With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Wonder if you’ll understand it’s just the touch of your hand, behind a closed door” December 17, 2010


Just over a week to the big day now people, it’s December 17th so let’s open todays door on my UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar. This one is a little softer than yesterdays. It’s a cover version of the classic Yazoo song “Only You” by the Flying Pickets. It was number one for Christmas 1983 and remained top dog for 5 weeks. The original was written by Vince Clarke while he was still a member of Depeche Mode. He allegedly offered the song to the band when he left and they declined. He then recorded it himself with superb vocalist Alison Moyet aka Alf when he formed Yazoo. The original version went to number 2 in the UK in 1982.

The Flying Pickets version was a cappella. That is nothing to do with Fabio Acappella who might be the England manager but it just means that they recorded the whole thing without instruments. Bloody tight gits! Incidentally they weren’t really tight gits, they were socialists though and in a bizarre twist none other than Margaret Thatcher claimed that the song was one of her favourites. This kind of echoes the current spat between Johnny Marr and David Cameron. Marr with the support of Morrissey has forbidden Cameron from liking any Smiths songs.

Arthur Scargill turns up at the Police gig but struggles to find Sting and the boys!

During the 1984 Miners Strikes the band performed at a number of benefits for striking miners. Their record company Virgin threw a bit of a hissy fit when the band took part in a protest at the Drax Power Station. Some record shops refused to stock anything by the band owing to their support for the miners. Bad move from the record shops if you ask me. Original singer Brian Hibbard went on to appear in Doctor Who and Coronation Street.

 

“The five years we have had have been such good times, I still love you” December 6, 2010


Well aren’t those December days just rushing past, this is the sixth day of my UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar and therefore it must be (a bit of an easy one this) December 6th. So go ahead put your fingernail in the frame of the little cardboard door and pull it open carefully. Todays song takes us back to Christmas 1981. It’s those good Sheffield folk, the Human League with a little ditty called “Don’t You Want Me”. It was number one for five weeks in total and became the 30th different UK Christmas number one.

The hair and make-up artist left the country after this job

It was the band’s only UK number one and also reached the top in the US charts as well. They went on to have a further number one in the US with the excellent “Human” in 1986. “Don’t You Want Me” has become a bit af a party staple, I certainly play it at pretty much every mobile DJ gig I ever do. Yet another 80s song that I like, what’s up with me? The 80s was generally crap, wasn’t it?

In the early days Phil could only afford half a haircut

The band released their first single, “Being Boiled” in June 1978. The NME review was quite positive, although guest reviewer John Lydon dismissed the band as trendy hippies. Apparently David Bowie saw them play live at the end of 1978 and allegedly claimed that he had ‘seen the future of Pop Music’. They were even name checked in the Undertones song “My Perfect Cousin” with the line; ‘His mother bought him a synthesiser/Got the Human League in to advise her/Now he’s making lots of noise/Playing along with the art school boys’ An obvious dig at arty music too.

Nowadays Phil (like me) doesn't have any hair to cut

The band originally included Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh who both left in 1980 following a big bust up with Phil Oakey. They went on to form Heaven 17 and thanks to the Human League’s Virgin contract Marsh and Ware also received 1% of royalties from the next League album, which was ‘Dare’ home of “Don’t You Want Me”

The song has been covered a few times, including versions by Alcazar, Mandy Smith and the Farm. Click on the artist names to see and hear those versions.

Enjoy the original Human league video for the song below.

And finally here they are performing the song on Top Of The Pops

 

“She likes my tone, my cologne and the way I roll” July 8, 2010


It looks like Snoop has been into Audrey's Salon for a blue rinse and is that Roy Cropper's bag he's carrying?

Just a few random notes for today’s post! Firstly it has been reported that Snoop Dogg is a big fan of ITV’s Coronation Street, the long running UK soap opera. The show will be celebrating its 50th anniversary later this year with a storyline that includes a tram accident on the viaduct which may kill off a lot of major characters. That is not the way I’d like to celebrate my birthday! So how would Snoop come into the show do you think? Maybe he will buy Roy’s Rolls and turn it into a pole dancing club, perhaps called Snoop’s Poles! He could replace Chesney’s dog Schmeichel. I would love to hear your ideas on this one. Meanwhile read the story on the BBC by clicking here.

Audrey and Rita off of Coronation Street certainly scrub up well don't they?

We took Frank Lampard to the World Cup when really we should have taken Frank Sidebottom!

Fans of the late Chris Sievey aka Frank Sidebottom are campaigning to get his single to number one in the UK. It features the song “Who’s Been On Match Of The Day?” Read about the campaign by clicking here.I thought Frank was a great performer, I mean how many other people could have made a career of singing in a lo fi George Formby style while wearing a large papier-mache head? Well Robbie Williams has, although obviously without the lo fi, the George Formby style, the talent or the papier-mache head. Although he does have a large head, not physically of course, he’s just big-headed! Anyway I love Frank’s version of  the Sex Pistol’s “Anarchy In The UK” which he retitled “Anarchy In Timperley”. Apparently he sent a tape of this to a record label along with a note which said something like ‘I would like to have a career in entertainment, do you have any pamphlets?’ He was also in a band called the Freshies who had a minor UK hit in 1981 with “I’m In Love With The Girl On The Virgin  Manchester Megastore Checkout Desk” They had to switch the Virgin part of the title to’ a certain’ not because Virgin objected, but because the BBC wouldn’t allow advertising.

 

 
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