Music Labyrinth Episode 102
Go West / Pet Shop Boys (1993)
Hello Listener and welcome to episode 102 of The Music Labyrinth. 102 happens to be the atomic number of Nobelium, which is a heavy, radioactive element named after Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite. Given its obvious reputation for instability and danger, it it probably fitting therefore that 102 is also the telephone number for emergency services response in several countries. However, rest easy Dear Listener. I do not intend for you to have to make the call to emergency services as all I have planned for you over the next two hours are some terrific tunes which are all linked to one another like a an excellent result in the Barrel Of Monkeys game. Also, I ought not spend too much time on lengthy introductions, as I think I have gone a little bit hard in the music-to-available-time ratio for tonight’s show. So, onwards! We started this episode with the Pet Shops Boys’ 1993 cover of Go West. Of course, we all remember that the original of that tune was brought to us by The Village People./. But did we also know that the original version of the song featured in the soundtrack of the movie Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert? Well, it did, and so too did this tune.
I Love The Night Life (Disco Round) / Alicia Bridges (1978)
From 1978, that was Alicia Bridges with I Love The Night Life. That song featured in the 1998 comedy-drama film The Last Days Of Disco: the compelling story of two college graduates falling in and out of love in the disco scene of New York in the early 1980. “Thank goodness for the music” is all I can say! This song also featured in that film.
He’s The Greatest Dancer / Sister Sledge (1979)
Welcome back to The Music Labyrinth where we last heard He’s The GReatest Dancer by Sister Seldge. Sister Sledge was formed by the siblings Debbie, Joni, Kim and Kathy Sledge. There are not that many well known bands consisting of four siblings, but I have found you one other to be going on with. In the early 70s the brothers Ivory, Abrim, Cleophus and Raymond Tilmon formed a vocal harmony group called The Detroit Emeralds. And in 1972 they had a hit with Baby Let Me Take You (In My Arms).
Baby Let Me Take You (In My Arms) / Detroit Emeralds (1972)
Now I hope you were listening carefully to Baby Let Me Take You (In My Arms) by the Detroit Emeralds, because if you were you should have no trouble at all in identifying the use of a guitar sample from that tune in this 1989 song from De La Soul. This is Say No Go.
Say No Go / De La Soul (1989)
That was De La Soul with Say No Go. In 2005 De La Soul were invited to collaborate with a band that are a particular favourite here at The Music Labyrinth. So, because we are unashamedly biased, lets use the opportunity to hear De La Soul with Gorillaz.
Feel Good Inc / Gorillaz (2005)
I hinted just before we listened to Feel Good Inc by Gorillaz that rules, conventions, standards and norms are flexible concepts here at The Music Labyrinth. For example, when we arrive at a particularly happy place in The Music Labyrinth, I see no reason why we should not maybe dwell and enjoy. The Gorillaz album Demon Days is such a place, and dwell we shall!
Dare / Gorillaz (2005)
That, of course, was Dare by Gorillaz. On that particular track, vocals were by Shaun Ryder, whose pronounced Mancunian accent is said to be the reason that the song we just heard is known as Dare, instead of There. If you listen back to it you will hear that possibility. Shaun Ryder’s day job is as a member of The Happy Mondays, who had a massive hit in 1990 with this tune.
Kinky Afro / Happy Mondays (1990)
That was Kinky Afro by Happy Mondays, from their 1990 album Pills ‘N’ Thrills And Bellyaches. The Happy Mondays were one of the bands / personalities around which the 2002 comedy-drama film 24 Hour Party People was based. Kinky Afro did, I think, sneak into the film itself, but did not feature in the corresponding soundtrack album. But another song from Pills ‘N’ Thrills And Bellyaches did. It was this one, called Loose Fit.
Loose Fit / Happy Mondays (1990)
This is The Music Labyrinth where we last listened to Loose Fit by The Happy Mondays. As I mentioned prior to the break, that song featured in the soundtrack of the film 24 Hour Party People. This next song also featured in the same soundtrack. This is Pacific State, by 808 State.
Pacific State / 808 State (1989)
That was Pacific State with their 1989 song 808 State. That song featured a sample which sounds a little bit like a sea bird, and the sample originates from a 1984 album called Wind Chimes, Birds and Streams (Loon Garden). And, the same sample appears in this 2020 Lady Gaga song.
Babylon / LadyGaga (2020)
From her 2020 album Chromatica, that was Her Gaganess with Babylon. Chromatica featured Michael Tucker (Bloodpop) as producer, songwriter, musician, and programmer. A year before working with Gaga he co-wrote several songs for, and produced the Vampire Weekend album Father Of The Bride. From that album, and produced by BloodPop, this is Unbearably White.
Unbearably White / Vampire Weekend (2019)
This is The Music Labyrinth, episode 102 no less, and we last listened to Vampire Weekend with Unbearably White. That song comes from the album Father Of The Bride which features vocals and guitar by David Longstreth, whose day job is as a founding member of The Dirty Projectors. From their 2009 album Bitte Orca, this is The Dirty Projectors with Stillness Is The Move.
Stillness Is The Move / Dirty Projectors (2009)
That was Stillness Is The Move by the Dirty Projectors, who are - shall we say - not a top 40 production line kind of band. They do some interesting and bizarre things. Like, in 2005, when they released The Getty Address, a concept album whose subject matter is the life of Don Henley. If he’s worthy of a concept album, he’s worthy of the attention of this humble radio program. A significant step in his life story would have to be his first solo album in 1982 after initial fame with The Eagles. From that first solo album, this is Dirty Laundry.
Dirty Laundry / Don Henley (YEAR)
Welcome back to The Music Labyrinth where we just listened to Dirty Laundry by Don Henley from his first solo album, I Cant Stand Still, released in 1982. Within a decade of that release Don Henley advanced his reputation from that drummer with the Eagles to a significant musician, songwriter and performer. He also became something of a spokesperson for various social and charitable causes. His elevation in status was confirmed in 1993 when he was invited to participate in the Elton John project, Duets. From that project, here are Elton and Don with their cover of a 1975 hit for the Temptations.
Shakey Ground / Elton John & Don Henley (1993)
OK, after hearing Shakey Ground by Don Henley and Elton John we are firmly back in the Elton John part of the labyrinth. Now, I know what I said earlier about the fluid nature of rules, conventions, standards and norms, but The Elton John Rule remains etched in diamond. So, completely in consistency with that rule, lets go back to 17 November 1970. On that evening a young Elton, drummer Nigel Olsson and bassist Dee Murray entertained just over 100 people at the A&R Studios in New York (plus a live radio audience) in what Elton has called the best live performance of his career. I concur. From that session, this is Bad Side Of The Moon.
Bad Side Of The Moon (Live) / Elton John (1970)
That was Elton John, from November 1970, with Bad Side Of The Moon. NOW we are in danger of breaching The Diamond Tipped Elton John Rule, because we are zipping forward to 2012. However, in my defence, this tune is built around an early Elton hit (Grey Seal from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road) and involves significant input from an Australian dance music trio. This is Elton John vs PNAU with Phoenix.
Phoenix / Elton John vs PNAU (2012)
This is The Music Labyrinth where we last tested the limits of The Elton John Rule by listening a 2012 collaboration between himself and the Australian dance music trio PNAU. PNAU also made their mark last year on the soundtrack of the Baz Luhrmann film Elvis, when their remix called Don’t Fly Away was included in the official soundtrack. And in case you were wondering, is sounded like this.
Dont Fly Away (PNAU Remix) / Elvis Presley (2022)
From the soundtrack of the 2022 film Elvis, that was The Man, remixed by PNAU, with Don’t Fly Away. Also contained on that same soundtrack album is this gem. This is Stevie Nicks and Chris Isaac with Cotton Candy Land.
Cotton Candy Land / Stevie Nicks & Chris Isaac (2022)
That’s pretty cool, isn’t it? That was Stevie Nicks and Chris Isaac with Cotton Candy Land. Stevie Nicks is still doing terrific work, even at what might be considered to be the back end of her long and influential career in modern music. In 2019 she released a remastered copy of her album Stand Back, which included this cover first recorded by her in 2009. This song was originally recorded by one of my favouritest ever bands - more on them shortly. But first, here is Stevie Nicks with Crash Into Me.
Crash Into Me (Live) / Stevie Nicks (2019)
That was Stevie Nicks with her cover of what the astute will have recognised as a song by the Dave Matthews Band, Crash Into Me. I’ve come to realise that I am a little gun shy about playing songs by the Dave Matthews Band, which might have something to to with some intra-family criticisms in that regard. Nevertheless, I am determined to stand strong and address this character flaw. Here is the Dave Matthews Band with Mercy.
Mercy / Dave Matthews Band (2012)
This is The Music Labyrinth and we just listened to Mercy by the Dave Matthews Band. You may remember that, in 2017, there was a particularly tragic event in Charlottesville, Virginia, when a car was deliberately rammed into a group of people protesting against a right wing rally. The following month a public concert, A Concert For Charlottesville, was organised by the Dave Matthews Band to raise funds for the victims of that attack. Dave Matthews opened the show with th tune we just heard, and he was immediately followed by Cage The Elephant performing this tune. This is Punching Bag.
Punching Bag / Cage The Elephant (2015)
That was Cage The Elephant with Punching Bag, and we arrived at that song because it was performed at the Concert For Charlottesville in September 2017. Later in that same concert, The Roots and Brittany Howard combined to deliver a version of The Temptations 1970 hit, Ball Of Confusion. I could not find a recording of that version of the song, but my search led me a particularly interesting alternative. From the soundtrack of the Netflix series The Get Down, this is Leon Bridges with Ball Of Confusion.
Ball Of Confusion / Leon Bridges (2016)
And so, Patient Listener, Ball Of Confusion has delivered us to the end of episode 102 of The Music Labyrinth. Thanks very much for your company, whether this is your first rodeo or your 102nd. Please come back again in two weeks when we will do it again. In fact, I have a fair idea already where we are headed. Let me explain. You see, our last track in this episode is also from the soundtrack of the Netflix series The Get Down, and it is a 1972 single by Garland Jeffries. Now, I’ve only ever known it by a live cover version performed by an Australian band in 1978. So, I think we can anticipate some 1970s Australian rock in the early part of our next episode. But, to get us there, also from the Netflix TV series The Get Down, this is Garland Jeffries with Wild In The Streets.
Wild In The Streets / Garland Jeffries (1972)