1975

Spaghetti Head – Funky Axe

21st December 2023 · 1970s, 1975, Funk, Music

Bass lines don’t come much funkier than this minimalist drum-and-bass obscurity by a short-lived mid-’70s band called Spaghetti Head.

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This strange but fascinating instrumental is a real one-off. I defy anyone to tell me what genre this should be filed under in a record shop. It’s got a dramatic, atmospheric vibe, as befits its status as library music, but there’s also funk lurking in there somewhere; just don’t try dancing to it.

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I never heard this when it came out back in 1975 – I was listening to Wish You Were Here until Horses came along – but I’ve heard that drum break sampled dozens of times in hip hop and house tunes since then.

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Who knew Joan Jett’s fist-pumping anthem I Love Rock’n’Roll was a cover version? Not me. And, I’m willing to wager, not most of you.

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Rewind to 1975 and here’s an infectious tune by Max Romeo, one of reggae’s great survivors – still performing at the age of 78.

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Linda Lewis was the first female black British singer I ever saw on TV. They were a rarity in the early Seventies – in fact she’s the only one I can think of.

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RIP Jeff Beck (1944-2023)

12th January 2023 · 1970s, 1975, 2000s, 2007, Music

I think the only Jeff Beck record in my collection is the single Hi Ho Silver Lining, which does not exactly show the guitarist at his virtuosic best. But this does: an incendiary live performance of a tune from his instrumental album Blow By Blow, recorded at Ronnie Scott’s in 2007.

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RIP Wilko Johnson (Dr Feelgood, Ian Dury & The Blockheads, The Solid Senders) 1947-2022. Gone but never forgotten.

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Pere Ubu came out of Cleveland in the mid-Seventies with an abrasive avant-garde sound unlike anyone before or since. This was their remarkable debut.

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This really is a spectacular find for fans of funk and soul. An obscure deep soul nugget, it lures you in with its slow-burning groove. Then, about 30 seconds in, the horns catch fire and the bass player lets loose with the musical equivalent of St Vitus Dance. (more…)