* Prices may differ from that shown
As with any documentary about a rock band you have to decide for yourself how much of its real and how much of it is contrivance to the camera to make it entertaining. Some turn out to be tributes and nothing more, like Shane Meadows film about The Stone Roses return or the celebrity gushing Clash tribute, ‘Joe Strummer: The Future in Unwritten’. Others are pure genius, like Anvil: The Story of Anvil and ‘DIG, the rivalry between Indy bands The Dandy Warhol’s and The Jonestown Massacre. Mistaken for Strangers, the story of sibling rivalry between the lead singer of cool indie kids The National and his little slacker brother is somewhere in-between, if you can believe what you are seeing.
We pick up the band in 2010, The National about to embark on the biggest tour of their career. After five critically acclaimed albums and ten years on the road, they are finally enjoying wider recognition and some celebrity. Handsome lead singer Matt Berninger has invited his younger slobby brother, Tom, to join the tour and work behind the scenes. Heavy metal loving Tom, nine-years younger than Matt, is a budding horror filmmaker and decides to bring his camera along, about to make another horror film, that of his life. Tom, like me, is at sea in the world of indie rock, and living in his brother's shadow big time. He drinks too much, complains about not being as loved and popular as his better looking brother and struggles to balance his ambition with his tour responsibilities, which consist mainly of supplying towels and water bottles on stage. His brother has not sanctioned the documentary.
After early spats it becomes clear rock star Matt and his pretentious band doesn’t want his brother’s camera around lampooning that fact and wants him to concentrate on his band duties. Matt is the cool, introspective, aloof cappuccino drinking lead singer, Tom the geek with the beer belly and bad habits. The question then is when sibling tensions and rivalry bring an end to filming and Tom being booted off the tour bus? Equally artistic Mom and dad Berninger feature in the film and equally proud of both sons (yes right!), and the other members of the band mildly amused at the shambles of a brother. The question then is are we in on their joke or are they the joke?
It’s a mix of This is Spinal Tap meets Flight of the Conchords with a bit of Bono. It’s hardly to believe a lead singer would take himself this seriously, especially as they are not that big a name in the Indie scene, the way Anvil were and still are in the rock scene. Its feels like a really subtle in-joke being played out between the brothers as both characters seem to be playing a version of themselves. On the other hand they could well be their showbiz selves to keep up the pretense that one will one day make great horror movies and the other will have the best band in the world. I don’t know much about The National but I presume they are no Lemonheads in the indie music world. To me all college rock is self-indulgent angst for needy middle-class kids and deserves to be sent up.
I did chuckle now and then and you can’t help but sneer at the self-importance of the band as they sip their Starbucks backstage whilst read the Washington Post, hardly a smile between them in the whole movie. Is that really what rock and roll is all about? In fact Matt seemed rather dull and his brother who is living the life of boozing and taking drugs at every opportunity. Tom wasn’t so lucky with the groupies and soon weeping into the camera with the realization that he is an embarrassment to his brother.
Another element of the film I enjoyed is it is directed and filmed by the shambling Tom and his cut is pretty much left alone for the equally shabby finished product, which is why I think this was a brilliant ruse. Both brothers know exactly what they are doing and it comes across that way if you look at it through the eyes of the protagonists. This documentary simply would not have got released if the brothers were not happy how they came out from it, which is not great. Still, it’s mildly entertaining and enjoyed by the critics’ and so one to look out for.
Music for some people is just something to get them through the work day, for others its a career or something more than that. For me its a bit of both. I started doing small weddings and parties on and off many years ago and it was just a bit of easy cash, i didnt do it for fun back when i started, a friend of mine needed an emergency DJ for an hour and a half, just to bring some of my CD's and play them, i did it and i got into it like that. He paid me £15 and i was more than pleased to do it for that.
I work in an office where we have the radio on all day and occasionally we sing along, makes jokes and generally enjoy listening to it, so for me its a bit of both. I have always loved music, of most genres. I dont like death metal with the screaming and i dont like gangsta rap, but for those that do thats their sort of music, they enjoy it and to them its the same as me enjoying some classic 80's tracks, it makes me happy and it must make them happy, otherwise why would they listen to it?
Supporting artists is a good thing but excessive pay to people who are already multi millionaires is something i dont agree with. Its a talent but much like football players wages, for me personally i think its excessive. Artsits should be payed well, but not millions upon millions. Emerging artists need the cash most of all to build their fanbase, get their foot in the door and experience the music scene but does madona really need another £2m?
Music is in daily life, everywhere you go whatever you do music is there. TV, adverts, youtube, radio, people singing, your own personal collection and the list goes on. Its a huge part of our lives and its only getting bigger, people are buying more and more music, even if the formats have changed.
Music has a huge impact on society and cant be ignored. It inspires people, changes people, makes people cry, makes people dance and simply by instruments and voices being used in a certain way. Pop music has always been about rebellion, right from the early 20th century but although music is changing, for better or worse, that idea is still there, and people still change the course of music over the years to come.
Thats just my opinion but some may disagree, some may never listen to music all day long, its hard not to but possible, but think of the happiness music you enjoy brings you? Goosebumps on your wedding song, a feel good high when you hear club tracks that make you want to go out and have a great evening, and relaxing tracks that calm you in the bath at night.
Music also has a negative impact on vulnerable children for example, rap videos about drugs, beating people up etc are just not needed, so there is a downside to music too but overall i feel it has a huge positive impact on everyone.
A month ago, I sat down and started to research "The Most Well Known Unknown Songs". I say "research" - all I did was to trawl through my memory for some ridiculously catchy tunes and try and work out what they actually are. Once you start to read you'll understand. It's a bit of fun for music lovers and casual listeners alike. I hope you enjoy the challenge!
Take a look at the following list of composers and songs - do you recognise any of the names? I am confident that, whilst you may be unfamiliar with their titles, you will have heard every song on this list.
As a challenge, see if you can hum the songs before following the YouTube link and having a listen. You may be in for a few surprises (especially with Gran Vals)
Carl Orff: Carmina Burana (1937) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3kvtl59jY4
Julius Fucik: Entrance of the Gladiators (1897) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-YUANOIL7A
Euphemia Allen: The Celebrated Chop Waltz (1877) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jd_ei7Oaq2c
Wayne Hill: Left Bank Two (1963) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcCHRW8G9yY
Julius Wechter: The Spanish Flea (1960s) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-_2QpbXMbw
Boots Randolph: Yakety Sax (1963) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVS3QqrXhD8&feature=related
Hoagy Carmichael: Heart and Soul (1938) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9_vXOzFT50
Charles Hale: At a Darktown Cakewalk* (1899) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgPiIpboxt0
Francisco Tárrega: Gran Vals (1902) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hsp6dR-fL4A
Also, if anyone knows the name of the organ music they play at baseball games in the U.S., I'd be most grateful! I can't track down the name of the piece - you'd know it if you heard it.
* first known occurence
I love music. Mainly rock, but I do like a bit of everything really. Music can make you happy, make you dance, make you think, or even make you sad... but it's still something we all love.
This is an opinion of music in general. Just rock music for now, as it's what I know most about, and I think it's interesting to look at how Rock music has changed through the years. I'm sure you will be surprised at what was classed as Rock in the 60's and 70's!
There are many different types of Rock music. Rock groups all have different sounds and images. From classic rock to alternative, ska, emo, metal, punk etc.
Rock music would be mostly what I listen to. I do like modern rock, but then I have a soft spot for the old 80's stuff too... oh, and I also like some of the really, REALLY old stuff.... we are talking about the likes of Roy Orbison here (yes, he was classed as rock).
I think the best example of good modern rock bands would be the likes of Green Day, The Killers, Stereophonics, [insert your own personal favourite here].
Green Day have actually been around since 89', but their music has started being recognised by a lot more people (including me) with the release of their American Idiot album. The lyrics to their songs fit with modern times, and they hold a lot of appeal. Everyone has their own personal favourite Green Day song, but I would say, If you interested in checking them out, then start with the amazing Good Riddance (Time of Your Life). Or even Wake Me Up When September Ends, off their American Idiot album. You won't be disappointed.
60's, 70's, 80's and 90's Rock
Like I said, I love a lot of the old 80's Rock. Bands like Guns 'n' Roses are still known by a lot of young people today, and their songs are still regularly played. Guns 'n' Roses brought us the perfect Ballad - November Rain, and the now famous Sweet Child O Mine that everyone knows.
Hell, I'll even mention Bon Jovi (although some people feel they are more pop than rock). How many of you can remember Livin' On A Prayer? In the early days they had some great hits, as well as Livin' On A Prayer, the song that everyone knows. Bed Of Roses for example, is a classic Rock Ballad.
Other bands that deserve a mention would be the likes of, Whitesnake, Nirvana, Meat Loaf, Aerosmith, Reo Speedwagon, and loads more, I do think the 80's and 90's were filled with great bands and great music. The songs that really stick out for me would be:
* Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day
* Champagne Supernova by Oasis (I'm not a fan of Oasis, but I loved this one)
* With Or Without You by U2
* Runaway Train by Soul Asylum (this song seems to be forgotten by most people, but I loved it)
* Everybody Hurts by REM
Going back a little further, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles deserve a mention, even though personally, I've never been a fan of any of these bands. For me, the best 'rock' music of this time were by bands/artists like Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, Elvis, Roy Orbison......... Billy Joel (I'm gonna get shot for admitting that one)..... and I'm sure not many people have heard of The Five Satins, but I will include them, as they did 'In The Still Of The Night' - an oldie that I have always loved. 60's and 70's rock was more fun, and not many of the bands took themselves that seriously. Let us forget Chubby Checker's 'The Twist', and get to the good stuff....
* Hotel California by The Eagles
* Landslide by Fleetwood Mac
* Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
* Bat out of Hell by Meatloaf
Some great music memories there, and as times change, and Rock music goes in different directions, I think we will still remember this music, and these bands.
I can see myself as an old lady, rocking away with my invisible air guitar in one hand, and my zimmerframe in the other.
Thanks for reading.
This challenge was initiated by competition_man. To participate simply think of your favourite artists/duos/groups etc., then choose your favourite track of theirs, then tell us your choices. ~ The Rules ~ Just three simple rules to adhere to: 1) Use all the letters of the alphabet. 2) Only one choice per letter, i.e. no listing close seconds. 3) Give reasons for your choices. ~ Hints ~ Using all the letters may seem an easy task, but believe me; you'll soon discover that some are considerably more difficult than others. Then of course you have the enviable task of choosing just one record. So here are some hints to help you complete the challenge: 1) Solo artists, duos or groups are allowed - use them wisely. e.g.: Lionel Ritchie and the Commodores could come under L, R and/or C. 2) Album tracks as well as single releases are allowed, but not whole albums. 3) Proper names and stage names can be used. e.g.: Fredrick Bulsara = Freddie Mercury Me being me, I thought I?d try something a little different from just picking 26 favourite songs from favoured artists for this one. After all, I?ve done quite a few album reviews over time, so you?ve got a fair idea of who my favourite bands are, and I?ve also completed both a Top 10 Albums and Singles, so you know what my favourite songs are. ?So?, I thought to myself, ?time for a little rock and roll education?. What I?ve done here is select an act for every letter of the alphabet. I?ve tried to make them as obscure as I possibly can, and I?d be stunned to discover that I?m not the only person who has heard of all 26 acts. I?ve tried to avoid some of the more obvious parts of my own record collection (T will not be Thunder, for example)
in favour of other acts and, whilst some of them are still going, very few are either big names at all, or have left their better days behind them. And I hope there?s at least one new name for everyone in here somewhere? A ? Alarm, the. Formed in Wales in 1981, these guys were always pretty much a poor man?s version of U2. Sure, they had the same social conscience, and similar musical influences, but the politics were completely different ? U2?s largely concerning the conflicts in Ireland and the Alarm?s concentrating more on pit closures and unemployment in Wales. Probably one of the best examples of this was on ?A New South Wales?, from 1989?s ?Change? album, bemoaning the ?rape of the fair country? and featuring the Welsh Symphony Orchestra and the Orpheus Male voice choir. The album also featured ?Sold Me Down the River?, an impressive soft rock number that proved to be their biggest hit in the US, but failed to stop the band splitting up a couple of years later. However, various band members kept going and the band hit the news in February 2004 by releasing a single pretending to be by another band. Having not received major radio airplay for some years, it hit the Top 30 thus proving what we?ve all known for years ? modern music is all about image, not about how good the music is. B ? Bowes and Morley Oh come on! You didn?t seriously think I?d get through a whole music review without some reference to Thunder, did you? Bowes and Morley are Danny Bowes (vocals) and Luke Morley (lead guitar), who worked together on an album in 2002, following Thunder?s split in 1999 and Luke Morley?s subsequent solo album (2001?s ?El Gringo Retro?). It?s a combination between Luke Morley?s solo work, which had a little more
blues influence than Thunder?s all out pop-rock songs, but carries on in the direction Thunder appeared to be headed in with 1999?s ?Giving the Game Away?. For any Thunder fan, there are moments on their debut release (2002?s ?Moving Swiftly Along?) that bear comparison with much of Thunder back catalogue, with ?Freakshow? and ?Dancing the Night Away? certainly the stand out tracks. 2004?s ?Mo?s Barbeque? is a little less encouraging, being half a covers album and half original material, but their live version of Stevie Wonder?s ?Living in the City?, which appears on this album as a studio recording was one of the best covers I?ve heard in years. C ? Contraband No, not the new album by Velvet Revolver, but the band who, I believe, only ever released one album, 1991?s self titled effort. One of the least well known super groups, formed from members of Vixen, Ratt, LA Guns, MSG and Shark Island, they were certainly no Genesis. However, they still managed to produce a fairly decent soft rock album, offering a split between cover versions of old rock tunes and some original numbers. As with a number of rock bands of this era, they proved to be best at the overblown ballads, with ?Tonight You?re Mine? perhaps being the best of them. However, it does say a lot about the band that the stand out track is a cover of ?All the Way From Memphis?. D ? Danger Danger It can be argued that these guys truly put the ?cock? into ?cock rock?. OK, so AC/DC and Whitesnake were using filthy lyrics way before Danger Danger released 1991?s ?Screw It!?, but these guys were a lot more blatant about it. Song titles like ?Slipped Her the Big One?, ?Horny S.O.B.? and
?Yeah, You Want It!? don?t tend to leave you in much doubt as to the one track that this band?s mind is on. However, putting these things aside, both lead off single ?Monkey Business? and ?Crazy Nites? (no, not a cover of the Kiss song) were darn good pop-rock tracks and ?I Still Think About You? kept alive the long standing tradition of nauseating overblown soft rock ballads admirably. E ? Electric Boys With 1992?s ?Groovus Maximus?, Sweden?s funk rockers the Electric Boys quite possibly came out with one of the best ever album titles there has been. Given that they were around in the days that RHCP and Faith No More were giving rock music a funkier edge, I can?t understand why this band never had more success than they did. The title track and ?Knee Deep in You? were huge pounding bass driven funk rock tracks and lead single ?Mary in the Mystery World? has all that plus a little Beatles-esque edge that probably shouldn?t have worked but did. And in ?Dying to be Loved? and ?Bed of Roses?, the Electric Boys showed a tender, albeit slightly clichéd, side that should have won them more fans that it did. F ? FM Forget about Charlotte Church being ?The Voice of an Angel?, in British rock music that title goes to Steve Overland of FM. He had such a clear vocal delivery that he was selected to replace Michael Bolton as the singer of the Sunkist adverts way back when that was still a major brand and in the 1990?s, they were playing Wembley alongside Status Quo. What possibly let them down is that they were a little weedy, in truth. They cam up with some great hooks, but the evidence of ?Blood and Gasoline? and ?Closer to Heaven? (both from 19
92?s ?Aphrodisiac?) always suggested that they were better at ballads. Had they been around a more accomplished during the time that bands such as REO Speedwagon and Foreigner were selling huge amounts of albums about ten years earlier, they?d have been made. Ultimately, FM was a great band in the wrong decade. G ? J Geils Band Despite releasing 18 albums since 1970, there?s only one J Geils Band song that really sticks in the memory. ?Centerfold?, from 1981?s ?Freeze Frame? was helped largely by the lyrics and a video that caught the imagination of early MTV viewers, containing a quite large number of scantily clad young women. It?s a soft rock classic, with the synthesiser line and the accompanying whistling sticking in the memory, assuring the band a place on a huge number of soft rock compilations, if not one as many people?s favourite band. H ? Hardline With front man Neal Schon?s history including stints with Carlos Santana as well as working with a couple of AOR?s greats in Journey and Bad English, Hardline perhaps deserved to be better than they were. Unfortunately, like FM, they were a band out of time; with the debut album (1992?s ?Double Eclipse? coming about just as grunge was in the ascendancy. They did get a supporting slot on Extreme?s UK tour, but this was to be about as good as it got, as the single ?Hot Cherie?, despite being a very decent rock tune, didn?t get much attention and the band folded soon after, although they did record a second album ?II? without Neal Schon some ten years later. I ? Idol, Billy Have a look at all the pop-punk bands that are around at the moment. Blink 182, Good Charlotte, Sum 41, maybe even Avril Lavigne to a less
er extent. They weren?t the first, not by a long way. That accolade goes to Billy Idol, who?s first attempts to break into the 1970?s punk scene with Generation X were derided for having too much of a pop edge. However, the 1980?s were kinder to his kind of music, and combined with some damn fine tunes like ?Mony Mony?, ?Rebel Yell? and ?White Wedding? he finally hit the big time. If pushed to select a favourite, I?ve always had a soft spot for ?To Be a Lover?, from 1986?s ?Whiplash Smile?. Better by far than any of the weak imitations around at the moment. J ? Jones, Danko Just in case you were worried that I?ve not listened to any new music in the last ten years, here?s Canada?s Danko Jones. Hearing ?Sound of Love? from 2002?s ?Born a Lion? on Kerrang, I was immediately impressed. He?s got a retro kind of sound that will not get too many sales but will impress fans of blues based rock music. If you like AC/DC, you?re liable to quite enjoy Dank Jones. He?s not got so many rough edges, but he?s got a lot of heart and quite a voice on him. K ? Kiss of the Gypsy OK, that?s enough modern stuff, let?s go back in time and back across the Atlantic again. Another band hampered by the advent of grunge and so subsequently ignored by the record buying public on the release of their eponymous 1992 debut album, purely because it didn?t fit in and wasn?t cool. ?From the Dirt? was a great pop rock track, incorporating more song titles in the lyrics than the England team managed in their press conferences during the 2002 World Cup. But the highlight, and the one thing that makes it even more criminal that the band were ignored was ?No Prize for the Loser?, a heartfelt ballad which managed to avoid the trad
itional excesses of pop-rock ballads and contained instead a lovely lyric and an almost gospel style backing. L ? Lita Ford Perhaps better known as part of The Runaways, a band who also included Joan Jett (of ?I Love Rock N Roll? fame) and quite possibly blazed a trail for subsequent female rock bands like Vixen and, more recently, the likes of the Donnas. However, since the band split, she?s still managed to have some success on her own in the pop-rock field, with a duet with Ozzy Osbourne and a fairly major hit with ?Kiss Me Deadly? being the highlights. M ? Mr Big Technically another super group, hence the name, this lot at least did better than Contraband, lasting for four fairly successful albums and actually scoring a UK Top 10 hit back in 1992 with ?To Be With You? (from the album ?Lean Into It?, at a time when acoustic soft rock ballads (Extreme?s ?More Than Words? was around the same time) were selling in large numbers. Mr Big were far more than just the one song, however, with ?Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy? featuring a drill solo (Paul Gilbert actually attaching picks to a drill and playing his guitar that way) and ?Green Tinted Sixties Mind?, which added a kind of ?Sgt Pepper? era Beatles touch to proceedings. They were never that good again, although a decent cover of Cat Steven?s ?Wild World? on 1993?s ?Bump Ahead? wasn?t too bad. N ? Nelson Matthew and Gunnar Nelson were AOR?s version of Bros. Twin brothers, with long blonde hair they look a little too much like the Olsen twins to really be taken seriously as a rock group and couldn?t be more different in appearance from their father, Rick Nelson
, who is perhaps best remembered for ?Hello Mary Lou?. But they were?just about. They just got into the AOR scene before it ended, with their 1990 debut ?After the Rain? and managed to get a No 1 in the US with ?(Can?t Live Without Your) Love and Affection? and have survived long enough to have had a greatest hits album released this year. O ? Ozzy Osbourne One of the more obvious choices in this list maybe, but Ozzy is enjoying something of a comeback in recent years, largely thanks to his family?s reality TV show ?The Osbournes?, which hit MTV a couple of years back. However, he has a huge legacy from his past, including stints as the lead singer of Black Sabbath and his on stage antics and numerous arrests for drink related behaviour, including attempting to murder his wife and for urinating on the Alamo in Texas. Recent family worries such as his wife?s battle with cancer and his son entering rehab (for many of the same things Ozzy was doing in the 60?s) as well as a serious quad-bike accident in December 2003 have presented Ozzy in a kinder light than most ever expected, proving that although he may have more money and bigger houses than the rest of us, he?s still pretty much a normal father. P ? Poison Another big name band, although not as big as they once were. Starting back in 1986, their wild hair, make up and catchy pop-rock tunes helped them fit in perfectly with the other acts of the time, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue and the rest. However, as with a number of rock bands, it proved to be a ballad that became their biggest seller, with ?Every Rose Has it?s Thorn? (from 1988?s ?Open Up and Say?Aah?) selling in huge quantities and even featuring in ?Bill and Ted?s Bogus Journey? as being
the password for entry into heaven. The band has also stayed in the news and gossip columns, thanks to Bret Michaels dating Pamela Anderson and causing himself serious injury in a car crash. They?re still releasing albums and still touring, although the albums no longer appear to be getting a UK release. Q ? Quireboys It?s back to the best of British again, and why not? The Quireboys first hit in the mid 1980?s, proving a great success in a British rock scene boasting Def Leppard and Iron Maiden selling well in the US and Terraplane (soon to become Thunder) and the Little Angels cranking out some great pop-rock tunes. Combining rock and sleazy bar room blues, the Quireboys debut ?A Bit of What You Fancy? had a raw feel to it, led by Spike?s rough edged vocals and a generous use of honky-tonk style piano. Unfortunately, by the time the second album ?Bitter Sweet and Twisted? was released, they were behind the times, with grunge now being the main form of rock music. But after a few years apart they reformed in 2000 and featured on the 2002 Monster?s of Rock tour and have been lined up to support Whitesnake later this year. However, it?s the first album which holds their best music, with the banned ?Sex Party? alongside ?Hey You? and ?7 O?clock? and the ballad ?I Don?t Love You Anymore? being as good an example of British rock as you?ll find anywhere. R ? Roth, David Lee OK, this guy?s probably better known for his work as the lead singer of Van Halen, which was always problematic, largely due to both ?Diamond? Dave and Eddie Van Halen thinking they should be the main focal point of the band. However, he did manage to have some success as a singles artist, with a surpr
isingly accurate cover of the Beach Boys ?California Girls? (from 1985?s ?Crazy From the Heat?) and a video who?s voiceover I am convinced got Hugo Weaving his role in ?The Matrix? probably what he?ll end up being best remembered for. S ? Stryper This will surprise a few people who weren?t previously aware that Stryper are possibly the best selling Christian rock act, at least in terms of sales of a single album. I suspect that Petra might have higher total figures, but they released a lot more albums. Despite having been away for a number of years, a Stryper reunion in 1993, marking 20 years since they were first signed has proved pretty popular. Although Christian music generally seems to prove less popular than more mainstream equivalents (hence Evanescence trying to distance themselves from the scene recently) Stryper?s releases were as good as anything in the mid 1980?s rock scene, and their big ballad (even Christian rock bands have one!) ?Honestly? was one of the biggest songs on MTV for a while. T ? Trixter Another band out of time, and proof that I?ve always been several years behind on my musical choices. Like the Quireboys, they managed to get an album in before the end of the pop-rock era and just before grunge, but unlike the likes of Thunder, they didn?t have enough talent to keep in going through the leaner years. However, for a brief spell, they were one of the hottest rock acts in the US, with both ?Give it to me Good? and ?One in a Million? being the most requested MTV videos in 1990/1. U ? Ugly Kid Joe For a brief while in 1992, the title of Ugly Kind Joe?s album ?America?s Least Wanted? proved to be a lie, as they were hugely popular all over the place. The snee
ring skate rock of ?Everything About You? followed by ?Neighbour? and the ballad ?Cats in the Cradle? made them one of the few rock bands to succeed now that grunge was the main musical form. Unfortunately, the success went to their heads, and they had stopped playing their biggest hits as part of their live show as early as 1995. Apart from that, they really didn?t have anything good enough to make them worth supporting, although they still somehow managed a ?Very Best of? release in 1998. V ? Vixen Perhaps taking their lead from The Runaways, Vixen fitted perfectly into the soft rock scene of the late 1980?s. After all, most of the men had hair held up with huge amounts of hairspray and wore layers of make up, so why shouldn?t they? Unfortunately, they were a little too different to be successful and weren?t really good enough or powerful enough to show the world that women could compete in what was essentially a male industry and everything they tried had already been done better by Heart. That?s not to say they didn?t have some good moments, with ?Not a Minute Too Soon? (from 1990?s ?Rev It Up?) and ?Edge of a Broken Heart? (from 1988?s ?Vixen?) both proving to be rather good pop-rock songs. W ? Warrant Like Poison, another band that kept on going throughout the grunge era and managed to keep their fans by touring the US constantly. Indeed, they were on tour with Poison themselves in 2001. Another cock rock band which meant their pop-rock sound fitted into the mid and late 1980?s rock scene perfectly. It was their second album, 1990?s ?Cherry Pie? that bought them to my attention with the title track and ?You?re the Only Hell Your Mama Ever Raised? being out and out pop-rockers in the 1980?s tradition and ?Bed of Roses?
being the overblown ballad that all rock bands needed to have in their armoury back then. Perhaps one of the more amusing stories concerning Warrant was in 1993 when, in response to the band naming their third album ?Dog Eat Dog?, another band by that name retaliated by calling their album ?Warrant?. X ? XYZ It might seem like a tenuous link, but there really was a band called XYZ. They were a little more straightforward than a lot of the bands listed so far, being pretty much a straight rock act, with none of the bells and whistles that the glam and cock rock eras had. Needless to say, without that kind of attention getting stuff, they didn?t sell too well and the basic fact remained ? the music wasn?t as interesting either. Still, 1991?s ?Hungry? had a few decent tracks on it, with ?Face Down in the Gutter? and ?Whiskey on a Heartache? being fairly decent soft rock tunes. Y ? Yankovic, Weird Al I?ve long admired Weird Al more for his song writing ability than as a musician. More than anyone else, he?s got a talent for writing completely new songs around someone else?s music, and he?s got a talent for mimicry on the vocals that gets him as close to sounding like the original as is possible. In the 1980?s he spent a lot of time taking off (or parodying, as he calls it) Michael Jackson?s material, but has parodied everyone from Madonna and Billy Joel to Eminem and Nelly in his career. He?s also famous for his polka mixes, where he does a medley of (generally fairly recent) hits to a polka backing. However, my personal favourite of his will always be ?The Saga Begins?, telling the story of ?Star Wars: Episode 1? to the tune of ?American Pie? Z ? ZZ Top Few bands with long flowing beards have ever been
a success in the rock world. Long flowing hair, sure, but not beards. They?re just not cool. Unless, of course, you happen to be ZZ Top. They?ve been playing blues rock for more than 30 years, but they?re still instantly recognisable by their facial hair, which has barely changed in three decades. They?ll probably be best remembered for ?Sharp Dressed Man? and ?Legs?, of their cover of Elvis? ?Viva Las Vegas?, which combined their trademark sound but still managed to sound like an Elvis track. Well, I hope someone learned something. I?ve learned not to do anything like this again.
this challenge was initiated by competition_man. to participate simply think of your favourite artists / duo's / groups etc., then choose your favourite track of theirs - then tell us your choices. ~ the rules ~ just three simple rules to adhere to: 1) use all the letters of the alphabet. 2) only one choice per letter, ie. no listing close seconds. 3) give reasons for your choices. ~ hints ~ using all the letters may seem an easy task, but believe me, you'll soon discover that some are considerably more difficult than others. then of course you have the enviable task of choosing just one record. so here are some hints to help you complete the challenge: 1) solo artists, duo's or groups are allowed - use them wisely. eg.: lionel ritchie and the commodores could come under l, r and/or c. 2) album tracks as well as single releases are allowed, but not whole albums. 3) proper names and stage names can be used. eg.: fredrick bulsara = freddie mercury ************************ This is my first challenge attempt, hope you enjoy my selection. A ? Abba - Dancing Queen ?Where would we be without this classic filling the dance floor at weddings with assorted aunts and cousins. B ? Bronski Beat ? Smalltown Boy ? Jimmy Somerville haunting lyrics telling the story of a runaway, I remember catching this band live while at uni at the Powerhouse in Birmingham, they only did about 8 tracks as Jimmy had a cold but it still had the place jumping. C ? Clapton Eric ? Before You Accuse Me ? Old slow hand has produced some pretty amazing music over his career but it is the acoustic sets which are my favourites when he plays the blues. I have managed to catch him live a couple of times at the Albert Hall and his shows are always sold out. D ? Dylan Bob ? Like a Rolling Stone ?
A prolific career he is easily the artist of whom I own the most CD?s and I still can?t believe I have never seen him live. E ? Erasure ? River Deep Mountain High ? This cover of a Tina Turner classic has special memories for me as it reminds me of a great summer working on a camp in New York. F ? Franklin Aretha ? Think - Aretha really belts this baby out as part of the Blues Brothers movie and it is a great soul track. G ? Gorillaz ? Clint Eastwood ? This Blur spin off project for Damon Albarn they produced some great tracks, and this was the best, but were most memorable for the great cartoon videos they produced. H ? Hooker John Lee ? Ground Hog Blues ? Another of my blues heroes I was again spoilt for choice but opted for this track as being a fine example of John Lee vocals and guitar playing. I ? INXS ? Heaven Sent ? A career cut too short following Hutchins suicide this is my favourite track of the album Welcome to wherever you are. J ? Jools Holland ? Valentine Moon ? Featuring the vocals of Sam Brown this is a great tune. Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra never fail to put on a great show, they are all great muscisions and the parade of special guests never fails to delight the audience. K ? King BB ? The Thrill is Gone - The God of Blues Guitar picking a favourite was almost impossible, his album with Eric Clapton was brilliant as it bought together two of my guitar heroes. L ? Limp Bizkit ? Rollin - A great heavy beat with lyrics delivered with attitude I also loved the video for this song because of the sheer energy the band gave out. M ? Madonna ? Don?t Tell Me ? Loved this track mostly for the video in which Mrs Ritchie was very horny looking. I think it was the cowboy hat. N ? Nickleback ? How You Remind Me - This track nearly got worn out it was played so much when I first got this album and the kids loved it as well. O ? Oasis ? Wonderw
all ? He may look like the missing link that proves Darwin was right but Liam really belts this classic out and his gravely vocals are just perfect. P ? Pogues ? Streams of Whisky ? A cross between Irish folk music and punk this was the only band I ever saw live where the bouncers seemed more intent on keeping the band away from the audience. This particular track is one of their more upbeat high energy tracks , excellent for lumping about to. Q ? Queen ? Killer Queen ? Fredde was a great performer and the live version o this taken from the Live Killers album is a Queen classic. R- REM ? Losing My Religion ? My all time favourite track from my all time favourite band who I have been following since the mid eighties. And still going strong. S ? Specials ? Too Much Too Young ? The Coventry Ska band led the way on the Two Tone label and had a raw energy that was great to experience live. This song about teenage pregnancy was one of their best. T ? Talking Heads ? Burning Down the House ? A fantastic song for pyromaniacs everywhere and part of one of the great live performances Byrne used to devise. U ? UB40 ? Food for Thought ? The Brummie reggae outfit had their best chart success with cover versions but their early work was full of biting lyrics aimed at social injustice and the impact that Maggie had on the working class. The first band I ever saw in a large stadium, my ears were ringing for days. V ? Verve ? The Drugs Don?t Work ? Great lyrics with Richard Ashcroft possessing ones of those great voices which was born to sing to students. W - White Strips ? Hotel Yorba ? This is a great sing along track from the brother and sister duo who have now put together two great back to back albums. X ? X Ray Spex ? Identity ? This punk band was fronted by female vocalist Poly Styrene and make my list because I used to work with the drummer. Screeching vocals and off key sax laying were a featur
e of their music. Y ? You took the words right out of my mouth ? Meat Loaf - I had to find a way to get a bit of Meat into my review, taken from The Bat out of Hell album which is one of my all time favourites. Z ? ZZ Top ? Sharp Dressed Man ? I remember the video for this as well as the one for Legs, all red blooded males in their thirties will know the reason why I remember them.
This challenge was initiated by competition_man. To participate simply think of your favourite artists / duo's / groups etc., then choose your favourite track of theirs - then tell us your choices. ~ The Rules ~ Just three simple rules to adhere to: 1) Use all the letters of the alphabet. 2) Only one choice per letter, ie. no listing close seconds. 3) Give reasons for your choices. ~ Hints ~ Using all the letters may seem an easy task, but believe me, you'll soon discover that some are considerably more difficult than others. Then of course you have the enviable task of choosing just one record. So here are some hints to help you complete the challenge: 1) Solo artists, duo's or groups are allowed - use them wisely. eg.: Lionel Ritchie and the Commodores could come under L, R and/or C. 2) Album tracks as well as single releases are allowed, but not whole albums. 3) Proper names and stage names can be used. eg.: Fredrick Bulsara = Freddie Mercury ************************ I wasn't gonna do this challenge, as I hate choosing favorites. Therefore I didn't put too much thought into each choice, as I'dnever have finished otherwise. Being a big music fan, with probably 10-15,000 tracks to choose from here are just 26 of them.... A Flock of Seagulls - I Ran. This is what the 80's was all about, strange looking people making amazing songs. This is one of my top listening to songs. Bob Marley - Three Little Birds. Equally this could be many Bob songs, but this is great to just cheer you up - Don't Worry, everythings' gonna be alright! Cat Stevens - Wild World. Not sure why I like this so much, it's actually quite a sad song, but it's just done so perfectly I can't help not like it. David Gray - Sail Away. I loved this song so m
uch when me and my girlfriend were apart. I loved it even more when we stood and watched him sing it live last year - he's just amazingly talented. Extreme - More Than Words. My friend from years back sat for days to work out the quitar chords to perfection to this song, and also attempted to sing it - therefore it holds great memories of my younger and wilder days. Fleetwood Mac - Second Time. This was on the first CD I ever bought, so I must of played it millions of times since then. The vocal is superb, you've gotta listen! Ghost Dance - Celebrate. Relatively unknown band, but they play awesome music. Celebrate needs to be played loud to appreciate it's qualities. Hazel O'Connor - Will You? Another amazing track from the best decade - the 80's, some great sax in this make it stand out from the croud. INXS - Never Tear Us Apart. I grew very fond of this track when a local cover band who I used to help out did this track, almost as perfectly as the original. Strong lyrics and instrumentals make this a great track for all round listening pleasure. John Lennon - Imagine. Very predictable perhaps, but if I'd left this out, I'd never forgive myself. One of the best songs of all time, no need for further details. King Africa - La Bomba (Sexy Song). A great party song! A great thumping beat and easy lyrics to sing too, especially when you're drunk! Lou Reed - Perfect Day. Drinking Sangria in the Park? Yes please. Play this loud whenever you need a little bit of lifting up. Mungo Jerry - Summertime. Even when the rain is pouring down, you can put this song on and actually believe it's 96degrees in the shade! A great song from the 60's (I think). New Order - Blue Monday. The lyrics of this classic 80's track are a bit simple, but it's the whole composition of the early synth sounds which keeps me listening to it over and over again. Opus - Live is Life. Who doesn't know this song? Maybe it's pointless, but it certainly gets everyone dancing! On a Polish ferry once when the music was rather ordinary, I think got up to this, whatever nationality they were! Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here. Hard to choose an all-time favourite from this band (I almost didn't in favour of Peter Tosh), but this is it. I try and sing this whenever I hear it, and think I remember doing a recording some years ago, which no longer services fortunately. Queen - We are the champions. Well this was an easy one, there aren't many other Q bands out there. The track is just simple and easy to sing too when you are feeling like you've acheived something! Red Plastic Bag - Volcano. Yes there is a band called this! They are a soca band, and this particular track is very well known throughout the west indies. It brings back memories from past trips. Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - Make me smile. This is just a song which always puts a smile on my face, just as it should! Toto - Africa. I've always loved this song, but it became more important once I'd seen them and heard them sing it live, 25 years after they formed. Ultravox - Vienna - This was played over and over again on my mon tape recorder - all I could afford in my teenage years, but it still sounded great! Visage - Fade to Grey. This was a classic 80's tune, by frontman Steve Strange. Just his name is enough to make him famous. I know his agent. Wurzels - Combine Harvester. Anyone who hails from the westcountry will know and understand this. Classic comedy which I grew up with. Xtatik - Craziness. This is a typical soca carnival song from Trinidad & Tobagao which lifts you up and makes you wanna dance. Yazoo - Only You. Another 80's classic, with the easily recognisable Alf (Alison Moyet) giving some great vocals. The early synth sound and slo
w pace of the song was great for school discos. Ziggy Marley - Dragonfly. This gentle and melodic reggae tune is all about the way mankind treats his environment. Why we can't respect it, or be trusted with it's future. So there you have it! Thanks for reading (all 12 of you!!) Ciao...I mean dooyoo!
This challenge was initiated by competition_man. To participate simply think of your favourite artists / duo's / groups etc., then choose your favourite track of theirs - then tell us your choices. ~ The Rules ~ Just three simple rules to adhere to: 1) Use all the letters of the alphabet. 2) Only one choice per letter, ie. no listing close seconds. 3) Give reasons for your choices. ~ Hints ~ Using all the letters may seem an easy task, but believe me, you'll soon discover that some are considerably more difficult than others. Then of course you have the enviable task of choosing just one record. So here are some hints to help you complete the challenge: 1) Solo artists, duo's or groups are allowed - use them wisely. eg.: Lionel Ritchie and the Commodores could come under L, R and/or C. 2) Album tracks as well as single releases are allowed, but not whole albums. 3) Proper names and stage names can be used. eg.: Fredrick Bulsara = Freddie Mercury ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ----------------------- I have to make an intro here.... or really, several caveats. First, I somehow, for some reason stopped listening to music as such, and especially pop/rock music few years ago. I don't know why, perhaps reading and Internet started to take too much time while I never managed to use music as 'background noise'. I won't bother with giving 'objective' info about the tracks below; as so many people could do it better than me. I will instead tell you why it was important and meaningful for me. And lastly, to keep this challenge interesting for readers, I excluded all Polish
artists, and on second thoughts and considering importance of the lyrics for my choices in all but few cases - all non-English-language ones. I also limited myself to widely defined pop and rock; thus no classical music here (and if I listen to anything it would be that now) and no jazz, classic blues or folk.... All letters are used for band/artist names; not track titles. I do take a bit of licence, sometimes. ATTACK, MASSIVE - SLY. This is probably one of the few tracks remotely connected to the whole modern 'dance music' palaver that more or less missed me (I never was a clubby clubber). My best friend used to be an EMI rep and she got something like 5 albums a month to buy for ridiculous prices. She shared her allowance with me once or twice and this one came as her suggestion. To be perfectly honest, the only reason it's 'Sly' and not another one is that it's the title I can remember... but the music is pretty good, lazy, clubby all right but more in a chill-out way than a dance-floor way. Ah, I am old. BOWIE, DAVID - HEROES. Just the opposite to the previous choice, Mr Jones has been with me since early teenage years and although the introduction to his world for me was the too-pop-too-love 'Let's Dance' which was released just when I was growing into making my own musical choices; I soon graduated to earlier and better stuff. I still think he is one of the best and most intelligent artists in the history of pop as well as one of the most sexually attractive human beings I have seen on screen (merry Christmas Mr Lawrence comes to my mind here). Heroes is not perhaps your typical theathry, Bowiey stuff that he does (did) best, but it's a haun
tingly beautiful song and appealed to a young person who remembered behind locked behind a barbed-wire fence a few years before when martial law was ruling Poland. CLASH, THE - GUNS OF BRIXTON. Ah, here we go. If I could listen to one track just before I died it would be probably this one. As with many songs for me, I had first read about it - in a magazine that had aspiration to be the Polish Rolling Stone but, although on the legal market, looked more like a samizdat leaflet. Nevertheless they educated their public very well and one of the scant issues published some kind of the story of the Clash. I knew that I had to listen to the piece that went 'when they kick on your front door, how you gonna come - with your hands on your head? or on the trigger of your gun?'. And all that with me being a confirmed pacifist? Somehow, yes. I wasn't disappointed when I listened to the song, and I was enthralled when I listened to the whole album, and more. The combination of just-about-made-accessible punk energy and lyrics with a message was just perfect. In fact, it still is. DOORS, THE - THE END. I did hesitate, but eventually it had to be this piece. For ever now it goes for me with the 'Apocalypse Now' vision - and that is for me one of the top 5 films of all time, and please don't even try to persuade me it's rubbish. You know, I don't actually remember if there is any Doors in the film, but it doesn't matter; it is all of that time and that feeling. The Doors were excellent and the Morrsion-Manzarek combination just couldn't be beaten for the sheer power of emotion. ELISABETH FRASE&
#82; - IVO. I have to tactically cheat here, as it's Cocteau Twins that did 'Treasure' and not Ms Fraser on her own, but I have no other way of saving 'T' for what it is its due, and 'C' had to go where it went without the slightest doubt. A note of explanation here: we did not have a normal music market in Poland in the 80's. What was bought to be released by Polish state-run record-companies seemed to be the most haphazard and bizarre selection with no sense or thought to it. However, on Radio 3 and Radio 2 (national state stations) there were journalists who had a love of music and a mission to spread their own gospel. They played whole albums with the explicit purpose of them being recorded by the public and as audience measurement did not exist, they played what *they* liked.... One or two became, for some reason, enamoured of the 4AD label and thus was born a whole generation on conversational terms with the likes of above-mentioned Cocteau Twins or This Mortal Coil project. I was one of this generation and so the tape of recorded 'Treasure' became one of my treasured possessions, the haunting, beautiful voice weaving its dreamy visions round me; perhaps closest to Muzak I ever got but how perfect for philosophical musings of 16 year olds thinking they were the height of decadent sophistication....The choice of the track is totally irrelevant, but we are not allowed whole albums so why not Ivo. FLOYD, PINK - ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL. How much cheating are we allowed? Never mind, P is taken and thus they have to go here. Yes, I know the 'Syd Barret' period is what *the best* Pink Floyd is supposed to be about, yes
73; know it's 'The Dark Side' that it's supposed to be the masterpiece (I though it was boring really); but my acquaintanceship with Pink Floyd started through that film, y'know, with Bob Geldof spinning around and the maggots and the mincer, and whatever you can say about it, it was powerful stuff then; and this was one anthem that appealed to anti-totalitarian mind of mine, without of course any idea of the class or time connotations. GAYNOR, GLORIA - I WILL SURVIVE. Am I allowed one really cheesy dancy number? Well, here it goes. Almost the best for 'dancing' at the height of emotional, weepy drunkenness, so camp that camper you cannot get. Lovely. HENDRIX, JIMMY - ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER. This is a tactical vote really, as both the artist and the track had to make it to the list. It is another one I read about first and then went to find and listen to without being disappointed. I probably heard Dylan's version first but this one is perhaps more powerful, and the poetry of the allegorical (or symbolic perhaps) lyrics works so well in combination with the powerful simplicity of the music to make it one of the best rock songs ever, a true classic; one of tracks that send shivers down my spine. POP, IGGY - THE PASSENGER. This is the best one for drunken dancing, but perhaps no weepy element here, just sheer joy of life flowing through your veins and other young drunken bodies swaying near you, I know it involves a car but what the hell, starts are made for me (and you) tonight. JOY DIVIS
;ION - DECADES. A slight change of scene here, to the dark soul wrenching from the city of satanic mills, what could be better for expressing a teenage angst that a line like 'Here are the young men with a weight on their shoulders'; plus the signature heavy sound to go with it. It is arguable if 'Closer' is the better of the albums, but if choosing a single track, it has to be this one. A friend of mine got through entry exam for psychology degree by quoting from this song and comparing it to a quote from Polish romantic poetry...not a done thing then, but worked. KRAFTWERK - TRANS EUROPE EXPRESS. Back to fun times. I never was a Kraftwerk kind of person, really. But this one track epitomised on some level everything I wanted my life to be then and thus I just put up with the Kraftwerk element to it. Thanks to that I am now in position to include another classical classic on my list.... "Rendezvous on Champs-Elysées Leave Paris in the morning on T.E.E. (...) In Vienna we sit in a late-night cafe Straight connection, T.E.E. (...) From station to station back to Dusseldorf City Meet Iggy Pop and David Bowie" LENNON, JOHN - GIVE PEACE A CHANCE. Please don't squirm. Please. The Stones didn't make it to the list (mostly due to better candidates for any letter I could use) and it would be really dishonest to exclude That Other Band. John Lennon and the Beatles (yes, in this order) were probably my first conscious musical love and some of i
t remained with me till now. This song epitomises what moved me and made me feel a part of a great human family then. It still does. MUSIC, ROXY - LOVE IS THE DRUG. I knew Bryan Ferry from sweet nothingness of Avalon then, and then I saw this video of some Roxy Music live performance, vaguely military uniforms, swaying Bryan Ferry and this incredible, weird, hypnotic song. It had to make the list although I am not sure what its significance for me is. I remember it very well, still, after years of not having heard it so it must have done something to my brain to make such an impression. It's a great song, all right? NEW MODEL ARMY - FATE. The warriors are still fighting on, I am happy to learn from somebody's review. I am glad as, although NMA are not perhaps amongst the greatest of the greatest they are a good band who - at least then - sang their meaningful texts to the tune of rather melodic, powerful rocky anthemy music. B class it might be, but left me moved and asking for more. "I put my hands into the roaring flames I felt the pain as it started to burn I've done the same thing over again and again As if I never ever wanted to learn Moving through the world at obsession speed Leave a dust trail crossing the land I'm crying out in fury to the gods of fate Come on, get me if you can " O'CONNOR SINNEAD - KINGDOM OF RAIN. I do not have a massive attachment to this song but it goes some way towards raising the embarrassingly low number of female artists here although it is a duet. I us
ed to like Sinnead though at some point and as it's a dramatic love song that moved me when I first heard - beautifully fitting the state of perpetually 'unlucky in love' between the ages of 14 and 22.... PULP, THE - COMMON PEOPLE. I was gobsmacked when I first heard this song. I knew nothing of Britpop then, and for some reason I thought it was Blur; I am telling you I went out next day and bought two Blur albums (it was already after the capitalist explosion) and only found out later.... I liked Blur anyway but was terribly disappointed not to find the thing I was looking for. I don't know why it worked so well for me; somehow it was 'about Britain' for me then, it seemed to be a perfect description including the flat above the shop, and the St Martin's College, and even hair cutting....For the record, I nevre liked Oasis. QUEEN - WE WILL ROCK YOU. Ah well, we have to have Q, don't we? I searched far and hard but nothing else came even close, so I had to settle for Mr Mercury. I actually rather like some of the Queen songs, but in a slightly detached, Not My Kind of Thing way. This track is at least, well, swayable. REM - LOSING MY RELIGION. Seem to be in an 'odd single ones' zone here, as it is another band that would not necessarily be on my favourites list, but - perhaps because it was well marketed with the video and everything - this one stays; and I cannot even say it's because of the lyrics, more the way it was sung and played, bit New Orderish (or am I talking bollocks here, please all you real fans correct
me), and with such a cool detached despair. STRANGLERS - ALWAYS THE SUN. Back on the home ground, the choice of a number here is to some extent a random one; any of these slow, glowing, hypnotic, magical tracks would do really; like embers, just blow and it will explode into flames. THE THE - BEYOND LOVE. Well, I couldn't resist such a perfect candidate for this letter. Also, I DO genuinely like Matt Johnson the only artist that sneaks here twice. This song is a powerful stuff indeed, and his voice is perfectly suited to the tune and it all matches the lyrics. It's a love song, certainly, but not of your normal love song type perhaps. I was moved then. I still am when I read it now. "So let us take off our crosses and lay them in a tin And let our weakness become virtue instead of sin Our bodies stand naked as the day they were born And tremble like animals before a coming storm Take me beyond love Up to something above Upon this bed, between these sheets Take me to a happiness beyond human reach" UNDERGROUND, VELVET - ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES. For some inexplicable reason one of the Polish state record companies decided to purchase a licence and issue a Nico version of some of the Velvet's classic songs, so I actually heard this first from a (vinyl) record, not radio. The original-full-ensamble version was of course much better and again, as in many cases on my list is just a token sample of what is just possibly one of the most important and influential bands in hi
story of rock. In Poland of the 80's having heard of Velvet Underground was virtually a shibboleth, a mark of the initiated and the cool. Well, I was cool then. Nice to relive this stuff. VICIOUS, SID - ANARCHY IN THE UK. Cheating again (and accidentally adding another dead white male to the list, I never thought of the fact that history of rock could have been seen in the same terms as the warriors of 'political correctness battles' saw literature). It was probably the first punk piece I heard while being aware of it being punk and the combination of the subversive idea with the sheer power of the (non)musical rendition granted it the place on my list. WAILERS, THE (AND BOB MARLEY, OF COURSE) - EXODUS. I feel better now as this dead male is at least not white... and again a token choice rather then a special selection, I like this song as well as many others. Now I think about it, I probably, subconsciously put it down here as this is what - luckily and fittingly - was being played when I got stoned first time in my life, and reggae music as well as being under the influence of tetrahydrocannabinols only come to their true meaning when combined together. XUMBAWAMBA - TODAY'S SERMON. OK, I am cheating as there is no such a band to my knowledge. However, we are nearing the end and if you are still with me after swallowing F, M and U, I can only hope that you would forgive me the X abuse. It is done in rather good cause though, as I could not, possibly, miss Chumbawamba
. Again, a token track picked at random from one of their first albums, but very nicely exemplifying their wonderful indeed mixture of nearly-sweet sometimes popsickly tunes interrupted with gritty, almost punky dissonance's and dramatically serious, heavy on politics lyrics. It's probably five years since I have actually heard this tune but once I tried to remember it came back immediately. The lyrics: And now, the Reverend Abraham Meekly, saver of souls Though they broke my legs They gave me a crutch to walk (...) Brothers and sisters, I have sinned more than sinning, I have been away these last four long years, but now I am returned to the fold to be among my flock. I come as humble shepherd embodied by the almighty, the power above, the power which is in me. Because I am reborn, brothers and sisters, I am living proof that government saves. (....) Now there're collecting tins for ordinations, check, credit card facilities are payable, government savings, stickers and badges on sale, T-shirts in small, medium, or large, all at competitive prices. (...) Dance wherever you may be, I am the lord of the dance said she. And if you don't dance, we have ways of making you dance. Government be with you! Amen Yyyyyyy.... no, I am not going to stick 'Yes' here just for the sake of it. Nor will I pretend that Neil Young had any significance for my 'musical' years. So it will stay bare as a witness to my, at last, defeated ability for cheating and selecting. ZEPPELIN, LED - STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN. I am encouraged by the fact that it was chosen to be the best classic rock track of all time on some list or another and while I wouldn't fight
for it; it certainly is powerful stuff, a true anthem, something everybody who is learning his first chords will try to play, something to close your brain and open your body to, these shivers down the spine again; these soaring guitars, the lyrics don't matter for as change, but the sound does. It stands here for all the other rock anthems I didn't have room for... just put your own here. --------------------- thanks for reading
Oh I know I?m late and I deeply apologise but I really wanted to have a go at the music challenge, it was just finding the time to do it so I hope you?re not all groaning at the prospect of reading yet another musically challenged challenge! If you do still want to have a go, the rules are simple and there?s only three you need to heed. 1) use all the letters of the alphabet. 2) only one choice per letter, i.e. no listing close seconds. 3) give reasons for your choices. ~ hints ~ using all the letters may seem an easy task , but believe me , you'll soon discover that some are considerably more difficult than others , then of course you have the enviable task of choosing just one record . so here are some hints to help you complete the challenge : 1) solo artists , duo's or groups are allowed - use them wisely , eg.: lionel ritchie and the commodores could come under l , r and c 2) album tracks as well as single releases are allowed , but not whole albums. 3) proper names and stage names can be used e.g.: fredrick mulsara = freddie mercury Ok, that?s the rules sorted, so off I go with my selection. Alive and Kicking ? Simple Minds. What better way to start this review off than with one of the super bands of all time. I remember seeing Simple Minsds at Wembley Stadium on 25th July 1999, and when Jim Kerr sang the opening line to this number, the shivers shot up and down my spine. It was a brilliant song sung live and their backing singers were absolutely amazing. When I hear this, the stereo gets pumped up full volume and brings back brilliant memories of a wonderful day. Breathe ? Blu Cantrell (2003). This was the song that really first introduced me to the fantastic voice of Miss Cantrell alt
hough it was not her first single release. Sung as a duet with Sean Paul the video is pretty suggestive with the pair bumping and grinding over each other and Blu caked in make up but oh what a song??????? Commitments - Mustang Sally (1991) One of my husband?s favourite songs and his party piece if ever we go to karaoke. He?s got the voice of an angel, I?d never get up there and croak down the microphone! At home, he sings and the kids do backing vocals but when it comes to live performances, they disappear to the nearest toilet in the Social Club. We all absolutely love this song, oh and it has to be this version by the Commitments, nothing else will do. Dilemma ? Nelly and Kelly. From the moment I first heard this track I just fell in love with it and we got just about every different mix of it that we could find. I still love it now and never tire of the video that accompanies it. Also my Dad and step-mum do a wicked salsa to it as their party piece at any parties we have :O) Every Day Hurts ? Sad Café (1979) ? Once my youngest daughter was safely at school, I got a part-time job after 12 years at home with the children. It was in the factory that makes the Avent baby products and I hated every b****y minute of it, and only stayed there a few months before I got my present job on the council. The girls were bitches and were always arguing and acting like screaming banshees. I made some good mates there though, of which Skanky Sue was one, so-called because of her love of all thing smutty. To relieve the boredom, of which there was a lot, we used to sing and take turns doing either backing or lead. This was our favourite and used to make everyone smile, and even now when I talk to Sue on the phone years later we quite often blast out our rendition of this one.
Freeez ? I.O.U. (1983) A classic disco track from the early Eighties which reminds me of my mate Lisa and her boyfriend Geordie, who tried all morning one Sunday to teach me to do the moonwalk. This was one of his favourite songs. We met up a couple of years back in a club and both said how this song always took us back to those lazy Sundays when we had no mortgage or bill worries and could spend all day just doing nothing! Get Down Saturday Night ? Oliver Cheatham (1983). This reminds me of the many drunken nights I used to spend with my mates Liz and Lisa, when we used to wear our lovely pedal pushers in either white or pastel shades and lip gloss was a must before you could even step out of the door. We thought we looked the absolute business although looking back at old photos I realise we were sadly mistaken. This track was re-released last year by Room 5 and was the song on the Lynx adverts. Classic track! Happy Birthday ? Stevie Wonder (1980) Cripes, wasn?t this song played to the death when it was released?! It reminds me of my first proper holiday in Morrocco with my mate Mandy. I met a bloke there I thought was absolutely gorgeous and found we only lived an hour away from each other back home. This song reminds me of nights spent in the tiny club in the hotel complex where they played it EVERY night without fail along with ?Message in a Bottle? by The Pollice. I?ll let you slide ? Luther Vandross (1983). This reminds me of my mate Posh Liz and the time when she was nanny to some children in a village not far from me. She sold me a naff stereo system and gave me a tape with this song on it, probably as an apology for the duff stereo. In all the concerts I?ve seen Luther do he has NEVE
2; sung this song which has to be one of his best ever releases although it?s not one of the well known ones. Joss Stone ? The Soul Sessions (2003) Having been lucky enough to attend the VH1 Divas concert in Vegas earlier this year, we had the pleasure of seeing this young lady live on stage. With the voice of an angel she put the other ?divas? to shame and this whole album is perfect. Kirsty MacColl ? Days. This is going in purely for sentimental reasons. I?ve never been much of a fan of Kirsty?s stuff, but this song brings back such strong memories of my Mum who died in 1995 from leukaemia that it holds a special place in my heart. It?s one of those songs that is guaranteed to send a shiver down my spine every time I hear it. Long Hot Summer ? Style Council (1983). There?s always a track that reminds you of the Summer months and this is my favourite one to bring back brilliant memories of the Eighties and days spent sitting on the beach eating egg sandwiches with the obligatory bit of sand in them. It also brings back great memories of one of the big loves of my life. George Michael - Careless Whisper (1984) ? I?d like to know if there?s anyone who was madly, slushily in love in the Eighties when this song was released and didn't dance to it at the end of the night when the slow ones came on. Georgie baby at his best and oh how I wanted to scratch that flat faced girl?s eyes out who he was cavorting with on the bed in the video Never too much ? Luther Vandross (1981) ? This reminds me of my best mate Sue and nights spent at The Gainsborough pub which was the ?in? place to go at this time of our life. This was a song that the DJ there played every week without fail and where my obsession with anything Luther began. Litt
le did I realise then what an impact Luther has had on my life, and I have most of his albums and songs now. He has sung this song every time I have seen him in concert and I swear that every time it sounds better and is guaranteed to get everyone at a Luther concert up and boogying. Outkast ? Roses. Another track which I love just because my two children play it so much. They only like it for the fact that one of the lines in the song says ?Your roses really smell like poo poo? but this is such a catchy track it?s difficult not to sing along with it. Prince ? Cream (1991) ? I loved this song because it was so RUDE and Prince does all those sexual innuendoes were brilliant. I bought the Diamonds and Pearls album just for this song although it was such a brilliant album it certainly wasn?t a waste of my money. This is another track that reminds me of my time in the Avent factory as there was some poor chap who reminded us of Prince and every time he walked past we would sing this song to him. Queen ? Somebody to Love. Eeek ok I admit I was stuck for Q so had to put this one in. I?ve never been big on Queen and always thought they were horrendously over-rated but I do like this track and I like it even more when George Michael sang it with them. Yum. Rendezvous ? Craig David (2001) ? I first came across Craig when he released ?Fill Me In? back in 2000 and have bought everything he?s released ever since. Although some of the sexual lyrics in his songs lack experience, he has fantastic rhythm and a voice full of soul and this is a great track telling of a first emeting with a new girl in his life. Awwww. Sunflower ? Paul Weller (1993). Oh what can I say about this song that reviews on any music site haven?
t said already. Paul Weller is a God and this track, taken from his Modern Classics Album, which incidentally is one of the best albums ever, would easily get into my top three singles of all time. I?ve worn two copies of ?Modern Classics? out already and this track will always get put on repeat a couple of times when I?m listening to it. Trick Me ? Kelis. There?s something about Kelis and I can never put my finger on exactly what it is but she just oozes attitude and this is her latest single. Another song that will grow on you in time, and when I first heard it I wasn?t sure but now this is played over and over again in our house! Until you?re resting here with me ? Dido (2001) ? Although this song is one I?d class as special to myself and hubby, I remember when I first saw the video to this (probably on MTV) and thought how revolting Dido?s eye shadow was. It?s one of those tracks that grows on you though and it still sounds as good now as it did back then. Van Morrison ? Moondance (1970) ? Anyone who has seen the film ?American Werewolf in London" will be familiar with this track which was a masterpiece and totally made the film! It?s one of those really simple songs that needs no frills and although I wouldn?t say I?m a Van fan, I do have his Greatest Hits album, but only on the strength of this and ?Brown Eyed Girl?. Kanye West ? All Fall Down. I?m totally obsessed with this track and so is my teenage son. If it comes on any of the Sky music channels we pump up the volume through the surround sound so that the house is nearly shaking ? just as well we live in a detached residence really! Kanye West seems to be guesting on loads of R&B tracks at the moment, but this is a solo effort and is
really catchy. X Ray Spex ? Germ Free Alodescents (1978) ? In the days of Punk and everything revolved around dirt and spit, X Ray Spex and their lead singer Poly Styrene were at the top of my list of favourite bands. I adored this song when it was released. I just loved Poly Styrenes manky teeth really, she had the most brown fangs I?ve ever had the misfortune to come across and I used to have my head on the television screen just to see if they were really as bad as they looked. A vastly underated song and this still gets an airing in our house regularly. You?re never too young ? Cool Notes (circa 1983) ? I used to love this group as the lead singer had such a distinctive voice but they weren?t too well known apart from on the club circuit when I was in my late teens. This reminds me of my mate Mad Liz, and the time we both went to spend a penny in a field after a night down the pub. This was playing on the cassette on the car and I?d left it playing while we hopped out to do our business. We didn?t realise there was a ditch beside the road as it was pitch dark, and she went down first with me landing on top of her. She was laying in a patch of stinging nettles so she cushioned my fall, as well as preventing me from being stung - that?s what you call a true mate. We still laugh about this now although she says she has had a weak back ever since that night - she lies :-) Zoom ? Fat Larry?s Band (1982) ? at the thime this was released it was completely overplayed on the radio and got on my nerves but now I listen to it and it brings back great memories of the early Eighties. Eeek well this has gone on a bit, and apart from Q I didn?t find it difficult at all. As always when it comes to music I?ve got a bit of variety in there and there?s so many more I?
d have loved to add but there were only 26 letters!
Competition. man has set us a new music challenge and as a new writer to Dooyoo I thought I?d give it a go. the rules are:- just three simple rules to adhere to: 1) use all the letters of the alphabet. 2) only one choice per letter, i.e. no listing close seconds. 3) give reasons for your choices. ~ hints ~ using all the letters may seem an easy task , but believe me , you'll soon discover that some are considerably more difficult than others , then of course you have the enviable task of choosing just one record . so here are some hints to help you complete the challenge : 1) solo artists , duo's or groups are allowed - use them wisely , eg.: lionel ritchie and the commodores could come under l , r and c 2) album tracks as well as single releases are allowed , but not whole albums. 3) proper names and stage names can be used e.g.: fredrick mulsara = freddie mercury And away we go?.. A) Sorry everyone, I know it?s sad but it?s got to be ABBA. I don?t listen to them hugely anymore, my tastes have refined ? a lot, but I grew up with them, I listened to them a lot in the seventies and a drunken Abba night is always a good un, favourites include: Fernando, Waterloo, Winner takes it all B) BEATLES ? how can these guys not get a mention, they are probably among the most covered, have the most tribute bands copying them and they have made the industry what it is today. Favourites include: Hey Jude, The Long and Winding Road and In my Life actually could go on with this for ages but you?d get bored so moving onto?.. C) 10CC (not sure where else to put them) I?m not in love has to be another all time classic, I love it, loads of slow dances to this one in my teens. D) DECOMPOSING COMPOSERS ? what I here you cry, if ciao or Dooyoo ever get round to adding the category I have a revie
w ready on the album Monty Python Sings ? great hysterically funny stuff, this song was written by Michael Palin and starts: ?Beethovens gone but his music lives on, and Mozart don?t go Chopin no more, you?ll never meet Listz or Brahms again and Elgar doesn?t answer the door. E) EURYTHMICS ? There must be an angel, this song came out in the UK while I was in Germany in 1985, so I almost missed it completely but Annie Lenox has an amazing voice and it?s a gorgeous song. F) FOREIGNER ? I wanna know what love is, God my choices are getting really soppy, another slow one that I absolutely adore. G) GENESIS ? (The Phil Collins years) Genesis, is one of those bands will probably still be touring in 50 years time with none of the original band members but the drummer will be the son of a distant relative who once gave them a cup of tea at a gig or something. I have seen them live at Knebworth (4 hours to get out of the car park, but that?s another story) and they were amazing. Their sound has always been instantly recognisable and Phil is an amazing Drummer. ?In the air tonight? being among my favourites but I always get confused about which were his solo hits. H) HEAVEN ? the Bryan Adams version, I?ve seen him in concert a few times and I love this single so much, it was played at our wedding. the new cover of it by Goodness knows who is horrendous and banned from my house. I) IN THE GHETTO ? Another artist that can not be missed off any list like this has to be the King himself ? Elvis Presley, I seem to have a list full of really depressing songs, but I am a happy, balanced person really ? honest. This was one I played so much after he died, it is about the circle of life in the Ghettos in America, a really beautiful song about a really sad theme. J) TERRY JACKS ? Seasons in the Sun, and I refuse to acknowledge the Westlife v ersion of this, one of my earliest memories of the radio was my Dad singing
the alternative words to this one, ?We had joy, we had fun, we had City on the run, but the fun didn?t last, cos the bastards ran too fast!? Then mum told him off for swearing. But this song has really depressing lyrics, ?Good bye my Friend it?s hard to die? but I love it. On further research, it was written about a man on death row, who was sentenced to die for killing his best friend after he?d slept with his wife, the words ?my friend? originally read ?Emil?, I found this extra verse on a website: ?Goodbye Françoise, my trusted wife. Without you I'd had a lonely life. You cheated lots of times with them. But I forgave you in the end. Though your lover was my friend. Goodbye Françoise, it's hard to die. When all the birds are singing in the sky. Now that the spring is in the air. With your lovers everywhere. Just be careful, I'll be there.? I always knew it had dark undertones but never expected that. K) KIRSTY MCCOLL and the Pogues, Fairy tale in New York ? its one of those songs that you just know its Christmas , right from the opening with Prokoviefs Troika, She is sadly missed. L) LED ZEPPELIN ? Stairway to Heaven, A beautiful song, but unfortunately I cannot listen to it without thinking of the Rolf Harris version, apparently they let an Australian radio station run a competition to see who could call in and sing the song the best, unfortunately they didn?t take account of Rolf hearing it and giving it his own style ? I don?t think the group were best pleased. M) Me and My Monkey, Robbie Williams the first time I heard this I thought ?what was he thinking? but it does grow on you. I had it in the car for a while and had a bit of a scare when I realized my 7 year old was word perfect on the lyrics, fortunately its one of the few things she hasn?t requested an explanation of, I?ve now changed the CD for Tchaikovsky?s 4th symphony, much safer. < br> N) Nielsen Without You ? possibly one of my favourite s
ongs of all time, but if anyone dare mention the Mariah Carey version in front of me, make sure you are a good distance away first. She should have been shot! O) ORINOCO FLOW ? Now as a general rule, I hate Enya, but I did like this when it first came out, and does anyone remember the Radio 1 Identikit Quiz? this was the first one they ever did on it, they had the Womble Orinoco saying ?Ooh I think I?ll just have a little nap, over flowing water in the background, and people had to phone in for money if they knew which song it was referring to. This one was guessed quite quickly ? unlike Eton rifles (the sound of someone eating with some discreet rifle shots in the background) and Summer of 69 (lunar landing radio broadcast over Vivaldi?s Summer.) that w ent on for weeks and what really worries me is that this was probably 15 years ago and I can remember them in such detail! P) Pathetique, Beethoven, an amazing piece of classical writing and really enjoyable to play, the great thing about playing Beethoven is the extremes of emotion that you have to go through within the performance, you can be playing really loud and exciting stuff one minute then really depressing quiet stuff the next. Q) Queen, how can these guys not get a mention, my favourite band of the 80?s still listen to them regularly and one of my only regrets is never having seen them in concert. Freddy died on my 22nd birthday. Favourites here, Bohemian Rhapsody, Who wants to live forever. R) ROCK ME AMADEUS ? This is the song the German exchange students were listening to when I was missing out on There must be an angel, it will be forever remembered as a complete load of rubbish. S) SUMMER OF 69 ? I do like Bryan Adams but he has never really done anything to top this, everyone can relate to it as it is about those long teenage summers, and how there big dreams of being in a band didn?t work out because all the members grew up and got pr
oper jobs. T) TOWN CALLED MALACE by The Jam ? another great hit from the 80?s which I?ve actually only discovered recently, although it was pre Billy Elliott I hasten to add. This and Eton Rifles are two amazing tracks, by an amazing band (who incidently were one of the first groups ever to go in at number 1 and have had one of the fasted selling Albums of all time. U) U2 ? amazing group, my copy of the Joshua Tree was stolen when my car got broken into and I 7;ANT IT BACK. This was 13 years ago so I suppose I should get a new one. Sunday, Bloody Sunday being the favourite here. V) VIENNA by Ultravox, the opening still sends shivers down my spine whenever I hear it, its so beautiful, and I do apologise to everyone but at the age of 7 I actually liked Shaddup in your face by Joe Dolce and didn?t realize the relevance of it keeping one of the all time classics off the number 1 spot. As I mentioned earlier my tastes have improved. W) Robbie Williams ? I was one of the 175000 at Knebworth last year and it was amazing, and all the supports (although Kelly Osbournes outburst shouting and swearing at the crowd was very funny) This is one guy I never thought I?d like and resisted listening to him for ages as I can?t stand boy bands but really love listening to him. X) Xanadu ? Ok I really hate the song, but I can?t think of anything else that begins with X. Y) Yellow Submarine, Beatles sung constantly in a car to Italy, my kids absolutely love it and as a classic, it is timeless and of course when you?re driving the instrumental bit in the middle with the shouts over it gets changed to ?Full Speed Ahead Daddy,? and they both collapse in peels of laughter ? gets a bit boring after they insist on hearing it over and over. Z) ZIGGY STARDUST (almost spelt that as Zitty, oops) aka David Bowie, has to have a mention. Ashes to Ashes being my abso lute favourite, and there was no point using up my B
with him when Z is so much harder to fill
Isn?t it a grey day? Well, it is here, what with the rain and all. The good news is that I have an impromptu day off due to working hugely excessive hours again (I?m an exploited victim of the Blair regime. Erm?.achilly, I?ve just been doin? a bit of overtime) and so have decided to share some time with the lovely folk of Dooyoo. The David Brent reference comes from a fellow Dooyoo writer who also lives in Northampton and is determined to tax the underclass by imposing a duty on fags it seems (he he). Sooooooo?.this is my A-Z of bands and singles which, sadly, is probably rooted in the 80?s mainly as a result of my age (dagnabit). It?s not really part of the Competition man challenge as I just wanted a chance to drone about albums and singles I like so forgive me for that but it is an archive category and a general one at that so here?s hoping I get away with it, getting away with it all my life (getting away with it)????.. A ? Could have had a few in here but I decided to include ABC because of their outstanding debut album, ?Lexicon of Love?. Who can forget Martin Fry and that gold suit belting out ?Poison Arrow?. I?ve listened to this album about a million times and it stands the test of time?even if Martin?s gold suit didn?t. B ? Boomtown Rats were the Bob Geldof led outfit that made it big before Sir Bob decided to feed the world. I was watching the video to ?I don?t Like Mondays? only the other night although I always question the ethics of that song bearing in mind the tragedy in the US that inspired it. C ? Has to be the Clash. THE premiere punk band with the exception of D below, I have all of their early LPs probably peaking with the double album (and single) ?London Calling?. J
oe Strummer and co were a rarity in that they were a Brit Punk band that made it in the US. Their debut album is just about as raw as you can get with the widely misinterpreted at the time ?White Riot? going a long way to establish them as a force in the late 70?s. D ? ?New Rose? is considered by some to be the first punk single to establish the era from 1976 on wards. The Damned simply kicked arse with a string of outstanding albums. Dave Vanian on vocals, Rat Scabies on drums, Captain Sensible on guitar/drums and various on bass guitar over the years, I saw the Damned play The Locarno in Birmingham along with Anti Nowhere League way back when. The band that established spitting as a prerequisite to their stage entry, they were banned from various venues for a while. Still going in their latest incarnation and playing gigs around the country. E ? Strange one for you here but I adored ELO. Electric Light Orchestra was so different in their day. Jeff Lynne and the boys would come up with these layered harmonies that just rocked your soul. Fav single? "Mr Blue Sky" F ? The Fall were an underrated band who simply never made it as big as they should. I seem to remember their biggest hit being a song called ?Victoria?. G ? Oh bum and blast, I can?t think of a G so I?ll slip the Goodies in here. Yes, the irreverent comedy trio from the 70?s who did release a few hits ? see Mauri for further details (lol). What was that Ecky Thump song all about? H ? I just adored some of the accapella stuff that the Housemartins did before they split up. I know it?s a cover but ?Caravan of Love? is simply haunting and how can you forget the video to ?Happy Hour??
I ? Icicle Works released a track called ?Hey Little Girl? that I proudly own on clear vinyl single (yep, that?s pre-CD folks). They never really did much else but I?ll always love that track. J ? No contest here. The Jam would be my joint top band of all time along with The Damned. Paul Weller led the 3-piece that issued a fantastic 6 set of studio albums before calling it a day in 1982. I was lucky enough to see them play Bingley Hall in Birmingham (before someone burned it down) and it was the best gig I ever went to. ?All Mod Cons? is such a superb album, what with ?Down in a Tube Station at Midnight?, ?Billy Hunt? ?A Bomb in Wardour Street?. Ahhhhhh?..top draw and, of course, Mr Weller is now considered a rock God. K ? Killing Joke were a phenomenon in their time. ?Love Like Blood? is thrashed at a million miles an hour and who can forget ?The Gathering?? KJ were a Harlequin inspired outfit who never really fulfilled their potential but burned brightly in their day. L ? The Lilac Time were the follow up to Tin Tin aka Stephen Duffy, To be honest, I wasn?t that big a fan but I include them as my good lady was a huge fan of the Tin Tin man before the cartoon character owners threatened him with legal action unless he stopped using the name. Oh and my bro? went to the same school as Mr Duffy. Favourite song? ?Kiss Me? M ? Madness were all the rage when I was a kid. Suggs with his ?Night Boat to Cairo?, Madness were the nutty boys who had hit after hit. You can just see that video, what was it ?Welcome to the House of Fun? all about young spotty youths and condoms. N ? New
9;rder were responsible for one of THE best footie songs ever but I?ll always remember them for the epic ?Blue Monday? which established 12? singles at the time. Just a heady concoction of electro tune and melody and a top video, New Order were a seminal band of their type. O ? OMD released many a great album and ?Maid of Orleans? is one of my favourite tunes. I just loved their stuff as it was always a great song with some thoughtful lyrics. P ? Paul Simon of Simon and Garfunkel fame is a top man especially with the song ?You can call me Al? which drives my partner nuts as she hates it and..erm..I call her Al (Alison). Still, it?s a great song and Mr Simon is a genius in the music world. Q ? Boring but has to be Queen. Freddie Mercury broke the mould with ?A Night at the Opera? and was number one for like a million years with?damn?what was it now? ?Scaramouch, Scaramouch, can you do the fandango?? R ? Red Dwarf?s ?It?s cold outside, there?s no kind of atmosphere..? springs to mind and I can?t gerrit outta ma heed now. S ? Snow Patrol. Having listened over and over again to their latest CD, it seems that these sites have a purpose after all with a few people suggesting I give ?em a whirl. Destined for big things methinks! Of course, I should have mentioned Stiff Little Fingers or even Spandau Ballet but I have to get up to date sooner or later! ?Spitting Games? is a top track. T ? This Mortal Coil released a super LP featuring Gordon Sharp and The Cockteau Twins back in the 80?s. I defy you not to be moved by a song called ?Song to the Siren? U ? U2 would feature in my top 3 any day. Led by
6;ono with The Edge on guitar and the rest of the boys, I was lucky enough to see them play at The Odeon, New Street, Birmingham following the release of their 3rd album. They?ve gone on to move mountains since then and a good friend of mine is the proud owner of a school photo with her and Paul Hewson (Bono) on it. She?s followed U2 around the world ever since including frequent trips to Las Vegas. Sooooo many great tracks and memories but I guess I?ll always be rooted in their early days with the success of ?Fire? and the like. V ? Dough faced Steve Strange made Visage a virtual brand name at the time of the New Romantics. I just adore ?Fade to Grey? but his sad demise courtesy of drugs is all too typical of the industry. W ? West Life?.erm?.who are you kidding? X ? Has to be XTC. ?Love on a Farm Boy?s Wages? and just sing along to ?Senses working overtime/Trying to tell the difference between a lemon and lime?.? I?ll leave it to you to guess the track and the album for that one. Y ? Yazoo were a super 2-piece band with Alison Moyet on vocals. ?Upstairs at Eric?s? is typical of her magnificent voice and many of their tracks became dance floor fillers in their day. Best song ?Only You? just because Alison Moyet has a superb voice. Z ? Zagorakis Melancholiossus is a little heard of Greek goat herder who made it big with ?Sing my Greek Cheese to Sleep?. A Eurovision entry in 1977, it got just one vote from an French jury who weren?t paying enough attention at the time. Actually, I?m making all of that up. I suppose it would be ZZ Top (Yawn) and ?Sharp Dressed Man? Crikey, that took much longer than I
thought. Have a nice day, now and may all your problems be even smaller ones. David Brent?s secretary, Marandina.
Well , As promised, I shall attempt this challenge! The rules are fool proof, though as I have read loads of reviews on this already I get the inkling that the rules change ever so slightly as each review is written! But, I shall say the rules as I think they apply, coz I knows you will ALL correct me if I am wrong! There are three main rules: 1) Use All letters of the alphabet. 2) You can use groups or solo artists. 3) state the reason for your choice. Ok Off we jolly well go then........... A= ABBA: Song title: Whats the name of your game. The reason, and only reason I have chosen this is because of the challenge I now attempt. I am only on the first one and already my brain matter is sending conflicting messages! Should the song title be the A, oe should the Artist be A! Oh whatever, I will go on as I have begun. B= BARRY MANILOW: Song title: Even now. A lovely ballad that tells you he is walking up the stairs to bed with the wrong woman. TYPICAL! C= CHRIS DeBURGH: Song title: Lady in red. This song gets requested by so many people on late night love songs radio. I know its a bit of a cheesy number now, but then again it is a classic. D= DAVID ESSEX: Song title: Hold me close. I went to see him live in coventry years ago. He had just formed his new backing band, And where he sings ' more than a pretty face' his band shouted out ' I don't think so'. Up until that point the night was a flop. But then he sang hold me close and came into the audience. It was a great night after that. E= EVERLEY BROTHERS: Song title: Ebony eyes. This is on the flip side of another song they did. Played accidently on a radio station , It became a number one for them! F= FREDDIE MURCURY: Song title:The show must go on. Regardless of what he suffered ,he was a proffesional to the end. G= GARY GLITTER: Song title: I lo
ve you love. Was he trying to tell us exactly what he was in to with this song? ' we're still together after all that we've been through'?I can't believe I loved this guy with a passion in the 70's, only to hate him with a vengence in the 90's! H= DEBBIE HARRY: Song title: Sunday girl. I loved her too in the 80's. I loved her hair, her make-up and wanted to be just like her! This song reminds me of how she also overcome alot of crap she endured during her carrer, including the death of her guitarist/boyfriend. I= IAN DURY: Song title: Hit me with your rhythmn stick. I am beggining to see a pattern form here. What do you think? I seem to admire the artists that were not plastically formed. Those that stayed with it no matter what was going on in their lives. I loved Ian because although falling into a river at an early age, contracting polio, he stood and danced all the way through his acts, supported by his walking stick! J= JANET JACKSON: Song title: Rush rush; Almost a hit for her, as well as another artist! She was good in the earlier years, but now I feel she has lost all of her tact and had plasticated herself, somewhat like her brother. K= KAREN WHITE: Song title: Superwoman. I think we have all been in this situation at one time or another where we feel we have been taken for granted. This song is sung so perfectly, with the voice to match the words. A big wake up call for alot of men in the 90's I think. L= LIONEL RICHIE: Song title: Hello. I loved the song but the vidio that accompanied this was something else. A blind woman we find out in the end, has mastered his face in clay. M=MICHAEL BOLTON: Song title: when I'm back on my feet again. If you havn't had a chance to listen to this song, i strongly recommend it. This song got me through some tough times, he says that soon all his tears will be dryin
g, th at he will look at the sun again, when he is back on his feet. A real song with meaningful lyrics. N= NO DOUBT: Song title: Don't speak. Another real song, telling you that she needs no wors to see that he is having a conversation with her. O= OTIS READING: Song title: Sitting on the dock of a bay. This is one we have all heard. Watching the tide, alone with our own thoughts. P= PETULA CLARK: Song title: Downtown. I remember when I was really small this was a big hit. I like it as it reminds me of when my Mum was here. Q= QUEEN: Song title: We are the champions. I think this is where I fail the challenge. But whatever, I shall continue! This song has been used for intro's to many shows all over the world, football, concerts ect. A big hit for Queen but not one of my favourites. R= RIGHT SAID FRED; Song title: I'm too sexy for my shirt. I entered a competition on mtv a few years ago and the prize was to get a call from right said fred. I phoned up, the guy took all my details and asked me what I would do if I was to speak to right said fred. I told him I would ask for his hand in mariage, just then he told me to look at my tv screen, and he was there waving, telling me to ask him! I was on the telly live with them! S= STEVIE WONDER. Song title: I just called to say I love you. I dedicate this song to my daughter and her partner. They have achieved so much, she not even twenty, and him twenty two. He is now a fully pledged policeman, her a full admin , training to become an accountant. They both now live on oxford, adopted two kittens, and have a lovely home of their own! He calls her three times a day, just to tell her he loves her! T= T.REX Song title: jitterbug boogie. Iam a singer, and I have to warm up my audience on my own. So I play this as background music for my show, and it really gets the crowd going. It was also r
e famed af ter' billy elliot' danced around in a tootoo with Julie walters. U= u2: song title:Under a blood red sky. My ex husband went to see them at red rock, it was pouring with rain but said that on this song, the rain stopped, after it poured again. He has never been to a concert sinse, as he said that was the best he had ever been to and could never be matched. V= vera lynn: Song title: White cliffs of dover. I have to mention this lady, as my dream, or one of them, is to sing a welcome to all the soilders that will return back from the war. W= WILL YOUNG: Song title: Evergreen. A hit for barbara striesand yonks ago, but now a hit for him. Sung with a passion. X= xanadoo. OOOPPSSS! If I hadn't failed I have now! Ic an't think of anything, so put in that awful song by olivia you know who! Y= yazz: Song title: the only way is up. I hatd her long neck bouncing around my screen. Her gibbon impersanation did nothing for me, and I am glad we don't have her on the telly anymore! I stand corrected!!! not yazoo!!!!! Z= zztop Song title: Legs!!!!!! Another good jiggy number! What more can I say! Well I did hidiuosly in this one! Give it a go coz the worst is peeps will say how crap you are, the best is that you complete it. Might not of heard of most of these, but they do exist! Thanks for reading......... DEE.
a-z music challenge, courtesy of competition.man ~ the rules ~ 1) use all the letters of the alphabet . 2) only one choice per letter , ie. no listing close seconds. 3) give reasons for your choices . So here are my choices? A) Air ? La femme d?argent The first track on that wonderful atmospheric album, Moon Safari, it?s the ideal accompaniment to a lazy Sunday, a romantic evening ? just about any occasion in fact. This track manages to be kitsch 70s, modern dance-y and I?m still surprised that I love it so much! B) Buena Vista Social Club ? Chan Chan. The whole album, called ?Buena Vista Social Club? is, for me, pure perfection, and this, the opening track, is my favourite ? mellow, yet it makes me want to dance, catchy yet somehow relaxing. Ry Cooder brought the whole thing together, with this album, in 1997, and since then I?ve seen them live and also bought several of the offshoot albums (Ibrahim Ferrer, Compay Segundo, Ruben Gonzalez), all which I?d recommend. C) Cyndi Lauper ? Time after time Some of those poppy 80s tracks have turned out to be real classics, and this is one, in my view. Even Miles Davis has done a cover of it. D) Dubstar ? Not so manic now. This is one song that?s just stayed with me ? instantly a singalong success, but it?s never got on my nerves. One I usually do the ironing to, which, considering the subject matter, is quite funny really! E) Elvis Costello ? Tiny steps Not the most well know Elvis song, I know ? it was the B-side to ?Radio Radio?, and then appeared on the Girls Girls Girls compilation. I?d love to know what it?s about. As with many of his songs, especially the earlier ones, there?s a distinctly menacing feel. F) Flirtations ? Nothing but a heartache One of those songs from the KFC adverts that gets into your brain. It came out originally in 1969. Sort of a cross between the Martha
and the Vandellas, Phil Spector and Cilla Black. Strangely, it works. G) Marvin Gaye ? Baby I?m glad that things worked out so well Not his most famous song, I know, and one I only discovered recently. In my opinion neither Marvin Gaye nor Aretha Franklin ever really produce any bad, or even mediocre, songs, in their early years, but even so, this track, from the mid 60s, blew my mind when I first heard it. Why is it only available on the Lost and Found rarities album? Anyway, musically it?s upbeat, and lyrically it?s really quite sarcastic ? not something you got in that many soul songs around that time. H) The Hives ? Hate to say I told you so I was never into punk much, but second time around, why not? This one really gets me going. Headbanging, me? Well? almost. By all accounts their new album is something special, as well, so I?m looking forward to that. I) Janis Ian - At seventeen. I was younger than seventeen years old when this first came out, sometime in the mid 70?s, but I could identify with it completely. All that teenage angst, sung from the point of view of a supposed ?ugly duckling?. One of those songs I can sing the lyrics to, word for word, even now. Janis Ian is still touring and producing excellent new music, but this is a reminder of those early days. J) Joni Mitchell - Carey From the Blue album, which is one of my favourite of her albums, though I like them all. Her voice is sublime, though I know it?s not to everyone?s taste. No one can deny her songwriting is something else, though. K) Carole King ? It?s too late. The Tapestry album truly was my bedsit album ? the one I played through my late teens, and this is my favourite song from it. Another female singer songwriter... perhaps there?s a bit of a trend here. L) Lenny Kravitz ? Let love rule When I heard this single it was the first time I?d heard Lenny Kravitz, but I have to say I thought this song could e
asily have been something from the Beatles late in their career ? with a screaming McCartney-esque vocal, he managed to improve on the kind of sounds that Wings made. M) Mull Historical Society ? Watching Xanadu Very radio friendly, poppy, this was one of those songs that got into my head, after only a couple of listens - and it turned about the whole album was just as good. The MHS is really a man called Colin MacKintyre, but, yes, there really was, and still is, a Mull Historical Society N) Nilsson ? Without you. Still 30 years later, this song is very powerful for me. I think it will always be in my Desert Island list. It always makes me feel sad about the deaths of Pete Ham and Tom Evans, the writers. And the fact that Nilsson himself is no longer with us. But having said that, it?s an uplifting song in many ways. O) Ozark Mountain Daredevils - Jackie blue This was one of those country rock songs, released in the early 70s, which, was probably a bit dated at the time, but it had it all as far as I was concerned ? and it doesn?t sound bad nowadays, either, even the guitar solos. P) Paul Simon ? Boy in a bubble I?m a big fan of Simon and Garfunkel, but I also like how Paul Simon branched out and embraced world music. This one, is one of my favourites ? it just sounded so different from other things that were around at the time. And the video was pretty memorable too. Q) Queen ? Somebody to love Not my favourite band, generally speaking, but? well, there aren?t many that would fit under Q? and I do like this song, even bought it as a single when it was released. R) Richard and Linda Thompson ? I want to see the bright lights tonight. I was never much of a folk fan, and maybe this song wasn?t,strictly speaking, folk ? there was certainly a poppiness ? but what does genre matter if you like something? It features lovely harmonies, and even some brass (which, again, I shouldn?t ha
ve liked), and I love that like ?I need to spend some money and it just won?t wait?. The song for any shopping expedition. S) Smokey Robinson and the Miracles ? You really got a hold on me Such a simple song, in many ways, with superb lyrics (?I don?t like you/ but I love you? must be the best opening couplet ever), but it?s completely soulful, and can bring a tear to my eye whenever I hear it. T) Temptations ? Ain?t too proud to beg Sublime, sweet soul. It?s unbelievable that it only reached number 21 in the British chart, but we?re talking about 1966, when black music really was discriminated against ? the Temptations rarely got into the Top 20. At least nowadays songs like these are recognised as classics. U) U2 ? It?s a beautiful day I remember once being woken up by my radio alarm with this song. It really set me up for the day. Perfect timing by the radio station or what? V) Frankie Valli ? You?re ready now Solo single from the lead singer with the Four Seasons, mostly famous in the 60s. This song, though, became a bit of a Northern Soul hit in the early seventies. Perfect for bringing back those school disco memories. W) White Stripes ? Fell in love with a girl Like most of their stuff, it?s such a simple, stripped down song, but all the better for it. Raw music works best for raw emotion. And who would have thought that a line like ?it bears repeating? could sound so right in an indie rock song? X) X Ray Spex ? Germ Free adolescents A slightly more mellow moment from the punk band ? everything about Poly Styrene was such a breath of fresh air, the untrendy clothes and braces, the abrasive voice. But songs like this showed they could produce great music too. Y) Neil Young ? After the goldrush The band Prelude were the ones who got the hit record with this song, but I have a soft spot for Young?s original recording. His singing is an acquired taste? I mean, he
doesn?t really hit all the notes, but somehow it?s better that way. And those lyrics are nicely obscure ? ?silver space ships?? - so that you make up your own pictures in your head to explain what it could be about. Z) Zager and Evans ? In the year 2525 Apocalyptic folksong, with plenty of strummed guitars and beards. I remember when this song was at number one, for weeks and weeks, in 1969 (yes I?m old enough to have been there, with my transistor radio!) ? and it got mighty tedious, I can tell you. But, listening to it now I kind of like it. And there wasn?t much else I could think of for the Z position.
(This is part of a ?challenge? - the rules are really easy - go through each letter of the alphabet, find a band or song or whatever that begins with that letter, write about it. I?ll include the full rules at the bottom of the op.) (Actually, I?ve blatantly changed the rules to suit me, as I don?t think I?m supposed to use song titles as entries. If you were planning on writing one of these then I?d suggest you do the same, makes it so much easier. I am nothing if not lazy.) So, anyone desperate to know the names of 26 songs that I like? Then you?re in luck. This is a kind of snapshot of what I?ve been listening to lately; I can?t really provide any more justification than that for including any specific song. A) Atlantis by Donovan. Magnificent utopian hippie fare as everyone?s favourite spaced-out balladeer gets kind of cosmic. The greatest spoken word section of anything in the history of pop, and a song that?s more a blissed out chant than an actual song, you?d have to be extremely curmudgeonly not to like this one. B) Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse of the Heart. Perhaps the supreme example of 80s soft rock excess. Ms Tyler screams herself hoarse while thunderous organs roar in the background. And Jim Steinman?s lyrics excel anything else he ever did - ?We?re living in a powder keg and giving off sparks.? Indeed we are. C) Johnny Cash - Ring of Fire. Although generally more successful with sad songs, the Man in Black enchanted the whole world with this complicated metaphor for falling in love. You just have to hear the trumpet intro to know that you?re in for a couple of minutes of croaky Western fun. D) Donna Summer - MacArthur Park. Presumably we all know and love Richard Harris?s magnum opu
s, MacArthur Park, one of the most perfectly grandiose songs ever put on record. How could it possibly be improved on, you might ask. The answer is simple, my befuddled friends: Disco! Donna Summer turns a masterpiece into an entirely different kind of masterpiece. Lovely. E) Ennio Morricone - For a Few Dollars More main theme. Morricone has a rare talent to make soundtracks for films that actually bear listening to by themselves. The piece of music I have in mind (it may not actually be the main theme) is the one that starts off with the musical watch sound, then bursts into over-the-top life with some heavy pipe organ and squealing trumpets. You know the one I mean. F) Fraser Hines - Who?s Dr Who. I love novelty records of yesteryear. Minor celebrities making fools of themselves, weird little fads that fizzled out almost as soon as they were born, inappropriate tie-ins to TV shows - these things make me smile. Fraser Hines was a popular Dr Who assistant in the late 60s, and here he sings a twee little song about the Doctor. The heavy, almost prog version of the Dr Who theme that starts the song is probably the best bit, but if you?re like me then you?ll stick with it and learn to appreciate the rest of the song. G) Glenn Campbell - Wichita Lineman. Hell yes. A lovely, lovely song, totally without pretension. Not completely sure what a lineman is, but when I hear this, by god I wish I was one. H) Rupert Holmes - The Pina Colada Song. Classic story about the spark going from a marriage, and the husband?s attempts to have an illicit relationship through the personals column in his local paper. Not everything goes quite to plan. Hilarious for its evocation of late-70s/early-80s
ideas of glamour and romance. I) In the Ghetto by Elvis Presley. Elvis gets political, telling the sad story of a young man who grows up angry and disenfranchised in one of America?s many ghettos. The King at his mournful best, and I love the backing vocals. J) John Leyton - Johnny Remember Me. A great example of the easy charm that early 60s pop had before the Beatles. It?s beautifully produced by the legendary Joe Meek, with a wonderful ethereality to the backing vocalists (who are supposed to be ghosts). Whatever happened to John Leyton? K) Kenny Rogers - The Gambler. Somehow one of the most satisfying songs ever recorded. A young man on a train gets helpful life advice from an itinerant gambler. ?If you?re gonna play the game boy, you?ve got to learn to play it right.? A masterful country track that reduces all life?s problems to a series of contrived poker metaphors. L) Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra - Some Velvet Morning. Hazlewood is a largely forgotten genius (although he has the obligatory cult following). His later stuff, which is fantastic, has a Johnny-Cash-meets-Bob-Dylan vibe, but with an odd sense of humour. His earlier work, often in collaboration with Nancy Sinatra, is far more lounge. This song is kind of nonsensical, kind of sinister, and entirely brilliant. Recently covered by Primal Scream and Kate Moss, apparently. M) Boney M - Rasputin. Oh my word yes. One of the silliest songs ever recorded, a disco biography of pre-Revolutionary Russia?s lecherous, sinister monk. The best bits are the heavily German accented spoken word sections. ?And so they shot him till he was dead.? N) A boy from Nowhe
re by Tom Jones. (N is for Nowhere, all right?) Tom?s greatest achievement (and that?s saying something), this overwrought epic is about a poor young man who wants to become a bullfighter. Six minutes of over-the-top orchestration, with the famous Jones voice belting it out wonderfully. ?Not a man alive/Had to beg or steal of fight more than me to survive.? O) Riz Ortolani - Theme from Cannibal Holocaust. Cannibal Holocaust is a horrible film, a squalid video nasty that most people will find appalling on every level. The theme tune, on the other hand, is a slushy but oddly charming instrumental love theme. I?ve listened to the music so often that I don?t associate it with the film any more. P) Peter Wyngarde - Neville Thumbcatch. Another novelty record. Peter Wyngarde (who played Jason King) released an entertaining but completely baffling spoken word album in the late 60s. This is the best song, a sad story about a man who?s so obsessed with his allotment that he doesn?t notice his wife leaving him. This is a bit like those William Shatner songs, but a lot funnier and well worth repeated listening. Q) Queen - Fat Bottomed Girls. Few bands can match Queen?s 70s output in terms of quality. This is Brian May?s tribute to the well-built lady. It?s terrific. R) Jimmy Ruffin - What Becomes of the Broken Hearted. The saddest song ever written, a Motown classic. Many?s the time I?ve sat in my bedroom, alone, listening to this over and over again, sobbing uncontrollably, drinking wine straight out of the bottle. Ahh, good times. S) Scott Walker - The Girls and the Dogs. One of Walker?s superb Jacques Brel covers, this is a light-hearted l
ittle ditty about how dogs are preferable to girls (on the grounds that dogs are friendly and undemanding while girls aren?t). Not a song that takes itself seriously, and delivered with gusto by Walker?s fantastic pantomime villain voice. T) The Tornadoes - Telstar. Possibly the single greatest piece of music ever recorded. The pinnacle of loony Joe Meek?s career, this fantastic instrumental perfectly evokes weird 60s English ideas of how space flight should sound. This is Margaret Thatcher?s favourite song, proving that there?s good and bad in everyone. U) Velvet Underground - Femme Fatale. I think this is my favourite Velvets song because of Nico?s rather clumsy rendering of the lyrics. If only she?d stuck around for their later albums. ?She?s going to break your heart in two. It?s true?. V) Black Veils of Melancholy by Status Quo. Not the denim clad pub rock of 70s Quo, this is from their all-too-brief flower power era. It?s obvious they weren?t really hippies, and were just aping what they took to be the prevailing sound of the day, but this is magnificent. It has a great guitar riff and rather silly lyrics. I could listen to this one forever. W) Wives and Lovers by Jack Jones. A very politically incorrect Burt Bacharach song, warning ladies that just because they?ve got themselves a husband they mustn?t stop trying. It offers dire warnings and helpful advice (?Day after day there are girls at the office/And men will always be men/Don?t send him off with your hair still in curlers/You may not see him again?). A fascinating and hilarious glimpse into the way things used to be. X) The Legend of Xanadu by Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Tich A fantastic example
of 60s pop at its most unrestrained. Although the lyrics are mournful, the tune is ebullient, and it?s very hard not to like this. Particularly good is the counterpoint between the Latin aspirations of the music and the very English accent on display during the spoken word segment. Y) Neil Young - Pocahontas. What better way to commemorate the late Marlon Brando than to include in this list the only song I know that mentions him? This is a nice if slightly daft song about Native Americans. Marlon Brando turns up at the end. Z) Ziw-zih Ziw-zih oo-oo-oo by Delia Derbyshire. Z is a difficult letter. Delia Derbyshire worked for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in the 60s, and is generally recognised as an important pioneer of electronic music. Her best known work is the arrangement for the original Dr Who theme, but this is more fun even than that. Created for a BBC science fiction play, it?s meant to represent robots worshipping their god. It?s superb. I hope I?ve not bored you all senseless (of course I haven?t, you?d have just stopped reading then, wouldn?t you?) --- The rules ~ Just three simple rules to adhere to: 1) Use all the letters of the alphabet. 2) Only one choice per letter , ie. no listing close seconds. 3) Give reasons for your choices. ~ Hints ~ Using all the letters may seem an easy task , but believe me , you'll soon discover that some are considerably more difficult than others . Then of course you have the enviable task of choosing just one record . So here are some hints to help you complete the challenge : 1) Solo artists , duo's or groups are allowed - use them wisely, e.g. Lionel Richie and
the Commodores could come under L , R and C. 2) Album tracks as well as single releases are allowed , but not whole albums. 3) Proper names and stage names can be used e.g. Fredrick Bulsara = Freddie Mercury.
This challenge was initiated by competition_man. To participate simply think of your favourite artists / duo's / groups etc, then choose your favourite track of theirs - then tell us your choices. ~ The Rules ~ Just three simple rules to adhere to: 1) Use all the letters of the alphabet. 2) Only one choice per letter, ie. no listing close seconds. 3) Give reasons for your choices. ~ Hints ~ Using all the letters may seem an easy task , but believe me, you'll soon discover that some are considerably more difficult than others. Then of course you have the enviable task of choosing just one record . So here are some hints to help you complete the challenge : 1) Solo artists, duo's or groups are allowed - use them wisely. eg.: Lionel Ritchie and the Commodores could come under L, R and/or C. 2) Album tracks as well as single releases are allowed, but not whole albums. 3) Proper names and stage names can be used. eg.: Fredrick Bulsara = Freddie Mercury ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --------------------------------------- A) Al Green- Let's Stay Together The softest silkiest voice in soul. Let's Stay Together is one of the all time classic and exemplifies 70's soul with it's more accessible melodies and less dance based sounds which had identified earlier 60's soul especially Motown. Green incorporated his gospel upbringing into his singing style and allowed him to develop an instantly recognisable style. B) Billy Bragg- Sexuality. Working class hero goes pop and still manages to pack a message in this song. I've always had a soft spot for
66;illy Bragg back in my student days and I was glad he managed to develop his very distinctive style in to a more accessible product in the 90's and thus reach a whole new audience. He deserves a special place British Music. C) The Clash- London Calling The best punk band ever? Maybe?certainly they were the most successful and outlasted the early competition. London Calling was their biggest album and the single of the same name still sounds good today. D) The Doors- The End. Ok so Jim Morrison was a bit of an egotistical ass hole but he wrote some great songs and knew how to give a memorable performance on stage. This song has gone down in rock legend when it was first performed live at the LA club Whisky-A Go-Go the sexually explicit performance and lyrics got the band banned but it also made them into the biggest rock act of the late 60's. More recently Francis Ford Coppola used the track to great effect for his classic film Apocalypse Now. E) Elvis Presley-It's All Right Mama It was exactly 50 years ago yesterday that rock and roll was born. A 19 year old Elvis Presley after completing a fairly uninspiring audition made up of the usual puerile love ballads of the time as an afterthought launched in to an impromptu version of a blues song he'd heard?and the rest is history the audition became a huge success the record was released and Elvis's career had started. It is easy now to underestimate the importance of Elvis to all modern music. The fats that he recorded a Black Blues song and promoted it to a mainly white audience revolutionised pop music. His own distinctive performance on that record also pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable for a white clean-cut singer/musici
an to do and whether he knew it or not Elvis 'rocked' the establishment. F) Pink Floyd-See Emily Play In the days before Roger Waters ego's was still small enough to be contained inside a derelict Battersea Power station and had not yet swamped the creativity of the band Pink Floyd were one of the most innovative and avant-garde rock band around. Sid Barrett was still a musical genius before he fried his brains with acid and took up gardening and this song is the best example of English Psychedelic rock you'll find. G) Genesis- The Musical Box I had to include some Prog rock in my list. When I talk about Genesis I do mean records before 1978 and mainly before Peter Gabriel left. Yes the genre was self reverential, pompous and the music was often over complicated, but sometimes well quite often Genesis got it right and their songs could take you on a kaleidoscopic journey of strange imagery and musical composition?Wow I better lay off the drugs! The Musical box is one of their best. Being more than 20 minutes it is a mini rock opera, taking in Victoriana, Nursery Rhyme and Murder by decapitation. Well worth smoking a 'kipper' to! H) Jimi Hendrix- Voodoo Chile- The best rock guitarist ever indulges in some really bluesy riffs on this track, a mammoth jam with Steve Winwood on keyboards, Turn On, Tune In and Drop Out Man! Sublime. I) Ian Dury and the Blockheads- Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick. The Godfather of punk, the 'great uncle' of punk, the grandfather of punk, whatever labels people want to attach to Ian Dury the truth is he was a great songwriter and a genuinely nice pers
on. He was affected by polio when young and had to struggle against the condition and prejudice it engenders in many people to succeed not only as a musician/composer/singer but an artist. His songs were always unusual quirky compositions, the lyrics delivered with his distinctive gruff voice that could sound aggressive and sensitive at the same time. He spent much of his life championing the side of the disabled and simply by being enthusiastic about his music, regularly jumping around and falling over on stage he showed ordinary people that you could have a disability and not be disabled by it. The Blockheads were ostensibly his backing band but they were also long time friends and exceptional musicians. A blockhead concert was an experience to savour and their musical ability and Ian skill as a songwriter was never better showcased than on Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick which also amazingly made it to number one! Sadly Ian Dury died of cancer a few years ago and is greatly missed. J) The Jam-Down in the Tube Station at Midnight Not the best song Paul Weller ever wrote not the best recording the Jam ever made but this song tells you all about what the band was about. They are in your face, political and very, very English. Brit Pop way before it's time. K) The Kinks- Waterloo Sunset. Ray Davies before Paul Weller and Damon Albarn was the quintessential exponent of English pop. All his compositions are firmly grounded in his English roots and the Kinks Sound is unique. Waterloo Sunset is just about the perfect 60's pop song. L) Love- Alone Again Or I've mentioned the Doors and how they took the west Coat music scene by storm in the late 60's..Well before they came along
5;rthur Lee and his band 'Love' were the talk of the town. Lee created a new sound he managed to merge vibrant rock melodies with psychedelic imagery of his lyrics and added a Latin feel in the form of Spanish guitar and Mexican horns. The album 'Forever Changes' was dubbed 'Latino Psychedelic' and became a huge hit worldwide. Alone Again Or must be one of the best ever opening songs of any album. It includes all the elements I've described above and still sounds distinctive today. M) Bob Marley-Redemption Song Bob Marley was a great songwriter and this is sometimes lost on people who only know him for his poppy reggae hits. He was a very political very spiritual man who felt very strongly about race issues and the advancement of black culture. Redemption song is an acoustic ballad that is a heartfelt message to all the wronged peoples of the world. N) Nirvana- Smells Like Teen Spirit- this song defined the 90's and invented grunge rock. It also allowed young men to finally get up and slam against each other on the dance floor after all the barren years in the 80's. O) The Only Ones- Another Girl Another Planet Simply one of the best one off punk singles ever. With the help of their enormously talent but severely self-destructive lead singer Peter Perrett, the band imploded soon after their initial success a real pity. P) Patti Smith-Dancing Barefoot The High Priestess of Punk, a singer, songwriter, poet, performer. Her influence on female rock singer that followed cannot be underestimated. This is a beautiful melancholy song, with a hypnotic base line, which most people probably know from the much later U2 version. Q) Queens
9;f The Stone Age- The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret This was one of my favourite singles of a few years back. QOTSA are another product of the Seattle post grunge rock scene and there is a direct link with Nirvana in that Dave Grohl ex-Nirvana drummer and Current Foo Fighters lead has collaborated with the band R) The Stone Roses- Waterfall. When the eponymous first Stone Roses Album came out you knew you were listening to something special. The music was a mix of 60's pshychedelia, Indie guitar, punk overtones and Byrd inspired melodies. Their sound was totally British and it gave rise to the 'Madchester' phenomenon. The album is just about perfect but for me Waterfall is the song that best expresses what the band and their music was about, poppy, druggy and deceptively threatening to S) The Stranglers-Walk On By The best cover version of ever done. Not only is it as great interpretation of Dionne Warwick's classic Burt Bacharach composition, but also The Stranglers managed to completely re-invent the song and their version is as far as you can get from the original. Now That's What I Call a cover version! T) The Strokes-Someday 80's New Wave is back! But this time it was re-started by New York bands. The Strokes were the leading lights of the revival. The album 'Is This It' sounds like it could've been made in 1982. Even their image is of that time, but the strokes are more than just a retro band they have taken as a source some of the music and attitude of the time but they have also infused it with earlier influences including Lou Reed and Iggy pop.
83;omeday is the most radio Friendly hit of the album and is guaranteed to get you humming along whatever you're doing. U) UB40-King/Food For Thought White reggae was a mini sub-genre in the late 70's early 80's, which seemed to spawn out of the recent Ska revival. UB40 a bunch of unemployed lad from the midland decided to write some protest songs and called themselves after the dreaded UB40 form that they had to fill in to apply for unemployment benefit. These were not happy times in Britain, there were race riots in Brixton and Liverpool and the mood amongst young people was one of anger. This is the first single a double a side featuring the anti- Thatcher classic 'Food For Thought and the heartfelt and timely tribute to Martin Luther King?'King'. V) Van Morrison-Moondance, jazz meet rock, meets folk meet the best white soul voice ever. You can't fail to hear this song and be carried along by the melody. Class act! W) The Waterboys- Fisherman's Blues The Waterboys were one of those 80's bands. They had an epic sound with complex instrumentation and a distinctive songwriter and front man Mike Scott. They never stood still creatively and eventually Scott rediscovered his Celtic roots and moved away from indie rock toward Irish /folk rock. The transition was not altogether successful but out of the Fisherman's blues Album came the song Fisherman's blues, which perfectly blends the traditions of Irish folk music with an up beat guitar sound of indie pop. X) X Ray Spex-The Day The World Turned Day-Glo Another blast of essential punk! X-ray Spex was the first punk band to make punk fun. With the
ir inimitable lead singer Poly Styrene shrieking catchy lyrics and Lara Logic on sax they were a huge hit in the late 70's. As most punk band they were of the moment and after only a few singles they expired but not before they gave the world such classic tunes as 'Germ Free Adolescence', 'Oh Bondage Up Yours', 'Identity' and their best ever 'The Day The World Turned Day-Glo'?the last I heard Poly was a Buddist! Y) The Yardbirds- For Your Love The Yardbirds were a major part of the 60's British blues scene. Eric Clapton had graduated from John Mayall's bluesbreakers and joined in the mid 60's. I guess his time in the Yardbirds was also a progression for him to eventually form Cream and really make a huge impact on rock music. The Yardbirds were at the pop rock end of British blues and Clapton was uncomfortable with this he left just before they had their biggest hit For Your Love, which made them into an international success. The single is obviously commercial but it still has a very bluesy feel and a sound like great jam session. Clapton wasn't missed for long as another of the great rock blues guitarist of the age Jeff Beck soon joined. Z) Robert Zimmerman?who? I mean Bob Dylan of course one of the finest songwriters of the last 40 years. He re-invigorated folk music making it once again political and relevant to young people in the 60's but more than this he then when on single-handedly to invent a new genre of Rock, Folk Rock that exploded in the late 60's and developed and influenced many, many band like The Birds, Crosby Stills and Nash, Neil Yong and more recently bands like REM are all product of
Dylan's redefinition of traditional folk. Oh I forgot I have to pick a song too?So many to shoes from but how about 'Tangled Up In Blues' great lyrics, great music and a great rendition from the Live at Budokan concert. That's my A-Z of music and of course I could've done many others with completely different entries. Why don't you have a go!