Archive for the ‘Rock On’ Category

The Pioneers

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

Listen: Long Shot Kick The Bucket / The Pioneers
Long

I caught the documentary bug this past week, uncovering several from the UK that I’d had no idea even existed. It all started with BBC 4′s PUNK BRITANNIA. Then noticing several other episodes in the series along the right hand column of the screen, well my free time suddenly evaporated. Each one so good, you almost want to speed them up a bit just to get onto the next.

The series’ producers coincidentally chose The Pioneers ‘Long Shot Kick The Bucket’ to open the REGGAE BRITANNIA edition. For me, it’s easily a song that time machines me right back to the day, or at least how I like to think it all was. Start watching this episode and trust me, you’ll be glued to the screen, much like the first time I recall hearing the record and being glued to the turntable just watching it spin. This was in ROCK ON, March ’77. The record was a common item at the time. And for 50p, it became mine.

Like several ska and reggae singles beginning in the late 60′s, ‘Long Shot Kick The Bucket’ became a UK hit, reaching #21 in ’69, then re-entering in’80 and peaking at #40.

In ’89, to celebrate 25 years of Jamaican Music, Island Records’ UK office compiled a seven LP box set, PRESSURE DROP, which included the track. ‘Long Shot Kick The Bucket’ was originally released on Island’s Trojan imprint in ’69, and as part of that 25 year celebration, it was one of four tracks chosen to promote the box via a 7″ EP on their reggae and world imprint, Mango. As part of Island’s normal policy, a Mango stock sleeve housed the vinyl inside a cardboard outer cover, both pictured above.

REGGAE BRITANNIA:

Snooky

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Listen:  Sugar Lips / Snooky

Listen: Sugar Lips / Snooky 01 Sugar Lis.mp3

I spoke with Roger Armstrong today. He was one of the guys who opened London’s Rock On record shop in the 70′s, having started out with a few standups of used records just off Shaftsbury Avenue and later, founded Ace Records, the catalog/reissue company, which he still owns and operates. Like the rest of us, he’s just a plain old record junkie. Luckily, when I bought Tony King’s 45 collection back in May, Roger offered a helping hand, and as a result, they’re still all boxed up and sitting in one of Roger’s spare rooms, waiting to come home to NYC. So we had a fun hour catch up call today. He mentioned the Camden Record Fair from a Sunday or two ago, whereby he picked up 70/80 singles, about two thirds of which he’d never heard of. Even the deepest record collectors and musicologists always are finding more records to collect. That’s the beauty of it all, there are so many records, not only to play but to discover as well, and the search is never ending. Wonderful.

Tonight Phil stopped by. We played singles for a good three hours. I pulled out a stack of Contempo releases I’d faithfully bought in the late 80′s and tucked away on a bottom shelf. The Notting Hill Record & Tape Exchange was the place to be then, for me that is. I always stayed at the The Pembridge Court Hotel, a mere block away. Sometimes I’d make a few trips to and from the shop with armloads of singles, dumping them in my room and resuming the digging minutes later. One time, Corinne dropped me off around 10 AM on her way to Soho to shop, and noticed me in the ground floor 7″ section around 4 PM that afternoon when she returned. I’d been there the whole time, by now starving and needing to piss badly. True story. All the 7′s were around a pound or so a piece then. I remember loving the look of the Contempo labels, and their stock sleeves, despite being pretty unfamiliar with the company. I did know of the BLUES & SOUL magazine that the label was loosely associated with from the 70′s. A good publication, even if they over celebrated themselves a bit too often. Well all these years later, I finally got around to playing through this chuck of Contempos, finding this, ‘Sugar Lips’ by Snooky, licensed from Feelgood Records Ltd in 1975.

Phil didn’t know a thing about this record’s history, not did I. We Googled Snooky. Googled Feelgood Records. Checked the RECORD COLLECTOR PRICE GUIDE. No info, not anywhere. Who is this? Who are Feelgood Records? No idea. Very bizarre. But in keeping with one of the great consistencies of record collecting, there’s always more records to discover. It never ever ends.

Interestingly, for such a hardcore soul label, this track sounds quite like The Tremeloes. I love it.