With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“You’re the only one who really knew me at all” May 23, 2018


Phil Collins’ mega hit “Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)” was his seventh US number one. It also hit the top spot in Norway, Canada and Ireland, peaking at number two in the UK. The song is the theme song to the film of the same name which starred Rachel Ward, Jeff Bridges and James Woods. It was written and performed by Mr Collins and was produced by Arif Mardin. Cover versions of the song by Mariah Carey with Westlife and later by X Factor winner Steve Brookstein reached the top of the UK chart in 2000 and 2005 respectively. Now that is all very well and you probably know that stuff already, but did you know what the working title of the song was when Phil was writing it? It was “How Can You Just Sit There?” which for me probably ranks among the worst song titles ever. What do you think?

 

“I want the world to know I’m happy as can be” November 15, 2012


This month, November 2012, marks the 60th anniversary of the UK singles chart which began in the NME in 1952. We’ve come a long way from crooner Al Martino‘s “Here In My Heart” all those years ago to the current resident of the number one spot in the UK singles chart; Robbie Williams with “Candy”. Maybe we haven’t come too far though as Robbie does fancy himself as a crooner doesn’t he. I must confess that Robbie’s current number 1 is one of the few songs of his that I like.

The chart now includes downloads which have helped to boost sales of singles considerably. Apparently there have been 3.7 billion singles sold in that 60 year period in all formats. But the peak for the physical format was the 80s which recorded 640 million singles sales.  The biggest selling UK single ever was Elton John’sCandle In The Wind ’97” which was the singers dedication to Princess Diana. It sold 4.9 million copies and therefore raised millions for charity. Personally I prefer the original version. Does anyone ever play the Diana version these days? Incidentally do you know what the biggest selling single never to top the charts is? It’s Wham! with “Last Christmas/ Everything She Wants” which lost out to Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas” which is the second best-selling single ever back in 1984.

There have been more than 1,200 number ones in the chart’s history. The artists with most number one singles in the UK are;

Elvis Presley (21)

Beatles (17)

Cliff Richard (14)

Westlife (14)

Madonna (13)

How tragic is it that Westlife are in there?

Hopefully it really will be their last ever tour

As a teenager I can still recall lining up my cassette recorder microphone near the transistor radio to record my favourite songs from the Radio 1 chart rundown back in the 70s. How many of you did the same? I know of at least one fellow blogger who did. You can check out his excellent post on this chart milestone on his Every Record tells A Story blog by clicking here. You’ll even be able to see him on the chart history documentary on the Beeb! Recording the charts now seems almost pointless given the availability of music on-line, which I think is a real shame. But hey that’s progress right? Talking of progress, the first ever UK number one single based on download sales alone was as far back as 2006. It was the excellent “Crazy” from Gnarls Barkley.

There are also a number of chart records an artist probably wouldn’t want though, like;

Most Top 75 hits (97 of them) without a number one. That one is the honour of the Glee Cast. I hope they keep that one forever

Most Top 40 hits without a number one is easily won by Depeche Mode with 40 of them.

But perhaps the one you really should feel sorry for is Sash! A record of five number 2 singles and no number 1.

But let me finish on a better note. The first single I ever bought was a classic UK number one in my opinion. It was “Sugar Sugar” by the Archies and stayed at the top for 8 weeks at the tail end of 1969. Personally I fell that the charts will stay with us for many years yet, albeit very much adapted from the old days of purely physical sales. I would love to hear your thoughts on this fabulous UK Charts anniversary.

Even the charts are younger than Cliff

 

“I’ll Hold you close in my arms I can’t resist your charms” December 5, 2011


It’s December 5th folks, that’s now less than three weeks until the bearded weirdo in red arrives. That also means that it is now Day 5 of my ABC of Motown Advent Calendar and we’re up to the letter E. I have chosen a very popular song that actually is not really one of my own favourites. It’s “Endless Love” which was written by Lionel Richie who recorded it as a duet with Diana Ross. It was used as the theme tune to the Brooke Shields film of the same name.

It has been covered by many people, most notably, again as a duet, by Mariah Carey and Luther Vandross. The original was an US and Australian number one and reached number 7 in the UK. The Vandross Carey version only reached the chart summit in New Zealand. It reached numbers 2 and 3 respectively in the US and UK charts. Billboard once named the song as the greatest duet ever, I certainly don’t agree with that. What about Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” or Queen and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure”? (OK technically the latter isn’t really a duet unless you count it just as a Bowie Mercury duet)

So tell me dear readers what do you think is the greatest duet of all time?

 

“Chestnuts roasting like a hot July” October 31, 2011


desperate to keep his testicles high up, JB uses the two hand clutch approach.....

Justin Bieber‘s balls have dropped according to his manager Scooter Braun (is that a made up name? Surely it is, isn’t it?) Yes the Bieber voice has broken, but I guess that it had to happen sometime didn’t it? Can we hope that this will spell the end of his career? Well sure we can hope, but somehow I think he’ll be around a bit longer. Even if his voice disappears there is so much you can do with crap in the studio. Just look at Boylife and Westzone for evidence. Yes I know I have mixed the names up, but frankly they are just identikit boy bands.

......clearly the two handed approach has failed and one of Bieber's monster cojones hits the deck

Incidentally the broken voice discovery was made while he recorded a duet with Maria Carey, a cover of her hit “All I Want For Christmas“. Yes the Biebertron has a Christmas album coming out this week. A Christmas album released in December? That’s not a cynical marketing ploy at all is it?

Justin confirms to waiting fans that indeed both of the Bieber bollocks have dropped

As for the Bieber balls I wonder whether the action figure of the little dude will now include a drop and retract testicles feature, maybe  a bit like the Action Man Eagle Eye feature? What do you folks think?

Finally the realisation sets in that his career may be heading in the same direction as his testicles

 

“But when you want money for people with minds that hate, all I can tell is brother you have to wait “ February 25, 2011


So in his recent speeches the evil dipshit that is Gaddafi has blamed the uprising in Libya on a number of things. Firstly hallucinatory drugs, the BBC and now Osama Bin Laden. What or who will be next in line for blame? Surely he won’t blame it on the sunshine, or the moonlight? But perhaps he will blame it on the boogie.

Incidentally most western leaders need to accept some responsibility, notably Tony Blair who met and shook hands with Gaddafi, surely in the knowledge that Gaddafi had always had the blood of his people on his hands. Quite a number of music celebs have helped in a small way to prop up and legitimise the Gaddafi family by playing private gigs for them. Stand up Lionel Richie, Beyoncé, Timbaland and Mariah Carey. Read about that in a rather amusing essay from Alex Petridis in the Guardian by clicking here.

But to be serious for a moment I believe that  he needs to shoulder all of the blame on himself. He also needs to step down, run away or even kill himself. Personally I don’t care wich, but he sure as hell needs to stop murdering his own people. I still find it hard to believe that so many politicians in the west fell for his lies. The western press made us all see him as a figure of fun rather than the scum bag murderer that he really is.

I found a really excellent anti Gaddafi site recently, it’s called Gaddafi Duck, click here to check it out. Hopefully when his time comes he will not get the chance to duck! Another idea occurred to me; maybe we should secretly replace him with a pop star. This could be done in such a subtle way that some people might not even notice, ladies and gentlemen let me present to you Lady GaGaddafi!

She's already got the uniform as well!

I bet that all the bible bashing fundamentalists and believers in the Mayan Prophecy are wetting themselves over all the things that have happened lately. Floods and earthquakes in the southern hemisphere, massive solar flare activity, murder and mayhem in the Middle East and North Africa and dictators falling like dominoes. Have the end times started? Well personally I don’t believe so. In fact I think all that stuff is utter bollocks, but to each their own I suppose.

So after this little rant (well it is a rant of sorts) let’s finish with the Beatles.

 

“Well guess what I am dead, dead to you as can be” April 21, 2010


On the way home from work today I was listening to my iPod in shuffle mode and by strange coincidence the only two songs on there that are about storage spaces cropped up one after the other. Firstly Eminem’s “Cleaning Out My Closet” and then “I Know What I Like) In Your Wardrobe” from Genesis. I then got to thinking that there really aren’t that many songs about storage spaces are there? But of course I expect my regular readers to prove me wrong on that point, so come on folks do your worst. Another that I thought of, but I really am not a fan, is “Shelf” from the Jonas Brothers.

So do you think it's true? Did Mr Mathers really get into Miss Carey's errrrr ...........closet?

Here is Eminem with “Cleaning Out My Closet” Possibly one of his most venomous songs and I love it

Here are Peter Gabriel era Genesis with probably my favourite Genesis song, “I Know What I Like” (In Your Wardrobe)”

And finally here is a very famous wardrobe malfunction from a few years back

 

“Eat your words but don’t go hungry, words have always nearly hung me” June 12, 2009


Hello once again dear readers. Did you read the news that according to an American company the one millionth English word is about to be born, well actually it is probably already filling nappies (or diapers if you wish) as we speak. Apparently a company called GLM based in Texas whose raison-daitre is to tell companies how many times they are mentioned on the Internet can also search for the appearance of any word. Their self created methodology in determining a new word says that it must have appeared 25,000 times on the Internet, there is no time period applied. This all seems somewhat like bollocks to me (I’m not swearing bollocks is an Anglo Saxon word, just ask the Sex Pistols and Virgin Records!). Many Lexicographers (now that’s a fantastic job title!) are unhappy with these colonial usurpers telling them how it’s done! I tend to agree, but only because most Americans don’t speak English ‘like what it is supposed to be spoken’ I mean come on, no ‘U’ in colour, pronouncing route incorrectly, then there’s schedule and tomato. Don’t even get me started on fanny OK! 😉 Seriously though please don’t take offence at this if you are American, feel free to take offense though 🙂 But if you’d like a slightly more serious view click here for the link to the BBC that carries the story. Then click here for the follow up, for indeed while I have been typing (admittedly it has taken nearly three days to complete this post!) the new word has been dumped kicking and screaming into a world that, frankly, neither wants it or needs it. Only a nerdy geek could have given birth to it. For I know the word and the word is……………… Web 2.0, I kid you not. The nearest rivals were Jai-Ho (from the Slumdog Millionaire movie) and nOOB (something to do with nerdy, geeky gamers I believe) All that hype and all we get is a couple of small turds plopping into the lexicon of life.

 Anyway I was thinking that a word related post might be interesting so here goes. Let’s kick off with the rather stupendous Tom Tom Club with the rather jolly “Wordy Rappinghood” Now I think Rappinghood would have made an excellent millionth word contender, how about you? Tom Tom Club I suppose really began as on offshoot of Talking Heads, I think nowadays the correct term might be side project! The band consisted of Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz off of Talking Heads and a cast of many other noted musicians; Adrian Belew, Wally Badarou and the Compass Point All Stars to name just a few. Their earliest success came with the divine “Genius Of Love”. But they really broke big when the 12 inch versions of Genius and Rappinghood were issued and got a lot of club play in 1982. Their songs have been sampled by many people including Grandmaster Flash and Mariah Carey. The band also appeared on the Talking Heads live concert movie ‘Stop Making Sense’

camouflage was not that well understood by Tom Tom Club

camouflage was not that well understood by Tom Tom Club

Next up it’s the Gibb Brothers (OK the Bee Gees then) with “Words” Which was once given a depressingly dull makeover by the band that put bland into everything the rather shite (in my opinion of course) Boyzone. Sadly it gave Ronan and the boys their first UK number one. But if you’d like to hear some better covers of the song there are plenty out there. Check out some good covers from Rita Coolidge and Georgie Fame. You can find a great Bee Gees reference in the strangest place, there is an excellent parody of them in Blink 182’s video for “First Date” Speaking of the Bee Gees , I was walking to the train station earlier this week lost in my iPod and on came “Stayin’ Alive”, how I longed to be carrying a pot of paint so that I could make like Travolta’s Tony Manero in ‘Saturday Night Fever’. Sadly a laptop bag just doesn’t cut it, does it?

The Gibb boys prepare for the Christmas number one by wrapping themselves in Bacofoil like Turkeys

The Gibb boys prepare for the Christmas number one by wrapping themselves in Bacofoil like Turkeys

Then we have the boys that put Cod Piece back in the dictionary, Cameo with “Word Up” Which bizarrely in my humble opinion was covered by Korn! Click here to here the Korn version. The song was a massive hit for Cameo in 1986, the promo rounds were probably made much more memorable by Larry Blackmon’s polished red cod piece. For me Larry was one of only two people who have ever been able to pull off a cod piece (ooooooooh Matron!) The other one being Edmund Blackadder. The song also gets played in an Episode of the Simpsons entitled, appropriately for this post, ‘Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words’ where Lisa performs in a crossword competition. 

Mr Cod Piece 1986

Mr Cod Piece 1986

I haven’t mentioned the Beatles and Bowie for a while so how about the Beatles with “The Word” and Mr Bowie with the hardly ever played “Word On A Wing”. The Beatles song appeared on ‘Rubber Soul’ and in addition to the Fab Four also had George Martin playing the Harmonium. Bowie’s song appeared on the excellent ‘Station To Station’ album from 1976 and emanating from the Dame’s ‘Thin White Duke’ period. It was also a B side to the single version of “Stay” from the same album. It is a relatively religious song and written while Bowie was very much coke addled. It also coincided with the time Mr Jones began to wear a crucifix

John you may have more friends than me, but at least mine isn't a midget!

John you may have more friends than me, but at least mine isn't a midget!

I shall finish this post with the wonderful “ABC” by the Jackson Five. OK I know it’s not strictly a word but if you didn’t know your ABC you wouldn’t be able to make words would you? The song was a US number one and like the earlier “I Want You Back” was written by the mysterious Corporation. Not that mysterious though it was a Motown writing team that consisted of Berry Gordy, Freddie Perren, Alphonso Mizell and Deke Richards. The song was backed with a cover of a lesser known Diana Ross And The Supremes song; “The Young Folks”

Before they could afford a tour bus the boys used alternative transport

Before they could afford a tour bus the boys used alternative transport

OK that’s all for now, but tell me your word songs, I can think of a couple more but I’d like to hear from you my dear readers!

 

 
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