I started ripping Linton Kwesi Johnson's Tings an' Times last night. The CD has not weathered well, with reported errors on every track, and EAC's been at it for nearly 24 hours, and still has 2 tracks to go. It's an odd-looking gold-coloured disc, and I wonder if that has something to do with it. I started listening to the ripped flacs to see if they'd come out OK, and remarkably, despite all the reported errors and taking hours to copy each track, they sound absolutely fine.
This is one of those CDs I haven't listened to in very many years, and it's a genre I've had absolutely no other interest in, ever. But I bought it in the early 90's while at university, because the opening track, Story, got some air time on the late night shows on Radio 5, and I fell in love with it, especially the plaintive violin solo.
I digress. So what did I learn?
Looking at the liner notes, I saw that the violin was played by Johnny T, who it turns out is an accomplished session musician and composer, and also does voice overs for British TV. Discogs.com says his real name is JT Rawlinson though some think he's John Taylor. His website mentions his pop career started out with The Specials, though Wikipedia doesn't mention him. Youtube suggests he also played with 80s ska band called The Trojans, whom he doesn't mention. They don't have a Wikipedia page, but did well in Japan, and were led by Gaz Mayall, son of 60s blues icon John Mayall, and who after 30 years still runs a regular live music club night in Soho.
I'm not a huge ska fan, but I think I'll be listening to the Trojans for the rest of the night.
(As another odd memory, I always associate the Tings and Times CD with Nandos. As students we'd just discovered Nandos takeaways and we'd trek up Louis Botha Avenue, past an old drive-in restaurant, to what was, I presume, one of the first Nandos restaurants in Joburg. I see the brown-wrapping-paper album cover, similar to the paper bags Nandos was sold in, and I remember myself and friends listening to the CD in my res room while eating half-chickens and chips.)