Monday, 20 December 2010
News, Views and Music Issue 84 (Intro)
♫ Well, here we again at the end of another year, a year packed full of news, reviews and music. Oasis have split (so have The Who according to rumours but we’re waiting to hear officially before making it a ‘news’ stories) but Belle and Sebastian have reformed and no less than four Beatles have release box sets this year, proving there still is a market for all things AAA even if things have looked a bit bleak at times (the financial difficulties for Abbey Road, the Credit Crunch which is only hitting poor people and the election of the world’s worst prime minister). So what was your musical highlight of the year? Was it discovering this site? Was it leaving this site? Was it getting told off for chuckling over this site during a lecture when you should have been hard at work? (Sorry about that Lizzie) Please let us know on our new-look forum.
You may have noticed that our adverts, formerly for Google, are now advertising for Amazon. While we’re waiting for our appeal from Google to go through we’ve decided to switch our allegiances temporarily so have added lots of adverts to individual albums you can read about on the site. We’re also planning to add individual songs to download (as featured on out ‘gold, silver and bronze’ awards post on our forum) and add a ‘revolving’ top five based on what we’re discussing each week (so look out for links to our top five purchases of 2010!) Please let us know what you think – we hope it will make your life easier finding each album if you read about something you want to purchase and our site makes money each time you buy something through us (we have to buy the CDs coming out in 2011 some how!)
And our latest political moan: how dare David Cameron triple the price of going to university after decades of money thrown at schools to brainwash people into going and then object when the students start protesting. What the news won’t tell you, of course, is that the Government have effectively tripled the debt a whole generation will be in without consulting them or their representatives and who are the least responsible for the financial mess we’re allegedly in (why has an 18 year old got to pay for the mistakes of a bunch of 40 year old bankers? It’s absurd!) It’s like poking someone with a big stick for years and then wondering why they turn round and snarl at you when you finally hack their leg off with a chainsaw. So unlike the media, who are up in arms about ‘disgraceful behaviour’ (which amounts to a load of broken windows and a slightly alarmed heir to the throne who had a bit of paint thrown at his car) we say – good on you, just please don’t injure some innocent bystander or policeman or we’ll have to start this good relations campaign all over again. We’d even planned a ‘songs to riot to’ top five before we calmed down, looked up the law on inciting violence and decided not to (though I’ll still mention that the Stones’ ‘Street Fighting Man’, The Beatles’ ‘Revolution’ , The Who’s ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’, The Kinks’ ‘Young Conservatives’ and CSNY’s ‘Ohio’ are good songs to, erm, air your differences to).
Oh and finally, thanks to those of you who suggested what to do next with my Sims game (Of course! A house full of Spice Girls! Why didn’t I think of that! And yes its true, they really do hate each other – and The Beatles!) I’m also pleased to say that both John Lennon and George Harrison are now B-list celebrities (erm, in context of course – its hard work turning sims into superstars!) and we have at long last built an upstairs for our AAA house (with a piano!) We’ve fallen a bit behind with the CSNY house, but David Crosby and Neil Young are both doing quite well in the celebrity world – if only Neil would start signing autographs and doing some publicity and Crosby would stop talking to everyone he meets, even when they hate him, we’d be OK. More on that next issue!
♫ Abba News: OK so they aren’t strictly AAA members, but I had to tell you about the results of the channel four Abba poll to find out the nation’s favourite Abba song: The Winner Takes It All, pipping the horrible dirge ‘Dancing Queen’ into second place! Third was even better – The Day Before You Came, the group’s farewell song which didn’t even make the top 30 first time around! Could it be that my anti-Mamma Mia rant in news and views issues 19 and 21 is finally paying off?!
♫ Beatles News: More on those Lennon docs we promised last issue: my £$%&**&£$&)^(^(&)((&*!!!!$£%££%$£ set-top box messed up the ITV one (Fancy it not being repeated yet! Honestly!) but I did hear the two Lennon radio progs (‘The News York Years’) and surprisingly good they were too. The second part is very moving, in fact, with interviews claiming that Lennon had finally found peace with both the other Beatles and himself before he died (and a classic moment when Paul and Linda McCartney were found carol singing outside the Dakota building!) so look out for it on I-player before it goes. Alas, there isn’t a single Beatles-themed programme on over Christmas - the first for quite a few years, though there was quite a blitz in 2009 - however Paul McCartney is playing a couple of small venues (one of them Liverpool Academy!) around Christmas!
♫ Kinks News: Wow, The BBC have gone all Kinky this Christmas, with two whole programmes dedicated to the Davies bothers. Ray crops up first on Tuesday December 21st with an ‘Imagine’ special starting at 10.35pm and lasting an impressive 80 minutes! Titled ‘Imaginary Man’, the programme even gets ‘pick of the day’ in the xmas radio times and is described as ‘intelligent, civilised and startlingly honest’! Both Davies brothers feature in the radio two programme ‘Johnnie Walker with The Kinks’ on Thursday, December 30th at 12pm, a two hour programme based around Ray and Dave talking about their best known songs. I take back everything I’ve ever moaned at the BBC about, two whole programmes on an AAA band that aren’t The Beatles over Xmas time is remarkable! Just in case you think I’ve turned over a new leaf by not moaning, however, why is it that the CRadio Times is so flimsily made – the cover has already come off my Christmas issue and we’re barely into double digits in December! Bah humbug!
♫ Rolling Stones News: Two more AAA docs on over Xmas feature Mick ‘n’ Keef: ‘At Home With Keith Richards’ (10pm Radio Two, Tuesday December 28th) is yet another piece of tie-in publicity to go with Keef’s book (if only he’d put this much effort into the last few Stones albums!) and ‘Jagger’s Jukebox’ (12pm Radio Two Wednesday, December 29th) features Mick talking about the band’s past, with an emphasis on the ‘Exile On main Street’ re-issue that came out this year (see below!) Both programmes are presented by Paul Sexton, who must have found it extremely difficult keeping on the sides of both Stones members – let’s hope both progs don’t turn into a ‘Mick said what?!’ affair (and Mick must have been miffed that the Radio Times gave ‘choice’ to Keef’s doc and not his own!)
♫ The Who News: As we said above, it looks like the end of the road again for The Who after a couple of years of silence (although we still haven’t heard that officially – and might never hear it). More evidence comes with a solo appearance by Roger Daltrey on this year’s annual Jools Holland Hootenany on December 31st-January 1st on BBC2 (I can’t think of anyone I’d least like to spend the time with then Jools – oh hang on, yes I can, The Spice Girls!)
♫ ANNIVERSARIES: Happy Festive Birthdays to those born between December 15th-21st: Tony Hicks (guitarist with The Hollies 1963-present) turns 67 on December 16th, Keith Richards (guitarist with The Rolling Stones 1962-present) turns 67 on December 18th and Carl Wilson (guitarist with The Beach Boys 1961-1992) would have been 64 on December 21st. Anniversaries of events include: John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band play the first solo gig of any Beatle at the Lyceum in London, weeks before the announcement of a split (December 15th 1969); George Harrison breaks up the Beatles when he is deported from Germany for being underage – thankfully for music as we know it the band decamp to Liverpool and reunite in the new year (December 16th 1961); The Who bow out for the first time after 17 years on the road, after a show at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens (December 17th 1982); JohnandYoko appear in a ‘bag’ to highlight racism classism and sexism during a memorable event during London’s ‘Alchemical Wedding’ Christmas celebration (December 18th 1968); Keith Moon collapses onstage for the first time of many during a Who gig at Windsor’s Ricky Tick Club (December 19th 1965); Paul Simon enjoys his only week at #1 in the US charts of his whole solo career, with the catchy ’50 Ways To Leave Your Lover’ (December 20th 1975); The Beatles along with other Brian Epstein-financed acts play at their first ‘Christmas Show’, in Bradford (December 21st 1963); Charlie Watts beats Keith Richards by 46 years to become the first Rolling Stone to publish a book – the Charlie Parker tribute ‘Ode To A High Flying Bird’ (December 21st 1964) and finally, Janis Joplin takes centre stage at a Stax and Volt ‘Yuletide Celebration’, belting out Christmas Carols during a party in Memphis (December 21st 1968).