Friday 25 June 2021

Walk On By


Cover version of the month #68

Isaac Hayes and The Stranglers cover Dionne Warwick

I've recently been enjoying listening to the lush arrangements of Isaac Hayes, digging into his back catalogue and marvelling at his exceptional recordings, style and delivery. In addition, I've also been making a series of 60-minute playlists/mixes and one that I'm working on opens with his sensational version of Walk On By

We'll come back to that though, lets get back to the original. Composed by the legendary partnership of Burt Bacharach and Hal David in 1963, Dionne Warwick recorded the song in the December of that year, releasing it in 1964.

It's a stunning example of what can be delivered through a 3-minute pop song. Warwick begins singing in 5-seconds and by the end of the first delivery we know exactly what the song is about - a broken heart, someone who hasn't got over it.

If you see me walking down the street

And I start to cry each time we meet

Walk on by, walk on by

Heart strings are tugged on the second verse

Make believe, that you don't see the tears

Just let me grieve

In private, cause each time I see you

I break down and cry

The piano melody introduced as Warwick sings cry is just simply sublime. Strings are then introduced for the third verse

I just can't get over losing you

And so if I seem, broken and blue

Walk on by, walk on by

Bacharach really does conjure a masterpiece with his arrangement,  the little (don't stop) backing vocals that he brings in after each walk on by as the song develops. David matches it with his lyrics.

There is a short instrumental from 1 minute 43 seconds to 1-minute 56 seconds, that almost fades to nothing, then Warwick comes back in singing like an angel foolish pride, that's all I have left, so let me hide, the tears and the sadness you gave me, when you said goodbye.

Warwick lifts the song for the closing section, as she twists the melody beautifully, injecting more pace in between the glorious don't stop backing vocals.

Walk On By is an absolute masterpiece of a song, pop perfection. Check the live version below - Warwick looks incredible, oozing confidence and belief.

Dionne Warwick - Walk On By

Live in 1964

5-years later, in 1969, Isaac Hayes chose Walk On By to open his Hot Buttered Soul LP, an album that came to my attention in my younger days as artists like Massive Attack and Portishead would rave about it (and mine it and other Hayes songs for samples). 

Hayes quadruples the length of the song! So he has plenty of time to stamp his own mark on it!

The instrumental intro is over 2-minutes long, the strings pull you in immediately, like your heart strings are actually being played. Hayes and his band slow things down to bass and drums, there is fuzzy electric guitar piercing the air, leading to psychedelic sounds, all over a heavy funk bass and groove.

Things build again before Hayes begin singing in a hushed voice, changing the melody to suit him, he really does sound broken-hearted.

Heavenly backing vocals are introduced, the guitar could cut the air like a knife at times, it's lovingly fuzzy at others, strings are punchy at times, soaring at others. If Warwick's version is a 3-minute pop masterpiece, then Hayes cover is an impeccable example of what you can do if you have the space, time and budget to let your imagination run wild.

Hayes sings with such care, I particularly love his vocals when he sings of tears and the sadness, backed by his glorious backing singers, who are just as important to this song as Isaac himself.

You think it's coming to an end at 7-minutes and then it is lifted, the strings take centre stage, the drums pick up the pace and Hayes begins to play with the walk on by melody.

A hammond organ is introduced to the jam after 9-minutes as the strings are eased out, the guitar kicks in, it's simply wonderful music. I imagine this was all cut live and the tape just kept rolling - sublime.

Isaac Hayes - Walk On By (full length)

Live from Montreux 2005

In 1978 The Stranglers covered the song, stamping their own take on things by speeding and (post) punking things up, injecting a sense of urgency through Hugh Cornwell's vocals before taking the song on a completely different direction thanks to an extended instrumental section, pinned down by a throbbing bass that allows keyboard and then guitar to go a little crazy.

This lasts from 1-minute 26 seconds when, after the last walk on by, Cornwell ad-libs I'm just going for a stroll in the trees, through to 5-minutes 34 seconds. I love the harmonies The Stranglers introduce at all the right times. It's an outstanding cover version, there is a real edge to it

Check below for a full list of songs to feature in my cover version of the month blogs. You can also search for Everything Flows Cool Cover Versions for my Spotify playlist or CLICK HERE.

The Stranglers full length version

The Stranglers on Top of the Pops

Previous covers of the month

13. Hurt

Monday 21 June 2021

Coral Island

The Coral have had quite a journey since bursting on to the scene 20-years ago; key members have left, there have been breakdowns, label changes, commercial and critical success and all the while the band have remained true to themselves; producing psychedelic pop and not really caring about what anyone else was doing or saying about them.

A recent Mojo feature took a deep dive into where the band have been (and there were some dark, dark days) to where they are now, releasing their 10th album Coral Island. It feels like a landmark in more ways than one.

Positive reviews have been coming in thick and fast, potentially taking some (even the band) by surprise. 

'To say we're overwhelmed with the reaction to Coral Island would be an understatement. If you'd told us last month that a psychedelic double album about an imaginary seaside resort would push the top end of the charts we wouldn't have believed you.' @thecoralband

The Coral deserve all the praise coming their way. They have played to their strengths, but they have pushed themselves, creativity bursts out of the songs, the album and the theme.

Ah, the theme. The band are quick to stress that this isn't a concept album, but a theme, stemming from their youth and visits to the seaside, in the case of singer James Skelly, his family were often working.

There is a warm glow of reflection throughout the album, beginning with a narrative by Skelly's grandfather;

On coral Island you can fall in love
On the piers and promenades
On the boardwalks and bridleways of innocent dreams

Lover Undiscovered then kicks in with warm guitars and Skelly's voice sounding tender yet confident. The song builds beautifully; verse, bridge and then a chorus full of melodies and harmonies. Each of the 3 bridges to the chorus is different, I particularly love the lyrics in the second one.

And when her hair hangs down
It's like the sun touching the tides

What a gem of a song. It flows superbly, there is a glorious little rhythm guitar riff throughout that allows some excellent keyboards and vocal melodies over the top and also an outrageously brilliant little guitar solo.

The Coral are straight into Change Your Mind, another warm melodic burst of guitar pop. What a glorious opening to the album. Things slow down a little for Mist On The River allowing a little more of The Coral's psychedelic side to shine through. They do this again on the beautifully dreamy The Game She Plays, also on Autumn Has Come, though this has a jauntiness that mixes with the melancholy. 

Elsewhere My Best Friend is a real favourite of mine, melodies just come tumbling out in a song that is pure an flowing. Golden Age sounds reflective, even though it is sung in present tense, while Take Me Back To The Summer Time could easily pass as a lost Super Furry Animals song.

There are 24-tracks on the album, 9 are spoken word interludes. There is a lot to take in and although some stand out, you're rewarded after a few listens, you appreciate the melodies, the musicianship, the imagination and spot the influences. The Calico Girl, for example, is pure Paul McCartney.

All in all, I couldn't help but fall for Coral Island. There is a lot of charm, loads of melodies, you can hear and sense the band are at ease and enjoying themselves and they've pushed themselves and their audience a little with their ambition. Many bands will be chomping at the bit to get back to playing live, given the reaction to this album, The Coral's bookers might be considering bigger venues.

Sunday 13 June 2021

Everlasting Love

Trust me #26

What a song!

Starting with a frantic burst of joyous energy, it just doesn't let up! Strings, beats, the groovy bass, yearning vocals, a melody that keeps flowing, an urgent pace and feel ...

Everlasting Love, written by Buzz Cason and Mac Gayden, was originally released in July 1967, the Summer of Love, by Robert Knight. 

The song only reached number 40 on the UK charts, but it caught the ear of David Wedgebury and John Cokell who managed the band Love Affair. The duo had access to all the imports on the Monument record label and played the Everlasting Love to Love Affair in their rehearsal space.  The band loved it and decided to cut it.

I can't find this original cut by Love Affair, I'm sure it is out there somewhere. But something didn't quite feel right to producer Mike Smith, so a new version was recorded with a 40-piece orchestra, session musicians and a choir.

Lead singer Steve Ellis was the only member of Love Affair to feature on the record. Ellis was (somewhat incredibly) only a tender 17 when he recorded and released Everlasting Love, yet the power, feeling and soul in his vocal would make you think he's lived a life.

This is 3-minutes of complete power pop perfection. The video is outstanding, a young Ellis fronts his band, staring out the camera at times, looking away at others, girls dance, there is psychedelic pop art on the walls and when Ellis sings you can't take your eyes off him. Neither can the camera, closing in to capture the performance and feeling he generates. Shot in black & white, it remains timeless when lots of other footage and videos from 1967 immediately look dated. This could easily be a new young band taking influences from the past. 

Where life really flows, no-one really knows
Till someone's there to show the way to lasting love
Like the sun it shines, endlessly it shines
You always will be mine, if eternal love

Whenever love went wrong, ours would still be strong
We'd have our very own, everlasting love

You could easily mistake Everlasting Love for a Motown number, the drive, the beats, the strings, the groove, the vocal ... 

A 25-second intro cuts to just bass and then we're in. There is only 1 verse in Everlasting Love and the band fly through it with such pace that the song, at least for me, feels like one big continuous chorus. It just doesn't let up.

I am going to add this to my Trust Me playlist and also, along with the original by Robert Knight to my cover versions playlist. This is another classic example of me only finding out the song is a cover version when I was researching the song to write about it.

In this case, although the original is very good, the power and intensity that Love Affair bring to their version just knocks it out the park.

You can listen to all the songs I've featured in my Trust Me series in a playlist by searching for Everything Flows Trust Me on Spotify or by CLICKING HERE

You can also read about the previous songs I've written about by clicking on the links below.

You'll find both versions on my cover version of the month playlist on Spotify. Or search for Everything Flows - cool cover versions.

Hearts gone astray, deep in hurt when they go
I went away, just when you, you need me so
You won't regret, I come back beggin' you
Won't you forget, welcome love we once knew

Open up your eyes, then you realize
Here I stand with my everlasting love
Need you by my side, girl to be my bride
You'll never be denied, everlasting love
From the very start, open up your heart
Feel that you're part of everlasting love

Need a love to last forever
Need a love to last forever

Where life really flows, no-one really knows
Till someone's there to show the way to lasting love
Like the sun it shines, endlessly it shines
You always will be mine, if eternal love

Whenever love went wrong, ours would still be strong
We'd have our very own, everlasting love

Need a love to last forever
Need a love to last forever

Open up your eyes, then you realize
Here I stand with my everlasting love
Need you by my side, girl to be my bride
You'll never be denied, everlasting love
From the very start, open up your heart
Feel that you're part of everlasting love
Whenever love went wrong, ours would still be strong
We'll have our very own, everlasting love

Previous Trust Me blogs

1. Something On Your Mind by Karen Dalton
1A. Crimson and Clover by Tommy James and the Shondells
2. I Am, I Said  by Neil Diamond
3. Where's The Playground Susie?   by Glen Campbell
4. If You Could Read My Mind by Gordon Lighfoot
5. Gimme Some Truth by John Lennon
6. Gone With The Wind Is My Love by Rita and the Tiaras
7. In The Year 2525 by Zager and Evans
8. The Music Box by Ruth Copeland
9. The Ship Song by Nick Cave
10. Sometimes by James
11. I Walk The Earth by King Biscuit Time
12. Didn't Know What I Was In For by Better Oblivion Community Centre
13. When My Boy Walks Down The Street by The Magnetic Fields
14. The Man Don't Give A F**k by Super Furry Animals
15. All Flowers In Time Bend Towards The Sun by Jeff Buckley and Liz Fraser
16. Are You Lookin' by The Tymes
17. A Real Hero by College & Electric Youth
18. Feelings Gone by Callum Easter
19. Sunday Morning by The Velvet Underground
20. Did I Say by Teenage Fanclub
21. Don't Look Back by Teenage Fanclub
23. Belfast by Orbital
24. Clouds by The Jayhawks
25. Dreaming Of You by The Coral

Saturday 12 June 2021

Anything Goes & Everything Flows DJ mix 1

Welcome to what might become a semi-regular feature in the blog. A series of 60-minute playlists/mixes trying to create the vibe I would get from entering The Variety / McChuills in Glasgow on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night, where DJ's would work their magic to get the crowd in the mood for moving on to a club, or in my case, often opting to just stay in the bar.

In these magical bars that I frequently visited through my 20's, the DJ's would spin incredibly cool tunes, many that I had never heard before, causing me to go up and ask the DJ what they were playing. McChuills and The Variety were places where the music policy was very much anything goes and everything flows.

I've tried to create mixes that are 60-minutes in length with real thought behind the song selection and order. For this one, search for Anything Goes & Everything Flows DJ mix 1 on Spotify or CLICK HERE

This mix is very soul and funk focused, throwing in a cool cover, splicing in Sleaford Mods and some of you might recognise a song that Fatboy Slim would sample with great success. The SAULT song continues to blow me away.


Felony by The Allergies

I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor by Baby Charles

Free by SAULT

Mork n Mindy by Sleaford Mods & Billy Nomates

Carrot Cake by Pan Amsterdam & Guts

Make Me Believe In You by Patti Jo

I've Got My Reasons by Mary Jane Hooper

Shoorah! Shoorah! by Betty Wright

Jezahel by Shirley Bassey

Sliced Tomatoes by Just Brothers

Why Can't There Be Love by Dee Edwards

Medicated Goo by P.P. Arnold

Sissy Walk by Ann Robinson, Freedom Now Brothers

Gone With The Wind Is My Love - Rita and the Tiaras

Hangin' Out - Betty Davis

Happy (Is My Life) - Andre Williams & Velvet Hammer

You're Gonna Make Me Love You - Sandi Sheldon

Wednesday 9 June 2021

10 from Oasis

For the latest in my semi-regular feature on 10 of my favourite songs by my favourite bands / artists, I've chose Oasis, a band I have blogged on and reminisced about quite a bit through the years.

There is a reason I keep going back to them. Oasis arrived at precisely the right time for me. I turned 18 in January 1994 and Oasis arrived shortly afterwards. Having been slightly too young to get into the Roses or The Charlatans when they were breaking, I'd been waiting for a band like this; the looks, the attitude, the songs, the work ethic, the humour, the honesty ...

As a religious reader of both the NME and Melody Maker I was on to Oasis from early reviews, so between 1994 and 1996 I went on a rollercoaster ride skywards to Knebworth via The Tramway, The Cathouse, a tent at T in the Park, the Barrowlands (twice), Sheffield Arena and Ingliston (Edinburgh).

8 incredible nights filled with an electric atmosphere that you were part of something important. 8-nights filled with songs, anthems, adrenaline, excitement and the pure rush of youth, culture and music combining.

Oasis were incredibly prolific, especially in the early days when a regular debate among fans would be on b-sides that should have been considered as either the a-side or for albums. Can you imagine Definitely Maybe with Fade Away in place of Digsy's Dinner and Listen Up instead of Shaker Maker? What about Morning Glory with Round Are Way instead of Hey Now? Not to mention The Masterplan!

Being an Oasis fan was wild and wonderful for those magical years mentioned above, it was never quite the same after that. 

Where were you while we were getting high? sang Liam. Maybe they got too high, they had to come down and at times they came crashing down; musically and with their behaviour, Liam started to become a bit of a caricature of himself for a while. So did some of the fans. 

Be Here Now was a major disappointment for me, starting with D'You Know What I Mean as the lead single. Yeah, Liam looked and sounded sensational, but it was (and is) a bit of a plod along, certainly in comparison to the skyscraping summer anthem Stay Young that was the b-side.

Media or the vast majority of the British public couldn't care, it was Oasis, they had barely been away, but they were back. Tills were ringing. Radio 1 played the song back-to-back.

Be Here Now had some moments, Don't Go Away is a gem for a start, but they were few and far between. I revisited the album for a blog back in 2016 and barely made it through. I haven't listened to it since.

Things got worse with the turgid Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants which should have been an EP. I still shudder at the thought of Put Yer Money Where Your Mouth Is, I Can See A Liar, Roll It Over ... By this stage the media needed Oasis more than Oasis needed the media - interviews with Liam and Noel added tens of thousands on to sales of newspapers or magazines.

Thankfully things picked up, the addition of Andy Bell and Gem Archer lifted the band massively for Heathen Chemistry in 2002, delivering a strong album with standout singles. Don't Believe The Truth in 2005 wasn't as good but there was still enough quality and fire in the belly. I caught the band at Benicassim in that year and they were outstanding.

By 2008's Dig Out Your Soul, although there were some gems like Liam's I'm Outta Time, it was clear Oasis were going through the motions and seeing them on tour that year was a little heartbreaking, it looked like Liam was the only person who wanted to be in Oasis. I blogged on their SECC show HERE.

So I wasn't hugely disappointed when Oasis broke up. It had been coming, it was time. 

Post Oasis, I've been hugely disappointed by Liam's musical output, first with Beady Eye and then his solo material, backed by an army of songwriters. I'd love to see him pick up the phone to the likes of Gerry Cinnamon, John Power, Andy Bell (on a roll with Ride and his solo material), Johnny Marr and Paul Weller who might write something that challenges him and has a little bit of soul. 

Noel still interests me. The eponymous High Flying Birds album was an incredibly strong collection of songs, Chasing Yesterday was the sound of someone enjoying stretching songs and playing in a way Oasis rarely achieved, while 2017's Who Built The Moon? was a very fluid album and Dead In The Water is as good a song as he has written. Noel has assembled a cracking band, he's pushing himself by working with the likes of David Holmes and he seems really happy with what he's doing.

I've thoroughly enjoyed delving back through the extensive Oasis back catalogue for this blog, there are so many wonderful songs from 1994 all the way through to 2008. I could easily have written a top 20 / 30 blog. Sad Song, Some Might Say, You've Got The Heart Of A Star, Cast No Shadow, Morning Glory, Rock n Roll Star, Cigarettes & Alcohol, Rockin' Chair, Don't Go Away or Half The World Away might well have been included on another day.

Here, at the time of writing, are what I consider to be my 10 favourite Oasis songs. 

Slide Away

All these years down the line, my spine still tingles when I listen to Slide Away. Noel's guitar is mesmerising, set for stun, playing a guitar given to him by Johnny Marr that had previously belonged to Pete Townsend, Noel has said that the song practically wrote itself when he picked the guitar up.

Written by Noel following the break up of a long term relationship, Slide Away is a heartfelt soul song of love, dreams, regret and just sliding away from it all.

 Liam, at the age of only 21, delivers an impeccable gut wrenching rock n roll vocal, packed and wracked with emotion. Noel is lyrically at his most open and romantic, Liam takes his brothers words and makes everyone feel it.

Flying through two chorus to a bridge where Liam sings the superb line together we'll fly, we're then straight into a double chorus that is truly skyscraping in its power.

Now that you're mine, we'll find a way of chasing the sun
Let me be the one, who shines with you
In the morning, we don't know what to do
We'll do what we can, we'll find a way of chasing the sun
Let me be the one, who shines with you
And we can slide away

Noel's guitar solo is as soulful as Liam's vocal, the rhythm section of Bonehead, Guigsy and Tony McCarroll crash beautifully together, allowing the brothers to work their magic.

Oasis would later become guilty of stretching songs out for far too long, but in the case of Slide Away every single second of the six minutes 31 seconds is absolutely vital. 

For me, this might be their greatest song.

Live Forever

Live Forever was an early indication of how good Oasis could be. This was a song mentioned regularly in early interviews an live reviews. Held back until their third single, it was the song that began to smash down doors on the back of the slightly throwaway Shaker Maker

Suddenly you could hear The Beatles instead of the Pistols or the Mondays. Noel Gallagher was a proper songwriter, this wasn't done it with a doctor, on a helicopter or Mr Clean and Mr Ben are living in my loft.

This was 'cause I just wanna fly, this was feeling the pain in the morning rain and being soaked to the bone, this was about being in love and seeing things the same way, different from everyone else, this was about feeling like you were in love and you were gonna live forever.

I think you're the same as me, we see things they'll never see
You and I are gonna live forever

This is classic Noel; romantic, melodic, euphoric, dreamy, egging himself on now's the time to find out why, the guitar solo is stunning, Gallagher has talked of how he sat for days working it out and by the time Liam repeatedly sings gonna live forever at the end, you believe him 100%.

The first of many hug your mates and punch the sky feel good anthems in the Oasis story.


Oasis were on such a roll going into 1995 that they were confident enough to release this rip roaring anthem as a b-side to their first number 1 single - Some Might Say.

Liam flies through the verses and his brother Noel sings the chorus that was just absolutely perfect for the band, their media images as (sometimes) warring brothers and for their fans to sing. A stadium anthem, a chorus built for Knebworth.

Cause we need each other, we believe in on another
I know we're gonna uncover
What's sleeping in our soul

I remember Oasis performing this on Channel 4's The White Room and I was just blown away. Liam in in sensational form, his voice is so strong from a year of solid gigging in 1994. 

White Room, 1995

Fade Away (demo) was one of the first Oasis songs I heard, a demo version was given away in the spring of 1994 on a Select Magazine cassette. A burst of acoustic guitar leads into the song, Liam's voice is good, Noel harmonises with him beautifully on the chorus. But Liam's voice just hasn't quite got the punch that it has on the version released as a b-side to Cigarettes & Alcohol.

In this version everything seems louder, pacier and more urgent. The band are making a right punk racket, drums and cymbals are crashing, the guitars are relentless and Liam's totally on it.

While we're living, the dreams we have as children fade away

Fade Away is one of Noel's early songs where he just captures something; a realisation, an honesty ... soul. The band tear through it and could easily have stopped at 3-minutes, but they keep going and deliver one of my favourite Oasis outro's as Noel picks a riff for a full 40-seconds to close.

Oasis/Noel would revisit the song for the Help / Warchild album and Noel delivered a beautiful version at his Royal Albert Hall show, later released under The Dreams We Have As Children album.

Little By Little

Two years ago my brother managed to bag us tickets 4 rows from the front to see Noel Gallagher play Edinburgh Playhouse with his High Flying Birds band. It was the first time I had seen Noel in a decade and I absolutely loved it. His band were excellent, Noel was in top form and included a number of Oasis songs in the set.

One that took me slightly by surprise was Little By Little. It was utterly euphoric. Maybe I had kind of forgotten about it, but it was possibly my song of the night, the chorus nearly took the roof off the place! Since then it's become one of my most listened to Oasis songs.

Noel's melodic bridge beginning you know I didn't mean, what I just said lifts the song beautifully and quite dramatically from a short verse into the skyscraping chorus;

Little by little, we have you everything you ever dreamed of
Little by little, the wheels of your life have slowly fallen off
Little by little, you have to give it all in all your life
And all the time I just ask myself why you're really here?

After the second verse there is one of my favourite Oasis guitar breaks that builds into another euphoric chorus and a lovely psychedelic tinged outro.

Don't Look Back In Anger

When Noel wrote Wonderwall and Don't Look Back In Anger he knew that he wanted to sing one of them. He may have guessed (or probably known) they would become Oasis anthems, but I don't think anyone (not even Noel) could have predicted or even dreamed of just how anthemic they would become.

Once my mates and I were out for a night out in neighbouring Wishaw and we couldn't get a taxi home, so we started walking. All of a sudden there was a group of lads running for us ... until they spotted my Oasis t-shirt ... after a brief tense but friendly exchange (thank god I didn't have a Blur t-shirt!) we were singing Wonderwall - mental!

I love Wonderwall, I love how the song has been transformed thanks to Ryan Adams covering it and Noel adding his own spin to that. But Don't Look Back In Anger is my favourite of the two, indeed, Wonderwall almost became a victim of its own success.

Meanwhile Don't Look Back In Anger has developed to become a real anthem with added poignancy after it was adopted by the people of Manchester after the 2017 bombing in the city.

Check the live version from Buenos Aires in Argentina to see how this song means something to people across the world. Listen to the huge crowd singing it so passionately. Noel looks genuinely taken aback at the end.

Why does it mean so much? Maybe it sounded instantly familiar to people, the borrowed Imagine chords at the start helped. Maybe it's Noel singing another line from his childhood that would resonate with others of his age - stand up beside the fireplace, take that look from off your face or maybe it's the soaring you ain't ever gonna burn my heart out that leads to the chorus.

Who was Sally? Who cares? 

Champagne Supernova
Champagne Supernova is utterly majestic. As psychedelic as Oasis got without trying too  hard; some of the lyrics are nonsense yet they came to make sense; slowly walking down the hall, faster than a cannonball, others asked questions - where were you while we were getting high? , others made statements that likely stemmed from Noel's working class roots - cause people believe that they're gonna get away for the summer, a line that Liam really seemed to relish and attack when singing it live.

Elsewhere a dreamer dreams, she never dies is one of of my favourite Noe lyrics, swiftly followed by a line I'm sure a lot of people will have heard when they were kids wipe that tear away now from your eye.

What was a champagne supernova? Who cared? It sounded amazing, Liam's voice still sounds amazing, Noel's guitar sounds amazing and his mate Paul Weller guests on the track, John Squire would join the band on stage at Knebworth to play on it.

Listening back now, Champagne Supernova beautifully balances moments that blast towards the stars with moments of tender, melodic, melancholy. The way the song ebbs to conclusion with Liam repeatedly singing we were getting high, before the outro is lazily and beautifully allowed to drift to conclusion is stunning.

Round Are Way

A triumphant celebration of youth, optimism and sunshine. Oasis blast through this, sounding like they are having fun, loving life, as carefree as the lyrics suggest.

Round are way the birds are singing
Round are way the sun shines bright
Round are way the birds sing for ya
Cause they already know ya

The song features in the 1997 film A Life Less Ordinary starring Ewan McGregor and Cameron Diaz. McGregor is walking in glorious sunshine singing the song, it is exactly that type of song! It's a feel-good, punch the sky romp, reminiscing about the simple pleasures of life - being a paperboy, lying to your teacher and my own favourite, playing football at the park until dark.

The game is kicking off around the park
It's 25-a-side and before it's dark
There's gonna be a loser and you know the next goal wins

Alongside She's Electric, Round Are Way perfectly captures the kind of council estate vibe that Oasis brought into the mainstream with their looks, attitude, humour and complete honesty. Straight from the off, Noel would talk lovingly of his Mum, of his abusive Dad. You didn't get anything like that in the NME or Melody Maker before Oasis! He felt real, he was real, he came from a scheme with a head full of dreams (great lyric for someone).


Coming in at only 2-minutes 8 seconds, Songbird is incredibly short for an Oasis song. And it's a Liam Gallagher penned song! Taken from 2002's Heathen Chemistry, this is a real gem of a song, Liam was head over heels in love with his fiance (at the time) Nicole Appleton and he pours his heart out in the song.

Talk of better days that are yet to come
I've never felt this love from anyone
She's not anyone

The harmonium, played by Gem Archer, adds a lot to the song, he plays it beautifully. The demo version of the song was released, it's more brashy and upbeat, complete with harmonica. I really like it, but the single version really captures the beauty of the song and Liam's voice is stunning.

The Masterplan
Two of the b-sides to Wonderwall (Round Are Way being the other) are in my top 10 favourite Oasis songs. Indeed, with Fade Away and Acquiesce, 4 out of my 10 are b-sides. 

With a heavy use of strings, it really felt like Oasis (or at least Noel) had grown up. Noel had certainly developed massively as a songwriter. If the aforementioned Live Forever set a bar, then the older Gallagher was regularly meeting it and at times he was setting new heights.

Noel had a masterplan with Oasis. He spoke of it in interviews. They would hammer it and release singles every few months like his heroes The Jam. 10 singles and 2 albums from April 1994 - February 1996 is astonishing, with the quality of b-sides highlighted in the compilation album - The Masterplan.

Noel is unrushed, the intro is extended, strings are at the heart of everything, there is that classic little Gallagher bridge that lifts into a chorus tumbles and flows.

Dance if you wanna dance, please brother take a chance
You know they're gonna go, which way they wanna go
All we know is that we don't, know how it's gonna be, please brother let it be
Life on the other hand, won't make us understand
We're all part of the masterplan

It's Noel at his best; meloic and beautifully mixing melancholic with euphoric.

Tuesday 1 June 2021

Never Ending Mixtape part 61


Hello and welcome to part 61 of my Never Ending Mixtape, my Spotify playlist that I add to regularly and blog about monthly. Search for Everything Flows Never Ending Mixtape on Spotify or CLICK HERE.

This month sees the additions of a couple of gems from the latest Teenage Fanclub album, as well as a stunning track Norman sings on with his old friend Sean Dickson (AKA HiFi Sean). The Golden Smog song is beautiful, I intend to dig into their back catalogue.

Elsewhere J Mascis features, there are some gems from Gruff Rhys and I'm also enjoying his latest solo album, I'm sure there will be a few songs from that in my next update.

Check out a couple of songs by The Coral, 3 (appropriately) from Big Star's Third album, a couple from Hole (pictured above), then we have Kraftwerk, Can, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart and more.

As always, I hope you discover something amazing that you haven't heard before, or rediscover an old favourite.

The latest additions are;

Come With Me - Teenage Fanclub

Back In The Day - Teenage Fanclub

18th - HiFi Sean ft. Norman Blake

Shine Your Light On Me - Natalie Bergman

Until You Came Along - Golden Smog

transfer - wor_kspace

Me Again -J Mascis

Several Shades Of Why - J Mascis

Every Morning - J Mascis

Martian Saints - The Hackles

Hello Sunshine - Super Furry Animals

serotonin - girl in red

After Hours / Panic - Gruff Rhys

Tremble To The Light - Gruff Rhys

Caitlin's Theme - Gruff Rhys

My Best Friend - The Coral

Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now - The Smiths

Lover Undiscovered - The Coral

Malibu - Hole

Celebrity Skin - Hole

Olympian - Gene

Everybody Knows - The Jayhawks

Bad Time - The Jayhawks

Europe Endless - Kraftwerk

Computer Love - Kraftwerk

Number 1 - Poster Paints

Back On Board - Aztec Camera

Somewhere In My Heart - Aztec Camera

Bad Education - Aztec Camera

Gorgon - Juliana Hatfield

I Can't Get Enough - The Jesus and Mary Chain

Song To The Cynic - Teenage Fanclub

I'm So Green - Can

Kitchen - The Lemonheads

New York - St Vincent

Young Adult Friction - The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

Crash - The Primitives

Tiger Lily - Luna

Thank You Friends - Big Star

Big Black Car - Big Star

Kanga Roo - Big Star