Wheels of Steel: Too Modest For Their Own Good by Morty

wheels of steel playlist 1 cover image morty too modest for their own good

Welcome to the first Wheels of Steel playlist. Kicking us off is the swinging sixty year old himself, Morty, complete with his new bus pass in his pocket.

More will be being added all the time so take a look at the dedicated blog category here.

Theme: Underrated tracks and artists.

Genre: Indie, Alternative

Length: 36 minutes

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Q&A About The Playlist

Q. When and where's the playlist best listened to?

Whilst walking or driving in the sunshine.

The playlist's on. What are we drinking and what are we eating?

Moorhouse’s Blonde Witch with large Virginian whole salted peanuts.

Which track(s) had to be on there?

'Glad And Sorry.' I love the piano riff and its melancholic, aching sentiment. Its like life; a mixture of good and bad with hopefully more of the good coming through.

Which track(s) might people have never heard of?

Grandaddy are a bit obscure but several of the artists are criminally under-rated so some particular tracks might be new to casual fans.

What's the theme?

Under-rated is the theme, even though some of the artists have had the odd day or two in the limelight.

The Stone Roses were written off after their first album because the follow-up took so long, but all of their work was criticised as a result. The Cure track never gets played and The Clash refused to go on Top Of The Pops.

Ronnie Lane was overshadowed in The Faces by Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood but was actually the heart and soul of the band.

Marvin Gaye and Tami Terrell's track is rare. They both covered it as a solo more famously but the duet suits the dynamics and sentiments of the song far better.

Roy Harper is a forgotten, classic English songwriter. A few of his songs name check Geoff Boycott!

Finally, describe your playlist in a few words...

Wistful time for recognition. Dig deeper into these artists and you'll find great reward.

A Bit About Each Song From Morty

1. Elephant Stone (12” Version) - The Stone Roses 

The Roses raised expectations too high with their eponymous first album, then people got fed up of waiting for the second one. When it came, complete with John Squires' Led Zeppelin-like riffs, it got a big thumbs down. Harsh as there were lots of good tracks after the first album, including glorious handclaps on this brilliantly produced recording. Oh, and the sleeves were brilliant too.

2. High - The Cure 

This track never features in anyone's top 5 The Cure lists. They were more popular in France than their homeland, so what does that tell us?

3. E Pro - Beck

'The White Prince' produces quality album after quality album and his live performances match the best you've ever seen, but he never seems to get the mainstream profile he deserves.

4. Hewletts Daughter - Grandaddy 

An obscure band who peaked popularity-wise with the Sophtware Slump but still knock out quality stuff.  

5. Sparky's Dream - Teenage Fanclub 

A heavy version of the Birds with some great riffs.

6. Metal Guru - T.Rex

Became the UK’s biggest pop star in the early 70s before fame and drugs took their toll. Was becoming a punk hero in ’76 (touring with the Damned) and could have been the UK’s Iggy Pop, until soul singer wife, Gloria Jones, crashed their Mini into a tree. Tainted Love indeed.

7. Glad And Sorry - Faces 

Songwriter Ronnie Lane created several Small Faces classics. See the touring hit musical “All Or Nothing” for the entertaining true story. He was the soul of Faces until the limelight around Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood -- him off. He went to live on a remote farm and took a circus big top on tour.  

8. Complete Control - The Clash

Refusing to play Top Of The Pops left the door open for The Jam. Still turned rebellion into money, however.

9. Two Can Have A Party - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Tyrell

The hard to find, rare version that was played every Sunday night at Burnley Hop (where McDonalds now stands) which had Blakey spinning on his hands in the same jumpers he wears now. Gaye was shot dead by his father in 1984 after a family row. Not much of a party that night.

10. When An Old Cricketer Leaves The Crease - Roy Harper 

Vastly underrated English songwriter that name checks Geoffrey Boycott & Ashes-winning fast bowler John Snow (also a poet). Check out Snow's barrage on Sunil Gavaskar that earned him a Test ban.

Enjoy.

And A Bit Of Info About The Wheels of Steel

If you're wondering what the Wheels of Steel is all about, where have you been? Lol, just messing babe. Here's a blog post which explains what it's all about.

If you'd like to add your name to the list of guest spots on the Wheels of Steel monthly rotation, get in touch via the comments below. And if you don't ever want to miss out on these BCC Wheels of Steel playlists, sign up for our newsletter.