GOOD VIBRATIONS: A RECORD SHOP, A LABEL, A SOUNDTRACK.

GOOD VIBRATIONS: A RECORD SHOP, A LABEL, A SOUNDTRACK.

Late last year, a British independent film had a huge impact upon its release. That’s the critically acclaimed Good Vibrations, which was directed by Lisa Bassos D’sa and Glenn Leyburn. Good Vibrations tells the story of the life and times of Terri Hooley, a stalwart and legend of the Belfast music scene. Terri founded Good Vibrations Records in Belfast and went on to become a promoter and  DJ. Later, Terri Hooley formed his own record label. When it comes to music, Terri’s been there, done and bought the t-shirt. Not only that, but this all occurred during the most turbulent period in Irish history.

When Terri founded Good Vibrations, it was the height of the troubles. Religion and politics divided a city. Bombs and beatings were everyday occurrences during the troubles. Terri who describes himself as an old hippie, watched as many of his friends became involved with conflict. That wasn’t for Terri. No. A life long record collector, Terri decided to open a record shop, Good Vibrations Records. This just happened to coincide with the onslaught of punk. Terri was an unlikely convert to the D.I.Y. sound of punk. Punk however, changed Terri’s life. Similarly, Good Vibrations changed many people’s lives. It was an oasis of calm in the middle of what was ostensibly, a war zone. Their musical education took place within the four walls of Good Vibrations. That was the case for another of Belfast’s famous sons, David Holmes. 

David Holmes love of music was born in Terri Dooley’s Good Vibrations’ record shop. He’s come a long way since then, becoming a top DJ and producer. His DJ-ing career started in 1984, when he was just fifteen. Then in 1992, as the Disco Evangelists, he enjoyed his first hit De Niro. By then, he was running two club nights in his native Belfast. Three years later, in 1995, David released his debut album This Film’s Crap, Let’s Slash The Seats. Six further solo albums followed between 1997 and 2010. That’s not forgetting three mix albums, plus seventeen film soundtracks. That number has recently risen to eighteen, when David Holmes compiled Good Vibrations: A Record Shop, A Label and Soundtrack.

Good Vibrations: A Record Shop, A Label and Soundtrack was recently released by Big Beat Records, an imprint of Ace Records. It’s a twenty-four track compilation that tells the story of the life and time of Terri Hooley. A truly eclectic compilation, country, reggae, garage, rock, folk, pop and punk. Hank Williams sits comfortably beside Niney The Observer, The Shangri-Las, Bert Jansch, David Bowie and Michael Yonkers. There’s also contributions from artists who recorded for Terri’s Good Vibrations Records’ label. The Undertones, The Outcasts, Rudi and The Outcasts. A suitably eclectic musical journey, Good Vibrations: A Record Shop, A Label and Soundtrack seems a fitting soundtrack to the life and times of Terri Hooley. I’ll now pick the ten highlights of Good Vibrations: A Record Shop, A Label and Soundtrack.

Opening Good Vibrations: A Record Shop, A Label and Soundtrack is one of the legends of country music, Hank Williams. He wrote I Saw The Light, which was released as a single on MGM Records in 1959. It then was the title-track of Hank’s 1954 album. This was his sixth album in two years. Slightly maudlin with a sense of melancholia, Hank’s vocal oozes emotion and joy at having found “the light.”

Niney The Observer wrote and produced Blood and Fire, which was released in 1971. This was Niney’s debut single, which was released on Observers. A true legend of reggae, his production career started in the mid-sixties, and for a while, Niney worked with Joe Gibbs, where he replaced Lee Scratch Perry. Later, he discovered Dennis Brown. As for Blood and Fire, it has a slow, almost spiritual sound. Quite simply, it’s a perfect introduction to the music of Niney The Observer.

Most people will remember The Animals for their biggest single, 1964s The House Of The Rising Sun. That’s doing The Animals a huge disservice. There’s much more to their music. Proof of this is Outcast, which featured on their 1966 album Animalism. Released on MGM Records, it’s driving, dramatic fusion of R&B and rock, with Eric Burdon’s sneering, rebellious vocal crucial to the track’s success and sound.

Bert Jansch is another underrated artist. Born in Glasgow, Bert established a reputation as a guitarist’s guitarist. Ostensibly a folk musician, there’s a bluesy sound to Bert’s playing. This is apparent on Angie, which featured on his 1965 album Bert Jansch. Technically, he’s a brilliant guitarist, whose mesmeric guitar playing sees Bert fuse folk, jazz and blues seamlessly.

The Saints were an Australian rock group who were formed in Brisbane in 1974. By 1977, they’d jumped on the punk bandwagon and released This Perfect Day. Written and produced by Ed Kuepper and lead singer Chris Bailey, it’s a blistering slice of punk. Full of frustration, anger and angst, this was the start of The Saints’ career, which is still going strong.

From the opening bars The Undertones’ Teenage Kicks, all of a sudden it’s 1978 all over again. Teenage Kicks featured on The Undertones’ debut E.P. It had been recorded on a budget of just £200. It was released on Terri Hooley’s Good Vibrations Records. With Fergal Sharkey’s vocal full of teenage angst, while the rhythm section and guitars drive the arrangement along. Two-and-a-half minutes of raw energy that’s a fusion of punk, new wave, garage and rock, it’s a stonewall classic.

Listen to Suicide’s Dream Baby Dream and Alan Vega’s vocal sounds not unlike Bruce Springsteen. That’s quite a coincidence, as Bruce sang this song during his 2005 tour. Released as a single in 1979 on Island Records, it’s real hidden gem. A lo-fi arrangement provided the backdrop to Alan’s vocal. It’s elegiac and melancholy, while the song is ethereal and beautiful.

The Shangri-Las have two tracks on Good Vibrations: A Record Shop, A Label and Soundtrack. Their 1966 single Past, Present and Future, which was released on Red Bird is the first. I Can Never Go Home Anymore, which was written by George Morton is the other. It oozes emotion, heartache and hurt and is an angst-ridden opus. 

Just like The Undertones, Stiff Little Fingers were another Irish punk band. They too released a classic track, Alternative Ulster. It was written by Stiff Little Fingers with Irish journalist Gordon Ogilvie, who later became the band’s manager. Released by Rough Trade in 1979, it’s the title-track to their sophomore album. Best described as an outpouring of years of frustration and anger, that eventually rises to the surface and explodes, Jake Burns proves to be the voice of a generation.

My final choice from Good Vibrations: A Record Shop, A Label and Soundtrack is the track that closes the compilation, The Outcasts’ Self Conscious Over You. This is the second contribution from The Outcasts. Their first was Just Another Teenage Rebel, their debut single, which fittingly, was released on Terri Hooley’s Good Vibrations Records. Self Conscious Over You was the title-track to their 1979 album, which was the Belfast punk’s debut album. A fusion of pub rock, garage, punk and new wave, it’s a three-minute kitchen sink drama.

David Holmes has chosen an eclectic selection of twenty-four tracks to pay tribute to Terri Hooley, one of the legends of the Belfast music scene. Good Vibrations: A Record Shop, A Label and Soundtrack is one of these compilations where you never know where it’s heading. Country, reggae, punk, electronica, folk, pop and R&B you’re spellbound. You’re enthralled, wondering what David has in store next? Will it be a hidden gem that transforms your life? Maybe it’ll be an old favorite? Given David’s musical roots and his career so far, you neither rule nothing in, nor nothing out. You try not to look at Good Vibrations: A Record Shop, A Label and Soundtrack’s album cover. Instead, you want this be a musical journey full of surprises. It is. 

Chilled out reggae, the fusion of jazz, folk and blues that’s Bert Jansch’s Angie. Then there’s tracks that tug at your heartstrings. Among them are The Shangri-Las’ I Can Never Go Home Anymore. There’s the ethereal beauty of Suicide’s Dream Baby Dream. Then there’s The Undertones’ Teenage Kicks and Stiff Little Fingers’ Alternative Ulster, which will have old punks pogoing around the room. All of a sudden the years roll away. Mind you, they’ll suffer in the morning. Our youth might be long gone, another country, but Good Vibrations: A Record Shop, A Label and Soundtrack brings back all these memories. Good Vibrations: A Record Shop, A Label and Soundtrack will certainly bring back good memories to anyone who frequented Terri Hooley’s record shop Good Vibrations.

Back in the seventies, at the height of the troubles, Good Vibrations was an oasis of calm where neither religion nor politics mattered. Instead, all that mattered was music. New music was discovered and friendships were made. Both the love of music and friendships lasted a lifetime. They began back in Belfast record shop Good Vibrations. However, there was more to Terri Hooley’s life than Good Vibrations.

Terri Hooley, it seems, lives and breathes music. He’s run a record shop and record label, been a promoter and DJ. He’s also been a lifelong record collector whose musical tastes are reflected on Good Vibrations: A Record Shop, A Label and Soundtrack, which was recently released by Big Beat Records, an imprint of Ace Records. Compiled by DJ and producer David Holmes, with sleeve-notes by Terri, Good Vibrations: A Record Shop, A Label and Soundtrack is an eclectic musical journey that tells the story of the life and times of the charismatic and ebullient Terri Hooley, a true legend of the Belfast musical scene. Standout Tracks: The Animals Outcast, Bert Jansch Angie, Suicide Dream Baby Dream and The Shangri-Las’ I Can Never Go Home Anymore.

GOOD VIBRATIONS: A RECORD SHOP, A LABEL, A SOUNDTRACK.

Good Vibrations: A Record Shop, A Label, A Film Soundtrack

Good Vibrations: A Record Shop, A Label, A Film Soundtrack

Good Vibrations: A Record Shop, A Label, A Film Soundtrack

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