With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Take a black cat and sit it on your shoulder and in the morning you’ll know all you know” a.k.a 7 swans a swimming December 19, 2012


seven-swans-a-swimming

Seven swans a swimming, I’ve been looking forward to this part of my 12 days of Christmas posts as it features two of my favourite songs. Incidentally did you know that the mute swan which is native to the UK has doubled it’s population since 1983? Maybe it’s the royal protection they are afforded which saw to that.

Ride A White Skateboard anyone?

Ride A White Skateboard anyone?

Anyway on to the first of todays songs and this one was an obvious choice. It is “Ride A White Swan” from T. Rex and it is only the second signal released under the shortened name after the band used to be known as Tyrannosaurus Rex. It is also the song that helped kick off what became known as Glam Rock and the screaming adulation given to Bolan in what became known as Trextasy. The song was released in late 1970 and didn’t reach its highest UK chart position of number two until January 1971. It was produced by Tony Visconti as were many of the bands biggest hits. It was released as a maxi single. So named as it featured three and not the customary two tracks. The other tracks were “Is It Love” and a rather interesting cover of Eddie Cochran‘s “Summertime Blues”. “Ride A White Swan” kicked off a run of 10 consecutive UK top 5 hits for the band which lasted from 1971 to 1973 and included four number ones. The song could only manage a very lowly number 76 in the US chart.

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The second choice for today was an obvious one for me, but do you know why it’s here? It is the stupendous “Badge” from Cream. The band was effectively an early supergroup featuring Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce. Interestingly it wasn’t Clapton that played guitar on this track, it was George Harrison. This was a favour in return for Clapton providing guitar on the Beatles track “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. It was written by Clapton and Harrison and featured on Cream’s final album ‘Goodbye’. It made number 18 in the UK charts in 1969 and only reached number 60 in the US. Apparently it was a drunk Ringo Starr that gave the pair the line in the song which secured its inclusion in today’s post. Do you know what that line is yet? For contractual reasons George Harrison was listed under a pseudonym in terms of the playing personnel. That name was L’Angelo Misterioso.

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“Take time for your pleasure and laugh with love” a.k.a. Two Turtle Doves December 14, 2012


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I hope that after yesterdays Partridge and pears post you’re getting the hang of this. If you are then you’ll know that on the 2nd day of Christmas it was the turn of two turtle doves. The Turtle Dove in the UK is facing a bleak future. It is now believed there are only around 14,000 pairs left, which makes up a fall in population of 60% over five years. Anyway enough of the ecology for now and on with the music.

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I have selected two dove related songs for your aural pleasure today. The first of those is from the purple pain himself, Prince a.k.a. TAFKAP (The Artist Formerly Known As Prince), Christopher and Symbol among other things. Incidentally I wonder if I might rename him TAFKADS (The Artist Formerly Known As Dove Soap) for this post. I’m sure you can guess which one of his songs I have selected can’t you? Yes it’s the classic 80s hit “When Doves Cry”. It was the first single to be taken from the timeless classic album ‘Purple Rain’. It was the last track on the album to be completed and not only did Prince write the song, he also played every instrument on it. Except of course the bass. Who played bass I hear you ask? Well actually it was no one, the song has no bass line in it. The song has been covered by may artists, including Razorlight, Patti Smith, Damien Rice and the Be Good Tanyas.

Prince vowed never to let Edward Scissorhands cut his hair again

Prince vowed never to let Edward Scissorhands cut his hair again

It was also heavily sampled by MC Hammer on his song “Pray” from 1990. “When Doves Cry” was Prince’s first US number one single and remained at the top of the pile for 5 weeks in 1984. It also reached the top in Australia and Canada and sat at number two in Ireland and New Zealand. It reached only a relatively lowly number four in the UK. This was bettered by 1994’s “The Most Beautiful Girl In The World” a UK number one. In addition “1999”, “Little Red Corvette” and “Batdance” hit the number two position in 1982, 1983 and 1989 respectively. “Gett Off” and “Cream” both made number three in 1991.

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The second dove related song on today’s post is from those North London Nutty Boys, Madness and it is “Wings Of A Dove”. Surprisingly, for me at least, it remains the band’s second biggest UK chart hit; it reached number two in 1983. It did reach the top of the charts in Ireland though. Their only UK number one was “House Of Fun” from 1982. It was a non album single written by Suggs and Chas Smash. The single also featured steel drums from the  Creighton Steel Sounds and a gospel choir from the First Born Inspirational Church of the Living God. It was also used in the film ’10 Things I Hate About You’ in 1999.

 

“I told you ’bout the swans, that they live in the park” March 30, 2009


Hello once again dear blog readers. My blog has been going for around 7 weeks now so I thought I’d check some of the stats available on WordPress. Firstly here is the top 10 search items (and number of searches) that people have used and found their way here;

1 pink floyd 431
2 kate bush 157
3 johnny cash 123
4 johnny winter 88
5 george harrison 73
6 smokey robinson 69
7 the smiths 62
8 dire straits 43
9 the byrds 39
10 tim buckley 23

I’m really pleased to see that Kate Bush is doing so well, I’m also quite amazed by the sheer volume of Pink Floyd searches. If you found your way here from searching I’d love to hear from you! As she did so well here is a picture of the delectable Ms Bush

"Oh England My Leotard" perhaps?

"Oh England My Leotard" perhaps?

Some of you may recall that we also ran an experiment some weeks ago to see if it was possible to drive people to the blog by including a particular phrase, that phrase being ‘Lily Allen Naked’. Well I can report some success, ‘Lily Allen Naked’ is in fact the 18th most popular search item ,with 13 searches , to arrive here. Although clearly all those 13 people (although it could be one person 13 times) will have been disappointed as there are no naked pics of Lily here. So apologies to you folks. I’d love to hear from you too, although obviously I’ll understand if you wish to remain anonymous 😉

Of all the many links I include in my posts I can also confirm that the two most clicked items have been the Myspace pages for ‘Soft Toy Emergency‘ (7 clicks) and my son Luke’s band ‘Steal The Smile‘ (9 clicks). click on their names to increase their total clicks.

OK enough of the stats, numbers excite me but perhaps not everyone! On to the tried and tested format and kicking off with a birthday. Mr Eric Clapton is 64 today. Did he ever cover the Beatles “When I’m 64”? Perhaps he should now! He has been a part of many bands in his time; the Roosters, Casey Jones and the Engineers, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, the Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith and Derek and the Dominoes. Indeed he was also one of the few non Beatles to play on a Beatles song. He played guitar on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. George Harrison returned the favour by guesting on the fantastic “Badge” by Cream. Click on the song title to see Eric with a live version of the song from the 80’s, watch out for Phil Collins on drums!

Eric discusses matrimonial time share plans with George

Eric discusses matrimonial time share plans with George

There are quite a few ‘onthisdays’ for March 30th starting with on this day in 1967 the photo session for the cover of the Beatles ‘Sergeant Pepper’ album took place at Chelsea Manor Studios

Just in case there is anyone on the planet that hasn't seen this album cover here it is again :-)

Just in case there is anyone on the planet that hasn't seen this album cover here it is again 🙂

Also on this day in 1976 the Sex Pistols played at the 100 Club in London for the first time. They began a weekly residency there in June 1976. One of my biggest musical regrets is that I turned down the opportunity to see the Pistols live in late 1976. They were playing at Brunel University near where I grew up. I’m sorry to say that I chose to stay in the pub!

The other guys always thought it was hilarious to set Glen's microphone stand too high for him

The other guys always thought it was hilarious to set Glen's microphone stand too high for him

On this day in 1978 Paul Simonon and Nicky ‘Topper’ Headon off of the Clash were arrested in Camden Town, London after shooting pigeons with air guns from the roof of Chalk Farm Studios. It was later discovered that these were prize winning and very expensive racing pigeons. It required four police cars and a helicopter to make the arrest. The pairs fines totaled £800

Once they had established exactly where the Clash were they would avenge the death of their brothers by dropping pigeon shit bombs

Once they had established exactly where the Clash were they would avenge the death of their brothers by dropping pigeon shit bombs

Also in 1978 on this day U2 won £500 and a chance to audition for CBS Ireland in a talent contest which was held in Dublin and sponsored by Guinness. Strange fact of the day, Guinness, which I really enjoy, began life 200 years before I did!

Bono puts his hand up to attract the teachers attention as he desperately needs to pee

Bono puts his hand up to attract the teachers attention as he desperately needs to pee

And finally on this day in 2000 Sir Michael Jagger off of the Rolling Stones paid a visit to his old school, Dartford Grammar. He was there to open a new arts centre bearing his name. He was quoted as saying that he spent the worst years of his life at school!

Mick's old school uniform clearly didn't fit him anymore

Mick's old school uniform clearly didn't fit him anymore

 

 
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