WARMER MIXTAPES #1200 | by Johny Brown of Band Of Holy Joy
1. Gloria Edwards | My Love Keeps Getting Stronger
As Soul Music goes I love voices like this, women that have an ache of both ruin and hope in their voice. When I was growing up as a young punk I had no time for this Music, indeed I was openly contemptuous of Northern Soul and it's Soul boys and girls, as it was then, and I managed to say as much on a Newcastle based TV news show about the Shameful Punk Scourge which caused a lot of local grief and factions to war. It was a stupid thing to say but I was oblivious at the time. One night a cat called Manus, who was really respected, and moved in both Soul and Punk camps, took me to one side and gave me a quite chastening lecture about working class culture, why it was stupid to fight amongst ourselves, and who the real enemy in Life was. The things he said to me that night have stuck with me right through the years and seem more relevant than ever in this present political climate. I didn't get Northern Soul until a good few years later after I had moved to London, but when I did, wow, I love the stuff and can't get enough of it still. This is for Manus Doherty who has the best taste in Music of anyone I know, and is still as well informed about the correct living of Life itself. Hi, Manus.
2. Donna Summer | Wasted
This is Disco at it's most poetic and decadent. A proper tale of lost Love and lives ruined and many lines of shiny white powder glamorously consumed along the way. I first heard it in a club called The Gargoyle which used to sit high above Dean Street in Soho. I was DJing for the Batcave and got there early. The dancers who operated in the club early in the night before the Batcave were still doing their thing and one of them did a really sad but sensual strip to this song, it was the first time I heard the song, I went out and bought it the next day and have owned a copy ever since.
3. Grace Jones | La Vie En Rose (Édith Piaf Cover)
I still get shivers when the opening bars of this song slide in. A devastating performance of diva passion, almost Punk, certainly primal, the way she picks Piaf up by the scruff of the throat three minutes in, and wrings her poor Parisian sparrow neck, before nonchalantly discarding her, feathers and all, in the dirty gutter of splendid Life, that runs along the pavement, outside a bar, called Chez Ahmed, in Rue Veron, Montmartre, on any given night, is fight time awesome. This is, vocal, not physical, destruction though, you understand. Ladies and Gentlemen, the one and only, Miss Grace Jones.
4. Machine | There But For The Grace Of God Go I
This is a great Disco record, but also, it has a great acerbic socially barbed lyric worthy of a Cole Porter, or a Noel Coward, or a Phil Ochs even. August Darnell: Prince of Men.
5. First Choice | Let No Man Put Asunder
Though this is probably the greatest Disco record ever. It always puts me in mind of DJing in a field at a free festival in France at 4 in the morning with a huge full Moon hanging over the countryside and feeling just a sense of Total Freedom and Magic. I last heard it played out on the Boardwalk at Coney Island when Inga and myself happened upon the Better Daze crew holding an impromptu and free Sunday afternoon session, the same sense of Freedom and Magic was apparent then. It's not over, between you and me... Too right.
Right, we’re on it now. What a mind-blowing track this is. It’s a mad fusion of Disco, House, Northern Soul and Psychedelic. It was released in the mid nineties and is pretty hard to track down I guess. Yaputhma Sound System are a Latvian band and their normal material was like the Mondays or one of those baggy bands crossed with Krauty Hawkwindy spacey Rocky gear and a bit of Certain Ratio trumpet thrown in, it’s alright like, the other stuff, but this is something else again, this is something Godlike. As is the city of Riga, on certain days, in certain lights.
7. Adriano Celantano | Prisencolinensinainciusol (with Raffaella Carrà lip-synching to Claudia Mori's vocals) (Live At Rai Uno, Milleluci Show, 1974)
And speaking of God and dancefloors… Celantano was Italy’s top Elvis clone dreamboy of the late fifties, just as Cliff Richard was ours. But where Presley took the Army, Hollywood, Graceland route and Richard took the path of Celibacy, Christianity and Wimbledon: Celantano obviously just took Acid and Raffaella Carrà, and has so obviously come out much the better man for it. This video is like a mini Fellini film, and I tell you something… In it’s natural energy, it’s sheer enthusiasm and palpable euro sex, it pisses on all these staged awkward choreographed clips that the likes of Beyoncé, Britney, Rihanna or Jessie fucking J push out on us these days, I mean, everyone, check this…
8. Aly-Us | Follow Me
This has another great cheap video, to another great song, no frills here, just the two guys miming their song to the gang in the hood, on their own turf, at their own club, in their own time, all getting down to a beautiful House record, with the most positive message you could want. This is the song to aspire too.
9. Robert Owens | I'll Be Your Friend (Original Def Mix)
For all time...
10. Depth Charge | Bounty Killers
The playing of this record at a party in Streatham at 7 in the morning on New Year's Eve 1998 saved my life from the five young crackheads who were threatening to shoot me with a gun for playing the wrong kinds of records: until I played this, and these two sexy type lasses jumped up on the bass speakers and started shaking their palpable arses about, which kind of changed the whole charged atmosphere for the better, and my would be destroyers, noticing the change, suddenly elected themselves to be my will be protectors, which was nice of them, and I am forever indebted to the track and its creator the great J Saul Kane.