Classic Albums #1

I know, I do not post often,I am too tired.

Maybe, it is age, little excites me anymore, I used to love my football, music, books,fashion,…. every now and again,the spark comes back,usually after a drink or three or something else that someone, somewhere has decided to ban.

But, my god, I remember in certain moments what used to make me tick,and sometimes the feeling comes back….. I think these moments are worth sharing, even though  I do not know why I bother ,as I only have about 5 people who read all this anyway,so… fuck it…. I can’t be arsed to bother with all the ways I can try and lure followers… but I believe somewhere, there are still plenty of people who ‘understand”….

THIS YEARS

So, let’s go back to the beginning….Music, it takes something to make me drag my vinyl collection out and actually listen to it,

There are so many vocal artists that are vital, but what would they be without their backing bands, Attractions, Blockheads, Banshees ……

Anyway, I am listening to ‘This Years Model’ by Elvis Costello and the ATTRACTIONS.

How good is this ?

This was an era when serious new bands couldn’t be seen to fob you off with 12 minute epics or ballad fillers, everything was recorded with a short term vision, quick,exciting, punchy  3-4 minute songs where every musician is adding his own individual style to the complete sound and then move on …..

Early Punks used to listen to all this sort of stuff, honestly,listen to the energy and musicianship of his backing band… EVERY track is a classic and as David Hepworth says in his excellent new book, ‘A Fabulous Creation” …there are certain passages of time when music should be heard as  complete album, and this album is just full of well produced , live concert proven classic songs with a quality of power and musicianship that can only be created when there is  a scene trying to find its self…..

 

 

 

 

 

The Clash – Mont de Marsan 1977

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I used to run a record store and my speciality was selling original 1977 punk bands on vinyl and cd – These bands proved to be very popular even 40 years later.

Because I was situated in a popular tourist city in the UK I used to strike up conversation with Punk aficionados from all over the world and they gave me some great stories.

This picture of the Clash was sent to me by Georges Karpathy who came to my shop and told me he had been to the 2nd Mont de Marsan festival in France, 1977.He was kind enough to mail me these never seen before photos.

The Clash are looking pretty pissed off as they are complaining to their manager. They had just been attacked on stage by a “member” of The Damned… now who could that have been ?? You gotta love The Damned.

The first festival was held in 1976 and predated the legendary London 100 club Punk festival. Although only The Damned could have really been called “real” Punk as the  bill included mainly Pub Rockers like Eddie and the Hotrods, Roogalator,Ducks de Luxe and Pink Fairies.

The second festival was much more interesting and included The Clash,The Damned,Police,Maniacs,The Jam and The Boys according to the posters.

There were also some French Punk bands as can been seen on the photos below, The Lous and Aphalt Jungle,the fuzzy picture was the Damned.

 

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Isaac Hayes – Truck Turner

TRUCK1

The great thing about a Fleamarket / Carboot is the unexpected.

I have a large amount of vinyl music , but I would never have dreamed of adding this album to my collection unless I found it for less than $2 stuck between a horror selection of James Last and budget Classical albums , which I did.

What a tremendous (double) album this is.

Ok,some of the titles have that “Shaft” sound, but what is wrong with that ? I could happily listen/dance to 70s wah-wah guitars and a funky beats all night long.

The production is meaty, the musicians are in top form,and there is soul and passion in the playing throughout, not one duff tune or filler.

Some of the slower instrumental titles are absolutely beautiful,they almost bring a tear to my eye – great basslines and instrumental sounds that you only hear in original from this era. A samplers dream.

Issac only sings on a couple of tracks, but what a voice he has – you can hear that Bowie was influenced by his style on “A House full of Girls”.

My copy is tatty and pops and crackles between tracks, but this is part of the glory, the sound is so full you cannot hear it during the songs anyway.

I salute the person who bought this album back in they day, they obviously listened to it a lot.

Rating 9 out of 10.

Toužim / Jáchymov – Czech Republic

I found this 800 year old Castle in West Bohemia (German name : Theusing) on the journey from Pilsen in the Czech Republic heading towards Kalovy Vary (Karlsbad).

It is difficult to find much information on this building , there are infrequent weekend guided tours if you check the town website.

Most importantly, of course, they had a brewery built in the grounds back in 1661, gotta like the Czechs..beer everywhere !!

Anyway,it certainly needs renovation, as does the border town of Jachymov (former German name : Sankt Joachimsthal.)

Many of the buildings here still have decaying outer facades common to Eastern Bloc countries before 1989 . This was mainly due to industrial pollution,neglect and the effects of the cheap petrol that caused the outer walls to rot so badly. It also had a Uranium mine nearby  which surely didn’t help.

I never saw much evidence of decay in the parts of Czech Republic I saw , but this town has obviously not had much investment until recently, unlike the pristine ex DDR villages just over the border.

Another little quirk I have when travelling is trying out the local Crisps (chips) – this Kebab Skewer effort wasn’t memorable at all though, just 2 out of 5 from me :

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Spiz ?? Okay, how about Spizz Energi ? :

Cotton Mill

Built in 1885 in Gronau,Germany, close to the border with Holland (Enschede),these were the last buildings standing since their closure in 1999.

They have been protected and will probably be turned into the usual luxury flats.

Gronau is a very small town but is home to an unusual Museum – The Rock ‘n’ Pop Museum. Sadly it was closed for renovation when we visited and will re-open in the Autumn of 2018.

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Why is there such a large ROCK museum in such a small town ? Well, it was the birthplace of one of the rare truely original sounding vocalists to come out of Germany – Udo Lindenberg :