Various ‎– NME / Charly Pocket Jukebox

New Musical Express ‎– NME 005
Cassette, Compilation



NME / Charly Pocket Jukebox Cassette NME 005. Rereleased as NME RE 502 CD in 1993

Black cassette with red paper labels.

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November 19, 2016
I bought all the NME cassettes that they issued in the early 80s, starting with the Rough Trace C81 tape, but this "Pocket Jukebox" compilation was by far my favourite. I played the tape so much that it started to whistle when I played it, so I transferred the internal tape the box from a regular tape (Maxell or something) and that gave it another year or two of life, but eventually I would need it on CD, so I set about finding CDs that had all of the tunes so I could compile my own CD version. The Julia Lee and T-Bone Walker tunes were the hardest to source as both required getting 5 or 6 disc box sets just to get the one tune, but I did it. The Julia Lee box alone was over $100 US (it was a Bear Family comp from Germany), but it was well worth it. Back to the music, this is a truly masterful compilation. I don't know if the credit goes more to the NME or Charly Records but whoever did it, it's brilliant. For me, the really standout track is "Don't Say Tomorrow" by the doo-wop group The Prisonaires.


December 28, 2014

If you sent off for the contemporary NME cassettes in the early '80s you could also buy a bunch of retro tapes from the Charly/Ace axis at the same time at a low price.
I remember getting this one and having my ears opened to a superlative selection of vintage rhythm n' blues, doo wop, jump blues and soul. It was the first time I heard the Nina Simone track that blew so many minds at the time.... plus the Aaron Neville track was massive as well.... the funky bassline just keeps going and hasn't aged this record one jot.
Factor in the Robert Parker, Lee Dorsey, Jimmy Reed, Bettye Lavette and John Lee Hooker tracks and you have a readymade library of golden era rockin'. All the tracks are great but I pick those as the cream of the crop.

Really wonderful selection of top quality tracks that launched a thousand club nights... like The Catfish Club in Brighton that practically ran every Saturday night in the '80s and '90s on this stuff. Talk about a musical education.

Can you imagine the NME compiling and selling this type of thing now? (slight pause before hysterical laughter sets in).