Saturday 27 March 2010

News, Views and Music Issue 57 (Intro)

♫ Hello and welcome to a slightly delayed issue of everybody’s favourite music newsletter as published on this site, ‘News Views and Music’. Sorry about the delay – there was meant to be another issue published in-between our april fool’s issue but I went down with a sickness bug (I’ve obviously been listening to too much Spice Girls!) That was a shame because there was so much news to tell you about last week. Firstly, hello to all our new readers who have joined us this week – just like last year we’ve published an advert in Record Collector magazine (on sale today) so hope to see many more of you in the coming weeks. And second, we’ve now passed 1000 visitors, so at least some of you must keep coming back to read this site (welcome back all of you!) Well that’s enough from me this week – happy reading!

Beatles News: As if to make up for the Liverpool digs on his latest album (‘Y Not?’, out now along with a duet with Paul McCartney), Ringo has finally explained just what caused that anti-fan rant a couple of years ago (so beloved of youtube posters!) Ringo says that he got sick of signing autographs for supposed fans and finding them on ebay the next day. He kind of has a point I suppose, although it seems a bit cruel to cut off all fans (including many youngsters who’ve never had the chance to get a Beatle autograph before) just because of a naughty few. And if Ringo signed more autographs then surely there’d be so many they wouldn’t be worth much on ebay anyway?

HOLLIES NEWS: Yet another Hollies compilation has made its way onto our shelves – we wondered how long it would be seeing as EMI need the money now! ‘The Midas Touch’ is a 2 CD comp containing various singles and album tracks from all 47 years of Hollies history – many heard in true stereo for the first time. It’s still not the B-sides compilation we keep asking for or even Rarities Vol 2 or a collection of The Hollies’ radio sessions but considering its yet another attempt to dress up old friends in new costumes this set’s actually not too bad and a fair summat6ion of all aspects of the band’s sound for the new collector. Watch out too for the otherwise unreleased live version of ‘The Baby’ from the Mickael Rickfors line-up of the band in 1973 and a handful of new tracks from last year by the current line-up of the band (these are, presumably, the recordings intended for the follow-up for ‘Staying Power’ which was reported in one of our earliest News and Views-letters before interest in the project dried up. Full marks for including the exquisite ‘Rain On My Window’, but why on earth does this set stretch itself to including outtakes like ‘Schoolgirl’ and ‘Horses Through A rainstorm’ (classics as they are, are these two tracks really the cream of the band’s 60s and 70s outputs? And why are there so many Dylan and Buddy Holly cover versions yet again?) Oh and The Hollies are now official members of the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame as reported a couple of issues back – only, owing to tour commitments, current members Tony Hicks and Bobby Elliott couldn’t attend, leaving Allan Clarke and Graham Nash to take the honours – the first time they’ve been seen together in public since 1983!

PINK FLOYD NEWS: More bad news for EMI as their second biggest cash-cow after The Beatles rears up and bites them. Owing to their financial difficulties EMI have been squeezing the band dry, marketing individual tracks for download rather than keeping albums complete and neglecting their responsibilities for helping the sales and reputation of the band, according to the surviving members at least. More news if and when...

ANNIVERSARIES: Many happy returns of the AAA to the following musicians (March 28th-April 3rd): Graeme Edge (drummer with The Moody Blues 1965-present) turns 68 on March 30th; Ronnie Lane (bassist with The Small Faces 1965-68) would have been 64 on April 1st and Simon Cowe (guitarist with Lindisfarne 1970-94) turns 62 on April 1st. Anniversaries of events include: Pink Floyd’s debut single ‘Arnold Layne’ charts (March 30th 1967); the same band’s ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ also starts its ridiculous two decade run on the charts (March 31st 1973); Brian Wilson won’t want to be reminded now he’s back with them, but April 1st 1969 was the date The Beach Boys sued Capitol Records for $2 million in unpaid royalties, putting and end to one of the most prolific runs of the 1960s; The Who set a record by selling out all 80,000 seats at Madison Square Gardens (April 1st 1974); There’s so much demand for tickets to the 1976 Rolling Stones tour that, for the first time, attendance is decided by ballot (April 1st 1976); Things get even more complicated for The Beach Boys and record company after signing for Caribour Records on April 1st 1977 despite still owing second company Reprise another album; The two most famous Beatles compilations (officially named ‘1963-66 and 1967-70’ but better known as the ‘red’ and ‘blue’ sets) are released (April 3rd 1973) and finally, Beatlemania is in full swing in the States where The Beatles are at no 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 14, 44, 49, 69, 79, 84 and 88 in the singles charts in a single week! (that’s every Beatles single released by April 3rd 1964 including ‘My Bonnie’ backing Tony Sheridan!)

And moving on (April 4th-10th): happy birthdays to Allan Clarke (singer with The Hollies 1963-2000) who turns 68 on April 5th; Spencer Dryden (drummer with Jefferson Airplane 1966-69) who would have been 72 on April 7th and Gene Parsons (drummer with The Byrds 1968-72) who turns 66 on April 9th. Anniversaries of events include: Paul McCartney celebrates his fiancé Jane Asher’s 21st birthday by proposing to her – the engagement ring is lost soon afterwards (April 5th 1967); The Beach Boys are officially banned from taking part in America’s Independence Day celebrations due to their ‘undesirable reputations’ (Ronald Reagan overturns the decision a week later– April 5th 1983); Please Please Me (the album) charts for the first time – the Beatles are going to be missing from the album charts for barely a few months in total for the next seven years (April 6th 1963); Syd Barrett officially leaves Pink Floyd, although he’d been pretty absent at gigs during most of the past 12 months whether he’d been on stage or not! (April 6th 1968); on the same day The Beatles’ fruitful organisation Apple opens for business at their offices in Wigmore Street, London; Pete Quaife becomes the first member of The Kinks to leave, albeit for the second time in two years (April 6th 1969); The Rolling Stones form their ill-fated eponymous record label – only half a dozen non-band releases are ever made (April 6th 1971); Kit Lambert – manager of The Who and Pete Townshend’s mentor dies (April 7th 1981); two young blues-loving kids see a guy named Elmo Lewis play his heart out at London’s Ealing Club and pledge to form their own group – little do the teenage Mick Jagger and Keith Richards know that the blues player actually has a rather more ordinary given name of Brian Jones and that this meeting will change the lives of everyone involved (April 8th 1962); Neil Young’s first film ‘Journey Through The Past makes its premiere at the UK Film Festival in Dallas (eh? Neil’s Canadian!) (April 8th 1973); The Rolling Stones appear on TV for the first time and no surprise that it’s on Ready Steady Go! (on the surprisingly late date of April 9th 1964); Fifth Beatle Stuart Sutcliffe dies of a brain haemorrhage months after leaving the band to become an art student in Hamburg and only six months before ‘Love Me Do’. His death will haunt the band, particularly close friend Lennon, for some time (April 10th 1962); and at last the meeting of minds people have waited to see for so long – Paul McCartney calls in on a Brian Wilson session and chomps his way through some celery for the song ‘Vega-tables’ (Macca says he can’t remember doing it but its too good a story to leave out!)

And finally, April 11-18th: Happy birthday to you if your name is Jack Casady (bassist with Jefferson Airplane 1965-72) who turns 66 on April 13th and Bill Kreutzmann (drummer with the Grateful Dead 1965-95) who turns 64 on April 17th. Anniversaries of events for this week include: a classic NME pollwinners concert in 1965 featuring performances by no less than four AAA members: The Beatles, The Stones, The Kinks and The Moody Blues (April 11th 1965); Macca first comes up with the idea for TV special Magical Mystery Tour, jotting down his ideas on the back of an envelope en route from a stay in America (April 11th 1967); That’ll Be The Day – Ringo’s most prestigious acting gig outside The Beatles – premieres at ABC’s Shaftesbury Avenue (April 12th 1973); The Rolling Stones become the first ‘pop’ group to play behind the iron curtain with a riotous gig at Warsaw (April 13th 1967); Roger Daltrey becomes the first member of The Who to release a solo album (the memorably titled ‘Daltrey’, April 13th 1973); Denny Laine releases his first – and arguably best – solo single ‘Say You Don’t Mind’ (April 14th 1967); Pink Floyd show off their ‘azimuth coordinator’ – an early version of quadraphonic – during a show at the Royal Festival Hall (April 14th 1968); John and Paul record The Ballad Of John And Yoko Without George And Ringo (err, possibly not the real title! April 14th 1969); Pete Townshend plays his first solo gig at The Roundhouse – he’s still playing there now (April 14th 1974); The Rolling Stones release landmark album Aftermath (the Beatles joke about naming their forthcoming LP ‘After Geography’ in retaliation – April 15th 1966); The Hollies tour in America for the first time (April 16th 1965); The truly truly weird TV special James Paul McCartney – which Macca got roped into making to settle a court case about wife Linda sharing writing credits – is screened on April 16th 1973); The Rolling Stones release their first, self-titled album (April 17th 1964); ‘McCartney’ – Paul’s first solo album – is released, complete with an I’ll-never-work-with-the-Beatles-again memo included inside (April 17th 1970); Janis Joplin’s posthumous album Pearl is released – it will go on to become her best-selling but is arguably her weakest album of all (ha ha that’ll get me rude letters! April 17th 1971); All four Beatles are in the top 10 for the first time since the split, with Power To The People, Another Day, My Sweet Lord and It Don’t Come Easy from John, Paul, George and Ringo respectively (April 17th 1971) and finally, sad news as the Cavern Club goes into receivership (April 18th 1966).

News, Views and Music Issue 57 (Top Five) EP Rarities

♫ And its a happy EP day to all of you! Most of our readers born post-1970 probably won’t have a clue what I’m talking about, but back in the 60s many artists used to release Extended Play records, a sort of halfway house between singles and album tracks. They usually contained four tracks, came at a cheaper price than albums and occasionally contained exclusive material. Back in the 1980s when CDs lead to many classic AAA artists’ material being released there were a spate of EP compilations (The Kinks even memorably stretched to two!), but nowadays most of these tracks tend to be added as ‘bonus’ tracks on a full album. Here, in this week’s top five, is our handy guide to the AAA songs that – used to - be exclusive to EPs and where to find them now.

5) Poison Ivy (The Rolling Stones, ‘The Rolling Stones’ EP 1963 – still waiting for CD release!): In an alternate universe The Stones became the 60s’ biggest draw after The Beatles much earlier than their turning point as the bad boys of rock in 1964. ‘Poison Ivy’ was intended to be the band’s debut single, recorded as far back as August 1963, but was passed over for the vastly inferior Chuck Berry b-side ‘Come On’. What is there not to like about this cover? It’s funny, sassy, rocky and about as subversive as the censors would allow in 1963 (it skirts mighty close to being about sexual disease, even if the worst the boy narrator gets from his girlfriend is a bit of scratching) and perfect for what The Stones would become, even though they hadn’t actually got there yet (Andrew Loog Oldham only made the band an ‘anti’ Beatles the following year). Along with the band’s other key early song-that-nobody-knows, ‘Fortune Teller’, the band ignored it and stuck it on an EP (the latter overdubbed with fake screams to sound like a live recording!) and left it to The Hollies to release perhaps the definitive version instead (even though they too never released ‘Poison Ivy’ at the time). ollH

4) When I’m Not There (The Hollies, ‘I’m Alive’ EP 1965 – still only available on ‘The Hollies EP Collection’, now out of print although !) A forgotten Tony Hicks song – the first time any of The Hollies got solo billing apart from the Clarke-Hicks-Nash writing team – is, together with its partner ‘What Kind Of Girl’, one of the rarest of all released Hollies songs. And it doesn’t deserve to be – a short but soulful burst of Northern 60s pop, it’s a typically tight Hollies performance full of handclaps, chiming guitars and sudden bursts of adrenalin from drummer Bobby Elliott. Do you ever dream of me when I’m not there? Well, if this song is missing from your Hollies collection then you should dream of it. A lot.

3) Disguises (The Who, ‘Ready Steady Who’ EP 1966, now found on ‘A Quick One’): One of Pete Townshend’s key early compositions is strangely abandoned on this sea of leftovers including off-key covers of surfing songs ‘Barbara Ann’ and ‘Bucket T’ as sung by non-singing drummer Keith Moon and a run through the Batman theme tune! A loud, crunching, bass heavy song is given an extra murky riff to make it sound swampy and impenetrable, just as the girl in the song keeps changing her appearance, dress, mannerisms and opinions much to the narrator’s confusion. No wonder the band can’t work out what’s going on either – like many a song from 1966, the playing is all over the place. The Jam later covered this song in the late 70s, rescuing this song from its relative obscurity – and I’m glad, more fans should know about this song, if only because its a dry run for the equally ever-changing classic single ‘Substitute’ the same year.

2) I Call Your Name (The Beatles, ‘Long Tall Sally’ EP 1964, now found on ‘Past Masters Volume One’): The Beatles released loads of EPs in the 1960s but only one contained previously unreleased material – three varying covers (Larry Williams’ ‘Slow Down’ is the best and I’ve no idea why the recorded-in-the-same-session, unreleased-till-1966-best-of-compilation ‘Bad Boy’ isn’t on the same EP as its easily the best of the bunch) and one forgotten Lennon/McCartney song. ‘I Call Your Name’ is a halfway house between the classics the Beatles were churning out in their sleep in 1964 and the filler material that made up the handful of other songs in the period. It’s a brave stab at doing something different to the usual sounds around in 1964 – Lennon later looked back on this song and pronounced it an early attempt at reggae, albeit very much that of a white Merseybeat band doing reggae – and its sense of urgency at not getting a reply is very much in the Lennon mould of songs circa 1964 (it’s a dead ringer for ‘You Can’t Do That’). Now found alongside the other ‘Long Tall Sally’ tracks on the first Past Masters compilation.

1) This Is Where I Belong (The Kinks, ‘Mr Pleasant’ EP, now found as a bonus track on ‘Face To Face’). Another key song in the development of a composer seemingly chucked away on a forgotten EP (it’s not even the title track). ‘This Is Where I Belong’ is one of the most tortuous Kinks recordings of all – Ray is painfully off key and every note is a struggle, but that’s all a deliberate ploy to back up this multi-layered song about saying one thing while believing another. Ray was moving into his first house at the time this song was written along with a pregnant wife - and battling this sudden expectation to ‘grow up’ with every step if his songs about domestication in this period are to be believed. An early attempt at taking the audience somewhere different to where they’d have gone if they’d just read the lyric sheet, this is a break through song for Ray Davies and sits nicely among the tracks it inspired on the classic ‘Face To Face’ album, which is similarly split between the shallowness of life and the hidden meanings of its characters.

Well that’s it for another issue. Hopefully there won’t be such a long gap this week – till then keep rocking and see you soon!

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