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Monday 25 March 2013

Keep The Customers Satisfied

Tomorrow I'm off to Cape Town for a couple of weeks for the annual gathering of the Gogginses. While there I hope to track down some new Tsonga Disco to share with you all, but I can't make any promises. If you are in the Limpopo Province, or even Joburg, you can mine a pretty rich seam of Tsonga. In the Cape it is more a case of fracking the record shops and hoping something comes to light.

While I'm away I thought I would conduct a bit of market research. All good businesses try to have an understanding of what their customers are after, so here is your chance. When I get back I will mull over what you have had to say, ponder your constructive comments, take your insults on the chin, and then carry on playing the usual old rubbish.

We start with a couple of questions to help establish the general demographics of our readership. If you would rather remain anonymous, these are optional:

"What's Your Name?" - Don & Juan

"Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl?" - The Barbarians

Next we have a question to check you are genuinely one of our listeners, and not just a prankster trying to skew the results. A simple "yes" or "no" will suffice:

"Are You Receiving Me?" - XTC

Or, alternatively, in the admittedly unlikely event your answer to Question 1 was "Lucky":

"Are You Listenin', Lucky?" - Joe Ely & Bill Hearne

Now we get to the main part of the survey. Please use the box down at the bottom to answer any or all of these questions as you see fit.

"What Do You Want?" - Adam Faith

"What Would You Do?" - The Besties

"What's Wrong With Me?" - Cindy Lee Berryhill

"What's Left To Do?" - Joe Simon

Sunday 24 March 2013

Some Good Ol' Boys

Apologies to those of you waiting for this month's ReviewShine round-up, but I'm not going to have time to do one properly before I go off on my hols. Instead here is a quick plug for two excellent hard-core country albums that I have been sent recently, the first via ReviewShine.

"Wild Ways" is the name of the new album by Uncle Leon & the Alibis. Leon strikes me as the sort of uncle who turns up drunk at family reunions with some inappropriately dressed woman he has just picked up in a bar in tow. Having said that, on some tracks there are signs that underneath his brash exterior there is a sensitive fellow trying to get out. Not this track, though.

"All My Crazy Friends Got Old And Lame" - Uncle Leon & the Alibis

"All My Crazy Friends..." sounds like the title of a Waylon Jennings' song. As do many of the titles on a new record called "The Other Life", a contender for album of the year so far in my opinion. The resemblance isn't too surprising as the album is by Waylon's lad Shooter. Not that Shooter is aping his Dad - he definitely has his own distinct voice and style - but the apple clearly didn't fall far from the tree. The album is strong from start to finish, and it culminates in this epic.

"The Gunslinger" - Shooter Jennings

Here are a couple from his old man.

Friday 22 March 2013

German Giants

To mark the World Cup qualifying matches played tonight, we bring you a couple of tracks from "Glanzparade - Die Fußball- Klassiker", a 2002 compilation of German football related songs that I picked up for €1 at Gare-Midi in Brussels a couple of months back. No, really, I did.

I originally bought it for the vintage Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd "Der Bomber" Muller singles, which are fine in their own way. But the stand-out tracks are these two tributes to a couple of German legends. Has there every been a more desperate rhyme than "West Germany" and "sexy knees"?

"Rummenigge" - Alan & Denise

 "Böörti, Böörti Vogts" - Stefan Raab

Charity Chic and our other Scottish readers can cheer themselves up after their latest disappointment by singing along with Stefan Raab, and reminiscing about Berti's glorious reign as Scotland manager. And maybe go even further back and recall the last time the World Cup was held in South America.

That was Andy Cameron on 'Top of the Pops' in 1978. And you'll never guess which old favourite of ours appeared on the very same episode.

Thursday 21 March 2013

A Number of Rumbas


We will start with the professional and then proceed in descending order of competence.

"Rumba Tru, La, La" - Rumba Tres

"Rumba Congo" - Alain & Bouro Mpela

"Soca Rhumba" - Arrow

"There's No Room To Rhumba (In A Sports Car)" - Vivian Stanshall

That last number is a cover version of an old Elvis tune. In the early 1960s, he was working his way through the Arthur Murray Latin Dance Manual.

Tuesday 19 March 2013

The Beat Is Blue

You folks are in for a treat tonight.

Regular readers may remember that a few weeks back we featured some selections from a jumbo compilation of all the songs that made the British Top 50 in 1962, which had been put together by some bright spark taking advantage of the fact that music licensing rights expire after 50 years. Well, now someone has decided to do the same with Jamaican music.

"The Story of Blue Beat 1962 Part 1" features all A and B sides of singles released on the legendary Blue Beat Records that year (or at least it will when Part 2 comes out very shortly). At £7.50 for 58 tracks that is a great deal by anyone's standards, especially when they are as good as this. Here are a few to whet your appetite, after which I am sure you will want to splash out on the whole thing.

In 1962 Jamaican music was still very heavily influenced by r&b, and in particular New Orleans r&b, but you also see a more distinctive local sound beginning to emerge. And how nice to hear tributes to Mabel and Enid, two names that you don't hear often enough any more.

"Never Never (South Virginia)" - Bobby Aitken

"Mabel" - Laurel Aitken & Hyacinth

"Walking Down King Street" - Theo Beckford

"Please Enid" - Rudy Grant & Sketto Rich

Here is a Mabel, and then an Enid. But they appear to both be men! What a shame - they were lovely names until "they" spoilt them.

Sunday 17 March 2013

Tiger Time

A few weeks ago, as a birthday present, Mister F very kindly gave me a copy of "Marvellous Boy", a compilation of vintage West African calypsoes (and, coincidentally, what my mother often calls me). I have not yet got round to listening to the whole thing but, of those I have heard, I am very taken with "Dick Tiger's Victory". This recounts the tale of the Nigerian boxer's victory over Gene Fullmer in 1962 to claim the world middeleweight crown.

So here it is along with some more tigers, including one of Mister F's favourite bands, Dschingis Khan, and their unique interpretation of the old William Blake classic.

"Dick Tiger's Victory" - Godwin Omahuwa & His Sound Makers

"Tiger, Tiger" - Dschingis Khan

"Tigers" - Rickie Lee Jones

"Tigers" - Mia Riddle

"The Feathered Tiger" - Kaleidoscope

"Hic Up" - Gregory Isaacs & Tiger

Sorry, Mud fans, but after a song about a boxer called Tiger there is only really one clip we can play.

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Goggins Bearing Gifts

I am off to Athens tomorrow for a few days. Mostly work, but I have tagged a day's sightseeing on to the end. And the sight I most want to see is Ifestou Street in Monastiraki, which I am told is a treasure trove of vinyl and CDs. Hopefully I will return laden down with the aural equivalent of the Elgin Marbles. But just in case I fail in the mission, here are some delights from our existing collection of antiquities - a selection of Hellenic highlights of the late 1960s to mid 1970s.

"To Moahma" - The Sounds

"Tora" - Agapanthos

"Dyo Mikra Gaiszia Aloga" - Giorgis Romanos

"Ki Ego Ki Esi" - Kostas Tournas

"The Village Postman" - The Four Levels of Existence

"Isvoli Apo Ton Ari" - Sotiris Komatsioulis

"Tu Choriu To Panigiri" - Nostradamus

"An Thes Ela Ke Esi" - Peloma Bokiou

In Greek mythology the Styx was the river across which the souls of the dead were ferried to the Underworld. Type "River" and "Styx" in YouTube and you get this. I had never heard the song before, and if I never hear it again before old Charon takes me across I could probably get by. But you decide for yourselves.

Sunday 10 March 2013

Single Song Sunday

Our occasional series for obsessives returns with the old standard, "Tennessee Waltz". Written in 1946 by Pee Wee King, he did not get round to releasing it until 1948, by which time Cowboy Copas had beaten him to the punch. Both had top ten country hits with the song, but the version that gave it "instant classic" status was by Patti Page in 1950. I am not sure anyone has ever really improved on that, although Otis Redding comes pretty close.

As you would expect there are plenty of country and soul versions to choose from. I've added some Merseybeat, jazz and latin. Inexplicably it appears to be about the only country standard never to have had a reggae version made, but maybe one of you can put me right on that. I have spared you the disco-schlager version.

"Tennessee Waltz" - Cowboy Copas

"Tennessee Waltz" - Patti Page

"Tennessee Waltz" - Little Rose Little

"Tennessee Waltz" - Sonny Rollins

"Tennessee Waltz" - Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas

"Tennessee Waltz" - Otis Redding

"Tennessee Waltz" - Machito

"Tennessee Waltz" - Pete Molinari (with The Jordanaires)

I lied about the disco-schlager version. This is especially for Mister F, stranded in the wastelands of Washington DC.

Thursday 7 March 2013

Sonia Songs

If any of our regular readers are called Sonia, this one's for you. You are clearly a popular girl, which may be the root cause of Cocoa Tea's dilemma.

"Sonia" - Robert Wyatt

"Sonia" - Lyle Lovett

"Sonia" - Disco Vietnam

"I Lost My Sonia" - Cocoa Tea

RIP Corner: Alvin Lee died yesterday. To be honest Ten Years After were never really my cup of tea, but I do like this nice piece of country rock. It is on an album called "On The Road To Freedom" by him and one Mylon LeFevre, released in 1973.

"I Can't Take It" - Alvin Lee & Mylon LeFevre

Tuesday 5 March 2013


Over at Popdose, where the professionals hang out, they have a feature called the Friday Five. The nice Popdose man puts his iPod on shuffle, then lists the first five tracks that come up. Then everyone else piles in, all deluding themselves that their random selection makes them look much cooler than the rest. Which is really music blogging reduced to it's most fundamental elements.

So I was sitting on the bus coming home this evening, idly thinking of doing a post but with no idea of what it might be, when these three tracks came on in succession. The first features Baba Maraire of rappers Shabazz Palaces revisiting his Shona roots on an excellent album released last year. The next is from one of the biggest stars in Spanish and Catalan music, from a compilation of his hits of the late 60s and early 70s. And lastly we have some Polish psych-soul from 1968. The sound quality is a bit ropey on that one.

Sit back and enjoy the Tuesday Three.

"Mabasa" - Baba Maraire

"Señora" - Joan Manuel Serrat

"Plonaca Stodola" - Niemen i Akwarele

I scrolled on to number four for today's video clip. It was Richie Spice's "Groovin' My Girl". I can't find a video of the original, so here's a ragged, truncated but endearing acoustic version recorded for some cable channel in the Bronx a few years back.

Sunday 3 March 2013

Tsonga on Sunday

As usual I must apologise for the gaps between Tsonga disco posts. My own supplies are running low, at least until my annual trip to Cape Town at Easter.

Fortunately, help is always at hand. A mate has recently given me a compilation of "pre-disco" Tsonga recordings featuring the likes of Daniel Shiranda and Thomas Chauke, which I am sure will be featuring here soon. And our old friend Mano in Mozambique continues to share his exceptional collection, compared to which mine pales into insignificance. Today's selections come courtesy of Mano. They are by Dikidana (or possibly Dikidane), about whom I know nothing at all.

"Sinjile" - Dikidana

"Xifo" - Dikidana

The video today comes from the Chi-lites. Even if you don't like the song - in which case you are clearly bonkers - you have to love the moves, the hair and the outfits. I have a shirt that colour but it doesn't look that good on me. Maybe it needs to be offset by a moustache to work.