With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“As long as we’re together the rest can go to hell” October 4, 2018


As regular readers will know I am a huge fan of David Bowie, although I am not keen on a lot of his output in the 80s. But even in that period there were some gems. One of those is for me the single “Absolute Beginners” a Langer Winstanley production from 1986. I also pride myself in knowing a lot of trivia about the Dame. But I recently read some trivia about “Absolute Beginners” that I never knew before. Kevin Armstrong was Bowie’s guitarist at that time and had been since he put together a band to back him at the previous years Live Aid concert. Armstrong says that when they were recording the song Bowie said that he wanted a backing/ co-vocalist who “sounded like a shop girl”. Kevin said “my sister works in a shop” and from that history was made! The previously unrecorded, untested and I believe 22 years old Janet Armstrong recorded a counterpoint vocal that is definitely comparable to many professional singers! Janet if by any chance you are reading this may I say thank you and I would love to offer you the chance to be interviewed by this blog. 🙂

 

“We are the children, the last generation, we are the ones they left behind” September 12, 2018


In 1985 Tina Turner’s “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)” the theme song from the third film in the Mad Max movie franchise, ‘Mad Max: Beyond The Thunderdome’, reached the top five in at least nine countries. The song was written by Terry Britten and Graham Lyle off of Gallagher and Lyle. The song also featured a children’s choir from the King’s House School in Richmond, Surrey. One of the members of the choir went on to much greater fame as the captain of England’s Rugby Union team. It was none other than Lawrence Dallaglio!

 

“Just One Look And I Can Hear A Bell Ring” September 11, 2018


Swedish pop giants Abba scored their second UK number 1 in 1975 with “Mamma Mia”. The song was taken from the self titled ‘ABBA’ released the same year. It also hit the top spot in Australia, Ireland and Germany. Many of you will be familiar with it as it provided the title to the mega successful film musicals; ‘Mamma Mia: The Movie’ and ‘Mamma: Mia: Here We Go Again’. But did you know that the song was never intended to be a single and more importantly Abba had originally not planned to record it at all. The song was offered to the UK’s Brotherhood Of Man who won the Eurovision Song Contest two years after Abba. But Brotherhood Of Man turned it down, I wonder if they regret that? I also wonder what the stage musical and film musicals based around Abba’s music might have been called if Benny, Bjorn, Agnetha and Anni-Frid had not recorded it. The opening of the song features an African version of the xylophone known as a Marimba, an instrument used extensively by Earth, Wind and Fire in the 70s.

Talking of 70s soul and funk, Abba were apparently massive Stevie Wonder fans and they utilised and slightly reworked the bass line from Wonder’s “I Wish” on their sixth UK number one “The Name Of The Game”. In 1997 the Fugees sampled that Abba bass part on “Rumble In The Jungle”, a top 3 UK hit, which was the first time Abba had ever allowed one of their songs to be sampled.

 

“And the first one said to the second one there; I hope you’re having fun” August 6, 2018


Many of you, I am sure, are aware that Paul McCartney recently played a gig at the iconic Liverpool venue the Cavern. The original Cavern is seen by many as were the Beatles were born. The Fabs played nearly 300 shows there. Click here to read the write-up in the Guardian. Whilst this show in itself is historical with Macca playing to a small crowd in his home city of Liverpool, (he also played the same venue in 1999) this is not the Cavern of old.

In 1973 the original Cavern Club was subject to a compulsory purchase order by British Rail. The warehouses that sat atop the club were demolished and the rubble was used to fill the famous cellar club. But it sounds like Sir Paul played a stunning set of nearly thirty songs, including 13 Beatles tracks, 6 from the Wings catalogue and many more. Were you there? If you were I would love to interview you for this blog.

The full set list, preceded by a band jam, was;

  • 20 Flight Rock
  • Magical Mystery
  • Jet
  • All My Loving
  • Letting Go
  • Come On To Me
  • Let Me Roll It
  • I Got A Feeling
  • My Valentine
  • Queenie Eye
  • Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five
  • Lady Madonna
  • In Spite Of All The Danger
  • Things We Said Today
  • Confidante
  • Love Me Do
  • Who Cares
  • Birthday
  • I Wanna Be Your Man
  • Fuh You
  • Get Back
  • Ob La Di
  • Band On The Run
  • Hi Hi Hi
  • I Saw Her Standing There
  • Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • Helter Skelter

All photos were sourced via Google. If they are your pictures I would be happy to credit you on the post, or remove them. 

 

“It’s my entrance, my own creation, my grand finale, my goodbye” May 24, 2018


Shortly after the Sex Pistols played their last show, until the 90s reunion, in January 1978 John Lydon found himself in Jamaica, courtesy of Virgin Records. He was there to help source some reggae acts and tracks for Virgin’s Front Line operation. At this point Public Image Limited was still a little way off. Richard Branson had some other ideas for the former Mr Rotten. He flew Devo‘s Mark Mothersbaugh and Bob Casales out to Jamaica to persuade them to take John Lydon on as the next Devo lead vocalist. Obviously that didn’t happen but PIL did and personally I find that quite a fascinating what if from rocks rich history.

 

 

“You’re the only one who really knew me at all” May 23, 2018


Phil Collins’ mega hit “Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)” was his seventh US number one. It also hit the top spot in Norway, Canada and Ireland, peaking at number two in the UK. The song is the theme song to the film of the same name which starred Rachel Ward, Jeff Bridges and James Woods. It was written and performed by Mr Collins and was produced by Arif Mardin. Cover versions of the song by Mariah Carey with Westlife and later by X Factor winner Steve Brookstein reached the top of the UK chart in 2000 and 2005 respectively. Now that is all very well and you probably know that stuff already, but did you know what the working title of the song was when Phil was writing it? It was “How Can You Just Sit There?” which for me probably ranks among the worst song titles ever. What do you think?

 

“Why does it feel so good?” May 22, 2018


Do you know what the first song ever to be played on an iPod when Apple first tested the device in 2001? It was a UK, New Zealand, Irish and Australian number one from the previous year; “Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)” by Italian Producer Spiller featuring Sophie Ellis-Bextor. It was in the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) format favoured by Apple. The song also performed a great public service when it charted in 2000. It kept “Out of Your Mind” by True Steppers and Dane Bowers featuring Victoria Beckham at number 2 in the UK. Posh remains the only Spice Girl never to have had a solo UK number one single.

 

 
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