1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Archive for the tag “Neill Solomon”

Junk Food And Disposable Ladies – Neill Solomon/The Passengers

Rule Of The Swallow - Passengers

Rule Of The Swallow – Passengers

This has to be one of the coolest song titles around for a local track. It conjures up images of seediness and unhealthiness. It is often the case that songs with great titles disappoint once the needle hits the record or lazer beam hits the disc or the central processor accesses the mp3 file (somehow the first of these 3 sounds best), but with this Neill Solomon classic you are not disappointed. The version he recorded with the Uptown Rhythm Dogs on the album ‘The Occupant’ is haunting, with seedy overtones.

There is a venom in the piano playing which feel like the player was hitting the keys in anger at the dark life that is being sung about. A sax wails its despair and sleigh bells shudder like a rattlesnake while Solomon’s gruff ‘voice in the wilderness’ vocals entwine themselves around the music. Making it a most deliciously decadent take away.

The re-recorded version Solomon did with his band The Passengers is a quite different song as it is a reggae version with (almost) upbeat vocal, a stoned bass and some disposable ladies on backing vocals.

So now you have a menu of versions to choose from, but this is high class fast food. This is not a Big Mac of a song, there is real meat to it. This is flame grilled and juicy with loads of monkey glad sauce, crisp lettuce and tomato with a huge helping of vinegar drenched slup chips on the side. The added bonus here is that it won’t harden your arteries.

Were to find it:

The Occupant – Neill Solomon (1997), Fresh Music, NSCD001
Rule Of The Swallow – The Passengers, 1989, D.P.M.C. records, DMK9005 (Cassette ZDMK 9006)



Roxy Lady – Neill Solomon & The Uptown Rhyhtm Dogs

Roxy Lady – Neill Solomon & The Uptown Rhyhtm Dogs

The Occupant - Neill Solomon & The Uptown Rhyhtm Dogs

The Occupant – Neill Solomon & The Uptown Rhyhtm Dogs

I tried to see what the definition of ‘roxy’ is and found a few that didn’t really make sense in the context of Neill Solomon’s song ‘Roxy Lady’. One suggested that it was a shortening of Roxicodone which, according to one website is an opoid analgesic. Not sure what that means but I can’t imagine any sane man referring to the woman of his dreams as an Opoid Analgestic Lady.

Another definition was that Roxy was a shortening of Roxanne, which could be a possibility here, but listening to the lyrics, this also doesn’t make sense. I then thought that perhaps Neill was talking about Bryan Ferry’s girlfriend (possibly Jerry Hall?) or someone he met at Roxy’s Rhythm Bar. And then I found it. The Urban Dictionary            defines ‘roxy’ as sexy and swanky at the same time. Now I can understand a male rocker singing about this subject matter.

Neill Solomon sings about his roxy lady over dramatic pianos, gently plucked and at times searing guitars. There is something a little creepy and menacing about the song. The music seems portentious; Solomon’s vocals border on seedy and the line “still I know she’s mine” suggests an almost stalker-like obsession with this ‘Roxy Lady’. However, you still get a sense of a genuine care for his subjet matter. Haunting, ominous and yet beautiful at the same time.

Where to find it:
The Occupant – Neill Solomon (1997) NSCD001


Urban Dictionary link:

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