And The Hits .../Pretty Much Your Standard ...

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And The Hits .../Pretty Much Your Standard ...

Postby billy » 04 Nov 2014, 10:09

Image

And The Hits Just Keep on Comin'

Image

Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash

Just about two of my favourite albums that I always keep forgetting about ...

If anyone asked me what I rate, I would never think of these straightaway.

But when the fuckers wink their hats at me -- and then ask for an outing on the turntable, well, hell, I am simply gooey putty in their hands.

I'm a whore for Nesmith


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Re: And The Hits .../Pretty Much Your Standard ...

Postby 'skope » 04 Nov 2014, 10:32

good call, billy-boy. 'and the hits' is my favourite by nesmith. stripped down and raw. not heard 'pretty much..'


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Re: And The Hits .../Pretty Much Your Standard ...

Postby ... » 04 Nov 2014, 10:42

Both lovely records that show two very different sides of Papa Nes.

Autographed copies of each (saw and met him following his Zig Zag show with Red Rhodes at Victoria Theatre in 75) and the first three National Band records all take pride of place in my vinyl collection

Did anyone go and see him on his recent tour of the UK?

You should really check out Stash btw, Skope...

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Re: And The Hits .../Pretty Much Your Standard ...

Postby Rayge » 04 Nov 2014, 10:49

Really excited to see this billy; it reminded me that I had not yet substantiated my claim, made in the BCB 130 Monkees thread, that Old Wool Hat's solo career produced more of substance than those of all four former Beatles. I got plenty to say here about these two, and there about the rest, but first I have to take the dog for a walk and do some gardening.

The soundscaping and production on this are a work of genius, and while it's not a category of true greatness in music, I defy anyone to better the segue between 2.15 and 2.45

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Re: And The Hits .../Pretty Much Your Standard ...

Postby billy » 04 Nov 2014, 10:54

Rayge wrote: .... that Old Wool Hat's solo career produced more of substance than those of all four former Beatles ...


Too damn right.

Rayge wrote:I got plenty to say here about these two, and there about the rest, but first I have to take the dog for a walk and do some gardening


Look forward to it!

Any views on The Prison? The only one I blow hot and cold about (and The Garden, I suppose ...)
mantochanga wrote:Dave Bartram from Showaddywaddy - on telly every week, but most people didn't even know his name. No burdening us with his issues or personal life, just a straightforward entertainer. Navvy!

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Re: And The Hits .../Pretty Much Your Standard ...

Postby 'skope » 04 Nov 2014, 11:02

fueryhk(redux) wrote:You should really check out Stash btw, Skope...


just realised i do have it on a twofer. will give it a listen!

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Re: And The Hits .../Pretty Much Your Standard ...

Postby clive gash » 04 Nov 2014, 18:38

My fave Nez (and it's a cover)



One of the most melodically super-saturated things I've ever heard.
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Re: And The Hits .../Pretty Much Your Standard ...

Postby 'skope » 04 Nov 2014, 18:40

clive gash wrote:My fave Nez (and it's a cover)



One of the most melodically super-saturated things I've ever heard.


wow, nez and dylan in one night, time BCB took stock.

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Re: And The Hits .../Pretty Much Your Standard ...

Postby Rayge » 04 Nov 2014, 18:51

clive gash wrote:My fave Nez (and it's a cover)



One of the most melodically super-saturated things I've ever heard.


Tantamount to Treason is right up there as one of his Great Five, along with Mag South, Infinite Rider, Radio Engine and Ranch Stash. It was the one that turned me on to him as a solo artist, particularly this monster piece of production (put it through an amp and turn it up)



but it's all good.
I must say its heartening after two months of having my taste buried under a shitstorm of sneers and rage to find some people enthusiastic about the same stuff as I am
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Re: And The Hits .../Pretty Much Your Standard ...

Postby Carlisle Wheeling » 06 Nov 2014, 17:52

fueryhk(redux) wrote:Both lovely records that show two very different sides of Papa Nes.

Autographed copies of each (saw and met him following his Zig Zag show with Red Rhodes at Victoria Theatre in 75) and the first three National Band records all take pride of place in my vinyl collection

Did anyone go and see him on his recent tour of the UK?

You should really check out Stash btw, Skope...


Hi, the ZigZag gig was at the Roundhouse and the Victoria palace show was the following year (I think :?: ). I got there real early - around 1pm - and was lucky enough to meet Mike when he came out of the stage door to go to the remote recording truck parked around the back, which is when I had this photo taken with him. He put up with my questions and along with posing for the photo with me asked me to come backstage after the gig. Without a doubt it was the best gig I've been to, and despite the lack of Red Rhodes, topped the previous Roundhouse gig. Just. I've asked him since why it was never released and he said something about bum notes but like a lot of artists he isn't the best judge (*see NY and Time Fades Away)

Image


I caught him at the Theatre Royal (with a pick-up band for the first half, inc Dave peg on bass and Dave Mattacks on drums (plus Red Rhodes) and solo at Trent Polytechnic. I got to meet him again there, where I'd gone down on the train to Nottingham on a very wet day and the students let me in early to get out of the rain. Mike was wandering around the back of the hall, wearing what, I'm pretty sure was the jacket he wears on the inner sleeve of ATHJKOC. He told me that he'd travelled alone on the train to Nottingham for the gig - just an overnight bag and his twelve string. Another wonderful show, though lost on some of the students in attendance. The support was by a band called Slender Loris.


I'm rushing typing this and I'll have to get back later but I went to all four of his recent shows and filmed this clip at the RNCM in Manchester



Talking of And The Hits, this is a pretty interesting take on Harmony Constant recorded with the Watkins Family Hour. It's audio only.


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Re: And The Hits .../Pretty Much Your Standard ...

Postby toomanyhatz » 06 Nov 2014, 18:12

I'm big on the National Band, personally (there's not enough Red Rhodes in this world and too much Sneaky Pete), but these are great too. Really, it's important to remember what a nervy fucker he is. So many of his albums just completely come out of left field. From Wichita Train Whistle Sings (instrumental countrypolitan versions of Monkees songs, fresh out of the Monkees) to And The Hits... (stripped down to the bone just when everybody was getting all produced) to The Prison (huge epic that takes a commitment, one he even asked the listener to renew years later) to Infinite Rider (thoroughly modern record by old guy), he's done it time and time again.

Everybody goes into the Sarah Palin "maverick!" voice whenever anyone mentions Neil Young, but I'd say he compares. Who else came out of a 'manufactured' band doing, seemingly, what he wanted when he wanted? Must be nice to have that liquid paper nest egg to feel secure with, but still...I admire what he's done with it, and he always seems to land on his feet no matter how many backflips he does.
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Re: And The Hits .../Pretty Much Your Standard ...

Postby Carlisle Wheeling » 06 Nov 2014, 18:41

toomanyhatz wrote:I'm big on the National Band, personally (there's not enough Red Rhodes in this world and too much Sneaky Pete), but these are great too. Really, it's important to remember what a nervy fucker he is. So many of his albums just completely come out of left field. From Wichita Train Whistle Sings (instrumental countrypolitan versions of Monkees songs, fresh out of the Monkees) to And The Hits... (stripped down to the bone just when everybody was getting all produced) to The Prison (huge epic that takes a commitment, one he even asked the listener to renew years later) to Infinite Rider (thoroughly modern record by old guy), he's done it time and time again.

Everybody goes into the Sarah Palin "maverick!" voice whenever anyone mentions Neil Young, but I'd say he compares. Who else came out of a 'manufactured' band doing, seemingly, what he wanted when he wanted? Must be nice to have that liquid paper nest egg to feel secure with, but still...I admire what he's done with it, and he always seems to land on his feet no matter how many backflips he does.


Agree totally. Getting into Wichita probably got me ready for Trout Mask Replica a few years later!

The Prison is my album of all time but I've gotta go atm so more later :)

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Re: And The Hits .../Pretty Much Your Standard ...

Postby billy » 06 Nov 2014, 18:46

Carlisle Wheeling wrote:The Prison is my album of all time but I've gotta go atm so more later :)


Would love to hear your thoughts on The Prison and all its variations over the years.

I was initially underwhelmed when I finally heard the 74 version (sounded a bit thin and amateur) but now it's my fave ... nice thumpy bass
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Re: And The Hits .../Pretty Much Your Standard ...

Postby billy » 06 Nov 2014, 18:47

Carlisle Wheeling wrote:Image



You dude!
mantochanga wrote:Dave Bartram from Showaddywaddy - on telly every week, but most people didn't even know his name. No burdening us with his issues or personal life, just a straightforward entertainer. Navvy!

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Re: And The Hits .../Pretty Much Your Standard ...

Postby Carlisle Wheeling » 07 Nov 2014, 00:42

billy wrote:
You dude!


lol maybe.... but time hasn't been kind! That scene in the Simpsons where young Homer looks into the sink after washing his locks, spots a few hairs and then mutters "plenty more where they came from" still hurts.

This was taken at the last gig of the recent tour (Union Chapel) and that's Mike's daughter, Jessica. I didn't realise that at the time but I asked some question or other at the merch desk and she mentioned "her dad". She asked me if I'd seen him before and what my favourite record was. It seemed so surreal talking about "your dad's albums" etc .

Image

Sorry Billy, I know it's off topic but this is worth lending an ear to. I only found it recently and don't have the album yet.



Back on topic, all I can say is I think both albums are great. It's a crying shame that Mike and Red never recorded another album in the style of Hits. Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash is a wonderful, warm sounding album. My ONLY complaint is that it is too short. The twin lead guitars of Jay Lacy and Bobby Warford are to die for. Again, I know great artists move on but does it have to be so quickly? I guess the decision of David Geffen not to bankroll Countryside Records may have been part of the reason.

I mean, listen to this from Garland Frady and produced by Mike around the time Ranch Stash was cut:



I've read interviews where Mike said that the Eagles got it right. He can't have been serious! Seriously.

PS:In amongst the YouTube comments for the Garland Frady track you'll see this posted by Bill Graham, who played bass in the Countryside house-band.

Ah, the good old days at Mike Nesmith's Countryside studio. Red Rhodes on steel, Bobby Warford and Jay Lacy on guitars, Danny Lane on drums, Dave Barry on piano and Billy C. Graham, (me) on bass. We cut some great songs in that old studio-in-a-house in Northridge, California...This one in about '73, I think. Happy Weekend ! ~( :-)

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Re: And The Hits .../Pretty Much Your Standard ...

Postby Carlisle Wheeling » 07 Nov 2014, 01:37

Rayge wrote:The soundscaping and production on this are a work of genius, and while it's not a category of true greatness in music, I defy anyone to better the segue between 2.15 and 2.45



Although I have a lot of cuttings, my filing system is somewhat lacking but I recall that the NME review of Ranch Stash was by David Hepworth and he states that he has friends who regard the segue you mention as one of the finest moments in 70's music and that he is too much of a fan to argue.

Shame he never got Papa Nes onto the Whistle Test though.




Here's the Melody Maker review of Mike's gig at the Victoria Palace. If anybody is interested, I'll post the NME and Sounds reviews too...

Silent tribute to Nesmith

MICHAEL NESMITH’S sole British appearance at the Victoria Palace Theatre, London last Sunday was, at the very least, the most thought provoking concert I've attended in a long time and that's really more a comment on Nesmith’s attitude to per¬forming and his effect on the audience than the actual nature of the man's songs and his performance of them.

Nesmith writes haunting, moving love ballads, no doubt about it, but they become almost secondary to the proceedings at his gigs, and anyway, sung without any back up support from even stalwart pedal steel boss Red Rhodes, they aren't of particular musical significance. By his own admission Nesmith's no great shakes as a guitarist and still uses a capo to change key.

Thus, it's not the actual performance of his material that we applaud but rather the way in which it back references to our nostalgic associations with superior recorded performances. Plus, of course, we've still got Nesmith’s singing voice, which live or otherwise invariably teeters on the edge of heartbreak, with just the right amount of country conviction.

But increasingly, Nesmith's songs become mere illustrations in the flow of a kind of spoken monologue that he delivers with not a little brilliance. And as such, the songs can be treated however the mood suits. Michael doesn't appear to hold his own sensitivity as a writer in any particularly high regard and will casually turn a number like "Some Of Shelly’s Blues into a piece of comic crooning.

But as I've indicated, it's what Nesmith says that's crucial. By continually questioning the validity of the performer/paying customer situation he immediately begins to break down barriers that lesser artists don't even acknowledge. When he says: "You really don't have to clap if you don't want to . . . but if you don't feel obliged to clap 1 don’t have to say 'thank you' . . .' you can almost bear virgin minds whirring into action, beginning to question, for the first time such curious convention.

The profundity of some of Nesmith's observations regarding consciousness, the state of the universe and linear thought processes is pretty much undeniable, and in itself that's an achievement, for those subjects are generally taboo in the cynical seventies. Importantly, the audience attempts to stay with his philosophising, however near the obvious pitfalls of Summer Of Love generalisations he strays.

And in itself, I suppose, there's a danger inherent in that situation, replacing a fan/idol relationship with a disciple/guru one, maybe doesn't signify any real progress at all. But that's an area I don't have the courage to enter at this point and all I'm sure about is that the climax of Mike's performance was nothing short of shattering.

Nesmith announced that he would play a couple of pieces from his forthcoming soundtrack album, The Prison. These were "Closing Remark" and "Dance Between The Raindrops." Michael requested that, just in the interests of an experiment in consciousness, we should not applaud at all, either between songs or at the end of the performance, when he would simply leave the stage and we would just up and file out, silently.

He did, and so did we, and the absence of ecstatic cheers say more about Nesmith as an artist than a whole string of routine encores and standing ovations could ever have done. The completely refreshing absence of the usual studied response was the highest compliment the audience could conceivably have paid, a non-¬token of real respect, if you follow. And, if you don't and that sounds simply like Pseud's Corner jive, all I can say is, you should have been there, pal.

STEVE LAKE / MM74

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Re: And The Hits .../Pretty Much Your Standard ...

Postby Carlisle Wheeling » 07 Nov 2014, 15:43

I've just uploaded this interview from 1973 to YouTube for you guys. I recorded it on my Akai 4000 reel to reel from the 10 to midnight show. Was it called Sounds of the Seventies? I'm a bit hazy on that.

[youtube]fjzoWjqBTi8&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

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Re: And The Hits .../Pretty Much Your Standard ...

Postby ... » 07 Nov 2014, 16:45

Carlisle Wheeling wrote:
Rayge wrote:The soundscaping and production on this are a work of genius, and while it's not a category of true greatness in music, I defy anyone to better the segue between 2.15 and 2.45



Although I have a lot of cuttings, my filing system is somewhat lacking but I recall that the NME review of Ranch Stash was by David Hepworth and he states that he has friends who regard the segue you mention as one of the finest moments in 70's music and that he is too much of a fan to argue.

Shame he never got Papa Nes onto the Whistle Test though.




Here's the Melody Maker review of Mike's gig at the Victoria Palace. If anybody is interested, I'll post the NME and Sounds reviews too...

Silent tribute to Nesmith

MICHAEL NESMITH’S sole British appearance at the Victoria Palace Theatre, London last Sunday was, at the very least, the most thought provoking concert I've attended in a long time and that's really more a comment on Nesmith’s attitude to per¬forming and his effect on the audience than the actual nature of the man's songs and his performance of them.

Nesmith writes haunting, moving love ballads, no doubt about it, but they become almost secondary to the proceedings at his gigs, and anyway, sung without any back up support from even stalwart pedal steel boss Red Rhodes, they aren't of particular musical significance. By his own admission Nesmith's no great shakes as a guitarist and still uses a capo to change key.

Thus, it's not the actual performance of his material that we applaud but rather the way in which it back references to our nostalgic associations with superior recorded performances. Plus, of course, we've still got Nesmith’s singing voice, which live or otherwise invariably teeters on the edge of heartbreak, with just the right amount of country conviction.

But increasingly, Nesmith's songs become mere illustrations in the flow of a kind of spoken monologue that he delivers with not a little brilliance. And as such, the songs can be treated however the mood suits. Michael doesn't appear to hold his own sensitivity as a writer in any particularly high regard and will casually turn a number like "Some Of Shelly’s Blues into a piece of comic crooning.

But as I've indicated, it's what Nesmith says that's crucial. By continually questioning the validity of the performer/paying customer situation he immediately begins to break down barriers that lesser artists don't even acknowledge. When he says: "You really don't have to clap if you don't want to . . . but if you don't feel obliged to clap 1 don’t have to say 'thank you' . . .' you can almost bear virgin minds whirring into action, beginning to question, for the first time such curious convention.

The profundity of some of Nesmith's observations regarding consciousness, the state of the universe and linear thought processes is pretty much undeniable, and in itself that's an achievement, for those subjects are generally taboo in the cynical seventies. Importantly, the audience attempts to stay with his philosophising, however near the obvious pitfalls of Summer Of Love generalisations he strays.

And in itself, I suppose, there's a danger inherent in that situation, replacing a fan/idol relationship with a disciple/guru one, maybe doesn't signify any real progress at all. But that's an area I don't have the courage to enter at this point and all I'm sure about is that the climax of Mike's performance was nothing short of shattering.

Nesmith announced that he would play a couple of pieces from his forthcoming soundtrack album, The Prison. These were "Closing Remark" and "Dance Between The Raindrops." Michael requested that, just in the interests of an experiment in consciousness, we should not applaud at all, either between songs or at the end of the performance, when he would simply leave the stage and we would just up and file out, silently.

He did, and so did we, and the absence of ecstatic cheers say more about Nesmith as an artist than a whole string of routine encores and standing ovations could ever have done. The completely refreshing absence of the usual studied response was the highest compliment the audience could conceivably have paid, a non-¬token of real respect, if you follow. And, if you don't and that sounds simply like Pseud's Corner jive, all I can say is, you should have been there, pal.

STEVE LAKE / MM74


Cheers, CW. That bought the memories flooding back! He did a similar 'exit to silence' thing when he played a short solo tour where I caught him at Sheffield Uni later that or the next year and I seem to recall he played most of the prison. Although like my memories of Red Rhodes at Victoria Theatre- I could be wrong! Am pretty safe in saying the previous year was the Zig Zag 10th anniversary at the Roundhouse and also featured John Stewart whose Califonia Bloodilnes was always a big John Tobler and Pete Frame favourite. Anyway, happy days

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Re: And The Hits .../Pretty Much Your Standard ...

Postby pcqgod » 07 Nov 2014, 17:17

I have the twofer. Need to listen to it again soon.
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Re: And The Hits .../Pretty Much Your Standard ...

Postby Charlie O. » 13 Nov 2014, 00:11

Just discovered this oddity:





Written by Fred Myrow and Peter Ivers, for a Japanese movie called Blue Angels (1975).

Not sure what I think of it...
Image