An Offbeat Interlude

Posted in Cover Versions, Dads Army, Elvis Presley, reggae, Remixes on November 24, 2008 by planetmondo


Can you believe it – the busiest day ever on the blog last Friday with double the daily hit rate and it’s all down to Brenda Lee! Of all the tunes and tracks posted and popped on the blog it’s Brenda’s ‘Walk A Mile In My Shoes’ that got picked up by Hype Machine sending a stackload of extra traffic this way. Typically it’s the Torero Brass Band and this Bardot picture that draws in the drifters and anonobods – so following on from the Brenda’s (is anyone called Brenda anymore?) WAMIMS cover here’s a Bob Andy’s reggae flavoured rework and as bonus Billy Childish’s moonstomping version of the Dads Army theme which you may have seen on some recent TV ads

Bob Andy – Walk A Mile In My Shoes

Wild Billy Childish And The Blackhands – Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr Hitler

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Funky Friday – Cocktail Shakers

Posted in 60's, Cover Versions, cream cheese, Funky Friday, tom jones on November 20, 2008 by planetmondo


As I may have mentioned before I’m a bugger for a cover version, and one area rich with glittering goodies and buried treasure is that period when traditional, torch or show style singers decided to get ‘with it‘ and shake a well-tailored trouser leg or cocktail dress to the way out sounds of the In Crowd.

The finest selections are typically found around the tail-end of the sixties/early seventies, when, for the first time, themes of social awareness, cultural tolerance and polite political pop started to appear in the rock songbook and provided a platform for Vegas style cabaret and cocktail acts to appear hip, happening and doing old school cool with a twist of contemporary conscience …

Mel Torme – ‘Games People Play’

Peggy Lee ‘Everyday People’

Brenda Lee – Walk A Mile In My Shoes

Tom Jones & Engelbert Humperdinck (and Billy Preston)’Games People Play’ – you have to wait one full minute for the tune to kick in, but it’s well worth it

Give it away give it away give it away now

Posted in freebies, new music, perfect pop, the stranglers, The Wolfmen on November 18, 2008 by planetmondo

How do they do it? How (and why) do pedigree performers manage to give their goodies away on the the freemans? I wouldn’t want to get wrapped up in the fuss, and faff of writing, recording, mixing and mastering – only to have knocked myself out for literally nothing! Well whatever my head-scratching take on it is – it happens.

The Wolfmen have come up with yet another new fruity tune, perhaps more muted and minor modal than the regular glam-garagerocking-pop but an absolute peachy treat that’s almost Roxy Music meets Goldfrappish. Not only is it one of the strongest ear ticklers of the year – but it’s available for free – that’s right F.R.E.E – you can grab it by zipping over to the Wolfmen’s HQ and just clicking on the Wolf’s head

The Wolfmen – ‘Nothing To Say To You’


Hugh Cornwell – ‘Going To The City’

And, ex-Strangler Hugh Cornwell is offering one full album’s worth of new tunes for a big fat nothing – yes, really! You can get your get hand’s on Hugh’s ‘Hooverdam’ and it will cost you not one Earth penny – s’available right here

How is it that long-serving proto-punks like these can have put in thirty years of songwriting service and still deliver top drawer tunes, while so many Indie kids and contemporary clangers fold or stick to a safe-bet formula after just a few samey albums?

Funky Friday – What You Need You Have To Borrow

Posted in 70's, bowie, disco, Funky Friday, pop-lifting, Soul on November 14, 2008 by planetmondo
The King Of Cut And Paste Pop Culture

Popular opinion would have you believe ‘Young Americans’ was a calculated attempt by Bowie to attract the attention of, a so far, apathetic American audience by dropping the glam rags and reinventing himelf as a seventies soul boy. Realistically it was more of a revert to type. Ziggy only lasted 18 months, and snappily suited dance fan rather than outsider-outfits has been Bowie’s default career setting (Mod, Young Americans, The Thin White Duke, Lets Dance, Tin Machine…).

Dig a little deeper and you’ll also find he’d started dabbling with Disco a year earlier – alongside pet projects and helping hands for Lou Reed, Iggy and The Stooges, Mott The Hoople during 1973, Bowie had also found time to write and produce one full album ‘People From Good Homes‘ (recognise that line from a later song) for his backing vocalists The Astronettes which was dressed in a disco trim…

The Astronettes – I Am Divine


During the Young Americans sessions, Luthor Vandross (in pink above and blue below) had become an almost honorary member of the Astronettes – joining them at recording sessions, and for an appearance on the Dick Cavett show

Bowie remodeled one of Vandross’s tunes ‘Funky Music’ as ‘Fascination’ for inclusion on the Young Americans album (with Vandross getting a composer credit)..

Luther Vandross – Funky Music

During his Dick Cavett set, Bowie also covered The Flares ‘Footstompin’, which had been given a seventies style re-riffing by Carlos Alomar. A riff, which one month later became worked up into ‘Fame’ by Bowie and Lennon (with Alomar getting a composer credit for his contribution).

Bowie – Foot Stompin


The Flares – Foot Stompin

As well as having a magpie’s eye for bright ideas and what’s hot – Bowie also clonked out some cracking compositions of his own – an unreleased original being…

David Bowie – After Today

I will get the Bowie-handbrake on soon, it’s just that I’ve been ploughing through the Tony Visconti biog‘ this week, and have just hit the ‘Young Americans’ chapter you see.

However, if you fancy more Bowie business an excellent companion to his mid-seventies period is the excellent Golden Years website

Rock ‘n’ Rumble

Posted in bass, gigs, new wave, Punk, the stranglers on November 11, 2008 by planetmondo
What Exactly Is A ‘Morry Thou’?*

The Stranglers are live in Southend tonight, and being one of the first handful of bands I actively collected (along with the Pistols and The Damned) there’s no question of not trotting along. I know Hugh Cornwell’s long gone from the line up – but it’s still 75% original Strangulation. The other three are present and correct: Ol’ Beardy, Ol’ Pudding Basin and JJ Burnell, one of the coolest punk bass cadets (actually punk bass players were typically the snappiest member of the band) – all karate moves, monkey boots, motorbikes and that thunderous rumble underpinning the ‘men in black’s’ signature sound. It’s a ‘greatest hits’ gig, so hopefully these B-side babies may be somewhere in the setlist…

The Stranglers – Tank

Tankwith an intro from Peter Cook

Go Buddy Go – I’m no lip reader, but even I can see, the second word in this clip clearly isn’t ‘boogie’ or ‘woogie’

*Apparently a ‘morry thou’ as mentioned in The Stranglers ‘(Get A) Grip (On Yourself)’ is, well – click here to find out or here – for a picture

Funky Friday – A Crash Course For The Ravers

Posted in 60's, before they were famous, books, bowie, Funky Friday, mod on November 7, 2008 by planetmondo
“Your flashy clothes are your pride and joy ” David Bowie – The London Boys

Bowie, Bolan, Bryan Ferry, Eno (and Rod Stewart) all made the breakthough from cult undergrounders to interstellar superstars as variants on the star-spangled glitterkid theme. They may have had stars in/on their eyes, but those platform boots were firmly grounded in Mod roots. The look sharp and look ahead apprenticeship of Mod, with it’s made to measure mix of American soul and Italian style, Ivy League look meets British dandyism – and an eye for the detail and an ear for a tune, was probably why Bowie (and the other moonage mods mentioned) endured beyond the best-before date and lipstick-brickie chic of their patent leather peers.

The sixties scene was an era Bowie referenced from his earliest recordings (London Boys) and one of the motifs and influences that’s remained a constant throughout his peacock career – mentions of Lennon, Beatles and Stones on various singles. Twiggy and Jagger getting name checked on Aladdin Sane (along with a Stones cover), Pin Up’s set of swinging London standards and Young Americans (covering classics like ‘Knock On Wood’ and ‘Footstomping’ during live shows), and pitching in with ‘Pictures of Lily’ on The Who tribute album through to the slim-fit suit on ‘Reality’ being almost a homecoming to the Lord John look pictured above…

David Bowie and The Lower ThirdCan’t Help Thinking About Me

(There’s a clip of Bowie on his mod days, Steve Marriot and a 1999 version of ‘CHTAM’here)

David BowieIn The Heat Of The Morning – (BBC version)

(The Last Shadow Puppets made a healthy go of ‘INTHOTM’)


Davie Jones and the King Bees
Louie Louie Go Home

(LLGH was the B-side of Bowie’s first single “Liza Jane”)

Ziggy Stardust – The Mod Who Fell To Earth

A note on the tunes….and a Bowie Bonus

Can’t Help Thinking About Me (1965)

The first recording to feature the newly named David ‘Bowie’, and almost a blueprint of Bowieness the outsider lyrics and ambiguous angst of “my head’s bowed in shame” “blackened the family name” to the set piece template of semi-spoken verse and Bowie-bellow on the chorus, it’s a tune that wouldn’t seem out of place on any album since Scary Monsters.

In The Heat Of The Morning (1970)
For my earth pounds the BBC take of this tune is superior to the official album version, and benefits from being enhanced by the extra bounce of Alan Hawkshaw’s fantastically funky keyboard coda.

The Beatstalkers (touted as the Scottish Beatles), were under Ken Pitt’s management at the same time as Bowie (and also signed to Decca). They were offered first refusal on any unused Bowie compositions or offcuts, ‘Silver Tree Top School For Boys’ is one of these, and Bowie penned ‘Penny Lane-alike‘ from 1967.

The Beatstalkers (1967)- Silver Tree Top School For Boys

I am on something of a Bowie buzz lately (two Bo’ posts in two weeks) brought on by reading the Fantistico Dave Thompson book To Major Tom – a gem and a joy of a read if you’re into any type of music or movement from Bowie’s catchment era

Polari Pop

Posted in Bootleg remixes, buzzcocks, camp, disco, electronic music, mash up, perfect pop, Punk on November 4, 2008 by planetmondo

What better way to clear out the weekend cobwebs – than a sugary slice of cut and paste pop that mashes eighties electrickery with a seventies super-grouper – in combo that’s camper than Christmas.

I always suspected there was some sonic crossover between Pete Shelley’s ‘Homosapien’ and Abba’s ‘Does Your Mother Know’ before it was ‘outed’ like this ..

DJ Copycat – Does Your Homosapien Know

DJ Copycat website
well worth digging around for other winners while you’re there

DJ Copycat Myspace