June 2nd, 2015
“The Staircase (Mystery)” was The Banshees’ 1979 follow-up to their classic debut single “Hong Kong Garden” and I’ve never thought it was anywhere near as good as that. I kept the single all these years because of the flipside though, Siouxsie showing her Glam love with a cover of the T.Rex track which is a lot of glitter-stomping fun.
This is another b-side that was unavailable anywhere for years until the 2004 release of the Downside Up collection of Banshees’ b-sides. That seems to be out of print now so this has gone back to being rare again.
Download: 20th Century Boy – Siouxsie & The Banshees (mp3)
March 2nd, 2015
This is one of the five Roxy Music songs Bryan Ferry originally re-recorded for a solo single b-side that ended up on his 1976 album Let’s Stick Together. Like the other Roxy covers on the record it’s far more conventional than the original but I’ve always loved its suave funkiness and this was the first version of the song I knew. The band playing on it is basically Roxy Music too.
Download: Re-Make/Re-Model – Bryan Ferry
February 25th, 2015
One of the many reasons why it was so great being a boy in the 1970s: 20-foot high billboards of Caroline Munro in a wet suit plastered everywhere.
Mott the Hoople are rightly famous for being one of the best rocking bands of their era, but they also did some lovely ballads like this one. I actually think Ian Hunter’s voice is more suited to slow, melancholy songs.
Download: Sea Diver – Mott The Hoople (mp3)
January 9th, 2015
Eight minutes of magnificently over-the-top glam rock and roll brilliance. Just when you think it’s climaxed Marc finds another level.
Apparently the reason this was called “Bang A Gong” in the US was because there was already a song called “Get It On” in the charts by some group called Chase. I’d never heard of them before either.
September 17th, 2014
Sparks are known for their hyper, outré style but my favourite record of theirs might be this beautiful, stately ballad which actually sounds quite heartfelt by their standards.
Download: Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth – Sparks (mp3)
I was going to add it’s a perfect candidate for a cover version but discovered that several people have already done one.
Photo: Lady Bridget Poulett as ‘Arethusa’ by Madame Yevonde, 1935
May 7th, 2014
Ladies and gentlemen, Alvin Stardust as Discobolus.
Download: Red Dress – Alvin Stardust (mp3)
April 18th, 2014
Don’t think I need to say that I prefer Bryan’s version of this song to Bob Dylan’s. Not only didn’t he have both Phil Manzanera and Chris Spedding playing on his, I bet Dylan never wore leather trousers while singing it either.