With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

12 Days To Christmas – Day 5 – Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy and JFK December 17, 2017


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Day five of the Chrimbo countdown and todays historical characters theme brings you a song that includes three iconic figures in the title and another within the lyrics. It is the stunningly beautiful and moving song “Abraham, Martin And John”. The song was written by Dick Holler in 1968 in response to the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. It also refers to Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy (JFK). All for were great advocates for significant social change and all four were gunned down in cold blood.

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The song was originally recorded by Dion and his single was a big US hit. The song has been covered by many artists including Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Ray Charles, Emmylou Harris and Marvin Gaye. It is Marvin Gaye’s version that features as a part of this post. It is my favourite version of this fantastic song. Taken from his 1969 album ‘That’s The Way Love Is’ the song was never issued as a single in the US but reached number 9 in the UK charts that year. Some say it was a precursor to the themes that Marvin explored on his career defining ‘What’s Going On’ album from 1971.

 

Gregory Porter – Harrogate International Centre – Saturday 11th July 2015 July 11, 2015


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The delectable Catwoman and I took ourselves off to see the supremely talented Gregory Porter in Harrogate on Saturday night. Without a doubt he is an incredibly talented singer. If you see him as ‘just’ a jazz singer then you need to think again, yes he is very much in the jazz field but this guy also oozes soul and he can sing gospel and blues. His band is incredible and could easily work as an instrumental band in their own right. But when you add Mr Porter’s voice to the magical sounds the band produce you have a perfect mix.

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Until tonight I had only really heard the songs from his ‘Liquid Spirit’ album. I hadn’t appreciated that this was his third album! Gregory is also a very talented songwriter. My particular favourites are “Liquid Spirit”, “Water Under Bridges”, “Hey Laura”, “Free” and “Wolfcry”. The pianist Chip Crawford is an incredible pianist and his playing reminded me at times of Mike Garson. In the extended intro to “Wolfcry” Chip slotted in a piece from ‘Peter And The Wolf’ and the ‘Star Wars Theme‘. Ithink my favourite song of the whole show was “1960 What?” from his first album ‘Water’

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Listening to Gregory and his band I was reminded of my days of being a soul boy and heavily into jazz funk in the late 70s. His vocals have a hint of Marvin Gaye about them and the overall sound of Mr Porter and his band was for me reminiscent of Roy Ayers, Norman Connors, the Blackbyrds and especially Gil Scott Heron. I will definitely see Gregory Porter again if the opportunity arises. On top of his immense talent he comes across as a very gracious and humble man. He clearly has great respect for his band; Chip Crawford (piano), Aaron James (double bass), Emanuel Harrold (drums) and Yosuke Sato (Sax). I think the feel-good-factor injected from this gig will stay with me for quite a while.

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As often happens I will end this post with a public service announcement. It is probably obvious, but none of the pictures or videos in this post were taken or filmed by me!

 

“So I got up on the floor and found someone to choose me” March 14, 2015


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So it’s now legally official that Robin Thicke and Pharrel’s “Blurred Lines” is the same or incredibly similar to Marvin Gaye‘s classic “Got To Give It Up“. Whilst I think that “Blurred Lines” is pretty shit and a long way from Pharrell William’s usual standards this whole ‘your song sounds like my song so pay me’ stuff is getting ridiculous.

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Sam Smith giving Tom Petty a writing credit for “Stay With Me” because it ripped off Tom’s “I Won’t Back Down“; really? Oasis made a career out of it didn’t they? Maybe Status Quo should sue themselves for copying the same song over and over. Frankly the same could be said of much of UB40’s efforts after their first album. In case you’re wondering I am a fan of many artists including Oasis, Marvin Gaye, Tom Petty and Sam Smith, Pharrell Williams and a handful of Quo and UB40 songs. Personally though I think that Robin Thicke is a misogynistic twat! What do you think?

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“There’s nothing left to talk about unless it’s horizontally” January 24, 2015


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What do you think of Olivia Newton-John‘s “Physical“? For me it was one of the tracks that perhaps summed up the 1980’s and I’m still not sure whether I like the song or not. That 80s gym fashion in the video looks so dated now. But despite that the song was voted the sexiest song of all time in a Billboard poll in 2012. Really?

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The song was written by Steve Kipner and did you know that it was originally offered to Rod Stewart? Presumably because of its similarities to Rod’s awful (in my opinion) “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy“. My personal choices for sexiest song ever would be Marvin Gaye’sLet’s Get It On” and “Juicy Fruit” from Mtume. What is the sexiest song for you?

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“Brother, brother, brother there’s far too many of you dying” July 11, 2014

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 12:55 pm
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Marvin Gaye co-wrote the wonderful “What’s Going On?” with Renaldo ‘Obie’ Benson of the Four Tops. Berry Gordy infamously called it the worst piece of music that he had ever heard. However Obie thought very differently and he offered the song to Joan Baez, but she turned it down.

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“Show the colour of your crimson suspenders” November 15, 2013


Robert-Fripp-LiveAs rock films go I have never really considered soft porn classic ‘Emanuelle’ to be among the best. In fact I have never even considered it to be a rock film! However I recently learnt that part PDF yet he score was inadvertently supplied by King Crimson from a piece written by Robert Fripp. The film’s producers plagiarised the last track on the original album, “Larks Tongues In Aspic (Part 2)”. One of the first people to let Fripp know was King Crimson bass player John Wetton.

cover_44361992009Robert then went off to see the film in Leicester Square. He said that he found the film ‘rather boring’ but noticed that every sex scene was soundtracked with “Larks Tongues In Aspic (Part 2)”. The composers of the film’s soundtrack claimed to have worked on the music for six months but seemed to have completed their work just a week after Crimson performed the track on French TV. Fripp successfully sued the film makers and composers. According to a recent interview Fripp says ‘I still get pitiful amounts of money from reshowings of ‘Emanuelle’ around the world’ That must be the only money shot that keeps on coming; right? Personally I’d rather have sex to Marvin Gaye’sLet’s Get It On‘ album than “Larks Tongues In Aspic (Part 2)”. How about you dear readers?

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Anyway I can’t use my usual trick of taking a line of lyric from the song I am posting about as it’s an instrumental, so I have included the link and a lyric from “Easy Money” which is on the ‘Larks Tongues In Aspic’ album.

 

“I want to know who the men in the shadows are,I want to hear somebody asking them why” June 12, 2013


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This is not the first time I have posted about protest songs and I doubt that it will be the last. If you’d like to read my last protest post click here. My good friend Nick Horslen switched me on to the excellent work that one.org do; In particular a superb recent piece providing an extensive playlist of protest songs which range from the classic to the obscure. There are also some very interesting cover versions included. Click here for the protest playlist

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The protest song has been around for many years but for this post I’d like to focus on protest songs from the sixties onwards. The song in this genre that most people know is probably Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ In The Wind”. The song has been covered by many people and remains a standard for buskers all over the world. The lyrics are essentially a set of questions which I am sad to say are still pertinent today. I recently watched the U2 documentary film, ‘Rattle And Hum‘ and was reminded of how powerful the song “Sunday Bloody Sunday” is. There is a heartfelt speech from Bono during that version where he berates Irish terrorists. This was filmed on the day the IRA murdered 11 innocent people at a remembrance day service in the town of Enniskillen in 1987.

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Whilst the early songs of the rock era, including Dylan, were rooted in folk music the fight for many causes has subsequently been taken up by almost every genre from rap to reggae and from soul to punk. I would like to focus on a few of my favourites in particular some that don’t get played too often and currently are not included in the one.org Agit 8 playlist. But before that I should mention two protest songs that I return to often; Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” and Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song

I believe that Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, who wrote many classic Temptations songs for Motown were never recognised widely enough for their protest songs; The Temptations recorded “War” before Edwin Starr had a global hit with it. Whitfield and Strong also wrote “Ball Of Confusion” and “Take A Look Around”. But perhaps one of the bravest given when it was released was “Message From A Black Man” from their 1969 album ‘Puzzle People’

Many singer songwriters from Guthrie, Seeger and Dylan through to Neil Young, Billy Bragg and more recently Frank Turner have written and recorded some very strong protest songs. One of my favourites of that type is Jackson Browne‘s “Lives In The Balance”. In my opinion he was one of too few voices that were constantly critical of the Reagan regime in the 80s. This particular song focuses on America’s ongoing involvement in foreign wars which frankly they should not have been anywhere near!

My last song choice for this post is the very topical “Same Love” from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. A slow hip hop style song about being gay. In my opinion this is one of the finest rap protest songs that has been released for some time. It also helps to prove that rap can handle gay issues. It is a long way removed from the Tom Robinson Band‘s late 70s gay anthem “Glad To Be Gay” but no less powerful. If any budding songwriters are reading this and you have a protest song you’d like me to air, you know where I am. I would also love to hear from you with your own protest song suggestions.

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I Am Incorrigible

Libidinous curmudgeon & faux intellectual snob. Fighting injustice and exposing media driven political hypocrisy. Evidence not ideology. Merit not money. Neither red nor blue. Blog best viewed at 125% (based on 19" monitor)

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