Musical coincidences # 255

June 6, 2012

This coincidence comes to you courtesy of the Eurovision Song Contest, of which I’m a semi-fan (I think it’s enjoyable silly, but it goes on far too long).

Eurovision was on a couple of weeks ago, and of the songs I heard (I didn’t have the stamina to hear them all), one of the little beasties perked up my ears in a “Hey, that sounds like…” way.

The opening melody of the verse for Israel’s entry is:

Izabo – “Time (2012) (excerpt)

It reminded me of:

Del Shannon – “Runaway (1961) (excerpt)

Actually, it’s just the end of each phrase that’s similar, where the last three notes go up. I’ll isolate those three notes for you, so you can hear what I’m hearing:

Izabo – “Time (2012) (excerpt of the excerpt)

Del Shannon – “Runaway (1961) (teeny excerpt)

This really is trivial, isn’t it?

Here are the full versions:

Izabo – “Time (2012)

Before I get to Del’s song, I want to ponder something: is it me, or does the lead singer of Izabo look like Harry Connick, Jr.?

Del Shannon – “Runaway (1961) (sped-up 45 single version – the one you heard above)

Del Shannon – “Runaway (1961) (original speed)

Incidentally, the next coincidence will feature another Eurovision ditty – but this one will be a little more noticeable.

Song of the day: The Librettos – "Kicks"

March 5, 2012

Here’s an Australian band with an America song containing a very strong “JUST SAY YES NO TO DRUGS” * sentiment:

The Librettos – “Kicks (1966)


“Kicks” was originally recorded by Paul Revere & The Raiders in 1966, the same year as the one by The Librettos. The song has been covered plenty of times over the years, but the year of its birth was the most fruitful as it brought forth no less than four recorded versions – three American and one Australian (see above).

Here are the other three versions from 1966 (with one of them being a surf rock instrumental – twang!):

Paul Revere & The Raiders – “Kicks (1966)


Del Shannon – “Kicks (1966)


The Challengers – “Kicks (1966)


(*If you were an interior designer with strong views, you could adapt that phrase to: “Just Say No To Rugs”.)

Musical coincidences # 111

June 16, 2011

Today’s coincidence is a double-header, with two Australian songs unconsciously borrowing from one American song.

Last week there was a Song of the day by Australian musician Bryan Estepa. The song was “Tongue Tied”, and a bit of it reminded me of a part of Del Shannon’s “Runaway”.

Well, today’s Song of the day musician (see above) is also Australian, and a bit of one of his songs (not today’s) also reminds me of a part of “Runaway”.

Here are them coincidences:

Bryan Estepa – “Tongue Tied” (2011) (excerpt)


Del Shannon – “Runaway (1961) (excerpt 1)


Today’s Song of the day musician – “Pasha Bulker (Where Did I Go Wrong?)” (2009) (excerpt)


Del Shannon – “Runaway (1961) (excerpt 2)


And the full versions:

Bryan Estepa – “Tongue Tied” (2011)


Today’s Song of the day musician – “Pasha Bulker (Where Did I Go Wrong?)” (2009)


Del Shannon – “Runaway (1961)


What is it with Australian musicians and “Runaway”?

Oh, before I finish this post I want to mention the video for “Pasha Bulker”. It appears that he’s either a) trying to catch some fish for his girlfriend to win her back; or b) he’s given up the idea of winning back his girlfriend and has gone off to what might be the Australian maritime version of the French Foreign Legion…

And by the way (yes, I will get around to finishing this post), the Pashsa Bulker is an actual ship. It’s a bulk carrier, it’s enormous, and it ran aground off the coast off new South Wales in 2007. But my favourite factoid about the ship is the name of the company that owns it: Japanese Disponent Owners.

Song of the day: Bryan Estepa – "Tongue Tied"

June 10, 2011

Here’s Bryan Estepa with a song from his new album, Vessels:

Bryan Estepa – “Tongue Tied” (2011)


I don’t know about you, but the opening vocal melody of “Tongue Tied” reminds me of the chorus in Del Shannon‘s “Runaway” (from 0:32 onwards):

Del Shannon – “Runaway (1961)


I also don’t want to make a big deal out of it, because if I did then it’d end up being a Musical coincidence, which means “Tongue Tied” wouldn’t have been Song of the day.

But back to Vessels. If you want to know more about young Bryan’s album, there’s a review of it over at Powerpopaholic’s blog (Hi, PPA!). I’m glad Powerpopaholic took the time to write about it, because reviewing albums is something I’m not good at. Thanks, PPA.

Buy Vessels from this list o’ places
Bryan Estepa official website
Bryan Estepa on Facebook
Bryan Estepa on MySpace

Frank’s Faves on Fridays

October 15, 2010

Freddy Cannon – “Palisades Park (1962)


I hadn’t heard of either the artist or the song before, and I have to tell you the first three things that happened to me with this song:

a) Before playing the track, I saw the name ‘Freddy Cannon’ and thought “That’s a fabulous name. ‘Freddy Cannon’. Oh, yeah. Anyone called ‘Freddy Cannon’ is alright by me.”
b) The second thing is when I pressed “play”. The song started and I instantly wanted an ice-cream.
c) The third thing – and this happened a split-second after wanting an ice-cream – is that I started laughing so hard at what I heard that I had to stop the song. I had listened to four seconds of it.

It took a while, but I composed myself (i.e., stopped laughing) and started the song again. This time, I wasn’t laughing. Instead, I was marvelling at the song – and loving every bit of it. The beat, the lyrics, the sound effects, even the thieving of the “Entry of the Gladiators” tune for the organ at the start – all of it was great. I can sum up “Palisades Park” in just six words: Love It, Love It, Love It. Or, putting it another way: Pure Enjoyment.

Del Shannon – “Handy Man (1964)


One splendid Neil Sedaka song. (I know that Neil Sedaka didn’t write “Handy Man”, but he might as well have, because it sounds exactly like a Neil Sedaka song.) Here come some stream-of-consciousness responses as I listen to the song:

1. I like the raunchy guitar that starts the song.
2. Del Shannon has always had a great falsetto. I adore that falsetto.
3. The rhythm section is relatively quiet throughout the song. I hadn’t noticed that before. (Some of the drums pop out of the mix occasionally, but it all sounds pretty sedate to me.)
4. I really like the way Del sings. His vocal inflections are wonderfully unique. I hadn’t noticed that before, either. Some of the things he does (that “whoo” at 0:15, and “say-yay” at 0:49, for example) are just magnificent. I’ve listened to the song six times now, and the last three times were just to hear the way Del sings.
5. That’s a horrible sound in the solo. I have no idea what made that sound, but I’ll be very happy if I never hear it again.
6. I’d forgotten that James Taylor also recorded “Handy Man”.

I think I’ve heard “Handy Man” enough now. (Six times in a row may be a bit much, but I was revelling in Del’s singing and got carried away.) Time for the next track.

Piero Umiliani – “Mah Nà Mah Nà (1968)

I’m familiar with this, the original version of what became strongly associated with The Muppet Show. It was highlighted on a popular Australian TV music quiz show called Spicks And Specks. The tune was featured in an episode where the quizmaster asked a question about where “Mah Nà Mah Nà” originally came from. He gave three possible answers for the contestants, one of which was the correct one: “a soft-porn film from Italy.” (The contestants didn’t guess correctly. Ah, well.) I think “Mah Nà Mah Nà” is an excellent little ditty. And I love the little casual references by the vocalist to other tunes. The main tune is now stuck in my brain, and won’t go away. “Mah nà mah nà, do do, do do-do, mah nà mah nà, do do-do, do…” etc. I think it’s time for me to listen to the next song.

The Music Explosion – “Little Bit O’Soul (1967)

I like the groove and the main riff. I’d describe it as “Bubblegum Soul”. The main riff reminds me of “Summertime Blues“, especially The Who’s version.

Excuse me. I have to interrupt myself to satisfy an urge to buy a CD.

OK. I’ve just bought a CD (Jeremy Messersmith – The Reluctant Graveyard). Back to the songs…

I like “Little Bit O’Soul” but I’m puzzled by the lyrics. The singer mentions fishing at the beginning of the song (“When you’re feeling low and your fish won’t bite…”), so I’m now wondering if he’s not singing about his friend gettin’ some “soul” but actually offering him/her a specific fish. He also sings, quite a few times – “You need a little bit of soul…” for various reasons (e.g., his friend’s in a mess, or, even worse, he/she is broken in two) and I keep thinking that he’s suggesting the answer to all his friend’s problems is a meal of that particular fish. By the way, there’s some great bass drum work at 2:10. And the drummer’s fills throughout the song are fantastic.

Anyway, it’s an enjoyable bit of Bubblegum Soul. Or Soul Bubblegum. Either way, I liked it.

Bonus Instrumental:

Simon & Garfunkel – “Anji (1966)


A nice guitar piece. It sounds like it’d be fun to learn and play. It’s a good little show-off piece for a folk guitarist. I went a-lookin’ for more information about “Anji” and found out that it’s not a Paul Simon composition – it was written by British folk guitarist Davey Graham, and originally recorded by him in 1961. Paul Simon recorded his version in 1965. It’s time for me to hear the original…

[Non-Frank suggestion]
Davey Graham -“Anji (1961)