Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Hot 100 #7

I realise there were a bunch of other 7 bands I could have chosen to illustrate what's shaping up to be the biggest edition of this countdown to date. Bands like...

L7 - Pretend We're Dead

School of Seven Bells - Signals

The Temperance Seven - You're Driving Me Crazy

RF7 - Day At The Crisis

The Galileo Seven - Cruel Bird

Sirens of 7th Avenue - Shine On

And, of course...

Seventh Avenue - Love's Gone Mad

(I've never heard of them before either, but Jim in Dubai is a fan. I honestly had to check the lead singer wasn't a young Simon Cowell.)

However, I always had a lot of time for Shed Seven, or "what Oasis might have been if they hadn't been a bunch of absolute Aresholes" as I like to think of them. They put out a bunch of cracking Britpop singles, never took themselves too seriously, and always put on a good live show.

Here's a Positive Song For Negative Times from them...

Shed Seven - Getting Better

And now on with the show, which will, by necessity, be a lot of your tunes and very little of me talking this week, if I'm to have a cat in hell's chance of getting through all the 7 songs you suggested.

(Update: well, that didn't happen, did it?)

At least The Swede got his artists and titles the right way around this week...

Day off today and up late, yet still the first one in!

I know, it's like they all have better things to do first thing on a Tuesday morning, isn't it? But what could be better than this? Anyway, on you go, Swede...

Winston Wright & the Soul Kings - The Magnificent Seven

Pharoah Sanders - Seven by Seven

Owen Gray - Seven Lonely Days

I like that.

Can - Seven Days Awake

That... not so much.

Bob Dylan - Seven Days

The Hippy Boys - Seven Heaven

Wah! Heat - Seven Minutes to Midnight

The Soft Machine - And Sevens

Couldn't find that, so here's a cut from their album Seven...

Soft Machine - Bettle Bed

Baba Brooks - Seven Guns Alive

Nic Jones - Seven Yellow Gypsies

Pye Corner Audio - The Seventh Labyrinth

Appendix Out - The Seven Windows

I've got to say: Appendix Out... not a great name for a band. An impossible to google search too.

Hawkwind - Seven by Seven

Egg - Seven is a Jolly Good Time

Lynchie recalled: I met the prog rock band Egg at a bed & breakfast place in Dundee sometime around 1970 if memory serves me well. Can't say I was a fan.

George wondered: Of Dundee or Egg?

Lynchie replied: Both!

I used to write ads for the radio station in Dundee. Never got the opportunity to visit.

Ballroom - Seven's a Secret

They've been listening to a lot of Suede.

Niagara - Dance in Seven

Nope. Anyone else think The Swede is just making 'em up now to tax me?

Chuck Wood - ‎Seven Days Too Long 

At last! One I have in my library. Although I did get this version first...

Dexys Midnight Runners - ‎Seven Days Too Long

Miles Davis - Seven Steps to Heaven

Culture - Two Sevens Clash

Big Blood - Mouth in Seven Tongues

Another one that turned up some particular unpleasant youtube searches.

Chris Squire - Lucky Seven

Moon Duo - Sevens

Return to Forever - Beyond the Seventh Galaxy

Scott Walker - The Seventh Seal

Liz Phair - Dance of the Seven Veils

Yeah, I had to listen to that one a couple of times. Sigh.

Derrick Morgan - Seven Letters

Brian Eno - Seven Deadly Finns

The Soul Rhythms - Round Seven

Another made up one.

Causi Sui - Seven Hills

The Clash - Magnificent Seven

A lot of people thought that was going to be a shoe-in this week. Sorry about that.

David Bowie - Seven Years in Tibet

I kinda liked Earthling at the time. More than I should have done. But what about this...?

David Bowie - Seven

Don Drummond & The Tommy McCook Band - Lucky Seven

I could only find the Skatalites version. Hope that'll do ya.

The Skatalites - Lucky Seven

Love - 7 and 7 Is

Now that... that was a strong contender. Oop ip ip, oop ip ip, yeah!

Richard Thompson - Seven Brothers

Larry Coryell's 11th House - Seven Secrets

OK, well, I guess that's it for this week. Join me again next Tuesday when we move onto #6 on the countdown and...


Other people have suggestions?

You mean The Swede didn't cover everything?


Has the Swede left us any? pondered Charity Chic, before offering up the following...

Steve Young - Seven Bridges Road

(Alyson recalled the version by The Eagles.)

White Stripes - Seven Nation Army - surprised the Swede missed that one

Me too. That's a very strong contender.

Desmond Dekker - 007 (Shanty Town)

And how could we forget... 

The Goombay Dance Band - Seven Tears

No matter how hard we try to! said C.

Confession time: I had forgotten that.

Confession two: listening to it made me feel like a boy again.

God, I think The Swede has nailed this down, said Martin. Before coming up with his own list almost as long as The Swede's.

Sting - Seven Days (to irk the musos, right?)

I feel myself turning muso.

Youssou N'Dour and Neneh Cherry - Seven Seconds (might be in with a shout)

Well, it's definitely the best thing Neneh Cherry ever put her name to.

Oh wait, here's Alyson again...

My pick would be Youssou N'Dour/Neneh Cherry though with 7 Seconds as wrote about it recently so found out so much more of the back story - Again, don't include this bit, but here is a cut and paste:

Sorry Alyson, I need something to break up the endless list, so you're subbed.

'7 Seconds is apparently about the first positive 7 seconds in the life of a newborn child, a child who does not know about the problems and violence in our world. Three different languages were used in the song: English, French and Wolof, which is a language spoken in Senegal, Gambia, and Mauritania.'

See. That was far more interesting than just another boring list, wasn't it?

Speaking of which... back to Martin:

ABC - Seven Day Weekend

Now it turns out... sorry to interrupt again, Martin... that there are quite a few songs with this title. As supplied by Douglas...

Grace Jones--7 Day Weekend (different)

Foghat--Seven Day Weekend (yep, different)

Gary US Bonds--Seven Day Weekend (uh-huh, different)

Elvis Costello and Jimmy Cliff - Seven-Day Weekend (okay, that one's a cover)

You sure about that, Douglas? My research says it was written by Elvis & Jimmy. And I pulled the Deluxe Edition of Blood & Chocolate off the shelf to check. That would have been my choice, anyway.

Sorry, Martin. You were saying...

The Four Tops - Just Seven Numbers (Can Straighten Out My Life)

A fine track... but is it really the most obvious Four Tops 7?

No, it isn't, is it, Alyson?

The Four Tops - Seven Rooms of Gloom

Shivers. Spine. That would be in my Top Ten.

Any chance we could just let Martin finish?

John Entwistle - Cell Number Seven

That's all kinds of wrong. I like it.

They Might Be Giants - Seven

Florence & The Machine - Seven Devils

Nirvana - D-7

Bruce Springsteen - Seven Angels

That's an out-take. That's an out-take! Other bands would base their whole careers on the songs Bruce deems unworthy of release.

Frank Black - Seven Days

See, Sting? That's how you do it.

Graham Coxon - Seven Naked Valleys

Patti Smith - Seven Ways of Going

The Travelling Wilburys - Seven Deadly Sins

REM - 7 Chinese Bros 

Could you do an entire REM numbers countdown?

Probably. But not this week.

Over to Swiss Adam...

REM, obvs


Andrew Weatherall - Let's Do The Seven Again (a tale of heroic failure and circus acrobats)

Thank you. I like that a lot. Is he actually singing on that or has he drafted in guest vocalists?

Dion - The Seventh Son


Cola Boy - Seven ways To Love

Eric B and Rakim - Paid in Full (Seven Minutes of Madness Mix) a minute less than DSK

Swiss Adam also seconded a bunch of The Swede's suggestions, which you may remember from about three weeks ago when you started reading this post.

C, meanwhile, worried that all the good ones had gone, until...

Oh, got one, I think?! 

The Wipers: D7

The original, not the Nirvana cover. I really loved the Wipers.

(I should have filed that after Martin's suggestion, but frankly it's about 11.45 on Sunday night and I'm not even half way through these yet.)

One more. 

Elbow - Seven Veils

I have a lot of time for Guy Garvey, but I know I didn't spend enough time on that last album. That's lovely.

Alyson, meanwhile, is still worrying about appearing cool. Listen, Alyson, Martin proudly suggested Sting, so you've got nothing to worry about!

My hard drive obviously comes from Planet Uncool as very little overlap with the above choices at all. Other than Love and Youssou N'Dour, I have the following:

Madness - Return of the Los Palmos 7

Craig David - 7 Days

And on the 7th day, just like God before him, Craig David chilled.

James - Seven

That would have been in my list too.

Simon & Garfunkel - Seven O'clock News/Silent Night (Vietnam War era news bulletin in the background)

And I listen to that repeatedly, every Christmas.

Pretty sure I'm going to irk a lot of musos with that lot. 

Like I said, Martin too that crown this week. And it's not like you suggested Ken Dodd again, is it?

And, as a 7 band, my hard drive is littered with material by those giants of pre-teen pop S Club 7 as my daughter was just the right age for them at the turn of the millennium.

S Club 7 - Reach

Why is it I feel strangely nostalgic for that? This lockdown really is getting to me.

Now I know what you're all wondering: Where's George this week?

Wonder no more...

Has Moon Mullican's "seven nights to rock" been mentioned? (a song covered by BR549)?

I'm not sure, George. I'm not sure I can check through The Swede's list again. Apologies for any repeats this week.

Moon Mullican - Seven Nights To Rock

BR5-49 - Seven Nights To Rock

And let's not forget this version, recalled by Jim in Dubai...

Nick Lowe - 7 Nights To Rock

Or even this...

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band - Seven Nights To Rock

And Willie Mabon "7th son", a rhythm and blues song written by Willie Dixon?

Willie Mabon -7th Son

That's the original of Swiss Adam's Dion suggestion then, is it?

That does. however, lead very nicely into Rigid Digit's Top Choice this week...

Iron Maiden - Seventh Son of a Seventh Son

Surprised not already been mentioned:

Queen - Seven Seas Of Rhye

I'm kinda not surprised, but it was near the top of my list. I mean, listen to that intro!

And while we're here...

Queen - In Only Seven Days

Back to RD, who was also surprised nobody had suggested this...

Fleetwood Mac - Seven Wonders

Watch that video and you just know it was recorded on a day when they'd all fallen out with each other (even more than usual).


Seven Months - Portishead

Why are you doing them that way round, RD? Just when I trained The Swede to go artist first. Og, I don't have the energy to swap them round anymore...

(That Portishead song sounds like Shirley Bassey in The Twilight Zone.)

Seven Years - Norah Jones

Seven - Megadeth

From Norah Jones to Megadeth. Much respect.

777 - Danzig

Seven High - Damon Albarn

Bring back Danzig.

Seven Shades Of Nothing - Babyshambles

Here, Danzig, Danzig, Danzig! Come on, boy!

Seven Walls - Gaz Coombes

Tom Robinson Rule?

4st 7lp - Manics

3s and 7s - Queens Of The Stone Age

Thank you for reminding everyone of the Tom Robinson Rule.

Now back to Jim in Dubai...

Echo & The Bunnymen - Seven Seas

Surprised that hasn't come up yet.

Graham Fellows (Or Jilted John as some people may know him better as) - Seven Pints & a Suicide 

Or John Shuttleworth, adds Rigid Digit, a truly right thinking man if ever there was one. Who else could impart the panic and shock of opening the fridge and findings two margarines on the go.

Chew Lips - Seven

Positive Noise - Waiting for the Seventh Man

Revenge - 7 Reasons

Swiss Adams likes that one...

I woke up this morning with the riff from 7 Reasons by Revenge running in my head, the best New Order song not by New order. 

Back to Doug in Canada...

Okay, this time I am still late, and despite the whopper load of songs already listed, I see there are a few left to nab! I would of course have taken R.E.M, myself, but on the philosophy that they can't win two weeks in a row (can they?) I am glad my second favourite choice of all 7 songs is still available, so here goes:

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Sailing On The Seven Seas

Good call.

Duran Duran - The Seventh Stranger (which naturally counts double becasue
it is from the album "Seven and the Ragged Tiger")

Oh, in that case we have a winner!

Maybe not.

Cinerama - 7x

More like it. Mr. Gedge has far more chance around here than Mr. LeBon.

Audience--Seven Sore Bruises

That actually has featured here before, even though it's not the far superior Sophie Ellis Bextor band. Unfortunately, the version on youtube appears to have been hacked by the Russians, possibly as a revenge attack for The Scorpions. (See Sunday's post if you don't know what I mean. Do keep up.)

(Speaking of Ms. Ellis-Bextor... this was obviously a b-side...

Theaudience - The Last Seven Minutes With You)

Feeder - Seven Days In The Sun

Animals That Swim - Seven Days

Points for that. Great album.

Cracker - Seven Days (a different song, of course)

Kenney Chesney - Seven Days (... different still)

...and yet, still better than Sting.

Are we done yet? Of course not! Here's Brian...

Boy, talk about left with the scraps! I was going to wow you with Wah! Heat's Seven Minutes To Midnight,and that has already been mentioned at least twice! All of the best ones are taken, and even most of my songs from the B squad are already here. Time for the C squad:

The Apples in Stereo - 7 Stars

Me and Dean Martin - 7 Compton Street

Wow. They listened to a lot of The Smiths, didn't they?

Andy Pawlak - Seven Days

The Holidaymakers - Seventh Valley Girl

Never heard of them before, but I reckon Colin Meloy might be a fan.

Elvis Costello - Seven o'clock (Demo)

A precursor to Luxembourg. I do have that somewhere, but don't have the energy to upload it now.

The Clientele - Carnival on Seventh Street

Velocity Girl - Seven Seas (Echo & the Bunnymen cover that's well done)

Vocals a little too low in the mix for me. I'll stick with Mac.

Strawberry Switchblade - Dark 7

The Ocean Blue - F Major 7

...And my album pick is Roddy Frame with Seven Dials. Beware of the term 7" version/mix when you search through your archive! Ugh.

I hope this is the right one, Brian...

Roddy Frame - Seven Dials

And finally comes Alyson, with some sage advice...

Think you're going to have to trim this list down, probably...

I'm trying to avoid trimming at this late stage... much as I may live to regret that decision in the remaining weeks.

...but as is tradition I will throw in an oldie for sake of completeness:

Paul Evans - Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat

(definitely not the Bombarulina version.)

I'm glad you said that. I can go right off people.

To be fair though, it's not a patch on this...

Paul Evans - Hello, This Is Joannie

I'm guessing that's a different Paul Evans, though I stand to be corrected.

Good luck with getting through that little lot above (no pressure remember to deliver every week).

Good job too, considering how I failed to get through all this last week.

All of which leaves me with only the scrapings from my own hard-drive... but I may whittle that list down a little for my sanity this week. Lots of 7" mixes I had to skip past while searching through these.

Inspiral Carpets - Well Of Seven Heads

John Martyn - Seven Black Roses

The Teardrop Explodes - Seven Views of Jerusalem

Van Halen - The Seventh Seal

Lew Lewis Reformer - Lucky Seven

Philip Jeays - Seven Signs Of Ageing (Top Mid-Life Crisis Song alert!)

The Boo Radleys - Martin, Doom! It's Seven O'Clock

Uriah Heap - Seven Stars

The Blue Nile - Seven a.m.

The Broken Family Band - Seven Sisters

The Indelicates - A Book of the Seven Seals

The Undertones - Soul Seven

Willie Nelson & Ray Charles - Seven Spanish Angels

Trembling Bells - Seven Years A Teardrop

Laura Viers - Seven Falls

Barry Manilow - Seven More Years

The Walkmen - Seven Years of Holidays (for Stretch)

dEus - 7 Days, 7 Weeks

The Quireboys - 7 O'Clock

The Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash - Seven Steps

Jens Lekman - Tram #7 To Heaven

John Doe - 7 Holes

However... when I began this countdown, approximately 77 years ago, I knew immediately what number 7 would be on the Hot 100. Just as I've known all along what #1 will be.

Looking up at the list above me now, I can see a number of tracks I might pick instead of this one... some truly excellent tunes that I couldn't be without. But this is what I'm going with, as suggested by The Swede, because... erm... I don't really know why. But it's Prince, and that'll do nicely.

Plus the video is absolutely bonkers...

Only half a dozen to go. And so, as George once sang... I Want Your Six!

Monday, 25 May 2020

Neverending Top Ten #3.2: Stuck With You

Stuck With You is probably my least favourite song from one of my favourite albums of the 80s. Although it was the second biggest chart hit for Huey Lewis & The News in the UK (and their only other song, besides The Power Of Love, to crack the Top 20... something I now find astonishing), I always thought the video erred on the side of cheesy and the rest of the album somehow seems a step above. I know why it was a hit - it's a sweet little lovesong, and I don't actively dislike it... I just forget it when listing my favourite Huey songs, an activity which takes up more of my time than you'd probably think healthy.

All that said, the track took a severe leap up the rankings this weekend when it popped up on a mix we were listening to while Sam and I sat playing games at the kitchen table.

"Was this wrote in 2020, Daddy? Because it sounds like it's about the Coronavirus."

You know what, pal? I'm happy to be stuck with you too...

Plus, the video is a lot funnier than I remembered.

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Saturday Snapshots #137 - The Answers

I can't even spell Gina Lollobrigida, let alone make up any Snapshot-related puns about her.

I do know a song about her though.

Anyway, here are this week's answers. Thanks for playing, as always.

10. Wolves eat most of a baby deer, swapping pronoun for article.

Wolves are Los Lobos.

Bambi was the baby deer, with I swapped for A.

Los Lobos - La Bamba

9. It's tidier than all the other rooms in the hospital - don't knock it!

A neater ward?

I'll be here all this week.

Anita Ward - Ring My Bell

8. Bridge game disrupted by friend of a friend of King of Creation.

Pooh Sticks is a game you play with Eeyore and Tigger.

Alan McGee was the head of Creation Records.

Pooh Sticks - Alan McGee

(Or, to give it its full title, as Brian did: I Know Someone Who Knows Someone Who Knows Alan McGee Quite Well.)

7. Coins on the breeze really sting.

I was reading an article the other week about how this record was secretly written by the CIA as a way of further destabalising the Soviet Union prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall. The lead singer of The Scorpions denies this, but then he would, wouldn't he?

The Scorpions - Wind of Change  

(If you hated this at the time, I promise you it hasn't got any better.)

6. Larger chaps required for blurry dreamers.

A hazy fantasy required bigger trousers for the cowboy king...

Haysi Fantayzee - John Wayne Is Big Leggy

That song's a lot ruder than you realised at the time.

5. Ocean spray for the Evil Dead.

Ocean Spray make Cranberry Juice, my soft drink of choice.

The Evil Dead were zombies.

Cranberries - Zombie 

4. I am not a deviant - and neither is my redheaded ghost bride.

Take the I from deviant and you get Devant. With his Spirit Wife. Who is Ginger. (Like the biscuits they're eating.)

No, really.

David Devant & His Spirit Wife - Ginger

3. Evil wino Jonathan moves to rosebud house.

"Evil wino Jonathan" is a fine anagram.

Rosebud was the sledge opened by Citizen Kane, who lived in Xanadu. (Spoilers, Rol!)

Olivia Newton John - Xanadu

I missed an opportunity with this clue. I should have used Evil wino Jonathan is welcomed to the Pleasuredome. ("In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure-dome decree...")

That's how you make a music video. Although, frankly, I'd have watched it if was just Olivia.

2. #6 knighted - amazing!

#6 featured John Wayne: The Duke. Give him a knighthood and he'd become a Sir.

What a wonder!

Stevie Wonder - Sir Duke

Happy 70th birthday to Little Stevie.

1. Soup strung up over Kansas.

137 editions - that's how long it took me to get to my all time favourite song!

Campbells make soup.

Wichita is in Kansas.

Etc. Etc.

And I need you more than want you
And I want you for all time...

Keep driving that main road until next Saturday, then come back here for more Snapshots.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Saturday Snapshots #137

I make no apologies for the fact that this is the fourth time Debbie Harry has appeared as the opening image on Saturday Snapshots. I just keep finding different pictures of her posing with a camera. And I swear I only spend three or four hours a week looking.

Anyway, here are this week's posers. You know the deal by now. Don't get Union City Blue if you can't guess them all...

10. Wolves eat most of a baby deer, swapping pronoun for article.

9. It's tidier than all the other rooms in the hospital - don't knock it!

8. Bridge game disrupted by friend of a friend of King of Creation.

7. Coins on the breeze really sting.

6. Larger chaps required for blurry dreamers.

5. Ocean spray for the Evil Dead.

4. I am not a deviant - and neither is my redheaded ghost bride.

3. Evil wino Jonathan moves to rosebud house.

2. #6 knighted - amazing!

1. Soup strung up over Kansas.

If you're thinking I Know But I Don't Know... the answers will be here to put your mind at rest tomorrow.

Friday, 22 May 2020

2020 Contenders: Peter Pandemic

I choked on a fish finger while watching Charlie Brooker's Anti Viral Wipe. It was the description of Health Minister Matt Hancock that did it. That is my favourite line of the year.

Art Brut and We Are Scientists have released a split collection called The Wasabi EP. This makes it quite timely as Sam's favourite game at the moment is Sushi Go, and Wasabi is the card he always wants to get.

The first half involves We Are Scientists covering a couple of Art Brut songs, followed by a somewhat ill-advised tag team version of Handle With Care by the Travelling Wilburys. The second half features four new Art Brut songs. Which is good enough for me.

This is my favourite, and I think you might appreciate it, even if you're not an Art Brut fan. It's called Record Store day and the opening line is "Jack White's got a lot to answer for..." What else do you need? Oh, yes...
Those records aren't for playing
Those records are for eBaying!

Art Brut do not make limited edition singles
We make TOO MANY
There is a surplus...

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Positive Songs For Negative Times #19: The Tip

The tips have been closed since the lockdown began, but this week they were tentatively re-opened. Louise (who likes to regularly order me to throw out anything I haven't used in a week because she hates clutter) immediately ordered me to clean out the garage, fill the car with 6 weeks of garden waste, and make a journey to the nearest household waste site.

Tuesday morning, before work (from home), I did just that. The tips open at 8am round here and I arrived at 20 past... only to find a queue stretching round the metaphorical block. I turned around and headed home, thinking maybe I'd try again a little earlier the next day.

Wednesday morning, I was there at 7.40. There were approximately 20 cars in front of me. So I waited. 2 cars in, 2 cars out. At 8.50, I finally got to the front of the queue. I drove in and was waved to one of two designated parking bays where I was allowed to dump a good proportion of my rubbish. Not the glass, because the bottle banks were closed. Not the tetra packs, because I'd been directed to Bay 2 and the tetra pack disposal thing is in Bay 1. I wasn't allowed to walk past the driver in Bay 1 to use that, so I drove them home again. At least I got rid of that stinky garden waste.

I'm not writing this down in outrage - the restrictions are what they are. I'm writing it down to remember. Because these are the details we'll forget, and we shouldn't ever forget.

Here's my favourite song about household waste...


Wednesday, 20 May 2020

2020 Contenders: The Day The Politicians Died

I was delighted to discover that The Magnetic Fields have a new album out, packed with loads of short songs that are packed with pith, wit and things that'll make you nod your head and go "mmm".

Case in point, the track featured below: The Day The Politicians Died.

I'll just leave this here for you to ponder...

Billions laughed and no one cried
The day the politicians died
Celebrations spread worldwide
The day the politicians died
Even their own mothers
Their own husbands and wives
Said, "Now all men are brothers,
Let's get on with our lives"

Billions laughed and no one cried
The day the politicians died
Celebrations spread worldwide
The day the politicians died
We've risen from the mud
We're different from the beasts
We've got the taste for blood
So let's eat all the priests

Billions laughed and no one cried
The day the politicians died
Celebrations spread worldwide
The day the politicians died
It's all one big party now
'Cause all the politicians died

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