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Lucky Dangerous Records

In the late seventies in the UK, there were several new movements of music. Punk was the obvious one, the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal another and then there was what was loosely termed ‘New Wave’. This last genre was born from mid-seventies Pub Rock but quickly encompassed everything from the quirky, European vocals of Lene Lovich to the sweaty aggressive Rhythm & Blues of Dr Feelgood and into the Reggae-soaked Police. Veteran Pub Rockers themselves were pushed to the fore, Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds formed Rockpile, Graham Parker formed The Rumour, Ian Dury put The Blockheads together and all of them had hits. There were many others but the one thing they all had in common was the ability to write and deliver well crafted songs that were appealing to young and old. It was a golden era of songwriting, the likes of which, with a few exceptions, we hadn’t seen since the early sixties and even though many of those mentioned above and their peers are still going, generally speaking, there’s not a lot of great song writing pouring out of radios around the world.


Thankfully, there is a bit though and Lucky Dangerous are in that category. This six-track EP has six terrific songs on it that have aggressive guitars, lyrics that mean something to the young generation (‘I’d rather live it up than pay the rent’) and are fun to jump about to but they never overstep the line into obscenities or ‘F*** you!’ attitude. The songs are also melodic, commercial, catchy and very well produced. At least half of them are instantly appealing, radio friendly tunes, Joanna being a sure-fire hit if ever I heard one.


Amazingly, Lucky Dangerous are just two guys. John Ford plays guitar, bass, piano and harmonica as well as doing the lead vocals and Chris Barenz thumps the tubs, adds percussion and does the backing vocals – somehow, they do all that live - needless to say they write everything and produce themselves. Make no mistake though, this is no ego trip for the duo. They know how to play and they play very well but they never overplay and they certainly know how to write but most importantly, they know how to put their talents into a recording to get the most out of what they do write.


The total running time of this EP is barely fifteen minutes but there is not a single second that is wasted. This release shows great potential for the duo and if I were a publisher or A&R man, I’d be either signing them now or at the very least, keeping a close eye on them. I suggest you do the same.


Anything Can Happen And It Does

Filthy Does It

Dumber Days

Dancing To The Late Night Sound


Lucky Dangerous




Cherry Red Records

Heinz Burt didn’t have a lot of success. One Top 5 single in the UK, two Top 30 EPs and a couple of Top 50s. He released one album, Tribute To Eddie, which, it is fair to say, didn’t make much of an impression on the record buyers in the 1960s. What he did have was the devotion of Joe Meek to make him a star, no doubt because Joe was in love with him. Heinz, wasn’t inclined to have any physical relationship with Joe but accepted his generosity of studio time and hence we have this quite incredible compilation of recordings. For anyone with even a passing interest in 1960s recordings, this is a wonderful insight into how Joe Meek worked.

The first disc is the album, transferred from a master tape and compared to all other previous releases, it’s quite a revelation. The bass is more prominent and there is more clarity in the instrumentation; the vocals are crisp. This being released in 1964, the backing musicians are uncredited on the album but it is a young Ritchie Blackmore playing guitar on these sessions and that alone makes it historically invaluable. The additional tracks are eye-opening in that running at the original speed, Heinz’s voice sounds far better and even the slower tempo of the songs gives them a more rounded warmth. It begs the question why Joe sped them up in the first place but with both Joe and Heinz having passed away many years ago, we will never know. Maybe he wanted Heinz to sound more like Eddie Cochran…or less like Eddie Cochran…or another reason. It doesn’t matter, it’s just another unsolved curiosity in Joe’s production techniques – there are many. In fact, this entire set is all about Joe’s production and his search for perfection. He focused on Heinz which gives us a basis to work from to try and understand what Joe wanted to achieve but whether Joe, in his own mind, ever actually did, again, we will never know. Disc 2 explores the evolution of the album in greater depth and this is where you start to go down the rabbit hole. There is stuff that to the casual listener, may not warrant a second listening but as a study in sound and that era of recording, it’s marvellous. Joe’s recording technique was unique in that it enabled him to add lots of overdubs without too much audio loss, nevertheless, there was always a loss whilst adding another instrument so to hear some of his first backing masters in all their sonic glory, is a revelation.

Disc three and four focus on Heinz’s singles, most of which, it is fair to say, haven’t been aired much since they were released in the 1960s. These are good songs, good recordings but The Beatles had pushed British music much further so as good as they are, it’s easy to see why they were not successful. Joe, it seems, didn’t know how to make the quantum leap and keep up. That said, they are. I say again, historically invaluable if for nothing else (and there is much else), Mr Blackmore tearing up these sessions on Movin’ In from 1966 – the same year Hendrix came to London. The final disc is the most fascinating of the lot which has a wealth of clues about how Joe worked. It’s obvious he was haphazard and random at best, taking the moments as he chooses. They do say there is a fine line between madness and genius, maybe that is where Joe was, balanced on that line. Future releases will give us more information but for now, sit back and peel back the layers of the Heinz box set. It is, I promise you, worth your time. 



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