Monday’s Long Song

One thing Andrew Weatherall did from the earliest days of his own remixes and productions was scatter clues for you to follow. He worked with One Dove producing their debut album Morning Dove White, a much delayed album and one which was mucked about with by the record company who wanted a pop hit. Fallen came out in 1992, ahead of the album which didn’t appear until autumn 1993, and the eight minute version on the A- Side was this-

Fallen (The Nancy And Lee Mix)

The chugging intro and those huge timbales are heavenly even before the first appearance of Dot’s breathing. After a minute Dot’s speaks, her voice very close up, and says ‘I don’t know why I’m telling you any of this, one thing is don’t ever told anyone I told you this, don’t save me, just forgive me’ and then we have lift off into blissed out ambient- tinged dance music.

After Andrew’s death in February One Dove member Ian Carmichael posted his memories of the making of the album on Facebook-
‘The day Andy Weatherall came to Glasgow to work in my studio, I slept in.
When I arrived, breathless and sweaty and terrified, I was thinking I’ve kept this VIP DJ waiting outside on the doorstep for 20 minutes; he’s going to be so pissed off and I’m the biggest jerk in the world.
He was sitting reading NME. Smiling. Smiling BIG. The reviews of Screamadelica had just come out that day. The NME saved my life.
As friendly and happy as he was, I was still intimidated by him, and his way of working was so unconventional I felt that I was playing catch-up the whole day. His first instruction on the remix was to change the time signature of the track – EVERYTHING had to be reprogrammed. I was a nervous wreck.

And then we started to commit to tape the tracks as he wanted them played – starting with just the rhythmic breaths – and he would add elements in and we’d just record it to tape and build the track up bit by bit. Back then that meant editing a 1/4″ reel to reel.
I had bits of tape all of the floor, around my neck, across the mixing desk – I couldn’t remember what any of them were. I had razor cuts on my fingers and my hands were sweating so much I couldn’t hold the tape. I wouldn’t even get halfway through an edit before Andy would be giving out instructions on the next part of the track. All I could see in front of me were the red LEDs on the tape machine screaming OVERLOAD! I wanted to die.
It was one of the worst days of my life.
And one of the best.’
The Nancy And Lee Mix was named after Sinatra and Hazlewood. I wasn’t particularly familiar with Lee Hazlewood’s work in any depth at that point although I knew his name at least in part from a Thin White Rope e.p. I’d bought in 1988 where the Paisley Underground/ desert blues group covered Some Velvet Morning. My Mum had been a Nancy Sinatra fan and there were some of her records at home- Nancy In London and Boots were both around (I’m sure they still are, she doesn’t throw much away).
Some Velvet Morning is a strange, dark, psychedelic pop song with strings, rattling snares and shifting time signatures, sugar spiked with LSD. Nancy and Lee duet, Nancy as Phaedra playing off against Lee’s baritone. The lyrics suggest an acid trip- ‘some velvet morning when I’m straight/I’m gonna open up your gate’- but Lee said later on he didn’t know what the words meant. He said they were inspired by Greek mythology and that Phaedra had ‘a sad middle, a sad end and by the time she was 17 she was gone. She was a sad- assed broad, the saddest of all the Greek goddesses, so bless her heart, she deserves some notoriety, I’ll put her in a song’. Nancy, recently one of Trump’s biggest and most frequent online critics, said in the 1990s ‘I’ve been singing this song for over 20 years and I still don’t know what the darned thing means’.

Some Velvet Morning

But the clues and references are dropped for you to follow so the names in brackets on a remix send you off on a quest down the rabbit hole to fill in the gaps. Second hand records from the 1960s were easy to get hold of in the early 90s, second hand record shops and charity shops filled with dumped collections and I found a copy of Nancy And Lee without too much much trouble. Nancy’s Greatest Hits as well (with the gatefold sleeve).

Andrew Weatherall would return to Some Velvet Morning in 2003 when Primal Scream recorded a version of it for their Evil Heat album, Kate Moss duetting with Bobby. The 12″ single had a Two Lone Swordsmen remix, Andrew and Keith weirding it out in disco dub style.

Some Velvet Morning Disco Heater Dub

Wine

The series that I am not calling Foodstuff Friday moves on to wine. With two reggae posts earlier this week it makes sense to start with Tony Tribe in 1969

Red Red Wine

Red Red Wine was written by Neil Diamond in 1967. After he left Bang Records they released a version with a choir added without Neil’s permission, so the song was something of a sore point with him and the single version has never subsequently been released on a Neil Diamond album. Tony Tribe recorded his two years later. Both were then trumped in the chart stakes in 1983 by UB40 who had a massive hit with their cover. Tony’s version is the one for me.

Lee Hazlewood was a wine drinker. Summer Wine, a duet with Nancy Sinatra, is off his Nancy And Lee album (a record everybody should own).

Lee knew his way around a tune . His Cowboy In Sweden album also gave us this one…

Me And The Wine And The City Lights

In 1987 My Bloody Valentine put out the single Strawberry Wine, still edging their way towards the sound that made Isn’t Anything and Loveless two of the definitive records of the late 80s and early 90s. Strawberry Wine is trebly, bright and poppy, a mid 60s Byrds influenced song, with sweet harmonies and Belinda on lead vocals for the first time.

Strawberry Wine

Royal Trux were Neil Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema, a couple who made earthy, growly, noisy indie rock ‘n’ roll in the 90s. When they separated in 2001 Jennifer went her own way and for a while made records as RTX. Cheap Wine Time is a distorted, rough and ready, nicotine stained song with guitar solos that sound like they lost their way in the early 70s and eventually wound up in Jennifer’s flat, drinking in the daytime. Warning- it starts suddenly.

Cheap Wine Time

The photograph at the top shows our son Isaac, in a French supermarche a few years ago, stocking up on vino. Longer term readers may remember that Isaac was born with a genetic disease, a life limiting illness that affects him in many ways, physically and mentally. He spent his early years in hospital and in many ways we are lucky he is still with us. Today he turns 20 and tonight glasses will be raised in his direction. No wine for Isaac though- he is strictly a milk or blackcurrant cordial kind of man. Happy birthday Isaac.

Moss

Last post in the join-the-dots sequence of this week and it’s a hop,a skip and jump from DJ Shadow on Monday to Kate Moss today. Kate collided with pop culture in 1990, the Third Summer Of Love issue of The Face magazine (Spike Island, rave, De La Soul etc) and a football and music fashion shoot in April 1990 (E For England, World In Motion etc). I had the Brazil jersey from the range she’s modelling above and wore it to Spike Island. Since then she’s floated around the music world, dipping in and out. Yesterday’s post included Jack White’s Raconteurs. Jack has at least two connections to Croydon’s supermodel- in his primary band, The White Stripes, Kate starred in the video for I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself, an ace, raw cover of the Dusty Springfield song. Your enjoyment of this video will depend on whether the prospect of Kate Moss pole-dancing in her underwear interests you at all.

Ahem. Moving on.
Another of Jack’s projects, The Dead Weather, saw him playing drums behind Alison Mosshart, whose day job was singing in The Kills. I’ve posted Baby Says before but that’s no reason not to do it again. Stunning song.

Alison’s musical partner in The Kills is Jamie Hince, Kate Moss’s husband. She sang vocals on Primal Scream’s 2002 cover version of Some Velvet Morning (originally sung by Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra). This song, and the Disco Heater Dub version which followed it, were produced by, and you knew this was coming surely, Andrew Weatherall. I’m not sure it’s any of those involved’s finest hour but there you go. I’ve more or less managed a Dry January- no, not alcohol, that would be stupid- a Dry January of no Weatherall and no Clash/BAD etc. Abstinence until today.

Me And The Wine And The City Lights

They don’t make ’em like Lee Hazlewood anymore do they? That kind of man’s man, with his moustache, baritone voice and Western trappings, but with an outsider’s edge. A lot of country with a bit of easy listening and some psychedelia, a bit underground but with a pop touch. Sincere but done with a wink. This is a smashing little tune (and a way of life).

Me And The Wine And The City Lights

All The Leaves Are Brown

This is a genuine 60s classic. I’m not as a rule a fan of four part harmonies but with this here song, I am. It nails happy-sad too. The clip somehow is all the better for the fact that the video and audio are out of sync.

And for no reason other than it was in the side bar…

Actually, that’s far from the only reason.

 

If It’s Monday Morning

Please allow Lee Hazlewood to get you up and at ’em this December Monday morning…

If It’s Monday Morning

Tomorrow Your Heart

These four young ladies were Honey Ltd, discovered by Lee Hazlewood in Los Angeles in the 60s and signed to his Lee Hazlewood Industries label. Lee named the band, put them in the studio, recorded them and launched their honey-clad vocals into the cut throat world of 1960s pop. After which, a quick fade into nothing. Our Mums probably looked something like this forty odd years ago.

Honey Ltd have recently been re-issued in their own right and as part of a mammoth LHI boxed set (everything Lee Hazlewood’s record label put out in one box, from a time when money wasn’t an issue). Lee moved to Sweden in the 70s (by which time money had become an issue) and spent much of the rest of his life there.

Tomorrow Your Heart