Onto the letter H and even though this section only contains some 50 odd cds, the phrase ‘you’re entering a world of pain’ may be quite apt.
No big collections from any one artist, but there is a plethora of variety.
Human League lead the way with 3 cds. Their classic DARE album, as well as a best of and their more recent SECRETS cd. A fine 80s group who have lasted the test of time and are still touring healthly. One of my happiest memories was seeing them support, but steal the show from, Culture Club at the Exhibition Centre when they had 10, 000 people singing in total harmony to ‘Together In Electric Dreams’. And THE LEBANON is still a misunderstood classic.
Theres 2 cds each from comedy garage rockers THE HIVES, scottish political funksters HUE AND CRY as well as the one and only WHITNEY HOUSTON.
Now dont be alarmed, its not as if im some mad patrick bateman psycho killer in the making, although i do have a love for dodgy 80s music, but i did aquire both these cds from a guy at work for 50 pence each when he was having a clear out and as bargains go, this was a steal.
Apart from Whitney, the only other great version of THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL has come from SEXUAL CHOCOLATE, or eddie murphy for those not in the know from COMING TO AMERICA. And i dare anyone to argue that I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY is nothing short of pure genius. I even captivated people with my rendition of this song at the Mariboo Bar in Benitsis in Corfu, many years ago.
Theres also 2 from THE HOUSEMARTINS (their debut LONDON 0, HULL 4, and the fantastically gospel tinged LIVE AT THE BBC). a supergroup in the making as it featured the vocal talents of PAUL HEATON who went on the front the massively successful BEAUTIFUL SOUTH, and also had one NORMAN COOK (aka FATBOY SLIM) on bass.
HARDCORE SUPERSTAR, a kind off diluted scandanavian Guns n Roses, sit on my shelf with 2, as does the infectiously catchy HOT HOT HEAT. This group had the misfortune of having a single banned from Radio 1, which was called BANDAGES, because it would apparantly upset the fighting troops out in iraq!!
Ive got both, where are they now, HELL IS FOR HEROES cds as well as the two most recent releases from RICHARD HAWLEY.
Hopefully youve heard of this guy, or even better heard any one of these cds. COLES CORNER was nominated for the Mercury Music Award a few years ago, and its a delicious piece of music that puts images of postcard filled christmas landscapes soundtracked by late 50s crooners gorgeously lodged into your head while listening to it. The guy has also played guitar, on record and live, with PULP and the LONGPIGS, and also, bizzarely, played guitar on ALL SAINTS number one cover of the RED HOT CHILLI PEPPERS ‘UNDER THER BRIDGE’.
Now brace yourself as i list, in no real order the rest of the so called music that makes up my colourful musical collection that is united under the letter H.
JIMI HENDRIX is a very good place to start, and a guy who has been often copied, but very rarely, if ever, bettered. Excuse me, while i kiss the sky!
And theres PJ HARVEY, who my mate colin once commented whist watching her on the main stage years ago at T in the Park, “hey, she not bad for her age”!
Now this comment might not sound that bad, especially when she was wearing a bright yellow dress which left little to the imagination at times, but it was only after pondering his statement for a little while and asking what he meant (simply cos shes a few years younger than both mr cassells and myself) that we found out that he thought we were watching PATTI SMITH! T in the Park is not voted the drunkest festival in the world for no reason you know.
I still dont have any shame in telling anyone that i have HANSONs debut album, its popatastic, and if theres any BON JOVI fans tuning in, stick on track 10, it could sit easily on SLIPPERY WHEN WET, NEW JERSEY or KEEP THE FAITH, no fucking problem.
The only reason i have a HOT CHOCOLATE cd (and a double one at that) is because one day when I was off my work, i was listening to WEST SOUND (which is one reason to simply just give up on music forever) and they had one of their many phone in competitions. All you had to do was name the year that the three songs they played were from. Not that i would call this cheating, but i checked with my Guinness book of hit singles and phoned in to tell them that it was 1960whatever and was elated to find out i had won a prize. Well elated until this cd came popping through my door. But as HOT CHOCOLATE is far from the worse group i have in my collection, i shouldnt really be moaning.
Theres the debut solo album from sexy CHARLOTTE HATHERLEY, ex guitarist from ASH, and a flash in the pan love interest from my mate and official living golden god LOCKIE. (well he did shout out that he ‘FUCKING LOVED HER’ in the tent at T in the Park a few years ago).
NICK HEYWARD pops up twice. One of his dodgy solo efforts as well as his, hey we’ve just been given hellish christmas jumpers lets form a group, other project HAIRCUT 100. Featuring the classic singles FANTASTIC DAY, MY FAVOURITE SHIRT and the timeless LOVE PLUS ONE (which even popped up in the film SEVEN). Even if it was for about seven seconds.
Scotlands represented by great albums by HORSE and HIPSWAY as well as the HUMPFF FAMILY.
God, ive even got the MICHAEL HUTCHENCE solo album. You know, the guy that was not only corrupting KYLIE MINOGUE, but was also the lead singer with INXS. He always seemed to like a good time and could always be found hanging around one hotel room or another.
The HAPPY MONDAYS fucked up masterpiece BUMMED sits proudly in my collection as well as a solo album by the great TERRY HALL, of FUN BOY THREE and more importantly THE SPECIALS, which i can assure you, although im nowhere near the letter S yet. that i have both their cds.
Once again, just when you guys think ‘hey, scotts on a roll, and this is some pretty impressive shit that hes rhyming of here’, im about to shatter our dreams.
DEEP BREATH!………………ive got a MORTEN HARKET solo cd! Now, if you dont know who im talking about, i may escape here unscathed, but as ive been drinking a bottle of wine before even contemplating this section of my musical memoirs i very much doubt it, he was the guy who was the lead singer of A-HA!
Now theres nohing really that wrong with A-ha (NO, really), but i still didnt have to be the one person that gave this guy hope that he may have a solo career.
Theres a JOOLS HOLLAND cd as well, you know that creepy, ex-SQUEEZE guy, that would come on and bastardize groups songs with his jazz-wanking-piano playing. Although i have to say, he has added a new dimension to the sound of the Stereophnics on this cd.
The only defence i have for owning a HOOTIE AND THE BLOWFISH cd is that i made jodie, my daughter, buy me it and in hers and my defence, it did only cost her 49 pence. Im sure, some of yous will tell me ive still been robbed.
Back to more good stuff, hopefully! Theres the recent,excellent debut from THE HOURS, as well as a deleriously crazy album from HAMMEL ON TRIAL. Also the debut cd from HOPE OF THE STATES, and the first 100 REASONS one as well.
Ex talk talk singer, MARK HOLLIS’s solo cd, would make some of SIGUR ROS’s slower stuff sound like speed metal, but thats not to say its bad, just may be listed under a required taste.
Finishing off in style, theres a solo album from TONY HADLEY. NOT!!!! as good as you may think this should sound. (no snickering out there, remember, this is the bellowing foghorn lead vocalist of Spandau Ballet)
HONEYCRACK anyone? Or would you all just prefer CRACK? Apparantly this is a band that featured a distant cousin of a brother twice removed that sued a guy who was once winching the singer from 3 COLOURS RED, who got kicked out of THE WILDHEARTS. Or something like that.
ED HARCOURT, HIGH LLAMAS and even HEAVEN 17 give me some saving grace in this section, although HURRICANE #1 will have some of my close friends scouring the yellow pages for a cheap as fuck hit man to put me and everyone else out of their misery.
For once i sobered up in enough time NOT to buy the second cd from HARD-FI. Who are a band trying so hard to be the Clash that im sure the ghost of JOE STRUMMER is going to be coming back a-haunting with his guns of brixton and gun these fuckers down if they dare go for that dreaded third album.
You’ll be glad to know thats the end of H, and more pleased to know that the I section will be incredibly short, but still pretty rocking.
Ive went this far and and left a pile of pish for yous to ponder over, so i’ll leave you with the only cd i have of HAVEN. They may not be a haven for all the badness, misery and woe in this big bad world, but SAY SOMETHING isnt really that bad. Well, not until i attempt to sing it at a karaoke at some point in the near future.