Friday 11 September 2009

News, Views and Music Issue 44 (Intro)

September 11:

It’s hello and hallelujah to another issue of everybody’s favourite monkeynuts musical newsletter. This might be our last issue for a couple of weeks -0 don’t worry, we’ll be back at the end of the month - but what a week this has been; one of our beloved AAA groups disbands and another is re-invented for the 21st century. Expect lots of Beatles in our next issue – but in the mean time it’s R.I.P. Oasis.


Beatles News: It was a tale of two halves for the recent BBC Beatles coverage. Whilst the radio programmes were a complete jumble of poorly thought out cash-ins and curious archive raidings (what were they thinking with the Beats at the BBC choices? A monkey choosing clips at random could have come up with a better job than this!) the television programmes last Saturday weren’t too bad at all. The Timewatch documentary gets a long belated repeat, we get a new documentary including rare in-studio footage that did more in one hour than Anthology managed to do in twelve and a fascinating hour extract from the ‘Beatles in the US’ DVD which I hadn’t got round to picking up yet. Fascinating stuff told by all four Beatles with George Martin the only additional interviewee. The BBC4 doc ‘How The Beatles Rocked The Kremlin’ was a bit more suspect, repeating most of the stuff included on the Paul McCartney DVD ‘Live At Red Square’, but compared to the disappointment of the radio progs ¾ successes ain’t bad at all. There’s yet more docs on this week – The Making Of The 1st US Visit (Thursday BBC4 10.40pm) and ‘Sings The Beatles’ (cover versions of fab four classics featuring Oasis, presumably doing ‘I Am The Walrus’, Friday BBC4 9.30pm) plus repeats of many of the above programmes and a re-screening of 2007’s McCartney At The Electric Proms Concert (Friday BBC4 9.30pm). Strawberry Fields Flavoured Popcorn all round!

Beatles/Neil Young News: You may remember us raving about Neil Young’s cover of ‘A Day In The Life’ at Glastonbury a few issues back. Well, what could improve on that you ask? Only Paul McCartney joining in with the song during one of Neil’s recent American gigs, singing his own middle eight for the first time ever since recording it in 1967 (It is mainly a Lennon song after all). The pair of musicians have been good friends since Paul appeared at one of Neil and Pegi Young’s Bridge School Benefit concerts for handicapped children but this is the first time Macca and Young have worked together outside those shows.

Buffalo Springfield News: Two rare acetates by the band – believed to be among the earliest recordings made by Stephen Stills and Richie Furay have been discovered among the late Ahmet Ertegun’s archives. Ertegun, the president of Atlantic records, was often quoted as saying the band were his greatest discoveries. See fabulous CSNY webpage ‘4 Way Site’ for more.


Anniversaries (September 11-18th): Happy Honolulu birthdays to the following AAA musicians: Bernie Calvert (bassist  with The Hollies 1966-80) turns 65 on September 16th; Kenny Jones (drummer with The Small Faces 1965-68 and with The Who 1979-82) turns 61 on September 16th; Lol Creme (guitarist, pianist and just about everything with 10cc 1972-76) turns 62 on September 17th and finally Joanne Catherall (singer with The Human League 1981-date) turns 47 on September 18th.  Anniversaries of events include: the first location filming for The Beatles’ extravaganza ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ (rather late for a production to be screened on Boxing Day you have to say) on September 11th 1967; Simon and Garfunkel’s LP ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ makes the UK charts on the same day in 1971, where it will become a mainstay – on and off - for the next decade; The Monkees’ first TV season makes its channel debut on America’s NBC network on September 12th 1966; John Lennon’s Plastic Ono band make their live debut at the Toronto Peace Festival 40 years ago this week,  just days after the release of final Beatles album ‘Abbey Road’ – the gig is issued on LP later in the year (September 13th 1969); David Knopfler is forced to leave Dire Straits, the band he helped form, after one too many rows with elder brother Mark (September 13th 1980); Pete Townshend mentions plan for an unnamed rock opera about a deaf, dumb and blind boy for the first time – it will become the legendary ‘Tommy’ a year later (September 14th 1968); The Grateful Dead become the first Western group ever to play at the site of the pyramids in Cairo (September 16th 1978); The album or long-playing record turns 78 on September 17th – the date when the first player able to play records at 33 and 1/3rd speed goes on sale and finally Pink Floyd become the first rock band to play at Montreux’s Classical Music Festival (September 18th 1971).

News, Views and Music Issue 44 (Top Five): AAA Songs In Foreign Languages

  Bonjour, meuisseurs et madams. Avec en moderne ‘top cinq’ – le studie aven ‘foreign language songs as recorded by AAA artists’. Mercy beuacoup pour les attention (les translation = dumpkofs!)

5) Beach Boys (one song in German): ‘In My Room’ (available on the CD re-issue of ‘Surfer Girl/Shut Down Vol 2’). Back in the early 60s pop was still a fairly modern phenomena and songs written and sung in ‘English’ and ‘American-English’ didn’t always appeal to European listeners. Desperate to cash-in on growing fame in other areas and acknowledging a small but local group of fan support in many countries, many of the AAA group’s respective record companies decided to get their latest hitters to re-record their hits in a foreign language. Many of them could have been singing swahaili for all they cared – but until the Beatles put their foot down re-recording songs in different languages was the norm. Perhaps surprisingly, the Beach Boys only recorded one song in another language – German – and it’s better than most items on this list I have to say. The Boys plumped for one of their best loved album tracks rather than a best-selling single and perhaps because of the simpleness of the lyrics or perhaps Brian Wilson’s keen ear it seems to be a better translation than most. In fact, the slightly harsher German-sounding words really suit this gorgeous rumination on isolation and safety. 

4) Monkees (one song in Italian): ‘(Theme From) The Monkees’ (available on ‘Missing Links Volume Three’ ,1997) Altogether now – ‘Temai dai Monkees...’ The latest recording on our list dates from 1966 when the Monkees TV series was growing into a phenomenon all on its own and was lined up for schedules on all sorts of weird and wonderful networks around the globe, including Italy. This is the short, minute-long version of the theme tune as used on the opening credits of the series’ first season and features Micky Dolenz desperately trying to remember the pronunciation he’s just been taught during his lunch break...Interestingly, though, given how pushed for time the band were in late 1966, the backing track is a re-recording too and is noticeably ‘looser’ than the English version. 

3) Beatles (two songs in German): ‘She Liebt Dich’ and ‘Komm Gib Mer Diene Hand’ (bet you can guess which songs these are! Available on ‘Past Masters Volume One’). It’s been generally forgotten – at least until next week when ‘Past masters Volume One’ gets the upgraded treatment – that the Beatles also succumbed to the foreign-language treatment in late 1963. For some bizarre reason best known to touring logistics the Beatles recorded these German songs in, err, France and were probably due to record some French-language versions too at some point before the band put their foot down and said ‘no!’ Despite their time in Hamburg, the Beatles knew only a smattering of German and sentences like ‘It’s you she’s thinking of and she told me what to say’ and ‘I can’t hide, I can’t hide, I can’t hide’ probably didn’t crop up very often (there’s an extra clue if you can’t guess the titles). Unable to add anything new to the original four-track masters the Beatles, unbelievably, re-recorded the songs from scratch and as a result the sound even looser than the sister versions of these songs on ‘Live At The BBC’. Most German fans prefer the original English version – which, apparently, sounds closer to German than the curious pidgin translation the Beatles were given – but you have to admit that hearing those familiar tonsils wrap themselves around ‘yah, yah, yah!’ still has a certain thrill.

2) Hollies (one song French, one song Italian): ‘Regardez Pars De Fenetres’ (i.e. ‘Look Through Any Window’) and ‘Non Prego Per Me’ (both available on ‘Rarities’ 1988 and the latter track additionally available on ‘The Long Road Home’ box set 2003). The only reason I passed my French GCSE was thanks to copious amounts of listening to this song (it won’t surprise AAA readers to learn that my chosen topic for my aural exam was ‘my hobby of record collecting’), although given the negative feedback I’ve seen for this translation by fans and band that’s perhaps surprising in retrospect. It’s still sheer singalong fun, though, when you learn it phonetically. As for ‘Non Prego Per Me’, for some oddball reason the band decided they’d like to enter the San Remo Song Festival (a bit like Eurovision but all sung in Italian) and came...last. The result must have been because of another botched translation because even in another language this song was surely the class of the field – the tightly fused tension, the sudden burst of energy for the chorus, Allan Clarke showing off the three-octave range of his vocal talents, shimmering harmonies all add to a magical performance even if the band couldn’t understand a word. 

1) Il Longtemps. Sorry, The Searchers (three songs in German, two songs in French): ‘Suβ Ist Sie’ (‘Sugar And Spice’, available on the CD re-issue of ‘Sugar And Spice’), ‘Wenn Ich Dich Seh’ (‘When You Walk In The Room’, available on the CD re-issue of ‘Sounds Like Searchers’) and ‘Verzeih, My Love’ (‘Goodbye My Love’, available on the CD re-issue of ‘Take Me For What It’s Worth’) plus ‘C’est De Notre Age’ (‘Sugar and Spice’ again) and ‘Ils La Chantalent Il Y A Longtemps’ (‘The Saints and The Searchers’, both available on the CD re-issue of ‘Sugar And Spice’). The Searchers were by far the most prolific foreign-language group of our AAA bunch – five alternate versions is impressive going for a band who were also delivering three albums and four singles a year at the time. I’m not sure how successful the translations were – the response seems to have been mixed – but as most of these alternate takes include quite different backing tracks they’re a must for fans and collectors. Best of the bunch is a terrific version of ‘The Saints And The Searchers’ which is much tighter than the ‘English’ version and features Chris Curtis solo having a whale of a time with the grunts and half-moans of the song as well as getting his teeth round the unfamiliar words.  

Well that’s it for another week. Whatever language you’re reading this in, all that remains is for us to wish you a safe journey home to your usual life and to look forward to seeing you again the next time you fly Alan’s Album Archives’. See you in a fortnight or so. Goodnight!

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