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

 

“When you’re sure you’ve had enough of this life, well hang on” October 3, 2010


A recent survey undertaken by PRS for Music sought to discover the songs that make us men cry. A total of 1,700 men were polled and the results make somewhat interesting reading I think. The top ten is shown below, with a few comments from me. Click here to read a report on the results in the UK free newspaper, the Metro.

1. Everybody Hurts – REM – A great REM song taken from the classic ‘Automatic For The People‘ album. It was written by drummer Bill Berry, although he didn’t play drums on the track, that was done by a drum machine. He also said that the song was aimed at teenagers. In 2006 the song was voted 4th in a poll by Channel 5 to discover ‘Britain Favourite Break Up Songs’
2. Tears in HeavenEric Clapton – A very sad song in many ways. Clapton wrote it with Will Jennings after the death of his four-year old son Conor in 1991. The boy fell from the window of a friend’s apartment in New York
3. Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen – Now this one is a classic and has been covered by many artists. X Factor winner Alexandra Burke reached number one in the UK with, at best a very mediocre working of the song and at its worst would easily make music purists cry. In my opinion the best version is easily that of the late, great Jeff Buckley and that version can indeed bring tears to my eyes
4. Nothing Compares 2 USinead O’Connor – She will always have my respect for tearing up a photo of the pope on US TV, I bet that made a few people cry with rage though. It reached number one in the UK in 1990. The song is actually a cover version of a song written by his royal purpleness, Prince. It was recorded and released by the Family in 1985, this was simply a vehicle to enable Prince to release more of his material.
5. With or Without YouU2 – This was the first single from ‘The Joshua Tree’ in 1987 and became their first US number one song.
6. The Drugs Don’t Work – The Verve – This was the band’s most successful UK single and reached number one in 1997, having been released the day after Princess Diana died. It was written by lead singer Richard Ashcroft about his own drug habit and also about the death of his father.
7. Candle In The WindElton John – I really do prefer the original version of this song, it was about Marilyn Monroe and was taken from the album ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road‘ However, sadly, in my opinion, the version that most people remember is the rewritten version for Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997, although in its defence it did raise millions for charity. Incidentally I reckon that must be the first time Princess Diana has been mentioned more than once in any of my posts.
8. Streets of Philadelphia – Bruce Springsteen – Bruce wrote this for the first mainstream movie to tackle HIV/ AIDS, ‘Philadelphia’ from 1993. The song won the best original song Oscar. It reached number one in many countries, although not in the US or UK. It has also been known to occasionally open my tear ducts too.
9. Unchained Melody – Todd Duncan – whilst the article lists the Todd Duncan version, which was taken from the 1955 prison film; ‘Unchained’ it is probably the Righteous Brothers version that most people know. That version was recorded in the sixties but became a massive hit again when it was used in the 1990 film ‘Ghost’. It has been recorded by more than 500 artists including, Jimmy Young, Elvis Presley, the Supremes, U2, the Smashing Pumpkins and there was also an excruciatingly bad version by Pop Idol muppet Gareth Gates.
10. AngelsRobbie Williams – As regular readers of this blog know, I am definitely not a Robbie fan and I particularly dislike this song. I really don’t get it, I mean “I’m loving angels instead”? Instead of what exactly?

There are a few songs that can make me blub, many by Johnny Nash, Bob Marley and Jeff Buckley. But perhaps the one that does it the most is “Sailing” by Rod Stewart. It was always my Dad’s favourite song and we played it as his funeral back in 2001. What songs make you cry?

Finally let me finish with a classic video for one of my favourite songs about crying. It’s “Cry” by Godley and Creme

 

“I like to see you, but then again, that doesn’t mean you mean that much to me” June 30, 2009


Hello again good people of the Blogosphere, how are you all on this sweaty and hot day (well it is in the UK at the moment) Well ok technically it’s hot and I’m sweaty.

Today’s post may be somewhat random in terms of content but you know what? That’s how I like it!

Some of you may know that I travel down south every Monday morning from York on the 6 a.m. train to London. This means that I get up at 5 a.m. Whay am I telling you this in a music blog? Well last Sunday night I went to bed around 11pm and some inconsiderate muppet (apologies to Mr Henson) at the end of the street decided to play what seemed like his entire collection of Shirley Bassey songs at high volume until almost 2 am. In between songs he could be heard discussing, again at great volume, the death of Michael Jackson. Things like “He’s all over the bloody papers and TV, I mean what’s that all about, he’s just a fookin’ pervy freak” Well Mr Noisemaker that may well have been true, but it’s clear that you are a completely inconsiderate bastard. I was going to come and knock on your door that night, but I doubt that you would have heard me. So I opted for a cunning plan. It was me who banged on your door Monday morning at 5.20 am while I was waiting for my taxi. I was disappointed that you didn’t answer, but oh how pleased I was when I looked back as the cab turned the corner to see you stepping out of your door with a very tired and puzzled expression. What would I have given for your door to slam shut behind you at that point. If there is any chance that you read this post, just be aware that I will do the same thing again if you persist in disturbing the neighbourhood in the same way again. You are obviously a Shirley bassey fan, so here is a few snippets of trivia about dame Shirley. Did you know that she is the only person to record more than one James Bond theme? Well it’s true and she actually recorded three; “Goldfinger” from 1963, “Diamonds Are Forever” from 1973 and “Moonraker” from 1979. Incidentally “Moonraker” was written for Johnny Mathis, well it’s your loss Johnny! She became a Dame Of The British Empire (DBE) in 1999. When Dame Shirley appeared at Glastonbury in 2005 the Arctic Monkeys played a cover of “Diamonds Are Forever” in her honour. Her vocals were also sampled by Kanye West on his hit “Diamonds From Sierra Leone” I bet you can’t guess which of her songs he sampled? 😉 She will be 72 in December which makes her old enough to be my Mum. My very own mother was 73 in February this year and in my opinion a certainty to reach triple figures

🙂

Dame Shirley enters the mud wrestling ring at Glastonbury in 2005

Dame Shirley enters the mud wrestling ring at Glastonbury in 2005

Many of you are aware that my son Luke is in a truly brilliant band called Steal The Smile and if you’re not then you clearly haven’t been reading my posts regularly enough. Anyway Steal The Smile have a new single out tomorrow 1st July. So get yourself over to their MySpace page and buy it and tell them I sent you! It’s called “Rome Was Built To Burn” and they are doing some gigs to promote it, including one at the FaceBar in Reading this Thursday (2nd July). So get yourself down there, you won’t be disappointed! Click here to visit their MySpace page

Gig poster for the mighty Steal The Smiles single launch party at the FaceBar in Reading Thursday July 2nd 2009. Be there or be Rhomboid

Gig poster for the mighty Steal The Smiles single launch party at the FaceBar in Reading Thursday July 2nd 2009. Be there or be Rhomboid

And finally, let’s get back to the kind of stuff that I published when I first kicked off this here blog back in February. On this day in  1975, 10CC were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘I’m Not In Love’. The instrumental break featured the repeated spoken phrase: ‘Be quiet, big boys don’t cry…’, which resonated with a sixteen year old me and was spoken by Kathy Warren, the receptionist at Strawberry Studios, Stockport, Cheshire where the band recorded the track. Apparently Jonathan King ‘discoverd’ Ten cc and came up with their name, allegedly the average male’s ejaculate adds up to 9cc……… well you can guess the rest. Jonathan also claims to have discovered Genesis and now he is in jail for kiddie fiddling which he denies, so what are we to believe? well good people I’ll leave that up to you!

kevin Godley was somewhat miffed that the other band members hadn't told him about the shave your beard off for charity gig they had recently played

kevin Godley was somewhat miffed that the other band members hadn't told him about the shave your beard off for charity gig they had recently played

 

 
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