Friday, March 04, 2011

Episode 338

Songs To Learn And Sing - Episode 338

(2005, ACE Records)

This episode of Songs To Learn And Sing kicked off with Ashes, the Rain and I by the James Gang. The song is the last track on the band's second album 1970's, James Gang Ride Again and also features on the above compilation from ACE Records, 2005's Hearing is Believing: The Jack Nitzsche Story (1962-1979).     

James Gang - Ashes, the Rain & I
(Strings Arranged by Jack Nitzsche)

It's a beautiful song not least for Nitzsche's sting arrangement.  Some people might recognise its string melody as sampled by Fatboy Slim on his track Right Here Right Now. This was Jack Nitzsche’s only time working with the James Gang, he spent most of 1970 touring with Crazy Horse, playing electric piano, and he went on to produce their first sans-Young album in 1971. Nitzsche is of course well known for his work with Buffalo Springfield and Neil Young but his story is an amazing history of popular music in its own right.

He co-wrote Needles and Pins with Sonny Bono in 1963, he was an arranger and conductor for Phil Spector. He orchestrated River Deep, Mountain High’s ambitious Wall of Sound for Spector and Ike and Tina Turner. He worked with the Rolling Stones on a number of their albums and contibuted the choral arrangements to You Can’t Always Get What You Want. He was also a prolific film orchestrator and wrote the soundtracks to both Performance and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. He also won an Academy Award for Best Song for co-writing with Buffy Sainte-Marie Up Where We Belong from 1982's An Officer and a Gentleman. He died in 2000 and the ACE compilation along with its companion CD, Hard Workin’ Man: The Jack Nitzsche Story Volume 2 are essential purchases.

This episode also featured two tracks from the debut album by Eat Lights : Become Lights. Autopia is released on Enraptured Records and comes in a beautiful clear green vinyl, limited edition. The album arrived earlier this week and hasn't left the CD player yet. It's a hypnotic blend of fuzzed guitars and driving beats. The label themselves put it perfectly when they explain that ELBL share "a  deep love of classic German electronic acts of the 1970s, evoking classic kosmische bands but making the sound very much their own, creating an ever-changing synesthesic landscape of harmony and melody, feedback & drones, played against a driving motorik beat." Definately one of the best albums of the year so far.

Eat Light : Become Lights - Autopia

Episode 337 - 24/02/2011


James Gang - Ashes, the Rain & I
Darren Hayman & the Secondary Modern - Winter Makes Me Want You More
Seeland - Abraham, Martin And John
Seeland - Underpass
Edwyn Collins - Losing Sleep
Eat Lights : Become Lights - Machine Language
Eat Lights : Become Lights - Muzak for Motorways
Dum Dum Girls - There Is A  light That Never Goes Out
Alvarius B. - You Only Live Twice
Abouretum - The Highwayman
Janice Whaley - Bigmouth Strikes Again
Grinderman - Palaces of Montezuma (Cenzo Mix)
Hal Blaine - Kaleidoscope (March)
Wye Oak - Dog Eyes
Lykke Li - Rich Kid Blues
Owen Pallett - Lewis Takes Off His Shirt (Dan Deacon Remix)
Yuck - The Wall
James Blackshaw - Part 2
Appaloosa - Intimate (Another Lonely Night)
Cassius - Brotherhood
If By Yes - You Feel Right (Cornelius Mix)
Deepchord presents Echospace - Elysian
Cocteau Twins - Tishbite
Esben and the Witch - Light Streams
Cold Cave - The Great Pan Is Dead
Eels - Spectacular Girls

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