And so, the return of the series which more than any other, when a song I don’t recognise has popped up on my iPod when on shuffle has made me go “What the feck is this…?” (sometimes in a nice way, often not).
Yes, it’s the very long awaited (be modest, it says here – Ed) return of the greatest thing on the internet (oh, don’t bother then – Ed): The Chain. And hopefully The Chain Gang are all assembled, like slightly nerdy versions of The Avengers, except all hot, bothered, and ready to rock and maybe even ‘n’ roll a bit too.
For the unitiated, this is the series where I blatantly nick an idea off Radcliffe & Maconie on BBC 6Music, and ask for suggestions for songs linked to the next in a series of songs. But here’s the rub: free from the constraints of time and the length of a radio programme, instead of picking just one, I’ll post all of them, then ask for suggestions linked to the next in the official series. This way, we (ok, probably just me) gets a hell of a diverse playlist to while away our days, and a whole lot more fun than usual compiling it.
And did I mention there are points to be earned?
Well, yes there are. Totally meaningless points; you won’t be winning a prize or anything, but points nonetheless. And here’s how your suggestion can win them:
Correct Guess: 3 points (fairly self-explanatory, this one – guess the song which is the next in the official 6Music sequence and these could be yours)
Double Linker: 2 points (for a suggestion which works on two levels, and definitely not a sex toy)
Showboater of the Week: 2 points (for the most convaluted link between the source record and your choice)
Worst/Cheesiest Suggestion of the Week: 1 point (again, I would hope this category needs no further expansion).
Up until this reboot, points have been awarded and then discarded, but whilst the series has been laid off, I’ve gone through all the old posts and where I have specifically said that points were being awarded, I have totted them all up and will continue to do so. And if you don’t believe my accuracy, go ahead, check for yourself, my stats could do with a boost.
So we’ll start off by having a look at the league table as it stands
1: George 17 2: Swiss Adam 13 3: Alyson 9 4=: Charity Chic 8 The Robster 8 6=: The Swede 7 SWC/Badger 7 8=: Dirk 6 Rigid Digit 6 10= Alex G 5 Martin 5 The Great Gog 5 13= GM Free 3 Jules 3 Kay 3 Rol 3 17 The Beard 2
And so George would appear to be the Liverpool FC of the group, romping into a
twenty-two four point lead as he has, although it should be noted that at least one of the point-winning categories was invented as a result of a particularly breath-taking bit of bullshit linkage by him way back in the day.
So where were we? Oh yes – asking for your links to this record:
Now I figured this was a really easy way to restart the series: just send me any song which has some sort of drug reference involved. Pop music, and music in general, is quite literally littered with them.
Look, here’s one, and it seems a particularly appropriate place to start:
E-Zee Possee – Everything Starts With an E
Or there’s this little beauty:
And here’s another one (sort of):
Or even this:
See? Easy this, innit?
I only mention this because I was somewhat underwhelmed by the amount of suggestions I received this time. I’m putting this down to two things: firstly, the amount of time it’s been since the last post in this series, and secondly, me moving the suggestions to email rather than via the Comments Section.
I think the latter is the biggie here, so screw it, we’ll go back to suggestions via the Comments at the end of the post again.
I had a bit of a moan about this to Kay at work the other day, as she hadn’t suggested anything – not behaviour fitting of someone equal 13th in the league table of dreams, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Her response was that she couldn’t think of anything other than the theme tune to Wizbit.
In case you’re confused, or one of those annoying young people, or both, Wizbit was a 1980s children’s TV show about a magic alien, shaped apparently like a wizard’s hat, but to these eyes as a fully unpeeled Dairylea triangle:
Yes, that is Paul Daniels you can hear in that, and that’s why Kay immediately earns herself a point for sort of suggesting by far and away the worst song of the week.
See, easy this, innit?
Although I figure a spoiler alert is needed at this point: nobody guessed the correct next record in the Official Chain, so there will be no points awarded there.
But let’s see what the rest of you have suggested and I think this time around, I’ll just take them in the order I received them.
First out of the blocks was The Robster:
“One song sprang immediately to mind. It’s not obscure, it’s not clever, it’s bleedin’ obvious really but a great track nonetheless:”
Queens of the Stone Age – Feel Good Hit of the Summer
That, right there, is your actual I-Spy book for party drugs. Have you ticked them all off yet? Well don’t (I am contractually obliged to say) because drugs are bad.
Next up is Charity Chic‘s suggestion:
“I’ll break you in gently by going for Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes) by Carla Thomas”
Carla Thomas – Gee Whiz (Look at His Eyes)
Eyes like saucers, mate, he’s off his nut.
And now things get tricky, for the next email I received was from Jules and it contained a YouTube link. This one:
…which I assume is meant to be an allegory for the Phoenix from the flames that is The Chain, or example of the worst porn on earth. Hard to tell with Jules, to be honest.
So whilst we dwell on that, here’s George, who any moment now will have the word POINTS! ringing in his ears:
“The last song was by Pulp, whose front man was Jarvis Cocker, which leads to Joe Cocker, so I suggest Delta Lady. In another connection, both men are from Sheffield.”
POINTS for a double linker!
And now I’ll hand the reins over to the newest member of The Chain Gang, Pat, who gives me several thoroughly decent suggestions, although I’ll need to explain this first one a little.
The E in the title of the Pulp song refers to Ecstacy, a party/clubbing drug also referred to colloquially as “pills”, for that is the form in which they are swallowed (as opposed to smoked, injected or sniffed). Who needs Susie Dent, amIright Countdown fans?
Anyway, over to Pat:
“Linking to E’s……”:
The Imposter AKA Elvis Costello – Pills and Soap
If I might interupt for a moment, this seems as good an opportunity as any to wheel out an old catchphrase.
Well, if you’re having that, then I’m having this:
Right. As you were. Back to Pat. Pat? Pat?? Paaaaaaaat?
Ahem. Anyway. Next up on Pat’s playlist is this, which he justifies thusly: “…linking to drugs in general….”
David Peel & The Lower East Side – Everybody’s Smoking Marijuana
I’m glad you made that distinction, because the drug referenced in that song is more likely to make you visit an all night garage to buy a Twix or a pastry product at 4:00 am than it is to lead to illicit dancing…
And, since I’ve mentioned all night garages:
Half Man Half Biscuit – Twenty Four Hour Garage People
(I plumped for that version just so we could all all hear Peel’s slightly befuddled voice at the end, which momentarily makes my day brighter whenever it happens.)
And that, inevitably, leads me here:
Happy Mondays – Twenty Four Hour Party People
But I digress. Back to Pat’s suggestions, and I promise not to stick my hoofing great oar in this time.
“”…“from a [Creation] compilation ‘Sorted, Snorted & Sported’ link to the word sorted and a great version of the New Order song”!:
And finally from the font of Pat, this, which he justifies as follows:
“…linked to a night out that doesn’t quite work out as planned….”
…which doesn’t sound like any night I ever had on E’s or Whizz, but you can’t choose your friends, can you? (Or is that what they say about family….I forget….)
Leyton Buzzards – Saturday Night Beneath The Plastic Palm Trees
Now, have you ever found yourself wondering whether your favourite bloggers prefer their orange juice smooth or with the bits, as I believe it’s technically referred to on most packaging, left in? Well, wonder no longer, for here’s Alyson from What’s It All About to answer that nagging doubt for you:
“There is Pulp in Orange Juice (and I usually prefer mine with it left in). Will therefore go for the band Orange Juice and the obvious song, Rip It Up.”
Over to Rol of My Top Ten fame next, who, seemingly under the misapprehension that I’d be writing this up quickly, wrote this:
“Up against the clock this weekend, so going with the first remotely decent song I could think of and not going to stretch the grey matter too much.”
I invited Rol, as I think I did to all who submitted suggestions, to feel free to send more, and sure as eggs is eggs, he came back with the following:
“…whizz is an example of onomatopoeia…”
Whoa, there tiger! A clarification is required here: although not in the context we are talking about whizz – I’ve never known a drug to make any kind of noise, onomatopoeiac or otherwise, although I’ve made a fair few odd ones when ingesting the same – think Billy Whizz from The Beano and you get where Rol is coming from.
“…so you could have the song with that name by either John Prine…”
“…or Todd Rundgren”, he climaxed.
Over now to The Great Gog, who frankly had me flummoxed by the very matey tone of his email, which came from someone called Dave. A quick explanation later and needless to say we all saw the funny side, and he came up with not one but two suggestions.
Floor’s yours The Great Gog/Dave:
“I’ve always been intrigued by the line: ‘Mother, I can never come home again ‘cause I seem to have left an important part of my brain somewhere in a field in Hampshire’.
Basically, why Hampshire? I can’t think of any other song that mentions it by name, although two of its cities have been the subject of Top 5 hits.’
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why The Chain exists: not so you can propose songs you like by some contrived link you’ve struggled to come up with (although, that’s fine if you do, hence the Showboating award), but to suggest songs which link to the source material, regardless of whether they’re any good or not.
The New Vaudeville Band – Winchester Cathedral
I’m having awful flashbacks to “Country Dancing” lessons at Junior School because of that last one.
Oh hang on, it gets worse: post-school, voluntary, “Country Dancing” lessons.
My, how I’ve changed.
Quick, before anyone notices, I’ll hand the reins over to Rigid Digit of Stuff & Nonsense infamy:
“The obvious choice here is…”
It’s obvious, it’s not their finest moment, but it’s still great:
“But … I don’t do obvious…”, Rigid contines, “so my suggestion is…:
Tony Christie – I Did What I Did For Maria
Why’s that, Mr Digit?
“Why? Pulp front-bloke Jarvis Cocker co-wrote Walk Like A Panther for All Seeing I. Jarvis has said that the song was written specifically for Tony Christie to sing, and he was instrumental in getting Christie on-board – even flying out to Spain to meet him and convince him.”
Oh go on, then. Don’t mind if I do. (I’m trying out new catchphrases):
The All Seeing I – Walk Like a Panther
Now, you’ll recall that we left Jules from Music From Magazines hanging with an odd Dallas clip. Shortly after receiving that, Jules sent me an actual suggestion, which…well, since it wasn’t by Lambchop, as Jules’ suggestions usually are, let’s just say it took some deciphering.
But we got there in the end, despite Jules’ insistance not to bother, and here we go:
…which is included because of the lyric: “Go out and get me another roll of pills.” I think.
Sorry George, we almost made it.
And finally, as they used to say on The Two Ronnies, one last contribution from The Great Gog, who is still wittering on about Hampshire:
“The rather marvellous British Sea Power popped up on random play and the song referenced a field in a county adjacent to Hampshire – I’m guessing it is potentially unique. Said county was Wiltshire and the track was….”
British Sea Power – It Ended On An Oily Stage
Which seems far too classy a way to bow out, so let’s end as we began, if for no other reason than it will look like I know what I’m doing, with a supplementary conversation with Kay.
“What about ‘Magic E’?” she said, which isn’t exactly the kind of proposition one expects from their boss.
Turns out she was talking about this, of which I have no memory whatsoever:
Magic E (Look & Read)
Wait a minute. I recognise that voice. That’s your actual 70s/80s TV kids presenter/legend Derek Griffiths, isn’t it?
Here’s what Wikipedia has to say on the subject:
A popular song was “Magic E”, originally written in the mid-70s for Words and Pictures to demonstrate the silent E and the change in pronunciation of preceding vowels — for example: “cap” becomes “cape” with me, “tap” becomes “tape” with me. The song’s simple lyrics about changing the words with “magic E” were memorable and simple to learn.
“…most of the songs were sung by Derek Griffiths.”
Which means I can end on a note much more befitting of the nonsense that goes on here:
Cole & Griffiths – Heads & Tails
And that’s yer lot.
Except, of course, to reveal the identity of the next record in the official Chain, chosen because Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker once caused a bit of a fuss at the Brit Awards. So did frontman Danbert Nobacon.
Who’s Danbert Nobacon, I hear you ask.
Well, he’s in this band, and this is the next song in The Chain:
So, you’re suggestions please for songs which link to Tubthumping by Chumbawamba, along with a brief explanation of the link, either by email to email@example.com or via the Comments section at the bottom, whichever you prefer.