Friday 14 May 2010

News, Views and Music Issue 60 (Intro)

May 14 :

♫ Welcome dear readers to a major turning point in Western civilisation. No, not the latest attempt at a Spice Girls reunion but the tightest general election (both in terms of numbers of votes and how little money is available for a budget) in many a year (though not as many a year as the media are trying to make you believe). If the conservatives get in, of course, it can’t be long before websites like this one get shut down (free speech has been having a tough time of late), although Labour hasn’t exactly had a better track record recently anyway. Until then, though, the world seems to have gone mad with election fever everywhere and we’re no different - although our election coverage comes from two Kinks albums released in the mid-70s and a top five ***.   


♫ Beatles News: There’s been a lot of Lennon lyric discoveries recently. Here’s another one: John’s handwritten lyrics for his section of the Sgt Pepper’s song ‘A Day In The Life’ are up for sale at Sothebys in June. The words were written by Lennon on two sides of A4 paper and most interestingly for Beatle collectors feature his corrections as he went back to re-write the song (so much for the image of Lennon as a lazy one-take songwriter too – the lyrics are written in blue, black and red pen suggesting that lennon went back to his surreal words at least three times before entering the studio). The set of lyrics is expected to make between £330,000 and £460,000.

♫ Beatles/Oasis News: Liam Gallagher announced this week his first project after Oasis is to star in a film that he’s heavily involved in based on the Beatles’ final years. No prizes for guessing that Liam has an eye on playing Lennon but a million free flexi-discs if you guessed which book the film will be based on: yes that’s right, Richard Di Lello’s book about the Apple years ‘The Longest Cocktail Party In the World’. For those of you who haven’t yet read the book by the man appointed by Apple to hold the job position ‘house hippy’ (I kid you not!), it’s not the most obvious book to translate into a screenplay: it’s full of lots of great single moments that show just how naive/brave/stupid the whole Apple business scene was until Allen Klein got his claws into the Beatles’ empire and is very well written but doesn’t have much in the way of a formal plot (and its account of the late 60s has been attacked by various Beatles and associates down the years to boot). Still, this project has united the Gallagher brothers over one thing: brother Noel agreed in an interview recently that the book had had a huge influence on his teenage years.  

Happy birthday to the following AAA members (May 3rd-9th): ‘5th Hollie’ and keyboardist Pete Wingfield (who played with the band throughout the 70s) turns 62 on May 7th. Anniversaries of events include: The Beach Boys begin what will become infamously known as the most expensive tour of all time with The Maharishi in support – the band lose thousands of dollars in paying for flowers alone! (May 3rd 1968); Wings’ ‘Over America’ tour ends with a record breaking three night stay at the Los Angeles Forum (May 3rd 1976); Paul Simon plays a benefit gig for the New York Library (May 3rd 1977); The Moody Blues are officially formed in their first Denny Laine-led line-up in Birmingham (May 4th 1964); Buffalo Springfield call it a day with a final gig at California’s Long Beach just three years – and several members – after their debut (May 5th 1968); Keith Richards wakes up in a Florida hotel room with the riff for a song that will become the Rolling Stones’ ‘breakthrough’ song  ‘Satisfaction’ (May 6th 1965); Paul Simon plays his first post-Garfunkel gig at the Boston Music Hall. It will be released later in the year as ‘Live Rhymin’ (May 6th 1973) and finally, Mick Jagger persuades the Stones to play a benefit concert for the victims of the Nicaraguan Earthquake, adding his own $150,000 donation to the concert takings of $350,000 (May 9th 1973).

Also celebrating this month are (May 10-16th): Graham Gouldmann (bassist with 10cc 1972-83 and various reunions) who turns 64 on May 10th and Ian McLagan (keyboardist with The Small Faces 1965-68) turns 65 on May 12th. Anniversaries of events include: The Rolling Stones record what will become their debut single at London’s Olympic Studios, Chuck Berry’s ‘C’mon’ (May 10th 1963); The Beatles officially dissolve Apple Records although the name and logo live on (May 10th 1975); The famous Woodtsock triple LP is released 9 months after the event featuring AAA members CSNY, Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin and The Who (May 11th 1970); Six days after writing it, The Stones’ ‘Satisfaction’ is recorded in Chicago’s Chess Studios (May 12th 1965); Pink Floyd’s ‘Games For May’ concert, one of the best-loved gigs of their career, takes place and inspires the band’s second single ‘See Emily Play’ later in the year (May 12th 1967); Mick Jagger marries first wife Bianca in St Tropez (May 12th 1971); Pink Floyd become the first band to use quadrophonic sound in concert during a gig at the Portland Coliseum (May 12th 1977); The Stones release ‘Paint It Black’, one of the earliest Western songs to use the sitar (although The Kinks still beat them by a year; May 13th 1966); The Beatles cause consternation up and down the country by – shock horror – refusing an invitation to play for The Queen at the London Palladium (does the silly woman not read the news for crying out loud? The Beatles hadn’t played a gig in two years by then! May 13th 1968); The first new Beatles product in seven years, the live album ‘At The Hollywood Bowl’, is released in the middle of the punk era (May 13th 1977); Pink Floyd get into serious trouble with the organisers after a gig at London’s Crystal Palace when, due to a combination of their blistering sound system and use of a 50-foot inflatable octopus, half the fish in the lake nearby die (May 15th 1970) and finally, Pete Townshend will have bad memories of a who gig at the Fillmore East – tired of seeing fans climbing onto the stage, Pete kicks one off during the middle of the set only to find out it is a policeman! He spends a night in jail on assault charges (May 16th 1969).     


News, Views and Music Issue 62 (Top Five) Songs To Celebrate Rock Sunday

at all – it’s the traditional day when rock pies are eaten in Lincolnshire where they were allegedly a local deloicacy (they’re made from baby rooks apparently. Once tried – nevermore. OK so that Poe-faced joke sounded better in our heads than it does in print). Now, we like preserving traditions here at the AAA so we thought we’d revive this quaint old custom and – unable to come up with five songs about rooks - give you our top six (for this week only) rock songs celebrating all things Sunday. Loved or loathed, sneered at or celebrated, the 7th day of the week has been all things to all men over the centuries, though only since Tony Hancock’s groundbreaking radio series has it begun to seem a dull day. Not so our top five/six, read at your peril!

5) John Lennon ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ (‘Sometime In New York City’ 1972): Sunday as fighting political landmark day/Paul McCartney ‘Heaven On A Sunday’ (‘Flaming Pie’ 1997): Sunday as restful peaceful Sabbath.

Now, we’re often stuck trying to cut our top five down and this week we just couldn’t decide between two very different takes from two very different Beatles, so we thought we’d put them both here for you to make your minds up about them. Lennon’s most ranting song from his most ranting album finds the Beatle remembering his Irish heritage after landing in New York City and speaking out against the atrocities carried out by English troops against protestors in 1972. Yoko’s off-key caterwauling aside, this song has real menace and finds Lennon at his mischievous best, reviving the Beatles Track ‘Come Together’ in his plea to set the Irish free. McCartney’s take on Sundays is much quieter, with him imagining the most peaceful, restful, empty time in his always-hectic schedule, ‘like heaven on a Sunday’. And if he only had one day of the week, this seems to be the one he’d choose.

4) Jefferson Airplane ‘Young Girl Sunday Blues’ (‘After Bathing At Baxters’ 1967): Sunday as troubled and tempting.

Jefferson Airplane often used days of the week as code for their intentions to infiltrate Western civilisation and turn everyone into hippies (see every other Jefferson review on this site!) This track is an early one, with the business-minded narrator torn between the pull of the working week with it’s regimented rules and comfortability and the glorious weekend promises that take him out of himself every Sunday. One side of me is filled with brightness, no matter what I might say, (I work at the AAA).

3) Oasis ‘Sunday Morning Call’ (‘Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants’ 2000): Sunday as tired and lonely.

One of Noel Gallagher’s prettier songs, this track finds him resenting the fact that his busy schedule drags him out of bed on a day of rest and the hangover the night before, both literal and metaphorical, probably doesn’t help. And this Sunday morning, waiting for the alarm, he’s lonely and afraid of the future, unsure if it’ll ever ever ever work out right.

2) The Monkees ‘Pleasant Valley Sunday’ (‘Pisces, Aqaurius, Capricorn and Jones LTD’ 1968): Sunday as your chance to keep up with the Joneses’ and improve your suburban paradise.

The Monkees’ last hit single of their all-conquering year of 1967 is a classic Goffin/King cover about young yuppies putting too much belief in material goods on their one day off from work when they could be resting and catching up with the family. Creature comfort goals, they only own my soul, making it hard for them to see, they need a change of scenery.

1) The Small Faces ‘Lazy Sunday’ (‘Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake’ 1968): Sunday as your chance to take it easy – and annoy the hell out of your neighbours!

This classy single finds Steve Marriott and co having fun on their celebrated day off and not doing much at all, although this restful sentiment is married to an incessant rock beat that sounds more like a work song. What a shame the neighbours ‘stop me from grooving and bang on me wall’ – otherwise things would be perfect.

Well, that’s it for another week or the neighbours will be banging on our wall. See you next issue!

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