Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Hot 100 #16

I've got your picture for next week sorted, said Charity Chic. I have an album by a band called 16 Horsepower.

And you know what? I thought I did too. But it appears to have disappeared from my music library. Anyway, thank you for the reminder.

The biggest problem about the Number 16 on our countdown was summed up by Lynchie that many suggestions might be "a bit dodgy - older men singing about mid-teen girls."

In more cynical / enlightened / post-Glitter & Saville times, we may now find these songs creepy... but part of me thinks they were never actually meant that way. Oh for a return to innocence...

Chuck Berry - Sweet Little Sixteen

B.B. King - Sweet Sixteen

Well, maybe that one's a bit creepy. But this one, from Brian, is pure as the driven snow...

Johnny Burnette - You're Sixteen

Of course, Ringo managed to made it very creepy...

Ringo Starr - You're Sixteen

I think this is the case with a lot of these songs, actually. There's the sweet, innocent version...

Neil Sedaka - Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen

(Rigid Digit adds "One from the man who started Madchester by recording at Strawberry Studios.")

And the Call Operation Yew Tree version...

Neil Diamond -  Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen

On the other hand, we get the male version...

Craig Douglas - Only Sixteen

And the female version...

The Supremes - Only Sixteen

Is one sweeter than the other? You decide.

Brian threw this one in the ring...

For the third week in a row, let's give Stray Cats a shot with Sixteen Candles. It was used during the closing credits of the movie.

Stray Cats - Sixteen Candles

Now I didn't have that one in my own collection. I did have the original though...

The Crests - Sixteen Candles 

As well as this, which is the same in name alone...

Danielle Dax - 16 Candles

And while we're on the subject...

Fall Out Boy - A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More "Touch Me" 

Then there are the age 16 that don't even try to be innocent. The Swede was the first to suggest this...

Iggy Pop - Sixteen

And Rigid Digit was quick to add this one...

Kiss - Christine Sixteen

Here's someone else you wouldn't let your 16 year old anywhere near...

Billy Idol - Sweet Sixteen

Of course, some 16 year old girls can be shameless. Take this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic suggested by Rigid Digit...

Sixteen Going On Seventeen from The Sound of Music

For your information though, Charmain Carr was 23 when that was filmed. Which takes us back to a point I raised last week. (Go look it up yourself, it takes me long enough to write all this stuff down once without going back and reading it again.)

And if you think that was scary, try this...

Soft Cell - I Am Sixteen Going On Seventeen

More shameless sixteen year olds can be be found here...

The Heavy - Sixteen

At least Travis understand the dangers of getting involved with young girls...

Travis - U16 Girls

I met a girl in L.A
The million dollar kind
She was all for all or nothing
She was open all the time

But when I called her number
Her mother's on the line sayin'
You've no business
As god's my witness
With a child as young as mine

So make sure that she's old enough
Before you blow your mind
She may look like she knows enough
But look in her eye
And if so
Let her go
You'll let her down in style

Looking back on being 16 is something that gets harder as the years go by. There are a few songs written from that perspective, and C was the first to offer this very popular suggestion, saying, So good, in so many ways, and no dodgy lyrics about young girls! First heard when I was still 14 and sixteen sounded old...

The Buzzcocks - Sixteen Again

An' I wish, I was sixteen again
Then things would be such fun
All the things I'd do would be the same
But they're much more fun
Than when you're twenty wo' wo' wo' wo' wo' one

C then recalled another one on similar lines: Ooh and let us not forget... 

The Sweet - The Six Teens

And then there was this chuck of wish-fulfilment from Rigid Digit...

The Dictators - Sixteen Forever

Which led me to recall this...

The Casket Girls - Sixteen Forever

And this...

Green Day - 16

Every time I look in my past
I always wish I was there
I wish my youth would forever last
Why are all these times so unfair?

The Swede also nominated this one. Brian added: It was No. 15 on my Festive 50 for 2019, and indie couple Amelia and Rob deserve a moment on top of the heap.

A new band to me, but one that immediately went on the Check Out pile...

The Catenary Wires - Sixteen Again  

The Swede also offered this from an old favourite of his...

Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 - Sixteen Years

I'll throw in this lovely "remember being 16" song from my favourite album of the 21st Century...

The Indelicates - Sixteen

Let's go to town and switch the magazines
Drink milkshakes until we're sick
Oh oh, it'll be so funny
Oh oh, it'll be so funny
If we don't do it now then someone else will
Oh oh, it'll be so funny
Oh oh, it's the power not the money
This scene is the scene to be seen in
Not that the scene is what we'd be seen with
We just wanna be 16 (16) 16 (16)
Even though we're 23

And then this...

Calexico and Iron & Wine - Sixteen, Maybe Less

And then there's this one from The Big O (via Rigid Digit) which offers some timely "enjoy it while it lasts" advice to 16 year olds everywhere....

Roy Orbison - You'll Never Be Sixteen Again

It's worth pointing out that 16 can be a terrible time in your life. Luckily Swiss Adam brought up this, a strong contender from my own shortlist...

The Replacements - Sixteen Blue

Brag about things you don't understand
A girl and a woman, a boy and a man
Everything is sexually vague
Now you're wondering to yourself
That you might be gay
Your age is the hardest age
Everything drags and drags
You're looking funny
You ain't laughing, are you?

And on the same subject...

Andrea Carroll - It Hurts To Be 16

Janie Black - Lonely Sixteen

The Ronettes - What's So Sweet About Sweet Sixteen?

Hello Saferide  - X Telling Me About The Loss Of Something Dear, At Age 16

And last but not least in this category... surely the saddest song about a 16 year old ever?

Townes Van Zandt - Sixteen Summers, Fifteen Falls

Putting aside age-related songs then, what else did you have for me?

Lynchie returned to a fine offering from a few weeks back...

Tom Waits - 16 Shells From a Thirty-Ought Six

The Swede offered...

Green on Red - Sixteen Ways 

Anomoanon - Sixteen Ways 

Johnny Osbourne - Lend Me the Sixteen

Brian added...

Josef K - 16 Years

The Decemberists - 16 Military Wives

The Brilliant Corners - Sixteen Years

Jim in Dubai came up with a couple of lesser-known belters...

The Jazzateers - Sixteen Reasons

The Passage - Sixteen Hours

And Charity Chic returned to remind us all of...

The Jayhawks - Sixteen Down

The Flatlanders - Number Sixteen

OK, time to scrape the barrel / hard-drive before we get to this week's winner...

Tom Verlaine - Sixteen Tulips

(That might be worth a post of its own one day soon.)

Animals That Swim - Sixteen Letters

Jack White - Sixteen Saltines

Paul Kelly - Song From The Sixteenth Floor

Pop Will Eat Itself - Sixteen Different Flavours Of Hell

Rainbow - Sixteenth Century Greensleeves

The Stylistics - Sixteen Bars

Manic Street Preachers - Sorrow 16

Whiskeytown - 16 Days

Kate Jackson - 16 Years

Shakespear's Sister - My 16th Apology

Sunny Sweeney - 16th Avenue

The National - Conversation 16

That has to be the strangest video I've seen in a long time, featuring some reasonably big name actors, in some kind of bizarre SNL sketch that doesn't fit the song at all.

Anyway... the winner. Which will probably be obvious by now. It was first suggested by Lynchie, then seconded by Swiss Adam, though I'm sure a few others would have given it consideration.

Have you ever heard the Stevie Wonder version?

Stevie Wonder - 16 Tons

George can have that for his Wednesday covers feature over at CC's place if he likes.

Here's the original, a classic Hate Your Job tune, of which... as you know... I have a special interest in recent times...

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me, 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

Which brings us to #15. Your suggestions, please.


  1. YAY! Congratulations to me and The Swede!

    For next week I have 2 tunes:

    The Cure - "10:15 Saturday Night" (The Peel session version!)

    The Who - "5.15" (Outta my brain on the train!)

    1. Damn, I was going to pitch both of those!

    2. And I'd third both of those too.

  2. So, FurryBootsCityBoy got in first with my best two suggestions. Can only add these:

    15 Ways (To Leave Your Man) - The Fall

    Number 15 - The Beta Band

    15 Storey Halo - ABC

    5.15 The Angels Have Gone - David Bowie

    Fifteen - Taylor Swift

    Fifteen Minutes - Barry Manilow

    ...Christ, I'd better stop there...

  3. Tougher than i thought this week, here's all i have this week.

    The 15th - Wire
    Fifteen Again - Evripidis and his Tragedies
    Fifteen - Standard Fare

  4. My list has been shortened
    (The Who - 5:15 for Number 1 this week)

    Radiohead - 15 Step
    Cure - 10:15 Saturday Night
    The Guess Who - 8:15
    Inspiral Carpets - 8:15 From Manchester
    (the theme to a 90s Saturday Morning kids show - it's actually a re-recording of Find Out Why. But it does evoke a memory of late teenage/early 20s hangovers)

  5. Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

    15 Years - Levellers

    Not quite as easy as 16 this week but just wait until we get to the single digits in five weeks time (if we still have internet!).

    1. The Levellers were on my list too.
      (just can't read my own writing when I was posting my essentail selection)

  6. To what's above I can add Ride 'Fifteen minutes' and Beat the devil 'Three fifteen' (fairly obscure that one).

  7. Replies
    1. Was just singing this to myself in bed this morning. "ONE-FIVE!" Boy, is my face red.


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