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HENRY ROLLINS Behind the gates of his Hollywood fortress. the Black Flag vocal behemoth. spokenword titan and Rollins Band barbarian takes Chris Ziegler from minimum wage roots to life as punk rock's grey-haired Uncle Henry.


IANMcLAGAN The much-loved Small Faces, Faces and Stones keyboardist (pictured) passed away on December 3, 2014. Mark Paytress pays heartfelt tribute.


THE KINKS In the 1970s, Ray Davies transformed his group from bittersweet pop chroniclers of a bucolic England on the wane to a conceptual, theatrical troupe performing allegorical dramas about Salvatore Allende and schizophrenia. Pat Gilbert asks how? And why?


DAVID BOWIE lOOSONGS MOJO salutes the incomparable creative genius of David Robert Jones by choosing his Top 100 songs, and speaks to his confidantes and collaborators. while on page 62 Paul Trynka looks back on the making of the Dame's first great LP, The Man Who Sold The World. .........

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Londo n laureate: George The Poet in 15 For 2015, p15.

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This month'slock-in fans - FKA Twigs, Ben Elton and Michelle Gomez (the new Master fro1n Doctor Who). But who's the Desmond Carrington nut?

' 32



Farewell Clive Palmer, Jimmy Ruffin, Bobby Keys and Big Bank Hank.

126 ASKFRED Did Margaret Thatcher give Thrashing Doves the kiss of death?

130 HELLO GOODBYE Wry Moe Tucker looks back on her years drumming with The Velvet Underground.


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15 FOR 2015 Jump in for our 15 picks of the new albums, talent, classical crossovers and music movies coming in the next 12 months. Starring Bob Dylan, New Order, George The Poet, Pete Townshend and Mark E. Smith (scourge of the bearded).


BELLE & SEBASTIAN Band boss Stuart Murdoch opens up with his anthropomorphic Self Portrait. and reflects on feeling like a ventriloquist's dummy, crying all the time and his youthful commitment to celibacy.


CATHAL SMYTH Confidentially, Madness's nutty vibesman (aka • •• Chas Smash} spills his brain about finding his • voice after years of tumult, being the joy element ••• • of his band and hisold mucker Morrissey.

24 R.E.M Back in 1985, R.E.M. came to Britain to record Fables OfThe Reconstruction. Two tours, some telly and a U2 support slot later they were embraced to Blighty's bosom. Peter Buck and Mike Mills reveal all, in Eyewitness style.

86 NEW ALBUMS Sleater-Kinneyback with a five-star stunner;Gaz Coombes' revealing solo work, yummy Panda Bear and many more.


Sparksreinventthemselvesin London,The Go-Betweens find hidden delights, plus all the Simon &Garfunkel you'll ever need.

114 BOO KS Get caught in Prince's Purple Rain, get Jerry Lee'sown side of it and what's riled Aretha?

118 LIVES The Who rock at 50 in Nottingham,


while in London, Dr.John salutesSatchmo. - ------ ... -· ... --. -- - -·-· ......... -..... -·· ····-·-· ··-· .. --·· ...................... --· .. .•





Paul Trynka

Vic:toria Segal

Typex Koot

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One-time MOJO editor Paul Trynka has followed up his acclaimed biographies of lggy Pop and David Bowie with Sympathy For The Devil, an account of the life of Brian Jones that has been described as "the last great Stones book." This month he returns to David Bowie World. See p62.

Happily, a slightly frosty inter· view with Sleater·Kinney over a decade ago hadn't left Victoria too traumatised to enjoy their brilliant comeback (p86). She also contributes to this issue's David Bowie countdown (from p52), resulting in some of the most esotericinternet searches of her writing ca reer.

Typex is an Amsterdam artist making comics, illustrations and some damn fine art in his free time. He's been doing pop portraits since the beginnining of time for Dutch music mag Oor and this month Illustrates MOJO's lead album (p87). His graphic novel about Rembrandt has been voted by The Guardian as one of the best 10 graphic novels of 2014.IWWW 1ype2.n11

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FKATwigs TRIP HOP MODERNIST What music are you currently grooving to? Dirty Beaches' Lone Runner is really cool. It reminds me of my strange relationship with Nine Inch Nails, who I equally love and hate. Lone Runner reminds me of what I love about them, the mechanical and super-industrial and metallic sounds, like tubes and factories, which draws me to music like Kraftwerk. What, if push comes t o shove, is your all-t im e favourite album 7 X- Ray Spex's Germ Free Adolescents was a turning point In my life. First, I listened to it so much on bad headp hones that It's given me tinnitus. I also love how Poly Styrene was unapologetic, but not contrived. It wasn't like she was saying, "This is punk!" It came from a genuine place, she didn't intellectualise it. What was the first record you ever bought? And where did you buy it? Prince's album Emancipation, from HMV in Cheltenham. My mum was really into Prince. I was eight years

old and I liked to dance to it. Which musician, other than yourself, have you ever wanted to be? No musician. It only ever happened once, with a visual artist, I can't remember her name. She made some black and white concept films for the BBC in the '40s and was really ahead of her time. What do you sing in the shower? When I was a kid, I sang songs from The Little Mermaid in the bath. But I don't feel like a singer. It's annoying when singers sing all the time. What i s your favourite Saturday night record? If I was with my flatmate and we were getting ready to go out, it would have to be something I liked when I was 15, like a track by City High, or Kandi's Don't Think I'm Not. And your Sunday morning record? I wouldn't want to listen to music on a Sunday! I'd be tidying my room. I don't use music to relax. it's a stimulant for me.


Michelle Gomez GREEN WING! DOCTOR Wr10! What music are you currently grooving to? Anything that Desmond Carrington plays on Radio 2, from his home in Perthshire. Nat King Cole, Etta James.. . that warm, nostalgic, elegant sound, that 's easy to have on in the background. I'm still stuck in the 'SOs. And Sam Smith, who's got a lovely 'SOs thing going on too. What, if push comes to shove, is your all-time favourite album? Well, my most favourite piece of music is Bruch's Violin Concerto No.1 . I've just heard it live at the Carnegie Hall and there's everything you need in there to feast upon!


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What was t he first record you ever bought? And where d id you buy It? Edith Piaf's Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien, on a single from the Barras in Glasgow. lwas probably 13 I couldn't

stop playing it. We played that stuff at home, I was very influenced by what my mum and dad listened to. There was a lot of Harry Belafonte. Which musician have you ever wanted to be? Don't judge me, but I used to try and sing like Barbra Streisand. I'd sing along to her song Superman.



What do you sing in the shower? I tend to make up stuff, for my son. I have a terrific song about a sausage, sung in French Monsieur Saucission ! Otherwise, I make general noises, which are extremely high pitched because I have a high soprano voice. Off I go! What is your favourite Saturday night record? Maybe Stevie Wonder, As, from Songs In The Key Of Life. I'll be drilling into the couch, I've got a four-year-old, so by nine o'clock I'm done. And your Sunday morning record? Probably Wogan. I'm a huge fan. My idea of heaven - to have Wogan and Desmond Carrington, in the same room at the same time. Just perfection. Doctor Who - The Comp/ere Series B is our on DVD andB/u-ray

NOW PLAYING • FKA Tw;cp had her reality changed

by X-Ray Spex'1 iniurrectlonary 1978 debut Gtrm f1tt

Adoltlltnts • Michelle Gomez enjoys1elec11on1 from Stl'Vle Wonder's 1976 (~llK Song1 In Tht Kf'. Of/Jft when ~eg rng out on 1ht sente on a Saturday nigh!

• Ben Elion finds S11a11s 1980 lP MalingMo»n ideal for lht Sund..-, morn1nq coffee

What music are you currently grooving to? I don't listen to much new music, though my kids are starting to introduce me to stuff. There's an Australian rapper, [Seth Sentry), who does this song Dear Science about a hoverboard. You gotta hear it. But I always come back to classic rock. from Elvis to about 1990. I'm the last person on Earth to listen to The Dark Side Of The Moon, all the way through, which I did about three weeks ago. I thought it was quite good. What, if push comes to shove, is your all-time favourite album? Rubber Soul. For me, self-evi· dently, the greatest band of all time are The Beatles. What was the first record you ever bought? And where did you buy It? My rock'n'roll life began with Elvis's '68 Comeback Special. I was nine, I watched it and it blew me away. So my main Christmas present was this 4-LP box set, Elvis's Worldwide 50 Gold Award Hits Vol. 1, which I still have. Which musician have you ever wanted to be? Every singer In every rock band. All Shook Up is one of my karaoke moments. I'm

definitely a hairbrush and . mirror man. What do you sing in the shower? I don' t, 'cos you get a mouth full of water. But I sing to myself when walking and exer· cising. 1loved Lady Gaga's first few singles, and I'm a big Killers fan. What is your favourite Saturday night record? Straight non-binding ballpark answer: Cum On Feel The Noize by Slade or Suffragette City by David Bowie. Maybe 20th Century Boy, T.Rex. And your Sunday morning record? Maybe a bit of Dire Straits. People think because they're successful they must be naff, but Mark Knopfler is one of the true greats. So Sultans Of Swing or Making Movies enough energy to make you get up for a cup of coffee but also a mellow groove thing. Ben Elton's novel Time And Time Again ispublished by Bantam



Endeavour House. 189 Sluiftesbury Avenue London WClH 8JG Tel:020 7437 901 1 E-mail:

Editor-in-Chief & Associate Publisher Phll Alexander Deputy Editor Andrew Male Senior Editor Danny Eccleston Art Editor Mark Wagstaff Reviews Editor Jenny Sulley Associate Editor (ProdU<1lon) Geoff Brown Deputy Art Editor Russell Moorcroft Associate Editor (News) Ian Harrison Picture Editor Matt Turner Picture Researcher

lanWhent Contributing Editors Sylvie Simmons. Keith Cameron Contributing Editor (US) Ben Edmonds 3 t 3 89T2053 contact Danny Eccleston Thank, for their helpwlththlslnue: Kel1humeron, Fred Cellar, Del Gen1leman, Pat Gilbert, Paul Stokes. Will Stokes, KttfeWagStllff Amongthismonth's contributors: Manin Aston.Sonny Baker.Mike Bames,Marlt Blake.Glyn Brown. David Buckley, John Bungey, Kellh Cameron.Andrew Carden.Stevie Chkk,Atan Clayson, Andy Cowan, Fred Dettar,Tom Doyle,Pnya Elan, Andy Fyfe,P.a1 Gilben,John Harris. Will Hodgkinson, Biii Holdship, David Hu1cheon,Chris Ingham, Jim Irvin.Colin Irwin, David Kau, Alan UghL. Paul Les1er. Dorian Lynsl<ey.James McNalr, Bob Mehr, Martt Paytress,Nldrew ~11y,Cli11e Prior,Tony Russett.Jon Savage, Vk;torla Segal,Johnoy SN!rp,David Sheppard,MlchaelSlmmons, Sylvie Simmons.Mat Snow. Phil Sutcflffl!, JetfTamarkln, Ben Thompson, Peie Townshend,P.lul Trynka, Kleron Tyler,Ch.lrlesWarfng.Roy Wilk In son, Lois Wilson,Stephen Wonhy.OulsZJegler Amongthlsmonth'sphotogritphen:

Cover: Suklta (David Bowie)

Mkhael Putland {Inset) RogerBarone.Jof:Boyd.l<eith Cheesman, l<eYln Davies, Duffy, Piper Ferguson,Simon Fernandez. JJ Gonson. At1 Kane,Yves l.or$on, Gered Mankowi 12. Robert Mathe\!. Shirley Palmer. !tarry Plummer. Chris Pope, Rank ill. Mick Rock. Steve Schaplro.Tom Sheehan,Joe Stevens, Ray Stevenson. Brian Willd, Robert Workman

MOJO Subscription Hotline F(ir ')uts.:-r1rt1r1n •Jr hnr~. l'>'>l•t' queriPo; ..--nn;n;;-t

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MOJO welcomes letters for publication. Write to us at: Mojo Mail, Endeavour House, 189 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8JG. E-mail: ( - . - - . ........ ,,... ......


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LISTENING TO THE THREE-DISC DELUXE version of Nothi11a Has Chan9ed, the rece11tly released Besc Of overseen by David Bovvie himself, is a revelatory experience, sequenced as it is i11 reverse chronological order. 1raveUing back from 20 14's jazz-u1ilected Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime) to the nai"ve, beat-filled joy of D avid Jones And Tl1e King Bees' first single, 1964's Liza Jan e, provides new persp ectives on a ren1arkable career. The title, too, is significant, as key themes resurface across the 49 tracks on offer. It's this experience that provided u s \vith the start point for this month's MOJO a celebration o f a man vvhose restless approach to inak:i11g m usic suggests that, even after all tl1is time, David Bovvie is still a seeker ... •

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We go alone now I, like so n1any fcllo\v MO]O is1.s, ,,·as gutted by the announccn1cnl of Ian 1\llcL1gan's death. I had Lhc blessed pleasu1·e to see tbe Faces hvice: in February of 1971 , ni idJlc biU on an aU-English i:;ho"' of Grease Band, Faces ancl Savoy Bro\vn, and again, in Ma~· . o f '7 3 on the Ooh La La tour. l sa,,· both sho'vs in Roanoke, VA. \¥ by is this in1portant? It gave a 111usic besotted teenager - nie - a focus, direction and a fervour for roots 1nusic: early rock, R&B, gospel, blues and rockabiUr As iinportant as the first shovv \vas - a ~er all, tbcy \\'Cre only t\vo years into their a1na7jng journey - the second stands o ut as an entertaining, footsto1npin', barrelhousin' carouse through great rock'n'roll. It >vas also Lhe night Lhat Ronnie Lan e, rest 'is sou l, announced he \Va · "quitting the bancl" . The stor y is de tailed in All The Rage, but \vh at J re1nember is also vivicl ancl illustrative. It vv-as Mac's birthday; ,1nnou11ccd by Ronnie on-stage and celebrated br a hug<' cake ,vheeled o ut and an audience, llonnie-led, sing-along of 1-lappy Birthday Befo re the shO\\', as they \vere getting ready to play, I savv Ronnie lean dO\\'ll and \Vhisper son1eLhing in J\ilac's ear. \rVhatever ht' said upset J\ilac, you could see it in his lace and actions. Upon seeing the cake, 1\1\ac grabbed h andful s an<l started a cake-fight o n-stage, roadies grabbing to,vels and Fw·io u.sly n1opping up butter crean1 icing .so as not to cause a niid-concert crash ... in1agi11e hitting that stuff prancing around in four-inch boot heels!?!?I It \Vas revealecl in /\II The Rage, Ronnie had ca lled Mac a cunt and it didn't go do\vn \veil. I find it hard to believe Mac and Ro1u1ie are gone, but their 111usic gave my Iife so niuch n1eaning . . . and enjoyment. God bless ya J\llac and Ronnie, I hope you gu)'S are tearing it up in





paradise; l' n1 sure St Peter 'vill have his hands full. And thank you 1\110 ]0 for being such a great chan1pion of these five guys \vho \valked into a bar. I-Japp)' 1-loli<lays to alI the Faces (large and s1nall) fans out there.

Frank Carn1ack, Trentino. Italy

Things don't always go as planned Thanks to Da1my Eccleston for his update on the in<.: reasingl) surreal \vorl<l of U 2, but are \ VC really nicant to e111palhise \vilh 1.hi.-; indusl.rial behcn1oth \Yhosc business practices over the years have become the stuff o f dubious legend ? Poor U2, o n1e 1niserum. it rnust be so painf ul to run out of ideas, yet still regard yoursclvt:s as a living punk r<>ck band. Do they not understand their 111usic, lifestyle and aspiratio ns \Vere - and still are - a trillio n n1iles rein ovecl from all o f that? "l"he ' nevv' Rainones? I think not. As to Son9s Oj"f nnocence, \veU, \i\/illian1 Blake \viii surely be ro ll ing in his grave at tl1ei1· vaulting audacity. And for its n1ooted fo llovv-up, Son9s C!J Elperience, are they una,,•are tbat the truly great David Axelrod recorded a brace of albun1s vvith these tides ovci· 40 years ago? A 1nan \\•ho \vrote, arranged and produced for everyone fron1 Sinatra and Cannonball Adde rley to the Electric Prw1es. D on't get n1e \Vrong: I bought (on in1port) U2's early rclcm;cs o n CBS l1·cland and \Vmi one or the first revie\1•ers on UK radio to give then1 a rave BBC revic' v in 1980. But, yes, in 20 14/ l 5 they have apologies to in abundan ce. Delusions of grandeur do no t a rock band niake, vvhereas a little hunu lity goes a long vvar Pity they cli<ln't go there in yo ur Decen1ber issue. A Happy J\le\\' Year to you, too!

Stewart Cruickshank, via e-n1ail

It probably isn't

Don't forget your hat

\V'hat e;-.actly i1> punk rock about l>pan1n1ing your albun1? It '"a.'n't gi,cn a\\a~- U2 certain(~ got their .,hare of coin. Of cour~c. vc..,, there arc \\orse acts out there. Shilling for Apple ancl ~ \otorola n1ight be coni-idcrcd that. \\'apping rubber bracelets \\ith Bul>h and Blair ''"hilc clain1ing to exprcl>:> the rage of the di~po,,e,.,ecl certainl) ,hould. Punk rock n1) .,ag._~ old ari.e. Oh, )CS, I \\"as 16 in '76 and a punk. Fir~l in niy I0\\11 to be hone~l. I :>il''' U 2 pla) up!>tair~ at the Edinburgh Pia) house (the Niteclub) in 1980. It " "a:> clear thev• '"oulcl be a succ·ess and that the\ \vorkcd for it. All of ilien1. • But Bono had the 1ncs~ianic thing going on e,·en then. Ob,·iously no one could conceh·ably guess just ho\v big they \vould beco1ne. But \\'C got it tht•n. Wt• just didn't ,,·ant it. So111e or Us still don't. Your n1usic 1nay be sacred but I still • tell Jehovah's Witncs.~cl> I don't \\'ant any \vhen the~r shO\\' up at 111) door. They still give n1c the chance to do ~o. Incidentally, no one could hold a candle to the Firt' Engin e~. Stephen llurru;·. 1ia e-mail

I '"as just " ·ondering if you had any stickers or a cool hat or anything la)ing .1round your offlcl' \\ith )Our logo on it? Richard Bro.~ml!)'Cr, 1\ 1ew Jersl!)'


Are you watching closely? Lad,! I do likt• the n1agazi ne but I "ould point out that LI 2 'i. lir:.t LI K ' un1ber I singlc \\·as not 'e"· 'tear'!. D<\\ hut Dl'l> irt\ fro1n Rare le . \nd /-/um, and • Hhr, front "hich 'e" )(•ar's Oa\, " ·as taken, \\·as their flr:.I UK l\un1bl·r I albun1. Good article O\erall though. Keep up the good \\'Ori.., excl·llcnt \\Titing and critiqut·s. Peter Burke, l'ia c-niaif

The audience knows the truth Brian Jonl's groov<•s to T.1j 1\!lahal (p 18, 1\!IOJO 254) but that ain't no J a1nc~ ·rhonia:. on the bass guitar. It\ ·1aj':, great regular bai-.s player at lhc tin1c, Gary Giln1ore! Nict' pit· tho'! Alvin jonlun, via e-n1e1il

I thought they might work for the government I \Va-' intercstl•d to r<.'acl in Buri<.'d Treasure that \Vo rld Do1nination l:nterprises pla~·ed outside 1'116

in 1989. ·r ht• St•<·n•t lntl•lligcncc Ser,ict' \vcre still based in Century• I louse, Lambeth back then. I played a gig in~ide the building in 1968. Recruited along "ith 30 or '>0 )Oung clerical " ·orkcrl>, l'florts "ere n1ade to keep us a1nu~ed. A pt•ri-onnl'I officer hired a PA and I played a onehour ac:ou.'>tic '>t't aftt·r \\"Ork in ilie bar on the t\\·enticili noor. 1\ lauri<.:C Olclflcld, model for John Le Carre':. George Sn1ilc~. "·as one of the n1any uni1npressl'd bystandt•rs. John 0 'Sullivan, North Cornwall

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\ Vhy do you inl>ist on placing re\.ie\\'s an<Vor articles in con1binations of colours that 1nakc it aln1ost impossible' to rt>ad ilien1? last 1nonth's . iouxsie And The Bani.hl>eS dbcograph) \vas ,;nually unreadable, as is ilie >mall rcvic" of Di~raeli Gears in the] ack Bruce obituar). Black lettt'ring on red, and so forth, docs not \Vork. R Kinihle, Leeds

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1'hank God for tht' Rilly Idol article in i\il OJO 25 3 and a " ·histlc-stop tour through sonic good 'ol rock'n'roll l'xt:cbs. Sand\\·iched bet\\'l'cn all the shoegazing, Hfth-ticr fo lkie profiles, ho-hun1 ~1\ick Fleel'.\'OOd intt'r\ie" ; and c.:ovt>r fl·ature on tl1e e'er psychcdclicall~·-~hapelc:.s l·loycl, this one '"as nearly headed for the bin. Good to kno" MOJO \'ets like Paul Tr,nk..1 and . ., tvil' . imn1ons ha\t' found fruitful . second Ji,cs after their \\'ork at the· n1aga/ine; son1etimes it threaten-. to come adrift on ra,·cs for UK esoterica ("Katt' \\ho?") sin1pl) lost on O\'er ea:. aud ienct>~. Stephen G:>nn, I as Cruces, \ 'cw .llexico

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Re ~10JO 253: I iliink it\ a tra\c~ty \\'hen there are bands still ploughing on \\'ith only l\\"O original n1e111ber~ Crhe Who, and Qut·en to 11an1c but a fe,v), but binc.:e Roger Water~ il> not there to keep the ship from hitting an iccbl'rg of t•pic proportions, Nick Nlaso n and Oa\ id Gilinour .should have rt•lcased the ne"· Pink J=loy<l albuni under another na1ne to avoid tarnishing ilic legacy they ha\'C had >Cl in stone since the up,,-ard trajl'ctor) of 771c D<1rk Side Of The 111oon. And if Rick 'vVright \Vil~ !>till alive ht• 'vould have added niuch 111cat and potatoes to the latest release than ha' ing hb ll'ft O\l'r' froni fhc Di~ision Bell be u!>ed ai. a ~ort of tribute to him. No doubt he "ill be turning in hb gra\C. Cisko Kidd, .'Vorth Yorkshire

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·111ank you ~ \ OJO for n1c to the \\Onderful "orl<l of Vic Godard in .\IOJO 252 a trul~- unique and refre1>hing 'oice in a tin1e of soulle~~ Auto-'li1ning. No"" ho''' about a ll-aturt• on Brian Auger? He's got a btory te> tt•ll and you 're the onl~· one~ to be trusted to tell it propt·rly! Chris tllcree, Florida



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Bob ends 2014 at NY's Beacon Theatre, looks forward to a new album and leads our pick of the 15 highlights of the next 12 months. Bob Dylan's appearance at New York City's Beacon Theatre on December 2 was riveting, dramatic, surprising - and as strong a performance as he has given in many years. The second-to-last of his 91 concerts this year stuck to the format used throughout the 2014 leg of the Never Ending Tour - 19 songs, in two sets, plus a two-song encore, sticking closely to his 21 st century material and with Blowin' In The Wind and Tangled Up In Blue the show's only ringers. Dylan's singing - be it snarling or crooning - was consistently melodic and expressive. The night's final song, though, marked the one revision that he made partway through these US dates. His bittersweet cover version of Jerome Moross and Carolyn Leigh's Stay With Me, recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1963, debuted in Los Angeles on October 26 and was kept in for the final 27 shows. It serves as a transition into Dylan's surprising next project. On February 2, Dylan will release his 36th studio album, Shadows In The Night, which will consist of songs associated with Sinatra. The record, rumoured since Dylan posted his version of the Frank- associated Full Moon And Empty Arms on line in May, was confirmed in November with a note inside The Basement Tapes Complete packaging. Though it may seem an odd fit, Dylan's

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fascination with 01' Blue Eyes is nothing new. 1 year: (clockwise "I used to play the phenomenal Ebb Tide by j from main) Frank Sinatra a lot and it had never failed to , Dylan in Si natra· fill me with awe.~ he wrote in his 2004 memoir cha nn elling j eve ning d ress; Chronicles. "The lyrics were so mystifying c Frank in a blue 1 mood; the c and stupendous. When Frank sang that song, I could hear everything in his voice- death, Shadows In Thr I Night sleeve; l God and the universe, everything." I Dyla n live at the 1 Dylan recorded a version of This Was My Beacon Theatre, i New York Cit y, 1 Love during the 1983 sessions for Infidels, sang several songs previously recorded by December2. ( Sinatra on 2009's Christmas In The Heart, and '( even included Summer Wind on the very first episode of his Theme Time Radio Hour. "Sinatra, Peggy Lee, yeah, I love all these people," he said in a 1985 interview, while in 1997 he described the tone of Sinatra's voice as sounding "like a cello", and claimed that he and Don Was wanted to record Sinatra singing the songs of Hank Williams but "for some reason or other, it never got off the ground." Most notably, in 1995 Dylan appeared at a television special celebrating Sinatra's 80th birthday. Reportedly, he planned to sing That's Life, but Sinatra requested that instead he play Restless Farewell from 1964's The Times They Are A-Chang in' album. When 5inarra died in 1998, Dylan issued a statement saying, •Right from the beginning, [Sinatra] was there with the truth of things in his voice. His music had an influence on me, whether I knew it or not. He was one of the very few singers who sang without a mask." The Shadows In The Night tracklist also includes such Sinatra-associated gems as Some Enchanted Evening, I'm A Fool To Want You and Autumn Leaves, the last song one of three selections from Sinatra's 1957 LP Where Are You?"l've wanted to do something like this for a long time, but was never brave ~ enough to approach 30-piece complicated ~ arran gements and refine them down for a five-piece band," commented Dylan. "I don't ~ see myself as covering these ~ songs ... what me and the band are basically doing is uncovering them." And judging from the state of both his voice and his demeanour at the Beacon, maybe - as Frank himself once said - the best is yet to come. Alan Light


-. ,.

Manchester's most storied band battle ironing boards, enlist a Chemical Brother and return with their first new music in a decade. When MOJO calls New Order frontman Bernard Sumner, he reveals that an Ironing board has just dropped on his head. But even this cannot quash his enthusiasm after playing the first mix of new song Restless the night before, created with Arcade Fire and Arctic Monkeys engineer Craig Silvey. "It was fucking great - a really exciting, thrilling experience,n he says. "It's the bit I enjoy - doing creative work, after starting with nothing." Following three years of live work, the reformed band are now fi lling that void of nothingness with eight new tracks and more to come for their tenth album. Songs began to take shape in January 2014: drums, bass and guitars were recorded at percussionist Stephen Morris's home studio in Macclesfield, with vocals, programming and synths added at Sumner's south Manchester facility. "When we have a track that is really inspiring, I'll take it and there'll be a lot of head scratching; he explains, adding that the dark of the English w inter made him productive, writing at a desk turned towards the wall for minimum distraction. uWhen I get the impression from the music, that gives birth to the first line of the lyrics, and the second, and so on. But I must admit the writing process has been fragmented and disparate, harder than touring actually." The band will produce the finished songs, to include Unlearn This Hatred and another, working-titled Tutti Frut ti, though two tracks have been overseen by Tom Rowlands from The Chemical Brothers. "We've always hired producers for two reasons; Sumner says, "because we respect them and they'll add something to a track, and to take the shit between the band and be politicians.n Reports that James Murphy would produce were, he says, due to a misunder-


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KEITH RICHARDS He . first mentioned 1l in 2011 but ! Keith will release his first solo :

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PAUL WELLER The Modfather's new LP :>aturn'i Pam>rncomes out 10 spnng. : An upbt-<1t 12-trackcollecr1on,

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As it was, when it is: New Order take a mixing break (from left) Stephen Morris, Gillian Gilbert, Bernard Sumner and Phil Cunningham (bassist Tom Chapman not pictured).

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standing in an online interview when the band obliquely referred to their signing to the Mute label. He is, politely but firml y, not to be drawn on possible themes in the tracks ("lyrically I'm an impressionist-you leave the person listening to make up the rest, and they become part of the process") but confirms that some FACT SHEET Title: TB< (' That always songs will feature bass sounds comes last. ) famil iar from the band's past work. Due: Sprong "Yes there is some of that. I don't Produ<er: llffi Order, Tom Rowlands. Craig Silvey want to belittle that person [he's (engineer) referring to estranged New Order Songs: Singularity I bassist Peter Hook], but lots of Restless/ Unlearn This people can play bass. [The album] Hatred I Tu111 Frum The Buzz: "Thlsalbum·s consists of a lot of elements, some going to be a good panini electronic, some acoustic, some sandwich. with Frances best where it's mashed up a bit, like br1e and grapes Hot a shit sandwich." Bemard Sumner Arcade Fire do. New Order's a hybrid band." He says to expect the album in spring. "Isita rebirth? nhe wonders. "Like we're gonna reveal our new direction, and do our jazz odyssey? No. But we feel revitalised, by the gigs going so well, and the atmosphere in the band is positive. It feel s perfectly natural at the moment. The Mute deal's for one album, we didn't want to sign in blood because we want to see how it works and how we all get on in the studio. But if we enjoy this, there w ill be more LPs, yes." Ian Harrison


SPARKS AND FRANZ FERDINAND A ollab· ! orac ve album by Sparks and • ; Franz Ferdinand 1sdue by the middle ; recorded shortly before the venerable : of2015 Alongtimegermll nating, Ron Mael (right) l gospelsinge1 passedaway l assure) thatit will sound .: in 2000. Titled Don'1 lose • like the ··wreckage· of a • This and fec1tur•n9 archival performances collision of the from the Staple t~\'O groups, r'J and will be slnoet, as well •' ~s 1aughter 1eleased unMav•~. it's out ~ der a brand inM.irch. • new moniker. POPS STAPLES Jeff l Tweedy hasproduc<'d a : new album using the la t • :• vocab by the late Pops Staples,











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GEORG E THE POET Erudite London rap voice scrutinises his art form, gets OK'd by Which? magazine and brings a different kind of realness. George The Poet's journey from north-west London's harsh Stonebridge Park estate to major-label rapper has been fraught with internal hurdles. The remarkably sanguine 23-year-old has grappled with the politics of representation ever since he moved to Queen Elizabeth Grammar in Barnet at the age of 11. Just one of the school's five per cent of black students, his dual conflicting lives found crucial release in his formative rhymes. ·1 always wanted to rap, but I felt it could have been done a lot better," he starts in the same softly spoken tones of his verses. •1felt a lot of people weren't being truthful or were just doing what they believed society expected of them ... I have consistently written about my situation." Inspired by Eminem and Nas for their "techni· cally advanced. very intricate methods of storytelling• and 2Pac for the way he communicated hls social and political agenda, George shifted from the world of grime to spoken word when he studied politics, psychology and sociology at King's College, Cambridge. "I was very conscious that I was the only black guy around and I quickly learnt that a lot gets lost in translation. If you're not famous and you don't have a gimmick then it's very hard to express your views. So I decided to present my raps without any music. People perceived it as poetry." Having made a viral impact with his London tribute My City during the 2012 Olympics, he launched into unchartered waters with last October's The Chicken And The Egg EP, a perfectly contained psycho-drama on the perils of premature parenthood. · when I go back to my area there's nothing but frustration and cycles, the same shit over and over again," he sighs. "I started

Simply the chest : George The Poet, aka George Mpanga, looks for that wiggle room.

off with that so everyone knows where I stand." Already hard at work on his de but for Island, due this summer, he's been able to pick and ~ choose producers including MJ Cole, Mikey J and Sly & Robbie FACT SHEET without strictly targeting • forf•ns of N11 Em1ntm ltlte Temp~t the charts. • The l)M't with more ·once you have a hit Youlube h1t1 than Carol Ann single then you have Duffy h11 h11 f11\t •ntholo9y published th111pr1n9 wiggle room. I wanted to He 1also run worklho1111n secure my status as a depnvtd London 1chool1. commentator first. • H11 ""k ll'1Your1 was Rappers have the power u1ed m• publi< 1eiv1ce1 campaign by coniumtr to do great things, but r19ht1 group Which? the music industry doesn't invite stimulating KEY TRACKS • Tap O~ncinq socia I commentary or • 1. 2, I, 2 sociological debate. It's • Toothbrushflhe force very hard to have a free discussion about social exclusion, difficult family types, structural deprivation and X, Y and Z when the people best poised to raise awareness are just trying to stay in front of the camera for as long as possible. My whole starting point is that I've got nothing to lose. •At this point in my life I'm the referee," he says, his torrent of opinions easing for the briefest of seconds, "but I want to change the game." Andy Cowan







Quadrophenia will be reimagined for orchestra, live and on record, this summer. Pete Townshend writes about it exclusively for MOJO! "I know there are many readers of MOJO who will ask why I would want to elaborate an album I have often said I regard as being close to perfect. Many rock fans hate the idea of orchestras glossing over the impact and clarity of solid rock studio performances. As a rule I would agree. There are exceptions, but they are thin on the ground. In the story of rock - the part of it I've been travelling with - orchestral work has been viewed with suspicion. I fought hard to keep orchestral arrangements off the original Tommy album. This Quadrophenia orchestral project is a development of part of a much simpler mission for me, which was to get all of the concept albums I've worked on down on paper, with as much clarity as possible. The reason for this is so the music can be used by other artists, schools, choirs and orchestras in the future. There is no grandiosity in this, it would have happened in the end whatever I did, but I wanted to make sure that the mood and tone of what I'd written in the first place, using basic rock instruments and synthesizers. was as authentic as possible. I started a few years ago by commissioning Sara Lowenthal to orchestrate A Quick One, While He's Away, the first mini opera I slung together to fill a 10-minute hole on The Who's secohd album when songs anticipated from Keith Moon and Roger Daltrey didn't materialise in time for the release. In 1999 Sara orchestrated some of the pieces in my limited edition Lifehouse Chronicles collection. She has


I The Real Him (Revisited): (ab ove) Th e Who in Quadrophenia year 1973 (from lef t) John Entwistle, Pet e 1 Townshen d, Roger Daltrey and Keith Moon; (be low) Townshend t od ay; (bottom left) the cl assical Quadrophenia launch, Carnaby Street, London, November 27, 2014.


also worked on the mini opera Rael from The Who's third album, and is almost finished with my last mini opera Wire &Glass from The Who'slast album, Endless Wire. There are a number of story-based song collections which I hope to complete over the next few years. Of course, Quadrophenia represented the greatest challenge, and couldn't be treated as light-heartedly as the mini operas. Quadrophenia has the potential to be a real opera in the cantata style. So I turned to my partner, Rachel Fuller, who had also worked on Lifehouse Chronicles. With help from Hans Zimmer in setting up a special studio and finding a perfect assistant, she has worked w ith my guidance for the past three years producing synthe路 sized demos and I have been able to comment and approve her work as the arranging proceeded. Rachel has been precisely faithful to the music on The Who's 1973 album, and her assistant, the percussionist and choir member Martin Batchelar, helped create superb orchestral percussion sections reminiscent of Keith Moon at his most audacious. Martin also helped score the choral sections and his own amateur choir provided the performance. This is a project that could have gone in any direction. Working with orchestras is expensive, and requires more precision than we are used to in the worlds of pop and rock. Rufus Wainwright, Elbow, Joni Mitchell and, of course, Daft Punk, have produced pop-orchestral work that feels ambitious and powerful but also unpretentious. I want what I do with large orchestras to feel as necessary. I believe Rachel has cracked it. Her work is superb. I am blown away by it. At the last hurdle finding AIfie Boe to sing the leading role was a serendipitous miracle. He is an opera star. already well known in the UK. but also a Who fan, and threw himself into the recording without attempting any microphone swinging. I feel it is important for me in The Who's 50th anniversary year to continue to celebrate my own work as a composer, but not to try to approach the amazing work Roger Daltrey did on the Who's albums. What Allie does on this album simply fe els right and proper. It fits and it flies. The last orchestral recording I supervised was in 1976. Things have changed. Classically trained musicians today can play, and swing (and if necessary play to a computerclick-track} like any experienced session musicians in the


Oxford slioeg,aws Ride h.lve reconJenedandplay Europe.1nandnorth Amerlun da~ tn wm~1. ~ lull 20 years aherthey last pli)'fd supportl119 ~s ln80Qhton.Otl1tr warmly1eceivtdearly '90s-vlntage rM*>nS p1om1>red them, mey s.3y; expectthe 1oetllst toerrontheNow/rfft • andGol1198/(ll)lAg11m albums. LookJng farther, new m.1~1 lwsnot bfm ruled out.

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Don Cheadle portrays Miles Davis in impressionistic music film .

rock and pop genres. I believe that the orchestral writing for movies is where this skill has been honed: composers like Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore and others now produce incredibly demanding scores for adventure films - and the rhythmic challenges for the players are equal to those offered by Stravinsky in the past. And we didn't use computer click-tracks! The [featured ensemble] Royal Philharmonic Orchestra play like a well-worn pub band. They just need bigger pubs to play in. So, having taken the plunge, and risked looking like a self-indulgent twat, hasit worked? That's for MOJO's readers to decide. But if they like the Who album as much as I do, this is another chapter. I didn't set out to make The Who's 1973 Quadrophenia recording as pompously pseudo-orchestral as it turned out. The complex orchestral parodies I produced in 1972 with synths and John Entwistle's brass were written to evoke the grandiosity and absurdity of my hero Jimmy's disintegrating inner world. But those parodies, performed by a real orchestra, are even more evocative and moving - and Robert Ziegler, our conductor, who has often worked with rock and pop artists, kept us tightly on track. I think Rachel (with contributions from Martin) has produced a score that will ensure that Quadrophenia has a new life, and provides large orchestras around the world with an addition to their repertoire that might attract a new audience to their concert schedules. Rachel has taken very few liberties, only stretching out ln I Am The Sea, which provides a kind of introduction prior to the opening song Can You See The Real Me and Overture (Quad rophenia). But her creative input has been monumental. I believe the accuracy of her work, and its closeness to my original writing, has been possible partly because we live together and she could consult me whenever she needed to. Also we love and respect each other so much, and I have to confess I feel incredibly lucky that my hunch when I first met Rachel back in 1996, that she and I were meant to work together, wasn't scuppered by the fact that before I could hire her I fell in love with her." The Classical Quadrophenia is outon DeutscheGrammophon in June.Its Jive world premiere is ot the RoyalAlbert Hall,July 5.




Tilt led Ztppelln rei\suecampaign conlinun thruugh the ytar: an expanded edit Ion PhyJ.1ca/ Grufftli 1¥111 be out at the end of February rn tlme for iu fortieth anniJtrs.iry. Thecontentsofthf honusdiscy,-ere no1 knuwn al prtu ume, but Prrsena and In Through Tht Out Door will fellow. Ofthe e11Tas, says Jimmy Page, •people will re.illy li\:e whauhcy hear:


GORDON Puhl.shed on ffblu.iry 24 by Fabel &Fa~. the ex-Sonic Youth'S<IUIO· biography pro mile "complete openness· on her hfe and \¥\Ilk. twkmg "the 101 New

York of the 1980s and ·90s thdl 94"" brnh 10 •nd nunured· 1he b.lnd Of Uir <oll.lp:ie of her marridge to Thunron Moore, the book t'Xdm1nes "Wildt p.111nershlp means -ondwlwl~

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2015 looks like another lively 12 months for music cinema, with expected releases including Tom Hiddleston playing Hank Williams in I Saw The Light, Tom Hardy as Elton John in Rocket Man and the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton, its cast including Ice Cube's son and Paul Giamatti as the notorious group's manager Jerry Heller. But Miles Ahead promises to be a more complex affair. Hotel Rwanda/Iron Man actor Don Cheadle -who makes his directorial debut with the partially crowd funded film, as well as taking the lead role of trumpet magus Miles Davis - has called it an "impressionistic" portrait ratherthan a biopic. The film will centre on 1979, when Miles was emerging from the drugaddled half-decade of ill-health and silence that followed the fan-dividing extremes of the Agharta, Pangaea and Dark Magus albums, with a parallel examination of the 1956 to '66 years, when he was with his first wife and "muse• Frances Taylor Davis (played by Emayatzy Corinealdi). Ewan McGregor stars as journalist Dave Brill, who pursues an interview with the still-reclusive star but ends up assisting the '79 Miles retrieve a stolen recording. Cheadle co-scripted the film with Christopher Wilkinson, Stephen J. Rivele and Steven Baigelman, whose credits include the James Brown biopic Get On Up. The film's origins go back to when Davis was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Then, his nephew Vince Wilburn and son Erin Davis said they wanted to make a film of Miles's life, and Don Cheadle would portray him. That Cheadle had not been consulted was no hurdle: after many false starts and diversions, filming took place in Cincinnati last summer. The Davis family's cooperation means Miles's music can be used, and Herbie Hancock and Robert Glasper are both involved with the soundtrack, which Cheadle has hinted might include contributions from Jay-Z, Dr. Dre and Nas. The director and leading man, who learned to play the trumpet for the role, notes that 'jazz' was not a word Miles cared for. "He thought the word 'jazz' was too limiting to really express the breadth and scope of what he did," Cheadle explained. "He preferred that his work be referred to as 'social music' -the music of its time. "I want to tell a story that Miles himself would have wanted to see, something hip, cool, alive and AHEAD," he said, discussing the film's comfortably exceeded lndiegogo crowdfunding campaign. "I'm hopefully making a movie that tells a story many people can relate to, jazz fan or not."


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Miles Ahead will be released in 2015.

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MARK E. SMITH PREDICTS! And fi nally! The Fall's hanging judge forecasts the events of 2015 . ..

Beards Will Be Taxed



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"I was in this pub in Islington. We went in when it was quiet, and the barman had a beard. Then, after a while, my mate turned round - 'Look! Every fucker in here has got a beard!' It was frightening. So yeah, tax 'em."

Food Programmes Will Be Taxed "They're talking about that, because they're worried about obesity. They shou ld do it. They're telling people to eat and pushing food! People watch but don't cook, just eat.•


Brunel Will Turn In His Grave

Murphy, "'11o-Ktktd with FJ on 20111 Ltt fttgtolld Sltalt

"I get the train to London sometimes - fucking useless, horrible. It costs me about a hundred and eleven quid. The problem with trains is they're full of retired fellas from Manchester going to London to have look at the girls and then come back, for seven quid. You should just have one fare."

Manchester City Will Triumph KURT


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·1 think Man City will win the League, but they're turning into United. Soon people won't be able to afford to go."

Fall Fans Won't See Brix Smith's ex-Fall Band The Extricated "I don't think of them as Fall members at all. It's weird how they've all congregated, all from different periods [ofThe Fall), but they're all the same type. They all thought I'd be a step up - people who think they're more intelligent than you are. They're fucking sub-human."

LivIn' fo r the I settee: soothsayer MES drink s t o the < fat tax, onllne trolling and the vaporisation of reality; (below) ! a graven effigyInvestigated by the pollceof Scotlan d's ex-First Minist e r Alex Salmond.

We Won't Do Anything About Russia ·what are they going around making threats for? Putin said to his hairdresser or something, 'Britain is just an island on the other side of the world, where rich people go to avoid tax.' The Russians have been flying over Scotland. What did you expect?"

Official Trolls Will Remain Hard To Come By "We have a song, Fiver Buck Troll, about how I can't get anyone to get rid of my imposters on the internet. Other titles? Pledge - those old bastards in groups going, 'You only make music by merchandise or pledge.' It makes me sick."

Scottish Independence Should Be Welcomed (And Discouraged) "I was looking forward to [Scottish independence] actually. I thought here in north Manchester we could have a border point - charge them for maps and whisky. Maybe give them some kind of documentation for, like, £60. But I think it shouldn't be allowed. If Texas said they wanted to separate from America, do you think they'd take any notice?"

Dematerialisation Will Continue "They laugh if you say, after a recording session, can I have a CD? Everything's being put up in space! The fucking cloud! Listen to Can and stuff [on MP3 compared to vinyl] - it doesn't even sound like the same fucking song!"

There Will Be A New Fall Album "One possible title is Dedication Not Medication. It sounds like a Lloyds advert. There's a bit of jazz in the album too - like the sloppy Miles Davis on Live-Evil. My rhythm section can do that shit '"'hen they apply themselves." Roy Wilkinson






::._ ~

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Wild Beasts Present Tense

Temples Sun Structures

Twin Atlantic Great Divide

Ea gulls Eagulls

Kindness Otherness

Drive路 By Truckers English Oceans

Hookworms The Hum

Andy Burrows Fall Together Again

The Barr Brothers Sleeping Operator

Does Mu rdoch's self· port ralt refe r to Postcard Records' d rumming cat?; (belo w) the artiste today.

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The last time I cried was ••• actually, I cry constantly, even if it's a hidden man cry. I cried when God Only Knows came on the radio, the bit where it resolves into the chorus. I cried watching Philomena [Stephen Frears' 2013 film ]. A whole new wing in your brain opens for crying, once you have a child. I'm 'moved' in church, you know, if the readings are beautiful or something. Vinyl, CD or MP3 ••• Not bothered. I find overwhelmingly that what is important is the way a track was recorded and produced, not so much the way you listen back. If it has magic in the making, the magic is retained. My most prized possession is ... if you could consider him a possession, then of course, my wee boy Denny. The best book I've ever read i s••• I tend to think of a slim pamphlet called The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, which never fails to change my life every time I read it. It makes me want to be a better person. I mean, I'm not simple or anything, so there must be a special power in those pages. Is the glass half full or half empty?. .. big picture - half full. My cup runneth over.


My biggest regret is••• am I old enough to regret?I liked that John Betjeman wished he'd had more sex. I used to wear a piece of cloth around my wrist, which I called 'The Blue Ribbon Of Celibacy'. Maybe I'll look back at that period with a hint of bewilderment when I'm older.

STUART MURDOCH now, in Glasgow and its beautiful and varied surroundings.

Belle And Sebastian's cineaste, in his own words and by his own hand. I would describe myself as ••• strawberry blonde, slim wiry build, not a fast runner, but good stamina. Good at maths. Will only fight when cornered. Quite a good singer, but not for rock or metal. I suppose I still think of myself roughly as I was when I was 12. Music changed me.. . because it hung about in the shadows of my life until it was time to sweep in and save me. We are like ventriloquist and dummy, music and me. I swear that most days I am the dummy, and that makes me happy. When I' m not making music••• I used to play football, which was glorious. And I used to run, which was transcendent. But I mostly just walk

When we die•.• one day when I was at a low ebb, I was sitting at the piano at my mum's house. Suddenly it became apparent to me that this life was just a rehearsal for something else, and that we were being called to a different place. That was a long time ago, but the notion stuck and I've never doubted it since. Look around you. Could anything be more bizarre than our present existence? A rational and glorious 'explanation' for our present predicament is extremely likely.

My biggest vice i s... any form of exotic, alternative or complementary medicine. I'll listen to any kook in any booth or darkened room, if they think they can make me feel better. Right at this minute I'm hopped up to the eyeballs on Chinese herbs. But I wouldn't take an aspirin. The last time I was embarrassed was ••. when I was talking to my brother about trees, a subject which I'm fanatical about, and my wife told me afterwards that I came across like a smart-arse know-it-all.

I'd like to be remembered ... fleetingly, on a Tuesday morning by a girl in a swimming pool as she practises her backstroke.

My formal qualifications are••• a driver's licence. I am also a fellow of Stow College in Glasgow, but I suspect that doesn't qualify me to sell you a cup ofcoffee.

Belle And Sebastian's Girls In Peacetime Want To Do nee is released on January 19, 2075, on Matador.

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CATHA~S AKA Chas Smash from Madness, on shape shifting, rehab and going solo. handsome, actorly figure, dressed in navy blazer, dark green corduroy trousers and colourful scarf, bowls into the Groucho club and demands that MOJO gives him a hug. "No, a proper hug; he chides, re-embracing the writer in a long, tight, avuncular grip. Meet the reborn, cosmic Cathal Smyth - alias Chas Smash, co-frontman of Madness who's here to talk about his first solo record, A Comfortable Man, which the previous night he showcased live with a 19-piece band at Wilton's music hall in London's East End. A bruised, confessional outpouring, spurred by the 55-year-ofd's split ~ from his teenage sweetheart in 2005, ?_ and treatment in the Cottonwood - Tucson rehab centre that followed, it's ~ all part of a healing process that has,



by his own reckoning, turned him into a spiritually re-awakened being, convinced that loving each other and a simple life is key. On June 23, his catharsis apparently reached completeness when he was administered the Amazonian hallucinogenic ayahuasca by a shaman in Ibiza, where he now resides. He explains the "beautiful confusion• he's currently experiencing with an I-don't-believe-it-either sense of wonder, punctuated by a warm, self-deprecating chuckle and a twinkle in his blue eyes. · sorry, if I get carried away,• he apologises in husky, theatre-ish tones. "It must be the sugar in my coffee, dear.•

How difficult was it to get up at Wilton'san d perform such personal and emotional songs? Not difficult at all. I've been a Buddhist, a Mason, a thug, a con artist, a dealer, I've been everything . Fuck what

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people think, look at Charlie Mingus, he was a pimp. Sir Isaac Newton, an alchemist and a black magician by all accounts. Who is this fucking 'moral majority'? Who the fu ck are you to say what I can and I can't say? We're all the same. What I learnt in recovery is you tell your life story and it's, "Really?! It's what everyone does? I've been wracking my soul for years about that!" No one's really that unique.


(Interrupts) . .. construct? Well, it was a construct made of psychological needs at that time. I shape-shifted into what was required - a bombastic frontman, the spirit of the band, the seed. I was extremely shy, I never took the dark glasses off; I was on speed at all the early gigs to give me confidence to get on stage. I developed a persona, based on that (pulls macho body shape) Mod and skinhead thing. I had been bullied in different places - geographically, not physically (laughs) - so I discovered the ability to fight back.

So did Madness become like a family for you? When the band came along, they were the first friends I'd ever had. As a child I was alone, I wasn't nurtured by anyone, so I found my education in books. I was over the moon to be in a gang at 15, going to school [in London] wearing '50s gear when everyone else was wearing '70s gear. I was a people-pleaser, grateful to have friends. How friendly the [band members] were to me, I don' t know. Stuff on ly becomes clearer later- I had an epiphany [with the ayahuasca] and all the myth and story falls away. Was it hard to seek professional help7 Not at all. It's that Madness thing of toeing the party line, saying we're all mates, it's all great, it's all gravy. I was reprogramming the software. I knew I had to... I had band issues, my label lost funding , my wife told me it was over. It wasjusttoo much. I needed somewhere to be held, accepted and helped. I needed someone to really go at my head with a screwdriver, open it up, get rid of this and this. Word is that you' ve left the group. Is that correct? That was in an article. Like I say, a beautiful confusion! I like to think there are seven or eight of me in my head, all fighting for the one chair. But that was the old story of me; the new story of me is that I'm in a good place. I'm enjoying being me. I'm not fighting within the band for my voice, because I've got my voice. I saw Mike Barson [Madness's keyboard player] at the gig which was really nice. It sounds egotistical but I know I'm the spirit of the band, I bring the joy element. The songwriting on the new album - delicate, raw, piano-based - is a long way from Madness's nutty hits. I've always written the same kind of stuff, it just got lost in the pot. Tomorrow's Just Another Day, Our House, Time, Johnny The Horse. It's essentially all in the same vein. It's just this time around it's more condensed. I see it as a cathartic, healing thing for men. You were good friends with Morrissey in the ' 90s. Are you still? He's not very well I read? We recently made contact again after 20 years. Then he went silent again. I think he's amazing. His talk is very minimal but I like that. And I love his new album, I listened to it then bought the deluxe edition w ith extra tracks. But atthat time, I found it difficult being me. I didn't know what was going on half the time. Tell the MOJO readers something you've never told anyone else before. (Long think) I don't exist.

Pat Gilbert AComfortable Man will be released in 2015.


DON Stones/ Dylan producerturned-Blue Note boss lauds Wayne Shorter's

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'd seen Wayn e play w ith M iles's band but this w as the first of his albums that I bought. I think it's the best album in the [ Blue Note] catalogue. It's the fu cking greatest. It b ecame an important record t o m e in 1970when I wa s 18 and going to th e University of Michigan, which I really hated. I moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, because the M CS and The Stooges lived there. One night when I cam e back to my apartment feeling depressed, this girl, a neighbo ur, was sitting on th e steps naked ho lding a big bottl e of Quaaludes. She became my girlfriend, but half th e tim e she wa s out of her g ourd. Overall, I'd lost track of my lif e, it wa s upside down b etween thi s chick and school. But the way I would get myself reoriented w as I'd lock myself in my roo m and put on side two of this album. The first song, Speak No Evil, would get me. I'd hear Elvin Jo nes playing drums and he w as playing like a m aniac; just wild, unabashed drumming. Then th ere's Herbie [ Hanco ck] playing these amazing chord s and even at 24, he knew more

Talking the talk: Don Was (below ) recalls nudity, ' ludes and getting reoriented.

about harmony than anybody. He wa s playing these j agged kinds of things but it had this kind of Zen cool to it and was smart. Then on top of Elvin and Herbiewh o are like yin and yang - you 've got Wayne, whose solo sounds like he's r id ing two ho rses. What struck me about his saxophone was that it was co nversat ional. I pictured him walki ng down th e street boxing and you can hear a few left jabs and then a flurry of punches and a strong right. So m etimes you can hear him drop back and dodge a punch and it 's like he's t alking th e wh ole t im e and what he was saying to m e was: 'Don't let this adversity get you down, be courageous and confident'. After playing the record I cam e out rem embering who I wa s and what my mission w as. The incred ible thing is, it still works for m e. It's been helpful to m e my whole life. It's like great poetry and I wa s able t o project my own emotional life o nto it and find some comfo rt. Great art enables all kind s of p eople t o read into ittheirown way. I think it's a m arvel Wayn e's creat ed som ething like that. As someone who makes records for a living it's served as a m o del, something t o strive f or. You don't strive t o make a fashionable hitthat goes away. You really strive to create music that helps people make sense of their own lives." As told to Charles Waring


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R.E.M. made Fables Of The Reconstruction with studio great Joe Boyd, but were cold, poor and curry-subsistent in London. eter Buck, guitarist: "There's an intense feeling of dislocation on this album. We'd been on the road for five years and been driven halfway insane. You can hear that - it's a real seasick kind of record. In London it was raining and snowing and we seemed to be wet all the time. But, in terms of us feeling down, it had more to do with poverty. We'd rented a house in Mayfair, next to the Burmese embassy. I'd never been in a place that nice, but I'd take the tube every day to the [Livingston] studio in Wood Green, and we had like £10 a day to live on. It was couple pounds on the tube and you could get an English breakfastfor£2. Then you'd have one drinkand you were pretty much broke. I don't remember really eating after breakfast (laughs). But it was a very creative period-working with Joe [Boyd], with someone who'd made records from the first Pink Floyd single to Nick Drake. We had a ton of songs, but at that point all four of us were kind of cracked and things weren't as easy, recording-wise, as they'd been in the past. I'd walk from the tube to the studio and twice there were bomb threats and they cleared the street. We were close to the Kinks territory of Muswell Hill. Kinks records were something I'd idealised and I tried to find the pub where they'd had the picture taken for the sleeve of the Muswell Hillbillies album. I never quite found it. We kind of had to makea decision - are we really going to go with this or are we going to be hippies and just play on the weekend? We decided it really was worth pursuing, but we still had no money at this point. The second album had sold maybe 200,000 in the US, but it takes a couple of years for money to come through. There was a big disconnect between how people might have imagined things and how we were living. I talked with Michael [Stipe, vocalist] about the new songs and how they were in a storytelling tradition, with all these characters in the songs from where we lived in the American South, people like Wendell Gee. But I also liked the fact [the album] was stark and abrasive. The influence of the Gang Of Four was really coming through. We'd toured with them and they were hugely influential - w ith their politics and their music. Funnily enough, [Gang Of Four bassist] Dave Allen now lives in Portland and I see him on a regular basis. We have dinner, go to Halloween parties.#


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Mike Mills, bassist: "[The album] really does capture a moment. It feels like England in 1985 - the dark time we had recording the album matched the dark mood of the songs. Britain was still a very foreign country to us. The flat we were in was very unusual for us. I had to get a needle and clean out the holes in the shower. The only food we could find we enjoyed was curry, plus we had no money. At the studio they had a turntable upstairs, but the only record they had was a Willie Dixon record, which I really enjoyed listening to, but we kind of wore it out. [Drummer] Billy Berry and I played a lot of pool and there was a lot of tea drinking. We were all really tired and not really in the best headspace. But out of confusion often comes great music and I think that's what happened here. This album is our storytelling album. The title does really fit, because it is fables, fables of our American South. There are a lot of people both real and imagined. Wendell Gee was named after a guy who ran a used car lot on the road from Athens to Atlanta. I've never said this before, but when I wrote Wendell Gee I was thinking of Fleetwood Mac. To me that's a very successful song and I'm very proud of this record."


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R.E.M. INV AD E TH E UK , 1985 Buck and Mills reca ll the band's inexorable ascent in Blighty, plus Tom Waits and U2's "Day Of Piss". ike Mills: "We were playing a lot of shows and meeting some interesting people. We played on [TV music show] The Tube with Tom Waits in October, and we played supporting U2 at Milton Keynes in June. That was The Day Of The Piss [sic] ... It was a pretty miserable day. When you're the opening band at a rainy, muddy festival the reception you get isn't great, but we hung out a bit with U2, the start of a long friendship. We also did two headline shows at Hammersmith Palais. They went well, we did a good job." Peter Buck: "[At Milton Keynes] there were quite a few bands, including the Ramones, and we were far down the bill. They were selling these litre plastic bottles of beer and people would chug

the litre of beer, pee in the bottle and throw the bottle at the stage. Then Mike [Mills] walks up to the mike - 'You fucking pussies, you couldn't hit the side of a barn.' Of course that was a challenge. The skies opened. Funnily enough, three days ago someone sent me a photo of the poster from that concert. My friend was touring with Bob Mould in England and they saw the old poster on the wall. He said, 'Sounds like a great show.' Me and Mike were texting - 'Yeah, if you want bottles of piss.' We were on The Tube with Tom Waits. They opened the show with Tom Waits in a pub, with people playing pool. The pool players were Bill [Berry] and Mike [Mills] and Tom was reciting 9th & Hennepin off Rain Dogs. The first thing Mike does is send the cue ball down, so they have to carry on playing without the cue ball while Tom recites. I remember our performance a bit, but I mostly remember having drinks with Tom's band afterwards. I remember the Hammersmith Pala is shows





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being good. But, at that point, we weren't super-professional and if we wanted to throw in a load of covers we'd just do that. We'd play stuff like [Aerosmit h's) Toys In The Attic, [Golden Earring's) Radar Love. I remember the Barrowlands show in Glasgow. The audience was super· enthusiastic and it was as hot as I've ever been on-stage. Generally my memory of individual shows is vague, but if I'm asked about a specific tour I'll be like, Oh, that's the one where we all read Flannery O'Connor... While we were in London [recording Fables] the exchange rate was good so all the Picador paperbacks were a dollar. I boxed up lots of them and shipped them back home. That was maybe my fondest memory of that time in London - cheap paperbacks." Roy Wilkinson R.E.M's vinyl singles box set 71N - 83-88is out now on UMe.

















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Gershwin's name had figured in the contemporary UK charts: Fun Boy Three had hauled a version of the celebrated composer's Summertime into the Top 20 during 1982. Even so, Anglo-Scottish synthpop trio Bronski Seat's Number 16 placing for It Ain't Necessarily So proved something of a surprise, one hailed by the disco crowd and Broadway purists alike. The track, culled from the band's de but LP The Age OfConsent, was their third hit in a row. Though it wasn't apparent to many, the Gershwin song, with its Bible-questioning lyrics by his brother Ira, had a protest background of which the group - strident campaigners for gay equality - surely approved. It was first performed by one John W. Bubbles, in the inaugural 124-date run ofGershwin's opera Porgy And Bess at New York's Alvin Theatre in 1935. Bubbles, a dancer who had given lessons to Fred Asta ire, couldn't read music and had to be taught thearia through his feet, dancing the accents of the song's


structure. A few years later Porgy And Bess would become a symbol of resistance during the Second World War German occupation of Denmark: when Copenhagen's Royal Opera House gave the Gershwin folk-opera an airing, the show was declared non-Aryan after just a few sell-out shows and ordered to close. Thereafter, whenever a propaganda broadcast boasted of a Wehrmacht victory, underground networks frequently broke in with a smidgen of It Ain't Necessarily So. Producer Mike Thorne, who'd worked with Wire, Soft Machine, Soft Cell and others, recalls that Bronski Seat's recording of the Gershwin classic was, like all of the Age OfConsent tracks, started in London and then finished and

; Smalltown • boys: (main pie) ' Bronskl Beat (from left) Jimmy Somerville, Larry Steinbachek, Steve Bronski; (left) Geo rge Gershwin; (below left) JohnW. lfubbles; (below right) producer Mike Thorne; (right) the single's sleeve.

mixed in New York. And there was a link to John W. Bubbles in that a tap dancer, Caroline O'Connor, provided t er yt m part w en recording another track for the album. "I can't remember whose idea it was," says Thorne, "but it won instant control-room approval." He adds that it was a hot night when It Ain't Necessarily So was recorded, with a 20-piece gay choir, the Pink Singers. "This was possibly the track which showed off the diverse talents of all concerned," he says, "starting with Arno Hecht of the Uptown Horns' clarinet taking the melody at the beginning. Jimmy's singing was effortlessly fluid, the more remarkable in that he was delivering it on his first album. Steve Bronski's delicate piano playing was the complete opposite of his physical presence, just as Larry Steinbachek's aggressive synthesizers belied his nervous personality. As we built up the layers on the . piece we realised that we had combined ~Y quite an unusual '/ set of elements." Yet it seemed

that the band was already in danger of collapse. Soon after the single's success, lead singer Jimmy Somerville, whose skyscraping fal setto proved the trio's ace-in-the-hole, was found guilty of an indecency offence in Hyde Park, resulting in a popular press pillorying. Somerville's indiscretions didn't endear him to his band mates, and numerous interviews at the time referred to the threesome'sincessant arguing. The arrest brought little sympathy from Steinbachek, who commented, •1f people go cottaging in the park, they can only expect to be arrested because it's against the law, isn't it?• Little wonder that, by the time It Ain't Necessarily So moved up the chart, the singer was anticipating a move elsewhere, claiming an inner conflict regarding his devout socialism and the wealth brought about by the group's success. He'd leave in the summer, but only after one last hurrah - the Bronskis' duet with Marc Almond on a version of Donna Summer's I Feel Love would reach Number 3 in May. These days, Thorne is ensconced in New York running record label, The Stereo Societyl( ).land working on a pilot IMAX project. Looking back on the Bron ski era, he says: "I was proud to be part of the effort that made Age OfConsent. The point of most of the songs was inclusive. The band were happily integrated into the full world [sic]. unlike some of the others at the time. There was a lot of gay misogyny around at that point, a lesbian version too. Backstage after a Bronski Beat gig, Jimmy would always say hello to my girlfriend Leila, and made sure she was comfortable. This was the natural, outreaching quality, which, for me, underpinned their music making and made it groundbreaking . Certainly the resul ting CD remains among the most compelling I have ever made." Fred De/Jar



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An 11 -day festival, Rock In Rio, gets underway at the Barra da Tijuca in Rio De Janeiro, the international line-up featuring Queen, AC/ DC, The B-52's, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, plus Brazilian acts including Gilberto Gil, Rita Lee and Erasmo Carlos. Says Freddie Mercury: "This is not normal, this is going to be one of the biggest musical events ever. Woodstock was small in comparison." The Go-Go's Belinda Carlisle remembers, " I was up for probably a week. Charlotte [Caffey, guitar] got thrown out of Ozzy Osbourne's dressing room - I don't think she remembers why." Despite the (estimated) 1.4 million attendees, drug arrests are negligible.


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...JUICE ON THE LOOS E Orange Juice, who've not long released their third full length album, The Orange Juice, report that they have split. ·we were both quite relieved," claims drummer Zeke Manyika. "It will give me the time to concentrate on solo work and Edwyn [Collins, vocals and guitar] the chance to take time off and write some songs. I'm sure we'll work together sometime in the future though it won't be as Orange Juice." Manyika is first off the blocks as a solo artist later in the year, with his debut album Call And Response.


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USieO FAGES Incredible String Band founder member and folk elementalist Clive Palmer left us on November 23. here aren't many musicians that would feel compelled to leave a group- in this case, The Incredible String Band - because they were on the verge of minor success. But Clive Palmer, who died on November 23 aged 71 , danced to a different drum. "Clive's got some sort of medieval


quality about him," mused Palmer's friend, the late acoustic virtuoso Bert Jansch, in 2003. "It really does seem like he belongs to another century." Palmer best expressed his ancient spirit on Spirit Of Love and Moyshe McStiffAnd The Tartan Lancers Of The Sacred Heart, the two albums he made with Cornwall-based C.O.B. - Clive's Original Band - in the early '70s on CBS and Polydor's short-lived Folk Mill respectively. Tinged with Breton and Celtic influences, but with no particular fealty to folk authenticity,

Origina l and Incre d ible: Clive Pa lmer, d oi ng wh at h e d id best .

the albums have the same sense of timelessness as the Cornish countryside itself. Born in north London in 1943, Palmer was a banjo player from a musical family whose childhood polio left him with a limp, a disjointed education and a mistrust of authority. Leaving school at 15. he hitchhiked to Edinburgh in 1962 and fell in with the city's burgeoning folk scene. Meeting Robin Williamson and later Mike Heron, Palmerwould co-found The Incredible String Band in late 1965, and made his one album with the group the following year. But as the ISB's form er manager, Joe Boyd, writes in his memoir White Bicycles: "Clive was a true rebel. He rejected any attempts by me to turn the band into a commercial entity." After leaving The Incredible String Band in July 1966 to backpack through Afghanistan and India, Palmer settled in Cornwall, where he formed C.0.B. with fellow displaced Londoner Mick Bennett and Cornish local John Bidwell. All three spent much of 1970 subsisting on a diet of hashish and digestive biscuits in a static caravan in a wood near the village of Mylor, fashioning the songs that would make up C.O.B.'s two albums. Championed by Ralph McTell and joined on backing vocals and congas by a pretty teenager called Genevieve Val Baker. C.0.B. had a support slot for Pentangle at the Royal Festival Hall in London and some interested reviews, but Palmer proved too wayward for a conventional career, musical or otherwise. The albums would sell under a thousand copies each and original copies have attained Holy Grail status for acid folk aficionadoes. "The idea with what I do is to be elemental," said Palmer, who once chopped down a tree in Cornwall's Heligan Woods to make a set of bagpipes. "I make things that look or sound old when they're in fact new, even though I'm creating whatever happens to be in my mind." As for his career strategy, he said: "I've got no desire for money or fame - none whatsoever. I'm quite happy sleeping on a floor or in a hedge. I'm an anarchist deep down. I'd like to see the whole thing ripped up." Palmer made occasional returns to the stage, but for the most part he was content to remain in Penzance with his wife Gina. "lt gets pretty Stone Age round here: said Palmer of his adopted land. "In the winter you go back to a real desolation. It's w ild." It suited the man who fellow folk musician Wizz Jones called "an inspiration路 perfectly. Will Hodgkinson



His King Curtis-inspired saxophone w ill forever be associated with The Rolling Stones, but Bobby Keys' career spanned nearly the entire history of rock. Although his claim of playing on Elvis's Return To Sender was disputed, he was still a friend to fellow Texans Buddy Holly & The Crickets, whose Jerry Allison arranged his first tours, at age lS, with Buddy Kn ox and then Bobby Vee. Late-'60s sessions w ith Delaney & Bonnie & Friends led to George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs & Englishmen, sessions with Eric Clapton, and, of course, Live With Me on l et It Bleed, and then on to some of the signature musical moments on Sticky Fingers and Exile On Main St. Keys served as partner-in-crime and excess to "broth er" Keith Richards, wh o shared his birthd ay and wh o kicked Keys out of th e Stones in 1973 for being too messed up, at whi ch point he joined John Lennon's 'Lost Weekend' (and oth er sessions) in LA. Keys returned to the Stones in 1989, touring w ith them until five months before his death from cirrhosis at age 70. Bill Holdship


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An Ameri can soul singer wh o seemed more cherished in th e UK than his homeland, Jimmy Ruffin was both blessed and cursed by What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted - a hit in 1966 and 1974 which in the manner of so many of Motown's golden era successes, combined the catchy, melodramatic, sympatheti c and profound. "It nearly didn't get released," he : told m e in '74. "Motown thought it ; was too monotonous and too ~ ... repetitive to be a hit. My career was really hangin' (by a thread] then." ~ The Mississippi-born Ruffin sang i!' with the family gospel group, 0 served in th e military and worked

in a Detroit car factory before success came, but despite late-'60s hit s- including I've Passed This Way Before, Gonna Give Her All The Love I've Got. Farewell ls A Lonely Sound, I'll Say Fo rever My Love, It's Wonderful (To Be Loved By You) - Ruffin was never one of the label's highest priorities. ''I'm naturally a loner: he admitted. •an outsider." This would fortify him against the lures of the music business. which his younger brother, David, a somewhat fractious lead singer with The Temptations, was unable to resist. When David quit the group, he and Jimmy recorded a duets album, / Am My Brother's Keeper. from which Stand By Me became a Top 30 US R&Bhit in 1970. 1980 saw him back in th e UK Top 10 with Hold On (To My Love). a Robin Gibb/ Blue Weaver production, while later collaborations w ith British admirers included 1984's miners strike benefit single Soul Deep w ith Paul Weller's The Council Collective and, best of all, A Foolish Thing To Do w ith Heaven 17 in 1986. Ruffin had lived in the UK in th e early '70s, and for much of the '80s and '90s, when he had a BBC Radio 2 show. His fin al release was 2012's There Will Never Be Another You. Geoff Brown



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H.OLLI NS LIV ES I ' HIS \IERY acting, voiceover and con1n1c rcial \vork. ]-Jere iJ1 Los Angeles the private citad el up in lhe HollY'"'ood Hill , \Vith one-tin1e Gap model has got his KCRW radio sho\v and colu1nn in the LA Weekly, too. When Black Flag r eunited in 7() 13 - ''~ th t\VO a cyclops-eye carnera peeking across the top o f an intin1iclating 5et of \'Valls and an utterly con1 peling incan1ations that trigger ed legal act io n - he ren1ained barbarian-proof gate. Like any \Vise n1ilitar y conspicuously absent. Depending on ' "ho's telJing the stor y, strategist, he's chosen to ho ld the l1igh ground. Roll ins is anything &01n self- n1a<le oppo rtunist uncer111ensch to a At 53 , he presides over a career one could call punk rock Superman. Today, he's animated , funnier than you're prepared for, and co1nbati\'e. But, step over a hippiecl-ou t doorstep n1andala and you' ll find an absolutely ca,·crno us roon1 that's niore cathedral sell-deprecating past the po int "vher e it visibly hurts. Age -and his than co111111and cen tre. relentless analysis o fhirnself and the wor ld around hi111 - appears No clutter and no knick-knack ·. Instead , a \Vide-open space and to have sha11Jenecl rather than 1nello,vcd bin1 . He talks, rapid- 6re, an in1n1acLilate stereo systen1 \Vith a turntable niore sci-h than hi-fi, for nine hours and <loesn 't take so n1uc h as a \Yater break, nieaning ain1ed at a solitar y couch barely big enough for bvo, or just righl for that it is aln1ost in1possible to truly l'<>ndense the encounter into one. Jt's a place fo r soletnnit}; reverence and die d eepest joy music the allo tted six pages. can supply. H e tested hjs systen1 "vith the first Stooges albun1 . "The Our conversatio n begins ' vith the H.ollins Band's 1987 albu111 truest record I O\vn , ' ' he say . I.!Je Time, \Vhich Discho rd \Viii have re issued on vinyl by the time you read this . .. He ' vas born Henry Garfield on February 13, 196 1, and the ' 2. 13.6 1 nun1erical prescntatio n of that date What are t he first t h ings you thin k of when you consider t the period Life Time cam e f rom? becan1e the narne o f the publishing con1pan y WE'RE NOTWORTHY Black Flag's last show was July '86. [Guitarist/band and record label be launched as a lifeboal to leader] Greg Ginn called me in DC: "I quit." "Greg. the cart'er \'vhich started in earnest in the it's your band - how can you quit?" "I dunno - I "Humble" Henry. By The sun1n1er of 198 1: ' vhen he left Washington DC 1 quit. Get your stuff out of my morn's house." I'm Ruts John 'Segs' Jennings. hardcore band State or Ale1t - r esponsible for like.. . OK. I need a job. I wrote the first two songs "There Is only one Henry for [solo record] Hot Animal Machine that the second release on his close friend Jan Rollins. Fron1 my point of afternoon. I called [bassist-turned -manager MacKaye's Dischord label - to become He nry view, he's a strange force Chuck] Dukowski to see if he'd get me some Rollin , singer fo r LA's epochal Black Flag. of nature. Whatever you shows. "I'd like to man, but Ginn won't let me think he is, he Isn't . He's an The band's collapse in 1986 sa" ' Rollins you're on the outside now." I get a letter from incredible performer [Black Flag roadie] Mugger: "You owe us 99 dollars declare a per1nanen t state o f en1ergency, grind on-stage, but off it he's for the renta l of the Black Flag van on your 1985 _g ing out a solo career \vith the Rollins Band, very polite. He did a great job when he spoken word tour." I got rea I very quickly. I'd been § issuing an unending series o f books and sang with us [in 2007]. He was so into it. growing my hair for years and I said, "Man, this is He's very humble, b ut there's a little bit of l. spoken \Vord pi<"ces, and then en1barking o n it." I shaved off my hair. Ian MacKaye put it in a > showbiz in him too which ls also what makes him unique. He tells the truth."




Flag broke up because Chris [Haskett, Rollins Band guitarist) was living there. We recorded Ho t Animal Machine in Leeds. Almost a year to the day later, '87, we're back with a new album. We're a very young, ambitious band, and broke and hungry. Everyone's got ideas. Everyone has riffs. Everyone is a producer.

bag and it sat in his office at Dischord in half-life until a few years ago. I said, "All right, I'm Kurtz, man. I'm going up the river." I started thinking in military terms. Rollins Band is on the road by April '87. I'm all of 25 years old, mad and ready to go. We were young and full of ideas. By the first week of band practice we'd learned Hot Animal Machine and written Lonely and Wreck-Age which are on Life Time. We're writing in soundcheck, writing in the van. We slogged through America, then leave fo r Europe. We get to England and that was great. Much better than for Black Flag.

So why did Ian MacKaye produce Life Time ? I needed a peacemaker. I call Ian from a pay phone. " I've got no money. I've got a riotous band and a bunch of songs." "I'll come and produce it." "I can't afford you." "Don't worry." That's a best friend. Twenty-eight hours later, Ian comes in sideways from jet lag. It was fike Apollo 13: "We have these four things, we need to make an oxygen processor. Failure is not an option. You have 1,200 dollars. It's Monday. We're going to be out of here by Thursday evening. Go!" We bang this record out live.

What happened when Black Flag came to the UK in December ' 81? It was awful. I'm a huge fan of British punk rock. To me, those records are life saving. We're doing a show with Chelsea. "Damn ! We're going to meet Chelsea. We're going to be friends!" (Chelsea singer] Gene October goes on-stage and says, "There are some hippies p laying tonight. They're called Black Flag and I want you to beat them up!" We played with The Exploited at the Rainbow. Me and Ian MacKaye have Exploited singles. "We're gonna meet Wattie!" After the show Ian said, "Wattie was shooting at you from the balcony with an air rifle and I knocked it out of his hand." So that guy needs to get stabbed. He needs to get his head cut off. Hopefully he's choking on his own vomit right now, dying in a hotel room. I'd love for him to die.

How did you first meet Ian?

And the UK shows got worse .•• When we played Scotland fo r the first time, a guy walks up during the first song and goes (throws imaginary glasses) two pint glasses of urine. We played in somebody's urine the whole night. The second time in England we were kind of ready. We were a very tough, hard-playing unit. I had this hate-on for England because they basically broke my heart. There's hurt that gives the rejection rea l teeth. So I got back there in 'B6 when Black

Henry Garfield (aka " I-Ian,<, The Crank") as featured in the pages of his high school yearbook. His maxim? "Skate mean, live clear."


By day a diligent Haagen Dazs employee, by night the frontman in State Of Alert , circa 1980.


Rollins fronti ng . 3 Henry Black Flag in May 19B2. 8 :' with Greg Ginn (right), the -<"' .·' "toughest motherfucker". you act?" •Yeah I ..- . .. 4 ·can Henry as Spider, opposite •


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You found punk through the Ramones. What did they represent? I said to myself, "Finally! A band that looks like they sound!" They had that song, f Don' t Wanna Go Down To The Basement. My stepbrother used to tie me to a chair in the basement and put a flashlight in my eyes and Ai ck cigarette ash on me and say, "If you tell, I won't ever play with you again!" So I never told. When I heard that song, I was like, "My life has a soundtrack!" Because my soundtrack was definitely not [Ted Nugent's) Wang Dang Sweet Poontangl

I was lonely growing up. I went to a suburban school so I didn' t know guys in my neighbourhood. I went to school with guys like George W. Bush - kicking over the golf cart at the country club in the summer and not cleaning up their mess. So I've got to walk home through the alley behind my house because the guy down the street who plays high school football wants to beat me up because he doesn't know me because I'm never there. One day I'm p edalling my Stingray [bicycle) up the alley and there are these boys on their Stingrays: "Wow, we all have the same bikes. We made a ramp at the park- come with us." That turned out to be Ian MacKaye. Me and Ian found out we both loved music. I had Hendrix's Smash Hits - my mother's record - and he had Are You Experienced? We had to go to the other guy's house to hear the songs we didn't have.

The Clash with Bo Diddley opening on February 15, 1979. I was 18 years and two days old. When you 're raised on arena rock, as I was, you'd see Aerosmith: "Is that the singer? That little dude with the mikestand?" You go from that to standing in front of Joe Strummer. I remember walking out thinking that they burned. Th ey'd incinerate songs, rather than play them. Like each song was 'Use Once Only'. I'd never seen a band do that. Joe would lean forward and make you lean backward. You weren't scared. It was just more powerful than you understand music can be.

What' s the first music you remember?

The DC punk scene seemed unique••.

The Beatles! I thought The Beatles made children's records because they were friendly,

In Black Ffag, I got to cherry-pick all these scenes. Seattle, Chicago, Boston, New York, LA,

hero Joe Strummer. "The Clash burned. They incinerated songs." says Roll ns.


Wlth "best friend ai MacKaye of Dischord Records/ Minor Threa1 fame "peacemaker" during the Ufe Time sessions.


Rollins hosting a live interview with Pussy Riot's Marla Alyokh lna at Riot-Fest, Chicago, llllnols. September 12, 2014.


At the height of Black Flag's power in 198L. •to. raptor bird. It'd eat your guys, kill your family, p lay t\"IO sets a night, eat garbage; says Rolflns of the band.

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and their face s were not scary like my father's. Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite! is one of the best songs ever. It always felt like something rea lly fun was gonna happen and you didn't have to be scared. I cannot over-explain to you how much of my life I spent trembling in fea r of everything: parents, mother's boyfriends who d idn't like kids, father's new wife who hated kids or at feast hated this one, other kids in the playground ... records never threw a ball at your head.

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What was the first punk show you saw? What did it do to you?

San Francisco - killer scenes. I noticed DC seemed different, it was very egalitarian. Girls ran fanzines. No one said, "Oh, you have a girl in your band? " No one cared! There'd be a rasta guy, a gay punk rock guy, a communist ... Bobby Byrd had a great song: •1know you got soul/If you didn't, you wouldn't be in here! " That's how I explain DC. If you knew to go to the house party to see Bad Brains, you were beyond judgment. That was the first time I ever talked to girls. Punk rock girls would talk to you! " Hey, you look really weird!" "Thanks! You look weird too! " "Thanks! I worked on this all day!" You fou nd your people. It was friendship beyond friendship. By day you worked at Haagen-Dazs; by night you sang for your first band, State Of Alert. Didn' t you see any conflict in that?

years, in all my retai l places, I had upwards of 500 employees. And none of them came close to you." I almost started crying in front of him. Before you joined, Black Flag were already your favourite band. What d id you admire about them? Damaged 1 was the greatest riff I'd ever heard. As good as anything Zeppelin ever did. I met them after their New York show [in summer '81] and me and Dukowski got along immediately. Two peas in a pod. ·so what's your favourite song?" Damaged 1. "The slow one?"

breakfast?• "Whatever you steal." "Shoplift?" "Yeah, your turn." "Oh no! No, no, noooo!" You become very feral very quickly. I learnt to eat off people's plates. We'd go to this Mexican restaurant near SST waiting fo r families to leave - kids never finish. The idea of sitting down with someone else's spit-covered fork is fairly revolting, but when you haven't eaten for a day you run to the table. That's how those days worked. A lot of hunger. What did you learn from that hunger? You learn how it is to be really tough. I wasn't tough, but I learned from Greg and Chuck, the two toughest dudes I ever met. I'd be on the floor of the SST office and wake up at 4am with a bug on my face and hear, "Uh, yeah, OK .. ."There's Greg, doing work with a British distributor. "Greg, have you gone to sleep yet? " "Don't worry about it." Wake up like 8.30 and dude is still on the phone. That's when you learn a human can work 20 hours. Those days were very lean. You could feel your ribs. It made for some rea lly 11 good music. If you listen to My War or Slip It In, you can hear the poverty the gauntness. In interviews, Greg Ginn is like, · 1read [Rollins' 1994 Black Flag memoir] Get In The Van, and Henry exaggerates everything." No, Greg. It was tough and you taught me to be tough. The one guy who never complained! The toughest motherfucker to this day! He sued me! And lost! But I still have respect for him. He's a scrawny vegetarian who caught every cold: play, vomit, play, vomit. "I'm OK - baaaaaaarf! - let's go!" Doesn' t sleep, does all the driving, plays ' til he passes out. I've never met any-thing like that in my life.

"I cannot over-explain how much of my life I spent trembling in fear of everything: parents, other l<ids ...

I come from the minimum wage working world. Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen and the Marshall Tucker Band wrote songs for me. I'm that guy! I didn't fit in at school and my neighbourhood and I didn't like living at home, so I had my retail jobs. I liked having my own money. I had keys to maybe three different stores at a time during high school. We called th at HaagenDazs the 'Punk Rock Haagen-Dazs.' Nathan Strejcek, the singer in Teen Idles, got me the job. I met the boss my second day and said, "You should let me be your shift manager. All your popular ice creams are too hard to scoop. By Thursday, you should have your soft box full anticipating your Saturday. Your copper piping is dirty, so I re-did that with cleaner I bought myself." He said, "What's your name again?" "My name's Henry, and I come from retail." Who was more upset when you left SOA for Black Flag? Your b and or your boss? My boss. "I'll give you four dollars an hour!" He came to my show in 2012 and said, "Over the

"Man, it just makes me wanna kill. I'm damaged, man!" After I sang Clocked In at a party with them after their Irving Plaza show, they said come audition. "Why do you want me?" "We thought you were a good singer the other night, and you like Damaged 1. That's encouraging!" Was there any indication of the reality awaiting you once you joined? No. And I was a very conformist person with conformity drilled into me from naval prep school. didn't steal, worked for a living. Six weeks before, I was a man of means in Washington DC with a full-time job, going, "Big Mac, please, large fries!• One day I naively asked my bandmates. "Wha t are we doing for

Greg Ginn wrote most of the lyrics for Black Flag. How did that affect you? I had to live it! To be it! Like they hand 'em to > Sinatra. You'd go, "Damn, man! Did you

"I come from the minimum wage working world. Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen and Marshall Tucker Band wrote songs for me. I'm that guy!" write this for me? Like Can't Decide?" I'm like, "That's why I go walking at night!" Same with Dukowski. He gave me this weird essay called My War. It had one lyric: #You're one of them!â&#x20AC;˘ I took the rest and made the verses. It was only toward the end where Greg would write songs I didn't get. Like [the songs on] In My Head. I didn't get those. -<:;{

Family Man saw your first use of spoken word on an album. Why?

That was a Ginn-Dukowski idea of how to sell a Black Flag record. Greg didn't like me doing talking shows, leaving the nest. So he was like, "I'm doing instrumentals." "OK. So we're in the studio, I'm doing talking, you're doing instrumentals, you got your peanut butter in my chocolate .. ." "Let's do an instrumental with Henry reading his journal over it!â&#x20AC;˘ I understood later that everything for Greg is competition, so I must be doing spoken word gigs to try and be better than Greg. It was just a new way to express myself. You've said the high point wa s in late 1984.


That was the band at their peak. The Kira [Roessler, bassist] and Bill [Stevenson, drummer] line-up. Lean and mean. It was a hyena. A raptor bird. It'd eat your guys, kill your family, play two sets a night in an airless condition, and eat garbage. And you couldn't kill it. It was unreal. Two years later it was over. Looking back, what caused all the tension in the band?

The singer was an outspoken blow-hard closed-minded asshole - me. The guitar p layer was a reclusive Howard Hughes maniac no one could understand. The bass player [Chuck Dukowski) an Armageddonist Nietzschean Huxleyan end-times guy: "Let's give everyone guns and machetes and get it over with! " What was the tension?! You 'became' Rollins in Black Flag. Was the performer different from the person ?

No. What you saw on-stage was me. No Alice Cooper, no lggy and Jim. The thing that changed me is I fell In with a bunch of older guys flying at high speed. Ian was like, "Man,

there were a couple years there where I didn't know who you were." I look back now like, "Wow! That's not me." But it was. I'd seen people stabbed. You meet guys with 10 swastikas tattooed on them. Hobos, runaway kids, guys who'd come up and pimp their girlfriend on you. Guys who wanna give you drugs, who wanna do drugs with you ... people you hang out w ith and they die while you're on tour. You get pretty far out there. So what did being in Black Flag teach you ?

All the things I learned in Black Flag and the early days of Rollins Band informs everything I do now. Someone goes, "Hey, wanna audition for a voiceover?" If it's not Boeing or someone making napalm, sure! I get in that line. For me, this is good work, if you can get it. Audition for Attack Of The Bugs 5 - "You'll be a priest with a praying mantis rubber glued to your face." Straight to DVD. Cinematic albatross. "What about your integrity?" "My integrity? I showed up on time, I memorised the entire script. I work for a living. What do you do?" People who got a problem can kiss my lesbian ass.

What did you hope to achieve when you started Rollins Band? Wait, are you telling me I accomplished something outside of Black Flag? No shit! Wanna know a fun fact? (Whisp er) Rollins Band sold more records than Black Flag ever did. When 1992's The End Of Silence became your biggest-selling album, did you wonder whether you could sell more? Oh no. A&R people tell you that. I always just tried to make records I liked. Coming from punk rock, you never expected to sell at all. The late ' 80s saw the US underground move into the mainstream. How did you feel about that? I thought it was a scam. And here's why I thought it and when I thought it. Husker DO leaves SST, signs to Warner Brothers. I said to myself, "Oh, you let a band go into clubs that smell like a broken men's room, get their chops, get their noses broken, eat a lot of shit ... and once they get themselves up to this beautiful polished pearl that can do three sets a night and cru sh it with better songs than you'll ever believe, then you pluck them out of the farm leagues for a sucker contract." So how much did th ey give you? "A thing of meatloaf, four things of ketchup - the little ones - and $20,000.'' You know what that means to Warner Brothers? That's what they pay their dog walker. A week. They know these little bands will get in a van and have four colds per tour and vomit and stagger through every gig and never m iss one. They're just like, "Suckers!" You find out later you got played, man. At what point did you feel most musically satisfied?

The End Of Silence. I sat with Joe Cole one night, a little while before he got killed. I played him the cassette of End Of Silence and he said - I quote - "Rollins, you did it." I said, "Thank you, sir." I knew that record was solid. I heard it back and went, "Wow, that's a steak!" Joe was your best friend . When he was killed outside your home in Venice Beach on December 19, 1991, you wrote, " From now on, my life is fucked with no purpose.'' How did you deal with the aftermath? I had to go on tour. A week later I'm in Australia. I had no choice. I had to move my stuff, move Joe's stuff, give it all back to h is parents, help his father orchestrate the burial ... it was like a gig ! Give everyone directions to the funeral, make flyers, call everyone - get 'em in, get 'em out, got a hard out at 1pm ! After Joe died, it was as traumatic as it could possibly b e. Everything you know becomes different. Life became without purpose, in that, well, fuck it! You just go home and some guy comes and b lows your friend's brains out right next to you. For me, there Is no getting over it, or getting better. As we get closer to Decen1ber 19, I get tighter in the orbit of Planet Joe and the days become harder and harder. There are extremely dark t imes. Almost ritualistic. It 's been almost 20 years now where I'm still absolutely anti-social homicidal. I'm not gonna kill you or your dog. I just wanna kill some guy that shot my friend . That doesn't put me in the best frame of mind. So I sit here and write or I'll put on a record I like. Sit it out, pal. Weather that storm. On the subject of writing, what did setting up your own book publishing company and label achieve? In 1984 1figured out that America is an ~ industry. I understood America - a country I ~ love very much - is not a country you live in, 't but an environment you survive. I figured that l out at 23 when I saw the Minutemen, who

never did a bad show, better than any band you're gonna see... and between tours they're all working straight jobs. Husker DO, a better band than I'll ever be in ... working straight jobs between tours. The music is not sustaining these rea lly good bands. So I said "OK, I better get plans B. C, D. E. F and G because Black Flag is not gonna keep me fed ." I started doing talking shows, I made my first little paperback. Talking tours helped me keep my first band afloat. By 1988 Hollywood starts knocking. "Hey, you're a crazy guy ! Can you act? " "Yeah !"

nothing. But I don' t wanna stick around and watch the flowers grow. Things stick. Memories, sadness ... but not much happiness or elation. I'm one lucky bastard. I'm not good-looking and, trust me, I'm not talented. But things are going pretty well for me and they keep going well. I'm nothing but grateful. But I have no satisfaction. I just live to work. Was there ever a time when you did feel satisfied? Maybe even happy? Sure. When I do music. When I'm on-stage. That's where I'm born to be. I did a school play in 9th grade, never had stage fright. I'm like a dog in a cage before the hunt. "Show's at 8? Can we go on at 7.30? Can I go to th e parking lot and talk to 'em now?" I love my audience. I wanna bring them good things. But I don't like being thanked for things. After I finish the show, I stand on-stage for the benefit of the audience, but I wanna go, "Thanks!" and run!

After being in films in the mid ' 90s, why did you give up music? I did music - write, record, tour - for 25 years. One day I just stopped writing lyrics. So I did what I thought was the bravest thing. Instead of being a re-ru n machine, I just stopped being in a band which was like, " I'm gonna pull my liver out of my body today! " I'm not gonna go out and be an oldies act. I learned that from Greg Ginn! I'm gonna have to go out in the world and see if I can do something else. There ends up being more voiceover and more talking shows and more fi lm and then, "Hey! Wanna host a documentary series?" "Yeah!" "Got any ideas for a show?" "Yeah!" And on and on and on. I will dig your garden rather than do

How do you view music culture now?



Three definitive Rollins

l• statements. Selected by l• Chris Ziegler

• •

•• •• • • •

• •

:• BlackFlag

: Damaged :•



:***** . •• ••• •• •

•• •

•• '

My War (from the '84 album of

the same name) might be Black Flag's defi nitive song - "You're one of them!" is the lyric chat says It all - but this 'Bl debut full-length with thcn·new singer Rollins is their definit1v<:? album. Greg Glnn's guitar never sour de:! so poisonous, bassist Chuck Duko\vskl and drummer Robo are a killing machine. and Rollins is out to prove himself. Or die tr11ng

1Clli:f004Q•!k!Jtj3Q l• Rollins Band

; 'l'he End Of Silence Demos • • (J \ •

:l ** **

r.'l'I' .,...,__


•• ••

: • ;

A prised-from-the-vaults issue

on Rollins' own impr nt. Cut six months before o'ficial se~sion~ for 1992's breakout The End Of Silence, these den1os are even more focused, agile and hostile than the f\na product. Check the particularly couoslve: take on signature Low Self Opinion.


Music is fantastic. Labels like Ipecac, Dischord, Castle Face - John Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees' label - God?, Drag City, Baked Goods, Southern Lord. Scott Walker and Sunn O) )) is my favourite record of the year, Soused, on 4AD. Everything you hoped It would be. The culture? There's good and bad. I can listen to your album online and if I like it I can buy it and hopefully not steal it. Bad? Butchering the English language. I sit at Starbucks and see people on dates sitting across from each other texting. They should be looking into each other's dreamy eyes. So what's your role in music now? I don't have one. I am not a rock'n'roller. My hair is grey. Any 17-year-old male can beat my ass so I must be polite. I get to be the grey-haired commentator, giver of safety advice. "Youngster, do not self-harm. It is OK that you 're gay." "Dear Henry, all my friends drink and I don't wanna and they call me an asshole." "These are people you do not need in your life. Buy the Raw Power album by The Stooges and call me in the morning." That is my role: to be Uncle Henry for young people who write me, to write my books, do my shows and stick up for truth as I see it the best I can. Who is still left to admire, musically? No problem! J Mascis! Wow. I saw h im 15 times last year. Thirty would 've been better. Deerhoof, still amazing. I thought I wouldn't like Bowie's new record. I was mad at the cover - really? Come on. But I ended up playing it and was like, · 1gotta get back into later Bowie." There's p lenty of people who still go out and do it. Tom Waits' new record Is beautiful. He's in love with music. I wish I was making songs like that. But I got nothing more in me. When you broadcast your rad io show, do the records you play sound different to you as you grow older?

:• Henry Rollins

I like them more and more. They're my family. Poly Styrene, my aunt who I never got to meet. I grieved when she died. When Lux Interior died, the world wept. These people mean so much to you. Those records mean so much to me because these are my people. They' re better than real people. It's humanity's greatest hits.

~ Black Flag

So is punk, er, dead?

• ~


; Get In The Van: On The Road V/i h : CJ '1 '.l l'lli!l lrA-ir,,...-

:***** ; : : : : ; •


Day-by·day journal of Rolllns' time In Black Flag as It happened. Part how-to, part how·not-to, part scared·stralght orogramme and part unbelievable stfe.e:-Je~el document of a Reegan·era hell·scape. Naturally, It's requlslt~ {eadlr.g ~Cl any band planning on doing t hings thefr own way. Listen to the audlobook version on that first tour long drive•

I get asked that once a week. I don't think it's possible. To me, Francis Bacon was punk. lggy Pop, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Conrad Schnitzler... so punk! Name a decade! Soon as a young person gets a hint of puberty or a different opinion and there's a guitar or a flute or a beat somewhere, it's punk rock to me! Will punk rock ever die? Pal, if you have to ask, it 's dead to you. I!)




All or nothing: (top left) Mac with the Small Faces in their Mod-pop pomp; taking a fag break with the Faces (above), Cleveland Municipal Stadium on their last to ur, August 23, 197S; (far left) Ian (on far right) in Th e Muleskinners; (inset) Faces,Small Faces and Rolling Stones singles lifted by Mclagan's Hammo nd o rgan part; (bottom) Mo ne of us", a fresh -faced Small Face .

.,i,th tonl' l.1n tl'\\art "" , .\ lac h.1d an inn.ill' pl.1: luln1.·:.s th,1t \V,\S \\rith.'n ,111 O\'l'r thl' )·aces' Stav \\'ith .\ll\ and an • l',lSl' of m.1nnl·r that addl·d bouncl· .1nd rluidit\. to thl· tonl''> • 1978 dancl·Ooor cla sic,\ Ii ·~ )(>u.

fi,·c l{.-ct fi, c inches short-.1r!.e from the othl'r :.i(k· of to\\'11 .1nd kill'\\' instantly he \Vas "<Hll' of u<;" ...\t hi<; in,1ugur.1I l'l'hl·ars.11, ' .\l,1c'. Book\·r ·r.-in:.1,irt·d I J.1n1n1ond pl.1yin11 brought to11gh-frontl·d .\ l.1rriott closl' :::" ~ to tt·,1rs. l·iv\' d\'('<t<k·s lal\'I', \Vhl•th\•r t<H1rinl! -.vith 1:1111ous l'ril·nth. or pi.tying rl·gul.1r h ,1unt~ thl· Saxon or thl' Luck: Loungl' in hi~ .1doptl·d ho1n1•Lo\\'ll of r\ustin, ' li.·x,1s. .\ l.1c'!> pl.1)·ing could '!till hJ\ l' tht· s.11111.• clli:ct. l:Vl'n th \• n1,1n hin1sl· lf \\\lsn't in1n1unc. "l can harJh· li!ltL·n to ·rin Soldil'r ";thout a tl·ar," hl· .1dn1ittl·cl. "'l'hat rc:cord's threl' minutl''> .1nd 20 '>l't·onds of goosl' bump!>.'' It \\,1i.. ht·'cl .11"·')" in'>i'\t, thl· ~ Small l:ac1.·<; - .incl ,\ larriott - .1t thl·ir IH• t, .in l'' t r.1ordin.1r~. pionl'l'ring rock· n 'i.oul l.1nd1n.1rk. It "J!> .ilso ,1 rl·1nindt•r of \\'h,11 hl·'d lo!>t: h.1nd .1n<l sinol·r, ,1nd colll"lgUl' Ronnil· ~ ~ l.anl' too. \,\lith .\ lcL1gJn intl·n.;if~ ing thl· dran1,1 on hii. tr.1ck·m.1rk I I.1n1n1ond Jn<l \\\1rliVl'r, .1s \\'l'll ,1:. thl' ()l:mpic Studio Stl·in\\,I\. gr.1nd, ·rin Solclil·r had 1t• •\ l,1c nl'\"l·r l ril·d ln .11·1icul.1tl' '"h,1t thi1t _ \Vas: hl· just kill''" it" hl·n hl· h1...1rd it. " It's just n1usic: th.1t gl·ts to us," hl· l''\pl.1i11cd at our :; fir:.t llll'l'ting. " I n1l·.1n, it's irn 1>< •<>sible to explain i "h.1t il i!) th.ll 's so grl',\l ,1bout 1\ luddy W.1tcrs' voice. :;: But h1.:':. ~inging lron1 th1.· hotton1 of his gut and ~ it'~ thl· ''Vl'l'tl'sl i.ound. \nd it', Sl'l\)·" l "hl· s,111\l' n1ight hl· .,,1id ,1hout that d is"' tincth'l' .\l.1c kl·vho.1rd -.ound that ' ~ " 'irl1.·cl up .1ncl c:oill·cl .1round thl• three ~ big' oin·s in hi.., c-.ll l'l'I - .\ \Jrriott, Rod • •1ncl .\lick. l'hosl' l>\\l'lling, h1.·lcl-do,,n E c:ho rdi. \\'1.'rl' on1.· tr.1dl·n1.1rk. But, a < 'fl·1.·I' pl.1:1.·r in 1nuch tl11.• s.1ml' " "': ai. <(





- -



\; 1998'5 .\1.I T'f-11· H.,\G I., T'f-l.\J"\\'1\R~I.

.1ctio11-packl·d rnl·moir of his, ~lac rl'l1ll'mhl·rs r1.·t·1.·i1 ing Lili.' princ.·l·ly sun1 of 128 1'1-.1ncs str.1ight rrom .\tick's pot·kl·t for th,1t Stont·~ contribution. ··~l'Vl'I' tnind thl· do1>h." hl· jt·:stcd, "I \v,1s btr11ing!" In thl· ·chl'l11l' of things. that " "' sn1.1ll b1.·l.'r. I osing ,, ·n1.1ll lortunl' t'vict· ovt.•r during the Sn1all Facl's )'l'ar~. th,1nk'> to i.01nv unsavoury industry p1-.1ctict·:., c ut dl't'p. " onll' ml·moril'S brought .1 tt'.lr, .1nd son1l' k·r1 ,, bitt<:r t.1stl'," ht• ''roll' in thl· hook· pr1.·l:1cl'. ·: \h, fuck it, no timl· lor r1.·grt·ts," hl· s,1id shorth hl'fo1-l' >:t' \\' )i.·,1r 2014, in thl' last of our hall'.-dcr1l'll int1.·r,·il'\\'S. .\l,1c's rollerco<istc:r rock'n'roll lill· had gi,i.•n him 1.·,·1.·r,1hing h1.• " ""lll'd, ~ ri~ht from d.1,. in 19 56 \\ hl·n .1~ a I O-,·l·ar-old hl· ht·ard Bill I lall·v':. , Rock .-\round The Clock .1nd \''PlTil'llCt'd his first kiss. Pi.1no ll";snn~ .1 vt·.1r or l\\'o l,ltl'r \'irtu.111\' kilk·d his in' . 11.·r1.•:.t in thl· in!>truml:nt, ,1ncl bv his l.1tl' ' t1.'l'l1S, the ,VOllll!!. .1 rt stude nt .1nd R&B ..,, hopeful ' vith The .\ lull'skinncr:. \v.1s pl.1:·ing rhythn1 guitar. Early in 1965 ,\ lac hl·ar<l Booker 1: 's Crl'l'n ()nions. "My life changl'd fron1 that da;," hl·'cl .11\\·,1; ~ insist. " I just lov\:'d the 'f-lam111ond sound." It \ \ <lS Ustl·ful. Jnd. hl.· urn1isl·d, not too difficult. I l.1\'ing recently S\\'itchl'd to kl')'board ("l'hl·r1.· \\'l'l'l' n 't n1.1ny kt·yho.1rd player ,1round"), "hcrl· ht· strugglt•d to hccon11.· th1.· Tham1..·s i)l·lta ·., •"'"" t·r to Johnn: Johnson or ()tis Sp.1nn, \',\!.l' "''" a kl'\ considcr.1tion. "You clidn 't h,1\1' to do much plJying." ht· .1dmittl'<L ''J u:.t ~





pr1.·ss the plJstic ,lnd ho ld th1.· chord d o"·n. \Vith ,1 piJno you\ 1.· got to kl.'c:p \\'orking." . \s ,, .\ lul1.·skinn1.•r, ,\ l,1c had ,1lr1.·,HI~ h.1ckcd I lo"lin' \\(>It: :onn\. Bov , \\'illiJ1nson and Little \\'Jll1.' r. I lis ,unlution l<> h1.•com1.· .1 graphic de:.i~11.•r \\'Js f,1din!.! .._-, l.1~l. "'.\othing ... 1.·lst• mattl'rl'd hut mu~i<. , " h1.· r1.·ml·n1h1.-r1.·d. \ \ "ith onl' call from Don \rdt'n, ,\l,1<.· l(1und him~1.·lr .lt thl· Cl'lllrl· or I ondon '-;pop 1><.1.•n1.· - in tl11.· c:h.u1~, in .lnd out of C.1rn.1by Strl'l't \ top boutic1ul'1> ,,nJ haring up .1nd do" n tht· country, in .1 ch.1uflcur-clri,1.·n J.1g. v ~ l.11.· h.1d "bl·l·n pickl·d up hy n1y 1.·nrs and thro\\ n onto lh1: n:d c.1qK'l". ·rh1.T1.· \\·as :inothcr sicll· to pop f~unt•: thl· '1n.1ll l·.1c1.·s \Vl're \vorkhorses on :i fix1.·cl \V,1g1.· of 1.20 :i \\'l'ek. )(:ars lat1.•r, ,\•l.1c still h,1d littlt· 111 en1ory of hair the: things thcv. rl.'cord<:d: "I ·vl'n G1.·t Yours<:If 'l(1g1.·thcr, to P,1ul \ \ 'l.lll·r's ch.1grin! I onl~ l'V1.·r pla~·t·d .1 lot of t hos1.· songs ont'l'. " .\h, ,1~s g1.·nl·rous to p1'l'r'\ likt· ;\'icky Hopkin ..., Bilh l'r1.·i,ton .1nd St1.'\\'.H'l, ,\la<.· ran:h t.1lk1.·d ul> his o\\ n pl.1) ing. "Thl· n1.tll J-.1Cl:s \\t:n: .1 guitJr h.1nd th.11 I pl.1~1.·d k1.·~ ho.1rds in." hl''d insist. But hi'i contribution. s.1nctil\• ing tht• u sound on singl1.·s likt· \II ()r ;\'othing ... and the ()f )our Lo,·c, "grou1>'s S\\'ansong... 4 5, .\ht•rglo\\' ~ ,1nd \VTiting idiosvnc r.1tic Lf> tr.1cks ( Lltl The \\(1odl·n I liJI., lo Bl·dt<>rclshirt', .\go .\nd \ \hrld!> .\p.1rt) \\".1!1 int1.·gr.1l to thl' m.1ll 1·acl· ·' sound and app1.·al. ~








,...,._,l-1F ' .\l.\11 l·.\CI · H \L) Bl :EN l· OLIR \'oung ... n1t·n "out lc1r 111usic and tl111", the l·Jcl·s, ti1r1nt•d .1 ftl·r ,\ l.1 rrion 's hurtful <ll'p.1rturl', l'l'Pl' •lll'CI thl· ,., ,,t·ril·nc1.-, albt·it as a llv1.·-ph:c:l'. l·rontl·d hy l ~od St1.·,v,1rt, 24 ,1nd hungr)' li>r his hn.·.1kthrough, th1.· l-.1cc:s broke thl' St.llt'S as .1 hugl'I)' suC:C:l'Ssful live ac:t, Lh1.•ir h.1lls\, . h.1 rroon1-sl\. It• hit~ like· St.I\. 'vVith ,\ ll· .1nd Cind~ Incidt·nt.111~ (.1 r,1rl' .\ l.1c singlt· co-c:rl-clit), r1.·lk·cting tht· 'vild p.111ying liir "hich thl· group \\'l'rl' r1.·110\\ nl•tl. ()net• .1g.1in, th1.· b.1n<l '''l'r1.' ripp1:d .1p.1rt hy tht· fronln1.1n, \\'ith Rod turning thl· I J<:1·~ "into .1 loungl' ... .1ct". bt•forl' J fln.11 c:oll,1pSl' ,1t thl• 1•nd or 197). \f ll'r .111 undistinguishl·d spl·ll ,1s p.1rt o f a rclorml·d Sm.111 I .1c1.·s, .\ l.1<."1> 111.' \\ rok· .1s .1 hir«.• d h.1nd l'l'Ct•h t·d .1 hoo!.t "ht·n .1 !>l'S!>ion \\ith the





Stones l(>r Some Girls led to t\\o tours ,,;Lh th1.· b:ind. rt·uniting him ,,;lh pa11~· pal l~u nnic \ \(1o<l ;ind picking up a taste f<>r frcl'b.1sl' cocainl'. ''l·ucking ,1\\ lul <ll''il's shit." ht· rl'c.illt·d. "Luckil~. I 1-.111 out of mont' •\ after .ihout a •yl·ar." Bt·tter still, .\l.1c \\'<IS ,,;th th1.• lovl' of his lil1.-, Kim K1.·rri!.!an, the onc-tin1c .\ lrs Keith .\loon. \ 'ii111alh , r1.•scuin(J hl·r fro n1 his old n1atc 's ter1;f,inu ~ . ~ t'XCt'SM..'<; in 197 3. thl' pair married in 1978 Jnd rl·m.1in1.·d insep.1rablt· until h1•r <ll'ath in .1 c;ir accidt·nt in 2006. Kini \Vas thl' third and most appalling los~ 1\l,1c h.1d to f.lCt' . Hl' ho nourl'd hl·r on \ 'ercr 5111, \ \:1 ,•r (2008), hi sixth solo studio .1lbun1, \\hi It· pri\ ,lll'I) .1dmilling thJt hl· \\'J'> still :.trug,gling. ~ t·t hi~ gril.'f l1:d hin1 to .1 hL·ight1:nl.'d undt•rst.1nding of n1usic's l'Xtrilordin,11')' po\vt•rs. " l·or a ''•hilt·, th,1t's ,111 I, " ht• told ni1.· in 20 I I . "I didn't ki10\v if I \\' JS gonn.1 pl.1) or l"l'C111·cl .1g.1in, .. but I listcnl'<l. I hadn't realised just ho\\' strong n1usic could be," hat po\\'l'rs it has. It hl·lp:. ni1.· to thi · d,1,·. . Kim ,,·as n1y. 1nt1Sl'. I hadn't l'l'<lliscd that.\ \ 'h1·n I sing. I rl:t·I hl·r 1>rl'sl'ncc, I ~ing to ht·r." ' .\no thl·r <lCl orhl·aling had bct:n Otl th1.·'c,1rd\ for 20 I). n1.1rking tht· mall l-,1cl'S 50th ,1nnivt•r;,.1r\, . \Vith tht· po<;sihili~· that Rod ll:\\·art \\'ould coinl' on ho.1rd .1ncl 111.1kt· it .1 douhll· I .1c1· ~ ct·l1.·hr.1tion. \Vinding up in Dt'Cl.'n1hc:r J() I 3•.\l.1t \\,l:, thrilk·d .lt thl· prospect of honouring tht• hi stor~, rl·unitl·d \\'ith Kenne~· Jones, Ro n nil'\ \(>od and" hol'\'tT l'l~1· \Vas up l<1r it. "It's ,1 grl·at reason t o reh.1sh " ·hat did on st.1g<.'." he said. "But this tin11.-, tl11.· acoustic gu it.1rs \viii lit· prop1.·rl~ amplifi1.·d- .1nd tht·r1.·'ll b1.· ph.11>ing on tht· drun1s!" 1·1.'\\' could ha\·<· imagint'd lhilt .\ l.1c, "ho died of ,, 1n,1ssi\'l' slro kl' in .\ l1stin o n l)t·ct·inhl-r 3, 20 14, \vi ii not he thl·r1.· should any reunion 1icnv t.1k1.· place. St·l.·n1ingly blessed \Vith ,1 11 .1ur.1 of 1.•tt•rn.11 youth, i\ l,1c \\'JS Jl \\·a~·s out pla) ing, .1n<l still ll·Hing off Sll·,1111 ,1bout l'Vl'rything, frc>111 thl' gl·niu:. of .\ludth. \\~lll'rs lo thl' ''lak·ntl es~ <lanCl' ,\nd mil11l·" ,1cts Lh,1t clon1iniltL· tod ,1~ ' ' pop 111.1rk1.·l. 1t nl,1d1.· hi\ <k-.1th M.'l'll1 all th1.· mon: o;hocking. .\ ll'\\ d,1~s .\IH·r thl· lll'\\S h.1d ~unk in, I pick1.·d up th1.· C<>p) orhis book, \\iLh its "(;rt•at to ml'l'l you & t.1lk . .. I likt· to chat!" inscription. I ''ill 1ni!t1> thoi.t• ch,1ts, .1nd Richmond'i. rock l.1ndn1,1rks ''ill nt'\'l'r· in quite the ~Jn1c " '•') ag.1in. ~








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, S IE V A D Y A R to s k a e p s T PAT GILBER Y R O V A K IC M d n a S DAVE DAVIE . s s e n d a m ir e th in d o th e a n d discovers th e m

H EN RI SING fOLK DEITY James Ta) lor vvalkcd on-stage at the Troubadour club in \iVest 1 H ollV\\'C)od in ovember 1970, , he -vva expE'cting an O\ration fron1 tl1 e politel)' hushed hit)l)Y cro,vd. Instead, a man dressed as Al Ca1)one stood up from beh ind his table, pulled out a gun and fired at him. The \iVouJd-be assassin "''as a 23-year-old E11g1

lisl1 rock musician called D ave D avies, ,.vh.o, like three of his bandmates in The Kinks, had sp ent the afternoon, dru11k, in a fancy dress sl1op 011 H ollywood Boulevard. After D avies and his \vcapon , a harn1less cap gun, \Ve re thro\vn out into the street, he caught up \vith the rest o f the group at the vVhisk1 A Go-Go a fe\V blocks a\vay. Drun1111er .l'vlick Avory \Vas sporting a clo,vn 's o utfit, complete \vith orange \vig, over-si7.ed shoes and trun1pet, so it \.Vas little su rpri e that his atten1pt at a back son1ersault o n the d ancefl oor later that evening failed so spectacularly. A paramedi <.: had to be called. Vie\viJ1g t.he g rin1 ca rni vaJ fron1 a secluded booth, 1·he Kinks' fro ntn1an and N .~N APTLY SU N NY son~vrite r Ray D avies recoiled. " I \Vas a fte rno on in Septe1nbe r haying a nieeting 1vith [the I.he n head of MOJO is enjoying a n alfre.sco vVam e rs/RepriscJ lvlo Ostin," l~y recalls lunch \Vith Rav D avies at a cafe near today, "and I sa\v all these people claJ1cing • Ko nk studios, the b and 's facility in aro und dressed as c(o,vns and \l ikings. I n o rth Londo n that birthe d all The \.Vas as han1ed to kno'v the1n!" Kinks' LPs fro n1 1972 to their spli t in The fo llo1ving day, the band's co -m an1996. A fe,v clavs earli er, he'd cclcage r, Gre nville Collins, s un1mo n ed the " brated the SOth anni versar .v of You hungover revelle rs to his hote l ro om to Really Got Me, the band's epo chal first info rn1 them that the ir ineb1-iate<l antics srnash that all but invented hea''} rock, "vcrc turning The Kink~ into a n1u ~ i c inIn 1965, we'd played ARENAS and \vith a sold-out solo sho\v at London's dustry joke . Just then , keyboardist Jo hn RovaJ Gosling burst into the roon1 '"caring the had ESCORTS, now we , f estival HaJJ. were starting at the bottom again." TelJingl)~ the sctlist igno red much Viking heln1e t and shaggy coat fro n1 the night before, and ga\'e a olast o n his plastic o f ·rhc Kinks' vast and intriguing Viking horn . "The tin1 i ng ," says 1'1 ick 1970s output in favour of their n1c lanAvo ry, '\ vas perfect. " cho l ic, bitte rS\\'CCt 1nid-'60s hits But everyone kne\.v Collins had a point: The Kinks' future Waterloo Sunset, unny Afte rnoon, Dead End Street - and for an ob,,io us reason. Fro m 1968 to 197 8, not o ne in t.his brig ht ne"'' d ecade ,,·as already looking extren1c ly precarious. In the UK, their pre,ious three LPs had failed to Kir1k.s studio album charted in the UK, and fc\v singles did either. Even tl1c canonical The Village Green Preservachart, " ·hile a lengthy ban frorn playing in America, spanning 1966 to 1969, n1eant the can1paign to establish then1 tion SocielJ ( 1968) andAnhur... Or The Decline And Fall tatcside had o nly just re-star ted . The ir Bri t Oj77ie British Empire ( 1969), amo ng the finest n1editaInvasio n peers ~fh e Rolling St.o nes and The Who tio ns o n the death o f picture -postcard England and 20th century quo tidian life, \Yere cornrnercial catas\\'e re selling out LI arenas and shifting millio n o f records; -rhe Kinks ren1ained a n1ino r cult odclit:v. trophes. And another six albtuns \vere to follo" ' the1n , Yet the early '70s ' vere to prove an extrao rdinarily fertile into the cut-out bin . n1usical period fo r The Kinks, m arked by a series o f intensely o it \vas, "ith the hits dJ-ying up, 1J1a t in sun1n1er 1969 en1otional and daring concept LPs, ins pired by Ray Davies's ·rhe Kinks had eagerly en1braced the ne\vs that a n1ystifydelicate psychology and jaundiced vic' v o f a " 'oriel seeming ly ing ban fro n1 the ir pe rfo rming in the LIS - possibly unab le Lo accornmodal.e his sint,rular t.alent. It \vas -rhc Kinks' sparked by Ray rnanhandling a unio n-affiliated tcle,ision darkc ·t hour - tainted by s uicide atten1pts, n1arital breakstudio technician there in 1965 - had been lifted. A do,vni;, bad luck and ni uch soul-search ing- but it also sa" ' tour o f small venues and theatres \Vas quickly arranged, the infan1ously quarrelso111e Da\'ies bro thers re-bo nding and in October, t\vo n1onths af'ter vVoodstock had rallied hippy An1erica, the no rth London lo ur-pie<.:e arand the band rediscovering the ir id, in pre paration fo r a 1niraculo us transfo rn1atio n in the late 1970s into o n<' o f rived again in N e\\' Yo rk. The continent, it see1ncd , ~ the biggest rock acts in the \vorld. had been niissing tJ1em. ~ " \/\fe \VCnt <l0 \\11 really ' veil," recalls 1\1lick A,·or y. S " It n1ust ha,·e been hard being in The Kinks at that ti1ne," "111e Kinks \Vere very EngJL5h and the Americans liked says Ray D avies, o f the rest. of the band. "We didn't sell rnany records, but that \Vas never the objective. I \vas on that. In 1965, ' "e'd played arenas and had police ~ escorts, no,,· \Ye \·ve re sta rting at the bottom again. " ~ a 1nission - I needed to get son1ething out of n1yself."










The 20-Jati: tour included t\\'O sho\\'S at tht> Filln1orc and a l>hort, ~ol<l -out rt>siclent)' al Ull' vVh, att(·ncled on l\\·o occasioni. by 1\t\ ick JaggL·r. By the tin1e die ,·i~il ended in Occen1bcr 1969, 1>Uch \Va~ the grouncJs,,·ell of good \'ibcs that another tour \Vas already arranged for January; but \vhen Thl' Kinks rt·tur1H'<I, Lh(y lasted only four dates before Avory I lcpatitis A. Once again, fate had c1-uclly undc rn1ined the band'i; effi>rts to reach a ne'v audience, and thev, liinped hon1L\ (k·jt•ctt•d . It :.aid ni uch abou t l'tay Davies'~ particular fru stration \vith music that, b,1ck in London, he took an acting role - a dil>ciplinc that \\Ould ha,·e significant ramifications for his band's futun.' direction. I Iii. interest in tele,;sion, film and theatre \\'as blo:.son1ing; in fact, 1\rrhur had begun life as a play for Granada 1\: eventually shelved. NO\\', Da,ie:. ''il~ ca~t in tht• lt'acl rok• as a northern 01usician preparing for a piano n1arathon, in a BBC Play For Today produttion, The Long Distance . . Piano Plaver. , "The Tin1('~· c1;tic ''rote, 'Given a good script, thi!> boy can act'," Ray says, chuckling. Other pans &GLa ,. \\"ere offered, but rock'n'roll insisted on being tht.· - -._ singcr':. destin)'. "I had an albu1n an<l tour to <lo, so I didn ' t take the roles," Ray explains. "I probably think too much to be an actor any,vay. All'c Guinnl·:..~ said he needed a part lo fill his interior. I have too n1uc:h inter ior of 1ny O\vn; there' too 111uch fighting going on dc)\vn therl'." Da,-ies ' vas alrl·ady busy \Vriting tracks for a ne,v, loosely-the111ed alhu1n Lhal lurned sharply a\vay fro1n his preoccupations 'vith a lost rural l: nglancl to\vard~ '\0111cthing Lhat troubled him even 111ore: the t·aprices of the 111usit· bu~iness, a ~ubjet·t on '"hich he ,,·a~ expert. Iron ic:ally, bl·fore the albu111 \V3.'> recorded that sun1111er at J\1organ Studios in vVillc~cll' n, the sing-along Lola - a riS<JUC tale of a transcxual encounter in a Soho tlub - gifted The Kinks ,,·ith I.heir first big UK hit for t\\ o }l'ars, bl·fore a se,·en-\veek US tour in J\ lay launched it into tht> Billbo,1rd Top 30. -rhc .,udden and bricf up " ·ing in fortune coincided \Vith the rtt·ruitment of a ne'' n1crnbcr, John Gosling, a mu -ic student from

Dorset '"ho share<l the band'~ cnthu.,iasm for booze. " It ''as 1obby [b,1.,.,i~t John Dalton] that christened hin1 '"l'ht• Baptist'," explains Da\ e Da' iei. 'ia ;1 tran:iatlantic phone lint'. "I le '"a~ gangl) \vit11 long hair and resen1blcd i1nagl'l' of the Biblical Jo hn. I ah\'ays like I lamn1ond organ, and that \Vas his sp,'ciality." " I liked having n1ore people in thl' mix, rather than the four of you push(•d together, '"ith t\vo brothers \Vho didn ' l see eye-to-eye," says f\vory. " It '"a~ a volatile group, it '"asn 't ahvay'\ cornfortablc. But The Baptist""'~ a bit ofa character - he liked runn\ antic and \\'3l> • sui.ceptible to up." The Baptist relt his \\a)' into tht· band on thl' '>C'>'iion!> for \vhat \\Ould become Lola \ l!rsu~ Pon·erman, an uneYen but fal>cinating record 'i\\aying fron1 the "ii.tful t:aJcnccs ofThi Tin1e Tomorro" and A Long\ \'a\ ~ Fro1n I lon1e to the hard rockin' Po,,crn1an and Da,~· l)a, ici.' RaL'>. l11e Po,,·ern1an \\'.lS a \Cih:d figure "ho, in tht' ~ong, rcprci.cnted naked n1w.ic-biz grct·d; a n1an \\'ho "has 111y n1011cy and 111y publishing rights". l:.IS<''''hcr(', l op ()f.rht• Pop~ and Denn1ark treet poured disdain on l\\'O pillar~ of tht· indu~try, though it \\'.:I~ The i\tloneygorouncl - half \'audc,'illc skit, half ~h o" tune- that n1ost upset The Kinks' n1anagt•r:., Collin'> ,1nd Robl·rt Wacc, suggesting they had exploited their son~vriting prodigy. ThC'ir a~socia ti on \.Vith The Kinks \.vould survive· on lr another I 8 n1011ths after its relt-ase. ·roday, Davit's i defensive about sec1ningly biting the hand that ft•d . ..-rhat \Yas a plat·c in time, and I \vasn't saying tht•y \Vere bad pt•oplt:," hl' clSS{'rtS. "\Vith Grcn,ille and Robert it \\as a kinship, it ,,·asn't a nlanagement relationship. We \Vere friends ''ho lillrcl a void in t>ach oLher." "They ,,·ere public school \\'ho thought it ,,·ould be fun n1anaging a band," t:ontcnds Avor); a little less charitab l~: " I liked then1 personally, but they'' cren't \ery good, that ,,.as the thing. l~obert usN:I to get 111ixcd up and !>end us up to Sunderland on U\t' " ·rong ,,t..•1.·k. Gren\ illl· \\·a:. the one to l>tick hi~ neck out - ht· got into a taxi al an airport once, and t11c driver \\·ent, 'Sorry n1ate, you 'II ha'e to go ~ MOJO 47

..,;( to the front of the queue.' (Posh 1·oice) ·~o. I \\ant this one.' It " ·ould gc..•t into a shouting niatc.h, and he'd go, 'Come on then, hit nle.' It ''a~ an1u~ing but tht> no,·t>ll:)' \Vore off." A second singk· from Lola, the jaunty Apeman, ga\'e The i(jnks another big UK hie, but it flopped in the Statt>s, ,.,ht>re, confusingl)·, the albun1 cli1nhc..-cl to an encouraging Nun1ber 3 5. Signs for a ton1111crrial rebirth in A1nerica looked po~itivt\ but a:- the..• farcical fancy-dress scent's on '.:>unst•t '.:>trip undcrli nl•d, the group didn't ah, avs takt· their niission that seriously. ' ' In fact, the clcl\vn ish hch,1viou r 111asked some dark and troubling developn1ents in the band. It \Va~ in January 197 I that the fi rst cracks appeared. After a tri p to Australia fell through \Vht>n the 1>l,1ne tickt·ts never niatcrialisecl, a tour of Germ,1ny \vas also cancelll•d; Dave Da' ies, it soon transpired, \ Vas suffering fron1 depression. ·rhe rclt'ntll'S'i touring of the past t\vo years ha<l taken its toll, JS had a brain-mt•lting acid trip in l 969 ,,·hich introduced hin1 to a 1ny!>terious cosmit :-.pirit called 'The Captain'. "The l'ir t fh·e .vt•ars in the band \\'ere like heaven for n1e," explains O;l\c. "The tra,elling and girls and mectingne\\' people. It all seen1ed so eas\' - tht· 1nusic came our of the \\alls, ,,·ou \\'Ore sillv, hats and people thought you \\'Crt' cool. But by the early '70s I found nl)'self feeling quite clo\\11. ·rho..c big questions_ ,,·ho a1n I? \\ hat an1 I? 48 MOJO

\Vhy am I? -\\·ere becon1ing i111portant." The guilarisl rallied in ti111t· for yt'l anothe r American tour, this ti111e inciting dotous scenes. Their assault on the U gig circuit \vas paying di\i dcnds '' ith bigger and niore enthusia-.tic cro\\ di-, and at the Philharn1onic Hall at ~e"· York'!> Lincoln Centre in :..larch a chaotic pt·rforn1ance cheer-led by a tipsy IZay, "ho clain1s bi drink \\C\S spiked, e ncll'd in a stage invasion and the singer su taining head injuries fron1 a toppled an1p. Yet. ensconced once agai n at ~\ organ Studios that su1nn1er, Davies's tactic to \YO\\' the US market sce1ned questionable. H is next 'concept' involved the destruction of London's \Vorking-class con1111unilies unde r the vvrecking-ball of pos t-\Yar urban rt>ne,val. Mus1vell ffillbillies, nan1ed ror the band's childh ood locale and featuring on its co,·er the t\rch,vay Tavern, reinforced the notion of Davies as a class-conscioul>, incorrigibly romantic Englishn1an yearn ing for simpler and better times. Earlier that year, he had • effecti,·elv thro,vn a\\·av. one of hill , finest songs, the hymnal God':. Children, on the soundtrack LP to the flop penb-tran:-.plant 'con1edy' fil111 Pe rl·y; but niercifuJJy its poignant <.'l.:'ntral tenet - tl1at bureaucracy \\<lS destroying n1ankind's soul - \\'as \\Tit large in the tracks ? Oth Cl' nlury ~I an and Acute chi1.ophrenia Paranoia Blues. I-Jen:, 1110dcrn ity held little value ("You can keep all your sn1art n1oclern \Vritcrs, give me Willian1 Shakespeare") and civil servants dres~ed in grey robbed vou vour liht>rty. .}':> But 1vhilc Muswell Hillbillies' subject 1nattt•r and f language \vas parochial, its sound \Yas " ·holt>heartcdly ~ An1erican, incorporating bluegrass, country rock, boogie, jail bal- '§ ),ids, Southt•rn funk and, on Acute Schizophrenja P,1ranoia Blu('S ~ anti Alcohol, \VOOl.V C\Y O rleans street-fune ral jar.1.. It " ·as a strange ~ tran~atlantit· collbion, yet one that for the first tin1e ga,·e free rein ~o the group's dc..•(•p-rooted n1usical passions. "\\'l• ''l' rt• ahvay:. he a,·il~· influenced by An1erican n1u!>it· ian~ !i likt• l:ddie Cot·hran, F.h·io;, but al o countr~· arti'its like l:arl Scrugg~ ;: & Lestt'r FlatL, I lank \\' illia1ns, all these people," e>.plains !:' Da,-c. "1\nd no'' \\'e liked Ry Coo~er ~d The B~d.'" . % "There h a~ ah\'avs be-en a lot of trad 1az.z and D1x1cland 1nflucnc.·e • .;






in n1y ,.vo rk, even son1cthing like Dead End Street," adds Ray. What happened next \\ras ugly, b ut necessary fo r The Kin ks to " I supposeA!fus1vell Hillbillies \vas like shooting the script o f Goodft!llas 1nove lo r,vard. Jn July that year, after 111o re US tours, they appeared \vith l{ay W instone in the lead. It \ Vas a cultw11I tranny- no bad thing." on a sun1me r festiYal bill at west Lo ndon 's crun1bling White C ity Signed in ovembe r 197 1 to ne"v la be l l~CA, The Kinks dog track, headlined by Sly & The Fan1ily Stone . During their set, reh1rned to lhe US the follo,vi ngyear tor a series of tours, including lasbed ,,·itl1 rain, Ray Davies unexpectedly annou nced to the huge a s u1nn1e1- ouling \vith An11::rica's sin1ilarl y e111blematic but co111cro"vd that the group '\Vas splitting up. This tin1e, it was his turn to 111ercially out-of- favour survi,·ors, The Beach Boys. Hi-jinks an1ong n1eltdo\vn, on a public stage and in s pectacuJar style . criss-crossing Brit-rock invaders re igned, \Yith M ick Avary o n o ne Ray bad kept it secret, but his "'rife of nine yea rs, Rasa, tired o f his n1e111orable occasion \\Testling \vith Led Ze ppe lin's burly Jo hn fo reve r being a,,·ay on tour and in1n1ersion in h is art, had left hin1, Bo nhan1 in a corri dor of LA's Continental 1-iya tt l loust: J-lote l. taking the ir t\vo children ' vith ht>r. J-Jo\vever, once again, D ave's psychological " It hit hi1n hard," says Avory. " Ray felt really rejected fragility ~vas to unsettle the group. - he gets very up and d o'vn all)'\vay, he gets depressed . One Au& >ust evening in Manha tta n , the vVh cn he announced at vVhite City that he \Vas going to jack it all in, the rest of us \Vere stunned . H e \vanted to gu ita rist \\'as struggling \Vith the strange voices in his head and considered jw11ping end it all - though tbere 1vas ahvays a sense that be fron1 his hotel \vi11do\\\ H is decisio n not to \vouldn 't do it. I-Te did it to see if' anyone cared. " It transp ir ed that H..ay; ,vho'd first suffered a nc r,•ous \Vas a turning point in his Ufe . breakdo,vn in I 966, had take n an overdose o f "To creati ve people, the real \\1o rld can seen1 a scary place," he explains today. " But Valiun1 during the p crfo rn1ance; he •vas rushed CYen nlore scary is the inner \Vor ld - yo u to hospital, \vhere his yottnger bro the r visited can' t see the niind but you live in it all the him the Co llo,ving d ay. "When I \vent in Ray looked like a gh ost, a t in1e, tl1e th oughts a nd feelings, it plays tricks. But then again that inner dialogue can scared littlt.· kid in pyjan1as, " Dave recalls. "We botl1 lo oked in sync at a pair of boots at the end be guite uplifting; it gets affected by a lot of things, like of the bed and he said, 'That guy died las t Martians, \veird things that con1e up f'ron1 the subconscious. That's w hy J got into yoga and astrology." night.' It \vas a really important n1on1e nt! lt,vas An1id Lhe clra n1a of Dave's psychiatric: travails, Ray funny, but it "vas tragic. You have to laugh at thC' n1isery, it \Vas a thing you had to do - accused by his brothc1- of ign oring his conling fron1 a \Vorking-class fa n1il)\ lots pl ight- focused o n \vriting and producing the group's n ext albun1, Every< body's o f kids, trying to m ake d o 'l>Vit h w hat In Sho11'- Biz, a record that could be read they could . Hun1our has ahvays been a in hindsight as the singer 's O\ VU cry for big l11ing \Vith US ." help. Lola's bitter d issectio n of the n1uOn<:e discharge<l, Ray \Vent to stay at sic industry \ Vas superseded by 1nelanDave's ho m e, recupe rating to the cho lic ru111inatio ns on the n1irage of sounds o f G ustav Mahler 's 2 nd Sy1nfan1e and tediun1 of life on the road , all J pho ny - The Reslu·rectio n . " It \Vas a render ed in an in(Teasingly stagey style 111oving piece o f niusic and a lo ,·e ly based around The Baptist's expressive ti1ne," recalls the guitarist. "Son1e tin1es piano playing and the jazzy brass of The yo u have to confro n t th e pro b le n1s Mike Cotton Sound, the horn section you've got and jump in at the d eep end. ne~vly adopted by T he Kinks. That ""as "vhat happened "vith Ray." We looked at a pair of boots l "itles such as 1-lere Comes Ye t AnFo r the singer, it \·\ aS time to re-evalat the end of the bed and he said, o the r D ay, Sitting In My 1-lo tel, Unreal uate " ·hat he \va ntecl fro 111 n1usic, The 'THAT guy DIED last night.' '' Reality and Mo to r\vay said it ,111 , ye t Kin ks, his life. The an ·\ver lay in surfro111 son1e\\·here deep in his soul Davie.s rende ring to the fo rces that had been also n1an aged to sun1n1on the epic and quietly pulling at him since /lrrhur. ti111eless CelluJo id H eroes, inspired by " I n1ct ~,·ilh D a\'e and aid I didn't the l-lo llY'1·oocl Walk o f Fa111e's cen1ent foot-prints o r \va nt to do this any m o re," recalls the singer. 1 Greta Garbo, Rudo lph Vale ntino, Bela Lugosi, ~ la ri ­ " I~I e said , 'Co111c o n , you can do " 'hat you lyn Mo nroe an<l "som e you've never even heard o f " . • \Va nt.' I said, OK, I'll carry on if I can do \vhat I By his O\V\1 reckoning , it's o ne of the greatest songs ~ \Va nt. And the next thing \Ve did \Va Presen'ahe's ever \vritten. cion. Soap Opera, Schoolbo;'S In Disgrace. l \Vantcd "J ' m proud o f niost o f niy \VO rk, but \vith that I to c"''Plore the idea of rock theatre, son1ethil1g no think, 'Is that somebo<lv else? "' savs Oa,ies. " I reaUJv one else had really do ne before." ' , adn1irc i.t. As to so ngs like Sitting In tvly Hotel, that idea of '"hether I 'vas be ing used [by o thers], that ~vas a big questio n THE LEAFY GARDEN OF THE CAFE IEAR KO N K ' n1ark for n1e." Ray Davies sto ps to offer 111e an aJnaretto biscuil (ro m a D avies o bsessed over Cellulo id He roes' mix, "vorking plate in front o f us. There's a subtext to o ur m eeting that on it \vithout sleep over the \Yt-ekencl b efore the LP hacl to isn' t mentioned. A fe,v ,vecks earlier, J\ilOJO had intervie,ved b e d e lh·e r ed via Co n co rde to N e 'v Yo rk. But hin1 on the pho ne about the possibility o f a SOth anni\'crsary yet ag:1in, l~ay's genius fell on sto ny g round, \\'ith th e (or thereabouts) Kinks reunio n, the extant core o f the o rigrecord bo 111b ing on both sides o f thl: Atlantic. On inal band - by the n , the Davies brothers - havi ng last a filn1 ed - fo r- BBC TV sho ' v al Lo ndo n 's Rainbo\·\' played together in 1996. Ray said, no doubt as a l)1Jical Theatre in Nlarch I 97 3, The Kinks are captured as \Vind-up, that it \\'Ould go ahead ,vhether Da\·e joined in o r the oddi ties they'd then beco1ne, caught so111c,vhere not. On reading the inter vie\v, his younger brother posted bet,veen a band trad ing o ff its o ld '60s hits, a ,·audeville an angr y m essage o n the band's Facebook page, by 'vhich tin1e Ray had p1ivatt'ly distanced hirnself from his c1uote. act, and a cutting-edge, piano-rock rival lo Bo,vie or i\i1o tt The 1-looplc. ·rhc ir lead singer, in O\'Cr-sizcd There is, then , an u nspo ken reconciliato ry nature to i\i!OJO's ne\\' intc rvic,vs \\'ith bo th broth1::rs; but ne,·e r<lickie bo\v and dotty shirt, secn1s unable to decide thcless, the story o f the ir mid-'7 3 reb irth re111ains > \Vhcther he's ocl Co\vard or Jon Pert\\'ee's Dr Who.





71 assuming a character and Ray cast as both 1=lash, a Max lv1jllcr-typc sho,v111an, and th<.• sinister 1'v1r Black. The rcac.1:ion 'vas <.·on fusion, follo,,·cd b~· intrigue. "The audience didn't kno\v \Vhat the fuck \\'as happening," rccalll> (\a~·· "We i.tartecl ,,·ith 15 1ninutcl\ of hit~ tht'n launched into this t\\'o-and-a-hal f hour political dran1a (laughs) . l think it \\a\ the unexpected that appealed to American audiences, 'cos l hey , \\'ere bored. All the other bands arountl 'vere into their ego:. and long guitar soloi., and in 111any respect!. The Kinks of that period \vere taking th<.· pisi. out of that " " It \Vas like a lo\v-budgl't collcgl' 1nusical, " adds Avory. "Peoplt• uscd to look at us in curious a111azcn1cnl, \Vaiting for The Kinks stuff thl')' •-, ,, KJ1{'\\ ..•

.. ~


toul;hing. In hi1- autobiograp hy, Kink, Dave had accused Ray of being cn1otionallv, dctachl.'cl \\lht•n it can1c lo the guitarist's pi,ychiatric illn<'sses, but today hc re<:ognist•s thl· nuanc.·es of their tight fan1ily bonds \verl' \vhat niadc Tht' Kink), ~pecial. "When thing:. \Veren't going ~o A,·ory ren1en1bers it as "good", \\'Cll, \\'l' could lean on fan1 ih· though he admits he "didn't reall) Like , for encouragen1t:'nt, idea:., ~upport," tht:' the nlu~ic", except that perforn1ing lo guitarist explain . "Tht• big secret becue stretched and i1nprovccl thL• band hind The Kinks "·a~ the upport of our as musicians. \\'ithin n1onths, Da' ie~ waiting for THE KINKS fa1nilv. \\'.1 \\'riting another concept piece . £, 1.: n the characters in the stuff they knew.'' songs, they " ·c.·re bal>c.·d on nol just th.,t in an cn1brvonic forn1 \\·ai. coni• ourseh·c~, but our•ri. and n1un1 n1issioned for a 25-111inutc Granada and clad. They \\'ere real people inter,vo,·en into storil'S." I\' special called Starn1akcr. The narrati\'c )et the period 1974 to 1976 '''as to provt• tl·sting for t'\t·r~ hod~ ('• finesscd for the group's next albun1, in The Kink.">. Gi,·cn a 111andatl.' to take th1: group Soap Opera - focusccl on the double 'vhere he '''antcd, it 'vai. the era '"hen R<1~ took I ii~· of an accountant, or1nan, ''ho control, so111eti1ne~ to the cxa~pL·ration ofbancllantasiscs about being a rock star, or n1atei.. I !is Gr)il project \Va.' the aptly titled Pr<!~cr1 ~11ion po:.sibly \•ice versa, 'vith the.· cH thusia.~ tic colIler I, \vhk·h he'd alrnost con1pleted before his on-stag" lusion of his \\'ifl·. overdol>e. f\ Cold Wtir political allegory part I) inspirt'd \\:1tchl·d tod,1~; "ith .1 long-haircdRay in silver ju1np suit per- ".! by the n'1:·1noirs of clt· Chilean president s,,1,.iton.· lc>rn1ing his st.1r roll· on a 1110\'inggantry, it's easy to sec ho"' his j AJlende, it unfolclt•d the struggle bt-t\veen rival l l·adt:'r~ h.111d, "ho .1ppl'ar .1s backing n1usicians, \Vere beginning to feel '!:; 1\llr Fla~h and 1\ lr Black via a n1ixture of 1n ... lodran1atic n1.1rgin.1lisl•d. Quite l''"1ctl) "hat Da\'ies '"as trying to achicvt· ~ rock tune~ and Bo'' ic-i11h rocker'>, " 'ith oct:.1sional jc,,cb, 'l'l'lll' op.Hllll' lo hint l'' l'n no~v; yet e'idcntly he 'vac; undergoing like $\\ect I..acl) (;1..•n<.'\'i<.'\C (about his neglect of Ras.1). son1l' kind of i1nport,1nt c.lrtharsis. £ Rck·a.,cd in O\cn1b1..•r 1973 and stalling at ~umhl·r "St.1rn1.1kl·r \\,1:. about schizophrenia, as in a \\'a\' \\'Crea lot d ' ~ 177 in the US, it \\a'> follo''l'dsi~ n1onths latt'r"·ith R1n l, of tho'l' concl·pt ,1lhu111s." hl· conten<ls. "The character h,1cl a ;;: an C\'cn n1ort• thL·atrit·al record, cro\\11ed \Vith hon1hastic lant.1""' , of hl'ing soml'Ont• l'lse that his \\ife li,·ed out \\ith him. a._ fare like ShephertL'> Of"lltt' 1ation. The l'\\ o I.Pi. \v1.:re prcIt', \'l'I') I l.1n>ld Pinll·r; thl' rt·,u \\'Oriel kept getting in the ,,.a~ ol ~ 111iercd lhc at Colgatt• Uni,·crsity in up'>laH:. l ' " )i.1rk in thl· t.1kl· \\'oriel. But I \\JS cnjo~ing the " 'hole e:l\-perience of proOctober 1974, \\ith each band n1en1ber, in costun1c, ducing thl· rl·cor<ls ,1nd ha' ing the support of tl1c band. Peoph.•










~ay l jun1pcd to the front, but I couldn't have done it \Vithout those

guys. ·rhcy played n ..•ally tight on Star1nakcr. Mick p layed great, Oa\'c played great. (Pause) I lave they said they felt marginalised? (S1nile) \\lait 'til I get hold of thcn1 ... " A:-.'' ith tht' Prcscn ution albun1!-., Soap Opera included a clutch of lop-Oight songs, including \Vhen \Vork Is O\'er and the elegiac (A) Face In rhe Cro,vd, a prc1nonition of being a forgotten star, but it fared littl(.• better con1n1crcially than its prcdL'CCSSors. ,\1can,\'hilc, the (i, e line-up of The Kinks no"· added female backing singers to the on1rtlp1·c~cnt 1\likc Cotton ound, leading to a theatre troupe vibe on the road. But b~ the time of o'ember I 97 S's harder-rocking SchoolboJ·s In Dis9race, a prequel to Presen·ation charting Flash's miseducation, and on track'> like Th<.' Hard \Vav . and Jack The Idiot Dunce, clearly. anlic:ipating tht> sound ofl'hc Clash ,1nd the Ramones, the theatrical era of thl· group \vas beginning to pall. EYcn the cute ~tagl.' trick of Ray, as thl· evil hcacln1astcr, caning hin1sclf as the errant pupil, cou lcln 'ta ·suagc the group '.s feeling that another Kinks transfor111ation \Vas overdut'. " I enjoyt•d it all !or a bit then I started to get pissed off," says 0a\·t•, \Vhose passion lay in playing rock, country and the blut'S. "What I didn 'l likc \Vas that you looked like a prat every night. Bul it \Vas good taking on a nc\v persona, other than n1y O\VTI n1iserablc, everyday self. It \\'ils a good \\·ay of gl'tting out of yourself." "Ray's troubled, becausl' that'!> just the '"a)' he i:.," says Avor y, "ho:.toicall) \\t'athcrcd Da,ies\volatileagitation. " l le S\l'ry con1pctiti' l', but at the end of the day he \\"as \\Titing thl· ong , and \\'C \\oukln't havl' got an)"'hcrt' ''ithout then1 . I think he had to get tho~e rl'cord:-. out of hi:. systen1." Rav• hin1l:>clf i~ unl>un: of their criti c i~n1~. "\Vhat? TI1('y loY('d that era, they lo,·cd dressing up!" be chuckle . '' pan<lex trousers, orange "igs, they'd do anything for 1ne." 1


1976, ·r 111: Ki i KS' co TRAc·r \\fll' H RC:\ expired, ending a period of intense cJ1.1lerimentation but abject con1mcrcia1 failure. The tougher approach of Schoolbo)·s and thl' band's increasing ability to ~ell out big venues in the US alerted Arista's Clive Davi~ to thl' potential ofThe Kinks beco1ninga n111insu·ean1 ht'a''Y rock band , 11 \'ision 'vhich \vould indeed corne to pass in the subsl·qucnt years. " It \Vas good having Clive Davis there as a Godfather figure or an olclt>r brother," ll.ay l'xplains. " I .le got it! Well, not ahvays. I le didn't get Corne Danc:ing, it \vasn't Eric Carn1en. 'vVc'd clone our con<:t>pt/theatric:al pl·riod, b('cn through that. The Kinks \Vere a real art - not arty larty, but creativity at all costs. What could I do? I ',.a!! erazy , ... " "Me and Ray al\\ay-; had that tl1ing that if you're l\\'o-do,vn in football and you\•(.• got another hour to play, you can still '"in," concludel> Da\1.'. " \i\'c..·'rc not doing too " ·ell, but don't gi,·e up. That':. al\\ a\'!> bl'l'n around The Kink.., and in their mu~ic." ~ • l

The 1\r11h<>IOfl,I I 96.J-1971 our now on BJfG



from Lola Versus Powermon And The Moneygoround, Part One (Pye, 1970) The Kinks were proven masters of selr-referenclng fresh perspectives on old themes and obsessions, and the jaunty ragtime piano and vamp-'tll-reacly vaudeville vibe of Denmark Street squeezes extra comedic juice from a satire that began with Dedicated Follower Of Fashion - the action now shifted from Carnaby Street towards the West End's Tin-Pan Alley, just off Tottenham Court Road. Both songs share a melodic gene pool, and over a double-time ukulele-anchored middle section Ray returns the joke to source with a wickedly tidy George Formby impersonation.

from PmavoJionkt , (RCA Viet« 197J) Preserving the idealised Village Green, an idea begun in the group's totemic 1968 album, grew into The Kinks' creative credo. In PreservationAct I and 2. Davies'sidea became a concept that could've been a musical or movie. And Sweet Lady Genevieve is a classic Davies torch song. "Oh forgive me Genevieve." he pleads- the painful recall of days he'll remember all his life tinted with English Renaissance melancholia, a strain of Kinks Konsciousness that had begun with So Long on Kinda KinksIn 196S.

MUSWELL H ILLBILLY from Muswell Hlllbillles (RCA Victor, 1971) Wrenching a conventional blues into a feisty, song-specific new harmonic form gave Ray Davies You Really Got Me -the American mother music borrowed to sex-up the sleepy north London suburban experience. But Musweli Hillbilly implies that the Davies brothers had become nostalgic for their old manor. The song rhapsodises the Muswell Hill of yesteryear over an idiomatically flawless evocation of pure Counrry & Western, complete with authentic bluegrass flngerpick1ng and slide guitar. The north London ou tback of their childhood 1s under threat from the modern - sharp-suited corporate cowboys - andThe Kinks are riding into the old town to save the day.

DESTROYER from GiW! The Pmple What They Wont (Arista, 1981) With the '70s about to greet the bleak 1980s. The Kinks were in New York recording Destroyer- a mash-up of Lola and All Day And All Of The Night for their next LP (out in 1981). Lola comes back to Ray'splace "but I'm really not as cool as I'd like to be", he sings as the come-to-bed riff of All Day... taunts his desires. The unease is palpable - the whimsy of the 1970 song is gone, and you suspect the fans are being fed a subliminal warning. Recycling old hits does you no harm. But it's no way to live.








THE100GREATESTBOWIESONGS an ambivalent tribute to Florian Schneider of Kraftwerk, who had recently name-checked Bowie and lggy on Trans-Europe Express. But V-2 Schneider has more in common with the rock-based German kosmische sounds of mid'70s Neu! or La Di.isseldorf, levitating for its three minutes 10 seconds on a motorik groove while Bowie vamps on sax and recites the title through heavy processing. Four-to-the-floor live versions in the late ' 90s amped up the disco-biscuit aspect. /H

LET ME SLEEP BESIDE YOU (from The World Of David Bowie, 1970) Frustr1ted in '67, the mature Bowie stirs. Decca's The World Of... budget compilation series usually concerned itself with harmless MOR sorts like Mantovani, Max Bygraves or Frank lfield. But in 1970 Bowie's turn came, when his ex-label cashed in on the success of Space Oddity. One selection was this 1967 recording: apparently written to be a hit, Bowie's first collaboration with Tony Visconti presented a strings-augmented folk rock companion to the Stones' equally blunt Let's Spend The Night Together, with the singer on world -weary yet determined form . See him Elvis'ing the song up on the Love You Till Tuesday film. /H

JOE THE LION (from #Heroes", 1977) Bowie consumes performance art, f els like Iron Man. A salute to the indomitable creative courage of artist Chris Burden, renowned for audacious performance works in which he was purposely electrocuted, shot or, as Bowie acknowledges in his spontaneously improvised lyric, nailed to his car. Bowie's increasingly frenzied vocal claws against a wall of heavily processed Carlos Alomar and Robert Fripp guitars, which relent only on the almost-jaunty "It's Monday• bridge, before plunging back in again as Bowie delivers the gloriously redemptive pay-off line, •vou can be like your dreams tonight." OS

TIME (from Aladdin Sane, 1973) A single release In the USA and a live highlight of the Diamond Dogs tour


When Bowie recruited then-virtually unknown keysman Mike Garson, he unleashed his inner weird. The meld of '20s stride and Kurt Weill songspiel piano dominates the song, although Mick Ronson's brilliant Beethoven-pastiche guitar runs it a close second. Bowie performs the song - stopping mid-song to take a breath - and the lyric is full of morbid Brel-esque asides ("I look at my watch it says 9.25 and I think Oh God, I'm still alive"). In interviews, Bowie was predicting an early death. But he got through it ... just. DB

(from Aladdin Sane, 1973) Bond theme manque, perhaps in tribute to singer Claudia 'Brown Sugar' Lennear. Pianist Mike Garson's extravagant embroidery on Aladdin Sane is key to why it's so much more than Ziggy II, and he drives the album's dreamy, epic closer, rivalling his employer's decadent vocal for theatricality. For there's a knowing lick of Liberace here, and a whiff of ham and wry in Mick Ronson's Spanish stylings. Maybe the Lady is fame itself - "She'll lay belief on you" - and you must be alive to her dangers, 'cos ·she'll also be your living end". Perilously lush. DE

MOVE ON (from Lodger, 1979) Station to station to station: deadpan travelogue rec:.ords long strange trip. If Lodger's Yassassin and African Night Flight reflected Bowie's global roaming, Move On explores the impulse behind it. There's jaded bravado in the "travelling man" mentions of Cyprus and "old Kyoto", but he's also a "shadow", a "leaf•, something fading in a vibrant world. Crowd-surge vocals and unstoppable train -like rhythm can't push him through the loneliness, though: "Can't forget you." Tellingly, the backing is a reversal of All The Young Dudes: his past is chasing him and th ere's no escape. VS

CONVERSATION PIECE (B-side of The Prettiest Star 7- inch, 1970) A tongue-tied man in desperate isolation. A country song replete with weeping pedal steel and hopelessness rooted in existential crisis, Conversation Piece is a singular curio. Painting a vivid picture which is almost Edward Hopper- like in its rendering of loneliness, the singer is a faltering academic living above a grocery shop, whose Austrian proprietor invites him down for awkward dinners. In the final verse, our troubled protagonist is shaking with anxiety - "I'm invisible and dumb/ And no one will recall me• - before the last chorus alludes to suicide. TD


O \ .llD 00



REPETITION (from Lodger, 1979) David Bowie - the social-realist commentator. Buried on Lodger's second side, Repetition unveiled a new David Bowie - the social-realist commentator. Tethered to George Murray's two -note bass line and Dennis Davis's robot ic kick drum, it's remorse less, airless but compel ling. Lyrically, a coldly observed treatise on personal failure and systematic domestic violence, it details the tangible frustrations of one Johnny who #could have had a Cadillac/If the school had taught him right." Bowie's vocal ls unusually detached, until the moment he steps into the narrative to plead, "don't hit her". OS

V-2 SCHNEIDER (from "Heroes': 1977) Cold War on his mind, a salute to Kraftwerk (and WernherVon Braun?). With a title referencing the Third Reich's infamous missile programme, this song presented

FALL DOG BOMBS THE MOON (from Reality, 2003) Wow! Is all of Reality like this?! 0

ct •••

When is a protest song not a protest song? When it's a David Bowie song. Like Fantastic Voyage and Loving The Alien before it, Fall Dog ... is an oblique encoding of perspectives on world politics, written as war broke out again between the West and Iraq. The song's protagonist ("goddam rich" "cruel and smart" and with •oil on his hands" ) bombs the moon (Islam's crescent moon, speculates Bowie writer Nicholas Pegg) in a world degraded, where & greed rules, and the reality of life is depthless ~ and shapeless. The song's resigned, stately ~ pace completes the mood of a man, perhaps, ;:. willing to give it all up. DB > ~

THE LONDON BOYS (B·side of Rubber Band 7-inch, 1966) K.'\ C)\Vl.'\G ·r 1II. tT,·aturl· IJ,,,;c1 Bo\\;l. " ·ould l.11l... hl·coml\ thl• singlt· Ruhhrr Band is, on tile surl,1ce, .1 curioush l'l'Jction.1ry p.1ck.1g". Thl· . \-sid1: is .1 lice.: of tt·.1-Jnd-c.1kl· I n~li:.h p~)l'h,·d1·1i.1 "h,·r" ,, 1nan 1Tcalls his cl,1~s in t11t· "14-18 \V,1r"; U1l' B-~ick·. 11ll'•111\\ hill•, c:ut' tl1rou!!h tht· n1oust,1cht• ",,, ,1nd "hin1i.\ ' ' \\ it11 ,, l',\Ulion.ll"\, t.111'. "fht· London Bo\'S t1·lls or a ll'4.'11il!!,l'I' \\ho , ' hl'.1cl:. to thl' c.1pit.1I in l>l',\rc:h of l''\Cill'llll'nt .111d companionship, los1·s his h1·a<l lo pills, .1nd \Vi nds up .1lon1: in .1 grim rl'nh•d roon1, hii. "11.1:.hv clnth1·s" no l"On1lort. ()ldl'r !!<'nl'r,1tions o ne<' hl·ad1·d off ' to'"·"" but no\\' th1· you ng k'<1'l' tht•ir p.11·t·nts for a dt•c,1clt•nt city lili·. l,ition.ll '1·rvk·1· \V,1s .1h.1ndo111·d in 1960, hut Tl11' 1.ondon Roys could ,111110:.l pl.1~ into thl· h.1nds of thos1· shouting·• h,1mt·l" ·rhl' track bn 't. ho\\'l'\'l'I', ,\ prissy Sl'rn1on: the voicl' of l':.p1:rit'l1Cl' runs too \\"l".lri l~· through it ti1r Lh.1t. 80\\-il· himsl'lf \\·as not c1uitl· 20 .it thl· lin1t• - l\\o ~'l\lrl> olclt·r th.111 tltl' c.1110\\' 17-yt·ar-old prot.1gonbl - )l't ,1lr,..11I~ tr.1i1,•d ,, clutc:h of t.1ik·cl ~ingk·i. hl•hintl him. I le.· :.ound:. old .1nd ~.1d ht•rl', ,1 c.1b.1rl'l ,·oic1· cr.1ck,'<I "ith t.1ti1!'"" .1s if thl· \'l'ry id,·a of ,11l th.11 lr..insgrt•ssion is just too l''\h,lu'ttini.:. ·rhl· hr."' tril'' to )!l'nt·r,1tt· a littll· ' 111\•l,1nlhoh 1!r,1ndl'ur, hut ~ound~ likl· it\ h\.·1.·n .' lt•l t t.lrnishing nt·'t to d.1111p \\·,11lp.1pl'r. ")(,u \l·




hought i.01nl colll'l', huttl·r Jnd hrl·aclAou c,1n 't ni.1kl· .1 thing 'co~ thl· ml'tl·r's dl"1d.'' singi. Bo\\;l., tapping into till' kitchl·n sink. It's thl· prl'l·ur-.or of. oft Cl·ll's Bl•dsittl'r, anotllt·r song th.1t puL'- "fun" in hl"'''. ill\lTtl'<I com1n,1,. Bo" it.'i. not ,1lonl' in noting thl· cit~ 's pollution of thl· innolt'lll. \ \ ,1rdour Strl'l't, "hich hl· "istfull~· ml'ntions, has hl't'n on n1.1pi. i.inCl' l li1,1ht·th.1n ti1ne:. .1nd \\'01-r,·i n~ 1x1n:nts JS Ion~. ,\ k·"· \\'l'l'ki. t"11·lit·1, ' Big Bl.1ck Sn1okl., 1·hl· Kink.<; h.1d rl·lt·.1'>t'd thl· 'sin1il,1rh .1dn1onitorv . ' B-i.idl· of' l)l-.1d l·nd Strt'l'I; its c•·ntr,11 ch,1r..ictt·r is,, countrv gi1 I "ho l'lld ~ up i<k·l·ping in ho" ling .ilk·~s and spl·nding l'\i.'ry pl·n11~ on "purpll· IH·.1r1.s ,1nd cig.1rt'tll'S". ·rhis London b not s"·inging, s•·t to hlo11m into llo\\'i.'r-po\\'l'I', hut a hlt•ak Hoga1-tl1i.1n sinkholt•. Yl·t .is Bo\\ it· \vill l,1tt•r rt'\t\11, thl· ,·oid bt•hind tht· )!oocl linll'S h,1:, ii~ .1llurt'. \\'hilt• P)'' h.1cl l'.1rlit·r rt·jcc:tt•cl tl1t• song ,1ncl l)l'C<.".I, both,·rt·d hy thl· pills, :.'' "1ppl·cl it for ·rht•re I . \ I l.1pp) Lind 011 H.uhlll·r H.111d \ LIS rt·k-.1st·, Bo,vic hi1nsl'lf .1ppe.1rs fond ofThl' Lone.Ion Boys. Producl·r Kl·n Scott rt•n1cmh1:rl·d ,, plan to rt··rt·cord it lor Pi11-llr~­ .1nd it""'~ fln,1lh. rl·\i~itl·d on 2000's un1'l'll\lSt·d Ji11. , Tin1l· h,1\ ht'l'n kind to it. too. K110\\'ing "h.n tht• nt' 't drugcurcllrd ck·cade \\"ould hold - <:<1c.1inl' .1nd milk, lame .1nd isol.1tion. hrl•Jking gl.i.\s and '' ""fut tllinb'S drt1\\11 on carpl·ts - IL'- ".1nnl'S' ,1hout gt·tting "h,1t ,vou "i~h for '>l'l'l11' 11n·:.c:i1·nt, full of r1·sonanc1-. . \hl·r .1 roe~' ,t.1rt in lill'. it hJs gn1\\1l up.








THE100GREATESTBOWIESONGS l'M DERANGED (from 1.0utside, 1995) ''Cruise me!" te.ases Bowle on the very defin.tion of a 'deep' cut. Track 16 of 19 on 1.0utside weds a punchy, cinematic intro - inspired by John Barry - to Brian Eno's sculptured, skittering, fast-driv ing 'treatments'. Meanwhile, Bowie delivers his finest, most beauteous Scott Walker impression to paint a sombre, sensual portrait of a protagonist lost to contrasting emotions, where "the clutch of life and the fist of love· are juxtaposed. Mike Garson's piano punctuation - expertly positioned bursts of splattered notes - here emphasise a state of near-mental collapse. PA

BIG BROTHER/ CHANT OF THE SKELETAL FAMILY (from Diamond Dogs, 1974) Authority-loving Orwellian anthem. Or is it? Rounding off proceedings on Diamond Dogs, the big finale of Bowie's never-realised 1984 musical presents Winston Smith's brainwashing as both submission and resistance, praise for a ·saviour" that might equally be an acerbic mocking of his dictator's new dawn, suggesting that an individualistic spirit remains. A segue into instrumental Chant OfThe Skeletal Family follows, its jake-leg rhythms prefiguring Young Americans' broken soul, its jarring ending fore tells a new digital age of skipping CDs. PS

BEAUTY &THEBEAST (from "Heroes", 1977) Bowie's first plctyful, relaxed, healthy vocal "ince Diamond Dogs' title track. With small, sharp stabs, BATB introduced •Heroes"'s disparate musical elements, quickly coalescing to a fizzing band wallop that nailed the new energised mood after the exorcism of Low. A playground-like chorus - and Eno's warping interventions - also suggests they're having a ball. Not that Bowie was out of the woods. The mood remained claustrophobic and his lyrical perspective (reviewing past •crimes•, re-addressing schizophrenia fears) anxious. Fusing menace and liberation makes for one of his most taut thrillers. MA

overload the sound. As Jagger explained, lyrics you couldn't easily make out demanded you replay the track. Kicking off Aladdin Sane, this rocker was imagistic overload incarnate. To hear the lyrical bacchanal crystal -clear, check Lulu's Bowie/Ronson-produced version. MS

LOVE IS LOST (HELLO STEVE REICH MIX) (Single, 2013) Ashes To Ashes-sampling reboot deepens the enigma. He'd made a lengthy meal of retiring LCD Soundsystem, and hadn't done a remix for five years, but James Murphy aimed to please when reworking this anxiety-wracked The Next Day track. Commencing with a lift from Steve Reich's 1972 Clapping Music, the song's original flinty rock is replaced by a slowed Moroderesque nod to Bowie's past: at 6.27 it gives us our first clear sight of an Ashes To Ashes sam pie, connecting post-hibernation Bowie with his earlier self. /H

5.15 THE ANGELS HAVE GONE (from Heathen, 2002) Timely restatement of Bowle's old mystique An unsettled, post 9/11 mood suffused Heathen, felt most intensely on this elegant and enigmatic piece, describing a series of train journeys to no particular destination. Building upon an irregular drumbeat, off-kilter bass riff and quiet, celestial female backing vocals, Bowie, singing in an unnerving register, opaquely unfolds the tale of man escaping a relationship, but not love; yet the symbolism of "angels have gone" goes far deeper. This is real ly about a loss of faith, not just in womankind, but perhaps in God himself (cf. Quadrophenia's Jimmy The Mod, riding the antecedent 5.15). PG

BLACKOUT (from "Heroes", 1977) Lessons in darkness. Inspired by the New York power railure of July 13 1977

(from Diamond Dogs, 1974) How to make Orwellian dread ~ound remarkably 'up'. Written in 1973 and evolving through slower versions while George Orwell's estate mu lled over, and finally nixed, Bowie's proposed musical of his 1984 novel, its dark subject matter would be a cliche in the singer's canon were it not for the song's solid construction and his resounding, convincing vocal delivery. Sung with a late-period Anthony Newley stagey bravado, the guitar (Alan Parker) sources Skip Pitts Jr's Shah wah wah, there's a hint of Phiily strings and a vocal arrangement that anticipates a just-emerging Queen. GB

WATCH THAT MAN (from Aladdin Sane, 1973) Rocks off I tleading for the overload, Bowie turns up the murk. When Bowie first toured the States in autumn '72 to coastal raves but Midwest apathy, he fol lowed an impossible act: the Stones. That summer they'd instigated bombs, riots, and excess all areas. Exile On Main St. was the album, murky


New York's 1965 blackout had been an evening of benign togetherness. 1977 was its dreadful flip-side of arson, looting and riots. Performed live at Berlin's enormous Hansa Ton studio 2, Blackout plays like 1965's romantic memories ("I'll kiss you in the rain") consumed by the urban hysteria of 1977. Assailed by Dennis Davis' gut-punch drumming and Robert Fripp's nightterrors guitar, Bowie radiates a terrifying energy, relishing the rea I-time slide from euphoria to nightmare, high on the horror of collapse. AM

HEATHEN (THE RAYS) (from Heathen, 2002) A hymn to llfe or, more accurately, death. "The words started appearing out of nowhere. I just cou ldn't control them," says Bowie of the early morning outpouring that reduced him to tears and spawned the title track of Album Number22. Written prior to September 11, 2001, the song was released in the wake of the attacks, giving greater meaning to Bowie's three-verse reflection on his own mortality. Whether his wistful assertion that "all things must pass" was a nod to the recently deceased George Harrison is a moot point, but Heathen sounds restless, forlorn, and yet strangely calm. Some may even say accepting. PA >







-§ ~

Bowle cans the Tin: David looks to t he futu re, po nde rs past ; and (I nsets) takes the plunge In stills from the Jum p The y Say video.

• oil\ i ou:-1~ Sut·d,· \\l'r1· sehoolt'CI in the sounds of gl.1111-l·r.1 Bo\\ it•.

JUMP THEY SAY (from Black Tie, White Noise, 1993) 1'()1) \) , "l"HI- R()CK \\·orkl is us<.-d to pcrip.1t\·tic n111;,it·i.1n;, pl.1~ ing in clill~·rt·nt h.1nds undt·r prl·h·nd n.1n1t•<;, hut h.1t·k in tht· l.1tl· '80s, ,,h,·n B11\\it· lx·c.11nl· tlH· sin~·r in Tin .\l,1chinl", it "lru<·k 1n.1n~ .1'> sin1pl~ \\Tong. \ltt>r till' J.1p.1nl-St' 1·in .\lachinl· tour ,1t thl· st.1rt of 1992 . Bo\\il' dl·cidcd to l'nd thl' h,1nd, .1nd (!J\l' his music.ii co-,llhl·ntutTr ,1nd band ::..ouitarist R\'l.'\l''> ' (;,1hn·I ~ thl· non-t<ll>-l'l\\ i,1hlt• t,1.,k of tl·lling thl· . ilk'. hrotht·rs. 1-lis lll';o..t choil'l' of dirt't"lion " ''" .. u11>rising; ,\ dl·pl<'t1•d :-Jill· Rodgt·rs, his brought h.1ck .1s proclucl·r. ,, cl1·c.1ck· .1ht•r /..:t 's st.1r on thl' \\',\Ill'. JS it did lor Dance:, .1n .11ln11n Bo" it• h.1d turnl·cl .1!!'1inst. svrnholising , hin1 .1 l"l'trl•,1l. ·r hl· llrst lruits of th<.· rc,hcd coll,1boration, thl· dance sing(,., Rt-.11 Cool \ \ i 1rld - "rilll'll fi1r tl1l' fi1rgou,·n suh-l"tog,•r R.1bhit Hr.1d Pill v,·hi<·I,· Cool \ \ (1rld - \\',lS rl·k·,1s1'CI in the sun1n1cr of 1992 .1nd honih,·cl. 'l'ht• i.igns \Vl'l"l'll 't good. In ,\l.1rch 199 ~. Bo,vi1· rt·k·.1s1•d Ju1np ·rhe~· S:1)· as ;i singlt• hcr:ilding .:i Ill'\\" .1lhu1n, Bl11fk 7/c: ll 'huc \ 'oisc, a n1onth btl·r. It " 'asn't ' ll10Sl f>t'O(>(l•'-; !lr~t -choi(·l' Singlt:. l~odg<:rs hi111sclf \"Ot<:d l(>r 1\lir.:ick• th.\l \\ould lln.1lh. hl· ,\ bonus track on 1hl· Ill'\\ ( ;ooclnight or .1 :.onj! ' .ilbu1n, I 111~ c:.111'1 l).1nt·,·. )i·1 Jun1p ·rht·~ SJ~ pro't'd an inspin·cl choiC'l' .1ncl .1ln10;.LO \ l'rnight, Bo" il· ".1s h.1ck, not onh• in tl11c· liip HI, but .1t tlu· lor,·lront of thl· rock .1gl'ncl.1. \\'ith p«rl1:ct liming, Bo" il··., t·onu·h.1t k coint·idt·d "ith thl· llri.t "·"l' of Britpop J nd ·rh1· \utt·urs, Blur, .1nd most







Sl·<:ondh. Bo\\ i,· ;,oundl·d i.<> 1nuch 1norl' thc:r.: in his Ill'" mu ..ic. In • Tin ~l.H:hin l' ht• " ·'" onJ) l'\\'r .1 c1u.1rll'r prl'St'l\l, .1nd on tht· prt"\iou;, l\\O studio solo .1lhwns, /1>n~11h 1 .llld .\ "cr.·r L.:1 .llc f)onn, he h,1d . .i~ hl· \\oulcl .1dmit, lost control of his sound. jun1p ·rh,·) ·~~ "''s tht: dt>llning ongofthl' br,1\l' Ill'\\ Bo\\il' \\orl<I. '111\' lt·.1cl guit.1r h.ul ht'l'I\ clun1pt:d . .lnd in iLo; pl.1<°\', trun1p<:t .1nd, n1oi.l 'ignillc.1ntl).•1n l'tTil· :..1,ophont• rt•fr,1in, pl.1~ t·d h.1c.:l,\\,1rd., .1n<l gi\t'n ,, spookl·<l n1t·lisn1.itic qu;ilit)~ Th,· 1nusical ht•<l \\,\s ht··'')· lunk~ . Bo\\ it· ""'~ 1110\ing h;ick into t•lectronica. Jun1 p Thi·~ ·,,~ " "'" ,,1.,0 ISo" il•':. 1110!-tt pl·ri.onal ong sinct· thl· pre-1.ig.,_~ d,1~·-;. I lis h,111~ lirotht•r, 'ft•n} Burn-.••1 :-.chi1ophr,•nic, had con1millt•d ~uic:icl1 · t•ight )'l'.1rs t'.111it•1, .1nd Bo" il· \\,1i. t1c:i ng th(· 1x·rson.1l tr.1gl'<I; in puhlic tin· tht• llrst timt·. "IJon't lisll'll to thl' cro\\TVrhl'~' s.1~ Ju1np!' Bo" il'. l 'hl· voict·s of Sl'lr-<ll':.truction arl' IC1ught but till' l).1llk· is lost. In till' ' lck·o, Ho" it· is llln1l·<l S\\',l) ing on top of .1 sky cr.1pl·r, hl'IC.11·l· l.11lin~ to his 'd,-.11h '. ()f cou r~e, on .1nothl'I" ll',·t·I. Ju111p . .. \\'.lS .l n1et.1phor fr1r l~n\\ ii.· 's t' ntin· c.1n·t·r - thl· artistic k·aps into tht· unkno\\·n thilt n1.1cl\• him hut .1 ln1o~t <lt·stroyt·d hini. · nl(' song's intt·ns1·l;· pt'rsonJI n.1t11n· \\',11> l"Onllrn11·d h,· Bo" i1· in a 199 3 intl'r' i'"': I It· \\"ilS, ht· s,1id, l>till lookin!.' ... for l.Ollll' ~01t of' •• :.upport in .i Iii(· ht' l(1und 1n~ !>til; in~. " It':. .tlso conneclt•d to 1n\ li:t·ling th.n . somt•tinll'S I\'(· jun1p1:d n1t·t.1ph~ \ic,1lh into thl· unkno\\ n .1nd \\'Ondl·ring "hl·tht-r I rt«1lh. ht•lit'\ t•d tlH·n· " ·as on1t·thing out tht·n· lo :.upport lllt'. "l1.1tt:\ l'I" ;·ou ".1nna c.ill it: a God or .1 lilt·-1(,rct• ! "





WIN (from Young Americans, 1975) C \:'\)()LI I ll',\r .\ll' is trJditionall~- )oun8 .l1n«rica11s' go-to h.111.ld, gi\l'n its rnl's~gl'-to-God agt:nda ,\nd thl· tl·k·' isl·<l clul·t "ith Clll·r. \\'in, lnl·,111" hill·, rl·mains tltl· album·., lt·,1~t-l·ulogisl·d <h.1ptl'r - .111d Bo\\ il· onl~ l',·l·r !>Ung it li\·l· ollCl', .lt thl• 1974 Phill~ l)og!I ti n.lit· in :\tl,1nt..1 ht'lorl' cutting it ,1 \\'l'l'k l.ltl'r. Onl.' o f' tltl' .1lbu1n 's l.lst h\ o l'l'Cordings. it's .1 pt'rforn1,1ncc thorough I~ undtsl·rving of the l'pithl·t 'pl.1stic soul'. Built lrorn thl· ground up, r,1lhl·r th,u1 fro n1 .1 jan1 or .1 horro"'ed rifl: \Vin is .1 11 l':>.l·n: is<.• in tht• Sl'll~u a l !!1-.1ct• "ht•n: C«rlos Alon1;ir's !!t'11tll' tlo\\n' stoked guit.1r undt·rpin~ l).11 id S.1nhorn ·~ s.1x, .1 lic1uid ni t·lod~ l.11il) rippling .111<.l flipping .1<.:ross d1t· .spl·Jkt..-s helt>rl' Bo\\1e's entrJnCt'. "fht· .1ur.1l t·c1uiv.1lt·nt of tht• goldl·n h.1lo surrounding Bo1vk·'s fitCl' on th t· )oullJ/ l11h:rif<1ns sk•t'\'t', it':. purt· goosl·pin1plt·s and supt·rb l~ rt'<.'t>t'<ll'd. \Vi th ton~ of ~p.1<."t' lor Tht· .\~tront•th•s' pt·riodic b.1cking \'oc,1ls. l i1n~ Vi~t·onti'!t h.1rl' I~ notict·ablt· strings atlo,ving spact· for tlil.' rt-.11 dialog,1u.• tl1at ".1s going, dO\\ll. ' I·ollo\\·ing' till' oh::.t·r' ,\ t'ion.11 l.1ck ,1 nd ' dit/\ \\·ordpl.l) of Young \n1l-ril.,1n.., it:.l·IC \\'in"•'' thl· t•ntr~· point for tht• 'Bo\\ it• rl'' l«tk•d' .1gl·nd.1 thl· -.ingt·r h.1d pro1niM:d on it!) con1plt·tion (hi:. """t pt·r:.onal .1lhun1 sina· ~1•0.-,· (>J.1111 . •1pp.1rl·ntl) ). ~

It':. .1 con,t·r-;,ltion of :.orts, possibl~- \\'ith himsl'll. (I It.· l,1tl·r da1n1l·<l Lhat. •·\\'in '"•'!) a sort of ·gl·t otr Your bacbick·' ' , l'l'.lll) "). I itl1l·r ""')· d1l' npt:nin!! g«mhit is chilling an<l bl'<lUti ful. .1 gripping .1dn1i..,:.ion that hl·'d hl·ttl·r <lrop thl· rn.1i.k(.) .1nd gl'l n'.11: " If tltl·n ·\ nothing to hidt· n1l•rrhl·n rou\·l· nt'\'t'r st•t•n n1l· ~ h.1nging n.1kl'<I .u1d ";r{·d." Bcl\\'il' h.1d in<ll'l'd lll'\"l'r ~oundt'd o nak<·d .1nd '"in•d. so .111gubhl·d .111cl l''h,·<l, hut tltl·n·'s d<·ll,1nct• too in tl1l· rt·pt'.1t<·d n1.1ntr.1, "it ,1in't 11\l·r" (:\ pron1i~l·? :\ lllrl·at?). Thl· phr.1:.l\ "So111<·onl' likt• you should not bl· allo\\·l'd to st,1rt an~ flrl•:." could .1 1 ~0 bl' intt•ndt•cl for a rcc;ilcitrant lovt.•r. or m:1nilgt•r ·ion) l)l·fril'S, or ,.\ngit', or t'Vl'll Bo\\'it• .1g.1in, '"hi lc· Win 's cho rus .1llud1·s to ,, po\\'t•r strugglt·: "No"' your i<n1ilt· is sprt.·ading tJ1in/ Si11ct· you 'rt• tryi ng not to losl'/ Sinc:t· I 'tn not ~upposcd to grin/, \IJ you'l·c· got lo do is \\'ill." "l'hl· 1110:.t \\'t'ightt•d lint• is Jlso thl' most l'JnhittL"rl'<l .1n<l ironic, gi\.l'll lh.11 Bo\\'il' \\',\S • •1t the titnc, in the !->rip coc.1illl' ,1ddiction: "Son1<·hod) lil·d, hut I sa} it's hip to be ,,li\'t'." l•vt•n if hl· rl·tirl·d it <1uic-kl~; Bo,~il· ,.«lued Win at thl· tinll' (.1~ did Bl•ck, "ho covcrl•d it), jt•lli ~oning t\\·o ,;,.ill hall.ids (It's Gonn.1 B<.· .\ It• .Jncl \\ho C.1n I Bt• :'\o"·~) " ·ht·n tht• I t•nnon S('Ssions rcpl,1ccd thern. And lor tht· C<>f!n<>~C<.:nti, \ Vin ilt thl· onl· d.,n1n ' . on )oun.'/ . \1ncri1-ans th.1t n1,1kl'!> tht·n1 hrl'.lk do\\11 and CT\.







(from Aladdin Sane, 1973)

(from Baal EP, 1982)

(from Low, 1977)

Where Ziggy glides effortlessly into a new era of Deco elegance

Bowie's farew II to Berlin: cadaverously impressive.

Bowler discovers sax appeal to tell the lives of others

John, I'm Only Dancing was hyperactive, The Jean Genie hard. This, Bowie's first single of 1973, moved more gracefully, providing a decorative, character-fi lled gli mpse into a sexless, post-nuclear future. If the primary inspiration was bobbysoxer balladry, the mocking Mothers Of Invention-style horns, space-age sirens, chummy shou t-outs to Jagger and Twiggy and quietly explosive choruses catapu lted Bowie further out, into space-age, Nabob of Sob territory. All that from spotting a few moonlit domes through a train window while Bowie/ Ziggy journeyed through Arizona. MP

The Baal EP was a trademark Bowie blend of inspiration and cynicism; designed as a con· tract filler to close his RCA contract, it ended up as an authentic, arresting farewell to both Berlin and - for several decades - Tony Visconti. The Drowned Girl is one of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's darkest collaborations, depicting a suicide's rotting corpse. Bowle's version stands today as a master-class in singing, his voice metamorphosing from smoky to crystalline in perfect synchronisation with the beautiful, disturbing lyrics. PT

Washes of early ambient synthesizer and bassy booms from collaborator Brian Eno introduce the final track on the first album of their Berlin Trilogy and one of Bowie's first, and most effec· tive, mood pieces, its early melody leaning heavily on a phrase from Edward Elgar's Enigma Variation Nimrod. Like the soundtrack to a modern black-and-white movie, layers of mist and mood accrue. After three minutes, Bowie's wistful sax joins the palette; after four, his sparse lyrics arrive, uttered for sound rather than sense. Brave and broody rumination. GB

SILLY BOY BLUE (from David Bowie, 1967)

The point where the Newleylsms became Bowieisms. As a d ispatch from the heart of the psychedelic age, Silly Boy Blue is an anachronism: a swooningly orchestrated ballad befitting an older crooner. If sonically out of step with the vogue, however, its lyrical content reflected the burgeoning spirituality of the times, in this case Tibetan Buddhism. Bowie depicts rain over the Lhasa mountains and "yak butter statues that melt in the sun", before focusing in on the struggling or rebellious pupil of the title. Eventually re-recorded in a more dreamily psych form on 2001's Toy. TD

AFRICAN NIGHT FLIGHT (from Lodger, 1979)

From Berlin to the hea t of another continent. Eno had introduced Bowie to the claustro· phobic atmospheres of The Walker Brothers' 1978 album Nite Flights, an influence that went beyond the titular nod in this teeming Lodger highlight. Lyrically inspired by an encounter with hard-drinking German pilots in Mombasa, Kenya, and propelled by an Eno-manipulated 'cricket menace' rhythm track, it finds Bowie delivering a stream-of-consciousness 'art rap' and a chanted refrain (in a potpourri of African tongues); the whole exotic/quixotic thing a palpable augury of Eno's impending African experiments with Talking Heads. OS

IT'S NO GAME (N0.1) (from Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), 1980)

Cathartic release with aggressive Japanese woman. Possibly Inspired by Lennon. Based on an unreleased 1970 Bowie song, Tired Of My Life, It's No Game came in two parts on Scary Monsters ... No.1 is an angry swagger, with Bowie's vocal verging on the demented, offset by a Japanese lyric translation strictly delivered by erstwhile Sparks cover star Michi Hirota, and the needling fretwork of Robert Fripp (who regards it as among his finest playing on record), a solo torrent which concludes the song before an irate Bowie tells the guitarist to "shut up!" OS

ANDY WARHOL (from Hunky Dory, 1971) Pop art meets art pop 1n

ambivalent tr bute. It starts with its own Warhol multiple: the singer repeatedly correcting the pronunciation of his subject's name (an Important detail to someone with their own tricky vowel sound?). Bowie's silkscreen-thin voice turns the artist into art, a collectible hung "on my wall", yet tense guitar scrabbles at Warhol 's surface trying to draw blood. No wonder the recently shot artist disliked the song on hearing an acetate. A · scream• - with something of the Munch about it. VS

D.J. (from Lodger, 1979)

The last days of disco, as full Major Tom crack-up beckoned. The Clash and Elvis Costello had already railed against com mercial radio, now here was Bowie's damaged answer record, delivered from within the crumbling psyche of a delusional disc jockey. Disco as dissociative identity disorder, D.J. plays like it's been pressed-off-centre, where George Murray's bass-groove heartbeat is needled by Adrian Belew's askew guitar, Bowie's queasy keyboards and Simon House's horror-movie violins until a 16-bar coda - and that deranged cry of "time flies when you 're having fun• - signals the fina l descent into mad· ness.AM

SHADOW MAN (from Toy, 2001)

t's like Starman, except you haven't heard it. A sublime melody, a haunting theme, and a jawdropping reminder that in 1971, the renascent Bowie was writing so many vital songs that this one stayed in the vault for three decades. The original '71 demo was bootlegged fairly widely and has a rough-hewn charm, but it's the cavernous and dreamy Toy recording from 2001 that rea lly grips. Anthemic, yet shifting and unpredictable, it evokes a slower, darker Starman and is every bit as arresting and unforgettable. );;--

~ ~







(from 1.0utside, 1995) Major Tom as pretty hate machine.

(from Scary Monsters {And Super Creeps), 1980)

Stay the fuck away from my patch, kid.

Bowie's most ferocious sonic outburst since the climax of 1974's Sweet Thing, Hallo Spaceboy features repeat phrases like, "Do you like girls or boys", uttered in a knowing Mockney-Bowie style that says, "Look at me! Nearly 50 and fronting a hardcore industrial rock band!" He's clearly having a blast, dressing up the concrete with dizzying electronica and elegant Mike Garson piano. Enlisting Pet Shop Boys to sweeten the innate beastliness and make it chart-worthy was another masterstroke. MP

An act of artistic provocation, m id life crisis or mental breakdown, Teenage Wildlife begins as Bowie's 'Letter To The New Romantics', before unravelling gloriously, in real time. Behind its ridiculous Spector/Springsteen Wall of Sound, the song slips from fatherly advice ("You'll get chilly receptions, everywhere you go") to fuck-you ("Same old thing in brand new drag") to defiance ("no-no/They can't do this to me"), all heightened by Robert Fripp's ironically insolent guitar and those mocking nyah-nyah backing vocals. AM


THE JEAN GENIE (from Aladdin Sane, 1973) Bowie channels NYC's Bohemian buzz into four-minute glam death ray.

(from 1.0utside, 1995) Post-Natural Born Killers rumination on pre-millennial tension.

There were times when Bowie could sublimate his experiences into onomatopoeic pieces, and no more so than on this loud, dirty. cock-thrusting, drug-pumped stomper written in summer 1972 in Warhol starlet Cyrinda Foxe's Manhattan apartment. Over a razor-like riff ever straining to reach the chorus-change, Bowie raps about an out-of-town character inspired by lggy Pop who sucks up New York, "selling nutrition• and making underwear from people's dead hair. Getting fucked-up never sounded more exciting. PG

Returning to work with Brian Eno on 1.0utside, his nineteenth studio album, Bowie attempted to evoke their collaboration on the Berlin trilogy, this track playing part of a wider narrative con cept designed to question humanity's loss of spirituality. The accompanying video - directed by Samuel Bayer (of Nirvana's Teen Spirit fame) - reflects Bowie's attempt to co-opt Trent Reznor's dank industrialism, the visuals detailing "ritua l art" and American "neo-paganism" matched to lyrics that investigate modern emotional mores. PA

BUDDHA OF SUBURBIA (from Buddha OfSuburbia, 1993) Bowie reassembles his past to escape from the present. Written for the 1993 TV adaptation of fellow Bromley tech student Hanif Kureishi's 1990 coming-of-age novel, Buddha Of Suburbia initially plays like a knowing pastiche of late '60s/ early '70s Dave, but underpinning this collage of Space Oddity guitar riff, Bewlay Brothers split-octave vocals and All The Madmen's "zane zane zane" refrain is a wistful autobiographical rumination on Bowie's own suburban flight and Starman transformation, itself serving as restorative fuel for yet another escape into the artistic unknown.AM

CHINA GIRL (from Let's Dance, 1983) Bowie eats himself Goes Top 10 around the world.

SOMETHING IN THE AIR (from hours, 1999) End-of-days romance as American Psycho soundtrack. A passionate autopsy of a relationship at the moment it crum b les to nothing, Something In The Air could easily be a diva-driven break-up anthem. Yet Bowle skews that particular reading with a gruff, alien blues delivery that adds scars and depth to the smooth surfaces. But what is the fai led relationship in question? Released in 1999, from the first ful l album by a major artist available via the new medium of download, Something In The Air is Bowie bidding farewell to the decade with a melancholy fin -de-siecle drama. PS


SONS OF THE SILENT AGE (from "Heroes", 1977) Gorgeous swoon-song paean to a numbed race of neue menschen. His nibs's sobbing tin-sax theme fades away into calm, as Bowie goes in for some more sci-fi sociology, viewing this new breed of manmorlock - who "make love only once, but dream and dream• - through his fractured futurescope. Echoes of Jacques Brel's Fils De ... and Les Vieux bounce around in Bowie's documentaryvoiceover sprechgesang (does he actually have modern Berliners in mind?) until that p leading release of a chorus bursts in, as if from another song entirely. The mysterious calm before Blackout's storm. DE

Of their mid-'70s co-writes, lggy's Tonight is definitive, but Bowie's remake of China Girl bests the original. For all its Nile Rodgers-buffed pop perfection, it's sick at heart, and Bowie's vocal, from tender murmur to crazed dictator, brings more meaning{s). She's a girl, she's a drug, she's the East, invaded, polluted and objectified by the West (all there in Rodgers' chop-suey guitar intro). She's ripe for an answer song, now the boot's on the other foot. DE

WORD ON A WING (from Station To Station, 1976) A cry for help as conditional song of praise. Written from the depths of a cocaine -depleted spiritual crisis and what Bowie called the "psychological terror• he experienced while filming The Man Who Fell To Earth, Word On A Wing is the sound of someone reaching out to re ligion, with reservations. He can't bring himself to sing the words Sweet Jesus {using "Sweet Name") and logic is making him resistant ("Just because ~ "'E I believe don't mean I don't think as well "). All of this matched to shiver-inducing ornate piano iE' balladry that harks back to Aladdin Sane. TD ~



ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS (12-inch A-side, 1986) \\'11 .\ 11 VI R 11..\PPI '\I I) to t11l· Thon1as l)olh, .11l1u1n th1·~ \\\'l'l' \\orking on? ~o mattl'r. In Junl' 198 5, \111-.1ctio11'' kl'\• ho.1rdist St<.'\'1' :"k·vc. Solt Boys h;issist • ,\latilil'\\ ·l·lign1.1n, .1nd PrL·f,1h Sprout's t11en drumn1l'r and ~·uitarist, :--l·il Conti ,1nd Kl'' in \rn1strong, l'l'<X·h·l·<l t~pl·<l l1:ttl'rs from L\11 .\&H. hl'.td I Iugh 1.1nll·~ Cl.1rk<.', h,1lting U\l•ir uru p~illl'd scssion' .1t \hi~·~ Ro.ul in f.llour of son1t• shift-,,·ork \\'ith produCL'l-S Clh'l' L1ngl'1 .1nd \ \\'in~t.111IL''. .1nd ,, ct·rt,1in ".\lr X". X. lhl'\. soon di~covl'rl'd, \\,\:. Bo\vil·, "ho .1rrh·l'd .1t . \bbe~ Ro.1d \\'ith .1 d1•1no ick·J, ,1 .\liddll· I .1stl'rn ~·uit.1r ril l c1uickl~· l'Yoh·('d into" di:.-7ying noir-j.11,,--i>oul dl·c:l.1n1.11 ion c.1lll·d Th.1t 's ~ lotiv;ition, intl·ncll·d ll>r thl· :-.oundt rack of Jul k·n l ~· n1pll·'s hig-scr1'l'n musicill a<lapt.1lion ol' Colin ~ \ ,1c· ln11\·~·~ 1\hsolut1· lh·gi nrll·rs. It's th,lt iniliill ductill' riff you hl·,1r ,1t th \· st,1rt of tl11· 1\h:.olut<.' Bl·gin111·rs singll·; 1:1ltl·ring, d<.'Cl'k·r,1ting .1nd sll'l'tchi ng out to .1 11 :0.. Yl' funk er,,,, I, hl'lor<.• bl•ing lif11:cl Jloft on ,1 kl'\. chang,·. Kl•vin /\rn1:.tro11f.(!> <listincth· .... ..._ . Pretah ....~1ui lar .1nd so ml' kno\\'inl!h ironic )(1ung ' . .. .\m,-ric;,11s h"ckin~ \'oc.1ls ("'' h.1-\\ h;i'' haoon1!") lr·on1 j .Hll'l \rn1strong. \l.111 \ \ 'in,t.11111·\• n·1nl·n1bl·r:. \h~olutl' Bl·gi1H\L'r!> "'ounding prL·ll~ con1pk·tL· on thL· dL·n10 hl·'d hl·.1rcl .1t Bo" il·'s pl·nthou!-l' ~u1ll' .1t llll' St J.1n1l·s' Cluh. hut thl' othL•r 1nu,i(i,111' rL'<. .111 t hL· ~i 11!!\'I" "riling thl· :.<>ng in thl· 'tudio, .,l..1·t('hing icll'<ll> L'ight h.11-i, .11 ,, tillll'. .1nd ofll·ring .1 k·"







I nOl''l<llll' •()hli1Jlll' Str,1tl·gil'::.' {"think gn·cn") li1r good 111l".l>.UI\'. TI1b 1night h.ll l' lX'L'n p.111 of .1 Bo\\ ie ·pl·rll1rn1ancl'' .•111 in-thl·-n101nL'lll crL".ltion, for lil..l' QuicksJnd Jnd Changcs lx·lorL' it, . \hsolutl' BL·ginnL·~ c.1n II\· rL'.l<l ,1;. another Bo,,il' ru1nin.ition on artb.tic l·xh.1u,,tion " l\1· nothing niut·h to ofll-r" - th1· sui.t1i11ing iclL'il of \t,111ing •'!!•1in, frorn nothing, .1ncl in ll1l' proC('S'. lx·coming r<.·ju' L'llJll'<I. I h· CL'1 t,1inl~ tJpp..·ar.:d 1·,h,1u~tl'd. In thl· ,,,1kL· of lon1f)ht\ l.icl..lusu·1· '80s pop, th1• first product of the l ..1ngL·r & \ Vinst.1nl1·~ sL-.;sions " '•ls l\o\\iC''s kn.1ckcrl'cl coll1boration \\'icl1 .1 pn:1.·ning .\lick J·'K!!l'I' lor I i\1' \id's D.1ncing In Thi· lrl'L't ("T-ucking ,11\f'ul" \\'in ~1.1n l1·\), But thl· 1·,h,1u,tion on .\hsoluh· BL·ginnl·r- i"' dill1·n·nt: . ,, dL·c·.Hk•nt orphil \\L\trinL'!>i> in '' hich Bo,,'il' slip:. th<.· hound.11'i<.·i. of tillll'. LikL· M> n1,1ll\. of his hc:.t l>ong:., .\hsolutl' Bl'gi1ll1L'r::. b olll' thing ... ... .1pp1·aring ,1:; .111othl•r. It pl.1~·s as .1 pcrfi.·ct lhrl'l'·1ninull· lo, <.· song, hut in 1:1ct is .1 Sl'ri<.•s of .1111higuous .1n1cnd1n<.·nts to tht• ;ihsolut1.•s of lovl', ,1 duplicitous v.1k·ntin<.· l'ron1 ~oml· l'o~t-\vJr P.1tric·k 11.unilton 11ovl·l llo,1ti11g I 1°l'l' in:.idl· t.•ight minut('S of v.tll·<lictory drih, .1id1·d by so.1rinv ~lrin•,.,,•s, Rit·k \\:1kl•m,1n's R.1chrn,1nino' 1>i.1110 .1ncl .1 s,1, cod,\ ::" th.1t, lihl' Bo" il". con.~t.1nt h· hints ,1t .1 nl•ed lor Irl·cdo111. • . \bsolutl' Bl'ginnl·rs is thl· l'pic sound of Bo\\11• liiddi ng l.11'\'\\ 1·11 to .1 dl·pll·t1·cl l.1tl' '80s ("th\•rt·'s nothing much to t.1kl·") .111d .1tt\·n1pting to t.1rt .1gain, ,, pop song f1·1·l·d fron1 th1· hooks .1nd tll'Ui of pur1· pop, llo.lling ofl into ,1n w1f,\£hion.1hk· outl'r !>p.tcl' of .1rt, l'Xl)\'nmc:nt ,1nd pl.1~.





hill band's fina l gig, ~up porting Bo\vie at the i\1arciuee on February 3, 1970, ('a111b1idgl' had actcpted BO\\ie and Visconti's offer to join. Thl' split ca1n(' pt'rilously close to Bo\\'ie's biggest break of that spring, a slot on BBC l{adio 1·~ ne\v In Concert series, niastern1inded by producer JelT Griffin. lt \\"a'l John Can1bridge's idea to recruit a 1nul!ici.1n he'd played \\·ith in a Hull band, 1·he RaL,, one ~l ichael l{on:.on. "I k1:pt ~a) ing to \li:.t·onti, I kno\' thi~ guitari~t in Hull , but because I \\'a the joker thcv didn't take much notice. l ' hen l'rn up in I lull talking to Nlick- \vho's creosoting lines on a rughy pitch-and trying to tt.•mpt him. He's like, 'I don't '''ant to con1e,' so I'n1 trying to con\·ince both ends." Succun1bing to Cambridge'!. persuasion, Ronson turned up for the 1\larqucc sho\v on the third. Introcluccd lo Bo,vic after the gig, the flint-faced orthcrncr niade politt• noi:-t·~ but didn 't talk n1ut h. On the vVednesda); Ronson huddk·d \Vith \lisconti a11d Bo,vie, ,~·o rking on songs; \vhcn Bo\vil' askt·d .Ronson ifhc fancied playing on the BBC sho,v, on the Thursd"y night, the guitarist ~ agreed. And so David Bo,vie and ·-rhe Tony Visconti Trio' ~ - lonv, Can1bridge and Ronson - found then1selves in ~ the fo;'cr of tht· BBC's Pari:. Theatre, an in1pos~ ing Ed\vardian building at the botton1 of Lonclon's l{egent Street, on Thun.da); February 5. BBC producer J1:ll' Griffin had endured son1e ~ ~ quia.ical looks lron1 his superiors \\·hen he'd told g- thc1n he'd hooked David BO\\'ie for one of the first In Concl' rt -;loL\. l-le'cl haYc got ,,·o~e if any:; one had kno\\·n thi, con1bo "a~ lareelv untried. For the first 2 1 1ninutt'll, 130" ie ran through a ~ 0 ~ niostly tamiliar set, dra\\ing on L1is ;\\t>rcury LP .- plus one of Griffin\ fa\'Ourites, a co,·cr of Jacques i Brel's Port Of An1sterda1n. It ,,·as seven song.






before R.onson plugged in his Les Paul for a ne,,· c:on1position, Th1.· \.\lichh Of A Circk·. "I had no idea \\~10 [the guitarist] \\·as, hadn't heard of hin1 bl:forc," says Griffin. ·~\nd he sounded pretty confidt'nl. .. a great addition to Da\ id' sound." "\\'c \\ere under-reht'arst'd for sure," ays \ 'i~conti, "eYcn David coulcln 't rc1nc111hcr the organ part to 1\ \emory Of A Frt't! Festival too ,,.(.•II. I-It• botch1.•d it up. But it \\'aS incredibly t'xciting bl'caus1.• \\ <.' knl'\V :-. tick \\.as going to \\'Ork ouL He had something ''e nee<k'<-1." Maybe John Can1bridge, the nian \vho talked hin1 into the job, hest sun1med up the llC\\' instrun1cntal intensity. " Ronno gave it some \\\'II~." ICK l'.lO:'\ SO . 'S MU~ I CAL personality ' vould be the key to the alhun1 to conic - rough-cdgcd and rock'n'roll to contrast \vith the \\'him~ica l acousUc moods of its predecessor. It ,vould unlock the Bo\vie 1nagic - and the Ronson n1agic, too. Bandmates agree that Ron!.on had plateaued back in 11 ull, once he'd bccon1e accepted as the city's bc~l guitarisl. Up north, says Ca1nbridgt\ Ronson 's l(x:u:-. had been on mastering other people\ :-.ongs notefor-note. " But \\'hen it can1e to Bo\\'ic, no\\' he's not got to cop): And that's \\'hen 1\lick thought, 't O\\' I can play \vhat I like. No one's gonna say that i:.n't likc the record.' l11at's ,vhat turned .\lick around." Equall)~ ~ay:. ,\lark Pritchcn, BO\\ it' ,,.a., a\\·arc hi:. mu:.ic needed to reach the nc.''t IC\·el: " l~ e had \\Tittcn songs that held 100 people in the Arts Lib spellbound- but that \Vasn't enough. 1·herefore the idea of having a group of musicians\\ ho understood \Vhat he ''"s trying to do, ''"s huge." The in1portance of thi:. sn1all group of likc1nindcd souls, gathered in the threadbare opulence of 1-laddon Hall, \\'ith its huge fireplaces and cold draughts, \vent beyond 1nusic. Angil' nurtu red David. Visconti, \Vho'd 111ovl·d into a Hat lacing the garden \vith girlfriend Liz, and J{on!>on \Vould practise endlessly \Vith hin1,


The Bowies at home In Beckenham - but who wore the trousers? (above left) the "Space Oddity" album; Bowie, still frizzed in late 1969; Bowie's brother Terry's footbillling fave - Hull City's Ken Wagstaff.

" 'hilc John Can1bridgc \\'as house joker. But they ,,·erl'n ' t con1pletcl~· cloistered. ·n1crc ,,·as grief ,,;th Bo,,ie's soonto-bc-cx-n1anager Ken Pitt, and the presence of Bo,\rie's n1othcr PcK.~~ " ·ido\\'t-'<l the pn:,;ouc; August, in Albemarlt· Road. And there ,,·ere regular \isi~ fron1 schizophrenic halfbrother Terry, recently confined to Cane 1-i ill, a forbidding near Cro,·<lon. Terr\'' \YOuld chat enthusiVictorian asrlu1n , asticallv about n1usic or football - hc \Yas a fan of Hull Cit\. ' i.triker Ken \\'agstafT, he told Can1bri<lgc - but ahvays tht·rt• '"""the \\Orr\ ht• \\Ould .,uccun1b to a darker mood. ' ~ lu .,ic· provided ''elcome respite, although it ''as still in transition; " 'ht'n Da' id and Angie started planning live datt•s lo follo" the In C'ont:ert gig in February, the set re,·olvl·d around hi' .Nlcrcury albun1, oldt'r songs like Karn1a f\ Ian anti London Rye.• Ta Ta, plus t·o,·crs of Lt'nnon's Instant K.1r1na and u:t's vVork l<>~Lhcr, n1adc fan1ou1> by Canned 1-ft:at. But \Vht·n it can1c lo prt''>l'lltation it \\·as Angie ,vho observed tht· current ln..-ncl, ol'drcssingclo\\ n, and did the opposite. M.irk Pritchett \va!. t•nlist<:d for a shopping expedition to pick up t·xotic fabric~ and outfits around Oxford Street. \fi~onti becan1c a con1icbook characl<.·r, 1lypl' ,\Ian," ilh a huge 11 adorning his long-slt'l.'\c<l " ·hite tee; Da,·id cir<.·:-. ·c.·d in a 1n1.·taJJic collarless shirt\\'ith tights and thigh-lengLh boot~; Can1bridge \\'ore a CO\vboy hat; Ronson borro\\t'cl Da' id\ gold i.atin jacket to bccon1c Gangstern1an.


t-1[ u . VFILI G 01~ BOvVIF.'S l EvVOUTFJT, 11 E\'FRY scnM', can1<.' at the.• H.oundhou:,c on February 22, 1970, supporting I ocl Rt'ckling'., Fat f\1attrc . \' isconti described it ai, the very beginning' ofglan1. \\lht·tht•r the sparse CTO\\'d scn•.,cd thi' glittery Big Rang is doubtful. "Tc>ny ">aid tht' audience \\'ere :.houting, ' 1-aggots, gt•rofl~' but to hl' honl'Sl I don't remen1ber t11at," says John Cambriclgt.'- " I rt·n1c.·n1bcr it \\as really dark, \\'ith not a lot or people." "It \\'as con1ic book rock'n'roll," ·ay!. Jeff Dexter, \vho booked the ho'"• "in a nice '"ar" Mark Pritchc.•tt r<.•n1<.·n1b<.· r~ Ilonson's 200-\vatt Marshall an1plifier ovcrpo\\·cring the others, that it ,,·as all "a bit of a 111ess". Yet, significantly, he also noticed that an1id] the mayhen1 and chaos and noisC', David \Vas cxtrenic>ly relaxed. You got the in1pression hC' felt a band \vas good lor l1itn." 'f'hc band ll'as good for him. ·rhc gla1nn1y outfits didn't:::;;...




survive for long, though; they \Vere dispensed 'vith for n1ost of the follo,ving dates, on at least one of'' hich they \Vere billed as Harry T he Butcher. But the outfits and set \vent do,,n \veil in the unlikely confines of the loca1,10 Club in Sunderland on ~\arch 13, \vhHt• a sec:ond Roundhouse sho\·\', part of an Ato1njc Sunrise extravaganza on March I l, 'vas n1ore outrageous and successfu l than the first. Yet on Monday, Nlarch 2 3, ,,.ht'n the band ,.,·as in Trident recording a ne\\' song, ·rbc Supermen, another den1en t of The Hype p ro\'ed dispensable ,vhen John Cambridge struggled to 1naster a stopstart riff. "Mick \vas going, 'Co1ne on, it's easy,· hut I 'cl never heard the song 'til \Ve got in the studio," tht· drun1n1cr ruefully recalls. I got it right later . . . but lhaL \·YaS the beginning of n1y end.'' f\ fe,,· clays later, Cambridge arrh·ed back at I lad<lon 1-lall and notict'd Ronson pl;iying Bo\\ie and Visconti ,1 !"('cording of The Rats, tcaturing Cambridge's successor, Mick 'Woody' W)odn1ansey. Much later, Can1bridge 1vas up a ladder painting Bo,vic's bedroon1 ceiling \vhen David and Angie pulled up outside, and he hear<l then1 talking. "You gotta tell hi1n, Da"id," Angie exhorted her husbancJ, "you gotta tell hirn!" Cain bridge \vas a strong, reliable dru1n1ncr - his BBC sessions, especially, testify to his skills. But vVoodn1ansey \ Vas a 1norc cxtra\"agant pcrforn1cr, in keeping 'vith Ronson's vision of a po\vCJ· trio. "I ' knocked on the door to H addon I lall and he opened the door," says the nc\v drun1a1cr of his first sight of the 1nan \vith \vhon1 he \Yould ahvays b e associated. "He \Vas 'vearing a rainbo\v-striped ·1:shirt, bright red corduroy trousers, b lue slip-on shoes on \vhich he had ob,,iously painted a blue star and he had bangles on each \vrist. 1 \Vas \veari11g a denin1 shirt,

jL'a ns and n1occasi11s. I reme1nber thinking, I guess this is London." No,,; \VOrk intensified on thL' albun1 thev'd started on J\1larch 23 . \ \ 'hile this ne,,· qua1tet represented, in essence, the de but of Ziggy's Spiders From Mars, the sonic and lyrical intensity of their material from early 1970 actually prt:sage a 1nuch later \vork - J 977's l.01r, an albun1 ,,·he re Bo\\rie, beset by pe rsonal prol>k·1ns, set out a n1u.5ical agenda, then d elegated 1nuch of the le~1·ork to Brian Eno. For The At/an 11 "ho Sold The 11/c-Jrld, the rnusital soundscapes \vere constructed n1a in ly by Mick Ron. on, '"orking clost·I)· 'vith vVood111ansey and Visconti, '"ho later voict·cl his frustration about David and Ang1e's cl hSl'llCl' '"hile he, Ron no and \t\foo<ly did the hard yards. "Somt' o f the overdubs \Vere cornplicated and Lin1e consu1n ing," he told n1e, "and after David gave his input I guess he thought it \\'as fair gan1e to go into the foyer " ·ith Angie, or to leave the prcn1ises. This isn't unco1nn1on, but it \vas the first time it happened to n1e. As a novice producer I just couldn't unde rstand 'vhy David \VOuldn 't \Vant to be in the studio every minute." So1ne retellings, p erhaps ins pired by Visconti's late r estrangeme nt fron1 Bo,Yie, \Vent further, suggesting certain backing tracks \vent do\\'ll \vith no Bo,vie input at all. "fhis notion, says 1\!1ark Plitchett, is "just p lain bollocks". Still attending Dul\vich College, Pritchett had saved up to buy a Revox reel-toreel, on \vhich Bo,vie den1o'd songs and played back the \York in progress: "To alJo,v people to create so1nething that he adds a fe" ' lines to is the antithesis of ho\v he 'vorked. Those odd chord positions, that\vasn 't Mick's natural style ... " ·ith the possible exception of he Shook JV\e Cold, the heart and soul of those songs is Da,rid's." Bo\\~C '-Vas, lmsurprisingly, huffy about s uch clairns, later s napping that "no one [else J \,\Tites

chord changes like that". Despite their· later bistory (his tenurl· ending rather publicly at the pidcrs' Hain1ners1nith Odl·on sho\v on July 3, 197 3), \\'oodrnanscy agrees. "All the songs originated from 0;.\\id," a~·s the drun1n1er. "Son1eti1ncs it ' ''JS onl~· a chord <;equence" ith a concept of the ·ong, others, md~·­ be :.ection:-. \\\.'had to develop and make " ·ork, but the idea " '<l'> there .,onlt''' hl:'re." ah\'ays • In fc1ct, Bo"ic'-. n1ocle of \\Orking ''ould become a carl'l'rdefining t.1C'tit·: tht• reboot. By inC'orporating Ron on and Vil>co nti'~ d1.·n~c ~ound ,1nd changing h i~ \\'Orking method!>, ht· ,,;pcd clean the nH:n10r) of the dt:licate, folk-infused pop arti:.t. I le not only prot<>t)lJed tht.• :-.ound that \voulcl break through li:1r him; he had hit on a n1t·thodology. T LEAs·r ·rwo t\ \f\JOR CORNERSTONE OF THI: Man IVho Sold ·rhe 11-0rld " '<.: re, in fact, already laid do" n beforc sessions r<.•sun1cd \Yith Woodmanscy at liidl'nt in April. ·rhc \.Yidth Of A Circle had been in the set since February. and The Supcrn1en \Vas essentially con1plete by Nlarch. The lattcr'i. t)1n1pani-driven \'ision'i of iiber1nensche11 striding the earth clrc\V hl'avily on 1-rit•clrich Nict1..'>chc, and inspired speculation that Bo"·ie had stud iccl in depth the \\10rk or the Gern1an philosopher, as \Veil and others he invoked. In truth, as Kahlil Gibran, Alt·isterCro,vley • according to contt·n1poraries like Mick 1-arren, he '"as "soaking up everything he could get his hands on ... but still bullshitting!'' \ \oodn1anscv . ren1t•n1bt'rs tltis as t11e first tiine Bo,,ie sumn1onl'd up tllis IJO"crful uni' "'r!>l' ol tllc imagination: "He " ·as \\Tiling about a ,,·orld \\'hl·r1.• l '' crything \\'.ls conlrolll•d by a n1achine, a guy "ho had bt't'n a soldier 'vho couldn't stop killing people - basicaJI~· science fiction. 1obody '"a~" riting stuff like that. I think he has expanded tlit• approach and conc•:pto; of this albun1 on all of hi later " ·orks - l but] it :-.tarted he rt•.'' 1'hc rapid spced at" hic.h songs ,,·ere arranged and \\Tittcn added to the clau-;trophobic consi-;tency of Bo,vie' · n1ental uni\'erse. Yet there " 'ere links \vith his t'arlier 'vork. In All The t\itadn1en, he tell ... us that he'cl rather stay \vith those labelled 'n1ad', like halfbrother Terry or his beloved Sycl Barrett, than the straights. The song's na'ive, c hilcllikl' guality evokes Derarn 1naterial like Uncle Arthur, or Tht• Li lllr Born hardier, songs \\•hich depicted real people '"ith sirnilar :-.yn1 pat11y. Yet hen: \Ve travel deeper into their unsettling " ·oriel, both rnu!.ically and lyrically, inspiring speculation that Da,id \Vas struggling to exorcise his O\Vll den1ons. In reality, ~\ark Pritchett agrel:'s, Bo,vie \Vas al"'ays "n1ore hinged tl1an n1ost" - but the dre" on very rl:'al concerns: "Terry \\<tS, n1osl of the timt-, a soft, brilliant, lo''l:'ly bloke. But there " ·erl:' pl:'riods of darknes!.. O\\; my fc1ther died of a heart attack, so naturally you \\'Orry you" ill ha\t' in1ilar problen1s, and I kno"· Da,·id \\OS \\'Orried there \\'as son1ething in his gene . I Ie's sensith·e to " ·hat's going on - though of cour-.e he ,1l"·ays conies out on the positiYe side." Rock, a 1·he upbeat aspet1 can1c to the fore on Black Countrv • paean, esscntiall), to r-.-1 ick Ron5on 's Le Paul, fed through a \\'ah'"ah for a throaty tone, interlacing" ith it elf and Visconti's Auid ba-.s in a fabulou.,ly con1plcx collagL-. "Mick loved to acid hi' ideas to those songs. This ''-as the fir:.t tin1e he '''orkcd outsicl<· of his co111lort /.one and he 'vas enjoying t11e lrecclon1," say» Visconti, \\ho notes ho'v here, and else,vhere, Ronson'i. !!tacked guitan; fon:shado\V tht· \vork of Queen anrl others. This song \Vas another sketched out early on, and 'vithout Ronson's contributions \vould ha\'I.' rcrnaint:cl a 111odcstditty, notable for its vocal homayc to Marc Bolan (\vhic:h left llonson unin1presscd). Yet it \vas the title track, an1ong tl1l· la-.t to be recorclt·d, \Vhich \vas the n1ost un~cttl i ng 2 in it>. dark ~ubtlt>ty. Ba:-1:d on a typically unpredictable Bo,vie chord § sequence, tht· song plays on sc:i-fi \vriter Robert Heinlein's 1951 no\'1; 1, Tht• Man \A/ho Sold Tht• t\1oon, but ups the ante; n1ean,,·hilc, ~ Ronson 's guitar tiff:' spiral up,,-ards on an escalator to no"·here.




IT l--1 TI II: 1\LBU~\ CO~·\ PLETE, ,.\NE CALATOI{ TO no\\'h1.•rc.· iJl:rf<.•c:tl.v de ·c:ribcd Bo"·ic's imn1t·diatc cart•cr £ path. By thl.• tin1e it \\'JS released, Ola'· Wypcr, the ;yn1pat ~ thetic Philips 1\\D, left amid internal feuds - but not before he'd

"WHEN went on for maybe two top of that fingernail. weeks. and he got it MICK SAID, He could bend the down to the wood note really hard. 'LET'S DO without any He was extremely THIS,' YOU pockmarks or flecks melodic. People think of paint. The pickups WOULDN'T of Mick Ronson as the went back on. and I glam. heavy-rock artist. ARGUE." remember the first time Not really. I remember him he played it, in the shitty writing out string parts, and hltle basement of Haddon if you listen closely that really sets Hall. It sounded wonderful, 'cos it him apart. He wasn't just about big was Mick, and it sounded exactly blues riffs. He was a courageous guy, the same as before. But Mick was an absolute central influence. When convinced the guitar sounded better Mick said, 'Let's do this.' unless you 'cos of the abuse it had gone through. really thought you had a better idea, As we climbed up out of the you wouldn't argue. He liked to play basement, he was really chuffed. the guitar loud, like at the Hype gig He said, "It's gone fron1 good, to in 1970. But he was sensible about fucking superior!· pulling stuff down too. And when you hear some of the arrangements. or parts he contributed. he was absolutely superb. Mick understood a very simple artistic logic: if they don't see it, you


Mark Prirchettplayedwith Mick Ranson in one-off Bowie protege band Arnold Corns and later, on the Diamond Dogs-prefiguring Bowie TV5peoal, The 1980 Floor Show.

introduc:(:d Bc)\\'ie to legal clt:rk Tony Defries. Shortly aftt•r, Visconti jumped ship for i'v\arc Bolan. ~lean,vhile, I\ tick l'lon on !><1\\ a road sign pointing to Hull, and said to his n1ate Woody, "So<l it, let's go hon1l'," and then they '''ere gone, too. 1-loly I lol~1, thl' :-ingk· David rl't·ordl:'cl \.vithout thern \Vas another Aop. "Somctim(·~ things just don'tgt•J," says its producer, r lcrbie flO\\'CrS. Yl.:'t in just a ll>\v n1onths, Bo\vie and Defdes - no"' his n1anagcr -\vould snatch vie.Lory fron1 the ja\v of defeat; \Vilh his po,ve1· trio gone.-, Bo\.vic \\'ould reboot once n1ore, rebui lding hi:-. son!,"vriting around th<.' piano. Defries ,,-ouJd buv back t11e failed albun1 for peanuts, and" ith Bo,vie in the ascendant and Ronson back in harnt•ss, the rchadgecl The Afan lfho Sold The ~Vorld " ·ould hit the UK Top 30, its dark introi.pection a perfect con1plement to Ziggy \ theatrical sh<.>1.•n. Cclebratt'<I ai. a uniqu<.> '"ork in the Bo,,ie canon, its c:ontent derh<.>cl from a rnethodolo~· that " ·ould be used again, and again. The building hloc:k-. for key Bo,,ie a1bun1s, fro111 Zi99), to /.011, and on e\'l'll lo Tin Alach1ne, ''ere in place. But the n1ost enduring k·!>:.<>n "ai. that before you build the ne"~ ~·ou n1ust tear do"·n the old. ~ MOJO 67



(from let's Dance 1983) I'\ TI II \llTll.\\:\


or 1982. '\ik· Rocli;:t>rs ""ll si-.; ~

llop ,1lhun1~ into ,1 hil drought, huril·d in .1 s..·riou;, cokl· hahit .1nd \\,1lkin~ \\ilh Bilh. Idol into th1• Continl·ntal, .in arts\' . :'\l'\\' )(irk dbco. \ co1nn1ittt·d \nglophile, Rodgers imml'<.!i.1tel~ spott1·d 1),,, id Bo\\ it', \\ hon1 hl' 'd 111'\'l'r 1n1·t, alone at the har. Idol \\'JS slO\\l'r on till' upt.1kl'. hut h.l\ ing clockt•d "l)aa-J\l•!". hustk·d 1 il<· (l\'t•r to .,J~ h1·llo, onl~ .,topping to \'omit on Ull' '''"~· Rodgt·rs introduct•d hin1-.vll. ·rhu;, 1111·1 l\\o grt-.1t 1n11sici.1n;, \Vith pl1·nt~ lo pro,1.·. Ro\vi1· h.1d k·ft his long- t1.·r1n hon11.·. Rl':\, .1nd \\',lntl·d something fresh .lnd lUlL'XPL'ClL·d for his n1•,t l.1hl·I. Roclg1·rs \vas "lost at Sl'J", .-ift<.·r thl' n1ncicl I) isco Suck.., carnp.1i~rn h.1cl h.1dl~ shak1·n Chic's co1nn11•rci.1I c:onl1d1·nc1·, .1 condition t'\,1c-1·rl1.lll d hy th1· lili1J.-ird of hlo": \\'IH·n Bo\\'it• ~uH01·~t1·d tht•\. \Vork tou1•tlll-r, it \\'ilS 1·ust " ·hat ~ ~ lloclo1·rs nt'L'dl'd tu ht·.1r: "I \\ ,1s i 11 ht·.111•11 . . \ llC\\' liber.1tor h.1cl ~ 1·ntt'1T<l 111~· lik·. " 'I ht· p.ll"tnl·ri.hip lus1·d on rt·sp1·ct. Bo\\i1· appr1·ciJtl·cl tl1l' j.1r1 sophistic.1lion .lt lhL· he.lrt of Rodgers' pop; Ro<lgl'rs \\'JS 1:1scin.111•d h). Bo\\i1•':. hbtor\, \\ illin!!ll\'<;S . ' lo t''fll'rill\l'nl and .1hilit~ lo u-.111i.lc1rm. But I),\\ id h.1d on1· t·onc:rt'll' rl·quirl'm1•nl: "I " ·ant you to n1akt· hit,_.. ·rhii. ,,·as not music • to ile\ e.1rs - hl· ll·h hl·'d ht'l'n 111.1<l1· to toil in "th1· hit planl.1tio11" too long. hut \\,11111•d lo ht· t.1k\·n ~\·riou'I~ ,,, .1 produc"r and ~


ll\'l"dl·d thi., ~.. uif;!. Thl' l'l'Cord th1·\. n1adl• to<~\•th1·r in h\o \\l't'k.' ,,.,,~ ,,·ith thb. th1· titl1· :.on}.!. ....g.11n1·-<.h.1ni.:in!! li1r hoth n11·n. Tht·,· .. IK·gan .... ... \1 Bo"i1•"!. pl.1c1· in l41us.1nne. 5,,;t11·rland. h1• pl.i~<'d 'ii(• hb id1-.1 on .1 12-string g11it.1r ,,;th si-.; strings n1issing. lo Rod!,.'l'r!., tlu· loll~ dir!!t' \\1lh ,1 ro1n.1nl1c: h ric: sounded like " l)ono\-.111 n11·ets :\nthon' ' . Nt•\'11•\. " . . \nd nol in,, good"'''· . .\lso, sinc1· th1· disco h,1ckl,1!.h, 1 iii· h.1d h1·conll' .1ln10,l phobic of "th1· d-\\ord ... •cJ.1nc.·1•'" .1nd h.1cl .,,,orn nol to us1· it .1g.1in lor .1 \\ hil(-. If this \\'a::. l30\\'i1•'i. id1-.1 of .1 pot1·nti.1I hit, h1• thought, it""':. ncV\T going to \\'ork. .\I tl•r c.11ling ,, n1u1u.1I lril·nd to check that Bo\\·il· ,,-.1sn 't test' in}.! hi111, Rocl!!l'r:. s.iicl h1·'d try ,111 .irrangen1l'l1t. Bo\\'il' hookl·d ,1 "' ... ... ,\ lonlrt'll:\ studio .1nd .1~sl'nlhk·d a b,1ncl of loc.11 j.r111•r:. to try out Nil1·'s ch,11 ti.. ·rl11· lugubrious n1t·lod~ Bo"·i1· h.1d sung h.1d h1·co1111· sl.1cc.1to and 1 >unc:h~. thl' track irr1·sistibll· to Ull' r('\' t. "I US('d sil1·nct• and big opt·n spac(·s to Cl'l'illt' th•· groove," s,1~·s Roclgl'l'S, ".1n<l k1·pt ,11-rJnging it on th1: s1>ol likt• I did ,,;th Chic." l·or tht· n1.1slt•r, tl1v~ hookt'CI Rodgers' t:l\ouritl' sll1dio, th1· l'o\\'l'I' St.tlit111 in :'\t'\\ )(irk,\\ ith thl· l'l'\t'rl•d Boh Cll•an1·1e1unl.1in .ll thl· ch·~k, th1· n1ii.!hlv ... .. ()n1,1r I lakin1 on drun1s, th1· unlik1·I\' .. StcYit• It\\.. \:1ugh.ln on guitar and soloist .\ l.1c Gollehon on pockt·t tru1npvt, to c:.1ptur1· "hat Bo'''il· cJlk·d ''.1 po,,t- n1o<k·r11 horn.lgt: to "l\,i t .\nd Shout". In ju~t \\10 t.1kt•ll tht•\. h.icl tht• onh. D,l\ id Bo\\ it· i.ingl1· ' to mak1· I\ umbt•r I in both tht· LI K .1ncl tht• lL . l)1·spitl' thl' d-\\·orcl too. "\\'h1·n l),\\td ,,,,id, 'I t·t';. l),1nce'," ill' nolt"<I, "no 0111· r,1n into thl' street:!> to ::.t·t rl·cord!> on llrl'." ~





NEUKOLN (from "Heroes", 1977) A saxophone colossus of existential bleakness. Named after the once mainly Turkish Neukolln district of Berlin (German place-name spelling is not a Bowie strong point, as the video to Where Are We Now? attests), this highlight of #Heroes"' instrumental side, co-written with Brian Eno, offers four and a half minutes of wintry, futuristic spy music, with Eno's variously textured synths framing Bowie's by turns lugubrious and baleful, vaguely Eastern-tinged sax soloing. It remai ns endlessly evocative of blasted cold war cityscapes, shadowy men in overcoats and profound Mitteleuropa melancholy. OS

BRING METHE DISCO KING (from Reality, 2003) A magician works his magic - before the disappearing act Bowie's last track before his welcome recent reprise, this minimal meditation shows his appetite for risk-taking was undiminished; swooping singing set to the most spare of backgrounds, of Mike Garson's restrained piano chords and a spritely drum loop. It's fascinating as autobiography, too; you can appreciate Bowie's joy in his own singing, even while he tells us, "close me in the dark, let me disappear." PT

he was intrigued by the New York scene as spot-lit by Lou Reed and the Factory crowd. In January 1971, a promo trip to New York inspired a cinematic song of camp jealousy cut fast, flip and furious to slashing acoustic and Mick Ron son's Les Paul riffing la Sweet Jane out of Eddie Cochran's Three Steps To Heaven. MS


CAT PEOPLE (PUTTING OUT FIRE) (from Cat People OST, 1982) Sometimes Bowie had to get It right before he got it wrong. Paul Schrader's film Cat People, a Freudfest in which a girl's sexual awakening transforms her into a b lack leopard, had at least one redeeming feature: electronic pathfinder Giorgio Moroder's noirish soundtrack, for which Bowie wrote and sang the lyrics to this grandiose opening p iece. Crooning sensually in a rich, smouldering baritone before breaking angrily into the title phrase, the track

showed Bowie's remarkable sensitivity to the source music and film's theme - though its alluring, Expressionist fee l was defenest rated a year later when he mystifyingly re-recorded a clumpy version for Let's Dance with an overwrought Stevie Ray Vaughan guitar solo. PG

LOOK BACK IN ANGER (from Lodger, 1979) A white-knucklie gallop from the claws of the Grim Reaper. Describing an inconclusive encounter with a hesitant angel of death, Look Back In Anger rages against the dying of the light with desperate, unrelenting velocity. It's perhaps no surprise that single-buyers rejected this peculiar beast. Bowie emulates Scott Walker in the verses, Visconti sounds like a Beatie on the chorus and Dennis Davis lays down an infernally busy drum part that could almost be The Chemical Brothers. The video aptly portrayed Bowie as Dorian Gray, the man who refused to grow old. DL

WHAT IN THE WORLD (from Low, 1977) Robopop miniature keeps Its eye firmly focused on the future Slightly overshadowed on Low's first side, What In The World would be the star of any other room. Tuning into a blast of psychic static, it broadcasts some unsteady states: claustrophobia {#you never leave your room" - the same upsetting space as Breaking Glass?), paranoia and lust. The manic energy is quickened by space-age synths, strident drums and lggy Pop, shouting against Bowie's coolly unhinged voice. It ends by suggesting Bowie has a "real me•, which is tantalising, but on this fractured evidence, hard to believe. VS

DIAMOND DOGS (from Diamond Dogs, 1974) Things start to get really dark and weird - in a good way. This loose, Stonesy roller was a fitting fanfare for the titular Droogs-like gang who run amok through Diamond Dogs' dystopian, Orwellian future scape. From its messy slide guitar intro over a Faces live LP sample to its honking sax finale, the whole thing's a wonderful anarchic mess, Bowie no longer a theatrical, broken rock'n'roll suicide but a gleeful voyeur of street violence and genocide. This was the glam-drug-n ihilism axis tilted to its precipitous limit: a serious, grown-up soul boy soon needed to get out. PG

QUEEN BITCH (from Hunky Dory, 1971) Midnight Cowboy chopped down to three rifting minutes. Covering I'm Waiting For The Man in 1967, Bowie was the UK's Velvet Underground ur-fan. Though no stranger to naughtiness in London,

JOHN, l'M ONLY DANCING (7-inch single, 1972) Bowie stays in character for the first postZlggy single. Despite being a married father, Bowie 'outed' himself as gay in 1972. The scenario here is just as ambiguous. Is the protagonist apologising for hitting on a girl in a sleazy club to his own boyfriend, or to hers, or maybe 'she' - in gay parlance - is another man? Basically a strummed R&B shuffle, this smart, concise song is brilliantly embellished by the Spiders. Mick Rock's extraordinary video, featuring Lindsay Kemp erotically dancing with a net-clad fema le's legs wrapped around his waist, was banned by the BBC. MB

HANG ONTO YOURSELF (from The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, 1972) Ziggy to fans: the mania starts here. Referencing radio and parents in a riffy little number recorded by the short-lived Arnold Corns group in February 1971, Bowie had clearly cocked an ear to The Velvet Underground's new song Rock And Roll. Though a flop, the tune and chorus were too good not to salvage and supercharge months later for the Ziggy Stardust project. Echoing the biker rock rumble of Elvis's Baby I Don't Care and Duane Eddy's Ramrod, this live crowd-rouser was Bowie's Get It On. MS );;--


~ :::-








and self-doubt resonate with any new parent who wonders if they're up to the job. Unusually humble in imagining a new-born as an autonomous human being, it's both a promise and a plea: "Will you stay?" DL

a vivid background as the story evolves. "Day after day," he sings at the end, "they take some brain away... â&#x20AC;˘ GB

AFTER ALL (from The Man Who Sold The World, 1971) Whispered, occultist pro to goth rock

BLACK COUNTRY ROCK (from The Man Who Sold The World, 1971) Even whAn he can't be arsed his imprimatur can turn base metal into gold. Debate rages over the extent of Bowie's input to this funky hard rocker, cooked up in a basement jam at Haddon Hall and named for its apparent resemblance to The Move. The star turn is Mick Ronson's tough, proggy riff, delivered over Tony Visconti and Woody Woodmansey's chunky rhythm parts; yet the stirring chorus whiffs undeniably of Bowie's casual gift for a singular melody. The last-minute lyrics. teased out of the then apathetic, love-s truck singer, are intriguingly opaque (and scant) and sung in an imitation Marc Bolan voice. Yet, being Bowie, curiously this becomes a virtue. PG

KOO KS (from Hunky Dory, 1971) A new father speaks for a generation of nervous bohemian mums and dads. Written just after the birth of Zowie (while Angie was cracking her pelvis, Bowie wa s at home, listening to Nell Young), Kooks should by rights be a trifle. It's so daft and jaunty, a '60s throwback. Yet the tenderness

A subdued but spooky ending to side one of The Man Who Sold The World, in which the song's ostensibly childish outlook ripples gently with intimations of nightmare as it swaps allusions to Lewis Carroll ("they're just older children") for an Aleister Crowley-like philosophy on t he afterlife ("Live 'til your rebirth/And do what you will"). With the waltzing time signature adding an air of stately, twisted darkness, Af ter All would provide the ornate, gothic cornerstone for the black-eyeliner brigade who followed a decade later. PS

SCARY MONSTERS (AND SUPER CREEPS) (from Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), 1980) Another coldwave classic from the album that invented the '80s. "David's not an outdoor person,â&#x20AC;˘ says Carlos Alomar, which would help explain the highlystrung street neurosis of this metronomic rocker. Dave's in 'Sarf Lahndahn' gangster mode, haunted and haunting, beset by Visconti's barking synth-dogs, issuing sinister semi-threats ("I'll love her 'til the day she dies") and thieves' cant ("waiting at the lights - know what I mean?") while the chilly relentlessness of Alomar-George Murray-Denny Davis, plus Robert Fripp at his most aggressively random, thicken his insulation against punk. 'Pukka', as another iconic South Londoner had it. DE

(from Heathen, 2002) The Bowie-Visconti team reunited after a 20-year gap. Based on a completed, but so far unreleased song, Uncle Floyd, from Toy. Slip Away captures the middle-aged Bowie with a raw poignancy. The stylophone is back, and immediately trig gers our nostalgia receptors. But what is also back is the sort of epically-wrought melody we perhaps hadn't heard since Station To Station . Lurking in the sonics are spacey keys and weird refrai ns - think Blur's Strange News From Another Star. In the long tradition of not releasing his best songs as singles, this remained an album track only. DB


IT'S GONNA BEME (Outtake f rom Young Americans, 1975) It shoulda been this: the masterpiece that fell to Earth. With his vocal range, gospel soul's dramatic melisma wa s no stretch. Here Bowie luxuriates in the emotionalism of an Al Green-style confessional epic with a side order of Springsteen's street romance. A highwire act of beseeching and regret, this show-stopper was expensively string-sectioned and previewed live to acclaim. Yet it was bumped from the new made-in-Philadelphia blue-eyed soul album in favour of t he misfitting, over the top Across The Universe, baffling even John Lennon. Blame the cocaine.MS

ALL THE MADMEN (from The Man Who Sold The World, 1971) Dark, disturbing blueprint for a real 1984. "Day after day, they send my friends away," Bowie sings over acoustic guitar, pinged cymbals and recorder, introducing this unflinching examination of mental illness attitudes to it, treatment of it, phobia about it. That some in his family, notably half-brother Terry, suffered from schizophrenia, gives the writing the heft of rectit ude, while strings, Ronson's guitar solo and busy drum fills create



FANTASTIC VOYAGE (from Lodger, 1979) Bowie as Beckett. I can't go on, I'll goon. After the wired art-mystique of Low and "Heroes", Lodger's languorous opening track hits like a revelat ion. His most confessional lyric since 197l's Quicksand, Fantastic Voyage com bines lessons learnt ("Loyalty is valuable/But our lives are valuable too") with Cold War apocalypse and weary mission statement ("They wipe out an entire race/ And I've got to write it down") on a valedictory track t hat pointedly muddies Visconti's triple mandolin pop optimism beneath stretched-tape bad -vibes murk. AM

BREAKING GLASS (from Low, 1977) All kinds of unfathomable weirdness wrapped up in 35 words. Pop quiz: what's this disturbing song's most fucked-up element? Carlos Alomar's sneery, out-of-character guitar riff? Bowie's deranged confession that "Baby, I've been breaking glass in your room again" (once would be enough)? The band all making like crazy robots? All close but no: it's the "awful" thing that Bowie's protagon ist has drawn on the carpet. Don't look, he pleads, as if it's an occult symbol with a power to harm. Then comes that terrible, contradictory "see". The flatmate from hell? Perhaps literally. DE >




"' ~ ~


WARSZAWA (from Low, 1977)

r / 011


is {!1'nl·r.1lh COnltidt•rt'd Oil\' of . Bo\\ il"i. lx·i.t .1lhun1<,. it'i. '-'•lS"\ lo li1rg1•t sonl\' of th1· r1·.lction., it prcl\okl·cl on it\ rl·l1 ..1i.1· in 1977. on11· rock-inclin1•d 1;1n'> h.1d ;ilr'-·ad~ h.1ulkl·d .it his 'pi.ii.tic soul' ph.1se, ''hik• those "ho cJnll' on bo.1rd .1round )oun.'/. ltn.:ri.-ans and Sraut>n / 11 S1au11n \\'l'fl' no'' 1:1c1·d \\ith .111 .1lhum "ith n1or1· instrum1•ntals than ·ongs, .1nd "host· :-.1·cond i.id1· h1·g.111 "ith ,1 pil'C:l' of lunl·r1·al '-·k·clronica '' ith gohhl1·d1·gook voc.11,. \\ "ritin~ in N.\11 . Ch .1 rll·~ ,\lurt'<l\' . r1·1l· rr1·d to "h.1t h1· s.11\ .1;. its !ttudi1·cl hl.1nl..n ..·si. .1s "synth1·tic .1ncl ck· p1·rson.1lisl'cl" ,1nd .1 "soundtr,1c:k to cn1nplvt<' \Vithdra\\al" . . \ '"'"' Bo,vil· ,1lhun1 \VJ~ hound to ch;irt, hut back .it school 01u· soul boy brought il in to p l.1~ in n111Sit' .1nd th \·n <> pl·nl~ l.1ughl-d .1t it, as if puhlic:ly hun1ili,1ting l!o,vi1-. 1·:x.1c1ing r1'\Tng1· fi,r h.1ving. \Vasted his n1olll')'· Thi· c-hi \·f ofti·ndi 11~ tr.1ck, \\:1rs/,,,,,,, .1lso d1• 111:ind~·d ,1 l1·ap of f,1ith: th.1t \\'l' lisll'll to Bo\vk· llllt ,\S ,, pop st.ll', b ut .u, .1 corn pt>Sl'r l'lcc:tronic instru1n1·nt.1l 1nu~ic, "·hl·n h1• h.:id no track record in that .11·\·,1. Its sounth\orld \\'olS ins1)irl·d h\· "l;ingl·rint• l)rl•,1n1 's •~cli!a r 1-n>l'SI.', , n11·llosp1·ciflt·.1ll~ I rt)('Sl''\ ll~l' l ron llutl' on hii. 197; \olo .1lhun1, l:rsi/<111 In .llu/,~1,1a11 I'.il.:. ·rhl'rl· its timhn·s conjun·d up vi~ions of hrt'l'0 grl'l'll gl.ult·~; hl·rl', pl.1~ t•d in J lo\\t'r l'l'J!i\t\'r, it \\ ,1., 1\0\\'n into .1 thl·n1,• of chill,. cinl·n1.1ti<. gr.1ndt·ur. :-\()\V 111 \











C11-co1npo,l·r Bri,1n l·no producl-<l ,1 musical hasl' of kt•\l>o.11 d~ .1nd ,~·ntlll',i/l'~. ,1n<l .1f1(·r Ull' main ml·lod~ c:oml'' .1 ~p.11"\l' sound,c,1p1· \\ itl1 Btl\\'il''!> lo\\· hum1ning. and high phonl'tic ,inging in,pin·<l h)· l'olbh chorJI 1nw.ic and <ll·lh·l-rt·d \\'ith ,1 ~cmi-.1uthcn tic I .1~ll'rn I uropl·Jn ~·l·ll. \ \:.trs/\\·a ,,·as dirl'ctl~ inspirl·<l h~ .1 ,·i~it 10 th1· Poli'h <."<1pit.1l .1nd in,\(hl·rtt·ntl~ initiatl·d "lh1t l>l·c,1n1l· ,1 l{·ti,hb.1tion of C1·n1r.1l .1nd I .1st.-rn [uropt• ,1s a placl' of .1lmo l st·i-11 hl1-.1k1ll''>S. I ,1ll-r tl1,1t )l'<lr. ltltr;l\·ox's John l·ox:-. \\'ould h1· !>inging about '\\'(',Iring I t11·op1 •,111 grt·~· ". to kick his Bo\\ i1· \\aS lit\·r.1lh· , . in ,1 st.1tl' of \\'ithdr.11\·al. tr\•in!!, coc1in1· h.1hit .•1nd had n1ov\•d to Bt·rli n to 1·sc.1p1: th t· 111,1clnl'Ss of I .1\ . l rt>111 1h1· .1lllun1 co11;"r\ ' lo,,- protll1·· visu.11 pun do" n. I.ow \\,ls ll·ss .1hout !!r.111d st.1t1•n11·nts th.111 st1rting aln·sh in M·clusion. But ~ "" .1ln111st d1·spih· hin1s1·ll, his strangl'. .1ustl'r\' instrun1l·nt.1ls t·.11-ry c:onsick·r;1bl1• l'l11olion,1l ht•h. \ \ ".1 rs/.""' h.1~ .1 St'll!t\' of nostalgia fi1r fnrn1t·r glory .1nd hroodin!!, llll'l,1 nt hoh, " Iii ll· o n Su htt• r r,111t•a ns, Bu\\'il•'s \\'ord ll·s~ voc:,11~ . ' .1nd "isps of il ~ string synth con' c~ ,, ch:l'p, in,\rlicul.1hk· 1',1clnl·:.s. I lis koto soltJ on .\ loss G,u·dl.'n on Lt>w's successor, "//cn>cs", \\'.lS .1 1n111nl'nl of l"l'J>O'l'. of <ll·li~1'1t, but his SJ,, pl.1~ ing on '\l'uki\ln :.ouncls almost agonist·d. Cru( i.1lh, .1-1 llll·,1· . instrun1l·nt.1l co1npo1>itions .1n· not flJtered through Jll\ of Bo\\ il· 'lt . " l~rical pl·rsona..-. lar fro n1 ali1•natin~ li-;t\•n1·rs, tht·\ ~l·1·n1l'<I to hrin!-: . tl11·m clos1-r l<> 1h1• 1·1notion,1l ton• of rl1l' co1npos1·r. ~





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The longest song Bowie had written up to this point, Cygnet Committee was his proggiest creation In its ambition if not in the way of baroque instrumentation. Using his disillusionment with his lackadaisical followers at the Beckenham Arts lab as a springboard into a flight of fancy, Bowie inverts slogans from The Beatles and the MCS to describe a poisoned revolution in which he is both weary leader and the collective voice of his disciples. TD

CAN YOU HEAR ME (from Young Americans, 1975) On redisc:over1ng th• soul boy gain n · ' Having cast off his early ' 70s glam characters, Bowie reconnected with R&B Influences, hitching a ride on the Philly soul train at Sigma Sound to develop his mature mid-'70s sound. On

this fine ballad his vocal rests on a lush bed of Visconti-arranged strings, lifting into falsetto, swooping to bass, in a fascinating and sumptuous performance. David Sanborn's sax and Luther Vandross-marshalled backing voices add colouring. The song had first surfaced during his project to record Lulu. Her loss, our gain. GB

driven hard-rock epic, whose titular spiritualism is echoed in the questing, knowing lyricism that chronicles a Faustian pact. "I smashed my soul and traded my mind!" confesses the 23-year-old Bowie, all the while sneering at the prevalent New Age adoption of Kahl II Gibran's 1923 poetic essays, The Prophet. PA



(single B-side, 2014) In the c• ss~


nd moral dis-

turbance. The flipside to Bowie's most recent release, Sue (Or In A Season Of A Crime), foregrounds locomotive-like rhythm and discordant horns, as the singer tenderly croons words that reference both John Ford's incestuous Caroline-era murder-tragedy and the mindset of a soul on patrol and under siege in a warzone. An almost symphonic exercise in intensifying hopelessness, 'Tis Pity She Was A Whore finds us (and Bowie too) with most of the map references of the last 50 years gone - exhilaratingly. IH

(from Low, 1977) he 10 I


lc:y Neu I era. Exchanging LA heat and cocaine sunblindness for Mitteleuropa chill, Bowie's Berlin era dawned with this beatific funk instru· mental, opening Low on a paradoxically carefree note. Speed Of Life deals synthesizer future-shock with a human touch, as the Carlos Alomar/ Dennis Davis/ George Murray engine bulked up under their director's microscopic vision, Davis's drums in particular realising new dimensions via Tony Visconti 's harmoniser FX. From within its three interlocked melodies, rigged to play fur immer, Bowie says: really, I'm fine. KC

THIS IS NOT AMERICA (12-inch A side, 1985)


Pop Bo e a a mb

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Written for John Schlesinger's 1985 cold war drama, The Falcon And The Snowman, and based around an aerial eastern instrumental by jazz guitarist Pat Metheny and pianist Lyle Mays, This is Not America is Bowie unmoored in a dreamlike niemandsland between '80s US pop and the icy jazz swirls of ' 77 Berlin. The first in Bowie's orphic '80s soundtrack trilogy with Absolute Beginners and When The Wind Blows, its looped melancholy drift eerily anticipates the beatific dream pop of Julia Holter and Animal Collective. AM

THE NEXT DAY (from The Next Day, 2013) vo 's howl of defian A p oud iu A bracing riposte to the autumnal sigh of Where Are We Now?, the first track on Bowie's miraculous The Next Day comeback album finds him maniacally determined to go down fighting. The song is ostensibly about the victim of a religiously inflamed lynch mob in a century long gone, but "Here I am, not quite dying• is surely a sly allusion to rumours of Bowie's retirement due to serious ill-health. and "They can't get enough of that doomsday song" reads as a self-review. DL

THE WIDTH OFA CIRCLE (from The Man Who Sold The World, 1971)

e mons r• heavy nu

as mel" Bowie's finest



Having played on bills with underground titans Hawkwind, The Groundhogs and High Tide, the opening track on Bowie's breakthrough album is a suitably heavy eight-minute-plus guitar-


PANIC IN DETROIT (from Aladdin Sane, 1973) 1n u gent>. Bo ie stic •to I lggy's stories of late-'60s Detroit, related when he and Bowie were hanging out in that city in 1972, gave the Dame inspiration for another ambiguous critique of an American icon - this time, White Panthers leader and MCS mentor John Sinclair. Part glam boogie, half Bo Diddley shuffle, the stylistic confusion fuels the sense of chaos, as Bowie diminishes the importance of the revolutionary Sinclair (who is unnamed) to a semi-cult figure who looks like Che Guevara, signs autographs and drives a diesel van. PG

STAY (from Station To Station, 1976)

That are moment when Bowie lets the band do the talk1na Bowie had a habit of turning up at the Station To Station sessions and announcing he had a new song - only it wasn't written yet. Stay. dominated by Carlos Alomar's clipped guitar and the first of many super-funk Davis/ Murray rhythms, was surely one of those. Maybe that 's why Bowie is content to peck stiltedly at the groove - his -for ev-ah" is very 21st century. He's more assertive for the crooning, flyaway chorus, before making way for Earl Slick, who plays the song out with an unprecedented two minutes' > worth of virtuoso squalling. MP

• •

' •

• •

The face fits : with Tony Ours ler, director of the Where flre We Now? video, and his wife, the artist Jacqueline Humphries, who was also In the shoot.

•• WHERE ARE WE NOW? (from The Next Day, 2013) IT i\ RRNED, Sl't·1ningl>" fron1 no\\·hl·n-, on th1· n1orning of ' liJ1.·::d.~~ j ,1nuary 8, 20 I 3 - 1);11 id Bo" i1»s 66th birthda'' . - .1nd iinn1t·cli,1tt·h· . disst·n1inah•d its1·lr .1cross a soci.111\' . net" ork1.·d globl'. 1·he prl'\ ious da)· thl' \Vnrld had hl'l'n ,1 di Ire rent place, still con,·inced that Da,i<l Bo"·it• \\'.lS J Sl'n1i-rl'clush·t· supt·1-star, "hos<· final ,1lliu1n \VJS 200 3's Rt•a/i~1·, .1nd \\·hose List Ji,.l. appt•ar,1nc1.• '''.1s in 2006, ,1 nliln too ill or too disintercst1.·d to n1.1kc 1nusic .1g.1in. Or m.1yhl· ht• h.1d sin11ily n·tin•cl. to t•njoy i\•l,111h.nt.111 1:1n1ily lilt·. Indeed, until Lht' ''cry n1on1tnl of\\'her1.• i\r1.• \\'e :-\o,v?'s !>L11·ding :irri,·;il, l'\T ll the t'l1n1our mill h;id lost intt>r1.·st in tht· prospl'cl of D.1,·id Bo" i1.·'s n:lurn. 'vVid1 l'l'l'O prt•-publicity ;ind a t1.·JJn of insidl'rs S\Vorn to S<..'Crccy (cvt·n trust<-d Bo\1i<• "l'P·1r.1Lc:hiks likl· drun1111er St1.·rling Campbl·ll .ind guit,1rist J1.·rry I.t·on,1 rd h;id si~nt'd non-disclosurl' .1gr<·cmt>nls), Bo"·it·'s con1t•back singk· '''.1s a n1ock·rn pron1otional n1astt:rm·okl•. Without ('\ en ne<·cling to h1.· h<·,1rd. \ \ 'ht.·n: J\rl· \\ i.· '.'\o,v? \\Tong-footed the 1nedia, the music bi1 and his fans. ,1nd in11nedi.:1tl'I) rt.'Storing Bo\\i<: 's prot<'Ctivt' pn:-'80s gnldt·n y~·ars c1 u1«1 of ,1h t·,1<l-of~tht•-g;11nt• <:ool. Of course, the singl'r could ha\ 1.· been riding fo r a fall, ,,·crc it not frir the comp1.·lling imn1t·diacy and l'n1otion.1l pott'llC) of \\'her1.· .l\rt• \\i: :'\01·\'f Cll'arlv, ht· 1Tcogniscd the potcnti.11 of " ·h.1t h1.>, his ~

s1n,1ll c.1h,1I of niusicians ,1nd 1>roduc1·r ll111y Visconti h.1d crcJtcd. in Sol Jo's 1\lagic Shop studio. I k·n· 1vJs .1 statc1nent of r1.•nt'\\ed intC'nt. 1\ deluxt• art-rock ball.lei . built ,1round st.1tt·ly piano chords, robust dru1n s .1nd \\·arn1 }'11ths. \\'ht-n.· .\rt· \\ i.· ~o,v? s1.·t·n1t·cl i1111ncdiat1.·I:. inl'flahly. Bo\\ il'-l'SCjlll.\ an apt rr:11n1.· \\ i1hi11 ll'hich to ll ·hv r b.1ck his n1use, just as its \l'o rds rt:-1.·,..plort•d an iconic Bo" ie 1111sc en scene Berlin hl'fon• 1Tunillcatinn. in it~ run1inati\'e n.1111<.·-chccking of once l-lcr-i.1c and nostaluic ~ ~ 1:1miliar cil~· landmarks - tht• Dschung<·I night cluh. Thl' KaD<·\•\{· dep.1rt1ncnt store, tht· Hiisl·briickt• cold \v,1r hordt:r crossing - thes~· \vcn· l~Tics ,1:. l'll1otional Pol.1roids. snap-:.hols r urling on 1ht· ""all o f 1nt·n1ory; Bo\\·il" .1nd our:o,. A puq><>Sl'full~ lragik· vc>cal pcrfi)r1n.1nct: (''he \vanted to sound 'ulnl'r;ihle" re\·l'aled Visconti), this \\'JS Bo\\'il' .1dcli·t·ssing thl~ insu11erabl<· husint·ss of mortality ("Just \\·alking rht• dt·ad") through tht' icnn<>graph~ of his 0\\'11 111yth .1nd tht· 1.·1·1.·r-turning p:igl'S of history (''A man lost in ti111t•"). O nly in th1.· contr:istingl~ so.iring ''A:. lone_ did , 7 as tht•rt·'s sun/As Ion!! """' as thert'' rain'' bridgl· v .1 rl'dl•n1pti' t' tont• t·nH·1·, ,1lthough l'\'t•n herl' a c1ui1·Lcxi:>Lvnti,11 d1.·speralion h.1u11ts thl' voc.11. l.'tching the h) 1nn-lik1.• 1nclody ' "ilh ii touching(~· c.1ndicl pn i~rnancy Lhat 111.1dc l)a,·id Bo\dc's iinprohabk· re1i\',11 Sl'l'm all tht· n1or1.· rt•n1:irkabk· ,111d .11! tht• lllOl'l' 1110\ ing. Q







THE100GREATESTBOWIESONGS ALADDIN SANE (1913-1938-197?) (from Aladdin Sane, 1973) Anthem for doomed youth plus room-clear1ng piano/sax excursion. Against a background of imminent war, Mike Garson's lavish Liberace-like piano caresses the opening verses of decadent nightclub music. For the solo section, Garson had tried a number of approaches that didn' t work, until Bowie encouraged him to play something "avant-garde". We are suddenly plunged into a dazzling sequence of atonal crashes, crunching misquotes of Bernstein and Gershwin and splintered, high speed runs. Garson has played on hundreds of recordings. yet gets asked about Aladdin Sane almost every week. MB

UNDER PRESSURE (single (with Queen), 1981) Bowie energy and a certain bassline unblocks Queen' s Hot Space jam. A notable recording in many ways, not least that this extravagant assembly of egos was able to channel their competitive instin cts so modestly. Although it's overly simplistic to suggest th at Under Pressure is Bowie's words set to Queen's music - the famous bassline was reportedly dictated by Bowie to John Deacon - it was Bowie who transformed a rich men's Montreux jam into this vulnerable humanist anthem with his impassioned vocal and lyric ("Because love's such an old fashioned word"). Bowie's glasnosl period was now in fu ll onward march. KC

THEBEWLAY BROTHERS (from Hunky Dory, 1971) His mo t enigmatic song, and a favourite of Lou Reed's . With sparse acoustic guitars, Bowie conjures up a uniquely disconcerting atmosphere with his most eerie and least comprehensible imagery. Each chorus steadily rises into the plaintive cry, "Oh and we were gone." But who were they? Bowie has called it "Star Trek In a leather jacket" and the lyrics sketch out sinister characters sliding in and out of history, "Hanging out with your 12 men." The song retains its inscrutability, ending with a hideous nursery rhyme sung by the laughing Gnome's evil progeny. MB

BEMYWIFE (from Low, 1977) Bowie sunk in a knees-up-Mother Brown study. Low's celebrated

futurism actually comes with a generous dollop of Bowie's rock'n'roll origins. Its first side is a suite of schizoid fragments with a teddy boy swagger and a Joe Meek-like illogic to their sound. Case in point, this gumbo of rollicking piano (by former Rebel Rouser, Roy Young). sinister organ, dustbin drums and duelling guitars. Bowie serves it up with a Cockney twang, as a song that manages to be simultaneously E" neurotic and uplifting. Altogether now: :?i "Sometimes I get so lonely!• JI


MEANING David Bowie's Top 5 cover versions. By •

01 (from Pin-Ups, 1973) A 1965 folk-bubblegum sulk by The McCoys, covered by The Merseys as a '66 Fabs pastiche, Sorrow by Bowie becomes a girlfriend put-down of exquisite exhaustion, as if the sorrow itself were a new kind of perfect high.

02 (from Station To Station, 1976) Johnny Mathis's 1957 original is a sweeping romance; Nina Simone's covers ('59, '66) are broken pleas, set to fail. Bowie's version is unsettlingly funereal, an unheard phantasmal entreaty from beyond the grave.

a dissection of masculinity's cliched properties ("you can buy a home of your own!") set to a drunken grind. Tension abounds, first because Bowle had swapped Carlos Alomar to drums and Dennis Davis to bass, then quite remarkably hands over the song's entire second half to Adrian Belew's migraine guitar solo. KC

UP THE HILL BACKWARDS (from Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), 1980) Remember: "It's got nothing to do with you if one can grasp it." Listen to plenty of Bowie's work from 1976-80 and you realise how much winging-it is going on, how much he relies on twisting rock'n'roll 's staple components out of all recognition, how his song structures disobey convention. After a Willie And The Hand Jive intro, multiple Davids give us some robotic doo-wop for 90 seconds. When the voices stop the band wakes up for a minute of wigging out. Like the lyric, it shouldn't make sense but almost does. "Yeah, yeah, up the hill backwards, it'll be all right." Yeah, right. JI

03 (from Black Tie, Wh ite Noise, 1993 ) Bowie takes Scott Walker's nightmare title -tra ck from the Walkers' '75 swansong and turns it into a crooning pop romance, the " broken things " Walker catalogues now nothing but damaged courtships from a man who's seen it all.

04 (from Hunky Dory, 1971) Bowie's cover of Biff Rose & Paul Williams' vaudeville confection is a split narrative; both a Kooksesque life message to a young child and the delusional philosophy of a crumbling psyche.

05 (from The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The SpidersOf Mars, 1973) Opening track off Ron Davies's 1970 LP Silent Song Through The land, Bowie's cover reinterpreted it as the kind of material Ziggy and his doomed group played live every night.

FIVE YEARS (from The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, 1972) Armageddon time In Zlggy's Broadway· worthy prologue. Five Years is a masterful overture, musically and dramatically, from the slow suspenseful fade -in of drums to Bowie's scene-setting grip of sudden shock. It's a masterstroke of tension-building, a slow, simmering rise through the reactions of the dramatis personae, whose collective tone of disbelief is offset by Bowie's almost nonchalant delivery. As the narrative unfolds, strings creep in and his voice turns strident before unleashing a climatic chorus worthy of a terrace anthem to impart a collective outpouring of panic. MA

BOYS KEEP SWINGING (from Lodger, 1979)

Raw glltterstompf steams up the cool-box. As glam rock's bedazzled children took punk into mainstream consciousness, the original grande dame instigated a return to the primitive. This, however, was no fond nostalgia, but

SPACE ODDITY (from Space Oddity, 1969) Bowie's first UK Number 1 when It was reissued ·n 1975. Given away by Tony Visconti, who branded it a "cheap cash-in#, this magical song was bestowed the most intricate of productions by Gus Dudgeon and a sweeping arrangement by Paul Buckmaster (they defined the sound of early Elton John, too). The music, from the echoey handclaps, the mournful acoustic melody and the chattering, spacey ending sees Bowie take a great leap; the words, a lonely dialogue of alienation between a doomed astronaut and ground control provide a metaphor for Bowie's entire career. He's out there somewhere, but where exactly? A 1979 remake, sparse, intense, Lennonesque, is almost as good. DB

SUFFRAGETTE CITY (from The Rise And Fall Of liggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, 1972) A cannonball of sexual angst and rock'n'roll fandom Bugged by a male flatmate (or lover?) and anxiously awaiting the arrival of a "mellowthighed chick", the narrator of Suffragette City is a basket case of sexual anxiety. The song moves at the speed of racing hormones before Bowie finally achieves release in one of the finest fake endings in pop. Stuffed with allusions (T.Rex, Charles Mingus, A Clockwork Orange), it presents Bowie as an omnivorous pasticheur with an endless appetite. Inexplicably, Mott The Hoople turned it down. DL >


~ \\,\





REBEL REBEL (from Diamond Dogs, 1974) I C>R BC}\Vll. G I :\.\I st,lrtl·d "ith Qul·en Bitch's ho1n.1g1· to I ou Rl·1·d. 1no\'ing on in 7.'tk<JY Stardust . . . .1nd lldJ,/111 5<111c to trihutl'' lo I~~ toogl·, Vince ·1aylor ,1nd Thi· I l'g\'nd,1r\, St,1rdu't ('o" hov - ouL.,id1·r ,,(I, .1s \\·as Bo" 11•. ' li1rdon1 brought hin1 into chi· lolcl ••1nd in 197 3 th1· honl•' lron1 honll' of Britrock's ,\ \\'JS J G1•orgiJn n1ansion built ror Sir ' J o~hu.1 R1·~ nolcb 0 11 Richn1ond I Jill in ll'a~ " 'l'St London. Thi' \\lick \\,11' bought lro111 Sir John .\lilli. in 1971 hy i:aces· guitarist Ronnil' \\(1od. "ho thtT\Vop1·11 it~ door:. to hi~ h1'.I\: fri1•nd~. Basking in thl·ir h o~t 's ho nhon1i1·. i,tJ l'S s1•t ilSi<k• thl'ir rh'<llri1:s. ,1ncl 1·\'l'ryon1• n1uckc:d in on \;\iioch. 's solo clchut Jlbun1, / 're Goe .lh, {)1rn . l//1u111 Iii /)v. l'l'Cord1·d in th1· hasL·n11•nt - ;in1ong th,•111 , du ri ng a hr1·ak in Ull' ' ~ F.1c1·s' LIK lour th.1t f)l'(."1·111i>1·r, 0,\\ id Ro,vi1· .u1d 7\ lick J .1~l'I'. Th1· p.1ir sh,1r1·d .1 11n1t11.1I 1:1s<·in.1tion '''ith a con1p1•tith\• t>dg1·: "hik· J.1gg1·r " •'~ ,1 :.up1·1~t.1r, Hcl\Vil· \V,1:. hott1·r - hut '' ould it l,1!>t ? ()n th.11 .y,·.1r':, llddcl111 Sane. l~o\\i1· h;id cov,·r1•d thl· Stonl·s' l.1·t's pl·nd ·rh1· '\ ight 'logL'Ull'r: littll· did hl· kno\v th.1t thl· c:otnplim(•nt \\'ould hl' rl·turnl·d - \\ith .1 !>tin!!..\lick h,1d • .1 Ol'\\ 'ong: c:ould \\i,ixl~ ''ork up ,\ guit.1r p.1rt ,1nd I),l\ id join in lhl· choru!>! \ s .\ lick :..1ni.: tl1L· l(•,1cl \oc,1L I)J\ id's 1·;ir prickl·d up .... k•l·n.1gl'





lu•.t" ' "Suicicl1· ri!,!ht on-st,\!!('"t "Thl· hoy's in.'kll1l'"t Thi' \\ ,1., hi' ' .,htit·k! l l.1tll'I\.. t ~lock,·r\'~ , Both? O,l\ id ma,· .. li.1\(• ....!,!Ol hi., ,\11'>\\l'r .ll honll' in Chl·f..l·.1 on Chri'>l!n.1 (),\~ \\ hl•n hl· .111cl \ngi1· h.1d ,\\ir k .111<1 Bi.1nc.:.1 o\t'r llir d innL'r. :'\o\\' Bo\\ 11· had l\\o scorL'S co settle: the first ,,·itl1 his cl1·1>.1rtL'd !!llit,1ristt ~ I[) ~lick Ronson to pro' c hl· could do ,,·itl1out him, .1ncl till· .;1·cond '' itl1 J.1gg(·r. Ill· ,,·ould outdo t111·. tont·i. in thl· biggl'\l rill-rock ~n1.1~h hl· could conjun-, .1nd, kno,,·i ng t11.\l .\ lie k'" It'~ ()nl~ Rock ':""' Roll (But I I ikL' It) h.1d hit 4 5 "rittt•n ,111 ovl·r it, he h.1d no ti111l' to ,,·astl'. l:\'L'n belore :\L''" \eJr, 13o,,1e ,,."~ in tht· studio \\'ith Sl·i.sion g11it,1rist :\ Parker ,,·orking up a h.1sic rill into son1l·thi11!! to riv.11 thl· addicth'L" ringin~ S\\..l!!!,!L'r " l'ith Ric:h ,1rd~ sp1·c:i.1l, "to pi~s ,\lick off,, b it". Pt1 rk1:r n ·c.1ll1·cl Bo\\ il' :,,1~ ing. \Vith dru1n1nt•r ,\) nsll')' l) u11b.1r .1ping S.1tisfaction's on-1>1'<\l ~to n1 1> .111d thl·ir l"l'!,!Ul.1r l.'11!,!irll'l'r Kl'ith I l.1r\vood on hand .1s Ull' son!,! ... ... ...,. ""'~ coir1pk•tt·<i .ll thL· Stones' 1::.,ouritL' studio, ()ly1npic, till· song Rl·h1·I Rl·bl'I \\'oulcl go hl·~ond l1,1lt1·ry to on1·-upman:.hi p. Rush-n·ll-.1s1·d in Fl·hru.1r~· 197+, Rl-hl·I Rl·l>l·I ,,.,,~ lltl· }l"11":. tl'l'llolgl' p.1rt~ tln·-!>l.11'll·r :.upr1'ITlL". Thl' I) ric hi:. u·il>.11 nl.1nil1·sto, Bo\ vie 's 5cducti\'L' Pied Pipl'f b1·ckons us hl'ildlon"~ to lll l'S!>\ ' l':\Cl'S'>. :'\ot just gl.un. of" hich thi \\',l'> Bo\\ il·\ hrilli,1nt sunsl·t. thi~ " ·'~ ro(·k'n'roll 1:,cl·l:.ior. .\ k·\\ n1011th'> l.1tl·r. nol l'\ t'n tl1c ton•·:.· chl'l'k'• r.1bbl1·-rou'l:"r could n1atch it. ~








THE100GREATESTBOWIESONGS ALTERNATIVE CANDIDATE (from Diamond Dogs 30th Anniversary Edition, 1974/2004) "I'm the FOhrerling," announces Diamond David, controversially. It's post-Hammersmith 'retirement', and having recently travelled through the Eastern Bloc, Bowie's head is full of totalitarian themes, and specifically 1984. This, a demo for a planned musical take on George Orwell's novel, is a hidden gem. Bowie is at his most preening: looking at his own reflection makes him pleased with himself, and his most directly sexual - "inside every teenage girl there's a fountai n". The piano-led melody is also one of Bowie's finest. Broken apart and reimagined, it became the epic Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing (Reprise) suite on Diamond Dogs. DB

STATION TO STATION (from Station To Station, 1976) Bowle falls to earth with a bump of coke. SOOIOHT06W~ Clearly the work of

someone who's just fi nished playing an alien, this 10-minute oddity fee ls like a ride to oblivion for the first few minutes before shifting abruptly into some twitchy prog and a lengthy Ziggy-like rock out. The chilling lyric nods to myst ical places in the Kabbalah ("Kether to Mai kuth"J, White Stains (Aleister Crowley's 1898 collection of erotic poems), and a direct reference to cocaine, which drove the sessions so hard Bowie claims not to recall them at al I. JI

FASHION (from Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), 1980) Bowie's pointed satire on club culture; his best dance tune, naturally. Still ahead of his own game, Bowie's discotheque apotheosis arrived a whole three years before Let's Dance. Fashion gets overlooked in the scramble to decipher Ashes To Ashes, but it's full of brilliant detail, whether seemingly accidental {Bowie rolling with the second verse's fluffed metre, "on thuuuh dancefloor"), indulgent (Robert Fripp's show-subverting guitar), and above all t he supreme pliability of t he Davis/ Murray rhythm section. The "fashion•;•fascist• dialectic never gets old either. Was Bowie ever so well attired again ? KC

TVC15 (from Station To Station, 1976) Edgy pop inspired by lggy Pop. Bowie's Top Of The Pops performance of Starman was burned onto a nation's retinas, but what of dance troupe Ruby Flipper's eerie, nuts interpretation, rolling around a futuristic living room, with no little rhythmic component, as a warped rocker blared aggressively. Said to be inspired by a very high lggy claiming the TV was eating his girlfriend, this truly opaque song is anchored by Roy Bittan's pounding piano as Carlos Alomar sprays random guitar over it all. JI

MOONAGE DAYDREAM (from The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, 1972) Bowie and Ronson's finest four minutes. A flash mid-paced rocker essentially about a futuristic mating ritual, what stands out is it s arrangement. Ronson's carnivalesque instrumental break, scored for baritone sax and penny whistle, stemmed from a song Bowie heard by a Kim Fowley group, The Hollywood Argyles. The way Ron son's strings illuminate the third chorus is spine-tingling, as is his guitar solo over the coda its insistent single b~nt notes a response to Bowie's instructions, drawn with marker pen. MB

OH!YOU PRETTY THINGS (from Hunky Dory, 1971) The impending demise of humankind never sounded so much fun After Chrysalis rejected Hunky Dory, RCA signed Bowie, then gave one of the album's best songs to Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits. He obliged with a hit, featuring Bowie on piano. Only marginally less jaunty, Bowie's version still contrasted lyrical themes of alien intervention at the end of the human race with a sing-along chorus. "The Earth is a bitch!" exclaims Bowie (toned down to "beast" for Noone's version), but even so. one hell of a weird subject for a pop hit. MB

QUICKSAND (from Hunky Dory, 1971) The first of Hunley Dory's side-ending impenetrable ballads/enigmas. Baked on hash oil, Bowie used Haddon Hall's decadent interiors to devour not just bodies but philosophy, including his first forays into occult ideology and Nazi myth. Quicksand found Bowie "sinking• under the weight, "torn between the light and dark", citing Crowley, Him mler, Garbo, Churchill and (Nietzsche's) Homo Sapien, while immaculate, saddened hues of piano, guitar - mostly multiple layers of translucent acoustic 12-string - and strings provided exquisite melodic relief. Never has the Buddhist wisdom embedded in the chorus, "knowledge comes with death's release" sounded so comforting. MA


(from Young Americans, 1975) Bitterness. Disillusionment. Funk. Largely directed at Bowie's then -manager Tony Defries, Fame is as angry as its groove is locked down and its production trebley and cocaine fizzy. Carlos Alomar's riff, cribbed from a much-changed tour cover of The Flares' Foot Stomping, evokes Class A sleaze. The presence of John Lennon on falsetto backing vocals is a fitt ing touch and the cartoony pitch-shifted repetition of the title at 3.35 underlines the hall-of-mirrors aspects of its subject matter. TD

THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD (from The Man Who Sold The

World, 1971) A secretive, signature song on which Bowie's career turned. Possibly Written days after Bowie's pact with new manager Tony Defries, this supernatural rumba with its fa int air of wish -fulfilment quickly became a title track and seemed destined for big things. But Lulu's cover aside, Bowie largely ignored it for two decades. Kurt Cobain resurrected the song in November '93, and killed himself months later. Clearly, that opening encounter on the stairs carries a secret: a crossroads perhaps, where a soul is sold as a solemn organ wheezes and a downbeat, two-note guitar hooks. MP >

E~ ~

1 ti


S £

8 9


GOLDEN YEARS (from Station To Station, 1976)


I IR -r ., GI I otrStc111an 7(1 Sta/U!ll i .1 IO\l' 'ong, .1 d.1nc:l•lloor "11.1.,h, ,, '£(1p I0 hit. O.n id Bo\\ il' \\'J~ hookt·cl to ix rlorrn it on long-running US'[\' sho\\' 'oul 'li·.1in, • • .1n<l tlll·n·\ .1 l>l·r..bll'lll "'"") th.11 it \\.1:. olli:n·<l to Eh is Pn:i.k·~· C)n l'\ idl'llCl', (;oldt•n )l'oll'lt M'l'ITIS \\ hollv• l'll\!il!!l'd \\ ith thl• 111.tinstrc.1n1, out in tltl' \\'oriel. prl·ssing the lll·sh. Its touch is odd!~ cold, ho\\'l'' l'r, an<l unck·r thl· di~o lights, it's hard to r(·ad its t:1cc...rom • <Jill' .1ngll-, it\ .1 l·uphoric, t1iu1nph.1nt pop song. hoa ting "nothing's "Onn.1 totu:h you in tht'!'>l' 11oldl'll )'l'.1r•i'. ,\ IO\'l' round thl· otht·r i.idl', .!"' ho\\'l'\'l'r, .111d it\ d.1rkl) i111pl·n1•tr.1hll·, an~ thing hut ,1 good tinll'. Bo\\'il' h .1~ .1dn1illl'd hl· <..111 n·c.111 littl,· of Srarion '/ii StcJ11on 's crl·ation, his hl'.1rings ruhlH·cl out hy r.1ging cnc.1int· usl', oc:cult ohsl·ssinns. ,1nd ,1 prickling Sl'nsitivity to the negative vibrations of ,, post-,\ l.lnsnn Los . \ngl·k·s. l 'hl· tlrst tr.1ck IT{'ordl·cl during thl· 51011011 To S1a1i<1n Sl'ssions . • Gokk·n )\.•,1r:. i.Ug_!!,l''tl·cl thl· "pl.1:.tic soul" of }(1ung, l1ncnce111s \V,\:. :.t.1rting lo <h·gr.1dv .1t p<·<·uli.1r sp<'l'd. Tht· h,1ndclapl> and pl·rt·us~i\·l· r;ittll·s ,1n· jun1pil~ .1hrupt, "hilt· guit.1rist C1rlos .\lon1.1r's insistl·nt rill is <ll· t,1 hi Ibl·d hr , thl' \\i kl h. pit< hing \0<:.11~. nnl ll'.l:.l thl· g.1sl·nus cry of"\ng<•I". ·rhl· ph~~i,,1lit~ of tit<' hl".1t trick~ ,·ou into thinking it'-; on ; ' ~olid ground - )<>ll {-.1n d,111cl' to it, •thl'I .111- but .111 thv tirnl', thl' tloor is listing .111d rollin~ hl'l1l'<1th it~ l<'<'l.







"()on't k·t n\L' hL·,1r \Oll l>ol\ lil'i_.' t.1king \ 'OU llO\\hl'l'lc'. ,111!,!l' I... " Both \ngi,· sing<·r ... Bo\\h· .1ncl b.1c:king ._ ... .\,,1 Ch<·rr\"' c:l,1in1<•d thi~ song... \\JS \\ rilll'll .1hout thl'l11. hut dl':.pitl' thl· llorid dl·clar,1tions of l·on1rnitm<·nt - "I'll o,ti<.k \\·ith ,\'OU bJh\· , for a thousand \'\',H'l>" - it s<'<'lllS odd ,1n~ Olll' \\·ould \\'Jilt lo l.1~ cl.1im to lx:ing its inspiration. "fhl• I~ ric.11 hullishnl''" c:.111 't hicll' an o\.l'lllO''·l·ring Sl'l1Sl' of cl<·clinl'. "L..1st night thl·~ lo\l'd )<>u" suggl·sti. thl-~ don't an~ rnorc, ''hil<· thl· \\ord~. p.1nickl«I pron1b<· of ,1 rl·turn to th<· good lik· - "Gonna dr hl· b.1c:k clo"n ""l'IL' ,\ou oncl' hl•lo11gL·d 1 ln thl· hack of a drl'.1111 c.1r 20-l(iot long" - b undl•rn1inL.J by U1l' rep<·.1tt·cl ordl·r to "run l(1r th1· :.h.1dO\\'S". TI1v par.1noia n1akl'S Sl'nSl' - Jnd is possibl~ contJgious: gh l'll Bo" il·'s \\< ll-cloct1n1l·ntl·<l t:1scin,1tion " ·ith ;-\,1,,ism around thb p<·1iocl, Goldl·n ) t'oll'S st,1rts to sound likl' J disco t.1k<· on ..litk·r's l.1-;t d.\\·:.. ,, kind of cl.1ncl·tloor l)o\\ nf,111. Tht>re's till' hunkl·r 111,·nt.1lih, • • tl l<' cu riou!il~ spt·ci lie t i nit•- f'r.1111<· of ",1 thous.1 ncl ) l'ol rs", inti n1.1 Lion., o l C.:• 1ll.1pSl' .1nd retrt·,1t, thl' idt'•' of bt·liv,i ng ''.111 th<' '"a~·" : t'\ l'l1 thl' o~ll· n sihl~ .111-. \1n<·ric.1n "drl'<lll1 c,1r" is ,unbiguous, sh<lring iL~ t"\Cl'Ssh l' k·n!-ot h "ith 1:1, ourill· Na1.i p.1r.1dl' vchick', a i\ ll'rcl·dt·:.- Bt·n1 770. \\'h.1tt'\l'I" ~toril·:. Ii(• bt·n1·c1th, though, Gold(·n )i:,1r~ hiL~ thl· 1><·rk•t·t h.1l.1ntl' hl't\\<'t·n thl· in1mt·diatt· and l11t· unkncl\v,1bk·. Sirnpk· in to1np.1ri:.on to Station fi1 Stativn's \\'i ldl~ allushe titk· tr.1ck, it':. ~till t·lusi'''" it~ l'rnotion,11 l>t.1t1• h.11 d to d lo'codt". \ \ 'ht'n it i.lipi. h.1<:k into the s \\ith th.1t 1c•t•rit• clo ing ,,·histll', it'~ danct·d tl1t• night a\\·av . \\ithout 'ghing u11 it:. St'Crl·ti.• untouched. untouchJbll'. ,










"I never did aythlng out of the blue": Bowle considers going legit .


ASHES TO ASHES (from Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), 1980) BC)\\'11 H \DI Y n1i,juJgl'cl thl· ~t.1rt of thl' '70s: Thl· l'rl·tti1·;,t St.1r, Tiu· 11) P'' .1nd 771L· ll.1n Il"/1<> 5<1/d 77,,. ll orld h.1d ,1ll l.1ill·d ,1., h1· M>ught to build on thl· success of . 1>-lCl' O dd it\. I ll· \\.l!>n 't !;!O•ng lo n1.1kl· thl· sanll' 1uistakc cntl•ring a Ill'\\ decade. \ rn\•in!! .1l :"\l'\\ )(irk\ Po\\'l'I' Station in l·ehru.w,v l 980. ilil· go-\\ ith-th1·-llo\\' icl1"1~ n1.1n. \\ ho~1· ' lk·rlin 'lii lo~· · h.1d protl't'tl·d him fron1 thl· ignomi11~ of punk\ hill". \\ ,l~ g<>nt> . .\ 1corcling to procluc1·r l iu1) \'i~cont i, Bo \\ i1· tur111•d u1 >" ith .1 !>UI"\ j\·,11i~t kit o f nl·.11'1~-li 1nnl·cl song~ .1nd .1 ck·tl.'rn1i11,llion to n1.1k1• .1 comml·rcial record . O ne song soundl'd highl)· pron1 b ing. T itl1·<l l\ ·opl1· .\rl· Turning U> Gold, it ,,·as tr,1nslt1l'l'lll, n11:lodic .1nJ grounck·<l by sl.1p bass .1ncl a ska heat. .\ fH·r 111on · \Vork in \ 1>ril .11 Vbt·nnti's Gnod E.1rth Studios in 'oho, London, Lhl· son!! ,1cqui rl·d .1 c·ho rul> .1ncl .1 11l'\V titl t>, Ash1·s ·1;, r\sh1·~. B<l\vi1\ "ho l.1t1· in ·79 h.1d n·vh1·d Lhr1•1• cl1•('<lck·-olcl ongs (Sp.1c1· Odd i~. ·r·hL· ,\ l,111 \\ho Sold Th1· \\ \irlcl ,1ncl I iii.• O n .\\,1rsr) f(ir tl'l1•\ision, h.1d sonll'lliing l'ISl' up his sk·l.'\l'. 1;l·'d hruught hack .\l,1jor ·1i1n1. . \ vidl'o, <;tor\ ho.1r<ll·d bv , th1· "ing1·r and shot on the uSSt'X co.1st in ~ l.1~. l'\ t1· nd1'<I thl· Sl'<jlll·l-to- p.1Cl' C)ddity idt>,1 hy using ch.1r:tctl·r-1 and kL'\• Ull'llll'S fn nn Bo \\ il'\ pr1·vious \\'ork: l'i1·rrot (,.,,ding his sp.1Cl' c.1cl1·t., through .1n .1lit·n l.1nd;.c,1pl', ti ll' n1,1cln1.1n (hroth1-r 'li:rrv!) in hi, t1·ll, \ l.1jor 'li11n • •ii. i.p.1l·1·d-out junkil', .1 hulldo.r1·r on1inou"h on hb 11 .1il. i.;












.\ l'unl•r,11 p~Tl' of p.1~t .1rcht'l) pt>:.• ..\sht>:. '!Cl Ashl'S ,,·ould ~ in1ult,1 nl'Olu,I\ rl·hirth Bo\\ k· - !>ill)!l'r. \\ ritl'r••1ctor. 1n in1t". llln1- nh1 kl·r - ,1:, ' . rot.k °!, fOl'l'lllO.!>l Ii\ ing \\·ork ,l rt. ·rhl· promo 'idl'o,' still ,, no\Tlt~ in sun1111t'I' 1980. !>old Lhl· son!! .1nd g.1\(' it ,1n l'pic n.1rralh l'. l<>da~, its clunl..: · l·di~ and :..1tu1-.lll'<I -.ol.1ri-..1tion hl·tr.1\. ' it,, .l)!l'. But thL' mu. ic, n1uch lik1· Bo\\ il' hin1-.l·ll, ti1n1·- tr.1,1·J., f.1r n1on· \UCl'1•s,full~ . If tlu· grand piano f1·d t.lirough .1n I \ 1ntidl· ln:.t.111t I l.1ng1·r ll·ncls t.lie much of iL-. \\'1•ightl1·M•lll'S~. it·,, t.li1· nar rath'l' lorCl' of Bo\\il' 's h ric, d1•liv1·recl in a l>l.' l'il'\ • o f'" hi">('>l.'rs, f,1h l·tto , d1·adpan and tliat lunar croon (" I n1·v1T did thl· hlul·/\ \ (><Jh oh-o h") th.1t cnntinu1·s to tr.1 nsport <lll) thin,g out till' l'llil!lll,l. l>UCC:l'Ss in <>i\'ino Ro\vii: huoi: first L·ll1·ct ' .1sid1· lron1 ,::.~ Thi·' sono\ ~ ~ Brit,1in (it\\\\:.,, .:.urpriSl' flop in ilil' States), \\'.l S d1l' gro\\ th of :'\l'\\' l{o1n.1nticis1n, .1 nl1>\ l'n11.·11t crc,1tl·<l almost l'nti rL·I~· from his old \\';1nlrolH· .1nd h1·.1cl1·d up hy ll'\'l' u·a11gl\ o n1· of fi>ur fllil.r cluh h.1hin 11;s u1il i~l·cl h) th1· 1'Vl'r-.1:,t11h· Bcl\Vil' l(ir tht• vid1·0 shoot. I lis inllu1·11c1· on 1>op no\v .1ssurl·cl, Bo\\'i1· S\Vi tchl·d to thl· tl11'.1tric.1l i.t,1gc: "going ll·git", hl· cJLlcd it. Pla)ing thl' title roll' in Thl• l-k· ph.111t \l.111 on Bro;id' '·' ) confir1nccl his t• nduring intl'l'l'St in ou1~icll·1-.,. Thl' ~hooting of John l.t·nnon th,1t s.1n1l· \Villll'I' pron1ptl·<l hiin lo r1.•consick·r lh;ll position. \\'h1·n Bo\\lll' n·-l·n11•roL'(I ~ l).1ncl-. ·t's 1 in 198 3 ,,; th I thl• ;ish1·~ rt·.1lh• \\ l'r1· .1~h1·-.. 1-ll· \\"<1S all don1· '' ith .1lil'll' . l·or no\\:





the stagey cabaret twinkle of the verses implies as much - but gloriously, it's all heart. VS

(from The Rise And Fall OfZiggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, 1972) • D r . comlc·book creation that

SOUND AND VISION (from Low, 1977)

Don you wo a , Bowle's on about?

Between Mick Ronson's salute-the-new-hero fanfare and Bowie's high camp, take-a-bow finale, sits the arc of Ziggy's career. If Hendrix (left-hand, voodoo, snow-white tan, jamming with his two sidemen) was the primary inspiration, the target was the young audience newly unlocked by Bowie's competitive foil, Marc Bolan. There's a brash sense of entitlement here, underscored by T.Rex licks and speech-bubble phraseology ("Boy, could he play guitar"). It worked: the man in the quilted onesie was soon method acting his "Leper Messiah" creation. MP

The freewheeling first half of Low spawned one of the strangest hits of Bowie's career, a bout of depression disguised as pop, delivered in a casual croon and structured like an old 78, where the vocalist arrives late - in this case exactly half way through - to sing about the blue room where he' ll go "drifting into my solitude" and wait for inspiration to strike. Its old-world feel is heightened by a cheesy string-machine, like Mantovani on ice, and a saucy burst of Dave's honky sax. JI

ALWAYS CRASHING IN THE SAME CAR (from Low, 1977) The dow be t d o ng


lude du 1na Low's


Reputed real-life episodes (feeling ripped off, Bowie rammed his drug dealer's car, and/or nearly crashed in his hotel garage) aside, this remains much more a metaphorical ride - out of control, speeding between projects, risk· ing health, never learning from past mistakes. Bowie's vocal and the music's misty tones of grey are stained with remorse, but there's light at the tunnel's end through a series of gorgeous ascending guitar lines. Bowie even lets rip with a "yeah yeah yeah!" as he climbed again from the wreckage. MA

(from The Rise And Fall Of liggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, 1972)

:> n ~ rkle: Ziggv Stardust m ., ces. David Bowie pointing straight into the camera during Starman's Top Of The Pops appearance might have been a generation's Creation Of Adam moment, but even w ithout visuals, this transmission about a transmission is a dazzling enactment of an alien recruitment drive. Hints of Wichita Lineman zing down the wires, while the intergalactic communique shares rock'n'roll's conspiratorial thrills: pirate radio's under-the-counterpane frisson, parent-fright· ening transgression, secret codes, the need for hope and "sparkle". A call to arms: never over, just far out. VS

YOUNG AMERICANS (from Young Americans, 1975) Bow•• <100 America w1 h a seductive back-handed com1-1llr ent. Credit its misleading warmth and Luther Vandross's breezy hook with enticing actual young Americans to mistake this cold, harsh song for a compliment, giving Bowie his first US hit. Coming straight out of Diamond Dogs, he has a frantic, coked -up verbosity, as if trying to splurge every thought he's ever had about America before the clock runs out. He's a psychic tourist. perceiving the country through glass - a limousine win· dow, a TV screen or a microscope slide - as a fascinatingly alien mess. DL

ROCK'N'ROLL SUICIDE (from The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy

Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, 1972) As perfectly con tructed a 1 the ant• em c You'll Never Walk Alone, with the same euphoric communion As Five Years is a brilliant intro, so Ziggy's death-trip finale couldn't have been better. Again, it's a song-as-story, with beginning, middle and end, built like a bolero with Gallic torch song leanings, from suspense subdued voice/ 12-string to the addition of electric guitar flickers, the kick forward of drums and woozy sax to the strings-

1metlmes what

swirled, hollered final verse and astonishing climax, as Ziggy and his fans become one with "gimme your hands, you're wonderful I" The Grand Guignol agony of the David Live version is equally rivetting. MA

CHANGES (from Hunky Dory, 1971)

Bo ~i take o e olutio look out, you roe n ol s

nd wins:

With its "Children that you spit on/As they try to change their worlds" and skin-shedding, future-facing chorus, Changes is a precursor of Starman's wraparound warmth and optimism. The stutter on "eh-eh-eh-changes• suggests someone taking a run-up for the great leap forward, and the rest of the chorus is pure liberation, ditching the rules to move onwards and upwards. It might be the manifesto of a "faker" -

''HEROES'' (from "Heroes", 1977) A punk-era reboot of Bo 111le's star· gazing melodrama When I Liv My Or am. This has the lot: a theme that's both self-serving and (those quotation marks) ironic, an epic "lovers across the Berlin Wall" backstory, Eno's 'magic briefcase', dolphins, three Robert Fripp guitar parts rolled into one, and Bowie himself rising above waves both new and old. Less remarked upon are parallels with '60s heart· breaker ballads like Cilla Black's You're My World or Mina's Se Telefonando, which are echoed in emotion-packed words ("nothing•, "together•, "forever") and Visconti's production master· stroke of opening up Bowie's vocal in stages - a dynamic twist on that old arrangement cliche the key change. MP ,_.


f >-

~ ~

~ ~ ~ ~





LIFE ON MARS? (from Hunky Dory, 1971 )


·r1 II .\I \Kl·RS of th1· BBC's tin1l·-tr.1,1·lling cop :.ho" \\1.·r1·n 't thl· uni~ p1•npll· to 0 1nit the question n1.1rk f'rom thl· tid1· of Bo\\ i1·'i. 1no:.l hl·lo\t•d song. l.:'t'n the sin gle':. sl1·e,·1· cocks it up. But tl11· puncluJtion i:. kl·; to tll1· song's schifoid .llJur1•. Lili· On :\l.1r\! i., .1 c1u1·\tion 1n.1\<1u1·r.1dinc ,1., .1 '>latl·n1<'nt. .:i riddl1• "1-,1ppt•d in .1n .1nth1·n1 .•1 \ho\\'-\loppt•r from ,, 1-Ioll;''otxl musical that dot·sn 't n1,1kt• :.1·n\t'. 1968. Bo\\·i1· hi. origins I,". in th\\,1rt1·d .1mhition. In I 1·hru.1rv , hJd pitch1·d ,1n .\nglicbl·d \l'rsion of Cl.1ude rr.lnc;ois' hit Con1mt· cl'Hahi tud1· - I \'1•n . \ I ool L1·.1rni. 'I(> Lo,·1· - to a l-r1·nch puhli~h1-r hu t h.1cl h1.·1·n ll"' .11-tl·d by Paul \nk.1, "ho tr,1n:-.formcd Fran~ois' hit into .\ \~· \\~1~ ,1nd sold it to I r.111k Sin.1tr,1. Bo\vit· il\Tngl·d th1· ~nuh hy l>orro\ving l·r-.1 n~oi:. · <honli. ,111d \\riling" Ins1)il'1.'d hy l-r,1nkil;'" on //1111~1 [).,~,'i. :.l1·1·v1·. Lif1· ()n ;\\,1r:i ? h.1s th1· hon1hJstic gr.1nd1·l11· of ,\ I; \\:1; hut nont• of its t•gotistic.11<.'l'l't.1in1;: 'f'hc rnusic, so ,1dam,1nt, so dra1nJtic, n1.1kl's .1 11.1r r.1tivt• pron1ise th.1t the lyrics don't kct·p. ~ 1; \\~1y spokt• to .1n old1-r g1·nt·ralion's <ll'li:nsh·t· pridt• " ·hilt· Life O n 1\l.1r:,? plug,_~l·d \l r.1ight into tht· ('Onfi.1:.ion o [ iL\ t•ra. ·rh1· n1.111 "ho n1.1dt• I lunk1 /)on, in sun11111·r 197 I had r1'cl'ntl'. sigi1l·d ,1 llt' \\" p11l1li!>hing dt·<tl. t..1kt•n up tht• piJno, visit1.·d ,\mcrica tor th1· first 1in1i- .1ncl ht•con1t• ,, IJtl11·r. I It• had conlldcnc-1· ancl 111omt·n1un1 ,1nd tht· i.ong1o poul'l·d out of hin1. "l'hi, <,nnc \\ ol\ ~() '"1\\," . h1· "rote in tht.··1'\1·- not1·~ of ,1 2008 cornpil.1tion. " Bl·ing young '"·'~ 1·a<;;." \pp.irt•ntl~. ht· " •'" on thl· hu., Eto I t'\\ i~h.1111 to hu; ,hot•., .1ncl i.hirt,, < hut li1un<l th1· rill :.tutk in hi!> he.1d . ~




I h· ju111p1.'d oil' th1· bus .1nd rcturnl-d homt· to hi), pi.1110, \\ hl·r1· h1· "h.1Cl 1h1· \\hol1· h. ric .1ncl 1111•loth· - finished bv l.1tl' .1ftl'rnoon. :".ic1•." It bt·gins "itl1 .1 kitchl·n-sink nn·stl'r': \ \ 'h.1t 1s th1· "god.1" lul s rn.111 .11lair" th.1t CJU'it''i th1· girl "ith mousv hair to he thro\\ n out of th1• ' hou,1·~ I h·r lrit•nd lt•t-. htT d0\\11, to•>. so h1· rw1s liir th1· ~h1·h1·r of th1· ci111·1n.1. " I think sh1• finds h1·rs1·lf dis.1 ppoint1•d " i t11 r1·.11it~." Bo\\ i1· 'klid in 1997. ''. \ltliough she's living in tht' doldrun1s of 1T.1lit;,•'s h1·ing told th.1t thL'n·'s .1 lar c1Tat1-r life somt·\\·l11·r1·, .1n<l i.h1•\ ~ ' hiu1·rl' di,.1ppoint1·d that sht· do1·sn 't h,1,·1· .:icccss to it." But" ht·rt· I\ thb gr1·.ltl·r !ill-! Thi· llln1, thl· doonn. c1·1lo, conllrn1, ' b ,, "s.uldt·ning hor1·". I lnlh\\oo<l' ennobling gl.1n1our n1Jllunltion, . crool-t·d cop:. a~1ul1 the "rong 111.1n, ~ilors hr.1" I. Th1· ~1·c:ond '1·1-:.1·, in "hich Bo" il· .1ppe.1rs to v1·ntriloc1uisc tht' siht·r sc1·et•n iw·ll: p•'l'~l·nt .:i.nd Rul1· Brit.1nni.1 .1, f.1dl'd ,\ lick1·' ,\ lou:,1·. ·rhl' Bc.1tk·s. 1-lolh,,·ood , i.!i.1nt:, of .111 1·,'d t"llltur1·. Old r11od1·s of 1·sc.11>i~m .11·1· loi.ini.! tht'ir ' ' 1>0\\'t•r to 1·l1·,,1t1• .1nd con:.c>k· tht• inh;ihit.1nts o f lih"s ":iunk1•n dr1-.1m". In hb 2008•1•vt·no t1·!t. l\o\\'il' cli.l!;(llOS1·cl his hcroi111· .1s ",1non1ic": ,1lit'lliltl'U .1nd .1dril t. In 197 l Bo, vie \VJS t.1pping into thl' n1ood c,f ,1 j.1dt·d, t•,h,1u.st1'<I Jgl'. tli1· psychic t,tllout l'ro1n thL' 01>tin1is1n .1nd upht'.1,,11 of tht· '60:.. h\ Lhl· 111,1J.1ise n:llccted in tl1c likt·s of :"t·il )(>Un!;!\ lj1 l'r /lit• Gahl Rinh (.111 ,1lhun1 Bo\\'il• lovt·d) ,1nd , r1· tro~pl'l'­ livt•h, . in Withn.1il & I," IH'l'l' D,1011\. tht· dt-.1lt•r'!. l,1mt·nt, ..-rh1·,. 'n· s1·lling hippy '"igs in \ \ (1nl\\orths," cchot·s Bo,vi«'s lin<', "Lt·nnon 's on s.1h· .1g.1in." I·or Bo\\i1·'s \\'C·Jri1·r contcn1porari1•s, this \V.111 .1 r1..1son to hunkt•r do" 11 .1ncl huilcl cocoons, hut Bo\\ it• l>·ll' .111 op1·11ing. l:xplaining Hu11k1 /)00 's 'ong I or Bob D; Ian fhl' ycJrs l.1ter, ht· !-,1id, " I aid, OK, l),l.111, if you don't • • \\Jill to do it, I \\ill. I ~·'" th.ll l1·Jd1' rship \'Oid."










"I had the whole lyric a11d melody finished by late afternoon. Nice.# Bowle finds Inspiration ~ top deck.

• $(), cannil_\ n.1ttering his \\ t1uld-bc trib<.· of disgruntk·d teenage1'S, he e.xn·,1poli1tt•d his O\\ n irnp.1tk·ncl' lor 1:1n1t• into a gt'n<.•ration,11 hunger lcir gr.1nd tr,1n!;form,llion. " 'hether bro.1cll~· positive (Changes) or d.1ngt-rous (Oh! )o u l'rctt~ l hings). ·rhe title rt'frain of lJle On ,\ lars!, an apparent non sl.'quitur, could ha,·<.· been an opportunistic .1llusion both to the rect·nt launl'.h of Sovk·t proht's to Stud~· tht' re<l pl.1nt·t an<l to Bo\vit"s 0 \\1\ post-SpaCl' Oddity n ·putation, but, rock<.' tl«l into the stratosphl'l"l' hy tl1t• singt·r, ... it .1lso Sll!!.!!t'Sts .1 l!t'nuine )'t·arning .... li..1r nt·\V \\'onders. Soml•thing ... net·ds to h.1ppcn. 'fhcrt· n1ust be 1nore to life than iliis. llun~r Dory· is a dc1nand for s1c·isn1ic ch.1ngt· .1nd a condl·n1nation nf th<.· status c1uo. Tht• all>u1n 's intt•llt·ctual lodl'Stars an· f\ndy \ \ :1rhol. f(>r \\·hon1 f;in1t· '"•lS a glitlt•ring con, .1nd ;\'iL'l'l.~Chl·, \\ho hl·li<·vt·d in .lrt, Crl',ltl·d by t'XCl'ption,11 indi\,iclu.1ls, ,1s " the propl'r t.1sk uf li lc". In Bo,·vil''s hungrv i1J1al!ination, U1L'Sc cuntradictor v \'isions fusl'd into ,, g< for,\ llt'\\' k.i11d rock, both ,1n ard1-1n.1nipul.1tor ,1nd J cuhural c.1t.1h st, achil·ving C\. nical rnt·,1ns. lfunkr .. Sl'rious l·nds tJ1n >ug;h ..... ,,, Don· ., di.ignosl·d ..... ,1 1nalaisl·; Zig&' Stardust \Vould hl· thl· soh1tion . .\lick Ronson 's <'l>. t1-.1o rdin ,1ril~· cintn1.1tic ,1rrangcn1('nt givt•s LJlio- On :-. 1,1rs? sc.1ll· ,111d Lr,1nscendt•ncc. In pl.1ct·s it <.·chol'S 'fht· Bc.1tles' A 0.1~· In ·rhe IJI(: .111d anticipat\.'S Blur's "fhis Is:\ l.o"·, l\\O orll4..·r cryptic ~1:att·-of-tl1l'- natio n survt'}S "ith f.'pic SC<>j)l'. \\hik• Kick \,\ :1kcrn.1n gussil;'s up Bo,,·it·'s piilnL> J>ilrt on thl• saint· instrun1t•nt that l',1ul ~ lcCilrl.11l.'\' . USl'cl on r h•\., Juell'. It builds tO\.VJrds ,, glorious I lolh. \\'OO<l lln,1IL', \\'ilh \\i1ody \\(>odmanSl.') quoting tht• tyn1pani rron1 Richard Str.1uss's l ' hus Spr:ich /.,1rathustr.1 (iln iipt allusion to both 1i<·t7.schc ,1nd St<lnk·~· K11b1-ick). bt·lorc thl· ladl·out """gin< •t-rh· rL·tun1s us to rl.'JlitY. ~ ~ ~ Llltimatt·I)·· th<· song itst·lf provich·s Lh~· •·scapi:>n1 thilt its ht·roint· cra\'l'S - li>r all its i1n,1gcs of bathos ,1nd clt'clinc, it's thl· 1vork of .1rt Ulill tc1npor.1ril) rn.1kl·:. a str.1itl'l1l'<l lilC' scetn bigger ,1nd brighter. , \ more Lr.1n..~p.1rcnt l;-ric \\'Ould onJ~· h.1\-e clippl·d its .. vings hccause it's ilil' insoluble ambiguity tliat allo" 'S it to he co,-cred hy both l3arhra trL:isand and TlK· Fliuning Lips, to rnirror tl1c lur111oil o f Jnb11 Sin1n1 in Lilt.· ()n .\l,1rs ,1ncl Rill :O.lurra~ in Thi.' Life 1\ qu.1tic \Vith Stcvt· 7.issou, to spt·ak to l·ach listl'lllT in n1~·stt:rious '"";s. 1'ht· <]Ut'Stion n1ark continues to h.1ng O\L'r this n1,1gnillct·ntl\' strange creation, un,1nS\Vl'r.1blc. 0















ALBUMS • Sleater-Kinney's surprise return • Gaz Coombes' mid life high • Animal magic with Panda Bear • Plus, The Charlatans, Cu rtis Harding, The Waterboys, Jessica Pratt, Wu-Tang Clan, Willie Nelson, Decemberist s, Belle & Sebastian and more.

100 REISSUES • Pressing mattersfor Sparks • The Go-Betweens: literary, great • Fela Anikulapo Kuti on wax • Plus, Ronnie Dyson, Thelonious Monk, Simon & Garfunkel, Diplo, Eno, Manic Street Preachers and more.


BOOKS • The making of Purple Rain • Plus, Art Kane, Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, Jerry Lee Lewis and more.


SCREEN • Jake Thackray on the box • Plus, The Doors, Depeche Mode, R.E.M., Johnny Thunders and more.

118 LIVES • The Who hit 50 in Nottingham • Dr. John 'Pops' into London. ·····························------------ ---------------·-··········-···········• •

"Kagouls thrown to the floor, stereotypes gleefully shredded ... " JOHN HARRIS WITNESSES THE REBIRTH OF THE CHARLATANS, PAGE 90

1 Your guide tothemonth's best music is now even more definitive with our handy l format guide. CD COMPACT DISC DI DOWNLOAD c:;- STREAMING LP VINYL CASSEnE DVD DIGITAL VIDEO DISC C IN CINEMAS BR BLU-RAY ••' -·MC ... - -_,,...__ ·--· ......

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:i ***** **** *** ** •








fOR JOHNNY The Legend of Johnny Thunder




After nearly 10 years undercover, aIt-rock's heroic sleeper cell reactivates to continue their mission. By Victoria Segal. Illustration by Typex Koot. l.ol'e, though, t hey soun<l like people \vho are in


***** No Cities To Love SUB POP CD/ Dl/ LP

he re's a 1nenu of n1odisb reunion options for bands: the big-ticket festival blitz, the genteel, \\'ell-paced tour, t he dates dedicated to a clas~i c albun1 played in its CTO\vd-pleasing e ntirety. It's significant, then, that ...vhc n Slcatcr-Kinney an nounced their return, they di<l so \Vith new n1usic, the defiant, battle-scarred Bury O ur Friends slipped covertly into their carecr-con~piling box set Swri Together, closely lollo,vecl by the ne,vs of No Cities To Love, their fi rst album since 2005's The Woods. Recorded in Portland, San Francisco and Seattle with positively David Bo..,vie-like secrecy, these I 0 songs are evidence the reactivated Sleate r- Kinney are a living, breathing creative enti ty, not a baJ1d suspended i n a n1ber, reheating the hot rock. "Nostalgia/Well, you're using it like a \vhore." they sang on 2005 single Entertain; ,~;tl1 No Cities To Love, nobodv could level that accusatio n back at tht•n1. When singers a nd g uitarists Carrie Bro,vnstein and Corin Tucker and clrt1n11ner Janet 'vVe iss called it a day aln1ost a decade ago, they did the true-star thing by leaving the pa rty l' a rly, bt'fore Llie conversation cu rdled a nd the idea~ ran dry. They are not, tl1en, as Bro \vnstein has saicJ , "exhun1 i ng a corpse", and l 1lo Cicies To Loi'e isn't an appendix g rafted onto the ir largely i1n peccable sevenalbun1 run. A work of force and elegance, it :.ha re~ the fe rocious, \Vatchful i ntelligencc and !orn1i<lable control of their best records. The re are elen1c nts o f both tl1e riot grrrl pop evolutions of J997's Dig A1e Ouc, and the heavy, pressing cxperin1ents of The Woods, l>ut these songs sound fired up rather than micrO\·vaved, present in the n1oment rather t ha n raking over the past. Although t here had been hints over the last decade that the door hadn't slan1n1ed tight shut o n Slcatcr- Kinney, t his c·on1eback could never be taken for gra nted. \ .Veiss, an alt-rock lind1pin \vho ahvays has drumsticks in fires, played "'' itb Stephen Malkn1us And ·rhe Jicks and Quasi, her longrunnin g band \Vitb Sa in Coo1nes, as -.veil as being a n1c1nber of 'vVild Flag a longside Bro>vnste i n. ·rucke r raised t\vO c hild ren and released t\>\' O records. Bro,vn ~tci n , n1ean\vh ile, repositio ned her~elf as an unlikely con1edy sensation thanks to Portlandia, her sketch sho\v \>vith Fre <l Ar1n isen. Five seasons in, she has been prope lled into a \vorl<l of American Express adverts. cooker y sho,~· guest spots and solo intervie,vs \vith David Letterman (Slcatcr-Kinney played o n his sho"''• but that \Vas diflerent. He called the1n "gids"; they sn1iled behind his back). Fron1 the star t of No Ciiies To


KEY TRACKS • No Cities To love • ANew Wave • Bury Your Friends





flRID up.: RATHER; .THAN'.. - ______

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RAKING: -··.

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exactly the right place. It's not just that the phrasing a nd timing arc immaculate, the heat slO\\•ly tu rning up un<ler A Ne\v Wave's chorus, the feverish, tangled-shl:'et vocals and g uitars on Fangless - the band also bring a depth and \Vorldliness to t hese songs t hat sets tl1t•1n apart, like politic ians \vho ha,·e n1<>rc on the ir CV than "specia l advisor". "['he albun1's opener, Price ·rag, is a brisk critique of conveyor-belt capitalism propelled by an urgent, n1echanised beat: "It's 9a1n/ \.Ve n1ust clock in/-rhe system \>Vaits for us." i\t{ean\vhile, t here's t he pushpull of fan1ily de n1an<ls: ''scran1bled eggs for little legs". Con1 ing of age during riot grrrl's peak in scene hu b Olyn1pia, they still have traces of t hat unpasteu rised e nergy, appealingly evocative of discussio n g ro ups round caleteria tables and blotchy flyers on college notice boar<ls. ("We like the Bu7.zcocks!" read theirs, advertising for a drun1mer.) 1'hat bleed fro1n the per~onal into the political, that active need for c hange, remains. "'vVe never really c hecked/ We never checked t he price tag," \•v arns i -ucker. "When the cost co n1es in it" gonna be high." I(esistance has ahvays been high o n their agenda "J don't \vanna join your club!" yelled Tucker on I 995's A Real i\~an - but No Cities To Love also burns \vith the desire to find ne\v, successful, and incorruptible \vays of living. In keeping \Vith its secretive o rigins, t here are huddles, ga ngs, private languages. "We 'vin/Vv'e lose/ O nly together <lo \Ve make the rules," they si ng over the Pi.xiesli_kc c lang of Surface Envy. while Bury Our Friend!> insists, "We speak in circ le¥\.Ve dance in code." The :.upe rb A Ne\Y \l\lave could be an older, 1nore conflicted relatio n to DiJJ A1e OuL's Words And Guitar, n1aking sense of indivi<lual lives in all their confusion and complexity: "I t's not a ne\v \\rave/ It's just you and me." For all the coolness of t he delivcrv, . ho,vcvcr - the Planningtorock-style yelps on Gin1n1c Love, the lang uid, lucid g uitar r unning t hrough the title track - t hese songs rc n1ain sensitive to the struggle to keep it togethe r, t he pressure to shO\Y a good face to the \\'o rld. It's a record that's interested in performance, n1ost explicitly o n I-Icy Da rling, its phone call structure, S\vooning chorus and lired, road-sick lvrics - "Son1etin1es t he heat of t he cro\vd , is a little too c lose/ Son1etin1es the shout of the roon1 makes me feel so alone" - making it t heir O\vn Super "l' rouper. No Cities To Love is more e,x plicit about the e mptiness behind the fac,adc, usi ng in1agcry of ato1nic bon1 bsitcs to suggest self-an nihilation: "\l\lalk off the edge of a1y O\vn life ... 1ny bodr is a souvenir." A e\\' \ Vave, rnean>vhile, has Bro\v11stein singing "Every t in1c I c lirnb a little h ig her/ Shou ld I leap or go on living, living?", her voice pinging back like she's on elastic, the n1usic pulling her back in. ·rhe record ends on a do,vnbeat note - the grinding rock-opera <lra1na of Fade, once again \VOrrying about the cost: "Oh, \vhat a price that " 'e paid". For all it$ anxictie$, ho;vevt:r, No Cities To Love ~-tares do,,·n its troubles, po\ver and joy ulti1nate ly lying in the bands of the p eople \vho can \Vrite s uch songs. " \~/here is the ru ck )'OU? \,Yhere's :t the black ancJ blue?" Sleater-Kinney de n1anded back on ~ 2005's Entertain, eyeing up their con1pt·tition and finding ~ then1 lacking. The ans..,ver, lO years on, hasn't cha nged. ~ It's all right here. ~

Cut the bull Supergrass man has conjured an intriguing and revealing solo

album, says Pat Gilbert.


* Matador HERE'S AN odd thing: in the past six months three leading Britpop/rock frontmen - Damon Albarn, Thom Yorke and now Supergrass's Gaz Coombes - have delivered solo albums; and, given the multipliclty of available musical styles and Influences, the breadth of collaborators and Instruments and moods they could choose from, they've all made essentially the same record.

The Waterboys


Each leans heavily on elecrronica and exhibits, in places, a keen ear for programn1ed beats and tricky two-step rhythms. Each nas a gentlemanly Middle English mind-set, a reticence to scream, "This is me!" And each oozes a deep, mid life sadness premature autumnal refl ections mixed with tensile defiance. But only one truly warms you to its creator: this one. While Supergrass never sold as many records as Blur, Oasis or Radlohead, al their finest they showed equivalent musical depth: in fact, the dreamy, hypnagogic atmosphere of Matador, always evoking twilight shadows and sleepless nights, rather than the corporeal world of daylight. was a feature of the band's singular glam-psych music as early as Late In The Day on 1997's In It For The Money, and loomed large on their criminally under-appreciated Supergrass two years later.

an ace evocation of The King in the afterlife wherein the fun - teaching Marvin Gaye how to dance The Mashed Potato, for example eventually cuts to Presley's murderous designs on Colonel Tom Parker. Other highlights include vitalising powerpop nugget Beautiful Now, soulful love lener to a lost neighbour· hood Nearest Thing To Hip. and the crunching tale of hard -won enlightenment Destinies Entwined. James McNair


Produced by Mike Scott, mixed by Bob Clearmountain.

Modern Blues's epic closer is titled Long Strange Golden Road, and so it has been with Itinerant seeker Mike Scott's latest choice of recording locale being Nashv!lle, Tennessee. Together with new lights such as Muscle Shoals bassist David Hood and Hammond maestro Paul Brown, Scott and long term foil Steve Wickham - the Hendrix of fuzz-fiddle - have made the best Waterboys record since 1988's Fisherman's Blues. c Crucially, Scott remains ~ productively in thrall to Cl fandom, hence I Can See Elvis,


Jo Bartlett



new has always thrown up interesting and sometimes challenging records. In the years her and partner Danny Hagan curated Green Man they were as happy to host Four Tet and Battles as Fleet Foxes and Robert Plant, and that eclecticism beams through on 9 By 7. And no better is it displayed than the shift in gears between the sweet California folk Instrumental Olympic and What Do You Say To That's programmed beats, synths and low-down guitar, then back to folk rock for Advent. Bartlett ploughs a narrow furrow, b ut she does it with compelling conviction. Andy Fyfe


Green Man co -founder returns to making music her own sweet music.


As the founding queen of the GreenMan Festival and central figure in The Yellow Moon Band, Jo Bartlett has long been at the forefront of a very progressive kind of folk music. Folktronica, psychedelia-folk, prog-folk, call it what you will, but her determination to mix old and




Brooklyn-based improv instrumental trio harness the power of the ancients. Since forming, loosely, in 2011, David Shuford of D. Charles Speer and No- Neck Blues band and Jimmy SeiTang of

Coombes - the band's creative mainspring, strained Bowie-lsh voice, and Iconic bewhiskered pin-up- tentatively dipped into solo waters with 2012's chequered Here Come The Bombs. But with Matador, he defines what an edifying solo LP should be: an instinctive, honest sublimation of a state of mind, full of intriguing revelations but leaving enough questions unanswered to keep you always seeking more in its grooves. The irregular beats and woozy electronic sway of opener Buffalo set the tone of disorientation, Coombes telling us, "I lost my way... I found the only road~, before the song ends with a big, doomy dubstep-style finale. The sense of the singer trying to communicate an unease buried deep within is amplified by the next track, the equally opaque and powerful 2020, the wash of Instruments simmering down to lay bare a descant McCartney melody, the singer's proclamation, •1take the hurricane for you•, like many other phrases elsewhere on album, multl· harm onised by Coombes himself, lending It an unsettling churchy feel. Stars in their teens, Supergrass experienced most rod<'n'roll travails and Matador seems an attempt to come to terms with this: Detroit alludes t o a white-powder-induced tour meltdown, lamenting his geographical distance from his loved one; indeed, Seven Wails recalls Gaz and his wife's courtship in Oxford. But it's the epic description of bereavement, To The Wire, which eclipses all else here in its transc.endental power, climaxing with a heart-wrenching •stay in my heart• refrain over an angry, roiling mesh of sound. Musically. keyboard-and-Moog textures dominate, augmented by weird tube-amp distortion. motorik beats and gentle ambient moments, and booming sub·bass. By the end, It feels like a journey through one man's rawest and real emotions. Albarn and Yorke may possess more innate gravitas, but that likeable Supergrass scamp is shed ding his youthful skin to emerge as a serious and fascinating artist. Al right indeed.

Stygian Stride have. with an ever-changing roster of drummers, been exploring and investigating a particularly delirious brand of instrumental rock anchored in the ancient modal musics of Greece, North Africa and the Middle East. Taking their name from the drinking horn used in ancient Hellenic llbations, Rhyton have now named their third album after the liquid often employed in such religious rituals, a blend of wine, cheese and ergotised barley with powerful psychoactive effects. It's a fitting title, as Kykeon is an album of simple Instrumental guitar rites that, through repetiti on, drone and variations of melodic line achieve a particular kind of ecstatic cyclic euphoria. Right on! Andrew Male

Ghostface Killah

*** 36 Seasons


Multifarious Wu-Tang Clan rapper's cinematic team-up with The Revelations. Ever since he stepped away from the Wu-Tang Clan on 1996's lronman, Ghostface

Killah has maintained a fiendish pace. Having transformed into a comlc book character on 2013's Adrian Younge collaboration Twelve Reasons To Die, the mega Marvel fan·s next crime caper is orchestrated by crack Brooklyn R&B crew The Revelations, who rifle through Stax, Motown and psychedellc soul with rugged aplomb. Its street tale of dodgy deals, double- crosses and revenge may be well worn, but his storytelling instincts never ler i t sag as Pharoahe Monch, AZ and that past master of the NYC underworld fable, Kool G Rap, add to the lyrical carnage alongside a cameo from rising soul star Kandace Springs. Surprisingly marginalised on the latest Wu effort, Ghostface proves he's fighting fit on this gritty, organic partnersh ip. Andy Cowan




from the Status Quo of Satanist twaddle. But hold t ight, there's livelier material ahead, presumably thanks to fresh blood Tyler Bates, who arrives from Serie A movie scoring on Guardians Of Th e Galaxy. Superior cut Third Day Of A Seven Day Binge ditches industria l dutter for Hansa-era lggy/goth-glam, while Deep Six's Metalllca-riffed chorus is undeniably stirring. The rest is bad Bauhaus. Andrew Perry


Prodigious Brooklyn rapper comes of age. He may bless beats of a certain vintage, but Joey Bada $ $ Is no throwback. The loquacious young leader of Brooklyn's Pro Era posse clearly knows his own mind, turni ng down a mega-bucks offer from Jay Z's Roe Nation after blazing a precocious trail on mixtapes 1999 and Summer Knights. Like both of those, his official debut shares a unified aesthetic rooted in '90s golden age boom-bap production, where tickled ivories, snares, scratching and low double basslines mingle menacingly. Whether linking up with DJ Premier above the stringy soul of Paper Trails, reinventing an old J Dilla beat on the smoky Like Me o r introducing an animated Busta Rhymes-ish flow t o th e ci rcu lar piano loop of Big Dusty, BadaSS proves a natural born rhymer on a d eeply rewarding showcase of advanced level lyricism. Andy Cowan

Marilyn Manson


The Pale Emperor COOKll\'G l/INYL CD1Dl

A new imperial epithet for the erstwhile God Of Fuck.


·@ ~





Ohio's Brian Wa rner may've been a top-flight rock star for 20 years. but music really isn't his strong suit. Like Alice Cooper without the chops (or the sidemen), his Manson alias is all a bout needling at American prurience - at which he excels, with grandstanding lyrical gross-outs a particular forte. Thus he's remained a Top 20 act, even after leaving lnterscope in 2010, and despite being witch-hunted for t he high-school massacres in Columbine and Cleveland. This tenth album opens, unappetisingly for nondisciples, with a histrionic funeral d irge called, provocatively, Killing Strangers - plus t;a change



Hyperdub And Teklife Present Next Life HYPFRDUB COIDL

Chicago Footwork luminaries unite to carry the torch of the late DJ Rashad This life-affirming, relentless

wherein a preacher's brazen demand for cash is subject to the death by a thousand cuts, and FM Blast by t he superblynamed German footwork ambassador DJ Paypal, which is like 15 Earth Wind & Fire concerts all fi nishing at once. Ben Thompson

memorial - all profits going to DJ Rashad's son Chad e>tablishes the same defiant 'phoenix from the ashes' mood as the J Dilla tribute Suite For Ma Dukes. But in lieu of that lovely Detroit swansong's elegiac strings, this Windy City get-together achieves that goal via rigo rou sly stripped down and speeded up snippets of melody, and some of the most unnerving jackhammer beats this side of the last time the CD player in your kitchen got stuck. Representative highlights include DJ Phil's Godz Hou se,



Meatbodies IN 1HE RED CD/Dl/LP

Wild psych-punk thrills from Ty Segall bandmate.

·.... •·· ,_ -~


The last couple of years have witnessed a psychedelic .punk-rock . .- '· rena issance on America's West Coast; it must be something they're putting i n the LSD. Chad Ubovich's connections to said scene are enviable - he 's the bassist i n Ty .



Segall's group Fuzz, and plays guitar for Mika I Cronin. Both guest on this debut LP from Ubovich's Meatbodies, whose rama lama riffage and eerie psychedelic harmonies are a whole lot of fun . Meatbodies have two gears at their disposal: nosebleed-velocity thrashers like Mountain and Gold - which, powered by squalling psych guitars, sound like Comets On Fire jamming with the Ramones - and doomy, sludgy monsters like Tremmors, which make like the aforementioned but played at half-speed. If the formula is simple, it delivers brutish thrills a-plenty - Off is made for head-bang ing, while closer The Master goes full-on Hawkwind towards the end. The wild, liquid soloing that flares up throughout the Ince nse And Peppermints-li ke Two, meanwhile, underlines this record as a treat for the inveterate air-guitarist. Stevie Chick

Death becomes him wop via Brian Wilson's In My Room and filtered through Lennox's Animal Collective's bespoke echo box. You can almost sense the sea fog surrounding you. psychedelic chorister. This is a more colourful record By Danny Eccleston. than its predecessor. but it's troubled, too. Boys Latin is a groovy schoolroom round appearing to find music in the conjugation of verbs, but Lennox is actually singing, •oark cloud descended again/And a shadow moves In the darkness: Death and depression seem to wash in and out of this record (the title's not as flip as it first appears), but Lennox - whose second solo album, NOAH LENNOX'$ cameo on Daft the lo-fl Young Prayer, was addressed Punk's Doin' It Right, from 2013's to his dying father - has them In inescapable Random Access Memories, balance. Come To Your Senses Is a placed the Baltimore-born, Lisbon transplant self-admittedly outside his challenge of sorts - there's dismay in its cries of #are you mad?# as if he's comfort2one. But who knew7 recalling a genuine confrontation Lennox seems out of his comfort but it's buoyed on an epic, churning zone pretty much everywhere. groove that's his most This somewhat ., viscerally skittish, alien quallty transporting since animates his music, which Is rarely anchored by the things that define most electronic pop predictable rhythms, bass. riffs - sometimes exasperatingly so. But Panda Bear's third solo • album, 2007's Person Pirch, remains the best record yet from the Animal Collective stable, and his latest, after the stark and sombre departure of 201 1's Tomboy, will come as blessed relief to fans of Person Pitch's sublime pulse. Lennox has an ace In the hole, of course: the gossamer choirboy vocals he layers and lathers with ecclesiastical reverb. The Beach Boys are a regular comparison, and he appears to have embraced, rather than baulked at it here, especially on the wondrous Tropic Of Cancer - like Flamingos doo·

Fifth solo outing for

Panda Bear

**** Panda Bear Meets

The Grim Reaper

Person Pitch's glorious Bros. and In Crosswords he's written his most 'pop' song yet Meanwhile, aficionados of pure sonic treats are well served. With production assistance from Spacemen 3's Peter Kember, aka Sonic Boom, you'd expect transmissions from the psychedelic dimension, and there are intermissions both balmy and brain· frltzing. But you do sometimes wonder why so much of the action needs to happen in a shallowlsh treble range and there are moments - like on bouncy, crunchy Principe Real -when this writer wishes Lennox would stick his neck further into the commercial zone. Visuals at recent Lennox shows have included film of a masked man eviscerating a stuffed panda. It suggests an artist at odds with his public analogue - but when Panda Bear's disquiet sounds this good, who'd wish him peace of mi nd? ~

Loss leaders The Charlies' remarkable rise from tragedy. By John Harris

The Charlatans

**** Modern Nature t!N(J CO

• µ

THROUGHOUT THE making of The Charlatans' twelfth album, the kit that had belonged to their late drummer Jon Brookes remained in the same part of their studio where it had always been tuned to his specifications, and played in turn by three guests. He had died - to say 'tragically'

Alasdair Roberts


Alasdair Roberts DRAG CITY CD/Dl/LP

Elegant, eloquent follow-up to 2013's Hirta, Roberts' collaboration with poet Robi n Robertson. - - Alasdair Roberts might be quietly escalating toward Scottish national trei;lsure status. A consistently warm, but never complacent folk seduction, his music invites you into a vivid, peat and whisky-tinted fiefdom of everyday human triumphs and travails. This, Roberts' tenth solo album, proffers 11 typically rustic-yetsophisticated ballads, with his lattice·like picked guitar and high, heathery vocals sporadically abetted by daubs of darinet, harmonium, tin whistle and percussion. Opening track The Way Unfavoured channels the minstrel spirit of Alex Campbell, while you can practically taste Honour Song 's "wine and whisky a-flowin'• and sense the deep melancholy in Th e Problem Of Freedom as Roberts asks his


has the ring of absurd understatement - from brain cancer in August 2013. Having tried to work on new songs but understandably failing to find much inspiration, his four cone.agues came together earlier the following year, •aching for the sumrne~. and set on creating a record Brookes himself had been determined to make. A quality of absence runs deep in Modem Nature, evident in the way that the music can be tentative, thoughtful, and sometimes dislocated, wit h a profound sense of space. Such touchstones as avant-disco trailblazer Arthur Russell and Curtis Mayfield are manifested In musical economy, and a constant sense of understatement (In seeming tribute to Brookes, loops abound, and the drums are a subtle pr.esence, at most). The

lover to "share with me the faded rays of summer". Indeed, these self-penned songs feel so timelessly authentic they m ight have been dredged from the deep well of traditional British Isles song from which Roberts regularly sips. David Sheppard



Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating The Music Of "Inside Llewyn Davis" NONESUCH 2·CD/DL 13·LP

Bracing live album shares only seven songs of 34 with the Coens' movie. Which Side Are You On? Elvis Costello <lnd Joan Baez fiercely enquire towards the end of this all -star show at New York Town H<lll in autumn, 2013 - reminding oldsters that the answer's a lot harder to come by now than back in the '60s of fictional Greenwich Village aspirant Davis. But the album's no fence-sitter. it hits hard almost for the duration - though,

clearly, many love venerable turgidity Four Strong Winds (Con or Oberst stymied by it here). The players excel and su rprise in unpredicted settings. Who'd have imagined Jack White capering through Tom Paxton's Did You Hear John Hurt? But the best performances step to the steady measure of country stoicism, as Secret Sisters, The Aven Brothers, Bobby Neuwirth, Rhiannon Giddens and Marcus Mumford (right inside Dylan's I Was Young When I Left Home) present trad(ish ) tunes in many different shades of grace. Phil Succllffe




abiding soul Influence sometimes brings to mind such additional Influences as Al Green circa 1974's explore$ Your Mind, and -via the group's Mod associations, and in the best possible way- The Style Council. When all this coheres, it does so to admirable effect. Contrary to the idea that The Charlatans were fat:ed to be forever shuffling around Deep Purple's version of Joe South's Hush, past albums have found them taking on new textures and influences. But what happens here is something else again. Talking Jn Tones is all analogue percussion, unsettling synths, and apparent references to the band's loss (#1 feel strengthened by your presence,. sings nm Burgess). Come Home Baby begins as an understated, '70s Memphis-like groover - built around Martin Blunt's cool, foregrounded bassline - and then explodes with an unlikely euphoria into a chorus with faint echoes of The Beach Boys. Let The Good Times Be Never Ending (featuring Dexy.s' 'Big' Jim Paterson on trombone) seems conventional enough, but snaps Into a two-and-ahaIf minute instrumental coda that combines Northern soul aesthetics with the ghost of acld house. In all these cases you would often not believe you were listening to the Charlatans at all. Some of the rest is a little slfght; In places, Burgess's characteristically blank vocals are as much of an acquired taste as ever. There again, what at first sounds unconvincing can uncoil - as evidenced by Emilie (assisted by New Order's Stephen Morris), which reveals Itself to be one of the prettiest, most delicately arranged things The Charlatans have ever done. To drop another Modernist reference, Modern Nature has echoes of Paul Weller's fairly recent journeys Into the musical beyond: Kagouls thrown to the floor, stereotypes gleefully shredded, and this remarkable band of survivors rising from tragedy to make their most remarkable record in years.

heavyweight competition as Portishead and Massive Attack, while later forays into prog and post-rock further muddied their pitch. It's done Darius Keeler's resolute collective no harm across the Continent, however, especially In France where they pack arena-sized venues. Theirtenth album is grand, moody and elegant in all the right places, suggesting that all is not yet lost on the home front. While the psychobllly squall meets electronic scuzz of Feel It and Ride In Squares' distorted big beat are impressive, it's the tender excursions that Impact most. Primary vocalists Dave Pen and Holly Martin respectively lend the fr<lzz.led lullaby of Third Quarter Storm and gossamer-light hymnal Black And Blue a fragile, bruised soul. Stephen Worthy


Long-serving, post-rocking Brits seek home plaudits. Archive's failure to gain <l ...-.-~ significant foothold in the UK market is peculiar. One theory is that in their mid-'90s trip-hop guise the south L.ondoners fell through the cracks in the face of such

Belle & Sebastian


Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance ROUGH fRADE. CD/DULP

There are diamonds to be mined within the rough of album number nine. Stuart Murdoch's band are

now so far away from the outsider social club nature of the ir origins - nine albums, the Funny Little Frog single and 18 years, in fact - that Belle & Sebastian albun1s will llkely now always come with a caveat of disappointment. Th ere is, for example, no acceptable excuse for the bongosthatopenthe otherwise pleasant Perfect Couples. But like many bands who once mattered to their audience In terms far beyond being something nice to listen to, those who have stuck with the Glasgow act this far will find much to enjoy here. The Cat With The Cream recalls the hushed beauty of debut Tigermilk, while best of all, Enter Sylvia Plath - if you can suppress the giggles - is what Abba might have sounded like if it they'd been raised on Pastels record s. James McMahon

Wu-Tang Clan


A Better Tomorrow WARNl R8ROS CD· DL/LP

air-puncher par excellence. Huffy hipster fans should beware: The Decemberists' seventh is unlikely to weaken their commercial pull. Tom Doyle

New York rap dynasty's 21st anniversary album. Also available as a branded Bluetooth speaker. ~

Theroadtothe ~ -; Wu-Tang Clan's latest family ~, -~ reunion has beena long and bumpy one, punctuated by the very public spats that erupted after 2007's half-cocked 8 Diagrams. With all parties firmly back on-message, production mastermind RZA has developed his gritty '90s template into a warm, bustling soul revue alongside venerable members of Isaac Hayes' band and the Memphis Horns. Even 01' Dirty Bastard raves from the grave on Ruckus In B Minor, lnspectah Deck's rhymes nattily constructed from au couranr TV dramas, while throughout Method Man, Cappadonna and Raekwon prove lyrical torchbearers beyond corn· pare. If there's little of the duelling gamesmanship that made their 1993 debut so remarkable, this is still a joyous comeback, brimming with big screen music. Andy Cowan


The Decemberi sts


Whal A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World ROUGH !RAO[ CD/DL/LP

Portland, Oregon collective cut back the story telling in favour of the personal. Becoming enormous by stealth, The Decemberists were possibly as surprised as everyone else when their 2011 album The King ls Dead debuted at Number 1 in the US. Anticipating how their time -served devotees may be disgruntled by this main· stream crossover, singer Colin Meloy mischievously breaks down the fourth wall here in opener The Singer Addresses His Audience: "We're aware that you cut your hair in the st yle that our drummer wore in the video." What follows is a set heavier on emotion and melody than their previous work, which retains familiar echoes of amplified British folk and The Smiths. Make You Better could be a great, lost crowd-pleasing Billy Bragg number and the rousing A Beginning Song is an

less entertaining that it might have seemed In the planning. On the flipside, Corinne Bailey Rae's Bluebird Is a lovely thing, Dr. John's Let 'Em In noses Allen Toussalnt's Lady Madon na for Southern groove and Hello Goodbye (with James McCartney on keyboards) sounds as if it was specifically wriuen for The Cure. Tom Doyle




Beck Goldsmith

**** Lustre & Curve I



Nottinghamshire- born singer-songwriter returns to the fray. For Beck Goldsmith, Alfred Hitchcock's adaptations of Daphne Du Maurier novels are as much of an inspiration as the music of Sigur Ros and Sharon Van Etten, contemporaries she admires. A closet poet whose adroit lyrics sing even when decoupled from their melodies, she bends her stoic dark folk into filmic shapes. Lusrre &Curve - the careerbest third album Goldsmith thought she'd never make took wing on the back of two seismic happenings: the tender dissolve of her marriage, and the pleasant stir sparked by her cover of I Vow To Thee, My Cou ntry, as featured in the trailer for Derbyshire-set period drama, The Village. Heartsore but galvanised, Goldsmith essayed these beautiful, never selfpitying break-up songs. and Island signed her. Clutching At The Dark is an exquisite study of slow-dawning incompatibility; Above The Embers evokes early-period Tori Amos at her best. James McNair



The Art Of McCartney ,,

n !")Pr CD

l.J lP

Fellow musicians form an orderly queue to pay tribute to Macca. Dreamt up by Los Angeles producer Ralph Sall. The Art Of McCartney is a tribute album and then some: a 34·track double. Shuffling Beatles standards and rarer Wings and solo material (though nothing after 1983), it's gently endorsed by McCa· rtney himself, who lends his crack touring band for many of the tracks. Given its nature, though, It's a mixed affair: Dylan's voice sounds particu· larly shot on Things We Said Today and the idea of Barry Gibb singing When I'm 64 is


Plush man returns, sets TARD IS controls to 1966. Having infa· LflUt1f' mously spent most of the naughties ~~ \ side-lined by the mammoth task of completing and secur· ing release for his lush opus Fed, Uam Hayes has been uncharacteristically produc· live of late, releasing his first album since 2009's Bright Penny last year (Korp Sole Roller), scoring Roman Coppola's A Glimpse Inside The Mind Of Charles Swan Ill, and now returning with his fifth full-length, his first for Fat Possum. Leaving behind the Nyro·esque piano reveries and ersatz soul of previous albums, Slurrup screams "1966!", its aching chord changes and spare, effervescent production delivering bubblegum rock and Bacha· rach·style pop with the lightest dusting of psychedelic glitter. Underneath the period detail, however, lie songs that are vivid of hook and big of

S j_.I]

heart, from the acid bite of Nothing Wrong, to the limber garagey rush of Fokus, to the tender, sweet Long Day. On this evidence, Hayes's newfound prolificacy certainly hasn't exhausted his gift for timeless pop. Stevie Chick

Jack Savoretti

** Written In Scars

Chip Taylor


The Little Prayers Trilogy



English-Italian singersongwriter fails to stir despite company of Adele/ Paolo Nutini collaborators. Four albums in, Ja ck Savoretti has yet 10 properly make his name or, indeed, find a distinctive voice. It's perhaps unsurprising that his early career saw him tour branches of Caffe Nero, since he rarely stretches beyond vanilla coffee-table acoustic balladry. Home features a chanting chorus a bit too calculating in Its overtures to Radio 2, The Other Side Of Love dabbles In house-lite, while Tie Me Down is a Mumfords-scyled folky hoed own without the wideeyed passion. Even his tackling of Dylan rarity Nobody 'Cept You sounds strangely blood· less in a John Lewis ad-friendly way. There is no denying Savoreui's nimble musicianship - spotlit on the flamenco picking which opens the title track - and pleasantly grainy vocal, but Written In Scars tends to waft along, lacking in character and Invention. Tom Doyle



Intimate triple-album set from songwritlng legend. At an age when anyone else who wrote Wild Thing and Angel Of The Morning would be kicking back on the royalties, 74-year·old Chip Taylor hasn't been able to put down his songwriting pen. The 30 songs on these three conjoined albums - Behind An Iron Door, Love & Pain and Little Prayers - could equally have spent their time reclining as a treasure trove of songs waiting for others to record. Sung so close to the micro· phone you can hear Taylor wetting his lips, Behind The Iron Door hosts a multitude of desperadoes bent on salvation; Love& Pain is rawer and more autobiographical (ironically, Nothing Com in' Out Of Me That I Like addresses writer's block); Little Prayers gets really Intimate, a true late-nlgh1-round-thekitchen·table LP. Sprawling and reflective, this trilogy is an ebbing, flowing , crowning glory to a storied career. Andy Fyfe

Uniform stan ce: The Decemberist s, ready t o address t heir audien ce.

Positive thoughts Skewed soul from the American south, via the garage and the streets. By Tom Doyle.

Curtis Harding

**** Soul Power IN SPITE OF its prosaic title and bare-chested, Al Green-ish cover shot (Which factors a rebellious puff on a fag into the equation), Soul Power is by no means a straightforward soul album. While the modern incarnation of the genre typically

Colleen Rennison


features some aspect of electronics or beat programming, Michigan-born Curtis Harding favours an entirely pre-digital approach, refracted through indie looseness the singer/guitarist accurately self-labelling his music "slop'n'soul". It's a tag befitting someone whose side projects involve hook-ups with Cole Alexander of vomiting punkers Black Lips and Brett Hinds of prog metallers Mastodon. Similarly, Harding's backstory is one with a familiar narrative arc, and yet unexpected twists. As a kid he travelled state-to-state in the US performing in churches with his gospel singer mother, thougn sometimes they took to the streets to spread the word, utilising a lo-ft set-up involvfng a karaoke machine and a battery-

Neil Young, Robbie Robertson and Leonard Cohen boss the songbook, with BookerT. Jones, Billy Cowsifl and Townes Van Zandt the big names south of the border. Bobbie Gentry's Fancy is the closest fit to the original, and Colleen is a worthy heiress to the Chickasaw singer·songsmith's mantle. Twelve tunes. no duds, great band, great singer rootslness at it s finest. Mar Snow

See The Sky

About To Rain



*** Snakes & Ladders

What if Bobbie Gentry had fronted the Flying Burritos or The Band? Had Miley Cyrus fled child screen stardom towards rootsy rock rather than away, then Colleen Rennison might have a rival. Displaying hardly less leg and a deal more sing ing talent than smiley Miley, Vancouver's Colleen Rennison debuted as band leader with No Sinner (see what Rennison did there?) and last year's terrific album of mostly originals, 800 Hoo Hoo. Its three covers revealed an ~ interpretive singer of warmth, humour and nuance, and ~ here's a whole solo album's ~ worth. Canada's golden ~ generation of Joni Mitchell,




Unpredictable godfather of grime 's reflective swansong. No one has had a greater influence on grime than Wiley. The Bow-born MC and producer has been a reliably voluble and charismatic presence, with the unstinting work ethic to match. Creating music has seemed such a manic compulsion, it's a major surprise that his tenth fullfength is also, apparently, his last. Despite sounding firmly

on top of his game on lean, lithe anthems On A Level, No Skylarking and Step 21, Snakes & Ladders is also frustratingly uneven, the Roll Deep founder striking a major false note on the trap-inspired Lonely alongside US rappers JR Writer, Gudda Gudda, Problem and Cam'ron. Wiley more than atones with the surprisingly tender reflections of What's On Ya Mind, dusting off a percolating ambient beat with the casual insouciance of a true master. Andy Cowan

Justin Townes Earle


Absent Fathers LOOS~

driven keyboard. Settling In Atlanta, Harding was drawn to the city's punk clubs, falling hard for the Pistols and the Ramones. The latter fact is evident in the more garagey number.s on Soul Power. the rattling Surf with Its wordless hollered hookline; the playful upbeat shuffle of I Don't Wanna Go Home. It's perhaps no surprise to learn that Jack White ls already a fan. This abrasive meld of rock and soul adds real vim ro a record that only sounds ordinary at one point, the Doors-echoing Roadhouse Blues lope of Drive My Car. Throughout, stirring new ingredients into tried-and·trusted formulas yields heady results, such as the whooshing analogue white noise sound effects that blow through the ominous, rolling groove of The Drive or the tremolo guitartopped groover Beautiful People, featuring Harding's liquid croon piped through a swirling Leslie speaker for gently trippy effect. Similarly, strummy opener Next Time could be Happy Mondays' Kinky Afro reworked, via time machine, in the early ?Os at Muscle Shoals. The one stylistic anomaly, albeit a welcome one, is the relatively played· straight disco era Bobby Womack shape of Heaven's On The Other Side, with Its proto syndrums and vintage string machine nourishes. There's an added sense of enn\JI here. ·1 miss you," Harding laments, "but the dancefloor's right here." It's one of many affecting moments. In the skinshedding, big-voiced litany of Castaway, the singer is part Otis Redding, part Timothy Leary: ·cast it away, focus your brain, relax yourself, detach yourself." This blending of expected and unexpected makes Soul Power something altogether special, along with an old-school live vitality further informed by the knowledge that it was recorded within an intense two-week period. Soul power he may have, but what makes Curtis Harding such a tantalising proposition is his raw power.

If-conve rsation-had-a-tune he pours out and over you. It's subtle, it won't grab you by the lapels, much fess the jockstrap or G-string, but it does carry that twangy tang of life: viz picky-plunky nagging match Least I Got The Blues ("You're no woman, a woman's got heart"), torrential lament Farther From Me (" haunted by the ghost of a child's hopes"), or the teeth-grittingly grooving surrender to paternal failure Calf Ya Momma ("Tell her I ain't doin' you right"). Like a musical Relate, the vinyl version pairs Absent Fathers with the recent Single Mothers and dose textual study may reveal - or tease - about how much Earle family (auto) biography lies within . Phil Sutcliffe


long streak of blue country brifllance and a companion piece to his recent Single Mothers album. There's a beauty to Earle the younger's work whether he's inclining to blues or soul or, right here, a folkie kind of pared-down country. It's the flow. The lazy-river current of sinuous verbo-melodic

Night Flights


Night Flights: Volume One AGrrATEO CD/Dl/LP

Two thirds of US psych rockers Carlton Melton on a synth-powered voyage to the stars. Piloted by Carlton Melton's Rich Millman, with additional steering from Andy Duvall,

Night Flights' debut longplayer is a heady, mufti-stage excursion Into deepest analogue space. Taking th eir name from a cult 'BOs TV show, their sound is heavily indebted to the cosmic emanations of vintage synthesizer wizards like Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze and Brian Eno, as well as horror score creepers John Carpenter and Fabio Frizzi. Setting the bar high with the title track's near 15 minutes of gorgeously radiant tone-float, the rest of the album offers minor key moonscapes (Origins), slo·mo psychedelic shimmer (Alpha Jerk) and the kind of fo·fl menace normally found accon1panying Italian zombie films (Corpse Strut). Mastered for optimum aural effect by Monster Magnet's John McBain, these are headphone meditations of the first order. Andrew Carden

Sly & Robbie

**** Dubrising TABOU I OL/lP

Capti vati ng dubs of recent Taxi productions, mixed by Groucho Smykle. In addition to backing Peter Tosh and Grace Jones on world stages, and crafting individual studio works with Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger, Sly & Robbie have always maintained their core careers at home. the drum-and-bass production duo consistently making hits in Jamaica from the mid -1970s to the present. This new dub album reunites them with an inventive remix maestro, Paul 'Groucho' Smykle, for their first collabo rative set in over 30 years. Here Groucho dubs recent works the Rhythm Twins cut with the likes of Horace Andy, Chezidek, and Bunny Rugs of Third World, for the French Tabou 1 label; he roped in Dan Donovan of Big Audio Dynamite too, to spice things up with new keyboard parts. The result is a contemporary take on the sound achieved on dassic dub works like Raiders Of The Lost Dub and A Dub Experience, and Is thus highly recommended .

David Karz

BC Camplight


How To Die In The North BfllAUNION CD/DL/ LP

New Jersey-raised piano pop maverick Brian Christinzio reborn in the north. This Nilssonesque showboater's two cultishly appreciated albums from 2005 and 2007 preceded a self-destructive spiral; he finally surfaced in Manchester (long story) to drink himself to death while recording a last will and testament. With health and sanity restored, How To Die... is an exhilarating step beyond those albums' late·'60s foundations (Brian

Wilson and Todd Rundgren are other references) and piano settings. It comes laced with excoriating self-examination: failed education (slick, bouncy intro You Should've Gone To School), the folly of relation ships (the Odessey And Oracle dazzle of Love Isn't Anybody's Fault). atoning for former crimes (strangely '80s esca pade Thieves In Antigua) and apparent personal tragedy (the baleful ballad Atom Bomb). With Martin Hannettstyle sonic wizard Martin King providing ample crisp dynamics, Christinzio sounds both lost and found, with epic bitter and sweet notes.

Martin Aston

Grace Griffith


Passing Through BUX ST11EET CD/DL

Folk music that shows emotion on every level. One of Washington DC's finest folk singers, Griffith has been piling up the plaudits for a couple of decades or more. Her biography recalls that she was once lead singer with Celtic band The Hags (Mary Chapin Carpenter was her replacement) and that she was responsible for advancing the career of Eva Cassidy. Here she endows an eclectic array of material with simplistic beauty. Jennifer Cutting's tender The Leaves Of Autumn is delivered in stunning a cappella, while trad itional favourite Down By The Salley Gardens ls enhanced by only a modicum of Celtic harp. A more unlikely offering, an interpretation of eden ahbez's Nature Boy, a US hit back in 1948, still enchants, in the company of a lone guitarist. What additionally tugs the heartstrings is that this could be Griffith's final recording. A battle against Parkinson's disease has reduced her to living in a nursing home. But

that crystalline voice remains wonderfully unimpaired.

Fred Del/or

Large Unit




Mammoth triple disc outing from aptly named Nordic jazz super-troupers. Formed in the summer of 2013 after drummer PaaI Nilssen-Love was gifted the opportunity to assemble his own dream outfit, Large Unit are an 11-piece powerhouse of Norwegian jazz/improv talent. With their live debut at the Molde Jazz Festival providing the basis for the First Blow EP, this first full-length proper is a formidable collection of more recent live and studio recordings from a group who sound like they've been together years not months. Staking out his own sound while simulta· neously drawing on time spent in similarly hefty ensembles led by Peter Brlitzmann, Ken Vandermark and Frode Gjerstad, Nilssen -Love takes his cohorts on an energised, often violently expressive foray into gale-force freedom, boisterous inter-band duels and muscular swinging that amply rewards as many return visits as time allows.

Andrew Carden

Simon Purcell


Red Circle Excellent debut u leader for respected fnz ducator and performer. A WELL-KNOWN name In jazz educat ion and academic circles for over 20 years and a mentor to and teacher of many top British Jazz musicians, pianist /composer Purcell hasn't found the time to record until now. An expansive, clever record broadly In tne acoustic p~t-bop tradition, Red Orcte nevermeless wears its braininess lightly. The thoughtful and Intricate themes are mysteriously Inviting, o rganically accommodating the players' characterful contrlburlons Purcell, Julian Siegel (sax), Chris Batchelor (trumpet), Steve Watts (bass) and Gene Calderano (drums) are old playing pals and It shows. They generate a great ensemble vibe with the sort of relaxed Intensity that can only corne with genui ne chemistry. Purcell leads and p lays With a benign wisdom while Calderazzo once more stokes and pokes llke a master provocateur. Worth the wait. · - ---- - -- - ----~- --- --··----·····-··----------

The Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band




The pipes and drums of the Thai highlands. World music was once dismissed as exotic pipeplaying for the laughably well-meaning; this debut, updating the rural sounds of northeastThailand's molam groove, goes some way to righting that wrong. Featuring Sawai Kaewsombat on khaen, a mouth organ made from long bamboo pipes (it sounds like out-of-tune car horns), and Kammao Perdtanon on phin, a long-necked guitar, this is trance music that hits as hard as a palm-wine hangover. The update comes via drum kit and reggae-influenced bass, which underpin the groove as the two leads duel or take turns at bombarding your brain. Though tracks such as Lam San Disco and Pu Tai Dub are as d ifferent as their names sug gest, it's entirely instrumental so, over the whole, variety is at a premium. Despite that, it rocks like the original singles and rolls more convincingly.

David Hutcheon

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..................................................» .................................... .

Stuart McCallum

Nigel Price Organ Trio


Hit The Road


.3. "1> •

Mike Walker/ Beholden

2lst Century Molam






This beaunful duet recording fe.iture~ Manchester guitar maste1s i.l19htly to the left of Jazz. Though both known a~ electrk players, Walker (of the lmpossibk! Gentlemen) and McCallum (cf the Cinematic Orchestra) combine their acousuc lnsttuments to haundng t!ffect. It'~ 11 dre.imlike ~lc:nge of folksy chamber jazz. wtth echces of Ralph TowMr, Bill Frisell, Bon lver and even Anthony Phillips-era Genes·s.

1'0sibly the twrdest gigging musldan on rhe UK scene. Ni9el Prb! purve~ =;;;:i a no-nonsense brand of groove·jan that just doesn't get old. Whetller a steaming bl~(Gol), a multlmettlc reinvention (UJJ Jum~ !>prlng)or.., blflowlng, walkil\Q ballad (Orcamsvillel, the gultarisrand Pete Whln:aker (organ) and Matt Home (drums) swing greasy and sweet. r1avouring everything with µlqUdnt blues.

Jim Rattigan

Fl'Cmk Harrison

** *


'A\'1 ·ON 0 DI

A charming trlO set led by French horn matltto Rattigan along~de stimulating 11ianlst Uam Noble and sparkling violinist Thomas Gould. Rattlgan's comf.>Oshlons are, dr.imatlc. .ind dyn.imlc w"t h many a dalllJerous cc;rMr and sufl#rlsing twist, hondled by ailwhh modest aplomb. Hlghliyhrs inc.lude th~ fizzy. Oght-hearted wdlt.z Swett Tam.-irlnd and the moody meditation Dreamer.

" " "' IOOAh



Live At The Verdict Ll\V.,

) Ol


Wllether of Gllad Atzmon's tremendou~ Orient House Enst!mbk! or IN<ling his own trio. Frank Harrison has steadily devel<>f.)ed into a plclnist ofgreat depth and character, never sualnlng for effect. telling It just htlw It Is. His trio fee1turlng Delve Whitford {b.iss) c1nd Enzo Zirilli (drums) arecavghr llve i n this dt!llghtful, )f)Ontaneous set lull of wit, subtlety and gorgeous stf"!ngcness.




l;;;;;o~~~~~~-=;;;;;;;;=-~~~~~~-=;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;..,;;;;;;j B MOJO 93


Nat alie Prass: giving a voice t o the loser i n love.

Euros Childs

**** Eilaag


Don't rest on your ivories, Senor Gonzales, there's a new kid on the solo piano block.


Wild Billy Childish & CTMF



Return to form for the Medway man on CTMF's second album. Childish revisits the Brit Invasion sound of Thee Headcoats on this second album under the CTMF ba nner. An extended version of single Punk Rock Enough For Me spells out where he's coming from: "Leadbelly in a field ... John Lee Hooker wit hout Santana ... Hendrix in Beatie boots.. . Billie Holiday at the p iano... a cup of tea .. . is punk rock enough for me,• he screams over a collision of clattering drums, pounding bass and Link Wray searing guitar. On It's So Hard To Be Happy, he snarls the title refrain repeatedly over a Kinksia n backdrop. What ls This False Life You're Leading, voiced by Nurse Julie, is Headcoatees-styled sassy, attitudi· nal punk. Childish calls it, •the sound of yeste rday tomorrow": it's his yesterday, and he sounds the most determined he has In over two decades. Lois Wilson

Natalie Prass

**** Natalie Prass


Debut for Nashville escapee, 28, recorded with help from k .d . lang's Daniel Clarke. Aided by former high c school band~ mate Michael l,? E. White, for~ mer backing it: singer Natalie Prass's debut


luxuriates in the same effortlessly timeless space as Rumer's Seasons Of My Soul and I Am Shelby Lynne: a sonic life lived in the same melodic echo chamber as Dusty In Memphis, complete with banquet hallfilling strings and a honky tonk band, but a lyrical one which exists on the cracked pavements of modern romance. Her voice is crisp but clipped (recalling the sweet, high register of Syreeta) and feels like the sound of a disappointment being voiced. It adds extra touches of vulnerability to opener My Baby Don't Understand Me ("Where do you go when the only home you know is with a stranger? " she sings), Why Don't You Believe In Me and Christy - her very own Jolene -giving a voice to t he loser in the oftencruel game of love. Priya £/an




Mars Volta duo's new project owes more to Hot Snakes than Hot Rats. Imagine that, after splitting At The Drive-In in 2001, just as a breakthrough beckoned, Omar Rodrfguez-L6pez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala didn 't form questing jazz/prog/salsa arkestra The Mars Volta, and instead veered o ff in the opposite direction, toward brevity and accessibility. That's the sound of the duo's latest project, Antemasque, and their debut album is a blistering, breathless set of dynamic, high-impact punk rock aiming straight for heart and jugular. Singing in English rather his own invented dialect, Cedric howls righteous hooks and unabashedly catchy choruses, which Omar sets to pulveris·

ing, compulsive riffs (I Got No Remorse, People Forget). However, the duo lose none of their power or mystique in this sharper focus - the smouldering, sulphurous Providence sounds like an outtake from Led Zeppelin's Presence; the closing Rome Armed To The Teeth contains a rock opera's-worth of drama in under three minutes. Stevie Chick

Just A Hair's Breadth is almost Peter Skellern - nothing trite, just a tender assertion that, if we hang on, things can turn out to be splendid. Revealing and u pliftl ng

Glyn Brawn

Black Roots

Former Gorky's Zygotic Mynci frontman Euros Childs has come far since the days when his band mates would roll their eyes as he struggled to restrain the seemingly random eructations of a malfunctioning Korg synth. The delicacy and precl· sion of this subtly Irresistible nine-track sequence of piano meditations testify to a process of creative evolution, which has been nonetheless dramatic for being largely unher· aided. Rather than unbalancing the whole, the three tracks with vocals skilfully employ Childs' familiar warm tones to unfamiliar effect, as an accent - almost like a pedal. And the characteristically gnomic song-titles (eight-minute opener Triplet Blossoms And The Cave for starters) belie music of rare directness and emotional power, equally beguiling to those who scour the Internet for slowed down performances of Erik Satie, and fans of Bobby Crush. Ben Thompson



Upfront roots from long· standing Bristol reggae act.



Chromatics ~ULL TIMf HOBBY. CO/Dl/LP

Diagrams' electronica-heavy debut followed by something " more direct", they say. Sam Genders started Diagrams while still in folktronic artisans Tunng; Black Light, Diagrams' debut, burst with effects, programmed beats and funk grooves. Now Genders has moved to Sheffield, where things are 'very open and d irect', and dec.ided to keep It real. Chromatics begins glitteringly; Phantom Power is shiny, joyous pop complete with whistle-along chorus and the warmth of Genders' Derbyshire brogue. Gentle Morning Song is better still, a naggingly lovely melody with careful lyrics ("I hear the gentle morning song/Of the drunken girls.. .'1. There follows a gentle slide into introspection; no bad thing. Amid rolling melodies, Genders dwells on themes of loneliness and that hard-to-find thing, hope: one track features the determined beat of an embryo's heart .

Formed in 1979 in Bristol reggae hotspot St Paul's. Black Roots put forward a West Country brand of roots reggae, their lyrics lashing out against Thatcherism while the music's rock shadings leant a broad appeal, gaining them early support from John Peel. Very much masters of their own destiny, the independentminded band has maintained its integrity during a 35-year history, and new album Ghetto Feel delivers the kind of socially conscious roots reggae that has always constituted their output, with live horns and fine vocal harmony adding depth. The title track here draws on the universality of ghetto life, be it in Jamaica, Britain, France or the USA; The Earth recounts each soul's singular journey from a Rastafari perspective, and closing number Stuck Pon Waff laments the state of contemporary Britain, moving backwards with David Cameron in the driving seat. David Katz



Waiting For A Sign SWIM CO/LJ>

Fourth album In 10 years worked up in the studio from start. No discussion allowed! One good thing about taking a five-year sabbatical - at least in Githead's case - is you come back sounding reinvigorated. The spontaneous way in which this was created was a risk worth taking, especially as with guitarist Colin Newman -also of Wire-and bassist Malka Spigel, you have two vocalists and writers who can fashion great pop melodies out of a handful of chords. The band sound groovier, with Max Franken's drumming crisp and spare, as Newman and fellow guitarist Robin Rimbaud (aka Scanner) play intricate picking patterns and staccato chords, while Spigel's buoyant, mobile bass gives their music a sort of internal swing. A mentholated ambience wafts around Newman on the dreamy For The Place We're In, and he and Spigel alternate vocals on the title track, a guitar mantr<i with irresistible momentum. Mike Barnes

Willie Nelson & Sister Bobbie

*** December Day:

Willie's Stash Vol.l LEGACY. COIOL

First instalment in 11 series of previously unreleased recordings. For years Willie Nelson and his piano-playing sister, Bobbie, have occupied their time on the Family Band tour bus wending their way through songs old and new, Willie strumming the battered guitar he calls Trigger and Bobbie pounding a mini-keyboard. Now they' ve placed 18 of their sibling get·togethers on an album, providing a kind of all-encompassing jukebox that spans many eras, many music forms. Irving Berlin is remembered by such songs as Alexander' s Ragtime Band and two waltzes, Always and What'll I Do, while Willie recalls his love of Django jazz with a reprise of Reinhardt's ever-lovely instrumental Nuages. Several Nelson originals fill out the playing time, the most beguiling being the Summer Of Roses/ December Day amalgam, but Laws Of Nature suffers from an ill-fitting lyric. In total, a pleasant, charm-filled release but no great addition to the Nelson canon .

Fred Del/or

Alex Highton


Nobody Knows Anything GARI' OU NORO. CD/OL

Members of The Clientele, The Memory Band and The Leisure Society guest. Loose I y based • upon the mult ifarious thoughts and memories someone might have just prior to dying, Alex Highton's eminently playful second album teems with ideas, all of them good. It's also a philosophical affair, this Liverpool-born, part Flor-

• '


ence, Italy-raised talent railing at the •certainties" presented to him by •religions and politl · clans". Taking in ingenious, skewed pop ci la XTC (It Falls Together). bucolic folk with ragtime clarinet (You Don't Own This Life), and distinctive, gravitas-laden piano balladry (Somebody Must Know Something ), it's a work that defies categorisation, but Highton 's vision is refreshingly assured throughout. like his rated 2012 debut Woodditron Wives Club (sic), Nobody Knows Anything thrives by thinking outside the box: moments ofSufjan Stevens-like audacity; an ambush of bristling powerpop guitars; a guest spot from the dentist who lives next door surprise Is Highton's weapon of choice.

James McNair



Ornithophobia NAIM. CO/OL

Post-jazz meets prog rock on sci· fi concept album . Back in the early '70s, before the Sex Pistols plugged in, a knotty strain of prog rock/jazz played by the likes of Gentle Giant, Egg and Hatfield And The North, full of j erky time signatures and key changes, quietly flourished on the fringes of the pop landscape. Troyka, who i ndude the Mercury-nominated keyboardist Kit Downes plus guitar and drums, accidentally or on purpose evoke those gatefold sleeved times. What's more, this is loosely a concept album, charting a fantast ical, birdbased pandemic. But Troyka are no nostalglsts: the rhythms and textures of Aphex Twin, Mogwai and hip-hop also influence these nine clever instrumentals. On Troyka Smash, Swedish producer Petter Eldh samples acoustic recordings of the band and turns them into an entirely new composition. On the closing Seahouses they show they can do dreamy and atmospheric, too. Brainy music is back - about time.

John 8ungey

Jessica Pratt


*** On Your Own Love Again DRAG CITY CO/Ol/LP

Second outing from this strange chanteuse - and the first actually Intended as an album . San Franciscan Jessica Pratt doesn't like the term 'freak folk', that neb· ulous descriptive of the early 2000s; but I'm afrai d it suits her to a T. Back then it meant artists blurring the boundaries of pa.St and present, hunting for kindred spiri ts across time. But there's this and something far odder to Pratt, who sounds like a benevolent, spooky alien just fallen to Earth and beginning to feel, deeply and disconcertingly. The voice? Oh, that's a kind of preternaturally ancient little girl, the offspring of Nico, a cracked honky-tonk angel from a bygone age, and a kitten . Sepia-toned, plaintive and unadorned other than by picked acoustic, she croons her innocent, intimate songs of love, misunderstanding and hope. A j azzy, Joni Mitchell feel to tracks like Moon Dude ma ke up for occasional selfindulgent rambling. Witchy and hypnotic.

Jim White Vs The

Packway Handle Band


Take It Like A Man "[]> 'IOC. ~D 1>l


South rn gothic metaphysKiAn m"ets bluegras' qu1nlet.

SO, JIM White has a seoet b luegrass side. Since that styll' Is as fond of the dark as he is, It 's less surprising than It was

Silk Rhodes

encountering his inner happy person on 2007's Tronsnormal Sldperoo. But White is known for hi s strange, dreamy, smart-ash ell son gs - smart about the darll, chaotic South and about his own personal dark chaos. And the Packways, from Athens, Georgia - jaunty punkgrass 1vith a dash of Stones - are no Ralph Stanley. They asked White to produce them, played tlim their songs, he played them his, and a collaboration was born. There is one co-wrlte here (beer-on-the-backporch speedgrass Com Pone Refugee), otherwise five apiece, alternated, starting w ith the dark words and light touch of White's fine Smacl< Dab In A Big Tornado. There's tears-ln·the-beer country, an angiy field song, but the killer Is Sorr ow's Shine. Classic Jim White, It 's tiaunting and literate. almost unbearably beautiful.

Silk Rhodes

• •' '

Glyn Brown









A DIY take on classic soul that's more heavenly than hipstery. This Baltimore duo began as a pair of sonic terrorists, broadcasting their musical experiments out of the stereo of a Honda CRV (which they turned Into a makesh ift stu· dio), encouraging passers-by to contribute or, indeed, throw rocks . Pie nty of that devil-may-care attltude survives intact on their won derfully scrappy debut. The sandbox of the outrageously monikered vocalist Sasha Desree and producer Michael Collins is filled with evocative approximations of '70s soul, such as the Delfonics·like Barely New and the Rhodesfilled Realtime. If the lo-fi atmosphere conjures up an image of Hall & Oates playing inside a grubby adult cinema and skits like Laurie's Machine suggests a helping of postmodernism, the overall impression is that Silk Rhodes are heart-on-sleeve sincere about this high-concept tribute: this isn't a game of musical dress-up. In fact, it's the album you wish Ariel Pink or Har Mar Superstar would make but haven' t.

.. ····-··-··!.

The Gourds


* **


All The Labor w!:.~"'<'l'ort.o. <..:.


.... *In The West


A dozen-<>dd albums Into their 20-yearcareer, these rambunctious roots rockers now Stdr In a mollie about themselves. Here's the sound track· t8career-encompasslng songs recorded &veduri119 1999-2012. There're ballads (Rc1'nb1' In Port Arthur's c1 gem), fine instrumentals, bllt mostly rousing, soulful TelCCls s.iloonbar-vla-garage victory marches. DVD I~ from HlghPliilns Rim.



Reed Foehl fronted Acoustic Junction untll lS )'ec11$ ago

,. J

and somehow I've missed his solo aree.r until now. This d a fine album and nothing like the goofy sleeve photo suggests.. Its seven songs (Steal Away sounds as ifir's been around forcV't!r) arc lovely and ITISt.antly addictive slow-drifting or mkf·tempo country roc:k - 11s .ire his vuke. guitar and band.


Doug Seegers


**** Tc. The River

Link or Cbain: A

GoUlgDown PC ( "CJ'R 1.. o.

Any movieofDoug Seegers' lif-e would

show a si~lY· something homeless busker discov.,red In a Nashville soup kitchen by a Swedish country star. This ls his debut and it's diimn good. Ht:'s a wonderful singer, the bclnd - which Includes Will Kimborough and Emmylou Harris, who duets on a a>verof Gram Parsons' She - i~ gre.ii. c1nd sever.ii of~rs' comJJOsitlons (Angle's Song; Going Down To The River) sound llke d•s.sks.


Songwriters Tribute To Chris Smither 'AU-V.TV·l~ !let.I~))

D &.

'Mighty". Mary G.luthie< calls the folk/blut'S sl~r songwriter whose 70th birthday this hour-long album celebrates through IS covers. many from big Americana na~ Among the hl'JhHghts here: Josh Ritter on Rosalie; Aoife O'OonOviln & Stephanie Coleman's Small Rcl.'eldtioru; 6onnk! R<>ltt giving us Love Me Like A Man live; Mark Erelll and Jeffrey Fouc.tult duetting on Song For Susan. SS

Priya £/an


• ,, ' I~· ; .


";. ~ ... :.i.:-" ....





II! !!!!:








The Advisory Circle

Jack Adaptor

All We Are


] 'A ccuse!

All We Are

From Out Here

3l00P MUSIC. CO/ClilP



An album of adroit pop charm from a duo comprising Paul 'Fred' Frederick of erstwhile indie heroes The Family Cat and Christopher Cordoba, J'Accuse! is so curiously eclectic it can be hard to pin down, which is to its credit. CP

With smooth surfaces and lissom grooves, this trio's future pop debut is almost synthetically pristine. Happily, odd flushes of human emotion - Ebb/Flow's breakdown or Something About You's gentle exhalation - add warmth. CP

More deliciously downbeat analogue instrumentals from Jon Brooks, conjuring a mood of sci-fi dread for a parallel '70s Britain of military coups, Post Office mind·control and communist exercise vids. AM




Matthew Edwards And The Unfortunates




Brit singer-songwriter with tasteful arrangements of pedal steel, piano and strings on warm songs; Edwards' adenoidal baritone appeals. JB

Gov't Mule


The Chemistry Experiment


CormacO Caoimh


Gongs Played By Voices

The Moon Loses Its Memory



Nottingham quintet whose flute ·edged songs are as tuned· In to the prog sorcery of King Crimson as the reflective rootsiness of Will Oldham.JB

Acoustic gems from the Cork singer-songwriter. Each song superglues to the memory, while the settings, though simple, are enveloping. FO

Emma Hill

The Living Eyes


Aldous Harding

Dark Side Of The Mule

Aldous Harding

*** Denali

**** Living Large





Kiwi folkle with hemispheric symmetry to Northumberland outsider Richard Dawson; or a less twee Joanna Newsom. References to Baudelaire and Gormenghast, soft chanting and singing saws add gothic mystery to beguiling debut. JB

Like Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Alaskan Hill and Bryan Daste (guitar, banjo, steel) play folk-bluegrass but less sepia·shaded and hypnotic. Highlights: t he Calexico· ish t itle track and the pretty country of Sad Again. SS

Aussie quartet whose highvigour riffola and hip-shaking punk-soul ri ghtly reveres punk antecedents The Sa ints and Hoodoo Gurus. With t heir very own (I'm ) Stranded in Lig hten Up's fuzzed up horns and melodic muscle. JB

A 90 -minute Pink Floyd covers set from Allman Bras Band offshoot, recorded live in 2008. A deep commitment to performance and inarguable chops, but for unswerving fans only, and not of Pink Floyd. CP



Johnny Trunk FACT Mix471


Lumen Drones

Vladislav Delay

Lumen Drones





Hardanger fiddle master Nils 0kland j oins with guitarist Per Steinar Lie and drummer 0rj an Haaland for cracking collection of languid instrumental drone trio workouts. Ideal for anyone still longing forth e return of The Dirty Three. AM

Inspired after being denied a work permit in the US, peripheral Finnish dancefloor experimenter Delay (aka Sasu Ripatti ) strips out the beats for an eerily rootless modern drift through the electronic depths of Tarkovsky's Zone. AM


-Lau.r a Welsh

Ricked Wicky

*** Soft Control

*** I Sell The Circus



~ Pairing of-t he-moment ~ production whizzery (sub· aqua bass, treated strings, ~ digital clicks and pops) with th is Adele-schooled belter ~ almost guarantees her success. _§ Chic, soulful, but more boom ;r: and swoon than hooks. JB

A work of Pollardian subterfuge, Ricked Wicky is in fact the Guided By Voices man's latest solo guise. Its echoes of '60s Brit Invasion rock, arch lyrics and prime Pollard song -t itle j ibber will sound more familiar. CP



hou gh FACT's main focus lies on t he bleeding edge o f electronic music, they've n ever been afraid to st ep aw ay fro m t he dance floor for th eir est imable w eekly podcast . For t h eir 471st edition, the Trunk Records founder and M OJO contrib utor h as put toget her o ne o f the m ost unique and fasci natin g t ransmissions in the series. Beginning w ith an austere guide o n h ow t o set up a room fo r sex, th e h o ur lon g "lesson in lovemaking" m o ves t h rough lo u nge exotica, Radioph onic exercises, h o m espun Brit psy ch rarit ies and M ary Mitch ell's eyewat eringly ribald Ode To A Screw. Every t h ing y o u w ould expect from M r Trunk, b ut st ill surprising from start to finish . ( )


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•• ••

•l• •• • •••


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•• •• •


South t ondon star-inthe· making's futuristic soul-takeover starts with this sprightly synth-led pop beas t, burnished to a deep shine by his bruising muscular baritone. (SoundCloud)

This highlight from therr collaborative tPGoots findsCretan folk royalty GeorgeXylouris riff out on his luteagainst Jim White'sballeticbrushed drums. Fab apartment too. (Youlube) ....... . ..... .. . . . . ...... . ....

Red fem


............... ............. ,,........................ ............ ····-···-....··-··............ ~


Kwabs Walk


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Glam's dizziest platter and unlikely chart smash gets a 40th anniversary 180gm vinyl makeover, plus second disc of newly unearthed demos. By Martin Aston .


***** Kimono My House UNIVlRSAL LP+Dl

n su1nn·1e r 1975, Spa rks' appearance on Ainerican ·r v institution An1erican Bandstand \Vas prefaced by Ron Mael, resen1bling a S\veaty and slightly unhinged uncle in his dre:.s shirt, tie and Chaplincsque moustache, plonked dO\\' n next to host Dick Clark a nd his teen ,1u<lience, goofily clapping hands and rt:pt'ating, " l'1TI so excited!" Iie had good reason to be excited. Sparks' first t\vo LPs COn1prised songs o f a ITle rc urial, al n1ost bubblegu111-prctty britLleness that, in itial sponsor/producer '!odd Rundgren suggested, ''\vould not relate to the ou tside \vorld"; songs like Girl Fro n1 Gcrn1any (pa re nts haunted by \.VWll are distressed by th(•ir ~on's choice of girlfriend), sung in a piercing ~vhine by Ron's you nger brother, Rus:.ell. Yet a fir~t European tour had prompted a deal fro1TI UK label Island (in a ne\v art rock ~ving alongside l'toxy Music), e nabling the two ran1pan t Anglophile~ fro111 LA to relocate to London. " \ Ve had so niuch respect for so much British music, so to be part 'vas an end in itself," Russell rec:alb. "\.Ve didn't consider con1 n1ercial succei.s because '~'e'd never experie nced it." Yet \vith a ne\v backing band, Sparks recorded an albwTI and " 'atched incredulously as lead single This To,vn Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us rcad1ccl Nun1bcr 2 a nd triggered scenes of screan1ing girls , doubtless enticed by Russell's Bolancsquc prettiness and soft c urls as hC' sang nc'v songs about self~ love, Albert Einstein's niiserable childhood anJ hungled suic ide p acls (he jun1peJ ; sh e changed her mind). " I try to avoid musical c:liches, o r use c:liches in ne' v " ·ayi.," Ron 1\llael reflects. " It\ the i.ame \vith ro1nance. Love songs are ge nerally happy or sad, but there arc rnany \.Yays to put relationships in a ne\v context. -10 turn things o n their head." Perhaps Ron's cxcitn1ent o n An1crican Bandstand \Vas do\vn to Spark5 having t u rned th ings on their head ~vithout con1promising. But Sparks d idn't bother t he LIS Top 50 until 1983, \vhe n their postd isco revamp chimed \Vitb the late blosson1ing o f ne'v \\-ave. Yet in the 1970s, young Sparks had run free. Instead of feeling di~placcd in the dank British " 'inter during the 'three-day ">veek' energy crisis, they'd been energi~ed, liberated. The \vhole of Ki1nono A1y House \vas \vritten on arr ival , and the feverish excite1Tient is palpable in t he albun1's hype ractive pace, Russell's stratospheric notes an<l the scrc\vball invention of Ron'li barbed tragi-


100 MOJO

KEY TRACKS • This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us • Thank God It's Not Christmas • Falling In Love With Myself Again • Equator


" - -·



--._, ..___

"KIMONO:. MYHOUSE i IRONlJi; OUTTHl ·: KINKIN I SS;" ' :· BAMPlDUP THI TEMPOS,, .AND SPUN Ai SUCClSSION •'.•·- - - - - ' ' .~ ·- --~ · - --··. -·- - ~---...!'



· •



.. ..'. HOOKS:~l · .

co1n edies. It's in1printecl in the albun1's opening notes, the slo\v, suspenst>ful crescendo of Ron's staccato piano that unvt·ils 1'his 1·0,vn ... and in the fi rst verse: "l·leartbeat, increasing heartbeat, you hear the th under o f sta 111peding rh inos, e lephants and tacky t igers," beto re gunshot!> ring out and Adrian Fisher (gu ita r), !vt artin Gordon (bass) and D inky Dia111ond (dr utns) cra~ h in, 1nuch like those stan1peding rhinos. -rhe stage ~vas set for gla rn 's dizziest and \Vittiest platter, and g iven Ron's ke)' narrative - fear of \Vo111 {~11 , a nd fa n1ily- the 111ost neurotic. It's also the only one to 111odel its t itle o n • golden age croon er Rosemary Clooney's Co1Tie On-A 1\11 y H o use (the lvlaels \Ve re big on kitsch an<l ephen1e.ra). Sparks' earlie r albun1s bore t races of tbl'ir decla red influe nces - vignette-heavy delicacies by "!'he Kinks, "!'he v\lho and Ton1orro,v, and a niusical reach that tapped prc\var Europe (especially Gerrnany, from Cabaret and -rhe Sound Of Music) as n1uch a t he post-Beatle1. un iver~e. 1-hev '"'ere gla111 before it existed. But the likes o f Girl Fro111 , " GenTiany tou ldn't have co1Tipeted the \\·,1y t he 'ne,-v' Sparks did. In part d ue to A&R man/ producer Muff'>Vin,vood's suggestion of "hard" guitar parts to balance the highpitc hcd J\llacls, Ki111ono iro ned out t he kink iness, ra1nped up tbe ten1pos, and spun a succession of spiralling hooks. " I don't think iliat \Vas a consciou' decision," Ru!>sell cow1ters. "Rut you're right, \Ve '"ere unleashed 'vith this oppo rtunit)' to not ~guandcr t he situat io n. v\lc \.\'anted to sound really fresh, and not consider the consec1uenccs." ·rhat sa i~J , Thi!i To\Vll ... \vas t-..,rice as peculiar as Roxy's Virginia Pla in, flipping through multiple stop-starts, ariastyle peaks and barely a chorus - it \vas a pop art cartoon sho,vn on l~tlAX. Follow-up si ngle A111ateur Ho ur (boys need gi rls to teach t hen1 t he facts of life), the l,1nguage barriers of 1-lasta i'vtaiiana Monsieu r ("you nicntio ned Kant c1nd I \Vas shocked") and suic ide saga Here In H eaven play it con1parativcly straight, but Kimono ratchets up several notches \vhen it balances the ne,vly strean11ined Spa rks \Vit h son1e o r their fo rn1er eccent ricities. falling In Love With i\11.yself Again i ~ a Bava ri an \Valt7. gorged on Spectorish g randeur, but it's d\'varle<l by the alternate pensive and eupho r ic !>hifts of Thank God I t\ Not C hristn1as (t he one day you can't esca pe lan1 i ly) and the finale Equato r, a Teutonic jazz cabaret \vith a talc o f th,var ted love, before its coda "·here Russell n1.ight be singing the blues (\ery un-Sparks) if it \vasn't n1ore the sound of avan L-ga rde sc.·at. 'fhc ne,vs fo r long-standing Kimono fanatics is the recent discover y of seven acoustic deiTios, the fi rst suc h find in Sparks' 'history. They don't expand t he story, but underscore th e Mael's un fettered stre ak. Barbccutic (on ce considered fo r the lead single), Alaban1y Right and Marry 1\1e becan1c B-sides, leav;ng lo ur songs long aba ndoned. vVhen I Take The Field O n Friday and Windy Day sound Ii ke B-sides too, b ut ;\ 1\llort• Constr uctive Use Of Leisure ' £'in1e and lvty Brain~ And I.Jer looks' n1elodies are heftier, and thus unsuited to tbe alhtuTI's qu icksilver pulse. Reduced to voice and acous tic guitar/piano, these <len1os reYeal \Varn1 a nd vulne rable i\ilacls, stripped of theatrical extremis. Across the years, 1\llorrissey, Kurt Cobain, Bjork and Alex Kapranos have all S\\'Orn by this record, proof of an e\·ergreen & appeal that's not over yet. For its 40th birthday, Ki1nono ~ \\'as given a li ve o rchestral n1akeover. In either forn1 , it's ~ still sonic o f the niost oddball n1usic to masquerade as pop, iE' a r em inde r of a gold en age before the 1nachi nes too k over. ~

structures, finds Eno in more playful mood - the needlesharp techno-runk or opener Fractal Zoom ceding to Wire Shock 's tropical shimmer, the lugubrious ersatz sax or Pierre In Mist and the oddly scuttling Juju Space Jazz, whose title is a neat descriptor of the entire enterprise. David Sheppard

Yo La Tengo


Extra Painful MAIADOfl CO/OL/LP

Deluxe reissue for Hoboken's lndle-rock institution's breakthrough. In 1993, six albums Into a 'career' as marginal lndle -rock cultists, Yo La Tengo delivered an album that made sense of their disparate muses. Veering between ambient drone, phosphorescent guitar abuse and proper song-craft, Painful bears the roots or the Tengo masterpieces that would follow, and much scuffed, literate greatness or Its own, from two versions or Big Day Coming - one whispered like a lullaby. one a motorlk, shoegazey monster - to the vaporous guitar heroics or From A Motel 6, the heavenly skronk of Sudden Organ and a beguiling cover of The Only Ones' The Whole Of The Law. A disc or bonuses and further free download of live takes and demo versions sweet ens the deal ror the loyal; new· comers won't fall to be charmed by an album that channels all four Velvets albums at different moments, in the process orlocating YLT's own unique voice. Stev;e Ch;ck

Brian Eno


Nerve Net A.Ll



His ' 90s oeuvre sees light of day again - TheShutov Assembly, Neroli and The Drop also reissued . Odd tracks appearing on box sets not· withstand· ing, for Enophiles, 1991 's My Squelchy Life is a holy grail. Set to be unveiled In September that year, it fell fou l or Warn· ers' schedule and was rescheduled for the following February, prompting Eno to withdraw it in favour of an album of fresher material, Nerve Net. Exhumed here as a bonus disc, MSL's unset tllng blend or claustrophobic amb1 ences, oblique keyboard stabs and fragmentary, often heavily processed vocals 1s splen· didly jittery, while the hymn· like Some Words might have slotted happily onto Another Green World. Nerve Net itself. partially built on MSL super·

102 MOJO

Willi Williams


Unification: From Channel One To King Tubby's ,1 Nol Cl<


The Armagideon Man's lost Yabby You collaboration from 1979. Though not the most charis· matic voice in late-70s roots reggae, Willi Williams S<:ored one or its most time-honoured anthems with Armagideon Time, as covered by The Clash. Aside from that Studio One smash, he gener· ally self· released his tunes, the vast

majority languishing In rela· tive obscurity. Hard to Imagine how Unification got shelved, though: it's post·Wailers roots or the most 'outernational' stripe, with the crisp, unclut· tered, slo-mo sound perfected at Channel One by house band Sly & The Revolutionaries, who are the backing combo for at least part of its duration. Wil· Iiams and Yabby shared a Christian dimension to their Rasta faith, but the producer's earthy, hymnal vibe is notably absent here. Instead, drum/ bass head-nodders like Home and sublime closer Any Day are but a digital whisper away from proto-dancehall, overlaid with Williams' plangent, singsong voicing . As such, the album is evocative of a speclnc point in reggae's evolution, but with sufficient above-par melodies to transcend time. Andrew Perry

second strong package and his fourth Motown solo LP, 1971 's Involved round Starr with producer Norman Whit· field, whose War and Stop The War Now provided powerful hits. Psychedelic soul (Ball Of Confusion, Ooud Nine) and funk-soul (Funky Music (Sho' NuffTurns Me On)) keep Whit· field psych-funk soul bub· bling, with 13 other nonalbum A- and B-sides from 1972·74 as bonuses. Strangely, both albums used the same cover of Smokey's Way Over There - it clips along with a beefy, soul-clap rhythm. Geoff Brown

Edwin Starr Soul Master

**** Involved

Lost Girls


Lost Girls


He arrived at Motown in 1967, hits in place and fully formed. ... The Ric·TIC lab el was producing such convincing Motown knock·offs by 1966- Stop Her On Sight (S.O.S.). Headline News, Agent Double·O·Soul - that Berry Gordy bought it and in Edwin Starr round a ready-made hit machine, a strong. unpreten· tious soul man who co· wrote those three smashes and, solo, penned the infectious Oh How Happy. They're all on 1968's Soul Moster and with 17 bonuses - non· album A-sides like Back Stree1 and B-sides such as I Have Faith In You -provide excellent value. A



I 'tOP Ml ,I( CO Ol/LP

Lost Indeed: feisty folk· rocking gem from 1999 finally unearthed. Following the 1996 disbanding of Kitchens Of Distinction, vocalist/bassist Patrick Fittger· aid interrupted solo plans to collude wilh folk rock chan· teuse Heidi Berry- herself rebounding from losing her 4AD label deal after three exquisitely desolate albums ror some of the finest music of elther's career. Trouble was. no suitable deal could be round, and Lost Girls (by now a quin· tet) soon fragmented. Fifteen years later. the album (plus bonus CD of extras) shows Fitzgerald encouraged Berry's best Sandy Denny-ln-purga· tory 1ncltnat1ons (Needle's Eye) while she provided a sharper song-centric focus than KOD'S prot o·shoegaze. There's diversity- sinewy rock, cabaret ballads. electronic gloom but the peaks are All Fall Away, Japanese and Opiated SelfHelp Song. all slowburning frames for both singers' simmering resentments and passions, which culminate in the startling purge of Folk Fuck. where Berry lets rip, jabbering and howling as Fitzgerald 's frazzled loops push her skyward. Mortin Aston

Manic Street Preachers


The Holy Bible 20 I< ..


Welsh lads' 1994 ethical Armageddon - deluxeI The Mantes dropped a third album seething with savagely uncompromising ideas on prostitution. anorexia, suicide, the Holocaust. etc. just as

BIBLE THE ••li • .._ HOLY



-- ·-·----·----- ~ &M


Britpop's cocaine expansionism arrived - on the same day, Indeed, as Oasis 's Defin;rely Moybe. Disgusted at their own seif·mainstreaming on '93's Gold Against The Soul, they'd recorded not, at their label's behest, in Barbados, but in Card iff. Even at two decades' distance, its fabulously dry, staccato grooves make you feel like you're being machine· gunned. Of Walking Abortion recalls Killing Joke. Lyrics were chiefiy penned by guitarist Richey Edwards, who, spiralling into alcoholism and self-harm, disappeared in February '95. The Holy Bible is such a pure and unflinching statement, its three bonus discs. including a ·ratter' US mix, a December '94 live set (Richey's swansong), and even a cover of the Faces' Stay With Me. feel conversely dissolute. For those rour·week sessions, however, the Manics were Britain's only '90s punk band worth a damn. Andrew Perry



Echo Of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across The Path A&M. CO/Ol

Grunge pioneers' stray recordings, compiled. Though rarities collections are by defin ltion for-the-rans, Echo Of Miles contains much to thrill even the casual 'Gar· dener, ilS B· sides and outtakes encompassing the full sprawl or the Seattle quartet's sound. The Stoogey Kiss parody of Sub Pop Rock City - an irrepressible blast of early-grunge irreverence - soon gives way to the Stygian, psychedelic sludge-metal of Heretic and Fresh Deadly Roses. which are the equal of anything on Loud· er Thon Love, while the down· ward spiral and banshee wailing of Cold Bitch and mountain-sized psychedelic rock of She Likes Surprises prove Soundgarden didn't swap inspiration for commer· cial success. An eclectic disc of covers (Beatles, Sly Stone, Spinal Tap) peaks with their version or Sabbath's Into The Void, Chris Cornell replacing Ozzy's lyrics with a protest sermon by Native American Chief Seattle, which bests the original. A third 'Oddities' CD or experiments and remixes. however, might stump even the dedicated. Stevie Chick

The Supreme Jubilees

**** It'll All Be Over


A limited pressing, low· key gospel gem sees the light. Six men1bers of the same family brothers, cousins, children - from a church in Fresno, CA, formed a gospel group in the late 70s, recorded this album of nine originals in 1980, had 500 copies pressed, went on tour, and that was it until Light In The Attic unearthed The Supreme Jubilees' unaffected gospel-soul performances. A varied set that veers from the gentler mood of something like Al Green's Belle Album on the comforting opening title track, Do You Believe, with its pretty guitar figures and vocal harmonies, and We'll Understand to Dave Kingsby's more traditional, gutsy and guttural lead vocal given full rein on Standing In The Need Of Prayer and Stop Today. Add to that I Am On The Lord's Side, bouncing along on hi-heel sneakers, the Phllly harmonies· and-dance track of You Don't Know and the funky Got A Right and Thank You Lord and there's soul-gospel here for most tastes. Geoff Brown

Sunlight and shadows Excelsior box - includes first three LPs, rarities, poster, and lucky-dip book. By Roy Wilkinson.

The Go-Betweens

* * G Stands For Go-Betweens Vol. 1



An Evolutionary Music (Original Recording: 1972-1979) RVNG INIL CO/DL/LI'

First t i me i ssue for experimental French composer' s '70s works. This is an essential release for anyone fascinated by modal drones and music that works on a subliminal level, to awaken spirituality or just to make you feel good. Inspired by Sun Ra, Terry Riley, Charlemagne Palestine and many others, Parisian Ariel K<ilma launched himself on a trajectory in the early 70s to discover, compose and play cosmic consciousness music, and this collection of 17 mostly unreleased pieces is one result. With tracks called Yogini Breath and the particularly effective Ecstasy Mind Musical Yoga, you might be tempted to file this under New Age. Don't: it's much tougher and deeper than that. Kai ma's recordings of organs. wind instrumentals and synthesizers are looped and treated, creating moods that

THE FIRST 600 copies of this box set come with a random book from the personal library of late co-frontman Grant Mclennan. You might get a collec tion of Raymond Carve1's poetry - writing that aligns with The Go-Betweens' concision and powerful understatement. You might receive the photo book Thunder In The Dust: Great Shots From The Western Movies, hinting at both the band's cinematic touch and Mclennan the movie buff. His copy of The Penguin Book Of Modern Australian Verse. however.

at times, recall both Terry Riley and Laraaji, but are definitely their own. Recommended for those with open minds. Jon Savage


**** Florida BIG DADA. CO/DL/LI'

Expanded reissue for ubiquitous OJ / producer's darkly curious debut. Now a Grammy· nominated producer/ remixerwho has worked with Skrillex, Bieber and Beyonce, Wes 'Diplo' Pentz was an unknown a decade ago when he pitched Big Dada an

plays into the hands of Aussie-knocking humorists - Oz poetry as the mirrorequivalent of Oscar Wilde writing a guide to bush tucker. But, fear not, The Go-Betweens conduslvely proved that the Australasian male can be a font of wonderful alt-rocl< delicacy. The core of this box set is the band's first three albums. remastered from the original tapes and on vinyl only (plus digital download codes). There are also four CDs from radio sessions, studio out takes, etc - 80 tracks of varying rarity. But perhaps the most striking indusion is the additional vinyl compilation Flrsc Five Sln9fes. lt's fascinating to hear these 10 tracks in a single run. The 1978 single Lee Remick came with a screen star on the sleeve and an arch celebration of connoisseur-ish popular culture. I Need Two Heads, from 1980. has a tersely literate and slightly furtive tone. Add co-frontman Robert Forster's foppish, sexually ambivalent presence and it all makes The Go-Betweens a detailed prototype for The Smiths. The Go-Betweens' literary qualities continued with the then trio's debur album, which, the story goes, had the working title Two Wimps And A Witch.

'avant-garde dancehall' album. An intriguing concept, it goes some way to describing Florida, which veers from peripatetic loop-based instrumentals (Sarah and Big Lost), to carnal, tabla-driven h ip hop (Indian Thick Jawns), to party-starting mash-ups of dancehall and favela funk (the riotous Oiplo Rhythm), which arrive on this reissue accompanied by further juvenilia from the Pentz archives. Strong as its dance· floor bangers are, it's Florida's deeper, more melancholic moments - the mournful, meditative Summer's Gonna Hurt You, and Into The Sun, a sublime, darkly psychedelic writhe of pop featuring Martina Topley Bird on vocals - that hit hardest. Indeed, when the clubland grind begins to wear on him, Pentz

In the end they went with Send Me A lullaby, inspired by Zelda Flt?gerald and supplied by drummer Lindy Morrison. The music on lullaby, however, lacks the cohesion of greatness. The enduring quality of the next two albums, Before Hollywood and Spring Hill Fafr, has been well established. Hollywood features Mdennan's Cattle And Cane, a discreet piece of Great Australian Art - a superb evocation of bittersweet, tin-roofed, post·colonial atmospheres. Mclennan's sudden death from a heart attack in 2006 gives even more poignancy to the themes of memory and childhood. At £120 the box set isn't cheap, but it's been meticulously assembled. There's a 112-page book, full of fascinating images. The text is mainly from Forster, but there's also recollections from Orange Juice's Steven Daly, who drummed on the I Need Two Heads single. Daly was shocked to see Forster and Mdennan ogling •utties• as they walked through Glasgow. You can take the man out of Australia ... Elsewhere, however, this is a flne celebration of a finely poetic band - as The Go-Betweens themselves described their early mood, •that striped sunlight sound".

should revisit Florida's introspective mind state. as it clearly suited him. Stevie Chick



Black Fire! New Spirits! Radical And Revolutionary Jazz In The USA 1957-82 SOUL JAlZ. CD/OL/LP

Experimental jazz's joyful cacophony. As an audio companion to the striking photo book of the same name, Soul Jazz's Black Fire! New Spirits! gathers Impressive examples

of American 'radical jazz,' which the label has linked to the evolution of the civil rights movement. These 14 slices of joyful noise, spread over two discs, offer musical expression of the era's civil disobedience, Black Power initiatives and convoluted spirituality and are full of the age's anger, defiance and optimism. Along with established favourites like The Last Poets, Don Cherry and Joe Henderson, there are delightfully far· out excursions by trombonist Grachan Moncur lll's Jazz Composers Orchestra, drummer Pheeroan akLaff (a protege of Ra shied Ali), and the Creative Arts Ensemble, recruited to the Nimbus West label by Horace Tapscott of the Pan·Afrikan ~ Peoples Arkestra. Informative ~ linernotes help navigate these e complex waters. ~

MOJO 103

roe Prolific, provocative, profound, personal, the breadth of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti's '70s output still astonishes. By Geoff Brown.

Fela Anikulapo Kuti

**** Fela: Vinyl Box Set 3 SO CONSISTENT, controversial and creative was the 1970s output of Nigerian bandleader Fela Anikulapo Ku ti that d~spite this third box ot vinyl re releases again majorlng on the decade, the music's quality is maintained to as hts fresh his ideas and aims are revealed. This instalment, curated by Brian Eno, Is easily as good as its predecessors, stretching from 1971's Feta's London Scene to 1980's l.T.(lntemotiona/ThiefThief) to trace the breakout of Afrobeat, the emergence of fine soloists like trumpeter Tunde Williams, and the invention of dru1nmer Tony Allen as he meshes jazz and funk

104 MOJO

Into the polymythmic Kuti sound. At the start of the '70s, Fela Kuti'sjourney had already been long and eventful. He'd played 1n London in the early '60s but It was back In Lagos, Nigeria, in 1966-67, when he heard the Sierra Leonean bandleaderGeraldo Pino's mix of US soul, notably James Brown, and Congolese rumba that the ideas behind Atrobeat took root. They we-re not fully formed by 1972's Shakara, but were advancing at a prodigious pace, and there is a constant rrade between African musical dialects and American jazz. soul and funk. Thus the clipped melody that opens Shakoro's title track echoes Miles Davis's Milestones. Like many of Kuti's albums, Shakara is made up of just two pieces, each occupying a side and sounding as If they could groove on all night. Not all of Fela's Innovations here were musical - he now trequ enlly sang 1n Broken l:nglish rather than

Yoruba, widening the appeal of his songs and raising the threat to authority from his incteasingly politicised lyrics. But on Shakora, side one's Lady brought controversy of a different stripe, its urgings t o women not to adopt Western ideas, values, clothes etc at odds with ?Os feminist thinking. He would be just as strident in his opinions of men who adopted Western dress codes in the Nigerian climate. the title track of 1973's Gentleman lacerating those who pile on suits, shoes, socks, pant s and shirts, sweaf profusely as a result and "smell like shit ". There are similar Invectives and lambastlngs throughout the 1970s canon, but it got serious when he turned his ire on the political establishment Fe/o's London Scene. recorded at Abbey Road, has treats like J'ehin·J'ehin, where two-thirds in the Afrobeat gets funky as the honls source The J.B.'s, but Buy Africa, written in 1970, urges Africans to boost local economies by shunning imports. He 1s equally positive on Alrodisiac(1972. also cut at Abbey Road): Eko lie translates as •there's no place like Lagos•; Alu Jon Jonki Jon grooves on funk bass as Kuti's electric piano solo lifts off; Chop And Quench (•eat and die•, a warning aboul gluttony) has terrific horn work from the band, now styled l he Africa 70; Je'nw1 lem1 warns the authorlties •don't gag me•. The least typical of his 'l()s albu1ns, the title track of 76's Upside Down has a vocal from American activist Sandra lzsadore encouraging Nigerians to get their act together, not be so upside down. After '73's aforesaid angry 6enrlernan, on which lgbe moves his sound forward \Vlth funkier guitars, 1976's Zomble was an even angrier outpouring of fury aimed at the government and army. Its music - funk bass, scratchin' guitars, confident horns (Tunde Williams' trumpet especially fine) - is a well· drilled yet rtuid delight; its lnflan1matory title track likens the military rulers to, well, zombies. AkJgbon Gose (1974) and Kalakura Show ('76 ) (the former appeared on the Ginger Bakercurated Box Set l) had so incensed the rulers that there were numerous attacks on Fela and his entourage. Now Zombie's tltle track ridlculed the army. rn response, in February 1977 the military 'invaded' his barb-wired compound and burnt it to the ground, destroying his home, studio, band equipment, the clinic built for the comrnunlty, threw his mother out of a window, and assaulted every man, woman and child they could find, Fela Included. Undaunted, his attacks in 1nusic continued. By 1980's f.T.T., the seventh and final LP in Vinyl Box Ser J, he had trained his sights on both the specific - a former Nigerian president; a record company boss - and the general non-African countries and companies sucking the money and resources out of the continent. Although rony Allen had left lhe ranks of what wa.s now essentially Fela's next band, Egypt 80, there fs still a wcatth of wonderful playing. particularly the guitarists Wordo Martino, Tunde Brown and Dele Oslo, and Kuti's own soloing - on electric piano on l.tT., but his alto and tenor sax solos catch the ear throughout the long-players. Some of the early Kuti vinyl was not always well served by pressings, but these sound strong. Eno's introductory note is intere~ting on the development of Tony Allen's drumming and gives due importance to him as a player, but the description of Fela's habit of counting in his musicians by giving them ~parate "one•s•, start· ing thcin ar a diftercnt part of the bar to anyone else might bring all players out in a nervous cold sweat. Chris May, who was championing Feta Kuti bade in the '70s. succinctly explains the LPs' content and context for the uninitiated. Go explore.

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The Best Of Cerrone Productions

autumnal melancholy, and his S&G songs are as equally well suited to the duo's young '60s harmonies as their aged reunion blend. In fact, with subtle bright remastering here lies the pleasure of this box set, a one-stop shop for songs of age, friendship and regret by two young friends and their deeply moving reinterpretations, many years later, by those same two men; now older, wistful and estranged, just like the characters in their songs. Andrew Male


Never mind the sleeve, luxuriate in the '70s and '80s disco delight. Within a breathtakingly sexist sleeve are 36 cuts by French disco auteur Marc Cerrone, either under his own name. with his early band Kongas. made for soundtracks or from acts he produced like Don Ray and Cristal - which sonically might as well be Cerrone releases. The crown jewels are the Barry White-influenced Love in 'C' Minor, the Bob Sindar-inspiring synth mover Supernature and Revelacion's discofied House Of The Rising Sun. Unfamiliar, just-as-good gems Include the Rapper 's Delight knock-off Club Underworld and Experience, from the Brigade Mondaine soundtrack, which Daft Punk have no doubt cocked an ear to. Cerrone employed heavy breathing on his records, promoted himself as a sleazy playboy and put naked women on his sleeves. But back then It was overt, where this cover is pointlessly prurient. Shame, because the music is great. Kieron Tyler

Simon& Garfunkel


Linda Jones

Jimmy Witherspoon


Roots • ;)' i)'l')


1960 and '62 outings from West Coast innovator, who bridged jazz and blues. This twofer captures the two sides - sophisticated jazz blues, rougher-edged R&B - of Jimmy Witherspoon. Roots, from 1962's, first issued on Reprise, placed him in a soulful jazz setting with Ben Webster on tenor sa x, and he triumphs on a series of standards. The high points: re-readings of Big Bill Broonzy's Key To The Highway and It's A Low Down Dirty Shame, the former a mournful lament, the latter a bluesy swing. Meanwhile, 1960's self-titled album cherry· picks from his Modern catalogue spanning 1947-51. Half is recorded live at 1949's Just Jazz concert in Pasadena with Gene Gilbeaux's quartet: a raucous Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do brings the house down. Good Jumpin'. one of the studio cuts, is Witherspoon's rewrite of Roy Brown's Good Rocl<in' Tonight, and special too. Lois Wilson



Shaver's Jewels

With almost any other artist, an 11-CD career-overview box set that included four live CDs would seem like some peculiar rip-off. Yet Simon & Garfunkel are a peculiar act. a duo who anticipated the whole rock reunion culture, producing five studio albums and one soundtrack between 1964 and 1970 before going on to split and reform repeatedly, In ! landmark style, from 1972 to ~ 2010. Even in his twenties, Paul t: Simon was a songwriter hung -l up on ideas of ageing and



The best of the Texas outlaw poet's work with his only begotten son. Billy Joe Shaver Is the songSHA\!E R'S writer's song· JEWELS writer of coun · try music, loved and respected by Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson. He is the outlaw who actually shot a man and the poet mentioned in a Bob Dylan lyric. In 1993, he and son Eddy Shaver began recording together as Shaver, the two


The Complete Atco-Loma-Warner Bras Recordings OfA


,()(, M.f.

ed under the WEA umbrella, demonstrates that the singer had few peers when it came to unbridled soul power. North· ern soul fans will dig several driving dance cuts but it's on ballads that the Newark singer truly demonstrates her gift for compelling emotional drama. Charles Waring

• ._.._. ·-·•__ ,_...,..


keyboard player Ken Elliott. made for some unique Anglo Jamaican creations - check U- Roy's take on Max Romeo's Wet Dream, wit h the tootling organ replaced by Elliot I's obscene Theme From Robin's Nest-style synth. With home· style backing from the Barrett brothers (soon to be poached by Bob Marley), these are peerlessly exciting sounds. Andrew Perry




-~ -

--· Bunny 'Striker' Lee


The Complete Albums Collection Their entire recorded works, live and In the studio, remastered.

combined to raise holy, ghostly, open-veined songs wrapped with Eddy's barbed wire electric guitar and saintly acoustic picking. When Eddy stepped on a rainbow in 2000, not only did a father lose a child, but it's not hyperbole to note that both country and rock lost one of the finest guitarists of his generation. This set collects 1he best of the seven years of their collabora· tion, tales of romance and honky tonkin' and deep faith in God despite the vagaries of love and firearms - a batch of bruised beauties and, to paraphrase linernotes scribe Kinky Friedman, a seminal snow-plough. Michael Simmons


Full Up: Early Reggae Productions 1968-72 PAE JHE <' 'ID'.' CO OL. lP

Dynamite vintage soul explodes from the archives.

Hustlin' 'Striker" s vibrant breakthrough tunes.

With her impe· rious, volcanic voice - charac· terised by molten, gos· pel·steeped, melismatic cadences - New Jersey's Linda Jones looked set to rival Aretha Franklin when she burst onto the US R&B scene In 1967 w ith her debut US hit, Hypnotized, for the Warner subsidiary, Loma. Sadly, that proved t o be the apex of her career, and five years later Jones tragically died f rom diabetes complica· lions at the age of 28. Largely remembered these days only by t he soul cognoscenti, this sublime 21· track retrospective, which brings together all of Jones's late-'60s sides record -

"Reggae now, right from the top! • cries a jubilant MC on this 21·track feast of Bunny Lee-directed proto -reggae. In the llnernotes, souly crooner Stranger Cole notes how, where reigning producers like Duke Reid wielded firearms to command the studio, Bunny lee was new-school - a vibesmaster whose enthusiasm translated into irrepressibly magical recordings. Lee claims he birthed reggae: he'd opened trade links with London, and duly responded to UK labels' demands for records faster than rocksteady. Though hardly reggae's sole catalyst, his employment of Brit· residents like Rico Rodriguez and Dave Barker, and (white)

Thelonious Monl<

***** 'Round Midnight: The Complete Blue Note Singles (1947-1952) OfCCA (UMOl CO/OL

The perfect two-disc primer for a singular jazz great. Maybe you've seen his visage in magazines and murals or heard his name invoked with respect and awe, but have yet to d ig his music. If so, t his 2· CD compilation is the place to learn whyThelonious Monk while a jazzman from his trin· kling, tinkling f ingers to his dancing feet - Is In a genre of one. These tracks are the first the pianist/composer released as a leader, the earliest record· ed soon after his 30th birthday. and Include classics like the title track and Straight No Chaser as well as lesserknowns like Four In One - a tune that's delightfully animated with quicksilver quirk. Tricks of M onk's t rade are all here: rhythmic twists, unforgettable melody, wily wit - always in the service of swing and stamped with carefree originality that could only come from one very singular man. Michael Simmons

Ronni e Dyson: he got rig ht down to it .

Dust brother This smooth soul operator was a man out of time. By Geoff Brown

Ronnie Dyson

**** Lady In Red: The Columbia Sides Plus ~UtJ.1.l}IC


REED-THIN and lanky. Ronnie Dyson's bulld housed a cl assy, powerful high-tenor voice that was both versatile and completely assured as he hit the notes spot-on and sang the words clearly. If he'd emerged in the '50s he'd have been groomed as Nat King Cole's successor, or

Hailu Mergia And The Walias


TcheBelew AWfSOM~



Instrumental Ethiopian soul Jazz grooves LP reissued by Brian Shimkovitz's great crate-digging label.


g E ~


Covered by Antibalas, The Ex and Yo Yo Ma, the Walias's Muziqawl Silt defines the 1969-1978 "Golden Age• sound of Ethlo·jazz, a hypnotic goodfoot stew of soul guitar, poly rhythmic drumming and b ig band homs located somewhere between high times and a peculiar sadness. as If a great party were taking place just out of reach; in another room, another club, or another time. Unlike many of the government-supported bands, keyboardist and arranger Mergia ran a •private

106 MOJO

competition for Johnny Mathis. Jn the '80s he'd have been likewise fat Luther Vandross. But in the '60s and early '70s his soul crooning style was not particularly prized, his cultured out-of-its-time Interpretations at odds with a market bursting with socio-political funk (James Brown, Sly Stone, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder). So he gravitated from church not to the sweat of the chitlin circuit but to Broadway where, in 1968 at the age of 18, he was featured in the musical Hair. Yes, that's his voice on RCA's 1968 original cast album singing lead on the show's opener, Aquarius. The success of that performance won him a CBS contract and the early singles and first album from that deal are collected here, along wrth the aforementioned RCA track.

band", holed up at the Hilton Addis Ababa, Independent from both Haile Selassie's authority, and the oppressive Derg government that followed in 1974. Recorded in 77. Tche Belew is a lazy. eerie delight. modal north African instrumentals made ever stranger by the Walias's on· the-one Western playing and the unsettling wistfulness of Mergia's Jimmy Smith playingstyle on the Farfisa organ. Andrew Male



Troubadour: Folk And The Roots Of American Music Part 4 BEAR fAMILV CD

The final portion of an exemplary four-part series. The Carter Family, Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie sparked this remarkable series of reissues which has spun through the pop -folk era of the 'SOS, and on through the '60s scene to conclude on this fourth offering, an allembracing compilation of

tracks by such as John Prine, Joni Mitchell, John Hartford, Mickey Newbury, Rod McKuen, Nilsson, Mike Nesmith, Tim Buckley and numerous others. Most of the essential songs of the wide-reaching genre are Included - ever·memorables like John Prine's Vietnam drug anthem Sam Stone, Bonnie Oobson's post-apocalyptic Morning Dew, Townes Van Zandt's bandit betrayal ballad Pancho And Lefty, and Steve Young's Seven Bridges Road, a tune-sketch of an Alabama back road - while a profusely illustrated 138· page book put together by Dave Samuelson fills in any gaps that the music may leave unanswered. Fred Del/or

James Keelaghan


History: The First 25Years

He had almost Immediate success with, perhaps inevitably, another show tune - (If You Let Me Make Love To You Then) Why Can't I Touch You? from tile musical Salvation. Heard of that show? Me neither. But the song gave him a Number 8 US pop hit, coupled with a version of Chuck Jackson's 1960 hit I Don't Want To Cry, full of hurt and defiance. His 1970 debut LP, included in full within the 23 tracks here, and follow-up singles saw him range widely through soul and pop catalogues to cover Band Of Gold, give a pounding version of Little Wiiiie John's Fever, and, strongest of all, a gospel-soaked Bridge Over Troubled Water, fired by some truly sanctified piano. Aretha would approve. Laura Nyro's Emmie, David Gates' Make It With You, B.J. Thomas's Just Can't Help Believing and Girl Don't Come, the Chris Andrews song for Sandie Shaw, are all assured performances. In Britain, his version of The Delfonics' When You Get Right Down To It was a Number 34 hit, his only notable success this side of the pond. It was produced by Stan Vincent, whose work with the youthful-voiced Five Stairsteps made him an ideal fit. In fact Dyson's tone, range and strengths suggested that he was perfect for the emerging Phllly Sound and this collection ends with a producer tailor-made for a singer of Ronnie's gifts. Thom Bell had conducted the Fever romp and Girl Don't Come, and with Linda Creed wrote One Man Band (Plays All Alone), which became the tide track of Dyson's 1973 album, his peachiest by far. Another Bell production here is on a song specially written for Dyson, Just Don't Want To Be Lonely. Typically, lt became a massive hit for The Main Ingredient, but not for Ronnie. For the rest of the '70s, drugs slowly dragged him down. But he got clean, signed to Atlantic subsidiary Cotillion and rried again, but had no luck. He died of heart failure in 1990. He was 40.

country's great tradition from Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot on - of producing great singer-songwriters. There's something reassur· ingly familiar, then, about this collection of beautifully crafted, well-structured songs and the cuddly big brown bear of a voice and accomplished guitar with which Keelaghan, the great storyteller, delivers them. Love gone wrong, love gone right, observational tales of travel. war, shipwrecks, hi>torical events, drinks, land· scapes and occasionally eccen· tric characters met along the way- along with mesmerising covers of Dylan's Spanish Is The loving Tongue and Karine Polwart's Medusa. If nowt else, It's a solid introduction - 18 tracks from nine albums and 25 years, fulsome sleevenotes... and an accompanying DVD telling the colourful stories behind the songs. An admirable little packag e. Colin Irwin


The story of a Canadian song writing treasure. He had an Irish dad and an English mother, but James Keelaghan is very much a son of Canada, embracing the

Prince Hammer


World War Dub Part 1 HORI.IS. CD/DL/ LP

Deep roots dub LP from 1979, mixed by Jammy and Scientist. One of the many DJs that used

h is microphone talents as a means of exiting Kingston's endemic gang violence, Prince Hammer had his Morwellsproduced debut album issued by Virgin in 1978, but soon made the shift to producer, nurturing upcoming talent from his community. The rhythms on World War Dub Part 1 were mostly used for Rod Taylor's debut album, IfJah Should Come Now, and as all tracks were laid at Channel One and niixed by Jammy and Scientist at King Tubby's, rest assured this is a genuine dub article from the heyday of roots, unlike a lot of the other releases on the market. Thus, Mussolini is a cool cut of Hot Milk and Hitler is punctuated by train whistles and fierce conga beats; the variable EQ of Dreadlocks Rebel Force has the stamp of King Tubby's studio. David Katz



Crime Jazz M JCX.HlllW"O 1 CD

Eight· disc proof that crime does pay; musically at least. nmewaswhen big band jazz ruiedTVand permeated onto cinema screens. Private Eyes like Richard Diamond, Peter Gunn and Mike Hammer had huge audiences stapled to their seats every week and the best arrangers in the business supplied the riffs and licks to accompany the onscreen action. The soundtracks to 14 of those shows are assembled here, most of them on CD for the very first time. Elmer Bern· stein's brilliant score to Stac· cato appears alongside Henry Mancini's lighter Mr Lucky and Stanley Wilson's backdrop to the lesser-hailed Shotgun Slade, while Warren Barker's 77 Sunset Strip and Hawaiian Eye scores, with their tinge of exotica, contrast sharply with Pete Rugolo's Richard Diamond backdrop, which, at times, demonstrates elements of Stan Kenton's progressive jazz stance. Little wonder, as Rugolo was one of Kenton's main arrangers and theses· sion men on the date (and on many other scores here) were drawn from the Kenton band. FredDellar

though t his remastered release of their sole album, from 1997, proves their music possessed a charm of its own. Dating from four years before The Shins' breakthrough, When You Land Here... suggests Built To Spill, if they'd been able to encompass their epic sweep within the threeminute·song format, particu· larly Structo's elegant glide between forlorn, graceful verses and crunchy, anthemic chorus, and the swooning, serpentine melodies of Mieke. Elsewhere, amiable opener Spanway Hits essays all the ties and flourishes of post -Pavement indie-rock in an exhilarating two-and-a-half minutes, while the charming falsenopop of the aptly-titled The Shins nods clearly to where Mercer's future lay. Stevie Chick

Jaco Pastorius


Anthology: The Warner Bras Years HHINOIWARNERMU~~

Flalc:e Music


When You Land Here, It's Time To Return l\UR"L Af'OTHICARVf;UllPOP CD/Dl

The Shins' prehistory gets a polish and a reissue. Long-time fans of James Mer· cer's superlative indie-rock group will know Flake Music as the band from which The Shins so successfully spun,


Sublime selection of the bass genius's early·'80s oeuvre. Jaco Pastorius was a flamboyant character who brought a rock'n'roll sensib ility to jazz. He was also never found wanting when it came to self-promotional hubris: he famously introduced himself to Joe Zawinul as "the world's great· est bassist• but as the Weather Report co-founder soon dis· covered, it was no idle boast, and the Florida-born propo· nent of the Fender fretless bass joined the band for a six-year stint. This 2-CD collection focuses on Pastorius's

post-Weather Report solo output for Warners and reflects a time when he was focusing more intently on composition and big band orchestrat ion. Drawing on scintillating live performances as well as key studio cuts, the 22 songs on this retrospective etch a vibrant audio portrait of a supremely gifted musician whose life ended prematurely at the hands of an over-zealous nightclub bouncer in 1987. Charles Waring

Spacemen 3

***18.05.1989 Live MFNTAL C.ROOV~ lP

Pulsating, oddly well · attended show at the New Morning, Geneva. Spacemen3 were ·not overly loved In their day•, quips the sleevenote from co·frontman Sonic Boom, who, alongside Jason Pierce, later of Spiritualized, gamely pursued a Velvet Underground-style legend of bloody-minded antagonism. Their vintage live LP from February '88, Performance, included between-song silences filled with the clapping of four people. By Geneva 1S months later, t he second Summer of Love had installed a fresh demographic on the Space· men's lysergic level of con· sciousness. So here there is audience enthusiasm for their Stoogian psych-punk, a conse· quently thrilling drive to the drone-rifflng, and even a song dedicated to audience mem ber, "Frank". Still, the confron· tational air is palpable: "Hey, you lot at the back, I hope we're not stopping you skiing or anything,• notes Boom, before leading off into lS·minute hypno-instro Sul· cide, which fills side two here. The response is fittingly dazed. The rightful acclaim came later. Andrew Perry

Various Holland-Dozier-Holland 45s: Rare And Unreleased HA •ML[

en singles in a box of20 tracks from the Unreleased Acetates, Test Pressings & Remixes discs (13 and 14) of Harmless's 14-CO HOH box; six of the 20 are Tom Moul ton remixes. Discovered in 2012, the lnvictus sides mostly burst with the vitality and energy expected of the label. Not unexpectedly, Chairmen Of The Board are the stars, their What's The Use/Where There Is Faith There Is Hope as strong as most of thei r 'released' material. There are also Moulton remixes of two COTB hits. Of four unreleaseds by Eloise Laws, I Think You Need Love leaves n o depth of emotion unplumbed. An alternative take of Barrino Brothers· Trapped In A Love opens straight into the chorus - terrific energy- whi le there's also a Honey Cone alt take of Hot Wax 45 If I Can't Fly. 100 Proof Aged In Soul. Freda Payne. Jones Girls and Satisfaction Unlimit ed also feature; comes with 20-page b ooklet. GB


Weather Report


Forecast: Tomorrow COt.UMBINlfGACY CD-.OVD

2006 anthology of Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul 's pioneering fusioneers .

The Wolfhounds


Unseen Ripples From A Pebble OPO ,jEli\IE CDIDL lP

First time on CO for 1987 debut album plus bonus singles. Anti Midas Touch is one of 1he great lndie 45s. As guitars scrape away, a sweet melody carries a sourly delivered socialist lyric. It's the happy result of an unhappy band. In musical flux, half are devoted to the Byrdsianjangle of peers Primal Scream and the Bodines, the other half. having recently discovered Sonic Youth and the Mlnutemen, want to explore a more noisy, experiment al path - a reconfigured line-up will do just t hat with their second album, 1989's Brighr And Guilty. However, for their first longplayer, recorded over five tense days in a tiny studio in Bow, the battle between guit ar pop and art punk plays out in full. It makes for an Incredibly thrilling journey, and an open one, too. There are flecks of jazz. and some soulful passages, reminding us that there was more to C86 than pretty boys with floppy fringes wearing skinny jeans. Lois Wilson

Contrary to the critical opprobrium which met it, the jazz-rock explosion of the '70s stretched modern music's boundaries, as this four-disc box underlines. Starting with keyboard player Zawlnul's contribution to Miles Davis's 1969 masterpiece, In A Silent Way, and saxophonist Shorter's experimentation on the t itle track to Super Nova from the same year, we move through 35 more audio tracks presented in chronological order as Forecast: Tomorrow reaffirms Weather Report as a largely potent force until '85. Drummer/jazz scholar Hal Miller's insightful sleevenotes add real context to this Inspired music, echoed today by artists like Flying Lotus and Elephant9. The live DVD, from Offenbach in 78, captures Shorter, Zawinul, drummer Pet er Erskine and bassist Jaco Pastorius in full fli ght. Phil Alexander

MOJO 107



--- ., •







Charles the first Rock's obsession with cars, school and girls all points to one pioneer. By Jim Irvin. n the 1986 documentary Hail! Hail! Rock'n'Roll, Chuck Berry comes clean about the propulsive guitar style that defined a genre. "Put a little Carl Hogan [from Louis Jordan's band]. a little T· Bone Walker and a little Charlie Christian together... And making it simple is an important factor in being able to play my music. If you can call it my music. Ain't nothing new under the sun." Berry knew he was a savvy magpie. Using Jordan's narrative song style, doo wop's keeping-it-real language and a keen sense of his market, he was willing to try (and plunder) novelty songs, country music, calypso, whatever it took to connect with people. Chuck hustled. Imprisoned for armed robbery at 21, it wasn't until he left the pen a few years later, in 1950, that Charles Berry took up music seriously. In the spring of 1955 he visited Chess Records in Chicago with two de mos. One of these, Ida Red, a blend of country rhythms and R&B, caught their attention. "The big beat, cars and young love. It was a trend, and we jumped all over it; said Marshall Chess. Retitled Maybellene and cannily co-credited to Chuck, a local distributor and a disc jockey, this borrowed song proved t the making of Chuck Berry. Perusing a new, stunningly 0 presented, and reassuringly

" Ain't nothing new under the sun.•: Chuck Berry, jumping all over that young love trend.



108 MOJO

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Count Basie

Black Widow

Original Album Series


*** Sacrifice



Five albums: The Aromic Mr Basie ('57) is a big band classic (Kid From The Red Bank, lll Darlin', Whlrly Bird all Basle staples); At Bird/and ('61) ha s a fine Segue In C: One More Time is 10 Quincy Jones tunes; Tony Bennett Sings, Chairman Of The Board also. GB

Cod Satanic lyrics and Tull · meets-Colosseum grooviness combine on Leicester outfit Black Widow's 1970 debut, remastered with a recent second 'narrated' version . Best fun is the restored footage of the band live on German TV. PA

The Gap Band

The Hitsville House Band


expensive collection of his complete works, Chuck Berry:


Rock And Roll Music Any Old


Way You Choose It (Bear Family) *****· one realises how that formula drove his entire output. Like other pioneer rockers, Chuck found it hard (or unnecessary) to break from the sound that launched him. Ripped off early in his career - and back in prison at its height, for transporting a 14-year-old girl across state lines - he became fastidious about being remunerated, to the point where cash over· shadowed any other career goal, and he pursued it with a cussedness that made him few friends behind the scenes. The generation that first felt these songs remains amazed by him. "Chuck Berry is one of the greatest poets America has produced," asserts Paul McCartney here. To the uninitiated, those songs might seem scrappy and repetitive, but if you get swept up in the sweet chug and sentimental atmosphere of Memphis Tennessee, the louche groove o f Come On, or the pell-mell picaresque of Promised Land and Johnny B. Goode then, yes, he's a poet, albeit one who seemed casual about his craft and even more careless when consulting his moral compass. This collection of 16 CDs and two hardback books is undoubtedly a definitive monument to him, collecting everything he cut for Chess, Mercury and Atco, the rare pre-Chess single with Joe Alexander from 1954, and nine live sets - a stately home for some fading old masters.

One of the funk-based popdance band's two best LPs (II is the other), IV had Early In The Morning, You Dropped A Bomb On Me and Outstanding as the Tulsa bros Charlie, Ronnie and Robert Wilson hit prime form. Also reissued, less inspired V. GB

Wreckless Eric's 1996 •town and country album· ls, he says, •an uneasy mix of garage, pop, country and old rhythm'n'blues~ Wry observation and irresistible melodies define this home· made mono rave-down . PA

John Prine



Clash Of Dreams


Angels From Montgomery

**** 12 O'Clock Stereo F Ric CO/lP OL


T ~•E:.tlP CO

the first four LPs by Prine, once hailed as the Mark Twain of singer·songwriters. The first, John Prine, had memorable fare like Sam Stone. After that, everything else was a bonus. FD

Nearly three decades on, the Leeds electro indie-goth's f irst LP. recorded with Sisters Of Mercy's Andrew Eldritch at the controls, is reconstructed and finally released, with their 1983 Girlsoul EP stitched on. A gloomy-s hiny period piece. PG




4 Essenriol Albums 1971-1975 are



An Easy Introduction To Rock & Roll

TheHoagy Carmichael Songbook




Out-of-copyright madness: 15 classic LPs in card-sleeved CDs for under £20, including Elvis's Orst two, Eddie, Chuck, Gene, Roy, Wanda, ... A steal, but somehow makes you wanna respect them on vinyl. PG

Two dozen of Hoagy's greatest songs delivered by Nina Simone, Matt Monro, Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Jeri Southern Bobby Darin and others who trekked the Stardust Road. FD




Gary Burton

Gene Clark


The Contours

**** Conception

***** Two Sides To

One Hour


Do You Love Me


Every Story



This 2-CD set gathers early but still superb material by the jazz vibes virtuoso from his first two solo albums plus other work of the period. Anyone who thinks country musicians don't swing are directed to the sides by the Nashville All-Stars here. FD

HIGH MOON CO/OL Beautifully packaged reissue of the forgotten Byrd's forgotten LP, slide-guitar country ballads and breakneck bluegrass rides shine a bright light on the dark corners of Gene's world. With a free demos download.AM

A 1994 album recorded live by the seminal electronic duo and sometime Eno collaborators Moebius and Roedelius. A single piece spa nning 60 minutes, It includes various experimental sounds amid often gorgeous soundscapes but is never hard to take. FD

Once rare on CD but now well served, the raucous Contours were the least sophisticated Motown group with a wild rock'n'roll vocal attack. The title track o f this '62 LP, Shake Sherrie and bonus You Get Ugly show writer Berry Gordy rocked. GB



Joey Molland



*** *** Demos Old And New Ka-Pow!




Alone With Dion! Lovers Who Wander Early '60s songs presenting a teenage take on 12 tracks of Sinatra-styled material plus such dancers as Stagger Lee. Shout and Queen Of The Hop. Not essential Dion, but nothing to dent his reputation. FO


.~ ~ IPRISll



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Ian Hunter

Bob Marley

All-American Alien Boy


Uprising Live



On his second post-Mott solo LP from '76 Hunter heads to the US, recruits jazzers (Jaco Pastorius on bass) and ropes In Queen on backing vocals. An engaging, measured effort, this enhanced reissue confirn1s his talent as fine lyricist. PA

The Rockpalast-filmed Dortmund show from Marley's 19BO Uprising tour - h is last in its entirety. Not quite as good camera -work as the Santa Barbara festival DVD from '79, but Bob is elecrrifying and the sound crystalline. PG


Complete Albums, Singles & BBC Collection CHERRY RED. CD/Dl

Pre-Stereolab act, their gentle, late-'80s indie pop had biting political nous, best on 1990's

Banking, Violence And The Inner Life Today. Here's all three LPs - plus everything else. PG



Badfinger's guitarist has only issued four solo LPs in 30 -odd years, but this set of home and studio demos points up his knack for deft powerpop (I Said It's Al right) and Beatlesy acoustics (Miss Misunderstood). Someone cover them, please. PG

Unusual. originally shelved late '60s West Coast Mod rock aficionados who preferred The Who and Small Faces to the Fabs, and backed NZ showman Ray Columbus as The Art Collection on his unhinged, Nuggets-y 1967 45, Kick Me. PG


Lalo Schifrin



Not a soundtrack, but a j azzwith ·funk LP from '78 inspired by gitano rhythms - though there's little rustic and red· blooded about Its synths and polished chakka guitar. No One Home, also out, is a vocalised mainstream soul follow-up. CP

Johnnie Taylor


She's Killing Me/A New Day SOULMUSIC CO

Like Bobby Womack, JT was a Sam Cooke disciple and sings ballads (Play Something Pretty, Love Account, Baby Lay Down) on these post-Stax 1979 and 'BOs LPs superbly. But the disco lyrics are patchy, at best. GB


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The most aII ·en corn passing compilation of early British rock movie tracks ever winged our way. A 3·CD pack featuring 98 tracks by Billy Fury, Anthony Newley, Adam Faith etc. And if a few are nai've or dead naff, that only adds to the fun. FD



Dinah Washington


Original Queen Of Soul FANTASTICVOVl>t:.E. CO/OL

Second to Billie Holiday as song interpreter, hard-drinking Dinah never made It to 40, but this 3-CD set proves she sang jazz, blues and R&B with ease. Includes Grammy-winne r What A Diff'rence A Day Makes. FO

Antemasque Archive Bada$$, Joey Bartlett, Jo Belle & Sebastian Black Roots Camplight, BC Charlatans. The Childish, Wild Billy Childs, Euros Coombes, Gaz Oecemberists, The Diagrams Diplo Dyson, Ronnie Earle, Justin Townes Eno, Brian Flake Music Ghostface Killah Githead Go-Betweens, The Goldsmith, Beck Griffith, Grace Harding, Curtis Hayes, Llam Highton, Alex Jones. Linda Ka Ima, Ariel Keelaghan, James Kuti, Felil Anikulapo Large Unit Lee, Bunny 'Striker' Lost Girls Manic Street Preachers Manson, Marilyn Meatbodies Mergla, Hailu Monk, Thelonious Nelson, Willie/Sister Bobbie Night Flights

94 90 89 88 90 94 93 90 94 94 88 91 94 103 106 92 102 107 88 94 103 91 93 92 91 95 105 103 106 104 93 105 102 102 89 89 106 105 95 92

Panda Bear 89 Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band, The 93 Pastorius. Jaco 107 Prass, Natalie 94 Pratt. Jessica 95 Prince Hammer 106 Purcell, Simon 93 Rennison, Colleen 92 Rhodes, Silk 95 Rhyton 88 Roberts, Alasdair 90 Savoretti. Jack 91 Shaver 105 Simon & Garfunkel 105 Sleater-Kinney 86 Sly & Robbie 93 Soundgarden 102 107 Spacemen 3 Sparks 100 Starr. Edwin 102 Supreme Jubilees, The 103 Taylor, Chip 91 Troyka 95

Don 't cry over their Spilt Milk: Jellyfish sting agai n.

Various: Inside Llewyn Davis 90 Various! Art of McCartney 91 Various: Cerrone Prods 105 Various: Black Fire! 103 Various: Crime Jazz 107 Various; Holland·Doz1erHolland 45s 107 Various: Next Life 89 Various: Troubadour 106 Waterboys, The 88 Weather Report 107 95 White, Jim Wiley 92 Williams, Wiiii 102 Witherspoon, Jimmy 105 Wolfhounds. The 107 Wu-Tang Clan 91 Yo La Tengo 102

- -·-··-- - ------- ...... ....


Kim Gordon, Witco, Jellyfish. Mark Ronson, Betty Lavette, Dengue Fever, Steve Earle and many more...

Lambent Flame's tranquil breather Lilith,

Lost In The Dark Star Found stuffed down the side of time's flytipped settee, a drugular desert odyssey into magic.

Black Sun Ensemble Lambent Flame RlCkl [ SS. 1989

( ' S pecial thanx:John Lennon, Isis, Apollo, The Round Table, Mt Olympus, Sisters of The Moon and all of the Divine Fools of Jupiter and let us not forget MasterTherion," ran the credits on Lambent Flame, the 1989 album by Tucson, Arizona's psychedelic warlords Black Sun Ensemble. However, calling out to the talismanic properties of this predominantly mystical and occult cast didn't help. Lambent Flame's line-up never recorded another album; in March 2013, band linchpin Jesus Acedo had a fatal heart attack, by all accounts a shadow of his former self. Singer Odin Helgison drowned six months later. Few outside Tucson lamented the loss of Acedo, a virtuoso with the fluidity of a Randy California, Carlos Santana and Jimmy Page combined, but the personality of a Roky Erickson. Yet Acedo's youthful gifts made Lambent Flame a fabulously fried experience. as intense, spiritual and wondrous as an Arizona desert night, and, in parts, prescient of the eastern-tinged heft Jeff Buckley captured on Grace. Born in Tucson on Christmas Eve. 1962. :: to Mexican parents, Acedo was drawn to ~ Ravi Shankar and Led Zeppelin while ..; learning guitar at high school, - but was soon experimenting ~ with his own tunings, which he a labelled "peacock". Beyond the ~ Indian influence, Acedo said he 2:- aimed to incorporate Middle Eastern ~ influences. While channelling


110 MOJO

How Tuscon is now: Black Sun Ensemble, ci rca ' 81 (from left) Duane Norman, Odin Helgison (front), John Brett, Jesus Acedo and Michael Glidewell; (below, left) Norman today; (below right) Acedo in the studio.

something unique for the period- 'world music' was not yet a genre - Black Sun Ensemble's trippy echoes saw them distantly hitched to LA's Paisley Underground bandwagon. Backed by Michael Glidewell (bass), John Brett {drums) and violin/tabla support, Acedo released a vinyl album and three cassettes, all instrumental. But the only deal offered came from Reckless, the London -based record store that had just opened in San Francisco with a label attached. The first BSE Reckless album raided older recordings; for a new album, Acedo decided to branch out. One night, he approached Duane Norman, saxman in local 'Celtic' rockers The Host, whose frontman was Chuck El lick: "He called himselfOdin, it all went to his head; Norman recalls. "He acted kinda demonic, exuding total arrogance, but he could be gracious too. Jesus wanted both of us, but I'd never heard any music so blew him off. Then I heard a tape blasting out of a car, and it was like, Fuck!â&#x20AC;˘ Af ter three months of rehearsals, recording took just two days: "There were no third takes; most are first," says Norman. He credits engineer Eric Westfall (Giant Sand, Howe Gelb, Blacky Ranchette) with the album's luxurious sound, capturing the band's mystic essence. That, and sleep deprivation. After the first night, Helgison and Acedo stayed up for 72 hours writ ing lyrics. Besides weed and psychedelics, ecstasy had come to town; in that state, Helgison lifted quotes from Aleister Crowley's The Book Of The Law for

while a loved-up jam between singer, guitarist and tabla player Merlin conjured the instrumental Three Picks In A Bottle. The proto-metal Leviathan Song and blissed finale Blues For Rainer were two more instrumentals, putting Acedo's rippling progressions centre-stage. "Jesus was an innocent and completely unassuming guy, but a fuckin' monster on guitar," Norman notes. Guitarist/ engineer Eric Johnson, the principal mover behind BSE this century, refers to Acedo's, "heightened sense of harmony and dissonance. It's stuff that you just can't learn." Commented Acedo: "Black Sun Ensemble comes from the southern desert, where there is organ pipe cactus, prickly pear, coyote, rabbits, wolves. tarantula spiders... Our music is not like everyone else's, it's pretty weird, pretty profane, pretty spooky, ghostly." Despite Acedo's shyness, Norman claims, "Jesus was out there, a born shaman. Outside the LSD, he could see shit no one else could, like Don Juan in the Carlos Castaneda books." Yet the drug cocktail consumed was hardly conducive to a settled band. "Everyone that ever talked about Lambent Flame says it was one of those projects that made itself; says Johnson. "Get the right combination of people, magic happens. Unfortunately, I don't think they understood what they had, and egos, self-sabotage and drugs ended that era before it began, really." Departing members and Acedo's increasingly fractious mental state d idn't stop h im assembling a newline-up for 1991's harder, proggier Elemental Forces, at which point Reckless pulled out. Despite time in psychiatric wards and jail, Acedo would spearhead nine BSE studio albums-the last five with Eric Johnson steering. "No one knew how to take the band." he reflects. ¡ we played SXSW three years running, to ecstatic reviews, then come home and played pizza restaurants. Jesus became too anxious to travel. "Butthey don't make guitar heroes like Jesus any more. At full power, I've never heard anything like him. There was such beauty and utter darkness in his playing. He could be a royal pain in the ass, but he had a kind heart. I miss him a lot."

Martin Aston The self-titled debut byCobracalia, formed by ex-BSE members, is out now on SlowBu rn.

ON DESKTOP, TABLET AND MOBILE, MOJO's weekly email is the way to keep up with the latest happenings in MOJO' s world of quality music and the best new content on MOJO's web site. For great new music, unmissable classic clips, internet exclusives, interviews and competitions head to MOJ04Music-com , click NEWSLETTER, far right under the logo, and sign up. MOJ04MUSIC.COM:THE WORLD'S BEST MUSIC MAGAZINE IS ALSO ONLINE


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Manic Street Preachers

Postcards From

A Young Man COLUMBIA 2010.

You Say: " lavish, overreaching, reckless ." Ryan Gallagher, v ia e-mail Having honoured Richey with Journal For Plague Lovers, only the churlish could begrudge its successor·s recourse to more luxuriant schemes. An array of Manic heroes - John Cale, Ian McCulloch, Duff Mc Kagan - joined orchestra and gospel choir to deliver the anthemic overload required by this self-proclaimed 'one last shot at mass communica· tion•. But the band's writing skills were in tune with their commercial antennae, and subversion lurked beneath the sleek veneer: A Billion Balconies Facing The Sun quoted JG Ballard's Cocaine Nights, while Britain's post· industrial vacuum was skewered on All We Make Is Entertainment.

Manic Street Preach ers Dt..~IY


By Keith Camero n. fter 25 years, 12albumsand a small library's worth of column inches, the Manic Street Preachers are such an established feature of the British rock landscape it's easy to mistake this presence as inevitable. Long before their story's seismic fissure - the disappearance of Richey Edwards in February 1995 - the Manics seemed destined for ephemeral glory at best: their early gigs were 20-mlnute exercises In "hate-noise", while Initial singles scrambled pop art and politics with punk's Situationist polemic Into barely coherent blasts, culminating in the self-immolatory brilliance of Motown Junk. They promised to make a 16-million-selllng debut album, then break up. Inevitably, real life got in the way. Coming of age in the '80s amid South Wales's embattled mining communities, the original quartet were bonded by shared experience and family ties: cousins James Dean Bradfield (guitar, vocals) and Sean Moore (drums) drove the music, while Edwards (brain, guitar) and Nicky Wire (bass) wrote lyrics and manifestoes, initially much


112 MOJO

Marxing time: the Manics p ay homage (from left) Sean Moore, Richey Edwards, Nicky Wire, James Dean Bradfield; (opposite) Moore, Wi re and Bradfield today.






inspired by Wire's older brother Patrick, who inculcated appreciation of poetry and heavy metal. The challenge for Bradfield and Moore was to make their friends' voracious intelligence commercially viable. This they achieved fitfully across 1992's debut Generation Terrorists, but it wasn't until 1996's multi-platinum Everything Must Go that the masses finally submitted. By then, of course, Edwards was gone - though not before his molten visions had dictated The Holy Bible, the band's enduring masterpiece. Squaring success with iconoclastic instincts has been at times fraught. Yet however much their past defines them, 2014's brilliant Futurology proved the Manics' history also impels an ongoing fascination with the art of rock'n'roll.


Manic Street Preachers

Journal For Plague Lovers <.Ol.U\ llA 20

You S•y: ' Unexpected communication from Richey.•• powerful." Michael O' Nei ll, via e-mail Post-millennium blues duly dispelled by 2007's Send Away The Tigers' heartland retreat, the Manics felt sufficiently resolute to deal with the ideas Richey Edwards had presented them shortly before his exit. Reuniting with their friend brought heightened intensity, amplified by Steve Albini's ver· It~ recording ethic, and caustic powerage like nothing since The Holy Bible. But JFPL was no mere retread : the likes of Me And Stephen Hawking and Virginia State Epileptic Colony evinced humour, an oft-over· looked Richey anribute, while right to the final quavering vocal on William's Last Words, this powerful, nuanced exer· cise was surely what he would have wanted.



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Manic Street Preachers This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours

[ PI( 1998,



You Say: "Their make or break moment •.• reward· Ing.• Peter Brock, via e- mail At last successful, yet bereft: ambivalence at their new sta· tus seemingly bled into the sleeve image of Everytlling Must Go's follow-up: while Nicky wearily and Sean suspi· clously eye the sands on a Welsh beach, James raises closed eyes to the heavens. Likewise the music felt passive, dejected: If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next beautifully hymned the International Brigades but from a pacifist's guilty perspective. The Everlasting yearned for an innocent past "when our smiles were genu· ine". Relegating Prologue To History's uproarious cultural dissertation to a B·side made no sense, but TIMTTMY still delivered their first Number 1.

Manic Street Preachers Rewind The Film

Manic Street Preachers Know Your Enemy



COlUMBIA 7013,

CPIC 1001. ·

You Say: " Shows how well the Manics have matured." Matt Parkinson, via e -mail

You Say: " Welcome walk on their experimental side." Colin Smith, via e -mail

The Manics closed 2011 by playing all 38 of their singles at London's 02 Arena, amid reports that this marathon act of retrospection would preface a radical overhaul. Yet beyond the obvious -a pre· dominance of acoustic instru· mentarion; Bradfield sharing or ceding lead vocals on a couple of songs to Richard Hawley and Cate Le Bon - the ensuing Rewind The Film soug ht nourishment in home comforts: Welshness and Wales are specifically Invoked on the first two songs and insinuated throughout the band's gen· tlest, most unaffectedly beautiful record. Essentially an act of retrenchment rather than a revolution; that was to come with the contemporaneously hatched Futurology.

The Manics followed up the soft focus anthems of This Is My Truth ... with this sprawling, skewed equivalent of The Clash's Sandinista!, a record designed to challenge Its audi· ence and reassert its authors' contrarlan values. Haphazardly attired - now they're Spector/ The Fall/Stereolab/R.E.M./ Sonic Youth - amid its raw production values, random noise bursts and (on Watts vii le Blues) Nicky Wire's de but lead vocal, Know Your Enemy fea· tu red a clutch of truly striking composirions, most spectacularly The Convalescent, a scything motorik navigation of Wire's pluralist culture map: from Picasso to Payne Stewart, Juantorena to Srebrenica. Uneven but underrated, KYE rewards repeated scrutiny.


COl.UMBIA 2014.

You Say: " Great." Brian Fleming, Facebook It's quite a feat for a band to effect a reinvention on its twelfth album, and not the least of Futurology's qualities is how unlike the Manic Street Preachers It often sounds. Essentially succeeding where 2004's Lifeblood failed, here was the European art-pop syn· thesis these admirers of Bowie and Simple M inds felt they owed themselves (Europa Geht Durch Mich even references the latter's I Travel), while amid the bleached modernist textures lay a pulsing heartbeat, than k5 especially to Bradfield's emotional ea paclty to inhabit these meticulous constructs and unerring melo· dies, notably the Green Gartside duet Between The Clock And The Bed. Both evoc· ative and unprecedented: a tantalising augury for what might yet come.





Manic Street Preachers Generation Terrorists


COLUMBIA 1992. , 4

You Say: " Motorcycle Emptiness ... La Tristessa ... classics." Gregory Foster, vi a e-mail

You Say: " The right Manics album wi ll find you ... and you will fall deeply in l ove.'' Cath erine Rogan, Facebook

Children of the UK media's fix· ation with chart placings, the Manics appreciated the single for its commercial properties as much as aesthetic virtue. Unsurprisingly, much of their best work was released on short-format, and even flawed albums feature key Manics sin· gles: Gold Against Tile Scul's airless hard rock vistas yielded La Tristesse Durera and From Despair To Where; Lifeblood begat ace Zooropa replicant The Love Of Richard Nixon; Send Away The Tigers had heart-pulping Nina Persson duet Your Love Alone Is Not Enough. All are here, plus Motown Junk and The Masses Aga inst The Classes. both definitive revolutionary 45s.

Self-ordained to be a 16 million -selling one-off, the advance mythic status accord· ed to the Manics' debut guaranteed it could never possibly deliver. Yet especially now, far from the era's contentious rhetoric, Generarion Terrorists feels surprisingly robust. Steve Brown's steroidal arena rock production, programmed drums et al, is the perfect conduit for scrawny punk hissy fits like Repeat, while he believed i n his young charges sufficiently to nurture their elegiac gene, revealed so timelessly on Motorcycle Emptiness. Even its excess baggage is jus· tified In assembling a rounded profile of these beautiful and damned provocateurs.



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Manic Street Preachers Futurology

Manic Street Preachers National Treasures - Complete Singles



Manic Street Preachers Everything Must Go EPK 1996.

You Say: " Simply an emotional classic." Jonathan Cooper, Facebook Released at the apex of Britpop, the Manics' fourth pulled the trick of superficially tuning into the era's nostalgic gratification while in reality pursuing a very different agenda. Utilising Richey Edward s' final writing with the band, his absence forced a reconfiguration around Nicky Wire's sparer lyrical style, hon· ing melancholic, string-soaked songs of praise to t he lost and alone, none greater than the working-class elegy A Design For Life. Populist yet dig· nlfied, EMG was a massive achievement, regard less of context.



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Manic Street Preachers The Holy Bible

EPIC 1994,

You Say: " One of the best albums ever... perfect combination of blood, sweat and tears .'' Mike Pecucci, Facebook Viewing the third MSP album as Richey Edwards' pre-ordained valedictory is at odds with the elated mindset of its creation. Recorded cheaply in Cardiff, the tiny studio a conduit for the songs' astringent post-punk designs, Edwards fumed at humanity's base Instincts (both Mausoleum and The Intense Humming Of Evil were inspired by Nazi death camps) and dissected his person· al traumas in harrowing detail (4st 71bs; Die In The Summertime). The music evinced a group liberation; viz Faster's mantra, •1know I believe in nothing but it is my nothing." Still revelatory after all these years.

Subt1tl I A<;,, re\ History Cf Mani' treet Preachers, LrpilKk Traces Sony 2003) 1s dn excellent 35-tr.ick comp1· lilt on of B·S•des znd r<Jr-t es, fc.iturinq lh- cfil,\ c.: P1ol09u"' Io History, covers of N rv,1nd. Gun~ N'Roses., Wh.irn• and Art Garfunkel plus the pr. v1ously unre-tc>asecl R1,hey r<'mnan1 Judge Yr'self JamH !)Pan Bradf Id and Nie ky W1r bOth released.solo albums n 2006, 1/leGreac .vestern Columb•a 1 and / ~t// ?Cl 1ne Ze1t9J:Tfc(Red Ink). each char .ict<·rful outl< ts 1or th<' sk lls their band rol~ generally eschew - R'Spe<rtvcly. lyrics dnd voc.ils Until dn dUtob1· O<Jri!phy emerges from within 1h "im11, Simon Prices deeply resear(hed and rx· Ev<>ryth1n11 <V1roln 1999) rema·ns 1he , oefin Man.cs bock

MOJO 113

Pills, thrills and daffodils: Prin( e o n-stage at First Avenue in Minn eapolis.

Purple prose The self-creation of a superstar examined in knowing detail. By Tom Doyle.

Let's Go Crazy: Prince And The Making Of Purple Rain


Alan Light Al RIA. £14 99

t a key point in Let's Go Crazy. former Rolling Stone and Spin writer Alan Light really goes there in his research of the filmed performances that propelled Prince into the premier league. Standing on the tiny stage atthe First Avenue club in downtown Minneapolis where the band scenes of 1984 film Purple Rain were shot, the author marvels at how little space the singer actually had to throw the moves that made him a superstar, before revealing the fan-boy within. "It takes every bit of self-control; writes Light, "not to throw dignity to the wind and


114 MOJO

intone, 'Dearly beloved .. .' from this vantage point." Prince books up to this point have been largely frustrating affairs, which is unsurprising given the lack of access most writers have had to the singer. Light, however, has met and interviewed Prince ona number of occasions, and also here touches on his own high school years as a remote devotee, while neatly summarising his subject's career leading up to the making of Purple Rain, the album and film. Cast in this light, as part grand scheme, part hubristic folly, it's a wonder the movie ever happened at all - overseen by a first-time director (Albert Magnoli), featuring a cast with little or no acting experience in a rushed shoot in freezing mid-winter conditions. What unfolds is a tale involving much in the way of chutzpah and impulse; with the title track of the project bravely recorded more or less live on the stage at First Avenue. It wasn't the first time Prince had tried to make a film - a script called Second Coming was abandoned in 1982-and the first draft was a depressing affair working-titled Dreams, in which Prince's parents died in a messy murder/suicide at the hands of h is father. While detailing the near-riotous responses to the film at test screenings, Light is not uncritical of a movie which is

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very much of its time, not least in the unsettlingly misogynistic scene in which a girl is chucked into adumpster. Prince was a big cinephile, but his passion for European films and David Lynch didn' t exactly translate to the screen. "The acting and scripted dialogue," the author notes, "tenuous even at the time, don't stand up." On the strength ofits musical performances a lone, Vanity Fair described Purple Rain as "perhaps the best badly-acted film ever". Particularly by talking to many of those involved, Light reveals that Purple Rain was a project specifical ly designed to make Prince internationally famous. Still, it left him forever changed. His girlfriend and musical collaborator from the time, Susannah Melvoin, admits that post-Purple Rain, her then-paramour was "more moody, more superstitious, more compelled to keep his image solid ... and that became confining".As an absorbing portrait of a musician transforming himself into an icon, Let's Go Crazy reveals much about Prince's starry-eyed motivations.


The Guitar Collection

***Bacon Tony ~AR BOOKS

to create great visual moments: 1n 1967 he captured Aretha Franklin with halos (a trick of the light ) in her eyes; in '68, inspired by Henri Cartier· Bresson, he caught The Who asleep under the Union flag at the bottom of the Karl Schurz monument in New York City's Morningside Park; 1ha1 same year he took Jefferson Airplane in Plexiglass boxes by t he East River. These, plus iconic portraits of Jim Morrison, The Rolling Stones. Cream, Bob Dylan et al, make up this fine photo album. Lois Wilson

£39 99

Lavish coffee-table tome by the doyen of guitar histories. Includes a lO·lnch all-star blitz of Smoke On The Water. Brimming with vivid ·guitar porn· images of iconic axe evolution, from flattop acoustics to solid body electrics, via classical, folk and semi-acoustic instruments, The Guitar Collection treads a well-worn path, but such is the authority of Tony Bacon's descriptive 1ex1 (in both English and German), interleaved with potted portraits of key instrumentalists associated with each particular model, 1ha1 it feels definitive. At least it would do if the range of exponents were more diverse. Largely, i f not exclusively, weighted towards 1he 'classic' rock canon, all the usual suspects are here: Messrs Clapton, Hendrix. Page et al, as well as significant pre· rock'n'rollers such as Charlie Christian and Rosetta Tharpe. More avant guitar stylists, however, are conspicuous by their absence; so while there's a double-page spread portrait of a rapt Dimebag Darrell, ecstatically assaulting the lop fret of his Gibson Flying V, there is nary a mention, still less a picture, of Tom Vertaine, Keith Levene or Thurston Moore, although Johnny Ramone and his signature Mosrite Ventures Mark II does, happily. gel a look in. David Sheppard

Art Kane


Edited by Jonathan Kane and Holly Anderson REtl ART Pill SS. £60

Excellent guide to the photographer's ebullient music and fashion work . Reproduced faithfully here is Art Kane's most famous photo. A Great Day In Harlem features 57 jazz musicians gathered on the steps of a Harlem brownstone in the style of a school photo. 11 was taken in 195B for Esquire magazine and captures Kane's outside·of-1he· box thinking; ! no one before or since ~ captured the golden age of < jazz so vividly. Kane continued

Respect: The Life Of Aretha Franklin


David Ritz LltT• f BRO\VN £19

The Queen of Soul i s not amused by an exhaustive new biography. Aretha Franklin hates this book. She's said that it's full of lies and she's threatened legal action. Ritz. who co-authored Franklin's memoir From These Roots 1S years ago. admits that for that earlier book Aretha cul out many of the nastier bits that put her i n a less queenly light: 1wo teenage pregnancies, episodes of domestic violence, diva-ish behaviour, and so on. Respect is a corrective, intended to fill in the gaps, and it certainly does read less like PR-hype. Although Franklin did not cooperate, Ritz relies heavily on interviews with her nowdeceased siblings and many associates (Ray Charles, Jerry Wexler) who tell it like it was, and it's not always pretty. To say the least, Franklin can be difficult. Bui beyond all that, and more importantly, Ritz delivers a balanced, insightful study of a singular artist born with a gift, and the detailed descriptions of her most important recording sessions and performances put the sordid revelations i nto proper perspective. JeffTomarkin

Disco: An Encyclopedic Guide To The Cover Art Of Disco Records


Disco Patrick & Patrick Vogt ~LJAZZ


A gaudy, giddy, glittering gaze at dance vinyl . Disco's rehabilitation is such that the esteemed Soul Jazz label and publishing imprint, respected for its mining in the mustier

corners of dub, free jazz or New Orleans funk, have turned their attention to the genre, assessing its dazzling visual aspect. Over 2,000 sleeves frequently reveal the dichotomy of the genre - the use of glamorous models, often in far-fetched scenarios. camounaged the fact that faceless and ageing session players often produced a 101 of the music. It's all wrapped In often atrocious sexism - there are a great deal of bottoms and stocking tops - yet also an innocent optimism. Collected by super-fan Disco Pat rick, what the limited text lacks in sophistication is compensated for in sheer enthusiasm. To see the amassed Cerrone albums on Malligator-Crocos is worth £35 alone. If a fact like Tainted Love writer Ed Cobb founded AVI Records excites you, then here are 400 pages of the most fun you can have without an underlit dancefloor. A hugely entertaining snapshot of shifting social mores. Dory/Eosko

Joni Mitchell: Both Sides Now


MalkaMarom OMNIBUS PRE ;s

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As the song says: from w i n and lose and still somehow, it's life's illusions she recalls. An unusual biography in that it's essentially based on three Interviews the author

Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story


Jerry Lee Lewis And Rick Bragg CANONGATE ~20

Thrilling authorised biography of the Killer. tit uwn Hellfire, Nick

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conducted with Joni between 1973 and 2012, t he interceding narra t ives telling us as much about Canadia n si nger· songwriter/broadcaster Malka M arom as Joni. Yet it does provide intriguing insight s and contrary opinions that make you rue Mitchell's reluctant public profile, because she's a great interviewee. Her early days are graphically recalled - she remembers the first poem she ever wrote and her resentment al a teach er who only gave her A· minus; her overbearing mother and the struggles of her earty career. There's plenty about her painting, her love of jau and her self-imposed isolation, along with fulsome background to many of her greatest songs. But most revealing are such charged commentaries on her own psyche as: • Depression is necessary for growth"; "the performer in me th reatened the writer·; •1was never a feminist"; and "I'm a painter derailed by circumstance·. Colin Irwin

Tosches· semi·

fictional account of Jerry Lee Lewis's life is perfec t rock biography; his writing as gripping as his subjed matter. Any other retelli ng of the story is always going to be overshadowed, although Bragg's authorised prof ile comes a very close second. Bragg, an excellent writer and interviewer, tells the story straight, we get all the gun shooting, fighting, womanising, drinking, drug taking, Rolls-Royce-wrecking, of course, and Bragg admits 10 being scared he might get shot over the course of his two years of interviewing t he Killer in his iron-barred bedroom. The Ki ller, however. was •mostly gracious and asked about my mother·. More importantly, we also get great insight: Bragg underst ands the God -fearing Southern man's push-pull of good and evil, the mutually-exclusive· for-Lewis need for rock'n'roll and redemption and the resulting emotional turmoil that ult imately defines him. Lois Wilson

ild and bitter A great British songwriter at his peak, rescued from the BBC archives. By Andrew Male.

Jake Thackray

And Songs


Jake Thackray THE J.t.KL l liA< i'RAYPROJft 11gp MU' K DVD

hen the sixth episode of Jake Thackray& Songs was broadcast on BBC 2 on February 10, 1981 , few realised it wou ld be one of the singer's final small -screen appearances. Since his BBC TV debut on Beryl Reid Says Good Evening in 1968, this lugubrious, woolly-jumpered raptor of a man had been a jocular mainstay on current affairs froth such as Braden's Week, The Frost Report and That's Life, training his keen kestrel eye on local news minutiae to craft neatly parqueted and polished weekly songs. Thackray'scompositions trot along with amiable lightness, comic ballads that, at first encounter, might suggest a



116 MOJO

saucy-postcard Little England, fermented in the pre-alternative ' 70s alehouse of cheeky euphemism. However, the first song Thackray ever performed on TV was called The Black Swan, a darkly waltzing glimpse of doomed pub habitues who "Drink deep. drink long.. . Now that she'sgone•. That darkness remained at the bottom of the Thackray pint throughout his career. At his best, on songs like Personal Column, Old Molly Metcalfe or The Hair Of The Widow Of Bridlington, Thackray could scratch at glossy Donald McGill images of a ruddy-faced working class to reveal the hardships and frai lties underneath. Recorded in entertainment halls of o ld British pubs such The Cherrytrees In Alcester and The Royal Oak in Nail sea, the performances here are Thackray at h is stripped -back best. Accompanied by Alan Williamson upright bass - and occasional jazz guitar from John Etheridge- Jake plays his nylon-strung acoustic with casual chamber-jazz dexterity. But, in notable contrast to assured folk performances here from Pete Scott, Alex Glasgow and Ralph McTell {included as part of the BBC 'variety' remit) Thackray appears embattled and in retreat. There is a nervous anxiety to his between-song

Drink deep: Jake Thackray at the BBC in 1968, the year of his debut; (i nsets)costume changes fro m Jake Thackray And Songs.


banter, sweat runs down his face like floodwater on a country lane and, in describing the sombre back· stories of his songs' characters, he often exhibits a sadness that brings him close to tears. Of the three •new· songs here - The Bull, One Of Them, and The Remembrance . - one 1sa scatological attack on male hierarchies, another skewers racist and sexist jokes, while the third dissects the class structure of war. All are masterpieces. Thackraywas an admirer o f Randy Newman and while these new songs were at odds with Thackray's pub-performer persona and much of his audience, they suggest a possible path his songwriting could have taken. But anxiety, writer's block and changing comic fashions pushed him back to the pubs; smaller venues, longer lunch breaks. For one of our greatest lyricists and guitarists to be allowed to disappear like that is close to criminal. This exceptional release is some kind of justice.

Depeche Mode


to see, is presented as the emotional fuel for his subsequent self-destruction. There's confusion about his death in New Orleans in 1991, aged 38: was he killed by the druggie mates, who scarpered w ith his 20 grand, guitars, etc? Or was it leukaemia? What Looking For Johnny sorely lacks is high-quality, rip· roaring footage to make you care, but it 's gripping, if squalid, viewing. Andrew Perry

all studio gigs that a working composer could get in pre-Pro Tools mld·20th century New York. Sadly, he died young under murky circumstances in 1971 . This blo-doc (with an accompanying CO) is modest, but offers an intriguing look at one of the many talents who would pick up their cheques at the musicians' union -God bless 'em. Michael Simmons

Live In Berlin COi UMBI" DVDICD

Enduring band still just can't get enough. "I t's my religion," says a Oepeche Mode fan interviewed outside the 02 World Berlin arena in November 2013, where his heroes are about to play. ·oepeche Mode means to me everything,· says another. The band 's moody and meaningful image is, however, undermined by this big, brash concert film, directed by their long -time collaborator Anton Corbijn. For, rather sweetly, it seems that nobody is more entranced by De pee he Mode than the band themselves. Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher look genuinely delighted to be on stage, in no way tired of the necessary stadium-sized semaphore of hand-clapping and shapethrowing, even as they promote their thirteenth studio album, Delta Machine. It's endearing, but no matter how great such hits as Personal Jesus and Enjoy The Silence sound, they are compromised by this peculiar jollity, Gahan strutting about the stage like a pub comedian doing a terrible Mick Jagger Impression. Less Black Celebration, more grand· scale boys' night out. Victoria Segal

Looking For Johnny



Or, ' The Legend of Johnny Thunders', lovingly remembered. The Johansen/ Sylvain reincarnation of the New York Dolls may be a goofy joy. but people seem to have forgotten Johnny Thunders was that band 's uneclipsable star. Danny Garcia's movie aims to correct that, as friends and associates (but not Johansen) rally to big up t he junkie guitarist's sloppy majesty. Fatherless Johnny Genzale emerges as •a happy-go-lucky guy•. a charmer, until he's introduced to heroin, allegedly by lggy Pop. His ensuing habit leads the Dolls, and then the Heartbreakers, to a hasty burnout. A disastrous, abusive marriage, which spawned three kids he wasn't allowed





Six-disc 99-song R.E.M.-fest from MTV. Outtakes galore. Given it s demographic, MTV wasn't interested in R.E.M. until Losing My Religion. The exception is 1984's The Cutting Edge session - and preceding that, borrowed footage from 1983 teen show Llvewire of an electrifying So. Central Rain and Carnival Of Sorts, but the relationship was truly forged with 1991 's sublime Unplugged. Even then. the original llne-up takes a back seat; Bill Berry's present for the handful of awards ceremonies (1993's Everybody Hurts/Drive medley ls the pick) but the drummer's gone by 1998's Storytellers. the 2001 Unplugged and eight of the nine conce rts that bulk out REMTV. Lopsided, yes, but the post·Berry era is still distinguished by spine-t ingling performance. a magisterial back catalogue and Michael Stipe. His progression from squirming Mr Mumbles (check The Cutting Edge) to politicised and sexualised spokesman is a core narrative of a new chat· heavy documentary, where dodgy haircuts and terrible hats help illustrate the seismic changes that shook the band. Martin Aston

This Is Gary McFarland


::£NllJRYb7fll.MS DVD CD

An elegy to a workingman 's musician. Modern music geeks may recognise Gary McFarland's name from the sleeves of fraying LPs in used record shops. The vibraharpist and producer/ composer/ arranger worked with heavyweights Lena Horne. Bill Evans, Stan Getz and Antonio Carlos Jobim and recorded soft jazz and bossa nova as a solo artist. Graced with a natural ear and easy-going charisma, he also paid the rent by scoring low-budget films and writing jingles - any and

The Doors

ennui and concert footage of the mighty band whose chops, charismatic frontman and songs that blended literary and musical sophistication with commerc ial hooks ultimately inspired rock templates for the next half· century. Unlike the MTV'd gloss we've been deluged with for decades, there's a refreshing anti-slick spontaneity here. ·we're not making it, it's making itself," says Morrison during the shoot. Also included is a Granada TV documentary of a g ig at London's Roundhouse and an August '67 Toronto performance of Oedipal epic The End - all refurbished and remastered. For those interested, Morrison wears leather t rousers that define ' tight', among other thi ngs. Michael Simmons

Jerry McGill


Feast Of Friends


Very Extremely Dangerous

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A peek at The Doors, through The Doors. This feast's entree is the title film, produced by The Doors and artfully shot by Morrison mate Paul Ferrara. A Pennebaker-style pastiche of theirsummerof '68 tour and available only as a bootleg until now, it's a Doors-eye view: bloodied fans, backstage

Hair-raising documentary chronlcling the llfe of the Memphis music outlaw, who died in 2013. A Sun Records artist. convict ed felon, and late-in -life redemption story, Jerry McGill is the subject of this SS-minute documentary directed by Irish film-maker Paul Duane and produced by Southern music

historian Robert Gordon. A '50s rockabilly greaser with a penchant for trouble, McGill released a lone single for Sam Phillips' label before spending a couple of decades on the road, for much of that time serving as Waylon Jennings' procurer, protector and sometime songwriti ng partner. Drawn to darkness. McGill ultimately fell Into a spiral of drugs and crime (up to and induding attempted murder). Once thought dead, he attempted a comeback in 2009 before succumbing to cancer. Ouane's film is an engrossing, often harrowing portrait of a violent con man, unrepentant addict, and talented rogue. The DVD is accompanied by a collection of McGill's unreleased roots· rock material. including some produced by Jennings and Jim Dickinson, and featuring Ry Cooder and Alex Chilton. Bab Mehr

roo ers Part cabaret, part rehearsal, part sentimental farewell as The 'Orrible 'Oo hit 50. By Pat Gilbert.

The Who Nottingham Capital FM Arena here'i. an an1using episode in tonight's sho'v that':. LOO subtle to be truly s~• n1bolic, yet ~on1chO\\' still n1anages to i.pcak \'olu111c!>. Introducing Picture~ Of Lily, Pete 'lo\\'nshl· ncl tells the story of seeing th~ sepia photograph or thl· cpon~ 1110US First World v\'ar pin-up on a girlfricnd'i. \\'all, then being inl>jlired to\\ rite ''.1 '>ono~ .1bout '''ankino" To . b . '' h1ch Rogt•r Daltrl') adds, "This one's for the troop:.!" onlv for hb fril•nd to stare at hirn in • g~nuine puLLlement. "~"knO\\'," sa~·s the singer, h1~ balloon <k·flatl·d in front of 10,000 ~oub. "That'i. ,,·ho it ,,·as originally for? l "he troopi.?" "Ah,'' says the guitarbt, finallv con1prchending, but nO\\ rcalisi1~g he's forgotten ho\\' to pl.1y 1he song. To,vnshend then talk~ him~elf through the chord changes in n1un1bled 1\lilligan- e~c. before he and the band unk·ash a lacerating, bullish rendition of the unsettling '67 pop hit. "Vt/e got it 99 per cent right. . ." is Pcte's verd icl at its t·risp, crashchord conclusion. vVclcon1c, then, to the fourth nicrht ol'The I • b vVno l ltts 50 tour, an unusually \var111 (for then1) and chl'l't')' t'\t•ning's entertainment. Announcl·d in Septcn1bl·r, this road trip is scheduled to bl' tht• band'<; last, and " ·ill culn1inate li:>r LI K fan~ \\'ith a huge gig at J-Iv<lc Park in July. O\\ ' 70 or thereabouts 'lo\\·nsh nd ' ... an<l Daltrcv, thl•ir band111ate<; Keith i\lloon and John Ent\\ i~tle long departed, arc at la5t ackno,,·ledging thl·ir rnortalit, - and the inescapable truth that ·rhe \\'.ho's music relies on a kind of vouthful phv~icalit\ that ma,· ,,·ell pro\e C\.er hardl•r to ... un1n~on. \\'hi~h n1ake5 tonight one of the la:.l opportunitiel> to \Vitnes!. pcrhap:. the n1o~t ext raordinar,· rock group of all tinll'. ' t\., if L<> harnn1l'r honll' the b('nl·lit!. of \'outh, support act ·rhc Standard Lan1ps at ti1ncs look and sound uncannilv like ·rhc \Vho of 40 ; year!> agl1, tlu·ir -12anolv, lighth~ hcar<le<l , et ... singer and guitarbt l\like Wilton sharing cai.y \\'ay 1vith a big tTO\\·d "'~ To\vnshend'~ ' , and tt·asing evl·rything fron1 scratchy s_kiflly rhythn1s lo hard, proggy rills ~ fron1 ,, ch~rry reel ·c~. A th~C'e-piece, ~ thl:'y are tight ,1nd blu1:~y. \\'Ith \Vilton l rifflng on hii. harmonica, but they're ~ all>o able to deftly channel "fhe Jan1'~ -g angll:'d, n1odern bt pop on track, !.t1ch a~ ~ The i\llodcl \ Vorlcl. Cre>1vd niccl) \\artnl·d, Tht• vVho \link ~ on, the t\\O ... ur\·h ing kon' i.tanding clo!>elv ~ together i.tage right, the line-up co1npleted ~ by TO\\·n.,hend\ ~oungt•r brother i1non on ~ rhythm guit_ar, thl· '>tork·cl Pino Palladino on " bass, thanklullv-rcturned-to-thc-fold Zak •






118 MOJO


Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere, Any Who: Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, getting It M99 per cent right''; (far right, from top) Townshend gets In the "lashing manically" mood; by the light of the Moon; Simon Townshend; back to catch the Magic Bus; (below right) Standard lamps light up the n ight; Strat· ma.s ter Pete.

Starke) on drum,, plus three auxiliar\' \'oc.ilbt ...; kl·yl111,1rcl istv pcrcui.sion pla,:crs, John Cort)', 1.or('n (~old and Fr,111k Si1nes: I .1un(·hing into 11·ha1 tr.1nspires to bc: .1 nonch ronologic.11 'grl'.lt\'St hits' Sl' t, the l'ight-pil'C<' \Vho 1n.1kl· .1 glorious ,1 nd \•olurninous r.ickl't, tl~ough it':. not until tht·y hit thl· rnid-sct suill' ol QJ1adn11'hi:111a 111atl'ri.1 l - fanl:1rl'd hy l'n1 One ,1nd 5: 15 - 1h.1t thl' 1nu~it· rt'.111\' hl·<'ins to cook ~ \ nd, of c.·our:.l', tht· 1nu~ic.d contribution of I:nt\\'iStll· .1 ncl ,\ loon I ron1 thl· bi" scr(•cn bri nvs ,... l ht• hou-.e do\1•n. ~ 0,1ltrcy, ho\\'C\er, is t·learly having diflicultiei., h.l\ ino rt•t>ortt•dh· ini·url'd his "' shoul.<ll·r ,, Ii.·\~ cl.1~ s hl'li1rl'. ~hough his pipc.·s .in· p1lc.:h-pl·rll·t·t ,111d po\\c.·rlul on tht• cathartic fin,11 ro.1r of I 11\'l'. R,·ign ()'cr ~lc, hi -.till mo\ l'llll'nts on-staol' 1·ivid Iv.. contrast \\·ith th~" .!"si lhoul'tH· of his 30-\·t·, , 1r-old. ,\ lc.·ssiah-likc.· '"II. running lit'l' on tht· h1:.1c.:h in thl· Ton1n1\ lilm . .l\·rh.1p!> it\.!>~ n1p.1_rh~ lor l~og. that brings out IO\\ n~hl·nd ~ t>l.1\ lul n.1turl' - onl' runnin<> "'" i!t "'"r<.· in Lud\\'iu:.h.1lc:n tonioht ,:..: ~ ' not~· ~ :'\ottingh.1111; <.·l:.c.•11 h<.·r<.·, hl· h,1nt<·r~ ,1bout h.11 ing st.1rll'<I ,. \Quick ()nc, \~'hilc He's ..\11,1\ on tl11· '' rong chord till' prl•vious ni)!ht (only j(,r thl· h.1nd this tinit· to null tht• h,tf111~)1l\ int~o). 'l'ht· iinpression of a cosy .1uclil·ncl' ~' ith Thl· \Vho is h(·ightl'nt•cl \1•h1·n l)a ltrl'V start.-: c.I rink i ng Irom ,, 1nug. hut, ,111 if the i nhl'rl'nt d.1r~n1·ss .~nd hl'.1\ }' 1>sychological freight of thl•1r n1u:.1c.: c.-.1111101 hc.·lp hut O\'t·rpo\ver tht·m, th,• fi11,1l 11u,11'll'l" of th1· St'l !ll'l'S th1· ;::. orou1> tr.1n~torn1 into thl· ffil'.ln .1nd lerocious hl'ast of lor1·. \·l· .\11-, l·t•1·l .\It-, B.1b.1 ()'Riley and\\ on't G<.·t I ook·d .\g.1in ollT d<.·li1·1•rt•d a:. hu!!t>. na~t) sonic: .1:.:,.1ult\, l),1ltrl\' \\'Jntonlv t11·irhnQ hii. ' 1nikl· .1ncl Jo,vnshl·nd l,1 hing n;,1nic,1lh ~this t r.1t. l "h1· n1.1i11 <;1•t tl11·n t·ncl~ 1vith Sl:ril'' of hugs. h,·tor1• th,·~ r1•turn, l''h.1u~tl·d, fi>r ,1 jo}•lul. if :.lightly n1.1nnt·n·d •.\lagic Bus. Tht· l.1..1 timt· ~l<)j() s,,,, Thl· \\'ho.•it \ \ l'1nhl1·y on '>llllllnt·r 20 I 3\ QJ1uJrol'h,·nia .\ nd .\ lore tour, l'1·t1• .1ncl Ro" sounclt·d likl· th,.,. ,,·antecl to n111 rder each other and e\ cryhc;ch in tht• audienc.·(·: it \1a.; L11t• old, 'Oribblc 'Oo · incarnate, and scarily con1pelling for that. But Sl'('ing the l\\O n1en all lo,·cd up, and a band finding tl11·ir fl·t•t early in a tour - that's fascinating loo. v\/c'll happily take either. .I




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Props to Pops A tip of the hatfrom a current resident of the Big Easy to its greatest export. By David Hutcheon.

Dr.John Barbican, London ecametomeinadream,· Dr. John says about his latest project, a celebration of the spirit of Louis Armstrong. "He said: 'Do my stuff your way:• Clearly a man who believes in following his dreams, the good Doctor could hardly refuse - how do you ignore a sage who advised, ·wrap your troubles in dreams, dream your troubles away" ? So, in 2012, when he was promoting Locked Down, one New Orleans pioneer took the music of another and started

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120 MOJO

messing around. If Armstrong had been a young man t oday, would he be playing Dixieland or would he be putting the hep into hip hop?The resulting Ske-Dat-DeDat is a 21 st century big-band gumbo, mixing jazz with rap, funk and soul but, unsurprisingly, too unwieldy to carry across the Atlantic on tour. Stripped down to 13 players - hornheavy (led by trombonist Sarah Morrow, who produced and arranged the album) and featuring British trumpeter Byron Wallen and adopted-Brit vocalist Carleen Anderson - the live experience is surely far closer to Dream Louis's idea of•Do it your way, Mac: A Dr. John show, in other words, where guest vocalists don't get the chance to hog the limelight and the man himself dominates centre -stage without having to rap his way through the High Society soundtrack. The openers What A Wonderful World and Mack The Knife have had their soft

Updated to Mac: Dr. John brings his Louis Armstro ng dream to life; (below, left ) t he band In full swing; (below) tr umpeter Byron Wall e n.

edges removed: with a beat Th e Roots would dig, the latter, in particular, is revitalised, retrieved from bland, X Factor swing -night staple to cold -hearted murder ballad. Anderson, introduced as "Kaw-leen", makes hay with her numbers: gleefully sherricking our host for Sweet Hunk O' Trash and taking both Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen and Lay My Burden Down back to a revivalist meeting while the horns cut loose in syncopated anarchy, each trying to play one louder. Conversely, When The Saints Go Marching In is treated to funereal reverence, played as the blues spiritual it was intended to be to give the audience time to ponder the apocalyptic lyrics. There's surely a nod to the real world, too, during I've Got The World On A String, when Rebennack perhaps gives the phrase #I'm strung out on you• slightly more emphasis than other lines. By picking some of Satchmo's best-known songs and hurling them through the decades to see how they land, this is not so much a show saluting the trumpeter's spirit as one that proves how universal it was. Armstrong, the supposed sell-out who mugged his way through Hello, Dolly!, still belongs to Basin Street, to the prostitutes, pimps, junkies, gangsters and hustlers who watched his rise. They, too, probably all had dreams of doing it their way. When Dr. John closes with one of his own, a swinging Such A Night, it's affirmation of what we knew all along: dreams can come true.




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THATCH, YOUR DEATH Regarding Papernut Cambridge (MOJO Rising, issue 253), I was tickled to discover that Ian Button was once a member of Thrashing Doves, w hose career was apparently destroyed when Margaret Thatcher said she liked their single Beauti· ful Imbalance on Saturday Superstore in 1987. I've always wondered what their reaction was. Graham Jones, via e-mail

WAS PATTI A FILM STAR? Where the De liar-man muses upon Bread, Thatcher and the earliest days of recorded swearing. Can you tell me anything about a film called Island that starred Patti Smith. I can't find any Information about it on the internet. J.G. Perry, Leeds Fr ed says: Island wasn't a fi lm, it was a play. The brainchild of writer-director-producer Anthony J. lngrassla, It opened at New York's La Mama Experimental Club in March 1972 and starred Patti Smith alongside Wayne County, Cherry Vanilla and a dozen others. Said to be lngrassia's best play, it was about a group of weirdos picnicking on Fire Island, while a US destroyer headed in their direction, apparently to halt the miscreants' activities. County later recalled: "Both Patti Smith and I were typecast in Island, me as a drag queen revolutionary, Patti as a fast-rapping Brian Jones-obsessed speed freak." Ingrassia, an obsessive eater who late in his life weighed in at 600 pounds, died in 1995 at the age of Sl.

WHO USED THE F-WORD FIRST?? It is generally accept ed that Al Stewart was the first performer to use the word " fu ck" on record. But I ca n't believe t his is true. Surely someone else employed the so-called f-word in former years? Please reveal all. Pete Waters, via e-mail Fred says: Actually, Al sang "fucking· not " fuck" In the title track to his 1969 album Love Chronicles, bu t let's not split hairs. In truth, a singer named Patricia Norman beat Stewart to the swear box by some 31 years. In 1938 she recorded the Louis Armstrong hit

126 MOJO

Rock Island signs: (clockwise from top) early '70s Patti Smit h feels theatrical; Thrashing Doves (with Ian Button, right); Bread; Kenny Everett, awful record aficionado; sheet music of pioneering rude song Ol'Man Mose.

01" Man Mose wtth the Eddy Duchin Orchestra and repeatedly sang the phrase "Oh bucket" as "Oh fuck 1t". causing one band member to laugh on record. There were denials that Norman had sung the offending word. Whatever the truth. the resulting furore caused th e record to hurtle to Number 2 in the US charts. selling 170,000 copies. However, the notoriety didn't pay off in Britain, where the record was duly banned. I don't recall Patricia Norman ever appearing on another hit, but pianist-bandleader Du chin continued notching chart successes until he joined the US Navy in 1943. Even after his death from leukaemia In 19Sl, his popularity flourished . Columbia Pictures filmed The Eddy Duch in Story with Tyrone Power cast as Du ch in, synching his hand movements to the piano playing of Carmen Cavallaro, The resulting soundtrack album topped the US chart for two weeks in 1956, rema ining In the listings for an impressive 99 weeks. And no - it didn't contain a version of 01' Man Mose!

REGGIE FUN SPLASH Further to your correspondent's query in MOJO 251 (What was the story behind 1980's spoken word disco 45 Dance With Me by Reginald Bosanquet?), I can offer the following. I still have an off-air recording of Kenny Everett's All Time Bottom 30 broadcast on Capital Radio on April 12, 1980. Dance With Me was voted t he worst record of all time and the legendary Everett interviews Bosanquet after playing the song and asks how it came about. Bosanquet replies by simply saying that he wa s prompted by Barry Norman who wanted to know " what It is like to make a pop record". Pye went along with the idea and the outcome was PYE 7P167. Reggie admits he is "tone deaf, ca n't sing and has no sense of rhythm". The song was completed in one take as halfway between a serious recording and a joke; "somewhere between Lee Marvin and Rex Harrison". I only wish I had a copy of the original record! Paul Griffiths, Bournemouth Fred says: Thanks, Paul. And anyone who still hasn't heard it, get ye to YouTube Reggie's Dance With Me has to be heard to be believed!

Fred says: We asked Ian Button, who told us, "It's one of those things that keeps on coming up. Everyone assumes we must be bitter, but I don't think she ruined our career-that trajectory was already happening. It was just the icing on a horrible cake!" Incidentally, the splendid When She Said What She Said on Papernut Cambridge's latest album There's No Underground is about the Thatcher incident. Hear it on YouTube.

DOUGH BOTHER When did the original Bread line-up split? Stuart Wood, via e-mail Fred says: David Gates and his cohorts went their separate ways following a sell-out show at Salt Lake City's Salt Palace on May 19, 1973. The exhausted band 's equipment truck had blown a tyre and overturned earlier that day in Flagstaff, destroying $30,000worth of gear. They played the gig with borrowed equipment: "Most bands wou ld never have gone on but Bread did," said Salt Palace manager Dave Knudsen. But that was itand the band, who'd planned a brief UK tour that included dates in Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and London during June, never got around to making th e trip.

HELP FRED ... I've always enjoyed the punk- doc 0 .0 .A., and wondered whatever happened to Terry Sylvester of Terry And The Idiots? Craig Thomas, via e-mail


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, OR e-mail Fred Dellar direct at

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; Write to: Ask Fred, MOJO, Endeavour ; House, 189 Shaftesbury Avenue, j London WC2H BJG.


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Utilise grey matter, get your eager mitts on a fu ll-blooded American Standard Stratocaster. ime to get down and get with it. The American Standard Stratocaster is the go-to guitar that's been rocking joints from here to eternity for more than half a century now, and we are enjoyably agitated to say we have one to give away as this month's crossword prize. Now it's even been upgraded with ~aged " plastic parts and full-sounding Fender Custom Shop Fat 'SOs pickups. This latest incarnation of Fender's time-honoured classic - SRP £1,438, inc VAT - comes with the very essence of Strat tone and remains a beauty to see, hear and feel. Which is why the likes of Buddy Holly, Ry Cooder, Dick Dale, Jimi Hendrix, Hank Marvin, Bonnie Raitt, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ritchie Blackmore, David Gilmour, George and John from The Beatles and Eddie Hazel from Funkadelic - plus countless others - have sworn by this noble instrument. So get grappling and grunting on the mat and subdue Ranking Fred's crossword brain· teaser. You know you can do it! And then send the finished and fully filled-in item to Hey Stratty Plum Strum, MOJO, lst Floor, Endeavour House, 189 Shaftesbury Avenue, Lon• w • • • ••• • don WC28JG. The closing date is Feb ruary 2, 2015. For the ru les of the quiz, send an SAE to that same address.


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Across : Mr Bojangles, 7 Reni, 9 Robert Margouleff, 10 Paralyzed, 120eeper, 13Adams, 16When Love And Hate Collide, i 8ArifMardin, 200rgan, 21Ol d,23 Mael. 24 Salif Keita, 26 Taj Mahal, 27 Dr Hook, 28 End Of A Century, 31Shout,32 Eponymous, 33 Subway, 38 Low, 39 Brilliant Trees,43 Near, 44 Sing,45 Goklfrapp, 46Alrighr.47The Monkees,48 Hurt,49 His Side. Down: Marianne Faithful!, 2 Bobby Womack. 3 Jorge, 4 Numb,SLorde,6 Snow Patrol, 7 Ruler, 8 Infidels, 1OPaw. 11 Dead In The Boot, 12 Dude, 14 Medal, 15 Norah Jones, 17 Here AndThere, 19Mambo, 21 Other Two, 22 Dale. 25 Elkie, 26 T.L.C.. 29 Day Tripper, 30 Frozen, 34 Bless The, 35/42 across A Winter's Tale, 36 G. I.Blues, 37 Straits, 40Nu-flow,41 Sell,45 Getz, 46 Ash. Winner: Richard Bryant of So lihull, West M l dlandswi ns an Orange Guitar Pack plus Orange practise combo amp, gig bag, onlinebeginnercourse and more.

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1 He Is. he is. he ls The Mod (4,6) 6 Portis head's box was filled with It (5) 10 Upset Iris~ coast al dish provides a great, 1981 dance punk release (4.2.5.S) 11 See photoclue A (6,41 1J Symbol of authority, like a Cream hit (S) 16 Was there a hard drive to promote this Radiohead release? (1.1.8) 17 The Great - In The Sky (Pink Fl oyd) (3) 11 Motown Funk Brother Paul (SJ 19Thlnk black, think Sunday. thlnk0Uy(7) 20 Label t hat released Talking Head's first four albums (4) 21 Adrian Sherwood's dub supergroup (81 22 /25 down Seemingly never ending Klaxon's hit (3,3,4,31 24 Did Warren Zevon take no orders for this album? (8) 26 Required for Natasha Khan's lashes (3) 27/ 14 down Grammy winner noted for her Acous-tic Soul (5,4) 29 Nelly Furtado album not as tight as it might be(5) JO Gilberto·-, Brazlllan pop Icon (3) J2f J1down U840songabout unemployment benefit dalmants (3,2,3) 35 Erykah Badu'i debut album (7) 36 A male romantic like Shabba Ranks (2,8) 37 Miles Davis album or that well-known vli;ar's apparel (4) 31 Ague passed from little WHiie John to Peggy Lee (5) 41 Andrew W.K.'s damp admission {1,3,3) 42 They Introduced to My Brother Jake (4) 43 The Jesus And Mary Chain's misspelt primate (S) 45 Album w ith whfch Robert Wyan hit the depths? (4,6) 41 - Blues (The Beatles) (3) 49 Mark Knopfler soundtrack, pan magical (3) 50 A betl·fike sound from Orbital (S) 52 A pay increase for Public Image Ltd maybe (4) 53 lynyrd Skynyrd's swt>et home stale (7) 54 See team upset regard Ing a Chaka Demus & Pliers hit (5,2) 56 Nigeria's King Sunny (3) 51 Adam Ant's 1983 shce of pan to pop (4'1'5) 59 Danish harmonica ace who went to War(3,S) 60 -- Good loo kin' (!'lank Wllllams) (3)

DOWN 1 Solsbu ry 1


Hill climber (5,7)

2 Duran Duran's reptilian merger (S,2,3,5) 3 Hanging about for a Fun Boys Three

release (7) 4 Carl Igloo becomes a one-time saxophonist with X·Ray Spex (4,5) · 5 See photoclue 8 (5,7) 1 Wee house-music producerwho provided a French kiss (3,5) j 8 Fruity chapeau popularised by Prince in I 1985 (9,5) J 9 See photoclue C (4,6) 12 Matt Hales or a Jethro Tull album (8) 14 See 27 Across 15 A pretender like Freddie Mercury (5) , 21 An acknowledgment of respect like l John Newman's debut album (7} 22 ~Guns that cross the street, you never know who you might meet• (Culture j aubl (3,1.n 23 Made durlr19 a sticky period for l Catatonia? (7,4) j 2 5 See 22 ACr0$S • 28 Tony, guitarist with 19 across (S) 31 See 32 Across 33 Godspeed Vot,11 Black (7) l 34 Sounds llke an explosive Blondle • release (6) JI Did it heatThe Cult's Woman in 1989? (4) 39 lead···· -- (Rod Stewart album) (8) 40 A gem. albett a small one. from The Drifters and Donald Fagen (4,4) 44 Did he piece The Lemonheads' second album together? (7) 46 Speed or timing In musical terms (S) 47 Say You Don't -- -·(Colin Blunstone) (4) 51 Start -· - (Rolling Stones) (2,2) 55 Montrose's final album sounds quite miserly (4) 56 ln 1996 t hey gave us 19n (3) 57 Joe from Lubbock, like a Cambridgeshire town (3)



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MOJO 127




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Last year rock fans of sixty-one different nationalities took a London Rock Music Heritage Tour having fun discovering six decades of history in the Capital City of Rock. See what they said on TripAdviso r (Google - 'London Music tour reviews').

This year it's your turn. From The Animals to the Zombies and every band between, it's the ultimate gig for all rock fans! Details at MOlllJNI<md.o.oBocklQlu r. corn Studios, stars homes past & present, album covers, famed venues, lyric sites Your record collection will never sound the same again I

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She was recruited in an emergency, and played out the last act so it wouldn't suck. HELLC DECEMBER 1965 They needed someone to play drums fast because the [Summit High School, New Jersey, December 11) show was only a week or so away. Sterling [Morrison) said to Lou [Reed], "Oh, Tucker's sister plays drums.· He and my brother had been friends since they were 12. Lou came out to Long Island [Levittown), where I was living at home, to see if I could play anything. I had this $50 drum set, which my mother bought from an ad in a local newspaper. It was terrible, but fine for playing along with Beatles and Stones records. It wasn't intended to be permanent. I just thought, "That'll be fun, to play with a band instead of playing to records." I'd met Lou once before, because he'd been friends with my brother in college, and came by to pick him up for a Thanksgiving vacation or something. My brother had told me about this guy who really plays good and has great songs. When I went into the city, to the apartment in Ludlow Street, I met Cale. He was ominous, not necessarily scary, just very different to anyone I'd ever met - all in black, long hair, little moustache, little apartment. We rehearsed three songs, though I only remember Heroin. I was amazed: "Holy shit, this is Interesting!" I didn't have the bass drum on its side. That came later, when we did the improv

130 MOJO

She's sticking with you: Mo e Tuc.k er (above, second left) on the set of Piero Heliczer's 1965 fi lm Venus In Furs. Also present, Lou Reed (fifth right) , John Cale (second right) and the director (with sax); (below right ) in 1971 with (from left ) Doug Yule, Willie Alexander and Walter Powers; (below left) Moe today.

stuff at the Factory. There was a brief moment getting in a car when Cale said, "No chicks." He was a little jumpy. I guess, thinking a girl might screw up the dynamics. But I liked all the people and it was a lot of fun. I never felt like a dork just because I was from Levittown. Yet, in my mind, I was still a data entry operator. For Lou and John, it was their life's ambition to earn a living playing music. I mean, I cared, definitely. But I wouldn't have been horribly disappointed if we weren't a big hit - or even a small hit.

OODBYE NOVEMBER 1971 Lou had left [in August 1970) and we weren't really in contact, not for any shady reasons; he was just doing his thing. I'd gone back [after a sabbatical while pregnant with daughter Kerry) because I enjoyed playing music. The band was good. Doug [Yule] was a good singer and musician, and a real nice person. I liked him a lot. But he wasn't copying Lou - that's just how his hair was! I'm sure that was not on his mind at all. Willie [Alexander) and Walter [Powers] were great musicians and we had fun. It wasn't the same, but I didn't wanna go back to being a data entry operator. I did the [October/November 1971] European tour for two reasons. I'd always wanted to go to Europe and there was no way in hell I'd ever be able to otherwise. And as the tour had been booked as The Velvet Underground, I thought it would stink if there wasn't even one original member. I'm not pretending I was Joan of Arc; I just thought that would really suck.

I think ii ii&i 18§€1 St@O@) 5@§1 llCR wanted to keep it together. He always had great ambitions for us. I really liked him but he swelled Doug's head a bit. So, yeah, that was a painful tour. I know I didn't say, "I quit." and come back on the plane alone. It petered out, j ust wasn't fun any more. I went back to Levittown, got an apartment with my brother for a while, and decided to stay at home. Many years later, when I bought Rolling Stone and saw that the Velvets were mentioned at least twice in every issue, I was shocked. It was about 30 years before I ever said, "Well, I guess I'm a musician!" But I always took the band seriously. Oh yeah, absolutely. As told to Mark Paytress.

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Mojo - February 2015