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music

The Travelling Wilburys – ‘Collection’
by Matthew Freemantle

When George Harrison first spoke of putting together a group consisting of himself, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, most people would probably have asked him for a drag of whatever he was smoking. But two albums – the second without Orbison, who died shortly after Volume.1 – and a bagful of hits later, Harrison, and a grateful music world, had their dream realised. It’s been a long time coming, but that only makes ‘Collections’ that much more mouth-watering; indeed, when the album was released this year it shot straight to No.1 on the UK Charts and went almost as far in the US. The three disc set features every song and b-side recorded by the Wilburys, a DVD documenting the making of the first album and music videos of the biggest hits, including ‘The End of the Line’, ‘Last Night’ and ‘Congratulations’. For the Wilburys fan, ‘Collections’ is essential; for those yet to be won over, it’s a treasure chest of undiscovered musical joy.

The White Stripes

 

The Gossip – ‘Standing In The Way Of Control’
by Pauly Johns

'Standing in the way of Control' is a bi-polar album all about the Rotund Hurricane that is Beth Ditto, who emits such a dark and brooding sexiness you'd expect it to come from Count Dracula’s first bride and not from a sweaty lady in a tight jumpsuit. But if she has a sweet tooth she has a voice to match. There’s something old and everlasting about Ditto’s pipes that conjures the ghosts of Joplin and Simone. There are, however, disappointing songs, none more so than the title track itself. Bursting with wooh-ooh-oohs, it is so unashamedly in search of the pop chart that, while it might be catchy, it doesn't half get on your nerves after a while. Certainly, ‘Standing’ is not for those with a low annoyance threshold. 'Listen up!', meanwhile, features the RedRum-inspired horserace drum beat and a driving baseline that will leave half of us jockeying for more on the dance floor and the other half thinking murder. ‘Standing’ has real quality, but despite its wonderful vocalist there is often a lack of melody and structure to the songs. A very good album, if not a great one.

The Gossip

 

The White Stripes – ‘Icky Thump’
by Pauly Johns

Musical influence is, both geographically and chronologically, a tautology these days. At least that's what 'Icky Thump' suggests. What's with these magpie Americans pinching the Brit’s parlance? Scissor Sisters have just swiped the expression 'Ta Dah!' from Londoners and now the Stripes have nicked 'Icky Thump', taken from 'Ecky Thump!', a phrase particular to Yorkshire in the North of England. There might only be a few Grandads alive still using it as an exclamation of shock - after the recent flooding in Yorkshire, probably to say something like: 'Ecky Thump! Where’s my bloody house!?' – but it’s transatlantic theft nonetheless. And now to my point. Jack and Meg have pasted songs on to vinyl like shot from a shotgun. Icky Thump is a mad and 'tuff' record, it features brilliant virtuoso guitar playing, insane, pleading poetic patter, Scotland, the Deep South, old cowboy T.V theme tunes; frankly, it’s all over the place. ‘Icky Thump’ doesn't belong in any particular era, and for that, for being so un-'now', so not 'scene', it deserves your immediate attention. A conquest.

The White Stripes

 

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