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Pete Atkin
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Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
« Reply #20: 01.02.09 at 18:47 »
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Hi Andrew - I do hope that the reissues will live up to your expectations.  I'm pretty hopeful that they will.  For those who are intending to purchase from the Hillside online shop, I must apologise for the fact that Hillside Warehousing and Categorisation have not yet received stock from the Demon demons.   This is, of course, the place to learn when this position is rectified, but in the mean time Amazon, Play.com, HMV online and the like will be anxious, I am sure, to fulfil your desires.
 
As far as Live Libel is concerned, Clive and I have a good deal of sympathy with your view, and indeed suggested the possibility of not including it in the present programme.  The idea of being able to drop it quietly from the established canon had some attraction, but Val Jennings persuaded us both that to do so might not work and might even create more of a problem than it solved.  He believed that "missing out Live Libel would actually draw more
attention to it: all the reviews would question its absence and any interviewer worth his salt (and who had done his homework) would commence his interview with "Why aren't you re-issuing Live Libel?", thereby potentially giving it an unwarranted and unhelpful emphasis.  
 
As it is, the space to provide extensive new notes for every album and every track has given Clive and me have the opportunity to put the album properly and carefully into context and to make clearer than ever before our attitude to it and to the individual songs on it, without seeming as if we're trying to deny its existence.  Besides, there are in any case some aspects of the recordings and even certain of the songs that we wouldn't want to see necessarily consigned to outer darkness for ever.
 
Finally, while perhaps not many of us would be happy to describe ourselves as 'completists', it may be that some of us would nevertheless be happy to describe ourselves as 'collectors' to some extent at least , and if you're attempting, as Val and Demon are, to put together something like a 'definitive edition', it's arguably inappropriate to be exercising this kind of critical judgement.  And, as Val says "I don't really want to issue 'less' than See For Miles did, if you see what I mean."
 
Anyhow, in the end we were persuaded. and while we certainly don't expect anyone suddenly to discover that Live Libel is a lost masterpiece, Clive and I hope that perhaps our new annotations may provide at least a bit of appropriate context.  I'll be most interested to hear what people think
 
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Tiny_Montgomery
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Live Libel
« Reply #21: 02.02.09 at 20:25 »
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There are several issues with Live Libel. Chiefly among these, it's by far the weakest album release from our songwriting heroes. Secondly, the subjects for satire were 'barn door' targets in the early 1970s. And thirdly, time has proven that some of those selected for satire - Leonard Cohen, James Taylor - were and still are very talented artists, with fine, recorded legacies, thereby lessening the relevance of the original satire. But Pete is also right: Live Libel cannot be ignored, like some musical tearaway. If nothing else, I'm looking forward to the album notes.
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Mike Walters
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Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
« Reply #22: 02.02.09 at 21:20 »
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I must confess to having a soft spot for 'Live Libel' because, perhaps uniquely among present company, it was actually my first experience of Pete's work.  I came to the albums late (mainly because I was only 10 when 'Beautiful Stranger' first came out), and the first song of Pete's I heard was 'Stranger in Town' on a Peel session.  That - probably combined with the splendid Trog cover - was enough to make me invest in 'Live Libel'.  
 
It's not difficult to see why those who'd loved the first five albums would have been disappointed by 'Live Libel'.  But as an introduction to Pete's work, it was sufficiently odd and intriguing to make me want to hear more.  Of course, as Tiny says, it's not dated well and some of the jokes ('Why?' lives up to its name) were hardly worth making even then.  Nevertheless some of the parodies - 'Rattlesnake Rock', 'Ready for the Road' - still raise a smile, and it did at least enable the duo to record some of the jokier songs that had always been a part of Pete's sets but which would have seemed incongruous on the earlier records.  And we'd be poorer without a recording of  'Ballad of an Upstairs Window', particularly given its place in Atkin/James history.
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Andrew_Curry
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Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
« Reply #23: 04.02.09 at 20:56 »
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Thanks to Pete and the other Voices for the discussion of Live Libel - yes, I can see Val's point of view. Since there's no way I'm going to miss out on buying Secret Drinker (which I love, even without the Plus), it looks as if I'll have the chance to re-evaluate Live Libel, with new notes, after a rather long gap.
 
Best
 
Andrew
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Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
« Reply #24: 04.02.09 at 22:01 »
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To demonstrate my total lack of intelligence, couth, class and education, I will tell you all that I enjoy some of the songs from live libel every now and again.  Sad
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Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
« Reply #25: 04.02.09 at 23:51 »
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"Uncle Seabird" is a cracking track.
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Kevin Cryan
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Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
« Reply #26: 05.02.09 at 09:39 »
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on 04.02.09 at 23:51, Russ Chandler wrote:
"Uncle Seabird" is a cracking track.

 
I think so too.
 
By the way, an (unkind) person might suggest that James Paler's receiving a lifetime achievement awardat Monday night's BBC Radio 2's folk music awards makes Sheer Quivering Genius prescient.  
 
And I still  ask whether Leonard Conman has, even with his recent renaissance, moved very far away from what is nowdays called his "comfort zone". Or is he just doing a variation on the Doom from Room schtick he's been  doing from the outset of his career.  
 
Live Libel makes you think. Long live Live Libel
 
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Leslie Moss
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Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
« Reply #27: 05.02.09 at 14:54 »
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Perhaps to be fair Pete should have included a parody of himself as a bonus track on Live Libel. Ballad of the Obsessive Fanbase anyone?
 
Leslie
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Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
« Reply #28: 05.02.09 at 15:08 »
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There are a lot of parody lyrics available now via a certain website - maybe a whole new album?  Cheesy
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Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
« Reply #29: 05.02.09 at 20:59 »
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on 05.02.09 at 14:54, Leslie Moss wrote:
Perhaps to be fair Pete should have included a parody of himself as a bonus track on Live Libel......
Leslie

 
Remembering C.E.Chesterton's dictum that "if you wish to be a good parodist,  you must first be a good critic", I'd have to ask whether that's as good an idea as it sounds. It's, after all, a brave man who'd put himself forward as a good critic of his own work.
 
It’s possible to suggest the best of the James/Atkin parodies on Live Libel do , apart from the ridiculing of a popular music phenomena of the period in they were composed,  contain serious critiques of the artists who were its targets. These critiques, though  not as “incisive and unsparing” as John R. Boly found Auden’s parody of the artist in The Orators to be, still manage to pack a mighty punch that can be still felt today.  
 
If on occasion, for example, we nowadays find some of the critical judgments Clive makes about popular music or its practitioners a little surprising, it’s probably because we’re coming across them for the first time – in other words.  we’ve not fully appreciated the aesthetic sensibilities that have shaped, not Live Libel as a whole, but individual tracks on Live Libel.  
 
Kevin Cryan
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S J Birkill
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Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
« Reply #30: 05.02.09 at 21:45 »
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And, coincidentally, we may soon have the opportunity to hear more of Clive's (and Pete's) opinions on popular music Wink. For now, newcomers might like to read Clive's pop-crit columns from '70s UK music magazine Cream (not 'Creem' please -- that was a different publication!). They're linked from the left-hand column on the Smash Flops front page under the heading "Clive in 'Cream'".
 
The parodies Bogus refers to are also linked, but if you haven't found them amongst all the other content, follow this link.
 
Of course they're not really parodies so much as humorous alternative lyrics: their intention is to salute rather than to mock. I think Tom Holt's are particularly good.
 
Steve
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Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
« Reply #31: 05.02.09 at 22:20 »
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on 05.02.09 at 21:45, S J Birkill wrote:

 
Of course they're not really parodies so much as humorous alternative lyrics: their intention is to salute rather than to mock. I think Tom Holt's are particularly good.
 
Steve

 
Very true, but I wouldn't mind hearing Pete sing a couple of them.  Wasn't there one about a webmaster?  Cheesy
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Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
« Reply #32: 06.02.09 at 12:05 »
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on 05.02.09 at 21:45, S J Birkill wrote:
.....
 
.....Of course they're not really parodies so much as humorous alternative lyrics: their intention is to salute rather than to mock......
 
Steve

 
The MV exam paper
 
Candidates must answer ONE of the following questions ONLY
 
Time allowed: 1 hour
 
1. Well-done parodies (like Max Beerbohm's of Henry James or Neil Innis's of The Beatles) are extremely informative about the features that characterize individual styles.
 
2. Argue for or against the following proposition: "Parody is by no means necessarily satirical, and may sometimes be done with respect and appreciation of the subject involved"
 
Kevin Cryan
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Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
« Reply #33: 06.02.09 at 15:57 »
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Hello  
 
Val Jennings here again. I just thought I'd point you all at the third and fourth releases on Amazon, although I'm sure you're all clever enough to find them by yourselves. HMV.com hasn't got the pages up yet. In case anybody's wondering why these releases are £7.79 each, it's because each set contains two 2 CDs (and the booklets are even fatter than the first two, although this is not a factor in the price).
 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/King-At-Nightfall-Road-Silk/dp/B001NOMOPG/ref=sr_1_4?ie= UTF8&s=music&qid=1233935067&sr=1-4
 
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-Drinker-Plus-Live-Libel/dp/B001NOMOQ0/ref=sr_1_5? ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1233935067&sr=1-5  
 
Neither page gives a tracklisting, but I can confirm that nothing has been omitted from any of the four albums, and the correct single versions of "I See The Joker" and "Sessionman's Blues" have been appended to "Secret Drinker".  
 
Val
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Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
« Reply #34: 09.02.09 at 15:54 »
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Pete wondered whether the re-issues would live up to expectations. They do indeed!
My copies of the first two arrived towards the end of last week from Amazon; Pete, Demon/Edsel have done you proud!  The annotations are hugely entertaining and really do enhance the package. They also provide a further "sale-point"-  for collectors (I dutifully abjure "completists") to proselytise!  
 
Really good to have the "right" tracks in the right places - plus some welcome demos.
Also, as a former sub-editor, I have, as yet, not spotted the typos which bedevilled the
See For Miles series.
 
A very welcome addition to the collection.
 
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Paul Leighton
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Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
« Reply #35: 09.02.09 at 18:12 »
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Bravo Paul!
 
You must be the first to receive your copies. Aren't those booklets everything we could have hoped for -- precisely the right tone to the notes. If Val can cram all that into a jewel case, I might think of closing down Smash Flops as redundant.
 
I look forward to hearing what MV members have to say about the bonus tracks.
 
Steve
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Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
« Reply #36: 10.02.09 at 10:04 »
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Hope that was just a joke, Steve...
 
I'm stuck in London for a couple of days,  but I understand there's an Amazon package sitting on the metaphorical doorstep at home.  Can't wait.
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Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
« Reply #37: 10.02.09 at 10:23 »
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There I was wondering whether or not to invest in these re-re-releases when all of a sudden while crossing Pantin Railway Bridge in a galeforce wind this morning what should I see but a man holding back his hair to light a cigarette! Could this be a sign? Now if I see a man breathe on his fingernails and wiggle them in the air, my order will be on its way tout de suite.
 
Ian C
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Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
« Reply #38: 10.02.09 at 14:25 »
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Sorry Ian.  Can't wiggle my fingernails - I have none...I chewed them to the quick waiting for this order to arrive !!
 
Believe me, having now seen and heard them,  I would have bought the re-re-releases for the annotations alone. As Steve observes, they hit just the right note.  To anyone who has doubts about duplicating material they already have, I would say ...don't.  These have been superbly packaged and are worth every - remarkably reasonable - penny!  I shall now order the others.  
 
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Re: Atkin/James re-releases on Demon Records
« Reply #39: 10.02.09 at 15:17 »
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Pete,
 
Any idea when Hillside stocks will be arriving of these albums - I'd rather support that fine establishment than I would the mighty Amazon!
 
Simon
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