ALMANAC PLAYLIST – 21 JULY

Today I employed the Almanac Strategy © for my ‘work at home’ playlist. This is what it yielded for the 21st of July.

The information in italics is sourced from various internet sites. There are links to youtube videos for most featured songs.

1947

Born on this day, Cat Stevens, singer, songwriter. 1967 UK No.2 single ‘Matthew And Son’, 1972 UK No.9 & US No.6 single, ‘Morning Has Broken’. Converted to the Muslim religion in 1977 changing his name to Yusef Islam.

Cat Stevens Teaser

Cat Stevens – Teaser and the Firecat (Island 1971)

For me, the Cat (born Steven Demetre Georgiou) is an artist for whom a ‘Best of’ fails to capture his skill and intensity as a song-writer. Timeless album of classic songwriting (even though you may be tired of “Moonshadow” and “Morning has broken”, there’s plenty more). Gorgeous album cover too. If I gave this the detailed VC treatment, it would come in as “Essential”.

Standout track: Tricky. “Peace train” is great and you so want it to be Earth’s National Anthem, but the vote goes to “Changes IV” for the personal belief.

1966

Georgie Fame was at #1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Get Away’. The song started life as a TV jingle for a petrol advert.

Georgie Fame - Best of

Georgie Fame – 20 Beat Classics (RSO 1980)

Mr Fame was a major mover and shaker in 60s London. His early R&B singles are terrific; strong voice, neat arrangements. This is an excellent collection, though there are plenty out there. Watch out for cheapo comps as they may include low-fi live material.

Standout track: “In the meantime

1969

The Beatles started work on the John Lennon song ‘Come Together’ at Abbey Road studios in London. The track became the opening song on The Beatles Abbey Road album and was later released as a double A-sided single with ‘Something’, their twenty-first single in the UK and twenty-sixth in the US where it reached the top of the charts.

Beatles Abbey Road

One of the world’s great photo opportunities (Parlophone 1969)

The second Beatles album I owned. Wore out my original copy, meaning that it is so well known that I only spun the fantastically funky groove-drenched opening cut. “Here come old flat top, he come grooving up slowly…”

1986

Genesis single “Invisible Touch” is number #1 in the US. It made #3 in Australia, #6 in Canada, #8 in New Zealand and (a pretty pathetic) #15 in the UK.

Wonder what that says?

Genesis - Invisible Touch

Genesis – Invisible Touch (Charisma/Virgin 1986)

The album of the same name did pretty well too, much to the disgust of long-term fans of the band’s progressive years. But it was full of well-written pop songs and is an enduring (slightly guilty) pleasure to enjoy when doing housework or, as deployed today, having lunch.

Standout track: “Land of Confusion” (possibly because of the video, which you must watch it if you don’t know it)

1990

Roger Waters’ ‘The Wall’ took place at the Berlin Wall in Potzdamer Platz, Berlin. Over 350,000 people attended and the event was broadcast live throughout the world, Van Morrison, Bryan Adams, Joni Mitchell, The Scorpions, Cyndi Lauper, Sinead O’Connor and others took part.

Roger Waters - The Wall Berlin

Roger Waters – The Wall Live in Berlin (Mercury 1990)

Can’t stand the original Wall (as noted here), but can just about get through this star-studded live version. The variety of singers and the theatre inherent in this particular performance lift it into the tolerable zone.

Standout tracks: Scorpion’s kick-arse opening “In the flesh”; Joni Mitchell’s stuttering, wailing, “Goodbye blue sky” (accompanied by James Galway on flute!)

2006

Thom Yorke, lead singer of Radiohead, awakes to the news that his first solo album The Eraser, has debuted in the US Chart at #2.

Thom Yorke - Eraser

Thom Yorke – The Eraser (XL 2006)

Must confess that I haven’t listened to this much. It exercises a twitchy down-beat charm. Probably appreciated more by die-hard Radiohead fans. Suitable for spinning late in the evening when you’re trying to decide between bed and a final Scotch.*

Standout track: “Black Swans” (for excellent use of the word fuck)

Yorke - Eraser fold-out

Thom attempts to make CD packaging interesting, with modest success

* Actually, I don’t like Scotch. But that line makes me sound like the kind of hip, sexy, hard drinking dude who stays up late sipping neat whisky and listening with penetrating detachment to all kinds of cool music even though he has to work the next day.

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*

Have an excellent 21 July, people. In fact, have a damn fine week.

12 comments

  1. Neat idea Bruce – I got a clear picture of a friend of mine who cannot stomach Invisible Touch. Not having grown up with Genesis, I always assumed it was just another Phil Collins song and I liked it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s two correspondents who thought Invisible Touch was a Phil C single. I reckon he’d be very pleased with that!

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  2. Love your Almanac Strategy ©. Your mention of Teaser and the Firecat is uncanny. I had dinner with friends last night, and Cat Stevens came up in conversation, Teaser and Tea For The Tillerman in particular. I confess that the particular memory I shared was having mooned, as a teenager, over the photo of Cat inside the gatefold. Invisible Touch (on cassette) was a staple during medical school. My favorites were Land of Confusion and Throwing It All Away. I had never seen the Confusion video…my God, that’s scary! Do you think Phil Collins was a Reagan/Thatcher fan? Abbey Road….sigh. I could look at that image of the guys in the crosswalk for hours. Iconic. You stopped your Come Together lyric quote right before the joo-joo eyeball! My choice from the album would Harrison’s Here Comes The Sun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks JDB. Well you and your friends were certainly channelling the Cat vibe – for his birthday I imagine! I was tempted to try to work in a photo of the inner gatefold. Would you like me to send you a pic privately?
      The Land of Confusion video was very striking; made by Spitting Image, a (you guessed it) satirical puppet show of the mid-80s in Britain. More satirical puppets, that’s what the world needs now!!

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  3. Cat Stevens is an artist I really want to like more than I do. I remember his music playing regularly in my childhood home. Maybe my problem is being stuck on the “Greatest Hits” …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I got a bit carried away there. Possibly because I skipped over the gentle ballads and love songs and played the more up-beat rhythmic ones. Or maybe just having not listened to any Cat for over twenty years I got caught in a rip of nostalgia and washed out into the MOR ocean…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Just a couple of comments. I am not a big fan of Radiohead. I admire the fact they experimented more as they became more successful, which is the reverse of most bands, but I never bought into the Radiohead were nu-prog or nu-Floyd and somehow made the current resurgence of prog being acceptable (here in the UK prog was a 4 letter word for so long). Not their fault, but there are so many great bands, much better than Radiohead.

    Other comment. I am Scottish and drink whisky. I have to, it’s in my DNA! Does that make me hip and sexy then? I hope so!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pretty much in agreement on Radiohead. I quite like them, but the journalistic obsession with labels served neither the band nor progressive music well, did it?
      All Scots are by definition sexy, just ask Andy Murray. And if they douse their porridge in Laphroaig, then, baby, it’s all up for grabs!

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  5. Oh man, there’s something about Cat Stevens that I just don’t like (shocker!). Really pretty well crafted songs and all, but I just find it all a bit … well … mnah.

    I guess I find a similar disconnect exists with the Thom Yorke album. I acknowledge it’s awesomeness, but just find it all a bit too intentional.

    … and finally, I actually thought Invisible Touch was Phil Collins!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Understood, James. Some of the other comment replies (above) might add a little to the picture.
      Also above, you’re in good company with Geoff 1001 S confusing Invisible Touch with Phil C!

      I think the almanac playlist is a fascinating device, as it throws up things from the collection I haven’t heard in yonks. It is possible that my enjoyment of the process resulted in a positive halo effect on the music. Will have to do it again some date and see what happens.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Perfect for my headstone: Here lies cariboumarkt, a hip, sexy, hard drinking dude who stays up late sipping neat whisky and listening with penetrating detachment to all kinds of cool music even though he has to work the next day

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So long as the hard drinking doesn’t hasten the headstone too much, so be it!

      Like

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