Newsletter June 2001

Continuing with the interview series with luminaries related to the Stereo Society’s music, this month we present Barry Reynolds, who co-wrote Sexual Terrorist with Marianne Faithfull. Originally written for an album of hers which ultimately didn’t come out, the only released version of this song closes Thorne’s Sprawl CD, with lead vocals taken by Sarah Jane Morris and typical punchy virtuosity by the Uptown Horns.

One song represents just a tiny fraction of Barry’s remarkable output. His long and distinguished career as songwriter, producer and guitarist at the edgier end of music started in the late sixties and includes work with Grace Jones, John Martyn, Joe Cocker, Bette Midler, Toots & The Maytals and Black Uhuru. His work in the studio and on the road with Marianne Faithfull now spans 20 years. His blunt and outspoken comments on intense sessions with edgy people come from his interview at the Stereo Society at 11.30am, Tuesday May 22 2001. You want to know what makes honest songwriting? Read on. Not a person to pull his verbal punches. You’ll be suprised to hear in streaming form (Real or Liquid) the range of his musical activity, selectively presented so you can read and listen at the same time.

The newest in the series of production anecdotes features the Flowerpot Men. No, they were not the limp, imitation hippies of Let’s Go To San Francisco (where the flowers grow/so very high urrgh). Quite the opposite, but their 1986 version of Dr John’s Walk On Gilded Splinters is lost in the mists of time. They deserved a better aftershock, particularly with the rap contributed by Dr John himself to the 12" version. Their hard-eged electronic/electric cello based (really) style anticipated much coming electronica. Incongruously, they also contributed a song to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Beat City. Reportedly, John Hughes (the director) was worried about the mix of songs in the movie being too eclectic to sell as an album, so the soundtrack was never released. Figures. You can hear several selections in full streaming audio.

By coincidence, Carol Lipnik also recently covered Splinters, and her own song, Ships That Pass In The Night, gets the big remix treatment, available as a free mp3 download. Carol guests as vocalist on this new version, with a chilling human Theremin imitation (that’s the spooky electronic thing on the Beach Boys’ Good Vibrations). Her voice’s arrival in the second part of the remix throws the whole song into a complete other-worldly space. She is another writer whose views come at the world from a different direction. The feel of our remix is different again from the original, somewhere between slow funk, trance and psychedelia, exploring another far-flung corner of electronica.

Thanks again to our visitors, nearly 7000, who passed through the Stereo Society in May. Keep spreading the word, please.

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