I found this rare little gem at the awesome Monster Melodies in Paris. Sadly, this is the EP that broke up the classic lineup of Motörhead (Lemmy Kilmister, Fast Eddie Clarke, and Philthy “Animal” Taylor). Apparently, Clarke couldn’t stomach the idea of Lemmy singing a duet of Tammy Wynette’s “Stand by Your Man” with Wendy O. Williams and walked out during the recording sessions, leaving the band altogether. It is a shame, especially since this is great 7″ and right in line with Motörhead’s output up until that time. The duet between Lemmy and Wendy O. is of course stellar — hypercharged, bombastic, and great fun. Philthy Taylor drives the song with his drumming while Lemmy and Wendy O. trade off on the verse lines. The b-side version of “No Class,” with Wendy O. singing in Lemmy’s place, is actually quite good as well. Her scratchy, raw vocals fit the song and give it a slightly punkier feel. Despite what I’ve read in various places (including Wikipedia), the Plasmatics and Motörhead do not cover each others songs on the b-sides. Clarke did not play on the recordings (and even bailed on producing the EP). So it is actually a mix of Motörhead and Plasmatics members playing all the songs together — Lemmy on bass, Philthy on drums, Wes Beech on rhythm guitar, and Richie Stotts on lead guitar. If you can find it, this one is worth it for the rendition of “Stand By Your Man” alone.
I have been wanting to post this one for a while now. I originally found this in the East Village during Record Store week back over the summer and still listen to tracks from it pretty regularly. What’s not to love here? It’s an comp of the first acts signed to Stiff Records in the late 70s, with most of the songs having a very raw and punchy feel. Favorites include a nice over-the-top version of “White Line Fever” by Motörhead, a stripped down rendition of “Less Than Zero” by Elvis Costello, and the standout in the group, “I Love My Label” by Nick Lowe (which you can’t help but sing along to).
There has been a bit of a gap in my posts here. Mostly this is due to my trip to London that started last Wednesday. In spite of almost having the entire thing sabotaged by American Airlines who cancelled our flights at 6 pm the night before we were supposed to leave at 8 am, everything went splendidly. I actually was able to learn a lot about the UK publishing world from some fellow colleagues who were more than gracious with their time. There are some very intelligent folks over there who believe in publishing and they are coming up with really creative ideas.
London is one of those cities I always feel at home in, perhaps because the Brits are such conversational people. They do have a knack for making one feel welcome. It was also a chance to catch up with several old friends who always go out of their way to come out and have a grand ol’ boozer. I miss them all already.
One of the things I love about London is that like New York City, there are always new things to discover, new parts to explore. This time around, I was lucky enough to discover a slew of new record shops. Unlike New York City, the London shops don’t overcharge for their LPs or 45′s. New York City has become ridiculous in this regard. Thank god for street vendors (usually ex-DJs) who are willing to be a bit more reasonable (and in most cases have a better selection). But I struck gold in London. It’s always painful to make that difficult “I really want these singles, but I suppose I can put these ones back in the rack” decision. There were so many gems in the bins, many going for £1 to £3 each, that I couldn’t resist. So without further ado, a quick rundown of the score (click on the images to enlarge them):
An original “Radio Clash” single (from the Clash of course). It came out in ’81 but was never on any of the LPs. It still is one of my favorite Clash songs and the B-side includes a longer, more Dub-esque version recorded live for Radio Five. Continue reading