23:50 on February 29th.
In the past twenty three hours and forty nine minutes, I have received precisely zero marriage proposals.
Wasn’t bothered anyway.
The Beautiful South – I’ll Sail This Ship Alone
23:50 on February 29th.
In the past twenty three hours and forty nine minutes, I have received precisely zero marriage proposals.
Wasn’t bothered anyway.
The Beautiful South – I’ll Sail This Ship Alone
It’s that bloody day again.
The day when it’s impossible for singletons like me to meet up with our friends, because they’re all off doing couply things.
Or to just go to the pub, because you’ll end up being the bloke stood at the bar on your own all night, the rest of the nauseating happily coupled-up drinkers nudging each other and nodding with smirking sympathy in your direction.
Which sounds like I’m bitter or sad about being single on this day of all days, but really I’m not. For a start, I haven’t got to fork out for an M&S Valentine’s Meal for Two and a bunch of half-dead roses. Or rather, if I do, I can scoff the whole thing myself and with the money I saved by not buying flowers, I can buy me an extra pudding or three. Yum!
Nor do I have to haul my sorry arse to the local cinema where I’d have to apply gaffer tape my eye lids to keep them open throughout the entirety of whatever unfunny and entirely predictable rom-com has been rushed out just in time for the weekend.
See, being single doesn’t bother me and I really like living on my own. And I know that were this blissful paradise of watching TV in my pants ever to end, I would look back on these halcyon playboy years with dewy-eyed nostalgia, and rue the day I ever got involved with anyone again.
Most of all, I’d miss doing exactly what Sean Lock says he does:
Never has such a short snippet of a stand-up routine resonated with me more.
Which leads me to songs, and I thought I’d post a couple of songs about being happy and single.
Turns out there aren’t too many of them, though. Or rather, none that I recognise. A quick Google search tells me there are some, but they’re by annoyingly young and pretty people who I don’t recognise and definately don’t identify with.
So instead, two of the greatest, to my mind, angry break-up records. Coincidentally, these are both by women, because it’s never their fault, amIrightfellers? (God, I hope you lot can sense irony…)
And speaking of things ironic, here’s bit of angry rudeness with a teensy bit of the effing and jeffing that offends some folk:
Alanis Morrisette – You Oughta Know
Next up, something from Jamie Theakston’s finest moment:
There are, of course, loads of songs about being single and sad and lonely. And since there will doubtless be some of you who, rather than bathe yourself in the glory of freedom today will prefer to wallow in self-pity, here’s one of my favourite songs ever. it’s utterly, gloriously depressing. You’ll love it.
And let it be a reminder to any of you out there who are feeling sad and lonely today, things could be worse: the main character gets jilted at the altar, contemplates suicide and then his family all start dropping dead, allowing him only a moment’s pause to ponder the brutality of grief. It’s brilliant, and in my book one of the finest lyrics ever written:
Gilbert O’Sulivan – Alone Again (Naturally)
You also should have a word with your stylist, though, Gilbert.
Remaining under our single duvet of doom one last time, and speaking of fine lyrics, there’s another songwriter that I greatly admire, and about whom I have written before. The band he was most recently/famously (arguably) in are often derided – I’ve lost count of the amount of times friends have recoiled when looking through my CD collection, gasping “Why have you got records by them….?” – but I’d like to wrap things up today with the final track from their last album that I liked more than half of:
And one more, an obscure B-side (us bloggers love obscure B-sides), one which will leave you with a smile, a look of shock, or more likely disgust. Personally, I think it’s probably the greatest song title ever (Sorry Mum!):
The Beautiful South – Valentine’s Day Wank
Whatever you’re doing this evening – yes, even that – enjoy yourself.
A bit of a rehash this morning.
I first posted all of the songs in today’s post back in 2015. It attracted zero comments at the time so I think I can get away with it.
So, first up is this, the opening track from their gorgeous She Hangs Brightly album, the gorgeousness due in no small part to the smouldering vocal of Hope Sandoval:
Is there a voice more perfectly gorgeous in the whole wide world than Hope Sandoval’s? I think not. If only there was a way I could contrast it with, say, a grizzly Glaswegian.
Oh wait, there is…
The Jesus & Mary Chain – Sometimes Always
(Sort of original) content alert: here’s J&MC and Hope performing that song on the David Letterman show. The quality is shonky to say the least, but it’s worth a watch, if for no other reason than the tongue-in-cheek conversation between Letterman and musical director Paul Shaffer:
Now I’ve always loved that record – in fact, I think that the album it’s from, Stoned & Dethroned is one of the most under-rated albums I’ve ever heard, let alone owned – but I have always thought Sometimes Always was, lyrically, just a rehash of this:
The Beautiful South – A Little Time
I await the tide of outraged comments with interest.
More TV music documentary-inspired loveliness tonight.
The other night Channel 4 showed an absolutely fascinating portrayal of Paul Heaton, main man of The Housemartins, The Beautiful South and…er…Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbot.
Broadcast to coincide with the recent release of Heaton’s best of album, the self-deprecatingly titled The Last King of Pop, there’s some wonderful moments in it, including Norman Cook shock when he finds out that he’s won an Ivor Novello award and Heaton hasn’t.
The documentary shows Heaton in an honest, reflective, often self-critical mode, confessing that:
I’m with him on the first point (and you could happily add Perfect 10 to that too), and the last; I lost interest in them after their fifth studio album, 1998’s Quench. They soldiered on without my support for a further four albums and eight years.
I’m aware that The Beautiful South are one of those bands who divide opinion; I love a lot of their earlier stuff, but the majority of my friends would recoil in horror when they spotted them in my CD collection.
But give this a listen; a single from 1994, a poignant tale of a couple who still love each other after being together for many years. It’s just lovely.
The Beautiful South – Prettiest Eyes
If you’re in the UK, you can watch the documentary on 4OD, or by clicking here (for a limited period).
I’ve been slightly unkind about some of The Beuatiful South’s cover versions on these pages previously, but they are a band who I really like (up to a point), a fact which gains puzzled looks from many of my friends who are less receptive to their charms.
I say “up to a point”, because there was a definite moment in their career where I fell out of love with them, that moment being 1998’s Perfect 10 single (although I did still buy the album if was the lead single from, and quite like a couple of tracks on it).
Anyway, today’s choice is one of my favourites by them, lifted from their debut album, sort of. It is on there, but when released as a single, it was re-recorded with more strings, making it just a little bit more delicately mournful:
The Beautiful South – I’ll Sail This Ship Alone
Time for some more gut reactions, songs which spring to mind whenever I hear a word, phrase or a person’s name.
As discussed at way too much length last time out, many of these seem to stem from footballer’s names, and the first one this week is no exception.
Although I can’t really take credit (if that’s the right phrase…) for this one. I believe I heard it mentioned on an old TV show hosted by Frank Skinner and David Baddiel called “Fantasy Football League”.
One of them (Frank, I think) announved that whenever he heard the surname of German midfielder Torsten Frings, he always thought of this song. And since then, I have too:
Nancy Sinatra & Dean Martin – Things…
They spent a lot of time, money and effort on that sleeve, didn’t they? I mean, they haven’t even bothered to fully crop Lee Hazlewood out of the photo of Nancy. Look:
Anyway, next up, a record that I actually bought on 7″ single back in 1986, for the sole purpose of putting it on a mix-tape to play in the sixth form common room (chucking a chart record on every now and then was my way of making sure any of the kids less cool than me (sense the ironic tone, by the way) wouldn’t complain that they didn’t know any of the songs being played. See how I suffered for my art?).
As with “Things…”, I may be misappropriating the source, but I have not actually heard the title of this next song since the day that Radio 1 (at the time) DJ Simon Mayo (I think) substituted it for the words “Womens’ Underwear”. I
Bon Jovi –
Womens’ Underwear Livin’ On a Prayer
Which leads us nicely into, if not identical, then very similar territory. Last time out, I opened up the floor to any suggestions which you might have, and Charity Chic (of Charity Chic Music fame) proffered this:
“My surname is Boyd and my brother and I have been known to sing “The Boyds are Back in Town” on occasions (usually when alcohol has been consumed).”
Thin Lizzy – The
Boyds Boys Are Back In Town
I’ve got one of those too. In fact, I have two of them. These aren’t sung by my family and I, but at least once a year (on my birthday) this will spring to mind for one particular line contains a word which bears more than a passing resemblance to my surname (in fact, I’ve lost count of how many times people have thought it is my actual surname):
The Beautiful South – Let Love Speak Up Itself
Now, I’m not about to reveal my surname here, I’d like to retain some degree of anonymity (although any of you that don’t know me personally but do follow me on Twitter will already know it), but this should give you a bit more of a clue:
Fred Wedlock – Oldest Swinger in Town
Feel free to send any suggestions you might have (for songs to feature in this series, not for what my surname is) via the Comments section below.
So there I was for the past few weeks, writing a load of posts which linked various songs together somehow, chuckling away to myself that nobody had noticed I was dropping subtle clues that I was going to be bringing this series back, when what do you know, I went and over-egged it, and was thoroughly busted by The Robster, then The Swede, then Alyson, then Rol all airing their suspicions. And that was before I posted this afternoon’s less than subtle final hint.
The busting that really got me, though, was Kay, who asked me if I intended to start writing it again. Until I corrected her last week, Kay thought it was possible to fast forward through the adverts on live television broadcasts, so I figured if she’d worked it out, I’d better come clean.
There’s two reasons I had started thinking about bringing The Chain back: firstly, I’d decided that if and when I did, it would revert back to being on a Wednesday night again, it’s rightful home, but Series 3 of Fargo had been so good I wanted to wait until that finished; and secondly, the sudden recent demise of When You Can’t Remember Anything, one of the finest blogs around. As regular readers will know, not only were Badger and SWC (or is it SWC and Badger? I always suspected they had to stand a certain way round, a la Ant & Dec, so folks would know which was which) long time contributors to The Chain, but they also ran their own points-earning-invite-a-suggestion series on a Saturday morning – and you had to get up bloody early to be in with a shout of posting something that hadn’t already been suggested. So, with that, and them, gone, I felt the time was about right to bring this back. Oh and chaps, if you’re ready this, feel free to chip in like the good old days.
Now: The Chain last made a (proper) appearance back on March 19th, so it’s had a good rest, as have I. And I imagine that there may be some folks reading this who have no idea what this is about, so I’ll recap on the rules (which luckily I did back in March after a much shorter break, so I’ll thank the Gods of Copy and Paste):
The Chain is a feature on BBC 6Music’s Radcliffe and Maconie show (and prior to that, their show on BBC Radio 2), where a record is played and they invite suggestions as to what record could be played next, which must link in some way to the one just played.
The difference here is that whilst they choose just one record to play, we try to post all of the suggestions which you submit.
The only rules are:
That’s about it. I award points every now and again, for Worst Record of the Week, Cheesiest Record of the Week, Comment Showboat of the Week, and of course, for anyone who happens to guess either the song or act (or both) that is the next record in the Official Chain, which becomes the source record for the following week’s post. Nobody’s keeping score (well, I’m not anyway), the points are just a bit of fun.
Oh and there’s just one more thing (my trademark Columbo impression, there): I signed off the last edition with the words: “Let’s say that will be next week, and see what happens, eh?” Wise words indeed. I’m not going to promise this will be back every Wednesday, but that’s the plan at the moment. I’ll see what I can do.
Okay, so perhaps we should start off by reminding everybody of the last song in the Official Chain, which is our starting point this week:
39. Small Faces – The Universal
Now, there was a little controversy over my presentation of this last time, as I posted the song in question under the cover art for their “Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake” album. This was shrewdly picked up on by The Great Gog, who pointed out that it wasn’t on the original release of that album, and he was right, as he often is.
The thing is, the source song from The Chain #38 was “The Universal” by Blur, so had I figured I’d post the “Ogden…” sleeve to give you all a bit more to get your teeth into. Y’know, before I ignored you all for five months. It is on one of the reissued, repackaged, remastered releases that has surfaced in the almost fifty years since the album first came out. And anyway, it’s my game, so if I want to exert a little artistic licence then I shall.
Here’s your first suggestion, courtesy of Charity Chic of Charity Chic Music (yup, it would appear that the C key on my keyboard works fine):
“From Small Faces to Angels with Dirty Faces by Sham 69 please.”
See, that’s the way to do it. Short, to the point, and polite. (Not that I have any objections to long, rambling suggestions, of course, as you will doubtless see).
Sham 69 – Angels With Dirty Faces
Let’s crack on with a round up of all the suggestions which linked to Small, Faces or Small Faces (sort of, loosely, with a few diversions), and I’ll hand you over to Rigid Digit of Stuff & Nonsense fame:
“Small Faces’ first hit was ‘What’cha Gonna Do About It’, written by Ian Samwell. He also invented British Rock ‘n’ Roll by penning ‘Move It'”
As mentioned earlier on, compiling a list of everything which has featured on The Chain thus far remains a work in progress (we’re on over 1000 songs, and counting now, so you can see the size of the task ahead of me); but you may be surprised to learn that so far Old Turtleneck is, I think, the second most suggested artist. There are no points on offer for guessing who is the most suggested (sorry, George!)
Rigid came up with another, slightly less fact-based suggestion, presented here in the form of a sort of rubbish multiple choice question:
“Small Faces were named because:
(a) they hadn’t yet reached the top of the Mod Hierarchy (i.e. they weren’t yet Faces, they were still Numbers – albeit high ranking ones – but there was already a band called the High Numbers, and
(b) they were all short (Steve Marriott was 5′ 1″, Ian McLagan was 5′ 0″, and Kenney Jones and Ronnie Lane were both 4′ 7″).
Pixies are also short.”
Not the only Pixies suggestion of the week, as it goes, more to follow.
Over to Dirk from sexyloser and the much admired organiser of the Bloggers Summit that happened a few months ago, which I was immensely flattered to be invited to but, alas, could not attend:
“I must admit I couldn’t remember this Small Faces tune and I could neither be arsed to download it nor to search for the ‘Best Of’ – CD of theirs I have somewhere. So instead I had a look at YouTube and found out that there’s a dog barking at approx. 1:05 minutes. An even better tune with a dog barking in it – albeit not at 1:05, no, at 2:27 minutes instead – is The Clash’s ‘Somebody Got Murdered’ … a link which – again, mind you – will please my friend George mightily, I suspect!”
Poor old Cliff; every time he pulls a goal back, the bloody Clash go and score again:
The Clash – Somebody Got Murdered
The Robster from Is This The Life? chipped in with a factoid at this point:
“The dog you hear actually belonged to Steve Marriot. He became something of a session player, also appearing on Pink Floyd’s album ‘Meddle’ in a song they named after him – ‘Seamus’.”
Now unless I’m missing something, there was no actual suggestion from The Robster this time around, so I’ll take that as being it. Please don’t forget your homework again.
Anyway, since we’re on The Clash, how about we get them out of the way completely, if for no other reason than so that George can relax and postpone taking his blood pressure medication for a while.
Here’s Julian from Music from Magazines:
“Small Faces might have small hands as allegedly Trump has, to be honest The Clash summed it up…”
The Clash – I’m So Bored of the U.S.A.
I’m writing this part of The Chain on Tuesday night, and as I typing, this message has flashed up on my phone:
So, y’know, good job I’m not promising to be back next week. At this rate, none of us will be….
…And we’re back in the room.
Now, one thing I’ve learned since I started writing The Chain is not to interrupt Jules when his brain is ticking over, especially as that usually coincides with a) him having a drink, b) chucking out time, or c) both.
“The American President is known as POTUS the first Lady as FLOTUS which happens to be the title of the latest…… Lambchop album”
Jules suggesting a Lambchop track, who’d have thunk it? Here’s the song he selected from said album, in it’s full 18:12 glory:
Back to Rigid again, piping up:
“…(particularly the Lenny Henry version)…” By which he means this:
Although personally, it’s a song which always reminds me of this:
Dear Cadburys: should you wish to reward me for the free advert by granting me a year’s supply of your yummy Crème Eggs, I can be contacted by email. But be warned: I’m a greedy fat bastard, and your idea of a year’s supply is likely to be very different to mine.
But wait, Jules isn’t done yet. In fact, you can practically hear his brain fizzing and he starts riffing:
“A final onslaught
‘Universal Hall’ by The Waterboys is a cracking number…
The Waterboys – Universal Hall
“…and so is ‘The Whole of the Moon’ which name checks the film ‘Brigadoon’ starring Gene Kelly famous for singing ‘Singing in the Rain’…Um…WATERboys…singing in the RAIN what can it mean….?
Your choice: “
I choose all of those that you suggest, if only to prove I don’t mind how many songs you suggest (at the moment, give it a week or so…), and because I could tell all of that was just to get me to post something by this lot:
1 Wet Wet Wet?
Wet Wet Wet – Sweet Little Mystery
(I can tell you’re a big fan…I’ve seen you dancing like Marti Pellow…)
To quote Belle & Sebastian:
“We all know you’re soft cos we’ve all seen you dancing
We all know you’re hard cos we’ve all seen you drinking from noon
Until noon again”
(I know you didn’t actually suggest that song, but it’s a strong contender for the Cheesiest Song of the Week gong…)
“2 The Beatles
“3 New Musik
This World of Water…?”
New Muzik – This World of Water
4 Michael P Hinson
The Day Texas Sank To The Bottom Of The Sea…”
Micah P. Hinson – The Day Texas Sank To The Bottom Of The Sea
Right that’s that little flurry of Jules’ Gems taken care of, what’s next?
Only Alex G of notoriously salad-free We Will Have Salad, that’s who:
“From Small Faces, I tried to come up with the smallest thing I could think of that has a face, and naturally I thought of Midge Ure.
I’ll rephrase that.
From Small Faces, I tried to come up with the smallest thing I could think of that has a face, and I thought of midges. And having looked them up and established to my own satisfaction that midges do indeed have an arrangement of features on the front of their heads which would pass for faces, that naturally leads me to Midge Ure. In the spirit of this blog, I suggest his little-remembered 1991 semi-hit “Cold Cold Heart”, which I liked enough at the time to buy it, though it leaves me cold (ha!) now.”
Can I be unkind enough to suggest there’s a very good reason why that’s little-remembered…?
But fear not, Alex, you’re nowhere near nominating the Worst Record of the Week, not by a long chalk.
Over to the When You Can’t Remember Anything boys, and I don’t know whether this was suggested by SWC or Badger, so we’ll credit it to a hybrid of the two, to Swadger if you will:
“If we are talking about faces then the first port of call should be ‘Poker Face’ by Lady Gaga. Just because it’s ace.”
Which it is, of course:
Remember a while ago, I said there would be more Pixies featuring this week? Well here they are, courtesy of…well, me, as it goes:
When I’m deciding on the running order, I break them down into the categories and then kick myself because I never remember to make a note of who it was that made the next suggestion, and so have to furiously scroll through the last edition to try and remember. With one exception (bar Jules’ obligatory Lambchop suggestion, that is).
Yup, it’s time for George to round off the Face section in style:
“From Small Faces, to masks (that tend to be worn on faces) to ‘Trout Mask Replica’, and ‘Moonlight on Vermont’.
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band – Moonlight on Vermont
Now on to what I think we can call a bridging link. Here’s Walter from A Few Good Times In My Life:
“If I ever listen to Small Faces it takes me back to the good old days with Rod Stewart. So it is easy to go to his second album under his own name. ‘Gasoline Alley’ might be the best he ever made. Torn between ballads and rockers. So I have to suggest ‘Jo’s Lament’ or ‘Good Old Country'”
Now, before any of you pedants pull Walter up and argue that Stewart was never in Small Faces, I’ve checked and strictly speaking, Walter is correct:
After Small Faces split, Lane, Jones and McLagan joined forces with Stewart and guitarist Ronnie Wood., but this line-up dropped the “Small” from their name and just became known as Faces. Their record company, however, were not happy, wanting to capitalise on the band’s earlier success by retaining their old name. The band stayed firm, arguing that the personnel changes meant this was an altogether different group from Small Faces. In the end, a compromise was reached: the new line-up’s first album in the UK was credited as ‘First Step’ by Faces, while in the US the same album was released as ‘First Step’ by Small Faces.
Hope that’s cleared that up.
Here’s Walter’s suggestion:
What that means, of course, is that we’re now into the territory of links to members of Small Faces, and here Charity Chic again:
“Steve Marriott was a member of the Small Faces. There is a hotel chain called the Marriott. I have stayed in one at LAX Airport. So they have Hotels in California.
If you can’t face the Eagles [I could…] there is also a version by Alabama 3 […which I’d much rather post]“
Time to welcome The Great Gog now, who picks up the theme:
“Picking up from the Marriott hotel chain – this is mentioned in a song – Mark Ronson’s ‘Record Collection’, where Simon Le Bon sings the line ‘I get preferential treatment at the Marriott’. I got heartily sick of this tune at the time of FIFA 11, as it was on the soundtrack and my youngest, then aged 10, was constantly wanting to beat me at it – happy memories of having to be a Belgian 2nd Division team whenever we played!”
Mark Ronson And The Business Intl – Record Collection feat. Simon Le Bon
Over to Abramson60 with a typically brief suggestion:
“Steve Marriott was born in Manor Park, which could have fetched us back to Blur and Parklife, but no. How about the Ruskin Arms the famed manor Park boozer that was instrumental in the rise of Iron Maiden, again no as I have never understood their appeal. Manor made me think of Ill Manors but despite having seen the film really can’t say much about the music, though did like the early stuff from Plan B. After all this rambling I thought of the Manor studios, something to do with a younger Richard Branson I believe, so two suggestions, both recorded at the said Manor. Something very un-PC from Supercharge and the ‘Local Lads Made Good’ album, ‘She Moved The Dishes’ first, maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, a re-listen made me think of certain elements of Frank Zappa’s work.”
I think we’ll have to agree to disagree about this one Abramson, not my cup of tea, but that doesn’t preclude it from getting an airing here. To me, it sounds like someone trying to sound like Vivian Stanshall and/or the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, but what do I know?
Supercharge – She Moved The Dishes First
Anyway, you mentioned two suggestions, what’s the other one?
“Manic Street Preachers also visited the manor to record their second LP Gold Against The Soul which contains a song that always brings a smile to my face ‘La Tristesse Durera’.”
Now that’s more like it!
Manic Street Preachers – La Tristesse Durera (Scream To A Sigh)
That’s the Marriott’s all wrapped up. What about Ronnie Lane?
Here’s Martin from New Amusements:
“Steve Marriott introduced Ronnie Lane as “Leafy Lane” on one of their albums, and a Leafy Lane probably has lots of shade, so let’s go with…”
Actually, Martin didn’t get to that suggestion straightaway. No, instead he got to Pavement by way of…well…like this (which I’m including simply because we have nothing else to link to drummer Kenney Jones):
“My first thought is that Small Faces’ drummer Kenney Jones later joined The Who after Keith Moon’s death. No Moon maybe implies eclipse, but no, I’m not pitching anything by Bonnie Tyler.”
Of course you weren’t. And why would you, when you clearly are angling for me to post this:
Nicki French – Total Eclipse Of The Heart
Just what the world needed back in 1995, that. A terrible, hi-energy, Europop version of a song which was only ever sung in the shower by anyone other than Bonnie anyway.
Anything else that you’re definitely not going to suggest, Martin..?
“A new Moon (perhaps on a Monday?) No, I’m not pitching that, by Duran Duran, either.”
Yes, I know who “New Moon on Monday” is by, Martin. (Gentle ribbing. Yummy!) And for that, here it is:
Duran Duran – New Moon on Monday
So that’s Marriott, Lane and Jones ticked off the list, what about Ian McLagan?
Step forward The Beard, with a suggestion which hands down wins the Best Link of the Week:
“The Small Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan died in Austin, Texas. Steve Austin, The Six Million Dollar Man, was played by Lee Majors. He also played Colt Seavers in The Fall Guy and, a la Dennis Waterman, crooned the theme tune, The Unknown Stuntman.”
Lee Majors – The Unknown Stuntman (Theme from ‘The Fall Guy’)
No, of course I didn’t own that already…..honestly…
And then, just when we thought we’d exhausted all of the possibilities relating to the band’s personnel, George is back:
“The Small Faces’ first manager was Don Arden. The charming Mr Arden, not at all a thug or bully, in a meeting with Robert Stigwood (another would-be band manager) threatened to throw him out of a window, Robert Stigwood was the manager of Cream, so I suggest their single ‘Badge’.”
Hang on a minute. I used to have a catchphrase for situations like this. Can’t seem to place my hands on it now. I’m sure I left it around here somewhere.
Wait a minute will you?
Well, if you’re suggesting that, then I’m suggesting this:
Prince & The New Power Generation – Cream
Okay, where next? Well, let’s take a step back to Ronnie Lane, and we’ll hand over to babylotti:
“Ronnie Lane was in the Small Faces, then the Faces, but it’s Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance & their version of ‘Ooh La La’ I’m going to suggest first. One of my favourite songs and about the only song that makes me wish I could play guitar so I could annoy people at open mics with it.”
No, no, no – learn to play it then take it house parties, or even better, on camping holidays. Much more annoying, although with potentially more things to throw at you to make you shut up.
Ronnie Lane & Slim Chance – Ooh La La
And here we go, off on a tangent, which is exactly what brings us here:
“From there I’m going to suggest Goldfrapp’s own ‘Ooh La La’…”, babylotti continues:
Goldfrapp – Ooh La La [Single Version]
“… and as I’ve gone there, I’m going to wring it to death like a dog & it’s favourite toy & suggest ‘Ooh La La’ by The Wiseguys, a song I used to love playing when DJ’ing and one of Mrs Lotti’s favourite tunes…”
At which point, Rigid reappears:
“After reading ‘Ooh La La’ that many times, I now have Kool and The Gang ‘Ooh La La La (Lets Go Dancing)’ lodged firmly in my brain”
Kool & The Gang – Let’s Go Dancin’ (Ooh La La La)
Time for a refresher or two. You’ll recall that right at the top of this post I wrote that Small Faces’ “The Universal” was the second song in a row we’d had a song called “The Universal” to link to? Well Alyson from What’s It All About? came up with a way of linking the word in those two titles that isn’t ‘Universal’:
“There are 2 x Universals next to each other in The Chain but also 2 x the word The. Something from The The…?”
Pressed to choose a song by them, she asked this, which I vetoed at the time as I’d not long since featured it on these pages….but as so much time has gone by, here’s her choice, which, coincidentally, just happens to be my favourite record by them:
Refresher 2: remember when I said earlier that I had posted the “Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake” sleeve to give you all something to get your teeth into, given the double appearance of ‘The Universal’? Well, I did you all a grave disservice there, for we’ve got this far and not one of you has linked to it yet.
Here’s The Great Gog:
“Seeing the word Ogden’s immediately brought to mind World Of Twist and their late singer, Tony Ogden. I’ll go for The Storm from them.”
And The Great Gog wasn’t the only person to come up with an Ogden based link. Here Rol from My Top Ten:
“My first thought for this was to go down the Stan Ogden route (topical reference, ahoy!) which would lead you to Stan by Eminem…”
The song responsible for bringing Dido to a wider audience. *sighs* Go on then, if we must:
“…and better still,” Rol continues, “to Mark & Lard’s spoof version, ‘Tony’ by The Shirehorses.”
Hmmm. This must be some new usage of the phrase “better still” that I wasn’t previously aware of. Ironic, maybe. An inverted meaning, like when “Bad” meant “Good”.
Sorry Rol, Worst Record of the Week, which is some feat in a week when we’ve heard that one by Supercharge.
I have an Ogden link too. Here it is:
The Beautiful South – The Table
What? You’re all looking at me blankly, like there’s no link there.
C’mon, seriously? Even Kay knows what the link is.
Ogden. Table. Ogden Table.
Ogden tables are a set of statistical tables and other information for use in court cases in the UK. Their purpose is to make it easier to calculate future losses in personal injury and fatal accident cases.
See, we try to educate as well as entertain round these parts.
Now you can tell that I focussed on the album with my suggestions, because here’s some more:
And, the “Ogden…” sleeve depicts a tin of tobacco, so:
…and since we’ve not had any double-linkers this week:
Jake Starr and the Delicious Fullness – Ognir’s Nut Gone Frosted Flaykes
By the way, I think The Delicious Fullness may be my favourite band name ever.
Let’s have another Nut-based song (I do hope none of you are allergic), which I could have sworn George had suggested; it’s absolutely the sort of thing he would suggest, and I mean that in the nicest possible way, because it turns out this one must be one of mine too:
B Bumble & the Stingers – Nut Rocker
Which just leaves one more suggestion, and I’ll hand over to SWC and/or Badger, or Swadger as I’m going to insist on calling them from now on, as they overlooked telling me which of them came up with this fine, stirring suggestion:
“The Faces reformed in 2009 with a certain Mick Hucknall on lead vocals. Hucknall is also a place in Nottinghamshire which was the birth place of a certain Eric Coates who wrote the theme to Dam Busters and the theme to Desert Island Discs. So either one of those please.”
With great pleasure, especially as you dodged the bullet of nominating a Simply Red tune:
Eric Coates – The Dam Busters March
And so to the next record in The Official Chain, which none of you actually guessed, but Dirk and The Robster came mighty close:
“….[The Universal by Small Faces]…featured dogs barking. Dogs are Pets that make Sounds, so…”
40. The Beach Boys – God Only Knows
…which, although I don’t think he actually played on the recording, given Glen Campbell’s close links to the band and his sad, untimely passing yesterday, seems a rather appropriate way to end things.
So, all that’s left for me to do is to ask for your suggestions, please, for songs which link to “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys, along with a brief description of the link, via the Comments Section down below, in time for the next edition, whenever that might roll into town.
Sometimes, you have to think not so much about what is said, than what is not said.
Last week, when Donald Trump, President of the country responsible for the production of the second highest amount of greenhouses gases in the world, announced he would be pulling out of the Paris Agreement – joining Nicaragua and Syria as the only attendees of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change not to sign it – the remaining signatories released statements condemning or expressing disappointment at the decision.
But one leader was notable by her absence from joining the chorus of disapproval. You guessed it: that strong and stable, “bloody difficult woman” Theresa May.
Of course, that’s not the only Trump-related subject she’s been notably quiet about, for, sadly, another opportunity to show some strength and leadership by speaking out against him very came very swiftly afterwards. For as the world queued up to not only show support for the UK in the wake of the third terrorist attack on our shores this year, but also to denounce Trump’s baseless criticism of London Mayor Sadiq Khan, where was our Theresa?
Probably off thinking really hard about the Brexit negotiations again, I suppose.
I find it incredible to think that the Conservatives have run their election campaign focusing on the strength, stability and leadership qualities, hoping that by repeating sound-bite of the year “strong and stable” enough we’d eventually believe it. A bit like Kenny Craig, if you like.
“Kenny who?” I hear you ask? Kenny Craig. You know Kenny Craig, you just probably don’t know that’s his name.
This is Kenny Craig:
In the last few days, the issue of national security and policing levels has, unsurprisingly given result events, moved centre stage in the election campaign. After the Manchester bombing, a friend of mine, a police officer in London, posted this on Facebook (since I’m not sure whether or not he’s supposed to make political comments, I’ve edited it to remove his name):
It was a sentiment echoed on Sunday evening by Jeremy Corbyn:
“You cannot protect the public on the cheap. The police and security services must get the resources they need, not 20,000 police cuts. Theresa May was warned by the Police Federation but she accused them of ‘crying wolf’”
That is a reference to a speech that May gave back in in 2015, when she was still the Home Secretary. I’ll hand over to James O’Brien of LBC to explain further:
May, of course, denies there have been cuts: “Since 2015…we have not cut the police but protected their budget….we have increased the number of armed police officers, improved co-operation between the police and specialist military units, and provided funding for an additional 1,900 officers at MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.”
Former senior Metropolitan police officer Peter Kirkham begs to differ. In an interview with Sky News at the weekend, he said: “The police service is in crisis as a result of the cuts…We hear talk of extra police officers on the street. They’re not extra, they’re officers that have had their rare leave days cancelled, they’ve had their 12-hour shifts that are now done routinely extended into 16 hours.”
So that protected budget, those extra officers, are actually officers who are being forced to work longer shifts, and have less days off. They must be knackered. Which makes their eight-minute reaction time on Saturday night all the more amazing.
“Look into my eyes, look into my eyes, don’t look around the eyes, look into my eyes…”
Time for a tune, I think:
The Music – Strength in Numbers
But, other than bullshitting us about the cuts to our police services which she has overseen since she became Home Secretary and then Prime Minister, she has a plan to combat the rise in extremist terrorism, right? Sure she does. Here you go:
“While we have made significant progress in recent years, there is – to be frank – far too much tolerance of extremism in our country…We need to work with allied democratic governments to reach international agreements to regulate cyberspace to prevent the spread of extremism and terrorism planning.”
Now, I’m not saying that’s not important, that she doesn’t have the semblance of a point there. But let’s counter-balance that with the report into the foreign funding and support of jihadi groups commissioned by David Cameron when he was Prime Minister. The report was to be shown to Cameron and May, then Home Secretary. The report is thought to focus on Saudi Arabia, which has repeatedly been highlighted by European leaders as a funding source for Islamist jihadis.
Well, that’s brilliant, isn’t it? We just have a look at that report, see what it says about the funding, take action against those funding the terrorists, and we’re on the way to sorting this out, right?
Oh, except there’s just one thing. The Home Office have announced that the report won’t necessarily be published, because the contents may be “very sensitive”.
What could be sensitive about that?
On Monday, Lib Dem leader shed a little light on this for us when he wrote an article saying that the report should be published and that it: “…should include exposing and rooting out the source funding of terror, even it means difficult and embarrassing conversations with those such as Saudi Arabia that the government claims are our allies.”
Huh? “Embarassing conversations?” “Our allies?” What can he mean?
Oh wait a minute….
That was taken when May popped over to Saudi Arabia (in a rare moment when she wasn’t thinking about the Brexit negotiations, of course) to discuss our lucrative arms deals to the Saudis. At around that time, the Saudis were being roundly criticised by all and sundry as reports emerged of their bombs hitting schools, hospitals and wedding parties as it intervenes in the war in Yemen. And who sold them the bombs that killed the innocent civilians in those schools, hospitals and wedding parties? Yup, the good old UK. Fair makes your heart swell with pride, doesn’t it?
I mean, even America has stopped the supply of precision guided munitions to Saudi Arabia on the back of those reports. But us? Nah, we’ll carry on regardless, thanks.
The Beautiful South – Good as Gold (Stupid as Mud)
So May happily sides with a nation that possibly gives financial and logistical support to ISIS, suppresses a report into just that, whilst telling us that we need to tackle extremism and denying that she has been responsible for the cuts in police numbers in the UK which undoubtedly leave us exposed.
And she refuses to condemn the words and actions of Donald J. Trump.
That’s two truly special relationships we have, right there.
Stereolab – With Friends Like These
So, before you pop off to vote tomorrow, you’ll have lots of questions to ask yourself. Make sure that one of them is this: who do you think really has the safety of the country at heart? Is it the party that has pledged to recruit an additional 10,000 police officers (even if they can’t remember how much it’s going to cost), or the party that has axed the police numbers over the past seven years whilst cutting arms deals with countries who are, in all probability, providing resources to those very people who seek to destroy our way of life?
All being well, I’ll be back later tonight with an overview of what the main parties are offering. I’m sure it will be a real laugh a minute.
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”:
The Matchroom Mob with Chas & Dave – 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.”
Shut Up and Dance – £20 to Get In
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.”
The Three Johns – 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:
Nightmares In Wax – Black Leather
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:
Melt-Banana – Bird-Like Monkey In Cave, Singing In Drops
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….”
The Rockingbirds – 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.”
Animal Collective – Brother Sport
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:
The Beatmasters feat The Cookie Crew – Rok Da House
Jack ‘N’ Chill – The Jack That House Built
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:
Big Sound Authority – This House
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????
The Rapture – House of Jealous Lovers
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!”
Gogol Bordello – Start Wearing Purple
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?):
Wreckless Eric – Semaphore Signals (Peel Session)
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:
Billie Holiday – Love For Sale
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:
Flight of the Conchords – You Don’t Have To Be A Prostitute
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:
Idina Menzel – Love For Sale/Roxanne
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.”
Ray Charles – Talkin’ ‘Bout You
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:
Magazine – A Song From Under The Floorboards
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):
The National – The Geese Of Beverly Road
The Beautiful South – The Rising Up of Grafton Street
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.
I very much doubt that it has escaped your attention, but today is Valentine’s Day.
Saint Valentine (or Saint Valentine of Moonpig.com, to give him his full title) is of course the patron saint of both chocolatiers and gullible people.
Anyway, I thought I should post something suitable for the occasion.
I’ve given The Beautiful South a bit of stick for their choice, and delivery, of cover versions on here recently, so I thought I’d try to rectify this today. You know, provide a bit of balance.
As I’ve said before, I loved The Housemartins, and much of The Beuatiful South’s early output, and I think Paul Heaton’s lyrics are genuinely witty, sharp, incisive, often political, all qualities I look for in a lyricist.
Truth be told, I don’t think this morning’s choice is necessarily one of his better songs; but released as an extra track on their “The River/Just Checkin'” CD single, what it does have, however, is one of the greatest song titles ever:
The Beautiful South – Valentine’s Day Wank
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