Side 2, Track 14:

Total Run Time: 57:00 minutes

Big_Country_Fields_of_Fire (1)


Big Country: Fields Of Fire: 3 Minutes 31 Seconds: 1983


Having discovered today that I still have a vinyl copy of ‘The Crossing, this seems like a fine choice for this mix tape, which is almost finished. Just one 3 minute song and volume 1 is done.

See latest post for audio and video

What’s In The Bag? (98)

Big_Country_-_The_Crossing.jpgI spent a good half an hour on ebay looking for a reasonably priced copy of ‘The Crossing’ by Big Country before giving up, then, today, I was flicking through my albums looking for something else and there it was, and now I’m listening to it and it’s great. Saved myself at least £10 there and the feeling of foolishness I would have experienced when I found the one I already had.

I mentioned before that I saw Big Country in 1983 at Reading Festival and probably didn’t appreciate them quite as much as I should have, but I did enjoy it. The problem was, I suppose, that they were on right before headliners ‘The Stranglers’ and I was really looking forward to that (although I confess to forgetting until recently who the hell I did see at Reading that year, the whole thing is still a bit of a blur).

I managed to find the set list for that gig:

AUG 26 1983 Big Country Setlist
at Little John’s Farm, Reading, England

Harvest Home
1000 Stars
Close Action
The Storm
In a Big Country
Angle Park
Fields of Fire
The Tracks of My Tears

I have an extremely fuzzy memory of the last track, a cover, being an encore, after they brought the house down with Fields of Fire, although I could, quite possibly, have just made that up.

The album is as good as I remember it, and I haven’t listened to it for at least 20 years. It made Number 3 in the UK charts when released, which is pretty damn good for a debut. You can hear The Skids in it (Stuart Adamson was formerly a member) but there’s a particular ‘Scottishness’ about it. This was augmented by this vibraty thing that he often used on the guitar, I can’t for the life of me remember what this piece of equipment was called though.

Sadly, back in 2001, Stuart Adamson died in Honanlulu having gone missing either during or just after their farewell tour.

If you have never listened to this album, or haven’t for a while, give it another spin:

Below is a documentary – The Story of Big Country, and below that is a full gig from Reading Hexagon in 1986.


What’s in the bag? (97)


I only own one Motorhead album, and that’s it up there. I’ve always liked them though as they bridged a gap between Rock and Punk when I was listening to both. I did have ‘Bomber’ and ‘No Sleep ’till Hammersmith’ at one point but I’ve no idea what the hell happened to them, lost over the years I guess.

I can’t profess to playing this album very often but with the recent passing of Lemmy I pulled it out again and it brought back some memories, I was only 13 in 1980 when it was released and a bubbling mass of testosterone and teen angst, it was perfect for that!

Side A
No. Title Length
1. “Ace of Spades” 2:49
2. “Love Me Like a Reptile” 3:23
3. “Shoot You in the Back” 2:39
4. “Live to Win” 3:37
5. “Fast and Loose” 3:23
6. “(We Are) The Road Crew” 3:13
Side B
No. Title Length
7. “Fire, Fire” 2:44
8. “Jailbait” 3:33
9. “Dance” 2:38
10. “Bite the Bullet” 1:38
11. “The Chase Is Better Than the Catch” 4:18
12. “The Hammer” 2:48

There’s a good ‘Classic Albums’ documentary about this album so rather than me bleat on about it, I recommend watching the video below, and the album is further below from Spotify:


Goodbye Lemmy

Download Festival Day 3
DONINGTON, ENGLAND – JUNE 12: Lemmy Kilminster of Motorhead performs on stage on June 12th, 2005 at day three of the Download Festival, in Donington Park England. (Photo by Dave Etheridge-Barnes/Getty Images)

A video Playlist:

Great Documentary on Lemmy Kilminster:

What’s In The Bag? (96)

Having received some vouchers for Christmas I headed off to the boxing day sale yesterday where everything except vinyl was on offer, which was a shame, but I had vouchers so anything I decided to get was essentially free anyway. I bought 6 albums, and this is the first of that 6, ‘White Chalk’ by P J Harvey.

To be honest I am extremely confused by what I have bought, it’s a full length album that doesn’t appear to play at 33 RPM but at 45, which resulted in my listening to side 1 at too slow a speed, by god it was dark, but actually really rather good. I did realise it was wrong about halfway through but decided to persevere anyway as it was so chilling. The vinyl quality isn’t great, quite crackly when it shouldn’t be at all as it is brand new, although this may be because it was at the wrong speed so it was more prominent.

The cover photography is just lovely, so Victorian, so moody, it’s beautifully done by Maria Mochnacz

This imagery is perfectly suited for the tone of this album, it is without heavy guitar and more piano based, an instrument that Harvey did not play very much before and learned during the recording of this atmospheric album that harks back to an older time. 

She also sings in a higher key that usual, which works really well on tracks which, I must say, are growers. These songs are not the sort to grab you by the throat and force you to like them, they are often gentle, mostly dark but really well crafted. 

Below are performances of the 3 singles from the album, When Under Ether, The Piano and The Devil:


Today is the day the Beatles finally made it big

CW58wwhW8AAhdG3Streaming Music sites now have The Beatles back catalogue, 13 Studio albums and 4 compilations, on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Prime and Google Play, and it makes me a little sad. I’ve mentioned before that I am an incompleteist when it comes to record collecting, I don’t need everything ever, just enough so I’ve got most of it. At one point I had everything by the Cocteau Twins except one 12” single, which I never bought even though it was in the record shop and I could have, I just didn’t want to own everything, because then there is nothing left to get. So I rather liked the fact that there were things missing from the streaming music sites, the biggest of which is probably The Beatles (I don’t have much interest in Taylor Swift or Adele but enjoy my inability to not be able to access them and listen).

I wonder how far we are from music only being released on streaming sites, no physical product at all, not even an MP3, just access for a flat fee to everything that has ever been recorded and everything that ever will be. We will no longer ‘Own’ music but rent it on a play by play basis. It once was Vinyl vs Cassette, vs CD, vs MP3, but selecting from everything, at any time from a device that is always in your pocket, well, how can it fail? There are kids growing up now who will know nothing but streaming and will not hark back to ‘The good old days’, what does that spell for the creation of physical product, its death knell perhaps? And what is going to be the big rival to streaming? Something we don’t even have to interact with, that analyzes our moods and plays whatever it computes bests suits that moment, maybe even composing music specifically for that mood at that moment, making the pop stars of tomorrow creators of algorithms, after all, music can be broken down by math.

Until then, and after then, I shall spend the occasional Sunday afternoon with my Beatles vinyl reminiscing about those good old days, even though I was only three when they broke up.


Side 2, Track 13:

Total Run Time: 53:38


Martha & The Muffins: Echo Beach: 3 Minutes 38 Seconds: 1980

Loved this when it was released and still love it now. It is probably the only track of theirs that most people know, but the album it’s taken from is pretty good, and they’ve made a few albums since.

Wiki: Echo Beach, as mentioned in the song, does not refer to a real beach but is rather a symbolic notion of somewhere the narrator would rather be, somewhere ‘far away in time’. In reality, the song was created while Gane was working checking wallpaper for printing faults. He found the work rather dull and his mind drifted to times he would like to live over again. One such time was an evening spent at Sunnyside Beach on the shoreline of Lake Ontario in Toronto in summer. In 1977, Echo Beach was a reference made to a faded time and place gone in the lyrics of the song “Hiroshima Mon Amour” by the band Ultravox.

See latest update for audio and video

What’s in the bag? (95)

5879The year is 1987 and the album of that year was, quite possibly, ‘Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’arby’. He was everywhere and the album was loaded with singles, resulting in a UK number 1 album and 5x Platinum. The singles were ‘If You Let Me Stay’, ‘Wishing Well’, ‘Dance Little Sister’ and ‘Sign Your Name’ (‘Rain’ was also a single but it was either only released in the Netherlands or didn’t chart elsewhere).

Here we had a former amateur boxing champion and U.S Soldier who released an album that was huge, resulting in some rather ridiculous boasts from the man himself, such as, that his debut album was, “ the most important album since the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper “. It wasn’t, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t good, it was, but his own high opinion of himself and his inability to create a viable follow up album are probably what resulted in his demise from popular music. If you have never listened to follow up ‘Neither Fish Nor Flesh’ I highly recommend that you don’t, even if curious, just let it go and enjoy this debut. Part of the problem may also have been that TTD seemed to think he was Prince, which he wasn’t, nobody is, except Prince of course. For the record, he wasn’t Michael Jackson either. He did have a really interesting voice though and it’s a shame that nothing much of interest happened for him after this album, even if it was his own fault.

I was at the record fair in Leamington Spa on Saturday and had no intention of buying this album, but one stall had it in their £1 box in mint condition, and it is well worth that, I really couldn’t leave it there. I had the original on cassette which degraded far more quickly than it should have, resulting in my belief that the production on the album was awful, it wasn’t, the vinyl is full and rich compared to the thin last listen to my cassette.

According to Wiki:
TTD “adopted a new name, Sananda Maitreya, which he has said relates to a series of dreams he had in 1995.[9] He legally changed his name six years later on October 4, 2001, explaining, “Terence Trent D’Arby was dead… he watched his suffering as he died a noble death. After intense pain I meditated for a new spirit, a new will, a new identity.”

What a load of bollocks.

With a strong second showing, the guy could well have become a superstar. He had all the tools.

The first five videos below are from the debut album, the rest are from later releases and there just for interest.

There’s also his later appearance on tv show ‘The White Room’, which I thought was pretty damn good actually when it was first broadcast. So, in fairness, he didn’t just disappear, but he never seemed to glow quite as brightly again as he did when he first burst on to the scene.

Here is the album on Spotify:


Side 2, Track 12:

Total Run Time: 50:00


David Bowie/Giorgio Moroder: Cat People: 6 Minutes 39 Seconds: 1980

There are a lot of Bowie singles that I could have chosen but this one has always resonated with me for some reason. It may well not be the best choice, actually, it probably isn’t, but I’ve chosen it now and that’s that.

See latest update for audio and video

What’s in the Bag? (94)

CS1995870-02A-BIGAnother £4 used find, and one I have very fond memories of, or at least of a couple of the tracks as I never actually owned the album when it came out. This one goes all the way back to 1980 when I was 13 years old and I was at the fair in Didcot, located on Didcot Town FC’s pitch. The album is ‘I Just Can’t Stop It’ by ‘The Beat’. One of the rides was playing ‘Mirror in the Bathroom’, the opening track from the album and I really, really liked it, though I shouldn’t have, well, based on others perceptions of where I was supposed to fit into musical genre choices and what I conveyed to them by my own word and actions. It really doesn’t matter, except when you are 13, then it really is extremely important. This is the period when we really shape our identities, when a swirling mass of liquid ideas begin to solidify and we start having valid opinions based less on outside influences and more on what we truly like. It was around then that I began to find merit in all manner of different genres as I was already listening to punk and post-punk alongside what we now consider Classic Rock, I was even listening to prog, and still thoroughly enjoying it.

The Beat, or The English Beat or The British Beat as I believe they are known in the colonies, were formed in 1978 in Birmingham and were just in time to catch the wave of Ska revival that included bands such as The Specials, The Selecter, Madness, and The Bodysnatchers in what I recall was labelled 2-Tone, although this was a record label and The Beat were signed to Go Feet. We had quite a few lads at my school who picked up on this, some superficially so and some went a bit deeper, exploring where the music first originated, and then there were some who tried to be Skinheads and didn’t really know what they were doing, the main attractions seemingly being the Doc Martins, turned up jeans and Fred Perry polo shirts.

I’ve said it before and I am about to say it again, there was a time when there was less filler on albums and this is no exception, containing, as it does, 4 hit singles (one of which was a double A side so, technically, 5). If you are interested in such things, the album is 64 on Rolling Stones Top 100 Debut Albums,  which probably means something to somebody somewhere.

Here is the video for ‘Mirror In The Bathroom, not the official one, but from Top of the Pops, just because (But worth it forboth Tommy Vance and the stunning visual effects):

And there is the full album courtesy of Spotify


Side 2, Track 11:

Total Run Time: 43:28


Visage: Fade To Grey: 3 Minutes 48 Seconds: 1980

I hated the video for this, it was pompous and pretentious, but the song, well, it was either just good or I heard it so many times that it burrowed into my subconscious and decided to set up home there.

See Latest Update for Video and Audio

Record Fair

Your F***ing Sunny Day (Episode 17)

Infinite Playlist Update



It’s getting quite long!

Full track list and links here

What’s in the bag (93)

After recent very sparse pickings in the used vinyl crates locally I had much better luck at the weekend after finding 6 albums that were worth buying, IMG_0363all of which will appear here at some point, but the first is the one I’m listening to now, Bob Marley – Natty Dread. There it is playing in the picture.

This copy is a bit crackly between tracks but no skips, jumps or major flaws and for £4 I won’t be complaining. I can’t say when this copy was released, (well, I probably could but that feels like too much effort today) but the original was 1974, when I was 7 years old, so it could actually be 40 years old and it’s in fine condition for that age (unlike myself!)

Side one

1. “Lively Up Yourself”
2. “No Woman, No Cry”
3. “Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)”
4. “Rebel Music (3 O’clock Roadblock)”

Side two

5. “So Jah Seh”
6. “Natty Dread”
7. “Bend Down Low”
8. “Talkin’ Blues”
9. “Revolution”

I would think that most people would have heard ‘No woman, No Cry” but probably not this original version, which has a different tempo to the live version that most people will have heard. I like this one, but it does feel a little odd as I’m much more used to the live one.

This album marked the transition from ‘The Wailers’ to ‘Bob Marley & The Wailers’ and was the first to feature the “I-Threes”, a female vocal trio that included Bob’s wife, Rita Marley, along with Marcia Griffiths and Judy Mowatt. It also marked the departure of Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer.

Having mostly known only two Marley albums, those being ‘Exodus’ and the compilation ‘Legend’ this, to me, is like listening to a new release, which makes me a very lucky chap! There were so many albums that I wanted to own and listen to from the late 60’s all the way up to the 90’s that I just couldn’t afford at the time and being able to not only re-discover these albums but actually discover them now, so many years later, is just wonderful. I definitely have to get a copy of Exodus though, as ‘Natural Mystic’ is probably one of my favourite tracks of all time.

open directly in Spotify

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