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Posted by: In: Other 25 Oct 2020 Comments: 0


882-Dusty Springfield-Son of a Preacher Man.

1968-Number 9 single.

Best Bit-At 1.44.’I’m on the intercom,’ ‘Where is it, where is the intercom,”It’s on the wall by the two African fellows,”to your right,’Warm, warmer,”Disco.’

‘Son of a Preacher Man’ was used in one of the key scenes in the classic 1994 film Pulp Fiction.Quentin Tarantino said that if he hadn’t been allowed to use the song, he would have cut the scene from the movie.

The song was written by John Hurley (1941-1986,) and Ronnie Wilkins, their other major success was ‘Love of the Common People,’ a hit in the 1970’s for Nicky Thomas, and again in the 1980’s for Paul Young. Music producer Jerry Wexler (1917-2008) had asked the pair to write a song for Aretha Franklin, and remembering that Franklin’s father was a gospel preacher, they came up with this song. Franklin recorded the song, but Wexler thought it didn’t sit right with the rest of her output at that time, and offered it to Dusty Springfield, for her ‘Dusty in Memphis’ Album. Aretha Franklin’s version eventually appeared on her 1970 Album’This Girl’s in Love With You, and also as the ‘B’ side of her 1970 single,’Call Me.’

‘Son of a Preacher Man’ gave Dusty Springfield (see also best songs 171) her last top 10 hit in the UK, for 19 years, until she collaborated with The Pet Shop Boys on the 1987 Number 2 single,’What Have I Done To Deserve This?’

‘Billy Ray was a preacher’s son, and when his daddy would visit, he’d come along.

Posted by: In: Other 25 Oct 2020 Comments: 0


883-Swedish House Mafia vs. Tinie Tempah-Miami 2 Ibiza.

2010-Number 4 single.

Best Bit-At 1.04. Let me explain one or two of the acronyms. AP, is Audemars Piguet, which is a watch company, MP3,is a music file. Bold BB, is a model of Blackberry, CK, is Calvin Klein, LV, is a Louis Vitton handbag, APC,is a French fashion brand, and ‘BGS,’ is my own acronym for Bloody Good Song.

The Swedish House Mafia (see also best songs 483) are a collective of Swedish music writers and producers, who during the late 1990’s, and early 2000’s would often collaborate together.Steve Angelo, and Sebastian Ingrosso had grown up together as children in Stockholm, and in the late 1990’s they would often cross paths with Axel ‘Axwell’ Hedfors, and then in the early 2000’s they met Eric Prydz. The four of them were nicknamed ‘Swedish House Mafia,’ and when they decided to officially form in 2008, they kept the name, but Prydz declined the offer to join, saying he wanted to pursue a solo career.

Tinie Tempah was born Patrick Okogwu in London, England in 1988.To date he has featured on six UK Number 1 singles, which is more than any other UK born Rap artist.

‘Miami 2 Ibiza’ originally started out as an instrumental on the Swedish House Mafia’s debut Album ‘Until One,’ from 2010, the lyrics were written by Tinie Tempah, and the track also appears on his debut Album,’Disc-Overy,’ also from 2010.’

She said she likes my watch,but she wants Steve’s AP, and she stays up all hours watching Q.V.C.’

Posted by: In: Other 23 Oct 2020 Comments: 0


884-Prince-Alphabet St.

1988-Number 9 single.

Best Bit-At 4.39. ‘A.B.C.D.E.F.H. I love you’. Prince could sing the alphabet, and I’d still think it was fantastic.

This is one of the most sexually explicit songs on this countdown, and yet as far as I know, not one radio station, or television broadcaster has ever refused to play it.

The subject is oral sex, and the letters of the alphabet represent the shapes he can make with his tongue. Astute readers will hear in the song that there is no ‘G,’ did you ‘spot’ that.

‘Alphabet St’ was the lead single from Prince’s 10th studio Album ‘Lovesexy,’ released in 1988, it was his least successful release of the 1980’s, with only this song charting, from the Album’s three singles, the other two being ‘Glam Slam,’ and ‘I Wish U Heaven’ (see also best songs 487-269-85 and 54.)

The Rap on the track was performed by Cat Glover, who is also a choreographer, singer,and dancer, she travelled with Prince on both his ‘Sign o’ the Times,’ and ‘Lovesexy’ tours, in the late 1980’s.She also rapped on the song ‘Cindy C,’ from Prince’s 1987 Album,’Black Album’.

‘Talk to me lover, come on tell me what you taste, didn’t your mamma tell you, life is too good to waste.’

Posted by: In: Other 23 Oct 2020 Comments: 0


885-New Order-Blue Monday.

1983-Number 9 single.When reissued and remixed in 1988 it peaked at Number 3, and when remixed again in 1995, it reached Number 17.

Best Bit-At 3.32.With sales in excess of 700,000 this song is the biggest selling 12 inch single of all time.

After the death of Ian Curtis in 1980, the three remaining members of Joy Division changed the bands name to New Order, they were Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, and Stephen Morris. The band also changed their musical style, heading in a more ‘Synthpop’, ‘Alternative Dance’, ‘Electronic,’ direction. They added Morris’ then girlfriend, and future wife, Gillian Gilbert, who played keyboards, and guitar, as the fourth member.

‘Blue Monday’ has been described as ‘A crucial link between 70’s disco,and the Dance/House boom that took off at the end of the 80’s.’ New Order readily admit their influences, when speaking about how the song came to fruition. Peter Hook has said that the song was ‘stolen’ from the Donna Summer song ‘Our Love,’ written by Summer, and Giorgio Moroder, which is featured on her 1979 ‘Bad Girls’ Album.Bernard Sumner said part of the arrangement came from ‘Dirty Talk,’ by ‘Klein + M.B.O.’, and the synthesised bassline is taken from ‘You Make Me Feel Mighty Real,’ by Sylvester.

The respected music journalist Clinton Heylin alleged that the song was derived from ‘Gerry and the Holograms’ 1979 ‘Novelty’ song of the same name, which Sumner denies, but I urge you to have a listen, and make up your own mind.

‘But if it wasn’t for your misfortune, I’d be a heavenly person today.’

Posted by: In: Other 21 Oct 2020 Comments: 0


886-Dawn-Knock Three Times.

1971-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 1.01.If the answer is twice on the pipe, then the best thing to do is forget about her, and go and have a cold shower.

At the time of recording this song there was no official Tony Orlando and Dawn. Orlando was under contract to a different record label, so had to record the song discreetly, such was his feeling about it’s hit potential.The female vocals are provided by Toni Wine, and Linda November, Wine had co-written ‘Dawn’s’ first hit in 1970, ‘Candida,’ she is also the co-writer of ‘A Groovy Kind Of Love,’ a hit for The Mindbenders, and later Phil Collins.

With the success of ‘Candida,’ and ‘Knock Three Times’ Orlando wanted to tour, and that is where the official ‘Dawn’ was formed, with the recruiting of Thelma Hopkins, and Joyce Vincent, who would also provide vocals on the future studio Album’s.Tony Orlando and Dawn became so successful in America that they even had their own television variety show on CBS between 1974-1976.

‘Knock Three Times’ was co-written by Irwin Levine (1938-1977,) and L.Russell Brown, they also wrote other hits for Dawn including ‘Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree,’ which is one of the 50 best selling songs of all time.

‘Knock Three Times’ is about a guy who fancies his downstairs neighbour, and leaves her a note one day saying, that if she is interested, she must knock three times on the ceiling, but if she isn’t interested, bang twice on the pipe.We never find out how she responds.

‘Hey girl what ya doin’ down there, dancin’ alone every night while I live right above you.’

Posted by: In: Other 21 Oct 2020 Comments: 0


887-The Bachelors-Hello Dolly.

1966-Number 38 single.

Best Bit-At 0.56.The Bachelors were originally called ‘The Harmonichords,’ but at the suggestion of Dick Rowe, A&R at Decca Records, he recommended the name change to The Bachelors,’Because that’s the kind of boy, a girl likes,’

‘Hello Dolly’ was written by Jerry Herman (1931-2019,) for the musical of the same name, first performed in 1964.Herman was also the composer and lyricist for two other Broadway Musicals, ‘Mame,’ (1966,) and ‘La Cage aux Folles (1983,) he also wrote the ‘Gay Pride’ song,’I Am What I Am.’

‘Hello Dolly’ was performed by Carol Channing (1921-2019,) as Dolly Gallagher Levi in the original 1964 Broadway Cast, but it was the version recorded by Louis Armstrong (1901-1971) in December 1963 that is best known, it was a Billboard Number 1 single in 1964, and is the biggest selling single of Armstrong’s career.

There are many noteworthy versions of Hello Dolly, with most choosing the Louis Armstrong recording as the definitive, but I have always had a soft spot for The Bachelors arrangement and delivery of the song.The Bachelors were formed on Dublin, Ireland in 1957, by the brothers Conleth, and Declan Cluskey, and John Stokes. They had limited success with this song, but did achieve 17 top 40 singles in the UK between 1964-1967, including the Number 1 hit ‘Diane’ in 1964.

‘So take her wrap fellas,find her an empty lap fellas, Dolly never go away again.’

Posted by: In: Other 21 Oct 2020 Comments: 0


888-Ed Sheeran-Supermarket Flowers.

2018-Number 8 single.

Best Bit-At 0.47.According to a 2019 survey by Co-Op Funeral care, this song is the sixth most popular funeral song.’My Way’ by Frank Sinatra remains at Number 1 for the 53rd year in a row.

‘Supermarket Flowers’ was co-written by Ed Sheeran, Johnny McDaid, and Benny Blanco (see also best songs 373) who also produced the song.It is the final track on Sheeran’s third studio Album ‘Divide.’ released in 2017.

The song is a tribute to Sheeran’s late grandmother.He said,’She was in hospital near my house where I was making the Album, so I saw her quite a lot, and she passed away while I was in the studio.’Explaining the songs title, Sheeran also said,’My gran passed away,and we were clearing out her hospital room, and the supermarket flowers from the windowsill, and having that moment.

‘Sheeran has said it was his grandmother (Anne) who inspired him, and his brother Matthew, who is a classical composer, to pursue a career in music.He said that she was the musical one in the family.Although the lyrics were written by Sheeran,they are actually written from the viewpoint of his mother.

‘Dad always told me,’don’t you cry when you’re down,’ but mum, there’s a tear every time that I blink.’

Posted by: In: Other 18 Oct 2020 Comments: 0


889-The Brothers Johnson-Stomp!

1980-Number 6 single.

Best Bit-At 2.42.If you ever wondered why they were nicknamed ‘Thunder Thumbs,’ and ‘Lightnin’ Licks,’ have a listen to this.

The Brothers Johnson (see also best songs 1022,) were the brothers George (Lightnin’ Licks,) and Louis (Thunder Thumbs,) (1955-2015.) They were active between 1975-1982, releasing five studio Albums, before pursuing solo projects, but playing together on many occasions, through to Louis’ death in 2015.

‘Stomp!’ was taken from the brothers forth studio Album ‘Light Up The Night’ released in 1980, The song was co-written by George, and Louis, Rod Temperton, and Louis’ ex wife Valerie Johnson.This track and it’s parent Album, were produced by Quincy Jones, and one of the backing singers was Michael Jackson (1958-2009.)

The pairing of Quincy Jones, and Rod Temperton (1949-2016) is one of the most successful in Pop music history (see also best songs 812 and 703) other collaborations from then include, the Michael Jackson Albums ‘Off The Wall,’ and ‘Thriller,’ which Louis Johnson played bass guitar on.

‘Everybody take it to the top,we’re gonna stomp all night, in the neighbourhood.’

Posted by: In: Other 18 Oct 2020 Comments: 0



1995-Number 27 single, when re released in 1996, it peaked at Number 3,

Best Bit-At 7.00.’Sweet Dreams Are Made of This.’

Faithless (see also best songs 207,) are a Electronic Dance Music group who were formed in London, England, in 1995, by Maxwell Frazer (Maxi Jazz,) who is the lead vocalist, Ayalah Bentovim (Sister Bliss,) who plays keyboards, and produces, Rowland Armstrong (Rollo,) who is a producer, and also the brother of the singer Dido (see also best songs 936.) James Catto was also a founding member, but left to form ‘1 Giant Leap’ in 1999, Aubrey Nunn joined in late 1995, and stayed until 2006.

‘Insomnia’ was the second track released from the bands debut Album ‘Reverence,’ and was written by Maxi Jazz, Sister Bliss, and Rollo. As the title suggests the song is about the medical condition of not being able to sleep.The subject is resonant with fans of Dance Music, as stimulant use is common in club, and rave culture, and insomnia is a common side effect.

‘And let me dream of making mad love to my girl on the heath, tearing off tights with my teeth.’

Posted by: In: Other 18 Oct 2020 Comments: 0


891-Thunderclap Newman-Something in the Air.

1969-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 2.55.Pete Townshend never knew the feeling of having a Number 1 single in the UK with The Who, but he got a taste of what it was like here.

Pete Townshend actually can boast two Number 1 songs. He produced the 1968 chart topper, ‘Fire,’ by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown,’ and also produced, and played bass guitar on this song.Townshend (see also best songs 926-306 and 265,) and Tho Who’s manager Kit Lambert (1935-1981,) brought together the musicians, John ‘Speedy’ Keen (1945-2002,) Jimmy McCullock (1953-1979,) and Jazz Pianist Andy ‘Thunderclap’ Newman (1943-2016,) for a side project, which also included the release of the bands 1970 Album ‘Hollywood Dream.’

The song was written by Speedy Keen, who had previously worked with The Who, writing the song ‘Armenia City in the Sky,’ which is the opening track on The Who’s 1967 Album’ The Who Sell Out.’ The song was going to be called revolution, but the Beatles had already released a song with that title.

Jimmy McCuuoch played lead guitar on the track, he was only 15 years old at the time. He would later go on to be a member of Paul McCartney and Wings, between 1974-1977 (see also best songs 646,) he died in 1979 of heart failure due to morphine, and alcohol poisoning, at the age of 26, he was not known as a user of hard drugs.The other performer on the track was the pianist Andy ‘Thunderclap’ Newman, whom Townshend had known since his art college days.In 2010 Newman reformed the band, with him as the only original member, they went on tour, and also released the Album,’Beyond Hollywood.

‘Hand out the arms and ammo, we’re going to blast our way through here.’