With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Let me get the story straight you never gave me a break” November 16, 2016


susie-black-the-damned

Regular readers will know that I am a fan of classic British punk band and now old men like me The Damned. In fact I even saw them play live recently. Anyway did you know that there is a link between Vanian, Sensible and the boys and Aussie legend Nick Cave? Well there is!

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Are you familiar with the Damned’s 1985 album ‘Phantasmagoria’? Yes I know it was ¬†their major label debut (thank you MCA), but did you know that Nick Cave’s future wife Susie Black was on the cover? Well she was indeed! That was another ‘With Just A Hint Of Mayhem’ public service announcement. Obviously I took another opportunity to play Nick Cave’s magnificent “Into My Arms” for my beautiful wife Catherine a.k.a. Catwoman. In case you didn’t know, that is our songūüôā

 

 

Skeleton Tree – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds September 11, 2016

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:49 pm
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skeleton-tree

The sixteenth album from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds was released on 9th September 2016. One thing that you can say about Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is that they are never dull or boring, the new album ‚ÄėSkeleton Tree‚Äô proves that point. There is much despair, anguish and torment in most of the records eight tracks. All the lyrics on the album are written by Nick Cave and as usual the music was¬†composed in tandem between Cave and Warren Ellis. While none of these lyrics¬†are written in the first person I wonder how much of the lyrical content is drawn from the tragic accident that saw his 15-year-old son die last year. According to most reports though some of these songs may have been recorded before the death of his son.

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The production from Nick Cave and Warren Ellis is clean and fresh and the music is sparse and at times desolate giving a marvellous platform for Nick‚Äôs complex lyrics which sometimes step from the depths of complexity to become clear and simple. Opening track ‚ÄúJesus Alone‚ÄĚ hits you like a sonic assault on all of your senses. Cave transcends the rock star mould, he is a true artist. As with many of his songs God gets a few mentions; there is a line in ‚ÄúJesus Alone‚ÄĚ which hits hard and calls out on people to question religion, well in my opinion it does; ‚ÄėYou believe in God, but you get no special dispensation for this belief now‚Äô.

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‚ÄúGirl In Amber‚ÄĚ is one of the most haunting songs of loss that I have heard in many years, I was moved immensely by it. The opening line, ‚ÄėSome go and some stay behind‚Äô, drags you in to a desperately sad combination of music and lyrics. If this track fails to move you then I suspect that you weren‚Äôt listening or you have an ice-cold heart. For me ‚ÄúAnthrocene‚ÄĚ contains some of the finest lyrics Nick Cave has ever written. In someone else‚Äôs hands this song would come across as a depressing dirge, but backed by the immaculate Bad Seeds Nick Cave turns it into a beautifully crafted song that tears at every one of your emotions. ‚ÄúAnthrocene‚ÄĚ will work as a standalone poem too. The word itself is, I think, derived from the Greek for what might be translated as new man.

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The most soulful vocal on the whole album, and the vocals are excellent throughout, is provided on ‚ÄúI Need You‚ÄĚ. This is another emotionally wrenching ballad where the lyrics seem almost conjoined with the music. How can you fail to be moved by the simple starkness and darkness of the line ‚ÄúNothing really matters, nothing really matters when the one you love is gone‚ÄĚ? Danish soprano Else Torp provides a haunting vocal on ‚ÄúDistant Sky‚ÄĚ. The album‚Äôs title track and closing song ‚ÄúSkeleton Tree‚ÄĚ feels more hopeful than anything else here. With its closing repeated line ‚Äúand it‚Äôs alright now‚ÄĚ left me in a relatively uplifted mood.

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This album is among the most beautiful that I have ever heard. It is one that you should take the time to sit and listen to with no distractions. In my opinion it is a big contender for album of the year and I can see it topping many end of year polls. If you love Nick Cave then you will clearly take this album into your soul. If you are new to Nick Cave or haven’t listened to him and the Bad Seeds much then this isn’t a bad place to start becoming more acquainted with him.

 

“We have climbed so high, never wanna die” January 15, 2011


I used to have this poster on my bedroom wall as a teenager

I won’t go as far as addressing you as constant reader as Stephen King does, but I will say dear regular reader thank you for coming to this blog every so often. In particular a big thank you to those of you who send me links to stories that might be worth posting about. I do try to use all of them, although I haven’t done much of that in recent weeks. However I intend to rectify that today with a double whammy of two car related stories. The first was provided by my good friend Nick Horslen and the second from yet another good friend, Tom Wycks. Strangely or appropriately both are car related, so perhaps you can guess the kind of songs that will follow!

Apparently a few days ago whilst out and about in LA actor Peter Fonda discovered a dead body in a car. It wasn’t his, I mean the car wasn’t his, but then neither was the body, but that would have been a hell of a story too wouldn’t it? he saw the body slumped over the wheel and reported it to police. I wonder if he thought it might have been George Michael asleep at the wheel again. You can read the Fonda and the Dead Body (now that’s a good name for an indie band don’t you think?) story on the Guardian website. There are a couple of easy music links to any story involving Peter Fonda. Firstly his involvement in acting and co writing the film Easy Rider means I simply have to include the magnificent “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf from the soundtrack of the movie. This song was said by many to be the first heavy metal song, whether that is true or not it may well be the first song to use the phrase in its lyrics. Secondly it is Peter Fonda’s voice that you can hear sampled on Primal Scream‘s excellent “Loaded”

Nick Cave 1 Speed Camera Nil

The second story is now a few weeks old, but it involves gruff Aussie Crooner Nick Cave who attacked a speed camera in Hove with his car. Now I don’t condone vandalism, but frankly there must be a modicum of praise given to someone who decommissioned a speed camera. But somehow I don’t think the police and the judiciary will see it that way. But joking aside for a moment whilst Nick’s Jaguar was obviously damaged both he and his 10-year-old twin sons were fine. You can read the story here on the BBC News site.

So moving along a car and road travel theme here are a few related songs for you pleasure;

 

100th Post =100 songs December 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — justwilliam1959 @ 11:02 pm
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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 РA 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 РThe first single from the wonderful Diamond Dogs album. A glorious Rolling Stones pastiche on which, unusually, Mr Bowie plays lead guitar

Heroes  David Bowie РInspirational 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 РThat 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 РIn my humble opinion the finest song by the finest band ever!

London Calling  Clash РIf 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‚Äôt 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 РAnother moptops classic that I also sing very badly whilst under the influence of alcohol

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

Do Anything You Wanna Do      Eddie And The Hot Rods РIn 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 РFor 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 РGreat song from a great album, such a shame that it still rings true after nearly 40 years

September        Earth, Wind And Fire РE, 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 РSo many people thought that Lydon would do nothing after the Pistols, how very wrong they were.

Suspicious Minds          Elvis Presley РElvis 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 РProbably the best band in the world today

Bernadette        Four Tops РLevi 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 РAs 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 РMy 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 РA real torch song, sets the hairs on the back of my neck on end

If Loving You Is Wrong   Millie Jackson Рand 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 РPersonally 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 РA 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 РThe 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 РThis 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 РIf 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 РRegular 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 РThe 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 РPaul 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 РFor 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 РOh 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 РThis was the first single I ever bought. I got it from Uxbridge market in 1969

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

William It Was Really Nothing     Smiths РHow 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 РThe 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 РThere 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 РAnother 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 РFor me this song, especially the riff, evokes the 60s

It’s Only Rock N Roll     Rolling Stones РNow 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 РDylan 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 РTaken from the excellent Silk Degrees album from 1976 and the track I use to soundcheck any new hi-fi equipment even now

I‚Äôm 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 РI was always going to include something from the Boss and it was always going to be this song

Lose Yourself   Eminem РIn 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 РIt 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 РA 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 РA terrific Norman Whitfield production and that intro still blows me away!

Let‚Äôs 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 lurveūüėČ

The Love I Saw In You Was Just A Mirage          Smokey Robinson And The Miracles РBob 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 РAnother classic written for the boys by the Motown house writers billed as the Corporation

Staggerlee        Lloyd Price РAnother 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 РRoxy 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‚Äôs 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 РOK 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 РHow 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 РThe 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 РJack 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‚ÄôYer Make ‚ÄėEr¬† 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 РHow 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 РWhat he himself described as plastic soul and one of the songs I can recite the whole lyric of

 

 
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