Earworms of the Week
“Tragedy” – Steps
Some people have reacted in horror to the very idea that a band like Steps are not only getting back together, but are top of the charts too. Me, I don’t really see the harm. They were always a colourful pop act and they never pretended to be anything else. Sure, the dance move to this song that signifies “Tragedy!” is both funny and wildly inappropriate, but it’s pretty hard to screw up a song as good as this one. Make no mistake, this is no “Don’t Stop Moving”, but it’s fun and joyful and at least Steps were never as brutally, heartlessly cynical as Westlife.
“Vision in Rags” – Young Knives
From their most recent album, “Ornaments From the Silver Arcade”. Heard of it? No? And that’s the career of the Young Knives summed up. It reached number 80 in the UK Album chart, but it’s pretty much as good as anything that they’ve done. Shame. It’s a cracking album.
“Fortunate Son” – Creedence Clearwater Revival
“Rockin’ In The Free World” – Neil Young
I like to think that, somewhere in the world, Neil Young and John Fogerty are still wigging out to the guitar solos that they started onstage at Glastonbury a couple of years ago.
“Mr Blue Sky” – ELO
Plopped into my head as a result of a conversation with someone at work about how good they thought “Shine” by Take That was. Says it all, really.
“Phantom of the Opera” – Iron Maiden
A slightly inappropriate choice by shuffle for the breakfast run into work with my wife. Popped back in as a result of tasting a free sample of the new Lucozade cola. Don’t do it, people. It’s vile. Great advert back in the day with Daley Thompson though, eh? That was a great time for moustaches.
“Minnie the Moocher” – Cab Calloway
I was thinking about watching “The Blues Brothers” on my sky box the other day, but settled down to watch a few episodes of the second series of “Carnivale” instead. Apart from being terrified by Ben’s blind grandmother and his redneck cousins, we saw Jonesy mesmerised by Libby working out a dance to the 1931 version of “Minnie the Moocher”, a great record, and of course, one that Calloway reprised in 1980 in the Blues Brothers. What a song. She was a red hot hoochie coocher, you know.
“Touch Too Much” – AC/DC
Worth entry simply for the unintended comic genius of the best classical sculpture reference in popular music.
"She had the face of an angel
Smiling with sin
The body of Venus with arms”
We’ve had a lot of anthems here over the last few weeks. This one has often been suggested as an alternative English anthem, to replace the dirge of “God Save the Queen”, which is, after all, the anthem of the United Kingdom and not just England….. it’s a bit Godly for my liking, but it’s a much more stirring piece of music, and the Blake poem is a masterpiece, with all those references to Industrial England’s “Dark Satanic mills”. Can we not have an anthem at all? What do we need one for?
“I Wanna Be Adored” – Stone Roses
I saw the Roses live back in 1995. Sure, Reni had already gone and they were probably already well past their peak, but when they took to the stage and played a 1-2-3-4 of “I Wanna Be Adored”, “She Bangs The Drums”, “Waterfall” and “10 Storey Love Song”, I forgot that I had glandular fever entirely… they were amazing. The kids in front of me only seemed to know the new songs, which seemed a bit weird, even then. I listened to “Second Coming” again this week, after reading an article suggested that it was a better album than the band’s debut (it's a good read, actually... it completely rips their debut to shreds. The more balanced riposte to it is here, and is worth reading for the information on the lemons on the cover alone). Fifteen years later and I still don’t get it: it sounds lumpen, over-produced and really isn’t all that good. Compare and contrast with that debut album, which still shimmers. Ironically, I hated everything about the band back in the day, only discovering how good they were once I’d started to emerge, blinking, from a world of ropey heavy metal. Luckily it wasn’t too late to go and see them perform live. They’re coming back, of course, not that I even tried to get a ticket to their now sold out gigs…. But having seen Ian Brown perform live several times now, I’d caution people not to get their expectations up too high. He really couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, and he often comes across as a bit of an arrogant, disinterested prick too. Still, he’s got a divorce to pay for, right? Ah, but then, just put this record on and tell me that this band didn’t have something…..
Have a good weekend, y’all.