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Archive for September, 2012

☞ The End

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Well folks, as the title implies this here’s the end.
It pains me to no great measure to have to retire Versions Galore my little glorified hobby, but ‘the man’ has made it fairly untenable by, yet again, yanking all my links.
The prospect of finding yet another new storage service is rather moot too, as some seem to relish playing cat and mouse as a fulltime job.
For the mouse however, it’s become beyond irritating and it’s time to move on.
A big tearful thanks to all my regular followers; Pauline, Iha, Ste, Stella, Jonder, Marco and others (sorry if I’ve forgotten you) and to everyone else that dropped by.

Thanks for a fun filled 4 years…
Leopold Stotch

PS For those that liked reading my rambling(or just enjoyed the pretty pictures) I’ll leave the site up for a little while, ditto for those in Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub

Flashback Friday:Pretty Fly

Friday, September 21st, 2012

It’s Flashback Friday time again. So today we’re setting the Versions wayback machine for, well, really only about a year ago, when we ran a rather fat post on Human Fly by late great psychobilly pioneers The Cramps (and where I also rambled on at length about the importance of a good T-shirt). So here’s a few new cuts, a few we missed and a few I was finally able to get my little black gloves on.
Right off the bat was one I believe came shortly after the original post, a great dirty lo-fi garage version by Hanni El Khatib (on Jamie Strong’s also ridiculously great and somewhat new-ish label Innovative Leisure). Next are two cute, 1-woman, minimal experimental renditions from France; one by the  hotness that is Drunken C & Madame B, the other from mysterious Homme Jasmin. Also getting weird is Germany’s Sankt Otten, who put their collection of vintage analog synths to good use. And lastly is Japanese Cramps tribute act Tokyo Cramps. All in all a fairly straightforward Cramps cover but with the added charm of hearing them sing ‘I’m a Humanu Fu-rye!’.

Hanni El Khatib – Human Fly
Drunken C & Madame B – Human Fly
Homme Jasmin – Human Fly
Sankt Otten – Human Fly
Tokyo Cramps – Human Fly

Check out the original post here… 


PS Reborn maggots of Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fan Club who missed out on the original the first time round, back on the wall it goes…


Flower Child

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

Most folks tend to know Minnie Riperton via her octave breaching signature 70s hit Loving You, and for giving us doe-eyed funny girl Maya Rudolph (her daughter with composer and husband Richard Rudolph) . However any rare groove merchant worth his or her dusty fingers will tell you it ends far far from there. Riperton started her career singing backup for her childhood idols (Check Berry, Ramsey Lewis, Etta James) before joining hippie soul collective Rotary Connection. From there it was upwards to her solo career as a staple 70s folk soul singer. Lurking behind the shadow of Loving You are a handful of solid albums and whose tracks have not gone unoticed, nor unsampled, by hip hop artists like Tribe Called Quest, Dr. Dre, Cut Chemist etc., the list is ever growing.
For those that just want to enjoy some beautiful urban folk, my money’s has always been on Riperton’s Les Fleur. A simple yet epic ode to a flower, it’s where the sound of 60s idealism collides with 70s soul, wrapped up in in a whirlwind of psychedelic orchestration. All that desererved hyperbole aside, Loving You can kiss it’s ass.
I’m kind of giddy for this sunday morning post as we got a handful of stellar Les FLeur interpretations from some of my personal favorites. Keeping that grandiose sounding funk intact are broken beat/phuture jazz pioneers 4 Hero, who have made a career of  taking their Rotary Connection influence off their sleeve and rewiring it. Next is the UK duo Chungking, whose easy on the eyes lead singer Jessie Banks practically coos her lush downtempo version into your left ear. Also really digging The Decoders take. The Decoders, known for providing arrangements for peeps like TV on The Radio and Quantic, change things up with a quality, smooth skanking reggae version with male vocalist, and MuthaWit Orchestra founder, Boston Fielder. And lastly is jazz great Ramsey Lewis. Technically the original composer of Les Fleur (along with Richard Rudolph) we have his original 1968 instrumental and later, smoother 1983 remake (not my cup of tea but definitely one for the completists)

4 hero – Les Fleur
Chungking – Les Fleur
The Decoders (feat. Boston Fielder) – Les Fleur

Ramsey Lewis – Les Fleur (1968 Maiden Voyage version)
Ramsey Lewis – Les Fleur (1983 version)


PS Flower children of Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fan Club, original Fleur and a nice little re-edit on the wall for ya…



You Blockhead!

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

During it’s fetid late 70s heyday the US may have had mutant disco masterminds like James Chance or Cristina, but the UK had it’s own homegrown funk punk, the late Ian Dury and The Blockheads. The man himself was a triumph of adversity. Contracting polio from a swimming pool at the age of 7, Ian was left crippled. He was then relegated to a bleak British disability hospital but rather than marinate in self pity, his condition and environment would toughen him up. Something of a whiz in high school he would dropout early (with high marks) to go into art school. From there he went on to be an illustrator for UK Sunday Times as well as being a part time art teacher.
Not really satisfied with that life either he eventually found his calling in the tried and true panacea of “sex & drugs & rock & roll“. After various fits and starts during the early 70s Dury found purchase, as Ian Dury and the Blockheads, in the burgeoning punk scene. However unlike his 3 chord colleagues, Dury drew from the influences of his bandmates (including the incandescent Chaz Jenkel, watch for a future VG post) taking punks’s snarling energy and attitude and infusing it with disco, jazz, reggae, whatever he could grab hold to to come up with something unique. All packaged up in fancy Barney Bubbles designed sleeves, musical results included UK hits like Spasticus Autisticus, Reasons To Be Cheerful and today’s cover canapé, Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick. Kept at bay in a #2 slot by the Village Peoples’ YMCA, it would eventually squeak past to become a #1 in January 1979. While Ian kept himself busy for 20 plus years with a steady diet of making music, touring as well as acting ( with bit parts in The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, the original Judge Dredd and others) he would eventually succumb to cancer in 2000. On that note if you haven’t had a chance see the Ian Dury biopic Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll with one of my fave character actors Andy Serkis (AKA Golem AKA King Kong AKA Caesar from Planet of the Apes AKA John D’Auban), throw it to the top of your Netflix queue.
Ian Dury’s legacy lives on, not in the least of which is musical tributes.
Today we got not one, but two ,female leads taking control of Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick.
Fiirst is Telonious (from infallibale Gomma imprint) with and electro-disco cover and hot on the high heels is a fun lounge-y version courtesy of Brazil’s answer to Nouvelle Vague, Pastel Vespa.

Telonius – Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick
Pastel Vespa – Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick


PS Blockheads of Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fan Club, got orginal and a re-edit on the wall for ya…


Saturday, September 8th, 2012

As the title implies, I’ve been buried alive, under deadlines. Surfacing however for a quick post. Two covers of soulful yet enigmatic UK dubstep proudcer (the good kind) William Bevan AKA Burial. One oh-so-hot genre shakes hands with another with, ironically misnomed, Banjo Or Freakout‘s neo-shoegaze version. And the other, a haunting rendition by Canadian deathfolk (look I just coined a genre!) artists Ghostly Graves.

Banjo or Freakout – Archangel
Ghostly Graves – Archangel


PS Fallen angels of Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanpage, orginal is on the wall for ya…

Strong Arm Steady

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

“Like a bird,
on the wing
I just wanna be free enough to do my thing”

Some days are headphone days. Headphones and a good walk. Actually make that walk a full blown head bobbing, bicep curling strut. And music to strut to today; Hercules by Aaron Neville. Hercules actually puts the ‘rare’ in rare groove as the original pressings of this 1973 funk 45 were all but impossible to find. Pressed on sub-standard styrene rather than vinyl, copies would sonically disentegrate only after a few plays, making it (at least until it’s re-issue) something of a holy grail for beat merchants. Funk fanatics also take note; backing band putting the groove in Aaron’s urban hymn is none other than The Meters. Easy to see why, with all those ingredients, that Hercules is also venerated sample fodder amongst the hip hop set.
Paying homage today is the Franco-Jamaican-soul sounds of Blundetto (with enlisted help from cover king Shawn Lee). They’re always esteemed around these parts, so I’m leading with their slow and low cover. There is also Boz Scaggs’, (yes that BOZ SCAGGS, don’t hate.) version making the #2 slot with an epic sounding cut. Broken Beat/Phuture Jazz auteur Alex Attias under his Beatless moniker also gets slow with his faithful downtempo take. And last, but far far from least, is go-to percussionist Mike Dillion (AKA Mike Dillon’s Go-Go Jungle) who rolls out the vibraphone for his spacey yet soulful undertaking.

Blundetto (with Hugh Coltman & Shawn Lee) – Hercules
Boz Scaggs – Hercules
Beatless – Hercules
Mike Dillon’s Go-Go Jungle – Hercules


PS Lucky strongmen (and women) of Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub, got original and bonus beats waiting for you on the wall….

Going Viral

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

Got another left of the dial 80s classic today, Infected by The The. Taken from the eponymous album, Infected saw The The’s Matt Johnson taking his earlier penchant for pop, and lyrical angst during his Burning Blue Soul and Soul Mining years, and using it to file his teeth into something darker. Though the idea of concept albums were almost a decade dead and buried at that point Infected‘s disparate yet extremely cohesive tracks about lust, war and “America” (as an ominous entity. A big thing during the 80s.) was about as close to any post punk/new wave idea of a King Crimson double gatefold as you’d likely get. Blowing open the doors of that album was the first and title track, Infected, a loud, shouty , energetic affair that left no doubt that this was Matt 3.0.
Surprisingly The The got big but never massive, despite the successes of his duet alums like Neneh Cherry and Sinead O’Connor. However seeing Johnny Marr jump ship from The Smiths into Johnson’s entourage (for Mind Bomb) pretty much speaks volumes about musical reputation and respect.
Which leaves us with today’s lone, but brilliant, cover by David Shaw and The Beat. Shaw’s soulful electro-disco version manages to slow down Infected‘s tempo without out losing a shrapnel of it’s original infectious vitality. Easy to see why this guy has a shelf of accolades from the likes Black Strobe, Shit Robot and Optimo and other electro-crats.

David Shaw and The Beat – Infected


PS For those in Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub who didn’t catch it the first time around, original Infected is on the wall. Expose yourself.