Sorry about this, but you've got me this week....
Earworms of the Week
> "Eye of the Tiger" - Survivor
I love the Rocky films and I have been trawling my way through the "Ultimate Edition" box set over the last few weeks. I think it's fair to say that each of the films follows more or less the same pattern, but I never fail to be stirred when the training montage starts and the Rocky Fanfare blasts out of the speakers as our hero runs up the steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Cinematic gold. This is the other tune that is indelibly associated with these films... that thumping intro instantly and effortlessly conjuring up images of a boxer throwing ridiculous haymakers with no thought given to defence -- very much the Rocky way. The song actually only turns up in Rocky III when Rocky's erstwhile arch enemy, Apollo Creed, becomes his trainer to help him learn a new strategy to take on the uncompromising Clubber Lang..... The eye of the tiger is apparently the look you have to give to an opponent to show that you mean business. Or somesuch. It must work though: Rocky won by a knockout in the 2nd and didn't even need ridiculous facial prosthetics as Clubber hardly touched him.
I pity the fool, etc.
This song was nominated for an Oscar and won a Grammy, but how much of it do you actually know beyond the first 20 seconds? (not that any of the rest of it is much cop, mind you....)
> "Welcome to the Jungle" - Guns N' Roses
Another song with a killer intro. Axl Rose may have taken this band into the realms of comedy (even if Buckethead has now left the band), but "Appetite for Destruction" remains one of the greatest rock albums ever recorded. We argued about this band on the Art of Noise the other week, actually, with several people suggesting that the band were a joke and that they only ever did a couple of good songs. Cobblers. Doesn't the start of this song just send shivers down your spine? It's good enough hearing it on record, but live it's just out of this world.
As a call to arms and as a statement of intent, this song is hard to beat.
> "Grace Kelly" - Mika
I was utterly determined to hate Mika purely on the basis that his album cover seemed to have been designed purely to irritate me.... it just screams at me that I will despise every note of every song.....
But then I heard this and I had no chance. It's irresistible. I sing along even though I have no idea what the words are. I'm still not buying the album though. Sarah played it to me as she drove me home after a gig, and I was heartily sick of it by about track 5. Still, track one is great.
And lest we forget, wasn't Grace Kelly gorgeous?
> "Too Orangey for Crows" - Kia Ora advert
...only for me and my dog.
Racist? Possibly. Most enduring advert ever made? Certainly.
> "Nobody Move, Nobody Gets Hurt" - We Are Scientists
Another decent track 1. This is the opening salvo (as a music journalist would certainly describe it) from "Of Love and Squalor". I initially bought the album blind, but as soon as I heard this song, I knew that I was onto a winner. In my experience, you simply can't knock a song that contains a few "whoah oh oh oh ohs" and "yeahs".
Nice and spiky. Just the way I like.
"My body is your body
I won't tell anybody
If you wanna use my body
Go for it
> "Once And Never Again" - The Long Blondes
I think this popped up on my iPod when I was out running. That Kate Jackson has certainly got a very arresting voice... even listening through headphones whilst jogging alongside the river Trent, I could imagine her wearing a beret as she recorded this.
Hell, I imagine she wears a beret most of the time, to be honest. I expect she sleeps in a beret.
Why not? She wears them well.
It's a great single, even if she does sound a bit like she's doing a Jimmy Savile impression at one point....
> "Say Something" - James
Tim Booth has rejoined James and everything is right with the world. They are an awkward band at the best of times and they are sometimes maddeningly inconsistent though... at their best though, they are capable of reaching heights touched by few other bands. This is not one of their very best songs, but for some reason I absolutely love it, and as soon as Mark mentioned that he had been to see them, this is the song that drifted into my head.
> "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself" - Dusty Springfield
My favourite ever female vocalist singing a Bacharach classic. Beautiful. This one came to mind in my defence of "Easy Listening" over at the Art of Noise. Who could listen to this and then say that this genre should be condemned?
> "Books from Boxes" - Maximo Park
I love, love, love the new Maximo Park album and I have been listening to it all week. "Our Velocity" is the most obvious of the songs on the album, but this little cracker has been really growing on me. It's not quite as pedal to the metal as some of their stuff and is a bit more reflective, but it's all the better for it.
> "Don't Stop Me Now" - Queen
Given that this song is an attempt to describe the joys of a cocaine high, I was somewhat amused to hear it being used as the theme music on a ra-ra video that my company circulated this week. I'm sure that's not quite the message they were looking to get across with their inspirational images of people putting product out on the shelves and grinning inanely at customers. Still, I imagine it would help alleviate the tedium of the long working day.
And that's your lot. It's a long weekend here, so I intend to start making the most of it right now. Rocky V anyone?
Just me? Suit yourselves.
Next time: Aravis
Coming soon: The Ultimate Olympian
Oh yes, and Simon's Earworms are now available for download.