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It’s been a more musical week this week, in that I’ve had time to hear and write about a bit more of it. Spent a fair portion of last weekend trying to get my head around the new Small Faces box set, which has a selection of outtakes so massive that it might take a while. The box is also full of memorabilia and cute bits, not something I normally go in for. I am afraid I am one of those collectors who, given the choice between spending my hard-earned on a record or something else that might be equally desirable which might help me to understand the music more, will always choose to spend the money on a record. I figure that although you can dance in front of a poster, you can’t dance to it. (Actually I can’t dance a step, so that’s kinda beside the point). Anyway, fascinating heap of stuff in the box. Why didn’t the Small Faces stick around longer?

I’ve also been listening to a Tubby Hayes (warning, includes jazz content) album (ditto) which taught me a few things about him that I wasn’t aware of, and was delighted to discover a Studio 1 12” that I didn’t know existed, which combines two tracks from other 12”; in the real world they call that a mispressing, or a sackable offence at some pressing plants, but you don’t need me to tell you that to a collector that ranks as an unknown gem. An unplanned stop off at the Music & Video Exchange at Notting Hill gate yielded a nice De La Soul 12” and a reggae single which is quite scarce, and while it wasn’t in great shape it was priced accordingly at £4, had been cleaned properly, and played fine. I’m trying to keep my wallet (bought from R Stewart’s of Glasgow) tightly shut so the moths don’t escape and I’ve still got some dosh left for the VIP Fair this Saturday at Olympia. Will I make it through the week without blowing my cash before I get there? It’s 50-50.

On Monday, I got sent a press release about a BA course in popular music. Call me an old-fashioned git, but I get upset when I watch Mastermind on telly and find a contender (and it is always a “contender” and never a contestant – why is that?) answering questions about Pulp or another band. To me it is too easy; not that I know the answers about Pulp, but it wouldn’t be that hard to bone up on Jarvis Cocker (maybe I should rephrase that, I sound like the RRPG’s Ian Shirley). So you can imagine what I think about a BA in pop music. When I were a lad (cue Hovis ad) we had to learn about pop the hard way, by listening to a load of criminally dodgy DJs on Radio 1 and taping the chart rundown on Sunday and memorising it, naturally in reverse order as that’s the way it was played. We didn’t go on a course to understand it, we knew it was just some trivial crap that only meant the world to you until you got to 18 and suddenly had to grow up and march off to die in some foreign place you’d never heard of. Or go to work in a turned parts factory, which is what I did, being too weedy to join the forces. Pop BA? Bah! Pop wasn’t something you studied, and you wouldn’t be earning a living from knowing about it. Nobody did that.

We are now more or less finished with the magazine that will be hitting the shops next Thursday, although there’s still the IPad edition to fight our way through. The cover story is The Smiths, joined by a prog spectacular and a heap of interesting bits and pieces at the periphery, plus our usual vast and groaning-with-love-and-loathing review section. We’re also working on the next edition; some great stories for you, including some delightful collectables from Europe across two very different genres. If only I owned them… hope you do.

Have a great week,

Thanks for reading this newsletter and supporting Record Collector,


Ian McCann


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