The Cure – A Forest (Album Version) [1980]
January 24, 2013

Something a little more eccentric today but a real cracker none the less. This release from The Cure’s 1980 album “Seventeen Seconds” sounds way ahead of its time, mashing some post-punk sensibilites with some wicked electro / effect pedal business and a bloody fantastic guitar riff that’s just begging for a remix. Cracking tune.

It took me an age to come around to listening to The Cure, pretty much dismissing them for years as whiny Indie Rock that I couldn’t get interested in. However, having picked up Seventeen Seconds and Faith several years ago, I found I couldn’t get enough. They have a massive back catalogue but spend some time in the 1980-1983 Cure period and its plain as day how they became to garner such a devout and rabid following. Easily one of the best bands of the 20th Century in my opinion.

Aretha Franklin – Think [1968]
February 6, 2012

Almost immediately after Atlantic released “Baby Sweet Baby” they released this stormer from Franklin, launching a full on Soul Assault in the Billboard Top 100. Another track showcasing why Aretha retains her crowd as the queen of soul, its a high energy relentless soul pounder of biblical proportions. Naturally, this one went straight to the top until the Temptations knocked her off the top spot some 3 weeks later.

It found renewed popularity after the release of The Blues Brothers in 1980, in which Aretha actually starred. Still one of my favourite scenes from the movie to be honest. Cracking tune.

George Benson – Give Me The Night [1980]
January 1, 2012

One of the smoothest disco funk tracks your ever likely to hear from one of the most gifted artists of the genre. I defy anyone not to tap their feet and nod their heads to this classic. Its been remixed a ton of times, some of them pretty good (I even up’d one on here way back in 08) but nothing beats the original. It was written by Rod Temperton, who’s other contributions to music include Thriller and Rock With You. Not bad for a pasty white Englishman!

Another milestone for 2012 is that last night we passed 8K unique views to “From The Cans”. Which is incredible since this site is just over 3 years old and I never thought anyone would read it other than Fiver! So thank you all very much and have a great 2012!

The Beat – Mirror In The Bathroom [1980]
May 17, 2011

Ive been having all manner of classics pass my way recently, making it a nice refreshing change to my usual electronica onslaught. Another classic, this one being of the Ska persuasion by The Beat taken from their incredible first album, “I Just Cant Stop”. Incidentally, if you dont own this album, rectify that immediately. Its fantastic!

This was written by The Beat singer and guitarist Dave Wakeling. He told us the story of the song: “I was working in construction at the time, and it was the winter. I had forgotten to hang my jeans up to dry overnight, so when I got into the bathroom to shower up, I noticed my jeans were still on the floor, soaking wet, covered in sand. So I hung them up thinking well, it’s probably best to have them steaming hot and wet. I went to shave, and it was snowing, and I really, really didn’t want to go. So I started talking to myself in the mirror as I was shaving up. And it was weird, because I looked deeper in the mirror, and I could see the little caption on the door behind, and I said to myself, Look, David, there’s just me and you in here. The door’s locked. We don’t have to go to work. Of course we did. Got on the motorbike, and I just started pondering as I skated my way to the construction site on this motorbike. And that’s how it started. It was thinking about how self-involvement turns into narcissism and how narcissism turns into isolation, and then how isolation turns into self-involvement again, and how what a vicious cycle that can become. So then I just started thinking about different situations where people would ostensibly look like they were doing something, but in fact they were checking their own reflection out. And you’d see it perhaps on Saturday afternoon with people window shopping, half the time they’re actually just looking at their own reflection. Then this restaurant opened, and it was a big deal at the time because it had glass tables, and I was like, oh, you can watch yourself.”

Sly and The Revolutionaries – Cocaine [1980]
December 11, 2010

Deep as they come, The Revolutionaries nail the warm dub sounds with yet another seminal track from “Black Ash Dub”. Its an album, so damn good, once you have it, you’ll never stop listening too it. Its got a slight hint of melancholy, a pinch of frivolity and truckloads of some of the deepest dub your likely to hear.

From Wikipedia
Set up in 1975 as the house band of the Channel One Studios owned by Joseph Hoo Kim, The Revolutionaries with Sly Dunbar on drums and Robbie Shakespeare on bass, created the new “rockers” style that would change the whole Jamaican sound (from roots reggae to rockers, and be imitated in all other productions. Beside Sly and Robbie, many musicians played in the band: Bertram McLean, Radcliffe “Dougie” Bryan on guitar, Ossie Hibbert, Errol “Tarzan” Nelson, Robert Lyn or Ansel Collins on keyboards, Uziah “Sticky” Thompson, Noel “Scully” Simms on percussion, Tommy McCook, Herman Marquis on saxophone, Bobby Ellis on trumpet and Vin Gordon on trombone.

The band played on numerous dub albums and recorded as a backing band for artists like B. B. Seaton, Black Uhuru, Culture, Prince Alla, Leroy Smart, Gregory Isaacs, John Holt, The Heptones, I-Roy, Tapper Zukie, Trinity, U Brown, Errol Scorcher, Serge Gainsbourg among others.

Kurtis Blow – The Breaks [1980]
December 3, 2009

Kurtis is the man, one of the slickest voices of early Hiphop. One of those track bestowed with the legacy of becomming ingrained into popular western lexicon. Love it!

From Wikipedia
* “The Breaks” repeats the word “break” (or any of its homophones) eighty-four times over six and a half minutes.
* There are six breakdowns (seven including the outro) in “The Breaks”.
* There are no fewer than three definitions for “break,” “to break” or “brakes” used in “The Breaks.”