Evening all. Would you look at this! A Guest Editor two weeks running. It's almost as though it's some sort of a regular feature here. Who would have thought it?
I discovered this week's editor as a result of his love of music, and if you go and have a look at his blog - especially the links on the right-hand-side - you'll see exactly what I mean. So, Ladies and Gentleworms, without further ado, I will leave you in his capable hands.....
Earworms of the Week - Guest Editor #38 - bedshaped from some guy on a journey
I feel honoured to add my little bit to the delights of this blog. Swiss asked me to do this a couple of weeks ago and within a couple of hours, I already had a list. The trouble was, this list of ‘Earworms’ was over 25 songs long. Too many by far. What followed was a lot of trimming down, some changes, some more trimming down, some more changes and when I had a list of just 10, it appeared that none of them were on the original list. Go figure.
So….without further ado….
“This week, I ‘ave been mostly listening to….”
Arcade Fire “Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels)”
This is a band that I wanna love. I first caught them on MTV a while back, some live concert they did. I’d never heard of them before and initially I wasn’t struck’ by their music, but more so by their appearance. They look like the most unlikely band in the world and that’s why I liked them so much. Something different!
This song is a great example of how they pull everything together and somehow squeeze out something along the lines of a near perfect formation of a song…..The gentle opening…the slight build up…the crescendo of the chorus…then the deliverance of a great hook. His voice is nothing special, but the words are great and the way he compliments himself with the chord changes just gets my goat. It’s a great song to drive to. At 2 minutes 52 seconds, it hits the peak. This would be when you would see me pounding the steering wheel in time with the drums and singing my head off.
“And if my parents are crying
then I'll dig a tunnel
from my window to yours”
The Killers “All those things that I’ve done"
For me, this is the standout track on their album. The original video was great, then, they re-released the song and reshot the video into something that made the song appear crummy. It did the song no favours, that’s for sure. I caught The Killers at just the right time. They hadn’t had anything big, but I could see potential and stuck with them. 2 releases later and they were on every ‘hip kids’ lips. Just check out that major, major hook that digs in at 2 minutes, 31 seconds. I defy anybody to listen to this and not wanna sing along. The choir sound backing up, giving the emphasis it deserves.
Apparently, the lead singer was voted best dressed male in some music awards thingy. I like them for their music personally. It’s a ‘feel good’ song, that’s for sure. There’s just something that this song sets off inside that makes me feel like a 14 year old kid that’s just had his first kiss from a girl behind the bikesheds.
“I got soul, but I’m not a soldier”
Fine Young Cannibals “Ever fallen in love”
For me, cover versions should be marked with a sound that pays homage to the original and yet has all the trademarks of the artist doing the cover. The FYC did exactly that when they covered this Buzzcocks classic. Almost the entire song is a hook for me. The drum beats, the bassline, the strumming guitar, his vocal patterns, the whole thing. This is the kind of song that comes on the radio and lifts your mood.
They did some shit, they did some good stuff, but for me, this…..yeah, ok a cover version, is the best thing The FYC ever did. His voice used to grate on me in their other songs. And even now, when I think back and try to imagine them….all I can vision is Lister, Rimmer and The Cat from Red Dwarf for some reason. No, I don’t know either! Exactly the kind of song that I don’t listen to for ages, then all of a sudden, it rears it’s head on some radio station and the hook just sinks right back in.
“Ever fallen in love, in love with someone you shouldn’t have fallen in love with.”
Kanye West “Gone”
This is without a shadow of a doubt the standout track on his latest album. The guy has a very clever ear and delivers something that is both quirky and interesting. Something other people in the ‘rap’ sector sadly lack nowadays. This would be a great song on a soundtrack for a movie, right at the point when the girl breaks up with the guy and he reflects…like a flashback of all the past times with her. And when you think the song is all done, the mood changes when the strings kick in and he carries on…continuing the story…
On the first listen to his album, this was the one track that I just couldn’t shake out of my head. I can remember a couple of days later, remembering part of the hook sample and it drove me nuts trying to think where it came from. Strings and rap???? You better believe it baby!
“They claim you never know what you got ‘til it’s gone.”
Stevie Wonder "Superstition”
Wind the windows down, put your shades on and just soak up this song while driving in your car. The keyboard hook is amazing and gets under your skin like some huge pre-op needle. I’m not a Stevie wonder fan by any means, but this song never fails to get my vibes pulsating. A simple, yet annoyingly good drum pattern kicks it off in that ‘instantly recognisable way’ …..then the keyboard kicks in like a slapping bassline…then add a little “chicken grease” as Prince would call it and top it off with some horns that compliment the song like brown sauce compliments a bacon sandwich. The hook that drives the entire song is so good, I can’t believe that somebody hasn’t sampled it.
“When you believe in things that you don’t understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition ain’t the way “
Chemical Brothers “The Golden Path”
I have a lot of time for these guys. A LOT of time. This particular song always comes to me when I feel like I wanna hear something that will lift my mood, even though the subject of the lyrics are far from an inspiring story. A wonderful collaboration with The Flaming Lips, that originally looked as good on paper as a duet between The KLF and Tammy Wynette, but of course some of us may remember how well they pulled that one off! A driving, thumping, hurling song, with subtle fiddly bits of electronica, melted with his unusual voice and vocal technique makes this a song that comes back to haunt again and again. That clever keyboard hook that compliments the vocals and bassline just melts this song into something way, way beyond the normal crap that gets pushed out but these kinds of artists.
“Please forgive me. I never meant to hurt you.”
The Bluetones “Slight Return”
Ever since I heard this song, way back when….It’s always stuck in my head as ‘one of those great pop songs’. I don’t even know what it is about this song that consistently pulls me in, whether it’s his vocal patterns, or the simple guitar, or just the nice feel of the song.
It’s a feel good song for me. The type that pops on the radio or cuts into the cd compilation somewhere and strikes a familiar chord, resulting in a tapping foot, some air guitar and a smile.
It can be one of those songs that gets mentioned in conversation and people will go, “Who?”. But after about 15 seconds of listening to it, they then say, “oh yeah…I LOVE this song!” Its status reminds me of The La’s “There she goes”. One of those songs by a band who continue to make half decent stuff, but will always be remembered for ‘that one song’.
“All this will fade away, so I’m coming home”
The Blues Brothers “Everybody needs somebody to love”
I really have no idea where this song came from. I haven’t been listening to or watching The Blues Brothers lately, but as I was doing some jiggery pokery with the list, this song just found itself on the re-writes. How can anybody listen to this and not be reminded of the great scene from the film. Not seen it? How very dare you! Sung by the fantastic Dan Akroyd and John Belushi (God rest his soul), accompanied by a string of semi famous talent. It’s got everything. A catchy chorus, a great hook, choirs singing as back up vocals and a fantastic, easy on the ear blues feel.
The Vines “Homesick”
They’ve done something much better than this, but this song has something that repeats like a bad curry (So I’m told!). His meandering vocals and the simplicity of the tune makes this feel like a song you’ve heard a million times before, even on the first listen. And isn’t that how all great songs should sound? At 2 minutes and 41 seconds, the guitar solo kicks in. Such a simple riff, that I can’t help but finger and thumb over the steering wheel when I’m driving. At 3 minutes and 37 seconds, the song feels finished, but it carries on. And then becomes a song that I don’t want to end or am hovering over the ‘repeat’ button for. Songs should be just like that. So good, it’s instantly repeatable!
AC/DC “You Shook Me All Night Long”
What can I say? This has a guitar riff that’s as instantly recognisable as “Sweet child o’ mine”.
I’ve always liked this song, but the time that moved it from being “a song I liked” to “A song I love”, was back in 2003. I was at the V festival and it was the time when everything wound down. The end of the night, the end of the music, the end of the festival, we found ourselves in the dance tent. It was heaving and some trance stuff was bleeding thru the speakers. People were lost in the moment.
We danced around as best we could and soaked up the final tunes, when the DJ mixed in this track. Completely out of nowhere! My brother and I looked at each other, smiled and danced our little socks off. The place went wild!
Just listen to that opening riff.
Just check out those driving drums.
Just check out when the second guitar kicks in.
This is being played by me a lot lately, because I’m looking forward to this years festival and this song helps me get in the mood. Fantastic riff, beating drums, sing a long chorus….I rest my case.
And there it is.
Now ask me again and the list will be completely different.
Ah beautiful. ladies and gentlemen... I give you bedshaped. An excellent list - and amply linked too. Thank you very much. Fingers crossed I'll have another Guest Editor next week.... Have an excellent long weekend y'all.
[Previous Guest Editors: Flash, The Urban Fox, Lord Bargain, Retro-Boy, Statue John, Ben, OLS, Ka, Jenni, Aravis, Yoko, Bee, Charlie, Tom, Di, Spin, The Ultimate Olympian, Damo, Mike, RedOne, The NumNum, Leah, Le Moine Perdu, clm, Michael, Hyde, Adem, Alecya, bytheseashore, adamant, Earworms of the Year 2005, Delrico Bandito, Graham, Lithaborn, Phil, Mark II, Stef, Kaptain Kobold]