On the Juke-Box Today


Motown was a child of it’s time … & the ‘68-72 era, well covered by the Motown Chartbusters Vols. 4,5, & 6 collections were pretty good. Certainly worth having in any collection. Add to those the 4 mid-era Stevie Wonder albums ( Music of My Mind, Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness’ First Finale) when he was produced by the Tonto’s Expanding Headband tech. nerds were excellent … but very much atypical of the genre and he’d broken free of Berry Gordy’s control.

The beauty of music is that it’s so broad and the moment you say “I don’t really like xyz” you just know you’ll have to then caveat that as there will be some you do like.

Welcome Brian … & I await any input on music with great anticipation.


Or just say “Oh well X isn’t really Y…”


Heh! A woman I know, a folk-singer, always said that she didn’t like filk. I was playing some while she was in my car one day, and she asked what it was.

“Filk,” I said.

“It can’t be filk; I like it,” she replied.


Owing to a series of hard drive problems over the years, I’m in the middle of reorganising my entire collection - or rather that part of it which is in digital format (vinyl and tape still boxed, alas…). Among the forgotten treasures was a pile of Tharpe’s own recordings. Quite wonderful.


The problem with sticking labels on music is that it tends to be done for commercial purposes, while the good stuff tends to be non-commercial.


Rosetta Tharpe … apart from having a name like a porn star … was a magnificent artist. Bravo on the find Joe.


Sister Rosetta Tharp was truly an original.

As for Motown - alongside the Stax label was part of the soundtrack of my yoof. It was great to dance to, dominating dances I went to in the 60s. They knew their market and in response created well-produced pop music. Their successors in many respects were ABBA.

I confess that I’m not a great fan of much of the output that is churned out under the banner of ‘pop’ but, there are one or two exceptions.

My family will sometimes tell you that I’m ‘a music snob’. For all that I have a broad taste, it has to be ‘good’. Folk is a genre where I can get seriously picky. I guess that my first exposure to ‘folk’ was through Peter, Paul and Mary and, Burl Ives on ‘Children’s’ Favourites’ and, ‘Two Way Family Favourites’ in the late 50s, early 60s. Then skiffle came along and gave me a broader experience. I even attended folk clubs back then. When I hear Mumford and Sons et al described as folk, I have to disagree. They are acoustic pop/rock. They’re fine and, I like them but, folk they ain’t!

I think that ‘your taste’ is ‘your taste’. It’s unique to you. I used to get rather annoyed with people who would denigrate any form of music they didn’t like. All music is valid. If you don’t take to it, don’t listen to it. Don’t condemn those people who do like it. I experienced a lot of that with the rise of Punk Rock and New Wave in the 70s. Many of my friends who, like me were into ‘serious Rock music’ dismissed Punk as naive, basic, and unpolished. To me rock had become too grand and imposing, pompous and, took itself far too seriously. They seemed to forget that Elvis Presley produced some incredible music with, a guitar, drums and bass in a studio, on a single track recording machine. This often took just a couple of hours. If they wanted the bass to be louder, they asked the bass player to stand closer to the microphone. By the 70s, artists were taking six or eight months to produce an album. Often there were so many multi-tracking overdubs and technical tricks that it was impossible to play the tracks live. Punk went back to basics. Like music for what it is.

Incidently, I mentioned Karl Jenkins and’The Armed Man’ earlier. I’m quite hacked off that, he’s coming to conduct the entire work live at Birmingham Symphony Hall in October and I can’t make it.

Sorry, I’m in soap box mode. It’s been a long day.


Here’s a bit of pop I didn’t expect to like:


While I agree broadly with almost everything you say, that statement is as daft as its close relation ‘All opinions are valid’. In my opinion (which you are entirely free to consider invalid)


Nowt wrong wi’ a bit of a rant now and then…

You will remember the rise in the 1970s of what we used to call “Cathedral Rock”: stuff which sounded as if it needed a space that big to explain it? And indeed to perform it in: remember that was-it-Pink Floyd picture with the pantechnicon and all their kit?

And have you ever read Rob Young’s Electric Eden?


Rick Wakeman’s ‘Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table … on Ice’ fits that well.


Back cover photo of Ummagumma. Fing is, it’s not actually that much gear, when you look at it now:


One of the surprisingly important bits is quite small:


The Wakeman Myths & Legends… ice show was a sort of “spur of the moment” thing, apparently. The venue where they were performing was going to be hosting one of the big Holiday On Ice shows at the time, so they decided to make use of the set.


ELP toured the Staes with a hollowed out 747 for their kit, plus 3 x 40’ trailers with ‘Emerson’, ‘Lake’ and ‘Palmer’ on the roof of each for more local distribution.

So we’ve established there became some amazing excess. I’m not sure The Sex Pistols were the answer ! :joy:

It took me a while with punk to sift through to find what i did like & I’d probably do all i could to find another description for what i felt good about. Ian Dury was the srand out for me.

Tbe great thing about the rise of punk wS that i began to search back catalogues of those I had interest in prior to that & thus discovered a great deal more I’d never have found otherwise.


Quad? Pah! I had to plan the spatialisation of the first part of this - without access to an eight channel system to test it on until we installed. Thankfully, it worked!



I must have had that cover conflated with a picture in which a band’s kit is spread around a pantechnicon, and there is a lot more of it than that!


Ian Drury and the Blockheads caused a professor of my acquaintance, now in his eighties, to become doubled over with laughter quite recently.


Do tell why.

Only a few weeks ago I succumbed to my inner child whilst in PC World. They have many means of music streaming in there which seeks to partner to your phone by bluetooth. I linked to several and then, at considerable volume, played “Billericay Dickie” on repeat whilst I browsed infeasibly large TV’s and watched the staff, eventually, rush around switching things off.


You, Armers, are A Very Bad Man. Good work.