White Music – January 1978 – XTC in the shires..


White or Red Stripes? The out-takes from cover photo session for Virgin first album.
You can see the cans of lager in these other photos. The record company airbrushed out on the actual cover below!

January 28th 1978 I am 19 years old and on my one year foundation course at Oxford Polytechnic just as PUNK was filtering into the shires….we were a year behind London 🙂 I remember watching in awe the previous autumn as a guy on the course purchased the Buzzcocks first album complete with designer silver grey plastic bag and showed it off.

I had a birthday in January 1978 and as money was so tight that was my first opportunity to buy a punk album. I only had three options in my little hometown of Didcot, Oxfordshire.

The Lays Electrical shop where I had bought my glam rock 7 inches off the pegboard walls or W H Smith which was vinyl central then or Woolworths.

It turned out Woolies was more PUNK….

I remember to this day looking through the rack and seeing three or four options..The Damned, XTC, Iggy Pop’s The Idiot and the red compilation of ‘New Wave’. I plumped for the Iggy Pop album for some reason and took it home over-excited. This ended as I put it on the tiny dansette hidden in my parent’s old sideboard….it was warped so badly it didn’t play.

So I took it back and had only two choices…the red compilation or this weird album by XTC called White Music…it looked punky and I had no idea they were down the road in Swindon.

White Music it was…

 

I now listening to a digital version for first time in years..was way ahead of me then and still sounds exciting now. Not a bad choice and somehow over the years I lost my original copy…..will keep a look out for a replacement on vinyl for old times sake.

Meanwhile here what I listening to in a sideboard on a mono dansette in January 1978 🙂

A dub version of All along the watchtower….FFS 🙂

Swindon Boys and recorded at the Manor Oxford…..local post modernism 🙂

Did it influence my art not much…but it was the soundtrack:-)

More INFO: http://chalkhills.org/reelbyreal/a_WhiteMusic.html 

Chuck Berry re-takes on Mercury 1966

 

If you see this mid-price compilation from Spain from 1967 grab it as it is a re-badging of the Mercury Studios 1966 re-takes session Berry did when he swapped labels moving from Chess to Mercury (Fontana over here).

Original Mercury album cover from states

The session involved :

  • Chuck Berry – guitar, vocals
  • Ebby Hardy – drums
  • Johnnie Johnson – piano, electric piano
  • Quincy Macon – rhythm guitar
  • Eugene Washington – drums

They hit the hits at quite a lick and all in all it a feisty reinterpretation of the Chess standards with one new track Club Nitty Gritty that came out as the first mercury single and hence very rare.

 

More info on the Mercury Releases here : http://www.crlf.de/ChuckBerry/mercury.html

My particular favourite is the take on Roll Over Beethoven which almost punk like in its speed and intensity. The whole session sounds one-take live throughout. Leadbitter and Slaven’s Blues Records 1943-1970 states it recorded Clayton Mo, Oct/Nov 1966.

 

Full track listing:

Side one

  1. “Sweet Little Sixteen” (2:32)
  2. “Memphis” (2:07)
  3. “School Days (Ring Ring Goes the Bell)” (2:35)
  4. “Maybellene” (2:35)
  5. “Back in the U.S.A.” (2:27)

Side two

  1. “Johnny B. Goode” (2:45)
  2. “Rock and Roll Music” (2:33)
  3. “Roll Over Beethoven” (2:02)
  4. “Thirty Days” (2:10)
  5. “Carol” (2:24)
  6. “Club Nitty Gritty” (2:18)