Bruce Springsteen I’ll Stand By You Columbia Records
‘Blinded By The Light: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack’ is out today through Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings on CD and digitally. A double LP version will be available from 30th August with HMV and independent record shops offering an exclusive double LP white vinyl edition of the album. The soundtrack features the long-awaited release of Springsteen song ‘I’ll Stand By You’.
Inspired by a true story (Sarfraz Manzoor’s ‘Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion and Rock N’ Roll’) and the words and music of Bruce Springsteen, eOne’s ‘Blinded by the Light’ is the new coming-of-age film directed by Gurinder Chadha (‘Bend It Like Beckham’). The film follows Javed (Viveik Kalra), a British teen of Pakistani descent, growing up in Luton in 1987. Javed’s turbulent life amidst the racial and economic turmoil of the times is transformed when he is introduced to the music of Bruce Springsteen.
‘Blinded By The Light: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack’ Track Listing:
‘Ode To Javed/Javed’s Poem’ –A.R. Rahman ‘It’s a Sin’ – Pet Shop Boys The Sun Always Shines On T.V’. – a-ha “The Boss Of Us All” (dialogue) ‘Dancing In The Dark’ – Bruce Springsteen “You Should Be Listening To Our Music” (dialogue) “I Never Knew Music Could Be Like This” (dialogue) ‘The River’ – Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (Live at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – September 21, 1979) (previously unavailable on an album) * “Number One Paki Film” (dialogue) ‘Badlands’ – Bruce Springsteen ‘Cover Me’ – Bruce Springsteen ‘Thunder Road’ – Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (Live at The Roxy Theater, West Hollywood, CA – October 18, 1975) ‘Get Outta My Way Fascist Pigs’ –Amer Chadha-Patel “Do It For Me” (dialogue) ‘Prove It All Night’ – Bruce Springsteen ‘Hungry Heart’ – Bruce Springsteen “You, Me…and Bruce” (dialogue) ‘Because The Night’ – Bruce Springsteen ‘Maar Chadapa’ – Heera ‘The Promised Land’ – Bruce Springsteen (Live on The National Mall, Washington, D.C. – November 11, 2014) * ‘Blinded By The Light’ – Bruce Springsteen ‘Born To Run’ – Bruce Springsteen ‘I’ll Stand By You’ – Bruce Springsteen (previously unreleased studio recording) * ‘For You My Love’ – A.R. Rahman (new original song for film) *
The 40 Acre Mule Goodnight & Good Luck State Fair Records
The Pumping Heartbeat and Pure Soul of Modern Rock & Roll!
You know me by now; I’m regularly guilty of ‘judging an album by the cover’ ……. but why; not? It’s what I, and probably you did as kids back in the olden golden days of wasting whole Saturday afternoons back in our teenage days. So, with that thought in mind, I’m 99.99% sure I’d have asked Graham Herdman if I could hear a couple of tracks from this album had I found it in the racks of his record stall in Stanley Market. It wouldn’t have took even two minutes of the Gritty Blues of opening track You’d Better Run for me to be counting my pocket money to swap for this album of earthly delights. What’s not to like? As they themselves say, 40 Acre Mule ‘blur the lines covering ‘Country, Soul, Blues and Rock & Roll!” Where to start? The Rocking Boogie of 16 Days is as good a place as any; but hey kids ……. that sax solo that opens the sultry Somethin’ Next to Nothin’ will shake the rafters before the band slips and slides into a Bob Seger/Creedence swampy ode to luuurve. The band started up in Dallas only 4 years ago and have been hacking around the back-roads of America ever since, honing their craft until the world was ready for songs like Shake Hands With The Devil, Hat in Hand and the bodacious and funklicious Bathroom Walls. As a man of a ‘certain vintage’ I can bore you with all of the influences that litter this fabulous album; but who cares where this ‘sound’ comes from? It’s where 40 Acre Mule are now that counts, right? In their bio they say “We’ve gone from 10 to 15 friends in a dive bar on a Tuesday to playing full-on festivals without even having an album out,” and I can only presume both scenarios can be adjusted to wow the crowds out front. Choosing a Favourite Song certainly hasn’t been easy, as the full on Rocking and Rolling Josephine was my first selection last week; but now I’m erring towards the lowdown and sexy Be With Me which kinda caught me by surprise the other night; and I like that with an album; when it has the ability to keep throwing up songs that make me ‘think’ as well as make me want to jump around like a loon! So, Be With Me it is. GOODNIGHT & GOOD LUCK is a timeless artifact, owing a lot to bands and singles from the cusp of the late 60’s and early 70’s; but if I was 18 or 19 again today this album would blow my mind and 40 Acre Mule would be my favourite ever band.
Angus Crowne Unobservant Idiot Penguin Monkey Records
Hot Rats! It’s Only Super Cool Post-Punk Ukulele Rock & Roll.
Angus Crowne’s previous album SHAG RUG came at just the right time to ‘cheer me up’ after listening to a myriad of winsome singer-songwriters; and coincidentally UNOBSERVANT IDIOT finds me similarly contemplating life, love and the current political climate; and Heaven knows I’m miserable now. So; what better way to cheer me up than another hefty dose of quirky ukulele fronted Rock & Roll? Don’t worry dear reader; Angus Crowne ain’t no comedy act; he’s pure Rock & Roll; it’s just he uses the ukulele as his main instrument and isn’t afraid to use a melody or just a damn catchy to carry his well thought out stories along. What’s not to like about an album that starts with the singer proclaiming “It’s in the groove man!”? Nothing; is the correct answer ; and Crowne’s tongue in cheek self-depreciating love song Simple Street, somehow captures the magic of both Jonathan Richman and The Barenaked Ladies and then some. I have no idea where Angus Crowne fits in to today’s pantheon of genres; but he’s one sharp songwriter ……..with Baby, Baby being a respectful nod back to the Rock & Roll crooners of the early 1960’s yet the title track Unobservant Idiot is pure ironical Post-Power Pop from the late 1980’s! There are plenty of thoughtful and intriguing songs tucked away here; none more so than Faded Glances and Snickerdoodle Girl; which is just the type of quirky song I expected to hear on OGWT and then discuss at length the following day at school, as we tried to uncover the mysteries of life. It’s not the first time I’ve expressed my love for leftfield music; and that’s exactly what Angus Crowne delivers in bucket-loads; with three simply outstanding tracks; the bass laden Walking In LA, a delightful Until I Met You; which is probably my Favourite Song here, and hey man the Jazz-Rock Thrash of Harold Q Le Bough, which closes the album and is undeniably my Favourite Song here by a trillion miles! It’s all too easy and perhaps even lazy of me to compare and contrast Angus Crowne with the likes of Jonathan Richman, Barenaked Ladies and……. dare I say it………. even Frank Zappa. Yep; imagine if Frank had decided to make an all out Pop Album; it might sound a lot like UNOBSERVANT IDIOT, but first and foremost Angus Crowne is Angus Crowne; and the musical world is a lot better for having him in it.
Absolute Timeless Heartbreaking, Heart Swelling and Toe-Tapping Roots Rock Genius.
When this album arrived 6 or 7 weeks ago I just couldn’t stop playing it; possibly to the cost of a few that were due for review! Subsequently I had to hide it and bring it out again yesterday; and, do you know what? It’s even better now than then! Chuck Mead is a name I’ve been aware of for nigh on forever; but I don’t think I’ve ever heard a note from him, which is possibly what makes CLOSE TO HOME such an exciting discovery for me. If I’d read the Press Release there would have been a clue as to what to expect when I’d have read the big and bouncy Rockabilly extravaganza Big Bear in the Sky was recorded at Sun Studios (as was the whole album); man alive, I distinctly remember cranking the car stereo up to 9 that first day after about 30 seconds. Things slow down afterwards with the slinky I’m Not The Man For The Job, which has a delicious Tex-Mex back-beat over Mead crooning his little broken heart out a’la Raul Malo at his finest and later on the title track Close To Home he somehow channels his inner Hank in both words and sentiment.. Depending on your tastes (and like me, I know you have great taste) Mead somehow manages to encapsulate just about every angle of Classic Roots music here, bar Folk with Class and aplomb while creating timeless little Musical love-grenades along the way. There are plenty of songs here for you can dance your socks off with Daddy Worked The Pole being the first song you can Jive too I’ve heard in decades and There’s Love Where I Come From being a one that you will clutch each other to near death as you smooch in the flickering late night lights. If I had the time and the space I’d love to scream my praise for each and every song here; especially the heart melting My Baby’s Holding Me Down and the swinging Tap Into Your Misery which would have been Fonz’s favourite on the Jukebox in Al’s Diner. Oh man! Selecting a Favourite Song has been an absolute nightmare, as there are so many contenders; but I’ve managed to whittle it down to two, with the Runner-Up being ……. Billy Doesn’t Know He’s Bad which may or may not be about Billy The Kid or more likely the kid down your street called Billy, who’s ‘gone off the rails’. A clever and thought provoking song, with a water tight beat and harmonies that the Crickets in their prime would have been rightly proud of. But the winner is ……… The Man Who Shook The World; which has Chuck going full on scuzzy and menacing Rock & Roll on a song about ‘shaking the hand of the man who shook Elvis’s hand!’ In it’s own little way this just might be 3 minutes of sheer and unadulterated brilliance ….. or perhaps I’m a lovesick fool. While I understand Mead has been ploughing a furrow like this since his BRS-49 days; for me I’m hearing a heady mix of Hank, George, Jerry Lee and Wayne The Train somewhere and sometimes crammed together in each and everyone of these fantastic Rocking and Rolling Rootsy Love Songs.
Break Out The Brylcreem and Rev Up The Rat Rod ….. They’re Back!!!!
What’s left to say about The Stray Cats, apart from…….. why has taken 26 bloody years to get back together and record an album????? I guess I know the answer, as all three founder members have gone on to have fairly succesful post-Cats careers; especially Brian Setzer with the variants on his ‘Orchestra’, but Slim Jim Phantom and Lee Rocker have had their own moments in the spotlight too over the last quarter century too; but does anything really compare to The Stray Cats in full flow? The fabulous single Cat Fight (Over a Dog Like Me) simply fizzes with teenage hormones; and I can’t think of any better way to get this particular party started, with all three cats coming together like the coolest gang in town; the type that scares you a little bit, but makes you want to be their mates too. What the Hell’s not to like about good time greasy Rock & Roll? For a three piece band, with very limited instrumentation The Stray Cats really can kick up a mighty fine ruckus; but in a seamlessly classy way too, with Three’s a Charm, Mean Pickin’ Mama and Devil Train all crossing the boundary that makes you wonder if this is Rockabilly or Honky-Tonk Country ……. but that’s where this glorious type of music came from isn’t it? Then when Setzer sets his guitar to stun on I Attract Trouble, there’s even a hint of Dick Dale’s Surf classics in the mix too; and with the Psycho Blues mash-up Cry Danger and the sexually swaggering R&B of Rock It Off and That’s Messed Up The Stray Cats really do prove Rock and Roll really is the bastard child of popular music! Every single track here could easily have been a Hit Single in every decade from the 1950’s until now; and I can give you an articulate argument as to why we need this music today more than ever before! Which all brings me to my two Favourite Tracks, the Hank B Marvin aka The Shadows influenced instrumental Desperado is not just timeless, but futuristic too and really does showcase what excellent musicians this undervalued trio really are; and the other is the feisty I’ve Got Love If You Want It, which obviously nods in the direction of our favourite ever Rockers Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent and Elvis (especially the way Setzer sneers a couple of line) but this is ultimately the best Stray Cats song since Sexy and 17 IMHO. It’s a bit weird that a band like this can come full circle after 40 years in the business (hence the title 40) and sound not just as sharp as a cut-throat razor but with this bunch of well written, well constructed and fundamentally danceably fun songs ……. be just as relevant and necessary today in 2019 than ever before.
Howlin’ Ric & The Rocketeers You’re Lovin’ Days Are Through (Single) Gin House Records
WAHAY! We loved their demos a couple of years ago; and in the intervening time Howlin’ Ric and the Rocketeers appear to have been on the road day and night delivering their own blend of high energy and very danceable R&B drenched Rock and Roll to clubs and theatres the length and breadth of the UK! The band were in touch last week giving us a shiny new copy (well, a download actually!) of this, their first single You’re Lovin’ Days Are Over/Sweet Ella Mae from the forthcoming debut LP WAITING BY THE DANCEFLOOR!
Red Raw Rock & Roll, a Side-Order Of Fiery Cajun Tunes and Plenty of Sizzling Country Blues Too.
YOWZA! YOWZA! and indeed YOWZA! This album arrived twice in the same week from both the US and UK publicists and both included personal notes ‘suggesting RMHQ will like this a lot’ …… how well some people know me now. First of all, Mrs. Magpie suggested I turn it off last week …….. which is usually a good sign, plus I love the arrogance of any Rock n Roll band who start an album with their very own signature tune; which is what we get here with the Theme From Daddy Long Legs; and I’m buggered if I can actually describe this Voodoo drenched red raw, Rhythm AND Blues which both rocks and rolls in a way I’ve not heard in eons. Then, things only get weirder! I have no idea what this Pink Lemonade that vocalist Brian Hurd sings about but I’d love a big glass please. Daddy Long Legs’s influences are far too many and far too diverse to list; but I certainly hear Howlin’ Wolf, Capt. Beefheart and JD Wilkes from the Legendary Shackshakers in Glad Rag Ball and Snagglepuss; but I’m sure you will find your own Roots, Rock Weirdo’s inhabiting Be Gone, Glad Rag Ball and Mornin’, Noon & Nite; but at the end of the day who out their doesn’t wear their influences on their sleeves? This is one highly complex Gumbo from start to finish and the only sounds you will care about is the firecrackers that Daddy Long Legs keep setting off in your head. Even when Daddy Long Legs pour their hearts out in a ballad, with Back Door Fool you half expect it to become a murder ballad; and I’m not 100% sure it’s not actually. Just when you are getting your head around Daddy Long Legs’s potent brew they throw in a fiery Cajun tune in the guise of Celaphine; and I defy anyone to keep up with this wicked tempo when tapping their toes, never mind dancing. Not for the first time, this is an album that I could put a blindfold on to choose a Favourite Song; but I’m going to actually select two songs (then instantly regret my choices I’m sure!). First there’s the feisty Ding Dong Dong which sounds like something from one of Alan Lomax’s field recordings; but I’m assured it’s brand new; and it will make you want to dance like young Forest Gump; trust me. The other is nearly ‘contemporary’ by comparison; and if you play Bad Neighbourhood loud enough you will scare the Bejasus out of your neighbours …… I know; because I did quite by accident when I opened my car door one night! For a NYC trio Daddy Long Legs sure sound like authentic they come from a swamp somewhere off the map in the Deep, deep South, and they are going to be the band that will blow you away at some Festival this summer.
Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul SUMMER OF SORCERY Wicked Cool/UMe
A Very Rock & Soul Summer Soundtrack.
Stevie Van Zandt is many things, and I won’t bore you with a list (as it would be very long); and with so much going on in his work life I think he forgets that first and foremost he’s a Rock n Roller of the finest hue in his very own rites! I was first aware of this release about a month ago when his PR Company sent a list of forthcoming releases and this diamond was tucked away in the middle…… no fanfare, no dancing girls, no fireworks…… nothing. At RMHQ we believe Little Stevie Van Zandt deserves a a big whizz band furore whenever he releases a new record; but we are funny like that. Hey ho! Steve himself must think so too, the way The Disciples of Soul throw every they have into the intro of Communion which ‘blasts the bloody doors off’ the start of the disc! For a man who has lived the life he has, Van Zandt’s voice doesn’t deserve to be this good, or indeed ‘sexy’ on a truly explosive R&B infused Rock n Roller. This is followed by the first and possibly the biggest surprise here, Party Mambo ……. but why the Hell not? Steve has always had a love of music from all 4 corners of the world (check out his radio shows) and I’m sure this delightful little missive will be a highlight of his imminent tour, probably kick starting the encores? There is something here to please everyone; with the gorgeously epic Rockers Summer of Sorcery and Superfly Terraplane sitting alongside the swinging 60’s R&B of Soul Power Twistin’ and Vortex, while the band get their funky party groove on with Gravity; and the surprise is that it’s no surprise at all that this heady concoction works. He’s done it before, but for me Stevie hasn’t quite cracked the lovelorn crooner act before as well as he does with Love Again and more especially the creamy smooth Suddenly, during which he embraces his inner Bobby Darin. Finding a Favourite Track this soon hasn’t been easy, and I’m sure this choice will change as I delve deeper into each track over the coming months; but this morning I’m going for the feisty and powerful A World of Our Own over I Visit The Blues because I love inflection and warble in his voice on the former whereas the latter is exactly what I’d dreamed of and hoped I’d hear again from the Prince of Little Italy, therefore less of a surprise. OK there are elements of E Street Band in here; and why not; but there’s also plenty of nods to Curtis Mayfield, Joe Cocker and maybe even Stevie Wonder in the shadows of a couple of tracks too…… but this is 100% Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul at their finest and indeed, grooviest from start to finish. I love the way the album swoops and sweeps with highs and lows that will blow you away the first time you hear it; and a few times you will find yourself instinctively going for the replay button; don’t just sit back and enjoy the ride……. it’s like a winding trip at sunset along the coast in an open top sports car.
Legendary Guitarist Gets His ‘Funk On’ and Finds His Voice.
I actually remember this on it’s original release in 1988. My mate Malcolm bought it and brought it straight round to my house for us to listen together; as you did in the olden days. We played it twice and I doubt he ever listened to it again. We just didn’t get it. Fast forward 30 years and it’s now been on auto-repeat for three days in the RMHQ office…….. and I ‘now get it!’ It’s been difficult listening without remembering that day when we both had long hair and droopy moustaches, vaguely remembering my ‘thoughts’….. but today; I’m taking it at face value and it’s fair to say, TALK IS CHEAP may actually have been ‘before it’s time’ in 1988. If this was a brand new release, opening track Big Enough would be a cool Rock-Reggae hybrid with a funky back-beat, mostly supplied by Maceo Parker on saxophone and a bit of an edge to the singer’s brusque singing style (that’s Keef, that is btw). Track #2 Take It So Hard features some really chunky guitar, the kind we normally associate with the Stones; but the mood is a lot more New York Eastside than it is South East London; which is probably why I’ve been tapping my fingers to it this week, and thirty years ago I was mystified! Keith’s signature guitar licks are littered throughout every song; but the album is much more about the actual songs; and there are quite a few ‘keepers’ among them. Make No Mistake is on the mellower side of Rock, and is more akin to Hall & Oates than anything Muddy Waters ever recorded as Richards’ almost croons a lovely song alongside the delightful voice of Sarah Dash. With a lot of water flowing under my musical bridge since I first heard Whip It Up; it’s now a song that fits perfectly into the burgeoning Alt. Country canon; especially the bands who’s Roots are in Exile on Main Street as opposed to Bakersfield! Kieth actually goes back to his own Roots on the fiery and eminently danceable Rock & Roller Could Have Stood You Up; and it’s worth checking out if only to hear the dual between Johnnie Johnson on piano and Chuck Leavell on organ; which mesmerised me so much it made me miss Mick Taylor’s astonishing solo half way through! I’m going to take a deep breath and say that TALK IS CHEAP has aged a lot better than anyone could possibly have expected; which brings me to the two songs that tie for Favourite Track Status……. the final track here It Means a Lot is one helluva Funk-Rocker, and bizarrely Keith’s vocals and guitar playing actually remind me of Johnny Winter somehow! But the song itself has all the hallmarks of being a crowd pleaser if ever played live. The other ‘winner’ is the straight-up ‘four to the floor’ How I Wish, which is just a certified doozy! No more and no less. That’s the ‘normal release’ but I urge you to splash the cash and invest in the Deluxe 2 x CD release with a superb booklet and another disc of unreleased tracks. The first time I played this album I skipped over track #1 Blues Jam but as I type and listen on headphones, it’s obviously a bunch of Master Musicians ‘getting their groove on’ akin to that Al Kooper/Mike Bloomfield album and I’d love to be in a cafe when it comes on over the speakers. Would it have been fair to have selected a song from the rarities as my Favourite? I think not; but this sparkling version of My Babe alongside a coolly rambling take on Big Town Playboy has gone onto three ‘playlists’ on my trusty I-Phone! The finale, Brut Force starring Keith and Bootsy Collins is smouldering, fascinating, intriguing and well worth the record company dusting it off for this release. My initial expectations weren’t very high; as I said at the beginning, but honestly and truthfully TALK IS CHEAP in either or both formats has certainly aged very well indeed; and is well worthy of your hard earned cash over the coming weeks (the LP will be available around Record Store Day coincidentally!).
‘Talk Is Cheap’ Deluxe Box Set also comes with – 180g LP album &180g LP bonus material – the 7” Single (Take It So Hard / I Could Have Stood You Up) – the 7” Single (Make No Mistake / It Means A Lot) – CD album & CD containing bonus material – 80 page hardback book featuring Anthony De Curtis essay, new interview with Keith Richards and extensive photos, – Memorabilia: 1x tour laminate, 2x lyric sheets, original ‘Talk Is Cheap’ playback invite, tour guitar pick and 2x posters – Housed in a folio pack wrapped in Fender guitar case material
‘Talk Is Cheap’ Super Deluxe box set – Limited & Numbered – All content matches the Deluxe Box set – Comes with added special feature, a one-of-a-kind exclusive casing replicating Keith’s favourite Fender Guitar ‘Micawber’ – Features hand-relined ash wood with original Fender guitar elements, handmade at the Fender Custom Shop in California
Don Gordon’s Bandolier Bandolier Tales Self-Release
Pure Dead Quality From Start to Finish.
Don Gordon? Apparently an ex-member of Glaswegian band The Primevals and a long time collaborator with our chum Wily Bo; which hiked this release straight up the to-do list! Before I actually tell you about the wondrous music on this album, I have to tell you that it’s ‘not for everyone’ as Mrs. Magpie and her famous scowl will testify! But, if you enjoy singers who are blessed with larynx’s like Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and two of Glasgow’s finest; Messr’s Alex Harvey & Dave Arcari you are gonna love these songs! The jangly guitar that leads into opening track September Rain will remind you of Teenage Fanclub at their height; but when Wily Bo enters the fray, drawling Don Gordon’s magnificent words with Louise Ward double-tracked on backing vocals; you know you aren’t in Kansas any more Toto. The song is really, really special in a way that defies categorisation….. is it the Blues? Sort of. Is it Rock? Not really, but maybe. Is it Contemporary Pop? Yessish; but add all three together and it’s the perfect introduction to Don Gordon’s Bandolier and the music that they create. That classy, enigmatic theme continues through Pictures of Lanark, a duet between Wily Bo and Louise which reminded me of those songs Nick Cave and Kylie recorded; but with a catchy melody. There are but 7 songs here and each is as memorable as each other, but invariably ‘different’ too; with the Bandoliers getting all smouldering and swampy on I Will Be There but turning Cryin’ Out into a thrill a minute car chase of a twisted Gospel song, and closing the album with Walking In The Past which sounds like it could have been the soundtrack to a Film-Noir LA Cop thriller; which features some extraordinary diesel powered bass and drumming from Clarky and The Rocket. This leaves but two other songs to talk about. Bandolier/Prayer whizzed me back to those nights when I would sit in my bedroom listening to the Sensational Alex Harvey Band on headphones; trying to make sense of the exciting and mesmerising sound that was filling my head. It’s the same here; if I tell you that it’s a sort of Epic Rock Song featuring The Doune & Deanston Pipe Band (them’s real bagpipes btw), Louise Ward sounding all floaty and siren like while Don Gordon makes his guitar strings sound like they are made from slithering snakeskin and Wily Bo partly sings through a decoder before summoning up the demons in our Souls you will think I’m mad….. but give it a listen; it’s bloody cracking! Then of course, there has to be my Favourite Song, and it was an easy selection. While possibly the most commercial song here Who’s Kissing You? not just fits in perfectly but stands out like a sunflower at noon too, as Gordon makes his guitar not just weep but bleed too as Clarky and The Rocket keep better time than a brand new Rolex, behind him and the glorious singers Wily Bo and Louise Ward. While I’m always flattered to receive albums by household names and even the occasional Superstar at RMHQ, but albums like this are not just the life blood of my site but the Music Industry too…… with ‘Quality’ being the word that kept coming into my head as every song came onto the stereo and again now, as I type.