The Chain #10

I need to think of a new way to open these posts other than saying “So I left you last week with *insert name here* record and asked you to suggest songs that linked to it”.

But until I do, you’ll have to make do with this:

So, I  left you last week with “The River” by Bruce Springsteen and asked you to suggest songs that linked to it. This week, I’m simply going to post them in the order that I received them.

So, as with most weeks, first out of the traps was George who said:

“The Springsteen album The River has a track called Fade Away. And Buddy Holly wrote and sang Not Fade Away.”


Buddy Holly – Not Fade Away

Next up, The Swede, with a typically classy link:

“I was born (and spent the first 15 years of my life) in Walthamstow. When I was a young lad, Dad would often take me for a Sunday afternoon stroll along the nearby River Lea. In my memory it was always a glorious adventure, but a few recently rediscovered photos taken at the time tell a different story – the river and the old buildings along the bank were in a pretty sorry state back then, though I believe there has been a massive regeneration of the area in recent years.

But I digress. I’d like to go from ‘The River’ to the River Lea to Jim Lea and ‘When the Lights Are Out’ from ‘Old New Borrowed and Blue’, which was his first ever lead vocal on a Slade track.”


Slade – When The Lights Are Out

I don’t know about you, but I can no longer hear a Slade tune without thinking of this:

Slade in Flame, indeed.

Next up, Charity Chic:

“Not sure I can top the Swede but The River to River Deep Mountain High to the Mountain by Steve Earle and the Del McCoury Band to Duke of Earl by Darts to Darts of Pleasure by Franz Ferdinand.”


Franz Ferdinand – Darts of Pleasure

I can’t really ignore the mention of “River Deep Mountain High”, now can I? But since I very much enjoyed watching Ronnie Spector’s set at Glastonbury over the weekend (if you have access to the BBC iPlayer, seek it out), I’m going to plump for the Phil Spector produced version by Ike & Tina Turner:


Ike & Tina Turner – River Deep, Mountain High

Which leads me rather nicely on to a suggestion I received that wasn’t via the Comments at the bottom of last week’s post. My boss, Kay, was talking to me at the start of the week, and suggested something called “Rolling on the River”, by which it transpires she meant this (although I think she wanted the Tina Turner version):


Creedence Clearwater Revival – Proud Mary

Which, it turns out is a double link, referencing not just the river, but also Mary.

Final suggestion time, and this week, it’s from The Great Gog, who also goes with name of the heroine in Springsteen’s track as the link:

“‘The River’ was released in 1980 and mentions a girl called Mary. Another song released in 1980, mentioning someone of that name is Robert Palmer’s ‘Johnny And Mary’.”


Robert Palmer – Johnny & Mary

Which just leaves my choice, and, since you know I have no shame, I’m going to post a song which references both a river, and Mary, who, it would seem comes to a somewhat stickier end than any of the other Marys mentioned so far. Oh, and there’s also the fact that the story told takes place in Nebraska, which was of course the name of a Springsteen album.

You might ask: What’s so shameless about that?

Well, my suggestion this week is by Richard Marx:


Richard Marx – Hazard

(Go on, admit it. That’s alright really, isn’t it?)

Oh, and great though all of the other suggestions were this week, I win, with an unprecedented triple link choice.

And so to the admin task of posting the song that BBC Radio 2 listeners suggested to link to Springsteen’s song, and I imagine many of you will know what the link between the two songs was:


The Rembrandts – I’ll Be There For You

(And if you don’t know the link between Springsteen and The Rembrandts’ “I’ll Be There For You”, there’s a bit of a clue in that picture).

So, as usual, your suggestions please for what we can play next week that links to The Rembrandts’ “I’ll Be There For You”; you can either leave them in the Comments below, or just shout across the desk at work.

More soon.


It’s not often (okay, it’s the first time) I get a late submission, but this just came through from Marie who said:

“I probably have this game all wrong, but “The River” led me to “One More River To Cross” by The Soul Stirrers (featuring Sam Cooke.)”

Well, you have the game pretty much right, just a week late. But since it’s a ladies prerogative to be late (and since it would be churlish of me to decline the chance to post some sweet, sweet Sam Cooke) I’ll let it slide:


Sam Cooke with The Soul Stirrers – One More River to Cross

More soon.

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Today, another song I found out about courtesy of the Evan Dando gig I went to last year.

Dave Dudley  has the least rock’n’roll name in history, especially if you say it in the way that people from Dudley, Birmingham, would.

He was an American country singer best known for his truck-driving country anthems of the 1960s and 1970s, and today’s selection is perhaps – no, not perhaps, definitely – his best known song:


Dave Dudley – Six Days on the Road

That was released in 1963, and there’s more than a hint of Elvis about some of the lyrical delivery, isn’t there?

That’s the original version, where he refers to “…taking little white pills…”, a reference to the stimulants some truckers used to keep driving when they needed sleep. Some re-recordings of the song replace these words with a reference to looking at the white lines on the road.

I’m not sure White Lines is quite the safe reference the censors were hoping for; 20 years later, this came out:


Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel – White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It)

That’s your actual country/hip-hop linkeage, right there. Happy to report, it’s that standard of links (actually, better than that, if I’m honest) that y’all keep suggesting for my The Chain thread that makes that particular thread such a pleasure to do. Check in later to see what’s been suggested today. If you like. No pressure.

Nope, it’s no good. I can’t mention that without also mentioning “Shaun of the Dead”, surely the best rom-zom-com film ever:

I always remember Hel and I dancing to that at the first of the two Southport Weekenders that we went to, both singing along to it like it was 1983 again. I, of course, being the (slightly) bassier of the two took the “Baby” line, which left me with little to do but cut a mean carpet for the rest of the time.

(Disclaimer: I do not cut a mean carpet)

Anyway: Dave Dudley. Tune, right?

And yes, that Evan Dando gig was one hell of a gig. I haven’t finished with referencing it yet, by the way.

More soon.

Late Night Stargazing

A few years ago, a friend of mine was having a really rough time. I’ll not go into details about who or why, but they were down, depressed, and it broke my heart to see them that way.

So I did the only thing I could think of to help, and what I did will come as no surprise to you: I made them a mix CD of songs that I hoped would cheer them up.

Tonight’s song was the first track on there.


R.E.M. – Why Not Smile (Oxford American Version)

After the events of the past few days, I figured I should take my own advice. It’s either that, or cry, or give myself a heart attack getting angry. Of the three, smiling’s the best option, right?

More soon.