Sunday, 31 October 2021

The Blue Room Mix

A healthy portion of Sunday mash (up) to entertain and nourish you, courtesy of Go Home Productions aka Mark Vidler. This was originally broadcast on BBC Radio 1 on 16th July 2006 and is a fun rush through some 60s stalwarts and 00s R'n'B & club staples, all wrapped up in under 20 minutes. Fabulous.
 

1) Marvin’s Not In Love (Part 1) (Marvin Gaye vs. 10cc): Go Home Productions
2) Strawfields To Skyplain: Mark Vidler
3) Cold Missy School Cut (Coldcut vs. Missy Elliot): Go Home Productions
4) Don’t Hold Back (Sweet Jane) (Chemical Brothers vs. The Velvet Underground vs. U2 vs. M/A/R/R/S vs. Blur): Go Home Productions
5) Ophelian Dub / Ophelia: Mark Vidler vs. Andre Popp
6) Velvet Sugar (The Archies vs. The Velvet Underground vs. Basement Jaxx): Go Home Productions
7) Riders Of Love (ABC vs. The Doors): Go Home Productions
8) I Can’t Freak Her (XTC vs. Adina Howard): Go Home Productions
9) Paul Wilson (The Beach Boys vs. Wings): Go Home Productions
10) All My Birds (The Beatles vs. Annie Lennox): Go Home Productions
 

Friday, 29 October 2021

When They've Collected All Your Tragic Endings

Josh Rouse today, a sidestep inspired by an enjoyable post a couple of weeks ago on Josh Ritter, courtesy of Charity Chic Music. I have very little music by either, though I've enjoyed what I've heard: not enough for a Josh Ritter selection and just about enough for Josh Rouse. The selection leans heavily on a couple of mini-albums/EPs - Chester, with Lambchop's Kurt Wagner, and volume 2 of Rouse's Bedroom Classics series. It's also very focused on a specific period between 1999 and 2005, the remaining tracks coming from various free CDs with music magazines. From what I can see, Rouse has released around a dozen albums since 1998, the most recent being The Mediterranean Gardener by ISLA, an "improvised electronica" project featuring his wife Paz Suay, which emerged on 1st April 2021. I really need to immerse myself in more of Josh Rouse's music. Any suggested starting points and recommendations very welcome!
 
Side One (20:00)
1) Soul'd Out (2005)
2) Winter In The Hamptons (2005)
3) For The Turnstiles (Cover of Neil Young) (Live In Session @ KCAW, Sitka, Alaska) (2005)
4) Straight To Hell (Cover of The Clash) (Live @ Morning Becomes Eclectic With Nic Harcourt, KCRW 89.9, Los Angeles, California, 27 August 2003)
5) Table Dance: Josh Rouse & Kurt Wagner (1999)

Side Two (19:33)
1) Neighbor-Hoods (2005)
2) Somehow You Could Always Tell: Josh Rouse & Kurt Wagner (1999)
3) My Love Has Gone (2005)
4) Oh, I Need All Of The Love (2005)
5) Rise (2003)
 
1999: Chester: A5, B2
2003: 1972: B5
2003: White Riot, Vol. 1: A Tribute To The Clash (Uncut magazine promo CD): A4
2005: Bedroom Classics Vol. 2 EP: A1, B1, B4
2005: It's The Nighttime EP: A3
2005: Nashville: A2, B3
 

Thursday, 28 October 2021

199

Yesterday, I had the immense privilege of JC at The Vinyl Villain posting my contribution to the An Imaginary Compilation Album series, this time featuring It's Immaterial. My sixth ICA since August 2020, it was also the 299th ICA in total, a milestone itself in a consistently excellent series. By (near) coincidence, today marks my 199th post on the Dubhed blog, so I thought I'd celebrate with a companion piece on It's Immaterial.
 
I love reading and contributing to the An Imaginary Compilation Album series. It's a good way of discovering or rediscovering artists and bands and personally I've found music that I've either missed altogether or have appreciated when presented in a new light. It's also great to read the contributor's individual and personal take on the featured artist, the song selection and what the music means to them. As a contributor, it's an opportunity to recreate the mixtape experience and, beyond the general ICA rules, impose all sorts of criteria and discipline to the process of curating the collection. Personally, it's a much different undertaking to my frequently 'on the fly' approach to the (currently) daily posting on this blog. Each ICA will take weeks, often months, to put together, as I play around with the song selection and sequencing, 'road testing' it with multiple listens over time before I'm satisfied with the final order, then drafting and honing the accompanying 'sleeve notes'. The basic format and aim remains the same: 10 songs, usually 5 per side, average running time 35-45 minutes; in short, not far removed from a traditional vinyl album set up. Not always intentionally, but I frequently end up dodging the 'hits', going on a deeper dive into album tracks, B-sides and alternative versions.
 
This was pretty much the case with It's Immaterial. I'm pretty pleased with the final ICA, it hangs together well, though the final selection ended up with not one single, not even the big UK hit, Driving Away From Home (Jim's Tune) or any of the the songs that preceded debut album Life's Hard And Then You Die. Time to partially redress that here with a visual companion.
 
The earliest clip I can find on YouTube is a 1983 performance from BBC2's music show Riverside, recorded at the titular studios. It's an excellent quality clip, featuring two songs: Huzza Huzza, which I'd not heard before and I don't think was ever released, and their second single from 1981, A Gigantic Raft In the Philippines, which was re-recorded and re-released in 1984, to similar lack of chart success. The four-piece band is a much different proposition from the core duo of John Campbell and Jarvis Whitehead that evolved just a year later. This performance reminded me a little of contemporary indie bands like Kissing The Pink and it's a compelling performance that, with hindsight, hints at what was to come. 
As I wrote in the ICA sleeve notes, Festival Time was the song that grabbed my attention and hooked me onto It's Immaterial's music back in 1986, but there's no denying that Driving Away From Home (Jim's Tune) is a great single. It's been noted elsewhere that this bears a kinship with Faron Young by Prefab Sprout, released the previous year. Maybe Chris Rea was listening to both songs and was sufficiently inspired a few years later with The Road To Hell. Driving Away From Home reached a peak of #18 in the UK singles charts and I've read somewhere that it's continued ascent was stalled as their record label Siren allegedly misjudged it's potential success and struggled to press sufficient additional copies to meet demand. I'm assuming that, aside from the Festival Time promo clip on Channel 4's The Tube, that Driving Away From Home was the first official It's Immaterial music video.

The success of the single also saw It's Immaterial perform the song on television, including Top Of The Pops the UK and TopPop in the Netherlands. There was also two different 12" versions of the song, one of which I included in one of my 1980s mixtapes, posted in July 2021.
Of the three other singles from Life's Hard And Then You Die, I've been unable to find a video for Rope and I don't recall ever seeing one on TV back in the day. It's a great song, and the extended mix appeared in another of my 1980s 12" mixtape selections in May 2021. The other singles - Ed's Funky Diner and Space - both have engaging and entertaining videos and equally excellent 12" versions. Neither troubled the charts, though Ed's Funky Diner did scrape to #65 on it's second go round in 1986. The song featured backing vocals from The Christians (including former It's Immaterial member Henry Priestman), who went on to enjoy much greater success in their own right.

Follow up album Song was criminally under promoted by the then-flailing Siren, with only one single - New Brighton - being released. Life's Hard And Then You Die, despite a hit single, only managed #62 in the UK album chart. Song didn't chart. There's a fascinating interview with John and Jarvis on Japanese TV in 1990, promoting the album. It casts light on the disappointment and disillusionment that followed the debut album and what was to come.

Nobody could have predicted the trials and tribulations that It's Immaterial would face with their planned third album, well documented in more recent interviews. Begun in 1992, it was 2020 before House For Sale eventually got a physical release. Several of the 'lost' versions emerged online in the last decade with some getting the video treatment, including Just North Of Here, which made it to the finished album, and New Moon, which didn't.
There's also a lovely remix by Heinrich Geißler of another 'lost' and unreleased song, Out Of The Blue. Not dissimilar to Todd Terry's remix of Missing by Everything But The Girl and (God help me, here he is again) On The Beach by Chris Rea. The shuffling, Balearic sound beautifully underpins Campbell's vocals. I'd love to hear the original version of this song. 
 
House For Sale is a great album that so easily could never have made it, and I'm so glad that it did. There remain a number of 'lost' songs, available online, that could pretty much make up a fourth album, but it was great to read that John and Jarvis have also begun this year to write and record songs for a planned follow up. If It's Immaterial had called it a day after Life's Hard And Then You Die, they still would have produced an absolutely immense and complex album of beauty. Personally, I'm glad that there was - and continues to be - more.
 
Out Of The Blue (Heinrich Geißler Smooth Summer Edit) (2013)
 

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

There's Got To Be A Better Song To Sing

My friend John sent me a mixtape in 1999. We'd known each other for about 15 years at this point, but never met. I lived in Bristol, John lived in Tallaght near Dublin. We had a shared love of creating comics - resolutely small press, never aspiring professionals - and listening to music. John's first mixtape made no secret of his love of Belle And Sebastian. I'd never really heard anything by them, but I have since grown to love them very much. The mixtape included the lead song of 1998's This Is Just A Modern Rock Song EP. Eventually, I got a copy of it for myself and found this lovely song, tucked away as track 3. At this point in time, the singer with Belle And Sebastian was Isobel Campbell, who has gone on to release some brilliant albums, both solo and with Mark Lanegan.

The Gate
 
In the hope I'll forget I'll wait
It's a chance I'll take oh yeah
In the hope I'll forget I'll wait
For the time
In the spring I'll watch my step
While the night-time passes by
When a smile suits me all alone
I'll be fine
 
There's got to be a better song to sing
Before I hang upon your shoulder
Telling the truth it may be bolder this time
There's got to be a better song to sing
That makes a lonely one less cold, oh
Before I hang upon your shoulder and cry
 
Watching friends playing in the dirt
Feeling hard but feeling hurt
By the sadness that wastes my time
It's a crime
Counting acts which I must add
To collect sad memories
From a past I'd soon forget
Swap or leave
 
There's got to be a better song to sing
Before I hang upon your shoulder
Telling the truth it may be bolder this time
There's got to be a better song to sing
That makes a lonely one less cold oh
Before I hang upon your shoulder and cry
At the gate I'll wave goodbye
To the friends that were my lies
And I'll see them off at dawn
 
Feeling wise
Feeling wise
Feeling wise


Tuesday, 26 October 2021

We Get In Our Van And We Just Drive Up To Frisco

Time for some sorely neglected (by me) selections by The Go-Betweens. The songs of Robert Forster and Grant McLennan are constantly with me but some get more airtime than others, often for completely random reasons rather than any comment on the quality of the songs themselves. He Lives My Live is a brilliant song but according to my Apple Music playlist, the "Live In London" version has been played way more than the studio original that appeared on 2000's 'comeback' album The Friends Of Rachel Worth.

1990 posthumous compilation 1978-1990 was my first proper introduction to and touchstone for The Go-Betweens for many years. I really didn't like Don't Call Me Gone to begin with, but repeated listens and an appreciation for McLennan's lyrics won me over. Who could dislike a song with verses like this?

We read our mama's letters
So we packed and took the bus home
Found her crying softly by the headstone of his grave
Took her hand and then we lead her like a little girl
To the door then followed her inside

Today's post title comes from the last track, the closing comment from Robert Forster to Deirdre O'Donoghue in the interview following their rousing performance of Apology Accepted for KCRW-FM, broadcast out of Santa Monica in California. The lure of their 1987 & 1988 sets for Snap compiled as a bonus CD to yet another 'best of' compilation was enough for me to fork out, even though I already had all of the tracks on the main CD. It was worth every penny, not just for the performances themselves but the between song banter and Deirdre's sheer joy at what she's listening to. I can get behind that.

I've named this selection Dusty In Here, as a nod to the fact that I haven't listened to these songs for several years and a cheeky wink at the The Go-Betweens song that names it, but didn't make it onto the final playlist.

Side One (16:46)
1) Ride (1981)
2) The Ghost And The Black Hat (1986)
3) The Statue (2005)
4) Emperor's Courtesan (1983)
5) He Lives My Life (Album Version) (2000)
 
Side Two (18:04)
1) Love Goes On! (Acoustic Demo) (1988)
2) Don't Call Me Gone (1987)
3) A Bad Debt Follows You (Album Version) (1983)
4) Something For Myself (2003)
5) Apology Accepted (Live On Snap with Deirdre O'Donoghue @ KCRW-FM, Santa Monica, California, 11 September 1987)
 
1981: Send Me A Lullaby: A1
1983: Before Hollywood: B3
1986: Liberty Belle And The Black Diamond Express: A2 
1987: Right Here (limited edition 2x 7"): B2 
1996: 16 Lovers Lane Acoustic Demos (French promo CD): B1
1999: Bellavista Terrace: The Best Of The Go-Betweens / Live On Snap With Deirdre O'Donoghue (limited edition 2x CD): B5
2000: The Friends Of Rachel Worth: A5
2002: Spring Hill Fair (Expanded Edition): A4 
2003: Bright Yellow Bright Orange: B4
2005: Oceans Apart: A3

Monday, 25 October 2021

The Things That People Say Thou Art, Why Not Learn To Love Them?

It's nigh on impossible to keep up with the constant flow of creatvity that is Momus aka Nick Currie: 30+ albums, averaging one per year, as well as books, YouTube videos, "Open University" podcasts (since 2016) and performances, to name but a few strands to this seemingly ceaseless outpouring of material. The Momus website and Momasu YouTube page are a great source of news and information, sometimes jostling with one another to keep up with the latest releases. At the end of August, a video for 'a disco mix' of The Hydra appeared, a track from a forthcoming EP promised for the autumn but - as far as I'm aware - with an as yet unconfirmed release date. Another new song, Orchestras, presumably from the same forthcoming EP, has also been recently previewed. If you're more familiar with Momus' work from the 1980s/1990s, particularly his period on the Creation label, you'll continue to find much to enjoy here. Currie is a master lyricist and his economical musical palette serves the songs well.

In May, Momus released Athenian, according to the press release, a 16-song album "Fusing influences ranging from Benny Hill to Wyndham Lewis, and drawing as much from comedians like Frankie Howerd, Ted Ray and Marty Feldman as music heavyweights like Bowie, Cohen, Georges Moustaki and Tom Jobim".
 
It's the second of Currie's albums recorded during the pandemic, after 2020's Vivid. Following the easing of travel restrictions, Athenian was inspired by a return to the city and memories of living there for a couple of years five decades previously. Opening in typically contrary fashion with Swansong, it's another lyrical iron fist in a musical velvet glove, with a brilliantly closing verse:
 
The day will come when people can be strong
As strong as the sun
When we have learned our dirty tricks don't pay
And evil's no fun
That day of honesty and kindliness
And friendliness and decency
Will come the day after the day I live for me
Obviously

Greyland is a searing take on post-Brexit little Englanders and NIMBYism:
 
I love thisness not thatness
And hereness not thereness
It's local not global for me
I love what I know
And you can all go
To hell if you cannot agree
 
Coco The Clown is a sharp swipe at the government, particularly then-Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who was regularly mocked up in the Daily Star as the titular clown:
 
 Coco the clown is sitting me down
To explain the facts of life
God had no plan for why things began
But if things are nice, do the things twice
That's his advice
 
There are numerous collections and anthologies out there, bravely attempting to capture and summarise Momus' vast musical history. I will revisit Momus again, either here with a mocked-up mixtape or possibly as an Imaginary Compilation Album submission for The Vinyl Villain. The prospect is daunting either way. I mean, where do you start and how do you choose? My cop out today is to post links for the two new(ish) songs and three tracks from the Athenian album. Enjoy.
 
The Hydra
 
Every time thou seest thyself, thou doth begin to shimmer
Now that thou hath seen the hydra in the mirror
Look at that, one hundred heads gazing lovingly
At the hundred tiny heads smiling back at thee

The things that people say thou art, why not learn to love them?
The things that people mock thee for, wherefore try to shun them?
All the things that scare thee, thou might as well face them
They defeat you in the end, but you’re defeated by a friend

Why struggle to improvе thyself in this dreadful weathеr
Why not learn to love thyself, wouldn't that be better?
And if thou hatest hydras, read 'em my lord and weep
If it's wrong to be a hydra, thou rob’st me not of sleep

The hydra is thyself, fool, might as well face it
Why struggle with thy fate, fool, when thou can simply taste it?
Thou may’st chop off a single head spewing from thy neck
Thou know’st full well a double head will surely grow back

The true secret of happiness is loving what thou art

Thou art hot and horrible, that needs must be a start
We still discuss the hydra though a thousand years have passed
She really has achieved the kind of fame that lasts

Why struggle to improve thyself in this dreadful weather

Why not learn to love thyself, wouldn't that be clever?
And if thou hatest hydras, read 'em my lord and weep

If it's wrong to be a hydra, thou rob’st me not of sleep
 
Greyland: Momus (2021)

Sunday, 24 October 2021

I Need Help, I'm Falling Again

The Monkees TV show was a holiday staple, growing up. Seemingly on permanent rotation on BBC1 as a kid, along with The Banana Splits and Adam West and Burt Ward in Batman, The Monkees' music was ingrained in me from a young age and never went away. In 1990, as a 19-year old far away from home, I bought a cheap cassette compilation of The Monkees and it proved a trusty friend. As with many budget priced collections, it wasn't exactly a greatest hits - no Last Train To Clarksville, Daydream Believer or Porpoise Song - but it included three of my most-loved Monkees songs in Valleri, Pleasant Valley Sunday and (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone. In May 1990, a few months before I'd left home, the latter had scraped to #58 in the UK charts, courtesy of a cover version by The Farm. The previous year, I'd seen The Monkees - or three of them at least, as Mike Nesmith hadn't returned to the fold at that point - reunited and grinding it out live on stage at Bristol's Colston Hall. It was simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking, but my love for the songs never diminished. My appreciation for Mike Nesmith's country leanings blossomed belatedly and repeated listening to the cassette grew my love for What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round and particularly Listen To The Band. Twelve songs in just over 30 minutes, all killer, no filler. Even Pixies would be happy with that.

Side One (15:37)
1) I'm A Believer (1966)
2) Pleasant Valley Sunday (1967)
3) Sometime In The Morning (1966)
4) What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round (1967)
5) You Just May Be The One (1967) 
6) Valleri (1968) 
 
Side Two (15:23)
1) (Theme From) The Monkees (1966)
2) (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone (1966)
3) Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow) (1966)
4) Shades Of Gray (Cover of Will-O-Bees) (1967)
5) Words (1967)
6) Listen To The Band (1968) 
 
 
Here's a completely bonkers version of Listen To The Band from the 1969 TV Special 33 ⅓ Revolutions Per Monkee, which manages to out weird psychedelic trip movie Head. Mind bending stuff.
 

Saturday, 23 October 2021

7 To 10 Inches

Side 1 of a mixtape, originally recorded 4th October 1997, collecting tracks from various 7" and 10" vinyl records, pops and crackles intact on several. Sounds a bit like my take on an indie disco, though in reality the only songs I'm likely to have heard out in Bristol at places like the Kandi Klub or the PIG Club (an acronym for Punk Indie Goth, naturally) would have been the album version of Head Like A Hole and possibly Love Removal Machine. I saw Back To The Planet on the Lime Lizard stage at the first Phoenix Festival in 1993. I don't think we hung around for the whole set as we wanted to get back to the main stage for Faith No More, but they were one of the better crusty bands. The Food Christmas EP saw labelmates Jesus Jones, Crazyhead and Diesel Park West covering each other's songs. Mekons' Rock 'n' Roll and Birth School Work Death by The Godfathers remain firm favourite albums of the 1980s, whilst a production credit by Adrian Sherwood and Flood was a pretty safe bet for a purchase, back in the day. The limited edition double pack 7" single of April Skies is a typical example of how great The Jesus & Mary Chain are as a singles band. Bo Diddley Is Jesus is the last of four excellent songs on the single, but is a perfect opener here. There'll be more J&MC brilliance when I eventually get to posting Side 2...
 
Side One (45:07)
1) Bo Diddley Is Jesus: The Jesus & Mary Chain (April Skies 2x 7") (1987)
2) (I'm Gonna) Cry Myself Blind (Album Version): Primal Scream ft. Denise Johnson ((I'm Gonna) Cry Myself Blind 10") (1994)
3) It's So Hard: The Godfathers (Sounds Waves 2 promo 7") (1988)
4) Heaven And Back (Album Version): Mekons (The Dream And Lie Of... 10") (1989)
5) Montreal: The Wedding Present (Montreal 7") (1997)
6) Daydream (Dub Mix By Adrian Sherwood): Back To The Planet (Daydream 7") (1993)
7) 2001 Love (Part 1) (Single Version By Adrian Sherwood, Skip McDonald & Style Scott): Dub Syndicate ft. Allen Ginsberg (What Happened? 10") (1993)
8) Head Like A Hole (Copper) (Remix By Trent Reznor & Flood): Nine Inch Nails (Head Like A Hole 10") (1991)
9) Love Removal Machine (Album Version By Rick Rubin & George Drakoulias): The Cult (Love Removal Machine 2x 7") (1987)
10) I Don't Want That Kind Of Love (Cover of Crazyhead): Jesus Jones (The Food Christmas EP 7") (1989)
11) Ascend (Single Mix By Flood): Nitzer Ebb (Ascend 2x 10") (1992)

Friday, 22 October 2021

God Knows What We're Doing Now

I don't usually feature the same artist in two consecutive posts, but more Xan Tyler today, thanks to a serendipitous rabbit hole dive. After yesterday's feature on Xan's earlier collaborations with Kate Holmes as Technique and Mad Professor as Mission Control, I checked out Xan's website and found that she'd reunited with Mad Professor for another album, Clarion Call. The project started three years ago and the album was finally released in July 2021. There's an interesting interview with Xan on the Scots Whay Hae! podcast, which takes in the recording of Clarion Call, the impact of the COVID pandemic on the album release and tour plans. She also talks about her previous collaboration with Kramer as Let It Come Down, her relocation to Scotland, and her rich history as a musician from joining her first band as a teenager. Xan is an engaging interviewee, despite her self-professed reluctance for this kind of promotion.
 
Clarion Call picks up the baton from 2001's Dub Showcase by Mission Control, beautiful summer dub sounds, complementing Xan's vocals. You can buy the album on Bandcamp and other digital platforms (the podcast interview explains the vinyl backlog caused by the pandemic) and view all 9 tracks on YouTube.

All this discovered from a chance playlist shuffle of Technique's You + Me, which I hadn't listened to since 2013... The good news is that Xan has secured a grant from Creative Scotland to record an album. Xan is working with Boo Hewerdine & Mark Freegard and the album will hopefully emerge in 2022. One to look out for. 

Left Dub: Xan Tyler & Mad Professor 

Thursday, 21 October 2021

I Believe That The Present's Perfect

Between Frazier Chorus and Client, Kate Holmes formed Technique with singer Xanthe Tyler. Technique released a couple of singles in 1999, followed by an album, Pop Philosophy, in 2001.  You + Me was the most successful of the two singles, reaching #56 in the UK in August 1999. On paper, You + Me had a lot going for it: Stephen Hague on production, Youth on bass, released on Creation; a radio-friendly dance pop song. Unfortunately, You + Me, follow-up Sun Is Shining and the album didn't result in commercial success.
 
At the same time, Holmes and Tyler also embarked on an interesting dub excursion with Mad Professor as Mission Control, releasing the single The Last Trumpet, featuring Lee 'Scratch' Perry on vocals, and an album, Dub Showcase, in 2001. As with the Technique album, the Mission Control releases were on Poptones, the label established by Holmes' husband Alan McGee following the sale of Creation to Sony in 1999.
 

Kate Holmes went on to form Client with Sarah Blackwood (Dubstar) and further developed the fashion house Client London. I have relatively little Client music, although I really like what I do have, which will prompt some retrospective purchasing and a post in their own right in the future.

Xan Tyler is poorly served by info on Discogs, but a quick search on t'internet reveals that she has continued to actively create music in the past couple of decades. Xan recently returned to a partnership with legendary producer Kramer, this time as Let It Come Down, releasing their debut album, Songs We Sang in Our Dreams, in June 2020.  You can also find videos for 9 of the songs on YouTube.
 

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

From Conception To The Grave

Today's selection is a nod to the genre-hopping genius that is Dubmaster Dennis Bovell MBE. Lovers Rock, Dub, Post-Punk, Pop, Reggae, Poetry all threaded together by a singular talent.
 
Aside from his legendary work with Janet Kay, The Slits and The Pop Group, Dennis Bovell has been synonymous with Linton Kwesi Johnson's musical career. Another frequent collaborator has been Edwyn Collins, from Orange Juice to Collins solo, and taking in a shared guest spot on Trevor Jackson's Playgroup project along the way. 
 
In the summer, Dennis Bovell released a cover of What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. He has also recently dubbed up The Pop Group's 1979 debut album. Y In Dub is available via Bandcamp and various other outlets on 29th October.
 
1) Surrey With The Fringe On Top (Ska Be Doo Za): Black Beard (1978)
2) You'll Never Know (Dub) (Remix By Dennis Bovell): Edwyn Collins (2007)
3) Reality Poem (Album Version By Linton Kwesi Johnson & Dennis Bovell): Linton Kwesi Johnson (1979)
4) Feel No Way (Album Version By Dennis Bovell): Janet Kay (1980)
5) Forces Of Oppression (Edit By Dennis Bovell): The Pop Group (1980) 
6) Swanky Modes (Dennis Bovell DubMix): JARV IS... (2021)
7) 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover (Album Version By Trevor Jackson & Mark 'Spike' Stent) (Cover of Paul Simon): Playgroup ft. Shinehead, Dennis Bovell & Edwyn Collins (2001)
8) Make Believe (Let's Pretend) (Special Extended Version By Dennis Bovell): Thompson Twins (1981)
9) Clichéd Dub Slave: Adrian Sherwood ft. Dennis Bovell (2007)
10) Flesh Of My Flesh (Long Version By Dennis Bovell): Orange Juice (1983)
11) Empire Road: Matumbi (1978)
12) Tell Tale Signs (Extended Version By Dennis Bovell): Bananarama (1983)
13) Dub Her In (Version By Dennis Bovell): Steve Mason (2011)
14) Love Und Romance (Album Version By Dennis Bovell): The Slits (1979)
15) Africa (Is Our Land) (12" Mix By Dennis Bovell): Joshua Moses (1978)
16) Silly Dub: Dennis Bovell ft. Janet Kay (1993)

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Some Recall Is Not Enough

A standalone single by Talk Talk, My Foolish Friend reached #57 in the UK charts. It remains one of my favourite Talk Talk songs, albeit one that signaled their increasing steps away from the pop pigeonhole record label EMI tried to fit them into.

Although My Foolish Friend didn't make it onto second album It's My Life, it continued to feature in their live sets up to 1986.

I originally got the 12" version on a Canadian import of the mini-album, It's My Mix Years later, I discovered a copy of the 12" single in a secondhand shop in Perth, Western Australia. I bought it, dubbed the tracks onto a mixtape, then shipped it home to the UK with a box of other stuff via sea mail, eventually reunited with it in late 1991. Worth it for the James Marsh cover painting alone, let alone the music.

The B-side featured an early version of a song that subsequently appeared on It's My Life, albeit dropping from plural to singular along the way. This stripped down version of Call In The Night Boys features Phil Ramacon on piano and is a portent of the musical direction to come.

Again, the more uptempo version of Call In The Night Boy was still featuring in Talk Talk sets years later, though the original, minimal version remains my favourite.