Saturday 13 December 2014

Not Silence

Well, that's my Christmas sorted. Last night I caught an ad on the telly for a CD compilation called Silence Is Golden. A tricky theme for any collection of, well, music, but The Sound of Silence is present and correct (Simon & Garfunkel, not, thank G--, The Bachelors), also the title track (the Tremeloes, alas, not the Four Seasons original). The rest is not silence, and the subtitle '60 Hits from the Original Chilled Generation' better expresses what it is - lots of mellow and, for those of the right age who misspent enough of their youth, powerfully evocative music.
 Most of what you'd expect is here, from Whiter Shade of Pale and Nights in White Satin to God Only Knows and Albatross, from Green Tambourine to Blue Bayou, Everybody's Talkin' to Mellow Yellow. Plenty of West Coast sounds - Byrds, Lovin' Spoonful, even a couple of Tims (Rose and Hardin, not Buckley), Scott McKenzie but, oddly, no Mamas & Papas (copyright problems?). Otis Redding fans are already complaining that, once again, it's the inferior stereo mix of Dock of the Bay, rather than the original mono - but, more to the point, there are some odd selections: Subterreanean Homesick Blues (chilled?!), It Ain't Me Babe sung by Johnny Cash, not to mention those imperishable classics Can't Let Maggie Go (Honeybus) and Let's Go to San Francisco (Flowerpot Men). On the other hand, there are things you wouldn't expect to find on this kind of compilation: the Velvets' Sunday Morning (lovely song but no one noticed at the time), Nick Drake's Time Has Told Me (ditto), and tracks by Love, Pentangle, John Renbourn and Bert Jansch. Dammit, I might even buy the thing.


  1. Some try to tell me
    Thoughts they cannot defend,
    Just what you want to be
    You will be in the end

    Well, precisely duckie. Lyrics eh? back of a fag packet stuff, get you right there, every time. Happy days Nige, the music industry and Liverpool were positively vomiting groups, adding to that rich tapestry etc..

  2. I really like Can't Let Maggie Go by Honeybus. It has a powerful Proustian association with a particular day long ago walking to my primary school by myself, when for some reason I was feeling very content with the world and all the things in it. It must have been playing on the radio that morning.