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Live It Up 10: My Baby Just Cares For Me

This one’€™s a bit of a cheat since it was recorded in 1958; as the names referenced in the lyric attest. It wasn’€™t a hit in the UK till 1985 though, on the back of a TV advert, so fits the category.

It’s also one of the good lady’s favourite tracks. I remember buying the 12 inch for her.

The accompanying video here has an interesting cartoon.

Nina Simone: My Baby Just Cares For Me

Friday On My Mind 14: 98.6

Like Georgie Fame’s Peaceful this is another one of those understated 1960s tracks. It was only a minor hit in the UK (see link below.)

98.6 on its release was considered by some to be the archetypical song of its time.

It’s also said (and mentioned in Keith’s Wiki entry) that its title refers to the human body temperature in degrees Fahrenheit. To my mind that allusion in the lyric is more than a little strained.

Keith: 98.6

How Others See The Faker

I caught the preamble to Call Me Dave’s launch of the Conservatives’ manifesto today. Over the PA they were playing all sorts of songs with “change,” “changes” or “better” in their lyrics – except of course D:Ream.

Did the Tories have permission to do this?

One of the songs was Bowie’s Changes, which contains the line “Don’t want to be a richer man.”

I don’t suppose Dave does: he comes from money and took good care to marry even more.

The song also has, “You’ve left us up to our necks in it.” Was this a prediction, Dave?

Look out you rock ‘n’ rollers.

The Beach Boys. Student Demonstration Time.

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s Ohio wasn’t the only song to mention the Kent State shootings. Student Demonstration Time, from the Beach Boys excellent Surf’s Up album, does so too.

A (restricted access) blog which I frequent aired complaints that this is a rip off of Riot In Cell Block Nine which, according to Wiki, the Beach Boys used to play in their concerts around that time. Some might, instead, call it a homage.

The lyric does contain what I think is rather a good pair of lines in:-
“The pen is mightier than the sword
But no match for a gun (when there’s a riot going on.)” The parentheses are mine.

The blurb on this You Tube item says it’s a different version from the one on Surf’s Up.

This is the more familiar (to me) track from the album.

Crosby, Stills And Nash. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes

My correspondent Campbell Yule eulogised CSNY in a recent comment.

Well; this is only CSN but it is still an anthem for old hippies. One of the sounds of the Sixties.

Stephen Stills breaks into Spanish during the last section – apparently to be obscure just for the sake of it.

Suite: Judy Blue Eyes

Jackie DeShannon, The Band: The Weight

The Band’s The Weight has famously indecipherable/obscure lyrics. Nevertheless I did buy the single way back when and also found a very good version of the Bob Dylan song I Shall Be Released on the B-side.

The first version of The Weight I remember hearing, though, and one that got a bit of airplay at the time, was by Jackie DeShannon. She wrote a good few of the familiar songs from the mid nineteen-sixties including a couple of The Searchers’ hits.

Here she is on You Tube.

For comparison purposes here also is The Band’s original version.

For Pete’s Sake, Don’t Give Them The Idea! 1.

I’ve just had a horrible thought.

England have qualified for the World Cup. (That’s not the horrible thought even though I know I shouldn’t even whisper it. Anyway, this is not about them.)

The thing is, as a result we are no doubt due for actor Keith Allen’s usual attempt at a tie-in song. Remember World In Motion, Vindaloo and Jerusalem?

Since Allen’s daughter is now a pop star she could no doubt point him in a new direction he could rip off parody. (I gather she has a track record in what we can charitably call homage. Several records in fact.)

They might put out the thing as a double act.

I’ve even thought of an appropriate name for the pair – apart from Tossers, obviously.

Not Leith Allen – that might be a bit too Scottish sounding.

So what about Keily Allen?

Handbags And Gladrags

The good lady told me she caught Mike d’Abo (the former Manfred Mann frontman, successor to Paul Jones) on TV last week talking about one of the songs he wrote, Handbags And Gladrags. She got the impression it had been written for Rod Stewart but I said I was sure Chris Farlowe had recorded it first.

D’Abo apparently said he had to write a woodwind part for Stewart but since he doesn’t write music he had to have someone transcribe it.

Whatever, the song has since become more widely known as a result of The Stereophonics recording and the version which was used as the theme music for Ricky Gervais’s “The Office” TV series.

I dislike the Stewart and Stereophonics versions both. (I can’t remember “The Office” one clearly. I didn’t watch that show.)

In theirs the relevant lyric is rendered as:-
“the handbags and the gladrags that your grandad had to sweat to buy you,”
which is okay but implies a willing benevolence on the grandad’s part and is rather sweet.

However it means something completely different – and much less damning – compared to the original:-
“the handbags and the gladrags that your grandad had to sweat so you could buy,”
which is more redolent of the wastrel ways of an ungrateful grandchild.

This is Chris Farlowe’s version (from 1968):-

There is, by the way, a connection of sorts between Chris Farlowe and myself. But I don’t want to make too much of it as I have read he has become something of a right winger and BNP adherent. (If this is not the case I apologise to him.)

There are no prizes for getting the connection as it’s pretty obvious.

The Troggs

For a short while in the sixties The Troggs were my favourite band. (I was young, OK? My musical tastes were relatively unformed.) They have, however, left a lasting legacy – not least on REM, see Athens Andover and this video, which I have featured before – and are credited by some on You Tube as being punk ten years before it happened. To my mind that description’s a bit simplistic, though.

In retrospect they were quite a peculiar band. Their catalogue is actually a strange mixture of stripped down raunch (I Can’t Control Myself, Give It To Me) and the sentimental (Anyway That You Want Me, Love Is All Around, Little Girl.)

Usually these two strands were kept separate with different tracks falling into one category or the other but they could make the jump between them in the one song. Wild Thing has a crude, thumping but insistent beat and a more than suggestive breathiness in the “Come on. Hold Me Tight,” bits but then suddenly in the middle it breaks off into an almost delicate ocarina solo.

I remember a film of the single below from the time of its release with the group walking about in a forest or something in their trademark striped jackets but that doesn’t seem to be on You Tube any more. (I’m sure it was, the last time I looked.) Anyway, here’s the creeping menace that is Night of the Long Grass.

Misheard Lyrics: Angel Of The Morning

Coincidences and confluences. P P Arnold, who was the backing singer on The Small Faces’ Tin Soldier which I featured recently, also had a great influence on The Nice whom I mentioned several months ago now. They were formed to be her backing band. However they quickly broke off to do their own thing.

Angel Of The Morning is the object of the most spectacular mishearing of a lyric I have ever encountered. Someone I was acquainted with once asked the good lady and myself why the singer (Angel has been covered by just about everybody – I think it was the Merrilee Rush version) was asking her lover to, “just brush my teeth before you leave me.”

It is of course, “just touch my cheek.”

And yes, Jim, I did split an infinitive up there.

P P Arnold: Angel of the Morning

Just brush my teeth before you leave me….

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