Back to my old dad’s car tape. This tune was a slick, funky standout on a tape otherwise whiter than an Apple Store Christmas party. The thumping kick you hear is actually a programmable drum machine, making this the first number one to utilise one. Huh. I like how it hides quite well within the mix. Apparently Sly redubbed the recording so much the tape wore out, which gives the track its trademark swampy sound.
Whatever happened to tapes? Oh yeah, they were superceded by the more convenient and better sounding CD format in the early 1990s. Anyway, many humans made their own mixtapes for their cars, containing their favourite songs. My dad had such a tape, complete with meticulously copied tracklisting on the card insert and its memory lives on in my current tastes. I say this as if it’s a choice but I never stood a chance. These songs were drilled into my head during the annual 7-hour trips to Devon to see our grandparents.
I’m not complaining though. Who can resist a bit of:
Graham Nash sez: WAR BAD
Roy C – Shotgun Wedding
Amazing ricochet sound effect intro there
Neil Young takes Frank Zappa’s advice and sings in a high voice for fun and profit
The Beach Boys with Sloop John B., now co-opted into an unlikely terrace classic by football clubs up and down the land
“Beatin’ motherf*ckers like Ike beat Tina”. Domestic violence is not funny. As a young kid I found this tune deeply, deeply melancholy for some reason.
And a Smiths video for good measure. This is possibly one of my funeral songs.
Interestingly, my mum’s car tape was the equally fabulous but less DIY Love II Rock. It was a selection of ballsy power ballads not featuring Don’t Stop Believing, which means I don’t officially recognise that song as being a classic. So there.