With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“I was playing rock and roll and you were just a fan” March 24, 2014


EltonJohnThe synthesiser intro to Elton John’s magnificent (in my opinion) “Funeral For A Friend”, the opening track on the ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road‘ album, was recorded by David Hentschel an engineer and, obviously, a synthesiser player. Apparently Elton only heard it for the first time after it was finished.

funny-Spider-Man-Elton-John-biggest-fan

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“Foreign life forms inventory suspended state of cryogenics” – Advent day 18 December 18, 2013


slide_18_2087138aIt’s the 18th December and by now the regular readers among you will know exactly what that means won’t you? yes it’s day 18 of the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem advent calendar posts. So the songs for today both have the number 18 in their title. we are so far down the line now towards Yuletide that my Spiderman Advent Calendar has hardly any chocolate left in it. What Advent Calendar do you have?

wing1The first song for today remains one of my favourite 70s songs. It is “Eighteen With A Bullet” from Pete Wingfield. The bullet in this instance is used to describe a particularly well performing song on the US singles chart. strangely enough the song did enter the US top 20 at number eighteen, presumably with a bullet back in 1975. It reached its peak of number 15 a week after that. In the UK it made the top 10 reaching number 7. Reggae singer Derrick Harriott did a great cover of the song. Wingfield has been quite an active session player and producer. He produced Dexys Midnight Runners first album, ‘Searching For The Young Soul Rebels‘ , the Kane Gang’s first album ‘The Bad And Low Down World Of The Kane Gang’ . Pete also produce “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” and the album ‘Sunshine On Leith’ by the Proclaimers. “Eighteen With A Bullet” can also be found on the soundtrack to Guy Ritchie‘s 1998 film ‘Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels‘. The Pasadenas (who I once saw at a corporate function) biggest hit “Tribute (Right On)” was written by Mr Wingfield too.

1991-hangar_18_fcNext up it’s the mighty, massive, metal Megadeth with “Hangar 18”. The song was released as a single in 1991. It made it to number 26 in the UK and number 25 in the Irish charts. It comes from the band’s album ‘Rust In Peace’, a UK number 8 that was released in 1990. The song relates to alien conspiracy theories involving the 1947 crash at Roswell. Hangar 18 at an US Air Force base near Dayton, Ohio is supposedly where some of the alien remains and the alien spacecraft is stored. The lyrics were written by the band’s drummer Nick Menza with the music coming from frontman Dave Mustaine. Slash jammed with the band at one point and while some people thought that he might join them he decided to stay with Guns ‘N’ Roses.

 

“The tyranny of distance, didn’t stop the cavalier” – Advent post day 6 December 6, 2013


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Are you excited yet? It’s less than three weeks to the big day where we all eat too much, drink too much and regret that over indulgence the next morning! But in the meantime I am rationing my chocolate intake to what is behind the pathetic little doors of my Spiderman advent calendar. I’ve said it before but why is all the chocolate shaped like Christmas things? How about some shaped like doctor Octopus, The green Goblin, the Lizard or even Spidey himself? Chocolate manufacturers please take note!

220px-6Underground

az_2222_Becoming%20X_Sneaker%20PimpsAnyway it’s December 6th which means that todays songs will contain the number six. It’s an easy concept really isn’t it. The first song for today is “6 Underground” by Sneaker Pimps. The song comes from the Hartlepool bands album ‘Becoming X’. It was their first chart single when it reached number 15 in the UK when it was released in 1996. It was re-released the following year when it made the top ten at number 9. It also made it to number 45 in the US charts that year too. The song was used in the film ‘The Saint’ in 1997 which led to its reissue. The open melody on harp is a sample from the soundtrack of 1964’s James Bond movie ‘Goldfinger’. The band took their name from and article in the Beastie Boys ‘Grand Royal’ magazine. It was about a man who the Beasties used to tracked down classic box fresh trainers and sneakers.

split_enz_wideweb__470x340,0The second song for today comes from down under and it is New Zealand’s Split Enz with “Six Months In A Leaky Boat” taken from their album ‘Time And Tide‘. The song is about the time it took for early pioneers to sail from Europe to New Zealand and Australia. It was released in 1982 and because of the Falklands war it received hardly any airplay in the UK. The Powers That be felt that references to leaky boats in a time of naval conflict would be inappropriate, so it only managed to reach number 83 in the UK and an even more lowly 104 in the US charts. It fared better in Australia where it went to number 2. It also made it to number 7 in both New Zealand and Canada. The song was written by Tim Finn brother of Neil Finn who was also in Split Enz. the pair went on to form Crowded House. The tune has been covered by artists ranging from Marillion to the Wiggles.The band were originally called Split Ends but they changed to Split Enz before their first Australian tour to emphasise their New Zealand heritage with the nz in the name.

 

“Move to the flow of the pyramid blaster” – Advent post day 3 December 3, 2013


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Are you ready to open the next box on the advent calendar? What delightful chocolate awaits us? well none actually because this is the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Advent Calendar blog post for 3rd December so instead of chocolate you’ll get two songs. Incidentally what advent calendar do you have at home? Does it contain sweets or chocolate? Mine is a Spiderman one and Catwoman, my lovely wife, has a Maltesers calendar.

Is Mr Richie wearing a Christmas jumper?

Is Mr Richie wearing a Christmas jumper?

The first of todays number themed songs is the Commodores smash hit from 1978, “Three Times A Lady”. The song which was written by Lionel Richie was a number one in the UK and the US. It comes from their album ‘Natural High’. Personally I preferred their more funky efforts and this song for me saw the band and indeed Mr Richie plunge into some bland identikit ballad territory. Songs such as “Still” and “Hello” just didn’t do it for me. I do love a good ballad though and the Commodores have some that are far better than “Three Times A Lady”. In particular “Just To Be Close To You”. “Three Times A Lady” has been covered by artists as diverse as Cobra Starship, Kenny Rogers, Conway Twitty and Bill Bailey. Bill included a German translation of the song in his Part Troll live show. I first saw the Commodores when they supported the Jackson 5 in 1972. Yes I really am that old!

The+KLF

The second song on todays posts comes from one of my favourite acts of all time; the Kopyright Liberation Front, better known as the KLF and sometimes the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu or the JAMMs. This sadly short-lived band was the brainchild of Bill Drummond and Jim Cauty. Drummond co-founded Zoo Records and was also manager of Echo and the Bunnymen and the Teardrop Explodes. In addition to the music the KLF were also infamous for acts of art terrorism which included burning a million pounds on a remote Scottish island. The song I have chosen is the bands only UK number one as the KLF “3 a.m. Eternal (Live At The S.S.L)” from 1990. They also hit the UK number one spot in 1988 as the Timelords with “Doctorin’ The Tardis“. This was apparently achieved by following the rules set out in their book; ‘The Manual (How To Have A Number One The Easy Way)’. Remaining true to their words Cauty and Drummond by withdrawing their back catalogue from sale. This remains the case for most of the world, although some copies of their output are produced via Arista in the USA.

Pyramid_Blaster

 

“Maybe she’ll find an island with a shaded tree just like the one in our backyard” February 19, 2012


I was travelling back to York with Catwoman earlier today after a great weekend with family and friends down south. The drive back is a great opportunity to take in Johnnie Walker‘s excellent ‘Sounds Of The 70s‘ show on BBC Radio 2. The music choice as usual was excellent and as occasionally happens for me Johnnie played one track that I don’t think I’ve heard since the 1970s. It was “Shannon” by Henry Gross. I used to really love this when it had just a small amount of radio play in the UK back in ’76.

The song was written after Henry read about the death of Carl Wilson‘s (off of the Beach Boys) Irish Setter Shannon. I think you can definitely pick up a Beach Boys vibe and influence in the performance and production. The song was a number 6 hit in the US Billboard chart in 1976 and a number one in Canada. It only made number 32 in the UK. Another claim to fame the Henry Gross has is that he was the youngest artist to appear on the main stage at Woodstock in 1969. He was a founding member of Sha Na Na with whom he took to the stage immediately before Jimi Hendrix at Max Yasgur‘s farm some 43 years ago this year.

Henry is still recording and performing. Enjoy “Shannon” below along with a great performance from Sha Na Na;

How cool is that? Henry Gross gets a namecheck in an issue of Spiderman!

 

“There ain’t no room for the hopeless sinner” October 18, 2011


This hopeless sinner (or maybe I’m just a talented sinner) was listening to the radio at the weekend and a song that I really love came on. It was the beautiful “People Get Ready” by the Curtis Mayfield era Impressions. Now this is a very religious song and I am not a religious person. So my question to you is; should I be able to enjoy religious songs even if I am not religious myself? Well I’m talking conventional religion I suppose because in the last two census forms I completed I registered as a Jedi (hence the Star Wars elements of this post!)

I have quite a few songs of a religious nature in my collection including;

“I Want Jesus To Walk With Me” – Johnny Nash – But then I do have a rather extensive Johnny Nash Collection

“Forever Loving Jah” – Bob Marley – I love loads of Rasta but let’s face it I can never be one, I am now forever a “Crazy Baldhead”

“You Got The Love” – The Source featuring Candi Staton – Probably my favourite dance track, probably my favourite song of the 90s too! I am pretty sure this is a religious love song about the love of god rather than just a love song.

“People Get Ready” – The Impressions – A truly beautiful song whatever it’s sentiment in my opinion

Caravan Of Love” – Isley Jasper Isley – The biggest hit from this Isley Brothers offshoot and also superbly covered by those legends from Hull, the Housemartins

I’d like to know what you think about this potential dilemma. I don’t have a problem with this, but I wonder if there is anyone out there that does. On a similar vein I once worked with a guy who was a racist, I’d like to stress that he wasn’t a friend. He had lots of 60s soul music in his collection; Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and plenty of Motown. Personally I find that hard to reconcile; he didn’t like black people and yet he had a large amount of black music in his collection. I’d love to hear your views on that too.

Incidentally I would like to state categorically that I do not own any of Cliff Richard‘s religious songs such as “The Lords Prayer ” and “Saviours Day” 🙂

 

“Gone, gone the water’s all gone, Mummy come back ‘cos the water’s all gone” September 11, 2009


Is this Ziggy or one of the spiders?

Is this Ziggy or one of the spiders?

Hello again everyone and thank you for joining me for another of my infrequent posts This one is based around a great recent news story about Mr Bowie who is no stranger to this blog! Anyway he has been granted the honour of having a spider named after him. I guess this is because of the occasional spider references in his work. Notably dear old Ziggy and his Spiders from Mars and also the Glass Spider tour of 1987. Although to be fair the less said about his 80s stuff the better I’ll feel! The discovery of the new species of spider, named Heteropoda davidbowie, was made in Malaysia by a German arachnoligist (now that is what I call a job title!) Peter Jaeger. He says he named the large yellow spider after Bowie to draw attention to the endangered status of many spiders. He is quoted as saying “We are also quickly losing genetic resources that have evolved over more than 300 million years.” Apparently last year the Rameshwaram Parachute Spider was among included on a “red list” of thousands of endangered species which was compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Less than 500 of these spiders are believed to remain in their woodland habitat on the island of Rameshwaram, which is closed to Sri Lanka. The areas they live in are slowly being cleared to increase the number of hotels and tourist facilities on the island

Bowie on the web!

Bowie on the web!

This isn’t the first arachnid to be named after a musician either. In 2008 Jason Bond a biologist at East Carolina University named a newly discovered trapdoor spider Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi. Can you guess who it was named after? It’s Neil Young of course!

So this got me thinking about some spider songs to add to todays post, so here we go and please send me your own suggestions as well

Boris The Spider” – The Who A great spider clay animation video this one!

Spiders” – System Of A Down – Now this is one scary mofo of a video

Spiders (Kidsmoke)” – Wilco -spiders filling out tax returns indeed!

Glass Spider” – David Bowie – the full works including the stage set from the ’87 tour that seems to have been ripped off by U2 for their current tour

Spider Pig” – Simpsons – the full choral version which uses images of said Spider Pig in the promo stills from Spiderman 3 – Excellent!

Spiderman Theme” – Ramones – a great cartoon of both Spidey and the band

Although it only mentions spiders I will also add Bowie’s classic Ziggy Stardust. Incidentally during my time working with some wonderful people at Accenture and Unilever in 2007/ 2008 I had the Ziggy guitar riff as my ring tone. Every time my phone rang when I was working with my good friend Elmus Da Costa Gomez (doesn’t Elmus’ name make everyone else’s name sound dull?) he would break into spontaneous air guitar antics until I answered it. Which was quite amusing at the time, but I guess that you had to be there really!

 

 
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