Most downloaded tracks

Plain Or Panache

This blog has something. The words? The music? I dunno, but it has something. Why? Because hits to the site are at an all-time high. It would appear that Plain Or Pan has become something of a phenomenon. Daily figures are rising. Incoming links are being pinged from all manner of websites. Heavy traffic (man) is visiting from places as far-flung as Sao Paolo, Aukland and Moscow.  As the wee sidebar on the side says, truly Plain Or Pan-Global. What’s weird though is that the rise in popularity here is relative to the lack of new stuff I post. In other words, the less I write, the more hits I seem to get. Long may it continue…

This post is for all you new comers/late comers/returners. Take a look again at the wee sidebar on the left. Just below it you’ll notice the search facility. Use it! I get all sorts of emails from people everywhere requesting stuff that’s still available. If you go to the search bar and type in the artist or the song or any sort of key word relating to whatever it is you’re looking for, it’ll take you to it in a nano second. But you knew that already. Try it!

Every post since January 2007 has been preserved here. Sadly, some of the music has been deleted. Not by me – try typing  ‘fascist internet police bastards who hack your account without your permission’ or something similar into ‘search‘ and you’ll find out why). But much of the music remains. Stuff that many of you may not know is there. So what follows are a few links to some of the better/more obscure/popular/whatever I fancy right now music I’ve put up over the years. Think of it a bit like one of those supermarket sweep trolley grabs, because once some of the tracks below get pinged around the world I expect those pesky internet police to come a-knockin’ on my virtual door once more. They may not be here for long folks. Go get ’em!

Johnny Marr‘s Dansette Delights. Johnny compiled a CD for Mojo magazine. Words here. Music here.

Elliott Smith‘s rare as you-know-what version of The Beatles ‘I’ll Be Back’. Music here.

Those Blur fanclub singles. I did a few posts in a series. Some, but not all, of the mp3s were removed. I try and put them back up when I notice they’ve gone. You can get the Sing (To Me) (demo) here. Words and other links here. Remember to use ‘search‘ or the Blur Fanclub Singles tag on the sidebar!

The Ronettes vocal track of ‘Be My Baby’. One of the most downloaded tracks….. ever! in the history of the internet. Possibly. Words here and here. Music here. (nb. Sadly, some of the other links in these posts have been deleted.)

Those 4 Beatles mastertapes that melted Plain Or Pan for a week in March 2008 are still up for grab! Words here. Music here – Sgt Pepper. With A Little Help from My FriendsA Day In The Life. She’s Leaving Home.

Talking of mastertapes…many of the original ones I put up (The Stones Gimme Shelter, Stevie Wonder’s Superstition, Marvin Gaye’s Grapevine) were removed. Some of the tracks however are still available on these excellent Best Of Plain Or Pan compilations. Here y’are….

Plain Or Pan (The First 2 Years In A Nutshell) Words and tracklistings here. Music here. And here.

Plain Or Pan (3rd Birthday) Words and tracklistings here. Music here. And here.

I could go on all night. Hopefully some of this stuff is new to you. If so, happy downloading. If not, try using ‘search‘. You never know what else lurks within….

Ciao!

Live!, Most downloaded tracks

Sopht Rock

When Revolver came out, or Dark Side Of The Moon, or Never Mind The Bollocks, or Appetite for Destruction, or Nevermind or (add yer own here _____(mine would be XO by Elliott Smith)), did the public immediately sit up and shout “Classic Album!!” with much gusto and emphasis on the 2 exclamation marks, or did they let the music fester inside their collective brains for a few months before decrying it worthy of such lofty status?

The mists of time have blurred perception of such trivial matters, and I suppose we’ll never know how it felt for the record buying public as a whole to hear these albums for the first time, but for what it’s worth I think most of these albums were growers first and classics later; albums full of songs, sounds and symphonies that lodged themselves into the brain after many needle drops and repeated listens and gradually became so important to the listener that over time they knew and loved every little detail about them. But what stands the above records apart from the XOs of the world is that those tiny little details were so important to thousands, even millions of people.

Alongside Elliott Smith’s finest hour stands The Sophtware Slump by Grandaddy. I’ve loved it and played it to death since it was released in 2000. Maybe not every day, or every week or even once a month, but at least a couple of times a year I’ll reach for it (I don’t need to dig it out, I know exactly where it is) and listen to it. And I mean listen to it. Not as background music while the TV flickers silently in the corner with subtitles on. Not as background music while I fry something to death on the gas hob. No. I sit there in my favourite chair and listen to it from start to finish. Uninterrupted. Which is hard in a house with 2 young children and a wife with a ‘to do’ list longer than a giraffe’s neck, but I manage it somehow.

As a band, Grandaddy mostly passed me by, but I was working in a record shop (remember them?) when The Sophtware Slump came out and I played it to death one afternoon, bought it that night, went home and played it to death again, went to work the next day, played it to death again….you get the idea. Sandwiched somewhere between ZZ Top and those Fleet Foxes, most of Grandaddy had the finest beards in music. And like those two hirsute bands above, they had the tunes to match. Taking elements of 70s Pink Floyd (none of yer trendy Syd-era Floyd here), the album is mainly a (whisper it) concept album about science v’s nature/man v’s robots – a full 2 years before fellow cosmic travellers the Flaming Lips had thought up the ‘original’ concept about Yoshimi and his pink robots. Opening track He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s the Pilot begins with some chirpping birds and creaking front porch banjo before blooming into this magical 8 minute opus on 21st Century living. Coincidentally, when the band supported Elliott Smith, Elliott was fond of joining Grandaddy on stage to sing along (crappy old mp3 of it here) The album meanders melancholically through ruminations on androids who drink themselves to death and the problems of and with technology before arriving at thisMiner at The Dial-A-View, a weird and wonderfully melodic tale about ‘dreaming of going home’ – back to pre-CCTV times.

Tracks ebb and flow from one to another, an acoustic guitar here, a spacey keyboard there, all sewn together by a high pitched reedy voice much like Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips or Mercury Rev’s Jonathan Donahue. If Neil Young had lost the Les Paul and kicked out the (Pearl) Jams (Motherfucker!) he might’ve been making records as essential as this.

For my money, The Sophtware Slump is as essential as OK Computer. It really is. You’ve heard a coupla tracks. Now do the decent thing and go and buy it. Whatchawaitin’ for?

Blur Fanclub Singles, Cover Versions, demo, Dylanish, Gone but not forgotten, Hard-to-find, Kraut-y, Live!, Most downloaded tracks, Studio master tapes

Three! Free! Fae Me!

Plain Or Pan is 3 years old and what better way to celebrate than with a compilation CD…..

Add your own Ronco/K-Tel voiceover:

Featuring the most popular downloads from last year’s blog, this compilation is the ideal taster for what Plain Or Pan is about. Covers, curios and the odd hard-to-find classic, this fantastic double CD is not available in the shops or from any good online retailers. Get it only at myTunes! Free! Today! Now!

Aye. It’s the ideal companion to last year’s double CD (still available here). Kicking off with the notorious Beatles Revolution take 20  outtake/outfake? that nearly melted Plain Or Pan for good in January last year, I’ve included some odd ball covers (Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed, the Dead Weather track), Fleet Foxes spin-offs (White Antelope), one of Johnny Marr’s favourite records (The Equals), rare fanclub-only releases (Blur), hardly-heard studio gems (The Temptations), demos (Marvin Gaye, The Pretenders), rarities (The La’s white label version of Timeless Melody – only 500 exist) and a whole lot more over 2 CDs. I’m rather proud of this wee compilation. It includes some nifty home-made artwork too! Right click on CD1 and CD2 below to download each CD in one go.

 

CD1                                                 CD2

 

Complete tracklisting:

Disc 1

The Beatles – Revolution (take 20)

The Kinks – I Need You

Pop Levi – Blue Honey

The Temptations – Ball Of Confusion (unreleased version)

Booker T & the MGs – Sing A Simple Song

Ike & Tina Turner – Bold Soul Sister

Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed & the Trueloves – Ace Of Spades

Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get It On (demo)

Arctic Monkeys – Baby I’m Yours

Afghan Whigs – Band Of Gold

Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit (live)

The Soup Greens – Like A Rolling Stone

The La’s – Timeless Melody (GOLAS3 version)

Trash Can Sinatras – Snow

Super Furry Animals – Citizens Band

The Sundays – Wild Horses

Sparkelhorse/Danger Mouse feat Nina Persson – Daddy’s Gone

 

Disc 2

Glasvegas – The Prettiest Girl On Saltcoats Beach (full length version)

The Pretenders – Brass In Pocket (demo)

The Byrds – Mr Tambourine Man (vocal track)

Frank Blake – You Don’t Have To Cry

The Equals – Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys

The Fall – Lost In Music

Dead Weather – Are Friends Electric?

John Kongos – He’s Gonna Step On You Again

Grace Jones – Pull Up To The Bumper (12” mix)

Blur – Sing (To Me) (demo)

Inspiral Carpets – 96 Tears

Beck – Sunday Morning

White Antelope – It Ain’t Me Babe

Eddi Reader – Blues Run The Game

Stone Roses – Love Spreads (Guitar Track)

Neu! – Hallogallo

 

Gone but not forgotten, Hard-to-find, Most downloaded tracks

Now, Nancy Sinatra with a word to the wise.

Due to a combination of work commitments, family stuff, illness and far-out holidays in New York I’ve not been doing much blogging recently. Now that things have settled down a bit, I’m back.

Way back when Plain Or Pan first started (nearly 3 years ago) I posted a few Coca-Cola jingles. Visitors to the blog loved them – they were the most downloaded tracks for most of that year, so..when the inspiration just isn’t there to write anything new….this post is a bit of a repeat. I’ve taken the words from a March 07 bit I wrote and the tunes from my Coca Cola folder, although apart from the Nancy Sinatra jingle (which is kitsch, camp and quite ridiculous) I don’t think I’ve made them available on here before.

coca-cola_aretha_frankin

Hey! Get down! Dig it with the Vanilla Fudge and Coca Cola! My mum tells me that in the swinging 60s, most provincial teenagers never had access to, never mind actually try, the mind-bending drugs that were so obviously shaping music, fashion and the consciousness of society. Instead, the hip, with-it teenagers in my wee corner of the west of Scotland would pop a couple of aspirins into their Coca Cola and swing the night away in a tripped-out approximation of sixties bliss.

Coca Cola were well aware that things indeed go better with a Coca Cola, and their 60’s marketing team were so on the ball that they got the groups du jour to record Coke jingles for local radio and the likes. Most of these jingles are bloody magic. They are quite blatant pastiches of those artists’ current hit singles and fall into 3 distinct categories:

1. The soul/r’n’b artist – Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, Carla Thomas, The Supremes, Otis Redding, Ray Charles etc etc

2. The fuzzed-out, beat-driven, blues-influenced garage bands – The Who, Vanilla Fudge, Troggs, Box Tops, Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick & Titch (so that stretches it a bit, but you get the point)

3. The pop stars/crooners – Bee Gees, Lulu, Roy Orbison, Petula Clark, Nancy Sinatra, etc.

cocacola

Here’s your starter for 10

Nancy Sinatra‘s jingle

Aretha Franklin‘s jingle

The Supremes jingle #1

The Supremes jingle #2

The Supremes jingle #3

Aretha Franklin & Ray Charles‘ jingle

Lulu‘s jingle

Roy Orbison‘s jingle

Vanilla Fudge‘s jingle

The Troggs‘ jingle

More to follow in future posts….

 

demo, Hard-to-find, Most downloaded tracks, Studio master tapes, studio outtakes

It Was Plenty Years Ago Today

A year or so ago I had the idea to run a series of pun-tastic posts called ‘It was plenty years ago today‘. Based on the success of those Beatles mastertapes that I had posted (when Plain Or Pan melted immediately and the internet police first cottoned on to this site) I would combine my expert textpert knowledge of The Beatles with some of their better bootlegs in my collection and post rare outtakes and the like on the anniversary of the track being recorded. For one reason or other, I never quite got round to doing it, until today.

beatles walrus group

Given that this weekend is Beatles Weekend on BBC2 and given that the remastered albums are out in the middle of the week (now there’s a novel way of promoting a computer game – cannae wait to play it by the way), this is as good a time as any to get things going. Plenty years ago today (42 41  (oops!) to be precise), a week or so after Brian Epstein’s death, The Beatles reconvened (at Paul McCartney’s insistence – the others, especially Lennon, had no motivation to continue) on the 5th September to start work on the Magical Mystery Tour project.

beatles walrus

First up saw them tackle I Am The Walrus. Between the 5th and 6th and 27th, 28th and 29th September, The Beatles twisted and turned John Lennon’s gobbledigook nonsense tune into the psychedelic masterpiece you are no doubt familiar with. The tune itself began life in Lennon’s Weybridge house. Absent mindedly tickling the ivories one morning, Lennon heard the sound of a police car outside, noting how the ‘notes’ of the siren changed as the car got further away. He began replicating this sound on the piano, and this became the chord progression for I Am The Walrus. It should be noted here that JWL was heavily into LSD by this point in his life. Taking drugs to make music to take drugs to, as Spacemen 3 once said. Ian Macdonald’s excellent Revolution In The Head book dissects Lennon’s acid-soaked Walrus lyrics to the nth degree way better than I ever could. It’s a fantastic book. The last time I was in Fopp I think it was on sale for about £4! But I digress. Back to the music…

Over the course of the 5 sessions, the tune would go from instrumental (here‘s take 7) to incomplete vocal versions (here‘s take 16, minus the drunk-sounding strings at the start. Listen out for Lennon fluffing the ‘yellow matter custard’ line.), to alternate mixes (here‘s one) to the finished item complete with a King Lear radio play and various bits ‘n bobs woven into the mix by George Martin. Achtung! Here‘s the German mono mix.

capa

The tracks above come from a 15 track bootleg called Walrus, Eggman and Pinguins. It varies in quality and, to be honest, many of the tracks sound identical, but it nonetheless charts the studio progress of one of The Beatles more interesting moments. You can download the whole shebang here. Goo Goo G’joob!

Also available for download, reissues (!) of those Beatles 4 track mastertapes that caused all the fuss way back when.

Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

A Day In The Life

She’s Leaving Home

With A Little Help From My Friends

And also still available (in high quality flac form only – the internet police jump straight on board with their handcuffs and truncheons whenever the mp3 of this becomes available) is the previously unheard 10min + mix of Revolution. Possibly an outfake, possibly the real deal, I wrote about it a wee while ago here. It’s a good read, even if I do say so myself. On the other hand, if you’re only here circling overhead like a vulture awaiting your next musical feast, you can cut out all the crap and download it here.

*Bonus Beatle fact #1!!!

I Am The Walrus is in Gary Numan’s list of Top 20 songs ever.

*Bonus Beatle fact #2!!!

As well as recording I Am The Walrus on the 6th September, The Beatles also had a go at George Harrison’s under-rated masterpiece Blue Jay Way. Sadly I have no outtakes of this. If anyone does have, you know how to contact me…

*Bonus Beatle fact #3!!!

Did you know that at the end of I Feel Fine the studio microphones unwittingly picked up the sounds of some dogs barking outside Abbey Road?  Hear it here! Right after the last “ooh!” backing vocal. Now dig it out your own copy, listen to it, turn it up for the last 10 seconds and you’ll hear them. I wonder if the dogs’ll still be on the up and coming remasters?

 

Most downloaded tracks

Radioheadline News

As usual, limping just one half-step behind the rest of the world when it comes to exciting new stuff, Plain Or Pan brings you the not entirely exclusive revelation that Radiohead have once again gone under the radar to release some new material. No trumpets. No fanfares. No ads in the press. No emails to those on the geeklist. Perhaps not quite on the grand scale of things when In Rainbows came from nowhere and had most of us all in a lather and foaming at the mouth, the weekend nonetheless saw a new Radiohead track leak online. I wouldn’t be surprised if the band had leaked it themselves. Aye. It’s easy to give away yer music when you happen to be that rarest of things – a commercially successful worldwide band/brand and critically acclaimed, but still, kudos where it’s due. By today (Monday), the track’s not so much leaked online as totally drowned the world wide web’s file sharing communities in a tsunami-like tidal wave of expectant saliva.

radiohead twisted words 

It’s rumoured that These Are My Twisted Words is from a new 4 track ep called Wall Of Ice. The supposed tracklisting varies depending where you google and visits to radiohead.com and wallofice.com reveal nothing, but you knew that already. The track itself is pretty decent. Taking off where In Rainbows left us, it starts with some wonky guitar, some pattering computerised beats and a bit of atmospheric bass. Decent singing too. Not in any way forced like last week’s Harry Patch single. It’s playing as I type, and it sounds fantastic. But you knew that already too. For those of you even slower than me on the uptake, here it is.

Now keep your eyes peeled for the real thing. And let me know about it when you find anything out. Ta!

*Cheers to Paul in the comments section. Since posting the track, it’s been made available at Radiohead’s official site, here. Possibly due to it being everywhere by now, it’s free! It’s probably also slightly higher quality. It comes with a wee note from the band. It also comes with artwork (see above) which you can customise. Generous stuff!

*Postscript. This website has a really good article about Radiohead and These Are My Twisted Words.

Dylanish, Hard-to-find, Most downloaded tracks

Bin there, done that

Bonjour tout le monde. My muse has deserted me recently, leading to a slowing down of me posting new stuff. I cannae even be arsed writing a proper review of last night’s Bob Dylan show in the big red shed at the SECC. But it was a belter. Visions of Johanna and everything. Way better than the last time I saw him (2 years ago) when his band pulled out 4 and a half minute guitar solos every chance they got. My review of that show even caused a minor stir in the Dylan community at the time. How dare you slag off Bob, and all that. It’s here if you have a spare couple of minutes.

I’d like to welcome anyone who’s visiting for the first time after reading the bit I did for the Vinyl Villain. I’d also like to take this opportunity to encourage any regulars on here to pay a visit to the Vinyl Villain. His blog is regularly updated and consistently excellent, which is something I can’t really say for Plain Or Pan these days.

tcs-bw

Special band, Special Needs.

I wrote a piece on the Trashcan Sinatras for the Vinyl Villain. He’s off on holiday and asked for some ‘guest’ contributors for the whole of May. My piece was posted yesterday and the traffic I’ve received due to it is very welcome. As a thank you, here‘s another hard-to-find Trashcan’s obscurity – the download-only studio version of Hammertime. Originally released electronically via the band’s very short-lived Picnic Records website a couple of years ago, it is now unavailable. Unless you shell out £40+ for the All The Dark Horses limited edition 10″. Or unless you click the link above, of course. Given the right setting (an official album of rarities or the b-side of a hit record) Hammertime would shine. However it has been relegated to a footnote in the Trashcan’s wonderful discography. It deserves a second chance. Go on. Give it a listen.  

New visitors to Plain Or Pan may be interested to learn that in November and December last year I was raided by the internet police. All music files dating from Nov 08 right back to Jan 07 were deleted. So the only music you can download from here is essentially anything since the start of 2009. Here’s some stuff you may have missed…

The first Plain Or Pan compilation album, compiling all the best bits of the now- deleted stuff. CD1 and CD2. Comes with artwork.

Over 20 versions of The La’s ‘There She Goes’. It’ll give you a sore head after a while, but, reallly, you need this.

The La’s legendary Kitchen Session. Listen to it here. Read about it elsewhere on Plain Or Pan. Take the time to find it and read about it, will you? Cheers!

The Beatles ‘Sgt Peppers..’ Master tape. Audio gold. A music fan’s wet dream. Call it what you will, but if you’re new to this, then prepare yourself!

The Beatles newly unearthed Revolution Take 20. Fake? Genuine? You decide!

Mojo magazine’s Johnny Marr compiled (by me) CD. With artwork. Here.

A rare mix of Marvin Gaye‘s ‘What’s Going On’.

The Arctic Monkeys do Van McCoy’s ‘Baby I’m Yours’. It’s a belter!

There’s tons of stuff on Plain Or Pan. I take time to ensure only the choicest, juciest most hard-to-come-by tracks are included. I’d be grateful if you could take the time to unearth some of it. A good compilation CD awaits those with patience and a good download speed.