British enfant terrible Raymond Watts / PIG releases his BLACK MASS EP, covering WHAM!, Elvis Presley and John Lennon!
Enter <PIG>... covering WHAM! ("Last Christmas"), Elvis Presley ("Blue Christmas") and John Lennon ("Happy Xmas (War Is Over)") on this new holiday EP BLACK MASS.
You might know mastermind Raymond Watts from his own project which recently released a much-ballyhoo'ed cover of KC & the Sunshine Band's "That's the Way (I Like It)" with adult actress/author/personality Sasha Gray... or his many albums before that... or perhaps in his stint in KMFDM... or you might have seen him in your rivethead days on tour with Killing Joke, KMFDM, Nine Inch Nails, or Einstürzende Neubauten. Or perhaps you were introduced to him via the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen who hired him to create the soundscape for his fashion shows.
Even though this EP is released for FREE on Bandcamp, the artist is donating all proceeds to anyone giving any size of donation to Rescue.org.
On this day, 39 years ago John Peel broadcasted Joy Division's 2nd Peel Sessions!
Today it’s been 39 years since Joy Division’s second Peel Session was broadcasted for the first time by John Peel on BBC radio (December 10th, 1979). All tracks, previously unreleased at that time, were recorded in the London BBC studios on November 26th, 1979.
The EP of this recording was released in 1986 by Strange Fruit records and spent seventeen weeks in the UK Indie Chart, peaking at number 3!
Joy Division - The Peel Sessions (II)
A1. Love Will Tear Us Apart 3:20
A2. 24 Hours 4:05
B1. Colony 4:08
B2. Sound of Music 4:20
SID VICIOUS, A Christmas Story | 41-Years Ago The Pistols Deliver Christmas
John Simon Ritchie, a name which will mean very little to people, bring little thought or judgement, however, his stage name or rather nickname does in Sid Vicious.
Immediately there is a violent thought, there are the thoughts of suicide, murder and perhaps a one of pity.
Some of these thoughts, especially the one of him committing a murder may not be fully true, but there is the violence, yes, there was a violent persona especially in his image, his self harm on stage and if you believe Nick Kent the way Sid could swing a bicycle chain.
But that is one view if you see the footage of the Sex Pistols playing a gig in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England on Christmas Day 1977 you get a totally different view.
In that year over 30,000 firefighters went on strike across England over unfair pay claims and conditions of work, although they were still answering emergency calls, the army was called in to handle everything else.
That Christmas the children of the firefighters were suffering as a result and so we have the most unlikely of events triggering and one which was going against the grain of the populist idea created by the press of the day.
The Sex Pistols played for the children of the striking firemen on that Christmas Day, now you start to come away with a very different image and idea.
Whereas the survivor footage shows, Sid Vicious dancing and laughing with children and having food fights, all good fun and all natural for a young twenty-year old man.
Seems very implausible that the anti-establishment, anarchists of rage the Sex Pistols could play the part of Santa Claus
,but they did.
What is more significant was, this occasion was the last time The Sex Pistols played in the UK with Sid Vicious, within three-weeks the band had imploded on the first leg of their tour of the United States.
Stories of good nature are not usually associated with Sid Vicious or the Sex Pistols, if there are such stories similar to this they have been buried underneath by the tabloid jewels of hate, but very soon you realise that they were victims of their own image, where the part they were playing took over the person they were and this is very true for young John Simon Ritchie.
Today, 40 years ago, Public Image released its debut album First issue!
Public Image: First Issue is the debut studio album of Public Image Ltd, formed and fronted by Jonny Rotten aka John Lydon after he left the Sex Pistols in January 1978. First Issue was released by record label Virgin on December 8th the same year and it is still considered as one of the pioneering records of post-punk.
It entered the UK Albums Chart, where it stayed for 11 weeks and reached #22 on 23 December 1978. The single “Public Image” entered the UK Top 75, where it stayed for 8 weeks and reached #9 on 21 October 1978
In 1979, a court in Malta had stopped selling the album because the lyrics of “Religion” offended public morals and decency.
After hearing the test pressings Warner Bros records also decided not to publish the album in the United States because the sound of the record was considered as too uncommercial for an American release. PiL were asked to re-record parts of the album and although the band recorded new versions of some tracks the album was never released in the US. Only in 1980 Warners released the song “Public Image” on the compilation album “Troublemakers”, the only album track released in the US until the 2013 release of the entire album.
On 18 June 2013, the album was finally officially released in the US via Light in the Attic Records.
Upon its release, Public Image: First Issue received only 2 out of 5 stars review in Sounds and NME was similarly negative, quipping that "unfortunately the 'image', public or otherwise, is a good deal less limited than many of the more practical factors involved in this venture."
However, it is now considered as a groundbreaking post-punk classic. Pitchfork Media stated "First Issue's industrial-strength stompers anticipate the scabrous art-punk of the Jesus Lizard and Slint, while Levene’s guitar curlicues on “Public Image” are the stuff Daydream Nations are made of." It is, along with Metal Box, included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
Public Image: First Issue
1. Theme 9:05
2. Religion I 1:40
3. Religion II 5:40
4. Annalisa 6:00
5. Public Image 2:58
6. Low Life 3:35
7. Attack 2:55
8. Fodderstompf 7:40
John Lydon – vocals, piano
Keith Levene – guitar
Jah Wobble – bass, vocals and fire extinguisher on "Fodderstompf"
Jim Walker – drums, vocals on "Fodderstompf"
Today Jim Morrison (8 December 1943 – 3 Juli 1971) would have been seventy-five, his life like his music is very well documented, instead of running through his list of activities and of course each of the albums we can look at the last breath of greatness The Doors delivered.
LA Woman, the artistic height of the original Doors line up, whether at the time it was known or not, they had reached their height and before the wagon of fame rolled down hill, turning the band into a facade of what they originally were, there was one last album of splendor left in them and was to be a blues based affair with the twist of Morrison's lyrics and delivery.
Morrisons voice was strained by the alcohol abuse and the hefty lifestyle which had left him sounding three times his 27 years, like an old blues man hollering in a bar;
'I've been down do goddamn long...'
Looking at the front photo of the album a dead giveaway is noticed as this was the true group effort, Morrison in height looks less than any of his band members, bearded and blended into the album where the focus was not entirely on him, unlike the debut album and subsequent releases.
The journey to this point had only been a mere four-years, the same time most modern bands leave between albums, but The Doors managed to tour, write and release five other albums, this was to be their sixth and this is where it had all been leading, the compass of their art had led them to this very point.
A workshop was built for the recording, a two-story building at 8512-Santa Monica Boulevard.
Long time producer Paul Rothchild walked out early on in rehearsals, as legend goes, describing the studio rehearsal of 'Riders On The Storm' as cocktail music and a step back from all that was accomplished on Morrison Hotel
With Bruce Botnick now at the helm, recordings began at the workshop in December 1970 and would last right through until January ‘71.
The added in-house bass player for that extra live dynamic whereas guest bass players were nothing new to Doors albums, LA Woman was no exception.
For that one Jerry Scheff rounded out the band and played on every song, giving it that live as possible feel and adding to the roundness of the overall sound.
The blues numbers grooved and listening back now you hear the sound of musicians and the height of their game, effortless music flowing making every melody line memorable.
This raw sound created by the band made the final mix with very little overdubs used, except for keyboard lines and of course the thunder and lighting affect on “Riders On The Storm” the second single released, the first was the keyboard driven rocker “Love Her Madly”.
Both were well received as was the album in its entirety, the maturity and Morrisons deep immersion in the blues on tracks such as “Crawling King Snake” and of course the title track, this was the record to end on, to bow out with the same style that had steered their career.
While the mixing took place in February '71, Morrison went to France to take time out, there was going to be no tour for this album, morning he never returned, he died as mysteriously as he lived, found in a bathtub on the third-of July 1971 and buried three days later in division-six of Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris, sharing space with Oscar Wilde and Edith Piaf.
“Lions in the street and roaming
Dogs in heat, rabid, foaming
A beast caged in the heart of a city
The body of his mother
Rotting in the summer ground
He fled the town
He went down South and crossed the border
Left chaos and disorder
Back there over his shoulder
One morning he awoke in a green hotel
With a strange creature groaning beside him
Sweat oozed from it's shining skin
Is everybody in?
Is everybody in?
Is everybody in?
The ceremony is about to begin!”
Kevin Burke Dec 2018