With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Joker” – Film and Soundtrack Review October 10, 2019


Joaquin Phoenix puts in a truly devastatingly spectacular performance as Batman’s arch-nemesis Joker in the new DC film of the origin of the Clown Prince Of Crime. I am a big fan of comics, mostly Marvel, but in Batman and most of his villains DC has something on a par with the Marvel Universe. However, until now the film adaptations of DC characters have been at best sporadically good. But with ‘Joker’ they have moved into the Premier League. This film, directed by Todd Phillips is for me potentially the best superhero related film ever, in fact, I would say that it is possibly the best film that I have ever seen. It works as a study of abuse, bullying, isolation and mental breakdown and how society treats those who are different. There are obvious superhero and supervillain references given the iconic nature of one of DC Comics’ best-known villains. However, even with no knowledge of comic history or the key characters, you would probably agree that this is a stone-cold great film. For nerdy comic fans like me, you do get to see a young Bruce Wayne. Apparently, Joaquin Phoenix lost 52 pounds to play the character and he based the maniacal laughter on “videos of people suffering from pathological laughter” He didn’t look at previous Joker portrayals for inspiration, but he read a book about political assassinations so he could understand killers and motivations. He must be in line for an Oscar in my opinion.

The soundtrack from Icelandic musician and composer Hildur Gudnadottir. Hildur is a classicly trained cellist and has played with Throbbing Gristle and Animal Collective. She also provided the soundtrack for the recent TV mini-series ‘Chernobyl’. The musical soundscapes that she has created for ‘Joker’ are dark, moody and gothic and help to build scenes perfectly. Click here to listen to her soundtrack on Spotify. In addition to Gudnadottir’s work, there are a lot of previously hit or classic songs used at key points in the film. At one point you can hear one of my favourite 70s soul songs in the background while Phoenix as Arthur Fleck is putting on his clown make up. That song is “Everybody Plays The Fool” by the Main Ingredient. Other songs that feature are “Smile” by Jimmy Durante and “That’s Life” by Frank Sinatra, both of which take prominent roles in the film’s soundscape. Tracks by the Doors, Joy Division, Pink Floyd and Donovan. “Left Speaker Blown” by Liars an LA-based band formed in the 90s is deeply dark and bordering on the scary side of beautiful. There is clearly at least one controversial track used in the film though. In quite a pivotal scene as Arthur Fleck’s mental state moves him more toward the Joker character he becomes he dances down some steps backed by a soundtrack of notorious UK paedophile Gary Glitter’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Part 2”. Now to many people, particularly in the UK, the thought of the former Paul Gadd making money is gross. However, were the music pickers form the film aware of Glitter’s activities? He never really sold much in the USA, he was essentially a one hit wonder in America. I understand that he is not likely to receive ongoing royalties for this, but will probably receive a lump sum payment. Half of that will go to his co-writer Mike Leander, who I have a degree of sympathy for. In my opinion, it was, with hindsight, foolish to use this tune. However in the context of the film it works!

The bottom line is that this is an incredible film and well worth seeing, don’t let the Glitter shit prevent you from giving it a shot.

As a footnote, last year in a Rolling Stone interview discussing his favourite Glam Rock songs Joe Elliot of Def Leppard said of Glitter’s “I’m the Leader of the Gang (I Am!)”; “This is going to be very controversial because nobody talks about Gary Glitter anymore, since he’s a child molester, but there’s no doubt that in 1973, him and Michael Leander, who previously worked with the Beatles, made a fantastic song. It’s just an absolutely tremendous sing-along, laugh-along pop anthem. It was just undeniable. It starts off with a motorbike and then Glitter and the band start this “Come on, come on” chant and it speeds up and then just stops and he goes, “Do you want to be in my gang, my gang?” and it’s just begging for what comes next, which is the whole Glitter band going, “Oh yeah.” It’s just really well-constructed stuff.

You won’t hear him on the radio in the U.K. anymore because he’s banished to bloody hell because of all his misdemeanors with underage girls. But probably no more so than Jerry Lee Lewis who still gets played. And Chuck Berry had all these tours before he died, and nobody seems to remember that he put cameras in the toilets of his restaurant and filmed people. So people pick and choose their pariahs, I suppose. But if you discuss music and nothing but music here, the songs you had when you’re a 12-year-old kid were fantastic. And that one song in particular was the best one I ever heard.” I am not for one moment this condones anythine Glitter the paedophile did, but this is just another view.

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.

 

 

“My hunger burns a bullet hole” January 8, 2016


thom-yorke-spectre

Given that Radiohead recently shared what might have been the theme to the latest James Bond film, ‘Spectre’ I was reminded of some other Bond theme trivia. The theme song to 1979’s ‘Moonraker’ was originally issued to Frank Sinatra and Kate Bush. Not as a duo, although that might have been somewhat intriguing. Eventually it was recorded by Shirley Bassey.

moonraker

Rita Coolidge released “All Time High“, the theme to ‘Octopussy’ in 1983. That song had previously been turned down by Mari Wilson. Whatever happened to her?

Octopussy Poster

Then in 2008 Jack White and Alicia Keys provided the frankly unforgettable “Another Way To Die” for ‘Quantum Of Solace’. But I wonder what might have been had Amy Winehouse recorded it as per the original plan?

quantum-of-solace-poster

 

“You ask how much I need you, must I explain?” – Advent day 12 December 12, 2013


5978003639_50e93ae9fbI’m getting just a little bit more excited now it is the 12th of December after all. In keeping with this years With Just A Hint Of Mayhem advent posts I have two diametrically opposed songs for you today. But obviously two that have the number twelve in their titles.

250px-Johnny_NashFirst up is the timeless song “Twelfth Of Never” which was initially recorded by Johnny Mathis in 1957. He apparently didn’t like the song and it was demoted to the B Side of “Chances Are”. The song has been recorded by many, many artists since then. The Mathis version made it to number 9 in the US charts and Donny Osmond took it to number one in the UK and number 8 in the USA in 1973. The list of cover versions is almost endless and includes; Nina Simone, Barry Gibb, Cliff Richard, Tammy Wynette, Chi-Lites, Glen Campbell, Cher, Dolly Parton, Roger Whittaker, Barry Manilow, Andy Williams, Olivia Newton John, Hank Marvin and Jeff Buckley. Jeff’s version can be found on the Legacy edition of ‘Live At The Sin E’ and remains very faithful to the Nina Simone version of the song. The regular readers among you will know that I am a big fan of Texan crooner Johnny Nash. In fact I would go as far as saying that his singing voice is my favourite voice ever. Anyway I haven’t posted about Mr Nash for quite a while so I thought I would use his version of the “Twelfth Of Never” taken from his 1968 album ‘Soul Folk’.

strokesThe second song today flows from the Julian Casablancas post from yesterday. It is “12:51” by the band that Julian is a big part of; the Strokes. The song was written by Mr Casablancas and was the first single released from the bands second album ‘Room On Fire’ in 2003. The song made it to number 7 in the UK and reached the top 40 in Ireland, Canada, the Netherlands and Sweden. The songs original title was “Supernova”. The video for the song was directed by Roman Ford Coppola, the son of Francis Ford Coppola and the cousin of Nicolas Cage. It has a theme that is very reminiscent of the ‘Tron’ the 1982 movie. When the band played a number of Japanese dates to support the release of the ‘Room On Fire’ album in 2003 they included a cover of the Frank Sinatra classic written by Paul Anka “My Way”, only they sang it with Japanese lyrics!

 

“Don’t you know, you fool, you never can win?” November 24, 2013


SongsforswinginloversFifty seven years ago in 1956 Frank Sinatra had the honour of becoming the first artist to have a UK number one album with ‘Songs For Swingin Lovers‘. Since then there have now been 1,000 number ones; sadly the thousandth is Robbie Williams‘ second swing album, ‘Swings Both Ways’. It’s such a shame that it couldn’t have been Jake Bugg with his new album, ‘Shangri La’. But I suppose it might have been worse given that Lady Gaga’s ‘ARTPOP‘ was 999th.

SwingsbothwaysI thought I’d check out which rock ‘n’ roll gods had the 666th UK number one album and it wasn’t any kind of god or devil just Nickleback with ‘Silver Side Up’

Robbie has now had eleven solo number one albums, equalling Elvis Presley. If you count his number ones with Take That it’s fifteen which is the same number as the Beatles. However Robbie is way behind on the weeks spent at number one in the UK albums chart list. The Beatles top that at 174 weeks with Robbie languishing in sixth place with just 31 weeks. The acts between him and the Beatles are Elvis Presley (63 weeks), Abba (57), Rolling Stones (45) and Simon and Garfunkel (40). I suspect Gary Barlow will have the 1,001st number one next week with his new album, which from what I have heard might rate as the dullest UK number one album for some time! Click here to read more about Robbie on the BBC.

 

“Mud can make you prisoner and the plains can bake you dry” October 24, 2013


Did you know that there are four winners of acting Oscars who have also had UK number one singles? No nor did I until I chanced upon the quiz in this weeks NME. Those four clever people and their UK number ones are;

Frank Sinatra won the best supporting actor Oscar for his role in 1954’s ‘From Here To Eternity’

FrankSinatraOscar

Frank’s UK number one songs were; “Three Coins In A Fountain” (1954), “Strangers In The Night” (1966) and “Something Stupid” (with his daughter Nancy Sinatra (1967)

Cher won the best actor Oscar for her part in ‘Moonstruck’ in 1988.

60th Annual Academy Awards - Press Room

Cher’s UK number one singles were “I Got You Babe” (with then husband Sonny Bono) (1965), “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss)” (1990), “Love Can Build A Bridge” (with Chrissie Hynde, Eric Clapton and Neneh Cherry) (1995) and  “Believe” (1998)

Lee Marvin won the best actor Oscar for his part in the 1965 film ‘Cat Ballou

index

Lee’s only UK number one was “Wandrin’ Star” which was taken from the soundtrack of ‘Paint Your Wagon’ in 1970. The B side was another actor not famed for his singing, Clint Eastwood with “I Talk To The Trees”

Barbara Streisand won the best actor Oscar for 1969’s ‘Funny Girl’.

1969_02_actress_streisand_big

Barbara’s only UK number one was “Woman In Love” (1980) which was written by Barry and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees

 

“I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon” November 29, 2012


Based upon information released recently it is alleged that the US Government had planned to blow up the moon in the late 50s as a means of intimidating their nemesis in the Cold War, the Soviet Union. After the Russians effectively took the lead in the Space Race with the launch of Sputnik in 1957 it was apparently believed that a show of strength like blowing up the moon would really scare the Russians. Apparently it was called ‘A Study of Lunar Research Flights’ or ‘Project A119‘. Even that sounds a little James Bond like doesn’t it?

It really does seem like a crackpot scheme and it is unlikely at the time that anyone possessed enough in their nuclear arsenal to actually complete the task. At best it might have left the man in the moon looking more like the elephant Man and the satellite’s surface covered in high levels of radiation. In addition any debris that fell to earth would almost certainly have been radioactive as well.

I wonder if this idea came from the same think tank that thought of the idea of using an explosive cigar to blow up Fidel Castro or to rig the voting in Florida in 2000 in favour of Dubya. Ooops wait a minute that second one was true wasn’t it? had it happened then Neil Armstrong probably wouldn’t have been there to utter his famous ‘one step for man’ line. But then again maybe it did happen and didn’t work very well other than to make the moon radioactive. That would certainly give more credence to those people who believe the moon landings were faked and took place in a film studio directed by Stanley Kubrick.

I’d love to know what you think of this incredibly stupid, yet potentially real plan of  Eisenhower’s government. Bearing in mind that his Vice President was Tricky Dicky Nixon, maybe it isn’t surprising! Anyway as I have said many times before so here are a few songs that may not have happened or certainly wouldn’t have been the same had the moon been blown to smithereens, feel free to add your own moon related songs.

Apologies but there are two kiddie fiddlers for the price of one on this next one!

And finally a special Billy Bonus, my favourite track from Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark side Of The Moon’; “Brain Damage”

 

“I’m like the B-19, loaded with Benzedrine” May 20, 2012


Hands up who thought that heavy drug references in music arrived in the 60s and the ‘straights’ just didn’t get it? Well if that’s you, you’re very, very wrong. Fred Astaire was singing about Benzedrine in a song back in 1942. The song was “On The Beam” written by Johnny Mercer and Jerome Kern. Astaire sang it in the film ‘You Were Never Lovelier‘ (Thank you to the rather excellent Word magazine for bringing this to my attention)

However much he took, Fred could never get as high as Audrey Hepburn

It’s certainly not the earliest drug reference in song either. Cole Porter wrote “I Get A Kick Out Of You” for the Broadway musicalAnything Goes‘ in the early thirties and the song has the lines  ‘Some get a kick from cocaineI’m sure that if I took even one sniff That would bore me terrifically, too’ I love that I have been able to talk about lines and cocaine in the same sentence there!

Feel free to contribute with your own favourite drug reference in songs, especially if it’s earlier than these two!

 

 

 
Be Inspired..!!

Listen to your inner self..it has all the answers..

A Miscellany Of Tasteful Music

Music, Film, Literature, Art

ACCREDITED SENIOR PSYCHOTHERAPIST/COUNSELLOR -Dr.Fawzy Masaoud-LONDON, ENGLAND

NO DESPAIR WITH LIFE AND NO LIFE WITH DESPAIR . Email: dr.fawzyclinic2019@yahoo.com

Roses in the Rubble

Finding inspiration in Rubble, Books, Movies, Music & More...

Lavender and Levity

Laughing at myself, and learning to love (live with) it!

A David Bowie Fan Club

'Cause hope, boys, is a cheap thing, cheap thing

Human Pages

The Best of History, Literature, Art & Religion

ECLECTIC MUSIC LOVER

Favorite song lists, reviews, featured indie artists, and music commentary.

Thoughts of SheryL

product reviews, travels, and etc

The Art of Blogging

For bloggers who aspire to inspire

To the moon and back

news from around

CJ Mollo

Internet Marketing Tips & Product Reviews!

Virmedius

Music, Movies and More

Shreya Vikram

Blurring the lines between poetry and prose

Dirty Sci-Fi Buddha

Musings and books from a grunty overthinker

Chaotic Shapes

Art and Lifestyle by Brandon Knoll

Kaylyn’s Blog

Life, College, & Fashion!

%d bloggers like this: