Music Labyrinth Episode 083
Hello Listener, and welcome to episode 83 of The Music Labyrinth. Now if you are a regular listener to this program you might be wondering what the heck is going on?! Where is the opening song which was the end song in the last episode?! Well, there isn’t one this time, and the reason is that this episode, 83, is a special stand-alone episode of The Music Labyrinth. Don’t panic! Our next episode will commence where episode 82 ended, with Groove Is In The Heart by Deee-Lite, and we will progress our way into and onwards through The Music Labyrinth from there in the usual manner. But for this episode only, lets take a breath and do something a little different. This episode is scheduled to go to air on Thursday 22 September 2022, which is a designated day of national mourning following the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Now, in my mind, it doesn’t matter where one sits on the issue of whether or not the head of state of this nation should be a foreign monarch. Right now, that is the case, and the end of the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II is a significant moment in our collective awareness. Of those who are listening, I imagine there are very few who have lived under the administration of a different monarch. For most of us Queen Elizabeth II is the only head of state that we have known - even old duffers like your host! So, we’re going to mark that moment in Music Labyrinth fashion by assembling a whole bunch of interesting songs with a reference to “Queen” in the title. Now, please, take no offence and don’t go reading any significance into the song choices and whether or not they are intended as social commentary. They are not. Absolutely zero disrespect is intended. They are quite simply songs which I consider interesting and worthy of a listen, linked together by a common theme, which is topical when this episode goes to air. I cannot emphasise enough the veracity of everything I have just said - except that there is one exception to it. The final song in tonight’s episode does not have a reference to “Queen” in the title, and it was chosen specifically on the basis of the end of the reign on Queen Elizabeth - but you’ll have to wait until much later in the episode to find out what that is all about. Lets get on with it then, and open with a tune that was released within 12 months of the Queen’s visit to north west Tasmania in April 1988 - although those two events are quite unlikely to be related. Here are the Thompson Twins.
Queen of the USA / Thompson Twins (1989)
From their 1989 album Big Trash, that was the Thompson Twins with Queen Of The USA, and when you think about British new wave music of the late 80s they were amongst the biggest of names. Up there with them was Tears For Fears who, in 1995, released an album which you would have to own just for its title alone. From Raoul & The Kings of Spain, this is Tears For Fears with Queen Of Compromise.
Queen of Compromise / Tears For Fears (1995)
From the 1995 album Raoul & The Kings of Spain, that was Tears For Fears on The Music Labyrinth with Queen Of Compromise. Two decades earlier and - I don’t think it’s unfair to say - not quite carrying the gravitas of Thompson Twins and Tears For Fears, here is KC & The Sunshine Band with Queen Of Clubs.
Queen of Clubs / KC & The Sunshine Band (1974)
From their very first album, Do It Good, that was KC & The Sunshine Band with Queen Of Clubs. Lets change gears - and eras. In 2006 Sarah Blasko released her acclaimed second album, What The Sea Wants The Sea Will Have and from it, this is Queen Of Apology.
Queen of Apology / Sarah Blasko (2006)
Yhat was Sarah Blasko on The Music Labyrinth with Queen Of Apology, which comes from the album What The Sea Wants The Sea Will Have. Lets shift from aquaculture to apiculture right now. This is Queen Bee.
Queen Bee / Taj Mahal (1978)
From the 1978 album Senor Blues, that was Taj Mahal with Queen Bee. Next up, we’re turning to the bloke that - I reckon - puts Paul Kelly in second place position in the title of Australia’s greatest songwriting story-tellers. Its a big call, I know, but I maintain that Perry Keyes is the reigning champion in that arena. And, as exhibit A in the prosecution case, I offer you Queen of Everyone’s Heart.
Queen of Everyone’s Heart / Perry Keyes (2010)
I told you he could tell a story, didn’t I? Is there a sadder or more poignant line in song than, “Crying through the rain on your face after that first stranger’s kiss”? From the 2010 album Johnny Ray’s Downtown, that was the wonderful Perry Keyes with Queen of Everyone’s Heart. The Icelandic-American singer songwriter John Grant also goes OK in the songwriting stakes. This next song comes from his 2010 album of the same name which won the Mojo Magazine album of that year. I cant pretend that I love it, but its certainly an interesting tune. This is John Grant with Queen of Denmark.
Queen of Denmark / John Grant (2010)
From the album of the same name, that was Queen Of Denmark by John Grant. Staying in America for now: The Modern Electric are a band from Cleveland, Ohio. In 2020, they launched a non-profit organization called Cleveland Verses which provides an opportunity for musicians in the Cleveland area to benefit their community with their artistic talents. The Modern Electric released this next song as a charity single to coincide with the launch of Cleveland Verses. Here is their wonderful version of Bob Dylan’s Queen Jane Approximately.
Queen Jane Approximately / The Modern Electric (2020)
Originally recorded by Bob Dylan as part of Highway 61 Revisited, that version of Queen Jane Approximately was by The Modern Electric. Lets now turn to one of our favourite acts here at The Music Labyrinth. This is The B52s.
Queen of Las Vegas / B52s (1983)
From their 1983 album, Whammy, that was the B52s with Queen Of Las Vegas. On 17 May 2019 the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas was the venue for a show by Florence + The Machine, so - for that night at least - we could have counted Florence Welch as the Queen of Las Vegas. Here are Florence + The Machine with Queen of Peace.
Queen of Peace / Florence & The Machine (2015)
From the 2015 album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, that was Florence + The Machine with Queen Of Peace. In 2010 the Canadian band, The Tea Party, dissolved and the front man of the band, Jeff Martin, moved to Ireland for a short time, before settling in Perth, Western Australia. Whilst there he hooked up with a couple of former members of The Sleepy Jackson to form the band Jeff Martin 777. They recorded only one album, The Ground Cries Out. From it, this is Queen of Spades.
Queen of Spades / Jeff Martin 777 (2011)
Earlier in this episode of The Music Labyrinth we heard the song Queen Of Clubs, and that last song was Queen of Spades, by Jeff Martin 777. I can assure you we are going nowhere near the Queen Of Hearts song tonight. Diamonds, potentially however, remain in play at this stage. But not right now. Instead, lets go to a substance slightly more durable than diamond. This is Queen of Polythene by St Etienne.
Queen of Polythene / Saint Etienne (2002) *
* Please note: Spotify contains the Saint Etienne album Finisterre but, inexplicably, not the song Queen Of Polythene. So the attached Spotify playlist is lacking in that song. Sorry.
Saint Etienne is a London based band, named after the French professional football club Association Sportive de Saint-Étienne Loire. And the song we just heard was Queen of Polythene from their 2002 album Finisterre. Now, about the only thing that Saint Etienne have in common with this next band is that they are both bands. From the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St Paul, and from the genre of alt country, here are The Jayhawks with Queen Of The World.
Queen Of The World / The Jayhawks (2000)
From their 2000AD album Smile, that was The Jayhawks with Queen Of The World. Also from the USA, but a million miles from the sounds of The Jayhawks, are The Magnetic Fields. We’ve played their music before on The Music Labyrinth. The thing I love most about their tunes are the quirky, whimsical, fun lyrics of Stephin Merrit, the band’s songwriter. He does to song lyrics what Ogden Nash did to poetry. This next song is a lovely example. This is Queen Of The Savages.
Queen Of The Savages / The Magnetic Fields (1999)
From the album 69 Love Songs that was The Magnetic Fields with Queen Of The Savages. Speaking of savages, you will often find them here. This is The Boss with Queen Of The Supermarket.
Queen Of The Supermarket / Bruce Springsteen (2009)
From the 2009 album Working On A Dream, that was Bruce Springsteen with Queen Of The Savages. Now, this next song is for all those, like me, who fell massively in love with Everclear’s 1995 album Sparkle And Fade (and then forgot to listen to it for a couple of decades), here is Queen Of The Air.
Queen Of The Air / Everclear (1995)
On The Music Labyrinth that was Everclear with Queen Of The Air. Now, you know, Patient Listener, dont you, that here at The Music Labyrinth we like to do things properly. So, here is a triple treat for you: massively in keeping with our theme this evening, artist, song and album all feature the word Queen. This is Queen Latifah.
Queen Of Royal Badness / Queen Latifah (1989)
From the album All Hail The Queen, that was Queen Latifah with Queen Of Royal Badness. Lets stay in the USA, but shift our attention back to the west coast. Here is John Mayer with Queen Of California.
Queen Of California / John Mayer (2012)
From his album Born And Raised, which we have heard a track from previously on The Music Labyrinth, that was John Mayer with Queen Of California. Now, earlier in the show I made the case that Paul Kelly was the second best story-telling songwriter in Australia. And, in many ways a similar case applies across the Tasman. We’re about to hear Queen Of The Night by he wonderful New Zealand singer-songwriter Don McGlashen. However, I cant really insist that he is the reigning champion of New Zealand because, in that particular case, the shadow in which Don McGlashen stands is the incredibly impressive one cast by Neil Finn, and that is a heck of a shadow to be in. Anyway, here is part of the case in support of Don McGlashen’s claim. This is Queen Of The Night.
Queen Of The Night / Don McGlashen (2006)
From the album Warm Hand that was New Zealand’s own master of songwriting, Don McGlashen with Queen Of The Night. Let’s jump across the globe again, to Ontario, and the band The Tragically Hip, who I am really starting to hold in high regard. From their 2009 album We Are The Same, this is Queen Of The Furrows.
Queen Of The Furrows / The Tragically Hip (2009)
From the album We Are The Same, that was The Tragically Hip with Queen Of The Furrows. Now you will recall that earlier I brought you a triple treat? Well, never let it be said that you are underfed here at The Music Labyrinth. Here is another: once again, a track where artist, song and album all feature the word Queen.
White Queen (As It Began) / Queen (1974)
From the album Queen II, that was - of course - Queen, with White Queen (Where It All Began). In 1991 Spike Lee directed the Wesley Snipes film Jungle Fever. The soundtrack was by Stevie Wonder, and it contained this next track. This is Queen In The Black.
Queen In The Black / Stevie Wonder (1991)
This is The Music Labyrinth, and from the album Jungle Fever, that was Stevie Wonder with Queen In The Black. And now, it is time for one of only two songs tonight which do not feature the word Queen in the title - however, in this case, the word does feature in the name of the band. This is The Good, The Bad and The Queen, with Herculean.
Herculean / The Good, The Bad, and The Queen (2007)
From their 2007 self-titled album, that was The Good, The Bad, and The Queen with their song Herculean. And that, Dear Listener, beings us to the end of this “stand-alone” episode of The Music Labyrinth. Next fortnight we will be back into the usual swing of things when I hope to be live in the studio again and we will commence that program where episode 82 ended, with Groove Is In The Heart by Deee-Lite, and from there we will progress our way into and onwards through The Music Labyrinth in the usual manner. Thanks very much for your company tonight, and please join us again in two weeks. Entirely NOT in keeping with tonight’s theme - except it is - I’m leaving you with Counting Crows, from their 1996 album Recovering The Satellites, with Goodnight Elisabeth. Thanks for listening.
Goodnight Elisabeth / Counting Crows (1996)