Archives » Music

Friday on my Mind 151: A Touch Of Velvet – A Sting Of Brass

A track by Mark Wirtz – he of the Teenage Opera – released as by The Mood Mosaic.

It seems this was used as the theme music for a German TV show called Musikladen among others.

How sixties does this sound?

Mood Mosaic: A Touch Of Velvet – A Sting Of Brass

Reelin’ In the Years 137: Dear Elaine

This is something of an oddity but yet is entirely consistent with Roy Wood’s oeuvre.

Very unMove-like and far too restrained for Wizzard – which he had formed at around the same time as this – it could still be an outtake from The Electric Light Orchestra, the band’s
eponymous first album, which did contain quite a lot of acoustic plucked strings in its arrangements.

Roy Wood: Dear Elaine

Honfleur and Erik Satie

We discovered that Honfleur was the birthplace of composer Erik Satie.

It was his 150th anniversary so the house had been bedecked accordingly:-

aOld Building 8

Birthplace plaque:-

Honfleur, Erik Satie's Birthplace Plaque

The local music school is named in his honour though I see from the lettering above the central windows that it was (once) a Nursery School:-

Honfleur, Municipal Music School Erik Satie

There’s almost an Art Deco feel to this building. Canopy, long windows beside it, “jazzy” iron work on the gates:-

Honfleur, Municipal Music School Satie 2

Satie’s Gymnopédie No.1 is a lovely piece of music. I also like the animation which accompanies it here.

Erik Satie – Gymnopédie No.1

Reelin’ In the Years 136: Jessica. RIP Gregg Allman

This is perhaps the most abiding legacy of the Allman Brothers band, whose member, Gregg, died earlier this week.

I might have included it in this series before if it had not had the (mis)fortune to have become the theme tune to Top Gear. Still that’s not the Allmans’ fault and it was chosen long before the programme was hi-jacked by the play-to-the-lowest-common-denominator tendency.

The Allman Brothers Band: Jessica

Gregory LeNoir “Gregg” Allman: 8/12/1947- 27/5/2017. So it goes.

Reelin’ In the Years 135: Angel Fingers (A Teen Ballad)

This almost forgotten song (it hardly gets any retrospective airplay) was oddly, given the perennial appeal of I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day, Wizzard’s only no 1 hit apart from See My Baby Jive.

In some senses it’s not strange that posterity has deemed this less memorable. It’s slower in tempo and arguably too long.

Wizzard: Angel Fingers

Live It Up 37: Marlene on the Wall

This song was the inspiration for a character in one of the short stories I had published in the late lamented Spectrum SF. I didn’t actually spell that out though.

Suzanne Vega: Marlene on the Wall

Reelin’ In the Years 134: Blockbuster

That siren sound announced the change from the Sweet’s previously bubble-gummy sound to something more hard-edged. It gave them their only UK no 1.

Surprisingly it wasn’t as big a hit in the US as the totally bland Little Willy had been.

The Sweet: Blockbuster

Friday on my Mind 150: Captain Zeppos Theme – Living It Up

A curio.

For some reason the 60s TV import Captain Zeppos came into my head recently. The series was made in Belgium and as such was a very unusual thing to be shown in Britain where foreign-made programmes were very thin on the ground (bizarre animated shorts from Eastern Europe apart.)

I vaguely remembered Captain Zeppos as a sort of detective show but it seems it was much odder.

The tune was performed by Bert Kaempfert and his Orchestra. Kaempfert was a German band leader of the easy-listening type.

This is very typically European in its style.

Bert Kaempfert and his Orchestra: Living It Up

Live It Up 36: Warm Wet Circles

A piece of late flowering Fish-era Marillion, the third single from Clutching at Straws, the last album to feature Fish as singer and lyricist.

Marillion: Warm Wet Circles

Friday on my Mind 149: Foot Tapper. RIP Brian Matthew

It was with great sadness I heard on Sunday of the death of Brian Matthew, one of the voices of my youth and, through the BBC Radio 2 programme Sounds of the Sixties, also of my recent adulthood.

This came only a few days after the BBC had mistakenly reported his death.

Despite his apparent dismay at a crass decision by the powers that be to replace him, and his stated intention to make further programmes for Radio 2, Mathew was obviously not as hale and hearty as he once was (none of us are.) There had been another lengthy absence from the programme a couple of years ago so the final news was merely a confirmation of what I had feared.

Whatever, Sounds of the Sixties is not – and never can be – the same without him. The new incumbent, Tony Blackburn, is far too chatty (what is all that stuff with Dermot O’Leary, who follows him on air? Just play the music and give us the information about the acts) and always sounds fundamentally unserious about the show’s contents. It’s Blackburn’s style and has always been his style but it grates somehow.

So. Here is the tune that will forever now be associated with Matthew – the one with which Sounds of the Sixties played (and plays) out every episode and which I will never in future be able to hear without a further tinge of sadness.

The Shadows: Foot Tapper

Brian Matthew: 17/9/1928 – 8/4/2017. So it goes.

free hit counter script