This is it good people in Blogland, just one more sleep left until the big day. It’s Christmas Eve a.k.a 24th December a.k.a day 24 of this years Advent calendar Blog posts. As this is the last advent post of 2014 from me it will cover the final three letters of the ABC of British bands. So that’ll be ‘X, Y & Z’ then. before I reveal who the lucky bands are let me take this opportunity to wish al of you a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous 2015. If you don’t celebrate Christmas then I hope that you have a very long and very happy life anyway.
So onto the bands for today; Ladies and Gentlemen please allow me to introduce X-Ray Spex, Yazoo and the Zutons. This won’t be a long post because I will shortly be starting my own festive celebrations. So firstly it’s X-Ray Spex. Lead singer Poly Styrene was born Marianne Joan Elliott-Said and as Marie Elliott she issued a reggae singled called “Silly Billy” in 1976 which sadly failed to chart. The band’s highest charting UK single was “Germ Free Adolescents” which reached number 19 in 1978.
Sow how about Yazoo? Or you may know them as Yaz in the USA after a spot of legal wrangling with Yazoo Records. Yazoo was made up of soulful vocalist Alison Moyet and Synth Supremo Vince Clarke. Vince’s talents know no bounds and he had hits as part of Yazoo, Depeche Mode, The Assembly and Erasure. Yazoo had four UK top 20 singles from 1982 to 1983. “Don’t Go” took them to number one in Belgium in 1983 and they had three US dance chart number ones from 1982 to 1983. They also won a Best Breakthrough Artist Brit award in 1983.
And finally those Scouse Scallywags the Zutons. The band took their name from a member of Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band; Bill Harkleroad was known as Zoot Horn Rollo, but this was often shortened to Zuton. Many people now see their song “Valerie” as an Amy Winehouse classic, which it is. However it was also the Zutons tenth single release and their joint highest chart position in the UK. It made number 9 in 2006 as did “Why Won’t You Give Me Your Love?” in the same year. Winehouse’s version of “Valerie” was recorded with Mark Ronson and reached number two in the UK in 2007.
And finally a special Amy Winehouse bonus 🙂 Happy Christmas!
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.
Hello once again peeps, no post yesterday as I was very busy stripping! Yes you heard me correctly. So why was I stripping you might well ask and who the hell would want to see me with my kit off anyway? If you have asked those questions or something similar then all I can say is….. how rude! I’ve been stripping paint from the windowsills and as the house was built in the 1880’s it seems like there is more than 100 years of accumulated paint on there, or at least there was. The amount of different colours has surprised me too; red, brown, yellow, green, black, cream and white were all spotted. It took an absolute age to get the old stuff off too, thank you to those nice people at Nitromors for their wonderful product ‘All Strip Mousse‘ I really don’t like DIY, but this stuff is great.
But enough of that, it’s not why we’re here after all is it? we’re here for music right? Well while I was stripping this weekend I was thinking of stripper songs, not songs to strip to, although you could to some of these. But songs that are or indeed could be loosely related to stripping. So here they are in no particular order;
So before I give just a few trivia tidbits about these artists let me apologise to anyone who has arrived at this post looking for pictures of strippers, but stay and read a while, give your right arm a rest!
David Rose is probably most famous for his tune “The Stripper”, you know it I’m sure… da na na na, da na na na etc. Anyway he also wrote music for ‘Bonanza’ and ‘The Little House On The Prairie’ Also from 1941 to 1944 he was married to Judy Garland. Rose composed and recorded the tune in 1958, but it didn’t become a big hit until it was used in the film ‘Gypsy’ in 1962. Click here to see the wonderfully funny sketch of the late great (l’s and g’s reporting for strip duty!) Morecambe and Wise making breakfast to it, go on you’ll love it!
That's a bit risque for 1962. Still it might help the visitors to the blog who are currently resting their right hands 😉
Depeche Mode hail from Basildon in Essex in the UK and Vince Clarke was an original member before he went on to great success with Yazoo and Erasure amongst others. The remaining ‘Mode’ boys were pretty successful to, particularly in the US. Girl band the Saturdays took their version of Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough” into the charts earlier this year in aid of Comic Relief. There will be a new Depeche Mode album, ‘Sounds Of The Universe’ available in just a few weeks.
The Depeche boys swore that the first thing they would buy when this months royalty cheque arrived would be a new car
It would be fair to say that Chris De Burgh’s “Lady In Red” is one of my least favourite songs, perhaps because I’ve played it so many times as a mobile DJ. So I won’t talk about it here! As for “Patricia The Stripper” that was on Chris’ 1975 album “Spanish Trains And Other Stories”. There is also a song of the same title, but not the same song, on the Wombats album ‘The Wombats Proudly Present: A Guide To Love, Loss And Desperation’
He looks a bit cross doesn't he?
T-Pain or Faheem Rasheed Najm as he is known to his folks started his rap career in the group the Nappy Headz. He currently resides on Akon’s label Konvict Muzik. He was injured in a Golf Cart accident last month and had to have emergency dental work after losing four teeth. “I’m In Love With A Stripper” also features Mike Jones.
T-Pain nearly strangled himself trying to complete the Bling version of Cat's Cradle
Wyclef Jean is Haitian and is also a Rastafarian. He continues to do an awful lot to support the less privileged in Haiti, setting up a trust fund after the devastation caused by Hurricane Jeanne in 2005. He first came to fame as a member of the rather excellent Fugees, who remain one of my favourite bands and one I’d certainly like to see reform too.
Wyclef thought that no-one was watching when he let one rip
And finally the first stripper I ever saw as a relatively innocent 17 year old danced to a brilliant reggae version of the Curtis Mayfield song “Gypsy Woman” by Milton Henry. In your view what is the ideal stripper song?