Just over five months after John Lennon had been shot dead in New York, another 20th century great was taken away from us. Bob Marley was just 36 when he died, thirty years ago today, in Miami on May 11th 1981.
Scott Walker is a proper artist. Born in the US, but finding fortune and fame in the UK, at the height of his Walker Brothers ’60s celebrity, with pop hits and screaming girls a plenty, he turned his back on it all to follow his own unique path, inspired by the music of Belgian born French recording icon Jacques Brel, who, in a strange twist of fate, he’d first heard at the flat of a bunny girl he’d picked up at the Playboy Club’s opening-night party in London.
Having been fortunate enough to spend some time in Japan during recent years, experiencing the inimitable enthusiasm of a Japanese crowd during my DJ appearances there, the terrible tragedy which has befallen the country is something I feel a need to comment on in some small way. It wouldn’t sit right with me to make a normal blog post this week when I know that people with whom I’ve shared such good times are currently facing fear and uncertainty as they try to come to terms with the full gravity of the situation now confronting their nation.
Happy Valentine’s – going back in time to ’69 with what many regarded as a decidedly dirty little ditty back then. Taking the boudoir to the studio, Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg with the once scandalous, now somewhat quaint ‘Je T’aime… Moi Non Plus’:
One of my favourite things about Christmas is that it provides the opportunity for me to give an annual listen or two to what some would regard as Pop’s first concept album – the seasonal masterpiece, ‘A Christmas Gift For You’ (aka ‘Phil Spector’s Christmas Album’) issued on Spector’s Philles label, which was originally released at the height of the seminal producer’s powers (although, inauspiciously, on the very day JFK was assassinated – November 22nd 1963).
This was meant to be the first post-ideological generation, right? This was meant to be the generation that never thought of anything bigger than our Facebook profiles and our TV screens. This was meant to be the generation where the only thing that Saturday night meant was X Factor. I think now that claim is quite ridiculous. I think now that claim is quite preposterous.
Barnaby Raine 27.11.10
John Lennon Wikiquote:
If you’ve not yet seen Jeremy Paxman’s interview with Russell Brand for the BBC’s Newsnight last month it’s well worth checking out. A compelling perspective on celebrity culture by someone both embroiled in it, yet fully aware of its ludicrousness.
For The Love Of Money:
Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get:
You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine:
Let’s Get It On:
Soul is not something you acquire, it’s something you either have or you don’t, and sometimes you can find it in the most unlikely people.
Electronic Music Pioneer:
An Audiological Chronology: