Off Topic Messages


Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:00 pm

For anyone interested, the February edition of Mojo magazine is one of the best Mojo reads in quite some time, (much better than lasts months boring Springsteen edition). With articles on Dion, The Who, The Fall, Thin Lizzy and Flaming Lips.

Just reading the Dion article has got me interested enough to go check out his stuff, but where to start ?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:52 pm

MOJO is the finest rock and roll magazine going, from writing and design to passion and breadth. Every month's issue is worthy, whether you're a Bruce Springsteen fan or not.


Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:14 am

What even the edition featuring Supertramp ?........ :shock:

Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:47 am

Ezzz wrote:What even the edition featuring Supertramp ?........ :shock:

Surely, Wonderslut wasn't on the least not in the last 20 years.


Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:24 am

Errol- Capitol has a greatest hits available called Greatest Hits. It came out in 2003 and has good sound and covers Dion's entire career in its 21 tracks although the entries after 1963 are tokens. This has a cool pic of a very young Dion on the front in a slick '50s type jacket. I'm pretty sure you can buy this on Dion's website. Just type in Dion DiMucci on Germany's Repretoire label also has a nice GH hits set called also Greatest Hits. This has all of Dion's Top 40 singles with and without the Belmonts with the exception of "Don't Pity Me". The cover features Dion and the Belmonts in college type sweaters. (Don't hold that against it though.) Both have "The Wanderer", "Runaround Sue", "Teenager in Love", "Lovers Who Wander", "Abraham Martin and John", "Ruby Baby" and the other backbones of Dion's reputation. They make a good starting point. If you don't like them, you won't like Dion. Some folks who don't like this might like his singer/songwriter stuff in the early '70s but IMO that's stuff is good but lesser and captures less of what made him such a compelling personality.

Don't get Columbia's Essential Dion as it is too flimsy at 14 songs. Also don't get 2002's New Masters on the Collectables label as those are re-records.

The boxed set on the Right Stuff label is very affordable (under $30 US dollars at most outlets) but you really don't want to start any new artist with a box. The disc of '70s stuff is kind of spotty. However, it's hard to get a lot of Dion's stuff that fell between the tracks elsewhere like the legendary B-side "Daddy Rollin' (In Your Arms)" (a portent of Zeppelin like heavy blues) and "I Was Born To Cry" which is a favorite amongst Dion fans. The set also contains a live version of Dion and the Belmonts "That's My Desire" which on the East Coast is one of the most popular oldies of all-time in the New York/New Jersey area where Dion is revered more than in any other area.

The two Columbia Collections- "Bronx Blues" and "The Road I'm On: a Retrospective" are good follows to the Greatest Hits even though there is a little crossover. "Bronx Blues" is the more consistent collection although it misses all his folk stuff including the absolutely gorgeous "Gloria: the Road I'm on" which is on the "The Road I'm on" collection. This two disc set available for under $20 at most outlets has a lot of terrific stuff and covers both his mid-60s folk and blues, an influence on labelmate Dylan, but it's spotty. Some of Dion's folk and blues could be mannered. Other times though, especially when he added a pop element, he could be great in those styles.

His ultimate cult album is 1975's "Born to Be With You" produced by Phil Spector. It's a love it or hate it type deal. Dion himself has disowned because it's primarily a Spector album but there are IMO several beautiful moments. Many of the tempos though are draggy. It's available on a twofer by Ace with the much more conventional "Streetheart" which most fans concede is his worst album.

If you're in and like doo wop his 2000 comeback album- "Deja Nu"- is definitely worth a listen. It has two beautiful doo wop inspired interpretations of Springsteen's "Book of Dreams" and "If I Should Fall Behind" (The latter song is on the Capitol GH and both are on the box.) Springsteen said: "I wish he would do more of my songs so I could learn how to sing 'em." There's also some nice '50s inspired rockers, a moving tribute to Buddy Holly and some original doo wop. (Also some tired blues but nobody's perfect.)
Last edited by likethebike on Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:26 am

BTW- I never saw the Springsteen edition. The one they had around here had Hendrix on the cover.

Thu Jan 05, 2006 5:33 pm

Many thanks for the informative reply LTB. I can`t say i have heard any of Dions recordings other than "The Wanderer" and "Runaround Sue", so i think i`ll go for the Capitol Greatest Hits release.

Cheers, Errol

Thu Jan 05, 2006 5:58 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:MOJO is the finest rock and roll magazine going, from writing and design to passion and breadth. Every month's issue is worthy, whether you're a Bruce Springsteen fan or not.


It is a great read. It's too bad it sets US fans back some 8 plus dollars, but I do pick it up on occasion. It puts to shame the once-great Rolling Stone by focusing squarely on music and better appreciating American musical heritage -and not being cluttered with dumb advertisements.

The UK's RECORD COLLECTOR is also nice. Great interview with Scotty Moore in new issue, by the way.

Both can only be found only on bigger newstands in the USA.

Thu Jan 05, 2006 6:05 pm

Greg, Mojo, like almost all music and film mags here in the UK costs £4. So it sounds like its not costing you that much more than we pay.

Thu Jan 05, 2006 7:23 pm

Most U.S. mags run in that $4-5 range, as does Rolling Stone. For 8 bucks, we can buy a pretty good used CD.

But it's packed with content, I'll grant it that.

Thu Jan 05, 2006 8:52 pm

This 'Mojo' thing.....................

Have they got it working yet ?

Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:58 pm

Yes Colin. But it just don't work on you.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:25 am

Pete Dube wrote:Yes Colin. But it just don't work on you.


Fri Jan 06, 2006 2:16 am

For anyone interested Dion has a new album coming out on Tuesday called "Bronx in Blue". It has 14 new interpretations of blues songs mostly standards. Dion is a Jimmy Reed/Robert Johnson acolyte from way back.

Fri Jan 06, 2006 2:24 am

Ezzz wrote:What even the edition featuring Supertramp ?........

Now watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, liberal, fanatical, criminal ...


Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:24 am

I had a chance to page through the current issue today. I forgot how often MOJO features a CD, so I may have to give a less qualified recommendation! As a fan of music in general, this magazine has really been one to notice in recent years. For fifty-nine bucks per year, I see that Americans can subscribe - and with a discount. That's not a bad deal versus the newstand price.

I'm not a huge Bruce fan (but I respect him and his work) but what a long and extended feature and inteview with Springsteen! Good work. He comments on Elvis and Woody Guthrie in the interview.

Also, in reviewing items MOJO is selling in their on-line shop, they review the Elvis "LIVE IN LAS VEGAS" boxset from 2001. It's great to see them "get" why "Elvis in Vegas" should never have been laughed at.
Last edited by Gregory Nolan Jr. on Mon Jan 09, 2006 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:21 pm

I enjoyed the latest edition. The Who feature was a great read and Mark E. Smith is always entertaining. His observations on the British media and how they cover certain events was spot on.

The Who have been promising one last great album for some time now. Personally I can’t see it happening, but I hope they prove me wrong.

I won’t be able to listen to Quadrapehina again without picturing Roger Daltrey punching Pete Townshend’s lights out though!

Sun Jan 08, 2006 11:40 pm

Yes The Who article was a good read, even if Townsend did call Elvis an old wanker. I dont think they will ever put out another good album though. What was their last album, "Its Hard", (1980 ish ?) and that was rubbish.

I`ve never been much of a fan of The Fall, but i always enjoy Mark E Smiths interviews. Infact The Fall put out a rather good, almost rockabilly single last summer called Clasp Hands.

Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:08 am

Ezzz wrote:Yes The Who article was a good read, even if Townsend did call Elvis an old wanker. I dont think they will ever put out another good album though. What was their last album, "Its Hard", (1980 ish ?) and that was rubbish.

I`ve never been much of a fan of The Fall, but i always enjoy Mark E Smiths interviews. Infact The Fall put out a rather good, almost rockabilly single last summer called Clasp Hands.

I’m not a big fall fan, but I do find Mark E. Smith very entertaining.

I agree that The Who haven’t made a great album for quite some time and the last one was awful, that’s why I don’t have high expectations for the new stuff. I re-read the Elvis comment because I was quite surprised by it. I thought Pete had written a song about him recently (I haven’t heard it) so I didn’t expect Pete to be anti Elvis.

I think he was trying to underline the difference between the mod scene and what went before it, but even in that context his comments didn’t make sense to me because in addition to the new soul records the likes of Guy Stevens were playing, the mod discos also featured numerous blues tracks, some of which have to be pre Elvis, so as with all musical genres there are some cross over points.

Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:34 am

Talking of Mod. I was really into that scene for about 5 years ( from 17 to 22 ) and used to go to clubs all over the country, and a lot of my fellow Mods hated Elvis........or thought they did. But i used to take along Elvis tracks like Feel So Bad, Big Boss Man, Hi Heel Sneakers and Rubberneckin, and they would go down a storm on the dance floor.

I must have been the only Mod with a massive Elvis collection and a bedroom wall and ceiling covered with Elvis posters. I loved that early 60`s sharp Italian/French suited Mod look.

Mon Jan 09, 2006 1:43 am

Errol -

You wrote:
I loved that early 60`s sharp Italian/French suited Mod look.

What - yours or Elvis' ?

Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:22 am

The problem I have with Mojo and Uncut is that they are so predictable. You just know that Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles and Michael Stipe will be on the cover at least three times each year. Or they're running yet another "100 Best Yada-Yada-Yada Ever!" feature. I know this is about money - people simply want to read about the same artists / bands all the time - but it's the reason I never read those mags anymore. They have great writers and everything but both mags would have been so much better if I was the editor! :D

Keith Richards, Jr.

Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:54 pm

Your right of course Keef. But you can still find at least a couple of good articles in both Uncut and Mojo, which i buy every month. I did buy every issue of Q magazine for about 18 years, until i got sick of the shorter and shorter lightweight articles, and endless lists etc.

Colin..........Elvis` early sixties look was supremely cool, the Girls Girls Girls, Worlds Fair, Viva Las Vegas suits were superb. I`ll pass on the Edge Of Reality suit though.

Mon Jan 09, 2006 5:14 pm

I came to appreciate the Who through friends years ago, but I rather think their best days are gone. (I purchased that 2-CD "best of" recently for a fair price, finally having something by them.)

I'd be interested in see Townshend's exact quote on Elvis. If he's bashing him, how couragous that is in 2005. It's enough to make me bring up his recent child porn scandal...

I suppose such a thread should be on the ALL-ELVIS forum. If one of you can post it exactly, please post it there.

By contrast, guitarist Joe Perry of Aerosmith (the cover artist on the current GOLDMINE magazine) has a terrific, almost unprompted comment on Elvis, which I hope to post soon.

Keith, I hear you, but perhaps it's a recognition that music from, say, the '80s to present just hasn't matched that of the earlier periods. I personally have become borderline depressed about how bad today's music has become, and I blame rap (" hip-hop") first and foremost, followed closely by the state of what passes for today's country music.

Mon Jan 09, 2006 5:31 pm

Here is part of Pete Townsend` reply to a question about the post war culture.

"There was a richness around us which was totally and purely and entirely our own and you only have to see how lost some of those old rockers were. Dylan`s rock`n`roll was silly rock`n`roll, he could`nt play rock`n`roll, he`s never been able to play rock`n`roll. Not only that, but the band that he hired to play rock`n`roll was Ronnie Hawkins` old friendly backing band! He was dead meat, he was gone, he was gone with friendly Elvis Presley and all those other old wankers from the 50`s. We were working with something new and pure and refined."