With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“See the life I’ve had can make a good man bad” November 15, 2011


How often do you watch or listen to a TV or radio advert and cringe at the fact they’ve chosen some of your favourite music to soundtrack a terrible advert or a horrible product or a combination of both?

The new John Lewis Christmas ads, primarily there to promote a new range of Smiths pillow cases perhaps?

I suppose we shouldn’t get too precious about these kinds of things, after all the writers might need the money. If I’d written a piece of music that someone wanted to use on an advert and they were willing to pay me would I allow it? Of course I would, just as long as it wasn’t used to promote the likes of the BNP, the Daily Mail, Cheese on Toast or the Tory Party.

Morrissey refuses to get catty about the use of Smiths songs in adverts

I was pointed in the direction of the new John Lewis television advert by my good friend Nick Horslen. It is soundtracked by a cover version of the Smiths song “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” by Slow Moving Millie. Personally I don’t think it’s a particularly bad cover, perhaps just a bit bland. Some songs just pass me by on adverts I think, but others are particularly annoying. It’s hardly a song, but I generally change channels if the Go Compare advert comes on, I can’t stand that obnoxious faux opera. However, whilst I am not a big opera fan I do love the music that British Airways have used on many of their ad campaigns; “The Flower Duet” from the opera Lakme composed by Leo Delibes.

For the record Morrissey refuse to wear clothes made from animal skins, which clearly means that his wardrobe is quite small!

As for songs that I love that have been used in disappointing ads, I have to say I was gutted (yes I too am very precious sometimes) when Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” was used to advertise pizzas on TV a couple of years back. But equally Levi’s used some classic music in their brilliant series of TV adverts, including “I Heard It Through The Grapevine“. That same series made hits of many songs that hadn’t been around for years. My particular favourites were “Stand By Me” by Ben E King and “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” from my favourite band of all time, The Clash. But for every one of those there are plenty of awful selections; for example the new Christmas ad for Marks & Spencer uses a version of “When You Wish Upon A Star” by the 2011 X Factor finalists!

If you're ever invited to go for a walk with Morrissey please read this first

Which of your favourite songs have been used in adverts and what did you feel about it?

 

“And I’m breaking out, I’m breaking out, last chance to lose control” October 31, 2011


Musicradar.com readers have voted Muse’s “Hysteria” as the greatest bass line of all time. The full list including song, band/ artist and bass player is;

01. “Hysteria” – Muse (Chris Wolstenholme)
02. “YYZ” – Rush (Geddy Lee)
03. “Another One Bites The Dust” – Queen (John Deacon)
04. “Under Pressure” – Queen & David Bowie (John Deacon)
05. “Money” – Pink Floyd (Roger Waters)
06. “Orion” – Metallica (Cliff Burton)
07. “Billie Jean” – Michael Jackson (Louis Johnson)
08. “Roundabout” – Yes (Chris Squire)
09. “My Generation” – The Who (John Entwistle)
10. “Schism” – Tool (Justin Chancellor)
11. “Give It Away” – Red Hot Chili Peppers (Flea)
12. “The Lemon Song” – Led Zeppelin (John Paul Jones)
13. “Taxman” – The Beatles (Paul McCartney)
14. “Good Times” – Chic (Bernard Edwards)
15. “The Chicken” – Jaco Pastorius
16. “Walk On The Wild Side” – Lou Reed (Herbie Flowers)
17. What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye (James Jamerson)
18. “Stand By Me” – Ben E King (Wendell Marshall)
19. “The Guns Of Brixton” – The Clash (Paul Simonon)
20. “Sweet Emotion” – Aerosmith (Tom Hamilton)
21. “Super Freak” – Rick James (Oscar Alston)
22. “Pusherman” – Curtis Mayfield (Joseph “Lucky” Scott)
23. “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” – Nancy Sinatra (Carol Kaye/Chuck Berghofer)
24. “In The Midnight Hour” – Wilson Pickett (Donald “Duck” Dunn)
25. “Make It Funky” – James Brown (Fred Thomas)

Click here to check it out on the musicradar site. I was really pleased to see that my three favourite bass players are in there; James Jamerson, Donald “Duck” Dunn and Bernard Edwards. Who is your favourite bass player and what songs do you think are missing from this list? While you’re thinking about it enjoy the top 5 below;

 

“If you need me call me, no matter where you are. No matter how far, don’t worry baby” August 23, 2011


A double dose of sad news comes to us music lovers today with the deaths of songwriters Jerry Leiber and Nicholas Ashford.

That's Jerry on the right with Mike Stoller on the left? Who's that in the middle then? 😉

Jerry Leiber was the lyric writing half of a massively successful song writing partnership with Mike Stoller. They wrote a number of songs which were recorded by Elvis Presley; notably “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock”. It has been alleged that they never liked Presley’s version of “Hound Dog” and preferred the first recording of the song by Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton from 1953. They wrote one of my favourite songs, “Stand By Me” which was a massive hit for Ben E King and has also been covered by many other artists. They also had success with King’s old band the Drifters and the Coasters. Leiber died from a cardiopulmonary disorder aged 78, which by todays standards isn’t that old any more. RIP Jerry Leiber our thoughts go out to your family, friends and fans across the world.

Valerie Simpson with the sadly missed Nick Ashford

Nick Ashford forged a very successful career as a songwriter in partnership with his equally talented wife Valerie Simpson. The pair are probably most famous for the songs that they wrote for Motown, including the classics “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing”. They also crafted Diana Ross’s hit “Reach Out And Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” But they also had success away from Motown; Chaka Khan recorded their song “I’m Every Woman”, another of my favourites. They also had a hit in their own right with their song “Solid”. The couple also have a co writing credit on Amy Winehouse’s “Tears Dry On Their Own” which samples “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”. Nick died from cancer aged just 70, the age my Dad was when he passed away. RIP Nick Ashford our thoughts go out to your family, friends and fans across the world.

I will try and counter that sad news with something a little happier. I really am disappointed that I am a little late with this, but four days ago on August 19th, my favourite singer* Johnny Nash turned 71. Happy belated birthday Mr Nash! I want to know when all his albums will get a proper CD release. I have about 12 of his albums on vinyl and only three on CD, not including hits packages. Texan born Johnny I believe now resides in Jamaica. I will now have to go and listen to my favourite Nash album ‘My Merry Go-Round’ in celebration.

*OK joint favourite with David Bowie then!

 

“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 🙂

 

“Are you ready, are you ready for this, are you hanging on the edge of your seat?” July 18, 2009


Hello once again dear readers today is the 19th July and it is the 62nd birthday of one Brian Harold May off of Queen. Brian still uses his ‘Red Special’ guitar which he began building in the early sixties with his Dad Harold. It is principally made from an old 18th Century fireplace mantel. Also there are actually two wormholes in the neck of the guitar, at least according to Wikipedia. Presumably not the type of wormholes that Brian would know more about, being an astrophysicist! To learn more about those type of wormholes click here. If your interests are a little more down to earth and you’d like a guitar just like (well ok similar) to Brian’s, then click here.

Brian poses with the famouse fireplace :-)

Brian poses with the famouse fireplace 🙂

Brian auditions Anita Dobson as a lookalike for security purposes

Brian auditions Anita Dobson as a lookalike for security purposes

On this day in 1980 the very band that Brian found fame in, Queen racked up their third UK number one album with ‘The Game’. This album featured the single “Another One Bites The Dust” A great song in my opinion and this was apparently also the opinion of Michael Jackson who was a friend of Freddie Mercury. When Fred played the song to him Jacko insisted that the band release it as a single and the rest as they say is history! And just for fun here is the Weird Al Yankovic parody of the song “Another One Rides The Bus

Sadly both Michael and Freddie have now bitten the dust... RIP

Sadly both Michael and Freddie have now bitten the dust... RIP

Also on this day in 1958, whilst I was still in the womb, George Treadwell the then manager of the Drifters sacked the entire group. However he simply replaced them with another group, unkown at the time, Ben E King and the Five Crowns! If only someone would do that with the likes of Boyzone and Westlife. Oh I expect they probably have and no one has noticed! Here are Ben and the boys with “This Magic Moment” Incidentally fact fans did you know that the Shadows off of Cliff Richard and the Shadows were once called the Drifters? Well if you didn’t you do now!

By 1959 Ben E King clearly couldn't be bothered to tour. As for Dock Green is he anything to do with Dixon?

By 1959 Ben E King clearly couldn't be bothered to tour. As for Dock Green is he anything to do with Dixon?

And the final ‘onthisday’ for 19th July is from 1989. Apparently when large amounts of money were found in the late great (those l & g’s are back!) James Brown’s prison cell he was moved from a minimum security prison to a medium security prison. What the hell is the difference between minimum and medium and then presumably maximum security prisons. “Get Up Offa That Thing” indeed! If that had happened these days it would have been the hidden stash of some jailed banker, but wait a minute none of them went to jail did they? They all recieved performance bonuses, how the hell does that work then? Here is James with the late great (back with a vengeance those ‘l & g’s’) Robert Palmer singing “I Feel Good

James moves from minimum to medium security with his personal banker!

James moves from minimum to medium security with his personal banker!

 

 
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