With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Treat me mean and cruel breaking every rule, can I be your fool” June 10, 2014

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 8:00 pm
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In their early days Marc Almond and Dave Ball a.k.a. Soft Cell used a Roland TR-808 drum machine. when they stopped using it their run of UK top five hits dried up. The last of their UK top 5 hits to use the poor old TR-808 was “What!” from 1982 which reached number 3 in August 1982.

soft cell

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“Where did my baby go? Who’s gonna mend my rainbow?” – Advent day 24 December 24, 2013


Number 24This is it folks, we’re nearly there, it’s Christmas Eve and Santa has started his delivery schedule. I hope that none of you are on his naughty list! So let’s open the penultimate cardboard flap on the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem advent calendar shall we? It’s 24th December which means you’ll get two songs with the number 24 in their title. But today will be a little different from all my other advent posts this year as both come from the same artist. Who’d have thought that one artist would have two songs with 24 in the title? Well there is such an artist and his name is Gene Pitney.

Gene+Pitney+GeneThe first song from Gene today is one that I’m sure most of you know, it’s “24 Hours From Tulsa“. The tune was a number 5 hit in the UK in 1963, It reached number 17 in the US and also made the top 5 in Australia and number 6 in Canada. In my head I always thought that this song was a UK number one. But Mr Pitney didn’t top the UK chart until his duet with Marc Almond on “Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart” in 1989. That was 28 years after his first UK hit. Burt Bacharach and Hal David wrote “24 Hours From Tulsa” and it has been covered by Dusty Springfield and Jay And The Americans to name but two.

pitneyThe second Gene Pitney song in today’s post is “24 Sycamore”. This was a European only release from 1973 when it reached number 34 in the UK chart. Pitney was also a successful songwriter and among the hits he wrote were; “Rubber Ball” (Bobby Vee), “He’s A Rebel” (The Crystals) and “Hello Mary Lou” (Ricky Nelson). Sadly Gene Pitney passed away in 2006 but he lives on through his music.

 

“If a day could last forever you might like your ivory tower” December 22, 2011


We’re easing down that Christmas road pretty fast now, it’s December 22nd and we’re at the letter V on my ABC of Motown Advent Calendar. I have a confession to make before I tell you what the song is. It doesn’t begin with V, it was so difficult to find a V song. So for today I have opted for an artist whose surname starts with a V. It is the one and only Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons with the Northern Soul classic, “The Night”

In 1970 the group signed to Motown subsidiary label Mowest and the single was originally released in 1971 in the UK with no success it was never issued in the US. When it was re-released in the UK in 1975 following a lot of interest in Northern Soul clubs it reached number 7 in the UK charts.

When the band left Motown in 1974 Frankie Valli wanted to buy the master tapes of everything they had recorded for the label. However when he heard the price he decided to buy just one song for $4,000. That song was “My Eyes Adored You” which Valli took to Private Stock records who wanted to release it as a Frankie Valli solo single. They did and it became a massive hit reaching number one on the US Billboard charts and number 5 in the UK.

I also found a couple of strange covers while looking for this song; firstly Pulp (sorry Jarvis it really isn’t very good mate) then Lene Lovich (a little weird) and finally Soft Cell (a faithful rendition). I prefer the original to all of these though. How about you?

 

“I think I’m done with the kitchen table, baby” April 8, 2009


Welcome back my friends to the blog that never ends…….. well ok it does take the odd sabbatical, anyway enough dithering and on with the show as they say! Well Queen and Leo Sayer say it as they both had hits about the show going on!

Some important news for you to start with, apparently Lady GaGa refuses to have sweaty cheese in her dressing room. Her current rider states that it must be odourless and served on ice. She also requires a whole roasted chicken in her dressing room. Thank you to those nice folks at ‘The Smoking Gun‘ for that information. So did you know that the Lady’s real name is Stefani Germanotta? No? well you do now!

Lady GaGa's Cheesy Rider

Lady GaGa's Cheesy Rider

It’s April 8th and it would have been the 80th birthday of Jacques Brel the Belgian born singer/ songwriter who died of cancer in October 1978. In the English speaking world Brel is better known for the English translations of his songs which many artists have recorded. Including such luminaries as Nina Simone, Scott Walker, Marc Almond, Dusty Springfield, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, David Bowie (yep him again!) and Terry Jacks. “Seasons In The Sun” an English translation of a Brel song was recorded by Canadian singer Terry Jacks and was a big hit around the world in 1974.. Bowie recorded Brel’s “Port Of Amsterdam” and often played “My Death” live during the Ziggy days (click the song title to see the Dame doing the song more recently). Marc Almond often played Brel songs live and in 1989 he recorded a whole album of Brel songs called ‘Jacques’. Click here for a very comprehensive list of Brel covers on Wiki

Did he really write "Jumping Jacques Flash"? He's sure got a lot of sole!

Did he really write "Jumping Jacques Flash"? He's sure got a lot of sole!

On this day in 1967 a live soul revue at the Hammersmith Odeon in London included sets by Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Eddie Floyd, Arthur Conley and Booker T & the MGs. Now that is one fantastic package, it’s just a pity I was only 8 years old at the time. Well that and the fact that my parents preferred country music. So I suppose it could have been worse! Here is Arthur Conley with the classic and still one of my all time favourites and yes it is one of the 50 songs in my Top 10, “Sweet Soul Music

Arthur was well known for his skill in playing the invisible trombone

Arthur was well known for his skill in playing the invisible trombone

Also on this day in 1967 Sandie Shaw became the first UK female artist to win the Eurovision Song Contest with the appalling song “Puppet On A String” She worked at the Ford Motor Plant in Dagenham, Essex, England when she left school. A very high proportion of Dagenham’s working class population worked there too. Unlike many of her contemporaries she also recorded many of her songs in French, German, Italian and Spanish. This clearly helped to popularise her more outside the UK. She also became the first artist to cover a Led Zeppelin song. Here is Sandie with a more recent update of “Puppet On A String” called “Puppet On A Brand New String

Sandie had clearly been selling Mozzer short!

Sandie had clearly been selling Mozzer short or perhaps they were going to a Fancy Dress Party as Tom Cruise and his wife!

On this day in 1994, Gary Smith an electrician who was working at Kurt Cobain’s house in Seattle discovered Kurt’s body lying on the greenhouse floor. A shotgun was found next to the body. Seattle Radio Station KXRX broke the news at 9.40am that morning that the late great Cobain was dead, he was just 27. Conspiracy theories about Cobain’s death still abound, personally I don’t buy them at all, clearly he had considered and attempted suicide before so in some ways his death by his own hand, whilst very, very sad was not too much of a surprise. Cobain was given a guitar for his 14th birthday and soon learnt to play, apparently to covers he mastered early on were “Back In Black” (AC/DC) and “My Best Friends Girl” (The Cars). Here are Nirvana from the rehearsal of their ‘Unplugged’ show with Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World“. Nirvana were actually on the bill at the Reading Festival in the UK in August 1991 the same month my son Luke was born. Yes you guessed it here is yet another shameless plug for Luke’s band ‘Steal The Smile‘ They are currently recording an EP. To check out their MySpace page just click on the band name.

Freddy Krueger does grunge horror in 'Nightmare On Nirvana Street'

Freddy Krueger does grunge horror in 'Nightmare On Nirvana Street'

And finally on this day in 1998 George Michael was arrested by an undercover policeman at the Will Rogers Memorial Park in LA for committing a sex act in a public toilet. George Michael was quoted as saying “I was followed into the restroom and this cop, well I didn’t know that he was a cop at the time obviously, started playing a game. I think it’s called ‘I’ll show you mine, you show me yours and then when you show me yours I’m gonna nick you” Michael was later fined $810 and ordered to complete 80 hours community service for committing a lewd act. He later lampooned the arresting officer, Marcelo Rodriguez in the video for “Outside“. the cop later sued George for $10m for his apparent portrayal in the video and the emotional stress it had caused him, he lost the case, in fact it was thrown out by the courts. The UK tabloids had a lot of fun reporting George’s arrest. Whilst I really dislike what the UK tabloid press has become (cheap, nasty, invasive and greed driven) it’s clear that their headline writers do indeed have talent. The main headline from the Sun was ‘ZIP ME UP BEFORE YOU GO GO’

George gets ready to 'Whip It Out Before He Go Go's' he's such a 'Bad Boy' especially if you believe those 'Careless Whispers'

George gets ready to 'Whip It Out Before He Go Go's' he's such a 'Bad Boy' especially if you believe those 'Careless Whispers'

 

 
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