Songs From The Big Dig 2

BigDig2November2012

Another short late night listening selection, this time made up from records from the 70s that I picked up in Southwest USA. Includes a few tracks sampled in hip-hop for those who like spotting that sort of thing.

1. Eddie Kendricks – If You Let Me
2. Harvey Mandel – Fish Walk (edit)
3. Milton Nascimento – Raça
4. Nina Simone – Funkier Than Mosquito’s Tweeter
5. Dennis Coffey & The Detroit Guitar Band – Garden Of The Moon
6. Ahmad Jamal – Swahililand
7. Odetta – Sakura
8. John Fahey – The Waltz That Carried Us Away and Then a Mosquito Came and Ate Up My Sweetheart
9. Joe Zawinul  – His Last Journey
10. Lee Oskar – Haunted House

A Foolhardy Endeavour Pt.5

Ann Peebles - Breaking Up Somebody's Home

Ann Peebles – Breaking Up Somebody’s Home / Trouble, Heartaches & Sadness (1972) *

70s Soul. Queen of. Ann Peebles should really be as popular as Al Green; in the early seventies both singers were signed to Hi Records where both benefitted from the gorgeously gritty grooves of the genius Willie Mitchell, his crack house band and the Memphis Horns, but choice of material was probably the reason Peebles was a less commercial proposition than Green. The sound is exactly the same, but the songs are often darker; in Peebles’s Memphis pretty much all the men are bastards, everyone seems to be cheating on everyone and it’s always raining.

The a-side of this particular single is just 2½ minutes, but it manages to perfectly distil the moment where late (rainy) night loneliness tips over into bitterness and desperation. And what a title too; I’ve never quite decided whether she wants to just drive round to her beau’s house and do something to split him and his wife up, or if she’s actually thinking about smashing shit up. Peebles does the other woman and woman-done-wrong-and-fighting-back better than pretty much anyone. ‘I Will Survive’? pffft, Ann’s gonna break things and tear your playhouse down.

I originally came to this one via a mixtape from a friend, where the track was obviously recorded from the radio, a clipped syllable from a DJ’s voice coming in at the end over the fade-out.  Even better, the voice was clearly John Peel’s! You can’t help wondering what he was playing either side of this, Napalm Death? The latest Fall record of the time?  Anyway, this became my favourite track on the tape (I can’t remember anything else that was on it now), its brevity demanding continual rewinding.

For some reason I didn’t initially investigate any further into her catalogue, but then one Friday at work I was talking to another friend who loved Ann Peebles. The next day, on my way into town to the shops, I decided I simply had to buy a Peebles record. My first stop was Reckless in Berwick St, which still had a basement where  a box of soul singles sat on the counter. Having inherited not only my dad’s hoarding tendencies, but his acute sense of relative value, I’ve never bought many 7″s (or “45s” as we must trendily refer to them now) and 9/10 times I deliberately avoid looking beyond the LP and 12″ sections in any shop. I was on a mission this time though and miraculously, as I began to flick, there it was, second record in the box, as if I’d just willed it there. I excitedly parted with my £3 and while I have no memory of what if anything else I bought that day, I remember it was definitely raining. Getting the record home, I had a bonus discovery with the equally brilliant b-side, part of whose intro is the backbone to a GZA track I was a bit obsessed with at the time (a huge proportion of early RZA production relies on the Hi back catalogue). In contrast to the a-side, the song is much more positive than its title indicates: she’s bidding goodbye to her troubles and sadness, or rather, as is more customary for Peebles, telling them to piss off.

I now have all this stuff in digital form, having bought an ex-girlfriend the Complete Hi Recordings CD set and copied it, but if you see the Straight From The Heart LP going cheap, please pick it up for me.

AnnPeebles - Trouble, Heartaches & Sadness

* I’m abandoning the countdown numbers, I don’t need the trouble, sadness and heartaches they’ll surely bring.

Songs From The Big Dig

I can’t work out the bloody widget embedding thing, but here’s a mix of records I picked up up for between $1 and $10 on my holiday in New England and Montreal.

1. Jack Nitzsche – Performance
2. John-Pierre Ferland – Le Chat du Café des Artistes
3. Ellen McIlwaine – Wade In The Water
4. Pharoah Sanders – Upper Egypt
5. David Byrne & Brian Eno – Qu’ran
6. David Crosby – Tamalpais High (At About 3)
7. John McLaughlin – Peace One
8. Minnie Riperton – Minnie’s Lament
9. Robert Fripp – Water Music II
10. Bobby Hutcherson – Prints Tie
11. Yellow Magic Orchestra – Loom