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Green On Red - BBC Sessions

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 23 / 5 / 2007

Green On Red - BBC Sessions
Label: Cooking Vinyl
Format: CD


Excellent collection of radio sessions recorded for the BBC between 1988 and 1991 by influential American-based country Green On Red

Green on Red. What a fucking great band ! Ian McNabb used to talk about this band all the time in interviews. From the first time I saw them back in the spring of 1985, the same year that I first saw the Icicle Works, it was love. With the Icicles, as we hardcore fans knew them, every time they did a new single or album they would change their style. They were pushers, frequently breaking down what they had previously been about, and annoying fans who just wanted another 'Love is a Wonderful Colour' or 'Birds Fly'. Green on Red, however, just grabbed me by the balls from the first note I heard them play at that concert at the Electric Ballroom. Sadly 'The BBC Sessions' isn't a complete BBC sessions. The band have chosen to leave off their classy early sessions, and this collection, which consists entirely of material which until now has remained unreleased, was recorded at the time they were promoting their last three albums, 'Here Comes the Snakes' from 1988 ('A great return to form after their not-so-great third album, 1987's Stones-influenced 'The Killer Inside Me'), 1989's 'This Time Around', and their last studio album, their 1992 sixth record 'Too Much Fun'. By the time of these recordings the original line-up of the band had broken up and Green on Red just consisted of vocalist Dan Stuart and guitarist Chuck Prophet and whom ever they chose to play with. In the UK this included Christopher Holland, Jools Holland's brother. The band always had spirit and this clashed with the BBC's policy with regard to recording sessions, but this is a fine collection. Even a hardcore collector like me, who recorded a lot of them at the time, doesn't have every session here. And they all also appear without the hiss of FM radio interference and static ! The first four tracks come from a session for their first radio fan, ex Billy Bragg roadie/chum, Andy Kershaw. Recorded on 6.4.89 and broadcast on 23.4.89 its opening track is 'Busted', which is a sing-a-long, slow country rocker. It is followed by 'Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way ?', a kick ass tune that the band nailed in hard. 'D.T.Blues' comes from 'Here Comes the Snakes,' and, another slow country blues number, which is what Green on Red did best, is classy musicianship at its best. 'Fading Away' is another fine example of country blues. Tracks 5-8 come from a Richard Skinner session. 'Reverend Luther' comes from 'This Time Around' and is an upbeat jolly acoustic number. 'Good Patient Woman', was originally the extra track on the same album and, a spoken word tale, is sung by Dan if his heartstrings were being plucked. 'Itch and Shout' is an otherwise unreleased song and has a bit of a funk to it, while 'Pills and Booze' again comes from 'This Time Around' and is a fine example of where Dan and Chuck's heads were at the time. Tracks 9-11 were recorded for ''The Saturday Sequence' for Radio 1, an afternoon live show , which was again often presented by Richard Skinner. It was recorded on 21.3.91 and broadcast on 23.11.91. 'Little Things in Life' was a 1991 single and is an acoustic fun-based and very perky number. 'Hair of the Dog' comes from their second album and masterpiece, their 1985 album 'Gas, Food, Lodging', which the band played in its entirety for a 'Don't Look Back' show last year at the London Koko. It sounds like John Lennon's 'Cold Turkey' as if played by Neil Young who in turn has been influenced by the Doors. 'Lovers Waiting to Die' is the song of a sex crazed couple and is set firmly in 'Twin Peaks' terr'tory. Track 12-15 come from Bob Harris' late night show of the early 90's.'Zombie for Love 'is another track from 'Here Comes the Snakes' and is an elegant country based number. 'Billy' is Chuck's nickname for Dan and is another new tune unreleased elsewhere. 'Baby Loves Her Gun' has some strong little grooves, while 'Little Things in Life' makes a return visit. The final three tracks were recorded for Johnny Walker and broadcast in 1992. 'Sun Goes Down' is a Doors like beast and is a full-on country rock number. 'Frozen in My Headlights' is again perky in sound, while the final track, the title track for their last studio album, 'Too Much Fun' is restrained in its natural beauty. Essential listening for any one with real blood flowing through their veins.

Track Listing:-
1 Busted
2 Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?
3 D.T. Blues
4 Fading Away
5 Reverend Luther
6 Good Patient Woman
7 Itch And Shout
8 Pills And Booze
9 Little Things In Life
10 Hair Of The Dog
11 Two Lovers Waiting To Die
12 Zombie For Love
13 Billy
14 Baby Loves Her Gun
15 Little Things In Life
16 Sun Goes Down
17 Frozen In The Headlights
18 Too Much Fun
19 Man Needs Woman

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Interview (2007)
Green On Red - Interview
The vocalist for influential country band Green on Red, Dan Stuart has recently recorded 'Cast Iron Blues', his first album since the 90's with his side project Danny and Dusty, the group he formed with Steve Wynn. Anthony Strutt chats to himabout Green on Red's recent reformation and the new album
Interview (2006)

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