Wednesday 29 March 2023

Fill The Skies

Heading back to the mid-late 1970s today with a clutch of songs that are guaranteed to get me moving or, even worse, singing along. 

Although the music dates from before I started buying records, the songs here by Roxy Music, Ian Dury & The Blockheads, The Boomtown Rats and David Bowie all made an impression on me at an early age. Japan's version of The Velvet Underground came to my attention when it was re-released in the early 1980s and it was probably another couple of years before I even heard the original. James White & The Blacks - and the whole No Wave/Ze Records scene - found their way to me in the late 1980s, although Kid Creole & The Coconuts were popular way before then. I'd explored Lou Reed's early 1970s albums and also the run of albums starting with New York before I went back to his mid-late 1970s work, including Coney Island Baby.

Songs then that don't represent a single period in time for me and instead are scattered through my record buying history, triggering individual and special memories every time I hear them.

1) Angel Eyes (12" Remix): Roxy Music (1979)
2) Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 3 (7" Version): Ian Dury & The Blockheads (1978)
3) Contort Yourself (Album Version): James White & The Blacks (1979)
4) Rat Trap (Album Version): The Boomtown Rats (1978)
5) All Tomorrow's Parties (Album Version) (Cover of The Velvet Underground): Japan (1979)
6) Leave Me Alone (Unreleased Version): Lou Reed (1976)
7) John, I'm Only Dancing (Again) (12" Version): David Bowie (1975)

1978: A Tonic For The Troops: 4
1979: Angel Eyes EP: 1
1979: John, I'm Only Dancing (Again) EP: 7
1979: Off White: 3 
1979: Quiet Life: 5
1979: Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 3 EP: 2
1992: Between Thought And Expression: The Lou Reed Anthology: 6

Fill The Skies (40:37) (Box) (Mega)


  1. A great mix finished off with my favourite Bowie song. I don't think it's particularly fashionable to champion JIOD and there are so many songs around that era that are lauded much more. However listen with fresh ears as if you had never heard it before and there are so many things to like about it - TBF the production is genius too..

    1. Thanks, Mike - I'm a fan of John, I'm Only Dancing in any incarnation but this 'disco' version is especially good. When the Who Can I Be Now? box set came out a few years ago, I recreated the track list for the abandoned album The Gouster (which was replaced by Young Americans). JIOD is the opening track there and it's interesting to hear the song in a different context, as part of an album.