Tag Archives: R.I.P.

Little Richard – Tutti Frutti (1955)

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Good morning folks. Pioneers R.I.P. Last week, we lost a sound fetishist; this weekend, it’s the departure of one of the truly mad men of rock’n’roll. Little Richard’s opening salvo on ‘Tutti Frutti’ had a tempo that would transcend pop music and energise everything else that followed. “A-womp-bomp-aloo-momp, alop-bomp-bomp.”

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Kraftwerk – Trans-Europe Express (1977)

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This week, we learnt that electronic music lost one of its innovators. As a founding member of Kraftwerk, Florian Schneider-Esleben was described as “sound fetishist” by band mate Ralf Hütter. In fact, band isn’t the right word is it? Laboratory colleague feels more apt. In 1977, Kraftwerk produced the futuristic LP Trans-Europe Express. The title track would have a huge influence. You can hear the birth of Japan and The Human League in its synthesised sound; and of course, the electro loop used by Afrika Bambaataa on ‘Planet Rock’ made Kraftwerk references cool for a new generation too. R.I.P. Florian. Have a great weekend all.

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Fela Kuti (feat. Tony Allen) – Water No Get Enemy (1975)

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News broke that Tony Allen died last week. The world has lost a unique musician. Allen played drums for Fela Kuti’s Africa 70 and Egypt 80 organisations, pioneering the unique rhythm of afrobeat with his jazz-influenced drums. Despite his integral role, Kuti was getting all the royalties. But of all Kuti’s collaborators, Allen had the standing to strike out on his own. The Nigerian drummer, composer, and songwriter would continue to create patterns with others, including Moritz Von Oswald and The Good, The Bad & The Queen. Nevertheless he will be best known for the afrobeat that brought him and Kuti to the world’s attention. ‘Water No Get Enemy’ featured on the 1975 release Expensive Shit. R.I.P. Tony.

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Bill Withers – Harlem (1971)

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Good morning. It’s been a lovely weekend, but ain’t no sunshine gonna make up for the news that Bill Withers has gone. R.I.P. Bill. We’ve lost a giant of soul and there was no one better at that folky soul thang that he did. But as good as ‘Lean On Me’, ‘Just the Two of Us’ and others are, here’s something a bit more gritty. The song ‘Harlem’ opened his fantastic debut Just As I Am. Bobby Womack would have been proud to pen and belt out this one. I particularly liked the choice of string instrumentation – Booker T. Jones produced the album. Have a good week all.

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Saint Etienne – Only Love Can Break Your Heart (A Mix Of Two Halves) (1990)

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I was very sorry to hear about the untimely death of Andy Weatherall yesterday. He changed UK music in the early 1990s. Sandwiched in between his genre-defining mix of The Happy Mondays’ ‘Hallelujah‘ and his production of Primal Scream’s beloved Screamadelica was this Balearic, dub-fused, double-headed remix of Saint Etienne’s Neil Young cover ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’. R.I.P. Mr. Weatherall.

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Talk Talk ‎- It’s My Life (1984)

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The music industry suffered a loss this year that I’ve overlooked until now. Aged 64, Mark David Hollis died in February. The singer-songwriter achieved critical acclaim as co-founder of Talk Talk. An apt song choice is his brilliantly timeless single ‘It’s My Life’. The title track off the second Talk Talk album was released in February 1984, exactly 35 years before Hollis met his maker. It is a classic example of where experimentation and art meets pop to create an indelible sound. R.I.P. Mr Hollis. Have a great weekend.

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Cream ‎- I Feel Free (1966)

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We had heard that he had been taken critical ill, but news broke this weekend that Ginger Baker has passed. Before Baker broke onto the rock scene, there wasn’t really the template for anyone playing lead drums. With his love and mastery of jazz, he took drumming to a new level. The apt ‘I Feel Free’ kicked off the US version of Cream’s debut album, Fresh Cream. R.I.P. Ginger.

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The Cars ‎- Just What I Needed (1978)

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I just heard about Ric Ocasek’s passing this week. Very sad news. I spent a good few months listening to The Cars’ back catalogue in the mid to late 1980s. I loved the accessible mix of new wave and rock, an experience I would revisit years later when hearing The Strokes for the first time. Did Ocasek write a better track than ‘Just What I Needed’? Maybe not. The standout was from their self-titled debut. R.I.P. Ric; you were a real creative force.

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Purple Mountains – All My Happiness is Gone (2019)

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The self-titled longplayer from Purple Mountains is dark, sad and laced with humour. It is a remarkably candid album from ex-Silver Jews frontman David Berman. It would be his last. Listening to it, it not hard to hear his cry. All the happiness had gone. R.I.P. David.

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Silver Jews – Random Rules (1998)

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David Berman took his own life last week. He leaves behind a world that is lesser for his departure. The man that coined the phrase “Slanted and Enchanted” had began Silver Jews in the 1989 with friends Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich. While the latter pair would go on to form Pavement, Berman’s project never lost their shared interests. Berman’s widest acclaim came with the release of the 1998 album American Water. Its opening track ‘Random Rules’ reminds me of Pavement’s ‘Range Life’. In fact, Malkmus had participated in the making of the early Silver Jews albums as a side project. But all the songs were masterfully written by Berman, even if a lot of what he said was “lifted off men’s room walls”. Last month, Berman released his first work in over a decade since the dissolution of Silver Jews. The self-titled LP by Purple Mountains is his epitaph. RIP DB.

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Her’s – Harvey (2018)

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I have really enjoyed the 1980s feel to the album An Invitation To Her’s. I was really sad to hear about the band’s sudden demise in California this week. R.I.P. Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading.

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Scott Walker – Jackie (1968)

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The passionate and mahogany tones of Scott Walker… R.I.P. In 1968, the single ‘Jackie’ was released in advance of his sophomore solo album Scott 2, was quickly banned by the BBC and subsequently went to Number 1 in the UK charts. “Stupid-ass”… very rude.

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Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen In Love (1978)

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It’s The Buzz, Cock! Pete Shelley (real name Peter McNeish) R.I.P. Have you ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn’t ‘ve? Have a great weekend.

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Eric Burdon & War – Spill The Wine (1970)

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Ex-Animals frontman Eric Burdon sang the lead on ‘Spill the Wine’. The song was released as a single in May 1970  and was War’s first chart hit. Paul Thomas Anderson used in the movie Boogie Nights as part of a pool party scene. R.I.P. Burt.

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Instant Funk – Got My Mind Made Up (1978)

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Two years after penning the dancefloor classic ‘Touch & Go’ for Ecstasy, Passion & Pain, Philly legend Bunny Sigler produced one of my all time favourite disco tracks. Like many of best disco moments (think ‘Jingo’, ‘Love Break’ and ‘Let’s Start A Dance’), Instant Funk’s ‘I Got My Mind Made Up’ is relentless in its groove. This sultry classic would be immortalised by Public Enemy’s Welcome To The Terrordome’ and De La Soul’s ‘A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays’ in 1990-91.  Bunny Sigler died last month; some of the Sound of Philadelphia went with him. R.I.P.

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