Friday, February 15, 2008


The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner: illustration by Mervyn Peake.

Continuing with the theme from a couple of days back, my original intention was to lead off with Grant Green's "i don't want nobody to give me nothing, open up the door i'll get it myself/cold sweat" from his 1972 album "Shades Of Green" on Blue Note. A direct offshoot from Big B's post on Grant Green a couple of weeks back, I confessed then that Green was new to me - envy notwithstanding, alas - and this track proves just how expertly this fantastic guitarist made the transition from the 60s into the funk vinery spreading wild like kudzu into everyone's back yard. A nod to James Brown on this one, patently, but the playing here is inspired and just the right side of understated. However, i'll leave that honour to "Smooth" over at My Jazz World for putting up the vinyl rip from yet another criminally out-of-print release and for informing my jadeless palette. Suffice to say, if you are unfamiliar with Grant Green, he's well worth checking out.

But sticking with the painterly/horticultural analogy a tad longer, here's a track from the equally green-fingered English guitarist, Peter Green, allegedly.

This popped up on the internet several years back, purporting to be an acoustic version of the Fleetwood Mac standard "Albatross" by none less than their original frontman turned recluse. This could easily be the work of some charlatan attempting to infiltrate MP3 players the world over with a TEAC homespun back bedroom jam, but i love the (at times quite clumsy) fretwork anyway. It has a painful honesty about it that should make tablature fanatics the world over quiver and blush. Please feel free to shoot me down in flames if you're clued-up to the real deal. I demand to be educated ! I tried hard at the time to some detective work on it but came out naggingly none-the-wiser.

download: PETER GREEN: ALBATROSS (acoustic) from the World-Wide-Web.

John Cooper Clarke first released an EP on the Manchester based label Rabid Records in 1977, backed by a coterie of musicians named the Curious Yellows. On dancing around my bedroom to the Sex Pistols back in the day, I inadvertently stepped onto the 45 and snapped it cleanly in two. The vinyl was unusually thick and brittle and I very carefully placed both shards back in the picture sleeve with the notion that someday in the future I might find the means to splice it back together. The technology probably exists to achieve that end, but little did I know then that the good days of vinyl were numbered and that I was in fact an unwitting accomplice in the "Built-In Obsolescence" described in "Psycle Sluts".

If you are a fan of HBO's "The Sopranos", you may recall that Clarke's "Evidently Chickentown" featured prominently in the closing credits to an episode from the final series. Credit where it's due. It was great to hear JCC in such an unexpected context. And a prompt reminder as to just how much I wanted to ferret out his old releases and dust them down. His vocal style is very much an acquired taste, but persevere and you'll come to appreciate that his acute turn of phrase cuts as sharply as his obvious idol, Robert Zimmerman.

And did you know that John Cooper Clarke, once uncharitably referred to as "the ugliest man in pop", spent a large part of the 1980s romantically engaged with former Velvet Underground muse and chanteuse, Nico?

download: JOHN COOPER CLARKE & THE INVISIBLE GIRLS: SLEEPWALK from "Snap, Crackle & Bop" LP (Epic) 1980 (EPC 84083) UK

download: JOHN COOPER CLARKE & THE INVISIBLE GIRLS: THIRTY SIX HOURS from "Snap, Crackle & Bop" LP (Epic) 1980 (EPC 84083) UK

download: JOHN COOPER CLARKE & THE INVISIBLE GIRLS: BEASLEY STREET from "Snap, Crackle & Bop" LP (Epic) 1980 (EPC 84083) UK

posted by ib


Anonymous said...

always nice to hear some P. Greenbaum

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clearing up that particular mystery, Emmett! Any idea where this track comes from ? Not knowing is driving me crazy! I have to go on record as stating i actually prefer this infinitely to the original Fleetwod Mac release.

Anonymous said...

Soho Session, 1999 ?

Anonymous said...

i hope it doesn't bother you that i haven't listened yet this week. it's wrapped up as a handy ib playlist now, however, and i have enjoyed greatly the notes. AD keeps it brief which is why i love it, but ib's weeks add so much. excellent feature. great week.

Anonymous said...

Cheers, brendan! Thanks for your kind support. Glad you took some time out of Rising Storm to drop by!

Big B said...

ib, great week indeed. love the 'liner' notes. i've been out for awhile and knew as soon i saw the post today that you were driving the bus. thanks for the lift. (btw, big fan of 'get carter' as well. only the 70s could produce such a film.)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, big b! Good to know you're a fan of "Get Carter" too... Watching that movie brings it right back; austere and shabby, but in a good way too. Life in the fast lane - but in slow motion with a side order of greasy chips!

Sarah said...

ib, you're pulling the takeover on Art Decade, huh?

Mike said...

Another great week ib. I've enjoyed these posts immensely.

Anonymous said...

morty: any longer and regular AD visitors would be up in arms. I can still hear the tumbleweed blowing through the St. Valentine's day post!

mike: thanks, man. You need to get properly back in the saddle and start posting again!

Anonymous said...

you have to hear JCC's "post war glamour girl". it's an early martin hannett production and has been sitting pretty as my favourite tune for the last year

Anonymous said...

Hey job, not sure if it's the same version, but i have it on aged vinyl 45 - replete with more snaps, crackles and pops than is decent: "A post war glamour girl's never alone..."