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  • Under The Influence,
  • Now That's What I Call
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  • Now That's What I Call
  • Music 66,
  • Brian Wilson : Pet
  • Projects,
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  • Joys And Curse Of Drink,
  • Now 84!,








  • Adrian's Album Reviews |

    Various Artists

    Nuggets( 1972 )
    The Electric Prunes: "I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)" / The Standells: "Dirty Water" / The Strangeloves: "Night Time" / The Knickerbockers: "Lies" / The Vagrants: "Respect" / Mouse: "A Public Execution" / The Blues Project: "No Time Like the Right Time" / The Shadows of Knight: "Oh Yeah" / The Seeds: "Pushin' Too Hard" / The Barbarians: "Moulty" / The Remains: "Don't Look Back" / The Magicians: "An Invitation to Cry" / The Castaways: "Liar, Liar" / The 13th Floor Elevators: "You're Gonna Miss Me" / Count Five: "Psychotic Reaction" / The Leaves: "Hey Joe" (Billy Roberts) / Michael and the Messengers: "Romeo & Juliet" / The Cryan' Shames: "Sugar and Spice" / The Amboy Dukes: "Baby Please Don't Go" / Blues Magoos: "Tobacco Road" / The Chocolate Watchband: "Let's Talk About Girls" / The Mojo Men: "Sit Down, I Think I Love You" / The Third Rail: "Run, Run, Run" / Sagittarius: "My World Fell Down" / The Nazz: "Open My Eyes" / The Premiers: "Farmer John" / The Magic Mushrooms: "It's-a-Happening"

    The most famous garage-rock record of all time. In 1972 when Lenny Kaye compiled this double vinyl compilation of half-forgotten mid-sixties misses by obscure American bands, he cannot have had any idea how famous and influential this compilation would become. Now re-issued on CD as a stand-alone album or as part of a larger box-set, it's time to re-evaluate this music of a particular time and place that very nearly fell through the cracks, never to be heard again. Lots of these tunes sound like, on the surface, pale imitations of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. Dig deeper however and a convincing case can be made for calling this type of stuff the real, original punk rock. So, i'll pick out a few notable tunes, then? Sagittarius sound like The Beach Boys on helium, not a bad thing actually, it's a charming little toon. Todd Rundgren's Nazz open our eyes ( did you like that?! ) with 'Open My Eyes', a fuzzed up slice of hard hitting Who influence psychedelic rock. The Leaves do the original 'Hey Joe', complete with storming garage rock solo in the middle that elevates this 2nd only to the Hendrix version. Far superior, needless to say, to The Byrds or Love versions. Garage bands do cover versions, don't they? Here we get a few, The Vagrants garage-up the soul classic 'Respect'. The Cryin Shames do 'Sugar And Spice', made famous of course by The Searchers.

    'Lies' by The Knickerbockers approximates early Beatles fairly well yet the real classic arrives first of all, 'Electric Prunes marvellous 'I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night', a statement I often feel is correct when I wake up some mornings and wonder if i'm still asleep dreaming. The Standells do a great Stones/Animals thing with 'Dirty Water' that's a blast. We've got The Seeds, very reminiscent of very early Mothers Of Invention and very enjoyably. Verily. Finally, as if we even needed proof here amongst all the energy and distorted guitars of the punk thing, 'Psychotic Reaction' by Count Five is simply stupendous.

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    Eddie martin_truksa@hotmail.com
    Glad you've decided to review this album. There are some forgettable songs but i'd advise anyone into late 60s garage/pyschedlic pop to buy a copy of this. "Pyschotic Reaction", "I had too much to dream", "Hey Joe", "Baby please don't go", Tobacco road" and "It's-A-Happening" are my favourites.


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    Come To The Sunshine 9 ( 2005 )
    Come To The Sunshine / Candy Apple Cotton Candy / A Whole Lot Of Rainbows / Love In / Talking To The Flowers / Our Dream / Take My Hand / Come On In / Just What I've Been Looking For / Silver And Sunshine / Happiness / If You Know What I Mean / Wounded / Hung Up On Love / For All That I Am / Summer Days Summer Nights / Discrepency / Scorpio Red / Beverly Hills / Tell Someone That You Love Them / Time To Love / Someday Man / Trip To Loveland / No One Was There

    Sub-titled 'soft pop nuggets from the WEA vaults', this handsomely packaged compilation follows on from the couple of Nuggets box-sets that have appeared. Some tracks are repeated, some are new to the series, some are just so delightful that I had to write this review just so I could talk about them. To regular readers of this site, it will come as no huge surprise that my absolute favourite track here is the 'friends' era Beach Boys inspired glory of a pop song that is 'Tell Someone You Love Them'. This song, released in 1968 by Dino, Desi and Billy featured future Beach Boys touring member Billy Hinsche, who also happens to be this songs author. It's a track that contains lovely harmonies, a delicious soft feel that obviously been inspired by late-sixties Brian Wilson, etc, etc. It's a winner in our house is really what i'm saying here! Another favourite comes from the post 'Head' movie commercial fall-out that The Monkees suffered. 'Someday Man' was written by Roger Nichols and Paul Williams and is such a perfect piece of faintly psych inspired harmony pop that it really does need to be heard by as many people as possible. Such was The Monkees decline from their previous commercial heights, this slice of near pop perfection only peaked at number 81 on Billboard.

    Another name here to tickle the fancies of Beach Boys lovers everywhere is 'Come To The Sunshine' by Harpers Bizarre, a track penned by non other than Van Dyke Parks, these days more famously known as the lyricist for Brian Wilson's 'Smile' project, of course. There are too many songs here that are worthy of mentioning, but sadly space prevents me. Certain songs slide too obviously into hippie love-land LSD flowers are great type of thing, yet most are obscure gems that it's great to have your hands and ears on! Let's take 'Our Dream' by those famous (?!) sixties popsters 'The Munx'. They released all of two or three singles under the name 'The Munx', none of which charted, although did earn the group a couple of local television appearences. Anyway, 'Our Dream' lives upto its name with a soft yet extremely melodic feel, lovely harmonies. It's a very pretty track, all in all. Certainly obscure were The Street Corner Society whoose only ever recorded release 'Summer Days Summer Nights' appears here. This is another slice of glorious Beach Boys inspired pop, life-affirming pop, no less! Loads of tracks here also appear to take in Beatles influences, the california sound of the likes of 'Mamas And Papas', etc, etc. It's a neat thing to have around in your record collection anyway, really it is.

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    Under The Influence 8 ( 2003 )
    Saturday Night Special-Lesa Cormier & The Sundown Playboys / Trash-The New York Dolls / Woodpecker Rock-Nat Couty / So Little Time-Diana Dors / Breaking The Rules-Ludus / One Hand Loose-Charlie Feathers / Great Horse-Tyrannosaurus Rex / (There Goes) The Forgotten Man-Jimmy Radcliff / De Castrow-Jaybee Wasden / Judy Is A Punk-Ramones / Arts & Crafts Spectacular-Sparks / Swan Lake-The Cats / All That Is My Own-Nico / Hey Joe-Patti Smith / Death-Klaus Nomi

    First things first. This is the very first copy protected CD that won't play on my computer at all. Record labels take note! Secondly, this is very annoying, as a writing a review is much easier if you can listen to the album at the same time, but no matter. Our favourite friend Morrissey has made a mix-tape for us, and it's a wonderful thing. A whole glory of delights awaits, many obscure delights, but also the likes of The Ramones wonderfully primitive 'Judy Is A Punk' for better known songs. In the obscure corner lies pretty much everything else, although you will have heard of Tyrannosaurus Rex and Sparks, I pray to god. Both are wonderful bands and the choices Morrissey makes here are clever. The Marc Bolan song is a wonderful slice of early charm, the Sparks song a previously unreleased rarity - but shows off that particular band's unique approach to music right away, even as early as 1972, the year from which this recording is sourced. In the obscure corner, we have many semi-delights. Well, as far as Jimmy Radcliff is concerned, not even a semi-delight, rather a major spinning around in glee delight. I haven't the faintest idea who he is, and even though the song sounds like the sort of thing Tom Jones would have absolutely ruined and slaughtered, this is top stuff, great vocals and wonderful Sixties pop backing vocals. You know what I mean. The Diana Dors song is also a semi-revelation, another wonderful slice of Sixties pop, plugging into and making sense of The Smiths, immediately. All those two and a half minute pop songs they released? Well, Morrissey has always been a huge fan of Sixties pop.

    'Woodpecker Rock' is a funny slice of Rock N Roll including seemingly obligitory and also very funny 'woodpecker' vocal sounds! Outtasight!! Major hero of Morrissey's, lesbian vocalist Linder arrives next. The lyrics are great, the song very obscure - but Morrissey fans will know the name Linder. And so it goes on, a mix tape from Morrissey to his fans, revealing some of his musical roots along the way. It's a nice thing, even more nice given that Morrissey has donated all of his own personal profits from this compilation to the charity The People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals (PETA).

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    Martin Truksa martin_truksa@hotmail.com
    The above song by Sparks from "Under The Influence" can be heard in its entirety on www.wfmu.org/playlists/shows/6684


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    The Joys And Curse Of Drink 9 ( Vol 13 )
    FRED JORDAN voice: John Barleycorn / MARGARET BARRY & MICHAEL GORMAN voice. banjo & fiddle: Two Hundred Years A-Brewing / DAVIE STEWART voice with chorus: The Merchant's Son / TOM NEWMAN voice: My Old Hat That I Got On / JOHN GRIFFIN voice & flute with piano: The Real Old Mountain Dew / GEORGE SPICER voice: Coming Home Late / WILLIE SCOTT voice: Piper O'Neill / MARY ANN CAROLAN voice: Bold Doherty / DONALD CUMMING & EDDY HOLMES accordeon & dulcimer: The Bottom Of The Punchbowl - The Teetotaller / WIGGY SMITH voice: When I Was A Young Man / DAVIE STEWART voice: I'm Often Drunk And Seldom Sober / MICHO RUSSELL voice: When Mursheen Went To Bunnan / FRED JORDAN voice: When Jones's Ale Was New / JEANNIE ROBERTSON voice: The Bonnie Wee Lass Who Never Said No / WILLIE KEMP & CURLY MacKAY voice & piano-accordion: The Tinklers' Wedding / PADDY TUNNEY voice: The Cow That Drank The Poteen / LOUIE FULLER voice: Young Maria / WILL POWRIE accordeon with piano: The Drunken Piper - Highland Whisky - The High Road To Linton / GEORGE DUNN voice: My Little Grey Horse / TOM LENINAN voice: Paddy's Panacea / MICHAEL GORMAN (nephew) fiddle: The Broken Pledge / WILLIE SCOTT voice: Jock Geddes And The Soo / WASSAILERS (Drayton) voices: Live Performance / GEORGE SPICER voice with chorus: The Barley Mow

    There are those who believe rock and roll songs ( and let's face it - if you're reading this site, you'll more than likely be here because of the latest hot NME act i've reviewed rather than two hundred year old folk music ) that believe that any act not as popular as The Beatles, The Kinks, etc, etc - will be almost totally forgotten in thirty or forty years time. Well, some of the songs here are hundreds of years old. The eldest performer i've found in the 'Voice Of The People' folk series, so far, was born in 1865. And, he learnt his songs from his father and his grand-father. Yeah, here we have folk songs, often just a singing human voice, that really do go right back to the source. Before America was even discovered, the voices and tales of England. Topic Records have put together this series, 20 themed CDs of recordings dating back to the early part of the 20th century. You know, 1920 or something. I grew up in the english countryside - and where I grew up had a sizeable folk tradition. It's part of this land and part of me. Part of England, and these songs are kept alive.

    My god, are there some absolute gems here. The very first song tells a tale of a unworthy fellow who ended up dead and was mashed and made into a home ale. Tasty!! 'Coming Home Late' is absolutley hilarious. Here's a small sample of the lyrics.... "When i came home last monday night as drunk as i could be / and hanging on the peg another mans hat i see / i ask my wife about it asking my love whoevers can it be / she says it is a flowerpot your mama sent to me / well its many a mile i've travelled, 10,000 miles or more / but a flowerpot with a hat-band on / i've never seen before." And yeah, the song gets even funnier from there on in. It builds up!! We've stately songs here, true lyrics passed down throughout the ages and ringing true and infused with meaning. The lyrics and diamond and gold and those voices of the people? They sound like they've lived. One quote from the series "dirt under the fingernails", eg, these people lived. They sang about their experiences. They sang songs learnt from their fathers and grand-fathers, who probably learnt those songs from THEIR fathers and grand-fathers. We're going back right to the source. Since human-kind was born, we've made music. Good music, whomever it is by, lasts. Many of these performers collected here are unknown to the world at large, yet very known within traditional circles. Classic singers and performers. And, in case you were wondering if you're reading this page from America, or elsewhere - yeah, the british love of alcohol goes back many many years! We wrote songs about it. Songs that ring true, songs that are reality and life's tales. Such songs are collected here. This collection has a minority appeal, yet should I hope absolutely astound any modern music lover with an open mind. Everybody says goodbye at some point. Listening to these masterful performances, recorded many years ago of performers now dead? It's a little strange, but these songs are diamond arend gold, to me. These people are kept alive. Thank you so much Topic Records, for keeping the flame alive for further gennerations.

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    Now That's What I Call Music 57 5 ( 2004 )
    1. Britney Spears - Toxic 2. Kelis - Milkshake 3. Jamelia -Thank You 4. Kylie Minogue - Red Blooded Woman 5. Justin Timberlake - I'm Lovin' It 6. Enrique Iglesias feat. Kelis - Not In Love 7. The Black Eyed Peas - Shut Up 8. 2 Play feat. Raghav & Jucxi - So Confused 9. Beenie Man feat. Ms. Thing - Dude 10. Peter Andre - Mysterious Girl 11. DJ Casper - Cha Cha Slide 12. Girls Aloud - Jump 13. Boogie Pimps - Somebody To Love 14. Atomic Kitten feat. Kool & The Gang - Ladies Night 15. Emma - I'll Be There 16. Sophie Ellis-Bextor - I Won't Change You 17. Scissor Sisters - Comfortably Numb 18. Deepest Blue - Give It Away 19. LMC vs. U2 - Take Me To The Clouds Above 20. Special D - Come With Me 21. Ultrabeat - Feelin' Fine 22. Motorcycle - As The Rush Comes 23. Ferry Corsten - Rock Your Body Rock Disc: 2 1. Will Young - Leave Right Now 2. Katie Melua - The Closest Thing To Crazy 3. Norah Jones - Sunrise 4. Blue - Breathe Easy 5. Kelly Osbourne feat. Ozzy Osbourne - Changes 6. Blink-182 - I Miss You 7. Busted - Who's David 8. Fountains Of Wayne - Stacy's Mom 9. Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out 10. Alistair Griffin - Bring It On 11. Sugababes - Too Lost In You 12. VS - Love You Like Mad 13. Joss Stone - Fell In Love With A Boy 14. FYA feat. Smujji - Must Be Love 15. N.E.R.D - She Wants To Move 16. Jamie Cullum - Frontin' (BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge) 17. Keane - Somewhere Only We Know 18. Snow Patrol - Run 19. Alex Parks - Maybe That's What It Takes 20. Ronan Keating - She Believes (In Me) 21. Michelle - All This Time

    This is a collection of songs considered too weak to be entered into the Eurovision contest, mostly. Well, not really, I just made that up. Popular music today? What purpose does it serve and how has it changed from popular music twenty years ago? The 'Now' compilations have been going that long, you know? The difference is, even twenty one year olds like Men At Work, their popular hit 'Down Under' appeared on one of the very first 'Now' compilations. Who will remember DJ Casper in twenty years time? Nobody of course. Who will even give a damn about him in twenty weeks time? Nobody, because by then, they'll be another 'Now' music compilation out. It's become an alarmingly appropriately titled series. "Now" is all that matters. I know people who adored the Outkast song, 'Hey Ya'. Now, a few months later, they'd rather spit on it than listen to it again for the umpteenth time. That's the state of popular music today. The thing that worries me the most is that nobody apparently CARES. People are quite happy to have a new selection of popular hits they won't remember in a few months time, every few months. Music is something they do whilst doing something else far more important. Acts like Keane, important new bands, are seen as abberations where compilations such as this are concerned.

    Well, let's see. Six packed australian Peter Andre, who only ever had one hit in the first place, has that same hit again in 2004, thanks to his appearing on a reality TV show. What this has to do with either talent, or music, or musical talent, is beyond me. Oh, but he has a 'six pack'! Oh well, that's alright then. I'm listening to 'Special D'. Very basic dance beats, very processed vocals. This is what the people want listen to. 'Stacy's Mom' by Fountains Of Wayne is base Amercian college rock with all the subtley of a very blunt instrument beaten around the head. 'Ladies Night' by girly girls Atomic Kitten ( featuring Kool And The Gang, I ask you! ) is a real crowd pleaser providing you're wearing very few clothes and are steaming drunk. These songs have nothing to do with art, and I object to that! Oh, let's take pop music of the past. 'Dancing Queen' by Abba perhaps? It's art. Oh, what the hell. This entire compilation is awful tripe and I only give it five out of ten because, you know, people actually enjoy this stuff. I don't know why they do... Actually, I do. All these songs are songs that, within five seconds of them starting, appear to be happy, uplifting songs. Any song with depth, or that is actually GOOD, doesn't start out quite like that. People skip such songs within the first five seconds, because you know, it hasn't started out really dumbly happy within the first instant. Instant gratification? Beer, drugs. Sex. Television. Everything is more important than music to every single person that buys this compilation.

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    Readers Comments

    HistoricRocker HistoricRocker@aol.com
    I know what you are talking about when you say it's all about the here and now. But that's what music seems to have become, some means of capitalism and you can't really stop this. And it pisses me off that bands that are really worth something don't even see the limelight. Good review as usual, man. Keep them coming.

    bassplayer edd eddie123zeppelin@hotmail.com
    Now that's what i call shite more like.

    Matt krej@adelphia.net
    I can't agree more. This is why I hate popular music today. People my age (17) forget a song about ten days after it came out because there's a new #1 song on the charts. Ahhh! I hate this! So much for "classic" hits, huh? Yeah, you're right about "instant gratification." Pretty much sums up a large amount of people today.....*shaking head*

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    Now That's What I Call Music Vol 66 5 ( 2007 )
    MIKA - Grace Kelly / Kaiser Chiefs - Ruby / Sugababes vs Girls Aloud - Walk This Way / Take That - Patience / Justin Timberlake - What Goes Around...Comes Around / Nelly Furtado - Say It Right / Beyoncé - Irreplaceable / Kelis feat. Cee-Lo - Lil Star / Akon feat. Eminem - Smack That / Just Jack - Starz In Their Eyes / Calvin Harris - Acceptable In The 80's / Mason vs Princess Superstar - Perfect (Exceeder) / Booty Luv - Boogie 2Nite (Seamus Haji Big Love Edit) / Eric Prydz vs Floyd - Proper Education / Sharam - P.A.T.T. (Party All The Time) / Cascada - Truly Madly Deeply / Girls Aloud - I Think We're Alone Now / Seamus Haji - Last Night A DJ Saved My Life / Camille Jones vs Fedde Le Grand - The Creeps / Jamelia - Beware Of The Dog / Gwen Stefani - Wind It Up / Fergie feat. Ludacris - Glamorous / JoJo - Too Little, Too Late / Leona - A Moment Like This / The Fray - How To Save A Life / The View - Same Jeans / Gossip - Standing In The Way Of Control / Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Catch You / Klaxons - Golden Skans / Fall Out Boy - This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race / The Killers - Read My Mind / U2 - Window In The Skies / Robbie Williams with Pet Shop Boys - She's Madonna / The Fratellis - Whistle For The Choir / The Ordinary Boys - I Luv U / Snow Patrol - Open Your Eyes / Razorlight - Before I Fall To Pieces / Scissor Sisters - She's My Man / The Feeling - Love It When You Call / McFly - Sorry's Not Good Enough / Lily Allen - Alfie / Jamie T - Calm Down Dearest / Sugababes - Easy / Amy Winehouse - You Know I'm No Good / The Proclaimers feat. Brian Potter & Andy Pipkin - I'm Gonna Be

    Right, after my recent adventures listening to and enjoying hip-hop, that musical scene massive in the US but never quite breaking through in the UK as it might, i'm going to review this latest various compilation with a completely open mind. Indeed, i'm going to have it on repeat play for the next good few hours, just in case i'm missing some secret sauce that others have and I don't and actually, this kind of stuff really is the best music around. Well, let's begin then. Mika's 'Grace Kelly' sounds like a Robbie Williams song. Mika will not be the next big thing, he's the current big thing. Number one album too. Good god... Oh! Kaiser Cheifs 'Ruby'. This is the 'indie' music i'm supposed to like yeah? That indian music? It's just as offensive to my ears as Mika, so I make no distinction as far as genres are concerned. Indie-pop is generally these days just as loathsome as pop music, full stop. Best song of the first four? 'Patience' by Take That. As far removed from Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine ( who stopped, by the way ) as is imaginable. I blame the N.M.E. I blame 'Select' magazine. I used to like that. Went on a couple of dates through their readers sections. Same with N.M.E. Make of that what you will. I type that as a happily engaged man after having met someone in the pub and with whom I don't feel the need to bash around the head with a copy of 'God Fodder' by Neds Atomic Dustbin until they submit. All of these words, of course, have a purpose. I'm not against 'pop' music. Or rap music. Or any kind of music. I'm simply against 'bad' music. Ok? Right, good!

    Justin Timbalake and Nelly Furtado have both enjoyed Neptunes ( and/or ) Timbaland productions. Justinalake tries to go 'oooh' and 'ahhhh' whilst dancing and singing his latest pop infection. Nelly Furtado does the same, but sounds three times better, at least. Why the difference? Well, Nelly Furtado has at least some artistic ambition and credibility and the tone of her voice betrays her origins and her roots. She's not hidden behind a wall of production, either. Nelly Furtado has been one of the success stories of this past year or so. So, 'Smack That', Akon feat Eminem. Well, the return of Eminem. We could be reasonably expected to expect big things from this song. The beats aren't all that and a bag of sugar. The vocals are kind of whiny and I love hip-hop lately. This sadly does nothing for me, especially the Eminem on speed rap part when it enters. Then, I have to forward and flick past a lot of dance/house music before I reach another song worth commenting on here. 'How To Save A Life' by Fray, sounds a little like Keane but with extra dance beats. Actually, it's pretty poor stuff but at least it isn't utterly mindless dance music designed to be danced to, not listened to. When will people ever learn?

    Gadzooks, what's this? It's The View sounding utterly out of place, which can either be a good or a bad thing. Sounds like an album track rather than a single. Let's pass by, nothing to look at here. Ah, Sophie Ellis Bextor, a pretty face with a fairly flat voice. I like her flat voice, though. The Klaxons sound like dinner party music in comparison to, oooh, I don't know. A good band. No, that's not acceptable. Who can I say? I know! 'Neds Atomic Dustbin'. They'll do. Somebody has had fun with the tracklisting. The Killers side by side with U2? Haha! The Ordinary Boys 'I Luv U', actually the most fun song here and arguably ( and i'll argue all you like ) the best song here. Besides, Preston mentions Phil Spector in the lyrics. A bunch of forgettable indie music follows and a few other things before we reach the lovely Lily Allen with the superb London sounds of 'Alfie'. And that's about that, don't want to mention Amy Winehouse because I might vomit. Go buy her single today and lose some weight.

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    Pet Projects : The Brian Wilson Productions ( 2003 )
    Run Around Lover - Sharon Marie / Thinkin Bout You Baby - Sharon Marie / Pamela Jean - The Survivors / After The Game - The Survivors / Sacramento - Gary Usher / That's The Way I Feel - Gary Usher / The One You Can't Have - The Honeys / Surfin Down The Swanee River - The Honeys / Summertime - Sharon Marie / Hide Go Seek - The Honeys / Shyin Away - American Spring / Fallin' In Love - American Spring / Pray For Surf - The Honeys / Shoot The Curl - The Honeys / Vegetables - The Laughing Gravy / The Revo-Lution - Rachel & The Revolvers / Number One - Rachel & The Revolvers / She Rides With Me - Paul Petersen / Guess I'm Dumb - Glen Campbell / Story Of My Life - Sharon Marie / He's A Doll - The Honeys / Tonight You Belong To Me - The Honeys / Goodnight My Love - The Honeys

    There are songs missing here and there. You could conceivably call Jan And Dean's 'Surf City' a Brian Wilson production, for instance. He co-wrote, co-produced and helped arranged the song and sang at the recording dates. Brian's first number one song was 'Surf City', and that was in 1963. The Beach Boys didn't hit number one in the singles chart until 1964! So Capitol records, along with father Murry Wilson, weren't best pleased at Brian giving his songs and talent away to the competition! Brian's outside productions didn't always get the promotion they deserved. Capitol encouraged him to do it and then set about discouraging him to do it, by not properly promoting the results. Ah, this 'Pet Projects' compiled and released by Ace Records is such nice thing to have around! Virtually all of these songs are ultra rare collectors items, many both long deleted and highly sought after by Brian and Beach Boys fans.

    Ah, let's take The Honeys and see what Brian had to work with. Phil Spector worked with some of the finest singers that were around in the early Sixties. Brian worked with 'second stringers' or worked with his friends. Early Brian lyricist Gary Usher saw a single released thanks to Brian, for example. 'Guess I'm Dumb' was a Brian Wilson song and production for Glen Campbell, given to him as a thank you for standing in for Brian at a number of Beach Boys concert dates. Not that Glen Campbell was a second stringer, of course - the guy had a fantastic voice and went onto have a pretty decent career. But, Paul Petersen? Sharon Marie? I'd heard of Sharon Marie, but still, who are these people? Rachel & The Revolvers?? Brian wrote 'The Revo-lution' in the wake of big hit at the time 'The Locomotion'. There you go! 'Vegetables' is a version of the Beach Boys / Brian Wilson 'Smile' tune performed here by Dean Torrence  along with Brian, his then wife Marilyn - as well as her sister Diane. Diane and Marilyn formed two thirds of The Honeys, who sung back up on many Beach Boys songs as well as other recordings in the early Sixties. When Brian sat in the producers chair using the Phil Spector musicians trying to get a hit for The Honeys, sparks flew! Things happened!! Not always, the likes of 'Shoot The Curl' and 'Pray For Surf' are weak material and average Brian productions, but the likes of 'The One You Can't Have' are fantastic productions that nod in Spectors direction and out-do many of the productions Brian was doing for The Beach Boys at the time.

    The highpoint of 'Pet Projects' is 'Guess I'm Dumb'. Not just a good Brian Wilson production. It's maybe one of the ten best productions he ever did. It isn't just a great Brian Wilson song.... you get my point. Beautifully sung by Glen Campbell and released in 1965 'Guess I'm Dumb' predated 'Pet Sounds' by a good year or so. It's hugely advanced for 1965 in terms of complexity and sound and yeah, number one in the whole wide world, for me. Number one in the universe! God, Sharon Marie had a harsh voice! 'Story Of My Life' is the worst offender, she intones and shrieks her way through a song that still sounds great because of wonderful deep doo-wop harmonies and a relatively sparse Brian production cleverly utilizing percussion and echo. Still, going back to those Honeys again, not always the greatest singers in the world, although Brian always went around saying what a great voice Marilyn ( his wife! ) had. And, to be fair. 'He's A Doll' is a stupendous Brian 'Wall Of Spector' production with fantastic horns, fantastic percussion and a fantastic tune - also boasting great fantastic sounding vocals, beautifully recorded.

    American Spring evolved from The Honeys and released a much sought after today that never sold in its time album, produced by Brian in 1972, way past his supposed peak of powers and right into a period where he was supposedly a big fat washed up wreck. Well, 'Shyin Away' written by Marilyn and Diane is a simple little song, but Brian puts in 'Pet Sounds' drums, great tumbling and rising bass lines - brilliant Brian Wilson touches all over the thing. 'Fallin In Love' is a Dennis Wilson song and not one I was previously aware even existed, so i've never heard Dennis sing the song, but even listening to Marilyn ( Wilson ) and Diane Rovell sing the song, it sounds like a Dennis Wilson song! The musical track sees Brian treat the composition with respect and sensitivity - I love the brief repeated refrain of the echo vocal off in the background after the chorus parts. I love the strings!! But, it does make you wonder. The two American Spring recordings here date from 1973. If Brian could have been left alone or removed from the influence of The Beach Boys around this time, rather than dragged to places like Holland against his will to record new Beach Boys albums.... well who knows? 'Pet Projects' is delightful listening for Beach Boys and Brian Wilson fans and contains enough musical majesty and delights to make many more listeners Brian Wilson fans too. <

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    Buddy Baker buddy.baker@comcast.net
    In your review of the cited album, you indicate Paul Peterson is an unheard-of. Many people don't realize Paul Peterson, the singer, is Paul Peterson, the child star who played Jeff Stone on the hugley poplular, early '60s U.S. TV sitcom "The Donna Reed Show." You can find out all about him at http://www.paulpetersen.com/.

    kees van lieshout keesvanlieshout@home.nl
    sharon marie's "thinkin' about you baby" is my favorite song on this album. is this a makeover of Beach Boys "darlin" ? in a way it reminds me also of the Shangrila's. warm greetings from the Netherlands ( Europe)

    Cia Pioli ciame@sbcglobal.net
    The song Thinkin About You Baby was recorded by Sharon Marie in 1964. The words and some of the arrangement was changed to match Carl's voice. The recording "Darlin" was done a lot more than five years after Sharon's recording. Sharon Marie was an unknown, she still is. I would be interested in knowing if Brian still keeps in touch with the artists he recorded. I would think that working with someone and letting them interpret your word and music would be a very personal thing. The song itself was a song of that era. But when I listen to it sung by Sharon, I feel that it might have been in the wrong key. She strains a bit here and there. But the quality of her voice, especially at the end of Summertime proves that she had great range. I listened to it a few times, just the ending, also the ending on Thinkin About You Baby, and Story of My Life. She always put a nice ending on the songs she sung.


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    Now That's What I Call Music Vol 84 4 ( 2013 )
    01 One Way Or Another (Teenage Kicks) One Direction / 02 Scream & Shout will.i.am feat. Britney Spears / 03 I Knew You Were Trouble Taylor Swift / 04 Just Give Me A Reason P!nk feat. Nate Ruess / 05 Diamonds Rihanna / 06 Pompeii Bastille / 07 Impossible James Arthur / 08 Troublemaker Olly Murs feat. Flo Rida / 09 Locked Out Of Heaven Bruno Mars / 10 Die Young Ke$ha / 11 Ready Or Not Bridgit Mendler / 12 DNA Little Mix / 13 What About Us The Saturdays feat. Sean Paul / 14 Something New Girls Aloud / 15 Boomerang Nicole Scherzinger / 16 Latch Disclosure feat. Sam Smith / 17 Radioactive Rita Ora / 18 Girl On Fire Alicia Keys / 19 A Thousand Years Christina Perri / 20 Clown Emeli Sandé / 21 The Power Of Love Gabrielle Aplin / 22 I Could Be The One Avicii vs. Nicky Romero / 23 Get Up (Rattle) Bingo Players feat. Far East Movement / 24 Don’t Stop The Party Pitbull feat. TJR / 25 Drinking From The Bottle Calvin Harris feat. Tinie Tempah / 26 Bassline Junkie Dizzee Rascal / 27 Reload Wiley feat. Chip / 28 Not Giving In Rudimental feat. John Newman & Alex Clare / 29 Animal Conor Maynard feat. Wiley / 30 White Noise Disclosure feat. Aluna George / 31 Rewind Devlin feat. Diane Birch / 32 Standing In The Dark Lawson / 33 Black Chandelier Biffy Clyro / 34 My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up) Fall Out Boy / 35 Love Is Easy McFly / 36 Only Love Ben Howard / 37 Ho Hey The Lumineers / 38 Little Things One Direction / 39 Try P!nk / 40 Please Don’t Say You Love Me Gabrielle Aplin / 41 Everywhere Fleetwood Mac / 42. Explosions Ellie Goulding / 43. He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother The Justice Collective

    I haven't reviewed a compilation for ages, and what better way to celebrate the 're-launch' of my web-site than giving coverage to a large reason why I retired in the first place - modern chart music. 11 UK number one hit singles are on this record, and a lot of American music. Robert Copsey of Digital Spy praised opening track One Direction's medley of Blondie's 'One To Another' and The Undertones 'Teenage Kicks' as "undeniably fun". I criticise it for being an unconcealed attempt at crass commercialism of the worst kind, lacking any artistic merit whatsoever - horses for courses and all that. Will I Am teams up with Britney Spears and you must understand Will.I.Am is a comedy, clown figure in the UK at the moment, thanks to his admittedly entertaining stint on the UK version of 'The Voice'. Taylor Swift up next, reaching number two in both the UK and the US, but happily only numbers 53 and 54 in Japan and Sweden. Bastille are apparently an alternative rock band from London. You wouldn't think they were in any way, shape or form, 'alternative' based upon 'Pompeii' which sounds like a dance track auditioning for an opening spot at the London olympics opening ceremony a year too late. Track eleven then is the first one I can say I actually like, Bruno Mars takes on The Police with 'Locked Out Of Heaven'. Sting would be proud and give his left and right arms to write something so catchy and concise melodically these days. Later, the supposedly good singer Nicole Scherzinger decides she needs such ultra modern production that her vocals have been auto-tuned to annihilation.

    The compilers bizarrely choose the Fleetwood Mac song 'Everywhere' to prop up disc two, thanks to its use in a TV Advert, I suspect. Avicii vs Nick Romero open disc two with 'I Could Be The One'. Avicii is a Swedish DJ and Remixer and this, THIS is the music I dislike with a passion. Various vocal effects, lack of subtly, lack of highs and lows - just an unrelenting high which means nothing when listened to in a dreary office setting, walking, listening to at home or generally doing anything a person might reasonably do other than go out and party. Dutch production duo Bingo Players taste a number one UK hit with 'Get Up (Rattle)' which has that familiar dance music sound, a farting-trumpet-synth-helium sound under which the bass arrives and the trance ensues. The single they released before 'Get Up (Rattle)' didn't even chart in the UK and I suspect by the time their next song comes out, nobody will care about that, either. That's the tricky thing being a DJ/Producer who suddenly erupts from nowhere to score a hit single - do you just enjoy the moment or try to build a career upon it? The latter option is almost impossible for a lot of dance DJ's achieving similar big hits out of nowhere. Well, they come out of clubland. I have a plea, can they stay in clubland?

    Five songs in and Dizzee Rascal proves how to do it, a genuinely entertaining song with funny lyrics, silly music - it transcends its origins to become genuine pop music, something that the likes of Avicii and Bingo Players singularly fail to manage to do. I don't hate dance music, I just really despise bad and generic dance music. Disclosure release a dance tune but also an actual song with 'White Noise', clubby beats don't detract from a well-considered and arranged composition - one to dig out when the sun comes around. British rock act Lawson add guitars to this latest 'Now' compilation, but 'Standing In The Dark' ends up sounding like a cross between Coldplay, Keane and a talent-show contest. The 'rock' segment of 'Now 84' continues with uninspired offerings from Biffy Clyro and Fall Out Boy, neither track genuinely Rock moments with a capital R. I can't really say much for the rest of the compilation, although Ellie Goulding does brighten proceedings with the third single from her best-selling 2nd album 'Halcyon' - it's all dramatic production, passionate vocals and a good chorus, when it finally arrives.

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    this page last updated 01/06/13


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