With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“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.

 

“There’s a city in my mind, come along and take that ride” March 12, 2018

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 9:14 pm
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This is probably old news to many of you, but I have only just discovered it. Around ten years ago former Talking Heads head honcho David Byrne designed a range of bicycle racks that were installed across New York. Mr Byrne is a very keen cyclist, once in a lifetime he can be found cycling on the road to nowhere!

 

“We’ll build a glass asylum, with just a hint of mayhem” January 8, 2018


Regular readers of this blog know that I am a big David Bowie fan. This began in July 1972 when I witnessed that now iconic performance of “Starman” on BBC’s Top Of The Pops. I was lucky enough to see him play live ten times from 1976 to 2004 and I still buy every release, and to be fair there have been many since his death nearly two years ago. I recently received the latest in the seven inch vinyl picture disc series, the 40th anniversary release of the “Beauty And The Beast” single. It has a terrific version of “Blackout” on the B Side. Today would have been the Dame’s 71st birthday, I know to many of you that probably sounds old, but it is only 12 years older than me! Obviously like many fans I was saddened by his passing, but I am still somewhat freaked out by the amount of on-line Bowie fans that still speak of their despair at his loss, how they still wake up crying.

But enough of that morbidity, I do still celebrate the birthday of the late David Robert Jones. On a work day that means that I wear my David Bowie cuff links as I did today. I also received a few more David Bowie related books at Christmas, I think I now own around 70 in total. One of those Christmas presents was ‘David Bowie – A Life’ by Dylan Jones. Jones met and interviewed Bowie on many occasions and he uses that material along with old and new interviews with many people who were a part of the world of David Bowie. This includes the Spiders From Mars, Dana Gillespie, Bob Harris, Earl Slick, Mike Garson, Carlos Alomar, Peter Frampton, Nina Simone, Mick Rock, Nick Kent, Charles Shaar Murray, Bebe Buell and Coco Schwab to name just a few. The book is organised chronologically and is incredibly well put together. In my opinion it is beyond doubt the best Bowie biography for many years and easily the best to be published since his demise. It is tasteful and manages to unearth a few things that personally I had never read before; How he had tried to reform the Spiders From Mars in 1978 and how in the US in the early 1970s someone turned up at his hotel sweet and offered him a still warm, dead body to have sex with. In respect of the latter he was apparently visibly shocked and upset and turned the offer down. When he lived in Mustique at a property he used to own there he often referred to one drink from the cocktail menu in Basil’s Bar as a Penis Colada.

This evening I have also dug out the magnificent Alan Yentob documentary ‘Cracked Actor’ from the mid 70s. It is a fascinating portrait of a talented man in a spiral of cocaine addiction and ensuing paranoia. In many ways it is a magnificent insider view of the transition from the Halloween Jack character of the post apocalyptic tales on ‘Diamond Dogs’ into the white soul boy of ‘Young Americans’. If you have never seen it, whether you are a fan or not you should check it out. From just the social history perspective it is truly fascinating. This is a bit of a Bowie ramble I know, but I haven’t done a Bowie post for a while, well apart from the specific one about the song “Andy Warhol” back in December. I don’t really need an excuse to play some Bowie tunes, but a 71st birthday and the impending second anniversary of his death works for me. Let’s celebrate the Dame’s wonderful recordings together, what is your favourite David Bowie song? My top three favourites are currently; “Quicksand”, “Young Americans” and “Lady Grinning Soul“.

As a footnote the eagle eyed readers and bat eared listeners may have sussed out where I took the title of my blog from, go on take a guess!

 

12 Days To Christmas – Day 12 – Father Christmas December 24, 2017


This is it Christmas Eve, day 12 of my 12 days to Christmas series of posts. The final one that brings you famous people from history featured in a song, obviously they have all been real and today is no exception. I bring you the bearded weirdy, the fat bloke in the red coat, yes old saint Nick or as I prefer to call him, Father Christmas. He is real ok, don’t let anyone hear you say otherwise! Father Christmas first appeared in the 17th century and until the Victorian age he was seen as a symbol of adult merry-making and feasting. It was around then that he became the bearer of yuletide gifts, especially to children. Santa Claus is an American traditional name for the Christmas figure. Father Christmas’ coat was depicted as green, brown and even blue. It was a big advertising campaign by Coca Cola in 1931 that switched to the now far more common red robes. As it’s Christmas I won’t be focusing on any particular artist today, but I have selected a diverse set of Father Christmas and Santa Claus songs. Finally I would like to wish all of my readers a very happy Christmas, or happy holiday, or a happy life, whatever floats your boat. Just be happy! If you would like to track Father Christmas’ progress in your area click here.

 

12 Days To Christmas – Day 11 – Grigori Rasputin December 23, 2017


This is the penultimate twelve days to Christmas post for the blog and we are clearly on day 11. Who is the famous character from history that is the subject of today’s song? well it’s the Russian mad, mystic monk known as Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin. He was born in January 1869 into a peasant family in Siberia and was assassinated by a group of disgruntled noblemen in 1916 aged 47 who were a tad unhappy with his close relationship with Tsar Nicholas II. This was not the first time someone had attempted to assassinate Grigori, a peasant woman tried to kill him with a knife in 1914, but he survived after surgery. In the early 1900’s he effectively became the leader of a small, but growing, religious cult. It is alleged that this is how he came to the attention of the Russian Royal Family. The Royals believed that Rasputin had healing powers which he practised on the Tsar. Rasputin’s daughter Maria once worked as a lion tamer in the USA. In one X-Men story Rasputin was revealed to be an ancestor of Russian mutant Colossus.

Mastodon had a song about Rasputin on their ‘Crack The Skye‘ album from 2009. He was also depicted on the cover of albums by Electronic and the Smashing Pumpkins among others. But none of those are the source of todays song, for that we are going back to 1978 with Boney M; a classic, kitsch Euro Disco band. The single “Rasputin” went to number one in the charts in Germany, Austria, Belgium, France and Australia. It made it to number 2 in the UK. I don’t know if it ever made the Russian charts. Bobby Farrell the male member of the Boney M four piece has a strange and coincidental link with Rasputin. Bobby’s death occurred on the anniversary of, and in the same city, St. Petersburg as, the death of the mad monk, albeit 94 years later. German music artist Frank Farian effectively manufactured Boney M after he began to have some success with his own recordings under that name. He put the band together to front his songs. They went on to become mega successful hitting number one in album and singles charts across the world from 1976 to 1979. The song was included on the band’s 1978 album ‘Nightflight To Venus’.

Boney M get festive!

 

 
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