I was saddened to hear of the death of David Cassidy aged just 67. He was perhaps the true definition of a teen idol in his heyday during the early 70s. Obviously back then us boys would never be a fan. But all the girls at my school were either fans of David Cassidy or Donny Osmond, with a few more rebellious girls opting for David Essex. Back in the days when the pop charts really meant something these three were top 20 regulars in the UK.
Cassidy found fame in the American TV series the Partridge Family where he played Keith Partridge. It was a musical show and his first success came with the recordings he did under the Partridge Family name. His mother in the show whose character was called Shirley Partridge was in fact his stepmother Shirley Jones. Before the Partridge Family David had made the odd appearance in shows that included; Bonanza, Marcus Welby MD and Ironside.
David Cassidy had two number one singles in the UK, “How Can I Be Sure” in 1972 and “Daydreaming/ The Puppy Song” in 1973. On top of that he had a further thirteen UK top 20 hits if you ad in the Partridge family singles. His album ‘Dreams Are Nothin’ More Than Wishes’ made it to the top of the UK album charts in 1973. Whether or not you were a big Cassidy fan there is no denying that he left a significant mark on pop history. David Cassidy RIP.
An US Research Scientist recently claimed that science is not very far away from being able to record dreams. His name is Dr Moran Cerf which sounds made up to me. You can probably get some good anagrams from it, I tried and came up with DREAM FOR SNR which I interpreted as dream for senior, i.e. dream for older people, i.e. me!
I’m not sure it would be a good thing, it might reveal your innermost thoughts to everyone and frankly it could destroy the porn industry too, everyone could just record their own personal fantasies! It really does take science way into the realms of science fiction. He does however state that the first step is to visualise dreams by a combination of recollection and brain activity. The actual recording is quite some way off. I’m pleased about that, I’m not sure I’d want my dreams available to all! What do you folks think?
On a bizarre footnote as I was typing this WordPress showed the following proposed tags based upon what I had written; Dream, BBC, Neuron, Science Fiction and Brain. All of which make logical sense, but it also added Marilyn Monroe and the Eiffel Tower. Is it reaching into my dreams? I have certainly dreamt about Marilyn before, mostly in my teens! Anyway I deliberately haven’t added them as tags to this post.
As always this is at heart a music blog so please enjoy the following dream related songs and feel free to add your own via the comments facility. I started out expecting to put a top 10 together and appear to have ended up with 20, not all of which I like incidentally, but I’m sure there is at least one person out there that likes them! There is also one hidden dream song, the first person to tell me what it is and where it is in the post via the comments facility may win a prize!
“Dreaming” – Blondie – Taken from the ‘Eat To The Beat’ album and released in 1979 and reached number 2 in the UK. As with many of Blondie’s hits it was written by Deborah Harry and Chris Stein. It has been covered by the Smashing Pumpkins, the Posies, Yo La Tengo and Jeff Tweedy off of Wilco amongst others.
“Dreaming” – Cliff Richard – The same title as the Blondie song but definitely not the same song! Cliff was never massively succesful in the US. “Devil Woman was a big hit and “Dreaming” also made number 10. Cliff is the only artist to have had UK number one hits in every decade since the UK charts began (50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s). None in the 10s yet though, but I reckon a Christmas team up with an X Factor winner would probably swing it.
“Dream Kid” – Sutherland Brothers and Quiver – Gavin and Ian Sutherland started life as a folk rock duo in the late 60s, they joined with Quiver in 1972 and sadly didn’t have massive chart success. But this song from 1973 remains one of my all time favourites.
“Don’t Dream It’s Over” – Crowded House – It was recorded in LA in 1986 and released in January 1987. The song was written by Neil Finn and was the first of the bands two US Top 40 hits. The song featured in the TV adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’. It has been covered by quite a few artists. The Sixpence None The Richer version was very good, the Paul Young version was frankly…..crap!
“Dreams” – Fleetwood Mac – This one’s a true classic from the ‘Rumours’ album and was written by Stevie Nicks. The song was most famously covered by the Corrs and none other than Mick Fleetwood joined them to sing it at the Royal Albert Hall with them in 1998
“Silver Dream Machine” – David Essex – This was recorded for David’s 1980 film ‘Silver Dream Racer‘. Not one of his better hits in my opinion. What do you folks think? (Especially you Ms Topsom!)
“Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” – Green Day – This was taken from the bands excellent ‘American Idiot’ album. Billie Joe Armstrong wrote the song and was rather amusingly criticised by Noel Gallagher off of Oasis for ripping off one of his songs (the chord progression is very similar to “Wonderwall”)
“Dreamer” – Supertramp. This was from the ‘Crime Of The Century’ album and was released in 1975. The B Side was another brilliant song; “Bloody Well Right” which was released as a single in its own right later that year.
“In A Broken Dream” – Python Lee Jackson – Python Lee Jackson were an Australian band during the late 60s. They had a brief stay in the UK where they recorded this song with a then unknown vocalist, Rod Stewart. The single was a flop when it was released in 1968 but became a big success when it was rereleased in 1972.
“I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) – Electric Prunes – Perhaps one of the most fondly remembered psychedelic bands from the 60s. They had a song, “Kyrie Eleison” included on the ‘Easy Rider’ soundtrack. The band reformed in 2001 and are still touring.
“Daydream Believer” – Monkees – The song was written by John Stewart and the lead vocal was sung by Davy Jones. It was an US number 1 but only managed number 5 in the UK. Despite being effectively a manufactured boy band all four members actually played or sang on this song.
“In Dreams” – Roy Orbison – The song was written by Orbison himself and he was able to demonstrate his amazing vocal range, he sings across two octaves. Roy said that the song came to him while he was a sleep and presumably while he was dreaming. David Lynch used the song in his film, ‘Blue Velvet’
“Never Had A Dream Come True” – Stevie Wonder – The song was released in 1970 before Stevie was able to take control of his own career, so it was not one of his own compositions. It was however a co-composition written along with Motown staff writers Henry Cosby and Sylvia Moy. The song was covered by the Jackson 5 for their first album.
“Island Of Dreams” – Springfields – The group formed in 1960 when Mary ‘Dusty’ O’Brien and her brother Dion O’Brien teamed up with Tim Field. They all took on the Springfield. And that dear readers is how Dusty Springfield came to be!
“Teenage Dream” – Katy Perry – The same title as the T Rex song, but not the same at all. It was the second single taken from her 2010 album of the same name, following the worldwide smash that was “California Gurls”. I wonder if she’ll use her married name in future? Actually Katy Brand doesn’t sound bad does it?
“Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) – Eurythmics – This gave the band their only US number one when it was released in 1983. Marilyn Manson recorded an excellent cover of the song in which he changed some of the lyrics, adding lines like “I wanna use you and abuse you/I wanna know what’s inside you.”
“Any Dream Will Do” – Jason Donovan – The song was written by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber for their 1968 musical ‘Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat‘ which has gone on to massive success on stages all over the world. At various times it has been sung by everyone from Philip Schofield to Donny Osmond.
“Dreaming Of Me” – Depeche Mode – This was the bands first single and was released in the UK in February 1981, strangely it was never commercially released in the US. It was written by Vince Clarke who went on to form Yazoo and Erasure.
On Friday 5th February 2010 I had the real privilege of seeing Ruby Turner live. It was a last-minute thing for me following my regular e-mail from the Theatre Royal in York. I had heard of Ruby a long while ago (I am a music anorak don’t forget!) in particular for her excellent contribution to Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. She referred to him as Jools or Mr Holland, that’s a sign of how close she is to him 😉
Ruby at the Fountain
Ruby writes or co-writes many of her own songs, which incidentally ws something I didn’t know. Some of those songs are truly amazing, especially the appropriately named “So Amazing”. However for me she really excelled in both her choice and performance of covers. Starting with the oft covered “I’d Rather Go Blind“. I first heard this song in a version by Rod Stewart in the early 70s. Ruby’s version is exquisite, especially when she goes into a capella mode.
If you get the chance to see Ruby live DO NOT waste it. In my opinion she is the nearest modern-day equivalent to Aretha Franklin. Ruby was also born in the same year as me (1959 fact fans!) , so no wonder she is so talented! 😉
Here we go again folks and I have some brilliant news, well it was brilliant for me anyway. On Saturday I spent the day at the Riders Edge Harley Davidson centre in Wales. This was a gift experience which was given to me as a birthday present by the wonderful and beautiful Catwoman for my 50th birthday back in January. You have to bear in mind that I have never been on a motorbike in my life. So to say I was a little apprehensive at first would be a major understatement. Let’s just say that I made sure I packed a clean pair of under crackers…….just in case!
Anyway being a complete novice I spent the morning, around three hours riding a 500cc machine around the private roads within the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells. Whilst I never fell off once I came close a couple of times! I guess I pictured in my head having to lean right over when taking corners, but that’s for the speed freaks, at the speeds I was doing taking a corner upright was easy. Incidentally while it felt much, much faster I don’t think I got above 40 mph. For me the coordination required to change gear with your left foot while not looking down at all was very difficult. But when you think about it it really shouldn’t be. I mean I don’t look down when I change gear in the car so why should I need to when riding a motorbike? Well perhaps because I’m not using a gear stick with my hand but trying to change it with my foot. But by the end of the morning session I had reached the dizzy heights of 5th gear twice and stalled less than ten times in total and as I said earlier, I never fell off or crashed once! The last part was a great result for me as I fully expected to take a few spills.
Me on a Harley
So after just three hours on the saddle they sadly weren’t going to let me loose on a fabulous Harley on my own. However I did get a pillion ride on a gorgeous Harley Davidson machine under the control of one of the Rider’s Edge expert instructors, Ian. Having never even ridden pillion before that too was also a great experience for me. Cruising around some wonderful Welsh countryside. Great weather, great views and remarkably attractive sheep, well at least I would imagine they are attractive if you’re perhaps Welsh or a Kiwi.
Uneasy Rider perhaps?
I would like to take this opportunity to say a big, big thank you to all the folks at Riders Edge. Especially Clive, who was my instructor in the morning and also Ian with whom I rode pillion in the afternoon.
In the meantime and as this is really a music related blog let’s steer it back in that direction! Can you guess what today’s theme might be? Well it’s a bit obvious really isn’t it? Today’s theme is Motorbikes! Here are a few motorbike or motorbike related songs with a morsel of trivia about each of the artists or songs
“Motorcycle Emptiness” – Manic Street Preachers. This was the fifth single to be taken from the band’s Generation Terrorists album in 1992. The lyrics are inspired by a book about biker gang culture called Rumble Fish which was written by S E Hinton
“Motorbikin’”– Chris Spedding. This 1975 Top 20 hit was Spedding’s biggest and he is perhaps best known as a sought after session guitarist. He has played with many artists including; Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music, Elton John, Brian Eno, Jack Bruce, Nick Mason, John Cale, Katie Melua, Harry Nilsson, Tom Waits, Paul McCartney, Jeff Wayne and even the Wombles! He also famously played on and produced three demos for the Sex Pistols in 1976. The three songs were “No Feelings”, “Problems” and “Pretty Vacant”
“Funky Moped” – Jasper Carrot. This was a surprise hit for Mr Carrot in 1975. The single was backed with a risque monologue based around the 60s TV series the “Magic Roundabout“, which at the time I thought was bloody hilarious! he also has a thespian daughter; Lucy Davis who played Dawn in the Office. She was excellent in that series don’t you think?
“Silver Dream Machine”– David Essex. At the age of 23 in 1971 David took the lead role in the musical Godspell on the London Stage. I actually went to see that show as part of a school trip in 1972 when he was still in it. Our coach was delayed because all the girls on the trip had gathered outside the stage door to scream and get his autograph. It was around the time he released his first major single “Rock On”. My first serious girlfriend; Gay Topsom, was a big David Essex fan and I remember buying her each of his singles as soon as they were released. I never had enough money to stretch to an album. But we were together for two years from 1975 to 1977 so I guess that’s a fair amount of singles. She left me for a guy who was slightly older and more importantly had a car! But you know what I’m over that now and if you’re reading this Gay, I forgive you 🙂
“Bat Out Of Hell”– Meatloaf. Meat was born Marvin Lee Aday on 27th September 1947 so he will turn 62 in a couple of weeks. get your cards written and sent now folks. Jim Steinman the producer and I suppose you could say creator of Meat’s landmark Bat Out Of Hell album was apparently trying to get something that sounded like a cross between Wagner, Phil Spector and Bruce Springsteen. Well I for one reckon he succeeded. What do you think?
“Born To Be Wild”– Steppenwolf. This band hailed from Toronto and many credit their recording of the iconic “Born To Be Wild” as the first Heavy Metal record, although just as many disagree. It has had a long association with motorbikes, very likely due to its inclusion on the soundtrack to the movie Easy Rider which starred Peter Fonda
I used to have this poster on my wall as a teenager 🙂
I am sure that you can think of plenty more so fire away folks!
This is the poster I really wanted on my wall as a teenager 😉