Saturday, November 25, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
You're A Prince, You Are The Pope
What can I say about Microdisney? Well, like so many of the other artists whose work isn't available anywhere else, they were blooming great. There are enough Web sites out there with info about the band so I won't try to say anything myself. Start with http://www.bubbyworld.com/microdisney/microdisneyindex.htm.
I have no anecdotes or personal connection with them apart from the fact that their drummer played part-time with a band called Tortilla Flats, who I sound engineered for a few times at the George Robey pub in London.
After the Claire Hamill fiasco, I've checked Amazon (of course) as well as Cathal Coughlan's Web site and the High Llamas Web site, and if this stuff *is* available anywhere then I can't find it.
UPDATE Jan 09: I just had an email from Sean and Cathal's manager saying that they would like me to remove these links - so I have. A pity, but I won't go against an artist's wishes.
There is a double CD available - see http://www.amazon.co.uk/Daunt-Square-Elsewhere-Anthology-1982-88/dp/B000U0TARY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1231437525&sr=8-1 - that was compiled by the lads themselves and contains what is, in their opinion, the best of their work. It's less than six quid - go buy it.
And please don't email to ask for re-ups - the answer's no.
Microdisney - We Hate You South African Bastards (1982-1984)
This is a compilation of tracks from the four singles Microdisney made before signing to Beggars Banquet. It was later re-released under the title 'Love Your Enemies'.
01 - Helicopter Of The Holy Ghost 02 - Michael Murphy 03 - Love Your Enemies 04 - Fiction Land 05 - Pink Skinned Man 06 - Patrick Moore Says You Can't Sleep Here 07 - Hello Rascals 08 - Pretoria Quickstep(link - and file - deleted at artist's request)
Microdisney - Everybody Is Fantastic (1984)
The first *proper* Microdisney album.
01 - Idea 02 - A Few Kisses 03 - Escalator In The Rain 04 - Dolly 05 - Dreaming Drains 06 - I'll Be A Gentleman 07 - Moon 08 - Sun 09 - Sleepless 10 - Come On Over And Cry 11 - This Liberal Love 12 - Before Famine 13 - Everybody Is Dead(link - and file - deleted at artist's request)
Microdisney - The Clock Comes Down The Stairs (1986)
In many ways, I think, the best of the Microdisney albums.
01 - Horse Overboard 02 - Birthday Girl 03 - Past 04 - Humane 05 - Are You Happy 06 - Loftholdingswood 07 - Genius 08 - Begging Bowl 09 - A Friend With A Big Mouth 10 - Goodbye It's 1987 11 - And(link - and file - deleted at artist's request)
Microdisney - Crooked Mile (1987)
Starting to get more polished & less jagged, the bile is more sugary.
01 - Town To Town 02 - Angels 03 - Our Children 04 - Mrs. Simpson 05 - Hey Hey Sam 06 - Give Me All Your Clothes 07 - Armadillo Man 08 - Bullwhip Road 09 - And He Descended Into Hell 10 - Rack 11 - Big Sleeping House 12 - People Just Want To Dream(link - and file - deleted at artist's request)
Microdisney - 39 Minutes (1988)
The most 'commercial' of the albums, not necessarily the best.
01 - Singer's Hampstead Home 02 - High & Dry 03 - Send Herman Home 04 - Ambulance For One 05 - Soul Boy 06 - Back to the Old Town 07 - United Colours 08 - Gale Force Wind 09 - Herr Direktor 10 - Bluerings(link - and file - deleted at artist's request)
Microdisney - assorted singles (1984-1988)
These are B sides and extra tracks from 12" singles that didn't make it onto albums01 - Teddy Dogs 02 - 464 03 - Harmony Time 04 - Money For The Trams 05 - Bullwhip Road 06 - People Just Want To Dream 07 - Little Town In Ireland 08 - Bullwhip Road (live) 09 - Genius (live) 10 - Brother Olaf 11 - She Only Gave In To Her Anger 12 - I Can't Say No 13 - No I Can't Say 14 - Can't I Say No (link - and file - deleted at artist's request)
Microdisney - John Peel sessions (1984-1985)
These tracks are ripped from my old cassettes of Peel sessions and so poor-ish quality. There was a 'Microdisney Peel sessions' CD (of which this picture shows the sleeve), but this isn't it - I don't have it and have no idea where to get it from.
01 - This Liberal Love 02 - Escalator In The Rain 03 - Dreaming Drains 04 - Dolly 05 - Everybody Is Dead 01 - Teddy Dogs 02 - Dear Rosemary 03 - 464 01 - Birthday Girl 02 - Genius 03 - Horse Overboard 04 - Loftholdingswood 05 - A Friend With A Big Mouth 06 - Goodbye It's 1987(link - and file - deleted at artist's request)
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Oooops - sorry
Claire Hamill, part two
Please don't give me grief about the bitrates. These are *my* rips, of *my* vinyl, that *I* have done for *my* purposes and that I am choosing to share. I listen to these tracks on my iPod, often on the move, with my in-ear buds, and for *my* purposes 128 is just fine and dandy. Plus, the albums are 30 years old, the turntable and stylus probably about the same, and I'm recording them via the MIC In socket on the front of my PC. I wouldn't get Hi-Fi out of that setup whatever the bitrate, even though I did spend time cleaning up the worst of the pops & crackles.
None of this stuff is available on CD, you're lucky to be able to hear it at all. If you like the albums enough to gripe about the bitrate, go on Amazon or Ebay or Gemm or Netsounds and pay ludicrous prices for the vinyl, then rip your own MP3s. Otherwise accept what you're getting from me for free.
(Dismounts high horse) And now, for the people on the Sandy Denny list (who regularly trade old tapes of *appalling* quality and are happy to get what they can), the third and fourth Claire Hamill albums.
Claire Hamill - Stage Door Johnnies (1974)
01 - We Gotta Get Out Of This Place
02 - Oh Daddy
03 - All The Cakes She Baked Him
04 - Trying To Work It Out
05 - Geronimo's Cadillac
06 - Something To Believe In
07 - You Know How Ladies Are
08 - You Take My Breath Away
09 - Go Now
10 - Luck Of The Draw
11 - Stage Door Johnnies
Claire Hamill - Abracadabra (1975)
(Gorgeous picture, eh? Some babe...)
01 - Rory
02 - Forbidden Fruit
03 - One Sunday Morning
04 - I Love You So
05 - For Sailors
06 - Jamaica
07 - Under A Piece Of Glass
08 - You Dear
09 - Maybe It Is
10 - In So Deep
11 - Celluloid Heroes
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
November Clouds My Eyes
Someone on the Sandy Denny mailing list mentioned Claire Hamill, and I realised that I hadn't any of her stuff on CD. A quick squizz through Amazon and other Web sites told me that her earlier stuff isn't available on CD, and so I'm going to post her first four albums here.
I was a huge fan of Island records in the 60s and 70s, believing that they could do no wrong, and I bought loads of their albums just on spec. Claire Hamill I discovered like this, and though I'm not sure that they've aged well I still think they're pretty good. Oh - and don't be put off by the opening 'Baseball Blues', it's not a good indicator of what's to come.
Claire Hamill - One House Left Standing (1971)
01 - Baseball Blues
02 - The Man Who Cannot See Tomorrow's Sunshine
03 - Consummation
04 - The River Song
05 - Where Are Your Smiles At
06 - When I Was A Child
07 - Urge For Going
08 - Flowers For Grandma
09 - The Phoenix
10 - Smile Your Blues Away
Claire Hamill - October (1973)
01 - Island
02 - To The Stars
03 - Stay Tonight
04 - Wall To Wall Carpeting
05 - Speedbreaker
06 - I Don't Get Any Older
07 - Warrior Of The Water
08 - The Artist
09 - Baby What's Wrong With You
10 - Sidney Gorgeous
11 - Crying Under the Bedclothes
12 - Peaceful
Friday, November 03, 2006
The Sweet Alternative...
...was Irma Cetas, also known as Melanie Harrold and Joanna Carlin. As Irma she sang with the Hank Wangford Band, but before that she'd been with an early incarnaton of the Albion Band and before that made two solo albums - one as Mel and one as Joanna.
When The Albion Band came off their tour (this would be about 1977?), Mel was going to put a band together and was looking for a bass player. Barry Dransfield, who I knew quite well and was also in that Albions lineup, arranged for me to go round to her flat to audition but by the time I got there I think her regular bass player had returned and been offered the gig.
She gave me a copy of each of her solo albums and I unblocked her sink before I left.
Both these albums are nice, each has some outstanding tracks and some filler. She had - and still has as far as I know - a great voice.
Joanna Carlin - Fancy That
Dancing In The Dark
Laziest Gal In Town
Anyway My Guru Says No
I Want Some Sugar In My Bowl
I Wanna Roo You
There's Something In The Way He Moves
The First Time
Melanie Harrold - Blue Angel
I Live In The City
Beautiful And Damned
Picture On My Wall
Hard Luck Stories
Simply I Love You
What Are Friends For