Something for the Weekend

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.

Something for the Weekend

I know Bruce isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but there might be something wrong with you if this record doesn’t make you want to tear your clothes off and sing along at the top of your lungs — preferably while standing under a corner street light at night in the rain.

Posted in honour of the USA qualifying from the Group of Death to make the next round of the World Cup. There’s something wrong with the natural order of the universe when America is better at football than England.

Something for the Weekend

I dressed a lot like Edwyn Collins back then. I had the vintage shirts, the bootlace tie, the Chelsea boots, the haircut. But somehow I never looked as cool as him.

Something for the Weekend

“I was a bit uptight. I don’t think I was angry—I probably was. I was always trying to stop smoking. I was always two days on, two days off. I was forever withdrawing from cigarettes. I was probably angry about that. I probably wrote a lot of these songs when I was two days off the fags.”– Kevin Rowland, Mad World

One of the many, many brilliant things about this clip is the presence of Mick Talbot on keyboards. I had no idea he’d played with Dexy’s.

Bye Bye Phil

Well this is a rotten start to the year.

I’ve been a huge fan of Phil and Don ever since I bought a copy of the 1970s compilation Walk Right Back With The Everlys (with the great Mick Brownfield sleeve) back in my teens. Still got it too. I thought the mountain-air purity of their voices was one the most beautiful sounds in pop music.

Unlike a lot of other 1950s acts The Everly Brothers never sounded dated to me, and transcended the era of bobbysoxers and quiffs because of the classic, clean-cut lines of their harmonies and guitars. They weren’t as big in the post-Beatles world (though they remained very popular in England) but you could hear their influence all over 60s music and beyond.

This is a gem from 1966 which shows they were still making great records then too.

Download: Leave My Girl Alone – The Everly Brothers (mp3)

Do yourself a favour and get this box set.

Something for the Weekend

This should shake the post-holiday cobwebs. I don’t really have any axe heroes but that Peter Green chap was pretty damn tasty with the gee-tar.

Something for the Weekend

Though this has the original studio recording dubbed over it it’s still a joy to watch. The audience don’t seem too excited though.

I’m Set Free

“Without Lou there is no Bowie as we know him. Me? I’d probably be a maths teacher” – Lloyd Cole

Brian Eno’s famous line about the first Velvet Underground album only selling 30,000 copies but “everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band” may have been a very quotable exaggeration but was a tidy way of expressing their oversized influence. I wouldn’t even want to hazard a guess at what British music would have sounded like for the past 40 years if it hadn’t been for the Velvets and the literate, envelope-pushing songs Lou Reed wrote for them and in his solo career — from Glam Rock, Punk, Post-Punk, and Goth through to jangly-guitar Indie, his fingerprints are all over it.

But only seeing him through the lens of his influence on other people does him a little disservice when his own records were often – and with the Velvets, nearly 100% – brilliant in their own right, no matter who formed a group because of them.

Download: Sad Song – Lou Reed (mp3)

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




Follow me!

For Hire