“In which Lee Scratch Perry (aka Rainford Hugh Perry), the maddest mix-doctor of them all, nails us with a powerful ember of soul fire that manages to be equal parts easy and strange. Because it’s roots reggae and few grooves are ever as easy, and it concerns the human soul, and nothing is ever stranger. Doesn’t matter if you’re in feverishly hot Trenchtown, Jamaica, or just some pointless suburb at the north-western edge of the crumbling civilization known as Babylon. That’s where I first heard it.” (Philip Random)
“It’s hard to get a specific date on Bucky Skank, just sometime in the 1970s, probably post 1972, which I don’t even know for sure, it just feels right that it came from the Black Ark, Mr. Lee Scratch Perry and his Upsetters being known for their stoned and wistful wandering both in and out of time. The groove is odd, almost broken. The lyrics are mostly nonsensical to my non-Jamaican ears. But it always brings a smile.” (Philip Random)
“Mr. Brown is definitely the most garage sounding track I’ve heard from Bob Marley, which is not a surprise given Lee Scratch Perry‘s presence at the mixing board, conjuring his unique and multihued magic. Found by me on Rasta Revolution, a 1974 compilation of various pre-fame Marley and the Wailers odds and ends, which means it probably got recorded prior to 1972. Not that Marley saw much fame anywhere beyond Jamaica until after 1974 anyway. And then I didn’t stumble onto it until at least 1994. But it still felt fresh, if a little ripe.” (Philip Random)
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?