Tuesday, 24 February 2009
So, after my first post, i got into a discussion with a dear friend of mine in regards to always trying to finding the musical source, or as he put it, "the original sauce." For example he wouldn't want to listen to Lonnie Donnegan when he could listen to Leadbelly instead.
And i understand. As an adolescent i was an obsessed with Japan and David Sylvian, but then i heard Roxy Music's 'Song For Europe' and felt a little silly for spending so much precious time on something that was quite frankly, pretty derivative.
A few years ago i got kind of preoccupied with working out who was the originator of certain styles of music, in fact there was a Magic Alex band joke that the Beatles invented everything (Helter Skelter - "This is where they invented heavy metal!" I Feel Fine "This is where they invented feedback!" Your Mother Should Know "This is where they invented musical post-modernism!"). But back further i went, pouring over Chuck Berry b-sides, Buddy Holly out-takes and doo-wop obscurities.
Now however, i'm feeling that, if it's good, it's good. i dont care if they were first or they were last. How does it make me feel? I know for example that whenever the opening bars of ELO's Mr Blue Sky begin i always feel about 150% happier than i did minutes earlier -and let's face it Lynne was no pioneer.
So, in the spirit of this here are three brilliant songs by wholly unoriginal artists.
First up, The Left Banke certainly weren't original, appropriating from The Beatles (you again!), Brill Building and The Byrds in equal measures. No matter, please do tell me if there's a more beautiful 3 minutes than Pretty Ballerina. Listen.
The Left Banke - Pretty Ballerina.mp3
Secondly, The Dovers, What Am I Gonna Do is, in my humble opinion the most underheard and therefore underrated pop single of all time. Like Phil Spector producing the Swinging Blue Jeans but 500 million times better than that sounds
dovers - b - what am i going to do.mp3
Lastly, the Perfect Disaster, what a band. Some would accuse Magic Alex of ripping off The Velvet Underground, but my god this band did it pretty much better than anybody else and B52 is as good as anything Lou and co put out.
'Go, Bo Diddley. Go home"
Monday, 16 February 2009
An experiment. A need to share. Self promotion. Ego.
There are a few reasons why i've chosen to do this. Post music that i think people may enjoy hearing. In 1996 when myself and John Mac started DJ'ing under the name of our band Magic Alex the idea was to embrace rampant eclecticism and in doing so create a place where people could come and dance with no expectations. Of course now this kind of musical free-for-all is the norm, but back then the idea of playing the likes of Lonnie Donegan, Lil Louis, The Upsetters, Sabres Of Paradise and AC/DC, The Impressions and Tom Tom Club back to back just DID NOT HAPPEN.
Some hipsters used to sneer that we were no more than Wedding DJ's because with absolutely no sense of irony we'd happily spin Shaggy's Oh Carolina or John Paul Young's Love Is In The Air whilst some joy seekers were confused by our love of all that was being released on Morr Music or our absolute need to play Neu!'s Hallogallo EVERY time we played. But, by the time we got a residency at Hospital Radio in North London circa 2000 most had cottoned on that the idea was to have FUN.
Ok, so let's post some Mp3's and see if this thing works.
First up a bloody fantastic, silly little sci-fi number by The Alan Parsons Project which i used to groove to as a 14 year old when everybody else i knew was digging into either The Style Council, Duran Duran or Howard Jones.
1 I robot.mp3
Second up is a song to get any party started, Vicious Rap by Tanya "Sweet Tee" Winley
and finally, the greatest piece of recorded music i've ever heard, The Flamingo's I Only Have Eyes For You.
See you next time