VISUAL OF THE WEEK
Now that’s a magazine cover. Love the Cilla type, too. And Sharon Tandy! Atlantic’s marketing guys knew how to use white space. Both of these from the Rock’s Backpages archive… I have Sharon Tandy’s single from ’67 of “Stay With Me”, but I think it doesn’t quite hit the heights of the Lorraine Ellison original, produced (and written) by Jerry Ragavoy. Philly’s Queen of Soul, indeed – a performance for the ages.
The 50th anniversary of Otis Blue is being celebrated by Rhino Records with a deluxe edition. There’s a search on to find out just who it is in the cover photo. Rhino’s press release: “The photograph was a stock image licensed for use on the cover, which was standard at the time. Recently, the photographer, Peter Sahula, told Stax Museum archivist Tim Sampson that “I’m almost sure this is Dagmar [Dreger], but I can’t find any others from that shoot, and her face is in shadow. So it’s hard for me even to be sure…” Sahula further went on to explain that if it wasn’t Dagmar, it was almost certainly Nico, the enigmatic singer for The Velvet Underground, who was also an occasional model for Mr Sahula’s shoots. So, using a combination of Otis Redding’s Facebook reach (strange concept, no? – Ed) and other online efforts, it is hoped that the worldwide community can find Ms Dreger to confirm this. Join the search by following @OtisRedding on Facebook or Twitter, and contribute information with the hashtag #FindDagmar.”
With a mighty bound, a favourite Bruce Springsteen bootleg springs free of storage and is quickly digitised. In the music player on the right you’ll find one of my favourite ever Bob covers. As Michael Hann wrote in The Guardian a few years back, “Extended runs through “Kitty’s Back”, “New York City Serenade” and “Rosalita”, one of the most vivid expressions of joy rock has ever produced, highlight both the incredible understanding of the band, with instinct supplemented by hours of hard graft, and their empathy for their leader’s needs. But for all the epicry, the covers here show the true heart of the E Street Band: Harold Dorman’s “Mountain of Love”, a 1960 rock’n’roll throwaway, is given a treatment so overwhelming it sounds like a showstopper. Only some problems with sound quality prevent this eclipsing any official Springsteen live release.”
TWO SONGS THAT MADE A GREAT SOUNDTRACK…
to driving across town with money for the builders – Quincy Jones’ “Money Runner” (excellent wah-wah and groove) and ZZ Top’s “I Gotsta Get Paid” (a cover of a famous 90’s Houston hip-hop track called ”25 Lighters”). If you haven’t heard this, do. It’s insane. Gnarly riffs, fantastically bluesy breaks, a mighty groove. Poor video, tho.
COME ON YOU O’s
I had kind of hoped that I’d see out my days without ever again being reminded of Chicory Tip’s “Son of My Father”, but it was not to be. At the first game of Orient’s season, a chant started not long after the kick off to a tune I couldn’t place. A couple of more times and I had it: “Son of My Father”, a particularly egregious example of early Seventies Production-Line Pop, notable as the “first UK number one single to prominently feature a synthesizer, in this case a Moog”, playing a particularly hideous riff. Apparently a terrace favourite around the country for years (what do I know?), it was written by Georgio Moroder, and under his own name was a rare miss. The lyrics. Well, the lyrics are fine: “Son of my father / Molded, I was folded, I was preform-packed / Son of my father / Commanded, I was branded in a plastic vac / Surrounded and confounded by statistic facts”. [By the way, in Orient news, it’s been a great start to the now-League Two club’s season, and if any Premiership scouts are reading, check out wing back Sean Clohessy, a player who combines a fantastic attitude with real skill – not only terrific defensively, but also involved in virtually every goal.]
REVIEW OF THE WEEK
This reminded me of the classic Charles Shaar Murray NME review of Lee Hazlewood’s Poet, Fool or Bum album, which was one word shorter. Bum.