Saturday, April 27, 2013

love A Certain Ratio -- well, love certain things by them - but really, at the end of the day, they were just a washed-out, slightly stilted, sub-arthouse/existentialist version of Heatwave, weren't they?

a song-less, and hitless, version of Heatwave, at the end of the proverbial day...

although one of the things I like about Heatwave's sound is actually a certain proto-ACR-ish ghostliness, those blank colorless vocals....

bizarrely grim and grisly story, Heatwave's, with two members of the group involved in stabbings, one fatal and the other calamitous:

"Rhythm guitarist Roy Carter replaced [Jesse] Whitten after Whitten was killed in a stabbing incident. They began creating their first album Too Hot to Handle in the fall of 1976."


"Heatwave were about to return to the studio, when [Mario] Mantese attended a party at Elton John's house in London. He was with his girlfriend, who decided to go home early from the party, reason unknown. When Mantese arrived home, she was furious with him, perhaps from an incident that happened at the party and stabbed him. The knife hit him in the heart and for several minutes, he was clinically dead. When, after several months, he awoke from coma, he was blind, mute and paralysed in his entire body. To date, he has no memory of this tragic event. He decided not to press charges against his girlfriend, and moved in with her after leaving the hospital. Mantese was replaced by bassist Derek Bramble"

"Decided not to press charges... and moved in her with after leaving the hospital" - making him the Rihanna of his day!

Now tell me people, what the fuck happened to Rod Temperton, one of the greatest songwriters and groove-makers of the 20th Century???

 The funkiest white Englishman ever, this side of Chas Jankel?

(Chas J, who also had an involvement with Quincy J)

Temperton's Wikipedia entry more or less ends after the Quincy J/Michael J moment, although there's a mention of a Grammy nomination for his co-write of a song on the soundtrack of The Color Purple.... 

He did go on to write a whole bunch more songs for a whole bunch more people, including this one, theme song to a cops 'n' robbers movies, sung by Michael McDonald, and for which I have a soft spot (actually reviewed this wack movie, would you believe, for Melody Maker)

Presumably with a net worth estimated to be 150 million  Rod T  probably doesn't need to work..

Friday, April 26, 2013

beautiful moan, Joan

and warble, cluck, scree, whimper, uluuu, neigh, gnash, gibber, gargle, garble, yodel, grackle, grarn, tut, chikk, slyther, snit....

Sunday, April 21, 2013

so awful they're awesome

(a more drastic version of "so bad it's good")

awful/awesome teering-on-edge-of-undecidability factor mostly due in both cases to the vocal performances....  which aren't understated, let's put it like that

in "Dude"'s' case most of all for the raunch squawk of that eh-heh-ooh-eh-heh horn-like but really a vocal riff...

Aerosmith have a lot of "bits" like that, like the genuinely  awesome not awful stuff at the start of "Sweet Emotion" (and also similar intro production flourishes in "Janie Got A Gun")

a genuinely, preposterous outfit, Aerosmith, yet also very enjoyable, locating a rich seam of entertainment at exactly the midpoint between Stones and Zep 

(talking of Stones derivatives, heard this today - at, bizarrely, the LA Times Festival of Books -  and thought that the entirety of J Geils Band was contained therein - or rather the entirety of Peter Wolf was contained within that particular Jagger performance (i know J G B were going some years prior to this album, but...) )

but back to 'osmith: compare the ultimate triviality of anything/everything by them (okay, maybe bar "Dream On") to the indispensable godhead of e.g. this....

 I haven't said anything about "Superfreak" or Rick James...

Some years ago, on some message board or other, someone said, with a great air of certainty and worldly knowledge, "well,  it's not about a girl, of course, 'Superfreak'...  if you think that, you're really naive"

but if you listen the lyrics, it does appear to be about a girl, no, or rather a type of girl?  there's one or two lines that could be taken as being about coke...

when he was singing about drugs, RJ tended to be a bit more heavy-handedly in code

this topples all the way into awful doesn't it? And you should see the 1982 RockPalast live version with the sub-Randy Rhoads guitarsnazz all over it that i almost posted... 

i'm not sure i've even ever listened to Street Songs now i think about it... 

but this album, when James was competing desperately with Prince ("fake funk", he liked to say of the purple midget) who had so utterly outstripped and eclipsed him commercially and critically, made him look dated, a hangover from the Seventies.... this album, embracing the machine-funk of the day, really was excellent

 delta 5 "anticipation" - TOTP, says the poster

 not Top of the Pops but the Oxford Road Show, says someone in the comments

 but who knew  that Delta 5 actually were on TV at all?!

Monday, April 15, 2013

ride on time


longer version of "slow ride"