The February Playlist...
1. The London Jazz Quartet – “Fishin’ The Blues” (1959)
The London Jazz Quartet were Tubby Hayes, Alan Branscombe, Tony Crombie and Jack Fallon whose recordings were originally conceived as background music for film and television. Every time I hear “Fishin’ The Blues” I imagine a cute early 60s animation with a little man taking his rod out to the lake. That’s not a euphemism.
2. Curtis Knight – “Voodoo Woman” (1961)
Like monkeys and chickens, records about voodoo are normally worth a punt and Knight’s creepy bongo and snaky sax led 45 is no exception.
3. Brenda Holloway – “After All That You’ve Done” (1965)
A new Kent edition of The Artistry of Brenda Holloway features no less than eight previously unreleased cuts from Motown’s vaults. Is there no end to the treasure? It seems not. This Smokey Robinson number is the pick of the bunch and delivered with all of Brenda’s usual class and sophistication although I was disappointed she went back to her cheating boyfriend after seemingly enjoying giving him the brush off for the two previous minutes.
4. Paul Bearer and the Hearsemen - "I've Been Thinking" (1966)
Goodness gracious me, what a blast! Garage-punk in extremis. Fuzzed and turned up to within a whisker of the unsuspecting recording equipment's life. Fantastic name these five lads from Oregon had too. Sadly their only release.
5. Duane Eddy – “It Ain’t Me Babe” (1966)
Best and most surprising find record find this month is Duane Eddy Does Bob Dylan, a 1966 LP produced by Lee Hazlewood and released in the UK on Colpix. To quote the liner notes: “Eddy’s guitar romps and soars through Dylan’s brain waves – translated in this album into notes which build and explode into bar lines of enjoyable melodies.” Twangtastic.
6. The Peep Show – “Your Servant Stephen” (1967)
As pointed out by Pop Junkie, the enigmatic folk-psych Peep Show on more than one occasion sound both lyrically and musically like a template for The Smiths, best exemplified on this Polydor single.
7. Stanley Unwin – “Goldylodders and the Three Bearloads” (1968)
Now, this also begins once a polly tie tode. If Unwin’s bonkers gobbledygook on Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake isn’t enough then his 1968 LP Rotatey Diskers With Unwin provides more deep joy of a songload in your eardrome. Unwin’s versions of fairy stories are hilarious but the Q&A with a room full of journalists where he regales them completely off the cuff is nothing sort of genius.
8. John Cameron – “Front Titles” (1969)
From John Cameron's music for Kes. Listening to it away from the film really showcases what an achingly beautiful (and terribly sad) soundtrack he provided. "Front Titles" is possible to hear with fighting back the tears, not so some of the other pieces.
9. BB King – “Just Can’t Please You” (1972)
Jimmy Robins’ barnstorming version is the best fifteen quid one will ever spend on a Hard Northern 45 (I might’ve just invented a new genre there). King, as expected, takes it at a more leisurely pace. Still pretty cool though.
10. Wilko Johnson/Roger Daltrey – “I Keep It To Myself” (2014)
Daltrey starts off like Vic Reeves' club singer but soon settles down and the pair blister through a track first found on Wilko's 1989 Barbed Wire Blues. British R&B doesn't get much more thrilling than this.