Excerpts from this week's R.C. Weekly Newsletter, brought to you by 991.com
Huzzah! Jolly good show! It’s here!
The new issue of Record Collector, that is. Some of you will have seen it already, should you subscribe. Gosh, it’s blue, the same colour as kids paint the sea. We know the little tykes are lying, but our cover really is that blue. The ingredients in this month’s recipe for musical obsession are The Small Faces, the first Ziggy pressing, Beatles books, Winston’s Fumbs, Atomic Forest (heard their version of Jethro Tull’s Locomotive Bread? And yes, I spelled that right), Led Zep (and others) at Chislehurst Caves, the superb Richard Hawley talking to our reviews editor, Jason Draper; Dion, the Nu Groove label by Kris Needs, plus Feeder, an unissued Leviathan LP offer, Madness albums to be won, Can, Dexys, Peter Hammill, Talk Talk and Damon Albarn CDs reviewed, and our Collector is a man who knows more about Marc Bolan than his own mother did. RC 402, in the shops today, pouting sexily and just waiting for your eyes to meet its own.
On a more serious note, there have been some terrible losses lately; Donna Summer and Robin Gibb in the past week. I don’t have much to add to the fulsome tributes we have seen in the media, except that I think both, despite the acclaim and hits and lasting careers, were perhaps under-appreciated. Donna may have seemed something of a puppet in the hands of her producer, Giorgio Moroder, but the work they did together transformed music in a way that might barely seem plausible, when you consider that they took electronic pop to places even Kraftwerk hadn’t thought of. As for Robin Gibb, I was not a fan of The Bee Gees. But their songs were phenomenal and they didn’t get the credit for this, perhaps because much of their 60s work was quite idiosyncratic and didn’t attract cover versions to the extent that Lennon & McCartney’s did. But here is one cover version – sounding like a prayer. Which seems appropriate now1 www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIegCsg4VtM&feature=related
Back to The Small Faces; you know about the deluxe editions that Universal have just released? They’re packed with gems and different versions. That ain’t all, folks. I am told there is a 5-CD box set coming, featuring demos, unissued stuff and things that have not seen the light of day since they were dreamt up in a haze in the studio. It’s some months off yet, but I can hardly wait. Meanwhile, Ronnie Lane’s old band, Slim Chance, are travelling again, with gigs all over the place and a launch party for their return album, The Show Must Go On, at London's Half Moon, Putney, on 9 June. The album is all Ronnie’s tunes, which is as it should be www.slim-chance.co.uk
Just a little nudge about two DJ spots for me this week: Friday 25 May (tomorrow), I am joining Tradition Records and Dave Blue Cat at Ska-Lip-Soul, The Grosvenor, 291, Mansfield Road, Nottingham, NG5 2BY; 8pm-1am, admission £3. On Saturday 26 May, I’m spinning an early set at The Spread Eagle, 267, Victoria Avenue, Southend-on-Sea SS2 6NE, alongside the Live Injection crew, 8pm-1am. Hope to see you at one or the other if you fancy a bit of retro reggae, ska and soul.
Thank you, as ever, for reading. Happy record hunting.
Ian McCann, Record Collector Editor
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