(Credit: Łukasz Rawa)

From Peter Hook to The Who: The Far Out Weekly Playlist

The weekly playlist, a new feature on Far Out, wraps up the previous seven days across the website and brings them all together into one handy place. Whether this is a thirst for new music or an old favourite with a landmark celebration, here is your one-stop-shop for all your music needs.

Last week marked 51 years since The Who stepped foot on stage at Leeds University for their famous Live At Leeds concert, an event which many argue is the zenith of live music. There was no stopping Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon at this moment in time; they were an immovable force of nature that put on a performance that nobody else could hold a candle to at that time. Following the success of their rock opera, Tommy, The Who were hot property and Pete Townshend wanted to capture their live shows for their next release.

However, things didn’t go to plan. In a bizarre move, the band decided to burn the tapes from their tour which they had previously recorded every night and, instead, record two shows in their entirety with the live album in mind. In his memoir, Pete Townshend recalled: “There wasn’t enough time for us to wade through 30 shows again. Plus we now had an additional eight that Bob had recorded in England — including the most recent show at the London Coliseum. For me to listen to 38 shows would take five days in a studio. Even with notes, I would lose track. The live album was never going to happen if we didn’t do something, and fast.”

With a new plan in mind, they booked two shows; one at The Refectory in Leeds and another at Hull City Hall the following night. The remnants of the concerts would create the magnum opus of The Who’s career. Although their studio albums were revered, there was something even more extraordinary about what they could do on-stage, and this live album perfectly captured their capabilities.

Another event that will be etched in music history forever is David Bowie debuting Ziggy Stardust on February 10th, 1972. This week on Far Out we celebrated this creation by taking a look at Vince Taylor, a British rock ‘n’ roll star that Bowie based the darker side of Ziggy on. Taylor never became a mainstream success, and it wasn’t his music that influenced Bowie but, instead, it was his break-down.

Taylor slowly disintegrated as substances led to more fantastical and extreme behaviour, a turn of events which Bowie would later integrate into the Ziggy character. Bowie once recalled his early encounters with Taylor, stating: “One day, on Tottenham Court road he took out a map of the world and put it on the pavement. All these people were walking past us, and he was showing me where the aliens were keeping their arms and encampments. He came out on stage in white robes and said he was Jesus Christ. It was the end of Vince – his career and everything else.”

Whilst Ziggy Stardust took influence from a rock tragedy, another figure who suffered a tragic fate and influenced many remarkable artists is Sylvia Plath, an iconic figure of history who died by suicide on February 11th, 1963. Lyricists have fallen back on Plath’s unique concepts repeatedly over the preceding decades since her death, using her as inspiration to produce songs that are either dedicated to the poet or are loosely based on the themes she dealt with in her work.

Plath’s story is entrenched in sadness. She was only 30-years-old when she passed away, but her legacy has lasted the test of time. Plath is one of the true literary greats, and the influence of her work can still be felt in culture today. Her story continues to live on through music as artists reinterpret the life of Plath even 58 years after she passed. Lana Del Rey’s 2019 single, ‘Hope is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me To Have — But I Have It’, was originally titled ‘Sylvia Plath’ and is her paying tribute to the fallen poet.

On a more positive note, legendary bassist for Joy Division and New Order, Peter Hook celebrated his 65th birthday over the weekend. To commemorate him reaching this fine age, we produced a beginner’s guide to his work. If you’ve ever wanted to get stuck into the works of Hook’s 40-plus-year immense career, but didn’t know where to start then this feature has you covered.

On the new music front, there’s also been a stellar release from Slowthai who shared his second studio album, Tyron. The record feels like a therapy session for the Northampton rapper who is getting everything off his chest at full-speed, and the unfiltered nature of the album gives it a weight of sincerity that’s hard to come by. Even if some of the lyrics aren’t particularly groundbreaking or thought-provoking, there’s an honesty that runs through Tyron that makes it an awe-inspiring record.

Check out the full list and playlist, below.

Far Out Weekly Playlist:

  • Joey Dee and the Starliters – ‘Peppermint Twist, Pt. 1’
  • Joy Division – ‘Transmission’
  • Cornershop – ‘Brimful of Asha’
  • Lana Del Rey – ‘Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have – but I Have It’
  • Slowthai – ‘nhs’
  • Gene Vincent – ‘Be Bop A Lula’
  • Rollins Band – ‘Ghostrider’
  • Florence and The Machine – ‘Kiss With A Fist’
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs – ‘Maps’
  • The Who – ‘Magic Bus’ (Live At Leeds)
  • Black Sabbath – ‘The Wizard’
  • David Bowie – ‘Starman’
  • Carole King – ‘You’ve Got A Friend’
  • Dead Nature – ‘Red Clouds’
  • Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – ‘I Put A Spell On You’
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