The One and Only

You will recall last week I started this thread, a companion piece to the “Same Title, Different Song”, only now focusing on songs where the title was so obscure no such confusion could arise.

Last week I chose PJ Harvey’s “Sheela-Na-Gig”, and those of you who read the comments will have spotted that I was kindly corrected by Alex G on my speculation that there were no other songs with the same title.

And he was bloody right as well, although having listened to the identically named track by Nurse With Wound I can’t say I’m tempted to check out any more of their stuff:

So, let’s try that again then, shall we?

I’m pretty confident on this one:

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Cud – Only (A Prawn in Whitby)

Lifted from their debut album “When In Rome, Kill Me” the song is based on a chance encounter between the band’s manager and one Steven Patrick Morrissey in the titular North Yorkshire seaside town. Legendary vegetarian Mozzer was supposedly eating a prawn during the encounter. Yes, just the one. Or only the one, perhaps I should say.

The band have subsequently gone on record to confirm it wasn’t Morrissey, but a Morrissey look-a-like.

What is rather charming about this track is that on the album sleeve, the title is accompanied by the words “Better make this one a single.”

Which they did, in 1989. Whilst it didn’t trouble your common or garden UK Singles Charts, it did claim 15th spot in that year’s John Peel’s Festive Fifty, which is better in my book anyway.

More soon.

Sunday Morning Coming Down

A few years ago (actually, now I think about it, 12 years ago. Ouch!) a mate of mine threw a birthday party (I think….) at his place in West London. It was a day-into-night affair, so there was a barbecue and lazing around and drinking in the afternoon, followed by a fair amount of substance abuse of one kind or another in the evening. (Can I just stress again that when I mention this kind of thing, I am not advocating their use? I’m just relating, s’all. Y’know, just in case someone sues me or something. Don’t shoot the messenger.)

There were 30 or so people there, but apart from the host and his wife, and the couple I’d travelled up from Cardiff with, I knew nobody. This makes what happens next fairly predictable.

There was a trade-off to being invited: all attendees were instructed to prepare in advance, and provide on arrival, a mix-tape, over both sides of a C-60. All cassettes were to be unmarked, no track listing provided, and they would provide the soundtrack to the party. For added fun (there were no prizes), attendees were then supposed to try and work out who had made which mix-tape.

I still think this is a cracking idea for a party, provided you’ve got a working tape deck to play them on.

You won’t be surprised to learn that I attacked this task with much vigour and gusto. What I needed to do, I thought, was one of my trademark mixes that slowly build to a climax, but at the same time pick songs which I liked but which the few people I knew there might not necessarily associate with me, so as to throw them off the trail when it came to identifying the creator of the cassette.

In other words, I over-thought it.

You’ll be even less surprised to learn that of the 30 or so attendees, only four of us bothered making a mix-tape, all of whom were male. And one of whom used a C-90, the dirty rotten cheat.

My selection caused much bafflement and scratching of heads, and I was delighted that nobody managed to twig which mix-tape was mine. I had won!! I was the Belle of the Ball!!

But then, much later, someone else turned up with a mix-tape that started with Dennis Waterman’s “I Could Be So Good For You” and everyone forgot about mine and hailed him a genius instead.

Dammit, I own that on 7″ single, why didn’t I think of including it?

I’m not bitter though. Oh no.

I wish I could remember all of the songs I’d included, but alas, I can only remember the first three, the ones which were sufficient to throw everyone off the scent, and they’re all perfect for posting here, so, well, here you go:

In order they were (and, in brackets, my reason for selecting them):

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The 5th Dimension – Up, Up And Away

(Step 1: Pick some weird old 60s tune everyone kinda knows, but which nobody would associate with you. Unless they had heard any of my previous mix-tapes (which they hadn’t) which almost inevitably start off with something in this vein. A scene setter, if you like. Ladies and Gentleman, fasten your seatbelts, we’re going on a journey).

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Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – Patio Song

(Step 2: A journey to Wales. A stroke of genius this; the host of the party is Welsh, as are his wife and the couple I had travelled up from Cardiff with, but other than that, all English (as far as I can recall). I literally (not literally; metaphorically) cloaked myself with Welsh language psych-folk.)

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Prince & The Revolution – Raspberry Beret

(Step 3: Then throw in a curveball, a tune by someone that you know at least one other person is bound to have a bit of an obsession with.)

It worked: there was much finger pointing after this came on in a “But this must be yours, you like Gorky’s and Prince!”, “So do you!” kinda way, but none in my direction.

Much, much later that night, as it got darker and colder and people started to either drift off home or, at the very least, into the house, I found someone frantically hunting around the tape deck. I asked what they had lost.

“I’m trying to find that tape that had the balloon song at the start,” they replied.

I allowed myself a smug smirk, and pointed it out from the pile. “Good that one, wasn’t it?”

And no I’m not going to play you “I Could Be So Good For You”. Well not yet, anyway.

That should get your Sunday morning off to a breezy start, alright.

More soon.

 

Late Night Stargazing

Actually it didn’t take much digging.

Despite everything, and Bowie excluded, I’ve tried to keep this place separate from all of tributes and eulogies to all of the oh-so-many losses from the music world so far this year. There are others who are far better at chronicling and commenting on these things than I – in fact, I’ve been feeling a little sorry for halfhearteddude who does a monthly round up of those that have passed on his wonderful site. You can read his post about January 2016 post here. As you can imagine, it takes a while to get through it all. But don’t stop there, look around: he posts some of the most wonderful stuff around, a lot of which is unknown to me (who knew that Yazz’s “The Only Was Is Up” was a cover version? halfhearteddude, that’s who!) His site is littered in little jewels just waiting to be discovered, and he’s kind enough to include enough songs in each post to fit onto your standard CD.

And I am totally with him as to the best Terry Wogan quote, by the way.

Anyway, I thought it would be appropriate for me to soften my stance somewhat. I’m not going to wax lyrical about Maurice White or Colin Vearncombe here; I was shocked and saddened by the losses, as I am with anybody whose records I own, but I don’t consider myself a big enough fan of either to do a good, respectful job of writing about them. Which is not meant to belittle the music they made, but rather my knowledge of their back catalogues.

You know what I’m trying to say: what I knew of these people I liked, and it’s my own stupid fault that I didn’t investigate further, sooner. If I’m not careful, 2016 will turn me into someone that only buys records by people that have died so they can attempt to share in the communal grief.

So, for one time only on this thread, two beautiful records by two sadly missed recent departures, both very different, but both of which are perfect for posting here.

Neither of them need any further comment – we’ll let the records speak for themselves – other than, y’know, good night, sleep well, and thank you:

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Earth Wind & Fire – September

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Black – Sweetest Smile

More soon.