David Bowie – The Collection Vol.1

For the second compilation, we have David Bowie using songs from his debut album up to and including Ziggy Stardust. Bowie had been on vinyl as far back as 1964 but none of these early singles made the cut. To my ears, they are not very good and pretty derivative of the period in which they were recorded. However, by the time his first album came out in 1967, there were a couple of songs that didn’t sound out of place. Most of these were stereo but some mono mixes were used all thanks to the deluxe edition of his debut album which was a goldmine of interesting cuts and BBC sessions. A couple of these early songs are presented by BBC recordings as they had a bit more life to them than the studio cuts. 1971 re-recording of Holy Holy was also included here as this was the version I heard first and I prefer it to the original single mix. The first disc does highlight the fact that Bowie was really trying to find his voice and style.

Disc 2 is where this changes and the gold starts to flow. Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust are great albums and it was hard leaving songs off. However, it is all about the flow when putting a compilation like this together. I included the demo of Quicksand instead of the studio cut as I like the simplicity of it. It is also quicker and fits in better. Looking for a Friend is the unreleased single mix from Bowie’s Arnold Corns project and some period songs that were either released as B-sides later on (Velvet Goldmine) or unreleased at the time (Sweet Head). The disc finishes with a bang by using the single version of John, I’m Only Dancing. Well the version without the saxophone on it anyway. For the cover, I used a fresh faced Bowie from his debut album but with any reference to the record label taken off.

Disc 1

  1. Space Oddity
  2. Unwashed & Somewhat Slightly Dazed
  3. The Man Who Sold The World
  4. Running Gun Blues
  5. Janine
  6. God Knows I’m Good
  7. Let Me Sleep Beside You (BBC Version)
  8. Black Country Rock
  9. Come & Buy My Toys (Stereo Album Mix)
  10. Letter To Hermione
  11. Holy Holy (1971 Re-Recording)
  12. An Occasional Dream
  13. In The Heat Of The Morning (Mono Vocal Version)
  14. Sell Me A Coat (Original Mono Album Mix)
  15. Silly Boy Blue (BBC Version Recorded For Top Gear)
  16. Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud (Rare B-Side Version – 2003 Digital Remaster)
  17. After All
  18. Cygnet Committee
  19. Memory Of A Free Festival

Disc 2

  1. Changes
  2. Oh! You Pretty Things
  3. Eight Line Poem
  4. Life On Mars!
  5. Kooks
  6. Fill Your Heart
  7. Andy Warhol
  8. Song For Bob Dylan
  9. Queen Bitch
  10. Quicksand (Demo)
  11. Looking For A Friend (Single Version)
  12. Moonage Daydream
  13. Starman
  14. It Ain’t Easy
  15. Lady Stardust
  16. Star
  17. Hang On To Yourself
  18. Velvet Goldmine
  19. Ziggy Stardust
  20. Suffragette City
  21. Sweet Head
  22. Rock & Roll Suicide
  23. John, I’m Only Dancing (1972 single version, new 1990 remix

The playlist for Disc 1 is available on Spotify, but disc 2 could not be re-created  because one or more songs were not available on that platform.

Small Faces – The Collection

First up, we start with the legendary Small Faces. I was first introduced to the band during the Britpop Years when many of those acts said how much of an influence and inspiration they were. Unfortunately, compilers have poorly served the band and record companies down the years, especially after the mess that was the Immediate label. However, at least in the 2010s, there have been some efforts to rectify this with deluxe editions of their 60s catalogue as well as a four disc box set. At the time of writing though, the Autumn Stone compilation has yet to be a part of this programme but hopefully this will not be the case for too much longer.

I have split this band overview over two discs, neatly divided into the Decca and Immediate years. This is not quite as neat a division as it should have been as Eddie’s Dreaming, which ends Disc One was the last song on the first Immediate album. To my ears, none of the Decca material sounded like a last song on an album track, and with the story of Happiness Stan Suite finishing Disc Two, this would have been a track too good to miss off.; hence it goes there. Just Passing on Disc Two was recorded during the period where the band was moving between Decca and Immediate, but it sounds more like the second labels material so it went there. In my opinion, the band also sounded better in Mono so the majority of the songs here are in that format, except for the songs taken from Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake. Being the most psychedelic of their albums, stereo seems to be the best way to listen that material. Stereo was also the way in which I first heard that album, so mono just doesn’t sound right to me. The exception being Song of a Baker which sounds a bit odd in stereo to my ears, due to the drums being in the left channel instead of the centre. Red Balloon has never been released in mono. The front over is a classic mod shot of the band from their early years which was borrowed from a very early Small Faces website back in the early years of this century.

Anyway, stay tuned for more playlists coming over the following weeks.

The Small Faces – The Collection

Disc 1 – The Decca Years

  1. What’Cha Gonna Do About It (Mono)
  2. What’s A Matter Baby (Mono)
  3. Take This Hurt Off Me (Mono/Different Version)
  4. I Can’t Make It (Session Version – Mono)
  5. Jump Back (Mono/BBC Saturday Club Version)
  6. Shake (Mono)
  7. Hey Girl (Mono)
  8. Almost Grown (Mono)
  9. Own Up Time (Mono/Alt Version)
  10. Come On Children (Mono)
  11. Understanding (Mono)
  12. E Too D (Mono)
  13. You Need Loving (Mono)
  14. One Night Stand (Mono)
  15. It’s Too Late (Mono)
  16. All Or Nothing (Mono)
  17. Don’t Stop What You’re Doing (Mono)
  18. My Mind’s Eye (Mono)
  19. Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow (Mono)
  20. That Man (Mono)
  21. I’ve Got Mine (Mono)
  22. You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me (Mono)
  23. Eddie’s Dreaming (Mono)

Disc 2 – The Immediate Years

  1. Tin Soldier (Mono)
  2. Something I Want To Tell You (Mono)
  3. Here Comes The Nice (Mono)
  4. Itchycoo Park (Mono)
  5. I Feel Much Better (Mono Single Mix)
  6. Become Like You (Mono)
  7. Talk To You (Mono)
  8. Things Are Going To Get Better (Mono)
  9. Afterglow Of Your Love (Stereo)
  10. Songs Of A Baker (Mono)
  11. Just Passing (Mono)
  12. Feeling Lonely (Mono)
  13. All Our Yesterdays (Mono)
  14. Lazy Sunday (Mono)
  15. The Universal (Mono Single Mix)
  16. My Way Of Giving (Mono)
  17. Show Me The Way (Mono)
  18. I’m Only Dreaming (Mono)
  19. Wham Bam Thank You Mam (Mono)
  20. Red Balloon (Alt Stereo Mix)
  21. The Autumn Stone (Mono Single Mix)
  22. Up The Wooden Hills To Bedfordshire (Mono)
  23. Happiness Stan (Stereo)
  24. Rollin’ Over (Stereo)
  25. The Hungry Intruder (Stereo)
  26. The Journey (Stereo)
  27. Mad John (Stereo)
  28. Happy Days Toy Town (Stereo)

I was not able to add a Spotify playlist because one or more songs were not available on that platform.

A New Feature

A new feature on The Squire Presents website are playlists (or mix CDs) that I will be listing from now on. This is because I am old enough to remember slaving over a Hi-Fi system creating mixtapes to play on my ever-present Walkman. When tape went by the wayside, there was the MiniDisc, which I used for a couple of years, but these never really took off in the same way tapes had. The best feature of the MiniDisc though was the ability to move songs on the playlist without having to re-record them, or delete a song from the playlist if the flow didn’t sound quite right. The sound quality of the MiniDisc might not have been the best, but when played through Walkman Headphones, the tunes sounded pretty good to me.

Then I got hold of a PC with a CD burner. Having a computer to create playlists offered a great deal of freedom. This freedom included the ability to move songs around the playlist, edit songs, fade songs into one another and even create my own artwork. Even though CDs are now a bit old hat (even though in 2020, they seem to still be the most popular format for buying physical music), I still like to put together a playlist of songs, be it various or single artists, to the length of a CD. Therefore, I will be presenting these playlists including, where appropriate, the specific version of the song that was used as well as any further information I thought you may find interesting. For the most part, I also look to fill the entire CD (max length is about 1 hour, 19 minutes and 40 seconds), but sometimes the mix sounds right at a shorter playing time. Most probably there wasn’t enough material from an artist to fill an entire CD that sounded good to me. These are personal mixes where the songs flow is as important as the songs included. I have also tried not to use the same song (or at least the same version) on more than one compilation (in the same way I tried not to double up on the podcasts), but sometimes, it happens. I will be posting the first of these in the next few days. Enjoy.

Episode 88 – Before They Were Famous Part 2

We once again take a look at the song released by artists who became famous later on.

  • Lovingly Yours – Mockingbirds (Graham Gouldman/Kevin Godley)
  • London Is Behind Me – Justin Hayward
  • Till You Say You’ll Be Mine – Olivia Newton-John
  • How Long Must I Be Made To Wait, Wait – Giorgio & The Morodians (Giorgio Moroder)
  • You Never Wanted Me – Alex Campbell & Friends (Sandy Denny)
  • Say Those Magic Words – The Birds, Birds (Ronnie Wood)
  • Pulsar – Flaming Youth (Phil Collins)
  • Don’t Go Way Little Girl – Shame (Greg Lake)
  • Mr Poem – Mike Batt
  • Digger – A New Generation (Sutherland Brothers)
  • I Can Hear Raindrops – The Valentines (Bon Scott)
  • Who Has Seen The Wind – Simon Sisters (Carly Simon)
  • Amsterdam, The First Days – Brainbox (Jan Akkerman)
  • Silver Forest – Organisation (Kraftwerk)
  • Rocking Chair Rock ‘n’ Roll Blues – Elf (Ronnie James Dio)
  • Last Saturday – Pat Benatar
  • It’s A Happy Day – Ellen Amos (Tori Amos)
  • Arabadrengurinn (The Arab Boy) – Bjork
  • Never Grow Old – Aretha Franklin