Music Labyrinth Episode 089
Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves / Eurythmics & Aretha Franklin
Hello Listener, and welcome to episode 89 of The Music Labyrinth. 89, as it happens, is the atomic number of Actium, a rare, radioactive chemical element first identified in 1902. In its natural form, Actium glows in the dark, is incredibly scarce, and highly radioactive. It is also being studied for its potential application to cancer treatment. So, given its natural brightness, scarcity, value, infectiousness and as yet untapped potential, Actium would appear to be the perfect metaphor for episode 89 of The Music labyrinth. And, in further evidence of that contention, the Elite 89 Award is presented to the player in the National Collegiate Athletics Association who holds the highest grade point average. So, add excellence to the list of attributes that I quoted earlier. Lets hope we can live up to the expectation that clearly surrounds episode 89 of The Music Labyrinth. We started this episode with The Eurythmics and Aretha Franklin and their anthem for the sisterhood, Sisters ARe Doing It For Themselves. Featured in the recording of that track were three members of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers: Stan Lynch on drums, Benmont Tench on organ, and Mike Campbell on lead guitar. In 1991 Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell contributed to John Prine’s album, The Missing Years, and Tom Petty himself sings backing vocals on this track from that album. This is John Prine with Picture Show.
Picture Show / John Prine
That was John Prine with his catchy song Picture Show, from his 1991 album The Missing Years. You will almost certainly have picked up on a reference in the lyrics of that tune to the movie actor Montgomery Clift. Well, lets cling to that, and see if we can find him in this next track. This is The Clash, with The Right Profile.
The Right Profile / The Clash
Welcome back to The Music Labyrinth where we last listened to The Right Profile by The Clash. Horns on that track were by The Irish Horns, featuring John Earle, who is name checked for his famous saxophone work during this live recording from 1976. This is Thin Lizzy.
Dancing In The Moonlight / Thin Lizzy
From the classic 70s album Live And Dangerous, that was Thin Lizzy with Dancing In The Moonlight - not to be confused with the Toploader song of the same name which featured in episode 23 of this program. The famous and charismatic lead singer of Thin Lizzy was Phil Lynott, who has the honour of having a song written in his memory by the Irish band, Jape. This is Jape, with their song Phil Lynott.
Phil Lynott / Jape
Jape is one of those bands built largely around the talent and industry of a single musician, in this case, Richie Egan. The lyrics of the song we just heard refer to the singer attending a concert and hearing a band playing a Thin Lizzy song. That band was the American heavy metal band Mastodon, and the song was Emerald. That song is inspired by traditional Irish music and utilizes a 6/8 rhythm. The guitar riff adopts an "Irish" melody with its use of triplets. Now I cant bring you a recording of Mastodon covering the song, but I did find an “appropriate” substitute. Slash and former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley did a version of the song on Ace Frehley’s 2016 album Origins, Vol. 1. According to Rolling Stone magazine, Slash and Frehley played the song together 15 times in order to get it right. I think, if you listen, you will hear that, even in the final mix, Ace and Slash are just a little outside their comfort zone.
Emerald / Ace Frehley (feat. Slash)
This is The Music Labyrinth, and thanks for joining us here. We find ourselves lurking in a section of the Labyrinth where the former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley is occasionally sighted. In particular, we just heard a track from his 2016 album Origins, Vol. 1. That Ace Frehley album also contained his cover version of this song by The Free.
Fire And Water / Free
Paul Rodgers was 21 when he performed the vocals on that track, Fire And Water, from the album of the same name by his band Free. Paul Rodgers went on to become recognised as one of the great rock vocalists. In 1999 his status was acknowledged when he was invited to participate in a project called the British Rock Symphony, a tour and an album that featured classic rock hits presented by a gospel choir, a full orchestra and selected vocalists. Here he is, from that album, alongside Ann Wilson of Heart.
Norwegian Wood / Paul Rodgers & Ann Wilson (1999)
That was, of course, Norwegian Wood, a Beatles tune lifted there from the 1999 album British Rock Symphony. Also from that same album is this different, and quite lovely, version of a Rolling Stones hit.
Ruby Tuesday / Thelma Houston, George Benson, et al (1999)
Welcome back to The Music Labyrinth where we just enjoyed - well, I did, anyway - a version of Norwegian Wood performed by Thelma Houston and George Benson, together with choir and orchestra. Lets stay with Thelma Houston, for various reasons, some of which will be revealed on the other side of this tune. This is from her 1984 album Qualifying Heat, and the song is called What A Woman Feels Inside.
What A Woman Feels Inside / Thelma Houston (1984)
That was Thelma Houston with What A Woman Feels Inside. Now, whilst that is quite a pleasant tune, I do have to admit that I played it for you as a means to an end. You see, the song was co-written by, and guitars on it were played by, a young musician who was at that time calling himself Romeo Blue. In the years following the release of that song, the chrysalis Romeo Blue emerged as this particular butterfly.
Are You Gonna Go My Way / Lenny Kravitz
Here we are in The Music Labyrinth where we find ourselves in one of those rooms where it would be very easily to linger and listen to some more Lenny Kravitz, like the track we just heard, Are You Gonna Go My Way. However, progress must be made, but perhaps on this occasion we can enjoy the best of both worlds. We can hear some more of Lenny’s work, but also move on through the Labyrinth. And this is a fitting direction to move in, given that we have already heard from Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley in this program. In 1994, a tribute album to Kiss - called Kiss My Ass; Classic Kiss Regrooved - was released, and it contained this contribution from Lenny Kravitz and Stevie Wonder.
Deuce / Lenny Kravitz & Stevie Wonder
From the album Kiss My Ass: Classic Kiss Regrooved, that was Lenny Kravitz and Stevie Wonder with the Kiss song, Duece. The honour of covering the classic Kiss hit Rock And Roll All Night on the Classic Kiss Regrooved album, was presented to the Californian alt-rock band called Toad The Wet Sprocket. So, lets stay with Toad The Wet Sprocket, and have a listen to a surprisingly nice tune they contributed to the soundtrack of the Mike Myers movie So I Married An Axe Murder. This is called Brother.
Brother / Toad The Wet Sprocket
That was Brother, by Toad The Wet Sprocket; a song included in the soundtrack of the movie So I Married An Axe Murderer. From the same soundtrack album, this is the Boo Radleys.
There She Goes / The Boo Radleys
Welcome back to The Music Labyrinth were we just heard the lovely ditty called There She Goes by The Boo Radleys. The Boo Radleys are pretty obviously named for a character in the novel To Kill A Mockingbird. That notion put me in mind of bands named from works of fiction, and I found a slightly obscure one. This next band was allegedly named from a sentence in Virginia Wolf’s first novel, The Mark On The Wall, which refers to “modest, mouse-coloured people”. So, here is the band Modest Mouse, with Float On.
Float On / Modest Mouse (2004)
From the 2004 album Good News For People Who Love Bad News, that was Modest Mouse with Float On. That album included contributions from The Flaming Lips, who, two years earlier, had enjoyed commercial success with this crowd favourite. This is Do You Realize??
Do You Realize?? / The Flaming Lips
That song, Do You Realize?? by The Flaming Lips was once covered for TripleJ’s Like A Version by the Australian band Ball Park Music. Here they are with their song Cherub.
Cherub / Ball Park Music
Here we are in The Music Labyrinth where we just listened to Ball Park Music with their song Cherub. “Cherub” is an interesting word, which apparently comes from Hebrew, and has something of a restricted use in modern English. The use of it as the title of that last song led me directly to this favourite by The Smashing Pumpkins. This is Cherub Rock.
Cherub Rock / Smashing Pumpkins
Cherub Rock by The Smashing Pumpkins was nominated for the 1994 Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance, but edged out for the gong by this tune.
Plush / Stone Temple Pilots
On The Music Labyrinth, that was Stone Temple Pilots with their monster hit from 1993, Plush. When I was looking into that song and its legacy, I stumbled across a series of plenty of albums called Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star. There are at least 200 albums in that series on Apple Music, and each album contains children’s lullaby versions of contemporary songs. Many of the songs we have played in this episode have Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star versions, including the song we just played, Plush by Stone Temple Pilots. But the one that caught my eye, led me to this next track. I will play you the original and not the Twinkle Twinkle version, because the joke wears thin quite quickly, but I was very much taken by a twinkly little lullaby called Nasty! This is Janet Jackson.
Nasty / Janet Jackson
Welcome back to the final segment of episode 89 of The Music Labyrinth, where we last heard Nasty, by Janet Jackson. Our next track is also by Janet Jackson, with some help from Missy Elliott, and a big old sample which I am sure you will recognise. In fact, I am so sure you will recognise the big old sample that we will roll straight into the following track, which is the song the sample comes from. But first, this is Janet Jackson and Missy Elliott.
Son Of A Gun (I Betcha Think This Song Is About You) / Janet Jackson, Carly Simon and Missy Elliott
You’re So Vain / Carly Simon
On The Music Labyrinth that was Carly Simon with her much speculated song You’re So Vain. Uncredited backing vocals on that song (you probably have noticed his distinctive voice in the mix) were performed by Mick Jagger. I’m delighted to have arrived at the concept of uncredited backing vocals, because it gives me a chance to bring you another regular contribution from The Master. So, here we go. The first voice you will hear on this track is the uncredited singing of Kate Bush.
Games Without Frontiers / Peter Gabriel
Ah! How good is it to hear Peter Gabriel on The Music Labyrinth. doesn’t happen often enough, I say. That particular track is from his second solo album in 1980, and isi called Games Without Frontiers. And that little injection of Peter Gabriel brings us to the end of episode 89 of the program. Thank you very much for your company this time around - and every time around for that matter. Please come back again in a fortnight when we will do it all again. Bring a friend along as well. All that remains now is to find a song to bridge us over to the next episode, and that has been made straightforward for us by Our Good Friends At Wikipedia. Games Without Frontiers is included on a Wikipedia list of anti-war songs, as too is this next classic and instantly recognisable song. Lets end this episode with some Queen. Tha
Hammer To Fall / Queen