Thursday, September 16, 2021

Lost in their music

Sometimes, when writing about a revered legend, you can reach a point where you find yourself thinking, "why do I ever listen to anything else but this?". So it was with the subject of my new piece for Tidal, the Chic Organization and its dominance of the Eighties audio Zeitgeist. Listening to non-stop Chic, Sister Sledge, the album Rodgers & Edwards wrote and produced for Diana Ross, etc, for several days, I was truly "living in ecstasy". But then the obsession focused to where I only wanted to play a single single - "Everybody Dance" over and over. Then it zoomed in further still and I was just playing Bernard Edwards's miraculous bass break again and again and again. (Some "air bass" did occur, I confess).   

The famous singles everybody knows and loves - "Le Freak", "Good Times", "We Are Family", "Lost In Music", "I Want Your Love", "He's The Greatest Dancer", "My Forbidden Lover".... 

But how about the ChicOrg deep cuts?

This is almost too obvious to mention, beautifully doubled as it by Robert Wyatt's version

I also found myself fixated on these albums cuts, "Happy Man" and especially "(Funny) Bone" . 

Love the singles off Diana Ross. "Upside Down" particularly - unusually for Chic Org, the fast-flecked rhythm guitar takes a very far-back back seat and the arrangement is based around some wonderful piano vamps. This somewhat overlooked beauty was the third single off the Diana Ross album and funnily enough it's called "My Old Piano". 

"My Feet Keep Dancing" was a Chic single but it felt less familiar to me - it has this wonderful steadfast chugging groove with a slightly involuntary, forced-march feel to it, and then this really gorgeous glassy motif that I think is electric piano, a real ice cube sliding down the back of your neck tingle effect.

Always liked this Carly Simon tune with a lilting, reggae-ish feel 

Monday, September 06, 2021

I had great fun chatting with the Rock's Backpages crew - Barney Hoskyns, Mark Pringle, Jasper Murison-Bowie - for this week's RBP Podcast.  We talked about the UK music press and my time on Melody Maker, about Bob Stanley and Saint Etienne's Foxbase Alpha, about Heaven 17's Penthouse and Pavement and a whole bunch of other things including the late Lee Perry and the late Charlie Watts.  

This week at Rock's Backpages, there's also a spotlight on some of my archival pieces, including a review of the 1987 Monsters of Rock Castle Donington festival, an appreciation of Joy Division based around the film Control, and "Worth Their Wait", a tribute to the print music press of yesteryear,  There's also a 1991 piece of mine on Saint Etienne as part of their St Et spotlight, linked to their new album I've Been Trying To Tell You

They also have a piece on mine of roots and dub reggae as part of their Lee Perry tribute. 

Monday, August 30, 2021



My favoritest Lee Perry (a Woebot turn-on)

Cool typo here - "recorded at BLACK ART STUDIO"

Almost equal favorites 

and the whole of this album 

so many more though....