WARMER MIXTAPES #900 | by Jonny Helm [Jonny 'Huddersfield' Helm], David Tattersall (The Lobster Boat Band) and Franic Rozycki (The Lobster Boat Band) of The Wave Pictures

SIDE A | by Jonny Helm

1. Neil Young | Only Love Can Break Your Heart
The whole After The Gold Rush album makes me happy, it's associated with good memories from when I was very young. The Sound is so warm, Neil Young sounds so sad. Try to be sure right from the start.

2. Van Morrison | And It Stoned Me
Moondance is one of my All Time favorites, this song opens it perfectly. The band sounds so good! The story is really nice, two friends on a little Fishing trip, it's nothing to do with drugs! What stones him is the Sun coming up after some Rain, jumping in a river and even a glass of Water after singing too much on the way home. Lovely.

3. The Velvet Underground | Pale Blue Eyes
A beautiful song, featuring a wonderful understated Guitar Solo and a very gentle Vocal from Lou Reed. It's a lesson in what makes a good Record, good, Honest, Intelligent Lyrics, wonderful Guitar Playing, a Tambourine on the third Beat.

4. The Modern Lovers | Someone I Care About
Jonathan Richman's songs have a World view that seems a little under represented in Rock and Pop Music. This isn't exactly a Love song, it's about wanting someone who you actually like and knowing that means sometimes you have nothing at all. And it totally rocks!

5. Son House | Grinnin' In Your Face
A piece of good advice from someone a bit older and wiser. There are only two things going on here, a Vocal and hand claps, but it manages to sound full and sort of magnificent. I first heard it on a Compilation Tape given to me by a friend and loved it straight away.

6. Tennessee Ernie Ford | Sixteen Tons
Is this Country Music? I really like it, I thought I'd never like Country Music, but then I heard Hank Williams and Buck Owens and this weird hit about a working man's life which manages to sound profound and stupid at the same time. Brushes on the Snare, finger clicks, a great Bass line and a wonderful Vocal Performance.

7. Violent Femmes | Blister In The Sun
There's something joyous about this track, again it's the Simplicity of the Instrumentation and the Emotion of the Vocal. Gordon Gano's voice sounds so real and the whole thing is Spirited and exciting sounding.

8. Jeffrey Lewis | Seattle
An example of brilliant Song Writing. Great Finger Picking and Lyrics that spoke to me when I first heard this album as an Art student in Cardiff. And I'm feeling like I wanna do whatever I feel inside... Put it all on paper and I'll hope that people buy it... And my only minor worry is how to pay the rent... But that won't even matter when I lose my apartment... It's got a weary humour and wit to it.

9. (Smog) | Truth Serum
This is a story about taking Truth Serum with friends, and realising there isn't a lot of Truth in us anyway. The Backing is all chiming Guitar and subtle Drumming. I like that the Chorus is a question and answer session.

10. Sam Cooke | I'll Come Running Back To You
I think this is Sam's first Secular track after years of singing Gospel songs. It's pretty good for a first try at a Love song, isn't it?

SIDE B | by Franic Rozycki

1. The Prisonaires | Just Walkin' In The Rain
Sung by a group of genuine convicts in the 1950's, the beauty of this song is obvious, but it also led me to listen to more recordings by Sam Philips of Sun Records, which in turn led me to listening to more Blues, Folk, Country, Bluegrass and Rock And Roll Music. Basically mostly 50's (with a little 40's and 60's) Music, which is now what I like to listen to most of all.

2. Roy Orbison | It's Over
I knew and liked Pretty Woman from an early age, then later on discovered and enjoyed the recordings Roy Orbison made on Sun Records. Then I found my Dads' 7" copy of It's Over and was blown away. In most cases I find Strings on records unlistenable, but Roy is so good that despite how overblown this recording is, nothing can distract from or deny the Emotion of his performance.

3. The Shadows | All Day
I like a lot of Twangy Guitar Groups/Players including Duane Eddy and Link Wray, but The Shadows are my favourite, perhaps because they seem to have a bit more Variation that those other guys. Which is demonstrated on this slightly Italian/Greek(?) sounding track. The Shadows always look like they are having fun playing and I can imagine them having a nice time enjoying playing this relaxing tune. Rather than sticking to just one style they have mastered many different ones - they also do Rock And Roll (Dynamite, with Cliff Richard), Twangy Guitar with Minor Chords (Apache) as well as many others! This is another song that I first heard on a 7" belonging to my father.

4. Bill Monroe | I Saw The Light
I find it difficult to not feel uplifted by a great deal of Religious Music. That is true of many Bluegrass songs, in this case sung by Bill Monroe. The combination of Group Singing, wonderful Playing and good time feeling that Bill is experiencing makes it impossible for me to not also feel happy with him.

5. Percy Sledge | Warm And Tender Love
The tendency of Soul singers to sing with feeling all of the time appears obviously fake to me, and despite trying, I found it impossible to find a Soul singer that I could believe in. That was until I heard Percy Sledge, whose wonderful voice seems so much more heartfelt and genuine than any other Soul man. Hearing him sing Warm And Tender Love for the first time was an exciting moment, discovering that he had songs that were as good as and better than When A Man Loves A Woman.
6. Bob Dylan | The Man In Me
The Man In Me, from Dylan's New Morning album, is a joyous Love song. Hearing this song on the Soundtrack to The Big Lebowski made me realise that Bob Dylan was making great Music in the seventies, despite everything that I had read suggesting that this was a low period in his career. I had listened to but never loved some of his highly thought of sixties albums such as Highway 61 Revisited and Bringing It All Back Home. Although they were clearly good and fun as well as being smart, I found I preferred the slightly more conventional but no less great, beautiful and fun songs that start to appear on Nashville Skyline and then New Morning. Once you start listening to Dylan in the seventies then there are so many more great albums to discover such as Self Portrait, Planet Waves, Street Legal, and into the 80's, Shot Of Love. And once I started to love these albums, then the sixties ones grew on me as well!

7. Neil Young | Cortez The Killer
Neil Young is one of my All Time Favourite Guitarists. Probably Top Three. Maybe even Number One, depending on how I am feeling. It must have been said before, but his Guitar Playing proves that less is more - less notes and far more feeling. Cortez The Killer is a perfect example of this, stretched over seven or so minutes. Neil creates so much good feeling not only from his songs, but also through his Music. Whether he is playing Electric or Acoustic Guitar or Piano, he is a great player.

8. The Rolling Stones | Monkey Man
Before Dave (Tattersall of The Wave Pictures) put this song on a compilation, all I knew by The Stones was the best of album Hot Rocks, and had been led to believe that this was all I needed to hear by them. After listening to Monkey Man I immediately realised that this was false, so I started buying as many Stones albums as possible. Let It Bleed, which this song is taken from, is 100% killer, as are Beggars Banquet, Sticky Fingers and Exile On Main Street. As if this weren't enough great albums then there are many more from before and after this period of their career that are also totally awesome. Monkey Man demonstrates what a great Studio band The Stones are. They are brilliant at Arranging their Music so that a complex Studio Recording sounds like a seamless Live take. The Stones reputation for drugs, women, overblown stage shows and crap recent albums has maybe overshadowed the fact that they produced many brilliant albums which contain songs which are as good as the hits, such as Sympathy For The Devil, Honky Tonk Woman, Satisfaction, etc. The Stones are one of my favourite bands.

9. Faces | Ooh La La
Although the Faces are famous for their raucous Rock And Roll, they also have a bunch of lovely Ballads which are mostly co-writes or wholly written by Ronnie Lane. Ooh La La is one such song, co-written with Ronnie Wood, and has the writer affectionately recalling a story told by his Grandad that he did not take seriously at the time. The song is both Upbeat and laid back at the same time, with great Ronnie Wood Acoustic Guitars, who produced his best Guitar Playing on record while he was with the Faces. I love that the Faces have the ballads of Ronnie Lane to go with their louder Rock And Roll Music.

10. Antony Santos | Que Mas Me Pides
Despite all of his songs being sung in Spanish (which I can't speak), Anthony Santos still gets onto my list because of the amount of fun I have had listening to and singing along with him whilst on tour with The Wave Pictures. I could have chosen any of the songs on his En Vivo: Vuelve Amor album, and picked this one randomly. Whatever he is singing then it sounds Mournful, Heartbreaking, Joyous and Up-Lifting.

SIDE C | by David Tattersall

1. Stanley Brinks | This Will Be All
Stanley Brinks has written hundreds of beautiful songs. This one (from the album Digs) is particularly beautiful. He tells you a little something about himself. He tells you a little short story about a Train ride, a cocktail, a cigarette, a girl. This song reminds me of Raymond Chandler.

2. Lou Reed | Halloween Parade
I'm a huge Lou Reed fan. For me, his best work is at the start and at the end of his career. The Velvet Underground stuff is totally wonderful, but I also really love his work on a trilogy of (relatively) recent albums: 'New York, Set The Twilight Reeling and Ecstasy. This song (from New York) paints a strong picture of a particular time and place. It is suffused with longing for absent friends. It is full of Humour. It is also in part about enjoying the act of Rhyming: the Rhymes just roll out beautifully. His voice is beautiful. I love the Sound, I love the Guitars, I love the Doo-Wop Chords. As Lou says in the sleeve notes - you can't beat two guitars, bass, drums. Not with a great singer like Lou Reed anyway.

3. Bob Dylan | Went To See The Gypsy
This is a strange, Mysterious little story song. I love the details: the Sun rising over a little Minnesota town, the Hotel lobby, the dancing girl. It has so many great lines in it. It is a strange song. The Rhythm seem unsure at times. At one point the drummer even stops playing for a moment. But the Playing and the Sound has a lovely feeling, a sweet energy, and a pleasing kind of Wholeness with this strange little story that Bob is telling. You wonder what it all meant to him. I don't know what the Dylan nerds say: there is probably a long analysis of this somewhere on the Internet. But I love it just as it is, with no extra information. It's a lovely thing. Some great Electric Guitar playing on this one too; I think the guitarist is called Ron Cornelius, but I'm not sure.

4. The Fishermen Three | Time To Think About The Morning Once Again 
A sweet and beautifully written Ballad, full of Hope and Promise, about turning a corner in your life and making a few changes. From the album of the same name, which is full of beautiful songs. This song is rich in Imagery, but also plows a straight and steady course to your heart. It manages to be both unpretentious and Poetic: not an easy task. So intelligent. It's a song to go back to again and again throughout your life.

5. Van Morrison | Astral Weeks
It's hard to imagine a song with better Poetry in the Lyrics, or with more Soul and Feeling in the Music. The band on this album are extraordinary. This track opens the album, and it is full of Wonder and Joy. I love to put this record on. I could listen to it every day.

6. Dire Straits | Sultans Of Swing
People seem to think that Dire Straits are a guilty pleasure. They are quite wrong. Brothers In Arms is total rubbish from start to finish, no argument here. And Mark Knophler has done remarkably little of Value in his long Solo career: he is a balding cheese-monger with two Keyboard players in his band (even more insane than having two drummers in my opinion). But Dire Straits' Self-Titled Debut Album is Dark, grown-up, Live-sounding, simple and Singular. It conforms to Lou Reed's law (it is mainly two Guitars, Bass and Drums) and the Sound is superb. This is the best song on the album, and the best thing that anyone involved ever did. I have heard this song literally thousands of times and I never find it boring. I never tire of it. Why is that? The amazing arranged Guitar Solos? The Minor Chords? The Lyric is certainly very strong: it's another detailed story, this time about a Pub band. He captures what is sad and what is beautiful about the life of the Pub musician. He sees how glorious they are. It's got a lot of heart to it. It's just totally killer, this song, in every single way. It's got Mystery, it's got Depth, it Grooves. Listen to what the drummer, Pick Withers, does on this one. Superb Musicianship.

7. Neil Young | Down By The River
One of the Greatest Electric Guitar Records Ever Made. You put this on, and you are in the room with them. And what a performance they are giving you! Those steady, groovy, simple-as-can-be Drums. The stabbing Rhythm Guitar. And Neil, coming out of the Right Speaker, playing some of the best Guitar you ever heard.

8. Silver Jews | Ballad Of Reverend War Character
I have no idea how many times I have listened to this song. Possibly thousands of times. It has sublime Lyrics. So many good lines! I love David Berman's World-weary Vocal. The band play beautifully. I find this recording incredibly moving. It feels like all Life is contained within it. It feels like this Singer knows everything there is to know. It feels sad and strong and sweet and good.

9. Paul Simon | Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard
Paul Simon spends so much time trying to find Novel and Complex Chord Sequences and yet this is indisputably his greatest song: a little three Chord ditty more like a Buddy Holly Chord Sequence. This song makes me so happy. Simplicity and sweetness. A strange and rich and impenetrable story. God only knows what is going on here in the story: it's a Mystery! I always loved this kind of Lyric... There's a story there, but what is it exactly? Simon's lovely, lovely voice is clearly enjoying the sounds of the words as they come out of his mouth. I have loved this song ever since I was a child. It's also on the Soundtrack to one of my favourite movies: The Royal Tenenbaums. It soundtracks a particular joyous montage sequence in which Gene Hackman indulges in a bit of Shoplifting amongst other things.

10. Allen Ginsberg | Vomit Express
This is the greatest, happiest, most Exuberant Rock And Roll there is going. The Chord Sequence is a lot like La Bamba. Bob Dylan is on Rhythm Guitar. There are some crazy cool talented people hanging out and making Music. The air is full of smoke. Everyone is very happy. Allen Ginsberg is going down to Puerto Rico, and he wants to tell you all about it, even if it takes all night. This song has so many verses. It could go on forever and ever. The Poetry just pours out of him, verse after verse after verse, and the musicians keep on gathering and regathering steam, launching again and again into that Chorus, finding Real Energy. Magic.