Tuesday 28 February 2023

Ten years ago

It's ten years (okay, and twelve days, calendar pedants) since Martin Rossiter released an EP of covers entitled The Defenestration of Prince (and others). It built on the release of his similarly titled debut solo album, and included this quite lovely Prince cover.

Here's the Prince original, for those that like to compare and contrast.

There were no more albums to come, sadly, and Martin retired with a farewell gig at the Forum Kentish Town in November '21. It was one of the best, if not the best gig I have ever been to. Still gutted that it was the end.

Wednesday 22 February 2023

Whoop-de-doo, tarantula town

Whoop-de-doo indeed, for this blog is 18 today: legally old enough to vote. In fact, if it was a person and not a collection of nonsense this blog could also legally...

  • ...stand for election as an MP, local councillor or mayor
  • ...serve on a jury
  • ...be tried in a magistrate's court, and go to prison if found guilty of a criminal offence
  • ...make a will
  • ...pawn stuff in a pawn shop
  • ...get married without parental (my?) permission
  • ...if adopted, see the original birth certificate (and have their name added to the birth contact register)
  • ...consent to their body being used in a medical study
  • ...carry an organ donor card (an excellent idea)
  • ...buy cigarettes, rolling tobacco and cigarette papers
  • ...buy alcoholic drinks in a pub or a bar
  • ...buy fireworks
  • ...view, rent or buy an 18-rated film
  • ...view, rent or buy pornographic material that does not contravene UK obscenity laws
  • ...place a bet in a betting shop or casino
  • ...get a tattoo
  • ...get body piercings
  • ...ride a motorbike above 125cc with a licence
  • ...drive lorries between 3,500kg and 7,500kg (with the appropriate licence)
  • ...and drive a bus, under some specific circumstances – such as if learning to take the Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) test

But it still couldn't adopt a child (21 for that) or supervise a learner driver (25).

Anyway, I had a look at the singles chart for 22nd February 2005, and it was mostly rubbish. I'll save you a click - Jennifer Lopez was number one, with Get Right, a song that is instantly forgettable and yet has also somehow racked up 163 million views on YouTube, but I'm not going to feature that . Surprisingly, Elvis Presley had seven entries in the Top 100 that week - I'm casting my mind back, and can only imagine that this was in response to what would have been his 70th birthday in early January. Okay, happy birthday and all that, but I'm not going to feature The King either.

Digging further down the chart, I note that it featured the only week in the Top 100 for The House of Love's comeback single. Casting my mind back (again) I can't remember them even having a comeback, probably unsurprising as it was straight in at #73 and straight out again the week after. And that's a shame, because this is alright, I think. Here's Love You Too Much.

Monday 20 February 2023

Rise and shine

I made Rise and Shine by The Cardigans a Clandestine Classic way back in October 2012, and included the video for the original release. I mentioned in passing that when the song was re-recorded and re-released, the band also made a new promo video too. Well, here it is.

You won't remember it, but we used to dance around the room to this.

Sunday 12 February 2023

Thank you for the days II: Sunday

This was popular last time out, so let's go round again with another seven posts featuring three songs that have a day of the week in the title. Inevitably, we end with Sunday...

I need to start with an apology to Rol because I can't avoid it again, sorry. This is Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2, but it's the version I know and (whisper it quietly) love. I had live album Under a Blood Red Sky on cassette long before I owned War, and this is how I always hear this song in my head. Skip ahead, Rol.

Okay, let's press on and get this load of old tut over and done with. This is Sunday Morning by Madness from The Rise And Fall, arguably the last album before things started a slow unravelling for them. Who'd have thought back then that they'd be natural treasures forty years later?

And so to the end. This is in response to a request from The Man Of Cheese, and I'm very happy to oblige because (a) it's superb and (b) it's a standout track on what is probably Bloc Party's best album, A Weekend in the City. Feels like a good track to close the series with too, doesn't it? Here's Sunday by Kele and co.

Never doing this again. Don't even ask.


Or maybe I will, some time...


Saturday 11 February 2023

Thank you for the days II: Saturday

This was popular last time out, so let's go round again with another seven posts featuring three songs that have a day of the week in the title. On the home stretch now, not long left...

Turns out Saturday is the easiest day to find good songs for (closely followed by its partner in weekendery, Sunday). I guess I should start with the obvious song that I controversially overlooked last time. This is John with his belt on (Belt-on John, geddit?) with Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting).

There, that's got that out of the way. Time to revert to type, then, with the brilliantly observational, slice-of-life lyrics of Saturday's Kids. And my god, those lyrics are ingrained in me. "These are the real creatures that time has forgot..."

Talking of reverting to type, here's some early Billy Bragg (I told you he'd pop up again this week). From second album Brewing Up with Billy Bragg, this is one of my brother's favourites, The Saturday Boy. Note the lovely trumpet cameo from Dave Woodhead, and the best use of "unrequited" in any song, ever.

It'll all be over after tomorrow, promise.

Friday 10 February 2023

Thank you for the days II: Friday

This was popular last time out, so let's go round again with another seven posts featuring three songs that have a day of the week in the title. Obviously, it's Friday, so...

Going to start today with a slice of Nancy Sinatra because, well why ever not? The sound quality on this clip isn't the greatest but I chose it for the video, Nancy miming at the pit-head, or so it seems. Brilliant stuff from 1967, this is Friday's Child.

Continuing the theme of YouTube videos with poor sound quality, and starting a theme of songs that reference both Friday and Saturday, here's the oldest recording I've ever featured on the blog: from 1916, here's Al Jolson singing that old music-hall favourite Where Did Robinson Crusoe Go with Friday on Saturday Night? And actually, given it's 107 years old the sound quality is actually pretty good.

And so to another song that has both Friday and Saturday in its title. Thanks to Khayem for this suggestion: it's Friday Night, Saturday Morning by The Specials. I've gone for a live recording, just so we can see the late Terry Hall in action.

The weekend is nearly upon us ...

Thursday 9 February 2023

Thank you for the days II: Thursday

This was popular last time out, so let's go round again with another seven posts featuring three songs that have a day of the week in the title. Inevitably, it's Thursday.

In case you were wondering, there won't be a part III of this series, simply because certain days just don't have enough good songs about them. I would have been snookered for today if not for the suggestions The Swede made last time around. So let's kick off with one of those: Donovan from 1965 (unmistakably), with Jersey Thursday.

Let's bring things a little more up-to-date (though still seventeen years old) with another suggestion, this time from Khayem. This is Thursday by Asobi Seksu, an American shoegaze outfit that I know nothing about. I love this though. It's quite hard to make out singer Yuki Chikudate's vocals, and maybe that's part of the attraction. See what you think.

And here's one I found myself: Jim Croce was a folkie singer-songwriter most famous for Bad, Bad Leroy Brown. He had lots of US chart success, very little over here. This track, entitled simply Thursday, is from his last album I Got A Name, which was released three months after Jim had died in a plane crash.

Isn't it Friday yet?

Wednesday 8 February 2023

Thank you for the days II: Wednesday

This was popular last time out, so let's go round again with another seven posts featuring three songs that have a day of the week in the title. Part III of part II can only be Wednesday.

The only place to start today is with another song that I can't believe I overlooked first time around. This is early Simon and Garfunkel, i.e. before the electrified remix of The Sound of Silence catapulted them up the charts. Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. is near perfect, I think: Paul's guitar finger-picking, two voices made to fit together, and a delicate, gentle lyric of love.

Where next? Remember Lisa Loeb? She had a hit with Stay (I Missed You) in the great record company scramble to unearth more Alanis Morrissettes. Anyway, she recorded Waiting For Wednesday for her third album, Tails, in 1995. That had the full band treatment, but I prefer this acoustic version recorded live for Canadian television.

So that just leaves us to address the issue of Wednesday's child being full of woe. This song has music by John Barry and is sung by the inimitable Matt Munro (Terry Parsons to his mum) and was used in a film called The Quiller Memorandum, that I can't say I've ever seen. Anyway, here's Matt sounding suitably woeful with Wednesday's Child.

That's hump-day done then ...

Tuesday 7 February 2023

Thank you for the days II: Tuesday

This was popular last time out, so let's go round again with another seven posts featuring three songs that have a day of the week in the title. Day two, of course, is Tuesday.

I ummed and aahed about running this series again because some days, most notably today, proved quite hard to find another three decent songs for. Anyway, let's see what you make of today's barrel-scrapings ... although that's a bit harsh on this slice of MacGowan-less Pogues from 1993. Spider Stacy handles vocal duties on Tuesday Morning.

Well, that's alright but it's not going to win any prizes. Neither's this, from Cat Stevens' 1971 album Teaser and the Firecat, an LP famous for Moonshadow and Morning Has Broken. This track, Tuesday's Dead, is less well known, of course, and that's a shame; it doesn't feel 52 years old, does it? Wish I could say the same, frankly.

So how do you follow the folky noodlings of the artist now known as Yusuf Islam? Why, with a recommendation and some mid-80s indie jangle, of course. Khayem suggested this in the comments, and who I am to argue? This is Meet Me On Tuesday, by The Brilliant Corners. It's a bounce-around-the-room corker.

No prizes for guessing what happens tomorrow ...

Monday 6 February 2023

Thank you for the days II: Monday

This was popular last time out, so let's go round again with another seven posts featuring three songs that have a day of the week in the title. Let's get started with Monday.

First off, a track that I bemoaned not having the space to include first time around, not least because it robbed me of the opportunity to write Oh Susanna (obligatory sigh), as is the convention for all male bloggers of a certain age. So here's Manic Monday by The Bangles.

So, from a song I couldn't fit in first time around to another that I have properly loved for more than 40 years and yet, somehow, completely forgot last time! How on earth did I not think of Monday by The Jam? A song that I will forever associate with completely unrequited feelings for a girl on the school bus...

Let's close with Sir William of Bragg and his paean to the grindstone, St Monday, from the 2002 album England, Half English. Bill may appear again later in the week...

You know what happens tomorrow, right?

Saturday 4 February 2023

Thank you for the days: the weekend

A bonus post to complement last week's mini-series about days of the week - it's the weekend! What better excuse do I need to feature a band I'm not sure I've ever written much about much before...

So don't hang around and be foolish
Do something constructive with your weekend

No, it's not their finest work, but it's hard to argue with the sentiment. What are you still doing hanging around here? Being foolish?!?