Friday, 4 March 2016

My Top Ten Honest Songs

I can honestly say these are the most honest songs in my record collection...

10. The Aliens - Honest Again

The Aliens were the brainchild of Lone Pigeon: former Beta Band member and brother of King Creosote Gordon Anderson. This is from their 2007 debut album, Astronomy For Dogs, and it sounds, as far as I can tell, like ELO if Jeff Lynne hadn't spent ALL his childhood listening to the Beatles.

9. The Innocents - Honest I Do

Debut 1960 hit from this short-lived American harmony group. Lovely stuff, stumbled across on a dusty old compilation.

8. Lace Curtains - Bedroom Honesty

Obscure American indie - no idea where I came across this one, but it's a cool little infidelity song.
Teeth mark bruise on your arm
That's what he gave you
No chocolates in a heart

Just the same old screw
When you take off your clothes
And realize you have no more secrets

I hope it's a surprise
That this is as intimate as it gets
7. John Mellencamp - Hard Times For An Honest

Two weeks running for Johnny Cougar , and rarely does his live up to his reputation as a Midwest-Dickens than in this 1987 album track... it could almost be his theme song.

6. The Streets - Can't Con An Honest Joe

Sounding, as he does, very much like a Guy Ritchie creation, Mike Skinner really ought to get on my nerves. But I love his Arfur-Daley-meets-Eminem routine and I wish he hadn't packed it in.
It's all one big con.
5. The Broken Family Band - Honest Man's Blues

Classic from the Welcome Home, Loser album of 2005
If you work in a whorehouse you're gonna get fucked
If you sleep in a river you're gonna get ducked
If you count all your chickens you'll die like a dog
And if you lie to me again I'll take you closer to God
While I'd given up on hearing anything new from this excellent band after they split in 2009, I was overjoyed to discover that lead singer / songwriter Steven James Adams has released two solo albums - his latest came out just last week and is now on my ever-expanding wishlist. 

4. Billy Joel - Honesty

Every time I post a Billy Joel song, I find myself wondering why he quit. (That's become something of a recurring theme in this post, hasn't it?) As a teenager, he was one of my absolute favourite pop stars - look, if you came here muso-cred, move along now. But it's been 23 years since he released any new material (though he continues to tour) and I've never heard an explanation as to why - particularly when many of his contemporaries (Bruce, Jackson Browne, James Taylor) press ever onwards. I keep hoping for an honest revelation from the man himself - but he even turned down an offer for his autobiography and gave the publishers back their $3m advance.
Honesty is such a lonely word. 
Everyone is so untrue. 
Honesty is hardly ever heard. 
And mostly what I need from you.
Apparently Beyonce covered this. But I'm not hip so I wouldn't know.

3. The Wedding Present - Be Honest

There's something going on with youtube at the moment where a lot of the tracks I try to link to aren't working, so I'm having to link to sub-standard live versions instead. Which is a crying shame in the case of Be Honest, because the false start on the Bizarro version is classic. 

2. Dawes - To Be Completely Honest

So I was talking to my good friend and fellow muso Steve (not that one) Miller the other day and I happened to mention two artists I'd been digging lately were The Front Bottoms and Dawes. I went on to point out that my only problem with Dawes was their name - I even said something like "it has to be the stupidest name for a band ever (unless they were actually a Doors tribute band, in which case it'd be quite cool)". I went on to hammer my point home by saying that it was as bad as calling yourself Hoo or Smiffs or... I dunno, Ryan Adams.

Steve pointed out one slight flaw in my argument: "It's still a better name than The Front Bottoms".

Anyway, Dawes. Despite the name, I'm digging their latest album, All Your Favourite Bands, a lot. Kind of like The Eagles if they'd got Mark Knopfler in to play guitar. Which, I know, you're probably thinking sounds like a terrible idea. But it works for me.

Sadly, there's only a live version of To Be Completely Honest available on youtube, and it doesn't really do the song justice. Plus, it's nowhere near the best track on the album. But. Y'know. Still #2.

1. Sam Cooke - You Send Me
Honest you do,
Honest you do,
Honest you do.
I thought about not giving this the Number One because it doesn't have the h-word in the title, but honestly? It's as close to perfection as you can get and not be dreaming.

Can you honestly think of any others...?


  1. I'm putting a shout out for the late and lovely Lynsey de Paul with No Honestly

    1. I prefer Sugar Me, but go on, I'll allow it.

  2. Great to see any list that features the great Lone Pigeon. How about 'Honest With Me' by Bob Dylan?

    1. Not heard that one before, but I just gave it a spin and it's not bad Bob.

  3. Charity Chic lead me here. Sorry I'm late but looking forward to catching up. Great blog.

    1. Good to have you here, Singing Bear.


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