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Mods: The New Religion
Mods: The New Religion
Price: 15.47

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dressing fine, making time, 14 April 2014
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A sharp, vivid, colourful book about the 1960s mod movement and a rare and successful attempt to add to what we know, rather than pick over the bones...

Unlike Richard Weight's recent (and somewhat underwhelming) "MOD: A Very British Style", the entire focus of "The New Religion" is the 1960s, with the merest nod to the short-lived post-1978 revival movement in the final chapter. Its success is in a series of 'street level' recollections from a colourful cast of original mods, male and female, augmented by a dazzling archive of previously unpublished personal photographs, club flyers, tickets, posters and album covers

Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of the movement but the overall narrative is chronological, taking us from the east end of London in the late 1950s through the national mid-decade boom and on to end of the decade, charting the changing styles and pre-occupations of the participants from year to year. In words and pictures, this makes for an evocative national tour of 1960s mod Britain from the Birdcage in Portsmouth up through London and Birmingham to the Twisted Wheel in Manchester and across to the King Mojo in Sheffield. This is important because few, if any, books on the subject have been as geographically diverse

Amongst the dozens of people we meet along the way are Denzil (cover star of the Sunday Times 'Changing Faces' feature in 1964 and, at 18, already wondering if he is too old to be a mod!) leading a West End-bound tube train full of mods in a rendition of James Brown's "Night Train". There is 16 year old Mickey Tenner at the Scene Club in 1964, chatting with Guy Stevens in the DJ booth, dancing with Sandy Sarjeant and pictured posing outside Ham Yard in suede loafers and cycling shirt. Pat Farell remembers being hand-picked from the dancing throng at the Lyceum and invited to appear as a dancer on Ready Steady Go! "No thanks", she says, "It's not what I stand for". Pure mod

If you are at all interested in the subject matter, "Mods: The New Religion" is outstanding. It is easily on a par with three other books that many consider to be the 'standard texts' on the subject - "Mods!" By Richard Barnes, "In The Lap of the Mods" by Ian Hebditch and "Central 1179" by Keith Rylatt & Phil Scott. A sharp, authentic, well-designed and thoroughly welcome addition to the stable, adding new colour and depth to the story...


MOD: A Very British Style
MOD: A Very British Style
by Richard Weight
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 17.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Light, Weight, 3 Mar 2014
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Interesting as this book is in so many ways, the over-riding problem for me is that the title is a red herring. This is not so much the story of Mod subculture but all youth culture in Britain since the 1960s

The template-defining early Mod movement is dealt with in the first fifty or so pages, albeit in a fairly conventional way. The book adds nothing to or takes nothing away from other well known texts (many of which are clearly used and cited as sources - the best known and probably most definitive of which is Richard Barnes' "Mods!")

At some speed, the author goes on to describe how Mod became a national youth movement by the mid-60s, transforming itself along the way from a noun to a loose adjective adopted by the media to describe virtually anything related to contemporary British pop culture (mod imagery, mod clothing, mod music etc etc). So far, so good...but the author then seems to adopt the same approach, asserting that the Beatles exported 'mod culture' to America and describing both the Rolling Stones and the Kinks as 'mod bands'. This basic confusion grows and practically spirals out of control in the extensive middle section of the book.

He does show - though never in any great detail - how the mod movement expanded/fragmented into psychedelia, suede head and skinhead and northern soul by the end of the decade but there are then chapters on glam rock and punk, which are cited as direct legacies of 1960s mod. This maybe so but only in as much as Warhol was influenced by Da Vinci and Einstein by Newton. Are they not just separate, later movements that were merely informed by what went before? The fact that there was a small subset of people involved in both is surely just a chronological inevitability? And anyway, the crucial point (actually made in earlier chapters) was that mod style - as opposed to glam or punk - was never about flamboyance and noise. It was meant to be subtle - captured in small details that outsiders would miss. With this focus on the headline fashions of the 1970s, the subtler yet more interesting point missed about the decade is that whilst the term 'mod' fell utterly and completely out of fashion, the look never actually died away. Certainly not out in provincial Britain, beyond the fashion hub of London

We then move on to Two-Tone and into the late '70s/early '80s mod revival. Here, the link with the first wave of modernism is self-evident in the revival of '60s fashion, imagery and music. Rightly so, the multi-racial aspect of Two Tone is praised and the latter revivalist movement is dismissed as pastiche. However, this is fairly conventional wisdom and misses a key point in terms of the history of Mod. In reality, both these movements are, in the wake of the 1970s, responsible for re-popularising mod culture to British youth en masse and sustaining it's influence up to today. Yes, it is easy to dismiss the mod revival as a weak parody of it's 1960s forebear - and he isn't the first to do so - but the important thing is that another generation grew up with Mod as a concept

Reaching the fourth decade of the story, I think the author makes another mistake by giving Britpop too much prominence. In reality, the significance of mod to the participants was little more than Blur's clever usage of '60s imagery and musical sensibilities for their second and third albums. Other Bripop bands - Suede and Pulp for example - were really just following the by-now established traditions of British pop. Oasis were, if anything, a no-nonsense rock band whose strongest influence happened to be late-period Beatles minus the lyrical and musical innovation. The fact that Britpop generally harked back to some sort of British spirit located after the sixties but before Disco and Punk did not make it a legacy of mod. What you can say, is that it did spark off a second mod revival which, as in the first, has helped pass the idea on to yet another generation. I think this is principally the reason why men's fashion in Britain is still in large part influenced by the classic 1960s mod look. I am talking not only about the continued popularity of the likes of Fred Perry and Ben Sherman but newer labels such as Duffer, Paul Smith, Pretty Green and Ted Baker.

If I had to sum up this book in one neat sentence, I would say it is this: "The story of how a unique and distinctive pop culture developed in Britain in the early 1960s - and, in turn, how this influence spread down through successive generations and became the template for youth style and culture internationally...". Very good but the author simply fails to define and communicate the enduring appeal of the Mod look and the Mod ideal.


Northern Soul: An Illustrated History
Northern Soul: An Illustrated History
by Gareth Sweeney
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.60

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You've Got The Magic Touch, Baby!, 6 Oct 2013
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An essential book for anybody interested in this most enduring of music scenes...

I have read many of the books available on the subject and this is probably the most evocative to date, leaving you with a real sense of the passion it still generates to this day. Making a big contribution to this is the large collection of photographs that spin and back-flip from every page (though some are stills from the author's forthcoming and highly anticipated film). Most of these feature real people on the scene, bussing it up and down the country, queueing outside heaving venues, dancing, flicking through record boxes - all the things that made Northern Soul what it was for those who were there.

This pictorial record, along with the recollections and reflections of a large army of original soul boys and girls paints a wonderfully vivid picture for those of us unlucky enough not to have been there. The book covers the complete story from its early beginnings at the Twisted Wheel in Manchester in the late '60s through to the heyday of the mid to late 1970s and continuing the story right up to the present day. What it definitely and quite deliberately is not is an attempt at being the 'definitive' Northern Soul book. Compared with, say, David Nowell's "Too Darn Soulful" or Neil Rushton's "Northern Soul Stories" (both also highly recommended by me!), it is not densely packed with the kind of train-spotting minutiae real devotees might crave. Instead, it paints a big, bold
vivid picture of what it was like to be there. For the average reader, this is probably the most perfect warts and all introduction to Northern Soul you could wish for. It is also a very beautiful thing just to look at, a piece of soulful treasure. Fingers crossed that the film is half as good...!


Original Album Series [5 Pack]
Original Album Series [5 Pack]
Price: 13.04

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 5-star, soul-funk bargain, 10 Aug 2013
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To anyone thinking of buying: should top notch '70s style funky, jazzy, disco-fied soul music be your particular bag, just do not hesitate! At under 10 this is probably one of the best value for money packages you could spend your money on...

Put simply, Chaka's three Arif Mardin-produced solo albums from 1978 through to 1981 are pretty much the motherlode, encompassing all those enduring sounds that were around back in Black-American music's golden era - from disco to soul to jazz and funk and all points in-between. The final two sets from 1982 and 1984 also have their moments but it is those first three that catapult Chaka into the soul stratosphere...

What we have are three glittering examples of state-of-the-art late Seventies/early Eighties studio production, quality song-writing from the likes of Ashford and Simpson, Charles Stepney, Greg Diamond and George Benson, together with the finest musicians Arif Mardin could muster (Steve Ferrone, Phil Upchurch, Randy and Michael Brecker, Herbie Hancock, Greg Phillinganes, Dizzy Gillespie! The list is very long and very distinguished). And then, riding this delicious concoction, Chaka Khan's superb, soaring, jazz-blues-inflected vocal

"Chaka", from 1978, is possibly the strongest of the five. From the giant-killing disco anthem of "I'm Every Woman" through the infectious jazz-funk of "Sleep On It" to the pumping rare groove jam that is "We Got The Love", it is quite simply Chaka and Arif's masterwork...oh, and if you are a fan of the beautiful orchestral gospel-folk-soul sound as realised by Charles Stepney and the Rotary Connection, you have to check out "Love Has Fallen On Me". Somehow, Arif Mardin and Chaka managed to lift the trademark Stepney arrangement of soaring strings,brass and piano to a whole new level

A few more highlights (in chronological order):

From 1980's "Naughty" album - the beautiful Ashford and Simpson-penned "Clouds" and the fantastic southern soul of "Papillon (AKA Hot Butterfly)"

From the 1981 "What Cha Gonna Do For Me" LP (which really does run the debut album quite close in my book) - the Daft Punk/Stardust-sampled "Fate" and the original '80s boogie of "We Got Each Other"

From 1984"s world-conquering "I Feel For You" album - the massive club favourite "Eye To Eye" as well as Prince-penned title song, the one that made Ms Khan a global superstar

Final word: the concluding pair of albums in the collection are, perhaps, a little bit of a let-down after the three cusp-of-the-decade masterworks. Put simply, that synthed-up early to mid-Eighties club sound (great at the time) really just doesn't stand the test of time. If, like me, you're in the "Off The Wall"-camp as opposed to "Thriller", you'll know just what I mean...

That's a minor gripe. Seriously, do yourself a favour and bag the biggest soul-funk bargain around today!


Catch the Beat: The Best of Soul Underground 1987-91
Catch the Beat: The Best of Soul Underground 1987-91
by DAVID LUBICH
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 19.61

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caught...a musical revolution as it unfolded !,, 18 Feb 2013
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I'd have to agree with all the positive reviews I've read here so far - "Catch The Beat" is a riveting slice of 24 carat, solid gold musical history, all the better for covering an era and a genre of music that was ignored at the time and is - even today - more often than not airbrushed out of popular music history. And, what's more, catching it from ground level as it unfolded!

The era, of course, was the late 1980s at a time when Electro and Hip Hop had scarcely been around for a few years and House music was just a few months into its infancy. This was the actual genesis of what we now know as Dance music in its myriad forms from Rap to R&B to Techno to Drum and Bass to Trance and Dubstep. Put simply, the recent discovery that anybody with a love of music and a twin record deck and a pile of vinyl, or a cheap synthesizer and drum machine, could make their own music led to a massive explosion in creativity which is to this day unrivalled in terms of pace of change and the amount of new ground uncovered. Every week it seemed as if some previously unknown DJ, rapper or producer in New York or Chicago or Manchester or London had made yet another great musical leap forward and managed to rewrite the rules of popular music - simply by finding a new kind of beat or mixing technique or by blending two or more different styles into something stunningly original

For a variety of reasons - which you will begin to understand by reading this book - the old guard of the established music press either resisted or simply failed to recognise the importance of this musical revolution and, more pertinently, to document it with any care

Luckily for us, fired up by excitement and pure love for this music and a growing sense of frustration with the likes of the NME and Blues & Soul Magazine, David Lubich and Darren Reynolds set about creating a monthly fanzine to cover what they described as "an incredible new era of music...one of those rare periods of flux that somebody - anybody - ought to be documenting...". Initially taking the DIY ethic of the earlier punk fanzines as their inspiration, "Soul Underground" evolved into a hugely popular publication, packed full of bright, outward-looking and intelligent analysis of the week-by-week, month-by-month developments between 1987 and 1991. The team of fresh faced writers today reads like a who's who of UK dance music

And here, in "Catch The Beat - The Best of Soul Underground", is a brilliant selection of reprinted articles from the original magazine. Very little has been 'fiddled with' and what you get is high-quality reproductions of the original magazine pages - period advertising and all! I am amazed by the quality of the interviews and the analysis of what was happening, quality which surely makes this a hugely important piece of cultural history - at the very least on par with the British punk fanzines of the 1970s. Required reading for anybody with the faintest interest in popular music and/or British youth culture
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 25, 2013 8:32 PM GMT


Moranthology
Moranthology
by Caitlin Moran
Edition: Paperback

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ghostbusters!!, 26 Nov 2012
This review is from: Moranthology (Paperback)
Reading through the reviews here on Amazon and elsewhere, it is clear that a few readers are a little disappointed about the fact that Moranthology is a collection of Caitlin Moran's Time's columns. I can possibly understand this - it isn't made clear, exactly. But you do have to ask yourself

a) What exactly is wrong with the idea (she's a great writer and great writers have been putting together anthologies for years and people seem to like them)? And...

b) ...if you read The Times regularly, surely it would have been difficult not to know what this book was about (they serialised it for a week!)

So, that's not a problem. And neither is the writing. The three weekly columns that Caitlin writes for the Times (Celebrity Watch, the TV review and Weekend magazine column) are invariably highlights of my weekly read. She is clever, funny and original. The punning is superb and the wit and rhythm is usually timed to perfection (sometimes it goes slightly wrong but even that's okay). Anybody who brought the world "the Gallery of Hotness" or "Shag Order" or who describes David Cameron as "a C3PO made of ham" is worth re-reading. There is a type of critic whose criticism is often more memorable and creative than the work he/she is critiquing - Caitlin Moran is right up there in that league (Ghostbusters!). When I heard this was effectively a `greatest hits' collection from the last few years, I didn't have to think twice about buying it. But then, there is a slight problem, a different one...

When you sit down to read this book, you will spot it quite quickly. It's not the message; it's the relentlessness of the message. Taken together, these columns are basically a very long polemic on very few subjects, subjects on which Caitlin holds a very passionate, irreducible opinion and brooks no dissent. You notice this less when it's just a couple of remarks or half a paragraph in a review of the latest episode of Doctor Who but when you staple half a dozen years worth of them together and try and read through the whole lot, it bites. Basically, this selection (perhaps it is just THIS particular selection?) serves to demonstrate that a Caitlin Moran column is effectively little different from a Daniel Finkelstein column. The politics are different and Caitlin is funnier, her words more original and more memorable but a refreshingly objective view of the world it just is not. And I doubt if I would get through a Daniel Finkelstein anthology

So there we are. I wanted and expected to give this five stars (I'd read all of it before, you see) but I can only give it three. How does that work? Well, I just added three for making me laugh and making me think and subtracted two for telling me exactly what to think...over and over again


As Is Now
As Is Now
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 2.72

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Big return to form !!, 21 Oct 2012
This review is from: As Is Now (Audio CD)
This is a great, great album overall and his best for a long time. An eclectic mixture of some of my favourite Paul Weller styles from down the years, it has the feel of the first solo album or some of the high points that were reached on "Heliocentric"

Songs such as "From The Floorboards Up" and "Come On/Let's Go" see a return to punchy, Jam-like sharpness and the bluesy, rhythmic "Blink And You'll Miss It" is a like a beefed-up version of "Round and Round"

But then there are moments such as "All On A Misty Morning", fusing folk, jazz and soul with earthy, sensuous lyrics (much more successfully than anything on "Wild Wood" to my mind) and "Roll Along Summer", a beautiful, mid-tempo song with light, circular acoustic guitar, shuffling percussion and tinges of free jazz. "Bring Back The Funk" is his `grooviest' song for a very, very long time. Heavily reminiscent of classic TSC or even the less well-known "Here's a New Thing" (which can be found on the Japanese import of solo album #1). It even contains a short foray into House music, not heard since that last fateful TSC album!

A fine album, heavily sign-posting the journey for the next two


GOGO GET DOWN
GOGO GET DOWN
Price: 12.61

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mid-'80s underground funk time capsule, 7 Oct 2012
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This review is from: GOGO GET DOWN (Audio CD)
In hindsight the 1980s were at least as radical and influential as the 1960s and 70s as far as Black American music (i.e. Dance music) is concerned. The thing is, it didn't necessarily seem like it at the time...

Mid- decade, the evolution of Hip Hop and Rap out of early New York Electro music continued apace and the first few primitive sounding House records were beginning to emerge from Chicago and Detroit. But neither genre was anywhere close to mainstream acceptance or particularly popular amongst traditional Black/funk/soul music fans

Further south in the nation's capital, Washington DC, it was as if Electro and House had never happened. The local Black music scene was centred heavily on live orchestral funk. However, there was a modern twist - the bands would play non-stop for hours on end (literally) and hold the same beat, a steady 4/4 rhythm with the bass drum emphasising the 1 and 3. The music literally `swung'. This was embellished with a riot of percussion (congas, timbales, cowbells, you name it), ear-splitting bass synth and the kind of call-and-response vocals that had pre-dated Rap further up the coast. In Washington DC it became known as Go Go music

Being basically a live phenomenon, the translation to vinyl and beyond was slow and painful. However, once the first few Go Go records arrived in the UK on import in '84 or `85, Black music fans - who just couldn't or wouldn't relate to what was happening in Chicago and New York - welcomed them with open arms. The tough, live sound even found favour beyond the confines of the UK underground club scene, bursting into the pages of the notoriously sniffy British music press. Such was the critical buzz, Island Records created its own Go Go imprint to license and release anything that moved out of Washington and BBC2 even aired a one-hour Arena documentary on the phenomenon. Channel 4's The Tube devoted virtually a whole show to the music, Grace Jones scored a massive hit cleverly using the Go-Go beat ("Slave To The Rhythm") and, at one point apparently, all you could hear in the legendary Hacienda nightclub in Manchester was wall-to-wall Go Go music from Washington DC

But for some reason, the buzz died out almost as quickly as it had got going. Some blame Steve `Silk' Hurley's "Jack Your Body" but my pet theory is that it was the questionable quality of what was actually being released. At the time, in a vain attempt to get on board this huge, hip and trendy bandwagon, I bought dozens of expensive imported 12" singles and UK-released compilation LPs. The truth is none of it was that great. The live footage on the Arena documentary was fantastic and Trouble Funk tore up the studio on The Tube but, somehow, Go Go just didn't seem to work on vinyl

This has eaten away at me for years. How could a style of music that worked so well live, that had inspired a wave of critical acclaim in all the right places, how can it have yielded very few studio recordings of note? Surely that is just not possible... was somebody keeping the really good stuff back? Fast forward to 2012 and this double CD compilation from Joey Negro. As it says in the sleeve notes, it was a slow and difficult job to seek out and license these recordings but, for the first time that I know of, somebody has managed to `crate dig' a really strong collection of music from this most underground of underground music genres

Some of the more commercial tracks were popular at the time such as Little Benny's "Who Comes To Boogie" from 1985, Donald Banks' "Status Quo" and "You Can Dance If You Want To" by the Davis Pinckney Project (which sailed close to UK chart success in the summer of '86).Other names are familiar - Rare Essence, EU, Chuck Brown and, of course, Trouble Funk but the tracks chosen are generally not the obvious, familiar ones but some real obscure gems. Other names are completely new to me such as AM-FM, Backlash and Ovation. Nevertheless, the compilation is brimming with great `80s style heavy funk - there isn't a dud track. It is also interesting to hear the Go-Go beat adapted to faster, more up-tempo records (such as the disco-boogie of "Feel It" by the Mighty Peacemakers and "This Groove Is Made For Funkin'" by Jackie Boy & Nature's Creation) and white punk band The Static Disruptors' brilliant appropriation (cf: Beastie Boys) of the sound

A brilliant mid-`80s time capsule. And if all this not enough, be assured that a mere tenner secures you the awesome ghetto funk of "War On The Bullshit" by Osiris (featuring the funkiest, Sly Stone-like vocals you will ever hear) and the awesome EU track "EU Groove"!
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 11, 2013 8:12 PM GMT


The Fear Index
The Fear Index
by Robert Harris
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.86

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Typically brilliant Robert Harris novel with a typically unsatisfying ending!, 5 Aug 2012
This review is from: The Fear Index (Paperback)
Having read all but one of Robert Harris' novels over the years, by now I know what to expect. He has a very enjoyable writing style (intelligent yet accessible) which should in no way - as others have done - be compared with Dan Brown's. It is demonstrably superior!

As ever, the pace, setting and characterisation are superb. In The Fear Index, the story centres on a brilliant yet socially inept CERN mathematician who, after some kind of nervous breakdown, is befriended by a charming and very persuasive English banker. Between them they are able to set up a hedge fund which trades through a computer algorithm called VIXAL-4 - basically a search engine which feeds on real time and historical information and learns to spot patterns of fear in trading (surely somebody from Google would already have done this if it were currently possible?). Particularly scary and amusing are the cast of investors invited to the lakeside HQ of the hedge fund in Geneva on the single day that the action takes place. The grim depiction of the city is also quite brilliant - it certainly chimed with a feeling that I took away with me when I visited a few years ago

But the problem is, as always, quite simply the plot resolution. I have a theory that the beginning point of every Robert Harris novel is the author's fascination with a particular subject - be it Bletchley Park, post-Communist Russia, the Roman Empire, imagining what would have happened if the Nazis had triumphed in the Second World War or the seemingly amoral world of hedge fund management. He will then meticulously research that subject from every possible angle, hence his incredible talent for setting the scene and putting you in the heart of the action. Few authors around today do this better and the fact that I share a similar fascination with these subjects does no harm! All of this works well up until the final page, when all of a sudden the actual story feels hollow and incomplete. He has taken us through this world and gripped our imagination with a fascinatingly plausible insight yet somehow failed to resolve the story at the end. It must be this one failing that is, above all, responsible for the volume of negative reviews. Having committed to a book, we crave a revelatory ending and it never quite comes in The Fear Index (in fact, the only time Robert Harris has truly delivered this was in the unquestionably five-star "The Ghost").

Despite this, I am going to give the book four stars. As I said before, if you have enjoyed Robert Harris' previous novels, you will know what to expect and you can be confident that this is every bit as good.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 27, 2013 9:02 AM BST


Closer to It
Closer to It

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars English prog jazz-rock, 7 April 2012
This review is from: Closer to It (Audio CD)
The title of this 1973 album refers to Brian Auger's decade long quest for a perfect fusion of psychedelic rock, soul, funk and jazz, which began as he worked his way around the rhythm 'n' blues clubs of London's swinging sixties. There are plenty of other great Oblivion Express recordings available out there but this, I think, is the most rounded and complete.

The Oblivion Express sound is built around Auger's phenomenal skills on the Hammond B3 organ and Fender Rhodes piano and the jazz-influenced vocals of Alex Ligertwood. You get the feeling that they are essentially an English psychedelic rock band who heard "Bitches Brew" by Miles Davis and never looked back (hence the title of my review!). The album opens spectacularly with "Whenever You're Ready", a stunning six and a half minute Hammond-driven psychedelic jazz-rock wig-out under-pinned by an unrelenting, samba-tempo percussion.

As the title suggests, "Happiness Is Just Around The Bend" is a much lighter, poppier affair - a bonafied pop song that was apparently a massive radio hit on the sunny west coast of America at the time (despite never being released as a single). It is easy to see why with its infectious, chugging rhythm and Fender Rhodes coda. The song was later covered and given more of a disco-soul sound by The Main Ingredient and then re-emerged ten years later as a slice of Arthur Baker-produced Eighties club soul boogie by Cuba Gooding Jr.

"Light On the Path" is another jazz-rock fusion, this time a funky five minute instrumental. This is followed by "Compared To What", which is a 1970s update on the funky Hammond sound popularised by the likes of Jimmy Smith and much emulated by Brian himself in his 1960s London r'n'b club days. The funked-up cover of Marvin Gaye's soulful and brooding "Inner City Blues" is another stand-out track and definitely one of the finest versions of this classic song - notable for the chiming piano intro and Brian's moody Hammond solo (note: there is an even funkier ten-minute live version of this song on the Live Oblivion 2 album, which also comes highly recommended by me!)

"Closer To It!" draws to a strong close with "Voices Of Other Times", another 'song' (i.e. rather than a 'wig-out') and probably the most light, soulful and mid-tempo sound on the entire album.

As I said earlier, I think this is probably Brian's finest and most complete studio album but the Trinity/Oblivion Express back catalogue is full of treasures well worth hunting down. The most amazing thing to me is that this sound is the imagination of an Englishman schooled in the beat clubs of 1960s London. In fact, Brian Auger's career - and this album in particular - is arguably the missing link between the original 1960s mod movement and the Acid Jazz scene of the 1990s.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 28, 2012 11:44 AM GMT


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