The Chain #36

And we’re back! Back! BACK!! (obligatory Smash Hits reference for you there.)

Here we go with another dose of interactive blogging; you all know how this works by now, so we’ll crack straight on.

Last…erm…time, we left you with “C30 C60 C90” by Bow Wow Wow and the usual plea for your suggestions for songs that can be linked to that tune.

Younger readers may not know what the C30 etc in that title stands for, so allow me to explain in a slightly patronising tone.

Many years ago, music as we know it today did not exist. MP3s was the name of a robot from Star Wars (probably); the term “streaming” meant that water, or some other liquid, was flooding out of something.

Back in those dark days, us old timers listened to music via the radio, (sometimes referred to as the wireless, but let’s not go there or things will get really complicated), or cassette tapes. These could either be purchased pre-recorded, or blank, onto which we would record the vinyl records (some naughty people recorded songs from the radio, which is definitely not okay, as we will find out), and these cassette tapes were then played on cassette players or, later, on portable devices called a Walkman. The length of the blank tape varied, and the 30 signified you could record thirty minutes of music onto it, the 60 held sixty minutes, and so on.

I mention all of this to save any puzzled looks when we start going through the suggestions, for many of them refer to that medium of music presentation.

For example, first up, here’s Charity Chic from Charity Chic Music:

“C30 C60 C90 refers to taped music [okay, you’ve put that a lot more succinctly than I just did…] – you can tape to tape and in days gone by this would be in the form to reel to reel tapes. So Reel to Reel by Simple Minds from when they were good please.”

“From when they were good”, eh? Well, that certainly narrows things down quite a bit:

homepage_large_6c0ebbf8

Simple Minds – Reel To Real

Reel to Real, you say? Well, if you’re going to suggest that, then I’m going to suggest this lot:

r-47885-1282972620_jpegReel 2 Real feat. The Mad Stuntman – I Like To Move It

That Mad Stuntman, he really was quite mad, wasn’t he? Textbook lunacy, there. Lovely stuff.

Over to Rigid Digit from Stuff & Nonsense who ventures: “Can I get away with 3 suggestions in one comment?” You can, but I will of course break them up into three separate suggestions and post them all out of sequence and context.

“1) C30, C60, C90 – all variants of the most portable music delivery method [Can you all stop putting that more succinctly than I did please?] Now all you need is something to play them on whilst on the move. Aah .. the Walkman – which leads (in my mind) to a roller-skating Cliff Richard in the video for Wired For Sound.”

It’s the stuff of dreams, if you’ve eaten far too much cheese before bedtime, that video:

That bit when he’s driving…does it remind you of anyone….?

May not make the midnight deadline now, as I have literally just watched that about ten times.

Anyway here, for anyone who may want to listen to it and be reminded of all that lycra again, is the single:

r-533092-1394977596-4247_jpeg

Cliff Richard – Wired For Sound

Just when you thought we might be all Cliffed out for this week, here’s Alyson from What’s It All About, Alfie?:

“I remember well dancing to Go Wild In The Country by Bow Wow Wow back in the day (Mr WIAA,A?’s predecessor and I used to do a bit of show-dancing to that one) but another song about being In The Country (but not being wild) was by Sir Cliff & The Shadows back in 1966. Sir Cliff is also a great tennis fan and although this is tenuous, Annabel Croft was our British female no. 1 for a while and the lead singer with Bow Wow Wow was also called Annabel(la) so a double link.”

cliff-richard-in-the-country-columbia-2

Cliff Richard & The Shadows – In The Country

Quick! Someone suggest something slightly more credible!!

The Great Gog steps up to the oche.

“I suppose there’s also the very relevant “On Tape” by The Pooh Sticks.”

pooh-sticks-2

The Pooh Sticks – On Tape

Over now to SWC from the very much still alive and kicking When You Can’t Remember Anything:

“I will be heading, like Charity Chic, down the tape route. I will start with the excellent ‘Freak Out’ by Tapes ‘n Tapes”

tapes-575x581

Tapes ‘n Tapes – Freakout

They’re a band that have managed to pretty much pass me by, are Tapes ‘n Tapes. I remember reading about them, but never actually hearing anything by them. I think I was put off by the missing apostrophe from the other side of ‘n. Time for me to investigate some more, I think.

Here’s Rol from My Top Ten:

“The Pooh Sticks were my first thought, but I knew I’d be beaten to that, so I offer the far more obscure…..”

new-american-language

Dan Bern – Tape

And here’s The Swede from Unthought of, though, somehow:

“C30, C60 & C90 were all commercially available cassette tape lengths [Ahem…! What did I just say….?] (as was C120, but who used those?) [Erm….] and the Bow Wow Wow song in question was the first ever cassette single. Pete Murphy of Bauhaus famously appeared in a TV advert for Maxell cassette tapes, so I’ll go for ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’”

untitled

Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead

Brace yourself now, as we are about to step into the nerdy world of which cassette tape was our weapon of choice back in the day. Welcome back, Alyson:

“The tapes of choice for me were usually made by Philips which was a Dutch company and 2 Unlimited were Dutch…… Oh no, did that link last week time.

Include another L in Philips and you have the surname of half of the members of The Mamas & the Papas and I don’t know about you but “All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey, I’ve been for a walk on a winter’s day, I’d be safe and warm if I was in L.A., California dreamin’ on such a winter’s day.” Yes it’s a bit of California Dreamin’ from me.”

the-mamas-and-the-papas-california-dreamin-abc

The Mamas & The Papas – California Dreamin’

And here’s Dirk from Sexyloser to chuck his thoughts on the matter in:

“For me it always had to be BASF cassettes, they really were the best. Although, somehow, they smelled rather disgusting, strangely enough ….”

They say the olfactory sense is the most powerful in terms of invoking childhood memories, so let’s see what that little sniff and scratch session has brought back to Dirk’s mind:

“I was thinking about other famous people with a nice mohawk (‘cos that’s what always impressed me mightily when looking at Annabella [of Bow Wow Wow] back then … that and her figure, of course … I always thought she was smoking hot! Still admire her today, to be brutally honest! Perhaps I should be careful these days when saying such things, bearing in mind she was only 13 or 14 when the first singles came out, and I don’t want to end up being the one with the paedophiliac stamp in future posts of The Chain! Then again she’s two years older than me, but does this fact legalize my continiuing adoration? Interesting subject, once you think about it …”

You do realise you’re talking out loud, don’t you Dirk? Reign it in, old chap.

But before you do, here’s Martin to add a little background to Dirk’s ramblings:

“Annabella Lwin of Bow Wow Wow was famously photographed for the album sleeve art with not too many clothes on, despite being a minor. Cue tabloid frenzy and a visit from Scotland Yard for Malcolm McLaren. And on that basis, I’ll make my suggestion, an ode to being sure she’s old enough…”

travis-u16-girls-independiente-cs

Travis – U16 Girls

Back to Dirk, who hopefully has had time to have a cold shower. Dirk, fancy picking up where you left off, and maybe coming up with something which not only links to the subject record, but also to Martin’s suggestion?

“Famous people with a mohawk are Mr. T out of the A-Team of course, but also Robert de Niro as Travis Bickle in ‘Taxi Driver’, which gives me a fine opportunity to annoy George (again) and link to The Clash and ‘Red Angel Dragnet’ [because it features several lines of dialogue lifted from the film]

44d1b422b213204ab0b3ba6ef5ff3ef0

The Clash – Red Angel Dragnet

As is traditional, Rol picks up the mohawk baton (which, surprisingly isn’t a euphemism) and kind of runs with it, as far as this:

“Mohawks lead me to recall Pop Corn & The Mohawks – ‘Custer’s Last Man’.  Worth a spin if you can find it”

Ok..

Two minutes later, Rol posted this:

“P.S. Having listened to it all the way through again now… you must dig it out. It is utterly mental.”

Blimey, Rol, give us a chance!

pop-corn-and-the-mohawks-custers-last-man-motown

Pop Corn & The Mohawks – Custer’s Last Man

We seem to have got a little way away from the subject in hand. Anyone care to drag us back to the whole tape thing?

Oche vacated, here’s Swiss Adam from Bagging Area

“Wild Billy Childish and the MBE’s ‘He’s Making a Tape’ (‘and it’s not for me’ she sings, Billy’s wife, Nurse Julie)”

dg321

Wild Billy Childish and the MBEs – He’s Making A Tape

Continuing the tape theme, Martin’s back:

“Following the C30, C60, etc, into the land of mixtapes, how about ‘Press Play and Record” by Lois Maffeo?”

I could only find the same song credited to just Lois, so I’m hoping this is the song you had in mind:

press-play-record-front

Lois – Press Play and Record

Back to SWC now, with his second choice, and his second choice by someone who has passed me by, mostly because I’ve always viewed him as a Billy Bragg wannabe, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but we’ve already got one Billy Bragg, so…

Anyway, having listened to this, I may have to reassess.

81gualtnpel__sl1000_

Frank Turner – Losing Days

SWC: two shots on target, two goals.

Go on, have another go.

“You could also go down the mixtape route which is regularly used by rappers taking us nicely to the odd future tape and ‘Slow it Down’ by Tyler, The Creator.”

avatars-000052992892-xx0cbe-t500x500

Tyler, The Creator Ft. Hodgy Beat – Slow It Down

We’re almost at the end of the Tape links, here’s Dirk with one more, no build-up, no pre-amble, just introduced by the words: “Clever, eh? But this happens when you remember every old shit no-one else knew all along!):

r-1014032-1184217392_jpeg

The Membranes – Spike Milligan’s Tape Recorder

First appearance of the week now from Jules of Music from Magazines fame:

“One of the best uses of tape in a promo video was of course in “America What Time Is Love?” By The KLF.”

It took me ages to work out what he meant. See if you can spot the reference:

Jules will be back shortly with some actual suggestions. Some of which I may even allow.

I haven’t suggested anything for a while. Feeling a bit left out actually. So how about I wrap up the Tape section with one of mine?

Every now and then, post The Chain, I get an email from George, telling me how much he loves a song that I’ve posted. They are always the songs that I least expect him to like, which is a mark of the man. George, I mention this because, going off some of the previous ones you’ve told me you enjoyed, you’ll love this, if you don’t know it already (though I would imagine you do).

Tidying off the tape section with another Reel song, here’s The Chemical Brothers:

1280x1280

The Chemical Brothers – The Private Psychedelic Reel

Oh and George: next time you email me, there’s no need to attach the video clip of you dancing round your kitchen. But if you must, please can you be wearing some trousers next time? Or at least some underwear. Thank you.

Okay, before we move on to the next batch of links, a couple of random ones. First up, is Alex G from We Will Have Salad:

“Let’s play Chain Letters! Take Bow Wow Wow, change a letter, and you get Bow Wow Now, which is a song by Dubstar”

Quite a short game, really, that, wasn’t it? I suggest you work on a second draft before submitting it to one of the major TV channels. Although, stick the word ‘Celebrity’ at the start of it, and Channel 5 would probably be interested in it right now:

dubstarstarscd2

Dubstar – Bow Wow Now

And since we seem to have stumbled into the vague area, here’s the aforementioned George:

“From Bow Wow Wow, to violins (played with a bow) and to some prog rock, namely King Crimson and ‘Larks Tongues in Aspic Part 2’ , which has some violin-ing in a splendid racket of a song.”

larks

King Crimson – Larks’ Tongues In Aspic, Part Two

One of the other recurring themes that came up after last week’s time’s source record, was home taping, the hobby/habit/thriftiness/call it what you will that so many of us of a certain age indulged in in our youth, sitting hunched and “hovering over the Pause & Record buttons on your knackered old tape recorder when the Top 40 was on a Sunday evening…cursing when you accidentally taped even the briefest snippet of Bruno Brookes…” as I once described it elsewhere on these pages.

This was known as piracy, which led two of the Chain Gang to come up with suggestions.

First, here’s The Robster from Is This The Life?:

“One thing immediately comes to mind, and it’s a double-linker! C30, C60, C90 Go! was a song about taping music off the radio – music piracy. The pirate skull and crossbones flag was called the Jolly Roger. Bow Wow Wow consisted of ex-members of Adam And The Ants, also formerly managed by McLaren. Adam banded together a new bunch of Ants and modelled himself as some kind of glam-punk pirate, recording a song called ‘Jolly Roger’ on the album ‘Kings of The Wild Frontier’.”

3efdd1_e01b84283d134005afd5f8174fc511a6mv2

Adam & The Ants – Jolly Roger

And then came The Great Gog, who I am used to receiving a suggestion from at around 3am the morning after I post The Chain. This time, he has a rather unique way of coming up with a suggestion:

“Like Robster, I started thinking of piracy, in particular the old cassette and crossbones logo that used to adorn many an album cover back in the early eighties. “Home Taping Is Killing Music – And It’s Illegal”, that one. This set me wondering how quickly I’d find one of these if I were to randomly pull out a few records from my vinyl collection. Around a minute or so as it turned out. The Psychedelic Furs’ eponymous debut LP was the album in question. Did any particular track lend itself to The Chain? Well, much home taping was done from the good old wireless, so a case could be made for “Blacks/Radio”. Of course, I’m now wide awake listening to said album through headphones when I should be sleeping like the more sensible members of my family…”

And I suppose that’s my fault, is it…?

51sdfqxofpl

The Psychedelic Furs – Blacks/Radio

Mention of the ‘Home Taping is Killing Music’ campaign reminded me of this alternate logo, which always made me chuckle, and which at least one other blogger used to use on their website. Can’t remember who, suspect it may have been Dirk, but wouldn’t want to swear to it:

hometaping_remix

I had that made up into a couple of t-shirts (for myself), so I probably owe somebody something for that blatant copyright breach. Ah well. Join the queue.

Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, the Home Taping is Killing Music thing. Here’s Rigid Digit with the second of his suggestions:

“2) Fuelling the Home Taping Is Killing Music campaign, the cassette single of C30, C60, C90 … Go had a blank side – this also led to the band parting company with EMI.
The logo was used in the back of Venom’s Black Metal album with the words ‘Home Taping Is Killing Music… So are Venom’…Venom have a place in my ears, but if I’m honest, they really aren’t that great…”

Don’t start backing down before we’ve even played it, Rigid!

So, here’s some words I never thought I’d type. Ladies and Gentleman, I give you Venom:

422453

Venom – Black Metal

Now I know I mentioned in jest that I wouldn’t post Rigid’s three suggestions in order, but truth be told, they do pretty much work in that order, fair play. So, here’s his third:

“3) The 21st Century equivalent of home-taping is downloading, so no pre-ambling explanation: Weird Al Yankovic – ‘Don’t Download This Song’.”

22405c0e09bc751bf48de432a777d35895469195

Weird Al Yankovic – Don’t Download This Song

It won’t have escaped your attention that musically that’s based on this:

My two favourite bits on that song are when Cyndi Lauper comes on and kicks some ass (vocally), and (long term readers and friends, forgive me for making this joke yet again), the bit where Bob Dylan does his impression of Cartman from South Park.

But I digress, yet again.

Having allowed Rigid’s  three suggestions to appear almost uninterrupted and in sequence, I’m going to break with tradition and allow the same thing to happen with babylotti’s.

But first, round our way, whenever someone name drops, we tend to shout the word “Clang!” It is often bawled at me when I start regaling people with stories of all the bands and comedians, some on the way up, some on the way down, some going absolutely no further, that I worked with, albeit usually only for one night, back at the end of the 1980s/start of the 1990s. I mention this now, apropos of nothing.

Over to you, babylotti:

“Being from Coventry the thought of bootleg tapes immediately brings to mind my first serious music love, Ska. Or Two Tone Ska as it’s become known as.  So my first suggestion is Gangsters by The Specials with the line ‘Why must you record all my phone calls…’ [I’ve had the privilege of playing as drummer with several members of the band since]…”

Clang!

the-specials-gangsters-chrysalis-2

The Specials – Gangsters

“…My next suggestion is staying with the same scene & to suggest The Selecter & On my radio, the 1991 version is better IMO. And I’m proud to say I actually deputised as their keyboard player for one gig, a very happy moment!”

CLANG!

r-2054117-1374940929-9558_jpeg

The Selecter – On My Radio (1991)

“…And lastly I’m going to link to Tom Robinson’s ‘Atmospherics: Listen To The Radio” for the radio link. And lets face it, we all used to tape stuff off the radio, didn’t we?”

CLA – oh. Sorry.

a0762210374_10

Tom Robinson – Atmospherics: Listen To The Radio

Two more categories to go now until the big reveal, and unsurprisingly, we’re going to the dogs now. But before we do, a quickie from Jules:

“Songs with numbers in title, how about Culture’s ‘Two Sevens Clash’..?”

37

Culture – Two Sevens Clash

To the dogs! And one from me, from an album that I’ve had for a while, but never really given it much of a chance; not sure why, probably partly because I’d not been fussed about their last one, partly because with Hooky gone I didn’t think they’d sound anywhere near as good, despite the decent reviews the album got.

But then the other night, the Iggy Pop growled his way out of my speakers on a tune I didn’t recognise. This one:

b93895b1

New Order – Stray Dog

A change of pace now, and here’s Badger from When You Can’t Remember Anything, or rather, Mrs Badger on his behalf, as he had much more important things to sort out at the time:

“Greetings from the mountains. Mrs Badger here.
Tim wishes to link to ‘Old Brown Dog’ by Ralph McTell.
He’d tell you himself but he’s at the bar getting me a mojito.”

I had to check twice to make sure she hadn’t put us all to shame by submitting that in the form of a haiku.

Here’s Ralph:

r-3320832-1462007819-8400_jpeg

Ralph McTell – Old Brown Dog

Two Ralph stories.

When we were kids, although I have no recollection of my brother going to stay in Germany (and I know I definitely didn’t, I tend to remember that kind of stuff), we played host for a couple of weeks to a German exchange student by the name of Ralph. And of course, part of the task of having a foreign exchange student is to teach them about the British way of life, sample our culture, teach a little history even.

It was only years later that it occurred to me that perhaps there were less inappropriate,  more tactful places of interest that we could have taken a young German lad, away from his family for the first time, than the Duxford Imperial War Museum, which has, amongst many other things, a permanent Battle of Britain exhibition.

Ooopsies.

Second Ralph story isn’t really a story, but everyone who knows me knows that having featured a song by Ralph McTell, I simply cannot resist posting this:

Over to Jules, again, who is now in full on pun mood:

“Been feeling a bit ruff lately so I thought I was barking up the wrong tree with the cassette link until I did my sums

30+60+90=180 degrees, a complete turn around

Of course the link is Bow Wow Wow

And what do you do with dogs (quiet at the back)?

Run with them”

r-151260-1159630695_jpeg

Pet Shop Boys – Suburbia

Of course, any mention of Dogs, and there’s one person who we just have to mention:

220px-ginjuice

Snoop Doggy Dogg –  Gin and Juice

I don’t know if this particular story crossed your radar a couple of years ago, but it’s a prime example of why television interviewers, like barristers, should never ask a question that they don’t already know the answer to. Especially when you’re interviewing a Welsh farmer who has recently met Mr Dogg, and who drops da bomb at around 01:18 on this clip:

Here’s Jules with…a less successful suggestion:

“Oh! As mentioned many times Bow Wow Wow lead’s to dogs which are canine….. Sounds like K9 to me the robot dog in Dr Who

Put all the ingredients [including the earlier KLF reference] into the blender and simmer for a while and one gets

The Timelords’ ‘Doctorin’ The House’.”

Apologies Jules, but I can’t allow that one as it’s featured on The Chain before (The Chain #28, to be precise, before you started frequenting these pages, I think), and is therefore now off limits.

When I get time, I’ll set up a page listing everything we’ve posted here so far. Might take me a little while as we’re fast approaching the 800 mark, mind, but it will happen sooner or later, as I do hate having to disqualify a perfectly good suggestion on these grounds.

So, we’ve done dogs, but what about dog noises?

Here’s Martin:

“Bow Wow Wow is the noise a dog makes, as described by a child… who might describe said dog as a doggy… hence:

2cd86d77b1825eecf58664ed41b34368_500x500x1

Patti Page – (How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window?

“Twee but terrible,” he continues, before going on to suggest what is unquestionably the Worst Record of The Week. “So how about the noise that dog makes? In which case, “Ruff Mix” by Wonderdog, in which sampled barks are used for lyrics?

wonder-dog-ruff-mix-flip

Wonder Dog – Ruff Mix

“Fascinating (debatable) fact,” Martin adds, “the human voice of Wonderdog, in promo appearances, was none other than Simon Cowell in a dog suit – mindboggling and depressing in equal measure. Also twee but terrible.”

If only he’d stayed there, eh readers?

Two songs to go, and it’s at this point that I suddenly realise I haven’t sorted out the next song in The Official Chain which we’re all trying to either guess, or better. Bit of an oversight by me that.

I’ll leave you in Rol’s capable hands whilst I sort that out. Rol, it’s all yours, and try to pad it out a bit, will you?

“If you want a link that requires (a little) explanation, then…Bow Wow Wow is the sound of a dog barking, so…”

r-848951-1165694573_jpeg

I, Ludicrous – Trevor Barker

“(Actually, that didn’t take much explaining at all, did it? Must try harder.)”

That’s it, is it mate? Cheers.

Okay, last one, and last one from me. Following on from that, here’s Underworld’s “Diamond Jigsaw”. The link? It’s from their album “Barking”. I thank you.

cs1751336-02a-big

Underworld – Diamond Jigsaw

Before we have the final record, can I just say that all that up there that you’ve just read, that’s why I love doing this, and that’s why I don’t want to introduce any maximum suggestions per person. For where else would you hear Bauhaus, Snoop Dogg, The Pooh Sticks, Wonder Dog and King Crimson in the same post, other than here at The Chain?

Apart from on Charles Manson’s record player, of course.

So, to the official tune, and some of you got within a whisker of the link, if not the actual tune:

“C30/C60/C90 – types of cassettes. Cassettes were made by Dolby…”

r-778125-1172500076_jpeg

36. Thomas Dolby – Hyperactive!

Can’t really argue with that, can we?

So, your suggestions please, via the Comments section below, for records that you can link to Thomas Dolby’s “Hyperactive!”, along with your explanation on the links you propose.

And don’t forget, we’re moving to Sunday as of next post, so the next edition of The Chain will be with you the first weekend in February. Feel free to make your submissions as early as you like though.

Thanks for your time.

More soon.

Advertisements

Friday Night Music Club

Hello!

I’ve been struggling all week to come up with anything to play this week. And then, tonight, Friday, a day later than I usually start writing these posts, on my way home from work I found myself thinking about how the way that I get to hear about new music has changed so much.

Nowadays, I’m pretty much reliant on my blogging chums to flag new stuff to me; bar Jools Holland’s “Later…” there’s next to no music television programmes on in the UK these days (Friday night BBC4 documentaries excepted); or occasionally a friend will text, tweet or email me to ask if I’ve heard of someone or other, or to see if I want to go see someone I’ve never heard of live (the answer’s generally yes, as long as a) I’m not skint; b) I can track down at least one song that I like by the suggested act, and c) whether or not I value the opinion of the person asking or not).

When I was a kid, new music did not appear on the Multi-Coloured Swap Shop. Songs that were already hits appeared on Top of the Pops. And I had no idea what the Old Grey Whistle Test was, and would probably would have avoided it even if I did.

No, when I was growing up the only way I heard anything new was via the radio.

And that gave me an idea for tonight’s post. Four words to strike fear into the heart of any of you who endured my recent run of TV show titled posts. To misquote Martin Luther King: “I have a theme..”

Radio.

So I got home, cranked the laptop up, opened iTunes and typed “Radio” into the search window.

427 songs were suggested.

Jesus, this thread is going to finish me off, I thought.

But fear not: by the time I’d eliminated all the songs I have by TV on the Radio, or by Radiohead, or were on a rather fine Radio Soulwax mix I downloaded recently, or any that were on the list because they were the Radio Edit of a single, I was down to a much more palatable amount.

So, let’s crack on, shall we?

And what better place to start than with this stone cold classic:

ClassicTracks_05-1109

273. R.E.M. – Radio Free Europe (Original Hib Tone Version)

I’ve had a life-long love affair with R.E.M. Well, not quite life-long. I wish I could say I bought this when it first came out, but no. I first heard it on the third R.E.M. album I ever bought, a Best of (regular readers will perhaps be surprised to learn it wasn’t the first record I ever bought by the band) called “Eponymous”.

Radio Free Europe first came out in 1981, the band’s first single, later resurfacing as the opening track on their debut album “Murmur” two years later. I didn’t buy anything by the band until 1987’s “Document”, four years and five albums later, but I’d still like to think I was a little ahead of the majority of the pack here in the UK, where most were unaware of them until 1988’s “Green” album, interest growing somewhat by the time 1991’s “Out of Time” came out, and hitting absolute peak with 1992’s flawless “Automatic For The People”.

In the summer of 1989, I somehow found myself at quite a posh garden party, full of young darlings, public school types, who had been quite astonished that I didn’t know I was supposed to kiss the proffered hand of a young lady I was introduced to. Yes, THAT posh. (I shook it, an act which was greeted by quite the round of disbelieving guffaws.)

Anyway, feeling ever so-slightly out of place, I proceeded to get phenomenally pissed, and wandered into a barn where a DJ was trying had to tempt the fops onto the dancefloor. He played R.E.M.’s “Orange Crush” from their Green album, which pleased me (not enough to dance, mind), that was until the DJ took to the microphone and said: “That was R.E.M. a new, up and coming band from the U.S.of A.”

I couldn’t take it, marched over and started to berate him about how they were neither new nor up and coming, how they’d been around for years, how that track was from their sixth album and how that was the sort of thing he really should know if he was going to make it in the cut-throat world of DJ’ing, quietly omitting to mention that I’d only been a fan since the album before.

Musical snobbery, eh? Never gets you anywhere. Oh, what do you philistines know, anyway?

Moving on to 1993, and another of my favourite bands:

teenage-fanclub-radio-creation

274. Teenage Fanclub – Radio

I don’t have much to say about this, apart from it being the lead single from their “Thirteen” album, that it’s a quite magnificent single from a quite magnificent album, which, for reasons that I don’t think I’ll ever really understand, saw the band completely fail to capitalise on their break-through album “Bandwagonesque”. If you don’t own them, kids, go get ’em. Or, if you hang around here long enough, I’ll probably end up posting every song from them both sooner or later.

Moving on to another artist whose work I’ve admired for a great many years:

Radio Radio Front

275. Elvis Costello – Radio, Radio

This is from 1978, when Mr McManus was at his snarling best, so much so that following an appearance on US show Saturday Night Live in 1977, he found himself banned from appearing again.

Here’s the story: The Sex Pistols were booked to appear on the show, but for one reason or another – reportedly, a lack of visas – they couldn’t make it and Elvis and his band The Attractions were roped in. His record company wanted them to perform their current UK single “Less Than Zero” – which was about Oswald Moseley, leader of the fascist movement in the UK – but Costello was less keen, thinking the song wasn’t exactly going to resonate with an American audience.

So Costello took the stage, started to play “Less Than Zero” before calling proceedings to a halt a few bars in, announcing “I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen, but there’s no reason to do this song here” before launching into “Radio Radio” instead.

Going so far off message was not appreciated by the powers that be; he wasn’t invited back until 1989. He did, later, however reference it on the 25th Anniversary Show, when, as Beastie Boys were just getting going on “Sabotage”, this happened:

Wow.

Where do you go to top that? Well, you can’t, but I know someone who’ll give it a bloody good go:

wonderstuff_radioassk_101b

276. The Wonder Stuff – Radio Ass Kiss

Ironically, this track, written by popular rhyming slang Miles Hunt, was only ever released as a single in the US, and not here in the UK, where it remained just another track from their second, not-quite-as-good-as-their-first album “Hup!”. Quite how they got away with lines like “Bugger the plugger” is beyond me. But maybe I shouldn’t be surprised: many years ago I saw Phil Collins being interviewed after he had appeared in US hit TV show “Miami Vice”. Collins related how when he attended the script run through, he’d found that his character repeatedly used the phrase “wanker”, and Collins asked the producers if they knew what it meant.

“Sure,” came the response, “it’s English slang for ‘idiot’, right?”

Fortuitously, there was nobody better qualified than Collins to enlighten them as to the true meaning.

One of the other acts who were approached to appear on Saturday Night Live on that night Costello so infuriated the TV bosses, were this next lot. They declined the invitation, giving this as their explanation: “We don’t substitute for anybody.” Bonus cool points.

ramones-do-you-remember-rock-n-roll-radio

277. Ramones – Do You Remember Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio?

Well, yes, Joey, Johnny, Tommy, Dee Dee, I do, which is why I’m writing this post.

You don’t need me to tell you about the Ramones, now do you? Thought not.

One person whose music is perhaps as far away from the Ramones and Rock’n’Roll Radio as can be is the next chap:

lp-john-denver-windsong-7981-MLB5308279995_102013-F

278. John Denver – Late Nite Radio

Denver is probably best known over here for a) Annie’s Song, b) looking like the Milky Bar Kid, c) his love of the Rocky Mountains, and d) his love of flying. Sadly, he failed to survive the occasion when he inadvertently combined those last two by crashing his plane into one of them.

Time for a musical interlude. Not that I’m saying what you’ve had so far wasn’t musical, just…this sounds like a musical interlude. And that’s a good thing. Particularly when it’s provided by a band who most people only know for one song, and that a remixed version of it, and even more so when to the best of my knowledge, this sounds like nothing else they’ve ever done:

MI0003829011

279. Cornershop – Kalluri’s Radio (Version)

And we’re back in the room.

Next up, a song which first came to my attention via a compilation album called “The Trip: Created by Saint Etienne”. It’s crammed full of Northern Soul, down-tempo numbers, lost and obscure nuggets from the 60s and 70s; if you’ve never heard it then I urge you to track down a copy.

I say it’s created by Saint Etienne, it’s more likely to just be Etienne stalwart and fountain of all pop knowledge Bob Stanley that compiled it. Bob once was kind enough to retweet a link to these pages once, so I reckon I owe him a name-check.

In the real world, knowing that a member of Saint Etienne had read one of my posts would earn me extra bonus points; alas it was predominantly about Bucks Fizz with a healthy portion of Shakin’ Stevens, so I reckon I’m probably in cool point deficit now. Ho hum.

But I digress. This is Douglas Dillard, banjo player (banjoist? banjoer?) and founder member of bluegrass outfit The Dillards, and Harold Eugene “Gene” Clark, singer, songwriter, guitarist  and founder member of The Byrds.

Together, they came together under the inspired name of:

doug-dillard-and-gene-clark-the-radio-song-am

280. Doug Dillard & Gene Clark – The Radio Song

Two to go now, and it’s time for some 2 Tone ska. I don’t feature nearly enough of this kind of stuff on these pages, which some of you poor misguided fools may consider a blessing, so here’s an absolute belter to rectify that:

Onmyradio

281. The Selecter – On My Radio

And so to the last one for tonight, and any post about songs with the word Radio in the title, inspired by my musings on how I rarely listen to the radio these days (6music at the weekends aside, and particularly former Fun Lovin’ Criminal Huey Morgan’s show of a Saturday morning, which is simply unmissable), would not be complete without this polished gem (it features and was produced by Trevor Horn, so it was never going to be anything but polished, now was it?):

The-Buggles-Video-Killed

282. The Buggles – Video Killed The Radio Star

What’s extraordinary about that record is that although it’s written from a future perspective, it was actually first released in 1977 (by Bruce Woolley and The Camera Club), before music videos were anywhere near the peak they would become. MTV wouldn’t even be launched for another four years, yet all that the song prophesizes – how polish, image, self-promotion, glamour and glitz would become the prevalent (X) factor, as opposed to, y’know, how good you are and what you sound like – has pretty much come true.

Which is a fairly bleak way to wrap things up, but there you go.

More soon.