Of all classic crackers that celebrated a birthday this year, and were featured here, Turn The Volume picked STEP ON by HAPPY MONDAYS, released 30 years ago
this year, as the cracking cracker of all 2020 crackers.
Why? This is the dance floor killer I moved to in mysterious ways
for years now and will do so tonight (New Year’s Eve).
Shaun Ryder about the track: “It was fluke. We thought, this is the last thing we need! They sent over a tape with lots of songs from the back catalogue of Elektra. So we stuck the tape on and Step On was either first or second on the tape. We said, right – that’ll do!”
TOP OF THE POPS performance
(great moment: 3-minute mark when Rowetta‘s voice fills the studio)
Released: 10 December 1976 – debut LP Rolling Stone wrote: “Everything is sung by Deborah Harry, possessor of a bombshell zombie’s voice that can sound dreamily seductive and woodenly Mansonite within the same song. It’s an interesting combination and forces all the songs on Blondie to work on at least two levels: as peppy but rough pop, and as distanced, artless avant-rock.”
Released: 23 April 1976 – debut LP AllMusic wrote: “With the three-chord assault of “Blitzkrieg Bop,” Ramones begins at a blinding speed and never once over the course of its 14 songs does it let up. The Ramones is all about speed, hooks, stupidity, and simplicity. The songs are imaginative reductions of early rock & roll, girl-group pop, and surf rock.”
Released: 15 September 1976 – third LP AllMusic wrote: “Comprised of recordings taken from 1975 tours, the live Stupidity finally captures the relentless, hard-driving energy of Dr. Feelgood at their peak. All the music on Stupidity is presented raw and without overdubs, making it clear that the dynamic friction between guitarist Wilko Johnson and vocalist Lee Brilleaux could propel the band toward greatness.”
Released: 5 January 1976 – 17th LP Rolling Stone said: “In typical Dylan style, the follow-up to Blood on the Tracks was mostly bashed out in one all-night New York session, fueled by tequila. “Sara,” his account of his crumbling marriage, and the politically charged “Hurricane” highlight the last great album
he’d make for many years.”
Released: 8 December 1976 – fifth LP Billboard said: “The casually beautiful, quietly-intense multileveled vocal harmonies
and brilliant original songs that meld solid emotional words with lovely melody lines
are all back in force, keeping the Eagles at the acme of acoustic electric soft rock.”
You can check out any time you like,
but you can never leave!…
Jason Williamson about the LP’s title: “it’s the idea of the amount
of people that died from the first wave of coronavirus, human lives
are always expendable to the elites. We’re in a constant state of being
Chuck D. said: “My battle is with Trump – to look at this guy that I’ve known since
the early ‘80s. I’m from New York and I’ve seen all his bullshit and the mind games
that he’s played on the country and the world. He’s just got to go. If the world can’t
stand him and half the country can’t stand him, then why is he there?”
NME said: Still bringing the noise after being in the game for over 30 years,
this album is Public Enemy’s best effort since 1998’s ‘He Got Game’. Continuing
to hold leaders accountable in a time when it’s truly needed, the group’s fearless
expressions of truth sound right at home pinned to a jet-fuelled backdrop of rip-
roaring beats that hammer your eardrums and capture everything hip-hop should
stand for.” – Full review here. Score: 4/5.
Turn Up The Volume said: The uncontested kings of rap came back from never
being away. They’re still razor-in-your-face-sharp gangbusters and non-stop-free-
spoken ranters. They’re still fighting the corrupt power, they’re still the voice for
millions of their oppressed brothers and sisters. Hail hail!
PE also topped Turn Up The Volume‘s best-knockout-tracks-of-2020 list
with the loud and crystal clear ripper State Of The Union…
It was really a bad year for me-myself-and-I megalomaniacs. First Donald Duck Trumpet was dumped by the American people because he didn’t make the land of opportunities great again – the sociopath split it right down the middle – and now Bojo the Clown is bumped by LEG PUPPY, the underground Joker mouthpiece for the British fuck-you-Boris movement.
To avoid fake misunderstandings LEG PUPPY just issued an official statement. According to the puppies the honorable Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is a BIG POSH PRICK.
For further explicit details check this last pick of the day of the year 2020…
After their psych-o-delic album Darkness Rains, their third full length released two years ago, garage-rock hell cats DEATH VALLEY GIRLS returned from their Los Angeles graves for
the flabbergasting follow-up UNDER THE SPELL OF JOY. Sonically a different beast, from
the Death Valley universe where anything can happen.
(Re)discovering the powerful force of joy the longplayer sounds magical, but be aware the Girls are still SPELL-binding, you never know what they have up on their shiny sleeve. But that didn’t stop Turn Up The Volume to contact first lady Bonnie Bloomgarden for a 2020 chat. But as usual, we start with a piece of music. Let’s go to the disco…
New album UNDER THE SPELL OF JOY was a sonic surprise. How would
you describe the different sound and approach of the record?
“We wanted to expand on some of the ideas from the last album by experimenting
a bit more. We wanted to have tons of backup gang vocals, a kids chorus, sax and
keyboard on most songs. And we wanted it to be like sound improvised!”
Who’s eyes do we see on the album’s front cover?
“Her name is Olga Klüver, she was an artist who hung out with
Andy Warhol and The Factory crowd in New York in the 60’s.”
The title track is a thing of beauty with that angelic choir and the positive
message. What or who motivated you for this song, Bonnie?
“Thanks so much! It flew into my head while walking in my favorite park! The rhythm of my steps just too form into that melody! I felt so lucky! I ran into a coffee shop and borrowed someone’s phone so I could leave the melody on my voicemail. I used to never take my phone on walks…”
How hard was it to hear that for a band-made-to-play-live concerts
were cancelled due to the coronavirus?
“It’s extremely hard for everyone in every job. The toughest part for us is trying to
figure out how and when we can help. We are really lucky we finished the record
before quarantine, and that it’s bringing some amount of joy to people.”
What did you feel the moment you heard
of the fall of Donald Trump?
Suppose you were the new and first lady in the White House,
what music would you play in the Oval Office?
“Iggy, Ronnie Spector, Black Sabbath, The Cramps, Dead Moon.”
You’re asked to rewrite and put new music to the National USA Anthem. No restrictions whatsoever. What would be the outcome, in sound and vision?
“No words, just guitar, bass and drums with the Bo Diddley beat!”
2020 was the year of covers. Which song would
you pick to turn it into a DVG vibe?
Looks like longtime running British music magazine UNCUT – we’re ‘the spiritual home
of great rock ‘n’ roll’ – is actually on a… roll. We have two more days to go in 2020 and
the mag just dropped its February 2021 edition. Well, well.
This EP is the emotive, bluesy and saxy harbinger – with Lick The Bag as one of the best rollicking 2020 tracks – for the Swedish punks’ new album Welfare Jazz, out 8th January.
“I think our songs are mostly written about what’s going on in our lives. Not every band needs
to take themselves so seriously. I’m not very good at political commentary, so I’m not gonna go write a political song. There’s enough of that, in a way. You know, ‘Nazi punks fuck off’” says sharp-tongued singer/songwriter/tattooist Sebastian Murphy.
Singer/songwriter Attawalpa is a South-American, London-based artist who’s “music
is the sum of his influences, a colourful and culturally rich Schmorgers board of sounds, textures, emotions, and grooves from eras across a multitude of genres, sitting comfortably
in between rock, alternative and pop spaces. His Peruvian heritage plays a part too.”
These four gracious pearls, with multi-layered orchestrations, shows an imaginative and
impassioned artist with a transcendent vox and the masterly gift to write absorbing songs with a sticking pop melodiousness.
This rowdy Sussex turbo trio produces a fired-up blues-rock turbulence that electrifies
your body, makes smoke coming out of your ears and open up your sweat pores. Feel
free to bang your head against your living room walls, kick that coronavirus in the balls and let your locked up 2020 energy go its way with volcanic force. Yeeeeeeeeessss!
A collection of the 5 songs representing 2020 for this Welsh art-pop-folk duo.
“The taste of our particular flu pastille.” says the pair.
Expect dream-pop in colors and mixed-emotions poetry in motion, embedded
in multi-dimensional arrangements and free-spirited patterns Kate Bush and Florence Welch would definitely approve. Yes, that twinkling and sparkling good.
If you want to get away from reality for a while than this Norwegian dream-pop act is the ideal partner. It’s romanticism wrapped in six lyrical musings – including one charming instrumental – with the near whispering, sensual voice of vocalist Elisabeth Thorsen having a soothing effect on your state of mind. The feel is tranquilizing, tender, idyllic like a sort of zen experience.