Friday, 6 January 2012

HOT HITS

I think I've only briefly talked about Bowie on here (in a roundabout way here and here) but as it's his 65th birthday this week (on the 8th) I thought it a good opportunity to get this out there. Last month you may remember a minor fuss being made of the long lost Top Of The Pops performance of 'The Jean Genie' from January 1973 being rediscovered and aired on TOTP2 over Christmas. Never a favourite song, but it was a real treat. Having only seen the production stills before and heard a terrible mic-to-the-TV audio version I wasn't hoping for much, but it's a great snapshot of Bowie and The Spiders From Mars living out their Yardbirds fantasies on the show with a fully live 5 minute blues blow out. Even little Trevor Bolder gets a look in. As these things do, it got me thinking. There was a version of 'The Jean Genie' on one of the first records I ever listened to and truly loved - Hot Hits 16 from 1973, featuring sound alike hits of the day way before I heard the original. Here's the cover:
You know the sort of thing. I think these are fascinating glimpses of their era and in their own way an important look at the artists covered, contemporary copycat recordings of songs we know so well now, but these session cats only had a few spins to get them right when they were newly released - check out 'Starman' on here. The singer would've had no idea how berserk the cockney singing could get. The family always had loads lying around - the result of having a dad with not only an eye for a budget price bargain, but also an eye for an under dressed bird in a wetsuit / playing snooker / on the farm / as a biker or whatever the theme of that month was. Oh to be a 70s Dad - the weekly fix of Pan's People and a vast collection of Hot Hits albums in the shed. Anyway, in a burst of nostalgia brought on by the Jean Genie performance on TOTPs I compiled a ~nearly~ complete David Bowie songbook from these albums through the years off my original wax cylinders. Most are from the similar Top Of The Pops series (no relation to the TV show), some are from another set called 12 Tops (Annoyingly, bar 'Rock N Roll Suicide' from April '74's 12 Tops Vol 16 - I bloody lost that back in '05. Anyone got it?).
I present these with the long bootlegged tracks from Hits '67 that some people will have you believe is actually a skint session singing pre-fame Bowie making a buck (Elton John did the same in the same era - boy was he narked when people worked it out). I ripped these from my own copy of the LP so they are in slightly better quality than the bootlegs. I always add 'Penny Lane' to my Bowie 60's compilations for pals primarily to weird them out, but also because I'm a contrary fellow. I'm 98% sure these aren't him but could argue either way. Most of these tracks are long deleted, but I do this as YOU NEED to hear the version of 'TVC15' on here. And '"Heroes"'. They trump the originals if you ask me. What an eye for detail these session cats have! But each track has it's own quirk. You won't believe 'Under Pressure' with the same chap doing both parts. BTW - 'Knock On Wood' follows the Amii Stewart '79 disco cover, not the '74 Bowie live single, and 'Oh! You Pretty Things' follows the frankly (homo) superior Peter Noone cut. Happy birthday Mr Bowie.

I'll let you change the MP3 properties yourself - I forgot to do it myself.

His name was always Buddy

19 tracks STEREO MP3
1 hour APPROX
63MB @ 128kbps