THE CLASH – Legendary Debut Single ‘WHITE RIOT’ Released 40 Years Ago…

When timeless in sound and vision…


‘White Riot’ by THE CLASH

Forty years ago – on 18 March 1977 – the legendary THE CLASH released their debut single WHITE RIOT. A clamorous, angry and timeless punk anthem. This dynamite outburst was inspired by heavy riots in late August 1976 in London’s Notting Hill Gate
area involving Jamaican residents and the police after continuous tensions due to racist policing. Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon were present that day and participated in the fights as they sympathized with the black locals’ cause. With ‘White Riot‘ the late, great Strummer wanted to encourage also white people who felt abused and oppressed by
the government to come out and protest. This furious 7″ started a long, turbulent and successful journey for the last gang in town that mattered. C’mon, let’s scream at the top
of our lungs…

White riot – I want to riot
White riot – a riot of my own
White riot – I want to riot
White riot – a riot of my own

Black people gotta lot a problems
But they don’t mind throwing a brick
White people go to school
Where they teach you how to be thick

An’ everybody’s doing
Just what they’re told to
An’ nobody wants
To go to jail!

All the power’s in the hands
Of people rich enough to buy it
While we walk the street
Too chicken to even try it

Everybody’s doing
Just what they’re told to
Nobody wants
To go to jail!

Are you taking over
Or are you taking orders?
Are you going backwards
Or are you going forwards?

THE CLASH: Biography – Discography

U2 – The Irish Rockers’ Masterpiece Album ‘THE JOSHUA TREE’ Released 30 Years Ago…

‘The Joshua Tree’ by U2

On 9 March 1987 – 30 years ago – U2 released their worldwide masterpiece album
THE JOSHUA TREE. The Irish rockers fifth album, produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian
, made them 24 Karat superstars all over the planet. Influenced by their American
tour experiences, relating literature and Uncle Sam’s politics and probably because of
their commercial and competitive desire to confirm their already huge status in the U.S.
of A., the band chose America as a central theme for the record. Legendary American rock magazine Rolling Stone was undoubtedly impressed with the new LP and journalist Steve Pond wrote this classic review back then in 1987:

The stakes are enormous, and U2 knows it. Its last album, The Unforgettable Fire, contained “Pride (In the Name of Love),” its biggest-selling single ever, and last year the band was the musical heart of Amnesty International’s Conspiracy of Hope tour. Now, it seems, U2 is poised to rise from the level of mere platinum groups to the more rarefied air above. For a band that’s always specialized in inspirational, larger-than-life gestures — a band utterly determined to be Important — The Joshua Tree could be the big one, and that’s precisely what it sounds like.
That’s not to say that this record is either a flagrantly commercial move or another Born in the U.S.A. The Joshua Tree is U2’s most varied, subtle and accessible album, although it doesn’t contain any sure-fire smash hits. But in its musical toughness and strong-willed spirituality, the album lives up to its namesake: a hardy, twisted tree that grows in the rocky deserts of the American Southwest. A Mormon legend claims that their early settlers called the Joshua tree “the praying plant” and thought its gnarled branches suggested the Old Testament prophet Joshua pointing the way to the Promised Land. The title befits a record that concerns itself with resilience in the face of utter social and political desolation, a record steeped in religious imagery.

Since U2 emerged from Dublin in 1980 with a bracing brand of hard, emotional, guitar-oriented rock, its albums have followed a pattern. The first and third (Boy and War) were muscular and assertive, full of, respectively, youthful bravado and angry social awareness; the second and fourth studio albums (October and The Unforgettable Fire) were moody and meandering and sometimes longer on ideas than on full-fledged songs.
But The Joshua Tree isn’t an outright return to the fire of War. The band ruled that out years ago: Songs like “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “New Year’s Day” hit with driving force on the 1983 album and subsequent tour. But U2 saw itself in danger of becoming just another sloganeering arena-rock band, so the group closed that chapter with a live record and video. The band swapped longtime producer Steve Lillywhite for Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois and, with The Unforgettable Fire, declared its intention to no longer be as relentlessly heroic.
On the new album, U2 retains Eno and Lanois, brings back Lillywhite to mix four songs and weds the diverse textures of The Unforgettable Fire to fully formed songs, many of them as aggressive as the hits on War. U2’s sonic trademarks are here: the monumental angst of Bono’s voice, the driving pulse of Adam Clayton’s bass and Larry Mullen Jr.’s drums and the careening wail of the Edge’s guitar. But for every predictably roaring anthem there’s a spare, inventively arranged tune, such as “With or Without You,” a rock & roll bolero that builds from a soothing beginning to a resounding climax.

The band still falls into some old traps: Bono’s perpetually choked-up voice can sound overwrought and self-important; some of the images (fire and rain, say) start to lose their resonance after a dozen or so uses; and “Exit,” a recited psychodrama about a killer, is awkward enough to remind you that not even Patti Smith could regularly pull off this sort of thing.
More than any other U2 album, though, The Joshua Tree has the power and allure to seduce and capture a mass audience on its own terms. Without making a show of its eclecticism, it features assertive rock (“Where the Streets Have No Name”), raw frenzy (“Bullet the Blue Sky”), delicacy (“One Tree Hill”), chugging rhythms (“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”) and even acoustic bluesiness (“Running to Stand Still”) — all of it unmistakably U2.
But if this is a breakthrough, it’s a grim, dark-hued one. At first, refreshingly honest, romantic declarations alternate with unsettling religious imagery. Then things get blacker. The raging, melodramatic “Bullet the Blue Sky” ties Biblical fire and brimstone with American violence overseas and at home. In the stomping, harmonicaspiked rocker “Trip Through Your Wires,” what looks like salvation could easily be evil seduction; “One Tree Hill” is a soft, haunting benediction on a U2 crew member who died in a motorcycle accident; and “Red Hill Mining Town” echoes Peter Gabriel’s “Don’t Give Up” in its unsparing look at personal relationships savaged by economic hardship — here, the aftermath of the largely unsuccessful British miners’ strike of 1984.
But for all its gloom, the album is never a heavy-handed diatribe. After the first few times through “Running to Stand Still,” for instance, you notice the remarkable music: the wholly unexpected blues slide guitar, the soft, Nebraska-style yelps, the ghostly harmonica. It sounds like a lovely, peaceful reverie — except that this is a junkie’s reverie, and when that realization hits home, the gentle acoustic lullaby acquires a corrosive power that recalls “Bad,” from the last LP.
The Joshua Tree is an appropriate response to these times, and a picture bleaker than any U2 has ever painted: a vision of blasted hopes, pointless violence and anguish. But this is not a band to surrender to defeatism. Its last album ended with a gorgeous elegy to Martin Luther King Jr.; The Joshua Tree closes with a haunting ode to other victims. “Mothers of the Disappeared” is built around desolate images of loss, but the setting is soothing and restorative — music of great sadness but also of unutterable compassion, acceptance and calm. The Unforgettable Chill, you might call this album, and unforgettable is certainly the right word.

Time for some music. Here are 3 of my (and of millions of others) favourite tracks…




The classic in full on Spotify…

U2: The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 – Website – Facebook

See you in Brussels next August…

THE DAMNED – Scored One Of The True Punk Classics… NEW ROSE

When timeless in sound and vision it’s a.…


‘New Rose’ by THE DAMNED


As already reported a few days ago on these pages British punks THE DAMNED
released their smashing debut LP DAMNED DAMNED DAMNED 40 years ago
today – on 18 February 1977. A top-notch powerhouse that stood the test of time splendidly and… loudly. To celebrate here’s NEW ROSE. The smashing first single
(released in October of the previous year) of the album. Without a shadow of
a doubt one of the true punk classics. Hell yeah!…

Is she really going out with him?
I gotta a feelin’ inside of me
It’s kinda strange like a stormy sea
I don’t know why, I don’t know why
I guess these things have gotta be
I gotta new rose, I got her good
Guess I knew that I always would
I can’t stop to mess around
Like a brand new rose in town
See the sun, see the sun it shines
Don’t get too close or it’ll burn your eyes
Don’t you run away that way
You can come back another day

I never thought this could happen to me
I feel so strange, so why should it be
I don’t deserve somebody this great
I’d better go or it’ll be too late, yeah

On the legendary ‘Stiff Records’ label…

The album – 40 years ago – 18 February 1977…

EMBRACE – Epic Debut Single ‘ALL YOU GOOD GOOD PEOPLE’ Released 20 Years Ago…

When timeless in sound and vision it’s a.…


‘All You Good People’ by EMBRACE


British indie rockers EMBRACE, featuring two brothers, singer Danny McNamara and guitarist Richard McNamara were hailed at the start of their career as potential contenders to compete with Manchester legends OASIS. Their very first single ALL YOU GOOD GOOD PEOPLE – from their debut album THE GOOD WILL OUT that went gold on the day of its release (on 8 June 1997) – definitely had all ingredients to achieve the high expectations.
A truly gripping, anthemic ballad with a monumental chorus and an overall big, elevating orchestration that turned the track into a pure (underrated) classic. Here’s the epic beauty, released 20 years ago on 17 February 1997

I feel like I meant something
You always say, you need more time
Well, I’ll stay right here
And I’ll wait for good until I find a love worth mine

Someday, you’ve got it coming
It hurts me when I read the signs
So loud and clear, that I’ll make you glad
If I’m leaving first and crying

All you good good people listen to me
You’re just about done with the way that you feel
‘Cause nothing rings home enough to dig your heels in
You don’t have to leave me to see what I mean
All you good good people listen to me

And all I wanna do is find my name upon the line
Before I have to lose this I want time

All you good good people listen to me
You’re just about done with the way that you feel
‘Cause nothing rings home enough to dig your heels in
You don’t have to leave me to see what I mean
Lose all your fears, they are keeping you down
You won’t have to fake it, while I’m around
All you good good people listen to me

The band is still alive and kicking and now working on a new, their seventh, album.
LINKS to EMBRACE: Website – Facebook – Twitter – Discography

U2 – Number One Single in UK Twenty Years Ago With … DISCOTHEQUE

When timeless in sound and vision it’s a.…


‘Discotheque’ by U2


U2‘s experimental ninth album POP was released on 3 March 1997. A remarkable
record in sound, as the band experimented even more than on their two previous longplayers (Achtung Baby and Zooropa) with techno, dance, and electronica. The
final result was less spectacular than on the two aforementioned records but here
was a mega band to be respected for not copying themselves forever. First single DISCOTHEQUE hit the top spot of the UK singles charts (in many other countries too)
on 15 February 1997 – yes, already 20 years ago. A dazzling dance uppercut with an electro-fying impact on all your senses and limbs. In the accompanying video clip U2 performed inside of a giant mirrorball and their The Village People outfits alluded
to seventies disco era. Get up, stand up and fight for your right to dance madly…

U2 : Website Facebook – Discography


TELEVISION – Masterpiece Debut Album ‘MARQUEE MOON’ Released 40 Years Ago…

Timeless in sound and vision.…


MARQUEE MOON by TELEVISION – Debut LP released 8 February 1977

Television, St.Marks Place NYC 1977 L to R: Billy Ficca, Tom Verlaine, Fred Smith, Richard Lloyd
TELEVISION in New York City 1977 – L to R: Billy Ficca, Tom Verlaine, Fred Smith, Richard Lloyd

TELEVISION was one of the most fascinating and innovative bands to emerge from the mid-seventies punk scene of New York City. With debut LP MARQUEE MOON, released
40 years ago – 8 February 1977 – they changed guitar rock drastically. It sounded like nothing else before. The magical interplay between guitarists Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd and most of all their sonic approach in structure and composition revolutionized garage guitar rock impressively. Add Verlaine‘s lyrics and his peculiar and distinctive
voice and what you got was totally fresh, poetic, urban electricity with a lasting impact…


A classic album deserves a classic professional review. Here’s how British music weekly NME perceived ‘Marquee Moon’…

“Justifiably regarded as one the greatest and most influential albums of the punk era, Television’s debut album is the polar opposite of what that word ‘punk’ has come to mean: a crisp-sounding record, beautifully played, featuring lengthy improvised guitar solos and, in Tom Verlaine, a singer who you could justifiably claim was crooning on certain tracks – albeit obtusely. So although they will forever be synonymous with CBGB in the ’70s, ‘Marquee Moon’’s sound is rooted in many other places, giving the record a timeless quality that even their lofty contemporaries’ best records have struggled to match.

What sets them apart is that they had already been together for a few years, and were so comfortable and familiar with the material they had for the record that being recorded live in the studio was not a problem for them. Plus, they could really play. That’s not to say the group weren’t infused with the energy around at the time – the opener ‘See No Evil’ revolves around a gloriously infectious dumb riff, while the likes of ‘Fiction’ and ‘Prove It’ are taut, clinically precise rockers, which gives the record a crucial balance. Because such was the dexterity of Verlaine and fellow guitarist Richard Lloyd’s playing, if it wasn’t reined in there’s a good chance they could have ended up with a sprawling, self-indulgent mess of a debut album. Underpinned by Fred Smith’s reliably solid bass parts and drummer Billy Ficca’s satisfying but relatively economical clatter, the two combine to devastating effect, creating something radically new from old parts – ’60s garage rock, psych, country and, yes, jazz.

The title track is the undoubted highpoint, a 10-minute epic which could stretch to over half an hour when they were playing live. But then, they were also capable of moments of economical beauty – the celestial ‘Guiding Light’ being the nearest Verlaine ever got to writing an out-and-out love song. It wasn’t a particularly big record in the band’s native America, although they scored a Top 30 album in the UK on the back of a lengthy review raving about the record by the legendary writer Nick Kent.

The influence of ‘Marquee Moon’ cannot be overestimated. The post-punk movement certainly took on board numerous aspects of the record – the clinically precise instrumentation, the clean sound and the introspective, vaguely gloomy feel. That filtered through to the indie movement of the ’80s, for whom the record became one of the sacred texts, while even bands like The Strokes have clearly taken inspiration from it. It would not be an overstatement to say that ‘Marquee Moon’ is to the ’70s what ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’ was to the ’60s.

Here’s the magnum opus in full…

TELEVISION: Biography – Discography


LOU REED – Grieving And Gripping ‘MAGIC AND LOSS’ Album Released Twenty-Five Years Ago…

When it’s timeless in sound & and vision, it’s a…


MAGIC AND LOSS – Released 14 January 1992


LOU REED (50 years old back then), started to work on his 16th solo album MAGIC AND LOSS with themes of magic in his head, after hearing stories about magicians in Mexico. But when tragedy occurred during the writing, the late New York City legend incorporated cutting thoughts and songs on mortality, loss and death as well. The illnesses and eventual deaths of two of his close friends caused by cancer – Doc Pomus, Reed‘s mentor when he started his career and a ‘Rita‘, assumed to be Rotten Rita, who also was a familiar figure
at Andy Warhol‘s studio ‘The Factory‘ in the early days – was obviously extremely hard to bear. In the end the album was more about loss than magic and not an easy one to listen to when you have experienced the same kind of feelings, which I did last year when I saw my father being tortured mercilessly by that awful disease. Listening to the record again now wasn’t actually a truly joyful happening, on the other hand it made me associate my father with Lou Reed for the first time ever and that felt weirdly good. Also, I remember very well when the LP came out 25 years ago, that British music weekly NME rewarded
it with a very rare 10/10 and that me and my mate praised Reed‘s guts to make such a difficult album while we were having a long night out – solving all world problems for the umpteenth time – in our beloved café. Mixed emotions, indeed. A sort of ‘the beauty and the beast’ feel. That’s what life is all about, I guess…

American journalist David Fricke wrote a compelling album review
for Rolling Stone Magazine back then. You can read it here .

The masterpiece in full (the only way to listen to it)…

LOU REED: Website – Facebook – Discography

2 March 1942 – 13 October 2013

STEVE MILLER BAND – Joking On Top Of US Singles Chart in 1974…

When it’s timeless in sound & and vision, it’s a…




Milwaukee born singer/songwriter STEVE MILLER hit the top spot of the US singles chart on 12 January 1974 – 43 years ago today – with THE JOKER . The title track of his eight and eponymous album. Here’s a glorious live rendition from a 2007 Chicago concert (and the man is still touring these days)…

C’mon, all together now: “Cause I’m a picker / I’m a grinner / I’m a lover / And I’m a sinner /
I play my music in the sun / I’m a joker / I’m a smoker / I’m a midnight toker / I sure don’t
want to hurt no one…”

STEVE MILLER BAND: Website – Facebook – Discography

The Joker – the album…

BUZZCOCKS – Reissue Of Memorable 7″ EP… ‘SPIRAL SCRATCH’

When it’s timeless in sound & and vision, it’s a…



Legendary Manchester band Buzzcocks, who injected punk with a roaring dose of infectious guitar pop back in the seventies, will reissue their 1977 DIY debut EP titled Spiral Scratch (with the wonderful Howard Devoto on vocals and who formed Magazine immediately afterwards, one of the first – and magnificent – new wave groups) , containing the four original tracks: Breakdown/Time’s Up/Boredom and Friends of Mine on 27th January and
also, on 10th March, a 12″ titled Time’s Up, an official studio bootleg documenting, with
11 tracks, their first-ever recording session (1976). All details here. You can stream the original audio version of the 4-track Spiral Scratch EP here on YouTube…

And the band, with two essential, original members – Steve Diggle and Pete Shelley – is
still alive and kicking. They released new album The Way in 2014 and are still gigging frequently. I got to go now and look for my personal, original copy of Spiral Scratch. But where, oh, where?…


DAVID BOWIE Changed 45 Years Ago…

When it’s timeless in sound & and vision, it’s a…


‘Changes’ by DAVID BOWIE

Forty-five years ago today – on 7 January 1972 DAVID BOWIE released CHANGES as a
single in the UK, with acoustic song ‘Andy Warhol‘ as B-side. Both tracks were on his 4th album Hunky Dory. Despite only reaching No 49 on the charts, this is one of The Thin White Duke‘s best known and highly praised songs. The late legend said at the time:
it started out as a parody of a nightclub song, a kind of throwaway”. A compositional diamond about artistic development it became! With Mick Ronson on strings, Rick
(once a Yes man) on keyboards, some sultry saxophone in the end by the
man himself and an overall passionate vocal performance. Intriguing and hypnotizing.
A true classic…

DAVID BOWIE: Legacy website – Facebook

David Bowie