Monday 6 October 2008

News, Views and Music Issue 7 (Intro)

October 6th:

New releases this week: a very weird Jefferson Thingy album (ie another curious  Airplane/ Starship hybrid), with Paul Kantner hosting a CD on which various friends and associates record cover versions of songs that inspired the making of ‘his’ band (there’s something odd there—Marty Balin, the real founder of Jefferson Airplane and its early driving force, features here simply as a ‘guest’, just as he has on all recent Kantner-founded Jefferson CDs. Actually Marty hired Paul not the other way around!) I’m also deeply confused as to why David LeFlamme, founder and mainstay of unfairly neglected San Francisco band ‘It’s A Beautiful Day’ appears on this album—as far as I know his group had nothing in common with the Airplane except the time period and playing the odd show at the same venues! Some good news however—after getting her out of retirement to write some hilarious sleeve-notes for the last few Jefferson-related releases, Kantner has finally got Grace Slick back into the studio for the first time since the Airplane reunion of 1989, albeit you won’t know that from the sleeve as Grace only sings on a ’hidden’ song unlisted on the packaging.

One other new release this week: the first-time-on-CD release by the forgotten second line-up of Lindisfarne, ‘Happy Daze’ (first released in 1974). For those of you who’ve read my review of ’It’s Jack The Lad’ on the site already (review number 61), this is what the other two founder members of Lindisfarne were up to during the mid-70s. After the band’s big split in 1972, Alan Hull and Ray Jackson carried on with the old band name for two poorly received albums, ’Roll On Ruby’ (1973, released on CD in 2005) - a quite dull and uninspiring album, sadly rather deserving of its unloved status among most fans—and this little gem, which sold terribly badly but really show this second line-up of Lindisfarne beginning to click together (the poor sales meant there never was a third album by this line-up, despite reaching as far as the writing and rehearsal stage—anooyingly, most of the people who worked on that project say it was the best out the three). Jacaka’s lead vocals on this album are some of his best, veering from blues to pop with ease, while new members Thomas Duffy (gravel-throated bassist) and Kenny Craddock (falsetto and keyboards) all but steal the show. Alan Hull is, unusually, relegated to novelty songs about drinking too heavily. Best of all, though, is the presence of a very early acoustic Alan Hull song, ’River’, which was inventively recorded in the open air when the band got bored of the studio and features a prime Hully vocal tinged with bird-song. How this understated lovely composition, the twin sister to Hully’s popular ’Winter Song’, got left off the first three Lindisfarne records I have no idea! Worth buying the CD for alone, now that its out at budget price.

New Oasis album ‘Dig Out Your Soul’ is also out this week, but it needs to becomne a bit cheaper before I can afford to buy it! The latest batch of national reviews/previews for it  have taken me quite by surprise, being as negative about the album and the band as they used to be back in the bad old days of ’Be Here Now’ (nice ideas dragged out for much longer than they needed to be) and ’Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants (a patchy but generally under-rated little gem).I’ve read about six times now what a bizarre thing it is for the band to be aping psychedelia in this day and age —not so, I say! (most of my favourite Oasis tracks are cod-psychedelia, from ’Champagne Supernove’ to ’Who Feels Love?’, so perhaps its monkeynbuts AAA fans rather than mainstream critics who are going to like this album?! Hope so!) 

Anniversaries This Week: Kevin Godley (10cc, 1972-75) turns 63 on October 7th, while October 9th would have seen both the 68th birthday of John Lennon and the 64th birthday of John Entwistle. Events this week: The Beatles reject a record $1 million offer to return to touring after the owners of Shea Stadium collect the record amount(1967; October 7); 15 years later, The Who kick off their 1982 ’farewell tour’ at that very stadium (they reformed in 2000; so strictly speaking it’s a first ’farewell tour’ in the Frank Sinatra sense of the word; October 12) and John Lennon (nearly) celebrates his 35th birthday by finally getting his ’green card’ , a decision which allows him to become a US citizen despite the drugs record that nearly had him deported from the US several times during the 70s (October 7).

News, Views and Music Issue 7 (Top Five): Virus Songs

  Not much news on the AAA front, except to say that our computer is poorly with a virus which has rather scuppered our plans this week (somebody must have been playing the spice girls on it!) In honour of our fallen comrade, here is this week’s top five: songs about viruses of all kinds (and yes I know allergies aren’t viruses but I’m getting desperate, OK?!)

5) A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues (The Beatles, Live At the BBC, 1994): Probably not the sort of medicine your doctor would recommend, but this infectious boogie-woogie Beatle cover will cure most ails. Except our computer’s that is. Darn. Incidentally, does anyone else think the Beatles’ Arthur Alexander covers are the best in their non-original canon? Why then did only ‘Anna’ make it to a ‘proper’ record our of all the Alexander gems the Beats recorded?! 

4) Computer Cowboy (aka Syscrusher) (Neil Young/ Trans, 1982: see review no 84): This tale of a 1980s computer programmer infiltrating a flock of on-line virtual sheep was way ahead of its time and still sounds mighty, umm, strange and futuristic today. The only song I can find even vaguely connected to the computer virus theme, this song shows what a might technophile Neil was (and is), given that just about every other group on this list hadn’t got a clue what a computer was in the early 80s. It’s also the only song where you can hear electronically treated cowboys singing the magical chorus line ’come-a-ky-yi-yippie-yi-ay’!

3) “Hayfever” (The Kinks/ Misfits, 1978): The song that came close to breaking the band up (not for the first time), Ray Davies fought like the plague to get this infectious song exactly the way he wanted. He never quite succeeded either, if damning reviews of this novelty record are anything to go by— in a typically quirky 70s Kinks track, allergy to pollen affects narrators love-life and loses him his girlfriend that he’s been spending weeks trying to seduce. Now that’s something to sneeze over.

2) “Allergies” (Paul Simon/ Hearts and Bones, 1983; see review no 85): ‘I’m allergic to the women that I love and its changing the shape of my face!” Half-playful, half-paranoid Paul Simon pop-rocker, as catchy as a cold, as energetic as a bottle of lucozade and ultimately a bit of a mess every bit as sticky as a half-sucked lozenge.

1) “You’ve Got A Cold” (10cc/Deceptive Bends, 1976): One of the heaviest, almost feverish rockers that 10cc ever put together, this is the ultimate ode to how, when your systems dying, ’the bugs are having a ball’. For anyone with a cold this rocking tonic is better than a lemsip, with a stomping 4/4 beat and cymbal crashes every other line. Aachoo! 

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