Friday, September 21, 2007

Five faves from the F-C ipod

It's that time again.

Blokes On 45/Orange Juice. This must have been a b-side, I'm sure. For those who don't remember the heady days of 1981 and the medleymania that went with it, then this gives you a rough idea of what it was like to live your life soundtracked by Stars On 45 (1-3), Back To The Sixties (Parts 1 and 2), The Carribean Disco Show, Seasons of Gold, Beach Boy Gold, Hooked On Classics etc. This pastiches if very close the the Starsound Stars of 45, with a selection of early 80s Orange Juice classics (Blue Boy, Lovesick, Poor Old Soul, etc) set to a handclap beat. It's a real treat. Find it on the excellent compilation The Glasgow School.

Octopus/Syd Barrett. Reminds me very much of Julian Cope's Sunspots, which is surely no coincidence on Cope's part. This takes a while to find it's melody, but I love his posh voice. I love those talky bits in psychedlic songs always said in an RP accent. This could have been a huge pop hit in the Sixties. Why wasn't it?

Attention Stockholm/Virna Lindt. After many years (on and off) of trying, I finally bought The Young Persons' Guide To Compact off eBay, only to find it's right there on itunes. But hey, it's worth owning the real thing. This was a greatest hits of the early 80s label that launched a number of kitsch Sixties-inspired hits, most notably Mari Wilson. This promises a spoofy, campy vibe about spies and secret agents and it delivers. But who is she?

Sally/Carmel. Disappointingly this single only reached no.60 in the charts, but went on to sell more than 500,000 copies in France, where Carmel was once (and perhaps still is) considered the new Piaf. She's got such a range. I love the jazziness of this, it's very mid-80s. I went to see her once at Ronnie Scotts and was ace. Someone asked Mrs F-C is she was Judith Durham from the Seekers, at which she was not amused. One for the Where Are They Now? box.

Tarot/Andy Bown. "Jet white dove/snow black snake/Time has turned his face/From the edge of mystery/Where running is no race..." The theme to the early-70s TV spectacular Ace Of Wands, which I've recently been enjoying on DVD (though only the last series remains). You need to visualise the opening credits when you hear this song, but it's plucky intro and psyched-out lyrics, along with it's big chorus of oohs and aahs is well worth the listen. Find it on Magpie, a compilation of various TV-related treasures like Mr Brooks' The Family and of course the Magpie theme tune. PS. The chorus is not Tarot cards/Tarot bananaman.


FeedbackReport said...

I'm fairly sure Blokes On 45 was actually from a Peel Session or similar, although now I come to think of it, it probably did show up as a b-side or something eventually.

As for Octopus, its chart failure was probably down to Syd Barrett being unwilling to do any promotion for it whatsoever. Certainly he never performed it on telly or radio, which can't have helped in those days. Have you ever heard Clowns And Jugglers, the earlier attempt at Octopus (which remained unreleased until the late eighties), with a more 'psychedelic pop group' feel to it?

Five-Centres said...

I haven't FR, but I shall check it out.

Helen said...

I saw Carmel at the Jazz Cafe about eight years ago ..... still very good. Did you know that 'Bad Day' was one of my all time faves?