Ian Sproatly Smith has joined us with his Desert Island Discs selections today.
Sproatly Smith are of course responsible for one of the Active Listener's favourite albums of the year so far "The Minstrel's Grave". Check out the review here.
Says Ian "Every Sunday morning I wonder again what songs I would choose when Roy Plomley eventually gets round to asking me on his show. It’s a hard task, but I have some idea. Thanks to the Active Listener I can seriously think about it in detail. It’s made me listen through my collection again, and realise what great music is out there. Choosing albums would be a little easier, I thought! The first few came quite easily, but then it became much harder. Apologies to the endless LPs I could have chosen.
This is a mixture of my favourite albums, and what I would want to listen to on my island.
Here goes: "
1. The Madcap Laughs /Barret- Syd Barret
A little bit of cheating here, already. But I did buy the two Syd Barret albums in one gatefold edition. My copy is over-played, and knackered now, and I remember spilling a large glass of red on the vinyl years back, so I would need a replacement. But I couldn't live without this album. His voice, his guitar, his lyrics, his melody, his genius. Enough said. One of the biggest influences in my life, not just musically.
“Inside me I feel, alone and unreal…”
2. The Wicker Man – Paul Giovanni
Fairly easy too. The Wicker Man soundtrack on Trunk records. A massive influence on the Sproatly sound, and the folklore that goes with it. This started my dabbling venture into psych folk and folklore in general. Listening to this rekindled my folk roots, and led me to discover the beautiful twisted folk music of the late 60s and early 70s, and to play guitar again, and to record.
“I think I could turn and live with animals……”
3. No Rest For The Wicked- New Model Army
We used go to see this band a lot in the early 80s. Full of rock energy, and political angst. I used to come away from the gigs with bruised shins beaten by clogs! I still put this record on really loud and sing along when I’m feeling up against the wall. The lyrics are great, and Slade the Leveller wrote some beautiful ballads too. He conjured up life in a small town in Thatcher’s Britain. Anarcho pagan folk punk ? Maybe.
“I believe in getting the bastards….”
4. Hereford United(We All Love You)- Danny Lee
A song, not an album unfortunately. Written to commerate FA cup glory in 1972 and league status, this anthem is played and sung on the terraces at every game of my beloved, rubbish football club. Written by local celebrity Danny, who once walked round the ground with a pint of beer balanced on his head for charity. I have 2 prized versions of this on 7”. Watch out for a Sproatly cover!
“Hereford United, We All Love You, We’ll Always Support You And We’ll Follow You Through…..”
5. Moyshe Mcstiff and The Tartan Dancers Of The Sacred Heart – COB
I need some Clive Palmer on the island, my favourite songs of his are not on this album: A Leaf Must Fall, and O For Summer, but this is all round loveliness. Slightly weird folk voices, and more than slightly odd instrumentation. Clive writes such beautiful songs, wish I could take them all. Even his solo banjo albums are great (not my favourite instrument)
“When the brightness of your eyes come smiling o’er the fields…”
6. Different Class – Pulp
Everyone’s a winner on this album. I spent a couple of years in Sheffield in the 80s, going to the same haunts as Jarvis, never met the feller though, yet. We keep missing each other. Real lyrics, real feelings, plenty of lip gloss.
“ I wrote this song to us before we met….”
7. Live At The Jazz Café – KPM Allstars
Choosing which library album to take is a problem. I’ve collected lots of 70s funky lounge/ easy listening records. Could I live without the Grandstand theme, Alan Hawkshaw’s wonderful hammond, Keith Mansfield’s arrangements, Duncan Lamont’s sax. I’ve seen the KPM Allstars play live twice, it’s heaven. I would take the live album, but there is none. Have been torn between the two sound gallery albums, and KPM 194 and 238. After a bit of net surfing, I’ve just seen an album ‘KPM Allstars Live At The Jazz Café’ . Result. Mp3 only.
8 . Dedicated To The Bird I Love - Oriental Sunshine
From here on it gets trickier. There would be plenty of 60s psych folk I would love to take. This album from Norway is full of sitar, tabla, great voices and lovely lyrics.
“You turn the candles low …..”
9. In The Court of The Crimson King – King Crimson
Need to have this. One of the first albums that I bought. Love the vocals, and the music is sublime. Jazz, folk, prog, classical. I do prefer the Judy Dyble version of I Talk to the Wind
“said the straight man to the late man…….”
10. The Great British Experience (50 original light music classics)
If I were on the radio show Desert Island Discs I would choose the theme tune from the show: Sleepy Lagoon. Perfect music for an island (although I would love to take some Martin Denny/ Exotica) This album has that and Sailing By, the music before the shipping forecast which I generally fall asleep to. It also has The Archers theme and the theme to Johnny Morris’s Animal Magic, and Top Of The Form. The rest of the album is full of varied mood music that would keep me entertained for hours: skipping, galloping like a horse, chugging like a train!
Stroll On – Steve Ashley
Which Way You Goin’ Billy? – The Poppy Family
Any album by Pentangle
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