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Something Changed 24: Man on the Moon

It’s a day early for the fiftieth anniversary of the real moon landing and the lyric actually has nothing to do with it, but hey, it’s a good song.

REM: Man on the Moon

Live It Up 56: Don’t Talk to Me About Love

In the sixties and seventies Scottish pop acts who had success in the wider world weren’t all that numerous. By the eighties things had improved a bit. Altered Images were to the forefront.

Here’s a Top of the Pops appearance of theirs from 1983. I didn’t remember quite how much electronic instrumentation there is in this.

Altered Images: Don’t Talk to Me About Love

Something Changed 23: Don’t Let Me Down

A typical jangly track from The Farm in the vein of Groovy Train and All Together Now. The video below may have been inspired by the TV comedy Up Pompeii! which would explain the appearance in it of that programme’s leading light Frankie Howerd. His star was more or less on the wane (not for the first time) by the year this was released. I heard he was swithering about whether or not to appear in the video and his niece – or nephew* – said to him, “You should. It’ll make you really famous.” Sic transit gloria.

The Farm: Don’t Let Me Down

*Edited to add: it may more likely have been a grand-niece or grand-nephew.

Friday on my Mind 180: A Scene In-Between

I’ve not had a piece of psychedelia for a while. This is a USian take on the form that wasn’t a hit there – or here.

Stained Glass were originally called The Trolls. I suppose they were about thirty years ahead of the time with that. There might have been some sort of Scandinavian connection though.

Stained Glass: A Scene In-Between

Live It Up 55: Tom’s Diner

This song had a triple life, first released on a compilation album in 1984 then in 1987 as an a capella version on Suzanne Vega’s second album Solitude Standing (with an instrumental reprise as the album’s last track) but as a single managed to reach no 58 in the UK, and finally as a remix by DNA in 1988 when it climbed to the dizzy heights of no 2.

It was also apparently critical in the evolution of digital compression to allow the development of MP3 technology.

Suzanne Vega: Tom’s Diner

Tom’s Diner original

Suzanne Vega/DNA: Tom’s Diner remix

Reelin’ In the Years 161: Such a Night. RIP Dr John

Last week Dr John died.

In his early years known as The Night Tripper, he never troubled the UK charts much. (At all? Well a no. 54 with Right Place, Wrong Time).

I featured Marsha Hunt’s version of Walk on Gilded Splinters – a song from Dr John’s first album Gris Gris – in Friday on my Mind 11.

Hunt’s single was weird enough but Dr John’s original – as I Walk on Guilded Splintersis even eerier.

Here’s Dr John playing Such a Night live.

Dr John: Such a Night

Malcolm John Rebennack (Dr John:) 20/11/1941 – 6/6/2019. So it goes.

Something Changed 22: Lucky You

The Lightning Seeds didn’t have as much chart success as the memory of their catchy, breezy sound might suggest.

This one for instance only reached no 43 in the UK when released in 1994. A year later it got to number 15, though.

The Lightning Seeds: Lucky You

Reelin’ In the Years 160: American Woman

Yet another from 1970.

The Guess Who were Canadian and had a first success with a cover of the Johnny Kidd and the Pirates hit Shakin’ All Over released by their record label under the name Guess Who, which effectively forced them to accept the new name. Their biggest hit in the UK (at no. 19 apparently equal to its follow-up No Sugar Tonight – which I confess I cannot remember at all) was, though, this song.

The Guess Who: American Woman

Friday on my Mind 179: Move Over Darling – RIP Doris Day

While I was away Doris Day died. Her heyday was in the 1940s and 50s – the latter mostly as a film star – but her recording career spilled over into the 1960s and included this belter, part-written by her son, 1960s record producer Terry Melcher.

The song has a peculiarity in that of the fourteen times the title’s words are sung during it, only two of these are uttered by Day herself.

This is an unusual stereo version.

Doris Day: Move Over Darling

Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff (Doris Day:) 3/4/1922 – 13/5/2019. So it goes.

Live It Up 54: Garden Party

This piece of rather heavy-handed social commentary was, in 1983, the third choice of single for Mariilion.

As a result this version does not use the word that rhymes with rucking in the two words that follow it, presumably to avoid being banned and to safeguard airplay. Live versions of the track have no such inhibitions.

Marillion: Garden Party

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