Christmas Top 5 2011 #4

December 13, 2011

Dan Hicks did it too. Did what, you ask? Record a Christmas album, that’s what. His came out last year and features this laid back scat version of Carol Of The Bells. Close your eyes if you don’t dig the animation and just unwind to this carol.


Runaway with Del

December 9, 2011

Sunday gone was the last Belmont Swap Meet for the year. I came away with one book, one record and one CD; that sounds like a blues song. I’ve since been listening to that CD all week. I spotted this CD amongst a lot of dreck in a small box at a stall I had already passed and just happened to be walking past again. It was the familiar Raven Records logo on the CD spine that caught my eye. Now, my basic policy is to buy anything that Raven Records puts out. Generally I love pretty much everything this reissue label has ever done, with perhaps the exception of a Roy Hamilton compilation and Christy Moore 2fer; I haven’t given those a second listen yet, but I digress. Basically Raven is a label that I trust.

And this CD on this day was a double CD called Del Shannon: A Complete Career Anthology 1961 – 1990. The woman selling it let me have it for $2.

Now, like most people, I knew Del for Runaway, that song with the wo-wo-wos and the why-why-whys and that strange but compelling piano/organ solo. Turns out, thankyou informative Raven booklet included with the CD, that this part of the song was done on an early synthesiser called a Musitron.

But what else did Del sing? Quite a lot as this CD shows. He worked with Tom Petty in later years, which I never knew, and also Jeff Lynne, and then as I read it came back to me.

I remembered a night in the early 90’s, well before I got into seriously into music, I happened to watch “Hey Hey It’s Saturday” (in my defence, so too did a majority of the nation back then; and I was young). I recalled Daryl Sommers doing an introduction to a music act; Daryl said “Remember the song Runaway? That guy is back with a song called Walk Away!” And sure enough up next was Del Shannon with what was his 90’s come back single, a song awash with the stamp of Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty. I never heard it again until I bought this CD. And sadly Del took his life shortly after this.

Apart from Tom and Jeff another significant music figure that Del worked with was Andrew Loog Oldham and included on this compilation were some songs they did together that were heavy on Beach Boys influence. For me these songs are the stand out tracks and I have one of them here today for the Friday song.

The only copy of it that I could find online was part of a medley of so using TubeChop I have edited it so that just the song Friendly With You is played. Apologies to whomever put this clip on YouTube as a medley. To hear the song click on the first link below.

With Andrew, Del also recut Runaway, as a string laden ballad which gave me chills with it’s stabbling violins. Interesting, but not as good as the original. A copy is also below.

Plus, continuing the Del obsession for the week, I’ve also found that Hey Hey It’s Saturday performance, sadly without the introduction.


Medievel Vinyl

August 29, 2011

There are certain records that just the sight of them cause me to start singing a significant track. Maybe this is a diagnosable condition. Here is an example. I was thrilled to have found a copy of Cucumber Castle, the 2 man Bee Gees album that Barry and Maurice did after Robin left for a solo career in the late 60’s. Having played it over and over I have become victim to another of their aching ballads, in this case “Don’t forget to remember me”, and now whenever I look upon this cover I immediately conjure up that song in my mind. The song IOIO also lurks in there somewhere. Read the rest of this entry »

Too much William Shatner is never enough

February 18, 2011

Last week’s Friday songs caused some debate amongst my twitter circle. The combination of a cover and a Pulp song soon had people mentioning William Shatner’s incredible version of Common People. Read the rest of this entry »

Can we still play this song past the year 2000?

February 11, 2011

  Of course we can!

It happened the other night when my fiancée came back from the library to tell me that a book on the history of Island Records was on the new books display (she has since gone and got the book out for me – thank you!). Read the rest of this entry »

Two songs for this Friday

October 15, 2010

I finally bought Lee Hazlewood’s last album Cake Or Death the other day, and I was listening to it on the way to work. I really enjoyed it and got a lump in my throat when he had his grand-daughter, named Phaedra, singing “Some Velvet Morning”. So I was all set to have that song today as my song for a Friday. Read the rest of this entry »

you cube

November 12, 2009

I tried a little youcube experiment. The idea worked out better than the execution. Have all six sides of a cube playing a different youtube clip and as you rotate the cube each bit progresses along. So armed with a theme, food, I created the lunchbox, with 6 food songs. However, I could never get more than three songs/clips to play all at once. The result was a cube with blank spaces more often than not. Read the rest of this entry »