New Mood on Monday

Apologies for the absence of any posts for over a week; contrary to popular belief, I wasn’t busy trying to rustle up 100 supportive Tory MPs, rather I was away this weekend and didn’t have time to write anything before I set off on Friday morning.

I actually spent the weekend meeting up with my old group of friends, some of whom I’ve not seen since before lockdown, in a massive house in East Sussex.

The venue was amazing: set in what seemed to be endless acres of land, with a swimming pool, a tennis court (not that I used either), enough rooms that all the kids could attend and play with each other without disturbing the adults unduly, a massive open-plan kitchen/dining area with bluetooth speakers set into the ceiling – a perfect place for drinking and dancing to take place. Suffice it to say, we had a really great weekend.

The reason we were meeting up? It was to celebrate the first from the gang to join me in the 50+ club. They shall remain nameless, since I’m fairly sure they wouldn’t want their age to be announced here.

Because of the magnificence of the venue, I’ve had just one song on my mind all weekend to post on my return:

Blur – Country House

That was, of course, the single which won the Blur vs Oasis battle to top the UK singles chart in 1995. It was up against Oasis’s Roll With It, a song which earned the band the nickname Quoasis, which briefly made them a little more appealing to me.

But let’s me honest, neither of them were the finest moment in either band’s career.

I’m sure I’ve said it before on these pages, but I never really bought into the idea that you had to pick one or the other, that allegiance had to be shown, that it was forbidden for anyone to like both.

As it happens, I bought both singles on the week of release, possibly trying to get a reaction out of the girl working at Our Price in Cardiff. I refused to be pigeon-holed, although it may be telling that I bought each in a different format: Blur on CD single, Oasis on cass-single.

Anyway, Happy 50th Hel!

(Oopsies!)

More soon.

New Mood on Monday

Anniversary time again as this, these words that you’re reading right now, are the opening sentence in my 2000th post.

And what better way to mark the occasion, and to give you the pick-me-up you didn’t know you needed until you realised it’s Monday morning, than this:

Pulp – Disco 2000

More soon

New Mood on Monday

Had today’s uplifting tune actually contained the word ‘summer’ in its title as opposed to in the name of the super-group (and I use the term advisedly and correctly), then it would undoubtedly have made it on to the mix I recently prepared for JC’s place.

But it doesn’t, so it didn’t.

However, this record – where the mighty Ted Chippington, The Nightingales and We’ve Got a Fuzzbox and We’re Gonna Use It! (before they became just Fuzzbox and started having actual hits) unite, Avengers-style – remains a favourite which cannot help but leave me in a better mood than I was before it started playing:

The Vindaloo Summer Special – Rockin’ with Rita (Head to Toe)

More soon.

New Mood on Monday

Sometimes an uplifting tune to post in this series just falls into my lap. And such is the case today.

This morning’s upbeat start to the week is an instrumental hit from 1982, and it crossed my radar recently:

Pigbag – Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag

The reason it crossed my radar was because it’s recently become a crowd sing-a-long with newly added, very relevant, very irreverent (NSFW warning) words:

And here’s Jamie Webster (no, me neither) leading his audience in a chorus of it at this year’s Glastonbury:

And finally, some Celtic fans having some fun:

Now, whatever you may think about the political sentiment behind the newly-added lyrics, you will have to agree it’s better than singing “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn” along to the White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army.

More soon.

New Mood on Monday

Following on from the Lionesses glorious, wonderful and uplifting victory in the Women’s Euro 22 final, there’s only one tune to play here this morning.

No, not Sweet Caroline, despite a highlight of the post-match celebrations being winning goal scorer Chloe Kelly breaking off an interview to race across, microphone still in hand, to join her team-mates when it got played in the stadium.

Not Rockin’ All Over the World either, despite it also being played over Wembley’s PA system before and after the match (the first time, host Gaby Logan threw to a video piece with the words “Status Quo are on, time to go”, which didn’t exactly endear her to me; had she said “Status Quo are on, time to go-whoa!” I probably wouldn’t have minded).

No, in the very video piece in question, there was footage of the England Team in the changing room, singing this morning’ selection, and my mind was made up as to what to post today:

Ike & Tina Turner – River Deep, Mountain High

NB: I know I’ve definitely posted this tune in this series before, but it was over two years ago, so what the heck: it’s a great record as long, as you can over-look that it’s co-performed by a wife beater and produced and co-written by a convicted murderer.

Enjoy!

More soon.

New Mood on Monday

I mentioned in Friday’s post that I had done a summery mix which JC over at The Vinyl Villain had been kind enough to post.

In the bit which he wrote to accompany my mix, JC (unintentionally, I’m sure) shamed me by saying that I post “daily”. I wish that were true; I have nowhere near the discipline to keep daily posts going on such a regular basis, although it does happen every now again.

So, in the spirit of our actually regular uplifting Monday morning post, I figured I would be positive this week, and try and post something every day. And then see how long I could keep it up for (as the vicar said to the etc etc etc).

But what to write about? Well, as you know, I love doing playlists, mixes, call them what you will. And, whilst I shy away from doing fully-themed ones on my Friday night posts, I do enjoy the challenge of preparing an hour-long mix of tunes with a common thread running between the songs contained therein.

However, when preparing a themed mix, it is very easy to get lost in the challenge, and include songs simply because they fit the criteria you have set yourself for the playlist in question, irrespective of whether they “work” or not.

I’m sure you all know what I mean, but I fear I’m not explaining myself very well.

Let me give you an example: the summery mix of mine which JC kindly posted last week was supposed to be a load of songs which contained the word “sun” in the title. A simple enough task: search iTunes for such songs, bang the good ones in a playlist, fiddle around with the running order, and Bob is indeed your uncle.

Having done that, you realise that you have included songs which are great, have the word “sun” in the title, but aren’t particularly appropriate. And that you have omitted songs which would be perfect for the playlist, but don’t fit the criteria.

So: I wanted to include Patio Song by Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, Legal Man by Belle & Sebastian and Squeeze’s Pulling Mussels (From The Shell), none of which, the more astute amongst you will have noticed, have the word “sun” in the title.

The “songs with sun in the title” idea swiftly got binned.

For the rest of the of the week, then, I’ll be posting songs which did have “sun” in the title, but which got bumped from the playlist in favour of tunes which were…well, not better, just fitted better.

(Better, I mean better.)

Starting here, with what was supposed to be the opening tune in the playlist. I could have plumped for the Hair Original Stage Cast version, or even Andy Williams’s smooth easy listening take, but in the end I’d plumped for 5th Dimension’s go at it:

The 5th Dimension – Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In

Now, one of the reasons that got bumped was because the whole Aquarius bit at the start didn’t sit with the rest of the theme. If only there were a version which omitted that….

Count your lucky stars I didn’t remember this, which I actually bought at the time (in my defence: it reminded me of a great night out which wasn’t spoiled by this cheese-fest getting played):

Milk & Sugar – Let The Sunshine

More (playlist rejects) soon.

New Mood on Monday

With severe heatwave warnings looming over the country, I figured it was about time I posted something summery as our uplifting tune of the week.

But what to choose? There are so many.

And so, seeking inspiration, I typed the word “hot” into the search function on iTunes, sat back and waited.

My eyes fell upon not a song with the word “hot” in the title, but a band with it in instead. A song which I first heard on a punk and new wave cassette called Sounds of the Suburbs which I borrowed from the same library I mentioned a couple of weeks ago (here), and which I suspect is the same compilation as JC mentioned in passing over at his place recently, when writing about one of the greatest singles ever (fact!).

Once my eyes had alighted upon the tune, my mind was made up about what was going to feature today. Okay, it’s not even slightly summery – although I imagine it sounds great driving round in a convertible, roof down, stereo on, like what they do in the films – but it most definitely sends out the requisite positive message to get your week started.

Here you go:

Eddie & The Hot Rods – Do Anything You Wanna Do

Stay safe and cool folks.

More soon.

New Mood on Monday

Over the weekend, I fell into a YouTube wormhole and spent waaaay more time than I had planned watching old clips of Rik Mayall performing and being very very funny indeed. So funny, I decided to make this morning’s post be about him.

But then last night, when scrolling through Twitter, somebody I follow made mention of this tune; Rik was duly bumped until another day.

Here then is your upbeat record to get your week started, and since she never plays records which she appears on, I’m fairly confident that it won’t feature in the Monday morning Cloudbusting segment of her 6Music show:

Mint Royale (with Lauren Laverne) – Don’t Falter

More soon.

New Mood on Monday

I had a blast watching Glastonbury over the weekend, so the next few posts will be related in some way to what I saw.

When I was a kid, stashed away amongst a load of maps and magazines under a coffee table in the living room, was this:

Here’s what wiki has to say about it:

“The Brand New Monty Python Papperbok was the second book to be published by the British comedy troupe Monty Python. Edited by Eric Idle…The book contained an amalgamation of print-style pieces and material derived from Flying Circus sketches.”

I flicked through it a few times, but didn’t really understand it. One night, the movie which mashes up loads of Python sketches, And Now For Something Completely Different, was shown on TV; I was allowed to watch it, and some of the book made a bit more sense. Lumberjack, dead parrot, etc etc.

Around the same time, I was aware that something called Monty Python’s Life of Brian was causing an almighty fuss, with allegations of blasphemy levelled against it. It was 1979, I was 9 years old, and had no hope of seeing the film for many years. Harumph.

One day, we went to visit my Auntie Chris and Uncle Jerry, and as all the grown-ups chatted and drank tea, I looked through their record collection. And there, nestled amongst there, was the Life of Brian album.

Now, if you’ve ever heard the Life of Brian album, you’ll know that it features lots of clips from the film, all connected by a running gag about a continuity announcer who isn’t very good. I didn’t know that at the time, but was fairly confident that the record contained some swear words. And when you’re 9 or 10, hearing adults use swear words is the sort of thing you yearn for. Because you haven’t discovered girls, alcohol, fags or drugs yet. A simpler time, right?

I needed to hear this album, but knew I couldn’t just ask them to pop it on the turntable. I needed to borrow it. But I knew that if I asked to borrow it, that request would be denied, given the adult content.

I flicked through the rest of their record collection, and spotted The Beatles’ Red & Blue albums.

You all know what I mean when I say that. These:

For the uninitiated: the Red album covers all their singles from their early “pop” days, the Blue one covers their later, more *ahem* experimental period.

Here was my chance. I sat looking at their record collection for ages, until someone noticed me, and asked if I was alright.

“Can I borrow your Beatles albums please?” I asked, all sweetness and light.

When anybody asks to borrow records I own, I am immediately flattered and agree. This has cost me over the years, with records never returned by people I’ve lost touch with. But my enquiring tone struck a nerve. Of course I could borrow them!

And so I slipped them from the racks, hiding the Life of Brian album in between.

Back at home, with only one turntable in the house, I had to bide my time and wait for my parents to be out before I could hear the deluge of filthy words I anticipated the Life of Brian album would bring. I listened to the Red & Blue albums whilst I waited for that moment to arrive.

And if had to pinpoint the moment when I fell in love with pop music, and with Greatest Hits albums as an “in” to an artists back catalogue, then this was it.

After his set on Saturday, which I also rather enjoyed despite myself, Noel Gallagher was interviewed by Jo Whiley. He said (I’m paraphrasing now, so this is not verbatim) “When you’re a kid, and had no money, you’d go looking through the vinyl racks. You couldn’t afford to buy all of their records, so Red & Blue albums, they’ll do.” I hate it when I agree with Noel Gallagher about anything.

I’ve written here before about how, when I was younger, I used to buy the Greatest Hits and Best Ofs albums of bands I thought were important and that I should know more about, and this is where that came from.

I now wanted to know more about this band, and, having loved both Red & Blue, I didn’t really care which period I investigated first.

I was a member of our local library at the time, and to raise some extra income, they had, for a small fee, started renting out music cassettes (Note: not CDs, cassettes.)

And there, one day, was one by The Beatles, called Rock’n’Roll Music Vol. 2.

I paid the 20p levy, took it home and slotted it into my cassette player.

And that was that. Smitten.

Here’s the songs which feature on this (what I now see as a) knock-off compilation, the sort of thing usually found in service stations:

…which I’m sure you’ll agree, knock-off compilation as it may be, it gives a fairly broad summary of the band’s creative output.

But there’s one song there which, if pushed, I would have to say is my favourite Beatles song; it’s on that album up there, but also on what, in my opinion, is the greatest Beatles album: Revolver.

I was, therefore, delighted when Paul ‘Fab Macca Wacky Thumbs Aloft’ McCartney played it on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury on Saturday night, and so your uplifting, positive start of the week record this week is:

The Beatles – Got To Get You Into My Life

More soon.