Friday 26 November 2010

News, Views and Music Issue 82 (Top Five): Imaginary Bands

Last week we looked at AAA artists coming up with their own imaginary utopian lands where peace and harmony reigned. This week its AAA members giving themselves alter egos...

5) The Rutles as The Beatles (original show 1977): OK, so the closest we get to an AAA member taking part in this project is George Harrison appearing as a reporter interviewing the drummer from The Beach Boys playing himself (Ricki Fataar is Stig OHara is George Harrison...surreal), but we couldnt avoid adding The Rutles to our list, four young lads from Rutland with long hair and tight trousers, whose legend will last a lunchtime. Or, if you prefer, Georges friends Eric Idle and Neil Innes (the man behind the forgotten but influential and downright psychedelic childrens series East Of The Moon and West Of The Sun which is responsible for inspiring the more surreal moments on this website) tacking the mickey out of the Beatles story, a tale so famous everyone out there will get the joke even if they barely know about the band (could a TV show like this have been inspired by any other group?) The TV show spin-off was released on DVD as All You Need Is Cash, although if youre a fan look out for the two Rutles records The Rutles (1977) and the Anthology-spoofing Archeology (1995) which are generally spot-on pastiches of the fab fours many guises, although personally our favourite Rutles moments are the Beatles album cover spoofs (the slightly altered song titles on Tragical History Tour are priceless Denny Laine, I Am The Waitress and Your Mother Should Go indeed!)

4) Grateful Dead as Uncle Johns Band (a track from the 1970 album Workingmans Dead): In 1970 the Grateful Dead were hugely in debt to record company Warner Brothers thanks to poor sales added to some of the most expensive recording sessions of the whole of the 1960s and, under intense pressure, elected to become a new simplified country-rock band with a distinct CSN influence. The resulting albums (one of which, American Beauty, is a classic on our list at no 40) outsold their more expensive cousins by miles. This first track on the first new look album of the Deads has the band asking the listener to come hear Uncle Johns Band, a gentle back-porch kind of an outfit that sums up the Deads own beginnings as the Mother McCree Uptown Jug Champions and gives the band a whole new persona to play with across the next two or three records. Many fans wish theyd never gone back to being the Dead.  

3) Pink Floyd as Pink Floyd (or are they?...) (a concert tour from 1980): While a bunch of roadies build a wall of cardboard bricks across the stage, four figures suddenly emerge from the shadows, cutting across the Emcees announcement and plunging straight into the lead of track from the Wall album. But at the end of the song mockingly titled In The Flesh? the four men on stage whip their faces off to reveal that they are, in fact, four surrogate musicians with face masks that make them look like The Floyd. The stunned shock on the audiences face says it all just why have do they feel disappointed at the revelation? What exactly were they cheering the song, the performance or their love for the artist? Why should they cheer a real band more than a made up one? And why does one of them Snowy White pretending to be David Gilmour arguably sound more like a real member of the Floyd than the genuine Floyd did circa 1980? A typically head-scratching moment from the band that likes to confuse...

2) The Monkees as, err, The Monkees (an intermedia phenomenon 1966-70): Oh yeah, there was that little one who kept falling in love, that bossy one with the bobble hat, the quiet one who played stupid but fans knew was really the most intelligent one of the lot and the crazy one who did most of the lead singing while buried behind a massive drum kit. But even though Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz shared the same name and the looks of these four characters they were get this music critics of the 1960s who still dont understand this fact today only acting the part of four men in a band for a television series. The fact that the said band ended up being quite good and releasing their own music away from the TV series has nothing to do with the original concept which was to make a bunch of musicians act the part of a struggling group the kids could identify with. For a kick off, The Monkees were the biggest TV and record phenomenon of the day when the second TV series started airing and yet the band as seen on television are still trying to scrape together their rent money. The songs naturally only exist alongside the TV series because it was a good platform to plug the spin-off records. So there.

1) The Beatles as Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (an album from 1967): It is now 63 years since Sgt Pepper told the band to play, according to the timelines given in the albums title track, and 43 years since The Beatles put their music onto record and yet still this alter ego band is the most famous AAA band of the lot. The most famous alternate band of all was an Edwardian combo who gathered together round a, umm, grave (people seem to forget about that aspect when discussing the cover some fans claim its a village band stand but if so its the weirdest looking band stand Ive ever seen!) Strangely enough, they looked a little bit like The Beatles but they couldnt have been after all, they were wearing moustaches for the first time in public and were clutching not drums, guitar and bass but classical music instruments. Theyve gathered quite a crowd around them too, featuring several leading figures of the day and yesterday and just to rub the point home there are the four moptop Beatles, lifeless replicas from Madam Tussauds borrowed especially for the cover shoot and the vibrancy of the Sgt Peppers band by comparison is one of the more exciting and unnerving aspects of the picture. Alas the record doesnt live up to the cover (the Sgt Peppers band are only mentioned on tracks 1, 2 and 12 which hardly adds up to a concept album) and the band seemingly return to themselves the following year on The White Album (though quite who theyre supposed to be on the cover of Magical Mystery Tour is anybodys guess).

Honorary mentions too to Paul Simon’s un-named backing band in his ‘One Trick Pony’ film and the Jefferson Starship/CSN/Grateful Dead crossover project ‘The Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra, a band dedicated to saving planet earth on several projects in the early 1970s.

Well, that’s another week of rocking, writing and arithmetic over and done with (in case you’re wondering, the arithmetic is trying to remember what issue number we’re up to!) There might not be an issue next week so for the next fortnight happy reading and see you in December for our traditional end-of-year extravaganzas.

A NOW COMPLETE List Of Top Five/Top Ten/TOP TWENTY  Entries 2008-2019
1) Chronic Fatigue songs

2) Songs For The Face Of Bo

3) Credit Crunch Songs

4) Songs For The Autumn

5) National Wombat Week

6) AAA Box Sets

7) Virus Songs

8) Worst AAA-Related DVDs

9) Self-Punctuating Superstar Classics

10) Ways To Know You Have Turned Into A Collector

11) Political Songs

12) Totally Bonkers Concept Albums

13) Celebrating 40 Years Of The Beatles' White Album

14) Still Celebrating 40 Years Of The Beatles' White Album

15) AAA Existential Questions

16) Releases Of The Year 2008

17) Top AAA Xmas Songs

18) Notable AAA Gigs

19) All things '20' related for our 20th issue

20) Romantic odes for Valentine's Day

21) Hollies B sides

22) 'Other' BBC Session Albums

23) Beach Boys Rarities Still Not Available On CD

24) Songs John, Paul and George wrote for Ringo's solo albums

25) 5 of the Best Rock 'n' Roll Tracks From The Pre-Beatles Era

26) AAA Autobiographies

27) Rolling Stones B-sides

28) Beatles B-Sides

29) The lllloooonnngggeesssttt AAA songs of all time

30) Kinks B-Sides

31) Abandoned CSNY projects 'wasted on the way'

32) Best AAA Rarities and Outtakes Sets

33) News We've Missed While We've Been Away

34) Birthday Songs for our 1st Anniversary

35) Brightest Album Covers

36) Biggest Recorded Arguments

37) Songs About Superheroes

38) AAA TV Networks That Should Exist

39) AAA Woodtsock Moments

40) Top Moments Of The Past Year As Voted For By Readers

41) Music Segues

42) AAA Foreign Language Songs

43) 'Other' Groups In Need Of Re-Mastering

44) The Kinks Preservation Rock Opera - Was It Really About The Forthcoming UK General Election?

45) Mono and Stereo Mixes - Biggest Differences

46) Weirdest Things To Do When A Band Member Leaves

47) Video Clips Exclusive To Youtube (#1)

48) Top AAA Releases Of 2009

49) Songs About Trains

50) Songs about Winter

51) Songs about astrology plus horoscopes for selected AAA members

52) The Worst Five Groups Ever!

53) The Most Over-Rated AAA Albums

54) Top AAA Rarities Exclusive To EPs

55) Random Recent Purchases (#1)

56) AAA Party Political Slogans

57) Songs To Celebrate 'Rock Sunday'

58) Strange But True (?) AAA Ghost Stories

59) AAA Artists In Song

60) Songs About Dogs

61) Sunshiney Songs

62) The AAA Staff Play Their Own Version Of Monoploy/Mornington Crescent!

63) What 'Other' British Invasion DVDs We'd Like To See

64) What We Want To Place In Our AAA Time Capsule

65) AAA Conspiracy Theroies

66) Weirdest Things To Do Before - And After - Becoming A Star

67) Songs To Tweet To

68) Greatest Ever AAA Solos

69) John Lennon Musical Tributes

70) Songs For Halloween

71) Earliest Examples Of Psychedelia

72) Purely Instrumental Albums

73) AAA Utopias

74) AAA Imaginary Bands

75) Unexpected AAA Cover Versions

76) Top Releases of 2010

77) Songs About Snow

78) Predictions For 2011

79) AAA Fugitives

80) AAA Home Towns

81) The Biggest Non-Musical Influences On The 1960s

82) AAA Groups Covering Other AAA Groups

83) Strange Censorship Decisions

84) AAA Albums Still Unreleased on CD

85) Random Recent Purchases (#2)

86) Top AAA Music Videos

87) 30 Day Facebook Music Challenge

88) AAA Documentaries

89) Unfinished and 'Lost' AAA Albums

90) Strangest AAA Album Covers

91) AAA Performers Live From Mars (!)

92) Songs Including The Number '100' for our 100th Issue

93) Most Songs Recorded In A Single Day

94) Most Revealing AAA Interviews

95) Top 10 Pre-Fame Recordings

96) The Shortest And Longest AAA Albums

97) The AAA Allstars Ultimate Band Line-Up

98) Top Songs About Sports

99) AAA Conversations With God

100) AAA Managers: The Good, The Bad and the Financially Ugly

101) Unexpected AAA Cameos

102) AAA Words You can Type Into A Caluclator

103) AAA Court Cases

104) Postmodern Songs About Songwriting

105) Biggest Stylistic Leaps Between Albums

106) 20 Reasons Why Cameron Should Go!

107) The AAA Pun-Filled Cookbook

108) Classic Debut Releases

109) Five Uses Of Bird Sound Effects

110) AAA Classic Youtube Clips Part #1

111) Part #2

112) Part #3

113) AAA Facts You Might Not Know

114) The 20 Rarest AAA Records

115) AAA Instrumental Songs

116) Musical Tarot

117) Christmas Carols

118) Top AAA Releases Of 2011

119) AAA Bands In The Beano/The Dandy

120) Top 20 Guitarists #1

121) #2

122) 'Shorty' Nomination Award Questionairre

123) Top Best-Selling AAA Albums

124) AAA Songs Featuring Bagpipes

125) A (Hopefully) Complete List Of AAA Musicians On Twitter

126) Beatles Albums That Might Have Been 1970-74 and 1980

127) DVD/Computer Games We've Just Invented

128) The AAA Albums With The Most Weeks At #1 in the UK

129) The AAA Singles With The Most Weeks At #1 in the UK

130) Lyric Competition (Questions)

131) Top Crooning Classics

132) Funeral Songs

133) AAA Songs For When Your Phone Is On Hold

134) Random Recent Purchases (#3)

135) Lyric Competition (Answers)

136) Bee Gees Songs/AAA Goes Disco!

137) The Best AAA Sleevenotes (And Worst)

138) A Short Precise Of The Years 1962-70

139) More Wacky AAA-Related Films And Their Soundtracks

140) AAA Appearances On Desert Island Discs

141) Songs Exclusive To Live Albums

142) More AAA Songs About Armageddon

What difference does a name make? Arguably not much if you’re already a collector of a certain group, for whom the names on the album sleeves just...

This week’s top ten honours the humble motor car. The death trap on wheels, the metaphor for freedom, the put-down of capitalism, a source of...

This week we’re going to have a look at the 10 AAA singles that spent the most weeks at number on the American chart ‘Billboard’ – and it makes for...

Following on from last issue’s study of the American Billboard charts, here’s a look at which AAA albums spent the most weeks on the chart. The...

There are many dying arts in our modern world: incorruptible politicians, faith that things are going to get better and the ability to make decent...

This week we’ve decided to dedicate our top ten to those unsung heroes of music, the session musicians, whose playing often brings AAA artists (and...

Naturally we hold our AAA bands in high esteem in these articles: after all, without their good taste, intelligence and humanity we’d have nothing to...

What do you do when you’ve left a multi-million selling band and yet you still feel the pull of the road and the tours and the playing to audiences...

‘The ATOS Song’ (You’re Not Fit To Live)’ (Mini-Review) Dear readers, we don’t often feature reviews of singles over albums or musicians who aren’t...

In honour of this week’s review of an album released to cash in on a movie soundtrack (only one of these songs actually appears in ‘Easy Rider’...and...

Hic! Everyone raise a glass to the rock stars of the past and to this week’s feature...songs about alcolholic beverages! Yes that’s right, everything...

154) The human singing voice carries with it a vast array of emotions, thoughts that cannot be expressed in any other way except opening the lungs and...

Everyone has a spiritual home, even if they don’t actually live there. Mine is in a windy, rainy city where the weather is always awful but the...

Having a family does funny things to some musicians, as we’ve already seen in this week’s review (surely the only AAA album actually written around...

Some artists just have no idea what their best work really is. One thing that amazes me as a collector is how consistently excellent many of the...

159) A (Not That) Short Guide To The 15 Best Non-AAA Bands

160) The Greatest AAA Drum Solos (Or Near Solos!)

161) AAA Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame Acceptance Speeches

162) AAA Re-Recordings Of Past Songs

163) A Coalition Christmas (A Fairy Tale)

164) AAA Songs About Islands

165) The AAA Review Of The Year 2012

166) The Best AAA Concerts I Attended

167) Tributes To The 10 AAA Stars Who Died The Youngest

168) The First 10 AAA Songs Listed Alphabetically

171) The 10 Best Songs From The Psychedelia Box-Sets ‘Nuggets’ and ‘Nuggets Two’

172) The 20 Most Common Girl’s Names In AAA Song Titles (With Definitions) 

180) First Recordings By Future AAA Stars

185) A Tribute To Storm Thorgerson Via The Five AAA Bands He Worked With

188) Surprise! Celebrating 300 Album Reviews With The Biggest 'Surprises' Of The Past Five Years Of Alan's Album Archives!

190) Comparatively Obscure First Compositions By AAA Stars

193) Evolution Of A Band: Comparing First Lyric With Last Lyric:

200) The Monkees In Relation To Postmodernism (University Dissertation)

202) Carly Simon's 'You're So Vain': Was It About One Of The AAA Crew?

217) AAA 'Christmas Presents' we'd most like to have next year

221) Dr Who and the AAA (Five Musical Links)

222) Five Random Recent Purchases

223) AAA Grammy Nominees

224) Ten AAA songs that are better heard unedited and in full

225) The shortest gaps between AAA albums

226) The longest gaps between AAA albums

227) Top ten AAA drummers

228) Top Ten AAA Singles (In Terms of 'A' and 'B' Sides)

229) The Stories Behind Six AAA Logos

230) AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!! The Best Ten AAA Screams

231) An AAA Pack Of Horses

232) AAA Granamas - Sorry, Anagrams!

233) AAA Surnames and Their Meanings

234) 20 Erroneous AAA Album Titles

235) The Best AAA Orchestral Arrangements

236) Top 30 Hilariously Misheard Album Titles/Lyrics

237) Ten controversial AAA sackings - and whether they were right

238) A Critique On Critiquing - In Response To Brian Wilson

239) The Ten MusicianS Who've Played On The Most AAA Albums

240) Thoughts on #CameronMustGo

241) Random Recent Purchases (Kinks/Grateful Dead/Nils Lofgren/Rolling Stones/Hollies) 

242) AAA Christmas Number Ones 

243) AAA Review Of The Year 2014 (Top Releases/Re-issues/Documentaries/DVDs/Books/Songs/ Articles  plus worst releases of the year)

244) Me/CFS Awareness Week 2015

245) Why The Tory 2015 Victory Seems A Little...Suspicious

246) A Plea For Peace and Tolerance After The Attacks on Paris - and Syria

247) AAA Review Of The Year 2015

248) The Fifty Most Read AAA Articles (as of December 31st 2015)

249) The Revised AAA Crossword!

251) Half-A-Dozen Berries Plus One (An AAA Tribute To Chuck Berry)

252) Guest Post: ‘The Skids – Joy’ (1981) by Kenny Brown

254) Guest Post: ‘Supertramp – Some Things Never Change’ by Kenny Brown

255) AAA Review Of The Year 2018

256) AAA Review Of The Year 2019 plus Review Of The Decade 2010-2019

257) Tiermaker

258) #Coronastock

259) #Coronadocstock

No comments:

Post a Comment