Midnite Mixtape Massacre - Marc Valentine - Last Great Dreamers Print E-mail
Written by Marc Valentine   
Sunday, 15 February 2015 03:30

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Last Great Dreamers will release their new single, 'Supernature Natural', at a special launch show at The Cellar in Oxford on February 28th, before heading out on a UK headline tour in April.

 

With uncanny timing, Uber Rock forced the band's frontman, Marc Valentine, into a corner and wouldn't let him out until he'd given us his ultimate thirteen song mixtape. Guitarist Slyder had already done us a fine C90 filled with a butcher's dozen of hot rock tunes last year (read here!) - how would his bandmate's mixtape compare?

 

1.) 'Smash It Up' - The Damned (from the album 'Machine Gun Etiquette')

 

I remember buying this single when I was about 12. In our town there was a tiny record store above an electrical shop and I used to go there every Tuesday to spend my pocket money on the latest punk or new wave release. It was always the picture sleeves that caught my eye, with art and music in one perfect package! This single has a great cover with a  photo of the band standing in rubble - they had such a cool, slightly menacing image to me as a kid. This song is a frantic 3 minutes of psychedelic punk mayhem with a fantastic ending as well. It's one of the records that made me want to be in a band. I absolutely played this to death and at the same time broke my bed from the constant pogo-ing on it.

 

2.) 'Queen Bitch' - David Bowie (from the album 'Hunky Dory')

 

I could have chosen every track from Ziggy Stardust, but 'Queen Bitch' just about steals it. Great lyrics and perfect delivery by Bowie. I also love Mick Ronson's trademark guitar with the way he adds urgency and dynamics to the song. I think Slyder's guitar playing has a touch of Ronson about it. Over the years I have spent so many hours staring at the record cover and reading the lyric inner, falling in love with Bowie and wishing I'd written all those classic songs. All bow down to the Thin White Duke - we're not worthy!

 

3.) 'Another Girl, Another Planet' - The Only Ones (from the self-titled album)

 

Absolute killer single and still timeless for me, with the gradual build up and then kicking in with that riff. I've always been a fan of Peter Perrett's fragile vocals. 'Another Girl, Another Planet' is such an exciting, definitive track and it sounds like they were totally in the zone when this was recorded. Sadly, for me though, I don't think The Only Ones ever reached this pinnacle again.

 

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4.) 'Stoned' - Redd Kross (from the album 'Show World')

 

Maybe one of the most underrated bands of the last twenty-five years. They probably hit their creative heights just as Nirvana went global - but then again, it wasn't difficult to go unnoticed during the grunge explosion. This song is from the 'Show World' LP and has all the classic Redd Kross traits - huge riff, big drums and a melody soaked with California harmonies. Back then, we could often be seen outside a London Redd Kross gig, drunk and barely able to stand, making complete arses of ourselves handing out flyers. Today, I still love Redd Kross and it's great to see them back together after such a long time away.

 

5.) 'Pills' - New York Dolls (from the self-titled album)

 

What can you say about the Dolls? So many bands have been inspired by them. I was lucky enough to see them live in 2005, Sunset Junction Festival in LA, just after they had reformed. I didn't actually know they were on the bill. From the distance I saw some older guys walk onstage and thought they looked familiar. It only took a couple of seconds... "Shit, it's the effin' New York Dolls!!" I put my 3 yr-old son on my shoulders and got to the front pretty fast. It really was an amazing and unexpected gig. Johansen & Sylvain were absolutely brilliant and still oozed that same swagger.

 

6.) 'I'm Eighteen' - Alice Cooper (from the album 'Love It To Death')

 

You've got to love Alice... the ultimate rock 'n' roll showman. When he hit the UK in the early '70s he had great shock value. Behind it all there were some great songs too. This is one of his best - a teenage angst anthem complete with trademark raspy vocal and layered guitar riff. Apparently the producer Bob Ezrin made them cut this down from an 8 minute jam. Listening to it, I'm instantly transported to a poster-covered 1970s Detroit bedroom.

 

7.) 'Marionette' - Mott The Hoople (from the album 'The Hoople')

 

I couldn't compile any music list without a nod to Mott. They really did have a lot of influence over me in the early Silver Hearts/Dreamers days. Mott were a gritty rock n roll band with some well penned songs. In the dark days of post-glam mid '70s England, I'm sure they inspired a lot of the early punk bands. I've seen Ian Hunter live many times and I really admire his longevity and the fact that he still writes relevant songs. 'Marionette' is a sneering, sinister track that feels like it might lose control, but is held together with a maniacal Hunter vocal. Genius!

 

8.) 'Gates Of The West' - The Clash (from the EP 'The Cost of Living')

 

They probably make just about everyone's top ten - but they're such an essential band and it's hard to leave them out. This is one of my favorites and it has a great hook. Apparently it was written about their growing love affair with the United Sates and the success they were having there. I think it was originally intended for the 'Give Em Enough Rope' album, but made its way onto 'The Cost of Living' EP.  For me, it's one of Mick Jones' finest vocal moments. Great production on this too.

 

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9.) 'How Does It Feel' - Slade (from the album 'Slade in Flame')

 

Slade are often see as a bit of a joke, but there is far more depth to them than just a good time band. Noddy is an incredibly unique vocalist and there is some real craft in their songwriting. This track is taken from the 'Slade in Flame' soundtrack. The film is probably one of the best rock films of all time. It's a great take on the music business and made almost a decade before Spinal Tap. I love the production with Noddy's voice laid bare with no double track vocals. Raw emotion!

 

10.) 'Ecstasy' - The Raspberries (from the album 'Side 3')

 

I've always been a sucker for hook-laden powerpop - in my book you can't beat a few powerchords and a catchy chorus. The Raspberries were introduced to me a few years back by Darren Stockford (the Dreamers' biographer and top rock 'n' roll oracle). They have the obvious Anglophile influences - sprinkles of The Beatles, Who & Faces, but they never quite made it over here. This song might be seen as throwaway, but I think it's a lot of fun. I guess the Raspberries are not everyone's cup of tea - but, minus the make-up and codpiece, I reckon they give '70s Kiss a run for their money.

 

11.) 'Sympathy For The Devil' - Rolling Stones (from the album 'Beggars Banquet')

 

How can anyone ever beat this as an album opener? Somehow I never tire of this song and it always seems like I'm hearing it for the first time. Probably one of the best vocal deliveries ever by Jagger - he plays Lucifer so well. Not forgetting it's all interwoven with a hypnotic rhythm and backing vocals. When this hit the airwaves in 1968, it really must have cemented the Stones as the bad boys of rock 'n' roll.

 

12.) 'X Offender' - Blondie (from the self-titled album)

 

They really were the perfect pop-punk band. When I first heard 'Denis' on the radio and then saw them on TOTP it was unbelievable. The coolest band ever, fronted by every spotty 13 year-old's teenage dream. They made some great records and also crossed over genres. I remember at the time, that every new single seemed better than the last (well, up until 'Atomic' anyway). Today the songs still sound fresh to me and are as infectious as ever. I know that Debbie gets most of the attention, but I've always loved Clem Burke's drumming - yet somehow he doesn't make it into many top ten drummers lists. Personally, I think he's way underrated. When I hear 'Dreaming' the drums still send shivers down my spine.

 

13.) 'Coquet Coquette' - Of Montreal (from the album 'False Priest')

 

One of the few contemporary artists that I really enjoy. They have so many influences and often go off at a tangent, but there's a lot to discover in their records. Almost no genre goes untouched - soul, funk, rock, indie, glam, electro, psych - it's all in there. Sometimes with great production and sometimes totally low lo-fi. What makes it for me are the satirical lyrics, often full of vitriol and self-loathing. Such a prolific band as well... not like us with one album every 20 years! This song is taken from the 'False Priest' album. It also has a great video to go with it.

 

Well, I hope you enjoyed the mixtape and I wish I could have included a few more. It was a lot of fun putting it together and playing some songs I hadn't heard in a while. Anyway, time now for a quick drink!

 


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Buy Tickets for the Oxford Cellar show here: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/292882