Musical Finds: Vintage Melody Makers

Wow folks, it’s been a while since I posted.

That’s not down to me having had no finds or running out of choices for you. Its because life took over a bit and my love for blogging in general did sort of hit rock bottom. I’ve also been working on a new radio based project but here I am, back, and with a special type of find.

I am a massive fan of online free site Freecycle, and have been for ten years. We’ve had some amazing things gifted to us over the year, most recently amongst them some vintage Tannoy Speakers (possibly the best speakers a hifi head could find. They are things of beauty).

I saw an advert Saturday, for a collection of Melody Maker newspapers from 1979-80. It said on the advert that the offer-er didn’t think anyone would want them, due to their age and that they’d gone a bit yellow, so if there was no interest he’d chuck them in the local dump.

Nooooo!!!!!

Now, I wasn’t born in 1979 or 1980, but I know full well that there was a wealth of musical greatness back then. It was, in the words of The Specials, a dawning of a new era, with all sorts of styles fighting for space in the charts.

We were lucky enough to be given the box of these, and my goodness I am so glad they did not end up in the bottom of a dump filled with old freezers and chip pans.

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There are about 30 of these, with greats from every style of music you can think of. In fact, every major music icon is accounted for.

They are old, some are more tired than others. But history like this is worth saving. Yes, I may be a gigantic geek for thinking it would be awful for these to hit the tip.

I am going to frame some of them, as many as I have wall space for. The adverts on the back and inside are beyond cool, adverts for new albums from Genesis amongst others.

You even have a retrospective on three years from Elvis’ untimely death.

I had a quick look on eBay and some go for over a tenner each, so there is a market for them. Mine are going nowhere near eBay though.

Love,love, love them.

God, I do like a freebie and this has to be my fave obscure one!

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BJORK, DEBUT

It is not my fault I bought this album. I blame my 8 year old wanting a hair cut and the hair dresser being opposite the local HMV. So there.

bjorkΒ bjork innerΒ Bjork, Debut, on One Little Indian/Bapsi Ltd

SIDE A:

Human Behaviour

Crying

Venus as a Boy

There’s More to Life Than This (Recorded live at the Milk Bar Toilets)

Like Someone in Love

Big Time Sensuality

SIDE B:

One Day

Aeroplane

Come to Me

Violently Happy

The Anchor Song

“Tracks 1-10 produced by Nellee Hooper”

1993

In 1993 I was the weird kid. I was 11, and most 11 year olds did not listen to Bjork. She was that weird little elf woman, who popped up on Top of the Pops inbetween much more tween friendly fodder such as Take That and Bad Boys Inc.

My Dad used to bring home albums from a library in Maidstone. As a lorry driver, he was practically his own boss and would listen to the radio all day. This was one of those albums.

At 11, I had no idea who The Sugarcubes were, so my first hearing of Bjork was Violently Happy. At that time, she was everywhere, mainly down to her funny little accent and strange dress sense. I used to love her, she wore bindis on her head, and I duly went out and found some, long before they appeared in Bow Bangles (now Claire’s Accessories) and became the in thing.

If being the weird kid meant being able to stomp around in flares and cheesecloth tops singing Bjork, I am so happy I was that kid. Although, such is my mad and comprehensively widespread love of music I was just as likely to be stomping around in aforementioned clobber to Take That.

Violently Happy would crop up again when I was 16 at a Goth club called Subsonic in Gillingham (Subs to the regulars), as they’d play it in what was termed the Funky room. I was indeed violently happy to be that age, with friends, drinking Alcopops.

Mine copy is not an original, but was begging me to buy it after taking Mini for her hair cut last night. Its on grey vinyl but sounds amazing.

I am indeed, happy, if not violently so, to have it.

THE SLITS, CUT

Today I’m bringing you a cult slice of punk ska fusion from The Slits.

Sadly this isn’t an original pressing (sob) but a reissue bought this year as my “birthday pressie to myself” from Amazon.

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the slits cut

The Slits-Cut reissue 2005 on 4 Men With Beards label

SIDE A:

Instant Hit

So Tough

Spend, Spend, Spend

Shoplifting

FM

SIDE B:

Newtown

Ping Pong Affair (Ping Pong is listed upside down and back to front)

Love Und Romance

Typical Girls

Adventures Close to Home

“Created by The Slits and Palmolive”

Studio Ridge Farm”

“Photos Pennie Smith”

Originally made and released in 1979 on Universal-Island Records Ltd, it says much for the girls that demand is great enough to reissue it years later.

Fusing the punk origins of principal songwriter and ex Flowers Of Romance Sid Vicious cohort Viv Albertine with the wild teen shoutiness and sound system/early ska appreciation of lead vocalist Ari Up (just 14 when the band was formed), it bridges the gap between the dying days of Punk with the emergence of a new sound for the disillusioned masses.

It was the last time the band were a four piece as original member Palmolive left shortly after and hence is credited as an individual.

The Slits are probably one of the most underrated punk bands of the time, and often forgotten about due to the musically less superior likes of The Sex Pistols, sadly down to the fact they didn’t court controversy.

My favorite track, probably unsurprisingly, is Typical Girls. Written during a brief break up with The Clash’s Mick Jones, Viv was angry at a comment made in a magazine about what boys liked in their typical girl.

The angry shout of it is just great and should be used anywhere women are made to feel less than their best.

BALEARIC BEATS, VOL 1

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Balearic beats

The first record I’m going to bring you is a classic in so many ways.

Balearic Beats Vol 1 on FFRR

Tracks

SIDE A:

Jibaro-Electra

Drop the Deal-Code 61

Sure Beats Workin’-Beats Workin’

Blackout-Enzo Avitabile

Mandy’s Theme (I Just Can’t Wait) (Cool and Breezy Jazz Version)-Mandy Smith

SIDE B:

Kaw-Liga (Prairie mix)- The Residents

Why Why Why (Live)- The Woodentops

Join in the Chant- Nitzer Ebb

De Testimony (Collapsing edit)- Fini Tribe

Jesus On The Payrol-The Thrashing Doves

“Compiled by “Razor” Tong, Oakey and Trevor Fung”

“Illustrations by David Little direct art Green link”

1988

Favorite track on this is so hard. I was only aware of Jibaro prior to him indoors getting it via eBay which in itself is a classic dance track.

I love the mental-ness of Nitzer Ebb (fun fact: on the back of hearing Join in the chant, him indoors went along to one of their concerts at The Dome Tufnel Park or someplace in London Bridge and found it to be quite the scary prospect musically and not at all Balearic, but a far more studded leather affair), as well as Kaw-Liga which has a kick arse Jackson sample too.

However, my overall fave is Why Why Why by the Woodentops. It makes no sense lyrically. At all. But the bassline in places is amazing and the little points of “Are You Ready Now” are just great. Its also live and musically the band are brilliant (and its a shame they never really blew up).

It comes from an era I am seriously jealous of not being old enough to have experienced myself like him indoors. The artwork is just cracking (Jibaro also uses one of the eye logos on its 12 inch single).

Go find some of the tracks on Youtube