Monday 6 February 2012

It Will Never Be Over ... pt.9

It Will Never Be Over ... is the latest edition of YHO which can be downloaded free for all here. It is a riotous romp through the UK's soul undergrowth and pop flowerbeds of the late '60s and early '70s.
Central to this issue is the work of Ian Green as an arranger and as a producer. Among Ian's credits are the first two Labi Siffre LPs at the start of the '70s which are very much among my favourite things. I have to confess to being a relatively recent convert to Labi's work but I would rate what he and Ian Green did on these records up there with what Terry Callier and Charles Stepney did. Sometimes we miss what is right in front of us. We all know It Must Be Love or The Vulture but he came up with earlier, exquisite songs that defy categorisation and reflect the jumble of influences and experiences that shaped him.
Those first two LPs that Ian Green produced contain some real classics, such as A Little More Line, which Rosetta Hightower also covered. Actually people seem to do some very nice interpretations of Labi's lovely songs, like Olivia Newton John's cover of Crying, Laughing, Loving, Lying.
Labi's songs could be deceptively simple, like Summer Is Coming, but the more you listen the more you notice how complex and clever they are. And he could be quite cutting when there was a point to be made, such as on Thank Your Lucky Star.


  1. This is one of the most magnificent things I have ever read. I'm a music obsessive but hadn't heard of half the stuff in this piece. I've spent the last week tracking down some of the amazing recommendations and, so far, they've all been wonderful. Whilst musing over the contents I realised I recognised the name of the author - Kevin Pearce - and remembered a book I bought a long time ago called 'Something Beginning With O'. Yes, same KP, same brilliance. I'm now going to try to track down everything Kevin's written. If you have any sense you'll do the same. Really wonderful, inspiring, passionate, original, informed writing. Well done. Thank you.

    1. Thank you nigeyb. That makes it all worthwhile.

  2. Just wanted to say another thank you. I've been immersed in a musical world of The Congregation, Labi Siffire, The Design, Blue Mink, Rosetta Hightower, Fox, Brotherhood of Man etc since my previous message. Amazing stuff it is too. Still yet to buy that Dreambabes comp with the Toast stuff on though. Only a matter of time. Plus the sun is shining, Weller's back in the groove, new Dexys to come. Life is good. Quick question for you: do you (KP) write all the your heart outs? Or is it a collective? If it's the latter please can you point out which are written by you (KP)? And in any event which one should I go for next? Must say that new Eddy Grant one looks like a must read. I've long been fascinated by EG but aside from his hits and The Equals know nothing else about him. Keep on keeping on. Nige

  3. Thanks again Nige. Much appreciated. Yes, YHO is all me. It's my labour of love! I think, from your comments here, you'd like the Eddy Grant issue - oh, apart from that perhaps I would suggest yho6 - the enormity of small things - as it has something of a Dexys/BritSoul theme. Or yho7 - the archaeology of an abandoned soul single. Or my personal favourite - enlightenment! - which I guess is about the roots of British pop.

  4. Thanks very much. 'Enlightenment' will be my next port of call. How can anyone turn down an issue with a title like that? Actually I love all the titles. Rest assured I shall work my way through them all in time. Disco Yes Disco No sounds very intriguing too. Hats off to you for the research, effort, passion... This would all make a great hard copy compendium. I hope a publisher somewhere agrees and your writing gets the acclaim it deserves.

  5. By the way, I was reading about Jimmy Edwards earlier. You may well know of him already. He seems to have the kind of era and genre-busting musical CV that might appeal to you (including my personal fave - fronting Flintlock for a brief period). Have a look here:

  6. You're spot on there. That's a fantastic story. Joins the dots nicely! I knew Jimmy's name, but I had no idea his history went off in so many directions.