Friday 4 September 2009

News, Views and Music Issue 43 (Intro)

September 4:

Welcome everybody to our new issue and to the 50 or so people who’ve looked around our site in the 10 days since setting it up. This has been an exciting time in the life of our AAA luminaries, too, what with the Beatles masters getting all new and shiny (something we’ve been begging EMI to do since our very first review three years ago – shame they didn’t take our advice about the bonus tracks and mono/stereo editions though) and Oasis getting all old and grumpy. Things are likely to be a bit hectic here at AAA headquarters over the next month or so, so there might not be many changes made to the site proper (we’re still trying to get the music player on the site to work, for instance) but rest assured your AAA newsletters will be coming at you thick and fast in the mean time. Meanwhile, on with the news...


Beatles News: Amazon have just dropped the price of the new Beatles stereo box to £135 so bear that in mind if you are thinking of buying all the Beatles CDs individually (it’s spot on the same price as buying them all singly – and you get an extra DVD documentary too). Radio 2 have joined in with the act by offering four days’ worth of Beatle programmes over the Bank Holiday weekend and BBC 2 and 4 are set to follow. There’s nothing rare for Beatle-maniacs, however, who have almost all of this stuff before – the only new pieces I hadn’t heard before were an interview with Paul McCartney broadcast on Sunday night, a documentary about the BBC broadcasts (which should have been much longer and much better – see News and Views issue 24 for the true extent of the BBC’s Beatle library), a Cilla Black documentary about Beatles covers versions (nice – but hardly essential) and a forthcoming modern documentary about how the Beatles might fare in the modern age on their new lease of life. Not much in other words, despite taking up about 35 hours’ worth of airplay – let’s hope the new Beatles CD re-masters does all the talking for the group instead on September 9th.

Beatles Rock band is a similar mix of the exciting and the not actually that exciting at all. 45 songs are included in the set and include several of the usual suspects (Twist and Shout/I Want To Hold Your Hand/Hey Jude/Get Back etc) but, interestingly not all of them (Blackbird and Yesterday would be hard to do, given that they only feature a guitar plus sound effects/guitar plus orchestra but A Day In The Life and the Abbey Road Medley are less troublesome omissions). There’s also an interesting mix of under-rated Beatles songs (I Dig A Pony for one) and thankfully only one song – the best one – from the last splurge of Beatles hype (The ‘Love’ mix of ‘Within You, Without You/Tomorrow Never Knows) along with some truly screwball choices that are hardly among the Beatles’ better moments (Boys, And Your Bird Can Sing). You can, however, download all the missing songs by ‘buying’ the parent album at an extra cost after the game has been released – be warned, though, as buying the complete set will set you back even more than owning the new CD re-issues!

Oasis News: Alas, the rumours we spoke about in our review of ‘Dig Out Your Soul’ appear to be true. Noel Gallagher has walked out of the band citing that he will never work with his brother Liam again – but, far from being the sort of brotherly tiff that saw Noel quit temporarily in 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2001 (I’m not joking!) this split seems to be a quieter, more dignified, less recriminatory split then the media-mangled walkouts of before. For the record, Noel blames attitudes within the whole band – surprising seeing as Gem and Andy Bell have been firmly on Noel’s side rather than Liam’s since joining the band and have performed with him at ‘solo’ concerts (they still don’t have a long-term drummer). Many people are making the joke about people not needing Oasis now that the Beatles are back again, but the Beatles phenomena will be all over again by next year – if Oasis really are dead then this will be a huge shame and Noel will be missed hugely. It’s also sad that the band have called it a day after their only truly weak album (though two tracks have been growing on me since writing my review in news and views 8a) – and will be even sadder if Liam limps on without him (even if is writing is on par with his brother’s these days, he’s not quite as prolific it has to be said). Anyway, watch this space for more...

Rolling Stones News: An odd news entry this one – the police say they now have new evidence in the ‘Brian Jones’ investigation and have re-opened enquiries as to whether the Stone died of ‘misadventure’ (drowning in his own swimming pool while drunk – or was he?) or was murdered (there was a supposed confession on the death-bed of a builder working at Jones’ estate). Questions have always remained about Jones’ death – he was a champion swimmer, for one, highly unlikely to have drowned in the small amount of water in his house no matter how far gone he was (and witnesses have claimed to have seen him sober just before the incident) and there was certainly enough motive (Brian owed money to quite a few people back then – his builder included) – but there have never been enough questions for the police to re-open the case. Until now, it seems. More news if and when we hear it.   


♫ ANNIVERSARIES (September 4-10th): Happy Birthday Hopes, Wishes and

Dreams to all those who share their birthdays with the following AAA stars:

Gene Parsons (drummer with The Byrds 1969-72) who turns 64 on

September 4th, Roger Waters (bassist, chief lyricist and ‘driving force’ in

Pink Floyd 1967-85) who turns 65 on September 6th, Pigpen aka Ron

McKernan (keyboardist and soul specialist with the Grateful Dead 1965-72)

who would have been 63 on September 8th had he not died of liver failure in

1972 and Otis Redding (the gentle giant of soul) who would have been 68

on September 9th had he not died in a plane crash in 1968. Anniversaries of

events include: the Beatles’ first recording session takes place on

September 4th 1962 with 17 takes of debut single ‘Love Me Do’ – or at least

that’s what the fabs seemed to think it was; Abbey Road documentation

confuses the matter by claiming this was a recording ‘test’ to see whether

the Beatles really are suitable for recording; The Animals play their first gig

in the United States, the country that becomes pretty much their second

home (at Brooklyn Paramount Theatre, September 4th 1964, the day before

‘House Of The Rising Sun’ becomes an unexpected #1 there); The Who

innocently park their touring van outside Battersea Dogs Home to ask for

directions – when they return they find £5000 worth of equipment missing

(September 4th 1965); Tom Wilson, the producer who not exactly

discovered Simon and Garfunkel but played an important part in their early

career (see last week’s newsletter) dies on September 6th 1978); patent-

pending explodable irrepressible drummer Keith Moon finally gives way to

his reckless lifestyle, overdosing on the tablets he was taking to keep

away his alcohol addiction (September 7th 1978); the advert that kicks off The Monkees phenomenon (‘Madness!!Running parts for four insane boys’ etc) appears in the Los Angeles Daily Variety newspaper – actually only two of the Monkees (Micky and Peter) audition in this manner – so does Stephen Stills who fails to make the grade because of his uneven teeth (September 8th 1965); The Moody Blues play to their then-record number of fans – 300,000 in Paris; John Lennon releases his most famous LP ‘Imagine’ (September 9th 1971); Bob Harris begins presenting what will become a very important programme for AAA artists, BBC 2’s ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’ (September 9th 1972) and finally the Monkees’ first ever single, ‘Last Train To Clarksville’, is released in the US (September 10th 1966). 

News, Views and Music Issue 43 (Top Five): Dellboy segues

And so to this week’s top five. As our regular readers or those who have been reading these newsletters in chronological order will know, we now have a shiny new laptop after our old computer finally gave up the ghost and decided to bleep mournfully whenever I tried to switch it on. During the two months or so since owning it I have now put practically every CD I have owned on it (330 hours’ worth –I know AAA readers would expect nothing less) and have been enjoying playing my whole collection on random. Now, we often said about our old computer that we thought it was human – with our new friend ‘Dell-Boy’ we’re absolutely convinced. So for this week’s top five, here are the five biggest themes/co-incidences from playing our collection at random.

1) Going to sleep to the Beatles’ ‘Goodnight’ (from ‘The White Album’ as if you didn’t know) – only to be woken up seven hours’ later by ‘What’s That You’re Doing’ by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder (from ‘Tug Of War, 1982) with the line ‘good morning...or is that good afternoon?!? And yes, I had been working late on the website the night before so it was indeed afternoon!)

2) Days of the week: Not quite in this order but within the same hour-and-a-half I heard ‘Monday Monday’ by the Mamas and Papas (from the highly recommended ‘Gold’ compilation from the now sadly defunct Woolworths), Tuesday Afternoon (by The Moody Blues, from ‘Days Of Future Passed’ 1967), She’s Leaving Home by The Beatles (from Sgt Pepper’s – with the opening line ‘Wednesday Morning at 5 o’clock as the day begins...’), Oriental Nightfish by Linda McCartney (from the ‘Wide Prairie’ compilation 1998) with its lines ‘It was a Thursday night...I was working late...’, Here Comes The Weekend (by The Moody Blues from ‘Sur La Mer’ 1988) with its lines about ‘Friday Night’, ‘I Wanna Be Around’ from Brian Wilson’s ‘Smile (which was given the bootlegger name ‘Friday Night’ for some reason), Jefferson Airplane’s ‘Saturday Afternoon’ (both the studio version on ‘After Bathing At Baxters’ 1967 and the live version from the ‘Bless It’s Little Pointed Head’ re-issue 1968) and finally Lazy Sunday by the Small Faces (from ‘Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake’ 1968). Hmm, perhaps my computer’s been studying the calendar I downloaded for her the other week?!

3)Songs of lost love/friends: I’m not joking I’ve had in order, The Hollies’ ‘I Had A Dream’ (A B-side included in the 2003 box-set ‘The Long Road Home’), ‘Rain On My Window’ (from ‘Evolution’; 1967) and ‘Down River’ (from ‘Romany’ 1972; weird enough that I should get 3 Hollies tracks in a row given that I’ve got about 125 artists on here), the Human League’s ‘Louise’ (from ‘Hysteria’ 1983), a bit of a gap and then The Moody Blues’ ‘I Know You’re Out There Somewhere’ (from ‘Sur La Mer’ 1988) and The Blue Jays’ ‘Who Are You Now?’, The Kinks’ ‘Do You Remember Walter?’ (from ‘Village Green Preservation Society’ 1968), The Beach Boys’ ‘Wendy’ (from ‘All Summer Long’ 1964), 10cc’s ‘Memories’ (from ‘10/10’, 1981), Cat Stevens/Yusuf’s ‘Everytime I Dream’) and The Beatles’ ‘Yesterday’. Weird.

4) Political songs: Neil Young’s ‘Let’s Impeach The President’ (from ‘Living With War’ 2006), CSNY’s ‘Ohio’ (a live version from Neil’s ‘Journey Through The Past Soundtrack’), Lindisfarne’s ‘Cruising To Disaster’ (from ‘Sleepless Nights’ 1982), The Beatles’ ‘Revolution’ (Past Masters Vol 2), The Rolling Stones’ ‘Street Fighting Man’ (from CD 3 of the Singles Collection – The London Years), Mr President (from a Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch compilation), Neil Young’s ‘Campaigner’ (from the ‘Decade’ compilation), 10cc’s ‘Wall Street Shuffle’ (from 1972’s ‘Sheet Music’ – bit of a stretch that one but still...), Stephen Stills’ ‘Word Game’ (Stills II, 1971) and Super Furry Animals’ ‘Presidential Suite’ (from ‘Rings Around The World’ 2001). All I can say is...where was ‘Bring On Da Lucie And Freeda People?!’

5) It’s favourite tracks, which come up every 3 hours or so (bearing in mind there’s 330-odd hours to choose from): Many things from The Byrds’ ‘Younger Than Yesterday’ album (did I ever tell you that Dell-Boy’s got good taste?!) especially ‘CTA-102’ (perhaps its the sound of electronic aliens chatting?) and ‘Thoughts And Words’ (ditto the electronic sound effects?), plus The Who’s ‘I Can See For Miles’ (like I say – good taste!) and, curiously, the Lennon Anthology rehearsal take of ‘One Day At A Time’(!)

More computer wizadry – computers allowing – 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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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...

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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