Sunday 1st June, 2014..
Sunday 1st June, 2014…..
FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD – “INSIDE THE PLEASUREDOME”
ULTRA-DELUXE BOX SET LAUNCHED VIA PLEDGEMUSIC
HITS 50% OF TARGET IN JUST 50 HOURS!
27 May 2014: Union Square Music is proud to announce Inside The Pleasuredome – an “ultra-deluxe” box set celebrating the 30th anniversary of one of the most ground-breaking albums in the history of pop: Welcome To The Pleasuredome by Frankie Goes To Hollywood. The box set was launched on the PledgeMusic platform at 5pm on 21 May and has been a run-away success, reaching 50% of its target in under 50 hours.
“We want to take you Inside The Pleasuredome to explore Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Trevor Horn’s greatest work,” explains compiler Ian Peel. “So we’ve dreamed up the most ultra-deluxe box set possible. Can we make this dream a reality? Pledge now – at www.pledgemusic.com/projects/frankiegoestohollywood – and we can, and you can get this strictly limited edition visual, tactile and audio release in your hands.”
Inside The Pleasuredome will come in a beautifully designed 12″-sized, 2.5″-deep box containing ten bespoke elements, including:
- A 2014 vinyl edition of the original album, remastered at Sarm Studios by Trevor Horn and his 2014 team, pressed on 180g audiophile vinyl and packaged in a unique die-cut sleeve designed to frame one of three accompanying prints by original Pleasuredome sleeve artist, Lo Cole.
- A set of three 10″ singles compiling previously unreleased mixes of Relax, Two Tribes, The Power of Love and and various album tracks.
- A 48-page hardback book celebrating the artwork of Welcome To The Pleasuredome, with contributions from Paul Morley and photographers John Stoddart and Peter Ashworth
- A DVD compiling the classic Pleasuredome videos by Godley & Creme and 5.1 surround sound audio mixes of the singles and album tracks
- A 13-track, 90-minute cassette anthology of Relax remixes; and a frame-by-frame flipbook of a rare Frankie animated film
For the digital generation, all music from the bespoke vinyl and cassette elements will come with a download code. Further limited editions and box set elements will be confirmed in the coming weeks, and announced first at: www.pledgemusic.com/projects/frankiegoestohollywood.
Sunday 1st June, 2014…
Green Cookie Records signs The Phantom Four
Amsterdam / Thessaloniki, 30 May 2014
Green Cookie Records is proud to announce the addition of Dutch surf legends The Phantom Four to their roster. The label will release their highly anticipated new album “Mandira” on CD on June 14th and on vinyl on September 20th. Both releases will be a cooperation between the band’s own label Mirananda Records and Green Cookie Records. The digital release of “Mandira” will be on June 11th on Mirananda Records. On September 17th Green Cookie Records will release a special digital EP with four exclusive mixes. Pre-sales for the Download and CD version, including an instant download of five tracks, has started athttp://thephantomfour.bandcamp.com/
“I have always been a huge fan of The Treble Spankers and since day one Phantom Frank imprressed me once again with his work with The Phantom Four. Working with Niels at North Sea Surf Radio we soon discovered we have the same passsion for surf music, especially the tracks exploring the boundaries of the genre by incorporating mediterranean, middle eastern and other world music influences. The Phantom Four are at the top of the food chain when it comes to this approach of surf music and we are therefore delighted to add them to our roster.”
Mike Papageorgiou, Green Cookie Records
“Working with Mike from Green Cookie Records at North Sea Surf Radio I have gotten to know him as a very knowledgable, passionate and driven person when it comes to surf music. With the latest vinyl releases from Dirty Fuse, Les Agamemnonz, Surfer Joe, Goggle A and Los Venturas Green Cookie Records was responsible for five of the best releases in 2013 and I consider their equally impressive “Search From Atlantis” to be the best compilation this year so far. We are very delighted and proud to be part of the roster of what we consider one of the best record labels in surf music.”
Niels Jansen, The Phantom Four
Green Cookie Records is an independent record label based in Thessaloniki, Greece. The label releases instrumental surf-rock, garage rock, rock and roll and everything in between and has an international roster of artists. Over the years they have released dozens of classic albums by renowned surf bands like Insect Surfers, Speedball Jr., El Ray, The Star And Key Of The Indian Ocean, Los Venturas, Surfer Joe, The Moe Greene Specials and Wadadli Riders. Most recently they released “Search For Atlantis”, the very first compilation with surf music bands from Greece.
The Phantom Four, follow up to the legendary band The Treble Spankers, are one of the world’s premier instrumental bands. In their 9 year existence they have done around 300 shows throughout Europe. They played every major festival in the Netherlands and have been among the headliners at the Surfer Joe Summer Festival, Surf O Rama Festival and their very own North Sea Surf Festival, the very first festival in The Netherlands dedicated to instrumental surf music. The Phantom Four is also responsible for setting up North Sea Surf Radio, the first worldwide free online radiostation dedicated to instrumental surf music, 100% commercial free.
Monday 30th December, 2013…
Conan tour details……
Sunday 6th October 2013,
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND
WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT
2nd DECEMBER 2013
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND’S ‘WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT’ TURNS 45!
THREE-DISC SUPER DELUXE EDITION OUT DECEMBER 2ND
Featuring Rare Outtakes, Unreleased Studio Tracks And Live Material
You can pre-order the set here: http://store.universal-music.co.uk/restofworld/invt/0602537540938
“No one listened to it. But there it is, forever – the quintessence of articulated punk. And no one goes near it.” – Lou Reed, August 2013
The Velvet Underground’s White Light/White Heat is one of the most confrontational and inspirational second albums ever made by a rock band. Recorded in a matter of days at the end of the summer of 1967, a season in which everything seemed possible in rock and much of it happened at now-mythic speed, White Light/White Heat is an album that reeks of gritty NY street life and which could only have been made in New York, by one band. And that group is the classic-quartet lineup of The Velvet Underground – singer-guitarist Lou Reed; bassist-organist and viola player John Cale; guitarist-bassist Sterling Morrison; and drummer Maureen Tucker.
“Cited by nearly every group in punk’s long lineage and by more than a few arty types, the Velvets defined New York rock, poised between street-level grit and literary irony, rock simplicity and minimalistic drones, clarity and noise.”– The New York Times
On December 2nd, 2013, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) will release The Velvet Underground – White Light/White Heat 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition, a three-disc, 30-track set featuring both the original stereo and mono releases, completely remastered, with bonus tracks including alternate versions, unreleased outtakes, John Cale’s last studio sessions with the band, and the official release of their show at The Gymnasium in New York recorded on April 30, 1967, which includes five previously unreleased performances culled from John Cale’s personal copy. The 45th anniversary set was developed in conjunction with Lou Reed and John Cale, the exclusive material is as follows:
*New 2013 mixes of “Guess I’m Falling In Love,” “Hey Mr. Rain (version one), “Hey Mr. Rain (version two), “Beginning To See The Light” (also a previously unreleased early version)
*Unreleased versions of “The Gift” (vocal version) and “The Gift” (instrumental version)
*Never-before-heard tracks from Live At The Gymnasium, New York City, April 30, 1967– “I’m Not A Young Man Anymore,” “I’m Waiting For The Man,” “Run Run Run,” “Sister Ray,” and “The Gift”
*New liner notes from David Fricke
Originally released by Verve Records on January 30, 1968, the LP cracked Billboard’s Top 200 albums chart on March 16, entering at No. 199. Forty-five years later, The Velvet Underground’s White Light/White Heat is considered one of the most influential albums of all time, laying down the blue print for punk and experimental rock, critically acclaimed and included on many “Top Lists” including Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time and on Rolling Stone’s Greatest Artists List.
Disc one of The Velvet Underground – White Light/White Heat 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition starts with the original six-song stereo version of White Light/White Heat, with the album’s title track plunging head first into 40 minutes of unprecedented, transgressive rock storytelling, propelled by epic distortion, lacerating guitar drone and severe, rhythmic purism – “the Statue of Liberty of punk,” Lou Reed contends, “with the light on top. It’s beyond unique and wonderful. No other group can touch what that is. You can’t try to be that.”
Other tracks include the airy yearning of “Here She Comes Now,” one of the Velvets’ finest ballads which gives the listener a two-minute breather with its “almost” serene beauty before being launched back in; the upbeat, hard-hitting proto-punk track “I Heard Her Call My Name,” punctuated with Reed’s biting guitar soloing, intertwined with a wall of distortion and feedback; the experimental sung and spoken noir of “Lady Godiva’s Operation” and “The Gift”; climaxing with the propulsive, distorted eternity of sexual candour and twilight drug life, rendered dry and real in Reed’s lethal monotone, in the 17-minute-plus “Sister Ray.” Bonus tracks include an alternate take of “I Heard Her Call My Name”; the instrumental version of “Guess I’m Falling In Love,” recorded during the White Light/White Heat sessions but left unfinished; plus the original mixes of tracks “Temptation Inside Your Head” and “Stephanie Says”; two different recordings of “Hey Mr. Rain”; and a previously unreleased early version of “Beginning To See The Light” recorded during John Cale’s last studio session with the Velvet Underground in May of 1968.
Disc two contains the original mono version of White Light/White Heat plus mono single mixes of “Here She Comes Now” and “White Light/White Heat,” as well as an instrumental and a vocal version of “The Gift,” both of which had been unreleased.
The Velvet Underground – White Light/White Heat 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition also includes a third disc featuring the official release of the revelatory Gymnasium tape, recorded live during the Velvets’ residency at a short-lived New York club in April 1967, five months before the White Light/White Heat sessions. This show was previously only available on bootlegs and includes the complete version of the instrumental “Booker T.,” plus the tracks “I’m Not A Young Man Anymore,” “I’m Waiting For The Man,” “Run Run Run” and a version of “Sister Ray” that clocks in just under 19 minutes.
Many have tried. Some have come close. More will try again, in the wake of this definitive reissue, The Velvet Underground – White Light/White Heat 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition.
Initial pre-orders of the Super Deluxe Box Set on the Boxset Store will received a limited edition white flexi disc featuring “Booker T – Live at the Gymnasium NYC. Limited to availability whilst stocks last.
WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT (stereo version)
1 WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT
2 THE GIFT
3 LADY GODIVA’S OPERATION
4 HERE SHE COMES NOW
5 I HEARD HER CALL MY NAME
6 SISTER RAY
7 I HEARD HER CALL MY NAME (alternate take)
8 GUESS I’M FALLING IN LOVE (instrumental version) *
9 TEMPTATION INSIDE YOUR HEART (original mix)
10 STEPHANIE SAYS (original mix)
11 HEY MR. RAIN (VERSION ONE) *
12 HEY MR. RAIN (VERSION TWO) *
13 BEGINNING TO SEE THE LIGHT (previously
unreleased early version) *
* New mixes
WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT
1 WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT
2 THE GIFT
3 LADY GODIVA’S OPERATION
4 HERE SHE COMES NOW
5 I HEARD HER CALL MY NAME
6 SISTER RAY
7 WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT (mono single mix)
8 HERE SHE COMES NOW (mono single mix)
9 THE GIFT (vocal version)
10 THE GIFT (instrumental version)
LIVE AT THE GYMNASIUM,
NEW YORK CITY, APRIL 30, 1967
1 BOOKER T.
2 I’M NOT A YOUNG MAN*
3 GUESS I’M FALLING IN LOVE
4 I’M WAITING FOR THE MAN*
5 RUN RUN RUN*
6 SISTER RAY*
7 THE GIFT*
* Previously unreleased
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND
WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT
2ND DECEMBER 2013
The Jam – ‘The Studio Recordings’
8 album vinyl box set + download card
Release date: November 25th 2013
• Eight piece vinyl-only box set – limited edition
• All six studio albums, re-mastered
• Two brand new discs of non-album singles and b-sides
• Heavyweight vinyl
• 44-page hardback book with new liner notes by John Harris (Guardian / Mojo)
• Introduction by Paul Weller
• Period photos and memorabilia
• Housed in full-colour rigid slipcase
• Includes a voucher to download an MP3 version of the albums
One of the most popular bands to emerge from the UK punk rock scene of 1977; The Jam had a phenomenal impact on pop music and wider youth culture. In their short career, along with the likes of the Sex Pistols and The Clash, they influenced a generation with their music, style, politics and inspiration.
Taking creative direction from a wide sphere of influences – The Who, Dr Feelgood, The Kinks and Motown amongst others, they achieved 18 consecutive Top 40 singles in the UK (including 4 number 1s) – they had a fanatical following, their singles entering straight in the top 10, or number 1 in some cases. Their gigs sold out within minutes.
Still beloved of original fans and new supporters through Paul Weller’s solo career – he still plays many of the Jam songs in his live sets today.
1. In The City – 006025 3745908 7
2. This Is The Modern World – 006025 3745909 4
3. All Mod Cons – 006025 3745910 0
4. Setting Sons – 006025 3745911 7
5. Sound Affects – 006025 3745912 4
6. The Gift – 006025 3745914 8
Singles: 1977 – 1982 (Volume One) 006025 3745915 5
Singles: 1977 – 1982 (Volume Two) 006025 3745916 2
1. In The City – 3745908
• Incendiary debut LP from May 1977. With influences from the likes of The Who & Dr Feelgood.
• Includes hit single – In The City (which gave the band their Top Of The Pops debut) and Weller’s most ambitious early song – Away From The Numbers
2. This Is The Modern World – 3745909
• Very fast follow-up, released a few months after debut in late 1977.
• Includes hit single The Modern World
3. All Mod Cons – 3745910
• Landmark album from 1978 that marked a turning point in The Jam’s career, Weller’s more melodic, complex, and lyrically incisive song-writing influenced by The Kinks.
• Includes the classic hit singles Down In The Tube Station At Midnight, and double A-side David Watts / ‘A’ Bomb in Wardour Street.
4. Setting Sons – 3745911
• Released at the end of 1979, number four in the U.K. and their first charting album in the U.S.
• Loosely conceived as a ‘concept’ album, with a distinct link between key songs – Thick As Thieves, Little Boy Soldiers, Wasteland and Burning Sky.
• Includes hit single Eton Rifles and the Bruce Foxton penned Smithers-Jones.
5. Sound Affects – 3745912
• The ambitious, experimental Sound Affects followed in 1980, moving away from the classic Jam sound it made number two in the U.K. At the time Weller considered the album a cross between Off the Wall and Revolver and cites it as his favourite Jam album.
• Includes no. 1 single Start! and one of the band’s most cherished songs – That’s Entertainment – number 21 in the U.K. as an import single, confirming the band’s enormous popularity.
6. The Gift – 3745914
• The band’s final studio album from 1982 and first number 1 album – a departure from the harder Jam sound, including more soul and funk influences that would preface Weller’s next project – The Style Council.
• Includes the double A-side number 1 single Town Called Malice / Precious. – the band became the first group since the Beatles to play two songs on BBC’s Top of the Pops.
‘EXTRAS-SPECIAL’ SINGLES: 1977 – 1982
The Jam existed in the long age of the 45, that perfect pop form via which the best artists not only created era-defining ‘A’ sides, but usually ensured that their supporting features were worthy of repeated plays. Any student of British pop’s first golden period will be familiar with the best examples: The Stones’ The Last Time came with Play With Fire, The Beatles’ Hello Goodbye with I Am The Walrus, The Small Faces’ All Or Nothing with Understanding.
The Jam were masters of this, as proved by the music collected on this set’s last two LPs – a kind of shadow history of the group, full of moments of revelation. To instantly understand their talent, listen to such songs as Smithers-Jones, Tales From The Riverbank, or Pity Poor Alfie: treasured items in their catalogue, and all ‘B’ sides, which gave the records on which they came a richness and fascination greater than some people’s albums.
‘Extras-Special’ Singles: 1977 – 1982 (Volume One) – 3745915
1. All Around The World
2. Carnaby Street
3. News Of The World
4. Aunties And Uncles
5. Innocent Man
6. So Sad About Us
7. The Night
1. Strange Town
2. The Butterfly Collector
3. When You’re Young
5. See Saw
‘Extras-Special’ Singles: 1977 – 1982 (Volume Two) – 3745916
1. Going Underground
2. Dreams Of Children
3. Liza Radley
4. Funeral Pyre
6. Absolute Beginners
7. Tales From The Riverbank
8. The Great Depression
1. The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had To Swallow)
2. Pity Poor Alfie / Fever
3. Beat Surrender
5. Move On Up
6. Stoned Out Of My Mind
SOUTHERN LORD TO RELEASE NOOTHGRUSH/COFFINS SPLIT THIS NOVEMBER
Thursday 26th September 2013
All Saints re-issue campaign – featuring Laraaji, Roger Eno, Harold Budd, John Cale et al….
press release reads thus…..
Founded in 1991 by Dominic Norman-Taylor, All Saints Records released several classic Eno albums, as well as works from iconic artists he has worked with over the years, including John Cale, Harold Budd, Laraaji, Roger Eno and Jon Hassell. Although well known by left-of-the-dial music aficionados, most of the label’s catalogue has long been out of print and hard to find—especially in high-quality audio. The music will soon become available to a wider audience, thanks to a major reissue project All Saints has undertaken. These releases will provide a fresh look at the catalogue, including career-spanning retrospectives (featuring additional licensed material), vinyl re-presses (along with CDs and downloads) of rare albums, remixes and carefully curated box sets. The series begins October 28th with several albums spanning the career of Harlem-based electronic mystic Laraaji.
The first of these is Celestial Music 1978 – 2011, a two-disc compilation featuring rare early tape works, collaborations with a variety of artists, and an illustrated 24-page booklet in which Laraaji tells his fascinating life story in his own words.
Laraaji starting out playing his specially modified electric autoharp on the streets of 70s New York City. Brian Eno came across Laraaji one night playing in Washington Square Park and invited him to record an album for his Ambient series, the seminal Ambient 3: Day Of Radiance. In the 80s Laraaji self-released a prolific series of experimental home-recorded cassette albums which were sold on the street, in psychic bookstores and new age “head shops.” He was an early proponent of the DIY tape underground that is still thriving today amongst artists working in noise, synth, drone and other genres. He also features on Light In The Attic’s forthcoming overview of the PINA genre (that’s ‘Private Issue New Age’ music for the non-crate diggers) I Am The Center, also released October 28th.
The first disc of Celestial Music 1978 – 2011 marks the first time some of this treasure trove of tape-manipulated harp jams and space age soul hymns will see a wider release. The second disc features highlights from Laraaji’s commercially released albums such as Flow Goes The Universe (recorded with infinite guitarist Michael Brook) and collaborations with other musicians including Eno and Bill Laswell. In recent years Laraaji has been recording and touring with a younger generation of artists that he himself has inspired, and the album fittingly concludes with the epic 17-minute “Astral Jam,” an audio communion with critically acclaimed duo Blues Control (Drag City/Siltbreeze/Sub Pop).
On October 28th, All Saints will also release Essence/Universe, a rare 1987 album Laraaji recorded for the Audion label. Comprising two extended pieces of music, the album recalls the heavenly drones of Popul Vuh’s soundtracks for Werner Herzog’s films and the transcendental minimalism of Terry Riley.
Two Sides Of Laraaji, also available on October 28th, consists of two out-of-print Laraaji albums: 1992’s Flow Goes The Universe, a collection of ambient instrumentals recorded by infinite guitarist Michael Brook; and 1995’s The Way Out Is The Way In, a collaboration with Japanese dub reggae band Audio Active on which Laraaji takes the microphone to impart consciousness-expanding wisdom over heavy sound system beats.
Before year’s end, All Saints will release bodies of music by Roger Eno and Harold Budd, with Jon Hassell, John Cale and Brian Eno to follow in 2014.
Wednesday September 25th 2013
Fruits de Mer missive reads…….
The summer is officially over, it’s nearly Christmas, I reckon it’s time to try to persuade you to invest in some fishy vinyl one last time in 2013.
- Vibravoid are back! They’ve got their own record label now, and they’ve been touring round Europe, but they couldn’t stop themselves going into the studio and remixing three great psych covers for their first FdM single in ages.
- Russia’s Vespero get their own 7″ and they’ve recorded two classic Floyd instrumentals for it (the cover is still being worked on but it’ll be something like the one in the photo).
- ‘Head Music’ is back! But in miniature – this time it’s a double 7″ of krautrock/spacerock/head music from Frobisher Neck, Black Tempest, Jay Tausig and Vespero (again!).
- The Fruits de Mer 2014 Annual is just about the oddest release ever on FdM. The themes to ‘Joe 90’ and ‘Lost In Space from The Giant Blue Zeta Puppies, Astralasia as you’ve never heard them before, plus a very strange little previously-unreleased instrumental from 1964 featuring ‘Beau’!
- The Regal Crabomophone Annual features two tracks that just have to be heard on vinyl – from Finland’s Octopus Syng (eerie and psychedelic) and from a new name for FdM – Mark McDowell (baroque pop with electric guitars – epic).
THE BOOMTOWN RATS
CLASSIC ALBUM SELECTION
SIX ALBUMS 1977-1984
21st October 2013
Continuing in Universal’s acclaimed Classic Albums series, we are delighted to announce the release of The Boomtown Rats
Classic Album Selection to commemorate the much-loved group’s reunion concerts and Back To Boomtown collection
The set features their six original albums – The Boomtown Rats (1977), A Tonic For The Troops (1978), The Fine Art Of Surfacing (1979), Mondo Bongo (1980), V Deep (1982) and The Fine Art Of Surfacing (1984) – in digipack sleeves with attendant bonus material.
Once famously described as ‘licentious, festering reprobates’ and ‘leprous anti-establishment scumbags’ and banned from playing in their home country, it’s difficult to overestimate the shock and awe The Boomtown Rats inspired in late 70s Ireland. The Rats set out to “disrupt, disturb and question what it meant to be young in the Ireland of the mid-70s”.
Formed in 1975 in Dublin The Boomtown Rats exploded out of Ireland in ’76 and their fast, loud, furious music and their fast, loud, furious attitude meant they became part of the burgeoning punk scene. Singer Bob Geldof’s defiant motormouth arrogance and flagrant disrespect for authority endeared him and his band to every youth who felt weighed down by the heavy handed blandishments of church and state. In the UK The Boomtown Rats first toured with the Ramones and Talking Heads rocking and mocking the status quo alongside the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Jam and The Stranglers. They became one of the biggest bands of the late 70s/80s with a string of top ten hits and platinum albums, earning them Brit Awards, Ivor Novellos and Grammy Awards. Making history as the first Irish band to have a UK no 1 hit with ‘Rat Trap’, they went on to top the charts in 32 Countries with ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ and racked up six era-defining albums.
“I’M GOING TO BE LIKE ME!”/THE SLIM HARPO TRICK by B P Fallon
1977 in England and six intelligent gobshites over from Ireland, laying waste to punk’s sacred creeds as the lead singer announced “I want to get rich, get famous and get laid”. It wasn’t the first of the fellow’s pronouncements. He went on to save the world for a while, thus effectively wrecking his music career forever. But that’s another story, not fit for these polluted paragraphs.
Geldof was the singer’s name, Bob Geldof. People called him Geldorf and, in America, Bawb. He was always writing great songs, playing ‘em badly on a left-handed acoustic guitar for the band. And he was a gangling fashion mess of red trousers held up with string and an oversize chequered jacket that would’ve been better served for noughts and crosses rather than daywear. And Geldof’s gob – the girls liked his Jaggeresque lips and the girls, they understand – his rubber mouth flapped like someone versed in cunning lyrics, announcements, pronouncements, opinions, let’s do this, let’s do that. With him it was always “Why the fuck not?”, which seemed a reasonable response to anything. Of course he got up a lot of people’s noses, people who thought this Geldof geezer was a jumped-up self-opinionated self-promoting Paddy git. But like some things that get up people’s noses, Geldof and the group he fronted – the group he drove – became extremely popular. Thatcher’s repressive drab Britain was being assaulted by rebel music and the youth was revolting and these guys, ahead of the Pistols or the Clash or the Damned, they scored the first No 1 hit from the punk rock melee. They rocked like fuck and even did ballads, used saxophones and strings when they wanted or looped into reggae. They became Rock Stars. Wham bam thank you ma’am.
They were called the Boomtown Rats, after the new gang in town in the Woody Guthrie book Bound For Glory. In Dublin, for the briefest of moments, they’d called themselves The Nightlife Thugs but knocked that on the head. Geldof would jump onstage by ripping through a cheap screen that beamed a Rentokill promo film they’d blagged from somewhere – all about killing rats, real tasty stuff – and he and the Boomtown Rats would be all cranked up breaking the speed limit into Bobby Parker’s Barefootin’ or the Coasters’ ‘Riot In Cell Block #9’ and bits of raw liver would be flying about like airborne corpse-cold jellyfish, landing on people, splat! Charming. And people went nuts of course, just loved it.
And this mighty band: Garry Roberts, leather jacket and Dee Dee Ramone hair which morphed backwards into an evil flat quaff, pushing madly on guitar, dangerous. The shaded Gerry Cott who looked almost like a mod and seemed like the sort of sensible chap who’d end up in music publishing, Gerry twanged derangedly too.
Pete Briquette, the only rock star named after a compressed lump of turf, as solid a guy as the bass he was playing, a country boy from Cavan while his cohorts were wellish-bred city boys from near Dublin. Thrashing the drums, Simon Crowe, the straight blonde motorbike boy handsome like a World War II flying ace…
And on straight-to-the-point keyboards was Johnnie Fingers, a fine carefree chap who wore his stage gear all day long and thus ended up sporting pyjamas for years.
In England the band were signed by go-getters Nigel Grainge and Chris Hill for their brand new label Ensign. Doreen Loader in the Ensign office was almost like everybody’s mum.
These adventurers newly over from Ireland were a a self-contained combat team, suitably quartered near Chessington Zoo in a house built by Henry VIII for one of his mistresses.
Polygram Records released a sampler LP called New Wave ’77. Tucked in among Richard Hell & The Voidoids, The Ramones, Patti Smith doing Piss Factory, The New York Dolls, The Runaways, The Dead Boys with Stiv Bators and Sonic Reducer…there was the Boomtown Rats and Geldof’s clarion call ‘Lookin’ After Number One’, an explosion of drums and guitars and the singer screaming “World owes me a living!” right from the off. No messing, here I am, don’t fuck with me. “I’m going to be like me!” That was it.
Charles Shaar Murray in the NME went bonkers for the track. It became The Rats’ first single and the first Rats hit. The Rats got on British television on Marc Bolan’s afternoon extravaganza Marc and as that was being screened they were doing Top Of The Pops. Wham bam thank you man.
The Boomtown Rats were the first modern Irish rock’n’roll group. Rory Gallagher plumbed the blues, Phil Lynott hoovered up Irish mythology, Van Morrison breathed the Celtic mist. And the Rats….who gives a toss that they were 6 middle-class fellows from the sorta- affluent Dublin adjunct of Dun Laoghaire. We’ve all got our own pain and they loved rock’n’roll and hated the moribund cesspit of not only the Irish music scene but the whole damn country itself. These upstarts had their own agenda.
Bono talks about as a kid being electrically energized by the liberating sight of this scruffy Geldof on Ireland’s Late Late Show, this unafraid young Boomtown Rat verbal pugilist lashing out at the stultifying apathy of the Catholic Church, the overall crushing gray mundaneness of Ireland as the country’s leaders wallowed in some cod-50s “Ah sure it’ll be grand, it could be worse” complacency. Geldof’s song ‘Banana Republic’ was to become a kidney punch.
The Irish music business was sewn up. Second-rate shysters managing showbands, these lame human jukeboxes peddling tired Jim Reeves tear-jerkers bubbled up with a dose of Simon Says. The showband managers and the politicians seemed interchangeable: one becoming a senator and another a man who ran ballrooms became the head of the country while making dog food. It was all the same racket.
Suddenly half the population in Ireland was under 25 and suddenly with this Geldof guy they had a voice. The Boomtown Rats were banned, prohibited by law from playing live. They were denounced from the pulpit. It was Don’t Knock The Rock all over again; it was Would You Let Your Daughter Marry A Boomtown Rat. It was perfect.
Back in England in London at the Music Machine just before the Rats rocked into ‘Lookin’ After Number One’, some mentally-derailled geezer leapt up from the audience and before fleeing whacked Geldof a ferocious punch on the gob. Bloood everywhere and a stroke of good fortune. The outraged photos of the bloodied but unbowed Geldof adorned the next week’s music papers in grand style. Punk rock.
The first Boomtown Rats tour in Britain found them playing with two hot new groups from New York. 6 Paddies, 8 Yanks. Talking Heads would go on first, then the Rats, then the Ramones would finish the delirious audience off. Some of the shows were in the afternoon, in school, in the gym, for kids in mullets, flares and shock. Goodbye Mud. So long Showadafuckingwaddy. Hello New Age. That was perfect too.
That’s how the Boomtown Rats began. Fucking brilliant. No messing.
The rest is here.
The Kinks – Muswell Hillbillies
2-CD Deluxe edition
Out October 7th on Universal
“I’m a 20th century man, but I don’t want to be here,” declares Ray Davies on ‘Muswell Hillbillies’ opening track, with a typically wry statement-of-intent. Originally released November 1971, this classic Kinks album was the follow-up to the seminal ‘Lola vs Powerman’ album and the first with their new label RCA.
Written and produced by Ray Davies, ‘Muswell Hillbillies’ was something of a departure for the Kinks, musically reflecting their fascination with America while lyrically embracing their British roots.
This new 2-CD deluxe version features 5 previously unreleased tracks, including ‘Lavender Lane’ and early demo ‘Nobody’s Fool’, as well as alternative song versions and BBC sessions. All have been re-mastered from original tapes by well-known Kinks archivist Andrew Sandoval, and includes a booklet designed by award winning art director Phil Smee. The album is a total joy and veers effortlessly from rowdy blues and boozy vaudeville to the country sound of its title track and music-hall fuelled ‘Alcohol’.
‘Muswell Hillbillies’ ranks amongst the Kinks best, which is really saying something.
In 1971 the Kinks line-up was: Ray Davies (guitar and vocals); Dave Davies (guitar and vocals), John Gosling (keyboards), John Dalton (bass), Mick Avory (drums).
A new Ray Davies book – Americana: The Kinks, The Road and The Perfect Riff is published by Virgin Books this autumn.
Full Tracklisting for ‘Muswell Hillbillies’
1. ‘20th Century Man’
2. ‘Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues’
4. ‘Skin And Bone’
6. ‘Complicated Life’
7. ‘Here Come The People In Gray’
8. ‘Have A Cuppa Tea’
9. ‘Holloway Jail’
10. ‘Oklahoma U.S.A.’
11. ‘Uncle Son’
12. ‘Muswell Hillbilly’
1. ‘Lavender Lane’ (unreleased)
2. ‘Mountain Woman’ (unreleased)
3. ‘Have A Cuppa Tea’ (Alternate version)
4. ‘Muswell Hillbilly’ (1976 remix)
5. ‘Uncle Son’ (Alternate version)
6. ‘Kentucky Moon’ (unreleased)
7. ‘Nobody’s Fool’ (demo – unreleased track)
8. ‘20th Century Man’ (alternate instrumental take)
9. ‘20th Century Man’ (1976 remix)
10. ‘Queenie’ (unreleased)
11. ‘Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues’ (BBC Peel Session)
12. ‘Holiday’ (BBC Peel Session)
13. ‘Skin And Bone’ (BBC Peel Session)