Sunday, August 30, 2015

Can't help myself, 'cause baby, it's you (The Beatles) #451

The Beatles Baby It's You/ I'll Follow The Sun/ Devil In Her Heart/ Boys (Apple, 7243 8 82073 2 4, 1995)

The song itself will be very familiar to Fab fans as it appeared on Please Please Me.

This particular Beatles version of a song first made popular by U.S. girl band The Shirelles is from a BBC session at The Paris Theatre, London town, first of June 1963.

It's a cute pop hit and the fascination by the Fabs for U.S. girl bands meant they embraced it wholeheartedly.

John's vocal is full blooded and superb but they have me from the first Sha la la las!

Hidden gems: Three of this EP's songs made it to the second volume of The Beatles at the BBC releases but this live version of Devil In Her Heart is peculiar to this EP only. RARE!

These BBC versions are pretty cool - there's the banter with presenters and between themselves and a naturalness (read - without studio gloss) to the versions that's pretty special. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

From this moment on I know exactly where my life will go (The Beatles) #450

The Beatles Real Love/ Baby's In Black/ Yellow Submarine/ Here, There And Everywhere (Apple, 7243 8 82646 2 4, 1996)

The second single released to tie in with the Anthology series in the mid nineties was also an unreleased John Lennon demo that the Threetles tarted up.

This one accompanied the Anthology 2 CDs (which are beyond awesome btw).

For me, the song isn't as strong as Free As A Bird which had George and Paul's vocal embellishments to the fore. Real Love sounds good but doesn't quite work.

It's like the backdrop to a Hollywood western where the support network to the buildings on Main St. is showing. A bit all fur coat no knickers.

Very doubtful. I can't see the song ever appearing on a legit, of the time, Beatles album (or single). Can you?

John's lyric and music was basically untouched from his 1979 demo (and so, bizarrely, it is the only Beatle release credited solely to John) and takes on a special poignancy in hindsight.

Seems we never know exactly where our lives will go.

Hidden gem: Again, a Beatles CD single gives value for money. 

There's a live version of Baby's In Black with a great intro from John, and alternate takes of Yellow Submarine (with excessive sound effects - clearly the released version is far superior) and a less essential Here, There and Everywhere.

Friday, August 21, 2015

One two three FOUR (The Beatles) #449

The Beatles Free As A Bird/ I Saw Her Standing There/ This Boy/ Christmas Time (Is Here Again) (Apple, 7243 8 82587 2 2, 1995)

Long time followers of Goo Goo will remember I've already written about Free As A Bird as a vinyl single. By 1995 the 45 single was already a nostalgia item. The CD single had supplanted it unfortunately.

Good old Apple didn't miss a chance to put the song out in multi formats back in 1995.

The good thing on this version (produced in Holland btw) is that Apple retained the green apple for the centre of the CD and added a couple of tracks as a bonus as...

Hidden gems: The 45 had Christmas Time so a particularly spirited version (take 9) of Paul's I Saw Her Standing There is added (with great Ringo drumming intact) along with a couple of studio outtakes of John's This Boy; all those 'that boy', 'this boys' confused the lads big time.

Neither of these gems appeared in this form on Anthology 1 - so...rare!!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Look here comes a Ford Mondeo (Arctic Monkeys) #448

Arctic Monkeys When The Sun Goes Down/ Stickin To The Floor/ 7 (Domino, 094635334029, 2005)

The Arctic Monkeys are an unashamedly British band who sing in a staunch English accent about English life.

They do so with élan. So a Morrie Thou', not a Ford Mondeo.

Alex Turner is the writer and I use that word deliberately instead of songwriter or whatever because he writes stories - this one about watching a scummy man pick up a prostitute. 

But it's not that simple - there are conflicting emotions at play in the song and the characters become much more than kitchen sink drama cut outs. Heavy stuff for a pop song which is the craft Turner is engaged in.

His unique vocal style matches the subject matter and the razorblade slash of the AM guitars is distinctive as well. And the true test of a pop single: it sounds great LOUD!!!!

Hidden gems: Neither Stickin... nor 7 are from the parent album (their debut - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not). Good value then on this CD single. 

Both are short blasts of AM magic.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Skyfall is where we start (Adele) (single #447)

Adele Skyfall/ Skyfall (Instrumental) (XL, XLS593CD, 2012)

And so - to the murkier world of the CD single where we'll find all sorts of skulduggery and inducements along our path. 

A couple of initial observations: CD singles are now history; unlike the 45, I doubt anyone will ever get nostalgic about the golden age of the CD single; they are often annoying things and things with a deep cynical agenda; I can't help myself when it comes to my favourite bands - I'm a completist; in the right hands they maintain the value for money rarity value of the best 45's with bonus tracks not available elsewhere.

And so - we start with Adele's James Bond theme song to the movie Skyfall. The more things change...

It could be 1964 (not 2012) and Shirley Bassey's Goldfinger I'm writing about but no, it's not, and BTW typing 2012 after the catalogue number just felt weird.

It takes her a while to wind up but Adele eventually does the big and brassy James Bond thing while also delivering an unmistakeably Adelerised song. Which is a good thing!

Hidden gem: Does anyone really want an Adele song without her singing? Isn't that what Adele does? Brilliantly?

Friday, August 7, 2015

With innocence within ourselves (Big Country) #446

Big Country Wonderland (extended version)/ Wonderland; Giant (Mercury 12", 818 006-6, 1984)

In the course of the last 445 posts I bought one new single. Sadly - I just don't look any more.

I do still go through the vinyl LP bins whenever I spot them and this 12 inch leaped out at me (in mint condition too).

As you know, I'm a Big Country fan. That live album (Without A Net) only enhances its reputation the longer it stays in my collection.

The strong whiff of eighties production does not diminish the power of Wonderland.

Hidden gem: This was a single only release (the 12" EP came out between the first and second albums) so there is value for money here with Giant. The first album's chiming guitars are instant markers of BC sound - all present and correct in this instrumental.

Big Country - Wonderland by jpdc11

NEXT POST: So - that's it for the vinyl singles - all 446 of them - PHEW - what a mish. Next post starts us off with the CD singles in my collection - from the A's to the Z's. Fun times ahead!

Monday, August 3, 2015

They got a lot of nice girls (Z Z Top) #445

ZZ Top Legs/ La Grange (Warner Bros. 12", 0 20207, 1983)

Zee Zee Top (rather than how Nu Zild DJ's announced them back in the day - Zed Zed Top) are another great band whose songs from time to time aren't really meant to happen as singles but do anyway. Tush, La Grange and Legs are presented for the defence.

This is the extended 12 inch dance deep moves version which just means that groove goes for longer! And that's a good thing.

Once Billy Gibbons and that synthesizer lock in with Franks drums I'm hooked.

Hidden gem: La Grange is reprised from the earlier Tres Hombres album. It's become a standard in Z Z world for good reason.

Then, of course, there is THAT video. Clever bastards! How to present three gnarly guys playing guitars and drums? Easy peasey...