In my early teens I was a big fan of The Allman Brothers’ 1971 live album At Fillmore East. And this 13-minute instrumental was my favourite track.

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This funky tale of a vengeful black god coming to fix the injustices of the world comes from another of those lost masterpieces – an obscure album of jazz-funk matched to black-consciousness lyrics called Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse.

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The deepest of deep cuts, this little-known cover of a little-known soul song is one of the hidden gems in Bowie’s repertoire.

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This laid-back easy-listening gem is redolent of summer sunshine. And, you may say, cheese. But I like cheese.

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The Bears – On Me

3rd April 2024 · 1970s, 1977, Music, Punk

I’d never heard of The Bears until I began reading Richard Norris’s memoir, Strange Things Are Happening, and came across their debut single, On Me.

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This song caught my eye, if not my ear, the other day when I spotted it included in a list of the best-selling songs of 1972… at number one.
Which was weird as I’d never heard of it, let alone heard it.

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Black Uhuru were everywhere in the late ’70s. It seemed they would step into Bob Marley’s shoes after his death in 1981 – only for their lead singer, Michael Rose, to leave the group.

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Even though The Velvet Underground are my favourite band I think I’ve only listened to their fifth album once. Maybe not even once. Until now.

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Patti Smith’s Horses – my favourite record for much of my life – plays a part in a couple of key scenes in Wim Wenders’ wonderful film Perfect Days.

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The summer of ’79 witnessed one of those rare occasions when a reggae song struck a chord with the entire nation – and was the first lover’s rock tune to be sung on Top of the Pops. Dennis Bovell wrote, produced and played the music on Janet Kay’s lover’s rock classic Silly Games – then stripped it back to this killer dub. (more…)