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FLYING SAUCERS ROCK’N’ROLL (40th ANNIVERSARY EDITION) – PATTI SMITH

Eat A Peach CD  EAT 105

In May 1976 the Patti Smith Group stunned London with two nights of rock’n’roll quite unlike anything we had seen before. And now thanks to Eat A Peach we have an excellent aural document of those amazing gigs, a mere 42 years ago.

The gigs were highly anticipated and had quickly sold out. Patti was the first of the CBGB crowd to make it to London and her image preceded her. Time Out ran a cover story which featured “New York’s rock’n’roll poetess” in a battered leather biker jacket, too tough to prove it. Then there was Maplethorpe’s front cover picture of debut LP Horses, where Patti wore the men’s black suit / white shirt / skinny black tie combo featured by all her band. As a clueless teenager I found her sexy as hell, but in a different way to previous girl singers. Patti was fierce – more Sandie Shaw than Marianne Faithful.

The Roundhouse was then having a renaissance with incessant Hawkwind Sunday afternooners now replaced by a new wave of bands of which Patti was the harbinger. Support was the deeply unpleasant Stranglers, managed by Dai Davies who just so happened to book the Roundhouse. Unsurprisingly The Stranglers were the support band on the other epic Roundhouse gig of that summer, the Ramones / Groovies double header on July 4th.

I went on the Sunday night, May 16th. As the lights went down I recognised the opening tune – it was We’re Gonna Have Real Good Time Together! At that point only available on the Velvet Underground 1969 Live double LP, it remains a perfect set opener and message of intent, and reminds us that guitarist Lenny Kate always had impeccable taste. Free Money started off with Richard Sohl’s solo piano before the rest of the band piled in. Another obscurity follows, Paul Jones’ Set Me Free from the soundtrack to the movie Privilege. The set then dipped with three unfamiliar tunes  – Pissing In A River, Pumping (My Heart) and Radio Ethiopia. All three would appear on album number two Radio Eithiopia but none of them match prime Horses material. Which then follows in the form of a phenomenal Land which merged seamlessly into a reckless Gloria, the group by now the garage band of your dreams. Encore was Patti’s patented version of My Generation without the John Cale bass solo but with Patti’s rewritten lyrics (wonder if Pete Townshend gave his approval?). On the Sunday night we were treated to a second encore of a Patti poem that ended “tick tock…f*ck the clock” and swang seamlessly into a lovely Time Is On My Side.

The CD from Eat A Peach does a great job in conveying the atmosphere and music from these gigs. Recorded on the Monday night (May 17) there is no Time Is On My Side but the other 12 tracks are here in remarkably good quality for an audience recording. The entertaining sleeve notes tell how ‘Mike B’ and ‘Pete’ taped the gig from centre-stage upstairs at the Roundhouse. After our intrepid duo blagged their way into the aftershow Patti and Lenny listened approvingly to the cassette and suggested it would make a fine bootleg one day. They were right. The CD looks as good as it sounds. Front cover is a colour repro of the gig ad, inside is a printed inner sleeve and fold out insert, all featuring great pics from the gig itself as well as a reproduction of the afore-mentioned Time Out cover.

Patti Smith would never be this groundbreaking again. The Jack Douglas production on Radio Ethiopia did the band no favours, and whilst Todd Rundgren was more sympathetic on Easter the material was now inconsistent, although the singles Frederick, Dancing Barefoot and Because The Night still sparkled. Then marriage, motherhood, retirement.

So remember the Patti Smith Group this way. From its release in December 1975 Horses rarely left my turntable and being able to relive the live version via this CD is a real thrill. Bravo!

 

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1974

So after my success* at persuading the MC50 to let me DJ with a 1968-themed setlist I have done a similar exercise for 1974. This is because next April’s Mott The Hoople Class of ’74 gigs are going to focus exclusively on the material they recorded that year. I have already written to Ian Hunter via the excellent Horses Mouth feature on his website to see if I can DJ at one or both of the Shepherds Bush gigs.

My next step was to see what 7” vinyl singles I have from that year. The list follows, and it is a more interesting selection of songs than I imagined. Glam was almost over, The Faces were on their last legs, pub rock was coming up fast but a quiet year from some of my long term favourites with nothing contemporary from The Kinks or The Who. Of course the big omission is the final run of Mott singles – Golden Age of R’n’R, Foxy Foxy and Saturday Gigs – but I hope we’ll be hearing these live!

Usual rules apply: all tracks must have been released on 7” vinyl as an A or B side somewhere in the world in 1974. So what have I missed ?

Blue Oyster Cult – ME 262 / Career Of Evil

David Bowie – Rebel Rebel / Diamond Dogs / All The Young Dudes

Brinsley Schwarz – (What’s So Funny About) Peace, Love And Understanding

John Cale – The Man Who Couldn’t Afford To Orgy

Dr Feelgood – Roxette

Ducks Deluxe – Love’s Melody / Fireball

Eno – Seven Deadly Finns / Fever

Faces – You Can Make Be Dance… / As Long As You Tell Him

Bryan Ferry – The In Crowd

Flamin’ Groovies – Grease / More Grease

J Geils Band – Musta Got Lost / Funky Judge

Grin – You’re The Weight / Beggars Day

Roy Harper – Home

Ronnie Lane – The Poacher

Lulu – Watch That Man / The Man Who Stole The World

Andy McKay – Wild Weekend

New Your Dolls – Who Are The Mystery Girls ? / Stranded In The Jungle

Raspberries – Overnite Sensation / Party’s Over

Lou Reed – How Do You Think It Feels? / Caroline Says

Rolling Stones – Through The Lonely Nights / Dance Little Sister / Ain’t Too Proud To Beg

Mick Ronson – Slaughter On Tenth Avenue

Roxy Music – All I Want Is You / The Thrill Of It All

Todd Rundgren – A Dream Goes On Forever / Heavy Metal Kids

Bob Seeger – Get Out Of Denver

Sensational Alex Harvey Band – Anthem

Sharks – King Fu

Slade – How Does It Feel / Everyday / Far Far Away

Steely Dan- Rikki Don’t Lose That Number

Who – Postcard

Neil Young – Walk On

* total failure – apparently Mick Jones from The Clash got the gig

 

 

 

MC50 Shepherds Bush Empire 12/11/18

Fifty years on from the live recording of the MC5’s incendiary Kick Out The Jams debut LP Wayne Kramer fronted a five-piece band who reproduced those eight tracks with a professionalism the original 5 could never muster. In addition to Wayne on trademark Stars ‘n’ Stripes guitar the band was Kim Thayil (Soundgarden) on rhythm guitar, Brendan Canty (Fugazi) on drums, Billy Gould (Faith No More) on bass and Marcus Durant (Zen Guerilla) on vocals, looking unnervingly like Mick Farren. Ramblin’ Rose and Kick Out The Jams made for a knockout opening duo and if Starship remains a sub-Hawkwind dirge then Borderline and Rocket Reducer 62 more than compensated.

Support Michael Monroe (ex-Hanoi Rocks) leant his pink saxophone to the coda of a sizzling Sister Anne and stayed on for the ballad Let Me Try, a welcome change of pace. Absent comrades Fred Sonic Smith. Michael Davies, Dennis Thompson and Rob Tyner were all saluted and the set concluded with a ferocious cover of Van Morrison’s I Can Only Give You Everything and a politically charged encore of Looking At You. Brother Wayne at 70 – still testifying, still dancing and an example to us all.

Review written for Record Collector magazine

Picture Credit: Simon Nicholl

And here are the first three songs from the gig https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyTJBRQJJWE

The most arresting opening line in pop history

Yes, even more than “I am an antichrist”.

Try this: “Who cares if you’re Jewish and your breath smells of garlic and your nose is a shiny red light…”.

It actually gets worse after this.

The song When I Turn Out The Living Room Light comes from a time when Ray Davies was writing extraordinary songs at such a rate that there was no room for them on regular Kinks LPs. So the first time I heard this delicate melody was on the now impossibly rare vinyl LP The Great Lost Kinks album. Thankfully the track has been added to the excellent  expanded re-issue of The Village Green Preservation Society so now everyone can hear it and be gobsmacked. Only right at the end of the song do you realise that the singer is equally challenged in the physical attraction stakes and so we have that rarest of things, a love song that involves real people. Or as Todd Rundgren was to put it a few years later “But love between the ugly is the most beautiful love of all”.

Laugh in a slightly embarassed way as you listen here 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sound Of 1968

Looking forward to the MC5 gig at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire on Monday ? Me too. I was hoping to be your DJ for the evening but I lost out to someone rather better known…

Had I got the gig I planned to play only 7″ singles released in 1968, this gig celebrating the 50th anniversary of Kick Out The Jams. So there follows a list of what I would have been playing. Seem to me that 1968 was not such a vintage year for singles as 1966 or 1967. Some great tracks, but lacking the depth of the previous two years. Why should this be ? A growing emphasis on the LP, FM radio playing less chart singles, changes in drug consumption – who knows?

Let me know what tracks I’ve missed! Must have been released as the A or B side of a single during 1968…

Amboy Dukes – Journey To The Centre Of A Mind

Beach Boys – Never Learn Not To Love

Beatles – Revolution / Helter Skelter / While My Guitar Gently Weeps / Birthday / Back In The USSR

Jeff Beck Group – I’m Drinking Again

Boxtops – Cry Like A Baby

Eric Burdon and the Animals – Sky Pilot

Byrds – You Ain’t Going Nowhere

Canned Heat – On The Road Again / Going Up The Country

Cream – Anyone For Tennis / Crossroads

Dave Davies – Lincoln County

Deviants – Let’s Loot The Supermarket

Doors – Hello I Love You

Julie Driscoll / Brian Auger Trinity – This Wheel’s On Fire

Easybeats – Falling Off The Edge Of The World

Fleetwood Mac – Need Your Love So Bad / Shake Your Moneymaker / Black Magic Woman / Albatross / Jigsaw Puzzle

Grateful Dead – Dark Star

Jimi Hendrix Experience – All Along The Watchtower / Crosstown Traffic

Honeybus – I Can’t Let Maggie Go

Kinks – Days / She’s Got Everything

Monkees – Valleri

Tommy James & The Shondells – Mony Mony

Move – Fire Brigade

Nazz – Open My Eyes

Nice – America

Nirvana – Rainbow Chaser

Rolling Stones – Jumping Jack Flash / Child Of The Moon

Sly & The Family Stone – Life / Everyday People

Small Faces – The Universal

Spirit – I’ve Got A Line On You

Steppenwolf – Born To Be Wild

Syndicate Of Sound – You’re Looking Fine

Traffic – Feelin Alright?

Turtles – Sound Asleep / Elenore

Velvet Underground – White Light/White Heat

West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band – Smell Of Incense

Who – Dogs / Magic Bus

Yardbirds – Think About It

Zombies – Time Of The Season

 

 

Re-imagining Tom Petty

The recent release of the 4CD set An American Treasure has bought some new outtakes and alternate versions into the public domain. Whilst I regard some Petty LP’s as unimproveable (Hard Promises fits into this category) there are others that I think could use some help. By also utilising tracks from the earlier Playback set I have reconfigured two LPs which at the time of release I found disappointingly inconsistent.

Long After Dark Revisited

  1. A One Story Town
  2. You Got Lucky
  3. Deliver Me (alt)
  4. Change Of Heart
  5. Finding Out
  6. Keep A Little Soul
  7. Straight Into Darkness (alt)
  8. Turning Point
  9. Between Two Worlds

Tracks 1, 2, 4. 5, 8 and 9 from the original Straight Into Darkness (1982)

Tracks 3, 6 and 7 from An American Treasure (2018)

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were in fine form when they toured this LP around Europe in 1982 but for me the original LP rather ran out of steam after Side 1.  Adding Keep A Little Soul – the best unreleased track from An American Treasure – and the tougher live TV version of Straight Into Darkness makes for a better listen. The band really like another outtake called Keeping Me Alive which is included on both An American Treasure and Playback but it means nothing to me. Talking of which…

Southern Accents Revisited

  1. Rebels (alt)
  2. Walkin’ From The Fire
  3. Southern Accents
  4. Dogs On The Run
  5. Trailer
  6. Cracking Up
  7. The Apartment Song (demo)
  8. Big Boss Man
  9. The Image Of Me
  10. The Best Of Everything (alt)
  11. Don’t Come Around Here No More

Tracks 1, 2 and 10 from An American Treasure (2018)

Tracks 3, 4 and 11 from the original Southern Accents (1985)

Tracks 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 from Playback (1995)

Southern Accents was originally planned as a double LP and it could have been terrific, it could have been their Exile On Main Street. What eventually emerged was a mess. Whilst Dave Stewart did a brilliant job on Don’t Come Around Here No More – only placed last here because of over-familiarity – the other three tracks he produced were total turkeys. However the LP also contained two of Tom Petty’s best ever ballads in The Best Of Everything and Southern Accents. Adding the more country/roots orientated material such as the cover of Nick Lowe’s Cracking’ Up delivers a more consistent listen.

So sacrilege or creative improvement ? Let me know…

 

It’s Here Luv! Rolling Stones Live 1965-66

A new vinyl release on the 1960s Records Limited label is worthy of your attention

Let The Airwaves Flow 1 : Live At Olympia , Paris 1965-66 – The Rolling Stones

Side One

  1. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (Russell, Burke, Wexler)
  2. Around and Around (Berry)
  3. Off The Hook (Nanker, Phelge)
  4. Carol (Berry)
  5. Little Red Rooster (Dixon)
  6. Route 66 (Troup)
  7. I’m Alright (McDaniel)
  8. Crawdad (McDaniel)

 

Side Two

  1. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (Russell, Burke, Wexler)
  2. The Last Time (Jagger, Richard)
  3. The Spider And The Fly (Jagger, Richard)
  4. 19th Nervous Breakdown (Jagger, Richard)
  5. Hang On Sloopy (Berns, Farrell) / Get Off My Cloud (Jagger, Richard)
  6. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (Jagger, Richard)

 

Recorded live at the Olympia, Paris for RTL Radio

Side One 1-8 and Side Two 1-2 First Show April 18th 1965

Side Two 3-6 Second Show March 29th 1966

 

Mick Jagger – lead vocals, harmonica

Brian Jones – guitar

Keith Richard – guitar, backing vocals

Bill Wyman – bass

Charlie Watts – drums

Sleeve Notes

The lengthy career of the Rolling Stones divides fairly neatly into three eras, each defined by the identity of their second guitarist. So 1962-1969 is Brian Jones: 1969 – 1974 Mick Taylor and 1975 to date Ronnie Wood. Whilst we have an abundance of good quality live releases from the Taylor and Wood years there are virtually no good quality live recordings from the Jones period. Admittedly there is the Got Live If You Want It EP from 1965 and a selection of BBC Sessions, released in 2017 as On Air: both are welcome but the former is primitively recorded and the latter lacks an enthusiastic audience. So the real value of the record you have in your hands is that it is well-recorded and delivers an accurate representation of the mid-60’s Stones live set delivered to a very vocal and largely female audience. It is simply the most exciting live record of the Brian Jones era yet to emerge.

A brief snippet of Everybody Wants To Someone To Love acts as the introduction to a rockin’ Around And Around, Jagger’s vocal exuberance matched by the Richards / Jones guitar team tearing into the solos. The loping rhythm of overlooked B-side Off The Hook highlights the dexterity of Watts and Wyman. Carol kicks off with an electrifying intro from Keith Richards, whilst  Brian Jones’ slide guitar is the focus of Little Red Rooster (introduced here by the rarely-vocal Charlie Watts). Sheer punk energy drives Route 66.

A lengthier Everybody Needs Somebody To Love kicks off Side 2, Jagger really testifying here. The Last Time features Richard’s distinctive backing vocals. Then it’s a flashback to the Crawdaddy club in Richmond for two rarely-played Bo Diddley covers I’m Alright and Crawdad itself, both of which have the desired effect of making the crowd go completely bonkers.

Finally we have four Stones originals from their return to Olympia the following year. The wry Spider And The Fly is the second ace B side to receive an airing. Next up is a driving 19thNervous Breakdown that features more Keith Richards harmonising, giving the middle eight a country feel. Get Off My Cloud is preceded by the intro to Hang On Sloopy but it is a momentary distraction. The intertwined twin guitars really come into their own here, beautifully complementing the call-and-response vocals. Finally the unmistakable riff of Satisfaction brings the set to a close, a role the song is still performing 52 years later!

The NME review of the 1965 gig was published on April 24th. Jack Hutton reported that he band performed “exceptionally well and they got wild acclaim”. That was it for the music – the remainder of the 600 wordarticle was spent criticising French bouncers, although the Stones are described as “producing mild pandemonium” and Jagger’s “latest innovaton in the leaping and jumping department brought ecstasy and uproar”. Nicole Portier in Disc (April 24th) was more circumspect in her assessment that “four days in Paris with the Stones seems like a couple of years”. Paris would remain a Stones stronghold, with audience reaction at their most recent shows in October 2017 proving equally adulatory.

Sleeve notes: Elmo Lewis