Saturday, 1 October 2016

Dr. Feelgood ‎– "Private Practice" (United Artists UAG 30184) 1978



This was probably the pinnacle of financial investment by United Artists in Dr. Feelgood. Nice marketable sleeve art, glossy presentable photo's of the band, very New Wavey in presentation. 
Expensive sounding production, and at least two appearances on Top Of The Pops; one with Micky Jupp's "Down At The Doctors", and the other with Nick Lowe's "Milk and Alcohol", which was a top ten hit single!?
On the whole the best post-wilko album quite comfortably.A couple of naff songs , but that's normal with a Feelgoods album innit?

Tracklist:

Down At The Doctors 3:17
Every Kind Of Vice 3:24
Things Get Better 2:46
Milk And Alcohol 2:51
Night Time 5:24
Let's Have A Party 2:33
Take A Tip 4:16
It Wasn't Me 3:01
Greaseball 3:52
Sugar Shaker 4:46

Dr. Feelgood ‎– "Be Seeing You" (United Artists Records ‎– UAS 30123) 1977


The main premise of 'cult' TV series "The Prisoner" was, 'where do spies go when they retire?'
The answer was they were sent to 'The Village',a kind of pleasant prison camp for old spies,and the catchphrase of lead character "number 6" was 'Be seeing You'.
So, one figures, that this album title is a Prisoner style reference to 'Where do guitarists go when they retire?', namely Wilko Johnson after Dr. Feelgood. I think they had a genuine feeling that he would disappear into obscurity without the safety of  the Feelgood brand.
Rather like the final episode of the Prisoner, Wilko, as number 6, in fact found out that he was indeed number 1 in the Village, and escaped back to London, to record company advances and a brief period of minor stardom.
His replacement was John 'Gypie' Mayo , a more punky guitarist, who had the unenvious task of filling the gaping hole left by Johnson.
He tries his best with with some solid hard rocking guitar work and some passable songwriting abilities.
Everyone wanted Dr. Feelgood to pull it off, with Nick Lowe and Larry Wallis donating a couple of tunes.
Lowe in the producers chair, managed to create a pretty decent Feelgood album, but that x-factor had gone. This was Dr. Feelnotsogood.
Good album though.

Tracklist:

Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won't Do) 3:05
She's A Wind Up 2:02
I Thought I Had It Made 2:12
I Don't Wanna' Know 2:41
That's It, I Quit 2:32
As Long As The Price Is Right 3:09
Hi-Rise 2:34
My Buddy Buddy Friends 2:45
Baby Jane 2:56
The Blues Had A Baby, And They Named It Rock 'n Roll (#2) 2:19
Looking Back 1:58
60 Minutes Of Your Love 2:22


Friday, 30 September 2016

Dr. Feelgood ‎– "Stupidity" United Artists UAS 29990) 1976


This must be the only number one album on this blog? Indeed this was a UK chart topping outing from Dr Feelgood. A fairly standard Live album, where the boys run through a selection from their first two albums plus a couple of covers. Nothing unusual happens, which is the problem with most live album. The atmosphere doesn't even really sound as electrified as you'd expect at a peak Feelgoods performance. I'd see the point if the albums were overproduced, but they were virtually live in the studio as it was. A typical gap filling cash-in by a major record company......but an excellent one however pointless.I suppose a video would help,as a recording is lacking the visual aspect of Wilko Johnson's stage antics....a vital ingredient.

Tracklist:

Sheffield Side:

I'm Talking About You 1:52
Twenty Yards Behind 1:50
Stupidity 2:00
All Through The City 2:44
I'm A Man 5:05
Walking The Dog 3:05
She Does It Right 2:58

Southend Side:

Going Back Home 2:55
I Don't Mind 2:44
Back In The Night 3:04
I'm A Hog For You 3:15
Checkin' Up On My Baby 3:47
Roxette 3:00

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Dr. Feelgood ‎– "Sneakin' Suspicion" (United Artists Records ‎– UAS 30075) 1977



This album was the cause of Wilko's departure, with the arguments over whether to include Johnson's classic "Paradise" or Lee's old mate Lew Lewis's "Lucky 7". Brilleaux's gent's morals were offended by the subject matter of "Paradise", in which Wilko boasts of loving two women at the same time.Maybe this has something to do with the seedy cover art,reflecting how the singer felt about the situation. Maybe he had a point, it does stink of hippy style 'Free Love', and of the four members Wilko was the one who used to have long hair and flirted with psychedelics.
Our fav former teacher ,John Wilkinson, objected to "Lucky 7" purely because he thought it didn't sound like a Feelgood type of song! With which I disagree mildly.
I reckon, Wilko's ego had got out of hand, and he just didn't want anyone else to choose the songs, especially if they were at the expense of his own.He'd become increasingly isolated from the rest of the group, as he didn't drink, but preferred his own company and drugs to hanging around a pub.
Having said that, "Paradise" is one of thee classic Doctor feelgood numbers, and should have been a hit single.In the end both songs were included,so I think song choice was just a side issue to some deeper relationship problems.
As a result of all this boringly predictable band politics, this great album was the end for the classic Doctor Feelgood line up. A fitting epitaph indeed.


Tracklist:

Sneakin' Suspicion 3:51
Paradise 4:06
Nothin' Shakin' (But The Leaves On The Trees) 3:28
Time And The Devil 3:01
Lights Out 1:55
Lucky Seven 2:45
All My Love 3:47
You'll Be Mine 3:14
Walking On The Edge 3:36
Hey Mama, Keep Your Big Mouth Shut 3:56


Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Dr. Feelgood ‎– "Malpractice" (United Artists US 29880) 1975



I dunno which cover photo i prefer from the first two albums? "Down By The Jetty" wins mainly because, the least sartorially perfect member, John B. Sparks, wears hugely flared Jeans and lets the side down. The group do however look like the Sweeney on a tea break during a stakeout.
As a yoof, I refused to ever wear Jeans, but relented in the nineties.....I blame Ecstasy! That drug fucked up everything. White boys dancing, football became safe and the evil process of gentrification started; good noisy groups changed overnight , donning stripy tops and shaking maracas to the fucking 'funky drummer beat'! Hideous chav-y thugs started  thinking they were your best mate,and I started wearing flared jeans!......it was a disgusting time, that quite frankly destroyed modern culture irreparably to this very day. Was this the drug that Aldous Huxley warned us about, the one that made us love our slavery,and positively embrace it?......I think so.
Luckily this evil chemical never entered the bloodstream of Dr. Feelgood, despite the name.They obviously felt bad, and the only chemicals needed were Alcohol. In the case of Wilko,it was copious amounts of Speed with the occasional tab of acid......proper drugs. 
As far as the second album goes, its not quite as full of classically timeless tunes as the first, but its not far off; but does include a co-write with Wilko's primary influence, Mick green of Johnny Kidd and the Pirates fame"Going Back Home"). What an album,what a group.....even if it is a slight sell-out 'cus its recorded in stereo?!

Tracklist:

I Can Tell 2:46
Going Back Home 4:00
Back In The Night 3:15
Another Man 2:55
Rolling And Tumbling 3:11
Dont Let Your Daddy Know 2:56
Watch Your Step 3:24
Don't You Just Know It 3:51
Riot In Cell Block No. 9 3:30
Because You're Mine 4:40
You Shouldn't Call The Doctor (If You Can't Afford The Bills) 2:33

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Dr. Feelgood ‎– "Down By The Jetty" (United Artists- UAS 29727) 1975



One can forget how shocking this album and group were in the mid seventies, where ELP and Yes ruled the lumpen masses.
Stripped down bare bones rock'n'roll,short songs, not a single cape in sight, and all in glorious MONO!
Yep, no Quadrophonic concept albums for Dr. Feelgood, and they dressed like the actors from classic UK TV crime drama "The Sweeney". Ones' favourite lines from which were; "Get yer trousers on son, you're NICKED!"; and a close second was "We're the Sweeney Son; and we 'aven't 'ad any dinner. So unless you want a kicking, you tell us where those photo's are!?"
In my fantasy-world this is how Dr Feelgood spoke, at least when in character. Even though I now know that Lee Brilleaux was the consummate gentleman, despite being constantly drunk. "Always keep one drink ahead of the hangover" was Lee's unwise advice.
The first album was a mix of the timelessly classic Wilko Johnson penned numbers , like "Roxette" "She Does It Right" among a couple of others, and the kind of crowd pleasing R'n'R classics that you'd expect a cruise ship club band to churn out.
Tunes like "Keep It Outta Sight" have that quality that suggests it had always existed before Wilko wrote it? Plucked out of the ether ready formed like an apple from the tree of rock'n'roll knowledge.
The anti-ELP.

Tracklist:

She Does It Right 3:28
Boom, Boom 2:42
The More I Give 3:26
Roxette 2:53
One Weekend 2:20
That Ain't The Way To Behave 3:55
I Don't Mind 2:57
Twenty Yards Behind 2:20
Keep It Out Of Sight 2:58
All Through The City 3:06
Cheque Book 4:10
Oyeh! 2:30
Bonie Moronie/Tequila 4:40

Monday, 26 September 2016

Dr. Feelgood ‎– "BBC Sessions 1973-1978" (Grand Records) ‎– GRAND CD24 2001



One may criticise that venerable socialist institution that is the BBC for its propaganda spreading mind control aspects, but there's no denying its role in spreading uncommercial music to the masses.
The Beeb was often the first place to record most every major artist in the western world, and often beyond.
When no record label or recording studio would touch Dr Feelgood, the BBC had them in the Maida Vale studio's to record 'em for a session for 'Whispering' Bob Harris's show......the very same Bob Harris who labeled the New York Dolls as 'Mock Rock' on national TV in the same year that the Feelgoods recorded their first session. I wonder what this whispering hippie had to say about these venerable kings of Pub Rock?
The first session from october 1973 seemed a bit pedestrian by later recorded standards for Wilko and the boys.Maybe they were overawed by the studio environment, or the producer was clueless on how to record real rock'n'roll......it was 1973 i suppose; there was no Rock'n'Roll, except some glam and the Stooges.
Things speed up for the second session a year later, again for Harris, where we find a decent version of "All Through The City" at least.
Its the Peel session in '75 where we get prime Feelgood, with great versions of "I Don't Mind" and "Keep It Out Of Sight", classics, the both of 'em.
Sadly Wilko departs the fold before the 1977 session and beyond, to be replaced by Gypie Mayo. A great guitarist but, lacking the presence of Wilko, especially on stage. But the '77 peel session is a goody, as is the '78 session.The punk influence is prevalent throughout the post Johnson sessions, which is interesting, as they were a major influence on the 'punks'.
However, this disc tracks the path that led to the rebirth of a new wave of Rock'n'Roll, a lesson that needs to be relearned, badly, today.........or not for that matter. At least the kids should take a lesson in sartorial elegance from this fantastic group.......who are still going, as requested by the last will and testament of Lee Brilleaux......without any original members. A concept I've always enjoyed. The Prospect of a 22nd century Dr. Feelgood still playing "She Does It Right" with members who haven't even been born yet fills me with....er.... Joy!?

DOWNLOAD at the doctors HERE!

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Celia And The Mutations ‎– "Mony Mony " (United Artists - UP 36262) & "You Better Believe Me" (UP 36318) 1977


In 1977 Hugh Cornwell found some Posh Totty to put on the casting couch, and the resulting birth  was a single on which  said Posh bird was backed up by the Stranglers in a clandestine attempt to make a New Wave cash in 'Hit'. 
Of course it failed, but this didn't stop JJ resurrecting the idea with a second.....yes, i said second, single!?
This one was a lot better, mainly because it had the Pub Rock dream team of JJ Burnel and Wilko Johnson backing up the aforementioned Posh Totty. They even wrote a new tune for her, "you Better Believe Me"......its true!
All four tracks have the magnificent JJ Burnel Bass sound, but once we lose the plodding Jet Black Drumming, and Cornwells anemic guitar. Bring in Wilko's choppy Tele, ably backed up by one time Rockpile stickman Terry Williams ; we get something verging on the very good.
The identity of Celia Gollin herself has always been mysterious. She did some vocals on a Gavin Bryars Album on Eno's Obscure label in 1975, but after that nothing. Could she have been the 'Duchess' that Cornwell wrote about on the stranglers hit? Sometimes she even sounds a bit like Hazel O'Conner(also a Cornwell girlfriend) on these tracks.....maybe, the cover photo was just a model, and Hazel did the singing.....my mony mony's on that.

Boring gossip aside........Wilko and JJ would probably appear in my Fantasy Pub Rock sooper groop.
Maybe add Ian Dury on Vocals and Lyrics, Pete Thomas (of the Attractions) on proper Drums, and Lew Lewis on Harp. I did toy with having Philthy Phil 'The Animal' Taylor on drums, but went for the musicianly angle rather than looking good.........and that's my Pub Rock Sooper Groop.

Please feel free to volunteer your own Fantasy Sooper Groop of any genre in the comments section below for some nerdy amusement.

"Mony Mony" single:

Mony Mony 2:44
Mean To Me 1:59


"You Better Believe Me" single:

You Better Believe Me 2:48
Round And Round 1:38

Saturday, 24 September 2016

The Lew Lewis Reformer ‎– "Save The Wail" (Stiff Records SEEZ 16) 1979 (Plus all the Singles 1976-1980)


How cool is this geezer? The lost legend of Pub Rock that is Lew Lewis. Founder member of Canvey Islands 'Southside Jugband' alongside Lee Brilleaux of Dr Feelgood. How more Proto-Punk can you get than that?
That very same Jugband spawned Eddie and the Hot Rods, who enticed Lew into its fold for the first two singles, then he formed The Reformer in 1977.
It gets better......In 1987 our Lew was given a seven-year jail sentence(Lucky seven eh?) for armed robbery, after holding up a post office with a fake pistol, stealing £5,000 and trying to escape on a shopping bike.
This guy walked the walk and Talked the talk......mental breakdown aside of course!
His weapon of choice was the Harmonica which he wielded like a chainsaw in the hands of Leatherface.
Again he was big in France, like most of the Pub Rock fraternity, but lost in his native land.
So, here's his entire recorded output (except the two tracks on the Hope and Anchor R&B album);and you may notice that his self-penned tunes tend to veer in the direction of Bars and Gambling as subject matter.......
and why not?

Tracklist:

Do Just What You Want
Wait
Win Or Lose
High Temperature
Mr Bartender
Lucky Seven
Hometown Blues
Photo-Finish
Night Talk
Rider


Singles:

Boogie On The Street
Caravan Man
1-30 2-30 3-35
The Mood I'm In 


Live 1977:

Watch Yourself
One Stop Town
Messin' With The Kid
Out For A Lark 

Live 1979:

Shake & Fingerpop
Romance
Long Grey Mare


Friday, 23 September 2016

Wilko Johnson And The Lew Lewis Band ‎– "Bottle Up And Go!" (Thunderbolt ‎– THBE-001) 1983


Post Blockheads, Wilko teamed up with old mucker and childhood chum of Lee Brilleaux, Lew Lewis;a former Hot Rod to boot!
Wilko's signature guitar work and Lewis's ferocious Harp mangling is Pub Rock heaven.
Limited to just one EP's worth of five star rock'n'roll petrol , its a tragedy that this combo never got the LP treatment;.....but I have managed to cobble together some extra tracks, including some live in France, where we get to hear Wilko speaking French!? Plus a couple of Feelgood originals, two of which I suspect are from the free single given away with Wilko's "Ice on the Motorway" album.
Its all worth it for "Bottle Up and Go" if you ask me?

Tracklist:

1 Caravan Man 4:38
2 Bottle Up And Go 1:42
3 I Wanna By Your Lover 2:52
4 Looked Out My Window 3:30


Bonus Tracks:

5 Back in the Night 3:21
6 She Does It Right 2:20
7 Rollin' and Tumblin' 3:40
8 Sneakin' Suspicion 3:41
9 I Got My Mojo Working 8:21

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Wilko Johnson ‎– "Pull The Cover" (Skydog - SKI 2227) 1984


By 1984 Wilko was persona non grata, except in France. Our Gallic Garlic munching cousins are very loyal when it comes to artists of any kind. When they like you, they LIKE you......forever!
Not that their taste is anything but terrible however!
Wilko is an exception, among the pantheon of Anglo-American gods who still rule the supermarket muzak system. I don't think i've ever entered a French supermarché without having The Police, Phil Collins or Supertramp inflicted upon my shell-likes. Then there's the legions of Tarte aux Pommes craving Hippies who constantly bang on about Zer Doorssss ,Dip Purpul, and Zer Tens Years Hafter! Naturally ,Pub Legends, Dire Straits reign supreme in any Frenchmans cd rack.
Alas,our cute little B.O. ridden chums do have a predilection for good back to basics unpretentious Rock'n'Roll like Dr. Feelgood. So Wilko is guaranteed a career in the land of Circus Clowns,swarthy males pissing in plain view,and vastly over-rated cuisine,yes,  France; for life! (what there is left of it of course) .
After John Wilkinson's short tenure with Ian Dury as a Blockhead came to an end after the 'Laughter' album. There was always gonna be a place for him on a French Record Label, hence this Mini-Album. Adorned with a tasteful drawing of our Wilko in Bed!!!.....I can't imagine our hero ever going to bed, nevermind pulling the covers over his face!? I suppose the title is a reference to the 10 cover songs that appear on this disc rather than Monsieur Johnson's nocturnal habits.
Obviously playing with the Blockheads severely curtailed W.J's songwriting activities somewhat?
Nonetheless, its still prime Wilko.

Tracklist:

Myskrat 2:57
I Wanna Be Your Lover 2:46
Ecstasy 2:35
My Babe 2:29
Messing With The Kids 1:37
Think 2:53
Some Other Guy 2:10
Mendocino 2:50

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Wilko Johnson ‎– "Ice On The Motorway" (Fresh Records ‎– FRESH LP4) 1980

Wilko's first Solo album was this one, bedecked with classic Wilko pose, and a few Wilko classics;
"Bottle Up and Go", "Down By The Waterside" and a ferocious "The Whommy" (Previously heard on "The R&B Sessions-Live at the Hope and Anchor" album).
Delight in those razor sharp Telecaster chops,and some unpretentious Rock'n'Roll from one of the greats.

Tracklist:

Bottle Up And Go 1:39
Cairo Blues 3:45
Down By The Waterside 3:46
Ice On The Motorway 2:48
Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window 3:45
Leave My Woman Alone 2:51
When I'm Gone 5:41
All Right 3:00
Keep It Out Of Sight 2:40
Long Tall Texan 2:44
The Whammy 4:31

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Wilko Johnson's Solid Senders ‎– "Solid Senders" (Virgin ‎– V 2105) 1978

Well, I like tenuous links between posts so I can seamlessly segue between disparate pop groups with no obvious connection to keep the flow as smooth as possible.
So, Snakefinger was in a pub rock band called Chilli Willi and the RedHot Peppers, which bares some resemblance to the unforgivably terrible Red Hot Chilli Peppers, who were inspired by The Gang Of Four (????? can someone point out where that influence actually is?); who in turn were influenced by Pub Rock legends,Dr. Feelgood, via the staccato rhythm lead of one Wilko Johnson.
This leads us naturally to the post-Feelgood works of one John Wilkinson, aka Wilko.
I'm not prone to having any heroes, but if I was to be any musician it would be either Brian Eno or Wilko Johnson.
He's got it all, style, great image, a personality, likes cosmology, perfect stripped down guitar style, and a stage presence like no other; he even came back from the dead for chrissakes!? 
I still dress like Dr Feelgood to this day, probably thee perfect band image of all time.
If one thing lets him down, is probably his singing voice is a trifle weak, but hey, nobody's perfect? Which of course makes him...perfect!?
His immense ego, via a copious intake of amphetamines , caused a rift between him and the Beer monsters of the rest of the Feelgoods, and he had to leave to go solo-ish.
His first post-Feelgood record was as The Solid Senders, which the record company renamed Wilko Johnson's Solid Senders; not like Virgin that is it? Record executives have a great talent for destroying their employees prospects, rather like what every corporate interest does to everyone with any ambition to better themselves. There's no room in the stable for the upstarts from the basement of society.
Solid Senders were a Band rather than Wilko's solo project, and having his name in front of the groups inevitably led to this being a short project.
The music is a slightly funkier version of Dr. Feelgood, with less menacing vocals.
A great album indeed, released with a free Live album attached.

Tracklist:

A1 Blazing Fountains 3:16
A2 You're In My Way 2:49
A3 Dr. Dupree 3:30
A4 Too Bad 2:32
A5 First Thing In The Morning 4:45
A6 Everybody's carrying a Gun 2:48
B1 Signboard 3:27
B2 Keep Both Eyes On The Road 2:30
B3 Shop Around 3:17
B4 Burning Down 4:25
B5 I've Seen The Signs 3:32
Live
C1 Walking On The Edge 3:22
C2 Paradise 4:39
C3 All Aboard 3:22
D1 Highway 61 5:02
D2 Neighbour Neighbour 2:50
D3 Rock Me Baby 6:16


Monday, 19 September 2016

Snakefinger ‎– "The Spot" (Ralph Records 7" ‎– RR7805) 1978



Snakefinger's solo debut single, attractively pressed in Blue vinyl, is his best and most commercial tune. Should have fit right in with the Post-punk flood very nicely,especially in his native UK. Anything in coloured vinyl nailed to the wall of yer local pop emporium got bought pronto, so one imagines that this shifted a few units.
'Meet The Residents' favourite "Smelly Tongues" gets a Lithman overhaul on side B to further add to this 7 incher's cred.

DOWNLOAD on the spot HERE!

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Snakefinger ‎– "Manual Of Errors" (Ralph Records ‎– SN 8203) 1982


Not Lithman's best album, but still ahead of the pack by some margin in invention and creepy quirkiness. "You Sliced Up My Wife" is one of Snakefinger's best tunes, and its got classic 1980+ porno graphic's style artwork. So its a thing of great barely fathomable beauty.
After this he went on to do some awful blues stuff,in between guesting for the Residents, leading up to his untimely death in 1987.

Tracklist:
Yeti: What Are You? 4:01
Beatnik Party 3:42
The Garden Of Earthly Delights 3:00
You Sliced Up My Wife 1:59
I Followed George's Dream 5:16
Bring Back Reality 5:06
Shining Faces ("I Am Nino") 2:19
Eva's Warning 4:33
Private Universe / The Life On Nebulov 7:25

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Snakefinger ‎– "Greener Postures" (Ralph Records ‎– SN-8053-L) 1980


Snakefinger was on a roll ,post 1975, once Chilli Willi had run its course.
His second solo album for Ralph is at least the equal of "Chewing Hides The Sound", with more quirky but strange pop songs. Hummable but creepy, a rare combination indeed.

Tracklist:

Golden Goat
Don't Lie
The Man In The Dark Sedan
I Come From An Island
Jungle Princess
Trashing All The Loves Of History
Save Me From Dali
Living In Vain
The Picture Makers Vs. Children Of The Sea


Friday, 16 September 2016

Snakefinger - "Chewing Hides The Sound" (Ralph Records - SNK 7909) 1979

Even though we saw pictures of Snakefinger, and knew he was in abysmally bad pub rock group Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers, there was still an aire of mystery about him. Like most artists featured on the official Buy or Die innersleeve that accompanied all Ralph releases up to 1982.
The music is typically inventive and features the trademark harmonised, pitch shifted Snakefinger guitar sound, that adorned most Residents records from that golden period.
Naturally there are many Resident contributions to this fine LP, which is justified as they were heavily  indebted to Phillip 'Snakefinger ' Lithman for his many musicianly interjections on their best recordings. As he could actually play an instrument, he was essential to compliment the Residents masterly,and monophonic, use of 'wrong notes'. They are both greatly missed, as Phil Lithman died (for real) in 1987, and the Residents died Artistically) around 1983-ish. Reside in Peace both of you.

Tracklist:

The Model 3:39
Kill The Great Raven 3:05
Jesus Was A Leprechaun 2:00
Here Comes The Bums 2:51
The Vivian Girls 2:59
Magic And Ecstasy 2:51
Who Is The Culprit And Who Is The Victim? 2:59
What Wilbur? 2:35
Picnic In The Jungle 4:00
Friendly Warning 2:39
I Love Mary 2:33
The Vultures Of Bombay 3:06


Chilli Willi And The Red Hot Peppers ‎– "Bongos Over Balham" (Mooncrest ‎– CREST 21) 1974


What are the odds that two bands can exist with the words Chilli, Red, Hot, and Peppers in their group moniker, and both be so skin crawlingly awful?
This outing by Snakefinger's Pub Rock group isn't as terrible as the debut, less countrified with a hint of something more rocky.....just a hint mind!
They are  now a group, having recruited other musicians, including one Pete Thomas; soon to be one of Elvis Costello's Attractions.
Snakefingers distinctive guitar style can be heard all over this one, which would find a natural home on the Residents classic pre 1983 records.

Tracklist:

Choo Choo Ch' Boogie 3:29
We Get Along 3:01
Desert Island Woman 5:23
All In A Dream 3:54
Fiddle Diddle 2:50
Breathe A Little 2:45
Truck Driving Girl 2:12
Jungle Song 3:61
Midnight Bus 2:18
Just Like The Devil 2:46
9-5 Songwriting Man 3:38

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Chilli Willi And The Red Hot Peppers ‎– "Kings Of The Robot Rhythm" (Revelation Enterprises Ltd. ‎– REV 002) 1972



From its slightly racist cover, to the unpleasant hippie photo's on the inner, this music makes me wanna puke! .....but......it bizarrely has a Residents connection in the form of Phillip "Snakefinger" Lithman, who was one of those dirty hippies featured in the photos herein!
After hanging round with the Residents in Frisco, Phillip returned to the UK in time for the early Pub Rock scene ,and formed Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers as a duo, with another hippie. At this time Pub Rock was primarily concerned with trying to be an american redneck, this didn't exist in the UK, as an alternative to the topographic oceans of Prog Rock that were prevalent at the time. After listening to this I was sent scrambling for my copy of "Tales of Topographic Oceans" by Yes, it was that shit! The ironic thing is that this stuff is just as 'muso*' (*a derogatory term for a technically gifted and terminally boring Musician) , as a Rick Wakeman concept album, but less authentic. At least Rick was being himself. Country music is and has always been a crime against Culture, up there with the destruction of Palmyra in Syria.
This casts an uncomfortable shadow over who or what the Residents were in 1971!?
I remember Bill Drummond recounting seeing the Residents 'Mole Show' and spying a tuft of long thick curly hair protruding from the base of the eyeball mask of a Resident. This, quite rightly, destroyed his admiration of said group somewhat. I'm not quite that fickle, but it does take the shine off their peerless work up to that mole show watershed in the Residents career.
Thankfully Pub Rock got a bit more mean and exciting in the years after this, with the rejection of this Bluegrass nonsense and a return to some balls to the wall R'n'R!
Then Snakefinger cut his hair ,shaved off that moustache, and help create some of the most bizarre pop music ever made.

Tracklist:

Living Out My Suitcase
The Ballad Of Chilli Willi
Window Pane
I'll Be Home
Nashville Rag
That's All Right Mamma
Drunken Sunken Red Neck Blues
Get Your Gauge Up Let Your Love Come Down
Happy You/Fiddle Dee
Astrella From The Astral Planet
Paper Mill
A Page In History

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Graham Parker & The Rumour ‎– "Live In San Francisco 7/11/1976" (Bootleg)


Another Ducks Deluxe members career path was guitarist with Graham Parker, filled by Martin Belmont.
This group seemed to be on the TV all the time when i was a nipper. Couldn't stand it then, and can't stand it now.
Its that Bruce Springsteen's East Street Band vibe, where there are too many muso's all trying to play at the same time. Of course with impeccable taste, nabbing all the best bits of the sixties and chucking 'em into a big over-seasoned casserole.
Then we've got another Americanised Brit, belting out lots of 'baby's and Honeh's to great irritation on my part. very representative of the lost generation who grew up in the swinging sixties, with thinning long hair mullets, trying to resurrect the music of their yoof, Bringing it up to date by wearing skinny trousers and baseball boots to appeal to the new wave fan.
But......he's a key player in the Pub/Punk crossover scene, so I figure he's gotta be featured.
So here's a live recording from his peak, in the country he likes to mimic the accent and bloodvessel busting singing style of.Horrendous....although, he has many fans, and this Radio broadcast recording is very high quality.

Tracklist:

01. White Honey
02. That's What They All Say
03. Fool's Gold
04. Turned Up Too Late
05. Something You're Goin' Through
06. Pour It All Out
07. Back To Schooldays
08. Hotel Chambermaid
09. Heat Treatment
10. Don't Ask Me Questions
11. Not If It Pleases Me
12. Help Me Shake It
13. Soul Shoes
14. Kansas City
15. Hold Back The Night

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Tyla Gang ‎– "Styrofoam" (Stiff Records ‎– BUY 4) 1976


In 1976, the year Punk Rock exploded onto the front page of the tabloid press, there were NO,Zero, records of said hyped genre. Not surprising as there were hardly any 'Punk' bands to make any singles. So we were told who was Punk,and generally they weren't actually.
Stiff provided some 'real punk' with the Damned's 'New Rose' and a licenced Richard Hell single.The Sex Pistols' "Anarchy" was released by EMI, and there were imports of American Glam like The New York Dolls and The Stooges.
There were records by Eddie and the Hot Rods, who were fast enough but looked like a charity shop Bay City rollers. So,in '76 all the kids had to go on were these, some reggae, and Pub Rockers marketed as a bit punky.
One of these would have been the Tyla Gang's first single on Stiff. A typical slice of American flavoured Bluesy Rock, sung in a Faux-american accent. Definitely Not Punk.

This demands a spot of auto-plagiarism (always wanted to use that word).
I wrote the following synopsis, which I will entitle "Punk Never Happened, like." , in the comments section of The Motors first LP post......which no-one reads I guess.
So i'll quote myself, in an exercise of narcissistic glee,and reproduce it below,as it explains the situation in 76/77 very nicely:

"When one looks back at the 'Punk' era, what is remarkable is the actual lack of Punk Bands...so naturally we had to cast our nets wide and bands like The Motors and Motorhead got roped in.With the advent of Punk Revisionism, it is now apparent that there were actually NO Punk bands during the punk years. The Ramones etc were Proto-Punk, Buzzcocks Power Pop, Stranglers Pub Rock, Television retro proto-post punk, the Jam proto Mod revival, 999/Vibrators Bandwagon Punk, Siouxsie and the Banshees Post Punk/proto Goth,Subway Sect proto-indie, Clash/Damned Pub Rock refugees,Patti Smith,Hippie, and even The Sex Pistols were made up of Prog/Glam/Pub rockers molded into an art object by art school svengali Maclaren......who always referred to it all as 'New Wave'. So Punk didn't actually exist outside the minds of the sensationalist media.....discuss." (J.Zchivago, 5/9/2016)


Tracklist:

Styrofoam 2:37
Texas Chainsaw Massacre Boogie 3:39

Monday, 12 September 2016

The Tyla Gang - "Moonproof" (Beserkley ‎– BSERK 16) 1978


Moonproof, in these confused, over-misinformed times(another way of saying Paranoid), means 'proof',or lack of, that NASA landed on the moon. An event that growing numbers of people seem to think didn't happen. In fact NASA, with the aid of Stanley Kubrik allegedly faked it SIX times; and to this day no-one involved has blabbed.....a record in the history of the human race, who notoriously cannot keep anything secret.
These days, we need proof that many musicians even existed, and one of those forgotten figures is one Sean Tyla, late of Ducks Deluxe.
Unlike NASA, I am willing to forward evidence that The Tyla Gang did indeed exist,a few years after the alleged final moon landing, by presenting the second album from 1978.....called 'Moonproof'.
Tylaproof if you will?
No surprises here.Its the same as the first album.Full of competent FM radio rockers in the tradition of Tom Petty and other American boredom inducers. If you like that kind of stuff, this is as fine an example as there is....but with a Brit singing in an american accent.
Just for the record I now reckon they(NASA not the Tyla Gang) did indeed go to the moon, having finally understood how to survive the van Allen belt; and I'm convinced that The Tyla Gang released at least two LP's (mainly because they are both on this blog! Otherwise I've only got my word for it!?

Tracklist:

Tropical Love 3:23
Oakland Red 3:00
It's Gonna Rain 3:25
Did Your Hear It On The Radio 2:52
Rodeo 2:56
Spanish Street 3:04
No Roses 3:18
American Mother 3:16
Suicide Jockey 3:03
Flashing In The Subway 2:31


Sunday, 11 September 2016

Tyla Gang ‎– "Yachtless" (Beserkley ‎– BSERK-11) 1977


In this modern era of the growing underclass,where the rich are out of sight of the super rich elite. The Haves, and the Have Yachts. 
To be Yachtless means you are excluded from the exclusive club of the 1% who own 99% of global wealth. One can't help but feel sorry for those struggling millionaires who can only dream of owning their own private jet....the Jetless.
Of course as the class divide widens, post 'credit crunch', and the underclass are paid less, forced into zero-hour contracts, and to be 'self-employed' as a way around workers rights. These second tier millionaires are almost certain to get their private Jet, and upgrade their sad little 50ft yacht to something nearer the €340 million container ship size boat that Roman Abramovich spent his stolen cash on. Not unlike the 'yacht' as featured on the cover of ean Tyla's post Ducks Deluxe group, The Tyla Gang's, debut album, "Yachtless".
Tyla's new band played a bunch of faultlessly played hard mid tempo rockers, not unlike a UK version of The Heartbreakers(both Johnny T's and Tommy P's), but without the style. This could easily have been by an american group(yuk), and i'm not surprised they got signed up by an American label. Very FM friendly. indeed.

Tracklist:

Hurricane 3:15
Dust On The Needle 4:35
On The Street 2:59
New York Sun 3:12
Speedball Morning 3:01
Don't Shift A Gear 3:00
Lost Angels 3:43
The Young Lords 3:20
Whizz Kids 3:31
Don't Turn Your Radio On 3:44


Saturday, 10 September 2016

Bram Tchaikovsky ‎– "Funland" (Arista ‎– SPART 1164) 1981


Ah, the Funland that is being on a proper record label is written all over Bram's face, as depicted on the front cover of his third and final LP. You'd have thought he'd have learned his lesson after Virgin ruined his previous group, The Motors.
A fitting epitaph for Mr Tchaikovsky's pop career.
It contains the usual finely crafted melodic power pop of the previous two albums,although audibly running out of steam, and over produced. Which equals another flop and the sack; probably owing Arista tens of thousands of pounds for the privilege.

Tracklist:

A1 Stand And Deliver 3:30
A2 Shall We Dance? 3:06
A3 Heart Of Stone 3:30
A4 Breaking Down The Walls Of Heartache 2:40
A5 Model Girl 4:32
B1 Why Does My Mother 'Phone Me? 3:29
B2 Used To Be My Used To Be 2:56
B3 Soul Surrender 3:30 (missing Mp3 for download)
B4 Together My Love 3:50
B5 Miracle Cure 2:44
B6 Egyptian Mummies 4:18


DOWNLOAD the sheer and utter fun of record label funded failure HERE!

Friday, 9 September 2016

Bram Tchaikovsky ‎– "The Russians Are Coming" (Radar Records ‎– RAD 26) 1980




Wow! A gatefold sleeve! Someone was expecting sucess!?
Of course it never happened, and it was just a matter of time before  ex-Motor Bram and the chaps resided in the 'Where are they now?' file alongside The Thamesmen* (*Spinal Tap reference).
This album is just the same as the first album, but with slightly weaker songs and better production values, thanks to the minor hit single in the USA.
It was also renamed "Pressure",with different artwork, in the States, the land of 'free speech', because of the communist references!? I'm sure there was gonna be a revolution once the American Youth had a butchers (Butchers Hook = look) at Bram Tchaikovsky's new album. 
What are they so afraid of?....still to this day, even the Russians are making a comeback in the US Fear charts. And that's the only chart Bram managed to get a hit in this time around.

Tracklist:

Let's Dance 5:08
Mr. President 4:03
Missfortune 3:10
Hollywood Nightmare 3:20
Pressure 2:49
The Russians Are Coming 3:20
Heartache 2:45
Letter From The U.S.A. 3:18
Can't Give You Reasons 3:45
Jeux Sans Frontieres (Game With No Rules) 2:42
New York Paranoia 4:03

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Bram Tchaikovsky ‎– "Strange Man, Changed Man" (Radar Records ‎– RAD 17) 1979


I suspect that Bram Tchaikovsky was not too enamored with the second album direction of The Motors, and left the group to it. His solo work is more or less a more melodic version of the Motors before 1978. Powerful, and tuneful Power pop of the highest quality.
I'm sure there was a US hit tune on here that got in the Billboard top 40..."Girl Of My Dreams"(Bloody Hell, it features Mike Oldfield on ...Tubular Bells!) it was I reckon? This gave our Bram more albums to record in the future.....but no more hits were forthcoming, so he got the boot after album three.
This one is his/their best.

Tracklist:

A1 Robber 3:06
A2 Strange Man, Changed Man 4:05
A3 Lonely Dancer 3:54
A4 I'm The One That's Leaving 3:27
A5 Girl Of My Dreams4:10
B1 Bloodline 3:48
B2 Nobody Knows 4:32
B3 Lady From The USA
B4 I'm A Believer 3:46
B5 Sarah Smiles 3:37
B6 Turn On The Light 2:49

DOWNLOAD this sweet nutcracker of an album HERE!

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

The Motors ‎– "Approved By The Motors" (Virgin ‎– V 2101) 1978

Oh how we laughed when we heard 'Airport'. We used to sing 'Airport' in maths class at school to amuse ourselves and also annoy the authorities of course. Dexy's 'Geno' was another favourite a year or so later I remember.
The first album was a forceful singalong classic,packed full of strong tunes.
The follow up was a mash up of lightweight pop tunes, varying in styles from Synth Pop, to some perverted chart orientated version of Neu, to Power poop.In places they seem to have changed from the New-Wave Status Quo into the New Wave Wings.
'You Beat The Hell Outta Me' seems to be a refugee from the debut LP,and is uncomfortably out of place.
As terrible I thought this group and album were back in 1978, I now find myself really enjoying its diluted nu-wave lite formula.
Yes they got one 'hit', but it was also a lesson in how to commit career suicide.

Tracklist:

A1 Airport 4:36
A2 Mamma Rock'n Roller 4:03
A3 Forget About You 2:51
A4 Do You Mind 3:22
A5 You Beat The Hell Outta Me 3:24
B1 Breathless 4:30
B2 Soul Redeemer 2:40
B3 Dreaming Your Life Away 4:48
B4 Sensation 3:22
B5 Today 3:59


Tuesday, 6 September 2016

The Motors - "Peel Sessions 1977"

Here's The Motors, churning out the hits for the John Peel Show in 1977.
I like Peel Sessions that have less than 4 tracks on 'em, like the first Motors sessions. Mainly because their tunes around 1977 were always around 5 or 6 minutes in length. Like a Meat Loaf track, just when you think they've ended, they start again,and again; but i'd rather listen to The Motors than one of  Jim Steinman's (I think thats what he was called,either that or Bastard) toe curlingly bad, mini rock opera atrocities.
I also like bands that play the same songs in different sessions.The Motors do this too....so it can't be all bad?

Tracks:

1st Session - rec 22/03/1977 transmission 22/04/1977

1- Emergency
2- Bringing in the Morning Light
3- Dancing the Night Away

2nd Session - rec 12/09/1977 transmission 21/09/1977

4- Phoney Heaven
5- Freeze
6- You Beat The Hell Outta Me
7- Dancing The Night Away

DOWNLOAD some motors to your head HERE!

Monday, 5 September 2016

The Motors - "1" (Virgin ‎– V 2089) 1977


Two former members of Ducks deluxe formed New wave cash-in band, The Motors.
One of those bands who's records you had to hide from your mates in 1977....alongside The Drones, Stranglers, and secret Prog records you liked.
Mainly because Nick Garvey looked like someones Dad desperately clinging on to his yoof; and they sounded like a new wave Status Quo.
Despite that, "Dancing The Night Away" topped John Peel's Festive Fifty that year, narrowly beating Althea and Donna's "Uptown top Ranking" into second place. I think the Pistols scrapped in at number 11 with Holidays In The Sun"????. In fact The Motors had four entries compared to the Pistols pitiful three.
Like prime period Quo, this album is packed with powerful euphoric anthems topped by terrace chant vocals, that beg to be sang along to with yer hands in the air......too much fun for 1977.
How "Dancing the Night Away" wasn't a hit, i'll never know.This is most likely the reason they watered down their sound for the second album,which worked,and produced the 'hit'.

Tracklist:

1 Dancing The Night Away 6:33
2 Freeze 4:27
3 Cold Love 4:49
4 Phoney Heaven 4:06
5 Bring In The Morning Light 3:30
6 Emergency 6:13
7 Whiskey And Wine 3:03
8 Summertime (Is Calling) 5:05
9 Be What You Gotta Be 3:54
Bonus Tracks:
10 Dancing The Night Away (Single Version)
11 You Beat The Hell Outta Me (Single Version)
12 Cold Love (Remix)


Sunday, 4 September 2016

Ducks Deluxe ‎– "Last Night Of A Pub Rock Band" (Blue Moon ‎– BMLP 001) 1979


The Ducks called it a day in 1975, and what better way to sign off than a ,posthumously released, double album of themselves in a live environment terribly recorded on a cassette recorder from the audience?
Standard covers,that seemed to be played by every pub band, make another tiresome appearance, 'Knocking On Heavens Door' and 'Route 66'; all sitting comfortably in a set that includes the 'hits'.
Guest appearances from Nick Lowe and Lee Brilleaux, add to the party, and the band members all went on to moderately successful post-pub careers.
Recorded live at the 100 Club, Oxford Street, London July 1st 1975.
Tracklist:

A1 Fireball
A2 Proud Mary
A3 Evil
A4 Midnight Moon
A5 The Mighty Quinn
A6 Here Comes The Night
B1 Knocking On Heaven's Door
B2 Have You Ever Seen The Rain
B3 Amsterdam Dog
B4 Jumpin In The Fire
C1 Run Rudolph Run
C2 Teenage Head
C3 Coast To Coast
C4 (Get Your Kicks On) Route 66
D1 Little Queenie
D2 Brown Sugar
D3 Midnight Rambler
D4 Going Down The Road


Saturday, 3 September 2016

Ducks Deluxe ‎– "The John Peel Sessions" (1973-75)


Yes, there was some interesting stuff between 1973 and 1975, contrary to popular opinion; but there was certainly a lack of dirty Rock'n'Roll. A veritable Dark Age in the R'n'R era. In a world populated by Cock Rock, Prog , and Singer-Songwriters; all us kids had was Glam and a few pub rock groups to garner a modicum of excitement from. 
Here we have one of the better groups from that dismal period, captured out of their natural environment in the sterile and acoustically dry atmosphere of the BBC's Maida Vale studios for the John Peel Show. Sandwiched between the Led Zeppelin, Hatfield and the North, and Loudon Wainwright III records. The Ducks were replaced in the schedule the following year after their last session by The Ramones, and the rest is now history.As for modern popular music, we are now in a new dark age.

TRACK LISTING
JOHN PEEL SESSION, recorded 12.6.73
[1] Fireball
[2] Coast To Coast
[3] Pensecola Blues
[4] Bring Back My Packard Car
JOHN PEEL SESSION, recorded 23.4.74
[5] Fireball
[6] Dancing Beat
[7] The Cannons Of The Boogie Night
[8] It's All Over Now
JOHN PEEL SESSION, recorded 20.3.75
[9] Paris 9
[10] Jumping In The Fire
[11] Amsterdam Dog
[12] Something's Going On


DOWNLOAD some ducks from the dark ages of rock'n'roll HERE!