Friday 23 September 2011

News, Views and Music Issue 113 (Intro)

September 23rd:

Hello again my friendly and faithful AAA hordes. As music followers we’re very used to heavy u-turns from our favourite artists, seeing them head down completely unexpected directions and surprise us with just how different they can sound after an unexpected success (see our top five, below)... But even by musical standards our Coalition cabinet’s a bit of a joke isn’t it? You won’t have heard much about it on the news because they keep quiet about that sort of thing but their hideous schemes for the benefits system is back on despite outcries from everyone with a brain that they will cause poverty and homelessness and will actually cost more money. Under new plans (well, old plans rehashed) those on jobseeker’s allowance may yet be forced to work on community projects for more hours and less money than prisoners sentenced to do the same and those on incapacity benefit will have to ask for every little bit of moeny for every little bill, listing what they need and why (what about birthday and xmas presents? Little things like stamps and TV guides and newspapers, food, bills, CDs?!?!?) Who the heck does Cameron think he is? Just because the deal won’t affect anyone he knows he thinks it’s acceptable to ruin the few things our countries’ got right so far. Well, we’re not going to stand for it, so here at the AAA we implore you to keep your eyes peeled to what’s really going on. There’ll be more of that in our next issue. Rant over, we now return you to your usual music-driven newsletter....


Beatles News: Two bits of Beatle-related news for you this week. Living In The Material World is the final title for the Martin Scorcese biopic of George Harrison we told you about some time ago in these pages and the release date is set for October 10th. The two-disc set, coming straight to DVD, has been produced in collaboration with Georges widow Olivia and features lots of pictures of home footage and memorabilia unseen outside Georges close circle of friends till now. The film is set to premiere in Liverpool sometime at the beginning of next month. Theres also a tie-in book with the same title being produced for October 4th with text by Olivia.

In other news, Paul McCartneys ballet Oceans Kingdom is due out sometime in October not next year as originally posted by new record company Decca (see last weeks newsletter for why the choice of record company is a complete disguise). Maccas first album release in two years, this is believe it or not the longest gap between projects since Press To Play and Flowers In The Dirt in 1986-89! In other Macca news, our favourite bassist recently posted his wedding banns at the same London registry office where he married wife Linda in 1969. This means that hes now free to marry new missus Nancy Shivell at short notice presumably to avoid the media frenzy that was the Heather Mills fiasco. Good luck Macca and if it happens suddenly before our next issue (unlikely but possible) our very best wishes to you both.

Look out too for a rare documentary on Magical Mystery Tour being broadcast on the Yesterday channel (formerly The History Channel) half a dozen times over the coming week in various time slots. Promising interviews with most of the remaining cast (barring The Beatles themselves of course) it will also look at how locations used in the TV-movie have changed over the years and just how badly the special was received on broadcast in black and white on Boxing Day 1967 (contrary to popular belief it was a ratings smash when repeated on January 1st 1968 in colour!) The Yesterday channel has taken a break from programmes about Hitler and Mussolini for a week to show lots of great 1960s programmes, including music compilations Sounds Of The Sixties and Pop Goes The Sixties and a documentary about The Monkees (see below!) and is, for next week only, our new favourite channel. More of the same, please!

The Beatles also made the news for two other reasons this week. Firstly, an old document by Brian Epstein to concert venues in South America demanding that the Beatles would only play for mixed audiences (segregation was still rife in The Beatles early days of touring) came up for auction. Most of the media seemed surprised about the decision, but its actually well known that The Beatles were always heavily against segregation, as Lennon in particular made clear in interviews of the time. Also, a re-mastered version of The Beatles 1 compilation (released in 1999 but now re-mastered using the same technology as on the mono and stereo boxes released last year made the charts, putting The Bearles at #8. Alas they seem to have dropped out of the charts altogether this week and so our top 10 album chart now looks like a maths exam (what with albums titled 19 21 and this weeks number #1 +).

Monkees News: A second Yesterday documentary is the 2007 Monkees doc Hey Hey We Are The Monkees, repeated on the Yesterday Channel various times across Monday, September 19th. Slightly disappointing and far too brief, this doc did at least feature several great interviews with the band and some fascinating rare footage, so make sure you watch it if you havent seen it already!

Oasis/BeadyEye/Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds News: A rare appearance by an AAA group in the singles chart this week, when Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds debut single Aka What A Life made it all the way to #20 (outscoring the first posthumous Amy Winehouse track no less!) Cheeky Oasis fans might take note that the single performed all three by brother Liams outfit Beady Eye earlier this year! Wow two chart entries for our groups in the same week that hasnt happened for years!

Pink Floyd News: I may have had my problems with BBC4 in the past but when its good its very very good. Their recent Pink Floyd night could have been a disaster it was designed to cash-in on the recent Floyd re-issue bonanza and had no new material; to spare. But what they had they packaged very well indeed: the so-so Which Ones Pink? documentary from 2008, the sterling Live At Pompeii in 1972 (the band at the peak of their powers please see one of the repeats if you have a pair of ears and dont already know it you will thank me for life) and best of all a compilation of all those rare music clips fans like me have been scouring YouTube for because we cant get them officially anywhere else. The sweet early promo for Arnold Layne (with tailors dummy), the rare-asrocking-horse-droppings promo for Point Me At The Sky, Cymbalene and Grantchester Meadows from an American In Concert special in 1970, The Fletcher Memorial Home from the Final Cut Video EP, two weird promos for Learning To Fly (it won an award for best video concept? How?!?) and High Hopes and Comfortably Numb from the bands Live 8 reunion (plus the usual promos for One Of These Days Time and Another Brick In The Wall). A veritable feast for Floyd fanatics, done with taste and care (the tributes to Syd and Rick at the end was a lovely touch) and not the cash-in it first appeared. Well done BBC4  and more of this please! In sadder news, a load of red tape means that David Gilmour faces prosecution if he fails to take down his new bicycle shed by October 1st. Apparently one of his neighbours reported it as an eyesore (yeah right, like the rest of London isnt?!)

ANNIVERSARIES: Birthday candles ahoy for AAA members born between September 20th and 26th: Linda McCartney (Wings and various McCartney solo projects 1970-97) who would have been 70 on September 24th and Craig Chaquico (guitarist with Jefferson Starship/Starship 1973-88) who turns 57 on September 26th. Anniversaries of events include: Paul McCartney is arrested for drug possession for the second time in his career after a passing sniffer dog uncovers cannabis plants in his Mull Of Kintyre greenhouse (September 20th 1972), the Rolling Stones score their last non-compilation number one with AAA review no 58 ‘Goats Head Soup’ (September 21st 1973), the Stones also become one of the first rock and roll groups ever to play at the Albert Hall (September 22nd 1966), John Lennon signs an ill-fated contract with new label Geffen Records just three months before his death (September 22nd 1980 – his ‘replacement’ Neil Young has a horrid time trying to live up to being Geffen’s ‘big star name’ and ends up being sued by his former manager David Geffen), Paul McCartney is dead – or so a writer for the Illinois University declares for the first time on September 23rd 1969 (the rumours continue to this day - you can see a three-hour documentary about it on Youtube!), 10cc chart for the first time (under that name, anyway) with the release of debut single ‘Donna’ (September 23rd 1972), ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ finally makes number one 29 years after its original release, giving The Hollies the then-record of biggest gap between number one UK records (September 24th 1988; their only other #1 is ‘I’m Alive’ in 1965); Wings get the European leg of their world tour off to a good start by playing a forgotten charity gig for the restoration of water-damaged art treasures in Venice, raising $50,000 along the way (September 25th 1976) and finally, it’s now 42 years since the last Beatles LP ‘Abbey Road’ (September 26th 1969).  

News, Views and Music Issue 113 (Top Ten): Biggest AAA Stylistic Leaps Between Albums

A lot of artists soar through their musical career in perfect chronological order, with a smooth journey from r and b star/folk prophet/beat poet to psychedelic guru/singer-songwriter/rock god that makes perfect sense, taking small steps between each album so as not to scare the fans away. Others are so brief and bright in their way up and down the ladder of fame (The Small Faces, Janis Joplin Buffalo Springfield) that they don’t really have time to truly re-mould their style anyway (although all three had good goes). Others, like Neil Young, thrive on change and fans love the fact that they can’t possibly guess what they’re going to do next (who would have guessed the last run of NY albums – a concept album about an imaginary town suffering a ecological disaster, a sequel to an album from 1977 that was never released and an album about a ‘green’ car!) Others, however, find forks in the road and suddenly blossom in whole new unexpected directions, whether because of changes in society and music, changes in the band line-up or changes in themselves. Here, then, are 10 of the biggest inter-album jumps in the AAA discography:

1)    The Monkees “More Of The Monkees” (1967) > “Headquarters” (1967): A fairly obvious one to start. By the time of this band’s second album they were very much the producers’ pets, with only two writing credits between the four band members, no musical input (barring two guitar parts and vocals) and no choice over what songs ended up on album, in the TV series and on the cutting room floor. In fact the band actually had to buy ‘More Of The Monkees’ from a record store while out on tour to discover what was on it! However Monkees a combination of ‘musical supervisor’ Don Kirshner getting cocky and pushing his luck with a single made by Davy Jones without the input of the other group members or Monkee originators Schneider and Rafelson and the backlash to the revelation that the band didn’t always play on their records lead to a revolution. By the time of ‘Headquarters’ the band are doing everything, picking their own songs and writing others and playing every single note on the album bar the orchestral parts (which they notated). The result is a sudden switch from immaculate but empty teenyboppery pop songs to 14 slices of mature pop about the world as it was in 1967, while the Monkees go from cameoing on their own records to controlling their own destiny.


2)    Cat Stevens “New Masters” (1968) > “Mona Bone Jakon” (1970): The teenage Cat Stevens of 1967/8 was one of Britain’s brightest hopes, writing quirky songs about all sorts of subjects (on the singles alone covering dogs, guns and workaholics) to the accompaniment of frantic orchestral arrangements and a clean-cut new-kid-on-the-block image. But too many nights partying and enjoying his new rich lifestyle led to Cat contracting TB (that’s how he saw it anyway) and watching his career and his record contract fall apart from his hospital bed. Unable to promote ‘New Masters’ (actually an under-rated record of impressive maturity – just not as mature or as impressive as what’s coming next!), Cat changed his image, grew a beard and rented an acoustic guitar (its hard to fit a whole orchestra into your hospital room!) The change in style from deep but often funny and laidback quirky pop to the desperate heartfelt howl of ‘Lady D’arbanville’ ‘I Think I See The Light’, etc, is possibly the biggest leap of all on this list. Thankfully Cat recovered, but he kept the beard and the acoustic guitar and the lessons he learnt about what life really meanings have never left him the rest of his life.    

3)    Grateful Dead “Live/Dead” (1969) > “Workingman’s Dead” (1970):In 1969 the Grateful Dead were the live band of the age, taking off into exploratory wonder, with the band never quite knowing if they’d all end up in the same place by the end of the song. The live recordings on this eagerly awaited first concert recording are staggering: 20 minute versions of some of the band’s best loved songs all joined together as one long extended medley that takes them from the outer space of ‘Dark Star’ to the R and B workover ‘Turn Off Your Lovelight’. However a combination of hanging out with new friends CSN and the need to make cheaper albums after running up a whole load of debt with record label Warner Brothers meant the band turned instead to writing (comparatively) short, snappy folky songs about Americana old and new. Jerry Garcia in particular blossomed in this new direction, which filtered down to the Dead sound as late as their last tour in 1995, adding a whole new depth and tightness to a band that already had the improvisatory bases covered. Some fans prefer the ‘old’ sound, some the ‘newer’ – me, I love them both, especially the follow-up record ‘American Beauty’ which manages to sound nothing like the early Dead except for raw honesty, power and sincerity.   

4)    Paul McCartney “McCartney” (1970) > “Ram” (1971): If you’ve been keeping up with our AAA reviews then you’ll know that ‘McCartney’, the first solo Beatle album after the split (in fact the album that largely announced the split) is a home-spun affair. Macca, afraid of adverse publicity and too angry at Apple to use one of their recording studios, recorded it by himself at home, overdubbing bits and pieces as the mood took him (guitar, drums, bass, piano, even wine glasses!) The result is a home-made album, full of mistakes and children chatting in the background and a downbeat, melancholic feel caused by the fall-out between the four Beatles and a near-nervous breakdown. ‘Ram’ is, by contrast, the first of Macca’s really glossy albums, full of dense layers of texture and overdubs by the brightest and best session musicians around in the day on an equally bitty piecemeal album that nevertheless sounds huge. The album also has a much more upbeat we’ll-show-them feel that veers from wild anger and jealousy to determination and hope. 


5)    The Hollies “Distant Light” (1971) > “Romany” (1972): In 1971 The Hollies were exploring whole new territories unusual to them: under Allan Clarke’s lead the band were embracing swamp rock (‘Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress’, originally an album track till DJs made it something of a radio hit) and protest songs (has there ever been a song more damning about the Vietnam war than ‘You Know The Score’ and ‘Promised Land’. The band sound also dispensed with the usual sunny harmonies in favour of bluesy guitar and organ for an album largely unique to their canon. On the surface follow-up ‘Romany’ is much more traditional Hollies territory: swamped with harmonies and much closer to quiet sadness than raw anger. Only Allan Clarke has left the band for an ill-fated solo career (ill-fated commercially, that is, not artistically...both ‘My Real Name Is ‘Arold’ and ‘Headroom’ carry on ‘Distant Light’s harsher sound) and in his place is the under-rated deep-voiced Mickael Rickfors, a singer with more soft edges than a DFS sofa. The gap between these two albums is huge (it certainly put many fans off at the time) but then neither of them really sound like The Hollies of old, with only their covers (the same person in the same woodland area in Summer and Winter) and the band name to link them at all.   

6)    The Kinks “Schoolboys In Disgrace” (1975) > “Sleepwalker” (1977):In 1975 The Kinks were the best touring musical ‘troupe’ around, offering slabs of various musicals/concept albums about everything from a world in political chaos to Norman becoming a ‘star’ (see two issues back!) and, erm, this song about a schoolboy. Based loosely on the expulsion of Dave Davies for getting an under-age girl from a local school pregnant, it’s the last great gasp of Ray Davies’ theatricality, with the elder brother revelling in his roles as headmaster, schoolboy and narrator. Along the way we get a seven minute discussion as to whether education frees or enslaves the masses (the answer is that good education does the former and bad the latter), a dance song about the school idiot and nostalgia for the final school assembly. All terribly terribly Kinks and very much made for a minority English audience. All things change in 1977, though, when the band re-launch themselves for the American market with ‘universal’ songs about travelling musicians, big ugly bosses, insomnia, werewolves and love of music! The horns and backing singers have gone and The Kinks are now a streamlined five-piece, propelled again by Dave’s guitar and an electric fury not heard from the band since 1965!       

7)    Jefferson Starship “Earth” (1978) > “Freedom At Point Zero” (1979): In 1978 Jefferson Starship were a leading prog rock band, full of nonsense songs about whether the love, fires and on one memorable track skateboarding (!) with a penchant for harmonies and criss-crossing acoustic guitars. By 1979 Jefferson Starship were a leading new wave band, full of nonsense songs about love, freedom and on one memorable song nuclear war, with a penchant for angry righteous lead vocals and jagged, stabbing lead guitar. The two bands share only the slightest DNA despite Paul Kantner being the ‘boss’ of both of them, taking the opportunity of lead singers Grace Slick and Marty Balin’s departures to re-invent the band with a new lead vocalist, Mickey Thomas, and a much tougher, more contemporary sound. ‘Been too long in the green fields of rapture’ goes one Kantner track about moving on from past successes to find greater challenges elsewhere, ‘Been too long without being on the run’.   

8)    The Moody Blues “Octave” (1978) > “Long Distance Voyager” (1981):When The Moodies reunited in 1978 after a six year absence fans feared that their favourite  mystical band might have changed, especially when ‘Octave’ (the band’s eighth album) came out in the middle of punk. They needn’t have worried – despite the presence of a couple of up-tempo rockers ‘Octave’ pretty much carries on where the band left off, still trying to understand the universe, love and our inner selves and they even get the mellotron out the loft for a couple of songs, too. Three years later, though, Mike Pinder has gone, taking his mellotron with him and the band have brought in a bank of synthesisers played by Patrick Moraz. There’s never been anyone more of the 1960s than Pinder: mystical, magical, deep-thinking and with a mind so open its on hinges; by contrast  no one could be more 1980s than Moraz: big hair, a love of electronics and a style of dancing that could never come into fashion again, no matter how many series Strictly Come Dancing runs for. The songs, too, have changed – they’re now shorter, poppier, tighter (with one or two exceptions) and have a much more ‘new wave’ rock type energy than before. Surprisingly, instead of running for the hills, most Moodies fans lapped it up making ‘Voyager’ the band’s biggest selling album in the US – no wonder every album since has been a variation on it rather than their first glorious eight albums!

9)    The Human League “Travelogue (1979) > “Dare” (1981): In 1979 The Human League are a real underground act, so hip it’s a wonder their trousers don’t fall down, with three arty art students delivering sarcastic songs about the world we leave in, fronted by a bloke with two haircuts (half prog, half punk) on the same bit of head. By 1981 the band have split, with two thirds going off to form ‘Heaven 17’ and Phil Oakey (still with two haircuts) decides to form a poppier band with some new synthesiser players and two cocktail waitresses  that can sing. The difference between ‘Travelogue’ and ‘Dare’ is like that between night and day: the former record is totally un-commercial, full of shadows and things out to get you, is full of parables about how life can get you down and anger at middle eastern practices; the latter is full of pop singles (released and unreleased) about the glories of being in love, being part of a crowd and only really calms down for songs about death-by-speed (pun definitely intended) and law-breaking. Both albums have only tenuous links with each other, presumably in part because of the line-up change, but the much-loved ‘Holiday ‘80’ EP and the under-rated ‘Cruel’ (both heard as bonus cuts on the ‘Travelogue’ CD) are both pretty good attempts at bridging the gaps between the two styles.    

10) Neil Young “Trans” (1982) > “Everybody’s Rockin’ (1983): Neil Young changes every record of course, so we’ve banned any artists from having more than one entry on this list (otherwise with Neil we’d be here all night!) Possibly the biggest gap, though, comes from his early days on Geffen, with a jump between the futuristic electronic Kraftwerk-like ‘Trans’ and the retro rockabilly of ‘Everybody’s Rockin’. Both albums have come in for stick from fans (unfairly, I think, in the case of the former) and certainly both are as far off the beaten track as its possible to go without being committed in an asylum somewhere. Bizarrely, though, despite the different instrumentation, styles, performers, cover art and themes (robots versus good old rock and roll), there are some similarities: you can’t hear Neil Properly at all (deliberately on the former, an album all about how Neil’s child Ben finds it hard to communicate – so we can’t hear Neil on this vocoder-filled album either; accidentally on the latter, due to a haphazard mix), love and life are still unfathomable mysteries on each album and finally you have to suspend your disbelief about the often clumsy backing. Still, perhaps the biggest difference is Tran’s ambition – 50 minutes of almost continual assault on the senses, on some of Neil’s best ever songs about life, family and robots verses 25 minutes of tired rock and roll covers designed on purpose to annoy the record company.

And that’s it yet again. Be sure to join us next time for more news, views and music!  

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