Scribbler's Laid A Big Juicy Log

Curing insomnia since November 2000
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This blog has been following the ups and downs of my life since November 4th 2000. Amazingly, it's still going.


Archive for the ‘Music’


People of ZX Spectrum land!

I’ve been going through some old tapes, and found the following (rather knackered) recording. I have no recollection which game it’s from, but if you do, I’d appreciate it if you let me know!

[UPDATE 10/2/2014]
Poot, 28 comments and 160+ downloads of the file and still no further forward! I’ll keep searching. Thanks all for the help so far though!

White rabbit, white rabbit, and indeed, white rabbit

I’m sure I’ve started a blog post off with the same title before, but hey, I’m sure you can forgive me, seeing as I’m currently working through 2014 at what is currently a post a month. I’ve been busy, you see. Adding things to the site, updating things behind the scenes and….well, not much I can really type about really. In time-honoured tradition, however, I have been collecting shite record again, and I began to type a blog regarding this, and a recent acquisition, however, I never finished it… seeing as I’m all resourceful and all that, here’s what I wrote…

I’m starting the blog with the title of the last album I bought Because I can, and because I’m ashamed of myself, and need to get this out onto the internet in order to share my pain.

I say this as if buying crap music is a bad thing. To me it’s not, as every record like this I own has some type of deeper hidden meaning, going back to memories of my childhood, and this was no exception.

Let’s go back. Waaay back. Late 80s. I was never allowed to have a big music collection, nor have anything to play it on. the small amount of pocket money that I received, eventually ended up going on computer games or the latest copy of Your Sinclair. therefore, all of the tapes I got tended to be hand-me-downs, from friends ond family. One of my main sources of music was long time troll, prolific negative commentor and dweller of the east, Chad Phillips. Normally the tapes were copies, and not of particular good quality either. Still, to an untrained 8-year-old ear, this wasn’t a problem. they were likely going to be played through a slimline tape recorder, with a speaker so tinny, dogs three estates away would be pricking up their ears.

One of these tapes was a battered looking Philips C-30, exactly like this one…

I don’t have the exact tape to hand unfortunately, so that’s one from the bowels of Google Image Search. I’m sure I’ll update the post if and when the actual tape turns up. Yes, I’m that sad.

And, on this tape was, as you can hopefully have worked out by now, was “Party Party” by Black Lace. It wasn’t exactly a good copy, and part of it was missing, especially the first track on side 2, “Knock three Times”, apparently a remake of the Tony Orlando / Dawn song, or whoever sang it originally. Now, to this day I have still never heard it in its entireity, because the reason why it was missing is that Chad had taped over this particular track with a puppet show. No, really. An audio puppet show. Chad has always been a few years older than me (though by some of this comments on here, you wouldn’t think it), but even I, at the time, thought it was a bit odd.

Oops, turns out I wrote about pretty much the same thing in 2006… here’s what I wrote back then…

Other yearnings towards the business side of things also came in the form of another audio tape, which sadly no longer exists. During his school days, he’d made some paper mache puppets, and Barry, David and Chad held a puppet show in Barry’s back kitchen. I wasn’t present at the time, and considering they were doing a puppet show and recording it on AUDIO tape, most of it was indecipherable bollocks. Except for the end. Chad came on and said the following, despite being interrupted by David…

“If you think(ALRIGHT!)… If you think this puppet show was any good, then…. please give us summing.”

No, he wasn’t requesting mathematical puzzles. “Please give us summing” is best Hartlepool twang for “Please can we have something for our efforts?” The tape then cuts to the last few seconds of Black Lace, performing “Knock Three Times” from their “Party Party” album. It was a beige C-30 tape, manufactured by Philips, ironically enough.

Darnit, I hate repeating myself. I never repeat myself. repeating myself is something that I will never do, such as repeating myself. As for the tape not existing, I’m sure it does. Dunno where though.

You can see the details on the record in all its glory here And that’s that. I never finished the post, as the whole reason why I wrote it, was that it was taking my mind off a doctors appointment. God, I still hate that fucking place.

I digress. As you can probably tell, that’s another part of the site I’ve resurrected – the music collection. Yes, once again, you can have a static HTML view of my ever increasing record collection. I’m sure you can’t hold the excitement down. I’m also planning to do something I’ve been planning to do for ages, but haven’t managed to do it, and that’s to help possible fellow music collectors out, and do a review / directory of the charity shops in this fair town, along with how they fare when it comes to music collecting… what the size of their stock is, price, condition, that type of thing. I’m totally aware that it’s an incredibly niche subject, but it’ll give me something to do. Watch this space.

Blog on the tyne is all mine, all mine

For those of you who follow me on Facebook can’t have failed to notice that Rob, one of my 3 readers, has been begging me to do a review of a song. Any song. It sounded like a simple challenge, which the more I thought of it, the harder it got. Songs which I’d never heard for years came flooding back. “oooh, Maybe I should review Sinead Lohan’s ‘What Ever it Takes’… again”. Ohhh, how about “Wash Your Face In My Sink” by The Dream Warriors? Nope, nobody’s ever heard of it, and it’s garbage anyway.

With every facebook post, Rob would add another comment asking me to do it, , and each time, another slew of ideas would come flashing through my mind, blocking everything else out, meaning I’d be running through “Susanna” by The Art Company, and I’d suddenly forget how to breathe. Or something.

I gave up. I wasn’t going to be able to choose a song. It was never going to happen. Therefore, after a couple of comments on Facebook, it was time to let Rob choose a song or two…

Rob: Love it. But PLEASE do a record review!
Me: You know, I can’t decide which one to review. Here’s my music collection, choose a few.

A few moments went by…

Rob: It’s HUGE!

I switched off the webcam, and gave him the correct link to my music collection. Within a few moments, we had choices…

Ok Zig & Zag Them Girls Them Girls
Paul Gascoigne Fog On The Tyne
Bill & Ben Flobbadance

Judging by the title of this entry, I hope you can guess which one I went with.

And so, last night, I went to do a video A walk home from the offy last night filled my head full of ideas. Unfortunately my microphone is knacked, the one in the camera is guff, and I’m sure I can just as well communicate what I was going to say in the video, in a more textual format. Plus, I’m a shitty-arse when it comes to copyright infringement, so a blog entry means I don’t have to rip the song off. Woohoo, and all that. So, with the formalities out of the way, let’s get down to it.

In 1972, Geordie folk-rock group Lindisfarne released a tribute to their home town in the form of a song, the aptly named “Fog on the Tyne”. Despite lyrics about signing on the dole, it pretty much became the band’s anthem, alongside “Meet Me On the Corner”. They would continue to have other hits through the 70s and 80s.

Fast forward to 1990. the world was gripped by Italia 90. The world cup, in other words. Gazza would be forever remembered for getting a yellow card, then bursting into tears during the match against West Germany, which meant he’d miss the final if England made it that far. Suddenly, the country had a hero. A footballer with emotion. His lacrimations were all in vain anyway, as we didn’t reach the final, and finished 4th. Oh well.

Now, I don’t know the reasons WHY this record got comissioned, I’m sure, that if it wasn’t for that yellow card, I wouldn’t be holding this single right now. Gazza was a Geordie, Lindisfarne were Geordies [citation needed], and what way to combine the two than to have them “sing” together on a record. Well.

I’ve actually owned a copy of this song since Xmas 1991. Back then, supermarkets weren’t commonplace. Certainly not as commonplace as they were now. After visiting my cousin Julie, who was living in Stockton at the time, we went to the “Somerville Hypermarket” (the greatest store for the way you live today… I’m so sad I still remember the radio jingle for it). This place was massive, and it was the first time I’d been to somewhere that sold everything you could think of. I remember being in the record section with my aunt Rose, and her picking up a tape for my uncle Jimmy, thinking he would like it. It was “The Hit Pack“. I couldn’t fault the logic at the time. There were a couple of 60s/70s songs on there, either re-released or covered by another band. “Fog On The Tyne” being one of those. There were other songs that wouldn’t have been up Uncle Jimmy’s alleyway… Deee-Lite? the Charlatans? My word, even the slightest mention of “Cubik” by 808 State would have sent his hearing aid into a frenzied panic of whistling.

Xmas time came, and I received a copy of this album. Hurrah! Maybe it was that actual same tape? I don’t know. I’m not bothered. I was happy to have a good copy of “Good Morning Britain” by Aztec Camera. The Gazza song is also on the tape version, but it rarely got played, and the song, for me, disappeared into obscurity.

Whilst in a charity shop in Stockton earlier this year, I picked up a copy. TEN WHOLE PENNIES. I got it home, only to find it had a crack right through the centre. TEN WHOLE PENNIES IN THE BIN. Luckily, during another charity shop dive, I picked up a copy for 40p, and that’s how I ended up with a vinyl copy of this staggering turd.

The cover features a shell-suited Gazza, with a pair of headphones apparently screaming into a microphone. the back of the cover features Gazza again, in a different shell suit, surrounded by the band, with the Tyne bridge as a backdrop. The record label is “Best Records”. I’ve not seen anything else by that record label, so whether it was set up just for that particular record, I do not know.

It says a lot when the people who mixed it wish to remain anonymous. The cover states “Mixed by BB and M”. Clearly, two people didn’t want this record on their CV.

So, the tune itself. Take a classic local song, slap a synthesized drumbeat / bassline over it and get a famous footballer to rap (or rather, speak) over the top of it, and you’ve pretty much got the song. Naturally, some words were replaced, the section about signing on the dole was replaced with Gazza “setting his sights on go-go-go-goals. The entire verse about urination was omitted from the new version.

the B-side is an uninteresting instrumental. the only thing missing is Gazza’s “Vocals”.

So, in conclusion, this song is like having a rock-hard shit. 3 minutes, 42 seconds of sheer, unbearable pain, followed by insurmountable relief when it’s all over.

Judge for yourselves…

It’s as if you just want to read about my buying records.

I normally abandon these posts where I’m typing away at the keyboard, and I clearly get drunker and drunker as the post goes on, but this seemed like a lot of text to waste, even if what I’ve written is painfully bad. Congratulations if you mate it to the end…. flashback to last Saturday in 3…2…1…

I know that it’s the 21st century, and that little round pieces of plastic aren’t fascinating to many people, but I don’t care. I’ve just discovered a few things today that are life-changing. In the sense that I’ve learned about them today, and I know they exist now and… oh, I don’t know where I was going with that whole “Life Changing” analogy.

As regular viewers to my twitter feed will know, I have been engaging in a project entitled “shit Shop Saturday”. That’s not to say that the shops themselves are shit, far from it, but I go out and buy music from charity shops in nearby towns. This is done solo, as nobody can put up with me rifling through charity shops. My only company is my phone, and an MP3 player, loaded with back catalogue episodes of Ron “Boogiemonster” Gerber’s radio show known as Crap From The Past. That radio show deserves its own blog entry, which I’ll get round to someday.

Anyway, back to “Shit Shop Saturday”. Last week was Newcastle, the week before Sunderland. I had pretty much exhausted the vinyl / CD capabilities of very local towns. It would appear I’d have to travel further away. Northallerton is a town pretty much on the border of “Have you got a mental defect?” How many people would travel 26 miles to buy crap?

Well, I can, quite honestly say, that I’ve been doing “Shit Shop Saturday” since June, and going to Northallerton was the best decision I’ve ever made. My first stop was a little charity shop I’d found by accident. Yorkshire Cancer Society, I think. I’ll probably check on Google Maps later and correct this if it’s wrong, but it was a good starting point. And, once again, I shall go off on a tangent about local radio to explain what I’ve bought…

I must have been about 14 or 15. Either way, it was the time that puberty was slowly turning my blondies into blackies. A 2-minute radio jingle was played on TFM (a now defunct-in-everything-but-name radio station) advertising the fact that “We Are Teesside” and, we are indeed, “The Future, We’re The Pride”. Maybe because my hormones were all over the place, or maybe it was just because I waqs just listening to too much radio at the time, and this stuck in my head, but I ended up really liking the afore-mentioned jingle. It was an over-produced piece with just a hint of charity-single about it.

Predictably, the jingle fell out of favour, and was eventually replaced by a less catchy tune, and both of them fell off the airwaves. I believe Middlesbrough FC continued to use the “we Are Teesside” music for their home football matches for a few years afterwards. They might still do. I have no idea. One thing I did know, is that “We Are Teesside” was released as a single. because I had it in my hands, right there and then, in that afore-mentioned charity shop.

[If I accidentally publish this without the photo, it'll be coming soon]

So, the sticker states 30p. Be aware that I picked up this beauty for 25p. It wasn’t until I get it home that I’d knew what I’d get. Amazingly, it’s in the Collectorz database, so it might be more popular than I’m thinking, but anyway… here’s your track listing…

01 We Are Teesside (Squad Mix) 03:31
02 We Are Teesside (Footbal Mix) 03:29
03 We Are Teesside (Radio Mix) 02:01
04 The River Song 01:41

Track 1 is an extended version of the original jingle, with extra vocal sections either left out of the radio version, or recorded specifically to turn the TDC advertising tune into a football song, and a slightly revamped backing track), and I presume, Middlesbrough FC singing the “We Are Teesside, We’re the future, we’re the pride” bit.

Track 2 is worse. Instrumental version, but with radio commentary from TFM about them getting promoted to the Premire Footballs Group.

Track 3, thankfully, is the original radio jingle. It’s as good as I remember it, if not better.

Track 4 was the “replacement song”. When the radio execs tired of We Are Teesside, they comissioned another song. It wasn’t as good, and I can’t have heard it for 18 years, but instantly went “Ooooh, yeah, that song!” and then ejected the CD, because it wasn’t as good as “We Are Teeesside”.

So, that’s that CD explained, and I’ve already typed more than I should have. Back to Yarm then, and it’s fair to say that I trawled the length of the high street. Jamie S phoned me while I was in the 3rd shop, just before 11. The plan was, that I’d do my “Shit Shop Saturday”, and he’d pick me up, then we’d spend the rest of the day in Leeds. He said give him an hour to get out of bed ‘n’ shit, then he’d head off to pick me up. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, the snooze function on Jamie’s alarm click for one, as I’d spent another hour walking around the shops, and shot him a text to make sure he was still awake. Nothing. Nada. The only thing that appeared to be buzzing was the plague of wasps that had ascended onto Northallerton. You know me and wasps. I wasn’t impressed. I headed off down a sides treet. The only reason I went down this side street is that I wanted to know the name of a certain shop. Google Maps had blurred it out, and my OCD was kicking in. Turns out it’s a shoe shop, but I continued walking to the end of the road. On Google Maps, it’s an angling shop. In 2013, it’s a shop that rents out jukeboxes and has lots of records. Jamie hadn’t rang me back, so he was defintely still asleep. It gave me enough time for explorin’.

I went through as much as I could of the singles (amisuingly in a section the owner called “The Singles Bar”… how apt). I picked the ones I wanted, and the owner then informed me there was a load more upstairs. He really wasn’t wrong. There were lots up there. In all, I think I spent about two hours in the shop, collecting 24 singles in the process. That’s just the start. There’s a record fair in Northallerton in 2 weeks, which the gentleman behind the counter is organising. That date is officially now on the calendar. I just need to find out where Northallerton Town Hall is. It can’t be hard to find.

Anyway, the reason why I’ve typed all of this bollocks? Yes, there was a reason, and it’s all down to “Moonlight Shadow” by Mike Oldfield. It’s a popluar song in its down right, but I remember it as my first ever experience with a “faulty” record. Flashback further, before descended testicles. It’s Xmas 1991. I’d been given a hi-fi for Xmas, and we make our yearly trip to Aunty Linda’s. I was given some records to “record to tape”. One of them was “Moonight Shadow”, and its B-side “Rite of Man”. I remember, it had no label printed on the B-side, meaning it was my first experience of a “rare” record. Rare in the fact it was a manufacturing defect.

We gave the records back, but still the B-Side “Rite of Man”, remained with me as a catchy tune.

Internet years passed, and I eventually found a copy as an MP3. Instead of the normal fade-out you’d expect from the single’s B-side, this version somehow omits the fade, and literally, you hear the backing track stop, and they stop singing, and pretty much pack up their tambourines and go home.

I’ve alwqays been familiar with the UK pressing. It fades out. Miracles don’t happen. However, I was in that record shop today, and despite having the UK copy, I thought I’d pick up the French pressing. Green, moulded label, 50p, what could possibly go wrong?

Nothing, as it appears this version is the one with the faulty ending.

At this point, I must have wandered off, doing something else. For the record (hoho, see what I did there?), you CAN find this “broken” version on CD, as Moonlight Shadow was released as a very early CD single. So, er, there you go. I’ll write some other shit shortly.

Weird musical things again.

Wow, two posts in as many days. You should be excited. Well, it is, until you find I’m going to warble on about music again. See, I’ve made another musical discovery.

Turn the clock back to 1989. I get my very first stereo the year before. It had a radio, cassette deck and nothing much else. One thing was important though, I could record things off the radio AND my own voice! And I did, in abundance. I still have tapes filled with radio clippings from the early 80s and early 90s.

One tape I had, was a Yashima brand tape. Chad will remember these (if he even reads these anymore) as they had a pungent aroma of cheese, had the inability to store Spectrum games, and were prone to snapping easily.

There are plenty of little snippets of music, some I’ve identified, some I pretty much wore out (particularly the 9 seconds of “The Way it Is” which was my only source of the song for about 5 years), and some I thought were too obscure to ever hear again, particularly this little snippet. It’s not even 2 seconds long. I’d some little searches in lyrics for possible solutions, and wouldn’t you know it, nothing even came close. Listening to that clip, it’s quite easy to pick up “Laa-aand of make believe” (oh, and yes, that’s a 9, possibly 10 year-old me shouting “testing”)

Up comes my bus ride to work this morning. It wasn’t unusual. I was listening to a 2003 episode of “Crap From The Past”, a US radio show, which I must talk about in greater detail later.

Up steps a particular song. Hey, I like the guitar intro of it, not bad. And, the vocals sounds strangely familiar… could that mystery line actually be in this song? The answer. YES! 41 seconds into it, that particular 1.6 seconds of audio is featured, and it turned out that the line was actually “No amount of make believe”. No wonder I couldn’t bloody find it.

Thanks to the wonderment of the interwebs, I can, of course, embed the entire song here, so you can listen to it. It’ll mean far less to you as it does to me, but still, you might enjoy it

Turns out the song was “Dreamland” by Australian band Midnight Oil. Now comes the tricky part…. trying to find the CD it was on. Oh, wait! I already HAVE the CD! Turns out I actually bought it 12 days ago, paid 40p for it and never even knew that song was on there!

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