Saturday, 19 March 2011
Current spins in Monkey Mansions.
1. Ray Charles – “Hot Rod” (1958)
I’m never gonna do it. Despite my best efforts, I’m never gonna hear everything I should. When I sigh my last sigh all those recordings I never got around to, or simply passed me by, will go ptooff. Ray Charles at Newport isn’t a rarity yet slipped through my net until this month, but thank the good Lord I made it. Man, from start to finish it sure does swing.
2. The Monitors – “Say You” (1965)
Such was the competition in the Motown group category The Monitors were always destined to be also-rans. They were though lucky enough to grab this song and turn it into a sublime smoocher of a 45.
3. Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band – “Safe As Milk” (1968)
“Cheese in the corner with a mile long beard/ Beggin’ blue beard, dog eared/ I may be hungry but I sure ain’t weird”. If you say so Captain, if you say so.
4. The Heptones – “Pretty Looks Isn’t All” (1969)
Lovely rocksteady from “the Motown of Jamaica”, Studio One.
5. Can – “Halleluhwah” (1971)
Eighteen and a half minutes of pre-baggy genius.
6. Jackie Wilson – “Pretty Little Angel Eyes” (1973)
Cut from the same silky crossover cloth as “Because of You” (both from his Beautiful Day LP).
7. Lyn Collins – “How Long Can I Keep It Up” (1973)
Soul sister Lyn stays at home waiting for her man. She doesn’t know where he is but he’ll be back sooner or later and she’ll be ready to greet him with a cup of coffee and maybe a sandwich. Written by James Brown…
8. Frankie & The Heartstrings – “Possibilities” (2011)
Would you believe this was recorded in a Tyne and Wear sixth form common room during 1987 on a Sony Walkman?
9. The See See – “Half A Man and A Horse’s Head” (2011)
In LA, me and Gary Garage tried visiting Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors to get kitted out like Gram Parsons or Hank Williams. The store rang a bell with a couple of nutty old locals who didn’t think it still existed. “Ah, gee, I think it had a horse outside” said one. It had closed down so the only thing we went away with was the sound of “faggots!” ringing in our ears, shouted from some rednecks in a passing truck. And you can’t buy memories like those.
10. The Vaccines – “Norgaard” (2011)
Such has been the desperate clamour for a new, half-decent, rock ‘n’ roll guitar band it’s easy to hear why The Vaccines have received so such coverage. They’re more probably the new Fratellis than the new Arctic Monkeys but these 98 seconds of Ramonesy bubblegum pop is enough to win me over. For now.