The Election Section V2.2

So the plan was this: every week, I’d post a round-up of the events from the week  on the campaign trail, coupled with a scathing yet entirely impartial *ahem* review, and an appropriate song or two.

There are two flaws in that plan. Firstly, I was away last weekend, so I now have two weeks to catch up on.

Secondly, Twitter.

I love Twitter, and some of you know and follow me on there, but there is a danger with that social media platform: because of the very nature of the beast, I find I’ve reacted to something or retweeted it there, long before I’ve written anything here.

So when it comes to time to write here, I’m frankly a little worried I may be accidentally using a joke or a point I’ve already read, and probably retweeted, on Twitter.

In other words, forgive me if I accidentally repeat something which I don’t credit to the original source. (In other words, I’m saying that all you are about to read is my take on the General Election, and if it anyway chimes with something on Twitter that I may or may not have read, that’s entirely coincidental.)

Where shall we start? Here: sometime in the last couple of weeks, Theresa May announced she would not take part in televised debates with the leaders of her opponents parties. The BBC and ITV announced that they would “empty chair” her, which means they’d have a chair for her to sit in, and when any question was asked, they would cut to the empty chair and the answer it wasn’t giving.

And they say the BBC is biased….

At this, many of us pricked up our ears, and rubbed our hands together.

Surely this is an open goal for Jeremy Corbyn, one even he can’t mess up? An opportunity to put his views and his vision out to the electorate, pretty much unchallenged.

And then he announced that if Theresa May wasn’t going to participate in the live TV debates, then neither was he.

Nice one, Jeremy. For why would you want to monopolise on such an opportunity? It’s almost like he doesn’t want to win…

Safe to say that, as it stands:

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Gil Scott-Heron -The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

And apart from that, nothing has happened in the past couple of weeks.

Ah yes. There was the Diane Abbott incident.

I quite like Diane. Of course, she ticks a lot of PC boxes.

Black? Tick.

Woman? Tick.

Managed to regularly sit on a couch with Michael Portillo without punching him in the balls? Tick.

Absolute Liability with a microphone anywhere near her? Sadly, tick, tick, tick.

I’m not going to post the link here, as I’m sure you’ve already seen/heard it, but she did an utterly excruciating telephone interview with LBC’s Nick Ferrari, where she discussed Labour’s plans to increase funding for the police. It’s fair to say, she made a right hash of the figures: the sound of her frantically flicking through her notes was more evident than any coherent message from Abbott.

Her explanation later was that the interview was her sixth of the day and she was tired.

That’s not really good enough, is it? For a start, if I’d done essentially the same interview, being asked the same questions, five times previously, I’d like to think that a) I’d have learnt the details before the first interview, and b) that having trotted the figures out five times already, they might have sunk in a bit by the time of the sixth interview.

So Diane, this is for you:

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Los Campesinos! – Don’t Tell Me to Do the Math(s)

Surprisingly (perhaps) that was the only real fuck-up by Labour this week. Quite a major one, but as far as I’m aware, the only one.

But then there’s Theresa “Strong and Stable” May.

I think 99.9% of the population had already gotten wise to soundbites by the time this happened, and if not, they did very shortly afterwards:

For sure, “Strong and Stable” is the May-mantra, the chant she believes if said enough times will come true.

A bit like Candyman:

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Sammy Davis Jr. – The Candy Man

The idea, of course, is to portray a picture of someone who is determined, resolute, and doesn’t waiver or change their mind.

So let’s not forget that this election is happening as a result of May changing her mind, and backtracking on previous pledges:

But then, she has a history of this, doesn’t she?

So, irrespective of whether you voted to remain or leave the EU last year, bear in mind that, if the Tories win the forthcoming election, then the negotiations will be led by someone who doesn’t believe we should be leaving at all.

And just think for a moment who she appointed into her cabinet. Foreign Secretary: Boris Johnson. I don’t have time to list all of the countries that Johnson has managed to offend, before or after the EU vote, but there are lots. And that’s before we even start on the amount of cities in the UK that he’s managed to piss off with his bumbling Eton toff routine.

But it’s okay, for David Davis is the minister charged with negotiating the Brexit deal, and he’s already admitted that there is no plan in place should the UK not get a deal which is favourable to leaving, so we all know how competent he is.

But, what he can do is get t-shirts printed with an exruciatingly bad joke emblazoned on them, and then persuade “curvaceous lovelies” to wear them:

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But okay, fine. If you’re happy with Benny Hill negotiating the biggest and most important trade deal in the last 50 fifty years, then fill your boots:

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The Coasters – Yakety Yak

Now. You know how we all scoffed at Donald Trump’s baseless, unfounded allegations that his presidential campaign had been wire-tapped by the Obama administration? The rantings of a deranged, parnoid loon (with something to cover up), right?

So this week, Theresa May went into full-on Trump mode.

Following a dinner with senior EU negotiating bods, May made a staement that there had been “European threats against Britain, deliberately timed to affect the election”

Whoa. Wait a minute, wait a minute. You mean, those people that we’ve told to fuck off have taken it badly, and want us to honour the agreement we previously signed off on?

And, unless I’m very much mistaken Mrs May, you called the election, not them.

And – hang on, I must be missing something here – since you didn’t want to Leave in the first place and clearly have all of the negotiating prowess of a potato in a sock with a face drawn on it, why would they want you to be replaced?

Oh wait – unless this was a deliberate ploy to make sure that all who voted to Leave last year turned out again for you in June? But that kind of scaremongering has no place in modern politics, does it?

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It’s not strong and stable, it’s fucking deranged. She can’t even eat chips without looking like she’s from another realm. Seriously, it comes to something when Ed Miliband is able to call you out on how to eat in public:

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And don’t even get me started on May’s response to a perfectly reasonable question about the NHS, about nurses, and their increased dependency on food banks:

That’s right, Theresa. There are many complex reasons why nurses might be going to food banks. I’ll list them for you:

  1. They’re underpaid
  2. They’re hungry

That appears to be it.

But it’s okay, there’s always the European health workers (who you refuse to guarantee the safety of, post Brexit) to step in and take over.

Oh, and then there’s the small issue of the proposed increase in tax and National Insurance contributions which they tried to bring in under the last budget, before ditching it when (finally, after trying to defend and justify it for a few days, claiming it was our fault for misunderstanding everything, because we’re all THAT stupid) they had to accept it was in direct contradiction of their last manifesto pledge, and which May now refuses to confirm won’t happen should they be re-elected.

Look, I know there’s an obesity probem in the UK, I’m living proof of it, but surely the way to address that isn’t by making sure that the working (and a large chunk of the middle) classes can’t afford to eat?

So, anyway, let me just leave this here for you to think about:

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The Bluetones – Carn’t Be Trusted

And then there were the local elections on Thursday. I can’t pretend these went well for a cardigan-wearing leftie like me. There were Conservative gains, of course, many in traditionally Labour heartland. This cannot be considered to be encouraging. Areas of Wales, Scotland, and Birmingham, all went to the Tories.

Wales: I love you but you should hang your heads in shame that you’ve voted for the party that decimated the economic output of your community.

The only thing I can cling to here is the massive losses suffered by UKIP, who ended up with just one seat.

And why did UKIP only manage to secure one seat? From the results, it certainly isn’t the case that UKIP voters switched to Labour, is it?

So ask yourself this: if you’ve never voted UKIP before, because you recognise them as the racist fuckwits we know they are, then why would you vote for a political party which has – as Real Ale and fags raconteur, the man with a face you’d never get tired of punching, Nigel Farage acknowledged this week – absorbed their policies?

If you continue, or are considering, voting Tory in the forthcoming election, but think that UKIP are a bunch of whackos, then you need to take a fucking long look in the mirror, for you are now just UKIP under a different name.

So, yeah, this:

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Depeche Mode – Where’s The Revolution?

That’ll do for now.

Don’t forget, of course, that to have a say in the forthcoming election, you need to be able to vote in it. Go here to make sure your voice is heard.

More soon.

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A Good Friday

So, it’s Easter weekend again, and time for us all to pretend we’re devout Christians honouring a long-standing tradition, when really all we care about is the fact that we all get to stuff our faces with chocolate and, in the UK at least, enjoy a super long, four day weekend:

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The Bluetones – 4-Day Weekend

Yes! A whole four days to think about doing that bit of DIY you’ve been putting off for months, and which you’ll continue to think about until Monday when, suddenly aware that you’ve totally wasted the whole weekend, you’ll skulk off to B&Q and spend the rest of the day trying to construct a flat-pack chest of drawers, armed only with a knife masquerading as the screwdriver which you can’t find, several screws less than your supposed to have, and an instruction manual written in every language except English accompanied by the most confusing diagrams known to mankind.

But we shouldn’t ignore the real reason we get this extended break. So, here’s a little something which references the events which didn’t actually take place at all, let alone on this day (controversial, I know):

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!!! – Even Judas Gave Jesus a Kiss

Regulars will know that, despite not having a single religious bone in my body, I do love to post festive songs at Christmas but, as I pointed out in previous years, there just aren’t that many which can be linked to Easter celebrations, unless you go down the egg route, which I’m not going to.

So, here’s my tradition: posting this every year in all it’s outrageous, glorious campness:

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Army of Lovers – Crucified

More soon.

The Chain #27

Evening all.

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

  1. Links to the names of members of the bands
  2. Links to the word “Animal(s)”
  3. Links to the word “House”
  4. Links to…erm…the oldest profession in the world.

There are a few others which we’ll sprinkle liberally throughout the post too.

  1. Band Members Names

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”:

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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.” 

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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.

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The Bluetones – if…

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.”

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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:

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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.”

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Hot Chocolate – Emma

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.

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Motorhead – No 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….?:

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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.”

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Space – 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:

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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.

    2. Animals

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….”

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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.”

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Aztec Camera – Spanish Horses

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.

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New Kingdom – Animal

“Or, ‘Animal Nitrate’ was a poor attempt at clever wordplay by Suede but a very fine single never the less. So that…”

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Suede – Animal Nitrate

“…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.”

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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.”

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Weezer – Keep Fishin’

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.

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Def Leppard – Animal

That’s enough Animal based shenanigans. To category 3!

      3. House

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:

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The Beatmasters feat The Cookie Crew – Rok Da House

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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:

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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…”:

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DJ Fast Eddie – Hip House

“…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????

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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.”

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Yazoo – 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:

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Melt-Banana – Monkey Man

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!”

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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?):

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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.”

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Blondie – X Offender

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?

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Queen – Killer Queen

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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

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Status Quo – Mystery Song

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'”

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John Otway – Bunsen Burner

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.”

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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:

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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):

“1.”

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The National – The Geese Of Beverly Road

and

“2.”

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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:

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27. Dr. John – Such A Night

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.

More soon.

The Chain #26

Welcome back to the Chain Gang.

We ended up last week with me inviting suggestions for songs which link to The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “Voodoo Chile [Slight Return]”, which is lifted from their “Electric Ladyland” album, whilst also making a rather bold prediction:

“I’m willing to bet I know which artist Charity Chic will suggest.”

So over to you, CC:

“If you are thinking Wall of Voodoo, they only had one decent song which I suggested last week which could be winner if it didn’t take you back to the radio theme.”

Errrr,  no. That wasn’t who I was thinking of. However, that did prompt Dirk from Sexyloser to suggest the following:

“Wall Of Voodoo’s “Dance You F***ers*” was okay as well, if I remember correctly”

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Wall Of Voodoo – Dance You Fuckers

Fancy another go, Charity Chic?

“Chile used to be ruled by a tin-pot fascist dictator called General Pinochet. When he took I’ll he came to the UK where our very own tin-pot fascist dictator Margaret Thatcher gave him bed and board at the countries expense. Thereafter the normally spineless Jack Straw the then Home Secretary deported him. I wrote to congratulate him but never got the courtesy of a reply.

 So “(We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang” by Heaven 17 please.”

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Heaven 17 – [We Dont Need This] Fascist Groove Thang

Nope, that wasn’t what I was thinking of either. How embarrassing. Anyone else?

Here’s Rol from My Top Ten:

“Why has nobody suggested Kirsty MacColl yet? Is that what you were expecting from Charity Chic?

Kirsty had an excellent album called Electric Landlady. The opening track is called Halloween, making it doubly appropriate.

That’s not my official suggestion. Just the obvious one you were no doubt looking for.”

Bingo!

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Kirsty MacColl – Halloween

You see, the other week, having successfully suggested a link to a Kirsty MacColl record for the second week running, and aware of our mutual adoration of her work, CC announced that he would attempt to link to something by her at every opportunity.

I’m reminded of QI, and the number of times Alan Davies has proffered “a blue whale” as an answer, and got it wrong, but then when it is the answer, manages to miss it. Like this:

Now. Before we go any further, I need to just clear a little something up. And having popped the tissues away, now I need to clarify something.

The reason we are linking to The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “Voodoo Chile [Slight Return]” is that it was the next record in the official BBC Chain, following on from Joni Mitchell’s “You Turn Me On I’m a Radio”, and the official link between the two was given as “…Mitch Mitchell played bass in the Jimi Hendrix Experience…”. Needless to say this raised a few eyebrows, by The Swede (“That’ll be news to Noel Redding’s estate”) and Alex G (“What a disappointing official connection. I expect better than that for £145.50 a year.”)

So let’s just check with the bible of all accurate data: Wikipedia, which lists Mitch Mitchell’s credits as ‘backing vocals, drums (except on “Rainy Day Dream Away” and “Still Raining, Still Dreaming”), percussion, lead vocals on “Little Miss Strange”‘ and Noel Redding’s as ‘backing vocals, bass on “Crosstown Traffic”, “Little Miss Strange”, “Come On (Let the Good Times Roll)”, “Burning of the Midnight Lamp”, and “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”, acoustic guitar and lead vocals on “Little Miss Strange”‘

So perhaps we should have a couple of Noel Redding related tunes before we go any further.

There is a town just outside London which hosts an annual music festival over the August Bank Holiday Weekend. That town is Reading, but it’s pronounced the same way as Noel’s surname. The other way to pronounce it is, of course, in the same way as in the phrase “Reading, Writing And Arithmetic”, which just so happens to be the title of the debut album by The Sundays. Here’s the opening track:

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The Sundays – Skin & Bones

Similarly, here’s George, with both of his suggestions linking to the unappreciated multi-instrumentalist:

“Noel Redding the bass player/drummer, could also play the mandolin, and so could Ira Lonnie Loudermilk, better known as Ira Louvin, one half the toptastic Louvin Brothers. (He was also the heavy drinking much married and alleged wife-beater who was once shot by one of wives). And one of the Louvin Brothers’ song is The Angels Rejoiced Last Night, which has one of the finest examples of lyrics in country music you’ll ever hear.”

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The Louvin Brothers – The Angels Rejoiced Last Night

I don’t know about you, but the sight of that album sleeve has just bumped that record to the top of my “must own” pile.

Here’s George’s second suggestion:

“I’m surprised no-one has posted an Otis Redding suggestion, so mine is ‘Stay in School’.”

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Otis Redding – Stay in School

I have two things to say about that. Firstly, I always thought Roy Orbison was ‘The Big O’? Secondly, George adds: “I played this to some of my classes when I was working.” So what on earth was your teaching style like if you had to play the pupils a record imploring them not leave?

“I also played them the occasional track by Gong,” George adds, like that makes it perfectly acceptable. Although maybe in an alternative to classroom bell context, a “That Gong’s not for you, it’s for me” kinda way, I guess it might work.

But I digress. Where were we. Oh yes, Chile. CC was not the only person to go down the “Chile” route. Here’s The Robster from Is This The Life?

“I also couldn’t get Chile out of my head, in this case the country – ‘Chile Your Waters Run Red Through Soweto’. While the Billy Bragg version is best known, for me you can’t beat Sweet Honey In The Rock’s take which is just wonderful.”

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Sweet Honey In The Rock – Chile Your Waters Run Red Through

And in similar territory, literally, here’s The Great Gog:

“Back in my mid-80s student radio days, I had a stand-in co-presenter for the mammoth 4-hour Saturday Sportswatch (not my choice of title). I set the Hendrix track off and as it finished I was busy scribbling info off Ceefax for an upcoming link. Said co-presenter then back-announced the track, pronouncing Chile as one would the South American country which is spelt that way. Cue much mirth around the studio where music snobbery was positively encouraged.

 Anyway…I’m obviously now in South American county mode, so I offer ‘Ecuador’ by Sash!…”

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Sash! – Ecuador

…or,” The Great Gog continues, “‘Brazilian Love Affair’ by George Duke.”

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 George Duke – Brazilian Love Affair

Before we move on to the most popular links, one which received two nominations this week, firstly from Rol (“The other obvious suggestion is ‘Slight Return’, the Bluetones’ biggest hit. But you can have that one for free.”) – CC: did you notice that’s the second time he’s said “obvious choice”? He may as well have said blue whale – but also from The Beard (“Alternatively, ‘Slight Return’ by The Bluetones”), which, to be fair, looks a little bit odd when taken out of context i.e. immediately after his other suggestions, which we’ll come to in a bit.

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The Bluetones – Slight Return

Now, a Public Service Announcement. I have had to disqualify three suggestions this week, because I don’t think the suggested link is correct. I’m talking about these:

“Jimi’s guitar solo from, oh I forget but not Voodoo Chile, was recycled in BAD’s C’mon Every Beat Box and then later Right Said Fred (Deeply Dippy I think). Which was then covered on the Heavenly Fred EP by the Rockingbirds. One of whom plays guitar for Edwyn Collins.”

I had the BAD track all lined up and ready to go, listened to it to make sure it sounded okay, and realised after it finished that I hadn’t noticed any Hendrix-guitar in there. So I listened again. And again. And again. And again. Nope. So I had a little look on-line, and stumbled across this page which explains all of the samples, source materials and references on BAD’s “No 10 Upping Street” album, from which “C’mon Every Beat Box” is lifted. No mention of Mr Hendrix at all there, nor on several other places I checked.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I would love to post all of them, not least The Rockingbirds version of Deeply Dippy, but as far as I can see, these suggestions fall at the first hurdle. So sorry, but in the absence of any link, I can’t play any of those tunes.

Ok, so there were two other means of linking to our source record this week which attracted mucho attentioni (those online Italian lessons weren’t wasted on me, right?), and so I’ll hand you back over to Dirk for a moment:

“Now, there are quite a lot of really good bands called “The Something Something Experience”, such as The Colorblind James Experience, The Iowa City Beef Experience, The Jean Paul Sartre Experience, The Joyce McKinney Experience, The Mr. T Experience, The Tony Head Experience plus, I’m sure, a few others which I can’t think of currently. ‘Lift To Experience’ spring to mind as well, but they don’t count in my Mr. Monk–world.

Also we have The Sid Presley Experience and the B-Side of their 1984 7″ ‘Hup 2-3-4’ is rather splendid, so it shall be my link for this week, please: ‘Public Enemy Number One’.”

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The Sid Presley Experience – Public Enemy Number One

Time to welcome back Charity Chic:

“I was going to offer up ‘Considering a Move to Memphis’ by the Colorblind James Experience but Dirk stole my thunder…I am not having a good day…”

Well, actually he just mentioned it in passing, so I’ll give you that one (also because it’s one of my favourite records ever):

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The Colorblind James Experience – Considering a Move to Memphis

And here’s another one of those ‘The Something Something Experience’ bands, suggested by Yours Truly, although strictly speaking they’re a the ‘Something Something Something Experience’ band: a band with a truly magnificent name, but who’s music sadly doesn’t quite fulfill expectations, unless you’re expecting some fey C86-esque indie jingly-jangly guitars, in which case, fill your boots:

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James Dean Driving Experience – Sean Connery

But by far and away the most popular link this week was to Voodoo. There was a great song by Vic and Bob from their “The Smell of Reeves & Mortimer” series called, I think, “Do You Do Voodoo?” which I was hoping to link to now, but can I find it? Can I heck as like.

So, let’s start off with a welcome return for Marie, who suggests this:

“As soon as I saw the word “Voodoo” (with Halloween being just around the corner an’ all), I knew that I had to suggest this song: Charles Sheffield’s ‘It’s Your Voodoo Working'”

I wish I could say I’d planned this week’s post to land a couple of days before Halloween, but honestly, I never look at what the next link in the Chain is until I come to write this, so I can’t claim to be that organised.

Anyway, here’s Charles:

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Charles Sheffield – It’s Your Voodoo Working

Time for babylotti’s suggestion(s):

“‘Voodoo Chile’ was part of the Hendrix medley released as a free record with Soft Cell’s most accomplished album, The Art of Falling Apart. The other side of that record was a song based on George A Romero’s film about a boy who believes himself to be a vampire. So I’m suggesting that one, ‘Martin’, by Soft Cell.”

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Soft Cell – Martin

It’s not long before babylotti’s back though, with a second suggestion:

“Jeez, how did I not take that chance to link to Tom Robinson Band’s Martin? I think I just did…;-)”

Don’t think you can get round me with a cheeky winking emoji, old chap. That’s the sort of thing likely to make me not post your choice. But since it’s a rather fine choice, here you go:

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Tom Robinson Band – Martin

It’s not often that we get different versions of the same song suggested here, but that’s exactly what happened this week. I’ll let SWC from When You Can’t Remember Anything explain:

“I have always thought that the greatest song to ever feature the word voodoo was by A Guy Called Gerald and Voodoo Ray….”

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A Guy Called Gerald – Voodoo Ray (Original Mix)

“But,” continues SWC, “his version is not the best for that you need to go to Acid Brass version.”

For the uninitiated, “Acid Brass” is an album of acid house choons covered by a brass band. The Williams Fairey Brass Band, to be precise. Don’t let that put you off though, this is, as SWC alludes, brilliant:

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The Williams Fairey Brass Band – Voodoo Ray

I said three versions, right? Right. Here’s Swiss Adam from Bagging Area:

“Voodoo Ray is not only the best record with the word Voodoo in its title, but one of the best records ever made. No arguing. Fact. The Acid Brass version is wonderful too but Gerald’s was proof that British house music was going somewhere else entirely. For an updated version see Optimo’s remix (done with Jeremy Deller).”

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Jeremy Deller – Voodoo Ray (Optimo remix)

Can we have a factoid about the tune before you go Swiss?

“It was supposed to be Voodoo Rage but there weren’t enough spaces in the digital name display so he changed it to Ray.”

Thanks Swiss!

Here’s babylotti again. He’s been thinking.

“Just yesterday I was listening to Philip Boa & The Voodoo Club, they once sang a song about Paul, who was in love with a container…..which is a line from another of their songs, so my next suggestion is Love on Sale by them…”

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Phillip Boa & The Voodoo Club – Love On Sale

Now. “Container Love” by Philip Boa & The Voodoo Club is another record I adore, so I’m a bit annoyed you didn’t pick that one. In fact, I very nearly over-ruled you and played that instead. But then I realised we’re a bit light on cheese this week – we love the occasional cheesy record round these parts – and without Love on Sale then you wouldn’t have been able to provide this week’s Dairylea triangle:

“Which leads me to my awful song selection, from Love on Sale to ‘You Gotta Be A Hustler If You Wanna Get On’ by Sue Wilkinson.”

Not awful, babylotti, cheesy.

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Sue Wilkinson – You Gotta Be A Hustler If You Wanna Get On

Ah. Okay. As you were. Awful it is.

That made it to Number 25 in the UK charts back in 1980. It was her only hit. Maybe she’d have had more if her name hadn’t been so…well, drab. I mean, it’s not exactly the sort of name that conjures up visions of a pop star, is it? To me, Sue Wilkinson sounds like the woman from the office with a fixation on cats, who arranges the collections for people’s birthdays and tries to engage you in conversations about The Great British Bake Off when you’re trying to mind your own business by killing time at the photocopier.

Now, we can’t really do a post referencing records linked to Voodoo without mentioning The Robster’s next suggestion:

“Screamin’ Jay Hawkins looked like a witch doctor who practiced voodoo. He’s best known, of course, for his classic I Put A Spell On You, but in 1974, he released a single called Voodoo, which was backed by You Put The Spell On Me. So you can have any one of those three.”

Suddenly, this has become like a version of Michael Barrymore’s “Strike It Lucky”: I can have top, middle or bottom, you say? Middle! (See, I can resist making the obvious joke sometimes)

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Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – Voodoo

Time for some Swede action. Here’s The Swede from Unthought of though, somehow:

“Working on the basis of ‘first thought, best thought’, the song that immediately popped into my head to follow ‘Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)’ was ‘(The Ballad Of) The Voodoo Ranger’ by Multicoloured Shades.”

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 The Multicoloured Shades – (The Ballad Of) The Voodoo Ranger

Chain Gang, count yourself very lucky, for that song made me think of one very cheesy one which, had I had the time, would have got posted right now. I’ll save it for another time…

Here’s Swiss Adam, back for a second, third and fourth bite at the cherry:

“Voodoo always makes me think of The Gun Club’s debut album Fire of Love (the cover art). Sex Beat is a peak on an album of peaky peaks. They were never that good again.”

I’m not sure we’ve ever had someone link via the medium of cover art before. I suppose, given the cover art I used for “Electric Ladyland” last week – which Hendrix himself disapproved of, by the way – I should be grateful. Anyway: a first!

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The Gun Club – Sex Beat

Anyone who regularly visits his excellent Bagging Area blog will not be surprised by the manner in which Swiss continues: “…which gives me two Andrew Weatherall links- Two Lone Swordsmen did a spirited cover version of Sex Beat…”

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Two Lone Swordsmen – Sex Beat

“…and the sleeve of Sabres of Paradise’s wonderful single Wilmot recycled The Gun Club’s cover images and is a voodoo influenced tune itself.”

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The Sabres Of Paradise – Wilmot

I always thought that was about popular chicken-in-a-basket entertainer Gary Wilmot. Apparently not.

A couple of weeks ago, one of the songs posted here was Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does It Better”, and I happened to comment that it was my favourite Bond theme ever, although occasionally it might be the next record. Here’s Alyson from What’s It All About, Alfie?:

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Paul McCartney & Wings – Live And Let Die

It seems Rol has been trying to think of something clever:

“I was going to try and be deep and obscure this week, but then I remembered one of my favourite tracks from my favourite album of last year: ‘Voodoo Doll’ by John Grant”.

Regular readers will know I share Rol’s love of all things John Grant related, so here you go:

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John Grant – Voodoo Doll

Time to welcome back (I think – you have posted here before, haven’t you…?) Brian from Linear Tracking Lives:

“Like The Robster, my first thought was Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. Then I recalled quite a few albums with voodoo in the name, such as the Dirty Dozen Band’s Voodoo and Paul Carrack’s Suburban Voodoo, but there isn’t that one song that hits on the theme. Then I smiled when I thought of Harvey Korman as Hedley Lamarr in ‘Blazing Saddles’ telling his band of bad guys “Now go do that voodoo that you do so well.” Yes, I’m that highbrow. Well, that’s liberally lifted from Cole Porter’s ‘You Do Something to Me’. Francis Albert sings that song with gusto, but it’s not my favourite. So, finally, my pick is a close cousin to voodoo…. Witchcraft, sung by Sinatra”

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Frank Sinatra – Witchcraft

Here’s Alex G, fresh from expressing his disappointment at last week’s link, which given the amount of research he’s done into his own link is a bit rich:

“Talking Heads did a song called Papa Legba, which is named after some sort of spirit in Haitian Voodoo.”

(Papa Legba is the loa who serves as the intermediary between the loa and humanity. He stands at a spiritual crossroads and gives (or denies) permission to speak with the spirits of Guinee, and is believed to speak all human languages. Either that or an over-priced midfielder currently arousing the curiosity of  Manchester United’s scouting team. You decide.)

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Talking Heads – Papa Legba

Alyson’s back, to expand on her earlier “Live and Let Die” nomination:

“Thinking about it a bit more, the fictitious island where much of the Voodoo action in the film took place was called San Monique but of course it is highly likely that this fictitious island was supposed to be Haiti where, apparently, the majority of the population hold Voodoo beliefs. This of course got me thinking of the song ‘Haitian Divorce’ by Steely Dan.”

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Steely Dan – Haitian Divorce

Time now for a big warm Chain Gang welcome to Kuttowski, who unless I’m very much mistaken, is Walter from the excellent A few good times in my life blog. Welcome aboard, Kuttowski/Walter, what have you got for us?

“I think it is time to join the chain gang. Thinking about the word voodoo Screaming Jay Hawkins and Voodoo Ray came to my mind. But it all said by the ones before. So I would suggest Voodoo by Mano Negra, a French band lead by Manu Chao back in the late 80’s. Starting with a dark mood this song turns into a weird folk chaos.”

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Mano Negra – Voodoo

“Otherwise,” he continues, “I would suggest Jah Wobble’s Voodoo.”

You can have both:

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Jah Wobble – Voodoo (Original Mix)

And so to the last of the Voodoo related tracks, and a very heartfelt welcome back, albeit via the conduit that is SWC, to Badger:

“I spoke to Badger and his suggestion from the sofa is thus. Part of the voodoo ceremony is to slaughter a rooster. (He is basing this solely from the Mickey Rourke/Lisa Bonet film [Angel Heart, I believe – Film Ed] of a few years back.) But that takes us too ‘Mansize Rooster’ by Supergrass.”

Hallelujah, what a great, often overlooked tune. And I think I speak for everyone here when I say it’s great to hear Badger is on his way back to fighting fit.

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Supergrass – Mansize Rooster

Four songs to go, and here’s my last choice. This is, I believe, a cover of a Kiss record, performed here by The Lemonheads back in their early days before they had added the The to their name. I’m not going to explain the link: if you don’t get it, then just type the words “Jimi Hendrix” and “Plaster Caster” into Google. But don’t do it at work:

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The Lemonheads – Plaster Caster

Having given him a bit of a ribbing earlier, I was going to let Charity Chic have the last word this week. But, that honour is being saved for my favourite link of the week.

So, sorry CC, but here’s your other selection:

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Neil Young – From Hank to Hendrix

Earlier on, I mentioned that The Beard had suggested The Bluetones “Slight Return” as his final choice, and here come his first two choices, the reasoning behind which I love:

“From Jimi Hendrix to Hendrik Van Kleefe, the dodgy Dutch diamond dealer from To Hull And Back, the Only Fools and Horses Christmas special from 1985. Two of the world’s greatest cities, Hull and Amsterdam, are featured in the episode. 1985 also saw the release of Flag Day, the debut single by “the fourth best band in Hull” aka The Housemartins.”

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The Housemartins – Flag Day

And finally:

“‘Amsterdam’ by Peter Bjorn and John didn’t come out in 1985 but is great nonetheless.”

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Peter Bjorn and John – Amsterdam

Right, can you all line up please? *Does quick head count* Okay, I don’t think I missed anyone out. So let’s have a look at the reason behind the next record in the official Chain:

“Jimi Hendrix’s manager was Chas Chandler, who played bass in The Animals…”

…and this was the record of choice:

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26. The Animals – The House of the Rising Sun

So, let’s be having your suggestions for records which you can link to The House of the Rising Sun by The Animals, along with a description as to the link between the two records, via the Comments section down below.

See you next week.

(More soon).

The Chain #25

It’s Chain Gang time, and for any newcomers to these shores, hello, and here’s an explanation as to what we do here: each week we move along the records which have featured on the BBC’s The Chain segment of Radcliffe and Maconie’s show, originally on Radio 2, currently on 6 Music; we play the next in the chain, ask for your suggestions for tunes we can play which link to that record, but instead of picking just one, we endeavour to post links to them all. Then, at the end of the post, we reveal what the official next record is, and off we go again.

I mention this as at the weekend I met up with some friends for Sunday lunch; a few of them read this regularly (hello!), some sporadically (hello!), some never (there’s not much point in saying hello to them) and one who falls into the middle category asked me what the hell is going on here. Got it now?

Perhaps it would be better if we just crack on? Last week, we ended with the song that was the 24th record played in the official chain on the aforementioned show, Joni Mitchell’s “You Turn Me On, I’m a Radio” and these are the suggestions you came up with.

Oh and by the way, this is slightly later than usual as I’ve had some issues with the layout of this post, which I don’t seem to be able to rectify. I suspect it’s because of the size of the post; I’ll keep trying to make it look pwetty for you all after I’ve posted it.

Anyway, this week, all of the suggestions (including my own) can be put into one of six, broad categories.

Category 1 – Joni Mitchell:

Regular readers will know that the record that brought us to Joni Mitchell was Elvis Costello & The Attractions’ “Radio Radio”. Even more regular readers will know that a few weeks ago, in a Comment Conversation about acts which everyone else seems to adore and revere, but which leave some of us utterly flaccid and distinctly unaroused, regular contributor to this page, George, told us how he is left cold by The Clash and Bruce Springsteen. So imagine our surprise when he mentioned last week that he had a link which resulted in a song by The Boss. However, he declined to let us know what it was.

Until, that is, after last week’s Chain post had been posted, at which point he sent this:

“Now that you’ve published this week’s Chain I can give you my Springsteen link. Elvis Costello’s real name was Declan McManus. Mick MacManus was a wrestler, and Bruce Springsteen wrote a song called The Wrestler. Now, I have been in touch with the chairman of FOMAMB (Federation of Middle Aged Male Bloggers ) who tells me you are not allowed to edit your post and re-upload it with my suggestion.”

This is fictional federation-ness gone mad! Curse the federation! Where’s Blake’s 7 when you need them?

So why am I mentioning this in a section a category which I have quite clearly just announced contains links to Joni Mitchell? Well, because Alex G from We Will Have Salad kindly stepped in to assist, that’s why:

“That’s easy” writes our hero, “Nick Mitchell is a wrestler. Or Ryan Mitchell is a wrestler. And so on.”

Thanks Alex! And here you go George. No, no need to thank us:

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Bruce Springsteen – The Wrestler

And that, dear newcomer, is how easy it is to suggest a link.

Here’s another one, from The Robster, from Is This The Life? who writes:

“One of Joni’s most famous songs is Woodstock, about the legendary festival in 1969. Although initially scheduled to perform there, Joni was prevented from doing so by her record label as they had booked a TV appearance for her the next day and they were concerned she wouldn’t make it back in time.

Her then-boyfriend was Graham Nash, who did perform at Woodstock as part of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. He relayed the weekend’s events to Joni who subsequently wrote the song about it.

The link then… Woodstock was opened by Richie Havens who played one of the event’s most fondly remembered sets. On his 1974 album ‘Mixed Bag II’, Havens covered The Loner, a song originally written and performed by Neil Young, who also played Woodstock as a member of CSN&Y.”

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Richie Havens – The Loner

And that, BBC, is how you “educate, inform and entertain”.

Sometimes, the suggestions can go off at a bit of a tangent, mind. One person’s suggestion may lead another contributor in a different direction. So long as the link is sound, though, we’ll dust off the tune in question and give it a spin. Take Swiss Adam from Bagging Area‘s first suggestion of the week, for example (and yes, I did just say first suggestion, for often folks will make offer more than one. I’ve got four this week, but then it’s my blog, so there):

“Neil Young is the obvious route but Robster’s got it covered. Teenage Fanclub’s Neil Jung perhaps?”

Lifted from their should-have-been-huge “Grand Prix” album, it’s often overlooked that when it was released as a single, “Neil Jung” came in two different versions: your actual bona fide album version and this, the lesser known but still bloody excellent, version:

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Teenage Fanclub – Neil Jung (Alternative Version)

But like I said, Swiss Adam isn’t done there. Oh no.

“Acid house band Fluke had a decent track called Joni (think it samples Big Yellow Taxi too).”

Girls: out with your glo-sticks. Guys: off with your shirts and do the Meat Dance. Oi Oi! Saveloy!

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Fluke – Joni

One of the great things, even if I do say myself, is there sheer diversity of the suggestions we get here, and here’s an example. From Teenage Fanclub, to Fluke, to The Fall, all linking back to the same source. Here’s George again:

“Joni Mitchell sang about a Big Yellow Taxi. Taxi was an American sitcom from the late 70s, starring, amongst others, Danny De Vito. And there’s a Fall single Rolling Danny (originally by Gene Vincent).”

Yeh, I thought that was how Danny was spelt too, until I checked out the single sleeve, that is:

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The Fall – Rollin’ Dany

Now, The Chain is not just about picking the coolest record with the cleverest link. Here at A History of Dubious Taste (generally) and The Chain (specifically) we like to feature the occasional record which some might describe as cheesy, some just as downright crap. Previously, we’ve had songs by Chesney Hawkes, Busted, and last week, Russ Abbot. Truly we know no shame.

First to take a tilt at claiming this week’s “Worst Record of the Week” crown goes to babylotti. This is actually the third suggestion he gave this week (the others will feature in a bit,  in different categories):

“Paul Evans with the ‘Hello, This is Joannie (The Telephone Answering Machine Song)’, purely because I thought he was referring to Joni Mitchell as a kid (I originally thought that was how it was on the record….)

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Paul Evans – Hello, This Is Joannie (The Telephone Answering Machine Song)

Ordinarily, I would now write something terribly scathing and/or witty, but this is a record which I posted a few weeks ago on my currently on hiatus “Friday Night Music Club”, thread, where I once posted a load of songs about telephone calls. You can read it here: self-referential tosser.

Anyway, nice try, babylotti, but I’m afraid that’s not the Worst Record of the Week. Stick around folks, you’ll see soon enough.

Here’s The Swede, from Unthought of, though, somehow with his suggestion for the week:

“Joni collaborated with Charles Mingus on her LP ‘Mingus’. This was Mingus’s final musical project and the album was dedicated to him after his death. On the 1959 LP ‘Mingus Ah Um’, Charles Mingus paid his own tribute to the recently deceased saxophonist Lester Young, with the gorgeous ‘Goodbye Pork Pie Hat’.”

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Charles Mingus – Goodbye Pork Pie Hat

See? Educational, informative and entertaining.

On to Rol from My Top Ten now, who perfectly demonstrates what I mean about going off on tangents:

“Kudos to babylotti for suggesting Hello This Is Joannie… which led me to think of my all-time favourite answerphone song:”

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Blake Shelton – Austin

“Oh, but hang on, I’m supposed to be linking to Joni, aren’t I….?”

We’ll come back to you, Rol.

In the meantime, since we seem to be on a bit of a Country tip, here’s George again:

“From Joni Mitchell to David Mitchell of Peep Show and his co-worker Robert Webb, to Webb Pierce, he of the guitar-shaped swimming pool, and his absolutely toptastic song There Stands The Glass.”

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Webb Pierce – There Stands The Glass

Toptastic indeed, great mate!

And so to the last of the suggestions in this category, and I’ll hand you over to Charity Chic from Charity Chic Music:

“Joni Mitchell is a talented painter whose work has appeared on her album covers.  Ditto Jon Langford so Chivalry by the Mekons please.”

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Mekons – Chivalry

Category 2 – For the Roses:

That leads me rather nicely on to my own first suggestion of the week. “You Turn Me On, I’m a Radio” is lifted from Joni’s “For the Roses” album, and, just like Joni and Jon Langford, John Squire of The Stone Roses, when he wasn’t chucking paint over his former record company’s offices, or taking several years to make an album that falls into “alright but not as good as their first album and certainly not worth the wait” bracket, or releasing underwhelming come back singles (did anyone like The Stone Roses come back material? In fact, can anyone name any of the singles? Without checking? Nope, thought not.)

So here’s a double linker, courtesy of Yours Truly:

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The Stone Roses – Made Of Stone

Rol’s back!

“OK… ‘For The Roses’, also contains the excellent ‘Barangrill’, the opening lines of which are:

“Three waitresses all wearing
Black diamond earrings
Talking about zombies and Singapore Slings”

So, this week, my suggestions are…”

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The Zombies – Time of the Season

“…and…”

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Harry Belafonte – Zombie Jamboree

Is it just me, or has Harry Belafonte got massive hands?

Now, newcomers I now need to introduce you to the concept of Comment Showboating. This is where a contributor provides a long, detailed, spectacular explanation of how they have got from Record A to Record B, and is a phrase I originally used to describe one of George’s early suggestions. It is meant as a compliment, by the way. More recently, Dirk from sexyloser has been providing the entertainment in this regard, but not this week:

“No Comment Showboating attempt this week, because the fact that this song seems to derive from an album called ‘For The Roses’ immediately made me think of a version of ‘Good Year For The Roses’ that I simply LOVED ever since I first heard it (on Peel, where else?), and in my estimation it’s better than any other version I know, and this – excuse me – includes E. Costello. So my choice for this week links to Dino Lee (The King Of White Trash) and his version of ‘Good Year For The Roses’ from 1985.”

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Dino Lee – Good Year for the Roses

“If you can’t find it anywhere, I’d be happy to send you an mp3-file …” Dirk adds. Oh ye of little faith! But that does flag up one of the rules here at The Chain: if you’re going to suggest a record, particularly an obscure one, then you must have a copy yourself in case I don’t have it already or am unable to source it. And then be nice when I come begging.

Now, before I become all bogged down with “The Rule”, we’ll move onto the third category of the night.

Category 3 – Turns/Turn-Ons:

Often the simplest links are the best, and more often then not the simplest way to link from the source song to your choice of tune is to pick a word from the title and find one that has the same word, preferably, but not necessarily in the title.

Here’s SWC from When You Can’t Remember Anything to show you what I mean:

“So something you turn on are lights. Interpol released a fairly terrific record a few years back called ‘NYC’ which featured on their album ‘Turn on the Bright Lights’.”

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Interpol – NYC

“Alternatively,” continues our just-moved-house-buddy, “you can turn face as Gravenhurst did in their wonderful track ‘I Turn my Face to the Forest Floor’.”

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Gravenhurst – I Turn My Face To The Forest Floor

He’s right, that is wonderful. I’d never heard of Gravenhurst before, but if you like that track, I can heartily recommend getting hold of a copy (legally, of course) of the “Flashlight Seasons” album for more of the same. Cheers SWC!

“Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a wheelbarrow being delivered.”

Erm, fair enough. You’re excused.

What seemed an age ago, babylotti gave us the third of his three suggestions, and it’s about time we went back to check out his other two. Well, one of them for now:

“Robert Palmer’s cover of Jam & Lewis’s ‘I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On’ (the original was by Cherrelle)”

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Robert Palmer – I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On

Now, had you not stipulated you were nominating the Robert Palmer version, I would have happily plumped for the Cherelle version. There’s just something about the Robert Palmer version that makes me feel a little…uneasy. Listen to the lyrics: this a man apologising to a woman for being so utterly irresistible (simply irresistible, you could say) that she cannot help but get turned on by him. This came out in 1985, when Palmer was 36. I know that’s not quite old enough for this to qualify as locker room talk, the optimum age for which we all now know is 59, but still…. The “Don’t blame me, you shouldn’t have gone out with me because you should have known you wouldn’t be able to resist me” defence makes my skin crawl, and Palmer’s version of this song is a Ched Evans of a record.

Trump should use this version as his walk-on music for tonight’s final live debate. At least Palmer is dead and so won’t be able to protest about it’s appropriated use.

Ahem. Anyway. Remember Alex G from right at the top of this post, kindly providing me with a reason to post some Bruce Springsteen? Well, here he is again:

“I would say this is kind of obvious, but since nobody else has suggested it (and I still like it)…”

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Freakpower – Turn on, Tune in, Cop Out [Radio Mix]

Let’s stay in dancier territories for a moment, with another of my suggestions, which at first glance has no link, but once you hear the lyrics, you’ll spot the turn-on link fairly easily:

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Paul Oakenfold Ft Brittany Murphy – Faster Kill Pussycat

And since we’re now on to songs which contain the lyrics “You turn me on”, here’s The Beard:

“You turn me on are the opening words of a well known song by Simple Minds. Said song (almost) shares it’s title with one time Saturday morning kids show Live & Kicking. The predecessor of this show was Going Live!, helmed by Phillip Schofield. The greyer than grey presenter was famously accosted by Fruitbat from Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine at the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party in 1991. The song they, erm, played at that shindig was After The Watershed.”

For those of you who don’t know what The Beard is blethering on about, here’s the footage:

For reasons which are probably already pretty clear if you watched that all the way through, The Rolling Stones took out an injunction against the band to prevent it being played on the radio, and then took further legal action to make sure the song was thereafter credited to “Morrison, Carter, Richards and Jagger”. You’d have thought, given that “After the Watershed” came out in 1991, Richard Ashcroft might have learned something, wouldn’t you?. But no: six years later The Verve released “Bitter Sweet Symphony”, which, predictably, befell exactly the same fate for sampling The Stones’ manager Andrew Loog Oldham’s orchestral version of “The Last Time”.

 And here’s the song:

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Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine – After The Watershed (Early Learning The Hard Way)

“It’s better than aforementioned Simple Minds number,” signs off our Bearded Brethren. What, this one?

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Simple Minds – Alive And Kicking

Yes. Yes, it is.

Time for a category change.

Category 4 – Radio:

Time to pop back to babylotti again, for his third choice which was actually his second (I really don’t make this easy for myself, do I?)

“Because I meant to post it when ‘Radio, Radio’ was the chain, but it still is relevant with this thread, Latin Quarter’s ‘Radio Africa’. Wasn’t really a fan, but saw them at the Sheffield Leadmill years ago & have remembered that song ever since……”

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Latin Quarter – Radio Africa

Over now to The Great Gog, who was first to post a suggestion this week, which used to mean he got top billing, but hey-ho, times change, and now he finds himself the second of two songs in the fourth category. Nothing personal, mind, I thought this was one of the cleverest links this week:

“Well, Joni clearly believes herself to be an item of electrical equipment, and this is not a unique state for a recording artist to find themselves in. Remember Buggles? The “Video Killed The Radio Star” duo (there’s a Radio link I hadn’t thought of!)? Some people may be surprised to know that they recorded an album. Still more may be surprised to learn that they even made it as far as a second album.  It is on this second album where Trevor Horn rather robotically advises the listener that “I Am A Camera”. It was released as a single but didn’t trouble the Charts at all.”

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Buggles – I Am A Camera

 You’re right GG – I knew they made one album, but a second? Nope, no clue.

Category 5 – Blue:

Perhaps Mitchell’s most famous album, and one which will always feature in those snooty “Best Albums Ever” lists that are published every now and again, is “Blue”. Here’s another of my suggestions:

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The Bluetones – Are You Blue or Are You Blind?

The Bluetones were a fine singles band in my book, but were regarded as a poor man’s Stone Roses, which I’ve never seen myself. It’s like when Gene were proclaimed as a Happy Shopper Smiths, simply because they had an articulate, literate lead singer and their music was guitar-lead. I’ll feature some more of their records on here sometime soon.

In the meantime, over to Alyson from What’s It All About Alfie? Now, I have to be honest, her reason for suggesting the song she has done does not having anything to do with “Blue”, but I was feeling a little lonely in this category, all on my Jack Jones, and by putting Alyson’s suggestion in here too (it does fit) it bestows double-linker status on it:

“Elvis Costello did a version of ‘Good Year for the Roses’ but that means we double back to him. Thinking of flowers however, it did remind me that when I went to see him in the early ’80s he was supported by a band called The Bluebells (led by Bobby Bluebell !). They had a hit (twice) with the song ‘Young at Heart’ so I’ll go with that one as well.”

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The Bluebells – Young At Heart

In case you’re wondering why she says “as well”, I haven’t gotten to her first choice yet. Time, see. It’s not linear, it’s…oh, I’ll let this chap explain:

Category 6 – Berets:

We’re on the home straight now, folks. And the Worst Record of the Week is still to make an appearance.

Many contributions this week referred to Joni’s preferred head-wear – a beret – yet nobody nominated this one, so I guess I’ll have to:

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Prince & The Revolution – Raspberry Beret

The first to suggest a tune based on a beret was Charity Chic who wrote:

“Joni is famous for wearing a beret. So too was the whippet loving Dundonian, the late great Billy McKenzie. So ‘Party Fears Two’ by the Associates please !”

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Associates – Party Fears Two

Dirk’s back with his actual second suggestion of the week:

“I know that the above [his first suggestion] is not the correct link as chosen by the BBC lads, in fact it’s (because, as CC correctly points out, good ole’ Joni seems to like wearing a nice beret) Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler’s ‘The Ballad Of The Green Berets’. Of course it is….

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Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler – The Ballad Of The Green Berets

I wouldn’t be so sure about that, Dirk…

Ok, here comes the last of your suggestions for the week, and it’s Alyson’s other one:

“Another lady that used to sport a beret was Rickie Lee Jones, she of ‘Chuck E.’s in Love’ fame.”

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Rickie Lee Jones – Chuck E.’s In Love

Which just leaves my final one for this week. Mention a beret to pretty much anyone who was brought up in the UK in the 1970s, and the first person who will spring to mind isn’t Joni Mitchell, or Billy McKenzie, or Prince, or Rickie Lee Jones, or, astonishing as it may seem, to Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler. No. They will think of Michael Crawford as Frank Spencer in BBC sitcom “Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em”.

Frank Spencer was not the brightest chap in the world, talking in an almost infantile way despite quite clearly being an adult. He was also very accident prone, and the main events of each episode was building up to the grand finale, a impeccably orchestrated stunt which Crawford, apparently, did mostly himself.

Here’s perhaps the most famous one (and yes, I know he’s not wearing a beret in this clip):

In the 1970s and early 1980s there was a band who I have mentioned before on these pages, who did “comedy” versions of pop songs. But their repertoire was not restricted to such cheesiness. Sometimes they wrote their own, original songs, and sometimes the subject matter of those songs was popular television comedy characters.

Brace yourself here come The Barron Knights:

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The Barron Knights – The Ballad Of Frank Spencer

Ordinarily, I would make a half-hearted effort to defend including something that bad, but there’s no point, is there? Sorry.

Let’s move on to the next record in the official Chain, the link to which could easily have rested in the first category of the night and saved us all a lot of time:

“Mitch Mitchell played bass in the Jimi Hendrix Experience, so…”

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25. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Voodoo Chile [Slight Return]

In case you’re wondering about the slightly dubious sleeve, that’s the original cover of “Electric Ladyland” from which “Voodoo Chile [Slight Return]” is lifted.

So – your suggestions please, via the Comments Section down below, for records which you can link to Voodoo Chile [Slight Return] by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, along with an as brief or as complicated as you like explanation as to how you have got from one record t’other.

And I’m willing to bet I know which artist Charity Chic will suggest. And if he doesn’t, I will.

More soon (next week, to be precise).