On this most rockin’ of days way back in 1975, AC/DC released their debut album ‘High Voltage’. The album featured a cover of ‘Baby, Please Don’t Go’ a blues song first recorded by Big Joe Williams and ‘She’s Got Balls’ which was written about singer Bon Scott’s ex-wife Irene – the first AC/DC song for which he wrote lyrics.

Bon, Malcolm, Angus, Mark and Phil saw this record peak at number 14 but has since gone 5x platinum what you could describe as being a slow burner.

Originally released on Albert Productions in Australia and has never been reissued by another label in this format. The international version of High Voltage, which was issued on Atlantic Records in 1976, has different cover art and track listing, with only “She’s Got Balls” and “Little Lover” appearing overseas. “Baby Please Don’t Go”, “Soul Stripper”, “You Ain’t Got a Hold On Me” and “Show Business” was later released on ’74 Jailbreak in 1984. “Stick Around” (about Scott’s inability to hold onto a lover for more than one night) and “Love Song” have been released on Backtracks in 2009. The title and artwork were the suggestion of Chris Gilbey of Albert Productions. In the 1994 Scott biography Highway to Hell, Gilbey explains that he came up with the concept of “an electricity substation with a dog pissing against it. It’s so tame now, but back then we thought it was pretty revolutionary.”

The musicians that played on this release were quite different from the internationally famous line up of AC/DC – George Young who also produced the record played some bass guitar, rhythm guitar, and backing vocals, Rob Bailey also played bass guitar whilst Peter Clack played drums on their cover of ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’. Tony Currenti played drums on the other seven numbers. Whilst it might not be the best DC album ever this version is certainly worth tracking down if you don’t already have it amongst the other 3,000 different versions with different covers and track lists.

 

Buy ‘High Voltage’: Here

In other significant news on this very day in 1979, Blondie scored their first UK No.1 album when ‘Parallel Lines’ started a four-week run at the top of the charts, featuring the singles ‘Heart Of Glass’, ‘Hanging On The Telephone’ and ‘Sunday Girl.’ With its iconic album sleeve, a generation of teenage boys fell in love more so when they managed to see the video for ‘Heart Of Glass’. Deborah Harry – vocals, Chris Stein – guitar, 12-string guitar, E-bow, Clem Burke – drums, Jimmy Destri – electronic keyboards, Nigel Harrison – bass guitar and Frank Infante – guitar was the iconic line up who recorded ‘Parallel Lines’ in New York City where the band shared an unbreakable bond and used the city in many of their videos and were forever tied to clubs like CBGB and Max’s.  ‘Heart Of Glass’ was one of the biggest selling singles in the decade reaching number one in over eight major record buying countries.  Amazingly it was only the UK where the album hit the number one spot only reaching number six in their native USA. who knew?

The album has been reissued and expanded several times since its release back in 79 and you can pick up a copy Here

Also, RPM would like to give a shout out and a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday to Billie Joe Armstrong, Born Today back in 1972. Whilst fronting Green Day Armstrong is also a member of the punk rock band Pinhead Gunpowder and provides lead vocals for Green Day’s side projects Foxboro Hot Tubs and The Network. Many Happy returns Mr Armstrong.

Buy Pinhead Gunpowder: Here

Finally, on this very day in 1979, The Clash opened the US leg of their ‘Pearl Harbour ’79’, North American tour at New York’s Palladium. The Clash were keen to embrace the US, though Epic were less enthusiastic despite releasing …Melody Maker writer Caroline Coon paid her own way to New York and set up eight shows in medium-sized venues that mainly sold out. The Pearl Harbour ’79 US tour allowed The Clash to visit key cities. The band took Rock’n’Roll legend Bo Diddley out as support act to make America aware of its musical legacy. “We brought them in and helped to introduce them to people who weren’t aware of them,” Jones told Coon. Diddley got on famously with the band, who hung on his every war story.

 

 

 

 

Dave Alexander original Stooges Bass Player (June 3, 1947 – February 10, 1975) in Ann Arbor where he met brothers Ron and Scott Asheton. “Zander” (as Alexander was known) dropped out after 45 minutes on the first day of his senior year in 1965 to win a bet. Later in 1965, Ron sold his motorbike and they left for England to see The Who and to “try and find The Beatles”.

Alexander and the Asheton brothers soon met Iggy Pop and formed The Stooges in 1967. Although Alexander was a total novice on his instrument, he was a quick learner and subsequently had a hand in arranging, composing and performing all of the songs that appeared on the band’s first two albums, ‘The Stooges’ and ‘Fun House’. He is often credited by Pop and was credited by the late Ron Asheton in interviews with being the primary composer of the music for the Stooges songs “We Will Fall”, “Little Doll” (both on The Stooges), “Dirt” and “1970” (Fun House).

Alexander died of pulmonary edema in 1975, at the age of 27 in Ann Arbor after being admitted to a hospital for pancreatitis, which was linked to his drinking. Sadly it was drinking that ultimatly got him sacked from the Stooges as its believed to have been the reason he was fired in August of 1970 after turning up drunk to a show and not being able to perform. Rest In Peace and thank you for those awesome tunes. ‘Funhouse’ has one of the greatest basslines ever in Rock n Roll music, full stop not even up for debate.   Gone but not forgotten. 

Buy The Stooges Here

On a happier note on this day in 1979, Rod Stewart started hit No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy’,  Also today Rod started a three-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Blondes Have More Fun.’ An absolute killer record in my humble opinion.  right up there with his earlier work.  It might not have been of the same quality as his work with The Faces but has stood the test of time as he demonstrates in this video for the title track.

Buy Blondes Have More Fun Here

Finally how about this for some news. On this very day in 1977, The Clash started recording their debut album at CBS studios in London,  The album was recorded over three weekends at CBS Studio 3 in the month of  February 1977. By the third of these sessions, the album was completed, CBS then sent it for production in the March.and then released in the April, It cost just £4000 to produce! Imagine that? Such an iconic album recorded so quickly and for 4K you’d be lucky to replicate that today it would take you three months in the queue at the pressing plant.

 

Dom Daley,

Always nice to have some Taurus Trakker on the player and this their fourth long player is possibly their most accomplished piece thus far. It gets Mick Jones (yeah he of the Clash) to handle the production as they proceed to groove and shake the listener with their hypnotic bluesy punk rock ‘n’ roll.  Inextricably linked with Ladbrook Grove and the surrounding part of West LondonTaurus Trakker follow on from what Jones and his old band used to knock out from this part of the Capital.  For those joining us for the first time, a brief introduction would be this;  these cats ply a trade in blues-based rock ‘n’ roll that has a heap of groove and swing and they write songs that would get your heart pumping if you were to happen upon them in some late night bar on the wrong side of town and there is an honesty with their lyrics that tell tales from the streets that they walk upon and social and economic ideals that are honest and worthy.

 

Whilst it’s still the same loose rock ‘n’ roll vibe happening its clear they are tighter as a unit and the production is a lot sharper on this album compared to previous offerings as well.  Having had their studio taken away by property developers in their part of town and then the fire at Grenfell Tower Taurus and their sense of community came to the fore with a lot of who they are bleeds into what they do and if you’re looking for the sound of West London and Ladbrook Grove then Taurus Trakker are it.

 

I think maybe one thing Mick Jones has been able to get the band to do is shorten the songs and tighten them up and reach a climax rather than jam them out into a lot longer which helps with the impact of the tunes. ‘Vibe On Me’ is a good example of this.  Taurus has always been a band I like to hear what singer Martin is saying and regardless of what he’s saying I’m paying attention God he might be reading out the terms and conditions of his railcard but I want to know about it.

I love the raw energy and spirit of ‘Letter To Elvis’ and its a step or hip shake in the right direction even if the content saddens me because Martins right you know. Its a progression from the last ‘Death Coaching’ album and possibly contains their finest work to date (it is in my opinion anyway)

Their mashing up of the blues with punk rock attitude has them rocking with a unique vibe and songs like ‘To Much Sugar’ demonstrate this perfectly well and the heavy blues of ‘Uncool Jack’ will also underline this theory.  Having said all that if these guys were from New York or Chicago you wouldn’t bat an eyelid and would say how cool their vibes are and their gritty working-class rock n roll is in the moment and catches the spirit of community and Taurus Trakker is the sound of people who are proud of where they come from and where their roots lock them into.  Check out ‘All Shook Up Again In W10’ its got a bunch of great tunes and you’d be a fool to pass up this invitation to check em out.

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A Radio edit of the Joe Strummer and Mick Jones composition ‘U.S. North,’ is being serviced exclusively to radio for the first time as of 14th December through Ignition Records. The full ten-minute version of ‘U.S. North,’ the longest Strummer/Jones song ever recorded, is available on ‘Joe Strummer 001,’ the first compilation to span Joe Strummer’s career outside of his recordings with The Clash.
‘U.S. North’ was originally recorded, but not used in the movie, directed by Robert Frank (‘The Americans’ photographic book) and Rudy Wurlitzer, ’Candy Mountain’.
‘U.S. North’ was recorded at Redan Recorders Studios, just behind Whiteley’s in Queensway West London, in October 1986. Talking in 1987 Joe said: “Mick came forward with an amazing tune. It was funded by Canadian money, the last thing we should have done was call it ‘U.S. North.’” This was a very productive and globe-trotting four months for Joe which saw him re-unite with Mick Jones on 26th June (Mick’s birthday), co-write 5 songs, co-produce (London), mix (New York) the Big Audio Dynamite album ‘No. 10, Upping Street,’ film ‘Straight To Hell’ in Spain and work on the soundtrack to ‘Straight To Hell’ also at Redan Studios.
‘U.S. North’ features – Joe Strummer: Vocals, Guitar, Mick Jones: Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Greg Roberts: Drums, Dan Donovan: Keyboards, Felippe Gonzales: Bongos, Xavier Solano: Agogo and strings by The Radio Futura Philharmonic Orchestra, Madrid.
’Joe Strummer 001’ comprises favourites from Joe’s recordings with the 101ers, The Mescaleros, his solo albums, soundtrack work plus 12 previously unreleased songs including: ‘Czechoslovak Song/Where Is England’ an early demo of ‘This Is England,’ ‘Rose Of Erin’ from the 1993 Sara Driver film ‘When Pigs Fly’ and ‘London Is Burning’ one of the last songs Joe recorded. Reviewed on RPM Here
’Joe Strummer 001’ is available on: Ltd Edition Super Deluxe Box Set with 3 x LP, 7” and 12” Vinyl, Deluxe Double CD and Cassette (IGN53BOX), Deluxe Double CD with A4 Book (IGNCD53X), Double CD (IGNCD53), Heavyweight Vinyl Box Set (IGNLP53X) and Digital download from:Here
The archiving of this material and compiling of ‘Joe Strummer 001’ was overseen by Joe’s widow Lucinda Tait and compilation producer and art director Robert Gordon McHarg III. All tracks were restored and mastered by Grammy Award winner Peter J. Moore at the E. Room in Toronto Canada.