Sometimes a release appears and instantly achieves the status of cult classic. Such is the case with the UK’s Ray Gun, whose debut cassette is so brilliantly DIY. In fact, had this band been spawned from Brooklyn, this release would surely have been snapped up by the King Pizza label and Ray Gun would be going head to head with The Rizzos and The Fucktons, such is their retro charm and wanton lo-fi discord.
We’ve reached the end of 2015. It hasn’t been as thrilling a year for new music as 2014 had been, but there has been plenty to entertain. We’re still waiting on the proposed deluxe edition of Prince & The Revolution’s classic ‘Purple Rain’ (we could be waiting a long time) and those promised UB40 deluxe editions. Another year has passed without the arrival of Real Gone favourite Mick Terry’s second album. Lots of people in the UK have been (over)-excited by Steven Wilson’s ‘Hand.Cannot.Erase.’, but most of what’s impressed us the most at Real Gone – as is so often the case – is often just a little more underground.
Here are our year’s top picks…
In 1991, Motörhead realeased the album ‘1916’, an album on which they sounded more alive than they had in years. The songs were sharper than their late 80s efforts and the band sounded like they’d regained a lot of their spark. There was a surprise too: the title track was a cello backed ballad, where Lemmy crooned about young men joining up to fight for king and country in the First World War. Nobody saw that coming…and they say you can’t teach old dogs new tricks.
“I don’t do regrets. Regrets are pointless. It’s too late for regrets. You’ve already done it, haven’t you? You’ve lived your life. No point wishing you could change it.”
From his breakthrough with Hawkwind in the late 60s, Lemmy was a man who lived with little to no compromise, reinvented how the bass could be played and gave us music that would endure the ages. While his formative years with Hawkwind would shape him as a musician, it was with his own band Motörhead he would change the face of rock music. Black Sabbath had laid the foundations of metal with heavy monolithic riffs, but Lemmy bought speed and no-nonsense aggression, without which we would never have had any of the 80s thrash or hardcore metal that followed. In Lemmy’s vision, of course, it was all one thing: rock ‘n’ roll. He just played it faster and louder than his heroes and predecessors and set a new benchmark in the process.
Most sensible session musicians would have walked out on Eric Clapton after his hateful, racist outburst in Birmingham on August 5th 1976. However, his regular band of musicians from Tulsa stuck by him throughout the following two years as he battled with the bottle. After the release of the ‘Backless’ album in 1978, Clapton and band took to the road once again for a world tour. A full length movie ‘Eric Clapton’s Rolling Hotel’ was shot at this time during the German leg of the tour, but has never been given a full release.