Saturday, 6 August 2011

Surfin' Fun Quiz

Quiz Time

Actually it is remarkable how many surf songs do not have lyrics. Many of the best are pure instrumentals. Fortunately some do. Can you tame this montage of wild surf songs? (and yes, I’m pretty sure I got it right this time J.H.!)

Well don't you know about the bird? Well, everybody knows that the bird is the word!
We're loading up our Woody with our boards inside and headin' out singing our song. We'll all be gone for the summer.  We're on safari to stay. Tell the teacher we're surfin' and baby go catch some rays on the sunny surf and when you catch a wave you'll be sittin’ on top of the world. You can do the tricks the surfers do, just try a "Quasimodo" or "The Coffin" too (why don't you).

Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-a, wipeout!
He woke up screaming here, he needs more oxygen to breathe. Help him up hold him down
like a freight train it's bearing down again he's got holy water in his lungs help him up. Hung velvet overtaken me. Dim chandelier awaken me to a song dissolved in the dawn - Little surfer little one, made my heart come all undone. You know they never roll the streets up 'cause there's always somethin' goin'.

Can you figure out the Songs and Artists in this surf montage?

Friday, 5 August 2011

Rock out at the end of the week with some classics...

Bob Seger - Night Moves

Boston  - Boston

C.C.R. - Willy & the Poor Boys

Eric Clapton - Slowhand

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Hooked on a feeling Blue Swede Live

Lips are sweet as candy, The taste stays on my mind. Girl, you keep me thirsty For another cup of wine!

70’s Pick of the Week

“Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede (1973)

This B.J. Thomas song was good, but it was missing something important – the caveman chant at the beginning! That’s what did it for me on this one.  

Written by Mark James this song went to number 5 with B.J. Thomas 1969 version, complete with electronic sitar.  Jonathan King, a singer/author/record producer got a hold of it and decided it needed something at the beginning. He decides that “ooga chaka” was the way to go. He said it was kind of “a reggae rhythm by male voices". I like to think of it as more primal – cavemen. His song did reasonably well going to number 23 on the U.K. charts. 

Anyway... Björn Skifs the Swedish born vocalist formed his first group in 1963 and called it “Slam Creepers”. I love the band name – it was way ahead of its time! It would seem they did mostly covers and had a modest hit with the Association’s “We Are Happy People”.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Solomon Linda & The Evening Birds - Mbube

Pete Seeger & The Weavers - Wimoweh

The tokens - The lion sleeps tonight

In the Jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight...

Hip to be Square

“Wbube” by Solomon Linda & the Evening Birds (1939)
“Wimoweh” by the Weavers (1955)
“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by the Tokens (1961)

Not surprisingly really; this song's origin is really in Africa. The guy that wrote it died a popper and his daughters tried to get royalties with limited success. Wimoweh is kind of a corruption of the native word  ‘Uyimbube’, a Zulu word which means ‘you are a lion’. Solomon, a cleaner and record packer for Gallo Record Company in South Africa yodelled his way through this compelling chant with the inspired lyric “in the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight”. By 1949 this version of the song had sold over 100, 00 copies in Africa with its isicathamiya style (mbube), popularized by Ladysmith Black Mamabazo that Paul Simon introduced to us on his ‘Graceland’ album.

Some have argued that this song does not sound like the Tokens version, but I believe that the essence of the chanting and the lyric are the song. The blending of voices and the soaring falsetto are trademarks of the song. It is hard to say it is not an original sound and an original lyric.

Monday, 1 August 2011

George Michael - Faith

Before this river becomes an ocean Before you throw my heart back on the floor

Quick Hit

“Faith” by George Michael (1987)

You can say whatever you want about George Michael, but he probably won’t care. He is one of the top male vocalists of all time having sold over 100 million albums now. The pioneering album ‘Faith’ has now sold over 25 million copies world-wide, won the Grammy for ‘album of the year’, and spun off 5 top-5 singles. The other notable thing about this album is that he was the first caucasian artist to hit number one on the R&B chart – which I think is what George is most proud of. This really was a monumental album representing the best of the 80’s from a writing and technical perspective and a social commentary. It has stood the test of time and is still a very listenable album. I am not saying it is the best ‘80’s album, but it is pretty damn good.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Not music for the weak of heart...

Pixies - Doolittle

Mekons - Fear and Whiskey

MC5 - Kick Out the Jams

Peter Wolf - Sleepless