Thursday, 8 November 2012

Top Ten Albums That Start With An Instrumental*

* (but aren't completely instrumental albums)

Putting an instrumental at the very beginning of your album must always be a fairly bold move to make, a) because most groups/artists are characterised by the sound of their lead vocal as well as the music and b) there's a risk that your listener might get bored while still waiting for someone to open their mouth 2 minutes in. Hence album instrumentals, if any, are usually tucked away usually towards the end of an album or just not included as considered too 'risky'.
Not so in the case of these little gems, where the instrumental-as-openers are so strong they don't need a voice to make them interesting and in most cases they even enhance the listening pleasure, acting as a kind of overture to the album proper.
Listen on then punters to this set of gems... individual tracks have a play button thing to link to youtube sound and vision, or you should even see a little player at the bottom of the page which will include the whole lot.
So microphones to one side, air guitars/synths/drum-kits at the ready and off we go....

1. Ultravox - Vienna  (Astradyne)

2. Small Faces - Ogden's Nut Gone Flake (Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake)

3. Gary Numan - The Pleasure Principle (Airlane)

4. St. Etienne - Tiger Bay (Urban Clearway)

5. OMD - Junk Culture (Junk Culture)

6. David Bowie - Low (Speed of Life)

7. Air - Moon Safari (La Femme d'Argent)

8. Japan - Oil On Canvas (Oil On Canvas)

9. John Foxx And The Maths - The Shape Of Things (Spirus)

10. Kraftwerk - Radio Activity (Geiger Counter)

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


Emerson, Lake and Palmer doing the wondrous Fanfare for the Common Man on German telly back in 1977. Used to love this, mostly because of the lead keyboard and the fact that it's classical music turned into something more rock/pop.
They do two more numbers on this clip too, the second which features a rather frightened looking real tiger.

I started visiting Germany in 1979 and the 'kidz' were still dressing like those in the audience. No kidding.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

"Are you all sitty comftybold two-square on your botty?"

The Small Faces perform Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake on Colour Me Pop, BBC2, 1968. The only performance of the full album (albeit a little bit reduced) although thankfully features the legendary Stanley Unwin as narrator.
Deep joy!

Monday, 5 November 2012

C4 @ 30

30 years ago, the advent of Channel 4 was something which really did get us excited back then. After nigh on twenty years of only two or three TV cahannels (seems very strange now) there was something new and which made all sorts of promises about exciting new programmes and stuff. I was in university college hall of residence at the time and as I remember our communal telly couldn't pick it up at first.
But some months later a regular Friday tea-time fixture was flagship music show The Tube, which had so many special moments..including this one:

I've no idea if it's still cutting-edge TV now or not, but it certainly set a trend back then as an alternative channel for the shiny new 80s. Happy Birthday Channel 4.