Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Let's Dance Latin

With The Trio San Jose

All music has rhythm; the music of Latin America is rhythm! Rhythm is on top and melody fills in the gaps.

It is the music of lazy movement in a warm climate, made up of sounds that reflect the rhythms of nature - the whirr of the grasshopper, the reluctant clop of a mule's hooves on cobble stones, the erratic croaking of frogs in the swamps at night, the strangely vocal pipings of native birds like the cenzontle - the native thrush of Guatemala.

One still feels in the sultry beat, the spirit of the jungle where the drum was a means of communication, and the impulse behind strange religious rites and dances. In those remote days, and even nowadays in the jungles of South America, where civilisation is still discovering pockets of primitive life, the instruments used were as weird and exotic as the music they produced. Llama skulls, jaguar claws, deer hooves, dried butterfly cocoons and human bones. The shapes and sounds survive in the modern rhythm instruments, now mass produced in city factories. Even in the most sophisticated Latin American music one feels the impulse of the primitive spirit, perhaps more than in any other modern musical language.

The final veneer was added by the Spanish conquerors who brought their exotic flamenco rhythms, the sultry poetry, and the strong influence of their guitar-strumming, castanet-clicking music. A great deal of erudition is expended on sorting out the diverse elements of Latin American music, Indian, Negro and European. It's indolent vitality is the heart-beat of a continent; a throbbing pulse of which the whole world has become aware. It's intoxicating qualities are guaranteed to excite an Eskimo just as much as a native born Mexican.

Even the names of the dances and songs are rhythmical and evocative. Some of them are worth rolling around the tongue just for the fun of it - marinera, sanjuanito, zamacueca, chacarera and guaracha. The briefest and snappiest seem to have appealed most to European ears, the tango, rumba, samba and conga.

This record is designed for universal pleasure. But it has all these subtle elements involved and it would be an insensitive soul that, while revelling in the rhythmical exuberance of a delightful number like O Pancha, failed to feel something of the primitive excitement beneath it all.

Peter Gammond

An Ariola Recording. - Cover photograph by courtesy of Rose, Morris & Co Ltd.

The Word Record Club Limited
Parkbridge House
Little Green

Para Viga Me Voy
La Novia
Rumba Tambah
O Pancha
Maria Delores
Moliendo Cafe
La Violatera
Angel D'Amore
Cucurrucucu Paloma
Mi Bella Flor

T 314 - no year given

Golden Latin Brass

The Lush Stereo Sound of
Golden Latin Brass
Played by The Royal Latin Orchestra

Before the conquest of South America in the 16th century there were large highly developed civilisations where Brazil and Mexico now lie. Their customs and cultures were quite different from those of the Spanish who conquered them and who subsequently imposed their own customs. The Spanish also brought negro slaves from Africa to work on the plantations. The musical sum of these conflicting influences is the unmistakeable sound of Latin American music, depending largely on it's intricate cross rhythms and strong syncopations for it's uniqueness. In fact, Edmundo Ross, one of the first men to introduce the music of Latin America to this country insists that "The melody section is unimportant. It can still be effective played on a broken down piano so long as the rhythm section is strong."

The first of the Latin dances to become popular was the Tango, which swept the world just prior to World War One. But it was when the Rhumba arrived in the ballroom straight from it's native Cuba in the early 1930s that Latin-American music and rhythms became firmly entrenched as international favourites. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers danced 'The Carioca', from Brazil came Carmen Miranda, the Brazillian Bombshell, and with her came The Samba. The Conga established itself as a favourite party dance.

Latin American orchestras flourished, Xavier Cugal, Roberto Inglez, The Lecuona Cuban Boys and then, in the 1950s, along came the great Perez Prado who added to the standard Latin American instrumentation a biting brass section that was strongly influenced by the swing bands of the U.S.A. From this combination came the Mambo and the irresistable Cha-Cha-Cha.

This is the sort of sound you will hear in this album - all the wild heat and tingling excitement of "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White", "Patricia", "Mambo Jambo" and many other favourites captured in vivid stereo. If thid doesn't get you, you'd better reserve your place in the cemetary before it's too late!

Side One

1. Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White (Luoiguy)
2. Mambo Jambo (Prado)
3. Mucho, Mucho, Mucho (Spina)
4. Patricia (Prado)
5. Mambo No. 8 (Prado)
6. Cu-Cu-Ru-Cu-Cu Paloma (Mendez)

Side Two

1. Mambo No. 5 (Prado)
2. Chivirico (Marquez)
3. La Virgen De La Macarena (Monterde)
4. Sweet And Gentle (Portal)
5. Frenesi (Dominiguez)
6. La Comparsa (Casado)

MFP STEREO 1359 - 1968

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Focus On Phase 4 Stereo

14 sound spectaculars - each track a unique experience in sound, specially chosen for the thrill of listening. A thrill that has placed Phase 4 Stereo firmly at the top; a position maintained through constant pioneering of the latest technological innovations.

The fourteen numbers on this record demonstrates the success that Decca's engineers have achieved, and the overall effect of utilising individual detail produces an uncanny sense of spatial realism unapproached by conventional disc standards.

Recorded Sound at it's best, this sampler disc is just an appetiser for the exciting repertoire in the Phase 4 catalogue. Everything is in Phase 4 stereo - orchestras, vocal groups, big bands, marching bands and latin bands, music from around the world, from stage and screen. From waltzes to rock 'n' roll, not forgetting the concert series of familiar classics and the many sound effect spectaculars.

Here now is your chance to experience a small part of the magnificent Phase 4 story.

Tony D'Amato (Artists and Repertoire manager, Phase 4 Stereo)

Side 1

I Love Paris (Porter) - Stanley Black
A Whiter Shade Of Pale (Reid/Brooker) - Ronnie Aldrich
El Cumbanchero (Hernandez) - Los Muchacambos
I've Heard That Song Before (StyneCahn) - Harry James
The Skaters Waltz (Waldteufel) - Will Glahe
Lover (Rodgers;Hart) - Les Paul
Washington Post (Sousa) - Band Of The Grenadier Guards

Side 2

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (Trad) - The Keating Sound
La Bamba (Trad) - Edmundo Ross
Limelight (Chaplin;Parsons) - Frank Chacksfield
The Avengers (Johnson) - Roland Shaw
Two Guitars (Trad) - Werner Muller
More (Newell, Oliviero, Ortolani) - Ted Heath
Camptown Races (Foster) - Eric Rogers

BPS1 - 1968

Beatles, Bach & Bacharach Go Bossa

You probably never realised that The Beatles, Bach and Bacharach wrote some marvellous Bossa Novas! Mind you, they didn't sound quite like Bossas when first performed, although some of them very nearly did. But all the titles we chose for this album were, potentially at least, great Bossa Novas.

Alan Moorhouse, who created these very special arrangements, and directed the hand-picked musicians who played them, described this set as "Happy Bossa". After all, he said, the Brazilians who started it all were happy, carefree people, and when they played their original Bossa rhythms, all they were thinking of was a good time!

Alan and I chose three Bach, Four Beatles and five Bacharach compositions. Two of the Bach pieces must be very well known to you already. Air On A G-String accompanied a very famous tobacco advert on T.V. Minuet in G has already had a taste of honey as a smash hit called "Lover's Concerto" by The Toys. Musette in D may be new to you at first hearing, but you'll be surprised how catchy it becomes.

The Four Beatles numbers (including George Harrison's Something) are already well known to you, but they sound really fresh and inviting in their smart new Brazilian style.

As for Bacharach, a great number of his compositions could actually have been written just for this album. We've chosen Trains & Boats & Planes, Do You Know The Way To San Jose, This Guy's In Love, I'll Never Fall In Love Again and I Say A Little Prayer.

Alan has presented these famous songs in a number of refreshing new ways-mixing flute, flugelhorn and a girl's voice to produce a beautifully mellow, haunting sound; tenor sax improvising gently around the main theme; electric harpsichord lending a new and unusual timbre rarely heard in this context; and of course a full, driving rhythm section that keeps your feet tapping.

So, if your party ever looks like sagging in the middle, switch on to The Beatles, Bach & Bacharach in Bossa beat-and give the party a swinging new lease of life!

Bill Wellings

Side One

Fool On The Hill (Lennon/McCartney)
Something (Harrison)
Air On A G-String (Bach arr. Moorhouse)
Trains and Boats and Planes (Bacharach/David)
Yesterday (Lennon McCartney)
Minuet In G (Bach arr. Moorhouse)

Side Two

Do You Know The Way To San Jose (Bacharach/David)
With A Little Help From My Friends (Lennon/McCartney)
This Guy's In Love (Bacharach/David)
I Say A Little Prayer (Bacharach/David)
I'll Never Fall In Love Again (Bacharach/David)
Musette In D (Bach arr. Moorhouse)

Photography Brian Tyler - Design Clare Osborn

MFP 5206 - 1971

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Skillex Ep

Come Out Tonight (Laverne) - Kenickie
c/w How I Was Made (Laverne/Du Santiago)


Fierce Panda first foray for Kenickie. Not a hit, Fierce only do limited runs of breaking artists, highly collectable but not well known reaching #152!

Here we have the gang again (Lauren, Marie, Emma and X) just before breaking through and becoming media darlings.

No videos to upload but I will make some!

Listen to Come Out Tonight and How I Was Made on Last FM

That Lady

That Lady (Part 1) (The Isleys) - The Isley Brothers
c/w That Lady (Part 2)


Oriinally performed in 1964 it took the Isleys nine years to record it, giving it a more latin and rock feel than previously.

Ronald, Rudolph, Ernie and Marvin Isley, O'Kelly Isley Jnr. and Chris Jasper are credited on the recording, but who knows who all the people are on the recording below!

Let's Stay Together

Let's Stay Together (Mitchell/Green/Jackson) - Al Green
c/w Tomorrow's Dream (Mitchell Green)


Albert Greene released this song in the early seventies to great acclaim and success, still ranked by Billboard as 60th best song of all time.

Everlasting Love

Everlasting Love (Cason/Gayden) - The Love Affair
c/w Gone Are The Songs Of Yesterday (Goodband/Tait)


Buzz Cason and Mac Gayden wrote this oft recorded song and first had a hit in 1967 with Robert Knight. The Love Afair released theirs late the same year, appearing on the christmas Top Of The Pops that year and reaching #1 in January 1968.

Steve Ellis, Rex Brayley, Lynton Guest, Maurice Bacon and Mick Jackson were 'The Love Affair' during this period - although I'm not sure who's in the line up below from 1993.

This has the A and B sides so start half way through if you want 'Gone are the songs of yesterday'

Abraham, Martin and John

Abraham, Martin and John (D. Holler) - Marvin Gaye
c/w How Can I Forget (Whitfield/Strong)


Written by Dick Holler (Snoopy Vs The Red Baron) about the assassinations of Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy. Originally performed by Dion (Runaround Sue), Marvin Gaye took this version to No. 9 in the U.K.

Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel

Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel Pt. 1 (St. Lewis/Perren) - Tavares
c/w Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel Pt. 2 (St. Lewis/Perren)


Written by Keni St. Lewis and Freddie Perrin this was a huge smash for the Tavares brothers - Ralph, Pooch, Chubby, Butch and Tiny, reaching UK No. 4.

Originally called Chubby and the Turnpikes, they even boasted Aerosmith's Joey Kramer on drums at one point!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Punka (picture disc)

Punka (Laverne/X) - Kenickie
c/w Brighter Shade Of Blue (Laverne/Du Santiago)


Not a big hit but still one of my favourite all time bands, Lauren Laverne, Marie Du Santiago, Emmy-Kate Montrose and Johnny X punked it up in the late 90's and this re-release of debut single 'Punka' came in this picture disc version as well as two Cd's. While I already owned the first 'Punka' I bought all three new versions too. Sad.

Whilst the drummer in the band, the guitar solo in this song was played by Johnny X (Pete Gofton) and not the girls, although live versions had the girls playing a version of it. The B side gave a hint to their new direction with the second album, a softer side than the youthful punk of 'Get In' while the A side was a stalwart Kenickie classic.

Here's the picture disc:

Side A
Side B

This postcard came with the CD release

Take These Flowers Away

1. I Fell Out Of A Tree 2. Good Morning Sunshine - Lauren Laverne
c/w 3. To Have A Home (Demo) 4. Some Kind Of Other Presence
All tracks by Lauren Laverne


Ex of Kenickie, Lauren Laverne (real name Laverne Cecilia Gofton, now Fisher) released this Ep and these are among very few solo recordings after her debut album was shelved.

This Ep was produced and engineered by her brother Pete Gofton (Johnny X).

She is now better known as a presenter on BBC6 Music and as a t.v. presenter from 'The Culture Show', 'Transmission', and many other shows, and as panellist and guest or voice over artist on even more!

I was, of course, a massive Kenickie Fan, you'll find more Laverne and Kenickie 7"s coming up, although mostly by then I was buying CD's and more modern things are mostly collectibles!

Currently I can find none of the above tracks on the internet, I'll work on that!

Photograph taken on 28/04/1999 at Highbury Garage, London

He Ain't Heavy . . . . He's My Brother

He Ain't Heavy . . . . He's My Brother (Russell/Scott) - The Hollies
c/w 'Cos You Like To love Me (Hicks)


Number 3 hit in the UK for this band from Manchester who continue to record and perform today.
Orchestra arranged and conducted by Johnny Scott and produced by Ron Richards.

Listen to "'Cos You Like To Love Me" on Last FM.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Bongo Rock

Bongo Rock (Epps/Egnoian) - The Incredible Bongo Band
c/w Bongolia (Botkin Jnr.)


Michael Viner organised this troupe from surrounding musicians during down breaks from recording B Movie music. Recording mostly hits of the time but with a lot of percussion - Suits me!

Now famous mostly through early hip hop who sampled them, most notably the 'Apache' break, an extended middle 8 in their version of the 'Shadows' song.

The artists varied according to who was available at the time, and it's rumoured even Ringo Starr played on some recordings. . . . .

Bongolia 1973
Uploaded by missbachus. -

One Nation Under A Groove

One Nation Under A Groove Part 1 (Clinton, Shider, Morrison) - Funkadelic
c/w One Nation Under A Groove Part 2


Probably Funkadelic's best known single, written by George Clinton, Walter Morrison and Garry Shider.

Funkadelic as a band included at any given time:

George Clinton
William "Bootsy" Collins
Mickey Atkins
Harold Beane
Jerome "Bigfoot" Brailey
Ron Bykowski
Catfish Collins
Rodney Curtis
Ray Davis
Ron Ford
Mallia Franklin
Lawrence Fratangelo
Ramon "Tiki" Fulwood
Glen Goins
Michael Hampton
Clarence "Fuzzy" Haskins
Eddie Hazel
Tyrone Lampkin
Lynn Mabry
Thomas "Pae-dog" McEvoy
DeWayne "Blackbyrd" McKnight
Walter "Junie" Morrison
Cordell "Boogie" Mosson
Billy "Bass" Nelson
Maceo Parker
Lucius "Tawl" Ross
Garry Shider
Dawn Silva
Calvin Simon
David Spradley
Grady Thomas
Frankie "Kash" Waddy
Fred Wesley
Bernie Worrell and
Philippé Wynne

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Top Of The Pops Vol. 41

Many moons ago, some sage old character said : "If you can make a better mousetrap than anyone else, then the world will beat a path to your door", or something like that. Anyhow, you've got the message.
Yes, we've got the world (or a large chunk of it) beating a path to our door. Sibilant Spaniards, merry Moroccans, jovial Germans, canny Canadians, fresh-faced Finns, superior Swedes, amiable Americans, affable Africans and a host of other folk from far away come clamouring every eight weeks for Top Of The Pops, the best of it's kind in the world. Oh! We nearly forgot! There are about a quarter of a million progressive pop people in Brave Britain who also take our albums hot of the press.
Which makes us rather proud of our achievement.
This is our 41st edition, and every issue has given joy to many, many thousands of youngsters (and oldies!) everywhere.
So grab your copy, grab a piece of the pop scene with fabulous "Top Of The Pops" and see how it grabs you.

Track Listing

Side A

1. All Of Me Loves All Of You
2. I Get A Kick Out Of You
3. Get Your Love Back
4. Farewell
5. I Can't Leave You Alone
6. Sad Sweet Dreamer

Side B

1. All I Want Is You
2. Down On The Beach Tonight
3. Gonna Make You A Star
4. Everything I Own
5. Let's Put It All Together
6. Far Far Away

SHM 880

Parade Of Pops

Solid Gold Parade Of Pops has done it again.Twelve incredible chartbusting hits to keep you in tune with today's charts. Just take a listen to such dynamic songs as 'Rock Me Gently', 'Gee Baby' and 'Annie's Song', dance to the infectious beat of 'Reggae Tune' and 'All Of Me Loves All Of You', then you will be amazed at the superb superb quality of the recordings.

Buy Your Hits On Solid Gold - Parade Of Pops.
From Windmill.

Track Listing

Side A

1. Rock Me Gently (Kim)
2. Reggae Tune (Fairweather/Low)
3. (You're) Having My Baby (Anka)
4. You Little Trust Maker (Jackson)
5. Everything I Own (Gates)
6. All Of Me Loves All Of You (Martin/Coulter)

Side B

1. Annie's Song (Denver)
2. Farewell (Stewart/Quittenton)
3. I Get A Kick Out Of You (Porter)
4. Gee Baby (Shelley)
5. Sad Sweet Dreamer (Parton)
6. Far Far Away (Holder)

Recorded in "Spectro-Stereo Dimension" - how cool is that?
WPP 5018 1974

Dance Party Hammond Hits

Big Jim 'H' and his men of rhythm play smash hits of today for your dancing or listening pleasure.

What could be better for swinging party sounds than a programme of familiar hits played by Big Jim 'H' and his Men Of Rhythm.

All the 'Let's Dance' mood in the exciting pulse of the original hits dressed in the sparkling Hammond Organ colours of the keys and pedals of Big Jim 'H'. One of Americas first organ players with big band and rhythm sections.

A Damil USA production, printed in England by West Brothers Ltd.

Track Listing

Side A

1. Could It Be Forever (Farrell-Janssen)
2. Storm In A Teacup (Roker-Rubin)
3. Blues For Red (Muller)
4. Back Off Boogaloo (Starkey)
5. Song Sung Blue (Diamond)

Side B

1. Come What May (Apres-Toi) (Panas-Munro-Desca)
2. Tank Town Rider (Muller)
3. Frankie And Johnny (arr. Muller)
4. Son Of My Father (Moroder-Bellotte-Holm)
5. Jungle Fever (Ador)

MER 361 1972

Hot Hits 15

Off now to 1972 for another in the Hot Hits series, another BWD production, and another collection of hits as you've never heard them before.

I'm presuming this was a christmas release, Photo: Peter Meech, Sleeve Design: Terry Beard.

Track Listing

Side A

1. Getting A Drag (de Paul-Jordan)
2. Rock Me Baby (Cymbal-Clinger)
3. Crazy Horses (A. W. & M. Osmond)
4. Angel (Hendrix)
5. I'm Stone In Love With You (Bell-Creed-Bell)
6. Gudbuy T' Jane (Holder-Lea)

Side B

1. What's Made Milwaukee Famous (Sutton)
2. Crocodile Rock (John-Taupin)
3. Why (de Angelis-Marcucci)
4. I Don't Believe In Miracles (Ballard)
5. Lookin' Through The Windows (Davis)
6. Stay With Me (Flowers-Cook-Greenaway)

MFP 50050 1972

Hot Hits 2

A BWD production.

So little to say about this. Made in 1970, no mention is made of the artists, yet more anonymous studio musicians plying their trade. Photograph by Brian Ward, sleeve design by Jack Wood.

Track Listing

Side A

1. Montego Bay (Bloom-Barry)
2. It's So Easy (Lee-Watkin)
3. Paranoid (Iommi-Ward-Butler-Osbourne)
4. Band Of Gold (Dunbar-Wayne)
5. Gasoline Alley Bred (Cook-Greenaway-Macaulay)
6. Which Way You Goin' Billy (Jacks)

Side B

1. Wild World (Stevens)
2. Sweetheart (B. R. & M. Gibb)
3. Long As I Can See The Light (Fogarty)
4. Love Is Life (Brown-Wilson)
5. Don't Play That Song (You Lied) (Ertegun)
6. You Can Get It If You Really Want It (Cliff)

MFP 1426 1970