Monday, 20 October 2008
♫ Not much to report this week on the new releases front after the Christmas rush that was last week. On the AAA front, though, hopefully this will be the last newsletter written before we get published on our fine new free hosting site T35!!!More on our new home next issue…
♫ In fact, the only real news in the world of AAA groups is that Ringo Starr has blotted his copybook with fans yet again this week. From today, Ringo has said via his website that he will no longer be signing autographs for anyone who asks him to as he has too much to do. Peace and love, Ringo—but spare a thought for all the Thomas the Tank Engine toddler fans who won’t get their pictures signed anymore and never had a chance to meet you!
♫ Anniversaries This Week: Bill Wyman (bassist with the Rolling Stones 1962-1989) turns 67 on October 24th and singer Helen Reddy turns 66 on October 25th . Events this week: the 42nd anniversary of the release of the Beach Boys’ record-breaking single ‘Good Vibrations’ (October 22), it’s 38 years since Pink Floyd scored their first UK #1 album with ’Atom Heart Mother’ (October 24th) and the Beatles received their MBEs at Buckingham Palace this week in 1964 (October 26th).
♫ And the latest in our series of top fives: in honour of Ringo’s latest PR teeth-grinding gaffe, here are the five greatest self-puncturing star-killing moments from AAA artists, all dating at a time when they were worried that their big heads were getting in the way of their sales...:
5) “Ditty Diego–War Chant” (The Monkees/ HEAD, 1968): ’A manufactured image with no philosophies’ runs this ditty, but its blatantly not true. By 1968 and their sole feature film, the Monkees have one over-riding philosophy—puncturing their image in as many ways as possible and celebrating breaking out from the teeny bopper prison of their first handful of records. (See review number 27 for more).
4) “The Fame” (Oasis/ B-side to ‘All Around The World’, 1997): A rare but typically glittering Noel Gallagher-sung B-side which, unheralded, started the elder brother’s penchant for writing songs that asked whether fame was all it was cracked up to be. The narrator may think he’s famous, but not two minutes later everyone around him has forgotten his name and the realisation ‘hits you like a hurricane’. Cue classic Oasis harmonies and a welcome glimpse into Noel’s real feelings on a song that accompanied one of Oasis’ perfectly crafted but rather formulaic A-sides.
3) Starstruck (Kinks/ Village Green Preserrvation Society, 1968): Ray Davies had problems with fame from the beginning—there’ shardly a Kinks album that doesn’t touch on the theme somewhere (1973’s ‘A Soap Opera’ takes a whole record to ask why some ‘ordinary’ people become stars and not others). This flop single warns against being seduced by ‘bright city lights’ that dazzle with their glare and, like many other tracks on Village Green, sounds like a lesson learned the hard way.
2) Mr Soul (Buffalo Springfield/ Buffalo Springfield Again, 1968): Neil Young’s first milestone in composing terms, this self-deprecating song lays down the guitarist’s career-long anti-fame mantra even though Neil wasn’t actually that famous at the time—the only Springfielder anyone had taken notice of was ’For What It’s Worth’ creator Stephen Stills. Ironically, this caustic song, about being ‘raised by the praise of a fan who said I upset her’, played a big part in creating Neil’s soon-to-be-famous sound. (See review number 17 for more).
1) Star (Hollies/ Write On, 1976): This late-period Hollies album is full of side-swipes at a fickle music business and sober reflections on how one day you’re up and the next you’re down. Best of all, however, is the bouncy opening track which has singer Allan Clarke as a rock star used to getting his own way trying to seduce a girl at a party with talk of his fame—only to discover that she’s a celebrity more famous than he is.