MUSIC LIST/ ROCK
I ONE OF THE lRDNIES ot Wet Wet ’- Wat's recent Glasgow Green concert was the appearance ot John Martyn as -, support. Little over a year ago the selisame Mr Martyn was demanding a songwriting credit on the Wets’ track “Sweet Little Mystery’. The song now has the distinguished songwriting credit oi Clark/Cunningham/John itcheli/Van Morrison/Peliow! I FURTHER TO THE CHINA CRISIS split, Scottish keyboard player Brian _ McNellI has already iorrned a new band, who are set to make their debut appearance at the Fire: on October 4. I DOUBT HAS BEEN CAST over the appearance oi John Moore and the Expressway, who were scheduled to support the Ramones at Barrowiand on October 2. The reason? Moore has } recently sacked his entire band! ' I RED HOT POP property Ave-B, who may not quite have blown The Darling Buds oilstage when they supported them in Edinburgh, but certainly had them watching their backs, have now tound all their plugging away over the Iasttewyears worthwhile with the signing oi a contract with Cherry Red Records
I GREATEST LIVING WELSHMEN. The Alarm. (shome mishtaire?) will he at Virgin Records, Princes Street, Edinburgh at noon on Monday 18 to sign copies ol their new LP, ‘Change’,
‘ released that very day.
- I THE AUTUMN PROMO BLITZ hots up, with a big thumbs down to Island Records tor sending the new Fields oi the. . . whoops, sorry, Claytown Troupe 45 in a highly-ideologicaliy-unsound (and smelly) real leather sleeve. Shame. Virgin show much greater restraint by packing The Blue Nile’s CD single In a pastel-coloured plilbox-shaped chocolate box with a bevy bow on top. Island still lead on points, though, tor their lavish Gavin Friday plaza-box set. Who can Mileage that In the List 1989
, Boomtown Rats Dead Rodent league? I DESPITE WITHDRAWL oi sponsorship irom Tennents Livel (the
Scottish music business revolves around brewery politics), Cosmos Agency are still booking bands tor Callon Studios. A busy autumn schedule Includes two nights Irom The House oi Love in November and appearances by A Certain Ratio, Mega City 4, Ghost Dance, The Soup Dragons, Green on Red and Mudhoney. Sadly, the warm-up date tor Ian McCulloch’s tour will now not be going ahead.
I Deacon Blue: Love and Regret (CBS). Coming back to this alter iudging lt one oi the best tracks on ‘When the World Knows Your Name’, it’s a shock to hear how bored Ross and McIntosh sound while they’re singing it. As it to compensate tor the drawn-out mix, the 12in otters two brand new tracks- one, ‘Down in the Flood’, being pretty radical tor DB. (AM)
I Ultramarine: Wyndham Lewis (Les Disgues du Crepescuie). In setting two ot Wyndham Lewis’ poems to their heavily synthetic music, Ultramarine have rendered the words entirely tnaudibie, which seems tairly selt-deieating lora tribute EP. They make amends with the best sleeve ot the year- an enacting sell-portrait by Lewis the Vorticist painter- and by providing recordings ot readings he made oi his poetry in 1940. Why sling in a drab instrumental as well, though? An unsatislying tribute. (AM)
I A Car Called James: Down on Your Knees (Vinyl Villains). The tlrst signings to the Edinburgh record shop’s new label hall Irom File, and bring with them growling guitars and some serious, white-knuckied beasts oi songs. (AM)
I The Sugarcubes: Regina (One Little lndian). Alter achieving overnight stadium status in America’s most
talked-about package tour oi 1989, you expect them to change the lace oi pop music TWICE? ‘Reglna' would slip happily into place beside the other songs on ‘Lite’s Too Good’, which Is to say it’s sublime. (AM)
I Lucinda Williams: Passionate Kisses (Rough Trade). A worthwhile purchase tor anyone intent on keeping up with Iatterday country-blues. Notable less tor the title song than tor the three other tracks on the 12in, taken irom a live LA radio session. They’re nice and basic (two acoustic guitars and voice) and mainly schmaitz-iree, but there should be an embargo on any song beginning ‘I Was Born in Louisiana’. (AM)
I Nanci Grittith: Storms (MCA) The eighth album in ten years, and one which should ilnally gain Nanci Grittith respect as not only country music’s major contribution to the Eighties but as one at the major songwriting talents oi the decade.
‘Storms‘ is where songwriting transcends genre, and previously previewed tracks litre ‘l Don’t Want To Talk About Love’ and ‘Llsten To The Radio’ -the latter a tribute to Loretta Lynn and Merle Haggard - provide highlights, with Glynn Johns providing a sympathetic production. James Hooker’s beautliui piano playing holds together the best (and that means exceptional) song, ‘Drive in Movies and Dashboard Lights’, and Phil Everly provides harmonies on the line ‘You Made This Love a Teardrop'.
The lack ot a weak song is what makes a great album, and the only moment ol doubt comes on the only track not written or co-wrltten by Grittith herseli. Eric Taylor’s ‘Storms’ has a great melody and chorus which just manage to hide a sometimes cringeworthy lyric. On the whole though, no complaints. tier best album since ‘Last ol the True Believers' and the best album oi 1989 so tar. (JW)
I Paul Johnson: Personal (CBS)/Regina Belle: Stay With Me (CBS). Labelmates and soulmates, Regina Belle and Paul Johnson are owners ot two ot the greatest contemporary soul voices. Regina is certainly a torcetul competitor tor the Anitas and Whitneys oi this world, while Johnson’s voice recalls classic Stevie and Smokey.
Apart irom this, the simultaneous release ot these albums serves to highlight the dliierences between British and American soul. For the second time, Johnson‘s voice is not properly captured on record - a result oi some Inditterent songwriting and some bad production. Whoeverthought that the pop production ot Joiley and Swain was likely to help Paul Johnson has no understanding oi his roots in gospel and soul.
Highlights come where Junior Giscombe (who produced the iirst album) takes over the reigns on the opening track, ‘Best Think it Over’, and on the Chris Porter produced ‘Who Shot Cupid?’. And, In the same way that a Stevie Wonder cover version was the
. highlight oi his iirst album, it Is Don
Henley's ‘Not Enough Love In The World’ that stands out as the best song on this album.
By contrast, Regina Belle has the pick oi American producers on her doorstep, and the contributions oi Narada Michael Walden, Nick Martinelll, Jonathan Butler and Barry Eastmond help dramatically - meaning that this album, apart irom the medley ot Donny Hathaway’s ‘Someday We’ll All Be Free’ and Marvin Gaye‘s “Save The Children’, is a classic piece oi late Eighties soul. On a scale oi 10, USA: WK: 5. (JW)
1»; River Detectives
I River Detectives: Saturday Night Sunday Morning (WEA). What sets The River Detectives apart irom hundreds at other bands are the iolk roots that underpin their songs to varying degrees- less overtly in their uptempo rockers, but well to the lore when they cover Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Factory’ as an unaccompanied ballad. Roots are Important enough to the band tor them to dedicate the LP to the workers at Ravenscraig in ‘our home town’, and liberally sprinkle acoustic guitars and harmonicas about the place to show there’s more depth to them than a ﬂash rock band. Sadly, as the ’Tecs’ reputation has always rested on their songs, It has to be said that they really aren’t as strong as has otten been claimed on their behalt. It’s a sign ot the times that both these statements can be slung together, but a) ‘eamestness‘ could be the watchword oi this LP, and b) it’s one oi the satest records We heard all year. (AM)
John Williamson chooses the Listen! Hit List.
1. NANCI GRIFFITH: Storms (MCA LP) 2. THE BLUE NILE: Hats (Linn Products LP)
3. DON HENLEY: Gimme What You Got (WEA LP track)
4. BOBBIE GEHTRY: I’ll Never Fall in Love Again (EMI classic)
5. REGINA BELLE: Stay With Me (CBS LP)
6. TEARS FOR FEARS: Sowing the Seeds ot Love (Fontana 7in)
7. MONI: Now I Know (demo)
B. GAVIN FRIDAY AND THE MAN SEEZER: Death is Not the End (island LP track)
9. PHRANC: Folksinger (Island LP track)
10.CARMEL: God Put Your Hand on Me (London LP track)
42 The List 15 — 28 Scptcmbcr1989