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music news politics rock n roll years

fifty three years ago

a couple of posts ago in this series which covered 1962-63 i did an analysis of the uk singles charts for those years. this time for my text covering this post i thought i would do a little analysis of the uk album charts of 1965. top of the charts in this period was dominated by the beatles the rolling stones and the sound of music. the beatles with 3 albums beatles for sale, help! and rubber soul, the stones with their 1st 3 albums.

but to me the main story is that of bob dylan. i think there was only 1 week when he got to number one in the album charts that year but all 6 of the albums that reach to the end of 1965 were at some point in the top 20 and frequently 3 or 4 of them at a time. the key thing i think was the release of bringing it all back home in march which was a revolutionary album that changed the world of pop music – the concept of having a serious lyric with a rock and roll format song with a beat to it.

as for the sound of music it’s another film i’ve never watched but the soundtrack album is the only one of all the albums i’ve referred to in this post that i actually own a vinyl copy of other than highway 61 revisited.

here’s the 1965 edition of rock and roll years –

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music rock n roll years

The Missing Years No 1

So far I have kept a steady consistent stream in my posting of the Rock & Roll Years series. But as I have earlier alluded there are gaps in my collection and sadly a significant gap in that 1962 and 1963 are both missing. I have always thought that these would have been 2 of the most interesting years in that it was during these 2 years that something started to happen with the chart pop music. If you look at the promoters who took charge of the early British bands then in some ways nothing much was different but there was a sudden surge of cultural creativity that – for a while at least – changed the nature of the entertainment business.

Actually most of 1962 was pretty much like the late fifties and the first couple of years of the new decade. It wasn’t until the twenty-second of November of that year that The Beatles got to number twenty-three in the UK charts with Love Me Do. Nothing of that nature had ever got into the popular music charts before – obviously it was based on the music that had been coming from the USA – Chuck Berry, Everly Brothers above all Buddy Holly, but it took elements from all of those and more and did them in a different way. This didn’t completely come from nowhere – it had been building up for a while but Epstein made sure that his band was the first to break through. Love Me Do stayed in the charts for several weeks but never got higher than seventeenth. But two months later they released Please Please Me which got to number three in the charts by the sixth of February, number two a couple of weeks after that. Then on the twenty-first of March, Gerry and the Pacemakers jumped into the chart at number twenty with How Do You Do It?. After three weeks that song got to number one which so far The Beatles had failed to do. But the week after that – April the eighteenth 1963 – The Beatles brought out their third charting single, From Me To You which jumped into the charts at number twenty-three and in two weeks knocked Gerry and the Pacemakers off the number one slot and stayed there for the next six weeks until Gerry and the Pacemakers took it back with their next hit I Like It.

Other British groups to make it into the charts in 1963 were Freddie and the Dreamers, The Hollies, Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, The Searchers and by the end of the year, The Dave Clark Five. On August the first The Rolling Stones’ single Come On reached number thirty-two but this early sortie wasn’t followed up until I Wanna Be Your Man was released and started moving upwards in November.

In the meantime The Beatles continued to dominate with She Loves You entering at number twelve in August and reaching top place two weeks later, dropping to number three in October but back at number one by the end of November.

So that’s what’s been missed. Here’s the Rock and Roll Years 1964 for your consideration

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geology mixes music quotations

granite mix 11

I think I mentioned before that this mix was to be a mix of things I’ve recorded from the radio over the years. It’s not something I do any more I can’t imagine spending the time. But I used to starting in the late 60s. At first it was to quarter-inch reel to reel. Then it was onto cassette which was what I recorded most of my radio recordings. Later I started to use mini-disc but by then I’d already slowed down in my recording habits.

The quality of the tracks is not brilliant in that they were recorded off the radio mainly onto cassette then in some cases kept for many years then digitised so there’s some crackle a bit of buzz and probably cases where there’s a subtle pitch change. I have mainly tried to make them live recordings in the radio studio or out at a gig but they may not all be – well one’s part of a dj set, that’s sort of live but there’s a couple I’m not sure about.

Thomas Morley was organist at St Paul’s Cathedral and composed many madrigals. He almost certainly knew Shakespeare as they lived nearby and London wasn’t that big back then apparently. He certainly wrote music for one of the playwright’s songs in a famous play. I don’t know who wrote the words for this song they are good.

Sleep, slumb’ring eyes; give rest unto my cares,
My cares, the infants of my troubled brain;
My cares, surpris’d with black despair,
Doth the assertion of my hopes restrain.
Sleep, then, my eyes, O sleep and take your rest,
To banish sorrow from a free born breast.

My freeborn breast, born free to sorrow’s smart,
Brought in subjection by my wand’ring eye,
Whose trait’rous sight conceiv’d that to my heart
For which I wail, I sob, I sigh, I die.
Sleep, then, my eyes, disturb’d of quiet rest,
To banish sorrow from my captive breast.

My captive breast, stung by these glist’ring stars,
These glist’ring stars, the beauty of the sky,
That bright black sky which doth the sunbeams bar
From her sweet comfort on my heart’s sad eye.
Wake, then, my eyes, true partners of unrest,
For sorrow still must harbour in my breast.

From a live concert of Paco Peña one of my favourite guitarists accompanied by another guitarist whose name I don’t know unfortunately. And I don’t know enough to say what type of piece this is siguiriyas or what have you.

Next is The Chemical Brothers well sort of it’s more like The Beatles really but it was a great moment when I heard this Essential Mix set one Saturday night in about 1996. Really you need to have more context than I’ve given here.

I was fortunate to see Paco Peña roughly around the time of the earlier recording and that is also true of this track by Oregon. I’m sure that the set on the recording is pretty much the same set that they did when I saw them in December 1990 at Hope Chapel.

This song by The Fall is taken from a radio session on the programme Mixing It which must have been sometime in 2005. Midnight In Aspen is the story of a dying Hunter S Thompson. I’ve got a better Fall radio session from an 80s John Peel programme but later on I’m using another Peel session. Anyway this is better sound quality.

I can’t remember when I taped this concert by Tadao Sawai but he died in 1997 so it must have been before then. The wikipedia page I have linked to only lists 1 album to his name which can’t be right. There are fortunately 2 albums of his on Itunes and for slightly less than 15 quid you can buy them both. Actually I might just do that.

From a Lou Reed gig broadcast on the radio in about 199? this is a version of A Dream which has Lou doing the vocals rather than John Cale who did them on the album (Songs For Drella) and the filmed performance of the album. I believe the words are taken from Warhol‘s diaries which I haven’t read but I will buy the book one day – gee wouldn’t that be great?

The Schnittke has a very quiet beginning – it’s a short piece and it’s very beautiful in a crystalline way. Without having listened to a great deal of his music I admire him greatly and I have got the underlying philosophy of his work and in a way shamelessly appropriated it myself. I can’t tell for sure whether I’ve included a full work here or just an excerpt of one, but I don’t see it matters and I hope he would agree with me

The oldest recording is this John Peel session which I did not record when it was first aired in about 1971 but later in the 80s when it was repeated. This session was issued on vinyl I believe in the Peel Sessions series and later there was a cd. Both formats are quite rare now. Syd‘s Two Of A Kind was only known to be recorded on this show – you can also find this on a compilation.

Finally a 1991 live concert recorded at the Royal Festival Hall. This was part 1 of the encore. Keith Jarrett is a very serious man and musician.

here’s the mix

Granite Mix 11
Artist Title Comment
Thomas Morley Sleep Slumb’ring Eyes Unknown performers
Paco Peña Unknown See notes above
Chemical Brothers Chemical Beats/Tomorrow Never Knows Excerpt from Essential Mix
Oregon Unknown Live circa 1990
The Fall Midnight In Aspen Mixing It session
Tadao Sawai Unknown See notes above
Lou Reed A Dream See notes above
Alfred Schnittke Voices Of Nature? See notes above
Syd Barrett Two Of A Kind John Peel session
Keith Jarrett Somewhere Over The Rainbow See notes above