Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Hurry Up Harriott

I recently acquired an excellent Derrick Harriott reissue on Doctor Bird (Cherry Red's reggae reissues brand). It comprises two albums from 1975 - "Greatest Reggae Hits" and "Reggae Disco Rockers" - and lots of versions and other bonus tracks. 

Here are a couple of tracks from "Greatest Reggae Hits". The first is an original and the second a Billy Paul cover. The album, and a compilation as a whole, is an entertaining mix of originals, versions, cover versions and versions of cover versions. 

On "Reggae Disco Rockers" Derrick gives us his take on the two songs in the videos, proving yet again that there isn't any song from the 1970s that doesn't have a Mandatory Reggae Version.

"Face Dog" - Derrick Harriott

"Brown Baby" - Derrick Harriott

Monday, 2 August 2021

Newness Abounds

One of the perks of doing this blog is that many nice people send me free music in the misguided belief that I have some influence with the music-buying public. I won't tell them if you don't. 

Over the last couple of months I have received a particularly good crop of new albums. We are going to feature six of them today - four audio, two video - and hope you will check them all out and maybe buy a few. 

I have neither the time nor the words to write an adequate review of each of them so, without further ado, let's get cracking. That zeitgeist isn't going to surf itself is it?

"Area 52 Truck Stop" - Sylvia Bullett (from "Area 52 Truck Stop")

"My Love Never Sleeps" - Ric Robertson (from "Carolina Child") 

"Boozing And Losing" - Turner Cody (from "Friends In High Places")

"Cue The Tears" - Dot Allison (from "Heart Shaped Scar")

The videos are "Maré" by Rodrigo Amarante (from "Drama") and "Hurt A Fly" by Squirrel Flower (from "Planets (i)". Enjoy.

Friday, 30 July 2021

The Malaysian Mermaid

What could be more suitable to round off the week, and the month, than some vintage Malaysian pop. Step forward please, Ms Uji Rashid.

Born in Brunei but moving to KL when still a child, Uji was a major pop and film star in Malaysia in the 1970s and 1980s. Or as the very wonky translation of her Malay Wikipedia entry puts it, "this fierce -eyed art man is endowed with a natural spoiled voice as well as synonymous with the title of 'spoiled voiced singer' by homeland art fans; especially the 70s and 80s generations".

As if being a star of stage and screen wasn't enough, she apparently has both a batik fabric pattern and a type of fish named after her. I could not find a photo of the batik pattern but this is the fish. I am not totally convinced that it is a compliment.

The real Uji is still with us and here she is doing what she does best. Both tracks come from a compilation album called "Kenangan Manis", which I am reasonably confident means "Sweet Memories" and which I probably picked up on a work trip to KL a few years back. 

"Kemesraan" - Uji Rashid

"Berilah Kasih Sayang" - Uji Rashid

From a fish named after a singer to a singer named Fish. We don't just fling this together you know.

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Mel & Him

Some super soul sounds from '72 for you today, courtesy of Mel & Tim. "Starting All Over Again" made the US Top 20 that year. Both tracks can be found on the album of the same name.

Before any of you ask, they are not a misspelt Mel & Kim, as I think their respective videos will prove.

"Starting All Over Again" - Mel & Tim

"Too Much Wheelin' And Dealin'" - Mel & Tim

Monday, 26 July 2021

Hiss Hitss

Over the weekend I was listening to "Quietly Blowing It", the new album by Hiss Golden Messenger. It's excellent. If you haven't bought it already you should go and do so now.

Hiss Messengerness is possibly my favourite artist to emerge over the last ten years or so - he's certainly up there. I first became aware of him through 2011's "Poor Moon" and first got to see him the following year in a pub basement supporting Michael Chapman. Since then I've been lucky enough to see him a few more times both solo and with a band, and I've picked up every album as well.

Here are a few golden oldies for you, in chronological order. The first is from "Country Hai East Cotton" (2009), the others from "Poor Moon" and "Haw" (2013).

"O Nathaniel" - Hiss Golden Messenger

"Blue Country Mystic" - Hiss Golden Messenger

"The Serpent Is Kind (Compared To Man)" - Hiss Golden Messenger

The second time I saw Hiss Golden Messenger it was just M.C. Taylor again, this time on a double bill with William Tyler. When he announced that for an encore he would be doing a song by Gary Stewart (one of my all-time heroes as long-serving readers might recall) and that Mr Tyler would be helping out I felt I had a take a sneaky video. With apologies for the quality, here it is. 

And here he is the first time I saw him. I had forgotten that I had taken this video until I went to find the other one. The picture quality is a bit better is this one but the sound quality is worse, so apologies again.

Friday, 23 July 2021

Donny Reggae

Today's post goes out especially to our old friend George. He's a big Osmonds fan and doesn't mind who knows it. I considered featuring a couple of their singles but then realised he has probably got them all already, so here are a couple of Mandatory Reggae Versions instead.

"One Bad Apple" - Barry Biggs

"Love Me For A Reason" - The Fabulous Five 

Thursday, 22 July 2021

Proper Music

Even surfers of the zeitgeist and epicures of the exotic need to switch off sometimes. As much as I enjoy the rich stew of Patagonian funk and Uzbek prog that we serve up every week, sometimes I need to cleanse my palate with some good old-fashioned tunes I can tap my toes to.   

Ladies and gentleman, please give a big jazz hand to Ms Liza Minnelli. Both tracks come from her 1973 LP "The Singer" on which she interprets in her own unique way the works of Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Donny Hathaway and... er... Hurricane Smith.

"Dancing In The Moonlight" - Liza Minnelli

"Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me" - Liza Minnelli