Tag Archive: pop music

  • Thursday Love Song: Joan Armatrading

    Joan Armatrading, Love and Affection

    As site regulars will tell you, Thursday is by far the sexiest day of the week. It’s a time to slip into your tiniest underpants, unbuckle your emotions, and allow cool sensuality to massage deep cleansing lotions into parts of your brain normally forbidden during work hours. That’s it. Yeah, you like that. Today, Joan Armatrading is here to tell us that it’s all well and good keeping a stiff upper lip, but sometimes you’ve just got to let the love surge through your body like an eel through a drainpipe.

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  • Great British Band: The Undertones

    The Undertones, Teenage Kicks

    These young men from Derry will forever be remembered for recording John Peel’s favourite ever song, which is a bit unfair really, as it’s probably lots of other people’s favourite song too. They also spawned Feargal Sharkey.

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  • Showbusiness: Lady GaGa update, and weddings

    New Madonna in classic Madonna antics


    Nothing tells the world that you’ve arrived quite like taking your clothes off and allowing the general public to cast a judgemental eye over your naked body. Madonna famously did it with the metal encased coffee table book, Sex, which featured her showing her boobs to Vanilla Ice, french kissing Naomi Campbell, and sitting seductively on top of a very nervous R2-D2. It was hugely popular at the time. And now, Lady GaGa – the oiky New York princess who appears to have stamped her foot and demanded pop stardom – has turned up on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine wearing nothing but some very convieniently placed bubbles, which cleverly hide both of her breasts, her strange belly button, and her lady gaga. The picture is accompanied by a headline reading The Rise of Lady GaGa, when they could easily have punned something along the lines of living in a bubble, or bubbles bursting, or desperate measures. But they chose not to. Good for them. Good for them.

    In other news, Kylie Minogue might be getting married to someone. It’s her birthday by the way. And Rihanna – the pretty young singer with the nasty ex-boyfriend – has proved that she’s past the worst of it by looking sexy in a music video. One showbiz journalist in particular is delighted about that. Absolutely delighted. Here she is back in the good old days…


  • Album covers analysed: The Byrds

    The Byrds, Ballad of Easy Rider


    There is nothing in the world more deeply satisfying than a visual metaphor. Students use them all the time, because Banksy uses them, and Banksy is, like, a genius or something. Seriously, man, he uses graffiti to really express himself. He uses it for social commentary and that. Yeah, I’m going to buy a book of Banksy pictures. Then I might get a T-shirt with I’m Banksy emblazoned on it, because no one is one hundered per cent sure who Banksy actually is. God Banksy‘s cool. He’s not even really called Banksy. It’s like his street name. Banksy. Anyway, enough about Banksy, and onto another visual metaphor. One created before the great Banksy was even conceived. It’s from the sleeve of Ballad of Easy Rider by The Byrds, released at a time when rural America was having to come to terms with the mobs of greasy long haired hippies making love on their barn floors. In a small square in the middle of the cover is a picture of a cowboy – the symbol of Hillbilly America – only in this case, he’s riding a motorbike, not a horse. A motorbike. The message is clear. The times, they are changing. Or, indeed, a-changing. Horses are out, man. Here’s a cut from the record…

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  • Thursday Love Song: P.P. Arnold

    P.P Arnold, The First Cut is the Deepest

    It’s Thursday, friends, so pack your anger into a cupboard, put your tension into a little box. It’s the official day of love, lust, and smearing great big dripping fistfuls of sandalwood massage oil into your partner’s soft quivering legs. So, dim the lights, allow a soft breeze to sing through your underpants, and enjoy some important words from P.P. Arnold. Here, she’s explaining to a lover that she was once left heart broken and destroyed, but she might now be ready to slip between the satin sheets again.

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  • Happy Birthday Miles Davis, here’s Michael McDonald!

    Michael McDonald, What a Fool Believes

    Had a gargantuan stroke not done him in almost twenty years ago, Miles Davis would be turning a very jazzy 82 today. And how appropriate that his birthday would fall on a Tuesday, being that it has been declared the official day of cardigans, eyebrow twisting, and sweet brassy jazz sounds. By us. Anyway, we decided that dead or not, we were getting the guy a gift, so we put on some sweatbands and shouted at one another through the din of a squash club, before it boiled down to a toss up between some sexy leather underpants, or a clip of Michael McDonald – a singer with great hair and a voice like a beautiful deaf man. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Miles Davis!

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  • Happy Birthday Morrissey, here’s an ace song!

    Feel, Let’s Rock (Over and Over Again)

    Morrissey, the pop singer with the permanently arched eyebrow, turns 50 today. What an intriguing journey he’s had so far. He’s swung flowers around his head, pretended to be deaf, and he has even managed to make millions of pounds as a singer, even though it sounds like someone ripped out his voice box and replaced it with a fog horn. Good for him. Hence, we knew we had to get him a present, so we all stripped down totally naked and did some yoga on a mirrored floor, and discussed things. It boiled down to a toss up between a toy car or an excellent synthesizer track from 1982. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Morrissey!

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  • Happy Birthday Cher, here’s Cher and Tina!

    Cher and Tina Turner, Makin Music is my Business

    It’s yet another phenomenal day for birthdays – Joe Cocker, Jimmy Stewart, and Busta Rhymes will all be spitting out candles and running away from a party in tears tonight. But we thought we’d focus on Cher, an amazing woman who is scaling the heights of 63 today. What a life that lady has enjoyed. She was a backing vocalist on many of the great early Phil Spector tracks – Be My Baby, You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling – she made millions as Sonny Bono’s leggy sidekick/wife in the 1970s, then she started dressing like an aggressive New York prostitute in the 1980s, and in the 1990s she had some kind of sonic mechanism attached to her throat so that she could sing like a robot. Hence, we thought we’d get her a gift. We headed out to a wasteland to fire machine guns, fiercely debating what to buy whilst obliterating old oil cans and burnt out cars, and it boiled down to a toss up between a big bath robe made from Terry Towelling, or an old clip from the 1970s of her and Tina Turner singing together. In the end we got her both. Happy Birthday Cher!

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  • Showbusiness: Penelope Cruz illness news, and tatts

    Oh thank goodness, she made it…


    As you’re probably aware, the showbiz world has been locked in a terrified silence for the last twenty-four hours or so after news swept in that Penelope Cruz – the Spaniard who once pretended to go out with Tom Cruise – got a dicky tummy after eating some poisonous food. Apparently she might actually have been sick at one point. And her stomach felt just horrible. Really really horrible. Cannes Film Festival was put on yellow alert, and all of her commitments for the next five years were rumoured to be cancelled until her eventual recovery. So imagine the shock, when like Lazarus in the Life of Brian, she rose from her bed yesterday morning, and actually walked. Walked all the way to a party. Someone was overheard saying that it might just have been a twenty-four hour thing, but they were removed from proceedings immediately. It was a miracle. A Penelope Cruz shaped miracle.

    Elsewhere in the French cinema town, Peaches Geldof has been further upsetting local babies by wandering the streets with her various aggressive tattoos showing. And in shocking motherhood news, it seems that Geri Halliwell – formerly of friendship with George Michael – deems it appropriate to smoke in front of her child. One showbiz reporter in particular simply can’t believe it. Here she is with her friends before she was snared by the silky weed…


  • Interestment’s Top Four: Superior Cover Versions

    Not including food products…


    Copycatting – or, as some people call it, copydogging – is rife. If you write down a list of all of your favourite things – from foods, to films, to drinks, to songs, to clothes, to anything at all – they’re probably all total rip offs from something else. Pasta is one Italian man’s version of Chinese rice, whilst a gentleman’s shirt was originally modelled on the womanly blouses worn by buxom whores attracting incoming sailors. Even Scarface, yes Scarface, was a remake of another film called Scarface from 1932. Both great movies, by the way. And let’s not forget that Heinz Baked Beans have been ripped off and outbrillianted by Branston ones. Everything is a cover version. Everything. So, with that in mind, we peered at music, and deduced the four most impressive copydogs, as decided by us…

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    1. Joe Cocker, With a Little Help From My Friends

    Once in a while, The Beatles would throw Ringo a bone, and he’d get the chance to sing on an album. It was a move akin to Monet asking a hysterical four year old to finish off his lilies for him. It just never worked out. What Goes On (Rubber Soul), Yellow Submarine (Revolver), and then this on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – all the low points on great records. And yet, when Joe Cocker got his teeth into the song, it transformed into a gritty, rock-soul workout. Plus it reminds us of the brilliant Wonder Years. Here’s Ringo’s wrongo attempt…

    2. The Clash, I Fought The Law

    The Clash painted a snarling picture of spitting teens trying to put one over on the police, while the original – by The Crickets minus Buddy Holly, deceased – sounded more like a cheerful inmate regaling his jail buddies with something he’s just written in his cell. This, of course, making him a serious target for The Marys. Here’s that version…

    3. Louie Louie, The Kingsmen

    No doubt about it, The Kingsmen‘s version of Louie Louie is one of the greatest pop records ever made. The 1957 original, by Richard Berry,  isn’t too bad either. It’s a doo-wap song about a Jamaican man explaining his love life to a bartender called Louie. It’s a far more docile affair…

    4. Hey Joe, Jimi Hendrix

    Fourth spot was a close call as ever, with some magnificent songs falling at the last minute – James Brown’s version of Think by The 5 Royales, Johnny Cash’s excellent cover of Hurt by Nine Inch Nails, Labelle doing Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones – but in the end, Hendrix just nicked it for Hey Joe. It was a hit for the garage rock band The Leaves just a year before Hendrix made it iconic in 1966. It was an extra close call, because The Leaves‘ version is almost just as excellent…

  • Great British Band: The Rolling Stones

    The Rolling Stones, Loving Cup

    It’s damn near impossible to select a Rolling Stones song, as they’ve made so many brilliant ones. Hence, we decided to go with something from our favourite of their albums, Exile on Main Street. Take it away Rubber-Face and the lads!

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  • Great British Band: Echo & The Bunnymen

    Echo & The Bunnymen, The Game/Lips Like Sugar

    Although, as a child, the bitter disappointment of not seeing a rabbit on guitar or a big brown hare on drums was pretty hard to swallow, we couldn’t fault these guys as a band. Possibly the best British guitar band of their generation. Brilliant.

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  • Thursday Love Song: Sinead O’Connor

    Sinead O’Connor, Nothing Compares 2 U

    Love songs, like anything, differ enormously. Some might feature a drooling lothario thanking his lover for her soft thighs and wet kisses. Others might involve a screaming Irish skinhead who thought you were the best. This falls into the latter category.

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  • Thursday Love Song: Joe Cocker

    Joe Cocker, You Are So Beautiful

    As regulars will know, Thursday is all about showering your partner with love, before smearing their face with massage oil, and asking them to do that thing that they once did by mistake and you never talked about. Until today. Guiding us through the awkward conversations and into the sultry dimmed lights of the experimental bedroom is Joe Cocker, who looks like an angry pub landlord when he sings, but sounds soothing and quite delicious. Here, he’s telling his woman that she’s seriously good looking.

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  • Thursday Love Song: The Beatles

    The Beatles, Don’t Let Me Down

    Yes! Thursday! We adore Thursdays, because they’ve been recently declared – by us – the official day of love. A time for romance, snogging, and smearing handfuls of treacle into your lover’s soft thighs. Today, The Beatles explain how there’s a woman out there really watering their testicles. Yoko perhaps?

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  • Great British Band: New Order

    New Order, Temptation

    The Jam or The Style Council? The Beatles or Wings? Small Faces or Humble Pie? These are debates that will rage for centuries to come. As will this one – Joy Division or New Order? Both exactly the same band, only one with a strange jerking lead singer, the other with an additional lady. Our vote goes to the latter.

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  • Album covers analysed: Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I am (etc)…

    Hey there, Smokey Joe!


    For those who weren’t aware, the Arctic Monkeys are four young gentlemen who were playing ping-pong at youth club one minute, then singing accoustic renditions of their biggest hits to Alexa Chung – who is far too thin, by the way – the next. In many ways, they’re the new Beatles. Although not, unfotunately, when it comes to album covers. Even at their earliest, The Beatles were prone to producing decent record sleeves – both Please Please Me, and With The Beatles made for iconic band images. Yet, this is just some stubbly bloke smoking a cig. Essentially, a teenager’s depiction of what being cool is like. “It’s, like, smoking, you know, with a bit of a beard.” No. No, that’s not cool unfortunately, Arctic Monkeys. It’s just what smokers with almost-beards do. They smoke. With their almost-beards. Nothing visually iconic about this fantastic debut. The opening single was a belter though. Here’s a nice reminder…

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  • Album covers analysed: Take That, The Circus

    It’s a curious, poignant title…


    Take That, a band christened at the height of youth, their band name so punchy and cocksure that you couldn’t help but fall in love with these guys. There was the tiny midget one, the two window cleaners, Pavarotti, and, of course, the great American comedian, Robin Williams. They were fantastic, and for a while there, we thought we’d lost them for good. But no, they’ve returned to our hearts, leaner, more stubbly, and slightly thinning. They sound almost exactly like Coldplay. This cover, for their fifth studio album, finds the lads walking along what appears to be electric cables on a summers afternoon, perhaps in a field somewhere, or it could be by the side of a motorway. Either way, it’s totally irresponsible, made all the more insulting by Mark’s confusing outfit decisions – a vest and a scarf. How can it be warm enough for a vest, and yet cold enough for a scarf? Does he have the flu? And why choose the tightrope anyway? Clowns are much better. It has been argued that the tightrope is a clever metaphor for the delicate nature of a career in the limelight, where one slip and splat, you’re finished. They may have a point.

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    Below is our favourite song by Take That. Ironically sung by the one with serious speech issues.

  • Great British Bands: The Style Council

    The Style Council, Long Hot Summer

    The debate will rage for years – The Jam or The Style Council? Both Paul Weller groups, they genuinely divide people. In our case, we like to take The Jam from October to March, then from April to September we prefer The Style Council. The ultimate summer pop group, above is Weller’s best song.

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  • Happy Birthday Elton John, here’s a singer songwriter!


    Step aside everyone, Elton John has just turned 62 this morning, and he’s probably in a terrible mood. He’s always in a huff, even before the Princess of Hearts died for our sins on the cross – or something – he was reknowned for his angry barking. Hence, we had no choice but to get him a present. Terrified, we wept long into the night, for once questioning our brilliant judgement, until it boiled down to a toss up between a small carton of rubber johnnies or a brilliant song by a foreign gentleman very much in the Elton John mould. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Lady Elton!

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  • Interestment’s Top Four: Falsetto Male Singers

    Not including a certain legend…


    As a gentleman, you are expected to coat yourself in a luxuriant mane of soft fur, and talk as if your testicles are the size of grapefuits, swinging heavily around your knees. That, we are told, if what it takes to be a man. Hence, whenever you see groups of tough guys in a pub/bar, the accompanying sound will often be a rumbling deep hum, like thunder rolling in from the east. It’s weird, and frankly unnecessary – especially given that some men can casually step up to a mic and allow their natural pitch to soar through the airwaves without a care in the world. Prince is a long time master of the falsetto, but even his macho flexing couldn’t budge this little gang of real men. Our top four reads thusly…

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    1. Curtis Mayfield


    One of soul music’s finest, Curtis would often soar up to womanly notes, yet the hard hitting political nature of his songs kept his vibe firmly in the manly camp. A fine figure of a gent, and sorely missed.

    2.Antony Hegarty


    Hegarty, the guy behind Antony and The Johnsons, is an intriguing man/woman/man, with a voice not a thousand miles away from Nina Simone at times. He could shatter glass, he’s that excellent.

    3. Junior Murvin


    If you’re going to have one track that defines and overshadows the rest of your career, then it might as well be Police and Thieves. It’s an amazing Lee Scratch Perry produced track, and finds Murvin singing like a mouse in a helium balloon. And to great effect.

    4. Jimmy Somerville


    Somerville’s success was built on singing a bit like Sylvester, but a more hysterical white Scottish version. At times, his frantic squealing was quite remarkable. As below.

  • Interestment’s Top Four: Music video cameos

    Featuring this guy…


    The path from pop star to the silver screen is a well-trodden one, and yet, when the opposite road is navigated, and one of film/television’s finest scamper in the direction of a well-crafted music video, we erupt with surprise and elation. It’s a joyous, explosive feeling. One that isn’t lost on our very very excellent contributor, Debs. She had this to say…

    Celebrities – they’re an adaptable lot. Not only do they regularly pretend to be other people for money (which incidentally is illegal for anyone not an actor) but some sing badly, some do charity things unconvincingly and others – like this bunch – unexpectedly lark about in music videos. And here – by no coincidence whatsoever – are our four favourites!

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    1. Laurie and French in Experiment IV, Kate Bush

    Alarming song, alarming video. But perhaps the most alarming thing about this song (making it an alarmist hat trick) is the appearance of Hugh Laurie and Dawn French – both usually so nice and British and scone-eating – playing evil, morality-free scientists. Yikes.

    2. Chevy Chase in You can call me Al, Paul Simon

    Rumour has it that Paul Simon portioned up the budget for this video thusly: Hiring Chevy Chase: $24, 999. 75 (+ one platter of cold meats). Set-building materials: 25 cents. But no matter, it works. A question: is Chase that tall or is Simon that short? Or is this Pre-Lord of The Rings CGI work?

    3. Depp and Dunaway in Into the Great Wide Open, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers


    Forgotten beauty Faye Dunaway plays the Rothmans-chuffing cougar in shoulder pads. Johnny Depp plays the leather-toting, rock ‘n’ roll mouthwash swilling heart throb. The Heartbreakers play The Borrowers. This video is just like a mini frat-pack Eighties movie – with extra cameo points for including Matt le Blanc and Terence Trent D’Arby. Brilliant.

    Youtube wouldn’t let us have it, so you’ll have to see it here.

    4. Jack Black in Low, The Foo Fighters


    Jack Black as depraved hick dons tutu and fully-hammers-it camp for video-camera wielding special friend Dave Grohl. Do not watch while eating.

    Again, you’ll have to see it here.

  • Great British Band: Musical Youth

    Musical Youth Live

    It’s easy to forget how good Musical Youth were. A gang of kids from Birmingham, they won a Best New Artist Grammy in 1984. The Beatles won the same award in the 1960s. Above is a great live show.

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  • Great British Band: The Coral

    The Coral, Dreaming of You

    Of course, Merseyside has a great tradition in churning out fantastic pop groups, and this is one of the best since The Beatles. Above is their most catchy tune so far. Fabulous.

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