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Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!

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DIRTY OLD TOWN


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GUEST,Tunesmith 05 Oct 09 - 04:32 PM
Jack Blandiver 05 Oct 09 - 05:45 PM
The Vulgar Boatman 05 Oct 09 - 05:55 PM
GUEST,John Barnes 06 Oct 09 - 03:00 AM
greg stephens 06 Oct 09 - 03:58 AM
Les in Chorlton 06 Oct 09 - 06:22 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 06 Oct 09 - 06:36 AM
Smedley 06 Oct 09 - 07:08 AM
Brakn 06 Oct 09 - 07:39 AM
Folkiedave 06 Oct 09 - 03:29 PM
Murray MacLeod 06 Oct 09 - 05:16 PM
GUEST,Charley O'Neill 07 Oct 09 - 10:27 AM
Dave the Gnome 11 Dec 19 - 06:04 PM
Joe Offer 11 Dec 19 - 07:29 PM
Dave the Gnome 12 Dec 19 - 02:13 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 12 Dec 19 - 02:27 AM
GUEST,henryp 12 Dec 19 - 04:49 AM
GUEST,Hootenanny 12 Dec 19 - 06:42 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 12 Dec 19 - 08:13 AM
GUEST,Pseudonymous 12 Dec 19 - 08:45 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 12 Dec 19 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,akenaton 12 Dec 19 - 10:20 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 Dec 19 - 10:59 AM
Dave the Gnome 12 Dec 19 - 11:12 AM
GUEST,akenaton 12 Dec 19 - 12:28 PM
Dave the Gnome 12 Dec 19 - 12:45 PM
MoorleyMan 12 Dec 19 - 04:58 PM
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Subject: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 05 Oct 09 - 04:32 PM

Forgive me if this has been discussed before! I've included a link to some Youtube footage of a famous - in the UK - 50s pop/rock tv show "Oh Boy". In this particular episode UK pop singer Mike Preston sings "Dirty Old Town" ( it starts at about 2mins in the clip). This was also Preston's first single and it was produced by the "legendary"
British record producer Joe Meek. I assume this must be one of the earliest recordings of this song. Listen that heavenly choir! - and I notice - even back then - how the lyrics stray from Ewan's original at various points.

Dirty Old Town 1959


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 05 Oct 09 - 05:45 PM

For anyone else who's just sat through Tunesmith's link and been plunged in a state of utter abject despair, here's the antidote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzTw4PYfROU

It took 29 years, but we got there.


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 05 Oct 09 - 05:55 PM

A much murdered song. I seem to recall that there were a couple of recordings from the sixties which did justice to the jazz/blues feel of the original - Ian Campbell did a nicely understated version.


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: GUEST,John Barnes
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 03:00 AM

How well known was this song in 1959? One wonders how Joe Meek, Mike Preston or whoever knew about its existence. I assume that Ewan recorded it first, but, after that, who were the next folkie individuals or groups to pick up on it. I'm prtetty sure that, the Ian Campbell Group and The Spinners didn't record it until the 60s.


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: greg stephens
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 03:58 AM

I have the Decca EP with Ewan McColl singing it, accompanied by Alan Lomax and the Ramblersd(quite a jazzy line-up).
The "gasworks croft" line seemed to cause him as much of a problem as it did to the Pogues.


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 06:22 AM

I seem to remember Duffy Power singing it on something or other. 65 Special? O Boy?

L in C


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 06:36 AM

Les, if you've watched the clip, then you'll realise that it probably wasn't Duffy that recall but Mike Preston ( I believe there is a facial similarity between the two).


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: Smedley
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 07:08 AM

It's interesting the Joe Meek was involved - his other-wordly tastes & lavish production style seems like the polar opposite of folk.

As for the Joy Division clip - is it just me that sees a lot of Mr Bean in Ian Curtis ??


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: Brakn
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 07:39 AM

Very interesting..and all the comments as well.

Can't quite see the link to Joy Division.


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: Folkiedave
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 03:29 PM

MacColl first recorded this for Topic in 1952/Sheffield Apprentice TRC 56


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 05:16 PM

what's the relevance of the Joy Division link ?


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: GUEST,Charley O'Neill
Date: 07 Oct 09 - 10:27 AM

Murray, if you don't understand the reference...maybe one day you will.
Keep growing! Charley O'Neill


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Dec 19 - 06:04 PM

I was going to start a new thread but this one seems very apt and only 10 years old :-)

In the discussion on Ewan MacColl's biography "A Class Act" I mentioned that Dirty Old Town was the first song I performed publicly. Rather than clutter that thread up, I have reopened this one. I said a version I heard when I was in my teens nearly put me off folk music. It was probably the Alan Lomax and the Ramblers version and on re-listening 50+ years later, I liked it a lot more. While searching for that I found one by Esther and Abi Ofarim I had never heard and one by Rod Stewart, which I had heard but forgotten about. Both versions are, in my opinion, preferable to The Pogues version but that is just my opinion.

What are your favourite versions?


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Dec 19 - 07:29 PM

OK, so here are:
C'mon, Dave! You don't like the Pogues version? Well, yeah, I guess I don't like it, either. I love the voice of Esther Ofarim, but I don't know that her luscious voice fits the song. I like this one by MacColl and Peggy Seeger:But I'm not finding the MacColl recording that I really like. I think it's the one on the Black and White album.


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Dec 19 - 02:13 AM

I know what you mean about the Opharim version, Joe. Donovan's was the most "folky" version but my least favourite! The original Rod Stewart one, before he got influenced by the Pogues version, is, in my opinion, the best or certainly the most interesting. I have thought for a good while that the esteemed Mr Stewart shows his folk roots on quite a few songs. Wonder if he ever wanders in to his local folk club? :-)


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 12 Dec 19 - 02:27 AM

I always seem to be the odd one out tastewise, but I like the fiddle playing on the Pogues one: it seems to me somehow expressive and poignant. And Rod Stewart did some enjoyable stuff, I'm with D the G on that one.


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 12 Dec 19 - 04:49 AM

Saw a train set the night on fire...

I wonder if Rod Stewart runs his trains after dark.


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 12 Dec 19 - 06:42 AM

Re the Israeli duo Esther and Abi Ofarim. As far as I am aware they were unknown in this country until one of the commercial television companies over here wanted them for one of their Hootenanny programmes. I received a telephone call from their agent/manager in Switzerland asking if we could handle things for them in England and we agreed. They went on to be very succesful.
Regarding Rod Stewart I only knew him briefly at the time when my friend and colleague George Webb put him together with Long John Baldry, Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger to form The Steampacket. Long John was represented by our agency and had been since the early days of the folk scare. He was a regular too at the Ballads & Blues Club. I don't know if Rod went to folk clubs but he would certainly been aware of what was going on there particularly as he was a great friend of Long John. My wife recently saw a television programme where Rod apparently put down much of his success to John.
Both Long John and Julie Driscoll went on to success in the pop charts
and Rod seems to have done alright too.


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 12 Dec 19 - 08:13 AM

I've just had a listen to several versions on youtube as well as those above. There are quite a few unexpected versions - Townes van Zandt, The Specials (I quite like this one!), Roger Whittaker, Steve Earl, Richard Thompson with David Byrne!

I must say I hated Ewan with Alan Lomax and the Ramblers (the Plodders?) and while I'm not a great Pogues fan (though I think Shane McGowan can write good songs) I did quite like their version.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: GUEST,Pseudonymous
Date: 12 Dec 19 - 08:45 AM

Frank Black? A bit too cheerful?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhIPr4ZFLHA

Tom Waites?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5AElEWHmrM

Paulo Nutini (with reference to Alex Campbell?)

I like this one. I like the way it takes off in the verse about the siren. Interpretative.

Van Morrison. Tried to like this but cannot. It might be because of the sound quality. But it seems to grow on you a bit with repeat listenings...


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 12 Dec 19 - 09:34 AM

I listened to the Van Morrison version earlier and I really like the sax on it, but overall it seems a bit too smooth for the song.

I agree with you about the Paolo Nutini version; it's starts off in fairly commonplace style but really does take off with the siren.

Wasn't bothered about Frank Black or the Tom Waits versions.


It must say something about the song that it's attracted people from quite diverse styles to cover it. (And the original Oh Boy! link comes up with video unavailable now, but here's a new link Mike Preston - Dirty Old Town (complete with heavenly choir!)).


Mick


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 12 Dec 19 - 10:20 AM

I almost always prefer the original version of exceptionally good songs, and MacColl was a writer par excellence.

His voice does not reach the heights of his writing, but the rough instrument adds authenticity and together they produce near perfection.
I do not like MacColl's musical partnership with Peggy Seeger who's participation is always a warbling distraction.


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Dec 19 - 10:59 AM

I may have missed a previous link but here is the man himself. Had I have heard this one in my teens I would have got into folk earlier!

Ewan MacColl. Dirty Old Town


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Dec 19 - 11:12 AM

The protest against demoloishing the Gasworks featuring lots of Salford residents and starring the the Gasworks themselves!

Salford Star recording


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: GUEST,akenaton
Date: 12 Dec 19 - 12:28 PM

Here is MacColl's masterpiece
FTESYF I think Peggy's singing of what is to my mind definitely a "mans song", completely undermines the writing....I have heard MacColl singing this himself, but I cannot find a recording on youtube.


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 12 Dec 19 - 12:45 PM

It's on the link I provided a couple of posts up.


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Subject: RE: Dirty Old Town - pop single 1959!
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 12 Dec 19 - 04:58 PM

The link from the OP is now showing "video unavailable"...
try this one instead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkPOyvFumyM
Yeah, it's weird... git along li'l dogies!


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