Happy Easter Monday (Part 2)

Okay, so having come up with four eggs-tra (ha ha! See what I did there?) songs with Easter-y titles, I decided three of them were a little too tenuous to post (especially as, not exactly being the religious type, I couldn’t quite remember which bullshit story was which and therefore whether they actually were in anyway relevant or not) and decided to plump for this stone cold classic instead:

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Mott the Hoople – Roll Away the Stone

More soon.

Happy Easter Monday

So this is what posting on a Monday looks like, is it?

I had today’s choice all lined up and ready to go, when I read Adam’s post over at the consistently excellent We Will Have Salad yesterday where he, quite rightly, and unaware of my selection, said that the tune I had decided to post today was a bit obvious. As a result, I toyed with the idea of not posting it, before deciding that I’d post it regardless, that it would be fine to do so as long as I acknowledged its obviousness in a knowing, post-modern kind of way. Which I think I’ve just done.

And anyway, I can always post more than one song today, right?

So here it is:

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The Stone Roses – I Am The Resurrection

This is the full length album version, with the extended guitar wig-out at the end. A friend of mine once said that they hated the part of that where it “sounds like the theme tune to [popular children’s TV show] “Rainbow”

It took me ages to work out what he meant. See if you can spot it, dear listeners.

I’ve been visiting my parents over the weekend, travelling back today, so I’ll use the time on the train to come up with something a bit…well, if not better, then different. At least three have already occurred to me. You have been warned.

More soon.

 

Same Title, Different Song

My recent mention of indie bands who changed their sound when rave culture and the Madchester scene kicked in inevitably made me think of one band in particular.

I’d loved The Soup Dragons until they released their cover of the Stones’ “I’m Free” in 1990. Actually, if I’m honest, I’ve a soft spot for that record too. But they were never the same, or as good, again.

But I massively prefer their earlier stuff, when they sounded like Buzzcocks:

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The Soup Dragons – Whole Wide World

…which gives me the excuse to post this piece of 1977 magic which, unbelievably, was never a hit record except when released by Australian outfit Mental As Anything (they of “Live It Up” fame) and even then the only chart placing it got was Number 53 in the Australian charts.

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Wreckless Eric – Whole Wide World

More soon.

Late Night Stargazing

I can’t put my hand on my heart and say I’m particularly fond of The XX, which I realise leaves me out on a bit of limb compared to many of my peers here in the blogosphere. Dunno what it is, they just don’t do anything for me.

I can put my hand on my heart and say that I’m particularly fond of much that Greg Wilson does though.

Were it not for having Mr Wilson’s stamp of approval, I probably wouldn’t have given this a second listen:

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The XX – Night Time (Greg Wilson Remix)

Pretty glad I did though.

More soon.

Happy Easter

There are considerably less Easter-y songs than there are Christmas-y ones, which some of you might be quite pleased to hear.

Actually, there might be loads which have a tenuous link, but I can’t think of any. There’s always next year.

What I can think of is this gloriously outrageous slice of Swedish campness which, before you turn your noses up at it, Kurt Cobain praised in his posthumously published journals. Either that or Courtney made it up. You decide.

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Army of Lovers – Crucified

More soon.

How To Do a Cover Version

Ok so first things first, Underworld were fricking amazing.

One of the joys of it was the crowd, all incredibly friendly, probably because many of them had scored. I don’t think I’ve had as many random conversations with people since the height of my clubbing days, when random conversations were part of the appeal of going clubbing.

So hello to the blokes who stopped me in the gents to tell me how much they liked my t-shirt; hello to Martin who I met at the bar and decided to talk to me because I was “from his era”; hello to the guy from Dundee who had bought tickets thinking Underworld wouldn’t travel anywhere near his hometown, only to find two weeks later they were playing a festival there; but most of all to the chap dancing in front of me who, when it got to the line in “8-Ball” that goes “Today I met a¬†man who threw¬†his arms around me”, suddenly turned and did that: gave me a massive hug. Afterwards, whilst apologetic, he said “I just thought it’d be a nice thing to do”. Which it was, and it reminded me of why I loved, and why I miss, clubbing so very very much.

Which leads me on to today’s choices, and I have a double-header for you: two classic dance records covered by the same band in a slightly different way. We’re in real “you’ll either love or hate this” territory here, by the way.

The original (which so nearly got included in the Friday Night Post):

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A Guy Called Gerald – Voodoo Ray (Original Mix)

and the cover version:

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The Williams Fairey Brass Band – Voodoo Ray

Yes, that’s a brass band hailing from Stockport.

Like that? Have another one:

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The KLF – America- What Time Is Love (Radio Edit)

Yes. That’s right. They’ve covered that too:

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The Williams Fairey Brass Band – What Time Is Love

And to make it even more peachy, KLF mainman Bill Drummond heard their version and invited the band to collaborate with The KLF (appearing in their alternative personae as The Justified Ancients of Mu-Mu) on a track titled “Fuck The Millenium”

Oh, and in case you were wondering about the t-shirt I was wearing, it was this one:

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People of a certain age will recognise it. The rest of you…well, you know what Google’s for, right?

More soon.

Friday Night Music Club

It’s a very special Friday Night Music Club this week for two reasons: firstly, in the UK it’s Easter Weekend, so a long weekend (No work til Tuesday!); secondly, as I mentioned in last week’s post, I’m going to see Underworld tonight.

In my younger days, I was always quite resistant to dance music. If a tune didn’t¬†have guitars on it, I wasn’t interested.

But over the years, my resistance got chipped away, and so I thought tonight I’d play you a selection of dance tunes which were milestones for me.

So, first up is a¬†stone-cold classic, the biggest selling 12″ of all time:

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191. New Order – Blue Monday

Now I wish I could say that I bought this when it first came out. Well, I could say that, but it’d be a big fat whopping lie. In 1983, I had no idea who Joy Division were, or that New Order had risen from their ashes, but I did see the now legendary appearance on Top of The Pops where they insisted on playing Blue Monday live, and after which, famously, the single went down in the charts.

In 1988 I went away to college, and by 1989 I was DJing the Indie Night every other Tuesday. The night was, frankly, dieing on its arse. Some weeks we were lucky to get 20 people through the door. And then three things happened:

  1. Rave culture kicked in
  2. Closely followed by “Madchester”
  3. A load of Indie bands that I liked suddenly started messing around with dance beats and getting their records remixed by respected DJs.

And so suddenly, we were able to play all of these great records (not the rave ones, though) at our little Indie Night and so for a very short while these records moved centre stage and we had our finger right on the pulse.

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192. Primal Scream – Loaded (Edit)

Did you manage to get the “Oh Yeah!” bit in the right place? I always feel so chuffed when I do. The simple pleasures that life brings, eh? Pathetic really.

One Tuesday night, a couple of lads from Nottingham, decked out in hooded tops and flared jeans,¬†pressed their faces up against the shatterproof glass which surrounded the DJ booth in the Students Union and mouthed “Got any Mondays?” at me. I hadn’t (my finger wasn’t quite on the pulse at this point, more tapping to see if I could find a good vein) but said if they wanted to bring some in I’d be happy to play it. 10 minutes later, after they had bombed back to their flat to collect, I had the next record held in my hands. The title intrigued me. I played it. The dance floor didn’t exactly fill, but quite a few joined the two lads¬†Daints and Peetey¬†(the former of which I would form a band with shortly afterwards) as they started to frug away in what I learned sooner after was a fair approximation of Bez:

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193. Happy Mondays – 24 Hour Party People

Many years later, when I had finally started going to club nights, we went to see Jon Carter play in The Emporium in Cardiff.¬†I remember I was just leaving the dancefloor when the vocal part of “24 Hour Party People” kicked in and I found myself scrabbling to get back to the dance floor sharpish. One of the biggest, non-checmically induced, rushes I ever had.

There was another band who ditched their early sound to start producing records which were neither Rave nor Madchester, a band I loved when they were Grebo, and loved even more when they started messing around with loops and samples. This is one of their last singles, probably one of my favourites, which always takes me back to a basement indie club in Cardiff called G.W.’s that Daints and I¬†often frequented after we’d left college:

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194. Pop Will Eat Itself – R.S.V.P. (7” Mix)

The success in reviving the Indie Night, for which I naturally took all the credit, led to me being asked to co-DJ the Saturday night slot with a lad who we nick-named Dave Doubledecks on account of him running his own mobile DJ outfit, but whose name was actually Phil. This night exposed me to a great many other dance records which were by now, circa 1990, the main staple of the UK Charts, and there were some that, much as I absolutely no way on earth would have admitted to liking at the time, I secretly did, and love to this day. I make no apologies for their inclusion here. So there.

First up, an early project by one William Orbit:

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195. Bassomatic – Fascinating Rhythm (7′ Mix)

The first time I heard the next record, I was at the club night at the Students Union, in all honesty cribbing up on what I could play the following Saturday night. The DJ dropped this and I was stunned. Not because of the saucy “Je T’aime”-ness of the vocal track, but because a record that slows down that much in the middle just shouldn’t work. It did though; the place went fucking apeshit for it.

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196. Lil Louis – French Kiss (Original Mix)

Much as you might hate this next record, deride it for pinching the vocals from Loleatta Holloway’s “Love Sensation” and then getting a model to mime to it, in 1989 (and surprisingly often these days) if you wanted to get everyone in a Students Union chart night to dance, this was your weapon of choice:

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197. Black Box – Ride On Time

These days better known as producers, remixers, call them what you will, this next lot, appropriately, met at The Hacienda in 1988:

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198. K-Klass – Rhythm Is A Mystery

Not really¬†a “dance” record as such, next is one of the greatest records ever made, a guaranteed floor-filler, and the subject of one of the biggest travesties in UK Chart history:

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200. Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart (Peanut Butter Radio Mix)

I say travesties because this record only ever got to Number 2 in the UK Charts. It had sold exactly the same amount of copies to be the joint number-one¬†, along with “The Joker” by The Steve Miller Band, a record which had been re-released due to its use in a Levi Jeans ad.¬†“Groove…”‘s¬†placing second was due to a rule instituted in the 1980s, which stated that in the event of a tie,¬†the single with sales that had increased most from the previous week would reside above the other. The week before, “The Joker” had been one position lower in the chart the previous week than “Groove Is in The Heart”, and thus “The Joker” was therefore deemed to be the bigger-selling of the two.

This was the first and only time the rule was ever implemented, and it’s since been ditched. Not that anyone pays attention to the Charts anymore.

Right, I could literally sit here and post hundreds of these until well into the wee small hours, but if I don’t get¬†moving soon¬†I’ll be missing the gig tonight.

So I’m going to sign off by breaking the golden rule of any mix-tape, CD compilation, or playlist: by playing three records by the same artiste.

So, from the first Underworld album I ever bought at the time it was released, “Beaucoup Fish”, their third with Darren Emerson having joined their ranks (but fifth overall), and which swiftly led to me going out and buying the previous two:

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201. Underworld – Push Upstairs

And finally, from their “A Hundred Days Off” album, possibly, probably, my favourite track by them:

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202. Underworld – Two Months Off (King Unique Sunspots – Vocal mix)

I say probably, as it’s a pretty bloody close call with this:

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203. Underworld – Cowgirl (Bedrock Mix)

Hopefully, we’ll get some, if not all, of them tonight.

And I’ll leave you with their latest single, the opening track from their “Barbara, Barbara, We Face A Shining Future” album, and which has first song of the night written all over it.

More soon.

Same Title, Different Song

I’m not sure the shower has quite done the trick. I think I need to hear some unquestionably wonderful records to cleanse my soul of that last post.

Luckily, I have just the thing, one of the greatest, if not the greatest, 02:40 ever committed to vinyl:

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The Ronettes – Be My Baby

Not¬†a song title to be messed with, you’d think. And you’d be right.

Unless you happened to be banging Lenny Kravitz and getting him to write songs for you at the same time. Well, maybe not at exactly the same time, that’d just be impractical. And messy. Probably end up with a¬†lot more “oohs” and “aahs” in the lyrics too.

And even then, frankly you’d be taking a bit of a punt.

Now, I don’t have much time for Mr Kravitz. He’s made a couple of decent tunes, sure, but not quite enough to deserve the cool cat tag he seems to have.

But this is without doubt the best thing he ever had a hand in (the record, not the soon-to-be-Mrs Johnny Depp, you foul minded folk):

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Vanessa Paradis – Be My Baby

More soon.

How Not To Do a Cover Version

Following on from my earlier post where I talked about how my listening habits had changed, I’ve realised that sometimes I really don’t help myself.

One of the reasons I listen to music almost entirely on shuffle these days is because that way every now and then my iPod throws up a little golden nugget, or the idea of what to write about next on here.

Recently, I have *ahem* come to own the first 75 albums in the “Now That’s What I Call Music!” series, which I’m currently in the process of uploading onto my iPod.

Masochist that I apparently am, I decided that rather than be selective about what to add, I would simply upload each and every one and see which ones were chosen for my aural delectation.

The plus side of this is that my memory has been jogged about certain records that I had forgotten all about (Kenny Thomas, anyone?), or I’m intrigued about some that I¬†knew nothing about in the first place (just who were 2wo Third3 and what made them think spelling their name like that was in any way a good idea??).

Actually, now I’ve written that, I’m not so sure either of those can be considered plus points.

On the down side (as if that wasn’t bad enough) I now own¬†far more Tina Turner songs from her late 80s/early 90s period than I ever care to hear.

In short, I have turned my iPod into a revolver in a game of musical Russian Roulette, only there are bullets in 5 of the 6 chambers, not just 1.

I’m already wondering if this was a good idea.

Yesterday, this experiment bore its first fruits, and wouldn’t you just know it, it’s getting used in this section, where I post fucking terrible cover versions of great records.

There’s been several covers over the years of today’s choice, but none so arse-clenchingly awful as this. Brace yourselves. I’m about to type three words I never thought I would.

Here’s Samantha Fox:

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Samantha Fox – I Only Wanna Be With You

And yes, that’s our old friends PWL at the helm, sucking the life out of the original, replacing it with¬†their own¬†special brand of bland.

Quick, nurse! He’s out of bed again! We need the original!

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Dusty Springfield – I Only Want To Be With You

Too late. I need to shower and wash the PWL stink off.

More, better, soon.