Musical coincidences # 333

November 14, 2012

This coincidence took a slight detour before ending up as it appears today.

To begin with, my friend Michael (Hi, Michael!) heard a song by a low-fi indie band called The Spook School. The opening vocal melody…

The Spook School – “Are You Who You Think You Are? (2011) (excerpt)

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…reminded Michael of this:

The Angels – “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again” (1976) (excerpt)

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But when Michael told me about that Spook School melody, I thought it sounded more like this:

Skyhooks – “You Just Like Me Cos I’m Good in Bed” (1974) (excerpt)

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Here are the full versions:

The Spook School – “Are You Who You Think You Are? (2011)

The Angels – “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again” (1976)

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Skyhooks – “You Just Like Me Cos I’m Good in Bed” (1974)

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By the way, that song by The Angels was embroiled in a musical controversy, in that it ripped off a song and never acknowledged the rip-off. (Warning: Self-Promotion Alert) I just happen to have a post about it.

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Song of the day: The Angels – "After The Rain"

March 1, 2011

Here’s Australian rock band The Angels with a song that has enough decent riffs and chugging guitars in it for me to start thinking, “Hmmm – this could be considered a power pop song…”

The Angels – “After The Rain” (1978)

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Musical coincidences # 69

January 23, 2011

I must admit that this coincidence stuns me. It involves an obscure 1974 song by English rock institution Status Quo and the 1976 Australian rock anthem “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again” by Australian rock institution The Angels. (Yep, they’re Australian.)

Incidentally (warning: self-promotion alert), “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again” was Song of the day some time back.

I had no idea about the ‘coincidence’ until regular visitor David of Williamstown (Hi, David!) told me this:

I found it via the excellent book Blood, Sweat and Beers: Oz Rock from the Aztecs to Rose Tattoo by Murray Engleheart. He said that back in the 70’s, an Adelaide DJ had suggested the ‘new’ Angels song “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again” sounded a bit similar to a Status Quo B-Side called “Lonely Night”.

I’m extremely grateful to David (thanks, David!) for pointing me in the direction of those two songs.

I’m very familiar with The Angels’ song – as are most Australian rock fans – but had never heard the earlier Status Quo track (it was the B-side of the 1974 single “Break The Rules”), so when I listened to the Quo song…

Well, this is what I said to David:

I am completely and utterly gobsmacked, flabbergasted, astounded, amazed, incredulous etc.

When the singing started, my jaw dropped. (And I don’t mean that as a phrase people like to use. It actually dropped.) When the chorus came on, my jaw dropped even more.

I sat there listening to the Quo song, finding it hard to believe what I was actually listening to, and thinking to myself “That’s grounds for plagiarism right there.” About half-way through the song I finally said something out loud. I quietly uttered the word “Wow”. (In this case, “wow” doesn’t mean “great”. It means “This is the second-most blatant musical rip-off I have ever heard.” It also means “I can’t believe no-one has sued The Angels yet.”)

And now to the songs:

The Angels – “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again” (1976)

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And from two years earlier:

Status Quo – “Lonely Night” (1974)

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I’m stunned.


Song of the day: Pastel Vespa – "Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again"

December 27, 2010

Loyal* reader of this blog, pb669 (Hi, pb669!), commented on a Song of the day from last year. The song was “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again” by Australian band The Angels.

Pb669 mentioned that Andy Scott’s Sweet also recorded a version of “Am I Ever…”. That piqued my interest (I didn’t know that anybody had recorded a cover version of it), so I went a-lookin’ for – and found – the Andy Scott’s Sweet version. I had a listen but didn’t like it very much.

However, whilst looking for that version I came across another one. It’s by Pastel Vespa, a musical concept from Australia. It’s fronted by Melbourne chanteuse Fiona Thorn, and the concept is similar to Australian singer Frank Bennett or American group Big Daddy, whereby popular songs are given a “makeover” and turned into something they were never intended to be. With Frank Bennett, they’re given the Swing treatment (there’s an example in one of my previous posts), and with Big Daddy they become 50’s ditties (there’s an example over at the PowerPop blog). In the case of Pastel Vespa it’s continental Lounge music. Yummy.

Before I play you Pastel Vespa’s version of “Am I Ever…”, I’d like to refresh your memory with the original:

The Angels  – “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again” (1976):

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And now for the radically reworked version:

Pastel Vespa – “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again” (2004)

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Smooth.

By the way, that song appears on Pastel Vespa’s second album, Takin’ The Back Roads (2004). In addition to “Am I Ever…”, the album also features Easy-Listening modifications of tracks such as Prince‘s “When Doves Cry“, New Order‘s “Blue Monday“, Billy Idol‘s “White Wedding“, and Metallica‘s “Enter Sandman“. Mighty good. And mighty smoooooth. You can preview the album here.

Pastel Vespa on MySpace
For US readers: Buy Takin’ The Back Roads at Darla Records
For European readers (that’s continental, baby): Buy Takin’ The Back Roads at Siesta

(*That may not actually be true. It’s entirely possible that pb669, after reading that post about The Angels song, had a quick look around the rest of the blog and thought “Yuck. These other posts are awful. Right, I’ve had enough of this” and zoomed away from the blog as fast as possible. If that’s the case, then I say “Fair enough. You can’t please everyone.”)


Song of the day: The Angels – "Shadow Boxer"

June 4, 2010

Today’s post was prompted by the latest instalment in the Bottom Feeders: The Rock End of the ’80s series on Popdose.

One of the acts mentioned in the post was a band called Angel City. Here’s an incredibly short biography of Angel City:

1. They came from Adelaide (in South Australia – yay!) and were called The Angels.
2. They became hugely successful in Australia as The Angels.
3. They tried their luck in America as Angel City.
4. They didn’t do so well as Angel City.

I’m mentioning this because the Angel City song in the post was not one of their better moments. (And I don’t want to mention its name.)

If you happened to listen to that Angel City song (please don’t make me say it) over at Popdose, then hopefully the following will balance things out a bit, because I think this is a much better song by The Angels – it was recorded in Australia when they were hot, hot, hot:

The Angels – “Shadow Boxer” (1979)

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And here’s a live version:

The Angels – “Shadow Boxer” (live) (1987)

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Song of the day: The Angels – "Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again"

December 2, 2009

Today’s song is so well-known in Australia that practically every adult Antipodean rock fan can sing the whole thing note-for-note. But if you don’t live in Australia there is a chance that you haven’t heard this song before and that means that you’ll hear it with fresh ears. That’s a good thing, because this song has, over time, been tainted by some pretty unhelpful audience participation (more on that shortly) and reduced the song to a coarse punchline.

But first, the song itself. Here are The Angels with their debut single, “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again” (1976):

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(Historical footnote: As far as I know, that guitar sounding like a siren/bagpipe is the first ever instance of a guitar sounding like a siren/bagpipe on record – it was a full seven years before Big Country appeared on the charts.)

The Angels came from my hometown, Adelaide, and for years were the kings of Pub Rock. “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again” became a permanent fixture in the band’s set-list (well, it would because it’s a mighty good song). However, crowds eventually developed a rather rude response to singer Doc Neeson’s plea in the chorus. Consequently, the song is better known nowadays for the chant associated with it instead of the qualities of the song itself. I think that’s a pity because it detracts from the notion that this is actually a pretty good song, and not simply an excuse for crowds to shout obscenities at the singer.

I don’t know how The Angels themselves felt about the swearing hurled their way whenever they played the song. I suppose it didn’t bother them too much, because there were eventually three – count ’em, three – studio versions of “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again” (you can’t keep a good song down).

The first studio effort was The Angels’ debut single from 1976. That’s the version you heard at the top of this post. (You did press “play”, didn’t you?)

The band then recorded another version for their debut album, The Angels (1977). Here it is:

The Angels – “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again” (album version) (1977)

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As for the third version, well…

I was going to give you a hideously complicated story about how The Angels renamed themselves Angel City for the American market and re-recorded “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again” in 1979 for the US release of Face To Face, but Wikipedia explains it much better than I ever could.

Anyway, here’s the third version:

Angel City – “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again” (1979)

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Whichever version of “Am I Ever See Your Face Again” you listened to, I hope that you enjoyed at least one of them.