Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, I used to write a series here called Friday Night Music Club.
Here is what I wrote way back in March 2015 to explain:
“Friends of mine will tell you I love a themed mix tape or CD.
In my old flat, we used to have what we (ok, I) liked to call The Friday Night Music Club. This would involve us a) getting very drunk b) me shaving my head at some point c) listening to the latest CD mix I’d made (later, when I bought a sound system that allowed me to just plug my iPod in (other mp3 playing devices are available) these mixes got waaaay longer, and probably waaaaay more tedious for the listener) and d) ideally having a bit of a dance.
I’ve done mix tapes and CDs for friends and family all my life (but you already knew that, right?) but the idea here was to make a series of mix CDs which, when played in sequence, you could play at a house party and which would keep the night bubbling along nicely.
Actually, this is something I’d already tried a few years earlier. Friends of mine used to have the most excellent parties at their flat on Hilldrop Road, usually with a DJ playing, but on one occasion the DJ – and for that matter, their decks – couldn’t make it. In their absence I prepared a set of 11 CDs – about 15 hours – which, when played in sequence, took you from aperitifs and welcomers, to “go on have a bit of a dance”, through to off your nut party anthems, and then back down to sitting round talking nonsense about radishes until 6am.
Anyway, back to the Friday Night Music Club. Occasionally I’d make a theme out of the whole thing (hey, if Bob Dylan can do a radio show using the same format, I can do a mix CD, okay?) or do more than one CD and spread the theme out (there was once a 4 CD opus to a former flat mate which deserves a mention in passing) but more often than not the theme would occur to me in the middle of preparing it, and that’d be it…I’d be off….“
As an aside, I appear to have missed some fairly significant landmarks in the history of this place: my first ever post was in September 2013, and if you think my posts are sporadic now, bear in mind that my second post didn’t happen until a year later in 2014. Whatever, a belated 5th anniversary to me!
Anyway, it was when I became rather fixated on the theme rather than with just posting some songs which sound good when played together that I knocked the Friday Night Music Club series on the head.
Since there are now more of us are spending our Friday Nights at home, many of us getting drunk, I figured I would bring the series back for at least a one-off for you to use as your sountrack to your Zoom/Houseparty chats. There might be more, I’ve not decided yet.
Also, this, right here what you’re reading now, is my 1500th post, so I’d like to mark at least one of my landmark posts in a timely manner.
I figured we’d go back to where it all began, to the first few episodes of Friday Night Music Club, but now with fewer attempts to be clever/funny and just more songs to rock your end of the working (from home) week/kids are in bed celebrations.
Actually, I’d hoped to bring this to you last weekend, in time for the Bank Holiday, but time simply caught up with me, the bastard.
The initial intention was simply to repost those early “mixes”, with a few new songs thrown in here and there (and some brutally culled). But as I was working on it, it metemporphasised into something different, perhaps better described as a completely new mix of tunes, very loosely hung on the framework of the old ones, in an effort to reinvigorate them, poncey as that may sound.
If you’d prefer to just listen to this on Spotify, you can do here:
…although a word of warning: Spotify doesn’t have all of the songs in the playlist, so the only real way to enjoy this in it’s full…erm…glory is by ploughing through the links below.
Oh, and a second word of warning: there’s a fair bit of effin’ and jeffin’ on some of these, so perhaps not for those with young ears.
Hopefully, there will be something for everyone in here (there’s seventy tunes in just over five hours, so I bloody hope so!), so push back the sofa, get yourself a pint of White Russian (or whatever your weapon of choice is), dim the lights and turn up the volume. Let there be grooves. Let there be guitars. Let there be cheese. Let there be some surprises, some forgotten tunes and some old favourites. Let there be singing. Let there be dancing.
Tell you what: I’ll play a song or two by way of a little intro whilst you’re getting yourself sorted:
Pretty sure I won’t be the first in the blogging world to post this tune this month, and I imagine any radio DJ worth their salt will already have given it a spin, but hey, what the heck: it’s a stone cold classic and just what’s needed to get yo’ groove on of a Monday morning:
Despite everything, and Bowie excluded, I’ve tried to keep this place separate from all of tributes and eulogies to all of the oh-so-many losses from the music world so far this year. There are others who are far better at chronicling and commenting on these things than I – in fact, I’ve been feeling a little sorry for halfhearteddude who does a monthly round up of those that have passed on his wonderful site. You can read his post about January 2016 post here. As you can imagine, it takes a while to get through it all. But don’t stop there, look around: he posts some of the most wonderful stuff around, a lot of which is unknown to me (who knew that Yazz’s “The Only Was Is Up” was a cover version? halfhearteddude, that’s who!) His site is littered in little jewels just waiting to be discovered, and he’s kind enough to include enough songs in each post to fit onto your standard CD.
And I am totally with him as to the best Terry Wogan quote, by the way.
Anyway, I thought it would be appropriate for me to soften my stance somewhat. I’m not going to wax lyrical about Maurice White or Colin Vearncombe here; I was shocked and saddened by the losses, as I am with anybody whose records I own, but I don’t consider myself a big enough fan of either to do a good, respectful job of writing about them. Which is not meant to belittle the music they made, but rather my knowledge of their back catalogues.
You know what I’m trying to say: what I knew of these people I liked, and it’s my own stupid fault that I didn’t investigate further, sooner. If I’m not careful, 2016 will turn me into someone that only buys records by people that have died so they can attempt to share in the communal grief.
So, for one time only on this thread, two beautiful records by two sadly missed recent departures, both very different, but both of which are perfect for posting here.
Neither of them need any further comment – we’ll let the records speak for themselves – other than, y’know, good night, sleep well, and thank you:
And lo! The mood is set. And the more observant among you (who haven’t been subjected to one of these before) will note a pattern emerging: three or four songs in a similar vein or genre, followed by one or two linking to the next group of songs. Yes, that’s right: a bit like a DJ set (admittedly a DJ set in a ropey bar, student union or indie club as supposed to at, say, Ministry of Sound, or Pacha)
You’ll remember last time out we were entering into disco mode…so ready to go? Flares and afro on? Good Then here’s the second batch: