Songs that need to be spun around again

Observations of a Middle-Aged Dragon with a Tattoo: 

Songs that deserve to be listened to more often.

Set them free.

I started thinking about old songs this week; songs from my childhood and adolescence: my becoming far too distant younger days. It was all because I read a Facebook post regarding songs that no-one would know if they were under 40.

I began to think how it sold music and avid devotees a little short. It didn't take into account the eclectic tastes of those that enjoy not only a specific taste of contemporary music but others the enjoy the FULL smorgasbord of refined delicacies of the unusual and not-so-general kind; the rare old, older and oldest. No Eagles, Abba, or U2 to be found here.

Now the following may not be so unknown to some of you. Some may recognise them instantly, some may not. Either way, they aren't played a lot these days. They are eclectic, and they range from downright silly to the thoughtful to exceedingly reflective on society and of a time when music could be popular even if it spoke about one side's social agenda. Now the majority of music is driven by music executives who are as stiff as accountants and pump out manufactured assembly-line populist drivel, worked out from focus group data.

No uniqueness or real talent rewarded. Except maybe....

I'm constantly amazed how everyone fawns over Ed Sheeran, yes the guy is seriously good and unbelievably talented. But he's doing what James Taylor and his peers did a while ago; before the music industry lost its way and its heart.  You've got to reward Ed's success in a time like this. And yes he's a guy who looks normal, quirky, and a 'ranga' to top it off. What he isn't is some plastic, cut-out copy or an airbrushed all-American version of beautiful or handsome (a very unrealistic ideal btw). Welcome to the sanitised and auto-tuned music world of today.

So Ed's different by today's standards. He's playing original music with a guitar and dares tour as a said solo act. Stop the press!! Guess what.... those of us who are a little older know he's not so original, although his music is. Many have gone before him. Whatever happened to Shawn Mullins???? Remember such gems like Shimmer and Lullaby. 

That was FUN So.. Let's reminisce some more lets go WAY WAY BACK: 

Too good to be one hit wonders:

Without Google, can you name the acts who sang these?

My Sharona

Echo Beach

The Stroke

Baby it’s You: The band is a trio

NOT TO be confused with John Waite's, The Baby's. Now here's a blast from the past but, isn't it time.

Now that's a shirt, suit and a great shade of eye-shadow! Hint: In this film clip from the shoulders up John looks a lot like the female singer of Baby It's You... And the answer is Promises... have a listen. The boobs give her away. Watch after a very short time you can't take your eyes off them. But what a set of lungs great vocals and all before auto-tune. 

Too good to be forgotten:

Give me one reason: Tracy Chapman 

Fade into you: Mazzy Star

Funky Cold Medina: Tone Loc. I love the drum beat sampling of Can't get no Satisfaction... you picked it right.

You gotta be: Des'ree

Sex and Candy: Marcy's Playground

Golden Oldies:

Melt with You: Modern English. Recently it had a resurrection as a cover in the movie Table 19. It first came to prominence in the teenage cult movie of 1983, Valley Girl, which broke a young Nicholas Cage and also spawned the Psychedelic Furs Love My Way. See the original movie before the new 2018 version.

Twist in my Sobriety: Tanita Tikaram, no she's not a Kiwi. But she taught Australia a new word (and yes it wasn’t twist)

Devil went down to Georgia: The Charlie Daniels Band. Did Johnny really win?

Out of Mind Out of Sight: Models. Alas James Freud gone too soon.

                                                                                   Sweet Jane: Lou Reed/Velvet Underground

Mouldy Oldies:

Driver’s Seat: Sniff 'n' the Tears, go figure it's a great driving song.

Yesterday's Hero: John Paul Young, he's in the Aria Hall of Fame, that's even with the fact he released an album on K-tel (now if you're really good you'll know all about what K-tel represents).

Mamma Told Me (not to come): Who'd a thought it was written by Randy Newman for Eric Burdon but covered by Three-day Night and then among others the Howling Diablo's. Their version was featured in the sound track to a fantastic coming of 'old-age' movie; Bonneville: with Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Joan Allen

Horror Movie: From Skyhooks' brilliant album Living in the 70's. A ground-breaking album indeed. Forget the failed attempt to reclaim said former-glory when they desperately released, Living in the 80's... It's a Horror: not even in the same stratosphere as a B-grade Horror Movie. Please let's remember the guys for songs like Ego's Not a Dirty Word and Women in Uniform not Jukebox in Siberia.... WHAT and importantly WHY????  

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet: Bachman-Turner Overdrive: Which band member's son wrote the song that won World Idol for Norway's singing Hobbit, Kurt Nilsen?

Your Mama Won’t Like Me: Suzi Quatro was ahead of her time, even if in a later incarnation she appeared on an episode of Midsomer Murders. You guessed it as an ageing rocker. She was killed off pretty early in the episode. This song resonates with me... you guessed it my Mamma (-in-law) don't like me... Go figure probably not a surprise to you.

Fox on the Run: The Sweet. One of the band members was rumoured to be related to Mark McManus who starred as the main character,in Scottish BBC detective show - Taggart... You remember.. there's been a murrrderrr. 

Rock on: Before David Essex went too commercial: David Essex's still looking good by the way.

Hollywood Seven: Jon English, a very talented man, try not too judge him too harshly for All Together Now: Rebecca Gibney and Steve Jacobs are there as well. Oh wait! Steve Jacobs may not be a good example right now.

Every night: Phoebe Snow: Which Beatles member wrote and recorded this before Ms Snow made it more popular?

Gold: John Stewart. Can you name back-up vocalist?

Hot Child in the City: Nick Gilder and the Time Machine

From the Crypt, seriously they are that old:

Can you name the original singers of the first two... Try not to despair at recent artists and their cover-versions.

Rockin’ Good Way:

King of the Road: Unfortunately these guys sang a cover-version. But the orginal is worth very much a listen...

A Boy Named Sue: Johnny Cash

Sky High: British Jigsaw

Sentimental Silliness:

Blame it on the Bosonova: Eydie Gorme

Downtown: Petula Clark

The Streak: Ray Stevens

Disco Duck: Rick Dees. This guy performed the film clip with a puppet.

Magic: Pilot. Still can't work out if these guys were serious or not. Then there was January. How could we forget it? The song was so long at number one on the Countdown top 10 we got sick of it. They must have been serious with a lead guitarist with a double guitar ala Jimmy Page.... Still the song has you reminiscing. Love it.

Go on... Go back and find your music with a heart... the songs that remind you of younger you.  Dare you to.. 


When a song lyric hits the spot

Observations of a Middle-Aged Dragon with a Tattoo:

When a song lyric just hits the spot.

Don’t you love it when a song comes on the radio or on your device and because you’ve got it on shuffle, it’s a pleasant, inspiring surprise.

At first this week’s blog was going to be about how amazing the lyrics of older songs were. How they caught the imagination and stirred the soul. My mind kept raising the question that maybe with the advent of iTunes, Spotify etc.; imaginative, telling a full story and soul-stirring lyrics could be history. Then again, let’s face it some record labels have always churned out songs like sausage meat. Now I think even faster turnover is required, and yeah probably the quality of the art of song writing overall has diminished under the pressure for quantity. However, while I think the days of the 5 minute or longer song is over. There are still some, clever, emotion evoking new songs out there.

However, there’s nothing like an older song that brings back memories of when we were younger and dare I say it, more carefree.

So here are some songs that deserve an unearthing and a re-listen. Some you'll have to dig way down for and some not so much but all worth it:

Anything from Mark Knoffler and Dire Straits: 

No not necessarily, songs from the album Brother’s in Arms (which everyone seems to carry-on about). They're good but don't forget the landmark Love over Gold (a 5 song album) oh the shock of it! Amazing story-telling songs though.

My REAL love-affair is with Making Movies, the whole album is briliant particularly Expresso Love: you know it:

She gets the sun in the daytime
Perfume in the dusk
 
And she comes out in the night time
With the honeysuckle musk
Because she smells just like a rose
And she tastes just like a peach
She got me walking where the wildlife goes
I'd do anything to reach her

How beautiful are those lyrics, and BAM! You're right there smelling the honeysuckle musk. Gets me every time.

Then there’s Meatloaf and the wonders of Jim Steinman's lyrics.

So many to choose from. Some say the lyrics are a little cheesy I say no way especially when delivered with Meatloaf’s powerhouse voice. They struck a chord with a generation and still do. Now given the right timing they bust you open and make you feel like you’re right there, sinking deeper and deeper into the chilly California sand and there you are in the middle of For Crying Out Loud.. Take a listen right here to the full 8.55 mins of the mini pop opera and then let the goosebumps roll.

And the now chilly California wind
Is blowing down our bodies again
And we're sinking deeper and deeper into the chilly California sand
Oh I know you belong inside my aching heart
And can't you see my faded Levis bursting apart
And don't you hear me crying 
Oh babe, don't go
And don't you hear me screaming

How was I to know?

There are so many, many more. SO now I'm going for left field; or a man whose softer songs were such a turn off to his diehard fans that some of them bought the singles (you know those black vinyl things, bigger than a CD but smaller than vinyl EPs, those black things the size of a dinner plate). Anyway they bought them just so they could burn them. However, with time the song has grown to be seen as one of his best. I'm writing about Alice Cooper's... You and Me. Because as the song says; What we are is what we are

When I get home from work,
I wanna wrap myself around you.
I wanna take you and squeeze you
till the passion starts to rise.
I wanna take you to heaven.
That would make my day complete. 
But you and me ain't no movie stars.
What we are is what we are.
We share a bed,
some lovin',
and tv, yeah.

The one song that reminded me there are some amazing recent evocative songs out there was Rhianna's Cheers 'Drink to That', or as everyone knows it: Here's to the Freakin' Weekend. It is different to those above in its message, but the power of its mood lifting and the emotions stirred is similar.

What more need be said:

Cheers to the freakin' weekend
I drink to that, yeah yeah
Oh let the Jameson sink in
I drink to that, yeah yeah
Don't let the bastards get ya down
Turn it around with another round

Dare you to….

 


Songs that deserve to be listened to more often.

Observations of a Middle-Aged Dragon with a Tattoo: 

Songs that deserve to be listened to more often.

Set them free.

I started thinking about old songs this week; songs from my childhood and adolescence: my becoming far too distant younger days. It was all because I read a Facebook post regarding songs that no-one would know if they were under 40.

I began to think how it sold music and avid devotees a little short. It didn't take into account the eclectic tastes of those that enjoy not only a specific taste of contemporary music but others the enjoy the FULL smorgasbord of refined delicacies of the unusual and not-so-general kind; the rare old, older and oldest. No Eagles, Abba, or U2 to be found here.

Now the following may not be as unknown as some people could name, but they are eclectic, and they range from downright silly to the thoughtful to exceedingly reflective on society and of a time when music could be popular even if it spoke about one side's social agenda. Not just some pop-princess pretending to have written a song that sounds like hard rock. Now it's just all manufactured assembly-line populist drivel, worked out from focus group data.

No uniqueness or real talent rewarded. Except maybe....

I'm constantly amazed how everyone fawns over Ed Sheeran, yes the guy is seriously good, and you've got to reward his success in a time like this. 

A guy who looks normal, quirky, a 'ranga' not some plastic, cut-out copy or an airbrushed all-American beautiful (unrealistic) ideal. Welcome to the sanitised and auto-tuned music world of today.

Again Ed's just playing original music with a guitar and dares tour as a said solo act. Stop the press!! Guess what.. those of us who are a little older know he's not so original, although his music is. Many have gone before him. So..

Let's reminisce:

Too good to be one hit wonders:

Without Google, can you name the acts who sang these?

My Sharona

Echo Beach

The Stroke

Baby it’s You: The band is a trio

NOT TO be confused with John Waite's, The Baby's. Now here's a blast from the past but, isn't it time.

Now that's a shirt, suit and a great shade of eye-shadow! Hint: In this film clip from the shoulders up John looks a lot like the female singer of Baby It's You... And the answer is Promises... have a listen. The boobs give her away. Watch after a very short time you can't take your eyes off them. But what a set of lungs great vocals and all before auto-tune. 

Too good to be forgotten:

Give me one reason: Tracy Chapman 

Fade into you: Mazzy Star

Funky Cold Medina: Tone Loc. I love the drum beat sampling of Can't get no Satisfaction... you picked it right.

You gotta be: Des'ree

Sex and Candy: Marcy's Playground

Golden Oldies:

Melt with You: Modern English. Recently it had a resurrection as a cover in the movie Table 19. It first came to prominence in the teenage cult movie of 1983, Valley Girl, which broke a young Nicholas Cage and also spawned the Psychedelic Furs Love My Way. See the original movie before the new 2018 version.

Twist in my Sobriety: Tanita Tikaram, no she's not a Kiwi. But she taught Australia a new word (and yes it wasn’t twist)

Devil went down to Georgia: The Charlie Daniels Band. Did Johnny really win?

Out of Mind Out of Sight: Models. Alas James Freud gone too soon.

                                                                                   Sweet Jane: Lou Reed/Velvet Underground

Mouldy Oldies:

Driver’s Seat: Sniff 'n' the Tears, go figure it's a great driving song.

Yesterday's Hero: John Paul Young, he's in the Aria Hall of Fame, that's even with the fact he released an album on K-tel (now if you're really good you'll know all about what K-tel represents).

Mamma Told Me (not to come): Who'd a thought it was written by Randy Newman for Eric Burdon but covered by Three-day Night and then among others the Howling Diablo's. Their version was featured in the sound track to a fantastic coming of 'old-age' movie; Bonneville: with Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Joan Allen

Horror Movie: From Skyhooks' brilliant album Living in the 70's. A ground-breaking album indeed. Forget the failed attempt to reclaim said former-glory when they desperately released, Living in the 80's... It's a Horror: not even in the same stratosphere as a B-grade Horror Movie. Please let's remember the guys for songs like Ego's Not a Dirty Word and Women in Uniform not Jukebox in Siberia.... WHAT and importantly WHY????  

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet: Bachman-Turner Overdrive: Which band member's son wrote the song that won World Idol for Norway's singing Hobbit, Kurt Nilsen?

Your Mama Won’t Like Me: Suzi Quatro was ahead of her time, even if in a later incarnation she appeared on an episode of Midsomer Murders. You guessed it as an ageing rocker. She was killed off pretty early in the episode. This song resonates with me... you guessed it my Mamma (-in-law) don't like me... Go figure probably not a surprise to you.

Fox on the Run: The Sweet. One of the band members was rumoured to be related to Mark McManus who starred as the main character,in Scottish BBC detective show - Taggart... You remember.. there's been a murrrderrr. 

Rock on: Before David Essex went too commercial: David Essex's still looking good by the way.

Hollywood Seven: Jon English, a very talented man, try not too judge him too harshly for All Together Now: Rebecca Gibney and Steve Jacobs are there as well. Oh wait! Steve Jacobs may not be a good example right now.

Every night: Phoebe Snow: Which Beatles member wrote and recorded this before Ms Snow made it more popular?

Gold: John Stewart. Can you name back-up vocalist?

Hot Child in the City: Nick Gilder and the Time Machine

From the Crypt, seriously they are that old:

Can you name the original singers of the first two... Try not to despair at recent artists and their cover-versions.

Rockin’ Good Way:

King of the Road: Unfortunately these guys sang a cover-version. But the orginal is worth very much a listen...

A Boy Named Sue: Johnny Cash

Sky High: British Jigsaw

Sentimental Silliness:

Blame it on the Bosonova: Eydie Gorme

Downtown: Petula Clark

The Streak: Ray Stevens

Disco Duck: Rick Dees. This guy performed the film clip with a puppet.

Magic: Pilot. Still can't work out if these guys were serious or not. Then there was January. How could we forget it? The song was so long at number one on the Countdown top 10 we got sick of it. They must have been serious with a lead guitarist with a double guitar ala Jimmy Page.... Still the song has you reminiscing. Love it.

candle


Seduction music.... Getting in the mood

Observations of a Middle-Aged Dragon with a Tattoo: 

The Art of ....Getting in the mood

A sexified ambience is the goal. A balance set somewhere between relaxed but not sleazy. Sade is a tried and true classic: who can forget Smooth Operatorbut how about a bit of The Sweetest Taboo You've probably heard Joan Armatrading's, Love and Affection, of course you have! You'd have to have been living in a cave not to know it... This time with a little dedication...... Once more with the feeling... But a real, often forgotten gem of Joan's, is Willow. It can lift the night.

Setting the scene, more than candles and champagne. Music, the right music will really heat up the night.

candle

The art of the rest: Music to elevate the night from just bonking; to the art of elegant love-making.

Anything George Michael 
produced in his romantic phase is a great start or of course Mr Love-juices himself Barry White
, but I find big Bazza gets a little monotonous. Prince's Cream (on the video link start two minutes in to get the real cream vibe) orKylie Minogue's Slow are the pinnacle of sophisticated musical seduction. A newcomer and not too well-known is a very smooth and creamy Isobel Campbell - a wonderful Scottish singer-songwriter- and her duet with Mr Dripping Molasses voice(thick, dark and smooth), Mark LaneganCome on Over (turn me on)
. For those Tex Perkins fans you'll love Mark. A very similar timbre of hot sexiness in his vocals; or should I say, his bewitching vocals.

Got carried away there so.... Back to elegant love-making.

Lets face it, after the first two bars of the song or you may make it through the intro, nonetheless if the 'seduction songs' have worked and love-making song is doing its 'charming thing'... you won't be listening anyway. You should be lost in a world of love, intimacy and intense sharing.

candle