The public can

Well, we’ve had three years of beer tax cuts in this country but sales of ale go down alongside the number of pubs. 23 public houses closing a week; so, it’s good to celebrate the opening of a new one now and then. Get down to your boozer, take a …

Hungry for your love

Max has shared his favourite punk and new wave love songs; a pretty good selection, though ‘love’ here is clearly a subject rather than an emotion, including bromance, split-up, rejection etc as well as amour fou. Well, that was punk. A gentler, kinder (gruffer, grumpier) example is the greatest singer …

Greatest Year in Music 7

Actually, 1973 has just made me think again. I’m gonna list a kinda top ten, but it doesn’t include Countdown to Ecstasy, Solid Air, Greetings from Asbury Park, Berlin, Heartbreaker, Don’t shoot Me … There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, Aladin Sane, Catch a Fire. So, 1973 is starting to win me …

Greatest Year in Music 3

Well 1968 was another great year, without even mentionind White Light / White Heat, Electric Ladyland, or Eli and the Thirteenth Confession or Aretha and Ennio, Floyd or The Pretty Things, or The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier! Can we get all the great stuff from 1969 into a …

Greatest Year in Music 2

Well 1967 looks pretty hard to beat. It’s so flipping inaugural (Doors, Cohen, Velvets etc) and there’s so much great stuff you can’t get into a list of ten albums. But you have the essence of not just the summer but the year in everything Pepper represents in terms of …

You never know what you’re gonna get

Max is rightly worried about his health. In the great lottery of life you can never be sure what you’ve got, only what you haven’t. Prostate tick. Blood pressure tick. Colon cancer tick. Cholesterol tick. And so on until you find something to make you anxious. So worry about your …

The Last Gig in Town

The last time I saw The Clash was Detroit in ’68. No, Joni fans, it was actually at the Brixton Academy in ’82, so it’s great to have one of my favourite gigs commemorized (neologism there) in a box set. This 2-CD issue features the set list from the night …

Memphis Blues

So, Max is a big Marc Cohn fan and he loves Walking in Memphis. One of the differences between the US and the UK is the scale of our ambition these days. Boy, you ain’t got a prayer in Lidl!

I remember when rock was middle-aged

Yes, before punk, all the young dudes (not many of the dudesses) were into prog and other heavy shit maaaan. Got to see The Musical Box take me back to 1974 recently. The audience made me feel young: all pot-bellied bald sixty year olds. We all knew every word. We …

I remember when rock was young

I mentioned on an earlier post that the first time I heard Down in the Tube St Midnight by the Jam I thought it was a perfect pop song. I wonder what other examples Max might have? My others in a top ten are: You Really Got Me by the …

Signs of the Times 4

So, I saw this sign at a market stall recently. It’s one of those messages that you can apply to all of life. The post-jumble sale desolation of the table wares just set it off brilliantly. It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a sign of the times to …

& My First Single

Well, yes, first records. My first single was a lesser known Michael Jackson release, though it was also the title track on his first album. The song itself  was Michael Jackson’s debut solo single, released on October 7 1971. It was the annus mirabilis of pop and rock according to …

Vinyl S to Z

And the final box contains more gems the like of which we shall not see again. Many of the artists remain but we ain’t gonna get this kind of quality anymore, even from Neil Young. It has been a pleasure to live through the vinyl years, which were the golden …

Vinyl M to S

Well, this is dominated by Van, as it should be, but goes on through the Prefabs and REM (Out of Time was appropriately the last record I bought on vinyl before switching to CDs) to Santana, Paul Simon and the Stones…   And my brother’s back at home With his …

Vinyl E to M

Another box, another post. When I look at this section I see the early days, from the Jackson 5 and early Elton John through the prog and rock days. Obsessions with Genesis and Zeppelin that dominated every day. The introspection of Joni, the education in Ella, on to my mother’s …

Vinyl A to E

Nothing beats the feel, size, smell, sight and sound of vinyl. So easy to chuck out those CDs, ripped to the computer. But vinyl is for life; the vinyl years stay with you and contain a whole history. So the old stuff is here, from the classic to the tragic …

Anti – ci – pa – tion

So, we have debated Bond girls, but none of this would be possible without the genius of Fleming. He is like Hammett or Chandler, a C20th creator of the hard man sleuth, who is also a hard drinker. The movies are another genre, but after a Bond movie I hope …