Sunday, 16 July 2006

About my interest in sound reproduction

You might be thinking we have those entries about music but what about your interest in how you listen to it?
When I was younger how you listened, the cultivation of a time to listen intently to it, appreciating took hold not that I didn't have music on as a 'background' but I'd find time to do just that and maybe a quiet room to sit in too.
Also I was interested in how that sound was reproduced caring that although I may of been ten years old, I was getting the best I could get from my recordings be they tapes or as was common then stereo  records. I was fortunate Dad knew a fair bit about electronics and especially audio engineering so even with our modest income I had at that age my very own stereo record player with a built in radio cos he built it for me from modules and made a case from wood. That was better sounding compared to what my friends had.
As I got more into my teens money permitting I bought magazines about what they called "High Fidelity" which when remove a lot of technical terms and snobbery from it is really more about getting the best sound and they had articles about improving what you heard as well as reviews of equipment.
Around the same time I got from grown up friends handed down equipment that while good wasn't as good as what they could now afford was better than what I had so at one point I had a tubed Rogers Cadet II amplifier with it's control unit, a Panasonic stereo cassette deck for recording and playing cassette tapes on , a Goldring turntable and cartridge and a pair of hand made speakers using units originally fitted to Rolls Royce upmarket cars!
Today I own an all Rotel stereo separate system and a Sony MiniDisc recorder with a portable player for listening while away or on the move.

Sunday, 2 July 2006

Old but not forgotten - artists we loved

In response to much talk on the Angels forum site and with inspiration from Linzi, here is a page to place links to those artists who may be 'old' but certainly not forgotten.

Linzi mentioned her recollection of seeing Paper Lace on Top of the Pops in 1974, after I mentioned about owning and playing an 8 track tape of theirs featuring the hits, The Black-eyed boys, Billy, Don't Be A Hero and The Night Chicago Died.

Here's the link to a Paper Lace web site: www.sonsandlovers.co.uk./PAPER%20LACE.htm

Anyone of certain age will recall seeing a leather clad gent with an infamous leather glove who had a string of hits in the mid 70's.
Yes, we are talking about the one and only Alvin Stardust responsible for 'Jealous Guy' and 'My Coo-Coo Choo' amongst others. He also starred in a Green Cross Code public information film shown on british television.
Jealous Guy video:
ALVIN STARDUST -jealous mind
The official site: http://www.alvinstardust.com Alvin contributes to it.
A good fan site is http://alexgitlin.com/nnp/as.htm

Mocked by many but loved for the image as well as the music were the Rubettes.
Nobody, repeat nobody around in the summer of '74 forgets 'Sugar Baby Love' quickly - infectious sugar coated pop music with a doo-wop twist. Another staple of Top of the Pops in the 70's.
There is a good CD out 'The Very Best Of The Rubettes' with all the hits and more available.
The have an official website: http://www.rubettes.com but it has shock wave stuff on it so it may take a while - connection permitting - to fully load.

Forgotten by some but keenly remembered by some of us are the Scottish Group Slik which featured a young Midge Ure. They had a number 1 hit with the song Forever And Ever in February 1976 and released an album entitled Slik on Bell Records which featured Dancerama and Requiem, a top twenty single.

Here's some links: http://rateyourmusic.com/artist/slik

For more on Rich Kids who were formed from Slik see http://punkmodpop.free.fr/richkids_pic.htm.

Musically similar to Roxy Music the group Sailor hold a place in the hearts of many of us around in the mid 1970's in the UK. They had smash hit singles with Glass Of Champaign in late 1975 and Girls Girls Girls in early 1976.

Links to the band can be found here http://www.sailor-marinero.com/sailor_main.htm



Although it's Various Artists, the film Flashdance and it's Soundtrack often crops up in conversation about 80's music. Certainly it is an excellent soundtrack album with songs by Georgio Moroder and has the hits 'Manic', 'Lady, Lady, Lady' and the title track (by Irene Cara).
A film database listing information and comments on the film is available http://imdb.com/title/tt0085549/
A fans site outling the films impact on popular culture can be found at:
http://angelfire.com/80s/flashdance/

Another artist very sadly missed since her death in 2004 is Laura Branigan. She had six studio albums showcasing her remarkable voice and featuring both original songs and inspired cover versions.
A new compilation Platinum Collection comes out July 24th featuring the hits, such as Gloria and choice album tracks.
There is beautiful site dedicated to her and her spirit see http://www.laurabraniganonline.com/
Do visit it.