Music Labyrinth Episode 063
Two Of Us / The Beatles (1969)
Hello Listener, and welcome to episode 63 of The Music Labyrinth. And can I offer an extra-special welcome to any new listeners to the program - Welcome Aboard. I realise that I am going up against the final session of a day-night test match at the Adelaide Oval, but I’m confident that the weather gods will deliver a downpour in Adelaide which will bring listeners to this program in droves. And, to all those new listeners, and I just take a second to point out that what I will attempt to do for the next few hours is to convince you that each song we play is linked to the previous tune by some rock solid fact which I will produce from thin air. Now, as you know, this is episode 63, and this is December, and I cant help but think of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and their song of celebration about those things. As you will recall, the song talked about how special that night was in December 63; how it was hypnotisin’ and mesmerisin’, and all the things that we hope this program will be. So, lets get on with it. We started this program where we left the last, and that was with the Beatles from 1969 with Two Of Us. At the end of the version that we just listened to, you will have heard John Lennon whistling a refrain, and you may have recognised it. It was from a song The Beatles had recorded two years earlier. So, lets have a listen to that song, but not The Beatles version of it. This is The Cure with Hello Goodbye.
Hello Goodbye / The Cure (feat. James McCartney) (2014)
On The Music Labyrinth, that was The Cure, featuring James McCartney (son of Sir Paul) with Hello Goodbye. That track comes from the 2014 album, The Art of McCartney. Paul McCartney said that the song originated when, in response to a question from Beatles aide Alistair Taylor about songwriting, McCartney sat down at a harmonium and asked Taylor to say the opposite of whatever he said. And so, Hello Goodbye was born. Here is another song about opposites. This is Modest Mouse.
Polar Opposites / Modest Mouse (1997)
Welcome back to The Music Labyrinth where we just listened to Polar Opposites by the US indie band Modest Mouse. In 2011, Modest Mouse contributed a version of That’ll Be The Day to the Buddy Holly tribute album Rave On Buddy Holly. That tribute album also contained this version of Everyday by Fiona Apple & Jon Brion.
Everyday / Fiona Apple & Jon Brion (2011)
Of course you recognised the song Everyday, originally recorded by Buddy Holly and the Crickets. The version we just heard was from 2011 and by Fiona Apple and Jon Brion. Jon Brion is an American musician and producer who, in recent years, has found his niche as a writer and arranger of musical scores for movies. However, in 1997 Jon Brion played guitar on this hit song by The Wallflowers, using a screwdriver that was sitting atop a nearby amp as a slide.
One Headlight / The Wallflowers (1997)
That was One Headlight by The Wallflowers. At the 1997 MTV Music Awards ceremony at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City, The Wallflowers performed One Headlight with special guest Bruce Springsteen. At the very same ceremony, Jamiroquai performed this song.
Virtual Insanity / Jamiroquai (1996)
This is the Music Labyrinth where the levels of hype do not quite reach virtual insanity - not quite. The last track we heard was Jamiroquai with their song about Virtual Insanity. Several websites with what seems to be a common source indicate that Virtual Insanity “interpolates” parts of this next song, which is a nice way of saying that the bass line and percussion in Virtual Insanity bear an uncanny resemblance to the bass line and percussion in Somebody Else’s Guy by Jocelyn Brown.
Somebody Else’s Guy / Jocelyn Brown (1984)
On The Music Labyrinth that was Jocelyn Brown with Somebody Else’s Guy. Another song which contains a big old sample from Somebody Else’s Guy in this one.
Too Funky / George Michael (1992)
From 1992, that was George Michael with Too Funky. You will have noticed, towards the end of the song, that it contains a spoken female voice asking, “Do you want me to seduce you?” That dialogue was Anne Bancroft, lifted from the film The Graduate. An VERY obvious example of another song which contains film dialogue is this song.
Flash / Queen (1980)
Here we are in The Music Labyrinth, where the last song we listened to was the 1980 single Flash by Queen, which was, of course, the title song on the soundtrack of the movie Flash Gordon. That song was included on another soundtrack as well, the soundtrack to the 2012 film Ted. And so was this song.
Only Wanna Be With You / Hootie & The Blowfish (1995)
That was Hootie & The Blowfish with their 1995 hit, Only Wanna Be With You. According to Hootie & the Blowfish vocalist Darius Rucker, that song was written as a tribute to Bob Dylan, and it deliberately includes the phrase "Tangled Up in Blue". So, for only the second time in Music Labyrinth history, here is Bob Dylan.
Tangled Up In Blue / Bob Dylan (1975)
From his 1975 album Blood On The Tracks, that was Bob Dylan and the lovely Tangled Up In Blue. According to novelist Ron Rosenbaum, Dylan told him that he'd written "Tangled Up in Blue" after spending a weekend listening to Joni Mitchell's 1971 album Blue. And so, lets turn to that Joni Mitchell album next. And, because it is nearly Christmas …
River / Joni Mitchell (1971)
We remain metaphysically here in The Music Labyrinth, even if we did metaphorically skate away with Joni Mitchell on her lovely 1971 hit, River. 44 years after Joni Mitchell, Leon Bridges recycled the title of that song for one of his own which is almost as lovely. This is River, by Leon Bridges.
River / Leon Bridges (2015)
From his wonderful 2015 album Coming Home, that was Leon Bridges with River. You may have picked up on the reference in the lyrics to “blood on my hands”. Another song which includes that same Lady Macbeth metaphor, is this next one. This is the Melbourne singer, songwriter and musician Tash Sultata, with her song Murder To The Mind. And, if you are not familiar with this track, but partial to a good guitar solo, my advice is to stick around.
Murder to the Mind / Tash Sultana (2017)
On The Music Labyrinth that was Tash Sultana with Murder To The Mind. Tash Sultana is of Maltese heritage. Someone else of Maltese heritage is the musician Andy Partridge, who was born in the town of Mtarfa in Malta, and he grew up to be the singer and songwriter primarily associated with XTC. Here he is with that band, and their 1980 hit Generals & majors.
Generals and Majors / XTC (1980)
Welcome back to The Music Labyrinth where we last heard XTC’s gently satirical anti-war song Generals & Majors. As far as anti-war songs go, there is nothing gentle about the sentiment expressed in this one, from 1970. This is Edwin Starr.
War / Edwin Starr (1970)
From 1970, that was Edwin Starr with his hit, War. Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, Clear Channel Communications (now iHeartMedia), the largest owner of radio stations in the United States, circulated an internal memo containing a list of songs that program directors felt were "lyrically questionable" to play in the aftermath of the attack. The list included Edwin Starr’s War and, bizarrely, this song…
Peace Train / Cat Stevens (1971)
That, of course, was the artist formally known as Cat Stevens with Peace Train. In the controversy following the fatwah placed upon Salman Rushdie in 1989 for the writing of The Satanic Verses, Cat Stevens (by then known as Yousef Islam) attracted his own share of controversy for public comments in support of the fatwah. In protest, the American band 10000 Maniacs, who had covered Peace Train on their 1987 album In My Tribe, removed the song from future pressings of the album, including CD and cassette versions. One song that remained on all releases of the album In My Tribe, was this one. This is A Campfire Song.
A Campfire Song / 10000 Maniacs (1987)
Here we remain in The Music Labyrinth where we last listened to A Campfire Song by 10000 Maniacs. The lead singer of 10000 Maniacs was the wonderful vocalist Natalie Merchant. You may also have noticed a familiar voice singing backing vocals on that track. And you were right if you said it was Michael Stipe of R.E.M. For a while in the late 80s, Natalie Merchant and Michael Stipe were a thing, and Natalie Merchant popped up singing backing vocals on this R.E.M. track which was included on their 1993 benefit compilation album Born To Choose. This is R.E.M. with Photograph.
Photograph / R.E.M (feat. Natalie Merchant) (1993)
That song, by R.E.M., is called Photograph - but, as the regular listener will know, I am a host of a certain age, and when we speak of a song called Photograph, this is the first one that comes to mind.
Photograph / Ringo Starr (1973)
From 1973, and with George Harrison’s fingerprints all over it, that was Photograph by Ringo Starr. The musicians who contributed to that recording on include Vini Poncia on acoustic guitars and backing vocals. Vini Poncia was also a co-writer of this hit from 1979, on which he played synthesiser and provided backing vocals.
I Was Made For Loving You / Kiss (1979)
For the final time in episode 63 of The Music Labyrinth, welcome back. We just listened to Kiss’s 1979 hit I Was Made For Loving You. By 1979 Kiss were a band with a firmly established international fan base. The other thing about 1979 was that disco music was the dominant and fashionable style. There are urban myths about the origins of I Was Made For Loving You, which centre largely around a dare for Kiss to write and record a disco hit. Regardless of the authority of the myths, Rolling Stone magazine's David Fricke wrote at the time: The Kiss army is going to mutiny when they hear 'I Was Made for Lovin’ You,' the disco-inflected leadoff track on the Masked Marvels’ latest album. They’ll demand to know why their heroes, after years of rallying the troops into battle against disco and other threatening schlock, have turned tail and joined forces with uptown popsters like producer Vini Poncia …. The website listverse.com includes an article entitled: Top 10 Rock Bands that Succumbed to Disco Fever. Number 9 on that list was Kiss with the song we just heard. Number 8 on the list was this song.
Run Like Hell / Pink Floyd (1979)
From the 1979 concept album The Wall, that was Pink Floyd with Run Like Hell. In addition to being an album, The Wall was also made into a movie, and the anti-hero Pink, who was the central character in the story, was played by the singer of this song…
The Great Song of Indifference / Bob Geldof (1990)
Well, the Great Song of Indifference has brought us to the end of episode 63 of The Music Labyrinth. I hope you have enjoyed our exploration of the labyrinth, and the music that we have encountered on the way. Thanks very much for your company. Please come back again. The Music Labyrinth will be continuing through the summer, and I hope you get the chance in coming fortnights to join us again in the cool of summer evenings as we continue the journey. So, there remains with me only the responsibility for revealing the song which will bridge us from the end of episode 63 to the beginning of episode 64. Well, you’ve probably already joined the dots. The song we just heard was by Bob Geldof. And tonight is 9 days before Christmas. You know where this is going, don’t you. From The Music Labyrinth, Merry Christmas.
Do They Know Its Christmas? / Band Aid (1984)