With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

‘BUTCHERING AND BURNING ROCK MUSIC’S SACRED COWS – Carcass 1 August 23, 2022


Hands up anyone who thinks that the Beatles are shite? I am kicking off this series with a piece on a crappy little beat combo from Liverpool. They are the first of rock music’s untouchable deities to be laid out on Buffy’s Butcher’s block will be the Beatles. So, let me kick off first with that shitty bad pun of a name, the Beatles? Seriously? It might have been funny for five minutes in 1962, but now it is just mega dull. But I suppose that is a reflection on the band too, maybe they did briefly show talent in the early days. Their backing on Tony Sheridan’s version of “My Bonnie” was almost as good as anything that Right Said Fred has released. As for the music, well it was mostly covers in the early days. The first two albums were 43% cover versions and 57% rip-offs from people like Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry, and Buddy Holly. How did they have the arrogance and audacity to turn down that classic pop song “How Do You Do It?” A song that went on to be a huge smash for a more talented Liverpool band, Gerry and the Pacemakers. In fact, the first three singles by Gerry and the Pacemakers all went to number one in the UK. The Beatles failed to do that with “Love Me Do” limping to a lowly number 17 and “Please, Please Me” stuttering out at number 2. Their early albums were recorded incredibly quickly and that shows in how interminably bland the music is. In a similar way, their later albums took months to record and that shows too, mostly in the overproduced, overrated drivel they put out. All they have left us is a series of mediocre pop songs and plenty of album filler. If I must provide reluctant praise, it would be to long-suffering producer George Martin. He knew that he couldn’t polish a Beatles-shaped turd, but he was able to roll that turd in glitter occasionally.

Even Ringo, the second-choice drummer, (let’s face it Pete Best was far better), didn’t play on the “Love Me Do” single. John Lennon is alleged to have said that Ringo “wasn’t the best drummer in the world, in fact he wasn’t even the best drummer in the Beatles”. Apparently, Lennon didn’t actually say that, according to a number of sources, but the statement stands true, doesn’t it? The Beatles a.k.a the Floptops were just in the right place at the right time, any beat band of the early sixties could have been picked up and groomed for success like they were. The Merseys or Gerry and the Pacemakers would have been moderately better, although still somewhat shit. The overuse of “yeah, yeah, yeah” in their lyrics made it abundantly clear that they couldn’t write a decent tune to save their lives. They were basically a manufactured boy band put together by Brian Epstein. He got rid of the original drummer and made them change their appearance, dressing them in pretty little suits and promoting the Beatles’ haircut. In that sense, they were the Westlife of their day, nothing more. Like the boys from Sligo they sold millions of records based on their pretty boy looks, well excluding Ringo, he was hardly pretty was he? To be fair to Lennon in particular, he was right when he said that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus. Extensive research (on Google) suggests that JC was no more than 5 feet 5 inches tall (other heights are available) while the shortest Beatle was Ringo at five feet 8 inches.

Some people say that a measure of success is all their number one records, 17 UK number one singles, and 11 UK number one albums (plus another 4 if you count compilations and archive issues) for example. But Westlife have had 14 UK number one singles and 9 UK number one albums, 11 if you count compilations. So, on that basis, I should add that I believe Westlife are absolute and utter shite, the Beatles are a few number ones better than Westlife. But simply put both acts are steaming piles of number twos! George Harrison convincing the boys to let him use a sitar on some songs probably explains why he was not given the opportunity to write more Beatles songs. The sitar in rock music? What a waste of overindulged, egotistical effort. Then there is the infamous “concept” album, ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, if I linked the last three bowel evacuations I did it would be more of a concept and frankly would probably sound better. As for ‘Abbey Road’, well firstly what a lazy fucking title that is, and secondly it was filled with half-finished sketches of songs and a huge plagiarism of Chuck Berry by John Lennon in “Come Together”. And what about the so-called “White Album”? A double album with 30 tracks, ridiculously overlong, and where the hell was the quality control on track selection. “Glass Onion”, “Piggies” and “Don’t Pass Me By” should have been expunged from tape never to be heard again. The sonic dirge/ soundscape that is “Revolution 9” is easily the best track the Beatles ever recorded, largely because it doesn’t feature any of them and is just a bunch of insane randomly recorded sounds and words.

If you must listen to the Beatles, why not go with a facsimile from the 90s, at least you would be listening to something slightly more modern, albeit an even more shitty band than the Beatles, ladies, and gentlemen I give you Oasis. Let me finish by saying that if you have bothered to read this far you either agree with me or your head is about to explode with steam-fuelled anger and you are already typing me a message from “Angry of the Shires” telling me I am wrong. Well, you’re too late, all that remains of the Beatles is their blood on my butcher’s block. But they have provided several tough and bordering on rancid steaks and cutlets for local butcher’s shops!
I have many more rock deities on my list, and I would love to hear who you would like me to take apart next! In the meantime please remember that “all you need is love” Buffy Frobisher Smythe Esquire xxx

Written by Buffy Frobisher Smythe.

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The 12 Days Of Christmas 2021 – Songs Of Hope – Day 2 December 13, 2021

Filed under: Christmas — justwilliam1959 @ 3:24 pm
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Regular readers among will know that this years 12 Days of Christmas will showcase a collection of songs that communicate hope. This kicked off yesterday with the Bill Withers classic, “Lean On Me”. So many of us have been through the darkest of times this past couple of years and if any of this music can bring you even a sliver of light and hope, then music is doing its job. Today I have chosen the George Harrison penned Beatles classic “Here Comes The Sun” from ‘Abbey Road’. Stay strong people and if you are feeling particularly low talk to someone. I am happy to be here for you if you need me!

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“Now my advice for those who die declare the pennies on your eyes” August 13, 2017

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 6:00 am
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Allegedly according to producer George Martin, the 60’s Batman TV theme tune inspired George Harrison of the Beatles, to write the hit song “Taxman”. Now there’s a thought for a brand new super hero team up; Taxman and Robbing! I guess it’s also fair to say that the Jam ripped off “Taxman” with start and Weller’s band also recorded a version of the Batman theme!

 

“With new bones in your closet” August 3, 2017

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 7:00 am
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Back in January 2002, Aaliyah‘s “More Than A Woman” was replaced by George Harrison‘s “My Sweet Lord” at number one in the UK singles chart. This remains the only time that a deceased artist has taken over from another deceased artist at number 1.

 

“Keep them mowing blades sharp” Blog Advent Calendar Day 7 December 7, 2014


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Seven days into December already so that makes it day 7 of this years blog post advent calendar. This year, if you haven’t been following it, is the ABC of British bands. December 7th makes it the letter ‘G’ so today I bring you Genesis.

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Phil Collins appeared as a face in the crowd in the Beatles film ‘A Hard Days Night‘ he also played some percussion on George Harrison’sAll Things Must Pass‘ album. The band was formed at Charterhouse School and their name was allegedly chosen by kiddy fiddler Jonathan King. He also produced their first album ‘From Genesis To Revelation’.

Genesis 1 MAIN

Genesis were very much an albums band and they have had five UK number one albums. Their first was ‘Duke’ in 1980, which means none of the Peter Gabriel era albums topped the charts. They never had a UK number one single, but they did top the singles charts in Canada and the USA with “Misunderstanding” (1980) and “Invisible Touch” (1986) respectively. Now enjoy a wide selection of Genesis songs, My favourite is “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)”, what is yours?

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“I’m in love for the first time don’t you know it’s gonna last” Blog Advent Calendar Day 2 2014 December 2, 2014

Filed under: Christmas,Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 1:03 am
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December 2nd and therefore day 2 of this years Christmas blog post advent extravaganza. We are also at the letter B in the ABC of British bands. Who will it be today? I think you can guess can’t you? Yes it’s the Fab Four a.k.a the Moptops a.k.a the Beatles. To be fair the pictures are a big clue aren’t they?

Photo of BEATLES

Back in their early days the band produced their own kind of advent thing with a free flexi disc to fan club members that always included the odd Christmas song. Did you also know that the name of the band is not mentioned once in the 1964 film ‘A Hard Days Night‘? Or that the first Beatle to have a solo number one single was George Harrison with “My Sweet Lord“. I already knew a lot of this trivia but I learned a lot that I didn’t on the excellent site beatlestrivia.com you really need to check it out.

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Anyway now I hope that you enjoy some of my favourite Beatles songs and one of their Christmas songs.

 

Brit Awards 2014 – Wednesday February 19th 2014 February 19, 2014


brits 2014The Brits has kicked off well with a storming “R U Mine” from those Sheffield scallywags the Arctic Monkeys. Will it all go downhill from here? Let’s find out shall we? Well at least James Corden was finally on fire for the first time hosting this show. Well the sleeve of his jacket was to set up a lame joke about the Arctic Monkey‘s pyrotechnics. Thankfully this will be his last Brits. The British Female Brit award was presented the shortest man in music Prince Rogers Nelson accompanied by his new band. Corden interrupted for a selfie with the purple one. Ellie Goulding won it and given the nominees deservedly so in my opinion. She was somewhat awed by meeting Prince too.

Katy Perry was next on stage and she went a bit Stargate Cleopatra on us. She sang “Dark Horse” from her new album ‘Prism’. I presume it’s not a George Harrison tribute. Kylie and Pharrell Williams presented the International Male solo Artist award after more inane and unfunny shite from Corden. It was won by Bruno Mars; personally I expected it to go to Justin Timberlake although I would have voted for Eminem.

Tinie Tempah and Fearne Cotton rocked up to present the British Breakthrough Act Award. It was well won by the rather excellent Bastille. I love the ‘Bad Blood’ album. Sadly Corden was back after that with a dreadful interview with One Direction which included some pathetic jokes about Justin Bieber in prison. Then we were subjected to Bruno Mars with “Treasure”. But to be fair I judged him too soon, that was a good performance. Really classy modern R & B.

Next up a welcome return from Lily Allen to present the award for Best British Group. Thank fuck it wasn’t won by Wand Erection. It went to a proper band instead. The marvellous Arctic Monkeys. The previously known winner of the newcomer award was the understated but talented Sam Smith.

Now we have the Global Success Award presented by Rosie double-barreled surname. Who the fuck is she? Was this Award manufactured for the ultimate manufactured band One Direction? Can’t we just sell them to the USA? Is Harry Styles having a wee the most controversial act of this years show? Sadly it probably is. The revolution doesn’t start here!

Beyonce live, now that was bloody good in my opinion. But was she lip syncing “XO”? The nest award was for best British single, presented by Katy Perry. Was she trying an English accent? Won by the fabulous Rudimental which thankfully beat Olly Murs and Wand Erection.

The first collaboration of this years show was Disclosure and Lorde with a really cool and funky take on Lorde’s “Royals”. Followed by a brilliant live rendition of “White Noise” with Aluna. The International Group award was presented by Cesc Fabregas (WTF?) and Nicole Scherzinger. The winners were Daft Punk. Could it really have been anyone else? The legend that is Nile Rodgers collected the award on their behalf.

Ellie Goulding was next to perform. She did “I Need Your Love” and “Burn”. I loved the massed percussion during “Burn”. I have really grown to like Ellie’s music. Noel Gallagher was there to present the best male solo artist award. Let’s hope he has a new album out soon. Fuck me Bowie’s only gone and won it! Kate Moss accepted it on Bowie’s behalf at his personal behest. A brilliant speech written by the Dame too. This has made my night!

Nick Grimshaw that bloke from Radio One who is moderately more talented than Chris Moyles stepped up to present the International Female solo artist award. Lorde was the winner and a bloody good choice too.  Bowie is a Lorde fan. Then we had yet another shite interview by Corden with Nile Rodgers and Pharrell Williams. The British Video award was voted for live on Twitter during the show and was presented by Jimmy Carr. Sadly it was won by Wand Erection with “Best Song Ever”, but it isn’t is it?

Rudimental and Bastille combined on stage to become Bastimental for the night. It certainly made up for a second 1D award for the night. Blimey just how sexy is Ella Eyre? Now we are onto the final award of the night, it’s the one that everyone wants. It’s best album and it was presented by Emilie Sande. It went to the Arctic Monkeys. It is a great album, but I was hoping for a second Brit of the night for David Robert Jones. But well done to Alex and the boys, although their acceptance speech was largely bollocks wasn’t it?

The show was closed by Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers. What a barnstorming performance from two music masters. “Get Lucky”, “Good Times”, “Happy” the hits just kept coming. Overall I think this years show was an improvement on last year. Some marks out of ten from me; James Corden 1/10, Bowie winning a Brit 10/10 and for the overall show 5/10 could do better.

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“My daddy is sleepin’ and mama ain’t around” January 13, 2014


chubbychecker_1960Songs returning to the top of the UK singles charts on separate chart runs is not an uncommon occurrence. Often after a death; “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “My Sweet Lord“. However in the USA it has only happened once to my knowledge. That was a feat achieved in 1960 and 1962. The song was originally by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, although their version only made it to number 28 in the US chart in 1959 and even that was as a B-Side to “Teardrops On Your Letter”

Chubby+Checker

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“And she never walk down Lime Street any more” January 3, 2014


joe anderson liverpool mayorAccording to Joe Anderson, the Mayor of Liverpool, his city’s artists can claim more UK number one singles per head of population than any other city in the world. There have been 57 so far, including 17 from the Beatles. Let’s stick to cities and not smaller towns and villages though, otherwise Westlife might put Sligo on top of the list with their 14 UK number one singles. Incidentally I wonder how many number one singles London has had? Or any other city for that matter.beatles and boris

Joe was writing in Q Magazine to counter London Mayor Boris Johnson‘s ridiculous claim that London ‘made’ the Beatles. Surely it was Liverpool and possibly a degree of Hamburg that ‘made’ the Fab Four? What do you think of Boris’ comments? I think he is a complete arse!

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Here are those Liverpool acts and their UK number ones;

14 March 1953 : Lita Roza – “(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?”
25 January 1957 : Frankie Vaughan – “The Garden of Eden”
14 February 1958 : Michael Holliday – “The Story of My Life”
29 January 1960 : Michael Holliday – “Starry Eyed”
7 December 1961 : Frankie Vaughan – “Tower of Strength”
11 April 1963: Gerry and the Pacemakers – “How Do You Do It?”
2 May 1963: The Beatles – “From Me to You”
20 June 1963 : Gerry and the Pacemakers – “I Like It”
8 August 1963: The Searchers – “Sweets for My Sweet”
22 August 1963: Billy J. Kramer and The Dakotas – “Bad to Me”
12 September 1963 : The Beatles – “She Loves You”
31 October 1963 : Gerry and the Pacemakers – “You’ll Never Walk Alone”
28 November 1963 : The Beatles – “She Loves You”
12 December 1963 : The Beatles – “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
30 January 1964 : The Searchers – “Needles and Pins”
27 February 1964 : Cilla Black – “Anyone Who Had a Heart”
19 March 1964 :  Billy J. Kramer and The Dakotas – “Little Children”
2 April 1964 : The Beatles – “Can’t Buy Me Love”
7 May 1964 : The Searchers – “Don’t Throw Your Love Away”
28 May 1964 : Cilla Black – “You’re My World”
23 July 1964: The Beatles – “A Hard Day’s Night”
10 December 1964 : The Beatles – “I Feel Fine”
22 April 1965 : The Beatles – “Ticket to Ride”
5 August 1965: The Beatles – “Help!”
30 September 1965 : Ken Dodd – “Tears”
16 December 1965 : The Beatles – “Day Tripper”/”We Can Work It Out”
23 June 1966: The Beatles – “Paperback Writer”
18 August 1966: The Beatles – “Yellow Submarine”/”Eleanor Rigby”
19 July 1967 : The Beatles – “All You Need Is Love”
6 December 1967: The Beatles – “Hello, Goodbye”
27 March 1968 : The Beatles – “Lady Madonna”
11 September 1968 : The Beatles – “Hey Jude”
11 December : 1968 The Scaffold – “Lily the Pink”
23 April 1969 : The Beatles with Billy Preston – “Get Back”
11 June 1969: The Beatles – “The Ballad of John and Yoko”
30 January 1971 : George Harrison – “My Sweet Lord”
3 December 1977 : Wings : “Mull of Kintyre”
20 December 1980 : John Lennon – “(Just Like) Starting Over”
10 January 1981 : John Lennon – “Imagine”
7 February 1981 : John Lennon – “Woman”
24 April 1982 : Paul McCartney with Stevie Wonder – “Ebony and Ivory”
14 January 1984 : Paul McCartney – “Pipes of Peace”
28 January 1984 : Frankie Goes to Hollywood – “Relax”
16 June 1984: Frankie Goes to Hollywood – “Two Tribes”
8 December 1984 : Frankie Goes to Hollywood – “The Power of Love”
9 March 1985 : Dead or Alive – “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)”
15 June 1985: The Crowd – “You’ll Never Walk Alone”
29 August 1987 : Ferry Aid – “Let it Be”
20 May 1989 : Various artists – “Ferry Cross the Mersey”
22 July 1989  : Sonia – “You’ll Never Stop Me Loving You”
26 May 1996 : Baddiel, Skinner & The Lightning Seeds – “Three Lions”
14 June 1998: Baddiel, Skinner & The Lightning Seeds : “Three Lions ’98”
March 26 2000: Melanie C featuring Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes – “Never Be the Same Again”
August 13 2000: Melanie C – “I Turn to You”
February 4 2001: Atomic Kitten – “Whole Again”
July 29 2001: Atomic Kitten – “Eternal Flame”
January 20 2002: George Harrison – “My Sweet Lord”
April 28 2002: Sugababes – “Freak Like Me”
August 18 2002: Sugababes – “Round Round”
September 1 2002 : Atomic Kitten – “The Tide Is High (Get the Feeling)”
October 19 2003 : Sugababes – “Hole in the Head”
September 30 2007 : Sugababes – “About You Now”
Christmas number one 2012 : The Justice Collective – “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother”

 

“The Beatles new record’s a gas” February 17, 2013


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With all the recent celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first album, ‘Please Please Me’ back in 1963 it got me thinking again about the impact the fab four had on popular culture. I know much has been written about the Beatles from a social history point of view so I won’t be getting deep and heavy about that. But my thoughts are more around mentions of the mop tops in popular music.

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There have been some great songs that mention John, Paul, George and Ringo and to celebrate 50 years since the recording and release of ‘Please Please Me’ I thought I would mention some of those songs. Apologies in advance to Dora Bryan though as I won’t be including her ode to the band; “All I Want For Christmas Is A Beatle”. The chosen songs are;

All The Young Dudes” – Mott The Hoople – for the line ‘My brother’s back at home with his Beatles and Stones, I never got it off on that revolution stuff’ I believe that this is probably the best song Bowie ever wrote.

Ball Of Confusion (That’s What The World Is Today)” – Temptations – this was released when the band were just about still around and features them in the line ‘the Beatles new record’s a gas’

“1977” – The Clash – a summation of life in the UK in 1977. The line ‘No Elvis, Beatles or Rolling Stones in 1977′ sums up the punk new boys.

“London Calling” – The Clash – a brilliant song that includes the line ‘Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust”

“(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?” – Oasis – whilst this song doesn’t mention the Beatles it does mention a Beatles song from the ‘Revolver’ album; ‘Walking to the sound of my favorite tune tomorrow never knows what it doesn’t know too soon’. It’s no surprise that the Burnage Boys songs contain many references to their musical heroes from Liverpool.

There are plenty more songs that reference the Beatles, including solo Beatle songs that mention or reference the band. I’d love to hear what your favourites are too.

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