SDE’s Self Isolation Playlist #1

Let music help you through…

First and foremost, best wishes go out to the SDE community around the globe right now. Stay indoors and stay safe, please. In these troubled times, stuck at home, it’s an opportunity to let the pleasure and the power of music shine some light into what are becoming, at best, very routine days.

I’m trying to make an effort to listen to albums that I may have been guilty of not playing very much, or maybe even at all. CDs or vinyl records that have been satisfyingly slotted into the shelving or storage system and then semi-forgotten about, for whatever reason.

With that in mind, I’ll be semi-regularly posting what has been on the SDE playlist for any particular day with a view to offering some inspiration and to generate some discussion in the comments section about what you’ve been listening to. As you will see from the list below there’s some familiar favourites, too.

Below is for yesterday, Tuesday 24 March 2020.

Snow Patrol / Final Straw SACD

I knew there was an SACD version of Snow Patrol‘s third album and if I ever glimpsed a copy in a charity shop I’d always give it a close look, in case it was this relatively rare variant. Lo and behold a few years back I came across it, albeit someone realised it wasn’t the bog-standard CD edition and priced it up at £8. Still, a good price for this, so I duly snapped it up. It has been guilty of just sitting on the shelf since then, but with my newly set-up 5.1 system in the SDE office, I thought now would be a good time to give it a spin. I don’t really know the album at all but of course I was aware of the ludicrously anthemic ‘Run’ which never fails to sound great. The 5.1 mix sounded really good to me, so I’ll be returning to this one.

Act / Love & Hate: A Compact Introduction (2CD set)

This 2015 two-CD compilation from the-band-Propaganda-could-have-been (© Alan Partridge) is a brilliant overview of the short-lived career of Act (Claudia Brücken and Thomas Leer). I only listened to CD 1, but in the past I’ve been rather guilty of playing the various mixes of ‘Snobbery & Decay’ and not much else, so this was progress. Great stuff although the sheer digital nature of these recordings can get a bit tiring on the ears after a while, hence I skipped the 12-inch versions of CD 2, but I will return…

Tangerine Dream / Phaedra (from the In Search of Hades box)

Probably like many of you, I have the 18-disc In Search of Hades Tangerine Dream box set. But I’m still mesmerised by Phaedra so keep playing the first CD and not moving on! Such a great album and quite relaxing to work to.

Talking Head / Remain in Light (DualDisc)

The Talking Heads album needs no introduction, but you may not know now phenomenal the 5.1 mix is. I have the DualDisc version which I picked up on a trip to Canada back in 2010 and as mentioned above, with my new surround set-up I’m digging out more SACDs, DVD-As and DualDiscs in order to make the most of it. Didn’t actually make it all the way through this – but will be returning to it. One of my very favourite albums.

Sting / The Dream Of The Blue Turtles (MFSL CD)

I watched the Bring On The Night documentary over the weekend and marvelled at how good Sting‘s band was in 1985 and how great the songs are. It’s a great music documentary. Inevitably, it brought me back to his 1985 debut, although I do own the Bring On The Night live album as well, of course. This is the ‘Ultradisc II’ Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab edition which sounds fantastic. One thing that had never occurred to me was how Sting chose not to play bass on either the album or the tour. Interesting decision; could you imagine Paul McCartney doing the same? I made a mental note to dig out my 25 Years box set and listen to the Blue Turtles stereo remixes. Very frustrating that Sting refuses to reissue this album.

David Bowie / Is It Any Wonder? CD edition

The new David Bowie EP, mini-album, compilation thingy. Very enjoyable and ‘Stay 97’ sounds amazing. Not surprised he kept ‘Baby Universal’ off of Earthling, mind. Always interesting to her alternative versions of songs but I prefer the Tin Machine II original. The best thing on her is the ‘live Eno mix’ of ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ but I remember that well from the ‘Strangers When We Meet’ CD single back in 1995. Still Parlophone are to be applauded for giving this a physical release, and especially putting it out on CD.

Thanks for reading – what have you been listening to? Leave a comment.

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I’m currently working my way through the comprehensive list of all the albums that have featured in the several editions of Robert Dimery’s 1001 albums to hear before you die. (1079 in total) using a random number generator. 738 down, 341 to go. It has broadened my horizons to be fair. Lots of stuff so far that I wouldn’t have listened to and a few purchases off the back of it.

When I’m working (which I still am) it’s a variety of playlists. My 80s playlist which is 496 tracks long and mainly 12″ versions and some playlists of my favourite artists like Garbage, Talking Heads, OMD and Madness or 2 tone.

When the Wife and Daughter vacate the living room I’ve been working my way through the TFF box sets.

I don’t want to overdo it though. Retirement is 7 years off and part of my plan is to have one day per week listening to music.

John McCann

Can i recommend captain sensible the collection,tony Mansfield (aha) produced and Robyn Hitchcock wrote with the captain a lot of songs on it, absolutely brilliant and you can get the c.d for next to nothing, Brenda,im a Spyder and a lot more,ok you get happy talk,but please listen to this cd,its amazing,for half a raindeer,its a bargain, Chris squier trust me you’ll love it,thanks john.and the captain is a great guy and his aunt Sadie’s a great women’amen.

Spiral Scar

I’ve got Sensible Singles on LP right here in the apartment, and “Damned On 45″ on a 12” single. They’re getting played today. Thanks, John. The Captain is a treasure (“yar!”)


I’m feeling anxious, so it’s difficult for me to delve into new music (or music I haven’t listened to in quite awhile), since it requires a bit more concentration on my part, and I can’t do that when I’m tense. So during challenging times, I find myself turning to Elton John. Because of the great familiarity with his songs, it has a comforting effect on me.

Everyone, please stay safe, and be creative with the extra time you have at home.


Starting to sort out all the records that I’ve picked up in the last few months mostly in job lots. There’s over 500 7″ inch singles, plus over 250+ albums. That doesn’t include what I have brought online. Plenty of listening material while I’m painting my bedroom. Please stay safe everyone. I have to be especially careful as I have cardiac issues. Paul, you are doing a fantastic job with the website during this difficult time.

Richard John

I’ve been listening to Simple Minds over the past few days. Giving the albums I’ve never listened to a crack. I was a HUGE fan of their output up until Once Upon a Time and Live in the City of Lights, but fell out of love with them after that. Have had the Street Fighting Years super deluxe on repeat and listening to Real Life today. Might try some of their later stuff from this century as the lockdown progresses. Nice to have the time to experiment and discover.


This is an ever changing/evolving playlist that I chuck my old and new fave choons of the moment in. That’s why it’s called Eh?!


Give it a go, there maybe sumting in there you’ve not heard before, but remember, no one wants to know what you hated, especially me! ;-)


In High Rotation:
Before Lock down – either/or – Elliott Smith
After Lock down – Violator – Depeche Mode

Song before/after Lock down:
Sunday – David Bowie
Gold Against The Soul – Manic Street Preachers
Plainsong – The Cure
Ticks & Leeches – Tool
Chinese Democracy – Guns N’ Roses
Sign O’ The Times – Prince
You Can Live At Home – Husker Du
Aneurysm – Nirvana


I have started listening all of my King Crimson. Boxsets. I chose a personal way to do that. I started with disc 1 from Larks Tongue, then disc 1 from Starless, disc 1 from Road to red and you guess the rest. I think there’s enough material for two or three self-isolation periods..
It is a compelling listening experience, and it has the advantage of avoiding repetition, as there are a lot of different versions of the same songs in these boxes..

Andrew Abley

Great to see the posts on the varied choices on SDE. Still great to visit. I have a change in purchasing of late. Trying to buy new releases rather than re-release
Still always check in and read SDE.

New stuff
Nadia Ried

Sort of new stuff
Didn’t get it last year, this year I get it

SDE inspired purchase
The Human League ‎– Octopus (cheers guys)

Old stuff
just picked up Beth Orton’s 1st 2 albums on vinyl

Keep safe all,
Massive thanks Paul for such a great site


Needed some light hearted singalong tunes so decided to do a Best Of Stock Aitken Waterman playlist on Spotify…..
Hazell Dean – Whatever I Do (Wherever I Go)
Divine – You Think You’re A Man
Dead Or Alive – You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)
Princess – After The Love Has Gone
Bananarama – Venus
Mel & Kim – Showing Out (Get Fresh At The Weekend)
Dead Or Alive – Brand New Lover
Bananarama – I Heard A Rumour
Kylie Minogue – I Should Be So Lucky
Rick Astley – Together Forever
Sinitta – Cross My Broken Heart
Hazell Dean – Who’s Leaving Who
Bananarama – I Want You Back
Brother Beyond – The Harder I Try
Donna Summer – This Time I Know It’s For Real
Jason Donovan – Too Many Broken Hearts
Kylie Minogue – Hand On Your Heart
Sonia – Listen To Your Heart
Lonnie Gordon – Happenin’ All Over Again
Kylie Minogue – Better The Devil You Know
Sybil – When I’m Good And Ready
Steps – Last Thing On My Mind

Andrew Abley

Got to spin Stock Aitken Waterman Gold
great shout


Just got the last four Dio solo albums on vinyl so I decided, since I have the time, why not listen to all of them in order? Gotta’ make goals! Very enjoyable time passer in these isolation times!


Hello there,

We’ve been in lockdown for 10 days now in France and I must admit I have a sweet tooth for box sets! So far I’ve listened to The Walker Brothers’ 5 CD-set from 2006 “Everything Under the Sun”, Lulu’s “Decade 1967-1976”, The Sweets’ 9 CD-set “Sensational Sweet”, Kraftwerk’s complete output from 1974 “Autobahn” to 2003 “Tour de France” and the Bowie Live albums released since 2017 (“Cracked Actor”, “Glastonbury 2000” and “Welcome to the Blackout” mainly). Etta James, Georgie Fame, Dusty Springfield, Kiki Dee, The Small Faces, Frank Sinatra and Françoise Hardy are duly waiting in line!


Dream of the blue turtles was the first album I ever bought , I still have the original vinyl


rediscovering Pet Shop Boys Alternative. what an epic, epic collection. and those were just the b-sides. it’s hard not to think their best days are behind them.

James J. Kelly

Hello from the USA to Britain. Stay safe and Stay home!!!


The most sedative and tense at the same time for these days of confinement:
Vicente Amigo ‎– Vivencias (The Complete Work Of A Genius) (Box Set)

It helps me to change the mental silicon chip and enjoy. Try it!


Having made a start on clearing out the loft (sound familiar anyone?) I found a set of 11 CDs that I burned in 2004, which contained a selection of songs from my collection. I have no track listings and only vaguely remember the criteria I had for selecting the songs (I think only one from each album, plus b-sides) Each track is placed chronologically by year and then in alphabetical year. It makes for some interesting juxtapositions.
So I’ve had fun rediscovering these songs which run from 1978 to 2004, which include Kraftwerk, Joy Division/New Order, Depeche Mode, OMD, Tears For Fears, U2, REM, The Cure, New Model Army, Erasure, Pet Shop Boys, George Michael, The Primitives and many, many more…
I now think I need to work on 2005-2020 and leave them somewhere for me to find in 2036.


I mean, of course, alphabetical order…


Listening to Ghost V, the new Nine Inch Nails album, together with Ghost VI available as a free download at nin.com.
I know, wrong website to promote digital, but no physical release announced yet.

very ambient, absolutely no March of the Pigs or Head like a hole kind of music

Martin Dudley

I can’t get it to download…

Bob McCartney

Love the comments and the site. I’ve discovered some great music here and must say thanks.
A few that top the list:
Cardigans – Long Gone Before Daylight, love love love this album!
Also Super Extra Gravity. Went and grabbed all Cardigans and these 2 stand out especially.
The Wannadies, missed these guys completely…
Been revisiting a lot of Bowie and R.E.M. as well.
I selfishly keep hoping they will reunite.
Going stir crazy after only a week at home in the Midwest, but understand how serious the situation is.
Love and Prayers to All.
Stay Safe and Be Well!

Tony walton

Got my music ready for another night in…it’s gonna be pixies – surfer Rosa…talking heads – stop making sense… miles Davis – live evil….the big moon – walking like we do….rose Royce – greatest hits…..

Rare Glam

Hoping the remaining Simple Minds albums yet to get a reissue might get collectively the ‘Rejuvination’ treatment

Real Life (1991, Virgin)
Good News From The Next World (1995, Virgin)
Neapolis (1998, Chrysalis)
Our Secrets Are The Same (2000)

I have decided to listen to all four on Youtube. I’ve started with ‘Our Secrets Are The Same’. Not got the Silver Box so never heard it before, brilliant and dfifferent, I do hope it gets re-issued at some point.


My is it any wonder cd by bowie has drew me back to earthling and what a great album it is!


DaveM and Hans, we’re ALL Jackie leven fans here.

In the meantime i have been thinking about people I know and people i don’t even know in China, Italy and Spain. These are available on YouTube.

Cao Fang, in summer. You’ll know part of it from an advert.
Tina arena, sorrento moon
Luz casal, no me importa nada

Not only honours these countries, the songs also form the basis of a lovely summer compilation.


Just spinning the Bowie Is It Any Wonder EP (vinyl) that arrived this morning. More of an interesting curio rather than essential, really nice pressing. Glad I got it as it’s all sold out on Rhino store.
Must give that Act CD another spin, love the Propaganda album but thought Act were rather meh when i first listened.
Been watching the Dylan Rolling Thunder Revue and a Rush doc on Netflix which I have enjoyed.
Be safe.


Oh yes definitely a time to re discover some hidden gems in our music collections,
A lot of us me included lead busy lives with family and work etc and are always hungry for new music by artists we already like and some older albums we have maybe long forgotten how good they are.
So with our ever expanding music collections a lot of us are guilty of not getting around to play recent new release purchases or just simply forgotten about ones we have not heard in years, with a lot of us currently in isolation/ lockdown it’s now the perfect time that all said my current listening album playlist is as follows…
Marc Cohn – Marc Cohn..His debut from 1991 an absolute classic of quality songs and songwriting.
OneRepublic – Native..2013..Fronted by the mega talented Ryan Tedder this is an uplifting listen for sure just love every song.
The Fixx – Beautiful Friction..2012..A criminally underrated and over looked UK band that deserve to be checked out by anyone who likes thought provoking melodic music with great guitar textures.
David Knopfler – Wishbones..2001..A very talented and underrated singer songwriter who is greatly overshadowed by his older brother Mark, This album is quality from start to finish always got time for a bit of David’s wonderful music.
Journey – Escape..1981..Classic melodic rock everyone should have this superb album in their collection.
Toto – XIV..2015..Strong songs on this their final album.
Dido – Life For Rent..2003..Love Dido such a gorgeous voice.
Gerry Rafferty – Sleepwalking..1982..Never fails to deliver on all his albums sadly missed singer songwriter.
Peter Cincotti – East Of Angel Town..2008..includes ”Goodbye Philadelphia” Think of a modern day version of Billy Joel, Peter certainly knows how to string a good song together great stuff on here.
Yes – 90125..This album always lifts my spirits, A classic from the 80’s.


I believe Billy Joel is the modern day version of Billy Joel. Glad we clarified that one…


I know and many of his fans have come to realize that the modern day Billy Joel will not release any new material so there’s no modern day Billy Joel to go on…only his past hits…Peter Cincotti fly’s the flag for any Joel fans who want and need that type of music now.


Normally I find it quite hard to listen to my 5.1 discs but we’re having a new kitchen fitted – great timing! – so my computer desk is now in a different room which luckily has surround sound. So I have been listening to the following 5.1. discs –

Depeche Mode
Talking Heads
Nick Cave
John Lennon
Guns & Roses

Thomas Richter

All good comments and makes for a good diversion, thanks all!
Just had on The Who Live at the Isle of Wight, first time in a long time…

Greetings from Warsaw!

cosmo castanza

Current playlist

Tears For Fears – Songs From The Big Chair extra disc
one of the Electronic Sound CDs

and has someone who thinks the 21st century is a musical desert …..well perhaps not
listening to all of these artists ‘ stuff’
Anna Meredith
Keeley Forsyth
The Orielles


Having recently changed my system to Marantz CD6006 and PM6006, I have been all over the place comparing what the new stuff sounds like compared to my old system. I have been distracted listening at details, a more ‘technical’ listen if you like. But, two albums over the weekend drew me back in to the heart of music and the emotional power of music given the current context and situation the world is in. They were:
The Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin Live at Red Rocks (I have always been a sucker for strings and choirs and some of the subject matter kind of fits)
Zero 7 – When it Falls (this album gives you the space to think whilst carried on a bed rock of sublime melody)

Rare Glam

I think I must be extremely lucky. I work from home anyway as a distance learning tutor. Other than having my wife and daughter here all the time as well, there is not a lot different about the ‘stay at home’ protocol than my usual working week. If anything, staying at home gives my students globally more time to study! A big virtual and very self-distanced empathetic hug to all those serving their self-confinement in foreign climbs away from the familiarity of their domestic environments and things. Also a big shout of eternal thanks and gratitude to all those key workers on the front line or who have family there in every country.

Musically, I don’t have the opportunity to play my CDs over speakers now in our little house with my family here so I have gone back to my old Sony Discman (which oddly outlived my Ipod!) and a decent pair of head phones. So, since the schools all shut in UK last Friday……

Simple Minds – 40 – Best of 3 x CD pack. It was a fiver a while back so snagged it. A good
selection with everything you’d expect on it and a variation to the listening to them in terms of full albums.

Ash – Teenage Wildlife: 25 Years Of Ash 2 x CD. Brilliant! Loud! I just wish their albums
would get the box set treatment. There’s a lot that says punk pop and power pop about these songs. All fast and guitar heavy apart from a few with a bit more sensitivity but they are great hooks and tunes with good differentiation within the genre(s) overall. A very smart set and not a duff track on the 38 titles throughout, play loud, play often. There’s a limited lenticular covered 3 x CD set as well that adds a disc of oddities.

Death In Vegas – The Contino Sessions / Scorpio Rising Great stuff from the late 90s.
These tunes are largely one simple riff that builds and layers up as it proceeds until it gets pretty intense and has a nice pulse going on. Again, I’d like a box set of their back catalogue please.

The Brains – The Monster Within (35m). Short and sweet like its successor Out In The
Dark but it’s worth every penny. All fourteen tunes are top notch fast and furious melodic psychobilly with great riffs. It seems like a lot more in it than the timing shows. Each tune has a great sensibility for the melody and the riff with great guitar breaks in as well. The singer sings (well) no gnarly shouting here. Wonderful, exciting enjoyment all round. Should be played back to back with Out In the Dark for one long 70 minute full on melodic psychobilly blast.

Martin Rossiter – The Defenestration of St Martin (2013, 45m). This is the singer in the 90s
band Gene. He has a lovely soulful singing voice. All these ten songs are accompanied by piano only except for the last part of track ten which for some reasons explodes into a full band and guitar work out. The album was crowd funded so clearly the artist felt it a worthwhile project. It is clear to see why. The lyrics are seemingly very personal (abusive father, personal relationships). Puts me in mind to some extent of the sort of thing that Elvis Costello recently did with Bert Bacharach (‘He’s Given Me Things’ for instance). It has the lyrical intensity that Spartan accompaniment lends to a song and keeps you engaged all through and emotionally involved. A quite lovely and perhaps bitter-sweet journey as life so often is and an under the radar album well worth investigating. He released a live version a year or so later I think.

Lining up next…. The Monochrome Set – Little Noises (5 x cd 90s albums set), V/A A Band For All Seasons 4 x CD set on Fruts De Mar and David Bowie Live Box 2 (10 CD set). I’ll dip in and out of these with further deviations no doubt. Keep safe and mentally well. The music helps with that!

Hans lindskog

Hello, I have quit a broad musical taste. For The last days I have listened to,:
Two sides of peter banks (it was ok, lacking the energy of yes and Flash first albums). Arthur Lee – vindicator – ok, go for forever changes for The best of arthur Lee. Renaissance – ashes are burning, this is one of my top records. Doll by doll ‘doll by doll’ ok, i am a great fan of jackie leven since many years. Today I Will listen to script by marillion. Best regards hans


@Hans, good to know I am not the only Jackie Leven fan on here:) Funny was thinking about Shining Brother Shining Sister just this morning.

Alan Gordon

Just felt inspired to dig out my 12″ of Caritas…. now why wasn’t that a massive hit?

Hans lindskog

Thank you, this is an excellent album. Could someone please make a comprehensive overview of jackie levens music. BR hans


Rick Wagner “Der Ring des Nibelungen” also helps to dig out during this coronaquarantine.

I Have 2 different physical renditions and some older ones on NAND.


CJ Feeney

I’ve struggled with the Ring Cycle and sold my special Solti edition a few years ago. I’ve also tried Kleiber’s Tristran, but couldn’t get into that either. I find he has moments of great beauty (hidden in hours of ugliness).

I have the John Elliot Gardener box of his JS Bach Pilgrimage – 55 CDs recorded live around the world over the course of a year. I’ve only listened to a handful of discs so far, so that will be my headphone go-to for the next twelve weeks. When I add in the Christmas Oratorio, the two passions and the Easter Cantanta that gives 63 discs for the full Church year.

Scott Meze

Pretty much business as usual here in Tokyo. Shops, restaurants, all still open as ever. There was even toilet paper in the stores yesterday! Or at least things were OK until yesterday evening when the Mayor declared an unofficial weekend lockdown. So today the stores were heaving and the shelves were fast bare. The good money is on the idea that Japan, which still hasn’t closed its borders or set up restrictions (it has merely suggested that schools close), hasn’t actually started to feel the virus yet. Oh joy. Cases are beginning to spike up now.

Still, everybody shut in but who needs a fix from here, now you won’t have the Olympics anytime soon, should try to handle Shiina Ringo’s 2003 album “Kalk Samen Kuri No Hana” (her name and the English title vary, so hunt around) — it’s the one with the black cover with the cup on it — which I continue to think the most exciting and challenging album of the century to date. You’ll need a good long lockdown to get fully to grips with it.

And then, of course, when your mind is suitably mangled, cue up “Koko De Kiss Shite” on YouTube with the rose garden video and the world’s a better place. Guaranteed.


Great idea, Paul and best wishes to you and all SDE denizens.

My ‘home office’ is conveniently the room with my record player so I only play vinyl when working in here. This has given me an opportunity to play some stuff I haven’t heard in years. Two which have stood out are ‘Lifes Hard and Then You Die’ by Its Immaterial and ‘XYZ’ by Andy Summers. Totally forgot about this last one but its pretty good. Am eyeing up Prince’s ‘Graffiti Bridge’ for this afternoon. Wish me luck!

And how flimsy was vinyl in the 80’s?!? Some of them are more like flexi disks.

Paul Taylor

My playlist this week so far has been;
TFF – The Hurting & SFTBC boxes
Robert Plant – Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar & Carry Fire
Morrissey – I Am Not A Dog On A Chain
Ramones – It’s Alive (double coloured)
KT Tunstall – Eye To The Telescope
Boomtown Rats – Citizens Of Boomtown

Waiting on The Shires latest arriving today (hopefully)

Roel Glas

@ Tony Walton.
David Coverdale’s Northwinds is such a fantastic album. Thanks for reminding me – duly on the turntable as I punch the keyboard.
How I wish he would put out another “softer” album – Perhaps, Into The Light Part II would be a good start


Coverdale is a great blues singer. He’s NOT a rock singer. Every time he tries to sing in a rock register he sounds like a drowning cat !
I agree the early Whitesnake stuff is great but the yankee dollar and MTV called and poodle rock was born.


For anyone with damaged Bowie EP….
My vinyl sleeve arrived with a split down the spine last Friday.
I let them know straight away and replacement arrived Tuesday, so they are good at sorting things out based on my experience.

R. Michael Cox

Thanks for the Bowie comment Markyp. My cd came pretty bent up. They ended up comping by cd because it is sold out. Oh well–at least it was free!


…oh…and I can’t believe I left Bowie out of my comment regarding your selections and artists I love. DOH!!!!


Paul – Thanks for starting this thread! I really enjoying seeing what everyone is listening to and often times find some new artists/releases to check out. I love Snow Patrol, Sting and Act…so several of your choices resonated with me.

I’ve been working most of these recent days while staying at home here in Texas, but have been getting out for a walk/run in the afternoon to break up the monotony. During those afternoon breaks, I’ve listened to:

Ride – This Is Not a Safe Place
Ride – Weather Diaries
Pet Shop Boys – Hotspot
electronic- electronic
Morrissey – Your Arsenal
TV On the Radio – Seeds
M People – elegant slumming

As an added bonus, my 16 year old son has been on a massive Depeche Mode kick, so we’ve been making our way together though the DVDs included with the deluxe re-issues from ~14 years ago. It’s been great to see him get into the history of the band.

I hope all of the SDE faithful and their families are staying safe and well.

Colin Harper

Are you familiar, Paul, with the intrigue about the chorus riff in ‘Fortress Round you Heart’ on the Sting album? Play ‘Nothing to Say’ (wait for the riff that first appears at 1:07-1:20) by Jethro Tull, from ‘Benefit’ and compare the two.

Anyway, what did I listen to today? The new Tommy Halferty Trio album, purchased from JazzIreland.ie – where all monies go direct to the artists. And it’s terrific. :-)

Pádraig Collins

Colin, when I first heard The Dream Of The Blue Turtles I was astonished at how like Van Morrison it sounded. So much so that when, a year later, No Guru, No Method, No Teacher came out, I assumed the lyrics “Copycats ripped off my songs, Copycats ripped off my melody” in A Town Called Paradise were a rebuke to Sting. But I was a teenager then and perhaps I read too much into it. It’s a very long time since I’ve heard either album, so I don’t know if I’d still think Sting was guilty of borrowing too much from Morrison.

Brad B.

Paul sounds like a nice 5.1 set up for sure, this is a fine time to pull out SACD’s and Dualdiscs for those who have them. One really impressive SACD is NIN ‘the downward spiral’, along with the Elton John SACD’s. The dualdiscs of the Bjork catalogue also sound pretty cool.
Recently discovered the OMD live albums they’ve been putting out through their website and on Amazon, in particular their album with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, along with their full album shows and standard ‘hits plus’ shows. They seem a bit quiet at first then I realized they thankfully didn’t overly compress or use much limiting so when the volume’s turned up they sound pretty well-recorded. Good luck to everyone and good listening in your homes!


Currently continuing to rip my CD collection to FLAC (only about another 2,000 to go…) but, because my girlfriend is working from home, I’ve spent the last three days listening to Wave 105 radio station.


Re: Bowie’s “It Any Wonder?” I had the same message from MusicGlue regarding shipping being delayed until April. Frustrating as they have sent some orders out and, coupled with the fact that Rhino orders (UK and US) haven’t had an issue, I’m guessing it’s a stock problem so I’ve pretty much given up hope of getting this. In the grander scheme of things, it’s not so important, but still a little frustrating.

On topic, I’m spinning:
– Motown Chartbusters Vols. 1-5 (around £10 for the set)
– Underworld’s Drift box (The Necks collaboration is fantastic)
– Selections from Wilco’s Roadcase series that I’ve picked up over the years
– Both TFF boxes courtesy of the SDE shop

Larry Davis

Great thread/topic Paul…yesterday & the past week, I’ve been concentrating on dubbing my old VHS tapes to DVD, now that I luckily recently got the proper remote (I had bought the unit used as no electronics stores were selling these converter machines new) and a set of 50 blanks…most of these tapes were all music, so some I recall copying were the Brit Awards 1998, the 1999 Glastobury Festival, the Burt Bacharach tribute concert, various videos, TV performances, Badfinger Behind the Music on VH1, etc…on CD, yesterday, what I recall listening to were Volume 4 of Blank & Jones’ So80s series & the new 6CD Sister Sledge box… keep it going…

What? 2020? Worry?

I’m stuck in, Covid-19 finally caught me, music and books in storage. My digital drive is been repaired/rescued. So my only music offerings is Now 70s on cable TV. What joy.

Michael D

Meat Loaf is a really good shout. Coincidentally I’ve been giving Bat out of Hell 2 a go this week. Haven’t played it for many years but got to thinking about it due to this year’s RSD release which is now postponed obviously. I also advise giving Jim Steinman’s Bad for good album a go as it’s great and he does a lot of songs (very well) that Meat Loaf did later. Stay safe and well everyone!

CJ Feeney

I was very fortunate to see Meatloaf on tour when he did most of the Bad for Good album – 1988, I think. I wasn’t a big Meat fan at the time, but my mate was in seventh heaven. He had no idea that meatloaf would be doing that material, as at the time it was thought that he and Steinman were still having “creative differences.” It was billed as the Bat Out Of Hell 10th anniversary tour.


Side 1 of Sketches of Spain – Miles;
Side 2 of The Band – The Band;
H1 of Side 2 of Desire – Bob Dylan;
All vinyl
ALL of In a Silent Way – Miles (again)
Streaming / on phones

Whilst the streaming was fine, the vinyl this afternoon felt purer, more human to have wash over the ears . Don’t know WHY – but it just was!

Mike the Fish

Tonight: Bangles – All Over The Place

Spiral Scar

Hello to everyone from the U.S. I’m hoping everyone is healthy and being responsible. Enforced isolation is a funny thing. I had to use some annual leave from work, and I’m on vacation right now (alright, on holiday, then) but I’m stuck in my apartment. Plans to take the break were made two months ago, and up until maybe ten days ago, a road trip with my family was all set to go.
As Bryan Ferry might say, “You can guess the rest.”
I doubt I’ll get too bored, with an embarrassment of musical riches to trawl through right here in my little place. I’ve been on a” late 1979 into 1980″ 40th anniversary kick of my own for a few months and have revisited every bit of music I bought at the time (as well as a few I got around to later, when I finally had an income!) So in addition to some 7″ singles (a few dozen) I’ve revisited albums like:
Fleetwood Mac – Tusk, The Specials, Madness- One Step Beyond, Tom Petty – Damn The Torpedoes, Supertramp – BIA (I was late on that one), Police – Reggatta de Blanc, Romantics, Pretenders, Buggles – The Age Of Plastic, Elvis Costello – Get Happy!!, Squeeze – Argybargy, The Whispers (1979 eponymous album), The Jam – Setting Sons box set, Michael Jackson – Off The Wall, Rush – Permanent Waves and a bunch of K-tel albums out at the time (I still like “The Rock Album” and always will.) There were a lot of swell albums coming out at during those months. A golden era, and I’m still discovering more all the time.
My tastes obviously evolved and expanded since I was 13, so I have mixed things up by pulling stuff off the shelves at random, or I’ve inspired by a song suddenly popping into my head. In the last few days, I’ve enjoyed these albums:
Canned Heat – Living The Blues (I was really into the two-sided 40 minute “Refried Boogie” as a four year old. My mother was horrified, even though it was her album! Then it somehow disappeared…)
Climax Blues Band – 1st album (since I was already getting my electric blues fix)
Go-Betweens – 1978-1990 compilation (Send Me A Lullaby up next)
Sisters Of Mercy – Some Girls Wander By Mistake compilation
Simple Minds – Celebrate (3cd edition – in progress)
Richard and Linda Thompson – I Want To See the Bright Lights Tonight, and Pour Down Like Silver. I heard “Bright Lights” come on the radio while stopping at a house (I was delivering the mail) talking to the lady who lives there, and I almost welled up with tears. It happened two days after I played the album for the first time in ages. I wonder if the DJ interpreted the song’s sentiment the same way I did this week. Coincidence? Or emerging anthem?
Tim Buckley – just about everything (“Danang” from Works In Progress is gorgeous)
The Who – Maximum As & Bs box set (in progress)
Neil Young – Tonight’s the Night and Time Fades Away, for starters
Distractions – Nobody’s Perfect (straight from SDE – never heard of it, took a chance, really glad I did. And it happens to be exactly forty years old… Thanks Paul!)
Josef K – The Only Fun In Town, Sorry for Laughing and Young and Stupid.
All the latest Pet Shop Boys releases. I like them all. Too long a fan to change!
Buzzcocks – Every 7″ single from Spiral Scratch to What Do You Know, in order, because I’m a freak, but what a blast. I could have just played a CD but this felt like old times, when I first heard their music.
Coming up today – Roger Waters – Is This The Life We Really Want? – haven’t heard it yet.
Pink Floyd – The Wall (close enough to the 40th of buying my first copy)
Tim Hardin 1 and 2 (they’re so damn short!)
Al Green – Gets Next To You (but I couldn’t stop with just one)
Minutemen – Double Nickels On The Dime
and if there’s time tonight, Frank Sinatra – in the wee small hours – for that all-alone feeling, especially if I make a dent in that beer collection in the fridge.

Apologies for such a lengthy post. I haven’t seen a face or talked with anybody since Sunday and this feels good to “bond” with my kind of people. This site is like a daily vitamin for me. Thank God for the music. And thank you, Paul, for giving us a place to go, all the time. Everybody take care.

P.S. to Chris Squires (now I have to pull out Fish Out Of Water),
About FGTH – WTTP, I’ve had a 35 year obsession with that track. At almost the same time I first heard it I picked up a three-year old album on a whim – Steve Miller Band – Circle of Love, from 1981. There’s a 16 minute song that takes up all of side two called “Macho City” that is so very similar to the Frankie track that I have to wonder if someone on the Frankie team was into it too. The music is strikingly similar, even if the tempo is much slower. Also, after a weird, spoken, rap-ish three minutes, the song plays out as a spacey, trance-y instrumental for the next eleven minutes, ending with a couple of minutes of rainfall, which is a little bit like how WTTP starts with the drizzly water sounds … Way ahead of its time. I think it’s better respected now than it was in 1981. I’m a sucker for long spacey songs (I’m looking at you, Temptations, Pink Floyd and The Orb too) and the SMB and FGTH tunes are two of the most played songs I have, despite the abundance of choices at my fingertips. Seriously, investigate this song if this interests you (or anyone still reading!)

Alex Staszko

The Distractions are still gigging by the way and writing new stuff

Spiral Scar

I’ve got to check that out. For me, their very existence came right out of the blue. I love it when that happens.

Chris Squires

Hi Spiral

One of the things I have loved about these pages for the last 6 or 7 years is the recommendations, some are wide of the mark, some are OK and some are just amazing. Things I have wisely, shamefully or accidentally avoided for the last 40-odd years or so.

I listened to Macho City (a song I had never heard before) three times already this morning and I have fallen in love with it. Your synopsis of it was spot on and for me I could go even further. It starts with hints of Bowie’s “Fame”, moves into something David Byrne-ish until at three minutes is moves swiftly from Nile Rodgers funk into something AutoBahn / Equinoxe like. Then it goes into semi-Pleasuredome mode until at around the 6.15 minute mark when you might as well be playing me Welcome to the Pleasuredome. It is absolutely remarkable and I am surprised lawyers didn’t get involved. At 11.50ish there is a section that was almost lifted in it’s entirety and it is so obvious. Then to top it all it finishes beautifully by going into Concerto for a Rainy Day and I half expected it to segue into Summer and Lightning.
Talk about the sum of it’s parts!
Thank you for the recommendation, it is a lovely piece of music.

Paul W

Thanks Spiral Scar for the interesting read, but mostly for the SMB “Macho City” tip as I also have a mild “WTTP” obsession.

I’d never heard “Macho City” before so have just listened to it on ‘You Tube; loved what I heard, ordered the vinyl, and now have the digital version playing in the background!

That’s what I love about Super Deluxe Edition and why it’s a must read everyday.

Stay safe everyone.

Spiral Scar

I’m very happy to hear from you all about enjoying this song. I was drawn to it because of all the negativity in record reviews at the time of release. Rolling Stone was confused by it, another called it “unlistenable” and so on. I must have been reading about it in a review guide, probably because I had just picked up Steve Miller Band’s Italian X-Rays album, and was surprised at how much I really loved that album straight away. It was not what you would have expected from them. I pick up a reference book or chart book maybe every single day for one reason or another. Sometimes a scathing review is enough of a reason to investigate. Especially if the reviewer is a smug little prig. Perhaps there are also some of those working in the UK press, no?
Perverse as it sounds, Italian X-Rays is the album that got me into SMB, or at least changed my mind about them enough to think SM might just be a little weird… so I took a chance on the album everybody dismissed.
If you ever get a chance to go for a drive again, and you will, play Macho City on a rainy day, preferably when you have a long uninterrupted stretch of road to cover. After I experienced it that way the first time, it became my favorite way to listen to it. Headphones in the dark isn’t a bad alternative.
Great to hear from you guys. I also try a lot of things I read about in these comments. I never tire of exploring. Thanks to all of you for the recommendations.

Jim Vandegrift

Wow, was listening to Both Remain In Light and Fear of Music today. Hope everyone and their families are healthy. The SDE site is a relief in these trying times. Tomorrow I am going to make it a The Fall marathon. He careful everyone.


The Archers has got good in the last week with the fall out from Linda Snell nearly dying!

I picked up a scratched version of the Eurythmics single I Need a Man, which I really bought for the embossed metal case. Fortunately it plays fine and the Macho Mix is great.

Jamie Cullum’s Taller album is on a lot and the track The Age Of Anxiety sums up the mood at the moment.

Bat For Lashes The Hunted Man passed me by at the time, but I picked it up in a charity shop and have enjoyed playing that, along with the current album.

I must dig out Bat Out Of Hell as mentioned by Wayne Olsen. It’s such a good album.

I was lucky enough to see Sting on The Dream Of The Blue Turtles tour in Newcastle City Hall, and it was brilliant. It’s still a good album – how come some albums never age and some sound dated within a few years?

Regards to all,