10 tracks not to slash your wrists by (on YouTube)

There is a cd called “Tracks to slash your wrists by” (apparently). So I thought why not an opposing list? Just from a quick browse through my YouTube favourites:

Playlist: “Tracks not to slash your wrists by”

1. Summertime Blues – Eddie Cochran
You don’t have to be tall.

2. Eloise – Paul and Barry Ryan
You don’t have to be cool.

3. My Perfect Cousin – The Undertones
You don’t have to be intelligent.

4. Itchycoo Park – The Small Faces
You don’t have to be able to dance.

5. Anthem – Leonard Cohen
You don’t have to be perfect.

6. Angel Flyin’ Too Close to the Ground – Willie Nelson and Shelby Lynne
You don’t have to be with someone.

7. For My Lover – Tracy Chapman
You don’t have to be sane.

8. The Harder they Come – Jimmy Cliff
You don’t have to be rich.

9. I Dreamed A Dream – Susan Boyle
You don’t have to be young and beautiful.

10. Baby I Need Your Lovin’ – The Four Tops
You don’t have to ask.

Anyone remember The Perfumed Garden* pirate radio?

“And now on the Perfumed Garden, going out to all lovers in the cars along the Shoreham seafront, flash your lights across at our pirate radio ship, if you’re digging this mellow groove with your ladylove…” [or some such twaddle]

* Not the book, which I vividly remember too, and about which much could be said. If you really think about it, it’s funny what the radio station was calling itself. I think they thought it was something horticultural.

So effortless

That’s what my heart needs – Otis Redding (1963)

This sort of record, of which there were so many in the US, obviates most of “the British invasion”, I think. Much as I loved John Lennon’s singing and I think he said that he was copying, or at least trying to emulate Arthur Alexander (another US singer), Otis Redding just goes into “another gear”. From the first phrase in this recording, which sounds almost folksy, the sheer mastery of both the singing and the accompaniment, makes most of the British/Merseybeat/The Animals etc records seem laboured and fussy by comparison. Just take the drumming, for example, the perfect explosion of the high hat (isn’t that what that cymbal type sound is?) which is like a firework going off in the distance, and the mellifluous guitar picking, all going to show that it’s not just hitting the notes it’s how you play them…