“Michael Legge is basically just some guy but he's also a stand-up comedian who has performed all over the world as well as supporting Stewart Lee and Alexei Sayle on their 2012 tours and with Dylan Moran in Moscow in 2013. He's presented shows on 6 Music and Absolute (with Dave Gorman).
Later in 2013 he'll be performing his third solo show, Free Wifi, at the Edinburgh Fringe and appearing on "Stewart Lee's Alternative Comedy Experience" on Comedy Central. He's also appearing on "Central Microphone" for a TV station in Russia, he's not sure which one though. It was confusing.
Big Star - September Gurls
As I write this, the sun is shining and Britain is wallowing in a 73 degree phenomenal heatwave so it seems right that number one in my Ace Top 10 should be the beautiful summery Big Star’s September Gurls. It’s pretty much perfect. An emotional lift anytime you hear it despite being never sure whether Alex Chilton is happy with his September Gurl. “I loved you, well never mind” is Morrissey’s career in one line. As is “I was your butch and you were touched”.
Roky Erickson - Two Headed Dog
My favourite track from the great compilation Rock On based on the record shop that spawned Ace Records itself. It’s a proper stomping rhino of a song with lyrics that make you laugh despite the passion in which they’re sung. Or because of. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that it still sounds good, like something Jack White would give his right arm for. Which is one way of stopping him.
Funkadelic - Hit It And Quit It
God, I love this song. It rolls and struts and funks with a band sounding both completely up and at ‘em while also still in bed. There are some parts of this track where you’d think Funkadelic’s neighbours had told them for the last time to bloody keep it down. That’s why at times it almost becomes mellow. Probably music’s first ever example of considerate funk. Brilliant.
Patti LaBelle - Most Likely You Go Your Way And I'll Go Mine
None of that subtlety here with Patti having fun with Bob Dylan. The very thing he would have hated. Another fine example of Ace Records well compiled…er…compilations. I love the whole album from beginning to end but this is the most fun track. You could play it at a wedding or a bastard’s funeral.
U2 - 11 O'Clock Tick Tock
It’s an indie music fan’s dream, this compilation. It’s almost so cool it’s a bully. Again not a bad track on it but I’ve chosen the much maligned U2 because they’re much maligned. I mean, I don’t think they’re maligned enough but somehow they got it right with this perfect track. Yes, I said U2 and Perfect. We’ll all have to just live with it. If I could buy you all a copy of this album I would so just buy it yourself and pretend I bought it for you. It’s the thought that counts after all.
The Angels - (You Can't Take) My Boyfriend's Woody
One of the very best things about Ace Records is the high quality of their many surf compilations but I’d be lying if I said this was my favourite surf song. It’s good and it has a funny title but there’s too much for me to choose from within this genre so the one with the funny title had to be included here. If you’re only ever going to buy one surf compilation may I heartily recommend you buy four of them? It Came From The Beach, The Birth of Surf, Vol.2, Board Boogie: Surf and Twang From Down Under and, yes, Hey! Beach Girls! are all worthy of your attention.
Glen Campbell - Guess I'm Dumb
Not just my favourite song on the entire Ace back catalogue but one of my very favourite songs ever. Never has “you sing like a girl” seemed like such a perfect compliment to a truck driving cowboy. How this song slipped through the Beach Boys net and ended up on Glen’s rhinestone lap is a mystery but I’m glad it happened. I’m going to listen to it again right now. Beautiful.
Motorhead - Motorhead
This isn’t really anything like the Glen Campbell track but it’s almost as good. I’m embarrassed to admit it but I was introduced to this excellent song via Corduroy’s balsamic vinegar and IKEA catalogue cover version. I’ll be honest, I think the original is the better of the two versions.
The Sonics - The Witch
This is almost worth buying for the front cover alone. Dressed nice, lovely hair, might kick your fucking teeth in. Again, this whole album is great but I chose The Witch because I sort of think that song should be the lead track off allalbums. While so many 60’s shiny, smiley boy bands sang of how lovely a girl they had their eye on was, The Sonics complained in 60’s punk that a goth had given them an STD. “She’s gonna make you itch ‘cos she’s a witch”. You should buy this album and listen to it so next time one of your friends goes on and on and on about how much they love The Sonics you can expose them as the fakers they definitely are. Me? I have everything they ever recorded,obviously. I just went for the first track on the album because…well…oh, bugger off. They’re great. ISN’T THAT ENOUGH?
The Sonics - Strychnine
So great, in fact, that I’ve put them into my Ace Top 10 twice. “If you like what I say, you’ll try strychnine someday”. What a lovely, carefree, peace n’ love time the 60’s were. This is from a compilation of songs covered by Manchester popgroup The Fall, another album that your music collection looks embarrassing without. It’s great hearing how other people actually sing like Mark E. Smith. Listen to Mr. Pharmacist by The Other Half. That IS Mark E. Smith. It has to be.