John Peel's Record Box, part 3: Bill Oddie to Cat Power

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Another re-jigged instalment from John Peel's Record Box, complete with clips. Four rare and varied choices this time, I'm sure you will agree.

10. Bill Oddie - Harry krishna + on ilkla moor baht'at (DANDELION) 1970


A few firsts here - the first comedy record in the list, the first on Peel's own Dandelion records and the first to feature John Peel himself - on 'tapes, reels and vocal'!
The excellent site www.goodiesruleok.com has all the info you need. This is from it...

For those unfamiliar with the single, it's one of Bill's 1960's comedy releases. This one was released on John Peel's record label (Dandelion). The traditional song is done in the style of Joe Cocker's "With A Little Help From My Friends". Surprisingly, whoever compiled the recent media reports failed to notice that Peel is listed in the credits on the B side (a song called "Harry Krishna") - he's credited with "tape, reels, and vocal". I've put a scan of both sides of the single on my Goodies Illustrated Guide website (it can be seen about halfway down the page at http://mysite.verizon.net/vze7yes3/illustratedguides/id7.html).

Incidentally, those scans mentioned also show up that the 'technical consultant' was Sheila Gilhooly, John's future wife!
As for the record, it's a fairly daft run through of the Hare Krishna chant including some names of the day like "Harry Secombe" and "Harry Corbett, sweep and sooty". This would probably run up against the wrath of music publishers and those policing religious offence laws, but this is a reminder of a time when entertainment was altogether more innocent. The version of 'Ilkla Moor' is indeed in the style of Joe Cocker, and features Henry McCullough of Wings and Jim Capadi of Traffic (and many other bands).
Parochial note: I've just realised that Henry's contribution makes this the first record of the list to feature someone from Northern Ireland!

11. Boards of Canada - Aquarius + Chinook (SKAM) 1998


'Music Has The Right to Children'. The Boards were one of the acts I got into through the John Peel show, and this is their first release I think. 'Aquarius' is on the album of course, but this Ep release backed with 'Chinook' was limited to 500 copies so it's hard to find now.
If you aren't familiar with their music they are a Scottish duo who play chilled-out electronica. A bit spacey, trippy and sometimes funky. The album always evokes memories of 70's informational films. 'Aquarius' is one of the most beautiful pieces, lovely sweeping harmonies and a subdued funky beat, complete children laughing, someone counting and someone saying "Orange" over and over. Very hypnotic, as is the rarer 'Chinook' which is built around syncopated rhythms and layed with an atmospheric drone, just like the helicopter sound with a melody line added.
The longest tunes so far and the first real departure from standard pop formats, this is genuinely refreshing.

12. Bobby Lee Trammell - If you ever get it once + Don't you know I love you (ALLEY RECORDS) 1966


Another act a bit before my time I'm afraid. Lots of info on Bobby Lee on this site (scroll down). This is a relatively late release from him as he had been around since 1958, and this is dated as 1966 or later. This is standard uptempo rockabilly with a more romantic bside. He became a member of the Arkansas house of representatives in the 90s!

13. Cat Power - Headlights + Darling said sir (THE MAKING OF AMERICANS) 1995


I think this is Chan Marshall's first recording, please correct me if I'm wrong! It's bleaker and more droning than what she does now and reminds me a lot of early Smog. 'Headlights' is on the first album 'Dear Sir' and is relatively easy to find. 'Darling Said Sir' is only available on the 7" and is the tale of an abusive relationship accompanied by droning Sonic Youth style guitars and a solitary drum. I hadn't heard it until I went on a search for this material and it is quite stunning to be left as a Bside for so long.

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