPs in the 1960s but only one contained previously unreleased material – three varying covers (Larry Williams’ ‘Slow Down’ is the best and I’ve no idea why the recorded-in-the-same-session, unreleased-till-1966-best-of-compilation ‘Bad Boy’ isn’t on the same EP as its easily the best of the bunch) and one forgotten Lennon/McCartney song. ‘I Call Your Name’ is a halfway house between the classics the Beatles were churning out in their sleep in 1964 and the filler material that made up the handful of other songs in the period. It’s a brave stab at doing something different to the usual sounds around in 1964 – Lennon later looked back on this song and pronounced it an early attempt at reggae, albeit very much that of a white Merseybeat band doing reggae – and its sense of urgency at not getting a reply is very much in the Lennon mould of songs circa 1964 (it’s a dead ringer for ‘You Can’t Do That’). Now found alongside the other ‘Long Tall Sally’ tracks on the first Past Masters compilation.

1) This Is Where I Belong (The Kinks, ‘Mr Pleasant’ EP, now found as a bonus track on ‘Face To Face’). Another key song in the development of a composer seemingly chucked away on a forgotten EP (it’s not even the title track). ‘This Is Where I Belong’ is one of the most tortuous Kinks recordings of all – Ray is painfully off key and every note is a struggle, but that’s all a deliberate ploy to back up this multi-layered song about saying one thing while believing another. Ray was moving into his first house at the time this song was written along with a pregnant wife - and battling this sudden expectation to ‘grow up’ with every step if his songs about domestication in this period are to be believed. An early attempt at taking the audience somewhere different to where they’d have gone if they’d just read the lyric sheet, this is a break through song for Ray Davies and sits nicely among the tracks it inspired on the classic ‘Face To Face’ album, which is similarly split between the shallowness of life and the hidden meanings of its characters.

Well that’s it for another issue. Hopefully there won’t be such a long gap this week – till then keep rocking and see you soon!

A NOW COMPLETE List Of Top Five/Top Ten/TOP TWENTY  Entries 2008-2019
1) Chronic Fatigue songs

2) Songs For The Face Of Bo

3) Credit Crunch Songs

4) Songs For The Autumn

5) National Wombat Week

6) AAA Box Sets

7) Virus Songs

8) Worst AAA-Related DVDs

9) Self-Punctuating Superstar Classics

10) Ways To Know You Have Turned Into A Collector

11) Political Songs

12) Totally Bonkers Concept Albums

13) Celebrating 40 Years Of The Beatles' White Album

14) Still Celebrating 40 Years Of The Beatles' White Album

15) AAA Existential Questions

16) Releases Of The Year 2008

17) Top AAA Xmas Songs

18) Notable AAA Gigs

19) All things '20' related for our 20th issue

20) Romantic odes for Valentine's Day

21) Hollies B sides

22) 'Other' BBC Session Albums

23) Beach Boys Rarities Still Not Available On CD

24) Songs John, Paul and George wrote for Ringo's solo albums

25) 5 of the Best Rock 'n' Roll Tracks From The Pre-Beatles Era

26) AAA Autobiographies

27) Rolling Stones B-sides

28) Beatles B-Sides

29) The lllloooonnngggeesssttt AAA songs of all time

30) Kinks B-Sides

31) Abandoned CSNY projects 'wasted on the way'

32) Best AAA Rarities and Outtakes Sets

33) News We've Missed While We've Been Away

34) Birthday Songs for our 1st Anniversary

35) Brightest Album Covers

36) Biggest Recorded Arguments

37) Songs About Superheroes

38) AAA TV Networks That Should Exist

39) AAA Woodtsock Moments

40) Top Moments Of The Past Year As Voted For By Readers

41) Music Segues

42) AAA Foreign Language Songs

43) 'Other' Groups In Need Of Re-Mastering

44) The Kinks Preservation Rock Opera - Was It Really About The Forthcoming UK General Election?

45) Mono and Stereo Mixes - Biggest Differences

46) Weirdest Things To Do When A Band Member Leaves

47) Video Clips Exclusive To Youtube (#1)

48) Top AAA Releases Of 2009

49) Songs About Trains

50) Songs about Winter

51) Songs about astrology plus horoscopes for selected AAA members

52) The Worst Five Groups Ever!

53) The Most Over-Rated AAA Albums

54) Top AAA Rarities Exclusive To EPs

55) Random Recent Purchases (#1)

56) AAA Party Political Slogans

57) Songs To Celebrate 'Rock Sunday'

58) Strange But True (?) AAA Ghost Stories

59) AAA Artists In Song

60) Songs About Dogs

61) Sunshiney Songs

62) The AAA Staff Play Their Own Version Of Monoploy/Mornington Crescent!

63) What 'Other' British Invasion DVDs We'd Like To See

64) What We Want To Place In Our AAA Time Capsule

65) AAA Conspiracy Theroies

66) Weirdest Things To Do Before - And After - Becoming A Star

67) Songs To Tweet To

68) Greatest Ever AAA Solos

69) John Lennon Musical Tributes

70) Songs For Halloween

71) Earliest Examples Of Psychedelia

72) Purely Instrumental Albums

73) AAA Utopias

74) AAA Imaginary Bands

75) Unexpected AAA Cover Versions

76) Top Releases of 2010

77) Songs About Snow

78) Predictions For 2011

79) AAA Fugitives

80) AAA Home Towns

81) The Biggest Non-Musical Influences On The 1960s

82) AAA Groups Covering Other AAA Groups

83) Strange Censorship Decisions

84) AAA Albums Still Unreleased on CD

85) Random Recent Purchases (#2)

86) Top AAA Music Videos

87) 30 Day Facebook Music Challenge

88) AAA Documentaries

89) Unfinished and 'Lost' AAA Albums

90) Strangest AAA Album Covers

91) AAA Performers Live From Mars (!)

92) Songs Including The Number '100' for our 100th Issue

93) Most Songs Recorded In A Single Day

94) Most Revealing AAA Interviews

95) Top 10 Pre-Fame Recordings

96) The Shortest And Longest AAA Albums

97) The AAA Allstars Ultimate Band Line-Up

98) Top Songs About Sports

99) AAA Conversations With God

100) AAA Managers: The Good, The Bad and the Financially Ugly

101) Unexpected AAA Cameos

102) AAA Words You can Type Into A Caluclator

103) AAA Court Cases

104) Postmodern Songs About Songwriting

105) Biggest Stylistic Leaps Between Albums

106) 20 Reasons Why Cameron Should Go!

107) The AAA Pun-Filled Cookbook

108) Classic Debut Releases

109) Five Uses Of Bird Sound Effects

110) AAA Classic Youtube Clips Part #1

111) Part #2

112) Part #3

113) AAA Facts You Might Not Know

114) The 20 Rarest AAA Records

115) AAA Instrumental Songs

116) Musical Tarot

117) Christmas Carols

118) Top AAA Releases Of 2011

119) AAA Bands In The Beano/The Dandy

120) Top 20 Guitarists #1

121) #2

122) 'Shorty' Nomination Award Questionairre

123) Top Best-Selling AAA Albums

124) AAA Songs Featuring Bagpipes

125) A (Hopefully) Complete List Of AAA Musicians On Twitter

126) Beatles Albums That Might Have Been 1970-74 and 1980

127) DVD/Computer Games We've Just Invented

128) The AAA Albums With The Most Weeks At #1 in the UK

129) The AAA Singles With The Most Weeks At #1 in the UK

130) Lyric Competition (Questions)

131) Top Crooning Classics

132) Funeral Songs

133) AAA Songs For When Your Phone Is On Hold

134) Random Recent Purchases (#3)

135) Lyric Competition (Answers)

136) Bee Gees Songs/AAA Goes Disco!

137) The Best AAA Sleevenotes (And Worst)

138) A Short Precise Of The Years 1962-70

139) More Wacky AAA-Related Films And Their Soundtracks

140) AAA Appearances On Desert Island Discs

141) Songs Exclusive To Live Albums

142) More AAA Songs About Armageddon

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159) A (Not That) Short Guide To The 15 Best Non-AAA Bands

160) The Greatest AAA Drum Solos (Or Near Solos!)

161) AAA Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame Acceptance Speeches

162) AAA Re-Recordings Of Past Songs

163) A Coalition Christmas (A Fairy Tale)

164) AAA Songs About Islands

165) The AAA Review Of The Year 2012

166) The Best AAA Concerts I Attended

167) Tributes To The 10 AAA Stars Who Died The Youngest

168) The First 10 AAA Songs Listed Alphabetically

171) The 10 Best Songs From The Psychedelia Box-Sets ‘Nuggets’ and ‘Nuggets Two’

172) The 20 Most Common Girl’s Names In AAA Song Titles (With Definitions) 

180) First Recordings By Future AAA Stars

185) A Tribute To Storm Thorgerson Via The Five AAA Bands He Worked With

188) Surprise! Celebrating 300 Album Reviews With The Biggest 'Surprises' Of The Past Five Years Of Alan's Album Archives!

190) Comparatively Obscure First Compositions By AAA Stars

193) Evolution Of A Band: Comparing First Lyric With Last Lyric:

200) The Monkees In Relation To Postmodernism (University Dissertation)

202) Carly Simon's 'You're So Vain': Was It About One Of The AAA Crew?

217) AAA 'Christmas Presents' we'd most like to have next year

221) Dr Who and the AAA (Five Musical Links)

222) Five Random Recent Purchases

223) AAA Grammy Nominees

224) Ten AAA songs that are better heard unedited and in full

225) The shortest gaps between AAA albums

226) The longest gaps between AAA albums

227) Top ten AAA drummers

228) Top Ten AAA Singles (In Terms of 'A' and 'B' Sides)

229) The Stories Behind Six AAA Logos

230) AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!! The Best Ten AAA Screams

231) An AAA Pack Of Horses

232) AAA Granamas - Sorry, Anagrams!

233) AAA Surnames and Their Meanings

234) 20 Erroneous AAA Album Titles

235) The Best AAA Orchestral Arrangements

236) Top 30 Hilariously Misheard Album Titles/Lyrics

237) Ten controversial AAA sackings - and whether they were right

238) A Critique On Critiquing - In Response To Brian Wilson

239) The Ten MusicianS Who've Played On The Most AAA Albums

240) Thoughts on #CameronMustGo

241) Random Recent Purchases (Kinks/Grateful Dead/Nils Lofgren/Rolling Stones/Hollies) 

242) AAA Christmas Number Ones 

243) AAA Review Of The Year 2014 (Top Releases/Re-issues/Documentaries/DVDs/Books/Songs/ Articles  plus worst releases of the year)

244) Me/CFS Awareness Week 2015

245) Why The Tory 2015 Victory Seems A Little...Suspicious

246) A Plea For Peace and Tolerance After The Attacks on Paris - and Syria

247) AAA Review Of The Year 2015

248) The Fifty Most Read AAA Articles (as of December 31st 2015)

249) The Revised AAA Crossword!

251) Half-A-Dozen Berries Plus One (An AAA Tribute To Chuck Berry)

252) Guest Post: ‘The Skids – Joy’ (1981) by Kenny Brown

254) Guest Post: ‘Supertramp – Some Things Never Change’ by Kenny Brown

255) AAA Review Of The Year 2018

256) AAA Review Of The Year 2019 plus Review Of The Decade 2010-2019

257) Tiermaker

258) #Coronastock

259) #Coronadocstock

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