With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

“We’ll fight until the whistle goes” June 24, 2012


It may have passed some of you by but we are in the middle of the European Football Championships, better known as Euro 2012. Against the majority of expectations my national team, England have not only progressed beyond the group stage they actually won their group as well. Putting France into second place and eliminating one of the host nations, Ukraine.

Later today England play Italy for a semi final place where the winners of todays game will play Germany. I believe that England can win today. However recent history says that if we do and then go on to play Germany in the semi final the game will go to extra time and Germany will win the penalty shoot out. Just like at the Italia ’90 World Cup and on our home turf in Euro ’96. Obviously I would love for ‘football to come home’ and for us to beat the Italians, the Germans and whoever awaits us in the final. But it’s now 46 years since we won a major tournament. Is this our time? Well my fingers are crossed and so far the team have been light years better than their disastrous showing at the South Africa World Cup back in 2010 so who knows.

How many of you can actually remember this? I can, but I was only 7 at the time

So let’s cheer the team on with the first hit England song, the most heartfelt England song and in my opinion the best England song. All three of which went to number one in the UK charts. ENGERLAND, ENGERLAND, ENGERLAND….. repeat until you lose your voice!

 

“Yet there’s still this appeal that we’ve kept through our lives”


Many of you will already know that the NME celebrates its 60th birthday this year. It was first published in March of 1952, it was later that year that it also published the first ever UK singles chart based on sales. That was in November 1952 and featured Al Martino‘s “Here In My Heart” at number one.

As part of their birthday celebrations the NME has published a list of the top 100 songs since the paper has been around. I’m sure that there will be plenty of debate about what is in and what isn’t in the list. I was particularly surprised that there are no songs from the 50’s included. How about Elvis Presley’sHeartbreak Hotel” that was pretty damned ground breaking. Incidentally the spread of songs from the other periods are;

60s = 22

70s = 16

80s = 19

90s = 19

00s/ 10s = 24

Why not cast your vote in my favourite decade poll below 🙂

My favourite song of all time; Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry” reaches number 86 and Mr Bowie has “Space Oddity” at number 39 and another song in the top 5 (more of that one later). The Beatles have three entries in the top 100. Thankfully Westlife, Cheryl Cole and their ilk are nowhere to be seen in this list.

So without further ado and in traditional reverse order here is the top 5;

5 “Blue Monday” – New Order

4 “Good Vibrations” – Beach Boys

3 “”Heroes”” – David Bowie

2 “Common People” – Pulp

1 “Love Will Tear Us Apart” – Joy Division

If you’re interested click here to find the top 50 (I haven’t been able to find a site that shows the whole 100)

 

Elton John – Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate Tuesday June 5th 2012 June 5, 2012


Some months ago when Elton John announced a UK tour of some places that never seem to get big rock stars performing the list included the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate. So as I live just down the road and as Sir Elton is now 65 I thought I had to get tickets for me and my wonderful wife Catherine a.k.a Catwoman to regular readers. I love Elton’s music, especially the early stuff, but until today I had never seen him live. It was well worth the wait and the ticket price.

The support act was the amazing 2Cellos, which does exactly what it says on the tin. The act consists of two cellists from Croatia; Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser. If you had said to me before today that two guys playing cello could be really exciting and create an amazing rock sound I may well have laughed at you. But frankly these guys are outstanding. They played three covers; Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal”, U2’s “With Or Without You” and an electrifying version of “Purple Haze” the Jimi Hendrix classic.

Just as we all thought they were about to start another song Elton and his band took the stage and raced right into “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting“. 2Cellos remained with the band for that and many other songs during Elton’s incredible two and a half hour set. He seemed to show no sign whatsoever of his recent illness and really seemed to be enjoying himself. The band who included long time Elton stalwarts Nigel Olsson on drums and Davey Johnstone on guitar. These guys have played together for more than 40 years now and I think that trust and knowledge of each other really shows.

The backing vocalists could undoubtedly be an act in their own right including; Rose Stone a founding member of Sly and the Family Stone and the sister of Sly and Freddie Stone and also Tata Vega who produced some terrific albums for Motown in the 70s. Having started the set with a superb rocker the band followed up with “Bennie And The Jets” and “Levon”. I was really pleased with the eclectic set list Elton had chosen. It included many of his biggest hits along with some of those that are not heard as often. Those included two fantastic selections from the ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road‘ album; “Funeral For A Friend/ Love Lies Bleeding” and “Grey Seal” and the gorgeous “Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters” from ‘Madman Across The Water‘. I was disappointed to see so many people head for the bar and the toilets when Elton played “Hey Ahab” from his recent collaboration with the supremely talented Leon Russell.

Most of the crowd were out to have a good time and the rain didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s spirits. Although it was quite ironic to be listening to “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” when the weather had created the effect that the sun had never really come up! There was an element in the crowd that seemed to fit with the stereotypical breed of Harrogate snob. They seemed to be there more for the social occasion, to drink Pimms and most importantly to be seen. One bloke and his wife/ partner asked us to swap seats with him so that he could sit near his friends. We refused largely because they had been getting up and going in and out of the grandstand during the whole show (well the part they stayed for anyway). But it was interesting that five minutes after our refusal all his ‘friends’ left without telling him! I named him Mr Yo Yo Bollocks.

There were two ladies who spent most of the show dancing around and trying to get everyone else up, including the security guards. They were draped in a ‘we love Elton’ Union Jack and seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely, but I suspect that their hangovers may be huge. It took “I’m Still Standing” to get everyone up, most of whom stayed up for the rest of the show. When Elton and the band left the stage it was hard to figure out what the encore would be as they had played some many classics, but of course it was the beautiful “Your Song”. Preceded by Elton signing a whole bunch of autographs for those at the front.

Elton John is a talented musician, a gifted songwriter, a real showman and a consummate performer. There are not many people around that can match him I believe. It is nearly 39 years since I saw my first ever gig (Jackson 5 at the Wembley Empire Pool in 1973 if you’re interested!) and todays show is easily in my top 5 ever. If you are going to one of the shows on this tour I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. If you’re not then do whatever it takes to get a ticket; sell your grannie, send your kits out to clean chimneys or get your dog to wine ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ (OK probably too late on the last one). And finally thank you for a great gig Elton!

I have no film from tonights show (I was enjoying myself too much to get my phone out) so here is a clip of Elton playing “Your Song” from a couple of years back, followed by 2Cellos with their version of “Smooth Criminal”

 

“The wall-to-wall is calling, it lingers, then you forget” June 3, 2012


I couldn’t let the 40th anniversary of the release of Bowie‘s classic 1972 album ‘The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars‘ go unmentioned could I? It will be 40 years old on June 6th and of course being the Bowie fanatic that I am the vinyl reissue which comes with a DVD including some unreleased mixes is winging its way to me as I type. Bowie has said in the early 70s that the Ziggy album was a concept album, personally I don’t really see that, but that doesn’t make it any less of an album.

How many of you own at least one version of Bowie’s Ziggy album? lots of you I hope and if you don’t own it what’s keeping you, go out and buy it, download it, borrow it or steal it now! The album took just no more than 10 days to record, which by todays standards is faster than the speed of sound and light, or perhaps sound and vision, (get it?) combined.

So, as I’m sure you have heard the album many times I thought I’d present it in a slightly different way, by giving you all the tracks in their original order but performed by different artists. Some whom you may have heard of and others you may not have. But just to make sure you don’t miss out on the Dame himself I have tagged on two cover versions that might have made it onto the album but didn’t. The covers track listing is shown below. PLAY LOUD and Enjoy!

“Five Years” – Polyphonic Spree

Soul Love” – Tim Kasher

Moonage Daydream” – Killers

“Starman” – Culture Club

“It Ain’t Easy” -Raconteurs

Lady Stardust” – Seu Jorge

“Star” – System Noise

“Hang On To Yourself” – Charles De Goal

“Ziggy Stardust” – Balzac

Suffragette City” – Turbonegro

Rock n Roll Suicide” – Black Box Recorder

Now it’s time for Dave does Chuck and Jacques or Bowie does Berry and Brel!

Bowie has a message for MC Hammer about big trousers……”U can’t touch these!”

 

“Feels like you’re dying, you’re dying” June 2, 2012

Filed under: News — justwilliam1959 @ 6:21 am
Tags: , , , ,

Westlife serve up another steaming pile of shi………. errrr chips!

When I think of bad cover versions I usually think of weak insipid boy band covers from the likes of Boyzone and Westlife. That view was recently confirmed to me when I came across the video of none other than Westlife covering the Kings Of Leon‘s “Sex On Fire“. It’s bloody awful, the usual bland and occasionally out of tune vocal performance and some ridiculous synchronised dancing. Since when was the pogo supposed to be synchronised? the only good news is that Westlife are on their farewell tour, let’s just hope they never reform shall we.

Westlife are arrested for murdering a classic rock song

Laugh at the cover and enjoy the original below.

The man to blame for Westlife. How can he sleep at night for making us endure such shite?

 

 
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