recent listening #1

a random series of posts, where i will mention what's on the iriver/stereo at this particular moment in time...
10/10
been switching between two great boxsets recently... with no small degree of irony.

one is the Stax/Volt Complete Singles 1958-1968: 9cd Box Set... just great music for over nine hours, i've had it on all weekend and still not got through it... takes me back to a lot of northern soul that i've listened to over the years, and sounds bang up to date with james hunter/people gonna talk... borrowing from the sound.
motown had the big beats and the lush production but stax had booker T and a gritty, dirty sound that all the northern soul singles tried to match... too many great artists/songs to mention here, but the mar-keys/bar-keys/otis redding spring to mind instantly... the real revelation was the track the sidewalk by mad lads... too much sam and dave, but that could be because i have played them to death over the years... just hours of great horn arrangements or hammond...
when the blues got soul.
that stuff just got better and better...
the booker t set/booker t and the mg's
now gene vincent's
The Road Is Rocky: Complete Studio Masters 1956-1971 is another matter entirely... i love his music, the early tracks especially, here was an artist who struggled every day with the real pain from his motorcycle injuries and spent a lot of time and money taking painkillers just to get through... i've read the "there's one in every town" book by mick farren... a great story, that didn't so much tell gene's lifestory as how he had affected the writer.
but the bubblegum psuedo hippy tracks on here from the late 60's i could live without... i keep getting the impression that he wasn't really feeling the words anymore, or that mostly there was a lot of in-jokes going on in the studio, which makes for humour at least once, but will never forge a whole movement like his earlier work(some people dare to debate what is rockabilly... and claim that gene isn't, who cares, it's legendary material that will always stand on it's own!)... always a bad thing when an artist re-works old tracks such as bebopalula'69... and i can live without maudlin nonsense like if you could see me today...
99.9% of the rest of the tracks are pure genuis though, but what happened in the 60's... labels like stax are literally churning out quality music and old rockers like gene were relegated to mimmicking the byrds in carnaby street beads...
now where's that eddie cochran boxset...

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