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THE BURNING QUESTION OF THE DAY

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Today is the day that the people of Scotland get the chance to head over to a polling station, pick up a pencil and put their mark against either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ in response to the question of whether Scotland should be an independent country.

This is just a simple, small and hopefully enjoyable music blog. I therefore have no wish to take up any of your time asking you to have a read over the reasons why I have decided to vote in a particular way. But it would be remiss of me not to at least acknowledge this most historic of days in modern history in the small corner of planet earth where I spent the overwhelming majority of my time. It’s been a contentious campaign and a lot of people all over Scotland are going to wake up tomorrow feeling battered, bruised and deflated by the outcome and with a bitterness that could lead to them saying the wrong things at the wrong time and so putting friendships in jeopardy.

I’m going to accept the outcome and live with it. If I ‘pick’ the winning side I will not gloat, and if I end up on the wrong end of the result then I will be sad but not to the point of despair. Today’s song is for everyone in Scotland:-

mp3 : Jamie Wednesday – Vote For Love

Jamie Wednesday formed in London in 1984, and released a grand total of eight songs on two EPs. The band consisted of James Morrison (acoustic guitar, lead vocals), Leslie Carter (bass guitar, backing vocals), Dean Leggett (drums and percussion), Lindsey Lowe (trumpet) and Simon Henry (saxophone).

Neither record sold well and the band remained virtually unknown until after they split up.  A final scheduled gig never happened but band members James and Leslie took to the stage as a duo and improvised for the most part.  Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine had just been born and before long the main main were better known as  Jim Bob and Fruitbat respectively.

THIS IS A VERY VERY VERY FINE POP RECORD

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Ian Broudie was a big part of the Liverpool new wave scene in the late 1970s. A member of Big in Japan (which also featured Holly Johnson and Bill Drummond) he then formed The Original Mirrors in the early ’80s, and was credited as a member of Bette Bright and the Illuminations on their lone album from 1981.

In 1983, he formed the band Care with vocalist Paul Simpson and the duo released three outstanding singles before breaking up. Though he was a busy writer, performer and session musician through the 1980s, Broudie was much more well-known a producer, working with Echo and The Bunnymen, The Icicle Works, The Colourfield, The Pale Fountains and The Fall amongst many others, often using the pseudonym Kingbird”.

In 1989, Broudie began recording alone under the name The Lightning Seeds – he has since said it was an experiment to see if he could cut it as a muso – and in this guise as a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer, he would achieve much success beginning with this wonderful debut single:-

mp3 : The Lightning Seeds – Pure

A #16 hit in the UK, the two follow-up singles from debut LP Cloudcuckooland failed abysmally and like most folk, I reckoned that could very well have been the end of The Lightning Seeds. But two years later, he/they returned and hit the Top 30 with Sense and for much of the rest of the decade became chart regulars, picking up lots of new fans in particular after the huge success of Three Lions, the official anthem of the England football side for the Euro 96 championships.

Some of the later material might have been bigger hits, but I don’t think there was ever anything better than that debut single. Here’s the excellent b-sides from the 12″ copy that’s been sitting in the cupboard all these years after I picked it up for 99p in a bargain bin in Woolworth’s.

mp3 : The Lightning Seeds – Fools
mp3 : The Lightning Seeds – God Help Them

Enjoy.

NICE ‘N’ SLEAZY DOES IT

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Prince Rogers Nelson gives Mrs Villain the creeps. So much so that she cannot bring herself to objectively give his music a fair hearing. There’s just something about him that she finds oily and repulsive.

She’s always felt that way. When I first met her at the end of the 80s, there was a lot of talk about music and shared tastes. She was very surprised that alongside my love for all things jingly-jangly guitars I would rave about some of the singles that Prince had released. We agreed to differ.

He’s not someone whose material has featured much on TVV but that in the main is down to the fact that the DMCA police are usually very quick off the mark when someone posts something by him. I expect this to be no different.

Picked up this classic single on vinyl for £1 the other week. If I had bought it back in 1986, instead of wasting money on the very patchy and underwhelming Parade LP, it would have certainly have found a high position on the 45 45s at 45 series all those years ago.

mp3 : Prince & The Revolution – Kiss
mp3 : Prince & The Revoultion – ♥ or $

One of the most memorable and finest bits of pop music ever recorded. Hasn’t dated a single bit after all these years. Just a pity that there have so many bloody awful cover versions.

(Originally posted over at the old place in February 2013)

WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOG TO BRING YOU AN OPINION

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I’m not the biggest user of Facebook. Indeed, I use by proper Sunday name as my ID so that for the most part anyone casually looking for me won’t find me that easily. But I’ve just logged on to the site to make what I hope are a few considerable points. I hope you don’t mind if I share them with you.

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I’ve kept my counsel on the upcoming Referendum thus far but no more.

I haven’t enjoyed the campaigning one single bit and I fear that whatever the outcome this coming Thursday, there has been a great deal of damage done to our hard-earned and well-deserved reputation for friendliness and tolerance.

I’ve always thought and believed that the existence of diverse opinions make for a healthy and happy society but right now there’s far too many folk who I previously thought of as being well-balanced and rational letting their emotions run away with them and lashing out wildly when someone has the temerity to disagree with them.

I’ve worked in and around various political environments for 30 years and have long been aware of how it is always possible to gather up figures and information to make a case for one way or another. That’s what’s been happening this past few months and increasingly so as we approach the 18th September. Politics is not, never has been and never will be an exact science and too many folk this past few months have simply not realised that. Not everything being promised by the Yes campaign will happen if we go that way but equally, not everything the No campaign are predicting will come to pass.

The level of debate has been toe-curlingly embarrassing for the most part and I’m sick to death with it all. Roll on Friday.

Now please excuse me if I spend the next few days trying my best to ignore the increasing levels of hysterical witterings across all forms of media. Nothing that is said or done now will make me change my mind on the way I’m voting. Nor will the endorsement of one particular side by any musician, footballer, actor, writer or celebrity – no matter how much I admire or respect them – influence me one way or another. So you lot can also shut up.

Rant over

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I have a posting for the day of the referendum already written and hope that you folk, as regular readers of TVV will like it when it appears on Thursday morning. I won’t be standing on any soapboxes.

Thanks for allowing me to interrupt and spoil you day.

JC

A THING OF UNCLUTTERED BEAUTY

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Julian Cope might be a bit bonkers but the two hit LPs recorded with The Teardrop Explodes at the beginning of the 80s contain perfect pop, timeless tunes and moments of magic.

Tiny Children was the third single lifted from Wilder and really deserved a much better fate than merely hitting #44 in the charts. It’s a gorgeous lullaby, delivered with a real degree of fragility by Julian whose vocal is quite lovely, even if he does at times appear to be at the edge of his range.

mp3 : The Teardrop Explodes – Tiny Children

By complete contrast, and to help illustrate that this particular JC is off his rocker, here’s the very bizzare b-side:-

mp3 : The Teardrop Explodes – Rachael Built A Steamboat

Enjoy.

 

THE MOZ SINGLES (27)

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The Youngest Was The Most Loved was the second single taken from Ringleader of the Tormentors, finding its way into the shops in June 2006 and peaking at #14 in the UK singles chart. I have to say that I was rather surprised at this being picked out as the second single given it is quite similar to You Have Killed Me. I was certain that one of the slower songs on the LP would have been chosen as these were the tracks that most critics had homed in on as being among the best stuff in his long and distinguished solo career. But then again, that’s why I work hard for a living and other folks get to become record company executives…..

mp3 : Morrissey – The Youngest Was the Most Loved

Once again, a single which was nothing more than average was saved by some of what we found on the b-side or additional tracks on the CD. I’ve been quick enough in the past to put the boot into the various members of the Morrissey backing bands for the way they butcher some of the old classics originally recorded by The Smiths, but every now and again some of the stuff written in conjunction with Alan Whyte reminds me that I should sometimes temper my criticism.

mp3 : Morrissey – Ganglord

I first heard this track when it was played on the tour that accompanied the release of the album (I was lucky enough to get tickets to three Scottish gigs in five days – two of them at really small venues, and it was at Stirling Albert Hall that Ganglord was first aired) and while the recorded version never quite captured the impact of hearing it live, it remains a personal favourite.

I’m also quite fond of this, which could easily have fitted onto the parent LP:-

mp3 : Morrissey – If You Don’t Like Me, Don’t Look At Me

I suppose I’m quite tickled at the idea of Morrissey singing about young men and women running through the glen, which just makes me think of shortbread tins for some reason or other….although as a tune I think it has some similarity to the verses, but not the chorus, of First Of The Gang To Die.

And so to the cover version. One that I’m really not all that sure about. On the plus side, it brought royalties to Howard Devoto. On the minus side, it is a rather lame version of what is without question one of my all time favourite records….when Howard sang he was angry, ill and ugly as sin, I felt he meant it. Morrissey surely has his tongue firmly in his cheek…..

mp3 : Morrissey – A Song From Under The Floorboards

I do like the sleeve mind you, another photo by Fabio Lovino, and unlike many other of the singles which were released on 2xCds and 1×7″ bit of plastic, the same photo was used in all formats. The great man looks awfully dignified…..

SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SINGLE (Part 107)

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I really don’t think that I need to provide any background to the 107th artist featured in this long running series.

This is the April 1991 CD release of a belter of a tune originally issued in a limted edition of 1500 x 7″ singles…….and if you’re lucky enough to own the vinyl then you could expect to get up to £100 if you put it on the market.

mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Everything Flows
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Primary Education
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Speeder
mp3 : Teenage Fanclub – Don’t Cry No Tears

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