Not just the bassist
Although Bill Wyman has offered little recorded evidence to counter arguments that he was the least musically talented member of the Rolling Stones , he does have a leg up on his former bandmates as a producer. Yes, Wyman was behind the underappreciated psych rock classic Introspection, by the End . Just reissued by Universal UK with two bonus single tracks, Introspection is a tasty slice of eccentric Brit-psych whimsy populated by little men who live under rainbows and cardboard watches. Unfortunately, when the album appeared in November 1969, it was two years too late and a trifle airy-fairy for people smitten with the heavier blues-rock thud of Cream and Led Zeppelin. So Introspection vanished, the End ended and so did Wyman's short-lived hobby, providing Mick and Keith with a ready punchline for years to come.
The Madrid-based house of good groove, Vampi Soul , is back with another killer comp, I Gotta New Dance , which collects 23 uptempo vintage floor-fillers from its ever-expanding catalogue of dance dementia. The varied selection goes well beyond the sizzling sista funk of Mary Jane Hooper , the Vibrettes and Betty Davis to include some dope descargas, scorching psych groovers and bangin' boogaloo breakdowns. You really need to check out La Sangre Caliente's La Culebra and the Lat-Teens smokin' Mary Wanna. Super-heavy vinyl, and a great mastering job to boot. Nice. www.vampisoul.com.
The first three vinyl singles in Soundway's long-threatened 7-inch series are finally out. Anyone familiar with the label's previous compilations, like the Ghana Soundz series, knows to expect top-quality grooves, and that's what you get. While I'm partial to the pairing of Orchestre du Bawobab 's one-off funk oddity Kelen Ati Len with Don Isaac Ezekiel Combinations ' Afrobeatdown The Preacher Man, Victor Olaiya 's salute to James Brown with a medley of Let Yourself Go and There Was A Time is also rather special, as is the Telstars ' horn-hyped Guyanese groover Making A Living. Grab all three quick before they're snapped up by eBay speculators.
Only Morris Levy's accountant knows for sure whether the hippie folk funk recordings of Don Cooper were a Roulette label tax writeoff. Vinyl hound Andy Votel cares not - he's just taken some time out from searching for lost Wool acetates and yearbook photos of Nancy Priddy to compile a Cooper best-of, Howlin' At The Moon (Delay 68). It's a surprisingly engaging set of enthusiastically strummed acoustic guitars over head-nodding beats - provided by Bernard Purdie (!) - that shows Cooper to be the natural bridge between Donovan and Badly Drawn Boy... though Cooper admirably resisted the temptation to wear a tea cozy for a hat and cover corny Springsteen tunes.