£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.

The Listening List

04/12/2016 – 10/12/2016

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Vangelis – Albedo 0.39
Baumann / Koek – Baumann / Koek
Tangerine Dream – Phaedra
Massive Attack – Inertia Creeps (Dbl 12″ )
Tricky – Maxinquay
John Lydon  – Sun (12″)
Four Tet – Pause
P.I.L – Creep (10″)
Massive Attack – Teardrop (12″)
Francesca Belmonte – Anima
Tricky – Black Steel (12″)
Massive Attack – Protection
Fort Romeau – Insides
The Future Sound of London – Far-Out Son Of Lung And The Ramblings Of A Madman

oh, and I almost forgot:

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The Future Sound Of London – Papua New Guinea Translations

Stranger Things – Vinyl

Stranger Things was an absolute smash hit for Netflix this year. The first season of the series, set in the 1980’s, follows the disappearance of a young boy and the monstrous chain of events it launches in the small town. I was captivated by this show, partially because it’s very much from my era, or very nearly, I’m more late 70’s early 80’s, but it’s near enough. I also really appreciated that it was only 8 episodes. So many series drag on for 20 or more episodes and it can just be too much to watch, and the need for that many cliffhangers at the end of each episode becomes rather tiresome. I’m struggling with the Walking Dead, still a couple of series behind, there’s just too much of it and it’s basically the same thing happening every episode. I have the first 13 or 14 volumes of the comic, which I was reading well before it appeared on TV, and exactly the same thing happened there, I stopped buying them as it is the same thing over and over again, for the most part at least, just presented differently. With Stranger Things, 8 episodes is just about perfect.

I also loved the music, for which the soundtracks of Tangerine Dream were highly influential, as was Angelo Badalamenti’s Twin Peaks score, among others. Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein—the soundtrack’s composers, as well as members of the Austin synth band S U R V I V E, had one of their tracks, ‘Dirge’, used on the original pitch of the series and so were in from the beginning. Here is the track they used, which, when I listen to it, I can see it slipping seamlessly into the Stranger Things score:

I pre-ordered Volume 1 of the score but it was a little delayed for some reason or other, eventually arriving last week, a few weeks late but that was OK. I have the red/blue vinyl version, which is rather nice:

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I’ve no idea how many of these were pressed, quite a few I suspect but I can’t seem to find any info on that, it’s called a ‘Deluxe Edition’ for some reason, possibly because the gate fold sleeve is 425g, which is pretty sturdy.

Tracklisting:

LP1
1. Stranger Things
2. Kids
3. Nancy and Barb
4. This Isn’t You
5. Lay-Z-Boy
6. Friendship
7. Eleven
8. A Kiss
9. Castle Byers
10. Hawkins
11. The Upside Down
12. After Sarah
13. One Blink for Yes
14. Photos In the Woods

LP2
1. Fresh Blood
2. Lamps
3. Hallucinations
4. Hanging Lights
5. Biking to School
6. Are You Sure?
7. Agents
8. Papa
9. Cops Are Good at Finding
10. No Weapons
11. Walking Through the Upside Down
12. She’ll Kill You
13. Run Away
14. No Autopsy
15. Dispatch
16. Joyce and Lonnie Fighting
17. Lights Out
18. Hazmat Suits
19. Theoretically
20. You Can Talk to Me
21. What Else Is There to Do?
22. Hawkins Lab

The best known piece from this, is of course, from the opening credits:

I’ve listened to the whole thing several times and love it. Take Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, bit of Kraftwerk, Angelo Badalamenti, some John Carpenter, maybe a dash of Nine Inch Nails and mix them all up and this is what you get.

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I also pre-ordered Volume Two, from the Invada Records site and this was listed as a ‘Limited Edition’ and mail order only, though, again, limited to how many I don’t know. This arrived this week and I’ve had a listen. It is different music to Volume One but very much in the same vein. That there are two volumes for this episode run does show how closely involved Dixon & Stein were in the creation of the series as music is often repeated, and it is at times of course, but a new piece would be created, perhaps with a sublte difference, for different scenes in the show.

I’m a sucker for coloured vinyl of course and this one is really rather nice:

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Tracklisting

1.Hopper Sneaks In
2.I Know What I Saw
3.Rolling Out The Pool
4.Over
5.Gearing Up
6.Flickering
7.First Kiss
8.Crying
9.Walking Down The Tracks
10.Where’s Barb?
11.Speak Of The Devil
12.Danger Danger
13.Tribulations
14.Flashback
15.Kids Two
16.Talking To Australia
17.Night Of The Seventh
18.See Any Rain?
19.Coffee & Contemplation
20.Inside The Black Room
21.Starts To Rain
22.Eleven Is Gone
23.Time For A 187
24.Something In The House
25.Still Pretty
26.Abilities
27.Tendril
28.They Found Us
29.Bad Men
30.Spiked Bat
31.Making Contact
32.What Do You Know
33.It’s Not My Boy
34.Something In The Wall
35.Let’s Go
36.Leap Of Faith
37.In Pursuit
38.Breaking And Entering
39.Stranger Things (Extended)

If you have yet to see the show, and many people haven’t as they don’t subscribe to Netflix, then the track names mean very little but both Volumes are a great listen regardless of whether you’ve seen the show or not. The one gripe I do have, and it is perhaps not entirely fair of me, is the use of the same image on the front of both volumes, but also that Netflix logo, it irks me that it’s there though I can’t quite pinpoint why it irks me, it just does.

I’ll finish with a trailer for Season 1. This was just a fabulous series and I highly recommend it to anybody who hasn’t seen it.

 

 

Leamington Record Fair 18/06/2016 – Part 1

Today was Leamington Record fair, which was quite busy as soon as it opened, probably because the Peace Festival was on just a short walk away. There were several new vendors, which is good, and I picked up a few bits and pieces from them. I spent relatively little but came away with rather a lot of records.

The first stall by the entrance door had a £1 crate and I did rather well out of that I think, at £1 each I got the following:

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My brother had this and I heard it a lot but I don’t think I ever had my own copy. It has a couple of gold stars stamped on the front so it may be a promo copy, I’ve no idea, I bought it for the songs not for any value it may or may not have. This copy is in nice vinyl condition but the cover is a bit tatty to be honest.

A1 The Steppes
A2 Time To Get Out
A3 Slogans
A4 Leaving
A5 Two Vamps As Guests
B1 Jacuzzi
B2 Hammer In The Sand
B3 The Toast
B4 The Show
B5 Sentimental Institution

 

Next up for a the princely sum of £1 was Live Stiffs. I remember this when it came out but never had a copy. It was basically a load of acts from the Stiff record label live. I don’t think this is the original release as it’s not on Stiff records but it doesn’t matter, to pick up these performances for so little money is good enough:

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Live LP taken from the “Stiffs Live Stiffs” Tour, recorded on the Rak Mobile at The University of East Anglia, Norwich, Leicester University and The Lyceum, London

Nick Lowe, Wreckless Eric and Larry Wallis are backed by a core group of tour musicians, including some members of The Attractions and The Blockheads. For example, Ian Dury plays drums for Wreckless Eric

On the last track, Ian Dury & The Blockheads are joined on stage by various other tour musicians. Track is credited to “All”.

A1 Nick Lowe’s Last Chicken In The Shop I Knew The Bride
A2 Nick Lowe’s Last Chicken In The Shop Let’s Eat
A3 Wreckless Eric & The New Rockets Semaphore Signals
A4 Wreckless Eric & The New Rockets Reconnez Cherie
A5 Larry Wallis’ Psychedelic Rowdies Police Car
B1 Elvis Costello & The Attractions I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself
B2 Elvis Costello & The Attractions Miracle Man
B3 Ian Dury & The Blockheads* Wake Up And Make Love With Me
B4 Ian Dury & The Blockheads* Billericay Dickie
B5 –All Sex, Drugs, Rock ‘N’ Roll & Chaos

I bought 3 12″ singles the first two were £1 the last one was £2:

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I don’t care what anybody thinks, this is, in my opinion, one of the best pop singles ever released, I genuinely mean that.

A1 Groove Is In The Heart (Meeting Of The Minds Mix)

Featuring – Bootsy*, Q-Tip

5:10
A2 Groove Is In The Heart (Peanut Butter Mix) 3:29
B1 What Is Love? (Holographic Goatee Mix) 4:10
B2 What Is Love? (Rainbow Beard Mix) 4:02

Anybody who may have read this blog for a while (there aren’t many of you!) will know that I love Grace Jones so when I saw something I’d never heard of which was really a bit odd and super cheap I really had no choice but to buy it. I have a really vague memory of something around this but it’s really hazy and I certainly never connected a vinyl release with it but the Sci-Fi channel had a ‘fright Night’ and Grace Jones was involved somehow. What I found was a 6 track 12″ releases by the Sci-Fi Channel with different versions of the track on it.

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1 Love Bites (7″ Fright Night Mix) 3:40
2 Love Bites (12 Dark Night Mix) 7:35
3 Love Bites (12″ Fright Night Mix) 8:21
4 Love Bites (12″ Deep Into The Night Mix) 6:40
5 Love Bites (7″ Fright Night Instrumental) 3:52
6 Love Bites (7″ Deep Into The Night Mix) 3:45

There’s an official video of it but embedding is disabled so there’s the one above. I added it to my collection on Discogs and it appears to be valued at £25, which is nice for me, though I have no intention of selling it.

The £2 12″ was another Grace Jones, I have the tracks already, but I loved the cover.

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The back cover is great as well. I’ll have to take a picture of it and post it at some point.

Also for £1 I picked up a Westworld album from 1987:

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A1 Where The Action Is
A2 Sonic Boom Boy
A3 Rockulator
A4 Psychotech
A5 Silver Mac
A6 Fly Westworld
B1 Ba-Na-Na-Bam-Boo
B2 Mix Me Up
B3 Injection 1-2-3
B4 Cheap ‘N’ Nasty
B5 Joy Rider
B6 Painkiller

I’m not sure why but I always liked them, and it is a fabulous cover. I always thought they were going to be bigger than they turned out to be and the fact that they named themselves after the film, which is one of my favourites, went some way to my rooting for them. Here is possibly their only real hit:

I then saw an album that I have seen being shown on lots of Youtube videos, Ricochet by Tangerine Dream. I heard them years ago, the father of the drummer of a band I was in had loads of them and there was one playing one night before practice when we went to pick him up. I didn’t like it and have given them no credence since that initial listening.

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Looking back I think there were two reasons why I didn’t connect with it, the first was that it just wasn’t my thing at the time and the other was, I think, that the album he was playing was a soundtrack to a film and nothing much happened, it seemed rather bland and dull to me. Regardless, I bought Ricochet and thought I’d give it a go. I’m glad I did. I’ve just listened to it and absolutely love it. Repetitive instrumentals? Yup, very much my thing nowadays. It will definitely get a lot more plays and I’ll look out for some more of their albums now. I must have passed over dozens of them by now but not anymore.

 

Next was ‘Naked’ by Talking Heads, it was £3.50 (as was Tangerine Dream above) and I’m trying to get sall the Talking Heads albums on vinyl so this was a must really. Especially at that price. I believe it was the last Studio album before they broke up.

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  1. “Blind” – 4:58
  2. “Mr. Jones” – 4:18
  3. “Totally Nude” – 4:10
  4. “Ruby Dear” – 3:48
  5. “(Nothing But) Flowers” – 5:31
  6. “The Democratic Circus” – 5:01
  7. “The Facts of Life” – 6:25
  8. “Mommy Daddy You and I” – 3:58
  9. “Big Daddy” – 5:37
  10. “Cool Water” – 5:10

The thing I have to point out is that I am still at the first stall, which, on the face of it, suggest I went vinyl buying crazy, but I didn’t, well, not too crazy anyway, I just found lots of things I liked straight away.

There will be more when I get to writing part 2 later.