Over the festive period, I try and catch up on all the music I might have missed over the previous 12 months. This involves forensic scrutiny of all the “best of” lists from magazines, websites, newspapers, etc. Spotify is then used to sort out the wheat from the chaff before I engage on a major CD purchasing spree – I still have to own a physical object to get full satisfaction; just knowing I could always stream a song from the cloud is never enough ….
Amongst this year’s uncovered gems is the superb “My Name is Doug Hream Blunt” CD released in 2015 on the ever wonderful Luaka Bop Records. The CD reproduces Blunt’s “Gentle Persuasion” LP/EP that was released sometime in the mid 1980s – I’ve struggled to pin down the exact date!
I could have chosen almost any of the tracks but “Ride The Tiger” is my favourite today and, therefore, is elevated immediately to the pantheon of the bestmusicofalltime. The full LP version doesn’t seem to be around on Youtube but this live version does nicely!
Forty years old and still as fresh as the day it was recorded – quite simply one of the best records ever made!
Written and produced by Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch of KC and the Sunshine Band, this is rightly recognised as one of the founding documents of the disco era. The backing track for the record had been recorded in 45 minutes as a demo, and featured guitarist Jerome Smith of KC and the band but was not originally intended for George McCrae – however, he “happened to be in the studio”, added a vocal, and the resultant combination of infectious rhythm and falsetto vocals made it a hit!
The guitar chops on this are sublime, relentless and right up there with those used later by Nile Rodgers on his stunning series of songs with Chic, Sister Sledge, David Bowie, Daft Punk, etc.
The extended album version and then the original single from a TV performance – perfection!
There was so much great music in the late 70s: the flowering of US and UK punk and then post-punk, roots reggae, early rap, soul, Eno, Bowie, Roxy Music, Kraftwerk, heavy metal, etc. And there was also funk and its more commercial offspring disco …
The merits of the latter divided opinion then as well as now, but there has never been any doubt for me that the work of Chic, Donna Summer, etc, was, and remains, some of the bestmusicofalltime.
For all the hits that you can remember, there are some tracks that mysteriously never registered at the time. Jackie Moore’s “How’s Your Love Life Baby” is one such example from 1979.
Ms Moore was much better known for her US Number 1 hit of the same year “This Time Baby” which some young folk of today might recognise from the soundtrack of the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. However, I much prefer “How’s Your Love Life ….” which was part of the same “I’m On My Way” LP as the chart topper.
The song was originally written by Greg Perry and was an album track on his “Smokin'” LP released in 1977. His is a great record as well but more in a classic soul style and without the exuberance of Jackie Moore’s delivery.
Youtube has no sign of the superior 7″ single edit of the song but here are the LP version, the 12″ version and then the original Greg Perry take.
This had been a forgotten favourite of mine for sometime. Registered as a teenager but then dropped off the radar for some reason.
However, over the 2014 UK summer (that is, any day where the temperature reaches 20C), I’d been playing Boz Scagg’s Silk Degrees LP on and off and so it was a wonderful surprise to see the great man playing “Lowdown” live on Jools Holland’s 2014/15 Hootenanny TV programme on New Year’s eve – always a highlight of the year in the UK!
As the bassline loped into the groove, the snare kept the beat and with so much space for the vocals and guitars to play in, I realised this was perfect pop music. If you are ever in need of a soundtrack for Saturday night, try this …
I’ve always been a sucker for a killer funk/disco guitar line and I have piles of CDs (compact discs for younger readers) that chart huge numbers of the great underground and overground disco/funk track released in the 1970s.
However, I had never heard this until an hour ago and, already, it has qualified as one of the best records of all time! Killer guitar, great melody and a relentless groove …. the soundtrack for New Year’s Eve.
I stumbled upon the track after reading the following review of the Evans Pyramid compilation album (check here) in the new issue of Mojo magazine (this is the full extract) …
Taking lessons from Dyke and the Blazers. The Delfonics and Isaac Hayes, with whom he pkayed. Andre Evans made out-of-this-world sounding cosmic disco and boogie funk. This collects everything he did as Evans Pyramid.
With the CD now ordered, the only other piece of information I can add is this brief extract from the liner notes:
In 1978 a difficult breakup led to the creation of one of the most monumental songs in Andre’s career. Soon after splitting with his long-term girlfriend, while listening to Marvin Gaye’s music and drinking a few too many glasses of wine, Andre sat down and wrote “Never Gonna Leave You.” Returning to the studio a short while later, the instrumentation turned out to be a masterpiece.
As always, Youtube provides the soundtrack.
Spent an hour or so this afternoon watching the “a little less than inspiring” Ed Miliband use the phrase “one nation” more frequently than Kenneth Williams allegedly used the phrase “ooh, matron” in the entire Carry On canon. Though, according to the interweb, Mr Williams, nor anyone else, ever actually used the phrase at all ….
Which got me to “a thinking” that the greatest purveyor of the case for One Nation anything was not Miliband, Heath or Disraeli but, actually, George Clinton and the wonderful Funkadelic.
Taken from the 1978 LP of the same name, One Nation Under A Groove is a classic piece of hardnosed funk that just gets better with the passage of time. This is the alternative sound of disco in 1978!
LP version, 12″ remix and then a scratchy live version from 1979!
A sad day today with the passing of Donna Summer. I have previously posted her sublime “Working the Midnight Shift” here.
However, this is the all time classic. One of the most influential records of all time; techno, house and all that follows is being invented here. The genius of Giorgio Moroder keeps the pulse going and Donna’s vocals soar ….
The original 12″ version; the Patrick Cowley 15 minute remixed opus and then a live cut …