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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

    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


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