Friday Night Music Club (That Summer Feeling #4 – #14)

Evening all.

Remarkably, the shockwaves of me posting summery records for three consecutive days doesn’t seem to have had any detrimental effect on the weather – in fact if we’re to believe the weather forecasts it’s set to continue for the rest of the weekend.

So, I thought I’d give you a few more tunes to soundtrack your barbecues and beach parties over the next couple of days. Nothing terribly surprising in here, I don’t think, bar maybe one or two. But every one is an absolute pearler,

The first couple of songs pretty much sum up how my¬†week working in That London has been. Here’s Sir William Broad, under his alter ego, the King of the Curled Lip:

Billy-Idol-Shirtless-Rosary-Hot-in-the-City-Album-Artwork

326. Billy Idol – Hot In The City

and this, one of the greatest summer records ever, in my not so humble opinion:

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327. The Lovin’ Spoonful – Summer In The City

I first came into ownership of both of these records at roughly the same time, when I was at 6th Form, where I took on the responsibility of providing tunes for the common room. There was a cheap and knackered old stereo in there, a turntable with a worn down belt that prohibited anything being played at the correct speed, and a radio that the aerial had long since perished on, and two tape decks, only one of which worked.

As you’ll find out soon – this is my definition of soon, mind – in the eponymous auto-biographical thread of this blog, it was at 6th Form that I forged my musical identity, if that doesn’t sound too pretentious, and I took great pleasure in preparing a new mixtape pretty much every night to grace the airs of the musty common room. My parents will¬†doubtless recall me spending every night hunched over my Dad’s recently acquired Midi system, headphones on, studiously selecting a new set of tracks to dazzle my peers with instead of, say, doing my homework. It was these tapes, finely honed to ensure every taste was catered for, that I think laid the foundations for me starting to DJ a few years later – not the technical skills, mind, I’ve never got the hang of “proper” mixing – but the ability to tailor a set to an¬†expectant, diverse¬†crowd.

By the time the first summer arrived, at the end of my stint in the Lower 6th, I was, I felt, a fully fledged Indie kid, but didn’t want to be one of those people who forces their music down everyone’s throats, so I elected to temper the cool stuff with some more mainstream records. I would ask that you bear this in mind for coming posts, as this will be my¬†defence for having purchased some pretty poor pop in the same period. It wasn’t for me, it was for those other kids who, y’know, wouldn’t know a¬†cool record if it bit them on the arse.

As part of this campaign, I bought a Now! album – the only one I have ever purchased – Now! That’s What I Call Summer. It’s a mixed bag, as you’d expect, with Cliff Richard a little more prominent than is frankly necessary.

But there were an above¬†average strike rate of good stuff on there too, and “Summer in the City” was chief among them, head and shoulders above many of the tracks featured.

In June 2000, fresh from picking up the Best New Act Award a year earlier at the Brits, through some pretty canny exploitation of voting via that there¬†new-fangled internet thing, Belle & Sebastian released this absolute corker, which, if you’re unfamiliar with, may have you scratching your head as to why I’m including it in a summer mix. Well hold your horses, and give it until the lyrical refrain at the end:

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328. Belle & Sebastian – Legal Man

Now, I may find myself saying this a lot tonight and over the summer posts that will follow over the weekend, but this is one my favourite summer songs ever:

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329. The Undertones – Here Comes the Summer

The song has recently been used in a TV ad campaign by Aldi, and I can’t make up my mind whether that’s a good thing or not. Sure, it means that every now and then I get to hear it blasting from my TV for 40 seconds, but on the other hand – Aldi????? Is nothing sacred?? Whatever next – The Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs” being used to advertise Pirelli tyres? “Tame” by Pixies advertising Smirnoff vodka? Oh wait….both those things have happened…..

So, anyway,¬†if you’re lucky, you’ll be spending some time soon on a beach somewhere, so here’s a few beachy heads which sound just as ace today as they did when they first came out, none of which require any introduction or comment from me:

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330. Ramones – Rockaway Beach

(I’m gobsmacked. Unless I forgot to tag them previously, this is the first time I’ve posted¬†a Ramones tune. I deserve to have my blogging credentials revoked.)

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331. The Go-Go’s – Beatnik Beach

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332. Martha And The Muffins – Echo Beach

Another one that featured on that Now! album, there. See, ¬£4.99 well spent already (which dates me, obviously. A newly released double album on vinyl for ¬£4.99 – them’s were the days…)

I was about to say “Now,onto something more contemporary”, which would be true, since the most recent tune I’ve posted so far came out¬†sixteen years ago, but I was saddened to find this came out ten years ago. Saddened only in the sense that it means it’s ten years since I witnessed bass player Thomas “The House of Lords” Dartnall fall off the stage in Cardiff’s Barfly. *Sighs* “I grow old…I grow old…I shall wear the bottom of my trousers rolled.” (Bit of Prufrock¬†for you there, poetry¬†fans).

Still, it carries on thematically from Legal Man and Echo Beach in depicting a protagonist desperate to escape the drudge of an office job to enjoy some time soaking up the rays (NB: My boss should read nothing into this):

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333. The Young Knives – Weekends And Bleak Days (Hot Summer)

“Hot summer, what a bummer”, indeed.

The next two songs were released ten years apart, but in my mind the latter is the spiritual offspring of the former.

First, here’s Damon and the Blurboys with their observations on the beery shag-culture of holidays in Greece:

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334. Blur – Girls & Boys

…and here’s Mike Skinner, living the dream:

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335. The Streets – Fit But You Know It (Radio Edit)

And so to the last tune for the night, and to one my favourite summer songs ever, by one of the coolest and most influential artists ever to walk this earth:

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336. Sly & The Family Stone – Hot Fun in the Summertime

That’ll do you for tonight.

More soon.

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Same Title, Different Song

Two absolute classics for your delectation today, again one of which was mentioned in passing in this week’s The Chain thread.

Neither of them¬†require any real introduction, so I’ll just let the tunes speak for themselves.

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Mary J. Blige – Family Affair

Which is a bloody marvellous tune, but not quite as good as this:

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Sly & The Family Stone – Family Affair

And that’s no slur on Mary J; but there’s very little that is as good as a bit of Sly & The Family Stone.

More soon.

Friday Night Music Club

As you may have guessed from my post on Wednesday night, I need some cheering up. Luckily, it’s time for¬†this week’s batch of Friday Night humdingers, and happily we’re staying on the crest of the funky wave we found ourselves surfing at the end of last week.

First up, is a song which I’m ashamed to admit first came to my attention via the Soccerette/Catwalk feature on Sky TV’s “Soccer AM” show.

Jean-Knight-Mr_-Big-Stuff-1971¬†36. Jean Knight – “Mr. Big Stuff”

In case you’re unfamiliar with the reference point, here’s a brief synopsis: High Street Honey, as I believe FHM magazine call attractive young ladies, who is also a football fan, is brought on to be ogled at by the predominantly male studio guests, and to be on the receiving end of some piss-poor gags. She is¬†obliged to wear the kit of her chosen team, which would then have to be removed to reveal the t-shirt the show was trying to flog that season. After this, she and show-host Tim Lovejoy, would perform a cat-walk to the sound of “Mr. Big Stuff”, before the Soccerette gets to chose one lucky winner from the team of football fans who had been picked to participate in that week’s show, usually the fattest/ugliest/rat-faced one with the worst Division Three Footballer’s haircut, to join in a repeat of the catwalk, complete with Zoolander poses and stares into the camera.

Or, to put it another way, like this: Soccerette Catwalk

Anyway, next up it’s The Godfather of Soul himself:

R-834751-1270453275_jpeg 37. James Brown РGet Up Offa That Thing

That’s a strikingly pink cover, isn’t it?

I have nothing to say about the next record apart from the fact that it’s fucking brilliant, but you knew that already, right?

dance-to-the-music-5212440f80906 38. Sly & The Family Stone РDance to the Music

Next, a tune I came across when I got me a copy of a compilation album called “A Break From The Norm”, which features songs which Fatboy Slim had sampled on some of his more well know tunes. And since I can’t seem to find any images of the single’s original sleeve, you’ll have to make do with the cover of that album instead:

41R6KXWXP5L¬†39.Andre Williams – Humpin’, Bumpin’ & Thumpin’

I say “well known”, this actually appears on¬†Fatboy’s¬†“Sho Nuff”, the b-side to his number one smasheroo “Praise You”. You can see how well he used¬†it¬†here.

Next, a tune which never fails to cheer me up, reminding me as it does of a car load of us travelling up to a clubbing weekender at Southport’s Pontins Holiday Resort, of all places. But more of that another time.

115142231 40. Definition of Sound РWear Your Love Like Heaven

And since I need cheering up, here’s one more:

R-71802-1133519580_jpeg 41. Dream Warriors РMy Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style

When this came out in 1990, I was at college, had¬†never heard anything like it, and – impending inappropriate use of the word “literally” alert – it literally blew my mind, which may go some way to explaining why I had to repeat my final year.

Anyway, that’s me perked right up.

More soon.