26 June 2008
Second Hand Record Dip Part 11 - Graham De Wilde - Threshold
Who: Graham De Wilde
Where: Music and Video Exchange, Camden
Year of Release: 1984
Ah... BBC Records and Tapes... purveyors of many a fine comedy album, Radio Four recording, and Brown Sauce's hit "I Just Wanna Be A Winner". Was there ever a finer label? Depends what you're looking for, I suppose. If it's music, there's a strong chance you're stuffed.
In his excellent biography "All of the Moves But None of the Licks", the owner of Strange Fruit records Clive Selwood reveals that BBC Records and Tapes were rather shortsighted when it came to issuing John Peel sessions. When Peel himself approached the organisation with a view to releasing some, they replied that they felt it would not deliver many returns and should not be considered a priority. They apparently had to focus on their present "big project", which was some LP recordings of a Radio Four gardening show.
Whether the above story is apocryphal or not, you needn't be Poirot to spot some exceptionally rum BBC releases in second hand stores out there. Also considered more important than releasing a Jimi Hendrix sessions EP in 1984 was... this. The theme tune to "Whicker's World - A Fast Boat To China". Clearly somebody within the organisation anticipated a demand for it, but none came, not even when they threw in the catchy "Whicker!" title song on the flip, which surely represents value in anyone's language. The former is an eerie, atmospheric KPM library instrumental which I'm guessing the Beeb had to pay them to release, whereas the latter we should all be familiar with. It's also interesting to note that its given title is "Newsweek", suggesting that KPM had other plans for its use originally. Sadly, neither tracks have vocals singing the praises of Alan, although obviously I think the "Whicker!" theme is crying out for some contributions from you good readers at home.
Better things would come for BBC Records and Tapes in 1986 when Nick Berry's "Every Loser Wins" became the second biggest selling single of that year. In the end, the Peel Sessions series of EPs was issued on Selwood's own label Strange Fruit. In all honesty, it was probably the safest place for them.
sixties seventies eighties novelty nineties second hand record dip psychedelia The Beatles one hit wonders glam rock KLF comedy easy listening library music garage noughties compilations disco reggae Bill Drummond romo/ new romantic Microdisney earl brutus eurovision mark wirtz animals that swim cover versions Morgan Studios Wales bob morgan creation embassy the spectrum Bam Caruso C86 KPM blessed ethel dora hall elton john Inaura Joe Meek Medicine Head john pantry Birdie Lieutenant Pigeon Peel Sessions Salad The Critters The Tages czech rock peter cook skunk rock the lover speaks British Gas Walham Green East Wapping Steam Beating Carpet Cleaning Rodent and Boggit Exterminating Association one of these days I'm going to cut you into little pieces pete the plate spinning dog