Earworms 30 May 2016

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Spring Bank Holiday is upon us in the UK – it’s like having two Sundays in a row. Hope you all find some time to listen to this week’s selection – a classic set, and none the worse for that. Thanks to all, and please keep those worms coming to earworm@tincanland.com.

Kokomo – Angel – CaroleBristol: Kokomo were a fairly short-lived band who were briefly pretty big on the London pub and club scene in the mid 1970s. I think they finally called it a day sometime after 1980. They were made up from ex-members of Arrival and The Grease Band, and featured Mel Collins (of King Crimson fame) on sax and flute. This cover of Aretha Franklin’s sublime “Angel” is from their first, eponymous album. The vocals are by Paddy McHugh, who does a superb job, I think. His voice soars where it needs to. He was an out-and-proud gay man back when that was a risky thing to be.

Labelle – You Turn Me On – abahachi: Every time I hear The Wrong Version of Lady Marmalade – because of course that’s the only one you’re likely to hear on commercial radio – it sends me straight back to my Labelle albums. THE great glam-soul group, setting the blueprint for groups like En Vogue and TLC – and I’m still not convinced that Destiny’s Child or Beyonce have ever actually been consistently better…

Buffy Sainte-Marie – Power In The Blood – tincanman: Buffy delivers Alabama 3’s anti-corporate message with disgust and menace. Seems like a good time for it after the ‘Panama Papers’ discovery.

Alabama 3- Let’s Go Out 2nite – DsD: As commonly happens with my ‘worms, this popped up on Shuffle on the DsD Walkman. Truth be told, I’d forgotten it was there, so the first time it played I was caught out. I hit Repeat; the second time it made me grin. Then DsSis’ orchestra practice finished and we got in the car. I played it again. Jess shuddered, then complained… vociferously. Hey, I got a rise out of my usually monosyllabic teenage offspring!! So I played it once more just to wind her up. But now it’s burrowed into my lug’oles, and I can’t get rid.

Eric Johnson – Righteous – Ravi Raman: A rocking worm from the album that got Johnson a Grammy for Cliffs of Dover and on top of the best guitar solo lists. This track won accolades on its own merits but has always been shaded by its companion pieces.

Janis Joplin – Me and Bobby McGee – goneforeign: I was playing a mixtape from the 60’s/70’s the other day and I came across this, it used to be my favorite Janice cut plus I loved the original by Kris Kristofferson. One thing I love about this song is how the band takes off for the ending. Kris said this about Janice’s version:

The first time I heard Janis Joplin’s version was right after she died. Paul Rothchild, her producer, asked me to stop by his office and listen to this thing she had cut. Afterwards, I walked all over L.A., just in tears. I couldn’t listen to the song without really breaking up.“‘Bobby McGee’ was the song that made the difference for me. Every time I sing it, I still think of Janis.

Image: Courtesy of 123rf.com

13 thoughts on “Earworms 30 May 2016

    • Never

      Hey, just read this week about her Full Tilt Boogie Band. Most were from the same small pocket of southern Ontario that The Band guys came from. It was all small towns and farms then, so it’s pretty whack really. Later on it the villages became bedroom communities for Toronto and the soul was lost; to wit the region’s most famous son now is Justin Bieber.

  1. Yes, I know, but it won’t accept me amending it, for some reason. I did amend “McGhee” in the post, though. (Several hours later … Oh, I see, it’s in GF’s blurb, too. Sorry, have amended that but can’t amend it on the playlist. Well duh, etc.etc.)

  2. Labelle – You Turn Me OnI used to have the “Nightbirds” album on vinyl but have never got round to replacing it on CD. This makes me think I ought to. Brilliant track!

    Buffy Sainte-Marie – Power In The Blood I had no idea what to expect here. I really liked it a lot. So much righteous anger and passion.

    Alabama 3- Let’s Go Out 2nite Excellent track programming here, Ali. I don’t know Alabama 3 at all and, once again, I had no idea what to expect. It was pretty epic stuff. I liked it, but I need hear it again, because there was so much going on.

    Eric Johnson – Righteous Johnson has that real guitar-slinger swagger. He makes a difficult thing sound easy, almost as though anyone could do it. Well, until they actually pick up a guitar and try.

    Janis Joplin – Me and Bobby McGee I love Janis Joplin. The first one of her albums I heard was “Cheap Thrills” with Big Brother And The Holding Company and I’ve loved everything she ever did after that. Her version of Me and Bobby McGee is one of those covers that is better than the original. It is a true classic.

    So, only three tracks I didn’t know, which one did I like the best? Tough call, they all have their charms, but I am going with Buffy Sainte-Marie>/b> because it was so powerful and passionate.

    • Entire happy coincidence that Alabama 3 came in from DsD when tinny had sent in the Buffy Sainte-Marie. The only songs I remember by her are “Soldier Blue” and “Universal Soldier”, which were a long time ago. Anyway, “Power in the Blood” is excellent.

    • Too young to have encountered Labelle in their heyday; I first heard about them via a piece in Charles Shaar Murray’s collected journalism, which made them sound like the greatest soul group on earth – and he was right. He describes a live version of Something In The Air cut with The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, which I have never managed to find but which sounds simply amazing…

  3. The Kokomo number is especially brilliant. (Should make a decent contender for this week’s RRSA).
    I was introduced to both Alabama 3 and Buffy St Marie by RR and loved both these. As for Janis Joplin: I first heard Bobby McGee in the USIS library and once even lost a bet arguing that hers was the original and Kris Kristofferson’s was the cover. But that was in the pre-Internet Stone Age.
    *Carole: do check out Cliffs of Dover by Eric Johnson.

  4. Love the first two choices here. I saw Kokomo live back in, I think, 1979/80. Very impressed although it wasn’t the kind of music I had been going out to hear in the late seventies at all. Great lead voice here. Pretty amazing track altogether. Patti Labelle also in great voice. Fantastic stuff, love it.
    I’m not really familiar with much of Alabama 3’s music. Much preferred Buffy St M’s version of Power in the Blood to their own recording of Let’s Go Out. Not sure if it’s her voice, the rhythm, or the comparative brevity of the track but it powers along a treat. The other track put me off with all the talking about bugs and the music didn’t really grab me either. Then in the final three minutes with all its changes I found I was rather enjoying it. Listened again and exactly the same result.
    Eric Johnson track was a brilliant piece of guitar rock/blues/boogie. Not sure why I haven’t heard of him. Certainly should have done.
    Know the Janis/Kris song well and love it. I used to have a vinyl copy of her “greatest hits” with this on it. Must have lost it along the way so great to hear again.I’d forgotten about that guitar and piano work out towards the end.

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