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Yer Goodies For October! [Well, FINALLY!!]


Well, here comes another batch of aural oddities rescued from the ether of
obscurity (or something like that). In other words... the usual stuff: unreleased
live tracks, alternate versions, long forgotten regional hits-and-misses that only
yer furry servant could love, and gasp! TWO rounds of "Listen Closely". Not to
mention, of course, the odd TMBG track or two. And then some. Ready? Here they are:
FURRBALL'S FAVOURITES '06 Volume 5: The CD!

 1. SOON BE TO NOTHING/The Indigo Girls with The Cara Dillon Band (live)
    This edition of FF06 starts off with a live recording from the Cambridge
    Folk Festival, August 4, 2002. Enjoy the thrill of an open-air performance
    as one of the Indigos fluffs the intro! (They recover nicely... and having
    Cara Dillon along (she gets the 3rd verse) is always a plus.) (unreleased)
 2. I WANT TO SEE THE BRIGHT LIGHTS TONIGHT/Richard & Linda Thompson (Island)
    Founding member of England's legendary Fairport Convention, Richard Thompson 
    has long since gained a rep as one of the more eclectic singer-songwriters 
    out there; but back in the 70s, it was (ex-wife) Linda who handled both vocals 
    on this title cut from their 1974 album. Electric folk, meet... a brass band?!? 
    (CD: I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight)
 3. L.A. BREAK DOWN (AND TAKE ME IN)/Larry Marks (A&M single)
    This was never what you would call a big, medium, or even middling-sized hit.
    (It barely bubbled under the Hot 100 (#129!) back in 1968.) So why is it here? Well,
    I always liked the song. Reason enough.
 4. LISTEN CLOSELY #2:
    SECURITY/The N'Betweens (EMI Columbia single)
    Here we go again. The year is 1966. This single from a Wolverhampton quartet
    went absolutely nowhere. Ah, but perseverance pays. 5 years later, this same
    quartet, with a different name, were on the top of the UK charts. Repeatedly.
    Think you can recognize them? (The answer follows on the tape. Good luck!)
 5. GOT GETTING UP SO DOWN/They Might Be Giants
    Stop the presses! Here's the latest goody from the Twin Quasars of Rock™. (Just a
    little something to tide you over til next year, when they release TWO new
    albums!)
 6. F. SCOTT FITZGERALD AND WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE/
    The Neon Philharmonic (Warner Bros.)
    This was the sort of group only the 60s could have dreamed up: some of the
    best players from the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, top studio pickers, and
    eclectic composer-lyricist-keyboardist F. Tupper Saussy and rough-hewn singer
    Don Gant. This track from the duo's 1970 self-named 2nd LP demonstrates that, 
    handled correctly, free verse can be just as effective a storytelling device 
    as any rhyming couplet. (CD: Brilliant Colors: The Complete Warner Bros. 
    Recordings [Rhino Handmade])
 7. BAKER STREET (Visitor mix)/Gerry Rafferty
    Proof you can teach old songs new tricks! According to German web DJ Visitor, 
    "Music's most famous saxophone riff (courtesy Raphael Ravenscroft) deserved
    a remix." See if you agree. (unreleased)
 8. LISTEN CLOSELY #3:
    LOUISIANA/Mike Kennedy (ABC)
    The year is 1970; the song is the title cut from the debut solo album by this
    German vocalist. And yes, you probably have heard his voice before... Just not
    under that name; in 1965, as Mike Kogel, he scored a bigger hit as lead singer
    of a rock group from (of all places) Spain! The question is: what hit, and 
    what group? Don't be surprised if you wind up saying, "That was him?!?"
 9. PRETEND I'M ELVIS (For Just One Night)/Lost Dogs (Silent Planet)
    And now, it's them Dogs again. This cut was originally recorded for their
    shelved 1996 album "The Green Room Serenade Part Two", but didn't see the light
    of plastic until Terry Taylor released it as part of his "Avocado Faultline" 
    album a few years back. Well, better late than never, I always say. (I think I 
    always say that... don't I always say that?)
10. DREAM OF THE WEST/Yip Yip Coyote (I.R.S.)
    I love groups with weird names - "Ben Steele 'n' His Bare Hands", for example -
    but nothing can top this British cowpunk group's for sheer silliness. Fortunately
    they had the chops to back up such a handle. Unfortunately, I.R.S. chose not to
    release anything of theirs in America, save for this track from the "Bachelor
    Party" soundtrack. (Special thanks to my pal Tom Johnston at R&P Records for
    locating this one!) And speaking of strange names...
11. A GLASS OF CHAMPAGNE/Bla Bla Bla
    If you've ever laid awake nights asking yourself, "If Sailor had ditched that
    nickelodeon and been just another guitar band, what would their biggest hit
    have sounded like?"... well, here's your answer. Now get some sleep...
12. COWBOY BUCKAROO/Mason Williams (Warner Bros.)
    Talk about your left-of-center records! But then, the late 60s were full of
    them. According to Mason, he grew up watching the old cowboy movies, but in
    1969, the heroes were a little harder to define. This (from his 1969 album 
    "Music") was his answer. Yes, those are the one and only Sons Of The 
    Pioneers on backing vocals (making this the closest they ever came to having a 
    pop hit in the 60s!). And, of course, the lyrics make just as much sense today.
    Maybe more so. (CD: "Music 1968-1971" [Vanguard])
13. CONQUISTADOR (live)/Procol Harum (Chrysalis/A&M)
    Now, the truth comes out: I always wanted to sing, compose and play piano like 
    Gary Brooker. Listen to any PH album and you'll understand why. (One of the 
    highlights of my years in Spokane, in fact, was when I saw Procol Harum live 
    with Supertramp. Ah, they just don't make double bills like that anymore...) 
    For me, this live version of 'Conquistador' which they did with the Edmonton 
    Symphony Orchestra back in 1971 is still the defining one. 
    (CD: "Procol Harum Live" [Repertoire]). 
14. E' FESTA (live)/P.F.M. [Premiata Forneria Marconi]
    The most successful progressive rock band ever to come from Italy (with more
    than a little push from Emerson, Lake & Palmer!). This tune is better known on
    these shores as "Celebration", but here it is in the original Italian. Oh, the
    group's name translates as "Marconi's Famous Bakery", because that's who
    originally sponsored them. That's why it's called trivia. I guess. (unreleased
    version)
15. LOVE IS IN THE AIR (Ballroom mix)/John Paul Young (Albert Productions)
    A lot of times, songs get remixed and you wonder "Why did they bother?" Not
    this time. For Australian director Baz Luhrman ["Moulin Rouge"]'s film 
    "Strictly Ballroom", Harry Vanda & George Young (see vol. 4) gave one of 
    their biggest hits a reworking and made a totally different record out of it. 
    Really! (CD: "Strictly Ballroom (Original Soundtrack)" [Albert Prod./Epic])
16. TOO COOL GIRLS/They Might Be Giants featuring The Velcro Horns
    The next time somebody tells you The Giants can't do jazz, play them this
    track, and see how fast they apologize. From the hard-to-find 2001 "TMBG 
    UnLimited" series, available only through eMusic. (I'd break a few laws to 
    have the entire set, myself...)
17. SONG OF WINTER/Françoise Hardy (Productions Asparagus)
    In the 60's, Mlle. Hardy was marketed as "The Yeh Yeh Girl", and even co-starred
    in the Steve McQueen film "Grand Prix"; but as the 70's came around, she tired
    of that (and her label, disques Vogue) and wanted to be taken as a serious
    singer-songwriter. So, she formed her own label, released "One-Nine-Seven-Zero"
    (of which this is the opening track)... and darn if she didn't succeed. If Fifi
    LaFume has a musical role model, it's Françoise. (LP: "Alone" [Reprise]) (Oh, 
    there's nothing wrong with your stereo. The song cuts off rather abruptly cos 
    that's how she recorded it. Which gives me the opportunity to barrel straight
    into...)
18. LOVING YOU'S NOT LOVING ME (demo version)/Jude Cole
    Former member of The Records (again, see vol. 4), music critic on TV's "eXtra",
    partner with Keifer Sutherland in Ironworks Music, and did I mention he happens
    to be one darn good singer-songwriter?
19. DELIAH'S GONE/Koerner, Glover and Ray
    Yes, it's "Spider" John Koerner, Tony "Little Sun" Glover and Dave "Snaker" Ray, 
    giving folk music a good name. (CD: The Briar and The Rose [Legacy])
20. YESTERDAY'S GONE (new version)/Chad and Jeremy (Electric Paintbox)
    Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde are back... with a vengeance! This is a brand-
    new acoustic version of their follow-up to "A Summer Song". It's good to hear
    them again. (chadandjeremy.net) And speaking of unexpected comebacks...
21. EVER SINCE/Lesley Gore (Engine Recording Co.)
    As will become obvious from the first note, Lesley's come a long way since
    "It's My Party," "Judy's Turn To Cry" and "California Nights" (that last one will
    turn up on a future Fave comp). Hey, even 60's teen queens gotta grow up
    sometime! (CD: ever since)
22. MISSISSIPPI QUEEN/Mountain (Windfall)
    A couple of volumes back, I mentioned a handful of GMPS (Great Mississippi Pop
    Songs) that I wished I had. Well, here's one of 'em! Producer/bassist Felix
    Pappalardi and guitarist/vocalist/self-appointed "Great Fatsby" Leslie West
    presented one heck of a calling card in 1970 with this single from their album
    "Climbing". Calling? Heck... it SHOUTS! (CD: The Best of Mountain (Columbia-Windfall))

The Tape: Same as above, plus... will it never stop? THE COMEDY!
    Side A:
 1. SOON BE TO NOTHING/The Indigo Girls with The Cara Dillon Band (live)
 2. I WANT TO SEE THE BRIGHT LIGHTS TONIGHT/Richard & Linda Thompson
 3. L.A. BREAK DOWN (AND TAKE ME IN)/Larry Marks
 4. LISTEN CLOSELY #2: SECURITY/The N'Betweens
 5. LC #2 answer. (RCA/CBS Associated)
 6. GOT GETTING UP SO DOWN/They Might Be Giants
 7. F. SCOTT FITZGERALD AND WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE/The Neon Philharmonic
 8. BAKER STREET (Visitor mix)/Gerry Rafferty
 9. LISTEN CLOSELY #3: LOUISIANA/Mike Kennedy
10. LC #3 answer. (Press)
11. PRETEND I'M ELVIS (For Just One Night)/Lost Dogs
    Side B:
12. DREAM OF THE WEST/Yip Yip Coyote
13. A GLASS OF CHAMPAGNE/Bla Bla Bla
14. COWBOY BUCKAROO/Mason Williams
15. CONQUISTADOR (live)/Procol Harum 
16. E' FESTA (live)/P.F.M.
17. LOVE IS IN THE AIR (Ballroom mix)/John Paul Young
18. TOO COOL GIRLS/They Might Be Giants featuring The Velcro Horns
19. SONG OF WINTER/Françoise Hardy
20. LOVING YOU'S NOT LOVING ME (demo version)/Jude Cole
21. DELIAH'S GONE/Koerner, Glover and Ray
22. YESTERDAY'S GONE (new version)/Chad and Jeremy
23. EVER SINCE/Lesley Gore
24. MISSISSIPPI QUEEN/Mountain
25. The COMEDY!: SLOW TALKERS OF AMERICA/Bob & Ray (Columbia/RadioArt)
    And finally, to finish the thing off in more ways than one, Messrs. Elliott
    and Goulding doing what they did best (whatever it was). Bob's relentlessly
    laconic delivery is matched only by Ray's heightened slow burn in a comedy
    classic from their (irritatingly) out of print original cast album, "Bob and
    Ray - The Two And Only".
    
Excess stuff:

1.  The Jools Holland Show with guest Cara Dillon (BBC2) [CD]
    Julian "Jools" Holland first made a name for himself as keyboard player for
    Squeeze, before moving on and starring on "The Tube", forming his Big Band 
    & Orchestra, and, of course, his BBC2 radio series (bbc.co.uk). This episode
    introduced yer furry servant to Cara Dillon, who reveals one of her influences
    to be another of my faves, Kate Bush. Besides a lot of eclectic music in the
    first half, we're treated to three cuts from Cara's just-released CD "After
    The Morning" (including "Never In A Million Years") [and the title cut from Kate
    Bush's "The Sensual World"]. (approx. 60 min)

And that's it for this month. A little short, I know, but... Next month, I revisit an
earlier FF comp from 2001! Also a TMBG disc just for your computer, and gosh knows 
what else!