Music Labyrinth Episode 094
Unbelievable / EMF (1990)
Hello Listener, and welcome to episode 94 of The Music Labyrinth. In 1791 the Austrian composer Joseph Haydn performed his Symphony Number 94 in G Major in London, with Haydn himself leading the orchestra from the fortepiano. Hayden’s Symphony Number 94 was also known as the Surprise Symphony, because of the insertion of a sudden, loud and lively chord at the end of the otherwise gentle opening to the second movement. The music then returns to its original quiet dynamic as if nothing has happened, and the following variations throughout the movement do not repeat the joke. Well, I’m not offering too many sudden, loud and lively dynamic shifts in episode 94 of The Music Labyrinth (OK, maybe a few…) but I can assure you Gentle Listener that this episode is, in its own way, full of surprises. Without wishing to spoil them, be prepared for two back-to-back Certifiable Unarguable Bangers, a particularly unusual cover of a very well known song, and some interesting samples. Anyway - all that to come on episode 94 (The Surprise Episode) of The Music Labyrinth. We began, of course, where we ended our last episode, with the 1990 uber-hit, Unbelievable, by EMF. The composition of that song is credited to the band EMF, but I think its fair to say that it was primarily the idea of EMF guitarist and principle songwriter, Ian Dench, which occurred to him when he was out riding his bike one day. In 2007 Ian Dench was one of several people, including Beyonce Knowles, credited with writing this song.
Beautiful Liar / Beyonce & Shakira (2007)
Well, there you go, surprise number one in this Surprise Episode of The Music Labyrinth. Who would have expected to hear Shakira on this program?! That was Beyonce and Shakira with Beautiful Liar, from the 2007 album B’day. In fact, now that we’ve committed to Shakira, lets stay with her. Also in 2007, Annie Lennox conceived of a campaign to raise awareness and funds to support the treatment of HIV/AIDS, and wrote this next song as a vehicle to promote that campaign. The song includes guest vocals from 23 different singers, including Shakira, about which I will tell you more shortly. But first, here is that song.
Sing / Annie Lennox (2007)
"Sing" features" primary vocals by Annie Lennox and Madonna, who sings the second verse. Apart from them, the line-up consists of: Anastacia, Isobel Campbell, Dido, Céline Dion, Melissa Etheridge, Fergie, Beth Gibbons, Faith Hill, Angélique Kidjo, Beverley Knight, Gladys Knight, k.d. lang, Sarah McLachlan, Beth Orton, Pink, Bonnie Raitt, Shakira, Shingai Shoniwa, Joss Stone, The Sugababes, KT Tunstall and Martha Wainwright. So lets seize upon one member of that choir, Isobel Campbell, as we move on through The Music Labyrinth. Isobel Campbell is a Scottish singer, songwriter and cellist and former member of Belle & Sebastian. In who colllaborated with Mark Lanegan in 2006 to produce an album called The Ballad of Broken Seas. From it, this is Honey Child What Can I Do.
Honey Child What Can I Do / Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan (2006)
Between 2000 and 2005 Mark Lanegan was a full time member of Queens Of The Stone Age, featuring as vocalist on the albums Rated R, Songs For The Deaf, and Lullabies To Paralyse. Here he is on lead vocals on this track from Rated R. This is In The Fade.
In The Fade / Queens Of The Stone Age (2000)
Did you hear the refrain to Feelgood Hit Of The Summer at the end of that track? It was the lead track on the QOTSA album Rated R, but did not feature Mark Lanegan. Nor did the second track, which is too good not to play.
The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret / Queens Of The Stone Age (2000)
That song, The Lost Art of Keeping A Secret by Queens Of The Stone Age, featured in Season 5 of the animated TV show, Daria. So too did this next track, which has achieved Certified Unarguable Banger status here at The Music Labyrinth. This is - well, you’ll know what this is…
Bohemian Like You / The Dandy Warhols (2009)
That song, Bohemian Like You by The Dandy Warhols, was the subject of a minor controversy in 2011 when British conservative politician Theresa May played the song as she walked off from a conference speech. After discovering the track was his, Dandy Warhols frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor posted an angry tirade on the band's official website, condemning the unauthorised use of the song. Politicians keep falling for this one. In 2010 a Florida senate candidate used this next song in an attack ad against his opponent. He was sued, and required to pay an undisclosed sum to the copyright owners and offer a public apology. Quite right too! How dare they consecrate this song which has also achieved CUB status?!
Road To Nowhere / Talking Heads (2005)
On The Music Labyrinth that was Talking Heads with Road To Nowhere. We could probably do a complete episode on this theme of politicians using songs without permission, but not tonight. However, let me labour the point just one more time. In 2010 the Canadian band Rush had to formally require US Senate nominee Rand Paul to cease playing their songs at his rallies. One of the songs concerned was this one from 1981. This is Tom Sawyer.
Tom Sawyer / Rush (1981)
That song, Tom Sawyer by Rush, is included in the Canadian Songwriters’ Hall Of Fame, as too is this one.
This Wheel’s On Fire / The Band (1968)
That was the version of This Wheel’s On Fire which first appeared on the Band’s epic 1968 album Music From Big Pink. The Listener will recognise that song as the theme tune for the long running TV series, Absolutely Fabulous. 2016 saw the release of Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, for which our own Kylie recorded a version of the song we just heard. Also included in the soundtrack of Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie was this song from 1953.
C’est Si Bon / Eartha Kitt (1953)
From 1953 that was Eartha Kitt with C’est Si Bon. 36 years later, Eartha Kitt collaborated with Bronski Beat to release this song. This is Cha Cha Heels.
Cha Cha Heels / Eartha Kitt and Bronski Beat (1989)
On the Music Labyrinth we have just slipped into dance mode courtesy of the Eartha Kitt and Bronski Beat song Cha Cha Heels. Lets stay in-da-club. Bronski Beat lead singer Jimmy Somerville later went on to form The Communards with the Reverend Richard Coles. Now, we have already played - in episode 67 - the original version of what was probably their biggest hit Don’t Leave Me This Way. But wait, there’s more. From 1987, this is The Communards with their second biggest hit.
Never Can Say Goodbye / The Communards (1987)
That was The Communards, featuring the vocals of Jimmy Somerville, with Never Can Say Goodbye. Just as a bye-the-bye, I reckon most people will remember the Gloria Gaynor version of that song, which I had always thought to be the original. But I was surprised to learn that it was originally by The Jackson 5! How about that? Anyway, back to The Communards. In 2009 Jimmy Somerville released an album called Suddenly Last Summer, a bunch of acoustic interpretations of other people’s songs, including this one.
Hanging On The Telephone / Jimmy Somerville (2009)
On The Music Labyrinth that was Jimmy Somerville with his cover of the Blondie song Hanging On The Telephone. Blondie had a thing about the telephone …
Call Me / Blondie (1980)
That was Blondie with their 1980 hit Call Me. In 2009 the record label Shout! Factory released an album called Action: The Sweet Anthology which was a grab bag of some Sweet singles, some B sides, some album tracks, and a handful of never before released tracks. I suspect this next track is part of that last group, and it happens to have exactly the same title as the Blondie song we just heard. This is The Sweet with Call Me.
Call Me / Sweet (2009) * Sorry Spotify Folks. I could not find this track anywhere in their database.
From the 2009 Sweet compilation album Action: The Sweet Anthology, that was Call Me. Also on that album, was this next song - and I should issue a listener alert here - this song is pure, bubblegum, guilty pleasure. Enjoy it discretely.
Coco / Sweet (1971)
That was The Sweet with Coco, clearly from their bubblegum period. The Sweet’s best known line-up consisted of lead vocalist Brian Connolly, bass player Steve Priest, guitarist Andy Scott, and drummer Mick Tucker. Brian Connolly, Mick Tucker and Steve Priest have since passed on to whatever comes after this life, but Andy Scott remains with us and is still recording and performing as Andy Scott’s Sweet. Here they are from 2012 with New York Groove.
New York Groove / Andy Scott’s Sweet (2012)
Now, those in the know - and hello to you - will have picked up on the sample of a more recent tune which was prominent in the song we just heard - New York Groove by Andy Scott’s Sweet. For those who missed the reference, here it is.
Empire State Of Mind / Jay-Z (feat. Alicia Keys) (2009)
From 2009 that was Jay-Z, featuring Alicia Keys, with Empire State Of Mind. In 2016 Alicia Keys collaborated with Pharrell Williams on the soundtrack of the movie Hidden Figures, contributing this song. This is called Apple.
Apple / Alicia Keys and Pharrell Williams (2016)
On The Music Labyrinth that was Alicia Keys and Pharrell Williams with Apple, from the soundtrack of the movie Hidden Figures. Now, I know its exactly what you expect me to do, and I hate to be so predictable, but I just cant go past Pharrell without playing this infectious little number.
Happy / Pharrell Williams (2014)
From the soundtrack of the movie Despicable Me 2, that was Pharrell Williams with Happy. Pharrell was riding the crest of a wave around the time of that recording. In addition to Happy he also achieved great commercial success with Daft Punk on Get Lucky, and then there was this. Produced by, co-written by, and featuring Pharrell, this is Robin Thicke with Blurred Lines.
Blurred Lines / Robin Thicke (feat. T.I. & Pharrell) (2013)
In 2015, a jury determined that Blurred Lines, which Williams co-wrote and produced, was an infringement of a 1977 Marvin Gaye song and awarded the Gaye family $7.4 million in damages for the copyright infringement based on profits generated. Now, as always, I don’t just bring you the allegation, I also like to provide the evidence. So, lets once again play you-make-up-your-own-mind. Here is that Marvin Gaye song, Got To Give It Up.
Got To Give It Up / Marvin Gaye (1977)
That was a Music Labyrinth edited version of Got To Give It Up by Marvin Gaye. If you later jump on to the Apple Music or Spotify playlist for this episode (see the buttons above) you will find that the full track runs for about 11 minutes. Marvin Gaye continues to surprise me in that I discover that songs I thought I knew really well were actually written by him years before the version I am familiar with. We had one recently, Aretha Franklin’s version of Respect, and here is another example.
Wherever I Lay My Hat / Paul Young (1983)
That was Paul Young with his 1983 cover of Marvin Gay’s Wherever I Lay My Hat. And that brings us to the brink of episode 94 of The Music Labyrinth. Thanks for stepping along with me and holding my hand in the dark. Lets find a song to take us from Paul Young into the next episode of the program. On this final track of this show you will hear two male voices singing backing vocals. One of them, I promise you, is the artist we just listened to, Paul Young. The other - well that can just wait for our next episode. Of course, you can always look it up yourself in the interim, but that would be like finding your Christmas presents in the week before Christmas Day. So, pay particular attention to the backing vocals as you enjoy Squeeze with Black Coffee In Bed. Thanks for listening.
Black Coffee In Bed / Squeeze