Backside Of The Moon

The Aubrey Mixes: The Ultraworld Excursions was a remix album of The Orb’s Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld, released in December 1991 and deleted on the same day, offering alternate mixes of seven of the tracks. All work just as well as the original ones, this one in particular being an expansive Sunday morning treat.

Backside Of The Moon (Under Water Deep Space)

Wedding Bells

My brother (the next one down from me in age, there are five of us pus two sisters) is getting married today in Manchester Cathedral, the building behind Joy Division in the picture. He lives in the centre of town so it is his local church. Good luck to the pair of you Z and C, may you be very happy together.

Back in 1987 LL Cool J released the single I Need Love. For hip hop loving B Boys like my brother I think this was the moment they parted company with Cool James. Have the intervening twenty nine years been kind to the song?

Nope.

If you want a much earthier, slinkier and more streetsmart rap love song you could do worse than Method Man and Mary J Blige’s 1995 hit I’ll Be There For You/You’re All I Need To Get By, a reworking of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s from 1968. Headnodding beats and Method Man’s delivery (‘I got mad love to give’) matched by Mary J Blige’s chorus. Does this still sound good in 2016?

Yes it does.

Autumn Leaves

My diary tells me it is now officially autumn. This Coldcut track remixed by the Irresistible Force and produced by Mixmaster Morris is a wonderful sprawling piece of ambient house (some use the phrase chill out but I can’t bring myself to do it). At first it doesn’t sound that autumnal but as it unwinds and the vocal comes in, the sense of seasons changing and the sun diminishing becomes overpowering.

Autumn Leaves (Irresistible Force Mix)

Go Easy Step Lightly

Back to back Clash.
JC’s continuing series of Imaginary Compilation Albums threw up his ten track Clash compilation a good while ago. I did a spin off, alternative version which drew solely from non-single releases and nothing that JC had included in his ICA as a companion piece (which I should have submitted there rather than posted here). Some time later following my B.A.D. ICA at The Vinyl Villain  I speculated about a Mick Jones sings The Clash ICA. Driving home recently listening to the extras discs from Sound System I was thinking that The Clash could have several other ICA’s- a Clash In Dub ICA, The Clash cover versions ICA, a Sandinista! ICA (controversial maybe, many people feeling like Joe did that the thirty six songs should be left exactly as they are, warts and all). There may be others which just goes to demonstrate the band’s quality, range and depth. The whole set could then be compiled in a massive Clash ICA box with trinkets and booklets.

The Sound System Extras pack is three discs, discs one and two covering non album releases and some unreleased bits (see yesterday). The third disc has various demos and finishes with six songs live from The Lyceum in London, December 1979. There are two gloriously spiky runs through City Of The Dead and Jail Guitar Doors, Cheapskates (not the greatest Clash song perhaps), English Civil War and then two absolute smashes. The first, Stay Free, is Mick’s love letter to best mate Robin Banks and their time growing up in South London- the breakdown and Paul’s bassline re-entry is every bit as good as it should be. The second is their breakneck cover of The Bobby Fuller Four song. Topper’s drumming is breathtaking, the guitars squeal and spit, and then there are three way Joe/Mick/Paul vocals on I Fought The Law. On fire.

Stay Free (Live at the Lyceum)

I Fought The Law (Live at the Lyceum)

Midnight To Stevens

The Clash recorded and released a huge number of songs during their time together. In the space of just two years they put out London Calling (a double) and Sandinista! (a triple), Bankrobber as a single plus B-sides for the album based singles and found time to write and record Ellen Foley’s solo album. There really doesn’t seem to have been much left gathering dust unreleased and what there was has been bootlegged and compiled since they split. The Clash On Broadway boxed set included Mick’s lovely cover of Every Little Bit Hurts and the more recent Sound System included two Combat Rock outtakes- the Beautiful People Are Ugly Too and Idle In Kangaroo Court, neither of which sound like it was a difficult decision to leave them off in the first place. Both boxed sets included the unedited version of Straight To Hell (pretty essential all told). Sound System had a magnificent extended version of Ghetto Defendant with much more Allen Ginsberg than made the final cut on Combat Rock and an extended version of Sean Flynn. The real treasure of the unreleased Clash songs is Midnight To Stevens, a tribute to the maverick dj and producer who created the atmosphere for the recording of London Calling and inspired that album. The song has a great Joe lyric, searching for and finding Guy in a pub coupled with a ringing Mick guitar line. It’s heartfelt and true.

Midnight To Stevens

Denise Denise

Denise Johnson, so much more than a backing singer for Primal Scream, the voice of ACR since circa 1990, has a couple of songs on Soundcloud. This one, 2001, has a very cool, after hours Massive Attack feel and is really, really good.

Back in 1994 Denise released a wonderful single, Rays Of The Rising Sun, a lengthy ambient house number. This version remixed by The Joy is a joy.

America’s Greatest Living Poet Was Ogling You All NIght

Back at the start of the year Iggy Pop released what may turn out to be his last album. Eight months later it still sounds like a good record and contains several songs that are as good as anything he’s done for ages. It also sounds like a record he wanted to make rather than a contract filler or something to occupy some time. The lead song was Gardenia, opening with a great tremelo guitar part from Josh Homme and then Iggy’s baritone voice comes in singing about Gardenia, a stripper he used to love/admire. The sound of the song harks back to Berlin period Iggy, mechanical and with groove The line about ‘America’s greatest living poet’ comes from a time when Iggy and Allen Ginsberg spent an evening in gardenia’s company, Iggy waiting decades to use this memory in a song.

Gardenia