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Category Archives: Vinyl

The Twee Leading the Twee

Spotted the animated video for Belle and Sebastian’s “I Didn’t See It Coming” on the Max‘s Facebook feed and instantly fell in love. The special remix of this Write About Love track is due out next month. It’s a sweet tune, but what really sings are the Alexander Girard influenced imagery — how wonderfully twee it is!

Sister Lovers

For Your Musical Entertainment: Swing Out Sister’s groovy music video for their 1992 single “Notgonnachange,” from the album Get In Touch with Yourself. They sure used a lot of washed out photography in ’90s videos, didn’t they? As huge S.O.S. fan, I’m ashamed to say I haven’t heard this particular effort of theirs until… earlier today.

The Wikipedia entry for that album quotes singer Corinne Drewery: “I find it difficult to form opinions about a lot of modern music because my head’s buried in the past. A lot of my favourite records seem to have been picked up in the discount rack at Woolworth’s. I’ll be quite happy if our records end up in the Woollies bargain bin in 10 years time.” I find this funny (and quite true, actually), since my copy of Get In Touch With Yourself came from trawling the 75 cent bin at the local F.Y.E. store (which also netted ’90s goodies by k.d. lang and Shakespear’s Sister). Your wish came true, Corinne!

The No. 1 Song in Heaven

Spent the last few days getting reacquainted with a great ’80s album, Savage by the Eurythmics. This one blew me away when it came out in 1987, then my CD copy got stolen by a family member in the Great Theft of 1993. Hearing it now, I’ve noticed the disc does contain a few mediocre tracks (“Wide Eyed Girl” is just annoying), but it’s never been topped as a vehicle for the fabulous pipes of Annie Lennox. She’s in peak form here, assured but not yet the overly-stylized diva she’d become during the solo years. Savage also about a hundred times more risky than what came before (the shrill Revenge) or after (the slick/commercial We Too Are One). I can see why Eurythmics fans treasure this particular album.

One of the most interesting aspects of Savage is the fact that Lennox and Dave Stewart teamed with director Sophie Muller (and a few others) to film videos for all dozen of the album’s tracks. The resulting video album was one of the earliest examples of its type. The clip below, “Heaven,” is one of my favorites. I could totally picture it being played on the runway at a swanky ’80s fashion show:

This Mix Is a Good Thing

As the showers fall and the flowers bloom, only one thing comes to my mind — making a mix! I haven’t done an official seasonal mix since Winter 2009, too long. Good Thing assembles some of the music that yours truly has gotten into in the past 18 months. Much of it has a bright, Spring-y feel. There’s lots of synth pop, some ’80s-’90s faves, a few Japanese artists. As usual, it was put together with an ear for how well the songs flow together. It’s kind of amazing how similar something like Robyn’s “Hang With Me” can sound next to the Pet Shop Boys-produced Dusty Springfield gem “I Want to Stay Here” from 20 years earlier.

For the cover art, I used a detail from a Pollyanna LitKids print that was used to test paint colors. Very cute, and hopefully it will draw new customers to the store. Am I obnoxious, or what?

Anyhow, the mix is presented below as single mp3 file with the songs’ starts and endings segueing together. Additionally there is a track listing with links to YouTube videos of some tunes. Enjoy!

Download ‘Good Thing: Spring 2011 Mix’.



Track Listing:
1. Saint Etienne — “A Good Thing” (Tales from Turnpike House, 2005)
2. Amiel — “This Way, That Way” (Accidents by Design, 2004)
3. Erasure — “Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)” (Other People’s Songs, 2003)
4. Röyksopp — “Happy Up Here” (Junior, 2009)
5. Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark — “Save Me” (History of Modern, 2010)
6. Robyn — “Hang with Me” (Body Talk, 2010)
7. Dusty Springfield — “I Want to Stay Here” (Reputation, 1990)
8. Tina Turner — “Confidential” (Wildest Dreams, 1996)
9. Pet Shop Boys — “To Step Aside” (Bilingual, 1996)
10. The Buggles — “I Am a Camera (12″ Mix)” (remix of a track from Adventures in Modern Recording, 1981)
11. Nokko — “Call Me Nightlife” (Call Me Nightlife, 1993)
12. Masami Okui — “Round Dance Revolution” (La Fillette Revolutionnaire Utena soundtrack, 1997)
13. Mari Atsumi — “Suki Yo Ai Shite” (1970 Japanese single, compiled on Nippon Girls CD)
14. The Paris Sisters — “Long After Tonight Is All Over” (Sing Everything Under the Sun, 1967)
15. Eliza Doolittle — “Pack Up” (Eliza Doolittle, 2010)
16. Konishi Yashuharu & Pizzicato Five — “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo” (Readymade Digs Disney, 2003)
17. Soulsister — “The Way to Your Heart” (It Takes Two, 1988)
18. Patti Austin — “Every Home Should Have One” (remix of a track from Every Home Should Have One, 1982)
19. George Benson — “Inside Love (So Personal)” (In Your Eyes, 1983)
20. Boy Meets Girl — “No Apologies” (Reel Life, 1988)
21. Duffy — “Keeping My Baby” (Endlessly, 2010)

It’s a Mod, Mod World

Just a note to say that I’ve posted my little piece at Joyce Compton News & Notes about the Marian Marsh/Warren William Pre-Code flick Under 18 and Joyce’s brief appearance in it. Please check it out!

Today’s video comes via The Video Beat, an online retailer of offbeat ’50s and ’60s video. This is French Ye-Ye singer Sylvie Vartan in a Japanese commercial for a mod clothing purveyor called Renown. Dig that groovy Op Art:

Star 69

Happy 69th birthday to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. Here she is on Hollywood Palace singing “I Say A Little Prayer” in 1968. Once you get past Sammy Davis Jr.’s too-hep-for-the-room intro, it’s a breathtaking performance. Come to think of it, all of Aretha Now (the album from which “Prayer” came) is pretty wonderful.