Friday, 28 March 2014


Label: ATLANTIC; Format: 7"; Cat. No.: 584152; Year: 1967; Country: UK

Carrying on with The Drifters' late 60's Northern Soul tunes - I'm looking at the next 2 singles released by Atlantic in the UK following on from the previous post.

First up is this stormer from 1967.  The A Side features the amazing "I'll Take You Where The Music's Playing" which has made it on CD as the title track of one Kent CDs focusing on Northern stuff released on Atlantic.  The track's written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich - and as already stated if you're not familiar with it already then I strongly urge you to go and check it out!  And (as far as I'm aware) this is the last Drifters track to feature production by Bert Berns.

 The flip side gives a Drifters classic from 1963 in the shape of the sublime "On Broadway".  Written by   Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil alongside producers Leiber & Stoller - and featuring Rudy Clark on vocals it really doesn't get any better than this!

Format: 7"; Cat.: No.: 584195; Year: 1968; Country: UK

Next up is this 1968 offering.  The A Side gives you "Still Burning In My Heart" written by Van McCoy with (I think) Sly Stone using his real name Sylvester Stewart.  It's another good one - and with a slight nod in the direction of Country, hence the use of the harmonica!  It's pretty good and well worth tracking down and having a listen to.

The flip side has the more uptempo psyche-tinged "I Need You Now" which has nod in the direction of Hendrix with it's nice bit of fuzz guitar on it.  Lead vocals on this occasion are handled by Bill Fredericks - and another slightly more obscure Drifters track that merits a listen.

Thursday, 27 March 2014


Artist: THE DRIFTERS; Title: BABY WHAT I MEAN; Label: ATLANTIC; Format: 7"; 
Cat. No.: 584065; Year: 1967; Country: UK

Carrying on with the Northern Soul vibe from the previous post - looking today at this one in the genre from The Drifters.
 Released on UK Atlantic in 1967 "Baby What I Mean" is a good (and here I mean really good) uptempo offering from Johnny Moore and Co.  It's from that period of their career where the big hits of the early 60's were gone - but they were still knockout gems like this that although weren't massive sellers still did the business on the dance floor; especially those in the UK where these semi-obscure 45s suddenly got picked by the DJs in the Northern Soul clubs. And doubtless part of the reason why UK Atlantic reissued this along with a number of their other tracks in the early 70's - resulting in a lot of them getting back in to the UK charts and doing the business very nicely indeed!
The flip side gives you "Aretha", and I'm thinking pretty much one of the last things Bert Berns wrote (here alongside Jeff Barry) and produced for them before dying of a heart attack.  Song-wise it's another fine Drifters tune - more in the mid-tempo range, and although not quite in the same league as the A Side well worth a listen.  It's just a shame that both sides of this single didn't make it on to that excellent double CD compilation 'The Definitive Drifters' that Rhino issued in the early 00's, as their output from the latter half of the 60's is slightly under-represented.  Any plans out there for The Drifters - The Northern Soul Years'?

Wednesday, 26 March 2014


Label: DECCA; Format: 7"; Cat. No.: F.12349; Year: 1966; Country: UK

Looking today at this 1966 single from Tom Jones released on Decca - which features two storming tracks that I'm quite happy to file under Northern Soul. One which is fairly well regarded in that respect, one that isn't. 
 The one that generally isn't is the single's A Side "Never Give Away Love", which prior to listening to do the post for this I'd pretty much forgotten just howgood it and Tom Jones were at this point in the mid 60's.  Written by Tom's manager Gordon Mills and produced by Peter Sullivan and it's one that's really been given the full treatment in terms of production.  And definitely well worth checking out - and one I'm more than happy to consider as blue-eyed Northern Soul.

The flip side - the excellent "Stop Breaking My Heart", is the one that has been picked for plays by the talc and spin brigade.  And rather good it is too!  First came across in the context of UK recorded Northern on the Decca Northern Soul compilation CD that Deram issued a few years ago - and it's here that Jones the Voice's contribution to the genre holds its head up with pride.  Be nice to see him dust this down and do it on The Voice perhaps!

Saturday, 22 March 2014


Format: CDS (CD Single); Cat. No.: CDT 41 (EDSCD 4); Year: 1989; Country: UK

Following on from the previous post on Frank Zappa, the next logical place to go is the other CD single mentioned - so here it is.  And this one was the first CD I ever bought - Eno's "Another Green World", from the Our Price shop in Carlisle in 1990.

So on the music. The title track "Another Green World" is the title track from Brian Eno's 1975 album, and was used as the title music for the BBC2 arts show 'Arena', and probably (like it was mine) their first exposure to that genre of music normally associated with him - Ambient.  Despite what some might tell you that the guitar work's done by Robert Fripp - it isn't, and it's Eno you're hearing on that plus all other instruments.

Next up is "Dover Beach" - dating from 1978 and written specifically for  Derek Jarman's debut feature 'Jubilee'.  Again it's just Eno solo - and creating one of those amazing soundscapes in the process - ironic considering where the track was originally used.  And prior to this release the track was unissued on CD.

Next up is "Deep Blue Day" dating from the 1983 'Apollo Atmospheres And Soundtracks' album project that also features Eno's younger brother Roger and sometime Dylan and U2 producer Daniel Lanois.  The best way describe the style of this can be summed up as Ambient Country & Western and features Daniel Lanois on guitar.  The track probably reached it's widest audience when Danny Boyle used in his film 'Trainspotting' and that scene featuring the worst loo in the world!

The proceeding are rounded off with "2/1" from 1978's 'Ambient 1: Music For Airports' set.  The parent set is the first of Eno's fully fledged Ambient Series - although elements of the ambient had appeared as early as the 1973 collaboration with Robert Fripp 'Evening Star' - and was inspired (appropriately enough) by being stuck in an airport for three hours in the mid 70's.  The wordless vocals on this track come from Christa Fast,  Christine Gomez, and Inge Zeininger - and the title itself just denotes which track it as on the original vinyl release i.e. Track 2 Side One.

And thanks to whoever it was that posted the Eno info on AllMusic and Wikipedia as well!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014


Artist: FRANK ZAPPA; Title: PEACHES EN REGALIA; Label: RYKO; Format: CDS (CD Single); Cat. No.: RCD3 1001; Year: 1987

Today's post is one that I tried to do a while back but which didn't make it to the blog due to a few issues with the computer.  Using a different machine so that won't be an issue!!!!  Anyway on with the post - and this CD single from Zappa is one of the first CDs I ever bought - alongside Eno's 'Another Green World'.  Both of which came from the Our Price shop in Carlisle back in 1990.

The lead-off track is the downright wonderful "Peaches En Regalia" - and one of my all-time favourite Frank Zappa tracks.  It comes from his Jazz album 'Hot Rats' - mainly instrumental apart from the Beefheart voiced 'Willie the Pimp' - and inspired by 'Jupiter' from Gustav Holst's 'Planets Suite' (as was Manfred Mann's Earth Band's 'Joybringer').  It such an uplifting track - and alongside Zappa and Ian Underwood you've got Shuggie Otis on bass, and I've said quite a few times on this blog it's well worth checking out if you don't already know it.  And if you're unfamiliar with FZ's work then this as good a place as any to start!

Next up you've got "I'm Not Satisfied" which is Frank and The Mothers in full doo-wop mode.  The track comes from their 'Cruising With Ruben & The Jets' set.  And there's not a single teenage groupie, dodgy Senator, or other Zappa staple character in sight.  The parent LP from what I remember is Zappa's hommage to the doo-wop music he grew up with in the 50's, and which along with the composer Edgard Varèse is the influence that underpins a lot of the distinctive Frank Zappa style.

The third track on offer here is another doo-wop flavoured tune - "Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up" dating from the 1979 'Joe's Garage' set.  Compared to the previous offering this is more of straight forward reading - and I seem to remember that the lead vocal on this was handled by Ike Willis.  It's another good one, and like the other two a good intro in the unique world of the late great Frank Vincent Zappa.