Thursday, 25 June 2015
Next week two killer singles from State Records are released, The Baron Four “Walking Out” and The Beatpack “Where The Water Runs Deep”. Both are R&B sixties garage flavour and sound, as label owner Mole would describe them “f**king hard!”
For both bands, this is there second single release on State and both are worthy additions to the growing catalogue of single releases. Glowing reviews in the press means that once again these limited run (500) gems will be snapped up fairly swiftly, so head over to the State Records website to avoid disappointment.
The Galileo 7 are heading to France this weekend for two shows, one in Reims and the other in Lille. We’ll also be showcasing some brand new songs that Allan has penned, will they be a single, an EP, the start of a new LP or the embryonic machinations of an exciting West End musical? Watch this space.
I’ll be tweeting the weekends progress, so come and find me at @paulmossuk
Thursday, 18 June 2015
We all dream of finding that “holy grail” record in a charity shop, whether it’s the Gold Label Parlophone stereo “Please Please Me” debut by The Beatles, the withdrawn “Freewheelin” by Bob Dylan or The Sex Pistols “God Save The Queen” pressed on A&M records, the truth is it’s unlikely to even see one, let alone afford one. So when you see the “Vinyl Chalice” gleaming at you on eBay, don’t forget the PT Barnum mantra “There’s a sucker, born every minute.”
First of all let me be clear about what a fake/counterfeit record is. It’s not a “bootleg” record; these are generally unreleased, alternate or live material, one of the early examples being Dylan’s “Great White Wonder” which was Dylan’s versions of his songs released by other artists. These generally came with a rubber stamped sleeve, hence the homage artwork for the Who’s “Live At Leeds”. I also have a private pressing of Graham Gouldman’s first solo album, this was sold as a private pressing and in no way even tries to look like the rare original, the intention of this release was to provide a vinyl release of this rare LP, whereas a counterfeiter is trying to swindle you out of your hard earned cash.
Fake records are nothing new, Introducing The Beatles LP on Vee Jay, originally pressed in the US in 1964 has been counterfeited so much that there are now more fakes than originals. With the growing popularity of vinyl records over the past five years, fakes are turning up more and more.
Daily Express – Sept 2013
A warning was issued to buyers in a report yesterday after thousands of disc copies featuring performers including Led Zeppelin, the Clash and David Bowie were seized in raids.
Around 1,500 counterfeit vinyl records that, if genuine would be worth up to £20,000, were seized by investigators at a house in Borehamwood, Herts.
Crooks mainly target collectors in search of singles and LPs typically more than 20 years old. However, some current artists are now also issuing limited edition vinyl records.
In another raid, more than 4,000 allegedly original discs by Eminem, Michael Jackson, and Madonna were seized in Birmingham.
They had been advertised as “rare” at prices up to £99.
The good old “rare” standard on eBay, it’s a word worn smooth by a million keyboards. The good news is there are online resources to check what you are handing your money over for is kosher. For instance, if you are looking at getting an original Brunswick copy of The Who’s My Generation, there are some details and comparisons on the wonderful White Fang site here http://www.thewho.info/MyGeneration3.htm
However, just because someone puts up pictures of the genuine article that doesn’t guarantee that’s what you will receive in the post. Check who you are buying from and what feedback they have received. If you are buying in a shop take a close look at the cover, is it good quality printing or a photocopy. Check the record itself, bearing in mind the time it was supposedly manufactured is it consistent with the time period, is the disc label good quality of a cheap knock off.
This is becoming a larger problem of (which I’ve barelyscratched the surface of) that’s doesn’t just catch out fresh faced collectors, a few months ago I heard about a dealer who thought they had got their hands on a sealed album manufactured in 1975, paid $80 for it and had failed to notice it had a bar code on it.
Here are some useful resources web resources for finding out more information about your vinyl desires.
Discogs - http://www.discogs.com
Steve Hoffman Forums http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/forums/ebay-watch/
Keep ‘em peeled folks.
Saturday, 13 June 2015
Pete Townshend’s Wife’s Classicical Quadrophenia
Several weeks ago, a person who will remain nameless pointed out that they have never remade The Godfather. O how quickly he recoiled from the look on my face, I’d never even allowed myself such a monstrous thought. Having sat through countless “re-boots”, from The Omen, The Fog, Robocop, etc. I’ve always walked away thoroughly disappointed.
So it is with great trepidation that I’m about to place the remake of my favourite album on the turntable. The Who have been through this before, the Classical version of Tommy has it’s kitsch value for sure, but I was always left feeling like the classic & rock camps were forced together like Japanese exchange students participating in Morris Dancing, it’s interesting and superficially fun but neither really understands why this is happening. Pete Townshend has fleetingly used classical backing in the past, “Rough Mix’s” song “Street In The City” was one of my highlights of that album. Similar arrangements on Pete’s “Another Scoop” are also a surprising success, not least in part to the brilliant arrangements by the great Edwin Astley. So it’s time to put my prejudice aside and listen.
As much as I’m trying to avoid comparison, the lack of that wonderfully captured sea at the beginning and some weakly delivered themes during “I am the Sea” doesn’t kick this off well, we then bumble into “The Real Me” and the two main issues with this album become apparent. Alfie Bow has a magnificent million dollar voice, he is however completelyunbelievable as a frustrated teenager. The London Philharmonic has been beautifully recorded at Air Studios in Hampstead, but in my view the arrangements lack the breadth of the originals.
The track Quadrophenia highlights the pure beauty of Townshend’s original themes and is the first time I start to warm to this album, it soon disappears however as “Cut My Hair” is reduced to a strange “Gilbert & Sullivan” outtake, again Alfie singing about Zoot Suits and the length of side vents as being comical rather than vital. Pete’s vocal arrival during “The Punk & The Godfather” makes me want to stand and applaud, whilst his pure vocal ability is more than a few bucks short of Bow’s, it’s the first “real” moment of the show.
Phil Daniels contributions on side two are fairy rudimentary and underwhelming along with Billy Idol, although both are a welcome relief from Pavarotti sings Parklife. Alfie finally finds his moment in the opening lines of “Is it in my Head” which truly sound tragic and lamentable; Bow is an incredible singer, simply miscast for the role of Jimmy.
By side three, we are into full Classical Kitsch on 5:15, the London Oriana Choir singing “apple scrumping” being a personal highlight. “Sea & Sand” is Bow’s finest vocal contribution so far, giving a genuinely venerable and believable performance, backed by the finest orchestration arrangement on this album. A glance at the credits shows that this track (and two others) where orchestrated by Martin Batchelar, the rest were done by Pete Townshend’s wife, Rachel Fuller.
Side 4’s “The Rock” is the first song on this album that begins to get close to matching the incredible breadth of arrangement of the original; Townshend’s themes finally come alive, leading into the final and best performance on this entire double album “love reign o’er me”. Alfie’s voice sits much better in this revelatory self-discovery role and the arrangement is fairly sympathetic to the original.
The Highs :- Pete’s themes, especially during The Rock and Alfie Bow singing Love Reign O’er Me
The Lows :- The bland arrangements, the hard work was done four decades ago by a four piece band and some synthesisers, all you had to do was orchestrate and embellish what was there.
In Summary :- it’s better than the classical Tommy, just pray that Francis Ford Coppola’s wife doesn’t redraft The Godfather……
Friday, 12 June 2015
After some glorious time away in NYC it’s time to get back to the blogstone.
Just before I left, Paul Weller’s 12th (gulp) solo album SaturnsPatten was released. Since the release of the monumental “As Is Now” ten years ago (gulp gulp) The Modfather’s albums have been patchy affairs at best. The follow up “22 Dreams” is not only my least favourite Weller album to date; it’s the most disappointing album I’ve ever bought. The subsequent “Wake Up The Nation” & “Sonik Kicks” were an improvement but rarely reached the heights of Paul’s best work.
Whilst I was aware that Paul had signed to Parlophone (now part of the Warner Music Group) it wasn’t until I pulled the record out of the sleeve and saw the classic yellow and black label that I realised what a big deal that must have been, even an old hand like Weller must have got a semi at the prospect of seeing his name on THE label?
Most reviews of this album go along the lines of - opening track “White Sky” Black Keys/Jack White stonking opener – followed by experimental tracks that are not too long or too experimental. While this is sort of true, unlike the three albums previous the experimental aspect colour the songs as appose to inform them. The result is the strongest set of songs in ten years, arranged concisely and beautifully produced and co-written by long time Weller accomplice Jan 'Stan' Kybert. Along with Steve Craddock, The Moons’ Andy Lewis & Ben Gordelier and The Strypes’ guitarist Josh McClorey is original Jam member Steve Brookes on slide guitar. Steve was in the original lineup with Weller on bass and Rick Buckler on drums.
If the album lacks anything it’s a catchy “single release” song that will pull in the casual & disenchanted Weller fans and be a corner stone of the live set for the next (?) years.