Crate digging at home

I don’t have enough shelf space at the moment and what I do have has collapsed a few times so I keep a chunk of albums inside a a hollow, two seater, wooden chair. Here they are:

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I’m not sure how many are in there but best guess would be 150 or so. Today I picked out a few I haven’t listened to for a while but, as I have a few days off work, thought I would pop on the turntable again and become re-aquatinted.

This is what I picked out. My copy of The Pixies – Surfer Rosa is a bit knackered but it still plays:

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I have a few Elvis Costello in there but picked out Armed Forces, mostly because the cover is so good:

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I haven’t listened to Rattus Norvegicus by The Stranglers for quite a while so that was picked out, it’s a brilliant album of course and I’m not sure why I put it in the box:

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I haven’t played Joni Mitchell – The hissing of summer lawns for years, so that on is going to get a spin:

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and, finally, Talk Talk – The Colour of Spring, another beautiful cover:

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In case you were wondering, Talk Talk was played first, listening to it now.

The Listening List

17/11/2016 – 22/11/2o16

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A mixed bag so far this week, and they weren’t neccesarily in this order, but these are they:

The Clash – Sandinista
Steely Dan – The Royal Scam
Carmel – The Drum Is Everything
The Future Sound Of London – Environments 6
The Stranglers – No More Heroes
Electric Light Orchestra – Out Of The Blue
Stanley Clarke – Rocks, Pebbles and Sand
Roger Goula – Overview Effect

This way lay madness – the 7″ Single

I had a sudden impulse to but some 7” singles. I’m not entirely sure what brought this on other than a few items on an ebay search filter for ‘LP’ sneaking through and capturing my attention. I have had little or no interest in 7” singles since I was about 16, when they were the only affordable way of buying music. I had no means of income so what little I was able to scrounge up would rarely be enough for an album so it was only singles that were really in my price range. I did manage to obtain a few albums, but not that many really, I think around that time I had about 20 or 30 at most which probably took me years to accumulate.

So I saw this bundle of 80 singles which worked out at £0.375 each and thought I’d pop a bid on them, expecting to be outbid, but you never know, perhaps nobody else wanted them. Which is exactly what happened, my opening bid was the only one. So what did I buy for the princely sum of, near enough, 3 for a £1?

Well, obviously there were some items that I wasn’t that interested in but these were outweighed by those that were of interest, and some of those that weren’t of interest might very well be, once I’ve had a listen to them.

Here is a list of what is on its way to me next week with a few comments:

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1) Siouxsie And The Banshees – 1980 – “Christine” – pic sleeve
– I had this one when it came out and really liked the lyric in particular – “Christine, the strawberry girl,Christine, banana split lady, Now she’s in purple, Now she’s the turtle, Disintegrating, Christine, Christine” – I’m not saying they make any sense, but I do like them.
2) Siouxsie And The Banshees – 1985 – “Cities In Dust” – pic sleeve
3) Transvision Vamp – 1989 – “Baby I Don’t Care” – pic sleeve
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4) The Toy Dolls – 1984 – “Nellie The Elephant” – pic sleeve
– This was played all the time at a place I used to work, I would hear it every single day. I’m not sure if I hate it or not.
5) Captain Sensible – 1983 – “Glad It’s All Over” – pic sleeve
6) Atomic Rooster – 1970 – “Tomorrow Night” – plain sleeve
7) Various – 1994 – “Nasty Vinyl Sucks” EP (Germany) – pic sleeve
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8) Kenny Everett – 1983 – “Snot Rap” (Sid Snot) – pic sleeve
– I definitely hate this
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9) The Vapors – 1980 – “Turning Japanese” – pic sleeve
– I never had this single but it’s a great little song and reminds me very much of 1980 when it was released.

10) The Stranglers – 1985 – “Let Me Down Easy” – pic sleeve
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11) The Stranglers – 1981 – “Golden Brown” – pic sleeve
– Well I love the Stranglers and have several of their albums so this is a bonus really
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12) Bow Wow Wow – 1982 – “I Want Candy” – pic sleeve
– Not my favourite of theirs, that would be either ‘Wild in the country’ or ‘C30,C60,C90” but in the early eighties I very much had a thing for Annabella Lwin, which is reason enough to have it.
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13) The Ramones – 1980 – “Baby I Love You” – pic sleeve
– Speaks for itself, it’s the Ramones, how could I not want it?
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14) Ian Dury and The Blockheads – 1979 – “Reasons To Be Cheerful part 3” – pic sleeve
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15) Ian Dury and The Blockheads – 1978 – “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick” – Pic sleeve
– I had both of these at the time, although the former I had on 12” rather than 7”, no idea what happened to it but I’m glad to have it again. The Barney Bubbles covers are brilliant as well.
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16) XTC – 1979 – “Making Plans For Nigel” – plain sleeve
– Had this as well, and I’m getting more and more into XTC of late, more than I was back in the 70’s and 80’s, I don’t think I appreciated what they were about at the time.
17) The Jam – 1982 – “Beat Surrender” – pic sleeve
18) The Jam – 1977 – “All Around The World” – plain sleeve
– Nice to have
19) Tubeway Army – 1979 – “Are Friends Electric?” – pic sleeve
20) Gary Numan – 1987 – “Cars (‘E’ Reg Model)” – pic sleeve
21) Gary Numan – 1980 – “We Are Glass” – plain sleeve
– Also Nice to have
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22) Nick Lowe – 1978 – “Little Hitler” – pic sleeve
23) Nick Lowe – 1978 – “Cruel To Be Kind” – plain sleeve
24) Nick Lowe – 1978 – “I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass” – plain sleeve
– I always rather liked Nick Lowe, I think because he was on Stiff Records, and so was Ian Dury. The only one of these I didn’t know was ‘Little Hitler’, which I just listened to and I think it’s the weaker of the three, but it was an expression one doesn’t hear so much anymore, so that’s interesting. There can’t be many singles that reference Hitler in the title.
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25) Squeeze – 1978 – “Goodbye Girl” – pic sleeve
26) Squeeze – 1979 – “Cool For Cats” – pic sleeve
27) Squeeze – 1981 – “Labelled With Love” – plain sleeve
28) Squeeze – 1981 – “Is That Love” – pic sleeve
– I liked Squeeze and had a pink 7” version of ‘Cool For Cats’, I may have had ‘Up the Junction’ as well, but, much like XTC, I didn’t really appreciate how good they were as songwriters.
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29) Elvis Costello & The Attractions – 1981 – “Good Year For The Roses” – plain sleeve
30) Elvis Costello & The Attractions – 1978 – “Radio Radio” – plain sleeve
31) Elvis Costello & The Attractions – 1979 – “Oliver’s Army” – pic sleeve
32) Elvis Costello – 1980 – 4 track EP “New Amsterdam” – pic sleeve
33) Elvis Costello – 1989 – “Veronica” – pic sleeve
34) Elvis Costello & George Jones – 1979 – “Stranger In The House” – pic sleeve
– Happy to have these Elvis Costello singles, his early period is what I favour most.
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35) Toyah – 1983 – “Rebel Run” – pic sleeve
36) Toyah – 1981 – “I Want To Be Free” – pic sleeve
37) Toyah – 1981 – “Thunder In The Mountains” – pic sleeve
38) Toyah – 1981 – 4 track EP – “Four From Toyah” – pic sleeve
39) Toyah – 1981 – 4 track EP – “Four More From Toyah” – pic sleeve (with free flexi disc)
40) Toyah – 1982 – “Brave New World” – pic sleeve
– I had a single by Toyah titled ‘IEYA’, which I thought was great, and still do, but it’s not in this lot, which is a shame. I did see her performing on a Top Of The Pops repeat the other week, I think it was ‘ I Wanna Be Free’, it was awful.
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41) Adam And The Ants – 1980 – “Kings Of The Wild Frontier” – pic sleeve
42) Adam And The Ants – 1978 – “Deutscher Girls” – pic sleeve
43) Adam And The Ants – 1980 – “Car Trouble” – pic sleeve
44) Adam And The Ants – 1980 – “Ant Music” – pic sleeve
45) Adam And The Ants – 1978 – “Young Parisians” – pic sleeve
46) Adam And The Ants – 1980 – “Dog Eat Dog” – pic sleeve
47) Adam And The Ants – 1981 – “Stand & Deliver” – pic sleeve
48) Adam And The Ants – 1981 – “Prince Charming” – gatefold pic sleeve
49) Adam And The Ants – 1982 – “Goody Two Shoes” – fold out poster sleeve
50) Adam Ant – 1982 – “Friend Or Foe” – pic sleeve
– I’ve written before about Adam and The Ants, in particular ‘Kings of the Wild Frontier”, which you can read about here: https://wordpress.com/stats/day/verian.wordpress.com if you’d like to. I think their/his early work in particular is rather underrated.
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51) The Boomtown Rats – 1977 – “Mary Of The 4th Form” – pic sleeve
52) The Boomtown Rats – 1977 – “Looking After No.1” – plain sleeve
53) The Boomtown Rats – 1980 – “Banana Republic” – pic sleeve
54) The Boomtown Rats – 1978 – “Like Clockwork” – company sleeve
55) The Boomtown Rats – 1978 – “Rat Trap” – pic sleeve
56) The Boomtown Rats – 1979 – “I Don’t Like Mondays” – company sleeve
– There was a point where I really liked the Boomtown Rats, probably shortly before ‘I don’t like Mondays’ became a mega hit but I remember being disappointed at some point and thinking that their song quality control was somewhat lacking. Maybe I expected hit after hit and, when that didn’t happen, became disillusioned with them, but these singles are probably the best of them, so that’s good.
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57) The Police – 1981 – “Spirits In The Material World” – (Italy) pic sleeve
58) The Police – 1978 – “So Lonely” – pic sleeve
59) The Police – 1986 – “Don’t Stand So Close To Me ’86” – pic sleeve
60) The Police – 1979 – “Walking On The Moon” – company sleeve
61) The Police – 1980 – “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” – company sleeve
62) The Police – 1980 – “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” – pic sleeve
63) The Police – 1981 – “Invisible Sun” – pic sleeve
64) The Police – 1981 – “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” – company sleeve
65) The Police – 1980 – “The Beds Too Big Without You” – pic sleeve (blue vinyl)
66) The Police – 1983 – “King Of Pain” – pic sleeve
67) Sting – 1991 – “Mad About You” – pic sleeve
68) Sting – 1993 – “Seven Days” – pic sleeve
– I loved The Police and had all the singles that were released from the first two albums, and ‘Fall Out’, which was their first single (although I may have had the 1979 re-issue rather than the 1977 original). I didn’t dislike their next albums, I just wasn’t as keen on them as the first two and I’m still not. If they had any kind of edge, I think it was lost  on ‘Zenyatta Mondatta’ and everything that followed it.
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69) Blondie – 1978 – “Heart Of Glass” – company sleeve
70) Blondie – 1978 – “Sunday Girl” – pic sleeve
71) Blondie – 1979 – “Dreaming” – pic sleeve
72) Blondie – 1979 – “Union City Blue” – pic sleeve
73) Blondie – 1980 – “Atomic” – company sleeve
74) Blondie – 1980 – “Call Me” – pic sleeve
75) Blondie – 1980 – “The Tide Is High” – pic sleeve
– Love, love, love Blondie. From the first moment I heard ‘Denis’ I’ve loved them, which would have been 1978 I guess. I still rate ‘Parallel Lines’ as one of the very best albums ever made.
76) Kraftwerk – 1974 – “Autobahn” – company sleeve
– Good to have
77) Viva Youth – 1985 – “Fight Back (anti heroin song)” – pic sleeve (France)
78) Sting with Eric Clapton – 1992 – “It’s Probably Me” – pic sleeve
79) Fluffy – 1996 – “Nothing” – pic sleeve
80) The Baby’s – 1977 – “Isn’t It Time” – plain sleeve
– These last 4, no idea, other than that I will probably hate the Sting & Eric Clapton single.

As you can see from the following pictures, they aren’t perfect copies, but I don’t mind at all, it’s more about finding something I’d lost than anything else, and for not a lot of money, which is great. I’m really looking forward to them arriving so that I can have a 7” Single session, should be fun.

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Mix Tape: Volume 2: Sides 1 & 2

Well, here’s a whole mix tape fully formed, based around the end of the 70’s and the beginning of the 80’s.

Volume 2: Side 1

Poptones – Public Image Ltd.
Atmosphere – Joy Division
A Forest – The Cure
Israel – Siouxsie And The Banshees
No More Heroes – The Stranglers
Tin Soldiers – Stiff Little Fingers
Down In The Tube Station At Midnight – The Jam
Totally Wired – The Fall
New Rose – The Damned
2-4-6-8 Motorway – Tom Robinson Band
God Save The Queen – Sex Pistols
Stranglehold – UK Subs
Into The Valley – Skids
Radio, Radio – Elvis Costello & The Attractions


Volume 2: Side 2

Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick – Ian Dury, The Blockheads
Ghost Town – The Specials
One Step Beyond… – Madness
Mirror in the Bathroom – The Beat
Missing Words – The Selecter
Echo Beach – Martha & The Muffins
Roxanne – The Police
Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag (12″ verison) – Pigbag
Is She Really Going Out With Him? – Joe Jackson
Food For Thought – UB40
Geno – Dexys Midnight Runners
Milk And Alcohol – Dr. Feelgood
Denis – Blondie
Special Brew – Bad Manners
Police & Thieves – Junior Murvin
Motorhead – Motörhead

MIX TAPE: VOLUME 1 – SIDE 2 – TRACK 15

Side 2, Track 15:

Total Run Time: 60:00 minutes

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The Stranglers: Strange Little Girl: 3 Minutes 34 Seconds: 1981

Well, I do love The Stranglers, and it was either this or ‘Golden Brown’ to finish off this mix tape, purely on the basis of length I had to go for ‘Strangle Little Girl’. I’m glad this one is done, it’s taken ages!

Audio:

Video:

1. The Smiths – This Charming Man

The first time I saw the Smiths was on regional TV, it was a feature on them but was somehow rather tongue in cheek, as in, ‘look at this bunch of weirdos’. With Morrisey and his NHS hearing aid and glasses, waving daffodils around, I can see why, but I liked them straight away. They were different, and I like different.

2. Primal Scream – Ivy Ivy Ivy

It’s only just the 80’s but so what. I saw Primal Scream at the Assembly in Leamington Spa a couple of years ago when they performed the whole of Screamadelica and it was amazing. So they are in, had to be really.

3.The Stone Roses – Sally Cinnamon

The band hated the video that accompanies this track, they thought it cheap and, I believe, trashed the record company offices having seen it. This was early on in the life of The Stone Roses, 1987, and it was they’re second single.

4. Orange Juice – Rip It Up

Perhaps quite inexplicably in the context of this mix tape, jump back five years and you have this track, which to my mind fits quite nicely, but perhaps not everybody would agree.

5. Talking Heads – Burning Down The House

and right away here’s another addition, again from 1983, which was in my head as I recently bought a couple of Talking Heads vinyl albums, the one that this track was taken from isn’t one of them, but it will be, one of these days.

6.Tom Tom Club – Wordy Rappinghood

Honestly, I’ve no idea, I just always liked this track even though there was something about it that suggested I shouldn’t, but I did anyway. I’m sure I saw an official video for this once, when it was released, but I can’t seem to find it (33 years later!).

7. Thompson Twins – Hold Me Now

So things are, perhaps, getting a bit random at this point, but when I listen to the tracks back all together they seem to work for me, although maybe because I was there when they were new. I have mentioned before that I saw the Thompson Twins live, as a support act, and they put on quite an upbeat and lively show, I enjoyed it, though back in 1983 I probably didn’t appreciate it. They put out a lot of good pop songs but weren’t a success with the critics, which is a shame as they clearly had the knack of writing a good hook. In 1991, long after they had faded from the scene, they released a single “Come Inside” under the name ‘Feedback Max’, it reached No. 7 in the US Dance Chart and No. 1 in the UK Dance Chart. However, once it was discovered that the Thompson Twins were behind the record, sales dropped and the album it was taken from never had a UK release. Just goes to show that it isn’t all about the music.

8. ABC – Poison Arrow

‘The Lexicon Of Love’ is an incredibly good album, good songwriting, great production, and this single from it is a highlight. I really wasn’t listening to this sort of thing back in 1982, but even then I just couldn’t help but like it.

9. OMD – Enola Gay

This track should most definitely be filed under the category “People Are Stupid” as, when released, it was banned by the BBC. It is, of course, a song about the Hiroshima bombing but listeners assumed it was some sort of gay anthem. The track was banned from being played on popular BBC1 program Swap Shop for fear that it would serve as a corrupting sexual influence on children.

Also, check out the dancing in the video, it’s godawfull bad!

10. Gary Numan – I Die You Die

Well I’ve been waiting for a place to fit Gary Numan in to this mix tape and I think this is probably the best place. I could have gone Side 1 after or before Kraftwerk, but it seemed too obvious. So here we are, from Numan’s second (or 4th depending on how you are counting) studio album and a number 6 single in the UK, back when you had to sell crap loads to get into the charts.

11. Visage – Fade To Grey

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.

12. David Bowie/Giorgio Moroder – Cat People

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.

13. Martha & The Muffins – Echo Beach

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.

What’s in the bag? (1)

Clearly I’m a bit bored, however, ideas born from boredom are not necessarily a bad thing, although this one might very well be. I have a Head tote bag, it cost me £1 and it’s just right for vinyl, so, here is a new thing called, “What’s in the bag?” Here is the bag in question:

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And inside the bag today is……………………………………………………….

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That’s right, The Stranglers IV, which it wasn’t, it was their first album and it was called ‘Rattus Norvegicus’, ornery buggers The Stranglers are, but this is a brilliant début, released in April 1977. I have a copy already but it is completely knackered so I bought another for £3.50 on Saturday.

Yes it’s sexist, misogynistic perhaps and a bit nasty here and there, well, starting the album with the lyric “Someday I’m gonna smack your face”, to a girlfriend does set the tone a bit, but if you can get past that the songs have a drive about them, a griminess, they are, as they were later to write, nice and sleazy. Give it a listen if you never have, or listen again if it’s been a while:

8.7/10