Monday, 10 September 2012

News, Views and Music Issue 161 (Intro)

September 14th:

Dear all, it’s that dreaded time of year when the ATOS medical questionnaire falls to the floor of the hall from the letterbox again and under medical orders I know that I have to slow things down in order to get my dratted 37 page form filled in again (yep, I know its only meant to be 20, but given the word lengths of most of these reviews, are you surprised how many extra sheets I need ?!) You know the drill by now – sorry if there’s a delay in the next few issues blah blah blah it still won’t mean the end of the site blah blah blah they can try to shut us down and break us but this site means too much to me to give it up even if I don’t pass blah blah blah. Naturally I’m moaning my head off about it inwardly again like I did the last twice, because it’s pointless being asked to fill in a third form within a 10 month period for a long-term illness that’s not likely to change for years or decades (not to mention breaking news that those found too poorly to work might still have to undertake unpaid work experience or receive a life-changing £71 reduction in benefit sanctions –what century are we living in again?!)– but fear not, dear readers, I won’t put you through the same complaints as the last twice because salvation might still be at hand.

It’s often been said on these pages that the Coalition need a good kicking for their disgraceful treatment of those who need help the most and if a good band didn’t come along and start putting that thought into a musical format I might be forced to come out of retirement and do the job myself, chronic fatigue or not. This week I might have discovered the very track to save my short and no doubt pilloried revived career. Now I know 99% of the music on Alan’s Album Archives is recorded by someone in the 60s (or in some cases people in their 60s whose most famous work was done in their 20s), but a new composition called ‘The ATOS song’ by Martin Kitcher of MKM Digital caught my ear on Twitter this week and I’ve been playing it a lot, partly because it’s simply a great song - melodic and catchy - and partly because it really does tell the truth about what’s happening under our very noses in the UK. We are at a real tipping point in the UK’s social history right now and if the old line about measuring societies by how they treat their most neglected and vulnerable is true then we are currently back living back in the barbaric times of the Victorian workhouse, our heritage of social reform ripped up and thrown away by a Government that should know better (Cameron, after all, knows what it’s like to bring up a disabled child – with that in mind, how does he sleep at night knowing what other disabled children and adults are facing every day of the week thanks to his policies?!)

We like a good protest song here at the AAA (hence the amount of CSN albums on the list!) and a song protesting against the Coalition is frankly long overdue and too good not to report to you. The song is poignant and heartfelt, like all good music should be, and I add the link to Martin’s ‘soundcloud’ file here (which you can listen to for free) in case any of you, like me, feel we deserve better from a Government that has repeatedly ignored and defiled us when all we asked for was the chance to recover from our illnesses and adjust to our disabilities in peace. We at the AAA have often asked you to keep your eyes open to the truth of what’s going on out there (the real truth, not the spin they give you on TV and in the papers) and now here’s a chance to open your ears too. If nothing else, at least it gave me something rebellious to play while filling in my latest £$&()_IU*R%£”$(__&%$””£^(*)_)*&^ ATOs form in! (Take that, Cameron!):

In other news, we couldn’t help but giggle at a recent Guardian poll that sought an answer to that age old question ‘Is David Cameron a man or a mouse?’ A fantastic 87% voted for the latter, although personally I feel the poll wasn’t wide enough and should have been expanded to include all types of animals, vermin and creepy-crawlies (don’t know about you but my money’s on David Cameron as a ‘leech’!)

In other other news we’ve now passed the magic marker of 25,000 hits combined from our two websites! Yippee! Latest statistics show that you adore ‘Kinda Kinks’ over all other albums we’ve reviewed, have a soft spot for our April Fool’s Day spoof editions and that you, like us, are missing Davy Jones terribly and want to keep reading his tribute piece. Whose winning the clicks-per-artist ratio awards you ask? Err, Yoko Ono – must confess I didn’t see that one coming! (The Kinks are in a close second place though). Thankyou for all the reading/blogging/twittering/ facebooking/youtubing/besteveralbumsing you’ve been doing to spread the word about this site and see you next issue, whenever that might be! I still haven't got a clue what's up with the graphics though: it was all working fine until about a month agao but every time we post we lose the different fonts and colours we used to have. Hmm, could it be we've written so much we've broken yet another site?! (The internet doesn't seem to have been builkt for 15,000 odd words a week!) Right gotta go, I’ve still got that form to fill in (Why yes, I can carry an empty cardboard box. That makes me employable does it?! What job can I get then – cardboard box manufacturer?!? Honestly, I despair...)

♫ Beatles News: Us Beatles nuts have wondered for years what Ringo might have sounded like with his former group, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, who were actually more popular than the fab four in local Merseyside polls but who, alas, never had the time (or the money) to commit recordings to tape. We at the AAA are delighted, then, to hear that a tape of the band from March 1960 (over two years before Ringo split for the Beatles) has been discovered by Rory (real name Alan Caldwell)’s sister Iris. The bulk of the tape was recorded at ‘Stormsville’, local slang for Rory’s house, with a few tracks added at Liverpool’s long forgotten ‘Jive Hive’ club. Barring a few scratchy Beatles demos recorded at the McCartney family house this would make the tape the earliest audio evidence yet of one of the fab four at work. Iris discovered the tape lying unlabelled in the basement of her flat and most likely inherited the tape when her brother died in 1972 and she took control of a lot of his possessions. Alas there’s no interest yet from a record company so we don’t know if the tape will ever be released to the public – but watch this space!

ANNIVERSARIES: Birthday greetings to our AAA stars with birthdays between this week’s impressively busy dates of September 12th and 18th: Bernie Calvert (bassist with The Hollies 1966-80) turns 68 on September 16th; Kenny Jones (drummer with The Small Faces 1965-68 and with The Who 1979-82) turns 64 on September 16th; Lol Creme (guitarist, pianist and just about everything with 10cc 1972-76) turns 65 on September 17th and Joanne Catherall (singer with The Human League 1981-date) turns 50 on September 18th. Anniversaries of events include: The Beatles release the most recorded song in the world, ‘Yesterday’, as a single – but only in America where it becomes one of the band’s biggest sellers (September 12th 1965);The Monkees’ TV series debuts on American television (UK viewers get it six weeks or so later; September 12th 1966), after three girls, Paul and Linda have a son, James Lewis McCartney, born on September 12th 1977, John Lennon’s Plastic Ono band make their live debut at the Toronto Peace Festival 40 years ago this week, just days after the release of final Beatles album ‘Abbey Road’ – the gig is issued on LP later in the year (September 13th 1969); David Knopfler is forced to leave Dire Straits, the band he helped form, after one too many rows with elder brother Mark (September 13th 1980); Pete Townshend mentions plan for an unnamed rock opera about a deaf, dumb and blind boy for the first time – it will become the legendary ‘Tommy’ a year later (September 14th 1968); The Grateful Dead become the first Western group ever to play at the site of the pyramids in Cairo (September 16th 1978); The album or long-playing record turns 78 on September 17th – the date when the first player able to play records at 33 and 1/3rd speed goes on sale and finally, Pink Floyd become the first rock band to play at Montreux’s Classical Music Festival (September 18th 1971).

Keep reading down the page for our review of Art Garfunkel's 'Everything Waits To Be Noticed' and our top 10 of silliest AAA album titles...

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