Indeed there is a new kid in town, his name is Juan Brooks and he is the newest addition to the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem family. Juan joins me (Bill), Paul Bamlett, and Tom Ray. Over the last year, we have been a little slow with reviews and we plan to change that this year. Paul is currently working on a couple, as am I. Meanwhile, Juan has just written his first ever review and he said “It was a biggie…a whole album. Nothing like getting stuck in is there?” Anyway, look out for that review coming your way very soon! Greetings from the new Fab Four, we are looking forward to interacting with you dear readers! Click here to find out more about us!
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In the first post in this series I told you that in January I discovered a site called Obscurify. It claims to tell you how obscure your listening on Spotify is. Compared to the rest of the UK I am now supposedly 90% more obscure than other users, while I will take that it has dropped from 91% since June! It also lists my most obscure artists, which currently are
So who were the top artists for July (9th) and August (1st)? Check the full lists below, but I can reveal that the Eagles were top in July and no surprise, David Bowie was back on top in August. There are a few new artists in there but also plenty of classic acts. It would be fair to say that as I share this Spotify account with my wonderful wife Catherine (a.k.a. Catwoman) a few artists finished much higher than they might have done if they were only my choices 🙂 Notably Julia Fordham and Neil Diamond.
Mayhem’s Top 20 Artists on Spotify (July 9th 2021)
Eagles Julia Fordham Biffy Clyro Paul Weller Liz Phair Neil Young Little Feat Avalanche Party Jackson Browne Sunflower Thieves George Michael Alice Simmons Children Of Zeus James Brown Detroit Cobras Billy Paul Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes O’Jays Eels Delilah Bon
Mayhem’s Top 20 Artists on Spotify (August 1st 2021)
David Bowie Neil Diamond Beatles Linda Ronstadt Paul Simon Paul Weller Curtis Mayfield Durand Jones and the Indications Marvin Gaye Rod Stewart David Essex Sunflower Thieves Temptations Jackson Browne Queen Sex Pistols Rolling Stones Tavares Stackridge Dave
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I would like to use this post to send my congratulations to the people of Greece for voting Oxi or No to more austerity and humiliation at the hands of their so-called European partners. Whatever the outcome over the coming days, weeks and months I believe that this was the right way to vote. I am sure that it took courage those who voted and belief and passion from Greek ministers. If only UK politicians had that level of passion! Have Alexis Tsipras and Yanis Varoufakis played a better game than Angela Merkel and her cronies? Only time will tell I suppose
Anyway this is a music post so celebrate the Oxi vote by listening to the Eagles with “The Greeks Don’t Want No Freaks” (or Merkels, or more austerity!)
This is probably bigger than my own little world view and maybe there’s a lot of it that I don’t understand. But what is it with the Euro bail-out for Greece? The great and good (well not much greatness or goodness really is there?) leaders of Europe held a series of summits to resolve the Euro crisis. Focussing in particular on the parlous state of the Greek economy. In simple terms the solution was that major banks would write off 50% of Greek debt and the rest would be funded through stringent austerity measures to be introduced by the Greek government.
Well it looks like they can't produce can they? A T Shirt slogan on a bag........that is so FAIL!
So just a few days ago everyone was patting themselves on the back on what a spiffing job they had done; crisis over….. for now. Then comes the news that before they accept these actions the Greek government will ask their voting population what they think in the form of a referendum. Now I may be a little simple at times but on this occasion I suspect that the there will be an overwhelming no vote? What do you think?
I think that our erstwhile leaders should have taken a look at the car washing scene in Pulp Fiction before any back slapping took place.Well, in particular the line ‘let’s not start sucking each other’s dicks quite yet’. So what happens next? I presume that Greece will default on their loans. After that who knows, do the banks send in the bailiffs to repossess Greek property. Unlikely really; all their crockery is broken and they lost their marbles ages ago.
But at least the forecast looks good....... actually so does the forecaster don't you think?
Just a couple of questions from me to close this post;
If Greece doesn’t want the bailout money can I have it?
So then, let’s get back to music as this is really a music blog, but there is often the odd rant from me. Here are a few songs that I feel are appropriate. Especially the last one of the three from Jarvis Cocker
So it appears that I now live in the place that everyone else in the country would like to live, according to a recent survey. I live in York, an obvious jewel in North Yorkshire’s and indeed the UK’s crown. I’m not sure it was the most popular place when I moved here in 2007 so I suppose I could assume that it has become so popular because I live here. What do you think? Anyway I really enjoy living in the north, in my opinion it is a million times better than London. But in fact that could be said of most other places in the UK. So what do I think are the best reasons to live in York, apart from the obvious one for me which would be my fiancée Catherine aka to regular readers as Catwoman. I will try to complete this as a top ten, but in no particular order.
The history – walking the wall is always a wonderful experience when you consider the thousands of years of history below your feet. Vikings, Romans and the Scots have all occupied York at some time or another
The Maltings – in my opinion the best pub with the best beer in York
Dusk – in the daytime a rather excellent coffee bar and at night a rather unique club (This is definitely not a view shared by Catwoman)
The Mediterranean Barbers – The only place in town you can get a full wet head shave (Just the thing for those of us, like me, that are follically challenged)
The Minster – I am not a religious person at all but the magnificence of this building transcends religion. Obviously I ought to mention Archbishop John Sentamu here, a truly wonderful character
Guy Fawkes – in my opinion probably the last person to enter parliament with honourable intentions and he was born in York
Rafi’s Spice Box – all the ingredients (apart from the meat or veg) and instructions that you need to make an excellent curry
Travelling Man – it may be the only comic shop in York, but even if it wasn’t it would still be the best. Staffed by a great team who keep me supplied with the best Marvel has to offer!
Cedar Court Grand Hotel – this building used to be the railway offices which is where I worked when I first met Catwoman. It has been a hotel for just over a year and last October we went for a meal in the restaurant there, where I did the traditional popping the question on one knee. To complete the circle we will be getting married there in September. Does that mean I will become Mr Catwoman?
Apologies to the places and things I have missed. I could easily have come up with ten more. (Notable omissions which make up that additional 10 are; York City FC, Rowntree Park, Fibbers, The Duchess, Oak Street, Little Betties, The Blue Bicycle, City Screen, York Library, the Vinyl Record stall outside M & S) I would love to hear what your favourite things about York are whether you live here or not. If you’ve never visited this wonderful city yet then pull your finger out and get yourself along here. I may even meet you in the Maltings for a swift one! But I am half Scots so don’t expect me to buy you one! I have said on many occasions before that this is a music blog so let me finish with a few songs that are about city life.
Obviously there is a real dearth of songs about York itself, although there are thousands about it’s young offspring from across the pond. You know the place, so good they named it twice? Well my city is so good it only needs one name and that is York!
I was reading an article in last weeks NME in which they listed their view of the 50 druggiest albums ever recorded. Most of the usual suspects are included with Primal Scream‘s ‘Screamadelica’ making it to the top of the pile (or the bottom of this reverse order listing of course). The article also included a number of great little pieces of trivia. The one that really amused me was Fleetwood Mac, included at number 29 with their 1979 album ‘Tusk’. Apparently they were so full of coke they agreed that the album title would be the nickname that drummer and founder Mick Fleetwood called his todger. Whilst most normal people use simple terms like willy or cock, Mr Fleetwood prefers to call his manhood Tusk. Is it made of ivory with a sharp point? You have to hope not for any of his girlfriends or wives. So, and I may well regret this, what do you call yours?
As for the list, I’d like to know why the Eagles aren’t included, notably ‘Hotel California’
50 The Libertines – The Libertines
49 Oasis – Be Here Now
48 MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
47 Sex Pistols – Never Mind The Bollocks
46 Dr Dre – The Chronic
45 Klaxons – Surfing The Void
44 The Doors – The Doors
43 Brian Jonestown Massacre – Methodrone
42 Missy Elliott – Miss E…So Addictive
41 Guns ‘N’ Roses – Appetite For Destruction
40 Royal Trux – Twin Infinitives
39 Tricky – Maxinquaye
38 Jane’s Addiction – Ritual De Lo Habitual
37 The Birthday Party – Junk Yard
36 Pavement – Wowee Zowee
35 13th Floor Elevators – Easter Everywhere
34 Black Sabbath – Master of Reality
33 Neil Young – On the Beach
32 Babyshambles – Down In Albion
31 Bardo Pond – Bufo Alvarius
30 The Chemical Brothers – Exit Planet Dust
29 Fleetwood Mac – Tusk
28 Snoop Doggy Dogg – Doggystyle
27 Lou Reed – Metal Machine Music
26 Butthole Surfers – Locust Abortion Technician
25 Jefferson Airplane – Surrealistic Pillow
24 Ol’ Dirty Bastard – Nigga Please
23 Spacemen 3 – Taking Drugs To Make Music To Take Drugs To
22 Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers – L.A.M.F
21 David Bowie – Station To Station
20 Factory Floor – Untitled
19 Happy Mondays – Yes Please!
18 My Bloody Valentine – Loveless
17 Elton John – Madman Across The Water
16 Suede – Dog Man Star
15 The Stooges – Raw Power
14 Spiritualized – Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space
13 The Jesus and Mary Chain – Psychocandy
12 Cypress Hill – Black Sunday
11 Marilyn Manson – Antichrist Superstar
10 Pink Floyd – The Piper At The Gates of Dawn
09 The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced?
08 Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III
07 Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
06 The Beatles – Revolver
05 Nirvana – In Utero
04 Sly and the Family Stone – There’s A Riot Goin’ On
03 The Velvet Underground – White Light/White Heat
02 The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main St
01 Primal Scream – Screamadelica
This option would have been one hell of a lot safer
There is every possibility that some of you may see this as a sick choice of subject, so for that let me apologise up front. But as my good friend Fraser Matthews once said to me “Billy Boy, you are one sick puppy!” Anyway the story concerns this years 12th (and almost certainly last) annual Sauna World Championship. Basically it’s about who can stay in the sauna for the longest at temperatures of 110C. The two men who got through the heats (pardon the pun) this year were the reigning champion and five time winner Timo Kaukonen from Finland and Vladimir Ladyzhenskiy of Russia. After six minutes in the final officials noticed that there was something wrong. Ladyzhenskiy was dead and Kaukonen had suffered severe burns. Are people so bored that they have to see this as a sport? It’s bloody mental in my opinion. But here’s the sick part, it got me thinking about heat songs, so after you’ve read the story on the Beeb and the Guardian I hope you enjoy my heat selection!
“Some Like It Hot” – Power Station. Featuring one of the best white soul voices ever in my opinion, Robert Palmer and some random dudes off of Duran Duran (John Taylor and Andy Taylor) and some more randomers from Chic (Tony Thompson and Bernard Edwards)
“The Heat Is On” – Glenn Frey. Frey co wrote many of the Eagles greatest songs with Don Henley and also sang lead vocals on plenty of them. He once fronted a duo with J D Souther (in 1969) who were known as Longbranch Pennywhistle. “The Heat Is On” is taken from Beverly Hills Cop which starred Eddie Murphy
“Hot, Hot, Hot” – Arrow. An excellent party song which was written and produced by Montserrat musician, Arrow (aka Alphonsus Cassell). It has been covered by many people including David Johansen off of the New York Dolls using his Buster Poindexter alter ego
“(Love Is Like A) Heatwave” – Martha & The Vandellas. A classic Motown track and one of the many hits penned by the Holland Dozier Holland writing team. The song was well covered by Linda Ronstadt. It was also used to great effect in the blood collection scene in the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘Carrie’ which starred John Travolta.
“Drop It Like It’s Hot” – Snoop Dogg featuring Pharrell. Snoop was known as Calvin Broadus although his parents did give him the nickname Snoopy because they felt there was a resemblance to the Charles Schultz creation.
“Melt” – Siouxse & The Banshees. Her parents named her Susan Janet Ballion (although I have seen it noted as Dallion). Her Mum was a bilingual Secretary but her Dad had what must have been quite a unique job, he was a laboratory technician who milked serum from venomous snakes in the Belgian Congo!
“Burning Love” – Elvis Presley. The song was written by Dennis Linde and first recorded by Arthur Alexander. Presley’s version came out in 1972. It is one of my favourite Elvis songs from his later years
“Canned Heat” – Jamiroquai. Taken from the album ‘Synkronized’ the song reached number four in the UK Chart and made it to the top of the US Dance Chart. It was also used prominently in the film ‘Napoleon Dynamite’
“Hot In Herre” – Nelly. Also known as Cornell Haynes Jr, Nelly had quite a prolific output in the noughties. This song title was somewhat deliberately misspelled a little like most of Slade’s early 70s output. The song uses the hook from Chuck Brown’s 1979 hit “Bustin’ Loose”
“Disco Inferno” – Trammps. A classic disco song which was also featured on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. I remember once talking to my Dad about having this song played at your funeral if you were being cremated. Well we never played it at my Dad’s funeral, but who knows? There might be room for it at mine! 😉
As many of you know I am somewhat of a fan of lists, very much like the protagonist in Nick Hornby’s excellent book ‘High Fidelity’ Although I was pretty disappointed that the film was set in the US, were you? So back to those lists, there have been a couple published recently that you might be interested in. I certainly was!
The first is from UK Radio Station Absolute Classic Rock whose listeners have voted in a poll to identify Britain’s favourite rock songs. I was a little surprised at some of the entries; The Beatles only song in the top ten is “Revolution” and only seven different acts appear in the Top 10. Led Zeppelin get three entries and the Who get two. Obviously I was incredibly disappointed that there was nothing from David Bowie in the final ten. Here is the top 10 and you can click here to go to the Absolute Classic Rock Radio website
Dangerous Dave representing Freddie and the boys at number three, which is exactly where I hope he is after the election. Another One Bites The Dust perhaps?
1. Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven
2. The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again
3. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
4. Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta love
5. Deep Purple – Smoke On The Water
6. The Who – Baba O’ Reilly
7. Led Zeppelin – Rock n ’ Roll
8. Free – All Right Now
9. The Beatles – Revolution
10. The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter
The second of the lists is much more US centric and covers the best debut albums. These were selected by Dave White at About.com:Classic Rock
‘Are You Experienced’ – Jimi Hendrix Experience
‘Boston’ – Boston
‘Can’t Buy A Thrill’ – Steely Dan – actually this is one of my favourite albums of all time as well
‘The Doors’ – Doors
‘Eagles’ – Eagles
‘England’s Newest Hitmakers’ – Rolling Stones
‘Led Zeppelin’ – Led Zeppelin
‘Music From Big Pink’ – The Band
‘Please Please Me’ – Beatles
‘(pronounced leh-nerd skin-nerd’ – Lynyrd Skynrd
You can click here to see more details about the albums on the list. But where are the Clash and the Pistols? What was your favourite debut album? On reflection mine is probably ‘Grace’ from the late, great Jeff Buckley. Add a comment to let me know your choices