Posts from September 2006

Sep 06


FT + The Brown Wedge7 comments • 2,122 views


Good Heavens! Urban culture mixologist Banksy has struck again! Is no popstar safe?

ROLF HARRIS – “Two Little Boys”

FT + Popular91 comments • 14,374 views

#280, 20th December 1969

In rock terms you could locate the end of “the 1960s” at Altamont or Woodstock, or the Beatles’ final split. In the wider narrative of British life, you could point to the 1970 World Cup defeat and the end of the Wilson government. But in the world of the pop charts, the decade ends here, with Australian light entertainer Rolf Harris reviving a sentimental music hall ditty from 1912.


Next Time on Doctor Who…

FT10 comments • 776 views

The 45-second “Next time…” trailers have become one of the new Doctor Who‘s most important elements. In a season of mostly self-contained stories they serve the role a cliffhanger played in the past, making sure the audience tune in next week. Initially they drew a certain amount of fan ire for spoiling plot elements, but as the new series has settled down the trailers have too, getting the balance between teasing and revealing mostly right.

Inevitably, fannish creativity has turned its attention to the trailers.


Sep 06

THE ARCHIES – “Sugar, Sugar”

FT + Popular75 comments • 9,421 views

#279, 25th October 1969

How much sugar are we dealing with, exactly? Here’s an itemisation of the hooks in the last minute of “Sugar, Sugar”:



FT + The Brown Wedge6 comments • 1,158 views

pink31.jpgBanksy the comedy vandal casts a wry eye on the pop scene!

Toby Keith Eating Black Pudding In The Wenlock

FT + Pumpkin Publog15 comments • 2,907 views

Or, in pictures:
Toby Keith


BOBBIE GENTRY – “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again”

FT + Popular27 comments • 4,936 views

#278, 18th October 1969


Like a lot of songs from musicals, “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” sounds incomplete somehow, a stage in a particular journey. The bitter lyrics and the warm, whimsical delivery stand in such sharp contrast that you know there’s going to be a resolution one way or another. In the context of the pop charts, though, we never find out the ending, so Gentry’s song has to stand on its own as a confused, rueful moment.

I’ve never seen – or heard – Promises, Promises, so it should be easy for me to hear it like that, but the song still seems awkward. Gentry, sounding like she has a heavy cold, plays it pretty straight and sweet, and doesn’t put any special stress on Hal David’s cleverer couplets – specifically the “pneumonia”/”phone ya” rhyme, the artifice of which jumps out even more as a result. Stripped of context, what I get is some lovely hooks in service of a record that’s too cute for its own good.

Woodland Propaganda

FT + The Brown Wedge2 comments • 898 views

As we all know, second-hand bookshops are dangerous places. Most fall into two categories: 1) evil-smelling dungeons guarded by Bernard Black where the books don’t even have any writing on the spines 2) cosy treasure-nests that you cannot bear to leave without spending half your weekly salary on a children’s book you can recite by heart anyway but that was lost forever when your parents moved house/got flooded/burned it as heresy UNTIL NOW.


Sep 06


FT + Popular38 comments • 12,920 views

#277, 11th October 1969

Within Gainsbourg’s career this sounds to me like a stopping point between the sharp pop songs he was writing for himself and others in the 60s and the more drawn-out, high-concept records he made in the 70s: “Je T’Aime”s bass-heavy langour could be a practise run for bits of 1971’s terrific Histoire De Melody Nelson. If it wasn’t for the bass, in fact, “Je T’Aime” would be a pretty dire record – neither the somewhat prissy string arrangement or the soft-focus blur of the organ have aged that well, but the bass makes the song work as an insistent slow dance.



FT + Popular25 comments • 4,421 views

#276, 20th September 1969

One of rock’s jauntier doomsdays, a feeling solidified for me by its status of party fixture on my college bar jukebox. Jaunty doesn’t always mean friendly, though. Creedence keep things brisk, lean and simple, and there’s only a touch of wildness in John Fogerty’s voice. “Bad Moon Rising” has no patience for melodrama, and this cold matter-of-factness is its strength: Fogerty and his boys know what’s coming and sound ready for it – they’re just passing the word on to you, and leaving you to deal with it as you can.