Song of the day: Bram Tchaikovsky – "I’m A Believer"

December 31, 2009

If you’re going to cover “I’m A Believer” then I reckon this is the way to do it – not by playing it the way The Monkees played it (Smash Mouth, I’m looking at you), but by playing it as if it’s a Status Quo song…

Bram Tchaikovsky – “I’m A Believer” (1979)


Here’s the version most people are familiar with:

The Monkees – “I’m A Believer” (1966)


As a super-tremendously-wonderfully-splendidly-magnificent bonus, here are three more versions of the song that I like – versions that don’t come from the “Hey, let’s play it the way The Monkeees played it!” template.

First, here are The Four Tops giving the song a bit of soul, Motowning it up good and proper:

The Four Tops – “I’m A Believer” (1967)


Second, here’s UK singer Robert Wyatt with a very UK – and very 70’s – version:

Robert Wyatt – “I’m A Believer” (1974)


And lastly, here’s Brazilian big band Fórmula 7 with a hip ‘n’ happenin’ version that would make James Last proud:

Fórmula 7 – “I’m A Believer” (1968)


Musical coincidences # 35

December 30, 2009

I have a sneaking suspicion that this particular coincidence will be very well-known to a lot of rock music aficionados. But if you’re not familiar with either of these two bands (well, it is possible), at least it’ll be new for you.

Here’s the start of Nirvana‘s “Come As You Are” (1991):


And here’s the start of Killing Joke‘s “Eighties” (1985):


Oh yeah.

Here are the full beasties:

Nirvana – “Come As You Are” (1991)


Killing Joke – “Eighties” (1985)


“Eighties” appeared on Night Time, Killing Joke‘s splendid album from 1985 that I played relentlessly as a youngster (I was 24 at the time, a mere whippersnapper).

As a bonus, here’s my favourite track on that album. It’s the epic “Love Like Blood” – and you’ll need to turn this one up as much as your ears will take, because at maximum volume this song sounds enormous:

Killing Joke – “Love Like Blood” (1985)


Song of the day: Grand Atlantic – "Coast Is Clear"

December 30, 2009

Here’s Grand Atlantic living up to their name with the suitably magnificent “Coast Is Clear” (2009):


“Coast is Clear” is the opening track of their second album, How We Survive (2009) – and a huge opening track it is, too. I won’t call it “epic” – I think that description is reserved exclusively for U2 and Coldplay songs – I’ll call it “enormous” instead. Yep, that’ll do. It’s an enormous song.

Grand Atlantic on MySpace

Song of the day: Illicit Eve – "Forgiveness Is Free"

December 29, 2009

Here’s Illicit Eve, a band from my neck of the woods* (i.e., Adelaide), with “Forgiveness Is Free” (2005):


“Forgiveness Is Free” opens the band’s 2005 debut album, Element 11.

As a bonus, here’s “They Don’t Make Boys Like They Used To” from their second album, Into The Woods (2008) (aaargh! woods again!):


Illicit Eve on MySpace

(*Where did the phrase “neck of the woods” come from? It’s such a bizarre one that the more I look at it, the more bizarre it gets. “Neck”? “Woods”? Huh?)

Song of the day: A band – "Whole World Reminds Me Of You"

December 28, 2009

Here’s a band I might get into trouble for mentioning with the sweet and lovely “Whole World Reminds Me Of You” (2007)…

However, before you press “play” I must warn you that, although the song is sweet and lovely, there’s a rather rude word in it. If you’re bothered by that sort of thing, or if you’re at work and your boss is bothered by that sort of thing, then please turn the volume down to zero at the 51-second mark and then turn it back up again at the 53-second mark.

OK, if you’ve braced yourself for the rather rude word then feel free to press that little grey triangle:

A band I might get into trouble for mentioning – “Whole World Reminds Me Of You” (2007)


“Whole World Reminds Me Of You” appears on the band’s second album, Slideshows (2007).

Song of the day: Chris Richards and the Subtractions – "You Like Me Too Much"

December 27, 2009

I received an email a little while ago pointing me in the direction of a new album, That Covers That…, by US band Chris Richards and the Subtractions that’s available to download for free. I duly visited the web page, pressed “play” and then turned my attention to other things, enjoying the music in the background, only half-listening to it. During the first song my ears picked up something in the lyrics and I thought to myself “Hang on a minute – they just sang ‘Cos you like me too much, and I like you’. That’s a line from a Beatles song. What a ripoff!” I then had a quick look at the song title on the web page and saw that it was called “You Like Me Too Much.” My instant reaction was: “Hey, that’s the name of The Beatles song they pinched the line from! And they’ve got the cheek give their song the same name! What an even bigger ripoff!”

Er, what I hadn’t realised until I saw all the song titles on that page is that the album is comprised entirely of covers – including, um, The Beatles’ “You Like Me Too Much.” (I also hadn’t noticed the blindingly obvious clue in the album’s title – i.e., That Covers That….)

[Insert emoticon of man slapping forehead.]

Right. Now that he have that nonsense out of the way (note to self: pay more attention next time, Peter), here now for your listening pleasure is a Big Star-esque version of a Beatles tune (yes, I know that now, thank you):

Chris Richards and the Subtractions – “You Like Me Too Much” (2009)


My deep abiding adoration of The Beatles as the best band in the history of absolutely everything forbids me to prefer the Chris Richards and the Subtractions version, but I do like it.

Here’s the original:

The Beatles – “You Like Me Too Much” (1965)


Incidentally, if you pop on over to that web page to download the album – and Chris Richards and the Subtractions sincerely hope you do – I must warn you that it contains five tracks lasting a total of 13:26 which, as far as I’m concerned, makes it an EP. (If the page offering the download insists on calling it an album, then I think it probably qualifies as the shortest album ever released.)

Chris Richards and the Subtractions on MySpace

Song of the day: The La De Das – "Morning Good Morning"

December 26, 2009

Here’s some nice laid-back post-Christmas boogie for you. It’s New Zealand’s best Australian rock band, The La De Das, with “Morning Good Morning” (1972):


Nobody, but nobody, did this stuff better in the 70’s in Australia than The La De Das.

Incidentally, and rather irritatingly, the band (or maybe their record company) changed its name quite regularly. Depending on the record sleeve and/or record label for any given release, it could be:

  • The La De Das
  • The La De Da’s
  • La De Das
  • La De Da’s

That makes me go “Grrr”, and I find it just as annoying as with The Master’s Apprentices (Masters Apprentices / The Masters Apprentices / The Masters / Masters / Master’s etc). Consistency, people, consistency!

(For the, er, record, it was “The La De Das” more often than any other spelling.)

I know that this can appear incredibly – and pointlessly – pedantic, but I just want to know how to spell a band’s name correctly, and don’t want anyone even more pedantic than me to write in about their favourite artist with a comment such as “Why did you spell it like that? Don’t you know anything about music?”.

Leaving behind the awkwardness of unhelpfully fluctuating band spellings, as a bonus here are the boys upping the tempo* with “The Place” (1973):



(*Can you “up” a tempo”? Was “up” ever a verb?)

Song of the day: B. Bumble and the Stingers – "Nut Rocker"

December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Whilst you’re opening your presents, please enjoy my all-time favourite Christmas song:

B. Bumble and the Singers – “Nut Rocker” (1962)


And here’s the original:

TchaikovskyThe Nutcracker, Op. 71, Act One, Tableau 1 – March
(The Kirov Orchestra, conducted by Valery Gergiev)


Song of the day: The Crystals – "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"

December 24, 2009

Here’s a splendid fabulous marvellous magnificent just listen to it wonderful Wall of Sound to let you know exactly who’s coming to town:

The Crystals – “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” (1963)


And Phil Spector‘s 1963 Christmas album – or, to give it its proper title, A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector [or here] – is still my favourite Christmas album after all these years (with Xmas! The Beatmas [or here] coming a very close second).

Just one more sleep…

Song of the day: RubberBand – "Jinglebell Rock"

December 23, 2009

To celebrate Christmas Eve Eve*, here’s RubberBand with their fab version of “Jinglebell Rock” (1994):


RubberBand is a Beatles tribute band from Denmark that recorded Xmas! The Beatmas, an album of popular Christmas ditties all given Beatles makeovers. Although the album had the potential to be as disastrous as you could imagine, it turned out to be the exact opposite – it’s actually more fun than you could imagine. It’s excellent. But don’t take my word for it – you can get an idea of its excellent-ness at Dale Chan’s BEATLES World,, and at

(*Now, I’m fairly sure that there ain’t no such thing as yesterday’s Christmas Eve Eve Eve, but I’d like there to be a Christmas Eve Eve. Well, why not?)