With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Move to the flow of the pyramid blaster” – Advent post day 3 December 3, 2013


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Are you ready to open the next box on the advent calendar? What delightful chocolate awaits us? well none actually because this is the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Advent Calendar blog post for 3rd December so instead of chocolate you’ll get two songs. Incidentally what advent calendar do you have at home? Does it contain sweets or chocolate? Mine is a Spiderman one and Catwoman, my lovely wife, has a Maltesers calendar.

Is Mr Richie wearing a Christmas jumper?

Is Mr Richie wearing a Christmas jumper?

The first of todays number themed songs is the Commodores smash hit from 1978, “Three Times A Lady”. The song which was written by Lionel Richie was a number one in the UK and the US. It comes from their album ‘Natural High’. Personally I preferred their more funky efforts and this song for me saw the band and indeed Mr Richie plunge into some bland identikit ballad territory. Songs such as “Still” and “Hello” just didn’t do it for me. I do love a good ballad though and the Commodores have some that are far better than “Three Times A Lady”. In particular “Just To Be Close To You”. “Three Times A Lady” has been covered by artists as diverse as Cobra Starship, Kenny Rogers, Conway Twitty and Bill Bailey. Bill included a German translation of the song in his Part Troll live show. I first saw the Commodores when they supported the Jackson 5 in 1972. Yes I really am that old!

The+KLF

The second song on todays posts comes from one of my favourite acts of all time; the Kopyright Liberation Front, better known as the KLF and sometimes the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu or the JAMMs. This sadly short-lived band was the brainchild of Bill Drummond and Jim Cauty. Drummond co-founded Zoo Records and was also manager of Echo and the Bunnymen and the Teardrop Explodes. In addition to the music the KLF were also infamous for acts of art terrorism which included burning a million pounds on a remote Scottish island. The song I have chosen is the bands only UK number one as the KLF “3 a.m. Eternal (Live At The S.S.L)” from 1990. They also hit the UK number one spot in 1988 as the Timelords with “Doctorin’ The Tardis“. This was apparently achieved by following the rules set out in their book; ‘The Manual (How To Have A Number One The Easy Way)’. Remaining true to their words Cauty and Drummond by withdrawing their back catalogue from sale. This remains the case for most of the world, although some copies of their output are produced via Arista in the USA.

Pyramid_Blaster

 

“You see you’re my heart, you’re soul you’re my stone inspiration” December 10, 2011


It’s December 10th and that Saint Nick dude is getting closer and appropriately enough todays song on the ABC of Motown Advent Calendar is about being close. It is one of my favourite songs from the Commodores and it’s called “Just To Be Close To You”. I only saw the Commodores live on one occasion and that was back in November 1973 at my first ever gig where they were supporting the Jackson 5.

When released in 1976 the song reached number 7 in the US Billboard chart but was a number 1 in the US R & B Chart. Sadly it could only limp to number 62 in the UK chart. Like many of the bands hits it was written by Lionel Richie. The band was originally called the Mystics and decided that they needed a new name. William King a founder member who is still with the band decided to open the dictionary at a random page and point a finger at a random word on that page. Obviously that word was commodore. King is quoted as saying ‘We lucked out, we almost became the commodes’

Whilst the band left Motown in 1986 Lionel Richie stayed and went on to even greater success, although personally I have always preferred the more rough and funky sound of the earlier Commodores material. The band is still around and continue to play live.

 

 
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