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Wah! – The Story of the Blues (1982)

October 12, 2017 Leave a comment

Can’t believe I hadn’t posted this before!

Pete Wylie was a “member” of the “crucial three” in Liverpool in the late 1970s. Also present were Julian Cope (Teardrop Explodes) and Duke McCool AKA Ian McCulloch of Echo and the Bunnymen.

Pete Wylie recorded under a variety of names: Wah! Heat; Wah!; The Mighty Wah! Shambeko! Say Wah!, etc. There’s a theme there I feel.

The early Wah! singles will definitely need inclusion on this blog – “Better Scream”, “Seven Minutes To Midnight”, “Don’t Step On The Cracks”, etc.

However, this was their one moment in the commercial spotlight – and what a moment. The seven inch version, “Part 1” was the Top Of The Pops pleaser; Part 2 “Talking Blues” is a 3 minute polemic that explains the philosophy underpinning Wah! and much of early 80s anti-Thatcherite indie music – it”s stirring stuff!

The 7 inch single and then the 8+ minute magnum opus

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The Fall – Wings (1983)

October 10, 2017 Leave a comment

The Fall at close to the peak of their powers. Taken from the seminal double 7″ single “Kicker Conspiracy”, “Wings” finds Mark E. Smith channeling his inner Stooges. Relentless guitar, a pounding bass and lyrics worth an effort to decipher …

Ended up under Ardwick Bridge.
With some veterans from the U.S. Civil War.
They were under Irish patronage.
We shot dead a stupid sergeant,
but I got hit in the crossfire.
The lucky hit made me hit a time lock.

Nope, me, neither.

Great video!

Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft – Der Mussolini (1981)

June 24, 2017 Leave a comment

Just combing through this month’s Mojo magazine and one of their recommended tracks to check out was a new Giorgio Moroder remix of Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft’s classic track Der Mussolini.

I had a listen but, frankly, it’s a bit insipid compared to the relentless brutality and tunelessness of the original!

Formed in Dusseldorf in 1978, D.A.F. were staples on the John Peel Show in the latest 70s and early 80s. A different take on synth-pop compared to Kraftwerk but another great German record.

Altogether now:

Geh’ in die Knie
Und klatsch’ in die Hände
Beweg’ deine Hüften
Und tanz’ den Mussolini
Tanz’ den Mussolini
Tanz’ den Mussolini

Grauzone – Film 2 (1981)

June 1, 2016 Leave a comment

This has been a great day for Switzerland with the opening of the world’s longest and deepest rail tunnel – well done guys! (Details, here)

Until this moment, I think most right-thinking people would have regarded Switzerland’s finest achievement to date as being this track, “Film 2” by the short-lived but stupendous post punk band Grauzone. Others, of course, might debate this point and argue that hand crafted timepieces, cuckoo clocks, cheese with holes in it and/or, err, the Swiss Roll were superior. However, they would simply be wrong and, in the process, look faintly foolish.

Formed in Berne in 1980, Grauzone managed one LP and a handful of singles before disbanding two years later. Film 2 was the opening track on their only LP and is a pounding, relentless, bludgeoning instrumental. Play loud!

New Order – Dreams Never End (1981)

February 13, 2015 Leave a comment

To celebrate Peter Hook’s 59th birthday (crikey!), what better way to mark the occasion than to acknowledge the moment when he could have been the contender for lead vocalist in New Order ….

As Joy Division imploded (or dissolved .. ?) in 1980 following Ian Curtis’s suicide, it took a few months for New Order to emerge from the debris. Their debut LP “Movement” was a mixed bag but, for me, this was by some distance the towering, stand-out, track.

Unusually Hooky takes the vocal duties on this one and, while this track is sublime, one gets the sense that he was never a natural … the tension in the shoulders; the shouting; it was always a strain ..

Nonetheless, this is pop perfection. The LP version, the Peel Session, live in 1981 and then live in 1987 …

Public Image Limited – Another (1979)

January 31, 2015 Leave a comment

Posted to mark the 59th birthday of John Lydon who, over the years, has gradually morphed into another example of the Great English Eccentric … Anyone debating the use of the word “English” is referred to his stated allegiance in his autobiography “Anger is an Energy”!

“Another” is a classic piece of P.I.L. genius. Jah Wobble’s pounding bassline, Keith Levene layering shards of guitar and John Lydon warbling on about lord knows what over the top – perfection!

Released as the B-Side to the “Memories” single in 1979, sharp eared listeners will recognise that “Another” is a version of “Graveyard” from P.I.L.’s career high Metal Box. A previous post from that landmark LP can be found here.

The vinyl version and then live from April 1980!

Joy Division – Passover (1980)

January 16, 2015 Leave a comment

The only song I’ve posted twice …. separately and inadvertently! Previously here.

The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Buzzcocks, Magazine, The Damned, Black Flag, P.I.L, Members, Ruts, Husker Du, Wreckless Eric, Dead Kennedys, The Jam, Ian Dury, The Specials, Elvis Costello, Theatre of Hate, Sisters of Mercy, The Cure, Mekons, Tom Waits, Sister Sledge, The Police, Chic, Robert Wyatt, Bruce Springsteen, Blue Oyster Cult, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Patti Smith, Giorgio Moroder, Blondie, Psychedelic Furs, Donna Summer, Sugarhill Gang, … errr, Crispy Ambulance …. you can’t touch this.

Talking Heads, Ramones, Television, The Smiths – you’re still in the frame.

Bleak? You want bleak? Ian Curtis at age 23 falls apart as he contemplates a disintegrating marriage, guilt, disability and distant stardom. Stunning.

This is a crisis I knew had to come,
Destroying the balance I’d kept.
Doubting, unsettling and turning around,
Wondering what will come next.
Is this the role that you wanted to live?
I was foolish to ask for so much.
Without the protection and infancy’s guard,
It all falls apart at first touch.

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