Saturday, October 10, 2015

Phdobit: Jim Diamond

BBC News is reporting that Jim Diamond has died.

Diamond's breakthrough came as part of PhD, formed with some offcuts of the Jeff Beck Band - Beck even turning up to guest on one track. This one:

PhD split in 1984, and Jim went on to a degree of solo success, most notably with I Should Have Known Better - a million-plus seller, despite Diamond's attempt to get people to buy a different record:

I'm delighted to be number one, but next week I don't want them to buy my record, I want them to buy Band Aid instead.
People did do that. It's unclear how many purchases were transferred from Jim to Bob, though.

Diamond's official biography skips some details - Hi Ho Silver is mentioned as a top ten hit, but there's no space to even mention Boon. And the whole of the first decade of this century is just a gap.

More recently, Diamond has been working on soul music; but still touring. Lesley-Anne Jones saw him play earlier this year:
He's still got it. 'One of our great underestimated talents,' as the great Keith Altham describes him. Yet another of rock's unsung heroes, the voices that got away. Voices that should have soared all the way to Coutts and beyond the international space station, but never quite did. He's still Jim. Unshakably rooted in the Scottish homeland he eulogises as he remembers his Daddy, the late fireman whom he adored. He acknowledges the song that 'bought the house.' He dedicates songs to his friends, his children, his beautiful wife Chrissie – 'the one thing that is always there, that has always been there, constant, no matter what.' We all have that, Jim? No, we don't. We'd all like that.
Jim Diamond was 63; the cause of death has not been shared with the public.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

HMV: Has more vigour

Here's something that I don't think anyone was expecting to be reading a couple of years back: HMV is thriving.

Yes, HMV.

Yes, it's doing quite well:

The UK music retailer has opened 14 new stores this year, with another three planned before Christmas. This is in stark contrast to early 2013 when the business collapsed under £176m of debt and 80 of its 223 shops were shut. It was rescued by the retail turnaround firm Hilco, which took on 141 high street stores and 2,600 employees.
And turn around it has - mostly by not making the mistakes of the past, and admitting it's not a technology shop, or a cinema, or a youth club. It's been helped by the vinyl revival - which it may be hoping isn't just a fad - and there's this, too:
HMV has made a rapid comeback on the high street, wresting the title of the UK’s biggest music and DVD retailer back from Amazon in January.
I suspect the Guardian actually means physical retailer there, and it's a bit of a double-edged honour; it's not that it's suddenly become a more powerful retailer, just that online, people are streaming or downloading a lot more, so why would you buy a CD from Amazon?

Still, while it lasts, it's a tribute to Hilco and the work they've done. There's life in the old dog yet.

Not sure how it'll fare in the coming market crash, though...

If you're keeping track...

Here's what Bucks Fizz (or the remnants thereof) are legally trading as these days:

"Cheryl, Mike & Jay Formerly of Bucks Fizz". Not be confused with Bucks Fizz Style Band With Bucks Fizz Flavouring, or The Rump Of The Rump Of The Eurovision Winners 1981.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

A quick dip into fashion

It's Paris Fashion Week - you don't need me to tell you that. Our eye is caught by a line in Wonderland Magazine:

Acne Studio’s Creative Director, Jonny Johansson, pays the ultimate homage to the world of music. A binding of everything he has known and loved about music in the present and past, the collection works a reoccurring motif of coloured CD prints in green, purple, blue and red. Dominating Perspex guitar badges are attached to the backs and fronts of tops and the classic 80’s shoulder padded blazer.
Let's just stop there. If you're having trouble imagining what that's like... well, it's like this:
If there were trousers with that, it would exactly like something David Cameron would wear to a UK Music sponsored event:
- "maybe I need slightly larger lapel badges to show that I really like music like Smiths and The Sam Smith, right?"
- "good idea, Prime Minister; it'll also cover up this stain on the pocket. Is that bacon fat you've got on there?"

Thing is, the rest of the collection isn't bad - in fact, there's a couple of really nice pieces in it - but this is like someone who loves fashion and music trying to bring them together, and having as much success as someone saying "I don't get it, I love my Nan and I love cage fighting, why isn't Nan enjoying her first cage fight? Didn't she train hard enough?"

The tradition is upheld

Every year.

This week just gone

These were last week's new starts:

Chvrches - Every Open Eye

Download Every Open Eye

Kurt Vile - B'lieve I'm Going Down

Download B'lieve I'm Going Down

Voice Of The Beehive - Access All Areas

Shawn Colvin - Uncovered

Download Uncovered

New Order - Music Complete

Download Music Complete