In-depth reviews of classic or neglected albums, mainly from the 1960s and 70s, plus a weekly newsletter featuring all the latest news, views and music. Artists covered include Beach Boys, Beatles, Belle and Sebastian, Buffalo Springfield, Byrds, Crosby Stills and Nash, Dire Straits, Grateful Dead, Hollies, Jefferson Airplane/Starship, Kinks, Nils Lofgren, Monkees, Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Searchers, Simon and Garfunkel, Small Faces, 10cc, The Who and Neil Young.
Saturday, 2 July 2011
News, Views and Music Issue 104 (Intro)
Dear Readers, well what do you know? Despite not even breathing a word of the ‘Human League’ (see last three issues) who are definitely cursed our computer has let us down again. For good this time!!! (Or so I fear!) Thank goodness we had backups of every issue we've posted so far - except the one I'd written 3/4s of ready to go. Grrr! It was really good too, honest it was. Now I'll have to remember it for next week! Oh and we've lost the sims game too, just as Crosby was really turning into a star (yeah I know he is in 'our' world, but in the sims work its hard work let me tell you!!!) I knew I should have hired The Monkees instead...in the meantime I could have just sat back and watched the tennis but…I had the rest of this week’s issue all planned and an album I have complete on my mp3 player so, rather than give in, this week we’ve gone to the local library to get this issue to you. Now, nothing against the library computers (who have a darned sight better internet access than my laptop) but their graphics do date a bit. Say about a 1983 Mac or a BBC Micro. On a good day. So things might look a little different this issue, as well as being a bit shorter (who shouted ‘hurrah’?!). Hopefully it won’t be forever though and we’ll be back up and running next week! (Hmm, I’ve said that before…)
What else to tell you? Oh yes, having chronic fatigue means I’m forever forgetting what I should be looking at by the time I log on at the library and get hypnotised by all those flashing screens. So thanks to the random programme I happened to be watching the other day that gave me the line ‘You(tube) Twit(ter) Face(Book)’, which I have now modified to read ‘You Twit Face Amazon Yahoo! (‘s Album Archives!)
Erm, moving on…would you believe our site has now passed 7000 views! Terrific! We seem to be going up by around 25 hits a day as of this week so a special hello to all our readers old and new! What do you think of the new-look site by the way? Oh and we’re also working on a video version of News, Views and Music for YouTube starring Max the Singing Dog again. Any ideas?
BuffaloSpringfield News: Shock! Horror! After talking abou7t it for nigh on 40 years the second Springfield reunion in as many years took place last week at their old American stomping ground in Oakland, USA, with another five gigs set to follow. Neil Young, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay played about two thirds of their three album back catalogue, this time on electric instruments rather than the ‘unplugged’ set they did at Neil’s Bridge School Benefit show last year. Neil even retrieved his old ‘Indian’ fringe jacket out of the loft for the event! The set-list included all the usual suspects along with a few gems the participants haven’t played in years (‘Hot Dusty Roads’ ‘Broken Arrow’ and the box-set only ‘M<y Kind Of Love’ among them), along with a 20-minute version of ‘Bluebird’ (just as in the days of old!) and a final encore of Young’s solo hit ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’. Some 35 years after he last declared it, Neil really can claim that ‘the spirit of the Buffalo Springfield is back!’
Kinks News: Details are sketchy at the time of going to press, but next Friday, July 14th is Kinks night on BBC4! As well as repeats of the general ‘Brothers in Arms’ documentary about family members in bands and Ray Davies’ ‘Imagine’ special from last Christmas, there are new documnetraies about Dave Davies and a new compilation of classic material of the band from the BBC archives. Now as usual with the BBC there has to be a tie-in product for this event and that is the re-release of batch two of Kinks albums (‘Face to Face’ ‘Something Else’ and ‘Arthur’) in deluxe two-disc form with mono/stereo mixes and various bonus tracks. Alas this second batch are even more disappointing than the first – the only rarities on the superb ‘Face to Face’ (AAA review no 8) are alternate mono and stereo mixes plus the semi-rare B side ‘She Got Everything’. ‘Something Else’ meanwhile has a backing track for ‘Tin Soldier Man’, the first version of that song ‘Sand On My Shoes’, a handful of previously released BBC sessions and, well, not a lot else really although at least this time the mono and stereo mixes are quite different. ‘Arthur’ (AAA classic album no 30) includes the fullest amount of Dave Davies 1969-era recordings to date, but disappointingly all of these have been available on various sets for years already. And where is the BBC version of ‘Victoria’?
Oasis/Beady Eye News: Two lots of programmes Gallagher-related this week. First up, the BBC6 programme on BBC6 wasn’t the one advertised – it was actually a slightly later four part radio doc from 2002, taking the band’s story up to the ‘Heathen Chemistry’ era. It was still interesting though – I’d missed it completely the first time around – and Noel’s and Bonehead’s interviews in particular were very revealing. Oh and isanyone else salivating at Noel’s mention of the work the band had done on album six (the one that eventually turned into ‘Don’t Believe The Truth’?!) ‘Stop The Clocks’ ‘I Want To Live A Dream In My Record Machine’ (both classics available on YouTube) and two other songs I’ve never heard of. What say we petition the Big Brother label for an Oasis Rarities set?!
Next up, part two of Beady Eye live at Abbey Road was shown unexpectedly last week (in the early hours of Thursday, June 30th) on channel 4. While the chat was the same, the programme featured performances of ‘The Morning Son’ ‘Beatles and Stones’ and ‘Three Ring Circus’ missing from the original broadcast (way back in February!) Oh + I didn’t get the name of the other guy on the show but, blooming heck he was awful – which idiot thought his music would do well edited into the middle of a ’Beady Eye’ performance?!
Rolling Stones News: A late mention for last Monday (June 29th)’s BBC6 Live Music Hour in the 3am slot which, sadly, we didn’t get a chance to tell you about before our computer konked out. The repeat was an R and B early morning special; from 1963 and saw a very young Stones supporting headline act Georgie Fame and the Blue Fames. The Stones had at that time released a grand total of two singles (‘C’mon’ and ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’) – both of which are notable for their absence from this show – and one EP (titled, inventively, ‘The Rolling Stones’), which makes up the bulk of their short set. Whilst the Stones aren’t at the peak of their powers by any means, this was a great little set with Brian Jones very much the ‘leader’ of the band in it’s early stages and well worth seeking out by any Stones fanatic. In fact, am I right in thinking that this is the earliest concert appearance by the Stones that still exists?! Well done BBC6, you’ve come up trumps again!
Simon and Garfunkel News: Poor Paul Simon – he’s had to wait all these years to appear at Glastonbury – and then he goes and gets a virus. Alas Paul’s Glasto set was marred by his growly delivery, although the band rallied with a set-list that emphasised Paul’s ‘conversational’ style (ie the songs where he didn’t have to sing that much and still managed to smash Beyonce’s headlining performance the other side of Michael Eavis’ field (but then I would say that wouldn’t I?...) In other news, Paul revealed that he and Art had been planning a tour together last year before Arty developed his throat problem and hopes the duo will still get the chance to untie for one last ‘farewell’ tour. Paul’s record ‘So Beautiful Or So What?’ also entered the UK charts this week (two months after it’s release in the US for some reason) and made #6, the highest AAA placing since Beady Eye in March! Look out too for a Paul Simon performance e at the ‘I tunes Festival’ next week, highlights of whicvh are being broadcaston Wednesday, June 3rd on BBC3!
ANNIVERSARIES: Happy birthday to those AAA artists born between July 3rd and July 10th: Ringo Starr who turns 71 on July 7th and Jim Rodford (bassist with The Kinks 1979-93) who turns 66 on the same day. Anniversaries of events include: original Stones guitarist Brian Jones drowns in his swimming pool at the age of 28 (July 3rd 1969); Brian Wilson sits in at a Beach Boys gig for the first time since his breakdown led to him quitting touring in 1964 (July 3rd 1976); The Beach Boys play their first free ‘Independence Day’ concerts (July 4th 1980); Dire Straits begin a record 10-day run at Wembley Stadium (July 4th 1985); The Rolling Stones score their last big hit 30 years ago with ‘Emotional Rescue’ (July 5th 1980); Paul McCartney meets John Lennon for the first time, after attending the Woolton Village Fete where the first line-up of The Quarrymen are performing (July 6th 1957); The first edition of ‘Mersey Beat’ is printed, featuring an article by John Lennon on how the soon-to-be-famous Beatles got their name (July 6th 1961);The world premiere of A Hard Day’s Night at London’s Pavilion Theatre (July 6th 1964); Those naughty Rolling Stones are at it again, destroying civilisation as we know it by, erm, dragging an American flag across the stage after their set in Syracause (July 6th 1966); fellow Ormskirkian Marianne Faithful, then Mick Jagger’s girlfriend, attempts suicide while her boyfriend is on the set of his acting job playing ‘Ned Kelly’ (July 8th 1969); Moody Blue Justin Hayward scores his biggest solo hit with the ‘War Of The Worlds’ song ‘Forever Autumn’ (July 8th 1978); John Lennon releases his first solo single ‘Give Peace A Chance’, sparking rumours of a Beatles split even though the publishing credit still reads ‘Lennon/McCartney’ (July 9th 1969) and finally, Paul McCartney’s band Wings start their biggest tour to date, hiring a bus to drive to 26 dates across France (July 9th 1972).