Friday 31 January 2020

Random Play - Wish I Had A Girl

Random Play is the new title for posts that don't fall into any other categories. For when I just hear a tune and think "I've got to write about that". Case in point...

This is the greatest pop video I have ever seen in my life.

How have I managed to live 47 years without seeing it before?

I've done three volumes of Stalker Songs so far...

Volume 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

...but this video trumps them all. Even Lionel Ritchie.

If you ever see this guy in your neighbourhood: get a restraining order.

The highlight is when Henry bumps into the gospel choir on the street corner and they take pity on him for his mad, stalkerish behaviour. That's a nice touch.

The thing is, although the "Woke" crowd would doubtlessly have a field day over this video today, this is basically the message behind 90% of successful pop hits. Henry's just a lot more blatant about it than most. And he looks a bit like Bob from Twin Peaks, which doesn't help.

Whatever happened to Henry Lee Summer? You may well ask.

The mugshot below gives us a clue...

I Wish I Had A Better Lawyer wasn't quite as big a follow-up hit.

At least the video has a happy ending. (Although none of the women featured in it were ever seen again. Make of that what you will.)

Thursday 30 January 2020

I'm Not Here Today...

...instead, I'm over at The Vinyl Villain, introducing my Warren Zevon ICA. Thanks to JC for putting up with me. Check it out if you don't know Warren beyond the werewolves.

Here's one I had to leave out, for reasons I'll explain in the post...

Wednesday 29 January 2020

Memory Mixtape #3: This Old Heart Of Mine

I remember buying this single when I was 15 from a basement record store in town. I went out searching for it after hearing it on my favourite TV show. (It would later be featured on the soundtrack album, which I also bought.) Moonlighting, for those of you too young or deprived to recall, was a 4th-wall breaking detective romcom starring Bruce Willis as David Addison and Cybill Shepherd as Maddie Hayes.

Around this time, I was also somewhat obsessed with a Maddie of my own. She would often sit and chat with me on the school bus home. Although she seemed to use the longer version of her name with most other people, she never told me to stop when I called her Maddie. She was musical, like me, playing piano and violin. I played piano and tenor horn, though I was better at the brass than the keys. She was much better at the piano. Occasionally we'd meet in the music block and end up in a practice room where she'd show off on the piano and I would lust uncontrollably. In my head, I was David Addison and she was my Maddie Hayes. I'm not sure what the hell was going on in her head.

I clearly remember her telling me about how her legs were all downy because she hadn't shaved them that week. It was the most erotic thing anyone had ever said to me.

Around that time, I saw my own life as a soap opera. I think this came from the 4th-wall breaking in Moonlighting, and I often thought of day-to-day events as episodes with in-built cliffhangers. The end of term was like the end of a series. I clearly remember one end of term cliffhanger wherein Maddie and I got off the bus together and I was convinced I'd hinted at my feelings enough that she must have got the message... and surely on returning to school we would become an item. The following term was the greatest anti-climax ever.

Wracked with teenage insecurity, I couldn't ever ask a girl out directly, so the "does she / doesn't she?" nature of our friendship continued for the next few months until my mate Simon finally got sick of me whinging on about her and took it upon himself to ask her out for me. Except Maddie appeared to get the wrong end of the stick and thought he was actually asking for himself. Turns out she was interested in that... fair play to him: he wasn't. (I don't think I'd ever have forgiven him.) When he put her right... well, the alternative wasn't that appealing after all. I'll never quite understand why she spent as much time hanging round with me if that was the case, but such is teenage life.

Heartbreaking depression ensued and our friendship faded after that, but I carried the torch (among others) well into the 6th Form. This song always reminds me of her...

Maybe it's my mistake to show this love I feel inside
'Cause each day that passes by, 
You got me never knowing if I'm coming or going

All that aside: when it comes to pop perfection, This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak For You) is right up there with Wichita Lineman.

Tuesday 28 January 2020

Hot 100 #23

Some German rap today for you, courtesy of... erm... German rappers 23 (aka Bushido and Sido). Don't say I don't treat you.

23 - Mit 'Nem Lächeln

Following last week's unexpected (except by me) victory for Half Man Half Biscuit, The Swede played it safe this week...

So could it be two weeks running for HMHB? 

Half Man Half Biscuit - Tending The Wrong Grave For 23 Years

Charity Chic will not be happy with the first word in your sentence there, Swede.

Still, this'll cheer him up. Here comes George...

The Butthole Surfers - 22 going on 23

That's a rather disturbing song for you. 

Bet that won't stop you suggesting it again next week, George.

And Dwight Yoakam - Readin', Writing, Route 23

That's more like it.

Hang on, The Swede's back...

Prince Far I - Psalm 23

I was expecting that after last week.

Soothsayers - Crying on 23rd

New to me.

Underworld - Twenty Three Blue

Japanese bonus track. No stone unturned!

The Lightmen - Luke 23:32-49

I'm not quite sure how I missed my two previous opportunities to suggest that one. Better late than never.

You know it's rare when it's only on youtube once. All done, Swede?

Delayed inspiration...

John Cooper Clarke - 23rd

That was one from my list.

Quick reminder of the Lime Green Rule, for anyone who's not been paying attention...

Unless they're amazing suggestions, I'm going to stop allowing lyrical 24s (and so on) as we get nearer number one. Let's face it, there are way too many. So you'll have to be really persuasive if you want to sell me on a lyrical reference from now on. Sorry.

Because, look, here's George again.

Damn that lime green rule. It means whip Crack Away by Doris Day is excluded.

Exceptions can be made in exceptional circumstances, George.

Twenty-three miles we've covered today

Doris Day - The Deadwood Stage

Although, to be fair, you could have had that four weeks ago, before the Lime Green Rule was instituted.

Here's a man the sheriff watches
On his gun there's more than twenty-seven notches

Time for C, who's found another suggestion from my shortlist...

Blonde Redhead - 23

Any band with Japanese art students sounds good to me (but whatever happened to them, are they still going?)

Apparently so, unless their website's lying.

Here comes somebody else wanting to flout the Lime Green Rule. It's Lynchie...

Before the lime green restrictions, I'd have said Jesus, the Missing Years by John Prine was a serious contender.

John Prine is always a contender in this house, Lynchie.

Charley bought some popcorn, Billy bought a car
Someone almost bought the farm but they didn't go that far
Things shut down at midnight, at least 'round here they do
Cause we all reside down the block inside 23 Skidoo

I really must enforce that rule more stringently. What else do you have for me?

Patti Scialfa - 23rd Street Lullaby

Martin was late to the party this week...

FurryBootsCityBoy beat me to Patti Scialfa...

You snooze, you lose.

I'm going for a punctuation cheat:

The Wedding Present - 2,3, Go!

Well, it's always nice to see my students using commas.

Over to Jim in Dubai who was hoping not to give me any nightmares like he did last week...

My offerings this week.

Stephen Duffy - Twenty Three

That was on my list.

Hippo - Twenty Three

The internet tells me you're making that one up, Jim.

Ned's Atomic Dustbin - Twenty Three Hour Toothache

Not that one though. But no nightmares this week, so thank you.

Finally this week, it's Rigid Digit...

Shakira - 23

It's in the collection - no idea how it got there, but it aint bad ... I'm off to listen to some more. Never knowingly heard it.

Welcome to 50% of my record collection, RD. One of the reasons I do this blog is so I actually get to listen to some of the tracks I've never heard before.

OK, before we get to this week's debate, what else did my hard drive spew up?

Luna - 23 Minutes In Brussels

Redbone - 23rd And Mad

Republic of Loose - 23 Things I Don't Like 

Rufus Wainwright, Helena Bonham Carter, Martha Wainwright & Fiora Cutler - Unperfect Actor (Sonnet 23)

Teleman - 23 Floors Up

The Divine Comedy - 23rd of December

Carter USM - 23:59 End of the World

Death In Vegas - 23 Lies

Paul Westerberg - 23 Years Ago

Ryan Adams - Sweet Little Girl (23rd & 1st)

Which brings us to the debate. The Swede was the first to raise the issue...

Seriously though, is anything going to top 'Strawberry Letter 23' by Shuggie Otis this week?

Charity Chic seconded that... but then, Lynchie threw in the alternative.

I prefer The Brothers Johnson version of "Strawberry Letter 23" to Shuggie Otis, so there!

I must admit, I'm really kind of torn. I know Shuggie wrote it, and the original takes some beating... but I really am rather fond of the Brothers Johnson version myself, especially as it's the version I heard first. Have we to call it a tie?

(I know: chicken!)

Next week is Catch 22. We may never escape...

Monday 27 January 2020

Cover Me Monday #9: Indelicate Covers


The best present I received this Christmas did not come from family or friends (note: the few friends I still possess do not trade Christmas presents with me, we understand that the sharing of gifts only leads to inevitable disappointment, so don't bother). It came instead from Simon & Julia Indelicate.

The crowd-funding campaign for their last album (the excellent Juniverbrechter, my favourite album of 2017) came with an option to choose your own song for Simon & Julia to cover. Being perpetually skint, I couldn't afford that option myself, but plenty of fans did, and the results were mailed out to us all on Christmas Eve.

27 tracks in total, and no rushed, half-arsed covers to be found here... Julia and Simon have taken their time with each of these, drawing on their full range of influences: from indie guitar pop to Betrolt Brecht, classic Country & Western to electro-pop, Jim Steinman to music hall. The choice of covers is equally eclectic, from Altered Images to Iron Maiden, George Strait to Carter USM, the Kinks to the Buffy musical episode soundtrack.

The album is a heap of fun, and not just for hardcore Indelicates fans like myself. Some of the covers are surprisingly faithful (their version of Little Baby Nothing by the Manics reminded me how much I loved the original) while others veer off on crazy tangents (their sleazy, double bass reading of EMF's Unbelievable is a hoot... and helped me hear the lyrics of that tune for the first time ever). Even the selections Simon & Julia weren't particularly fond of (Muse, The Libertines) are treated with surprising respect, and the collection also introduced me to at least one band I'd never heard of before, Young Galaxy: further investigation required.

The great thing is, because the whole album was recorded as a not-for-profit reward, the band are happy for me to share it with you. Here's Julia to explain...
We hope you enjoy these records. Obviously, we don’t own any of the copyrights so we can’t really upload them anywhere else – but do feel free to do whatever you want in terms of sharing them. 

Also, if you enjoy these recordings, we’d love it if you could let us and the world know on your social media platform of choice.
Happy to oblige.

Follow this link to download the album and enjoy. 

Full track-listing below. It's hard for me to pick a favourite, but their version of Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter has me grinning from ear to ear.

1. Introduction

2. Little Baby Nothing (Manic Street Preachers)

3. Red Right Hand (Nick Cave)

4. Youth Is Wasted On The Young (Young Galaxy)

5. England (Carter USM)

6. Amarillo By Morning (George Strait)

7. Girlfriend Is Better (Talking Heads)

8. A Book Of The Seven Seals (The Indelicates)

9. The Guns Of Brixton (The Clash)

10. Complexity (Sparkwood and 21)

11. Pinky Blue (Altered Images)

12. England Swings (Roger Miller)

13. Unbelievable (E.M.F.)

14. Tonight The Streets Are Ours (Richard Hawley)

15. Dead Man’s Gun (Ashtar Command – Red Dead Redemption soundtrack)

16. O Song (Augie March)

17. Climbing Up To The Moon (Eels)

18. Wichita Lineman (Glen Campbell)

19. Alcohol (The Kinks)

20. Up The Wolves (The Mountain Goats)

21. She Thinks His Name Was John (Reba McEntire)

22. Walk Through The Fire (The Buffy Soundtrack)

23. Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter (Iron Maiden)

24. Time For Heroes (The Libertines)

25. Starlight (Muse)


26. Little Baby Nothing (live bonus track)
27. Amarillo By Morning (live bonus track)

If you like what you hear, you can find much more from The Indelicates at their website.

Sunday 26 January 2020

Saturday Snapshots #120 - The Answers

I blame Billy Joel for the fact that I can't ever think about Grace Kelly without also thinking about trouble in the Suez. Damn him. I'll never be part of High Society.

Anyway, before it gets to High Noon, here are this week's answers...

10. Invasion of the... couch potatoes.

Invasion of the Bodysnatchers.

Being a couch potato is a pretty easy life.

The Bodysnatchers - Easy Life

9. Rhythm & Blues writes to problematic girl, mourning conjunction.

R 'n' B without the conjunction is RB. Mourning is grieving.

How do you solve a problem like Maria?

R.B. Greaves - Take A Letter, Maria

For years, I thought this was a song about a scoundrel leaving his wife and shamelessly copping off with his secretary. Then I listened a bit more closely and realised his missus was at it first. So I guess that serves her right.

Excellent video.

8. Weeping fox.

Vixen - Crying

You love it.

Don't pretend you don't.

7. Ask Daniele for a more upbeat reaction to bad weather than Don & Phil had.

"Ask Daniele" is an anagram.

The Everly Brothers were Crying In The Rain.

Neil Sedaka - Laughter In The Rain

6. Dancer's dog mourned by Lee, Lynne and Luke Sky.

Jerry Lee, Jeff Lynne & Luke Sky... Walker.

The dancer's dog was Mr. Bojangles.

Tissues at the ready...

Jerry Jeff Walker - Mr. Bojangles

5. Bake-off final: mercy for Hergé.

Duffy sang Mercy.

I've never watched Bake Off, but I presume that in the final they put the icing on the cake.

Stephen Tin Tin Duffy - Icing On The Cake

4. Alloy writer romanticised by fortunate Queen killers.

The Smiths sang The Queen Is Dead.

Breaking into the palace with a sponge and a rusty spanner now seems quite mild as Morrissey's crimes go.

The romantic alloy writer would be Danielle Steel.

The Lucksmiths - Danielle Steel

3. On hold for conventional candy.

Vanilla Fudge - You Keep Me Hanging On

I should have saved this one for a Cover Me Monday.

2. Romantic Shakespearean text found in smallest room.

A book found in the smallest room would be a loo read.

Lou Reed - Romeo Had Juliet

1. The sound...of a brand-new world. Predictably.

Hey, radio head!
The sound...of a brand-new world.

So sang Talking Heads.

A world without surprises would be very predictable.

It's pure coincidence that this track featured here on Thursday. I compiled this
edition of Saturday Snapshots weeks ago. I could have changed it, but I wanted to see if anyone was paying attention.

Don't worry, Saturday Snapshots will be back next week. No need to Dial M For Murder.

Saturday 25 January 2020

Saturday Snapshots #120

When they told me this quiz would make a Newman out of me, I had no idea they meant this.

You see, what we've got here is... failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it... well, he gets it. I don't like it any more than you men.

Ten titles and artists from the clues below, please. They've been too easy lately. This week's are not too easy.

(By the way, if you don't know where that speech comes from, it comes from here. Oops, I mean here.)

10. Invasion of the... couch potatoes.

9. Rhythm & Blues writes to problematic girl, mourning conjunction.

8. Weeping fox.

7. Ask Daniele for a more upbeat reaction to bad weather than Don & Phil had.

6. Dancer's dog mourned by Lee, Lynne and Luke Sky.

5. Bake-off final: mercy for Hergé.

4. Alloy writer romanticised by fortunate Queen killers.

3. On hold for conventional candy.

2. Romantic Shakespearean text found in smallest room.

1. The sound...of a brand-new world. Predictably.

The Sting is on. Show me the Colour of (your) Money, Hustlers. The answers will be revealed tomorrow morning.

Friday 24 January 2020

My Top Ten 'Being In A Band' Songs

Dipping my toe tentatively into Top Tens again, lest this blog get done under the Trade Descriptions Act. One of the main reasons I quit was because I always ended up with too many options for whatever topic I picked and I hated leaving anything out. So I'm just going to go with the first ten songs I think of and call this Volume 1 of Songs About Being In A Band. When I think of more, or you do, I might run a second post.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I did think of The Moody Blues - I'm Just A Singer In A Rock 'n' Roll Band, but then I listened to it again and decided it was actually rubbish.

10. Frank Hamilton - We Started A Band

It's a metaphor for a bad relationship. Aren't they all!

It feels like we started a band
But it didn't work out
Didn't work out how we planned
There's a tear in my eye
And maybe our songs were no good
Or maybe we just fought too much

9. Boston - Rock 'n' Roll Band

Much better than The Moody Blues.

Well, we were just another band out of Boston
On the road and tryin' to make ends meet
Playin' all the bars, sleepin' in our cars
And we practiced right on out in the street
No, we didn't have much money
We barely made enough to survive
But when we got up on stage and got ready to play, people came alive

8. Amy MacDonald - Let's Start A Band

It's not just the lads who want to do it.

Give me a stage and I'll be your rock and roll queen
Your 20th century cover of a magazine
Rolling Stones here I come, watch out everyone, I'm singing
I'm singing my song
Give me a festival and I'll be your Glastonbury star
The lights are shining everyone knows who you are
Singing songs about dreams about hopes about schemes
Oh, they just came true

7.  Grand Funk Railroad - We're An American Band

Yes they were.
Booze and ladies, keep me right
As long as we can make it to the show tonight

6. Del Amitri - Drunk In A Band

More grim honesty from Mr. Currie.

Danny puts the cones on the motorway
And Donna dances tables in her lingere
And Jerry, Dave, and Billy, man, they're putting on a play
But I'm just a drunk in a band

5. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Travelin' Band

Listen to the radio,
Talkin' 'bout the last show.
Someone got excited,
Had to call the state militia.
I wanna move.
Playin' in a travelin' band, yeah!

4. Albert Hammond - Free Electric Band

Well, they used to sit and speculate upon their son's career,
A lawyer or a doctor or a civil engineer,
Just give me bread and water, put a guitar in my hand,
'Cause all I need is music and the free electric band

I don't suppose Albert had much to say about his own son's choice of career...

3. Jason Isbell - To A Band That I Loved

I always thought this was about his years as a member of the Drive By Truckers, but the interweb tells me he actually wrote about a band they went on tour with called Centro-Matic.

Though everyone tried to ignore us
We'd scared them all off by the chorus

2. Felt - Ballad of the Band

The downside of being in a band... and not doing as well as you'd hoped.

It's all my fault
Yes I'm to blame
Ain't got no money
Ain't got no fame

1. Art Brut - Formed A Band

Surely the most joyous expression of what it must be like to start your own band after dreaming about it for so long. I can never understand why Art Brut weren't bigger than The Beatles. (Please don't answer that.)

And yes, that is his singing voice. It's not irony, and it's not rock 'n' roll... he's just talking... to the kids.

Thursday 23 January 2020

Mid-Life Crisis Songs #42: Peak Misery

I was cheered to read last week that a new study has found the age of peak misery is 47... which is exactly how old I am right now. Apparently monkeys also experience a similar winter of discontent at the same age... so my current unhappiness is genetic!

Well, that cheers me right up. It means that from now on, as D:Ream so memorably put it, Things Can Only Get Better. Perhaps those of you reading this who are older than me will back this up. I mean, you're presumably all enjoying your second wind now, are you? Skipping through the buttercup meadows of your second half-century with a smile on your face and a song in your heart. Do reassure me that it's true.

Meanwhile, I'll just sit here wallowing in the single pop lyric that most sums up my own life at the moment. Because, according to the experts, this too will pass...

A heart that's full up like a landfill
A job that slowly kills you
Bruises that won't heal

You look so tired, unhappy
Bring down the government
They don't, they don't speak for us

I'll take a quiet life
A handshake of carbon monoxide

With no alarms and no surprises
No alarms and no surprises
No alarms and no surprises
Silent, silent

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Neverending Top Ten #2.9 - Love Action

We were listening to Sam CD #94 in the car for the first time on Saturday, and as soon as this tune came on, Sam said:

"This is the band that lives across the road from Auntie Mags."

Auntie Mags isn't an actual auntie, but a friend of Louise's, one of the special kind who gets awarded honorary auntie status. She lives in Sheffield, and true enough, her house is just across the road from a rather unprepossessing 4 bedroom detached property owned by Mr. Phil Oakey. He's had it for years, and we've no idea how often he actually lives there, or how many other houses he owns, but I guess it's his hometown base. In fact, the only information Auntie Mags (who also shares a local with Richard Hawley, "a very nice man") has to reveal about the Oakey residence is that "he always keeps his curtains closed". Well, he would, wouldn't he? He's only human... and I imagine many of his neighbours keep feeling fascination about just what he gets up to in there. I mean... is there still any love action?

I like Sam's idea that the whole band lives there though, Monkees style. They could do a pop band remake of Man About The House with Phil playing the Richard O'Sullivan role and Susan Sulley and Joanne Catherall replacing Paula Wilcox and Sally Thomsett. Maybe former members Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh could be the annoying neighbours next door who can't resist the temptation to peep over the garden fence.

Tuesday 21 January 2020

Hot 100 #24

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the excellent Fallover 24, with their superb tune, Pessimistic Man. What finer tune could there be to issue in another bumper edition of our countdown?

Bumper being the operative word, let's crack on with your suggestions and see if anyone guessed my "obvious" 24...

First out of the gates this week was Charity Chic, certain that he'd backed the odds on favourite...

I'll save everyone the bother this week as there can only be one winner.

Gene Pitney -24 Hours from Tulsa

I've made no secret of my love of this song in the past, so surely CC takes the prize?

Erm... no, sorry. Not this time. I love the way Gene nods his head when he sings "okay" in that video though.

Martin was then straight in with the obvious follow-up suggestion...

Carter USM - 24 Minutes From Tulse Hill

Followed by Lynchie, who reminded us of Gene's lesser-spotted 24...

Gene Pitney - 24 Sycamore

It may please you all to know that they were the first three on my list. Which isn't in any order other the order I think of them or find them on my hard drive.

Jim in Dubai also reminded us of the Yachts' cover of 24 Hours From Tulsa, which featured on this blog just a few weeks back.

Martin then returned to point out that there are "shed load of different songs called "24 Hours", so take your pick from (amongst others)..."

Tom Jones - 24 Hours

Look up "over-emoting" in the dictionary and there's a link to that video.

10cc - 24 Hours

(That one almost goes on for 24 Hours as well.)

Joy Division - 24 Hours

And Martin's favourite 24 Hour song (but not mine... there's a clue)...

The Sundays - 24 Hours

While we're at it, I also found these...

Shack - 24 Hours

Sky Ferreira - 24 Hours

Todd Snider - 24 Hours A Day

Barbara Pennington - 24 Hours A Day

Eddie Boyd - 24 Hours

Eddie Boyd - 24 Hours of Fear

Edwin Starr - 24 Hours (To Find My Baby)

Athlete - 24 Hours

The Handsome Family - 24 Hour Store

The Candyskins - 24 Hours (U.S.E.D.)

The Vibrators - 24 Hour People (steals its intro from Johnny B. Goode)

Jim in Dubai added another one...

The Chefs - 24 Hours

Jim also suggested the band at the top of the page, and Twenty 4 Seven - I Can't Stand It which brings back the true horror of the charts in my teenage years. Thanks for that, Jim. I haven't slept for a week.

Now, last week, those of you who were paying attention will have notice a new rule which was imposed upon this quiz as we get nearer #1. A new rule which will henceforth be known as "The Lime Green Rule"...

Oh, one final thing. Unless they're amazing suggestions, I'm going to stop allowing lyrical 24s (and so on) as we get nearer number one. Let's face it, there are way too many. So you'll have to be really persuasive if you want to sell me on a lyrical reference from now on. Sorry.

First to fall foul of this rule was Lynchie (who did later realise his mistake) when he suggested...

Smokie - Living Next Door To Alice

'Cause for twenty-four years I've been living next door to Alice

The thing is, I really like this song. However, it has been forever tarnished in my mind by the band re-recording it with Roy Chubby Brown as (Who The Fuck Is) Alice? Which is right up there in my mind with Lindisfarne's Fog On The Tyne featuring Gazza. I'm not linking to either of those debacles though, no matter how much it upsets George, who appears to be a fan.

George did redeem himself with his next idea though...

Does 2 4 6 8 Motorway count?

No, but it's still a belter.

Tom Robinson Band - 2468 Motorway

Someone else who ignored the Lime Green rule was Rigid Digit, but fortunately both his real suggestions have featured previously back in week #36, so go find them there. In desperation he adds...

...or, how anything by Status Quo - lifted from 12 Gold Bars Vol I and Vol II

(2 lots of 12 are 24 - is that the sound of a barrel being scraped?)

Definitely. However, just to keep you and Jez happy...

Status Quo - Caroline

Next up was Douglas, limiting his own suggestions this week...

Firstly, Lana Del Rey's song "24" is actually quite lovely in her fragile sad kind of way. I know there is a lot of feeling that she went off the rails after the stellar Born to Die album, with her quest for fame and newfound penchant for explicit lyrics, but this one is back to form, I think. Sounds a bit like she's auditioning for a Bond film end-credits theme.

Agreed. And it was on my list.

Lana Del Rey - 24

Then there is Pink Floyd, with "Chapter 24". I wonder what they were smoking when they came up with the lyrics for that one?

Pink Floyd - Chapter 24

That one wasn't. But at least it's from the Syd era.

And I know it breaks your No lyrics" rule but sure the "Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go...I wanna be sedated" lyric is so iconic and so close to being in the title that an exception could be made...?

Just this once. Because the video is pretty cool.

The Ramones - I Wanna Be Sedated

But still nobody guessed my "obvious" choice. Oh wait, here's The Swede, certain he's cracked it...

I'm assuming that your really obvious one must be:

Prince Far-I - Psalm 24

It certainly sprung immediately to my mind.

I'll also offer:

Clem Snide - Tuesday, October 24th


Jason Isbell - 24 Frames

The last one was in serious contention, Swede.

I was about to put this post to bed when curiosity got the better of Douglas...

Okay, I'm puzzled that the "obvious" has still gone unmentioned so I will venture a few more guesses...

Mary Chapin Carpenter - John Doe No. 24

That's lovely. And was on my list.

Kings of Convenience - 24-25

That wasn't, because sadly I only own one KoC album. So far.

Stevie Nicks - 24 Karat Gold

That was also on the list. But not the winner, as Douglas himself guessed.

I feel these are getting less and less "obvious", though some are decent enough songs. But what is left? I think we are all going on strike if it turns out to be the awful Bruno Mars song I came across in my digging that I won't even mention by name...

I had no idea of the track Douglas was referring to, so I had to go investigate.

Bruno Mars - 24K

And there we have the "obvious" winner!

Only joking.

Before we get to the reveal then, here's a few more spewed up from the depths of my archives...

Red House Painters - 24


Mudhoney - 24

Julian Cope - 24a Velocity Crescent

Momus - A Complete History of Sexual Jealousy (Pt. 17-24)

Another contender. Didn't make it this week, but that's not to say it won't stand a chance in 7 weeks' time.

So, which song made me smile the most this week if it wasn't 24 Hours From Tulsa?

Here comes C... not with the answer, but its inspiration...

Happy Mondays feat. Karl Denver - 24 Hour Party People

All of which leads us back to Nigel Blackwell, who's having a bit of trouble down at the 24 Hour Garage. (Presumably this was soon after visiting Argos to record this: Half Man Half Biscuit - £24.99 from Argos.)

Take it away, Nige... start doing what you can to wind up that guy behind the counter!

I’ll have ten Kit Kats and a motoring atlas
Ten Kit Kats and a motoring atlas
And a blues CD on the Hallmark label
– that’s sure to be good

Far fewer 23s to choose from, but the Lime Green Rule still applies. Let's see what you can come up with...

Monday 20 January 2020

Cover Me Monday #8: Raspberry Beret

I spent quite a bit of time recently putting together a Warren Zevon ICA which will run over at The Vinyl Villain sometime soon. I explained why I felt the need to do this in the intro to that post, so I won't say anymore for the time being, although one song I mention but don't include is this, the best cover of a Prince single ever recorded. Notice how carefully chosen those words are. I didn't say "best cover of a Prince song" since I'm sure we can all name a song or two that Prince handed over to someone else to do a better job of... but covers of his hits are harder to love, mainly because tracks like Little Red Corvette, U Got The Look and Gett Off are so uniquely Prince, nobody else can touch them.

Here's the original of what is arguably his greatest pure pop song. (There's an extended intro on the video which doesn't add much, to be honest.)

Prince - Raspberry Beret

It's a brave band that tries to cover that, so points for bravery must go to R.E.M.'s Mike Mills, Bill Berry and Peter Buck, leaving their usual frontman by the pool and roping in Warren Zevon to deliver a unique interpretation.

"You can't improve on perfection", as Charity Chic remarked, showing his admiration for the movie Chicken Run last week. True enough. But you can have a damn fine stab at it...

Sunday 19 January 2020

Saturday Snapshots #119 - The Answers

Mork calling answers... come in, answers!

Nanu nanu.

10. Poet stuck in the bog? Typical human being.

Shelley, up to his neck in the peat?

My favourite Mark Lamarr joke: "It's like the Buzzcocks without the buzz."

Watch the video and marvel at what strange times the 80s were.

Pete Shelley - Homosapien

9. A couple, in three movements? Child's play!

A couple are often lovers.

A concerto comes in three movements. (According to iffypedia.)

Children play with toys.

The Toys - A Lover's Concerto

8. Labelled middle-class? No worries.

Bourgeois Tagg - I Don't Mind At All

7. Too much superglue.

Too much is an excess.

If there was too much superglue between us, you would never tear us apart.

INXS - Never Tear Us Apart

6. Ode to a Phoenix, from a menacing anchorman.

Ode to River Phoenix?

Dennis was a Menace.

Bob Wilson was an anchorman. 

Well, I’d like to meet Stephenson the engineer
And I’d like to meet Faraday and buy him a beer
And I’d love to meet the bloke who had the bright idea of
Bob Wilson – anchorman

Dennis Wilson - River Song

5. Last dingo does Alan Partridge impression.

"Last dingo" is an anagram of Santigold. Although she was originally called Santogold, so that would make her the last dongo.

Santigold - Say Aha!

4. Second Goddess, electric smut.

We used to call smutty movies "blue". How quaint we were back then.

The second planet from the sun has the name of a goddess...

Shocking Blue - Venus

3. I am the... opposite of Frank Black. You are... the only one in the race.

I am the Walrus of Love.

The Bloodhoung Gang sang that they were "not black like Barry White, no I am white like Frank Black is".

The only one in the race would be the first, the last... pretty much everything.

Barry White - You're The First, The Last, My Everything

2. Creepy, kooky dad in police custody.

The Addams Family (creepy, kooky and altogether ooky) dad was Gomez.

Gomez - Get Myself Arrested

1. Jill and Sam's other halves enjoy sliced fruit in a tent.

Jack & Jill.

Sam & Diane. (One for Cheers' fans.)

Enjoy a melon slice at camp.

Cougar not pictured.

One of the best songs of the 80s...

O Captain, my Captain: Saturday Snapshots will be back next week. Carpe diem!

Saturday 18 January 2020

Saturday Snapshots #119

If you're feeling Wild At Heart this Saturday morning, it's probably because you're waiting for the National Treasure that is Saturday Snapshots. Work out the ten Face/Offs below to reveal title and artist of a top tune. They all certainly Kick Ass...

10. Poet stuck in the bog? Typical human being.

9. A couple, in three movements? Child's play!

8. Labelled middle-class? No worries.

7. Too much superglue.

6. Ode to a Phoenix, from a menacing anchorman.

5. Last dingo does Alan Partridge impression.

4. Second Goddess, electric smut.

3. I am the... opposite of Frank Black. You are... the only one in the race.

2. Creepy, kooky dad in police custody.

1. Jill and Sam's other halves enjoy sliced fruit in a tent.

Be quick with your answers. The easy ones will be Gone in 60 Seconds!

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