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Posted by: In: Other 30 Sep 2023 Comments: 0


751- Malcolm McLaren and the World’s Famous Supreme Team-Buffalo Gals.

1982-Number 9 single.

Best Bit-At 2.09.’Oh, give me a home where the Buffalo roam, and I’ll show you a filthy house.’

Malcolm Robert Andrew McLaren was born on January 22nd, 1946, in Stoke Newington, London, England, he died on April 10th, 2010, from the cancer, peritoneal mesothelioma, at the age of 64. Malcolm McLaren is best remembered as the manager of the English Punk Rock group the ‘Sex Pistols,’ (see also best songs 576-92 and 27) he was also the manager of the Post Punk groups ‘Adam and the Ants,’ and ‘Bow Wow Wow,’ as well as playing a prominent part in the development of the American Rock band ‘New York Dolls. Between 1974-1976 McLaren, with his then girlfriend Vivienne Westwood (1941-2022) operated the boutique ‘SEX,’ in Chelsea, London, which helped shape early ‘Punk’ fashion, and became an early hub for the subculture in the capital. The discography of Malcolm McLaren includes eight studio Albums released between 1983-2005, and 20 singles issued between 1982-2004, there is also one official compilation Album available. In the UK, Malcolm McLaren has reached the top 40 singles chart on six occasions, with ‘Double Dutch’ featuring ‘The Ebonettes,’ from 1983, peaking the highest at Number 3, while in America he has never charted on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, but on the Billboard ‘Dance Club Songs’ chart, four of his tracks have reached the top 40, with ‘Deep in Vogue,’ with ‘The Bootzilla Orchestra,’ making the Number 1 spot in 1989.

‘Buffalo Gals’ was co-written by Malcolm McLaren, Trevor Horn, (see also best songs 676-455 and 19) and Anne Dudley, with the production credited to McLaren, and Horn. ‘Buffalo Gals’ was the first of four singles released from ‘Duck Rock,’ the debut studio Album from Malcolm McLaren, from May 1983. McLaren had got the idea for ‘Buffalo Gals’ while looking for a support act for ‘ Bow Wow Wow, in New York City, in the early 1980’s, He had gone to an outdoor concert, which was known as a ‘Block Party,’ where he saw the American ‘Hip-Hop’ artist ‘Afrika Bambaataa and Universal Zulu Nation’ (see also best songs 716) perform. This was McLaren’s first exposure to ‘Hip-Hop,’ and it was where he discovered the ‘scratching’ technique he would use on ‘Buffalo Gals,’ that would be developed by Trevor Horn. In the liner notes for the ‘Duck Rock’ Album Malcolm McLaren wrote that ‘Buffalo Gals’ was ‘recorded with the ‘World’s Famous Supreme Team,’ and Zulu singers backing them up, with the words ‘She’s looking like a hobo.’ The performance by the ‘Supreme Team’ may require some explaining, but suffice to say they are DJ’s from New York City who have developed a technique using record players like instruments, replacing the power chord of the guitar with the needle of a gramophone, moving it manually backwards and forwards across the surface of a record. We call it scratching.’

‘The World’s Famous Supreme Team’ were the American ‘Hip-Hop’ duo of ‘Sedivine the Mastermind,’ (Larry Price) and ‘Just Allah the Superstar,’ (Ronald Larkins Jr.) who broadcast a radio show beginning in 1979 in Newark, New Jersey, the duo were active together until 1991. Samples of their radio shows were featured on the ‘Duck Rock’ Album, and McLaren would further work with the duo again in 1984, on the Album ‘Would Ya Like More Scratchin,’ and then again in 1990 on the duo’s third and final Album ‘Round the Outside! Round the Outside!.’ ‘The World’s Famous Supreme Team’ also issued five singles between 1982-1991, three of which were in collaboration with Malcolm McLaren.

‘Buffalo Gals’ is a traditional American song, written and published as ‘Lubly Fan’ in 1844 by the American ‘Blackface Minstrel’ performer John Hodges (1821-1891.) The song was popular throughout the United States where Minstrels often altered the lyrics to suit local audiences, performing it as ‘New York Gals,’ in New York City, ‘Boston Gals,’ in Boston, or “Alabama Girls,’ in Alabama. The traditional songs chorus is ‘Buffalo gals, won’t you come out tonight, come out tonight, come out tonight? Buffalo gals, won’t you come out tonight, and dance by the light of the moon.’ Malcolm McLaren altered the songs lyrics, and on his version he calls the lyrics in a ‘Square Dance’ style.

‘Buffalo Gals’ is a groundbreaking song because it helped introduce ‘Hip-Hop’ culture to an English audience. The songs video showed ‘break-dancing’ by the the American ‘Hip-Hop’ group ‘Rock Steady Crew,’ as well as introducing ‘Rapping,’ Scratching,’ and ‘Graffiti.’

‘First buffalo gal go around the outside, round the outside, round the outside. Two buffalo gals go around the outside, ’round the outside, ’round the outside. Three buffalo gals go around the outside. Four buffalo gals go around the outside, ’round the outside ’round the outside.

Posted by: In: Other 29 Sep 2023 Comments: 0


752-Ike & Tina Turner-Proud Mary.

1970-It has never charted in the UK.

Best Bit-At 2.19. A song of two halves. Tina warns us, ‘We’re gonna start it off nice and easy,’ and then she goes on to say,’We never do anything nice and easy, and then she tells us that they will finish it ‘Nice and rough.’

The original version of ‘Proud Mary’ was written by the American singer/songwriter John Fogerty, and recorded by his band Creedence Clearwater Revival (see also best songs 502) in 1968, the ‘CCR’ version reached Number 2 on Billboard, and Number 8 in the UK in 1969, and was one of five singles by that band that stalled at Number 2, they never had a Number 1 single in America. John Fogerty has said that he wrote ‘Proud Mary’ in just two days after being discharged from the National Guard. Fogerty has said that in the beginning ‘Proud Mary’ had nothing to do with a riverboat, envisioning it as the story of a woman who works as a maid for rich people. ‘She gets off the bus every morning and goes to work, and holds their lives together, then she has to go home.’ It was Stuart Cook, the bass player at that time with ‘CCR,’ who came up with the idea of a riverboat, after watching the American Western television programme ‘Maverick.’ Fogerty felt that a riverboat would fit in well with the song, and ‘Proud Mary’ went from being a ‘cleanup lady,’ to a boat.

Ike & Tina Turner (see also best songs 485 and 192) recorded ‘Proud Mary’ for their 14th joint studio Album ‘Workin’ Together,’ from November 1970, it was the second of four singles released from the Album, with the production being by Ike Turner, (1931-2007) and went on to reach Number 4 on Billboard in 1971. It was the American Soul singer Soloman Burke (1940-2010) who released the first charting cover of ‘Proud Mary,’ ( Billboard Number 45- 1969) and it was he who introduced the song to Ike Turner,’The greatest thing I ever did was tell Ike Turner, “Hey man, you should get on this record … I think you and Tina could tear this thing up.” Ike Turner was not over keen on the song until he heard another cover version by ‘Checkmates, Ltd. Featuring Sonny Charles,’ (Billboard Number 69 & UK Number 30-1969) and it was on that versions arrangement that Ike Turner, along with the R&B drummer, who played live with the ‘Ike & Tina Turner Revue,’ Soko Richardson, based their rearrangement of ‘Proud Mary’ on. Ike & Tina Turner, along with the girls who danced and sang as ‘The Ikettes,’ would perform the song live several times, with it being the highlight of their show on many occasions. In 1993 Tina Turner (1939-2023) re-recorded ‘Proud Mary’ for her biographical film, and eighth solo studio Album ‘What’s Love Got to Do with It,’ the spoken male vocals on the track were provided by the American actor Laurence Fishburne.

The discography of Ike & Tina Turner included 22 studio Albums (including 2 reissues) released between 1961-1980, and 70 singles released between 1960-1985, there are also at least 31 official compilation Albums, eight live Albums, and two soundtrack Albums available. In America on the Billboard Hot 100, six of their singles have made the top 40, with ‘Proud Mary’ charting the highest, while in the UK, they have had four top 40 hits, with ‘River Deep – Mountain High,’ peaking the highest at Number 3 in 1966. For the solo discography of Tina Turner see best songs 485.

The narrator of ‘Proud Mary’ is a low wage earner, who leaves what they consider to be a ‘good job,’ to embark on a new life, where he/she starts out by hitching a ride on a riverboat queen, bidding farewell to the city. As the boat pulls away the narrator sees the ‘good side of the city’ for the first time from a distance, it is far removed from the experiences of their own life. Down the river the narrator is pleased to find that the people are generous and friendly, even so they have very little money themselves.

‘Left a good job in the city, workin’ for the man every night and day. And I never lost one minute of sleepin’ worryin’ ’bout the way things might have been. Big wheel keep on turnin’ Proud Mary keep on burnin’ Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river.’

Posted by: In: Other 28 Sep 2023 Comments: 0


753- Skrillex featuring Sirah-Bangarang.

2012-Number 24 single.

Best Bit-At 1.19. Skrillex, is he an Electronic Dance Music wizard, or just a noisy bugger? You decide.

Skrillex is the stage name of Sonny John Moore, who was born on January 15th, 1988, in Los Angeles, California, United States, he began performing under the alias ‘Skrillex’ in 2008, saying that the name has no meaning, and was ‘a stupid old online ‘AOL’ screen name.’ As Sonny Moore, his first venture as a professional musician was as the lead singer with the American ‘Alternative Rock’ band ‘From First to Last,’ with whom he recorded two studio Albums with as a group member between 2004-2007. Skrillex who has said that he was influenced to turn his hand to ‘Electronic Dance Music’ after seeing the French duo ‘Daft Punk’ (see also best songs 140) play live at the annual ‘Coachella Festival,’ in California, in 2006, has at the time of writing released three solo studio Albums between 2014-2023, and 46 singles between 2010-2023, there are also seven official extended plays (EP’s) available. Skrillex released his first solo Album ‘Recess,’ in 2014, and the following two, ‘Quest for Fire,’ on February 17th, 2023, followed one day later by ‘Don’t Get Too Close,’ on February 18th, 2023. In America on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, Skrillex has charted within the top 40 on one occasion with ‘Purple Lamborghini,’ with Rick Ross,’ reaching Number 33 in 2016, while ‘Bangarang’ peaked at Number 72. Skrillex has had far more success on the Billboard ‘Dance and Electronic Songs’ chart, where 25 of his tracks have made the top 40. In the UK, he has had three top 40 entries, with ‘”Rumble,’ with Fred Again, and Flowdan, peaking the highest at Number 19 in 2021. In 2013 Skrillex teamed up with fellow music producer Diplo, (see also best songs 915 and 210) to work under the name ‘Jack Ü,’ releasing the Album ‘Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack Ü,’ in 2015, and three singles, between 2014-2015, including the 2015 UK Number 8 hit ‘Where Are U Now,’ featuring Justin Bieber.

‘Bangarang’ was the second of two singles released from the fourth Skrillex EP ‘Bangarang,’ from December 2011, it was written and produced by Skrillex, and featured the vocals of Sirah, who was born Sara Elizabeth Mitchell, on July 28th, 1988, in Long Island New York, United States. Sirah first met Skrillex after she was contacted by him on ‘MySpace,’ commending her work, and requesting that they work together. As well as working together on ‘Bangarang,’ Sirah has also provided vocals on two other tracks with Skrillex, ‘WEEKENDS!!!,’ in 2010, and ‘Kyoto’ in 2011. Sirah released the Album ‘Broken Complex’ in 2010, and she has also issued six singles as the lead artist between 2011-2019.

‘Bangarang’ can be filed under the musical genre of ‘Dubstep,’ which is a genre of ‘Electronic Dance Music’ that originated in South London, England, in the early 2000’s. The style emerged as a UK ‘Garage Music’ offshoot that blended ‘2-step rhythms,’ and sparse ‘Dub’ production, as well as incorporating elements of ‘Broken Beat,’ ‘Grime, and ‘Drum and Bass.’ In the United Kingdom, the origins of the genre can be traced back to the growth of the Jamaican ‘sound system’ party scene in the early 1980’s.

‘Bangarang’ and it’s promotional video both pay homage to the 1991 American fantasy adventure film ‘Hook.’ In the film the battle cry of the ‘Lost Boys’ is ‘Bangarang.’ The Peter Pan, and Captain Hook theme is continued in the songs official music video, with the ice-cream truck drivers style of moustache. His right hand had a tattoo of a crocodile, and after losing his hand earlier on in the video, it is shown as being replaced by a hook.

‘Shouts to all my lost boys. Shout-shout-shout-shout-shout-shouts to all my lost boys. We rowdy. Shouts to all my lost boys, shout-shout-shout-shout-shout-shouts to all my lost boys. We rowdy.’

Posted by: In: Other 27 Sep 2023 Comments: 0


754- Coldcut featuring Yazz and the Plastic Population-Doctorin’ the House.

1988-Number 6 single.

Best Bit-At 2.12. ‘Ooh’ Matron.

Coldcut were formed in London, England, in 1986, by the ‘Electronic,’ House,’ ‘Hip-Hop,’ ‘Trip-Hop,’ ‘Downtempo,’ music production duo of Matt Black, and Jonathan More. They are credited as being pioneers of ‘Pop Sampling’ in the 1980’s, for their innovative use of mixing ‘Hip-Hop,’ ‘Soul,’ and ‘Funk,’ etc, with spoken word from film and television. The duo’s first release ‘Say Kids What Time Is It?’ released in January 1987 mixed the ‘Jungle Books’ ‘King of the Swingers,’ with the break from James Brown’s 1969 track ‘Funky Drummer,’ (see also best songs 253) and is considered to be the first UK record built entirely on samples. Artists such as The Chemical Brothers, (see also best songs 502 and 53) and Fatboy Slim, (see also best songs 950-760-387 and 95) have cited Coldcut as an inspiration in the development of the ‘Big Beat’ genre. In October 1987 Coldcut were asked to remix the American ‘Hip Hop’ Artists ‘Eric B & Rakim’s track ‘Paid in Full,’ their remix is said to have ‘laid the groundwork for ‘Hip-Hop’s’ entry in to the UK mainstream’ (see also best songs 856.)

Matt Black who was a computer programmer, first met Jonathan More in a record shop in London, at that time both were already involved in the underground music scene. Their first collaboration ‘Say Kids What Time Is It?’ was sampled by ‘MARRS’ for their 1987 UK Number 1 single ‘Pump Up the Volume.’ In 1990 the duo set up their own record label ‘Ninja Tune,’ as a means to escape the creative control of major labels, and also as a vehicle to release music of an underground nature. The label’s first releases were the first five volumes of ‘DJ Food’s Jazz Brakes,’ and were produced by Coldcut in the early 1990’s. The Albums were composed of instrumental sample based cuts, that led the duo to help pioneer new instrumental ‘Hip-Hop’ beats genres, and, to this day they are recognised as being indispensable tools for DJ’s. The record label remains active at the time of writing, and has produced dozens of artists over the years.

The discography of Coldcut includes 10 Albums released between 1989-2017, and 21 singles issued between 1987-2016, there are also four official compilation and mix Albums available. In the UK, Coldcut have charted within the top 40 singles chart on four occasions, with ‘Doctorin’ the House,’ featuring Yazz and the Plastic Population, peaking the highest at Number 6. Coldcut were responsible for giving the English singer Lisa Stansfield here first hit single when their track ‘People Hold On,’ featuring Lisa Stansfield, reached Number 11 in the UK in 1989. In 1988, Coldcut were the producers of the UK Number 1 single ‘The Only Way Is Up,’ by ‘Yazz and the Plastic Population,’ who also feature on ‘Doctorin’ the House.’

‘Doctorin’ the House’ was the second of five singles released from ‘What’s That Noise?’ the debut studio Album from Coldcut, from April 1989. The Album consisted of 17 tracks released on two vinyl discs, and featured alongside Coldcut, artists as diverse as Mark E. Smith, and Queen Latifah. ‘Doctorin’ the House’ which has in excess of 20 different samples, was produced by Coldcut, with Yazz who provides vocals on the track, also given songwriting credit. Yazz was born Yasmin Evans on May 19th, 1960, in Shepherd’s Bush, London, United Kingdom, and has to date released seven Albums between 1988-2011, and 14 singles between 1988-1998. In the UK, seven of those singles have reached the top 40, with “The Only Way Is Up,’ peaking at Number 1 in 1988. After a failed marriage and her dependency on alcohol during the 1990’s, Yazz turned to religion, and in 2008 released the Album ‘Running Back to You,’ which charts her spiritual journey, and her new found Christian faith.

‘We’ve got a hot one for you, can you take care of it? We’ve got a hot one for you, can you take care of it? Yeah, you just hit me. Listen, listen, listen for the beatbox, beat dis. Now who’s jackin’ the house? That wicked plastic man.’

Posted by: In: Other 25 Sep 2023 Comments: 0


755-The Waterboys-The Whole of the Moon.

1985-Number 26 single. When it was re-issued in 1991 it peaked at Number 3.

Best Bit-At 3.47. Mooning is the act of removing your clothing, and revealing your bare buttocks, which has absolutely nothing at all to do with this song.

The Waterboys were formed in London, England, in 1983, by Mike Scott, and at the time of writing they remain active, with Scott being the groups one constant. The Waterboys who took their name from a line in the Lou Reed (1942-2013) song ‘The Kids,’ from his 1973 Album ‘Berlin,’ have to date had 86 different official members come and go, including Karl Wallinger, 1982-1985, Eddi Reader, 1984, Guy Chambers, 1985-1986, (see also best songs 406) and Ian McNabb, 2001-2002. Founding member Mike Scott has said,’We’ve had more members I believe than any other band in Rock history.’ The Waterboys, whose genres of music have included ‘Rock,’ Folk Rock,’ ‘Celtic,’ and ‘Folk,’ have released 15 studio Albums between 1983-2022, and 29 singles within the same time period, there are also nine official compilation Albums, and two live Albums available. In the UK, they have had five top 40 singles, including the re-issue of ‘The Whole of the Moon,’ in 1991, which is their highest peaking song, reaching Number 3.

Mike Scott was born on December 14th, 1958, in Edinburgh, Scotland, and formed The Waterboys in 1983. Scott has said,’To me there’s no difference between Mike Scott, and The Waterboys, they both mean the same thing. They mean myself, and whoever are my current travelling musical companions.’ In addition to the Albums Scott has released with The Waterboys, he has also issued two Albums (in 1995, and 1997) under his own name, and also another two Albums within that same time period, that were made available for fan club members only. He has also released a best of collection in 1998, and four solo singles between 1995-1998.

‘The Whole of the Moon’ was written and produced by Mike Scott, and was the first of three singles released from ‘This Is the Sea,’ the third studio Album by The Waterboys, from September 1985. When first released in October 1985 ‘The Whole of the Moon’ reached Number 26, but when it was re-released in 1991 to promote ‘The Best of The Waterboys 81–90,’ it was far more successful, peaking at Number 3. The three official members of The Waterboys at that time who played on the track, were Mike Scott, (vocals, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, piano, percussion, and synthesizer) Anthony Thistlethwaite, (saxophone, double bass, bass guitar, and mandolin) and Karl Wallinger, (bass synth, piano, organ, keyboard programming, synthesizer, and celeste.)

‘The Whole of the Moon’ is a tribute to inspirational figures in Mike Scott’s life, but not one particular person. In each line the singer describes his own perspective, and immediately contrasts it with that of the songs subject, summarising the difference with,’I saw the crescent/you saw the whole of the moon.’ Mike Scott has said,’I wrote the song when I was 26 years old, and I was discovering that there was so much more than I had ever known. There was so much more to learn than I’d even been hinted at in the culture I’d grown up in. I had a strong sense of wonderment about that, and I realised there were people who had vastly more information in their imaginations and experiences than I had. And so that’s what inspired that song.’

Mike Scott has stated that some of his inspirations for ‘The Whole of the Moon’ include the writers C.S. Lewis, (1898-1963) and Mark Helprin, and also the musicians Jimi Hendrix, (1942-1970) (see also best songs 983 and 492) and Syd Barrett, (1946-2006) (see also best songs 992) who ‘Burned out very quickly.’ In 2020 Mike Scott revealed that he wrote ‘The Whole of the Moon’ to impress a girl, who had asked him if it was easy to write a song.’In my 20’s I hadn’t yet grown out of the urge to show off to a new girlfriend, so I said ‘Yes it is!’ I pulled a pen and a piece of paper out of my pocket. There was a moon in the sky, so I wrote down ‘I saw the crescent, you saw the whole of the moon.’ She was duly impressed. I fleshed it out in the hotel, and back home in London came up with more lyrics and the piano part, a self-taught rhythm with one finger doing one pattern, and three fingers doing another.’

‘I pictured a rainbow, you held it in your hands. I had flashes, but you saw the plan. I wandered out in the world for years, while you just stayed in your room, I saw the crescent, you saw the whole of the moon. The whole of the moon.’

Posted by: In: Other 24 Sep 2023 Comments: 0



1978-Number 14 single.

Best Bit-At 3.29. Undoubtedly one of the Funkiest songs in the world ever, maybe even the….Galaxy.

In 1962, Howard E. Scott, and Harold Brown formed a group called the ‘Creators’ in Long Beach, California. United States, further musicians, Charles Miller, (1939-1980) Morris ‘B.B.’ Dickerson, (1949-2021) Lonnie Jordan, Lee Oskar, and Thomas ‘Papa Dee’ Allen, (1931-1988) would later join, and then in 1968 they changed their name to ‘Nightshift.’ The band members collectively played a fusion of ‘Funk,’ ‘Rock,’ ‘Soul,’ ‘Progressive soul,’ ‘Jazz Rock,’ and ‘Latin Rock,’ and transcended racial and cultural barriers with a multi-ethnic line-up. In 1969 the producer and songwriter Jerry Goldstein (‘My Boyfriend’s Back,’ ‘Hang on Sloopy,’ ‘I Want Candy’) saw the band performing and recommended them to the British singer Eric Burdon, (see also best songs 851) who had recently departed ‘The Animals.’ Goldstein changed their name to ‘Eric Burdon and War,’ and they would remain active together through until 1971. After Burdon’s departure, and now just calling themselves ‘War,’ they achieved their greatest commercial success during the 1970’s, continuing to record and tour through until the mid 1990’s. In 1996, the group attempted to gain independence from Jerry Goldstein, but were unable to do so under the name ‘War,’ which remains a trademark owned by Goldstein. In response, all of the band members apart from Lonnie Jordan, left to form the ‘Lowrider Band,’ named after their 1975 Billboard Number 7 hit ‘Low Rider,’ while Jordan stayed with Goldstein, and created a new version of ‘War.’ At the time of writing both bands remain active touring, although the ‘Lowrider Band’ have never released any recorded music. In total there have been 35 different members of ‘War,’ and at the time of writing they remain active, with Leroy ‘Lonnie’ Jordan being the groups one constant.

The discography of ‘War’ includes 17 studio Albums released between 1970-2014, and 60 singles issued between 1970-1994, there are also eight official compilation Albums, and three live Albums available. The first two ‘War’ studio Albums, (both from 1970) and the groups first two issued singles include Eric Burdon as an official member, their debut single ‘Spill the Wine,’ released as ‘Eric Burdon & War,’ reached Number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970. In America on Billboard, ‘War’ have charted within the top 40 on 12 occasions, with ‘Galaxy’ reaching Number 39, and ‘The Cisco Kid’ from 1972 peaking the highest at Number 2, while in the UK, they have had four top 40 hits, with ‘Low Rider’ charting the highest at Number 12 in 1975.

Jerry Goldstein was born Gerald Goldstein on February 17th, 1940, in Brooklyn, New York, United States, he is a music producer, manager, singer/songwriter, film producer, graphics company owner, and musician. Goldstein was initially a member of the American group ‘The Strangeloves,’ with his writing partners Bob Feldman, (1940-2023) and Richard Gottehrer, together they had three Billboard Hot 100 top 40 singles, including the much covered ‘I Want Candy’ (1965-Number 11.) Jerry Goldstein has produced every ‘War’ studio Album, including their 1973 Album ‘The World Is a Ghetto,’ which was the best selling Album of that year according to Billboard.

‘Galaxy’ was the first of two singles released from the groups 10th studio Album of the same name from November 1977, all five tracks on the Album were written by all seven group members at that time, along with Jerry Goldstein, who was also the Album’s producer. There is every reason to suspect that ‘Galaxy’ was influenced by the film ‘Star Wars,’ which was also released in 1977. Harold Brown, a founding member of ‘War,’ and the groups drummer has said,’People love that song to this day. We were over in the ABC Studios, we just laid that track down. I had just gotten those custom-made Ludwig drums that Mr. Ludwig built for me. We were standing listening to the playback, and I said, ‘Take me to your place in space.’ That was the beginning of the song. Then we started writing it. ‘Take me to your place in space, I’m sick and tired of the rat race.’ That’s how that song evolved.’

‘People movin’ to and fro, to a song and a band and a laser show. Superman, Batman, goin’ all night, playin’ one on one with a meteor light. It’s out of sight, it’s out of sight, it’s out of sight, it’s out of sight, it’s gone, it’s gone.’

Posted by: In: Other 22 Sep 2023 Comments: 0


757- Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps-Be-Bop-a-Lula.

1956-Number 16 single.

Best Bit-At 1.49. ‘White face, black shirt, white socks, black shoes, black hair, white strat, bled white, died black.’

Gene Vincent was born Vincent Eugene Craddock, on February 11th, 1935, in Norfolk, Virginia, United States, he died on October 12th, 1971, from a combination of a ruptured ulcer, internal haemorrhage and heart failure, at the age of 36. Over the course of his short life, he lived up to his bad boy image, having several altercations with fire arms, and suffering from drug, and alcohol abuse. In 1955 he was involved in a auto accident while riding his motorbike, which left his left leg shattered, he refused to have it amputated, and lived with constant pain for the rest of his life. On April 16th, 1960, while on tour in the UK, Gene Vincent was one of the passengers in the car that crashed and killed the ‘Rock ‘N Roll’ star Eddie Cochran, (1938-1960) (see also best songs 422 and 50) Gene Vincent broke his ribs, and collarbone, and further damaged his weakened leg.

At the age of 17, Gene Vincent enlisted in the United States Navy, but that career was brought to an abrupt end following his left leg being shattered in that auto crash. Eventually he turned his attentions to music, and formed a ‘Rockabilly’ band called ‘Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps,’ a ‘Blue Cap’ is a term used in reference to enlisted sailors in the U.S. Navy. The group then won a talent contest in Norfolk, Virginia, organised by a local radio DJ, Bill ‘Sheriff Tex’ Davis, (1914-2007) who then became Gene Vincent’s manager.

Bill ‘Sheriff Tex’ Davis got Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps signed to a contract with ‘Capitol Records’ in 1956. The record label were looking for a young singer to rival Elvis Presley, (1935-1977) and Davis presented the label with a demo of ‘Be-Bop-a-Lula.’ Gene Vincent would go on to release 12 studio Albums between 1956-1971, and 41 singles between 1956-1970, there are also nine official compilation Albums, and 11 extended plays available. In America on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, Gene Vincent has charted within the top 40 on three occasions, with ‘Be-Bop-a-Lula’ peaking the highest at Number 7, while in the UK, eight of his singles have reached the top 40, with ‘Pistol Packin’ Mama’ from 1960, charting the highest at Number 15.

There are several differing versions as to who wrote ‘Be-Bop-a-Lula,’ and also from where the idea for the song first came, which was all probably drummed up by the record label, and Gene Vincent’s management, in order to stir up interest. Gene Vincent and his record company circulated the story that he wrote the song during a six month stay in the ‘Portsmouth Naval Hospital,’ where he was recovering from a motorcycle accident, there he played his guitar and came up with the melody and lyrics, which were inspired by a comic strip in the 1935 American magazine ‘The Saturday Evening Post.’ In 2000 this story was disputed by Dickie Harrell, (1940-2023) who had been the drummer with the ‘Blue Caps.’ Harrell said,’Actually the song was written by a guy from Portsmouth named Donald Graves.’ According to Harrell, Vincent and his manager Bill “Sheriff Tex” Davis, bought the song from Graves for $25. Harrell said, ‘It happened a lot in those days, guys would take the sure money.’ The official songwriting credits for ‘Be-Bop-a-Lula,’ are given to Gene Vincent, Donald Graves, and Bill ‘Sheriff Tex’ Davis.

‘Be-Bop-a-Lula,’ is considered to be an early example of ‘Rockabilly’ music. ‘Rockabilly’ is one of the earliest styles of ‘Rock ‘N Roll’ music, dating back to the early 1950’s in the United States, especially in the South. As a genre ‘Rockabilly’ derives from ‘Rock ‘N Roll,’ and ‘Hillbilly,’ which is a term used to describe ‘Country Music’ from the 1940’s, and 1950’s. ‘Be-Bop-a-Lula,’ is considered to be a groundbreaking song, with both a young John Lennon, (1940-1980) and a young Paul McCartney, both being heavily influenced by the song, even before the pair first ever met. Paul McCartney has said, ‘Now this is the first record I ever bought when I was a kid, and I saved up my pocket money for months, and then I took the bus down-town to the record shop, and I remember going into the back of the shop and listening to the record and loving it. It was just very early days of Rock ‘N Roll, so it was just such a thrill, and then I got back on the bus, went home and played it endlessly, and these memories, of Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps singing ‘Be-Bop-A-Lula’ will stay with me forever.’

‘She’s the woman that’s got that beat, she’s the woman with the flying feet. She’s the one that walks around the store, she’s the one that gets more more more more.’

Posted by: In: Other 21 Sep 2023 Comments: 0


758-Oasis-Champagne Supanova.

1996-It has never been released as a single in the UK.

Best Bit-At 5.46. Noel Gallagher would be the first to admit that some of his songs can be a little on the long side, but I wish this one could go on even longer.

Noel Thomas David Gallagher was born on May 29th, 1967, in Manchester, England, he is widely considered to be one of the most influential songwriters in British Rock music history, and has written 10 UK Number 1 studio Albums, and nine UK Number 1 singles. George Martin (1926-2016) who produced many of the Beatles Albums, called Noel Gallagher ‘the finest songwriter of his generation.’ Noel Gallagher has two brothers, an elder brother called Paul, and a younger brother Liam, the brothers had a very difficult childhood, mainly due to their alcoholic father Tommy, who abused them physically and mentally. In 1976 their mother Peggy acquired legal separation from Thomas, and raised her three sons as a single mother. In the 2016 documentary ‘Supersonic,’ Noel quipped that his father ‘beat the talent into him.’

Noel Gallagher’s first venture into music as a profession was in 1988 when unsuccessfully auditioning for the lead singer of the Manchester based band the ‘Inspiral Carpets,’ but he stayed on with that band, working with their road crew for the next two years, it was during this time that Gallagher recorded his first demos. In 1991 Noel returned from an American tour with the Inspiral Carpets to find that his brother Liam had become a singer with a local band called the ‘Rain.’ After rejecting an offer from Liam to be the band’s manager, Noel agreed to join the band, on the condition that he would take creative control of the group and become its sole songwriter, the ‘Rain’ would later be renamed ‘Oasis’ (see also best songs 1006 and 15.)

Following the split of Oasis in 2009, Noel Gallagher performed his first concerts in February 2010 as a solo artist, and then later that year he formed ‘Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds,’ who at the time of writing remain active, with 10 different group members having come and gone to date. As ‘Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds,’ he has released four studio Albums between 2011-2023, and 21 singles in the same time period, there is also one official compilation Album, and one box set available. The first three studio Albums, and the compilation Album have all reached Number 1 in the UK, with the 2023 release ‘Council Skies’ peaking at Number 2. Four of the ‘Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ singles have reached the UK top 40, with the bands debut single ‘The Death of You and Me,’ charting the highest in 2011 at Number 15.

‘Champagne Supanova’ was the sixth and final single released from ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?’ which was the second studio Album released by Oasis from October 1995, the song was not issued as a single in the UK, being only issued in Australia, France, and New Zealand. ‘Champagne Supanova’ was written by Noel Gallagher, and produced by Noel, and Owen Morris, who in total has worked with Oasis on three of their studio Albums. The song is the final track on ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?’ which is the best selling Album of the 1990’s, and the third best selling studio Album of all time in the UK. Joining Oasis on ‘Champagne Supanova’ was Paul Weller, (see also best songs 670-94 and 59) who played lead guitar, and also sang backing vocals.

Noel Gallagher has spoken about ‘Champagne Supanova,’ saying,’This writer was going on about the lyrics to ‘Champagne Supernova,’ and he said, ’You know, the one thing that’s stopping it being a classic is the ridiculous lyrics,’ quoting,’ Slowly walking down the hall, faster than a cannonball,’ what’s that mean?” And I went,’ I don’t know, but are you telling me when you’ve got 60,000 people singing it, they don’t know what it means? It means something different to every one of them.’

As for the songs actual meaning Gallagher has also said, ’I have still not made my mind up as to what the song is actually about. It means different things when I’m in different moods.’The line ‘Where were you when we were getting high,’ is something that the band used to say to each other, as a joke.’

How many special people change? How many lives are livin’ strange? Where were you while we were getting high? Slowly walkin’ down the hall, faster than a cannonball, where were you while we were getting high?’

Posted by: In: Other 19 Sep 2023 Comments: 0


759-Lou Preager and His Orchestra-with vocals by Paul Rich.-Cruising Down the River.

1946-It has never charted in the UK. There was no UK chart until 1952.

Best Bit-At 1.23. In the olden days before Sunday trading laws were relaxed, this is how you would spend your Sunday afternoon.

In the 1930’s, and 1940’s, the real Pop stars were the bandleaders, and they would often hire vocalists, sometimes on long contracts, to work exclusively for them. In 1945 the ‘BBC’ launched a public songwriting competition, as part of the radio show hosted by Lou Preager, (1906-1978) the competition was known as ‘Write a Tune,’ with a winning prize of £1000, the format proved very popular, and was repeated again in 1947, and 1950. The winners in 1945 were two middle aged women called Elly Beadell, (1890-1971) and Nelly Tollerton, Beadell had written the lyrics back in the 1920’s, with the medley composed by the music hall performer Ena Dayne, (1900-1977) but as Dayne could not read music, it was transcribed by Tollerton. Although Dayne was not entitled to royalties as her name was left off the credits, it is said that both Beadell and Tollerton made sure that she was paid her entitlement.

‘Cruising Down the River’ proved a great success, with Lou Preager and His Orchestra, with vocals by Paul Rich, becoming one of the best selling songs in the UK in 1946, with it’s sales of records, and sheet music. In America the most successful versions were recorded by the American orchestra leader ‘Blue Barron,’ (1913-2005) who reached the ‘Billboard magazine Best Seller’ chart on January 21, 1949, and lasted 19 weeks on the chart, peaking at Number 1, and the recording by the American Big Band leader Russ Morgan, (1904-1969) which also reached Number 1, and spent 22 weeks on the chart. ‘Cruising Down the River’ also charted on a further three occasions in 1949 on the ‘Billboard magazine Best Seller’ chart, with Smilin’ Jack Smith, (1913-2006) reaching Number 14, ‘Primo Scala and the Keynotes’ which was the pseudonym of the English Dance Band leader Harry Bidgood, (1898-1957) making Number 27, and the recording by Frankie Carle, (1903-2001) reached Number 28. In 1953 in the American Musical film ‘Cruisin’ Down the River.,’ the song was performed by Dick Haymes (1918-1980) (see also best songs 842.)

Lou Preager was born Louis Jacob Preager, on January 12th, 1906, in Poplar, London, England, from the 1960’s Preager suffered from ill health, and retired from music in 1962, he died on November 14th, 1978, at the age of 72. Lou Preager is best remembered as a Dance Band leader, Disc Jockey, and pianist, with his recordings taking place in the 1930’s, 1940’s, and 1950’s, During the Second World War Preager joined the ‘Intelligence Corps’ in 1941, where his right arm was seriously injured in a motor accident, and he received hospital treatment for eight months, and was then invalided out of the army in 1942. He then formed a 14 piece orchestra to play at the ‘Hammersmith Palais’ in London, where he led the resident band there for 18 years. The band made frequent radio broadcasts, including, from 1942, 96 editions of ‘Music While You Work,’ the band later appeared on television. A number of vocalists sang with the band, including Paul Rich, (1921-2000) and Elisabeth Welch (1904-2003.) During the 1950’s, Lou Preager presented ‘Housewives’ Choice’ on the BBC, and also at that time he was a well-known Disc Jockey. In 1959, his orchestra moved to the Lyceum Ballroom, in London, where he was often seen in the TV programme ‘Come Dancing.’

The version of ‘Cruising Down the River’ I have chosen is the recording by Lou Preager, with the vocals of Paul Rich. Rich was born on August 20th, 1921, in London, England, and died in the year 2000 from a heart attack. In 1941 Rich became a singer and guitarist with the ‘Oscar Rabin Band,’ before joining Lou Preager the following year. Paul Rich remained with Preager through until 1955, when he left to pursue his business interests, which included a chain of retail shops. From 1957, through until 1965 he recorded for Woolworth’s ‘ Embassy Records’ label, and in the 1960’s he became involved in music publishing, becoming the general manager of ‘Carlin Music’ in 1967. Rich retired from music, and his other activities in 1996.

‘Cruising down the river on a Sunday afternoon, with one you love, the sun above waiting for the moon. The old accordion playing a sentimental tune, cruising down the river on a Sunday afternoon.’

Posted by: In: Other 18 Sep 2023 Comments: 0


760- Fatboy Slim and Riva Starr featuring Beardyman-Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat.

2013-Number 3 single.

Best Bit-At 1.27. Ground Hog Day.

Fatboy Slim (see also best songs 950-387 and 95) was born Quentin Leo Cook on July 31st, 1963, in Bromley, Kent, England. In the 1980’s he was a member of the ‘Indie Rock’ band the ‘Housemartins, and then in the 1990’s he had a complete change of musical direction, when becoming one of the leading exponents in the then new genre of ‘Big Beat.’ Cook who holds the record for most top 40 chart entries in the UK, under different names, first became ‘Fatboy Slim’ in 1996. As Fatboy Slim, Cook has released four studio Albums between 1996-2004, and 28 singles between 1996-2022, there are also two official compilation Albums, three live Albums, and three remix Albums available. Norman Cook was a member of the Housemartins, where he played bass between 1985–1988, he was then a member of ‘Rockaway Three,’ in 1988, and then ‘Double Trouble,’ between 1988–1990. He found major success with ‘Beats International,’ between 1989–1992, and then charted with fellow ‘Electronic Dance Music’ producer John Reid, as the duo ‘Pizzaman,’ from 1993–1997. Also between 1993-1996 Cook was a member of ‘Freak Power,’ and in 1995 he was part of ‘Fried Funk Food,’ and the ‘Mighty Dub Katz,’ who had the 1995 hit ‘Magic Carpet Ride’ in Europe and Canada, although it didn’t chart in the UK until 1997, when reaching Number 24. Cook has also been a member of ‘The Brighton Port Authority’ since 2008.

‘Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat’ was co-written by Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim) Stefano Miele, (Riva Starr) and Darren Foreman, (Beardyman) with the songs production being credited to Fatboy Slim, and Riva Starr. ‘Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat’ was released in October 2013, with both the original version, and the more radio friendly Calvin Harris (see also best songs 652 and 566) mix, both appearing on the same extended play, (EP) the song went on to peak at Number 3 in the UK, giving Fatboy Slim his first top 40 hit in seven years, and his first top 10 record since ‘Star 69’/’Weapon of Choice,’ in 2001.

‘Riva Starr’ was born Stefano Miele, in June 1974, in Naples, Italy, as well as releasing his own music in the ‘Electronic Dance Music’ genre, he also set up and owns the ‘Snatch!’ records label. ‘Beardyman’ was born Darren Alexander Foreman, on May 14th, 1982, in Stanmore, North London, England, he was given the nickname ‘Beardyman,’ when a name was quickly needed for a flyer for an early show, and he had a beard at the time. ‘Beardyman’ is a multivocalist, musician and comedian, and is known for his ‘beatboxing’ skills, and use of live looping. In 2006 Beardyman battled to become ‘UK Beatbox Champion,’ and retained his title in 2007, making him the first ‘beatboxer’ in UK history to win two championships in a row. He was then on the 2008 judging panel. Beardman has released two studio Albums to date, in 2011, and 2014, and four singles as the lead artist, between 2011-2022. As well as appearing with Fatboy Slim on ‘Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat,’ the pair also teamed up again in 2017 for the single ‘Boom F**king Boom,’ which failed to chart.

For ‘Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat,’ it is said that Beardyman recorded his improvised vocals in one take. Fatboy Slim has explained how he was inspired to write the song when in New York.’Me and Riva were out vinyl shopping in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, earlier this year when we met this dude ranting in the street about some three day bender he had been on. We hooked him into our serato and chopped him up into a tune. I just wish we’d caught his full name.’ The music video for ‘Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat,’ features 250 contestants in a marathon dance endurance contest. Fatboy Slim has said of the video,’ I take off my hat and trousers to everyone who competed. It was brutal, it was emotional, and no one died.’

‘So there was this DJ who was like kicking off, I don’t know what he was doing, but it was sick man. Like, he was like hands in the air, and then this cat walked in, you know, not like a cat. Like a feline cat, like a real, like you know. Like you know what I’m saying dog, like cats and dogs. It was raining, it wasn’t raining. We were raving.’