609. Rudy can’t fail

“It took me a while to properly discover Rudy Can’t Fail – probably because I wasn’t playing side one of London Calling that much. Because I’d already heard the lead off title track a pile by the time I actually owned it. And it’s not as if there was anything lacking on the other four sides, The Clash being at the absolute peak of their attainments. Anyway, a summer day, 1984 I think, a mostly empty beach on one of the local islands, me and a few friends and a ghetto blaster. All of us rich kids (sort of), none of us remotely rich, all of us at that point in our lives where we were having to start think seriously about our futures. Go to law school. Go to business school. Get into real estate. Get a job at a bank. Eat human flesh. We were smoking a little dope, drinking a few beers, and suddenly Rudy came on care of the current mixtape, and it was exactly what my universe needed. Something to do with freedom and art having a way better groove than f***ing economics. It’s been on the personal playlist ever since.” (Philip Random)

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739. the card cheat

“Second of two in a row from London Calling, the greatest rock and roll album ever (arguably). Released at the very end of the 1970s, that at least makes it the first indispensably great rock and roll album of the 1980s, maybe the last. Commercial radio, of course, only played two tracks but all four sides were nigh on brilliant – the power and rage of full-on punk tempered only enough to allow everything else to burst on through. With The Card Cheat, that meant widescreen rock all brassed up and gunning for the promised land, which is again miles beyond anything Bruce Springsteen could have hoped for at the time, who I’m only mentioning here because his 1980 double album The River had no problem getting played all over the radio.  And it was at least two sides too long.” (Philip Random)

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807. White man in Hammersmith Palais

Speaking of bass culture, (and contrary to popular belief) it needs to be said that White Man in Hammersmith Palais was neither The Clash‘s first reggae song, nor its best — that was Police + Thieves (or maybe something from Sandinista). But it was the first one they actually wrote, Joe Strummer to be specific, slipping out of his punk mindset long enough to wax poetic on politics and music, Robin Hood and Hitler, black and white, everything really.

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896. groovy times

The Clash telling it like it was in 1979 (and now for that matter). Got a problem with the weight of the world? You’re just not thinking, grooving, acting fast enough. In fact, they were so prolific (and good) at the time that they dropped Groovy Times as a b-side. First band since the Beatles to be that hot. And probably the last.

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1026. Radio Clash

“1981 was a pretty brilliant year if you were an open-minded Clash fan. Between London Calling and Sandinista, they’d just released ten sides of ever expanding, sometimes superlative vinyl in barely more than a year.  So when Radio Clash (the single) appeared in four different versions, all dubbed up and dance floor ready, there was no reason to doubt what was being promised. Hell yeah!  Their next move would be to launch a pirate satellite so the world would finally have all cool radio All The Time.  If you’d dropped enough of the ole lysergic, it felt very possible.” (Philip Random)

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A Traditional Randophonic Christmas

Randophonic’s first ever attempt at a proper Christmas show aired December 20th on CiTR.FM.101.9.

Here it is in two Mixcloud streams.

Plus a very special Movie of the Week — Monty Python’s Pleasures of the Dance.

The podcast of the full program is available for download here …

A special program in which we look back with fondness at cherished memories of Christmases past. Try to anyway, as it turns out the Jukebox is still stuck in minimum 49-percent prog-rock mode after the previous week’s 1974 blowout.

Which isn’t to say there aren’t plenty of highlights, seasonal and otherwise.

Sorry about that. The rest are guaranteed highlights, presented more or less in the order they were broadcast.

Van Der Graaf Generator – theme one

Written by George Martin for some TV show or other. Reimagined for drums, keyboards and various horns by Van Der Graaf Generator at their 70s freakout peak.

Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – Joybringer

Ripping off Gustav Holst, and owning it.

Jethro Tull – King Henry’s Madrigal

They don’t say which King Henry, though this strikes us as decidedly Shakespearean. Which raises the question. Where the hell are all the rocked up Shakespearean Christmas carols?

The Clash – if music could talk …

… then we truly would have peace on earth.

Delaney + Bonnie – where the soul never dies

What it’s really all about.

Beatles – Christmas time + The Word

The word is love.  The time is now.

Emerson Lake + Palmer – Jerusalem

An interpretation of William Blake’s cosmic musing on Britain’s industrial revolution (those dark Satanic mills) and Jesus Christ himself taking a little walk ‘cross England’s green and pleasant.  ELP at their least annoying.

Waterboys – December + Spirit

December even mentions the Christ child, but it’s not so much a Christmas song as a meditation on the gloomiest time of year, and how we always seem to find the light to see our way through, which seems to be what spirit’s all about.

Van Morrison – St. Dominic’s Preview

A song about many things, most of them indecipherable, but there is homesickness at the root of it. You think Buffalo’s a long way away? Try Belfast.

Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – father of night, father of day

In which the Earth Band manage in ten minutes what Bob Dylan’s original accomplished in less than two.  And yet, we’re pretty damned sure that the good Lord has love enough for both.

Link Wray – alone

Sad but true.

Mandalaband – The Eye of Wendor

From the first part of a long lost trilogy.

Joseph Spence – Santa Claus is coming to town

No one’s ever mumbled it better.

Ian Anderson – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Philip Random’s favourite Christmas carol is not completely ruined by this sort of jazz rock arrangement … with small orchestra.

Gryphon – second spasm

The band that brought bassoons and krumhorns to rock. And one more time, why is there not more of this sort of Shakespearean groove available this time of year?