An Evening of Music – 5th October 2019

Over the last few months, we’ve not listened to many records – Saturday evening is our usual time for it, but we’ve been listening to classical (the Proms) or some jazz on mp3. I had also been increasingly aware that I’ve been buying a fair few rock and pop LPs over the last 2-3 years, but hadn’t actually listened to a lot of them.

On Saturday we spent the afternoon cooking a couple of batches of food for the freezer (chilli con carne and an oxtail stew – I also have a fledgling food blog at if you’re interested), and I decided to put a couple of rock/pop LPs on. And it ended up with me putting more and more of them on – in fact we had music playing continuously from 2:30pm until about midnight!

So this is a rather long post, covering everything we listened to – all on LP, all second hand apart from one or two.

Ultravox – Vienna

I bought this a couple of weeks ago as part of a spectacularly good haul from the charity shop where I usually find the most interesting (and affordable) vinyl.
The single “Vienna” is one of my all-time favourite songs and would most likely feature in my Desert Island Discs, but apart from singles I don’t know their other music.

I was pleasantly surprised – it’s pretty good. The first side sounded more like a normal band (guitar/bass/drums) with the addition of keyboards as a lead instrument rather than filling in the background, which isn’t quite what I expected – although they were more of a New Wave band originally I suppose.
The second side was more electronic, including the title song obvs.

A keeper.

Cream – I Feel Free

It was on the news this morning that Ginger Baker had died, and I’d randomly decided to put this album on. He was an amazing drummer – not such an amazing person, but his drumming sounded like no-one else.

This one also came from the same charity shop haul the other week.
The cover amuses me – Clapton on an acoustic guitar and Baker on bongos isn’t exactly the most typical image of Cream that they could have selected!
This is a German compilation album, but has the songs you’d expect on it – White Room, I Feel Free, Badge, Sunshine of Your Love.

I don’t think I’ve actually listened to a whole Cream album before, but they were damn good!
Another keeper.

Little Feat – Feat Don’t Fail Me Now

This is *another* one from my fantastic charity shop haul – a bit more of a punt as I don’t really know their music. I’ve seen a couple of clips on Whistle Test compilations, but David Hepworth has cited them a few times as a great band so I bought it.

It’s actually good – kind of soft rock, what might now be know as Yacht Rock, but nice guitar work and a nice listen.
I wasn’t too sure how SWMBO would take to it, but she approved. She thought a couple of bit sounded like Status Quo – maybe, but unfortunately the late 70s Rockin All Over The World / If You Can’t Stand The Heat version of Quo…
I thought it was more akin to the Doobie Brothers.

Another keeper!

Santana – Abraxas

The last for now from my great charity shop haul – this was an 80s re-issue, and boy what a cover. Posting that on Facebook might get you a ban! I bought it on a bit of a punt again – it’s a well known album but I was worried it might be a bit too noodly.

But I was wrong – it’s a cracking album, some great guitar work.
Again, I wasn’t quite sure it would be SWMBO’s thing but she quite liked it – it’s relatively unusual for me to put 4 albums on and not be told to turn one of them off!

A keeper.

Neil Young – After The Goldrush

This is one I’d picked up a year or two ago, and was a pretty safe choice as I know SWMBO quite likes some of his stuff.

It’s a bit of a classic, a mix of acoustic and rock, great stuff. I could do with getting more of his LPs.
It’s odd to think that the piano on the album is played by Nils Lofgren, one of the best guitarists around!

My copy doesn’t sound great, sort of slightly thin and crackly – I need to find out whether it always sounds like that, or whether my copy is a bit knackered.

Various Artists – Nice Enough To Eat

I picked this up a couple of moths ago – the list of bands on it (all Island Records artists) caught my eye, and then I noticed that it was actually an Island pink label. I’ve got a couple of Fairport Convention albums on pink label and they’re reasonably valuable – I bought them for my dad about 25 years ago and inherited them when we brought his vinyl collection back to Bristol. This one isn’t valuable though – I did for a moment think I might have found a bargain!

There are quite a few bands on here that I’ve heard of but never actually heard any of their music, or maybe just the odd song – Jethro Tull, Mott the Hoople, Blodwyn Pig, King Crimson. Yes, I know…

It’s a good compilation, well worth a listen. And I quite enjoyed 21st Century Schizoid Man by King Crimson – I’d definitely buy In The Court Of The Crimson King if I saw it.

Jean-Michel Harre – Oxygene

Heading into the evening now, and we had a pre-dinner cocktail to this.

A lovely sound, especially when you realise it was released in 1977! His massive concerts in the 80s were completely OTT, but I do quite like some of his music – I’ve got Rendez-Vous as well.

Huey Lew and the News – Sports

A bit of pre-dinner cheese!

I picked this up ages ago and have never got round to listening to it – I used to listen to it a lot back in the 80s.
I know they’ve considered to be a bit naff, and perhaps not helped by being referenced in American Psycho, but it’s actually a pretty good album!

Various Artists – The Rock Machine Turns You On

I bought this and the next one from one of the my favourite tweeters about buying vinyl at charity shops and car boot sales –

I didn’t realise until I read about it in David Hepworth’s book “A Fabulous Creation” that this was basically the first big sampler album, released in 1968. It’s a damn good collection!

Various Artists – Rock Machine – I Love You

I assume this was a swift follow-up to the previous one, given it was released in the same year.

It’s good, but not quite as good as the other one – a couple of clunkers on the second side. It’s interesting to note that the version of Somebody To Love isn’t the Jefferson Airplane version – it’s still Grace Slick singing, but with The Great Society. This is the original, recorded before the better known Jefferson Airplane version.

Paul Simon – Graceland

I listened to this loads when I was younger, but hadn’t heard it for years before I played it last night.

It’s still a damn good album!

This one wasn’t bought second-hand – it was my dad’s.

Peter Gabriel – So

When I first met SWMBO at college over 30 years ago, she had a few CDs – Pink Floyd’s Delicate Sound of Thunder, U2’s Unforgettable Fire, Hothouse Flowers’ People, and this. There were probably others but I have no idea what they were offhand!

This is also still a mighty fine album – I was really rather impressed with it, not having heard it for a long time.

Simple Minds – Live In The City Of Light

Ah yes, this is another CD that SWMBO had when we first met!

We were deep into the evening by now, but our neighbours have never said anything on the rare occasions we’ve played music late at night so I didn’t worry about putting this double album on at almost 11pm.

This is a strange one – I absolutely loathed Simple Minds’ singles when I saw them on TOTP, but my cousins played me this when I stayed with them one time and I think it’s superb, and still good now. A great sound.

We were now rapidly approaching midnight, having listened to 14 albums of music straight off, so I decided to start wrapping things up with the only song I ever play off The Stone Roses classic debut album – I Am The Resurrection.
Bloody hell it’s good, just a stunning piece of music. I needs to be played really loud, but I’m not that much of an anti-social bastard so kept it down.

And the final song we played before crashing out for the night was something that we’ve probably played more than anything – SWMBO’s default choice for a Saturday night, Nick Drake’s Five Leaves Left from the Fruit Tree box set. Or to be more precise, just Saturday Sun, which a lovely mellow song, with a great vibraphone sound.

A great way to finish off a long and entertaining day of music!

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