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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

JACKSON'S GRAB BAG

It's snowing, I pulled out some vinyl.

CITY BOY - 'Dinner at the Ritz'


Awesome '78 issue from British 'prop' band (prog meets pop) City Boy. Produced by Robert John Mutt Lange - it was this band that he cut his production skills on prior to success with AC/DC and Def Leppard.
A unique line-up featuring two vocalists (how does that work?), and the legendary licks of guitar whiz Mike Slammer, City Boy banged out a few records in the late seventies, and called it quits in the early eighties, but not after leaving us with two great records. 'Dinner at the Ritz', and 'The Day the Earth Caught Fire' in 1979.
The title track ('Dinner at the Ritz') features fellow British cult faves Van Der Graff Generator.
City Boy is another Brian Spears Legacy record - thanks Bri - miss ya.....
And, yes Fred, they are available via download here.
Best songs: 'Walk on the Water', 'Narcissus', 'Momma's Boy'.
MOTT THE HOOPLE - 'Brain Capers'
In 1971, Mott the Hoople recorded their last LP - 'Brain Capers'. Mott the Hoople had been inhabiting the bottom of the barrel at Atlantic/Island for three years releasing four records to little recognition outside their die hard east London fanbase.
It was on tour in support of Brain Capers in Zurich on March 26th 1972 that the band finally packed it in.
Destiny had other plans. Mr. David Bowie stepped in, got them back together, gave them a song ('All the Young Dudes'), produced their next record (All the Young Dudes), and set them on the path to glory.
Three albums later they really would break up, but those three records gave us most of what we recognize as Mott classics - 'All the Way to Memphis', 'Dudes', 'Ballad of Mott the Hoople (Zurich, March 26 1972)', 'Ready for Love', 'I Wish I was Your Mother'.....
'Brain Capers' is a warm sounding (thanks Andy Johns) record with fan faves 'Angeline', 'The Moon Upstairs', 'The Wheel of Quivering Meat Conception', and a nice cover of 'Darkness Darkness'.
Available for download as a shitty mp3 or some such digital file, much inferior to vinyl or CD, here.
Bob Marley and the Wailers - 'Rastaman Vibration'
Bob Marley & The Wailers, Rastaman Vibration
If I had to pick a favorite Bob Marley record, I'd have to pick 'Babylon By Bus' for sentimental reasons.
The first two Island releases; 'Catch a Fire', and 'Burnin' are the two that feature Bunny and Peter, so they are sacred, but when I listen to 'Rastaman Vibration' I can't help but hear a band at it's peak.
This is the band that toured Europe and recorded 'Babylon By Bus'. By 1976, when 'Rastaman Vibration' was recorded, Bob was in charge, no English session guys hired by Chris Blackwell to 'whiten' up the sound here. No, it's just Bob and his amazing band featuring the Barrett brothers - if not the greatest rhythm section ever, then certainly the greatest sibling rhythm section ever - Aston (bass) and Carlton (Drums).
This is some serious tight shit, produced by Bob, mixed by Aston and Chris Blackwell.
Featured cuts include the title track ('Rastaman Vibration'), the Rita penned 'Rat Race', Sinead's favorite 'War', Joe Strummer's fave 'Roots, Rock, Reggae', 'Who the Cap Fit', and of course 'Crazy Baldhead'.
Available here in crappy mp3 format for those who don't care how their music sounds.
The Dead Milkmen - 'Bucky Fellini'
Dead Milkmen - Bucky Fellini
In 1987 Philly's The Dead Milmen released this opus, they followed it with their masterpeice 'Beelzabubba', then cane Metaphysical Graffitti, they followed that with falling apart, but for a while, The Dead Milkmen were on a serious roll, and it begins here.
Standouts include the Daniel Johnston penned 'Rocketship', 'The Pit', "The Badger Song', and the greatest song ever written about chemical polution - 'Watching Scotty Die'.
I know a kid
His name is Scott
He's goin' blind
And his blood just will not clot
The doctors line in rows
To stick tubes up Scotty's nose
There is the field
Where Scotty used to play
Until Ortho Orange Number 42
Was dumped in it one day
I think it's so funny
I laugh until I cry
Just me and God
Watchin' Scotty die
Just me and God
Watchin' Scotty die
The chemical plant across the street
Leaves off steam that colours our white sheets
It's been happening for years
Now I'm crying rainbow tears
One day my dog went out to play
Instead of grey he came back coloured yellow
The chemical men said stay mellow
It happens all the time
Now Scotty's skin is lime"
That is f'in poetry....

Comments:
Hah, rock on. Funny, I was just talking about the Dead Milkmen last night over drinks with the girl. The bar was playing the Dead Milkmen and she mentioned she went out with their manager in college and how pissed he was when they broke up. I had to mention Martin and his Bitchin' Camaro. We also made a bet because she thought the lyrics were "Bitchin' red Camaro". I looked it up this morning and was of course right that it's just "Bitchin' Camaro". I RULE!
 
I'm not sure you actually like the Dead Milkmen's music as opposed to just liking the name so much. You'ver always had a thing for milk.

Ah, Mike Slammer... Let's not forget his work with the under the radar Maryland favs 'Kix'. The dude can shred as he proved on a few cuts on Midnite Dynamite.
 
City Boy! I haven''t heard that name in a loooong time. "She'll burn you like a pillar of salt". Right about the same time Bri turned us on to Starz' Colliseum Rock.
 
You guys were later to the gamers with Starz. Hutch and I were huge fans of the first album, the best of all of them IMHO.
 
I like the Dead Milkmen, and my fondness for them has little to do with thier name.

Furthermore, I hope you aren't including me in your sanctimonious 'You Guys' statement. Just who is 'You Guys'. Certainly not me - I had 'Violation' AND the 'Subway Terror' 45 long before I knew Brian.

The Best? The best what, band people forgot?

Hey, I dig Starz, I have a bunch of their records, on vinyl, and CD, but the best? C'mon....

You must mean IYLAO.
 
Those Starz records were okay, but the first one had no filler, good from beginning to end. I traded Rush Caress of Steel for it on the strength of the album cover alone. I got the better end of the deal.

I'll bet your early exposure to Starz came via little Hutch perhaps? I don't know what IYLAO means. Remember, I don't text like you crazy young kids do.
 
In Your Lame Ass Opinion

Ah heck, I'm just giving you the bizzness...

I think I got the Starz record because Hutch liked it, little Hutch had no musical taste to speak of at the time, he was still into Star Wars figures - like Chripy is to this day.
 
City Boy & Starz comments in the same post? Shit, count me in!

For the record, City Boy had more than two LPs in the 70s - at least 4 by this count:
http://cityboy.org/recordings.html

And I've got City Boy's debut Lp - it's really fantastic, much better than Dinner at the Ritz, which my older brother had.

Starz? They're playing live shows - three of 'em at the end of March.
http://www.starzcentral.com/index2.html
Three of the original five are still rockin' it. I've got all four original LPs, and all four of the reissued discs through RykoDisc last year:
http://www.rykodisc.com/Catalog/CatalogArtist_01.asp?Action=Get&Artist_ID=576
 
I certainly didn't mean to imply that City Boy only put out two records - I did link to their site, it's just those are the two that I own, and hence have heard.
 
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