Posts from September 2006
It was pointed out to me in the pub last week that this record is actually the best of Ireland’s Eurovision winners, a claim with horrible implications that may sadly be correct. It also shows off two of the Song Contest’s typical idiosyncrasies.
“oh lord dobb have mercy all crimes are paid“: at least they should be if you deign to vote in this week’s wiretapper poll (1999)!! THE FUTURE OF THE PAST IS UP TO YOU and indeed DOWN TO YOU
(ps yes yes you think right: “GLOOB” and “GLUBBER” are mysteriously labelled the wrong way round in this portrait)
(pps for the record NOBLE HOUSE OLDSTUFFz gathered between them an orange MISS VENUS, a pink LUNARTICK w.only one leg, 2x orange GLOOB, one w.missing brane-arm, a mauve GLUBBER and an orange BUGSY BACKBONE: the very concept of KING CRATER had been erased from family archives till i found this document, i ph34r by reason of REPRESSED MEMORY TRAUMA given his anatomy) (!!)
The most celebrated track on the biggest-selling album of the 1970s in Britain, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” has become a marbled standard and it’s hard to step back from that and listen to the thing. Maybe it’s useful to leave it in its immediate context and compare it to “Wan’drin Star”, especially as I’m about to give it the same mark.
1960: Apache – The Shadows
1962: Telstar – The Tornadoes
Nelson Riddle’s arrangement for “Wand’rin Star” harks back a good twenty or thirty years, to the days of the singing cowboys and particularly acts like Sons Of The Pioneers, whose massed male backing voices this song reminds me of. “Wand’rin Star” has something of the gentle mystery of the Sons’ “Tumblin’ Tumbleweeds” or “Ghost Riders In The Sky”, with Marvin’s puzzled deep voice turning the track into a kind of cowboy lullaby. Marvin is a technically awful singer but this is an effective way for Riddle to use him, at least until the last verse when he sounds like he’s straining too hard for the tune. The singles chart at this point was clearly still wide open, deserted by emergent ‘album acts’ and without much grip on a younger teen audience, and this is yet another oddity at number one. But a very charming oddity, nonetheless.
The quirky culture-jamming prankster pokes more affectionate fun at our favourite celebrities! Do you Bank-see?
American bubblegum pop was often like garage rock’s bouncy little brother: lacking the moodiness and sex appeal, but you could see the shared DNA. British bubblegum was born out of the same talent glut of session musicians and songwriters and shared a sweet tooth, but it was quite different in approach, owing rock almost nothing and rarely placing much of a premium on kid energy. Not all Britgum hits were as lushly arranged as “Love Goes”, with its post-Beatles trumpets and strings, but most of them share its total emphasis on the chief hook. Whereas the chorus in “Sugar, Sugar” acts as a bedrock for lots of other stuff that’s going on, the chorus in “Love Goes”, built up to and bashed out again and again, is the song. Luckily it’s a pretty great chorus but the song still ends up rather unfilling.
You may think having two Railway Taverns within fairly easy walking distance (like 15 minutes, including a stop-off in a Sydenham charity shop to buy a shady-looking late ’70s Glen Campbell LP with a great version of Jimmy Webb’s “Cristiaan, No” on it) would be confusing. I can see it might lead to some misunderstanding, or at least surprise. But that’s nothing.
Fooled you. Not talking about the telly here. No, in the ongoing massacre of free London newspapers, one thing has remained constant: the This Life cartoon is the least comprehensible, unfunny cartoon still providing its creator with a living. (And I include political cartoonists in this.) Well lets hope part of a living – I like to think the artist is a stinking rich merchant banker who does this as cathartic exercise to keep him sane.
What is needed for all the people pleading for explanations of This Life is a blog something like this: Joe Mathlete Explains Today’s Marmaduke. Not a daily strip in the UK (that I know of), but while more competently drawn than This Life, it does suffer the same disconnection with the reader, which Joe valiantly tries to restore here.
Back in the Summer of 69. And the Spring, Autumn and other bits too. A missing Popular year poll for you to keep your spirits up while Tom regroups. Tom’s standing orders are:
I give a mark out of 10 to every single featured on Popular. This is your chance to indicate which YOU would have given 6 or more to, by whatever standard you wish to impose. And if you have any ‘closing remarks’ on the year to make, the comments box is your place!