With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

Play It Again Mayhem – “I Was Only Joking” – Rod Stewart May 5, 2022

Filed under: Play It Again Mayhem — justwilliam1959 @ 9:15 pm
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This is the twelfth song in the Play It Again Mayhem series which began back in 2020. Check out the previous entries along with this new one in the Play It Again Mayhem Spotify Playlist, click here to take a listen! Once again this one goes back to the 70s, which remains my favourite era for music. In fact, 75% of the Play It Again Mayhem songs are from the 1970s so far. This track is, in my opinion, one of Rod Stewart’s greatest songs. It comes from his 1977 album ‘Footloose And Fancy Free’ and reached number 5 on the UK charts when it was released as a double A-Side single (paired with “Hot Legs”) that same year. Rod wrote the song with Gary Grainger and the song really feels like some kind of autobiographical lyric. I think it was probably the lyrics that first drew me to the song and it is the Rod Stewart song that I play more than any other. I have copied the lyrics below and those lines in the gold font are the lines that summed up so many things in my own youth, particularly the second verse.

Ever since I was a kid at school
I messed around with all the rules

Apologised then realised
I’m not different after all

Me and the boys thought we had it sussed
Valentinos all of us
My dad said we looked ridiculous
But boy, we broke some hearts

In and out of jobs, running free
Waging war with society
Dumb blank faces stare back at me
But nothing ever changed

Promises made in the heat of the night
Creeping home before it got too light
I wasted all that precious time
And blamed it on the wine

I was only joking my dear (my dear)
Looking for a way to hide my fear (my fear)
What kind of fool was I? (Was I)
I could never win (never win)

Never found a compromise
Collected lovers like butterflies
Illusions of that grand first prize
Are slowly wearing thin

Susie, baby, you were good to me
Giving love unselfishly
But you took it all too seriously
I guess it had to end

I was only joking my dear (my dear)
Looking for a way to hide my fear (my fear)
What kind of fool was I? (Was I)
I could never win (never win)

Yeah baby, whoa

Now you ask me if I’m sincere
That’s the question that I always fear
Verse seven is never clear
But I’ll tell you what you wanna hear

I try to give you all you want
But giving love is not my strongest point
If that’s the case it’s pointless going on
I’d rather be alone

‘Cause what I’m doing must be wrong
Pouring my heart out in a song
Owning up for prosperity
For the whole damn world to see

Quietly now while I turn a page
Act one is over without costume change
The principal would like to leave the stage
The crowd don’t understand”

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Play It Again Mayhem – “Graduation Day” – Head Automatica April 11, 2022

Filed under: Play It Again Mayhem — justwilliam1959 @ 10:55 pm
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This is the eleventh song in the Play It Again Mayhem series which began back in 2020. Check out the previous entries along with this new one in the Play It Again Mayhem Spotify Playlist, click here to take a listen!

This time it is a much more recent track, in fact, the second newest in this series. It is “Graduation Day” by Head Automatica, which was released as a single back in 2006. It was taken from the band’s second album ‘Popaganda’, also from 2006. The band came into being after singer Daryl Palumbo took an interest in both hip hop and British music. He felt that these styles did not fit within his band Glass Jaw’s canon of music. So as a result he put Head Automatica together. The band issued two albums, five singles, and a couple of EPs from 2004 to 2006. I have both albums on CD and I play ‘Popaganda’ a few times each year. Apparently, there is a later so far unreleased album called ‘Swan Damage’. Someone has posted a ‘Swan Damage’ FULL(non)ALBUM (live compilation)’ on YouTube, click here to check it out.

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Play It Again Mayhem – “Little Does She Know” – Kursaal Flyers March 5, 2022

Filed under: Play It Again Mayhem — justwilliam1959 @ 4:52 pm
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This is the tenth song in the Play It Again Mayhem series which began back in 2020. Check out the earlier posts by clicking here (Betty Wright), here (Elton John), here (Roxy Music),  here (The O’Jays), here (John Miles), here (Steely Dan), here (Climax Blues Band), here Little Jackie and here for Gwen McCrae. I promised that once I got to ten Play It again Mayhem Posts that there would be a Spotify Playlist, so click here to take a listen!

This time it is the turn of the seminal British band, the much-missed Kursaal Flyers. The band formed in 1973 and took their name from the imitation train which was used to advertise Southend’s famous amusement hall, the Kursaal, which had recently closed. The song “Little Does She Know” reached the UK Top 20 singles chart in 1976 and the band appeared on Top Of The Pops. I guess that the band was surrounded by washing product boxes on the show because they briefly mention detergent in the lyrics. Top Of The Pops was strange sometimes wasn’t it? It has a chorus that many songwriters would kill for and stays in your head a long while, for more than 45 years for me! The song can be found on their third album, ‘The Golden Mile’ released in 1976. Is this tune a guilty pleasure or simply a great tune? For me, it’s the latter! Check out the tune in the videos below (one from Top Of The Pops and the second from Supersonic) and via the newly created Play It Again Mayhem playlist on Spotify.

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Play It Again Mayhem – “Rockin’ Chair” – Gwen McCrae January 9, 2022

Filed under: Play It Again Mayhem — justwilliam1959 @ 4:17 pm
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This is the ninth song in the Play It Again Mayhem series which began last year. Check out the earlier posts by clicking here (Betty Wright), here (Elton John), here (Roxy Music),  here (The O’Jays), here (John Miles), here (Steely Dan), here (Climax Blues Band) and here Little Jackie. Once I get to the tenth Play It Again post there will be a Spotify Playlist, so just one more to go! This is another great 70s track, this time by Gwen McCrae, it is titled “Rockin’ Chair”. Originally intended as a response song to her husband George McCrae’s smash hit “Rock Your Baby”. George provides backing vocals on “Rockin’ Chair” and I believe that is the Sunshine Band providing the music. The song was written by Clarence Reid (a.k.a. Blowfly) and Willie Clarke. “Rockin’ Chair” didn’t chart in the UK but made it to number ten in the US Billboard Chart and number one in the Billboard R & B chart. I used to own this on 7-inch vinyl. Gwen is now 78 and was still performing up until 2012 when she suffered a stroke while singing at a show in England.

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Play It Again Mayhem – “The World Must Revolve Around Me” – Little Jackie August 18, 2021


This is the eighth song in the Play It Again Mayhem series which began earlier this year. Check out the earlier posts by clicking here (Betty Wright), here (Elton John), here (Roxy Music)  here (The O’Jays), here (John Miles) here (Steely Dan) and here (Climax Blues Band). Once I get to the tenth Play It again post there will be a Spotify Playlist! This is the first Play It again Mayhem post so far that isn’t from the 60s or 70s, this one is from the noughties, 2008 to be precise. It is Little Jackie’s “The World Must Revolve Around Me”. It is taken from ‘The Stoop’ which, for me, is one of the finest modern R & B records by a country mile. Despite the name Little Jackie are in fact a duo consisting of of Imani Coppola and Adam Pallin. Both have worked on other musical projects since 2008, but personally I think the Little Jackie work will be hard to top. The duo took their name from the Lisa Lisa versus Cult Jam 1989 hit “Little Jackie Wants To Be A Star”. “The World Must Revolve Around Me” reached the top 30 in the UK and top 30 in Ireland, it remains one of my favourite songs from the noughties, I hope that you enjoy it too.

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Play It Again Mayhem – “Couldn’t Get It Right” – Climax Blues Band January 27, 2021

Filed under: Play It Again Mayhem — justwilliam1959 @ 7:25 pm
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This is the seventh song in the Play It Again Mayhem series which began earlier this year. Check out the earlier posts by clicking here (Betty Wright), here (Elton John), here (Roxy Music)  here (The O’Jays), here (John Miles) and here (Steely Dan). This one is yet another from the 70s, 1976 to be precise and it is the Climax Blues Band. They were originally known as the Climax Chicago Blues Band, but despite the name and the funky sound of the song I have selected today they do not hail from the USA, they formed in Stafford UK in 1967. “Couldn’t Get It Right” is a delightfully funky rock tinged track that makes me want to dance. It was the band’s biggest hit by a long way reaching number 3 in the US and hitting the top 10 in the UK, Canada, Ireland and South Africa. Apparently the song is about life on the road in the USA. The line “kept on looking for a sign in the middle of the night” refers to looking for a Holiday Inn sign which is where they laid their hats on that particular tour. Enjoy this classic tune and get yourself moving! Incidentally the band are still recording and touring, although obviously not in this strange Covid world.

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Play It Again Mayhem – “Haitian Divorce” – Steely Dan December 31, 2020


This is the sixth song in the Play It Again Mayhem series which began earlier this year. Check out the earlier posts by clicking here (Betty Wright), here (Elton John), here (Roxy Music)  here (The O’Jays) and here (John Miles). This one is another from the 70s, and it is from Steely Dan. This was the third single released from the band’s 1976 album ‘The Royal Scam’. It never appeared on the US charts but reached number 17 in the UK. The song is “Haitian Divorce” which takes it’s title and much of the story told in the lyrics from the easy divorces available in Haiti to foreigners, particularly Americans. It was so simple that it only needed one partner to be there and the divorce could be finalised in a matter of hours.

The song tells the story of a woman who goes to Haiti to get a divorce, she has a brief fling with a Haitian man, fails to get the divorce and nine months later gives birth to a half Haitian baby. The mention of Papa in the lyrics is interpreted in two ways. Firstly as her father telling her to go back and get the divorce, and secondly as the voice of Haitian ruler at the time, Papa Doc Duvalier, who encouraged divorce tourism. The song was written by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. It was Becker who used a Talk Box on the song over Dean Park’s guitar. Perhaps the most famous proponent of the Talk Box was Peter Frampton on ‘Frampton Comes Alive’. Enjoy the song, I love the jazzy, laid back reggae feel of the track, Why not sing along too? The lyrics are copied below. Please not that the second video is by a rather good Steely Dan tribute band, Steely Damned II

Lyrics
Babs and Clean Willie were in love they said
So in love the preacher’s face turned red
Soon everybody knew the thing was dead
He shouts, she bites, they wrangle through the night
She go crazy
Got to make a getaway
Papa say
Oh – no hesitation
No tears and no hearts breakin’
No remorse
Oh – congratulations
This is your Haitian Divorce
She takes the taxi to the good hotel
Bon marche as far as she can tell
She drinks the zombie from the cocoa shell
She feels alright, she get it on tonight
Mister driver
Take me where the music play
Papa say
Oh – no hesitation
No tears and no hearts breakin’
No remorse
Oh – congratulations
This is your Haitian Divorce
At the Grotto
In the greasy chair
Sits the Charlie with the lotion and the kinky hair
When she smiled, she said it all
The band was hot so
They danced the famous Merengue
Now we dolly back
Now we fade to black
Tearful reunion in the USA
Day by day those memories fade away
Some babies grow in a peculiar way
It changed, it grew, and everybody knew
Semi-mojo
Who’s this kinky so-and-so?
Papa go
Oh – no hesitation
No tears and no hearts breakin’
No remorse
Oh – congratulations
This is your Haitian Divorce

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Play It Again Mayhem – “Slow Down” – John Miles August 2, 2020

Filed under: Play It Again Mayhem — justwilliam1959 @ 7:36 am
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This is the fifth song in the Play It Again Mayhem series which began earlier this year. Check out the earlier posts by clicking here (Betty Wright), here (Elton John), here (Roxy Music) and here (The O’Jays). This one is another from the 70s, 1976 as I recall (However Wikipedia says 1976, while the Official Charts site says 1977. But the label on the record in the YouTube clip below says 1976) . “Slow Down” became John Miles’ biggest US hit, reaching number 34 on the Billboard chart. In the UK it made it to number ten. Many people remember John Miles’ chart heyday for the epic “Music”, a UK top 3 hit, but I very much prefer “Slow Down”. It is a first class dance tune which has funk, disco and power pop in equal measures. I remember it being played a hell of a lot in many of the nightclubs that I frequented back in those days, although never in any of the punk shows I went to, although that is not surprising I suppose.

John Miles has played with many great artists over the years; Tina Turner, Jimmy Page and Joe Cocker to name just a few. He also appeared as guest vocalist on four of The Alan Parsons Project albums from 1976 to 1987. He is still very much around and won the “Outstanding Musical Achievement” award at the 2017 Progressive Music Awards. He has been a regular at the annual ‘Night Of The proms’ event since 1985. I have played “Slow Down” loads of times since rediscovering it!

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Play It Again Mayhem – “I Dig Your Act” – The O’Jays July 21, 2020


This is the fourth song in the Play It Again Mayhem series which began earlier this year. Check out the earlier posts by clicking here (Betty Wright), here (Elton John) and here (Roxy Music). All the previous songs were from the 1970s, for this one I am taking you back to the 1960s for an early track by an iconic soul group, the O’Jays. The song is “I Dig Your Act” which was released as the B-Side of 1967’s “I’ll Be Sweeter Tomorrow (Than I Was Today)”. “I Dig Your Act” was written by brothers Robert and Stanley Poindexter, with someone called L Harper. The siblings also wrote the A-Side with Jackie Members and Emma Jean Thomas. These were among a number of tracks recorded by the O’Jays in the mid 60s for Bell Records. While the group garnered a few minor US hits in the 60s none matched the scale of their breakthrough smash “Backstabbers” on the Philadelphia International label in 1972. That was a US R & B number 1, number 3 in the main Billboard chart and a top twenty hit in the UK. Incidentally did you know why they were called the O’Jays? I didn’t until I did the research for this post. In the early 60s they were a quintet consisting of Eddie Levert, Walter Williams, William Powell, Bobby Massey and Bill Isles. They were not making much progress until they were taken under the wing of Cleveland Radio DJ, Eddie O’Jay, who became their manager. At that point the group changed their name from the Triumphs to the O’Jay’s in Eddie’s honour.

I believe that “I Dig Your Act” was a minor Northern Soul success in the UK, at places like the Twisted Wheel, the beat suggests as much, albeit at the less frenetic end of that Northern Soul pace. I used to own the record on 7 inch vinyl, which I probably purchased at the Bop Shop in Rayners Lane near Harrow in West London. In my teenage years full of angst I played it a lot, especially when I was dumped by the girl of my dreams, and to be fair there were plenty of those girls. I felt that the bravado and swagger of the tune and the lyrics probably helped me to get through many rejections from girls as a teenager. To be fair and to add some balance I was probably the dumper as often, if not more often, than I was the dumpee. Lyrics like “I dig your act, I want a front row seat to watch you try in vain to get me back” probably soothed my angst very well. On top of that the production and call and response style gave the song a really happy vibe. I hope you enjoy it, I still love it even after all these years.

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Play It Again Mayhem – “Pyjamarama” – Roxy Music June 11, 2020


This is the third in an occasional series of songs that I don’t believe ever got the airplay they deserved, or at least not much airplay since the original release. The previous two were “Everybody Was Rockin‘” by the late great Betty Wright and “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” by Elton John. I hope that eventually there will be an accompanying playlist for this series!

Number three in the Play It Again Mayhem series is Roxy Music’s 1973 single “Pyjamarama” which reached number ten in the UK singles chart and stayed in the charts for twelve weeks. It was released between the first album ‘Roxy Music’ and the second album ‘For Your Pleasure’ but it featured on neither of them. It was only the band’s second single coming out around eight months after breakthrough hit “Virginia Plain”, which also never featured on a Roxy Music studio album (apart from some later pressings of the record). The band line up was largely the classic Roxy line up and still included Brian Eno. “Pyjamarama” was written by Bryan Ferry and was supposedly the first Roxy song that he wrote on the guitar. Instrumentally Phil Manzanera’s guitar sound is impeccable and I love Paul Thompson’s drum sound too. This is my favourite Roxy Music single by a long way! I also think it is one of the best one-word song titles ever. I would love to hear your thoughts on the track. Lyrics are copied below in case you want to sing along! There is also a video of a live version included which feels slowed down and quirky.

“Pyjamarama” – Lyrics (Bryan Ferry)

Couldn’t sleep a wink last night
Oh how I’d love to hold you tight
They say you have a secret life
Made sacrifice your key to paradise
Never mind, take the world by storm
Just boogaloo a rhapsody divine
Take a sweet girl just like you
How nice if only we could bill and coo

I may seem a fool to you for ev’rything
I say or think or do
How could I apologise for all those lies
The world may keep us far apart but up in heaven, angel
You can have my heart
Diamonds may be your best friend
But like laughter after tears
I’ll follow you to the end

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