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Archive for the ‘All – Songs, Tracks & Music’ Category

Hell – This Is For You (1998)

December 9, 2016 Leave a comment

Ah, Friday evening, time for some smart, ear-bleeding (ish) German techno ….

Listening to this tonight, Hell’s “This Is For You” sounds like the blueprint for what was perfected by LCD Soundsystem seven years later in 2005!

I’d been a fan of, ahem, “Mr” Hell since 1995 when I bought his “Original Street Techno” 12″ single after hearing a track on the much missed John Peel Show. In those days, he was trading under the moniker of DJ Hell but he apparently lost the DJ vibe sometime over the next 36 months.

No matter, this is classic German techno from the seminal Disko B label out of Munich. The spoken word vocals from Melissa Logan from Chicks On Speed elevates the song to the pantheon of the bestmusicofalltime!

What’s not to like?

Thomas Mapfumo & The Blacks Unlimited – Shumba (1981)

September 2, 2016 Leave a comment

This is a staggering record – relentless cyclical guitar and bass, beautiful intertwining melodies and Mapfumo on top form with his socially conscious lyrics.

Thomas Mapfumo is widely regarded as Zimbabwe’s greatest and best known artist. He invented and popularized Chimurenga music – literally “struggle” in Shona – which was often overtly political. In addition to his modern incarnation of traditional music, his lyrics were sung in Shona. In the late 1970s singing in Shona instead of English was a political statement in and of itself. In Mapfumo’s case, it was specifically critical of the white ruling class of Rhodesia. The government, underestimating his popularity, eventually banned his records and imprisoned Mapfumo without charges in 1979. After a series of large protests demanding his release, he was set free three months later.

Though he initially celebrated the independence of Zimbabwe in 1980, he became increasingly disillusioned with the regime of Robert Mugabe.

Shumba (or Lion) was a particularly popular song during the fight for liberation and is a cautionary tale warning of spies in the midst …

Do not talk of secret issues or give information in public

Informers are everywhere.

A perfect record

Neu! – Leb’ Wohl (1975)

August 29, 2016 Leave a comment

I’m struggling to understand why it has taken me so long to post anything by the incomparable Neu! on this blog. No matter, an omission now rectified.

Alongside Kraftwerk and Can, Neu! are my favourites among the wonderful Krautrock genre of the 1970s.

I “re-stumbled” upon this song today while listening to the four CD set “Who’s That Man. A Tribute To Conny Plank” – Conny Plank was the engineer on all Neu!’s LPs and also on numerous other classics by Kraftwerk, Harmonia, Cluster, Ash Ra Tempel, etc. This track is taken from Neu’s third LP “Neu! ’75

This is a beautiful piano based song which, until recently, I might have considered as a potential candidate for part of the soundtrack for my funeral … However, having recently started to work my way through Michel de Montaigne’s Essays (written in the 16th century), I have been persuaded that specifying the desired details of my funeral would be a pointless and egotistical imposition and burden on those who live on. Thus, the great essayist quotes Saint Augustine:

The arranging of funerals, the conditions of burials, the pomp of obsequies, are rather a consolation for the living than any help to the dead”

Anyway, a perfect record!

Jimmy Riley – Poor Immigrant (1982)

June 14, 2016 Leave a comment

Another song that just leapt out of the iPod as I took my daily “constitutional” this morning; this time around the nature reserve in Godmanchester.

Not, as some might anticipate, some carefully chosen social critique shedding some welcome light on the interminable Brexit debate currently limping to its much awaited conclusion next week. Instead, a classic slice of roots reggae originally released in 1982 and then re-released on the stupendous “Live It To Know It” compilation on the still essential Pressure Sounds record label.

Jimmy Riley died in March at the age of 62 – with this record, he leaves the world in a much better place than he found. If only it were longer!

Plastic Bertrand – Ca Plane Pour Moi (1978)

June 13, 2016 Leave a comment

Quite simply the greatest achievement in Belgium’s history.

An all-time “comedy punk” classic – right up there with Jilted John’s “Jilted John” and Splodgenessabound’s “Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps Please” .

First heard on the back of the school bus in Hong Kong, this was the first track on the never surpassed punk compilation LP “20 of Another Kind” ..

Perfect pop music!

Feargal Sharkey – More Love (1988)

June 12, 2016 Leave a comment

With Northern Ireland about to kick off their Euro 2016 fixtures this afternoon, what better way to get ready than to hear this classic piece of 1980’s pop from Ulster’s finest?

Definitely the best thing Feargal Sharkey recorded in his solo career and, in my view, right up there with the classics from his Undertones days.

Written for Sharkey by Benmont Tench (a founder member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), the song also features the unmistakeable sound of Keith Richards on guitar. Tricky to track down on iTunes or Spotify, Youtube comes up trumps!

Bram Tchaikovsky – Girl Of My Dreams (1979)

June 11, 2016 Leave a comment

Couldn’t resist the segue from Pyotr to Bram ….

A powerpop classic and one of my favourite songs when I was 15. Peter Bramall was originally a member of The Motors and then left to forge a new career by forming Bram Tchaikovsky to a largely indifferent world.

Released as a single, “Girl of my Dreams” was taken from the Strange Man, Changed Man which appeared on the wonderful Radar Records label (home of Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe around that time).

Perfect pop music!

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