£30 Spending Spree

Earlier in the week I went to Leamington Record Store (This is the one with used records) and spent £30. This is what I bought for my hard earned cash:

XTC – Go2

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This is their debut album and, for me, the stand out track is ‘Are you receiving me?’. In my reviews of all the XTC albums I said the following:

The second album release of 1978 was ‘Go 2’ in October with a Hipgnosis designed cover which deliberately rather underplays everything. Sound wise the tracks are coming from the same place as ‘White Music’, but the songs, while still full of energy, don’t quite match up to the debut and it was possibly rushed, being released only 10 months later having been recorded at Abbey Road Studios between August and September and released in October.

Stand out tracks for me are the single, ‘Are you receiving me?’ and probably ‘Red’. I think it is fair to say that this is an album that is part of the journey to what comes next but is not really their best work. I do like the lyrics to ‘Are you receiving me?’ though, of which there aren’t actually very many but in the 3 minute context of the song it doesn’t seem that way at all.

I gave it a 6.8, I will probably be thinking bout revising that upwards a bit after listening to it more.

The second album in the £30 spending spree was:

Fleetwood Mac – Tusk

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Back in 1979 when this came out I really wanted a copy but couldn’t afford it, being 12 years old money was hard to come by. Until this week I have never owned a copy so, although it is an album of varied quality I think, I’m glad to have it.

Tangerine Dream – White Eagle

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I do like a bit of Tangerine Dream and this is one I didn’t have (there are many I don’t have as they’ve put a lot of albums out over the years) so it was a welcome addition. Having now listened to it, doubly so, it’s a good one.

Stomu Yamash’ta’s East Wind – One by One

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I stumbled across this guy a few months ago and really liked the two albums I picked up so when I saw this it was an instant decision to buy it. I think it’s a soundtrack for a film and is sort of jazz-fusion. Also, the bass player is Hugh Hopper from Soft Machine.

And finally………….

Boney M – Night Flight to Venus

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Yeah, I know, I bought it for the Mrs. She loves this stuff and was quite pleased when presented with it.

So that was £30, Well spent I think.

Stomu Yamashta

Ever found yourself ordering from an online seller and noticing that the shipping costs for one album are the same as for four? I did today, not for the first time, and the two albums I had put in my cart needed another two adding, because of the postage savings, or at least that’s what I told myself, knowing it wasn’t really true but believing myself anyway. The seller was offering an Ian Dury album I didn’t have, the only one I don’t have that was released during his lifetime, ‘Apples’, which is not the greatest album but the unquenchable need to complete the set kicked in and I ordered it along with a Kilburn & the High Roads album. So that was the two. I then spent £10 on two more to save myself £1.47 shipping, I know, I can do the maths, it makes absolutely no sense, or does it?

No, it doesn’t, not really, however, I looked through everything else the seller had for sale, some 400 LP’s and found one that looked interesting. It was ‘Raindog’ by Stomu Yamashta which I then spent about 10 minutes listening to online and decided immediately that I liked it, because I did, it was great, why had I never heard this before? There was a second album by Yamashta so I bought that one without even listening to it, there, I haven’t wasted any postage costs, I’m so proud of myself.

So who is he? Stomu Yamashta (or Yamash’ta), born Tsutomu Yamashita 15 March 1947, and is a Japanese percussionist, keyboardist and composer best known for pioneering and popularising a fusion of traditional Japanese percussive music with Western progressive rock music in the 1960s and 1970s. In the latter part of the 1970s, he led the supergroup “Go” with Steve Winwood, Al Di Meola, Klaus Schulze, and Michael Shrieve. He has some tracks on the soundtrack of The Man Who Fell to Earth, the one with David Bowie, which was recently re-packaged and re-released, although I don’t think the included tracks were written specifically for it.

The first album I procured was ‘Raindog’ from 1975, track number 2 of which was named,  with extraordinary foresight, after this very blog, decades before this blog existed.

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Tracklist

1. Dunes 15:00
2 . 33 1/3 7:40
3. Rainsong 5:03
4 . The Monks Song 6:01
5. Shadows 5:08
6. Ishi 6:59

I’ve had a good look around and can’t seem to find any actual footage of Yamashta from this period, or any period really, but below you can listen to track 6. Ishi for a flavour of the album before scrolling down a bit further to listen to the whole album should you wish to, I’d recommend it.

Line-up / Musicians

Stomu Yamash’ta / percussion, composer & arranger

With:
– Murray Head / vocals
– Maxine Nightingale / vocals
– Tsuneo Matsumoto / guitar
– Gary Boyle / guitar
– Brian Gascoigne / piano, clavinet, synth, composer & arranger
– Hisako Yamashta / violin, composer & arranger
– Daito Fujita / bass
– Hozumi Tanaka / drums

Here is the whole album:

There are what seem to be a whole range of styles going on, prog, jazz-fusion, classical and so on, but I rather like that. Apparently ‘Raindog’ was a stage show about a dog trying to make it rain on a japaneses village or somesuch, sounds terrible, but I like the music. It reminds me of lots of other things at times and occasionally of nothing else.

The other album is Stomu Yamash’ta, “Come To The Edge ‎– Floating Music” but I haven’t heard any of that yet so won’t talk about it, other than to say it’s from three years earlier, 1972.

 

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