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Something Changed 28: Don’t Marry Her

Another of those Beautiful South songs with a barbed lyric. See my comments on Song for Whoever.

For single release and radio play the line in this which reads, “Don’t marry her, have me,” was changed from something altogether more fruity, as was the euphemism “Sandra Bullocks”.

Part of the lyric always annoyed me, though. “Take the kiddies to the park,” doesn’t scan. “Take the kids to the park,” would.

The Beautiful South: Don’t Marry Her

The less work-friendly, more earthy, version of Don’t Marry Her can be found here.

Friday on my Mind 183: Death of a Clown

I remember at the time this came out there was some talk about the Kinks having too many good songs for them to all be released under their name, hence this song – mostly written by Dave but with a contribution from the group’s prime songwriter Ray – appeared as a Dave Davies solo venture, even though the Kinks played on it, and it sounded very much like the group. Later that year it was the second track on the Kinks’ fifth album Something Else by the Kinks.

Dave’s solo career petered out after the follow-up Suzannah’s Still Alive didn’t have as much success as this top five hit.

Dave Davies: Death of a Clown

Reelin’ In the Years 165: Do Anything You Wanna Do

The lead singer of Eddie and the Hot Rods died suddenly earlier this month. The Rods were a kind of precursor punk band more or less superseded by the likes of the Sex Pistols when they came along. Their brief heyday was in 1977 when this song – released under the name The Rods – became their biggest hit.

The Rods: Do Anything You Wanna Do

Barrie Masters: 4/5/1956 – 2/10/2019. So it goes.

Live It Up 60: Luka

There aren’t many pop songs which deal with the subject of domestic violence, but this one does. I heard Vega on the radio many years after it was a hit saying she took the name from that of the boy who did indeed live on the floor above her. She subsequently found he was playing on the fact that it had been used in the song as a chat-up line!

The first video below is the official one, the second a “live” performance.

Suzanne Vega: Luka


Something Changed 27: National Express

It’s an unusual song, to say the least, that hymns the delights of a cross-country method of public transport. Yet that is exactly what this jaunty, tongue-in-cheek number from 1998 does.

It is also a statement of sorts to name your band after a famouspoem by Dante Alighieri even though it is a bit of a pisstake.

The song contains one of pop lyrics’ immortal lines in, “It’s hard to get by when your arse is the size of a small country.”

The official video from the time does display a degree of casual sexism though.

The Divine Comedy: National Express

Not Friday on my Mind 58: White Room – RIP Ginger Baker

As I’m sure everyone knows by now, the man credited with changing rock drumming for ever, Ginger Baker, died earlier this week.

He first came to my attention as part of Cream, the so-called first supergroup. I somehow didn’t notice their first single, Wrapping Paper, when it came out, but caught them on Top of the Pops with their second, I Feel Free. Then came Strange Brew and the other songs from Disraeli Gears.

I have already featured their imperious Badge, from 1969.

This track from Wheels of Fire, shows off Ginger’s drumming.

Cream: White Room

Peter Edward “Ginger” Baker: 19/8/1939 – 6/10/2019. So it goes.

Not Friday on my Mind 57: She’d Rather Be With Me

I bought two of the first three Turtles UK hits, Happy Together and Elenore

Neither was the group’s biggest hit in the UK – at least according to chart position. They reached no 12 and no 7 respectively. However, as a no 4, their hit She’d Rather Be With Me, which came between those two, was more successful.

Maybe because it’s a kind of happy-go-lucky, cheer you up song.

The Turtles: She’d Rather Be With Me

Reelin’ In the Years 164: Say it Ain’t So

Murray Head first came to my attention when he played Judas on the original studio recording of Jesus Christ Superstar which was released a fair time before there was any stage production.

Say it Ain’t So is a song about fallen heroes and the phrase is supposed to have been uttered about baseball player Joe Jackson after he was implicated in a bribery scandal over the outcome of the 1919 World Series.

Murray Head: Say it Ain’t So

Live It Up 59: Drive

I saw from The Guardian that Ric Ocasek, song-writer for the US band The Cars, has died.

The group’s highest UK chart placing was at no. 3 with My Best Friend’s Girl in 1978, a song which was of a piece with those punkish times.

The much less abrasive Drive reached no. 5 in 1984 but its use the next year in the Live Aid concert of 1985 to background scenes of the famine the concert was designed to help alleviate led to a reissue where it climbed to no. 4. Since then it’s been almost impossible to hear the song without those images coming to mind.

This, though, is the official video from the original release.

The Cars: Drive

Richard Theodore Otcasek (Ric Ocasek): 23/3/1944 – 15/9/2019. So it goes.

Live It Up 58: Twist in my Sobriety

The second single – and second hit – from the laconic Tanita Tikaram.

It’s unusual to hear an oboe so prominently in a pop song.

Tanita Tikaram – Twist in my Sobriety

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