Friday 28 August 2009

News, Views and Music Issue 42 (Intro)

August 28:

Well, here we are again for our 42nd issue and the first of our second year. You may have noticed (and let’s be honest, it’s something you will most likely notice as you’ve found this article) that we now have a new homepage (it’s if you’ve still come across us from one of the links to our old site – we’ll wait for you here if you want to go and give it a look). We’ve been trawling through website templates and web hosts for months now, trying to find a site that will allow us to give full access to our work without costing the earth. We haven’t yet found a site that will allow us to add all our work on in full with nice graphics (we do go on a bit most weeks, it’s safe to say), so for the moment we’re still linking our new site back to our old home at Thanks to all those who’ve given us some positive feedback already – I shall get back to adding the new link to search engines soon and see if we can get some more readers interested. The best thing about our new home is the search engine which will allow you to search for articles or news items on all your favourite artists in both our reviews and newsletter sections – the worst is that we still can’t get our music section to work, so apologies if you’ve been trying to download our groovy tunes and are still finding problems. Anyway, there’s lots of sections for you to give us your input (although our old guestbook continues to run at **** ) so please, let us know what you think about our new look (or our old one) and what records you want to see reviewed (and ha ha ha to the friend of mine who suggested Michael Jackson’s Thriller and the Spice Girls’ Greatest Hits. She was joking, I think). In the meantime, after a quick chorus of ‘happy birthday to us’, let’s move on to the news – and what a busy week it’s been...


Beatles News: As the latest Beatles ‘B-Day’ on 09/09/09 gets ever nearer, Apple have released more news about their ‘Rock Band’ game and CD re-masters to excited fans across the globe. The first issue and remastering of the Beatles catalogue in 22 years contains some nice-looking packaging and, if you buy the complete ‘mono’ or ‘stereo’ boxes’, a limited edition DVD containing lots of unreleased Beatles song chatter recorded at Abbey Road between 1962 and 1969, plus old interviews rehashed from the Antghology series for the most part. Let’s hope they do it properly this time – fans won’t take much more sloppily-prepared material like the overblown ‘Anthology’ and the pointless ‘Love’. The chatter will also be heard in the game, depending on whether you manage to complete a song or fall apart somewhere before the end (we expect to hear lots of messages of ‘keep it together Ringo’ and ‘Paul’s broken a string’ before we might, possibly, get the Lennon admission ‘on behalf of the group and myself I hope we passed the audition!’) The game passes through 45 Beatle songs and several real-life Beatles surroundings (including the Shea Stadium and Ed Sullivan appearances) before passing through Abbey Road and lots of surreal pyschedelic landscapes (involving Sgt Peppers, Walruses and a Yellow Submarine, inevitably). Talking of submarines, the fab four’s fab film is to be re-made as a live-action by Disney and the director of the ‘Back To the Future’ series. We kid you not – without meaning to be mistaken for blue meanies, how exactly is that going to work without the Beatles there to play themselves?

Buffalo Springfield News: Two rare versions of an early Stephen Stills song get an airing this week. ‘Sit Down, I Think I Love You’ – which was released on the band’s first album ‘Buffalo Springfield’ – also spawned a hit version by the Mojos in 1966 and was out of print for a long time till re-appearing on one of the many Nuggets Various Artists sets a decade or so back. The Liverpool band, who sadly just missed the craze for all things Mersey, have a long-needed best of out – ‘Everything’s Alright’  - which includes the track. Meanwhile Stills and Richie Furay’s early demo for the song (which would, I think, be recorded in 1965) is out on the latest Nuggets 4CD spin-off set, ‘Where The Action Is: Los Angeles Nuggets 1965-68’

Dire Straits News: We’ve made a few jokes on this website about Mark Knopfler’s slow rate of work (five years between Dire Straits records was the norm, even at the same age where others like Cat Stevens and Brian Wilson were churning out records every six months). But Knopfler has been writing faster than ever this decade – the forth-coming ‘Get Lucky’ is his third set since we started making this website! Word has it that it’s just as patchy as the rest of his solo work, although if it has as many highlights as ‘Sailing To Philadelphia’ we’ll be quite happy.

Grateful Dead News/Jefferson Airplane News: Billy Graham’s peculiar farewell film to the Fillmore East venue – the site that made legends out of The Doors, the Airplane and the Dead among others – ‘The Fillmore; The Last Days’ makes its long-awaited appearance on DVD. I haven’t seen my copy in a long time (its not the kind of film you watch too often if you can help it) but there’s something compelling about all the hippie chatter and the well-loved concert promoter’s obvious distaste for a lot of the actions taken by the fans in the name of hippiedom.For the record, both the Dead and the Airplane put in appearances to say goodbye, but neither the Dead’s ‘Casey Jones’ or the Airplane’s rare live reading of the swear-worthy ‘We Should Be Together’ are among either band’s best work. 

Jefferson Airplane News: It’s a busy month for those who buy their Airplane tickets fan-class, as the band are getting in on the current Woodstock nostalgia craze and re-issuing their set in full (the news came just too late to be included in last weeks’ ‘Woodstock special’, sadly). We discussed then how great this ‘dawn breakfast’ set was so it’s nice to hear it all together – just to reiterate, ‘Volunteers’ (a new song back then) rattles along nicely and is spot-on for the Woodtsock vibe, ‘Somebody To Love’ sounds very different to normal but still very good, ‘White Rabbit’ is more or less the same with Grace Slick on good form, ‘3/5s Of A Mile In 10 Seconds’ is screechy, scary and scatterbrainedly impressive, ‘Uncle Sam’s Blues’ is a rare once-in-a-lifetime-appearance Jorma Kaukanen song and ‘Won’t You Try?/Saturday Afternoon’ is the icing on a lovely love-in cake.  

Janis Joplin News: Janis, too, gets the Woodstock treatment with the whole of her set exhumed and polished for shining CD in the festival’s 40th anniversary year. We can only tell you about the tracks we’ve heard before but ‘Piece Of My Heart’ is faster and more energetic than usual, a horn drenched ‘Ball And Chain’ isn’t one of the best versions Janis ever did but still hits the spot, ‘Try’ is a brave stab at a difficult soul-rocker and ‘Work Me Lord’ (as seen in the director’s cut of the film) is stunning, one of the best live recordings of Miss Joplin around. 

Yoko Ono News: Yoko’s 70th decade seems to have been not only her busiest but her most successful. Hot on the heels (well, by Yoko’s standards) of ‘Rising’, ‘Blueprint For A Sunrise’ and the remixes/guest stars project ‘I’m A Witch’ comers the first record credited to the Plastic Band since 1973. ‘Between My Head AndThe Sky’ features son Sean Lennon and members of the ‘modern’ bands (ie we haven’t heard of them either) Ciba Matto and Cornelius. It’s meant to be one of Yoko’s angriest, least compromising sets yet – bet Lennon’s dead proud.

Simon and Garfunkel News: Larry Knechtel, the session musician who invented and played the distinctive opening to ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ has died at his home age 69 from a suspected heart attack. Simon and Garfunkel were reportedly so enamoured with his intro to the song that the duo considered giving him a co-writing credit for his part in creating the song, which Knechtel also played with them during the pair’s last concerts together 1969-70.  


♫ Anniversaries (August 28th-September 3rd): Happy Birthday to us, of course, as we turned a year old on August 25th and also to Al Jardine (guitarist with the Beach Boys 1962-3/65-92) who turns 67 on September 3rd. Anniversaries of events even older than our website include: the Rolling Stones signing with Allen Klein – an event that will have almost as many repercussions for the band as when he signs with three of the Beatles in 1969 (August 28th 1965 – they end up suing him for misrepresentation on September 1st 1972); Cat Stevens scores his biggest hit in four years with the release of his single ‘Moonshadow’ (August 28th 1971); George Harrison officially joins his school-friend Paul McCartney and a loudmouth rebel named John Lennon in a band then known as The Quarrymen 51 years ago this week (August 29th 1958); Eight years later to the day the Beatles play their last ever live show (barring the Rooftop Concert) at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park; John and Yoko play practically their only full show together on stage at a ‘One To One’ charity for New York’s Willowbrook Hospital (August 30th 1972 – when’s this well-regarded video coming out on DVD?); Denny Seiwell becomes the second member to quit Wings (in just a month, too) (August 30th 1973); George Harrison is found guilty of plagiarising The Chiffons’ ‘He’s So Fine’ in his #1 hit ‘My Sweet Lord’ during a, quite frankly, stupid waste of time in a court-room (August 31st 1976 – if George borrowed anything surely it was the song that inspired it: ‘Oh Happy Day’ by the Hawkins Singers); 10cc release their first album titled, err, 10cc (September 1st 1973); Keith Richards’ home, known as ‘Redlands’, is badly destroyed by a fire – but luckily the singer isn’t home at the time (September 2nd 1982) and finally, The Hollies finally score their big American breakthrough after three years of trying with a cover of Graham Gouldmann’s ‘Bus Stop’ (September 3rd 1966).    

News, Views and Music Issue 42 (Top Five): Greatest Moments From Our First Year

We had a grand total of one email about our ‘greatest moments’ over the past year, but AAA member Lizzie very kindly took a break in her busy schedule listening to ‘Deep Purple’ albums to list the, err, 5 things from this site that she could remember without having to look them up. Or four anyway, so I’ve added one of my own. And I’m ignoring the last entry too, by the way (‘’the week you were away’ – charming!)

1)      Lulubelle III (the cow on the front cover of Pink Floyd’s ‘Atom Heart Mother’ LP) writes her own review of the album (as discovered buried under a broken-down record player left in a hedge in 1971). “Because I found it weirdly mooooving and I haven’t laughed that long in ages – not since you started doing impressions of George Bush auditioning for Deep Purple”. The cow found the record a bit of a mouthful (in more ways than one if the bit of paper we discovered is in anything like the same condition) but largely came out in favour of the record. Now that we know how popular it is (well, with one person at least) expect some more cover-related reviews in the months to come (the statue on the front of ‘The Division Bell’ for instance, now there’s a chap who could tell a tale or two – just as soon as I work out what its actually doing on that cover in the first place).  news and views 18 - january 19.doc

2)      Our April First ‘TimeTravelling’ Issue. “OK So I have laughed that long – I’d forgotten about this issue. Loved the gag about the Human League. When do I get to go to Hellosphere? And what formats do they play their records on? I think we should be told”. It’s Green-Ray, Lizzie, the format we’ll get in about 15 years’ time when everything has been released on CD, DVD and Blu-Ray. This is the issue where I found out that, against all the odds given the zillions of problems we’ve had already in our first year, we’re still going strong in 25 year’s time – so strong in fact that we become the 73rd most influential website in our section of the galaxy. So that’s nice to know. news and views 1255 - april 1 2034.doc

3)      The Rick Wright tribute special. “I’ve never much liked Pink Floyd but reading this article made we wish I did. Coming so early on in the history of your website it kind of made the rest of the records you’re keeping more important somehow. It even made me try some of their records, but I still hate them I’m afraid.” Well, that’s half our goal achieved I suppose. Sadly Rick died just four issues into our website newsletters but luckily writing obituraries didn’t become as regular a feature as I’d feared – and even more luckily, Lizzie never actually got round to sending me the £2 bill she got for buying ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ from a charity shop. Darn, that’s just reminded her now... 4a newsandviewsspecial -rickwrighttribute.doc

4)      The existential Top Five. “I’m surprised how little philosophy there’s been on the site to be honest knowing you as I do – although last week’s morbid ‘Flowers In The Dirt’ review seemed to be heading that way [SIC – its actually two weeks back if you go looking for it]. This bit was hilarious and thought-provoking all at once, not to mention very very weird – three adjectives that you’ve always been something of a specialist in”. Thanks. I think. Anyway, expect more navel-gazing and needle-glinting in the issues to come.  newsandviews15 - December 8.doc

5)      Lizzie had ran out by the time she came to think of number five, so here’s my option – and there’s no link for it I’m afraid, for a very good reason. I’d come up with what seemed an absolutely amazing how-did-I-come-up-with-that? Review for the Human League’s under-rated ‘Romantic?’ album and was on the last paragraph when the computer decided to seize up and go doo-lally (well, even more doo-lally than normal). Hopefully some day I shall retrieve it, most likely to cringe in agony at how bad it is and how much my memory of it has changed over the past few months, so watch this space.

Well, that’s it. The days of future are passing overhead, the sands of time have filled Cat Stevens’ eyes and the birthday cake has all been eaten in a Godley and Creme ‘snack attack’, so it just remains for me to say thankyou for supporting the website through thick and thin, website crashes and visitor statistic highs (our record was 11 people on November 7th by the way and only one of them was me, honest) – lets’ hope the next few years are a) quite a lot quieter but b) just as full of great music as the last 12 months have been. From all of us at the AAA, keep rocking and see you on issue 43!

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