Sunday, November 2, 2008

let the spirits move you

A couple of year ago I decided that I’d not buy as many albums due to an ever increasing collection and only a limited time to listen to them. I had a great idea. I’d just buy seven inches instead. They don’t take up half as much room and they’re much quicker to listen to. What started out as a nice lunchtime shopping distraction has turned into a full-blown addiction. I’m now running out of shelf and box space for the little blighters. All my talk of getting some bespoke shelves made has amounted to nothing. It was all bluff and bluster. I’ve not bothered my arse doing anything about it. It’s now at the point where I’m buying seven inches that I’d forgotten I already owned. What will become of all this?

After lamenting the lack of seven inches out there I decided that maybe I should just try harder to find some. Like a junkie looking for a fix (but slightly better dressed and a little more handsome) I steeled myself late last week to venture forth into the various record stores of Dublin. And as it turns out I had a highly successful trip. I picked up nine little beauties and took them back home to take their place in the vinyl vault. Here they will gather dust until my kids reach their teenage years and thank me for the collection I amassed on their behalf. Or something like that!

The Smiths released ‘Hand in Glove’ as their first single and it failed to chart. Not to be outdone both Morrissey and Johnny Marr entreated the then retired Sandie Shaw to do a cover of it. Hey presto it’s a hit. Next thing you know she’s writhing on the floor during an appearance on Top of the Pops. Behind her are Johnny Marr, Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce, all barefoot, in homage to the great woman herself. I don’t think it’s as good as the original but I’m glad to have a copy of it for posterity.

So too was there gladness when I picked up a copy of Joe Jackson’s ‘Is she really going out with him’. I’ll put it beside my recently acquired copy of ‘Stepping Out’ by the same artist. I don’t really know much of his other stuff and to be honest I’m afraid to listen to it in case I’m disappointed. I like those two tunes so much that I find it hard to believe he could have equalled or bettered them. I remember he appeared on 'Later' a few years back and I think he might have performed this tune. That only leads me to believe that he hasn't done anything better.

I got both of the aforementioned seven inches in Spindizzy Records in the Georges Street Arcade. They’d also got a couple of boxes of second-hand reggaes sevens in so I had to have a look through them too. There was loads of stuff there that I was kind of interested in but as I say, space is at a premium in Chez Vinyl these days. As such I settled for the following three tunes. ‘Fally Ranking’ by Johnny Osborne was released on the Greensleeves label in 1980. This seven-inch of the tune is a repressing from 2001 and delightfully features a b-side by Black Uhuru of a top reggae tune called ‘I love King Selassie’. The next couple of reggae sevens look like they’re represses on the Trojan subsidiary label, Jackpot. The first is the well-known Ken Boothe version of The Abyssinians classic ‘Satta Massa Gana’ and has the accompanying Satta Riddim on the flip side. Likewise with the next tune. It’s another Abyssinians tune ‘Declaration of Rights’, this time by Johnny Clarke and it too has the version on the flip. Animal tune!

A trip down to All City Records was equally, if not more, successful. I bagged the new seven-inch by Mike Slott on the All City label. It’s hard to describe but I’m going to attempt it anyway. I was listening to it over the shop speakers when some teenage kids came in to buy some spray paint. One of them asked if the shop sold dance music and proceeded to treat me to some happy hardcore that he had on his phone. I told him that he was in fact listening to some cutting edge leftfield hip-hop over the shop speakers but he couldn’t reconcile my description with what he was hearing. Therein lies the problem with describing ‘Flunky’ by Mike Slott. It really is going to have limited appeal to most people. Like Guinness you have to acquire a taste for this. I think it’s great.

There were a bunch of other seven inches behind the counter so I picked them up and starting listening to them. I picked out an eighties nu-soul/funk tune by, wait for it, Wynd Chymes. The track is pure cheese. Now don’t jump to conclusions. I’m not talking Galtee Easi Singles here. I’m talking good cheese. A finely aged Stilton. A nice Camembert even. It’s called ‘Baby you’re the one’ and it really is a cracker. All bass and hairspray. The other tune that I picked out was by German dubstepper Phokus and it’s called ‘Police in Helicopter’. The tune is called Inta and the flip side has a remix by Wadadda on it. The pressing is limited to 400 copies and that makes me feel pretty bad. It turns out that Olan had ordered the pile of records I’d picked up for himself. Nevertheless being the consummate professional he still sold me the two tunes I wanted. Now that’s service for you.

Finally I also chanced upon the latest seven inch release from the latest Roots Manuva album Slime and Reason. It’s called ‘Let the Spirit’ and I hadn’t really given it much thought when listening to the album. Then I saw it performed on ‘Later’ and I was hooked. It’s sparse and simple and it’s beautiful. I have the kids singing the chorus all day. I think that they’re hooked too. Here he is on Later.


Adam said...

Let The Spirit is top stuff alright. You're kids are lucky blighters to have a pop with decent taste wha'?

Matt Vinyl said...

I subject them to some awful shite. They're pretty understanding most of the time