With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“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

 

“Got on your Aviator shades, yeah man you’re looking really ace” March 12, 2009


Is it that time again already? Wow here we are on 12th March just a few days away from those nasty old Ides Of March. More of the Ides in a later post….. if I can be bothered, but either way just beware of them ok? Before we get down to business the regular readers among you may recall that the last time this blog included a fart clip the viewing figures went sky high, so here’s another one! This is a fart that disrupts a Council Meeting in the US. Click here to see it and I dare you, no I double dare you not to laugh!

So onto todays delights of which there are six; three birthdays and three ‘onthisdays’

Today would have been the 92nd birthday of Leonard Chess the founder of Chess Records. The label was home to some fantastic artists including John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Jimmy Reed. Mr Chess checked out of this mortal coil of a heart attack aged just 52 in 1969. Strangely enough I won a set of eight Chess compilation albums (these were those big 12 inch plastic things we called LPs back in the day) in around 1975. I think the series was called ‘Chess Golden Decades’ or something like that. It was from a competition in the late great (hey the l’s & g’s get an outing for a publication and not a person!) Record Mirror. The winner was the person who came up with the longest list of song titles that featured colours (“Little Red Rooster”, “Tie A Yellow Ribbon” you get the idea. Remember this was way before the internet was even a twinkle in a geeks eye. My winning list comprised of more than 400 titles which was more than double the person in second place. Now that just goes to prove that I have always been a sad anorak doesn’t it? OK not exactly a Chess classic but I couldn’t resist including Chuck Berry’s only UK number one, from 1972 it’s “My Ding A Ling

Chuck's need to pee wasn't going to stop him finishing the song. He just crossed his legs and held on to his ding a ling!

Chuck's need to pee wasn't going to stop him finishing the song. He just crossed his legs and held on to his ding a ling!

Anyway back to Mr Chess, he was born in a part of Poland that is now in fact in Belarus. He was originally called Lejzor Czyz and his family changed his name when they arrived in the US in 1928. I guess that’s a good thing really, I mean do you really think Czyz Records would have had the same impact? The label was based in Chicago and many non Chess acts also recorded at their studios, including the Rolling Stones. The Stones immortalised the Chess address with an instrumental track called “2120 South Michigan” in the mid 60’s. Maurice White who was once a session drummer at Chess Studios eventually went on to form the magnificent Earth Wind And Fire. A band I saw live at Wembley in 1979 😉 So to make up for the earlier inclusion of “My Ding A Ling” here is John Lee Hooker with “Boom Boom

The classic Chess Records label

The classic Chess Records label

Today is also the 40th birthday of one of my all time favourite guitarists, Mr Graham Coxon who will be treading the boards as part of a reformed Blur this year. Coxon played on all of Blur’s albums up to and including 1999’s ’13’. He also designed the cover for ’13’. He only featured on one track for the following album ‘Think Tank’ after a big fall out with the rest of the band, although clearly they seem pretty much reconciled now after he appeared at this years Brits to sing a version of “This Is A Low” with Damon Albarn. Graham has also been quite a prolific solo artist having released 6 albums under his own name, three of those while still with Blur. I have seen Blur twice once with Coxon and once without I definitely think they are much better with Graham in the fold. Here is Mr Coxon with the excellent “Freakin’ Out

Axe Hero or Fashion Victim - you choose!

Axe Hero or Fashion Victim - you choose!

Finally on the birthdays front today is the 30th birthday of someone once famously described as a ‘rock n roll fuckwit’ by Pete Townshend. Who? Why it’s Mr Pete Doherty of course. He of Libertines, Babyshambles and now solo musical fame and a fair amount of infamy too. As in ‘infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it infamy’ So many tabloid inches have been covered with celebrity prattle about Pete so I won’t dwell on that. But in my opinion he is a great songwriter, I loved the Libertines and also Babyshambles too. I am definitely looking forward to his solo album. To return to something that was covered in a previous post, that something being Janie Jones. Pete featured on a charity cover of the Clash song “Janie Jones” in 2006. Other contributors were Dirty Pretty Things, We Are Scientists, Kooks and the Holloways. The song was recorded to raised funds for ‘Strummerville’ which is a foundation for new music set up shortly after Joe Strummer’s untimely death. here is Pete with Babyshambles doing the excellent “Albion” on the BBCs ‘Later With Jools Holland’

Pete often wondered why Kate had to look so hard faced when he asked her to dress up in her police woman's uniform

Pete often wondered why Kate had to look so hard faced when he asked her to dress up in her police woman's uniform

On this day in 1981 in another monumental piece of hype from Talcy Malcy himself (that’ll be Malcolm McLaren then) Bow Wow Wow were forced to cancel the first dates of a UK tour. The reason for the cancellation was that singer Annabella Lwin aged just 15 would have been guilty of truancy according to the Greater London Council. Incidentally McLaren was the bands manager. Bow Wow Wow were formed after Malcolm began to manage the original Adam And The Ants. He sacked Mr Ant and then brought in Annabella Lwin as the singer. Adam was quite adamant (and Adam Ant) that it did him no harm in the long run though. Lwin’s birth name was Myint Myint Aye, which apparently means High High Cool in Burmese, personally I would have used that as my stage name! here they are with a live rendition of “C30, C60, C90, Go“. Note the Adams & the Ants style Burundi drum beat.

Annabella wondered what on earth she was going to do now that the bands clothing budget had run out!

Annabella wondered what on earth she was going to do now that the bands clothing budget had run out!

On this day in 1988 the phenomenally talented (according to some, but not me) Rick Astley was number one in the US singles chart with “Never Gonna Give You Up” . The song was also a UK number one. Following something of an internet phenomenon last year with what became known as ‘RickRolling’ he found himself voted the ‘Best Act Ever’ at the MTV Europe Music Awards. Well I suppose even that is better than a win for Robbie W (give me a break I haven’t had a dig at for ages have I?) Anyway ‘Rickrolling’ was a means of sending someone the link to a Rick video by stealth. This led to around 30 million views of Rick videos and presumably 30 million people needing therapy have been a victim of ‘Rickrolling’ The song also gave writers and producers Stock, Aitken and Waterman their fourth UK number one when it topped the UK charts in 1987. They had previously hit the top slot with Dead Or Alive, Mel & Kim and Ferry Aid. OK prepare to be Rickrolled and I promise I’ll be gentle, here is Rick with “Never Gonna Give You Up

oh come on you weren't hoping for a Rick pic were you?

oh come on you weren't hoping for a Rick pic were you?

And finally on this day in 2001 Judy Garland’s “Over The Rainbow” was voted the ‘Song Of The Century’ in a poll published in the US. The poll was produced by the R.I.A.A and was compiled from input by musicians, critics and fans. The highest placed UK act was the Rolling Stones with “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”. The Beatles reached number 28 with “I Want To Hold Your Hand”. The top ten was;

1. “Over the Rainbow,” Judy Garland
2. “White Christmas,” Bing Crosby
3. “This Land Is Your Land,” Woody Guthrie
4. “Respect,” Aretha Franklin
5. “American Pie,” Don McLean
6. “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” Andrews Sisters
7. “West Side Story” (album), original Broadway cast
8. “Take Me out to the Ball Game,” Billy Murray
9. “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” Righteous Brothers
10. “The Entertainer,” Scott Joplin

I must say I’m somewhat surprised that the West Side Story soundtrack album made it into the top ten songs of the century, I mean it’s a whole bloody album! If you want to see the whole list just click here.

Judy's secret collaboration with Slipknot

Judy's secret collaboration with Slipknot

 

“If you’re 555, then I’m 666” March 10, 2009


hello again people, I’ve been away for a long weekend in west Burton, Yorkshire. So I guess you could say I’ve “Gone For A Burton!” If you’re not sure where that phrase comes from just click on it and you probably still won’t know as there are so many possibilities (for me this weekend it probably relates more closely to the Burtons Ale option). I can also report a modicum of success with our Lily Allen Naked experiment, three people arrived at this very blog over the weekend by using the Lily Allen naked phrase to search! It’s ok Tom and Jes you can stop now! So once again to those of you who have arrived here to see an unclothed Lily, I’m sorry you’ve been disappointed, now wash your hands! Now click here to see Lily with Alan Carr in a great spoof of the current Cadbury advert

A kind of normal service will be resumed with this post with a birthday and a couple of onthisdays. Coming up this week in addition to the usual stuff will be a post about the first five songs to appear on my iPod when I use the shuffle function, will there be something embarrassing, possibly, but you’ll find out soon enough. Anyway for now let’s go on with the show!

I’d like you all to wish a very happy 34th birthday to Edie Brickell off of Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians. Edie and the New Bohemians had a hit in 1988 with “What I Am“. (UK 31, US 7) The song was also a hit for Emma Bunton (aka Baby Spice off of the Spice Girls) in 1999. Edie married Paul Simon in 1992 after the couple met when Edie was performing on Saturday Night Live on US TV. She is his third wife and for a brief period in the 80s (11 months in fact) Simon was married to none other than Princess Leia from Star Wars (well ok Carrie Fisher!). Incidentally when Windows 1995 was released in August 1995 the disc contained a few videos, notably “Buddy Holly” by Weezer and also “Good Times” by Edie Brickell. The song even has a cameo voice over from the late great (can’t keep those l’s & g’s down!) Barry White. That was truly a wonderful song, although I’m not sure of the relevance to Windows 1995. Maybe it was the songs hook line, “good times, bad times, give me some of that” users of ’95 will know what I’m talking about I hope!

Edie and the gang try, apparently unsuccessfully, to recreate the Simpsons opening credits sofa scene

Edie and the gang try, apparently unsuccessfully, to recreate the Simpsons opening credits sofa scene

On this day in 1977 the Sex Pistols famously signed their contract with A & M records on a trestle table outside Buckingham Palace in London at 7 am in the morning. The contract lasted just 6 days! After signing the band went to A & M’s London offices for a party. This resulted in the Managing Director’s office being trashed and Sid allegedly vomiting on said MD’s desk. Strangely enough there are no confirmed reports of any diced carrots! Here are the boys on their first live TV appearance with “Anarchy For The UK” on the late great (they’re back) Tony Wilson’s UK show ‘So It Goes’. As you will see this was pre Sid and also a few months in advance of the now infamous appearance on teatime UK TV with Bill Grundy

Malcolm McLaren always thought he was the 5th Pistol, but as this picture shows it was clearly Sting off of the Police!

Malcolm McLaren always thought he was the 5th Pistol, but as this picture shows it was clearly Sting off of the Police!

On this day in 1979 Gloria Gaynor started a 3 week run at the top of the UK singles chart with what many see as a classic disco song, “I Will Survive” Personally as a mobile DJ I really dislike that song, largely because I’ve had to play it hundreds of times! The song was originally a B-Side to a cover of a Righteous Brothers song, “Substitute” That song was also a big hit for a South African band called Clout in 1978. OK to those of you too young to understand the concept of a B Side, well back in the day our music used to arrive on a not so compact 7 inch plastic disc with a groove cut on each side. Usually there was one song on each side, the main song was the ‘A Side’ and the supposedly lesser song (i.e. something that was banged out really quickly in the studio) was the ‘B- Side’. Hot Chocolate’s “You Sexy Thing’ was also originally a B Side to a song called “Blue Night”. How do I know that? Well I actually bought “Blue Night” during my Hot Chocolate fixation in 1975! Anyway let’s get back to Glo shall we? Firstly
click here to see the classic alien video version of “I Will Survive”. Then click here to see Glo herself perform the song. Why’s there a roller skater in the video, what’s that all about then?

Gloria didn't know how to tell George (off of George McCrae) that most of his eyebrows had fallen onto his top lip

Gloria didn't know how to tell George (off of George McCrae) that most of his eyebrows had fallen onto his top lip

And finally on this day in 2004 Corey Taylor from Slipknot married his girlfriend Scarlett. He has since divorced. He is the singer with Slipknot and also Stone Sour, he is allegedly recording solo material at the moment, some of which may even have a country feel to them! Slipknot famously wear masks on stage, I guess this may help avoid being mobbed in public in a similar manner to the whole Kiss make-up thing, although to be fair, Gene Simmons certainly seemed to invite publicity with or without makeup. I saw Slipknot at the Reading Festival a few years ago having wondered just how good a band who seemed to sell more hoodies and other merchandise than any other band was! I was somewhat disappointed, actually I thought they were bloody awful, however I listened to their last album and was very pleasantly surprised, it was pretty damned good! So to finished here are those crazy masked chaps Slipknot with “The Heretic Anthem” live in London.

The Slipknot boys were a little suspicious that their new masks were somewhat like the emperors new clothes

The Slipknot boys were a little suspicious that their new masks were somewhat like the emperors new clothes

 

 
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