Firstly, my apologies that there was no New Mood on Monday post this morning.
There were two reasons for this:
Firstly, on returning from a long weekend visiting my parents, where at least one of the weekend’s posts got written, I couldn’t find the cable which linked to my external hard drive (where all my tunes live), but which has since been located, to my immense relief.
Secondly, as a comment on the booing that our #CrimeMinister received from the blue rinse brigade on arriving at St Paul’s Cathedral to attend the service to mark Queen Lizzy’s 70 years, I had intended to post this:
Now, here’s some footage of him arriving (and it should be noted, this footage is from The Telegraph’s website):
Ordinarily, one would expect, at the very least, a cheery wave to the crowd, but no – he heard the boos and wanted to seek sanctuary inside as quickly as possible, practically dragging the current Mrs Johnson up the steps.
Inside, it would seem the reality sunk in: a crowd of royal revellers, who one would expect to be supportive of the Government and all it stands for, had made it clear what they thought of him.
Here’s a pictorial summary of the contrast: first, a picture of a happy bunny:
And now one of an unhappy one, who is either reflecting on the boos, or perhaps wondering why his current wife is wearing a hat which prevents her from accidentally seeing him:
Thing is, he was booed again as he left the service:
And that was from The Daily Mail – like The Telegraph, not renowned for their critical stance on the Conservative governmnt.
Now, had the stars not been aligned then that would have been the end of my post this morning. But things move on at a pace, and it turns out that sufficient numbers of Conservative MPs, having stuck their fingers in the air and finally seen which way the wind is blowing, have submitted enough letters to the 1922 Committee as to force a vote of Confidence in our #CrimeMinister, which will be taking place around about now.
The result, in terms of who voted for and against, will not be revealed to us plebs, which gives all Conservative MPs a blank canvas: they can tell their constituents that they submitted a letter, then vote in support of our philandering PM, and nobody will be any the wiser.
If he were to lose the vote, I doubt he will go anyway.
But if he did, then that would spark a Tory leadership battle, and whoever replaces him would doubtless want to scrub the floors clean and get rid of all those who have profited from his tenure. And for sure, all the ones that you’ve heard of – Patel, Dorries, Sunak, Truss, Raaaaaaaab – have all come out in support for him, because they all know that the moment Johnson falls, so do they.
Or rather, as I would describe it: they’re more concerned with what is best for them, than what is best for the country.
People are – finally – seeing him for what he is: a habitual liar (fired from two of his previous jobs for lying).
I can’t post this enough (it’s particularly revealing around the 08:30 mark, in case you cant be arsed to watch the whole thing):
So: lies. This is a leader who signed us up to an “oven-ready” Brexit withdrawal agreement which is damaging to our economy and to the Good Friday Agreement, just so that he could announce he had “got Brexit done” and storm to the majority he holds in Parliament currently. A withdrawal agreement he now wants to back out of because he didn’t expect the EU to implement what was agreed. A withdrawal agreement that he either read and didn’t understand, or just simply didn’t read: it fulfilled a purpose – to get him to be the Prime Minister.
And that’s before I’ve even touched upon the porkies he’s told about Partygate.
This is the problem with voting in those with a sense of entitlement just because of who they are and where they were schooled. If his tenure as London Mayor wasn’t enough of a warning sign (clue: having endured him as Mayor for two terms, the Conservative party did not win many London seats in the last general election), then surely a letter from Eton College to his parents from 1982 should have been enough:
For the record, I expect him to survive the vote, but even if he does, then his position is going to be severely weakened.
Hoorah! It’s not here yet, but the end is in sight:
Delivery Man 1 [poking his head through the door]: Yes, this looks like it.
Delivery Man 1 backs into view, clipboard under arm, guiding a large object covered in a sheet, which is being pushed by Delivery Man 2 with considerably more effort than Delivery Man 1 is expending.
FX: The door slams shut.
Delivery Man 2: Whereabouts does it need to go? What does the order say?
Delivery Man 1 consults the clipboard.
Delivery Man 1: It says “Leave in the middle of the floor, covered, as if it’s been here for ages.”
Delivery Man 2 [with a shrug]: Bit weird, but if that’s what it says.
Job done, they exit, leaving the light on.
FX: the door opens and closes. Pause. Repeat.
An incredibly handsome, if fat and bald, man enters the room. He surveys the object before removing the sheet.
Incredibly handsome, if fat and bald, man: And we’re back in the room!
Hello, and welcome to The Chain. Where’ve you been? I’ve been waiting for you.
Prompted by a question about whether one of this week’s suggestions qualified under the rules, and nothing whatsoever to do with the amount of time since one of these posts appeared, nosireebob, I thought it might be best if I go over them again here, with a brief explanation of what we do here.
So, The Chain is a feature on BBC 6Music’s Radcliffe and Maconie show (and prior to that, their show on BBC Radio 2), where a record is played and they invite suggestions as to what record could be played next, which must link in some way to the one just played.
The difference here is that whilst they choose just one record to play, we try to post all of the suggestions which you submit.
The only rules are:
No suggested record can feature twice (unless it has only featured as part of The Official Chain). If you’re not sure – ask!
The only exception to this rule is “Back on the Chain Gang” by The Pretenders, which has been adopted as our theme tune
When making your suggestion, you must provide an explanation of the link between the two songs
You must already own a copy of it, and be willing to provide it (in case I don’t already own it or am unable to source it)
Suggestions must be more than just naming a different song by the same artist.
You can make as many suggestions as you like, but please, go easy on me, won’t you?
That’s about it. I award points every now and again, for Worst Record of the Week, Cheesiest Record of the Week, Comment Showboat of the Week, and of course, for anyone who happens to guess either the song or act (or both) that is the next record in the Official Chain, which becomes the source record for the following week. Nobody’s keeping score (well, I’m not anyway), the points are just a bit of fun.
Okay, that’s the admin done. Last time out, the source record was “The Universal” by Blur; personally, I found this a really tricky one to link to, especially as I have to wait and see what’s left after you guys have nominated all the good ones. Ho hum, such is life.
So, here we go then, and as usual, we’ll bracket them into several fairly broad categories and, as usual, we’ll probably wander off on a couple of tangents along the way.
Of course, CC was not alone in suggesting a link to something of Universal appeal; Dirk from sexyloser proffered thusly:
“…because not enough good German music is being featured on these pages, I’d like to link to Die Sterne – ‘Universal Tellerwäscher’ from 1994 …. which in fact is a mighty record indeed!”
I was going to make a rather unkind joke about the phrase “good German music” being an oxymoron, but then I listened to Dirk’s suggestion and have to agree, it is mighty fine (even if I have not one clue as to what it’s about, although Google Translate, which is never wrong, obviously, tells me that a Tellerwäscher is a dishwasher ):
From the Universal links, it’s one small step to the universe, and space in general, and to our second new member of The Chain Gang of the week, abramson60, the 60th from the very noble Abramson family, as Adam Buxton would say:
Anyway, abramson60 has certainly got the hang of how to make sure you get lots of tunes played here: list of a load of songs he’d considered before finally plumping for a completely different one. I, of course, cannot resist:
“Universe would automatically take me down the space road, so you could have….”
“…not forgetting that he went on to become the nation’s favourite spaced out artist.”
But, “…sticking with universe, The 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.” I’m not sure I quite follow the link there, but as it’s your first visit, I’ll let it slide this time:
Next up, Martin from New Amusements, who takes the “list a load of songs then pick a completely different one as their choice” approach adopted by abramson60 and combines it with Rigid Digit’s focus on the song’s lyrics:
“The Universal includes a line about ‘satellites in every home’ so we could go with that, enabling…”
If I could just butt in for a moment, I can’t hear that record without thinking of this record (and vice versa) since I can’t help but think that while it’s not a straight-out sample, the synth melody line, owes more than a little debto the old instrumental Martin suggests:
Martin’s actual choice will follow in a moment, but props where props are due, the category it falls into was first suggested by The Robster from Is This The Life? (well, actually, it was first mentioned by Rigid Digit last week time)
“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!”
It may well be, but unfortunately that’s featured in The Chain before, so, as per the rules above, I can’t allow it this week. Sorry!
Tell you what, have another go:
“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.”
Back to Martin again: “…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.'”
After those words from our sponsors, back to The Great Gog:
“‘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…”
“…so,” Rol continues, “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).”
You can all count yourself lucky that I decided not to post the version with Gazza on it. Actually, that might have been quite appropriate, since writing and indeed reading The Chain often has the air of a hostage situation about it, so maybe we should expect him to rock up with a bucket of fried chicken and a fishing rod.
I’ve got Snuff covering that too somewhere, but let’s not overdo it, eh? That would take us over the 2 minutes of Snuff records mark, which would never do.
Any more, abramson60?
“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?) [Nope – Ed] and Hazy Lazy Hologram, link being obvious and in hazy, and everyone loves drug induced music, don’t they?”
And what of the individual members of Blur, there must be some links there, right?
Guess what, here’s abramson60. Again.
“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 ‘Valentine’s Day Is Over’.”
I have two things to say about this. Firstly, I had no idea of the Albarn connection to Soft Machine, and secondly, abramson60 did suggest this back on February 15th, which makes his choice of Billy track a little more understandable.
Speaking of George, he’s been rather quiet so far this week, so here’s the first of his suggestions:
“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.”
(My apologies, by the way: I realised I’ve misnamed the mp3 as Toots and The Maytals, rather than just The Maytals, but I really can’t be arsed with changing it.)
The Great Gog’s back again:
“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…”
“When he is not doing that [being in Blur] 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.”
I may aswell chuck one in to the Alex-mix. When he isn’t making cheese, or being in Blur, he’s also popped up in some questionable novelty acts, most famously with Fat Les, but also in Wig Wam, a truly awful project that I’m not going to offend your ears by playing. His partner-in-crime there, though, was one Alison Clarkson aka Betty Boo:
But since all the rest of the band are getting at least two songs, we may as well have one of his singles. Friends of mine will attest that every time we’ve heard thisplayed out, I always point out that the intro sounds a lot like “Into the Valley” by Skids (Since nobody has ever agreed with me on this point, I’d post it so you could compare, but as it’s already featured on The Chain once before, I can’t. Who made these stupid rules up anyway??):
Which just leaves drummer Dave Rowntree, and a suggestion by The Beard:
“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.”
Which just leaves us to reveal what the next record in the Official Chain is, and many of you will have noticed the absence of one particular song from the start of this post, when we looked at songs with the word “Universal” in the title. Many people wanted to suggest this, but Swiss Adam from baggingarea was the first out of the traps so the kudos and points are his this week:
“The Small Faces have their own ‘Universal’ which is a lovely song.”
So, all that laves me to do is to ask for your suggestions, please, for songs which link to “The Universal” by Small Faces, along with a brief description of the link, via the Comments Section down below, in time for the next edition.
Let’s say that will be next week, and see what happens, eh?
No normal post this week; I’ve been staring at the list of records I bought in 1984 trying to seek inspiration, but have not, as yet, been able to come up with anything of interest to say about any of them. Also, I didn’t have a drink last night. I’m sure these two things aren’t related.
So, it’s Sunday morning, and all is well with the world: the weather was glorious yesterday, the Football season has started here in the UK (with a loss for Spurs, but you can’t have everything), and England have just absolutely tonked the Aussies for the second match in succession to regain the Ashes – and if there is a better sight in sport than the look of shock and delight on Stuart Broad’s face when Ben Stokes takes that amazing catch then I’m yet to see it. I could watch that clip on a loop for a very long time before I started to get bored of it.
So anyway, I thought since the weather is threatening to be rather fine again today, I’d make this week’s Sunday Morning selection have a summery feel to them:
Betty Boo – Let Me Take You There To say Alison Clarkson (for it is she) has had a mixed career in pop music is an understatement: originally a member of hip-hop group She Rockers, she toured The States supporting Public Enemy, and had an all-too brief solo career under the alter-ego of Betty Boo, releasing the rather wonderful “Hey DJ (I Can’t Dance)” The Beatmasters, the second video for which launched her uber-foxy Betty Boop meets Barbarella image, followed by the killer tracks “Doin’ The Do” and best of all “Where Are You Baby?“, which if you don’t like, you are officially dead inside. Betty Boo’s short lived time on pop’s shelf of wanted goods ended as suddenly as it began around the time “Let Me Take You There” came out, when she was accused of miming at a gig in, if memory serves me right, Australia. Later cited as the influence behind the Spice Girls, she wrote “Pure and Simple”, which was recorded by Hear’Say, winners of the reality show Popstars, the fore-runner to the X-Factor, and the video for which appears to show the band lighting their own farts. She’s also written for Girls Aloud (“Love Bomb” apparently. Nope, me neither), Louise, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and…er…The Tweenies, as well as making the frankly rather odd “WigWam” with Blur’s Alex James, a song which has not improved with age. She’s also provided guest vocals on a record by The Feeling so…y’know…a career with as many highs as lows, I think it’s a fair to say.
In the mid-1980s, it seemed there were former members of The Eagles everywhere; Glenn Frey’s “The Heat Is On” was featured on the sound track to Beverley Hills Cop, Don Henley released this corker and…erm….does anyone even know who the other members of The Eagles were…?
A typically schmaltzy offering on which the Milky Bar Kid lookalike and country music’s most famous pilot (well, now ex-pilot, actually….) advises us that “Sunshine on my shoulders always gets me high”. On one of his more famous records, which bizarrely got embroiled in the whole Tipper Gore/Judas Priest/DMCA court case back in the 90s, he describes getting a “Rocky Mountain High“. One suspects Denver thinks “getting high” is the same as “being happy”. Either that or he had a phenomenal dealer.
I’m not going to talk too much about these late-80s/early-90s indie jingle-janglers and John Peels’ Festive 50 toppers (though not with this song) as they’ll feature later elsewhere on this blog. Calling a song Summertime leads to an almost inevitable comparison to the Gershwin-written Ella Fitzgerald classic (see?) and it would be wrong to do so (sorry!) for The Sundays’ Summertime is a) a completely different song, and b) simply wonderful in its own sweet way.