Earworms of the Week
“I’m Coming Out” – Diana Ross
“Mo Money Mo Problems” – Notorious B.I.G.
Quite out of character for me, there’s a fair bit of hip-hop in this week’s list. Well, some. But it’s still unusual, so who knows what’s been going on in my nogging. Biggie is easy to explain: I heard that immortal Nile Rogers' guitar work playing as I walked past reception in our office the other day. They were playing the glorious Diana Ross orignal, but my head immediately went into Biggie and Puffy. Yeah. You can’t keep a good sample down. What about Doctor Dre, eh? Is he going to start rocking a black polo-neck sweater and rimless glasses?
“Them Bones” – Alice in Chains
I don’t listen to this album all that often, but given that it was recorded in 1992 and I bought it at around about the same time, it sounds amazing. It’s a rock album, for sure, but there’s just enough grunge in it to have halted the ageing process. I don’t listen to much Whitesnake or Poison these days, that’s for sure.
“RV” – Faith No More
You ain’t never gonna amount to nothin’.
“A&E” – Goldfrapp
Well, as I wrote for the top 50 singles of the year in 2008:
“So, you're the undisputed robo-dominatrix queen of pulsating electro pop; no theramin is safe from your pervy advances... what next? Why, intimate, organic, down-tempo pagan ambient-folk and cavorting with giant owls, obviously. Madonna can keep her scary leotards, when it comes to reinvention, she's got absolutely nothing.... NOTHING... on Alison Goldfrapp. "A&E" represents the morning-after-the-night-before of the band's last two albums, the pumping, pulsating pop of "Black Cherry" and "Supernature". That powerful sexuality is still very much present here, albeit more subtley revealed amidst a gentle, acoustic melody and within a tender, longing vocal. The song sucks you in with a purring vocal and the alluring image of the singer in a backless dress, and then almost before you know where you are - POW! - it hits you right between the eyes that we're maybe not gently coming down from the night before after all, but we're in a hospital and perhaps waking up from a suicide attempt. It's a genuinely beautiful and haunting song that is well-complemented by an unforgettable video featuring, of course, woodland creatures and dancing leaf men. Don't ask. That woman doesn't need nipple clamps, a corset and dancers dressed as horses to be alluring.... although I note that she has hung onto her riding crop, just in case.”
It’s a great song, isn’t it?
“Nimrod’s Son” – The Pixies
Nimrod is described in the Bible as the son of Cush, grandson of Ham, and great-grandson of Noah; and as "a mighty one on the earth" and "a mighty hunter before God". Builder of the Tower of Babel. He is described by the Pixies as "You are the son of incestuous union". I’ve never seen the Pixies playing live, and it looks like I might have my chance at Glastonbury this year… although it’s also possible that I may have to miss them – or at least part of their set – due to a more urgent requirement to be in position for Metallica. Dammit. It’s a pain in the arse, but you have to make compromises because you can’t watch everything.
“Femme Fatale” – Velvet Underground & Nico
You're put down in her book
You're number thirty-seven, have a look
She's going to smile to make you frown, what a clown
Little boy, she's from the street
Before you start, you're already beat
She's going to play you for a fool, yes it's true
Number thirty-seven? Crushing. Oh Nico. A voice like that really shouldn’t work, but really somehow does.
“Orpheus” – Ash
They’ve always been louder, faster and heavier when they play live, but their songs on record are usually power pop at its finest. By this stage in their career though, their heavy metal tendencies were even starting to show through on record. You can’t hide those melodies though, no matter how hard you hit those drums. I absolutely love this song: it’s heavy enough and harmonic enough to thrill my soul.
“Who Am I (What’s My Name)?” – Snoop Doggy Dogg
Perhaps worryingly, this song is in my head mostly because of the MoneySupermarket advert that Snoop did (apparently for the bargain basement price of £20,000, showing that he is, first and foremost, a businessman. To be fair, it’s also there because I was laughing all over again about his “rebirth” in the Rastafarian faith as Snoop Lion. Not at all a commercially rather than spiritually driven decision. Oh no.
“My Silver Lining” – First Aid Kit
I don’t know anything at all about this band, but I heard this song on the radio and it’s fantastic. Also, a little unusually for an earworm list here, it’s also resolutely contemporary… albeit it sounds folky enough that it’s pretty timeless. There are faint hints of Simon and Garfunkel and of the Fleet Foxes here, all with a sort of wild west, Jack White/Danger Mouse type vibe. What’s not to like about that?
Wait, have I just completed a list of songs without any Metallica?
Dammit **digs out Master of Puppets immediately**.