Friday 12 November 2010

News, Views and Music Issue 80 (Intro)

November 12:

Welcome again to a rather hurried newsletter I’m afraid – there’s just so much going on we’ve plumped for a short album to review this week (although we’re still quite a few thousand words longer than our competitors!) There’s oodles of radio news for you this week as BBC6 finally fulfil their original remit and give us a bunch of repeats about classic albums (many of them already covered by this site!) You may have noticed a few changes on our homepage – we’ve finally gone ahead and plumped for Moonfruit’s £2.99 a month charge in order to bring you extra pages. Yes, you can now ask our resident canine mascot Max The Singing Dog any burning musical questions you might have (and we mean musical – not the sort of thing that’s been posted this week!) and chat in our forum. One other thing I’ve been adding this week is a bunch of ‘Gold, Silver and Bronze’ awards: I keep being asked what individual tracks by certain artists my friends should download as opposed to albums so look out for my favourite three songs per artist on our forum. Please drop me a line and let me know if you agree or whether you think I’ve simply gone mad – we’ll anything for musical debate on this site! It goes without saying that there are thousands of great songs out there, not just the forum is limited to, so bear in mind that you might want to read our full reviews to get a true flavour of what to buy or download.

Now with that lot out the way it’s time to get political once again. When Ray davies wrote his scathing song ‘Young Conservatives’ about the lack of radical reform in the 1980s, he surely couldn’t have imagined the same would happen again in the 2010s. The way that the media and public have been buying up all the false coalition promises is quite simply dreadful so, seeing as there are few other voices of sanity out there at the moment, our site is speaking out about the truth. The huge financial hole people keep talking about is really very small when you compare to times gone by and adjust for inflation – Britain has always owed a record amount of money and, just as in any other recession, we owe a tiny bit more than average. We do not owe so much that crippling cuts have to be introduced – that’s just the coalition’s desperate attempts to support what they are doing. Their recent ideas of cutting jobs and then getting everyone on unemployment forced into work is the looniest idea I have ever heard – what the economy needs is job protection and more jobs to be created, just as in the 1950s – making those who are already the scapegoats for the system pay again with what is effectively community service is one of the most outrageous political schemes ever outlined in this country. And this from a coalition who shouldn’t even be in power from next week – the law stated until June this year that if the electorate cannot decide on a political party to represent them then we vote all over again  six months after the election and decide. But no – the coalition illegally voted to keep themselves in power not even the expected four years but five, giving them more time to ruin our livelihoods and take our liberties away. No one else seems to have added up the sheer number of outrageous despicable practices our current Government is making so here we are as a lone voice at Alan’s Album Archives trying to make people see sense. Don’t settle for this – we deserve so much better. And don’t worry dear reader – it’s not you that’s mad, it’s the country we live in. And to think America is giving Obama a hard time at present for only achieving a significant handful of his promises – our political leaders have had six months to sort things out and haven’t got one policy right yet. Despicable. Anyway, seeing as we’re likely to have more times on our hands now in between compulsory litter-picking and searching for jobs that don’t exist, here are some radio programmes to listen to...


♫ Beach Boys News: ‘Pet Sounds’ is BBC 6’s ‘classic album’ next Friday, November 19th at 3am. I missed all these documentaries the first time round but I’ve heard this was a good show, with lots of interviews with Brian Wilson and lyricist Tony Asher .

♫ Beatles News: Surprisingly, the closest to a Beatles long-player in the ‘classic album’ slot is the first Travelling Wilburys album (Volume One), which will be broadcast on BBC6 on Monday, November 15th at 3am. Expect lots of George Harrison quotes and the infamous story of how these five superstars originally got together to record a B-side for one of George’s ‘Cloud Nine’ singles.

Later, there’s a repeat of 2008’s ‘The White Album Revisited’, a two part documentary that wasn’t one of radio two’s best, being full of padding and spectacularly missing the point on quite a few songs (and where the heck was ‘Long Long Long’?!) Still, there’s a few anecdotes that haven’t been heard outside the programme, which is repeated on Sunday and Monday, November 21st and 22nd (See review no 25 for more on this perennial favourite).

♫ Pink Floyd News: No prizes for guessing that ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ is the chosen Floyd album for the BBC6 classic album series, to be repeated on Thursday, November 18th. Expect lots of stories about the doorman at Abbey Road Studios answering questions hastily written on cue cards and how badly the first live performance of the album went (with the tape loops sticking during the song ‘Money’).

♫ Rolling Stones News: ‘Beggar’s Banquet’ (review no 26) is often overlooked nowadays by Stones fans so we’re pleased to see it made BBC6’s ‘classic album’ series. A troubled album, even by Stones standards, this LP saw the last recognisable work by Brian Jones and a much harsher, swampier sound. The doc is repeated on Wednesday, November 17th at 3am.

♫ Small Faces News: ‘Odgen’s Nut Gone Flake’ (see news and views no 69) is the classic album on offer in BBC6’s series, repeated this Friday, November 12th at 3am. Expect lots of clips of Stanley Unwin’s inviting gibberish and a band finally reaching the success they deserve – and breaking up in the process. What a fly felloper that would bode!

♫ The Who News: ‘Who’s Next’ (see news and views no 14) is the last in our long list of classic albums, repeated on BBC6 on Sunday, November 14th. Listen out for how this album was made from the ashes of Pete Townshend’s ‘Lifehouse’ concept (which pretty much gave the guitarist a nervous breakdown) and all the fine songs that were discarded to make the set a single album.

ANNIVERSARIES: many happy returns of the AAA to those celebrating a birthday between November 10th-16th: Ian Craig Marsh (synthesiser with the Human League 1979-81) who turns 54 on November 11th and Neil Young who turns 65 on November 12th. Anniversaries of events include: The Moody Blues release their seminal single ‘Nights In White Satin’ (November 10th 1967); The Human League make their live debut in their hometown of Sheffield (November 12th 1980); The Moody Blues release their ‘other’ big seller ‘Go Now’ (November 13th 1964); Brian Jones buys the House at Pooh Corners, aka AA Milne’s house Catchford Farm in Sussex where the guitarist will later drown (November 13th 1967); The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine film premieres in America (November 13th 1968); Cat Stevens releases his landmark album ‘Teaser and the Firecat’  and Pink Floyd release their landmark album ‘Meddle’ on the same day (November 13th 1971); The Rolling Stones make their US TV debut, singing ‘Get Off My Cloud’ on the ‘Hullabaloo’ show (November 15th 1965); Janis Joplin is arrested for using ‘vulgar’ language onstage during a gig in Tampa, Florida – the charges are later dropped (I wonder what they’d make of Eminem?!) (November 15th 1969); Dire Straits’ ‘Brothers In Arms’ breaks the then-record sales for Great Britain – three million sales – just two years after release (November 15th 1987) and finally, Small Face Ronnie Lane releases his first and most successful solo single ‘How Come?’ (November 16th 1973).

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