Musical coincidences # 338

November 20, 2012

When I posted the previous coincidence in this series (# 337), one involving a band called fun., regular reader fitzall piped up with this comment:

“And when I hear the start of fun.’s previous hit ‘We Are Young’ I want to burst in to ‘Zabadak’ by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich.”

I hadn’t heard “Zabadak” before (I didn’t even know it existed), so I went a-looking for it. When I heard the beastie, my first response to fitzy’s comment was:

“I’m not surprised.”

The similarity is that both songs start with a drum beat, and that drum beat is remarkably similar. If I wrote it down – which is precisely what I’m going to do – and asked you to tap it out, or sing it to yourself, I’d ask you to tap/sing very steadily the following beat. Each uppercase word is louder than the lowercase ones.

OK. Here’s your beat:

DUM dum dum DUM dum dum DUM dum

And here’s what fitzall heard:

fun. – “We Are Young (2011) (excerpt)

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Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich – “Zabadak! (1967) (excerpt)

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Thanks for spotting that, Mr. Astute Coincidence Spotter Fitzall. (Please let me know if that’s not your actual name.)

In addition to that, when I heard that beat in both those songs I was reminded of:

Van Halen – “Everybody Wants Some!! (1980) (excerpt)

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Here are the full versions:

fun. – “We Are Young (feat. Janelle Monáe) (2011)

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Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich – “Zabadak! (1967)

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Van Halen – “Everybody Wants Some!! (1980)

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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 # 184

February 27, 2012

Today’s coincidence involves no music – it’s purely visual.

(Given the title of this series, I guess that makes this a false-pretences post. But I’ll post it anyway.)

Plenty of observant people have noticed a similarity between the artwork for Van Halen’s latest album and a 1975 album by the Commodores:


Song of the day: The Gigolo Aunts – "Why Can’t This Be Love"

May 14, 2011

I was cheerfully listening to the Beatles-inspired mix tape Beatlesque Again (thanks, Angelo!) and enjoying all the Beatles-lovin’ power pop artists and their Beatle-y homages to the Quality Quartet when this appeared:

Gigolo Aunts – “Why Can’t This Be Love (1997)

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The original:

Van Halen – “Why Can’t This Be Love (1986)

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Update: I’ve just discovered that the Gigolo Aunts track originally came from a Van Halen tribute album called Everybody Wants Some! (1997). It’s full of gems such as Eddie Van Halen‘s guitar solo showcase “Eruption” in two cover versions – one played on a church organ and the other on banjo. Yes indeedy-doo-dah-day.


Frank’s Faves on Fridays

January 28, 2011

Mountain – “Never In My Life” (1970)

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Excellent! I’ve heard about Mountain, but never actually heard any of their music until now. (They were one of those heavy rock bands from America that nobody bothered to play on Australian radio.) Now that I’m listening to it, I can say that I think this is the ultimate Hairy Rocker song. “Never In My Life” seems to be the perfect example as to why music of the early 70’s tends to be either loved or loathed, with no middle ground. I’m in the love-it camp. And I can see why someone would hate his song – it’s Big, Loud, and Dumb. But that’s exactly why I love it. There’s absolutely no pretension to it whatsoever. It just is what it is. (Big, Loud, and Dumb.) And as I was typing that last sentence, the song faded out. Nooooooooo! That finished way too soon. Time to play it again. But louder this time.

Procol Harum – “Whisky Train” (1970)

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I’ve heard very little of Procol Harum (dribs and drabs here and there), but I like very much what I heard over the years. I just never got around to buying any of their stuff. So I guess I can call myself a Procol Harum fan with no Procol Harum albums. Now to “Whisky Train”. For a prog-rock band, Procol Harum sure aren’t sounding very proggy here. They’re sounding very bluesy-rocky. That’s probably because of the band’s guitarist Robin Trower and his “I love Jimi Hendrix, and I can sound just him!” inclinations. I’m listening to “Whisky Train” at the moment, and enjoying it, but I can’t quite figure out why the keyboardist (presumably Gary Brooker) gave his piano the ol’ thumbtacks-on-the-hammers treatment. But that didn’t stop me enjoying the song. Though not as much as the Mountain song above. (Love that Mountain song. Big! Loud! Dumb!)

Uninteresting sidenote: If you had suggested Procol Harum’s “Conquistador” instead of “Whisky Train”, this part of my comments today would have been a whole lot longer. I adore “Conquistador”, totally and unconditionally, ever since I heard it on a jukebox in a pub years and years ago. It blew my mind.

Shawn Colvin – “Polaroids” (1992)

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I know next to nothing about Shawn Colvin. I haven’t played the song yet, so I don’t know what I’m letting myself in for. As far as I’m aware, he’s a sort of contemporary folk singer, isn’t he? At least I think he is. Well, there you go – I’ve just discovered that Shawn Colvin is a female. Oops. Sorry about that, Shawn. OK. Now to the song. Shawn’s voice (and the song) reminds me a lot of Deb Talan‘s in the folk-pop-folk duo The Weepies.

Another uninteresting sidenote: when I first heard The Weepies second album, Say I Am You (2006) I fell hopelessly in love with it. Here are the first three tracks from the album to give you an idea of why I fell hopelessly in love with Say I Am You:

[Non-Frank tracks]
The Weepies – Say I Am You (2006):
Track 1: “Take It From Me”

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Track 2: “Gotta Have You”

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Track 3: “World Spins Madly On”

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But back to the song (again). I think “Polaroids” is a nice enough song. But I thought Shawn overused the main melody in the verse. However, I really like how the song was produced. There are some lovely little production touches throughout the track (little pedal steel guitar asides, and some sort of ship’s-horn-in-the-distance kind of sound near the end of the song). I think that’s what I like most about this song: how it sounds. The acoustic guitars, the bass guitar, the brushes on the drums etc, the discreet use of synthesizer – it all sounds great, and it’s all used sparingly and with wonderful taste. Now, that’s something you don’t how a lot of nowadays in records: taste. Overall, I’ve liked this song the more I listened to it. Nice. (But I’d much rather listen to The Weepies.)

Van Halen – “Secrets (1982)

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I’m one of those people who has been a lifelong fan of Van Halen. No, that’s not strictly true. I’ve been a David-Lee-Roth-long fan of Van Halen. Interest in them tapered rather quickly when thingy joined. I’ve forgotten his name. That red-haired guy. Um. Ah. Hang on… Yes, that’s it: Sammy Hagar. (Thank you, Internet.) I started losing interest in Van Halen when Sammy joined the band – although I did like 5150 and, to a lesser extent, OU812. After that, though, I stopped listening to them completely. I must admit that I only ever got around to buying two Van Halen albums: Diver Down and 1984. (Diver Down is probably my favourite solely because of “Little Guitars“.) The others I borrowed and taped (hooray for cassettes!). But none of this is letting you know what I think of “Secrets”. It took me a moment to realise that “Secrets” is on Diver Down (as in: “Hmm, I think ‘Secrets’ is on Diver Down. I’ll just saunter on over to the CD collection and check… Yep, it’s on Diver Down. Good-o.”). Okey dokey. I like “Secrets”, although I’ve always been mildly puzzled by how mild it is (for a Van Halen track). Actually, I reckon if you had suggested any other song from Diver Down I would have gone “Yeah! Van Halen! Rockin’ out! Yeah!” – but you didn’t, so I won’t. I will say that although I like “Secrets”, it’s probably my least favourite track on Diver Down. Oh, and seeing as you’ve suggested a Van Halen track, I’d like to take this opportunity to vent my spleen on one aspect of Van Halen that I’ve always found absolutely horrendous: their drum sound. I think Van Halen’s drum sound is simply dreadful. Always has been – and probably always will be. (I think it’s one of those constants in the music universe.) And because I’ve just mentioned that I think Van Halen’s drum sound is dreadful, I’d also like to mention Queen‘s drum sound. I think that’s horrendous, too. But I’m pleased to say that Queen and Van Halen are the only two bands I know of that have monumentally awful drum sounds.

Bonus instrumental:

Apollo 100 – “Joy” (1972)

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Splendid. (I wanted to say “excellent” but I’ve already used that word.) For me, this is the kind of pillaging-the-classics tune that’s on the right side of cheesy. (That is, on the fun side – not the “that’s horrible!” side). It helps that the artists involved pinched a great tune (which isn’t difficult to do, because classical music is full of great tunes – which reminds me to play you some sometime). I’m extremely familiar with Apollo 100’s “Joy”, as it’s on that mammoth Have A Nice Day: Super Hits Of The ’70s 25-disc set I rabbited on about a while ago. (In case you’re wondering, “Joy” is Disc 7, Track 9). I don’t know if I need to mention the classical tune that Apollo 100 nicked for their track (Johann Sebastian Bach‘s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring“), because you probably know that anyway. Regardless, I’m glad you suggested “Joy”. I think it’s a heap of musical fun. By the way, another rock musician filched Bach’s tune, and I mentioned it in a previous post on the blog.


Musical coincidences # 40

February 2, 2010

Today’s coincidence is a purely guitar-oriented one, so if you have no interest in guitars or guitarists, come back in about 20 minutes when everyone else has finished reading this post.

Here’s a bit of the start of Adelaide band Cold Chisel‘s live version of “Conversations” (1979):

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And here’s a bit of the start of non-Adelaide band Van Halen‘s “Girl Gone Bad” (1984):

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If you can’t spot the similarities, it’s basically the guitar playing an Asus2 chord…

…followed by an Fmaj7#11…

If you want to put it into non-weirdo-chord-name terms, it’s like playing A minor then F major except that the first two strings (the skinny ones on the right of the pictures) are open (i.e., you play them without putting your fingers on them) for both chords.

Despite the differences in backing instrumentation, the guitars in both those songs are doing pretty much the same thing.

It’s noticeable to me because I’ve only ever heard that particular chord progression happen in those two songs. There may be plenty of other songs that do it, but I haven’t heard ’em.

Here are the full versions:

Cold Chisel – “Conversations” (1979)

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Van Halen – “Girl Gone Bad” (1984)

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I couldn’t let today’s coincidence involving Van Halen go by without playing you my favourite song on 1984, “House Of Pain.” It’s the last track on the album (“Girl Gone Bad” is the second-to-last), and Eddie Van Halen throws everything at the song. There’s so much going on, guitar-wise, that it seems as if Eddie wanted to catalogue his entire repertoire of tricks in three minutes. Along with all the incidental noodling during the song, there’s a jaw-dropping guitar solo in the middle of it and some magnificent dive-bombing as the song fades. It’s great stuff for guitar fans:

Van Halen – “House Of Pain” (1984)

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