Friday, July 06, 2007

Hello Old Thing, Hello New Thing: 16

Marvin Gaye: Abraham, Martin & John (Motown, 1969)
It's easy to forget how good something is when you hear it too much. Classic pop music suffers from this tremendously, and no one suffers worse than Motown. I don't know who looks after Motown's catalogue, but whoever it is - or has been over the years - has clearly been told, 'Flog the arse out of this as much as you like, it'll be all over by Christmas.' Well, this record is as old as I am - it's strange how more and more attached you feel to things that were released the year you were born as you get older - and it is still a work of rare and special beauty (unlike, um...). Similar in theme (and tone) to the very excellent He Was A Friend Of Mine, this is bleak and weary and sad and all those things while still being enormously uplifting. And not on an advert for toilet cleaner or cereal, either. This is from a Motown comp put together by Kevin Rowland that doesn't exist on the internet, yet...


Elvis Perkins: Counterclockwise (XL, 2007)
Elvis Perkins is - clearly - one of the Top 5 Bad Band Names evah. I was actually put off them for a long time purely on the name. This can't be a good thing, can it? Especially when - hello! - they're actually really good (as long as you like Bob Dylan). Personally, I love the mix of slightly droney vocal (this is a compliment, BTW), with the barely there acoustic thrum and the odd blob of harmonica. I haven't listened to it yet, but I imagine their album is probably rather good.

Enjoy!

7 comments:

the mammary gland said...

cheers Rob, I've been meaning to check out the Elvis Perkins album and will do so now, thats a top tune. His back-story is pretty incredible too. That Marvin tune is amazing and is one of those songs that has always made me cry, I have it on a 7 inch. Motown is owned by Universal and is looked after by the lovely Daryl Easlea in the UK - they have been flogging it to death though, usually in some pretty lame compilations. But you still can't beat a bit of classic Motown. I was talking to drummer Steve Reid recently and he was telling me how he played drums on both Dancing In the Streets & Heatwave. Both tracks were recorded in a couple of takes on the same day, hows about that then...

Rob said...

Hey Stephen - thanks for your comment. I know Daryl - he's is indeed very lovely - and it's certainly not his fault, it just always seem to have been that way. There's not much mystery left with Motown, is there? But then, maybe the label has always stood for work and industry and commerce (all things I really applaud, btw) and the constant turn over of comps is just their way of keeping the music alive! And you're right - it makes me want to blub too!
I know what you mean about EP - I feel really pleased to have got over how much I don't like the name and discovered - hey! - that they're really good. Hope you had a good night with Billy...

Simon said...

I think that Elvis Perkins isn't such a bad name when compared to Elvis Hitler whose album Disgraceland (it gets worse!)I bought for some reason back in 1988.

Jude said...

Elvis Perkins is a bloke you divot, not a band. He's Anthony Perkins from Psycho's son, and his mum was a passenger on a plane that went into the World Trade Centre. I know because my friend Laura has been raving on at me about him for months, and I reviewed the album for The big G (not the might Word – Laura did that one herself). IT IS VERY GOOD and I will bring it into the office on Monday for you.

Pip pip x

ally. said...

it's too easy to forget your motown classics. and i still can't get past that other lots silly name i'm afraid.
x

Rob said...

Oh Jude - I feel very silly :( Just goes to show what happens when you don't PAY ATTENTION!
Ally: you're missing a treat...

Silvana said...

Hahahaha! "Elvis Perkins is a bloke you divot" !!

Just downloaded this and liked it very very much x x