beatsandfavouritemusic Pt7: Obscure Gems
1) Parents: Budgie (Best Of Budgie)
A brilliant heavy but melodic track that builds slowly with some gorgeous heavy guitar work throughout. The subject is a little uncool for Rock and Roll in that it is the point in life where the young adult finally realises how much their parents have done for them.
When I used to go to Cleo’s, the rock club of choice in Derby in the late 70s for the local chapter of the Hell’s Angels, this was as close as it got to the slow dance track at the end of the night!
2) Lord Of The Ages: Magna Carta (Lord Of The Ages)
This really would polarise opinion, if you’re not keen on Tolkienesque imagery or someone reading fantasy poetry then look away now!
This really does transport you to another world, some lovely storytelling amid a very folky background, occasional almost welsh choir like refrains and a brilliant rock and lightning guitar break in the middle, pure escapism.
3) Every Time It Happens: Tractor (Tractor)
John Peel named this duo by saying you will be called after the first thing we see out of my window!
Collectors will usually quote the psych track Little Girl In Yellow as the classic but for me, it’s this blissful track as it seems to be on an ever descending chord sequence with sublime melancholic vocals.
4) Heroin: Velvet Underground (Velvet Underground & Nico)
A song that knows the danger of Heroin yet seemingly glorifies it at the same time, how I heard this first on the Tommy Vance show on Radio 1 I’ll never know.
Lou Reed lets you into his junkie world, and the music rises and falls intuitively with him, but all the sounds are hard and angular and leave you feeling suffocated by the end, produced by Andy Warhol as well as if it needed even more artistic credibility.
5) I Cheat The Hangman: Doobie Brothers (Stampede)
Country doesn’t usually do much for me, but the Doobie Brothers had something extra, although they could do the short format, smooth singles effortlessly, occasionally they would extend themselves into more ambitious territory.
This feels like you are a cowboy on the dark night of the soul with his only companion of death but the lighted doorway of redemption keeps him moving into the distance.
Beautiful harmonies and a rousing finale with some wild trumpet playing in the background.
6) Munic Yesterday: Faust (The Wumme Years)
A long industrial and yet organic funk workout with occasional chanting in the background, it still sounds futuristic even now.
It’s hypnotic without being robotic, and it always keeps subtly changing tempo and riff, just sit back and go with this one.
7) Instructions For Angels: David Bedford (Instructions For Angels)
As heavenly as the title suggests, a shifting drone arching upwards with some fantastic spiralling guitar work from Mike Oldfield and recorded in our very own Worcester Cathedral.
8) Ugly Guys With Beautiful Girls: Sparks (Li’l Beethoven)
Modern, weird, brilliantly recorded with a powerful and stuttering electro backing. However, it’s the almost spoken and very witty lyrics that shine here as Russell Mael tries to analyse what it is about beautiful girls that make them go to ugly men…go figure!
9) Aries: Supertramp (Indelibly Stamped)
This is the pre-fame version of the band, and here we have the closing track on the LP.
Aries is a folk hoedown with some lovely jazz flute in the middle, and it pulls you into its infectious groove, and it has a genuinely happy vibe to the whole thing.
You’d have never have guessed that this wonderfully mellow music was inside the rocky and rather tasteless cover of tattooed breasts!
10) Mother Sky: Can (Soundtracks)
This tracks rocks out from the very first second and continues skywards for 14+ minutes, brilliant art house vocals from Damo Suzuki and Holger Czukay has an entirely unique driving bass sound to the ensuing acid madness.