Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I'm ready, ready as anybody can be (Muddy Waters)

Yes I'm ready!

I'm heading away from my collection again for a lengthy period (a year at least) so I've loaded up the purdy-pod with all the stuff brought back from the years spent in the Middle East. As this involved a few trips to the UK as well (Fopp) it meant a lot of stuff.

This has joined the music I put on this amazing device before heading overseas in 2009 so that there are now over 22,000 songs on the thing.

I haven't downloaded a song from the internet in my life so these songs have all come from my CD collection. Sadly my records remain outside the p-pod at this point. I'm wishing I'd bought the record to CD converter I spied at the Virgin Mega Sore at the Dubai Mall before we came home but I had no plans to leave my collection so soon and besides, I'm sure I'll be able to find something similar in China.

Jade thinks I'm mad having so much stuff on the ipod but it's a huge comfort to knowing that I can play The Stooges No Fun, George Harrison's Brainwashed or Dream Evil's Dragonslayer if the mood should take me.

Having that many songs also makes the shuffle mode a continual exercise in discovery of the weird corners of my collection.

Like Blue Oyster Cult's great Burnin' For You frinstance (you have the studio version or a stormin' live from 1981 version to choose from).

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I wish I was an Apple, a-hanging on a tree (Ricky Nelson)

I came across a Ricky Nelson double CD compilation that I just had to buy this week. It's a weird one -some of the big hits are on it but so is Ricky's first album in its entirety and his first single released in 1957 (a fantastic year!).

A Teenager's Romance was backed by his version of the Fats Domino song I'm Walkin' and it set the template for some great fifties and sixties music by Ricky.

Between 1957 and 1962 Ricky had an amazing 30 Top 40 hits. In 1959  he helped out John Wayne, Dean Martin and Walter Brennan in the Howard Hawks' western classic Rio Bravo. I just love this cosy singalong with Deno and Walter. Thankfully The Duke stays silent. A man's gotta know his limitations.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A cloudburst doesn't last all day (Hari Georgeson)

I've been catching up on my reading of late. We sent home 22 boxes of stuff from the Middle East and after an eternity (five months) they finally arrived at Wozza's place in August. A few of the boxes contained my stockpiled CDs, DVDs, and books. It was like Christmas at our place!

A lot of the books I had put on the shelf in Al Ain and knew I'd read them when I got home - mainly music books, and mainly large format Beatles related coffee table epics bought at the Dubai Mall.

So far I've made my way through May Pang's Instamatic Lennon - catchy name for her (slight) photograph book; Bob Gruen's John Lennon - The New York Years; Julian Lennon's Beatle's Memorabilia; Chris O'Dell's opportunistic Miss O'Dell; and Fab Four Faq.

The Bob Gruen collection of photos and text is the best of that bunch. Julian's collection of Beatles memorabilia is pretty slight - mainly a collection of Gold Records. It looks good though.

I'm currently working my way through Fab Four Faq 2.0 which concerns the 1970-80 decade of Beatle solo doings, before launching into Olivia Harrison's huge book called George Harrison - Living In The Material World.

The Fab Four Faq 2.0 is a better book than the first volume as it concerns itself with stuff that most Beatle books neglect - the 'what happened next?' stuff of the seventies which is where I really started to collect and appreciate the solo efforts and which, in turn, led me back into the Beatles music.

Ringo's solo efforts are fascinating to consider. I own every single one - that's also fascinating to consider (I also continue to collect every Yoko album). I eventually got to the point where I just had to keep on having them (knowing what I was in for) but it didn't start out that way.

I began with Ringo in 1973 and loved it instantly. Goodnight Vienna and Ringo's Rotogravure also had substantial merits that kept me hooked. From there I backtracked eventually to his first two false starts Sentimental Journey and Beaucoups of Blues. It's clear why Ringo considers his solo career starts with Ringo. After Ringo I've collected every album on its release. Bad Boy severely tested my resolve but I persevered.

His latest album is called Ringo 2012. Smart guy tapping into that feel good Brit feeling that's been so prevalent this year. It's not bad (nothing will ever plumb the depths of Bad Boy) but it's hardly essential.

And yet - when a random track came up on my ipod shuffle the other day it stood out in an unexpectedly pleasant way. And that cheered me up no end. I was made up that the still lovable Ringo is still putting out albums that contain songs that can do that to me.

Cheers Ritchie!