Temple Records 1989. TOPY 044
I can’t make my mind up about this. Is it unspeakable garbage or inspired genius? I bought it for peanuts in a bargain bin realising that it must be a Psychic TV side project, which indeed it is, but it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. The song is of course the Hendrix classic, but here it’s performed more like a funeral dirge with vocals provided by Genesis P Orridge’s six year old daughter, Caresse. Clearly someone in Italy thought it was brilliant – it was used as the theme for a TV show and appeared over there as a 7″ on a label owned by Silvio Berlusconi. I can’t imagine what sort of show it could have been. There’s also a rather fine video to accompany the track.
The b side is interminable and never really seems to go anywhere.
Durtro Janana 2006. Durtro Janana 1963
I’ve been listening to compilations a bit lately, mainly because I usually neglect them and forget the hidden gems they contain. This one is a bit of a beast; five full CDs and 75 artists, so it is a bit overwhelming but there’s so much interesting stuff it’s essential if you’re into the offbeat.
It was put together by David Tibet (of Current 93) who obviously has a hell of an address book as a benefit for Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders). While it lacks the stylistic coherence of most of the compilations I’ve posted here in the past, the quality is mostly very high, and some effort has been made to make to album flow. Realistically, you’ll never play the whole thing in one sitting, so the CDs are made to work pretty well as standalone albums.
It’s so vast and so varied I don’t really want to attempt a description – I’ll be typing all day. I bought it for the Bonnie Prince Billy track, but soon realised it’s full of stuff I like, or at least stuff I would like if I’d heard it. There are the avant garde names you’d expect, but also people representing his interest is the weirder end of folk, such as Bill Fay.
Really the best thing to do is look at the tracklisting below and to trust me that there’s very little filler.
Posting a charity album here might seem like a really bad idea, but it is sold out now. If you enjoy it, you could assuage any guilty feelings you might have by donating to Medecins Sans Frontieres here. They do really useful stuff providing medical help in places where it wouldn’t otherwise be available.
Temple Records 1985. TOPY S 009 + TOPY H 009
Discogs: double 7″
For some reason I have both the 12″ and the double 7″ of this release, but it is a favourite. Godstar is about the late Brian Jones who died just before the Stones famous 1969 Hyde Park gig and has since been credited with all sorts of mystical powers. I wouldn’t know about that, but it’s certainly the sort of thing you’d expect Psychic TV to pick up on.
The cover claims that it’s from the soundtrack of a forthcoming film, although I’ve never heard of it actually being released or even finished. The title track is very Stones inspired, which is quite a departure for PTV, although they do a really good job of it, especially on the 7″ version which is by far the best. Hard to imagine such a listenable track was created by someone who was a founder member of Throbbing Gristle. The remainder is a bit patchy, but the Hyperdelic mix works well.
More recently, Psychic TV founder Genesis P Orridge has become better known for his attempt to create a hybrid being with his wife, which involved him having radical plastic surgery in order to look like her. She died a few years back, leaving his project not just bizarre to everyone else, but also tragic.
Caroline Records 1989. CAR CD 5
This album is from the days when tribute albums were quite a new idea, and it has a most impressive list of contributing artists; impressive enough to make it worth having for most people interested enough in music to end up reading this blog.
As is always the case, the album is less than the sum of its parts. Sometimes it just provokes an overwhelming desire to dig out the Neil Young originals, which of course is no bad thing. Loop for example are so faithful to the original that there doesn’t seem much point, but Bongwater take Mr Soul somewhere entirely new. Sonic Youth, The Pixies, Dinosaur Jr and Nick Cave all contribute in ways that are entirely predictable, but they were on such great form in 1989 that predictability works here.
If you’re not familiar with Neil Young and like the songs here, you could do worse than get a compilation like Decade which has the original versions of some of these tracks.
Some Bizzare 1985. SBZCD1
Some Bizarre’s second compilation from 1985 is an important musical document, containing as it does seminal tracks from a number of bands, most of which I guess you’d call industrial, who went on to have significant careers. It’s also really strong musically; there really isn’t a duff track here, and it’s quite a CV for whoever their A&R guy was.
The cover is suitably disturbing, although the vinyl issue, which I also have but can’t be bothered to rip is much more interesting:
It includes a number of weird inserts, including a folder printed with “Today’s Government’s Plans Towards Utopia” which contains a blank piece of paper and another sheet which is probably an early attempt at cover art because it includes the album’s original title.
Most of the tracks here are exclusives (Coil for example) , others impossibly rare (The The), so it’s worth having even if you’re only interested in one or two bands.
Here’s a tracklisting (with thanks to Discogs)
Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel – The Only Good Christian Is A Dead Christian 3:27
Cabaret Voltaire – Product Patrol 4:19
Test Dept. – Total Nervous Phenomonom 3:41
Marc Almond – Love Amongst The Ruined 6:36
Psychic T.V. – Twisted 7:57
The The – Flesh And Bones 4:00
Coil – The Wheel 2:42
Yello – The Roxy Cut 4:30
Virginia Astley – Waiting To Fall 3:27
Einstürzende Neubauten – Wardrobe 2:40