Original Seeds: Songs that inspired Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds -. Volume 1 (1998), Volume 2 (2004).

I am always pleased to be able to respond to requests, and this is for regular correspondent Mona.
I mentioned these two compilations in last week's posting on Kicking Against The Pricks. If you already downloaded that, don’t worry, there are only 2 repeats on here.

Volume One:

1. Tim Rose - Long Time Man
2. Gene Vincent & the Blue Caps - Cat Man
3. Leonard Cohen - Avalanche
4. Karen Dalton - Katie Cruel
5. The Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Hammer Song
6. Tom Jones - Weeping Annaleah
7. The Loved Ones - Sad Dark Eyes
8. Scott Walker - The Big Hurt
9. John Lee Hooker - Tupelo Blues
10. Lefty Frizzell - The Long Black Veil
11. Johnny Cash - The Folk Singer
12. Odetta - Another Man Done Gone
13. Blind Willie Johnson - I'm Gonna Run to the City of Refuge
14. Edwin Hawkins Singers - Oh Happy Day
15. Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin - Je t'aime... moi non plus
16. Isaac Hayes - By the Time I Get to Phoenix

Volume Two:

1. Harry Belafonte - Did You Hear About Jerry?
2. Tom Waits - Way Down in the Hole
3. Fred Neil - A Little Bit of Rain
4. Gang of Four - Love Like Anthrax
5. Bob Dylan - Sara
6. Tim Rose - Hey Joe
7. The First Edition - Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was in)
8. Elvis Presley - In the Ghetto
9. Nina Simone - Plain Gold Ring
10. The Stooges - Loose
11. Leadbelly - Looky Looky Yonder/Black Betty/Yellow Women's Door Bells
12. Hoyt Axton - Double Dare
13. Lou Reed - Perfect Day
14. Alice Cooper - Street Fight


Felt- Pictorial Jackson Review (1988)

Pictorial Review Jackson is the ten year old narrator of Jack Kerouac’s final novel, Pic. It is not necessary to know this in order to enjoy this LP.
Quirks: Side one- six jangly indie pop songs with shades of country.
Side two- two keyboard instrumentals.

Anybody else get the mispressed cd with Train Above the City in place of this album when the Cherry Red reissues came out a couple of years back?


Ding Dong,

Some ladies rang my doorbell the other day. They wanted to speak to me about The Bible. I couldn't be bothered to tell them about my atheism ( ok, I pussied out). I didn't rant at them about the malign influence that religion has had on society for 2000 years or more. I couldn't be bothered to tell them my opinion about people's gullibility being used as another tool of oppression.

But it's given me an idea.

I'm going to take to the streets in my spare time, knocking on people's doors and telling them about the principles of anarchism, of true communism.

So the next time that your doorbell rings as your about to tuck into your tea, or you've just started watching the Eastenders omnibus, don't worry, it might not be the christians or the jehova's, it might just be the anarchists, here to give you a leaflet about Chomsky or Colin Ward. To open your eyes to the possibility of a future that is not based on capital and oppression, but on co operation.

As the christian lady said-I'm sure that we are all worried about the future of the planet...

Happy Mondays- Squirrel and G Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out) (1987) + Desmond.

This, the Happy Mondays first LP is often overlooked. Some critics have described it as a false start. Shaun Ryder once said that the band were, at the time, modelling their sound on The Doors, making ‘music with gaps’, but he could have been having a laugh. The great John Cale produced. There is a tremendous energy and drive to the songs, and the bass is prominent and funky.
Initial copies of the album included the track Desmond, a re working of The Beatles’ Obla di, and legal action from the owners of that song’s copyright (namely Michael Jackson, proving what a cunt he was) forced the album’s withdrawal. Personally I’ve always thought of Desmond as one of the bands weaker tracks, and it was replaced by 24 Hour Party People- cheers Michael!

Shaun Ryder- vocals
Paul Ryder- bass
Mark Day- guitar
Gary Whelan- drums
Paul Davis- keyboards
Mark Berry- percussion

Here we have a CD rip:

And here is Desmond, ripped from the original vinyl album:


DEVO- 2 singles (1977-78)

Mongoloid/ Jocko Homo 7” (1977)

This was DEVO’s debut single. It was produced by Brian Eno, although such luminaries as Iggy Pop, Robert Fripp and David Bowie also expressed an interest in producing them at the time. Allegedly Bowie eventually did help out with the production.
The flip side Jocko Homo is titled in reference to a creationist tract called Jocko-Homo Heavenbound by B. H. Shadduck . The song also makes reference to the Charles Laughton/ Bela Lugosi movie Island of Lost Souls (1933). This also gave the band the phrase ‘are we not men?’ spoken in the movie by Lugosi.
Ripped from 32 year old vinyl- gatefold sleeve pics in file.

Come Back Jonee 7” (1978).

Another DEVO single found in my fabled cardboard box.


Sandie Shaw- Hand In Glove/ I Don't Owe You Anything 7” (1984) Morrissey- Please Help The Cause Against Loneliness-(1988)

Sandie cut an unusual figure, and would herald a new abandoned casualness for female singers… Morrissey, Sounds 1984.

Morrissey was always a huge fan of the female pop stars of the 1960’s, and Sandie Shaw in particular.
In 1984, having being coaxed out of semi- retirement by Morrissey, Sandie recorded a cover of The Smiths debut single Hand In Glove backed by Johnny, Andy and Mike. The record sold 20,000 copies within three days of release.
Also included here are Jeane (which appeared on the 12”- this version is a bonus track on the 2004 issue of her LP Hello Angel) and a duet by Morrissey and Sandie of Please Help The Cause Against Loneliness- an outtake from Morrissey’s Viva Hate LP. The song was written by Morrissey for Sandie and her version appeared on Hello Angel (the title of which came from a postcard that Morrissey sent her).
Here are some of Sandie’s reminiscences about working with The Smiths.


Ian Dury & The Blockheads- Juke Box Dury (1981)

That guy sounds like he has a tongue disease- Lou Reed
Funny, I remember buying this on vinyl but I also remember the last time that I saw my vinyl copy!
In the summer of 1991 my old friend R was living in a remote farmhouse overlooking Carmarthen Bay. He had a party one Saturday- I can’t remember what the occasion was, if indeed there was one. In the week leading up to the party he specifically asked me if I had any Ian Dury that I could ‘lend’ him. Torn between a realisation that the ‘loan’ would probably be very extended and the desire to please him, I chose this LP rather than any of the ‘proper’ studio albums. After all, it had only cost about three quid and it was getting a bit scratchy.
By mid afternoon on the day of the party the guests were already outnumbering the population of the nearby village. We arrived from all points and gathered in one of the two tiny pubs on the village square. I remember one of my mates as if it was yesterday- He had flip up shades and a bollocks to the poll tax t shirt, on the seat next to him in the pub was a stack of Happy Mondays, Stone Roses and Inspiral Carpets records- no bag.
I asked him how he’d got there- he’d missed the train and walked eight miles, along the railway line! Then he’d cut across the fields to the village. ‘My fucking feet are killing me’- he was wearing flip flops.
I don’t remember much after that- smoking in the garden and watching the string of lights as miles below a train edged around the rim of the coastline.
And my Ian Dury LP, in its worn but still lurid sleeve, leaning by the hi fi.

This is a best of compilation of Ian’s Stiff Recordings.

The line up, generally speaking:
Ian Dury - vocals
Wilko Johnson / Chaz Jankel - guitars, backing vocals
Johnny Turnbull - guitars, backing vocals
Mick Gallagher - keyboards, synthesisers
Norman Watt-Roy - bass
Charley Charles - drums
Davey Payne - saxophone


Earlier takes of songs featured on Kicking Against The Pricks by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds

In 1986, for their, third studio album, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, looking like the house band from a David Lynch dream sequence, released a selection of cover versions- Kicking Against The Pricks.
What we have here are earlier versions of the songs featured on that LP.
I’m not saying that these are the original or even definitive versions of the songs- just earlier versions.
Not to be confused with Original Seeds (vol 1&2) or The Roots of Nick Cave- I ploughed/ plowed through /thru my collection to put this one together, so the br is extremely v. I was going to post The Bad Seeds versions as well, but the album was re issued back in April.

Let’s see:
Muddy Waters- Johnny Cash
I’m Gonna Kill That Woman- John Lee Hooker
Sleeping Anneleah- Tom Jones
The Long Black Veil- Johnny Cash
Hey Joe- The Leaves
The Folk Singer- Johnny Cash
Black Betty- James Ironhead Baker
Running Scared- Roy Orbison
All Tomorrow’s Parties- The Velvet Underground and Nico
By The Time I Get To Phoenix- Glenn Campbell
The Hammer Song- Alex Harvey
Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart- Gene Pitney
Jesus Met The Woman At The Well- Mahalia Jackson
The Carnival Is Over- The Seekers


Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry- From The Secret Laboratory (1990)

The yellow sticker on the case tells me that I paid $29.95 for this disc in The Sound Tunnel- that would have been Cairns, Queensland early 1997.
Judging by the cover it looks like the mighty Scratch has dubbed himself king of his adopted Switzerland.
A truly great record on which Mr Perry is backed by Dub Syndicate and Roots Radics, and shares the production credits with Adrian Sherwood.

Advice please?

Fellow bloggers or techies- can anybody recommend good software for ripping from vinyl ? Free would be nice of course.


The Clash- The Magnificent Seven 7” (1981)

When we came to the U.S., Mick stumbled upon a music shop in Brooklyn that carried the music of Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five, the Sugar Hill Gang...these groups were radically changing music and they changed everything for us. —Joe Strummer

The American novelist Thomas Wolfe made the distinction between putter inners and leaver outers. (Wolfe was a putter inner; he died leaving a stack of unsorted manuscripts almost two meters tall). By the time they reached the Sandinista era The Clash had definitely become putter inners.
1977’s The Clash was 35 minutes long, carrying no excess weight. Three years down the road they gave us a three disc 144 minute sprawl. This rather funky single was released in 1981. The bass was provided by Norman Watt- Roy of The Blockheads and Joe Strummer composed the lyrics on the spot.
This is worth downloading just for the authentic pub-jukebox vinyl crackle…

Grey Tart…

Egypt has the pyramids, Greece the Acropolis, France the Eiffel tower, Russia St Basil’s, and Brazil has the Statue Of Christ the Redeemer…and yellow jerseys (green trim), blue shorts (white trim), white socks…
Instantly recognisable symbols of a nation, a culture are surprisingly few and far between (I’m prepared for refutations here, so post away…)
In the fateful final, the Maracanazo of July 1950 Brazil wore white. Famously they needed only a draw to secure the world title when, in front of almost 200,000 supporters, they lost two one to their neighbours Uruguay, a defeat which almost 60 years and five world titles later, is etched on the national psyche.
After the defeat it was decided the colours had to change. They weren’t patriotic enough.
In 1951 the Correio da Manhã newspaper held a competition to design a kit incorporating the four colours of the Brazilian flag. From the 301 entries the design of nineteen year old newspaper illustrator Aldyr Garcia Schlee from Pelotas was chosen . The new kit of yellow shirt with green trim and blue shorts echoed the design of the Brazilian flag perfectly. First worn in March 1954 against Chile it has remained largely unchanged ever since.

Aldyr Garcia Schlee

Following his success Aldyr moved to Rio, where he was given lodgings with the national squad, but he hated it. He described the footballers as 'scoundrels, drunks and philanderers'. Aldyr soon returned home, where he became a successful journalist , academic and writer. His short stories (he writes in Spanish rather than Portuguese) have won many accolades.
Following the military coup in 1964 Aldyr was imprisoned three times and expelled from his teaching job for 'philo-communist activities'. He had to abandon plans for a career in the diplomatic service and was banned from leaving the country. In 1965, on the day he was due to hand in his doctoral thesis on 'national self-determination', an army truck was waiting at the university door and all copies were impounded. The work was suppressed until 1977, delaying his doctorate by 12 years.
Aldyr grew up in a town that is on the border with Uruguay. His literary work is primarily concerned with Uruguay and he is now a Uruguay supporter.

Aldyr's original drawing, featured on the cover of Bellos' book.

See Alex Bellos’ marvellous book ‘Futebol’ for more on Aldyr and the impact of football on the culture and national identity of Brazil.


Zorro- hero to zero?

Back in April I wrote a small piece on a 'local character'.
Now this:

The FaceBook group that celebrated his eccentricity has already dissapeared.
I'm not going to make light of such a grave matter. I'll keep you posted regarding the outcome of his trial. I'm sure that if he's found guilty that all fancy dress eccentrics will be tarred with the same brush.

XTC- Peel Session- June 24th 1977

I was first introduced to XTC by a classmate who went on to become Les Mun, drummer in The Hepburns .

Reading the excellent Lost in Music by Giles Smith prompted me to revisit this manic pop.

Andy Partridge -guitar,vocals
Colin Moulding -bass,vocals
Barry Andrews -keyboards,saxophone
Terry Chambers -drums


The Hepburns- Goalmouth Incident 12” (1987)

I first heard this record in one of those high ceilinged Victorian mental hospital wards. I was working with Matt Jones’ brother Jim and the day he received his copies of the record he was putting on a disco for the patients. The usual Tom Jones and Showaddywaddy fare was interspaced with numbers from The Smiths and tracks off this EP.
The Hepburns come from Llanelli and I knew the four guys who played on this, their first outing on vinyl.
Now, 22 years later ( no idea what happened to my 1987 copy) I’ve just managed to get hold of a copy from Japan.
The Hepburns (with Matt Jones and Mike Thomas from the original line up) are still going strong, and, much as I urged people to buy this EP 22 years ago, I would urge you to support them by picking up what you can of their more readily available releases from Radio Khartoum , where you can also find a free download of a recording of the tracks from their 1989 Peel Session.

Les Mun- drums
Matthew Jones- vocals
AD Clement- guitars
Michael Thomas- bass

UPDATE- 23.07.09- I've been alerted to quality problems with this transfer. I'm working to fix these problems and as soon as I have managed this I will I re up this record . Until then be warned that the sound quality is poor. I'll let you all know when this is fixed and apologies to any readers who have been disappointed by this.

UPDATE- 24.07.09- The problem is now resolved ( input levels were too high, causing distortion if you're interested in such things). The new link should be up by 12:00 BST tomorrow. Thanks pop pickers.

UPDATE- 24.07.09- Fixed! New rip, new link.

Happy Mondays- Peel Session 27th February 1989

This, I’m sure, could have been a recipe for disaster. The Mondays, however, came up with three storming numbers, Tart Tart from Squirrel and G Man… and Mad Cyril and Do it Better from Bummed.
On Mad Cyril they really take the Stones to the cleaners, at times it’s practically a cover of Sympathy For The Devil.
I don’t usually go in for hyperbole, but this is an indescribably good record from one of the greatest groups ever at the height of their powers.


Devo article...

Dazed and Confused probably don't need a plug from Burning Aquarium, but admirers of Devo might be interested in this article , which looks at their influence on some modern acts.
In the next few weeks I'll be posting a couple of old Devo singles...

The Only Alternative (1982)

This punk compilation came from Rondolet Records and featured some of the hardcore bands who were coming onto the scene at the time. Pretty raw stuff, bursting with energy, buzzsaw guitars and much vitriol being vented against Thatcher and the cops.
Anti Pasti are the biggest name here. The Fits are bloody great. Amongst all this is a different kind of chaos- a psychobilly number from Catwax.
Ripped from vinyl.

Noam Chomsky said...

Noam Chomsky said: I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom.


Yr Anhrefn- Seshwn John Peel, Gorffenaf 23, 1986

Yn y tyfiant o ddiddordeb yn Cerddoriaeth Byd yn yr wythdegau, ynghyd ag agwedd John Peel ' I just want to hear something I haven't heard before' fe ddaeth cerddoriaeth Cymraeg I cynylleidfa fwy eiang. Ar Gorffenaf 23 1986 fe gafwyd y seshwn cyntaf yn yr iaeth Gymraeg ar rhaglen John Peel, gan y grwp Yr Anhrefn o Fangor.

Diolch i Rob E Huws.


A change of face...

Walker says: You may have noticed that to the right of this post a rather dashing if slightly careworn chap has appeared in place of the usual little darling.
When I launched Burning Aquarium it was very much about stepping out of my day to day life and I felt that I needed some sort of mask to present to the world. The cute yet malevolent creations of the great Yoshitomo Nara were ideally suited to my needs. But now i've decided to remove the mask and reveal myself- sort of.

Actually when I say that I've decided it would be more accurate to say that Natalia Viktorovna has badgered me into it...

Welsh Pop.

There was a strange duality about growing up where I did. My father’s first language was Welsh- he had even received his secondary education in Welsh, some sort of experiment in the 1950’s. He viewed this as having being a disadvantage in life, and consequently ( I don’t think that I’m doing him a disservice here) he didn’t bring me up to be a Welsh speaker. Welsh wasn’t frequently spoken in our village- only by the older people, and then often a curious hybrid of English and Welsh.
On Saturdays we went to visit my grandmother. Even though she lived only three miles inland the contrast was ridiculous. The village, the soil of its cabbage patches glistering with shards of coal and the monumental detritus of the coalmining industry looming above the stunted nut trees, was a stronghold of Welsh. Welsh was the default language, and people would look slightly startled if , as I did, you appeared bemused when they addressed you in Welsh. Everything there was somehow homespun and outdated. It was a different planet- 15 minutes by bus.
My dark eyed Welsh named cousins and their Welsh named friends spoke English haltingly. They attended Urdd ( Welsh Youth Club), Chapel Sunday School, and performed at eisteddfodau and gymanfa ganus.
One Saturday afternoon I was playing with my cousins in the crescent of council houses that seemed to have been built as a half hearted afterthought opposite my grandmother's house. I trailed behind my cousins around the side of the house where a small group of children were seated intently on a low brick wall (remember those little scarlet insects no bigger than pinheads?) watching two girls.
'They're being a pop group' my cousin patiently explained.
I took my place on the wall. The girls were older than me, about eleven, pale, with plain pinafore dresses and Alice bands. They seemed to have put some preparation into the act, and sang quite harmoniously, strumming along on tennis racquets.
It was an upbeat number, something like ye ye music (I didn't know this at the time), and they sang in Welsh. The only word I understood was the oft repeated boyfriend, but even this was given a Welsh lilt, pronounced boiffrind, and addended with an oh, boiffrind-oh. I felt a little uneasy, unsure of how to take it; the other children sat there watching them with great reverence. The girls themselves were very earnest about it all, but to me it just didn't sound right- I had never heard pop music sung in Welsh before.

As I grew older I found that a great deal of Welsh pop music that made it onto the TV was bland and cliched; guitar heroes in aviator glasses and garish Black Sabbath Paranoid style lighting effects for the racier acts, mordant middle of the road stuff the norm. The lyrics seemed clumsily ill suited to the genre. People followed these bands because of their enthusiasm for the language rather than the merits of the music, a band could break into this 'scene' simply by singing in Welsh.
I'm no authority on the Welsh Music Scene past or present, but I get the impression that the situation was remedied to some degree by the arrival of a Welsh medium TV channel in the early 80's, and by the compatibility of the punk/ independent D-I-Y ethos with the small target audience. By the end of that decade Welsh language bands had benefited from the interest in World Music, with acts like Yr Anhrefn and Datblygu being championed by John Peel.
In the nineties of course there was the bi lingualism of The Super Furry Animals, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci and even Catatonia, as well as a healthy growth in Welsh language music right across the board, from punk to trip-hop.
We've already had a couple of Welsh language posts on Burning Aquarium and I can feel a few more coming on...

well, no time like the present...

Llygod Ffyrnig -NCB 7" (1978)

Here we have the first Welsh language punk record.
Llygod Ffyrnig formed in Llanelli in December 1977.
Schooldays= oppression.
Bright spots= things like this record.
A boy with Llygod Ffyrnig written in chalk on the back of his blazer...
For younger readers NCB was the National Coal Board- the state run coalmining industry in the UK from 1946-1994.

Gary Beard- guitar
Julian Lewis- drums
Hywel Peckham- guitar
Dafydd Rhys- vocals
Pete Williams- bass


DEVO- Live (1981)

Am I alone in thinking that the 'whacky' imagery of this group (you know, the jumpsuits, ziggurat hats and big geeky glasses) was actually very sinister? Whatever, the music was good, and performed live it has a nice hard energy to it.
Originally recorded for The King Biscuit Flower Hour live at the Fox Warfield San Francisco, 16 August 1980. This is a rip of the Virgin 12” release. The EP spent three weeks at the top of the Australian charts in 1981.

Mark Mothersbaugh – guitar, keyboards, vocals
Gerald V. Casale – bass guitar, keyboards, vocals
Bob Casale – guitar, keyboards, vocals
Bob Mothersbaugh – guitar, vocals
Alan Myers – drums


Links in comments...

Thanks to reader Dave Sez who has posted some interesting looking links in his comments today.
Check out his comments on The Ruts, Flux, Television, Richard Hell and Lew Lewis.
Just a reminder that comments are what makes the blogger's work worthwhile.
Update: Check back here regularly for further links from Dave.

Pillows & Prayers - Cherry Red 1982-83 (1982)

Cherry Red Records was always about musical individuality, diversity, character, commitment and passion... Ian McNay.
Cherry Red started of as one of the many D-I-Y punk labels, but by the early 1980’s founder Ian McNay felt that the independent music scene was becoming narrow, with labels such as Factory being a brand which precluded certain acts from being taken on board. Mc Nay believed that what he termed ‘light music’ had a place in the independent scene, and signed artists that did not adhere to the limitations of the post punk scene at the time. In doing so the label
helped define a new aesthetic in independent music.

This LP cost 99 pence. I seem to remember that a pint of lager was about 50 pence in 1982, but that might be completely wrong.
Still makes me think of cider from plastic bottles, the smell of hairspay and worn black denim and Antigone by Jean Anouilh.

Featured acts:

Five Or Six, The Monochrome Set, Thomas Leer, Tracey Thorn, Ben Watt, Kevin Coyne ,
Piero Milesi , Joe Crow, Marine Girls, Felt, Eyeless in Gaza, The Passage,
Everything But The Girl, Attila the Stockbroker, The Misunderstood, The Nightingales,
Quentin Crisp .


July 16th 1950

The Wonder Stuff- The Eight Legged Groove Machine (1988)

Black Country rock…
And this does rock.
In the late eighties independent music began to celebrate its poppiness, and bands began to acknowledge the influence of the most archetypal pop groups from the past, such as The Beatles. There was also certain nostalgia for the sort of rock bands that anyone with punk sensibilities would previously have disdained, a bit of a crusty old rock revival coupled with a sartorial hippiness … The Wonder Stuff were somewhere in between the two.
For anthropologists of rock movements, fads, genres etc, the music press invented a ‘scene’ in which to pigeonhole a loose collection of Midlands bands who typified these trends,: grebo
- a term I’d totally forgotten about until I was looking up some info for this piece…
The Wonder Stuff briefly transcended this and became, as well as student union staples, a pop group who had hit records and had their posters blu tacked to the bedroom walls of schoolgirls.
This, their first LP, is full of catchy tunes and it bounces along at a rate that makes staring at one’s shoes impossible - but there is also a hard edge to the music which hasn’t drifted too far from its simple origins.

Miles Hunt- vocals, guitar
Malcolm Treece-guitar, vocals,
Rob "The Bass Thing" Jones - bass
Martin Gilks-drums


The Shadow of the Bomb...

I wonder what the three minute warning would really have sounded like?
I never thought that I’d live to be this old…
From about 1976 onwards I was convinced that I would die in what the media chillingly referred to as a nuclear holocaust- It seemed inevitable- in fact I don’t know when I stopped believing it.
By the time the 1980’s and the spikiest phase of my adolescence arrived I became interested in CND. And so did a lot of people, in fact membership rose from 3,000 in 1978 to 100,000 in 1984...a response to increasing tension following the deployment of American Pershing missiles in Western Europe, SS20s in the Soviet Bloc countries and Britain's adoption of Trident missiles in 1982. The NATO exercise Able Archer 83 added to international tension. CND attracted supporters who opposed the Government’s civil defence plans as outlined in the laughable Protect and Survive...
I couldn’t believe that the Soviet incursion into Afghanistan hadn’t triggered the destruction of the planet. Surely it was only a matter of time. Some crisis somewhere would set it all in motion on the most ordinary of days.
The country was on its arse and millions were being spent on ‘nuclear deterrents’. I attended a couple of CND rallies – mad days out in London.
I read the Protect and Survive booklets and they reminded me a bit of Blue Peter or the ‘how to’ sections in children’s magazines. You know how the things you made never turned out like they should? I somehow thought that if we ever were in the position of having to turn our living room into a bunker that it would be a shit one. We just wouldn’t have the stuff we needed. And besides, I couldn’t imagine my mother letting the old man unscrew the doors and bring sandbags in the house.
Meanwhile in Kuybyshev, USSR, the woman I love, then about 13 years old, was being prepared for the inevitable Imperialist invasion…

There's a story about life in the shadow of the bomb here...
And a musical taste of the times in the post below...

No Choice- Sadist Dream 7" (1983)

I was going to write that No Choice were a punk band from Cardiff/ Bridgend in Wales, but having done my homework I see that it's are... a surprising number of groups from that era are still around ( hats off to my old buddies Foreign Legion). you can check both these bands out on MySpace...
No Choice are a punk band from South Wales
This cracking 7" could almost serve as a sampler of the punk scene in those apocalyptic times- anarcho pacificist themes and to finish it off a blistering streetpunk number.
There's a tiny brain cell flying around in my head somewhere telling me I saw them supporting UK Subs in Swansea in '83. Also on the bill were Dead on Arrival who later became...Foreign Legion.


The Lurkers- God’s Lonely Men (1979)

Bouncy pub-punk that owed far more to a band like Eddie and the Hot Rods than to The Clash Vernon Joynson in Up Yours!A Guide to UK Punk, New Wave & Early Post Punk (2001)

Long hair and sideburns alert!
If you were aware of the high standing of the Lurkers in the pantheon of early punk bands or had read that that they were London’s answer to the Ramones (Rock: The Rough Guide, 1996) then you might be somewhat disappointed by this pub rock plodder.
Lyrically it’s around the form six mark, and the music reminds me of the fact that many of the early punk bands, Pistols included, had actually aspired to be pop groups (think Sweet, Bay City Rollers). Still, I’m sure that I’d have been more than happy to see them playing in my local in place of the usual prog rock fayre, but I don't recall ever being tempted to write to the fan club address on the inner sleeve of this, their second LP.

Howard Wall- vocals
Pete Stride- guitar
Nigel Moore- bass
Esso- drums


Prince Far I- Under Heavy Manners (1976)

I’m not one for religion. Generally speaking I believe that it belonged to some earlier stage of man’s development, and find it hard to stomach the fact that after centuries of oppression we are still expected to some degree to live and die by the tenets set out in the folk tales of some Middle Eastern Iron Age goatherds.
But there can be no doubt that religious feelings have inspired great art, which brings us on to Michael Williams, aka Prince Far I- The Voice of Thunder.

One of those great biographies that litter the Jamaican music industry of the time- an erstwhile DJ and bouncer who got his recording break through a no show by another artist.

His debut, Psalms For I, was recorded in 1975.
1976 saw the release of the breakthrough album, Under Heavy Manners, chanting thunderous Old Testament fire and brimstone over some truly classic Joe Gibbs tracks with a righteous growl.
Remarkably, Between 1978 and 1981 he released twelve albums .
He was shot dead at the age of 39, in 1983.

Ranking Trevor- Penny a Look 7" (1974)

Here's another Jamaican 7" record from the seventies. Early rub a dub style Ranking Trevor on Channel One Records- their phone number is on the label.


Bauhaus – Press The Eject And Give Me The Tape (1982)

It must be pretty frustrating downloading these vinyl rips from Burning Aquarium- some of the discs I rip surprise me with the enduring quality (I mean lack of scratches and surface noise) and then occasionally there are others like this! This vinyl has obviously taken a battering over the years- there are two really nasty bites in the opening track but after that it’s not too bad, so relax. Bauhaus’ music was pretty ictal anyhow, and they even called their best of compilation Crackle.
These recordings captured Bauhaus live in Liverpool and London in the winter of 1981-82.
By the way, it says on the label PLAY VERY LOUD and I’m not going to argue with that.
Again, I’ve not split the tracks up.


The Southern Death Cult (1983)

Ian Astbury (formerly Lindsay) - vocals
David "Buzz" Burroughs - guitars
Barry Jepson - bass
Aky Nawaz Quershi - drums

Bradford, 1981: 19 year old punk Ian Lindsay walked in on a band rehearsing in the basement of the house he’d just moved into. He joined the group on vocals. 21 years later he was fronting The Doors…
Ripped from cherished vinyl.
As it says on the sleeve: Southern Death Cult disbanded before recording their first album, this LP has been complied by them from existing session and live material and alternate recordings.
Tracks 1 & 3 recorded 21 May 1982 for the John Peel show First broadcast on 10 June 1982.
Tracks 2& 10 recorded at The Playground (studio).
Tracks 4 & 9 recorded 20 January 1983 for the David Jensen show on BBC Radio One. First broadcast on 24 January 1983.
Track 5 recorded at Manchester Square (studio).
Tracks 6, 7 & 8 recorded live at Rafters, Manchester, on 13 December 1982.


Siouxsie & the Banshees- Juju (1981)

After the relative calm (before the storm) and optimism of "Kaleidoscope" the Banshees are wailing again, doom is at the door, creating what is hardly the sound of summer but what is something intriguing, intense, brooding and powerfully atmospheric. Sioux's voice seems to have acquired a new fullness of melody - a rich, dark smoothness matched only, perhaps, by Bourneville chocolate and Jim Morrison.
Betty Page Sounds Magazine 27.06.81

Great guitar work from the late John McGeogh (formerly of Magazine and, er... Visage, later of PIL), Steve Severin and Budgie are as solid as ever.



First off let me say that I am not one of those people (increasing in number, it seems) who professes to have a ‘phobia’ of clowns. Nor do I find them particularly sinister. I remember being mildly disturbed by Anthony Quinn in La Strada, but that’s another story…
However, when I saw this poster (it’s everywhere in our town at the moment), I couldn’t help but think that the artist, rather than trying to entice people to visit the circus, had set out to play on the fears of those sufferers of Coulrophobia.
It's coming to your town...

Cocteau Twins- Victorialand (1986)

Victorialand is the Cocteau Twins’ fourth album. The title refers to a region of Antarctica.Beautiful- beautiful music beautifully produced and beautifully packaged. A sparse ambient sound, this is a fantasic ‘chill out’ record. Ripped from vinyl at the correct speed of 45 rpm… I had a friend who bought this without hearing the Cocteau Twins (honestly!) to see what the fuss was about and told me that it was an unlistenable industrial dirge … as indeed it is at 33 1/3 rpm
Elizabeth Fraser – vocals
Robin Guthrie – guitar
Richard Thomas – saxophone,tablas



Trawling through some blogs the other day I was reading Music Ruined My Life and saw there was a post on a band called Walker .
I hadn't heared them before, and obviously I had to check them out.
In case you missed this gem follow the links and leave a thank you for the original poster, Jeffen.

The Fabulous Thunderbirds- What's the Word (1980)

Well, I succumbed.
This LP cost £1.99 at the YMCA shop. It looks and sounds brand new.
So, white men play the blues- a damned fine record too. The second LP by the Texan band who whilst not commercially successful won critical acclaim in the era when RnB still meant solid 12 bar boogie music with some raw harmonica thrown in.

Jimmie Vaughan*-guitar
Kim Wilson-vocals, harmonica
Keith Ferguson-bass
Mike Buck/ Fran Christina -drums

* Apparently Jimmie had a brother called Stevie Ray who was quite handy on the blues guitar...


Sweet Charity...

I was reading about charity shops over on Power,Corruption and Lies , and I agree with Mighty Meadow- great places.
I make no secret of the fact that other than my shoes, socks and underpants, about 80% of my clothes come from charity shops, and over the years the majority of my books have come from the same source. They are also a good barometer for the economic well being of a town, the poorer the area the more charity shops, so coming from South Wales there have always been plenty to choose from. Going right back to the punk days, what better place to find an overcoat or a jacket that nobody else would be wearing? I was hooked from about the age of 16.
Mighty Meadow is also spot on about the potential to unearth great sounds for next to nothing- although Oxfam for one have wised up to this and weed out the rarities to sell either online or in specialist shops, but as for the other charities, there are still treasures to be unearthed for loose change, and sometimes you will chance across sizeable collections of decent CDs- I can’t help thinking how did this come to be here? What about the Happy Mondays CD? Did somebody die young or did it belong to one of those unfortunates who grow out of things like music? Did someone really decide that this New Order LP was rubbish? Or honestly think that they just didn’t have the space for this KLF record?
But now I find myself about to embark on a ruinous path- but one from which you, my readers, might well benefit. I've started looking at the vinyls. It's madness- we're talking LP records.
Just six months ago I was giving away vinyls as part of a process of downsizing. In fact the depletion of my collection has been going on for 15 years or so, so that whenever I look at my records I think more about what’s not there- the ones that I sacrificed over the years for beer money or to pay for a football trip.
So much for the downsizing- I'm sure that in six months time the office of Burning Aquarium (aka my living room) will be stacked to the ceiling with scratchy records in tatty covers.
Fuck it, it’s only a couple of quid a throw innit? I’m not going to miss it…
There's a story, ostensibly about charity shops (written by my namesake) here.

R.E.M- Ten Cover Versions (1984-1996)

On June 24th I posted a compilation of 10 of the many songs that R.E.M have covered down the years. As a companion to that post here are the R.E.M versions.

Toys in the Attic (Aerosmith) B side Fall On Me 12” (1986) Dead Letter Office LP (1987)
Ghost Rider (Suicide) Orange Crush UK 3” CD (1988)
Femme Fatale (The Velvet Underground) B side Superman UK 12” (1986) Dead Letter Office LP (1987)
Pale Blue Eyes (The Velvet Underground) B side So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry) 12” (1984) Dead Letter Office LP (1987)
Dark Globe (Syd Barrett) Orange Crush UK 3” CD (1988)
One (U2) performed by Automatic Baby (Michael and Mike with the 2 normal guys from U2) live on MTV, released on Childline album (1996)
Strange (Wire) Document LP (1987)
Love Is All Around (The Troggs) B side Radio Song (1991)
Crazy (Pylon) B side Wendell Gee 7” (1985) Dead Letter Office LP (1987)
Superman (The Clique) single & Life’s Rich Pageant LP (1986)

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