Greater Reward

Talking Heads yesterday, Severed Heads today. Severed Heads are/were an Australian electronic/post punk outfit formed in 1979 and operating on and off with a revolving door of personnel from then until now. In 1989 their Greater Reward single was remixed in a variety of versions and mixes and the following year The Grid turned in this rather nice and very 1990 version, house piano to the fore at first, then beats and bass and handclaps before the pianos return.

Greater Reward (The Grid Remix)

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Making Sense

Jonathan Demme died a couple of days ago. When I was seventeen I watched Stop Making Sense for the first time, the Talking Heads concert film he made. It is fair to say that it made quite an impression on me. I wore my VHS copy out. This performance of Life During Wartime is something else with so many memorable moments- the keyboards are out there, David Byrne is full on and the bit where the front line all jog on the spot at the front of the stage is visually stunning.

Not only that, but this as well. New Order’s best video for one of their many 80s peaks.

The World Is Cold And Times Are Bad

In 1987 Ce Ce Rogers and Marshall Jefferson made Someday, one of the definitive early house music records and the first house record released on a major label. From the warm, bouncing bassline to Ce Ce’s vocal and the optimism of the lyrics, it is a record that leaves better than when it found you.

Someday

In The Trees

In The Trees by Faze Action was a 1996 funky house single with disco undertones, sweeping strings headed for summer (made by brothers Simon and Robin Lee in Buckinghamshire). They went on to make plenty of other singles and albums but In The Trees is the one that they are known for.

In 2007 Carl Craig fed it through his Detroit techno/science fiction remix machine, starting out with a rhythmic buzzing sound and then adding layers and layers on top. The kick drum arrives after a couple of minutes. The synths rush in from stage left. By the time the strings hit you, the ride is all consuming and you’re completely sucked in, heading for the black hole.

In The Trees (Carl Craig C2 remix 4)

So Good

I watched the Warpaint gig from 6 Music’s Glasgow festival on the iPlayer last week and then went back to last year’s Heads Up album which underwhelmed me at the time. I’m a big fan of the group, the dance-rock grooves, the post-punk bass, Californian harmonies and fluid guitars, but Heads Up just seemed to wash over me without making much of an impact. I’ve got a bit more out of it now. This song, So Good, has a funky disco drumbeat, locked in bass from Jenny Lee and the vaguest of choruses. The instrumental part towards the end where the keys play off against the rest is a joy.

So Good

All Your Friends And Family Think That You’re Lucky

I’ve posted This Is The Day by The The before, twice in fact, but until last week I had never seen the video.

None of you need me to tell you what a great song this is, from the accordian to the softly sung vocals and the affecting autobiographical lyrics. I always assumed Matt was singing about a woman he knew but it occurred to me watching the video that he might be singing to himself. Either way, the observations are spot on. It is also one of those songs which seems to be about you. I’m also a big fan of the 1993 version complete with Casio organ preset rhythm (also known as That Was The Day)

This is The Day (Disinfected Version)

The early 90s full band version of The The, including Johnny Marr and James Eller plus Zeke Manyika, reunited for a RSD only 7″ playing tribute to Matt’s artist brother Andy, who designed the eye catching The The sleeves, who sadly died last year. Just 2000 copies, no re-release, no downloads. I know at least one person reading this has one.

Tripping

We are driving to London today to watch a friend run the London marathon on Sunday. He lost his wife Sarah to cancer four years ago aged just forty-two, leaving his three daughters without a Mum. He couldn’t run to the bottom of the road a few months ago so doing twenty-six miles is a big deal. If you’ve got any spare change down the back of the sofa or in that jar on the side and fancy making a donation his Just Giving page is here.

We won’t be driving back until Sunday evening so I doubt there will be any new posts here until Tuesday. ┬áSee you then. This is an early track from Battersea’s finest, The Orb.

Tripping On Sunshine (Live Mix)