Archive for the ‘John Anthony’ Category

Van Der Graaf Generator

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Listen: Afterwards / Van Der Graaf Generator
Afterwards / Van Der Graaf Generator

I can only guess the reason to press 7″ promo records in the 60′s and early 70′s for underground artists, as they were known, had a singular purpose. Focus the very close to the mic disc jockey and his music director on edited versions of the album’s more/most playable songs.

Sometimes though, like with ‘Afterwards’, the label opted instead for the full length track, providing it wasn’t over four or five minutes long. Mercury generally preferred un-edits to edits, if memory serves me well, as I have several from the era, all full album versions.

Our local stations, WAER and WOUR, played early Van Der Graaf Generator quite generously for a few good years. I particularly loved ‘Killer’ from their third album, H TO HE, WHO AM THE ONLY ONE, and always hoped it’s eight minutes and change would get chopped into a single, but that never happened.

Took me ages to find a copy of ‘Afterwards’ from their debut, THE AEROSOL GREY MACHINE, figuring a shorter version would be a fun listen, if only to see how someone, preferably producer John Anthony, thought to edit it up.

No, Mercury pressed the full length album track. Regardless, a nice item to score.

Louis Jordan

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

Hardhead / Louis Jordan

Listen: Hardhead / Louis Jordan LouisJordanHardhead.mp3

I didn’t know much about Louis Jordan until John Anthony gave me a Best Of cd as a present one night. He’d been round with Howard for an evening of food and records, and it was a thank you thought. Little did he know I’d begin yet another quest to complete a 45 library on the guy as a result. Risque sexual themes often featured strongly in his work, notably the saucy ‘Show Me How To Milk The Cow’ for example. And I do love sleeze.

Ray Charles signed Louis Jordan to his Tangerine label in the 60’s – it was his last deal actually. ‘Hardhead’ is a terrific single from that period. There are many things to appreciate about the guy – go and Wikipedia him. Known as ‘King Of The Jukebox’, he still maintains the most weeks at #1 for any black performer: 113 (Stevie Wonder lags behind with 70, making him #2).

Clearly he kicked the door open for Little Richard, Screaming Jay Hawkins – so many.

The Psychedelic Furs

Monday, October 13th, 2008

Heaven / Psychedelic Furs

Heaven / Psychedelic Furs

Heaven / Psychedelic Furs

Listen: Heaven / Psychedelic Furs PsyFursHeaven.mp3

It was the Christmas break, 1979. Corinne and I went to stay with Howard in London for what turned out to be a Christmas to remember. He really did it up right, as always had countless things planned, on the go go go, especially hitting all the record shops. Went to see The Birthday Party at The Venue. Fuck they were, um, great. I did not appreciate it fully at the time, but in hindsight – yes, pretty great. And then there were the traditional English holiday parties. Not industry parties mind you, but family ones, like John Anthony’s Mom’s. That spread was fierce and her homemade trifle…..well we still talk about it to this day. The nights we didn’t eat our way through a party or see a band were just happily spent playing records in HT’s front room. The floor was literally covered with 45’s, row after row leaning against the moldings. An endless trove to flip through and pick from. Hours would just fly by, never a dull moment. And he had everything, all the latest releases – and there were many. Don’t forget, loads of great records were still coming out weekly. It was the tail end of punk turning into whatever the next thing was called…I really can’t remember actually. And often Richard and Tim Butler would be by. Howard had just signed them to CBS, and they were beaming about their first single ‘We Love You’, which Howard had just gotten copies of. In fact, they kept playing it over and over and over. But hey if they didn’t, we did. It was the start of a friendship that lasted years and brought loads of fun times. I realized only recently that The Furs were a really good singles band. I mean they have so many. I was very into TALK TALK TALK, not a bad track in my book, so always thought of them more as ‘albums’. But lately I’ve been rotating a bunch of the 7’s on my ipod and indeed – they were a solid singles band. I’m not sure many people rate ‘Heaven’ as one of their best but it sure is. I ran into Richard on the street about a month ago. He’s lived in NY for years. Picked up right were we left off, as if mid-sentence. We were shocked to think it’s been 29 years since that Christmas. Pretty amazing considering we’re both still 35.