Car Boot Vinyl Diaries

Car Boot Vinyl Diaries

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Ticket To Ride

I bought The Beatles' Help! a couple of weeks ago, a seventh pressing (Oct 1980-Oct 1982) for £4.  First released in 1965 it was their fifth album and features seven songs from the film of the same name on Side 1.

The Beatles - Help! (1965)

It produced two number one singles at the time; Help! and Ticket To Ride, which were both Lennon and McCartney songs.  The album also features two cover versions; the country song Act Naturally sung by Ringo and Larry Williams' Dizzy Miss Lizzy sung by John.

Two Harrisongs are also present; I Need You and I Like You Too Much.  Paul's evergreen Yesterday (recorded by Paul alone) wasn't released as a single in the UK until 1976 once their contract with EMI had expired.  The Beatles had originally refused a release because they felt it was really a solo record that didn't fit in with their work as a whole.  It then reached no.8.  The song is famously one of the most-covered songs, with versions running into the thousands!

The front cover does not actually spell out 'help' in semaphore as originally intended, as the sequence was deemed not aesthetically pleasing.  The UK version actually spells out 'nujv', although it is a partial reverse print of the original photos that spelled 'lpus' or 'help us'!

The album reached no.1 in the UK.  The US version is very different, featuring only songs from the film plus parts of the original score.  It also reached no.1 on the Billboard chart.

Top tracks:


Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Living To Music April 2012

Join in if you can, alone or with friends, this Sunday at 9pm with Greg Wilson's Living To Music worldwide communal listening experience.  This month's selected album is Portishead's Dummy from 1994.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Electric Dreams

The 1984 movie Electric Dreams about a love triangle between a geeky architect, his computer (Edgar) and his pretty new neighbour is probably best remembered for the lead song from it's soundtrack; Together In Electric Dreams by Phil Oakey and Giorgio Moroder.

I picked up both the 12" extended single and the soundtrack album at yesterday's car boot sale for 50p each:

Giorgio Moroder with Phil Oakey - Together In Electric
Dreams (Extended) (1984)

Electric Dreams OST (1984)
(Note the vinyl LP slipcase)

The album absolutely screams "EIGHTIES MOVIE!" from beginning to end, packed as it is with 808s, gated drums and the like and featuring tracks from Culture Club, ELO's Jeff Lynne and Heaven 17.  Don Was produced the title track that opens the movie, sung by PP Arnold, and on listening to it I could feel that magical thrill of expectation which accompanied the beginning of so many 80s films.  Giorgio Moroder produced much of the rest, his emotional electronics perfectly suiting the tone of the film.

Here's the movie trailer.  The song featured in it is actually my least favourite; Jeff Lynne's Let It Run, which I'd describe as an Art Of Noise-meets-Status Quo electro-chugger.

Both the soundtrack and the movie were Virgin productions. In fact Richard Branson is credited as the film's co-producer.

The single Together In Electric Dreams (which also features Peter Frampton on guitar) reached no.3 in the UK and the album peaked at no.46.  Top tracks:

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Armchair Disco

I bought this for 50p a couple of weeks ago; the Bad Manners version of the Can Can, which reached no.3 in the UK charts in 1981:

Bad Manners - Can Can (1981)

Bad Manners are a 2 Tone ska band from the UK fronted by Buster Bloodvessel.  They still tour to this day but Buster is the only remaining original member.  I bought this, their sixth single to give to my sister Vintage Vicki as a joke present for her 42nd birthday this week.  Last August Bank Holiday she was enthusiastically can-canning to this at her school reunion when she tore her Achilles tendon, something from which she is only now properly recovering.  I couldn't resist buying the single for her when I spotted it at a car boot sale, particularly when the b-side is called Armchair Disco, which was all she was capable of for some months!

The single stayed in the charts for a total of 13 weeks in 1981.  Here it is, plus the b-side on Spotify:

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Stompin' Seventies

I managed to dodge the rain showers this morning and pick up a couple of 70s classics.  First was T. Rex's The Slider for £5:

T. Rex - The Slider (1972)

Their seventh album overall and the second to move away from their previous folky sound into glam rock (after 1971's Electric Warrior), it was produced by longtime collaborator Tony Visconti.  It's a thoroughly enjoyable album of rock 'n' roll boogie and nonsensical lyrics, resulting in two no.1 UK hits; Metal Guru and Telegram Sam.

The cover photos are credited to Ringo Starr, although Visconti claims to have actually taken them.  The album reached no.4 in the UK and no.17 in the US.  Top tracks:

Next was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' Damn The Torpedoes, for £2:

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Damn The Torpedoes (1979)

This was their third studio album and probably their most acclaimed.  Co-producer Jimmy Iovine had a hand in it's success, with his clean production no doubt pushing the band into the mainstream.

Full of fast-paced, urgent and driven rockers, it still manages to retain a lazy Southern swagger.  Little wonder then, that it reached no.2 in the US and is in Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.  If you only ever get one Tom Petty album, make it this one.

                        Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – Refugee

                               Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – Shadow Of A Doubt (A Complex Kid)

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Sun and singles

Today dawned bright and sunny, so I headed up the coast in search of vinyl.  The site was almost full and heaving with bargain hunters:

There were quite a lot of records around and for some reason, lots of 80s 12"s.  First I got two Madonna 12" singles at £5 for the pair; more than I would normally like to pay, but they are favourites of mine and in spanking condition:

Madonna - Borderline (US Remix) (1984)

Two statements of independence from Madonna; Borderline, the fifth single from her self-tiled debut album, remixed by Jellybean (John Benitez) who was then going out with Madge.  This reached no.2 in the UK and no.10 in the US.

Then her second single from third album True Blue; teen pregnancy plea Papa Don't Preach (1986), which reached no.1 in both the UK and US:

Madonna - Papa Don't Preach (Extended Version) (1986)

For £1 I bought another 80s gem from the wonderfully unique Miss Jones:

Grace Jones - Slave To The Rhythm (1985)

It's taken from her 1985 Trevor Horn-produced concept album of the same name, which consisted of eight interpretations of "Slave.."  as well as spoken word sections.  Horn had originally intended the single to be recorded by Frankie Goes To Hollywood but it ended up in Grace's capable hands.  It was a top twenty hit in many countries, particularly German-speaking ones where it achieved it's highest chart positions.

Here's the video of the 7" single version:

Lastly was an EP of remixes of the Rebel MC and Double Trouble's 1990 hit Street Tuff:

Rebel MC and Double Trouble - Street Tuff Remixes (1990)
Side A.  Ruff Mix, Time To Rock - The Trouble Dub.
Side B.  Norman Cook Mix, Norman Cook Mix Instrumental.

As you can see from the track list it contains some of Norman Cook's early work from before he became Fatboy Slim.

For me, the making of the original hit (which reached no.3 in the UK) was it's use of the sample of the bassline to The Maytal's 54-64 That's My Number, but this is entirely absent from all of these consequently disappointing remixes.

Here's the original version on Spotify:  Double Trouble & The Rebel Mc – Street Tuff

Sunday, 4 March 2012

New Moon On Monday

I bought Duran Duran's Seven And The Ragged Tiger last week for an irresistible 50p:

Duran Duran - Seven And The Ragged Tiger (1983)

This was their third album, coming after their self-titled debut and the hugely successful Rio.  Recorded at George Martin's Air Studios in Monserrat and finished in Sydney, it produced three singles that went top ten on both sides of the Atlantic; New Moon On Monday, Union Of The Snake and the no.1 smash The Reflex.

The latter was extensively remixed from the less punchy album version by Nile Rodgers, as the record company didn't think it was good enough to be a single.  The difference between the two versions is enormous - the album version seems very low-key in comparison to the bombastic, world-conquering single.

Here are the boys performing it on Top Of The Pops in 1984.  Well, miming to it anyway.

The album went to no.1 in the UK and no.8 in the US.

Spotify:  Duran Duran – The Reflex               Duran Duran – New Moon On Monday

                    Duran Duran – Union Of The Snake                  Duran Duran – Tiger Tiger