talks about the latest releases in the music world

Chart Chat Edition 804 – W/C 03.05.15

Chart Chat Edition 804 – Week Commencing 3rd May 2015


For those reading this for the first time, Chart Chat has been in existence for over 15 years. We completed eight hundred editions reviewing the weeks charts and new releases before deciding it was time for a change of format.  Now we will be looking at new music ahead of its release, and it won’t always feature tracks released as singles. I have learned in recent years that the best music does not always make the charts, and to renew my love of music I have had to look to broader horizons.

So what have we been discussing in the Chart Chat offices this week?

Ben E King – ‘Stand By Me’ (Single)

The legendary soul singer Ben E King only made the top forty on four occasions, and two of those were with this hit ‘Stand By Me’.  It originally made no.27 back in 1961 just after his debut hit ‘First Taste Of Love’ had reached the same position. ‘Amor’ reached the top forty later that same year but there was then a twenty six year wait to see ‘Stand By Me’ top the UK charts mainly thanks to its use in a television jeans commercial. It also featured as the lead track on the soundtrack to the film of the same name while a cover by John Lennon reached the top thirty in 1975. It has enjoyed a revival over the past few days thanks in part to Ben’s passing at the age of 76 and thanks also to the track being discounted to 59p with some online retailers. Whatever happens this track is established as a true classic of its time and will continue to receive radio airplay for many years to come.

Cinerama – ‘Valentina’ (Album)

Later this month sees the return of David Gedge’s other band Cinerama as they release their take on the Wedding Present album of the same name. This fulfills a long held dream of David to record two versions of the same album, one as the Wedding Present and the  other as Cinerama.  Originally he had hoped to release both versions simultaneously but he soon realised that this was a project that would take some time to achieve and hence the releases were staggered. It will be fascinating to hear the album in its entirety to hear just how different these new versions will sound. It was produced by Spanish Indie legend Pedro Vigil which itself should only serve to add to the magic. To celebrate their return they will perform with a thirteen piece band at a headlining concert in London next month but for now this release will be more than enough to keep fans entertained.

The Crowd 2015 – ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ (Single)

Back in 1985 a tragic accident at Bradford City’s stadium saw 56 football fans killed in a fire which swept through one of the stands. Later that year a charity ensemble took a cover of Gerry & The Pacemakers classic ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ to the top of the charts, and now to mark the 30th anniversary of the disaster a new version of the track is being released by The Crowd 2015. Among those who have joined up this time are the Chuckle Brothers, Dene Michael, Clive Jackson (Dr from Dr & The Medics) and Billy Pearce. It has been the brainchild of Bradford fan Lloyd Spencer who worked with fellow Bantam Nigel Hunter to turn the idea into a reality. Football songs can still have a big impact in todays charts with the Justice Collective’s cover of ‘He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother’ becoming the Christmas no.1 back in 2013. I’m not sure how well this will chart, but it’s a good chance for fans of all clubs to come together and raise money for the Bradford Burns Unit.

Dr & The Medics – ‘You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)’ (Single)

It was 1986 when Dr & The Medics topped the charts with their cover of Norman Greenbaum’s ‘Spirit In The Sky’. The followed it up with ‘Burn’, a top thirty hit later that year, but their version of ‘Waterloo’ fell short of the top 40 and that was their last appearance on the mainstream charts. They continued to record with ‘The Adventures Of Boadacea & The Beetle’ surfacing in 1992 and ‘Instant Heaven’ being released in 1996. Their current line up has the same Doctor but different Medics, but they are continuing to record and tour. They release their latest single, a cover of Dead Or Alive’s ‘You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)’ later this month on the 25th May. The track comes complete with a video recorded live at the 12 Bar Club in London. There are plenty of chances to catch the band live this year (see link attached) and a live DVD is set to follow in subsequent months. This is a good fun single and it would be fantastic if we were to see them back in the charts some twenty nine years on.

The Fall – ‘Sub-Lingual Tablet’ (Album)

Part of my reason for switching to covering weekly single releases was to be able to review artists that I am passionate about. I am proud to own each of the studio albums by The Fall, although it has been impossible to keep up with their array of live and compilation albums. They tend to release a new studio album each year, and 2015 is set to be no different with ‘Sub-Lingual Tablet’ due to hit the shops on 11th May. Mark E Smith is proud of his bands latest offering with the record taking four to five months to record. It consists of original tracks with only one cover ‘Stout Man’ while highlights for me are ‘Dedication Not Medication’ and ‘Junger Cloth’. As John Peel famously said The Fall are “they are always different, they are always the same” and that rings true here. While it is quite clear that this is a new Fall album it is also not a radical reinvention from the 2013 release ‘Re-Mit’ or later EP ‘The Remainderer’. Still one of the best releases of 2015 though.

Lucy Rose – ‘Our Eyes’ (Single)

One track that you don’t have to wait for is ‘Our Eyes’ by Lucy Rose which is released this week. It’s a bright and breezy song, perfect as we head into sunnier days, and the video has already received over 200k views since it was first uploaded in March. It is the first track to be taken from her forthcoming studio album ‘Work It Out’ which is scheduled for release in July. It will mark her first new material since her critically acclaimed 2012 debut album ‘Like I Used To’. She is appearing live at the Catherdral Quarter in Belfast this week and has confirmed appearances at Bushstock and Smoked & Uncut next month while fans who sign up to her newsletter at her website can claim a free live EP containing versions of ‘Shiver’, ‘Cover Up’ and this new track ‘Our Eyes’. On this showing the album should certainly be something to look forward to, and 2015 looks to be a promising one for Lucy.

Magnum – Escape From The Shadow Garden Live 2014′ (Album)

Last year saw British rock band Magnum back inside the UK top forty album chart with ‘Escape From Shadow Garden’, the first time they had been there since ‘Sleepwalking’ in 1992. Now comes a live album of the same name featuring tracks covering seven of their eighteen studio albums which was recorded on their worldwide tour last year. It is released as a download, a super jewel CD and a good old fashioned double vinyl LP. For me highlights to be found on this album include a version of their 1978 album title track ‘Kingdom Of Madness’ and a ten minute version of ‘How Far Jerusalem’ which originally featured on their 1985 outing ‘On A Storytellers Night’. While this live album is unlikely to win them many new fans it will serve as a great souvenir for fans who attended their critically acclaimed live shows last year while also serving as an introduction to older material for more recent converts to the band.

On Guitar…Dave Edmunds – ‘Rags & Classics’ (Album)

Dave hit the top spot back in 1970 with his debut single ‘I Hear You Knocking’ and has gone on to achieve eight top forty hits, with half of those reaching the top ten. Fast forward to May 2015 and he is set to release his brand new album ‘Rags & Classics’ which is his first ever completely instrumental release. It contains a variety of cover versions ranging from traditional pop hits ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale’ and ‘Wuthering Heights’ to Mozarts ‘Symphony No.40 in G Minor’. Fans wishing to catch him in action can do so at the Summer Rewind festivals which are scheduled for Perth, Remenham and Macclesfield. Last year may have seen him turn 70, but he is very much still an artist to be reckoned with. While others from his era may be content to play greatest hits tours it is testament to Dave that he is still releasing brand new material. Cover albums are ten a penny but this looks to be one which will make you sit up and take notice.

Roisin Murphy – ‘Hairless Toys’ (Album)

Although she originally rose to prominence as the singer in Moloko, Roisin Murphy has been making solo albums since 2005. ‘Hairless Toys’ marks her first long player in almost eight years. Nine minute epic ‘Exploitation’ stands out, and it will get an official single release in early June complete with an EP of remixes while ‘Gone Fishing’ displays a similarly stripped back electronic sound. Both offer a musical landscape to complement Roisin’s jazzy voice but other journalists have pointed to ‘Evil Eyes’ and ‘House Of Glass’ as the stand out tracks. When an artist takes this long to put an album together the result is often worth the wait as opposed to those kind of artists who churn out an album every couple of years to maintain the bank balance.  If you are looking for four minute pop singles you may be in the wrong place but if you appreciate a stylish and well produced album then this may be just up your street.

Next time…

There look to be a few exciting releases to come over the next couple of months and among those which may make our shopping list are ‘A Purple Album’ by Whitesnake, ‘The Desired Effect’ by Brandon Flowers, ‘Saturns Pattern’ by Paul Weller, ‘English Graffiti’ by The Vaccines and ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’ by Florence & The Machine. So don’t forget to keep an eye out on Twitter for our next edition.

Ian Anderson (@ChartChatUK)

4 May, 2015 Posted by | ChartChat | Leave a comment