31 May 2012

Clive Sands (aka Clive Sarstedt aka Robin Sarstedt) - Witchi Tai To/ In A Dream

Label: SNB
Year of Release: 1969

"Witchi Tai To" is one of those songs which - despite its relative obscurity in the grand scheme of things - has been covered half to death.  Originally produced by the songwriter and saxophonist Jim Pepper as an adapted Native American chant which he learned from his grandfather, the single surprised a few people by getting to number 69 in the US Billboard charts.  It apparently remains the only track to chart in America which features an authentic native chant (although before anyone argues about it, I'm no expert when it comes to definitions of authenticity for such things).

It was then covered by counter-culture figures Brewer and Shipley, then somehow gained the attention of major league pop impresario Simon Napier Bell in the UK who decided to produce this slick version of it for the British market.  This was fronted by the mysterious Clive Sands who was, in actual fact, Peter Sarstedt's less successful brother.  This version of "Witchi Tai To" has picked up abuse from some quarters for being too poppy and inferior to the original, but I happen to think it's wonderful.  With an arrangement that increasingly swells as the song progresses and an almost hymnal organ underneath, it's no bastardisation of Pepper's intentions, just another brilliant piece of summery late sixties pop.  Where the original occasionally verges towards the pious, this is the sound of blissed out glee, almost explosively happy - even the needle damage on my copy can't destroy its intentions.  That it's been almost completely overlooked since its release is surprising - a recent compilation focussing on the output of Napier Bell's SNB label completely ignored it.

The flip "In A Dream" is rather more traditional popsike fare, but is also sweet in its own way.

Clive Sarstedt later changed his name to Robin Sarstedt - presumably to confuse people researching blog entries years in the future - and had a hit in the UK with "My Resistance Is Low" in 1976.  For my money, however, this flop is far, far better than that track, and it's certainly a notch or two above his brother's "Where Do You Go To My Lovely".

29 May 2012

DJ'ing at Stoke Newington Literary Festival

As strange as it sounds, I'll be DJ'ing at the Stoke Newington Literary Festival on Friday night as part of the "Well Versed" event.  And (in what can only be a boon for the average skint vinyl collector) entry is completely free.

The poets on the bill the night are all well worth seeing and hearing, including Clare Pollard, Tim Wells, Niall O'Sullivan, Wayne Holloway-Smith, The Brothers Grim, Sophie Cameron, Amy Acre and Anna Le.

As for the music, well - there will be vinyl spun from 8pm - 10pm, then again from midnight until 2am, making this as good (and as varied) a start to the weekend as you could hope for.  As well as me, you can hear John the Revelator and Miriam Elia spinning tunes.

The event is taking place at the Mascara Bar at 72 Stamford Hill, London, N16 6XS (opposite Morrisons).  The Facebook event page is here.  You need to come to this.  I even promise you I have no intention at all of playing "You're OK With Us", if that swings your decision in my favour.

28 May 2012

David Essex and Jeff Wayne (aka The Us) - You're OK With Us/ Tomorrow

Label: Sound Department
Year of Release: 1970

In some respects, I suspect that life was easier for the non-hit singer or songwriter in the sixties and seventies.  Not only were there more venues out there to play and a greater demand for live music, there was also the sheer range of work available for anyone plucky enough to step forward and offer their services.  Budget albums and EPs consisting of cover versions of the hits of the day would often find themselves home to quickie Elton John and David Bowie vocals, for example.

The world of Hallmark Records aside, adverts back then seemed to be filled to the brim with original music, meaning better cash was available if you were happy to go into a studio and sing about the benefits of a regular bowl of cornflakes or the delightful smell which can be dispersed via the latest household cleaning product.  The vast majority of artists who contributed to the music industry in this dubious way have since sunk without trace, doomed to only be remembered through strange earworms heard by bored shoppers in modern supermarket aisles (after all, which one of us can't walk past "Shake n Vac" without hearing the sodding tune in our heads?)  As always, though, there are exceptions, and here's a star-studded one.  Back in the sixties and seventies, a deodorant called "Us" was produced, which came in a terrifyingly bulky and ugly white can, making it look like a WD40 dispenser or a paint spray by modern standards.  The accompanying advert for the product consisted of a band (some of whom look like future "Top Gear" presenters, though they're not) playing in a sweaty nightclub with confidence.  Presumably the average viewer could witness these cool kids smiling on stage and would equate the wearing of the bathroom product with super-fun times.

"You're OK With Us" was the tune the band "played", but the special promotional single the manufacturers Johnson Wax released sounds somewhat different - and that's because this version has star-in-waiting David Essex contributing vocals.  Arranging the instruments and on songwriting duties is Jeff Wayne, future "War of the Worlds" man who at this point in his career was dashing off ditties for hundreds of adverts and apparently making a fine living from doing so.  Despite its dubious origins, the track is actually likable enough to pass, and whilst numerous ebay sellers have been trying to pass it off as a "garage rock" or "psychedelic" single ever since, it's really much more of its time than that.  Despite the rather distorted guitars, it's typical of the kind of tune that emerged at the cusp of the seventies as the more commercial end of radio pop gradually slid into the messiness of glam.  I wouldn't bother playing it myself at either a glam or sixties night - unless somebody persistently requested the track, that is, which seems unlikely - but it's definitely a fascinating curio, and an insight into the workings of two people who would later go on to have a huge influence on music in the seventies.

The flip "Tomorrow" stems from a bath salts advert, of all things, and sees Essex and Wayne managing to pre-empt John Lennon's "Imagine" by a few years.  It's another of those mournful songs which expresses nostalgia for a late sixties ideology which by that point had barely passed - "But what about the songs we used to sing/ of Brotherhood and love?" demands Essex forcefully. "Remember when we sang that we shall overcome?" Steady on, sir, there's no room for politics whilst one is enjoying a relaxing bath.  Did you not read your briefing papers on the way into this session?  Whatever the appropriateness of the tune, it joins Elton John and Roger Hodgson's early non-hit "Imagine" and Denis Couldry's "Tea and Toast Mr Watson" as being a nostalgic, hippy-sympathising track somewhat peculiarly recorded either during the summer of love or shortly after it.

You won't need me to tell you that David Essex became a massive star with a string of hits in the UK a mere few years after this work, and would be reunited with Jeff Wayne on "The War of the Worlds" project in both an acting and singing capacity (during which he seemed to suggest that he would be a President in some underground sewer community - which is inappropriate talk for a man who had previously promoted deodorant).  To think that it may have been due to this advert work that the pair met - platinum history created by underarm scent receptacles.

Sorry for the pops and clicks on the B-side.  This promotional single was pressed very quietly (apart from the announcer's thunderous but unenthusiastic declaration at the start) and it was very difficult to wipe out the surface noise without also removing some of the more subtle parts of the record.

24 May 2012

Reupload - The Look - Real Live Heaven

Label: MCA
Year of Release: 1981

I was only eight years old when I turned on Top of The Pops one day, and suddenly became transfixed by dubious looking Kevin Keegan-esque men with mullets stomping out an organ driven groove.

"Girls are dancing all around/ and just for me..."

As one hit wonders go, "I Am The Beat" is probably one of the finest. It's so simplistic it sounds as if it should have been written during the earliest days of the beat boom, but it arrived out of nowhere and soared up the charts in 1981 as if it owned them, and managed to sound simultaneously new and knowingly referential. Besides coming from men who clearly had a love of classic rock, there was something angular and "noo wave" about the band, which caused Smash Hits to comment "one Squeeze of The Look and I'm in XTC". The simplicity of their music belied a huge stock of influences.  

Unfortunately, the band's rise to fame seemed at odds with the record company's attitude towards them.  They were signed for a one-single deal initially to see how "I am the Beat" fared, and even when Radio One playlisted it MCA could barely be bothered to promote the disc, leading Radio One DJ Simon Bates to plead on air for the label to "pull their fingers out". One has to wonder how valuable these one-off single deals were by the eighties, and if many acts were genuinely broken by them - they seemed to be a mark of indifference rather than faith.

After it climbed to number six the label offered them more recording time, and an album was apparently rushed out as a result, with "rushed" being the operative word. The band were apparently deeply unhappy with its over-polished sound which they felt was hopelessly at odds with their live show - in a recent interview they claimed to have "burned all their copies".

It's from this LP that "Real Live Heaven" stems, and I'll be frank, if it's representative of the long player at all, I'd argue they're being overly modest. The ingredients which made "I am the Beat" so compelling are still intact, and it's riddled with more hooks than a Peter Hook family reunion. The glammish stomp is still present and correct, as is an insistent chorus, and whilst nobody is likely to give the song any points for subtlety - Slade would have killed to have something so terrace-pleasing in their set list - sometimes that really doesn't matter. They deserved to have a minor hit with this at least, although I can't help but wonder whether it would have been more at home amidst the early nineties indie scene.

After the album didn't perform to their expectations, MCA dropped them, and The Look jumped from the frying pan into the fire with Towerbell Records, an independent label whose owner allegedly fled the country owing many of his acts vast sums of money.  The band apparently turned up for a meeting one afternoon and found the windows to Towerbell boarded up. One could hardly have blamed them for giving up at this point, but it was with some surprise that I found out that they'd very recently reformed and released a follow-up album two decades later entitled "Pop Yowlin". It's available on iTunes, and from the brief samples I've heard so far proves they're still in love with producing skronking great barnstormers. Lovely.

(This blog entry was originally uploaded in March 2009 - I've little to add, except to say that The Look still remain - for want of a better word - rather too overlooked.  "Pop Yowlin'" is worth your time).

23 May 2012

Can't Buy Me Love

Yes, it's true!  Why ever would I lie?  I'll be back DJ'ing* at North London's premier vintage jumble sale event on Saturday 26th May, cheering you on your way around the establishment with top tunes (and it runs from 12:30pm - 5:30, meaning you'll have plenty of time to get back home in time for Eurovision).

It's taking place at a pub which was ranked among the top ten in the country by "The Guardian":

The Boogaloo
312 Archway Rd, N6 5AT

And all the Facebook details are here.

(* Illness, major equipment failure, burglaries in which my vinyl collection is stolen and other random acts of God not included in this guarantee) 

21 May 2012

Butch Moore - The Incredible Miss Brown/ Till Then My Love

Label: Pye
Year of Release: 1967

Hey kids, it's Eurovision Song Contest week!  Back in 2008 and 2009 I tried to celebrate this wondrous occasion here on this very blog by showcasing some of the most interesting entries the contest had given us over the years, but the extreme dip in the stats on both occasions told me all I needed to know - namely, that you good readers just weren't interested.  

This entry by no means marks a return to my old habits, you'll possibly be relieved to hear, but it does tie in neatly with that fine fest of song.  Butch Moore was a popular Irish singer and Showband star back in the sixties, and has the distinction of being Ireland's first entry in the contest in 1965 with "Walking The Streets In The Rain".  That track was the kind of rich, intricate ballad one would have expected to find in the contest at this time, and despite Moore's confident performance and accomplished vocals, it wasn't really distinguished enough to cut through to the top five, having to content itself with sixth place.

Moore's career from that point on went much as you'd expect - he remained a huge live draw in Ireland until the turn of the decade, not really deviating much from ballads and showband tunes.  This is what makes the 1967 B-side "The Incredible Miss Brown" such an absurd blip on the radar.  Here he attempted the Carnaby swing, doing a piece of almost Chris Andrews styled mod-pop, a move so unexpected that numerous collectors and ebay auctioneers have since argued that this single is a lost bit of underground sixties exotica.  For once, they're not too far off the money.  "Miss Brown" is a little stilted and stiff in places, and sounds exactly like what it is - namely, a rather straight mainstream family figure trying to take on some modern styles.  For all that, it's still a perfectly pleasant piece of pop.  It's indicative of the era and seems charming rather than try-hard these days, hardly being up there with The Small Faces or The Kinks, but at least taking a very competent stab at a bit of music hall inspired pop.

The A-side, meanwhile, is as you'd expect - it's another incredibly well performed ballad which will excite you if that's the kind of thing you're excited by, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to pass on commenting on it (apart from to apologise for the pops and crackles near the start).

Butch Moore unfortunately passed away in 2001, but will always be remembered and treasured as the first Irish person to enter Eurovision.  He may not have been the first Irish entrant to actually win, but he certainly set the stage for others to follow in his footsteps.  Now then, let's see what Jedward can do for them this year... (and would Butch be spinning in his grave, I wonder?)

17 May 2012

Troy Tate - Thomas/ What'Cha Gonna Do Next/ E209

Label: Sire
Year of Release: 1984

Troy Tate is one of those musicians and performers with a history so long you could discuss it in-depth all week if you had a mind to do so.  Sometime solo artist, sometime member of eighties pop misses Fashion, member of post-Rezillos act Shake, rejected producer for The Smiths first album, and (perhaps most famously) member of The Teardrop Explodes during the turbulent period of the "Wilder" album, he's had a career fit to keep him in bar-room anecdotes for the rest of his life, though he may not necessarily have enough cash to get a round in.  If you're not going to outright succeed in a way that ensures platinum discs line the walls of your mansion, his career is at least an example of how to make your life sound more interesting than most of your associates.

Troy was a solo artist before he joined the Teardrops and again after the band imploded.  When he departed the group, the nucleus of Julian Cope, Gary Dwyer and David Balfe attempted to record the eventually aborted "Everyone Wants To Shag The Teardrop Explodes" album, an LP Cope complained suffered from a synthetic, eighties production.  If this troubled Julian, you don't get the impression from Tate's output that such a direction would have bothered him all that much - for it swings in that very measured, pouting eighties way, with slapping bass noises and saxophones making themselves apparent at various points.  Troy's Bryan Ferry-esque posing on the sleeve really does give the game away mightily here.

Don't let that put you off, however, because the songs he created were good enough to still spike through the eighties sheen, and there's enough imagination behind the arrangements to make for a pleasing listen.  In particular, both "Thomas" and the B-side "E209" here are examples of how to create pop music which still has diversions, sliproads and turnoffs into unexpected territories - an art which, for however much the eighties gets maligned as an era, was typical of the period and has become increasingly hard to find since.  Whilst this isn't quite up there with ABC, it is thoughtful pop music from the same kind of laboratory, and it deserves a chance.

If this leaves you hungry for more, Troy Tate's road manager Bob Edwards has a site here where both his albums are available for download.

14 May 2012

Dream Police - I'll Be Home (In A Day Or So)/ Living Is Easy/ Our Song

Label: Decca
Year of Release: 1970

Someone far wiser than me and certainly far wiser than most musicians once came out with the valid observation: "The music industry sees a band they like, signs them on the basis of their greatness, then - often for no good reason at all - sets about trying to change them into something utterly different".  This is as true today as it was in the sixties, with a colleague of mine complaining only a year ago that a relative of his had been signed and changed from a mandolin playing singer-songwriter into an electro-pop artist. 

Dream Police probably also know exactly what I'm talking about here. The Glasgow-based act were known for blistering, rocking live shows in their home city, to the extent that Scottish pop historians have a tendency to wax lyrical about them to this day.  By the time they caught the overnight sleeper train down to London (or perhaps took the long drive down - I'm possibly painting false and rather cliched pictures here) and were signed, songwriter and producer Junior Campbell ignored their hard edged sound and gave them the gentle track "I'll Be Home (In A Day Or So)".  For reasons which aren't altogether clear this A-side has found itself on psychedelic compilations since, despite being about as psychedelic as Edison Lighthouse.  It's a nice enough song and possibly could have become a hit, but it truly is production line pop - the big orchestrally backed chorus is very much of its time and so hooky you'll struggle to shift it from your brain after only the first listen.

The B-side "Living Is Easy", however, is widely regarded to be as close to the Dream Police live experience as vinyl buyers ever got, all hard rock riffs and screeching vocals.  So different are the two sides that they could easily have been recorded by two entirely different acts.

(Scroll down for another Dream Police single after the mp3s)

Label: Decca
Year of Release: 1970

Dream Police's follow-up single "Our Song" was, at the very least, a self-penned effort on this occasion.  Less of a sledgehammer piece of pop, it's actually typical of the kind of catchy, gentle, closely produced, American influenced FM rock which littered the British charts during 1970-1972 - careful, adult yet also radio-friendly.  It failed to pay off, however, and nor did the band's country-styled follow-up "I've Got No Choice".

It wasn't all bad news for the band, as after their split two of the members went on to earn a crust in other more successful groups.  Keyboard player Ted McKenna went on to join the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, and vocalist Hamish Stuart joined the Average White Band.  Perhaps this is proof that just sometimes, it's worth going along with the industry's insane demands purely to gain important contacts and get a foothold in their world.  

10 May 2012

Peanut - I Didn't Love Him Anyway/ Come Tomorrow

Label: Columbia
Year of Release: 1967

The German born Mark Wirtz is best known in the UK for writing and producing the number two hit single "Excerpt From 'A Teenage Opera'" (aka "Grocer Jack") for Tomorrow frontman Keith West.  Supposedly forming part of a stage musical which in actual fact hadn't been written yet, the project stalled when the follow-up excerpts "Sam" and "He's Our Dear Old Weatherman" (the latter performed by Wirtz himself) fared less well.  Each single was an densely orchestrated pean to eccentric or otherwise unloved elderly gentlemen within a small community, and was - with the exception of "Weatherman" which I own a copy of and find hugely irritating - actually rather wonderful.

We're in danger of being sidetracked here, however, because there was so much more to Wirtz than this one famous project.  Amongst other things, he was also the producer for Katie Kissoon, aka Peanut, a singer from Spain who had previously had two flop singles on Pye before being brought under his wing to record a cover of "I'm Waiting for the Day" for Columbia.  That particular track is a fairly faithful reading of the "Pet Sounds" classic which probably should have been a hit single, but when it failed, the pair turned their attention to the Wirtz penned "I Never Loved Him Anyway".

This single is a sweet, mournful and terribly under-exposed part of Wirtz's catalogue, being filled with the same delicate toytown arrangements as the "Teenage Opera" tracks.  Gone, however, are the references to aged eccentrics and in their place is an understated ballad with some beautifully delivered vocals from Kissoon.  It contains all the sense of loss and finality which peppered the Opera project, but feels rather more personal, especially during the gentlest, quietest parts of this record where Peanut simply harmonises to an understated backing.  It lacks any kind of killer chorus, and it's perhaps for that reason that it failed, but it does prove that the use of toytown arrangements could be utilised beyond sixties psychedelic fantasia - ballads  like this made fine use of the technique to recreate an atmosphere of child-like yearning.

Kissoon later went on to rather more success duetting with her brother Mac Kissoon on hits such as "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep" (how many versions of this were there?!) and "Sugar Candy Kisses".  Once the hits dried up for them, she then put her fantastic vocals to use on sessions for (among others) Elton John, Roger Waters, Van Morrison, George Harrison, The Pet Shop Boys, Robbie Williams, and countless others.  Whether you think you've heard her before or not, you almost certainly have.

7 May 2012

Second Hand Record Dip Part 78 - Minty - That's Nice!

Who: Minty
What: That's Nice!
Label: Sugar
When: 1996
Where: Oxfam, Crouch End, London
Cost: £1

Oh Lord, this is a peculiar blog entry to have to write.  Minty were a very strange proposition indeed in the nineties, having formed by designer/ artist/ character Leigh Bowery in order to attempt to earn a regular living out of his media profile.

Bowery was a complex figure who cannot easily be explained over the course of a pithy blog entry.  Born in the suburbs of Melbourne where he spent his unhappy youth, he relocated to London in the eighties and preceded to reinvent himself like so many new Londoners before him.  The difference is, Bowery's presence in London clubland was absurd and bizarre, an enormous human work of art rather than the usual simple, genre-fixated exhibitionism one can find whilst strolling around Camden or Hoxton.  At the height of his obsession with taking his personal appearance one stage further, he attempted to slash off one of his ears in a Vincent Van Gogh style.  His Wikipedia page is lovingly maintained and incredibly detailed, and his ITV documentary with Hugh Laurie (yes, that Hugh Laurie) is also worth a peek here - if only to see Laurie's worried and uncertain visage throughout.

Whilst Bowery had enjoyed some high-profile art exhibitions and clothes designs - designing stagewear for Boy George at one point in the eighties, and appearing in the video for "Mr Pharmacist" by The Fall - he remained a council flat tenant in London, relying on irregular bouts of cash to get by.  Minty the band were therefore allegedly put together as a response to this problem, releasing amongst other singles "Useless Man" ("Boot licking, tit tweaking useless man").  They caught the attention of the national press in the UK - who always do seem to give a simultaneous helping and slapping hand to any eccentric doing something perverse - but this utterly failed to translate into sales, and apparently made Bowery's cashflow problem worse.

It doesn't take a supreme business mind to work out what might have gone wrong.  Whoever you may be and however well known you are, forming a band is rarely the answer to your financial difficulties, and this applies even if what you're doing fits present trends and fashions.  Minty were odd, confrontational, slightly frightening and ignored most of the rules behind writing pop hits, and thus were unlikely to get anyone involved platinum discs.  So it proved.

When Bowery died as a result of complications from AIDS in 1994, the band (including his wife Nicola Bowery) took the unusual decision to carry on releasing records anyway, and "That's Nice!" is one of those.  Like a peculiar series of seventies early evening quiz show catchphrases set to synthesisers, it's somehow simultaneously amusing and irritating, like a giant pink day-glo pink foam hand with a raised middle digit.  Taunting cries of "God is dead!/ Sunglasses worn on head!" and "Nice to see ya, wouldn't wanna be ya!" weave in and out through simplistic, primitive and discordant electronic riffs, and  as a listener I'm forced to occasionally wonder if this is supposed to be pissing me off, or someone else entirely, or everyone.  Certainly the quantity of remixes available on this disc are overkill and as a result I've only included two, the Add N to (X) one and the Partycrashers mix.

"That's Nice!" enjoyed some late night radio airplay in the UK - especially from Mark Radcliffe and Marc Riley on Radio One - but almost inevitably wasn't a hit.  Its presence in a North London charity shop was a surprise, though perhaps not entirely inappropriately at the very second I picked it up a very strange senior gentleman who smelt of urine and had a flower in his hair began a long bothering campaign which lasted until I left the store.  I'm tempted to chalk it up as being part of the whole experience.

5 May 2012

Downloading Difficulties

Yes, I know.  So far as I'm aware, the uploaded mp3s for all of the entries for 2008 and 2009 are down, and I'm afraid there's not much I can immediately do about it - re-uploading the whole lot again is going to be a big job, and in some cases (such as the compilations) I'd probably rather consign them to the dustbin of history for various reasons.

Nonetheless, perhaps the answer lies in occasionally reupping material at the weekends.  I really don't want this blog to  be filled with  more repeats than ITV3 and ITV4, but at the same time a lot of worthy material has gone awol amidst Sharebee giving up on us, so I'll have a think about revising the way things operate.

Still, the fact that the 2008 and 2009 entries stayed online until a week or so ago isn't too bad, I think, so I'm not going to grumble too much.  You all had plenty of time to jump in.  

3 May 2012

Reupload - Bob Morgan - Marguerite

Label: Gem
Year of Release: 1979

"Marguerite" is probably best known to most people as being the music which (for a period) accompanied the gallery section of the children's TV programme "Vision On" in the seventies. Tony Hart's hushed and delicate tones would introduce a selection of children's drawings from around the UK, and then the slow reggae beat of this track would kick in, as we were given the treat of observing a young Billy Childish's drawing of his Dad reprimanding the family dog with a stern gesture (or something - I'd like to think that some future major artists sent their work into the programme. The images this conjures up in my mind are pleasing).

"Marguerite" has worked its way on to numerous chill out compilations and DJ mixes in the last five years, where it sounds completely at home - in fact, elements of it sound not dis-similar to the KLF's more reggae tinged output on "The White Room", which is shocking considering the date this was released (I could mention at this point that both Morgan and Bill Drummond have worked with Ken Campbell on his theatre productions, but I can't find any evidence that the pair worked on them simultaenously, unfortunately).

Some may attach romantic nostalgia to this track - I just happen to think it's a beautiful piece of work. Apparently recorded as the sun rose in the sky, it's a gentle, blissful track which loops its way around a central theme, slowly bringing in new elements as the song progresses. It is equal parts reggae and muzak, but because that's such a rare concept in the first place it causes the song to exist in a rather unique world of its own. I doubt Lee "Scratch" Perry incorporated many clarinets into his work, for example, but hearing this makes you wish he had.

The B-side "Steppin' Out" is rather less interesting, and sounds as if it might have been meant for use on something like an ITV drama - once again, I've included it for the sake of interest, but don't expect to be bowled over.

Around about this time, Bob Morgan also seemingly completed a large commission of "reggae library music", which eventually found its way into the offices of KPM and ended up on the Channel Four Testcard. I've already done a blog post about this, and to be honest, I consider it to be amongst the finest library material of the period, irrespective of where it ended up being used, or whether it was commercially released. You certainly should expect wonders from the cheeky bonus MP3 I've included from those sessions, a dub version of a piece of library music entitled "Fool in Love", which I still find gobsmacking, and possibly even superior to "Marguerite". Early synthesisers burble, bubble and screech to reggae rhythms, a voice crying "Oh!" comes out of nowhere, and a threatening, sinister riff underpins the entire thing. It's unsettling and utterly brilliant - somewhere in Scotland, the ears of Boards of Canada must have pricked up to this one (especially as it was, unbelievably, a testcard feature for some of the eighties). Mine certainly did.  I'd be genuinely curious to see if I'm the only person who thinks "Fool in Love" has been wrongly ignored over the years.

(This blog entry was originally uploaded in May 2008 - not much has changed since then, except to say that "Marguerite" has finally become commercially available through iTunes here, hence the edited version below.  I have also chanced upon another Bob Morgan recording since which I will probably upload soon.  Hopefully this reupload will act as a spur to my crappy memory.)