Saturday, June 28, 2014

Weekly Playlist No 26

Welcome to the Cloudland Blue Weekly Playlist No 26 - oh no! we're already half way through 2014...


Twenty six veritable juicy and downright tasty plums which have tickled the aural tastebuds of Mr CBQ over the last seven days...


during which time, this...


...was also created by light entering the CBQ camera...

Press play and away we go...



Rainbow - Long Live Rock 'N' Roll  4:25
from "Long Live Rock 'N' Roll"
No jazz or classical this week but we start with a right old rocker from the pens of Ritchie Blackmore and Ronnie James Dio - for me, by this time the band was probably past its best but this still rocks out big time - a hit single no less...

ProjeKct Three - Masque 01  5:41
from "Masque"
With King Crimson reformed as a seven man/three drummer band, I gave a listen again this week to some of the fractal work which emerged from the interregnum between 1997 and 2001, this the improv work of Robert Fripp on guitar, Trey Gunn on stick and Pat Mastelotto on drums and percussion - Fripp and Mastelotto are hard at work rehearsing for the upcoming US tour by the Seven Headed Crim...

Transatlantic - Shine  7:29
from "Kaleidoscope"
An excellent slice of pop rock from the latest album by prog supergroup, Transatlantic, comprising members/ex-members of Spock's Beard, Marillion, Dream Theater and Flower Kings.  Top quality tunesmithery...

Dio - The Eyes  6:28
from "Master Of The Moon"
And back to Ronnie James Dio, with a track from his band's tenth and final album.  The riff has a wee bit of Led Zep feel to it - and the "eye eye" part, played on guitar, reminds me of Meg the Black Cat's singing...

The Samuel Jackson Five - Radio Gagarin  4:34
from "The Samuel Jackson Five"
Some post rock from new discovery The Samuel Jackson Five, hailing from Norway.  This comes from their eponymous fourth album from 2012 and it's an album that's impressed me over the last few weeks...

Jethro Tull - Sweet Dream  4:05
from "Stand Up"
In my early teens, I used to make up my own charts, based on records I owned or had taped or even borrowed.  This was my first number one - in January 1973 - a single borrowed from school chum Rory MacRae.  I searched for it for years after giving it back.  Of course such a conundrum no longer exists these days..

Jeff Beck - Beck's Bolero  2:55
from "Truth"
And this was the theme tune to my "radio" show in 1973 - the "b" side of the re-release of "Hi Ho Silver Lining"...

Maximilian Hecker - The Whereabouts Of Love  5:01
from "Mirage Of Bliss"
From self confessed purveyor of melancholic pop hymns (hey, that sounds familiar), Berliner Max Hecker this is another recent discovery which has impressed the listening audience here at Crispycat Towers of late...

John Cale - Sandman (Flying Dutchman)  3:44
from "Shifty Adventures In Nookie Wood"
This, the final track on Cale's latest album, reminded me of Brian Eno's work with him on the album "Wrong Way Up" when it came up this week on shuffleplay - see what you think...

Sumner McKane - The Bloody Bozeman  8:40
from "Select Visual History"
Form Maine USA comes the guitar wizardry of Sumner McKane - I really enjoy his cross between country, folk and ambient in his music, which is mainly written as soundtracks for his own documentaries put together using vintage footage of the logging industry around his home...

Jason Lytle - Get Up And Go  2:16
from "Dept Of Disappearance"
From the second solo outing by the ex-singer of Grandaddy, a great band, this is a nippy wee upbeat message to us all...

Steven Wilson - The Pin Drop  5:03
from "The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories)"
This has been languishing on the hard drive for a few months now and it was only this week that I decided to give it a good listen.  It's an excellent piece of work from the go-to remaster/remixer of the great and the good of the prog scene...

Gentle Giant - So Sincere   3:50
from "The Power and the Glory"
...which leads us to this which is about to be re-released with the new package including a 2014 remix by Steven Wilson.  Wonderful complex vocal and instrumental work form this landmark prog band who were never really as big as they ought to have been but are fondly remembered by many today - and an influence on many too...

John Grant - Vietnam   5:29
from "Pale Green Ghosts"
Probably one of my favourite albums from the last year or two is this from ex-Czars singer John Grant - this may be the fourth time tracks from his LP have featured in the playlist - but deservedly so...

David Bowie - Plan  2:02
from "The Next Day"
An extra instrumental bonus track from Bowie's comeback album from 2013.  For me, this is actually better than a few of the tracks that made the cut onto the first edition of the LP...

Wintersleep - Saving Song  4:06
from "Hello Hum"
Massive band in Canada, virtually unknown here Wintersleep produce a sound which I would dare to say would be impossible for a best selling band in the UK to put forward for mass listening.  Very enjoyable indeed...

Sweet Billy Pilgrim - Shadow Captain  3:10
from "Crown and Treaty"
This is, however, a UK band who kind of disprove my last point darn it!  Sweet Billy Pilgrim have a sound all their own and it's a sound I very much like...

Big Elf - Already Gone  3:29
from "Into the Maelstrom"
A cracking rocker of a track from Big Elf's comeback album, which is yet to empress me quite as much as their first two LPs.  Nonetheless, one of the best releases to hit the racks over the last 12 months or so...

65daysofstatic - Taipei  6:00
from "Wild Light"
...as is this.  Saw them in Edinburgh in March and they very much impressed.  They specialise in the old post rock cliché of quiet loud quiet loud etc etc but they are very, very good at it.  One of the best of the genre...

Levin Minnemann Rudess - Descent  3:24
from "Levin Minnemann Rudess"
Tony Levin from King Crimson, Marco Minnemann from UK and Dream Theater's Jordan Rudess - what's not to like - here, the emphasis is on precision playing and improv and it's precision playing and improv of the very highest order.  Let's rock!

Lucy Kaplansky - My Father's Son  4:16
from "Reunion"
From the latest album by one my and the Exec Producer's very favourite singer songwriters, Lucy Kaplansky - a great "story" song and a nice quiet interlude between the previous raucousness and the next item...

Haken - Cockroach King  8:15
from "The Mountain"
Haken is the London-based prog metal and who took the prog scene by storm last year with their third album "The Mountain" which won awards all over the place. You can hear the Gentle Giant influences in the opening section.  And it's always good to hear a track featuring a cockroach character.  Mon the 'roaches...

The Unwinding Hours - I've Loved You For So Long  3:45
from "Afterlives"
I bought the two albums which comprise the discography of this Scottish band last year and both are superb - as amply demonstrated by this from the latest of the two, released in 2012.  It has a kind of eighties feel to it but in a good way, if you see/hear what I mean...

Spock's Beard - Down a Burning Road  6:52
from "Brief Nocturnes And Dreamless Sleep"
For the second week in a row, I'm featuring a track from Spock's Beard's last album and, for the second week in a row it comes from the bonus disc.  But, if something pops up on shuffleplay which I feel I just have to feature, then I don't care about its origin, on it goes to the playlist for your enjoyment and delectation, mes amis...

Cloudland Blue Quartet - Twenty Five Things  3:19
from "Starlightnight"
A song from the last CBQ song LP, "Starlightnight", released almost two years ago.  It's over two years since I've played live and over two years since I've written a song - but I've got some new soundscapes coming so it's all good.  This is my take on a "list" song, all based around a nifty wee guitar loop...

Paul McCartney & Wings - Maybe I'm Amazed (live)  5:21
from "Wings Over America"
And we finish with a single from Wings, taken from their triple live LP from 1977 and probably the best version of this track from McCartney's early solo career.  Interesting to note that, of the twenty eight songs in the set there are only five Beatles numbers.  This seems to perplex present day reviewers but they forget that, at the time this was recorded and released, Wings had far outsold the Beatles in the 70's and were huge all over the world.  There was no need for McCartney to fill his live set with sixties material, no "Hey Jude" or "Let it Be" encores. Of course all that changed after the death of Lennon and once the Apple marketing machine got into full swing super-boosting the Beatles' legacy to a point where they will never now be caught in the stakes of most popular band ever to have walked the planet...

And, on that happy note, I bid you all farewell for another week...

Thanks for listening, hope you enjoy the music and will come back next week for more...

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