• Brian Eno - An Ending (Ascent)

    Brian Eno - Apollo

    Title: Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks
    Format: CD Album
    Label: Virgin EG Records
    Year: 1983

    Tracks - Under Stars / The Secret Place / Matta / Signals / An Ending (Ascent) / Under Stars II / Drift / Silver Morning / Deep Blue Day / Weightless / Always Returning / Stars

    An Ending (Ascent)

    Brian Eno's Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks was recorded to compliment NASA footage in a documentary movie about the agency's manned space missions. I know the non musician's ambient output is a bit of an acquired taste but An Ending always stood out with its shades of Abide With Me and those slow, shifting textures he'd soon be slipping under U2.

    This is the 500th and final post I'll be writing before the blogging platform that hosts SFUTF & Gold Mine Trash closes down in mid December. It seemed a good choice to pack my bags to...

    So long and thanks for all the fish

  • Roxy Music - Pyjamarama

    Roxy Music - Virginia Plain

    Title: Virginia Plain
    Format: 7"
    Label: Polydor
    Year: 1977

    Side A - Virginia Plain
    Side B - Pyjamarama

    Pyjamarama (Polydor Mix)

    ‘If only we could bill and coo’ is a great euphemism for what boys generally want to do with girls and comes from a decade when pop had the power to shock and thrill with sheer inventiveness. Roxy Music's second 45 Pyjamarama still oozes maverick cool and is possibly the finest three minutes of popular music ever made.

    Originally issued as a a non album single to promote For Your Pleasure just as Virginia Plain had pushed the self titled debut, both A sides were re-released on one 7" to support the group's 1977 Greatest Hits. Pyjamarama received a feint remix that tweaked the treble and went easier on the sax but there’s really not much in it.

    Roxy Music - Pyjamarama

    Title: Pyjamarama
    Format: 7"
    Label: Island
    Year: 1973

    Side A - Pyjamarama
    Side B - The Pride And The Pain

    Pyjamarama (Island Mix)

    Here's the original Island version and as proof of Roxy's early genius, some unmissable footage of the group (minus Eno) shimmying through the song circa 1973.

    I’ll follow you to the end

  • Joy Division - No Love Lost

    Joy Division - An Ideal For Living

    Title: An Ideal For Living
    Format: 7"
    Label: Enigma
    Year: 1978

    Side One - Warsaw / No Love Lost
    Side Two - Leaders Of Men / Failures

    No Love Lost 14.3.79

    I first saw Joy Division at a small nightclub in my home town in late 1978. It'd been organised by a guy called Bob Jefferson who ran a local record shop called Streets Ahead and the group played a fairly rough edged set from the dance floor, eye to eye with a minimal Monday night crowd.

    I already knew them through the Live At The Electric Circus LP and the An Ideal For Living EP that had come out that summer, the latter with the ill advised Hitler Youth fold out sleeve. I wasn’t that impressed with either but quite liked one of the EP tracks called No Love Lost.

    A week or so after seeing them at Check Inn I picked up A Factory Sample and fell in love with Digital. I guess that was the point I started to pay serious attention and the following spring Bob started putting on regular shows just down the road from me at my village youth club including two more appearances by Joy Division in March and May. The autographs are from the first one along with the live versions of No Love Lost and Disorder I've used.

    Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures

    Title: Unknown Pleasures
    Format: LP
    Label: Factory
    Year: 1979

    Outside - Disorder / Day Of The Lords / Candidate / Insight / New Dawn Fades

    Inside - She's Lost Control / Shadowplay / Wilderness / Interzone / I Remember Nothing

    Disorder 14.3.79

    Much had changed by the time of the first Bowdon Vale show and there was a tightness and drive I'd not noticed before. You can hear it on both live tracks I've included and this swirling version of Disorder goes a long way to dispelling the myth that the sound of Unknown Pleasures (which they began to record a few weeks later) was all down to Martin Hannett's spaced out production.

    Myself and a friend Pete followed the group around as much as we could throughout 1979 including the Stuff The Superstars all dayer at The Mayflower, the Leigh Rock Festival and the first Leeds Futurama as well as countless other shows in Manchester including support slots for both Fashion and Buzzcocks. Looking back it was the most fanatical I ever got over a group but everyone knew something special was happening.

    Joy Division - Closer

    Title: Closer
    Format: LP
    Label: Factory
    Year: 1980

    Side One - Atrocity Exhibition / Isolation / Passover / Colony / A Means To An End

    Side Two - Heart And Soul / Twenty Four Hours / The Eternal / Decades


    I actually prefer second album Closer (with a soft 's' as Wilson would constantly stress) but I only got to see them once in 1980 at the New Osborne Club with Section 25 and Kevin Hewick in support. Soon Curtis would be gone and the remaining members would become New Order.

    I've said much of what I wanted to say about Joy Division elsewhere on this blog (so follow the links) but here's my favourite anecdote and also their masterpiece...

    Atmosphere 18.1.80

    Here are the young men, the weight on their shoulders

  • Radiohead - Knives Out

    Radiohead - Amnesiac

    Title: Amnesia
    Format: CD Album
    Label: Parlophone
    Year: 2001

    Tracks - Pakt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box / Pyramid Song / Pull/Pulk Revolving Doors / You And Whose Army? / I Might Be Wrong / Knives Out / Morning Bell/Amnesiac / Dollars & Cents / Hunting Bears / Like Spinning Plates / Life In A Glasshouse

    Knives Out

    Knives Out was on my headphones as I walked around a frozen Niagara Falls a dozen or so years back and its crisp, sub-zero melancholy was a perfect match for the breathtaking views. It's taken from the group's fifth album Amnesiac and is apparently Radiohead having a go at The Smiths.

    If you'd been a dog they would've drowned you at birth

  • Magazine - Shot By Both Sides

    Magazine - Shot By Both Sides

    Title: Shot By Both Sides
    Format: 7"
    Label: Virgin
    Year: 1978

    Side A - Shot By Both Sides
    Side B - My Mind Ain't So Open

    Shot by Both Sides

    Apologies to anyone expecting A Song From Under Under The Floorboards but it just doesn't match the ballistic thrill of Shot By Both Sides.

    Magazine's 7" debut famously shares an ascending riff with the Buzzcocks Lipstick but whereas the latter remained true to the punk blueprint, Devoto moved into no man's land and redefined the musical possibilities. It's equally apt as Russia wades into the West's attempt to fuck up Syria...

    Why are you so edgy, kid?

    Buzzcocks - Promises

    Title: Promises
    Format: 7"
    Label: United Artists
    Year: 1978

    Side A - Promises
    Side 1 - Lipstick


    Compare and contrast.


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