Apparently the harmonica is the world’s best-selling music instrument. Who would have thought that such a small humble tool would be that successful? How many of you own a harmonica? Of those who do own one then how many of you can actually play it? While you’re thinking about that take a listen to ten of my favourite harmonica featuring tunes.
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.
Hello peeps, long time no post, but I am resolving to post more this month. So let’s just see if I can manage it shall we?
Anyway the subject of this post is the film ‘The Strangers’, ok I know it’s not a new movie, but I was out with friends last week and they said that it was the scariest movie they had ever seen. Now for me when someone says that you really have to see it. Don’t you? I went into HMV this week and bought the DVD of the movie, it was on offer for only £7. The first concern I had was that it was just a C15 certificate (for those of you across the pond that means that you must be at least 15 to see it or buy it).
So this afternoon we sat down to watch the film. Personally I thought it was probably the least scary Scary Movie I have ever seen. Even Catwoman wasn’t scared. So to our friends A & G (who shall remain nameless) I have to ask, just how many supposedly scary films have you seen? Overall I thought it was generally a poor movie. Very darkly lit, to the extent of not being able to see properly. The sound recording meant that much of the script appeared mumbled. I wasn’t very impressed and in fact if anyone wants to buy the DVD I’d be happy to sell it for £7 plus postage, but personally I wouldn’t waste your money!
The moment that two members of Slipknot began a revolt over wearing masks (somehow I think I will be taking some crap for this comment!)
There was another moment in my life when someone warned me about a scary film. It was back in 1974 and my Mum showed me a tabloid report of teenagers having killed themselves after seeing ‘The Exorcist’. Her words to me were along the lines of “don’t you dare go and see this film” It was an X Certificate (the 70s version of todays C18) and I was underage at just 15, but that had never stopped me before. So I conferred with a couple of mates who had been given exactly the same warning from their parents and obviously when we realised we’d all been warned our simple curiosity meant that we simply had to see it. We did the usual of sending the tallest in the group to buy a ticket as he looked the oldest. He went into the theatre and opened the emergency exit briefly to allow us other two in. (We were such criminals weren’t we?) The film was more scary than ‘The Strangers’ by a long way, although no film has yet seriously scared me ever! It was quite a good movie, although having seen it more recently I think it looks dated now. For me the funniest moment of that cinema visit was the scene where the two priests are trying to use religious faith and power to bring a levitating Linda Blair back onto the bed. They were chanting something like “The power of Christ compels you” over and over. Some wag at the back of the theatre shouted “All together now!” Well we just fell about and that probably turned many other moments in the film into more comedic moments than they actually were.
As I have said before this is a music blog so I will finish with some songs that concern strangers;
“Strangers When We Meet” – David Bowie. Originally found on the soundtrack to the excellent Buddha Of Suburbia a TV adaptation of Hanif Kureshi’s book. Also in my opinion one of the Dame’s (an NME name for Bowie in the 70s and 80s) finest singles of the 90s
“Strangers In The Night” – Frank Sinatra. One of Ole’ Blue Eye’s best loved songs. The NME sometimes referred to Bryan Ferry back in the 70s as Frank Sinister after he covered a Sinatra song. They also rather amusingly referred to him as Byron Ferrari. Speaking of Frank, which we were; “To Do Is To Be” – Socrates, “To Be Is To Do” = Sartre, “DoBeDoBeDo” – Sinatra
“People Are Strange” – The Doors. Jim Morrison once said “Film spectators are quiet vampires” although in the case of The Strangers they wouldn’t just be quiet they would be asleep!
“Goodbye Stranger” – Supertramp. This song was included on the bands wonderful ‘Breakfast In America’ album from 1979. The song was also included on the 1999 soundtrack to the film ‘Magnolia’ which also featured “The Logical Song” and a number of songs from Aimee Mann
“Mama Tried” – Merle Haggard. He was a favourite of my Mum, but why is it included here I can hear you ask? Well simply because it was used in ‘The Strangers’ and it’s also a very good song