July 22nd, 2014
Back (sadly) from our holidays in Rhode Island. Had a great time, though as you can see from the above photo, the wife had to go catch our dinner every night.
Seized by a bout of nostalgia for late-90s club music I took on the trip the CD Beach House, one of the many, many Hed Kandi compilations I bought back then — just looking at the distinctive sleeves they had sends me back in time.
The first track on the album is “Music and Wine” by Blue 6 which originally came out on Naked Music, another label I bought a lot of back then with equally distinctive sleeves. Naked specialized in smooth and soulful dance music and “Music and Wine” is one of the most sublime, summery House records you’ll ever hear. It was my favourite single of 1999 and still sounds wonderful.
Download: Music & Wine (Original Funkaphonic Vocal) – Blue 6 (mp3)
Give me a few days to get back up to speed here.
July 16th, 2014
By the time you read this post I shall be on my holidays, sitting on a beach in Rhode Island, getting some sun and reading my own Beezer Summer Special.
Back next week at some point. With a tan, hopefully.
Download: Here Comes The Sun – Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel (mp3)
Photo: Holborn Oasis Open Air Swimming Pool, London 1956.
July 14th, 2014
I don’t think I’ve ever featured Jenny Lewis here before and I’m not sure why because she’s one of my absolute favourites and I think one of the best songwriters around.
The former Rilo Kiley lead singer has put out two brilliant solo albums of Bobbie Gentry/Laurel Canyon-ish Country-Soul which I highly recommend and has a new one coming out in a few weeks called The Voyager. She shared the title track last week and it’s just gorgeous, can’t wait for the album (which has already won my Cover of The Year award).
July 11th, 2014
Like every John Peel-listening Indie kid in 1979 I bought a copy of this single (still have it!), had a crush on lead singer Ramona, and had no idea what she was singing about.
July 10th, 2014
I’ve made no secret of my negative feelings about Brazil in the past, but in my (or anyone’s!) wildest dreams I couldn’t have imagined them taking a thumping like the one on Tuesday. It even made wanting Germany to win a football game less painful.
All together now: “Eins, zwei, drei, vier, fünf, sechs, sieben…”
Download: Numbers – Kraftwerk (mp3)
I shall be supporting Germany in the final too, but only because I want a European team to finally win a World Cup in South America. Hopefully that will the last time I find myself in the position of wanting them to win something.
July 9th, 2014
Kickers were very hip shoes in the late 1970s, the footwear of rich rock stars and, judging by the ad above, were mostly only sold in swanky London fashion spots like South Moulton Street and Beauchamp Place.
Of course that made them very desirable to style-conscious kids too and I knew a few who had a pair back then. They’d show them off around the estate, cocky in the knowledge that a pair of red Kicker Hi boots had a status beyond the latest must-have trainers. I never had any because they were too expensive — we were poor, you know — but I didn’t like them much anyway.
They became more popular and widespread in the 1980s, their bright colours and chunky soles going well with the nursery-school outfit of Smiley t-shirts and baggy dungarees of the Madchester/Acid crowd (and were worn by a sheep on the cover of a Farm album), but I have no idea what their hip cachet is these days.
“You Wear It Well” was a bit too obvious a selection for this post so I went with this one instead.
Download: Country Comfort – Rod Stewart (mp3)
July 7th, 2014
I’ve been playing this song a lot lately. I’ve known it since it was a hit in 1973 so it’s far from being a new record to me but I heard it again recently and was suddenly struck by what an utterly great pop-soul record it was, with a sunny and breezy charm that’s quite, well, magic. Music is funny like that sometimes, one minute a record is like wallpaper — always there but not really noticed — the next you see it’s beauty with new eyes (or ears in this case).
And what a great name for a band Limmie & The Family Cookin’ is. They were formed in Ohio by Limmie Snell and his sisters Martha and Jimmie — the latter of whom is the sweet voice on this — who never had any hits at home but scored three in the UK of which “Magic” was the first and biggest.
Not sure if a song that got to #3 in the charts can qualify as a “lost” classic but I think this is one of those records that only people of a certain age know, and for some of us perfectly captures Radio One in the 1970s.
Download: You Can Do Magic – Limmie & The Family Cookin’ (mp3)
July 4th, 2014
The usual divide in my school between the soul boys, the reggae kids, the pop fans, and the punks mostly dissolved when it came to Lover’s Rock. Everyone seemed to like it because it was melodic and soulful but also had the street cred of reggae. And girls loved it too, which was another reason for boys to like it.
All of which made the magnificent “Silly Games” about the most popular and loved record ever in my school and estate because it’s probably the best Lover’s Rock record ever made.