The Slits

The Slits

Working through all of my books, it became time to read about The Slits.  The only book I have ever been able to find is “Typical Girls? The Story Of The Slits” by Zoe Street Howe (Omnibus Press).

I was intrigued by the famous “mud tits” cover of a fairly major label LP “Cut” (Island Records UK) – but the music was good!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Slits

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ari_Up

At nearly the same time as “Cut”, there was a less than legitimate “Live” LP that was around – “Typical Girls Live in Cincinnati & San Francisco”, but it seemed to sound good, too.

Also at the same time, there was an LP of ‘demos’ that was around on Y Records, the label famous for having been set up by Dick O’Dell.  It doesn’t have  a proper cover, just the “Y” logo and a bunch of names scrawled on it.

Much later, there was a 2nd proper LP “Return Of The Giant Slits” (Epic Records UK), which, to my obviously limited knowledge, has only ever been released on CD in Japan (with a bonus track, “Earthbeat” sung in Japanese).  Not as good as “Cut”, but still rather good.

Flash forward many years:  Ari Up’s “Dread More Dan Dead” CD appeared in front of me in Toronto, Canada, about 2005/6, as she had been “touring”.

I never remember seeing them play around here, perhaps they did?

Spooky Tooth

Happy birthday Mike Kellie (drummer of Spooky Tooth)!

I just love Spooky Tooth! And I have ever since “The Last Puff” came out!

7″                 ALL SEWN UP / AS LONG AS THE WORLD…                                       ISLAND UK        WIP 6168       1973 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

 

CD               BERLIN WALL pirate                                                                                    PIRATE JPN      97-C-010        1997 13 TRKS stereo CD pirate

 

LP                BEST OF, THE                                                                                               ISLAND UK        ILPS 9368      1974 13 TRKS stereo LP collection

 

7″                 FEELIN’ BAD / I’VE GOT ENOUGH HEARTACHES                               A&M US              1110                1969? 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

 

LP                IT’S ALL ABOUT                                                                                            ISLAND UK        ILPS 9080      1968 10 TRKS stereo LP

 

SHM-CD     IT’S ALL ABOUT                                                                                            ISLAND JPN      UICY-20032   2010 15 TRKS stereo SHM-CD

 

CD               LAST PUFF, THE                                                                                          ISLAND DE        12857.2          1988? 7 TRKS stereo CD

LP                LAST PUFF, THE                                                                                          ISLAND UK        ILPS 9117      1970 7 TRKS stereo LP

 

7″                 SON OF YOUR FATHER / I’VE GOT ENOUGH HEARTACHE              ISLAND UK        WIP 6060       1969 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

 

CD               SPOOKY TWO                                                                                               A&M US              CD 3124         1988 8 TRKS stereo CD

LP                SPOOKY TWO                                                                                               A&M US              SP 4194         1969 8 TRKS stereo LP

 

7″                 THAT WAS ONLY YESTERDAY / OH! PRETTY WOMAN                      ISLAND EU        WIP 6058       1968? 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

 

7″                 THAT WAS ONLY YESTERDAY / WAITIN’ FOR THE WIND promo     A&M US              1144                1968? 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

 

7″                 TWO TIME LOVE                                                                                          GOODEAR UK  EAR 109         1974 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

 

LP                WITNESS                                                                                                       ISLAND UK        ILPS 9255      1973 9 TRKS stereo LP

 

LP                YOU BROKE MY HEART, SO I BUSTED YOUR JAW                             A&M US              SP 4385         1973 8 TRKS stereo LP

Luther Grosvenor

Happy birthday Luther Grosvenor (guitarist of Spooky Tooth / Stealer’s Wheel / Mott The Hoople) (1949) and Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna) (1940).

For myself, I encountered the debut solo album by Luther Grosvenor when it was a new release, in the fall of 1971. That makes me about 13 years old, starting junior high school. I had already written to Island Records in the UK, and they sent me a catalogue (“The Island Big Book of Records”) and, alas, an older catalogue – which I cut-up and placed about my bedroom walls!

 

Well, “Under Open Skies” is a bit of an Island Records festival! Liner notes by Traffic’s Jim Capaldi! And glorious members of Mott The Hoople and Spooky Tooth (the group Grosvenor was most closely associated with)! And an appearance by Michael Giles of King Crimson! So, if one was a teenaged Island Records fan, this record was a ‘must have’ LP!

 

As reviews of the album clearly state, this is not necessarily a ‘guitarist’s album’, and it’s well before Luther became a Mott The Hoople player. With a wonderful cover shot by Dick Polak, you can look at who is on this LP and know it will be good. Still very much ‘men had to have long hair’ time; Luther’s yellow shirt is lovely, too. But it is Mr. Polak’s inside photo that is really impressive: Luther standing under a large tree, probably on a farm somewhere near Evesham (where both Mr. Grosvenor and Mr. Capaldi were from), in England.

 

Yes, it can be classified as ‘rock music’, British, “Island Records” early 70’s style. Produced and engineered by Tony Platt and ‘help’ from The Move’s Trevor Burton might begin to tell you this is a pop / rock LP. It’s not ‘heavy’, as such – with the success of groups like Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, whether or not a record could be described as ‘heavy’ or not was a big deal in 1971.

 

The songs are wonderful. You will eagerly await the next track, just by who’s playing on it! And, yes, there is a UK 45 to ‘promote’ this LP, “Here Comes The Queen” b/w “Heavy Day”, a non-LP song that is thankfully on the current CD issue of this wonderful LP (via Gott Discs, in the UK). There is also a Demon / Edsel CD of it, but it’s missing “Heavy Day”. The original innersleeve is the standard blue Island Records sleeve, no lyrics or anything. Additionally, it was released in the US on Island Records via Capitol Records, presumably to no avail.

 

Luther Grosvenor never came to L.A. to play a show (that I am aware of). The follow-up took ages, “Floodgates” (CD) in 1996, so only 25 years! I remain a big fan of “Under Open Skies” by Luther Grosvenor, the guitarist from Spooky Tooth / Stealer’s Wheel / Mott The Hoople AKA Ariel Bender.

 

Thanks for the music, sir!

Emerson Lake & Palmer 45’s

Happy birthday to Paul Simonon (of The Clash) (1955) and Dave Clark (of the Dave Clark Five) (1942).

Emerson, Lake & Palmer 45’s!

7″                  BRAIN SALAD SURGERY (Excerpts) flexi                                             MANTICORE UK   LYN 2762

1973 2 TRKS flexidisc, with pic sleeve

7″                  FANFARE FOR THE COMMON MAN – PART 1                                     ATLANTIC US       3398

1977 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

7″                  FANFARE FOR THE COMMON MAN / BRAIN SALAD SURGERY    ATLANTIC UK       K 10946

1977 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

7″                  FROM THE BEGINNING (mono) / (stereo)                                             COTILLION US     44158

1972 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

7″                  FROM THE BEGINNING / LIVING SIN                                                    COTILLION US     45-44158

1972 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

7″                  JERUSALEM / WHEN THE APPLE BLOSSOMS IN THE…                 MANTICORE UK   K 13503

1973 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

7″                  LUCKY MAN (Edit) promo                                                                         COTILLION US     45-44106

1970 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

7″                  LUCKY MAN / FROM THE BEGINNING re-issue                                  ATLANTIC US       OS 13153

1980? 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, re-issue

7″                  LUCKY MAN / KNIFE-EDGE (PS)                                                            ISLAND NL            6014 041

1970 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7″                  NUTROCKER (mono) / (stereo)                                                               COTILLION US     44151

1972 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

7″                  NUTROCKER / GREAT GATES OF KIEV, THE                                      COTILLION US     44151

1972 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

7″                  NUTROCKER / GREAT GATES OF KIEV, THE (PS)                             ATLANTIC JPN     P-1128A

1972 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7″                  STONE OF YEARS (mono) / (stereo)                                                      COTILLION US     44131

1971 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

7″                  STONE OF YEARS / TIME AND A PLACE                                              COTILLION US     45-44131

1971 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

7″                  TAKE A PEBBLE (PS)                                                                                ATCO US               PR 176

1972 3 TRKS with pic sleeve, promo-only

7″                  TIGER IN A SPOTLIGHT (Live) / PETER GUNN (Live)                        ATLANTIC US       3641

1979 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

7″                  TIGER IN A SPOTLIGHT / ALL I WANT IS YOU                                     ATLANTIC US       3555

1978 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

 

Perhaps not the first group you think of, in terms of 45’s. I’ve been on the lookout for ELP 45’s for a few decades now. What I have managed to find is listed above. No, not going to discuss the solo Greg Lake or Keith Emerson 45’s today, just the stuff here.

 

Some of these were “around”, and stuff like the UK flexidisc were given to me by (the late) Tony Harrington. Mr. Harrington worked in some capacity for Manticore Records.

The Dutch 45 of “Lucky Man” b/w “Knife-Edge” was found in Concerto Records in Amsterdam. The “Stones Of Years” stock copy was found at Crossroads Music in Portland, OR last year. Somewhat needless to say, the “Nutrocker” Japanese 45 was found at a Disk Union in the Tokyo area.

Incredible String Band

Happy birthday Robin Williamson (of the Incredible String Band) (1943), singer / songwriter Lee Michaels (1945) and British guitarist Gary Boyle (of Isotope).

 

When did I first become aware of The Incredible String Band? Reading about them (but not hearing them) in a Hit Parader magazine? Or maybe I just saw their stuff (LP’s) filed in the “Folk” section of hippie record stores? Or both?

 

I seem to recall my route to them was not “direct”, I believe I bought a 4-track tape of “Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter” and had to stick a mechanical device into the cartridge to get it to play in an 8-track tape player, in my parents car (a Lincoln Continental that came with a ‘Lear Jet’ 8-track tape player). And even at age 10 or 11, I knew how to get music off of a variety of sources. Thus far, I do not believe I ever heard them on radio – but there’s only so many LP’s released around this time. What on Earth do they sound like?

 

Paul McCartney says he likes them. Oh, they must be good / OK. Any band with a LP title like “Liquid Acrobat As Regards The Air” HAS to be good, right? An older brother of a school friend plays me that album, and I am hooked.

 

So, without really understanding the machinations involved in getting I.S.B. music to my youthful years, I carried on. ‘Blues rock’ was more prevalent, at that time – bands like The Groundhogs, The Edgar Broughton Band etc. But I could still find the time and place for the I.S.B.! Oh, wait – they’ve broken up? They’re scientologists? They hate each other? There’s Mike Heron and Robin Williamson solo albums already?

 

An Elektra (US) monthly sampler LP told me what I needed to know about the debut Mike Heron LP (“Smiling Men With Bad Reputations”), with a glorious song “Call Me Diamond”. It certainly didn’t hurt that the other song Elektra chose to ‘show off’ Mr. Heron’s work was “Warm Heart Pastry”, a track where he is backed by no less than The Who in 1970!

 

The I.S.B. has concluded and it takes me a few years to get UK Elektra or Island pressings of most all of their albums. I bought everything I could find on both Mike and Robin, though there’s not all that much stuff. I seem to have 4 or 5 Robin Williamson LP’s, but they’re US pressings, mostly. The Mike Heron stuff is entirely UK pressings, but the debut album is more impressive to me, still! And am I done collecting them? By no means, I only have 1 x Elektra 45! And no Island (UK) 45’s! And maybe missing a few UK pressings of earlier albums.

 

Yes, it would be considered ‘folk’ music; yes, some of it is very electric. As Williamson is Scottish, it’s not a million miles from that era of Donovan work, but that is not how I would classify it. It’s it’s own thing. And YES I am a fan of Dr. Strangely Strange, the Irish band who loved The Incredible String Band, but that’s another tale to tell.

Grace Jones

I have been reading Grace Jones’ book, “I’ll Never Write My Memoirs”. It is interesting to me. All her Jamaican adventures, her New York years, her Paris years. I do not remember now what the first thing I ever heard by her was – maybe a 12” single from “Nightclubbing” or “Warm Leatherette”?

 

“Jungle Fever” by Jean Paul Goude definitely supplemented my interest in Grace Jones. What a book!

 

Her first three albums form kind of a ‘disco trilogy’ (“Portfolio”, “Fame” and “Muse”); but it’s the next three albums that I find interesting: “Warm Leatherette”, “Nightclubbing” and “Living My Life”.

 

“Warm Leatherette” (1980) really shows off how to pick cover version songs for a ‘new wave’ experience: “Warm Leatherette” was a song The Normal (Mr. Daniel Miller, Mr. Mute Records), “Love In The Drug” was by Roxy Music! “Private Life” was by The Pretenders! She was also working with songwriter Barry Reynolds; he gets to star on her LP’s soon! Wally Badarou!

 

With the ‘dream team’ still assembled, “Nightclubbing” (1981) was recorded. OMG! Grace covering Iggy Pop! I believe Sting wrote “Demolition Man” for Grace. Flash & The Pan! But easily the most interesting track here is a Barry Reynolds / Marianne Faithfull original, “I’ve Done It Again”. When they originally sold cassettes of this LP in England, the Type II chrome tape came with a full side of blank tape!

 

My original LP for the third of this trilogy came with a lyrics sheet, indicating only 1 x cover version, “The Apple Stretching” by Melvin Van Peebles – the rest of the songs of “Living My Life” (1982) are by Grace Jones and / or Barry Reynolds! I also have a U.K. picture disc of “Living My Life”! Mysteriously, the song “Living My Life” isn’t on this album, it’s only on a 12” single (or these days, the ‘Compass Point’ 2CD set).

 

This 2nd trilogy of albums is really amazing. So far, only “Nightclubbing” has been expanded into a 2LP or 2CD Deluxe set – but I expect all of them could be expanded to include 12” singles etc.

 

I continued to follow Grace Jones’ music through her association with ZTT Records, and later Capitol Records. The later albums are ‘of merit’, but do not have the same effect as the (2nd) Island Records trilogy.

 

And a moment of silence for “Grace Jones: A One Man Show”, as of November 2015, neither a DVD or Blu-ray exists, to my humble knowledge. It’s a fascinating piece of work, as my Beta Hi-Fi and Laser Disc attest. There should be a Criterion Grace Jones boxed set, eh?

Free

Happy birthday guitarist Paul Kossof (of Free) (1950)

Like most people, I first latched onto Free when “All Right Now” hit it big, here. Yes, they are better than that big hit single, but it is a good calling card for them. I never aspired to “collect” Free, but I ended up with some nice items. And, yes, I also ended up with the Kossof Kirke Tetsu & Rabbit LP & some Backstreet Crawler LP’s.

CD               ALL RIGHT NOW                                                                                       ISLAND DE          562 466.2

1999 2 TRKS stereo CD Single CD5

 

7″                 ALL RIGHT NOW (Edit) (US) promo                                                      A&M US                1206

1970 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo; edited

7″                 ALL RIGHT NOW (Edit) / STEALER, THE promo                                A&M US                1720-S

1972 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo for “Best of Free” (’72)

7″                 ALL RIGHT NOW (PS) re-issue                                                              ISLAND UK          IS 486

1991 2 TRKS with pic sleeve (878808.7)

7″                 ALL RIGHT NOW / MOUTHFUL OF GRASS                                         ISLAND UK          WIP 6082

1970 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

7″                 ALL RIGHT NOW / MOUTHFUL OF GRASS (US)                               A&M US                AM-1206

1970 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

7″                 ALL RIGHT NOW / MY BROTHER JAKE / WISHING WELL (PS)      ISLAND UK          IEP 6

1982 3 TRKS with pic sleeve, re-issue

12″               ALL RIGHT NOW pic disc                                                                        ISLAND UK          12 PIEP 6

1982 3 TRKS stereo 12″ picture disc

 

CD               FIRE AND WATER                                                                                     ISLAND UK          IMCD 284

2001 13 TRKS stereo CD

LP                FIRE AND WATER (Can)                                                                         POLYDOR CAN   2310 040

1970 7 TRKS stereo LP

LP                FIRE AND WATER (ES)                                                                            PHILIPS ES          6343 010

1970 7 TRKS stereo LP

 

CD               FREE                                                                                                            LILITH RU             LR 108

2006 11 TRKS stereo CD

 

LP                FREE & EASY, ROUGH & READY                                                          ISLAND DE          28243 ET

1976 11 TRKS stereo LP collection

 

LP                FREE LIVE!                                                                                                 ISLAND UK          ILPS 9160

1971 8 TRKS stereo LP Live album, gimmick cover

 

CD               FREE STORY, THE                                                                                    ISLAND JPN        PSCD 1016

1989 19 TRKS stereo CD collection

LP                FREE STORY, THE                                                                                    ISLAND UK          ISLD 4

1973 20 TRKS stereo 2LP collection, innersleeves, booklet

 

CD               HEARTBREAKER                                                                                      ISLAND UK          IMCD 81

1990? 8 TRKS stereo CD

 

LP                HIGHWAY                                                                                                   ISLAND UK          ILPS 9138

1970 9 TRKS stereo LP

LP                HIGHWAY (ES)                                                                                          ISLAND ES          6339 028

1970 9 TRKS stereo LP

 

CD               MILLENNIUM COLLECTION, THE                                                        A&M US                490735.2

2002 11 TRKS stereo CD collection

 

7″                 MY BROTHER JAKE / ONLY MY SOUL                                                 ISLAND UK          WIP 6100

1971 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

7″                 MY BROTHER JAKE / ONLY MY SOUL (DE) (PS)                               ISLAND DE          10157 AT

1971? 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7″                 MY BROTHER JAKE promo                                                                    A&M US                1276

1970? 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo-only

 

7″                 STEALER / LYING IN THE SUNSHINE promo                                    A&M US                1230-S

1969? 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

 

CD               TONS OF SOBS                                                                                         ISLAND JPN        UICY-9130

2001 18 TRKS Stereo CD Kami sleeve, 8 x bonus tracks

 

CD               WALK IN MY SHADOW – AN INTRODUCTION TO FREE                  ISLAND UK          IMCD 255

1998 14 TRKS stereo CD collection

 

12″               WISHING WELL                                                                                         ISLAND UK          12IS 221

1985 3 TRKS stereo 12″ with pic sleeve

7″                 WISHING WELL / LET ME SHOW YOU                                                 ISLAND UK          WIP 6146

1972 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

7″                 WISHING WELL / LET ME SHOW YOU (US)                                       ISLAND US          1212

1972 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

Spooky Tooth

Happy birthday to Spooky Tooth singer Mike Harrison (1945) and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad (1948).

 

I remember well the teaser advertisements saying “Spooky Tooth is coming”, probably about 1968 or 1969. I had no idea they were a British band, a beat group, a psychedelic band, whatsoever. I doubt I even saw their debut album, when it appeared on Bell Records in the US.

 

I finally heard them about 1970, with the superlative album “The Last Puff”. Sounds like a Joe Cocker record, only better written, better played, better sung! You have to know this album!

 

All these years pass on by, and I’m still looking for some Spooky Tooth stuff! There are STILL lots of 45’s I need! I’m getting there, but not quite…

 

7″                 ALL SEWN UP / AS LONG AS THE WORLD…                                       ISLAND UK         WIP 6168

1973 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

 

CD                BERLIN WALL pirate                                                                                    PIRATE JPN        97-C-010

1997 13 TRKS stereo CD pirate

 

LP                BEST OF, THE                                                                                               ISLAND UK         ILPS 9368

1974 13 TRKS stereo LP collection

 

LP                CEREMONY (with Pierre Henry)                                                                A&M US                SP 4225

1969 6 TRKS stereo LP

 

7″                 FEELIN’ BAD / I’VE GOT ENOUGH HEARTACHES                                A&M US                1110

1969? 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

 

LP                IT’S ALL ABOUT                                                                                            ISLAND UK         ILPS 9080

1968 10 TRKS stereo LP

SHM-CD      IT’S ALL ABOUT                                                                                            ISLAND JPN       UICY-20032

2010 15 TRKS stereo SHM-CD

 

CD                LAST PUFF, THE                                                                                          ISLAND DE         12857.2

1988? 7 TRKS stereo CD

LP                LAST PUFF, THE                                                                                          ISLAND UK         ILPS 9117

1970 7 TRKS stereo LP

 

7″                 SON OF YOUR FATHER / I’VE GOT ENOUGH HEARTACHE              ISLAND UK         WIP 6060

1969 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

 

CD                SPOOKY TWO                                                                                               A&M US                CD 3124

1988 8 TRKS stereo CD

LP                SPOOKY TWO                                                                                               A&M US                SP 4194

1969 8 TRKS stereo LP

 

CD                SUPERNATURAL FAIRYTALE (as “Art”)                                                   DROP OUT UK   DOCD 1987

1990? 12 TRKS stereo / mono CD Spooky Tooth

LP                SUPERNATURAL FAIRYTALE (as “Art”)                                                   ISLAND UK         ILP 967

1967 12 TRKS mono LP UK original edition

 

7″                 THAT WAS ONLY YESTERDAY / OH! PRETTY WOMAN                       ISLAND EU         WIP 6058

1968? 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

7″                 THAT WAS ONLY YESTERDAY / WAITIN’ FOR THE WIND promo      A&M US                1144

1968? 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

 

LP                WITNESS                                                                                                       ISLAND UK         ILPS 9255

1973 9 TRKS stereo LP

 

LP                YOU BROKE MY HEART, SO I BUSTED YOUR JAW                             A&M US                SP 4385

1973 8 TRKS stereo LP