With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“I could have been someone” “Well, so could anyone” December 10, 2012


the-pogues-featuring-kirsty-maccoll-fairytale-of-new-york-warner-bros

The Guardian ran a great article about the history of the Pogues classic Christmas songFairytale Of New York“. Whilst there was a lot in there that I already knew, there were some real gems that I didn’t. Notably that before it was decided to duet with the late, great Kirsty MacColl both Chrissie Hynde and Suzi Quatro were considered. Personally I think that Kirsty was not only the right choice but also an inspired choice.

Kirsty+MacColl+Feat+The+Pogues

the video for the song was directed by Matt Dillon and as he couldn’t use the NYPD choir as it doesn’t exist he invited the NYPD pipe band to take part. The pipe band duly joined Dillon and the Pogues for the shoot, however none of them knew the song “Galway Bay” which is mentioned in the song as “The boys from the NYPD choir are singing ‘Galway Bay'”. So if you watch the video carefully you can watch them mouthing the words to the only song that they all knew, none other than the Mickey Mouse Club chant!

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If you’d like to read the full Guardian article click here. And finally to celebrate “Fairytale Of New York”‘s tenth appearance in the UK charts, it is at number 15 this week (also it’s 8th consecutive year in the UK top 40), enjoy the song below.

Pogues-Kirsty-M

 

“They’re singing Deck The Halls, but it’s not like Christmas at all” December 24, 2009


I thought I would share with you a little project I undertook on Facebook during December. I called it my Advent Calendar of Uncovered Cover Versions. It is repeated here exactly as it appeared daily on my Facebook pages. I hope that my regular Blog readers enjoy it and that you all enjoy a wonderful Christmas and a brilliant 2010

December 1st

OK so the advent calendar is all about uncovering something good each day leading to Christmas right? So Ithought I would try to do something slightly related and try and post a cover version each day until Christmas. Starting today 1st December with Patti Smith’s version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit

December 2nd

December 2nd of my advent uncovered cover versions project (did you like yesterdays?) Todays is Florence and the Machine with an excellent cover of the Source featuring Candi Staton’s “You Got The Love“…….. enjoy!

December 3rd

and so on to Day 3 of my under the cover versions advent project. The top tune for today is a cover of Britney Spears’ ‘Oops I Did It Again’ by the rather talented Richard Thompson. What do you think of it?

December 4th

Day 4 (December 4th) of the Advent Calender uncovered cover versions project (or obsession) of mine 🙂 Under the little cardboard flap today you won’t find some cheap and bland chocolate. Instead you will find Jimi Hendrix playing what in my opinion is the greatest cover version of all time. It’s Jimi’s version of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” recorded at the Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970 … enjoy!

 December 5th

 It’s December 5th and here is Day 5 in my advent uncovered cover versions project. This one is a real doozy! It’s Richard Cheese covering the rather spiffing Blink182 song “What’s My Age Again?” I love this one, what do you think?

 December 6th

 December 6th and day 6 of my Advent oncovered cover versions project. Today it’s the turn of Suzi Quatro with an Elvis classic “All Shook Up” . I chose this one because it is even in the news today. Check the story here

 December 7th

 It’s December 7th and therefore Day 7 of my Advent uncovered cover versions. Today’s is a bit obvious, but nonetheless a great cover. It’s Jacko’s ‘Smooth Criminal’ as done by the fantastically named Alien Ant Farm

 December 8th

 It’s December 8th and therfore Day 8 of my Advent Calendar Uncovered Covers project. Today’s was an easy choice really. On the 29th anniversary of his death this is John Lennon with a great cover of Ben E King’s “Stand By Me” I love this song

 December 9th

 Hello again peeps, it’s the 9th December which brings us to song number 9 in my Advent Calendar uncovered cover versions. Todays is a bit of an indulgent one in that it is a cover of the excellent Pendulum’s “Blood Sugar” by my son Luke’s band Steal The Smile. Enjoy!

 December 10th

 Hello folks. December 10th and obviously day 10 of my Advent uncovered cover versions project. Todays is one of my favourite songs as covered by my favourite band ever! It’s the Clash with Junior Murvin’s “Police And Thieves

 December 11th

 It’s Friday December 11th and therefore it’s Day 11 in the Advent uncovered cover versions project. Today it’s the turn of Me First And The Gimmee Gimmees (and let’s face it no covers project would be complete without them). This is their version of the Olivia Newton John hit written by John Denver “Take Me Home Country Roads” By the way this is NOT a country version!

 December 12th

 December 12th and halfway through Advent calendar time, so onto Day 12 of my Advent uncovered cover versions project. Today’s is a must have as far as cover versions go. It’s Nouvelle Vague with an excellent cover of the Joy Division classic “Love Will Tear Us Apart“. Enjoy

 December 13th

 December 13th and the thirteenth cover version of my Advent Uncovered Covers Project. Today’s is one of my most favourite cover versions ever. It’s the late, great Jeff Buckley with a live version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” (You may know it as the one that was somewhat massacred by Alexandra Burke last Christmas courtesy of Mr Cowell! This version really is the dog’s testicles though, what do you think?

 December 14th

 December 14th and strangely enough Day 14 of my uncovered cover versions project. Today’s is sung by someone who in my opinion the greatest female singer ever (very sexy too). Yes it’s Kate Bush with her version of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing

 December 15th

 Day 15 in my Advent Calendar of uncovered cover versions. Todays is perhaps one of the strangest. It is the Deep Purple Classic “Smoke On Water” a true guitar shop classic as played by Senor Coconut and his Orchestra. Go on give it a listen, you know you want to 🙂

 December 16th

 Day 16 of the Advent uncovered cover versions project and today is a song that many people often don’t realise is a cover. It’s the Beatles with their excellent version of the Isley Brothers song “Twist And Shout“. Listen to this and you’ll see just how weak Olly Murs version from the X Factor was!

 December 17th

 It’s already Day 17 in my Advent Calendar Uncovered Cover Versions project. Today’s song is performed by the Section Quartet and it’s a great instrumental orchestral cover of the brilliant Muse song “Time Is Running Out

 December 18th

 Day 18 of my Advent uncovered cover versions project and I thought it was about time for a Christmas song. This is a cover of “Do They Know It’s Christmas” for a whole myriad of charities and it features some brilliant bands and artists (well in my opinion) Fucked Up, Tegan & Sarah, Bob Mould, the wonderful Yo La Tengo and many, many more 🙂

 December 19th

 Day 19 of my Advent uncovered cover versions and thanks to the inclement weather I nearly missed this one (but more of that story another day!). Todays song may surprise some of you. It’s Marvin Gaye with “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” which was in fact a cover of the original hit by Gladys Knight. Personally I prefer Marvin’s version!

 December 20th

 It’s now Day 20 of my Advent Uncovered Cover Versions project. This one is especially for the boys at Chris’ 50th last night (so that’ll be me, Glen, Neil, Phil and obviously Chris! Apologies from Bryan and Keith sadly!) The song goes back to the mid 70’s and was originally done by the Glitter Band. It’s “Let’s Get Together Again as recorded and mixed by the Human League. If you’d like to hear the original here it is

 December 21st

 And on to Day 21 (that’ll be 21st December then!) in my Advent uncovered cover versions project. Today’s song is the Oasis classic “Wonderwall” as sung by the brilliant Ryan Adams (not Bryan ok!!) Apparently Noel Gallagher thinks that Ryan’s arrangement is even better than his own. For the hell of it here is the link to the Mike Flowers Pops version too!

December 22nd

Day 22 of my Advent Uncovered Cover Versions Project and there will be more Christmas songs included but not today. The selection for December 22nd is the Foo Fighters with a cover of the rather good Wings song “Band On The Run

December 23rd

Day 23 of my Advent Calendar Uncovered Cover Versions Project, that means just one more day after this! So I decided to make today and tomorrow Christmas songs as the big Chrimbo thingy is upon us. Obviously I was always going to use this one. It’s “Peace On Earth/ Little Drummer Boy” from Bing Crosby and David Bowie

December 24th

It’s Christmas Eve and here it is, the final song in my Advent Calendar Uncovered Cover Versions Project (until next year anyway!) It is a song that originally featured on the Phil Spector Christmas Album from 1963 (Incidentally that album was released the day JFK was killed!) It is “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” originally by Darlene Love and played here by U2. The original song is my favourite Christmas song by a long way. Happy Christmas everyone and I hope that Santa brings you what you wish for Joriginally by Darlene Love and played here by U2. The original song is my favourite Christmas song by a long way. Happy Christmas everyone and I hope Santa brings you what you wish for 🙂

 

“They told us tales, they told us lies, don’t they know they shouldn’t have told us at all” April 3, 2009


Hello again everyone how are well all then? I hope that you’re all ok because I have some very sad, bad, bleak news to impart. You really should be sitting down when you read this. Trust me it is the worst music news I’ve had to deliver since I started blogging, I know that’s only six weeks ago but this is really dreadful. So are you sitting comfortably? This is a bit like ‘Watch With Mother’ now isn’t it? Right I’ve been putting it off for long enough, now I have to tell you, stay in your seats. “Agadoo” by Black Lace is going to be reissued soon. See I told you it was awful news. It will be a 2009 remix and the video has been directed by Kevin Kennedy who used to play Curly Watts in Coronation Street, he also appears in it. He must need the money because this is a crime against music. The song was originally released in 1984 and made it to number 2 in the UK charts, held off the top spot by George Michael’s “Careless Whisper”. Click here to see just how bad it is, but be warned click at your own peril!

They should be arrested for those haircuts alone never mind that bloody song!

They should be arrested for those haircuts alone never mind that bloody song!

I have some other news too, not as bad as the first piece though. Apparently Ozzy Osbourne has had a premonition of his death. This is the quoted comment from Ozzy, “Some bird with some very rare virus is going to fly over my head. It’s going to shit on me and I’m going to melt on the floor” I presume he means a bird of the feathered variety. Can we also assume that it has nothing to do with drumming up publicity for the new series of ‘The Osbournes’ which will be called “The Osbournes Reloaded”. Reviews so far have completely panned it. perhaps he could do a deal with Satan and get that bird to shit on Black Lace instead?

Will it be the lesser spotted Sharin Bird that shits on Ozzy's head?

Will it be the lesser spotted Sharon Bird that shits on Ozzy's head?

Have you been following the coverage of the G20 summit? There is actually a music link here too, not the fact that Bob Geldof was pontificating as usual either. the Queen usually gives visiting world leaders and dignitaries a signed framed photograph of her and Prince Phillip, she receives a wide range of gifts in return. This week she received a video iPod from the Obama’s. It was preloaded with photos of the Queen’s state visits to the US in 1957 and 2007, some video and audio of Barack Obama’s speeches including the inauguration and 40 great show tunes. The Queen loves musicals apparently and the gift also came with a rare songbook which was signed by Rodgers off of Rodgers and Hammerstein.

And finally on the news front the two remaining Beatles, Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr will be taking part in a live public webcast later today, April 3rd (12 noon EST). The pair will be helping promote the David Lynch Foundation’s initiative to teach at least one million ‘at-risk’ youths to meditate. perhaps they’re seeking “Instant Karma” The pair along with many other rock luminaries have been practising Transcendental meditation for years. To take part in the conference visit davidlynchfoundation.org Later this evening McCartney and Starr will be joined by a cast of many at new York’s Radio City for a benefit concert to raise money for the David Lynch Foundation. Performers include Eddie Vedder (off of Pearl Jam), Moby, Sheryl Crow, Ben Harper, Paul Horn, Bettye La Vette, Mike Love (off of the Beach Boys) and Jim James (off of My Morning Jacket).

David is ready to release his chicken over Ozzy's head

David is ready to release his chicken over Ozzy's head

Have any of you seen the BBC documentary ‘The Queens Of British Pop’? I saw part 1 this week and it was rather good. It featured Dusty Springfield, Sandie Shaw, Suzi Quatro, Siouxse Sioux and the mighty Kate Bush. Click here for the link. yes I know Suzi is American but she did have her biggest success in the UK. As for Kate well on this day in 1979 she made her live debut at the Liverpool Empire. Kate is also the number one search term used which arrived at this very blog. More than 700 searches for Kate have found their way here. The next two are Pink Floyd with over 600 and Lily Allen with nearly 200 plus another 10 for Lily Allen Naked!

Kate has just released a Falcon towards Ozzy, perhaps it would have been easier to unleash the Hounds Of Love!

Kate has just released a Falcon towards Ozzy, perhaps it would have been easier to unleash the Hounds Of Love!

Here comes another blatantly shameless plug for my son Luke’s band Steal The Smile. They are playing at the Face Bar in Reading this evening so go and check them out. If you can’t make it get yourself over to their MySpace page by clicking here and let me know what you think of them.

I’ll end todays post with a couple of ‘onthisdays’ and the birthdays will return another time! Firstly on this day in 1975 Steve Miller was charged with setting fire to the clothes of a friend, Benita Diorio. Presumably not a close friend or perhaps he had the hots for her! Police arrived at Miller’s house to find Benita trying to put out the flames. Miller began fighting with some of the policemen and was eventually charged with resisting arrest.

Steve plays on despite the fact that his friend's wardrobe is on fire behind him

Steve plays on despite the fact that his friend's wardrobe is on fire behind him

And finally on this day in 1993 the Bluebells were at number one in the UK with “Young At Heart” The song had originally been released some ten years earlier. But this time around it was the beneficiary of a Volkswagen TV advertising campaign. Here’s one for you fact fans too, the song was co written by Siobhan Fahey off of Shakespears Sister and Bananarama!

The Bluebells contemplate drowning themselves after hearing that Agadoo is about to be released again!

The Bluebells contemplate drowning themselves after hearing that Agadoo is about to be released again!

 

“She could kill you with a wink of her eye” February 23, 2009


Well here we are again on a Monday morning, what the hell happened to the damned weekend? Why is it only two days? Three or four would be better wouldn’t it?

Anyway in yet another forlorn attempt to keep this post short, I think I know I’ll fail in that aim, let’s kick off with some birthdays. Firstly 23rd February 2009 is the 65th birthday of talented guitarist Johnny Winter. He was one of the numerous acts to play the Woodstock Festival in 1969, playing a nine song set which included his brother Edgar on two songs. Here is a clip of him from that very set at Woodstock. The rather splendid US band the Smashing Pumpkins recorded an instrumental homage to Johnny called “Tribute to Johnny”, in which they tried to emulate Winter’s unique guitar sound. The song was originally intended for their excellent 1995 album ‘Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness’ but was rejected and eventually turned as b-side on theirZero” single. Ill health means that Johnny is only able to play whilst seated. Both he and his brother Edgar are albino, to find out a little more about this go check out Wikipedia here.

As this picture proves Johnny had a very laid back playing style

As this picture proves Johnny had a very laid back playing style

Today is also the day to wish Steve Priest, the Sweet’s guitarist a happy 59th birthday. He was born in Hayes, Middlesex in the UK just a few miles away from where I was born and grew up. I now live 200 miles away in York while Steve lives a little further away in California. Who do you think got the better deal weatherwise? An early incarnation of the Sweet was called the Sweetshop, whilst they released a few singles they all failed to hit the chart. The classic line up of the band (Steve Priest, Brian Connolly, Mick Tucker and Andy Scott) came together in 1970. “Funny Funny” written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman became the bands first hit in 1971. Despite the fact that the band were all competent musicians and thanks to Messrs Chinn and Chapman they were not allowed to play on any of their RCA singles until “Wig Wam Bam”. They were seen by many as just another bubblegum pop band, although many of their B Sides and live gigs belied this and showed their love of and skill at playing harder rock. Steve Priest and Andy Scott are now the only surviving members of that classic line up and both still tour with their own versions of the band. Imaginatively called Steve Priest’s Sweet and Andy Scott’s Sweet! Here are the boys with “Ballroom Blitz” from 1973, Steve is the guy who does the rather camp speaking part in the song!

The Sweet like brickies in drag! Mr Priest is the one on the bottom left

The Sweet like brickies in drag! Mr Priest is the one on the bottom left

The last birthday today is Rob Collins keyboard player with the Charlatans. He would have been 46 today but sadly he was killed in a car crash on 23rd July 1996 in Rockfield, Wales during the recording sessions for the band’s 5th album. The Charlatans first gig was at Vic’s Club in Northwich, Cheshire in the UK. Following that gig their manager was able to secure them five support slots with the then new cult heroes the Stone Roses played between November 1988 and April 1989. It was Rob Collins distinctive Hammond Organ sound that underpinned many of the bands songs. Apparently he bought the organ from a local church. Here are the boys with the rather splendid “Weirdo” which Catwoman swears is about me!

Rob Collins RIP

Rob Collins RIP

On this day in 1974 Suzi Quatro was number one in the UK charts with “Devil Gate Drive” her second number one. From quite a young age Suzi (born Susan Kay Quatro) had aspired to a career in music. She left school in 1964 and immediately formed a band called the ‘Pleasure Seekers’ with her three sisters Arlene, Patti and Nancy. As with the Sweet earlier in this post and Mud from a previous post, many of her early hits were written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman. Fans of the US sitcom ‘Happy Days’ may also remember Suzi’s appearances on that show as Leather Tuscadero in 1977

Suzi had failed to notice the small ladder in her tights as shen went on stage

Suzi had failed to notice the small ladder in her tights as she went on stage

It was on this day in 1979 that Dire Straits played their first ever US show when they appeared at the Paradise Club in Boston. The single of the title track from 1985’s “Brothers In Arms” album was the first commercially available CD single. 400 copies were pressed for release in November 1985. The album went to number one in both the UK and the US. Here is my favourite Dire Straits song which was also their first UK hit, “Sultans Of Swing

Though they were excellent guitarists those Dire Straits boys never really mastered the Hank Marvin/ Shadows dance steps

Though they were excellent guitarists those Dire Straits boys never really mastered the Hank Marvin/ Shadows dance steps

And finally on this day in 2003 the UK tabloid ‘The News Of The World’ reported that Michael Jackson had undergone scores of painful operations to strip his body of black skin until he appeared white. They also reported that surgeons at a Santa Monica clinic eventually refused him any further treatment. An ‘insider’ told the paper that Jacson had been anesthetized on a weekly basis to have his skin peeled and bleached. Is this a true story? Maybe, but bear in mind the track record of the UK tabloid press in making up stories before making up your mind. Here is Michael with “Black Or White

looking at the man in the mirror Michael finally realised that he may have overdone the plastic surgery

looking at the man in the mirror Michael finally realised that he may have overdone the plastic surgery

Well that’s another day nearly over folks, enjoy the rest of it and I’ll be back tomorrow

 

 
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