The first single I ever bought was when the next door neighbour of my best friend Simon sold off all of his. Simon’s mum gave me and Simon the cash to buy one each. I was probably at the end of primary school. I bought Elvis Presley’s “What’d I Say” [listen on blip.fm], backed with “Viva Las Vegas” [listen on blip.fm], recorded in Hollywood in the summer of 1963. Actually, the B side is the title song which is confusing; it was released by RCA in 1964 to cash in on the film Viva Las Vegas. My copy didn’t have a jacket, just a frayed brown paper sleave.
At the time, I much preferred the B side, which became much more well known, especially after Elvis’ come-back, although “What’d I Say” probably now sounds cooler, with that awesome bassy opening riff. (It’s a Ray Charles song, of course: a gospel song about sex.) “Viva Las Vegas” is co-written by someone who much later became one of my favourite songwriters, Doc Pomus, with Mort Shuman.
The last 7″ single I bought was in a very cool record shop on Putney High Street. I can’t remember the shop’s name, and doubt it’s still there. It was by Blaggers ITA, the anti-fascist band. The A side was “Here’s Johnny” [listen on blip.fm], the B side “Before I Hang”, released on their own label, Words of Warning, recorded at the legendary Southern Studios.
The former was an attack on John Major, then standing in the 1992 election. (Which makes me realise I must have bought it close to new, but I think from a bargain bucket because it had lost its jacket.) The latter was about the Tottenham Three, Winston Silcott, Mark Braithwaite and Engin Raghip, wrongly imprisoned for the murder of a police officer during the Broadwater Farm riots.
On the record it says: “WHOEVER YOU VOTE FOR……….THE BLAGGERS WON’T F**KING LIKE ‘EM”. The cover design was by band member Brendan, as Sit Inc.
You might be able to download a 5MB .rar file here, via United Front Skins, but I can’t vouch for the ease, safety or legality of doing so. (They call it an EP, but I don’t think that’s correct. If it is, I’ll obviously have to do a second edition of this post!)
Videos below the fold.