In March 2017, we created a playlist of some of our favourite 70s tunes. In an effort to shake up our spare time listening, the playlist included none of the usual stapes. There were no tracks by Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy or Led Zeppelin and yet we still managed to create a golden listening experience spanning several hours.
The experience got us thinking. What if we were to create extensive playlists of music we liked – or maybe brought back fond memories – for each year of the decade? Would one year stand out above all others? With this remit and using only two or three tracks per chosen album (maybe stretching to one extra in the instance of a double platter), we set to work.
At an unspecific point in 1979, my dad arrived home from work carrying a long playing record. It turned out to be the new Police album. At this point, ‘Message In a Bottle’ had been all over the radio and I knew I liked this new music. My mum, on the other hand did not have quite the same enthusiasm; she’s a bit put out that this does not have ‘Roxanne’ on it. Presumably, the album – like others – had been purchased at Barnaby’s, a record shop (no longer there) very near my dad’s then place of employment; a giant tin shed in which he worked with dangerous acidic chemicals and little regard for health and safety. That Police album (‘Reggatta De Blanc’) got played a lot. If I think hard, I can still see Dad sitting by his Fidelity stereo system lifting the needle onto the record and playing the title track over and over and I remember thinking how fitting it was that the word emblazoned on the front looked a bit like the word fiddle. That piece of music must have spoken to him: decades later, he would still attract my attention by calling my name to the tune of that track.
The sight of my dad coming home with new music in this way was not entirely uncommon.
For most people, the arrival of a new year often means a time of change, of looking forward; a time to embrace new ideas and new projects. This is especially true for Damo Fawsett, a hard-working guitarist who recently parted ways with his band Slam Cartel. He already has various new projects underway. At the beginning of January 2016, he stopped by at Real Gone to tell us all about them…
For the past week, Real Gone has been running a Led Zeppelin poll. A huge poll containing each of the Zep studio recordings, rather than just letting fans come and choose their favourites, we structured things slightly differently. Voters were given nine votes and only allowed to pick one track from each of the albums.
A few people claimed this to be unfair – after all, when faced with an album as strong as Led Zeppelin’s fourth, how could you possibly choose ‘Stairway To Heaven’ over ‘The Battle of Evermore’, or even ‘When The Levee Breaks’ over the mighty ‘Black Dog’ with its huge riffs? How could only one vote be allocated to ‘Physical Graffiti’ – a sprawling double album featuring fifteen songs and at least seven cast iron classics? Therein lied the big challenge.