With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“You Have To Show Them That You’re Really Not Scared” October 24, 2013


Mary-Poppins-mv03

According to a recent article on the BBC Entertainment News website there was almost a sequel to the very successful Disney ‘Mary Poppins‘ film from 1964. It would once again have been based on the books by Pamela Travers. It would have been called ‘Mary Poppins Comes Back’. In fact a screenplay was written by Brian Sibley and Pamela Travers. By this time it was 1984 and therefore casting anyone from the original film would have been difficult. Julie Andrews had moved on to many other things and she was also twenty years older.

No more Jesus juice please!

No more Jesus juice please!

There would have been not Bert in the sequel; that was the character played by Dick Van Dyke in the original. However there was a part for Bert’s brother who was to be an Edwardian ice cream seller in a London Park. Given that Dick Van Dyke probably gave us the worst cockney accent in cinema history who do you think some Disney executives were considering to play his brother in the ill-fated sequel? None other than Michael Jackson! can you believe that? Would that have changed Jacko’s self-appointed title to the King Of Poppins? Anyway if you would like to read the whole story on the BBC click here.

Jacko auditions for the Mary Poppins role

Jacko auditions for the Mary Poppins role

 

“Jamming good with weird and gilly” February 27, 2012


According to a recent report in the UK tabloid the Daily Mail (so only a small chance it’s true) Ziggy Stardust is about to be honoured with a plaque in London. In the year that marks the 40th anniversary of the release of what many consider Bowie‘s finest moment it seems that the powers that be may be ready to give Ziggy a commemorative plaque.

Note that this would be very special as they are not awarded to living people. But it’s not a Bowie plaque it is most definitely to honour the Ziggy character. It will be placed in Heddon Street where the cover pictures for ‘The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars‘ album were shot.

Can you think of any other fictitious characters from the rock world that should be honoured in the same way? The Kinks ‘Terry and Julie’ on Waterloo Bridge perhaps?

 

“A mulatto, an albino, a mosquito, my libido” October 16, 2011


I am pleased to see that someone has kicked off a Facebook campaign to make Nirvana’sSmells Like Teen Spirit” the UK Christmas number one this year. I posted something of a similar sentiment a short while ago, click here to read it. This new Facebook campaign was kicked off in response to the X Factor naming one of this years crop of average karaoke singers, another insipid, bland girl group, Rhythmix. The name is also the name of a UK charity that uses music as and to help children and young people from difficult backgrounds. It gives many young people the opportunity to make music to help them develop and learn. Check out the charity website here.

Simon Cowell will do anything in his desire to rule the world, including throwing babies to sharks

When the charity contacted the X Factor team they were told to “get a lawyer”. Effectively because they didn’t have the rights to the name for use as a band, basically they held the rights for educational purposes only. That’s within the letter of the law I’m sure, but ethically and morally it suggests that Cowell and his cronies are emotionally bankrupt.

Nirvana's unused sleeve for their cover of the Commodores "Brick House"

So let’s get behind this campaign and spoil this years pop muppets Christmas. Click here to find the page on Facebook. In the meantime enjoy the band doing the song at the Reading Festival in 1992. They even insert a short burst of Boston’s “More Than A Feeling” a song fromwhich Kurt Cobain claimed to have ripped off the riff for Teen Spirit from.

 

“Everyone knows one and one makes two, I’m the one and the other one’s you” December 21, 2010


Sir Cliff laughs in the face of the recent cold snap by keeping his shirt open

After a mammoth Beatles Advent Calendar post yesterday, today, December 21st, brings you another person who has so far had three UK Christmas Number Ones. So let’s open that little cardboard flap and see who it is. You’ll firstly be taken back to Christmas 1960 when I was fast approaching the milestone of two years old. It was the first of Cliff Richard’s UK Christmas Number Ones and on this one he was backed by the Shadows, it is called “I Love You”. Cliff is the only act to have achieved UK Christmas Number ones in three separate decades. The other two were “Mistletoe And Wine” in 1988 and “Saviours Day” in 1990. Thankfully the awful, in my opinion anyway, Cliff’s “Millennium Prayer” didn’t make it to the top at Christmas 1999, however it did get to number one for two weeks and was deposed by Westlife, with “I Have A Dream/ Seasons In The Sun“. Of the two I’m really not sure which was the worst, but a 2004 VH1 poll registered “Millennium Prayer” as the worst number one ever. I presume that makes it officially a pile of number twos!

Sir Cliff prepares to celebrate his first UK Christmas Number One

After Hank and the boys moved on Cliff struggled to play his guitar parts on air guitar

Anyway onto the three songs that made it to that coveted UK Christmas Number One spot for Cliff. Firstly with “I Love You” backed by the Shadows in 1960. The song was written by Bruce Welch off of the Shadows and stayed at the top for just two weeks. John Lennon once said that ‘before Cliff and the Shadows there was nothing worth listening to in British Music’ Whilst Cliff went on to massive success without the Shadows, they too were a very successful band. Cliff has had a total of 14 UK number ones, sadly that record is now equalled by Westlife, which puts him and them just behind the Beatles on 17 and Elvis on 21. The Shadows had three number ones in their own right, including the fabulous “Apache” from 1960, and a further seven backing Cliff.

Sir Cliff's cunning plan to disguise himself as Santa wasn't a great success

Cliff waited 28 years for his next UK Christmas Number One which arrived in 1988, it was called “Mistletoe And Wine”, certainly not one of my favourites, but then, to each their own as they say! The song comes from a 1976 musical adaptation of Han’s Christian Andersen’s ‘The Little Match Girl‘. It was Cliff’s 99th UK single, which whether you like him or not is an astonishing record (no pun intended!) It was also his 12th UK number one and the biggest selling single of 1998, it spent 4 weeks at number one. Like many Christmas themed songs it often returns to the UK charts in December.

And there was me thinking that only Freddie Mercury could get away with clothes like that!

The third and so far final UK Christmas UK Number One from Cliff was “Saviours Day” in 1990. The video for the song was filmed in Dorset. It is one of only three UK Christmas Number Ones to remain at the top for just one week. An honour it shares with “Goodbye” from the Spice Girls in 1998 and “Killing In The Name” from Rage Against The Machine in 2009. At the time of writing Matt Cardle’s “When We Collide” has been at the chart summit for less than a week, but I expect that it will remain for a bit longer yet. I find it pretty sad that once again the X Factor gets the Christmas Number One slot. We must do better next year people, let’s make sure it doesn’t happen. We need another Rage Against The Machine moment, let’s start a Facebook campaign now!

Madonna, Amy Winehouse and Sir Cliff Richard in Lego..... a strange trio if you ask me!

 

“Little things I should’ve said and done, I never took the time” December 5, 2010


It’s already December 5th, just less than three weeks before the bearded weirdie arrives on his sleigh, and those little cardboards doors on my UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar a falling like dominoes. Today brings you a veritable treat from the 80s and regular readers will know that’s a decade that is my least favourite in musical terms!

Chris and Neil make a blatant bid for a hit in Russia, either that or they were on the FIFA committee that just awarded the 2018 World Cup to them

Ladies and gentlemen and those gender or species uncertains amongst you I give you the Pet Shop Boys. Their cover of the classic “Always On My Mind” was number one at Christmas 1987 where it stayed for four weeks. Incidentally my daughter Lauren was born that year so that was her first Christmas and just like then she is always on my mind now, even though she may not think so.

Initially the Pet Shop Boys bricked it when asked to cover an Elvis song, but once they had 'Lego' of their anxieties they were fine!

The duo first played the song earlier in the year as part of a TV show to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley. It was so well liked that they decided to record it and release it as a single and the rest as they say, is history! Elvis recorded his version in 1972 shortly after the song had been released as an US single by Brenda Lee. She was one of my Dad’s all time favourite singers. It is believed that the song has been recorded by at least 300 different acts. In addition to Elvis, Brenda Lee and the Pet Shop Boys, my favourite version is probably that by Willie Nelson. His cover was released in 1982 and reached the top spot on the US Country Chart that year.

Th boys prepare, rather badly in fact, for their cover of "You Don't Bring Me Flowers"

The Pet Shop Boys version was the third of their four UK number ones, they only reached number one in the US chart once. That was with “West End Girls” which was their first UK number one. They did however reach the summit of the US Dance Charts some nine times between 1984 and 2009. Finally, for the record, the group’s name has absolutely nothing to do with hamsters, guinea pigs, cardboard tubes and insertion into bodily orifices. They were originally known as West End and Chris and Neil felt that the nickname of their two friends who worked in a pet shop would work better than that!

Enjoy the Pet Shop Boys video for the song from 1987 below

Here is the excellent Willie Nelson version

Followed by the former Little Miss Dynamite, Brenda Lee

And finally it’s Elvis Aaron Presley‘s version

 

“I don’t wanna take no pictures I just wanna take some shots!” November 25, 2010


Did any of you see Will.i.am‘s appearance at the American Music Awards at the weekend? It would be fair to say, well in my opinion anyway, that he looked like a bit of a knob. he was wearing a Lego baseball cap, at the usual hip hop style or indeed chav style jaunty angle. Only it wasn’t really proper Lego was it, because Lego is mostly square and that hat certainly wasn’t square. I wonder what the other Peas thought of it. There was also a great piece in the Guardian about it as well, which actually had the hat dissed by a kid who went on to make his own hat from proper Lego. Click here to read it.

I reckon he must have felt like a bit of a brick (misprint!)

Obviously many other rock stars have worn hats that were somewhat loud; Slash and Jay off of Jamiroquai to name but two. I just felt that Will.i.am’s millinery disaster zone was even worse than one time Guns n Roses member; Buckethead. What did you, dear readers think of it?

I also wonder whether that mild obsession with the Danish plastic toy will lead to worse things for Will.i.am, like Lego Porn, you have been warned!

But back to Will.i.am and the other Black Eyed Peas, have you seen their new video, for the new single “Time(Dirty Bit)”? There is a lot of pixellation that makes them seem somewhat Legoized. See what did I tell you it really will be Lego porn next!

 

“Einstein can’t be classed as witless, he claimed atoms were the littlest” November 24, 2010


This will be another short post, I promise. Largely because I have imbibed a few units of alcohol while watching a rather dull Champions League game (Glasgow Rangers versus Manchester United) with some new work colleagues in London. Anyway after travelling back to my hotel in the Old Kent Road (yes that’s one of the cheap brown ones on the Monopoly board) I switched on the TV to catch the BBC news. As expected the main coverage was the student protests in London. Click here to read the story

Now as I have said before I very much support the actions of the UK students although I do not condone the violence and damage to property that a rogue element seem to perpetrate. Anyway there was a rather funny clip shown where at the height of the protests, while some idiots were trashing a police van. Why was it funny? Well largely because the young lady interviewed on camera shouted her protest at the government, it was something along the lines of “they will be charging us £9,000 a year, for three years, that’s £21,000” Forgive me for being cynical but that young person really does need an education in basic arithmetic, doesn’t she?

OK amusement over, let’s get back to some music and for today I thought I’d go for a couple of slightly appropriate songs from the late and very definitely great Mister Ian Dury! Ladies, gentlemen and those of you with both bits, please enjoy “There Ain’t Half Been Some Clever Bastards” and “Clever Trevor” Also as many of todays protesters were in fact school kids I thought that you might also like Alice Cooper‘s classic “School’s Out” from 1972 and performed here on the Beebs sadly missed Top Of The Pops show.

 

“‘Cause we’re lovers And that is a fact Yes we’re lovers And that is that” October 16, 2010


This is all that's left of the last person who did a bad cover version of one of my songs, so take heed Cowell!

Travesty hardly does it justice in my opinion, but frankly I am both saddened and angered that the X Factor Finalists charity single this year will be their version of David Bowie’s “Heroes”. OK I haven’t heard it yet, but I really can’t imagine it will be anything better than mediocre at best. The only redeeming feature is that it will be raising money for the Help For Heroes charity. Incidentally I do find it sad that the soldiers who get injured in pointless wars like the one in Iraq have to rely on our charity for a better life. I don’t begrudge them that at all, I just think that the government should do much more for them. By the way, just because I don’t support the war in Iraq and other places doesn’t mean I don’t support our soldiers that are out there risking their lives. Anyway rant over for now. read about this awful cover version at the NME and the BBC.

The Division Bell goes Lego

In some more encouraging news Nick Mason, sticksman for the Floyd has said that charity could lure the band back on stage together at some point in the future. Their last appearance on stage together was at Live 8 in 2005. But Roger Waters and David Gilmour did play together in Oxfordshire in July this year in aid of the  Hoping Foundation which supports Palestinian children. Let’s hope Mr Mason is correct and that it happens soon. How about Pink Floyd at Glastonbury? Read all about it here on the BBC and NME.

They used to say that home taping would kill music, well it didn't did it?

Rob Dickins former boss of Warner Records for 15 years up to 1998 has claimed the way to save the industry and really hit back at piracy is to reduce album prices to just £1. Personally I totally agree with him. I believe that there is no greater reason for people to illegally download than the current price of music, particularly downloads which require no physical product to support them. Here is the story on the BBC. What do you folks think? What percentage of your downloads are illegal?

The Inbetweeners boys raid the NME

Finally for this post, this week’s NME was taken over and edited by the boys from superb British comedy the Inbetweeners. If you haven’t seen it yet, what are you waiting for? I also understand that the rights have been sold to the US, I really cannot imagine how the hell it will translate for a US audience. Click here for pictures of their takeover of the NME.

 

“You know I got black eyes, but they burn so brightly for her” April 26, 2010


A Lego tribute to Nirvana

There really are too many tribute bands around don’t you think? Just click here for the Wiki view and you will find plenty tribute bands named, including Dread Zeppelin and the Iron Maidens. However the one that caught my eye was Beatallica a tribute band that plays Beatles and Metallica songs. It got me thinking of other potential fantasy or nightmare tribute bands you could have if you combined some bands.

Here are some that I thought of and if you click carefully you should find a song from each of the constituent parts (including a guest appearance by Joan Collins in one of them and Chris Martin off of Coldplay in another) and don’t forget this will probably be the only post I’ll ever do where I won’t diss Boyzone or Westlife (or could that be Westzone or Boylife?);

Kings Of Leona

Stevie Wonderstuff

Badly Drawn Boyzone

Kanye Westlife

Oasister Sledge

I would love to hear your own ideas and maybe I could even muster up the usual cheap and tacky prize for the best one! While you contemplate what riches you could win take a look at the appropriately titled “Tribute” from Tenacious D

By the way, somewhere above there is a ‘hidden’ song which features one of the above acts doing some backing vocals on a U2 song, did you find it?

 

“Leaving just your picture behind and I’ve kissed it a thousand times” October 8, 2009


Hello people and welcome to another post from me, in fact this is the 98th post which means that my mega 100th post which will list my top 100 songs is not too far away now, how exciting is that eh?

I have some news for the regular readers amongst you; back in May I asked if you could guess where I was going to be starting work that month. The link to that post is here if you wish to try and guess again! So don’t read on at this point if you are a second guesser! Why? Well that’s easy because I have now left that job and will be starting another soon. OK if you’re not a second guesser I’ll put you out of your misery, I have been working at BP! Where am I working next? OK let me give you a few clues; Prince Charles off of the Royal Family, Prince off of Purple Rain, Henry VIII off of Herman’s Hermits 60s hit “I’m Henry the VIII I am” What do they all have in common? What are they? Answer that and you will have guessed where I’ll be working next! As usual there may well be a prize if anyone can be bothered to enter and if I can be bothered to sort through my crap at home for a prize!

OK onto the news. David Bowie along with James Osterberg (that’ll be Iggy Pop to the non anoraks) is to be immortalised in Lego for a new Lego version of the Rock Band game. Click here to see Lego Bowie performing “Let’s Dance”I wonder if they’ll do the same to Robbie Williams. I’ve always thought he was a bit of a brick (errrrrrr did I spell that right?)

Taken from the 1983 Serious Moonlight image, I'm not sure it looks much like him. What do you think?

Taken from the 1983 Serious Moonlight image, I'm not sure it looks much like him. What do you think?

Now this one looks much more like the real thing

Now this one looks much more like the real thing

OK this next piece is not strictly music, but I just wanted to say something about it. I personally have a big issue with the piles of ‘self help’ books that clutter our book stores these days. For me the term ‘self help book’ is a complete oxymoron. You either help yourself or perhaps read a book where effectively someone else is trying to help you. (or they’re trying to make a fortune from gullible people by publishing stream of consciousness psychobabble bollocks. Apparently self help books are the only literary genre to have increased sales (by 25%) during the recession. Or to use the more snappy name of ‘The Credit Crunch’ bestowed by one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Which one was it; Pestilence, Plague, Flood or Marketing? I’ll bet that you can’t guess. As a follow on I read on Tuesday that sales of Sarah Ferguson’s self help books have plummeted, they must be worse than awful then! Anyway the article can be found by clicking here. There is one quote which I believe sums up my opinions of this awful genre and it was from the Guardian’s medical correspondent. When asked if he would read another book of this type he said “I would rather slam my cock in the door” So as I have said before this is a music post, so let’s get back to that with a combination of songs about books and help!

Paperback Writer – Beatles. This may have been the most obvious choice for the book part of the list. It was the first of the Beatles UK singles that wasn’t a love song

Story Of The Blues– Wah! I have always loved this song, it has a great, almost Phil Spectorish, production and certainly on record Pete Wylie’s voice is superb. I’m not sure about the sailors hat in the video though, but don’t worry, things become even more camp later in this post! Wylie started his career in Liverpool in 1977 in a short-lived band called the Crucial Three along with none other than Ian McCulloch (off of Echo And The Bunnymen) and Julian Cope (off of the Teardrop Explodes)

Book Of Love – Monotones A classic one hit wonder group. Charles Patrick one of the singers wrote the words after hearing a Pepsodent jingle which carried the refrain “You’ll wonder where the yellow went”

Help– Beatles. This, as the astute readers will have spotted is the second song from the MopTops in this list, an obvious choice I suppose but a great song nonetheless. Lead vocals come from John Lennon on this song which he wrote about his feelings of insecurity following the bands rapid rise to global fame. Incidentally on the album cover the Beatles semaphore stance was originally intended to spell HELP, but apparently it didn’t look aesthetically pleasing, so it actually spells NUVJ. Which on reflection wouldn’t have been a great album title would it?

Help Yourself – Tom Jones This video is taken from the first edition of Tom’s UK TV show ‘This Is Tom Jones’ in February 1969. Is it me or are those dancers the campest in the entire history of the universe?

I Can’t Help Myself  (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)– Four Tops. Some excellent Motown formation dancing from the guys in this one, which if you haven’t viewed the previous Tom Jones clip you might have considered somewhat camp, after that it is downright butch! The Tops were originally known as the Four Aims back in the 50s, but there was another vocal group known as the Four Ames (Ames being a family name) so to avoid confusion they became the Four Tops. They were one of my favourite groups when I began to get into music and in my opinion Levi Stubbs voice may never be surpassed. However there does exist another rather good version of this song from the talented but hardly mentioned these days, Mr Donnie Elbert, click here to hear it. Still on the subject of camp who is Music Mike and what is Flashback Favourites? (you’ll have to check out the Donnie video to understand

 

 
%d bloggers like this: