Song of the day: Graham Alexander – "On The Outside (Looking In)"

March 26, 2013

I don’t know about you, but I’ve recently been pestered on Facebook by frequently seeing little ads for some chap called Graham Alexander, a musician from the United States (of America). I thought that maybe if I listened to one or two of his songs I’d stop getting the ads, so I went to his website and had a listen.

I didn’t mind Mr. Alexander’s songs at all. Well, there were a couple I did mind, but I thought most of them were not bad.

(I can see the blurb now, where Graham’s publicist gathers quotes from all over the Internet:

Robinson’s Pop Dairy says “Spectacular songs!”
Popping’ Pop of Pop says “In a word: Wow!”
Terry And His Duffle Coat Of Opinions says “The songs have a level of maturity that belies this young man’s age.”
To The Power of Pop says “The songs are dynamite!”
In Amongst The Pop Gardenias says “These songs are so creative they blaze a trail across the pop sky”
Peter’s Power Pop says ‘They’re not bad’.

)

So, thanks to the power of advertising, here is Graham Alexander and a selection of his ditties that I liked, starting with my favourite:

GrahamAlexander – “On The Outside (Looking In) (2011)

GrahamAlexander – “Biggest Fan (2011)

By the way, the start of “Biggest Fan” reminded me of:

ABBA – “You Owe Me One (1982) (excerpt)

Now back to Graham, this time in Emitt Rhodes mode:

GrahamAlexander – “Only Fools Rush In (2011)

And here he is channelling the vocals of Eric Carmen:

GrahamAlexander – “Replace Me (2011)
REPLACE ME by GrahamAlexander

Now hopefully those Facebook ads for Graham will go away.

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Student-Teacher Songs

September 27, 2012

This is a collection of songs that emanated from something I mentioned in a post a while ago. At the time, I said that I was concerned at the amount of parentheses I use in my text (something I still do with alarming frequency).

My friend Michael emailed me to say that my concern reminded him of a song by American singer Dan Baird called “I Love You Period”.

(Sidenote: Dan Baird was the lead singer of the Georgia Satellites who had a huge hit with “Keep Your Hands To Yourself“, which just happened to be Michael’s suggestion for Educating Peter # 14 on this blog.)

Michael remembered the song had the word “parentheses” in it lyrics. (Now there’s a word you don’t see often in a song. Oops – there I go again. Sorry about that.)

Michael told me that “I Love You Period” is a song about a student who falls in love with his teacher, he writes her a letter, and she sends it back with corrections. (Tee hee.)

That got me thinking of other teacher-student/student-teacher songs. I thought of a couple, and Michael thought of a couple more. Then I thought of some more, and so did Michael. The next thing we knew, we had ourselves a list of student-teacher songs.

After looking at the list and sorting out what was suitable and what wasn’t (one of Michael’s suggestions was a dreadful song by a boy band, and one of my suggestions was way too serious in amongst the light-heartedness of the other songs), I settled on ten tunes to tickle your tummy earbuds.

And here they are:

Download (ZIP, 80 MB)

Details I couldn’t fit in the playlist:

1. Doris Day – “Teacher’s Pet (1958)

2. Lulu – “To Sir With Love (1967)

3. Elton John – “Teacher I Need You (1973)

4. ABBA – “When I Kissed The Teacher (1976)

5. Rockpile – “Teacher Teacher (1980)

6. The Police – “Don’t Stand So Close To Me (1980)

7. 38 Special – “Teacher, Teacher (1984)

8. Van Halen – “Hot For Teacher (1984)

9. Ruth McKenny – “She’s In Love With Her Teacher” (1987)
(I thought it was cute how the playlist shortened the song title to “She’s In Love With Her Tea”. It made me think of this.)

10. Dan Baird – “I Love You Period” (1991)

By the way, I’m happy to add to that list if you can think of any other songs that’d be suitable.

(Please note:Teach Your Children Well” is not suitable. In any way.)


Musical coincidences # 239

May 9, 2012

Today’s coincidence may get a little messy (it involves at least four different artists), but I’ll try to be as concise as I can.

A couple of weeks ago I heard Al Green‘s “I’m Still In Love With Youover at Popdose. At the 1:02 mark in the song there’s a little riff played on the strings. This is it:

Al Green – “I’m Still In Love With You (1972) (excerpt)

Link

The first half of that tiny, tiny riff reminds me of one of the riffs melodies* in Tchaikovsky‘s 1812 Overture:

Tchaikovsky1812 Overture (excerpt)
(Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Sian Edwards)

Link

Incidentally, that Tchaikovsky riff melody features rather prominently in another pop song:

The Move – “Night Of Fear (1966) (excerpt)

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Apparently that was deliberate, so it really shouldn’t be here (i.e., it’s not a coincidence), but what the hey (i.e., why not?). That Al Green violin riff on the other hand was coincidental. (Maybe.)

Here are the full versions:

Al Green – “I’m Still In Love With You (1972)

Link

Tchaikovsky1812 Overture (excerpt)
(Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Sian Edwards)

Link

The Move – “Night Of Fear (1966) (excerpt)

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Oh, and one more thing:

This is the cover of Al Green’s album I’m Still In Love With You:

As soon as I saw that wicker chair I remembered this Al Di Meola album from 1978:

And then I remembered this:

That’s the photo on the back cover of ABBA‘s 1975 self-titled album:

Here’s the front:

Wicker chairs sure were popular in the Seventies.

(*Can you call melodies in classical music “riffs”?)


Song of the day: Skeleton Staff – "Gateway To The Stars"

January 19, 2012

I’ve just realised that the Songs of the day for the last five days have all been resolutely non-Australian, and for what’s claimed to be an Australian blog (i.e., this one) that’s simply unacceptable. (Or, as I sometimes like to say, “inacceptable”. I also like to say “ex-acceptable”.)

It’s definitely time for something Australian.

Here’s Skeleton Staff, an Australian band I may be a little too fond of (I’ve blathered on about them plenty of times before), with a marvellously wonderful and ineffably refulgent song from their latest album, Pyschomorphism:

Skeleton StaffGateway To The Stars (2011)

Oo-wee, I like that song.

By the way, one of the reasons I like it so much is that there’s a part of it that reminds me of an ABBA song:

Skeleton StaffGateway To The Stars (2011) (excerpt)

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ABBA – “Under Attack (1982) (excerpt)

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I didn’t make that an official* Musical coincidence because I thought the resemblance probably wasn’t strong enough.

Mmm: Skeleton Staff.

Mmm: ABBA.

ABBA – “Under Attack (1982)

Link

(*Note to self: that’s a little pompous, isn’t it Peter? “Official”? Since when is anything of yours “official”?)


Boomerang songs

November 3, 2009

I was listening to Middle Of The Road‘s Greatest Hits and one of the tracks on it was “Yellow Boomerang,” a song I hadn’t heard before. I loved it.

Whilst listening to “Yellow Boomerang” I was reminded of ABBA‘s “Bang-A-Boomerang,” another slice of bubblegum-y goodness. And that got me wondering just how many bubblegum-y boomerang songs are out there. The answer: quite a few.

So, after sifting through an enormous amount of tracks (well, maybe eight), here now is a selection of my favourite boomerang songs:

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Musical coincidences # 24

September 20, 2009

It’s time for some layered vocals…

Here’s a snippet of Electric Light Orchestra‘s “Do Ya” (1977), just before the chorus:

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Add a few more vocal layers, and I reckon you have something a little like this bit in Sweet‘s “Fox On The Run” (1975), just before the chorus:

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Here are the full versions of each song:

Electric Light Orchestra – “Do Ya (1977)

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Sweet – “Fox On The Run (single version) (1975)

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Incidentally, each of those artists have two versions of their songs. “Do Ya,” written by Jeff Lynne, was first recorded in 1971 by the band he was in at the time, The Move, and appeared as the B-side of their 1972 single, “California Man.” It was then recorded by Jeff’s next band, ELO, and appeared on their 1976 album, A New World Word. “Fox On The Run,” on the other hand, was recorded twice by Sweet – it first appeared as a pretty heavy album track on Desolation Boulevard (1974) and was then re-recorded as a more radio-friendly single in 1975.

Here are those earlier versions:

The Move – “Do Ya” (1972)

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Sweet – “Fox On The Run (album version) (1974)

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And speaking of musical coincidences, the verse of “Do Ya” (in its ELO incarnation) reminds me of the chorus of ABBA‘s fabulous “Hey, Hey, Helen” (1975):

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Song of the day: Christie Allen – "Goose Bumps"

August 25, 2009

Here’s Countdown favourite Christie Allen with “Goose Bumps” (1979):

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“Goose Bumps” appears on Christie’s debut album, Magic Rhythm, which is still enjoyable after all these years. I’d definitely recommend it to ABBA fans.

As a bonus, here are two more songs from Magic Rhythm: the disco-fied “He’s My Number One” (with background vocals that remind me of Aqua); and the lovely ballad “Falling In Love With Only You”:

Christie Allen – “He’s My Number One” (1979)

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Christie Allen – “Falling In Love With Only You” (1979)

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And here’s the original video for “Goose Bumps”: