With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“R is for the reindeer prancing by the window pane” December 1, 2010


Before X factor the race for the UK Christmas number one was often quite exciting, well at least it was for a teenager like me. Well ok I’m not a teenager anymore, but I was…… honest! So to follow-up my Facebook experiment last year I will be undertaking a post a day until Christmas and whereas last years were all about cover versions, this years advent calendar from me is all about UK Christmas number ones over the years. There have been nearly 60 and I promise you that some you will love and frankly there will be some that you won’t.

So to kick things off by opening the little cardboard door on my advent calendar for Decemebr 1st and behind that door is…….. “Christmas Alphabet” by Dickie Valentine. This was Christmas number one in the UK in 1955 and stayed at the summit for three weeks. Dickie’s parents name him Richard Bryce when he was born in Marylebone in London. This song was the first actual Christmas song to reach number one in the UK. It was also his second number one of the year and a further three top ten hits. Being a crooner it was probably the advent of rock n roll that stilted Dickie’s career. Sadly he died in a car crash in Wales in 1971 aged just 41.

Here is Dickie with his Christmas Alphabet

And now a cover of the song from the first Carpenters Christmas Special TV show, sung by Karen Carpenter and Kristy McNichol

And finally here is Dickie once again with “Mister Sandman” hmmmmmmm………I wonder if there is a mash-up out there of this song and Metallica’s “Enter Sandman“?

 

“nothing more, nothing less, love is the best!” February 14, 2009


Happy Valentine’s day good people and before we start the proceedings with a classic love song here’s a useless but interesting fact. UK singer Dickie Valentine, in spite of his name, had no hits about this wonderful day for lovers, but he did have three Christmas hits in the UK charts during the early 50s. So tell me did you all remember to do something nice for your partner/ lover/ cousin (Arkansas only!)/ Sheep (New Zealand/ Wales only)? Either way, have a great day and to kick things off here are Madness with a superb love song “It Must Be Love“. You can hear the original version of the song if you click on Labi Siffre’s name too

The Nutty Boys strike a classic pose

The Nutty Boys strike a classic pose

Mr Labi Siffre

Mr Labi Siffre

So enough of the love stuff (or maybe not!) and on to the birthdays. Today would have been the 62nd birthday of the late great (l & g’s here they come again) Tim Buckley who died of a morphine and heroin overdose in 1975. Sadly his son Jeff Buckley also died young after wading into the Mississippi for a swim during the recording of his second album in 1997. If you’re a fan of the UK band Starsailor you probably already know that they named themselves after Tim Buckley’s 1970 album “Starsailor”, prior to that they were known as Waterface. I’m not a fan, but the new name is so much better. Check out Tim singing his absolute classic “Song To The Siren” Click on the song title to hear Jeff’s version of the great Leonard Cohen song “Hallelujah” recently a big hit again in the UK, sadly somewhat surpassed by the Alexandra Burke version. Three of Tim Buckley’s albums feature in the book ‘1001 albums to hear before you die’ Tim quit the music business for a year in 1972 and worked as a chauffer and a taxi driver. That same year he also made a cameo appearance in the movie “Why?” with none other than that nice bloke everybody loves……… OJ Simpson
The late and exceptionally great Tim Buckley

The late and exceptionally great Tim Buckley

The final birthday for today is that of Kenny Hyslop who is 58 today. Pardon me? Did you say who the hell is Kenny Hyslop? Aaah I see, well ok then, Mr Hyslop is a drummer and found fame with numerous beat combos including Slik (of whom more later) The Skids and Simple Minds. Kenny’s first step in the music biz ladder was to join the band ‘Salvation’ with one Midge Ure, remember him? Anyway that band later became ‘Slik’ and here they are performing their UK number one from 1976, “Forever and Ever” NOT a cover of the Demis Roussos song but strangely sounding very similar to the Bay City Rollers in my opinion. This was back in the days when Midge had hair, but let’s be fair, even I did then!
Slik - Midge Ure is top left

Slik - Midge Ure is top left

back to the usual On This day format again now and on February 14th 1970 the Who recorded the excellent album “Live At Leeds” at Leeds University in the UK. A bit of an obvious title, but it does what it says on the tin and is one of my favourite live albums. Have a listen to the live version of “Substitute” from that very album. A few weeks before that recording, in January 1970 Keith Moon accidentally ran over and killed his chauffeur, Neil Boland while trying to escape from a gang of skinheads outside a club in Hatfield, Herts in the UK. Keith was famously a non-driver, I guess that proves why!
The loudest band in the world Live At Leeds

The loudest band in the world Live At Leeds

Also on this day in 1977 singer songwriter Janis Ian received 461 Valentine Cards after fans took to heart the comment in her excellent song “At Seventeen” where she claimed she had never received any. As usual click the song title to hear the song
Janis Ian

Janis Ian

Love really must have been in the air when the then very much in the closet Elton John married recording engineer Renate Blauer…. a woman! as you’d expect it didn’t last too long and Elton is now very much ‘out’ and famously gay. Incidentally you may know that he used to be called Reginald Dwight, but did you know that his real name now is in fact Elton Hercules John. The Hercules picked from the old UK sitcom, ‘Steptoe and Son’ where the loveable old cart horse was called ironically, ‘Hercules’. So there we have it, an Elton John Valentine tale, so what better song to celebrate it with than Elton’s very own “Kiss The Bride
Elton was gutted when he saw his bill for the wedding...........<groan!>

Elton was gutted when he saw his bill for the wedding...........

And for no other reason than that it is a truly awsome pic that someone sent me yesterday let’s end with a Star Wars picture. What do you think of it?
can you feel the force Luke?

can you feel the force Luke?

 

 
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