Tag Archives: vinyl

UNCOVERING MY TRACKS (Part #3)

Alice Banned.

My tastes were changing. Maturing, some would say.

But the kid in the 1971 me still found it tough to be weaned off the bubblegum and sugary Pop hits of the day. As a family, we’d been our first foreign holiday the previous year. To Spain, it was. And being played to death that summer was’Candida‘ by Tony Orlando and Dawn, while back home The Mixtures and ‘The Pushbike Song’ had been popular enough to reach number two in the January charts of 1971.

Both songs, and ‘Grandad‘ by Clive Dunn, were found by my parents on the one album in Woolworths. I’m guessing, but in in ultimately forlorn hope of ‘getting with it,’ they bought that album. And on bringing it home, chuffed to bits, they proudly told me I could play it (carefully) on the new radioogram.

My excitement, however, didn’t last long when it very quickly became apparent that the songs were not performed by the original artists Still, money was tight, and it was better than nothing at all.

A few months later, and buoyed by their ‘new cool,’ my folks bought another of those trendy compilations, principally for the track ‘Get it On.’ Of course there was no fooling me this time. Once bitten and all that. Also, the song ‘Coco,’ was on the LP, and I had the proper, 7″ single by The Sweet. I could spot the difference.

Anyway, this one didn’t last long in our scant collection. A couple days later, my Mum saw the TV Top of the Pops and decided Marc Bolan of T. Rex, who of course had the hit with ‘Get it On, ‘ looked ‘dirty.’ The following day I was dragged along to Woolworths in Drumchapel Shopping Centre, where she demanded her money back, despite the album having been played many times.

That was the day I learned the meaning of the word, ‘mortified.’

The rest of 1971 music passed me by without leaving much of an impression. I do still have ‘Bannerman‘ by Blue Mink in my collection, but that’s about it.

The following year though, shaped my music of choice – pretty much for life.

On a family weekend trip to Blackpool, I remember buying what would be only my third album. (The second was ‘Slade Alive‘ by Slade.)

That album was ‘Love It To Death,’ by Alice Cooper. I have no idea as to how I knew of the band. I think perhaps I was flicking through the record box and the rebellious, now fourteen-year-old in me had decided to exact retribution for my mother’s performance a year previous. You think Marc Bolan is ‘dirty’ do you? Get a load of this dude and his cronies!

(I unfortunately now own only a CD copy. I sold the vinyl to a second hand record store in Stirling not long after being married when we had no cash.)

I should have known my parents would win out in the end.

A few months later, Alice Cooper arrived in the UK for a series of shows. His reputation preceded him and of course the very conservative press of the time were all over it. I was desperate to go to the Glasgow show. It would be my first gig. But there was zero chance of that happening.

Determined my mind would not be corrupted by some deviant from the other side of the Atlantic, my folks properly ‘grounded’ me on the evening of 10th November 1972, to prevent me sneaking off to the show with a couple of pals who did have tickets. It was for my own good, of course.

One of my mates though, somehow managed to smuggle a tape recorder into the venue and so I was at least able to hear a very muffled version of the show.

My first gig would have to wait.

UNCOVERING MY TRACKS (Part #2)

Sweet, Sweet Music.

In truth, it was the cartoon more than the music that commanded my attention of The Beatles and ‘Yellow Submarine.’

I was to remain blissfully unaffected by the hype surrounding the Fab Four for many more years. Indeed, even now, I don’t quite ‘get’ them. I know that amounts to something like heresy, but while I can appreciate their later work, I still have more time for each of John, Paul, George and Ringo’s solo efforts than that they produced together. In fact, ‘Back Off Boogaloo‘ would end up one of my favourite singles from 1972, the words being scrawled in an old-school Kolossal graffiti style across the cover of my English jotter.

Even at the age of ten, I railed against convention. Not for me, this accepting what was uniformly and blindly followed. Unimpressed with the biggest band on the planet, I was already showing a stubborn and ‘punk’ attitude.

I nailed my colours to the Ohio Express and The Scaffold masts in 1968.


1969 was another year more focused on football, Batman and Thunderbirds. I do, however, have vivid memories of returning from the annual Carnival with my Cub Scout Pack, on the top deck of a Glasgow Corporation bus, singing the latest big hit by The Archies.

I’m not so sure that was evidence of a musical maturing, though.

Being only eleven / twelve years old in 1970, my scant pocket money stretched only to a copy of Shoot! magazine, a pack of football related bubblegum cards and a handful of gobstoppers. Any money I saved would go towards buying a trick / joke item from Tam Shepherd’s magic shop in Glasgow city centre.

Music and records would not become a priority until the following year when at the age of thirteen I developed the ‘cool’ gene.

OK – maybe ‘cool’ is stretching it. But I was the only kid in school who owned a copy of ‘Kongos’ the first album John Kongos released in his own name. This was the first album I bought and paid for on my own, and came a few months after my first single, ‘Co-Co,’ by The Sweet.

It’s fair to say I got a bit of stick at school for my choices. But hey – nineteen years later, The Happy Mondays covered John Kongos’s ‘He’s Gonna Step On You Again.’ It was ‘cool’ then, wasn’t it?

One thing about the early Sweet singles was that while the ‘A’ side was of a pretty commercial, twee style, the ‘B” sides were infinitely more rocking. They had a harder edge, and I played them as much as the principal song.

My musical development was to take on a heavier bias.

TO BE CONTINUED …




THE CRAMPS: Trash is Neat #5 – The Band that Time Forgot.



This is an ultra limited, though unofficial, repress (Discogs lists it as only 100 copies on purple vinyl) of one of the rarest Cramps albums with 3 additional tracks including a second, little known version of ‘The Band That Time Forgot’ and revised artworks.

The compilation covers the early days of The Cramps around 1976 – 1984 with all of side one featuring the classic line-up of Lux Interior, Poison Ivy Rorschach, Nick Knox and Bryan Gregory.

Most of the songs, all recorded live, have rarely before been committed to vinyl, all coming from tapes that have been traded among bona fide Cramps fans – hence the ‘unofficial’ release description, I guess.

Interspersed with horror B-movie soundbites, this is a truly atmospheric album, though I do have to say that despite the efforts as described on the sleeve notes, the sound quality does leave a bit to be desired.