Have you been pestered by teenage carol singers with shite voices yet? I saw some on the way home from work but I think the weather was a tad too inclement for them! But I’m sure the greedy untalented little gits will be back. Greedy, untalented little gits? I could have been talking about the majority of X Factor contestants there couldn’t I? Anyway we really are sliding down the slope towards Christmas now, it’s 20th December! So that means it’s day 20 of the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Advent posts and you know you’ll be getting two songs with twenty in their titles.
T.Rex are first up with the magnificent “20th Century Boy” a UK number 3 hit from 1973. The song hit the top of the charts in Ireland. It was the penultimate single in a run of 11 UK top 4 hits between 1970 and 1973 which included four number ones. In fact Bolan and T Rex never made the UK top 10 after 1973 let alone the top 5. “20th Century Boy” was not taken from a T Rex album but it was included on a reissue of the ‘Tanx’ album which was originally released in 1973. The song was used as the soundtrack to a Levi’s Jeans ad campaign in 1991. It was re-released to accompany that and made it back into the UK chart where it peaked at number 13. Siouxse and the Banshees, Girlschool, Adam Ant, Def Leppard and Placebo have all covered this T Rex classic. Placebo performed the song live at the 1999 Brit Awards with David Bowie.
From a song featuring the late, great Marc Bolan let me now take you to a song from the late, great Eddie Cochran, “Twenty Flight Rock”. Cochran can be seen performing the song in the 1956 film ‘The Girl Can’t Help It’ and it was released as a single in 1957. It was this Cochran song that a 15-year-old Paul McCartney played as part of his audition for John Lennon which led to him becoming one of the Quarrymen. McCartney has said that he thought that what impressed Lennon the most was that he knew all the words. Many artists have covered the song including Robert Gordon, Rolling Stones, the Stray Cats and Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen.