Tonight, some absolute class for you.
Dedicating this to everyone who, like me, will be hunched over their laptops at 9am desperately trying to buy Glastonbury 2020 tickets.
Tonight, some absolute class for you.
Dedicating this to everyone who, like me, will be hunched over their laptops at 9am desperately trying to buy Glastonbury 2020 tickets.
There. That’s caught you all out. The Chain on a Wednesday morning.
Don’t get used to this. I’m at a work conference this afternoon and won’t get back until late, so I figured if I didn’t get it done before then, it’d end up being another week before it appeared. So, I started writing it earlier than usual (but still a week late, if you’re being ungratefully picky).
Anyway, we’ve lots to get through this week – 63 new suggestions in total – and so, as has become usual, we’ll start off with a reminder of the source record for the week:
Yet again, one of you correctly guessed the next song in The Chain, but we’ll come to that later. Or, more specifically, at the end.
But first, where to begin? Link-wise, I can think of no finer place than with therobster from Is This The Life? although, as you will see, the first tune of the week can only be partly credited to him:
“I’ve gone down the ‘intentionally misspelled animal-related band name’ route. How about some Def Leppard? No…?”
Yes! But with no actual one-armed suggestions forthcoming from the robster, in stepped Rol from My Top Ten:
“If therobster isn’t going to suggest one, can I suggest…”
“…because it’s very silly.”
Back to therobster, who actually suggests this:
“…let’s have the Monkees. As the Beatles were from Liverpool, I reckon ‘Randy Scouse Git’ would fit well. Plus, it’s actually about a party the band went to that was hosted by The Beatles”
Now, just in case any of you were planning on pulling me up on using that sleeve, let me explain. RCA Records bosses told the band that they would not release the song with the title “Randy Scouse Git” (which, incidentally, is taken from 1960s sitcom “‘Til Death Us Do Part”), and demanded they gave it an alternate title. “Okay”, said drummer/singer Mickey Dolenz, “‘Alternate Title’ it is.”
Here’s another band that fits nicely into the category:
Now, as therobster quite right points out, The Beatles is indeed a mis-spelling, and a pun, on a group if insects, but this seems to have completely passed Kay by:
“I’m going down the insect/bug route” she announces, and then names these two tunes:
But whilst we’re on links from The Beatles to the beetles, we may as well have Mrs GMFree, who suggests: “A Beetle is a VW car which is German, so are krautrock masters Kraftwerk…”
Or, as Alan Partridge would say:
(NB. I tried to track down a video clip of just the Partridge – Kraftwerk introduction, sadly to no avail. But imagine my surprise when typing the words “alan partridge introduces kraftwerk” into Google to find that the fourth link it offers is to…The Chain #28!)
But I digress. GMFree seizes the opportunity to do the old Chain link one-two shuffle:
“Which leads me to my [next] suggestion with the recent death of Holger Czukay…”
“…which I first heard covered by The Jesus & Mary Chain, one of many bands influenced by the experimental Germans.”
And GMFree isn’t done there, providing “a Beatle link to a Captain Beefheart cover”, which contains one of the rarest sounds ever committed to record – Mark E Smith giggling:
There’s also this, of course:
Enter George (that’s an introduction, rather than a command), who suggests:
“…given that The Beatles once played on the roof of their Apple building, what about…”
Ah yes, Apple Records. Alex G picks this up and runs with it:
“‘Martha, My Dear’ is from The Beatles’ eponymous 1968 LP, their first on their own Apple Records imprint. So from one artist-owned label named after a fruit, to another: Ray Charles’ Tangerine Records. I do wonder whether the Beatles got the idea from him, though nobody else seems to think so. Anyway, let’s go for Ray Charles’ version of…”
Which is, as Alex G points out/pleads, a double linker. Points!
Time for a Magical Mystery Tour next, courtesy of Julian from Music From Magazines:
“The Beatles had a couple of names before they became famous
1. The Quarrymen
To quarry is to mine as in ‘Soul Mining’ by The The ( fill your boots)”
Don’t mind if I do.
“2. The Silver Beatles
Martha is a lady’s name
And the bloke leaning over my shoulder at the bar is called Dave, amongst other things
So let’s switch on the Magimix ™ and see what delight we get
………… and the winner is
David Soul ‘Silver Lady'”
Much as I love that record, it’s featured before, way back in The Chain #8, and as such has to be disqualified. But since GMFree has done the old Chain link one-two shuffle, I suggested Julian might want to follow suit. So, since, he’d got to David Soul, perhaps one of his other songs? Nope. That’s too straight-forward for our Julian:
“David Soul starred in a short lived TV show called ‘Casablanca’, so how about…”
I must say, I’m not in the least bit surprised that Julian has suggested a song from a film which contains the line “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”
Anyway, he’s riffing by now:
“…coincidently [Casablanca] was the record label that released…”
Having valiantly chipped in to assist therobster earlier, Rol’s back with a suggestion all his own doing:
“‘Martha My Dear’ is from The White Album. Another band who released a ‘White Album’ (following on from their Blue, Green and Red albums… even though all of them were actually just eponymous) were Weezer. From that, I’ll suggest…”
Do any other White albums spring to mind? Well, no, although there is, of course “The Whitey Album”, by Sonic Youth off-shoot Ciccone Youth (I really thought this would get suggested, especially as I posted a track from it in a recent post).
Over to Alyson from What’s It All About? to wrap up the whiteness now:
“It occurred to me that The Beatles ‘White Album’ reminds me of Mr Barry White…I can’t find any dog-related [this will get explained soon – Ed] Barry songs or ones about a girl called Martha [I think we pretty much used them all up last time – Ed] so it’ll have to be the next most appropriate for this place:”
Now, all this white stuff is all well and good, but let me draw all of your attention back to something Alex G said earlier: ‘Martha, My Dear’ is from The Beatles’ eponymous 1968 LP…” And he’s quite right: the album in question is colloquially known as ‘The White Album’ but it’s actually, officially, called ‘The Beatles’.
Which takes us back to George, who suggests a new category: “…the ‘eponymous album that wasn’t a debut’ route.” And specifically he suggest this, from Blur’s 1997 album, the fifth that they released:
I must say, this is my favourite link of all that were suggested this time. It had never occurred to me before that most acts, when releasing an eponymous album, made it their debut, presumably to double the impact of their name, get it “out there” as a recognisable brand. So I did a little digging and found these acts also released eponymous albums, but not first time around:
Yes, everyone calls their fifth album “The Black Album”, but it’s not called that, it’s called ‘Metallica’.
And at the other end of the musical spectrum, this lots’ first album was 1973’s “Ring Ring”, but it wasn’t until two years later, when they released their third album, that they released an album called…well, you can figure the rest of that sentence out for yourselves:
I sense a new series of posts coming on…
Now, remember how in her suggestion Alyson mentioned something about dogs in songs? Well that’s where we’re going next and here’s Dirk from sexyloser to explain why:
“..the title ‘Martha My Dear’ was inspired by McCartney’s Old English Sheepdog, named Martha.”
Which leads us nicely into a whole batch of songs about dogs. Sort of. But before we get to Dirk’s suggestion, here’s The Great Gog, awake at 02:31am and thinking about dogs:
“All this talk of Martha has me thinking of my one of my sister’s dogs, which goes by that moniker. Martha is a spaniel, no idea what type of spaniel though. One type is a cocker spaniel which immediately led me to thinking of…”
Relax ladies, he’s married. And dead.
Back to The Great Gog it is then:
“Another type is a King Charles spaniel. The next King Charles is still a prince, however, so I can legitimately suggest…”
The Songs (Sort Of) About Dogs category is (almost) the largest category, so strap yourself in for some canine capers. You could say that we’ve gone dog crazy, in fact:
Okay then Dirk, what have you got for us?
“Another famous Old English Sheepdog was Alfie, who starred in ‘Serpico’, so – of course – did Al Pacino. And Al Pacino will always be remembered – at least in my household – not for Serpico, but a) [for the sex scene he had with the fabulous Ellen Barkin in] ‘Sea Of Love’, the film being named after a single by Phil Phillips from 1959. I prefer The Heptones’ version from 1968 though, also we don’t have enough Rocksteady on ‘The Chain’, I’m sure you’ll agree!”
Sorry, I stopped paying attention at the mention of Ellen Barkin. (I was wondering you were linking to her surname)
What was the other thing Al Pacino is remembered for in Dirk Towers, Dirk?
“…and b) for ‘The Godfather’….So…if you have a minute The Godfathers would be appropriate…perhaps….?”
And Dirk’s not done there. Oh no:
“We could also have something by Blondie as well…‘cos contrary to what everyone thinks, the band didn’t choose their name because Debbie Harry was blonde, no, they named themselves after Adolf Hitler’s German Shepherd, Blondi (the ‘i’ – ending was generally regarded as being too uncommon for American ears, so much so that the ‘-e’ was added)!”
Which is good enough for me. Here’s the Blondie track Dirk suggested:
At which point, Walter from A few good times in my life pops in to throw this threesome into the mix:
“…if we go the ‘dog’ road there will be a lot of songs recommended, i.e….:”
And as it happens, nobody else suggested any of the three Walter mentioned, (although I had one lined up as one of my oh-so many choices) so here they are:
Ok, brace yourself. It’s time for the undisputed Worst Record of the Week award, and to
present the award here’s all round nice guy and not a white supremacist enabler at all, Sean Spicer accept the award and explain what the hell he was thinking when he sent me this suggestion is Rigid Digit from Stuff & Nonsense:
“…sticking firmly to the Dogs route (and a contender for Worst Record Of The Week)…”
Not just a contender, Rigid, but so nailed on The Worst Record Of The Week that nobody else even bothered to try to think of any more because this was so obviously unbeatable.
But first some context.
The song is about Barbara Woodhouse, a dog trainer who found celebrity status in the UK in the late 1970s/early 1980s, back when celebrities were required to have some semblance of talent (see also celebrity steeplejack Fred Dibnah). Here’s a clip to give you an idea:
And here she is, interviewing William Shatner, teaching his dogs a thing or two, and then revealing a little too much about her bedtime habits for my liking:
And here’s Rigid’s suggestion. Remember: in the world of The Barron Knights, a man putting on a ladies voice = funny:
Not that they’re alone in that belief:
And here’s two actual funny women, Rebecca Front and Joanna Scanlon, parodying Ms Woodhouse directly and subtly:
I’ll leave the last word on that Barron Knights song to Charity Chic who quipped:
“I think you missed an H out of the title.”
Rigid then goes on to mention the Dogs d’Amour, but doesn’t actually suggest a record by them. Luckily for
us him, babylotti steps in with three suggestions by the band; I’ve picked the one he cited as his favourite. Because I’m nice like that.
Relax ladies, etc. etc.
I must say I always get the Dogs d’Amour mixed up with The Quireboys. Were they around at the same time? (NB: This is a rhetorical question, the type where instead of already knowing the answer, I already know that I don’t really care.)
So let’s have some more doggy-do’s, and one which I was surprised nobody else suggested. A song which is famously about a dog, although the name in the title was changed from ‘Brandy’ in the first draft (who sounds more like a stripper than a dog, if I’m honest) to:
Count yourselves lucky I didn’t post the Boyzone version. Or the Westlife version. Whichever one of them recorded it. They’re the same thing really anyway, aren’t they?
Oh, and innuendo fans, check out the title of that B-Side. Parp!
Since we appear to be in 1970s softie ballad territory, here’s another from Rigid Digit:
“What the world needs is more acoustic guitar playing beardy blokes…”
which is debatable, but he means that as an introduction to this:
It’s no wonder that Cat Stevens changed his name. A cat admitting to loving a dog is always going to be given the cold shoulder by the feline community.
Now, I must admit that when Rigid suggested that song, I actually thought he was talking about this:
Thank goodness for The Barron Knights, or I’d have to give myself the Worst Record of the Week award now.
But it’s okay, I can turn things round. From Peter Shelley, to Pete Shelley:
(I was going to post a Buzzcocks tune and had settled for the (s)punky little burst that is ‘Orgasm Addict’, until I realised how that might look when played after the previous two songs…)
Time for another one that I was surprised nobody else came up with. The original version has featured on The Chain before, so I would have had to disqualify it. But, as with the helping hand I tried to give Julian earlier, had the original been suggested than I would doubtless have given you a nudge towards this:
One more doggy disc to go, and we’re back with Rigid Digit again. He’s relentless, isn’t he?
His final suggestion is for a record that’s “Madly brilliant, but not really essential.”
Their record label initially refused to release that, on the grounds that it was trying just a bit too hard to sound like The Small Faces. Harsh, but fair.
But as Rigid astutely concludes:
“There ain’t many songs whose last words are: ‘lovely buttocks'”
A fair point, well made. But just think of the songs which could be improved by the inclusion of those words. “God Save The Queen” springs to mind.
Speaking of which…
Often, the suggestions link from one song to another by way of one word in the title. But there wasn’t much to work on here, just three words, and one of them, Martha, was pretty much done to death last time. But there was one more song to link to that name, from Swiss Adam over at Bagging Area:
“I have a niece called Martha. Her Mum, my sister, was born in June 1977. My parents sometimes say that if she’d been born on the Queen’s jubilee day they’d have called her Jubilee. At least I think they’re joking. So [this] seems an appropriate link (Pistols obvs).”
As does this, to be fair:
Having mopped up the last of the Martha’s, we’ll edge towards the end of the song title now with a “My” or two. Or three, actually. And two of them are from me.
This being one of them:
And since it features a man and his dog (and for no other reason, honestly) here’s the video for that one too:
The other “My” suggestion comes from abramson60, who, clearly unmoved by that video, announces that he’s “got a soft spot for Joan Armatrading.”
Me: Well, if you’re suggesting that…
The Chain gang: …then you’re suggesting this:
And so on to what is the biggest grouping of songs of the week.
Surprisingly, nobody went for this:
So, where to start with this little lot. Well, let’s split them down into songs which feature the word “Dear” in the title (or prominently elsewhere in the lyrics) and, first, songs which can in some way be linked to Deer.
And, after missing last times linkage, it’s a warm welcome back to SWC, who proffers this:
“If we want to be clever…”
Look out. Julian’s back:
“I never checked the spelling and assumed Paul was singing about a ruminant mammal on his Scottish Croft . The Beatles released a b-side “Rain” and Bambi was a deer, know the song yet?
Blind Bambi… no idea
Dead blind Bambi… still no idea…?”
I must admit, I assumed at this point that Julian was about to suggest this:
(Except it’s not really the Sex Pistols, is it? It’s got Eddie Tudor-Pole on lead vocals for a start. And it’s from ‘The Great Rock’n’Roll Swindle’. And it’s title and that picture are clearly meant to shock, but it’s shocking for the sake of being shocking. Not cool.)
But no, Julian was in fact going here:
“Ok it’s the rain song from Bambi”.
This caused a little confusion at Chain HQ, as the song that Julian actually wanted was this:
…which, confusingly, was not going to be in the original film, it was going to be a song called “Rain Song”, which was ditched in favour of “…April Showers”, and which you can see/hear here:
And then, just to confuse things even further, Julian goes and suggests this:
But of course, we all know where Julian’s really heading:
“More importantly the animated video for “Is a Woman” also features falling leaves and a deer, by Lambchop of course”
But of course:
And here’s the video he mentions:
I’ve not had chance to watch that, so I’m trusting you on that one, Jules.
Ok, so that’s the deer related bunch over with, so “if we are going down the dear route”, says SWC, then “we need….”
Cheers, SWC, I’d totally forgotten about that one. Great to hear it again.
Back to GMFree now, for another couple of belters:
I have a confession to make: I’ve never seen Blade Runner. Sacrilege, I know. But it’s one of those films that everybody bangs on to me about how amazing it is that it can never live up to expectations. I guess I’d better rectify that before the new one comes out later this year, right?
Over to babylotti now, who suggests these two:
“[I’m] going to fall back on Marvin Gaye’s divorce settlement album, ‘Here My Dear’, with obvious reference to Martha my dear….I’ll suggest the title track rather than any of the singles.”
…before also doing that old Chain link one-two shuffle:
“And from there I believe I have to link to…”
And whilst we’re on great versions of classic songs, does this next one remind anyone of anything?
Anybody? No? Not even this:
Just me then.
Back to abramson60 again for his second and final submission:
“…there would be ‘Mother dear, they’re teaching me to do the goose-step’, which can be found in….”
Martin from New Amusements snuck his suggestion under the wire just in time:
“Keith Moon used to call everybody “Dear Boy” and he did a pretty fair cover of Beatles track ‘In My Life’ for his lone solo album ‘Two Sides of the Moon’ (even if it was played with too straight a bat). Anyway, a double-linker!”
A double-linker indeed. Points!
Back to Walter now, and his final two suggestions (although, granted, his first three were more mentioned in passing than actual suggestions):
“For sure, from probably Talking Heads’ last good record ‘Naked’…”
and “Another song that accompanied me since my youngest days…”
Time for C from Sun Dried Sparrows tune now, and this is an example of me saving the best ’til (almost) last; I think this is my favourite song by this lot. I love a good bracket (see?)
“I went down the ‘dear’ route too and another song whose title ends in the word ‘dear’ (there can’t be many, surely?). “Dear” is such a charming, old-fashioned word, I always thought it sounded a bit out of place for Blondie to use it but I love that they do. So I’d like to suggest…”
Now, when the suggestions start coming in, I will often have a little bet with myself as to who I think will suggest what. I’m rarely right, of course. For example, this week I was sure that Dirk would suggest this:
But he didn’t, so now I have to, just to give extra justification for me posting this:
You’re right. I can’t help myself sometimes.
Which just leaves two songs, and you’ve probably noticed that Charity Chic from Charity Chic Music has been a bit quiet this time out. Here’s why:
“My first thoughts (neither of which will be the correct answer) were…”
…which, given it’s a cover of a song from The Beatles’ “White Album” and features the word “Dear” is unquestionably a double-linker (Points!!).
And I wouldn’t be so sure about neither of your suggestions being right, CC, for you’re right on the money with your second one. The official link is, quite simply “From one Dear to another…” and the next record in The Official Chain is this:
I’d forgotten how great that record is too, as it goes.
So, CC, congratulations. A huge bag of non-existent points is winging its way to you. Hopefully that makes up for The Chain making you late for work last time. And today, too.
Ok, you know what happens now. This is the bit where I invite your suggestions, please, for songs which link to “There, There, My Dear” by Dexys Midnight Runners, along with a brief description of the link, via the Comments Section down below, in time for the next edition. Who knows when that might be.
So here’s where we listen to a County record suitable for a Sunday morning.
Today’s song is a cover of a Hank Williams tune, however the performer is most certainly not a Country singer. Nor is the performance in a Country style.
But it’s more than suitable for posting here, and is just perfect for a Sunday morning.
And that’s because it comes from an album entitled “Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music”, and because it’s by no less a luminary than Ray Charles.
Get your ears round this:
Before we get going a disclaimer: if I seem a little distracted tonight, it’s because I’m trying to accomplish that task that so many (men) find difficult – multi-tasking. For tonight, whilst writing this, I am also watching Spurs in the Champions League. So, if my demeanour takes a turn for the worst towards the end, you’ll know why. (As you can see, I’m full of optimism….).
So, to business: last week I left you with “The House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals and asked for your suggestions for songs to link to it, and, as usual, you’ve not let me down with the standard of suggestion or level of link.
As is often the case, the majority of the suggestions fell into the same categories, and this time there were four
There are a few others which we’ll sprinkle liberally throughout the post too.
Now, you’ll remember that the reason we’re looking at “The House of the Rising Sun” was because one of the members of the band was Chas Chandler, who went on to manage Jimi Hendrix, the subject of last week’s post, so it only seems right that we start with a Chas related record.
Also, there wasn’t that much in the way of cheese last week; this redresses that immediately.
Over to you, Charity Chic (who is going to be annoyed that I have already started one sentence with the word “So”):
“Let’s get the cheesy one out the way at the start – Chas ‘n’ Dave with Snooker Loopy”:
Next up, is George:
“John Steel of The Animals met Alan Price in Byker. Byker Grove was a TV programme that gave us Ant and Dec…but we’ve already had Ant and Dec….I’ll start again…”
And have a word with yourself while you’re at it, George. It was PJ and Duncan we previously featured, and as we all know, they were completely different to Ant and Dec. One of them had been tragically blinded in a bizarre paintballing accident, for a start. (“Bizarre Paintballing Accident” sounds like a suggestion from a random “New Order/Half Man Half Biscuit/Elvis Costello” title generator, doesn’t it? Actually, thinking about it, that joke works just as well with the words “New Order” and “Elvis Costello” removed from it.)
Over to Alex G from We Will Have Salad for the next name related piece of fun:
“Alan Price was in The Animals, therefore… “£20 To Get In” by Shut Up And Dance.”
Time for my first suggestion of the week. Alan Price appeared in, and composed the music for, “O Lucky Man!”, a 1973 film directed by Lindsay Anderson. Five years earlier, Anderson released arguably his most iconic film, “if….” which is also the name of a famous poem by Rudyard Kipling, but is also the name of a single culminates in a glorious sing-a-long, probably my favourite song by The Bluetones, who make their hat-trick appearance here on The Chain.
Now, here’s George with his first proper suggestion:
“Chas Chandler: a chandler was the person in charge of candles and wax, and speaking of wax leads to The Three Johns song Teenage Nightingales To Wax.”
But before George returns with his second suggestion, here’s Dirk from Sexyloser:
“In fact, George, it should lead to Nightmares In Wax’ ‘Black Leather’ instead, bearing in mind that Pete Burns died only a few days ago.”
A fair point. I didn’t comment or mark Burns’ passing here at the time because, well, to be honest, I’m all dead pop-starred out for this year. Still, here he is:
Back to George for his third suggestion, not to a band member, but to their manager:
“The manager of The Animals was Mickie Most. Mickie Most set up the RAK label, and Hot Chocolate were signed to that label. And the song is Emma. Which is a fine, fine pop song.”
Last one for our linking band members names, and here’s The Beard:
“Alan Price had success after leaving The Animals with Simon Smith and The Amazing Dancing Bear which was also covered by The Muppets on their debut album.”
It was, and I very nearly posted their version (it’s by Scooter, which would have led to a lot of very disappointed fans of the German dance band accidentally stumbling across this place), but the Muppets will be making an appearance later, so we’ll pass on that.
Besides, I don’t think that’s the record our Bearded Buddy was looking to nominate, as he continues:
“Animal was, of course, the drum bashing Muppet. A similar sounding drummer is Philthy Animal Taylor from Motörhead. Their single No Class is in fact pure class.“
Which leads us rather nicely onto the next category, but before we go there: we’ve all seen over the years boy bands exploit their innocent fan base by releasing a single which featured a different member of the band on the cover? Well, who knew that such acts weren’t just restricted to the teen market….?:
Time to sprinkle a little uncategorisable magic dust. And some more shameless nicking of ideas.
I’ll let The Great Gog, who suggested it, take over:
“The Animals also recorded We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, which was covered by (lovable?) 90s Scousers, Space. A couple of decades earlier, a French band of the same name came to our attention with the then futuristic-sounding Magic Fly.”
Take a look at that sleeve. Remind you of anyone? Seems a little bit daft, a little bit punk to me. And there was me thinking Daft Punk were ground-breaking, and it turns out they’re just rehashing ideas from their fellow countrymen from the 1970s. Luckily, very few of the UK’s current pop stars follow suit, or most of them would be in prison. Maybe that should be unluckily…
By the way, that suggestion continues a trend which I’ve encountered a couple of times since I started hosting The Chain, and which Alyson identified following my Halloween night post, a condition known as “Oh so that’s what that record’s called”. (see also “House of the King” by Focus and another one that I’ve forgotten already.)
Speaking of Focus, that hasn’t been an issue for me so far, it’s 0-0 at half time, in case you’re interested.
Last one before we start looking at the sings in the Animal(s) category, and here’s The Robster from Is This The Life?:
“Japan is known as the Land of the Rising Sun. Melt-Banana is a Japanese band who have quite a few songs that mention animals. They once released a compilation called 13 Hedgehogs which included tracks called Iguana In Trouble, Turtle vs. Bunny (Who One?) and Pig To Dog. But I’m going for the fabulously-titled Bird-Like Monkey in Cave, Singing in Drops, basically because it’s the only one of the above that breaches the 2-minute mark. (There’s also Bird-Like Monky Part 2 on the same album if you prefer – it’s just seven seconds long and for that reason might be a little more bearable for those with tender ears…)”
Regular readers will know I love Japanese bands like Shonen Knife and Puffy AmiYumi, who have a knack of stumbling across the odd cracking tune every now and then. So when The Robster suggested this lot, who I’d never heard of before, I was positively moist with anticipation:
No offence, Rob, but that reminds me of this:
Let’s move on to some Animal based fun. Not that kind of fun. Purely aural fun. Not that kind of aural fun either, you mucky lot.
You’ll remember that last week I had to disqualify one suggestion because, well, as far as I could establish, it was wrong. I was disappointed, as the link led to one of my favourite cover versions. I’m delighted to report that Swiss Adam from Bagging Area has taken up the challenge:
“The Animals are named after our four legged friends. On the cover of The Rockingbirds’ ‘Gradually Learning’ 12″ single the guitarist (who also plays with Edwyn Collins) is riding a horse (which is of course an animal). The Rockingbirds covered Right Said Fred’s Deeply Dippy….”
“…which,” Swiss continues, “features several references to Spain in its lyrics. Spain is partly famous for its horses, as Roddy Frame noted.”
Next, a very, very warm welcome back to Badger from When You Can’t Remember Anything, now able to type and submit his own suggestions again, and boy does he make up for lost time:
“I have three suggestions, but you don’t need to pick all three.”
Need? No. Gonna? Yes.
“Animal was the drummer in the muppets, and it was also a track from on ‘Paradise Don’t Come Cheap’ by gravel voiced hip hoppers New Kingdom. So we could have that.”
Yes, we could.
“Or, ‘Animal Nitrate’ was a poor attempt at clever wordplay by Suede but a very fine single never the less. So that…”
“…or finally, and perhaps best of all, another word for a bunch of animals could be Animal Collective and therefore we probably need to hear ‘Brother Sport’ by them.”
And just as I finish posting my fellow Spurs’ fan Badger’s entries, we go 0-1 down. Ho hum.
Time for the return of The Robster:
“The mentions of Animal the muppet reminds me that the Muppets appeared in the video for Weezer’s ‘Keep Fishin’” in which Miss Piggy kidnaps Pat, Weezer’s drummer, and Animal has to fill in.”
I can’t really let the chance to post a Weezer’s videos slide, especially when it features the Muppets:
Which leads me on to my next choice. There’s plenty of songs called “Animal”. I have deliberately picked one of the worst.
That’s enough Animal based shenanigans. To category 3!
Plenty of these, and I am now taking no notice of the television, treating it like you do the nutter on the bus, or any one you don’t know on the Tube: ignore it, maybe it’ll go away.
Here’s SWC from When You Can’t Remember Anything to kick things off:
“I’m going to down the house route. Just saying. Not sure in which direction that will take me yet. Probably ‘Rock Da House’ by who ever did that. Or ‘The Jack that House Built’”. Perhaps.”
Since I’m trying to distract myself from the football (I can’t just turn it off, obviously), you can have both whilst you think about it:
Which must mean it’s my turn again. This, a song I have posted before, a long time ago, is one of the finest, most often-forgotten singles from the early 1980s:
Seems there weren’t as many of these as I thought, for here’s SWC again, although he does have two for us:
“My suggestion based on…an hour rifling through old copies of ‘Deep Heat’ is ‘Hip House’ by DJ Fast Eddie…”:
“…If you can’t find that then probably House of Jealous Lovers by The Rapture.”
More than happy to post that, one of the grooviest indie records to come out in the last…Jesus, was this thirteen years ago????
So more sprinkles. Here’s Alyson from What’s It All About, Alfie?:
“Eric Burdon always looked grumpy whenever I saw him perform or in photographs. Decided it was maybe because he was also moonlighting as an ironmonger (the jackets in the HOTSR cover are just like those worn in our local shop when I was a youngster). Whenever your dad asked them for anything in the shop it was never on a shelf and they always had to go upstairs to the storeroom for it. Led me to thinking of Upstairs at Eric’s by Yazoo and I think my favourite from that album was Don’t Go.”
For our American readers, that’s Yazz to you, which must have been very confusing when the other Yazz and her Plastic Population appeared a few years later.
Hold up, The Robster’s back, and he’s only going to suggest something else by Melt-Banana….:
“I’ve reassessed my choice of Melt-Banana track and thought maybe we should have something that vaguely resembles a song. Which led me to another compilation the band released called Return Of 13 Hedgehogs. It contained their cover of Toots & The Maytals’ ‘Monkey Man’. Certainly a mite more tuneful than ‘Bird-Like Monkey…’”
Remember earlier when I said I liked Shonen Knife and Puffy AmiYumi, who have a knack of stumbling across the odd cracking tune every now and then? Well it turns out that Melt-Banana do too, it’s just they’ve stumbled over one that isn’t one of their own:
And on to the fourth and final category:
4. The Oldest Profession in the World
You don’t need me to explain what that means, do you? You do? Erm, can you have a bash Charity Chic?
“The House of the Rising Sun was a place of ill repute. I’m told that such establishments are also known as brothels or bordellos. So ‘Start Wearing Purple’ by Gogol Bordello please!”
It’s funny how the menfolk who make suggestions here tend to feign ignorance when it comes to “being told” what kind of house is being described in The House of the Rising Sun. Take Dirk for example:
“Alright, apparently [see? – Ed] said house in the song really seems to be a brothel, a bagnio, a bordello, or, if you’d rather, a whorehouse. And this reminds me of Wreckless Eric’s ‘Semaphore Signals’. “Why’s this?”, you might be asking yourself – and quite rightly so! The truth of the matter is that for years and years I misheard the lyrics of ‘Semaphore Signals’ a little bit (blame it on my poor English, but hey – could you Englanders sing along to all of Tocotronic’s fantastic debut album? Nah, I bet your German is not good enough, right? I can though!). Either way, it was an embarrassing moment when I finally found out, albeit 15 years or so too late, that Eric says in the chorus “Messages of love down to her house” and not “Messages of love from the whorehouse”.
Still, he should have done. Perhaps. ‘Cos, whenever the tune comes up in the car when I’m on me way to work in the morning these days, I have a picture in my brain of half naked hookers waving little flags … and it always brings a stupid grin to my face!
P.S.: the Peel-Session version is marginally better than the album version.”
Mental note to self: stay off of the autobahn in the morning.
Here’s the Peel Session version, complete with a sleeve where Wreckless Eric’s name has inexplicably been mis-spelt (it’s entirely possible it’s a different Wreckless Erik, but there’s can’t be two, can there?):
Guys, guys…just because you know what a brothel is, it doesn’t mean you’ve been to one. Have a bit more pride on your knowledge.
Take kuttowski AKA Walter from A Few Good Times In My Life, for example, back for a second week and he’s not messing about:
“The fact that in this house the oldest profession was practiced it leads me to two songs about prostitution.” There. He’s said it. “First was Blondie’s X-Offender where she first played with her sexual attitude in front of the band.”
What’s the other one, kottowski/Walter?
“The other one is ‘Killer Queen’ by Queen. Mercury made no bones about the song’s meaning, explaining, ‘It’s about a high class call girl. I’m trying to say that classy people can be whores as well. That’s what the song is about, though I’d prefer people to put their interpretation on it’.”
We don’t really need to bother, now you’ve told us, do we Freddie?
Time that we heard from Rol of My Top Ten fame:
“Sticking with the brothel theme, I have two suggestions this week. (Both taken from My Top Ten Prostitute Songs, sorry.)
Elvis Costello – Love For Sale (or the Nina Simone version, if you prefer). Cole Porter rules.”
Now. I have looked everywhere for a copy of Nina Simone performing “Love for Sale”. I can’t find it, or any reference it. But rather than disqualifying a suggestion for the second week running, and in the unlikely event that you may have just got them mixed up somehow, you can have Billie Holliday’s version instead:
PS – Rol, if you can point me in the direction of Nina’s version, I’d love to hear it!
Luckily, there can be no confusion about who his next suggestion is by:
“Flight of the Conchords – You Don’t Have To Be A Prostitute (Sting has a lot to answer for.)”
There’s a further Muppet link here, too of course: Bret McKenzie won an the Best Original Song Oscar for “Man or Muppet” from their (the Muppets, not the Flights) 2011 comeback move.
Anyway, taken from, shall we say, their difficult second album, which in my opinion is patchy at best (the first album is essential listening), this is one of the better tracks:
Which just about wraps it up for the prostitution related songs, except, well just in case you don’t get the Sting reference, I found this when I was trying to track down the Nina Simone version of Love for Sale:
Now, I have no idea who Idina Menzel is, or rather I didn’t until I decided to add her to this post. She’s an actress, best know for appearing in “Glee” and more recently for being Queen Elsa in “Frozen” which apparently means it is her that sings that “Let it Go” song which seems to get referenced everywhere these days, but which I’ve never heard, nor do I ever want to, thanks very much.
Anyway, the reason I’ve included her version is for the audience reaction, which at the start of “Love for Sale”, a Cole Porter composition, is absolutely nothing, before a smattering of applause and whooping (it’s recorded in America) welcomes the second line of “Roxanne”, like the crowd have been stirred from their slumber by something they kinda recognise.
Oh, wait. I have one more song from this theme. As regular readers know, I love this band, particularly their early stuff, and this is a song which is right up there amongst my favourite ever tunes by them. Wikipedia says the song “concerns a young man’s encounter with a prostitute”, which explains why they called it “Mystery Song”. Although “Song Concerning a Young Man’s Encounter with a Prostitute” would have been a great title too, should Colorblind James Experience ever decide to cover it.
Anyway, put simply, this rocks, it rocks more than anything else on this page. So there.
Incidentally, there’s a vaguely amusing story behind that song. That came out in 1976, when the band were at the height of their fame, and also well on the road to the drug addiction which made lead singer Francis Rossi’s septum fall out. When they were in the studio working on their “Blue For You” album, Rossi laced Rick Parfitt’s cup of tea with “an inordinate amount” of speed, not expecting him to drink it. You can work out how the rest of the story goes: he drank the lot, oblivious to the contents, began playing this riff and continued to do so until the rest of them left the studio, leaving him in there all night. On their return the following day, he was still sitting in the same place, playing the same riff, some twelve hours later. “I just couldn’t go wrong,” Parfitt recalls, “everywhere my fingers went on the fretboard it sounded fantastic.” Drugs, see kids. Don’t do them. Especially speed. Anyone who has read my article about what happened at Glastonbury the year I found a bag of the stuff will know I know exactly what I’m talking about.
Okay we’re on the home straight now, just some more sprinkles of magic dust to go, and to start off this final section, can we all give a very warm Chain Gang welcome to Rigid Digit from Stuff & Nonsense (and anyone with a picture of Rigsby as their avatar is alright by me):
“Approaching his 50th Birthday, John Otway asked his fans for a second hit single to follow 1977s “Really Free”. The chosen track – Bunsen Burner – nicked the music from Disco Inferno, and Otway fashioned a lyric after helping with his daughters chemistry homework. The link to House Of The Rising Sun? HOTRS was the B-Side (or second track on CD single) – the track featured 900 fans (all credited on the record sleeve) in a glorious ‘call and response'”
And since Rigid mentioned B-Sides, here’s The Swede from Unthough of, though, somehow with something which is as far removed from Otway as one could get:
“The b-side of ‘The House of the Rising Sun’ was a cover of ‘Talkin’ ’bout You’. I’d like to suggest the Ray Charles original.”
Here’s The Beard, back for a second stab:
“Can I have another go, please? Ta. Be warned, this one is more than a little convoluted…”
Excellent. The Beard’s links are becoming my favourite links here each week, if not for the songs, then the reason he gives. As close to Comment Showboating as anyone has managed this week (apart from my quite brilliant even if I do say so myself link to The Bluetones). Time for the rest of you to up your game, I think.
“The Rising Sun is a pub on Beverley Road in Hull. Grafton Street is a thoroughfare, one end of which comes out on Beverley Road. Down Grafton Street is The Grafton, the pub where the video for Happy Hour by The Housemartins was filmed. Phill Jupitus appears in the video. He was also a captain on Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Howard Devoto left Buzzcocks to form Magazine. A Song From Under The Floorboards by Magazine is fanruddytastic.”
Ain’t that the truth:
And that would be that, had The Beard’s suggestion not prompted a couple of further ideas from Rol, which I’ll allow, as they’re the next step on a couple of references The Beard makes. Plus, Rol is as brief as brief can be (although, just to be contrary, I’m posting them in the different order to suggested, just because his first suggestion sounds more like an end of the show track than his second to me):
Which means all that’s left is to reveal the next song in the official Chain, and the reason behind it, and see if we all go “Well, mine was better than that….” as we do most weeks:
So: here’s the reason:
“…The House of the Rising Sun was in New Orleans. And Dr John comes from New Orleans, therefore…”
…this is the song:
Well, mine were way…oh, okay fair enough.
So folks, let me have your suggestions of songs which link to Such a Night by Dr John via the Comments page below, along with a description of how you have linked from one t’other.
See you next week, if not before.
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