Saturday, 30 April 2016


Sam Gopal - Escalator - STABLE - 1969

01 - Cold Embrace
02 - The Dark Lord
03 - The Sky Is Burning
04 - You're Alone Now
05 - Grass
06 - It's Only Love
07 - Escalator
08 - Angry Faces
09 - Midsummer Nights Dream
10 - Season Of The Witch
11 - Yesterlove

Bonus Tracks:
12 - Horse (A-side STABLE STA 5602)
13 - Back Door Man (B-side STABLE STA 5602)

Sam Gopal was a British underground psychedelic band that featured Lemmy (billed as Ian Willis) on lead guitar and vocals. The band were unique in that instead of traditional drums they had a tabla, played by Sam Gopal who the band was named after. Only this album, one single and a very rare EP were released before they spilt up. Lemmy then went one to form very the short lived Opal Butterfly before joining Hawkwind.

The tabla gives the the album an Eastern flavour but the dark lyrics of many of the songs (mostly penned by Lemmy) give it a very 'heavy' feel. It also contains a very good version of Donovan's 'Season Of The Witch'. Listen to the full album on Spotify here and enjoy the promo video for 'Sky Is Burning' below......

Souled Out

The Righteous Brothers - Souled Out - Verve Records - 1967

01 - Been So Nice
02 - Stranded In The Middle Of No Place
03 - If Loving You Is Wrong (I'm So Sorry)
04 - Here I Am
05 - It's Up To You
06 - So Many Lonely Nights Ahead
07 - I Don't Believe In Losing
08 - Love Keeps Callin' My Name
09 - (I Need) Someone Like You
10 - You Bent My Mind
11 - Without You I'd Be Lost

The Righteous Brothers are mostly remembered for their big ballads such as 'Ebb Tide', 'Unchained Melody' and 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling' but in 1967 they recorded this blue eyed soul classic for MGM/Verve. Produced by former Motown producer Mickey Stevenson, with songs mostly by Stevenson or Leon Ware, this is an album of 'four to the floor' Motown style grooves and a couple of soulful big ballads. Unfortunately the album and it's single 'Stranded In The Middle Of No Place / Been So Nice' failed to capture the public's attention at the time and they parted company soon after.

So listen to the amazing voices of Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley at their most soulful and wonder what could have been if the album was a hit.....

"Live" Full House

The J. Geils Band - "Live" Full House - ATLANTIC - 1972


01 - First I Look At The Purse
02 - Homework
03 - Pack Fair And Square
04 - Whammer Jammer
05 - Hard Drivin' Man
06 - Serves You Right To Suffer
07 - Cruisin' For A Love
08 - Lookin' For A Love

If ever a party was captured on an album this is it, the J. Geils Band's first live album. Starting with a storming cover of the Contours' ode to gold digging, 'First I Look At The Purse', they blast through a mix of covers and originals hardly pausing for breath. The only criticism of this album is that it's too short. If ever an album needed a deluxe reissue of the full concert, this one does.

Listen to the album on Spotify here, or the YouTube video below and crank up the volume....

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Sun Ra - In Some Far Place

Sun Ra - In Some Far Place Roma '77 - STRUT / ART YARD Records

This arrived in the post today! Really looking forward to listening to it, hopefully I will be able to soon. Its my one concession to Record Store Day, I'm still unconvinced as to whether it's a good thing or not. In fact when I was well and able to get to record shops, Record Store Day was about the only time you wouldn't find me in one!
I couldn't resist this though and fortunately they didn't all sell out on the day. It's a double LP (& 2CD) of a never before released concert of just Sun Ra (keyboards & vocals), Luqman Ali (drums) and Thomas Thaddeus (vocals) recorded in Rome in 1977. If it's anything like the other small group live concerts of the era it should be great.

Monday, 25 April 2016

At Home With Screamin' Jay Hawkins

At Home With Screamin' Jay Hawkins - EPIC LN 3448 - released 1958 

Side A
Orange-Colored Sky
Hong Kong
I Love Paris
I Put A Spell On You
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

Side B
Yellow Coat
Ol' Man River
If You Are But A Dream
Give Me My Boots And Saddle
Deep Purple
You Made Me Love You

This is Screamin' Jay Hawkins' first album and is one of my all time favourites. A gloriously insane collection of schlock horror, standards, show tunes and even a spiritual. Standout tracks are the dance floor friendly 'Yellow Coat' and the song that would become his calling card 'I Put A Spell On You'. 'I Put A Spell On You' was originally intended to be a ballad but he and the band had a few drinks during the recording session and the result has been described as "the most extreme expression of possessiveness ever heard on record". In fact his maniacal howls and screeches caused the record to be banned by many radio stations as being too cannibalistic. The version on this album, however, has the grunts and snarls at the end of the track removed to protect delicate listeners. Few could ever match the power of his voice and delivery and almost all covers are sung as a ballad, the one notable exception being Arthur Brown. Jay has been quoted as saying that he really wanted to try opera singing but no one would take him seriously. That's the opera world's loss but the rest of the world's gain.
He reprised 'I Put A Spell On You' and 'Yellow Coat' for the 1991 film of the Chester Himes novel "A Rage In Harlem", both the book and film are well worth searching out.

Here is my favourite track off the album, 'Yellow Coat' and the essential full version of 'I Put A Spell On You'......

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