Earworms of the Week
"Busy Line" - Peter Skellern
I didn’t grow up in a musical house – neither of my parents were much bothered by music and didn’t really have anything in the way of records or albums or anything like that. My mum did have a couple of tapes in the car though: one was the greatest hits of Cliff Richard, the other was something by this guy. I know nothing about him at all, but over the last 35 years, this particular song has stuck in my head through thick and thin. His style is a little like Jake Thackray and he has that whimsical sort of a delivery, but I suppose if you’ve written a song that’s catchy enough to linger in the memory for that long, then you must have been doing something right. He wrote the words for a song on the Bladerunner soundtrack, Wikipedia tells me.. and worked with both Julian Lloyd-Webber *and* Richard Stillgoe.
"Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)" - Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel
Oooh, oooh. La la la. Oooh, oooh. La la la.
Well, it’s definitely catchy.
"2-4-6-8 Motorway" - Tom Robinson Band
I was listening to Tom Robinson chuntering away on 6Music the other day and actually took a moment to pause and remember his other career. I think I own this song as part of a compilation album called something like “The Greatest Punk Album in the World Ever”. I’m not entirely sure that this counts as punk, but it’s a pretty handy meat-and-two-potatoes rock song, isn’t it?
"2-4-6-8 ain't never too late
Me and my radio truckin' on thru the night
3-5-7-9 on a double white line
Motorway sun coming up with the morning light"
Simple and effective.
"Grey Tickles, Black Pressure" - John Grant
Well, John Grant is many things, but I don’t think anyone ever accused one of his songs of being simple. Check out how this, the opener from his new albums, starts like this:
"I did not think I was
The one being addressed
In haemorrhoid commercials
On the TV set
I often stand and stare
At nothing in the grocery store
Because I do not know
What to buy to eat any more"
Well, middle-age comes to us all, I suppose.
"Honey Sun" – Elbow
Not one of the obvious Elbow songs to have stuck in your head…. But like many of their songs, this one is another beautifully crafted, understated gem. I wasn’t all that gone on “Build a Rocket Boys!”, the follow up to “The Seldom Seen Kid”, but I absolutely love “The Taking Off and Landing of Everything”. Garvey’s got a solo album on the way, hasn’t he? Released on October 30th.
Speaking of the NME. Did you see that today is 10 years to the day since “I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor” was released? Although when former NME editor, Conor McNicholas says “We were the only place who knew what the Libertines meant. We owned the conversation around guitar music. That’s what changed in 2005 – we didn’t any more. Arctic Monkeys always felt to me like the band that killed the NME", he’s clearly talking out of his arse. As usual.
FACT: I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor is the last record that actually made me want to dance when I first heard it. I was in the shower listening to the radio, so I just went ahead and shook my booty to the music. Enjoying that mental image? You’re welcome.
"Our Velocity" - Maximo Park
I loved Maximo Park, but although I think this is a good record in its own right, it always seems like a bit of a conscious re-tread of “Apply Some Pressure”, which is quite simply a better song all round. Oh well. Some bands have made whole careers out of writing the same song over and over again. The Kinks clearly aren’t one of those bands, but “You Really Got Me” and “All Day And All Of the Night”, anyone?
"So you Wanna be a Boxer" - Bugsy Malone OST
How long has it been since you last watched this little beauty? My Childhood best friend, Will, was obsessed with this song and used to sing it all the time. And who didn’t want a splurge gun? And whatever happened to the girl who played Tallullah?
"No Regrets" - The Walker Brothers
Latter day, reformed Walker Brothers. It’s probably not their best song, and I could have lived without the country and western twang, but Scott Walker’s magnificent voice still has the power to uplift. I know that Walker’s latter day work is very highly regarded, but I can’t help but mourn the loss of that beautiful, honeyed bass baritone. Apparently he still possesses it (he used it on his 1999 song from the World is Not Enough soundtrack, “Only Myself to Blame”), but he simply chooses not to use it anymore. Great shame. My favourite singer ever, bar none.
The National Anthem of the Soviet Union
Nope. Beats me how this got into my head. I think it might be because I’ve been enjoying the national anthems at the Rugby World Cup; Argentina’s in particular. I love the way it has two minutes of pompous brass before the singing even starts…. Which for some reason reminded me of the old Soviet anthem. Pretty much anything is better than God Save the Queen, although surely we can all agree that the Marseillaise is the best anthem, right?
"Thunderball" - Tom Jones
I’m not sure if I think this is the best of all the Bond anthems (and I have a huge soft spot for “We Have All the Time in the World” and “OHMSS” in particular), but it is definitely one of my favourites. It’s classic Tom Jones in the way he seems to barely be able to keep the power in his voice in check and lets the throttle out a bit in the chorus before really letting rip at the end. As it happens, we were told at choir this week that the Spring season is going to include a Bond medley…. Starting with the choir singing Monty Norman’s theme at the beginning. Sounds like fun to me! (although, I’m not a tenor, so I won’t have to make a twat out of myself singing that guitar part!). Sam Smith? Meh.
Anyway. That’s your lot. Have a great weekend, y’all.