The Ozark Mountain Daredevils 1975 hit “Jackie Blue” reached number 3 in the US chart but failed to chart in the UK. However I do recall it being played a lot on UK radio; which is how I came to know and love the song. The song was originally written about a friend of the band who used to go clubbing in search of women. He always carried a large wad of cash and a plentiful supply of cocaine. Their label loved the song and said they really did feel that the band had written a big hit. However the suits then said that the lyrics needed changing so that the song was about a Jackie who was female. So the lyrics were rewritten and the rest as they say is history. The song was covered by the Smashing Pumpkins in the early 90s. How many of my UK readers are fans of this classic song from the Ozark Mountain Daredevils?
An US Research Scientist recently claimed that science is not very far away from being able to record dreams. His name is Dr Moran Cerf which sounds made up to me. You can probably get some good anagrams from it, I tried and came up with DREAM FOR SNR which I interpreted as dream for senior, i.e. dream for older people, i.e. me!
I’m not sure it would be a good thing, it might reveal your innermost thoughts to everyone and frankly it could destroy the porn industry too, everyone could just record their own personal fantasies! It really does take science way into the realms of science fiction. He does however state that the first step is to visualise dreams by a combination of recollection and brain activity. The actual recording is quite some way off. I’m pleased about that, I’m not sure I’d want my dreams available to all! What do you folks think?
On a bizarre footnote as I was typing this WordPress showed the following proposed tags based upon what I had written; Dream, BBC, Neuron, Science Fiction and Brain. All of which make logical sense, but it also added Marilyn Monroe and the Eiffel Tower. Is it reaching into my dreams? I have certainly dreamt about Marilyn before, mostly in my teens! Anyway I deliberately haven’t added them as tags to this post.
As always this is at heart a music blog so please enjoy the following dream related songs and feel free to add your own via the comments facility. I started out expecting to put a top 10 together and appear to have ended up with 20, not all of which I like incidentally, but I’m sure there is at least one person out there that likes them! There is also one hidden dream song, the first person to tell me what it is and where it is in the post via the comments facility may win a prize!
“Dreaming” – Blondie – Taken from the ‘Eat To The Beat’ album and released in 1979 and reached number 2 in the UK. As with many of Blondie’s hits it was written by Deborah Harry and Chris Stein. It has been covered by the Smashing Pumpkins, the Posies, Yo La Tengo and Jeff Tweedy off of Wilco amongst others.
“Dreaming” – Cliff Richard – The same title as the Blondie song but definitely not the same song! Cliff was never massively succesful in the US. “Devil Woman was a big hit and “Dreaming” also made number 10. Cliff is the only artist to have had UK number one hits in every decade since the UK charts began (50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s). None in the 10s yet though, but I reckon a Christmas team up with an X Factor winner would probably swing it.
“Dream Kid” – Sutherland Brothers and Quiver – Gavin and Ian Sutherland started life as a folk rock duo in the late 60s, they joined with Quiver in 1972 and sadly didn’t have massive chart success. But this song from 1973 remains one of my all time favourites.
“Don’t Dream It’s Over” – Crowded House – It was recorded in LA in 1986 and released in January 1987. The song was written by Neil Finn and was the first of the bands two US Top 40 hits. The song featured in the TV adaptation of Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’. It has been covered by quite a few artists. The Sixpence None The Richer version was very good, the Paul Young version was frankly…..crap!
“Dreams” – Fleetwood Mac – This one’s a true classic from the ‘Rumours’ album and was written by Stevie Nicks. The song was most famously covered by the Corrs and none other than Mick Fleetwood joined them to sing it at the Royal Albert Hall with them in 1998
“Silver Dream Machine” – David Essex – This was recorded for David’s 1980 film ‘Silver Dream Racer‘. Not one of his better hits in my opinion. What do you folks think? (Especially you Ms Topsom!)
“Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” – Green Day – This was taken from the bands excellent ‘American Idiot’ album. Billie Joe Armstrong wrote the song and was rather amusingly criticised by Noel Gallagher off of Oasis for ripping off one of his songs (the chord progression is very similar to “Wonderwall”)
“Dreamer” – Supertramp. This was from the ‘Crime Of The Century’ album and was released in 1975. The B Side was another brilliant song; “Bloody Well Right” which was released as a single in its own right later that year.
“In A Broken Dream” – Python Lee Jackson – Python Lee Jackson were an Australian band during the late 60s. They had a brief stay in the UK where they recorded this song with a then unknown vocalist, Rod Stewart. The single was a flop when it was released in 1968 but became a big success when it was rereleased in 1972.
“I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) – Electric Prunes – Perhaps one of the most fondly remembered psychedelic bands from the 60s. They had a song, “Kyrie Eleison” included on the ‘Easy Rider’ soundtrack. The band reformed in 2001 and are still touring.
“Daydream Believer” – Monkees – The song was written by John Stewart and the lead vocal was sung by Davy Jones. It was an US number 1 but only managed number 5 in the UK. Despite being effectively a manufactured boy band all four members actually played or sang on this song.
“In Dreams” – Roy Orbison – The song was written by Orbison himself and he was able to demonstrate his amazing vocal range, he sings across two octaves. Roy said that the song came to him while he was a sleep and presumably while he was dreaming. David Lynch used the song in his film, ‘Blue Velvet’
“Never Had A Dream Come True” – Stevie Wonder – The song was released in 1970 before Stevie was able to take control of his own career, so it was not one of his own compositions. It was however a co-composition written along with Motown staff writers Henry Cosby and Sylvia Moy. The song was covered by the Jackson 5 for their first album.
“Island Of Dreams” – Springfields – The group formed in 1960 when Mary ‘Dusty’ O’Brien and her brother Dion O’Brien teamed up with Tim Field. They all took on the Springfield. And that dear readers is how Dusty Springfield came to be!
“Teenage Dream” – Katy Perry – The same title as the T Rex song, but not the same at all. It was the second single taken from her 2010 album of the same name, following the worldwide smash that was “California Gurls”. I wonder if she’ll use her married name in future? Actually Katy Brand doesn’t sound bad does it?
“Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) – Eurythmics – This gave the band their only US number one when it was released in 1983. Marilyn Manson recorded an excellent cover of the song in which he changed some of the lyrics, adding lines like “I wanna use you and abuse you/I wanna know what’s inside you.”
“Any Dream Will Do” – Jason Donovan – The song was written by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber for their 1968 musical ‘Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat‘ which has gone on to massive success on stages all over the world. At various times it has been sung by everyone from Philip Schofield to Donny Osmond.
“Dreaming Of Me” – Depeche Mode – This was the bands first single and was released in the UK in February 1981, strangely it was never commercially released in the US. It was written by Vince Clarke who went on to form Yazoo and Erasure.
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 Heaven – Eric 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 U – Sinead 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 You – U2 – 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 Wind – Elton 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. Angels – Robbie 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
I would like to take this opportunity to wish a very happy birthday to the Dalai Lama today as he turns 75. If only he could celebrate it with the gift of a free Tibet. The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of Tibet and has so far spent 50 years in exile, courtesy of the Chinese authorities. Click here to send your support and birthday wishes. Many people hope that Tibet will be free within his lifetime, that’s a wonderful thought, but personally I believe that China will hold out much much longer. China invaded Tibet 60 years ago in 1950 and the 14th Dalai Lama eventually fled to Northern India in 1959.
The first Free Tibet music concert was held in San Francisco in 1996 and featured the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bjork, Smashing Pumpkins, Cibo Matto, Rage Against The Machine and De La Soul. The main aim was to raise awareness of the plight of Tibet among younger people, but it also raised $800k for Tibetan justice causes. More than 100,000 people attended the first show. Among the biggest supporters of the Free Tibet campaign in the music world have been the Beastie Boys. As recently as last year the Chinese government prevented Oasis from playing in China because Noel Gallagher had played a Tibet benefit some years before. Bjork caused the Chinese some problems and is unlikely to be welcomed back after chanting Tibet, Tibet at the end of her song ‘Declare Independence’ at a show in Shanghai in 2008
Anthony Kiedis off of the Red Hot Chili Peppers met the Dalai Lama on a trip to India in 1996 and has a wonderfully comic description of that meeting in his autobiography.
This video is Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood performing ‘Exit Music’ at a Free Tibet concert
Bjork sings “Declare Independence” and shows the Tibetan flag
I will close this post with David Bowie’s excellent “Seven Years In Tibet” Alternatively you can hear the Mandarin version of the song by clicking here
Hello everybody on this glorious Tuesday 17th March, well the weather is glorious where I am anyway. Firstly did everyone see the reports about Francis Rossi of Status Quo in the press last week? He finally had his hair cut short, yes he has had his pony tail chopped off. His hair had been receding considerably at the front too, so perhaps he should have done it ages ago, but at least he’s done it now. Personally I really don’t think old grey haired men with receding hair lines and pony tails is a good look. But then maybe I suffer from hair envy as I do have a head like a billiard ball and I have also been likened before to Sam the Bald Eagle from the Muppets, so what do I know! Anyway you can read the story and see the pictures in an article from the Guardian by clicking here (or should that be clicking hair?). Either way it really does have the same shocking effect as seeing Elvis getting his hair cut for the Army in 1958.
Francis auditions for the Bay City Rollers in his younger days
On with the usual stuff now starting with just a couple of birthdays. Firstly today is the 42nd birthday of Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins. Whilst he is younger than me we do share the same first name and hairstyle! Billy was (and presumably still is) a big baseball fan. He played for his school and whilst there he also built up a collection of baseball cards that reached 10,000. Wow that even makes my CD and comic (sorry graphic novel) collections look tame! Corgan also dated Courtney Love before she came into Kurt Cobain’s life. Corgan even shared some songwriting credits on Courtney’s band Hole’s album “Celebrity Skin”. Incidentally you should check out Courtney on MySpace, in my opinion she has a fantastic presence there and uses it really well. The Smashing Pumpkins broke up in 2000 but reformed in 2006. In the ensuing period Corgan formed the rather short lived Zwan and also released some solo material. In my opinion the Pumpkins 1997 album “Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness is one of the best albums to come out of the 90s. Check out “1979” from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by clicking on the song title.
Billy appeared to be (s)lightly cross
Today is also the 34th birthday of Justin Hawkins off of the Darkness and Hot Leg. Since the Darkness split up and before Hot Leg came to be Mr Hawkins was quite a busy boy. He issued a solo single, a cover of the Sparks song “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us”. He took part in the competition to represent the UK at the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest. I’m glad he didn’t win that, the voting is so political and territorial that the UK is unlikely ever to win it again. In the Film ‘Telstar’ which is based on the life of the late great (finally those l’s & g’s make a return!) Joe Meek, Justin will be taking on the role of the wonderful English eccentric, the late great (with a vengeance, l & g’s ra ra ra) Screaming Lord Sutch. I saw the Darkness live at the Reading Festival twice. Firstly in 2003 when they were about 4th on the bill and still relatively new, they were absolutely fantastic one of the best bands of the whole festival that year. However they went on to headline the following year and personally I don’t think that they were ready. Their second album still hadn’t been released and they tried out some of the new songs which seemed under rehearsed. In my opinion they were one of the worst Reading headliners that I have ever seen and I have been going for a long while, the fireworks at the end were the most exciting thing about their set that year. I reckon they peaked way to early. However I do feel that Justin Hawkins is immensely talented. I loved both the Darkness albums and the current Hot Leg album is pretty damned good too. Here is the Darkness classic “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” and a future Hot Leg classic “I’ve Met Jesus”
Justin had asked one of the audience to change the channel on his flat screen crotch TV
On this day in 1976 Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers appeared at New York’s CBGB’s club. The Heartbreakers were formed in 1975 when Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan quit the ‘New York Dolls’ and Richard Hell left ‘Television’. Hell left in 1976 and went on to form the Voidoids. The Heartbreakers were invited to appear on the bill of the Sex Pistols Anarchy Tour in 1976, although most of the dates were cancel thanks to the massive overreaction by much of the British press and many local councils. The invite may have come about because Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren had previously been the manager of the New York Dolls and he knew Nolan and Thunders quite well. The Heartbreakers are certainly unlikely to reform since Thunders died in 1991 and Nolan in 1992. My favourite Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers song is “Chinese Rocks” check it out and tell me what you think, to me it’s a punk classic.
Johnny didn't think Sid was particularly vicious
The CBGBs club opened in 1973 in Manhattan and sadly closed down in 2006. The initials stood for Country, Blue Grass and Blues although strangely enough it is most associated with punk. However it’s full name was CBGBs & OMFUG the second set of initials stood for Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers. I must confess that I haven’t got the foggiest as to what Gormandizers means, do you? The final show at CBGBs was by the fabulous Patti Smith. “Elegie” was the last song ever played at CBGBs, a very sad moment indeed
The CBGB bathroom/ toilet, moderately better than most festival toilet facilities
And finally on this day in 1997 US singer Jermaine Stewart died of liver cancer which was believed to have been complicated by HIV/ AIDS. He had a UK number two hit in 1986 with “We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off“. He also worked with Shalamar, the Temptations and Boy George amongst others, largely providing backing vocals. He provided many of the backing vocals on Culture Club’s “Colour By Numbers” album. His first big break was becoming a dancer on the iconic US TV show ‘Soul Train’
Jermaine regretted falling asleep in the road just as the line painters arrived