SDE’s Self-Isolation playlist #3

Let music help you through…

I hope everyone is keeping well out there. Here’s a third instalment of SDE’s Self-Isolation Playlist; what I’ve been listening to, both familiar albums and maybe music not so familiar…

Miles Davis / Bitches Brew SACD

Miles Davis / Bitches Brew (SACD)

This Miles Davis ‘genre busting’ album was 50 years old last Monday. Blimey. I have the sublime Japanese SACD which includes the original quad mix, so if you can’t make the effort on its 50th birthday, when are you going to?! Wonderful stuff and quite relaxing to work to. The quad mix is really good – better than I expected. I probably don’t ‘need’ it, but it did make me think I need to keep an eye out for the big 40th anniversary box.

Van Morrison and Joey Defrancesco  / You’re Driving Me Crazy

I was in a ‘jazzy’ mood and after Miles, so I played John Coltrane‘s My Favourite Things – the 1998 CD reissue with the die-cut embossed card sleeve. Amazing, obviously. But, after that I pulled this Van Morrison album out. You’re Driving Me Crazy was firmly in the bought-it-and-stuck-it-on-the-shelf category. I think I must have bought the CD when it was cheap. To be honest, I’m far from a Van connoisseur, but I loved this. I really liked Defrancesco on the organ. It really ‘fattens’ up the sound nicely. Morrison has issued so many albums of late and this is the only one I’ve bought. Would appreciated thoughts and recommendations on the others.

Simply Red / Songbook 1985-2010

Simply Red / Song Book 1985-2010

I had been playing my CD single of ‘I Won’t Feel Bad’ quite a lot recently and I have always liked Simply Red‘s Men and Women album, which was produced by Alex Sadkin. While much of this 2013 four-CD box set is redundant if you have the albums, disc four is of great interest because it includes some new recordings of old songs, including ‘Infidelity’ from Men and Woman. It turns out Hucknall is not overly happy with how that album turned out and thinks he was shut out of the production by Sadkin and that it was ‘ruined’ in the mixing. Interesting stuff. Having said that, I still prefer the original ‘Infidelity’ to the remake, but in the booklet Hucknall does express a desire to remix the original album. I wonder why he didn’t propose that when Warners reissued it back in 2008?

Nick Heyward / Kite CD single

When Nick Heyward‘s brilliant ‘Kite’ wasn’t a hit in the UK in 1995 he must have thought ‘what do I have to do?’. Maybe it was too wistful, but the decidedly unwistful – and very poppy – follow up ‘He Doesn’t Love You Like I Do’ wasn’t a hit either! He could have been forgive for chucking his guitar in the river while screaming ‘WHAT’S THE POINT?’  Both songs are from Nick’s From Monday to Sunday album, which I’d highly recommend. Cherry Red reissued it a few years back. Below is a live performance of ‘Kite’ from The Conan O’Brien show in the US.

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I just ordered Blanck Mass’ world eater album after hearing the stuff he did with the brilliant band Editors.
Last day or so I’ve listened to Dylan’s shot of love, the Byrds turn turn turn (mono) and the soundtrack to Echo in the Canyon. This evening I began listening to ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER after watching the film good time.
Heard a reviewer rating Billy Joel’s catalogue and he raved about street life serenade which is one I don’t have.
Concur with Gerbrand re Van Morrison’s keep me singing and inspired by Michael D to listen to some Joan Armatrading (for whom I once loaded/roadied for when she toured in the eighties).
stay well

Michael D

Really enjoying these posts as there’s a lot of great suggestions. This week’s playlist for me has included:
Peter Gabriel Up
Joan Armatrading Best Of
Radiohead Pablo Honey
Public Service Broadcasting Race for Space (after Paul’s mention)
Jennifer Warnes Famous Blue Raincoat (Songs of Leonard Cohen) I really recommend this one!!!

Stay safe and well everyone and keep enjoying the music!


If you read the liner notes and then listen to the recording, you’ll get the reason that pride can meet embarrassment.
One summer evening I arrived early at the 12 bar club. Sat down at the solo table outside in the alley. Only to be joined by Jackie. I was able to share an Oban related story with him.

To those who wonder why he never made it mega big. I feel he walked away from categorisation. As soon as someone found a word, a way of marketing him, a slot for him, he would move away.

Dave H

I don’t know what’s happening in other countries but the BBC is going to broadcast classic sporting events and has put on demand some of their comedy shows while everyone is in isolation.

I wish the BBC could go through their music archives and re-broadcast some of their music shows or put together some compilations of rarely seen performances.

If you think of the 80’s you could have the best mimed performances from Swap Shop, Saturday Superstore, Wogan and Kenny Everett to name a few. For live material, there’s Oxford Road Show, Rock Goes To Colleege and Sight and Sound in Concert. With Sight and Sound they could actually broadcast these in stereo for the first time using the radio broadcast tapes.


DaveM thanks for the Jackie anecdote.

I’m embarrassed to say that I’m somewhat mentioned by the man in the liner notes to for peace comes dropping slow. You can also hear me on the recording. Did I say embarrassed? Do I mean slightly proud in retrospect?


@Fogarrach, You should be very proud. Funny, but I was going to play For Peace Comes Dropping Slow last night, but spotted Barefoot Days and put that on. Love the story about Joni Mitchell, which I had heard him tell on stage a couple of times.


Well done Spiral Scar,
You’ve taken my list and made it better. Josef k should have been on my list, and Aztec camera too. Gosh…. bloody list making.

Now I shall cost you good money. As a love and money fan you will enjoy checking out the bathers and the blue nile.

AND to all readers…

If you don’t already love Liza tarbuck’s sat evening bbc radio two show then amend your error immediately. I owe her so many thanks. Her introductions are multi et varii. Me and Magdalena by the monkees, and then Pumped up kicks was a while back. Only tonight I thanked her for connecting led zeppelin to little Richard. (I hear you knockin’)

Tom Walsh

I’ve been listening to Morrissey: I am Not A Dog On A Chain which is brilliant.

Dave B

Same here! It’s his best album in years, by quite a stretch in my view. Confident, defiant and assured are three adjectives that quickly come to mind.

While musically and lyrically (for me) his last few albums have fallen into the “respect” more than “love” category (which means the genuine “listening enjoyment quotient” has been a tad low, resulting in very little time in my CD player), listening to IANADOAC is actually a pleasurable listening experience – it went into my CD player and hasn’t come out. Nearly every track is one that you find yourself singing along to before you even realise you’re doing it. Very melodic vocal lines become hooks and ear-worms effortlessly. There is actually JOY in many of these musical moments, despite well-worn subject matter that some still fail to see the humour in (“Jim Jim Falls” is a case in point). The Smiths was full of this stuff and Morrissey, here, has struck the right balance again. Very “nineteen-sixties” sounding melodies abound – he seems to be channeling his formative years in a good way, possibly a result of coming straight off his covers album that mined this time period.

Unexpectedly, given all the realignment and reinforcement of his personal narrative in the media, he sounds really relaxed and far less rigid than on the last few LPs. Vocally, it reminds me much more of Smiths/early solo stuff, which is a very good thing IMHO. His voice is on par with his best performances on this disc.

He may have found himself in a mire when it comes to public image, but artistically he’s in a great place. Maybe one has fired up the other – there’s certainly fire in the belly here – if it’s been motivated by an “I’ll show the haters a thing or two”, well, whatever…the results pleasingly speak for themselves.

Top stuff and not before time!

Paul Taylor

So far this week it’s been;
The Police – Every Move You Make
Sparks – Past Tense
Squeeze – Live In Glasgow 2019 (post gig purchase)
Both Tears For Fears boxes
The Undertones – West Bank Songs
Cat Stevens – Matthew and Son
Sparks – Gratuitous Sax & Hippopotamus
Rolling Stones – No Security San Jose ’99
The Offspring – Americana
Buzzcocks – Live 1990 & 1992

John Barleycorn

Paul, I thought Van Morrison’s ‘Roll With The Punches’ was the best of the recent splurge of his releases. I haven’t heard the last one (Three Chords). But try Roll With The Punches… it’s just £5.35 on Amazon right now. Chris Farlowe and Georgie Fame are on it and that’s a sign of quality.


Re Jackie Leven,

I might be a rarity in that I got into him firstly by hearing Uptown.
Was there ever a better single? How on earth was that not a massive hit?
His music, every song had a simplicity and yet a great catchy hook. Every lyric was a poem.

I agree with you, why was he not massive.

Plus, I still don’t understand why he has not been retrospectively discovered. His back catalogue would enhance any music collection.

Oh, the twelve bar club on a hot summer night. Those were the days.

Hans lindskog

I fully agree regarding jackie leven. It is time for a comprehensive retrospective collection. I got into jackie leven around 1992-93. BR hans


@Foggarrach & Hans, agree a collection would be good. The Word magazine in March 2012 carried an article on Jackie that came with a free compilation CD and that is the only one I know of.
I always thought that if someone like Terry Wogan (UK DJ) had heard Jackie and liked some tracks he could have plugged him / played some and he would have taken off. There are so many tracks that could have been played on the radio and I am sure the general public would have clambered for them.
I saw Jackie on numerous occasions and got to know him a bit. One of my favourite memories is seeing him over two nights at the Famous Bein Inn in Scotland in 2005(?). Jackie asked me how pi&&ed I planned to get and I said not too pi&&ed and then he asked me if I’d sell CDs for him. I enjoyed it and did quite well. One of the CDs on sale was the Doll by Doll live album and I was giving it a sales pitch to a punter saying it had got three stars in Uncut. Jackie overheard and exclaimed that it got 5 stars elsewhere (you had to be there, hilarious). I still have the homemade poster Jackie did for his rekirds, what a laugh. Loved the man.


The Weeknd >>> After Hours
Michael Jackson >>> Thriller 2001 & Bad 25
Prince >>> Orginals Japan
PSB >>> Hotspot Japan
La Roux >>> Supervision
Stay save – Music is the healer!


Some good tunes on these isolation playlists

Im listening to The Cardigans classic ‘Long Gone Before Daylight’ (inspired by SDE feature) along with Jade Bird’s & Harry Styles self titled albums at the moment

Cheers all !


Great to see some live for Nick Heyward. I think Tangled from 1995 is a wonderful album as is Woodland Echoes from a couple of years ago. Saw him at the album launch of Woodland Echoes and he played a set which included The World off Tangled. I think it’s one of the great lost singles of the 90s. Chatted to him afterwards and he mentioned how rarely he plays it live so it was a treat to hear. Then last year bumped into him in a local antique shop – had a really nice long chat. Lovely man.


Last nights playlist
Pere Ubu – The Long Goodbye live album that came with the studio album last year. Finally got round to playing it, after shifting my CDs round. I store some upstairs and then swap stuff round on the ‘day shelves’, which is working out great at the moment as there is obviously no new product coming in.
The National – High Violet. Inspired by the SDE news about the vinyl reissue, I only played half of this. The older I get the less I can stand compression (probably due to hearing less top end naturally).
Bill Withers – Greatest Hits, Columbia Gold disc. Following yesterdays sad news I played some Bill. I have the CD box set as well, but just wanted the album on that introduced me to Bill’s wonderful music. There was a really good documentary on BBC Four some years ago which is worth watching.
Pere Ubu – Worlds in Collision. Produced by Gil Norton, this has more hooks than a fishing tackle shop, which come back to me almost on a daily basis. Fantastic stuff.
Jackie Leven – Night Lilies. Another one of the many sublime albums by Jackie. I once told him how frustrating it was to me that he hadn’t broken into the mainstream. His answer was ‘Imagine what its like for me’

As for Van, I think the Joey album Paul is the best of the recent ‘covers’ albums, but as someone has pointed out below, Keep Me Singing and Three Chords and the Truth are superior.

jp Sanders

Not sure how many Roxette fans are on the board but one worth checking out is Per Gessles recent left field side project – the impressive Mono Mind and their album Mind Control, featuring long time female vocal collaborator Helena Josefsson, equally as talented as the much missed Marie.
Stay safe everyone.


I’ve been binging on Republica’s 3cd set, MPeople’s Renaissance sublime box set (sueprisingly, enjoying Fresco more than Bizarre Fruit – which I find rather dull, singles aside). I also decided to really play the Gloom Box. As it’s too big I decided to first play the original albums and get to know them well enough to be then able to enjoy the bonus tracks, soet if kike recreating the experiencw if real-life release schedule as they releases new music and albums.
There isn’t a lot on Donna Summer’s great Encore box set that I don’t know (by the way are the Casablanca albums remastered?) So I’m wondering how I should approach it but probably in chronogical order. Then maybe I’ll finally gez aroubd to the Simple Minds box sets and I got both Tears For Fears sets coming (Basw hasnt shipped it yet – hope tgey just dont tell you and it will show up on my door step).



Great to hear that Love and Money are known and loved here.

A Scottish’ish Stay-Playlist,(volume one)

Orange juice, you can’t hide your love forever
The big dish, swimmer
Big blue 72, live at the marquee (lp only)
RAF, RAF (supported Chris de burgh back in the day, perfect pop)
The bathers, sweet deceit
Love and money, the devils debt
Jackie leven, the mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death
Friends again, trapped and unwrapped

As a lover of music, As an enjoyer of Scottish music, it feels strange to commit to this list. Thus I’ve added volume one to it.

And I shall add one final one for now
The Indian givers, love is a lie. Those who know are those who love this cd.

Chris Squires

Always rather fond of Del Amitri, went to see them in Nottingham, must have been about 1993 or thereabouts. Change Everything was on very heavy rotation.

John McCann

I see Justin in the west end of Glasgow all the time,he lives near Charing cross, always on a bike,sometimes with a guitar on his back,theirs a book out about them, really good,like the majority of Glasgow acts who make it big, they all seem to have a very privileged background,BBC connections and stuff like that, not simple minds, Very workings class.

Spiral Scar

Another thanks to Dave, and Fogarrach, for the mention of Love and Money. Though I seem to be the only one I know who likes them or even remembers them, they are very, very high on my list of favorite bands. I’ll get anything with James Grant’s name on it. Friends Again took a little time to get into, only because I got into L&M first. The hooks got into me eventually, then, of course, I spent years, and earnings, tracking down all the 7″ and 12″ singles. And THEN, of course, Cherry Red put out the 2CD deluxe edition of Trapped and Unwrapped. I’m really glad they did, maybe today I’ll do some comparisons and check for mistakes ;) Speaking of Cherry Red, if anyone from there is reading, I really liked the unusual approach to the reissue of Love And Money’s “Strange Kind Of Love”. Could you find a way to reissue all of their albums? I’d especially like to see the first one, “All You Need Is..” but this time, expand it with all the B-sides, live and EP tracks. Except for one 12″ version, nothing from this period is on Cd except the album itself. Maybe there are plans already in place. If so, thanks in advance.
I’m not sure why I’ve been on a Scottish rock kick lately, but I’m having a blast discovering and re-discovering some great bands. Thanks to Fogarrach for that list. I will investigate. I’d also like to add APB, Josef K/Paul Haig and Orange Juice/Edwin Collins to the list, as well as The Skids and Big Country. And that other band, what was their name…? Really very popular for a long time. Slipped my mind… I can’t believe I (forgot about them)…

John McCann

Did you ever hear endgames?

Spiral Scar

I’m always open to suggestions. I’m checking them out and The Bathers. As a Friends Again fan, they are certainly on my list. Now I have to pull out all my Aztec Camera (I could have sworn I had something else by Roddy Frame). I Love the Blue Nile. They’re in a class by themselves. There can’t be anything released by them that I’m missing. Right? They could have been a tad more prolific. But that’s the only thing they have in common with (the band) Boston. And now my interest is REALLY piqued – Jackie Leven… I sense that I’ve missed a big one. Probably because of location.


Am I right in thinking Love and Money were Tom Verlaines backing band on an edition of The Tube?

Robert Atkin

I have four of their best songs on a playlist which I play regularly. I have a best off I got cheap in the early nineties. I only know them through working at Our Price in Scunthorpe Xmas 88.

John McCann

We feel good and first last for everything are classics,


Hi Paul,
Your self-isolation lists are always most welcome in this humble bunker of mine. Thanks a lot. Your Nick Heyward pick made me excavate “The Apple Bed” from my personal pile. I’m listening to it right now. It’s quite good. And I didn’t even remember I had it! Apart from that, I’ve been playing the Distractions two CD set I ordered from your store. What a great pop band. Can’t believe I didn’t know about them.
But what about books? Music books, I mean.
Lately, and maybe in preparation for the Let It Be avalanche waiting for us next autumn, I read Doug Sulpy and Ray Schweighardt’s “Get Back – The Unauthorized Chronicle ot the Beatles’ Let It Be Disaster”, which had been sitting on my shelves forever. It is a quite fascinating day-by-day/minute-by-minute/reel-by-reel account not only of the rehearsals and/or the recording process, but also, and more interestingly, of the verbal exchanges between the four Beatles and their entourage. Everybody knows that story, of course, but still, here’s some of the things that stood out for me:
– When John was not around, conversations had a tendancy to turn towards Yoko’s behaviour and “undue” influence. And more often than not, Paul was less judgmental than the other people. Sometimes, he even went out of his way to defend the couple.
– George was totally obsessed with the Band’s “Music from Big Pink” and Dylan’s Basement Tapes. In hindsight, it’s a little bit surprising that his first solo album didn’t sound more like that kind of music. More “americana”, you know…
– Ringo played the drums and seemed to have no opinion about anything except that it was out of the question for him to go out of the country to play a concert.
– John had a very very hard time remembering the lyrics of his own songs.
– Most of the days, the Beatles had a discussion about what they had watched on TV the night before, and for me it was a strange thing to realize how mundane and how unglamorous the lives of these international pop stars could be.
– Yoko, was always there. One day , Linda came visit with her daughter. And Maureen was among the spectators for the rooftop concert. No Patti Boyd, though.
– Paul played the role of leader, but only because John was so out of it. And he says so, maybe not in so many words…
I don’t know if it it’s true, but I think I read somewhere that the day the Beatles reconvened at Twickenham Film Studios in January 1969 for the “Let It Be” rehearsals, the White Album was number one on the charts. I mean: what was the hurry? It’s hard to fathom, now, how frantic these musicians’ work schedule could be in those days. I guess it was the same for any band in the sixties (two LPs a year, one single every three months), but still… I always thought that if the Beatles had taken a long break (months instead of weeks) after the recording of the White Album, maybe they would have lasted longer… But well, I know what you’re thinking: what’s the use of rewriting history? What is done is done.
But speaking of Let It Be and of rewriting history, I would also recommend Lewis Shiner’s “Glimpses” to music obsessives. Published in 1993, it is the story of a stereo repair business manager who, somehow, has the power to “recreate” or “repair” lost, doomed or scrapped albums like the Beach Boys’ “Smile”, Jimi Hendrix’s “First Rays of the New Rising Sun”, the Doors’ “Celebration of the Lizard” and, of course, the Beatles’ “Let It Be”. I Loved it. Next on my list is Morrissey’s Autobiography.
Be safe, be warm and crank the volume.

Tom m hans

Healing Game was the very last, really good CD by Van Morrison. I prefer Hymns to the Silence over everything since the late 80s. No Guru, No Method, No Teacher sums it up nicely, other than that I own Every Van Morrison release on CD. Moondance 4CD is great, too. Peace. I’m not feeling it no more for the past 20 years, sorry. That’s all IMHO, of course.


Totally agree with that at least hes still trying I went to see him in January he’s a lot fitter than a few years ago Moondance 4cd is awesome perhaps I’m dreaming to think all of his albums up to Hymns to the Silence will get the remastered or expansive treatment?


Just discovered Flèche Live today. She is the woman who sang on Kadebostany’s Pop Collection album. She release “Noga pt1” last year in November but I got around it only today on Bandcamp.
It is a fantastic album which I highly recommend. It shows why Kadebostany’s output is so bland since she left. Indeed after listening to this “Noga Part1” you’ll see that Pop Collection was more her album than Kadebostany’s.
Still in my King Crimson boxset binge along that..


Songs added to my Isolation play list:
‘When The Sun Hits’ – Slowdive
‘Bodies’ – Smashing Pumpkins
‘Both Ends Burning’ – Roxy Music

But the biggest surprise is discovering my new favorite band…from 20 years ago…Strangelove featuring singer Patrick Duff, guitarists Alex Lee & Julian Poole, bassist Joe Allen and John Langley on drums. Yes, I knew the song ‘Time for the Rest of Your Life’ but everything else escaped me. Not anymore, devouring their discography as fast as I can:
Time for the Rest of Your Life (1994)
Love and Other Demons (1996)
Strangelove (1997)
One Up: The B–Sides

This is the music I need right now in my life.

Hans lindskog

Thank for showkng me Strangelove and Patrick duff. He has made several solo albums. I Will check them out also espec the first and third strangelove albums. BR hans


In the last few days I’ve had:

1, Duran Duran’s “Notorious” CD on in the car while doing the shopping etc & I still love that. Steve Ferrone’ drumming is just exquisite & I actually prefer his style to Roger Taylor’s.

2, Also the live discs from the “Street Fighting Years” boxset. Check out Mel Gaynor’s drums coming in on the intro. Stunning! Jim Kerr, we want a Blu Ray 5.1 mix PLEASE!!!

3, I have the 40th anniversary of “Bitches Brew” & May well give that a go tomorrow in this current confined to barracks situation.

Stay safe everyone, you cannot mess about or be stupid with this thing, it kills!


Nick Heyward’s From Monday to Sunday is a great Lp, But you should also check out his follow up albums “tangled” & ” the Apple bed” both underrated and a lot better than his 80’s music
Also you should give Love & Money a spin “strange kind of love” & ” dogs in the traffic ” are classics


Since my last post on Self-Isolation Plaulist #2, I’ve managed to listen to:

Ejecta – Dominae
Best Coast – Always Tomorrow
Wild Nothing – Laughing Gas
Washed Out – Within Without
Eurythmics – Revenge and We Too Are One
Bat for Lashes – Lost Girls
Heaven 17 – Live on 29 Nov 05 in London
Foals – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part I

Stay safe everyone!

Mister Stick

Third album by Howard Tate (self-titled)
The Soul Of A Bell by William Bell
Travelin’ Man by Watermelon Slim
a mix of Fairport Convention albums, repeating “Sloth”

…and the new record by Real Estate, The Main Thing, which is a lot like Autumn Defense. I wasn’t familiar with these guys until this past week. I have a feeling that there will be more discoveries of that nature before the ice cracks.

Enjoying this series of posts, Paul.

Now, everybody give thanks for Bill Withers.


Yes Yes Yes…
Nick Heyward! From Monday to Sunday is almost as good as his best album (North of a Miracle).
As someone else said ‘How do you live without Sunshine’ is fantastic and the whole album has a great British pop (not Britpop)/Beatles vibe to it.

I especially love the little song fragment that rounds of the original album. The extra tracks on the Cherry Red reissue are also worth the entry price.

John McCann

Yes trash, north of a miracle is indeed a class album,love it


I’ve been listening again to southern rock a lot these days. A style rarely if never mentioned here. Only bands like lynyrd skynyrd or the allman brothers band are well known but it’s the lesser know ones that i’m listening to, Molly Hatchet and 38 Special. Teenage nostalgia!

Spiral Scar

Hi, Jurg
If you want to go back a little, check out the albums by Wet Willie and Atlanta Rhythm Section. They’re not as “hardcore” as the Allmans or Skynyrd but there’s a lot of rewarding music there. Both bands got slicker as they progressed but if you like .38 Special too, that won’t bother you. Wet Willie’s Jimmy Hall is a strong singer as well. There’s a long list of southern rock bands that have been overlooked, but these two came to mind immediately. Oh, maybe seek out some Blackfoot too.


And a mention of a track from from Monday to Sunday.
Wow. I’m dumfoonert.
On the same release, The track how do you live without sunshine is an amazing underrated classic of nicks.

Paul, what about friends again? Check out the track state of art and see where that takes you.
Honey at the core is equally fantastic.


Here’s one that might touch your ears.

Anthony Phillips, the geese and the ghost. I’ve been listening to him recently and this album is fantastic.
As to van morrison recommendations, well I’m a fan. And since the much missed Simon mayo reintroduced me to this track a few years back, I’m a great fan of this track
In the days before rock n roll

Rare Glam

Last few days:

Crawling Up A Hill ~ A Journey Through The British Blues Boom 1966-7 3xCD.
A very enjoyable ride, especially discs 2 and 3 which have a good variety of styles and approaches, far more vaied than you might think for the genre.

The Distractions – Nobody’s Perfect 2020 (2xCD 1979-80).
Brilliant nuggety pop records from the second golden age of them (1977-82). Every one’s a gem! Think new wave pop bands like No Dice or The Fabulous Poodles who once heard the Kursaal Flyers (1976’s ‘Little Does She Know’ single) give them a support slot for say Elvis Costello or Squeeze and there you have it. Guitar led pop without being power pop, more emphasis on the pure pop side, great melodies and tunes. Very pleased to have found this band via your highlughting this release Paul, thanks!


From Van Morrison’s latest work I prefer Keep Me Singing (2016) and Three Chords and the Truth (2019), both with original material. I’m not too wild about the albums inbetween with various covers and standards. Not bad, but it’s like he can produce albums like those on a daily basis.

Colin Harper

I listened to ‘Bitches Brew’ myself this week – the 40th anniversary 2CD/1DVD set – also while working. It’s funny how that’s possible because it was such a weird, challenging sound-world on first appearance. I hadn’t listened to it in probably six years, since writing ‘Bathed in Lightning: John McLaughlin, the 60s and the Emerald Beyond’ (John McL having played on it, of course). I still think Bennie Maupin, on bass clarinet, is the unsung hero on it – a rare instrument but a significant, subtle part of that unique cauldron of sound.

On a tangent, there’s a Joey DeFrancesco / Van connection to McLaughlin. I saw John McL with his Free Spirits trio (with Joey on organ) at Cork Opera House c.1996 and right after their show, Van was coming on. It was part of a jazz festival – they weren’t on the same bill, but they were doing two concerts back to back in the same venue, with many punters (like me) having booked to see both shows. At a certain point, the plug was pulled on John’s set – before he’d finished let alone an encore – and some flunkies came out to move pot plants around on the stage (really)… and then Van’s band came on, with Georgie Fame on organ. John and Georgie had a brief, warm ‘Hey, how are you!’ onstage as one was leaving and the other arriving – John had played in Georgie’s Blues Flames for 9 months or so in 1962-63. I went backstage and John was far from happy about being nudged off the stage, and The Man was being blamed.
It’s intriguing that Van went on to make an album with Joey – he probably first heard him at that show – not least because it’s the second time he’d co-opted an organist from McLaughlin’s milieu: first Georgie, then Joey. If I were Gary Husband (keys maestro in John’s current band, the 4th Dimension) I’d be expecting the call from Van any day now. :-)


I love how the sticker on the Simply Red album says “4 CDs XX Tracks”. Looks like some quality control got missed there, unless they decided to get all fancy in saying there were only 20 tracks across 4 CDs.


The actual Songbook CD set had a sticker stating 61 tracks – guess the image used above was the pre-release mock-up.


David Axelrod’s Earth Rot. Remastered and reissued about 18 months ago by Now-Again Records with the instrumentals, it sounds amazing. Also, the incredible 2CD set ‘Tidbeats: Lots of Forgotten Audio Tracks From the Vaults of Cinevox Studios’. 127 cuts, to be precise. There’s also a limited edition 4 vinyl set.


161 cuts, to be absolutely precise…

John O'B

Bitches Brew is still astonishing after all these years.

Today its been – Sonic Youth Daydream Nation, Devin Townsend Ki and Ghost, Soundgarden Superunknown and Mercury Rev Delta Sweete Revisited.