The Mayhem Artist Top 20 artist chart for June 2022 is here. Many of you know that I am a keen user of a site called Obscurify. It claims to tell you how obscure your listening on Spotify is. Compared to the rest of the UK I achieved a level of 97% more obscure than other users in the UK this month, one point up from last month’s 96%. Regular readers will know that it also lists my most obscure artists, which currently are;
Promethium (The British metal titans are back on the list!)
Johnny Nash (Seriously, why is the greatest singer that ever lived listed as obscure?)
Apollo Junction (An absolutely brilliant band from Leeds, very nice lads too)
Vaquelin (One of York’s finest young bands. You will be hearing more about them on this site soon)
Millie Manders and the Shut Up (Fabulous ska-punk outfit, but they are so much more than that. Millie has huge talent and a fantastic band) – Check out the “Not OK” video below
As for the June Top 20, only Dame David remains from the last chart, but this time he climbs from number six back up to the top of the pile. This was probably driven by me being at the David Bowie World Fan Convention in Liverpool a few weeks ago. That wonderful visit also accounts for French artist -M- (at number 10) who the supremely wonderful human being that is Gail Ann Dorsey is working with, the marvellous Donny McCaslin sitting at number six and the late, great Mick Ronson at eleven. There is a good amount of soul this month, including Aretha Franklin, Millie Jackson, and Mel & Tim. Reggae is represented by Bob Marley and the Wailers, the Upsetters, and the Dynamites. Given his history, Johnny Nash could be represented in the soul or reggae camp. There are plenty of classic rock artists including the Beatles, Rolling Stones, T Rex, and the Who. More recent classic acts are well represented by the Wonder Stuff and Suede. Kate Bush is in at number sixteen and I haven’t even seen Stranger Things 4 yet! Half Man Half Biscuit are in there because I went to see them with my mate John at leeds Uni Stylus. Cigarettes After Sex are at number seven. I planned to see them while I was on a business trip to Bologna, but things conspired against me so, sadly I missed them. I would love to hear your thoughts on this chart. Oh and keep your eyes open for the fourth Mayhem Monthly Song Chart, just like an old-school top 20 singles chart! That one includes songs by a few of the artists featured in the June Artist Chart.
Here comes the third monthly Mayhem Top 20 Song Chart. This month’s number one is from a band that has featured on this site quite a few times and will continue to do so if they keep up the superb quality of their great music and live shows. They scraped into the artist chart at number 20 back in March. But now they follow Prairie Brigade and the Hazy Janes to hit the top spot in the song chart. Who am I talking about? A fabulous York band called Vaquelin with their current single “Roads Leading Nowhere”. They managed to hold off competition from Harry Styles who sits at number 2. There are a lot of oldies in this month’s chart, including Bill Withers, Love, Steely Dan, the O’Jays, the Clash, Mike and the Mechanics, Traffic, and the Sex Pistols. T.Rex take “Metal Guru into the top 20 for the second time in three months, it hit number 20 in March and sits at number 18 for May. David Bowie makes it three entries in a row and Roxy Music appear for their second month in a row. The oldest release on the list is “Alone Again Or”, a 1968 UK hit from Love at number 8. A really eerie cover of Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” by M Ward hits number 6 and my favourite Professor Elemental song, “I Love Libraries” gets to number seven. There are also appearances from Leeds band Astoria at a very creditable number 4, the Institutes, Let’s Eat Grandma, and Kendrick Lamar. Eight artists featured in the Mayhem Top 20 Artist chart for May also feature on this list. We would love to hear your thoughts on the Mayhem Song Top 20 Chart as we hope to make it a regular feature. Check out the complete list below.
1 Roads Leading Nowhere – Vaquelin 2 Music For A Sushi Restaurant – Harry Styles 3 Goodbye Mr. Blue – Father John Misty 4 (Don’t) Turn Around – Astoria 5 Use Me (Live) – Bill Withers 6 Let’s Dance – M Ward 7 I Love Libraries – Professor Elemental 8 Alone Again Or – Love 9 Haitian Divorce – Steely Dan 10 All That You’ll Ever Know – The Institutes 11 The Living Years – Mike and the Mechanics 12 London Calling – The Clash 13 Pyjamarama – Roxy Music 14 I Dig Your Act – O’Jays 15 What In The World – David Bowie 16 United In Grief – Kendrick Lamar 17 Happy New Year – Let’s Eat Grandma 18 Metal Guru – T Rex 19 Freedom Rider – Traffic 20 Anarchy In The UK – Sex Pistols
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We have been publishing our Mayhem Top 20 Artist Chart for a while now, so it’s about time we hit you with our top 20 song chart right? We promised you this in the last Artist Top 20 and here it is! The inaugural Mayhem Top 20 Song chart. Who will be on the hotlist? Who will be number one? Read on to find out! Well it won’t be a traditional old skool run down from 20 to 1, we thought we’d hit you with number one first and it is………. Prairie Brigade with “Is This How The World Ends”. York singer-songwriter Rubby Addy is a close second with her gorgeous tune “Roadkill”. Meanwhile, Bang Bang Romeo follow up their chart-topping of the Mayhem Artist Top 20 appearance for March with a very respectable number three placing. The oldest release on the list is “Metal Guru” by T. Rex at number 20. Eight of the artists who featured in the Mayhem Top 20 Artist chart for March also feature on this list. We would love to hear your thoughts on the Mayhem Song Top 20 Chart as we hope to make it a regular feature. Check out the complete list below.
1 Is This How The World Ends – Prairie Brigade 2 Roadkill – Ruby Addy 3 Cemetery – Bang Bang Romeo 4 Edge Of The World – Last Of The Fallen Angels 5 Ride Home – Katy Hurt 6 You Belong – Set Your Sights 7 Mansard Roof – Vampire Weekend 8 ROCK$TAR – Police Car Collective 9 Sunday – David Bowie 10 Colourful White Lies – Electric High 11 Pieces – Revivalry 12 I Thought I Knew It All – Marq Electronica 13 Wilder Days – Morgan Wade 14 Barbara Streisand – Phonomatiq 15 Fool Britannia – The Undercover Hippy 16 Rhubarb – Childcare 17 I Wanna Be By Your Side – Na’eemah Harper 18 Little Bit Broken – Hattie Briggs 19 If You Get To Hell First – Fury 20 Metal Guru – T Rex
We love our readers so much we have even created a Spotify Playlist of the Mayhem Song Top 20 for March 2022. Click here to give it a spin!
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Glastonbury tickets go on sale in a few weeks, I’ve registered, have you? I have been to quite a few festivals, but if I am lucky enough to get a ticket this will be my first Glasto, after all these years!
Anyway take your mind back to the first Glastonbury Festival in 1970. The first thing of note is that it was called something different then, it was the Pilton Pop, Blues and Folk Festival and all festival goers were provided with free milk. Well Worthy Farm is a dairy farm. It was almost 45 years to the day that it took place. The Kinks were originally scheduled to headline the event but were replaced much nearer the start of the inaugural festival on the site by Tyrannosaurus Rex. Obviously this was just before they became T Rex.
For many of you this is probably not new information. However, did you know who opened the festival in 1970 and then returned to the stage at the end of the second day to close it? It was the marvellously quintessential English band Stackridge! They have played Glastonbury more recently too; in 1999 and 2008. So in honour of that achievement I would like you all to get ready to “Do The Stanley”!
Have you been pestered by teenage carol singers with shite voices yet? I saw some on the way home from work but I think the weather was a tad too inclement for them! But I’m sure the greedy untalented little gits will be back. Greedy, untalented little gits? I could have been talking about the majority of X Factor contestants there couldn’t I? Anyway we really are sliding down the slope towards Christmas now, it’s 20th December! So that means it’s day 20 of the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem Advent posts and you know you’ll be getting two songs with twenty in their titles.
T.Rex are first up with the magnificent “20th Century Boy” a UK number 3 hit from 1973. The song hit the top of the charts in Ireland. It was the penultimate single in a run of 11 UK top 4 hits between 1970 and 1973 which included four number ones. In fact Bolan and T Rex never made the UK top 10 after 1973 let alone the top 5. “20th Century Boy” was not taken from a T Rex album but it was included on a reissue of the ‘Tanx’ album which was originally released in 1973. The song was used as the soundtrack to a Levi’s Jeans ad campaign in 1991. It was re-released to accompany that and made it back into the UK chart where it peaked at number 13. Siouxse and the Banshees, Girlschool, Adam Ant, Def Leppard and Placebo have all covered this T Rex classic. Placebo performed the song live at the 1999 Brit Awards with David Bowie.
From a song featuring the late, great Marc Bolan let me now take you to a song from the late, great Eddie Cochran, “Twenty Flight Rock”. Cochran can be seen performing the song in the 1956 film ‘The Girl Can’t Help It’ and it was released as a single in 1957. It was this Cochran song that a 15-year-old Paul McCartney played as part of his audition for John Lennon which led to him becoming one of the Quarrymen. McCartney has said that he thought that what impressed Lennon the most was that he knew all the words. Many artists have covered the song including Robert Gordon, Rolling Stones, the Stray Cats and Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen.
Seven swans a swimming, I’ve been looking forward to this part of my 12 days of Christmas posts as it features two of my favourite songs. Incidentally did you know that the mute swan which is native to the UK has doubled it’s population since 1983? Maybe it’s the royal protection they are afforded which saw to that.
Ride A White Skateboard anyone?
Anyway on to the first of todays songs and this one was an obvious choice. It is “Ride A White Swan” from T. Rex and it is only the second signal released under the shortened name after the band used to be known as Tyrannosaurus Rex. It is also the song that helped kick off what became known as Glam Rock and the screaming adulation given to Bolan in what became known as Trextasy. The song was released in late 1970 and didn’t reach its highest UK chart position of number two until January 1971. It was produced by Tony Visconti as were many of the bands biggest hits. It was released as a maxi single. So named as it featured three and not the customary two tracks. The other tracks were “Is It Love” and a rather interesting cover of Eddie Cochran‘s “Summertime Blues”. “Ride A White Swan” kicked off a run of 10 consecutive UK top 5 hits for the band which lasted from 1971 to 1973 and included four number ones. The song could only manage a very lowly number 76 in the US chart.
The second choice for today was an obvious one for me, but do you know why it’s here? It is the stupendous “Badge” from Cream. The band was effectively an early supergroup featuring Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce. Interestingly it wasn’t Clapton that played guitar on this track, it was George Harrison. This was a favour in return for Clapton providing guitar on the Beatles track “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. It was written by Clapton and Harrison and featured on Cream’s final album ‘Goodbye’. It made number 18 in the UK charts in 1969 and only reached number 60 in the US. Apparently it was a drunk Ringo Starr that gave the pair the line in the song which secured its inclusion in today’s post. Do you know what that line is yet? For contractual reasons George Harrison was listed under a pseudonym in terms of the playing personnel. That name was L’Angelo Misterioso.
I’m sure that you’ve heard Katy Perry’s new single “The One That Got Away” which is clearly yet another slice of perfect perry pop and a great radio song. But what intrigues me about it is the line about making out in the lyrics. It reads ‘We make out in your Mustang to Radiohead’. Firstly we get Katy Perry mentioning Radiohead, which I feel makes for quite strange bedfellows. Secondly, does anyone actually make out to Radiohead? I love the band but they wouldn’t be my choice for a sultry, seductive night in with Catwoman! I would prefer a bit of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Get It On’ album.
Having listened to the song again though it got me thinking about some of my favourite songs that mention bands or singers. You can enjoy five of them below. Let me know what your favourite songs that mention other artists are;
“Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” – Vampire Weekend – mentions Peter Gabriel
“Destroy Rock n Roll” – Mylo – mentions a cast of thousands including Michael Jackson, Prince, Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, David Bowie, Van Halen, Madonna, Huey Lewis and the News, The Cars, Herbie Hancock, Bonnie Tyler, Stevie Nicks, Men at Work, ZZ Top, Paul McCartney, Weird Al Yankovic, Cyndi Lauper, Pink Floyd, Pretenders, Billy Joel, Billy Idol, Elton John, Neil Young, Sheena Easton, Patty Smyth and Scandal, Fashion, Big Country, Morris Day and The Time, John Lennon, Apollonia 6, REO Speedwagon, David Gilmour, Rolling Stones, Pat Benatar, Hall and Oates, Wham!, Rebbie Jackson, Adam Ant, Bananarama, Christine McVie, Queen, John Cougar Mellencamp, U2, Fleetwood Mac, The Alan Parsons Project, Rick Springfield, Thompson Twins, Missing Persons, Duran Duran, Police, Eurythmics, Culture Club, Boy George, Band Aid, Stevie Wonder and Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
“White Man In The Hammersmith Palais” – The Clash – mentions Dillinger, Leroy Smart, Delroy Wilson, Ken Boothe and the Four Tops.
“God” – John Lennon – mentions Elvis and the Beatles
“Punky Reggae Party” – Bob Marley and the Wailers – mentions the Wailers, Maytals, Damned, Jam, Dr Feelgood and the Clash
“All The Young Dudes” – Mott The Hoople – mentions T Rex and is easily my favourite song that mentions other bands or artists.
Last week I had the good fortune of attending an excellent multi band charity gig at the O2 Academy in Islington. It was called ‘London Rocking It For Pakistan‘ and at the time of writing has raised in excess of £3,000 for flood relief in Pakistan. Not only that but four great bands for just £10. The event was sponsored by those very nice people at the NME.
First up were Lazy Lion. Apologies to them for missing their first couple of songs because what I did see was pretty damned good. It would be difficult to compare these guys and girl. The instrumentation was a keyboard player (synthesiser I assume) and an extremely talented guitarist. That combination of instrumentation and some well accomplished rapping and singing worked very, very well. I think this collective has a future!
Next on were a three piece rock ensemble with a name that for me doesn’t really work. However that’s only my opinion. The K Shaped Rooms as they are called were truly stupendous. A classic line up of guitar, bass and drums. Some superb original songs too. But perhaps their secret weapon was the bass player, not just for his excellent playing but also for his massive and effervescent personality. He looked the part too, very rockist fashion sense plus the long hair and beard. He sure knows how to work an audience. I would definitely pay to see these guys again. Reading Festival bookers are you listening?
Second on the bill were the band who for me have by far the best name I have heard in ages; Rockwork Orange. Now ordinarily I’m not too much into covers bands but this lot were brilliant. Everything from Blondie’s “One Way Or Another” to the Kaiser Chiefs “I Predict A Riot” and some T Rex along the way. The female vocalist has a very strong and adaptable voice and the band were one of the tightest I’ve seen in ages. The music appeared to be directed by the bass player who played his instrument with a plectrum. I can’t remember the last time I saw that. He switched to guitar later in the set too. Rockwork Orange know their stuff and certainly know how to rock.
By this time I was thinking can this get any better? Well let me tell you it did! Headliners the Velvetines are something else entirely; looks, sound, songs and energy, they have it all. The rhythm section keep things really well together. The bass player also rocks a really cool eastern look. Then there are the sisters who are the guitarist and the singer. I use the word sparingly but they are truly awesome! The 70s style body suits, wonderful stage presence, well rehearsed playing and really classy vocals. I really want this band to go on to bigger things. Once again are you listening Reading Festival bookers? I would definitely pay to see any of the bands on this bill again, but especially the Velvetines. If they are playing anywhere near you buy a ticket, even if you have to sell your grandmother to do so!
So let’s open that little cardboard door for December 3rd shall we? What’s behind it? It’s not chocolate but it might relate to one of the ingredients used in some chocolate, yes it has a link to milk! A milk related Christmas number one? Whatever could it be? Well obviously it’s “Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)” by Benny Hill. It was number one in the UK during Christmas 1971 and stayed on top for 4 weeks. It actually prevented the T Rex classic “Jeepster” from reaching the top.
The song was chosen by David Cameron as one of his Desert Island Discs, he said that it was one of the few songs he could remember all the words to. As many of you regular readers will know my Dad was a Milkman (as was Benny Hill incidentally) . My Dad spent twenty-seven years with Express Dairies serving customers in Uxbridge, Middlesex. I had the great honour and pleasure of working as his milk boy from 1970 until 1975. Oh and by the way he wasn’t called Ernie, he, like me, was called Bill, or William if you prefer to be formal. But there was a milkie at the same depot called Ernie and he really did get fed up of that song. I know it’s a novelty song, but I still like it, I hope you enjoy it too!
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.