Earworms of the Week
“Nobody Does It Better” – Carly Simon
Included because I managed to persuade my wife to watch Alan Partridge, Alpha Papa for the first time the other day… and she surprisingly loved it. I think the obvious next step is to introduce her to Alan’s unique take on “The Spy Who Loved Me”. STOP GETTING BOND WRONG!
“Sex Bomb” – Tom Jones feat. Mousse T
No idea. I’ve never liked this song, so was naturally delighted when it popped up in my head. No Jones. No.
“The Riverboat Song” – Ocean Colour Scene
“Govinda” – Kula Shaka
I’ve decided that 1996 was the year that British music peaked: As well as the undeniably timeless genius of Ocean Colour Scene (not the one with them on the scooters in the video, sadly) and Kula Shaka, we had Gina G, Return of the Mack, Spice Girls, Robson & Jerome, Oasis…. Does it get any better than this? Not for my money it doesn’t, although 1995 did have the Rednex, I suppose.
“No Limit” – 2Unlimited
“Welcome to the Jungle” – Guns N’Roses
I saw Guns N’Roses at Wembley Stadium in 1991, shortly before the release of the Use Your Illusions albums and the last gig that Izzy Stradlin played with the band. They kept us waiting for hours, but they were absolutely incredible. I wasn’t mucb bothered when Axl toured the band a couple of years ago: there’s only him in it now, and the habit of keeping people waiting for hours after stage-time just isn’t funny or appealing any more. It’s interesting that they’re reforming (most of) the classic line-up for Coachella, but it feels like it’s a car-crash in the waiting. Whatever people say though, “Appetite” remains the single most incendiary record in rock, and it still sounds absolutely untouchable today
“Overkill” – Motorhead
Because Lemmy, and because this is just the most incredible song.
“Wonderful Life” – Black
“Hazy Shade of Winter” – Simon & Garfunkel / The Bangles
I’ve been in the choir for a year now, and after 25 years of thinking choirs aren’t really my bag, it turns out that they really are. I love my two hours of singing every week, and I even quite like the discipline of learning the songs off by heart, even if that means that there are whole weeks when I only listen to the MP3s of my rehearsal tracks and pretty much nothing else. To give myself a bit of a push this year, I’ve decided that I might put myself forward for some solo or ensemble singing. My friend Sarah has suggested a duet on the Simon and Garfunkel song, although it’s a bit seasonally specific, so will probably have to wait until next winter season… which at least gives us a chance to work on the harmony lines. I’ve also thought of a song for the next Christmas season – “When the Thames Froze” by Smith & Burrows – but thought that I would have a bash at “Wonderful Life” this season. The first hurdle is a “singposium” at the end of this month: it’s not an audition, but it’s a chance to sing the song in a safe environment and to get some feedback. If that goes okay, I might audition it for a solo spot. It does, of course, mean that I’ve spent the vast majority of this week listening to this song and trying to learn the words. Over the next couple of weeks, I will start listening to the backing track I will sing to, and practice singing along without the crutch of Black’s actual vocals underneath (it's harder than you'd think). It’s good to scare yourself sometimes, isn’t it?
Right. That's your lot. Have a good weekend. I'll probably be running....
Top Gun (1986)
22 hours ago