Monday, 1 September 2008

News, Views and Music Issue 2 (Top Five): The Face Of Bo

And finally, the latest in our top fives: songs that Doctor Who’s friend The Face Of Bo might have sung if he hadn’t have been a big face in a jar and had been a rock God on planet Earth in the 20th/21st century:

5) ‘Face The Face’—Pete Townshend gets jazzy as he tells us over a sprightly backing why we should ’win the race’ and, you guessed it, ’face the face’. (He even sings ’New York, Chicago’ at one point—he meant ’New Earth, New New York’ surely?)

4) ‘The Story Of [Face Of } Bo Diddley’ —Eric Burdon narrates a five-minute tale of how British musicians in the early 60s ripped off American musicians in the late 50s who in turned ripped their material off from old blues singers. His tale of 50s legend Bo Diddley walking into an Animals’ gig with his entourage and dismissing their performance as ’rubbish’ is one of the most hilarious recordings ever made in the 60s (and a bit post-modern to boot) - not least because the Animals sound pretty much at their best here on this long-burning blues and even include extracts from Beatles and Stones songs for good measure in their history of rock and roll.

3) ‘Doctor, Doctor’—’Doctor doctor please make me well, I’m in trouble I can tell’. This is surely what the Face of Bo was trying to sing  with his dying breath as David Tennant looked forlornly at his old friend biting the dust. The Who actually said it first, though, in a hard-to-find B-side from 1966.

2) ‘Doctorin’ The Tardis’ - OK, so we had to mention it somewhere. Yes everybody, there really was a number #1 spin-off record based around Doctor Who. And yes, it was sung by a car, even though said vehicle (’Ford Timelord’) had nothing whatsoever to do with the series other than a dodgy name. Compared to most #1s of the 1980s (and most Doctor Who spin-off singles it has to be said) its actually quite good, although how it beat the likes of the Human League, CSN and The Kinks to chart stardom in that period I’m not quite sure. 

1) ‘You’re Not Alone Anymore’—OK so technically he didn’t use the last word, but otherwise this sentence is the very one the Fewc of Bo used in his message of importance to the Doctor, a storyline that had been set up a whole 11 episodes earlier ( in series four of the news series, as if anybody reading as far as this didn’t know!) Bo wasn’t just a pretty face either: The very next episode the Doctor ended up meeting fellow timelord The Master, despite thinking the whole of his kind had been destroyed by the Daleks (conveniently but understandably off-screen between series formats). Surely, though, he’d have much preferred to have met the Travelling Wilburys, who recorded this song on their first album Volume One— which was one of the last performances by the much-missed Roy Orbison.                    That’s all for now folks, see you next week.

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