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Something Changed 19: Breathe. RIP Keith Flint

It’s safe to say the Prodigy’s music wasn’t really to my taste. What you couldn’t say about it was it was that it didn’t make a statement. It stands in stark contrast to the ocean of blandness into which modern music has submerged in the late teen years of the twenty-first century, where all the performers seem to merge into one generic

It was therefore sad to hear of the demise of Keith Flint who fronted the Prodigy in their mid-90s pomp. Even sadder that it seems he took his own life. Any life cut short is a misfortune but more so when it might have been prevented.

I also discovered from the obituaries a personal connection with the band as it was formed in Braintree, Essex, a town where I lived for two years during 1980 and 1981.

Listening to this (and to their only other number one Firestarter) now, I find myself warming to their work. Too late, alas.

The Prodigy: Breathe

Keith Charles Flint: 17/9/1969 – 4/3/2019. So it goes.

Live It Up 52: Life’s What You Make It. RIP Mark Hollis

Talk Talk were never makers of big hits but nevertheless produced four or five songs which still show their quality over thirty years after they were written and recorded. The group also influenced many later bands as quoted in the Guardian obituary of Talk Talk’s singer and composer Mark Hollis who died earlier this week.

Hollis seems to have been one of the few people who could walk away from a musical career as, barring a solo album in 1998, after 1991 he made few forays into music making.

Talk Talk: Life’s What You Make It

Mark David Hollis: 4/1/1955 – 25/2/2019. So it goes.

Not Friday on my Mind 54: For Pete’s Sake. RIP Peter Tork

Sad news again. This time it is Peter Tork of The Monkees who has joined the great lost band in the sky.

He played keyboards and bass in the band – once they were finally allowed to play on their records – but was cast as the least intellectually gifted of the four fictional band members; a role which I believe came to irritate him.

He was, though, a capable musician and wrote a few of the band’s songs including the one which ran under the TV show’s closing credits, For Pete’s Sake.

End Credits. (They all look so young.):-

This is a fuller version of the song, taken from the band’s third album Headquarters.

The Monkees: For Pete’s Sake

Peter Halsten Thorkelson (Peter Tork): 13/2/1942 –21/2/2019. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 176: Ciao Baby

A piece of typical mid-60s pop. Never a hit (though apparently it still sold 10,000 copies in the UK) but one that nevertheless stuck in the memory.

The Montanas: Ciao Baby

The version below I’d never heard until I researched this post. It was a hit for Lynne Randell in Australia. I think I prefer its faster pace.

Lynne Randell: Ciao Baby

Live It Up 51: Robert de Niro’s Waiting

This is one of those songs whose jaunty sound hides a darker underside in the lyric. The video here more than hints at that but undercuts it at the end.

Live It Up 51: Robert de Niro’s Waiting

Reelin’ In the Years 157: That’s The Way

A couple of weeks ago I featured a song with this title. It’s not the first one that would have come to my mind when I thought of it.

That would be the following, side 2, track 3 on the album Led Zeppelin III, from 1970.

Led Zeppelin: That’s The Way

Reelin’ In the Years 156: Driver’s Seat

The title of the book I’m reading just now* (if you’re looking at this later than 26/1/2019 just put The Driver’s Seat into my search bar.) naturally put me in mind of this song, the only hit in the UK – another single in the Netherlands apart, their only hit anywhere – for the unforgettably named band Sniff ‘n’ the Tears. I doubt the book and the song will have anything in common.

Sniff ‘n’ the Tears: Driver’s Seat

*Edited to add: I’ve finished it.

Something Changed 18: Stupid Girl

A bit of polished pop from 1996. With the added bonus of a Scottish lead singer in Shirley Manson.

Garbage: Stupid Girl

Friday on my Mind 175: That’s the Way – RIP Honey Lantree

I had planned at some time to post The Honeycombs’ biggest hit Have I the Right? but since the passing of their drummer Honey Lantree* recently, this one, on which she sings as well as drums, seemed more appropriate.

The fact that she was the group’s drummer – and she could actually drum, and did not need, like many sixties acts, to rely on session musicians – was a selling point, a factor in the group’s success, and a focus of some bemusement among the unenlightened of the time.

The Honeycombs: That’s the Way

Ann Margot (Honey) Lantree; 28/8/1943 – 23/12/2018

Not Friday on my Mind 53: I See the Rain. RIP Dean Ford

I was sad to hear the news of the death of Dean Ford, lead singer of (The) Marmalade (once known as Dean Ford and the Gaylords,) the first Scottish group to have a no 1 in the UK. To make it, of course, they had to leave Scotland and move to London where their initial efforts under their original name didn’t meet with much joy. Calling themselves The Marmalade also didn’t bring instant success. It was only when they adopted a more pop profile – and with songs written by others – that they achieved a measure of success, peaking with that no. 1, a cover of The Beatles’ Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.

Ford was no mean song writer though. Along with fellow band member Junior Campbell he wrote Reflections of My Life, Rainbow, and My Little One, hits between 1969 and 1971.

Plus this pre-success psychedelia-tinged song, said to be Jimi Hendrix’s favourite of 1967.

The Marmalade: I See the Rain

Thomas McAleese (Dean Ford): 5/9/1946 – 31/12/2018. So it goes.

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