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!

Tchaikovsky – Arabian Dance (Coffee) (1892)

June 11, 2016 Leave a comment

I’ve been working my way through a 70 CD box-set of classical music featuring some of the finest work of conductor Fritz Reiner. I’ve loaded up a few of my favourites onto my iPod and, happily, while strolling across our local water-meadow to enjoy a pint at the local pub, this came on.  With Russia due to play England in Euro 2016 in a couple of hours, what better way to prepare than to consider this sublime piece from one of that country’s greatest composers.

First premiered in 1892, “Arabian Dance (C0ffee)” is taken from Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker. It turns out that Pyotr and I have a fair amount in common – like me he was  educated for a career as a civil servant and, like me, his father was an engineer …. I am hoping that the similarities end there as he died at the age of 53 and I reach that milestone in 8 months time … gulp.

No sign of the Reiner version on Youtube but this is more than good enough!

 

John Cale – Dying On The Vine (1985)

June 11, 2016 Leave a comment

With Euro 2016 underway (a “soccer” tournament for both of my non-European followers!), I’m hoping to post a song or two that relate in some way to some of the countries playing each day (I suspect this good intention might fizzle out quite quickly ..)

So what better way to kick-off this project than with one of the greatest songs by one of the greatest songwriters from Wales (who are playing Slovakia later). I first heard this song on the compilation “10% File Under Burroughs” ( a series of songs with some relation to William Burroughs). The version on there is a live recording featuring Cale playing alone at the piano. It is completely different to the original that appeared on Cale’s “Artificial Intelligence” LP released in 1985. It turns out that it was taken from the “Fragments of the Rainy Season” live LP that Cale released in 1992 …

Deeply reflective and moving, this might be the best song John Cale has ever written …

I’ve been chasing ghosts and I don’t like it
I wish someone would show me where to draw the line
I’d lay down my sword if you would take it
And tell everyone back home I’m doing fine

Five versions(!) – a superb live solo version from the BBC; the live LP version; the original from the LP and then two live cuts: one from the Old Grey Whistle Test and one from Later With Jools Holland!

 

 

 

 

Ernie K-Doe – Mother-In-Law (1961)

June 5, 2016 Leave a comment

Written by the late Allen Toussaint and released as a single on the wonderful Minit Records in 1961, Mother-In-Law is not (spoiler alert) a song that is overly complimentary about the woman in question. A few lines to illustrate this:

The worst person I know ….

Satan should be her name …

But if she would leave that would be the solution …

A jolly tune though!

Eddie Curtis – The Louisville Lip (1971)

June 4, 2016 Leave a comment

A very sad day indeed for the world.

This song would have been worth posting on any day of any year but, today, it just has to be essential. A great song, which I first heard when I bought the superb compilation “Hits And Misses: Muhammed Ali And The Ultimate Sound Of Fistfighting” a few years ago (released on the wonderful Trikont label, details here)

I remember the “Thrilla in Manila” quite well because I was a young boy living in Hong Kong in 1975 in the same time zone as the Philippines. My mum was very excited and followed it avidly!

I’ve previously posted an Ali tribute here (using the medium of reggae) but Eddie Curtis’ “Louisville Lip” is a worthy addition to the bestmusicofalime.

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