With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“And there won’t be snow in Africa, this Christmas time” December 23, 2010


Getting closer to the big day by the hour now and behind one of the few remaining perforated cardboard door flaps on my UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar today, December 23rd, is a song that has been the Christmas number one on three separate occasions and technically by different acts each time. It was number one firstly in the Christmas of 1984, then in 1989 and most recently in 2004. It was the last UK Christmas number one before the X Factor winners had four years in a row, finally broken last year by Rage Against The Machine. You have probably guessed that the song is “Do They Know It’s Christmas” originally by Band Aid in 1984, then Band Aid II (1989) followed by Band Aid 20 (2004). Maybe it’ll be top again for the 30th anniversary in 2014.

It was number one fora total of 12 weeks; 5 weeks in 1984, 3 weeks in 1989 and 4 weeks in 2004. The song was written by Bob Geldof off of the Boomtown Rats and Midge Ure off of Ultravox after they had seen the news coverage of the 1984 famine in Ethiopia. They had aimed to raise money for famine relief and the single and subsequent Live Aid concert probably went way beyond their initial expectations. It sold more than a million copies in its first week alone and went on to sell 3.5 million copies. It remained the fastest and highest selling UK single until Elton John’s rerecording of “Candle In The Wind” following the death of Princess Diana in August 1997. The song was recorded on November 29th 1984 at SARM Studios in London after Geldof gathered the great and good of pop music at the time. The opening line was originally written for David Bowie, who was unfortunately unable to make it, so it was done by Paul Young. The single was released just 4 days after the recording on December 3rd 1984 and remember this was way before the days of downloads.

Midge Ure produced the original version, it was offered to Trevor Horn but he was not in the UK at the time. Stock, Aitken and Waterman produced the 1989 version. Some artists such as David Bowie and Paul McCartney were unable to be at the recording of the original so provided messages that appeared on the B-Side. Members of Bananarama appeared on the 1984 and 1989 version whilst Bono sang the same line in 1984 as he did in 2004; ‘Well, tonight, thank God it’s them, instead of you’. On the 2004 version Dizzee Rascal also added some new lyrics.

The artists that appeared on each version are listed below;

BAND AID (1984)


Bono, U2,   Phil Collins, Bob Geldof, Boomtown Rats,  Tony Hadley, Spandau Ballet, Midge Ure, Ultravox, Simon Le Bon, Duran Duran,  Paul Young,  Heaven 17,  Marilyn,  Bananarama,  Jody Watley,   Paul Weller, Kool & The Gang,  George Michael , Status Quo, Boy George, Culture Club,  Sting, Holly Johnson, Big Country

BAND AID II (1989)


Bananarama,  Big Fun, Bros, Cathy Dennis,  D Mob,  Jason Donovan,  Kevin Godley,  Glen Goldsmith,  Kylie Minogue,  Pasadenas,  Chris Rea,  Cliff Richard,  Jimmy Somerville,  Sonia, Lisa Stansfield,  Technotronic,  Wet Wet Wet

BAND AID 20 (2004)

Bono,  Daniel Bedingfield,  Natasha Bedingfield,  Vishal Das,  Busted,  Chris Martin, Dido, Dizzee Rascal, Ms Dynamite, Skye Edwards, Estelle,  Neil Hannon,  Justin Hawkins, Jamelia, Tom Chaplin, Tim Rice-Oxley, Beverley Knight, Lemar,  Shaznay Lewis, Katie Melua, Róisín Murphy,  Feeder,  Snow Patrol, Rachel Stevens,  Joss Stone,  Sugababes, Thrills,  Turin Brakes,  Robbie Williams, Will Young,  Francis Healy, Danny Goffey, Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Paul McCartney, Francis Healy, Andy Dunlop, Dougie Payne

If you would like to donate to Oxfam then click here

 

“I bought you drinks, I bought you flowers, I read you books and talked for hours” March 2, 2009


Good day everyone I hope you had a jolly good weekend and are prepared for another fun working week. Just to get you underway here are a couple of Finance Industry pieces. have any of you seen the Swiftcover Insurance advert on UK TV which is fronted by Iggy Pop? Well it seems that musicians are classed as entertainers and as such are unable to insure through the company, wow their marketing people must have really worked hard on that one. Click on NME to read the story, the page also has a link to YouTube so you can see the advert for yourself if you haven’t already.

Here’s a fun banking game too, that’s right I said banking, not wa…. oh never mind. This was in the Observer today it’s an on line game called ‘Wheel Of Misfortune‘ There is a banker attached to a wheel and you have to throw knives at the wallets and briefcases and balloons to score. However should you hit the banker well, he does show a bit of pain. Click on the name to play (unfortunately you do have to register to play)

OK so now let’s get on with the business at hand for today, 2nd March 2009, starting with some birthdays. First up is Lou Reed who is 66 today. Lou was named Louis Allen Firbank by his parents. At the age of 17 he was sent to a psychiatrist to receive eight weeks of shock therapy aimed at curing him of severe mood swings. After his time with the Velvet Underground ended in 1970 he went back to live with his parents home in Freeport, Long Island. During this time he took a job as a typist for his father’s accountancy firm, earning just $40 a week. Imagine, if he had stuck at that career he could be swimming in money now as a ‘disgraced’ (copyright tabloid papers) financier/ banker. I for one am glad he didn’t though. Here is Lou with his classic “Satellite Of Love” The observant among you will notice that I could have made a big DB reference in this piece, but as there were two yesterday I declined. But the production on this song was by DB and Mick Ronson.

lou and Laurie had just been turned away from the RyanAir check-in desk for carrying too much luggage

lou and Laurie had just been turned away from the RyanAir check-in desk for carrying too much luggage

The second of our three birthdays is that of the late great (the return of those l’s & g’s) Karen Carpenter. She would have been 59 today. She was just 32 when she died in 1983. Karen had a voice like no other and whilst by many the Carpenters were seen as very easy listening, middle-of-the-road fare, the musicianship, production and vocals on their songs were exceptional. My parents loved the Carpenters, which is why I never really got into them until late on. Well in those days it certainly wasn’t cool to like the music your parents liked. I feel that has changed somewhat in recent years though. On a trip to London in December 1976 the group were presented with 21 Gold Discs for UK record sales. They had to leave them behind at Heathrow Airport because they were too heavy to take on as excess baggage. Maybe they should have flown Ryanair, then again perhaps not! Here are the Carpenters with the excellent “Goodbye To Love” This contains some excellent guitar solos too.

It had taken a while but Karen finally mastered the art of playing the invisible drums

It had taken a while but Karen finally mastered the art of playing the invisible drums

The final birthday today is Mr Paltrow from Coldplay, otherwise known as Chris Martin. He is 32 today. The band have recently started recording sessions for their next album. Brian Eno is once again involved and for the first two weeks of recording he asked Chris Martin to stay away from the studio to enable the band to work on the music with no restraint. It’ll be interesting to see how that turns out. Actually by todays standards (well especially Guns N Roses) a new album from Chris and the boys next year must be seen as somewhat prolific. Their first album ‘Parachutes’ came out in 2000 and if they finish it in time their 5th will be out in 2010 (5 albums in 11 years!). Coldplay met at University College London and an initial band including Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland was called ‘Pectoralz’ not a great name in my opinion. At one point Chris met Tim Rice-Oxley a classics student and asked him to join the band. Tim declined and went on to form his own band, Keane. Enough of them and back to Coldplay, here they are with “Fix You” live in Toronto, with a somewhat gushing intro by Chris.

Now the other Coldplay boys had photographic evidence that the sun really did shine out of Chris' rear end

Now the other Coldplay boys had photographic evidence that the sun really did shine out of Chris' rear end

On this day in 1967 Arnold George Dorsey, better known as Englebert Humperdinck was number one in the UK with “Release Me”. Englebert was always a hot property on the music scene, having been born in Madras, India. Arnold named himself after a German Opera composer. It seems quite amazing now that a song like “Release Me” could be a hit at the height of psychedelia. Indeed it even prevented the Beatles double A side “Strawberry Fields/ Penny lane” from reaching the UK top spot

Englebert wondered how much longer he could keep the sun balanced on his head and when he would have to give it back to Chris

Englebert wondered how much longer he could keep the sun balanced on his head and when he would have to give it back to Chris

This day in 1999 saw the death from lung cancer of the late great (l & g back with a vengeance) Dusty Springfield. She was only 59. Dusty was born in 1939 as Mary Isabelle Catherine Bernadette O’Brien and was convent educated. She took the name Dusty Springfield when she formed the folk and country based Springfields in 1961 with her brother Dion (who became Tom Springfield) and a friend Tom Field. I’m not sure who he became. she was a massive success in the 60s but was in the wilderness for many years before she hooked up with the Pet Shop Boys in 1987 to record “What Have I Done To Deserve This?

Dusty had been invited to test a prototype of the new iPod

Dusty had been invited to test a prototype of the new iPod

And almost finally on this day in 1960 Elvis Presley spent a short time on UK soil for the only time in his life. He was travelling back to the US from Germany after completing his National Service and his plane stopped to refuel at Prestwick Airport near Glasgow in Scotland. It is said that Colonel Tom Parker, Presley’s Manager prevented Elvis from touring overseas because he (Parker not Presley) was an illegal immigrant to the US. I wonder whether things would have turned out differently had Elvis been allowed to tour outside the US? Anyway as this piece relates to his National Service here is Elvis with “G.I. Blues

Elvis was ready to kick start his RyanAir flight from Prestwick

Elvis was ready to kick start his RyanAir flight from Prestwick

And finally on this day, while searching for an Elvis in the army picture I found this, I had to show it as it is just so naff! What do you think?

Words fail me, this is just awful!

Words fail me, this is just awful!

 

 
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