The Chain #38

It’s weird how things pan out. We have various categories here, where I award points for (nobody’s counting, the points mean nothing, apart from giving a warm glow for the recipient) the following:

Worst/Cheesiest Record of the Week

Showboat Comment of the Week

The Next Record in The Official Chain

Well, this week, we have a suggestion for each of the above. All of them will receive points. Yes: one person correctly guessed the next song in The Official Chain. If I could afford Ray Winstone’s head to pop up to ask you to lay your bets “nahhhhh”, this is where he’d be.

To recap: last week, we ended up with “Bonny” by Prefab Sprout, from their “Steve McQueen” album. Plenty of food for thought there, you’d think? Well, we have the most tunes ever to get through this week, although that’s mostly because I kept thinking of new ones.

Oh and by the way, it was rather pleasing to note that absolutely nobody complained about my deliberate mistake last week, which was to omit the link for the Crazy Frog tune. My faith in humanity is almost restored.

But before we go any further, many of you will know that regular Chain Ganger Badger’s better half was Lorna was involved in a car crash last week. Needless to say, our thoughts and best wishes go out to them. Get well soon.

So where better to start than with Badger of When You Can’t Remember Anything‘s suggestions:

“Beans often come from sprouts so how about something by Sunflower Bean? Tame Impala perhaps…”

Yes, that’s Tame Impala by Sunflower Bean, rather that Sunflower Bean by Tame Impala. As it says on their Bandcamp page: “Tame Impala wrote a song called Led Zeppelin and now they have a song named after them.” You can’t fault their logic.

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Sunflower Bean – Tame Impala

“Or,” continues Badger, “cabbages are basically big sprouts so how about ‘Uber Capitalist Death Trade’ by them.”

Coincidentally, an album I picked up earlier this week:

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Cabbage – Uber Capitalist Death Trade

I feel a catchphrase coming on. If Badger’s suggesting that, then I’m suggesting this:

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Teenage Fanclub – The Cabbage

Badger and I weren’t the only ones to go down the vegetable route; here, with the first of several suggestions is Jules from Music from Magazines:

“Joanna Newsome has a fine number called ‘The Sprout and The Bean'”

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Joanna Newsom – Sprout And The Bean

And here’s The Great Gog:

“I feel that this is as good a time as any to mention Jasper Carrott and Funky Moped, although I think that a fair proportion of its sales were down to the inclusion of the non-musical Magic Roundabout on the flip side.”

You’re probably right, GG, so let’s stick with the A-Side which is, by the way, the Worst Record of the Week:

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Jasper Carrott – Funky Moped

There you go, that’s your five portions of vegetables sorted out for today. A reward for finishing off all of your Brussel Sprouts is deserved; here’s Jasper with a classic routine:

Of course, Brussels also leads us to Europe, and to Belgium. Here’s Michael:

“Brussels being the capital of Belgium….Arno is a legend, in Europe often singing in English , ‘Les Yeux de ma Mère’ is a beautiful song , so you could also argue the bonnie link.”

You could, but you really don’t need to:

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Arno – Les Yeux de ma Mère

And since we’re in Belgium, here’s Charity Chic from Charity Chic Music:

“Plastic Bertrand is the only Belgian singer I’m aware of….”

What, you haven’t heard of Arno before, CC…..? Care to nominate a song by the most famous Belgian (after Hercule Poirot and Jan Vertonghen, both of whom would have done better than our actual defence did yesterday).

“I only know the obvious one…”

Me too, as it goes. So here it is:

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Plastic Bertrand – Ça Plane Pour Moi

Unsurprisingly, there was a whole load of suggestions linking to Bonnie. First out of the bag is The Great Gog, again:

“It’s not too much of a leap to Supertramp and their song, Bonnie, which I would imagine will be among the contenders for worst song of the week.”

Nope, but you’ve already won that gong, so no worries:

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Supertramp – Bonnie

In a normal week, the next suggestion, from George, would win the Comment Showboat of the Week. Not this week though, oh no:

“Using the song title, Bonny, to the name Bonnie, which leads to child star of the 70s Bonnie Langford, who appeared on a TV show with Lena Zavaroni, one of Rothesay’s famous exports, and there is no way I’m suggesting ‘Mama He’s Making Eyes At Me’, NO WAY, because I am linking from Bonnie Langford to Jon Langford, founder member of The Mekons, and to the song ‘Prince Of Darkness’, who seems to be having a rare old time at the moment in the UK and the USA. (The Prince of Darkness, that is, not Jon Langford)”

See that? Biting satire as well a great suggestion:

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The Mekons – Prince Of Darkness

Over to SWC from When You Can’t Remember Anything next, who is also “going down the Bonny route” which definitely sounds like a euphemism.

“I’ll start with ‘Anne Bonny’ by Death Grips”

(Warning: contains swears.)

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Death Grips – Anne Bonny

Next up is Martin from New Amusements:

“The obvious temptation with Bonny is to go the Tyler route, but who likes obvious when there’s the Bonnie Raitt route, maybe with ‘Something To Talk About’.”

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Bonnie Raitt – Something To Talk About

Time for The Robster from Is This The Life? with a bit of a history lesson:

“The only thing I’m coming back to is ‘My Bonnie’, the 1961 debut single by Tony Sheridan. He was backed on this by some young upstarts called The Beat Brothers (as the label credited them). Apparently they went on to become quite famous under a slightly different name…”

No points for knowing who that is, of course.

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Tony Sheridan & The Beat Brothers – My Bonnie

A couple of suggestions linking to the same artiste now, once as “featuring…” and once in his own right. Let’s take Jules’ next suggestion first:

“Bonnie Prince Billy ‘We are Unhappy’ (the version from ‘Singers Grave – A Sea Of Tongues’ please)”

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Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – We Are Unhappy

…followed by another one from SWC:

“From Bonny to ‘Prince’ Bonnie and Hot Chip’s rather lovely ‘I Feel Bonnie’.”

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Hot Chip feat. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – I Feel Bonnie

Time to welcome back The Beard, who pinches one off my toes:

“Bonnie was one of the Blue Peter dogs. She was a golden retriever. Golden Retriever is a Super Furry Animals number.”

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Super Furry Animals – Golden Retriever

But The Beard isn’t finished just there:

“…and from Bonnie the Blue Peter dog to Roachford’s ‘Cuddly Toy’ via Alan Partridge…”

I’m going to end up posting this every week, aren’t I…?

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Roachford – Cuddly Toy

There was a distinctly outlawish theme to a few of the suggestions; step forward Lynchie:

“Bonny made me think more of one of Billy The Kid’s aliases – William H. Bonney – so I’d like to put in a good word for Joe Ely’s ‘Me and Billy the Kid’.”

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Joe Ely – Me And Billy The Kid

In the movie ‘Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid’, the Kid is played by one Kris Kristofferson, who regular readers will know is a hero of mine, so here’s one by him:

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Kris Kristofferson – Jody And The Kid

Many of you weren’t content at simply linking to Bonnie, plumping for songs which reference, or are just plain about, famous outlaws Bonnie and Clyde. Here’s another one of mine to kick this batch off:

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Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames – The Ballad Of Bonnie & Clyde

Others to link to the dastardly duo were The Robster:

“Just remembered… ‘’97 Bonnie & Clyde’ by Eminem…” 

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Eminem – ’97 Bonnie and Clyde

“Or maybe Tori Amos’ cover of it….”

Or both?

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Tori Amos – ’97 Bonnie & Clyde

Then there’s Walter from A Few Good Times in my Life who offers this:

“I take the gangster road…in 1996 German punk band Die Toten Hosen released a song called ‘Bonnie and Clyde’.”

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Die Toten Hosen – Bonnie & Clyde

But of course, no round up of songs about Bonnie & Clyde would be complete without this one, as suggested by Swiss Adam from Bagging Area:

“Bonny>>> ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ by Serge Gainsbourg.”

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Serge Gainsbourg – Bonnie And Clyde

Serge was, of course, a randy old sod, as Whitney Houston once found out:

At which point, Rol from My Top Ten chips in:

“Two of my three Bonnie & Clyde suggestions have now come up… But where the hell is the third, arguably most obvious, one???”

But before he has chance to clarify, Michael reappears:

“You must be referring to the Steve Wynn and Johnette Napolitano version…”

This one?

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Steve Wynn – Bonnie & Clyde

Anyway, Rol’s suggestion:

“Bruce Springsteen also recorded his own Bonnie & Clyde song… Nebraska.”

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Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska

Okay, are you all sitting comfortably? Good, because I’m about to go off on a bit of a tangent, and hog the limelight for….oooh…the next five songs.

In the movie about the outlaws Bonnie & Clyde, pithily titled “Bonne and Clyde” Bonnie was played by Faye Dunaway, and Clyde was played by Warren Beatty. Beatty may, or may not have been the subject of this record:

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Carly Simon – You’re So Vain

He also played the lead in 1978’s multi-Oscar nominated “Heaven Can Wait”…

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Meat Loaf – Heaven Can Wait

…and 1975’s (not multi-) Oscar nominated “Shampoo

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Shampoo – Trouble

Faye Dunaway used to be married to Peter Wolf, lead singer with the J. Geils Band:

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J. Geils Band – Centerfold

…and she starred in 1968’s “The Thomas Crown Affair”, which won the Oscar for Best Original Song for this:

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Noel Harrison – The Windmills of Your Mind

And, of course, her co-star in The Thomas Crown affair was one Steve McQueen, which is, of the course, the name of the album that this week’s source record comes from.

(If I could award myself the Comment Showboat of the Week for that little lot, I would. Guess I’d better give it to one of you lot instead. Harumph.)

Go on then George, do your stuff:

“From Steve McQueen to Alexander McQueen, the designer, whose partner was George Forsyth, which is also the name of a long dead American General, and also of a Peruvian footballer. And also from Peru was Daniel Alomia Robles, who wrote the song El Condor Pasa, which was made famous by Simon And Garfunkel as ‘El Condor Pasa (If I Could)’.”

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Simon And Garfunkel – El Condor Pasa (If I Could)

Here’s The Beard, back for another go:

“Shaun Ryder cribbed the opening to the Happy Mondays’ ‘Step On’ (“You’re twistin’ my melon, man…”) from a documentary about Steve McQueen. ‘Step On’ is, of course, a cover of a John Kongos number that I believe has featured on these pages before [it hasn’t, so we could have it…] Happy Mondays also covered Kongos’ Tokoloshe Man. So that instead, please.”

Fair enough. This featured on “Rubáiyát”, which was released to mark record label Elektra’s 40th Anniversary:

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Happy Mondays – Tokoloshe Man

Back to Rol now, who reveals he is currently working on a Top ten of songs about, or mentioning, Steve McQueen, and suggests this:

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Gil Scott-Heron -The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Time to check in on Jules again, who suggest a Lambchop song for the second week running (this is not a criticism, by the way):

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Lambchop – Steve McQueen

Oh, and Jules, sorry but I can’t use your fourth and final suggestion, as it has already featured in a previous Chain post. Sorry!

Anyway, other films starring Steve McQueen include “Bullitt” so here’s Swiss Adam’s other suggestion:

“Steve McQueen takes us to the jazzy soundtrack to ‘Bullitt’ by Lalo Schiffrin”

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Lalo Schifrin – Bullitt (Main Title)

Rigid Digit from Stuff & Nonsense picks up the theme:

“Bullitt features probably the greatest cinematic car chase….”

He means this, of course:

…which leads to his next suggestion:

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Madness – Driving in My Car

…and leads me to suggest this:

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Deep Purple – Speed King

Want other Steve McQueen films? Rigid’s got ’em:

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The Clash – The Magnificent Seven

…which leads me to suggest this, from the 1995 charity compilation album ‘Help: A Charity Project for the Children of Bosnia’:

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One World Orchestra – The Magnificent

In case you don’t know, that’s actually The KLF, who seem to be on the brink of a comeback…

Another McQueen film? The Great Escape. Back to you, Rigid:

“…something from the Blur album perhaps, or a convoluted reference to the Blur/Oasis race for number 1 and the suggestion of Oasis’ ‘Roll With It’…?” 

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Oasis – Roll With It

Okay, where shall we go next? I know, let’s have some suggestions relating to Prefab Sprout themselves, and to kick things off, here’s Alyson from What’s It All About, Alfie?

“I always thought that their ’88 hit ‘King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ was called ‘Albuquerque’ as the word comes up so often in the lyrics – Whenever watching the TV show Breaking Bad which was set in Albuquerque I thought of the song ‘A Horse With No Name’ by America (from Ruislip) and sure enough it popped up in the third season (and is my suggestion for this week). A tenuous double link is that the America band members back in the early ’70s would have worn the fashionable trouser of the day – loon pants – and Prefab Sprout’s main man was of course Paddy McAloon!”

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America – A Horse With No Name

Next up, here’s The Swede from Unthought of, though, somehow:

“The prefab is a kind of house, so I’ll go with ‘My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains’ by Captain Beefheart. Such a beautiful song.”

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Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band – My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains

Remember Michael suggesting Arno right back at the start of this week’s post? Here’s his other suggestion:

“Prefab being an abbreviation for prefabricated makes me think of boys bands so why not something by The Monkees: ‘I’m a Believer’.”

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The Monkees – I’m a Believer

And on the subject of prefabs, here’s Alex G from We Will Have Salad:

“I should go from something by Prefab Sprout to the *original* Prefab Four, i.e. The Rutles, but I’m not actually familiar with their output. ‘Cheese and Onions’ is a mildly infamous song of theirs, though, so I’ll go with that.”

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The Rutles – Cheese And Onions

Now, we’ve had numerous links to Steve McQueen, the album that the source record features on, but what about other albums by Prefab Sprout?

“Prefab Sprout’s next album was ‘From Langley Park to Memphis’ and one of the singles from it was aforementioned ‘King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’. Elvis of course was the KORNR and he lived in Memphis so an alternative suggestion is ‘Walking in Memphis’ by Cher (as she dressed up as Elvis on ‘Top of the Pops’ back in the day).”

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Cher – Walking in Memphis

And what about the album after that….? Over to Martin again:

“‘Protest Songs’ … which is all the excuse I need to pitch ‘The Internationale’ by Billy Bragg, and hope that it scores extra points for being more relevant now than ever.”

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Billy Bragg – The Internationale

No extra points, I’m afraid Martin, but I will take this opportunity to nudge you in the direction of Swiss Adam’s Bagging Area, where he has just finished posting a week of protest songs. Worth a visit, in my opinion.

Anyway, that’s your lot for this week. Except, a little while ago, Rigid Digit mentioned the Steve McQueen film and Blur album “The Great Escape”, but didn’t actually nominate a song from said album. Magnanimous host that I am, I asked him if he had one particular song in mind:

“My choice would be the peerless ‘The Universal’ (despite it’s continuing usage on the British Gas advert)”

Can’t argue with that:

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38. Blur – The Universal

And that, as you will have gathered by the number craftily placed at the start, is the next record in The Official Chain, so congratulations, and bonus points, to Rigid Digit.

So, your suggestions, please, for songs which link to “The Universal” by Blur, along with a brief description of the link, via the Comments Section down below, in time for next Sunday’s edition.

Oh, and more soon, of course.

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Published by

Jez

On Twitter: @atastehistory or me (where you're more likely to get a reply and a follow back): @jezbionic or by email at: dubioustaste26@gmail.com

43 thoughts on “The Chain #38”

  1. It has to be something off Universal Audio the final album by The Delgados
    I Fought the Angels would do rather nicely I feel

  2. No, actually, the Bonnie & Clyde song I was thinking of was your suggestion, Jez: Georgie Fame. The Steve Wynn song is very cool though.

    OK, this week…

    Suggestion that needs no explanation: Mr. Blur by Tom Verlaine

    Suggestion that leads a little more explanation: Blur used to be called Seymour. I’m sure someone will link to the obvious song from that (the one about a record company boss), so I’ll point us towards the character of Seymour in the movie The Little Shop of Horrors and suggest the song Feed Me, Seymour as sung by the killer plant Audrey II (aka Levi Stubbs from The Four Tops).

  3. My link comes in the form of British Gas adverts. The Universal was, as you point out, used in an ad campaign for British Gas. So was More Than A Feeling by Boston, which despite ticking all the middle-of-the-road 70s AOR boxes, is a damn fine tune and one I always find myself playing air guitar to. True!

    Another gem from the British Gas archive is the wonderful Rescue Me by Fontella Bass which cannot fail to give everyone a lift on a Monday morning.

  4. Well seeing as we’re all commenting on The Universal, Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ Universally Speaking would seem apt.
    As Rol has mentioned Seymour, the track that I always think of when I hear Blur’s previous name is Read About Seymour by Swell Maps.
    And finally – The Great Escape album from which The Universal is taken also includes a song called Top Man. When I was younger (and a little less Great) I used to venture into Manchester and frequent a store of that name, and occasionally even buy something. Having done this, my then-significant other would drag me to where she wanted to buy stuff – Chelsea Girl. Obviously the title of a song by Simple Minds, but also referenced on Mighty Mighty’s Is There Anyone Out There? Which sort of links back to matters universal.

  5. Must say I’m starting to like mondays.
    First thoughts, Blur taken as unclear leads me to Lindisfarne and Fog on the Tyne, or maybe when everything clears Jimmy Cliff I Can See Clearly Now. Having said all of that I would much prefer to offer up Dr Phibes and the House of Wax Equations (any brownie points for extra long band names?) and Hazy Lazy Hologram, link being obvious and in hazy, and everyone loves drug induced music, don’t they?
    Universe would automatically take be down the space road, could have Liz Phair and Supernova, or another of my pet favorites Julian Cope and Spacehopper not forgetting that he went on to become the nations favorite spaced out artist.
    Sticking with universe, Rocky Horror Picture Show had long lasting and profound influence on the somewhat naive 16 year old me who first saw the film at the tail end of the 70’s. So my pick is I’m Going Home, not quite sure where to but somewhere in the outer reaches of space.

  6. I’m sorry, but after this latest Chain, I’m going to have to lie down with a damp cloth on my forehead.
    Before I go, I have to get all pedantic and point out that “Nebraska” was about Charles Starkweather who murdered 11 people on what the popular press refer to as “a killing spree”. Aside from Bruce’s album opener, there have been several songs about Starkweather, including (I was gobsmacked to discover) the 1965 Del Shannon song “Keep Searchin’ (We’ll Follow The Sun)” which – allegedly – was a fictional love-letter written from Starkweather to his 14 year old girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate and is based on testimony from his trial.

    1. Yeah, I should have been more specific in the wording of my suggestion. “Nebraska features a Bonnie & Clyde-style couple of who on a murderous rampage” or somesuch… Sometimes it’s easy to get lazy and assume the fount of all knowledge (Jez) will be able to make sense of my mumbled utterances.

      Didn’t know the Del Shannon tune though – thanks for that!

  7. Afternoon swc here.
    I’ll do both universals and blurs today if you like. I’ll start with universal beings size of an elephant and come back to you all later.
    Mrs Badger doing well too. I’ll update the wycra page on weds.

  8. Driving today, playing a glam cd, I found myself doing an Alan Partridge to Teenage Rampage by The Sweet. Anyway, a chain suggestion: Damon Albarn was/is also in a band called Gorillaz, and gorillas are in a branch of primates, as are monkeys, leading to Monkey On My Back by The Triffids (from the Field of Glass EP). I think the song is not actually about monkeys.

  9. The Universal includes the lines:
    “And to karaoke songs,
    We like to sing along,
    Although the words are wrong”

    So .. mondegreens (misheard lyrics) and possibly the most well known:
    “Scuse me while I kiss this guy”

    Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze

  10. Second go. Alex James is/was a member of Blur. Another Alex is Alex Harvey, so the song is from the first Sensational Alex Harvey Band album “Farmed”, and The Hammer Song.

  11. Since I’ve been well beaten to the Small Faces’ Universal (shame – love that song), instead let’s go down the route of the Blur track’s British Gas-based ubiquity, all the excuse we need to have Jumpin’ Jack Flash by The Rolling Stones, since that tells us “it’s a gas, gas, gas.”

    Of course The Universal includes a line about “satellites in every home” so we could go with that, enabling Satellite by The Hooters, Satellite of Love by Lou Reed or Sleeping Satellite by Tamsin Archer. Or Telstar, by The Tornados, I guess.

    Which is all well and good, but I’d rather suggest a song I really like. So returning to the gas connection allows me to pitch the much-less-played It’s A Gas by The Wedding Present. Any excuse to get the Gedge out, after all.

  12. Probably not a contender for showboard comment of the week, but because not enough good German music is being featured on these pages, I’d like to (follow Alex G’s film studio – theme and) link to Die Sterne – ‘Universal Tellerwäscher’ from 1994 …. which in fact is a mighty record indeed!

  13. Alex James is in Blur but whilst he is not doing that he schmoozes up to his famous neighbours David Cameron and Jeremy Clarkson. He also pretends to make cheese which gives us a lovely link to ‘Gorgonzola’ by Leslie Sarony.
    Or Damon Albarn was the boyfriend of Justice Frischmann of Elastica. So let’s have Stutter from them.

  14. All this talk of Alex James’s cheese behooves me to suggest Copy Cats by The Humdrum Express, which features the lines…

    “I read a Jamie Oliver’s Feastival review
    Where ex-Top Gear presenters jumped the queue
    To a sign publicising ageing sleaze
    But it was Alex James’s aptly named new cheese”

    (It also features the line “More Betty Than Swervedriver”, which I’m half thinking of stealing to rename my blog.)

    As I already had it on g drive, I sent you a link to save you the job of searching for it.

  15. Blur’s drummer is Dave Rowntree. He shares his surname with the confectioners Rowntree. They are based in York and created the KitKat. York City’s Bootham Crescent ground was for a period renamed KitKat Crescent. Crystal Crescent is a track by Primal Scream amd nothing to do with chocolate or the city of York.

  16. Not quite sure what the rules are if there any concerning the chain. Seeing as this popped into my head earlier today and it being 15 feb I couldn’t resist. So here goes.
    Blur’s singer is Damon Albarn who is the son of Keith Albarn, who once managed Soft Machine, whose drummer Robert Wyatt went onto have a solo career, recording Shipbuilding which as we all know was written by Elvis Costello, who took part in the Red Wedge tours along side Billy Bragg. So my suggestion has to be Valentines Day Is Over.
    Of course I could have found easier ways to get from A to B…. both played Glastonbury, both brought up in Essex, I saw them both at Primavera in 2007, I’m sure there are many more, but I thought the long winded way much more fun!

    1. Hello and welcome. I very nearly posted this at midnight last night but thought better if it (i.e. couldn’t be arsed). Re: rules for The Chain, there are some, I’ll go over them again on this week’s post, but your suggestion ticks all the boxes required to be accepted

  17. I did have one more up my sleeve, but left it in case anyone else came up with it – they haven’t , so here goes. Blur’s lead singer is D. Albarn. Shuffling one of those letters to the left a bit allows me to type Dr. Alban, the early 90’s hitmaker who made such a lasting impression on me that I can only recall one of his tunes – It’s My Life.

  18. Ah well here we go
    Blur did a song “Beetlebum”
    The Beatles did a song “Across The Universe”
    Laibach did a version of “Across The Universe”
    Laibach nailed “Sympathy For The Devil”

    (The 7.52 version please)

    But I assume you have already used this
    As a backup

    “Jesus Christ Superstar”

  19. After all my suggestions are done by others I will go a different way. Universal is also a music label distributing music of various and different artists. So I suggest Tom Petty with You don’t know how it feels – otherwise the opposite of universe might be the underground . So there is another opinion for the chain with The Jam and Going Underground

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