Welcome, welcome Chain Gangers new and old, welcome all.
Last week’s record was “Radar Love” by Golden Earring, and the gauntlet was thrown down for you to come up with records which linked to that five minute rock classic. Some of you chose to link to word “Radar”, some to the word “Golden”, one of you to the word “Ear”, but, and bless you all for this, not one of you went down the very simple route of suggesting songs which linked to the word “Love” or “Ring”.
Actually, that’s not quite true. For one from amongst our ranks linked to both. At the same time. We’ll deal with them later.
So, to your suggestions, and first up this week is Charity Chic from Charity Chic Music:
“Let’s get the cheese out the fridge early doors,” begins CC. Music to my ears, that. Regular readers will know that whilst we encourage, smart, clever, odd, witty, records here, we also enjoy a bit of cheese to off-set it all. So what does CC have in store for us?
“Golden Earring puts one in mind (or me at any rate) of Golden Brown by the Stranglers. There was a Boston Strangler leading to the poodle band Boston with More than a Feeling.”
If I could just clarify, Boston were a band from Boston who named their band Boston, that’s how full of innovative ideas they were. So clearly, Boston were not a band made up exclusively of Poodles. That would be ridiculous. There was a Yorkshire Terrier on keyboards too, and an American Hairless Terrier called Brian provided occasional backing vocals.
“I may well be back,” CC adds, somewhat ominously.
Now, once in a while a suggestion contains a bit of info that I didn’t know, and this week that dubious distinction goes to The Great Gog:
“Oh well, I’d better get it over with. For those that know about these things, there’s a bit of an elephant in the room with Golden Earring, or should I say Eggermont in the room. Japp Eggermont to be precise. Not content with providing a track for the Euro-version of Smashie & Nicey to play, Mr. Eggermont post-Golden Earring was responsible for the medley mania that blighted the UK Charts in 1981 with his Starsound project.”
In case you have no idea what GG is talking about here, the Starsound project was kind of like a prototype Jive Bunny, who simply mixed old pop hits together into a medley with an irritating drum beat syncing them all together. You can read about them here or if you’d like to actually hear one of them, this is the one that got to No. 2 in the UK charts in 1981:
No need to thank me.
Anyway, sorry GG, I seem to have interrupted, do carry on.
“This launched many copyists, but perhaps the most interesting lurked on the b-side of Squeeze’s “Labelled With Love” single – “Squabs On Forty Fab”. Clearly, Glenn, Chris and the guys weren’t taking it terribly seriously, but it’s a better listen than any other the others that were around.”
See? I had no idea that a bloke from Golden Earring was responsible for all those records, nor did I know that Squeeze had done a parody, of sorts:
Time to get settled now folks, as our nice Uncle Dirk from sexyloser is about to demonstrate the art of Comment Showboating:
“…in ‘Radar Love’, Golden Earring have a line which goes “And the radio played that forgotten song / Brenda Lee’s “Coming On Strong””.
Not only is this tune shamelessly forgotten indeed (although I have a feeling that someone might easily suggest it here in due course in order to rectify this situation)…”
Stop right there. We can do that right now:
Do continue, Dirk.
“…it’s also a little known fact that this song’s title refers to Barrett Strong, American singer and songwriter, born February 5, 1941 in West Point, Mississippi.
Brenda Lee, although married to Ronnie Shacklett since 1963, apparently had a soft spot for lucky Barret as well, or is there any other explanation why she wrote a song about having sex with him and even describes her favourite position in the title?” [Erm…are you sure about this bit…? I’ve read this several times and can’t make out if you’re making a very rude joke or not – Ed.]
“And, friends, it must have been g.r.e.a.t. sex, because it was Barrett Strong who gave Brenda the nickname under which she was widely known until the end of her career: “Little Miss Dynamite”!
Also commonly not all too well known is that Barrett wanted more than just this short liaison, but it took him until 1973 until he responded with a song for Brenda: ‘Stand Up And Cheer For The Preacher’.
History shows us that his wish was never fulfilled by Brenda, nevertheless it’s my suggestion for this week’s link, so there you are!”
I have no idea whether any of this is true or not, so just in case, a disclaimer: the views of Dirk are not necessarily shared by the broadcaster.
Anyway, here’s the tune Dirk nominates, and rather fine it is too:
Time to welcome The Swede from Unthought of, though, somehow who proposes a song and a band I had no previous knowledge of, and who, on the strength of this song – which musically reminds me of Cowboy Junkies take on “Sweet Jane” from their The Trinity Sessions album – I’ve gone out and got me the album.
“There’s no way I can pass up such a (ahem) golden opportunity to suggest my favourite song of 2015. From Golden to Silver – ‘Silver John’ by This is the Kit.”
Onwards now to SWC from When You Can’t Remember Anything who submits:
“Radar makes me firstly think of MASH so that immediately gives us the opportunity to have a listen to the Manics version of theme tune to that.”
“But secondly” SWC continues, “Radar also makes me think of the wonderful Dawn of The Replicants’ single ‘Radars’.”
Which seems an appropriate moment for me to slip one of my suggestions in, for the first record that sprang to my mind when I saw the source material was this, one of those “let’s stick this previously unreleased track on the Greatest Hits album in the hope it helps flog a few more copies” affairs:
And now, the return of Is This The Life‘s The Robster for his second (or should that be fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth..?) suggestions:
“A couple [ahem! – Ed] of suggestions from me: Radar Love was from an album called Moontan. Moon Safari was an album by Air featuring the excellent song Kelly Watch The Stars”
“Another track from Moontan – Vanilla Queen – samples Marilyn Monroe who sang a song called I Wanna Be Loved By You…”
“A more obvious route – and a blatant excuse to get some David Gedge in here – takes us straight to Ears by Cinerama…”
“Alternatively, using the Golden tack – Gold Lion by Yeah Yeah Yeahs…”
“…or better still, Golden by Stephenhero (aka Patrick Fitzgerald of Kitchens Of Distinction) which features vocals by the delectable Tanya Donelly.”
“Better leave it at that – I’m getting greedy…” he (finally) signs off.
Now, I’ve never heard that Stephen Hero record before, so forgive me as I’m not entirely confident in the place I got it from: is it supposed to do that thing where it seems to go into a completely different song for no reason whatsoever? (Not saying I don’t like it, by the way, just wondered if I’ve picked me up some duffer of a tampered with version).
Ok, so The Robster emailed me to tell me it sounded like I had indeed been sold a pup and that what I seemed to have was a sampler for the whole EP, which just goes to show what an idiot I am. Link now updated to feature the correct song. Many thanks to the Robster for pointing me in the right direction with this one, which I like even more now that I’ve heard it properly!
Moving on to Alyson from What’s It All About, Alfie? who writes:
“I am (sadly) old enough to remember Golden Earring from when they first released Radar Love back in ’73 and I hated it! Not my thing at all and they stole valuable TOTP from my favourite teen idols of the day. Bit of a one-hit wonder though so they soon went away, but then what happens, they release the same bl**dy song again four years later! My musical tastes had evolved by this time but they still (to use a phrase last employed by my favourite person to stalk/spy on/copy, George) “rubbed me up the wrong way” – Again they were taking valuable air time away from the acts I did want to watch on television!
So, to pull a lyric from a song I really do like, they not only stole time:
One time, one time (but)
Two times, two times…..
Yes, a very tenuous link to the Fugees version of Killing Me Softly from me this week.”
I think I understand that connection, just about:
Remember how Charity Chic said they may be back later? Turns out, they weren’t ruddy well joking:
“In 1978 Radar Records released their first single (I Love The Sound of) Breaking Glass by Nick Lowe – hopefully got those brackets in the correct order Alyson!”
This prompted a mini-discussion (can two comments be classed as a discussion? Discuss.) as to whether there were any brackets in the song title in question, Alyson stating: “Not seeing brackets in any of my reference material for that one CC, although I’m not actually looking at the single so they might have snuck those pesky brackets in there.”
I was with CC on this one, right up until the point that, after uploading and naming the MP3, I checked the single sleeve. Oopsies.
Luckily, it turns out that we’re all right. For it seems that in some countries, it was released with, and in some countries without, the brackets. For example, when it was released on Columbia Records in the USA, the brackets were included. As evidence:
Glad to clear that up. And by the way, who said us bloggers were nerds?
Now does anyone know what time it is? That’s right: it’s George Time!
“Golden Earring were Dutch (I suppose they still are). So were Focus, but I chose them last week, but The Vengaboys were Dutch. I recognised We Like To Party (and did a little dance a la The Inbetweeners film which brought a smile to my partner’s face. Or was it a grimace…. ).”
Definitely the latter.
For those of you new round these parts, can I stress that this is not the sort of record that George usually suggests. He’s been under a lot of pressure recently…
To try and balance things out a little, I’ve spent much of my spare time since George suggested this trying to find a clip of the Wenger Boys from Sky One’s Soccer AM, but to no avail. In my quest, however, I did find an article about Vengaboys which read: “Vengaboys are a Dutch Eurodance group…[who were] never critically acclaimed”.
Hands up who knows can think of a really good reason why that might be?
Here’s Rol from My Top Ten; surely he’ll have some blinding suggestions for us?
“My first thought this time was that Golden Earring also had a song called The Twilight Zone and recently I put together a Top Ten Twilight Zone Songs (songs which could have been episodes of the amazing Rod Serling TV show). Number One on that list was Angie Baby by Helen Reddy because it freaks me out every time I listen to it.
However, I’ve disqualified the above as it’s way too self-referential.”
Oh shush. Such modesty. Read it here.
“So instead, I offer Mark Germino & The Sluggers’ classic DJ song Rex Bob Lowenstein, taken from the album Radartown. Rex Bob is a hero to music bloggers everywhere – he refuses to “play the song list they send in the mail” and when The Man tries to make him, he barricades himself in his studio and “plays smash and trash till they cuff him on the floor”.”
Over to Alex G from We Will Have Salad now:
“OK, sticking with Dutchness for a moment, one Dutch musician who passed through Golden Earring’s ranks was Robert-Jan Stips, later of art popsters Nits, from whom I nominate “Radio Shoes”. And since the first “R” of “RADAR” stands for Radio, that’s a connection by two different routes.”
“Also,” Alex continues, “I imagine most or all of Golden Earring wore shoes.”
Not according to The Great Gog, they don’t:
“Picking up from Alex G, a bit of lazy stereotyping would have the Dutch band’s footwear being clogs. This of course opens up the opportunity for a quick blast of Violinski’s “Clog Dance”.
70s-tastic, Great Mate!
What time is it? It’s a quarter past George Time! And here he is with another contender for Comment Showboat of the week:
“Taking Gold as a starting point, directly under gold in the Periodic Table is Roentgenium, symbol Rg, named after Wilhelm Rontgen, the discoverer of X-rays. And The Butthole Surfers have a song with lines I Saw An X-Ray Of A Girl Passing Gas, from the Hairway To Steven album. (Apologies to German readers and Germano-philes for not using an umlaut in Rontgen.)”
Last, but by no means least, of your suggestions this week, it’s welcome back to The Beard:
“Golden Earring are famously Dutch. The sport of darts has produced many famous Dutchmen, none more so than current world number one Michael Van Gerwen. In the glamour world of professional arrows, walk-on music is standard. His walk-on music is Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes. Frontman Jack White appears to have a low boredom threshold/strong work ethic and was also in, among others, The Raconteurs with a couple of gadges from The Greenhornes. My choice is The End Of The Night by The Greenhornes.”
I was going to post The White Stripes tune for you too, but CC only posted it over at his place a couple of days ago, so here’s the Glitch Mob Remix of it instead:
Now, you’ll recall that right at the top of this week’s post, I wrote this: “…not one of you went down the very simple route of suggesting songs which linked to the word “Love” or “Ring”.
Actually, that’s not quite true. For one from amongst our ranks linked to both. At the same time. We’ll deal with them later.”
Well the time to deal with them is now, and that person was yours truly. And surprisingly, I’m not going for the easy joke here. And this is the record:
Whilst Black Francis/Frank Black/whatever he’s calling himself this week and Kim Deal may be (or have been in the latter’s case) the famous ones in the Pixies, this overlooks their drummer, the fantastically named Dave Lovering. Which is probably why he plays an instrument that is played sitting down, to protect his Lovering. (You know when I said I wasn’t going for the easy joke? I lied.)
And one more from me. Some people claim to be able to use their Radar to establish what sexual preference a person is. Often this is referred to as a Gay-dar. Which sounds too much like this for me to be able to resist:
It also gives me the opportunity to post the quite brilliant video for it:
That’s enough Abraham Lincoln’s in posing pouches for this week, I think. Time to reveal what the BBC Radio 2 listening public nominated as their choice to follow on from Radar Love by Golden Earring:
“From ‘Radar Love’ to Elvis Costello’s record label, Radar, hence…”
CC – you were so close to gaining some bonus points. So near, and yet so far…
Ok, so you all know what to do next. Send me, via the Comments section below, you’re suggestions for records which can be linked to “Radio Radio” by Elvis Costello & The Attractions, along with your explanation of the link between the two (or in The Robster’s case, five).
See you back here in a week’s time!