It Hurts Me Too

Almost everyone has used Elmore James’ version as a template for their cover – it’s more of a standard 12-bar blues song than Tampa Red’s earlier composition – and the Grateful Dead were no exception. But they played it slower than most and, as ever, their interpretation is not just the singer and lead guitar over a formulaic blues backing.

Despite Pigpen’s deteriorating health (he died a year later), he makes a valiant attempt to emulate his bluesmen heroes and plays some decent harmonica on this performance from Wembley on April 8th, 1972. Garcia set a much slower pace for most of the later versions on the tour, causing poor Ron to hold those harmonica notes even longer, but this is just about right, I reckon. The overall performance is subtly understated, delicate even, and what Ron’s voice lacks in power is made up for by the excellent tone and dynamics of the instrumentation.

It Was 40 Years Ago Today…

…that Mormon Sunday School teacher and would-be FBI agent Richard McCoy Jr. boarded United Airlines Flight 855 under the alias ‘James Johnson’. By threatening to blow the plane up mid-flight, he struck a deal with the airline to have half a million dollars and a parachute ready for him at San Francisco airport. After landing there, collecting his loot and releasing the passengers, the plane returned to the skies and he jumped from it at 16,000 feet over Utah, landed safely and hitch-hiked home. He and most of the money were found two days later and he received a 45-year prison sentence. He escaped from jail two years later but when the FBI caught up with him again, they shot him dead.

At the same time as McCoy’s hijacking exploits, the Grateful Dead’s road crew were suspending parachutes from the ceiling of the Empire Pool in Wembley, in an attempt to improve its dire acoustics prior to the band taking the stage for the first concert of their first European tour…. Continue reading

How I discovered . . . . . . Jim Croce

I hate Moustaches ! ! ! He was so handsome without it ! ! !

I wanted to start a series of occasional posts about how I came to discover some different artists and this will be the first of the series. So this series will be about how I discovered some different English language artists and I tell the story by including tracks by the artists that lead me to the discovery.

Continue reading

Not All Disco Sucked

Beg to differ? No problem. For any who care to stick around – my dance card has plenty of spaces. Hard to tell what exactly defines disco – i tend to lean towards the funk / r&b end of it. Left out quite a few decent poppy disco tunes too. Have any personal faves, feel free to post below. I left a lot out. Some may sound very familiar – lots of covers of of the old disco tunes.

1. Yarborough & Peoples – Don’t Stop the Music
2. Evelyn Champagne King – Shame
3. Michael Jackson – Working Day and Night
4. Teena Marie – Lovergirl
5. Mary Jane Girls – In My House

6. Anita Ward – Ring My Bells
7. SOS Band – Take Your Time (Do it Right)
8. Cherelle – I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On
9. Indeep – Last Night a DJ Saved My Life
10.Evelyn Champagne King – Love Come Down

11. Earth, Wind & Fire – Getaway
12. Prince – I Wanna Be Your Lover
13. Janet Jackson – The Pleasure Principle
14. Cameo – She Strange
15. Rufus – Tell Me Something Good

16. Brick – Dazz
17. Slave – Slide
18. Ronnie Hudson and the Street People – West Coast Poplock
19. Mtume – Juicy Fruit
20. Zapp & Roger – More Bounce to the Ounce
21. Pointer Sisters – Yes We Can Can

The Crimson-Yes Axis

This post was inspired by those Pete Frame “Rock Family Trees” diagrams that I’ve always found so engrossing and which are a great way to waste an afternoon.

The idea for this particular one came from me listening to the first, eponymous album by the band UK, which featured Bill Bruford, John Wetton, Eddie Jobson and Alan Holdsworth, with Bruford and Wetton being the rhythm section that powered the great “Lark’s Tongues In Aspic”, “Starless And Bible Black” and “Red” incarnation of King Crimson. The presence of Eddie Jobson reminded me that he did some violin overdubs for the KC live album from this period, “USA”.

Then I wandered mentally from UK and USA to Asia, another band that featured John Wetton and which also had Steve Howe from Yes, the band where Bill Bruford started out. You can see where this leads, can’t you?

So, I thought I’d put together a playlist that had one rule; the music must feature at least one member of either Yes or King Crimson playing under a different banner.

The musicians I have used are Greg Lake (KC’s original bassist/ELP), Ian McDonald and Michael Giles(also from the original KC line-up/McDonald and Giles), Bill Bruford (Yes and KC/Bruford/AWBH), John Wetton (KC/Asia – also played live with Roxy Music), Robert Fripp (KC – obviously/David Bowie/Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins), Mel Collins (KC/Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins), Steve Howe, Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman (all Yes/AWBH), Vangelis (Yes/Aphrodite’s Child), Boz Burrell (KC/Bad Company and Eddie Jobson (KC in the studio/Roxy Music)

So, the track listing is;

Emerson, Lake and Palmer – The Barbarian
McDonald and Giles – Flight Of The Ibis
Asia – Only Time Will Tell
Aphrodite’s Child – The Four Horsemen
Roxy Music – Out Of The Blue
David Bowie – “Heroes”
Bill Bruford – Beelzebub
John Wetton – New Star Rising
Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins – The Other Man
Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe – Order Of The Universe
Bad Company – Bad Company

There are lots of other connections that you can find if you are an obsessive about such things. If you wanted to branch out, you could link Yes to UK to Soft Machine and to Gong via Bill Bruford and Alan Holdsworth (because Holdsworth played with UK, the Softs and Gong). You can also link King Crimson to Gong via Theo Travis, who has played live with Robert Fripp. There are also links via Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn, Tony Levin and Adrian Belew. You can even link King Crimson to Hall and Oates via Fripp and his work on Darryl Hall’s first solo album, “Sacred Songs”. It goes on and on. I am sure that people can find other links.

Incidentally, the only reason I don’t have a UK track here is that for some reason I don’t understand, my PC was unable to open the CD.

1971

He’s Gonna Step On You Again – John Kongos
Freedom To The People – The Heptones
You Know You know – Mahavishnu Orchestra
Dig Deep In Your Soul – Bobby Boyd Congress
Feel Flows – The Beach Boys
The Lady With The Braid – Dory Previn
People Make The World Go Round – The Stylistics
Continue reading

China Rider

The first Hunter/Garcia collaboration (and the first Grateful Dead A-listing – for Surreal Songs, back in the Golden Age Of Maddy), China Cat Sunflower had a suitably odd conception.

Robert Hunter: “I think the germ of [the song] came in Mexico …. I had a cat sitting on my belly, and was in a rather hypersensitive state, and I followed this cat out to – I believe it was Neptune – and there were rainbows across Neptune, and cats marching across the rainbow. This cat took me in all these cat places; there’s some essence of that in the song.”

He also said that: “It was originally inspired by Dame Edith Sitwell, who had a way with words” (‘palace of the Queen Chinee’ is a direct quote from her poem, Trio for Two Cats and a Trombone). With its perky little tune and many half-references, it has the feel of an obscure poem for children whose complete meaning has been lost over time. Continue reading

Yes at the Colston Hall 16th November 2011

So, when was the last time I saw Yes? Well, it was in 1975 actually, at the Reading Festival when they were one of the biggest acts on the planet.

Since then, they have shed and regained members in a kind of revolving door policy, released a slew of increasingly less proggy and less artistically and commercially successful albums, had acrimonious splits, been Buggled, re-united, split and re-united again and have still managed to retain a hardcore following.

Since 2008, they have a new singer, Benoît David, who has played in a Yes tribute act called Close To The Edge and in a Canadian prog band called Mystery, and are once again playing with Geoff Downes on keyboards. They also have a new album, Fly from Here, which I shall admit to not having heard. Apart from these two, the current Yes line-up includes original bassist Chris Squire and classic period members Steve Howe and Alan White.

Tonight it was really all about the classic songs, plus some stuff from the new album.

I’d bought the tickets for this gig was back in January and it seemed for a while like it would never come around but tonight we were ensconced in our seats before the band appeared to the inevitable classical intro music and went straight into the classic Yours Is No Disgrace.

The band sound good, there are plenty of opportunities for Steve Howe to display his fretboard skills and they are in the groove immediately. They follow this with a track I don’t recognise and work through a set that gets in some things from the new album, which sound fine, seeing as I don’t know them at all, and enough classics to keep the punters happy. Benoît David has the right vocal range for the songs and has enough stage presence to not be overshadowed by Steve Howe and Chris Squire, who are definitely the dominant forces in the band. Geoff Downes has the musical skills but is definitely the hired help and Alan White is marooned behind a kit that seems to have pretty much everything you could imagine hitting with a stick.

For me the highlights are a magisterial And You and I, which leaves me quite moist-eyed and the long-time crowd pleaser Heart Of The Sunrise which is the closest Yes ever got to the menacing off-kilter dynamics of King Crimson. The band close on an absolute high with Starship Trooper, with an almost Spinal Tap jam at the end, with Geoff Downes on a keytar and a really rocking encore of Roundabout. I’d have loved a second encore of America, but the guys are getting on a bit now and probably wanted their cocoa and slippers.

A long time ago Charles Shaar Murray wrote a one word review of Yes. The word was “Maybe”. I think that the answer now is a definite “Yes”.

They have still got what it takes.

Drugs Are Bad, m’kay?

But how much poorer would the music scene be without them?

From Louis Armstrong to Tom Petty, Charlie Parker to Keith Richards, Syd Barrett to Lemmy, Lowell George to Fleetwood Mac, a vast amount of great music has been created by those under the influence of marijuana, heroin, LSD, cocaine and other substances that society has declared illegal. Not all of it, by any means, has been great but would Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, Sgt. Pepper, Sister Ray, Dark Star and any number of jazz classics have been created by people sipping a glass of sweet sherry or a cup of tea? Frank Zappa famously abhorred them but was he right to keep his band away from them?

All the Grateful Dead music I’ve posted from Casey was produced under the influence of marijuana, LSD and cocaine in various permutations and, for the most part, that does not seem to have affected the performances detrimentally. But in Amsterdam Garcia, for one, got a little greedy and you can hear the effect in his playing in the first set. Most of the licks that he always plays, because they’re part of the song, are bungled or omitted. Yet when he gets past the opening verses of Playin’ In The Band, the music becomes quite sublime (and the Other One performance in the second set is astonishing). So, what do you think? Just say ‘no’?

This is Playin’ In The Band from Amsterdam.

Continue reading

7/5/72

The day after I’d seen the Grateful Dead at the Bickershaw Festival, my 19-year-old self wrote to a friend describing his impressions. This verbatim extract sums it up:

“They are just sooooo good. Their knowledge of how to play and what to play is so complete and assured – they just change so smoothly from one to the other & back & sideways.”

(L-R: Keith Godchaux: piano, Phil Lesh: bass, Bill Kreutzmann: drums, Bob Weir: 2nd guitar, Jerry Garcia: lead guitar, Ron ‘Pigpen’ McKernan: organ)

It was a chilly, wet weekend. Luckily I came across some people I’d met recently who had an old ambulance, so I could sleep in relative comfort rather than mud, and when Day 3 came round I wasn’t too bedraggled. I found a position by a scaffolding tower and stood/leant in front of it from around midday. Country Joe McDonald did a set in which we all joined in the Fish Cheer (F-U-C-K N-I-X-O-N), a chap set himself on fire and did a high-dive into a small tank of water (just what the mud in front of the stage needed!) and the New Riders Of The Purple Sage played for a couple of hours. Around 7pm, the Dead took the stage and, apart from a 20-minute break between sets, they remained there for the next 5 hours.

Another quote from that letter:

“I hadn’t eaten, drunk or smoked for 12 hours and had been standing and jumping around for 5 and didn’t feel hungry or anything really – the Dead just filled me in.”

Continue reading

At the Mudcrutch Farm Festival, 1971

It was 40 years ago today (more or less)

I just discovered this picture of Mudcrutch in 1971 and thought I would post it for your delight – and for a serious medical purpose! I specially like the way most of the colour has drained away leaving the red leaves matching TP’s jacket…It’s a scan from a book that I didn’t want to flatten too much, so that’s why the drummer, Randall Marsh, on the left, isn’t showing up very well (sorry, Randall). Then there’s Mike Campbell and then a teeny Tom Leadon just showing in the gap, and then TP.

Notice TP’s posture – it’s very poor. It’s even worse than it looks in fact because the photo is crooked. This may be because of TP’s teeth: as you may know, his top teeth are at the wrong angle. And did you know that your teeth can affect your posture? Well, they can. I already knew this because my nephew’s orthodontist told my sister so, back when Ruairidh was a teenager and having his braces fitted. (If you don’t believe me, just google teeth and posture.) But I’d forgotten, till I was looking at this picture and thinking “cripes, I don’t know how TP can even stand up at that angle.”

So now, as well as worrying about his smoking, I also have to worry about TP’s long-term musculo-skeletal problems. It’s a hard life. For those of you with difficult teeth, or whose children have difficult teeth – think on.

You can’t tell from a photo what the music is, but it might have been this:

High School Confidential. This is the 2008 Mudcrutch, not the 1971 version. Same people though – plus Benmont Tench on keyboards.

Why I’m not buying any of those Pink Floyd box sets

I see there’s a shock-and-awe advertising campaign for the reissues of the classic 70s albums by Pink Floyd. Prominent position in HMV, staff wearing t-shirts bearing Storm Thorgenson’s iconic artwork, the works. And I’m not buying.

Yes, an album like Dark Side of the Moon is all-time classic which has stood the test of time and has finally emerged from the long shadow cast by of Punk to take its rightful place in the British Rock Canon. But let’s face it, if you really cared about the album, you’d already have it on CD, right?

September has been one of the best months for new progressive rock releases I can remember for a long, long time. In the space of two weeks there have been new releases by Dream Theater, Opeth, Anathema, Matt Stevens, Mastodon, Steve Hackett and Steve Wilson. Amazingly two of those releases even got four-star reviews in The Guardian! That’s one hell of a lot of new music, and you can have all of it for the price of just one of the ridiculously overpriced “Immersion editions” that you’ll probably only ever listen to the once.

I realise the target market for these things is the middle-aged bloke who stopped caring about new music when he got married and had kids decades ago, and now in the throes of his mid-life crisis is desperately trying to reconnect with his long lost youth. He’s probably never even heard of Opeth. His loss.

Don’t be that guy. Don’t buy the box sets. Pink Floyd really don’t need your money. And EMI certainly don’t deserve it.

A Pig, A Cowboy and The Other One

Here are two little jewels and something altogether different from Casey, for your listening pleasure.

Ron McKernan, aka “Pigpen”, was the prime mover in ensuring The Warlocks became an electric rock band and his R’n’B raps were an essential part of the Grateful Dead experience. He went on this tour against doctors’ advice, making the words of Good Lovin’ uncomfortably apt (Doctor, Doctor, Mr. MD, can you tell me what’s ailing me?). Despite his health, he’s the one that gets the band in gear on more than one night. Robert Hunter wrote Mr. Charlie for him, as an affectionate tribute to those songs with nonsense choruses (Chuba, Chuba, Wooly Bully). Pigpen was also quite fond of cocaine.

El Paso is Marty Robbins’ tale of love, betrayal and murder, with a narrator who dies at the end. It’s a Tex-Mex confection, served with a glittering side order of Garcia. And played quite often as an interlude to…

The Other One. This version was played in a TV studio in Bremen, at the end of an 80-minute set from which a song would be selected for broadcast (the station selected a short song, unsurprisingly). This is Casey’s real treasure, for me, when the band takes the music in directions rarely explored. Billy has just played a drum solo which sets up the opening rhythm for the song so, when everyone joins in, that’s the speed they run at. But Garcia wants to slow it down and, later, he just fancies seeing what will happen if he tries this or this or that… It’s the way the others deal with his ideas that it so wonderful: sometimes acquiescing, sometimes fighting, sometimes just going in a different direction. But, when Bobby finally agrees to sing the second verse, everything comes together again. The song ends officially at that point but Garcia still has ideas to try…

A Present From Casey

I will keep my urge to share Casey’s goodies with you to a minimum but I’d just like to give you a flavour of the thing.

The audio is the final 20 minutes of the first show, at Wembley on 7th April 1972. Bobby’s got a cold, it’s a huge, soulless arena only half full (due to a last-minute venue change), and they’ve only been playing for two hours, but this finale is a firm instruction to get up and dance. So wind the volume up high, follow Garcia’s twisting lead and twirl away!

Not Fade Away>Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad>Not Fade Away and an encore of One More Saturday Night. (Apologies for the small breaks between CD tracks: I can’t quite erase them.)

Who’s Casey? Not the raven. It’s what I’m calling my box set.

It’s A Boy!, er, I mean, It’s A Box!

I’m pleased to announce the delivery of a bonny bundle of delight that started out as a a mere twinkle nine months ago and has now blossomed into a weighty little chap.

He seems well put together, with love and dedication, and I’m looking forward to getting to know him. From the small amount of time we’ve spent together so far, he seems to have a great set of lungs and all the bits you hope for appear to be beautifully formed.

Well that’s as far as I can take that analogy……

Continue reading

One Bite At A Time?

That’s the way to eat an elephant, I believe.

Well, I’m just about to receive the musical equivalent: my 73-CD box set of the Grateful Dead’s 1972 European tour. All 22 concerts, originally recorded on 16-track tape and now lovingly re-mastered by people who love the Dead’s music. With a shedload of information and ephemera, packed in a ‘flight case’ with new graphics by Stanley Mouse (example on left) in the same vein as his work with Anton Kelley for the initial release, it certainly looks like a huge beast to tackle.

I will listen to the Bickershaw Festival performance first, as that’s the one I attended and I need to hear if my memory has been lying to me. But after that, I’ve no idea. There are some of the 60-odd songs I don’t need to hear multiple times (although only two songs were played every night) but, even then, the one I skip may be the best version….

Any suggestions? Other than ‘Seek psychiatric help’, obviously.

While you cogitate, here’s a version of Good Lovin’ from Bickershaw, one of the last examples of Pigpen doing his thang while the boys in the band do theirs.

The Rocker – 25 Years Gone

Copyright Jim Fitzpatrick

Happy Birthday to Phil Lynott – had he lived, it would be his 62nd birthday today. It would be very easy to grumble on about what was a sad demise and a profound waste of life of a charismatic and talented musician, but I am quite sure that Phil would have no truck with all of that and anyway I would like to focus on the good stuff.

When I was growing up, I guess Phil might have seemed a rather bizarre choice of Irish hero: he was black, his father had scarpered before he was born and he was decidedly Irish in a way that was decidedly uncool. He was interested in folk music, celtic art,  mythology and poetry at a time when we as a nation were not keen on admitting an interest in anything so downright Gaelic. He drew friends and collaborators from the unlikeliest places and was a fantastically colourful dandy in the Vatican state that I grew up in. Some of the songs were macho and sexist, yet everybody’s mammy had a soft spot for him because he was the most charming and unaffected of rockers – very bashful despite the on-stage posing.

From the early to mid seventies he wrote pop and rock music with a lyrical quality and a deft touch with melody. He was a fixture on Top Of The Pops – who else would be cock sure enough to install a mirrored scratchplate on his bass so that he could blind us all with his brilliance? We were proud of him and we were in his eyes his “supporters” – Phil was always a bit of a Manchester United fan.

With Live And Dangerous, Thin Lizzy launched the template for the heavy rock live album oft copied but truly never bettered – all the guff about studio overdubbing is rendered superfluous when you listen to the result.The Boys Are Back In Town remains one of the most played songs on US radio, but his musical legacy has been blighted by his own fractious relationship with record companies and collaborators who have found it all too easy to rehash the catalogue rather than explore.

In an obituary, Fintan O’Toole wrote that Phil was a nicer bloke than Geldof or Bono and that he had wasted more talent than they could ever dream of. Two clips can summarise what he was about and maybe where he could be, and twenty five years after his death, that is really all we have along with the indelible memories  for those fortunate enough to have seen him in his prime.

tfd’s 20

What? Am I the winner?

You most certainly are, Shirley – congratulations!

Hi ‘Spillers: this is an auspicious occasion (I’m having quite a week in fact), as I celebrate my 20th A-lister on RR. I first got drawn in for Illness, in November 2007, made all the usual mistakes that newbies make, and got my first A-lister the following January. Now, I’m sure you don’t want to listen to all 20 in one go (if at all) so I’m going to do two lists of 10. Here’s the first.

1 I’m The Face by the High Numbers, alias the Who. ‘I Am’ songs, Jan 25 2008
2 Nottamun Town by Shirley Collins and Davey Graham. Surreal songs, June 13 2008
3 Remember (Walking In The Sand) by the Shangri-Las. Songs about memory, Oct 10 2008
4 Ghost In This House by Alison Krauss and Union Station. Songs about ghosts, Jan 30 2009
5 Lord Gregory by Shirley Collins. Songs about social class, March 27 2009
6 Marilyn Monroe by the Ian Campbell Folk Group. Songs about actors, April 17, 2009
7 Complainte Pour Ste Catherine by Kate and Anna McGarrigle. Songs in French, June 19 2009
8 The Cruel Mother by Shirley Collins. Cruel songs, July 24 2009
9 However Much I Booze by the Who. Songs about failure, August 7 2009
10 Barroom Girls by Gillian Welch. Songs about hangovers, January 8 2010

Ready for Part 2? OK then:

11 Killing Jar by Richard Thompson. Unsettling songs, January 22 2010
12 The Victory by Steeleye Span. Songs about historical figures, January 29 2010
13 Long Live Rock by the Who. Songs about concerts, May 27 2010
14 The Eyes Of Fate by the Incredible String Band. Songs about fate, September 24 2010
15 The Unquiet Grave by Shirley Collins. Songs about the afterlife, May 26 2011
16 Cherry Red Wine by Luther Allison. Songs about wine, June 9 2011
17 Blue Days, Black Nights by Buddy Holly. Debut songs, June 23 2011
18 The Dark-Eyed Sailor by June Tabor and the Oysterband. Songs about eavesdropping, July 14 2011
19 Barefootin’ by Robert Parker. Songs about dance styles, July 28 2011
20 So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad) by the Everly Brothers. Songs about a change of mind, August 4 2011

Well, that should keep everyone amused for a bit!

Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing

Just an appreciation here of a great ’70s soul group featuring one of the great soul voices, Gwen Dickey. Seems like all of their top songs were covered by others, and none can hold a candle. Madonna did a vile cover of Love Don’t Live Here Anymore. Ok, Mary J. Blige does have a good voice. Still her cover of I’m Going Down isn’t a patch on the original. Ditto Xtina and Missy Elliott’s Car Wash cover. Beyonce’s cover of Wishing on a Star is pathetically anemic. Gwen doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page.

Have i mentioned lately that i miss Magicman? Continue reading

Like a diamond

Young punk (?)(1977)

Insider (1981)

Outsider (2002)

Grand Old Man Of Rock (2011)

Well, the thing is that I’ve been wanting to do a podcast about TP for ages now, but the problem always was: how do I decide which songs to include? Then one day the answer came to me: during the 30 Days game I’d been keeping a list of my noms so as not to repeat any, and looking down the list at about the two-thirds mark I realised that my TP noms (which were many) in fact covered a good span of his recording career. There were still a few gaps though – and in fact not enough opportunities left to get one song in from each album, not to mention that some albums were already represented twice – but I made a valiant attempt through blatant shoehorning activities and finally arrived at a list which I think is pretty good. I’ve left out the compilation, soundtrack and live albums, and most of the songs in the podcast are different versions from the ones I posted for 30 Days, because they’re studio-recorded. So even if you watched all the videos I posted, you’ll still hear something new in the podcast, as well as my fab commentary of course, and some remarks from the great man himself who was happy to help. [Tell the truth, tfd - Ed.] OK, he didn’t know a thing about it.
Here we go then: Tom Petty, his music, from 1976 to now.
Woo hoo!

Podcast song list

Fooled Again (I Don’t Like It) – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 1976
I Need To Know – You’re Gonna Get It! 1978
Shadow Of A Doubt (A Complex Kid) – Damn The Torpedoes 1979
The Waiting – Hard Promises 1981
Insider – Hard Promises 1981
Change Of Heart – Long After Dark 1982
Southern Accents – Southern Accents 1985
Spike - Southern Accents 1985
It’ll All Work Out – Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough) 1987
………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
End Of The Line – The Traveling Wilburys vol. 1 1988
Runnin’ Down A Dream – Full Moon Fever 1989
Learning To Fly – Into The Great Wide Open 1991
You Don’t Know How It Feels – Wildflowers 1994
Room At The Top – Echo 1999
Dreamville – The Last DJ 2002
Like A Diamond – The Last DJ 2002
Saving Grace – Highway Companion 2006
Shady Grove – Mudcrutch 2008
Lover’s Touch – Mojo 2010

All songs composed by Tom Petty except:
End Of The Line – George Harrison
Runnin’ Down A Dream – Tom Petty, Mike Campbell, Jeff Lynne
Shady Grove – trad.

Well, if you’ve got down this far you’ll certainly be up for the ‘Spill point challenge – I’ve mentioned shoehorning but (for only one point, now that Chris has made it easier by putting the spreadsheet in the box) which of the songs in the podcast did NOT feature in the 30-Day Challenge at all? Clue: it’s about a couple who are maybe about to set up home together but they are the opposite of Wills’n’Kate.

What’s Happenin’ Stateside!

I previously posted the jazzy ‘Low Lights & Trick Mirrors’, which was one of four compilations from Autumn 1986 provided by the NME.
Here’s another cassette from that series which is a compilation of predominately soul tunes from the EMI catalogue.
It was also issued in truncated versions as an LP & CD for the knock-down price of 99p at the same time and tracks have since appeared on various ‘Talcum Soul’ northern soul compilations, but none of them have the same flow.
From The O’Jays to Bettye Swan, here are 17 killer tracks that should have you groovin’ around your PC, if not you really need to see a doctor …

It is grey, damp, melancholy, let’s think of better times ahead

There isn’t really a theme to this particular playlist, except perhaps that all the tracks I’ve chosen have a certain quality that reflects my state of mind at the moment.

There is a kind of otherworldliness about many of these, tinged with maybe a dash of melancholy, distance or maybe detachment from the day-to-day dullness of grey, dismal February.

I’ve tried to make the playlist a kind of voyage, starting out with a dash of experimentation that flows into Jerry Garcia’s achingly beautiful “The Wheel”, via some old and new psychedelia, a dash of a Fripp and Travis soundscape, a leavening of classically lovely female singing and finally coming home again, via post-rock, to a place of aching beauty again.

The photograph that heads up this playlist is one of my own. It is the Château de Sercy in the southern part of Burgundy, just north of Cluny. I have no particular reason to post it, except that it is a lovely place and the sky is blue in the picture.

We all need a bit of blue in our skies at this time of year. I think that February is the worst month of the year, but hopefully this playlist ends on an fairly uplifting and optimistic note and leads the way to a happy 2011 for all of us ‘Spillers and our loved ones.

Anyway, now for the music;

1. Jerry Garcia – The Wheel
2. Moby Grape – Looper
3. Mazzy Star – Look Down From The Bridge
4. Warpaint – Warpaint
5. Robert Fripp and Theo Travis – Moonchild
6. It’s A Beautiful Day – Bombay Calling
7. Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan – Black Mountain
8. Sandy Denny – I’m A Dreamer
9. Mogwai – Like Herod
10. Sigur Ros – Agaetis Byrjun