John Peel’s Festive Fifty- The Number Ones- 1980 to 1990.

Just for fun-
Nothing new here, and no doubt if you're a serious music lover of a certain age then you'll have (or have had) these tracks already, or at least know them.
Introduced in 1976, John Peel’s Festive Fifty (aired in the build up to Xmas) became an institution.

Originally listeners chose their all-time favourite three tracks, but this was replaced by a year-only chart in 1982.

By 1986 Peel was already expressing disillusionment at the predictable and unadventurous choices of his listeners, and he was quoted as saying that he felt there were too many white boys with guitars making an appearance on the countdown.

This culminated in the ‘Phantom Fifty’ of 1991, which was not actually aired until 1993. Peel was hacked off for two reasons- the absence of music that he had been championing in 91 (rave, hardcore) and the inevitability that Smells Like Teen Spirit would be number one by a country mile.
Here then are the number ones from the golden years…a cracking little compilation for the car or the pod or for teaching the children about the old days.
pics: Sex Pistols, Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Sugarcubes, The House of Love, The Sundays, The Fall.


Home taping is killing music…
A campaign , I seem to remember, from the eighties, urging us to forgo copying the records that we had spent a substantial percentage of our incomes on, and to forgo sharing them with others...I remember a cassette version of In God We Trust Inc by The Dead Kennedys which carried the legend Home taping is killing big time entertainment industry profits. Therefore side two of this tape has been left blank for your convenience.
I never had many records. I never really had the money for records. My first real recollection of pocket money was that I was given about £4 per week when an LP cost about £3- I was a bit of a late developer in that sense. However, when I was eleven I was given a Phillips radio cassette recorder, a dark grey beast of a thing. I taped songs off the radio- indiscriminately at first, the pop songs from daytime Radio One. Then I became more daring, tuning in to the evening programmes, John Peel and Radio Luxembourg. There was a single earplug, the colour and texture of which was oddly surgical, with a thin twirly cable, and I would sit hunched in the bed listening to the medium wave drift with my finger poised above the red record button.
Then, as confidence in technology grew, there was the 5 pin din cable, with the aid of which you could connect to friends’ cheap record players and make unsatisfactory tinny recordings. And the ‘heads would need cleaning’ or the tape would be ‘stretched’. And I would fantasize about huge vinyl collections and music centers with integral cassette decks with dolby and little meters that showed ‘recording levels’ by the twitching of a needle on a dial.
In school, of course, I was exposed to wider tastes. Amongst friends’ knowing older brothers punk and ‘new wave’ had taken hold whilst there was still a great deal of loyalty for the heavy rock and the progressive.
Then there was the obstacle of actually knowing people well enough to ask them for a tape. I remember one friend whose brother was particularly stingy- you had to pass some subtle test of approval before he would knock you up a copy (I somehow passed this test and got my C90 back with XTC’s White Music).Others were more accessibility minded and circulated tapes in the hopes of drawing proselytes to follow their favoured bands. It was in this way that I came to be an avid follower of some groups that would otherwise have remained far off my radar.
Living in the provinces some of the music I heard on Peel was hard to get, and I would look at my inky old copies of NME and yearn for the tantalizingly recent past when the rarities I longed for were still relatively accessible. On the other hand, many assured ‘classics’ just didn’t do it for me- a phenomenon that persists to this day.
When I actually began to collect records home tapes were no substitute for the actual thing: the records and sleeves as objects attained an importance as great as that of the music itself- in these cases a home tape was no more than an unsatisfactory blurred snapshot of a breathtaking scene. Oh those exquisite albums played on expensive hi-fis in centrally heated bedrooms where the speakers gave a satisfying hum before the complex and perfectly balanced arm dropped onto the pristine disc…
By the time I got to college I was buying records regularly- I had a good collection of anarcho punk records and did my own share of home tape proselytizing- but surviving on £18 a week after rent my income was hopelessly inadequate when it came to slaking my thirst for punk and its emerging subsidiary genres. Many of the records on my wish list were already, by 1983, exceedingly rare and pricy.
Home taping to the rescue. A local punk of renown had what amounted to a definitive library of alternative music since 1975, and I would return home from his house exhilarated as a couple of red labelled cassettes rattled in the pocket of my donkey jacket. In time I tracked down many of the records he taped for me- some I’m still after.
When I fell into the working world in the mid eighties I again was exposed to a great broadening of my musical experience. One friend had a tremendous collection of obscure and limited independent releases from which he pieced together his eagerly awaited psychotic compilations- another was an audiophile who has roomfuls of vinyl that reeked of authenticity.
By the nineties I had a substantial collection and again proselytized, knocking out tapes in the hope of enlightening friends and colleagues whose taste I thought dubious.
If I could have once more that long lost suitcase that I mentioned in a previous post I would find that it contained demos of friends’ bands, a fair number of tapes that were of rarities that I had little hope of ever tracking down, a large number of tapes that I had been given by people eager to influence my tastes but that I might have listened to, unimpressed, only a handful of times, and an equally large number of much loved almost worn out tapes of bands that I might not otherwise have ever heard, but got into and whose work I went on to collect, where available, in its ‘legitimate’ form.
So, In my case, and probably for millions of others, home taping formed the basis of a broad musical education and an enduring habit of collecting records and CDs, along with a passionate desire to share these ‘discoveries’ with others who might otherwise have remained ignorant of some really great music. Home taping didn’t kill music, but rather helped to spread it to ears that simply would not have heard if the industry had had its way.
Which brings me on to file sharing…
At the turn of the century I became aware of the existence in my neighbourhood of a loose group of thirty-something opportunists who sold CDs. I understood that they somehow downloaded the music off the internet, the quality of the products was dubious- obviously pirated with low definition inkjet printed covers and labels. These guys circulated catalogues and pedalled the kind of stuff you could pick up for £9.99 in Tesco (or even Woolworth) for about half the price. They have moved on to DVDs now. Now that’s what I call piracy…
When curious friends ask me about Burning Aquarium (it’s a bit of an obsession) I tell them offhandedly that essentially it’s devoted to music piracy, but of course, I don’t really believe that. I hope that it’s about giving people the opportunity to appreciate music that they might otherwise have never heard- either because it’s not widely covered or no longer readily available.
Essentially this is an extension, on a much larger scale, of the days when I used to give my mates in the pub a tape and urge them to check it out.
So, here I might offer you some Welsh punk from 1987, some dub or proto punk from 1975, some Soviet era rock or an obscure indie 7” from 1990. But if I ever offer you a knock down low quality version of the latest Lily Allen or a greatest hits compilation* that you could pick up for £2 on Amazon, I urge you to report me to the appropriate authorities. Thanks for visiting. Enjoy the music
*Unless, of course, it’s Songs to Learn and Sing by Echo and the Bunnymen…


The Three Johns- Atom Drum Bop (1984)

We're not a socialist band. We're a group of socialists who are in a band. It's a fine distinction but an important one…
The Three Johns were formed in 1981 in Leeds (no mention of Gang of Four?) consisting of The Mekons co-founder, Jon Langford (guitar),John Hyatt(vocals) Phillip "John" Brennan (bass), and a drum machine (called John perhaps?).
Eeow perlitical can pop music get? What can it achieve?
…we're pretty good...probably the best band in the world right now...the social workers of rock. NME -
08 October 1983.
Incidentally, I think that this is the greatest album title ever.

31.08.11- The link is dead but I'll be re-upping a lossless vinyl rip soon.


Ленинград (Leningrad) -Точка (2002)

Our songs are just about the good sides of life, vodka and girls that is.
-Sergei "Shnur" Shnurov...
Described as ska- punk, 14 piece combo Leningrad enjoy a certain notoriety, largely due to their vulgar lyrics that use мат, (матерщи́на, матерный язык) , an obscenity laden Russian patois . Точка ('dot' or 'point') is a place where you can buy vodka or engage the services of a prostitute.
Great energy here…


Buddha said...

Buddha said: This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds.
To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movements of a dance.
A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky,
rushing by, like a torrent down a steep mountain…

Walker says: So why worry?

The Dead Kennedys- In God We Trust Inc (1981)

Hold it! Too slow…Rather than me trying to cobble together some guff about how brilliant this band was, here’s a tribute to the main man from Wesley Willis:

You are a good punk rocker
You are a singing maniac
You can really sing your ass off to the max
You are a good person

Jello Biafra
Jello Biafra
Jello Biafra
Jello Biafra

You are a rock-and-roller
You used to be the lead singer of The Dead Kennedys
You sing for the band Lard
Keep on whooping it up

Jello Biafra
Jello Biafra
Jello Biafra
Jello Biafra

You are so friendly in the mix
You are my great man on the run
You are a good person from the South
I like you a lot, my man, and I will award you

Jello Biafra
Jello Biafra
Jello Biafra
Jello Biafra

Rock over London, rock on Chicago
Sprint, be there now

Line up:
Jello Biafra - vocals,
East Bay Ray - guitar, backing vocals,
Klaus Flouride - bass, backing vocals
D.H. Peligro - drums

Sham 69- You're A Better Man Than I (1979)

Sham cover the Yardbirds - I remember being mystified by this on TOTP.


Yr Anhrefn- Defaid, Skateboards a Wellies (1987)

To us singing in Welsh is totally natural. We don't think twice about it... It'd be a pretty boring world if everybody sang with American accents or whatever.
-Rhys Mwyn
Up until the early eighties Welsh language music was a narrow and incestuous scene- then along came Bangor-based punk band Yr Anhrefn (The Disorder). They provided a catalyst for the development of more relevant and meaningful Welsh language music (when the language itself was enjoying something of a revival) and also took Welsh language music to a wider audience outside the confines of the North Western corner of the principality, the hotbed of nationalism.
Anhrefn were first Welsh language band to receive any kind of mainstream attention, and the first to sign to an international recording company (Worker’s Playtime, a subsidiary of Alternative Tentacles). They also played 3 sessions for John Peel (coming soon!)
In 1983 Rhys Mwyn established the Recordiau Anhrefn label which is still active today.
Based in a small mid-Wales village the label provided a subversive alternative to the ultra-conservative Welsh music scene of the time. According to the BBC Wales music website its independent and outward looking approach contrasted drastically with the establishment's isolated entrenchment and brought Welsh language music to corners of the world that had no previous knowledge of its existence, providing a foundation for the Welsh music boom of the mid 90s. Bands such as Catatonia, The Super Furry Animals and Gorki’s Zygotic Mwnci had their roots in the Welsh language scene.
This is their first LP, Defaid, Skateboards a Wellies (for those of you not familiar with yr Hen Iaith, Defaid= sheep)

Sion Sebon- vocals, guitar
Rhys Mwyn- bass
Dewi Gwyn- guitar
Hefin Huws- drums


The Smiths - Hacienda, Manchester, July 6th 1983

It's a pity you didn't sign the Smiths…
God to Tony Wilson, in the movie 24 Hour Party People.

Here's another film:
In 1982 Factory Records impresario Tony Wilson opened a nightclub in a disused Bollywood cinema . It was named The Hacienda (The name comes from a slogan of the radical group Situationist International: "The Hacienda Must Be Built", from Formulary for a New Urbanism by Ivan Chtcheglov)and given the Factory catalogue designation FAC 51.
This was The Smiths 14th gig, their 2nd at the Hacienda. To date they had only released one single. Two days previously Morrissey had given his first national radio interview on the David Jensen Show.
Smiths sign to independent label Rough Trade
The Smiths, generally considered one of the brightest prospects to emerge this year, have signed a long-term deal with Rough Trade Records. They say this "represents a conscious decision of preference" for the independent label, which was competing against three major labels, one of whom offered a six-figure cash advance. Their single 'Hand in Glove' has already been released, and they are currently in the studio with producer Troy Tate recording tracks for their first album and follow-up single.
New Musical Express
, July 9, 1983

Why the importance in carrying flowers?
Morrisey: "They're symbolic for at least three reasons. We introduced them as an antidote to the Hacienda when we played there; it was so sterile and inhuman. We wanted some harmony with Nature. Also, to show some kind of optimism in Manchester which the flowers represent. Manchester is so semi-paralysed still, the paralysis just zips through the whole of Factory..."

Sounds, June 4, 1983
Line up for those born too late or just plain indifferent:
Morrissey- voice
Johnny Marr- guitar
Andy Rourke- the bass
Mike Joyce- drums

Iggy and The Stooges- Raw Power (1973)

Everything's still in the red, it's a very violent mix. The bottom line is that this is a wonderful album but it's always sounded fragile and rickety, and that band was not fragile and not rickety. That band could kill any band at the time and frankly can just kill any of the bands that built on this work since, just eat any of those poodles—Iggy Pop
John Peel described this as possibly the most uncompromising LP you will ever hear…
Jon Savage wrote in England's Dreaming …if you only hear two punk records make it Never Mind The Bollocks and this one…
The Stooges, fronted by the guy from the insurance advert, were ahead of their time, and their three studio albums are obvious precursors of punk, heavy metal and grunge.
Iggy made a hash of producing the LP, and Bowie was brought in to remix it. Consequently many fans and critics felt the record lacked edge and depth, and debates still rage over the relative qualities of the original Bowie mix and Iggy’s 1997 remaster (he’d learned a bit by then!), of which this is a copy. As with many works later deemed classics it was a commercial failure.
Of course, by the time the British punks got to actually see Iggy he had moved on. The Stooges were gone and he had been hanging out in Berlin with Bowie, who was now producing and playing keyboards. The records that the now clean living Iggy made when punk was at its height, whilst being great, were not punk, whereas his earlier works, this included, most definitely were.

Iggy Pop - vocals
James Williamson - guitars
Ron Asheton - bass, backing vocals
Scott Asheton - drums



Walker says: Problems with the zip file for the Smiths vid i'm afraid. Or problems with my brain would be more accurate. Apologies and thanks to those who pointed out the problem... I'll re-up it at some point in the near future when I've got a bit more time on my hands...

The Sonics- Here Are The Sonics (1965)

Conceived in 1964, released in 1965, but that’s enough about me…
If I was still as vibrant and energetic as this 1965 vintage I’d be more than happy. Seattle’s finest, a lo fi masterpiece recorded on two track. For those who love their genres it is the finest example of garage rock, and a precursor of punk, psychobilly and grunge (I prefer the catch all honest rock music). As Cub Koda writes on www.allmusic.com …the Sonics combined classic Northwest-area teen band raunch with early English band grit (particularly influenced by the Kinks), relentless rhythmic drive, and unabashed '50s-style blues shouting for a combination that still makes their brand of rock & roll perhaps the raunchiest ever captured on wax.

Line up:
Gerry Roslie —vocals, piano, organ
Andy Parypa — bass
Larry Parypa — guitar, vocals
Rob Lind — savocals, harmonica
Bob Bennett — drums


J-J Burnel- The Euroman Cometh (1979)

Another solo offering from a Strangler.
Triumph Bonneville riding Karate Kid (actually 6th dan and head of Shidokan UK, so I’ll watch my lip) Jean-Jacques Burnel is always near the top of my list of all time great bass players. Listening to early Stranglers records made me yearn for a great big bloody bass of my own.
Given the aggressive power of J-J’s playing on The Stranglers material up to that date, this LP took many people by surprise- with its minimal wave electronica and a forward looking concept of a united Europe. There is a stylish futurism about the whole package, J-J looking like a fugitive from Fahrenheit 451, stands seemingly in awe of the Pompidou Centre.
Guitar on this LP is provided by John Ellis, later a Strangler.

My link to this has died, but you can get it, along with bonus tracks here: http://totalwire.blogspot.com/2010/01/j-j-burnel-euroman-cometh.html

Stinky Toys-(1977) aka Plastic Faces (released 1990)

Stinky Toys had the distinction of playing on the second night of the 100 Club Punk Festival (September 21st 1976).
Formed in Rennes in 1976 the group was one of the continent’s first punk bands. At a time when major labels were keen to add so called new wave acts to their rosters, Stinky Toys signed to Polydor , but Mixed reviews for their single Boozy Creed in 1977 led to the cancellation of their eponymous album’s release outside France.
The record was eventually released internationally in 1990 as Plastic Faces, and met with critical disdain.

Elli Medeiros- vocals
Denis Quilliard, (alias Jacno, aka Jan Colrth) - guitar
Bruno Carone - guitar
Albin Dériat -bass
Hervé Zénouda –drums


Manic Street Preachers- You Love Us 7" (1991)

In my humble opinion the Manic's best track. When I first saw them perform this on TV I wasn't quite sure what to make of it- too much Clash? too much Dolls? and that Iggy Pop ending?
Well, they proved that it's cool to be clever, even if they got just a little too earnest at times, but this is just a great rock record.

Line up:
James Dean Bradfield- vocals, guitar
Richey Edwards- guitar
Nicky Wire- bass
Sean Moore- drums

КИНО-Звезда по имени Солнце (A Star Called The Sun) (1989)

Rock music emerged as a cultural force in the Soviet Union in the 1980’s. The first official Rock festival, Spring Rhythms, was held in Georgia in 1980 . Groups from Russia dominated the festival.
The state maintained control over the music industry, with official clubs and an official label, (Melodiya) which, it follows, was not going to promote protest or anti establishment music. So the underground remained.
State run rock clubs were founded in Moscow, Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) and Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg) .
The largest of these, the snappily named Leningrad Rock Club, opened in 1981 and was the first legal rock music venue in the city.
Television and film also contributed to bringing Russian rock to a wider public in the 1980s. New musical television shows, such as Muzykalny Ring (Музыкальный ринг) and Programma A(Программа А), featured interviews and live shows, whilst KINO’s Viktor Tsoi featured in two popular movies.
The beginning of the '90s are considered to be the end of the "classic" Russian rock era. The two events that mark its end are the death of Viktor Tsoi in 1990, and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Звезда по имени Солнце (A Star Called the Sun, pronounced- Zvezda po imeni Solntse) was released in 1989.
Being far from the source there is an eclecticism of influence in evidence here- a great blend of post punk new wave sound with hints of everything from U2 to Joy Division.

Line up:
Victor Tsoi - vocals, guitar
Yurii Kasparyan - guitar
Igor Tikhomirov - bass
Georgiy Guryanov - percussion


Spunk -Sex Pistols demos- (1976)

Never mind Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols, here’s the Sex Pistols…
So, who played the bass on Never Mind the Bollocks?
Sid Vicious? Well, on one track.
Glenn Matlock? Ditto
It was Steve Jones.
That’s the thing about Bollocks, brilliant album as it is, it’s far from typical of the punk genre. It’s essentially an overcooked, multi tracked studio oeuvre, more a testament to the work of producer Chris Thomas than a representation of the raw power that made the Pistols such a potent force.
Whereas most punk was direct, with a rapid route from brain to vinyl , Bollocks was tinkered with over and over whilst the band and their material were the focus of various wrangles.
It was eventually released on 28 October 1977.
In July 1976 the Pistols had recorded these tracks at the Gooseberry Studios under the producership of Dave Goodman. The bootleg first appeared weeks before release of Bollocks, a move probably choreographed by Malcolm McLaren to maximise both financial returns and media interest in the band.
Like most important bootlegs, Spunk has been recycled and repackaged a great number of times with various embellishments or omissions.
This is a more faithful representation of the Sex Pistols sound- no excessive overdubs, with Matlock’s original bass lines that Jones did not reproduce for Bollocks.
Sex Pistols:
Johnny Rotten – vocals
Steve Jones- guitar
Glenn Matlock- bass
Paul Cook- drums

The Jesus And Mary Chain- Peel Session 31st October 1984

The Reid brothers had long harboured dreams of forming a band. A combination of sixties pop harmonies buried in an unrelenting storm of feedback and distortion. The guitar was detuned, or rather just left untuned. The bass had three strings in 84, two in 85 ...they’re the two I use, I mean what's the fucking point spending money on another two? Two is enough…explained the bass player. The drummer went on to front Primal Scream. Late in 84 the NME described them as the best band in the world. Their gigs were contemptuously brief and ended in chaos. Fucking brilliant!
Line up:
Jim Reid (Vocals)
William Reid (Guitar)
Douglas Hart (Bass)
Bobby Gillespie (Drums)

Manic Street Preachers-You Love Us-Heavenly Version- (1991)

A bit of a teaser here...I'll be posting an mp3 of the Heavenly version of You Love Us later in the week.


Swell Maps – Peel Session 16th October 1978

My mother always had the radio on. I’d hear her go downstairs in the morning and on it went, first thing she did. Consequently my earliest musical memories are of the popular tunes that wafted from that old Alba transistor- Dave Dee, Nancy Sinatra, The Beatles etc. Then, in my childhood, being exposed to a lot of older kids, I soon got to know about groups like the Who and Slade, along with the glam rock, Roxy Music and poppier seventies fare. Then, following an obligatory young teen eclecticism that embraced ELO, Queen and 10cc among others (thankfully including Bowie, early rock n roll and Johnny Cash!), my musical tastes drifted towards punk and ‘alternative’. Strange as it might seem after 40 odd years of almost continuous exposure to music I can name my favourite single without hesitation:
Read About Seymour by Swell Maps.
I’m not going to pretend for one minute that I got into it as a 12 year old. It was already a classic when I first heard it about 4 years later.
Read About Seymour is much anthologised- so here’s a different version of it from Swell Maps Peel session of October 16th 1978, performed by:

Epic Soundtracks - drums
Jowe Head -bass
Nikki Sudden – vocals, guitar
Biggles -guitar

Lloyd Cole and the Commotions- Easy Pieces (1985)

When I first met my ex-wife she was living in a very large apartment. The ceilings were high and the floorboards were bare. It was incredibly dusty; balls of dust gathered on the paint spattered floorboards and blurred the corners of the skirting boards. Where there were rugs they were discoloured, patterns muted by the dust.
The living room was so large that it looked like a stage set for a rehearsal. The furniture struggled to make an impression.
In one corner there was a record collection. About a hundred records, I guessed. An impressive if slightly dated hi-fi stood on a coffee table and the records stood directly on the floorboards under the coffee table. They stood in two ranks, front covers facing out into the room so that you could only tell what two of them were. I flicked through the records.
‘If you put them the other way, with the spines facing out, it would be easier to see what there was…’
‘Yeah, I know. But then they slip into the gaps between the floorboards…’
I didn’t realise it on this first inspection. It was later on. A stone of disappointment winged my heart. I realised the record collection was not a record collection at all. Many of the sleeves were empty, or very dog-eared, spines worn away illegible to soft grey card, coffee cup rings on the fronts and backs. Many of the discs were badly scratched. There was something particularly sad about James Taylor’s voice under an avalanche of rhythmic abrasive sounds that eventually drowned him out as the stylus succumbed.
I gave up on finding even one undamaged record.
When I asked her about it she just shrugged. Going off on a tangent she said that she’d used to have a very valuable Rolling Stones collection, all originals, all in mint condition. A mutual friend, a heroin addict , had apparently stolen these records.
She didn’t really care about the remaining records. She never bought records any more, and as for the ones in the corner, well if there had been less space in the apartment she would have just thrown them out, left them in the back yard with the rubbish.

In 1985 a cassette saved my life- this was on one side. The other side was a Hatful of Hollow by The Smiths.

Line up:
Neil Clark – guitar
Lloyd Cole – vocals, guitar
Blair Cowan – keyboards
Lawrence Donegan – bass, guitar
Stephen Irvine – drums, tambourine
Jimmy Thomas, Jimmy Helms, Lance Ellington, Jimmy Chambers, Tony Jackson, Lynda Hayes – additional vocals
Derek MacKillop- is credited as a band member on Commotions Lp's- he was their manager but did not perform.

Hugo Largo- Mettle (1989)

Sometimes less is more…
On Hugo Largo’s first LP Mimi Goese sang softly, with an occasional dramatic rise, fitting in perfectly with the sparse, lilting instrumentation. Here she indulges in sometimes grating vocal acrobatics and lyrically the songs are verbose. Musically this LP is as splendid as Drum, but has a more contrived feel due to Mimi’s excesses.Of course, this is entirely subjective, and if this is your cup of tea I have a solo album of hers somewhere…
Line up here is the same as on Drum.

Ramones- Its Alive (1979- recorded 1977)

Hey, ho, let’s go…
If a traveller from another planet ever lands here at Walker Towers and asks the question what’s this rock n roll thing I’ll play him some Ramones.
Simple simple stuff. The brilliance lies in the simplicity, the raw energy.
The minimalism of the music is matched by the purity of the imagery:
Biker jackets, torn jeans, T shirts and Chuck Taylors.
Johnny and his Mosrite guitar. Bubblegum and John Holmstrom cartoon strips…
Recorded on December 31st 1977 at The Rainbow Theatre, London, although according to this 2008 interview with Marky Ramone - It's Alive was redone in the studio. You keep the drum track, and then Joey and Dee Dee and Johnny did it over in the studio.
Up to you whether you believe that or not.

Line up:
Joey Ramone - vocals
Johnny Ramone - guitar
Dee Dee Ramone - bass, backing vocals
Tommy Ramone - drums


Manic Street Preachers -The Masses Against the Classes (1999)

All the world over, I will back the masses against the classes.
William Ewart Gladstone.

The slave begins by demanding justice and ends by wanting to wear a crown.
Albert Camus.

The country was founded on the principle that the primary role of government is to protect property from the majority, and so it remains.
Noam Chomsky.

We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run down.
Aneurin Bevan

Line up:
James Dean Bradfield- vocals, guitar
Nicky Wire- bass
Sean Moore- drums

The Clash-Capitol Radio E.P. (1977)

The 7" ep Capitol Radio, recorded on April 1, 1977, was given away on receipt of a coupon printed in the NME, plus the red sticker found on the album The Clash , which was released that month.
There are two songs and two portions of an NME interview conducted on the Circle Line of the London Underground.
The interviewer is erstwhile hip, young gunslinger, and now novelist and Daily Mirror columnist, Tony Parsons.

The Clash:
Mick Jones − guitars,vocals
Joe Strummer − guitars, vocals
Paul Simonon-bass
Terry Chimes-drums

A Joke...

Walker says: I'm not going to make a habit of posting links to 'humorous' internet content, but here's a good joke as told by the late Sir Clement Freud.

Buzzcocks- Time’s Up (1976)

For those of you who are only familiar with the Buzzcocks from their commercially successful Pete Shelley fronted days this will be a treat. The urgency of these songs and their hectic execution is a fantastic testament to the spirit of punk as it was in 1976. These recordings pre date the Spiral Scratch EP, which was a landmark in being the first punk record to be self-released, thus extending the do it yourself ethos from ‘anyone can be in a band’ to ‘anyone can release a record’.
No remix demos- all recorded live, no dubs, Revolution Studio Manchester, one afternoon October 1976.
Line up:
Howard Devoto, vocals
Steve Diggle- bass
John Maher- drums
Pete Shelley- starway guitar

Ripped from Mute CD (2000)


New York Dolls- Demos (1972-1973)

The profoundly influential New York Dolls Formed in 1971. Their brand of raw glam rock laid the foundations for the New York scene of the mid seventies and consequently the evolution of punk. (Aside: I’ve got my music on random, as ever, and as I’m writing this The Sex Pistols came on! Did you no wrong…). The Dolls are the closest we have to an archetype of the seventies rock band. Uber fan Morrissey (an author of a book on the band) described seeing their appearance on The Old Grey Whistle Test as the first emotional experience of my life. Host Bob Harries dismissed them smugly as ‘mock rock’, but this was exactly what the music scene needed at the time, a foil to the turgid, earnest fare that was the staple of the day.
I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on New York Dolls, but I understand that these demos from 1972-73 have been recycled in various forms over the years, both as bootlegs and official releases.
What we have here:
The 1st demos, The Mercer Street Sessions- (1972, released as Lipstick Killers in 1981).
The 2nd demo recorded in October of 1972 at Escape Studios in Kent, England.
The 3rd demo Planet Studios 1973- (19 of these tracks were released as Seven Day Weekend in 1992: here there are an additional 3 songs- I think from the same session, but welcome corrections from readers).

Line up:
David Johansen - vocals
Johnny Thunders - guitar
Sylvain Sylvain - guitar
Arthur "Killer" Kane - bass
Billy Murcia - drums

This post is dedicated to my very good friends, Mr. James ‘Big Jim’ Baker and his charming wife Terri, who is celebrating her birthday today.


Felt- Trails of Colour Dissolve / My Face Is On Fire 7” (1982)

Young Lawrence Hayward had a plan…
He would form a band called Felt (inspired by the way that Tom Verlaine sang the word on Television’s Venus; Lawrence’s vocal style had echoes of Verlaine’s quirky inflections).
They would release ten singles and ten albums in ten years.
Lawrence’s first effort was a solo single (Index) recorded in his bedroom. He later went to great lengths to recover every copy of this record. During the eighties he personally destroyed all outtakes from Felt recordings
Lawrence aimed to produce short reflective albums interspersed with more pop orientated singles.
There’s a good overview of Felt’s recording career and line up and stylistic changes here.
This is the band's second single for Cherry Red.
And I never once used the word eccentric…
Line up:
Lawrence-guitar, vocals
Mick Lloyd-bass
Gary Ainge -drums, bongos

Unfortunately this download is no longer available.

The Boys Next Door- Shivers/ Dive Position 7” (1979)

Nick Cave had knocked around Melbourne with a nebulous band since 1973. Mick Harvey and Phil Calvert had been with him since the outset- Tracy Pew appeared on the scene in 1975. By 1977 the band, by then known as The Boys Next Door, had abandoned their earlier models such as Roxy Music and Alex Harvey, in favour of a punkier sound. In 1978 guitarist Roland S Howard joined and the sound underwent a further significant change.
Shivers was written by Howard and released in Australia in 1979. (Their previous release, a cover of These Boots Were Made For Walking, was limited to 1,500 copies).
Its interesting to contrast these songs with the Hee Haw recordings (credited initially to The Boys Next Door and later to The Birthday Party), when they were beginning to adopt a more uncompromising approach to their work. I ripped these two tracks off the Door Door album in the interests of sound quality.
Line up:
Nick Cave- vocals
Mick Harvey- guitar
Tracy Pew- bass
Roland S Howard- guitar
Phil Calvert- drums

This download is no longer available. Try this: http://stripedsunlight.blogspot.com/2008/11/boys-next-door-door-door.html



Walker says: A brief pesky problem with some form of malware between 07:30 and 08:00 BST today - hope nobody suffered the consequences. Removing pics (that I had lazily downloaded) from Hindu Love Gods post seems to have fixed it, hence the unillustrated post.

The Gun Club- Miami (1982)

I was ‘on’ Facebook the other day… I thought that picking your five all time greatest albums would be close to impossible and of course it is. But I used the intuitive approach and didn’t ponder for to long, a sort of an automatic selection. Just in case anybody’s interested here were my choices:
The Clash- London Calling
The Smiths- Hatful of Hollow
Orange Juice- You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever
The Velvet Underground and Nico
The Gun Club- Fire of Love.

As with any list of five drawn from tens of thousands there are regrettable omissions (Pixies, Joy Division…). But on reflection the selection of Fire of Love seemed so obvious. Merging punk with blues and throwing in some rockabilly symbolism it is still a very exciting record.
Anyway- I’m sure that you’ve all got Fire of Love- it should be ubiquitous, like Dark Side of the Moon, Sgt Pepper’s and After the Goldrush. So here’s another offering from The Gun Club. As an aside Jeffrey Lee Pierce was a devoted fan of Blondie, president of their fan club, and this LP was produced by Blondie’s Chris Stein.

Line up:
Jeffrey Lee Pierce-vocals, piano guitar
Rob Ritter- bass
Terry Graham- drums
Ward Dotson -guitar
Chris Stein -bongos
D.H. Laurence Jr. - backing vocals

Hindu Love Gods- (1990)

Hindu Love Gods were the late great Warren Zevon backed by Peter Buck, Bill Berry and Mike Mills of REM.
Hindu Love Gods made their first outing on vinyl as early as 1984, a single which went largely unnoticed. Then in 1987 Buck, Berry and Mills
played with Zevon on his Sentimental Hygiene album. According to the mythology these ten cover versions were recorded to use up the spare studio time. They are thumping blues rock numbers of the kind that I imagine would go down a storm in bars across the south.

Line up:
Warren Zevon- vocals , guitar
Peter Buck- guitar
Mike Mills- bass
Bill Berry- drums


The Sensational Alex Harvey Band-Next (1973)

This is for Adrian, who has introduced me to a lot of good music down the years. Adrian tells me that he loaned The Boston Tea Party to his mate 'H' in 1976 and he still hasn't had it back... can anybody beat this?


Walker says: I started Burning Aquarium with no idea as to how long I would be able to sustain it, or what the response would be. We have now been online for one month. Here are some stats: Burning Aquarium has offered 75 music tasters and one film. There have been visitors from over 50 countries, I have recorded in excess of 2,200 downloads.
I'm going to stick with it for another month.
Thanks for visiting, enjoy the music.

electric eels– the eyeball of hell (2001- recorded 1975)

Whatever excesses of style and wilful provocation punk rock threw up, there is of course, nothing new under the sun.
Cleveland band electric eels had done it all in the 3 year career that spawned only 5 live shows and no record releases.
Do it yourself ethos? They saw a band that sucked and decided they could do better…
Anybody can be in a band? Certainly, none of the original line up were competent musicians…
Theatre, chaos, violence? electric eels performances had it all… they used lawnmowers and other machinery to enhance their sounds. The band would provoke fights which, in essence, became a part of the performance.
Outrage- they used swastikas and white power imagery as barriers between context (see: The swastika: constructing the symbol by Malcolm Quinn. Routledge. 1994) and started fights by pretending to be gay whilst dancing in blue collar bars.
Image? Dyed platinum blonde hair and thrift store cross dressing a la New York Dolls.

Despite splitting in 1975 electric eels made their debut on vinyl in 1978.
This album, released in 2001, compiles recordings made April- September 1975. For a couple of the later tracks the band had evolved into The Men From Uncle and undergone some line up changes. See Discogs for details.

Line up (generally speaking):
Dave E. McManus- vocals, clarinet
John Morton-guitar, vocals
Brian McMahon- guitar, vocals
Nick Knox- drums.
Jim Jones- bass (on a couple of tracks).

http://d01.megashares.com/dl/ixdMWXr/electric eels.rar