We come to the penultimate letter in the box and I must admit that this has been less of a chore than I thought that it might about three weeks in.
First up is the part time rock star full time legend that is Pete Wylie in the guise of Wah with Story Of The Blues. There is not much I can add to what I, SA and plenty of others have said before about this record other than to reiterate just how wonderful it is in both the 7″ and full 12″ versions. This is another of those records I have multiple copies of as every time I see it in a charity shop I buy it.
Next we have a single the a-side of which I have to confess can’t have been played more than a handful of times. It is a split 7″ with Wake The President on the a-side but it’s the other side by The Kingfishers I Love, the Vic Goddard penned song Make Me Sad. It is a bit jingle jangle and harks back to the mid 80s which is probably why JC likes it as well but it is a cracking tune.
I fell in love with the song He Called Me Baby late one night on my way home from work in Edinburgh when I was listening to Radio Two, a rare occurrance. Bob Harris played the Candi Staton version of the song and I very nearly stopped the car to listen more closely but then it was gone. It was a few years later that I heard the Ella Washington version which graces the box. It is a slower piece that retains the country feel of the original song but is still an excellent piece of Southern soul. I think that I still prefer the Staton version slightly.
There are quite a few records in this box that are in there on the strength of the flip side and the next piece of vinyl is another in that bracket. Is That Clear by Nick Waterhouse is a good piece of old style r&b but the b-side a cover of I Can Only Give You Everything is head and shoulders better. It is one of those tracks that when you listen to it you imagine smoke filled dark clubs populated by guys in sharp suits and girls in mini dresses and bobs or beehives. The album that the tracks come from is worth investing in.
I have a few singles and a couple of albums by The Wave Pictures. I first became aware of the band when Comrade Colin posted a track by them long ago on the excellent and much lamented And Before The First Kiss . From the three singles I own the best has got to be If You Leave It Alone, a miserable song but in a good way, the plodding beat, the despondent singing by David Tattersall and the half arsed sax all make this although miserable , a thoroughly pleasurable listening experience.
Next up is a song that never fails to turn this residence into a madhouse. Kennedy is Leo’s favourite song and I suspect the same is true of a lot of people who go to see Gedge and Co live as, as soon as the first chords are struck the venue always erupts even when it’s minus ten outside and the QM is barely half full. Lost your love of life? Then just put on The Wedding Present.
Delroy Wilson, the first of three Wilson’s in the box has two singles present both of which are laid back mellow tunes which cannot help but reduce your stress levels, god they are better than beta blockers at lowering BP and should be available on prescription. To be honest To Be A Lover and Have Some Mercy are basically the same song with different words but I just can’t choose between them, however if I had to eject one from the box it would be Have Some Mercy only because the vinyl is not as good and there is a little more background noise on it.
Next we have the most expensive single ever, last copy sold went for £25 742 in 2009. A more joyous piece of vinyl would be hard to find anywhere. Every time I have played it, the floor has been packed and it is also infectious as even people who have never heard the song, if any exist anymore, find themselves on the floor and jumping about with abandon like the rest of us. A few years ago I was rather concerned that the tune’s use in an ad for fast food would diminish the record somewhat but I need not have worried as I still have the urge to get up and shimy as I type this and listen to the track and I also have a great big smile on my coupon. I have two copies of the single a repro of the original andbut in the box is a version released in 2004 to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Motown label which has Chris Clarke’s rendition on the flip.
From one northern soul legend to another, Because of You by the great Jackie Wilson is one of my top three northern tunes ever. There is something about the record that just epitomises the scene for me and I have some wonderful memories of going to all-nighters and being part of a full dance floor making moves to this song.
Someone who had the potential to be a modern soul legend but will be remembered by more people for the car crash that was here final couple of years rather than her brilliant voice and songwriting, sadly is Amy Winehouse. I have to admit that Frank kind of passed me by at the time and it wasn’t until I heard Eddie Pillar playing Rehab that I sat up and took notice, it was just fucking wonderful and such a brilliant piece of modern soul. It is a travesty that it didn’t come out on 7″, if there was ever a song from the last ten years that should have been put out on that format it was Rehab. Valerie, her cover of the Zutons song, never officially came out on 7″ either but some enterprising bootlegger had the nous to produce a snidey version which I managed to pick up along the was and which is very firmly a resident of the box.
The final single in the box has a guest singer who has also lived the last few years of his life as a continuing story in the red tops and if, a couple of years ago somebody had asked me the question “who do you think is the next rock star to die” I would have put twenty quid on buying it before Amy and that is Pete Doherty. For Lovers is a bit of a haunting song for me and when I play it I always think that Albion by Babyshambles is a companion piece to it. Of Wolfman I know absolutely nothing other than he was a pal of Doherty’s, he produced another couple of single neither of which I paid any interest to.
I was once asked in the pub years ago who I thought would die first Bobby Gillespie or Shane MacGowan and my twenty quid was firmly placed on the former but he seems to have got his act together recently, although it hasn’t made his lyrics any better, not much chance of an Ivor Novello for Bobby G and Shane seems to be preserved by alcohol.
So that is the Ws
Wah! – Story of The Blues
Wake The President/the kingfishers – You Can’t Change That Boy/Make Me Sad
Ella Washington – He Called Me Baby
Nick Waterhouse – Is That Clear
The Wave Pictures – If You Leave It Alone
The Wedding Present – Kennedy
Delroy Wilson – To Be A Lover
Delroy Wilson – Have Some Mercy
Frank Wilson – Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)
Jackie Wilson – Because Of You
Amy Winehouse – Valerie
Wolfman featuring Peter Doherty – For Lovers
Jackie Wilson – Because Of You