I’ve been away for how long???
Oohh, uuhh… whassertime? Oh my God, I’ve been asleep for ages! I’ve neglected the old Floppybootstomp tower. Just look at the place. Ugh! The cobwebs, the rubbish, the stench of rat urine.. what a huge bloody mess!
And yeah, big mea culpas are called for. I got complacent after my 50 000th hit and 100th post, thought I could rest on my laurels and my big fat behind. But I’ve just woken from my dream and am ready to face the omnishambles that has become of this blog/bomb site. More posts are coming, my poor, benighted remaining readers. Posts on Faction Paradox to enthrall the Whovians, news fresh from the press, more stuff on comics.
Yeah, but before that is the washing up, the laundry, got to find out what day the binmen are coming and all. See you anon, my faithful readers, speak to you soon.
After posting my first top 100 sixties songs I was left with a feeling of incompleteness. There was just so much more to that decade than my little list. Perhaps it is down to the interweb thing that we have such unprecedented access to every kind of music now. It’s a paradox that today we can have a more holistic overview of this kind of music than the people who actually lived through the decade; constrained in their tastes by what was available in record shops or played on the radio or written in the music press. Did anyone in 1960s London have any idea what kind of music was being played in Saskatchewan or New South Wales? Did people in Sheffield know much about the music scene even in Leeds? Perhaps more than we imagine, but maybe less than we do now. What I do know now is that video streams are often withdrawn/expurgated. This seems to happening with Beatles stuff especially so I won’t be posting links for the Fab Four. You all know the songs anyway. One rule I’ve kept to: not more than one song per band.
An additional note: I’m posting this early to help publicise Independent Record Store Day (April 17th ). For all the delights of music online, the browsing experience, meeting other music fans and having your ears and mind opened to new things by knowledgeable strangers is a pleasure that can’t easily be replicated elsewhere. We need these spaces to meet, learn and listen. I hope you will support the campaign. Alternatively, you can look at my post about 70s music.
One of the most innovative voices in popular music, Hawkins always knew how to put on a show. He gave soul music the goth aesthetic (before the goths were even thought of), wrote some of the wittiest songs ever recorded and came up with this classic. Covered endlessly by the mediocre, the bland and the forgettable, it shines when performed by its genius creator. I give you Screaming Jay: half George Clinton, half Salvador Dali 100% legend.
I include this mainly as a tribute to the guy who made this video. If you are ever on Youtube and want to spend an hour or so finding great 60s tunes, head for Blacflag’s page. Some of the stuff he’s posted is truly inspired (and I’ve raided his archive mercilessly in these posts). On the other hand, it is a great wistful tune from a band that is famous for only one song (Nobody But Me). A great eye-opener of the range that the Human Beinz were capable of.
American folks’ most honoured sons in a legendary duet. OK so Bob’s voice is less than perfect, but the song as a whole benefits from his raw vocal delivery. The overproduced, shiny, electronically neutered pap marketed as music these days could learn a thing or two from this.
Back in ’89, I was a student at Portsmouth Polytechnic and was billeted in halls with a guy called Michael Neden. Ned (as everyone called him) had a great collection of 60s garage records he’d brought all the way from Bury. I introduced him to Arthur Lee and Love, he repaid me with this truly original song (among others). Every time I listen it takes me back to those days… Magic.
Only discovered this a couple of weeks ago as I scanned the latest Shindig! Magazine. Peruvian freakbeat, of all things. And it’s brilliant! It’s the best song I’ve ever heard about demolishing a railway station. Those cats in Lima really knew how to Rock. Saludos desde Inglaterra, compadres.
Quality. That’s all I have to say about this particular song. One of those you could listen to all day and still find new things to delight in. Every time I play it, it gets better.
A rallying cry against body fascism, a piss-take of Charles Atlas newspaper advertisements (A theme that the Bonzo’s would return to in Look Out There’s A Monster Coming). The message was simple: just be yourself. Don’t let charlatans tell you you’re not good enough and need to change. The medium used was humour. Jolly good English humour at that. Pip, pip!
The drollest anti Viet-Nam War song of them all. “Be the first one on the block to have your boy come home in a box.” Classic.
Hey Joe is a song with a lot of history behind it. Originally written by Billy Roberts, there are a number of stories concerning its authorship. One is that Roberts sold the copyright to a fellow musician, Dino Valenti, to help him get back on his feet after a stint in jail. Valenti then published the song under the pseudonym, Chester Powers. What is clear is that in 1964 it came to the attention of west-coast musicians and popularised by ‘Love’ and ‘The Leaves’ (who had the original hit with the song). It soon became a standard (Blacflag has documented over 15 recorded versions of the song prior to its most famous incarnation; by the Jimi Hendrix Experience). The Soul Benders’ treatment is my own personal favourite.
The sleeve notes on the Pebbles compilation album where I first heard this song, asserted that 60s garage bands could take any tune you could think of and make it sound like Louie Louie. This version of a Bob Dylan masterpiece, proves their point beyond reasonable doubt.
18 Mouse & The Traps — Maid Of Sugar, Maid Of Spice
19 Led Zeppelin — Whole Lot Of Love
25 Duane Eddy — Boss Guitar
26 Hawkwind — Hurry On Sundown
27 Mary Hopkin — Those Were The Days
30 Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band — Pachuco Cadaver
33 The Searchers — Needles And Pins
34 Booker T and the MGs — Green Onions
35 The Hollies — Carrie Anne
36 Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders — They Said No
37 The Electric Prunes — Kyrie Eleison Mardi Gras
39 The McCoys — Hang On Sloopy
41 The Byrds — Eight Miles High
43 Dick Dale & The Deltones — Misirlou
44 Paul Revere & The Raiders — Let Me
45 The New Vaudeville Band — Winchester Cathedral
46 Otis Redding — Can’t Turn You Loose
47 Group 1850 — Mother No-Head
48 The Crystals– Da Doo Ron Ron
50 Ralph Mc Tell — Streets Of London
51 The Trashmen — Surfing Bird
52 The Who — It’s Not True
54 The Hep Stars — Speedy Gonzalez
55 Smith — The Weight
57 Traffic — Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush
59 Love Affair — Everlasting Love
60 John Lee Hooker — No Shoes
63 Blue Cheer — The Hunter
64 Mireille Matthieu — Je Ne Suis Rien Sans Toi
65 Status Quo — Pictures of Matchstick Men
66 Pink Floyd — Interstellar Overdrive
67 The American Breed — Bend Me, Shape Me
68 Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich — The Legend of Xanadu
69 The Calico Wall — I’m A Living Sickness
70 The Jimi Hendrix Experience — Red House
71 Hugo Montenegro — The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (Theme)
72 The Strawberry Alarm Clock — Incense And Peppermints
74 Boyce & Hart — I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight
76 The Allisons — Are You Sure?
77 Del Shannon — Runaway
78 Dee Dee Sharp — Mashed Potato Time
79 Trini Lopez — If I Had A Hammer
80 Kyu Sakamoto — Sukiyaki
81 Fleur De Lys — Mud In Your Eye
83 Cream — NSU
85 Fairport Convention — Crazy Man Michael
86 Merrel Fenkhauser & HMS Bounty — Things (Are Going Round in My Mind)
87 The Mammas & The Pappas — California Dreaming
88 The Nice — America
90 Gerry & The Pacemakers — It’s Gonna Be Alright
91 The Swinging Blue Jeans — You’re No Good
94 Kit & The Outlaws — Don’t Tread On Me
95 The Hombres — Let It All Hang Out
96 The Elastik Band — Spazz
97 The Ronettes — Be My Baby
98 The Everglades — Limbo Lucy
100 The Blues Magoos Pipe Dreams
Right, So this is blogging. The ability to articulate your most earth-shattering ideas, your most piquant witticisms, your most deliquescent prose. To an audience of … none. Welcome to blogging, the most technologically sophisticated method of muttering to yourself that has yet to be devised.
Anyway, this blog is about writing and speculative fiction and probably about the Speculators group that set this whole structure in motion. Let me thank them all here (not individually, of course, but as a hive-mind with issues), Cheers, guys. Wednesday evenings would not be the same without you. If I bitch about you or insult you on this forum please remember two things:
1) I love you really
2) Nobody else is reading this.
Anyway, that’s enough for now. Let me leave you with the best first line ever written in any SF novel:
“Call me Jonah. My parents did, or nearly did, they called me John.”
Kurt Vonnegut JR. Cat’s Cradle.
That’s all for now!