Led Zeppelin – Friends (1970)


“Friends” is the second track from the 1970 album Led Zeppelin III, the third studio album of English rock band Led Zeppelin. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant wrote the song in 1970 at Bron-Yr-Aur, a small cottage in Wales where they stayed after completing a grueling concert tour of the United States.

The song starts out with a little noodling and studio chatter. Peter Grant’s voice can be heard in the background, of the right channel, before the guitars of Jimmy Page kick in. The guitar tuning for the song is an open-C6 chord (C-A-C-G-C-E). The same tuning was used by Page on the songs “Bron-Yr-Aur” and “Poor Tom”, which were recorded during these same sessions.[2] Page used an Altair Tube Limiter to enhance the acoustic quality of his Harmony guitar, a device recommended to him by acoustic guitarist Dick Rosemenie.[3] This same device was later used by Page on “All My Love”, which was included on Led Zeppelin’s In Through the Out Door album.

“Friends” is one of the few Led Zeppelin songs that includes strings. Bass player John Paul Jones did the string arrangement. Jones, however, received no writing credit for this song despite being entirely responsible for its string arrangement.

The outro to “Friends” includes a Moog synthesizer, which provides a link to the next track on the album, “Celebration Day”. The only known live performance of the song by Led Zeppelin was on 29 September 1971 in Osaka, during the band’s Japanese concert tour, as exhibited on a number of Led Zeppelin bootleg recordings of the show. If listened to closely, Page can be heard asking Plant if he wanted to perform the song when John Bonham had returned from unknown activities backstage.

Sweet – Love Is Like Oxygen (1977)


“Love Is Like Oxygen” is a song by the British band Sweet, co-written by the group’s guitarist Andy Scott and Trevor Griffin, a musician who had played with various unsuccessful bands before becoming a roadie and sound engineer, and released in January 1978. The song was a departure from earlier recordings by the Sweet, which were more guitar-driven and featured high vocal harmonies. The extended album version of the song, which appeared on their album Level Headed, incorporates strings and has some disco elements. Their first release on the Polydor label after their departure from RCA, it was also their last Top 10 hit, reaching # 4 in New Zealand, # 6 in Switzerland, # 8 in Belgium, Canada and the United States # 9 in United Kingdom and # 10 in West Germany. Later that year it was honoured with a Song of the Year nomination at the Ivor Novello awards, although beaten by “Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty. The song is frequently included on greatest hits compilations, usually in its edited single version.

Golden Teacher Meets Dennis Bovell – Instigator / Like A Hawk (2015)


Here at Optimo Music we have been fans of Dennis Bovell for longer than we care to remember. We rate him as one of thee very best producers the UK has ever produced. From first hearing his work on the magnificent ‘Silly Games” by Janet Kay through his incredible solo albums, his production on albums by The Slits, The Pop Group, Linton Kwesi johnson, Orange Juice, Saâda Bonaire and many more to his astonishing mixes on piles of highly sought after dub 7″s. He has been active in music for 40 years and is still going strong. In 2014 he worked with artists ranging from Rihanna to Golden Teacher! When we heard he was going to be performing in Glasgow late last year we tracked him down and asked if he would be up for going into Green Door studios for a day and doing something with Golden Teacher’s music. He was and these are the results. Mr. Bovell did lots of overdubs, adding organ and other instrumentation, pitching down vocals and basslines and created these delirious dubbed out gems.

On the A side is the previously unreleased “Instigator” while on the AA side he reworked Golden Teacher’s second single “Like A Hawk”. Housed in another classic sleeve designed by Oli from Golden Teacher this two track 12″ is a dream come true for us to release.

Mastered by James Savage.

A1) Instigator (Dub)
AA1) Like A Hawk (D.B. Version)

Released on 12″ single and digital, April 20th. 2015. Distributed by Kompakt.

The Human League – Only After Dark (1980)


Travelogue is the second full-length studio album released by the British synthpop group The Human League, released in May 1980 before the band achieved any degree of commercial success. Two songs were released as singles from the album; a re-recorded version of the band’s first single, “Being Boiled” (this time as part of the Holiday ’80 EP released a month before the album), and a cover of Mick Ronson’s “Only After Dark” (which was ultimately given away as a free single with a re-issue of the band’s 1979 single “Empire State Human” in June 1980).

The Chemical Brothers – Sometimes I Feel So Deserted (2015)


The Chemical Brothers have unveiled details of their new album Born In The Echoes.

The LP – featuring collaborations with St Vincent, Q-Tip, Ali Love, Cate Le Bon and Beck – will be the duo’s first release since 2010’s Further, and marks their eighth studio album.

Lead single Sometimes I Feel So Deserted was premiered on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show last night (April 23).

Slim Twig – Cannabis (Serge Gainsbourg Cover Version) (2015)


Happy 4/20. We’ve had a few pass by without a hint of any new Twig to pack pipe with. Not that the pot holiday has been synonymous with my work, but I’ve had an obsession these past few years trying to engineer tunes that might emulate the tactile engagement we feel with music when stoned, without having to spark up (not that it’ll hurt in any case). Today is as good a day as any to let you know those experiments will be released on DFA this year.

My cover of Serge Gainsbourg’s ‘Cannabis’ composition is not emblematic of this technique. I’m not quite ready to unveil everything to you just yet. It lends itself better as a national anthem of where I’ve set up shop. Sometimes a feeling creeps up on you that words can’t transcend. My take on ‘Cannabis’ is a moment like this.

I thank mister Gainsbourg for yet another cosmic assist. I also thank the U.S. Girl for her impassioned vocals, Steve Chahley for his master mixing and all the other wonderful collaborators who have helped to serve up my vision.

My forthcoming album is the kind of record that will ripen under the enhancement of your imagination. It is my hope that by imbibing the substance of this ‘Cannabis’ 7″ you will find yourself in exactly the condition to appreciate what I’ve rolled up next.

As ever,


April 20th, 2015.

Toronto, Canada.