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Posted by: In: Other 14 Jan 2021 Comments: 0


801-Madness-House of Fun.

1982-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 2.08.I have it on very good authority from someone who should be in the know that ‘Joe’ is in fact a name check for the fictional character Joe Sugden, from the TV soap Emmerdale Farm, but he may have been fibbing to me.

Madness (see also best songs 69) were formed in Camden Town, London, England in 1976, and are still active, having released their 12th, and latest Album ‘Can’t Touch Us Now’ in 2017.Although they have had 30 top 40 singles, this song remains their only Number 1 song in the UK.

‘House of Fun’ was written by band members Lee Thompson, and Mike Barson, it was originally recorded under the title ‘Chemist Facade,’without the ‘Welcome to the house of fun chorus. Head of ‘Stiff Records’ Dave Robinson insisted that if the song was going to be a single it needed a chorus, and although unaccredited Suggs claims to have written that chorus.

The song is about coming of age,telling the story of a boy on his 16th birthday attempting to buy condoms, at a pharmacy. However the boy is misunderstood by the chemist, as he uses slang euphemisms, such as ‘box of balloons,’and ‘party hats with the coloured tips.’The chemist sends him to the house of fun, which is a joke shop down the road.

‘Well hello Joe, hello Miss Clay, many happy returns from the day.’

Posted by: In: Other 14 Jan 2021 Comments: 0


802-Bone Thugs-n-Harmony-”Tha Crossroads.”

1996-Number 8 single.

Best Bit-At 2.59. ‘Well your toe bone connected to your foot bone,your foot bone connected to your heel bone, your heel bone connected to your ankle bone,your ankle bone connected to your leg bone. Ezekiel connected dem dry bones.

‘Bone Thugs-n-Harmony were formed in Cleveland, Ohio, United States in 1991 by Bryon McCane (Bizzy Bone,) Steven Howse (Layzie Bone,) Anthony Henderson (Krayzie Bone,) Charles Scruggs (Wish Bone,) and Stanley Howse (Flesh-n-Bone,) they remain active, with their latest release being the ‘New Waves’ Album in 2017.

After spending a great deal of time trying to get signed to ‘Ruthless Records,’ the label owned by N.W.A (see also best songs 564 and 128) rap legend Easy-E (1964-1995,) they finally succeeded in 1993.”Tha Crossroads” was originally written as a tribute to the late Wallace Laird a friend of the band, but after the death of Easy-E, the band’s mentor, in 1995, the songs lyrics were re-written to include him as well.

The song is one of the best ever selling Rap records, spending seven weeks at Number 1 on Billboard in 1996, it was also the best selling song in New Zealand, in that year.In 2002 the English Hip-Hop group Blazin’ Squad whose 10 members had an approximate age of 16, recorded the song as their debut single, with different lyrics, taking the song to Number 1 in the UK.

‘Lets all bring it in for Wally,Easy sees uncle Charlie, little boo, God’s got him, and I’m gonna miss everybody.

Posted by: In: Other 12 Jan 2021 Comments: 0


803-Lobo-I’d Love You to Want Me.

1974-Number 5 single.

Best Bit-At 0.51. Lobo is Spanish for Wolf, but I have no idea why he chose that as his stage name.

Lobo was born Roland Kent LaVoie on July 31st, 1943, in Tallahassee,Florida, United States.He has released 16 studio Albums to date, and has had seven top 40 singles on Billboard, of which this song was his most successful, peaking at Number 2 in 1972,in the UK he has charted twice, with his biggest success being ‘Me and You and a Dog Named Boo’ reaching Number 4 in 1971.

Lobo began his musical career in 1961 as a member of a local band called ‘The Rumors,’ the group included future stars Gram Parsons, and Jim Stafford. In 1974 Lobo alongside longtime collaborator Phil Gernhard (1940-2008) (see also best songs 923) produced Stafford’s ‘Spiders & Snakes’ Album.

‘I’d Love You to Want Me’ is taken from Lobo’s second solo studio Album,’Of A Simple Man’ from 1972. When originally released in the UK it failed to chart, but when re-released in 1974, this time on Jonathan King’s ‘UK’ record label, it finally became a hit.

‘When I saw you standing there, I about fell off my chair, when you moved your mouth to speak, I felt the blood go to my feet.’

Posted by: In: Other 12 Jan 2021 Comments: 0


804-Ben E. King-Stand by Me.

1961-Number 27 single. When re-released in 1987 it reached Number 1.

Best Bit-At 0.46.There are over 400 recorded versions of this song, with this, the original version alone, earning it’s writers in royalties, in excess of £17 million.

‘Stand by Me’ was co-written by the legendary song writing team of Jerry Leiber (1933-2011,) and Mike Stoller (see also best songs 954-124 and 86) along with this songs vocalist Ben E. King (1938-2015.)’Stand by Me’ was recorded by Ben E. King shortly after leaving The Drifters in 1960 (see also best songs 568.) Stand by Me was the name of a Gospel Hymn written in 1905 by Philadelphia minister Charles Tindley (1851-1933,) this is where King got the idea for the song from. King took his idea for the song to Leiber, and Stoller, and the three of them shared the royalties, with King receiving 50%, and Leiber, and Stoller, 25% each.

In 1986 the song was used in the movie of the same name, featuring River Phoenix, which introduced it to a whole new generation, but it wasn’t until 1987 when ‘Levi Jeans’ used the song for an advertising campaign, that it really took off, reaching Number 1 in the UK, and Number 9 in America.Benjamin Earl King was born in September 28th, 1938 in Henderson, North Carolina, United States, before finding success as a solo artist he had been lead singer with The Drifters between 1958-1960, he can be heard singing lead on songs including ‘There Goes my Baby’, and ‘Save the Last Dance for Me.’

Of all the cover versions of the song, King chose the 1975 recording by John Lennon as his favourite, King said, ‘He made the song his own.’Other notable hit versions of the song are from American Soul singer Spyder Turner (1967,) American Country singer Mickey Gilley (1980,) and 4 The Cause (1998.) In 2007 Reggae influenced singer Sean Kingston sampled the song for his UK Number 1 single, Beautiful Girls.

‘When the night as come,and the land is dark, and the moon is the only light we see.’

Posted by: In: Other 10 Jan 2021 Comments: 0


805-Jungle Brothers-I’ll House You.

1988-Number 22 single.

Best Bit-At 2.44.The world’s coolest landlords.

The Jungle Brothers were formed in New York City, United States in 1987, by Michael Small (Mike Gee,) Nathaniel Hall (Afrika Baby Bam,) and Sammy Burwell (DJ Sammy B,) they released their latest Album, ‘Keep it Jungle’ in 2020. They were one of the first (if not the first) to mix the genres of Hip-Hop, and House Music, which was to become known as ‘Hip-House,’ helping to influencing the early 1990’s Rave scene.The Jungle Brothers were also an influence on like minded Hip-Hop artists De La Soul, and A Tribe Called Quest.

‘I’ll House You’ blends the sounds of Chicago House with Rap, which was groundbreaking at the time.The track was produced by House Music producer Todd Terry who was born in Brooklyn, New York, United States, on April 18th, 1967, when the song was completed it was added to late 1988 re-issues of the Jungle Brothers critically acclaimed debut Album ‘Straight out the Jungle’.Todd Terry also recorded a version of the song without the Jungle Brothers, using the name ‘Royal House,’ and calling the song ‘Can You Party,’ this version peaked at Number 14, in the UK in 1988.Terry has also collaborated with other artists on a further eight UK top 40 singles, including the 1995 remix of ‘Missing’ by Everything but the Girl (see also best songs 348.)

‘Round and round, and round and round, and round, hear the house music steady, steady poundin.”

Posted by: In: Other 10 Jan 2021 Comments: 0


806-Mark Ronson featuring Amy Winehouse-Valerie.

2007-Number 2 single.

Best Bit-At 0.08. The voice that proves she is a worthy member of the ’27 Club.’

Amy Jade Winehouse was born on September 14th, 1983, in Southgate, London, England, and died July 23rd, 2011. Winehouse was plagued by drug and alcohol addiction, and died of alcohol poisoning, at the age of 27.She released two critically acclaimed Albums during her lifetime (‘Frank’ in 2003, and ‘Back to Black’ in 2006,’) a posthumous collection of demos, and covers called ‘Lioness, Hidden Treasures,’ was released in December 2011.

Amy Winehouse is now a member of the ’27 Club,’which commemorates artists who have died at that age.At one time it was thought that more pop stars were dying at that age than any other, but research has repeatedly disproved this. Between 1969-1971, Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison all died at that age, but it wasn’t until about two and a half decades later, with the death of Kurt Cobain, that the idea of a 27 club began to catch on in public perception.In 2011, 17 years after Cobain’s death, Amy Winehouse died, she had three years earlier expressed her fear of dying at 27.

The original version of ‘Valerie’ was a Number 9 hit single for the Liverpool band The Zutons, primarily written by the bands lead singer Dave McCabe, but writing credits are given to five band members.The songs title, and subject refer to celebrity makeup artist Valerie Star, who visited McCabe when he was having a hard time, but she ended up being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, and had her license suspended.Amy Winehouse had always been a fan of the song, and when Mark Ronson (see also best songs 40) asked her to sing something on his 2007 Album ‘Version,’she chose this, which Ronson radically reworked, admitting it was influenced by the Jam’s 1982 song ‘Town Called Malice (see also best songs 59.)

‘Cause since I’ve come on home, well my body’s been a mess,and I’ve missed your ginger hair, and the way you like to dress.’

Posted by: In: Other 08 Jan 2021 Comments: 0


807-David Bowie-Drive-In Saturday.

1973-Number 3 single.

Best Bit-At 0.53.Bowie wrote the song, with the intention of offering it to Mott The Hoople for the follow up to ‘All the Young Dudes,’however they rejected it, Bowie was very surprised at this rebuff, so drunkenly shaved his eyebrows in protest, Bowie said,’That taught them a lesson,’ (see also best songs 661 and 334.)

David Bowie wrote the song at a time when he had a fear of flying, so he used to travel a lot by train.He was on a journey between Seattle. Washington, and Phoenix, Arizona, at night, and the strange lights amidst the barren landscape got his imagination working.

‘Drive-In Saturday’ describes how the inhabitants of a post-apocalyptic world in the future (Bowie once said that the year was 2033) have forgotten how to make love, and needed to watch old films of the 1950’s, and 1960’s, to see how it is done.The lyrics name check Mick Jagger (‘When people stared in Jagger’s eyes and scored,’) the model Twiggy (‘She’d sigh like Twig the wonder kid,’) who in October 1973, would feature on the cover of Bowie’s Album ‘Pin Ups,’ and the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung (1875-1961,) (‘Jung the foreman prayed at work.’)

Bowie (see also best songs 440-334-302-209-186-118-47-31 and 5) first introduced the song at a concert in Cleveland,Ohio,’It’s about a future where people have forgotten how to make love, so they go back on to video-films that they have kept from this century.This is after a catastrophe of some kind, and people are living on the streets, and some people are living in domes, and they borrow from one another, and try to learn how to pick up the pieces.

‘She’s uncertain if she likes him, but she knows she really loves him.It’s a crash course for the ravers, it’s a drive-in Saturday.’

Posted by: In: Other 08 Jan 2021 Comments: 0


808-Glenn Miller-Moonlight Serenade.

1939-It couldn’t chart initially, because there was no chart until 1952.When re-issued in 1954 it peaked at Number 12, and again when re-issued in 1976, it reached Number 13.

Best Bit-At 1.40. In America, on Billboard, between 1939-1943, Glenn Miller achieved 69 top 10 hits, more than Elvis Presley, with 38, and the Beatles, with 33.

Glenn Miller (see also best songs 321) was born Alton Glenn Miller on March 4th, 1904, in Clarinda, Iowa, United States. On December 15th, 1944, Miller was due to fly from the town of Bedford, in England, to Paris, in order to make arrangements to move his entire band there to entertain the U.S. troops, in the near future.His aircraft disappeared in bad weather over the English Channel, the actual cause of the crash has never been confirmed, but it was probably because the planes carburettor froze in the cold weather.His disappearance was not made public until December 24th, 1944, Miller was 40 year old.

Glenn Miller wrote the melody for ‘Moonlight Serenade’ as far back as 1935, the lyricist Eddie Heyman, added words, and the song was originally titled ‘As I Lay Me Down To Weep.’ Miller never recorded the song with those lyrics, but in 1938 used the instrumental for his radio broadcasts, on the NBC network. In 1939 the publisher ‘Robbins Music’ bought the melody, and commissioned Mitchell Parish (1900-1993) to write a new set of lyrics. At the time Miller was recording another song called ‘Sunrise Serenade,’ and it was suggested by someone at Robbins Music that Parish write something to compliment that song, as it was due for release as the ‘B’ side, so the title Moonlight Serenade was chosen.Moonlight Serenade was far more popular with the general public, and has become known as Miller’s ‘signature song.’

Posted by: In: Other 06 Jan 2021 Comments: 0


809-Montell Jordan-This Is How We Do It.

1995-Number 11 single.

Best Bit-At 0.09.Since recording this song Montell Jordan has become a born again Christian,so he probably doesn’t do it, like he used to do it.

Montell Jordan was born Montell Du’Sean Barnett on December 3rd, 1968, in Los Angeles, California, United States.He has released eight studio Albums, and has had eight Billboard top 40 singles, and five in the UK. In 2010 Jordan became a Baptist Minister, he said he was told by God to quit the music industry.He can be seen regularly at the Victory World Church, in Atlanta, Georgia, where he lives, and worships, with the church team called ‘Victory World Music.’

‘This Is How We Do It’ spent seven weeks at Number 1 in America in 1995, the lyrics tell the story of how Jordan would ‘party’ when he was younger.The song heavily samples Slick Rick’s 1989 ‘Children’s Story,’ which in turn had sampled the 1974 song ‘Nautilus,’ by Jazz musician Bob James, because of this Slick Rick (Ricky Walters,) is given a writing credit, alongside Jordan, and the songs producer Oji Pierce. In 2015 Dutch music producer Joe Stone remixed the song, as a House track, with Jordan providing the vocals, and the song charted in the UK, reaching Number 17.

‘Whatever it is, the party’s underway, so tip up your cup, and throw your hands up, and let me hear the party say.’

Posted by: In: Other 06 Jan 2021 Comments: 0


810-Billy Joel-We Didn’t Start the Fire.

1989-Number 7 single.

Best Bit-At 0.14.When the music career comes to an end, he can always become a history teacher.

William Martin Joel was born May 9th, 1949, in The Bronx, New York,United States,he is the sixth best selling recording artist, and third best selling solo artist, in America of all time,with sales in excess of 150 million worldwide.

Billy Joel (see also best songs 215) got the idea for the song when he had just turned 40 years old. He was in a recording studio, and a friend of Sean Lennon’s who had just turned 21 said to him,’It’s a terrible time to be 21.’ Joel replied ‘Yeah, I thought it was an awful time, and we had Vietnam, and y’know, drug problems, and civil rights problems, and everything seemed to be awful. Lennon’s friend replied,’Yeah, but it’s different for you, you were a kid in the fifties, and everybody knows nothing happened in the fifties.Joel replied,’Wait a minute, didn’t you hear of the Korean War, or the Suez Canal crisis?

Joel who was always mad keen on history, got the idea for this song from that conversation, he put pen to paper, and listed in chronological order several significant people, and events from the time of his birth, through to that present day,in total there are 119 different things mentioned, spanning the years 1949-1989.Billy Joel has stated that he has no plans to make a follow up, covering 1990 onward.

‘Hypodermics on the shores,China’s under martial law. rock and roller Cola wars, I can’t take it anymore.’