Monday, 4 June 2012
News, Views and Music Issue 147 (Intro)
Dear all, what do you think of our new look site? So far we’ve had 46 visitors, including 10 from the US and one from Germany and hopefully our Google Ads should kick in any minute...now! Yes, there they go, twinkling away. For those of you still on our first ‘moonfruit’ site feel free to go and give it a look (at http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk) and for those of you on our second ‘Blogspot’ site go and visit www.alansalbumarchives.moonfruit.com to see our graphics and Amazon ads! By the way we beat our record on Monday for the most hits within 24 hours on our ‘first’ site : an amazing 210! And we even followed that up three days later with another 180! (Before this our average was 30!) A special big ‘hello’ to all our new readers – and a big hug to all our old ones who are still returning after all these issues. I’ve noticed that we have a lot of readers in Russia on our new home at Blogspot and that our review of Otis Redding’s ‘Soul Ballads’ album is the most popular article. I wasn’t expecting that I have to say! Welcome one and all!
In other news, the Coalition has u-turned on the pasty tax and caravan tax and yet has revived their slavery laws (sorry workfare scheme) under a new name and on an even bigger scale. We’re also celebrating a pointless jubilee with lots of money that would do so much good in so many other places, have missiles ready to welcome our guests to the most embarrassing Olympics since Hitler’s and the division between rich and poor gets ever bigger. I’ve read books about our supposedly uncivilised barbarous past that shows more humanity and justice than that! Oh and in some other news an old biddy from Germany stood on a boat for five and a half hours waving at people. Apparently she’s from a family that used to be Royal but of course all democratic countries got rid of theirs a long time ago...wait? They’re still in power 400 years after executing Charles 1st? No way!
Talking of going back into the past, Neil’s been busy revisiting his past with another of his ‘archive’ releases. We don’t normally cover them on our site because till now they’ve been made up of previously released material – however we haven’t covered any of the songs on this ‘Treasure’ album yet and there’s oodles of officially unreleased tracks for fans to enjoy. We’re also celebrating the life and works of the much missed Robin Gibb with a look back at his greatest moments with The Bee Gees and the seven moments where AAA members were directly inspired by disco and ‘Saturday Night Fever’. Till next issue, enjoy!
♫ Beatles News: The George Harrison outtakes CD ‘Early Takes Volume One’, available with some deluxe editions of the ‘Living In The Material World’ DVD is now available separately. The set features early versions of several Harrison solo songs, mainly in demo acoustic guitar form and before the overdubs are added. There are only 10 songs alas (six of them from AAA classic album ‘All Things Must Pass’) but a second set has been mooted by George’s widow Olivia Harrison (who says there’s enough good quality material for a whole series of outtakes sets in the works).
♫ Pink Floyd News: What a curious documentary BBC4’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ was. Focussing on the album of the same name (weirdly reviewed by us the week before despite the fact the set came out last August!), it was half the usual tired story (Syd’s decline, the success of ‘Dark Side’ and the apathy of the later Floyd years) and part riveting stuff (Syd’s last recordings – sadly only about 10 seconds’ worth, the ‘mixing desk’ bits where vocal and instrumental tracks are isolated, the video screens shown to certain songs on stage in the 1975 tour). Shockingly it took a whole half hour before Rick Wright – who died in 2006 – to even get a mention despite being a key part of the album’s success and Gilmour was on particularly grumpy form (yes, even more than Roger Waters!) Worth looking for for Floyd fanatics (it was on BBC4 on Friday, May 25th and still available on I-player for a bit), it’ll probably leave newcomers scratching their heads.
♫ Rolling Stones: Back in 1984 a new Stones book was mooted by acclaimed rock journalist Stanley Booth, who’d travelled with the band on most tours since 1969. Alas the book never surfaced – until now, when ‘The True Adventures Of The Rolling Stones’ is finally being released and claimed by Mojo, at least, to be a five star classic. It certainly sounds different to the usual Stones tome, being ‘part new journalism hip-thrust, part medieval mystery play’ with the usual tales of Brian Jones’ death, for instance, being viewed as a ‘necessary sacrifice’ to the Stones cult. More news if and when...
♫ Who News: There was another shock TOTp2 clip lurking in between the usual mixture of boyband naffness and dated 80s disco pop, a clip of the ‘orrible ‘oo performing ‘You Better You Bet’ from the very end of their career in 1981. The clip featured Roger Daltrey singing live while the rest mimed from what I could tell and to the best of my knowledge the video hasn’t been seen since first broadcast. After last week’s Hollies clip they’re really finding some gems lurking at the back of the TOTP cupboard! If you want to see The Who then look on I-player for last Tuesday, May 29th’s episode, screened on BBC2 at 6.30pm.
♫ Neil Young News: ‘Americana’, the new album by Neil and Crazy Horse of American standards and traditional songs, is now out in record quick time even for Neil – the project was only conceived around February. I haven’t heard it yet (expect a full review when I do) but at first glance it doesn’t look very promising. Remember the film soundtrack Neil did in the 80s for ‘Where The Buffalo Roam’ that consists of lots and lots (and lots!) of versions of ‘Home On The Range’? This sounds similar, only with ‘Clementine’ ‘Oh! Susannah’ (it will be interesting to see how his version compares to The Byrds) and, erm, ‘God Save The Queen’ (what’s American about that?)
ANNIVERSARIES: Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear AAA members born between June 6th and 12th (Clarence White (guitarist with The Byrds 1969-72) who would have been 68 on June 7th, Billy Kreutzmann (drummer with The Grateful Dead 1965-95) who turns 66 on June 7th), happy birthday to you. Anniversaries of events include: The Silver Beatles and The Pacemakers, the two leading groups in Liverpool along with The Searchers, share their first gig together at the Grosvenor Ballroom (June 6th 1960); The Beatles have their first session at Abbey Road Studios – band, manager and critics still disagree other whether this second meeting between the fab four and George Martin is a recording date or an audition (June 6th 1962); John and Yoko team up with Frank Zappa for a gig at the Fillmore East, later released by both partnerships under separate names (June 6th 1971); The Rolling Stones release their debut single ‘C’mon’ and make their first British TV appearance on Thank Your Lucky Stars on the same day (June 7th 1963); John and Yoko appear on David Frost’s TV show (June 7th 1969); Brian Jones officially leaves The Rolling Stones less than a month before his death (June 8th 1969); Oz Magazine release their ‘school kids’ magazine and get charged under obscenity laws – John Lennon is among celebrities who help out with the fine (June 8th 1969); The Beatles’ legend reaches a new level when the band play their first post-Hamburg gig in Liverpool – just weeks before the band looked finished with three of the four members deported from Germany (and amazingly John Lennon is the one who stayed legal!; June 9th 1962); The Rolling Stones visit Chess Records where many of their favourite blues records were made – they add to the long list of hits with ‘It’s All Over Now’ (recorded June 10th 1964); The Beatles release a single and an LP with the same name – A Hard Day’s Night – and both make #1 (June 10th 1964), Janis Joplin plays her first gig with Big Brother and the Holding Company (June 10th 1966), The Rolling Stones, taking a break from recording ‘Beggars Banquet’ at London’s Olympic Studios, return to find the building on fire, nearly losing all their hard-earned work to the flames! (June 11th 1968) and The Beatles receive their MBEs from the Queen at her ‘keen pad’ Buckingham Palace (June 12th 1965).