You’ve probably noticed that I’ve managed to post something every day this week, but I don’t mean busy in those terms.
I mean in real life, what with life-shattering events that I still haven’t expanded on (and I’m not going to), and the World Cup and…oh, you know. Life. Just life.
Before I started writing this blog, I would generally get home from work and the first thing I’d do would be to have a quick trawl of my favourite blogs, see what they had to say, what they’d posted. But since I started writing here, that happens less and less frequently.
And so it was that it was only a couple of days ago, that I found out that Drew over at Across The Kitchen Table, after nine and a half years of unparalleled brilliance, had decided to hang up his external hard-drive and call it a day.
I have oft cited Jim over at The Vinyl Villain as the main influence on me doing this, but that’s only part of the story. There are many other people whose blogs I visited daily before I joined in, to whom I owe a massive debt and Drew’s was definitely one of them.
I hope beyond hope that he will return again. We all need a break from doing this every now and then, nobody knows this more than me, and I haven’t even posted something of interest on every single day since I started as Drew has.
If you come back Drew, we’ll all be here, with open arms.
If you don’t, well, thank you, for everything. You’ve given us so much I wouldn’t know where to start in breaking it down.
Including this – and such high regard are you held in that last time I posted it, someone told me off for doing so before you had, because it was your song, and you get to post it every year before we’re allowed to.
Which is absolutely fair and right.
It also means that now, this song, is Forever Drew.
Ordinarily, I start every post on The Chain by recapping what we do here, what record we’re linking to this week, and then say I’d better crack on as we’ve got loads to get through.
Now whilst it is true that we have got an awful lot of tunes this week, there’s not as many as perhaps there could be, and that’s because one of our regular Chain Gang contributors is conspicuous by his absence for a second week running and is, I hear, rather unwell. I mean, I haven’t actually been presented with a sick note excusing him from participating, but that’s what I hear.
So, Badger: get well soon mate, and this week’s post is dedicated to you.
Last week’s record was “Radio, Radio” by Elvis Costello & The Attractions, a song which cropped up a couple of months ago on my Radio-themed “Friday Night Music Club” post, and so I was anticipating a few that I had chosen back then would resurface again here. Not a bit of it, which is either indicative of either the wide range of musical tastes you guys and girls cover, or of how many bad records I chose. Or both.
So to kick things off, one of my suggestions which didn’t quite make the cut when I was writing that “Friday Night…” post, mostly because it doesn’t have the word “Radio” in it’s title. But it seems an appropriate place for us to start:
“‘Radio Radio’ is taken from the LP ‘This Year’s Model’. If your car happens to be this year’s model (at least if it was registered in the UK between March & August), the age identifier portion of the number plate would be 16. In 1980 The Clash promoted the ‘London Calling’ LP with the 16 Tons Tour, every night of which would see the band walk on stage to ‘Sixteen Tons’ by Tennessee Ernie Ford.”
Actually, there’s a double link for that one, as it was the subject of a Facebook campaign to get it to Number 6 in the UK Singles charts in an effort to save the BBC’s radio station 6 Music. It actually managed to scale to the giddy heights of Number 56, but the station survived, thankfully.
Time to check back in with Dirk, whose next Clash/Radio song is, perhaps unsurprisingly:
Whenever someone mentions Capital Radio, I’m always reminded of one of their DJs, who also worked the decks on Radio 1 for a while: David ‘Kid’ Jensen. I am still allowed to mention him, aren’t I? He’s not one of the bad ones, right? Good. Then I can legitimately play this:
But enough of my suggestions (by which I mean, I’ll have some more later): time for Alex G, who this week writes his suggestion like this:
“The recent Edinburgh Fringe revival of 80s comedy show “Radio Active” has got me listening to the old shows again. One of the episodes is called “The Radio Radio Programme” and as usual it includes one of Phil Pope’s musical parodies, his target in that particular episode being “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel. Not one of PP’s best efforts, but reason enough to suggest linking to the original “Sledgehammer” by the actual Peter Gabriel.”
I could, at this point, post that ground-breaking video, but we’ve all seen that, so instead I thought I’d take a step back and post a couple of Phil Pope’s better parodies. I think you’ll recognise his targets on both of these:
Alyson – and indeed her other half Jamie – will be back in a bit. When you see what one of them suggests, you’ll be wishing they had stopped at Quo.
In the meantime, here’s Charity Chic from Charity Chic Music, who you may recall was very close to suggesting the official next record in the chain last week, and therefore almost bagged himself some invaluable (by which I mean of no value whatsoever) bonus points:
“From ‘Radio Radio’ to the excellent ‘Mexican Radio’ by Wall of Voodoo…”
“Suspect I won’t be troubling the scorers this week…” he sadly concludes.
You’re right, CC, you won’t. But you haven’t nominated the worst record of the week. Has he, Alyson?
Nor has The Beard, although he gave me a bit of a fright with the direction of this week’s suggestion:
“The lyrics to ‘Radio Radio’ make reference to late night listening. Circa 1992 I heard Annie Lennox played back to back in the small hours on Radio One, something that haunts me to this day. One of the songs played was Why. Why by Carly Simon is infinitely better.”
Deep breaths, everyone. We’re okay. He didn’t go there. The Annie Alarm remains untroubled.
Ordinarily, I might only allow one song by the same artist to be nominated by the one person, but I’m going to let it slide here for two reasons. Firstly, “Nobody Does It Better” is my favourite Bond theme ever (most of the time; sometimes it’s “Live and Let Die”). Secondly…well…have you ever seen the episode in the second series of “I’m Alan Partridge” where our late night radio host describes the opening sequence of “The Spy Who Loved Me”, to which “Nobody…” is the theme, as the VHS copy he intended to watch in his static home has been inadvertently taped over with “America’s Strongest Man”? And have you ever wondered how accurate his commentary is? Wonder no longer:
Speaking of songs that I wouldn’t normally allow, here’s The Great Gog:
“‘Radio Radio’ features the same word repeated in its title as does another ECATA ditty, ‘Party Party’ from the film of the same name. There are obviously lots of other examples of this type of song-titling, but that one seemed the most appropriate.”
Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t allow a song by the same artist as the record we are linking to (not that it’s ever happened before, mind). On this occasion, you just get away with it on the grounds of the repetition of words theme.
In fact, you could also have this one, which I pointed out to Kay I was surprised she hadn’t suggested, given that’s it’s by her favourite group, that it has a title with the same word repeated in it, and even has the word ‘repetition’…erm…repeated quite a lot in it:
Right. Let me take a step back, survey the carnage, and see who I haven’t mentioned yet.
George. Of course, George.
“Older people than myself, such as Charity Chic and The Swede, might prefer to use the word wireless instead of radio. In the tv programme Not The Nine O’Clock News, they once did a song with the lyrics “On the road you must be brave and tireless, on the road you can listen to the wireless”. I think that song is called I Like Trucking.”
Close, George. My recollection is that on the show it was referred to as “I Like Trucking”, but when the cash-in accompanying album “Hedgehog Sandwich” was released, the title had been shortened to just “Trucking”:
“I have an entry first from the other half Jamie, who decided that if there are two radios the sound will be in stereo which led him to think of the Stereophonics who released a track called Vegas Two Times from their ‘Just Enough Education to Perform’ album. Bit of a double link with the “stereo” and the “two times” both relating to Radio Radio.”
What with me having lived in Wales for 20 years, at the time that the Stereophonics came to prominence, you could be forgiven for thinking I love them.
You’d be wrong though.
Did you ever have that thing happen to you, when you’re in the middle of a conversation and someone suddenly sticks their head round the corner, and says something which completely makes you lose your thread? Here’s Swiss Adam again, who’s located another unexpected item in his Bagging Area:
“I worked in the radio industry for 23 years of my life. Radio Radio is one of my all-time favourite songs because of the lines…
‘And the radio is in the hands Of such a lot of fools Trying to anaesthetize The way that you feel’
When I started working in radio, back in the late 80s, my ambition was to be a jock because then I’d get to pick my own music. A couple of years later, presenter choice was gone from local radio and my ambitions of being a DJ were over. I stayed in the industry for a further 20 years in other roles because it was an easy job and I got lots of freebies from the record library: basically, all the good stuff they wouldn’t ever play because it didn’t “test well” with the great unwashed.
All of which would usually lead me to suggest the same track I selected last week: Rex Bob Lowenstein by Mark Germino & The Sluggers. But as I already had that one, can I instead go with a very similar tale…”
“I have a chain that results in a Bruce Springsteen song…” he says, slightly curiously, given that on these very pages he has named Broooce as the other act, along with The Clash, that he dislikes.
Despite much encouragement, he declined to provide us with the link, declaring he would “rather stick pins in my eyes”, which seems a bit extreme. I’d recommend ear plugs as a far more effective way to avoid hearing something, George. You’re welcome.
Instead, he comes up with this:
“From Elvis Costello to Elvis Perkins (son of Anthony Perkins the actor) and from his album Ash Wednesday the song Ash Wednesday.”
A couple more folks returning from earlier now. Here’s The Robster:
“We got here by way of the name of Elvis Costello’s record label. There’a a reggae label called Easy Star Records that has a house band, The Easy Star All-Stars. Along with an astounding selection of guest vocalists, they’ve released a series of excellent tribute albums over the years, one of which was ‘Radiodread’, a reggae tribute to ‘OK Computer’ by Radiohead. I could suggest any number of songs from it (‘Lucky’ featuring the legendary Frankie Paul; ‘Let Down’ featuring the uber-legendary Toots & The Maytals), but I’m going to plump for ‘No Surprises’ featuring The Meditations.”
You may have noticed that it’s not just Badger who is conspicuous by his absence this week. Where has his When You Can’t Remember Anything… partner in crime S-WC got to? Well, he’s in the middle of moving house, but he did take time out from packing up boxes to suggest this:
“I don’t really have a lot of time to explain but my suggestion is ‘Radio Ladio’ by Metronomy.”
Okay, where next. Ah yes. Can’t really put this off any longer. Welcome back Alyson:
“I think I have probably come up with something that would win cheesiest song EVER in a poll of polls. Yes, from Elvis Costello to Abbott and Costello (the more mature chain-ganger will remember them) to Russ Abbot who had a mid ’80s hit with Atmosphere (as in he liked a party with one).”
Let’s be honest, it was only a matter of time before I got round to posting this. There’s so much to make you cringe here: the reference to being “at the dancing party” – was that ever a thing?; the desperate attempt to be hip by referencing Frankie Goes to Hollywood; the frankly rather seedy looking video where Russ saunters through a nightclub full of dressed-for-the-80s bright young things, looking like the sort of person your mother used to warn you about.
You’ve never seen the video, you say? Then get your laughing gear round this:
See what they did there? It’s so disappointing that it doesn’t quite work.
Maybe it does if you do it the other way round?
Better. Much better.
Okay, to round things off this week, one last suggestion from me.
In 2006, Basement Jaxx released their fourth album “Crazy Itch Radio”, from which I’ve chosen this little beauty:
Which just leaves us with the small matter of what the official song in the link was. And normally I’m a little bit disparaging about the tune they select, not so much for the song, but for the reason it was suggested/selected.
But credit where credit’s due, this week’s is a double-linker:
“Elvis Costello sings on the Joni Mitchell covers album [A Tribute to Joni Mitchell]…” ..and although he doesn’t sing this one, the choice of Joni tune doubles up here:
It’s hot. Too hot. I mean, I like it hot, but not this hot.
Which is basically my explanation for not having finished writing up this week’s edition of The Chain. I spend the whole day in an office with no air-conditioning (or if there is, they’ve not decided it’s warm enough yet to actually turn it on yet), tapping away at my laptop, sweltering in a pool of my own sweat, and frankly it’s not something I’m inclined to do an awful lot more of when I get home.
So The Chain will return in the next few days, once the heatwave has passed, and to expedite it I figured I do a few short posts featuring my favourite summer records. That ought to jinx the hot weather, alright.
Here’s the first, an absolute doozie, which as far as I can tell from a quick recce round the blogs of my, I’m the first to post this year. Yey. Go me.
As you will see in the next few posts (assuming it isn’t tumping it down with rain tomorrow), my preference for summer records is more Summer Breeze than Summer Fun(although the latter is highly likely to feature too).