With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“They joined together and decided not to fight” Blog Advent Calendar Day 6 December 6, 2014


TheFarmNot long to go now until the bearded weirdy drops down your chimney is it? Today is 6th December and that means it’s day six in this years Advent blog post series. In case you are new to this site let me remind you that this years theme is the ABC of British bands and today we are at the letter ‘F’. I have chosen Liverpool’s the Farm to appear behind the little cardboard door on todays advent calendar. Let’s face it, they’re better than chocolate aren’t they?

616e5b539694f09ffa5b400cc46ec280The band formed in 1983 although they didn’t score their first chart hit until 1990 when they had two UK top ten hits with “Groovy Train” and “All Together Now” both from their album ‘Spartacus’. That album was produced by Stan Cullimore and Paul Heaton off of the Housemartins and Suggs off of Madness.

3l“All Together Now” is about the unauthorised spontaneous truce between German and British soldiers on Christmas Day 1914. This was the first Christmas of the first world war and the soldiers stepped out of their trenches for a game of football. Sadly the powers that be made sure that it never happened again. The song has been rereleased for football reasons twice as well. For Everton’s 1995 FA Cup Final appearance and for the England team in their 2004 European Championships campaign. There is charity recording of the song scheduled for release on 15th December in aid of the Shorncliffe Trust and the British Red Cross. Shara Nelson, Clean Bandit, Gabrielle, Alexandra Burke, David Gray, Guy Chambers, Amelle Berrabah, Mick Jones (off of the Clash), Jermain Jackman and Gorgon City are among a number of artists who took part in the recording. Buy it, you know it makes sense!

 

“You could be the DJ I could be the dance floor” April 24, 2013


JLSasaurus now extinct....... WOOOO HOOO!

JLSasaurus now extinct……. WOOOO HOOO!

It is with obvious regret and sadness that I have to announce the appalling news that JLS will be breaking up. I would also like to ask is that first sentence true? Well technically the bit about JLS breaking up was, but the obvious regret and sadness was in fact complete bollocks. My only sadness is that this didn’t happen so much sooner. How did we manage to give these useless pop muppets the oxygen of publicity for nearly five years! They arrived via a TV show which is less tasteful than the sulphur discharge from Satan‘s hemorrhoids; that’ll be the X Factor. They didn’t even finish first, that was the equally short on talent Alexandra Burke.

Someone stole all the toilets and toilet doors so JLS were left squatting and unable to go.....is that why they are full of shit?

Someone stole all the toilets and toilet doors so JLS were left squatting and unable to go…..is that why they are full of shit?

In five years they have clearly wrung their teenage audience dry (well technically they have drained the coffers of the parents of their teenage audience); four albums and five UK number one singles? What has the world come to? As if Westlife were not bad enough these boys have taken the worst of them and added a dance beat and more stage dancing. so goodbye to Oritse Williams, Marvin Humes, J.B. Gill and Aston Merrygold. I would love to say I’ll miss you, but that would be a lie. But I guess the ensuing solo albums might be so bad that they’ll be good for a laugh. One will do an album of German oompah style covers of the Dead Kennedy’s back catalogue, another will spit out a concept album about how My Little Pony‘s are made and the other two will collaborate on a re-recording of everything JLS have ever recorded using only flatulence and water! But obviously being the superstars that they are they couldn’t just break up and go away, they have to do the obligatory farewell tour, which has been very imaginatively titled ‘Goodbye; The Greatest Hits Tour’ which as you have probably guessed will be in support of the album ‘Goodbye: The Greatest Hits’. So clearly not a cynical cash in is it? Then there will be the reunion tour in 2023 to look forward to.

By the end of next year our fan base will be about as big as this!

By the end of next year our fan base will be about as big as this!

Finally and just to add a degree of balance I have included a video of one of their UK number ones just in case any of their obviously distraught fans has arrived here by mistake!

JayLS-inbetweeners-JLS-Jay-JayCartwright-1330733694z

 

“Pretty lights on the tree I’m watching them shine” December 25, 2010


As a special Billy Christmas bonus for those of you who have stuck with me through each and every one of the 25 posts on my UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar. Here are the 21 UK Christmas number ones that did not get seen or heard on any of the original posts. Enjoy them as you digest your turkey and enjoy a nice glass of wine 🙂

And finally at the end of the post I couldn’t resist adding another bonus, the final song is my favourite Christmas song ever, it’s Darlene Love with “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”

1953       Frankie Laine     “Answer Me

1954       Winifred Atwell  “Let’s Have Another Party

1956       Johnnie Ray        “Just Walkin’ in the Rain

1959       Emile Ford & The Checkmates    “What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?

1969       Rolf Harris           “Two Little Boys

1976       Johnny MathisWhen A Child Is Born (Soleado)

1977       Wings    “Mull of Kintyre

1980       St Winifred’s School ChoirThere’s No-one Quite Like Grandma

1982       Renée and Renato          “Save Your Love

1985       Shakin’ Stevens                “Merry Christmas Everyone

1992       Whitney HoustonI Will Always Love You

1993       Mr BlobbyMr Blobby

1994       East 17 “Stay Another Day

1995       Michael JacksonEarth Song

1997       Spice Girls           “Too Much

2000       Bob The Builder                “Can We Fix It?

2001       Robbie Williams & Nicole Kidman              “Somethin’ Stupid

2005       Shayne Ward     “That’s My Goal

2006       Leona Lewis       “A Moment Like This

2007       Leon Jackson     “When You Believe

2008       Alexandra Burke              “Hallelujah

 

“When you’re sure you’ve had enough of this life, well hang on” October 3, 2010


A recent survey undertaken by PRS for Music sought to discover the songs that make us men cry. A total of 1,700 men were polled and the results make somewhat interesting reading I think. The top ten is shown below, with a few comments from me. Click here to read a report on the results in the UK free newspaper, the Metro.

1. Everybody Hurts – REM – A great REM song taken from the classic ‘Automatic For The People‘ album. It was written by drummer Bill Berry, although he didn’t play drums on the track, that was done by a drum machine. He also said that the song was aimed at teenagers. In 2006 the song was voted 4th in a poll by Channel 5 to discover ‘Britain Favourite Break Up Songs’
2. Tears in HeavenEric Clapton – A very sad song in many ways. Clapton wrote it with Will Jennings after the death of his four-year old son Conor in 1991. The boy fell from the window of a friend’s apartment in New York
3. Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen – Now this one is a classic and has been covered by many artists. X Factor winner Alexandra Burke reached number one in the UK with, at best a very mediocre working of the song and at its worst would easily make music purists cry. In my opinion the best version is easily that of the late, great Jeff Buckley and that version can indeed bring tears to my eyes
4. Nothing Compares 2 USinead O’Connor – She will always have my respect for tearing up a photo of the pope on US TV, I bet that made a few people cry with rage though. It reached number one in the UK in 1990. The song is actually a cover version of a song written by his royal purpleness, Prince. It was recorded and released by the Family in 1985, this was simply a vehicle to enable Prince to release more of his material.
5. With or Without YouU2 – This was the first single from ‘The Joshua Tree’ in 1987 and became their first US number one song.
6. The Drugs Don’t Work – The Verve – This was the band’s most successful UK single and reached number one in 1997, having been released the day after Princess Diana died. It was written by lead singer Richard Ashcroft about his own drug habit and also about the death of his father.
7. Candle In The WindElton John – I really do prefer the original version of this song, it was about Marilyn Monroe and was taken from the album ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road‘ However, sadly, in my opinion, the version that most people remember is the rewritten version for Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997, although in its defence it did raise millions for charity. Incidentally I reckon that must be the first time Princess Diana has been mentioned more than once in any of my posts.
8. Streets of Philadelphia – Bruce Springsteen – Bruce wrote this for the first mainstream movie to tackle HIV/ AIDS, ‘Philadelphia’ from 1993. The song won the best original song Oscar. It reached number one in many countries, although not in the US or UK. It has also been known to occasionally open my tear ducts too.
9. Unchained Melody – Todd Duncan – whilst the article lists the Todd Duncan version, which was taken from the 1955 prison film; ‘Unchained’ it is probably the Righteous Brothers version that most people know. That version was recorded in the sixties but became a massive hit again when it was used in the 1990 film ‘Ghost’. It has been recorded by more than 500 artists including, Jimmy Young, Elvis Presley, the Supremes, U2, the Smashing Pumpkins and there was also an excruciatingly bad version by Pop Idol muppet Gareth Gates.
10. AngelsRobbie Williams – As regular readers of this blog know, I am definitely not a Robbie fan and I particularly dislike this song. I really don’t get it, I mean “I’m loving angels instead”? Instead of what exactly?

There are a few songs that can make me blub, many by Johnny Nash, Bob Marley and Jeff Buckley. But perhaps the one that does it the most is “Sailing” by Rod Stewart. It was always my Dad’s favourite song and we played it as his funeral back in 2001. What songs make you cry?

Finally let me finish with a classic video for one of my favourite songs about crying. It’s “Cry” by Godley and Creme

 

“They’re singing Deck The Halls, but it’s not like Christmas at all” December 24, 2009


I thought I would share with you a little project I undertook on Facebook during December. I called it my Advent Calendar of Uncovered Cover Versions. It is repeated here exactly as it appeared daily on my Facebook pages. I hope that my regular Blog readers enjoy it and that you all enjoy a wonderful Christmas and a brilliant 2010

December 1st

OK so the advent calendar is all about uncovering something good each day leading to Christmas right? So Ithought I would try to do something slightly related and try and post a cover version each day until Christmas. Starting today 1st December with Patti Smith’s version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit

December 2nd

December 2nd of my advent uncovered cover versions project (did you like yesterdays?) Todays is Florence and the Machine with an excellent cover of the Source featuring Candi Staton’s “You Got The Love“…….. enjoy!

December 3rd

and so on to Day 3 of my under the cover versions advent project. The top tune for today is a cover of Britney Spears’ ‘Oops I Did It Again’ by the rather talented Richard Thompson. What do you think of it?

December 4th

Day 4 (December 4th) of the Advent Calender uncovered cover versions project (or obsession) of mine 🙂 Under the little cardboard flap today you won’t find some cheap and bland chocolate. Instead you will find Jimi Hendrix playing what in my opinion is the greatest cover version of all time. It’s Jimi’s version of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” recorded at the Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970 … enjoy!

 December 5th

 It’s December 5th and here is Day 5 in my advent uncovered cover versions project. This one is a real doozy! It’s Richard Cheese covering the rather spiffing Blink182 song “What’s My Age Again?” I love this one, what do you think?

 December 6th

 December 6th and day 6 of my Advent oncovered cover versions project. Today it’s the turn of Suzi Quatro with an Elvis classic “All Shook Up” . I chose this one because it is even in the news today. Check the story here

 December 7th

 It’s December 7th and therefore Day 7 of my Advent uncovered cover versions. Today’s is a bit obvious, but nonetheless a great cover. It’s Jacko’s ‘Smooth Criminal’ as done by the fantastically named Alien Ant Farm

 December 8th

 It’s December 8th and therfore Day 8 of my Advent Calendar Uncovered Covers project. Today’s was an easy choice really. On the 29th anniversary of his death this is John Lennon with a great cover of Ben E King’s “Stand By Me” I love this song

 December 9th

 Hello again peeps, it’s the 9th December which brings us to song number 9 in my Advent Calendar uncovered cover versions. Todays is a bit of an indulgent one in that it is a cover of the excellent Pendulum’s “Blood Sugar” by my son Luke’s band Steal The Smile. Enjoy!

 December 10th

 Hello folks. December 10th and obviously day 10 of my Advent uncovered cover versions project. Todays is one of my favourite songs as covered by my favourite band ever! It’s the Clash with Junior Murvin’s “Police And Thieves

 December 11th

 It’s Friday December 11th and therefore it’s Day 11 in the Advent uncovered cover versions project. Today it’s the turn of Me First And The Gimmee Gimmees (and let’s face it no covers project would be complete without them). This is their version of the Olivia Newton John hit written by John Denver “Take Me Home Country Roads” By the way this is NOT a country version!

 December 12th

 December 12th and halfway through Advent calendar time, so onto Day 12 of my Advent uncovered cover versions project. Today’s is a must have as far as cover versions go. It’s Nouvelle Vague with an excellent cover of the Joy Division classic “Love Will Tear Us Apart“. Enjoy

 December 13th

 December 13th and the thirteenth cover version of my Advent Uncovered Covers Project. Today’s is one of my most favourite cover versions ever. It’s the late, great Jeff Buckley with a live version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” (You may know it as the one that was somewhat massacred by Alexandra Burke last Christmas courtesy of Mr Cowell! This version really is the dog’s testicles though, what do you think?

 December 14th

 December 14th and strangely enough Day 14 of my uncovered cover versions project. Today’s is sung by someone who in my opinion the greatest female singer ever (very sexy too). Yes it’s Kate Bush with her version of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing

 December 15th

 Day 15 in my Advent Calendar of uncovered cover versions. Todays is perhaps one of the strangest. It is the Deep Purple Classic “Smoke On Water” a true guitar shop classic as played by Senor Coconut and his Orchestra. Go on give it a listen, you know you want to 🙂

 December 16th

 Day 16 of the Advent uncovered cover versions project and today is a song that many people often don’t realise is a cover. It’s the Beatles with their excellent version of the Isley Brothers song “Twist And Shout“. Listen to this and you’ll see just how weak Olly Murs version from the X Factor was!

 December 17th

 It’s already Day 17 in my Advent Calendar Uncovered Cover Versions project. Today’s song is performed by the Section Quartet and it’s a great instrumental orchestral cover of the brilliant Muse song “Time Is Running Out

 December 18th

 Day 18 of my Advent uncovered cover versions project and I thought it was about time for a Christmas song. This is a cover of “Do They Know It’s Christmas” for a whole myriad of charities and it features some brilliant bands and artists (well in my opinion) Fucked Up, Tegan & Sarah, Bob Mould, the wonderful Yo La Tengo and many, many more 🙂

 December 19th

 Day 19 of my Advent uncovered cover versions and thanks to the inclement weather I nearly missed this one (but more of that story another day!). Todays song may surprise some of you. It’s Marvin Gaye with “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” which was in fact a cover of the original hit by Gladys Knight. Personally I prefer Marvin’s version!

 December 20th

 It’s now Day 20 of my Advent Uncovered Cover Versions project. This one is especially for the boys at Chris’ 50th last night (so that’ll be me, Glen, Neil, Phil and obviously Chris! Apologies from Bryan and Keith sadly!) The song goes back to the mid 70’s and was originally done by the Glitter Band. It’s “Let’s Get Together Again as recorded and mixed by the Human League. If you’d like to hear the original here it is

 December 21st

 And on to Day 21 (that’ll be 21st December then!) in my Advent uncovered cover versions project. Today’s song is the Oasis classic “Wonderwall” as sung by the brilliant Ryan Adams (not Bryan ok!!) Apparently Noel Gallagher thinks that Ryan’s arrangement is even better than his own. For the hell of it here is the link to the Mike Flowers Pops version too!

December 22nd

Day 22 of my Advent Uncovered Cover Versions Project and there will be more Christmas songs included but not today. The selection for December 22nd is the Foo Fighters with a cover of the rather good Wings song “Band On The Run

December 23rd

Day 23 of my Advent Calendar Uncovered Cover Versions Project, that means just one more day after this! So I decided to make today and tomorrow Christmas songs as the big Chrimbo thingy is upon us. Obviously I was always going to use this one. It’s “Peace On Earth/ Little Drummer Boy” from Bing Crosby and David Bowie

December 24th

It’s Christmas Eve and here it is, the final song in my Advent Calendar Uncovered Cover Versions Project (until next year anyway!) It is a song that originally featured on the Phil Spector Christmas Album from 1963 (Incidentally that album was released the day JFK was killed!) It is “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” originally by Darlene Love and played here by U2. The original song is my favourite Christmas song by a long way. Happy Christmas everyone and I hope that Santa brings you what you wish for Joriginally by Darlene Love and played here by U2. The original song is my favourite Christmas song by a long way. Happy Christmas everyone and I hope Santa brings you what you wish for 🙂

 

 
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