Frankly, Halloween pisses me off.

It’s the reason that I live in a first floor flat, and also the reason I make sure my doorbell is permanently de-batteried.

But ok, if I absolutely must join in:


Dusty Springfield – Spooky

Happy now?


Now don’t throw any eggs at my windows.

More soon.


From Saturday’s Grauniad:

“The first charges have been issued in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election and possible collusion by members of the Trump campaign and arrests could be imminent, according to several reports.

I’ll just leave this here:


The Presidents of the United States of America – Peaches

Oh, and this:


Morrissey – The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get

Not forgetting this, included simply because I don’t have a song which references “It’s Mueller Time”:


Flight of the Conchords – Business Time

Sit back with the popcorn, this could be amazing.

More soon.

I’m Not Too Keen on Mondays

…especially when it’s the first Monday after the clock’s have gone back and you know winter’s almost here. 

But fear not, I know what is called for on such occasions!

A skanking version of the Dad’s Army theme tune, that’s what:

billy childish who do

Billy Childish & The Blackhands – Who Do You Think You’re Kidding Mr Hitler?

More soon.

Name That Tune

When you’re young, songs that you hear have a profound effect on you. Some will stay with you throughout your life.

As you get older, this happens less and less frequently.

So when it does happen, it deserves comment.

In 2013, I didn’t go to Glastonbury. But come Sunday afternoon, I was positioned in front of my TV, waiting for the Sunday Icon slot to begin. It was Kenny Rogers that year; you know me, I love a bit of Kenny (Rogers, not G), and so I was mightily disappointed not to be there in person.

As I waited for the coverage to start, in the BBC “studio” – actually an elevated area close to the Park Stage – Lauren Laverne and Mark Radcliffe introduced these two Swedish sisters, who proceeded to stun me in to a silent awe, the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the last time I’d watched something involving Swedish sisters, which I’d rather not go into right now.

You’ll all know this song by now (I’ve posted it before) – and if you don’t prepare to be similarly stunned – but here’s the first time I ever heard First Aid Kit’s “Emmylou”:

First Aid Kit – Emmylou (Live @ Glastonbury 2013)

Just…astonishingly beautiful.

More soon.

Panic on the Streets of London

The other week, there was much conversation on social media of the sky being a funny reddy-orangey colour in the South East of the UK.

Transpires it wasn’t the end of days at all, but a load of sand particles being blown in from the Sahara Desert.

So, y’know, nothing to worry about at all.

It did mean I had this song in my brain for hours, though:


Status Quo – Red Sky

To be honest, there’s a Quo song playing in my head 99% of the time, just turned out that this time it was bordering on relevant.

More soon.

“They’re Dead Now, Of Course.”

I mentioned Self Control in that last post, so this seems a sensible place to go next.

My boss Kay’s birthday is about a week after mine.

Since nobody else on our team a) lives locally b) drinks as much as the two of us do, or c) is considerate enough to have a birthday round about when we do, we’ll generally go the pub after work on a Friday somewhere around our respective advents for a couple of wee drinkies.

Such was the case this year, and during our increasingly drunken conversation Kay told me about a running joke (if you can call it that) she has with her friends, about people who get referenced in conversation, and at some point someone will utter the words “They’re Dead Now, Of Course.” Simple pleasures, folks.

A night or two after we went drinking I was watching the fantastically retro-facing “Top of the Pops 1984” on BBC4 and this song came on, a song I loved at the time, but which nestles quite neatly into the “They’re Dead Now, Of Course” category:


Laura Branigan – Self Control

That said, I hadn’t realised quite how dark, pervy and gimp mask-tastic the video was when I was younger…:

Still think it’s a brilliant record, mind.

More soon.

Eponymous #1

When I last could be arsed to write The Chain, I mentioned that I sensed a new series of posts coming, based on a suggestion by George.

The source record was a track from what is commonly known as The Beatles’ White Album, but which is actually called “The Beatles”.

George pointed out that this was one of those rare things: an eponymous album which wasn’t the artiste’s debut album.

I gave another couple of examples (by the usual bed-fellows, ABBA and Metallica, in case you didn’t read it) and it got me thinking.

But thinking isn’t something I’m all that good at, so I decided to look at eponymous albums, irrespective of whether or not they were the first album or not.

(Props at this point to Alex G, who also mentioned in passing that the track was from an eponymous album, but didn’t point out the oddity of it not being their first album.)

To compound my laziness, to kick things off I’m going to cheat and look at an album that isn’t named after the artiste providing the tunes at all. My blog, my rules. La La La La La can’t hear you.

I’ve talked before about how when an established artiste first piqued my interest, I would generally buy a “Best Of…” compilation to see what else I liked by them and what I should next buy by them.

Today’s choice source sort of fits that mould, but is a little different, in that by the time I bought this album, I already had their “Document” and “Green” albums safely tucked away on my racks (“Green” actually came out shortly after “Eponymous”, but it took a little while for today’s compilation to make it’s way to Rainbow Records in Pontypridd…).

To be honest, I could happily post every song from this album, but some self control is called for. So, as you will see from my selection errs towards their earlier material, which, back in 1988, with a Smiths-shaped void needing to replaced, I became borderline obsessed with. And with good reason:


R.E.M. – Radio Free Europe (Original Hib-Tone Version)

R.E.M. – Gardening at Night (Different Vocal Mix)

R.E.M. – Romance

R.E.M. – Fall On Me

And finally, of all the R.E.M. songs which I adore, this is the one that means the most to me, for reasons that I may explain sometime:

R.E.M. – (Don’t Go Back to) Rockville

More soon.

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Just to be clear, when I said a few weeks ago that this series would no longer exclusively feature Country records, I didn’t mean that Country records would no longer feature here.

So to prove that you can go back, here’s The Statler Brothers, reporting back after a school reunion, and, man, it gets bleak:


The Statler Brothers – The Class Of ’57

More soon.

When Cher’s Dream Came True

Cher once sang:

“If I could turn back time
If I could find a way
I’d take back those words that hurt you
And you’d stay.”

Well, Cher, today’s your lucky day!


Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time

“I don’t know why I did the things I did,” she added, clearly referencing the over-use of the vocoder on the assault on our ears that was “Believe”.

Tune in this time next year when I’ll be making almost exactly the same joke about either Aqua or Johnny Hates Jazz.

More soon.