Friday 24 January 2014

My Top Ten Elevator Songs

I used to be a lift attendant.

"Really, how did you find that job?"

It had it's up and downs.

Special mention to the Frantic Elevators (probably the only time Hucknall will feature on this blog), Lift To Experience and the excellent Thirteenth Floor Elevators.

10. Misty's Big Adventure - Elevator, Escalator, Stairs

MBA seem to have all their up/down options covered here.

9. Jeff Lynne - Lift Me Up

Because Jeff, being an Englishman, knows we call 'em lifts. Great song; seriously bad video. 

8. Dubstar - Elevator Song

It's easy to forget Dubstar. One listen to this will remind you not to. And Sarah Blackwood is from Halifax, so extra points there too.

7. Stars - Elevator Love Letter

 An office affair with a rich girl...
My office glows all night long
It's a nuclear show and the stars are gone
Elevator, elevator
Take me home a far less crude elevator-related come on than the one we'll hear at #1.  

6. The Apples In Stereo - Hey, Elevator

...although "Elevator, take me straight to your bed" is, perhaps, our least subtle offering of the night.

5. Grandaddy - Elevate Myself

Classic anti-rock star lyrics from Jason Lytle & co.
I don't wanna work all night and day
On writing songs that make the young girls cry
Or playing little solos on the keyboards
So the kids will ask me how and why...
4. Television - Elevation

You can't go wrong with a track (any track!) from the majestic Marquee Moon.

3. Jackie Wilson - (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher

All. Time. Classic.

2. Prince - Let's Go Crazy

The video, of course, is nowhere to be found on the internet because Prince hates letting people hear his songs. But if the elevator tries to bring you down... go crazy: punch a higher floor!

1. Aerosmith - Love In An Elevator

One day I'll compile a Top Ten Cheesy Spoken Intros or a Top Ten Videos That Start Before The Song Begins or even a Top Ten Sexist Gags In Rock Videos. In all three, Love In An Elevator will come top. 

I can't help but love both the song and the video though... they're everything that was (gloriously) wrong about 80's American rock.

Which floor are you getting off at today?

Saturday 18 January 2014

My Top Ten Lipstick Songs

One for the laydeez, the cross-dressers and the Robert Smiths among you...

10. Lit - Lipstick & Bruises

Even if you're not a fan of early 21st century American punk-pop, this is worth watching for the amusing video about mullets. (Which has nothing to do with lipstick, but still.)

9. Caro Emerald - The Lipstick On His Collar

Not the sugary pop Connie Francis song from the 50s, this is way sexier...

8. Angelica - Lipstick Kiss

Only 34 youtube views? Angelica deserve more respect.

7. Christy Moore - Mystic Lipstick 

 I've only recently discovered Christy Moore, but this won't be the last we hear of him round these parts.

6. The Buzzcocks - Lipstick

Never let it be said that the Buzzcocks didn't ponder the great existential questions of our time...
When you kiss me
Does the lipstick on your lip stick on my face?
5. Benny Spellman - Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)

Recorded by everyone from the O'Jays to the Beautiful South to Ringo Starr, this is the original from 1962 New Orleans. Nice.

4. Elvis Costello - Lipstick Vogue

Ah, the other young Elvis... nobody did spite like him. 
Don't say you love me when it's just a rumour
Don't say a word if there is any doubt.
Sometimes I think that love is just a tumour;
you've got to cut it out.
3. Skint & Demoralised - Red Lipstick

Matt Abbott's biggest/only hit/"hit" single. It reached #100 in the hot one hundred.

Which only goes to prove that the record-buying public are idiots.

She likes red lipstick,
Fish & chips,
Orange juice and trips to the seaside...

2. Echo & The Bunnymen - Lips Like Sugar

I might be stretching the rules a little here, but I figure if she's really giving you sugar kisses, either it's a flavoured lipstick... or she's been gorging on Mars Bars prior to the snog. Either way, this is the first time I've managed to squeeze an Echo & The Bunnymen song onto this blog in 18 months, which is a crime against all reason. How the hell did it take me this long?

1. Pulp - Lipgloss

And this is why Jarvis Cocker should be canonised...
And you feel such a fool,
for laughing at bad jokes,
and putting up with all of his friends,
and kissing in public.
What are they gonna say, when they run into you again?
That your stomach looks bigger and your hair is a mess,
and your eyes are just holes in your face.
And it rains every day,
and when it doesn't,
the sun makes you feel worse anyway. Oh!

Sorry, Shaky: Lipstick, Poweder & Paint wasn't your finest hour.

But which lipstick lyric makes you want to pucker up?

Thursday 9 January 2014

My Top Ten Gangster Songs

Let's go sleeping with the fishes... cement shoes optional.

10. Bruce Springsteen - Murder Incorporated

Always good to start the new year with a bit of Bruce... new album out Monday, boss-fans! (Can't wait.)

9. Fatboy Slim - Gangster Trippin'

Of course, I don't like dance music. Yet I always had a soft spot for Norman, as far back as his Housemartin days. This is one of his best - particularly the bit where he dips the tune in his bath and lets it slowly float to the surface.

8. Talking Heads - Gangster Of Love

In which David Byrne calls out Al Capone. I know who I find scarier.

See also this other famous Gangster of Love / Space Cowboy who speaks of the "pompatous" of love. (He made that word up.)

7. Alabama 3 - Woke Up This Morning

The theme tune to The Sopranos, of course. Although I never watched The Sopranos and I was into the A3 beforehand anyway. Really. I planted that flag. Shoot me if I'm lying.

6. Ice-T - O.G. Original Gangster

You could probably fill a horse's head with gangster rap songs. This is the only one I had space for... perhaps 'cos Ice namedrops Marvel Comics halfway through.

5. Kid Creole & The Coconuts - Stool Pigeon

Remember, if you want to squeal to the FBI, they can make a deal... make it worth your while. (And they like a guy who will stab a friend.) Ha-cha-cha-chaaa!

As Stephen Malkmus says in his excellent new song: "We grew up listening to the music from the best decade ever..."

4. The Specials - Gangsters

 Terry Hall dreads to think what the future will bring... when we're living in gangster time.

3. Catatonia - I Am The Mob

Ah, Cerys, much as I enjoy your folky solo offerings and eclectic 6Music radio show, I'll always pine for the glory days of Catatonia. No one could sing "When duty calls, I'm gonna bust some balls," in quite the same way.

2. Morrissey - First of the Gang To Die

You probably expected this to be Number One, knowing your host, the Top Tenmeister General. It's certainly one of Mozzer's finest moments of the 21st Century: a touching love song to his Mexican gang chums / fanbase. And it's not his only gangster record either - I could easily have gone for Ganglord or the majestic Last of the Famous International Playboys, his slightly dubious ode to Reggie and Ronnie Kray. Ah, but, but, but...

1. Paper Lace - The Night Chicago Died

Go on, admit it, you really didn't expect this, did you? Not at Number One, surely? But they don't make 'em like this any more... some might say "for good reason". Me: I say, EMBRACE THE CHEESE!

Brother, what a night it really was
Brother, what a fight it really was
Glory be!

Sorry, Coolio fans, Paradise wasn't half a nice as any of these! But who's your Godfather...?

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