Music Labyrinth Episode 064
Do They Know Its Christmas? / Band Aid (1984)
Hello Listener, and welcome to episode 64 of The Music Labyrinth, and the last show of 2021. And tonight - in a World First for The Music Labyrinth - I welcome a co-host to the Coast FM studio to assist me in the presentation of this program. The Regular Listener will be aware that The Music Labyrinth has enjoyed the support and assistance of The Music Labyrinth Elves in pretty much the entirety of its 63 episode history. Well tonight, at the risk of sounding like a well-known Monty Python sketch, I am joined by An Elf. Hello Elf, and welcome to the microphone. The Elf and I extend a extra special welcome to any new listeners, and for them I will quickly explain the loose concept of this program which is to find some link between the last song we played and its immediate successor. As you will have heard, we commenced episode 64 with Do They Know Its Christmas, the 1984 fundraising record for African famine relief, a project driven by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, and which ultimately resulted in the Live Aid concerts of July 1985. The song we just heard was produced by Midge Ure, and featured the vocal contributions of a multitude of 1984’s biggest recording stars. Midge Ure spent several days in his home studio with his engineer Rik Walton to create the song's backing track, programming the keyboards and drum machines and, as a basis for that backing track, he used a sample of the drums from the title track of Tears for Fears’ album The Hurting for the song's intro. And so, here is that song.
The Hurting / Tears For Fears (1983)
From 1983 that was The Hurting by Tears For Fears. Elf ? Although the saxophone is not prominent in that particular track, between 1983 and 1985 a key component of the TFF sound was the saxophone of Mel Collins. During the 80s and 90s Mel Colins played with pretty much everybody, and you can hear him name-checked on the Dire Straits live album, Alchemy. But, we’re not heading off in the Dire Straits direction at this stage. You can also hear Mel Collins playing on this track from Roger Waters’ 1987 album Radio K.A.O.S.
Sunset Strip / Roger Waters (1987)
Welcome back to episode 64 of The Music Labyrinth, where we last listened to Sunset Strip, from Roger Waters’ 1987 concept album, Radio KAOS. I suspect that my co-host is not exactly doing handstands about being back in Roger Waters territory, but I will point out that we have been on a little ride on the roundabout through the end of the last episode and the beginning of this one. We found ourselves listening to a Pink Floyd track (effectively, at that time, a Roger Waters track) in Run Like Hell, we then went to Bob Geldof - Band Aid - Tears For Fears - and straight back to Roger Waters. Not so much a labyrinth as a sideshow ride at the moment it seems! So, in order to put ourselves firmly back in the labyrinth, lets focus on the title of that last track, and listen to another track called Sunset Strip: this one from the Brisbane post-punk band, The Riptides.
Sunset Strip / The Riptides (1978)
The Riptides were an Australian power pop group which formed in Brisbane, Queensland in 1977 as The Grudge. Their founding mainstay was Mark "Cal" Callaghan on lead vocals, bass guitar, rhythm guitar and as principal songwriter. After the demise of The Riptides, in 1984 Callaghan formed a pop rock group, GANGgajang in Sydney, with Graham “Buzz” Bidstrup on drums and Chris Bailey on bass guitar (both ex-The Angels). GANGajang’ s biggest hit was the song titled Sounds Of Then (more on that shortly), but The Listener may also recall this hit from 1985.
Distraction / GANGajang (1985)
From 1985, that was GANGajang with Distraction. Now, we spoke earlier about their massive hit, Sounds Of Then. Well, as any viewer of commercial TV will have noticed, that song was covered in the past year by Sarah Blasko, and immediately picked up by a manufacturer of a commercial building product. However, even if it is difficult to divorce the song from the product, its still a terrific version of a wonderful song. Here is Sarah Blasko with her cover of Gangajang’s Sounds Of Then.
Sounds Of Then / Sarah Blasko (2021)
Here we are still in The Music Labyrinth where they sounds still echo of The Sounds Of Then by Sarah Blasko. In 2016 Sounds of Then was added to the National Film & Sounds Archive list of the sounds of Australia. In addition to Sounds of Then, that list includes the Louie The Fly song from the insect spray adds of my youth, the Aeroplane Jelly song, (neither of which my co-host will recall) and Toot Toot Chugga Chugga Big Red Car (which, I can attest, my co-host would once sing along with without hesitation). And, the Sounds of Australia list also includes this song as well.
Treaty (Radio mix) / Yothu Yindi (1991)
From 1991, that was Yothu Yindi with the radio mix of Treaty. That song was performed during the Hero’s Medley at the Closing Ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games on 1 October 2000. Also performed during that section of the ceremony was this 1987 hit.
Beds Are Burning / Midnight Oil (1987)
From 1987, that was, of course, Midnight Oil with Beds Are Burning. Songs for Australia is a compilation album curated by Australian singer-songwriter Julia Stone in 2020 to aid bushfire relief, consisting of covers of well-known Australian songs by other artists. It contained a version of Beds Are Burning by Julia Stone herself; and also this quite splendid cover of an INXS classic. This is The National.
Never Tear Us Apart / The National (2020)
This is The Music Labyrinth, where my co-host has tolerated a fair stretch of Dad-rock, most recently Never Tear Us Apart, covered for us by the Cincinnati band, The National. That song, Never Tear Us Apart, has been famously adopted by the Port Adelaide AFL team as their unofficial anthem. It will surprise my co-host that the AFL are going to take us closer to her musical comfort zone, but here at The Music Labyrinth we have a strong and undisguised bias towards the AFL Team from Corio Bay in the State of Victoria, who have adopted this little tune as their run on theme.
Lose Yourself / Eminem (2002)
From the largely autobiographical film 8 Mile, that was Eminem with Lose Yourself. At the 75th Academy Awards, Lose Yourself won the Oscar for Best Original Song. 6 years later, this song won the same Oscar. From the Indian political action film Jai Ho!, this is the title track.
Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny) / A.R. Rahman & The Pussycat Dolls (feat. Nicole Sherzinger) (2009)
Welcome back to The Music Labyrinth where we dipped a toe in the waters of Bollywood by listening to Jai Ho!, by A.R. Rahman & The Pussycat Dolls, featuring Nicole Sherzinger. As we have previously noted on The Music Labyrinth, A.R. Rahman is extraordinarily prolific in the film and music scene. One of the soundtracks he developed was for the 2014 Disney movie Million Dollar Arm, and here are A.R. Rahman and Iggy Azalea with the main song from the soundtrack, Million Dollar Dream.
Million Dollar Dream / A.R. Rahman (Feat. Iggy Azalea) (2014)
From the soundtrack of the 2014 film Million Dollar Arm, that was A.R. Rahman and Iggy Azalea with Million Dollar Dream. Iggy Azalea is an Australian-born singer and rapper who has made a name for herself in the international music scene. The soundtrack to Million Dollar Arm also featured a significant contribution from the Scottish singer-songwriter, K.T. Tunstall. Here she is with Suddenly I See.
Suddenly I See / KT Tunstall (2005)
On The Music Labyrinth, that was KT Tunstall with Suddenly I See. That song featured in the title credits for the movie The Devil Wears Prada, although it is not included on the soundtrack album of the same name. However, this song is included on that soundtrack. This is Ray LaMontagne.
How Come / Ray LaMontagne (2004)
This is The Music Labyrinth, breaking new ground in its own history by being co-hosted for the first ever time. We just listened to Ray LaMontagne with How Come, from his 2004 album, Trouble. That song, and the album it comes from were produced by Ethan Johns, who also engineered the album, mixed the recordings, arranged the string sections, and on various tracks plays guitars, drums, percussion, piano, bass guitar and harmonium. Ethan Johns is the son of Glyn Johns, who we spoke about a few weeks ago for his contribution to The Beatles’ Let It Be album. Rest easy Co-host! We are not turning to The Beatles. In 2016, Ethan Johns produced the album Stiff, for the Texan band White Denim. From that album, and produced by the son-of-Glyn, this is Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah).
Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah) / White Denim (2016)
From their 2016 album Stiff, that was White Denim with Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah). In interviews about that song, vocalist, guitarist and songwriter James Petralli mentioned Curtis Mayfield as an influence behind the soul sound of the track, saying, "It really started with me, sitting in my garage, playing around with Pusherman. R&B, in general, is where it’s at for me." So, if its good enough for James Petralli, who are we to argue. Here is the inspiration for that last track: Pusherman by Curtis Mayfield.
Pusherman / Curtis Mayfield (1972)
Thank you for returning to The Music Labyrinth, where we last heard Pusherman by Curtis Mayfield. Prior to his successful solo career, Curtis Mayfield was the founding member of the vocal group The Impressions, and he wrote and performed on this classic song with that group in 1965.
People Get Ready / The Impressions (1965)
That was the classic People Get Ready, from the Impressions. That song is rightly considered a classic. It was voted the 24th greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine, and Mojo Magazine has it in the top 10 greatest of all time. In 1990, Curtis Mayfield was seriously injured when a lighting rig fell on him during a live performance in New York. A tribute album to his work was released in 1994, and it included this performance of a Curtis Mayfield song which was a hit for The Impressions in 1963. This is Steve Winwood with Its All Right.
Its All Right / Steve Winwood (1994)
From the 1994 tribute album to the music of Curtis Mayfield, that was Steve Winwood with Its All Right. As we have mentioned several times previously on The Music Labyrinth, Steve Winwood has done pretty much everything there is to do in music, and played with everyone else in the caper - and we’ll come back to that in just a second. The Listener might also be aware of The Allman Brothers Band, formed originally by Duane and Gregg Allman in 1969. Despite several significant lineup changes, that band remained active until about 8 years ago. At the end of the career of the Allman Brothers Band, the key members were Gregg Allman, Warren Haynes, Allen Woody and Derek Trucks. In the late 90s, Warren Haynes and Allen Woody started a side project; a jam band that they called Gov’t Mule. In the years since, Gov’t Mule have become a staple act at festivals across North America, often featuring guest vocalists at their shows and on their recordings. In 2013, for their 10th studio album Shout, Gov’t Mule featured a different vocalist on most of the album’s tracks. Steve Winwood was one of those guest vocalists. Here he is with Gov’t Mule with When The World Gets Small.
When The World Gets Small / Gov’t Mule (feat. Steve Winwood) (2013)
For the last time in 2021, my co-host and I welcome you back to The Music Labyrinth where we listened to When The World Gets Small by Gov’t Mule, from their 2013 album Shout. Another guest artist on the same album was Ben Harper, and here he is with Gov’t Mule with the song World Boss.
World Boss / Gov’t Mule (feat. Ben Harper) (2013)
On the Music Labyrinth we just heard Gov’t Mule, featuring Ben Harper, with World Boss. This rather crude segue towards Ben Harper was really little more than a thinly disguised opportunity for me to play a favourite Ben Harper song - but I reckon we all saw that coming, didn’t we? From 1995, this is Excuse Me Mister.
Excuse Me Mister / Ben Harper (1995)
That song, Excuse Me Mister, by Ben Harper, brings us to the end of 2021 for The Music Labyrinth. Can I offer my thanks to everyone who contributes to this program with active (and even inactive) listening, feedback, encouragement, ideas, content and production. And, right up at the top of that list are The Music Labyrinth Elves who have, fittingly, been represented in the studio tonight. Thanks Elf. The Music Labyrinth will be back in two weeks, on Thursday evening from 7pm. To take us to that point in time, we simply need to find a track to bridge us to then. The track we just heard was Ben Harper’s Excuse Me Mister. “Excuse Me Mister” is a lyric, and a strong theme contained in this next song about the loneliness of life on the road for a female traveller. Its a nice tune, even if it is strong on what my co-host will call “a fair bit of twang”. Nevertheless, co-host or no - I like this tune, primarily for the lyrics. As we depart a year which has been anything but normal for a lot of us, including my co-host, this is The Cowboy Junkies with Leaving Normal. Happy New Year from The Music Labyrinth.
Leaving Normal / Cowboy Junkies (1999)