Joanne Shaw Taylor – Songs from the road (Epic #321)

The Epic 2017 Project #321: 171117

Joanne Shaw Taylor – Songs from the road (2013)

Songs from the Road is a live album covering Joanne Shaw Taylor’s first three studio albums. Released on 12 May 2013 on Ruf Records, the album included a DVD recorded live at London’s Borderline club.

‘Watch ’em burn’ is, (in my opinion) Ms Taylor’s signature piece. Eleven minutes of blistering R&B and stunning fretwork which she gave us for an encore when we saw her at Shoreham’s Ropetackle Centre a couple of years back.


Talking Heads – The name of this band is… (Epic #320)

The Epic 2017 Project #320: 171116

Talking Heads – The name of this band is… (1981)

The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads is a double live album by Talking Heads, originally released in 1981. The first disc featured the original quartet in recordings from 1977 and 1979, and the second disc the expanded ten-piece lineup that toured in 1980 and 1981. The album contains live versions of songs that appear on their first four studio albums, Talking Heads: 77, More Songs About Buildings and Food, Fear of Music, and Remain in Light. The cassette edition of the album included “Cities” as a bonus track not included on the vinyl edition – this track has been included on the subsequent CD release.

The title of the album is a reference both to the group’s preference for having no expressed definite article within the band name (as opposed to “The Talking Heads”) and to David Byrne’s minimalist introductions to songs. The album opens with one such introduction: “The name of this song is New Feeling. That’s what it’s about.”

An expanded version of the record, on CD in the United States for the first time, was released in 2004 by Sire/Warner Bros./Rhino. It duplicated the pattern of the original with the first disc featuring the quartet alone, and the second disc a ten-member band. Additional tracks from 1978 are among the eight extra songs on the first disc, and correct running order for the set from the larger band on the second disc.

Unusually for an American band, the original vinyl release came out a year earlier in the UK than it did Stateside.

Talking Heads – Speaking in Tongues (Epic #319)

The Epic 2017 Project #319: 171115

Talking Heads -Speaking in Tongues (1983)

peaking in Tongues is the fifth studio album from Talking Heads, released in 1983. Following the band’s split with producer Brian Eno and a short hiatus which allowed the individual members to pursue side projects, recording began in 1982. It became the band’s commercial breakthrough and produced the band’s first (and only) American Top 10 hit, “Burning Down the House”, which was accompanied by a promotional video.

The album’s tour was documented in Jonathan Demme’s film Stop Making Sense, which generated a live album of the same name. (The concert film and live album’s title comes from the repeated phrase “Stop making sense!” during the song “Girlfriend Is Better”.) In addition, the album crossed over to the dance charts where it peaked at number two for six weeks. It was also the group’s highest-charting album on the American Billboard 200.

Talking Heads – More songs about buildings and food (Epic #318)

The Epic 2017 Project #318: 171114

Talking Heads – More songs about buildings and food (1978)

Talking Heads’ second studio album – More Songs About Buildings and Food – was released in July 1978. The album was the first of three Talking Heads LPs produced by collaborator Brian Eno. It saw the group move musically toward a danceable style, crossing singer David Byrne’s unusual delivery with new emphasis on the rhythm section (made up of bassist Tina Weymouth and drummer Chris Frantz).

More Songs established the group as a critical success, reaching No.21 in the UK Albums Chart. It featured the group’s first Top 30 single, a cover of Al Green’s “Take Me to the River”.

Talking Heads – ’77 (Epic #317)

The Epic 2017 Project #317: 171113

Talking Heads – ’77 (1977)

Talking Heads: 77 was their debut. Released in September of that year, it now ranks at No. 290 on Rolling Stone magazine’s The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.

“Psycho Killer” was written by David Byrne, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth and first played by their band the Artistic in 1974. But it also made it onto their 77 debut and became the band’s signature debut hit. Originally written and performed as a ballad, “Psycho Killer” became what AllMusic calls a “deceptively funky new wave/no wave song” with “an insistent rhythm, and one of the most memorable, driving basslines in rock & roll.”

“Psycho Killer” was the only song from the album to appear on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number 92. It reached number 32 on the Triple J Hottest 100 in 1989, and peaked at number 11 on the Dutch singles chart in 1977. The song is included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

T.Rex – Tanx (Epic #316)

The Epic 2017 Project #316: 171112

T.Rex – Tanx (1973)

Tanx was the eighth studio album from T. Rex, released on 28 January 1973 by EMI. It was a musical departure from previous works: still containing tracks in the vein of The Slider, Marc Bolan showed his interest for both American soul music and funky music. Female backing singers appeared on a few tracks. New instruments such as mellotron were used, allowing the T. Rex sound to evolve.

Upon its release, Tanx peaked at number 3 in the UK Albums chart.

10cc – The Original Soundtrack (Epic #315)

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10cc – The Original Soundtrack (1975)

The Original Soundtrack was 10cc’s  third studio album. It was released in 1975 and peaked at number four on the UK Albums Chart. The Original Soundtrack includes the singles “Life Is a Minestrone”, and “I’m Not in Love”, the band’s most popular song.

The album was recorded and produced by the band at Strawberry Studios in 1974 with Eric Stewart engineering and mixing. The album received good reviews when originally released on LP and cassette by Mercury Records in March 1975. It has since been reissued on several occasions with bonus tracks and has been remastered. The artwork was designed by Hipgnosis and illustrated by artist Humphrey Ocean.

“I’m not in love’ also featured on ‘The awesome Mix – Vol. 1’ – the soundtrack to the 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy – one of my favourite films of the 21st century so far.