Archive for the ‘Kid Creole & The Coconuts’ Category

Third World

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Listen: 96° In The Shade (Single Edit) /Third World
96° In The Shade (Single Edit) /Third World

Summer ’77, this was one of our anthems. The single came along several weeks before the album. Not surprisingly, a longer version accompanied the long player, and it was certainly a treat to have the outro chorus repeated many more times. A beautiful slow fade that you kind of never wanted to end, like summer itself.

Oddly, the song’s a cappella intro, nicely edited off this 7″ version, was never ever loud enough. I’m shocked no one ever noticed, and wanted to change that in mastering when years later I had to put together a cd length history of Island’s best known reggae tracks for a New Music Seminar sampler, snapshotting it with the title 96° IN THE SHADE. Only now realizing I completely fumbled that one, totally forgot to make the needed improvement. Mistake.

One of the nice things about working for Island in the late 80′s and early 90′s, the company was fine with doing all kinds of promo only items, theme based compilations of reggae, ska, world, funk, dance. A particular favorite was one I slaved over for weeks: SALT & TABASCO, a gathering of latin leaning tracks from Los Van Van, Jorge Ben, Kid Creole & The Coconuts and Arrow, to tropical-ish remixes by The Gibson Brothers and Third World.

As with most, including the 96° IN THE SHADE sampler, which by the way Island later commercially released as GROOVE YARD, I was able to slip a promo only 7″ onto the release schedule for college servicing. We’d do a run of a few hundred to cover the A list stations on the panel, a handful for the UK and few boxes for the US office, most of which I would horde and covet not unlike the guilty substance abuser I was/am/will always be when it comes to 45′s.

The sleeve to said 7″ is pictured above (B Side: The Harder They Come / Jimmy Cliff)

Captain Sensible

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

CaptainSensibleWot, Captain Sensible, A&M, The Damned

Listen: Wot! / Captain Sensible

As Seymour Stein once loudly yelled down the hall to a certain snooty A&R guy, “Don’t lie to me you liar”.

The action never ended on that 21st floor of 75 Rockefeller Plaza, home to the Warner labels for decades. Our Medicine office was conveniently smack dab in the middle of a long hallway anchored on one end by the Warner/Reprise A&R staff and at the other, Seymour and the Sire staff. Duane and I had the best seats in the house.

And anyone who tells you they never liked The Damned is also a liar. Not mentioned as often as they should be, the band were easily an equal to The Sex Pistols when it comes to the UK punk crown. A tie.

Captain Sensible never could, never will, do any wrong. He’s hysterical, a fantastic entertainer, front man, side man, guitarist, bassist, songwriter and an all around good guy. He was a big friend of Joey Ramone’s, and it was The Damned who were the only UK band that flew themselves over from England to honor his life at Hammerstein Ballroom a month after he passed away. His Mom, brother and all his close friends never forgot.

Sometimes the good ones do get their just rewards. Who wasn’t pleased when Captain’s first solo single ‘Happy Talk’ topped the UK charts? Captain Sensible at #1! Yes.

The followup, ‘Wot!’, also a chart success, was even better. It was pure Sensible humor. Hearing it is seeing him in that two piece pink shag rug suit. Great records make you visualize the artist. Here’s the proof.

CaptainSensibleGlad, Captain Sensible, A&M, The Damned

Listen: Glad It’s All Over / Captain Sensible

Two years later, when it was looking like the solo Captain Sensible moment had passed, ‘Glad It’s All Over’, with it’s mischievous Kid Creole & The Coconuts fake intro, barreled to a UK #6. Great song, great production, great news. Again, hats off to the Captain.

This was ’84 and towards the end of a six year run, late night weekly FM radio specialty show I co-hosted with Roger McCall. We both found ourselves to be so sick of the ghettoized midnight to 2 AM life sentence of a time slot that the WCMF programmers inflicted on music which should’ve been heard all day. And so we’d end every show with ‘Glad It’s All Over’. They were so in the dark, they never did catch on.


Thursday, December 25th, 2008

Christmas On Riverside Drive / Kid Creole & The Coconuts

Listen: Christmas On Riverside Drive / Kid Creole & The Coconuts KidCreoleChristmasOnRiversideDrive.mp3

Christmas in B'Dilli Bay / Kid Creole & The Coconuts

Christmas in B'Dilli Bay / Kid Creole & The Coconuts

Christmas Wrapping / The Waitresses

Listen: Christmas Wrapping / The Waitresses WaitressesChristmasWrapping.mp3

Christmas Wrapping / The Waitresses

I couldn’t resist jumping on the Christmas bandwagon, even as I swore I wouldn’t. I guess I’ve been hearing The Waitresses’ ‘Christmas Wrapping’ so much lately. You’d have thought it was given it’s deserved airings when released in ’81, but that was not the case. Seems it’s just oozed into the mainstream, which is just fine. Flawless song and delivery, and some classic lyrics (“Let’s get this winter over with” comes to mind). Like everyone, I have some real holiday favorites: Wizzard, Brenda Lee, The Ramones, The Phil Spector album and Eartha Kitt’s ‘Santa Baby’, but the one nobody mentions is ‘Christmas On Riverside Drive’. Kid Creole & The Coconuts had a perfect two year run back around ’81/’82. The UK ate them up, several singles bobbing in and out of their Top 40, with side projects selling as well (Coati Mundi/Dr. Armando’s Second Avenue Rhumba Band). The whole living color filled tropical sand and palm trees allure was too much for England not to buy into. The live show back then must have been absolutely perfect for the moment. Their seasonal song is unfortunately way below the radar, but captures the greatness of NYC around the holiday to a T. Both singles are from the Ze release, A CHRISTMAS RECORD.