sobota, 19 września 2015

Corect Spelling/Cold Fish/Sushi - Love Me Today

Sometimes record companies could incline artists who have contract with them to make silly or even ridiculous moves to achieve commercial success. The fine example for this theory could be a case of one English new wave band which released its only record under three different names. The story has begun when a working in London Canadian Michelle McAdorey answered the ad of a guitarist Ian Morse looking for a vocalist to form a proper band. After a few rehearsals the duo recorded a demo tape which was well received by music agents and allow them to get live gigs in some prestigious clubs in London like The Venue or The Marquee under the provisional name Cold Fish. Soon the band has grown to a quartet with two new musicians : Tom Sewell (bass) and Peter Howard (drums) and what was more important, it has secured the recording deal with major label CBS Records. Midge Ure (Ultravox fame) was chosen by that label to produce the first band's single, at least the track designed for its A-side. That single titled "Love Me Today" (CBS - A 2779) was released by the band first in UK in early 1982 under the name Cold Fish but it passed almost unmarked and failed to enter the hit charts. Poor results of this release caused that CBS dropped the band and restrained its support for them. But the band still had been trying to find some success with their only song outside UK and they managed to release "Love Me Today" in two formats as 7inch and 12 inch in Canada under the name Corect Spelling and in Europe under the name SUSHI. Unfortunately, changes of name didn't bring any evident profits for the band and due to lack of them they broke up. Sadly, because I think that "Love Me Today" had got a really big hit potential.


niedziela, 13 września 2015

Leo Sayer - Thunder In My Heart

Yesterday, while I was going home I listened on my car radio the song by Leo Sayer "Thunder In My Heart". At first moment this song seemed to be very familiar to me but I needed about a minute to recognize who performs it. It won't be a big slip if I say that I didn't listened to this song more than thirty five years. I'm not a great fan of music created by such artists like Leo Sayer but accidentely I encountered on him when I bought a compilation vinyl album titled "Heart Of Glass and Other Hits" (Pronit - SX 1841, Tonpress - SX 1841) released in Poland around a year 1979. The reason I have bought this record was its setlist comprising mainly tracks of new wave and rock stars like Blondie, Rory Gallagher, Ten Years After, UFO or Jethro Tull but the addition to them were songs by pop or disco artists : Nick Gilder, Frankie Miller, The Babys and Leo Sayer. Thereby I played this album as a whole on my gramophone so many times I also became fond of Leo Sayer's hit "Thunder In My Heart" compiled on B-side of that record. By the way, it peaked at number 22 on the UK Singles Chart and number 38 on US Billboard Hot 100.

wtorek, 8 września 2015

Dan Hicks vs Thomas Dolby - I Scare Myself

                      Dan Hicks                                                      Thomas Dolby

A sophisticated jazzy theme with haunting dark lyrics. This is an appropriate description for the song "I Scare Myself" by Dan Hicks, an American singer/songwriter active on jazz-folk-blues-country music scene since the early 1960's. He wrote this song at the beginning of his career while residing in San Francisco area. It was released on his first album "Original Recordings" (Epic - BN 26464) from 1969 but it passed almost unmarked. Almost, because Tommy LiPuma, the producer of the next Dan's studio album, have found this song so commercially atractive that he convinced Dan to re-record it once more and release it on that album titled "Striking It Rich !" (Blue Thumb Records - BTS 36) in spring of 1972. Generally, this time the song's got wide radio airplay, becoming soon one of the most popular Hicks's tracks on his numerous gigs which followed the release of that album. Throughout next fourty years several artists covered "I Scare Myself" with various results. The most successful version of the song was recorded by Thomas Dolby in 1984 and released on his third studio album "The Flat Earth" (Parlophone Odeon - PCS 2400341) and futhermore as a single in 7inch and 12inch formats (Parlophone - R 6067). It's so different than Hicks' original albeit equally magical. Dolby changed entirely song's instrumentation, partially its rhythms and gave it new more jazzy outlook, very polished yet a little moody and dramatic sometime. That was a minor hit in UK and continental Europe peaking at Number 46 on the UK Singles Chart.


niedziela, 6 września 2015

The Rezistance - The Art Of Love

Another lost band from the past. The short-lived Belgian project The Rezistance, active in years 1982 - 1983 is a classic representative of the new wave scene in the period of its heyday. All the records released by them is a single "Dance On"/Get Off" (Maquis Records - MR 001) and 12inch mini album "The Art Of Love" (Parsley - PP 029) with tracklist : A side - "Heavenly", "Whatcha Gonna Be?"; B side - "Fear", "Ground Zero", "Dance On". The band's line-up : Bob Geenens (vocals, keyboards), Phillippe Vanderdonckt (bass), Ronald Vanhuffel (drums), Jackie Hebbrecht (guitar), Eric D'Hoe (keyboards). It's a pity that catchy tunes from these records didn't achieved any bigger success, especially "Heavenly".

sobota, 5 września 2015

Anica Dobra - Mjau Mjau

This track is taken from a film directed by Serbian Darko Bajic titled "Black Bomber". The film plot is about an independent radio host Crni (Dragan Bjelogrlic) and the rock singer Luna (Anica Dobra) who are fighting the authorities ruling town in non-democratic way. They both are cruising their pick-up truck with built-on studio broadcasting their own radio program.

czwartek, 3 września 2015

The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble - Here Be Dragons

Here Be Dragons. Once that was the name for unexplored territories located on faraway uncharted parts of the medieval maps. This phrase in Latin form "Hic Sunt Dracones" meant the unknown in a way to warn people of possible danger or hazard. Nowadays this definition is used metaphorically for crossing bounderies to enter undiscovered areas of culture or life. It perfectly suits to creativeness of the Dutch avant-garde jazz outfit The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble and their music which is a mix of modern jazz, ambient and electronic post-rock. The band was founded in a year 2000 by Jason Kohnen and Gideon Kiers as a project to compose soundtracks for the ancient silent movies directed by Murnau and Lang but soon it has grown into the proper jazz combo with line-up counting six or seven members, recording and releasing albums, as like extensively touring all over Europe. Since 2006 the band released four studio albums, their debut self-titled "The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble" (Planet Mu - ZIQ141CD), followed in 2009 by "Here Be Dragons" (Ad Noiseam - adn120), and in 2011 by "From The Stairwell" (Denovali Records DEN86) and "I Forsee The Dark Ahead, If I Stay" (Parallel Corners). Needless to say that my favourite one is exactly "Here Be Dragons".  The personell resposible for this record : Jason Kohnen  (double bass, piano), Gideon Kiers (electronics, drums), Charlotte Cegarra (vocals, piano, xylophone), Hilary Jeffery (trombone), Nina Hitz (cello), Eelco Bosman (guitar), Sarah Anderson (violin). They've done a great job, this album's got unique sound, dense albeit atmospheric, with crystal clear vocals of Charlotte Cegarra and hounting string parades, truely a musical trip into some magic uncharted places.


poniedziałek, 31 sierpnia 2015

Pigbag - Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag

Today, in addition to the post about "forgotten hits" I'd like to dedicate a few words to the one of the most unique bands on a British music scene in early 1980's. The name of this band : Pigbag, so unusual or even freak, didn't promise them to achieve any great success whatsoever. But life goes in the strange ways and against all mainstream pop music trends this crowdy bunch of friends, who had gathered together originally to play some jam sesssion, has become so recognizable to allow them to record several well received singles and albums and extensively touring all over UK, continental Europe and US. Nowadays, Pigbag is only linked with their biggest hit titled "Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag" (Y Records - Y10) which was released for the first time in 1981 gaining enough success to reach number 2 on the UK Indie Chart and re-released on the public demand a year later peaking at number 3 on the main UK Singles Chart in April'1982. This song was a huge comercial success for the band and has been numerously used as a soundtrack music or at sporting events, especially by several English professional football clubs. It's still a popular dance track heavily rotating in many clubs. At last, one can mention that it was covered or remixed by so famed artists as Madness, Paul Oakenfold, Thunderpass.    

niedziela, 30 sierpnia 2015

A-ha - Summer Moved On

This year's summer is almost over but it's still warm and sunny. It's got to be a hot and lazy Sunday, the last one in August. So, searching for a song being in the adequate mood for today I found one of the most sophisticated ballads recorded in year 2000 by a Norvegian pop giants A-ha titled "Summer Moved On" (WEA - 3984 29692-2). By the way, the brand new studio album from A-ha, their tenth one, titled "Cast In Steel" is scheduled to be released on 4th September 2015.

środa, 26 sierpnia 2015

Twilight Ritual - The lost synthpop gem from Belgium

I have just discovered the song that I can listen many times in a one day and I haven’t enough of it at all. The title of the song : „She Told Me Lies”, the author : a Belgian band Twilight Ritual. This song was recorded about thirty years ago but it laid in hiding until year 2002 when it was released on band’s compilation album „The Factory Scream” (Micrart MCD 8504). How can I describe this song? Simply, synthpop in the purest of all possible shapes.  

poniedziałek, 10 sierpnia 2015

Gold Zebra - Apart Again

Canadian synth-pop came to some signifence over last few years. A true representative of this music genre is Gold Zebra, a man female duo from Montreal, popular mainly on a local music scene, but I think it deserves to achieve much more success in the future. As for today, the band's masterpiece is the self-titled album "Gold Zebra" which was recorded between years 2010 - 2013 and finally released on 22 April'2014 by Montreal-based music label Visage Musique ( catalogue number : VM13 ), now it's available to download under this link : The album consists ten tracks worth to listen in whole, my favourite one is titled "Apart Again" with video filmed for it in the desert.

niedziela, 9 sierpnia 2015

Men Without Hats - The Safety Dance

Forgotten hits. It's not easy to find a clear definition for this music category. For me, this could be an adequate term for songs which reached at one point the higher regions of the various, local or worldwide hit charts and were recognizable by listeners all over the world. The fine example of "the forgotten hit" may be "The Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats, a Canadian new wave band from Montreal. This song was originally released by indie label Statik Records ( STAT 24 ) in UK and Canada in 1982, entered  The Canadian Top 50 Singles Chart in February'1983 and gradually gaining places it peaked at number 11 in July that year. But that was only the preludium of the worlwide success for this record which came in the second half of 1983. It became a bigger hit than it had been in Canada, both in US and UK, peaking at number 3 on US Billboard Hot 100 and nunber 6 on UK Singles Chart. "The Safety Dance" has also achieved  success on the official hit charts in many other countries or continents, as in Australia (no. 5), New Zealand (no. 2), Germany (no. 2), Ireland (no. 3), Norway (no. 3), South Africa (no.1), Belgium (no. 10), Austria (no. 7), Sweden (no, 3), Switzerland (no. 4). Nowadays, with a liitle luck you can still listen and watch live this song during one of rare gigs by reformed Men Without Hats (with only one member from band's original line-up, Ivan Doroschuk - lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, by the way the author of this song).

poniedziałek, 3 sierpnia 2015

Kissing The Pink - The Last Film

I think that everybody has got his own list of music tracks which  have written permanently in his memory throughout his life. So when you hear one of such songs on the radio or the music television, just after two or three seconds you can easily name the title of this song, the artist who perform it, the exact date or at least the year it was released, if or when it was a hit and what place it achieved on various charts, My personal setlist of the most favourite tracks consists mainly of songs from the 80s and the late 70's, so my memories have been revived today as I listened to the song titled "The Last Film" by the English new wave band Kissing The Pink. Originally it was released by indie label Magnet Records (KTP 3) in 1983 and gained some minor success, reaching number 19 on UK Single Chart. I remember the band's performence in Top Of The Pops in Fabruary;1983, it gave me a thrill, I think it was very cool then and it's cool nowadays.  

niedziela, 2 sierpnia 2015

Wire - Just Wire or maybe Harpooned

In 1977 .......

And In 2015

Wire is the band I admired a lot especially in the late 80's and early 90's, Started in 1976 as the raucous punk rock group with their first eponymic record "Pink Flag" (Harvet, SHSP 4076), but soon they developed their own music style, full of multilayered structures built on sophisticated sounds with greater use of guitar effects and synthesizers.Their masterpieces were albuns "The Ideal Copy" (from 1987, Mute STUMM 42), "A Bell Is A Cup ... Until It Is Struck" (from 1988, Mute STUMM 54) and "It's Beginning To And Back Again" (from 1989, Mute STUMM 66). The personell responsible for these records were : Colin Newman (vocals, guitar), Graham Lewis (bass, vocals), Bruce Gilbert (guitar) and Robert Gotobed alias Grey (drums). But the assumpt for this post is the brand new album by Wire which was released in April 2015. It's titled just simply "Wire" (Pinkflag - PF22). There was one change in band's line-up, Bruce Gilbert was replaced by Matthew Simms, a very talented young guitarist from London. In my opinion, this album's highest point is its last track named "Harpooned", an almost nine minutes long, vastly athmospheric, hypnotic, drowned in a shrill melancholy.

poniedziałek, 6 lipca 2015

The Chameleons - Second Skin

Sometimes it’s better to have got the second skin. That’s wish which is coming from the song by The Chameleons. A true wish.

"One cold damp evening
The world stood still
I watched as I held my breath
A silhouette I thought I knew
Came through
And someone spoke to me
Whispered in my ear
This fantasy's for you
Fantasies are "in" this year

My whole life passed before my eyes
I thought what they say is true
I shed my skin and my disguise
And cold, numb and naked
I emerged from my cocoon
And a half remembered tune
Played softly in my head

Then he turned smiling
And said
I realise a miracle is due
I dedicate this melody to you
But is this the stuff dreams are made of?
If this is the stuff dreams are made of
No wonder I feel like I'm floating on air
It feels like I'm everywhere

It's like you fail to make the connection
You know how vital it is
Or when something slips through your fingers
You know how precious it is
Well you reach the point where you know
It's only your second skin

Someone's banging on my door"