Bobby Gillespie’s life has always revolved around music. That’s been the case since he was growing up in Mount Florida, in the south side of Glasgow. Back then, Bobby Gillespie hungrily devoured music. It was akin to an education.

This education didn’t take place at the at Glasgow University or Strathclyde University. Not unless there was a band playing. Mostly, Bobby Gillespie’s eduction took place in Glasgow’s record shops and concert halls. This was a road well travelled.

Not just locals like Bobby. Pilgrims from Paisley, Irvine, Motherwell and Hamilton made their way into Glasgow. That’s where they came to find the music they had heard on Radio Clyde and Radio One. Clutching long lists of records, they made their way to Listen, Echo, A1 Sounds, Klondyke Records and Tam Russell’s. Then there was Virgin in Union Street, where there was always an air if menace in the post punk years. That’s despite the sometimes sweet smell in the air. Despite that unmistakable aroma, it always threatened to “kick off.” This was all part of a musical eduction during the late-seventies and early-eighties. 

Some graduated with honours, becoming musical connoisseurs blessed with discerning and impeccable taste. They knew the difference between The Doors and dross. Others failed miserably, having failed to distinguish between The Beach Boys and a beach buggy. For them, there was no hope, and they were sent not to Coventry, but the musical wastelands of Fife. As the unlucky one made their oneway journey, some of the graduates of a Glasgow musical education began to make their presence felt.

This included Bobby Gillespie. He started life as a roadie for Altered Images. However, life as a roadie was never going to satisfy Bobby Gillespie, and he began playing with The Wake. For Bobby, this was the start of a long and illustrious musical career. This included a year as The Jesus and Mary Chain drummer, and thirty-three years as the Primal Scream’s frontman. During that period, commercial success and commercial success have come Bobby Gillespie’s way. No wonder.

Primal Scream are regarded as one of the most important, influential and innovative bands of the past thirty years. They’ve released ten studio albums, including their 1991 classic Screamadelica, where Acid House, psychedelia and rock were combined by Primal Scream. After Screamadelica, Primal Scream have continued to reinvent themselves.

On albums like 1997s Vanishing Point, 2000s XTRMNTR and 2002s Evil Heat, Primal Scream were inspired by ambient, dub, industrial and Krautrock. Primal Scream, forever the musical chameleons, continue to reinvent themselves. However, other times, Primal Scream are at their best when they’re an old fashioned rock band.

That was the case on 1994s Give Out But Don’t Give Up which was the followup to Screamadelica. It found Primal Scream combining blues and rock. This was a return to the hard rocking sound of their 1989 eponymous sophomore album. On Give Out But Don’t Give Up, Primal Scream sounded more like The Rolling Stones, than Jagger and Co. Then on 2006s Riot City Blues and 2008s Beautiful Future, Bobby Gillespie rediscovered his inner rocker. The G-Man was back at his hard rocking best, and drawing inspirations from the artists he had heard growing up in Glasgow.

This includes some of the artists on Bobby Gillespie Present Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down, which was recently released by Ace Records. It features twenty-five tracks especially picked by Bobby Gillespie. There’s tracks from the 13th Floor Elevators, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, Tim Buckley, Alexander “Skip” Spence, Gram Parsons, Little Feat and Jerry Lee Lewis. Bobby Gillespie Present Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down is an eclectic soundtrack that one once have heard in the Gillespie household, on a Sunday morning after “a night on it.” Not any more. 

Bobby’s a changed man. His wild days are long gone. However, still, playing in the background in chez Gillespie on the sabbath, will be the music on Bobby Gillespie’s Presents Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down. It’s a late contender for compilation of the year. Here’s ten reasons why.

One band Bobby Gillespie has championed throughout his career, are the 13th Floor Elevators. Their 1968 single May The Circle Remain Unbroken, opens Bobby Gillespie Present Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down. May The Circle Remain Unbroken was written by Rory Erickson, and also featured on the 13th Floor Elevators third studio album, Bull Of The Woods. It was released in 1969, on International Artists. One of the highlights was May The Circle Remain Unbroken, with its mystical, lysergic and hopeful sound.

The Beach Boys have influenced many musicians, including Bobby Gillespie. As the compiler, he indulges himself, putting a trio of tracks from The Beach Boys on Bobby Gillespie Present Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down. This includes You’re Welcome, which featured on the B-Side of the 1967 single Heroes and Villains. Penned by Brian Wilson, there’s an almost celestial, spiritual sound to You’re Welcome.

Primal Scream’s 1987 debut album Sonic Flower Groove was heavily influenced by The Byrds. So, there’s no surprise that o The Byrds’ feature on Bobby Gillespie Present Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down. The only question was, which song would Bobby choose? As a proud Scot, he’s chosen Wild Mountain Thyme, which is a traditional Scottish folk song. It featured on The Byrds’ third album Fifth Dimension, which was released in 1966. In The Byrds’ hands, Wild Mountain Thyme becomes a beautiful, joyous and uplifting ballad.

In 1970, Dennis Hopper was finishing editing The Last Movie. Meanwhile, Kit Carter was filming a documentary about Dennis Hopper. It was a surreal sight, one filmmaker filming a film about another filmmaker. When Dennis Hopper’s thoughts turned to the soundtrack, he decided to ask Gene Clark to write a song. He had just rejoined The Byrds, but wrote American Dreamer, which featured on the 1971 soundtrack Dennis Hopper  In The American Dreamer. American Dreamer is a truly beautiful song, which features some of the best lyrics Gene Clark ever wrote.

Kris Kristofferson Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down lent its title to Bobby Gillespie’s compilation. This is a track from Kris Kristofferson’s 1970 debut album Kristofferson. With its cinematic lyrics, Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down showcases Kris Kristofferson skills as a storyteller. As he delivers the lyrics, sadness, hurt and hopelessness shine through. It’s as if Kris Kristofferson has lived the lyrics he’s singing, and somehow, has survived to tell the tale.

Gram Parsons is, without doubt, one of music’s best kept secrets. He only recorded two albums GP which was released in 1973, and Grievous Angel which was released in January 1974, four month after Gram Parsons died aged twenty-seven. Grievous Angel reached just 195 in the US Billboard 200. Since its release in 1974, Grievous Angel has become a cult classic. One of Grievous Angel highlights is Love Hurts, where Gram duets with Emmylou Harris. They sound as if they’ve experienced the hurt and heartbreak they’re singing about, on this poignant paean.

Just like Gram Parsons, Tim Buckley is another of music’s best kept secrets. The singer-songwriter constantly reinvented himself over his nine album career. This resulted in Tim’s music veering between folk to sex funk. However, when Tim released his sophomore album Goodbye and Hello in August 1967, it was a mixture of folk rock and psychedelia. So was the hauntingly beautiful Phantasmagoria In Two, which was released as the third and final single from Goodbye and Hello. Sadly, Tim Buckley’s career was cut tragically short, and he died aged twenty-eight. However, Tim’s legacy is eight wonderful albums of eclectic music.

Little Feat were one of the finest purveyors of Southern Rock. Lead by the inimitable Lowell George. They released their eponymous debut album in 1970. It was one of their finest albums, featured Willin’, a song about the perils of life on the road. Like most musicians,Bobby Gillespie will be able to relate to the lyrics. Especially the way Lowell George delivers them. He sounds as if he’s been there, and sampled what was on offer.

Ronnie Wood is best known for being Keith Richards’ partner-in-crime in the Rolling Stones. However, he’s also enjoyed a successful solo career. In 1975, Ronnie Wood released his sophomore album Now Look. It features Breathe On Me, which sounds as if the band have been partying all night. That’s part of the track’s laid back charm. Ronnie takes charge of lead guitar, and Keith Richards plays bass. They’re not a well oiled machine, and instead, are merely human on the lived-in sounding Breath On Me.

Closing Bobby Gillespie Present Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down is Jerry Lee Lewis’ cover of Over The Rainbow. It’s a favourite of the man they call The Killer. However, this melancholy, wistful cover is taken from Killer Country which was released in 1980, and shows a much more thoughtful side to Jerry Lee Lewis.

Bobby Gillespie Present Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down, which was recently released by Ace Records, is best described as a lovingly compiled and curated compilation. It’s obvious that a great deal of thought has gone into choosing the twenty tracks on Bobby Gillespie Present Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down. He’s dug deep into his record collection.

For Bobby Gillespie’s Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down, the familiar and obvious have been eschewed. Instead, Bobby introduces some of music’s best kept secrets. This including the 13th Floor Elevators, Tim Buckley, Alexander “Skip” Spence and Gram Parsons. They’re still some of music’s bed kept secrets. Even when Bobby decides to choose a track by a familiar face, he reaches for a B-Side, album track or alternate mix. This results  in a captivating compilation full of musical treasure.

There’s everything from folk, pop and psychedelia to country,  rock and Southern Rock. Bobby even chooses John Barry’s Midnight Cowboy. It’s a beautiful addition to the wonderfully eclectic Bobby Gillespie Present Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down. It showcases Bobby Gillespie’s impeccable musical taste, and shows that his formative years in Glasgow garnering a musical education in the city’s record shops and concert halls, was time well spent. The musical treasure chest that’s Bobby Gillespie Present Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down, is proof of this, and is awaiting discovery at your local record shop.











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