Category ALBUM FOCUS

INNER RADIANCE

Edward Larry Gordon was a part-time actor and occasional zither player who supplemented his thespian income by busking in New York. In possibly one of the finest synchronicities in popular music, Brian Eno—in the Big Apple to work with avant-garde trumpeter Jon Hassell—placed a note in the busking Larry’s hat that read, ‘Would you like […]

LET IT GROW

When 461 Ocean Boulevard was released in July 1974, it is extraordinary to note that Eric Clapton, at twenty-nine years of age, was a veteran of The Yardbirds, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith, and Derek and the Dominos. Not to mention two solo albums. Under 30 with more than fifteen album credits. Not bad, […]

HEAVY SCENE AT BRUTON LIBRARY

While scouring a local charity shop last year, I happened across a bunch of Library recordings. Though some were scuffed and careworn, I hoovered them up, knowing that sometimes these anonymous, often nondescript albums can be unexpectedly entertaining. It also occurred to me that they could be candidates for the occasional ‘Curiosity Corner’ category. First […]

PLAY IT AGAIN, TIM

Video may well have killed the radio star, but the song also came very close to provoking the death by strangulation of my friend Tim. Released in September 1979, “Video Killed The Radio Star” was co-written by Trevor Horn, Geoff Downes and Bruce Woolley a year earlier. Fans of Yes will know the first two […]

BOLD AS LOVE

This is the final instalment in the thoroughly incomplete ‘1967’ series. The other two dozen albums can be found here. Seems fitting to end with the incendiary,  psychedelic music of Jimi Hendrix and his second release from that storied year.  Steven Newstead returns to take us on a tour of Jimi’s cosmos… There was a lot […]

IN THE SPOTLIGHT, SO CLEAR

It’s a Friday night in the late nineties. Steven and I are lounging around talking shit about music. A single slice of Capricciosa sits uneasily in the grease-stained box and half a bottle of red stands on the coffee table. The pizza gets ignored; we’re either too full or too polite to take it. Not […]

ARE YOU THE CENTRE OF THE UNIVERSE?

It opens with a delicate piano piece, an ambient overture. “The struggle of the magicians, part three”. Credited to composer Thomas De Hartmann and mystic cum guru Gurdjieff (1866 – 1949), this is a lovely neo-classical piece that seduces with a gently pastoral beauty suggesting the magicians aren’t straining too hard. Next is a wispy […]