Evening Dubious Records fans!
You’ll be relieved to hear that tonight is the last in my snappily titled “Songs With The Same Name As Television Programmes, But Which Are Not The Actual Theme Tune, Or A Cover Version Of The Theme Tune Of The Programme In Question” series of TV themed posts here. You may even be as relieved as me, because frankly I’m bored of this idea now, so you’ll excuse me if I rattle through this lot, won’t you? Good.
So let’s start off with this little beauty:
Apparently there have been two versions of Good Morning Britain on UK television: one which ran from 1983 until 1992, and then, when ITV finally admitted that they have no ideas for original television left, they relaunched it in 2014.
I have to confess, I’ve never seen it, for one simple reason: it’s on in the morning. Faced with the daily dilemma of having an extra half an hour in bed, or getting up to watch Anne Diamond and Nick Owen (in the first incarnation), or Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard in the current run, well…thirty minutes of unfettered slumber wins every time.
Plus, phone-hacker (allegedly – Legal Ed), professional slimeball (yup, that’s fine – Legal Ed) and, worst of all, Arsenal fan Piers Morgan joined the team in November 2015, and I really don’t want to start my day by getting that angry.
Morgan recently hosted a two part documentary called “Killer Women”, where he interviewed women incarcerated for committing murder. Annoyingly, not one of them seized this golden opportunity, and he survived the shoot. Come on ladies, you have reputations to think about. That’s a definite “Must Try Harder”.
Now we dip our toes into the world of cartoons:
Hailing from Watford, and formed after they saw Bis in concert, this lot sound like a prototype version of Busted.Which may or may not be a bad thing, depending on your viewpoint.
Rumours that they released a far inferior follow-up single called “…& Scrappy Doo!” are yet to be disproven. Or investigated, for that matter.
And now for something completely different.
I’m not sure what this song, other than sharing a name, has to do with the longest-running UK sitcom ever (airing for 31 series from 1973 through to 2010), which became a Sunday night staple for many, nestling in between “Songs of Praise” and “Antiques Roadshow”.
Want to know how funny it is? The most oft cited scene involved a pensioner sliding down a hill in a bathtub. Yup, that funny.
Time for a bit of a cheat. This next record gets the title ever so slightly wrong, and if I was being kind I’d probably say it’s because the correct title doesn’t really scan all that well. If I was being unkind, however, I’d suggest it was more likely that it’s because Pete Doherty was so off his face on horse when he wrote it, he had no idea what he was doing, the heroin-guzzling fool:
Want to know how funny The Libertines are? (I mean intentionally, not unintentionally funny…) According to Carl Barât, in the cover photo above, Doherty isn’t actually wearing a watch. Oh you guys slay me.
The sitcom it tries hard to reference was, of course, one of the finest from the 1970s, “Whatever Happened to The Likely Lads?”, the follow-up to the 1960s sitcom “The Likely Lads”, and picks up the story of best mates Bob and Terry, played by Rodney Bewes and James Bolam respectively, five years after the original series ended, with Terry returning to the North East after a spell in the army, and finding that Bob is now married and settled down. It’s funnier than I just made that sound, honest.
It also has one of the loveliest theme tunes ever (although sentimentality may be clouding my judgement there), performed by a band who’s name makes them sound like a UK Eurovision reject from the 1980s, or a fictional act from Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights:
Actually, now I listen to it again, it doesn’t really need any more than just the chorus, does it?
I think it must, by now, be Britpop o’clock:
When Suede first started releasing singles, they were near perfect, with the additional tracks as good as, if not better, than the A-Side, and this carried on pretty much until the moment Bernard Butler left. Coincidence? I think not.
Metal Mickey was the second single from their debut, eponymous album and so falls squarely in this purple patch. It also shares it’s name with a 1980s TV show; here’s the opening credits, with backing vocals provided by Steven Hawking:
Metal Mickey was a five foot tall metal robot who’s catchphrase was “Boogie Boogie”, and should not be confused with Twiki from “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”, a four foot tall metal robot who’s catchphrase was “Biddlybiddlybiddlybiddly”. My grasp of futuristic robot jargon is a little ropey, so he sounded like this:
A change of pace now. The Wedding Present have a bit of a reputation for producing songs about relationships breaking down, but on their 1989 album “Bizarro” a different lyrical topic was addressed in “Bewitched”: stalking.
The lyrics are unsettling enough, but the music fits the subject perfectly; it’s brooding, menacing, it’s practically hiding in the bushes, going through your bins. It also displays perfect quiet-loud-quiet credentials, seemingly petering out with a whimper before exploding in what you hope is just an aural rather than physical assault.
Much as I bang on about what a great song from the same album “Kennedy” is (because it is, and I will doubtless bang on about it again sometime), “Bewitched” is just sublime and more than a little bit unsettling, a template for some of the songs which were to appear on the next album, the Steve Albini-produced “Seamonsters”.
Have a listen for yourself:
By contrast, “Bewitched” the 1960 US TV series told the story of a witch called Samantha trying to live the life of a suburban housewife. It’s theme tune could not be any more different to the aforementioned song with the same name:
Back in 1981, ABBA released their penultimate album, “Super Trouper”, and in the process scored their fourth of five consecutive UK Number One albums.
This was the lead single from it, also a Number One in the UK and, no matter what you might think about ABBA and the “Mama Mia!” franchise, it’s difficult to argue against this being one of the most magnificent break-up singles ever. Although I’m sure somebody will.
Again, I’m allowing this as it’s title is really quite close to a TV show I remember from my childhood, a quiz show, hosted by Jimmy “ho-ho!” Tarbuck, the rules of which temporarily escape me, so just watch this, if for no other reason than to see just how much TV game shows – and fashions – have changed since 1976:
Ok, last record time.
When I was a student, when I wasn’t staying up late to watch “Get Stuffed” I’d often find myself watching the frankly ruddy marvellous “Married With Children”, which was like a live action version of The Simpsons, with hard done by father and shoe salesman Al Bundy in the Homer role. Here’s what nowadays would be called his best bits:
The show gave us two future stars: Ed O’Neill (who these days can be seen in smash comedy “Modern Family”) and Christina Applegate, who has turned up in so many great shows and movies, from “Friends” to “Anchorman”, it’s pretty hard to keep up with her.
So I won’t try to. I’ll just play you this, the final track from Oasis’ never-bettered debut album “Definitely Maybe”:
And that’s yer lot. And yes, that is my idea of “rattling through” them.
Next week, I think we’ll take a break from having themes here on a Friday Night and just have some tunes to make your weekend. Deal?