Black Friday RSD event!

Hey there pop pickers! We’ll be stocking a cool selection of limited releases for the Black Friday mini Record Store Day event. Here’s a run down of some of the artists we’ll have:

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SLIPKNOT, LOU REED, ALICE COOPER, THE DOORS, THE JB’S, THE HOLD STEADY, HERBIE HANCOCK, MILES DAVIS (two different titles), NAS, EDAN (U.S 60’s psych/soul), KINGS OF LEON, PEARL JAM, ELVIS, JEFF BUCKLEY, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, HENDRIX, JOE SATRIANI, ARCADE FIRE, U2, THE COMET IS COMING, JAMES BROWN, PAUL McCARTNEY, ROYAL TRUX, ALBERT HAMMOND JR, BUFFY SAINT MARIE, NICK LOWE, T. RUNDGREN, FREDDY KING, BILL EVANS, STEPPENWOLF, WILLIE COLON, IAN & SYLVIA.

COMPILATION TITLES/VARIOUS ARTIST TITLES include: ‘More Oar’ , ‘Jingle Workshop’, ‘ File#733: U.F.O’ Motown Rarities compilation’, Daptone label’s ‘Rhythm Showcase’.

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We’ll open at 10.30am as usual. Same rules as RSD proper apply (first come first served, one title per person, etc.). We’ll also have a poster in the window with the above and how many copies we’ve got of each. If you want more detailed info on the titles released you can go to the RSD website here (https://recordstoreday.co.uk/news/posts/2019/record-store-day-black-friday-to-take-place-29th-november/). Also, unfortunately the Zappa and the Madonna titles have been cancelled as they were not going to be ready in time.

See you down at the front, eager pop pickers!!

Ten Films That Inspired Tarantino’s ‘Once Upon A Time in Hollywood’

In honour of the ‘Once Upon A Time in Hollywood’ soundtrack to the Tarantino film, which was released last week, and in celebration of our new window display inspired by the film, here we have collected our pick of the Ten films that inspired ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’… Enjoy!

1. Cactus Flower

Frothy Rom-Com featuring Walter Matthau’s straight, middle-aged man romancing and seeing life anew from Goldie Hawn’s fresh, flower child perspective. She also happens to work in a groovy local record store (which is, from our point of view, worth watching for this fact alone)!

2. Easy Rider

All-time great hippie outsider film that spawned a thousand biker films in its wake… and probably the most popular wall-art of the decade! With an absolute killer soundtrack, it explores some of the darker aspects of American Sixties society. Featuring two standout performances by Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper.

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3. Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice

Classic film from 1969, set in amongst California’s professional class turmed swinger circle, featuring Elliott Gould, Robert Culp, Dyan Cannon and Natalie Wood.

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4. Wrecking Crew

Third and probably the weakest of the Matt Helm trilogy, starring Dean Martin’s over-the-top macho spy and adventurer. Quite a lazy film, luckily saved by Sharon Tate’s sparky character, which features her fight scene as curated by then marshal arts coach Bruce Lee.

5. Model Shop

One groovy soundtrack, featuring the band Spirit! Portraying the seedier side of Sixties Los Angeles. Directed by French legend Jacques Demy, who also directed the ground-breaking films ‘Umbrellas of Cherbourg’ and ‘Lola’.

6. Hammerhead

One of the few British films that have made it onto Tarantino’s list of name-checked movies, and for good reason. A tough and gritty British thriller with an international conspiracy theme, featuring a host of British stalwarts including Judy Geeson, Diana Dors and Peter Vaughan. A hard one to track down and rarely screened, but worth the effort as it is a real gem!

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7. Enter The Dragon

Bruce Lee was catapulted from Hollywood TV star/fight coach to stardom with this marshal arts classic! Need we say more…

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8. The Valley Of The Dolls

Probably Sharon Tate’s best acting performance! The film depicts three women who are all trying to make it in show business. When they finally do, they discover that it is not all that it is cracked up to be, with Tate’s character resorting to making porn in order to make ends meet. An exposé on the pitfalls of the Hollywood dream.

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9. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

All time classic Spaghetti Western by Sergio Leone, with Clint Eastwood’s poncho-wearing hero shifting cigars from one side of his mouth to the other in every other close-up, all whilst dealing with a host of Mexican bandits and wrong-uns out to get him. Featuring the classic Morricone score (the essence of which seems to crop up in most of Tarrantino’s films) and epic, nerve-crunching shoot-outs.

10. Beyond The Valley of The Dolls

Similar in theme but a million miles away in style and content from the Valley of the Dolls! This is a story of a girl band travelling out to California to make it big on the Pop scene, journeying through the highs and lows of sixties counterculture. Featuring some amazing clips with The Strawberry Alarm Clock and a host of quotable lines, not least “this is my happening, and it freaks me out!”

It’s All In A Name

Hard to imagine it these days, but back in the late Sixties and early Seventies many artists had a cushy little sideline performing hits of the day for compilations on budget labels such as Top Of The Pops, Saga, Rediffusion and Hallmark. There was also a craze for making uncredited guest appearances on friend’s records, mainly due to record company rules at the time. Was that not Mick Jagger in the background on Carly Simon’s ‘You’re So Vain’? Isn’t that Rod singing lead on ‘In A Broken Dream’ by Python Lee Jackson? John & Paul sang on the Stone’s ‘We Love You’; Clapton played guitar on the Fab Four’s ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ and George returned the compliment by playing on Cream’s ‘Badge’. Lynsey (sugar me) De Paul did the sexy voiceover for Mott The Hoople’s ‘Roll Away The Stone’.

Roy Wood of Wizzard was, at the time of his huge hit ‘See My Baby Jive,’ dating TV and pop singer Ayshea Brough. Ayshea sang backing vocals and performed with them on Top Of The Pops, (sadly now wiped by the BBC). Roy then wrote, played on and produced what was essentially a Wizzard track for Ayshea called ‘Farewell’. Even the dream combination of Wood, Harvest Records and Pan’s People couldn’t get her a hit though!

The bubblegum pop song ‘You’re Ok With Us’ that accompanied the TV commercial for ‘Us’ underarm deodorant was sung by David Essex. This was released as a single before Essex-mania well and truly took hold.

All this led to much debate in the school playground, especially when it became known that certain popular superstars had been moonlighting in their pre-fame days and earning a few extra quid by doing session work for covers LP’s. These records were hugely popular, since they usually came in at under a pound and had twenty-or-so hits that sounded pretty similar to the original- if a little lifeless. The sleeve designs normally displayed scantily clad women in seductive poses with tag lines such as ‘today’s hits sung by original artistes’ (not ‘artists’, you see!)

Elton John was the king of the cover version around 1970, before ‘Your Song’ hit the charts. There are some fabulous versions of songs like ‘Spirit In The Sky,’ ‘Yellow River’ and ‘Baby Loves Lovin’’ to be found on Top Of The Pops and the Chartbusters labels. These records are much sought after by Elton fans and can still be found at boot sales and charity shops for pennies, if you know which ones are which (the internet will provide the less patient collectors with all the details). It was even rumoured that David Bowie got in on the act with a cover of Penny Lane on Music For Pleasure’s 1967 Hot Hits compilation. It does sound remarkably like Bowie doing the Beatles in a Tony Newley style and I’d love it to be true, but sadly it is but an urban myth!

This trend continued in the Rock underground scene, too. Thin Lizzy made a whole album of Deep Purple covers under the name of Funky Junction. Sixties Freakbeat band The Eyes made a tribute to the Rolling Stones on the Wing label under the nom de plume of The Pupils (get it?). The budget album of Raga pop by Sagram, ‘Pop Explosion Sitar Style’ on the Windmill label, was in fact the Acid folk band Magic Carpet. They, along with singer Alisha Sufit, went on to make a much sought after self-titled album on the Mushroom label.

Space Rock band Hawkwind did their super-fan sci-fi writer Michael Moorcock a big favour by recording an album with him called ‘The New Worlds Fair’ under the name of Deep Fix in 1975 when they were huge! The film version of Moorcock’s novel ‘The Final Programme’ did originally contain a scene featuring Deep Fix but sadly it didn’t make it to the final edit and hasn’t appeared on any DVD extras either.

There’s real joy to had from digging around the world of budget labels and ‘Junk-shop Glam,’ as they call it. I always enjoy seeing the raised eyebrow of a dealer when you fish some ‘Hot Hits’ record out of their cheap box and gleefully hand over a quid. “What’s he buying that for?” You can see them wonder behind their bemused expression. “This, mate, is pure gold” would be my retort of preference. Always very satisfying to unearth a little gem that not many other people are aware of! It’s fun and in most cases inexpensive, which is an ideal combination. Exciting and easy on the pocket! The quest continues… Happy exploring!

Top Shelf Chic!

Top Shelf Chic: The wonderful world and style of vintage glamour magazines…

Anyone who has ever delved into the vintage glamour scene of the 1960s and 70s will not need telling that they are a million miles away from their modern tacky and mind-numbingly boring counterparts! It may come as a shock and something of a pleasant surprise to some to discover that the 60s reader got a lot more for their 2/6 than the usual array of half-dressed models in soft focus. Playboy, Penthouse and our very own Mayfair magazines all reflected the times and pop culture in ways that were sadly lacking from the late-80s onwards.

Expect to find an abundance of articles written about the counterculture, politics, underground cinema, fashion and pop music within these earlier magazines. For example, in the late 60s Mayfair magazine ran at least twenty issues containing thought-provoking pieces by William Burroughs; Penthouse interviewed Germaine Greer and John & Yoko; and Playboy sought out real-life hippie chicks and groovy couples to get the lowdown on the era’s alternative lifestyles- albeit with the gradual removing of clothing. This was also the heyday of pop art: there are many examples of fantastic illustrations for articles on the hot topics of the day.

Alongside this, there were many fashion shoots involving both likely and unlikely pop and rock stars of the era. Check out symphonic pop geniuses Paul and Barry (Eloise) Ryan sporting the late 60s Mod look in one issue! In another, we found the doyen of British blues, Alexis Korner, looking suitably smug in his dandified threads alongside his female companion. There are some absolute classic adverts to be found as well, such as Peter Wyngarde’s Tabac ad!

It all adds up to a feast for fans of retro style. Rather handily, we do have a selection on offer at this very boutique, should this have piqued anyone’s interest…

A Trivia-Fest For All Dylan-Heads!

Impress your friends in the pub with these fascinating Dylan facts, brought to you by our own unrivalled Dylan fan… Alice was truly in her wonderland with this one!

We take a closer look at the cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Bringing It All Back Home’, which features Daniel Kramer’s iconic photograph. Lots of fascinating details to be uncovered here!

  1. GNAOUA

GNAOUA, the single-issue literary magazine produced by poet Ira Cohen in the spring of 1964, sits on the mantlepiece. Created while Cohen was living in Tangier, Morocco, alongside William S. Burroughs, Brion Gysin and others in the artistic expat community, this magazine included contributions from Burroughs, Gysin, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Smith, among others. An intriguing collection of Beat poetry and Beat-influenced work! GNAOUA

2. Album: Lord Buckley, ‘The Best of Lord Buckley’

In Dylan’s own words, Buckley was the ‘hipster bebop preacher who defied all labels’.

3. Like a Rolling Stone...

Bob Dylan’s cat, Rolling Stone, sits on his lap. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that’s a Persian Blue…

Of all the photographs taken, this was the only one that Rolling Stone looked directly into the camera for! See another snap from the photoshoot below:

(image: Daniel Kramer)

4. Cufflinks

Dylan wears cufflinks given to him by folk singer Joan Baez. She later refers to them in her song, ‘Diamonds and Rust’:

‘Ten years ago I bought you some cufflinks
You brought me something
We both know what memories can bring
They bring diamonds and rust’

5. Dylan is reading an article about the original platinum blonde bombshell, Jean Harlow. A well known 1930s femme fatale!

6. More Records!

In a pile next to Dylan, we can see a small selection of records that greatly inspired him, including:

Ravi Shankar, ‘India’s Master Musician’

The Impressions, ‘Keep on Pushing’

Robert Johnson, ‘King of the Delta Blues Singers’

Lotte Lenya, ‘Lotte Lenya Sings Berlin Theatre Songs By Kurt Weill’

Eric Von Schmidt, ‘The Folk Blues of Eric Von Schmidt’

7. This particular cover of Time magazine from January 1965 shows President Lyndon B. Johnson, who succeeded JFK and sucked America deeper into the Vietnam War.

8. Sally Grossman, Albert Grossman’s wife, poses behind Dylan. Albert Grossman was Dylan’s manager at the time, also managing Odetta, Peter, Paul and Mary, John Lee Hooker, and Janis Joplin!

9. Dylan’s fourth album, Another Side of Bob Dylan, is just visible behind Sally Grossman.

We have a great selection of Dylan albums and even more Dylan-related records for all you Dylan-heads out there. We’ll leave you with this number from the man himself, filmed just behind the Savoy hotel in London!

“The Ones That Got Away”

Jessie Baylin, ‘Strawberry Wind’

New West Records, 2018.

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I’m as guilty as anyone of letting Strawberry Wind slip under the radar! It should have been in my albums of the year, without a doubt. I was playing it through the other day and it’s an absolute gem of a record. Full of hooks and great melodies. Tracks like ‘In The Summertime’ and ‘Dream Catcher. invoke a woozy classic Sixties pop mixed with easy/bacharach style. The general vibe is of childlike wonderment at the world and if you appreciate Carole King, The Carpenters, sunshine pop you’ll absolutely love this!

 

“I Can’t Believe We’ve Still Got These!”

Here we celebrate some cult underground gems and some plain old classics, which for some inexplicable reason are still around…

The Sallyangie, ‘Children Of The Sun’

A must have for any fans of British acid folk from the halycon days of the late Sixties. Recorded by brother and sister Sally and Mike Oldfield, this LP has some stunning melodies and guitar playing. Sally Oldfield’s vocals are beautifully sung in a ‘she could only be from England’ style and the guitar playing from brother Mike, indespersed with some lovey flute garnishes, are as exceptonal as you’d expect!

Not available on CD at the moment, so even more reason to snap this one up on glorious gatefold vinyl.

We have a UK original gatefold laminted sleeve on the Transatlantic label, 1969 issue. The sleeve is in excellent condition with just some light creases and foxing. The record plays great and only has a very minor bit of background noise on the quieter moments. Dreamy!

Here’s a taster of the record!

Steve Tilston, ‘An Acoustic Confusion’

Some lovely period artwork draws you into this album straight away. Looks great and itdoesn’tdissapoint. The songs are acoustic and melodic in a wistful folky style. Steve’s vocals are not a million miles away from Nick Drake and Al Stewart, particularly the latter. Any fans of those two should be keen as mustard to pick this one up.

We have a UK original pressing from 1971 on the Village Thing label. The sleeve and record are in near mint condition. A fab copy!

Here we have “I Really Wanted You”, one of the tracks from the LP:

 

Giles Farnaby’s Dream Band, ‘Giles Farnaby’s Dream Band’

You can’t fail to be intriged by the stunning artwork and by the cult Argo label- anything on Argo is at worst incredibly interesting! This is very much in the Trad/medieval folk rock genre. A really unusual sound. It was put together by a combination of music ensembles: St George’s Canzona (a Derby-based folk band), The Druids and Trevor Crozier’s Broken Consort. Add some seasoned Jazz players to the mix and what could go wrong!

I’ve never seen it for sale or sold this album in my thirty-odd years of buying and selling, so it’s a real rarity.

We have a UK original from 1973 on the Argo label. Sleeve in excellent condition as is the vinyl. Dreamy!

 

Here’s “Past Time With Good Company”, for a taste of Giles Farnaby’s Dream Band!