16 January 2009

"So you go on your way, and don't come sneaking round the back door..."

My life is even more dull than normal right now, so it would appear. In an effort to keep up appearances as far as blogging is concerned, I give you *drumroll* another round of iPod roulette ... No, hold on, it might be a good one...

1: Orange Crush - REM
"I've had my fun and now it's time to serve your conscience overseas..." This was their first Top 40 hit over here, and as a 16 year old I loved it but wondered whether it was Bowie-esque cut-'n'-paste nonsense because I simply couldn't read into "I've got my spine, I've got my orange crush" and work out to what it referred. The Green album from which it came remains one of my favourites from a band I've liked since Finest Worksong was championed by all jocks but still got nowhere. The chant-through-a-handkerchief midway through is one I've still never managed to decipher. One day I'll look the lyrics up.

2: Blasphemous Rumours - Depeche Mode
"Found new life in Jesus Christ..." The anti-God anthem made predominantly memorable for me for Alan Wilder's thwacking of an anvil all the way through the band's Top of the Pops appearance. This got most of the airplay when it was released a double A-side with Somebody, which had Martin Gore singing and some orgasmic echoes from some random women adorning the intro and outro. The year was 1984 and therefore any song which glamorised sex and questioned religion was met with puritanical complaints, though this gloomy tale of the happy religious girl getting killed by a car while the atheist girl survived her suicide attempt didn't get half the reaction that It Ain't Necessarily So, by Bronski Beat, would later generate. And that was only because it wondered out loud whether Jonah did indeed live in a whale.

3: King of the Kerb - Echobelly
"All the shadows in the alley, the shapes at the bar..." I haven't much to say as I've never embraced bands of the 1990s to any great level, but I've always loved the intro, the vocal and the chorus of this song. And it might just be this singer who the man behind this blog over here once enjoyed some public arm-interlinking. He'll deny it, natch.

4: My Affair - Kirsty MacColl
"Making eyes at perfect strangers, I know that it could be dangerous..." What a great song this was. The imagery of Kirsty going from a mucky teenager caught on the floor by her folks, through a spell as an insatiable wife spending whole days in the sack, to a wronged lady flaunting herself in front of the husband who did the dirty is just superb. This came out as the follow-up to Walking Down Madison in 1991 and was, astonishingly, a flop.

5: Rock Me Gently - Andy Kim
"You were made for me by the stars above..." One hit wonder of the 1970s about whom I know little, but this is a tremendous bit of songcraft and contains a quite brilliant chorus.

Hmmm. Could have been worse. It's time I gave my iPod a clearout and started again, I think.


LF Barfe said...

Danny Baker remains a doughty supporter of My Affair to this very day, playing it on wireless at the drop of a hat. It's a wonderful song.

Brian Cleary said...

Matt and LF,

My Affair is one of my all times faves. It's one of those songs that puts a smile on my face everytime I hear it. In many ways I wasn't surprised when it didn't do well in the charts at the time. After all the vast majority of the stuff in the charts in the middle of 1991 was muck.

I always felt that the slight change in speed on the single version and the fact that it lacked that great 2 mins at the end that the album version had probably did it in a bit.

I was on the radio a few nights a week back in 91 on an evening show and played it at every possible opportunity if it was on the playlist or not and it got a great response from callers (and letter writers!!!!!). It's just a pity that enthusiasm never transferred to sales.

That could be another thread altogether - great songs that failed to chart.

All the best Matt,