Thursday 18 July 2024

Brilliant debut singles part 1

Back in April, Oasis marked the 30th anniversary of Supersonic by declaring, in a typically brash and confident manner, that it was 'arguably the greatest debut single of all time.' 

There is no doubt that Supersonic got its hooks into me and I fell for the band big time, but even as an Oasis fan,  I don't think it is anywhere near the greatest debut single of all time.

Of course, that is entirely personal and debatable. 

With a view to writing a blog, I started thinking about incredible debut singles, where bands/artists seemed to appear fully formed with a perfect song. 

I then started some research and quickly formed a list of 50 brilliant debut singles! So this blog is part 1! Parts 2, 3, 4, 5 ... and so on will follow! And more if I keep researching! 

I've also started a Spotify playlist HERE

Get in touch with suggestions of brilliant debut singles.

1. Break On Through (to the Other Side) by The Doors

Right from the off, The Doors got their image and messaging absolutely perfect. All in just 2 minutes 25 seconds! The first verse and chorus are delivered in less than 30-seconds! Jim Morrison sounds like a man on a mission, his band sound like loyal lieutenants determined to help him deliver his goal- there is a spark, an urgency, an energy ....

Try to run, try to hide

Break on through to the other side

Morrison is poetic, he is mesmerising, as are the beats, melodies and riffs underneath him. Outstanding.

2. Teenage Kicks by The Undertones


Power punk pop perfection. Slamming into a ferocious guitar riff, The Undertones roar through verse-chorus-verse-chorus in under a minute, beginning with the incredible line a teenage dream's so hard to beat.

Teenage lust, desire and innocence pour out of the song. Fergal Sharkey delivers an exceptional vocal performance, audibly shaking with intensity at times and I still love the way he yells alright after the second chorus, into a short 15-second instrumental - just the same driving power chords.

Then the band just rip through the song again leading into another short instrumental followed by one more chorus. It's all over in under 2 and a half minutes. It's electrifying pop, the energy is infectious, the way the band just rip through the song is sensational, even on first listen you'll be singing a-long.

Teenage Kicks is simply sensational and must surely be one of the best debut singles of all time.

Full blog from 22/08/21

3. West End Girls by Pet Shop Boys

Originally released in 1984, West End Girls made a mark in in clubs across the globe, but it didn't trouble the charts, only reaching the heady heights of number 133. 

Pet Shop Boys had something though and EMI signed them up, Neil Tenant and Chris Lowe went into the studio with Stephen Hague and re-recorded the song. Re-released in October 1985, the song eventually hit number 1 in early 1986 and paved the way for a string of classic pop singles and albums.

Everything about West End Girls is distinctive; Tenant's spoken word/rap through the verses, the moody synth chords that underpin everything, the exceptionally catchy synth bass riff and the chorus contrasting East and West.

In a West End town in a dead end world

The East End boys and West End Girls

West End Girls

West End Girls is exceptional pop music. It still sounds fresh, it's not euphoric by nature, but the chorus is so super catchy that it lifts everything. An absolute classic.

4. Music Sounds Better With You by Stardust


Not just a debut single, Music Sounds Better With You was the ONLY song released by Stardust! This was despite Virgin offering Stardust $3 million to produce an album! Allegedly, there were a few other songs kicking around as demos, but Stardust resisted the temptation to record and release anything else.

Stardust was; Thomas Bangalter (one half of Daft Punk), Alan Braxe and Benjamin Diamond. The trio created Music Sounds Better With You around a guitar riff sampled from Chaka Khan's Fate, the song is remarkably simple and totally catchy.

Is the song about listening to music with someone you love, or listening to music on ecstasy? This was a popular debate at the time. It could be either.

Music Sounds Better is one verse that cleverly (thanks to the I feel so good last line) leads back into itself over and over again. Diamond said that the lyrics were "like a mantra ... something everyone could understand." 

He was absolutely right and it's the same with the groove, the repetition is infectious with instruments fading in and out. 

I love the fact that Stardust released something so perfect and so successful and then just left it at that! 

Ooh baby
I feel like
The music sounds better with you
Love might, bring us back together
I feel so good

5. Fast Car by Tracy Chapman

Released when Chapman was 24, Fast Car has a remarkable mature feel to it. Riding on a slow and melodic acoustic riff, Chapman sings of escaping a challenging life to anywhere else - any place is better, starting from zero, got nothing to lose

Chapman's voice is deep and souful and she continues to tell her tale, of saving a little from her job in a convenience store, wanting to head across the border to the city to see what living is really like. 'Cause it doesn't sound like she has had much of a life; her Dad hit the bottle, her Mum left, she had to quit school and essentially care for her Dad.

It doesn't take much for Chapman to dream, she just wants to escape;

You got a fast car

Is it fast enough so we can fly away?

Still gotta make a decision

Leave tonight, or live and die this way

That last line is equally beautiful and heartbreaking, she really lays it on the line.

Then the chorus explodes into life;

So I remember when we were driving, driving in your car

Speed so fast, I felt like I was drunk

City lights lay out before us

And your arm felt nice wrapped around my shoulder

And I, I , I had a feeling that I belonged

I, I, I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone

Official video - Fast Car



Monday 1 July 2024

Turnin' My Heartbeat Up

 

Trust me #74

Turnin' My Heartbeat Up by The M.V.P.'s

Originally released back in 1971, The M.V.P.'s Turnin' My Heartbeat Up is still thrilling and filling talc dusted dancefloors on the northern soul scene in 2024. 

No wonder! The song is essentially a love letter to music and dancing, to those moments where music lifts you higher and higher and you feel like you could explode with happiness.

Written by Bobby Flax and Lanny Lambert, Turnin' My Heartbeat Up packs a lot into a mere 2 minutes and 14 seconds. The short intro leads quickly to a whispering, breathless vocal that sounds like the singer is letting you into an urgent secret.

Listen to the sound of the drummer, thumpin' to the beat of my heart

Feel that bass, can't keep the pace, it's tearin' my brain apart

Things then lift quite dramatically for the bridge, as if the singer can't keep it in, he has to tell someone about the way he is feeling, the effect the music is having on him.

Whoa, I never ever felt like this before

But all I can say is mama give me some more (some more, some more!)

Then, 30-seconds in, we are into the outrageous chorus, that replicates the quiet/loud trick but in an even more dynamic fashion;

Turnin' my heartbeat up, turnin' my heartbeat up (it's gettin' louder)

Turnin' my heartbeat up, turnin' my heartbeat up

Then just listen to the drum roll, the horns kick in and the euphoric backing vocals kick in;

I keep on tellin' you, your're turnin' my heartbeat up, baby

You're turnin' my heartbeat up (yeah, yeah, yeah)

 You're turnin' my heartbeat up (yeah, yeah, yeah)

 You're turnin' my heartbeat up

The second verse follows the same pattern as the first, taking about the crash of the cymbols, comparing the sound of horns to fire that's burning. 

The bridge kicks into life

I got a little volcano about to erupt ('bout to erupt)

With more than enough to fill your lovin' cup

Then we're into the chorus again, it's a little longer, allowing the song to build and build, to get faster and faster as the singer eventually breaks down as he can't keep up.

Wow. Turnin' My Heartbeat Up is fast, furious, pacey and passionate soul music. 

Trust me. It's an absolute belter!

Turnin' My Heartbeat Up is added to my Trust Me playlist; search for Everything Flows - Trust Me on Spotify or CLICK HERE 


Check below for all previous blogs in my Trust Me series.

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
26. Everlasting Love by Love Affair
27. Walk Away Renee by The Left Banke
28. Teenage Kicks by The Undertones
29. Shaky Ground by Sneeze
29. Rill Rill by Sleigh Bells
30. I Can Feel Your Love by Felice Taylor
31. The State We're In by The Chemical Brothers w/ Beth Orton
32. Sunshine After The Rain by Ellie Greenwich
33. Losing My Edge by LCD Soundsystem
34. Mondo 77 by Looper
35. Les Fleurs by Minnie Riperton
36. Rat Trap by The Boomtown Rats
37. How High by The Charlatans
38. I Can't Let Go by Evie Sands
39. Pop Song 89 by R.E.M.
40. Summertime Clothes by Animal Collective
41. There She Goes by The Las
42. We're Going To Be Friends by White Stripes
43. Autumn Sweater by Yo La Tengo
44. Sister Rena by Lomond Campbell
45. Revolution by The Beatles
46. Lazarus by The Boo Radleys
47. Wrote For Luck by Happy Mondays
48. American Trilogy by The Delgados
49. Loser by Beck 
50. Silent Sigh by Badly Drawn Boy
51. Comedy by Shack
52. Take The Skinheads Bowling by Camper Van Beethoven
53. Freakscene by Dinosaur Jr
54. Thank You For Being You by The Pastels
55. I Think I'm In Love by Spiritualized
56. Chestnut Mare by The Byrds
57. Cannonball by The Breeders
58. Like A Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan
59. You Make Me Weak At The Knees by Electrelane
60. Lucky by Radiohead
61. Strange Currencies by R.E.M.
61. I Am The Cosmos by Chris Bell
62. Like A Ship (Without A Sail) by Pastor TL Barrett and the Youth for Christ Choir
63. Nothing But A Heartache by The Flirtations
64. Made of Stone by The Stone Roses
65. Tonight In Belfast by Orbital, David Holmes, DJ Helen and Mike Garry
66. Anything by Adrianne Lenker
67. I Hold Something In My Hand by Bill Ryder-Jones
68. I Meant Every Word by Burnett Sisters
69. Dream Baby Dream by Suicide
70. Stove by The Lemonheads
71. Red Lady by Phil Cordell
72. Little Fluffy Clouds by The Orb




The Charlatans at Queens Park Glasgow

I wasn't intending to write a blog on last nights Charlatans show in a Big Tent at Queens Park. After so many years, what is there left to say? April was the 30th anniversary of me seeing the band for the first time. I don't know how many times I must have seen them over the years. Maybe 40 times? At least once a year probably, sometimes more. 

There would be years where I'd probably catch them 4 times. Glasgow (twice), Edinburgh and at good old T in the Park where they appeared more years than they didn't.

The Charlatans lifted me last night and so I find myself suitably inspired to write a review over breakfast.

What inspired me?

Well the setting was pretty cool. A big old tent (possibly the old King Tuts T in the Park tent dusted down from being stored somewhere) on the far side of Queens Park. The Waterboys had used it on Friday night and Mogwai on Saturday. Could this be a new weekend fixture in the Scottish music calendar? 

However, it was the band that lifted and inspired me. Coming on stage at 8.45pm sharp to a huge ovation, Tim, Mark, Martin, Tony and Pete played a superb set that really took the crowd on a trip.

They really mixed it up, opening with the beautiful and shimmering Then, before a blast of power pop in the shape of Can't Get Out Of Bed, then the dreamy So Oh, followed by a euphoric Crashin' In. Four very different songs stretching from 1990 to 2014.

Photo by Tim Burgess

Toothache was a real dirty groove while North Country Boy really got the crowd going, everyone was singing with their hands in the air, punching the sky for the hook. Tim kept it going with Just When You're Thinkin' Things Over, which was one of my songs of the night.

Introducing My Beautiful Friend, Tim said sometimes we play it, sometime we don't, sometimes we play it, sometimes we don't. It was a little comedown after the high of the previous two songs, but again, it showed a different side to the band.

We were back on a high as the intro to One To Another kicked in and the tent erupted. Then we were into the blissed out psychedelic groove of Opportunity from debut album Some Friendly. Martin Blunt on bass was outstanding.


Images and old video footage flashed up on the big screen behind the band. I hope they are uploaded to YouTube. There was particularly cool footage of a young Charlatans going for it in an old loft/warehouse with Tim in stripey T-shirt with that incredible haircut he had at the time.

Weirdo was another huge song that got people dancing, Soul Saver was a very welcome surprise, Blackened Blue Eyes was powerful and pure - we all need a shoulder to cry on once in a while


Come Home Baby has such an uplifting chorus and then it was The Only One I Know with an extended intro to allow Tim to take it all in. My friend and I put on an indie night in May and I played this, the dancefloor went crazy and the tent went nuts last night. The chorus is euphoric yet also beautifully melancholic and I appreciate it more with every passing year.

Everyone has been burned before
Everybody knows the pain

Very mature words for a young Tim Burgess to be writing back then. Timeless. A song that keeps on giving.

Tim's view for The Only One I Know

I had been expecting/hoping for How High in the encore, so my only slight disappointment in the night/setlist was that we had You're So Pretty to kick it off. Perhaps Love Is They Key from the Wonderland album would been better for the occasion.

But hey, we all knew where this was going ... we were all going to Sproston Green and we were all aboard. The long intro that builds and builds into a glorious groove and then BOOM

This one knows, she comes and goes
And when she goes, she goes

We were near the front, but now we were right in the mix, bouncing around in delight. What a song, what a band. I hope they come back to Glasgow again before too long.

And I'm still hoping for a Kelvingrove Bandstand date (or two). Maybe next year?



Monday 24 June 2024

80 minute Marvin Gaye mix

Marvin Gaye's I Don't Have To Get High To Do It is a relatively recent discovery of mine. If you dig into his back catalogue on Spotify (or a streaming/download platform of your choice) you'll find all kinds of deluxe edition albums that have demos, instrumentals and alternative takes.

It really is an absolute treasure trove of riches and I have found myself regularly coming back to Marvin's discography which has resulted in me compiling this 80-minute mix of blissed out instrumentals, alternative mixes, deep cuts, demos and ending with a pure classic and the sublime rhythm 'n' strings mix of What's Going On.

Check out some sensational soul jams with the Funk Brothers and the many incredible musicians Gaye was fortunate to work with. I previously blogged on Song #3  HERE back in 2019. The instrumental songs on the deluxe edition of Lets Get It On are absolutely out of this world, Perfection is aptly named!  

Search for 80-minute Marvin Gaye mix on Spotify or CLICK HERE

Tracklist

I Don't Have To Get High To Do It (instrumental)

I Want You - Jam - Alternate Mix

Song #1 - Instrumental

Song #3 - Instrumental

Song #4- Instrumental /partial vocal) 

Perfection (instrumental)

"T" Plays It Cool (soundtrack version)

Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) - Detroit Mix

Right On - Detroit Mix

Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) Detroit Mix

Falling In Love Again

Checking Out (Double Clutch)

What's Going On (instrumental)

Ego Tripping Out (instrumental)

I Love The Ground You Walk On - Instrumental

Symphony - Demo

I Want You - Intro Jam 2

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

What's Going On - Rhythm 'N' Strings Mix




Saturday 22 June 2024

Do Your Thing

Cover version of the month #98
BMX Bandits (with The Wellgreen) and Lighships cover Moondog

I had never heard of Moondog until 2022 when I caught Gerard Love playing a string of Autumn shows in and around Glasgow. Gerry introduced a cover of Do Your Thing which had had a slow, dreamy, flowing and gorgeous melody that melted hearts. It seemed to have been written for him!

I found out that Gerry released a version on the b-side to Lightships Sweetness In Her Spark single in 2012. I later learned (quite recently) that BMX Bandits had recorded a version back in 2009 with friends Marco Rea and Stu Kidd (The Wellgreen) that came out on YouTube in 2012.

Moondog's original sets his beautiful melody over some stunning piano and he delivers solid advice for just over 3-minutes over 2 verses, including;

Do your best

And opportunity will do the rest

Don't give in

Capitulation is the greatest sin

And in the second verse;

Learn to wait

And while you're waiting, learn to concentrate

Moondog's voice, melody and words feel and sound effortless. Almost like a hushed and dreamy nursery rhyme. The piano is delightfully playful and I'm guessing that (like me) you'll play this song a few times in a row. 

BMX Bandits with The Wellgreen recorded a loving cover back in 2009 (see below for an interview with Duglas T Stewart) when they had a couple of spare hours in the studio. Duglas, backed by the talent of Marco Rea and Stu Kidd, remain pretty true to the original. The fact that the trio had limited time helps create a very organic feeling, the little keyboard solo sounds beautifully lofi and pure. Stewart's voice works so well with Rea and Kidd doing backing vocals and harmonies. Kidd's military style drumming is a delight and the fact that both Stuart and Marco are exceptionally talented multi-instrumentalists means that a couple of studio hours can be extremely productive. You can hear the love for the song in this recording. I'd been planning a blog on Do Your Thing for some time, but only discovered the BMX Bandits version very recently.

Photo by Mark Gilles

Do Your Thing is already pretty dreamy, but on the Lightships cover, Love and co add a psychedelic sleeping pill to slow it down and stretch it to 5 minutes 35 seconds, replacing the piano with gentle xylophone, guitar, brush strokes on the drums. The melody really suits Gerry's voice and style. This is pure gorgeousness, beautifully hypnotic, you can get lost in the music. If the original is a dreamy nursery rhyme, Lightships version is a psychedelic lullaby. Close your eyes and drift away. The last two minutes are exquisite.

Moondog original 1978 version

BMX Bandits (featuring The Wellgreen) version 

Lightships version

The Moondog original and Lightships cover version are added to my Everything Flows Cool Cover Versions playlist on Spotify which also features all of the songs listed below an interview with Duglas T Stewart. Search for the title or CLICK HERE

You can download the BMX Bandits version from Bandcamp

Thanks to Duglas for answering a few questions about Moondog and creating a playlist.

1. How did you discover Moondog? Did someone introduce you to his music, or did you stumble across it yourself? 

I discovered Moondog's in Japan in the early 1990s while in Tokyo with BMX Bandits. My girlfriend at the time, later my wife, Midori introduced me to lots of incredible music and she recommended that I should buy a CD that featured two of his albums, Moondog (1969) and Moondog 2 (1979). 

John Hogarty, who was playing guitar with us at that time also bought a copy. I had never heard anything like his music before. The rhythmic patterns with so quirky and brilliant. Some of it was like jazz, some of it was more like orchestral soundtrack music and then there were almost nursery rhyme like vocal rounds and songs with simple truths at the heart of them sung by Moondog and his daughter. Although I am making some comparisons there it still felt totally unique. It sounded as though it was created by an original thinker. 

2. What attracted you to cover 'Do Your Thing'? How important were The Wellgreen to the recording?

We recorded our version of Do Your Thing in just a couple of hours on June 1st 2009. I had thought for a long time that I could imagine it as a BMX Bandits track. The melody sounded like it would suit BMX bandits and I had an idea of how I wanted to approach it, a bit like a School House Rock song meets BMX Bandits (School House Rock was an American educational animated series that featured cool songs with an educational twist. Two of the most famous examples are 3 is the Magic Number and Unpack Your Adjectives). 

Marco & Stu from back in the day.

I was at Marco Rea from the Wellgreen's studio with Stuart Kidd, who was the other half of The Wellgreen at that time, and Brian McEwan, who was one of BMX Bandits then. We were recording another song for a tribute album that was never released. I suggested since we had recorded the other track so quickly that we should have a go at Do Your Thing. I explained my concept for it and I really wanted to utilise the magical vocal blend Marco and Stuart have together. 

The original Wellgreen vocal blend and Stuart and Marco's incredible ability to work really quickly and instinctively was key to how the track turned out.

3. Are there any other songs by Moondog that you are fond of?

Moondog is a major musical figure for me and for a number of my musician friends. Bill Wells is a major Moondog fan and was meant to be collaborating with Moondog and then sadly Moondog died before it could happen. Norman from Teenage Fanclub is a fan and recorded a version of another Moondog Song (My Tiny Butterfly) with Bill Wells. The first V-Twin single, a collaboration with Bill Wells, used a sample of a Moondog rhythm as its backbone. David Scott of The Pearlfishers is also a major fan. 

David and I organised a tribute concert to Moondog featuring a set of versions of some of our favourite pieces written by him. I think The Trashcan Sinatras have covered a Moondog song in the past and Gerry Love's band Lightships also recorded a version of Do Your Thing. Gerry took the song in quite a different direction from us and it is really effective, testament to the strength of the original song. The Pastels are also Moondog fans. 

I helped put together a reissue of an album that Moondog made in 1957 with Julie Andrews. He is a unique musical figure. He was blind and lived and performed on the streets of New York dressed like a Viking playing music on his own home made instruments but found an audience for his unique music and in later life he moved to Europe. I am going to make a playlist of some of my favourite Moondog music to go along with this piece.

A taster of Moondog for your ears - by Duglas T Stewart

4. BMX Bandits have covered a number of songs over the years. Do any (apart from this one) stand out for you?

There's too many to mention but one of my personal favourites is a cover version of a song by a Hong Kong duo My Little Airport called You Don't Wanna Be My Girlfriend, Phoebe. It is such an incredible song, our version's arrangement/ instrumentation is very different from the original. It was recorded by Stuart Kidd, James McEwan and me, again  very quickly and it was also recorded in 2009. I'd like to play it live sometime. 

5. My own favourite cover version is probably Richie Havens cover of Lamont Doziers Going Back To My Roots. Could you choose a favourite (or a few if you can't narrow it down)? 

The obvious choice for me is one that you have featured on here, Harpers Bizarre's version of Jim Pepper's song Witchi Tai To (Duglas kindly answered some questions on this incredible song HERE) but I will give you another one, which is an album of cover versions by Laura Nyro and LaBelle called Gonna Take a Miracle. I know that your sister also loves that album. I think I recommended it to her. When I first saw the tracklisting of the album I thought it was crazy. It features all of these versions of classic songs that I thought had untouchable original versions . I couldn't understand anyone having the audacity to cover these classics but I decided to buy it because I was curious as well as outraged. When I listened I couldn't believe what I was hearing, it is so incredible, so life affirming from start to finish and it remains one of my ultimate favourite albums to this day.

6. Lastly, if you could choose someone to cover one of your songs, who would it be, why and what song would you like them to sing and play?

My favourite new artist to emerge this Century is a singer, songwriter, multi instrumentalist and arranging talent called Sofie Royer. Please check out her incredible album Harlequin if you don't already know it. Well, of course I would love for her to cover one of my songs and I would be delighted for her to make her own choice of any of my songs that I have written or co-written. That would be such a thrill but she has enough great songs of her own so that's just an idle dream. 

I love recording and playing live cover versions of songs that I love by other artists because I am a fan and also it's a great way to learn new ways of doing things that you can bring to your own music in the future.

UPDATE - on Friday 21st June Duglas watched The Cords and said; "The Cords were fantastic at the Glasgow launch for Grant McPhee's Postcards from Scotland book. I loved their whole set, which they finished with a beautiful cover of BMX Bandits I Wanna Fall In Love. I had tears in my eyes."

Previous covers of the month blogs

13. Hurt
39. ABBA-esque
40. Jumpin' Jack Flash
64. Lola
82. Drop
87. Indian Rope Man + bonus Strawberry Fields Forever + This Wheels On Fire
92. Valerie

Friday 21 June 2024

Liam Gallagher DM30 in Glasgow

30-years ago this month I caught Oasis for the second time in the old Cathouse in Glasgow when it was based on Brown Street. The band were beginning to break as they released second single Shaker Maker, working their way towards the release of debut album Definitely Maybe in August.

Even though Noel, Liam, Bonehead, Guigsy and Tony were aware that they had songs like Live Forever, Cigarettes & Alcohol and Slide Away ready to go, I doubt anyone on the Cathouse stage or in the crowd that night could have predicted how life changing the band, those songs and that album would become.

Or maybe Noel knew. In the legendary Wibbling Rivalry interview (recorded in a Glasgow hotel after their April show at The Tramway in April 94), Noel hammers home;

Rock n roll is about music. Music, music, music. It's not about you, it's not about me, it's not about Oasis. It's about the songs. Noel Gallagher

Noel was always confident his songs would live on. Before long, buskers were on Buchanan Street playing D'yer Wanna Be A Spaceman, Live Forever and Take Me Away. Gallagher seemed to generate a spike in both acoustic and electric guitar sales. Along with his brother, they no doubt pushed the sales of anoraks and cagoules as well!

Tonight I'm a rock n roll star

It's just rock n roll

It's just rock n roll

Liam Gallagher's mantra at the end of his blistering take on Oasis' Rock n Roll Star really hit home last night. His brothers words are almost casually tossed away in the outro. But .... as 13,000 fans will testify, it's not just rock n roll.

30-years on, it is about; the songs, the attitude, the swagger, the hair, the hope, the dreams and the sense of optimism that Oasis heralded in 1994 with the release of 5 singles and Definitely Maybe. It's more than all that, it's the sense of community Oasis created. It's jubilation, it's punching the sky, hugging and singing with strangers and having the time of your life.

5 lads from a Manchester council estate were mad for it, they were having it, and they blew absolutely everyone and everything away. The ripple effects are still there, they are still growing.

13,000 Oasis fans were in the Hydro last night, but the biggest fan of Noel Gallagher's songs was on stage singing them, with every fibre of his body, every bit of his heart and soul.

Liam was in his element. This is what he was born to do. Sing his brothers songs about dreaming, escapism and love. And of course, Liam Gallagher was born to be a total star.

Look at you now, you're all in my hands tonight

We were gladly in his hands. We were mad for it, like it was 1994 all over again. The stage set up was loosely based on the Definitely Maybe cover, but everyone's eyes were on Liam.

Rock n Roll Star set a high bar, the menacing groove of Columbia followed. Shaker Maker didn't reach those highs, the guitars seemed to go lower and Liam's voice was pushed even higher in the mix. But Up In The Sky sounded super fresh with everyone feeling it.

I can feel you

Can you feel me?

Bring It On Down was searing punk soul and old b-sides Cloudburst and I Will Believe were greeted like long lost friends on stage and in the crowd.

One of many highlights was Liam singing Half A World Away along with every single person inside the Hydro. A beautiful and moving moment, his voice was outstanding.

My favourite Oasis song is probably Fade Away and it was incredible last night, delivered with power, pace and passion. The band ripped through it and it felt electrifying. Another b-side!

But before long, Liam and his band were bringing out the real big guns. Whatever felt like a real anthem, the Hydro felt like a church and everyone was singing this huge Oasis hymn. The melodies of Whatever are really strong, the lyrics are universal - everyone was singing from the bottom of their hearts. 

Then it was Cigarettes & Alcohol and the place was absolutely bouncing, seeming to give Liam an extra shot of energy as he stretched out sssssuuuuunnnnnssssshhhiiiiiinnnnnneeee.

After Married With Children, the band regrouped quickly for a BOOM, BOOM, BOOM encore. Supersonic sounded very aptly named and threatened to take the roof off the Hydro. Slide Away was euphoric and Live Forever was spine tinglingly gorgeous. Liam was in fine voice.

I Am The Walrus sent the crowd home deliriously happy. What a show. What a night.

Morning Glory 30th anniversary shows next year please!


Tuesday 11 June 2024

Never Ending Mixtape part 91


 

Hola

Welcome to part 91 of my Never Ending Mixtape which has almost reached the 4,000 songs landmark as we jump from 3,859 songs to 3,896!

There is the usual mix of recent discoveries, new releases and old favourites. How did I get to almost 4,000 songs without adding Once In A Lifetime by Talking Heads?! I must do a feature blog on that soon!

Anyway, as always, I hope you find a song you love or that you rediscover something you haven't heard in years. Play from the start, the middle, the end of click shuffle and see where it takes you.

Search for Everything Flows Never Ending Mixtape on Spotify or CLICK HERE

Recent discoveries

Bored by Waxhatachee

Hannah by City Parking

Soul Sister by Allen Toussaint

Every Time The Sun Comes Up by Sharon Van Etten

New releases

The Human Race by Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band

Haven't You Heard by Arab Strap

Keep Your Secrets Close by The Reds The Pinks & The Purples

Old favourites

Once In A Lifetime by Talking Heads

Keep The Car Running by Arcade Fire

Coffee & TV by Blur

Maps by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Teenage Wasteland by The Who

Into Tomorrow by Paul Weller

Fade Away by Oasis



Friday 7 June 2024

I Can Do It With A Broken Heart

 

Trust me #73

I Can Do It With A Broken Heart by Taylor Swift

Rather weirdly, I got into Swift through my old 7-a-side football friend Craig who manages Mogwai's Rock Action label! Craig has superb taste in pop music and highlighted We Are Never Getting Back Together on his social channels many years ago. 1989 was my eldest daughter Zoe's first album!

Like many other fans of pop music, I've fallen for Taylor Swift. What an incredible artist, songwriter, performer and role model Swift is. 

Now, my youngest daughter Rosie (age 9) is a proud Swiftie and I love when she tells me that what she was up to at playtime and lunchtime at school - "Me and my friends were talking about Taylor Swift's albums."

I recently walked behind Rosie and her friend on the way to our local coffee shop and listened in to one of their conversations. I wanted to join in! Swift is inspiring young kids to buy and discuss albums. Incredible!

As a family, we debated about trying for tickets to see Taylor play Murrayfield. I did log on, but there were only 600 quid tickets left. Pretty much on the stage! But 4 tickets would be 2,400! Going on holiday over a one-off night out (no matter how good that night out might be) won over. 

Now, with Taylor's run of Murrayfield gigs coming up this weekend. I kind of wish we'd just bought the tickets ... although we'd be paying for them for quite some time!

Recently, Rosie introduced me to new song I Can Do It With A Broken Heart and we have been playing it pretty constantly in the house and in the car. 

Somehow this incredible slice of pop perfection didn't make the 'normal' version of Taylor Swift's latest album (her 11th) The Tortured Poets Department. For most artists, this would be a lead single. However, Swift is so prolific that I Can Do It With A Broken Heart is tucked in on the Anthology version which contains 31 songs and over 2-hours of music. Taylor has now released a remarkable 274 songs in her career. Incredible!

Starting slow and then kicking in with what feels like two sets of choruses, I Can Do It With A Broken Heart deserves a doctorate in pop music.  There are count-in's, clever lyrics, hooks galore and shimmering synths and beats that work so well with Swift's melodies.

A video has been released with professionally shot tour footage and the lyrics at the bottom. It works perfectly as Swift sings of having to go on tour post break-up with a broken heart.

Official video

A short first verse has Taylor reflecting on what her fans are thinking - she's having the time of her life, touring the world, playing sold out shows, making millions ... but the kiss off line is I can show you lies and then a 1, 2, 3 , 4 count into the pre-chorus.

The pre-chorus builds beautifully, it is classic Swift, a nice use of swearing, tumbling flowing melodies and Taylor pouring her heart out.

Cause I'm a real tough kid

I can handle my shit

They said - 'babe you gotta fake it 'til you make it' and I did

Lights, camera, bitch smile

Even when you wanna die

He said he'd love me all his life

But that life was too short

Breaking down I hit the floor

All the pieces of me shattered as the crowd was chanting - MORE

I was grinnin' like I'm winnin'

I was hittin' my marks

'Cause I can do it with a broken heart

Shimmering synths and beats kick in for the chorus proper. Be warned - this is SUPER CATCHY AND COOL! 

I'm so depressed I act like it's my birthday, every day

I'm so obsessed with him but he avoids me, like the plague

I cry a lot but I am so productive, it's an art

You know you're good when you can even do it, with a broken heart

BOOM! All delivered in precisely 1-minute 36 seconds. So good that it's time to do it all again. Another short verse has Swift still searching for her ex's belongings to ensure she didn't imagine the whole relationship. 

COUNTDOWN

That stunning pre-chorus

COUNTDOWN

BOOM

The super catchy chorus again (honestly - how good is this?!!)

Swift is in the zone and isn't quite ready to finish, the beats keep going, the synths still bubble and shimmer as Taylor realise how good she is at doing it in spite of everything. There is humour but also exceptional honesty as she declares;

I'm miserable

And nobody even knows

Before another beautiful kiss off ah, try and come for my job

WOW! Pop perfection. 

Taylor Swift plays Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh on June 7th, 8th and 9th. She is a pop superstar. Enjoy if you're catching here in Scotland or elsewhere. 

I Can Do It With A Broken Heart is added to my Trust Me playlist; search for Everything Flows - Trust Me on Spotify or CLICK HERE 

Check below for all previous blogs in my Trust Me series.

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
26. Everlasting Love by Love Affair
27. Walk Away Renee by The Left Banke
28. Teenage Kicks by The Undertones
29. Shaky Ground by Sneeze
29. Rill Rill by Sleigh Bells
30. I Can Feel Your Love by Felice Taylor
31. The State We're In by The Chemical Brothers w/ Beth Orton
32. Sunshine After The Rain by Ellie Greenwich
33. Losing My Edge by LCD Soundsystem
34. Mondo 77 by Looper
35. Les Fleurs by Minnie Riperton
36. Rat Trap by The Boomtown Rats
37. How High by The Charlatans
38. I Can't Let Go by Evie Sands
39. Pop Song 89 by R.E.M.
40. Summertime Clothes by Animal Collective
41. There She Goes by The Las
42. We're Going To Be Friends by White Stripes
43. Autumn Sweater by Yo La Tengo
44. Sister Rena by Lomond Campbell
45. Revolution by The Beatles
46. Lazarus by The Boo Radleys
47. Wrote For Luck by Happy Mondays
48. American Trilogy by The Delgados
49. Loser by Beck 
50. Silent Sigh by Badly Drawn Boy
51. Comedy by Shack
52. Take The Skinheads Bowling by Camper Van Beethoven
53. Freakscene by Dinosaur Jr
54. Thank You For Being You by The Pastels
55. I Think I'm In Love by Spiritualized
56. Chestnut Mare by The Byrds
57. Cannonball by The Breeders
58. Like A Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan
59. You Make Me Weak At The Knees by Electrelane
60. Lucky by Radiohead
61. Strange Currencies by R.E.M.
61. I Am The Cosmos by Chris Bell
62. Like A Ship (Without A Sail) by Pastor TL Barrett and the Youth for Christ Choir
63. Nothing But A Heartache by The Flirtations
64. Made of Stone by The Stone Roses
65. Tonight In Belfast by Orbital, David Holmes, DJ Helen and Mike Garry
66. Anything by Adrianne Lenker
67. I Hold Something In My Hand by Bill Ryder-Jones
68. I Meant Every Word by Burnett Sisters
69. Dream Baby Dream by Suicide
70. Stove by The Lemonheads
71. Red Lady by Phil Cordell
72. Little Fluffy Clouds by The Orb