Hot Cookies

19 Apr


From 1988, let’s hear it for one of the first CD samplers issued on the Cooking Vinyl label (GRILL CD 002) and bought by me fairly shortly after I acquired my first CD player (an extraordinarily fine and rather expensive Denon top of the range model). In those days there was a pretty fierce debate about the extent to which digital music players could be high fidelity so I thought I’d better get a good ‘un! This of course meant that I didn’t have much cash to spend on actual CDs for several months – which is where budget-priced samplers like this were a bit of godsend.

Around this time, Cooking Vinyl was a great little label.  Sometimes this happens – in the 70s I could be reasonably certain I’d like things on Charisma or on Island Records but less so on Vertigo or Bronze! Anyway as musicologist/journalist  Andy Kershaw explains on his sleeve note “For the last couple of years it has re-introduced, to record bores like myself, trivia for the collector and a label loyalty unparalleled since the early days of Stiff…”.

So who’s on it? Well, The Oysterband, who I already knew, are represented by ‘The Oxford Girl’ and ‘Hal-An-Tow’. I also knew Clive Gregson (a refugee from the Stiff label) and Christine Collister (‘When My Ship Comes In’). In addition there were artists I’d read about but was unsure whether or not  to buy – such as Michelle Shocked (two tracks of her own and one collaboration with The Mekons). Sweet Honey In The Rock and the wonderfully-named Edward II and the Red Hot Polkas were other familiar names.  And then there were people of whom I’d never heard: The Happy End, Rory McLeod, the Horseflies and the unexpected pleasure represented by two tracks from S.E. Rogie – a veteran guitarist and friend of Andy Kershaw who came to the UK via Sierra Leone and the USA. In fact, he was probably one of the first ‘World Music’ artists I got into – along with the Zimbabwean Real Sounds on this CD.


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