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Monday 30 December 2019

Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot

As we reach the end of another year, it's time to remember some of the many talented people who left us over the last twelve months. RIP, all of you.

"Hey Truckers" - Andre Williams

"Canebrake" - Bob Frank

"Missin' My Baby" - Clydie King

"Anita" - Costa Cordalis

"Would You" - Dave Bartholomew

"Miserlou" - Dick Dale

"We Had It All" - Donnie Fritts

"Secret Love" - Doris Day

"Jump Sturdy" - Dr. John

"Precious, Precious" - Jackie Moore

"Serious Thing" - Jah Stitch

"Umbaqanga Music" - Juluka (Johnny Clegg)

"Police Car" - Larry Wallis

"Cora Jones" - Neal Casal

"Kunze Kwadoka" - Oliver Mtukudzi

"So Excited" - Ranking Roger

"Birds'd Crash" - Roky Erikson (with Okkervill River)

"Lights of Cincinatti" - Scott Walker

"Candy Jail" - Silver Jews (David Berman)

"Hundred Pounds Of Lovin'" - Sleepy LaBeef

We also lost Barrie, Larry, Daniel and The Captain along the way.

Saturday 28 December 2019

Rif Riders

I'm back from a Christmas break in northern Morocco. Very nice it was too. I managed to pick up some dodgy bootleg CDs at assorted market stalls in Tangier, Tetouan and Martil. You can look forward to some of the highlights over the next few weeks.

First up we have a couple of tracks from a compilation called 'Rif Hits'. The Rif region stretches across the northern coastal parts of Morocco from Tangier in the west to Berkane in the east, and is framed by the mountain range of the same name.

Judging by the number of times he appears of the compilation, Mo Temsamani seems to be the main man round that way, so he has to feature. And how could we leave DJ Shebsy out?

"Mama Zina" - Mo Temsamani (featuring Laila Chakir)

"Alaoui Dance" - DJ Shebsy

While staying in Tangier I took a pleasant trip on the train down to the delightful little town of Asilah. I thought about honouring the journey in song, but I couldn't find a track called "Regional service to Rabat, change at Kenitra for connections to Fes and Marrakech", so this will have to do.

Friday 20 December 2019

Back Then Again

As promised a few weeks ago, here is the second part of our top 20 hot and happening tunes from 1989. As a nod to the festive season, it includes a Christmas song and one with Jesus in the title.

"Zigitup" - Ninjaman & Flourgon

"I Got Da Feelin'" - Sweet Tee

"Gallo Del Cielo" - Tom Russell

"Radio Lover" - George Jones

"The Mayor Of Simpleton" - XTC

"You Happy Puppet" - 10,000 Maniacs

"If I Could Open Up My Heart" - Otis Clay

"Play One For Melo" - Mighty Sparrow

"Baldhead Jesus" - Bunny Wailer

"Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)" - The Ramones

We'll finish with the 89th biggest UK hit of 1989. I'm off now until after Xmas. Have a good one, I hope you don't feel like prisoners too when Boxing Day morning comes around.

Wednesday 18 December 2019

Crockett In My Pocket

A couple of country tunes for you today courtesy of Howard Crockett, best known - if known at all - for writing "Honky Tonk Man" and other hits for Johnny Horton. He was pretty nifty as a singer as well.

"Wine-O From Chicago" - Howard Crockett

"Soap And Water" - Howard Crockett

Monday 16 December 2019

Oud Dudes

I'm just back after working in Oman for a couple of weeks. I would definitely recommend you visit if you get the chance, some of the scenery is magnificent.

At one point it looked like I was going to return home empty-handed, musically speaking. As far as I can tell there isn't a single record shop in Muscat, not even a chain store in the malls. But then I got chatting of one of the people I was working with, Khaled, and discovered that he was a master oud player. I'm sure I don't need to tell you that the oud is the traditional lute-type instrument found across Arabia and beyond.

At the end of my stay Khaled very kindly presented me with a double CD of performances by members of the organisation he is actively involved with, the catchily named Oman Oud Hobbyists Association. Here are a couple of tracks. The sleeve notes are in Arabic and very, very small so I have no idea what they are called.

"Track 8, CD 1" - The Oman Oud Hobbyists Association 

"Track 3, CD 2" - The Oman Oud Hobbyists Association 

And here is a song all about romance in Oman, give or take an R.

Friday 13 December 2019

Political Lies

No further explanation required for our readers in the region currently known as the United Kingdom.

"Political Lies" - Robin Williamson

Friday 29 November 2019

Thirty Glorious Years

As mentioned in a recent post, I have decided against doing any "best of the year" posts this year. There are two reasons.

The first is that I'm not got to be around much between now and the end of the year. I'm having a week away for Christmas, and tomorrow I'm off to Muscat for a fortnight's work. Please rest assured that I will be scouring the souks for examples of 1980s Omani jazz-funk and post-punk to share with you (probably unsuccessfully).

The other reason is that, based on previous experience, I've probably only heard a fraction of the music released this year that will be in my collection in a few years' time. There are bound to be many top tunes that slipped past me at the time but which I'll catch up with at some point in the future.

The same was true way back in 1989. There are no doubt still some stray songs out there, but here are ten I've rounded up for you. We'll start with a couple of Kings of the New York streets, romp through the rest, and finish off with what may just be the pick of the bunch.

"King Of The New York Streets" - Dion

"Dirty Blvd" - Lou Reed

"Companero" - Mighty Gabby

"Divorce Case" - Peta Teanet

"Madonna Of The Wasps" - Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians

"The Downtown Lights" - The Blue Nile

"Thievin' Legacy" - Mutabaruka

"From Pain To Joy" - Betty Wright

"The Horses" - Rickie Lee Jones

"Entella Hotel" - Peter Case

See you in a couple of weeks, when we may have another ten from 1989 if you behave yourselves in the meantime.

Tuesday 26 November 2019

Rootsy Rachel

Here's Rachel Baiman. I don't know much about her except that she was born in Chicago but is now based in Nashville, she was the Illinois State fiddle champion at the age of 17 according to Wikipedia, and her 2017 album "Shame" is very good indeed - although there is scant evidence of her fiddling prowess.

 "Getting Ready To Start (Getting Ready)" - Rachel Baiman

"Let Them Go To Heaven" - Rachel Baiman

And here's another Rachel.

Sunday 24 November 2019


It's getting to that point of the year when registered music bloggers are contractually required to start thinking about their end of year "best of" charts. I'll probably opt out this year, but if I was compiling a top ten glam rock reissues in 2019 chart, I know what would be top.

"All The Young Droogs" is a 3CD compilation with the exceptionally clunky subtitle  "60 Juvenile Delinquent Wrecks, Rock 'n Glam (And a Flavour of Bubblegum) From the 70s".

There are a handful of well known acts included, like Mott The Hoople and Be Bop Deluxe, but most of them are utterly obscure. In some cases deservedly so - there is some very derivative stuff on there - but there are many top tunes as well, including some smashing stompers.

"Little Boy Blue" - Angel

"Let Me Tell Ya" - U.K. Jones

"Ultrastar" - Rococo

Friday 22 November 2019

Dread At The Controls

A couple of cracking tunes from the mighty Mikey Dread for you today. They date from 1978 and 1982 respectively but both can be found on an excellent 1998 compilation called "The Prime of Mikey Dread". Each track starts with a jingle from his "Dread At The Controls" radio show on the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation.

"Barber Saloon" - Mikey Dread

"S.W.A.L.K" - Mikey Dread

If you take the L out of S.W.A.L.K. it leaves you with this. "Put the L back in!", I hear you cry.

Tuesday 19 November 2019

Retro Rockin' in Roodepoort

I got back yesterday from one of my regular trips to Cape Town. I'm afraid that musically it was slim pickings - my regular Tsonga Disco supplier closed a couple of years ago, and the chain stores now mostly sell games and DVDs (like chain stores everywhere it seems). However I managed to get a few goodies from Mabu Vinyl.

One of cheap CDs I got there turned out to be entirely blank, which was disappointing (but by no means the worst things I've ever bought).

The other was a 2006 sampler from Fresh Records featuring highlights of their RetroFresh series of reissues of South African rock albums from the late 1960s to mid-late 1980s. One of today's selections dates from 1970, the other from 1981. I think you'll probably be able to work out which is which.

"Out Of Tune" - Peach

"Blue Wednesday Speaks" - Abstract Truth

The biggest rock/pop band in South Africa in the 1970s was probably Rabbitt. The two main men went on to work with well-known British bands in the 1980s. One was Trevor Rabin, who gave Yes their biggest hit with  'Owner of a Lonely Heart'. The other was Duncan Faure, who took over as lead singer of a band that I know there is a lot of love for among some of our regular readers.

Saturday 9 November 2019

Random Rules

I'm off on my travels again later today, back in about ten days. I have had neither the time nor the mental dexterity to think of a theme for today's post, so I fell back on the traditional "press shuffle on the iPod and see what happens" technique. This is what happened.

I must confess I considered leaving one of these out, but decided not to in the end. It isn't in the spirit of the exercise and, besides, there is no shame in liking Curtis Mayfield.

"Possum Belly Overalls" - June Bateman with Noble 'Thin Man' Watts & His Band

"House On The Hill" - Kevin Coyne

"So In Love" - Curtis Mayfield

"Gone To Negril" - Althea & Donna

"A Taste Of Aggro" - The Barron Knights

"Downey Girl" - Dave Alvin

I had planned to choose the seventh track that turned up for today's video, but I couldn't find any for numbers 7-11. This was No. 12, and it was worth waiting for.

Tuesday 5 November 2019

Lebron From Le Brooklyn

Some top Latin soul for you today courtesy of the Lebron Brothers from Brooklyn. They started in the mid-1960s and were a big part of the New York salsa scene in the 1970s, but in their early days they produced a sort of psychedelic soul/ boogaloo hybrid sound. By the time of their "Brothers" album in 1970 they were starting to mellow, but just a little.

"Couldn't Give You Up Girl" - The Lebron Brothers Orchestra

"Don't Be Afraid" - The Lebron Brothers Orchestra

Here's a little taste of their salsa side.

Sunday 3 November 2019

Single Song Sunday

Slightly later in the day than I'd planned - things to do, people to see, you know how it is - it's Single Song Sunday. And for third time, it's the Temptations. They are evidently eminently coverable.

This time round it's their 1964 standard, "My Girl". I had assumed we must have done this one years ago but apparently not. The Temps are still tops, and so good they feature twice, once in English and once in German. Otis and Al aren't far behind.

We have funky organ for you, and some surprisingly good jazz flute. Despite their name, The Matadors are Czech not Spanish, and we keep it international with covers from Nigeria and Italy, rounding things off with the Mandatory Reggae Version from the great Ken Boothe.

"My Girl" - The Temptations 

"My Girl" - Otis Redding

"My Girl" - Al Green

"My Girl" - Orlando Julius

"My Girl" - Rahsaan Roland Kirk

"My Girl" - The Matadors

"Mein Girl" - The Temptations

"Solamente Lei" - Giorgio Bertolani

"My Girl" - Billy Preston

"My Girl" - Ken Boothe

And if you thought that was good...

Friday 1 November 2019

Wise Words

Here in the UK we are facing yet another election and some pretty unappetising choices. We could do with some wise advice. Who better to provide it than Adviser Nowamagbe?

I don't know much about the Adviser apart from the fact he comes from Benin City in Nigeria and has released copious numbers of albums with titles such as "Vote Out Buhari Now!", "Mr Subsidy, Are You From Niger Delta?", "Political Nonentities", and - helpfully for us - "Another Election, Masses Know Your Way". "Emwen" comes from that album.

Linguists among you might also be interested to know that his lyrics have been used to form the basis of an academic treatise on the Edo language. It controversially asserts that "contrary to earlier claims, Edo is not solely an agglutinating language". No doubt that will provoke an avalanche of comments, please try to keep them polite.

"Pope Must Hear This Pt. 1" - Adviser Nowamagbe

"Emwen" - Adviser Nowamagbe

Tuesday 29 October 2019

Jennah And Her Sisters

Whether it is the sea or the zeitgeist, all surfers know that to catch the wave you have to start paddling before it arrives. If you wait until it's right on top of you, you've missed it.

So it is in that spirit that I'm alerting you to an album that you won't be able to get until next March. It's called "Holiday", it's by Jennah Barry and it is very good indeed. You can get the advance single, "The Real Moon" on Bandcamp, where you can also find her previous album "Young Men", which includes today's selection.

Jennah is from the South Shore of Nova Scotia, and to my ears fits into that line of Canadian female singer-songwriters who manage to sound both sweet and slightly off-kilter at the same time. Like this lot.

"The Coast" - Jennah Barry

"Anew Day" - Mary Margaret O'Hara

"Complainte Pour Ste Catherine" - Kate & Anna McGarrigle

"I Love You, Go Easy" - Devon Sproule

"Tell me Ernie, are there any other notable musicians from the South Shore of Nova Scotia?", I hear you asking. Well, there's old Hank Snow for a start. He's sounding pretty sweet himself, although the only thing slightly off-kilter here is the toupee.

Saturday 26 October 2019

Tabasco Time

Some top pop from Mexico courtesy of Chico Che. Chico hailed from Villahermosa (Happy Town in English) in the great state of Tabasco, home of the sauce.

He sadly died in 1989 at the tender age of 43, but not before leaving us some great tunes that made the residents of Happy Town even happier. These two are from his 1977 album "Le Pejelagarto", named for a fish commonly found down Tabasco way.

"Cuando Me Vaya De Tu Lado" - Chico Che

"Las Mujeres del Itsmo" - Chico Che

Credit to the good folks of Mexico for recognising Chico was a cool dude despite looking and dressing like a children's television presenter of the era.

Wednesday 23 October 2019

Big In Baalbek

I am still slowly working my way through the pile of sleeveless Arab pop CDs I bought in a charity shop a few months back for 50p a go. Today it was the turn of Assi al Helani and his 2004 album "Zghiri El Dinney". He's from Baalbek in Lebanon - hence the title and the video.

"Tarani" - Assi al Helani

"Senin" - Assi al Helani

Sunday 20 October 2019

Reggae Riders

Evidently there was a bit of a craze for riding on in Jamaica between 1975 and 1981. Whether they were riding on anything in particular I don't know - it is a bit too early for BMX and maybe a bit too late for Raleigh Choppers. Let's hope that the girl Johnny Clarke is offering encouragement to isn't either Sandra or Christine, or things could get messy.

"Ride On" - Jimmy London

"Ride On Girl" - Johnny Clarke

"Ride On Christine" - Don Carlos

"Ride On Sandra" - Trinity

"Ride On (Natty Dreadlocks)" - Linval Thompson

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Rock Around The Campfire

Today we revisit the short-lived early 1960s craze for combining the folk songs of old America with the popular dance styles of the day (and in the case of Sam Cooke and Little Eva, with their recent big hits). You can understand why they thought this was a surefire hit formula. What could possibly go wrong?

Jan & Dean provide the answer to that. I don't know what led some genius to pitch the idea "Do you know what would complement the tragic tale of a man who loses his sweetheart in a drowning accident? Some yakety sax!", but someone probably should have said no.

"Camptown Twist" - Sam Cooke

"Old Smokey Locomotion" - Little Eva

"Clementine" - Jan & Dean

All of which was done purely to have an excuse to show you this...

Monday 14 October 2019

Concrete Conga

I have just spent a very pleasant weekend in Scarborough, with a side trip to Filey throw in for fun. I can recommend them both when it isn't raining (which fortunately it wasn't most of time). Here's a postcard of Scarborough.

I popped into some charity shops while I was up there, in emulation of Charity Chic, but the pickings were pretty slim. It was almost out of a sense of obligation that I bought a CD in the last one that I visited. And I'm very glad I did, because it turned out to be a corker.

The album in question is "Thousand Finger Man" by Candido, released on Blue Note in 1969. Candido Camero - who is still going at the age of 98 is Wikipedia is to be believed - is a Cuban conga and bongo player who has played with any number of big names: Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Tito Puente etc etc.

If you are put off by Candido's pedigree and the Blue Note connection, don't be. This isn't noodly jazz, the players are serving the groove. The choice of covers - Booker T, Rufus Thomas - helps make sure of that.

According to the sleeve notes, "Tony's Theme" is from the film "Lady In Cement". I've never seen it, but I feel a pressing need to now.

"Tony's Theme" - Candido

"Hallelujah! I'm Coming Home" - Candido

"Postcards Of Scarborough" - Michael Chapman

Thursday 10 October 2019

Hoovering Up The Henrys

The UK is currently being ripped to shreds by a bunch of halfwit Hooray Henrys, but we must be careful not to damn all Henrys by association (not even Henry Marshall if we believe Kobo Town). So this one is for all you folks out there called Henry, Henri, Henrik, Enrique, Henrietta or any other variation on the name. Say it loud, you're Henry and proud!

"Roll With Me Henry" - Etta James

"I've Got A Notion" - Henry Lumpkin

"The Trial Of Henry Marshall" - Kobo Town

"With A Girl Like You" - Henry Buckley

"Enrique VIII" - Los Yaki

Henry Lumpkin released a few singles on Motown in their early days, of which this is one. Surely Berry Gordy or someone should have taken him aside and suggested that a name change might improve his chance of a long career? As it is, he sounds like he's more in need of a lotion than a notion.

And now, a little something from Henry Mancini...

Monday 7 October 2019

Osaka It To 'Em, JB

The Japanese seem to have a bit of a thing about funk orchestras and soul revues. And who can blame them? In the right hands, they can be things of great joy.

This morning I bought my tickets for Osaka Monaurail's gig in London later in the month. Then when I got home I dug out from the pile of goodies I picked up while in Japan a couple of months back the self-titled debut album by the unfeasibly, but accurately, named Your Song Is Good. Get ready to get groovin', folks.

"Yakiniku Madness" - Your Song Is Good

"Good Bye" - Your Song Is Good

Friday 4 October 2019

The Sound of Samba

Some scintillating soukous for you today, courtesy of Samba Mapangala and his friends in Orchestra Virunga. Both tracks come from their 1991 album "Feet On Fire", for which they were credited simply as Virunga - a name they borrowed from a volcano in DR Congo.

Samba himself was born in the Congo and started his career in Kinshasa, but it wasn't until he relocated to Nairobi in the late 1970s that things really started to take off. Orchestra Virunga formed in 1981, and the blend of Congolese and Kenyan musicians and rhythms gave them a distinctive sound.

Judging by his Facebook page, it seems Samba is still going strong and occasionally still recording and gigging with the current line-up of the Orchestra. Happy news, and happy sounds.

"Sungura" - Virunga

"Unisamehe" - Virunga

Tuesday 1 October 2019

Monthly Music

The observant among you will have spotted that it is now October. Here are a couple of bands - one Scottish, one Somali - who want to share with you their thoughts about the month ahead. The title of the second track translates as "What's October? It's Ours". For the first one you're on your own.

"October Song" - The Incredible String Band

"Oktoobar Waatee? Waa Taayadii" - Waaberi Band

I have belatedly realised that we never paid tribute to the month just gone. Let's put that right.

Friday 27 September 2019

Friday Flavour

To ease you into the weekend, some top pop from Nigeria courtesy of Afrobeat dude Flavour.

Flavour hails from Enugu in south-eastern Nigeria, which appears to be a hot bed of musical talent. Other musicians from the city include the much-vaunted William Onyeabor and the insufficiently vaunted Sonny Okosun. Sonny's "Papa's Land" is a great record. We've featured it before but that is no reason not to do so again, so here it is - twelve minutes of wonder.  

"Shake" - Flavour

"Chinedum" - Flavour

"Papa's Land" - Sonny Okosun

Tuesday 24 September 2019

Straight Shooter

A couple of tracks from Waylon and Jessi's boy, Shooter - the first from "Electric Rodeo" (2006), the second from the excellent "The Other Life" (2013). The apple didn't fall far from the tree with this one.

"It Ain't Easy" - Shooter Jennings

"The Outsider" - Shooter Jennings

Friday 20 September 2019

It's Biscuit Time, Baby!!!

A couple of crackers for you today from The Cookies, one of the huge number of talented girl groups active in the early 1960s who deserved to be much bigger than they were.

First formed in Brooklyn in 1954 by two cousins and their friend, the original line-up split when two of the three went off and formed The Raelettes. The remaining member, Dorothy Jones, went home and enlisted another cousin and the friend's younger sister for the second, more successful, line-up.

They got their break backing Little Eva on her hits, which brought them to the attention of Gerry Goffin and Carole King who started writing for them - including "Chains" and "I'm Into Something Good", subsequently covered by the Beatles and Herman's Hermits.

Their biggest hit was "Don't Say Nothing Bad (About My Baby)", which got to number 7 in the States in 1963. Here it is with the follow up single, which inexplicably didn't chart at all.

"Don't Say Nothing Bad (About My Baby)" - The Cookies

"Will Power" - The Cookies

Tuesday 17 September 2019

The Boyd Is Back In Town

Some super smooth 70s soul sounds for you today, courtesy of Bobby Boyd. Both tracks come from his self-titled album, originally released in 1976 but reissued a few years ago by the Athens of the North label.

"Why Are You Cryin'" - Bobby Boyd

"Ain't What You Know" - Bobby Boyd

As the Scots and other sophisticates among you will have worked out, the Athens of the North label hails from Edinburgh. They are by no means the first folks from that fair city to have a bit of a thing about 'B' based alliteration.

Saturday 14 September 2019

Sazanami Saturday 6: Sayonara

Welcome to the sixth and final instalment of our series bringing the highlights of the classic  compilation of Japanese female frolics, "Girls Sazanami Beat! Volume 1". As we are clearing the shelves, we have a special 'three for the price of two' offer for you.

'Breakaway' is a cover of the old Irma Thomas song that was a hit for Tracey Ullman, and together with this fantastic video it has led me to have a Milkees meltdown. I think I may be in love.

"Nagagutsu Terrorist" - The Let's Go's

"I Wanna Go Home" - Smacks

"Breakaway" - The Milkees

Thursday 12 September 2019

Grazie, Grazia

I know I always claim that whatever song it is I'm posting is splendid, so you might initially be inclined to dismiss it when I say the same thing again today. But please don't. Today's choices are so good they exceed even my normal standards of hyperbole.

The good folks at Fortuna Records in Tel Aviv dedicate themselves to unearthing obscure gems from around the Middle East. They really came up trumps with the debut (and possibly only) album by Grazia, originally released in the mid to late 1970s.

The full story of the record is on their Bandcamp page, where you will no doubt shortly be heading to buy the album. It was a product of the vibrant music scene in Jaffa, which was evidently quite a multicultural place at the time (and may still be for all I know).

The album was released by a record company that specialised in the music of the local Greek and Turkish communities - this is one of the Turkish albums. Grazia, who was only 16 at the time, was teamed up with a producer who had just bought a Moog and was clearly infatuated with it. Thank goodness he had not yet learnt self-restraint!

"Istemem" - Grazia

"Arkadas" - Grazia

Meanwhile, just up the road in Tel Aviv, the Israeli Leo Sayer was warming up...

Tuesday 10 September 2019

The Sound Of Young Szczecin

We have some 1980s Polish indie-pop for you today, courtesy of Malarze i Żołnierze (which translates as Painters & Soldiers, a name very much of its time). Some of their influences are fairly easy to spot, but that does not diminish their music by any means. "Żółte Koszule" is a little jangly gem.

Because they've put me in a good mood, I've added a bonus track for you - some Polish ska from the 1960s. No, really.

"Żółte Koszule" - Malarze i Zolnierze

"Świadek" - Malarze i Zolnierze

"Dykcja Dla Wszystkich" - Tajfuny

Saturday 7 September 2019

Sazanami Saturday 5: When In Rome...

Two more tracks from "Girl Sazanami Beat! Volume 1" for you, both with an Italian connection of sorts.

Italyaguitar are particularly splendid. "Bella Ciao" is pure surf-rock. Why it has that title is anyone's guess - Is the surf sound big in Bologna and massive in Milan? Are the Tiki Tiki Bamboooos labouring under the misapprehension that Italian is the language of Hawaii? I suspect we will never know.

"Shekena!" - Italyaguitar

"Bella Ciao" - The Tiki Tiki Bamboooos

Thursday 5 September 2019

Warning: Signs

After last week's selection of songs and artists with signs of the Zodiac in their names, young George kindly sent me an album called "Astrology Songs" by one Harvey Sid Fisher. I promised him that I would feature a couple of tracks, so here goes.

Then let us never speak of this again.

"Sagittarius" - Harvey Sid Fisher

"Aries" - Harvey Sid Fisher

The same post prompted Charity Chic to request something by Leo Sayer. I am delighted to bring you this old favourite. Many years ago a friend and I spent far too long trying to work out where this encounter took place, using the clues in the lyrics - for example, it is somewhere that is 310 miles from Gretna via the M6 and was sufficiently vibrant to have had a Mexican discotheque in the 1970s. After much painstaking research, we concluded it probably happened in Reading.

Tuesday 3 September 2019

Tastemaker Time

I'm lucky enough to get sent loads of freebies to listen to by people labouring under the misapprehension that I am what these days is called an influencer. I'm not sure its true, but I won't tell them if you don't.

Here is a small selection of the small percentage of the recent freebies that I have actually had a chance to listen to. Three of them are broadly in the country/ Americana camp, the other one wings its way to you all the way from Malawi. The Faith Mussa and Whitney albums are out already, Jack M. Senff is out on Friday (6 September), and Dori Freeman at the end of the month. All are worth buying, with Dori the pick of the bunch for me.

The best free album I have received recently is Tyler Childers' "Country Squire". It is an absolute must have for fans of outlaw country. But it was sent by RCA Records with so many warnings about how they would obliterate me if I shared it that I'm not going to risk it. Enjoy the video instead.

"Go On" - Dori Freeman (from "Another Time")

"Friend Of Mine" - Whitney (from "Forever Turned Around")

"Somewhere" - Jack M. Senff (from "Good To Know You")

"Aphiri" - Faith Mussa (from "Kalilima")

Saturday 31 August 2019

Sazanami Saturday 4: Sweet Sounds

After a brief break last weekend, we are back with more tracks from our favourite Japanese all-girl garage bands compilation ever. I reckon we can get a couple of more editions out of it before the quality starts dropping off, so stand by for more super sounds next Saturday. In the meantime, here is some sugary sweetness for you.

"Sugoi Ninki Desu" - Deliciousweets

"Alright" - Chocomates

I was looking on YouTube for videos by either band, without much luck - there was one live clip of Chocomates but very poor quality - when I found this. I don't know who these women are, or who the gentleman in the red dress is, but they are magnificent.

Thursday 29 August 2019

Open Wide

Yesterday was not what you would call a fun day for me, as I spent a large chunk of the morning having root canal treatment. There was an up side, however, as I discovered a new band.

Chatting to the woman on reception while I was paying generously for having been tortured, I discovered that in real life she was the singer in a band called The Other Ones (who are not to be confused with other bands called the Other Ones).

They already have some stuff on Bandcamp, and will shortly be adding more as they have a new EP coming out on 5 September. There is a launch event that evening in London's trendy Hoxton - details can be found on their Facebook page.

As for me, I should have taken Jean's advice rather than falling for Dr Dwight's standard dentist lies.

"It Won't Hurt" - Dwight Yoakam

"Keep Your Mouth Shut And Your Eyes Open" - Jean Wells

Wednesday 28 August 2019

What's Your Sign?

Today, half the signs of the Zodiac. Don't panic, I have no intention of returning with the other half at a future date.

The idea for this post came to me while in Cape Town last week when I picked up a copy of an album by one Junior Taurus. However, having now listened to it, it doesn't really do it for me so it hasn't made the cut. We've gone for hippies and reggae instead.

"Saturn In Pisces" - Rokurokubi

"Dunce Cap" - Herman & The Aquarians

"Aries" - Fairfield Parlour

"Gemini On The Way" - Maplewood

"Mi Caan Sleep" - Romain Virgo

"Song For Sagittarians" - Shawn Phillips

The Portuguese subtitles there were provided for George's benefit. Also for George, here is a Junior Taurus video to save him having to look it up (as we all know he will).

Sunday 18 August 2019

Single Song Sunday

Two series in two days, I'm not sure I have ever been this organised. It won't last.

After yesterday's Japanese jamboree, today sees the return of our long-running but infrequent Single Song Sunday series. And it is a bit of a corker if I say so myself - Barry and Robin Gibb's mighty "To Love Somebody".

You may think of it as a song that it is impossible to mess up. You would be wrong, as my extensive research for this column has found. Roberta Flack's decision to slow it down and get rid of the tune didn't really work for me, the less said about Jimmy Somerville's cod reggae effort the better. Also,  both the Michaels (Bolton and Buble) have had a hack at it.

You'll find none of that stuff here. Instead we have pure pop from Gary Puckett and the Bee Gees themselves, soul from Nina Simone and James Carr, country from the Burritos and even a Mexican version! The Mandatory Reggae Version comes from Bunny "Rugs" Clarke, way back before he hit the big time with Third World.

"To Love Somebody" -  Bee Gees

"To Love Somebody" -  James Carr

"To Love Somebody" -  The Flying Burrito Brothers

"To Love Somebody" -  Nina Simone

"To Love Somebody" -  Eric Burdon & The Animals

"To Love Somebody" -  Gary Puckett & The Union Gap

"To Love Somebody" -  Slobberbone

"To Love Somebody" -  The Sweet Inspirations

"To Love Somebody" -  Grupo Tolerados

"To Love Somebody" -  Bunny Rugs & The Upsetters

That's it from me for a little while - I'm heading off on my travels in a few hours, back in ten days or so. Stay groovy in the meantime.


Saturday 17 August 2019

Sazanami Saturday 3: Drive Time

Two more tracks from the excellent "Girls Sazanami Beat! Volume 1" compilation that I picked up while visiting Japan last month. This week it's all about getting behind the wheel (or getting someone else behind the wheel).

"Driver's Licence To Love" - The Lady Spade

"I Wanna Weekend Driver" - Velvet Go! Go!

Wednesday 14 August 2019

Big Old Buster

A couple of old classics for you today from the great Buster Brown. And that is really all I have to say on the matter.

"Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby" - Buster Brown

"Fannie Mae" - Buster Brown

Saturday 10 August 2019

Sazanami Saturday 2: Let's Go!

We're back with some more splendid sounds from "Girls Sazanami Beat! Volume 1". This week the emphasis is on getting going. Me from Me & Bye Bye☆Cats! - I am assuming Me is the lead singer - is primarily concerned with getting her own gang going. Tigerlily are much more inclusive.

"Let's Go! Me & Bye Bye☆Cats!" - Me & Bye Bye☆Cats!

"Let's Go! Shake" - Tigerlily

Thursday 8 August 2019

Death Of An Heir Of Sorrows

Very saddened to hear about the untimely death yesterday of David Berman (AKA Silver Jews), all the more so coming so soon after his long-awaited and thoroughly excellent reappearance in the guise of Purple Mountains. RIP Mr Berman.

"Death Of An Heir Of Sorrows" - Silver Jews

"Random Rules" - Silver Jews

"Darkness And Cold" - Purple Mountains

Tuesday 6 August 2019

Pookie & Moses

Some smooth soul sounds from two magnificently monickered men. Both tracks are from a compilation called "The Northern Side of Philly Soul".

When my Sister Kate was little we used to call her Pookie, hence the bonus track. Love you Pookie!

"This Gets To Me" - Pookie Hudson

"Try My Love" - Moses Smith

"I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate" - The Olympics

Saturday 3 August 2019

Sazanami Saturday

Ladies and Gentlemen, we bring you the Greatest Story Ever Told.

Back in 2008, the cool cats at Tokyo's Sazanami record label decided to ring up all the female beat and punk bands they knew and get them to contribute to an album. The result was "Girl Sazanami Beat! Volume 1" (sub-title: "Japanese Girls Beat A Go Go!").

There are 21 tracks on the album and almost every one of them is a cracker. So for the next few Saturdays at least we'll be sharing the highlights in a new series called "Sazanami Saturday". And while we are doing that I'm going to see if I can find Volumes 2 to 5.

We'll kick things off with Kumamoto's own The Portugal Japan. You may find the lyrical complexity a little overwhelming at first but stick with it. And who wouldn't want to have a surfin' hootenanny with the groovy gals of That's A NO NO!? I know I would.

"Yeah Yeah" - The Portugal Japan

"Surfin' Hootenanny" - That's A NO NO! 

Thursday 1 August 2019

The Purple People Peter

Fifty years back Peter Daltrey was the main man in the legendary UK psych band Kaleidoscope. After they and his subsequent outfit Fairfield Parlour both went belly up, he disappeared from the scene - at least in terms of recordings - for the best part of a quarter of a century.

He reemerged in 1995 with a couple of albums that were released only in Japan. I managed to pick up a copy of one of them, "English Roses", when I was over there recently. While the passing of time had made his music a bit more mellow and mature, it was instantly recognisable as the great man.

Having rediscovered the urge to make music back in 1995, he hasn't stopped since. He has released something like twenty albums in one guise or another, many of which you can find on his Bandcamp page. I personally had the great privilege of seeing him live about five years ago backed by Trembling Bells - a fantastic show.

As a treat for you all, here is one track from Kaleidoscope's debut album, 1967's "Tangerine Dream", and one from "English Roses". You'll need to set aside the best part of twenty minutes to listen to them both - more if you add the groovy video.

"The Sky Children" - Kaleidoscope

"The Unicorn" - Peter Daltrey

Monday 29 July 2019

Shiny And New

I'm back from my travels. Japan. I dropped a few clues into the last post before I left but none of you seemed to spot them.

I had a great time discovering many new delights. Some of them were culinary - who knew eel bones would look and taste like Twiglets? - and some of them were musical. I've picked up some very promising looking stuff to share with you, including one CD that I am already convinced is my favourite compilation album of all time (and I haven't even listened to it yet).

I also managed to fit in a gig while I was in Tokyo, at the very hip O-Nest in Shibuya. You go up in a rickety lift to the 6th floor, walk through the bar and down the fire escape at the back to the venue on the 5th floor.

The gig was excellent value. There were five bands on the bill, it was technically free to get in but you had to pay 1200 yen (about £9) for two drinks vouchers. You would be hard pressed to buy two beers for that price in a normal bar in Tokyo.

I missed the first two bands. Of the three I saw, the best thing about The Freddie Mercurys was the name, but the other two were pretty good. Both Luminous 101 (the moody gent below) and Verandah (the fiery lady) had what I felt were some obvious 1980s influences, but nobody else in the audience would even have been born in the 1980s so maybe they felt differently.

Here is a track apiece from Luminous 101's self-titled album - out now on Spotify and possibly elsewhere - and Verandah's first album "Any Luck To You" which came out in 2017. They released a second album called "Anywhere You Like" last year. According to Google Translate, their song title means "Early Talk", but I would take that with a pinch of salt.

"Jigoku no Kodomo" - Luminous 101

"早い話" - Verandah

Saturday 13 July 2019

Sayonara For Now

This is the last you'll be hearing of me for a while. I'm off on my travels on a few hours - one week working followed by one week holiday.

I'm not going to tell you where I'm going because I don't want to sound like I'm showing off. Suffice to say it is somewhere I have long wanted to go to but never previously had the chance, and I am very excited.

To give you all something to listen to until I'm back, here is a random selection of completely unrelated songs.

"Chu Chu Chu" - The Carnabeats

"Fujiyama Mama" - Wanda Jackson

"Future Stepper" - Jumbo Maatch

"Hello Tosh" - Pato Banton

"Juso Station" - Ché-SHIZU 

"Japanese Gum" - Her Space Holiday

"Shimendoka" - Harry Hosono & The Yellow Magic Band

"Going Back To Okinawa" - Ry Cooder

"I Am A Japanese Cowboy" - Hank Sasaki

"Lost To A Geisha Girl" - Skeeter Davis

"Do What You're Doin'" - The Rising Sun

"Natsu Nandesu" - Happy End

Wednesday 10 July 2019

Overly Specific Series Spot

It's Wednesday evening where I am, which makes it the perfect time to launch our new series "Wednesday Evening Wednesday Evenings".

That's right. Every Wednesday evening we are going to be spinning songs about Wednesdays and evenings. Let's get this party started.

"Wednesday" -  This Is The Kit

"Shadow Of The Evening" - Evie Sands

Monday 8 July 2019

The Great Gilberto

Last night we had the great pleasure of seeing Gilberto Gil in concert. He had some health issues a little while ago but he's back and looking and sounding great for a mere lad of 77.

Gilberto is touring to promote his most recent album, "OK OK OK", which came out last year. Today's first selection comes from the album, and went down very well last night; the second dates from exactly fifty years earlier. And as for the clip from 1967 - Wow!

"Na Real" - Gilberto Gil

"Procissão" - Gilberto Gil

Sunday 7 July 2019

The Future King of Kampala

Watch out, Eddy Kenzo, there is a new kid in town coming to steal your crown. He still has some way to go, judging by the indifference of the general public in his video. But they will feel very foolish when Original Papyrus conquers us all.

P.S. Look out for some top quality sawing action about 90 seconds into the video.

"Ngamba (Ndeete)" - Original Papyrus

"Ogutateganya" - Original Papyrus

Thursday 4 July 2019

Conjunto Crazy

I know there are a few Tex-Mex fans that pop in here occasionally. Hopefully they will enjoy this. Hopefully the rest of you will too.

Until recently I had never heard of Los Texmaniacs, even though they have been going for over twenty years. I imagine there might well have been occasions when they wish they hadn't saddled themselves with such a naff name. I feel that way about 27 Leggies sometimes, but it is too late for either of us to change.

Don't let the name put you off, though. They are a cracking combo, and clearly highly regarded in Texas. Their 2015 album "Americano Groove" - from which today's tracks come - features guests like Joe Ely, Augie Meyers, Alejandro Escovedo and David Hidalgo from Los Lobos. Also the less well known but equally cool Rick Trevino (see below).

"Ya No Te Quiero Ver" - Los Texmaniacs

"Big Night In A Small Town" - Los Texmaniacs (with Rick Trevino)

Speaking of maniacs, as we were, it is a little known fact that Mr Acker Bilk - he of the waistcoats and smooth clarinet - was in Screaming Lord Sutch's band early in his career. Sutch always used to introduce him to audiences as Maniacker Bilk.

Tuesday 2 July 2019

From Malmo to Margate

It was a nice day on Sunday so I treated myself to a trip to the seaside - Margate, to be precise. I popped into the always excellent Old Bank Bookshop for a browse while I was there and found that they had a "three CDs for £1" offer going. Obviously I took advantage, and as two of the three I picked out were double albums it worked out at 20p per CD.

The sole single CD was "Blå Himlen Blues", the 1985 album by Sweden's very own Imperiet. I had never heard of them but I was attracted by the colour scheme on the sleeve. Musically it is very much of its time, as you will spot immediately. I doubt I will dig it out very often, to be honest, but I don't begrudge them the 20p.

First up for you today is a song articulating the frustration one feels when the printer runs out of toner, followed by a song that is either inspired by the Swedish word for peace or by somebody called Fred - possibly Freddie Mercury if the occasional burst of Brian May guitar is a musical clue.

"Tonårs Jesus" - Imperiet

"Fred" - Imperiet

Saturday 29 June 2019

Cable & Wireless

Let's have a bit of rock steady this sunny Saturday. Two tracks from The Cables, who possibly took their name from lead singer Keble Drummond (or possibly not). Both songs come from their 1970 album "What Kind of World", produced at Studio One by Sir Coxsone Dodd.

"What Am I To Do" - The Cables

"Let Them Talk" - The Cables

Because I'm in a good mood, and because "wire" is a bit like "cable", here's a bonus track - produced by Clive Chin just five years later and a couple of miles down the road from Studio One at Randy's Records. The sound quality is a bit ropey I'm afraid. That's my fault, not Clive's.

"Miss Wire Waist" - Carl Malcolm

Wednesday 26 June 2019

Sigma Variations

Last time we met we were having a frantic time up in Thessaloniki. Now we're packing our bags and heading down to Athens, where things are a little more mellow.

Sigmatropic are an Athenian outfit who have been going for about twenty years now. Their initial breakthrough came in 2002 when they released a Greek language album on which all the songs were based on poems by Nobel Laureate, Giorgis Seferis. This proved so successful that the following year they remade it all in English with a selection of guest singers.

The album is called "Sixteen Haiku & Other Stories" and the guests are an impressive bunch. They include Robert Wyatt, Alejandro Escovedo, Cat Power, John Grant, Laetitia Sadler, Howe Gelb, Mark Eitzel and the two we are featuring today - Steve Wynn and Lee Ranaldo. Steve's track in particular is rather excellent, and the whole album is worth tracking down if you can.

"The Jasmine" - Sigmatropic (featuring Steve Wynn)

"Haiku Twelve" - Sigmatropic (featuring Lee Ranaldo)

Mr Seferis was quite a man. As well as being one of the leading Greek poets of modern times he was a career diplomat - including a stint as Ambassador to the UK in the late 1950s - who then became one of the heroes of the resistance against the military junta that ruled Greece between 1967 and 1974. He died in September 1971, around about the time this was riding high in the local charts.

Sunday 23 June 2019

Frantic Times

It's Sunday, so obviously we have some surf and garage revivalists from Greece for you. They are called The Frantic V and they hail from the fair city of Thessaloniki - birthplace of the Young Turks among many other claims to fame. These tracks are from their 2004 album, "A Long Play With The Frantic V".

"Room 409" - The Frantic V

"Good Lovin'" - The Frantic V

Thursday 20 June 2019

Specialist Subject

I have been accused of often featuring music on here that appeals only to niche tastes. I say accused, it was possibly meant as a compliment - I certainly took it that way.

Either way, what could be more niche than Grupo Niche, the salsa combo from Cali in Colombia. They started way back in 1978 and are still going strong even though their founder Jairo Varela passed away in 2012. Both today's tracks come from a 1994 compilation called simply "The Best". As Grupo Niche compilations go, its better than all the rest.

"La Negra No Quiere" - Grupo Niche

"Una Aventura" - Grupo Niche

You can thank (or blame) George for today's video. Last time out we featured the Soul Train dancers letting it all hang out to Disco Tex's "Get Dancin'", which prompted George to write in with the extraordinary claim that it had been the 82nd best selling single in Canada in 1975.

Obviously I had to check that out - he's right - which inevitably ended up wiht me frittering away valuable time looking through the rest of the top 100, telling myself it was "important research". To help justify that claim, here are the Soul Train gang again, this time strutting their stuff to No. 66.

Monday 17 June 2019

Substitute Shabba

At some point in the last few months, somewhere I can't now recall, I picked up a copy of "Ragga's Got Soul Vol. 1". A gift to the world from the groovily named Discotex label, the release date isn't given on the sleeve but I would guess it came out in the early to mid 1990s.

"Ragga's Got Smooth R 'n B Vol. 1" might have been a more accurate title for the album, as most of it is in the style of Shabba Ranks' crossover records of the period. There is nobody with Shabba's brand recognition on the album, the nearest thing to a household name probably being Johnny P.

It gets a bit samey at times and I doubt I'll bother hunting down the rest of the series, but its not a bad album by any means. Over to you, lads.

"Clap" - Simpleton

"Musical Youth" - General Pecos

Two videos for you today. The eagle-eyed and sharp-witted among you will have worked out who the two artists are already. No points if you said Shabba.

Friday 14 June 2019

Living Next Door To Elton

Last weekend my old friend Mister F and I went up to Watford to see Chris Norman, formerly of Smokie. It was a bit of a trek, and the return journey was a nightmare - cancelled trains, closed tube lines and rerouted night buses - but Chris doesn't play in the UK very often and this was the closest he's come to London in years and years.

He is used to playing to much larger crowds on the Continent, and in much grander venues - it is fair to say that the Watford Colosseum was probably not the model for the one in Rome. But what the audience lacked in numbers it made up for in enthusiasm.

If you drew a Venn diagram where the two circles were "Women of a Certain Age" and "East Europeans" that would capture about 90% of the audience. There was a fair degree of overlap between the categories as well, including both of the stalkers.

Anyway, it was well worth the effort. Chris still sounds good, it was good to hear the old hits again, and the newer material was better than is often the case at these sort of gigs. If he comes back, you should go - just maybe not if it is in Watford.

"Don't Play Your Rock 'n Roll To Me" - Smokie

"Lay Back In The Arms Of Someone" - Smokie

Tuesday 11 June 2019

Clancy, King of Cakes

A couple of crackers for you today from the great Clancy Eccles.

"Bag A Boo" - Clancy Eccles

"What Will Your Mama Say" - Clancy Eccles

If it is Clancys you want, here are some more of them, with one of their buddies. There must be a joke somewhere that ends "Tommy Makem? No they went of their own accord", but I can't quite think of it at the moment. I'll get back to you on that.

Sunday 9 June 2019

Single Song Sunday

It's Single Song Sunday time again, folks. This time out we have Hank Williams' stomping standard "Jambalaya" for you.

We start with Hank's 1952 original, of course, then follow it with two versions that hit the US charts - Fats Domino in 1961 and John Fogerty in 1973. The song was chosen as Brenda Lee's debut single in 1956 (it didn't chart) - her voice already sounds great, which is more than can be said for the arrangement.

In the second half we have some Dutch rockers and a German pop poppet, with The Residents inserted between them just in case things kick off. Then we finish with a Creole gentleman showing the rest of them how it should be done.

There is no Mandatory Reggae Version. I did find one - this effort - but, as unlikely as it might seem to regular readers, there are depths to which even I will not sink.

"Jambalaya" - Hank Williams

"Jambalaya" - Fats Domino

"Jambalaya" - John Fogerty

"Jambalaya" - Brenda Lee

"Jambalaya" - Shocking Blue

"Jambalaya" - The Residents

"Jambalaya" - Gerd Böttcher

"Jambalaya" - C.J. Chenier

Wednesday 5 June 2019

Banjo Belle

Some marvellous gnarly mountain music for you today courtesy of the late, great Ola Belle Reed - singer, songwriter and connoisseur of the clawhammer banjo. 

Born in 1916 in the heart of the Appalachians, Ola Belle made music with family and friends from her childhood until a stroke at the age of 70 rendered her incapable. She was not "discovered" by them fancy folklorist types until the mid-1960s, which is when these recordings date from. 

Both tracks come from an excellent compilation called "Ola Belle Reed and Southern Mountain Music on the Mason-Dixon Line" released by Dust-to-Digital. The first CD features the best of Ola Belle's 1960s recordings, and the second features her descendants and friends recorded forty years later. You can also buy a version with a book about Ola Belle and the gang, but I've not read it so can't vouch for whether it is worth the extra money.

"You Led Me To The Wrong" - Ola Belle Reed

"I've Endured" - Ola Belle Reed

Apparently this lot were named after her. Or so I'm claiming.

Sunday 2 June 2019

Six Soulful Barbaras

As it says in the title. Here are six soul singers called Barbara. Maybe they could form a self-help group to deal with their romantic woes. Barbara A certainly seems to have a potential solution to some of the others' dilemmas.

"I Know (You Don't Love Me No More)" - Barbara George

"I Don't Want To Lose You" - Barbara Mason

"Messin' With My Mind" - Barbara Carr

"I'll Bake Me A Man" - Barbara Acklin

"Don't Be Cruel" - Barbara Lynn

"Say You Need It" - Barbara Perry

Thursday 30 May 2019

Rai Guy

Someone has dropped off a boxload of sleeveless Arabic pop CDs at one of the charity shops I occasionally frequent. They are going for 50p each, so I took a punt and picked up half a dozen, chosen more or less at random.

My initial research reveals I have acquired three from Lebanon and one apiece from Egypt, Iraq and Algeria. The Algerian CD is "Dellali", the 2001 album by Cheb Mami - the only artist out of the bunch that I had heard of previously. Here are a couple of the highlights.

"Mamazareh" - Cheb Mami

"Rim Lachoua" - Cheb Mami

I'm not sure whether Mami is pronounced "Mar-Mi" or "Mammy", but for the purposes of today's video I'm going for the latter.

Monday 27 May 2019

African Long Songs

I got back from my travels this morning. I'm a bit discombobulated due to a combination of a long overnight flight and the dreaded lurgy, but thought I should try to get back in the saddle. 

I'm not yet up to generating original ideas for posts, so have decided to contribute to (or nick from, if you prefer) the old Monday's Long Song genre.

I have been off visiting family in Cape Town, which explains the first choice. "Mannenberg" was written about the destruction of District Six, and the song itself then become one of the theme tunes for the fight against apartheid.  

Today's second selection is a little less mellow and more obviously political - neither of which will come as a surprise to you when you see Fela Kuti's name is attached. It is here as a robust variation on "Taxi for Theresa May".

"Mannenberg" - Abdullah Ibrahim

"Coffin For Head Of State" - Fela Kuti

Saturday 18 May 2019

Single Album Saturday

Later today I'm heading off to spend a bit of time with old Ma and Pa Goggins, but before leaving you in the lurch I thought I would try out a potential new series on you.

Regular readers will be familiar with our long-running but increasingly intermittent 'Single Song Sunday' series which - as the name suggests - features different versions of the same song. As a sort of variation on that theme, I thought I would have a go at cover versions of different songs from the same album.

I have started with a nice easy one in "The Beatles" (AKA The White Album). There are some right crackers here - I'm particular fond of Fats Domino's effort - and "Bungalow Bill" may sound better in Finnish because you can't tell how ridiculous the words are. As is traditional, John Holt rounds things off with the Mandatory Reggae Version.

"Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey" - Fats Domino

"Helter Skelter" - Siouxsie & The Banshees

"Savoy Truffle" - Ella Fitzgerald

"Viidakko-Jim (The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill)" - Eero Raitinnen

"Cry Baby Cry" - Ramsey Lewis

"I Will" - John Holt

Let me know if you think this is a series that is worth persevering with. I'm not sure it will be quite as straightforward trying to do "Fulham Fallout" by The Lurkers, or any of my many Gentle Giant albums, but I could give it a go.

We'll sign off with the big hit cover version from the White Album. See you in ten days or so.