Friday Night Music Club Vol 5.3

Well, we seem to have made it to Friday Night again, which means it’s time for the next session of Music Club mixes, and speifically, Volume 5.3.

And you’ll be surprised to learn that, despite that dancing Darth gif up there, I haven’t included Can You Feel The Force? or any other Star Wars related tunes, nor anything by The Beautiful Sith in this one. Trust me though, had I stumbled across the gif earlier than I did, I would probably have redone the mix to include any and all of them.

“So what have I got lined up for you this time?” I sense you yawn.

Oh you know, just the usual mish-mash carefully crafted mix of house classics, unforgiveable Europop, a bunch of truly great 60s and 70s cover versions by 60s and 70s artists, followed by a veritable deluge of indie classics before rounding things off with an utterly filthy (even by their standards) tune by GLC which definitely deserves one of these:

Sounds good, no? No? What do you mean “no”?

*Sits in the corner, arms folded, glowering*

Right, let’s crack on then shall we? Off we pop with 19 songs and 2 guest vocalists in 62 minutes:

Friday Night Music Club Vol 5.3

And here’s your track-listing and sleeve notes:

  1. Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk feat. Darryl Pandy – Love Can’t Turn Around

Eschewing my usual slow-burner start for this House classic, and part of a two-header of songs with guest vocalists. I hated this when I first heard it, on an edition of Top of the Pops back in 1986, which is no surprise given my aversion to any record which didn’t feature guitars. At the time I considered it just a fat sweaty bloke bellowing over some synths. How wrong is it possible to be?

2. Bran Van 3000 – Astounded

And that’s none other than Curtis Mayfield providing the vocals. OK, strictly speaking it’s a sample, but it’s not quite as straight-forwards as that; this explanation from wiki: “Bran Van 3000 member James Di Salvio approached Curtis Mayfield with the idea of collaborating months before his death in 1999. Mayfield was too ill to contribute a vocal, but weeks before his death, he gave Di Salvio permission to pull through his archives, which is where he discovered an unused vocal Mayfield recorded in the 1980s. With Mayfield’s permission, that vocal was incorporated into “Astounded.”

3. Moony – Dove [I’ll Be Loving You] (T&F vs Moltosugo Radio Mix)

Cheesy Europop ahoy! Actually, I really like this one, especially this mix, which is the bestest of all the mixes, with the possible exception of the Almighty Records remix, which I definitely didn’t try and blag a free copy of from Hel when she used to work there.

4. DB Boulevard – Point of View

Ok, you could argue that this is a tad on the Europop side too, but it contains a sample from ultra-cool French band Phoenix’s Heatwave, which lifts it above other songs which fall into that category.

5. Stevie Wonder – We Can Work It Out

On to some cover versions, and a bit of class. This is from Wonder’s wonderful 1970 Signed, Sealed, Delivered album, which also contains a song called Never Had a Dream Come True, which is definitely not the same song as the one S Club 7 had a hit with in 2000.

6. Nancy Sinatra – Day Tripper

Nancy turned 83 this week. And this sassy, parping version of The Beatles tune is just fabulous. So there.

7. Yvonne Elliman – I Can’t Explain

If ever a singer needed to have her career written about, then it’s Elliman. Born in Honalulu, she moved to London and began singing in bars and clubs in 1969. She was discovered by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, who asked her to sing Mary Magdalene’s part for the original audio recording of Jesus Christ Superstar which featured Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan singing as Jesus. She later joined the stage show’s traveling cast, and moved to New York in 1971 for the Broadway production of Jesus Christ, Superstar, and sang backing vocals on Eric Clapton’s version of Bob Marley’s I Shot the Sheriff, went on to tour as part of Clapton’s band and appears on four of his albums. In 1977, the Bee Gees wrote How Deep is Your Love for her, but they were over-ruled by record boss Robert Stigwood who wanted the Gibb brothers to record it. Instead, she was given If I Can’t Have You; both songs appear on the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever, and her song went to #1.

This cover of The Who song features on her 1973 album Food of Love, and you can spot the influence of living in early 70s New York; Fatboy Slim certainly could, sampling it on his single Going Out of My Head, which was the third and final single from his ruddy-brilliant debut album Better Living Through Chemistry.

8. Clout – Substitute

I bloody love this record so much. And it’s a cover of a song by The Righteous Brothers. No, really.

9. Erasure – Stop!

What were/are Erasure, the fourth or fifth stage (after Depeche Mode, Yazoo, The Assembly…did I miss anything from his highly prolific career…?) in Vince Clarke’s plan for world domination? Of course, his most succesful and enduring collaboration came when he paired up with flamboyant son of Peterborough Andy Bell (not to be confused with the Ride/Oasis/Hurricane #1 guitarist of the same name, of course). I did a search to see how many other famous people come from Peterborough, and namaged to track down about 15 of them. My name was not included (yet).

10. The Flaming Lips – The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song

American psyche-rock group in political song shocker! The main thrust of this seems to be: you think politicians are all corrupt, power-mad warmongers? How well would you do in their position?

11. Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun

Opening track from an actually perfect debut album. But you knew that already, right? Gawd knows I’ve mentioned it enought times on these pages.

12. Idlewild – You Held The World In Your Arms

The biggest hit from these Scottish indie scallywags (not that it’s up against much competition…)

13. Pixies – Allison

You don’t need me to tell you why this is ace, do you? (Part 1)

14. Primal Scream – Ivy Ivy Ivy

Should you ever need confirming just how influential Andrew Weatherall was on the Scream’s 1991 classic Screamadelica, then just cock an ear in the direction of the albums they released before it, like their eponymously-titled second album, relesed two years earlier, from wnce this is lifted.

15. The Jesus & Mary Chain – Taste of Cindy

You don’t need me to tell you why this is ace, do you? (Part 2)

16. Manic Street Preachers – Faster

When they burst onto the scene with their feather-boas and eyeliner back in 1992, they announced their debut album Generation Terrorists would be their only record. The idea of making one great record and then disappearing completely seemed impossibly cool. Thank goodness they resisted the temptation, or we would never have got the utterly brilliant in-your-face The Holy Bible two years later, and by extension, this.

17. The Smiths – What Difference Does It Make

Still gives me goose-bumps and makes me want to whirl my cardigan around the room all these years later, irrespective of what a twat he is these days.

18. Echo & The Bunnymen – The Cutter

Ditto, only substitue whirling my cardigan for standing in a raincoat looking dour.

19. Goldie Lookin Chain – Sister

Utter filth. You’ve been warned.

That’s yer lot for another week. Next time, I’ll be polishing off the admin that is posting these split down Volume 5’s, and we can get back to normal again.

    By which I mean: more soon.

    Friday Night Music Club

    For quite some time now, I’ve been pondering what it is that is preventing me from posting with the same regularity as I was last year.

    I’ve worked it out.

    Regular readers will know that I generally sit on a Friday night, have a few drinks and write posts for the next week. But for a while now, I’ve become preoccupied on doing a new mix.

    Warning: artist at work excuse incoming.

    See, whilst they seem remarkably unpopular, I really enjoy piecing together a long playlist/mix/call it what you will, and that inevitably means a few drafts which don’t quite, to quote Echo & The Bunnymen, cut the mustard.

    So, I’ve been working on this mix for some time now, but somehow something always seemed to prevent me from finishing it, be it me tinkering with the running order, or thinking of new tunes to toss in, or some kind of technical calamity, or (more often) listening to it and realising I’ve utterly messed up a mix and I simply can’t bear to have anyone else listen to it.

    I’m not going to pretend all of the mixes between tunes here are perfect – there’s at least one which I know isn’t – but I’ve reached the point where it’s close enough to let it go and move on to something else, before I drive myself mad searching for perfection.

    So here’s my latest mix, imperfect though it may be; frustrating as it has been, I really like this one, which starts off in the usual way – slowly – before getting into a groove which includes Kings of Leon from before they went stadium and knew how to use a cowbell, a new(ish) track by The Chemical Brothers, an obligatory Soulwax remix, two of the finest female pop stars going: Miley Cyrus & Dua Lipa (not on the same tune, sadly), the occasional hidden ‘joke’ (by which I mean it seemed funny when I first put the songs together, less so now), via Madonna having a short chat with Johnny Cash.

    It’s the usual mix of songs you love, songs you’ve forgotten about, and songs which make you think “What the hell has he put this on here for??”. Some might say eclectic, but I couldn’t possibly comment. Think mainly Indie guitar stuff, with a few dance tunes, 80s pop songs and a couple of timeless classics – at least one of which you probably won’t have heard before – thrown in.

    As always, no track-listing – I like to imagine your faces when the next song kicks in – but there’s a list of featured artists on the right hand side in case you want to see what you’re letting yourself in for. Which is a treat, obviously. If you desperately need to know what a track is, either Shazam it or, if you’d like to feed my ego, ask me via the Comments at the bottom of this post.

    Usual disclaimer: any skips and jumps are down to the mixing software; any mis-timed mixes (and, as I say, there is at least one) is down to me. Either way: Sorry!

    One more thing: you may recall that last time out I mentioned that my brother had said he managed to predict what I was going to play next, which annoyed me greatly. No such criticism of the last mix, although he told me he listened to it whilst out on his morning run, so some of the sudden gear changes weren’t helpful. I’ve tried to rectify that this time, with a relatively steady beat and tempo maintained throughout (after you’ve got past the traditional slow start) for those of you who listen to this whilst doing your exercises (not that I really understand what that means). The danger was that it would denigrate into either a Ministry of Sound pumping dance mix or a Top Gear/Best Driving Songs…in the World…Ever! playlist, but I think the song choices just about keep us on the right side of that happening.

    Let’s say it starts slowly, gets into a groove, and then has more false endings than a Status Quo single.

    I’m a bit annoyed that since I first decided to include it, at least on song here has popped up in an advert – and you know how I feel about them – for burgers, of all things. Rest assured, the advert in question was not the inspiration for the song’s inclusion. You’ll know it when you hear it, I think.

    Oh and there are several songs which feature effing and jeffings – “sexual swear words” as Simon Bates used to say at the start of videos – so please avoid if you are easily offended by unfettered vulgarity and sauciness. Look, there’s a Goldie Lookin’ Chain tune which is probably the rudest and most inappropriate (but funny) thing I’ll ever post, so beware.

    For a limited time (until I do another one, so y’know, could be months), you can stream or download it via Soundcloud here.

    More soon.

    How To Do A Cover Version (Be LlÅ·rious Edition)

    No apologies to those that are bored of me mentioning him, but we’re fast approaching what would have been LlÅ·r’s birthday, and so today a moment of synchronicity.

    I’ve written before, here, just after he passed, that I wouldn’t be writing this blog were it not for my best buddy reigniting in me a love of music.

    One day, I visited Fopp in Cardiff – unless it has reopened since I left, it’s no longer there – and had come away with a double CD compilation album called Guilty Pleasures Rides Again.

    And when I got home, I found that LlÅ·r had visited the same shop and bought the same CD; we listened to both discs and by the end we had disagreed with about 90% of the songs being described as “guilty pleasures”.

    “What’s wrong with this?” one or the other of us would say, cocking a thumb in the direction of the CD player.

    This morning’s record falls squarely into our agreed category of “Why Would You Be Embarrased To Like This?”, because it’s ace, and I won’t have a word said against it, and neither would he (nor, it later transpired, would his older sister, Hel):

    Clout – Substitute

    It wasn’t until much later that I found out it’s a cover version, but it’s one that fits my theory which is this: that, irrespective of how great the original may be (and on this occasion, it’s plodding and dull by comparison), you like the one you heard first, the one you’re more familiar with.

    The Righteous Brothers – Substitute

    S’not a patch, is it?

    More soon.

    Same Title, Different Song

    One of the reasons I avoided watching The Who at Glastonbury last year (apart from the fact that I would much rather watch FFS, a decision which, having watched the footage when I got home, I was completely correct in making) was that I had been so disappointed by them when I last watched them at the same place in 2007.

    And one of the reasons I was so disappointed by them then was that they didn’t do this, to my mind one of their greatest singles:

    intoxica_37743

    The Who – Substitute

    On balance though, I would have been more impressed had they performed this entirely different song with – you guessed it – the same title:

    clout-substitute-polydor

    Clout – Substitute

    I bloody love that record, and it is at least partially responsible for this blog.

    Whilst it’s a record I seem to have always known – I listened to a lot of Radio 2 as a kid – I didn’t come into ownership of my own copy until I wandered into the Fopp record store that used to be in Cardiff one day about 10 years ago and came out owning it, on a double compilation album called “Guilty Pleasures Rides Again”. I hadn’t noticed it on the track listing when I decided to buy the CD, but when I got home and listened to it and it got to this track I remember thinking “What the hell is this doing on an album I’m supposed to feel guilty about liking?”

    And then I realised I’d been thinking it for the previous ten tracks on the same CD (ELO and Manfred Mann are in that ten track bunch, for Christ’s sake – what’s wrong with liking them??)

    I feel a new thread coming on…..

    Anyway, imagine my surprise when several years later I found that Clout’s “Substitute” was in fact a cover version, the original having been done by (and I’m open to correction here, in case there’s an even earlier version I’m unaware of) this pair of housewives’ favourites:

    the-righteous-brothers-substitute-haven

    The Righteous Brothers – Substitute

    More soon.