Friday, 12 February 2016

My Top Ten Linda Songs



If I live long enough, I'll do a Top Ten for every name in the phone book. Here's ten songs about Linda... or, as with the lady above, Lynda.

Special mentions to Linda Ronstatd, Linda Thompson, Linda McCartney, Linda Perry, Linda Lewis, Linda Clifford, Linda Jones, Linda Lyndell and Linda Gail Lewis (Jerry Lee's sister).


10. Leroy Taylor - Oh Linda

Originally released in 1967, this forgotten soul number was resurrected in the UK by the Northern Soul DJs of the 70s. Can't find much out about Leroy Taylor himself, but I always like to hear that old soul sound.

9. The Valves - Linda Vindaloo

Gritty Scottish punk from 1979 that I probably came across through JC, The Vinyl Villain

8. Barry Manilow - A Linda Song

From one year earlier than The Valves, yet as far away from Scottish punk as you can get. And the reason I'll never be a cool music blogger: I actually prefer this one.

7. Mark Collie - Linda Lou

Shameless Country Song of the week - it even begins with Mark drinking a Pepsi while gassing up his truck. See also Linda Lou by The Tractors, which is a bit more Creedence. 

6. John Prine - Linda Goes To Mars

An amusing John Prine number about a bored wife and her overactive imagination.

5. The Lemonheads - Layin' Up With Linda

Originally recorded by American punk rock nutbag GG Allin and his backing band at the time, The Carolina Shitkickers, though I prefer Evan Dando's version because his voice always gives me shivers. King Slacker that he is, I wish he'd get off his lazy arse and record some more songs.  
Layin' up with Linda used to be fun
Nobody ever paid the rent, there was never anything done
Then one day I killed her, now I'm on the run
But living with Linda used to be fun 
4. Luke Haines - Linda's Head

From the mind-boggling, yet hugely nostalgic, concept album 9 1/2 Psychedelic Meditations On British Wrestling Of The 1970s & Early '80s, this is Luke Haines's tribute to 80s wrestlers "Exotic" Adrian Street and his tag-team partner / manager / wife, Miss Linda. I could make this stuff up, but it wouldn't be as interesting. 


3. Bruce Springsteen - Linda, Let Me Be The One

One of many "lost" Springsteen tracks recorded in the mid-70s (around the time of Born To Run), this was finally released in the late 90s on the Tracks box set. It's classic rock 'n' romantic storytelling... as with so many of those " lost" songs, hearing it now you realise how much of a perfectionist Bruce was, deciding not to release it for all those years.
The midnight boys are outside
Scraping tears up off the street
Standin' guard beneath the window
Where only Linda sleeps
The leader is a kid named Eddie
Walkin' like an angel in defeat
He trashes her old man's car, slashes Linda's name in the seat
And calls out
Linda will you let me be the one!
2. Hue & Cry - Looking For Linda

A chance meeting with a lady called Linda McAllister in a Stirling pub inspired inspired Pat & Greg Kane to write this tribute, possibly as a way of encouraging her to keep fighting as she was having quite a hard time of it, by all accounts. Released in 1989 (not a great year for music), it remains my favourite Hue & Cry single, though (like a lot of late-80s chart hits) it sounds a little thin and synthy today.

1. The Beach Boys - Lady Lynda

A big 70s hit for the Beach Boys in the UK, though it didn't do much for them back home, the melody of Lady Lynda is based on Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring. The song was written by Beach Boy Al Jardine and Ron Altbach of King Harvest (the band who did the original version of Toploader's big 90s hit Dancing In The Moonlight). The Linda in question was Jardine's wife... when they divorced later, he tried rewriting it as Lady Liberty (in... erm... tribute to the Statue of Liberty). Yeah, like that was going to work.





Which is your Lady Linda?

Alternatively, if you'd like to suggest a name for me to have a go at creating a Top Ten... just leave a comment. I always like a challenge.

2 comments:

  1. A few rare old tunes here. Bonus points for the for the Springsteen inclusion - I'd completely forgotten that one.
    You mentioned Linda McCartney at the top of the post, don't forget Macca's brief ode to her on his first solo LP, 'The Lovely Linda'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hadn't forgotten it. ;-)

      That said, Macca will have his turn in the spotlight shortly...

      Delete

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