Monday 16 March 2009

News, Views and Music News Issue 25 (Intro)

March 16:

Welcome everybody to the 25th issue of everybody’s favourite musically monkeynuts newsletter, news views and music. Wow – 25 issues, shouldn’t we be getting a gold record for that or something? Come on Paul McCartney, you must have a few to spare! And how do our beloved AAA groups celebrate this momentous occasion? Err, by being quieter than ever before, annoyingly. So not much news to report this issue and things seem to be more normal than a flop Spice Girls reunion. So for this issue Mr Tambourine Man is out singing with the Byrds, Mr Pleasant and Mr Big Man are keeping Ray Davies company, Miss Amanda Jones has been partying with the Stones and Mr Soft has been stopping at traffic lights with Oasis (‘but only when they’re green’). Website wise many thanks to regular reader Lizzie for plugging us so nicely on the ‘fanpop’ website (hope you had a good birthday on Sunday by the way) and just to prove what an absolute anorak I really am check out the ‘Beatles Quiz’ leaderboard on that site where at the time of writing I am currently 1st in the world with 187 correctly answered questions (Yes! I even won a virtual carrot!)

Oasis News: Three bits of news from the world of Gallagher this week. The first is that the third single from latest album ‘Dig Out Your Soul’ is released this week and finally they’ve chosen the best song. The Noel-sung ‘Falling Down’ was our pick of the pops when the album came out (see newsletter 8a) and if you own this and the other two singles you don’t really need to buy the album at all. Second bit of news is that Oasis were plugging the new single on this year’s ‘Comic Relief’ via a very welcome one-off Top Of The Pops Special (what with the seven TOTP2s over Christmas, it seems as if our favourite weekly pop programme has never been away!) Interestingly, Liam G was missing – OK, so it’s a Noel-sung song so he didn’t need to be there, but its not like Liam to miss out on a charity event (despite his rock and roll image!) Have the brothers really fallen out irreparably this time as rumours keep insisting?, is Liam worried that the new Oasis single might beat sales for his own song ‘I’m Outta Time’? (To be fair, that was more the fault of the lack of band unity and promo activities than the fault of the song)

Was Liam just fed up and decided to go awol as he did a la ‘Oasis Unplugged’ when Noel had to take over vocals at the last minute? More evidence came with our third bit of news this week – an 11-track Noel Gallagher acoustic concert that came free with the Sunday Mail, recorded for Roger Daltrey’s ‘Teenage Cancer Trust’. Hmm, there’s something very odd about giving away the soundtrack of benefit concerts for free when they could have raised lots of money as a limited release Grateful Dead style, but at least it added a few tracks that weren’t on the televised concert (including two with guest Paul Weller - one a cover of Lennon evergreen ‘All You Need Is Love’). Shame about the terrible drumming though – Terry Kirkbride only seems to know the 4/4 ‘common time’ signature and sadly most of Noel’s songs played here don’t use it.     

♫ And very hippy birthdays this week go to AAA artists Paul Kantner (guitarist and vocalist with Jefferson Airplane 1965-73 and Jefferson Starship 1973-84) who turns 65 on March 17th and Hollies collaborator (and next-door-neighbour of Tony Hicks!) Kenny Lynch, who turns 70 on March 18th.  Anniversaries of events this week seem to be heavily Beatlesified and include: the release of Beatles evergreen ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ (March 20th 1964), the 40th anniversary of the marriage between John Winston Lennon and Yoko Ono in Gibraltar on March 20th 1969 (the only country willing to marry two divorced people at the short notice the Ono-Lennons wanted), John and Yoko’s infamous Bed-In during their honeymoon at an Amsterdam hotel (March 21st 1969), the first appearance of the Beatles at the venue that’s about to become ‘their own’ – Liverpool’s Cavern Club (March 21st 1961) and finally, this week also sees the birth of the Rutles, the legend that lasted a lunchtime and the group the Beatles could have been (but thankfully weren’t), thanks to the screening of Eric Idle’s TV special ‘All You Need Is Cash’ on March 22nd 1978.

News, Views and Music Issue 25 (Top Five): Beach Boys Tracks Still Not Avaliable On CD!

While we bang on about Record Companies ripping ioff both bands and fans a lot on this site, some have been very impressive indeed. Capitol may have been the most demanding, least loyal company of all in the 1960s, but 30-40 years on the label are looking like one of the nicest, what with their lovingly compiled two-fer-one-with-bonus tracks CDs that are still available at budget price today if you look hard enough. Alas, the Beach Boys’ later companies haven’t been quite so generous and an alarming amount of tracks are yet to get their first CD release. So for this week here is your handy guide to the five biggest Beach Boys rarities not included in any of the Beach Boys’ superlative re-issues series – and we’re not talking alternate mixes or longer fade-outs here but five major additions to the Beach Boys’ catalogue (well, OK, four…):

1) ‘Pamela Jean’/ ‘After The Game’ (released under the pseuodonym ‘The Survivors’, 1964). Despite being the hardest working band in showbusiness, Brian Wilson’s friends and family were told by capitol in early 1964 that they were releasing too many singles, something that might interfere with their strong sales record. Undeterred, Brian Wilson stuck out his new song ‘Pamela Jean’ under a different name, gave the record no publicity whatsoever and, intrigued to see if he really did have the midas touch he kept being told he had, sat back to see what would happen. It sank like a stone. However, the song was recycled as the better known ‘Car Crazy Cutie’ on the ‘Little Deuce Coupe’ album, but strangely this very BeachBoysy song about cars didn’t even begin to match the quality of the original BeachBoysy song about girls. The B-side ‘Playing The Game’ is an instrumental, a fact that probably has most collectors of early Beach Boys running for the hills (their second album had no less than five instrumentals, all of them poor) but its actually one of the most exquisite pre-Smile tracks Brian ever wrote, an orchestral epic that sets the tone for ‘Pet Sounds’ two years down the line. This song has been all but forgotten and it shouldn’t have been – other than a late 70s re-issue (which is in itself a rarity these days) this song has never been heard since the day it came out.           

2) ‘It’s A Beautiful Day’ (film soundtrack 1979). The best Beach Boys release for years and the band leave it off any ‘proper’ albums. How very Beach Boys – and how typical that, after including it on a 2 LP compilation album, it’s the full edit of that song that goes missing come CD re-issue time. A Jardine-Love collaboration, this is about the last time the Beach Boys mined their old fun and sun-loving image and sounded like they meant it. Give the collector a break, stick it on the end of the ‘MIU/LA light’ CD re-issue where it belongs!  

3) ‘Here Comes The Night’ (edited version issued as a single, 1979): OK, so there’s an extended 12-minute version of this track available on the LA light Album, so why would you want to buy an edited 3-minute version? Because this is the version that was the top 40 hit that’s why – the one that, you know, actually did quite well in the charts before some idiot of a music critic decided he didn’t like it and everyone followed suit. In many ways it’s more enjoyable than the album version (and no, not because its nine minutes shorter!) – the mix is punchier, there’s less time waiting for those glorious harmonies to kick in and the song feels like a minor revelation rather than a heavy slog in between the ballads that make up most of the LA Light LP. Again, there’s ten flipping minutes of space on the MIU/LA Light CD, use it!!!

4) ‘Happy Endings’ (duet with Little Richard, spin-off single taken from the film ‘The Telphone’, 1987). A whole missing song and one dominated by Carl Wilson, no less! (Although weirdly he sounds so close to Little Richard on this record it’s hard to tell where the two swap over vocals). A sweet sugary ballad written by Bruce Johnston for a film that died almost as much of a death as the song, this is a curio indeed. For all its faults, though, this song at least sounds like the Beach Boys, which is more than you can say of the ‘Still Cruising’ and ‘Summer in Paradise’ albums. Again, both of those records and the earlier ‘Beach Boys’ have plenty of space intact (‘Cruising’ even features two straight re-issues of 1960s classics out on CD hundreds of times, which must surely count as one of the biggest ways of ripping off the fans to date).    

5) ‘Wipeout’ (duet with the Fat Boys, 1989). OK< so you don’t actually need this one unless you’re a) an early 90s rap lover b) a keen surfer with a sense of irony or c) one of the Fat Boys’ mothers, but it still seems surprising that this hit – which reached #2 in the UK charts, the Beach Boys’ most successful in 20 years – isn’t as yet available on a Beach Boys CD. I(t may be on a Fat Boys CD but something tells me that even if it is I won’t be buying it. Still, if you do happen to find this cheap (mine’s a charity shop copy bought for 50p) it is sort of funny (once, at a push) and the Beach Boys are – for the very last time – dominated by Brian Wilson’s vocals. Unlike most of the band’s 80s and 90s recordings, he actually sounds as if he wants to be there –maybe somebody told Brian he was taking part in a true cover of The Surfari’s classic and didn’t know he was going to be backing singer for two overweight comedians!

 Well, that’s it for another week. And remember, as Philosophy Phil tells us ‘too much haste sets the soles of your shoes on fire’. Unless of course you spot a CSN album in the sales, in which case you can never run fast enough. See you next week!

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