Music Labyrinth Episode 078
Kashmir / Jimmy Page & Robert Plant (1994)
Bonjour Auditeur, and welcome to episode soixante-dix-huit of The Music Labyrinth. Why French, I hear you ask? Well, today is Bastille Day and I thought we should recognise the event - not that I am into violent insurrection of the existing social order - but I do recognise the significance of the events of 1789 in Paris. Some years ago, the Music Labyrinth Elves, my very patient Wifey and I were fortunate enough to visit the Palace of Versailles, and I have to admit that I may have become a little huffy at the concentration of such extraordinary opulence into the hands of a single family. Anyway, along came the revolution and here we are, 233 years later. Now speaking of the Music Labyrinth Elves, I have an announcement about our next episode of The Music Labyrinth. I will be handing the responsibility for planning and programming the next episode to the Elves. For those who are new to the game, the Elves have assumed the controls on two past occasions, and provided a breath of fresh air in the Labyrinth. And, lets face it, a labyrinth can always use fresh air, so, we’re doing it again for episode 79. Right, I’m getting ahead of myself. We opened this episode with the mighty Kashmir by Jimmy Page & Robert Plant. You will be aware that the lyrics of that song make reference to Shangri-la, as to does this next track. This is Don Henley with his song of that name.
Shangri-la / Don Henley (1989)
On The Music Labyrinth we just listened to Don Henley from his 1989 album End Of The Innocence, with his album track Shangri-la. That song was co-written by Steve Jordan who also played drums on the track. Some years later Steve Jordan found himself as a member of John Mayer’s touring ensemble, which developed a big reputation and their own separate entity, becoming known as the John Mayer Trio. Here is the John Mayer Trio, including Steve Jordan, captured live in 2005, with the John Mayer song, Daughters.
Daughters / John Mayer Trio (2005)
That song was Daughters by the John Mayer Trio, and the song won the Song of the Year award at the 2005 Grammy Awards. Lets skip forward 14 years to 2019, when the same award was won by this song. This is Childish Gambino with This Is America.
This Is America / Childish Gambino (2019)
In The Music Labyrinth we last listened to Childish Gambino with This Is America. Childish Gambino is the recording pseudonym used by Donald Glover, who is the epitome of the contemporary renaissance man. He seems able to excel at pretty much everything, and he is not yet 40 years of age. As a recording artist, he has won Grammy Awards. He is the award winning writer of scripts for highly successful TV series such as 30 Rock. He is the creator, occasional director and star of the TV series Atlanta, for which he has won Emmy Awards. He has starred in several major motion pictures and is a successful record producer. I’d probably like him if I met him, but on the basis of his CV - well, he’s clearly the sort of over-achiever you just want not to like! In 2010 Donald Glover had a role in the movie Magic Mike XL, and he also performed a cover of this song for the movie soundtrack.
Marry You / Bruno Mars (2010)
That was Bruno Mars with his 2010 hit, Marry You. The songwriting kudos for that song is credited to The Smeezingtons. It turns out that Bruno Mars is one third of a highly successful songwriting collective which includes Phillip Lawrence and Ari Levine, who have written hit songs for Bruno Mars, but also for The Sugababes, CeeLo Green, Lil Wayne, Snoop, Adam Lambert, and plenty of others. Bruno Mars and Phillip Lawrence of The Smeezingtons performed in the half time show of Super Bowl XLVIII where they were joined by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers to perform this track.
Give It Away / Red Hot Chilli Peppers (1991)
Of course that was the Red Hot Chilli Peppers with their 1991 hit Give It Away. The last minute of Give It Away contains a sample of this 1971 hit …
Sweet Leaf / Black Sabbath (1971)
Welcome back to The Music Labyrinth where we last listened to Black Sabbath from 1971 with Sweet Leaf. I’m switched on to the nuances of lyrical references, and I am certain that Ozzy and the boys wrote that song about the magnificent sea-level tomatoes that I manage to produce each summer. And, clearly, the fame of the sea-level tomatoes is widespread, because the term “sweet leaf” is also referenced in this song …
Just Push Play / Aerosmith (2001)
That was Aerosmith from 2001 with Just Push Play. The year that that song was released, Aerosmith played it at a benefit concert called United We Stand: What More Can I Give? which was an event led by Michael Jackson in tribute to the victims of the September 11 attacks in the US. A television special of the concerts premiered on in the USA on Thursday, November 1, 2001. In the televised event Aerosmith appeared and played the song we just heard. James Brown also appeared in that TV special and performed this tune.
Living In America / James Brown (1985)
That was James Brown from 1985 with Living In America. The song was co-written by Dan Hartman, whom you will remember for hits such as Instant Replay and I Can Dream About You. But dont panic! We’re not going there. In 1972, Hartman joined the Edgar Winter Group, where he played bass, wrote or co-wrote many of their songs, and sang on three of their albums. Written by, and featuring Dan Hartman, this is the Edgar Winter Group with Free Ride.
Free Ride / Edgar Winter Group (1972)
Hello again and thanks for coming back to The Music Labyrinth where we have, in previous episodes, spoken at length about Ringo Starr’s various iterations of the All Starr Band. Edgar Winter has been a member of several of Ringo Starr’s All Star Band lineups. In the 11th All Star Band he and Ringo were joined by Richard Page from the band Mister Mister who you will remember for at least two hit songs, this being one of them.
Kyrie / Mister Mister (1985)
That was the US band Mister Mister with their 1985 hit Kyrie. Now, you may not believe me when you hear the start of this next track, but Richard Page of Mister Mister performs backing vocals on it, and I am sure you will recognise his contribution. Here is 2Pac.
Until The End Of Time / 2Pac (2001)
That was 2Pac, with Until The End Of Time, the title track of his 2001 album. That album, also - obviously- called Until The End Of Time, was the 3rd posthumous release for 2Pac after his death in 1996. So, lets stay with the concept of posthumous releases for a link to our next track in The Music Labyrinth. Six months after Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994, the MTV Unplugged In New York album by Nirvana was released by DGC Records. From it, this is On A Plain.
On A Plain (Live) / Nirvana (1994)
Here we are in The Music Labyrinth where we last listened to Nirvana, from the MTV Unplugged In New York album, with their live, stripped back version of On A Plain. During that show, and included on the album, is Nirvana’s cover of this David Bowie song. This is The Man Who Sold The World.
The Man Who Sold The World / David Bowie (1970)
One of the things I love about presenting this show is that the restriction of the song selection process often leads me to terrific songs that I either dont know, or haven’t given enough attention to. We just heard one which is firmly in the latter category. That was David Bowie from 1970 with The Man Who Sold The World. That song is built around the enigmatic guitar work of Mick Ronson. In 1982 Ronson was engaged by John Mellencamp, who credits Ronson with resurrecting a massive worldwide hit song which Mellencamp had given up on and thrown on the scrap heap. This song…
Jack and Diane / John Cougar Mellencamp (1982)
From the 1982 album American Fool, that was John Cougar Mellencamp with Jack & Diane. Alongside his highly successful recording and performing career, Mellencamp has always had an interest in painting and visual art. His artwork has been the focus of a number of exhibitions across the USA. Another recording artist who is also quite prolific in painting and visual arts is Ryan Adams. Here he is from 2001.
New York, New York / Ryan Adams (2001)
Here we are in The Music Labyrinth where we have embarked upon a celebration of New York by listening to Ryan Adams with his 2001 song New York, New York. As soon as that concept of songs celebrating that city entered my head, two tracks immediately sprung to mind which I could not resist playing for you next. The first of them is from a 2007 album named in recognition of a residential relocation to the city. This song celebrates New York from the viewpoint of the famous red-tailed hawk known as Pale Male who inhabits Central Park and is something of an avian celebrity amongst bird watchers. From the album Washington Square Serenade, here is our old mate Steve Earle.
Down Here Below / Steve Earle (2007)
In The Music Labyrinth we are celebrating New York City, and that was Steve Earle with Down Here Below - a birds eye view of the city. Another great celebration of that city comes through the eye and pen of a visitor. In 2012 a bloke from Manchester was spending a fair bit of time in New York City whilst working on a musical about King Kong. That visitor kept a diary of his time in the city, and the lyrics of this song are what he calls a “pretty much verbatim” adaption of one of his daily diary entries. That bloke is Guy Garvey, and this is Elbow with New York Morning.
New York Morning / Elbow (2014)
Welcome back to the final section of episode 78 of The Music Labyrinth. The last track we heard was the quite lovely New York Morning from Elbow’s 2014 album The Take Off And Landing Of Everything. Backing vocals on that track were by Jimi Goodwin of the band Doves. Goodwin’s contribution to that song was partly a return of favour because, 7 years earlier, Guy Garvey of Elbow had performed backing vocals for Doves on this track. This is Snowden.
Snowden / Doves (2005)
That was the Manchester band Doves with their 2005 song Snowden. In 2005, Jimi Goodwin, the lead vocalist for Doves, was guest-hosting a BBC Radio One program and he promoted the up-coming band Cherry Ghost. Then, two years later, Goodwin played bass on this award winning song by Cherry Ghost. This is People Help The People.
People Help The People / Cherry Ghost (2007)
That song is called People Help The People and it is performed by Cherry Ghost. And, it brings us to the end of episode 78 of The Music Labyrinth. Thanks for your company during this episode. I hope you have had fun, and found yourself tapping your toes during the course of the last couple of hours. Please come back again in two weeks when the content of the program will be brought to you by the ultra-impressive Music Labyrinth Elves. To take us to our next episode, and give the Elves a starting point for their planning, lets find a track to end this episode. People Help The People won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Song in 2008. Also, Cherry Ghost’s album, Thirst For Romance, was nominated for the album award that year - but it lost out to a wonderful album. To end this episode of The Music Labyrinth lets go to a track from the 2008 Ivor Novello Award winning album. That album was Radiohead’s In Rainbows, and this is Weird Fishes / Arpeggi. Thanks for listening!
Weird Fishes / Arpeggi / Radiohead (2007)