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New issue of Record Collector hits the shops today or tomorrow: Pink Floyd on the front… I saw that the Invictus Games put on a huge gig for its closing ceremony on Sunday. The event is for disabled ex-service personnel and is a tribute to their fortitude. Clearly they have suffered a lot and have come through it stronger. So why should they have to endure some bands at the end of it? I've got nothing against Foo Fighters – the band Nirvana could have been, if they'd taken happier drugs – and I'm obliged to be nice about Ryan Adams because I sit next to one of the world's No 1 collectors of his records (a more complex venture than the uninitiated would imagine, with all manner of obscure releases emanating from his bolt hole in North Oh Carolina). But yunno, James Blunt? I know Mr Blunt served, but my dad was in the Navy and I wouldn't want anyone to have had to sit through him singing about the farmer with a sow, a song he used to specialise in, complete with sound effects. A more imaginative choice for the closing ceremony would have been artists associated with the Invictus label: Chairmen Of The Board, The 8th Day perhaps, and the wonderful Scherrie Payne, if you want something with that singer-and-piano-type vibe with a serious lyric that you might not have fully absorbed from The Supremes' version. Now that would have made for a distinctive final party. And anyway, aren't the achievements of these remarkable human beings enough? Do we have to add bands at the end of everything?
Grumble over. As you can probably tell, I am going through a bit of a soul music period at present, with recent purchases that include Marvin Gaye & His Girls; The Marvelettes' In Full Bloom, a couple of albums by James Brown, plus a version of La la Means I Love You by The UFOs which needs to be about three minutes longer than it is. This music is a bottomless pit: there's no chance of my collecting all the UK Motown albums, because I don't have that long left to live or the cash to fund such a lunatic pursuit; I long ago abandoned gathering all James Brown's works although I got some way into his US catalogue so maybe I ought to have carried on; I don't know that I'm actually collecting any soul artist at all, unless you count De La Soul. What I am doing, however, is buying what I like and enjoying it when I do. Which is really what record buying ought to be about – but frequently isn't.
By now you should be in possession of the new RC, details of which are below. We are grafting hard to create the next one, which features a big piece about debut albums; there's also an interview with Frankie Valli, that man who walked the thin line between R&B and pop with some aplomb; you'll also find a story about Chicago House rarities, and something about the Aphex Twin, which at least proves that we do notice that music didn't end in 1990. I interviewed Aphex many years ago, and he talked to me about making buzzing noises by touching audio cables and turning this into music. In that case my hi-fi is a musician, because it's buzzing. Anyone know how to stop a Garrard 4HF from rumbling?
Thank you for reading RC and this newsletter; it's much appreciated. Should you be voting in the Scottish election, I hope the outcome works for you when the dust settles.
Ian McCann, Editor (25 per cent Scot; 100 per cent undecided)