Earworms of the Week
“Spring-Heeled Jim” – Morrissey
Apparently, Morrissey has just ranked his discography in order of preference. Being the contrarian that he is, he hasn’t put anything by the Smiths anywhere near the top, and has instead decided that his most recent albums deserve places in the top three, with his current album being his favourite. Well, I suppose that’s his prerogative, but he’s wrong. I listened to “Vauxhall and I” this morning, and it’s a lovely album with some brilliant songs on there – this one is hypnotic, but I could equally have picked “Now My Heart Is Full”. His voice has rarely sounded better than it does here. Sure, it lacks the lightness of touch and the deftness of Johnny Marr, but it’s a strong record. By coincidence, I heard “Istanbul” from the new album playing on the radio this morning. I won’t comment on the quality of the lyrics, but the instrumentation was just awful, lumpen, clunking rubbish. Mediocre at best. Quite why Morrissey has put up with such sub-standard backing for so long is a mystery. Perhaps he’ll never find a Johnny Marr, but his refusal to work with an equal partner in song-writing just seems self-defeating and wilfully perverse. Yeah, that pretty much sums him up though, doesn’t it?
“Panic Station” – Muse
I often say that I can’t listen to classical music because it seems to very quickly make my head hurt. In the nicest way possible, Muse affect me like that a little bit too. Their particular brand of symphonic rock is fantastic, but I often struggle to listen to an album all the way though. Still, they’re a fantastic band and one of the best live acts I have ever seen. I could probably live without the Queen impersonations, but otherwise they’re great.
“Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon” – Neil Diamond / Urge Overkill
I watched Pulp Fiction on BluRay about a month ago. It was great. When this song popped up in my head the other day, I had to stop and think whether I was earworming the Neil Diamond original or the Urge Overkill cover from the film. In the end, I couldn’t decide, so I’m listing them both. My colleague were, I think, pleasantly surprised… I often sit at my desk humming “doobie doobie-doo” in idle tribute to the Sinatra version of “Strangers in the Night”…. Not this week. This is an altogether different class of in-office, at-desk singing material, isn’t it?
“Sympathy For The Devil” – Rolling Stones
“Bring it All Back” – S Club 7
So, you know what I was saying about shit songs I sing when I’m sitting at my desk, much to the amusement of my colleagues. Yeah. That. With this. Yeah. I KNOW.
“New England” – Billy Bragg
This song – like a lot of songs by Bragg – means so much to me that it actually brings a tear to my eye. He’s often thought of as a political singer, but basically all of his best songs are about girls, aren’t they?
“The Guns of Brixton” – The Clash
I heard a reggae cover of this on the radio as we took the cat to the vet the other day. Not Jimmy Cliff or Nouvelle Vague. Female singer. Pretty good. It took me a few moments to recognise the song, and it’s hardly a surprise that it sounds good when played in this style, but it’s just goes to show that it’s hard to ruin a properly good song, isn’t it? Actually, that’s probably nonsense, isn’t it? As Billy Bleach said on the Fast Show when referring to “Billy, Don’t Be A Hero” by Paper Lace. One day someone will cover that and ruin it.
“Psychotherapy” – The Ramones
“Rockaway Beach” – The Ramones
Johnny Ramone was the last of the originals. I know they’ve sold a lot of t-shirts (and I wonder how much money any of them actually made from those…. Not much, I would bet), but people forget what a good band they were. My favourite is “Rockaway Beach”, which is practically a 1950s rock n’roll song, but the song that introduced me to the band (via Skid Row) was “Psycho Therapy”. I actually started learning that on the ukulele. I should pick that up again. The Ramones and Johnny Cash on the uke. Yeah, I like the sound of that.
“Intense Humming of Evil” – Manic Street Preachers
“The Everlasting” – Manic Street Preachers
I’ve listened to an awful lot of Manics this week, both old and new. I’ve written about them here already this week, so I won’t labour my point too much here. Suffice it to say that they’re a bloody excellent band. There was an article on the Guardian the other day about great albums with one duff song. I would nominate “SYMM” from “This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours”. It’s a horrific, clumsy song that jars appallingly on an otherwise excellent album. My good friend Flash would actually nominate “The Intense Humming of Evil” from “The Holy Bible”, which just goes to show that his ears are painted on.
Right. That will do. Have a good weekend, y’all.