Music Labyrinth Episode 057
Elephant (Triple J Like A Version) / The Wiggles
Hello Listener, and welcome to episode 57 of The Music Labyrinth. There is a brand of tomato sauce, or ketchup, that has been famously promoted as having 57 varieties, although the internet is full of absolute authorities that will affirm that this fact is false, or true, take your pick. The 57 varieties has now become part of the vernacular, referring to something of mixed or uncertain origins. Which brings us neatly (Ta-Da!) to episode 57 of The Music Labyrinth which will henceforth wear the label of 57 varieties with a significant degree of pride. So, welcome along. If you are uncertain about how this works, well its pretty simple. We play a song, and then I attempt to convince you that there is a legitimate linkage from that song to the next that we choose to play - and so on we go. Now, as you no doubt noticed, our opening track tonight was Tame Impala’s song Elephant, performed for us by The Wiggles, courtesy of Triple J’s Like A Version recordings. And, I am contractually obliged to remind you, we arrived at that part of The Music Labyrinth courtesy of the navigation skills of The Music Labyrinth Elves, to whom I remain grateful for their ongoing input into the program, and for the content of our last episode. Thanks again Elves. The Triple J Like A Version library is a rich mine for sourcing linked songs and, as you have almost certainly figured out, I am quite content to take the easy road on occasions. So, after a scan through the library of available options of songs covered as part of Like A Version, my interest was peaked by this one.
Big Yellow Taxi (Triple J Like A Version) / Allday (feat. The Veronicas)
From the library of terrific Triple J Like A Version recordings that was the Australian rapper, singer and songwriter, Allday, and the glorious voices of The Veronicas, with their version of Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi. Whilst the version we just heard was recorded in 2019, Joni Mitchell’s original version of that song was recorded and released 49 years earlier. The ‘B’ side of Joni Mitchell’s single was her song, Woodstock which, at the time of the release of Big Yellow Taxi in April 1970, had already been covered and released as a single by this supergroup of the 60s and 70s.
Woodstock / Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
You are back in The Music Labyrinth where we most recently find ourselves in 1970 with the version of Woodstock released as a single by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. And, whilst Woodstock had been the ‘B’ side of Joni Mitchell’s single, the ‘B’ side of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s Woodstock was the Neil Young song Helpless. That song was subsequently covered in 2018 by Melbourne singer-songwriter Angie McMahon, and it sounds like this.
Helpless / Angie McMahon & Mahogany
From 2018, that was Helpless, by Angie McMahon and Mahogany. In 2019, Angie McMahon made a contribution to an all-female tribute album to the songs of Tom Waits, recording a version of the Tom Waits song, Take It With Me. Someone else who has also recorded a version of that Tom Waits song is the Irish musician, singer and actress, Camille O’Sullivan. Here is her version of Take It With Me.
Take It With Me / Camille O’Sullivan
In addition to her own impressive and award-winning career in music, film and theatre, Camille O’Sullivan was once the partner of Mike Scott from The Waterboys - which just provides me with an opportunity to indulge in a personal favourite. Push the furniture back and get ready to shout “WOOO!”; this is Fisherman’s Blues.
Fisherman’s Blues / The Waterboys
Welcome back to The Music Labyrinth where we we are all still basking in the echoes of that magnificent fiddle refrain in Fisherman’s Blues by The Waterboys. Specifically, that fiddle was played by Steve Whickam who, 5 years before Fisherman’s Blues, had been one of the few external artists featuring on a U2 recording when he was invited to play electric violin on this track.
Sunday Bloody Sunday / U2
That was, of course, U2 with Sunday Bloody Sunday, featuring the electric violin of Steve Whickham. A year after Sunday Bloody Sunday our next artist was also invited to participate in a U2 recording when she sang backing vocals on Pride (In The Name Of Love). So lets hear from that artist, but much later in her career. From her 2014 album Stockholm, this is Chrissie Hynde with Dark Sunglasses.
Dark Sunglasses / Chrissie Hyde
That was Chrissie Hynde with Dark Sunglasses. That song, and the album it came from, were produced by Bjorn Yttling, who might be known to you as the Bjorn in Peter Bjorn & John. Their biggest hit landed in 2006, and sounded like this.
Young Folks / Peter Bjorn & John
That was Peter Bjorn & John, featuring Victoria Bergsman, with Young Folks. That song, you will have noticed, included some lovely whistling. It was going to be my contention that few songs contain a good whistle, but they are like red cars. Once you begin looking for them … Well, anyway, here is one. This is Pumped Up Kicks.
Pumped Up Kicks / Foster The People
Here we are in The Music Labyrinth where we just had a good old whistlealong with Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People. Foster, in fact, was mostly a person, Mark Foster - although the band also includes Sean Cimino and Mark Porteus. Mark Foster is, principally, a songwriter and is a co-writer of this song by Kimbra. This is 90s Music.
90s Music / Kimbra
That was Kimbra with 90s Music from her 2014 album The Golden Echo. Guitars on that track were played by Matt Bellamy, who is much better known for his membership of the alternative/glam/punk/electro/prog/funk/dance/space/rock band Muse. And, because I make the decisions, here is Supermassive Black Hole.
Supermassive Black Hole / Muse
Yep! That is, without doubt, what we here at The Music Labyrinth like to call A Good’n. That was Muse, from their 2006 album Black Holes and Revelations, with Supermassive Black Hole. Supermassive Black Hole was included as downloadable content in the video game Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock. So too, was this next 1976 track. In fact, there are similarities between our next artist and Muse. Matt Bellamy and the founder of our next band, Tom Scholz, are both classically trained pianists who morphed into guitarist-leaders of rock bands. Anyway, lets get to the music. This is Boston with Peace Of Mind.
Peace Of Mind / Boston
Welcome back to The Music Labyrinth where we last listened to Boston, from 1976, with Peace Of Mind. Boston - in addition to being a guitar and harmonies band of the 1970s - is, to give it the official designation, the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massauchusetts in the United States of America. Lots of bands are named for cities and states in the USA, including this band from Glasgow! This is Texas, with Everyday Now.
Everyday Now / Texas
From their 1989 album Southside, that was Texas with Everyday Now. The bass player and songwriter for Texas is Johnny McElhone, who - 8 years earlier - had been a member of the band Altered Images, who had a hit single with this song from 1981.
Happy Birthday / Altered Images
From 1981 that was Altered Images with Happy Birthday. A little bit of research into Altered Images and uncovered something of a treasure trove of trivia. The voice you heard singing lead vocals on that track is that of Clare Grogan, a Scottish actress, singer and author. Fans of the sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf will know the work of Clare Grogan because she featured in series 1, 2 and 6 of the show as Lister’s love interest, Kristine Kochanski. And, here’s a thing, in the early 80s a young Martin Kemp was infatuated by his unrequited love for Clare Grogan, and she became his muse for the song True by Spandau Ballet. Now, I’m robbed of an opportunity to play you that song, because we already did so in episode 30 (and I know that because I checked The Vault - and you can too! If you’re not familiar with The Vault, find out more by looking at www.themusiclabyrinth.com). And I dont feel I can use the concept of unrequited love here because we did that also in episode 30. However, what I CAN tell you is that Spandau Ballet performed True at the Wembley Stadium Live Aid concert shortly after 2pm on 13 July 1985, and then over in Philadelphia shortly after 2pm local time, Simple Minds performed this song.
Don’t You Forget About Me / Simple Minds
You find yourself in the heart of The Music Labyrinth, where Simple Minds entreaty us not to forget about them and, self-evidently, we have not. Neither did the producers of the animated sitcom Close Enough, who included 11 songs in their two season lifetime, one of which was Don’t You Forget About Me. Of the ten remaining, I bet you would have taken longer than ten guesses to get this one. This is a largely forgotten track from one of the best remembered rock acts ever. Enjoy!
Can’t You Hear Me Knocking / The Rolling Stones
Of course that was The Rolling Stones, and the track was Cant You Hear Me Knocking?, from their 1971 album Sticky Fingers. The album track was originally intended to be restricted to the first two minutes and forty three seconds, but then … well Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor sums it up best when he was quoted as saying: [The jam at the end] “just happened by accident; that was never planned. Towards the end of the song I just felt like carrying on playing. Everybody was putting their instruments down, but the tape was still rolling and it sounded good, so everybody quickly picked up their instruments again and carried on playing. It just happened, and it was a one-take thing”. Some of the percussion we just heard in the jam part of that song was played by the producer of Sticky Fingers, Jimmy Miller. It was not his first instrumental contribution to the work of the Stones. Jimmy Miller is credited with the cowbell at the start of Honky Tonk Women, and the main drumming on several other well-known Stones tracks. He also produced the only album ever recorded by the superest of super-groups, which included this classic.
Can’t Find My Way Home / Blind Faith
Welcome back to The Music Labyrinth where we last listened to the Blind Faith classic, Cant Find My Way Home. In 1999 that song was covered by American singer-songwriter Alana Davis for the soundtrack of the movie Mod Squad. Two years earlier, Alana Davis had a hit with this song. This is 32 Flavours.
32 Flavours / Alana Davis
That was Alana Davis with her 1997 cover of the Ani DiFranco song 32 Flavours. And, of course, you know now that I am now going to dip into the grab bag of delights that consists of Ani DiFranco songs. And this is, quite simply, one of the loveliest songs ever recorded. This is Angry Anymore.
Angry Anymore / Ani DiFranco
I just love that song. That was Ani DiFranco with her song Angry Anymore, from her 1999 album Up Up Up Up Up Up. In 2005 Ani DiFranco collaborated with American singer songwriter Dar Williams on Williams’ album My Better Self. Now, we’re getting into something here that has the potential to aggrieve. So, get ready to spit your tea and digestives in the direction of your music player! And - on that subject - dont forget that I appreciate ANY feedback, even if it starts with the acronym WTF. You can fire your brickbats at me in a variety of ways, and they are all listed at www.themusiclabyrinth.com. So, here goes: Featuring the backing vocals of Ani DiFranco, this is Dar Williams with her version of a song you will probably recognise.
Comfortably Numb / Dar Williams
You are back in the naughty corner of The Music Labyrinth, and we are here because we committed an act of near sacrilege by playing a cover of Pink Floyd’s classic song, Comfortably Numb. That cover was by Dar Williams and, at the risk of further inflaming passions, it was quite a good one! Dar Williams also contributed to a 2005 album celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Beatles album Rubber Soul, when she covered the song You Won’t See Me. That tribute album to Rubber Soul, called This Bird Has Flown, also featured this version of Drive My Car by The Donnas.
Drive My Car / The Donnas
From the 2005 tribute to The Beatles album Rubber Soul, that was The Donnas with Drive My Car. Rubber Soul also featured the song I’m Looking Through You, and on the tribute album it was covered by Ted Leo, but I’d like to play you another version by a great friend of The Music Labyrinth. Here is Steve Earle.
I’m Looking Through You / Steve Earle
From his 1995 album Train A Comin’, that was Steve Earle with the Beatles song, I’m Looking Through You. And that song brings us very close to the end of episode 57 of The Music Labyrinth. As always, thanks for your company, and please come back in a fortnight when we will pick right up and continue to (hopefully) enjoy this journey without destination through the labyrinth of modern music. To end this week, lets - in a way - stay with that Steve Earle album, on which he included a second cover version of an old song. You will know it for another more famous version, but we’re going right to the source with this one. From 1970, here are The Melodians.
Rivers of Babylon / The Melodians