Monday 15 September 2008

News, Views and Music Issue 4 (Intro)

September 15:

The website is within a gnat’s crotchet of being uploaded now. Yay!!!  Of course, you’ll know that already if you’re reading these words because presumably the site will be finished by then but, well, never mind, we’re mildly excited all the same… Anyway enough of this babbling, onwards to events in the world of AAA groups this week…

The one musician you can always rely on to liven up an otherwise dull news week is Paul McCartney. And boy is he having an interesting week this week. Following on from his landmark gig in Russia, a country that only lifted their ban on Beatles and ex-Beatles’ music and rock concerts in general a few years ago, Macca has agreed to play a concert for the people of Israel. Alas, politics has yet again got in the way of good music and a Palestinian group are threatening to have Macca shot if he agrees to play there (just imagine the outcry in the country that would cause—Palestine wouldn’t have a hope of quelling the riots that event would bring about…) Hey, guys, music’s a worldwide language that’s meant to unite people not divide them—save your problems for when politicians come calling instead (let’s hope Bush pays a visit very soon. Not that he knows where Israel is of course - Israel doesn’t own enough oil). Let It Be, don’t Live and Let Die. On a happier note, Macca is appearing on the new series of ’later with Jools Holland’ this week, the first time we’ve seen him on our screens for ages, comparatively speaking (Macca’s rightly been on our screens a lot these last few years, given that we haven’t got many other AAA performers left touring regularly these days). On a sadder note, we’ll probably have to put up with another godawful duet between the host and Macca again this year (with all the decades of practice Jools has had learning his trade on our TV screens alone, why hasn’t he learnt to play the piano properly yet after all these years?!)

Last minute news/ Pink Floyd: David Gilmour’s celebratory tour farewell in Gdansk, Poland, was always due to be broadcast on BBC4 next Friday (26th September) as a ’trailer’ for Gilmour’s DVD set of the concert currently out. However, this concert now takes on a quite different light in view of the sad death of fellow Floyd and Gilmour band member Rick Wright who unfortunately died on Monday. This ‘farewell’ concert from 2006 is now a ‘farewell’ in quite a different sort of a way, as it was the last concert Rick ever played, as a member of Dave’s band. See the (rather lengthy) entry below for a full tribute to the sorely missed musician.

News, Views and Music Issue 4 (Top Five): Autumn

And finally, as the UK passes (dis)gracefully into autumn (albeit an autumn that, despite centuries of tradition, seems to be hotter than our summer this year) here is the latest in our series of top fives celebrating all things seasonal:

5) ’Autumn Stone’ - The Small Faces celebrate the dying end of a relationship (possibly the end of the band’s relationship with each other; see review no 28 for more) with a lovely lilting acoustic ballad with one of Steve Marriott’s  career-best vocals. Find it on the Small Faces’ album of the same name.

4) ’Changes’  - A short history of the seasons from the Monkees (or Davy Jones at least, the only Monkee who appears on this originally unreleased track). ’It’s been quite a good year’ sings Davy, even though the troubled, doom-laden orchestral arrangement seems to suggest quite the opposite. Find it on the impressive out-takes set ’Missing Links Volume Two’.

3) ’Autumn Almanack’ - Wanting something special for the Kinks’ last single of 1967, Ray Davies gave up on the song he’d beern writing and started playing it backwards to see if it sounded any better. With a few minor variations, ’Autumn Alamanack’ was born, the bittersweet inversion of Waterloo Sunset and Sunny Afternoon’s glorious sunshine, with a sense of the cold and monochrome beginning to creep back into the Kinks’ work once again. Reminiscing about his upbringing in Muswell Hill, Ray tells us that he’s ’always going to stay here, if I live to be 99’ - in actual fact, he’d moved out of his family neighbourhood a good three years before this classic single came out but that makes no difference to this heartfelt song celebrating the simple things in life. Find it on any good Kinks hit compilation (it never did appear on an album at the time).

2) ’Nature’s Way Of Saying Goodbye’ - ’All around me seems to be in sympathy’ sings a despondant Allan Clarke during one of his sabbaticals from his band The Hollies, reflecting on how the passing seasons mirror a dying relationship. Given a few weeks I’m sure we’ll all be joinging in with the narrator’s wish to wave the weather ‘goodbye’ for good. You’ll have problems finding this track, but if you know a similarly monkeynuts Hollies collector they might be kind enough to let you borrow Clarkey’s rare first album ‘My Real Name Is ’Arold’, where this forgotten gem ended the first side.

1)    Forever Autumn — Well, there wasn’t much of a summer this year was there, so maybe this is what we’ve got in store instead. The Moody Blues’ Justin Hayward solo (though most casual fans assume its by the group together so similar is the sound), this song was part of Jeff wayne’s War of The Worlds’ project and accompanied the narrator’s grief at being parted from his beloved in the confusion of an, err, alien invasion. You don’t need to know that to enjoy the song, though, which makes no mention of evil tripods from Mars singing ‘ulla’ at every possible opportunity like it does on the album and as a single in its own right is as refreshing and reastorative as a toasted crumpet by the fire. Find it on any of the half a dozen ’war of the worlds’ variations out on the market (original/highlights/remixed/ live/anniversary remix/ six cd box set version etc) and any comprehensive Moody Blues hits compilation.                                                  

      That’s all for this week once again —see you next time!

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

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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