It’s time for a long-overdue hitlist. When Calle from Sweden came over to see Marcos Valle play, he brought with him a CD compilation for me, containing several nice tracks. We also talked about music a lot and he alerted me to Francoise Hardy’s La Question album from 1971. I had heard about this before, but perhaps because its title is so generic sounding, it had never stuck in my head. It’s a great album.
Viens – Françoise Hardy
• The opening track on La Question, this starts off sounding very like a song from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ Henry’s Dream. Strummed guitar, slightly funky drums and lots of strings. Yes, the production on this record is much nicer. But unlikely as it sounds, there’s a genuine similarity.
Pa Regnbuevej (Make It With You) – Birgit Lystager
• I got to really appreciate this tune via Ronnie Aldrich’s great stringy/piano easy listening version. Birgit sings it in Danish with an equally lovely arrangement.
O Trem Azul – Anamaria E Mauricio
• A track from Calle’s compilation, this one really knocks me out. Nice early 70s arrangements, great vocal performances, and a stunning composition.
Sunny – Os 3 Morais
• This is from an early release (their debut?) from 1967, which I had never heard before. It never quite continues after the heights of the wonderful harmonized introduction, but is pretty nice all the same. The album also includes a great version of ‘Moonglow’.
Pandora’s Golden Heebie Jeebies – Association
• Apparently this is from their Renaissance album. This really irritates me, because I owned that album for several years before giving it away last year, and I’m sure I never heard this track! I think my 25-cent copy of the record was in just poor enough condition to stop me really making the effort to get into it. That’s a great shame, because I missed this superb psychedelic pop number, which has some wonderful Beach Boys style harmonies towards the end.
Berimbau – Luiz Henrique
• Luiz never fails to delight, and this vocal version of Baden Powell’s famous song is great. The English lyrics used sound different to ones I’ve heard before.
A Taste of Soul – Les Baxter
• This came from an unexpected treat – a previously unheard-by-me album of Les’s from a period by him I really like – the late 1960/early 70s. This is the era of Que Mango, and this album, called Million Sellers (perhaps ironically, since the tracks all seem to be never-recorded-again originals) sounds pretty much just like that, except a bit less tropical. So it’s all nice brass/strings/drums, very bouncy and hip. It’s all cool. This and a couple more of the tracks really stand out. I will have to make a ‘Hip Baxter’ compilation some time. It would stand nicely alongside overviews of his exotic work.
I know you love me not – Julie Driscoll
• From a charity shop purchase, I recommended this over at musical taste. A dramatic Scott Walker/Dusty Springfield style ballad with unusual vocals and a superb arrangement.
R Walter – Changeover A (Conroy Library 1974)
• A short little interlude with brass, organ and big beats. Nice chord sequence.
Boys Keep Swinging – Associates
• The obligatory lone post-1974 track! My pal Robert has made us big Associates and Roxy Music fans, and I actively sought out this early Associates cover of one of my favorite Bowie songs. Billy Mackenzie sounds very sincere. The instrumentation is very plain and well done.
Grass Roots – The days of Pearly Spencer
• Being the age that I am, I knew this mostly via Marc Almond’s version. The vocal effect on the chorus is bizarre! It’s like an over-the-top telephone effect. The song is a little goofy but very enjoyable.
Always you – The Sundowners
• I put this on a compilation recently, and perhaps I’ve played it too much, but it really is a winner. A Roger Nichols song that was recommended at musical taste by eftimihn.
Airport love theme – Magnetic Sounds
• I bought an album by these people when I was in Brazil. This is on the follow up. I thought the first album was funny, but this is the funniest track I have ever heard in my life. What’s even better is that the musical backing is the ‘Airport love theme’, which is a tune that I’m very fond of. The whole point of the group seems to have been to do low-budget ‘Je t’aime’ cash-ins.
Him: Yes. I’m talking to you.
Her: Please! I don’t know you.
Him: It doesn’t matter. where are you going. can you tell me?
Her: What for?
Him: I want to go the same way. It’s going to be great to be together. It’s going to be wonderful.
Her: Oh no
Him: Let’s fly together. You and me. Up in the sky.
Her: No. No.
Him: Are you very afraid? Let me hold your hand. I knew it. They are cold. Very cold.
Her: Leave me alone, please
Him: No, I can’t. I just can’t. But to blame your lips, or your eyes ????
Her: No, please
Him: Let me hold you in my arms. Please. Let me hold you. So
Him: Let me tell you about love. How love, you, me and not else besides. besides.
Her: Besides what?
Him: one kiss. One night. One kiss?
Her: No, No
Him: Please, Please
Her: No, No
Him: One kiss, please
Him: Stay in my arms. Tell me you want my kiss. Tell me please!
Her: No, No
Her: Yes, Yes!
Her: Yes! Yes! YES!
Him: Kiss me!
Her: Yes! Yes!
Funky Robot – Dave “Baby” Cortez
• I was unfamiliar with Cortez’s funky work before. But this is pretty cool. Ok, maybe not really cool, but it’s so contrived that I find it rather charming.
Mr. Lucky – Jimmy McGriff
• Fantastic – Mancini in a funky early 70s style! The whole album (Groove Grease), in spite of its slightly humdrum looking tracklisting, is actually fantastic – all of it in the same organ/bouncy beat style. I get a kick out of the sound of 1960 (or was it 61?) being played in 72.
Afro Mania – Preson Epps
• This was recommended by our old pal tinks at musical taste a few years ago. Quite hard to come by and extremely cool – a bongo/groovy guitar driven track with some nice whistly /flute sounds. It’s basically all one big blues jam, with very little variation. I don’t mind though.
Yummy, Yummy, Yummy – Rita Chao
• I had to put something on from the oriental volume of Girls in the Garage. This is very cool. I don’t have the inlay, so I can’t say where Rita comes from, but she’s very enjoyable to listen to.
Until next time….