Always and Forever

Music can come from the most unlikely places. Take that gawky-looking white guy on the far left who looks like he should be selling dodgy used cars. That’s the great Rod Temperton who died of cancer last week and wrote some of the best dance records ever made.

Temperton grew up in the northern English seaside resort of Cleethorpes which is hardly ranked with Memphis or Detroit as a breeding ground of great black music, but as a member of the Anglo-American band Heatwave he was responsible for such classics as “Boogie Nights”, “Always and Forever”, “The Groove Line”, and “Gangsters Of The Groove” which would be almost enough for anyone to earn a place in the songwriters Hall of Fame. But he also wrote songs for other artists which included Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You” and “Off The Wall”, The Brothers Johnson’s “Stomp”, and George Benson’s “Give Me The Night” among many, many, many others. The list is quite ridiculous.

I imagine nearly everyone reading this blog knows who Temperton is, but he always kept a low profile and the average punter wouldn’t know his name from Adam. But you can bet if you’re a certain age you know all the words to several of his songs and he provided the soundtrack to your Saturday nights. For that he will always be remembered and loved.

Download: The Groove Line (12″ version) – Heatwave (mp3)

Something for the Weekend

Not sure how I managed to have not seen this clip on YouTube until yesterday, but soon as I did I knew it was a no-brainer for today. Sublime performance of a sublime song.

Something for the Weekend

Not had any Prefabs here for far too long. Pardon the pun but this song makes me swoon.

Something for the Weekend

This record is 18 years old now (18!), but it still makes me stop what I’m doing and listen to it, hypnotized, all the way through.

Bonus: Fell down an EBTG hole on YouTube after watching the above and thought this was too good not to post too.

Something for The Weekend

With Britain being wrecked by two old Etonians this song is now more documentary than allegory.

Haven’t watched any live Jam videos for a long time and it was a pleasure to be reminded how bloody great they were. I made the right choice of favourite band when I was a teenager.

Something for The Weekend

I don’t know why Van Morrison is such an old misery guts who never smiles. If I made records as great as this I’d be grinning like an idiot all the time.

Bigger Than Life

If you weren’t around when the late, and very great Muhammad Ali was in his pomp in the 60s and 70s you probably can’t imagine how famous and iconic he was, especially for a boxer. I mean, who the fuck even knows who the heavyweight champion is these days?

But everyone knew who Ali was, for a while he was the most famous man in the world and probably deserved to be. Not just for his incredible float-like-a-butterfly boxing talent, it was also his outsize personality, his gift of the gab (he turned trash talking into poetry), his refusal to fight in the Vietnam War (which cost him several of his prime fighting years), and as a symbol of black pride as potent as Martin Luther King or James Brown. He was as dazzling outside the ring as he was in it.

Us kids knew nothing about Vietnam, Islam, or Black Power, we just thought of him like he was a superhero. When he fought Joe Frazier in 1971 everyone in my school wanted Ali to win and I got into a playground fight with another kid because I said I wanted Frazier. Not that I was some huge Joe Frazier fan or even knew anything about boxing, I was just being a contrarian prick by going against popular choice. I still do that.

Even though I was right — Frazier won — being against Ali now feels like being anti-life, and joy, and even history — because of course he came back and beat Frazier in their next two fights.

Download: The Greatest – Cat Power (mp3)

Something for the Weekend

Tighter trousers: Barry Gibb or Russell Thompkins, Jr?

Joking aside, this is utterly sublime and every home should own a copy of The Stylistics’ classic debut album.

What’s it all about?

The sentimental musings of an ageing expat in words, music, and pictures. Mp3 files are up for a limited time so drink them while they're hot. Contact me: lee at londonlee dot com





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