I’m Not Too Keen on Mondays

Another week, another Monday, and another record from the Tamla Motown label to put a little bounce into your commute.

I’m beginning to wonder if all Mondays should start with some Motown. If only I could think of a good alliterative title, I’d probably rename this series…

Anyway, here’s Stevie and his tribute to jazz legend Duke Ellington:


Stevie Wonder – Sir Duke

More soon.



The Chain #7

Hello there, fans of mind-bending links between records. I left you last week with KT Tunstall’s “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” as the song for you to suggest a record that connects to it and I’ll be honest, I was expecting to hear from the usual suspects, George and Dave, and probably no more. Instead, more of you have joined in, resulting in there being an unprecedented eight tunes of varying quality, including my own one, for you today.

But first, an apology; for two of those suggestions I’ve actually picked a different song by the suggested artist to that which was proposed, the reasons for which I hope will become clear, and acceptable, as we work our way through them.

So let’s kick things off with one of those that I’ve changed. George wrote this:

“And here’s my suggestion. KT Tunstall: Tunstall is one of the towns of Stoke-on-Trent. And Ted Chippington was born in Stoke on Trent. And he made a cover version of The Wanderer. So no comment showboating, just a simple link this week.”

Now, I only posted Ted’s version of The Wanderer a couple of weeks ago as part of my Friday Night Music Club, here. So George I hope you’ll forgive me for picking something different by Ted.

A couple of months ago, I wrote about how much I enjoy having songs on my iPod which have the late great John Peel introducing them, and this is one such example, which means I probably got it from one of my peers (Dirk..?), so credit where credit’s due.

So, I’ll hand you over to JP:


Ted Chippington – Non Stop Party Hits..(B-side)

The next suggestioneer is The Great Gog, who, as is becoming traditional, gave me multiple choices to track down:

“As Gog Towers is located less than 10 miles from Tunstall, I also made the Stoke-on-Trent link. However, I opted for someone named after one of the other towns – namely Dave Fenton, who fronted the Vapors. Perhaps News At Ten from them rather than the obvious track? There is of course film & TV soundtrack writer, George Fenton as well, which would allow a posting of the Bergerac theme should you so wish.

 Alternatively – and one you’d never get on the Beeb – the black horse has been the symbol of Lloyd’s bank for many years. Said establishment got name-checked along with their rivals at that time on Manic Street Preachers’ “NatWest-Barclays-Midland-Lloyds” from Generation Terrorists.”

Excellent! So working our way through that lot, we have:


The Vapors – News at Ten

Is it just me, or does that bear more than a passing resemblance to The Jam’s “Pretty Green” in places…? Anyway, I think we can all be thankful that I didn’t remember that one when I was doing my TV show theme the other week, or I might have extended it into a tedious fifth week.

And then there’s this, which I anticipate will be the least clicked link I’ve ever posted, which is saying something when you think of all the Quo I’ve written about:


George Fenton – Bergerac Theme Tune

..which I think we’ll gloss over rather quickly and move onto this:


Manic Street Preachers – Nat West-Barclays-Midlands-Lloyds

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: nobody wrote song titles like Richie Manic.

Next is Alex G’s suggestion:

“OK, the Stoke-On-Trent thing’s been done, so I’ll take a different angle. The KT in KT Tunstall stands for Kate Tunstall, so it’s a redundancy – it makes her Kate Tunstall Tunstall. First person who came to mind as having the same thang going on, y’all, is J.J. Jeczalik from The Art Of Noise. The J.J. stands for Jonathan Jeczalik. So I suggest “E.F.L.” by The Art Of Noise (or really anything they did while he was in the band – so not from the 1997 reunion).”

Your wish is my command. As far as I can work out – and I’m open to correction here – this only got released as the B-side to their version of Prince’s “Kiss”:


The Art of Noise – E F L

Think I’m gonna dance now, indeed.

And that leads me to my own choice for this week. Mention of her name being Kate Tunstall Tunstall reminded my of an old David Baddiel joke about the L in LL Cool J standing for Lionel, making his name Lionel Lionel Cool J, so here’s something by Lionel:


LL Cool J – Mama Said Knock You Out

Moving on to the second of the suggestions where I’ve picked a different tune to the one suggested. Charity Chic wrote this:

“KT comes from Fife and features in Vic Galloway’s excellent book Songs in the Key of Fife. So some Stevie Wonder would be nice”

The book title is, of course, a pun on Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life”, and I asked CC what song from said classic album would be his preference for me to post. His choice was Sir Duke, which I love, but I’m not going to post because CC does a thread where he posts songs which refer to other musicians, and I don’t have anywhere near enough Duke Ellington (to whom the song title refers) so I’m hoping CC does have some I can listen to.

Instead, I’m going for this little beauty:


Stevie Wonder – As

7+ minutes of gospelly greatness, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Which leads me on to the final suggestion for the day, an absolute belter which had me sifting through my record collection, muttering under my breath about where my copy could have gone (it remains unfound), and the reason for leaving this ’til last, apart from it being such a great record, is that I love The Swede’s reasoning:

“The Black Horse in Ipswich and The Cherry Tree in Woodbridge were two of the earliest drinking establishments that I ever frequented. They were both left behind some time later, however, when me and my pals discovered The Greyhound, which in those long ago days of the late 1970’s served the finest Adnams I’d ever tasted. I remember it still.

So how about ‘Black and White’ by Greyhound?”

Oh, so happy to oblige. Cheers!


Greyhound – Black And White

That really is pretty special.

So, thanks to all who have contributed to this week’s post. And here, featuring a very young Lemmy, is what the Radcliffe & Maconie listening public went for next:


7. Hawkwind – Silver Machine

As usual, your suggestions please for a) what the link between the KT Tunstall track and the Hawkwind one is (and remember, don’t phone in, it’s just for fun), and b) what you’d like me to post next week that links to Hawkwind’s “Silver Machine”, along with an explanation of the connection. Pop it in the Comments box, and I’ll do my darndest to post it next week.

Needless to say: More soon.

Friday Night Music Club

After the terribly sad, unexpected news on Monday, I’ve found it pretty difficult to get myself going this week, so I had decided I wasn’t going to post anything today, so bereft of ideas and inspiration was I.

I spent my journeys to and from work listening exclusively to Bowie records on my trusty mp3 player, only this morning deciding to switch it back to the random shuffle setting it usually rests on.

When you lose someone close to you, you often find the slightest thing will remind you of them. Now, I’m not suggesting that I was close to Bowie, but his works were close to me. And all of today’s songs came on as I travelled home, in, I kid you not, the order that I present them to you now. Each one made me think of Bowie, some for more obvious reasons than others, which I will try to explain as we go. So I figured they could be this week’s addition to our Friday night. Hopefully, you won’t think I’m sullying the memory, that’s most definitely not the intention.

C’mon kids, we can get through this together.


69. The Webb Brothers – I Cant Believe You’re Gone

Fairly self-explanatory one, that, right?

Next, a song which Bowie covered on his 1973 album “Pin Ups”:


70. The Kinks – Where Have All The Good Times Gone

Next up, a song which seems to sum up the ethos of Bowie:


71. Mama Cass – Make Your Own Kinda Music

…followed by one which also has an apt title:


72. The Supremes – I Hear A Symphony

I totally accept that the next song was written as a tribute to jazz legend Duke Ellington. But if the words “Thin” and “White” were added to the title….


73. Stevie Wonder – Sir Duke

Next, this:


74. Mansun – Wide Open Space

Okay, I’ll admit this one is a little tenuous. But since the news on Monday, all I’ve really wanted to do was get away from it all, escape, collect my thoughts.

So, moving on, a contribution from long term Bowie fan (although I gather they didn’t exactly hit it off when they met):


75. Morrissey – I Will See You In Far Off Places

And finally:


76. Roy Orbison – In Dreams

This one, to wrap things up, has everything, even a mention of Stardust.

I promise to post something a little more upbeat over the weekend.

More soon.


Sunday Morning Coming Down

I seem to be in the mood (i.e. hungover) for a few more of these mellow Sunday Morning tunes, so indulge me and allow me to share a few more.


Love’s Been Good To Me

Johnny Cash covered this one on his wonderful Rick Rubin produced American Recordings series, and his version is top-notch of course. But for my money, you can’t beat Ol’ Blue Eyes’ version. And any mention of Frank always makes me think of the much over-looked Fast Show character you can find here at 09.08. The whole episode is worth a watch if you have time; Series 3 is when Whitehouse, Higson, Thompson et al were at their absolute peak, in my book.

Like it? Go buy it here.


Leaving New York

From their absolute dog of an album “Around The Sun”, the opening track and frankly, you can eject the CD as soon as you’ve listened to this one. (Do people still play CDs..?) Archetypal R.E.M., it’s all gorgeous harmonies and backing vocals to die for. As I mentioned in a previous post, when I used to share a flat with Heledd (although I don’t think I actually mentioned her name. Consider that rectified. And hello Hel!), our Fridays would often involve a playlist I had prepared. Apart from laughing at my attempts to sing along to “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It”, Hel is not a big fan of Stipe, Buck, Mills (and Berry), but this tune caught her ear, and as a result cropped up regularly post-playlist when we were both in “a bit pissed and ready for a sing-song” mode. Right after we’d played Max Boyce, usually. Many songs remind me of many people, but as a result of those Friday nights, this song more than any other reminds me of Hel. She doesn’t own it, yet she totally owns it. Cheers!

Like it? Go buy it here


Sweet Jane

A Lou Reed cover, as you no doubt know, and if you ever want an example of a song being re-worked so far it almost sounds like a completely different song, this is it. Better than the original, in my opinion. There. I’ve said it.

Like it? Go buy it here


I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be For Ever)

Taken from the first Stevie Wonder album I ever bought, and as the premise behind me writing this blog stems from the book High Fidelity (see Introduction, Explanation, Justification for my mission statement), it seems appropriate that I get things back on track by posting the song which is played over the end credits of the film adaptation of the novel.

Like it? Go buy it here.

More soon.