The Chain #28

Hello.

I’m not in the best of moods today. I am being held together by vodka, sleepy dust and  a general distrust of people with the ability to vote. Be gentle with me.

Just as we have to try and make Brexit work, idiotic as it may be, and just as we now have to swallow the idea of a racist, misogynistic, idiotic reality TV star being the most important and influential man in the world, idiotic as that may be, so we need to buckle down and get this done. Business as usual.

So (sorry, CC), last week we ended up with Dr. John’s “Such a Night”, from his “In the Right Place” album, and the usual request for your suggestions for songs which link to that, in the hope that someone might suggest the actual next record in the actual BB sponsored chain (rest easy, anti-BBC-ites, I get no sponsorship for this), but without caring too much about that really.

There seems to be only one place to start today. Here’s The Swede:

“‘Such a Night’ was produced by Allen Toussaint , who also wrote (among many other classics) ‘Yes We Can’ by Lee Dorsey. The song was later covered brilliantly by The Pointer Sisters, though Lee’s version is the one for me.”

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Lee Dorsey – Yes We Can

In case you’re wondering why I say that’s the best place to start, much like Bob the Builder, “Yes We Can” was Obama’s slogan back in 2008. I don’t think Hillary had a slogan, did she? Maybe that’s where she went wrong. But then again, “There’s a perfectly legitimate reason why I deleted those emails” was never going to resonate with the US voting public in quite the same way as “I am a vile, groping, orange excuse for a human being” seems to have done.

That’s the last mention of it, I promise.

The remainder of this week’s suggestions can, broadly, be bracketed together. Whilst some went down the New Orleans route, the majority plumped for either links to “Doctor” or links to “John” with a few (okay, more than a few) exceptions that proved the rule. Whatever that means.

So, to the Doctor links. And we’ll start with SWC “outing” Badger as a secret Dr. Hook fan:

“Hurrah a chance for Badger to finally express in words his secret love of Dr Hook.”

As it happens, Badger didn’t take the bait, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say there’s nothing wrong with a bit of Dr. Hook. Anyone else agree?

“I also have a secret love to Dr. Hook. Therefore I suggest ‘You Ain’t Got the Right’ because it meant a lot to me when I had the blues” offers Walter/Kuttowski

Thanks Walter! Hope this doesn’t rake up too many bad memories then:

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Dr. Hook – You Ain’t Got the Right

The next one could fit in either the Doctor or the John category. Prompted by this comment, also from SWC:

“We could obviously go down the Dr John Cooper Clarke route. But I don’t know any of his songs. I do know that he has just released a record with Hugh Cornwell that is supposed to be quite good.”

Charity Chic knows some though, and he suggested thusly:

“Dr John Cooper Clark – You Will Never See a Nipple in the Daily Express”

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John Cooper Clarke – (You Never See a Nipple in the) Daily Express

Plenty of utter tits, though.

Time for birthday boy Badger‘s suggestions:Badger

“I’ll go rather fittingly down the doctor route. And I will steer away from Dr’s Hook, Feelgood and the Medics and suggest again rather aptly: Call the Doctor by Spacemen 3”

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Spacemen 3 – Call the Doctor

But wait! He’s not done there:

“Failing that the Doctor Who thing that The Timelords did.”

This, you mean?:

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The Timelords – Doctorin’ The Tardis

Happy birthday, Badger. We’ll ignore the Gary Glitter sample there, obviously, as it leads me rather smartly on to my first suggestion of the week, which needs no introduction:

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Orbital – Doctor

Okay, so maybe no introduction, but maybe a nerdo explanation. The main sound plug from that is the 1970s Tom Baker Doctor-era’s theme tune, created by the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop. More than any other TV theme tune, that version makes me want to hide behind the sofa.

Also, Orbital, having mysteriously regenerated into an act who could play live again after they split up ten years or so earlier, performed this at Glastonbury in 2010, with an actual Doctor in the house:

Here with more Doctor-based shenanigans, is Alyson:

“Got a double link but no long drawn out reason for it, just that the band is Dr Feelgood and the song is Back in The Night.”

Sometimes, less is more.

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Dr. Feelgood – Back In The Night

Oh wait, I have another one. Here’s a Doctor-y band, but not the song you most often associate with them:

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Spin Doctors – Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong

And so to the Johns. But first, one of those suggestions that doesn’t really fit anywhere else. Here’s The Great Gog:

“I noticed that this song [the Dr John one, remember?] features on the music video of a film called 3000 Miles To Graceland. This set me thinking about suggesting a certain Proclaimers song six times, a certain Big Country song seven and a half times, or a certain Pretenders song one and a half times. See what erratic sleep patterns do to you?

 Ultimately though the far more obvious suggestion is the rather lovely Graceland from The Bible.”

Thank Gawd for that, for I have no idea which Big Country record you’re referring to (I got the other two!)

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The Bible – Graceland

Ok, so here’s SWC, back again with the first of a series of Johns:

“My favourite John in music is the one mentioned by Alexi Sayle in his quintessentially wonderful Top 20 smash ‘Ullo John! Got a New Motor?’”

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Alexei Sayle – Ullo John! Gotta New Motor?

I wish I could see all my non-UK readers scratching their heads as they listen to that.

Time for a submission from The Robster who actually gives us three suggestions, this is the second:

“…how about something by The Three Johns? Death Of The European, maybe?”

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 The Three Johns – Death of the European

Now, ordinarily, I wouldn’t allow multiple suggestions for the same artiste, but today, well today’s different, for today the first of these is about John Cooper Clarke. It’s not often I get to post a GCSE approved poet, so I’ll let it slide this time.

Here’s Swiss Adam from Bagging Area:

“John Cooper Clarke – it has to be Twat.”

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John Cooper Clarke – Twat

I imagine Dirk will be happy with that suggestion.

And so, to the rest. Over to Charity Chic (again):

“So The Animals and Dr John are by no means the only artists to extol the virtues of New Orleans. So Native American band Redbone pitch in with The Witch Queen of New Orleans.”

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Redbone – The Witch Queen Of New Orleans

He’s not done yet though, oh no:

 “So band members and brothers Pat and Lolly Vegas also contribute on an absolute classic – Harlan County by Jim Ford.”

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Jim Ford – Harlan County

Let’s pop back to hear The Robster’s other two suggestions:

“On the song title – we could have the classic December 1963 (Oh What A Night) by the Four Seasons….”

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The Four Seasons – December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)

Would have gone for “The Night” myself, but there you go.

“And on the artist himself – Dr. John released a tribute album to Louis Armstrong a couple of years ago. One of the songs he covered was Mack The Knife. I can’t think of anything better to include here than the wonderful original by Satchmo himself.”

Me neither.

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Louis Armstrong – Mack The Knife

Who wants to suggest the worst record of the week?

George does.

“I’ve got the worst song for you this week. The band Racey also recorded a song called Such a Night, but I suspect most of us know them for Lay Your Love On Me. Truly terrible”

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Racey – Lay Your Love On Me

Personally, I remember them for “Some Girls” and for the lead singer’s (third one in on that picture) ability to eat an apple through a tennis racket.

But who knew there were so many links between Dr John and Racey? Here’s Rigid Digit:

“Racey also recorded a track called “Kitty” on their debut album. With a bit of gender re-orientation and a video a featuring Cheerleaders it became the one and only hit for Toni Basil, ‘Hey Mickey'”

Somewhere in the back of my mind this struck a chord, so I checked it out, and scarred though I now am for having listed to four Racey songs on the trot, he’s not wrong. It’s a bit like Scott English’s “Brandy” being changed to Barry Manilow’s “Mandy”, although apparently any rumours about English’s original being about his dog are purely fictional.

Anyway, here’s Toni Basil, in all her cheer-leading, one hit wonderness:

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Toni Basil – Mickey

George is back:

“…and from such truly dreadful stick-pins-in-your-eyes [I’ve told you before George, if you don’t like hearing something, go for the ears every time over the eyes] song to this: The Drifters recorded a song called Such a Night, with the legendary Clyde McPhatter on lead vocal. And as a solo artist Clyde McPhatter recorded “The Treasure Of Love'”

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Clyde McPhatter – Treasure Of Love

And since people are coming back for another go, here’s Alyson:

“…my only real memory of Dr John is when he appeared on the BBC Charity record Perfect Day, where he popped in 2oth and then 26th order in the line-up. Very scarily that was made in 1997, nearly 20 years ago. That does link to Lou Reed and his original version which popped up in the film Trainspotting the year before and I don’t know about you but I feel bombarded today with trailers for Trainspotting 2 (in a good way). Will go with Lou Reed and Perfect Day as well if you have time?”

Have time??? Not only do I have time for this:

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Lou Reed – Perfect Day

…I also have time for this:

I cannot wait for that to land. The first film is one of my favourite films ever, and I was already excited about it, but when I saw that, which has just enough call backs to the first film to intrigue me even further…well, I’ve already started scouring the local cinema listings waiting for it to appear.

Here’s Dirk. Dirk has a different way of dealing the idea of linking records together. Whilst the rest of us ponder the staple tune and think of songs to link to it, Dirk seems to decide on what record he wants to hear then just make up any old stuff to get to it:

“Rumour has it that said Jim in the tune was not only angry about Dr. John trying to steal his woman, in fact he was incandescent with fury, so much so that he nearly was about to explode! A true story, of course, which some time later led Jack White to write “Jimmy The Exploder”, so there you are ….”

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The White Stripes – Jimmy The Exploder

Right, well, if you’re having that, then I’m having this. If Jimmy exploded, then you would need something or someone to clear that Mr Creosote-esque mess up. And who better, then, than Jimmy The Hoover?

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Jimmy The Hoover – Tantalise

Since I allowed two poems by John Cooper Clarke in earlier, I don’t suppose I can get all sniffy about another Dr. Feelgood suggestion, can I? Here’s Walter/Kuttowski, back for seconds, and, as it turns out, those creative juices must be flowing, thirds:

“My first thought was on Dr. Feelgood and Wilco Johnson (his real name is John Wilkinson) a band that was the link between pubrock and early punk. I suggest their Sneaking Suspicion.”

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Dr. Feelgood – Sneakin’ Suspicion

Did I say “thirds”?

“Thinking about ‘night’ Saturday night comes to my mind. Don’t worry but I won’t suggest the Bee Gee’s at this place. I remember The Leyton Buzzards another band that was active in the late 70’s. Therefore I suggest ‘Saturday Night Beneath The Plastic Palm Trees.'”

I was more worried you might suggest Whigfield, to be honest.

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Leyton Buzzards – Saturday Night Beneath The Plastic Palm Trees

Rigid Digit’s back, and thankfully this time he doesn’t come armed with any Racey-based factoids:

“Dr John’s real name is Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack (thank you wikipedia).
Malcolm is one of those un-Rock n Roll names – there are a few but not many.
Malcolm Young – a choice AC/DC track to follow next?
Malcolm McLaren – sticking with the previous possible Animal link, how about Buffalo Gals?”

As you haven’t actually suggested it, you can have the album version rather than the catchier single version:

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Malcolm McLaren – Buffalo Gals

Or: “Malcolm Owen – lead singer of The Ruts.

From that lot I nominate “Staring At The Rude Boys” – the last Ruts single released before Malcolm Owen’s death (suicide?) in 1980″

RD is right to query the nature of Owen’s death. A heroin overdose, I think, so possibly not suicide.

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The Ruts – Staring At The Rude Boys

Whilst we’re on Malcolms, here’s Rol, who wins this week’s “Most Blatant Plug for his own Blog” Award.

“I thought I’d see how many songs I could come up with that mentioned a Malcolm in the lyrics. I thought there’d be very few; turns out I could easily populate a Top Ten… although a lot of them would be about Malcolm X.”

As it happens, he was going somewhere with this, so I’ll allow this subtle slice of product placement.

“‘Malcolm Solves His Problems With A Chainsaw’ by the Arrogant Worms is worthy of a mention though.”

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The Arrogant Worms – Malcolm Solves His Problems With A Chain Saw

And so to The Beard:

“Dr John’s 2012 album Locked Down was produced by Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys. Dan was also the name of Alan Partridge’s one time best friend (“Dan. Dan. Dan. DAN. DAN…”). Alan Partridge when not presenting Skirmish, a military based general knowledge quiz show on digital cable television channel UK Conquest, could be found behind the wheels at Radio Norwich where, among extolling the virtues of other deep cuts, he implored listeners to “kommen sie bitte und listen to Kraftwerk”. Cue, The Model…”

Actually, if you go on that there YouTube, someone has done a mix of The Model with the Partridge quote to which you allude sampled on it, over and over and over and over and over again, ad nauseum. It’s too annoying to post a link too. I bear no responsibility for you seeking it out yourself this way.

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Kraftwerk – The Model

Now. I was all ready to apologise to Rol for posting ten songs earlier today about how annoyed I am with certain world events, but having just checked his blog, I need not have worried. Turns out, there’s plenty of songs we can use to illustrate what a dick Trump is.

Anyway, here’s Rol, with the last two suggestions of the week:

“1. In the lyrics to Such A Night, Dr. John sings “You came here with my best friend Jim, and here I am, trying to steal you away from him…”

One famous Jim who’s obviously lost his woman to another man (even though he claims it’s nobody else’s fault) is Jimmy Buffet in the song Margaritaville.”

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Jimmy Buffett – Margaritaville

“2. Dr. John performed Such A Night in The Band’s famous Last Waltz concert. One of my favourite waltzes is Margo’s Waltz by Lloyd Cole.”

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Lloyd Cole – Margo’s Waltz

There’s a reason that I’ve left Rol’s final suggestion until last: he came perilously close to suggesting the official record in the official Chain:

“Dr John played at The Last Waltz, which was The Band’s final concert…”

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28. The Band – Up On Cripple Creek

So close….

Anyway, as I pack the cigar away (not a Clinton reference), all that’s left for me to do is invite you to submit your suggestions for songs that link to The Band’s “Up On Cripple Creek”, along with your description of the link which needs to get past my incredibly rigorous vetting process, via the Comments section down below.

And, I guarantee, unless anyone suggests the same record, I have the worst one for next week already down.

See you next week.

More soon.

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The Chain #21

Well, it seems to be Wednesday evening again, and that can only mean one thing: I must remember to put my bins out. Oh, and host this week’s edition of The Chain.

You’ll recall we ended last week with The Cure’s “In Between Days”, and I invited you good folks to come up with songs which you can link to that record. The aim is, of course, in no particular order a) to showboat a little in your logic and song selection; b) to pick something which will cause a little debate in the Comments, be it about how great or how awful your choice is (never forgetting that, here, there’s no such thing as a Guilty Pleasure, hence recent inclusions from Busted, Chesney Hawkes, and PJ & Duncan, and you’re not necessarily saying that you like your own suggestion anyway), and c) trying to guess what the next record in the official BBC The Chain series, as featured originally on Radcliffe & Maconie’s Radio 2 show, which now airs on 6 Music.

After last week’s attempts to jiggle about with the running order, which frankly left me dazed, confused, and worried that I’d missed somebody out, I’m settling for an easy life this week, and resorting back to the tried and tested method of simply posting the suggestions as they were received.

So, first out of the traps this week was Rol from the My Top Ten blog, who was noticeable in his absence last week:

“Because I missed last week’s I thought I’d get in early this week… but now I’m spoilt for choice?

The Go-Betweens?

Inbetweener by Sleeper?

Torn Between Two Lovers?

Between The Wars?

Between My Legs by Rufus W.?

Walk Between The Raindrops?

All tempting, but…

Ultrasound – Between Two Rivers, from their 2012 album Play For Today. It’s lovely, it starts with a nice bit of a brass, and they’re about to release their third album any day now.

That’s my suggestion for this week.”

Now, I normally have a bit of a moan about being snowed under with suggestions, about how I might have to cap the amount of suggestions per person (I hope you all note that I’ve still not enforced that rule) but since Rol had mentioned so many potential links, and as he hadn’t proffered anything last week, I figured I’d be magnanimous and ask if he wanted to nominate a second. But there was no swaying him. Fair enough.

Here’s Ultrasound then:

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Ultrasound – Between Two Rivers

Be terrible if any of those Rol elected not to formally submit as a suggestion turned out to be the right one, wouldn’t it? (That’s my way of injecting a little suspense into proceedings).

Next up, here’s The Great Gog:

“In between days comes night. For some reason at this point Steely Dan’s “Night By Night” sprang to mind, and that’s a bit of an ear-worm of mine, so the rest of you can have a listen, too.”

Thanks GG, will do!

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Steely Dan – Night By Night

The next couple of suggestions I received were from babylotti:

“I’m going to link to ‘Days’, by The Kinks.”

Now that, I would suggest, is the complete opposite of Comment Showboating.

So here’s a factoid to make up for it: when Days was originally released, both the single sleeve and record label referred to the title as being “Day’s”:

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The Kinks – Days

See?

But wait! I stand corrected! Babylotti isn’t done yet:

“Ray Davies from the Kinks famously was seeing Chrissie Hynde for most of the 80s. Chrissie obviously being the mainstay of The Pretenders and I shall nominate their song called Back on the Chain Gang…”

I can’t really resist posting that one, for what I would hope are fairly obvious reasons:

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The Pretenders – Back on the Chain Gang

See that? That’s our theme tune, that is.

Time to welcome back the Badger from When You Can’t Remember Anything now, who rather presciently says:

“Right this won’t be the answer but…”In Between Days” used to be my ringtone when Mrs B phoned me. About a month ago I replaced that with ‘Digeridoo’ by Aphex Twin.”

You’re not wrong, Badger: that’s not the right answer. But since my knowledge of Aphex Twin pretty much begins and ends with “Windowlicker” and “Come to Daddy” I’m more than happy to oblige:

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Aphex Twin – Digeridoo

Time was, having just posted a tune which predominantly features a didgeridoo, I’d be able to make a really bad “Can you tell what it is yet?” gag, but alas no more. That particular comedic avenue has ended up the same way as the Animal Hospital: closed.

“Or” Badger continues, “Robert Smith formed a Cure off shoot called The Glove. Which links back to Hand in Glove by The Smiths.”

Badger knows from previous posts that a very simple way to make sure I raise no objections to a suggestion – not that I ever would, unless there is absolutely no link back to the source record – is to nominate something by one of my favourite bands ever, about whom I would never make any crass comments.

So with that in mind, here’s a picture of a man’s arse:

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The Smiths – Hand In Glove

You know that saying about how you have to wait ages for certain things to turn up – buses, or policemen, say – and then two turn up at once? Well add to that list “writers of the When You Can’t Remember Anything blog”.

Or to put it another way, here’s SWC:

“The follow up single to In Between Days was Close to Me that featured on the album Head on the Door. The first two words of which is the name of a very fine Jesus & Mary Chain track.”

This perplexed me at first, as I wasn’t aware of any Mary Chain single called “Close To”. But then the penny dropped, and such was my embarrassment at my own stupidity that I’m not going to get all pedantic and point out the album’s called The Head On the Door. And anyway, this is the first time we’ve featured one of their songs here on The Chain, so I’m not going to begrudge it. I mean, the words “Head” and “On” are still there, right?

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The Jesus & Mary Chain – Head On

SWC isn’t done yet though. Oh no.

“Or if you want cheese. Lol Tolhurst was once in The Cure. Lol is an expression for laughing. As is LMFAO. And they are Sexy, and They Know It.”

sexy-and-i-know-it-single-1LMFAO – Sexy and I Know It

Often on The Chain, I have to go searching the corners of the internet to track down copies of some of the songs suggested. I wish this had been one of them. But no, tucked away in the darkest corner of my external hard-drive, there it nestled.

Let’s move on shall we? There’s nothing to see here.

Here’s George:

“Linking Cure to Medicine, and Medicine Head’s first single His Guiding Hand, a song that The Swede will surely approve of, and a song rated by John Peel as one of the finest songs ever recorded.”

Indeed he did; in 2005 there was a Channel 4 documentary entitled “John Peel’s Record Box”, which focussed on a small, private collection of 143 singles representing some of his personal favourites, which Peel stored in a private wooden box. (It should be noted at this point, that said box contained no records by his most beloved band, The Fall: he kept them in a separate box).

You can watch the whole documentary here:

Needless to say from George’s introduction, His Guiding Hand” was in there. As is Status Quo’s “Down Down”. Just sayin’.

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Medicine Head – His Guiding Hand

Since we’re on the matter of John Peel, many of you will be aware that we’re fast approaching October 25th, the anniversary of his death, and a day where all those musically interested souls who owe such a debt to Peel try do something to honour his legacy. If you’d like to keep abreast of what events are going on, I’d recommend you a) visit the excellent Keeping It Peel blog, and b) follow @keepingitpeel on Twitter.

Anyway, I digress. Here comes Charity Chic, who decides to dip into that list of potential songs which Rol gave us right at the start:

“As Rol correctly points out there could be a link to Between the Wars by Billy Bragg…”

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Billy Bragg – Between The Wars

“…Kirsty MacColl brilliantly covered Days which babylotti mentions above. She also covered Billy Bragg’s New England so that would be nice”

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Kirsty MacColl – A New England

And you lot have clearly caught me in a good mood this week, because here’s a little extra treat for you. Lifted from one of those Radio 1 Live Lounge things (I think, I can’t actually remember where I got this from), but which as far as I know has never been commercially released (hence the less than pristeen sound quality and absence of a proper sleeve) is Kirsty and Billy performing an acoustic version:

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Kirsty MacColl & Billy Bragg – A New England (acoustic)

Moving on, but not quite so swiftly as we did to escape LMFAO, here’s Swiss Adam from Bagging Area:

“The Cure’s Just Like Heaven was memorably covered by Dinosaur Jr. Whose own song “Freak Scene” is one of the best songs ever recorded.”

He’s right you know. It really is:

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Dinosaur Jr. – Freak Scene

Here’s Alyson from What’s It All About, Alfie? who is definitely not a spy:

“If you feel unwell you probably want to find a Cure so will head Down To The Doctors where he/she will make you Feel Good again. Yes it’s Dr Feelgood with Down At The Doctors from me this week.”

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 Dr. Feelgood – Down At The Doctors

Heads up, George is back:

“I have a chain involving Tottenham Hotspur…”

Regular readers will now they’re my team, and Badger’s too, so in a week when we lost our opening game in the Champions League and then lost our main striker for an as yet undetermined period of time through injury, I was a little reluctant to invite George to expand on this.

I need not have worried:

“OK. Robert Smith of The Cure to Tottenham Hotspur footballer (of the 1960/1 double team) Bobby Smith. Tottenham Hotspur play at White Hart Lane (or used to) (Still do, mostly – Sports Ed), and Clay Hart was a country singer whose most famous song begins with these awesome lines “In a broken down apartment house lay a woman in labour…said by the grace of god I’ll have this child with the help of a neighbour”! Spring, by Clay Hart. Only in country music do you get such fabulous lyrics.”

And that, dear readers, is how to do Comment Showboating:

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Clay Hart – Spring

And that just leaves us with one suggestion, and this week that comes from The Swede from Unthought of, though, somehow:

“For my suggestion this week I’m going down the knob-twiddling route once again. David M. Allen co-produced a string of Cure albums, including ‘The Head on the Door’ from which ‘In Between Days’ is taken. Among Allen’s many other production credits is my favourite (and a criminally overlooked) Psychedelic Furs LP, ‘Book of Days’, from which I’ll choose ‘Torch’.”

You can’t beat a bit of know-twiddling in my book (innuendo very much intended), and it’s the type of link that doesn’t appear often enough here.

Anyway, here’s The Psychedelic Furs

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The Psychedelic Furs – Torch

And that concludes all of your suggestions for another week and I’m afraid none of you guessed what the record was in The (official) Chain. But before I reveal all, here’s my two suggestions, and I went down the same route as Alyson and George (with his first suggestion) did, going from The Cure to another word for a cure being a remedy, which led first to this, where Keith and the boys have got not just the poison, but the remedy too, which is one of those Good News/Bad News scenarios:

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The Prodigy – Poison

…which in turn led me to…(don’t worry, I’m not about to go all “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” or “Unskinny Bop” on you. They can keep for another day)…this:

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The Black Crowes – Remedy

Literally not heard that in years, and bloody great it still sounds too.

And so, to the official record and Rol, you are going to kick yourself, as are you CC for picking out the wrong one from his list of semi-suggestions. For the next record in the BBC Chain was chosen following this suggestion:

“… From ‘In Between Days’ to ‘Inbetween-er’…”

Ah well, never mind chaps, eh?

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21. Sleeper – Inbetweener

And that’s that for another week. So please submit your suggestions for songs which you can link to “Inbetweener” by Sleeper, along with your reasoning for the connection, via the Comments section down below.

I’ve got one already, unless one of you lot go and nick it first.

See you next week!

(More soon).