With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“And there won’t be snow in Africa, this Christmas time” December 23, 2010


Getting closer to the big day by the hour now and behind one of the few remaining perforated cardboard door flaps on my UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar today, December 23rd, is a song that has been the Christmas number one on three separate occasions and technically by different acts each time. It was number one firstly in the Christmas of 1984, then in 1989 and most recently in 2004. It was the last UK Christmas number one before the X Factor winners had four years in a row, finally broken last year by Rage Against The Machine. You have probably guessed that the song is “Do They Know It’s Christmas” originally by Band Aid in 1984, then Band Aid II (1989) followed by Band Aid 20 (2004). Maybe it’ll be top again for the 30th anniversary in 2014.

It was number one fora total of 12 weeks; 5 weeks in 1984, 3 weeks in 1989 and 4 weeks in 2004. The song was written by Bob Geldof off of the Boomtown Rats and Midge Ure off of Ultravox after they had seen the news coverage of the 1984 famine in Ethiopia. They had aimed to raise money for famine relief and the single and subsequent Live Aid concert probably went way beyond their initial expectations. It sold more than a million copies in its first week alone and went on to sell 3.5 million copies. It remained the fastest and highest selling UK single until Elton John’s rerecording of “Candle In The Wind” following the death of Princess Diana in August 1997. The song was recorded on November 29th 1984 at SARM Studios in London after Geldof gathered the great and good of pop music at the time. The opening line was originally written for David Bowie, who was unfortunately unable to make it, so it was done by Paul Young. The single was released just 4 days after the recording on December 3rd 1984 and remember this was way before the days of downloads.

Midge Ure produced the original version, it was offered to Trevor Horn but he was not in the UK at the time. Stock, Aitken and Waterman produced the 1989 version. Some artists such as David Bowie and Paul McCartney were unable to be at the recording of the original so provided messages that appeared on the B-Side. Members of Bananarama appeared on the 1984 and 1989 version whilst Bono sang the same line in 1984 as he did in 2004; ‘Well, tonight, thank God it’s them, instead of you’. On the 2004 version Dizzee Rascal also added some new lyrics.

The artists that appeared on each version are listed below;

BAND AID (1984)


Bono, U2,   Phil Collins, Bob Geldof, Boomtown Rats,  Tony Hadley, Spandau Ballet, Midge Ure, Ultravox, Simon Le Bon, Duran Duran,  Paul Young,  Heaven 17,  Marilyn,  Bananarama,  Jody Watley,   Paul Weller, Kool & The Gang,  George Michael , Status Quo, Boy George, Culture Club,  Sting, Holly Johnson, Big Country

BAND AID II (1989)


Bananarama,  Big Fun, Bros, Cathy Dennis,  D Mob,  Jason Donovan,  Kevin Godley,  Glen Goldsmith,  Kylie Minogue,  Pasadenas,  Chris Rea,  Cliff Richard,  Jimmy Somerville,  Sonia, Lisa Stansfield,  Technotronic,  Wet Wet Wet

BAND AID 20 (2004)

Bono,  Daniel Bedingfield,  Natasha Bedingfield,  Vishal Das,  Busted,  Chris Martin, Dido, Dizzee Rascal, Ms Dynamite, Skye Edwards, Estelle,  Neil Hannon,  Justin Hawkins, Jamelia, Tom Chaplin, Tim Rice-Oxley, Beverley Knight, Lemar,  Shaznay Lewis, Katie Melua, Róisín Murphy,  Feeder,  Snow Patrol, Rachel Stevens,  Joss Stone,  Sugababes, Thrills,  Turin Brakes,  Robbie Williams, Will Young,  Francis Healy, Danny Goffey, Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Paul McCartney, Francis Healy, Andy Dunlop, Dougie Payne

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“Someday I’ll have a disappearing hairline, someday I’ll wear pyjamas in the daytime” June 5, 2009


Hello once again dear readers, like I’ve said before it is my aim to get back to more regular posting so here comes the second one for the Jumping month of June. I thought doing this post after a serious spillage incident on the train last week. There I was crammed into my tiny space (otherwise known as a seat) on the 7pm Kings Cross to York train with my nose in a good book (1983 by David Peace for those of you who asked!) Then lo and behold the coffee angel arrived in the aisle with the drinks trolley, now obviously I can’t resist a good coffee so obviously (a repeat word…… obviously) I had to order one, which I did, along with a Kit Kat. At the moment the Coffee Angel was about to place my drink on the pathetic excuse for a fold down table the train rocked (and not in a heavy musical way either) and faster than you can say Caffe Americano with a double shot I was the subject of a minor caffeine downpour. I thought it was rather amusing, my suit needed a dry clean anyway, but coffee angel was worried I was going to complain, but I didn’t and my reward was…….. a free Kit Kat and a fresh cup of coffee. Actually now Ive read that back it sounds dull enough to be condensed to 140 characters and posted on Twitter. But enough of that drivel during the rest of the journey I was moved to come up with a list of coffee related songs for this post. So without further adieu here they are and each one contains a frothy topping and a sprinkle of trivia.

The coffee was better in those days but clearly the coffee angels weren't!

The coffee was better in those days but clearly the coffee angels weren't!

First cup, er sorry first up is “Starfish And Coffee” which is obviously a favourite breakfast menu of ‘The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, Then Known As Roger Or Symbol And Now Known As Prince Again’ or TAFKAPTKAROSANKAPA for short. Prince’s sister is called Tyka, I wonder if her nickname was Chicken at school? Staying with Prince and a loosely related coffee theme, the diminutive one once wrote a song for Sheena Easton called “Sugar Walls” probably not the type of sugar you’d put in your coffee though. But there’s a prize to the first person to tell me what that song is about without the use of explicit language!

Prince had clearly overdone the froth on his Cappucino

Prince had clearly overdone the froth on his Cappucino

Second dose of caffeine is “Black Coffee In Bed” by Squeeze and written by the Lennon-McCartney of their generation; Difford-Tilbrook. They were joined by the rather talented Paul Carrack who in addition to Squeeze and as a solo artist has also had hits with Ace and Mike & The Mechanics. He has also played on sessions by many other bands including Roxy Music, The Smiths and the Pretenders. In a strange coincidence he also sang vocals and played keyboards on a relatively minor Mike & The Mechanics hit called “Another Cup Of Coffee”

You won't like him when he gets angry and Mr Carrack gets very angry if he has no caffeine

You won't like him when he gets angry and Mr Carrack gets very angry if he has no caffeine

The next one of our Barista favourites is “One More Cup Of Coffee” from the wonderful Mr Zimmerman or Bob Dylan to his friends. The song is taken from Dylan’s ‘Desire’ album and is a duet with Emmylou Harris. The song was covered extremely well by Jack and Meg on the first White Stripes album and is occasionally covered live by Calexico. Also none other than Robert ‘Percy’ Plant off of Led Zep recorded the song for his ‘Dreamland’ album in 2002. The song was written at a corner table in the ‘Other End’ nightclub in Greenwich Village New York. I was kind of hoping it had been written in a coffee bar!

Bob tries to find inspiration over a coffee..... come on Bob, Noel Gallagher sat at the same table and wrote "Roll With It"

Bob tries to find inspiration over a coffee..... come on Bob, Noel Gallagher sat at the same table and wrote "Roll With It"

The next one of our old beans in this post is the excellent Canadian band the Crash Test Dummies. Their biggest hit in the UK was “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” but they also released a song called “Afternoons And Coffee Spoons” Both songs were taken from their excellent album ‘God Shuffled His Feet’ In 1995 they recorded a splendid cover of XTC’s “The Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead” for the Jim Carrey movie ‘Dumb And Dumber’

In the early days the band even dressed as Crash test Dummies and it certainly didn't harm their pulling power judging from this picture

In the early days the band even dressed as Crash test Dummies and it certainly didn't harm their pulling power judging from this picture

The next act to bring us a cuppa is Holly Johnson off of Frankie Goes To Hollywood with his solo single “Americanos” It was Holly’s second solo hit and reached number 4 in the UK charts. It also features on the soundtrack to the 1989 movie ‘Cookie’ which starred Emily Lloyd, Peter Falk and Jerry Lewis. I know that strictly speaking the song is not about coffee, well not even strictly speaking, it’s actually got nothing to do with coffee. But Caffe Americano is undoubtedly my favourite coffee so I had to include it here. I always drink it black (often with an extra shot) with no sugar and many coffee houses (in this case Costa Coffee) give this an acronym of BAM (as in Black Americano). This lead to me gaining the nickname BAM BAM Bill for a while. Maybe not a great nickname but at least it wasn’t Pebbles! Over the years I have also noticed that black coffee seems to be the drink of choice for the majority of Project and Programme Managers. Does anyone agree?

"Relax" said Holly as he ordered coffees for him and his 'flat' mate Ronnie

"Relax" said Holly as he ordered coffees for him and his 'flat' mate Ronnie

I like a cup of coffee when I am deeply engrossed in a good book but Blur clearly prefer theirs in front of the telly! Well judging from their song “Coffee And TV” Vocals on the verses were from Graham Coxon and  Damon Albarn sang the chorus. the lyrics were all Graham’s and apparently deal with his attempt to give up alcohol. The video for the song features a milk carton called Milky which was created by ‘Jim Henson’s Creature Shop’ Blur were originally called Seymour, I’m not sure that works as well as Blur though. I have seen them live twice at festivals, once with Graham and once without. I certainly prefer them with Graham in the band. So it’s great news that they are reunited for a few gigs this year and possibly some new recording too.

Now either he's really excited or they're both seriously injured

Now either he's really excited or they're both seriously injured

The final coffee song in this post is one of my favourites, it’s by the minimally named ‘A’ from Leeds and it’s called “Starbucks“. The original members of the band included three brothers; Jason, Giles and Adam Perry. Since the band took a hiatus (is that code for breaking up?) Jason has worked with Matt Willis off of Busted and has also produced for McFly! Jason do us all a favour and get ‘A’ back together and stop working with these pop muppets! But to be fair Charlie off of Busted’s current band Fightstar are quite good! (Did I really just say that?)

With the proceeds of the single the band bought the worlds first Starbucks Jet Pack

With the proceeds of the single the band bought the worlds first Starbucks Jet Pack

So do you have any favourite coffee songs or indeed favourite coffees? Let me know by adding your choices in the comments

No it was just the earth moving for Milky in the Blur video

No it was just the earth moving for Milky in the Blur video

I will end this post by saying a big thank you to those wonderful people at ‘Dusk’ in York where I did many of my early posts in this blog. Excellent coffee, good food, free wifi (are you reading this Starbucks?) and great company. Check them out and if you know their web address please let me know

Dusk in York

Dusk in York

 

 
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