Music Labyrinth Episode 091
Our House / Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (1970)
Hello Listener, and welcome to episode 91 of The Music Labyrinth. In 1991, a four month old baby boy called Spencer Elden was photographed for an album cover, setting in place a series of events which remain not absolutely resolved to this day. Spencer Elden, as I’m sure you have guessed, was the infant boy on the famous cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind album. In 2021, aged 30, Elden unsuccessfully sued Kurt Cobain’s estate, the surviving members of the band and other people, claiming that he had suffered lifelong damages because that image was published, even though (in his argument) it violated Federal child pornography statutes. His suit was unsuccessful. In the year just ended, 2022, he had another crack at legal proceedings, equally unsuccessful. The court told him to stop being frivolous, and provided a ruling denying him any further similar lawsuits in the future. Elden says he intends to appeal that decision. All this demonstrates that Elden is not easily dissuaded, and I think that we too should follow Elden’s lead, fortify ourselves, and press on for a further expedition into The Music Labyrinth. The song which opened our program tonight was Our House by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The song originated from a domestic event that took place while Graham Nash was living with Joni Mitchell (and her two cats) in her house in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles. Joni and Graham had been out for breakfast and a spot of vase shopping, which prompted Nash to settle in at Joni’s piano when they got home and spend a fruitful hour writing that song. Time very well spent, I reckon. Graham Nash performs the song on the album Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration, a recording of a tribute concert by a number of artists to celebrate Joni's 75th birthday in 2019. At that same concert, this version of the Joni Mitchell song Help Me was performed by Chaka Kahn.
Help Me / Chaka Kahn (2019)
On The Music Labyrinth, that was the Joni Mitchell song Help Me, performed live by Chaka Kahn at a 2019 tribute concert to Joni Mitchell. Chaka Kahn has enjoyed a long career in as a professional musician, commencing with the band Rufus in 1974. Here is that band, featuring the vocals of Chaka Kahn, with You Got The Love.
You Got The Love (feat. Chaka Kahn) / Rufus (1974)
Welcome back to The Music Labyrinth were we last listened to Rufus with You Got The Love. Now, regular listeners will know exactly where we are going with this. Here, with a slightly grammatically improved title, are Florence + The Machine with You’ve Got The Love.
You’ve Got The Love / Florence + The Machine (2009)
That, of course, was Florence + The Machine with You’ve Got The Love. That song was written by a songwriting collective called The Source, and an acapella version was originally recorded direct to video by Candi Staton in the early 80s for inclusion in a TV documentary. Candi Staton’s vocal was remixed several times throughout that decade and the song was released as a dance hit by The Source in 1986. However, in between the 1986 version and Florence + The Machine’s 2009 version which we just heard, the American singer Adeva released a song in 1989 which clearly influenced the direction of the Florence + The Machine version. Anyway, dont just take my word for it. This is Adeva with Musical Freedom.
Musical Freedom / Adeva (1989)
That song was called Music Freedom and it was by the American singer Adeva. In 1988 Adeva achieved considerable commercial success with her house version of this classic 60s R&B hit.
Respect / Aretha Franklin (1967)
This is The Music Labyrinth where we last revelled in the very familiar sounds of Aretha Franklin’s 1967 hit Respect. A thing that I did not know until I did my homework for this episode of The Music Labyrinth was that Respect was written and originally recorded by Otis Redding in 1965. Now Otis is such a giant of modern music history that, firstly, he is recognised by first name only. And, secondly, he has been immortalised as the subject of a song using just that first name. Here is Otis, by Jay-Z and Kanye.
Otis (feat. Otis Redding) / Jay-Z & Kanye West (2011)
That was Jay-Z and Kanye with their 2011 song Otis. Jay-Z has a considerable history of collaborating with other artists. 7 years prior to the song we just heard, Jay-Z hooked up with Linkin Park for work together on an album called Collision Course, which featured new mixes of previous hits by both artists. From that album, this is a mix of the Linkin Park hit Numb, and Jay-Z’s Encore.
Numb/Encore / Jay-Z & Linkin Park (2004)
Linkin Park have also done their own share of collaborative recording. In 2013 they joined forces with the American record producer and musician Steve Aoki on this next track. This is called A Light That Never Comes.
A Light That Never Comes / Linkin Park & Steve Aoki (2013)
That song, A Light That Never Comes by Linkin Park and Steve Aoki featured in the movie The Expendables 3. And so too did this song by the band Kongos.
Come With Me Now / Kongos (2012)
This is The Music Labyrinth where we last listened to the song Come With Me Now by Kongos. Kongos are four brothers, Dylan, Johnnie, Jessie and Daniel Kongos, and they are the sons of South African musician John Kongos, who had an international hit in 1974 with He’s Gonna Step On You Again - which we played a cover version of by The Party Boys way back in episode 29 Of The Music Labyrinth. In fact, now that I know that, I can hear the echoes from He’s Gonna Step On You Again in the song we just played, Come With Me Now by Kongos. Lets stay with their father now, John Kongos, who also enjoyed commercial success in 1971 with this next tune. This is Tokolshe Man.
Tokolshe Man / John Kongos (1971)
That song, Tokolshe Man by John Kongos featured in series 1 of the TV series Life On Mars, as too did this tune. This is Slade with Gudbuy T’Jane.
Gudbuy T’Jane / Slade (1972)
Slade are an interesting band I reckon. I cant help but feel that they have been generally undervalued by the music world. I suppose because they were born out of glam rock, dressed a little wierdly and gave off the impression of being wastrels and clowns, that they have to some extent reaped what they have sown. Nevertheless, Noddy Holder was a heck of a singer, and many of their songs were quite beautifully crafted. In fact, on that note, in 1974 they greatly annoyed their glam rock fan base when they embarked on a slight change of direction for the soundtrack of a movie in which they starred, Slade In Flame. That album contained the lovely song Far Far Away, and this next track, which were amongst the band’s poorest selling singles, but which are now viewed in a much more favourable light. This is Slade with How Does It Feel?
How Does It Feel / Slade (1974)
This is The Music Labyrinth where we last listened to How Does It Feel by Slade. A pretty awful cover version of How Does It Feel appears on a Def Leppard compilation called X, Yeah! & Songs From The Sparkle House. Also included in that compilation, and much less awful, is this Def Leppard cover of the Jimi Hendrix song, LIttle Wing. And keep and ear out for the un-Def Leppard-like instrumentation on this track, because it is the key to our next link.
Little Wing / Def Leppard (feat. Hothouse Flowers) (1992)
From 1992, that was a cover of Little Wing, which was included as the B-side on Def Leppard's single "Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad", from their album Adrenalize. The artist accreditation for Little Wing was attributed to The Acoustic Hippies From Hell, which was the result of Def Leppard briefly joining forces with the Irish band Hothouse Flowers to record that track. But, now we have brought ourselves into the vicinity of Hothouse Flowers, lets not miss an opportunity. From 1990, this is the lovely Christchurch Bells.
Christchurch Bells / Hothouse Flowers (1990)
That was Hothouse Flowers with Christchurch Bells. The year prior to that song rocketing the band to international attention, Hothouse Flowers contributed to this next song, from an album being put together by the American folk/rock singer/songwriters Amy Ray and Emily Saliers. They have become much better known as The Indigo Girls, and this is Closer To Fine.
Closer To Fine / Indigo Girls (1989)
Welcome back to The Music Labyrinth where I suspect we all sang along with Closer To Fine by The Indigo Girls. As I mentioned in the lead in to that song, it enjoyed significant contributions from the members of the Irish band Hothouse Flowers. It also benefited from backing vocals by this next artist. This is Luka Bloom.
I Need Love / Luka Bloom (1991)
That was the Irish singer/songwriter Luka Bloom with I Need Love. Now that song is a cover version, and the person who wrote and originally recorded it is none other than the award winning American rapper, songwriter, producer and actor LL Cool J. In 1997 the Cool One teamed up with Dave Navarro, Flea and Chad Smth to contribute this track to the soundtrack of the Howard Stern film Private Parts. This is I Make My Own Rules.
I Make My Own Rules / Dave Navarro, Flea, Chad Smith and LL Cool J (1997)
On The Music Labyrinth that was I Make My Own Rules by Dave Navarro, Flea, Chad Smith and LL Cool J, and the song comes from the soundtrack of the 1997 Howard Stern movie Private Parts. Now, we’ve spoken once already about pretty awful cover versions, and I am forced to step by that mess once again. The Private Parts soundtrack also featured a terrible Ozzy Osbourne cover of this 1968 classic by Status Quo. To cleanse ourselves, here is the original.
Pictures Of Matchstick Men / Status Quo (1968)
This is The Music Labyrinth where we just encountered Pictures of Matchstick Men by Status Quo. That song featured in the 2012 film Men In Black 3. There were a bunch of songs from the 1960s that featured in that film, including this next one. This is Cream, with Strange Brew.
Strange Brew / Cream (1967)
That was Strange Brew by Cream, famously consisting of Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. Baker is A Fascinating Cat. Just one aspect of a pretty epic life story is this one from Wikipedia: In November 1971, Baker decided to set up a recording studio in Lagos, then the capital of Nigeria. He decided that it would be an interesting experience to travel to Nigeria overland across the Sahara Desert. Baker invited documentary filmmaker Tony Palmer to join him and the film Ginger Baker in Africa follows his odyssey as he makes his journey and finally arrives in Nigeria to set up his studio. After many frustrating setbacks and technical hitches, Batakota (ARC) Studios opened at the end of January 1973, and operated successfully through the seventies as a facility for both local and western musicians. Paul McCartney and Wings recorded the song "Picasso's Last Words (Drink to Me)" for Band on the Run at the studio, with Baker playing a tin can full of gravel. So, here is that song, and if you listen carefully to the first chorus you will hear Ginger Baker’s percussive contributions.
Picasso’s Last Words (Drink To Me) / Paul McCartney & Wings (1973)
From the epic 1973 album Band On The Run, that was Paul McCartney and Wings with Picasso’s Last Words (Drink To Me). Pablo Picasso gets a few mentions in contemporary music. Do you recall the band The Modern Lovers who we played in episode 58 with their song Roadrunner? Well, in 1976 they had quite some success with this song called Pablo Picasso.
Pablo Picasso / The Modern Lovers (1976)
This is The Music Labyrinth, where we find ourselves entering the final section of episode 91 of the show, and I hope you have enjoyed it thus far. We arrived at this point courtesy of the song Pablo Picasso by The Modern Lovers. Now, history has reflected long and hard on the life, times and attitudes of the renowned Spanish painter, ceramicist and sculptor, but - say whatever else you care to about him - it is unarguable that he was a man of colours.
Man Of Colours / Icehouse (1987)
On The Music Labyrinth the 1987 Icehouse song Man Of Colours has delivered us to the end of episode 91 of the program. It only remains for us to find a link to a song to carry us over to the next episode. Before I do that, may I thank you for your company during this episode. We’ve been on a wide and meandering journey, and I hope you have enjoyed the music as much as I have enjoyed bringing it to you. We’ll be back in two weeks to carry on, and I hope you will be too. I’m certain that you will be delighted with the song I’ve found to take us there. Man Of Colours comes from the 1987 Icehouse album of the same name. The producer of that album, and keyboardist on it, was the British composer and record producer David Lord, who is best known for his work with XTC, The Korgis and this next artist. In 1982 David Lord was engaged on the fourth, eponymously titled solo album by Peter Gabriel. This is Shock The Monkey. Thanks for listening.
Shock The Monkey / Peter Gabriel (1982)