The Twitter phenomenon that is #funkclub rolls into London Town #LightoftheWorld @TheFunkyNation hosted by #RonnieScotts @officialronnies for its #summertweetup on #12thJuly.
Yes – The Shuffle Monkey is Back and back doing what he does best, Oh Yes – & rather like good old Adonais of whom Percy Bysshe Shelly wrote on hearing of the death of John Keats in 1821 – “Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep – He hath awakened from the dream of life” – That’s the good Shuffle meister for you!
So, as it’s been a while what’s this Blog about? Quite simply, it’s about Keeping The Faith for All Good Music and Letting The Shuffle do it’s thing!
The Shuffle Monkey & I now have over 12,600+ tracks loaded onto the iPlayer & available to us wherever & whenever (internet connection willing) via iCloud – Do we feel liberated? Do we feel powerful? No, but we sure do feel funky!!
And the numbers of tracks grows every day! Each carefully chosen from our funky and soulful past & they all mean something to the monkey & I.
Plus 12,600 adds up to over 35 Days of pure continuous listening pleasure if you were to do it in a Oner! But that’s not the name of the game Here – Every time we KeepItOnShuffle it’s a capture of the Dozen or so Tracks which Msr Le Shuffle randomly picks out of His little Bag & it sure is an eclectic Mix – Anything can and does pop-up & it’s Personal, Quirky, Inspiring…?
Certainly judging by many of the comments received over the past wee while from right across the World too, all of you seem to have found this an interesting Trip and the whole idea rather Inspiring!! That’s great and Thank You. We’ll certainly keep doing it now & for a little while longer to boot!
So, let’s press Shuffle and see whether today’s journey will strike a chord! Of course, as I’ve said before, the journey’s not just about the music, but the order in which the tracks play and we don’t edit or play around with that, just record in real time: &, just like Proust’s “Madelienes”, it’s the memories and the remembrances they invoke and indeed, what they inspire! The very essence of the Human Condition.
As an adjunct then to whatever else you may do, I hope this will continue to inspire you to go and search out and listen to today’s tracks when the Monkey & I list them in the order they play as part of this Blog. Do so in the same order because that is where the real surprise and the real delight will be – right there in that change between one type of music, mood & tempo and another. Go with the flow and let that track that comes right out of left field catch you and put you right back in a moment when… !
And I also hope you continue to enjoy some of the stories and memories they invoke for me as well!!
Happy travelling on your “Whatever’s In My Head” journey & remember, Keep The Faith & We’ll Keep It On Shuffle!
And Yes Today we take the Train – Well it sometimes beats the Bus? – as Gladys Knight kicks us off again Today with the Classic, “Midnight Train To Georgia” – Such Soul, Such Passion, A Story – The Whole World in the Lyrics of a Simple Love Song!; And this is quickly followed by a veritable Steam Train of a GEAR CHANGE with Iggy Pop & The Stooges and they Pound us into submission – Willing Submission – with, “Search & Destroy” – Essential!
An interesting Bowie link – & Look out for a great recent Publication of some brilliant Photographs of Sir Bowie from the 70’s – Anyway, this connects Lou Reed to Mott The Hoople who play for us, “Sweet Jane” – & didn’t Bowie produce Albums for each of these artists as well as playing Sax & doing Backing Vocals etc on at least 2-of-the-3 – if not all 3? i.e. Lou, Iggy & Mott.
And this is followed as only the Shuffle Monkey knows how with Stephen (Tin Tin) Duffy &, “Kiss Me” – He was out of Duran Duran by then; & Msr Le Shuffle switches to Spain – & that is why we love him – Coz here is Malu with, “Caminante Nocturno” – & yes me and the Monkey have seen Malu in a packed Placa Mayor in Madrid – Oh Yeah. & light up the Marlborough!
Ooh – Some other sort of stuff now – with first, The Force &, “Rock Your Baby (12″ Version)” – Completely utterly right there circa 1977-8 DISCO – This is Chris Hills et al – Lacy Lady, The Copford Windmill, Tracy’s...; & this is followed by an ultra Jazz Funk Groove with Eddie Henderson &, “Prance On” – The Disco Monkey is spoiling us!!
GEAR CHANGE again though next as Hotlegs pulsate into view with an early – 1971? track – “Neanderthal Man” – Now Hotlegs were basically Godley & Creme who went on to form the nucleus of 10CC (It might have been the other two though… ? Stewart & ?) – Anyway, I know, If I was referring to notes and did my research it would be interesting – But where’s the fun in that!! 10CC took their name of course from – Yes, You Know – The average amount of Ejaculated Seamen – Now I don’t know about you, but Glass in Hand, who goes about measuring that?? And I’ve seen ‘There’s Something About Mary’ & Well, there’s more then 10 ml in Cameron Diaz’s Hair, Buddy!
Some Great Soul/Disco next though with Shirley Jones sounding very much like the Jones Girls obviously, on “Finally”; & this is followed by another Amazing GEAR CHANGE from the Shuffle Monkey with Bad Company &, “Rock Steady”!
Back to Jazz Funk with Patrice Rushen &, “Message In The Music”; And we stay in this Great Groove with Incognito – Hi Bluey!! & something Pretty recent from them – The Brilliant, “Everything We Are”; Which in turn is followed by a true Masterpiece in Modern Soul with Eddie Billups singing, “Shake That Dream” – I think we’ll tweet that later through @desfume; Which in turn is followed by Prince &, “Cream” – Now, Why Oh Why Wee Monkey here is my Question – “Why Couldn’t that have followed Hotlegs?”
And Finally today, some Classic Smooth Soul from Sylvia with, “Sweet Talk” – Who is not only remembered as well for “Pillow Talk” – but also founded and run the SugarHill Record Label – Rappers Delight et al!! And this is followed on the slide down to Grace by Terri Gonzales &, “Treat Yourself To My Love” – & then Norman Connors plays us out with the Classic, “East 6th Street” – Which also features Aquarian Dream – So Keep The Faith, Coz – I Got A Thing For You And I Can”t Let Go, &, What I’d Do For Love (Bobby Caldwell)… Meanwhile, We’ll Keep It On Shuffle, here at Shuffly Towers 🙂
Art Gentry kicks us off Today with the Stupendous Slab of Modern Soul, the Masterpiece that is, “This Is My Chance” – & He (for it is a He) sounds not unlike Millie Jackson or Ty Karim on this great Track, which is No Bad Thing & He’s definitely Taking It!; And then we fall straight into a Live piano driven version of, “Do Nothing Until You Hear From Me” by Andy Williams no less & it’s Gooood! Which is followed by one of James Brown’s Funky People – Myra Barnes aka Vicky Anderson, with a righteously storming, “Super Good (Parts 1&2)” – Oh YEAH!; & then we have a taste of the ‘Swinging Sixties’ from Les Reed with, “Girl On A Motorcycle” & The Monkey’s come over all Goddard, Bless!
Some Storming SATURDAY NIGHT FOREVER music next with Thelma Huston &, “I’m Here Again”; followed by The Smiths with, “Panic”; which then melds into a Poptastic piece of 1970’s Chart Action from Dollar – Remember David Van… & the Girl who wasn’t in Bucks Fizz – & what are they doing naming themselves after a village in Fife, who knows, who cares – Coz what a Song, “Give Me Back My Heart” – It’s right up there; & following this is a Mighty Double with firstly the Great Elmore James with, “Dust My Blues” – A great influence on Jagger & Richards in the Stones’ early years; & then the Sex Pistols with, “Anarchy” – It’s The Only Way To Be – & surprisingly quite Tuneful after all these years – Perhaps we’ve All Mellowed un Peau!! And what a Combo of tracks from the wee shuffly thing – You couldn’t make that Mash-up Up, in your Wildest Dreams – & we do have some Pretty Wild ones here at Shuffle Towers!!
A bit of House now from Black Magic &, “Let It Go (Ken Lou Mix)”; & then we have Charles Aznavour doing a Two-Step with Frank Sinatra on, “You Make Me Feel So Young”; & then a Fantastic Jazzed-up but slowed-down vocal take on that Giant Tune, “Crazy” from Papik; followed by the inimitable Nina Simone singing the Chip Taylor classic, “Angel Of The Morning” – & we have a version of this in the Mix by Chip himself and an unknown female companion which he recorded for a local BBC station a few years back! The One in Norfolk in fact, with a certain Mr Partridge on the Decks – We kid you not!!
Utopia storm the Barricades now, led of course by Todd Rundgren & with one of the Shuffle Monkey’s & mine Favs – The formidable, “Love Is The Answer” – Which of course is the Original version – Not, the one by England Dan & John…; & then a recherche Moi to the early 1970’s and Marmalade are, “Falling Apart At The Seams” – Brilliant!
And finally Today a Great Sunday Soul track from Mac Davis, “I’m Just In Love”; followed by a rare visit from The Joneses with, “Win Your Love” – And you can now see and hear the 6mins33secs version of “Sugar Pie Guy” on @youtube now – released by Modern Soul Records; & then Professor Green blasts us up with, “I Need You Tonight” – What a Great updating of that Track; & lastly, “Candy Says” from The Velvet Underground – Marvelous Stuff as usual from the Shuffle Meister – So Continue Being Awesome, Keeping The Faith & We’ll Be Keeping It On Shuffle… OH YEAH! OH YEAH! & Follow us on Twitter @desfume 🙂
“Pronkstillevens”, they say around Old Amsterdam, as Old Bertolt & Bowie & Brel have been want to Sing, &, it means in Painting Terms, “Sumptious Still Lifes” – But The Shuffle Monkey is All Jackson Pollock if anything & in His little Abstract Heart there’s nothing remotely Still Life about what this Simian throws down & Today is no exception as he starts us off with The Originals, & “Californian Sunset” – rather moody, Pacific West Coast Soul. Followed by Dazz &, “Brick”; & then Father’s Children &, “Hollywood” and Chain Reaction with, “Hogtied” – Chain reaction of course were Bruce Ruffin (‘I’m Mad About You’) Dave Collins – Brother of Ansel (‘Double Barrel’ – no less) – & the other one who I should remember, but I can’t and The Shuffle Monkey’s no hope with His Banana addled Brain!!
Next it’s Bowie with, “Everyone Says Hi” – a more contemporary track, but excellent; Interesting – Danny Wilson next with, “Mary’s Prayer” – Lighters’ Aloft!; & back to some Soul now with ZZ Hill, who has one of those Voices & this is just one of those Deep Soul Songs, “Make Me Yours” – 4-to-the-floor; Speeding up a little, but still on the Soul Side comes Arthur King, with “Fear”; And now a real Corker, The Supremes with“Bad Weather” – We have several versions of this great track in the Shuffle Monkey’s Mix-Bag, but check the groove on this cut and Blow Your Whistle!
GEAR CHANGE – Some Reggae with Bunny Wailer &, “The Oppressed Song”; GEAR CHANGE, Again – Rose Royce &, “Get Up Off Your Face” – A Tad Darker & Heavier than Car Wash; Followed by “Tite Rope” – Harold Alexander blowing His Funky Horn; then another GEAR CHANGE & a bit of ‘Blue Grass’ Beatles, or rather, I should say Handsome Hank swinging “Back In The USSR” – Hey, Hey, Hey! Airplane Landing!!
Duke Pearson follows that and whilst I catch my breath I must ask – How did we get here? But it’s fabby – Cool, Piano Driven Samba, with a great vocal, “Sandalia Dela”; & finally today The Man, Mark Murphy with, “Love Is What Stays” – Some of Mark’s stuff has been more recently remixed by Nicola Conte and works really well – This cut though is a straight ahead take! I had the pleasure of seeing Mark Murphy play in Edinburgh a while back – Another Story, like The Gil Scot Heron “Birmingham’ Adventure, which will feature in a Future Blog – Anyway, Catch Mark, if you can, while you still can!! And Keep The Faith, Be Awesome & We’ll Keep It On Shuffle… Oh Yeah! 🙂
What a fantastic start from Mr Shuffle today – The Soul Super Group Chapter 8, which featured both Gerald Lyles and Anita Baker, kicks us off & it is Anita doing the heavy lifting with, “I Just Wanna Be Your Girl” – Marvellous Stuff & Beyond Brilliant! – If you like Anita Baker, &, I’ve seen her live several times, Check this Track out!; Next up is the mighty Fatback Band & the mighty, “Wicky Wacky” – We’re Looking For The Party People, Oh Yeah! A great funky beat and also a spooky coincidence as this Blog is now being followed by the Fatbacks on Twitter as we mentioned previously, so Respect & keep the groove, You-All, &, let’s hope, “This Is The Future” – Arguably one of the first Rap Records (?) features soon as well!!.
Coming right up to date (almost) now we have a showing from Neil Finn’s Pajama Club which he set-up with his wife and they’re singing, “Tell Me What You Want” A driving, sensual beat & they’ve got an “Itch, I can’t scratch” – Loved this when I first heard it on Jools Holland’s “Later” last year, but it has a bit of an abrupt end!; And Next we have the brilliant Lafayette Afro Rock Band with “Right Foot” – Funky-ee! And what a great double bill they’d make with the Fatback Band, Oh Yeah, Party!!; Following on we have a true Masterpiece of Modern Soul with James Carpenter &, “(Marriage Is Only) A State of Mind” – Not quite mate, it’s sometimes a stone cold reality!!; & then We are heading back to Clubsville circa 1983, with Johny Chingas & a chugging Bossa groove which tells us this is, “Phone Home” – Get Down with ET, Oh Yeah!!!
And YES we are getting down even further with the great Gregg Diamond & Bionic Boogie & “Hot Butterfly” – With Luther Vandross of course guesting on vocals (he was a very busy boy in the late 70’s early 80’s, what with CHANGE, Mascara, Gregg Diamond, Georgy Porgy, his own stuff and producing Aretha Franklin’s brace of fine Albums) & of course this is a Right Cracker too!
Some Righteous Reggae next – The Real Gear, with Delroy Wilson & “Going To The Ball” – certainly Trojan and Ska influenced, &, it so takes me back to that Winter I once spent in Tabago, before Child 4 & 5 came along…; Finally & hold on now, this is really spooky and no fix, but in real time Mr Shuffle has just come up with The Fatback Band again, &, yes it’s, “Is This The Future” – Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?? – Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant!!!
So, Keep The Faith, Be Awesome & me & the monkey will Keep It On Shuffle, Till Next Time! 🙂 🙂
Before I had the pleasure of first meeting the Shuffle Monkey – He was up a Tree, I was Looking up – You know the story, “Le Singe Sur L’Arbre” – Anyway, before that, I spent not a little time in the Tobago, &, Sunday Evenings was always the ‘Fish Fry’ on the Beach – A righteous Ho-Down in the Cove – And what did they used to play? Well I actually first heard our opening Track today right there – Frank Sinatra singing, “Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars”, which of course was written by Antonio Carlos Jobim who hailed from a tad further down the main Continental Seaboard – Pure Magic though on a Warm Starry Night, even if you’re not in Rio – & I wasn’t complaining!!
Next though we have Five, Yes Five, Back-To-Back Disco Tracks which when I think about it all relate to different Clubs I frequented once upon a Time – First off is, “992 Arguments” – The O’Jays, which is off their ‘Backstabbers’ set – & if you Listen you can Hear the similarity – & this would be ‘MurrayfField’, circa 1974 – Next is, “Fopp” – Ohio Players, & this is ‘Tracys’, Ipswich, 1976 – “Why Did I Choose You” follows from the Great Marvin Gaye & this is the ‘Copford Windmill’, Essex, circa 1977 – & Sade used to go there before she broke big in the early 80’s – Ingram next &, “Mi Sabrina Tequana” – Which is the ‘Global Village’ underneath the Arches at Charing Cross, London, circa 1978 – & Finally Julio Iglesias with, “Un Dia Tu, Un Dia Yo” – Which is most definitley the ‘Andromeda’, Colchester, circa 1980 & there were also some great pictures of Serge Gainsburgh on the walls as I remember! Boy, that’s a Lot of Dancing – So big thanks to the Shuffle Meister for stringing that little lot together from his ‘Bag of Tricks’ – & the wee shuffley thing then goes and cools us down with, “Just Can’t Stay Away” – Leroy Hutson!
So, Is the Shuffle Monkey going to now throw down something else a little less infectious to give us bit more of a Breather – heck not – It’s Disco Connection time next form No 1 Deejay &, ‘Goody Goody” – Which is of course, Vincent Montana & The Philly Groove Orchestra mash-ing it up!! And we glide into a Raw Power Gear Change with Iggy Pop & The Stooges & the marvelously titled, “Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell” – This is Not A Love Song, then?
And Finally today, an Interesting Sandwich with a Double Filling to play us out – Top Slice is the Mighty Issac Hayes with a great version of one the Monkey & My Favourite songs, “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight” – The Two Fillings are then made up of Demis Roussos with, “Love Is” (Dimitri from Paris Sunday At The Loft Remix) & this really builds in to an uplifting Goody – With The Kinks & another great (lesser known track) & sounding a lot like The Beatles’s ‘Lady Madonna’, but this is called, “Susannah’s Still Alive” – And the Bottom Slice is some elegant Jazz from the Blue Note Bossa Imprint & its’ Stacey Kent with, “Samba Savavah” – Cool-As! So, Keep The faith, Be Awesome & Keep It On Shuffle – Oh Yeah! 🙂
Who should drop by Today, but the Shuffle Monkey & His Chum – The Cat in the Red Hat – The Wee Shuffley Thing says they are both Very Very Busy – I said, I Bet, &, that we were Still ‘Keeping it on the Good Foot’ & The Right Side of the Beat – The Cat in The Red Hat said ‘Pass The Peas’ – I said ‘Big Blow’ – We All then said, Yo Ho Ho, ‘Christmas Wrapping’ – Amazing what a Drop of Sherry can Do, particularly if taken with an Oxymoron! Not too Dry though 🙂
I also told the Shuffle Meister that we had lots of New Chums All keepingitonshuffle @Desfume & while he was here He dropped us a Few Tunes for Old Times Sake, starting with Judy Garland & ‘Zing Went The strings Of My Heart’; Folllowed by The Rolling Stones with, ‘Sweet Virgina’; Then a Little Un Francais & Jacques Dutronc giving it some Welly with, ‘Et Moi, Et Moi, Et Moi’; & Finally a rocking Sunstreet &, ‘Lovin’ – Then He & the Fella in Red went South to the Sound of bells and much Commotion.
Be Awesome Y’All This Christmas, in 2013 & Beyond – & Who Knows The Shuffle Monkey just might pop around again Soon!!