Tag Archives: Elton John

Play It Again Mayhem – “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” – Elton John


This is the second of an occasional series of songs that I don’t believe ever got the airplay they deserved, the previous and first was for “Everybody Was Rockin'” by the late great Betty Wright. Click here to check that one out. I suspect that when I have completed a few in this series there will be an accompanying playlist!

My favourite Elton John album is ‘Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy’ and it has been ever since it was released in 1975. “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” is not only my favourite song on the album it was the only single to come from it. The record performed well in the US chart, reaching number 4, (and number 2 in Canada), but in the UK chart, it only made a lowly 22. The song, and indeed the album, is autobiographical and covers Elton and Bernie Taupin’s early life together as struggling songwriters. “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” describes Elton’s failed suicide attempt on the eve of a potential and probably disastrous marriage in 1968. He had tried to gas himself, but when Bernie Taupin found him the window was also open. Which meant it was an inept attempt at suicide or maybe just a classic “cry for help”. The “someone” and the phrase “sugar bear” in the song are believed to refer to Elton’s 60s friend Long John Baldry who spent a lot of time and effort trying to steer the then Reg Dwight away from that marriage. For me, it ranks as one of the best lyrics Mr Taupin ever wrote (lyrics are copied below). Maybe the song was too long for a UK single at 15 seconds shy of seven minutes. But Elton, given the deeply personal nature of the tune, refused to edit it for single release. It was also the last single, for 8 years, to feature the classic Elton John Band line up of Dee Murray (bass), Davey Johnstone (guitar), and Nigel Olsson (drums). The song has been covered by Mumford and Sons, sampled by Kanye West and referenced a few times in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series.

I have added a bonus live version of the song from Central Park, NYC in 1980. If the woman who made it onto the stage at around 6 and a half minutes in is still around I would love to chat with her for another post. Is it you? Is it your Mom? Do you know her? Please let me know!

“Someone Saved My Life Tonight” – Elton John (music Elton John, lyrics Bernie Taupin)

When I think of those East End lights
Muggy nights
The curtains drawn in the little room downstairs
Prima donna Lord you really should have been there
Sitting like a princess perched in her electric chair
And it’s one more beer
And I don’t hear you anymore
We’ve all gone crazy lately
My friends out there rolling round the basement floor
And someone saved my life tonight sugar bear
You almost had your hooks in me didn’t you dear
You nearly had me roped and tied
Altar-bound, hypnotized
Sweet freedom whispered in my ear
You’re a butterfly
And butterflies are free to fly
Fly away, high away bye bye
I never realized the passing hours
Of evening showers
A slip noose hanging in my darkest dreams
I’m strangled by your haunted social scene
Just a pawn out-played by a dominating queen
It’s four o’clock in the morning
Damn it listen to me good
I’m sleeping with myself tonight
Saved in time, thank God my music’s still alive
And someone saved my life tonight sugar bear
You almost had your hooks in me didn’t you dear
You nearly had me roped and tied
Altar-bound, hypnotized
Sweet freedom whispered in my ear
You’re a butterfly
And butterflies are free to fly
Fly away, high away bye bye
And I would have walked head-on into the deep end the river
Clinging to your stocks and bonds
Paying your H.P. demands forever
They’re coming in the morning with a truck to take me home
Someone saved my life tonight, someone saved my life tonight
Someone saved my life tonight, someone saved my life tonight
Someone saved my life tonight
So save your strength and run the field you play alone
And someone saved my life tonight sugar bear
You almost had your hooks in me didn’t you dear
You nearly had me roped and tied
Altar-bound, hypnotized
Sweet freedom whispered in my ear
You’re a butterfly
And butterflies are free to fly
Fly away, high away bye bye

If you have enjoyed this article feel free to follow the blog, or follow us on;

Facebook

Twitter

EMail

Are you interested in writing and reviewing for With Just A Hint Of Mayhem? If so then please get in touch.

12 Days To Christmas – Day 12 – Father Christmas


This is it Christmas Eve, day 12 of my 12 days to Christmas series of posts. The final one that brings you famous people from history featured in a song, obviously they have all been real and today is no exception. I bring you the bearded weirdy, the fat bloke in the red coat, yes old saint Nick or as I prefer to call him, Father Christmas. He is real ok, don’t let anyone hear you say otherwise! Father Christmas first appeared in the 17th century and until the Victorian age he was seen as a symbol of adult merry-making and feasting. It was around then that he became the bearer of yuletide gifts, especially to children. Santa Claus is an American traditional name for the Christmas figure. Father Christmas’ coat was depicted as green, brown and even blue. It was a big advertising campaign by Coca Cola in 1931 that switched to the now far more common red robes. As it’s Christmas I won’t be focusing on any particular artist today, but I have selected a diverse set of Father Christmas and Santa Claus songs. Finally I would like to wish all of my readers a very happy Christmas, or happy holiday, or a happy life, whatever floats your boat. Just be happy! If you would like to track Father Christmas’ progress in your area click here.

Remember Who You Are – Daniel Versus The World


0008648959_10

Sadly I missed the Kickstarter campaign for this album from the talented and magnificent Daniel Versus The World. ‘Remember Who You Are’ is another fine release from Dovetown Records, the label that brought you Colour Me Wednesday and the Tuts among others. The album came out last year and I purchased the CD version a few weeks ago. The songs are all wonderfully catchy pop tunes, most of which grab you very quickly and bury themselves in your brain. Lyrically Mr Stocker is a great talent and he and the band have the chops to back up those often sublime lyrics.

safe_image

I find the music and singing sometimes reminiscent of early Elton John or Billy Joel. But these words are not words that Elton could have even dreamt of singing back in the day, although as a great campaigner for the LGBT community I reckon Reg would enjoy this record. The album is dedicated to ‘all the angry queer punx’ which is in itself a fabulously bold statement especially in the dark days of so-called president Trump. (I somehow doubt that the Tango Prez will like Daniel Versus The World, but hey that’s the orange comb-overs loss!)

image81

The album’s manifesto is most clear on opening track “Second Class Citizen” which relates to the treatment of gay people by many in this ‘modern’ society of ours. I find it incredible and horrifying that there are still people out there that continue to persecute minorities. Sadly it is often people of my generation that are guilty of such misinformed arrogance and hatred. Yes I am a middle-aged/ old straight white bloke, but I am also an Earthling. I totally accept people for who are what they are I have never been bothered by skin colour or sexuality. If you are a good person then I reckon I’ll probably get on with you, if you’re not then I’m pretty sure that I won’t!

0007823287_100

“Thank You” is currently my favourite song on this collection. On first listen you might think of it as a heartbreak song, however while it certainly does seem to be about Daniel being spurned by a former lover the message turns to glass half full with the line ‘thanks for making me, me’. I should mention the band who are very tight and offer a more than accomplished canvas for Daniel’s song paintings. Laura Ankles on drums, Jaca Freer on bass and Carmela Pietrangelo on guitar. Daniel Stocker himself plays piano and obviously vocals too.

11667251_10153372965121181_7132439253679046968_n

The CD, download and music streaming age make it easy to skip tracks on albums, however ‘Remember Who You Are’ is one of those gems on which there are no tracks that you need to skip. Another favourite of mine is “Little Blue” especially for its couplet around ‘love will make you six feet tall, but I’m six-foot three’. In a parallel universe “I’m So Fun” has topped the charts for the last twelve weeks. Next week my favourite Daniel Versus The World songs will probably different, but what is wrong with that? If Daniel did take on the world right now he might not win but he would give that mean old world a few good body blows at least. I recommend that you buy, download or stream this album immediately, no on second thoughts that is not a recommendation it’s an order!

 

“You can make all the moves, you can aim all the spotlights” – my 999th post!


bundesstrase_999_number-svg

So after nearly eight years of blogging I am approaching my 1,000th post on here. This one you are reading is post 999. But for post 1,000 I made a little offer to my Facebook friends, I asked them to name one song (or one artist) that they wanted me to include in post 1,000. So before I get there I would like to extend that offer to any of you in the blogosphere that would like their song added and receive a name check. I promise to try to say something nice about your song choice! Just message me or add a comment.

999-roadshow-web-fi-290x155

Anyway now for post 999, I went through a whole range of ideas for this one; songs about or related to the emergency services was a favourite until I thought of doing a sum. So what follows is a list of twenty songs with numbers in their title. If you add all those numbers together they total 999. Trust me they do, I used a spreadsheet 🙂 I hope you enjoy them and that you exercise your brain with a bit of mental arithmetic while you do!

 

“If I go there will be trouble and if I stay it will be double”


EY-502041

Obviously most of you are aware that there is a referendum looming for us folk in the UK. It is a vote on whether we as a country should stay a part of the European Union or whether we should leave and go it alone. Personally I fundamentally disagree with the need for a referendum; if an elected government can’t make big decisions then why are they there? Give the people a referendum on all big decisions from keeping Trident to MPs pay. That would be much fairer and a true reflection of what people want. But no; we are lumbered with making a massive decision on a subject that no one really knows the answer to Just listen to all the drivel spouted by both the Brexit (incidentally I despise that invented word) and Remain camps. If anyone truly understands this decision and all its implications then I have never heard of them. Do I understand it? Of course not, although in some sleepless moments I might think that I do. But I am enjoying the spectacle of the Tory party tearing itself apart over it. Anyway I thought I would put a helpful list together of the reasons to vote Remain and the reasons to vote Brexit on June 23rd. I hope that you like it and feel free to add to it and share your opinion. I have also added a referendum poll if you wish to cast a vote here. Oh and obviously there is some (in)appropriate music too. Feel free to suggest your own referendum stay or leave songs.

download

 

Reasons to vote Remain

Reasons to vote Brexit

1 Brexit is a shit word concoction which shows no imagination 1 We might do better in the Eurovision contest as an outsider
2 Boris Johnson will be upset David Cameron will lose his job
3 Michael Gove will be upset 3 David Cameron will be upset
Nigel Farage will be angry and upset 4 Gideon will lose his job
5 It will annoy the Biffers of Britain First and their ilk immensely 5 Gideon will be upset
6 Donald Trump won’t like it 6 UKIP will have no reason to exist
7 To stop Boris Johnson succeeding in his reality TV interview for the Prime Minister’s job 7 Millions of UK ex pats will be returned to the UK from Europe. (Incidentally why aren’t they called immigrants?)
8 To cling on to a very thin chance to ditch the unelected House of Lords 8 To lose all the lovely foreign folk that clean for us, work in our essential services, pick our food and serve our food. You know those people that do the jobs no native of this country wants to do
9 To cling on to a slim chance of seeing the end of the monarchy in the UK 9 Daily Mail readers will be happy
10 Scotland will remain a part of the UK 10 Scotland will leave the UK
11 More austerity 11 More austerity
12 To maintain a Tory government 12 To maintain a Tory government
13 The England football team will still be shit 13 The England football team will still be shit
14 This whole bloody farce of a referendum will finally be over 14 This whole bloody farce of a referendum will finally be over

1

“The trial was a pig circus, he never had a chance”


bowiedylandlq0si8j47

The other day I decided to take a quick count of all the artists in my album collection where I have at least 10 albums by a single artist. I included CDs, LPs and cassettes (although the only non compilation cassettes that I have are David Bowie bootlegs). Oh and while I’m on bootleg recordings obviously I have included them whether they are live, studio outtakes or simply unreleased stuff. I have not included digital recordings. I was surprised to find that there are 4o artists where I have at least ten releases by them. The list is below, (artist followed by the number of albums) there are no real surprises for me, are you surprised at any on this list? Have you ever done anything similar? I have also added a song from each of the top ten artists 🙂

David Bowie 141
Bob Dylan 30
Johnny Nash 26
Bruce Springsteen 26
Beatles 25
Neil Young 25
Elton John 19
Bob Marley 19
U2 19
Rod Stewart 18
Pink Floyd 17
REM 17
Elvis Costello 15
The Eels 15
Prince 15
Paul Weller 15
Ryan Adams 14
Led Zeppelin 14
Madonna 14
The Clash 13
Elvis Presley 13
Radiohead 13
Kate Bush 12
Oasis 12
Lou Reed 12
Stevie Wonder 12
Morrissey 11
Tom Waits 11
ZZ Top 11
Jeff Buckley 10
Julian Cope 10
Johnny Cash 10
Michael Jackson 10
John Lennon 10
Manic Street Preachers 10
Kylie Minogue 10
Iggy Pop 10
Rolling Stones 10
Frank Turner 10
The Who 10

“You’re gonna hear electric music Solid walls of sound”


Elton's got balls!
Elton’s got balls!

Don’t you just love Elton John’s “Bennie And The Jets” from his 1973 double albumGoodbye Yellow Brick Road‘? I certainly do. I knew that it wasn’t a live recording but the applause included on the track makes it sound as though it is. Did you know that the applause wasn’t even recorded at an Elton gig? In fact it is drawn from recordings of the audience clapping and shouting at Jimi Hendrix’s Isle Of Wight festival set in 1970.

1344350759690_4041473I know of another occasion where that kind of thing has happened too. The sound of the crowd used on the title track of David Bowie’sDiamond Dogs‘ album is actually the applause taken from a live album by the Faces! Can any of you offer any similar gems?

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

“I was playing rock and roll and you were just a fan”


EltonJohnThe synthesiser intro to Elton John’s magnificent (in my opinion) “Funeral For A Friend”, the opening track on the ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road‘ album, was recorded by David Hentschel an engineer and, obviously, a synthesiser player. Apparently Elton only heard it for the first time after it was finished.

funny-Spider-Man-Elton-John-biggest-fan

Enhanced by Zemanta

“We’re up all night to get some”


daft-punk-pharrell-650-430

Daft Punk‘s stunningly great single “Get Lucky” is now the biggest selling UK single of 2013. The song which also features Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers reached sales of one million only 69 days after it was released. Only one other French act has hit the million mark for a UK single and that was David Guetta with “Titanium” which hit that peak a few weeks ago some 79 weeks after its release.

2428169-daft-punk-french-617-409

Another three UK singles have finally reached the heady heights of one million sales this year and they were released in 1976, 1995 and 2001. The songs in question are;

“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” – Elton John and Kiki Dee. I assumed that had already sold in excess of a million

“Mysterious Girl” – Peter André. Seriously? Who on earth is buying this crap so long after it was released. If I find out who you are I will come to your house cover you in honey and tie you down above an ant’s nest. I will also put a wasp’s nest on your head. All the while you will be forced to listen to Peter Andre‘s Greatest Hit ( a very short compilation) over and over on endless loop.

“Whole Again” – Atomic Kitten. Once again, who the hell is still buying this? the punishment will be similar to the above but instead of listening to Peter André you will be subjected to an endless loop of Kerry Katona‘s appearances in TV commercials for the Iceland chain.

However as an act of leniency on my part if you ‘fess up to these appaling crimes now then you will be forgiven. So if you are guilty and also feel the need to come clean then come to Father Bill’s Confessional Box a.k.a the comments facility in this blog!

“The threats you made were meant to cut me down”


It would be fair to say that many rock stars who seemed to really have balls in their early years become progressively eunuch-like as they get older. especially those that step away from the dark side to accept the odd award from the UK Royal Family. No names mentioned for now, but they and you know who they are.

However in my opinion one rock ‘n’ roll Knight of the Realm clearly showed this week that he still has balls and I salute him for that. Sir Elton John played a show in Beijing in China this weekend. as usual the set list was vetted, as it is for any major performance in China. However what he did outside of the songs was brilliant. he expressed his support for Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei. There were apparently gasps from the audience when he said it and it doesn’t seem to have been reported in any of the Chinese media. Well there’s a surprise! Click here to read the story on the BBC website.

It  follows a lot of support for pussy Riot from artists playing in Russia in recent months and Bjork‘s chant of Tibet, Tibet when she played the Chinese capital in 2008. Are these protests a sign that rock ‘n’ roll is ready to show its huge cojones once again? I hope so!

I have a feeling that the Chinese government may have censored the next video as the sound disappears after a few seconds, what do you think?

Judging from this picture Elton is also supporting China right? (geddit??)