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debate in the RC office this week: how did Iggy’s The Passenger
get so big that a track that was originally chucked on a B-side, and generally
regarded as a weird one at that, has become some kind of cliché? It was a car advert that did it, we guess, and
various cover versions such as this one, but then
we began wondering about how The Passenger was even seen as peculiar. Back in
’77 the repetitiveness and chanting made it odd, but then it didn’t take much
for stuff to be weird back then, because we hadn’t yet had post-punk or synth
pop, and acts like Devo triggered as many laughs as admirers. I remember
sitting in my mate’s bedroom circa ’74, and he’d just managed to get hold of
the first Blue Oyster Cult album, which was no mean feat at the time.
Listen to this, he told me, and played me Before The Kiss, A
Redcap. A couple of minutes in, it features a chugging chord part like the
kind of thing a big band guitarist might have played in the 1930s, and we just
looked at each other and pulled “well I never” faces, because it seemed so
bizarre. Now, we’ve heard Jad Fair, The Residents, all manner of
black metal, drum
and bass mixes of Black Sabbath (don’t say I didn’t warn you) and gawd
knows what else, so it is pretty difficult to appear weird just by saying
you’ve seen the city’s ripped backside. Which also means it’s easy to take
pioneering music for granted, something I know that RC’s readers try not
to do, which is one reason why they’re so into collecting and caring for old
next issue of RC features some true pioneers: we’re celebrating The
Birth Of British Rock’n’Roll and the people who created it. Many music fans
the world over believe that British rock began with The Beatles. While it’s
true that back then there were some home-grown acts who made records that
simply copied what they’d heard from America, towards the end of the 50s there
were some truly original artists with a sound that went in a different
direction. Nobody in America sounded quite like this, where a
London street Ted, possibly drunk by the sound of that spoken intro, met a band
more raucous than anything delivered on vinyl before; here are the roots of The
Stooges even if nobody in The Stooges knew it. British 50s rock had plenty
to fight against, and fight it did. George Melly called it “revolt into
style” and even if the kids didn’t know what they were rebelling against, Marlon Brando’s
“Whatta ya got?” offered them reason enough to kick down a few walls.
in the next issue, which hits the shops on Thursday 20 June, is a Moody
Blues interview, the history of Magma, a piece about the new Hawkwind
reissue, a passionate plea on behalf of The Association, some words from
Mr Charles Bradley, modern soulman extraordinaire, and Howard Kaylan
of The Turtles, Flo & Eddie and The Mothers tells us
why he was happy to put a bag over Yoko Ono’s head and what he thought
(and more importantly, what Marc thought) of Marc Bolan’s guitar
playing. And we celebrate the rise of the New Wave Of British Heavy
Metal, that mighty strand of sound that put the muscle back into rock. We
think this is a really strong issue of RC; hope you agree.
you for reading this and RC,
Have a great week,
Ian McCann, Editor Record Collector
In the current issue:-
Bob Dylan's recent reissues and obscurities explained, including Sony’s
Folk legends Tom
Paley and Spider John Koerner talk about the Dylan that they knew.
One of the hardest bands
to classify of the prog era; we tell the tale of Medicine Head.
Story of the US
hard-driving rock stalwart, Bob Seger.
30 years on the outside for Criminal Damage Records.
Tull guitarist Martin
Barre on his solo career, and news about the band.
Nektar's blend of space and prog rock continues
Plus The Focus Group, Four Tops, Vandellas, The Moody Blues, Nikki
Sudden, Laura Marling, Steve Winwood, Therapy?, The Orb…