With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Look out! Look out! Your Momma will shout You might as well go home” Blog Advent Calendar Day 23 December 23, 2014


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Only two more sleeps, wow that’s gone quick hasn’t it? Winter solstice is over for another year and the days are getting longer again, well in the northern hemisphere at least. Any how that means that it must be December 23rd and day 23 of this years Advent Calendar blog post. Regular readers will have quickly worked out that the 23rd letter of the alphabet is ‘W’. This years subject is the ABC of British bands and for today I have chosen a band who once recorded a true Christmas classic, ladies and gentlemen please welcome Wizzard to this years advent calendar posts!

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Roy Wood, the founder of Wizzard was also a leading light in the Move and co-founder along with Jeff Lynne of the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). After the first ELO album Roy was moving apart from jeff Lynne both personally and musically. he left the band to form Wizzard and the The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits says, ‘Wizzard was Roy Wood just as much as Wings were Paul McCartney‘. Given that Jeff Lynne clearly wanted to be in the Beatles maybe there are some parallels.

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The band had six UK top ten hits from 1972 to 1974, including two number ones with “See My Baby Jive” and “Angel Fingers (A Teen Ballad)”. Both of those songs hit the top spot in 1973, “See My Baby Jive” was also number one in the Irish chart. Many people probably only know Wizzard for the rather excellent “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday” a song which only reached number 4 in the UK on its initial release in 1973. It has re-entered the top 50 ten times since then, obviously every Christmas time. On that Christmas single the band are credited as Wizzard featuring vocal backing by The Suedettes plus The Stockland Green Bilateral School First Year Choir with additional noises by Miss Snob and Class 3C. Whatever happened to Miss Snob?

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Their first two albums made the UK album top 30 in 1973 and 1974. “Wizzard Brew”, number 29 in 1973 and “Introducing Eddy And The Falcons”, number 19 in 1974. Roy Wood is a multi instrumentalist who plays keyboards, horn, cello, guitar, bass and bagpipes. he also wrote some songs that were dedicated to his one time girlfriend, Lynsey De Paul, one of which, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Winter (Looney’s Tune)” reached number 6 in the UK singles charts.

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“Robin Hood and William Tell And Ivanhoe and Lancelot” Blog Advent Calendar Day 5 December 5, 2014


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December 5th has arrived and it’s therefore day 5 of this years advent blog posts. As you know this years theme is the ABC of British bands, which means today we arrive at the fifth letter of the alphabet; ‘E’. My choice for today is the Electric Light Orchestra a.k.a ELO. The band was initially an offshoot of the Move and they set out to combine orchestral sounds with rock music. It may well have been Roy Wood‘s idea but he left early on to form Wizzard. Meanwhile Jeff Lynne made ELO into a world straddling colossus.

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The band’s first UK hit was “10538 Overture“. The song was originally a b-side for the Move. Wood, Lynne and Bev Bevan (also off of the Move) added orchestral strings to it. After John Lennon heard one of my favourite ELO songs, “Showdown” he began referring to them as Beatles Junior. The band had number one singles across the world; and “Turn To Stone” and “Shine A Little Love” were number one in Canada and “Living Thing” topped the charts in South Africa. Sadly, in my opinion at least, there only UK number one was the rather dreadful “Xanadu” which also featured Olivia Newton John. That song was also a number one in the Netherlands, Germany and Ireland. The band had 15 UK top ten hits in the UK between 1972 and 1981. This was only bettered by their eighteen top ten hits in France from 1972 to 1986.

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So now it’s time for you to enjoy a selection of ELO songs, apologies but I have not included the aforementioned “Xanadu”.

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“Hey you with the pretty face welcome to the human race” October 5, 2012

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 7:26 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I am sure that most of you are familiar with the ELO classic “Mr Blue Sky” which reached number 6 in the UK charts in 1978. It was taken from the band’s 1977 double albumOut Of The Blue‘. I had always thought that the vocoder part at the end of the song said ‘Mr Blue Sky’s gone’. However as my good friend Stuart O’Hara pointed out, having heard Jeff Lynne interviewed on the One Show on the BBC, it actually says ‘please turn me over’. I can hear you ask why, well the answer is simple. The song was the last track on side one of the second disc of the album and it was an instruction to turn the record over. To those of you who don’t know what records are I would suggest that you ask your parents or your grandparents!

In the meantime enjoy once again an ELO classic and a very happy song indeed!

 

“Many, many years ago he started something with his first ‘hello, hello'” May 13, 2010


Nick - "Dave, will this coalition hurt?" Dave - "Not really, but you may feel a little prick!"

 Is the UK’s new coalition government the brave new world that some of the media are suggesting? It is the first for many years and indeed it is the first time The Party Formerly Known As The Liberal Party (TPFKATLP) has been represented on the cabinet. But in essence the country is being run once again by a significant number of toffs. Some 72% of the cabinet were schooled at Westminster, Eton and other exclusive schools and most of those are also Oxbridge Graduates. Personally I feel cheated, for the first time in quite a while I voted Lib Dem rather than Labour as I felt that Nick Clegg’s party ideals were closest to Labours. But then he goes and does a deal with Dangerous Dave. Sure he sided with the party that got most votes, but bear in mind that nobody really won this election. The Tories got 36% of the vote, but that equates to just 23% of those eligible to vote. To make matters worse if it all goes wrong I can’t wear my ‘Don’t Blame Me I Voted Labour’ badge, because I didn’t.  

Will this government move us closer to proportional representation? I honestly doubt it, because the Tories and Labour have most to lose from it so they will angle any referendum questions their way I suspect. Am I being overly cynical? Maybe. But here’s another one, the Lib Dems said that they would not proceed with a replacement for Trident, but now that Dave and Nick are all cosied up the Lib Dems will concede on that. Hold on a cotton pickin’ minute here, why has no-one stated the bloody obvious. This government will bring in austerity measures to achieve public spending cuts saving £6 billion. Now according to reports of Trident costs that I have read Trident’s replacement will cost anywhere from £76 billion to £130 billion. So why not scrap Trident and take the £6 billion from there and then pay all the rest of us (except bankers) obscene bonuses with the remaining money. But that won’t happen either as banking reform will be handcuffed as it will be led by George Osborne rather than Vince Cable.  

Anyway rant over, because frankly what the hell can I do about it now? Bugger all that’s what! Also this is ostensibly a music blog so let’s get on with that element shall we? Taking the theme, appropriately from another new government story. Dangerous Dave Cameron has apparently banned people from using their mobiles and Blackberrys in meetings and I commend him for that. (Read about it here) Where I work I wish someone would take that extra step and ban bloody meetings though, it’s no wonder that nothing get’s done in most organisations when most of us are sat on our arses in meetings all day!  

So back to the point, the banning of phones in government meetings, here are a somewhat eclectic six telephone related songs, (one for each Lib Dem member of the Liberative Cabinet, feel free to suggest your own  

and you thought the first mobile phones were big!

 “Telephone Line” – ELO. This is probably one of my favourite ELO songs, I always preferred their slower numbers. I went off them when Jeff Lynne just seemed to want to be the Beatles, even before Oasis did. But in their time they did record some classic songs though  

“Hanging On The Telephone” – Blondie. This was a cover version the original was by the Nerves (click here to listen). I reckon that quite a few people didn’t know that. I suppose I could have chosen “Call Me” as well. I saw Blondie in the 90’s when “Maria” went to number one in the UK. It was at the Reading Rivermead with my very good friend Jes (Jeremy Hyde to his folks). Anyway the band had played a couple of songs from the new album and we were standing a little way from the stage, then they launched into “Hanging On The Telephone” and I remained were I was whilst Jes was dragged forward by the crowd surge. The next thing I could see was Jes right near the front of the stage pogoing his heart out. He has always had a bit of a thing for Debbie Harry though, in fact he once confided in me that our boss Jane reminded him of Ms Harry. But more of that another day perhaps!  

“Vibrate” – Rufus Wainwright. This is taken from Rufus’ excellent album ‘Want One’ which was the first of his that I bought. I love the guys voice, which sometimes reminds me of the late, great Jeff Buckley. he is the son of Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III. Loudon once wrote a song called “Rufus Is A Tit Man” which turned out to be completely wrong as Rufus is gay. If my son Luke was around when I put a Rufus Wainwright CD on he always referred to him as Rufus the Doofus, I thought you might want to know that  

“Just Seven Numbers (Can Straighten Out My Life)” – Four Tops. Is there anyone out there that doesn’t love Levi Stubbs’ voice, for me it’s an immaculate soul voice. Whilst most of the Four Tops biggest hits were written by the classic teaming of Holland Dozier Holland this one wasn’t. It was co written by Pam Sawyer and Gloria Jones. That’s the very same Gloria Jones that wrote and originally recorded, “Tainted Love” which became Soft Cell’s biggest hit. She also went on to become Marc Bolan’s girlfriend and was driving the car in which he died in September 1977  

“Alexander Graham Bell” – Sweet. Mr Bell is credited with inventing the telephone and allegedly he wouldn’t have one in his study as he felt it was an intrusion, that seems a little strange to me. Also his mother and his wife were profoundly deaf, so his invention was never going to benefit them was it?  

“Telephone Man” – Meri Wilson. Meri specialised in double entendre type songs of which this, her biggest hit (oooooooh Matron!) is a good example. Sadly she died in a car crash aged just 53 in 2002

 

“I can’t bear to see the sun go down, casting stormy shadows all around” January 11, 2010


I guess no one missed it, as for every snow flake being unique it's all very well saying it but let me see the proof!

As I trudged through the slush and snow this morning I got to thinking about winter songs. There really aren’t too many of them are there? Especially if you discount all the Christmas and December specific songs and also songs that by default are associated with Christmas such as Winter Wonderland. I also thought that as this is the UK’s coldest winter for 30 years I ought to at least mark it with a post!

So during my break today I thought of five winter songs which you can find below, hopefully these will help you get through the cold and boredom, especially if you are still stuck indoors. I spoke to someone yesterday who hasn’t been able to leave the house since last Tuesday, hello Mum! I’m also damned sure that you can send me many more winter songs too, so that’s your challenge dear readers! No Christmas or December songs though and whilst all mine have Winter in the title that doesn’t have to be the case

Rock And Roll Winter” – Wizzard. This band were formed by the very talented Roy Wood who initially found fame with the Move and went on to form ELO with Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan, also off of the Move. Wood bailed out in 1972 to form Wizzard just a couple of years before ELO went stratospheric! This song ended up being release in the Spring in the UK owing to some kind of dispute with the label I believe

Winter” – Tori Amos – Ms Amos is a fantastic singer songwriter whose music I really enjoy, although not as much as Kate Bush, someone she is often compared too. She is also a good friend of one of my favourite authors; Neil Gaiman. Tori began composing her own instrumental pieces at the age of just 5

Winter Melody” – Donna Summer I find it a little ironic that one of my favourite songs from someone named Summer is actually about Winter! This song is taken from Donna’s Four Seasons Of Love album released in 1976. It contained just four tracks; Spring Affair, Summer Fever, Autumn Changes and Winter Melody. there is also a reprise of Spring Affair at the end. The album length was just over 30 minutes

Hazy Shade Of Winter” – Simon And Garfunkel – This song was written by Paul Simon and recorded by the duo for their Bookends album released in 1968. The Bangles later covered the song for the soundtrack of the 1987 film Less Than Zero 

It May Be Winter Outside (But In My Heart It’s Spring)” – Love Unlimited – These ladies began by providing backing vocals for the late great Walrus Of Love himself, Mr Barry White. The trio included his wife Glodean James and also his sister-in-law Linda James. This song reached the UK top 20 in 1975

Just to round this post up one casualty of this bad weather has been the cancellation of a number of gigs. My son’s band Steal The Smile were due to play at the FaceBar in Reading last Thursday, but the snow meant that the gig was cancelled. So if you were looking forward to seeing them last week here is a little something for you. Click here and go straight to their MySpace page, do not pass go and do not collect $200, just click and listen to some great songs from an excellent young band. They might not be winter songs but they are bloody good songs!

Swine Flu gets to the 100 Acre Wood

 

 
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