|Joy Marshall goes shopping.|
1. Charles Mingus – “Moanin’” (1960)
I was fortunate to catch the Mingus Big Band twice at Ronnie Scott’s this week. Sounds extravagant but I’m pleased I did as each 90 minute set only had time for half a dozen treatments of Mingus material in a Big Band format. They were fantastic on both occasions (different sets) and I guess Mingus himself would’ve approved of hearing his music arranged and presented in a way which wasn’t always practical in his lifetime. Among the numbers aired were Gunslinging Bird, Song With Orange, Diane, Bird Calls, Sue’s Changes, The Child’s Hour of Dream, So Long Eric, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, Fables of Faubus (retitled Fables of Trump) and one of my favourites, from Blues & Roots, Moanin’.
2. John Ashley – “Little Lou” (1960)
Ashley featured in many late 50s/early 60s TV shows and films (ones containing cars, werewolves or beaches appear to have been favourite) but it’s this rocking teen-drama which is of most interest. He’d later go on to produce the first four series of The A-Team and it’s his voice that narrates the introduction, fact fans.
3. Little John – “Just Wait And See” (1965)
Fat horns, clinking keys, punching drums, call and response vocals, thumping, dog’s dangly bits floorfiller. Don’t even think about trying to find an original on Gogate. Sensational.
4. Joy Marshall – “And I’ll Find You” (1968)
Recorded shortly before Marshall’s untimely death, Vicki Wickham’s sumptuous production for her Toast Records makes this fall somewhere between Dusty Springfield and Dionne Warwick.
5. Glass House – “Touch Me Jesus” (1971)
Holland-Dozier-Holland get sanctified on their Invictus label with a 45 aimed at the dancefloor more than pulpit. The fact no members of Glass House appeared on the record, which was in fact recorded by Darlene Love’s group the Blossoms, didn’t appear to trouble their conscience.
6. The Miracles – “Ain’t Nobody Straight In LA” (1975)
From the LP City of Angels which provided the Miracles biggest ever hit, “Love Machine”, this was a bold move. It took a couple of listens to catch which side of the fence they were with sitting – sounded like a piss take at first (“homosexuality is a part of society, well I guess they need more variety”) - but it’s supportive, embracing of diversity, with the group deciding “gay people are nice people too, man” before heading off to a gay bar. Cracking tune too.
7. George Jones – “If Drinkin' Don’t Kill Me (Her Memory Will)” (1981)
From the song’s Wikipedia entry: The upswing in his professional life brought little peace to his personal one; dogged by a years-old cocaine addiction and a near thirty year drinking problem, he continued to miss shows, engage the police in high speed chases, and show up at award shows obviously inebriated to accept honors. The despairingly hopeless "If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will)" verged on topicality as Jones sang about falling out of cars at four in the morning and drinking "twenty bottles."
8. The Stairs – “I Remember The Day” (1988)
Recorded by a young Edgar Summertyme during his time on a YTS scheme at Attic Studios with early evidence of his Syd Barrett/Strawberry Fields leanings. Now featured as one of many curios on a new odd and sods Stairs compilation, The Great Lemonade Machine In The Sky.
9. Spiritualized – “She Kissed Me (It Felt Like A Hit)” (2003)
Hold tight as J. Spaceman launches this rocket.
10. Paul Orwell – “Attack” (2016)The songs are pouring out of Paul Orwell at the moment and Heavy Soul are catching them in a bucket and sticking them out as fast as their little arms and legs are able. This latest blink and you’ll miss it 45 is a simple yet effective acid rock Bolan boogie.