Happy 2014. A new year, a new you? That’s what the womens’ magazines like to shout at this time of year, but unless you count putting on half a stone over Christmas, it’s the same-ol’ same-ol’ me. Except worse, maybe: I found time between counting the raindrops to pay £20-odd for a record that doesn’t play, just because I want the label. The seller said it had a lump of vinyl knocked out of it, helpfully glued back in, yet somehow it didn’t play. Strange, you’d have thought that would have fixed it! To buy it is clearly insane, but when will I see it again, as a trio of 70s sofisticuts didn’t quite sing? (No, that’s not a link to three old footballers.) Funny really, as I’ve gone jazz barmy lately and it wasn’t a jazz album. Over the holiday I was poring over my (admittedly slim – the only thing about me that fits that adjective) Blue Note collection and making funny purring noises in approval. Freddie Roach … purr. Dizzy Reece… purr. Hank Mobley… purr. Tail wagging, I was so entranced by these lovely things that I didn’t notice that my missus had put me out for the night and my Xmas dinner was served on the floor. Anyway, I wasn’t the only fool bidding for this busted record, so I take some solace in that. But mine was the highest bid, so I’m definitely the most foolish. Done anything similar – deliberately? Let me know…
Really sad to hear of Phil Everly’s death. Here’s a reminder of the Brothers at their peak, an original arrangement with all the drama that’s usually ascribed to the great Roy Orbison. Rest in peace Mr Everly; truly you were one of the giants.
Although we’ve only been back at work a few days we’re already up to our multiple chins in fascinating features, including such retro-progressive delights as the story of The Groundhogs, the musical thoughts of Carl Palmer, and how John McLaughlin battled through the 60s scene to discover the spiritual side of guitar playing. We also have a feature about The Ruts/Ruts DC, and the return of The Smiths’ Top 100 Rarities, which presents a selection guaranteed to get any sensitive soul’s gladioli quivering. How Much Is Now? Quite a lot, it turns out. (Here’s a version that doesn’t feature in our list; it’s in no way authentic, and doesn’t pretend to be, but I find it haunting.) Plus there’s loads more stuff in the mag -so much that its elbows are poking out of the front and back covers.
I’d like to be able to pretend I’ve heard heaps of brilliant new stuff lately but we’re in the post-Christmas lull. Here’s something that grabbed me by the furry bits good and proper when I reviewed it for our Single Cream section in the current issue: David Woodcock. It's a wee bit Madness, but darker, which reminds me to shamelessly plug my ska-lovin’ mate Allan Finnie’s internet radio show on Thursday nights at 8pm UK time. He plays a great selection of yoof klub reggae sounds from the late 60s and early 70s… end of plug.
Hope you have a great week and a fantastic 2014. Thanks for reading this, and supporting Record Collector.