As if I wasn’t struggling for space already my true love has now given me 10 lords a leaping. It was bad enough trying to keep the 9 ladies dancing still while I put them in storage yesterday, but these 10 Lords are even more feisty. Anyway you have probably worked out that it is now day 10 in my 12 days of Christmas series of posts; hence the 10 Lords a leaping. Unlike some of the earlier bird related gifts the Lords are not yet an endangered species, but given the movement for House Of Lords reform I’d like to think that they will be endangered in the future!
I have selected two Lord related songs for you today. Starting with the first ever solo number one by a member of the Beatles. It’s none other than the Quiet One, George Harrison with “My Sweet Lord” which made it to the top of the charts in 1971 in the UK, US, Canada, Austria, Switzerland and Norway to name but a few. It returned to the number one spot in the UK in 2002 following the George’s death two months earlier. The song comes from what in my opinion is one of the best albums released in the 70s, ‘All Things Must Pass’. Too much has been written about the ridiculous plagiarism that was brought against Harrison over his songs apparent similarity to the Chiffons “He’s So Fine” so I’ll say no more on that.
But what I find interesting is the stories and rumours about who may have played on the recording of the song. some of those stories include; Ringo Starr on tambourine, John Lennon on rhythm guitar, all four members of Badfinger taking part along with Gary Wright and some rhythm guitar parts overdubbed by Peter Frampton later. Harrison originally worked up the song with Billy Preston as part of a wish to write a gospel song. At one stage Harrison allegedly wanted to give the song to the famous gospel group the Edwin Hawkins Singers.
The song has been covered in the studio or in live performance by quite a diverse group of artists including; Richie Havens, Andy Williams, John Holt, Edwin Starr, Peggy Lee, Johnny Mathis, Julio Iglesias, Boy George, Osibisa, Nina Hagen and Jose Feliciano. There was also a somewhat cheeky “My Sweet Lord” cover released in 1975 by the Chiffons. Perhaps George should have sued them for that!
The second song choice today is “Lord Lucan Is Missing” from one of my favourite acts of the 90s/ 00s, Black Box Recorder. The band never really set the charts alight, but they have always been a great live attraction, Sadly I have so far never seen them live. The studio nucleus of the band is Sarah Nixey, Luke Haines formerly of the Auteurs and John Moores once a member of the Jesus and Mary Chain. The song featured on the bands first album, ‘England Made Me’ from 1998. That album also contained a couple of great cover versions too; “Up Town Top Ranking” (Althea and Donna) and “Seasons In The Sun” (Terry Jacks).
Since his disappearance in 1974 Lord Lucan has allegedly been sighted in every corner of the globe, none of these have so far proved to be real but included; France, Goa, New Zealand, South Africa, Namibia and Colombia. Lord Lucan, or to give him his full name and title, Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan, would have just turned 78 if he is still alive. Personally I think he is probably long dead. What do you think?
Blimey Freddie Mercury looks a bit grumpy doesn’t he?
Well I guess yesterday says and awful lot about those regular readers and many of the new ones. I include one fart clip and the views reach their highest in the history of this blog, well I know that history only stretches 9 days, but even so. Some of you who know me may have heard this before, but I have a theory that one day we just wake up and we’ve become mature. How do we know? What are the signs? Well for me I reckon my wardrobe will be full of nylon shirts, polyester trousers, sensible slip on shoes, a flat cap and a proper anorak. But that won’t be the real sign, the real indication will be that fart jokes are no longer funny. I can happily point out though that even though I’m now 50 years young fart jokes are still bloody hilarious. oh and my wardrobe still has plenty of jeans, t-shirts and my Converse All Stars
So what did you all think of the Brits then? I’ve posted my thoughts separately so I won’t bore you with them here. You’ll find them just below this post.
So onto the usual mundane mishmash of Birthdays and Onthisdays and maybe some other stuff too. Firstly 19th February 2009 is the 69th birthday of the supremely talented Mr William ‘Smokey’ Robinson. Smokey is not only a gifted singer, songwriter and producer but he was also appointed Vice President of Motown Records by Berry Gordy in 1972, which was the year the company moved from Detroit to LA. Robert Zimmerman (that’s Bob Dylan to the uninitiated) once called Smokey “the world’s greatest living poet” just listen to some of Smokey’s excellent lyrics and you’ll see why. “Tears Of A Clown” is a lyrical masterpiece in my opinion especially the way he manages to mention Pagliacci, give it a listen. You know the drill, click on the songs title. But my favourite Smokey composition is “The Love I Saw In You (Was Just A Mirage)” , here it is by the Jackson 5.
Smokey and the boys at their Butlins, Bognor residency!
Today is also the 63rd birthday of Pierre Van Den Linden off of Focus a very successful Dutch rock band who were very big in the early 70s. They had two top 20 singles in the UK in 1973, “Sylvia” and “Hocus Pocus” He left the band in 1974 but joined up with Thijs Van Leer from the original band in 2004 and they continue to tour. Here are the band performing both songs on the UKs classic show the ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’ in 1972. Oh I should point out that Focus were largely an instrumental group apart from the odd bits of wordless vocalising and yodelling!
There is definitely some cymbalism in this picture!
The final birthday for today is that of Seal perhaps most famous for “Kiss From A Rose” He had his first his as ‘featuring seal’ when he did the vocals for Adamski’s UK number 1, “Killer” in April 1990. Seal rerecorded his own version and took it to number 8 in the UK in November 1991. Seal was given up at birth by his mother Adebisi to a white foster family in Essex although she took him back when he was four. His full name is Sealhenry Samuel. The scars on his face are from contracting the disease Lupus in his early 20s. Here is the video for the Adamski and Seal version of “Killer“. Don’t you just love the jaunty angle at which Adamski wears his baseball cap and doesn’t Seal look young? Mind you that is nearly 20 years ago now!
No one ever seemed to want go clubbing with Seal!
On this day in 1977 Manfred Mann’s Earthband were number one in the USA with a Bruce Springsteen composition “Blinded By The Light“. Click the song title to see and hear the band play it live on a 70s TV show. It was also, I believe, the first UK hit with a Bruce Springsteen song. The Earthband had a unique selling point for one of their early albums. They gave away a small piece of Wales with each copy of “The Good Earth” sold.
Manfred Manns Earth Band
Now this next one is a strange ‘On This Day’ for the story covers this day in 1972 AND 1994 and relates to the same song. That song is the classic “Without You”. On this day in 1972 it was a UK number one for Harry Nilsson and on this day in 1994 it was a UK number one again, this time for Mariah Carey. The original version of the song was recorded as an album track by Badfinger and was written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans of the band. Things ended very tragically for Pete and Tim, both committed suicide by hanging themselves in 1975 and 1983 respectively. On a brighter note it’s strange that whilst Harry Nilsson wrote some excellent songs his two biggest hits, “Without You” and “Everybody’s Talking” were both written by others. “Without You” has become something of a standard for balladeers on talent shows such as X Factor and American Idol to the extent that in 2008, Valentina Hasan, a contestant of Music Idol Bulgaria, sang her own version of “Without You” in extremely broken English. It came to be known as “Ken Lee,” the video of Hasan’s performance was a big hit on You Tube. So that you can make up your own mind here are four versions;
And almost finally for today, not quite a fart clip, but in the same region so to speak. On this day in 2004 Johnny Cash’s family blocked an attempt to use his classic song “Ring Of Fire” to promote haemorrhoid products. I can understand how they must have felt and I suppose they didn’t really need ‘piles’ of money either 🙂
Johnny shows the best way to treat haemorrhoids, don't forget to wash afterwards though!
And finally today here is another fart clip, a music related one in fact. But don’t worry this will not be a regular feature, maybe an occasional one though, especially if you have any music related flatulence clips. Anyway this is a track that came out in the late 70’s it was by Ivor Biggun and the Red Nosed Burglars and the song was “I’ve Parted (Misprint)” can you guess what the misprint was? The song never charted although it’s predecessor did, that was called “The Winkers Song (Misprint)” obviously back in those days we didn’t have spell check! Incidentally fact fans Ivor Biggun was in fact a made up name, his real name was Robert ‘Doc’ Cox and he is a British musician and former television journalist. He is perhaps best remembered for his appearances on the BBC programme “That’s Life” during the 80s.
Bye for now good people and the bad ones too, obviously!