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  1. I know I first came across Is Bliss on YouTube but can’t remember why I was looking into them. I suspect it was at the prompting of a customer in the shop. The things I recall from YT were 60’s/Psych sounding but this album is not really like that, it’s more a mix of new-Psyche and full on brain crushing shoegaze, think Loop or Chapterhouse. Is Bliss are a 3 piece band from Portsmouth who apparently have a “shared love of Slowdive, Spacemen 3 and Verve” which explains the shoegaze but fails to explain my liking for them as I really don’t care for any of those 3.

    First song “Belong” pretty much nails what they do, have a listen below. “All I See Is You” starts out acoustically and then adds what sound like recorders for a folky feel. “Wonder” has an Indian/60’s/Raga thing going on. “What To Believe” puts me in mind of Swervedriver.

    If you’re a fan of any of the other bands mentioned Is Bliss are a band you may want to have a listen to (https://isbliss.bandcamp.com/album/strange-communication).

    Belong - https://youtu.be/Z9o47Cztjuk?si=vAYDT-KWOQtoZS11

  2. Yeah I know what you’re thinking, “It Started With A Kiss”, “So You Win Again”, “No Doubt About It”…BUT…there was a time in the early 70’s when Hot Chocolate had some stuff going on.

    The B-side of their 1972 single “You’ll Always Be A Friend” is a track called “Go Go Girl”, a tough piece of guitar driven, almost Freakbeat, Mod pop. Their ’73 single “Brother Louie” is an early anti-racist song (go check out the lyrics) and ’74’s “Emma” is a doom laden classic (c’mon, the Sisters Of Mercy covered it !). I’ve been DJ’ing a single from this very album, “Heaven Is In The Back Seat Of My Cadillac”, for years, it’s as funky as funky gets.

    And then I discover that one of my favourite tunes of recent years, Smoove ’n’ Turrell’s “You Could've Been A Lady”, is another cover of a Hot Chocolate song, hence I now own this album from whence it hails. It was originally released as a single in 1971 and I’ve no idea why they waited until 1976 to put it on this album. I have absolutely no clue what the rest of it sounds like outside of the 2 tracks I own it for (“…Cadillac” and “…Lady”) and I likely never will. So you can now take that haughty “Hot f*ckin’ Chocolate !” look off your face and have a listen.

    You Could've Been A Lady - https://youtu.be/5Puo_9AeYTY?si=BLMVZOiO6YgHISvs

  3. The next couple of days entries are for records that are alphabetically out of order because I've added them to my collection recently. 

    Pierre Bachelet was a French singer and composer, Hervé Roy a similarly French singer, arranger, songwriter, composer and orchestra leader. Together they created the soundtrack to Just Jaeckin’s 1974 movie adaptation of Emmanuelle Arsan’s 1967 erotic novel “Emmanuelle”. The film was quite a big deal back then and many a schoolboy fantasised over the pictures of star Sylvia Kristel on the advertising posters outside cinemas...I wouldn’t wonder.

    Do I like the music within ? Not really, it's orchestral incidental music, snippets of an oft repeated theme. There’s only one reason to own this album, for the schoolboy fantasy picture of Sylvia Kristel on the cover (look it up yourself).

    Emmanuelle In The Mirror - https://youtu.be/F3L2IMssEes?si=zqHNmfAUWg44RI4h