I was sad to hear the news that Phil Everly has died aged 74. Along with his older brother Don as the Everly Brothers they produced some amazing songs in the rock ‘n’ roll and pre-Beatles era. The Everlys had six UK number one singles from 1958 to 1961 and only three in the US Billboard charts. However they also had four number ones on the US Country chart and three on the US R & B chart. They topped the chart in Canada and Australia.
There magnificent harmonies influenced many pop and rock artists including Billie Joe Armstrong off of Green Day and Norah Jones who recently released a cover of the Everly Brothers album ‘Songs Our Daddy Taught Us’. Other artists greatly influenced by Phil and Don include the Hollies, the Beatles who said that the vocal arrangement for “Please Please Me” was based on “Cathy’s Clown”. Simon and Garfunkel were also big fans of the Everly Brothers and on hearing of Phil’s death Paul Simon said “Phil and Don were the most beautiful sounding duo I ever heard. Both voices pristine and soulful. The Everlys were there at the crossroads of country and R&B. They witnessed and were part of the birth of rock and roll.” I don’t think many people could sum the Everlys up better than that. My thoughts go out to Phil’s family, friends and fans across the globe. RIP Phil Everly.
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 again good people and also to anyone not in that category! I’ll kick off with some news. Yesterday on BBC Radio 2 Rob Dryden hosted a countdown of the Top 75 songs that have been heard in public places in the UK. So that would include cafes’ restaurants, pubs and the like. The chart was compiled by PPL a music licensing company. The top 10 was as follows;
5. Bryan Adams – (Everything I Do) I Do It For You
6. Robbie Williams – Angels
7. Elvis Presley – All Shook Up
8. Abba – Dancing Queen
9. Perry Como – Magic Moments
10. Bing Crosby – White Christmas
Some good songs in there, but Robbie…… give me a break! Robbie even tied with the Beatles for most entries in the top 75 with three. I really don’t like that Bryan Adams song either. But fair play to Procul Harum though, “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” is a great song. Anyway if you’d like to see the whole of the Top 75 just click here
They had wanted to record Stairway To Heaven but made do with a Whiter Shade Of Pale
Next some bad news and some good news. First the bad news Phil Spector has been found guilty of murder and will no doubt be held behind something a little stronger than a wall of sound. I suspect that’s the end of Spector’s career now. But then he deserves the punishment if he committed the crime! The good news is that Robbie will not be rejoining Take That according to Gary Barlow. Click on their names for more information
Phil Spector's attempt to escape custody while disguised as a toilet brushed failed abysmally
Some even more sad news is that Sandi Thom’s cat Toots has been shot dead near her parents home in Scotland. Click here to read the story. Toots looks a little like my youngest cat Benny. What sort of person would shoot a cat?
On a brighter note and yes I know it’s yet more shameless promotion of my son Luke’s band, but they are looking for gigs. They will be playing in Abingdon on 24th April. Check them out on MySpace, give them a gig or go and see them and tell them I sent you! They are called Steal The Smile and they are bloody good!
Give these boys a gig............NOW! You won't be disappointed
On to the usual stuff for today and let’s try and cheer up after all the glum news shall we? Let’s start by wishing a very happy 67th birthday to Tony Burrows today, April 14th. Many of you probably don’t think that you know who Tony is, but if you read on I think you’ll find that you may be somewhat familiar with him. He was lead vocalist for Edison Lighthouse who topped the UK charts with “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” in 1970. He also holds the record for having the most records in the UK top ten at the same time, all under different names. In 1970 in addition to Edison Lighthouse he was also in the Top 10 with “My Baby Loves Lovin'” – White Plains, “Gimme Dat Ding” – The Pipkins and “United We Stand” – Brotherhood Of Man. On one edition of Top Of The Pops in that year he appeared three times, the only act missing that week was the Pipkins, but he did appear with them a week or two later. He was the lead vocalist for First Class in 1974 for their hit “Beach Baby” and he was also a vocalist for the Flowerpot Men on their hit “Let’s Go To San Francisco” in 1967. Here’s one for you fact fans, that group also contained Jon Lord and Nick Simper who went on to become founding members of Deep Purple. Click on the song title to see Tony singing “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” on Top Of The Pops in 1970 and introduced by Jimmy Saville
The Pipkins play human scrabble aor go to a fancy dress party as two "P"s in a pod!
On this day in 1971 the Illinois Crime Commission issued a list of ‘drug-oriented’ records which included Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit”, the Beatles “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” and would you believe it for the second time today, Procul Harum’s “A Whiter Shade Of Pale”. I’m not sure why they issued this list, maybe they were making recommendations as to what to listen to when smoking a joint. Well whatever it was it’s good to know that the ‘powers that be’ are getting their priorities right……………..NOT! How about getting out and catching some real criminals?
Jefferson Airplane's secret giant cannabis tree would not be secret any longer, the Illinois Police had smoked them out!
On this day in 2003 a man was arrested and accused of making up a Bjork concert and then selling tickets. Alex Conate managed to persuade a San diego night club owner that Bjork had a greed to play a show there. He allegedly sold $14,000’s worth of tickets before he was rumbled. He was accused of taking the money and moving to Hawaii which is where he was arrested.
Bjork just wished that everyone would leaf her alone!
And finally for todays ‘onthisday’s in 1975 all the rumour and conjecture about who would replace Mick Taylor as the new guitarist with the Rolling Stones was put to bed. These rumours suggested that Steve Marriott, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Chris Spedding may have been considered. But we know that it was all round good bloke Ronnie Wood. Ronnie’s autobiography is one of the best rock biographies I have ever read, if you’d like to try it for yourself just click here
Ronnie was surprised at how well Keef was dressing these days
And now a proper and finally have you seen the new T-Mobile advert where the babies and toddlers are dancing to “Blame It On The Boogie”? It’s a real fun advert, click here to check it out! Check out the original Dancing Baby by clicking here, this is like the one that used to appear on Ally McBeal.