Spiral 2 – The Top 5

18 Jul

As of 18 July 2014 the top 5 LPs featured on Spiral 2 are:

01 Various – Top BBC TV Themes Volume 4
02 Derek Griffiths – Heads and Tails
03 Norrie Paramor and The Midland Radio Orchestra – Radio 2 Top Tunes Volume 2
04 Sandy Brown and His Gentlemen! Friends – Hair At Its Hairiest
05 George Martin and His Orchestra – Beatles to Bond and Bach

CD 12.18: Don’t Make It Work – Our Failed Pop 1980 – 1987

4 Mar

01 Garda Patrol – The Statistics Keep Growing
02 The Atrix – Treasure On The Wasteland
03 The Fountainhead – The Rhythm Method
04 TV Gaga – Interlude
05 Microdisney – Helicopter Of The Holy Ghost
06 Those Nervous Animals – The Business Enterprise
07 Disaffected Youth – Look At The Charts
08 Les Enfants – Slipaway
09 Minor Detail – Canvas Of Life
10 Josephine Maxi – Wagtails In O’Connell Street
11 Auto Da Fé – November November
12 In Tua Nua – Coming Thru’
13 Complete Spanner – Individual Sound
14 Blue In Heaven – Across My Heart
15 Tuesday Blue – Tunnel Vision
16 Liam Mackey vs Anonymous – Telephone Thing
17 Light A Big Fire – Mr Twilight
18 The Blades – Ghost Of A Chance
19 Nothing To It – Emigration Interrogation
20 Brush Shiels – Old Pal

My latest compilation.

LP 295: Various – Top BBC TV Themes Volume 4 (BBC, 1981)

18 Dec

Side 1
01 Derek Goom – Juliet Bravo
02 Daryl Runswick – Theme From Maybury (Sky Crying Rain)
03 The Harry South Orchestra – Chinese Detective
04 Paul Shane and The Yellowcoats – Hi De Hi (Holiday Rock)
05 The Nic Rowley Group – Not The Nine O’Clock News
06 Roger Chapman – Speak For Yourself
07 Vangelis – Theme From Cosmos (Heaven And Hell 3rd Movement)

Side 2
08 Ennio Morricone – Chi Mai
09 The Anthony Isaac Orchestra with Eric Hill – Mackenzie
10 The Great Hossack Orchestra – Nanny
11 Daryl Runswick – We The Accused
12 The Pro Musica Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marcus Doda – Poldark
13 The Pro Musica Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marcus Doda – I Claudius
14 The Leon Young Orchestra – Goodbye Darling

Here’s one I made earlier. And seeing as it is Christmas…

Volume 4 of the BBC’s Top TV Themes is easily the weakest volume in the series – unsurprising seeing as we had moved to 1981 and a more rigid approach to television theme composition was now being taken. Nevertheless there are a few surprises that make it worth a purchase.

#1 Derek Goom’s driving and upbeat Juliet Bravo theme. I preferred Stephanie Turner and have just finished watching the second series on DVD.

#2 Harry South Orchestra – Chinese Detective. Atmospheric and groovy with deadly strings.

#3 Vangelis shooting the moon with the stirring Theme From Cosmos.

Side 2 is comprised of relaxed yet serious pieces – no breaks – so very much an acquired taste.

That’s it from me for this year. Who knows what 2012 will bring ?

To all readers – Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Comments and feedback are welcome.


CD 11.17: The World We Knew

11 Dec

01 Graham Walker Sound – Crossroads (Saga LP)
02 The In-Keepers – Stirrup Cup (Morgan LP)
03 Zack Laurence Orchestra – Son Of A Preacher Man (DJM LP)
04 Franck Pourcel – Francais, Francais (Studio 2 Stereo LP)
05 Bernard Cribbins – One Man Band (Parlophone LP)
06 Sakkarin – Sugar Sugar (RCA 45)
07 Cliff Richard – Take Action (Columbia LP)
08 Julie Felix – Mad John’s Escape (Fontana LP)
09 Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent – Gotta Get Away (Columbia LP)
10 Sounds Orchestral – Shackled (Pye LP)
11 Guitars Unlimited – I’ll Never Fall In Love Again (Decca Phase 4 Stereo LP)
12 James Clarke + Sounds – One Morning (Aristocrat LP)
13 Unknown – The Italian Theme (Music For Pleasure LP)
14 Cilla Black – Faded Images (Parlophone LP)
15 Brian Abbs and Nola York – Mystery Man (Longman LP)
16 Paddy Kingsland – Wombulator Rock (Studio 2 Stereo LP)
17 Sir John Betjeman – Lenten Thoughts (Charisma LP)
18 Norman Percival Orchestra – The World We Knew (Readers Digest LP)
19 José Pirata – I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles (Deram LP)
20 Kenny Everett – And Now For Another Train Number (Deram 45)

This is my entry in the Very Good Plus Christmas CD Swap for 2011.

Comments and feedback are welcome.


CD 11.16: No Girl On The Beach

11 Sep

01 David Ackles – Waiting For The Moving Van
02 The Survivors – After The Game
03 Cyrus Faryar – Drivin’ Daisy
04 Beach Boys – Lonely Sea
05 Martin Denny – Return To Paradise
06 Eden Ahbez – The Island
07 John Sangster – Currumbin Bird Sanctuary
08 G Wayne Thomas – Morning Of The Earth
09 John Simon – Last Summer Theme
10 Marvin Hamlisch – Easy Four
11 The Sandals – Theme From Endless Summer
12 Beau Brummels – Magic Hollow
13 Morton Stevens – Beach Trip
14 Taman Shud – Bali Waters
15 Brian Wilson and Andy Paley – In My Moondreams
16 Dick Dale and His Deltones – Those Memories Of You
17 The Surfmen – Paradise Cove
18 Dennis Wilson – Holy Man
19 Beach Boys – It’s Over Now
20 Marvin Hamlisch – Theme From The Swimmer (Reprise)
21 Jimmy Webb – Land’s End / Asleep On The Wind
A new compilation – a loose concept album about a man who quits domestic life for solitude but finds the loneliness too difficult to bear.
Photograph of Dollar Bay, Co Wexford, Ireland. (c) 2010 J Stapleton.
Comments and feedback are welcome.

LP 294: Simon Park – Venus Fly Trap (EMI, 1975)

8 Sep

Side 1
01 Venus Fly Trap
02 I Can’t Stand The Rain
03 This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us
04 Soul Sarabande
05 5.56 Boogie

Side 2
06 Tides
07 Lay Lady Lay
08 Oh, You Pretty Things
09 Remember When
10 (There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me

Venus Fly Trap is Simon Park’s follow-up to Something In The Air and emerged on the EMI label during 1975.

The title track is one of four self-penned numbers. It features contrasting light / dark moog sounds with some furious percussion and organ work. 5.56 Boogie (just over four minutes long) continues this edgy vibe with an organic proto-1980s synth melody beloved of industrial documentaries. On the other hand Soul Sarabande is a gentle shimmering flute-glider that should have been used for romantic scenes in Crossroads. The dramatic keys of Tides complete this most satisfying quartet of tracks.

Other treats in store for you include a most atmospheric stab at I Can’t Stand The Rain and a suitably manic cover of killer Sparks number This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us. Squelch! Lay Lady Lay is transformed into a drugged-up six minute odyssey of sparse electronics and fractured chords while the surprising Bowie cover is from Hunky Dory – Oh, You Pretty Things – nice violin work. I’m led to believe that library supremo Roger Webb penned Remember When – a beautiful romantic number that’s wonderfully melodic and should really have closed the LP instead of the workmanlike version of (There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me .

Comments and feedback are welcome.


LP 293: Rogero’s Brazilian Brass – Rogero’s Brazilian Brass (Pye, 1970)

6 Sep

Side 1
01 Tristeza
02 Rosa
03 Mas Que Nada
04 Aquarius
05 Romeo And Juliet
06 A Banda

Side 2
07 O Pato (The Duck)
08 Viejo Babosa
09 Without Her
10 Mellow Brass
11 Windmills Of Your Mind
12 Hare Krishna

While it’s about as Brazilian as a pork pie, the self-titled album from “Rogero” and his brass ensemble is an enjoyable and cheesy romp taking some contemporary hits, a few Latin rhythms and three originals for good measure. Taking care of business – i.e. the arrangements – are Ken Woodman and Steve Gray – old hands by 1970. Cyril Stapleton is the gaffer.

The Latin numbers are competently played with some nice brassy flourishes – O Pato (The Duck), Tristeza, Mas Que Nada and A Banda all present and swinging with energy. Elsewhere there’s two Hair tunes – a bright ‘n’ breezy Aquarius plus a drum-heavy Hare Krishna that plays like a funky cop show theme. Nice work fellas!

Two big movie hits of the day – The Windmills Of Your Mind and Romeo and Juliet unfold in a relaxed easy style that’s makes for pleasant listening while Nilsson’s Without Her is a downbeat jazzy treat. The original tunes consist of two toe-tappers (Rosa and Viejo Barbosa) along with the sultry haven’t-I-heard-this-one-before concoction that is Mellow Brass.

Comments and feedback are welcome.