The Epic 2017 Project #054: 170223
Delirious? -Glo (2000)
Who’d have thought back in the day when we watched the as yet un-named ‘Delirious?’ play from the back of a flatbed on Littlehampton seafront for the annual ‘Cutting Edge’ summer thing, that twenty-five years later, the band would be on the verge of releasing their entire back catalogue on vinyl for the world they took by storm?
Long opener yes. But that’s about the nub of it. Martin Smith, worship leader of a small West Sussex Pioneer fellowship took Delirious to world-wide fame; one of the most successful Christian bands of all time with songs widely sung in Sunday morning church services all over the globe.
Delirious? formally disbanded in 2009 following a sell-out live performance at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. But their music lives on and the release this year of the back-catalogue on vinyl will make sure of that. ‘Glo’ was their third studio album.
The Epic 2017 Project #053: 170222
Deep Purple – Machine Head (1972)
Famously recorded in Montreux, Switzerland on the shores of Lake Geneva, here’s what guitarist Ritchie Blackmore had to say about the recording…
We had the Rolling Stones’ mobile recording unit sitting outside in the snow, but to get there we had to run cable through two doors in the corridor into a room, through a bathroom and into another room, from which it went across a bed and out the veranda window, then ran along the balcony for about 100 feet and came back in through another bedroom window. It then went through that room’s bathroom and into another corridor, then all the way down a marble staircase to the foyer reception area of the hotel, out the front door, across the courtyard and up the steps into the back of the mobile unit. I think that setup led to capturing some spontaneity, because once we got to the truck for a playback, even if we didn’t think it was a perfect take, we’d go, ‘Yeah, that’s good enough.’ Because we just couldn’t stand going back again.
The Epic 2017 Project #052: 170221
The Decemberists – The Crane Wife (2006)
The Crane Wife is an old Japanese folktale. While there are many variations of the tale, a common version is that a poor man finds an injured crane on his doorstep and takes it in and nurses it back to health. After he releases the crane, a woman appears at his doorstep with whom he falls in love and marries. Because they need money, his wife offers to weave wondrous clothes out of silk that they can sell at the market, but only if he agrees never to watch her making them. They begin to sell them and live a comfortable life, but he soon makes her weave them more and more. Oblivious to his wife’s declining health, his greed increases. He eventually peeks in to see what she is doing to make the silk she weaves so desirable. He is shocked to discover that at the loom is a crane plucking feathers from her own body and weaving them into the loom. The crane, seeing him, flies away and never returns.
This fourth album, released by The Decemberists in 2006, was inspired by this tale. It centres on two song cycles, The Crane Wife and The Island, the latter inspired by William Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
The album cover was designed by the Portland artist Carson Ellis, Colin Meloy’s wife, who has created artwork for each of the band’s albums. Colin Meloy is the band’s guitarist and lead vocalist.
The Epic 2017 Project #051: 170220
Death in Vegas – Dead Elvis (1997)
Dead Elvis is the band’s debut studio album released on March 10, 1997 in the United Kingdom and on September 16, 1997 in the United States. This was the only Death in Vegas album to feature original member Steve Hellier. The British release features coloured Elvis graffiti on the cover, while the US version features a tattoo artist.
Death in Vegas was formed in 1994 by Richard Fearless and Steve Hellier and signed to Concrete Records under the name of “Dead Elvis”. However, there was an Irish record label of the same name at the time, and Dead Elvis became the title of their first album instead. Rankin Roger’s (of ‘The Beat’ fame) vocals feature throughout the album but most notably on the opening track – ‘All that glitters’ featured here.
The Epic 2017 Project #050: 170219
Deadstar – Milk (1997)
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Deadstar were together from 1995 to 2001. Milk was their second studio album.
The Epic 2017 Project #049: 170218
The Dead Daisies (2013)
The band’s self-titled debut album was recorded in two weeks at Wishbone Studios in Los Angeles in 2012 with American producer/engineer and multi-instrumentalist John Fields. The album was released in North America on 9 August 2013 through Caroline/Universal, and later in the United Kingdom in mid-November 2013. “Lock N’ Load”, their first single, was co-written by Slash, who also played guitar on the track.
The Epic 2017 Project #048: 170217
Dr Feelgood – Stupidity (1976)
Dr Feelgood’s third album release (and first live one) topped the UK charts on its release in 1976 without the aid of a hit single release. It was the first ever live album to go to number 1 in the UK chart in its first week of release. And, rather less significantly, was also the bands’ first and only recording to reach number 1.
The original vinyl album release featured seven tracks, recorded in Sheffield, on Side 1, and six tracks, recorded in Dr Feelgood’s hometown, Southend, on Side 2. A free single, only issued with the first 20,000 copies, included live versions of ‘Riot in Cell block No.9’ (also recorded in Southend) and ‘Johnny B Goode’ (recorded in Aylesbury).
This is Southend’s Kursaal today, the ballroom of which was where side two of ‘Stupidy’ was recorded. It’s a Grade II listed building which had originally opened in 1901 as part of one of the world’s first purpose-built amusement parks. Sadly, with the exception of the ballroom which had remained Southend’s foremost rock venue, the Kursaal as a whole went into gradual decline from the early 1970s. At the end of 1977 the decision was made to close the ballroom as well though and the main building finally went the same way in 1986. The outdoor amusement area was redeveloped for housing but the main Kursaal building reopened in 1998 after a multimillion-pound redevelopment, containing a bowling alley, a casino and other amusements. Happily, the unique ‘Kursaal’ lettering on the dome remains.