Thursday 1st March
Fiona Apple Another shouty American girl, heralded as the next big thing. Her record “The Pawn…” achieved notoriety for having the longest record title (it was a long poem) is okay, but except for one quality song “Get Gone” it really failed to inspire me. It is probably just me, but most new music after the mid-nineties leaves me a bit cold. But, I still keep trying (well, less so of late), hoping that someone will come up with both something new, and relevant and which moves me. Maybe we all suffer from the Music of our younger years, when it meant so much more to us, casting a shadow over everything else we listen to. I am one of those hopeless cases who has an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of Sixties and Seventies music, but when young girls and boys sing songs on The Voice or X Factor, I have no knowledge of the song they are singing (from this Century) and sometimes haven’t even heard of the Artist they are emulating. Oh Well…
Arcade Fire Another 21st Century Artist, or band – Arcade Fire. I only have the one record ‘Funeral’ and it is really rather good. But maybe I am just getting tired of bands -but although these are certainly different and have their own distinctive sound I have not felt moved to buy anything else by them. I am simply spending too much time (and money) filling in the gaps and wading through 8 disc box-sets of too many old favourites. Anyway, this record is rather good, if a touch on the repetitive side. None of the songs really stand out from the rest, and the voice of French Canadian, Win Butler is a bit desperate sounding. They seem to have a loyal following though, and I wish them well.
Argent When the Zombies split up, (although they stayed close enough to often play on each other’s records) Rod Argent, the keyboard player and writer of many of their songs formed Argent. Vocal duties were by Russ Ballard, who was in Unit 4 + 2, and who, along with Rod wrote most of the band’s songs. They formed in 1969 and had split by 1975. This was far more common in the Sixties and Seventies – bands came and went, and so did their members. I used to have a lovely chart which hung in my loo, a family tree of many of the Sixties bands and how people moved around forming sometimes short-lived new bands. Anyway I bought a couple of Argent records from second hand shops. They were quite good, but by no means really exceptional. I now have their Greatest Hits CD. I used to be quite snobbish about these compilations, but actually sometimes all you really need is a Greatest Hits album. Best songs are, of course, “God Gave Rock and Roll to You” and “Hold Your Head Up”. The rest of the record is very pleasant too. Rod Argent had a short solo career and of late has reformed The Zombies, making albums with Colin Blunstone (see B), and live they always play the two big Argent hits too.