Monday, 5 August 2013

Twenty AAA Milestone Events Part One 1956-66 (News, Views and Music 205)




Some days aren’t like other days. Some days are special days. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse, they entirely change the landscape of lives forever and mean that things will never be the same again. Events so big that you can almost sense the time-travellers of the future hiding in the shadows with their cameras and their event-recorders. This is especially true of the AAA crew who – in fact – had so many life-changing events that we’ve had to cut this week’s ‘top twenty’ into a two-parter. So here is part one: arranged chronologically from 1956 to 1966, with more next week. Think we’ve missed any major event out? Then give us a shout by leaving a comment below!

1) Event: John Lennon meets Paul McCartney for the first time. Location: Woolton Village Fete, Merseyside. Date: July 1956

In retrospect, I’m amazed that John Lennon’s band ‘The Quarrymen’ were even asked to take part in a village fete. Even as a 16 year old trouble seemed to follow John Lennon around and it was a trusting official indeed who decided to let a lot of poorly rehearsed teenage wannabes busk on the back of a lorry at their precious festival. Moreover, most of the band (Lennon included) had just left school so the Quarrymen weren’t even an example of fete organisers promoting music and arts in schools. After all, The Quarrymen weren’t even close to being the best band in town: Liverpool was full of musicians even then and this was still the band’s pre-rock and roll days, surrounded by skiffle wash-boards and t-chests. The event was certainly the biggest break the band had had up until that time and dare I say it their cocky lead singer in the check shirt even looks a tad nervous in one of the most famous images of the early Beatles doing the rounds. Less well known is that a brief snippet of their performance (an energetic but unfocussed version of ‘Puttin’ On The Style’) still exists, taped by a man in the crowd actually keener on taping the local brass band following on a later truck and testing the tape out – still unofficially available, have a check on Youtube for it. The setlist has been lost down the years but Paul McCartney, then an envious 14 year old schoolboy looking on eagerly in the crowd, remembers a performance of The Del Monts’ ‘Come Go With Me’ (with a nervous Lennon forgetting the lines and making them up as he went along) as the highlight of the show. Finding that the two have a friend in common – Ivan Vaughan – Macca persuades his friend to introduce him and nervously chats to Lennon about how much he loved the gig. Never one for praise, Lennon is said to be non-plussed and considers Paul to be another teenage hanger-on until McCartney plays him the complex Eddie Cochran number ’20 Flight Rock’ without any fluffs and – even better – tunes Lennon’s guitar for him. Deciding that he’d rather have McCartney in his band than with a rival, the world’s greatest songwriting partnership is duly formed. The Beatles may well have continued without this monumental event (with a line-up of Lennon, Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Shotton) but there’d be no Paul or George (an even younger friend of McCartney’s from school) and arguably none of that creative friction that paid off so handsomely.

2) Event: Brian Epstein hears The Beatles play at The Cavern and becomes their manager Location: The Cavern, Liverpool Date: 9th November 1961

Arguably the single most important sale of any record was the ‘My Bonnie’ record by ‘Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers’ Brian Epstein sold to a customer named Raymond Jones at his Liverpool NEMS store. Making it his policy to track down any record requests, Epstein’s interest was piqued when this record – ordered in especially from Hamburg – turned out to be by The Beatles (the German record company not having a clue what the word ‘Beatles’ meant) and that despite the many signs listing their appearance as being ‘direct from Germany’ they were in fact all local lads and cooking up quite a storm at the local club literally a stones’ throw away from the NEMS suppliers. Some people dispute this claim: Jones was elusive to track down and many assumed he was a figure made-up for Epstein’s autobiography till he finally came forward in the 1990s and it is true that as a good shop-keeper Epstein couldn’t have failed to notice the ‘Beatles top poll’ headlines in ‘Merseybeat’ magazine. However it is fair to say that it was this sale and the resulting conversation with Jones that piqued his interest and inspired him to visit The Cavern, with assistant Alastair Taylor in tow. Disliking what he saw of the place until The Beatles hit the stage, dressed in leather and cracking jokes, history could have been very different. Would Epstein have given up if the Beatles had been playing that day? Would he in fact have signed their main rivals The Searchers (a group he always admired and was due to talk to about moving to EMI the very day he died?) Would he ever have come into contact again had someone else served Jones that day (it was unusual, though not unknown, for Epstein to have been at the counter of NEMS at all, seeing as he was a manager and usually worked in the back-rooms). And what would have happened if a tired and angry group, forbidding from playing much of their own music on disc, had said ‘no’ to Tony Sheridan’s request of backing them (Pete Best, for one, refused to have anything to do with the record, which is why Ringo – then appearing in Hamburg with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes – plays instead). So many alternate parallel universes to consider – and none of them as exciting as the one we got.

3) Event: The Beatles audition at EMI and meet producer George Martin for the first time Location: Abbey Road Studios Date: April 1962

The final missing piece of the Beatles’ puzzle was a sensitive and empathetic producer. As luck would have it a failed audition with Decca on January 1st 1962 couldn’t have gone better: Decca struggled to record rock and roll until as late as the 1970s and Dick Rowe, a no-nonsense businessman used to getting his way, would have clashed badly with the band from the start. No, instead a funny thing happened. Figuring that EMI had sent him the ‘nicest’ rejection letter, Epstein used all of his NEMS management weight to get EMI to give him and The Beatles a chance to be heard in person. As the most junior producer at EMI, George Martin was given the job, but figured it would probably be a waste of time and went to the canteen for an hour leaving his assistant Ron Richards (later The Hollies’ producer) to take charge. Excited by what he heard, Richards got Martin to take a look and, a few Beatle jokes later (‘Is there anything you don’t like?’ ‘Well, for a start, I don’t like your tie!’) Beatle humour had impressed George Martin into giving them a go and his background working with Lennon heroes The Goons had convinced the fab four they were in the right place. It was revealed, though, years later that The Beatles were there under false pretences – fearing another miserable rejection, which might see the Beatles fire him, Epstein had ‘pretended’ that this first date was a bona fide recording session – in actual fact it was just another audition. How badly that could have gone – and how easily the Beatles could have slipped away, rejected by the two single biggest record companies in the UK in 1962, had first Ron Richards and then George Martin not kept an open ear.

4) Event: Dave Davies decides to slash the speakers of his green amplifier with a razor-blade Location: The Davies’ Family Front Room Date: early 1964

Brother Ray had written ‘You Really Got Me’ on piano a few weeks before, but somehow it never quite sounded right. A song about relentless obsession, it was clearly born for rock and roll but at the moment sounded more like jazz. By a lucky coincidence Dave Davies came up with the perfect sound – by accident more than design. Having spent weeks to save up for an Elpico green amplifier from a radio spares shop down the road – in the hope of improving his croaking guitar sound – Dave was frustrated to find that his new purchase didn’t sound any better. In frustration, he took a Gilette razorblade and physically attacked the speaker cone – expecting nothing to come from the sound, he nervously plugged his guitar in and suddenly found his musical voice. The odds of Dave discovering his distinctive sounds so close to his brother’s milestone composition seems incredible – how different things might have been had, say, the radio repair shop been shut that day, had the Davies’ parents got involved and refused to let their 15 year old son cut up something he’d just spent a fortune on or had, say, Dave simply decided to grow a beard.

5) Event: The Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan Show Location: America Date: 9th February 1964

This date still stands as the evening with the lowest single crime rate in America – because everyone was watching the TV. While the then-record viewing figures have since been beaten, it’s probably fair to say that for American music lovers, this is where it all started and where a youth movement first came into being. The story could have been very different. Despite having a highly successful variety, ED Sullivan was often slow to spotting talent (most of the spots on his show were through ‘favours’ or spotted by production assistants). However even Ed Sullivan couldn’t have missed the thousands of screaming kids at Heathrow airport waving goodbye to the Beatles on their first American tour and it was natural that he should enquire about getting hold of them for his station. The build-up among fans – who’d heard word-of-mouth from friends and family in Europe about the band and the hype behind that months’ single ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ – was intense, and yet bizarrely the success of that one short TV spot seems to have taken the programme makers unawares. They were worried about the screams from fans in the audience, hadn’t bothered to negotiate a follow-up appearance with Brian Epstein and – shockingly – didn’t even put the fab four at the top of the bill (that prize went to the cast of ‘Oliver!’, which just happened to feature a young Davy Jones in a role as the artful dodger). The single day that most helped further the Beatles’ careers and helped inspire new groups to start up like none other before or since, life could have been different for so many AAA musicians had this event not taken place, not just for the Beatles themselves.

6) Event: Brian Wilson suffers a nervous breakdown on-board an aeroplane ahead of a Beach Boy tour Location: A plane flying from LA to Houston Date: December 23rd 1964

The Beach Boys’ career hadn’t just been going well since their debut single in October 1961, it was breaking all American records. Working at the ridiculous rate of four albums and six singles a year, Brian Wilson had somehow managed to keep going, on tour after tour, recording sessions after recording sessions and writing with a series of lyricists who, for one reason or another, had all burnt out. After three years of heavy living, however, something had to give – and it did in spectacular style shortly before a brief Christmas tour. Facing yet more time away from new wife Marilyn, new pressures from the Beatles making it big on Beach Boys home soil and bigger and scarier rows with manager and dad Murray, Brian couldn’t handle it anymore. Booked onto a plane alongside Al Jardine, Brian realised he couldn’t go through with the tour and effectively collapsed, his worried younger brother Carl actually plucking up courage to defy Murray’s wishes and notify the pilot. The story has a (short-term) happy ending though: an in-flight phone call to Marilyn and as many of Brian’s friends as they could meant that a whole gaggle of Wilson supporters were waiting on the runway when Brian finally got off the plane, an event that seems to have moved him like no other if his autobiography (which he has since distanced himself from) is anything to go by – a picture taken of the crowds hung on his wall for decades afterwards. However, some things changed forever: Brian wouldn’t go on a full Beach Boys tour until as late as 2012, his relationship with his dad (who thought he was simply letting the side down) worsened and from now on that awful slide into the bed-bound period, though still three years away, seems ever more inevitable. On the plus side, though, would we really have had ‘Pet Sounds’ and ‘Smile’ had Brian stayed out on the road with the other Beach Boys? And would he have simply burnt up in a more spectacular way, doing a full ‘Syd Barrett’ on us instead of the incredible return to his old self that he’s so courageously managed the past couple of decades?

7) Event: Stephen Stills and Richie Furay spot Neil Young’s hearse in a busy LA traffic jam and they decide to form ‘Buffalo Springfield’ Location: Date:

Now, stop me if this gets complicated. Stephen Stills and Neil Young had hung out a lot as two folky wannabes in America, but their paths had taken them in two very different directions and they figured they’d probably never see each other again the day Neil left to go back home to Canada. Along the way Stills’ buddy Richie Furay had met up with Neil and fallen in love with one of Neil’s earliest songs ‘Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing’ and cooked up his own arrangement of it. The two also drifted apart. A telegram from Stills urging Richie to fly out to California and ‘hook up’ with his band turned out to be a hoax (‘the band is me and you’ a sheepish Stills retorted), but the pair decided to perform together anyway and added ‘Clancy’ to their setlist. Things didn’t work out, though and – dejectedly – they decided to fly back to Los Angeles for a last chance of fame, asking vainly in every club they passed if anyone had heard of Neil. Stuck in a traffic jam going nowhere, Richie looked over – and happened to spot a hearse in the traffic with Canadian numberplates. Neil, it turned out, had been looking for either or both of them but had all but given up and decided to go back to Canada. The odds against them meeting up on this road – and that Neil’s faithful and unusual road vehicle was still running, after breaking down several times over the years – are insane. How different life could have been, not just for the Springfield but also for CSNY and all the Stills-Young sparring down the years to come. Never before has the image of a hearse been so directly connected with ‘re-birth’ and beginnings.

8) Event: George Harrison discovers the sitar on the set of ‘Help!’ Location: London Date: Spring 1965

For the Beatles’ second film, Dick Lester could have done anything and come up with a hit. So what – of all plotlines – made him think of India? (Ringo’s ring turns out to be of huge religious importance, true, but the country could have been anywhere). For George Harrison in particular – and musicians in 1967 in general – the choice was a precipitous one, however. Eastern music and philosophy was in the air: The Kinks ‘See My Friends’ and The Searchers’ ‘He’s Got No Love’ both make good use of a ‘droning’ note similar to that on a sitar and – across the pond – David Crosby is already enthusing about an Eastern player named Ravi Shankar. There’s a scene in ‘Help!’ where the Beatles are hiding out at an Indian restaurant in London and a bunch of musicians play ‘Eastern’ versions of Beatle tunes, one of them on a sitar. His interest piqued, Harrison fell in love with the instrument and learned everything he could – playing one (in a highly Western manner) on ‘Norwegian Wood’ at the end of that year, meeting up with Ravi Shankar in 1966 and falling deeper and deeper in love with Indian religion and ways of life (which couldn’t have seemed more opposite to life as a reluctant celebrity in a capitalist state). From hereon-in in the floodgates opened, the sitar dominating many a song from 1967 and 1968, and Indian session musicians in Britain and America inundated with requests, while other adventurous players (such as Justin Hayward and Bert Jansch) learnt to play the instrument themselves (contrary to popular opinion, George never actually plays the instrument again on record after ‘Norwegian Wood’). The sitar is best heard on George’s ‘Wonderwall Music’ though, a real West-meets-East instrumental soundtrack, which shows off how immersed in the instrument George became.

9) Event: An advert is placed in an American newspaper headlined ‘Madness!! Auditions!’ for what will become ‘The Monkees’ Location: Unknown Date: October 1965

The Monkees are, of course, unique among AAA bands and amongst groups in general in having been formed not by friends at school or word-of-mouth suggestions of players but because of an advert in Cashbox magazine (an entertainment publication). Producers Bert Rafelson and Bert Schneider felt, rightly, that television wasn’t really representing the youth of the day and – as both producers were in their early 30s and the latter was related to the head of Screen Gems – they ought to have a go at making a programme for teenagers before anyone else did. Figuring that the biggest interest of the day was music and that there were hundreds of Beatle wannabes who’d seen ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ and formed a band, they wrote off an advert that asked for experience of both acting and music. Appealing for ‘boys aged 17-22’ (which was promptly ignored as of the four only Davy was this old) and for a background in ‘folk and roll’ (which of the four only Peter fitted), the producers were shocked to find a total of 437 people turning up at their door. Even accounting for a few hundred who probably weren’t good enough or had the right qualifications, how different The Monkees could have been in any of the various hundred other permutations? Charles Manson is said to have tried out for the series (an idea sometimes challenged depending who you ask), Stephen Stills definitely applied (although he either left when he discovered how little say-so he would have in the music or was dropped because of his receding hairline and bad teeth, depending who you ask) and closest of all was Bill Chadwick, a talented singer-songwriter who hung around long enough to get three of the very best Monkees cover songs on album (‘The Door Into Summer’ ‘Zor and Zam’ plus the unreleased ‘All Of Your Toys’) and become Micky’s double on the TV show. The Monkees were big for a year then laughed at and ridiculed by people who should have known better for – shock, horror – not playing their own instruments (they were actors after all), but for a time between Autumn 1966 and the Summer of 1967 their influence was key, their humour hi-jinks and new brand of fast-paced fun and zany humour shaping an awful lot more recordings in that period than bands would ever admit to later on.

10) Event: Producer Tom Wilson digs out a flop single titled ‘The Sound Of Silence’ and overdubs some electric instruments on top in the vain hope of scoring a hit. Location: L.A. Date: Autumn 1965

Simon and Garfunkel could – and should – have been big several times over, together and apart. From their schoolboy beginnings as Tom and Jerry to their ‘failed’ acoustic album ‘Wednesday Morning 5 AM’ events conspired against them and the pair had split – not for the first or last time – a dejected Paul Simon playing small clubs in the UK while Garfunkel tried to study to become a graphic artist. Somehow, though, serendipity intervened. Without the duo’s knowledge the producer of the ‘Wednesday’ record – Tom Wilson – decided to take a gamble. He’d loved ‘The Sound Of Silence’ when he’d heard it as an acoustic ballad and was surprised when it wasn’t a hit. Figuring that The Beatles had just become popular in American by using electric instruments, he spent his own money paying for a group of the best session musicians of the day to overdub a simple part on top, turning the quiet and inward ‘Silence’ into a catchier hit single. Was it the overdubbing, the extra record company hype, a growing word-of-mouth about the fab new track that few people had heard or simply gifted timing? Who knows – but one thing’s for sure, without this sudden brainstorm (made without the knowledge of either Simon or Garfunkel, whose lives were changed when the song unexpectedly became a ‘hit’) the duo might never have been heard of again and might have turned their backs on music for good (by this time they had spent some eight years trying to make it big and ‘Wednesday’ appears to have been their one last crack at fame, at least together). Life could have been very, very different and, indeed, the success of this new ‘electric’ style song changes the way Paul Simon wrote forever, dropping the ‘folk rock’ style of his early work for a sound that, gradually, comes to encompass rock and roll, world music, psychedelia and – briefly – doo-wop.

Haven’t covered your favourite AAA moment of monumental historical importance? Well fear not – there’ll be another 10 milestone moments coming along next week! Till then – goodbye!

A NOW COMPLETE List Of Top Five/Top Ten/TOP TWENTY  Entries 2008-2019
1) Chronic Fatigue songs http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/08/news-views-and-music-issue-1-top-five.html

2) Songs For The Face Of Bo
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/news-views-and-music-issue-2-top-five.html

3) Credit Crunch Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/news-views-and-music-issue-3-top-five.html

4) Songs For The Autumn
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/news-views-and-music-issue-4-top-five.html

5) National Wombat Week
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/news-views-and-music-top-five-national.html

6) AAA Box Sets
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/news-views-and-music-issue-6-top-five.html

7) Virus Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/10/news-views-and-music-issue-7-top-five.html

8) Worst AAA-Related DVDs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/10/news-views-and-music-issu-8-top-five.html

9) Self-Punctuating Superstar Classics
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/10/news-views-and-music-issue-9-top-five.html

10) Ways To Know You Have Turned Into A Collector
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/10/news-views-and-music-issue-9-top-five.html

11) Political Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/11/news-views-and-music-issue-11-top-five.html

12) Totally Bonkers Concept Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/11/news-views-and-music-top-five-totally.html

13) Celebrating 40 Years Of The Beatles' White Album
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/top-five-issue-13-40-years-of-beatles.html

14) Still Celebrating 40 Years Of The Beatles' White Album
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/12/news-views-and-music-issue-14-top-five.html

15) AAA Existential Questions
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/12/news-views-and-music-issue-15-top-five.html

16) Releases Of The Year 2008
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/12/news-views-and-music-issue-16-top-five.html

17) Top AAA Xmas Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2008/12/news-views-and-music-issue-17-top-five.html

18) Notable AAA Gigs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/news-views-and-music-issue-19-top-five.html

19) All things '20' related for our 20th issue
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/02/news-views-and-music-issue-20-aaa-songs.html

20) Romantic odes for Valentine's Day
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/02/news-views-and-music-issue-22-top-five.html

21) Hollies B sides
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/news-views-and-music-issue-23-top-five.html

22) 'Other' BBC Session Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/news-views-and-music-issue-24-top-five.html

23) Beach Boys Rarities Still Not Available On CD
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/news-views-and-music-issue-25-top-five.html

24) Songs John, Paul and George wrote for Ringo's solo albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/news-views-and-music-issue-26-top-five.html

25) 5 of the Best Rock 'n' Roll Tracks From The Pre-Beatles Era
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/04/news-views-and-music-issue-27-top-five.html

26) AAA Autobiographies
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/04/news-views-and-music-issue-28-top-five.html

27) Rolling Stones B-sides
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/04/news-views-and-music-issue-29-top-five.html

28) Beatles B-Sides
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/news-views-and-music-issue-30-top-five.html

29) The lllloooonnngggeesssttt AAA songs of all time
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/news-views-and-music-issue-31-top-five.html

30) Kinks B-Sides
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/news-views-and-music-issue-32-top-five.html

31) Abandoned CSNY projects 'wasted on the way'
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/news-views-and-music-issue-33-top-five.html

32) Best AAA Rarities and Outtakes Sets
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/06/news-views-and-music-issue-34-top-five.html

33) News We've Missed While We've Been Away
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/07/news-views-and-music-issue-35-top-five.html

34) Birthday Songs for our 1st Anniversary
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/07/news-views-and-music-issue-37-top-five.html

35) Brightest Album Covers
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/07/news-views-and-music-issue-37-top-five.html

36) Biggest Recorded Arguments
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/07/news-views-and-music-issue-38-top-five.html

37) Songs About Superheroes
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/news-views-and-music-issue-39-top-five.html

38) AAA TV Networks That Should Exist
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/news-views-and-music-issue-40-top-five.html

39) AAA Woodtsock Moments
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/news-views-and-music-issue-41-top-five.html

40) Top Moments Of The Past Year As Voted For By Readers
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/08/news-views-and-music-issue-42-top-five.html

41) Music Segues
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/09/news-views-and-music-issue-43-top-five.html

42) AAA Foreign Language Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/09/news-views-and-music-issue-44-top-five.html

43) 'Other' Groups In Need Of Re-Mastering
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/10/news-views-and-music-issue-45-top-five.html

44) The Kinks Preservation Rock Opera - Was It Really About The Forthcoming UK General Election?
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/news-views-and-music-issue-46-top-five.html

45) Mono and Stereo Mixes - Biggest Differences
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/news-views-and-music-issue-47-top-five.html

46) Weirdest Things To Do When A Band Member Leaves
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/nerws-views-and-music-issue-48-top-five.html

47) Video Clips Exclusive To Youtube (#1)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/news-views-and-music-issue-49-top-five.html

48) Top AAA Releases Of 2009
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009/12/news-views-and-music-issue-50-top-five.html

49) Songs About Trains
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/01/news-views-and-music-issue-51-top-five.html

50) Songs about Winter
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/01/news-views-and-music-issue-52-top-five.html

51) Songs about astrology plus horoscopes for selected AAA members
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/news-views-and-music-issue-53-top-five.html

52) The Worst Five Groups Ever!
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/news-views-and-music-issue-54-top-five.html

53) The Most Over-Rated AAA Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/03/news-views-and-music-issue-56-top-five.html

54) Top AAA Rarities Exclusive To EPs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/03/news-views-and-music-issue-57-top-five.html

55) Random Recent Purchases (#1)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/04/news-views-and-music-issue-58-top-five.html

56) AAA Party Political Slogans
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/news-views-and-music-issue-60-top-five.html

57) Songs To Celebrate 'Rock Sunday'
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/news-views-and-music-issue-61-top-five_21.html

58) Strange But True (?) AAA Ghost Stories
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/news-views-and-music-issue-61-top-five.html

59) AAA Artists In Song
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/news-views-and-music-issue-63-top-five.html

60) Songs About Dogs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/news-views-and-music-issue-65-top-five.html

61) Sunshiney Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/news-views-and-music-issue-67-top-five.html

62) The AAA Staff Play Their Own Version Of Monoploy/Mornington Crescent!
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/news-views-and-music-issue-68-top-forty.html

63) What 'Other' British Invasion DVDs We'd Like To See
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/news-views-and-music-issue-69-top-five.html

64) What We Want To Place In Our AAA Time Capsule
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/08/news-views-and-music-issue-70-top-five.html

65) AAA Conspiracy Theroies
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/08/news-views-and-music-issue-72-top-ten.html

66) Weirdest Things To Do Before - And After - Becoming A Star
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/08/news-views-and-music-top-ten-aaa-stars.html

67) Songs To Tweet To
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/news-views-and-music-issue-74-top-five.html

68) Greatest Ever AAA Solos
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/news-views-and-music-issue-75-top-ten.html

69) John Lennon Musical Tributes
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/news-views-and-music-issue-77-top-five.html

70) Songs For Halloween
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/news-views-and-music-issue-78-top-five.html

71) Earliest Examples Of Psychedelia
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/news-views-and-music-issue-79-top-five.html

72) Purely Instrumental Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/news-views-and-music-issue-81-top-five.html

73) AAA Utopias

74) AAA Imaginary Bands
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/news-views-and-music-issue-82-top-five.html

75) Unexpected AAA Cover Versions
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/news-views-and-music-issue-83-top-five.html

76) Top Releases of 2010
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/news-views-and-music-issue-84-top-five.html

77) Songs About Snow
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/news-views-and-music-issue-85-top-five.html

78) Predictions For 2011
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011_01_02_archive.html

79) AAA Fugitives

80) AAA Home Towns
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/news-views-and-music-issue-88-home.html

81) The Biggest Non-Musical Influences On The 1960s
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/news-views-and-music-issue-89-top-five.html

82) AAA Groups Covering Other AAA Groups
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/news-views-and-music-issue-90-top.html

83) Strange Censorship Decisions
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/news-views-and-music-issue-91-top-ten.html

84) AAA Albums Still Unreleased on CD
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/news-views-and-music-issue-92-top-five.html

85) Random Recent Purchases (#2)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/news-views-and-music-issue-93-top-ten.html

86) Top AAA Music Videos
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/news-views-and-music-issue-94-top-ten.html

87) 30 Day Facebook Music Challenge
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/news-views-and-music-issue-95-top.html

88) AAA Documentaries
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/news-views-and-music-top-five-aaa.html

89) Unfinished and 'Lost' AAA Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/news-views-and-music-issue-97-top-ten.html

90) Strangest AAA Album Covers
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/newsa-views-and-music-issue-98-top-ten.html

91) AAA Performers Live From Mars (!)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/news-views-and-music-issue-99-top-ten.html

92) Songs Including The Number '100' for our 100th Issue
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/news-views-and-music-issue-100-top-five.html

93) Most Songs Recorded In A Single Day
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/news-views-and-music-issue-101-top-five.html

94) Most Revealing AAA Interviews
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/news-views-and-music-issue-102-top-five.html

95) Top 10 Pre-Fame Recordings
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/news-views-and-music-issue-103-top-ten.html

96) The Shortest And Longest AAA Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/news-views-and-music-issue-104-top-ten.html


97) The AAA Allstars Ultimate Band Line-Up
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/news-views-and-music-issue-105-top.html

98) Top Songs About Sports
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/news-views-and-music-issue-106-top-ten.html

99) AAA Conversations With God
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/news-views-and-music-issue-107-top-ten.html

100) AAA Managers: The Good, The Bad and the Financially Ugly
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/news-views-and-music-issue-108-top-ten.html

101) Unexpected AAA Cameos
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/news-views-and-music-issue-109-top-ten.html

102) AAA Words You can Type Into A Caluclator
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/news-views-and-music-issue-110-top-five.html

103) AAA Court Cases
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/news-views-and-music-issue-111-top-five.html

104) Postmodern Songs About Songwriting
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/news-views-and-music-issue-112-top-five.html

105) Biggest Stylistic Leaps Between Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/news-views-and-music-issue-113-top-ten.html

106) 20 Reasons Why Cameron Should Go!
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/news-views-and-music-issue-114-top.html

107) The AAA Pun-Filled Cookbook
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/news-views-and-music-issue-115-top-five.html

108) Classic Debut Releases
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/news-views-and-music-issue-116-top-five.html

109) Five Uses Of Bird Sound Effects
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/news-views-and-music-issue-118-top-five.html

110) AAA Classic Youtube Clips Part #1
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/news-views-and-music-issue-119-top.html

111) Part #2
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/news-views-and-music-issue-120-top.html

112) Part #3
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/news-views-and-music-issue-121-top.html

113) AAA Facts You Might Not Know
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/news-views-and-music-issue-122-top-ten.html

114) The 20 Rarest AAA Records
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/news-views-and-music-issue-123-top.html

115) AAA Instrumental Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011_12_04_archive.html

116) Musical Tarot
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/news-views-and-music-issue-125-top-23-i.html

117) Christmas Carols
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011_12_18_archive.html

118) Top AAA Releases Of 2011
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2011_12_25_archive.html

119) AAA Bands In The Beano/The Dandy
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/news-views-and-music-issue-128-top-five.html

120) Top 20 Guitarists #1
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/news-views-and-music-issue-129-top-ten.html

121) #2
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_01_15_archive.html

122) 'Shorty' Nomination Award Questionairre
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_01_22_archive.html

123) Top Best-Selling AAA Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_01_29_archive.html

124) AAA Songs Featuring Bagpipes

125) A (Hopefully) Complete List Of AAA Musicians On Twitter
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_02_19_archive.html

126) Beatles Albums That Might Have Been 1970-74 and 1980
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_02_26_archive.html

127) DVD/Computer Games We've Just Invented
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_03_11_archive.html

128) The AAA Albums With The Most Weeks At #1 in the UK
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_03_18_archive.html

129) The AAA Singles With The Most Weeks At #1 in the UK
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_03_25_archive.html

130) Lyric Competition (Questions)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_04_15_archive.html

131) Top Crooning Classics
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_04_22_archive.html

132) Funeral Songs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/news-views-and-music-issue-142-top-five.html

133) AAA Songs For When Your Phone Is On Hold
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/news-views-and-music-issue-143-top-five.html

134) Random Recent Purchases (#3)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/news-views-and-music-issue-144-top-five.html

135) Lyric Competition (Answers)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/news-views-and-music-issue-146-top.html http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/news-views-and-music-issue-145-top-five.html

136) Bee Gees Songs/AAA Goes Disco!
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/news-views-and-music-issue-147-top-five.html

137) The Best AAA Sleevenotes (And Worst)
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/news-views-and-music-issue-148-top-ten.html

138) A Short Precise Of The Years 1962-70
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/news-views-and-music-149-top-eight.html

139) More Wacky AAA-Related Films And Their Soundtracks
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/top-five-for-news-views-and-music-150.html

140) AAA Appearances On Desert Island Discs
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/top-eight-aaa-desert-island-discs.html

141) Songs Exclusive To Live Albums
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/news-views-and-music-issue-153-top-10.html

142) More AAA Songs About Armageddon
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/aaa-armageddon-songsalbums-top-5-for.html

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 http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/a-not-that-short-guide-to-15-of-best.html%20%0d160

160) The Greatest AAA Drum Solos (Or Near Solos!) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/the-greatest-aaa-drum-solos-or-near.html%20%0d161

161) AAA Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame Acceptance Speeches http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/aaa-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame.html%20%0d162

162) AAA Re-Recordings Of Past Songs http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/aaa-re-recordings-of-past-songs-news.html%20%0d163

163) A Coalition Christmas (A Fairy Tale) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/a-coalition-christmas-news-views-and.html%20%0d164

164) AAA Songs About Islands http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/aaa-songs-about-islands-news-views-and.html%20%0d165

165) The AAA Review Of The Year 2012 http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/the-aaa-review-of-year-2012-news-views.html



166) The Best AAA Concerts I Attended
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/the-best-aaa-concerts-i-attended-news.html

167) Tributes To The 10 AAA Stars Who Died The Youngest http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/tributes-to-10-aaa-stars-who-died.html



168) The First 10 AAA Songs Listed Alphabetically
http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/the-first-10-aaa-songs-if-listed.html


171) The 10 Best Songs From The Psychedelia Box-Sets ‘Nuggets’ and ‘Nuggets Two’ http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/the-best-of-two-nuggets-psychedelia.html%20%0d172

172) The 20 Most Common Girl’s Names In AAA Song Titles (With Definitions) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/girls-names-in-aaa-song-titles-from.html 








180) First Recordings By Future AAA Stars http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/first-





185) A Tribute To Storm Thorgerson Via The Five AAA Bands He Worked With http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/a-tribute-to-hipgnosis-via-five-aaa.html



188) Surprise! Celebrating 300 Album Reviews With The Biggest 'Surprises' Of The Past Five Years Of Alan's Album Archives! http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/celebrating-300-album-reviews-10.html


190) Comparatively Obscure First Compositions By AAA Stars http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/comparatively-obscure-debut.html



193) Evolution Of A Band: Comparing First Lyric With Last Lyric: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/evolution-of-band-comparing-1st-lyric.html







200) The Monkees In Relation To Postmodernism (University Dissertation) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/university-dissertation-monkees-in.html


202) Carly Simon's 'You're So Vain': Was It About One Of The AAA Crew? http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/carly-simons-youre-so-vain-was-it-about.html















217) AAA 'Christmas Presents' we'd most like to have next year http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/aaa-christmas-presents-wed-most-like-to.html




221) Dr Who and the AAA (Five Musical Links) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/01/dr-who-and-five-musical-links-to-alans.html

222) Five Random Recent Purchases http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/01/five-random-recent-purchases-news-views.html

223) AAA Grammy Nominees http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/02/aaa-grammy-nominees-top-twelve-news.html

224) Ten AAA songs that are better heard unedited and in full http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/02/ten-aaa-songs-that-are-better-unedited.html

225) The shortest gaps between AAA albums http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-shortest-gaps-between-aaa-albums.html

226) The longest gaps between AAA albums http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-longest-gaps-between-aaa-albums.html

227) Top ten AAA drummers http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2014/03/top-ten-aaa-drummers-news-views-and.html

228) Top Ten AAA Singles (In Terms of 'A' and 'B' Sides) http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/top-ten-aaa-singles-and-b-sides-news.html

229) The Stories Behind Six AAA Logos http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/the-stories-behind-six-aaa-logos.html

230) AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!! The Best Ten AAA Screams http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/the-best-aaa-screams-top-ten-news-views.html

231) An AAA Pack Of Horses http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/aaa-songs-about-horses-top-ten-news.html

232) AAA Granamas - Sorry, Anagrams! http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/aaa-anagrams-news-views-and-music-issue.html

233) AAA Surnames and Their Meanings http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/aaa-surnames-and-their-meanings-news.html

234) 20 Erroneous AAA Album Titles http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/twenty-erroneous-aaa-album-titles-news.html

235) The Best AAA Orchestral Arrangements http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/fifteen-great-aaa-string-parts-news.html

236) Top 30 Hilariously Misheard Album Titles/Lyrics http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/top-thirty-hilariously-misheard-aaa.html

237) Ten controversial AAA sackings - and whether they were right http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/ten-controversial-aaa-sackings-news.html

238) A Critique On Critiquing - In Response To Brian Wilson http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/a-critique-on-critiquing-in-response-to.html

239) The Ten MusicianS Who've Played On The Most AAA Albums http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/the-ten-musicians-whove-played-on-most.html

240) Thoughts on #CameronMustGo http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/thoughts-on-cameronmustgo.html

241) Random Recent Purchases (Kinks/Grateful Dead/Nils Lofgren/Rolling Stones/Hollies) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/six-random-recent-purchases-kinksg.html 

242) AAA Christmas Number Ones http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/aaa-christmas-number-ones.html 

243) AAA Review Of The Year 2014 (Top Releases/Re-issues/Documentaries/DVDs/Books/Songs/ Articles  plus worst releases of the year) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/aaa-review-of-year-2014.html

244) Me/CFS Awareness Week 2015 http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/mecfs-awareness-week-at-alans-album.html

245) Why The Tory 2015 Victory Seems A Little...Suspicious http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/why-tory-victory-seems-deeply.html

246) A Plea For Peace and Tolerance After The Attacks on Paris - and Syria http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/a-plea-for-peace-and-toleration.html

247) AAA Review Of The Year 2015 http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/the-aaa-review-of-year-2015.html

248) The Fifty Most Read AAA Articles (as of December 31st 2015) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/the-fifty-most-read-aaa-posts-2008-2015.html

249) The Revised AAA Crossword! http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2016_07_10_archive.html


251) Half-A-Dozen Berries Plus One (An AAA Tribute To Chuck Berry) http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/an-aaa-covers-tribute-to-chuck-berry.html

252) Guest Post: ‘The Skids – Joy’ (1981) by Kenny Brown  https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/guest-post-skids-joy-1981.html


254) Guest Post: ‘Supertramp – Some Things Never Change’ by Kenny Brown https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2018/06/guest-review-supertramp-some-things.html

255) AAA Review Of The Year 2018 https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2018/12/the-aaa-review-of-year-2018.html

256) AAA Review Of The Year 2019 plus Review Of The Decade 2010-2019 https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2019/12/the-alans-album-archives-review-of-year.html



257) Tiermaker https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2019/06/alans-album-archives-on-tiermaker.html

258) #Coronastock https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2020/04/coronastock.html

259) #Coronadocstock https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2020/05/coronadocstock.html

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