Music Labyrinth Episode 104
I Will Survive / Gloria Gaynor (3:18)
Hello Listener, and welcome to episode 104 of The Music Labyrinth. The words you are hearing at the moment are my very own, but not for long because I am delighted to tell you that episode 104 of The Music Labyrinth has been entirely researched and programmed by The Music Labyrinth Elves, right down to the script I have been provided linking tracks. I have even been provided with some riding instructions about the content of this introduction which, like all good jockeys, I will adhere to fully. This year is, of course, 2023, and the author J D Salinger, if he had not passed away in 2010, would have been 104 years old this year. Salinger is the author of the seminal 1951 novel The Catcher In The Rye, which reflects on the world as it is seen by the central character Holden Caulfield. Now Holden is considered to be “an insightful but unreliable narrator” of events - and I cant help but wonder if the Elves are trying to tell you something about the usual host of this program. While I ponder that, I also highlight another observation of The Elves, that 104 is a primitive semiperfect number, and I propose to take the primitive semi-perfection of 104 as inspiration to deliver contemporary perfection for this entire Elf driven episode. If you are not sure how this works, the entire premise of this show is that we play a song and then I try to convince you that it is related in some material way to the next song we play. However, tonight may confuse new listeners a little (sorry) because we are leaping straight into a double-play. Please stay with me here. We started in good form with Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive which is a Gay Anthem (which in the script provided by The Elves was appropriately rainbow coloured) as verified by the council of LGBTQIA+ elders. It is also a song which has been covered by our next artist. So, we are going to use that double link of Gay Anthem designation and a previous cover to take us to our next track, and THEN continue rolling straight into our 3rd track for this episode because we think the jump from this next tune to one which follows it is so obvious, we’re going for a rare double play! (Which are becoming much less rare as we get more overconfident). So first, with another designated Gay Anthem, here is Diana Ross.
I’m Coming Out / Diana Ross (5:23)
Mo Money Mo Problems / The Notorious B.I.G. (4:17)
Welcome back to the Music Labyrinth where we’ve just come out and we’ve got a lot of money! That was, of course, Mo Money Mo Problems by The Notorious B.I.G featuring a big and obvious sample of the previous track, I’m Coming Out by Diana Ross. Writing credits on that song go to Biggie himself, as well as Sean Combs, Mason Betha, and Steven Jordan – better known by his stage name, Stevie J. Stevie J has written and produced a number of rap and R&B hits, including this next track by Eve.
Let Me Blow Ya Mind / Eve (feat. Gwen Stefani) (3:50)
From the 2001 album Scorpion, that was Let Me Blow Ya Mind by Eve. Backing vocals on that track were provided by Gwen Stefani. Gwen has not only had a successful solo career as a musician, but also as a member of the ska/pop/rock group No Doubt. No Doubt also released an album in 2001 called Rock Steady. From that album, here’s Hella Good.
Hella Good / No Doubt (4:02)
Welcome back to the Music Labyrinth, where we just listened to Hella Good by No Doubt. Hopefully you’re all danced out and ready for some introspection, because we’re shifting gears for our next track. No Doubt’s major breakthrough came in 1995 with the release of their diamond-certified album Tragic Kingdom, and the group had somewhat of a hiatus afterwards that would last until their next release in 2000. In the meantime, Gwen Stefani worked on multiple side projects, including recording vocals for the song South Side, which was to be featured on the 1999 album Play by this next artist:
Porcelain / Moby (3:58)
That was Moby, with his hauntingly beautiful song Porcelain. Porcelain was featured on the soundtrack of the 2000 film The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The film itself is pretty ordinary, and actually earned Dicaprio a Razzie nomination for Worst Actor, but the soundtrack is surprisingly good, featuring artists like New Order and the Chemical Brothers. But, because the Labyrinth Elves are creatures of both strong personal conviction and habit, let’s go with something more familiar from that soundtrack.
On Your Own / Blur (4:26)
That was Blur with On Your Own from their 1997 self-titled album. Damon Albarn, who is a dear friend of the Music Labyrinth family, stated in an interview with the ABC that although the track was released under Blur’s name, it was spiritually one of the first Gorillaz tunes. Now, there are a lot of songs that could be seen as the first Gorillaz track with most people crediting the song Ghost Train, which was the first song Albarn recorded as Gorillaz, although it wasn’t released on their first EP or album. This next song, however, was:
Tomorrow Comes Today / Gorillaz (3:13)
That was Gorillaz with Tomorrow Comes Today. That song, along with most of the songs on the album, was produced by Dan the Automator. (Hey! Nice name!). Dan has a ton of interesting credits to his name, including working on multiple film soundtracks. In 2010, he contributed to a track for the score of the cult classic Scott Pilgrim vs The World, which also contained this banger:
It’s Getting Boring By The Sea / Blood Red Shoes (2:56)
Welcome back to the Music Labyrinth where we’ve been rocking out and united in a distaste for the city of Brighton. We just listened to It’s Getting Boring By The Sea by Blood Red Shoes. Now, we’re aware that we’ve already utilised soundtracks as a quick and effective link twice in this episode, but if it ain’t broke…
That last song appeared in season 3, episode 1 of the science fiction comedy-drama series Misfits, as did this next song by The Velvet Underground. This is Sunday Morning:
Sunday Morning / The Velvet Underground (2:55)
That was Sunday Morning by The Velvet Underground. Perhaps the most well-known imagery from The Velvet Underground is the iconic banana artwork from their album The Velvet Underground & Nico, which was done by Andy Warhol. Several well-known artists have created artworks for albums, including Robert Rauschenberg, who won a Grammy for his work on the limited edition LP cover for the album Speaking In Tongues by this next band. From that Grammy winning album, this is Talking Heads:
Moon Rocks / Talking Heads (5:45)
That was Talking Heads with Moon Rocks. Well, now that we’re on the moon, we better find a way back. Hey! That reminds me of something…
To The Moon and Back / Savage Garden (5:41)
Welcome back to the Music Labyrinth, where we strive to provide only the strongest and most well-researched links to get us from one song to the next. We just listened to To The Moon And Back by Aussie pop duo Savage Garden, consisting of Darrren Hayes and Daniel Jones. In 2010, Hayes recorded a song for the Neil and Tim Finn compilation album He Will Have His Way. HOWEVER, we have already heard some songs from that album in previous episodes, so instead let’s take a look at it’s sister album, She Will Have Her Way. Here is Little Birdy with her cover of Six Months In A Leaky Boat:
Six Months In A Leaky Boat / Little Birdy (3:53)
Now, we previously heard from Little Birdy way back in episode 41, where we also explored the career of frontwoman Katy Steele’s older brother, Luke Steele. Luke is a member of both rock band The Sleepy Jackson and electronic duo Empire of the Sun. Since we covered The Sleepy Jackson back in episode 41, it only seems fair that we look at Empire of the Sun this time around. The duo had a massive hit in 2008 with this next track. This is Walking On A Dream:
Walking On A Dream / Empire of the Sun (3:18)
That was Walking On A Dream by Empire of the Sun. We established earlier that the first half of the duo consisted of Luke Steele of The Sleepy Jackson, but the other half of the group is Nick Littlemore, who is also a member of another group. These guys stay busy! So, let’s hear more from Nick Littlemore and his band PNAU (pronounced puh-now)
Wild Strawberries / PNAU (4:04)
You are listening to the Music Labyrinth where we just heard PNAU with their track Wild Strawberries. And guess what? We’ve been hiding a secret link! In 2011, triple J held a vote for the Hottest 100 Australian Albums Of All Time, and included in the ranks were Walking On A Dream by Empire of the Sun, and PNAU’s self titled 2008 album. Those might sound familiar because we just listened to a song from each of them!
Included at #60 on that Hottest 100 is an artist who would go on to become a nine-time Grammy award nominee. From her album We Are Born, here’s Sia:
Bring Night / Sia (2:57)
That was Sia with Bring Night. That song was co-written by Greg Kurstin, who is absolutely everywhere in the indie and alternative music scene of the 2010s. In 2011, Kurstin co-wrote a song with Mark Foster of Foster The People for their album Torches. This is Helena Beat:
Helena Beat / Foster The People (4:36)
That was Foster The People with Helena Beat. In 2012, lead singer Mark Foster debuted his side project Simms & Belle, a collaboration with Isom Innis, and released a remix of Lana Del Rey’s song Blue Jeans with a bespoke verse from rapper Azealia Banks. Now, we’re not playing it because it kinda sucks, but let’s stick with Azealia for now.
Anna Wintour / Azealia Banks (4:33)
That was Azealia Banks with her song Anna Wintour. Azealia is a somewhat polarising figure for reasons too numerous and bizarre to cover here, but the quality and danceability of her music is hard to argue with. Critic John Robinson called Banks’ music an “appealing blend of Missy Elliot and dance-pop”. Missy’s influence over Azealia Banks and many other artists is undeniable, and she’s quickly becoming a Labyrinth favourite. Let's hear from Missy with her song The Rain:
The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly) / Missy Elliot (4:11)
[POTENTIAL DOUBLE PLAY IF WE’RE PRESSED FOR TIME]
There’s a fairly obvious sample in that last track of I Can’t Stand The Rain by Ann Peebles. But, don’t just take our word for it! Let’s have a listen:
I Can’t Stand The Rain / Ann Peebles (2:30)
We just heard I Can't Stand The Rain sung by Ann Peebles. That song has been covered countless times, including by quite a few juggernauts of the music industry. For example, the late and exceptionally great Tina Turner did her own cover in 1984. Let’s stick with Tina for this next track and play perhaps one of her most famous covers. Here is Proud Mary:
Proud Mary / Tina Turner (1993)
Welcome back to the final part of the Music Labyrinth, where we listened to Tina Turner’s cover of Proud Mary. The original, of course, was written and recorded by Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1969. According to the song’s wiki page, John Fogerty was inspired by Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony when writing the opening chords of Proud Mary. Classical music has been referenced and interpolated many times in modern music in various creative ways. One such example will take us to our final song in this episode of The Music Labyrinth, and we will get to that in just a second. Just before we do, can I, as your usual host, wrest control of the show for a couple of seconds to thank The Music Labyrinth Elves for the love and effort they have committed to the preparation of this episode. What a blessing it is to have such great helpers. I love them. And, for their part, I have been instructed to say: We the Elves want to thank you for listening to this week’s episode, and we hope we haven’t put you off coming back in two weeks time. Thank you Dad for sharing this with us <3 Peace out!
So, to bridge the gap from episode 104 to our next episode in a fortnight, the Elves have chosen this song by Australian Dj duo Flight Facilities, because of its obvious link to an 1890 composition by the French composer Claude DeBussey. This is Flight Facilities with Clair de Lune:
Clair de Lune / Flight Facilities (7:36)