Archive for the ‘B-sides’ Category

One Part Funk and Three Parts Groovy

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

My computer, which had served me well for many years and across two continents, kicked the bucket a few weeks back. And it was rather sudden, so I had to move fast in choosing a replacement. I think I got a good one though, a beast of a machine from a local gaming PC shop called G-Tune. It plays games super great, audio editing is faster than ever, and it’s by far the quietest PC I’ve ever had. I love it.

But it really can’t play music all that well.

Although I suppose that’s really not the computer’s fault. In this situation, iTunes is entirely to blame. On my old PC, I never updated iTunes, I think I was rocking a three or four-year-old version of the program. And it was a slog and slow as hell and had all kinds of problems, but it played music well, and that was kind of the point.

On my new machine, with the newest version of iTunes, music sounds like shit. If I have just a handful of applications running, it starts to pop and crackle, almost non-stop. And I’ve tried mucking about with various settings, both in Windows and in iTunes, all to no avail.

So I thought I would try some alternative programs. The first one that I gave a try was MusicBee. I had heard good things, and it was supposed to be easy to use. And it was at first, but how that programs handles rips (or any new files in my library for that matter) is just atrocious. Simply put, they don’t seem to show up, at least, not in a matter that I would deem punctual. I add an album and have to wait several minutes for all the songs to propagate in my library. And when I would play new songs the song order would get all wonky for no damn reason. Every problem I had with the program just seemed nonsensical and beyond hope. Fuck it.

Now I’m trying MediaMonkey. Allegedly, this program is made special to handle super-large media libraries. In my experience so far, that hasn’t been the case. Constant hangups and lag whenever I try to sort anything. And searching my library often creates delays as well. The interface is just a clusterfuck. So hard to make your way around anything.

Can anyone out there recommend a media manager/music player that just fucking works? One that makes adding new media easy. One that can rip CDs. One that allows me to make playlists and gives me plenty of sorting options. I don’t even care if I have to pay for it. I have no problems paying for a program that works!

Suggestions would be welcome, thanks.

Sheila E.
Glamorous Life Medley
This is from a German 12″ single and includes truncated versions of “The Glamorous Life,” ‘Sister Fate” and “A Love Bizarre.” Medleys are sometimes good, it’s like getting a concentrated version of your favorite artist. And any excuse for me to post more Sheila E. is a good thing.

Pizzicato Five
The Audrey Hepburn Complex (Extended Stanley Donen Mix)
The 59th Street Bridge Song – Feelin’ Groovy (Club Mix – Night Owl)
Let’s Go Away For Awhile (Club Mix – Cafe Bizarre)
I haven’t talked about Pizzicato Five much, I think I’ve only written about them once on this blog. Truth be told, I don’t know all that much about them. They were kinda-sorta a little popular in the States for a brief period in the 90s, but they’ve actually been around much longer than that. They’re almost contemporaneous with YMO, with their first releases coming out in the mid-80s.

This is actually their very first single, and it really sounds ahead of its time, in an entirely retro kind of way. I mean, it’s ahead of its time in what it’s references, that mainly being music from the 60s and 70s. They were definitely throwing back to that retro sound before it was cool. Their jazzy club sound is certainly more reminiscent of acts from the 90s, with Saint Etienne being the most obvious comparison.

This shit is groovy, that’s what it is. Makes sense, as the Shibuya-Kei scene from which they came was heavily influenced by 60s and 70s pop music (I mean, one of these tracks is a Simon & Garfunkel cover after all). PIzzicato Five own some Leslie Gore albums I know it.

Rain with Beck

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

I wasn’t washed away in the typhoon last week, so I guess I got that going for me. Funnily enough, I actually got to work early, with every single train running perfectly on time somehow. Of course, once I got there, my sole student for the day canceled and I just had to head back home.

Doubly of course, that’s when all the trains decided to shit the bed and leave me stranded halfway between my work and my home for half an hour.

Who could’ve predicted that? Oh yeah, that’s right – me. I predicted that.

I’d like to say that “making your employee trudge to work in a motherfucking typhoon for a customer who surely won’t come” is a specifically Japanese business trait, but we all know that fucking over the working man is an international tradition.

Mixed Bizness (Cornelius remix)
Mixed Bizness (Nu Wave Dreamix by Les Rythmes Digitales)
Mixed Bizness (DJ Me DJ You)
Mixed Bizness (Dirty Bixin Mixness Remix by Bix Pender)
Dirty Dirty
Saxx Laws (Night Flight to Ojai)

I posted a lot of these tracks before, eons ago and on a substandard vinyl ripping setup. These versions are taken from a CD-single I bought last week. So if you happen to have to old versions I shared back in 2011 and 2012, respectively, you’re gonna wanna download these regardless.

Beck is coming to Tokyo next month, but I will be skipping that show. I’m sure his new album is fine, I think it’s gotten good reviews, but I just don’t care. Until he announces a Midnite Vultures anniversary show where he plays that album from start to finish, count me out.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and again and again), Midnite Vultures is Beck’s best work ever. Neo-funk classic. Sea Change? Fuck that shit. That’s mopey sad bastard bullshit for mopey sad bastards.

The Klaxons
Golden Skans (Sebastian Remix)
Golden Skans (Surkin Remix)
Golden Skans (Erol Ekstra Special Remix)
One day I am going to buy another album by this group I mean it. Judging on how quickly I’ve moved on these impulses in the past, I suspect “one day” will come by approximately 2028. Give or take.

I’ll Go To Work By Dolphin

Saturday, October 21st, 2017

I get to go to work tomorrow in a typhoon. How’s your weekend?

Gary Numan
We Need It
These tracks were on CD at some point, they were included on the re-issue of Numan’s 1985 album The Fury. But that re-issue has been out-of-print for over 15 years at this point, and the tracks aren’t online in any capacity where you can actually buy them, so fuck it.

I don’t own The Fury, the common narrative regarding Numan is that you should best avoid anything he put out from 1983 to 1993, but I do enjoy these tunes. Very darkwave minimal stuff with Numan’s trademark moan working well to tie it all together. And the vinyl I ripped them from is bright neon orange! See?


St. Vincent
Power Corrupts (政権腐敗)
This one might get me a cease and desist but fuck it. Can anyone outside of Japan buy it? No.

This is the Japanese bonus track to St. Vincent’s newest album, the excellent MASSEDUCTION. It’s a re-working of the the title track, that features new vocals by Toko Yasuda, whose been in a few bands over the years. It’s a pretty radical reworking, with Yasuda’s vocals at the forefront. The only vocals by St. Vincent that remain are in the chorus.

Like I said, MASSEDUCTION is a great album and further proof that St. Vincent is a dope as fuck. Pick it up if you can, and even if you hate this track, give other songs from the a chance, this one really isn’t representative of the album as a whole.

Les Daylight
Tango For Cats
I almost posted this full album, don’t fucking tempt me.

I have no idea what this is, by the way. But I did pay $20 for the vinyl. So I got that going for me, which is nice.

Japanese Jazz-Funk-Fusion for Hangovers

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

I’m wicked hungover and have to be at work in three hours. Let’s chill out.

Yukata Mogi
Die Deustche Ideologie
Flight Information
Near Miss
Telstar (Single Edit)
Yukata Mogi was a keyboardist for the Japanese progressive rock band Yonin Bayashi, who released several albums in the 70s and into the 80s. They’re really good. I highly recommend their 1974 album Ishoku-Sokuhatsu, as well as Neo-N, which came out in 1979. That one is actually my favorite of theirs that I’ve heard so far, due to its combination of prog-rock and new wave. And I don’t mean Yes “Owner Of A Lonely Heart” new wave, this album is much more aggressive. I suspect it was influenced by Ryuichi Sakamoto’s 1,000 Knives and other experimental stuff from the time.  It even has a bit of a Philip Glass vibe. These dudes should’ve collaborated with Polyrock.

Mogi is the keyboardist on that album. I believe it was his only collaboration with the group. I dug the record so much, especially his work on it, that I tracked down his 1980 solo record Flight Information, hoping for more of the same.

The album, it turns out, is nothing like Neo-N, and is a much more laid-back and jazzy affair. Not all of it is my cup of tea, but I do dig a few of the songs, which are the ones I’m sharing today.

Also up there is his cover of The Tornados’ “Telstar.” This song is on Flight Information, but that version segues into another track. However, the song was also released as the b-side to to the single “Sky-Love.” For that release, a different mix was created with a modified ending, allowing for it to be played on its own. That’s the version I’m including here.

I think that Mogi passed away a few years back, and sadly his discography is rather sparse. He released a covers album in the late 70s that includes a radical cover of “Magical Mystery Tour.” If I can track down that bad boy I’ll share it here for sure.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to drink all the tea and take a 30 minute shower.

Continuing to fret over the remote possibility of nuclear war with help from The KLF

Friday, July 7th, 2017

Every time I buy one of these North Korea launches a missile. I’m sorry.

What Time Is Love? (live at Trancentral/7″ radio edit)
What Time Is Love? (The KLF vs. The Moody Boys)
What Time Is Love? (The 1988 Pure Trance original)
3 A.M. Eternal (live at the S.S.L./7″ Radio Freedom edit)
3 A.M. Eternal (Guns of Mu Mu/12″ edit)
3 A.M. Eternal (1989 “Break for Love” mix/original Pure Trance mix)
Last Train to Trancentral (live From the Lost Continent/7″ radio edit)
Last Train to Trancentral (The Iron Horse/12″ version)
Last Train to Trancentral (The White Room version/import LP version)
Last Train to Trancentral (The 1989 Pure Trance original)

I’m writing this post before I even finish listening to the box set because it’s not like I’m going to hear one of these tracks, dislike it, and then decide not to share it. More epic KLF.

I don’t have much to say about these tracks (because they’re great and you should listen to them) so I thought I would use this space to plug the store that I bought the box set from. It’s called Shop Mecano and it’s located inside the Nakano Broadway shopping mall in Nakano. If you like my blog then you’d probably go apeshit in this shop, it’s dedicated almost entirely to electronic and new wave music from the late 70s to today, with a heavy bias towards anything influenced by Kraftwerk. The dude who runs this shop loves Kraftwerk more than you love Kraftwerk. For real. I’m pretty sure he actually wrote the liner notes for the Japanese re-issues of Kraftwerk’s back catalog a few years back. Dude is hardcore.

This store has all kinds of amazing stuff, from rare and hard-to-find imports of releases from western acts like Art Of Noise and Depeche Mode, to what seems like an endless supply of YMO and YMO-related music. This store is straight-up dangerous to my wallet, I’ve probably spent more here than I have at any other store in the greater Tokyo area. It gets the Lost Turntable seal of approval to the max. I’m not saying you should make your way to Tokyo just to go to this store, but if you made your way to Tokyo just to go to this store I certainly wouldn’t judge you for doing so.

And in case you’re wondering, you can find part II of this set here.

My Name is Prince! And I’m Jazz Fusion!

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Really quick, I wrote about (and shared) a hella stupid sex record on my other blog. Check it out if you like worthless cultural ephemera from the 1970s.

Also, in absolutely horrible news, Michiyuki Kawashima, the lead singer of Boom Boom Satellites, has passed away. He was 47 years old and leaves behind a wife and two children. His music touched me in a way that little else has. I already wrote two soliloquies on his band back when they had to call it quits due to his condition, one here and one at Mostly-Retro, and I feel that if I wrote more I’d just be repeating myself. I’ll just say that he’ll be missed, his music was a gift to this planet, and I hope you get the pleasure to hear it if you have the chance.

Moving on.

Some big music geek news this week, Warner Bros. announced that they were going to “open the Prince vault” and for a new release.

When I saw headlines for this, I was stoked. What were they going to include? Lost Camille tracks? Cuts from the original Dream Factory sessions? The Undertaker album? Any tracks from the numerous live albums that Prince recorded and never released?

Nah, instead they cobbled together another greatest hits compilation and stuck one unreleased track on it. Because in a world that has The Hits 1, The Hits 2, The Very Best of Prince and Ultimate Prince, what we really needed was another damn greatest hits album.

I get that they wanted to put something together for the holiday shopping season. I mean, it’s crass, unnecessary and kind of insulting, but I get it. But did they have to be so damn lazy about it? If they didn’t want to go through the bother of digging through unreleased material, the least they could’ve done is thrown in some more out-of-print B-sides or remixes to tide over the die-hards. A disc of “the hits” and a disc of rare tracks seems like it would’ve been a best of both worlds. We already have two, 2-disc Prince compilations. We don’t need a third.

We need funky jazz instead!

10 (The Perfect Mix)
(The Perfect) 10
Ten And A Half
6 (End Of The World Mix)
6 And A Half
As I said when I first wrote about Madhouse back in 2013, this group is one of three Prince associate acts that was more-or-less just Prince, the others being The Family and Mazarati. Unlike those acts though, which are very much pop groups, Madhouse was jazz fusion/funk. As such, and with Prince’s involvement in them not made obvious on the album jackets, no one bought them.

That includes me, I’ve never heard a Madhouse album proper. All I have are these two singles, which feature a handful of album tracks from the first album, a few remixes, and a couple b-sides (the “half” tracks). Madhouse tracks didn’t have names, just numbers, by the way.

While a lot of (deserved) attention has been placed on the unreleased Prince stuff out there, like I wrote back when Prince first passed away, I really wish Warner Bros. would get their shit together and put stuff like this back in print too. A best-case scenario would be some kind of Madhouse box set that includes both their albums, the b-sides and singles, and both versions of the unreleased third album, 24. However, I’d be happy with just the original albums back in print. So would a lot of other people, I assume.

Fucking Warner Bros., no wonder they drove Prince crazy.

Purple Pain

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

Fuck this year.

As I’ve commented on this site many a time, I’m a pretty lousy Prince fan. I only have Purple Rain, the three-disc edition of Hits, and a few of his newer albums. I don’t own 1999, Sign ‘O’ The Times, Lovesexy, Parade, Come and so on. I’ve often mentioned my desire to fill this rather egregious gap in my record collection, and I think now I might finally get around to it.

That being said, I own a shitload of Prince singles, both on CD and vinyl, and many of them are among my most prized musical possessions. Sometimes I just need nearly half an hour of “My Name Is Prince” remixes, and thankfully I can indulge in such ridiculousness.

I just wish more people could.

When Bowie passed away, I shared a few of his rare tunes here, and I was happy that doing so such was a chore. The overwhelming majority of Bowie’s discography is not only in-print, but incredibly easy to get in pretty much every format available. Most of his single-only tracks have been collected in one form or another, and his rarer B-sides and remixes have made their way to digital storefronts or in box sets. You want to hear the Mandarin version of “Seven Years In Tibet?” Yo, you’re covered.

But if you want to hear the 12″ remix of “My Name Is Prince,” you’re out of luck. Ditto if you want to hear the beautiful 10 minute versions of “Mountains” or “I Would Die 4 U,” countless remixes of “Gett Off” or filthy rarities like “Lubricated Lady.”

It’s hard to say what will happen with Prince’s back catalog now that he’s passed away, we’ll have to wait and see. But I hope in the years to come that Prince’s vast army of released material will get a proper remastering and re-release campaign, all of his music, even the eight minute Purple Pump remix of “Gett Off,” for example, deserves to be heard.

Let’s hope they crack open that legendary vault too.

And someone put that album by The Family back in print for fuck’s sake.

Erotic City (Full Length Version)
Let’s Go Crazy (Extended Remix)
In the massive pantheon of out-of-print Prince classics, these to spectacular remixes are probably some of the best. I can’t believe you can’t buy them today.

I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised by that fact though, as they seemed to have barely been in print in the first place. Both the extended remix of “Let’s Go Crazy” and the full uncut version of “Erotic City” first appeared on a 12″ single in 1984 at the height of Purple Rain mania. In the years that followed, that single was only reprinted on CD once, in 1990, but that hard-to-find European release excised the uncut version of “Erotic City” and instead only included the album version of “Take Me With You” as a B-side.

“Erotic City” has made its way to a few other releases over the years, but always in some sort of abbreviated form. The full version that first appeared on that 1984 12″ single is over seven minutes in length. The version that is included on the Hits compilation is only a little over half that, clocking in at an all-too-brief four minutes. That’s three minutes of funk stripped away from people who need to hear it.

It’s a damn shame because, and yes I know that my Prince knowledge is criminally lacking, I think that the full uncut version “Erotic City’ is one of Prince’s best tunes. A sparse, ferociously sexy electronic funk jam that sounds just as sexy now as it did over 30 damn years ago.

Like I said, I have a ton of Prince singles, and I may share more in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, many of them aren’t in the best shape, so I need to do some sorting first. Until then, enjoy this small offering and remember Prince in all his purple majesty.

And then buy HitnRun Phase One and Two, and Plectrumelectrum. Critics destroyed that album when it came out, but they were crazy. Even after I absorb the rest of Prince’s discography I imagine that one would still make my top 10 list. It’s raw as fuck and completely in your face. It has a song that compares a threesome to a pretzel. And it works.

Because Prince could even make pretzels sexy.

Note: The “Let’s Go Crazy” mix was removed as you can buy that on the Prince compilation Ultimate.

Remixes from Needless Purchases

Friday, April 15th, 2016

Thanks for all the kind messages celebrating my 10th anniversary, means a lot to me.

Now, onto new and (hopefully) bigger things. It’s been a busy year for me so far. I got a big update to my guide to Tokyo record stores in the works, and I should have another piece of YMO up sometime relatively soon, hopefully by the end of the month. In the meantime, I recently wrote a piece over on my other blog about the insanity of Robot Restaurant which I hope you’ll find fun and entertaining. I also wrote a piece on the current state of gaming, which I hope you’ll find soul-crushingly depressing.

Sorry. Here’s some pop music to cheer you up.

Yellow Magic Orchestra
Haruomi Hosono Special Message
Rydeen (Live 2-6-80 Yoru No Hit Studio)
I have what I would consider to be a rather expansive YMO collection. I have every proper album on CD, as well as more than a fair share of compilations, remix albums, singles and other miscellany. I also own several of their albums on vinyl, some multiple times over. For example, in America I have the regular black LP edition of Service, but here in Japan I have a copy on translucent yellow vinyl. I also have every re-issue that Music On Vinyl have put out to date.

However, that didn’t stop me from buying this.


That massive box is the YMO LP Box set, a huge 13 LP box set that includes every YMO album proper that was released on vinyl, including both the Japanese and American versions of their self-titled debut and ×∞Multiplies.

I got it for a pretty good deal, less than $100, which is how I justified buying it despite owning nearly everything on it on CD and LP already. It was nice to buy and fill in the remaining holes in my YMO vinyl collection.

To my surprise, when I got home I discovered that it had a bonus record, a bonus record that is literally titled “Bonus.” See?



What’s the bonus? Well, sadly it’s not much. Most of the record is an interview with Haroumi Hosono. I’d love to offer you a complete transcript of what he’s saying, but my Japanese is garbage, and my boyfriend has better things to do than feed my unhealthy obsession with YMO and translate it for me.

The real treat, however, is this exclusive version of “Rydeen.” From what I read online, it’s apparently a live version that was performed on a Japanese TV show, although to me it sounds more like a remix. Regardless, it’s a pretty radical version, deviating from the original in some subtle, but great ways, such as a slightly more analog-sounding synth and a more pronounced sequencer rhythm. The guitar work is a bit more noticeable too. All in all, it’s a stellar version, and while I wouldn’t go as far to say it was worth the money I paid for the box set, it sure as hell was a pretty nice bonus, so I guess that 13th LP was named properly.

Filter & The Crystal Method
(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do (Danny Saber Remix)
(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do [Instrumental]
This is the second-best Filter song. The first is obviously “Hey Man Nice Shot.”

There is no third-best Filter song as Filter is not a very good band.

I got this off of a strange EP called Spawn The Album 2nd. Obviously a sequel to the fantastic Spawn soundtrack, it also included a remix of Marilyn Manson’s “Long Hard Road Out Of Hell” and a track by Apollo 440 and Morphine that was probably cut off of the original soundtrack because it’s not very good. I’ll probably share these soon though, so all your Apollo 400 and Morphine completists (I assume those groups don’t overlap all that much) take note!

10 Years Of Being Lost: Gone But Forgotten

Monday, March 7th, 2016

When I started Lost Turntable my goal was to shed light on lost music, but I was primarily concerned about lost songs by well-established bands.  But over the years some of the most fun I’ve had writing has been when I’ve covered acts that have fallen through the cracks completely. Sometimes they were acts that were big for a minute in their native countries and then vanished. Other times they were cult acts with a few minor hits before calling it quits. But every once in a while I’d find an act that seemed completely lost in time, having never scored a hit when they first formed and never found any sort of following since.

I’ve always been most interested in these acts. We all know what life for mega-huge rock stars is like, that’s been covered to death in film, TV and even in songs by mega-famous rock stars (thanks Joe Walsh). We also have some idea as to what life is like for the has-beens and one-hit wonders of the pop world. If it wasn’t for them, the entirety of the British reality TV landscape would dry up overnight.

But we never hear about the never-wases. Makes sense I guess, no one wanted to hear about them when they were attempting to be around, why on earth would anyone care about what they had to say now?

Well, I care! I want to know. I wonder how many people from failed bands manage to parlay their broken dreams into something at least tangentally related to the music biz. A lot of one-hit wonders and cult acts end up working as song-writers. The dude from Semisonic helped write Adele’s 21, y’know. But what about the guys in Radioactive Goldfish or anyone who was in a group like Spizz or Fischer-Z? Maybe they have hella interesting stories too. I bet the saga of nearly making it, while not as personally fulfilling for those involved, is probably more interesting than a lot of the rags-to-riches stories we usually here.

Here are songs by people and bands who never made it, or made it for about five minutes. May they one day be well-known enough to be forgotten.

Apollo Smile
Let’s Rock
When I first posted this track back in 2009, I wondered aloud, “What ever happened to Apollo Smile?” The “real life anime girl” was a mainstay of my teenage years, I frequently would see her name on the guest lists of comic-cons, and she would occasionally pop up on Sci-Fi Channel to host some random anime show. In the late-90s she even made her way to video games, lending her voice to Ulala, the groovy protagonist of Sega’s Space Channel 5 games.

And then she seemingly vanished without a trace. No more anime specials, no more comic cons and no more video games. The scene that she helped to cultivate had seemingly outgrown its need for her. But I wanted to know what the hell actually happened to her. So much so that I even tried to track her down for an interview a few years back.

Thanks to her Wikipedia page, that was actually shockingly easy, as it listed her last-known place of employment as a dance teacher for a small private school. Emboldened with a sense of journalistic desire to share the world the story of what happened to Apollo Smile (I mean, c’mon, this could totally get on A.V. Club today) I sent out a few emails inquiring about the chance of an interview.

Never before had I been shot down as hard for an interview as I was for that one. I’m not going to go into details. But for anyone out there wondering, Apollo Smile does not want to be found.

If she had agreed to that interview, I definitely would’ve asked her if she got clearance to use the Led Zeppelin sample that’s in this song. I bet the answer would’ve been no.

Lisa Dal Bello
Bad Timing
I’m kind of cheating here, because Lisa Dal Bello was moderately famous in her native Canada, but for the rest of the world she’s probably a complete unknown. Fucking shame.

When I wrote about Dal Bello back in 2011, I focused on her 1984 powerhouse whomanfoursays, which was produced and co-written/performed by Mick Ronson of Ziggy Stardust fame. I still stand by that record. It’s great, and now that you can get it digitally on Amazon and iTunes, I suggest you do. It’s an amazingly unique record. And while parts of it sound dated, some of it still sounds remarkably ahead of its time. Her voice is really off the charts, and the songwriting is top-notch.

Whomanfoursays was a bit of a re-invention for Dal Bello. In the late-70s Dal Bello was a pop star with a disco/dance bent, kind of like a Canadian proto-Madonna. She had some success with that formula, got a Juno Award (Canadian Grammy) for her first record, but didn’t have much success in terms of sales. And by the early-80s I suspect that she was getting fed up with the pop world, letting her dissatisfaction manifest itself in this blistering track that takes aim on the facets of the music industry that screwed her over hardest. I hope someone sends this track to Kesha.

As I said before, Dalbello managed to salvage her career with whomanfoursays. It wasn’t a massive smash, but songs from it got covered by Queensryche and Heart, and she went onto record two more very well-regarded albums before moving on to what is no doubt the much more lucrative commercial jingle market. Utterly fascinating, and anything of hers you can find is totally worth checking out.

Havana 3 A.M.
Blue Gene Vincent (Live)
The big Clash side-project/off-shoot is of course Big Audio Dynamite, and I’ll be writing about them sometime this month. But there was also Havana 3 A.M., the oddly-named project featuring Paul Simonon, bassist for The Clash. Havanna 3 A.M. only released one album, and I’m going to level with you right here, it’s not particularly good. It’s not bad, but it sure as hell ain’t memorable.

Except for this track, a tribute to the late-great Gene Vincent, which is about as perfect an amalgamation of rock, country and rock-a-billy you’re likely to hear.  The album version is good, but this live rendition is even better, and injects an intensity and energy that the studio version is lacking. I found this on an I.R.S. Records promo cassette tape, a find so incredible that it single-handedly made buying that cassette deck worth it.

And it’s sure as fuck better than The Good The Bad and The Queen.

Slow Bongo Floyd
More Than Jesus (SBF Mix)
More Than Jesus (Irresistible Force Mix)
Open Up Your Heart (11 O’Clock Mix)
Open Up Your Heart (Piano Mix)
So far the acts I’ve featured tonight have some sort of following. Apollo Smile may be nearly forgotten today, but there’s a “nearly” there. Someone out there still cares about her. Lisa Dal Bello had a live album come out last year, so however small, there’s still a market for her work somewhere. And sure, Havana 3 A.M. might be the lesser of Clash off-shoots, but they’re still a Clash off-shoot, a fact that will forever grant them at least the curious Google search from time to time.

But Slow Bongo Floyd? No one gives a shit about Slow Bongo Floyd. They have a poorly-managed Facebook page, and it has a single, solitary “like” that was no doubt given by the person who created it. Slow Bongo Floyd is about as forgotten as a band can get.

And that’s a real bummer. While their album isn’t great, their singles sure as hell should’ve been more popular than they were. “More Than Jesus” is an especially awesome tune, and how it didn’t manage to at least be a minor hit during the time of The Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays is anyone’s guess. It’s a great psychedelic dance/rock tune, madchester all the way. It’s groovy as fuck, and “I Love you more than I love Jesus” is a hell of a line to build a track off of.

From what I can gather, Slow Bongo Floyd was really just one guy by the name of Michael Patrick Jones. As that’s about one step away from “John Smith” in terms of name popularity, I can’t find a single thing on the Internet about his post Slow Bongo Floyd work, so if anyone would like to enlighten me I’d be forever grateful.

10 Years Of Being Lost: The 12″ Single Remix

Friday, March 4th, 2016

I thought long and hard about what I would do for the 10th anniversary of this blog. While I’ve never been a big fan of self-congratulatory retrospectives, I am unabashedly proud that I’ve managed to keep this site going for 10 damn years. As I mentioned a few weeks back, nearly every single MP3 blog that inspired me to create this site no longer exist. A few of them, like Lost Bands Of the New Wave Era are still up in some sort of archival form so you can at least read about the bands in question, but most have been scrubbed entirely from the Internet. I can’t even remember the names of most of them.

But it’s not just the Internet that’s changed in 10 years, my life has been crazy. When I started this site I was working for a crummy online DVD retailer and living in a junk apartment in Pittsburgh. Since then I went back to college to get a second degree, went through about a billion other jobs (freelance and permanent), saw myself printed in a major international music magazine, bought a house, sold a house, MOVED TO FUCKING JAPAN, begin a new career as a teacher (which I love) and meet a wonderful man who I am so happy to call my boyfriend. Life’s been crazy.

Makes me wonder what the hell I’ll be doing ten years from now! But no matter what that is, I suspect I’ll still keep this blog going. I like writing it too much to quit.

Maybe one day I’ll even update the layout.

Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Anyways, tonight I thought I’d kick off the celebratory flashbacks by looking at what I’ve probably dedicated more time to on this site than anything else, the obscure 12″ remix. It’s safe to say that Lost Turntable would not exist if it was not for the 12″ single. Actually, a more accurate statement would be that it’s fair to say that Lost Turntable would not exist if it wasn’t for the continued neglect of songs that were exclusive to 12″ singles. In the late 70s and up to the 90s, many great acts saved their best B-sides and remixes for the 12 incher. But in the 2000s, when many artists had their catalogs re-issued for inclusion on iTunes and other digital music storefronts, a lot of those remixes, B-sides and other tracks got lost in the shuffle.

I first started this blog, you could barely find any vintage New Order, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys or Erasure remixes on CD, let alone digitally. Those oversights gave me plenty of content in the early years of Lost Turntable, which nearly became a purely 80s-focused blog because of it. Things are better now, and you can at least find most of the best remixes and such by these artists on CD and digitally, thanks to box sets and deluxe re-issue campaigns.

But not every band can be New Order or Depeche Mode, and aren’t even lucky enough to get their entire album discography remastered and put up for sale online, let alone their non-album cuts. And others just don’t seem to care. So here are some of my favorite 12″ remixes that have yet to be re-released.

Lifted (Industrial Mix)
Lifted (Industrial Mix Instrumental)
Lifted (Alternalift Mix)
Lifted (Alternalift Mix Instrumental)
Lifted (Funk Mix)
Early in my collecting days, I basically bought any 12″ single I could find that had any name on it that I found the lest bit recognizable. That name in question was rarely the artist, more often than not it was the remixer or producer associated with the track. That was certainly the case with this single, which I bought only because it featured remixes by The Dust Brothers.

The Dust Brothers aren’t very prolific as performers, but they’re studio gods, working behind the scenes as remixers, producers and engineers with some of the greatest acts of the 80s, 90s and 2000s. They produced Paul’s Boutique, Odelay and the soundtrack to Spawn (underrated). They also produced Hanson’s breaktrhough record which, say what you will about, certainly sounds quite good from a technical and production standpoint.

They’ve toned down their output as of late, I don’t see many new credits by them on Discogs, but I’m still a fan and will buy any remix I see them credited on. They really have a knack for layering effects and instruments, almost like a modern-day Wall Of Sound. I’ve always been impressed with how they can stack so many samples, effects, vocals and instruments together without making it all sound like indecipherable garbage. I think more modern-day producers could learn from their work.

Their remixes of “Lifted” serve as a good example of their remix work that I’ve discovered, mixing together the big beats and crisp production of mid-90s electronic music (think Fatboy Slim) with the dirty, scuzzy guitars of the then dying alt-rock scene. They know how to mix a sequencer and a distrotion pedal better than anyone.

But who are XC-NN?

Yeah. that’s a good question. I guess.

I knew nothing about them when I bought this record nearly a decade ago, and still don’t know much about them now. I know they formed in the mid-90s as CNN but had to change their name when the network CNN was like “yo dudes that’s not going to fly.” They released an album no one cared about, followed that up with a sophomore effort even less people cared about, and then broke up. After that, Tim Bricheno, formerly of Sisters of Mercy, then formed Tin Star with fellow XC-NN member David Tomlinson. They apparently had one hit single in the states by the name of “Head.” I’ve never heard of it, let me check YouTube. I’m usually good with my forgotten 90s acts. I’m sure I’ve probably heard this tune.

Nope. I got nothing.

Anyway, they couldn’t follow up that track’s limited success I guess, they broke up again and that was it for that. No idea what they’re up to now, although Tim got together with another old group of his, All About Eve, for a reunion stint in the mid-2000s.

I tried to get into other XC-NN tracks after listening to “Lifted,” but I couldn’t do it. Sadly, they’re entirely deserving of their (lack of) reputation. Their blend of industrial electronica and rock music sounded fresh for about 10 minutes in the mid-90s, but that sound has not aged well, and became saturated not soon after. The people may had developed a taste of industrial rock in the wake of Ministry’s and Nine Inch Nail’s success, but that taste didn’t last long. And if there wasn’t enough of an appetite for angry electro-rock to keep acts like Filter and Stabbing Westward (underrated!) on the charts, there sure as hell wasn’t enough to sustain XC-NN. That being said, I’m going to stand by “Lifted.” Dust Brothers remix or not, this should’ve at least been a minor hit single. If the pop charts had room for Gravity Kill’s “Guilty” then I don’t see why they couldn’t have fit “Lifted” in there as well, at least for a short time.

If I would’ve heard “Lifted” when it first came out in 1995 I would’ve certainly loved it, and not just for it’s of-the-moment electronic/rock style. its vague angry lyrics would’ve fit my particular brand of teen angst perfectly.

You didn’t raise him
He just grew
You should have known him back then
Before he knew you

Those four lines are the best lines of the song, even better than the chorus, which works more on attitude than anything else. As a whole, the song is pretty obtuse, but I think these lines in particular read them as an attack on an absentee dad. My own father was certainly not absentee, and I think he’s usually tried his best. But in the mid-90s I sure as fuck had plenty to be angry about with him, so when I hear songs touching on that topic I sometimes find myself transplanted back to my pseduo-negelected teenage self and really identify with the track more than I actually have any right too.

“Lifted” isn’t a lost classic. But it’s certainly a lost also-ran, and a prime example of why I started Lost Turntable.

Now for some lost 12″ single remixes from bands you’ve actually heard of. Sorry if the audio is a little hit and miss, I recorded some of these years ago on old equipment.

Dan Hartman
I Can Dream About You (Extended Remix)
Dan Hartman’s lone hit came from the soundtrack to an absolute bomb of a flick, Walter Hill’s epic rock ‘n’ roll fable Streets Of Fire. I fucking love that movie. I love it’s insane alternate reality that combines a post-apocalyptic cityscape with the greatest stylistic hits of the 50s and 80s. I love its over-the-top performances by everyone from Michael Pare to Rick Moranis. I love the fact that it ends with a fucking steel sledgehammer fight. But most of all I love its epic soundtrack.

Strangely, Dan Hartman’s version isn’t in the movie proper. Instead it features a version by a made-up Motwon-style vocals group (which features Robert Townshend and the dude who played Bubba in Forrest Gump). This extended version isn’t as good as that one (damn I wish they’d release that somewhere) but it’s a pretty great version of a pretty great piece of 80s pop.

Don Henley
All She Wants To Do Is Dance (Extended Dance Remix)
I hate The Eagles but I love a lot of solo work by Eagles members, from Joe Walsh’s lovely “Life’s Been Good” to Glenn Fry’s “Smuggler’s Blues” to a hell of a lot of Don Henley’s solo work. You say you don’t like “Boys Of Summer?” I say you’re better at denying utterly catchy pop tunes than I ever hope to be. This track is no “Boys Of Summer,” an honest-to-goodness classic, but it’s great in its own right. Again, I’m shocked this remix hasn’t been re-issued anywhere recently.

Yesterday’s Men (Demo)
I usually hate it when demos are included as B-sides, it always feels like filler to me, and I’m rarely curious as to how an unfinished version of a song sounded. A rare exception to this rule would be this beautiful version of one of Madness’ best tunes, which strips what was already a pretty sparse song until it sounds less like a demo and more like a purposely lo-fi home recording that was recorded in someone’s closet with a cheap microphone and a store bought Casio. It’s like if Lou Barlow went ska. It’s almost intimate, and it really makes the lyrics hit even harder. Just beautiful.

Ready For The World
Oh Shelia (Extended Remix)
You can go to iTunes right now, do a search for the 12″ remix of this song and something comes up. But don’t believe the lies. That version is not the real 12″ remix. It’s a re-recorded version.

Re-recorded versions are blights on digital storefronts, and need to be wiped from this planet. They usually exist as a means for the artist to get royalties without having to pay the original record companies. And I get that, but they really do the fans a disservice, as they never ever sound as good as the originals. And even if they are technically better in some way or another, it doesn’t really matter, because people don’t want a technically better version of the song they know and love, they want the version they know and love! At least the original album version is on there.

Elect me for president and I will make it my first executive action to strip all re-recorded versions off digital storefronts and replace them with the originals. First on the plate, Def Leppard.

Yeah, it’s a stupid political platform, but it is any stupider than Trump?

Smooth Operator (12″ Version)
There’s this weird mall in Tokyo called Nakano Broadway that mostly focuses on geek culture stuff like figures, manga and old video games. Tucked away in a far off corner on the third or fourth floor of the mall is a really tiny movie store that focuses on weird cult flicks and art-house films. If you want to score Criterion blu-rays in Japan, that store is your best bet.

Whenever I go in there that dude is rocking out to a Sade blu-ray. So he knows what’s up.

Expect a few more posts like this for the rest of the month, with some regular posts with new rips interspersed. Thanks again to everyone who’s kept up with me over the years.