With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Robin Hood and William Tell And Ivanhoe and Lancelot” Blog Advent Calendar Day 5 December 5, 2014


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December 5th has arrived and it’s therefore day 5 of this years advent blog posts. As you know this years theme is the ABC of British bands, which means today we arrive at the fifth letter of the alphabet; ‘E’. My choice for today is the Electric Light Orchestra a.k.a ELO. The band was initially an offshoot of the Move and they set out to combine orchestral sounds with rock music. It may well have been Roy Wood‘s idea but he left early on to form Wizzard. Meanwhile Jeff Lynne made ELO into a world straddling colossus.

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The band’s first UK hit was “10538 Overture“. The song was originally a b-side for the Move. Wood, Lynne and Bev Bevan (also off of the Move) added orchestral strings to it. After John Lennon heard one of my favourite ELO songs, “Showdown” he began referring to them as Beatles Junior. The band had number one singles across the world; and “Turn To Stone” and “Shine A Little Love” were number one in Canada and “Living Thing” topped the charts in South Africa. Sadly, in my opinion at least, there only UK number one was the rather dreadful “Xanadu” which also featured Olivia Newton John. That song was also a number one in the Netherlands, Germany and Ireland. The band had 15 UK top ten hits in the UK between 1972 and 1981. This was only bettered by their eighteen top ten hits in France from 1972 to 1986.

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So now it’s time for you to enjoy a selection of ELO songs, apologies but I have not included the aforementioned “Xanadu”.

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“I can’t bear to see the sun go down, casting stormy shadows all around” January 11, 2010


I guess no one missed it, as for every snow flake being unique it's all very well saying it but let me see the proof!

As I trudged through the slush and snow this morning I got to thinking about winter songs. There really aren’t too many of them are there? Especially if you discount all the Christmas and December specific songs and also songs that by default are associated with Christmas such as Winter Wonderland. I also thought that as this is the UK’s coldest winter for 30 years I ought to at least mark it with a post!

So during my break today I thought of five winter songs which you can find below, hopefully these will help you get through the cold and boredom, especially if you are still stuck indoors. I spoke to someone yesterday who hasn’t been able to leave the house since last Tuesday, hello Mum! I’m also damned sure that you can send me many more winter songs too, so that’s your challenge dear readers! No Christmas or December songs though and whilst all mine have Winter in the title that doesn’t have to be the case

Rock And Roll Winter” – Wizzard. This band were formed by the very talented Roy Wood who initially found fame with the Move and went on to form ELO with Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan, also off of the Move. Wood bailed out in 1972 to form Wizzard just a couple of years before ELO went stratospheric! This song ended up being release in the Spring in the UK owing to some kind of dispute with the label I believe

Winter” – Tori Amos – Ms Amos is a fantastic singer songwriter whose music I really enjoy, although not as much as Kate Bush, someone she is often compared too. She is also a good friend of one of my favourite authors; Neil Gaiman. Tori began composing her own instrumental pieces at the age of just 5

Winter Melody” – Donna Summer I find it a little ironic that one of my favourite songs from someone named Summer is actually about Winter! This song is taken from Donna’s Four Seasons Of Love album released in 1976. It contained just four tracks; Spring Affair, Summer Fever, Autumn Changes and Winter Melody. there is also a reprise of Spring Affair at the end. The album length was just over 30 minutes

Hazy Shade Of Winter” – Simon And Garfunkel – This song was written by Paul Simon and recorded by the duo for their Bookends album released in 1968. The Bangles later covered the song for the soundtrack of the 1987 film Less Than Zero 

It May Be Winter Outside (But In My Heart It’s Spring)” – Love Unlimited – These ladies began by providing backing vocals for the late great Walrus Of Love himself, Mr Barry White. The trio included his wife Glodean James and also his sister-in-law Linda James. This song reached the UK top 20 in 1975

Just to round this post up one casualty of this bad weather has been the cancellation of a number of gigs. My son’s band Steal The Smile were due to play at the FaceBar in Reading last Thursday, but the snow meant that the gig was cancelled. So if you were looking forward to seeing them last week here is a little something for you. Click here and go straight to their MySpace page, do not pass go and do not collect $200, just click and listen to some great songs from an excellent young band. They might not be winter songs but they are bloody good songs!

Swine Flu gets to the 100 Acre Wood

 

 
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