Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Link Wray Big City After Dark & Show # 432


Link Wray has released a lot of singles, but in 1962/1963 he released a series of singles on the Mala record label that are relatively obscure in his catalogue and hard to come by nowadays. In 1962 Link Wray released the “Big City After Dark”/”Hold It” single. It was actually released under the name Ray Vernon & His Wraymen, which was a tribute to Link’s brother Vernon who played with his band, but was also an aspiring Pop star who would work behind the scenes with Link serving as a producer/recordist. “Big City After Dark” is a deep Blues cut with dirty raunchy guitar sounds, some of the dirtiest tones Link has captured on tape. The b-side to this single is a cover of Bill Doggett’s “Hold It”, Link and His Wray Men work up the song into a smoking panic serving as an excellent Garage Rock track that pre-dates early Beatles recordings. “Dance Party” was one of the other Link Wray songs released on the Mala Record label and it has been released under a few names. It was released under the “There’s A Hole In The Middle Of The Moon” single in 1963 with “Dancing Party” as it’s b-side. It has also gone under the name “Friday Night Dance Party”.

What do these singles have in common other than being rare and hard to find Link Wray singles? They were both reissued for the Black Friday edition of Record Store Day in 2012. When re-issued it came as a double single with “Big City After Dark”/”Hold It” on one single and “Dance Party” on the other, it features an extended version of the song listed as “Dance Party Parts 1 & 2” with part one on side A and part two on side B. What these singles serve as are rare glimpses into some raunchy obscure singles from Link Wray, ones that before Record Store Day were really hard to find other than on the odd compilation album. On the cover of the “Big City After Dark” single there is a picture of a young Link Wray with a smirk on his face and a certain look in his eyes, the look is somewhat ominous, but one of determination. The fact that these recordings pre-date Garage Rock further emphasises the importance of Link Wray’s sound on Rock music. Link’s look on the cover reflects the sounds we find on these singles and with his music. It has been said many, many times that Link Wray is an influential artist, these recordings prove that even on the deepest rarest cuts in Link’s catalogue he still had that unhinged raw Rock and Roll sound that that was not only original, but was bound to be influential. On this “Big City After Dark” re-issue, Link Wray’s sound is resurrected from the dusty grooves of the past, yet at the same time the music still sounds fresh. It is further evidence of his immediate influential and unrelenting Rock sound.

The Play List:

1. Holy Wave – Albuquerque Freakout
2. Davie Allan & The Arrows – Blues Theme
3. The Clique – You’ve Been Unfair
4. The Yardbirds – Mister You’re A Better Man Than I
5. Lowlands – Black Mask II
6. John Cale – I Wanna Talk 2 U
7. Drew Smith – Smoke & Mirrors
8. Neil Jarvis – What’s Done Is Done
9. Orphan Choir – Haunt The Highways
10. The Blue Squares – Time To Get Over You
11. The Checkerlads – Shake Yourself Down
12. The Skaliwags – Turn Him Down
13. The Zombies – Just Out of Reach
14. White Stripes – Stop Breaking Down (Live at BBC Studios, Maida Vale)
15. The Polymorphines – I Gotta Vibration
16. The Baracudas – (I Wish It Could Be) 1965 Again
17. Link Wray – Big City After Dark
18. Link Wray – Hold It
19. Pow Wows – Fire Song (Live WFMU September 15th, 2012)
20. The Zeros – What’s Wrong With A Pop Group
21. The Scabs – Amory Building
22. Lost Patrol – Dead or Alive
23. Long Weekends – Shame On You
24. Iggy Pop & James Williamson – Johanna

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 26. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

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