Back to School, Back to Reality #1

Not only am I not too keen on Mondays, there’s another day which, when I was a kid, I also was less than enamoured with: the day I had to pull my blazer back on, throw my satchel over my shoulder and head back to school. The end of the summer holidays.

Thankfully, it’s not something I have to endure any more, nor do I have any little darlings of my own that I’m currently breathing a huge sigh of relief about seeing the back of as they return to school this week (in most places).

So to mark Back to School week, I figured I’d dig out some sort of school related tunes for the rest of the week.

I wasn’t exactly a model pupil when I was at school, more interested with mucking about and making people laugh than I was in knuckling down and making teacher graphs (to appropriate a Belle & Sebastian lyric).

When my folks attended a school parents evening at the end of what was Year 3 back then, my Biology teacher told them how surprised she was that I had opted to take her class for the final two years, give how little interest I had shown in the previous three.

But I think that had this sultry fivesome been serenading me about the virtues of Biology, I may have paid a teensy bit more attention in class:

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Girls Aloud – Biology

More soon. Tomorrow, probably.

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Same Title, Different Song

The more astute amongst you will have noticed that usually by this time of year, the last weekend in July, I’ve posted a whole load of summery songs over what turned out to be a brief summer.

This year, it seems the weather has managed perfectly well without my help, thank you very much, so I’ve stayed out of the way.

Until now.

Two songs, one which isn’t really about summer, but has the word in summer in the title, and evokes that whole Young Rascals/Isley Brothers summer groove, the other which is unashamedly about summer, unabashedly pop, and, as those of us who refuse to look down our noses at them know, unapologetically brilliant:

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The Style Council – Long Hot Summer (’89 Mix)

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Girls Aloud – Long Hot Summer

Now, let the rainclouds roll in and unleash. We need to grow food to stockpile.

More soon.

This Is Pop

Girls Aloud: who knew that not only were they responsible for some of the best pop records of the 21st century, but that they were also responsible for managing the work diary of that fat old bearded bloke whose one job is to visit all of the kids on Christmas Eve.

And so here’s the girls telling Santa he has arrived prematurely. I’m pretty sure that’s what it’s about, anyway….

Oh, and in case you were wondering about the choice of sleeve, this is lifted from a Bonus CD of Christmas songs which came with their Chemistry album:

fadd2d7be2704b8b7ac3a5deae53f2c757aa6d63Girls Aloud – Not Tonight Santa

More soon.

This Is Pop #10

You were warned.

When I first started writing this sporadic thread, I featured a record by Girls Aloud, and mentioned that others by them would feature again at some point.

And so here we are.

I don’t have anything else to say about Girls Aloud that I haven’t already said, other than to reiterate they made some bloody great pop records.

And this, which almost has a rockabilly feel to it in places, is an absolute corker:

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Girls Aloud – Love Machine

More soon.

This Is Pop #1

Second of my new threads for the week now, and here is where I want to expand on the whole “there’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure” ethos which is supposed to pervade this palace that I have built. It’s also the thread which is most likely to shatter what little is left of my credibility.

But first, I want to draw on a couple of things my blogging peers have written. Firstly, to Rol at My Top Ten‘s tagline: “Irk the Musos!”, and secondly to something Alyson said recently over at What’s It All About, Alfie?: “It seems you should never be dismissive of any genre of music as one day you may suddenly just “get it” and you have a great new world to explore.”

This is a life-long philosophy of mine. I always hate it when I meet someone for the first time and as an ice-breaker they ask “What kind of music do you like?” because I always want to answer “Don’t try to pigeon-hole me, I like music. Not all musics, but lots of musics,” but figure I’ll sound like a bit of an idiot, so end up saying something even more excruciating, like “Oh you know, I guess I’d be called an Indie kid if I was 30 years younger.”

An example: I don’t really like reggae music. It’s fine, I can listen to it, it’s not a race thing, I understand the importance of it, it just doesn’t float my boat, doesn’t grease my wheels or whatever analogy you might choose. I still post reggae tunes when suggested in The Chain, because whilst broadly I’m not a fan of the genre, every now and then I’ll hear a tune and think: “Actually, that’s bloody brilliant.” (N.B. none of the tunes that have made me think that were by cod-white Brummies UB40)

And the same applies to any genre: there’s some songs I, we, you, like, and some that I, we you, don’t. Don’t ever dismiss, because undoubtedly you will be the one to miss out.

Which brings me here, to this second new thread of the week, where I unashamedly nail my colours to the mast and say: this is a pop record, and I really like it.

The thing with pop music is that it’s not supposed to remain popular, fashionable, or current, it is, by its very definition, transient, here today and gone tomorrow. And there’s nothing wrong with finding glee in a pop record that a few weeks later is no longer the flavour of the month.

And so, to Girls Aloud. I like some Girls Aloud records. Actually, I like quite a lot of Girls Aloud records. There. I’ve said it.

And I like them because they are brilliant pop records.

Many of you will disagree, and you’re not wrong to, but I’m not wrong to like them either. Subjectivity, that’s where we are.

This is the second Girls Aloud single, and the first thing I ever bought by them. Lyrically, tt’s  a mighty, anti-authoritarian “Don’t tell me what to do!”; musically, it obviously references “My Sharona” by The Knack, which just makes it even better in my opinion.

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Girls Aloud – No Good Advice

And don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to start extolling the virtues of Saturday Night ITV scheduling, but when they get it right, as they did here, with Girls Aloud (and I’m struggling to think of another “product” from that particular farm this applies to) it can be magnificent.

Girls Aloud will feature again in this thread, because like it or not, they made more than one ace pop record, so I’d suggest you either get used to it, or just don’t come visit on a Thursday.

By which, of course, I mean: More soon.