A kick in the head

4:31 pm : Sunday, 30 March 2008  | 

No, it is not a negative blog post. There is a point to that title....

Being as I am, a serious Bee Gees fan, I am aware of the fact that there is a 'lost' album in existence. In 1973, the brothers recorded the follow-up to their album Life In A Tin Can. That album sold very poorly, as did the singles that came off of it. This was when their early success was on the wane. This follow-up album was to be entitled: A Kick In The Head Is Worth Eight In The Pants. However, their record company decided to reject this album on the basis that its quality was poor.

In all honesty, the "Early Bee Gees Sound" had grown tired, despite the occasional hit such as Run To Me. It was time for a new direction, and under the directorship of the legendary soul producer Arif Mardin, they brought us the 1974 album Mr. Natural, which displayed the fresher sound that they sorely needed - and of course led them on to the disco bandwagon, and ultimately the stratospheric success that was Saturday Night Fever.

But what about this album that was rejected? Bootlegs of varying quality have existed for some time, and resources on the web can be largely fruitless. Even downloading a torrent file of this mystery album will leave you frustrated, as you will only end up with a copy that is 84.2% complete.

Yesterday I managed to locate the whole shebang. Talk about happiness! And if you’re really nice, I might be willing to pass something on!

So what is the album like? Pretty much in the style of that "Early Bee Gees Sound", but sounding rather tired in the process, and even a little too adventurous at times. Definitely one for the diehard fan only. The song Rocky LA manages to sound like ELO’s Ma Ma Ma Belle, while It Doesn’t Matter Much To Me reminds of the Isley Brothers' Summer Breeze.

Bee Gees - Rocky LA
Bee Gees - It Doesn’t Matter Much To Me

However the standout song, for me, is their failed 1973 single Wouldn’t I Be Someone. While a little too slow for my liking, it had me in tears on first listen! Lord, I love it!

Bee Gees - Wouldn’t I Be Someone

According to Wikipedia, there is a chance that Rhino Records will decide to finally issue this album by 2010, in accordance with their recent remastering of the first three Bee Gees albums. So let us hope that we will finally be allowed to hear this vaulted album in its full fidelity, though it will remain one for only the open-minded listener. It is quite hard work listening to the album, though that may be due to the suspect quality of the unofficial release.

If you are looking out for that elusive recording, then keep right on searching. Unlike love, rare music does finally turn up!

Flippin' 'eck!

1:09 am : Saturday, 15 March 2008  | 

Yesterday, while on the way home from work, I managed to injure my right foot while on an escalator. The rest of the journey home was performed with a serious limp. Today, I find myself with a big toe the size of a golf ball. Walking is now very painful, and as a result, I have had to take the day off of work. Believe me, I shall not be attempting to go anywhere today. Probably not even to the karaoke tonight.

Do be careful with yourselves. And ride those escalators with great care. And don’t think that those brush-strip-thingies that run the length of an escalator will prevent your foot from being yanked round 180 degrees! They may go some way to bringing a safer ride, but they do not go all the way.

Simply Red

8:32 pm : Monday, 3 March 2008  | 

Despite the recent announcement that Mick was disbanding Simply Red (but wasn't he actually Simply Red?), here's something for his fans to be happy about. Their classic 1991 album Stars has been reissued as a 3 disc collectors edition. And boy is it a gem.

Disc one:
  • The original album
  • Robert Johnson Sessions - 4 acapella songs written by blues singer Robert Johnson
  • Live in Hamburg 1992 - 6 live songs
Disc two:
  • Mixes - 11 B-sides and 12" versions by the likes of Nellee Hooper, PM Dawn, Perfecto and Steve 'Silk' Hurley
Disc three (DVD)
  • Montreux Jazz Festival 1992 - 25 live songs, including the four songs originally featured on the Montreux EP
  • Promo Videos - Original videos for the five singles
My personal favourite moment is For Your Babies (Edition Français). Originally released on the CD single, I believe this was a demo recorded in a French bunker before they offloaded to some luxury studio in Venice.

Buy with confidence.

Rogue software

5:28 pm : Sunday, 2 March 2008  | 

Tonight I visited a friend's house and ended up having to put their computer right. Some of you may be aware of programs such as WinFixer and SpyLocked - programs which are foisted onto your computer, claiming to find security issues, then attempting to pester you into buying the "full version" in order to put things right. Naturally, it's all a pile of sh*t. This seems to be the way of prising money out of people nowadays - frightening people into buying useless software that claims to remove nasties, only to be nasties in themselves.

Tonight I had the honerous task of removing one called VirusHeat. When you find yourself having to pull the plug on the modem and repeatedly boot into 'Safe Mode', then you know you are dealing with something serious. And when you discover that legitimate programs such as Ad-Aware and SpywareBlaster have been removed without your permission, then you know things have got very silly indeed.

Please - if you are going to visit sites of a questionable nature, use an alternative browser like Firefox.

Us sad anoraks do have our uses, you know.