With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

In The Night EP – Vuromantics October 5, 2017

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 9:13 pm
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I have just been sent a stream for the new Vuromantics EP ‘In The Night’. I must say this is a really refreshing listen. The title track is the Average White Band married to some slow Italian House piano. “Questions” is incredibly soulful and strikes me at times as maybe how a British offshoot of Parliament/ Funkadelic might sound. Vuromantics have a wonderfully quirky and different sound that I defy you not to like. This band oozes talent, “The Wave” washes over you like a soft warm sea and would fit perfectly in a classic chill out compilation. After three listens “Not Over You” is probably my favourite, at least for now, classic break-up pop. Over the course of these five tracks it is clear that they are steeped in the electronic and pop traditions and history of their home city of Sheffield. If you like the Human League, Heaven 17, ABC and Pulp then you should find a tonic for your ears in the smooth and heartfelt sound of Vuromantics. The vocal refrain from final track, the truly majestic “Glory” is ‘I wish nothing but glory for you’ and frankly I wish nothing but glory for Vuromantics. Remember the names Sam Christie (vocals), Jake Christie (guitar, keyboard), Callum Hall (bass,synth), Ben Rooker (synth) and Sergio Ali (drums) because they are Vuromantics and I will be surprised and shocked if we don’t hear a lot more from them.

The EP is out on Alya Records on 20th October. Buy it, download it, stream it, just bloody well get it! They also have six UK dates coming up so check them out live. I definitely want to see them on stage. I hope to be at the Leeds show on November 2nd.

 

“One cool million for one cool caress” March 3, 2015


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Regular readers will know that I am not a big fan of 80s music. But there are two Trevor Horn produced albums that stand out for me as rather excellent. Those albums are ‘Welcome To The Pleasure Dome’ from Frankie Goes To Hollywood and ‘The Lexicon Of Love‘ by ABC.

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Until now though I never knew that there had been collaboration between the two bands. Not in a big way, but the boys from Frankie sang backing vocals on ABC’s song “SOS”.

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“Looking for the girl that meets supply with demand” Blog Advent Calendar Day 1 2014 December 1, 2014


ABC

Blimey where has the year gone? It seems like only yesterday that I was putting together last years Christmas posts for this blog. This years advent blog post theme is an A to Z of British bands. I should point out that they are not all bands that I like, but hopefully someone out there does. Anyway the first post on this first day of December relates to one of Sheffield’s finest, a band who in my opinion recorded one of the best albums of the 1980s. I am referring, of course to ABC. Is there a better way to start a series like this? I think not!

Martin Fry basted and wrapped in Baco Foil ready for Christmas

Martin Fry basted and wrapped in Baco Foil ready for Christmas

ABC’s début album ‘The Lexicon Of Love‘ released in 1982 was also a major success for former Buggle Trevor Horn who produced it. The album topped the UK album charts, although sadly the band never topped the UK singles charts. They did reach the peak of the US Dance Chart on three occasions from 1982 to 1987 though. The band is now largely just singer Martin Fry and can be found on many 80’s nostalgia tours. Now it’s time for you to enjoy a few of my favourite ABC songs.

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“When your girl has left you out on the pavement” August 14, 2013


ABC Lexicon Of Love - London 1982

Regular readers of this blog will know that the 80s is my least favourite musical decade. however there were certainly some musical gems released in that dastardly period. Notably one of my favourite albums of all time; “Lexicon Of Love” from one of Sheffield’s finest bands, ABC in 1982. It was masterfully produced by Trevor Horn with stunning arrangements from Anne Dudley. For me this album really hasn’t aged at all.

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Lead singer and now the only original member left wrote most of the songs from the experience of being dumped by his girlfriend. But there is an excellent piece of trivia relating to one of the wonderful singles spawned by the album, “The Look Of Love” that I only heard about recently. Just after the line ‘When your girl has left you out on the pavement’ you can hear a female voice in response singing ‘goodbye’. Apparently this word is performed by the girl who dumped Martin Fry. Apparently Trevor Horn felt that this was a good idea. I have done a little research to find out the name of this woman, but I have so far drawn a blank. So if you are her or you know who she is I would love to interview her about her part in music history!

abc

The single reached number 4 in the UK charts and number 18 in the Billboard charts in the US. It went further in Canada and France where it reached number one. It was also a big success in the US Dance Chart were it also hit the top spot. The ‘Lexicon Of Love’ album went to number one in the UK album chart and acheived the same in both New Zealand and Finland.

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“If you just put your hand in mine, we’re gonna lay all our troubles behind” February 10, 2012


Do you receive a regular selection of random e mails from various groups that you have subscribed to over the years? I get loads and often I can’t be bothered to look at them. But for some reason I took a  chance and opened one at random. It contained stacks of old pictures. Mostly of different stars together and not necessarily those that had worked together. Here are a few that I really liked and had never seen before. let me know what you think of them.

Bob Marley & the Wailers and the Jackson 5

George Harrison & Bob Marley

Mick Jagger & Jimi Hendrix

Mick Jagger & James Brown

No more words required just listen to some great music by some of those artists while you enjoy the pictures.

 

“I’m just about at the end of my rope, but I can’t stop trying, I can’t give up hope” December 15, 2011


Smokey and the Miracles really tried their best to help out in the promotion of my ABC of Motown Advent Calendar

Have you been good? Will Santa bring you lots of goodies (I mean as in presents as opposed to Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie of course)? I hope you are getting excited anyway as we’re now on day 15 of my ABC of Motown Advent Calendar, yes folks it’s December 15th and it’s the letter O. the song is from one of my favourite Motown voices, Smokey Robinson. It comes from his days with the Miracles and it is “Ooo Baby Baby

The song was written by Smokey and Pete Moore of the Miracles. The strings were arranged by Pete Moore. As is usual with almost all Motown hits it was the supremely talented Funk Brothers who provided the backing. “Ooo Baby Baby” reached number 16 in the US chart in 1965. A cover version of the song by Linda Ronstadt hit number 7 in the US in 1979. sadly it never charted in the UK. It has been covered by many other artists in addition to Ronstadt; including Todd Rundgren, Ella Fitzgerald and Shalamar who covered it as part of their “Uptown Festival” hit from 1977. That recording was actually a medley of classic Motown hits.

Smokey’s real name is William Robinson Jnr. His Uncle Claude gave him the nickname ‘Smokey Joe’ when Smokey was a boy. Smokey initially thought of it as his cowboy name, but as he got older his Uncle explained that as young Master Robinson was quite light-skinned it was a name to remind him of his roots. He dropped the Joe part of the nickname when he was a teenager. A couple of Smokey’s children also have interesting names too. There is a son called Berry, named after Motown President Berry Gordy. Smokey was Vice President of the label from 1961 until 1988. He also has a daughter called Tamla named after a label from the Motown portfolio. Those Motown fans from the UK will be very familiar with the amalgamated name the label took in Europe where it was known as Tamla Motown.

He also gets a mention in a couple of hit songs too. Firstly there is the sublime “Genius Of Love” from Talking Heads offshoot the Tom Tom Club in 1981. Most notably though he was the main man in ABC’s 1987 hit “When Smokey Sings”

 

“Sit yourself down, take a seat all you gotta do is repeat after me” December 1, 2011


Here we are at December already and this will be the third year of my musical Christmas Advent calendar. In 2009 it was cover versions and last year it was UK Christmas number ones. So what will it be this year? It will be an ABC of Motown songs and I bet you can’t guess what is under that little cardboard flap for December 1st.

Well obviously it has to be “ABC” by the Jackson 5 doesn’t it? This song was one of my favourite 45s in my then fledgling record collection in the early 70s. I’m pretty sure I bought it at the old Uxbridge market, probably in 1970 or 1971. I no longer have the vinyl but I do have it on various CDs and on my iPod too. I was a real fan of the Jackson 5 in those days and this led to me going to see them at the Wembley Empire Pool in November 1973. I had actually wanted to go and see David Bowie in May of that year but my Dad wouldn’t let me! He said that Bowie was a ‘bloody weirdo’. It’s strange how things worked out isn’t it? But my Dad and I did have a laugh about that during the long conversations that we shared in the year before he died. If there is anything after this existence I’m sure he is chuckling now.

“ABC” was the second in a run of four consecutive US number one singles starting in 1969 with “I Want You Back”. The third was “The Love You Save” and the run ended with “I’ll Be There” in 1970. “ABC” was written by ‘The Corporation’ which consisted of Motown head honcho Berry Gordy along with Freddie Perren, Alphonzo Mizell and Deke Richards. This writing team wrote the first three of this quartet of songs. “ABC” only managed the number 8 spot in the UK.

Wilton Felder, a member of the Crusaders, played bass guitar on the track. Obviously it was a very young (just 11 years old) Michael Jackson who provided the lead vocal. The first airing of the song on US TV was on the American Bandstand show which coincidentally was on the ABC network. You can see that clip below. The song is one of the shortest titles ever to reach the top of the US charts.

The Jackson 5 on tour again sponsored by Jelly Babies

 

 
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