A Sunny Saturday Afternoon


This shot is of the meadows in Edinburgh. It’s a Saturday in May and today the Meadows were full of people! Enjoying the hot weather! And playing cricket!!

We’d been invited to a Bar-B-Q round at Mr and Mrs. Toad’s, which we couldn’t go to, unfortunately, but it’s time for a few upbeat summery numbers here, I think.

Apart from the whinging about the taxman taking all his money (The Beatles spoil Revolver ever so slightly by whining about this, although otherwise it’s the greatest album ever), this is a classic summer tune:

The Kinks -‘Sunny Afternoon.’ mp3

You gotta have a bit of reggae for the summer…

Bob Marley -‘Waiting In Vain.’ mp3

…and some good quality American R’n’B. Apparently there are people in the world who do NOT like this song?! I pity the fools.

Beyonce -‘Crazy In Love.’ mp3

I don’t own a convertible, but if I did (ha!), this is exactly what I’d want to be playing on the stereo in hot weather.

Rockers Revenge -‘Walking On Sunshine (Extended 12″ mix).’ mp3

…and for a bit of contrast:

Miles Davis -‘So What.’ mp3

Other perfect summer sunshine tracks I’d have: Primal Scream ‘Higher Than the Sun;’ The Cure ‘Close To Me;’ The Orb -‘Little Fluffy Clouds;’ Saint Etienne ‘Only Love Can break Your Heart; Aztec camera ‘Somewhere In My Heart’; ‘Shanice -‘I Love Your Smile’ and ‘Everybody Loves The Sunshine’ by Roy Ayers. Obviously

33 1/3 Part 5


Miles Davis – ‘Kind Of Blue’ (Columbia, 1959)

This record celebrates its’ fiftieth anniversary this year. It won’t even be the oldest record in the list (which is great fun to compile, by the way, and absolutely no apologies whatsoever to anyone who thought it was all going to be scottish boys and girls wi’ jangly guitars). It remains the biggest selling jazz album of all time, and one of those albums that seems to crop up in the homes of people who don’t seem to buy many albums.

So is it jazz? Sure, it’s jazz. The Fast Show made liking jazz almost something to feel self-conscious about, though its’ spoofing of those who listened to it in a particular way was spot on. Davis clearly had a real feel, understanding and love for the trumpet, and that’s infectious.

I’ve had a chequered relationship with jazz. Like rock, those who don’t understand it see only what they want to lampoon, either being tuneless or too over the top to take seriously. Someone gave my brother a copy of Courtney Pine’s seminal British jazz debut Journey To the Urge Within about ’86 or ’87, and as a pre-teen I found it too hard to get into. I generally, and genuinely preferred rock and classical to jazz. ‘Three chords good, four chords jazz’ was a maxim for a my late teens and early twenties, and a suspicion of much music pre-1976. (Unless it was Bowie, obviously.)

But just as I started to realise that punk might actually be more exciting as a catalyst for what came after than in itself – and see just how Jazz influenced much of post-punk and no-wave – I took the plunge about 1999. I’d just bought a portable Minidisc player off a friend and this was one of the first MDs I bought.

This is the dividing line between trad jazz (which had quite a revival in Britain in the early ’60s; see the Temperance Seven and Aker Bilk) and what came after – ‘cool jazz.’ This was the music of the hipsters, that influenced so much of what would shape music, created by blacks and whites in years to come. Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Sade, The Pop Group, Mos Def, Public Enemy and huge swathes of Hip-Hop, Radiohead, the aforementioned post-punk and new wave…it’s telling that in 2000 when the NME did their list of the top 20 most influential artists of all time; ahead of Kraftwerk and The Sex Pistols.

‘Easy Listening’ is often used as an insult – rightly so, and no less an authority than my parents would use that as an insult – but if you find jazz hard to listen to, too self-indulgent, no song to speak of, start with Kind Of Blue. Don’t forget also to check out Sketches Of Spain, Porgy and Bess and In A Silent Way too. Then check out the likes of Herbie Hancock and John Coltrane.

If It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back opened me up to Hip-Hop and the sonic possibilities of music, then Kind Of Blue showed me just how beautiful it could be, and how a catalyst could be causing echoes fifty years down the line.

Miles Davis -‘So What.’ mp3

Miles Davis’ official website

I’m one tired individual right now…

OK, very tired, still off work and about to head to bed.


Figured I’d post a few tracks, the sole theme here being -‘songs everyone should hear.’ The only link with the photo is that the Leaning Tower Of Pisa is somewhere i finally went last month, and I think everyone should go there.

So, first up…a small hit but one of the Pet Shop Boys’ best ever songs:

Pet Shop Boys -‘Being Boring.’ mp3

From their late eighties phase rather than their late seventies phase, but still sublime…

Wire -‘Kidney Bingos.’ mp3

From the best selling Jazz album ever, if I can’t persuade some of you that Jazz can be great, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree…

Miles Davis -‘So What.’ mp3

It starts off with feedback, it has a mental sax bit, it came outta the late seventies…Pere Ubu and a love song (of sorts)

Pere Ubu -‘Non-alighnment Pact.’ mp3

If this doesn’t bring a smile to your face, nothing will. (Though I wonder if They Might Be Giants are responsible for the very annoying band that are Barenaked Ladies.)

They Might Be Giants -‘Birdhouse In Your Soul.’ mp3

As ever, if you like the songs, support the artists involved.

And BTW, this is my 299th post. Will try and do something special for my 300th.

Happy Birthday to brother 17 Seconds

It’s my brother’s birthday tomorrow, and so this post is for him. these tunes aren’t about him, but stuff I know he likes, and stuff I think he will like… : ))

Miles Davis -‘So What.’ mp3

John Cale -‘Paris 1919.’ mp3

Love Is All -‘Make Out.Fall Out. Make Up.’ mp3

Red Hot Chili Peppers -‘Under The Bridge.’ mp3

Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci -‘Spanish Dance Troupe.’ mp3

Sparks -‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us.’ mp3

Holger Czukay -‘Cool In the Pool.’ mp3

Aretha Franklin -‘Rocksteady.’ mp3

James Yorkston And The Atheletes -‘St. Patrick.’ mp3

Jeff Buckley – ‘Hallelujah.’ mp3