Musical coincidences # 293

August 31, 2012

The other day I was sitting on a bench in a shopping mall waiting for my charming companion (Hi, Renate!) to come back from whatever shopping she was doing, and as I sat there I heard an old, old disco song being piped through the shopping mall’s multitude of little speakers they have nestled in their ceilings.

The song was Maxine Nightingale‘s “Gotta Be The One”, and I hadn’t heard it in ages. (Not since The Disco Boom of ’76.)

There was a bit in the song where Maxine sings “gotta be the one”…

Maxine Nightingale – “Gotta Be The One” (1976) (excerpt)


…and it instantly reminded me of a bit of an Australian song from four years later:

Flowers – “Sister” (1980) (excerpt)


Here are the full versions:

Maxine Nightingale – “Gotta Be The One” (1976)


Flowers – “Sister” (1980)


Song of the day: Electric Light Orchestra – "Mr. Blue Sky"

August 31, 2012

I will get back to playing you Australian power pop songs on this Australian power pop blog, but first a little detour…

The 16-year-old of the household (Hi, Natalie!) and I were watching some YouTube videos of owls the other day, and for some reason ELO‘s “Mr. Blue Sky” popped up. (It may not have had anything to do with the owls, but you never know.)

As I played the video of “Mr. Blue Sky” I said, “I love that song”. Natalie said, “That’s a good song. I’ve heard it before. It was in an ad. What was the ad?”

It took us a while, but we found the ad.

That’s entirely beside the point.

The point is this magnificent song:

Electric Light Orchestra – “Mr. Blue Sky (1977)


What a glorious, glorious song.

If I ever had a jukebox sitting in the corner of the living room, I’d like “Mr. Blue Sky” to be on it. (Along with “Be My Baby“, “I Want To Hold Your Hand“, “I’ll Never Find Another You“, and a few hundred other songs.)

Oh, in case you’re interested here’s the ad:

Musical coincidences # 292

August 30, 2012

This coincidence was provided by regular contributor Michael (Hi, Michael!). It’ll be a bit tricky to mention the newer band involved here because they appear to heavily monitored in the copyright-infringement department. I’ll do what I can…

Santana – “Winning (1981) (excerpt)


Sistine Flames – “Coming Home” (2008) (excerpt)


Here are the full versions:

Santana – “Winning (1981)


Pristine Names – “Coming Home” (2008)


Song of the day: Roy Buchanan – "Lonely Days Lonely Nights"

August 30, 2012

I’ve asked this question before, but do you have an album that you think is worth buying, not for a few songs, or even one song, but for just one note?

I have two. One is Tones by guitarist Eric Johnson, where the note in question is in a song called “Bristol Shore”. (You can hear the note in all its glory in this post.)

The other album is blues guitarist Roy Buchanan’s Live In Japan, and the song on the album that contains The Note is “Lonely Days Lonely Nights”. Actually, to be precise it’s not really a note – it’s more a squeal. (In guitar terms it’s called a “pinch harmonic“.)

The Note in “Lonely Days Lonely Nights” occurs at 2:46, but I don’t recommend you go straight to it. Even if you don’t listen to the whole song, and just want to hear The Note, I firmly recommend you listen to the guitar run (2:44-2:46) leading up to it. (“Guitar run”. Non-technical translation: “lots of notes”.)

If you’re going to listen to The Note, you definitely need to hear that run leading up to it. The guitar run is what makes it so – yes, I’m going to say it – noteworthy.

Anyway, the choice is yours. (You can even choose not to hear the song at all, and go to another blog as you mutter under your breath, “I thought this was a power pop blog…”.)

Roy Buchanan – “Lonely Days Lonely Nights” (1978)


If you can’t get enough of Roy Buchanan (I know that when I’m in the mood, I can’t), here he is giving “Hey Joe” a right seeing-to:

Song of the day: Elvis Costello – "All You Need Is Love"

August 29, 2012

Sometimes all you need is a guitar and a good song:

Elvis Costello – “All You Need Is Love (1985)

Here’s the original:

The Beatles – “All You Need Is Love (1967)


Musical coincidences # 291

August 28, 2012

As I was listening* to today’s Song of the day, Pugwash‘s “This Could Be Good”, a melody popped up at the 16-second mark that prompted me to wonder, “Now where have I heard that before?”

Pugwash – “This Could Be Good” (2005) (excerpt)


And then I remembered…

The Beatles – “All My Loving (1963) (excerpt)


That seems to be a fairly popular melody, because it was also used by The Who in their song “The Kids Are Alright“. (See Musical coincidences # 286.)

Here are the full versions:

Pugwash – “This Could Be Good” (2005)


The Beatles – “All My Loving (1963)


(*Yes, I listen to the songs I play you on the blog.)

Song of the day: Pugwash – "This Could Be Good"

August 28, 2012

A couple of months ago on this blog there was a slight brouhaha regarding Irish band Pugwash. I posted a lovely song of theirs entitled “It’s Nice To Be Nice”. (And I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment in the title.) Because it’s a lovely song it prompted a commenter to ask about the album it came from. I supplied the album to the commenter, thinking it was out-of-print. (You can see where this is going…)

Anyway, I received a deservedly firm message from the author of the song, one Thomas Walsh (Hi, Thomas!) who informed me that the album, Jollity, is definitely still in print. (Here.) Oops.

To make up for my enormous faux pas, I bought two Pugwash CDs (Jollity and Giddy – I do like the names Pugwash give to their albums.) A little bit more money and I’ll be buying more.

In the meantime, the CD arrived in the post. And because the last few days here have focussed on my recent CD purchases, I’m going to add a rather enjoyable track from Jollity as well (and hope that Thomas doesn’t mind me playing it):

Pugwash – “This Could Be Good” (2005)


And I think that’s about it for letting you know what CDs I’ve been buying lately. (I’ve bought some other ones, but they have’t arrived in the mail yet.) I shan’t bother you again with what shiny plastic and aluminium discs I have. Well, not for a while.

Official website
Other official website

Musical coincidences # 290

August 27, 2012

Remember back in the 70s and 80s, when rock bands would start their songs with medium-tempo chugging on a guitar before presenting the main riff? My friend Pete does…

Player – “Upside Down” (1980) (excerpt)


Foreigner – “Hot Blooded (1978) (excerpt)


Thanks, Pete!

Here are the full versions:

Player – “Upside Down” (1980)


Foreigner – “Hot Blooded (1978)


Song of the day: The Corner Laughers – "For The Sake Of The Cat"

August 27, 2012

The Uninteresting CD Buying Habits Of Peter continues…

As with my New Pornographers CD-buying frenzy (see yesterday’s post), I also went berserk on The Corner Laughers, buying three of their CDs. (That’s all they’ve made. If they had any more I would have bought them too.)

The Corner Laughers – “For The Sake Of The Cat

Educating Peter # 10

August 26, 2012

This week Michael has sent me “Swords Of A Thousand Men”, a song by British band Tenpole Tudor. I’ll say straight away that both the band and song name look mildly familiar but I don’t think I’ve ever heard it.

Tenpole Tudor – “Swords Of A Thousand Men” (1981)


0:00-0:14 – I like the galloping bass. It makes me think this is going to be a zippy song.

0:14-0:19 – Adam And The Ants!

0:19-0:30 – The verse has begun, and the lead singer is singing. His voice sounds familiar. It sounds like another singer from the 80’s, but I can’t remember who. Hang on… … … Nope. Nothing rings any kind of bell, metaphorical or otherwise. I can see that other chap’s face, but I can’t see his name. I think it might be Martin. Maybe it’d help if I think of a band. Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark? Nope. Depeche Mode? Nope. Heaven 17? Maybe. Heaven 17’s singer sounds like the Tenpole Tudors’ singer, but that’s not who I’m thinking of. I think I’m wasting both your time and mine thinking about this. Hang on again just a bit more… … Nup. I’m definitely wasting your time.

0:30-0:44 – It’s the chorus, and throughout it I keep thinking the backing singers are about to burst into “toora-loo-rye-aye” à la Dexy’s Midnight Runners. They do get close, though, when they sing “hoorah, hoorah, hoorah, yea”. And at 14 seconds, that chorus was nice and short. Yep, it’s a zippy song.

0:44-1:01 – It’s the next verse, and I like the weird thunder noise at 0:54 when the singer sang “Thunder in the air…”

The more I’m listening to “Swords Of A Thousand Men”, the more I’m thinking: “Is this a novelty song that Michael’s sent me”?

Despite that slight suspicion, from what I’ve heard so far I’m not minding this song at all. Actually, I think I’m getting swept up in its enthusiasm.

1:01-1:15 – The next chorus. It’s just like the first chorus except for the lyrics. I like how they all sing “…won this town…” (from 1:06-1:09). It’s very… ah… um… I don’t quite know how to describe the way they sing that phrase. I guess you can listen to it yourself and then let me know how to describe it.

1:16-1:21 – The bit after the chorus leading up to the sort-of guitar solo.

1:21-1:39 – This is a strange guitar solo. I don’t know if it can be classified as a guitar solo, so I’ll try to describe it briefly and let you decide. A guitar plays a simple note, slides it down to a lower note, and lets that lower note stay there. Once that lower note is firmly in place, another guitar plays a few notes. After that second guitar finishes playing its few notes, the first guitar plays the note that slides down again, and the second guitar comes back to play a few more notes. This all happens one more time, and then it’s back to the verse. Was it a guitar solo?

1:39-2:56 – More lusty singing and rampant enthusiasm. As this song continues on its merry way to the end of the fade-out, I’ve come to the conclusion that “Swords Of A Thousand Men” is primarily a drinking song. I can imagine pubs across Britain in the 1980s full of young men and women holding glass filled with alcoholic beverages and singing along to this song as loudly as possible.

I’ve finished listening to “Swords Of A Thousand Men”, and now I’m thirsty.

Before I go and get that drink, I reckon I’m in a position to sum up what I thought of the song. I can tell you what I thought of it in three words: silly but fun. And I enjoyed it.

Thanks, Michael!