Stevie Nicks at the height of her powers – an album track taken from the fourth side of the commercially suicidal Tusk double LP.
Rumours was on constant rotation at our flat in Hong Kong in the late 1970s and Tusk only got the occasional outing; I’m not sure we ever managed to listen to the whole thing uninterrupted from beginning to end.
Fast forward to today. I was walking into town with a completely random playlist on the iPod (I still have one!) and this came on and just brought me to a halt. Just beautiful.
Apparently it might be about Stevie’s brief affair with Derek Taylor, the late road manager and press officer for the Beatles ….. That sordid business is not what I think about when I listen to it though!
One of the records of the year so far! Classic Australian jangle pop released on the legendary Sub Pop records label. Heard it on a CD sampler from Uncut magazine 45 minutes ago and it qualified immediately to be elevated to the pantheon of thebestmusicofalltime!
The, ahem, official video and then a live version from the USA!
The German pair, Moritz von Oswald and Mark Ernestus have made some of the finest minimal and other techno of all time and their Rhythm & Sound moniker is just another outlet for their stellar talent. I’ve previous posted Maurizio (here) and Basic Channel (here) and the latter, of course, are so good they get to appear in the strapline to this blog (the highest of all praise).
With Rhythm & Sound, the focus is on dub and reggae more generally. This track is a throwback to the great reggae of the 70s with both a vocal version and then the dub – perfect! Shalom provides the vocals on this one.
The vocal and then the dub!
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?
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
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!
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!