Friday 22 January 2016

My Top Ten Yeah Yeah Songs

I really wanted to pay tribute to the late Glenn Frey this week (far too many of our heroes are dying young at the moment), but sadly I'm moving house* on Monday so I don't have a spare second. But Glenn... you'll be missed.

(*I would have reposted My Top Ten Songs About Moving House, but as it's only 18 months since our last move - don't ask - it seemed too soon.)

Instead, here's one I prepared earlier...

It all begins with The Beatles... or so they say. Of course, the Beatles didn't invent rock 'n' roll, but maybe they did invent pop music. OK, pop music had been around for a long time before the Fab Four hit the Cavern, but maybe pop music wouldn't mean what it means today if it hadn't been for the Beatles. I dunno, Bob Stanley or someone far smarter than me about pop music will have a theory on that, I'm sure. Anyway, ten songs indebted, one way or another, to the chorus hook of She Loves You, since, if we can only agree on one thing today, it's that the Beatles surely invented the idea of putting more than one yeah together in a song lyric.

Yeah, yeah, yeah...

Oh, and special mention, of course, to Karen O and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

10. Spiritualized - Yeah Yeah

"It's like the Kings of Leon..... but good," is the funniest youtube comment I've read this week.

J. Spaceman is still a bit of a dick though. More incisive musical criticism to follow.

9. Cyndi Lauper - Yeah Yeah

Sometimes, even at the height of her fame, Cyndi was a little bit too kooky for her own good.

8. Cheap Trick - Yeah Yeah

Before they became leading lights of the power pop scene, Cheap Trick had more of a hard rock sound on their eponymous debut album in 1977. Twenty years later, they released a second eponymous album which harkened back to their early days. This comes from that.

7. Jackson Browne - Yeah Yeah

This one's only from a couple of years ago, but it sounds like it could have been lifted from Browne's 70s heyday. The guitar also sounds very reminiscent of Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London, but as Browne produced that and was good friends with Warren, we'll let him off.

6. Black Grape - Yeah Yeah, Brother

Dedicated to the woman who betrayed Shaun Ryder.

You wouldn't want that on your cv.

5. The Pioneers - Let Your Yeah Be Yeah

Written and produced by Jimmy Cliff, taking a biblical quotation (Matthew 5:37, scripture fans) and turning it into a chat up line. The reggae original is the most well-known very, but Brownsville Station also did a pretty cool hard-rocking version too.

4. The Pogues - Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah

What if the Pogues had been around in the 60s? They might have appeared on Ready, Steady, Go as in this video recreation... but I don't think Shane would have been allowed to sing, "I love your breasts, I love your thighs".

3. Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames - Yeh Yeh

Clive Powell wasn't a very rock 'n' roll name, was it? Apparently, Clive / Georgie holds an interesting Top Ten record. The only three Top Ten singles he ever scored all went to Number One. He released plenty more singles, but the only ones that got into the Top Ten all went to the top of the chart. This was one of them... I'm sure you can guess the other two.

They Might Be Giants did a great cover of this too.

2. The Wedding Present - Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah

Always willing to go that extra Yeah to get your attention, David Gedge plays International Man of Mystery in this classic Weddoes single from Watusi. 

1. The Flaming Lips - The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song

Just as mental as anything else the Flaming Lips have ever recorded, but with an added political element. Wayne Coyne claims the song isn't only pointing the finger at clueless politicians but also asking us what we would do if we were in the same position.

I never copy stuff word for word from iffypedia, but their description of the video is even more funny than the video itself...
The music video has three segments. In the first, Asian women forcibly tape hamburgers to a businessman and then he is let loose, chased by several shirtless obese men and watched by amused but non-interfering police officers. In the second segment, a woman resembling Gwen Stefani similarly covered by doughnuts (suggesting that the three Asian women are supposed to criticize Stefani's objectification of her entourage of four women who play "Harajuku Girls"), and is chased by the police officers. In the third segment, Wayne Coyne - who portrays a ruthless leader - has raw steaks and some lengths of intestine stapled to him and gets chased by a werewolf.

Which one makes you go Yeah Yeah Yeah? And which one makes you go No No No?


  1. This is a pretty sharp top ten Rol and has covered all the 'Yeahs' I can come up with off the top of my head. Particularly great to see The Pioneers making the cut.

    1. Thanks, Swede. I still have a few more Yeahs up my sleeve. Next week... My Top Ten Oh Yeah Songs. (Oh yeah!)

  2. Georgie Fame has always been one of my top performers. Thank you for including it.

  3. Looking forward to a top ten of "No no no" songs, in which case I pre-emptively nominate the Boyce/Hart-penned Last Train To Clarksville by The Monkees.

    I'm getting ahead of myself, I know.

  4. I don't thinkI knew a single one of these...


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