Archive for the ‘Roxy Music’ Category


Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

Listen: Glass Of Champagne / Sailor

An almost religious combination of then current Roxy Music and as well, Sparks signature keyboard style, Sailor’s ‘Glass Of Champagne’ made it to #2 during December ’75 in the UK, most likely because it was hard to avoid instant addiction to the song’s commercial synth heroin.

Predating acid house daytime pop by easily fifteen years, the well produced, major label, manufactured sound of Sailor was not a problem in my world. Along with Chicory Tip from two years prior, and a few others, the eventual demise of guitar rock found it’s early footing in hits like this.

Producer Rupert Holmes has become a bit of an unsung hero. I just never hear him being credited when the mainstream print media are celebrating themselves and others, you know like yearly Q Awards and things. Seems they always honor groundbreaking producers, but I don’t recall Rupert Holmes ever getting a look. Hey, he produced Sparks’ BIG BEAT album, which includes some of their best material. That alone makes anyone with more.

Having just succeeded the previous year (’74) with his own solo album on Epic, I wonder did he usher Sailor on to Epic or did the label see a fit between he and the band? Regardless, it worked.

Sailor and ‘Glass Of Champagne’ have shrugged off all the dismissive poo-pooing over the years. In fact, I heard it being used last summer on a UK TV commercial for Marks & Spencer. Wow, did it grab you instantly. Don’t care if it’s thirty years old, a hit’s a hit’s a hit.


Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Listen: Seven Deadly Finns / Eno Eno7.mp3

Eno seemed to release ‘Seven Deadly Finns’ minutes after leaving Roxy Music, or maybe being a kid meant my time perspective was messy. Dissonance, already his calling card, many times verged on suffocating song endings, like here. In a few short years, it would be married to oscillation and the resultant metal clanging made a perfect fit for David Bowie’s Berlin period recordings. In ’74 though, this Eno single was about the hippest form of chaos you could hope to have on a 7″. We stocked and sold many at Discount Records that summer.

Listen: King’s Lead Hat / Brian Eno EnoKings.mp3

I could swear, since ’77, the ‘King’s Lead Hat’ that closed side one of BEFORE AND AFTER SCIENCE was a very different, and superior, version to it’s 7″ counterpart. Mentioning this to Duane a weekend or two back, the comment was met with a slightly confused but assured disagreement. Wrong, they’re the same.

A few hours later, prior to checking, his email arrived with the affirmation. The two versions are the same. It was just enough reason to pull the 7″ and give it a play. He was right.

Probably my favorite Eno track ever, discovering 33 years later this preferred version existed as a single, one which I’ve owned the whole time, was a most pleasing and scary senior moment.


Monday, July 27th, 2009

kennybumpus, Kenny, Jonathan King, UK Records, Phil Coulter, Bill Martin, RAK, Glam, Glitter From The Litter Bin, The Space Raiders

Listen: The Bump / Kenny KennyBump.mp3

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kennyjulieusa, Kenny, Jonathan King, UK Records, Phil Coulter, Bill Martin, RAK, Glam, Glitter From The Litter Bin, The Space Raiders" title="kennybumpus, Kenny, Jonathan King, UK Records, Phil Coulter, Bill Martin, RAK, Glam, Glitter From The Litter Bin, The Space Raiders

Listen: Julie Anne / Kenny KennyJulie.mp3

spaceraidersglamraid, space raiders, kenny, skint trcords

Listen: Glam Raid / The Space Raiders SpaceRaidersGlamRaid.mp3

There’s a great compilation titled GLITTER FROM THE LITTER BIN; 20 JUNK SHOP GLAM RARITIES. It’s a fun listen but it’s the message here that counts. Long snubbed as uncool, juvenile, manufactured, throwaway – you name it, I could never quite understand everyone’s problem with glam. The production was fantastic, drum and treble heavy, fun clothes and haircuts to match, and a threatening mix of androgyny (which indeed were assets to David Bowie, T, Rex or Roxy Music when convenient). No problem here. I was a proud fan and collector.

Kenny (band not person) churned out some hits, including these two masterpieces. Written by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter, as with all their material, ‘The Bump’ is a literal blueprint of glam. Fair enough, The Sweet, Slade, Sparks and Wizzard can equally claim such feats, but that doesn’t void out ‘The Bump’. Although released on Mickie Most’s RAK Records in the UK, Kenny flip flopped from pilar to post label-wise in the US. ‘The Bump’ was picked up by Jonathan King in the States, issuing it on his UK Records imprint through London. Sampled years later by The Space Raiders on their fantastic ‘Glam Raid’ (listen above), it verified some needed credibility to the song’s worth.

‘Julie Anne’ probably veered a bit more mainstream teen pop than glam, but the effervescent sound of super K was well intact. A pop classic.


Monday, February 2nd, 2009

My Little Red Book / Love

Listen: My Little Red Book / Love

7 And 7 Is / Love

Listen: 7 And 7 Is / Love

Love Jukebox tab

Above: Jukebox Tab filled out by Arthur Lee

Stephanie Knows Who / Love

Listen: Stephanie Knows Who / Love

She Comes In Colors / Love

Listen: She Comes In Colors / Love

Orange Skies / Love

Listen: Orange Skies / Love

Que Vida / Love

Listen: Que Vida / Love

Alone Again Or / Love

Alone Again Or / Love

Alone Again Or / Love

Listen: Alone Again Or / Love

Softly To Me / Love

Listen: Softly To Me / Love

Your Mind And We Belong Together / Love

Your Mind And We Belong Together / Love

Listen: Your Mind And We Belong Together / Love

LoveEverlastingUS, Love, Arthur Lee, Blue Thumb, Bob Krasnow

The Everlasting First / Love

Listen: The Everlasting First / Love

What do Love have in common with The High Numbers, JJ Cale, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, Mose Allison and Rockpile? Well, in this case, Tom Petty. He played them all, and more, on his Sirius/XM radio show, which I heard for the first time on the red eye from Seattle to New York Saturday night.

I don’t own a satellite capable device having been so disinterested in American radio for decades, and very bitter that it’s dummied down music as being a big part of culture in the US. Therefore figured it was more of the same. A few friends have, to be fair, tried convincing me otherwise. The very first time I heard it, on one of the now partnered networks, was in Kimberly Boley’s office at Sony. I asked her what she was listening to and she said satellite radio and that she loved it. I said sure but do they play The Cramps, just to throw a real wrench into the moment. She dialed up their station that most likely would, and The Cramps were playing that very second. Swear to God. I guess I should’ve taken it as a sign.

The flight was meant to be a time to finally get some rest. I’d been on Matt & Kim’s tour for several days and it had been non stop, stay awake. But this flight I’d earmarked as a sleeper. That was not meant to be. Spent the whole time flipping round these channels, then started jotting down some of the things I’d heard and kinda liked (The Soft Pack, Titus Andronicus), and some records I needed to look up once in the house to be sure I had (Chuck Jackson & Maxine Brown, Titus Turner, Bobby Womack). It was a noticeable change hearing so much variety: Lemon Jelly, Roxy Music (two stations playing two different songs simultaneously), Mott The Hoople, Eurythmics, LCD Soundsystem, Joan Armatrading, Nick Drake, The Nice. It was endless. You see, there is room for everyone. What a democratic concept.

There’s one thing that hasn’t changed though: the tired, lazy, hokey US DJ presenter. Does a building need to fall on these people? Unlike the BBC, and Radio 1 in particular, that presentation is lightning fast sonically and annoucer-wise. So with the luxury of access to BBC stations (Radio 1, 2, 6, Radio London) via internet streaming and my new discovery of satellite, I think things are pretty tolerable out there. I’d get subscribed up if I ever drove anywhere.

Back to Tom Petty’s program. He played Love’s ’7 And 7 Is’ on this particular episode. Interestingly named, I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Love. Many times, I crave hearing the music and thoroughly enjoy it. Other times, it sounds so lame, and twee, and overrated.

Some strong opposing opinions out there about Arthur Lee too. Met him the one time, and he was cool about doing the jukebox tab, but I was with Gary Umbo, a Love hardcore who I’m pretty sure Arthur knew and was friendly with. Undeniably some great singles though, and if you’re like me, it’s hard to forget the first time hearing ‘My Little Red Book’. It was a pretty big hit everywhere rightfully. Then ’7 and 7 Is’ came out, and that was the loudest cut record I’d ever heard. You can’t turn it down. Just try.

When I worked at Elektra in ’85, our mailroom guy Mark Cohen came down to my office telling me there was a closet that was about to be part of the renovation underway to create more office space. It was full of old chairs, cabinets, typewriters AND some boxes of old 45′s. Was I interested, they’ll be tossed otherwise.

It was a treasure trove. About 200 singles in all, and a virtual history of Elektra’s early 7′s. So many amazing things, I never separated the lot, kept them as they were. Loads of Tom Rush, The Voices Of East Harlem, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Beefeaters, Tim Buckley, plus a mixture of US and UK presses.

Every Love single was there, promos and stock, and some UK copies as well. Many are pictured here. Note the withdrawn copy of ‘Stephanie Knows Who’ / ‘Orange Skies’ (EK 45608). The catalog number was re-assigned as EK 45608 (REV). I’m guessing to indicate ‘revised’, replacing the A side with ‘She Comes In Colors’. I knew of the switch but wasn’t aware original copies had been pressed until that day.

Also, for some reason unknown as it wasn’t an Elektra master, the pile included a UK pressing of ‘The Everlasting First’. It was originally released in the US on Blue Thumb, Bob Krasnow’s label. Although he was our chairman and boss at Elektra, he had no idea why the record was included there either. “Maybe I gave Holtzman a copy then, and yeah that is Jimi playing the lead”. Thankfully he didn’t reclaim it.

Not long after, the front desk somehow decided to forward through an irate Arthur Lee to my line. I pick up and he launched into a rage about unpaid royalties and how Elektra, and even I myself, were stealing from him, so much so that he had to move in with his aunt in Nashville or some such place. I was very unequipped to handle this one, so politely sent him through to Gary Casson in business affairs, where I’m sure the rampage ended abruptly.