Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hank Ray - Everybody's Into Rock'N'Roll - #188

Hank Ray - Everybody's Into Rock'N'Roll

I don't really have a top ten (or top onehundred) of my favourite songs. There's too many good songs and I happen to forget a lot of them after a while. Of course, when I kind of rediscover them, I know exactly why this certain track is in my spotlight. Hank Ray's "Everybody's Into Rock'n'Roll" is different. Either I can't remember the guy's name or I can't find the CD and have to do with a clip on YouTube.

The video should be widescreen viewing, though. Cheeky bit of footage, excellent transformation of the song. "Everybody's Into Rock'n'Roll" has me kind of dancing through the flat every time I hear it and since I happened to find the CD in my collection quite accidentally today, this song has been playing a couple of times.

There's a few things to be said about this track. First, Hank Ray sounds like a Johnny Cash on half mast and second, this is no Rock'n'Roll at all. If I'm not completely mistaken, this is more of a Waltz. I think I get the joke. If you want to buy this one, it can be found on "Mainstream Death Country", a CD that's a couple of years old. You might have to do some searching. And there's some more excellent songwiting to be found on this album.



Friday, December 12, 2014

Utrecht Mega Record & CD Fair November 2014 - Part 3 - #187

Utrecht Mega Record & CD Fair November 2014 - Part 3

Here's a few 7"s I bought at the Mega Record & CD Fair in Utrecht this year. All top notch French Rock'n'Roll bands from way back when.

Les Chats Sauvages is the only reissue 7" amongst the lot. All others are original EPs.



Sunday, November 30, 2014

Utrecht Mega Record & CD Fair November 2014 - Part 2 - #186

Utrecht Mega Record & CD Fair November 2014 - Part 2

Here are two more remarkable items I've found at the Utrecht Mega Record & CD Fair this year. I already had a beat up copy of the original U.K. release, plus an original German Vertigo copy and the Repertoire release (and the CD version, of course). This is a first release U.K. copy that comes as close to mint as possible. It didn't come cheap though. First thing I did upon returning home, getting rid of the thrashed U.K. sleeve I had already in my collection and turning the German original Vertigo platter into a frisbee. So, now, I have this m/m first release U.K. copy, a m-/m- Repertoire release and a strange first release U.K. vinyl matched to a first release German Vertigo sleeve (and the CD of course)

And this here: I've been looking for this LP for forever and a day. I have my uncensored playing copy, a stone mint archive copy and the CD of course. The censored version eluded me for decades. All that ever seemed for sale were vg/vg copies at best. This here is as mint as can be and an excellent companion to my regular archive copy. The price was o.k. too, in fact, quite a bargain at EUR 120.00

In case you're wondering what the censoring bit is here, below is the original version.



Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Utrecht Mega Record & CD Fair November 2014 - Part 1 - #185

Utrecht Mega Record & CD Fair November 2014 - Part 1

Just back from this event. Bought a ton of LPs and 7"s, including some beauties. As usual at record fairs, the Dr. Feelgood/Wilko Johnson related stuff was a bit thin on the ground. This is not just the Utrecht Mega Record & CD Fair, but at about every other event as well, you come up empty handed each and every time. Just goes to prove my theory, that Dr. Feelgood/Wilko Johnson is not a "collectable" band/artist. Do I care about this? I mean, except for the fact that there is never really anything on offer? Not really, I'm a lucky guy not collecting the likes of the Beatles or the Rolling Stones (or Queen etc.), thus avoiding getting into an infight with collectors worldwide about a "rare" record (sutch as the butcher cover, of which there are thousands upon thousands out there). I'm baking smaller bread.

This one, I don't know what it is and what Wilko Johnson is doing here. Sounds like announcements at a rally (I remember there was a handwritten sticker on the outer sleeve saying Amnesty). Whatever, I have no clue. Information is very much appreciated, if anyone knows more about this 7". I do guess it's a bootleg though.

I paid dearly for this one, just to find later, that I owned it already. Dutch release. Although it's in better condition than my other copy. And just to think I checked my collection on the smartphone before buying this ...

This one didn't come cheap either, but the actual 7" is a stock copy (which I already own), so there's not a lot to cheer, because of one self made radio station sleeve. Don't know where my head was, when I shelled the cash out for this one.



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Wilko Johnson - Barbed Wire Blues (CD Reissue) - #184

Wilko Johnson - Barbed Wire Blues (CD Reissue)

Just saw a rerelease of this CD today in a shop nearby. It's on Jungle FREUDCD026, "Made In The EC", comes with a clear inner tray and the inlay (the part facing you when you open the jewel case, shows Wilko holding a guitar and a barbed wire running on the left side. The rest is the same as previously issued and I should think, that the songs are a one to one copy of what we've got before. There's probably no new mastering, which is fine with me. I don't need to adjust my hearing aid just because some sound engineer took artistic liberties with the album.



Saturday, October 18, 2014

V/A - Sounds Of Silence, The Most Intriguing Silences In Recording History! - #183

V/A - Sounds Of Silence, The Most Intriguing Silences In Recording History!

This is the one to test the limits of your stereo set-up at midnight. Go all the way to thirteen and enjoy this recording of, well, two sides of nothing. Not a sound ... which is not quite true, there's the background noise of any LP, even when the vinyl is clean as can be. But the concept is a fascinating one, with John Cage's 4:33 being the forerunner (and I'm not talking about his 4:33 second version). There's never real silence. And if you're sitting in a soundproof room, playing 4:33 (first version) in a digital copy, you're still going to hear your breathing and you also listen to your own heartbeat and movements.

John Cage is not even the inventor of performed or recorded silence, but he's the one most associated with it. And if you're like me, kneedeep in Noise, Avantgarde, Industrial and the like, you appreciate a live performance as well (as I did a few years back, John Cages 4:33 first version on piano - dead silence, except the audience beginning to get nervous and restless).

What I didn't know until I bought this record just recently, is, that so many recording artists have jumped on board. Of the 30+ tracks on offer here, you'll find some big names like Andy Warhol, John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Sly & The Familiy Stone (that one really surprised me), Crass, John Denver (another surprise), Soulfly, The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, Robert Wyatt and Afrika Bambaataa & Family.

But to put matters straight, this is actually serious stuff with a lot of these tracks making a statement of sorts. The LP has apparently been issued as a double set with a 250 copies limited run (not sure about this claim - wether it actually exists and the 250 bit) and a single LP issue, limited to 500 copies. I almost missed this one in one of my favourite shops, because I'm not in the biz to buy Simon & Garfunkel LPs.



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Mono vs. Stereo - #182

Mono vs. Stereo

I'm not enough of a Beatles fan to shell out for the Mono box set that came along recently. But I did buy myself the "Mono Remasters" stand-alone triple LP, as it claims on the sticker, that it is a mono release only, with no digital input whatsoever. Sorry, forgot to mention, I'm talking about the vinyl releases. I still have to listen to the aforementioned LP, but I did realise, that I know close to nothing about mono playback. My set-up was always stereo, but I've been reading a few forums with this topic recently and I'm surprised at the level some enthusiasts will go to have a hardcore mono sound.

Apparently, forget about your stereo with two speakers. If you're serious about it, then you need a mono cartridge with the proper needle on your turntable, a mono block amplifier and one speaker only (not even for "fattening" the sound, would you use two of them). Everything else will not do. Some seem to use a cheap solution by connecting everything with a y-cable, but this is like watching a 50's black and white flick that's been handcoloured. Of course, the erstwhile chain of equipment will set you back a couple of thousand EUROs, just for the pleasure to listen to this stuff the way it was intented. I don't think there's a lot more in the way of mono recordings to be found in an average collection.

A good mono block amplifier (and you need two of them if you want to go back to stereo every now and then) will empty your pocket to the tune of a couple of thousand EUROs (per unit). So, there you are! Plus, a good mono cartridge, so I'm being told, is another 1'000 EUROs of your family income. Assuming that the turntable itself, the cables and the one loudspeaker required are already in place, you're done. That might be overdoing it a bit, but it seems to be very worthwhile. I'm afraid, I'll have to do with my stereo set-up, but reading all about the depth one can go to, in the search for the best imaginary sound, is fun in itself.

Some of these Beatles releases were actually made with the mono set-up in mind and the real fiddling seems to have been on these. The stereo versions were later mixed with no involvement of the band. If I got everything in the correct order, those LPs are not folded down mono versions, but are the real McCoy. The last chronologically regular albums by the Beatles were released in stereo only.

The funny thing is, around 50 years after the fact, the world is still talking about the Beatles and getting hysterical at the same time. Even I'm doing it, with no Beatles collection to speak of. One thing is certain, the Beatles catalogue is being milked and there are, for at least some time to come, always takers that will shell out for recycled stuff. And it comes at a premium price. I can't remember when a box set, broken down to single LPs (including the book) had that kind of price tagged to it. This is expensive stuff, but I should think, the Beatles fan of yesteryear has come into money by now and can well afford the asking prices. It might have been rebellion 50 odd years ago, it's now your chair at the fireside with some 25 year old cognac sniffing and "Love Me Do" playing in the background. You earned your place, enjoy it.



Sunday, September 28, 2014

Johnny Spence & Doctor's Order - Kickstart Your Mojo - #181

Johnny Spence & Doctor's Order - Kickstart Your Mojo

Well, the CD's been in my player for a few days now and I'm trying to let it settle. Head over to my website for a thorough appraisal of album #3 of the Johnny Spence & Doctor's Order collaboration. I'm a bit confused right now. These are 12 tracks, three of them witten by Johnny and 9 cover versions. Some of the latter are very well known, yet they point in a completely different direction from what one might be used to. Let's say, you need to get used to those songs from a completely different angle.

There's an overlaying reference to I don't know what, but I'm trying to figure this out by the time the review is on my website. And if this takes me all year long! Let me say what I know for sure so far: The playing time is, with around 33 minutes, quite short and before you turn around, the CD playtime is coming to an end and needs a restart. But my personal take on this is, better a good short album than a boring, "pulls your socks off" 70+ minutes offer. I believe, I mentioned this before.

Doctor's Order pull it off just beautifully, again rough, the right side of production and not filed down to death. And yet, the proficiency comes through and leaves no doubt about the class act they are. I might be out in the cold with this one, but of the three Johnny Spence & Doctor's Order albums, this here is the one where Johnny sounds the most like in his Pirates days. My personal favourite here? How about "Rockin' My Life Away"? Don't ask me, but I thought of Wild Bob Burgos in a flash.

Released on Goofin' Records GRCD 6183. You can order it directly from them, send a message to the band or order it at your local dealer. They can easily get it for you. Do yourself, the world and everyone in music a favour and do not buy from corporate mailorders. They'll sell you stinking socks if need be. Support the people that are your friends.



P.S. Here's the link to my review on my website:

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Shaman Spirits - ... We Are Infants - #180

Shaman Spirits - ... We Are Infants

I bought this CD just because Gordon Russell is on lead electric triangle here. Sorry about this, make this lead guitar (apologies to Monty Python though). I was actually beginning to wonder where he's at. Now, imagine for a second, Mr. Russell wouldn't make a solid appearance on this album and you'd not buying it ... can you spell m-i-s-t-a-k-e, BIG one at that. This is simply one of the most surprising CDs put out, let's say, in 2014 so far. Well, maybe even in the tenners.

Shaman Spirits is actually a side project of Kevin Morris and, I'll admit it freely, I'm not his greatest fan (and I'm being nice here), but this is another page in a different book, one that's actually closed for good. I really didn't think Mr. Morris would come up with anything but cover versions played ad infinitum. Think again, and when you realise that he's written seven of the nine songs on offer here, you can come up and gasp for air. Something I thought was unthinkable. He was forever and a day marked as the drummer behind a travelling covers only dance band.

And now this! A collection of songs that stand up on their own. Tracks that have a profile and lyrics that are a cut above the level of today's entertainment industry. Hardly believable that this is the Kevin Morris I knew. Just a message to the man, why didn't you do this before? Your credibility wouldn't have scraped the bottom of the barrel. But as the saying goes, better late than never! Congratulations on this achievement.

Another surprise here, is, that Mr. Morris is mentioned as, hope you're sitting down, besides working the drums and stuff, acoustic guitar, electric guitar and he's the singer on some of the tracks (and not a bad job either). The line-up is something of a rollcall. Besides the aforementioned Kevin Morris and Gordon Russell, you get Dil Davies (whoever he is) on a couple of tracks playing the drums, Mark Feltham (we know who he is) on harmonica, Graeme Turner on saxophone, Richard Watts on lead vocals on a few tracks and last, but not least Mr. Dave Bronze on bass guitar, electric guitar, keyboard and stuff.

The CD clocks in at around 43 minutes and exactly nine songs. The first impression I had, was of a very eclectic collection of songs, mainly in the Blues, Rock and what not genre. However, this would sell the album a bit short. If you're after your 08/15 Bluesrock type of stuff, this album is not for you. There are many shades of musical tidbits on the plate. In fact, there are rockers, bluesers and jazzers, but this is no hodgepodge. Kind of organic. The only two covers are "Run Conejo Run" (Dave Alvin) and "Before The Beginning" (Peter Green).

The CD has been released on Baby Grand Records BGRANDCD001 and this is a 100% recommendation to buy it from your local record dealer. He/she will order this for you, support the small brick and mortar shops in your neighbourhood.



Saturday, August 16, 2014

Wilko Johnson - Rhythm n' Ska (EP) - Part 2 - #179

Wilko Johnson - Rhythm n' Ska (EP) - Part 2

Definitely a bootleg. At least judging from the appearance of this slab of wax. No labels, a kind of photocopied oneandhalf foldout sleeve. Comes on brown vinyl and the folks having made up this item don't even know the difference between 33RPM and 45RPM (as both sides play with the latter speed)

Apart from those facts, this is still an EP I wouldn't want to miss out on. As for this being "limited" to 500 copies, you can light your cigar with that statement, this is surely not going to be a future collectible. However. buy it now, when it's still available or be pulled over in a few years time when you're asked to pay ridiculous asking prices on auction platforms.



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Makoto Ayukawa - Ayukawa Size - Part 2- #178

Makoto Ayukawa - Ayukawa Size - Part 2

Makoto Ayukawa (of Sheena & The Rokkets fame - or just the Rokkets) is an over the top Japanese Rock'n'Roller in the true sense of what Dr. Feelgood paved the way for. There are a number of LPs and CDs of the aforementioned in my collection and this is good, clean fun. Very enjoyable. Here we get 3 CDs and 1 DVD consisting of

"Rokket Size" (CD) sans Sheena, well almost, she's making a short appearance only
"London Session #1 and #2" (CDs) which you already have in your collection, no doubt
 "Ayukawa Size Only" (DVD) with four songs a rather short offer

No bonus tracks. BTW, both "London Session" albums have recently been rereleased, so you actually don't need to buy the whole box set, if you're only after those two CDs. Just in case I need to spell it out, those albums feature the Wilko Johnson Band throughout /LS #1/2 only)

There's Wilko Johnson on one track only on the DVD. This is on "Be-Bop-A-Lula", but don't expect any cineastic highlight, it's a nice to have item (well, in fact, for me, this is a must have). Same here, considering that this comes to around EUR 45.00 (plus postage), you want to do some deep thinking, before shelling out this kind of cash. I know, I did (spending the money, not doing any deep thinking). And again, I'm glad I did.



Wilko Johnson - Live At Koko (DVD + CD / Japanese Release) - Part 2 - #177

Wilko Johnson - Live At Koko (DVD + CD / Japanese Release) - Part 2

This is available as YMBA-10528 from any decent Japanese mailorder. The CD has the same content as our regular release here, but there's an additional booklet (text only) all in Japanese. At a guess, I'd say this is a translation from the English version, but who knows?

The gig comes as a 2-CD bonus with additional songs:

"If You Want Me"
"When I Was A Cowboy"
"Woolly Bully"

Don't ask me wether you need to shell your hard earned cash out for this, I obviously did and I'm glad, I do something right once in a while.



Wilko Johnson - Rhythm n' Ska (EP) - #176

Wilko Johnson - Rhythm n' Ska (EP)

I saw this EP on the www: Wilko Johnson "Rhythm n' Ska" containing the songs

"Roxette (Live)" (Dr. Feelgood / Old Grey Whistle Test)
"Twenty Yards Behind (Live 1979)" (Wilko Johnson & Solid Senders)
"Dr. Dupree (Live 1979)" (Wilko Johnson & Solid Senders)

It's probably a bootleg ... and now?, I hear you calling. Nothing now, I need it and if it's for the cover alone. Seems to be a 2014 release. Even though it's apparently(!) limited to 500 copies, quite a number of mail orders seem to have this one for sale.



Saturday, August 9, 2014

Jack White - Lazaretto (Ultra LP) - #175

Jack White - Lazaretto (Ultra LP)

I've always been a vinylhead and prefer this any day over a CD. I won't go over some voodoo regarding analog is better than digital when it comes to sound, this has been discussed to death and then some. To me the haptics of an old-fashioned album makes it my number one choice. Graphics worth talking about (and not the size of a stamp), the reason that you have to set up your turntable, while a CD-player can just be plugged in and you're ready to go, the fact, that you can't listen to an LP in one sitting (literally!), as you'll have to get up and turn the slab of wax onto the other side.

What's more, you're being kept in motion, as there's no such thing as a 80 minute side on an LP (there's 80 minutes plus CDs, but techically, these are not CDs since they don't conform to the technical specifications laid out by Philips and Sony). And I'm not even talking about the fact, that your used CDs are worth less than one EURO on the secondhand market. You'll have to go a long way to find one that's worth anything to a collector.

It's also a fact, that I never could stand Jack White and his music. Don't ask me, the guy is just not my cup of tea. However, when I heard about this here a while back

- 180 gram vinyl
- 2 vinyl-only hidden tracks hidden beneath the center labels
- 1 hidden track plays at 78 RPM, one plays at 45 RPM, making this a 3-speed record
- Side A plays from the inside out
- Dual-groove technology: plays an electric or acoustic intro for “Just One Drink” depending on where needle is dropped. The grooves meet for the body of the song.
- Matte finish on Side B, giving the appearance of an un-played 78 RPM record
- Both sides end with locked grooves
- Vinyl pressed in seldom-used flat-edged format
- Dead wax area on Side A contains a hand-etched hologram by Tristan Duke of Infinity Light Science, the first of its kind on a vinyl record
- Absolutely zero compression used during recording, mixing and mastering
- Different running order from the CD/digital version
- LP utilizes some mixes different from those used on CD and digital version

there was no question I was going to buy the thing, the minute it turns up in one of my local record shops. So, this is my dedication to vinyl, I'm even buying the stuff when I can't stand the artist. And make no mistake, critics who know more about Jack White's music than yours truly, have slashed the musical content and started to wonder wether Mr. White had forgotten to write any decent songs over the gimmickry poured into this release. I don't think this is the point, this release has been thrown onto the market for one reason, and one reason only, to make this a collector's item. And what can I say, the marketing has succeeded, at least with me.



Friday, August 8, 2014

V/A - Anthologie du Rock Français 1960-1960 - #174

V/A - Anthologie du Rock Français 1960-1960

France is not quite a reference when it comes to Rock'n'Roll, so one might think. And you'd be dead wrong. The reason why it didn't make a millimeter outside of its homeland was probably due to the fact that all vocals were in the local idiom. At least, I've not come across a single record from a French Rock'n'Roller that is sung in anything but. So, if you're into the seriously exotic, this 3-CD set is for you and for you only.

It covers the ground when our neighbours plunged into the deep end without looking back. Apart from England, I believe this was the biggest scene in Europe to cover this genre. The other main market, Germany, didn't have much in the way of Rock'n'Roll artists, joining the game rather late when Beat reared its head. Rock'n'Roll in its infancy in France sounds funny and strange at the same time, but it's highly entertaining and the musicianship is up there where it counts. You just have to get used to the language, especially if you think it shouldn't be allowed to sing in anything else but English on a Rock'n'Roll disc.

The big ones are all here, Johnny Hallyday, Les Chausettes Noires, Les Chats Savages, Les Pirates, Danny Boy et ses Pénitents and a bunch of others. I believe there are even a few foreigners who made some kind of career over there, taking a liking to the French language. And I assume not just the language. Sound is very good throughout the 3 dics and there's a 20-page booklet included, part of it in English. However be warned, the thing makes you greedy and you want to hunt for full albums of these artists, so while the CD-set is quite affordable, you better worry about the fallout.

This has been released in 2013 on the Frémeaux & Associés label (FA 5418): and off you go with your mademoiselle to a Rock'n'Roll hop the French way.



Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Wilko Johnson - Live In London - #173

Wilko Johnson - Live In London

Thanks to Julian for this one as well. An apparently "Limited Edition" from Japan again. This time it's our man at the Koko Gig in 2013 plus some live footage from 2009 and 2010 plus his Japan trip in 2013 (and then some). The set is made up of two CDs and one DVD. Not much more I can tell you, as this one's making its way to my place at the moment.



Makoto Ayukawa - Ayukawa Size - #172

Makoto Ayukawa - Ayukawa Size

Just got an e-mail the other day (thanks, Julian), pointing this Japanese release out to me. Makoto Ayukawa of "The London Sessions #1 and #2" fame. This set consists of three CDs and a DVD. The CDs seem to be the aforementioned "London Sessions" plus "Rokket Size". No idea what's on the DVD. My copy is still on the way to my letterbox. Not sure how serious the "Limited Release" claim is. But you've been warned.



Sunday, August 3, 2014

Hunter Davies - The Beatles / The Only Ever Authorised Biography (40th Anniversary Edition) - #171

Hunter Davies - The Beatles / The Only Ever Authorised Biography (40th Anniversary Edition)

I've never been a Beatles fan. And there was never a life or death decision between the Liverpool foursome and the Rolling Stones. I was neither's man (or kid, at that time). Back then I listened to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones as they were played on the radio. "Lady Madonna" anyone? And to this day, I can still listen to both bands, if I don't overdo it. Although, I do have to admit, I know more of the Rolling Stones Story than of their competitors. The Beatles were in every magazine that you could think of (and they still are) and that's all I needed to know, and then some.

The Beatles were the first to do this and don't forget that and before it eludes my mind they also came to the forefront with the other thing and ... bla bla bla. In fact, to this day I'm quite fed up with what the Beatles did first, even when it's not true (and in my book, this is most of the time). But this is a problem they share with most "supergroups". Just thinking of ABBA and what they were supposed to have done before anyone else was thinking of it. Urban myths, the lot.

For the 40th anniversary Edition, Hunter Davies has reissued the book as it were back in 1968, just adding a few thoughts during the lengthy introduction (which comes to around 75 pages). He does mention that he didn't even change the wording for the new release, where he was wrong the first time around. And it does show, but I applaud him for this decision. This way you get a glimpse of what the take on the Beatles was when they stood at the top of the game.

One thing I never believed, is, that John Lennon was supposed to be the intellectual in the band. My arse! He comes across as a died in the wool idiot, not the least bit funny (although he thinks he is), selfish and of limited capability to even grasp the fundamentals of life itself. In a way, this book cemented my opinion about Mr. Lennon, which I had nursed the last couple of decades. The book itself is easy to read with a good layout of the timeline. Even if you're not into the Beatles, it might be worthwile to pick this up.



Thursday, June 26, 2014

Deep Purple - Made In Japan (Vinyl Box Set) - #170

Deep Purple - Made In Japan (Vinyl Box Set)

I treated myself to this 9-LP monster, because a) I do like box sets, b) to get all the Japanese live shows from 1972 in one go is just to tempting and c) at least the early Deep Purple outfits (up to around "Burn") are right up my alley. I don't go into the importance of these recordings. This is like carrying water into the river Rhine.

In fact, this is me whining about the set. The CD box comes with a DVD and I can't understand for the life of me, why those cheapskates couldn't include this here as well. Don't give me the word about costs, what with a box set that costs around EUR 130.00 in your average local record dealer's shop. I admit, I probably wouldn't have sat down watching interviews, but this is the public being led around the block with a ring through their nose.



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Imelda May - Tribal - #169

Imelda May - Tribal

A new CD by the Irish Rockabilly singer is always welcome. Especially since it's been a while since the last album was thrown ioto the market. Actually, I wanted to wait for the vinyl release that's coming out at the beginning of August, but the CD was in the racks of a local record store and I still can, and probably will, buy the two versions. Just one word, Imelda, if you're thinking again about re-issuing the same album in a fortnight with a few additional songs tucked to the original album, forget it! You did this before and this is nothing but scalping your fans.

I've read a few reviews re this CD and what can I say, around 70% are negative, starting with the songs not being up to scratch and moving over to the loudness war and the awful mix for the MP3 generation and extremely bad sound on this offering. Sometimes even guessing that this is a radio friendly mix. Bollocks! The album sounds excellent on my stereo and the songs are what I'd expect from Imelda May. No idea where some folks got their opinion about a wall of noise from (they must listen on equipment I wouldn't touch with a pole). The tracks are well crafted and leave nothing to be desired.

Having said that, I'm still very interested to hear the vinyl version in August, actually expecting the same mix, but who knows. There're a few ballads on offer, which she delivers extremely well. As always, I have to add. But there's also the Rockabilly bit, of which there's no shortage. If you're in to listen to a contemporary Rockabilly artist, check the M section at your local dealer. Imelda May doesn't pretend her songs date from the 50's, this is modern stuff, although I do not condemn artists doing it the retro way. It's just so you know.



Saturday, June 7, 2014

Wilko Johnson / Roger Daltrey - Going Back Home (7") - #168

Wilko Johnson / Roger Daltrey - Going Back Home (7")

It's the year 2014 and, no, this is not about a village in the Normandy fighting the Romans, we get a Wilko 7". New! Vinyl! Who would have thought? I can't remember when the last regular 7" was issued, but at a guess, it must have been "Red Hot Rockin' Blues" in Japan. That was, well, ages ago. O.K., there was, more recently, the "Help Me Jesus" 7" by the Urban Voodoo Machine featuring Wilko Johnson. Anyway, when this here arrived a few days earlier, I was in paradise.

You might argue that this is exactly the same as can be found on the recent album, but this is not something I'd be paying any attention to. This comes, btw, with a jukebox strip, which had me wondering, does anyone still know what jukeboxes were? You know, those big monsters playing those very same 7"s? Nice touch, but my copy will not end up in my Wurlitzer, which, I suppose, has about a ton of pressure on the needle. I'm not sacrificing a Wilko Johnson release.



Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Reptiles - European Rockabilly - #167

The Reptiles - European Rockabilly

The Reptiles. A Swiss Rockabilly band who seems to have been going for an eternity. Yet this is their 3rd album only. I've seen these cats in concert years ago and I was blown away. Although, at a later stage, I played one of their earlier CDs to a friend and he remarked after a couple of songs "not bad, but the guitar player irritates me a bit, he's playing the same part, no matter what the song". O.K., that's what you get, talking shop with someone who does play a couple of instruments himself.

This band, however, is one of the few Rockabilly outfits to play their own songs. On this CD there are exactly zero cover versions, all 14 tracks having been written by their drummer (and vocals). As it goes along with the title of this release, this is a journey around Europe and the tracks are very much up to Reptiles standard. That's to say, very enjoyable Rockabilly and not a boring second in sight. The guitar player (the one who looks a bit like a young Johnny Cash) might still play the same track throughout the tracks on offer here, but, without being told, I bet most folks wouldn't realise this.

One thing you can be looking for here, for forever and a day, is, dirt. You won't find it. This is a very slick piece of Rockabilly (All of their releases are like this) and although I do prefer the rougher version, this here pulls the right strings. In my book, this is simply the best Rockabilly outfit to come out of this neck of the woods. TCY Records TCY-06.



Monday, April 14, 2014

Wilko Johnson - The Best Of (CD), Reissue - #166

Wilko Johnson - The Best Of (CD), Reissue

Just seen it on the internet, Cadiz is releasing "The Best Of  Wilko Johnson,Volume One And Two" again. This time as a double CD in one digipack. Different cover "art" and ...

... I'm speechless. Completely, totally and utterly speechless. Right now, I'm convinced that I will not buy this cash-in release. My opinion might change in twenty years time and then I have to seek a copy on the collector's market, but right now, I think this is an unparalleled insolence ...

Better off, if I shut my mouth.



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Stupidity - #165


With all the recent hype regarding the new Wilko Johnson release, I couldn't help but notice some "hardcore fans" posting messages about how much they like what Wilco is doing and how the CD/LP of their favourite artist has been spinning constantly, how they were with Wilco all through the years and how Wilco's new album was the best since the invention of sliced bread.

Well, to all of you diehard Wilco fans, the name of the man is Wilko. Just thought I'd point this out, so that you won't take a shoe full, next time you pretend to be on the inside. There was a review on the "Back In The Night" and "Red Hot Rocking Blues" vinyl releases in the April 2014 issue of Record Collector. While I don't agree whith the writer's opinion about both albums, there's a remarkable sentence at the end:

"But a new and final album (albeit covering his classics, yet again!) is likely to pick up the fair-weather fans' buck." Never a truer word has been spoken. If this all sounds a bit too cynical, that's the way it is intended to be.



Sunday, March 9, 2014

Wilko Johnson/Roger Daltrey - Going Back Home - #164

Wilko Johnson/Roger Daltrey - Going Back Home

What do you expect from a chef who mixes strawberry icecream with minced meat? Well, after you've survived the first shock and given it some time to settle in your stomach, you're thinking, this eatery must have three stars, no questions asked. Although, I have most of the Who's output in my collection, it did take me by surprise first. Hearing some stranger's vocals on songs that are entirely Wilko's. But fear not, two or three spins of the entire album and you're hooked.

Roger Daltrey is doing a very good job and, I seem to keep on repeating myself, since I used this very same term in another connection as well, is not apeing Wilko's vocal style. Well, that would have been something to listen to. But then, Mr. Daltrey is also a million light years away from his usual bread and butter job. He does sound quite at ease with Wilko's songs and even tracks like "Sneaking Suspicion" are well worth listening to again.

The extensive use of keyboards is something else, not entirely standard on Mr. Johnson's output. But again, this is great and lets you hear those well known ditties with a twist. "Everybody's Carrying A Gun" has lost some of its dark under tones and is more of a happy go lucky song now. One of the highlights is certainly "Turned 21", a song that's been among my top 10 Wilko Johnson tracks, since it was released way back when. This is a great great version. I can't say for sure, but it sounds like it's being played at around half the speed of the original. And what it does to the song, thumbs up!

There's no use going through this album track by track, just let me add, that the first song, "Going Back Home" makes your entry into this world of Wilko Johnson/Roger Daltrey collaboration very easy. Lots of harmonica, which could be well by Mr. Daltrey himself, I don't know, as I don't have any information re recording etc. As a diehard Wilko fan, you might need some time to settle in. Give the album the chance it deserves and you'll be rewarded in spades.



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Wilko Johnson/Roger Daltrey - Going Back Home - #163

Wilko Johnson/Roger Daltrey - Going Back Home

For all the vinyl aficionados out there, this item will not only be released as a CD, but will make an appearance on glorious vinyl as well. At least that's what it says on the website of a local dealer. Good good, that's the kind of news to save a day.

Besides the UK/EU release of this item, there's going to be a Japanese SHM edition of the CD. It's the same 11 tracks as on the standard release (no bonus), at least it didn't say so on the website where I found this. No mention of a Japanese vinyl though.



Monday, February 17, 2014

The Urban Voodoo Machine Featuring Wilko Johnson - #162

The Urban Voodoo Machine Featuring Wilko Johnson

One of those two songs, "Heroin", is available on the free CD that comes with the March 2014 issue of Classic Rock (U.K.). It's the Bad Company cover on the magazine and the CD itself is entitled "Sharp Shooters". That's now the second time in only a couple of months, that Wilko Johnson is on one of these giveaway releases.



Wilko Johnson - Back In The Night/The Best Of Wilko Johnson (LP) - #161

Wilko Johnson - Back In The Night/The Best Of Wilko Johnson (LP)

Meanwhile, the LP has made its way to my place. This is exactly how a vinyl release should be made. Excellent haptics, gorgeous graphics, 180 gr platters, "2500-word biography" (no, I didn't count it, it says so on the back of the sleeve) and on side four an additional five songs "Live in Tunbridge Wells, November 2005". Fantastic really.

Now, "Red Hot Rocking Blues" is somewhere in the mail pipeline and should get here any day now as well. From what I've read, this one has also a number of bonus tracks on offer.



Sunday, February 2, 2014

Dr. Feelgood - Japanese Reissues 2014 (CDs) - #160

Dr. Feelgood - Japanese Reissues 2014 (CDs)

The whole lot from Down By The Jetty" to "A Case Of The Shakes" seems to have been reissued in Japan in January 2014 and those CDs can be ordered online (with a 3 to 5 days delivery time delay). Strange enough, the exact same batch is also offered as a cardboard sleeve edition (different catalogue numbers, but also single albums) with a street date in March 2014. What do I make of this? No idea, really! The latter seemingly "limited". O.K., there's a laugh! Last time I believed such a hype ... I probably need to turn back the clock a few decades.

Not sure I'll be forking out my cash for this, right now, sorry if I offend anyone, I couldn't care less. They could as well ask me to transfer my cash into their accounts, thus helping the starving record industry. I need to wait and see where this goes to. If there's any good reason thrown my way, I might change my opinion about this. Until then, this is a no-go for me.



Sunday, January 26, 2014

Wilko Johnson - Back In The Night (LP) - #159

Wilko Johnson - Back In The Night (LP)

Another Wilko Johnson album makes a first time appearance on vinyl. "Back In The Night" has a release date of around January 31, 2014. Interesting to see what's being thrown onto the market now. I'm not complaining, my orders have been placed for all the upcoming items.

Not on pre-order yet, the collaboration album with Roger Daltrey, which, I believe, will take another two months (or thereabouts) to make it into the shops. And there's hoping that Wilko will finish the project for an album with all new material.



Sunday, January 19, 2014

Wilko Johnson - Red Hot Rocking Blues (LP) - #158

Wilko Johnson - Red Hot Rocking Blues (LP)

I just got an e-mail the other day, pointing out, that "Red Hot Rocking Blues" will be released as a 180gr vinyl item (who would have thought?). Depending on the country, there seem to be different street dates, January 20, 2014 for the U.K., Germany around mid February 2014 and even more for other distribution areas. Ask your favourite brick and mortar shop record dealer to order this for you and support these stores. The major mailorder biggies care exactly zero about you and your needs.



The Urban Voodoo Machine feat. Wilko Johnson (Part 2) - #157

The Urban Voodoo Machine feat. Wilko Johnson (Part 2)

Meanwhile, the 7" (on red vinyl) and the CD single have found their way to this place here. Interesting stuff, to say the least. Aficionados of Wilko Johnson should head straight for the B-side. Here, the master of the telecaster is in full flow and, I have to admit it, put a grin on my face when I heard this ditty the first time around. In fact, I'm still smiling when I listen to the song. Wilko at what he does best.

The A-side? Of course, superb performance of our hero, but I've got a bit of a problem with the song itself. Sounds a bit like a broken down Tom Waits leftover. And, frankly, I've had enough of Tom Waits to last a lifetime. Excellent songwriter and performer, no doubt, but he's been overdoing it by a country mile for the last 15 years. The guy used to be an innovator, he's just a nuisance these days. And copying him, what does that make you? But still there's Wilko on it and these days I take every bit I can get of the man.

In a review I read, that it takes some guts to ask Wilko to play guitar on a song called "Help Me Jesus", Well, he did it, doesn't mean he has to back the lyrics. Both songs are worth having, the first one only because you can't go without anything that has Wilko's name on it, but it's really the second track where your heart is. Buy it, no matter what I, or someone else says.



Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Urban Voodoo Machine feat. Wilko Johnson - #156

The Urban Voodoo Machine feat. Wilko Johnson

Until a few minutes ago, I had no idea about this. Wilko Johnson featuring on two tracks ("Help Me Jesus (Single Edit)" and "Heroin (Put My Brothers In The Ground)"). What I've heard so far (online only), this calls for an immediate acquisition. Available either as a CD (single) or a 7", Please see details at the homepage of The Urban Voodoo Machine.



Saturday, January 11, 2014

Jimmy Page Promises 2013 Box Sets For Every Led Zeppelin Album - #155

Jimmy Page Promises 2013 Box Sets For Every Led Zeppelin Album

Well, 2013 is a thing of the past and those boxsets haven't turned up anywhere. I was a bit tired of waiting for these and towards the end of last year, I bought every album as a "Quiex" or a Japanese release vinyl, just because I wanted to have the lot on good sounding analog and replacing some of my earlier LPs. I don't think I'll go for those remastered boxsets now. What I have now (on CD and Vinyl) is good enough. Just shows, that if you go public with announcements, you should deliver.or the buyer will lose all interest.