"Put the needle on the record..."

Twice the Pleasure: Our Top 1980s 12″ Tunes: The Not So Perfect Ten

Our semi-definitive guide to the greatest 12″ singles of the 1980s

Sometimes, the radio edit of a chart single may lack that extra something which the 12″ version has. At the other end, some singles are better suited to the traditional two to four minutes of a seven inch 45.

The long single (in excess of five minutes) can fulfil a few other functions. It could either be a floor filler, as part of a series of different mixes to maintain its lofty chart position, or a convenient addition to the playlist. In other words, it is a suitable length to accommodate the DJ’s toilet break, or anything else s/he may do (which is best left to one’s imagination).

Continue reading “Twice the Pleasure: Our Top 1980s 12″ Tunes: The Not So Perfect Ten”

Brass Band Music Appreciation for Beginners #1: Types of Music

Recommended hymns, marches, overtures, and the like for new listeners

Realised the joys of listening to brass band music? Yet to see your first brass band concert? This piece includes a selection of essential brass band pieces for the absolute beginner.

For almost two years, the creator of East of the M60 has reviewed the brass band concerts at the Boarshurst Band Club. It is a fantastic, intimate venue for brass band concerts, and a good environment for absolute beginners as well as hardcore enthusiasts. A wealth of local and not-so-local brass bands have made their journey to the Greenfield venue on most Sundays. Continue reading “Brass Band Music Appreciation for Beginners #1: Types of Music”

Whatever Happened to The World Disco Dancin’ Championships?

“From the Empire Ballroom, Leicester Square, London…”

In the last week, ITV have announced the arrival of Dance Dance Dance, a new big budget dancing themed programme. Due to be aired next year, it is a Dutch format from Talpa Media, producers of the newly defected reality TV show, The Voice.

Continue reading “Whatever Happened to The World Disco Dancin’ Championships?”

The Greatest Cover Versions by The Toy Dolls: The Not So Perfect Ten

Ten “must-listen to” cover versions by Sunderland’s finest musical export

Nellie the Elephant
An elephant, in South Africa. Supposedly called Nellie. Image by Chris Hills, 2010 (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

Hagiographies of punk and new wave music in Northern England seldom breach the Standedge Tunnel’s Diggle end. Lazily, history tells us about the Buzzcocks, Joy Division, Slaughter and the Dogs, and the Sex Pistols’ gig at the Lesser Free Trade Hall. Fewer column inches are devoted to the Liverpool groups, or the Leodisian contributions of the Gang of Four and The Mekons. What about the North East of England? Usually Penetration and another band famous for the cover of a soppy elephant song. Continue reading “The Greatest Cover Versions by The Toy Dolls: The Not So Perfect Ten”

The Essential Electric Light Orchestra: The Not So Perfect Twenty

In celebration of Jeff Lynne and ELO: a super sized Not So Perfect Ten

What a difference three years makes. Especially if your name is Jeff Lynne (and you realise how popular you are with your audience after a lengthy hiatus). In the last three weeks I have become the proud owner of his latest work, Alone In The Universe. A somewhat ironic title given NASA’s news of life on other planets, and possible Earth like bodies in the cosmos.

In the last two months we have had a backlog of Not So Perfect Tens, hence this double helping. With my recent acquisition, and Jeff Lynne’s birthday being today, a chance to make ELO this month’s subject. Continue reading “The Essential Electric Light Orchestra: The Not So Perfect Twenty”

Great Tunes With Electronic Tom-Toms: The Not So Perfect Ten

“A drum. That’s right, a drum (shabba)”

Nothing epitomises late 1970s and early 1980s music better than early electronic instruments. At one extreme you had multifarious synthesizers from the Mini Moog to the Prophet 5 and the Yamaha DX-7. Then drum machines, sequencers and – 1981 onwards – the Fairlight CMI. Continue reading “Great Tunes With Electronic Tom-Toms: The Not So Perfect Ten”

Forgotten Local Bands of the Noughties: When Animals Attack

East of the M60 looks at a local unsigned group from the early noughties

When Animals Attack's début album.
When Animals Attack’s début album. Please note that the fuzziness is consistent with 2003 era digital cameras. Which I have done purposely in the post-processing stage.

Thursday 30 August 2001, The Witchwood, Ashton-under-Lyne. The writer of this piece, then a young 22 year old wannabe Lester Bangs type (powered by real ale and Hollands Meat Pies of course), went to see a friend’s group. Topping the bill that night was his friend’s group Scapa Flow. They were supported by two other groups. Continue reading “Forgotten Local Bands of the Noughties: When Animals Attack”

East of the M60’s Summer Mix – Rebellious Mixtape #9

A special summertime jam for East of the M60

The schools have broken up for the summer holidays, and the sunshine has inspired this playlist. For once, I shall break with the usual Rebellious Mixtape rules and consider a possible continuous playlist.

Let’s have it!

Oh, and I know there’s also Spotify, but I am also enabling you to make a few suggestions and additions by displaying the playlist. Continue reading “East of the M60’s Summer Mix – Rebellious Mixtape #9”

Whit Week 2014: The Greatest Free Show on Earth

Stand by for The Week of Weeks

It has survived depressions, two World Wars, Thatcherism, industrial unrest, torrid weather conditions and bus deregulation. Hopefully it’ll survive any attempts to get the Delph, Denshaw and Diggle contests finishing too early, or prospective Late Night Levies. Tomorrow sees the start of The Week of Weeks. The greatest week, bar none. Continue reading “Whit Week 2014: The Greatest Free Show on Earth”

More Forgotten Great Songs of the 1980s: The Not So Perfect Ten

More underrated gems from the decade often associated with Duran Duran, Margaret Thatcher and Sinclair C5s.

The 1980s: a pretty pants decade for the working class at the very least, but one of our greatest decades musically. Eclectic to say the least, a decade which started out with The Pretenders and ended with Live Aid II. New Wave and Stock, Aitken and Waterman in other words.

Continue reading “More Forgotten Great Songs of the 1980s: The Not So Perfect Ten”