In 1942 during World War 2 the BBC banned a rather innocuous little song. The tune was deemed to be ‘too catchy’ (an early earworm perhaps?) and the ‘powers that be’ thought that it would distract factory workers when it was played on the wireless. This of course would significantly damage the war effort. So what was that demonic song that might have caused Britain to lose the war? It was Bing Crosby’s version of “Deep In The Heart Of Texas”.
Did you know that the Beatles released one single that none of the band played on? It’s kind of obvious when you think about it. The song is “Eleanor Rigby” which was released on the same single as “Yellow Submarine” in 1966. It reached number one in many countries including the UK, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Australia and Austria. The musicians who played on the track were;
On Violin – Tony Gilbert, Sidney Sax, John Sharpe and Juergen Hess.
On Viola – Stephen Shingles and John Underwood
On Cello – Derek Simpson and Norman Jones.
It makes you wonder how many other bands didn’t play on their big hits. It would be fair to assume that the likes of the Bay City Rollers, Westlife, Boyzone, the majority of X Factor muppets and many others didn’t play on any of their hits wouldn’t it? But then again even Ringo didn’t feature on the Beatles initially released version of “Love Me Do” in 1962. Sid Vicious‘ bass playing featured on hardly any Sex Pistols recordings, most of those were completed by Glen Matlock or Steve Jones. Listening to some bootlegs of the band from late 1977 to the ill-fated US tour of January 1978 suggests that there was a good reason Sid didn’t contribute bass to many songs, he just wasn’t very good at it!
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?
Dear readers I have recently encountered a real problem. As many of you know I am not the world’s biggest Robbie Williams fan, in fact I take many opportunities to disparage the Robster. However my problematical dilemma is that I like the new Take That album (Robbie is a member again for now) and I also like the song he recorded with Gary Barlow for his current greatest hits package. I can just about live with all that I suppose. But if I ever tell you that I really love Robbie’s awful dirge “Angels” or that I have become a fan of JLS or Boylife or Westzone (I believe that Boyzone and Westlife are truly interchangeable) then take me to the vet and have me put down humanely!
Take That prepare to become David Haye's next victims!
Whilst talking of Take That, JLS and Westlife they all appeared on this weekend’s light entertainment show (it really, really isn’t a talent show is it?) the X Factor. Take That performed “The Flood” which was a million times better than the dreadful shite that JLS and Westlife performed. The JLS song, “Love You More” is at least raising money for the BBC’s Children In Need appeal, whereas Westlife’s “Safe” is just awful and not for charity. As usual there was a controversial vote, Aidan Grimshaw was booted out, very deservedly so in my opinion, at the expense of Katie Waissel. One has to ask what has she ever done to the people who vote on the show that she regularly receives fewer votes than Wagner (pronounced Vagner except for the old Irish windbag Louis Walsh!) But seriously, how can it be classed as a talent show whilst people like Wagner progress so far?
The real reason Robbie rejoined Take That is that he saw the on stage perks they now recieved! ............ While you're down there indeed!
But by far the biggest controversy about the show this weekend was whether or not Cheryl Cole farted whilst giving her verdict on Cher Lloyd on Saturday’s show. It’s a story carried by many of the UK tabloids, personally I reckon she did, what do you think? Did Cheryl really fart on live TV or is it just another whiff of hype from the X Factor machine. Cast your vote below and remember you will still have to pay me if you try to vote after the poll has closed. 😉
I wonder if that incident will give her new single “Promise This” a little extra wind to take it into the charts? Is it me or do the tights/ stockings she is wearing in the video look like artistic skid marks?
Holy Moly said she was going for a Bram Stoker's Dracula look, personally I think it was a cross between Princess Leia off of Star Wars and Minnie Mouse!
Let me finish with a question for you. How should one describe a Boyband that are no longer boys? I don’t know the answer but I would love to hear your suggestions. I have heard Manband used, but frankly that sounds like something a gentleman of a ‘certain’ age might use in conjunction with Viagra.
There really are too many tribute bands around don’t you think? Just click here for the Wiki view and you will find plenty tribute bands named, including Dread Zeppelin and the Iron Maidens. However the one that caught my eye was Beatallica a tribute band that plays Beatles and Metallica songs. It got me thinking of other potential fantasy or nightmare tribute bands you could have if you combined some bands.
Here are some that I thought of and if you click carefully you should find a song from each of the constituent parts (including a guest appearance by Joan Collins in one of them and Chris Martin off of Coldplay in another) and don’t forget this will probably be the only post I’ll ever do where I won’t diss Boyzone or Westlife (or could that be Westzone or Boylife?);
I would love to hear your own ideas and maybe I could even muster up the usual cheap and tacky prize for the best one! While you contemplate what riches you could win take a look at the appropriately titled “Tribute” from Tenacious D
By the way, somewhere above there is a ‘hidden’ song which features one of the above acts doing some backing vocals on a U2 song, did you find it?
I was saddened and angered by the news I read today that Somali militants have banned the playing of music from the country’s airwaves. Well technically the transition government only control a small part of the capital Mogadishu so it is actually the work of the militants that run the rest of the country. There has not been a functioning government in the state since 1991. The militants have closed down five BBC radio relay stations in the south of the country, so now there are just two FM transmitters left in the transition government and UN controlled part of Mogadishu. Is there anything we can do about it? I don’t know, but I doubt it. The waters off Somalia are already full of proper pirates so the chances of setting up a pirate radio station off shore seems unlikely. Can we write to our politicians? Well sure you can, but certainly in the UK at the moment the self-regarding parasites are so far up their own sphincters with the General Election and new ways to fiddle their expenses that they won’t be bothered by something so trifling as this. But if you do believe there is something we could do then please get in touch. If anyone from Somalia is actually reading this I would love to hear from you. You can read the BBC report on this story by clicking here
The ban on music radio in Somalia has led to the discovery and use of many innovative living instruments. I'm not quite sure where you blow on this one though!
This whole sorry episode got me thinking about songs that have been banned from airplay in the UK, so that, my dear readers is what this post is all about!
One of the biggest en masse bans occurred just after 9/11 back in 2001. A Programme Director at one of the Clear Channel Radio Stations produced a list of songs that he felt might be in bad taste after the events of 2001. It was allegedly meant as a guideline and supposedly received no corporate backing. I kind of see where this person was coming from with some of the choices (although I do not agree at all) but how the hell did the following make it on to the list?
Alice In Chains, the Beatles and Metallica have four entries each while AC/ DC are way out in front with six. It seems that almost any song mentioning planes, fire, death, bombs, New York or the middle east was included. Click here to see the whole list. The BBC actually preceded this during the Gulf War of 1991. This list included Abba’s “Waterloo” and also the instruction that Massive Attack would be referred to as Massive during the conflict. Click here to see the BBC’s Gulf War banned list and many other lists referenced in this post
The BBC has quite a long history of banning songs for various reasons and here is just a small selection along with the reasons they received a beeb ban!
“Je T’Aime” – Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg. Obviously the powers that be at the BBC back in 1969 understood french far better than I did then or even do today. personally I think there would have only been a tiny minority of people in the UK in 1969 who would have understood the lyrics anyway. It allegedly wasn’t helped though by the inclusion in the lyric of Serge’s desire to “entre te reins” which I’m told means between the kidneys, or in English probably ‘up the bum’
“The Day After You” – Blow Monkeys (supported by Curtis Mayfield). This was banned for being anti Margaret Thatcher. Since when was that a crime? I always have been and always will be. If you feel the same maybe you should also check out Elvis Costello’s “Tramp The Dirt Down”
“Tribute To Buddy Holly” – Mike Berry and the Outlaws. This was a Joe Meek production from 1961 and was banned for being a morbid celebration of a dead teen idol
“Cover Of The Rolling Stone” – Dr Hook and the Medicine Show. Obviously the BBC were not going to advertise an American publication, which in those days was almost impossible to get in this country anyway. The band tried to help by recording a new version of the song which replaced Rolling Stone with Radio Times, which was and still is a BBC published TV and Radio listings magazine (other listing magazines are available!)
Many other songs, especially more recently have been banned for including swearing. The earliest of these that I am aware of is John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero” in 1970. John Lydon (formerly known as Johnny Rotten remains the only person to have sneaked the ‘C’ word into a song and had it played though. Listen to the Sex Pistols “Pretty Vacant” again and hear how he pronounces ‘vacant’ in the chorus. I understand that this was deliberate. Nice one Mr Lydon ;-)
I could go on and on with this post but I will draw it to a close, but I would like to hear your stories of banned songs wherever you are. Personally I think the world would be a nicer place if the likes of Boyzone, Westlife, Robbie Williams and anyone who wins X Factor were to be banned from getting any airplay ever!
I will finish with a story about Michael Logan who recently received an ASBO for singing Bob Marley songs outside his home in the UK from 8 a.m until midnight. (Click here for the link to the story from the Manchester Evening News) Now I don’t condone that sort of thing but it does give me a great excuse to end with a Bob Marley song! This is Bob with a great live segue of “War/ No More Trouble”
Did you know that the lyrics to Marley’s “War” were the words of a speech made by Haile Selassie?
Hello once again dear readers today is the 19th July and it is the 62nd birthday of one Brian Harold May off of Queen. Brian still uses his ‘Red Special’ guitar which he began building in the early sixties with his Dad Harold. It is principally made from an old 18th Century fireplace mantel. Also there are actually two wormholes in the neck of the guitar, at least according to Wikipedia. Presumably not the type of wormholes that Brian would know more about, being an astrophysicist! To learn more about those type of wormholes click here. If your interests are a little more down to earth and you’d like a guitar just like (well ok similar) to Brian’s, then click here.
Brian poses with the famouse fireplace
Brian auditions Anita Dobson as a lookalike for security purposes
On this day in 1980 the very band that Brian found fame in, Queen racked up their third UK number one album with ‘The Game’. This album featured the single “Another One Bites The Dust” A great song in my opinion and this was apparently also the opinion of Michael Jackson who was a friend of Freddie Mercury. When Fred played the song to him Jacko insisted that the band release it as a single and the rest as they say is history! And just for fun here is the Weird Al Yankovic parody of the song “Another One Rides The Bus”
Sadly both Michael and Freddie have now bitten the dust... RIP
Also on this day in 1958, whilst I was still in the womb, George Treadwell the then manager of the Drifters sacked the entire group. However he simply replaced them with another group, unkown at the time, Ben E King and the Five Crowns! If only someone would do that with the likes of Boyzone and Westlife. Oh I expect they probably have and no one has noticed! Here are Ben and the boys with “This Magic Moment” Incidentally fact fans did you know that the Shadows off of Cliff Richard and the Shadows were once called the Drifters? Well if you didn’t you do now!
By 1959 Ben E King clearly couldn't be bothered to tour. As for Dock Green is he anything to do with Dixon?
And the final ‘onthisday’ for 19th July is from 1989. Apparently when large amounts of money were found in the late great (those l & g’s are back!) James Brown’s prison cell he was moved from a minimum security prison to a medium security prison. What the hell is the difference between minimum and medium and then presumably maximum security prisons. “Get Up Offa That Thing” indeed! If that had happened these days it would have been the hidden stash of some jailed banker, but wait a minute none of them went to jail did they? They all recieved performance bonuses, how the hell does that work then? Here is James with the late great (back with a vengeance those ‘l & g’s’) Robert Palmer singing “I Feel Good”
James moves from minimum to medium security with his personal banker!