SMART SOUNDS by Colin Bell reviewing Billy Ocean: Remixes and Rarities 2CD

REMIXES & RARITIES  Billy Ocean
The latest in Cherry Pop’s excellent series ‘Remixes & Rarities’ (I’ve previously reviewed Flock of Seagulls and Amii Stewart) is this entry by Billy Ocean. If anyone was ripe for the remix treatment Billy is a dead cert. There has been unofficial remixes floating about but now this new 2CD set brings together 23 tracks, a number of which appearing for the first time here, all mastered superbly.Its been over 40 years since I remember getting the first promo single ‘Love Really Hurts Without You’ back in 1976. I remember reviewing that and praising Billy for his voice and the extremely catchy chorus.  The following year he had a further hit with my own personal favourite ‘ Red Light (Spells Danger)’ and I was lucky enough to work with him on two occasions and can certainly attest to what a lovely. modest guy he is. In the years that have followed he’s had UK/USA No.1’s, and been awarded a Grammy, Ivor Novello and MOBO lifetime achievement award. Kicking off this set is the irresistable ‘When the Going Gets Tough (extended version) one of four versions (extended, instrumental, club, and 7th Heaven Club Mix).
If ever a song was going to get you on your feet this is it! This is followed by another biggie in Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run) interestedly it’s titled ‘African Queen’ here and  another version also appears titled ‘European Queen’ I didn’t know it had different titles in different territories, I live and learn! Yet again the suggestion was made by the mogul Clive Davis who seems to crop up in every other review I write! ‘Love Really Hurts Without You’ gets two mixes a 1986 Dance Mix and a Dub Mix. Maybe lesser known (here in the UK) are fine versions of ‘American Hearts’, ‘Licence To Chill’ and ‘Loverboy’. Then its definitely all back on the dance floor for a Extended 8.59 min mix of ‘Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car’ another classic floorfiller. Great title, and lets not forget that Billy wrote/co wrote all his major hits, a fact I think often overlooked. This is a great collection if you’re having a summer party/barbeque on a summers evening, though invite the neighbours as this should be enjoyed LOUD to really feel those beats. Billy is currently finishing his eleventh studio album and touring throughout the UK, US and Australia alongside the equally great Beverley Knight and Jess Glynne (who seems to duet with everyone!) Along with the already mentioned excellent mastering the set contains a very informative 16 page colour booklet and is released this coming Friday (23rd). I’ll leave you with the original WTGGT until someone posts the remix (I do rather enjoy the ‘backing vocalists…). Enjoy.
For more information go to https://www.cherryred.co.uk
Til next time…………………………….Colin

 

 

The Who plus support Time – Hastings Pier – 20th July 1969

The Who 20.07.69 PETE FISHER

ticket supplied by Pete Fisher

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the who pinball wizard

ad supplied by Sarah Harvey

Typical set list during this tour….
1 “Heaven and Hell” (John Entwistle) 2 “I Can’t Explain” 3 “Fortune Teller” (Naomi Neville) 4 “Tattoo” (not played at every show) 5 “Young Man Blues” (Mose Allison) 6 “It’s a Boy” 7 “1921” 8 “Amazing Journey” 9 “Sparks”
10 “Eyesight to the Blind” (Sonny Boy Williamson II) 11 “Christmas”
12 “The Acid Queen” 13 “Pinball Wizard” 14 “Do You Think It’s Alright?” 15 “Fiddle About” 16 “There’s a Doctor” 17 “Go to the Mirror!” 18 “Smash the Mirror” 19 “I’m Free” 20 “Tommy’s Holiday Camp” (Keith Moon) 21 “We’re Not Gonna Take It”/”See Me, Feel Me” 22 “Substitute” (occasional)  23 “Summertime Blues” (Eddie Cochran, Jerry Capehart) 24 “Shakin’ All Over” (Johnny Kidd) 25 “My Generation” (sometimes including themes of “Naked Eye”).

Andy Gunton… A bit more about The Who gig http://www.thestinger.org.uk/article/5363c47aca45284d1296d929#.V5ECBmWYfyI

Jenny Tyler… John Entwistle kissed my cheek. I Still love the Who.

Pete Fisher… My first, all-time favourite and most historic Pier gig…

Chris Sambrook…As the moon landings are coming up The Who played the Sunday Club on the very eve. I went as I was 14 at the time, The Who played most of Tommy check out Live At Leeds. There is an cd just been released called Old England New England which could be the same set The Who played in America. I’ve got the cd but haven’t played it yet. After the gig I walked back to St.Leonards in a daze. My dad had the tv on waiting for the moon landing.

Pete Fisher… Hi Chris! Will be commemorating this next week…a real musical milestone for me…my first proper concert (also 14) – vaguely remember staying up to watch the moon landing afterwards, but remember my ears still ringing the next day at school!!

Supertramp – Breakfast In America review by Neil Partrick

Album cover of ‘Breakfast in America’ (released on A&M Records; artwork by Gothic Press, London)

I wrote a review of the LP ‘Breakfast in America’ 40 years on.

Supertramp’s ‘Breakfast in America’ reconsidered Perhaps it’s a matter of age, temperament, and the amount of your adolescence that you spent hiding from your parents. Confident ‘rock’ albums of the 1970s, whether by pre-punk behemoths Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin or punk posers like The Clash, are these days widely accepted in polite, white, male, middle-class circles. However Supertramp’s ‘Breakfast in America’ (released March 1979) had what for some was a more appropriate soundtrack to ‘suburban’ bedroom angst than the shed-load of pop platitudes that still pervaded about rebellion, ‘frontlines’ and class conflict (including from Pink Floyd). Such bourgeois issues usually didn’t penetrate the minds of those living in net-curtained semis, where entertainment was of the family variety and politics was what two parties usually only did every four or five years.

To be fair, Supertramp had, since ‘Crime of the Century’ in 1974, been chronicling, among other things, late teenage fears and, sometimes, coping mechanisms. On ‘Breakfast in America’ however we get the band’s principal singers and songwriters, Roger Hodgson and Rick Davies, in two set-piece lyrical and vocal contests over meaning and materialism in the west. On ‘Goodbye Stranger’, Rick Davies semi-ironically trumpets every young man’s apparent desire for personal freedom of a decidedly non-political kind, while Roger Hodgson’s backing vocal offers some salutary ripostes on the essential emptiness of such a lifestyle. On ‘Child of Vision’ it isn’t so much America that is being taken down by Hodgson with a Christian disdain for hedonism and other sins of Mammon, but the west in general.

This connected to a me as a schoolboy in Sussex, England who was beginning to question the values he had been brought up on, but who didn’t relate to those for whom calls to ‘destroy’ or ‘revolt’ had provided an effortless, and essentially meaningless, release. Unlike the Sex Pistols’ single, ‘God Save the Queen’, which was banned two years earlier, ‘Logical Song’ was a Top Ten UK hit that actually addressed the stigma that anyone who sought to articulate their social disconnection could be made to feel, rather than moronically equating an economically-struggling social democracy with a ‘fascist regime’. Hodgson expressed what some school kids were feeling, using adjectives shocking to a BBC Radio 1 audience and that admittedly ‘O’ Level English students would be more comfortable with. However he wasn’t being pretentious. When Pink Floyd celebrated illiteracy, and got a surprise Christmas Number One on the backs of working class kids from a north London primary school, they most definitely were.

Above all perhaps, ‘Breakfast in America’ is strong on ‘hooks’, big on ‘catchy’, and shows a band at the peak of its powers. It was to be a pretty abrupt downward trajectory after this album, but then Supertramp’s ability to melodically sing about insanity, adolescence, and loneliness was more at home in the 1970s. At the time that ‘Breakfast in America’ came out, the American rock critic Robert Christgau begrudgingly conceded its musicality but then held it against Supertramp when he claimed that tuneful vocals and beat weren’t the same as feeling and rhythm. Perhaps these things are in the ear of the beholder. However there is emotion aplenty on this album – in voice and subject matter – and ‘Child of Vision’ positively swings. ‘Take the Long Way Home’ chronicles personal alienation; ‘Lord Is It Mine’ has Hodgson laying himself emotionally bare. Alone and in need, he thanks God for giving him hope and teaching him humility, but wrestles aloud with his inability to sustain his faith. Using the ugly language of today: this ‘impacted’ me at the time. The whole of ‘Breakfast in America’ still does, forty years later.

It’s Hard – The Who – revisiting the 1982 album review by Neil Partrick

Neil Partrick… Why is one of The Who’s most diverse, most accomplished albums, so unknown and so often disregarded? Perhaps because it wasn’t understood in the time it was released in. Townsend was decidedly out of favour with rock’s self-appointed literati who saw the band as a middle-aged rock stadia irrelevance. Yet listening without prejudice reveals some of their best ever songs; songs with relevance then and arguably even more now. Who, in the realm of popular music at least, has ever tried to take on the subject of manhood (‘A Man is a Man’) and successfully captured the absurd expectations, contradictions and, sometimes, quiet bravery that it can encompass? ‘It’s so hard’, as a line in the title track notes, to be true to yourself, to be honest, to be consistent. Perhaps if men (and this is a man’s record) could adopt Townsend’s advice in the song ‘Cry If You Want To’, then failure could really be success. This track is part male rock bombast (check out the sonic guitar solo) and part emotional advocacy. Cry, because your childhood illusions have been destroyed – as we now know Townsend’s were – and the sloganizing political simplicities of adolescence cannot capture global complexities. In a further example of the song-writing thread running through this album, ‘I’ve Known No War’ contrasts the then (and still) very topical abhorrence of nuclear weapons with experiencing war, and in whose wake The Who and others railed against the very notion of gratitude for past sacrifice. This song (and ‘The Green Fields of France’) should have found a place amongst the war memorialisation that yesterday marshalled the masses in an echo of 1930s regimes but with even less historical or political context. There are a few non-classics too, though the danceable ‘Eminence Front gets close while ‘Cooks’ County’, ‘Dangerous’, etc ain’t filler. One of the most extraordinary tracks is the short but overwhelming ‘One Life is Enough’. It could have been an imagined Townsend/Lloyd-Webber partnership in its stagey-ness, but is almost operatic in the lyrical and vocal ambition that Townsend-Daltrey bring to bear.

Tim Barton… ditto Face Dances

Robert Searle… Still have my vinyl copy

The Rolling Stones “Exhibitionism” The Saatchi Gallery reviewed by Darren Johnson

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I’ve been to a few rock music archive exhibitions over the years and thought I knew the score. A room or two of old programmes, concert posters and record covers, a few old stage costumes here and there, perhaps a guitar or two and then you’re ushered into a room to watch an video that you could probably have found at home doing a quick search on Youtube.

With Exhibitionism, however, The Stones have set the bar extremely high and in the process of taking over The Saatchi Gallery have utterly rewritten the template for what a successful rock memorabilia exhibition should look like. At £24 per ticket it’s not exactly cheap but for any Stones fan, or indeed any follower of rock history, it represents excellent value for money. Room after room after room is laid out with absolutely fascinating archives that go way beyond the old “concert posters and record sleeves in glasses cases” approach. It’s beautifully themed and gives a fascinating insight into the life of one of the world’s most iconic rock n roll bands over the past five and a bit decades. There’s a recreation of the Edith Grove flat that Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones shared in the early days, gloriously capturing all the hideous squalor of sixties bedsit-land. There’s a recreation of the recording studio where they recorded some of their classics and there are huge and extensive displays of guitars and other instruments, meticulously archived original recording contracts and legal documentation and a fascinating display of stage costumes through the decades. I was struck by how pristine and smart the bands sixties suits still look compared to how bedraggled and tatty some of Mick Jagger’s nineties stage outfits now appear. Clearly, they don’t make em like they used to.

For me, however, one of the most poignant moments was walking into the room set out as an exact replica of the Stones backstage area: the admin, the technical gizmos, Mick Jagger’s make-up tent… For a minute it really felt like you had walked in on something very, very private that few get to see.

Allow at least ninety minutes to properly take in all of the exhibition. If you are so inclined you can then spend an exorbitant amount of money in the gift shop but I consoled myself with a £3.99 branded re-usable Exhibitionism shopping bag. A little souvenir of an exhibition that has set a new global standard in rock ‘n’ roll archives.  https://darrensmusicblog.com/2016/05/11/review-the-rolling-stones-exhibitionism-at-the-saatchi-gallery/

http://www.saatchigallery.com/current/rolling_stones.php

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Beatles Day 16 reviews and photos and Kevin Burchett finale video

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A few photos I took on the day… (1) No Exit, (2) Mania,  (3) Iain Cobby, (4) Benjamin Davies, (5) Louise Dooris and Kate Ashton,  (6) Mick Bolton and Friends,  (7) Phil Little,  (8) Mick Bolton, (9) The Dan Large Band, (10) Harry Mousley,  (11) AutistiX,  (12) Simon Shaw, (13) Pass The Cat.

Jon McCallion… Missed Paul Dove by 10 mins, Phil Gills band was tops as normal Pete Prescott done a good job for the sixteenth time, Liane Carroll with hubs also tops, all good, Factrio went on early sad we didn’t see them. We enjoyed all that we saw.

Alan Esdaile…  Early Part of the Day – Well done to Pete Prescott for another brilliant day and with over £21,000 raised for Macmillan Cancer Support.  For the early part of the day, among the acts I saw were ‘No Exit’ opened the show on the main stage with a solid performance as always. Followed by ‘Mania‘  with Iain Cobby. A great renditioning of It Won’t Be Long and with two of the group only being 13 and 15 they worked really well together.  ‘Mick Bolton & Friends‘ always a pleasure to hear Mick play and with Phil Little & Barry Jones on board they gave an excellent version of Things We Said Today.  ‘Now and Then’ these were the stand out for me, first class acapella quartet, amazing voices. ‘Dan Large Band‘ Dan’s always passionate how he plays and you can tell he loved every minute and so did the audience.  ‘Pass The Cat’ first class musicians with a unique sound, had the audience moving to the hypnotic beats.  Caught Liane Carroll from a distance sounding amazing as always.  Among the youngsters were ‘Harry Mousley’.  This guys got lots of potential and really good. Great version of When I’m Sixty Four’. My sister Cheryl said ‘The Sound Waves Community Choir were excellent and Poppy Prescott was very good.

Anyone else got other reviews?

video by Kevin Burchett

Dan Large… Thank you Alan, really nice photo 🙂

Yvonne Cleland… Pass The Cat are a superb band

Tony Qunta… Yes they were fantastic!

Geoff Peckham… Factrio. Here we are. For those who missed Factrio downstairs, this is what we looked like. We might be playing as a foursome in a couple of months!

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supplied by Geoff Peckham

Andy Qunta… Excellent!

Yvonne Cleland… I heard they were brilliant.