With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Look out! Look out! Your Momma will shout You might as well go home” Blog Advent Calendar Day 23 December 23, 2014


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Only two more sleeps, wow that’s gone quick hasn’t it? Winter solstice is over for another year and the days are getting longer again, well in the northern hemisphere at least. Any how that means that it must be December 23rd and day 23 of this years Advent Calendar blog post. Regular readers will have quickly worked out that the 23rd letter of the alphabet is ‘W’. This years subject is the ABC of British bands and for today I have chosen a band who once recorded a true Christmas classic, ladies and gentlemen please welcome Wizzard to this years advent calendar posts!

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Roy Wood, the founder of Wizzard was also a leading light in the Move and co-founder along with Jeff Lynne of the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO). After the first ELO album Roy was moving apart from jeff Lynne both personally and musically. he left the band to form Wizzard and the The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits says, ‘Wizzard was Roy Wood just as much as Wings were Paul McCartney‘. Given that Jeff Lynne clearly wanted to be in the Beatles maybe there are some parallels.

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The band had six UK top ten hits from 1972 to 1974, including two number ones with “See My Baby Jive” and “Angel Fingers (A Teen Ballad)”. Both of those songs hit the top spot in 1973, “See My Baby Jive” was also number one in the Irish chart. Many people probably only know Wizzard for the rather excellent “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday” a song which only reached number 4 in the UK on its initial release in 1973. It has re-entered the top 50 ten times since then, obviously every Christmas time. On that Christmas single the band are credited as Wizzard featuring vocal backing by The Suedettes plus The Stockland Green Bilateral School First Year Choir with additional noises by Miss Snob and Class 3C. Whatever happened to Miss Snob?

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Their first two albums made the UK album top 30 in 1973 and 1974. “Wizzard Brew”, number 29 in 1973 and “Introducing Eddy And The Falcons”, number 19 in 1974. Roy Wood is a multi instrumentalist who plays keyboards, horn, cello, guitar, bass and bagpipes. he also wrote some songs that were dedicated to his one time girlfriend, Lynsey De Paul, one of which, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Winter (Looney’s Tune)” reached number 6 in the UK singles charts.

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“Looking for the girl that meets supply with demand” Blog Advent Calendar Day 1 2014 December 1, 2014


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Blimey where has the year gone? It seems like only yesterday that I was putting together last years Christmas posts for this blog. This years advent blog post theme is an A to Z of British bands. I should point out that they are not all bands that I like, but hopefully someone out there does. Anyway the first post on this first day of December relates to one of Sheffield’s finest, a band who in my opinion recorded one of the best albums of the 1980s. I am referring, of course to ABC. Is there a better way to start a series like this? I think not!

Martin Fry basted and wrapped in Baco Foil ready for Christmas

Martin Fry basted and wrapped in Baco Foil ready for Christmas

ABC’s début album ‘The Lexicon Of Love‘ released in 1982 was also a major success for former Buggle Trevor Horn who produced it. The album topped the UK album charts, although sadly the band never topped the UK singles charts. They did reach the peak of the US Dance Chart on three occasions from 1982 to 1987 though. The band is now largely just singer Martin Fry and can be found on many 80’s nostalgia tours. Now it’s time for you to enjoy a few of my favourite ABC songs.

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“My daddy is sleepin’ and mama ain’t around” January 13, 2014


chubbychecker_1960Songs returning to the top of the UK singles charts on separate chart runs is not an uncommon occurrence. Often after a death; “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “My Sweet Lord“. However in the USA it has only happened once to my knowledge. That was a feat achieved in 1960 and 1962. The song was originally by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, although their version only made it to number 28 in the US chart in 1959 and even that was as a B-Side to “Teardrops On Your Letter”

Chubby+Checker

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“I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space”


pharrell_620Pharrell Williams‘ rather excellent song “Happy” has returned to the summit of the UK singles chart having deposed “Timber” by Pitbull featuring Ke$ha. I have loved this Pharrell song from the moment I heard it on the soundtrack of the rather excellent film ‘Despicable Me 2‘. I suspect that it could be a big year for Pharrell, I believe he has a new solo album ready to go and also a collaboration with Paloma Faith due out in February.

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“Oh, mama mia, mama mia (Mama mia, let me go)” January 7, 2014

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 11:30 pm
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Queen-Funny-D-queen-31231886-498-361Back in 1975 when Queen‘s “Bohemian Rhapsody” was number one in the UK charts for the first time did you notice that it’s lyrics contained the name of the song which succeeded its 9-week run at the top in early 1976? I certainly didn’t notice, but obviously it has the phrase “Mama Mia” in it which is the title of the Abba song which followed it to number one. I wonder if that has ever happened since? It certainly didn’t happen when “Bohemian Rhapsody” returned to the UK number one spot after the death of Freddie Mercury in 1991. It was followed by Wet Wet Wet with “Goodnight Girl” then.

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“Fifteen quid is all she asks for everybody’s got their vice” – Advent day 22 December 22, 2013


number_22Just two more days at work for me before Christmas now. Then it’ll be eight days of over indulging in food and drink before going back to the office in January probably considerably fatter than when I left. December 22nd or day 22 of the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem advent posts for 2013. Clearly you know the drill, this means that you get two songs with the number 22 in the title.

Is Bradley that tall? Or is Weller just short?

Is Bradley that tall? Or is Weller just short?

The first of those is from the Modfather, Paul Weller. The song is “22 Dreams“, the title track from Paul’s double LP (single CD) released in 2008. The song was also part of a single coupled with “Sea Spray” from the same album. Sadly it only made it to number 59 in the UK singles chart. The album fared much better though, reaching the number one spot in the UK album chart in 2008. This was Weller’s third solo album to reach the top spot. The song was co-written by Weller and Simon Dine. The latter also plays, cowbell, horns, guitar and bizarrely, siren on the track. It was one of eight tracks on the album that Dine had a hand in writing. Although the album was called ’22 Dreams’ it didn’t quite match that number for tracks. The standard issue of the album has 21 tracks.

funny-boy-iron-man-costume-tutu-maiden-picsThe second of todays songs comes from another iconic British act, Iron Maiden with “22 Acacia Avenue”. The song is taken from the band’s 1982 UK number one album ‘The Number Of The Beast’, but it wasn’t released as a single. Iron Maiden are one of the most succesful heavy metal bands in history with 85 million album sales worldwide. The band were formed back in 1975, appropriately for these posts on Christmas Day. So they are close to their 38th birthday. Steve Harris is credited with choosing the name after he saw a film based on the Alexandre Dumas novel ‘The Man In The Iron Mask‘. The band went through many personnel changes in their early years. Perhaps the best known Maiden vocalist is Bruce Dickinson. He replaced Paul Di’Anno in September 1981. Prior to that Dickinson had been the lead singer for another UK band, Samson.

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“Spike heels make a hole in a life boat, drifting away when I’m talking and laughing as we float” – Advent day 16 December 16, 2013


16It’s December 16th and therefore day 16 of the With Just A Hint Of Mayhem advent posts. I’m enjoying the music in these advent posts and I hope that you are too.  So on to two songs with the number sixteen in their title.

tennesseeeerniefordThe first song for today is from Ernest Jennings Ford who was better known as Tennessee Ernie Ford. The song is about working in a coal mine and it is called “Sixteen Tons” it reached number 1 in the US charts in 1955. The song has been recorded by many artists; including Stevie Wonder, the Redskins, Tom Jones, Johnny Cash, Bo Diddley, Robbie Williams, Dandy Warhols, Tom Morello and the Eels. Whilst Elvis Presley never recorded the song he did play it live when touring the US in 1955. The Clash had the Ford version of the song played just before they came on stage during their ‘Sixteen Tons’ US tour in 1980.

Jack White took over the cover of the May 2012 issue of Interview magazine-815282The second for today features an artist that appeared as part of one of his earlier bands on day 7 of my advent posts. It’s Jack White with a track taken from his first solo album, ‘Blunderbuss’ released in 2012. White says that the inspiration for the song came from his daughter. When Jack asked her what she would like as a snack she said sixteen saltine crackers, he said she could have three. The singles B Side was a cover of U2’s “Love Is Blindness“. The single was sadly largely ignored in the UK reaching only number 129 in the UK singles chart. The album went to number one in the UK though and also reached the top in Belgium, Canada, Switzerland and the USA.

 

 
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