Music Labyrinth Episode 047
Wild Wild West / Will Smith
Hello Listener, and welcome to episode 47 of The Music Labyrinth. 47 is a significant number for the alumni of Pomona College in California, where there is an established theory that the number occurs more often in nature than chance should allow. The theory has such a hold at the college that the college clock tower was set to chime every 47 minutes. One graduate of the college, Joe Menosky, went on to become one of the story writers for Star Trek: The Next Generation; where many episode plots feature occurrences involving 47 events. Here at The Music Labyrinth however, we don’t hold with that nonsense. There has only every been one episode 47 of this program and, barring some unforeseen technological catastrophe, that fact should hold. In the unique entity that is episode 47 of The Music Labyrinth we commenced with the song Wild Wild West by Will Smith. Although I promise that we were guided to that song more by the Greater Forces of the Labyrinth than by any artifice on my part, I do now have the opportunity to indulge in a guilty pleasure. Here is another Wild Wild West.
Wild Wild West / The Escape Club
From 1988 (note the year with interest) that was The Escape Club with what I think we can safely call their only hit record, Wild Wild West. The Escape Club have endured some criticism since the release of the record, because of the fairly obvious similarities it bears to this next song, which was released a decade earlier than Wild Wild West. This is Elvis Costello & The Attractions.
Pump It Up / Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Here we are in the unique entity that is episode 47 of The Music Labyrinth, where it has been something of a high energy start to proceedings. We last listened to Elvis Costello & The Attractions from 1987 with Pump It Up. That song was sampled quite heavily in 2005 by the Rogue Traders. In fact, the sample was so prominent in the Rogue Traders song that they credited Elvis Costello as a co-writer of their dance hit of that year: Voodoo Child.
Voodoo Child / Rogue Traders
That was Voodoo Child by the Rogue Traders. Now, here is an example of the strange and benevolent powers of The Music Labyrinth. You see, the obvious link from the song we just heard is to play another of an almost identical name, and my favourite version of that prospective song is by Angelique Kidjo. However, we have played that version of Voodoo Chile previously, in episode 33 (our cover versions episode). BUT - you will have noticed in the Rogue Traders song we just heard, the prominent line about the sound of the drums, which brings us right back to Angelique Kidjo and this hit from 1998.
The Sound Of The Drums / Angelique Kidjo
From 1998, that was Angelique Kidjo with The Sound Of The Drums. That song clearly celebrates percussion. As too does this release, from just last year, from the Canadian band Pottery. This is Texas Drums.
Texas Drums / Pottery
Welcome back to The Music Labyrinth where we last heard the Canadian band Pottery, from their 2020 album Welcome to Bobby’s Motel, with Texas Drums. I can tell the Listener that Texas Drums is also the alternate name for the University of Texas Longhorn Marching Band who, amongst other gigs, also play at every University of Texas football game. Now, I dont know about you, but when I think of US marching bands, there are a couple of songs which come to mind. One of them, Missy Elliott’s We Run This, we have previously played in episode 6. This is the other.
Tusk / Fleetwood Mac
From 1979, that was Fleetwood Mac with Tusk. The marching band which feature on that track are the University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band, who received a platinum record for their contribution to it. They have worked with Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, The Three Tenors and, at the 2009 Grammy Awards ceremony, they appeared live on stage with Radiohead to perform this song.
15 Step / Radiohead
From their 2008 album In Rainbows, that was Radiohead with 15 Step. One of the unusual things about that song is the 5/4 time signature in which it is written. 5/4 timing is unusual enough to have a shortish list of popular songs which demonstrate it. This is one with which the Listener is probably familiar.
Everything’s Alright / Yvonne Elliman, Ian Gillan,
This is The Music Labyrinth and the last track we heard together was Everything’s Alright which is, of course, from the soundtrack of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. That version is from the original album, which was released before the show had ever appeared on stage. In fact, because the controversy created by the idea of such an audacious production was hindering the development of the stage show, it was the success and popularity of the album which assisted in momentum for the stage show to go ahead. The voices you heard singing that track were Yvonne Elliman, Ian Gillan and Murray Head. At the time the album was produced, Ian Gillan had recently joined Deep Purple, and that band was enjoying commercial success from the release of this single.
Black Night / Deep Purple
From 1970, that was Deep Purple with Black Night, featuring the vocals of Ian Gillan, the guitar of Richie Blackmore and the keyboards of Jon Lord. Now, at this point, Patient Listener, please take a deep breath and be reassured that I have not completely lost my senses; because what I am about to tell you could lead to that apprehension. You see, the song we just heard, Deep Purple’s classic heavy rock song Black Night, was inspired by a Ricky Nelson cover of a George Gershwin tune! This one.
Summertime / Ricky Nelson
That was George Gershwin’s Summertime, from the musical Porgy & Bess, and that version by Ricky Nelson was recorded in 1962. Jon Lord from Deep Purple was once quoted in a TV documentary confirming that Deep Purple’s riff for Black Night was taken directly from that Ricky Nelson recording, and that’s good enough for us here at The Music Labyrinth. Our arrival at Summertime presents us with an opportunity for a perfect end to this week’s show. In 2009 the Manchester band (and favourite here at The Music Labyrinth) Elbow, were riding high on the commercial success of their album The Seldom Seen Kid. In celebration of that album, they took themselves into Abbey Road Studios with a choir and orchestra and recorded a live, orchestrated version of the album. Track 2 of that album is a song called The Bones Of You, and on the Abbey Road version, the refrain from Summertime is played on a trumpet to end the track. Its a lovely ending to the track - and a lovely way to end this week’s show. Thanks, as always, for your company. Please come back again next week for episode 48. This is The Bones Of You, by Elbow.
The Bones Of You (live at Abbey Road Studios) / Elbow