Monday, 6 October 2008

News, Views and Music Issue 7 (Top Five): Virus Songs

  Not much news on the AAA front, except to say that our computer is poorly with a virus which has rather scuppered our plans this week (somebody must have been playing the spice girls on it!) In honour of our fallen comrade, here is this week’s top five: songs about viruses of all kinds (and yes I know allergies aren’t viruses but I’m getting desperate, OK?!)

5) A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues (The Beatles, Live At the BBC, 1994): Probably not the sort of medicine your doctor would recommend, but this infectious boogie-woogie Beatle cover will cure most ails. Except our computer’s that is. Darn. Incidentally, does anyone else think the Beatles’ Arthur Alexander covers are the best in their non-original canon? Why then did only ‘Anna’ make it to a ‘proper’ record our of all the Alexander gems the Beats recorded?! 

4) Computer Cowboy (aka Syscrusher) (Neil Young/ Trans, 1982: see review no 84): This tale of a 1980s computer programmer infiltrating a flock of on-line virtual sheep was way ahead of its time and still sounds mighty, umm, strange and futuristic today. The only song I can find even vaguely connected to the computer virus theme, this song shows what a might technophile Neil was (and is), given that just about every other group on this list hadn’t got a clue what a computer was in the early 80s. It’s also the only song where you can hear electronically treated cowboys singing the magical chorus line ’come-a-ky-yi-yippie-yi-ay’!

3) “Hayfever” (The Kinks/ Misfits, 1978): The song that came close to breaking the band up (not for the first time), Ray Davies fought like the plague to get this infectious song exactly the way he wanted. He never quite succeeded either, if damning reviews of this novelty record are anything to go by— in a typically quirky 70s Kinks track, allergy to pollen affects narrators love-life and loses him his girlfriend that he’s been spending weeks trying to seduce. Now that’s something to sneeze over.

2) “Allergies” (Paul Simon/ Hearts and Bones, 1983; see review no 85): ‘I’m allergic to the women that I love and its changing the shape of my face!” Half-playful, half-paranoid Paul Simon pop-rocker, as catchy as a cold, as energetic as a bottle of lucozade and ultimately a bit of a mess every bit as sticky as a half-sucked lozenge.

1) “You’ve Got A Cold” (10cc/Deceptive Bends, 1976): One of the heaviest, almost feverish rockers that 10cc ever put together, this is the ultimate ode to how, when your systems dying, ’the bugs are having a ball’. For anyone with a cold this rocking tonic is better than a lemsip, with a stomping 4/4 beat and cymbal crashes every other line. Aachoo!

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