SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SINGLE (Part 21-25)

Back on 8 October 2011, I started a series called ‘Saturday’s Scottish Single’.  The aim was to feature one 45 or CD single by a Scottish singer or band with the proviso that the 45 or CD single was in the collection. I had got to Part 60-something and as far as Kid Canaveral when the rug was pulled out from under TVV.

I’ll catch up soon enough by featuring 5 at a time from the archives..

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(21) Blood Uncles – Let’s Go Crazy b/w Shake : Virgin  7″ (1987)

Consisting of Big John Duncan (ex-Exploited), John Carmichael and Colin McGuire, their debut EP on a local indie lable attracted the interest of Virgin Records.  Their career consisted of two singles, including a frantic cover of a song by Prince, and one LP, none of which got near the charts.  Big John would later be part of the live act that was Nirvana…..

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(22) Bloomsday – Strange Honey b/w Night Storm : Island Records 7″ (1990)

Chris Thompson is one of the great lesser-known talents of the Scottish music scene.  He first came to attention via Friends Again and has made a number of very different albums under the guise of The Bathers.

Back in 1990, he took time to form Bloomsday.  This was a very talented group indeed.  As well as Chris, you’d find Neil Clark on guitars and Stephen Irvine on drums – both had been part of Lloyd Cole & the Commotions.  All songs on the one LP the band released in 1990 – Fortuny – are joint compositions. Oh and for good measure, the bassist on all the records was Mark Bedford of Madness.

It’s a very fine record, albeit parts of it have dated a wee bit.  One day I’ll get round to featuring it on this blog.  In the meantime here’s the one 7″ they released. It was on a major label too – Island Records:-

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(23) BMX Bandits – Kylie’s Got A Crush On Us b/w Thinkin’ ‘Bout You Baby b/w Hole In My Heart (demo) b/w My Generation : Creation Records CD single  (1993)

Read more about BMX Bandits here

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(24) Botany 5 : Love Bomb b/w Satellite : Virgin 7″  (1990)

Botany 5. consisting of Gordon Kerr, Steve Christie and Jason Robertson entered into the studio with the Blue Nile’s Callum Malcolm. The resulting ‘Into The Night’ (1991) was preceded by two well-received singles, ‘Love Bomb’ and ‘Nature Boy’, the group’s mellow meditative soundscapes bearing comparisons with the likes of Talk Talk, The Orb and Animal Nightlife. Before being lost forever to the music business jungle, the Botany 5 trio completed a series of acclaimed live shows aided and abetted by former Orange Juice drummer Zeke Manyika

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(25) Bourgie Bourgie  – Breaking Point b /w Apres Ski: MCA Records 7″ (1984)

Click here for one of the most lovingly put together websites on t’internet.  You can read more about Bourgie Bourgie and everything else that Paul Quinn has ever been involved in here

Readers of old will know just that (25) remains one of my all time favourite pieces of music.

A POLITICAL PROTEST SONG (7)

A brilliant educational posting all the way from New Zealand…..

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Hey JC, like so many others I’m rapt you ‘got back up again’, thought I’d offer a submission for your favourite/memorable political protest song series.

I grew up listening to a lot of punk music so have many faves from the likes of Crass, Conflict, Blitz, Anti Pasti, Stiff Little Fingers, Dead Kennedys etc, but didn’t think many were really vinyl villain material… considered Orange Crush by R.E.M. and My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes To Bitburg) by The Ramones, both of which are great, but have decided on something perhaps you and most of your readers wouldn’t be familiar with.

Culture by The Knobz came out in 1980 as a response to the then NZ prime minister Rob (known as ‘Piggy’!) Muldoon’s refusal to lift a 40% sales tax on recorded music (he thought pop music was “horrible” and had little or no cultural merit)

Probably considered one hit wonders (think they put out a couple of other singles and maybe an album) it’s a pretty catchy song and did quite well in the NZ charts, tho I doubt it got heard much outside of NZ.

The line “I can buzz around like a beehive boy…” refers to politicians – NZ’s (newer) parliament building in Wellington is known as the beehive because of its shape.

Probably more ‘memorable’ than ‘favourite’, hope this might be of interest to you, all the best with the new blog

Cheers, Craig

mp3 : The Knobz – Culture

A POLITICAL PROTEST SONG (6)

Today’s posting is courtesy of Jules whose excellent blog is Music From Magazines

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A couple of weeks ago went to the Tolpuddle festival; union banners, Tony Benn and more socialists than you could shake a stick at all in sunny Dorset. Oops nearly forgot and Billy Bragg.

Between The Wars is probably one of the best folk/protest songs for decades (hells teeth it can make grown men cry)

But at the moment my top protest song is a cover of NWAs Fuck The Police.

As a middle aged white bloke I have no excuse apart the fact that it makes me smile.

Jules

mp3 : Kevin Davis – Fuck The Police

A POLITICAL PROTEST SONG (5)

Today’s contribution is courtesy of James from Appetite For Distraction.  I’m really pleased about this as James has been a great friend to me and many others in the blogging community for as long as I can remember.

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One of my favorite protest songs is Blood-Red, White, and Blue by Rise Against. The lyrics appeal to common sense, they’re angry and yet also pleading. Oh and the guitar solo rocks. And that’s important.

I’m realizing that I started responding before I even THOUGHT about the songs of NOFX. I’ll say that their album The War on Errorism is chock full of great songs about the specific ways America was fucked up in 2003.

Oh and Anti-Flag! The Terror State is kind of like that NOFX album in terms of material but without the sarcasm.

Agh! And the Suicide Machines album A Match and Some Gasoline!

But seriously. That Rise Against song is great.

mp3 : Rise Against – Blood-Red, White and Blue

A POST FEATURING ANOTHER 80s PIN-UP IDOL

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A recent post featured Nick Heyward while today’s has the talents of David Sylvian, two of the faces you’d find most regularly in the pop magazines aimed at teenage girls in the early 80s.

While Haircut 100 never got any critical acclaim due to being just too pop-charts orientated, the initial crime of Japan was  that of making music deemed unfashionable. Three LPs released on Hansa Records in 1978 and 1979 were seen as rip offs of the arty side of glam, with Roxy Music and mid 70s Bowie no longer in vogue as punk and new-wave came to the fore.  A move into Eurodisco working alongside Giorgio Moroder also brought nothing.

But to the surprise of many, Japan were snapped up by Virgin Records in 1980 at a time when the label was seen at the cutting edge of the new wave movement.  The sound and feel of the band was different to what had gone before and the marketing men at the label were not slow in exploiting the good looks of Sylvian pushing all sorts of profiles into the magazines.  And coming just as the New Romantics were bursting onto the scene, the look, feel and sound of new Japan was in the right place at the right time.

Chart success, and then some, followed thanks to the hits on Virgin and the shameless exploitation of the back catalogue by Hansa Records who seemed hell-bent on issuing a new single every few weeks.  This time round, the radio stations lapped it all up, and thanks to effectively being on two labels at the one time, Japan enjoyed eight Top 40 hits in a little over a year, including a re-released remix of a 60s cover:-

mp3 : Japan – I Second That Emotion (extended remix)

It went all the way to #9 in the charts and was their second biggest hit of all behind Ghosts.

This was the b-side:-

mp3 : Japan – Halloween

Yet another single picked up for pennies during a rummage.

Enjoy!!

STOP MAKING SENSE

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David comes out on bare stage with acoustic guitar and portable cassette player which provides rhythm. During ending, David does spastic dance which uses the whole empty stage. Tina’s bass rider is wheeled out. Stage crew are all black overalls. Drum riser is wheeled out…

Chris joins at drums. Jerry joins playing guitar. A keyboard riser is wheeled out. Ednah and Lynn sing backing vocals. Steve comes out….plays bongos. David does a ‘duck’ dance. Percussion riser wheels out. Alex joins playing guitar. Rear projection screen comes down very slowly. Bernie comes out. David does knock-knee dance at end.

Second keyboard riser has been wheeled out. Bernie begins song. ‘Jogging’ dance and #Indian-snake’ dance. David runs around the stage at the end of this song. Red slides with words…..

That’s the description to the opening sections of the movie Stop Making Sense provided within the booklet which accompanied the 1999 CD re-release.  It remains the only concert-movie that I’ve ever made an effort to go and see at the time of release, doing so at the Edinburgh Film Theatre in 1984….why I chose to see it in Edinburgh rather than Glasgow I can’t remember.  What I do know is that I was so mesmerised by it that I went back to see it again the next night in my home city.

It was a concert film unlike any other.  No close-up shots of the audience nor of  the musicians playing solos. No attempt to hide the fact that the road crew were an important an integral part of the show.  The band re-arranged a number of the songs and in doing so turned them into what many Talking Heads fans consider to be the derivative versions.

One unforseen outcome however, was the attention focussed on the parts played by David Byrne at the expense of those other long-standing members, a situation that was to lead to ever-increasing friction and the effective break up of the band within five years.

Thirty years on from its filming in Los Angeles in December 1983, Stop Making Sense remains a highly impressive piece of work.  And some of soundtrack still hold up well today:-

mp3 : Talking Heads – Psycho Killer

mp3 : Talking Heads – Slippery People

mp3 : Talking Heads – Girlfriend Is Better

Enjoy!!

A POLITICAL PROTEST SONG (4)

00386120Hi JC,

Hope all is good with you. Glad to see you bouncing back in such a positive manner.

Political protest songs, jesus where to start. Growing up in the 80s,  of a left wing persuasion and a member of CND I have tons of them. Some subtle, Shipbuilding, some not so subtle Tramp The Dirt Down and not to mention all of the 60s songs that the older hippies I hung about with were into. But the one I would choose and which is very pertinent up here in the north of the UK with the referendum coming along next year is No Gods and Precious Few Heroes by Dick Gaughan, a man known for his political songs, you have to hear his version of World Turned Upside Down, it knocks Billy Bragg‘s version into touch, not an easy feat.

No Gods was written by Brian McNeil of The Battlefield Band, but it’s Gaughan’s voice and the abuse he inflicts upon his guitar that make this song so special. It’s kind of hard to pick an outstanding lyric from the song,  as the whole song is so incisive  but if I had to it would be “try going doon the broo wae yir Claymore in yir hand and count all the princes in the queue”. Anybody thinking about voting “yes” in next year’s referendum should listen to this song and in the words of another sung by Gaughan, they should think again.

So there is my contribution JC.

All the best

Drew

mp3 : Dick Gaughan – No Gods And Precious Few Heroes

Bonus song:-

mp3 : Dick Gaughan – World Turned Upside Down

PS from JC : For what it’s worth….at the risk of maybe alienating a few readers…..my sentiments re the ballot scheduled for September 2014 are similar to those expressed above by Drew.