With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Yet there’s still this appeal that we’ve kept through our lives” June 24, 2012


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)

 

“What can you do? What can you do?” February 8, 2011


Did you see the staggering piece of footage on the UK news this week? Where a woman in her 70s saw off six would be jewel thieves in Northampton. She saw a commotion and thought a young lad was being beaten up, so she waded in with her hand bag at which point she realised it was a robbery. It was a while before other members of the public stepped in and held one of the gang. the police later arrested three more of the six.

I’d love to see them explain themselves in prison, they will truly be complete laughing stocks. The three that were arrested were aged between 18 and 39 so all considerably younger than Ann Timson the magnificent lady in question. She said that she recognised that she had put herself in danger but that she would probably do the same again. This lady is my hero of 2011 so far, can anyone top Ann Timson?


Click here to read the story on the BBC site and click here to read it on ITV’s Anglia News

Obviously this is a music blog so I will now give you a few relatively appropriate songs;

“Beat On The Brat” – Ramones. Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee and Tommy Ramone formed the band in New York in 1974. Despite the apparently shared surname they were not related at all. They chose Ramone after a pen name used by Paul McCartney, which was Paul Ramon. Clem Burke from Blondie once appeared with the band and named himself Elvis Ramone.

Robbery, Assault And Battery” – Genesis. The song comes from the bands 1976 album “A Trick Of The Tail” which was the first one to feature Phil Collins as vocalist after the departure of Peter Gabriel. It was written by Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford.

“Touch Of Grey” – The Grateful Dead. Fans of the band are often referred to as Dead Heads. The term was used in one of my favourite songs; “The Boys Of Summer” by Don Henley. “Out on the road today I saw a Dead Head sticker on a Cadillac, a voice inside my head said don’t look back, you can never look back”

The Little Old Lady From Pasadena” – Jan and Dean. Many of their hits were written by the Beach Boys, especially Brian Wilson, although this was written by Don Altfeld, Jan Berry and Roger Christian. The Beach Boys did record a live version of the song in the 60s though.

“Get Up, Stand Up” – Bob Marley and the Wailers. This is a classic Marley song and was often his encore. In fact it was the last song he ever played live having used it to close his gig in Pittsburgh in September 1980.

 

“The Clash, just a band” June 29, 2010


I'm not sure if that sign is a statement or an instruction

Today I had the iPod on shuffle and up popped the wonderfully talented Scroobius Pip aided and abetted by Dan Le Sac. I am a big fan of  Messrs Pip and Sac. The song in question was “Thou Shalt Always Kill” It got me thinking that a post addressing all the Pip commandments might be quite fun. So firstly apologies to Dave Gorman who once did a live show which analysed all the parts of Ian Dury’s “Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 3″, indeed Catwoman actually saw it (and to be fair he probably did it far, far better than I am about to with Pip and Sac). So on with the song!

Thou Shalt Always Kill – Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip

(Feat. Pos Plug Won)


Thou shalt not steal if there is a direct victim;
I totally agree with this one, so I guess this makes it ok to steal from banks right? Maybe some office stationery too

Thou shalt not worship pop idols or follow lost prophets; Who the hell would want to worship bloody pop idols anyway, that’d be like ‘All Hail Gareth Gates’ or more fitting with his current life maybe ‘Our Server who art in McDonalds’. As for the Lost Prophets they weren’t a bad band, ok they are Welsh, but that’s not their fault is it?

Thou shalt not take the names of Johnny Cash, Joe Strummer, Johnny Hartman, Desmond Dekker, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix or Syd Barret in vain; I totally agree, but  who the hell is Johnny Hartman?

Thou shalt not think that any male over 30 that plays with a child that is not their own is a paedophile, some people are just nice; I am way over 30, I love kids and I’m not a paedo, so I guess that makes me nice, doesn’t it? Incidentally isn’t it strange that those awful swimming trunks are called Speedos? Phonetically just one letter away from Peedo.

Thou shalt not read NME;
Nope, can’t agree with this one at all, I’ve been reading NME since I was a young lad, from 1971 to be precise

Thou shalt not stop liking a band just because they have become popular; How very true, people they are not YOUR band just because you liked them before 99% of the population. Tom, it is ok for you to continue to like the Kings Of Leon!

Thou shalt not question Stephen Fry; Yes, because Mr Fry has a brain the size of a planet and has more intellect in his belly button fluff than the collective intelligence of the England Football team

Thou shalt not judge a book by its cover; True, well unless it’s the Playboy Annual or something similar, equally any book with Robbie Williams on the front must, by definition, be rubbish!

Thou shalt not judge Lethal Weapon by Danny Glover;
So that must mean you judge it by Mel Gibson, but I’m confused, does that make it better or worse?

Thou shalt not buy Coca Cola products;
Absolutely, all that sugar has to be bad for you. Mind you I do like the odd Coca Cola Christmas bauble, so that would be another Pip commandment I have broken

Thou shalt not buy nestle products; Well I can live with this, apart from the fact that my good friend Karen McP works there, but personally I prefer Cadburys anyway

Thou shalt not go into the woods with your boyfriend best friend,
take drugs and cheat on him; Well I am completely exempt from this as I don’t take drugs, oh and I don’t have a boyfriend either!

Thou shalt not fall in love so easily; That is easy to say but bloody difficult to do

Thou shalt not use poetry, art or music to get into girls pants……use it to get into their heads; ok, just as long as I can be forgiven for my teenage years, where I confess I did use music in the former regard quite a lot and the latter regard quite a little. Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” always worked for me

Thou shalt not watch Hollyoaks; Nor any Aussie soaps either in my opinion

Thou shalt not attend an open mic and then leave as soon as you have done your shitty little poem or song you self-righteous prick; Well I think that one speaks for itself really!

Thou shalt not return to the same club or bar week in & week out just because you once saw a girl there that you fancied that you’re never going to talk to anyway; Guilty as charged, but only in my teenage years and only a couple of times and on the second occasion I did get to speak to her, but she did make it very clear she wasn’t interested. Just rearrange these letters to understand what two-word phrase she used. kfcfuof, did you work it out?

Thou shalt not put musicians and recording artists on ridiculous pedestals no matter how great they are or were; I did this with David Bowie back in the 70s, but then he recorded in the 80s and that made me see the error of my ways

The Beatles.
Were just a band.
Led Zeppelin
Just a band.
The Beach Boys.
Just a band
Sex Pistols.
Just a band.
The Clash.
Just a band.
Crass.
Just a band
Minor Threat.
Just a band.
The Cure
Just a band.
The Smiths
Just a band.
Nirvana.
Just a band.
The Pixies
Just a band
Oasis.
Just a band
Radiohead.
Just a band.
Bloc Party.
Just a band.
Arctic Monkeys.
Just a band.
The next big thing
Just a band.
I can agree with almost all of the above, except for the Clash, these guys were way more than just a band to me

Thou shalt give equal worth to tragedies that occur in non-english speaking countries as to those that occur in english speaking countries; Too true, how many times has the news reported an earthquake somewhere like Mexico and had it low down the running order because no British people were hurt?

Thou shalt remember that guns, bitches and bling where never part of the four elements and never will be; I love rap, but this is sadly so very true

Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music;
Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music;
Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music;
Thou shalt not make repetitive generic music;
I suspect that this relates to dance music and the Government’s attack on the rave generation, but it could equally apply to the bland crap produced by almost anyone of Simon Cowell’s identikit pop muppets

Thou shalt not pimp my ride; But I assume that it is ok for me to pimp my man-bag though, right?

Thou shalt not scream if you wanna go faster; nor indeed listen to Geri Halliwell whilst in a sober state

Thou shalt not move to the sound of the wickedness; well ok, but sometimes that is a really good feeling!

Thou shalt not make some noise for Detroit; or any other city or town, but then again I am sure that later this year at Reading my good friend Nick H and me will make some noise for Reading

When I say “hey” thou shalt not say “ho”; Say Gabba Gabba instead, in honour of the Ramones

When I say “hip” thou shalt not say “hop”; Say replacement instead

When I say, he say, she say, we say “make some noise”…..kill me; ok then, seeing as you asked nicely

Thou shalt not quote me happy; or like the Go Compare advert

Thou shalt not shake it like a Polaroid picture; Well that’s how I dance bro’ – live with it!

Thou shalt not wish your girlfriend was a freak like me; my girlfriend is all the freak I need thank you very much

Thou shalt spell the word phoenix : P-H-E-O-N-I-X not P-H-O-E-N-I-X regardless of what the Oxford English dictionary tells you; Now as far as this one goes I really don’t care

Thou shalt not express your shock at the fact that Sharon got off with Brad at the club last night by saying “is it?”; very true, the correct statement is ‘innit’ innit?

Thou shalt think for yourselves; I hope everyone does this already

And thou shalt ALWAYS kill. I certainly can’t agree with this, although Catwoman and I do tend to regularly kill all the plants in the back yard, usually by neglect

Let me have your thoughts on this terrific song :-)

 

“When we had simplicity and we had warm toast for tea” March 25, 2010


 

This is Ryefield School in Hillingdon a great place where I was a pupil from 1965 to 1970

Once again it’s been a long while since my last post, but not as long ago as the last time I attended Ryefield Junior School in Hillingdon. I was just a little boy called Billy in those days. I attended the school from 1965 until 1970 up until I was 11 years old. I discovered this week that it is Ryefield School’s 50th birthday celebrations this year, I hadn’t appreciated that I was just one year older than the school. One year and three days to be precise as it opened on January 4th 1960. So how did I find out about this auspicious occasion? Well I have mentioned Ryefield in a previous post and the present Headmaster Mr Dodd was doing some research and chanced upon my blog. Serendipity huh?

Anyway it got me thinking about those good old school days and for me Infant and Junior School was so much more fun than Senior School. I will remember Ryefield for many things. But the two that spring to mind immediately are the wonderful headmaster from my days there, Mr Yates. I don’t know much about him other than the fact that to me he was a wonderful man and although I didn’t realise it at the time he was probably my first mentor from outside my family circle. He encouraged me to learn by reading and indeed writing too. I also loved all those mental arithmetic tasks he set. The second thing that is in my mind about those years is my first ever foreign trip. It was a school trip to Paris and it was my first ever flight too. One of the things we were asked to do was write a postcard on the first day to send back to our parents. I did write my postcard, but I left it in my case and gave it to my Mum and Dad when I came home. I can only assume that they weren’t too worried about me

And so on to the music, for that is the purpose of this little blog. And obviously todays choices are all school related, I hope you enjoy them and as usual your school song suggestions would be welcomed

Schools Out - Alice Cooper. OK I know this was an obvious choice, but it is good isn’t it. For me it was one of the defining moments of early 70s music television

Remember The Days Of The Old School Yard - Cat Stevens. Just how talented was this man? Still just as talented these days now he is known as Yusuf. I believe the additional female vocal on this track is Elkie Brooks. Linda Lewis also recorded an excellent cover of this song, although sadly I can’t find it on line

Teacher I Need You – Elton John. A classic slice of Elton and Bernie from the wonderful 1973 album ‘Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player’

Teach Your Children – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. This is accompanied by a photo montage that shows the Iraq war through the eyes of children

Don’t Stand So Close To Me – Police. Written by a former teacher, Gordon Sumner aka Sting and probably the only lyric which manages to rhyme cough with Nabokov, albeit it rather clumsily! This is the original version which is so much better than the 1986 remake

Be True To Your School – Beach Boys. This one says it all really doesn’t it and with added cheerleaders too.

 

100th Post =100 songs December 1, 2009

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Well this is it then, my 100th post and as promised here are the 100 songs currently in my top 10 (ok I know that sounds stupid, but regular readers will understand!) If I were to do this again say for the 200th post there would be quite a few differences. This list is in no particular order, although Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” probably still remains my most favourite song ever! I would love to see your comments on the list; is there anything you really like or really don’t like on here, is there anything really embarrassing perhaps. What is your top 10 or top 100? Incidentally I can already think of many more that didn’t make the cut!

As usual you will find the usual trivia content or comment along with the songs

No Woman No Cry        Bob Marley – Obviously I love this song but it has to be the live version and then preferably the one from the 1975 London Lyceum concerts. That album was called simply ‘Live’ and I wore out my vinyl copy completely

Police And Thieves        Junior Murvin – A classic reggae song, well covered by the Clash. Sadly the song is still all too pertinent today

Licking Stick     Desmond Dekker – Fun reggae at it’s best from the late great Mr Dacres

Cottage In Negril           Tyrone Taylor – Don’t ask me why but this is probably one of my favourite reggae songs ever. It makes me want to go to Negril

Rebel, Rebel     David Bowie – The first single from the wonderful Diamond Dogs album. A glorious Rolling Stones pastiche on which, unusually, Mr Bowie plays lead guitar

Heroes  David Bowie – Inspirational and also a song that I will have played at my funeral in 50 years. You should check out the versions he recorded in both French and German

Strawberry Letter 23       Brothers Johnson – Regular readers will know just how much I love this song. ‘Nuff said

I Want You Back           Jackson 5 - That opening piano run still sends shivers down my spine and frankly how can you not want to dance to this

Superstition      Stevie Wonder – Stevie rocks out more than many on this one which was originally written for Jeff Beck. More than enough to forgive Mr Wonder for “I Just Called To Say I Love You”

White Man In The Hammersmith Palais    Clash – In my humble opinion the finest song by the finest band ever!

London Calling  Clash – If my memory serves me well this is the only Clash song ever to feature in a Bond movie

Complete Control          Clash – A venomous attack on CBS, far more venomous than the Sex Pistols “EMI” in my view

Don’t Let Me Down        Beatles – My favourite Fab Four song which in fact was only a B Side! Also a song that I sing very badly at full volume when I’m drunk

Revolution        Beatles – Another moptops classic that I also sing very badly whilst under the influence of alcohol

Instant Karma    John Lennon – Karma is a powerful thing and Instant Karma is a powerful song!

Do Anything You Wanna Do      Eddie And The Hot Rods – In my teens this was probably one of the most meaningful and uplifting songs I knew. Even at the old age of 50 it still does it for me

Gary Gilmore’s Eyes      Adverts – For subject matter alone this would be in the top 100. Mr Gilmore was executed in the US in the mid 70s and he donated his eyes to an anonymous someone. That someone is the subject of the song!

Theme From A Summer Place    Percy Faith Orchestra – You might say that this is one of my guilty pleasures, well maybe, but it is a beautiful piece of music. It was also used to great effect in the TV adaptation of Stephen King’s Rose Red

Wild Is The Wind           David Bowie – Not a Bowie original but one written for a 50s movie, perhaps more of a torch song and one of Bowie’s best ever cover versions. It certainly makes up for his bloody awful cover of the Beach Boys “God Only Knows” in the 80s

What’s Going On?         Marvin Gaye – Great song from a great album, such a shame that it still rings true after nearly 40 years

September        Earth, Wind And Fire – E, W & F at their best, probably my favourite Saturday night song

God Save The Queen    Sex Pistols – Fear and conspiracy kept this from the number one spot in the Queens Silver Jubilee week in 1977. For me this is a major contender for the UK’s new national anthem!

Public Image     Public Image Limited – So many people thought that Lydon would do nothing after the Pistols, how very wrong they were.

Suspicious Minds          Elvis Presley – Elvis gets his mojo back after all those years of shit movie songs

She’s Gone    Hall & Oates – Taken from the Abandoned Luncheonette album, one of the saddest songs I know. I always play this when I’m in a melancholy mood. I also believe that Daryl Hall has the finest white soul voice in history. And what the bloody hell is a luncheonette?

Mack The Knife   Bobby Darin – I love story songs and this is easily one of the best. You have to tap your feet and click your fingers to this don’t you?

Karma Police    Radiohead – Probably the best band in the world today

Bernadette        Four Tops – Levi Stubbs RIP, I believe Mr Stubbs was the finest soul singer there ever was and ever will be. is this the only song about a Bernadette too?

Still Water (Love)           Four Tops – Relaxing, powerful, beautiful, ethereal, there simply aren’t enough words to describe this gorgeous song

Into My Arms    Nick Cave – As love songs go this might be quite strange but it is undoubtedly beautiful too

Talk Show Host    Radiohead - My favourite song from the ‘Head by a long way. just a B Side and als on the soundtrack of Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Romeo And Juliet’ movie

Take Me Girl I’m Ready  Junior Walker – My favourite ever juke box record. In the late 70s this was number 77A on the jukebox in the Windmill pub in Ruislip

Woman To Woman        Shirley Brown – A real torch song, sets the hairs on the back of my neck on end

If Loving You Is Wrong   Millie Jackson – and the classic soul torch diva has to be Ms Jackson. I saw her live at the Victoria Apollo in the 70s

Ms Jackson      Outkast - Talking of Ms Jackson (although this is actually about Erykah Badu’s Mum) here is my favourite Outkast song. Don’t you think it sounds a little reminiscent of ‘Strawberry Letter 23′?

I Know What I like (In Your Wardrobe)     Genesis – Personally I think Genesis went downhill after Peter Gabriel left, what do you think? But this Gabriel era song is just sublime and what a fantastic title too

Metal Guru        T Rex – A song I used to mime to with my tennis racquet as a teenage wannabe rock star. So why did I go on to become a bloody accountant?

One Nation Under A Groove       Funkadelic - The ultimate dance song. I saw them live with companion band Parliament in 1978 at the Hammersmith Odeon. Still one of the best concerts I have ever seen

I Can See Clearly Now   Johnny Nash – This man has the voice of an angel, why are so few of his albums available on CD. Definitely one of my heroes, I reckon I would be lost for words if I met him

There Are More Questions Than Answers            Johnny Nash – A Texan singer that sings reggae? it shouldn’t work should it? But it does doesn’t it?

Solsbury Hill     Peter Gabriel – If I ever feel a bit down this is the song I play to pull myself back up. Written about his decision to leave Genesis just before they went towards mega stardom

I Was Watching You      Rosanne Cash – Regular readers will know that I have mentioned this song before. I do cry most times I listen to it and although it was released after his death it makes me think of my Dad

Hurt      Johnny Cash – Mr Cash covers a Trent Reznor off of the Nine Inch Nails song. You must be pretty hard if this doesn’t make you at least a tad emotional

The Man Who Sold The World    Lulu – One of the better covers of a Bowie song. If their respective labels had sanctioned it Mr Bowie was ready to record a whole album with Lulu. Sadly that didn’t happen

All The Young Dudes     Mott The Hoople – The greatest Bowie cover, in fact one of his greatest songs and he simply gave it to Mott!

Wishing Well     Free – Forget all the stuff he’s done with Queen, this was one of Paul Rodgers finest vocal performances

You Get What You Give        New Radicals – One of the most short-lived bands of the 90s, but what a legacy. Gregg Alexander also wrote (or co wrote) Ronan Keating’s ‘Life Is A Rollercoaster’ which I kind of like!

A Town Called Malice    Jam – Paul Weller. probably the greatest English rock star of his generation. I saw him live at the MEN in Manchester last year and he is even better in concert. Indeed he played this Jam classic too

The Look Of Love         ABC – For all my criticism of the 80s this song and the album it comes from (The Lexicon Of Love) is one of my favourites. Produced by the great Trevor Horn

Sheena Is A Punk Rocker          Ramones - 1, 2, 3, 4 and off da bruvvers go. Hey Ho Let’s Go is there really anything else to say?

Wuthering Heights         Kate Bush – Oh Kate my Lionheart, I love this woman and want to have her babies

The Man With The Child In His Eyes        Kate Bush – OK maybe I wouldn’t really do the male pregnancy thing with Kate, but she is definitely my favourite female singer

5.15      Who – My favourite song from the Who from my favourite of their albums, the classic ‘Quadraphenia’

Sugar Sugar      Archies – This was the first single I ever bought. I got it from Uxbridge market in 1969

Suedehead       Morrissey – For me Stephen can be a bit hit or miss but this is definitely on the hit side

William It Was Really Nothing     Smiths – How could I not include the Smiths in this list and yes I am being just a tad egotistical with this choice

New Years Day  U2 – The piano refrain is haunting in a rock kind of way. Also more ego coming out here too, my birthday is on new years day!

Justified And Ancient    KLF and Tammy Wynette - There will never be anyone like the KLF. Were they a band or just art terrorists? Who knows and frankly who cares when they left songs and collaborations like this behind!

You Got The Love         The Source Featuring Candi Staton – Another uplifting song, although personally I tend to ignore the religious aspects! Recently Florence And The Machine have recorded a great cover of this song

Gimme Shelter  Rolling Stones – For me this song, especially the riff, evokes the 60s

It’s Only Rock N Roll     Rolling Stones – Now this is another I used to mime to as a teenager, well ok I still do! It might not be a pretty sight but I love doing it!

Hurricane          Bob Dylan – Dylan at his best, when riled or when he gets political he is untouchable. This song was about the plight of wrongly imprisoned boxer Reuben Carter

You Wear It Well            Rod Stewart – Most people I know would opt for Maggie May from his early 70s hits, I always preferred this one. Possibly even worth forgiving him for the awful ‘Baby Jane’ for

Wish You Were Here        Pink Floyd – One of the Floyd’s greatest and another song that gets me just a little emotional

You Can Make Me Dance Sing Or Anything        Rod Stewart And The Faces – I bet you can’t not dance to this. It’s one of the last songs the Faces recorded before Ron Wood and Rod the Mod left. It shows them going in a direction which I think would have been so good

Itchycoo Park    Small Faces – I actually remember hearing this on the radio as a kid. I didn’t have a clue what the lyrics were about then and I don’t think I’m much wiser now! Don’t go near the atrocious cover version by M People

Lowdown          Boz Scaggs - Taken from the excellent Silk Degrees album from 1976 and the track I use to soundcheck any new hi-fi equipment even now

I’m Your Puppet            James And Bobby Purify – This was actually a rerecording of their original 60s song. Guilty pleasure or great soul song? I’ll let you decide, but either way I love it!

Olympian          Gene – probably the best of the ‘Britpop’ bands, well in my opinion anyway. Sadly the band are no longer around, but I did manage to see them three times while they were. Another song that I will have played at my funeral in the very distant future too

Born To Run      Bruce Springsteen – I was always going to include something from the Boss and it was always going to be this song

Lose Yourself   Eminem - In my opinion Mr Mathers is the greatest rapper, although Jay Z does push him close

Too Late To Turn Back Now       Cornelius Brothers And Sister Rose – It took me more than 20 years to track down this song and now when I listen to it I reckon it is definitely a guilty pleasure

Stay Together   Suede – The most Bowie influenced of the 90s British bands. The combination of Brett Anderson’s lyrics and vocals along with Bernard Butler’s guitar is truly awesome

Skin Trade        Duran Duran - A Duran Duran song in my top 100? Yeah that surprised me too

1999     Prince – I love a lot of Prince’s stuff, but this remains a great party track

Susan’s House  Eels – Mark Everett is a superb songwriter and this for me is one of his best. His autobiography is bloody good too

Take A Look Around      Temptations – A terrific Norman Whitfield production and that intro still blows me away!

Let’s Get It On   Marvin Gaye – This great song has recently been sullied by it’s use to advertise pizzas on UK TV (I think it might have been Dominoes) But it still remains a great song for seduction and lurve ;-)

The Love I Saw In You Was Just A Mirage          Smokey Robinson And The Miracles – Bob Dylan once described Smokey as the worlds greatest living poet. Listen to this song and you can see why!

Gimme A Little Sign       Brenton Wood – A great example of 60s soul and the song I sing most in the shower (along with the Monkees ‘I’m A Believer’)

The Love You Save       Jackson 5 – Another classic written for the boys by the Motown house writers billed as the Corporation

Staggerlee        Lloyd Price – Another story song and I reckon the best version by far

Once In A Lifetime         Talking Heads – The ‘Heads finest moment for me. This song has everything and makes me happy everytime I hear it

Pyjamarama      Roxy Music – Roxy before they became bland and frankly shit!

Song 2    Blur – Funny isn’t how the songs with barely any lyrics often sound so good. Whoo Hoo indeed!

Double Barrel    Dave And Ansel Collins – Another slice of superb reggae. For years I thought these guys were brothers, they’re not. Actually it’s Ansel Collins and Dave Barker.

Sorted For E’s And Whizz          Pulp – Jarvis Cocker is a lyrical genius and this is Pulp’s best example of his way with words

Spinning Around           Kylie Minogue – OK so there is a certain appeal to the gold hot pants, but as modern disco goes this is brilliant. Gotta love Kylie!

Love Rollercoaster        Ohio Players – One of my favourite funk songs, expertly covered by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers but it wasn’t a patch on the original

Hey Hey My My        Neil Young – A great song and one which found a degree of infamy as it was quoted in Kurt Cobain’s suicide note

Grace     Jeff Buckley – How big a star would he have been had he lived? Probably one og=f the biggest I think

Satellite Of Love           Lou Reed – Taken from the Transformer album which was produced by Bowie and Mick Ronson. Listen carefully and you’ll hear Bowie on backing vocals

Hey Ya      Outkast – The ultimate party record of recent times, a great video too

Since I Left You            Avalanches – Aussie DJs/ dance act, I can’t believe that this wasn’t a bigger hit

Seven Nation Army        White Stripes – Jack White has recently been named man of the decade by some UK publications, perhaps with some justification. The riff alone on this is worth the top 100

White Horses      Jacky – OK clearly this theme from a 60s TV show (strangely enough it was called White Horses) is very much a guilty pleasure but I really love it. I think Jacky’s only other hit was ‘Rupert The Bear’

D’Yer Make ‘Er  Led Zeppelin – Taken from Houses Of The Holy and in many peoples opinion Zep’s worst song. But I like to be different and this piece of cod reggae is wonderfully irreverent

Wild Wood        Paul Weller – England’s finest living rock star perhaps? Well after Mr Bowie anyway

Stay With Me    Lorraine Ellison – How much emotion can you squeeze into a song, not much more than Lorraine Ellison does in fact. Ignore the David Essex cover of this song at all costs!

Young Americans    David Bowie – What he himself described as plastic soul and one of the songs I can recite the whole lyric of

 

“He’s gonna give up the booze and the one night stands” April 16, 2009


Hello once again dear readers, well unless of course like a few people that I know you just look at the pictures in which case you’re not reading this anyway are you? Are you? Well I’ll take that as a yes than shall I? Shall I?…. oh I give up!

Anyway let’s kick off this post with yet another shameless promotion of my son Luke’s band, they’re called Steal The Smile and they are extremely bloody good. They are headlining a gig in Abingdon, Oxfordshire on 24th April so get yourself down there. Failing that at least check them out on MySpace and tell me what you think, click on the band name to go to their MySpace page.

Steal The Smile rock Abingdon - be there or be square!

Steal The Smile rock Abingdon - be there or be square!

Someone sent me a great link earlier this week which I felt I had to share with you, it’s National Lampoon’s “Songs That Get Stuck In Your Head – Time Life”. I thought it was very funny and so true as well. Click here to check it out and let me know whether it made you laugh!

I guess that most of you have by now seen Susan Boyle’s appearance on ITV’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ show in the UK. (Click here if you haven’t seen it yet) I saw it at the weekend when it was initially broadcast and my initial reaction was that here comes another X Factor talentless type who says they want to be the next Whitney or Britney but in fact turn out to be Shitney! I was very pleasantly surprised when Susan began to sing “I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Miserables. It’s not my type of music at all but she has certainly got a great voice. What really peeved me was the reaction of the judges after she had completed her song, particularly Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden, both in my opinion were facile, condescending and very shallow. I was reminded of this by Tanya Gold’s excellent piece in the Guardian today, click here to check it out

Dummy, Dippy and Simon

Dummy, Dippy and Simple three of the lesser known dwarves

On to the usual stuff now and today 16th April is the 62nd birthday of Mr Gerry Rafferty of Stealer’s Wheel and a talented solo performer. Did you know that he was once in a group with Billy Connolly in the 60′s called the Humblebums. His biggest solo hit was “Baker Street” and the saxophone solo on the song has been the subject of an urban myth that it was played by Bob Holness the host of the ‘Blockbuster’s’ TV game show. In fact this came about after then NME journalist Stuart Maconie wrote a spoof piece in the NME’s ‘Believe It Or Not’ column. It was subsequently adopted as fact.It was actually played by Raphael Ravenscroft. Recently Rafferty has had somewhat of a chequered existence with alleged alcohol and drug problems. He also went missing in the last few months and there have been contradictory statements from a few different ‘spokesmen’ It would appear that thankfully he is alive and well and living in either Scotland or Tuscany depending upon which ‘spokesman’ you believe. Gerry if you are unwell I wish you a speedy recovery and look forward to some new material soon.

If they were really  "Stuck In The Middle" then clearly someone was missing from this picture!

If they were really "Stuck In The Middle" then clearly someone was missing from this picture!

On this day in 1969 Desmond Dekker along with the Aces was at number one in the UK charts with the fantastic song “The Israelites“. He was the first Jamaican artist to reach number one in the UK. Desmond’s real name is Desmond Adolphus Dacres. he eventually relocated to the UK and sadly died of a heart attack in May 2006 at his home in Thornton Heath. He is allegedly the source of the character name Desmond in the Beatles ska/ reggae influenced “Ob La Di Ob La Da”

Desmond with his dogs, the imaginatively named Spot, Spot, Spot, Spot, Spot and errr .........Rover???

Desmond with his dogs, the imaginatively named Spot, Spot, Spot, Spot, Spot and errr .........Rover???

On this day in 1993 David Lee Roth was arrested by an undercover policeman in New York’s Washington Square for allegedly buying a $10 bag of dope. Just $10? He wasn’t going to share that with his band was he? So just why were the police selling drugs anyway eh? We should be told! Roth found fame with Van Halen before embarking on a pretty successful solo career, although he did murder the Beach Boys “California Girls” on route!

Dave used to have a lot of balls, but not after he wore those trousers!

Dave used to have a lot of balls, but not after he wore those trousers!

And finally on this day in 1997 Mark Morrison was convicted with threatening a police officer with a 23,000 volt electric stun gun, you may not be surprised to know that this is an illegal weapon. He left Marylebone Magistrates court in London in tears after being warned that he may face a custodial sentence. I can’t believe he was surprised can you? You should have spoken to the same cop that Mr Lee Roth did Mark! Morrison is a British R & B singer who was actually born in Hanover, Germany. He does not own the Morrisons supermarket chain! His biggest hit was “Return Of The Mack” which went to the top of the UK charts in 1996.

Morrison in his 'Only God Can Judge Me' shirt, actually Mark I think you'll find that the courts judged you too!

Morrison in his 'Only God Can Judge Me' shirt, actually Mark I think you'll find that the courts judged you too!

 

“They told us tales, they told us lies, don’t they know they shouldn’t have told us at all” April 3, 2009


Hello again everyone how are well all then? I hope that you’re all ok because I have some very sad, bad, bleak news to impart. You really should be sitting down when you read this. Trust me it is the worst music news I’ve had to deliver since I started blogging, I know that’s only six weeks ago but this is really dreadful. So are you sitting comfortably? This is a bit like ‘Watch With Mother’ now isn’t it? Right I’ve been putting it off for long enough, now I have to tell you, stay in your seats. “Agadoo” by Black Lace is going to be reissued soon. See I told you it was awful news. It will be a 2009 remix and the video has been directed by Kevin Kennedy who used to play Curly Watts in Coronation Street, he also appears in it. He must need the money because this is a crime against music. The song was originally released in 1984 and made it to number 2 in the UK charts, held off the top spot by George Michael’s “Careless Whisper”. Click here to see just how bad it is, but be warned click at your own peril!

They should be arrested for those haircuts alone never mind that bloody song!

They should be arrested for those haircuts alone never mind that bloody song!

I have some other news too, not as bad as the first piece though. Apparently Ozzy Osbourne has had a premonition of his death. This is the quoted comment from Ozzy, “Some bird with some very rare virus is going to fly over my head. It’s going to shit on me and I’m going to melt on the floor” I presume he means a bird of the feathered variety. Can we also assume that it has nothing to do with drumming up publicity for the new series of ‘The Osbournes’ which will be called “The Osbournes Reloaded”. Reviews so far have completely panned it. perhaps he could do a deal with Satan and get that bird to shit on Black Lace instead?

Will it be the lesser spotted Sharin Bird that shits on Ozzy's head?

Will it be the lesser spotted Sharon Bird that shits on Ozzy's head?

Have you been following the coverage of the G20 summit? There is actually a music link here too, not the fact that Bob Geldof was pontificating as usual either. the Queen usually gives visiting world leaders and dignitaries a signed framed photograph of her and Prince Phillip, she receives a wide range of gifts in return. This week she received a video iPod from the Obama’s. It was preloaded with photos of the Queen’s state visits to the US in 1957 and 2007, some video and audio of Barack Obama’s speeches including the inauguration and 40 great show tunes. The Queen loves musicals apparently and the gift also came with a rare songbook which was signed by Rodgers off of Rodgers and Hammerstein.

And finally on the news front the two remaining Beatles, Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr will be taking part in a live public webcast later today, April 3rd (12 noon EST). The pair will be helping promote the David Lynch Foundation’s initiative to teach at least one million ‘at-risk’ youths to meditate. perhaps they’re seeking “Instant Karma” The pair along with many other rock luminaries have been practising Transcendental meditation for years. To take part in the conference visit davidlynchfoundation.org Later this evening McCartney and Starr will be joined by a cast of many at new York’s Radio City for a benefit concert to raise money for the David Lynch Foundation. Performers include Eddie Vedder (off of Pearl Jam), Moby, Sheryl Crow, Ben Harper, Paul Horn, Bettye La Vette, Mike Love (off of the Beach Boys) and Jim James (off of My Morning Jacket).

David is ready to release his chicken over Ozzy's head

David is ready to release his chicken over Ozzy's head

Have any of you seen the BBC documentary ‘The Queens Of British Pop’? I saw part 1 this week and it was rather good. It featured Dusty Springfield, Sandie Shaw, Suzi Quatro, Siouxse Sioux and the mighty Kate Bush. Click here for the link. yes I know Suzi is American but she did have her biggest success in the UK. As for Kate well on this day in 1979 she made her live debut at the Liverpool Empire. Kate is also the number one search term used which arrived at this very blog. More than 700 searches for Kate have found their way here. The next two are Pink Floyd with over 600 and Lily Allen with nearly 200 plus another 10 for Lily Allen Naked!

Kate has just released a Falcon towards Ozzy, perhaps it would have been easier to unleash the Hounds Of Love!

Kate has just released a Falcon towards Ozzy, perhaps it would have been easier to unleash the Hounds Of Love!

Here comes another blatantly shameless plug for my son Luke’s band Steal The Smile. They are playing at the Face Bar in Reading this evening so go and check them out. If you can’t make it get yourself over to their MySpace page by clicking here and let me know what you think of them.

I’ll end todays post with a couple of ‘onthisdays’ and the birthdays will return another time! Firstly on this day in 1975 Steve Miller was charged with setting fire to the clothes of a friend, Benita Diorio. Presumably not a close friend or perhaps he had the hots for her! Police arrived at Miller’s house to find Benita trying to put out the flames. Miller began fighting with some of the policemen and was eventually charged with resisting arrest.

Steve plays on despite the fact that his friend's wardrobe is on fire behind him

Steve plays on despite the fact that his friend's wardrobe is on fire behind him

And finally on this day in 1993 the Bluebells were at number one in the UK with “Young At Heart” The song had originally been released some ten years earlier. But this time around it was the beneficiary of a Volkswagen TV advertising campaign. Here’s one for you fact fans too, the song was co written by Siobhan Fahey off of Shakespears Sister and Bananarama!

The Bluebells contemplate drowning themselves after hearing that Agadoo is about to be released again!

The Bluebells contemplate drowning themselves after hearing that Agadoo is about to be released again!

 

“When I am faraway, I feel the rainfall of another planet” March 6, 2009


Hi people, this may be the last post for a few days, but then again it might not! If it is I’ll see you all again Monday or Tuesday, either way have a great weekend.

OK I know it’s not music related but one of this blogs regular readers has informed me that earlier this week she cupped the medals of an Olympian in her very own hands! Don’t be rude now I meant that she was able to hold Matthew Pinsent’s Olympic Rowing medals when he visited her place of work on Tuesday. The lucky lady is Karen McP. If anyone else has any celebrity stories they would like to tell me about then please do!

One of my favourite e mails of the week arrives on a Thursday and it comes from those wonderful people at Popbitch. If you like gossip, jokes, a good laugh and you’re not easily offended why not sign up for it? Here is a very inoffensive piece from this weeks mail. “Did you know Yazz’s The Only Way Is Up was a cover? Mississippi born soul and gospel star Otis Clay first released it in 1982. (just click on the song you want to hear to play) http://www.popbitch.com/home/popbits ” I copied this verbatim from the mail but the link also let’s you hear Jackie DeShannon’s original of Kim Carne’s hit “Bette Davis Eyes” Well worth checking out

This next link also came via Popbitch “Pirates In Somalia” click on the name to get to it. If you’re familiar with Weebl’s Stuff you’ll recognise the theme, but there is an element of political comment on this one too, let me know what you think

Hot off the press, well to be honest it’s a bit lukewarm really, but anyway if you haven’t seen the news yet, Michael Jackson is doing at least 10 shows at the O2 Arena in London this summer. I reckon that they will be;

  1. Spectacularly good
  2. Painfully embarrassing
  3. Or that Jacko won’t show

What do you think? Click here for the BBC report on the announcement

So onto those all important birthdays, it’s March 6th 2009 and today is th 64th birthday of Hugh Grundy. He was the drummer with the rather spiffing 60′s band the Zombies. Hugh was part of the original band which was formed at St Albans Grammar School in the UK in 1963. The other members included Colin Blunstone who went on to success as a solo artist and Rod Argent who went on to form Argent. Before adopting the excellent name of the Zombies the boys had considered the Sundowners (nope I don’t like that) and the Mustangs (not bad!). They used to get to their gigs in an old red and white ice cream van. I wonder if they switched on the bell to let the fans know they were coming or whether they perhaps sold ice creams in the interval? Their first major gig was at the Watford Town Hall in Hertfordshire in 1963. In 1964 at the same venue they won ‘Herts Beat’ which nowadays would probably be called a battle of the bands. The prize was an audition with Decca Records, which they passed! Their debut single later in 1964 was the classic “She’s Not There” covered some years later by Santana. The Zombies version reached number two in the US but could only muster number 12 in the UK. Hugh went on to work in A & R at CBS after his time with the band. Here are the band with the classic “Time Of The Season

let's be honest these aren't the scariest zombies you've ever seen are they?

let's be honest these aren't the scariest zombies you've ever seen are they?

The second and last of the birthdays today is that of the delightful Ms Kiki Dee, Happy 62nd Birthday Kiki. To her Mum and Dad she wasn’t known as Kiki though, she was called Pauline Matthews and she was born near Bradford in Yorkshire in the UK. When asked what they know about Kiki most people will say “that duet of Don’t Go Breaking My Heart she did with Elton John” I just asked Catwoman that very question and got pretty much that answer! Incidentally that was Elton’s first ever UK number one single when it hit the top in 1976. But back to Kiki as there is much more to her, did you know for example that she was the first white British Artist to be signed to Motown Records? Well she was and she released her first Motown single in 1970 although it wasn’t a hit. She later sign to Elton’s Rocket Records. Here is Kiki with my favourite song of hers “Amoreuse” from 1973. It was written by French singer songwriter Veronique Sanson.

Kiki tried to soldier on but it was quite clear to the audience that she had lost her microphone

Kiki tried to soldier on but it was quite clear to the audience that she had lost her microphone

On this very day in 1961 George Formby Jr died aged just 57. His father was a very famous musical hall comedian also known as George Formby. George Jr’s real name was George Hoy Booth and he was born in Wigan in Lancashire. Formby was a master of the double entendre which is a mainstay of much British humour. In the 1930′s his song “With Me little Stick Of Blackpool Rock” was banned by the BBC for being too rude! How very tame it all sounds now! here is the man himself with “When I’m Cleaning Windows

The girls had come from far and wide to catch a glimpse of George's "little stick of Blackpool rock"

The girls had come from far and wide to catch a glimpse of George's "little stick of Blackpool rock"

On this day in 1970 Charles Manson (yes the evil murderous one) released his album “Lies” on Awareness Records. However he was unable to promote the disc as he was serving a life sentence for his part in what have become known as the Sharon Tate murders. Manson spent some time in the 60s living with and recording with Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys. He recorded quite a few songs and some have been covered by contemporary artists like Guns n Roses and Marilyn Manson who as you may have guessed took the second part of his name from the infamous killer. Charles Manson claimed to hear a lot of messages in the Beatles White Album, particularly songs like “Piggies” and “Helter Skelter”. When U2 covered “Helter Skelter” on the Rattle And Hum tour Bono introduced it by saying he was reclaiming the song on behalf of the Beatles. I have decided to add no music or picture to the Charles Manson piece, I hope that you all understand

On this day in 2004 Lionel Richie’s now ex-wife went to court asking for
$300,000 per month in maintenance payments. This included;

  • $20k per year on plastic surgery
  • $15k per month on clothing, shoes and accessories
  • $5k per month on jewellery
  • $0.6k per month on massages

She obviously has a very hard life! With that kind of money I bet she was ready to go “Running With The Night” “Dancing On The Ceiling” “All Night Long”, she was certainly no “Penny Lover” and I reckon that money is much much more than “Three Times A Lady’s” normal pay. “Hello” did that make any sense.

Anyway here is Lionel with the Commodores singing my fave Commodores song and one which is another of the 50 songs in my top 10, ladies and gentlemen of the Blogworld I give you “Just To Be Close To You

One of these men is a waxwork dummy, can you tell which one? ;-)

One of these men is a waxwork dummy, can you tell which one? ;-)

 

 
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