Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Hot 100 #51

Being an old X-Files junkie (I even have Fox Mulder's "I Want To Believe" poster on the wall in my office), I've always had a fascination with the "secret" air force base in the Nevada desert where strange things happen involving crashed alien spaceships, experimental aircraft using salvaged alien technology and autopsies of alien corpses. [Redacted by the U.S. government.)

Let's start this week with a couple of tunes that escaped from Area 51. Curiously, both are instrumentals. Perhaps their lyrics were redacted too?

The Chartlatans - Area 51

The Typhoons - Area 51

Oh, and one more that appears to fit the same pattern...

Tangerine Dream - Landing On 51

Back in the real world, and onto your suggestions, the most obvious of which this week was suggested - not by The Swede - but by Martin...
Highway 51 Blues, by Bob Dylan which, in its guitar motif at least, seems to owe a debt to the Everly Brothers.
Not a Dylan original that, it was written by Curtis Jones. Personally, I always get it mixed up with Highway 61 Revisited... too many numbered highways in the Dylan canon.

Martin also offered the following, helpfully including links to make my life easier...
51-7 by Camper van Beethoven is pretty fair.

The atypical I Move On by Cowboy Junkies contains the line "51 years, a child upon the Earth, trying to find the answers without digging in the dirt..."

12:51 by The Strokes sounds exactly how you'd expect (no bad thing).

...and one more...

Koka Kola by The Clash starts with the line "In the gleaming corridors of the 51st floor..."
Lynchie, meanwhile, claims to have been eagerly awaiting number 51 in this countdown so that he could suggest this...
Vern Gosdin (Vern The Voice) - "Set 'Em Up Joe"

They got a vintage Victrola 1951
Full of my favorite records that I grew up on
They got ole Hank and Lefty and there's B24
Set 'em up Joe and play "Walking The Floor"
Set 'em up Joe and play "Walking The Floor"
I'll definitely save that for when I do my second volume of jukebox songs.

Rigid Digit went trippy this week...
Pink Floyd re-recorded Careful With That Axe, Eugene for the film Zabriskie Point and gave it the new title of:

Come In Number 51, Your Time Is Up
Which is all very well, but Careful With That Axe, Eugene is a far better title.

Forgoing Dylan this week, The Swede offered these two...
Super Furry Animals - Hit & Run

'Will the dinosaurs come back and haunt us? I've a bet down fifty-to-one...'

Steve Gunn & the Black Twig Pickers - Cardinal 51
Black Twig Pickers gets an extra point.

Then Swiss Adam suggested one of the ones from my own shortlist...
The Jimi Hendrix Experience - 51st Anniversary ("Purple Haze B-side no less.")
Now, before we get onto this week's winner, here are a few more from my own archives...

The Descendents - Orgo 51

Pelle Carlberg - 51, 3

And this week's runner-up...

Aimee Mann - High On Sunday 51

But it seemed clear we had to deal with Little Britain this week, or the 51st State of the United States as we've often cruelly been dubbed due to the "special relationship" which isn't really that special anymore. A number of songwriters have commented on this, including...

New Model Army - 51st State (as suggested by Charity Chic & Alyson)

The Enemy - 51st State

And, of course, these guys, this week's unanimous winners thanks to block-voting, hanging chads and Russian facebook interference from Charity Chic, C (obviously!), Lynchie and others...

Next week: we're halfway there! Numero cinquanta! Your suggestions are welcome as always. No need to be coy, Roy...


  1. 50ft Queenie by that naughty PJ Harvey springs to mind!

  2. People Like Us - Talking Heads (Byrne & Co go country!)

    "In 1950 when I was born
    Papa couldn't afford to buy us much
    He said be proud of what you are
    There's something special 'bout people like us"

  3. "Battleship Chains" (made famous by) The Georgia Satellites. Warren Zevon covered this song. It rocks!
    I love the original version by The Woods, cos it's got a ship siren at the start!

    "You got me tied down with battleship chains
    50 foot long and a two ton anchor
    Tied down with battleship chains
    50 foot long with a two ton anchor"

    By the by - there's more than a few songs out there with 50/50 in the title or lyrics - do they count? And was there a rule about "1950's" being used?

    I bet someone picks that Paul Simon song.

    1. Loved the Georgia Satellites and saw them a couple of times, but had absolutely no idea that Battleship Chains was a cover! Thanks for that FBCB.

  4. From my iTunes library i have 50 Shades of Blue by Edwyn Collins and 50 Years of Comparative Wealth by Steve Diggle.

    Jim Dubai

  5. '...like a fish dish the grim visage altered again and again, the fifty percent interest ran out today, account altered...' The Fall - Masquerade.

  6. Paul Simon - 'Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover'. Otway & Barrett - 'DK 50-80'.
    '...the captain, barely breathing kneeling at the wheel, above him and beneath him fifty thousand tons of steel...' Bob Dylan - 'Tempest'.

  7. Paul Simon - 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover
    (but he only identifies 5. The other 45 are ...?_

    Kate Bush - 50 Words For Snow

    Squeeze - Up The Junction
    "This morning at 4:50, I took he rather nifty"
    Great song, a soap opera in 3 and a half minutes. But one cannot ignore the chronological error.
    This morning she gave birth to a daughter (at 5:20, pedantic fact fans)
    Within a year she was a walker (OK, this may have been a guess or expectation).

    But then, just 2 lines later, he is already 2 years in the future

    1. I think that's just creative licence, Swede. Jeez, and I thought I was a pedant!

    2. Apologies, that last comment was directed at RD, not The Swede.

  8. The Canadian hockey fan in me suggests 50 Mission Cap by The Tragically Hip.

  9. Yes got to be Paul Simon for me too. And like RD I would love to hear of the other 45 ways TLYL. Gus, Jack, Roy, Lee and Stan just scratched the surface.


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