There. That’s caught you all out. The Chain on a Wednesday morning.
Don’t get used to this. I’m at a work conference this afternoon and won’t get back until late, so I figured if I didn’t get it done before then, it’d end up being another week before it appeared. So, I started writing it earlier than usual (but still a week late, if you’re being ungratefully picky).
Anyway, we’ve lots to get through this week – 63 new suggestions in total – and so, as has become usual, we’ll start off with a reminder of the source record for the week:
Yet again, one of you correctly guessed the next song in The Chain, but we’ll come to that later. Or, more specifically, at the end.
But first, where to begin? Link-wise, I can think of no finer place than with therobster from Is This The Life? although, as you will see, the first tune of the week can only be partly credited to him:
“I’ve gone down the ‘intentionally misspelled animal-related band name’ route. How about some Def Leppard? No…?”
Yes! But with no actual one-armed suggestions forthcoming from the robster, in stepped Rol from My Top Ten:
“If therobster isn’t going to suggest one, can I suggest…”
“…because it’s very silly.”
Back to therobster, who actually suggests this:
“…let’s have the Monkees. As the Beatles were from Liverpool, I reckon ‘Randy Scouse Git’ would fit well. Plus, it’s actually about a party the band went to that was hosted by The Beatles”
Now, just in case any of you were planning on pulling me up on using that sleeve, let me explain. RCA Records bosses told the band that they would not release the song with the title “Randy Scouse Git” (which, incidentally, is taken from 1960s sitcom “‘Til Death Us Do Part”), and demanded they gave it an alternate title. “Okay”, said drummer/singer Mickey Dolenz, “‘Alternate Title’ it is.”
Here’s another band that fits nicely into the category:
Now, as therobster quite right points out, The Beatles is indeed a mis-spelling, and a pun, on a group if insects, but this seems to have completely passed Kay by:
“I’m going down the insect/bug route” she announces, and then names these two tunes:
But whilst we’re on links from The Beatles to the beetles, we may as well have Mrs GMFree, who suggests: “A Beetle is a VW car which is German, so are krautrock masters Kraftwerk…”
Or, as Alan Partridge would say:
(NB. I tried to track down a video clip of just the Partridge – Kraftwerk introduction, sadly to no avail. But imagine my surprise when typing the words “alan partridge introduces kraftwerk” into Google to find that the fourth link it offers is to…The Chain #28!)
But I digress. GMFree seizes the opportunity to do the old Chain link one-two shuffle:
“Which leads me to my [next] suggestion with the recent death of Holger Czukay…”
“…which I first heard covered by The Jesus & Mary Chain, one of many bands influenced by the experimental Germans.”
And GMFree isn’t done there, providing “a Beatle link to a Captain Beefheart cover”, which contains one of the rarest sounds ever committed to record – Mark E Smith giggling:
There’s also this, of course:
Enter George (that’s an introduction, rather than a command), who suggests:
“…given that The Beatles once played on the roof of their Apple building, what about…”
Ah yes, Apple Records. Alex G picks this up and runs with it:
“‘Martha, My Dear’ is from The Beatles’ eponymous 1968 LP, their first on their own Apple Records imprint. So from one artist-owned label named after a fruit, to another: Ray Charles’ Tangerine Records. I do wonder whether the Beatles got the idea from him, though nobody else seems to think so. Anyway, let’s go for Ray Charles’ version of…”
Which is, as Alex G points out/pleads, a double linker. Points!
Time for a Magical Mystery Tour next, courtesy of Julian from Music From Magazines:
“The Beatles had a couple of names before they became famous
1. The Quarrymen
To quarry is to mine as in ‘Soul Mining’ by The The ( fill your boots)”
Don’t mind if I do.
“2. The Silver Beatles
Martha is a lady’s name
And the bloke leaning over my shoulder at the bar is called Dave, amongst other things
So let’s switch on the Magimix ™ and see what delight we get
………… and the winner is
David Soul ‘Silver Lady'”
Much as I love that record, it’s featured before, way back in The Chain #8, and as such has to be disqualified. But since GMFree has done the old Chain link one-two shuffle, I suggested Julian might want to follow suit. So, since, he’d got to David Soul, perhaps one of his other songs? Nope. That’s too straight-forward for our Julian:
“David Soul starred in a short lived TV show called ‘Casablanca’, so how about…”
I must say, I’m not in the least bit surprised that Julian has suggested a song from a film which contains the line “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”
Anyway, he’s riffing by now:
“…coincidently [Casablanca] was the record label that released…”
Having valiantly chipped in to assist therobster earlier, Rol’s back with a suggestion all his own doing:
“‘Martha My Dear’ is from The White Album. Another band who released a ‘White Album’ (following on from their Blue, Green and Red albums… even though all of them were actually just eponymous) were Weezer. From that, I’ll suggest…”
Do any other White albums spring to mind? Well, no, although there is, of course “The Whitey Album”, by Sonic Youth off-shoot Ciccone Youth (I really thought this would get suggested, especially as I posted a track from it in a recent post).
Over to Alyson from What’s It All About? to wrap up the whiteness now:
“It occurred to me that The Beatles ‘White Album’ reminds me of Mr Barry White…I can’t find any dog-related [this will get explained soon – Ed] Barry songs or ones about a girl called Martha [I think we pretty much used them all up last time – Ed] so it’ll have to be the next most appropriate for this place:”
Now, all this white stuff is all well and good, but let me draw all of your attention back to something Alex G said earlier: ‘Martha, My Dear’ is from The Beatles’ eponymous 1968 LP…” And he’s quite right: the album in question is colloquially known as ‘The White Album’ but it’s actually, officially, called ‘The Beatles’.
Which takes us back to George, who suggests a new category: “…the ‘eponymous album that wasn’t a debut’ route.” And specifically he suggest this, from Blur’s 1997 album, the fifth that they released:
I must say, this is my favourite link of all that were suggested this time. It had never occurred to me before that most acts, when releasing an eponymous album, made it their debut, presumably to double the impact of their name, get it “out there” as a recognisable brand. So I did a little digging and found these acts also released eponymous albums, but not first time around:
Yes, everyone calls their fifth album “The Black Album”, but it’s not called that, it’s called ‘Metallica’.
And at the other end of the musical spectrum, this lots’ first album was 1973’s “Ring Ring”, but it wasn’t until two years later, when they released their third album, that they released an album called…well, you can figure the rest of that sentence out for yourselves:
I sense a new series of posts coming on…
Now, remember how in her suggestion Alyson mentioned something about dogs in songs? Well that’s where we’re going next and here’s Dirk from sexyloser to explain why:
“..the title ‘Martha My Dear’ was inspired by McCartney’s Old English Sheepdog, named Martha.”
Which leads us nicely into a whole batch of songs about dogs. Sort of. But before we get to Dirk’s suggestion, here’s The Great Gog, awake at 02:31am and thinking about dogs:
“All this talk of Martha has me thinking of my one of my sister’s dogs, which goes by that moniker. Martha is a spaniel, no idea what type of spaniel though. One type is a cocker spaniel which immediately led me to thinking of…”
Relax ladies, he’s married. And dead.
Back to The Great Gog it is then:
“Another type is a King Charles spaniel. The next King Charles is still a prince, however, so I can legitimately suggest…”
The Songs (Sort Of) About Dogs category is (almost) the largest category, so strap yourself in for some canine capers. You could say that we’ve gone dog crazy, in fact:
Okay then Dirk, what have you got for us?
“Another famous Old English Sheepdog was Alfie, who starred in ‘Serpico’, so – of course – did Al Pacino. And Al Pacino will always be remembered – at least in my household – not for Serpico, but a) [for the sex scene he had with the fabulous Ellen Barkin in] ‘Sea Of Love’, the film being named after a single by Phil Phillips from 1959. I prefer The Heptones’ version from 1968 though, also we don’t have enough Rocksteady on ‘The Chain’, I’m sure you’ll agree!”
Sorry, I stopped paying attention at the mention of Ellen Barkin. (I was wondering you were linking to her surname)
What was the other thing Al Pacino is remembered for in Dirk Towers, Dirk?
“…and b) for ‘The Godfather’….So…if you have a minute The Godfathers would be appropriate…perhaps….?”
And Dirk’s not done there. Oh no:
“We could also have something by Blondie as well…‘cos contrary to what everyone thinks, the band didn’t choose their name because Debbie Harry was blonde, no, they named themselves after Adolf Hitler’s German Shepherd, Blondi (the ‘i’ – ending was generally regarded as being too uncommon for American ears, so much so that the ‘-e’ was added)!”
Which is good enough for me. Here’s the Blondie track Dirk suggested:
At which point, Walter from A few good times in my life pops in to throw this threesome into the mix:
“…if we go the ‘dog’ road there will be a lot of songs recommended, i.e….:”
And as it happens, nobody else suggested any of the three Walter mentioned, (although I had one lined up as one of my oh-so many choices) so here they are:
Ok, brace yourself. It’s time for the undisputed Worst Record of the Week award, and to
present the award here’s all round nice guy and not a white supremacist enabler at all, Sean Spicer accept the award and explain what the hell he was thinking when he sent me this suggestion is Rigid Digit from Stuff & Nonsense:
“…sticking firmly to the Dogs route (and a contender for Worst Record Of The Week)…”
Not just a contender, Rigid, but so nailed on The Worst Record Of The Week that nobody else even bothered to try to think of any more because this was so obviously unbeatable.
But first some context.
The song is about Barbara Woodhouse, a dog trainer who found celebrity status in the UK in the late 1970s/early 1980s, back when celebrities were required to have some semblance of talent (see also celebrity steeplejack Fred Dibnah). Here’s a clip to give you an idea:
And here she is, interviewing William Shatner, teaching his dogs a thing or two, and then revealing a little too much about her bedtime habits for my liking:
And here’s Rigid’s suggestion. Remember: in the world of The Barron Knights, a man putting on a ladies voice = funny:
Not that they’re alone in that belief:
And here’s two actual funny women, Rebecca Front and Joanna Scanlon, parodying Ms Woodhouse directly and subtly:
I’ll leave the last word on that Barron Knights song to Charity Chic who quipped:
“I think you missed an H out of the title.”
Rigid then goes on to mention the Dogs d’Amour, but doesn’t actually suggest a record by them. Luckily for
us him, babylotti steps in with three suggestions by the band; I’ve picked the one he cited as his favourite. Because I’m nice like that.
Relax ladies, etc. etc.
I must say I always get the Dogs d’Amour mixed up with The Quireboys. Were they around at the same time? (NB: This is a rhetorical question, the type where instead of already knowing the answer, I already know that I don’t really care.)
So let’s have some more doggy-do’s, and one which I was surprised nobody else suggested. A song which is famously about a dog, although the name in the title was changed from ‘Brandy’ in the first draft (who sounds more like a stripper than a dog, if I’m honest) to:
Count yourselves lucky I didn’t post the Boyzone version. Or the Westlife version. Whichever one of them recorded it. They’re the same thing really anyway, aren’t they?
Oh, and innuendo fans, check out the title of that B-Side. Parp!
Since we appear to be in 1970s softie ballad territory, here’s another from Rigid Digit:
“What the world needs is more acoustic guitar playing beardy blokes…”
which is debatable, but he means that as an introduction to this:
It’s no wonder that Cat Stevens changed his name. A cat admitting to loving a dog is always going to be given the cold shoulder by the feline community.
Now, I must admit that when Rigid suggested that song, I actually thought he was talking about this:
Thank goodness for The Barron Knights, or I’d have to give myself the Worst Record of the Week award now.
But it’s okay, I can turn things round. From Peter Shelley, to Pete Shelley:
(I was going to post a Buzzcocks tune and had settled for the (s)punky little burst that is ‘Orgasm Addict’, until I realised how that might look when played after the previous two songs…)
Time for another one that I was surprised nobody else came up with. The original version has featured on The Chain before, so I would have had to disqualify it. But, as with the helping hand I tried to give Julian earlier, had the original been suggested than I would doubtless have given you a nudge towards this:
One more doggy disc to go, and we’re back with Rigid Digit again. He’s relentless, isn’t he?
His final suggestion is for a record that’s “Madly brilliant, but not really essential.”
Their record label initially refused to release that, on the grounds that it was trying just a bit too hard to sound like The Small Faces. Harsh, but fair.
But as Rigid astutely concludes:
“There ain’t many songs whose last words are: ‘lovely buttocks'”
A fair point, well made. But just think of the songs which could be improved by the inclusion of those words. “God Save The Queen” springs to mind.
Speaking of which…
Often, the suggestions link from one song to another by way of one word in the title. But there wasn’t much to work on here, just three words, and one of them, Martha, was pretty much done to death last time. But there was one more song to link to that name, from Swiss Adam over at Bagging Area:
“I have a niece called Martha. Her Mum, my sister, was born in June 1977. My parents sometimes say that if she’d been born on the Queen’s jubilee day they’d have called her Jubilee. At least I think they’re joking. So [this] seems an appropriate link (Pistols obvs).”
As does this, to be fair:
Having mopped up the last of the Martha’s, we’ll edge towards the end of the song title now with a “My” or two. Or three, actually. And two of them are from me.
This being one of them:
And since it features a man and his dog (and for no other reason, honestly) here’s the video for that one too:
The other “My” suggestion comes from abramson60, who, clearly unmoved by that video, announces that he’s “got a soft spot for Joan Armatrading.”
Me: Well, if you’re suggesting that…
The Chain gang: …then you’re suggesting this:
And so on to what is the biggest grouping of songs of the week.
Surprisingly, nobody went for this:
So, where to start with this little lot. Well, let’s split them down into songs which feature the word “Dear” in the title (or prominently elsewhere in the lyrics) and, first, songs which can in some way be linked to Deer.
And, after missing last times linkage, it’s a warm welcome back to SWC, who proffers this:
“If we want to be clever…”
Look out. Julian’s back:
“I never checked the spelling and assumed Paul was singing about a ruminant mammal on his Scottish Croft . The Beatles released a b-side “Rain” and Bambi was a deer, know the song yet?
Blind Bambi… no idea
Dead blind Bambi… still no idea…?”
I must admit, I assumed at this point that Julian was about to suggest this:
(Except it’s not really the Sex Pistols, is it? It’s got Eddie Tudor-Pole on lead vocals for a start. And it’s from ‘The Great Rock’n’Roll Swindle’. And it’s title and that picture are clearly meant to shock, but it’s shocking for the sake of being shocking. Not cool.)
But no, Julian was in fact going here:
“Ok it’s the rain song from Bambi”.
This caused a little confusion at Chain HQ, as the song that Julian actually wanted was this:
…which, confusingly, was not going to be in the original film, it was going to be a song called “Rain Song”, which was ditched in favour of “…April Showers”, and which you can see/hear here:
And then, just to confuse things even further, Julian goes and suggests this:
But of course, we all know where Julian’s really heading:
“More importantly the animated video for “Is a Woman” also features falling leaves and a deer, by Lambchop of course”
But of course:
And here’s the video he mentions:
I’ve not had chance to watch that, so I’m trusting you on that one, Jules.
Ok, so that’s the deer related bunch over with, so “if we are going down the dear route”, says SWC, then “we need….”
Cheers, SWC, I’d totally forgotten about that one. Great to hear it again.
Back to GMFree now, for another couple of belters:
I have a confession to make: I’ve never seen Blade Runner. Sacrilege, I know. But it’s one of those films that everybody bangs on to me about how amazing it is that it can never live up to expectations. I guess I’d better rectify that before the new one comes out later this year, right?
Over to babylotti now, who suggests these two:
“[I’m] going to fall back on Marvin Gaye’s divorce settlement album, ‘Here My Dear’, with obvious reference to Martha my dear….I’ll suggest the title track rather than any of the singles.”
…before also doing that old Chain link one-two shuffle:
“And from there I believe I have to link to…”
And whilst we’re on great versions of classic songs, does this next one remind anyone of anything?
Anybody? No? Not even this:
Just me then.
Back to abramson60 again for his second and final submission:
“…there would be ‘Mother dear, they’re teaching me to do the goose-step’, which can be found in….”
Martin from New Amusements snuck his suggestion under the wire just in time:
“Keith Moon used to call everybody “Dear Boy” and he did a pretty fair cover of Beatles track ‘In My Life’ for his lone solo album ‘Two Sides of the Moon’ (even if it was played with too straight a bat). Anyway, a double-linker!”
A double-linker indeed. Points!
Back to Walter now, and his final two suggestions (although, granted, his first three were more mentioned in passing than actual suggestions):
“For sure, from probably Talking Heads’ last good record ‘Naked’…”
and “Another song that accompanied me since my youngest days…”
Time for C from Sun Dried Sparrows tune now, and this is an example of me saving the best ’til (almost) last; I think this is my favourite song by this lot. I love a good bracket (see?)
“I went down the ‘dear’ route too and another song whose title ends in the word ‘dear’ (there can’t be many, surely?). “Dear” is such a charming, old-fashioned word, I always thought it sounded a bit out of place for Blondie to use it but I love that they do. So I’d like to suggest…”
Now, when the suggestions start coming in, I will often have a little bet with myself as to who I think will suggest what. I’m rarely right, of course. For example, this week I was sure that Dirk would suggest this:
But he didn’t, so now I have to, just to give extra justification for me posting this:
You’re right. I can’t help myself sometimes.
Which just leaves two songs, and you’ve probably noticed that Charity Chic from Charity Chic Music has been a bit quiet this time out. Here’s why:
“My first thoughts (neither of which will be the correct answer) were…”
…which, given it’s a cover of a song from The Beatles’ “White Album” and features the word “Dear” is unquestionably a double-linker (Points!!).
And I wouldn’t be so sure about neither of your suggestions being right, CC, for you’re right on the money with your second one. The official link is, quite simply “From one Dear to another…” and the next record in The Official Chain is this:
I’d forgotten how great that record is too, as it goes.
So, CC, congratulations. A huge bag of non-existent points is winging its way to you. Hopefully that makes up for The Chain making you late for work last time. And today, too.
Ok, you know what happens now. This is the bit where I invite your suggestions, please, for songs which link to “There, There, My Dear” by Dexys Midnight Runners, along with a brief description of the link, via the Comments Section down below, in time for the next edition. Who knows when that might be.