Time Capsule – 1972

Time Capsule – 1972

  After a short break, we are back and ready to resume writing here. We will start our new time capsule series in 1972 because Paul was born that year. Also, it was a leap year, and apparently the longest year ever. (with 2 extra seconds). The year was marked by violence, starting with the infamous “Sunday Bloody Sunday” on January 30th, when 27 unarmed civilians were shot by the British Army during a civil rights march. Which of course, was followed on February 2 by the burning of the British Embassy in Dublin, and after that, countless attacks, bombs, and deaths. The Read more »

Live At Leeds by The Who

Live At Leeds by The Who

Some have called this the greatest live rock album ever, others say it’s the best album The Who ever released, so just what is it about Live At Leeds that makes it so legendary? More gutsy than the Beatles, more artsy than the Stones, and with a greater appetite for destruction than either both on and off stage, Britain’s 3rd great band to come out of the 1960’s always walked a path that was resolutely, bloody-mindedly their own. They were posessed of a visceral kinetic energy that came from the combination of four very different, almost ill-fitting personalities being squeezed Read more »

Netflix´s ´Stranger Things´ and ´The Get Down´

Netflix´s ´Stranger Things´ and ´The Get Down´

Not content with owning our screens and weekends and late night marathons, Netflix´s plan of world domination is now coming after our ears, bringing us 2 series that are not only highly addictive, but which have brought to the small screen (is the computer screen also a small screen?) the soundtracks of the year. The Get Down This musical television series tells the story of the death of disco and the rise of hip hop in the late seventies in New York. Created by Baz Luhrmann  it is very influenced by his aesthetics, and if you don’t like his previous projects Read more »

One Hit Wonders: ‘Uptown Top Ranking’ by Althea & Donna

One Hit Wonders: ‘Uptown Top Ranking’ by Althea & Donna

The story of Uptown Top Ranking is actually a story about 3, actually 4 (or possibly even 5!) records and a roll call of some of the greats of Jamaican music. A 1978 hit in the UK, Jamaica, and even the US, this story actually starts 11 years earlier with a man called Alton Ellis, a man known as ‘The King Of Rocksteady’, and his 1967 hit “I’m Still In Love” (see below) which was produced at the legendary Studio One by it’s legendary owner Clement “Sir Coxsone” Dodd… Now whilst this was a reasonable sized hit in Jamaica at Read more »

The Tuesday Playlist No.61: Soul Power

The Tuesday Playlist No.61: Soul Power

This week we bring you 15 super soul performances from some of the greats! We’re big soul music lovers here at MVD and when it came to compiling this week’s playlist we realised that we were in a soulful mood. So dig The Spinners, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Bill Withers, Sugar Pie Desanto, Sam & Dave and more besides…

All Things Must Pass by George Harrison

All Things Must Pass by George Harrison

On the 14th anniversary of his death we look back at the ex-Beatle’s magnum opus, a triple-album that spawned his global hit ‘My Sweet Lord’. “The biggest break in my career was getting into the Beatles… The second biggest break since then is getting out of them.” – George Harrison, 1971 When George Harrison passed away on November 29th 2001 it may not have had the same dramatic impact that the violent death of fellow Beatle John Lennon did some 20-odd years previously, but it was still a profoundly sad moment for the millions of people around the world who Read more »

Unsung Figures No.7: The Shaggs

Unsung Figures No.7: The Shaggs

Music, like all art, elicits – or at least should elicit – all kinds of value laden responses from those who engage with it, whether casually or obsessively or somewhere inbetween. We can all think of music we hate, and indeed if you are an obsessive (like us) then the music you don’t like defines you just as strongly as the music you do. Example: in the wake of Phil Collins anouncing his un-retirement music fans everywhere seem to be queuing up to insist the he un-unretires, such is the strength of feeling towards his music. It’s kind of inexplicable Read more »

Unsung Figures No.6: Judee Sill

Unsung Figures No.6: Judee Sill

The latest in our series exploring peripheral musical figures looks at the troubled life and ambitious musicality of this Californian singer-songwriter. The first time I heard Judee Sill, which I’ll admit is less than a few years ago, my initial reaction was that this was all very lovely and her voice very pleasant but it was a little lacking in edge or bite. Something grabbed me though and having borrowed the albums from the friend who played her to me I listened again, intrigued by an underlying quality in the music that suggested I might want to dig deeper. One Read more »

What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye

What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye

MVD presents The Albums, a whole new section which we are launching with a look at Marvin Gaye’s classic ‘What’s Going On’ lp. So, we here at MVD have been doing ‘The Singles’ for a while now, a category that basically allows us to cover the good, the bad, the ugly, the old, the new, the borrowed, the blue etc… in a completely random manner that looks like some kind of agenda or plan. Now we love singles, 3 or 4 minutes of pure musical nirvana, but we are also both of an age where as we were growing up Read more »

Banned! “Je t’aime… moi non plus” by Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin

Banned! “Je t’aime… moi non plus” by Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin

We continue our series looking at banned songs and videos with one of the most famous examples of all and one of the most sexually liberated records of the 1960’s. So when I started this series I knew that there were certain ‘elephants in the room’ so to speak. In other words, when you start digging through the history of songs and videos that have been banned by someone, somewhere, for whatever reason there are some candidates that are too famous, too notorious to ignore. This is one of those. When I was growing up that was what I knew Read more »

James Bond Theme Songs: 5 of the best

James Bond Theme Songs: 5 of the best

With a new James Bond movie on the way and much talk this week regarding whether Radiohead have done the theme song for it we thought we would look back at Bond music through the ages… Music has always been an essential element of the whole James Bond package. In fact the music – cool, sophisticated, bold, full of panache – helps construct the whole identity of the world’s most famous super-spy. The instantly recognisable ‘James Bond Theme’ was written by Monty Norman, however it was arranged and considerably developed by the British composer and film music legend John Barry, Read more »

The Harder They Come: How one film helped reggae rise up

The Harder They Come: How one film helped reggae rise up

We look back at the film which made a star of Jimmy Cliff and did so much to bring reggae music from Jamaica to a much wider audience. “The Harder They Come had a great deal to do with the spread of Rasta and roots music… it took you right into roots culture and how people lived in Jamaica at the time. It introduced people to the fact that there was more to reggae music than the happy stuff that had been hits at the time” – Jimmy Cliff, taken from Bass Culture by Lloyd Bradley If you ask most Read more »

The 70´s: The decade, the music, the playlist!

The 70´s: The decade, the music, the playlist!

Our deconstruction of the decade and its music. Culture, fashion and film Women´s suffragette was finally legalized in 1970. The decade was heavily marked by feminism and a struggle to bring a gender equality awareness across the United States and the Western Hemisphere. The youth vote was also established in 1971 with an amendment that lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 years of age. The Supreme Court of the United States made a controversial and important decision with Roe V. Wade and by declaring the constitutional right to abortion. In film, there were many important Oscar winning films Read more »

Foreigner´s “Cold as Ice” and Journey´s “Separate Ways”: No budget?

Foreigner´s “Cold as Ice” and Journey´s “Separate Ways”: No budget?

A comparative analysis between two of the worst videos ever: Foreigner´s “Cold as Ice” and Journey´s “Separate Ways”. Today, many hard rock and heavy metal bands pertaining to the Arena rock era from the late 60s and early 70s are considered classic bands. Among them are famous bands like Boston, Journey and Foreigner. It is pretty weird they represented an idea of “macho” rock which I grew up with. Maybe that is what is wrong with my friends? They believed these groups to be their role models? I am still trying to figure out why the music executives were willing Read more »