Monday, December 30, 2019

And The Hits Just Keep On Coming...

Here we go! Part the third and last of 2019's song and lyric round-up. And look who it is, leading from the front. Bloody Morrissey again... 

I Was Looking For A Job - The Smiths from Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now - Calling Capt. Obvious. Morrissey is so horribly quotable, blast him. Once again, I'd prefer a cover to His Miserableness but even with hundreds to choose from I can't find a good one. If Puddles can't carry it, no-one can.

It's All Happening - Tommy Steele - Hear that noise? That's the sound of a barrel being scraped, that is. Although a barrel being scraped would have a better tune.

Welcome To Difficult - Cowboy Crush, from Difficult. Wikipedia lists nearly seventy sub-genres of "country ". I'm guessing this must be one of them but I wouldn't be able to tell you which. I'd probably come across as a lot cooler if I said I'd taken my post title from Difficult Listening Hour by Laurie Anderson but I'd be lying. What really happened was that I googled for songs with "difficult" in the title and this is what I got.

Punishment Of Luxury - Here, though, I definitely was thinking of the band of the same name, often referred to as Punilux. And though I didn't know it at the time, it's also a song by Orchestral Manouevres In The Dark. I imagine they have some common history. Where's Pete Frame when you need him?

A Change In The Weather - Love Spit Love - Isn't that a terrible name for a band? Particularly coming from the guy who came up with The Psychedelic Furs. I never rated The Furs until I reluctantly went to see them with a girlfriend back in the 80s and they were just great. Then I saw Pretty in Pink and that was me sold.

What Has Happened To Your Review? - from Peppy Solex by Solex. Okay, I admit it. This is just obscurity for the sake of it. 229 YouTube views in nearly five years pretty much says it all. It's great, though, isn't it? That's her picture at the top of the post, too. Actually, it turns out she's not as obscure as all that. She did six John Peel sessions...

Whole Wide World - Wreckless Eric - There are those who might also find Wreckless a tad obscure but compared to Solex he's Justin Bieber. Erm, that didn't quite come out right. This is the classic that cemented his place in pop history but he's written dozens as good or even better than this. He's also the drunkest I have ever seen anyone who was also still able not just to sing but to remember all the words - and I'm including Shane McGowan and Mark E Smith in that.

Yeah, Yeah, I Got An Alternative - Gorrilaz, from Hip Albatross. The line itself is a quote from from the film "Day of the Dead". I do love dragging non-sequiter fragments out of popular culture and forcing them into service. As does Damon, apparently.

Fight For Your Right (To Party) - Beastie Boys - Enough with the obscurantism, already! Play something we know! There are a million covers of this on YouTube, some quite bizarre - Debbie Harry seems oddly fond of doing it, though she probably shouldn't. There's a Dance Mix, a Lounge version, even Coldplay have had a bash although that's where I draw the line. In fact, I draw my line well before Coldplay...  My favorite so far has to be this slab of Argentinian Jazz Funk courtesy of Profesores de Tennis, which, for some reason, I embedded at the top of yesterday's post.

Born To Run - Bruce Springsteen - If you're going to go mainstream, might as well go all the way. The Boss's signature tune, here interpreted by the second band ever to have three consecutive U.K. number ones with their first three singles - Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Better than the original, I'd say.

Let's Go To The Moon - The Equals  -The drummer sounds like he's beating the dents out of a Ford Escort with a sledgehammer. Which was probably his day job.

Hope Is A Dangerous Thing For A Woman Like Me - But I Have It - Lana! Second appearance of the year for this song as a post title, this time used in full. It's a song so good I can hardly bear to listen to it. As the last track on Norman Fucking Rockwell it arrives like the dawn coming up over the ruins at the end of the world. No? Just me, then...

I Got Skills - From the sublime... an obvious and unsubtle pun on "I got chills" from You're The One That I Want by Olivia Newton John and John Travolta.  I actually saw Grease at the cinema on original release so I shouldn't get too sniffy about it. Even so, let's have the Angus and Julia Stone version.

Savage Silk - Suzi Quatro I must have been a very strange teenager. I would guess Suzi was maybe five years older than me when she hit big in the early 70s. Half the adolescent boys in the country must have had posters of her on their walls. For some reason I cannot now fathom, she looked to me to be about the same age as my mother. I thought of her accordingly. Sometimes you'd just like to go back and give your younger self a good talking to. Or a dry slap. This is not one of Suzi's best known bangers plus it has a very odd intro.

When I Feel Heavy Metal - Blur, from Song 2 - Can't help but feel Damon's making some kind of point with this one but I'm jiggered if I know what it is. It's a scary song at the best of times but the Glastonbury version is positively feral.

On The Road Again - Canned Heat - It's hard to explain why, especially since by the time I saw the movie Woodstock was barely five years in the past, but to my adolescent mind this was ancient history. I don't think I really understood that any of these people were even still alive. Come to think of it, some of them probably weren't.

Road To Nowhere - Talking Heads - There are some interesting covers of this radio standard, not least by The Rosebuds (who I saw at The Thekla, a ship moored on the Bristol waterfront. They didn't play it then, though). Nouvelle Vague covered it, too. Of course they did.

Keep Pushin' 'Til It's Understood - Bruce Springsteen, from Badlands. He gets everywhere! I'm not even that much of a Bruce fan. He's just kind of universal, I guess.

Carry The News, Dude - Mott The Hoople from All The Young Dudes. This is one of those absolutely superb songs that's suffered horribly from being overplayed. This great version by The Rebelles (with Ian Hunter on backing vocals) brings back what it was like to hear it fresh..

My Little Ponies, You Opened Up My Eyes - From the My Little Pony theme song Friendship Is Magic. Tune, brah! I have Brony tendencies, it cannot be denied.

We All Love Our Pets - Taking Back Sunday - Now that's what I call Emo!

New Tricks - I have a feeling I was thinking of Lena Lovich when I used this but the song of hers I would have had in mind is actually called New Toy. The specific phrase turns up in Dog New Tricks by Garbage, which is on an album we have in the house and also on Pure Pleasure Seeker by Moloko, who we have a couple of records by as well, so theoretically I might have been thinking of one of those. Only I wasn't.

The Other Side Of The Door - Taylor Swift, from the period when she was a John Hughes movie come to life.

New Best Friend - Be nice if I could claim it was from the gloriously woozy Boredom by Tyler The Creator [feat. Anna of the North, Corinne Bailey & Rex Orange County] or This Is What Makes Us Girls by Lana, which is even better, because Lana! What I was in fact thinking of was My Bag by Lloyd Cole and the Commotions. Lloyd is one of the finest lyricists since Cole Porter and I used this very song as the title of the first post I ever wrote.

Rainy Days And Mondays - The Carpenters. I love this. So sue me. I was fourteen when it was a hit and if fourteen year old me caught 61 year old me listening to The Carpenters he'd punch me in the face. If I didn't punch him first for listening to Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

Pretend We're Dead - L7 - I know this from their amazing performance on The Word. Live TV at its dangerous best and an object lesson to producers to always use a five second delay.

Don't Fear The Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult -  I own an album by BOC. The live double. Haven't played it in thirty years but this is a good tune. They had about three, as I recall. Still, three more than a lot of bands. There are several interesting covers out there - Big Country, Evanescence, The Beautiful South (!)-  but the ones I like best are by The Alice Band  and Keep Shelly In Athens (fantastic name!).

Don't Start Me Talking - Sonny Boy Williamson - I know it mainly from the New York Dolls cover on Too Much Too Soon. I ummed and ahhed over the album version or the rougher-edged demo but in the end I thought "it's the Dolls, ffs!". So I went with the rough.

Blood Moon Rising - inspired by Credence Clearwater Revival's Bad Moon Rising. In their heyday, CCR were credited with bringing a raw, live edge back to rock music but the original sounds leaden by modern standards. Sadly, many of the covers I've heard are even worse. Juliana Hatfield's is lovely though and the video from The La La Love Mes, which I used at the top of yesterday's post, is just nuts.

Saturday Night In The City Of The Eyes - a pun that really doesn't work, taken from Saturday Night In The City Of The Dead by Ultravox. You wouldn't think swapping one single syllable would cause such a rhythmic train wreck but it does. I knew as much at the time and yet I still went with it. I'm duly ashamed.

All The Tired Horses - Bob Dylan - The original, from Dylan's much-maligned covers album, Self Portrait, is haunting and strange. I came across it, uncredited, on a mix tape sent me by a friend and for years I didn't even know it was Dylan. Not surprising, since he doesn't sing on it. The original is nowhere to be found on YouTube and almost all the covers are execrable. This one, by Jimmy And Noelle, is the only one I could find that comes anywhere close to the bleak, elegaic desperation I remember from the tape I listened to over and over.

Memories Like A Shroud - from Halloween by Siouxsie And The Banshees. And it wasn't even a halloween post...

Complaints (It's My Department) - from Complaints by Sparks. Quite possibly the weakest track on the magnificent Kimono my House album but even a throwaway filler from Sparks is likely to come stuffed with great lines. I'm looking forward to the upcoming Edgar Wright documentary.

Time To Build - Beastie Boys - There's a very strong argument for The Beasties being rap for rock fans but I wouldn't be the one making it. I love the way they hit the last word of every line like they're banging in nails.

Customized Or Ready Made - from Trash by Roxy Music. They were already past their best by the time this came out but the video is fun. Apparently that's Gary Tibbs of Adam and the Ants making a complete show of himself on bass.

Bits And Pieces - The Dave Clark Five - Caveman rock! Actually, cavemen probably knew more about melody than this lot. I grew up listening to this kind of thing, you know. If you tried that now someone would call social services - at least I hope they would. I thought long and hard before using it for a title but sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and go with the obvious, because it works.

Around And Around - The Rolling Stones - from the same year (1964). Might as well be from a different galaxy. Is it any wonder their respective careers took the arcs they did?

I Still Have Faith That What Was Mine Can Still Be Mine - from Apology by The Go-Gos. If that was the title it would be up there with Lana's "Hope..."I kind of missed The Go Gos when they were around the first time. I only picked up on them when Belinda Carlisle and Jane Wiedlin started having solo hits. I gather they were seminal, although that's probably not the most appropriate way of putting it.

Fresh Starts And Second Chances - Buck 65 from Jaws Of Life. His voice is pitched so high here I thought whoever posted it had sped it up to avoid copyright takedowns. But no, Buck was just young, once.

It'll Squish - Sonic Youth from Mariah Carey And The Arthur Doyle Hand Cream. It must be painfully apparent by now that I like an abstruse song title more than most people but even I draw the line at this. There aren't all that many songs with "squish" in the lyrics to choose from, though, and the few there are you mostly wouldn't want to be caught quoting.

Fifteen - Taylor Swift - I already used the John Hughes line. I should have saved it for this one.

Slip Sliding Away - Paul Simon - Of the huge number of covers of this I glanced at on YouTube, almost every one is by someone who looks exactly like the kind of person you'd expect to cover a Paul Simon song. About the only one I could stand was this.

To Cooking School, To Cooking School - from Margot Known As Missy by The Judybats. I couldn't believe it when this came up on a search. So perfect! I have a CD by these guys somewhere. I bought it because of their name, surprise, surprise. I don't remember there being anything as good as this on it, though.

Don't Go, Kitty Kitty - Avril Levigne from Hello Kitty.  I frickin' love this song and the video. Judging by the YouTube comments I probably shouldn't have said that out loud.

Look Around You, Art Is Everywhere - MGMT. These weird kids' shows are a gift that never stops giving. I don't think anything's ever going to top Starcrawler doing Ants on Pancake Mountain. Kids in the audience are going to be reliving that day in therapy thirty years from now.

Take Five - Dave Brubeck Quartet - The original is sublime but we've heard it so many times all impact is lost. Try King Tubby  or The Specials  or even Lisa Simpson.

When The Party's Over - Billy Eilish - It's a very, very common phrase in umpteen songs, particularly ones with "party" in the title but this is the one I meant. It has to be since I was listening to it when I wrote the post. She's everything they say she is and more.

Step Into A New World - from Step Into The New World by Soulhead. Not sure why I would have changed the definite article to indefinite. Didn't it work anyway? Also, not going to pretend I have any idea who Soulhead are. Nice old school groove, that's all I do know.

We Choose To Go To The Moon - There's A Light - No clue who these guys might be, either, although I'd lay odds they took their name from The Smiths "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out". They seem to like borrowing stuff. Fair dos. So do I.

Let's Go Faster - Stray Cats - Who doesn't like a bit of overamped rockabilly? Squares, that's who, daddio!

Am I Squeezing You Too Tight? - Avril Levigne from Things I'll Never Say - Two tracks by Avril Levigne? Seriously?

I think it's time we called it a day.

See you all in 2020!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Wider Two Column Modification courtesy of The Blogger Guide