Music Labyrinth Episode 098
Blue Orchid / White Stripes (2005)
Hello Listener, and welcome to episode 98 of The Music Labyrinth. 98 is, of course, the number and year of release of Microsoft’s Windows 98 operating system. I imagine you have probably encountered it, and perhaps even are still using it. Wikipedia tells us that most of the improvements offered within Windows 98 were cosmetic or designed to improve the user experience, but that there were some features which enhanced functionality and capability. Well, there is a set of goals for us to adopt in episode 98, which I think we should now recognise as “Labyrinth 98”, in honour of its Microsoft mentor. Indeed Labyrinth 98 will have a slightly different feel about it, with a slightly larger number of slightly shorter songs, and not one, but two, double plays! In fact, the first of those comes up right now. We started Labyrinth 98 where we ended the previous episode, and that was with The White Stripes and their punchy 2005 song Blue Orchid. That song featured in the list of tunes within the music video game Guitar Hero 5, and so I have selected for our second tune in this episode another song which also featured in that same game. AND, directly after our second tune we will roll into our first double play of the episode. Now, if you are new to The Music Labyrinth - welcome! - and please understand that each song we play is related to the previous and I will often talk your ears off trying to justify those links between the songs. But sometimes the link to the next song is so obvious as to not warrant any further introduction, and this is such an occasion. So lets set up the double play with a track that I am certain will be appreciated by my colleague Tony Slade and his listeners to the Mostly Prog program on alternate Thursday evenings. From 1969, and featured in Guitar Hero 5, this is King Crimson with 21st Century Schizoid Man.
21st Century Schizoid Man / King Crimson (1969)
Power / Kanye West (2010)
Welcome back to The Music Labyrinth after our first double-play of this episode (yep, there is another to come!). We last heard Power by Kanye West, which contained a big old sample of our second song, 21st Century Schizoid Man by King Crimson. Kanye’s song, Power, featured in the soundtrack of the 2022 film Black Adam, as too did this track. This is Eric Zayne with Exile.
Exile / Eric Zayne (2022)
From the soundtrack of the 2022 movie Black Adam, that was Eric Zayne with Exile. Eric Zayne grew up in the Democratic Republic of Congo, until civil unrest caused his family to flee their home. The family were separated in their flight and young Eric found himself in Canada where he developed a strong passion for music. In 2019 he formed an association with the Oscar nominated actor Jeremy Renner, who also has a strong interest in music, to produce some songs for major advertising campaigns. Out of that association came this song. This is Jeremy Renner and Eric Zayne with Sign.
Sign / Jeremy Renner & Eric Zayne (2019)
From 2019 that was Jeremy Renner and Eric Zayne with Sign. You probably remember that Jeremy Renner was severely injured in a snowplough crash earlier this year and is currently recovering from those injuries. In 2003, at the beginning of his acting career, Jeremy Renner starred in the filmclip for this hit…
Trouble / Pink (2003)
That was Pink with her 2003 his song, Trouble. That song was co-written by Tim Armstrong who’s day job is as the guitarist, singer and frontman of the band Rancid, and who’s other day job is as a prominent member of the hip-hop/punk supergroup Transplants. More on Transplants shortly, but first, here is Rancid with their 1995 hit Time Bomb.
Time Bomb / Rancid (1995)
Welcome back to The Music Labyrinth were we last listened to Time Bomb by Rancid. As I mentioned earlier, Tim Armstrong and other members of Rancid contributed to the hip-hop/punk supergroup Transplants, which also includes Travis Barker from Blink-182 and Vince Ruggiero of The Slackers. In 2005 they released an album called Haunted Cities and from it is this track, also featuring Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. This is What I Cant Describe.
What I Cant Describe / Transplants (feat. Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E) (2005)
From their 2005 album Haunted Cities that is Transplants with What I Cant Describe. In 2017 Transplants released their EP Take Cover which included a cover of this hit from 1980.
Baggy Trousers / Madness (1980)
That is Madness (the band, that it) with Baggy Trousers. As an aside (nothing to do with our next link) in 2011 Madness recorded a slowed down version of Baggy Trousers for their album A Undead Tour Of Madness. Its - interesting. In 1983, Colgate used the melody of Baggy Trousers in a television advertisement in which a group of kids sing newly written lyrics about Colgate Blue Minty Gel toothpaste. Another song to grab the attention of large corporations for their TV advertisements was this next track, which has been variously used by Apple, Nissan, and the NASCAR racing organisation.
Ride / The Vines (2004)
On The Music Labyrinth that was The Vines with Ride. That song is the opening track on their second album, Winning Days, which was recorded at Bearsville Studio in New York. Bearsville was established in 1969 by recording bigwig Albert Grossman and has seen recording sessions by The Band, Patti Smith Group, R.E.M, Joe Jackson, Suzanne Vega, Dave Matthews Band and many others. In 1996, the American improv band Phish (spelt P-H-I-S-H) took themselves along to Bearsville Studios where they recorded their album Billy Breathes, and from it, this is Character Zero.
Character Zero / Phish (1996)
This is The Music Labyrinth where he last heard the American band Phish with their 1996 song Character Zero. In 2004 the legendary Jamaican band Toots & The Maytals re-recorded a number of their classic hits with guest artists for the album, True Love. One of those guest artists was Trey Anastasio from the band we just heard, Phish, and his work can be heard on this track from True Love. This is Toots & The Maytals, with Trey Anastasio, with Sweet And Dandy.
Sweet and Dandy / Toots & The Maytals & Trey Anastasio (2004)
One of the greatest hits associated with Toots & The Maytals is their 1969 hit Monkey Man, which was subsequently given a second life in 1979 when released by the British ska band The Specials. Monkey Man was also re-recorded and included on 2004’s True Love by Toots & The Maytals and featured the Californian band No Doubt.
Monkey Man / Toots & The Maytals & No Doubt (2004)
As I mentioned earlier, that song was first recorded in 1969 by Toots & The Maytals, and was subsequently made even more famous by The Specials, and Amy Winehouse, and, in 2009, by a collaboration between our own Kylie and The Wiggles. However, lets stay with the 2004 version which we just heard, and which also featured this group.
Just A Girl / No Doubt (1992)
From their 1992 album Tragic Kingdom, that was No Doubt with Just A Girl. Around the time of the Toots & The Maytals collaboration, No Doubt and their lead singer had started to head in different directions. In 2006 that lead singer released her own solo album which included this single. This is Gwen Stefani, featuring Akon, with The Sweet Escape.
The Sweet Escape / Gwen Stefani (feat. Akon) (2006)
Here on The Music Labyrinth we just listened to a 2006 collaboration between Gwen Stefani and Akon. Now, we’ve spoken about Akon before. He’s a Sengalese-American singer, rapper, producer and entrepreneur who has collaborated with plenty of big name performers. In 2012 he released a solo album called Konkrete Jungle which included this next track. AND, its time for our second double-play of this episode because, again, the link to the song which follows will be very obvious in about 5 seconds. So first, here is Akon with Used To Know.
Used To Know / Akon (feat. Money J & Black Frost) (2012)
Somebody That I Used To Know / Gotye (feat. Kimbra) (2011)
That, of course, is Gotye, featuring Kimbra, with Somebody That I Used To Know. You will have picked up on the sprightly little xylophone part in that song and if you did not, well let me use my prodigious musical talent to provide you with an example. *** Now, given my immense talent, you will have had no problem identifying that little melody which popped up through the song we just heard and which is also the melody from Baa Baa Black Sheep. Here it is again ***. This next song also refers to that nursery rhyme, and at the same time manages to cram in Ring a Ring O’ Roses, London Bridge Is Falling Down, Mary Had A Little Lamb, This Old Man and One, Two Buckle My Shoe. And, in completely unrelated news, in a couple of days Good Friend Of The Music Labyrinth, The Margarita Man, will be celebrating a personal milestone and, in honour of his birthday, I promised him a tailored selection in this episode. Alex, I hope this does the trick. This is Korn, with Shoots And Ladders.
Shoots And Ladders / Korn (1994)
This is The Music Labyrinth where we continued our exploration of unorthodox spelling of band names, with Koran’s 1994 song Shoots And Ladders. In 2002 Korn lead singer Jonathan Davis commissioned the creation of a custom built mic stand by the sculptor H.R Giger. Giger produced five of the cast aluminium stands before destroying the molds. Davis has three and the two remaining are part of the Giger museum collections for display. Someone else who is well known for a custom made mic stand is Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco who’s bespoke, flesh coloured mic stand was a simple formation of a thin, long arm at the end of which was a molded hand holding the mic. This is Panic! At The Disco with I Write Sins Not Tragedies.
I Write Sins Not Tragedies / Panic! At The Disco (2005)
On The Music Labyrinth that was Panic! At The Disco with I Write Sins Not Tragedies. Panic! At The Disco’s lead singer, Brenton Urie, has featured in a number of side and solo projects, including a massive 2009 world wide campaign to promote a soft drink company. That campaign resulted in a number of song releases, including this one. This is Brendon Urie, Travie McCoy, Patrick Stump, CeeLo Green & Janelle Monae with Open Happiness.
Open Happiness / Travie McCoy, Brendon Urie, Patrick Stump, CeeLo Green & Janelle Monae (2009)
That track was called Open Happiness and it was performed by a raft of talented people including CeeLo Green. In 2018, CeeLo Green contributed to a various artists album of cover versions called disCovered, Vol.1. This is CeeLo’s cover of a pretty well-known tune.
Africa / CeeLo Green (2018)
That was CeeLo Green with his cover of Toto’s Africa. We’ve talked a lot about Toto over the course of The Music Labyrinth and the fact that their members pop up as constant contributors throughout the annuls of modern music. More coming up on Toto and their influence, but first, this. In 2018 a campaign started and gained great momentum amongst fans of the American band Weezer calling on the band to release a cover of Toto’s Africa. The band ultimately did release a cover of that song, but only after they reversed the joke on their fans and produced this cover version of a different Toto song.
Rosanna / Weezer (2018)
On the most recent section of episode 98 of The Music Labyrinth, we have spent a little time speaking about the band Toto and we’ve heard cover versions of two of their best known hits, the most recent being Weezer’s 2018 cover of Rosanna. I think its probably time we heard from Toto themselves - but there is a catch. On the track we are about to hear they are not credited as Toto. Nevertheless, it is they. When Michael Jackson was recording his 1982 mega-album Thriller he included a song co-written by Steve Porcaro of Toto. The remaining members of Toto were engaged by Jackson for various contributions to Thriller, but for this next track (the one co-written by Steve Porcaro) the session was essentially Michael Jackson singing with Toto. This is Human Nature.
Human Nature / Michael Jackson (1982)
Michael Jackson died in 2009. His 60th birthday would have occurred in 2018 and as a mark of that occasion, record producer Mark Ronson put together a mash-up of Michael acts on hits which includes a snippet of the track we just heard. This is Mark Ronson and Michael Jackson with Diamonds Are Invincible.
Diamonds Are Invincible / Michael Jackson & Mark Ronson (2018)
On The Music Labyrinth that was Mark Ronson and Michael Jackson with Diamonds Are Invincible, Mark Ronson’s 2018 mash up of a number of Michael Jackson hits which was released to coincide with what would have been Michael Jackson’s 60th birthday. We’ve spoken previously more than once on The Music labyrinth about Mark Ronson and his contribution to modern music, and it is by way of his work that we will get to our last track of this episode in just a couple of moments. But first, can I thank you very much for joining in the journey through The Music Labyrinth. It can e a foreboding place at times, and there is comfort in numbers - so thanks for that and please come back again in two weeks for episode 99 of the program. Now, Mark Ronson’s second album, Version (2007), was - as you probably realise - an album of covers versions which brought us, among other gems, Amy Winehouse’s wonderful version of Valerie. It also included a Lily Allen cover version of this next song from 2004. To take us to the next episode of The Music Labyrinth, this is the Kaiser Chiefs with Oh My God. Thanks for listening.
Oh My God / Kaiser Chiefs (2004)