Sunday, November 17, 2013

tape (mostly)

hi there

yes indeedy, more sorting and boxing, thus a few more pictures of things that may be of interest before they are boxed up for a fair bit of time. this time, as you may well have guessed from the title, we are in the world of audio tapes.

the audio tape gets a lot more love than it should, really. they snapped a good deal easier than a record would scratch, and the quality of sound on them really doesn't compare to a CD. but they are still loved, by me and many others.

why? firstly convenience. a walkman was freedom, you could mooch around and listen to tapes for ages on them before you needed a battery change. when portable CD players hit they were clumsy and power eaters. there's also the "mix tape", the greatest gift you could ever give anyone.

anyway, tapes that i found that may be of interest to some, and let's start off with the "audio book" tape phenomenon. have a look at this stash!

yeah, in regards of "duplicate" Clockwork Orange, one is a tape of Anthony Burgess reading the novel, the other is a BBC radio play adaptation. as indeed is that An American Werewolf In London set you can see, and i assure you it's an amazing adapatation.

the above were invested in mostly for flights. planes 15 or so years ago, you see, were utter, utter sh!t in regards of inflight entertainment. the music channels were rubbish, as usually was the film they put on the big screen at the front - no personal screen with thousands of things to choose from to watch back then. these tapes, and usually the latest John Grisham from duty free, made the flight bearable.

oddly, though, one of my fondest memories was a 12 or so hour flight with a 90 minute tape of Tommy and highlights from Live At Leeds by The Who just played on repeat. well, played on just flipping the tape when one side had finished.

onwards, then, to two favourite bands, one of which features here frequently.

i think i bought Liverpool, Frankie Goes To Hollywood's second and often overlooked ace second album, on tape as something of an act of desperation. by that point i already had the vinyl and CD, and the band had split up. i probably bought the tape in the hope that it would somehow magically make the band get back together and record something else. hey ho. nice to have, as it features different artwork on the front from the other two formats. at least that is probably what i told myself as i handed over my monies at HMV.

as it turns out, i will only have given a lot of money to their record label and a little bit to the band, as details of the deal in place have it. which is a shame. odd, then, that the same label should have made such a huge mistake with what is conisdered to be the best, most successful album by The Art Of Noise.

if i recall right what i heard or read, the usual label for The Art Of Noise "forgot" to sign the paperwork for their then most recent album, which is how In Visible Silence came to be released on a different label. it was a huge success to boot. and that can be no surprise, as it's an excellent album. quite frustrating, really, that one cannot find it with any ease on CD, at least not at a decent price.

if we speak of tapes, we cannot leave out the king of all things tapes, can we?

whereas the soundtrack to Twin Peaks is a rather widely known thing, that an actual tape of Agent Dale Cooper's tapes was released is not so well known. the whole thing is Dale speaking to Diane on his tape recorder. some of it is specially recorded in a studio, whilst some is lifted directly from the TV series. it's quite class, is what it is.

and speaking of things that are quite class, tapes and devices like the one Dale Cooper had were used to bootleg gigs. some artists, in particular Bruce Springsteen, used to set aside a section for fans wanting to record the gigs, having no problem with fans trading tapes. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were known to be avid purchasers of bootlegs from Led Zeppelin gigs, saying that the fans always seemed to do a better job of recording them than the paid professionals.

at the other end of the spectrum i just drew there, you get this gem.

Bob, Bob and Vim were a band far ahead of their time, and never got appreciated as much as they should have. you would expect me as lead "vocalist" and, from a certain perspective, "guitarist", to defend the band i suppose, but it happens to be true. an amazing gig that was, with hardly anyone in the audience throwing stuff at us.

is the world ready, 25 or so years later, for a digital remaster and release of this live recording? perhaps. somewhere i have video footage of us in action too, so if i can find it maybe i will make a "mega" release.

i am not sure either of the Bobs from the band wish to be named, but i can tell you that one of them exchanged mix tapes with me frequently. i kept all of them, as far as i am aware, and here is but one of them for your viewing pleasure.

yeah, backwards stuff was the in thing in the 80s, thanks mostly to the one they call Prince.

speaking of Prince, here's one of his biggest albums, along with two unrelated tapes but ones that i love just as much.

i bought Simple Minds' Once Upon A Time at Our Price, as it was, in the Cleveland Centre, Middlesbrough. it was with a voucher for a fiver that someone had kindly given me for my birthday. i could guess who, but i would not want to offend if i guessed wrong. it's a great, great album, one that could have been one of the greatest of all time if only Jim Kerr didn't sulk and order (Don't You) Forget About Me to be removed from it, since he didn't write it.

as for Bootleg, the infamous and seldom heard in full second album from Bad News, Norman Bastard kindly got that one for me. a large amount of this album turned up on a deluxe reissue of the Bad News debut album, but many highlights were missing. the song AIDS, for instance, for some reason did not make it onto the CD. i wonder why not.

as for Prince's "music from and inspired by" Batman album, well, wow. it stands as a proper album in itself, and a reminder of the frenzy which greeted the revived Batman by Tim Burton. getting Prince to do the music was a masterstroke, really. having spent most of the decade establishing himself as a genuine talent, a couple of years before this saw Sign O The Times released. it richly deserved the criticial and commercial success it created, making the world at last have no choice but to take Prince as a serious artist. that no doubt added huge amounts of credibility to the decision to move Batman away from an overt comic book adaptation.

Bowie? Bowie. yes, i have a number of Bowie tapes. here are but three of them for you. well, two and a tin machine one.

i think tin machine was released the same week as Holly Johnson's Blast, and possibly Michael Jackson's Bad. i could be off by a few weeks. no matter, that highlights what amazing music we had thrown at us, week in, week out in the 80s. not like the sh!t now.

why tin machine on tape? because the tape, record and CD covers all had different pictures, with the band members stood in different positions. that's why.

Absolute Beginners and When The Wind Blows are, of course, film soundtracks. David did not feel a need to release songs he had done for films on his own albums, so one had to buy the soundtracks to get them. cheers for that. actually, really, cheers for that - both of these have some great music on them.

what's that, you want more Frankie and Frankie related tapes? OK.

what are the above? any Frankie fan would tell you. the one sans cover is the "international" version of Relax, recorded live on Europe A Go Go. it was given away with the ace Frankie computer game. below that is the cassingle for one of several re-releases of Two Tribes. in the middle are not the celebrated "cassingles" of the band's two biggest singles, but the standard 12" releases put out on tape, for the benefit of the Canadian market, i believe. and then on the end we have Holly's second solo album (i could never find the CD at the time), as well as the Atomic City cassingle.

the cassingle. never as popular as the 7" and not as big as selling as the CD single. a shame, really, as they were often quite funky things to buy and own. as these two show off.

where i could, i did indeed get the 7", 12", CD single and cassingle of favourites. yeah, i am that kind of fan. not big and clever, just fortunate. often the cassingle was the 7" shoved on two sides of a tape, but sometimes you got lucky and had the 12" on it. sometimes you got really lucky, as was the case with the intergalactic cassingle. if i remember right, the CD single was a basic 2 track thing, whilst this cassingle is a four remix epic. a, as they say in the trade, keeper.

as for the Ian Brown one, arguably this is a major highlight from his "on hold" solo career. the return of The Stone Roses is of course a very, very, very, very f*****g good thing, but there's been no new music from them, and thus we have not had any new Ian Brown stuff for ages. hopefully, one way or another, that's fixed in the near future.

sometimes bands opted for "exclusives" on the cassingle format, either a way of forcing fans to buy or making them something worthwhile for fans to have. in respect of the Manics you would hope it is the latter, but as they are signed to Sony you cannot exactly rule out the former. i actually have no idea how i came to own the So Why So Sad cassingle, but it has a decent live version of You Stole The Sun From My Heart on it, so it's a happy no idea, as it were.

i stand to be corrected, but i think the Manics threw out a lot of live recordings on the cassingle format. as a band they are against the idea of a live album, considering it a "cheap cash in". the few official live releases and numerous bootlegs, however, suggest that it would not be quite this.

as for the Class Of 94 tape, that features Archives Of Pain by the Manics from their much celebrated The Holy Bible Album, as well as many, many other fine bands. and Warren G.

that's actually a high quality compilation to have been getting for free, sellotaped to the front of a magazine, that is!

speaking of compilations and mixed tapes, the majority of non-originals have now been binned, alas. mixed tapes i made for the car were class, but i have no real need for them now. some, however, i could not get rid of, and this was very much one of them tapes.

this tape was made off of Norman Bastard's copy of Appetite For Destruction. the last two songs off the album are on side two, as are tracks by the likes of Whitesnake, WASP and Iron Maiden. class tape, that is.

this tape was the soundtrack for a summer. i recall playing it as i smashed up old fruit boxes for kindling, out in the old school yard. no way could i get rid of this tape.

onwards, then, and not strictly a tape, but for the most part music related. sort of. as i was going through where the tapes were stashed i found this.

that's a folder i used at University, after it had been beautified. i am convinced that Gillian either did the purple background for me, or it was one she did for herself and i simply pinched it and beautified away with images of things that i like.

what is all of that? well on the back is a class article from Empire magazine about the rather class idea that the La Scala cinema in London had. their class idea was to show A Clockwork Orange at a time when it was withdrawn from release in England by Warner Bros, at the behest of director Stanley Kubrick.

Warner are known for being fan friendly, but showing this one film was a no-no. Warner Bros cherished their relationship with Kubrick, and not once did they put pressure on him to release the film once again in England, no matter what financial benefits might be on offer. Warner duly knacked La Scala for this.

if i recall right, the legal action taken was of enough force and of a nature to bring about the demise of the cinema. this of course is a great shame, but then again they should not have done what they did.

on the front, well, it's a mishmash of things that were and indeed mostly still are of great importance to me as i make my way throygh the world. David Bowie doing The Lord's Prayer at the Freddie Mercury thing was included not so much for the act itself, but rather for Angie Bowie's priceless reaction to it, the details of which you are free to google.

i have no idea why exactly The Deer Hunter would have featured so strongly, although oddly recently i have had the splendid soundtrack on the stereo a bit. it is not a film that psychologically or emotionally i want to revisit, to be as brutal with the truth as the film is.

anyhow, back to boxes. yes, VHS will probably feature soon.

hope this has been of passing interest to some!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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