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BIG BEAT

Various Artists

Good Vibrations

    The film Good Vibrations was released late last year to great acclaim, with luminaries such as Roger Daltrey and Bono raving about its excellence. The story follows the turbulent life of record collector, DJ, record shop owner, record label founder and dance promoter Terri Hooley from his childhood to the present day. A true rollercoaster ride with rarely a dull minute, portrayed brilliantly in this cult film. The soundtrack has been woven together by film score composer David Holmes, who grew up listening to our releases, and Terri Hooley himself, whose love of vintage music is the cornerstone of the story.

    With musical tastes formed in the 60s and 70s, Terri has chosen some wonderful music to portray his early years. The beauty of ‘Angie’, Bert Jansch’s folk guitar masterpiece, the haunting, sexually charged vocals of the Shangri-Las and the primitive clarity of Hank Williams’ ‘I Saw The Light’ show what an eclectic fellow Terri always was. ‘Outcast’ by the Animals gives a hint of the tougher side of the music eventually leading to Terri’s success and (coincidentally, or possibly not) was also the name of one of his label’s punk bands a dozen years later.

    The story of how a scruffy bunch of Londonderry teenagers got their demo to Terri and virtually forced him to record it is one of the film’s highlights. The established record business and a hierarchical society fought against them but boundless energy, belief and desperate measures got a copy of the Undertones ‘Teenage Kicks’ to London-based DJ John Peel who made sure it did not remain an undiscovered gem.

    Exciting music of the time from the Saints, Stiff Little Fingers, Niney The Observer and Suicide sit well with the earlier influences of psychedelia from Ramases & Seleka and the rocksteady sound of the Upsetters. Thrown into the imaginative mix are some unclassifiable musical creations from Michael Yonkers, Jason Falkner and the Langley Schools Music Project and of course the label’s top bands Rudi and those Outcasts are well represented. Stand-alone pieces from the film’s soundtrack are included on this musical celebration of a heady era.

    Terri provided his own idiosyncratic notes for the booklet and needless to say he was tickled pink to have the great David Bowie singing for him on his CD: ever the fan.

    TRACK LISTING

    I Saw The Light - Hank Williams
    Blood And Fire - Niney (The Observers)
    Past, Present And Future - The Shangri-Las
    Outcast - The Animals
    Freedom Train - The Upsetters
    You're A Disease - The Outcasts
    Angie - Bert Jansch
    Big Time - Rudi
    Pear Shaped - Woody Jackson
    This Perfect Day - The Saints
    Gotta Gettaway - Stiff Little Fingers
    Don't Wait Until Tomorrow - Michael Yonkers
    Love You - Ramases & Seleka
    Teenage Kicks - The Undertones
    Dream Baby Dream - Suicide
    The Pressure's On - Rudi
    I Can Never Go Home Anymore - The Shangri-Las
    To Know Him Is To Love Him - The Langley Schools Music Project
    Alternative Ulster - Stiff Little Fingers
    The Perfect Crime - Jason Falkner
    Just Another Teenage Rebel - The Outcasts
    Laugh At Me - Holmes Ensemble Aka Whole Ensemble
    Star - David Bowie
    Self Conscious Over You - The Outcasts

    The Cramps

    Big Beat From Badsville

      As the Cramps approached their 20th anniversary, they showed no signs of changing their signature kitschy psychobilly style. 'Big Beat From Badsville' is a collection of campy songs about sex, horror, violence, leather and perversion - well what else did you expect?! Sonically, it's slightly rawer than it's predecessor, Flamejob, and the group's performances are as inspired here as they are on any of their other '90s albums.

      TRACK LISTING

      Cramp Stomp
      God Monster
      It Thing Hard-On
      Like A Bad Girl Should
      Sheena's In A Goth Gang
      Queen Of Pain
      Monkey With Your Tail
      Devil Behind That Bush
      Super Goo
      Hypno Sex Ray
      Burn She-Devil, Burn
      Wet Nightmare
      Badass Bug
      Haulass Hyena

      Masaaki Hirao And His All Stars Wagon

      Nippon Rock'n'Roll - The Birth Of Japanese Rokabirii

      “Nippon Rock’n’Roll” documents the rise of Masaaki Hirao. Dubbed “The Japanese Elvis”, Hirao was one of the famed Rokabirii Sannin Otoko (Three Rockabillies), alongside singers Mickey Curtis and “Kei-chan”, Keijiro Yamashita. In early 1958, the rokabirii buumu (rockabilly boom) was born, the first youth music tribe in the Land Of The Rising Sun.

      Rokabirii may resemble US rockabilly, but this Nipponese version is a more varied dish. Hirao and his band’s covers of Eddie Cochran, Elvis Presley and Little Richard are not kitsch renditions, but raw, desperate rockers. Hear a Paul Anka makeover, but put through a rocking mangle; a smattering of jazz; a twist of New Orleans; and some Japanese folk songs with a greased-down quiff. American occupation a distant memory, these boys wanted to party.

      Country and hillbilly music was a mainstay of young Japanese musicians working the GI base and jazz café circuit of the 1950s. Following the runaway success of a Japanese cover of ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ (Hirao’s version here has dynamite in its teeth), demand grew for more of this strange, new music. The need was met with a huge gala, the Nichigeki Western Carnival, which showcased the new rokabirii groups to thousands of screaming Japanese teenagers. Wild footage of the concerts, alongside that of burgeoning radical student movements, put fear of a wave of delinquency into the heart of the establishment.

      The studio numbers here are hardboiled, with unkempt live recordings that really rock. Tough drums back up honking sax, in a pedal steel pandemonium with slap bass. In the words of Elvis: these guys “get real gone”.

      TRACK LISTING

      01. Lawdy Miss Clawdy (Live)
      02. Itsuki No Komoriuta Rock
      03. Hoshi Wa Nandemo Shiteru 2 (Live)
      04. Crazy Love (Live)
      05. Jailhouse Rock

      Side 2
      01. Jenny Jenny (Live)
      02. Ooh My Soul (Live)
      03. One Way Ticket
      04. Miyo-chan
      05. Blues De Memphis

      The Sonics

      Here Are The Sonics

        At the time of its original release, this album made very little impact outside of the Sonics’ home state – but the band made enough noise in Washington to blow down every brick wall between Tacoma and Torrance, California.

        Seldom has a band been better named. The youthful aggression in their music – coupled with singer Gerry Roslie’s 80-razorblades-a-day vocal attack and a selection of overwhelmingly brilliant riffs that underpinned some of the most wildly recorded music ever to be committed to tape – should have made the Sonics one of the biggest bands the world has ever known or heard.

        Instead they went on to become celebrated by generation after generation of collectors, and other young people with an urge to rock’n’roll. The importance of tracks such as ‘The Witch’, ‘Psycho’ and ‘Boss Hoss’ has provided a template for countless groups who’ve come up in their wake, and who have achieved a level of commercial success they could never have achieved without the inspiration of the Sonics – fellow Pacific North-Westerners Kurt Cobain’s Nirvana and their successor the Foo Fighters being, perhaps, the most obvious examples.

        Incidentally, all the modern legal stuff – barcode, addresses and suchlike – is contained on a sticker, to make this reissue look as authentic as possible.

        ALEC PALAO

        TRACK LISTING

        Side 1
        01 The Witch
        02 Do You Love Me
        03 Roll Over Beethoven
        04 Boss Hoss
        05 Dirty Robber
        06 Have Love Will Travel

        Side 2
        01 Psycho
        02 Money (That's What I Want)
        03 Walking The Dog
        04 Night Time Is The Right Time
        05 Strychnine
        06 Good Golly Miss Molly


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