Friday, May 31, 2013

speaking in tongues

Talking Heads regrouped and loosened up their sound for their biggest chart success with the funky fire of this 
groovy glossolalia. The band had split up after the tour for 'Remain in Light' to pursue solo projects: David Byrne and Brian Eno collaborated on 'My Life in the Bush of Ghosts'Chris Franz and Tina Weymouth started the Tom Tom Cluband Jerry Harrison released 'The Red and the Black'.   The group also released a double live album 'The Name of This Band is Talking Heads' during the three year break.  

'Speaking in Tongues' was produced by the band at Blank Tapes in New York, Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas, and Sigma Sound in Philadelphia with David Byrne on vocals, keyboards, guitars, bass, and percussion; Chris Frantz on drums, backing vocals, and synthesizer; Jerry Harrison on keyboards, guitar, and backing vocals; and Tina Weymouth on synthesizer, string bass, backing vocals, and guitar; with Bernie Worrell and Wally Badarou on synthesizer; Alex Weir on guitar; Richard Landry on saxophone; Shankar on violin; Raphael DeJesus, Steve Scales, and David Van Tieghem on percussion; and Nona Hendryx and Dolette McDonald on backing vocals. 

'Speaking in Tongues' went to number twenty-one in the UK, twenty in Austria, fifteen in Australia and the US, fourteen in the Netherlands, twelve in Sweden, eleven in Norway, seven in Canada, and number three in New Zealand.   Robert Rauschenberg won a Grammy for his limited edition album cover.

"Burning Down the House" became the band's biggest hit, going to ninety-four in Australia, nine on the US pop chart, eight in Canada, six on the US mainstream rock tracks chart, five in New Zealand, and number two on the US hot dance club songs chart.  Franz and Weymouth developed the groove after seeing  Parliament-Funkadelic in concert.  Byrne chanted nonsense words over their rhythm track:  "I just write words to fit that phrasing... I'd have loads and loads of phrases collected that I thought thematically had something to do with one another, and I'd pick from those."

Watch out, you might get what you're after 

Cool babies, strange but not a stranger 
I'm an ordinary guy 
Burning down the house 
Hold tight, wait 'till the party's over 
Hold tight, we're in for nasty weather 
There has got to be a way 
Burning down the house 
Here's your ticket, pack your bags, 
Time for jumpin' overboard 
Transportation is here 
Close enough but not too far, 
Maybe you know where you are 
Fightin' fire with fire 
All wet, hey you might need a raincoat 
Shakedown, dreams walking in broad daylight 
Three hundred sixty five degrees 
Burning down the house 
It was once upon a place, 
Sometimes I listen to myself 
Gonna come in first place 
People on their way to work said, 
"Baby what did you except?" 
Gonna burst into flame, go ahead 
Burning down the house 
My house is out of the ordinary 
That's right, don't want to hurt nobody 
Some things sure can sweep me off my feet 
Burning down the house 
No visible means of support 
And you have not seen nothin' yet 
Everything's stuck together 
I don't know what you expect 
Staring into the TV set 
Fighting fire with fire 

"Girlfriend Is Better" – 4:25

I, who took the money, 

Who took the money away? 
And I, it's always showtime 
here at the edge of the stage 
And I, I, I, wake up and wonder 
What was the place, what was the name? 
We wanna wait but here we go again 
I, takes over slowly 
But doesn't last very long 
And I, no need to worry, 
Ev'rything's under control 
O.U.T but no hard feelings 
What do you know? 
Take you away 
We're being taken for a ride again 
I got a girlfriend that's better than that 
She has the smoke in her eyes 
She's moving up, going right through my heart 
She's gonna give me surprise 
Better than this, know that it's right 
I think you can if you like 
I got a girlfriend with bows in her hair 
And nothing is better than that, is it? 
Down, down in the basement 
We hear the sound of machines 
And I, I'm driving in circles 
Come to my senses sometimes 
Why, why, why, why start it over? 
Nothing was lost, everything's free 
I don't care how impossible it seems 
Somebody calls you but you cannot hear 
Get closer to be far away 
Only one look and that's all that it takes 
Maybe that's all that we need 
All that it takes, all that it takes, 
All that it takes, all it takes 
I got a girlfriend that's better than that 
She goes wherever she likes 
There she goes 
I got a girlfriend that's better than that 
Everyone's getting involved 
As we get older and stop making sense 
You won't find her waiting long 
Stop making sense, stop making sense, 
Stop making sense, making sense 
I got a girlfriend that's better than that 
And nothing is better that this, is it?

"Slippery People" – 3:30

"I Get Wild/Wild Gravity" – 4:06 

"Swamp" – 5:09

Now lemme tell you a story 

The devil he has a plan 
A bag o' bones in his pocket 
Got anything you want 
No dust no rocks 
The whole thing is over 
All these beauties in solid motion 
All those beauties, they're gonna swallow you up 
Lets go 
Hi hi hi hi hi, 
Hi hi hi hi hi 
One time too many 
Too far to go 
Hi... we're gonna take you home 
And when they split those atoms 
It's hotter than the sun 
Burnin' a special substance 
They gonna pray for that man 
So wake up young lovers 
The whole thing is over 
Watch out touch monkeys 
All that blood, they gonna swallow you whole 
Hi hi hi hi hi 
Hi hi hi hi hi 
So soft, hard feelings 
No tricks, Lets go 
Hi - We come to take you home 
How many people do you think I am 
Pretending I'm somebody else 
You can pretend I'm and old millionaire 
A millionaire washing his hands 
Rattle of bones, dreams that stick out 
A medical chart on the wall 
Soft violins and hands touch your throat 
Ev'ryone wants to explode 
And when your hands get dirty 
Nobody knows you at all 
Don't have a window to slip out of 
Lights on, nobody home 
Click click- see ya later 
Beta beta- no time to rest 
Peeka peeka- risky business 
All that blood, they were covered in mess. 
Hi hi hi hi hi 
Hi hi hi hi hi

"Moon Rocks" – 5:04 

"Pull Up the Roots" – 5:08

"This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)" went to sixty-two on the US pop chart, fifty-one in the UK, and number two on the US hot dance club songs chart. For the recording everyone but Franz switched their usual instruments.  The Naive Melody results from the guitar and bass playing the same thing throughout the song.  Byrne says:   "That's a love song made up almost completely of non sequiturs, phrases that may have a strong emotional resonance but don't have any narrative qualities. It's a real honest kind of love song. I don't think I've ever done a real love song before. Mine always had a sort of reservation, or a twist. I tried to write one that wasn't corny, that didn't sound stupid or lame the way many do. I think I succeeded; I was pretty happy with that."

Home is where I want to be
Pick me up and turn me round
I feel numb - born with a weak heart
(So I) guess I must be having fun
The less we say about it the better
Make it up as we go along
Feet on the ground
Head in the sky
It's ok I know nothing's wrong . . nothing
Hi yo I got plenty of time
Hi yo you got light in your eyes
And you're standing here beside me
I love the passing of time
Never for money
Always for love
Cover up say goodnight . . . say goodnight
Home - is where I want to be
But I guess I'm already there
I come home she lifted up her wings
Guess that this must be the place
I can't tell one from the other
Did I find you, or you find me?
There was a time Before we were born
If someone asks, this where I'll be . . . where I'll be
Hi yo We drift in and out
Hi yo sing into my mouth
Out of all those kinds of people
You got a face with a view
I'm just an animal looking for a home
Share the same space for a minute or two
And you love me till my heart stops
Love me till I'm dead
Eyes that light up, eyes look through you
Cover up the blank spots
Hit me on the head
Ah ooh 

'Speaking in Tongues' full album:

Thursday, May 30, 2013

quicksilver messenger service

Quicksilver Messenger Service finally arrived with the bluesy folk rock and extended dueling guitar psychedelic jams of their eponymous debut.  The group originally formed in San Francisco as a vehicle for 'Get Together' composer Dino Valenti (Chet Powers); but he wasn't able to actually join the band for several years.  John Cipollina recalls:   "I was recommended to Dino, probably because I was the only guy playing an electric guitar, let alone lead, at the time...We talked about rehearsing one night and planned to rehearse the following night; but it never happened.  The next day Dino got busted."

Gary Duncan remembers:   “I was living in North Beach with Greg Elmore in the basement of a house owned by a lady named Chris Brooks. She had seen John Cippolina play somewhere and invited him over. His car broke down, so he stayed for a week. We started talking about putting a band together, but we didn't have a bass player. Cippolina said we have a bass player, but he's in jail. He actually plays violin, but we can teach him to play bass. That was how Quicksilver Messenger Service started.  Originally, we had Jimmy Murray also, another friend of John's. When he joined, I thought there was no reason for us to have three guitars, so we traded in my Stratocaster and Super Reverb for some amplifiers and I just sang. I still played guitar, but not onstage.  We hired a manager named Ron Polte, who came to my house one day when I was playing guitar and he said, damn, how come you're not playing guitar. You sound great. You play the blues. I said yeah, that's what I always play. So he bought me a guitar and shortly after that, Murray left the group--- right after Monterey Pop. From that point, we were a four-piece.  That old four-piece, we were the band. We had a groove. We had a good drummer and played solid grooves...Shortly after Murray left the band, we made our first record, which was difficult. We signed with Capitol and they didn't really know what to do with us because we played really loud. We didn't have a producer, as such. We had an 'executive' producer, to make sure we didn't go into the studio and waste a whole lot of money. The engineers didn't quite know how to handle our volume, so they boxed us all off in little sections and we played like we always played." 

'Quicksilver Messenger Service' was produced by Nick Gravenites, Harvey Brooks, and Pete Welding with John Cipollina on lead guitar; Gary Duncan on guitar and vocals; David Freiberg on bass, viola, and vocals; and Greg Elmore on drums.  The album peaked at number sixty-three on the US album chart.

'Quicksilver Messenger Service'
full album:

01. Pride Of Man (Hamilton Camp) -- 00:00
02. Light Your Windows (Gary Duncan, David Freiberg) --04:10 
03. Dino's Song (Dino Valenti) --06:50
04. Gold And Silver (Gary Duncan, S.Schuster) -- 10:01
05. Too Long (Ron Polte) --16.47
06. The Fool (Gary Duncan, David Freiberg) --19:50

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

eternally yours

The Saints relocated to London and expanded on their protopunk sound to the chagrin of their new label.  The group had formed in Brisbane, Australia and started their own label Fatal Records to release their first single '(I'm) Stranded' in 1976.  The song was overlooked in their home country; but became a sensation in the UK, leading to a three album deal with EMI.  Their audacious debut album '(I'm) Stranded' was cranked out in two days.  The group was encouraged to come to England to record and tour.  By this time, bassist Kym Bradshaw had quit the band.  

'Eternally Yours' was recorded at Roundhouse Studios in London with Chris Bailey on vocals, Ed Kuepper on guitar, Ivor Hay on drums, and Algy Ward on bass; with brass arrangements by Graham Preskett and harmonica by Iain Ward.  The sessions were produced by Chris Bailey & Ed Kuepper, who also wrote all of the songs.  EMI tried to market the Saints as a typical punk band; but the members of the band were resistant.  Bailey recounts in the reissue liner notes:    "I suspect EMI was expecting some kind of 'punk' opus and whilst 'Eternally Yours' is not a million miles away from the 'noisy angst' of the first album, I guess they found the inclusion of a horn section and lack of obvious 'punkoid sentiment' a bit daunting as a marketing exercise. I can still recall the disappointed grimaces in the A & R department when the album was delivered.  It was also around this time that the band had it's first encounter with the showbiz phenomenon known as the 'makeover'.  Suffice to say it wasn`t a terribly happy meeting for either side, fortunately though for the world of fashion the dreaded 'saints suit' never made it off the drawing board....So poor sales and lack of communication between all concerned parties led to the disillusionment and subsequent disintegration of the early band.  In retrospect it's clear to me that the mood of the record was a cynical response to the hype\hypocrisy of the pre fab anarchy of the english punky rock marketing machine. I think the band was still pretty naive at this stage and the stubborn resistance to the repeated attempts to make us over as some kind of antipodean Sex Pistols (ie;turn us into a pop product) didn't endear the group to either management or the record company. It was the height of punky hysteria and I guess we showed extremely bad taste by not wishing to be swept up in it. Anyway apparently the record didn't sell well and even before the next album was considered it was pretty obvious that our patrons were rapidly losing interest."

'Know Your Product' in solarised colour.  

All right
Sing it up, west coast
Too much!)

I'm just sitting in my chair when a voice comes on the air

Says "Why don't you try it? You'll feel allright!"
"Got some great new brand of smokes
"Cool your head and clear your throat
"Keeps you young and so in touch."

Cheap advertising, you're lying

Never gonna get me what I want
I said, smooth talking, brain washing
Ain't never gonna get me what I need

"Our new soap that's peachy keen saves your soul and keeps you clean

"It's recommended, used by the queen
"Gonna improve your IQ, help in everything you do
"It's economic, don't cost too much."

Said advertising, you're lying

Never gonna give me what I want
I said, smooth talking, brain washing
Ain't never gonna get me what I need

(I said take it,

Come on,
Soul man.
Let's shoot the professor!

I'm just sitting in my chair when a voice comes on the air

Says "Why don't you try it? You'll feel allright!"
"It's a great new brand of smokes
"Cool your head and clears your throat
"Keeps you young and so in touch."

Said advertising, you're lying

You're never gonna give me what I want
I said smooth talking, brain washing
You're never gonna get me what I need

(What do I care?

Yeah! Hey man,
Where's the professor?
We need him now!
Gonna tell you 'bout them
Yeah we take it all the way 'round the world
For that west coast feel
Yeah man.
Yeah everything, let it out
It's not what you love
Look out on the radio
All right.

'This Perfect Day' was the band's only single to chart in the UK top forty, peaking at number thirty-four.  

'Eternally Yours' 

full album:

1 Know Your Product 00:00
2 Lost And Found 03:14 
3 Memories Are Made Of This 07:00
4 Private Affair 09:19
5 A Minor Aversion 11:25 
6 No, Your Product 14:32 
7 This Perfect Day 18:38 
8 Run Down 21:08 
9 Orstralia 23:40
10 New Centre Of The Universe 26:04 
11 Untitled 28:24 
12 (I'm) Misunderstood 31:10 
13 International Robots 34:00

14 Do The Robot 36:00 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

jazzmatazz volume 1

Guru (Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal) took rap to the next level with this experimental fusion of hip-hop and jazz.  Keith Edward Elam was originally known as MC Keithy E; but changed his moniker to Guru before joining Gang Starr in 1987.  Gang Starr contributed to the soundtrack of 'Mo Better Blues' and that is where Guru first worked with Branford Marsalis.  While hip-hop had utilized jazz samples for years, Guru saw that there could be an actual collaboration between rappers and jazz musicians.  He relates in the liner notes:    "It had to be done right.  My main concern was to maintain my street credibility and to represent the hardcore rap crowd because they've got me to where I am now."

'Jazzmatazz Volume 1' was produced by Guru and recorded at D&D Studios in New York and EMI Music Studios in London.  The sessions included Roy Ayers on vibraslap and vibraphone; Courtney Pine on flute, and alto & soprano saxophone; Lonnie Liston Smith on piano, keyboards, electric piano; Ronny Jordan and Zachary Breaux on guitar; Big Shug on additional vocals; Guru on arrangements, vocals, production, mixing, and concept development; Gary Barnacle on flute and saxophone; Donald Byrd on piano and trumpet; Simon "The Funky Ginger" Law on keyboards; Branford Marsalis on saxophone; DJ Jazzy Nice and DJ Jimmy Jay on scratches; Lil' Dap on live drums; MC Solaar, Carleen Anderson, D.C. Lee, N'Dea Davenport on vocals; with Black Jack, Mickey "Mus Mus", and The Cutthroats providing additional vocals.  

Guru would record a basic rhythm track with a title and have the jazz musicians solo over it.  He wrote the lyrics in the studio while they played.  Guru calls the process "a spiritual thing.  It was so easy, as if it was meant to be...Doing the tracks with the older guys was like a doin' a track with my father:  They accepted me and I accepted them."

'Jazzmatazz Volume 1' went to number ninety-four on the US album chart, fifty-eight in the UK, and number fifteen on the US hip-hop/R&B chart.  Guru would record three more installments on the 'Jazzmatazz' concept before his death in 2010.  He looked back:    "The first were experimental.  They were focused but not as intense as this because coming out of my work with Gangstarr I had never really worked with live musicians and vocalists so the first one was definitely experimental and that’s why I called it an experimental fusion of hip hop and jazz."

'Trust Me' (with N'Dea Davenport on vocals)
contains samples of "Funky President" by James Brown, "Synthetic Substitution" by Melvin Bliss & "Big Beat" by Billy Squier

'Loungin'' (with Donald Byrd on trumpet and piano)

'No Time to Play' (with Ronny Jordan on guitar and D. C. Lee & Big Shug on vocals)
contains samples of "Satin Soul" by Love Unlimited Orchestra & "Mosadi (Woman)" by The Crusaders.

"Le Bien, Le Mal" (with MC Solaar) 

'Jazzmatazz Volume 1'
full album:

Introduction 00:00
Loungin' 01:20 
When You're Near 06:00 
Transit Ride 10:03 
No Time To Play 14:00 
Down The Backstreets 18:56 
Respectful Dedications 23:44 
Take A Look (At Yourself) 24:38 
Trust Me 28:37 
Slicker Than Most 33:05 
Le Bien, Le Mal 35:43 
Sights In The City 39:05