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Britpop and Glam Rock (02/05/99) Write to CD Shakedown

CandyskinsCandyskins, Death of a Minor T.V. Celebrity (Velvel Records 1998) - Hailing from Oxford, England, the Candyskins deliver fresh English pop on Death of a Minor T.V. Celebrity. The band's fourth album finds the combo returning to American ears in fine style.

Candyskins get nickedThe Candyskins are John Halliday (drums), Mark Cope (guitar and backing vocals), Nick Cope (lead vocals and guitar), Brett Gordon (bass), and Nick "Nobby" Burton (lead guitar). Now on their fourth CD, the Candyskins deliver energetic Britpop, with a layered sound and plenty of depth.

If you like Pulp, then you'll feel at home with the Candyskins. Listen for the single, "Feed It," and give Death of a Minor T.V. Celebrity a spin.

Fool's ParadePeter Wolf, Fool's Parade (Mercury 1998) - Veteran performer Peter Wolf delivers his fifth solo outing in Fool's Parade. With a blues sound that is steeped in the music of Memphis and Muscle Shoals, the new disk is like the return of a long-lost friend.

For 17 years, Peter Wolf made a living as the charismatic front man for the J. Geils Band. While the J. Geils Band dissolved in 1983, Wolf remains true to its funky, "let's have a party" rock sound. [Listen to "Turnin' Pages," which is a song in search of a good time.]

Peter WolfYet Wolf also reveals his more reflective side on such songs as "Long Way Back Again" and "All Torn Up," which are recorded in the classic soulful style of Don Covay and Wilson Pickett. Producer Kenny White provides a sweet mix, giving plenty of room for Wolf's vocals amid the horn-influenced arrangements.

On Fool's Parade, Peter Wolf shows how an old pro makes records. Like Rod Stewart, Wolf picks good songs and stays true to his roots. Give Fools Parade a spin.

Velvet GoldmineMusic from the motion picture, Velvet Goldmine (London Records 1998) - I haven't seen the film, but Velvet Goldmine looks to be about life in London during the Marc Bolan and David Bowie glam-rock era. The sound track is a solid collection, featuring classic 70's tunes, as well as new performances by modern artists.

The 70's recordings include "Needle in the Camel's Eye" by Brian Eno, "Virginia Plain" by Roxy Music, and Lou Reed's still-amazing, "Satellite of Love."

Who's got new tracks? How about Placebo ("20th Century Boy"), Teenage Fan Club with Donna Matthews ("Personality Crisis"), and Shudder to Think ("Hot One" and "Ballad of Maxwell Demon").

Also included is "The Boys" by Pulp and "Diamond Meadows" by T-Rex.

Velvet GoldmineThe centerpiece of this London rock-drenched collection is a studio band called The Venus in Furs, who contribute a handful of songs, including "2HB" and "Baby's on Fire." The Venus in Furs are an English "supergroup," with Bernard Butler, Clune, Jon Greenwood, Paul Kimble, Andy Mackay and Thom Yorke on the roster.

A competing "supergroup," Wylde Ratttz, also contributes two tracks: its members draw from U. S. talent, and include Thurston Moore (from Sonic Youth) and Mike Watt (a great grunge rocker).

London Records always releases a great soundtrack (Case in point: Grosse Pointe Blank.) For an indulgence in British glam, try Velvet Goldmine.

- Randy Krbechek © 1999

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