With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“I’ve been thinking about my own protection, it scares me to feel this way” August 28, 2013


Tina_Turner_At-70

Tina Turner’s big hit “What’s Love Got To Do With It” was originally recorded by Bucks Fizz after it had been offered to Phyllis Hyman, Donna Summer and Cliff Richard. When Bucks Fizz were set to record the song the producer told the band’s Jay Aston that the song was not suited to a female vocal and required a stronger male voice. So ultimately it was Bobby G who took the lead vocal. That the song’s biggest hit came from Tina Turner, a female singer, is rather amusing I think.

eurovision_bucks_fizz

Tina’s version was the third single to be taken from her mega selling album ‘Private Dancer’. It reached number 3 in the UK charts in 1984 and made it to pole position in the US, Canada and Australia.

 

“But it’s worth it all just to hear them say that they care” May 17, 2012


Supreme Disco Diva Donna Summer passed away today aged just 63. It has been reported that she had battled breast cancer and lung cancer and died at her home in Key west, Florida. She was born LaDonna Adrian Gaines exactly 10 years and one day before me.

In the late 60s Donna auditioned for the part of Sheila in the Broadway production of ‘Hair’ but the part went to Melba Moore. However when the show moved to Europe she was offered the part and moved to Germany. She later went on to appear in the stage versions of ‘Godspell’ and ‘Showboat’.

While in Germany she married an Austrian, Helmuth Sommer in 1972. They divorced later but Donna kept an Anglicised version of her surname. She also learned to speak fluent German. She met influential producer Giorgio Moroder while she was singing backing vocals for Three Dog Night. Her first album came out in 1974 and was titled ‘Lady Of The Night’. A single taken from the album “The Hostage” went to number one in Belgium. Following this Donna worked with Moroder on an idea for a song that eventually became her first major hit, “Love To Love You Baby“. It was eventually released in November 1975 in both the edited 7 inch version and the extended 17 minute 12 inch version. The latter was at the request of Casablanca Records head honcho Neil Bogart. Many radio stations refused to play the song owing to the orgasmic moans it featured. Those noises certainly worked well on my teenage mind!

Donna Summer would be seen by many as a singles artist, but in my opinion she also released some superb albums. In particular the four albums that came out through 1976 to 1977; ‘A Love Trilogy‘, ‘Four Seasons Of Love’, ‘I Remember Yesterday‘ and ‘Once Upon A Time’. Of course the track that epitomizes the peak of her disco success was almost hidden away on ‘I Remember Yesterday’; that track was “I Feel Love“. There is a very strong argument to say that this song was one of the most influential songs ever, certainly of the 70s.  Without it there may never have been electro, techno and according to the Fatboy himself (that’ll be Norman Cook) no Acid House either. David Bowie recalled Brian Eno‘s reaction on hearing the song when they were recording in Berlin. Bowie said ‘One day in Berlin … Eno came running in and said, ‘I have heard the sound of the future.’ … he puts on ‘I Feel Love’, by Donna Summer … He said, ‘This is it, look no further. This single is going to change the sound of club music for the next fifteen years.’ Which was more or less right’

Her last big album of the 70s was 1979′s ‘Bad Girls’ which spawned three classic Donna Summer singles; “Hot Stuff”, “Bad Girls” and “Dim All The Lights”. Whilst the 70s was probably where she peaked she did release a few more classics. In the 80s there was “On The Radio”, “State Of Independence” and “She Works Hard For The Money”. Also in the 80s there was the stuff she recorded with Stock, Aitken and Waterman, notably “This Time I Know It’s For Real”. I heard Pete Waterman talking about Donna on Simon Mayo’s Radio 2 show earlier today. He said that she was by far one of the most amazing and talented vocalists he had ever worked with. She scored a few number ones on the US dance charts as late as 2008 and 2010. She also won five Grammys between 1979 and 1998.

She became embroiled in controversy over alleged derogatory comments about gay people and AIDS. However she refuted those claims and publicly apologised. But this should not mar her glittering career. I for one will miss such a great talent and my thoughts go to her family, friends and legions of fans across the world. Donna Summer RIP.

 

“It takes two to tangle, takes two to even compete” September 30, 2011


Once again I have some rather sad news to impart; Sylvia Robinson has died aged 76 of congestive heart failure. She was perhaps the first person to see the commercial potential of rap music. She had a long career in the music industry before her involvement in the development of rap.

Her first hit came in 1957 with partner Mickey Baker (they were billed as Mickey and Sylvia). The song was “Love Is Strange” which still gets a reasonable amount of airplay even today. I know that song very well but I particularly remember her for the classic 1973 single “Pillow Talk”. This was a stone cold classic sultry, sexy and soulful song which was probably a massive influence on Donna Summer’s early career. Notably her 1975 hit “Love To Love You Baby

Sylvia was born in New York as Sylvia Vanterpool and she said that her first exposure to what I suppose you could call proto-rap was at a club gig by DJ Lovebug Starski. He was calling out over a set of R & B sounds and eliciting great responses from his audience. Similar to the Jamaican Dance Hall and Sound System DJs who were known as Toasters.  Later she was quoted as saying “A spirit said to me, ‘Put a concept like that on a record and it will be the biggest
thing you ever had” So that is exactly what she did! In 1979 she pulled together a few DJs and MCs that at the time were not well-known outside of New York; Big Bank Hank, Wonder Mike and Master Gee. She produced their first song “Rappers Delight” which made great use of a sample loop from Chic’s disco classic “Good Times”. It started life as a truly wonderful 15 minute epic tune and was then edited to around 7 minutes for release as a single. It was a massive hit in  both the US and the UK. Whilst arguably it may not have been the first recorded rap song it was certainly the first commercially successful rap song. Robinson  went on to co write the Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel hit “White Lines (Don’t Do It)”

She set up the Sugarhill record label in 1979 which sadly closed in 1986. Her New jersey studio burnt down in 2002. Someone so talented and influential will be sorely missed. My thoughts go to her family, friends and fans all over the world. To remember this great lady please enjoy some classic Sylvia and Sylvia related moments;

 

“A great philosopher once wrote, naughty, naughty, very naughty” November 25, 2010


It would appear that the Performing Rights Society recently undertook a survey to determine the most controversial song ever and surprisingly many of the usual suspects are in the top 10. Controversially I am still just a little under the influence so to speak ;-) Here is the top 10;

Smack My Bitch Up – Prodigy

God Save The Queen – Sex Pistols

Relax – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Kim – Eminem

Killing In The Name – Rage Against The Machine

Ebeneezer Goode – The Shamen

Suicide SolutionOzzy Osbourne

Get Your Gunn – Marilyn Manson

Angel of Death – Slayer

Dear God – XTC

In my view the songs represent many people’s view of controversy, but not mine! I can see that people might have been angered and provoked by many things in their topics; religion, firearms, death/ suicide, drugs, violence, sex and being against the monarchy. Well maybe they’re right, but I for one do not think so, but it is, after all about the rock n roll! well not just the rock n roll but also the sex and drugs too. Hmmmmmm…… “Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll

I’m also surprised that there is no room for Max Romeo’s “Wet Dream“, Donna Summer‘s “Love To Love You Baby” and “Je T’Aime” from Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. However there were only 1,700 people in the survey! read the story on the BBC here.

 

“And now in my heart I know I can say what I really feel” November 15, 2010


Many of you already know that I am now engaged to the Catwoman (who obviously maintains a strong degree of security around her secret identity). But Catherine, oops sorry I mean Catwoman, made a public appearance last Saturday on the radio. As she is a VA does that mean it was a VA PA? Anyway she appeared on the Julia Booth Show to review the newspapers. The weekly guest is usually a local business person and that is how Catherine aka the Catwoman came to be invited.

She put on a great performance and has been invited back to do more shows in the future. The only criticism she had of herself was the overuse of the word ‘absolutely’. You can hear the show here on the BBC Radio York website (if you’re in the UK) for another few days. Catwoman’s appearance begins around two hours and ten minutes into the show. You can also check out Catherine’s (aka Catwoman’s) excellent website for her company Kaleidoscope Business Services by clicking here.

As I point out on a regular basis this is a music blog, so here are some radio and news related songs for your listening and viewing pleasure;

On The Radio” – Donna Summer

Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me)” – Reunion

Radio Radio” – Elvis Costello

News Of The World” – The Jam

 

“Pack his raincoat show him out” November 3, 2010


A balls up from the Met perhaps?

"You wanna use song titles in your evidence?" "You've got the gun, want me to play piano?"

A Metropolitan Police Firearms Officer has been suspended after giving evidence at the inquest into Mark Saunders. Saunders was a  Barrister who was killed by the police in May 2008 following a threatening standoff involving a shotgun at his Chelsea home.The suspension happened after it was discovered that he planted numerous song titles in his evidence. Among those songs were;

“No More Tears (Enough is Enough)” - Donna Summer and Barbara Streisand

“Point of No Return” – Duran Duran

“Line of Fire” – Journey

“Faith”George Michael

“Quiet Moments” Chris De Burgh

“Kicking Myself” – As Tall As Lions

“Fuck My Old Boots” – Membranes

Now I have played this game, along with Bullshit Bingo at various meetings over the years, however I would not dream of doing anything like it in such a serious situation. Just what kind of idiot is this copper? To think that he is allowed to carry a gun too! You can read the story at the Guardian and the BBC.

I have played said game on at least two occasions. Firstly back in the 90s when I worked in the Finance team at a large Pharmaceutical company. We decided to see who could get the most Phil Collins solo titles into their working day. I didn’t win. The champion was Dave, who actually managed to get “Sussudio” into a conversation! How did he manage that? Well largely because he always struggled to pronounce the name of one of the director’s PAs, which was Cecilia. As I recall the conversation went something along the lines of “Has anyone seen Ce-Ce-Ce-Sussudio” I also realise that this does not look even remotely funny when you read it, but you really had to be there.

The second occasion was a little more planned and prepared. I was working in the project delivery team at a large electrical retailer in the UK back in 2000. Four of us decided that we were going to liven up our fortnightly status meeting with the IT Director by slipping as many Elton John song titles into the meeting as we could. We could only work from a pre agreed list of 25 songs. Apart from me the other participants were Kim, Phil and Frank. Phil bottled out and refused to take part and Frank was unwell, so that left just me and Kim. We both managed 11 each, however at the AOB stage of the meeting Irene the IT Director turned to Kim and said why do you have a list of what appears to be song titles in front of you and columns headed with four names. Basically Kim bottled it and simply said to Irene, it’s Elton John bingo and it’s all Bill’s idea. ( For the non regular readers I am Bill, but I’m not Spartacus, well not in this story anyway) As it happens I had resigned earlier that week so no punishment was forthcoming thankfully. There is a rather amusing footnote though, Irene the IT Director actually scored three points without even knowing she was playing. So for Kim an myself that meant that we were the winners but that Phil had effectively finished fourth out of three! Confused? probably!

I would love to hear your own stories of bullshit bingo experiences!

 

“We’re not sorry if we tricked you” October 17, 2010


 

Insane Clown Posse post their appreciation of Batman! Bang! Pow! Boom!

 

So after 21 years of violent lyrics and posturing it turns out that Insane Clown Posse have been evangelical christians all along. Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope have revealed their religious views in a new song “Thy Unveiling” Apparently they have just been pretending to be violent, evil and wicked while all the while they were really just naughty choir boys! Some of the lyrics in the new song appear to be unequivocal evidence that they have come out of their christian closet. “Fuck it, we got to tell. All secrets will now be told. No more hidden messages …Truth is we follow GOD!!! We’ve always been behind him. The carnival is GOD. And may all juggalos find him. We’re not sorry if we tricked you.” But it would appear that many of their fans (aka juggalos) are feeling betrayed. Violent J is quoted as saying “You have to speak their language. You have to interest them, gain their trust, talk to them and show you’re one of them. You’re a person from the street and you speak of your experiences. Then at the end you can tell them: God has helped me.”

Personally I find it quite amusing and there must also be a whiff of hype about it all. Clearly this is the type of act who probably don’t have a great christian following, indeed they may have many anti-christian followers. So in a sense it was like Donna Summer‘s announcement a few years ago that AIDS was a plague sent by god to destroy homosexuals. A pretty stupid statement really. Firstly because it is totally wrong and secondly because much of her audience were gay men. So there must be a lesson for Joseph Bruce and Joseph Utsler (aka Insane Clown Posse) in how to alienate a large chunk of your audience. It’ll be interesting to see where their career goes from here. Click here to read the story on the Guardian website.

 

Newly converted fans rush to worship their new holy heroes!

 

BuzzFeed has a great list entitled ‘The 12 Most Ridiculous Insane Clown Posse Lyrics” Click here to check it out. My particular favourite is “Your son’s on crack and your daughter’s got nut stains on her back and they both fuckin’ smell like shit” which is taken from their song “Halls Of Illusion“. I bet these guys still secretly put ‘Kick Me’ labels on each others backs.

 

“I can’t bear to see the sun go down, casting stormy shadows all around” January 11, 2010


I guess no one missed it, as for every snow flake being unique it's all very well saying it but let me see the proof!

As I trudged through the slush and snow this morning I got to thinking about winter songs. There really aren’t too many of them are there? Especially if you discount all the Christmas and December specific songs and also songs that by default are associated with Christmas such as Winter Wonderland. I also thought that as this is the UK’s coldest winter for 30 years I ought to at least mark it with a post!

So during my break today I thought of five winter songs which you can find below, hopefully these will help you get through the cold and boredom, especially if you are still stuck indoors. I spoke to someone yesterday who hasn’t been able to leave the house since last Tuesday, hello Mum! I’m also damned sure that you can send me many more winter songs too, so that’s your challenge dear readers! No Christmas or December songs though and whilst all mine have Winter in the title that doesn’t have to be the case

Rock And Roll Winter” – Wizzard. This band were formed by the very talented Roy Wood who initially found fame with the Move and went on to form ELO with Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan, also off of the Move. Wood bailed out in 1972 to form Wizzard just a couple of years before ELO went stratospheric! This song ended up being release in the Spring in the UK owing to some kind of dispute with the label I believe

Winter” – Tori Amos – Ms Amos is a fantastic singer songwriter whose music I really enjoy, although not as much as Kate Bush, someone she is often compared too. She is also a good friend of one of my favourite authors; Neil Gaiman. Tori began composing her own instrumental pieces at the age of just 5

Winter Melody” – Donna Summer I find it a little ironic that one of my favourite songs from someone named Summer is actually about Winter! This song is taken from Donna’s Four Seasons Of Love album released in 1976. It contained just four tracks; Spring Affair, Summer Fever, Autumn Changes and Winter Melody. there is also a reprise of Spring Affair at the end. The album length was just over 30 minutes

Hazy Shade Of Winter” – Simon And Garfunkel – This song was written by Paul Simon and recorded by the duo for their Bookends album released in 1968. The Bangles later covered the song for the soundtrack of the 1987 film Less Than Zero 

It May Be Winter Outside (But In My Heart It’s Spring)” - Love Unlimited – These ladies began by providing backing vocals for the late great Walrus Of Love himself, Mr Barry White. The trio included his wife Glodean James and also his sister-in-law Linda James. This song reached the UK top 20 in 1975

Just to round this post up one casualty of this bad weather has been the cancellation of a number of gigs. My son’s band Steal The Smile were due to play at the FaceBar in Reading last Thursday, but the snow meant that the gig was cancelled. So if you were looking forward to seeing them last week here is a little something for you. Click here and go straight to their MySpace page, do not pass go and do not collect $200, just click and listen to some great songs from an excellent young band. They might not be winter songs but they are bloody good songs!

Swine Flu gets to the 100 Acre Wood

 

 
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