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Posted by: In: Other 30 Mar 2024 Comments: 0


601-Kid Cudi vs. Crookers-Day ‘n’ Nite.

2009-Number 2 single.

Best Bit-At 1.14. This is one of a handful of songs in this countdown that has been chosen because of it’s remix.

Kid Cudi was born Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi, on January 30th, 1984, in Cleveland, Ohio, United States, he is a singer, songwriter, record producer, and an actor. He first caught the attention of the public when publishing the original version of ‘Day ‘n’ Nite’ on his ‘MySpace’ page, the song became popular on line, leading to Kid Cudi teaming up with the music producers Plain Pat and Emile Haynie, to record his first full-length project, a mixtape titled ‘A Kid Named Cudi,’ in 2008. This in turn led to him coming to the attention of the American Rapper Kanye West, (see also best songs 1049-849-636-477 and 267) who signed him to his ‘Good Music’ record label later that year. Kid Cudi has also had an acting career running concurrently with his music career, having appeared in 23 films between 2010-2023. He has also acted in several television series, including ‘One Tree Hill,’ (2010) and ‘Westworld’ (2020.)

The discography of Kid Cudi includes 10 studio Albums released between 2009-2024, and 32 singles released between 2008-2023, there is also one official compilation Album, one box set, and one mixtape available. In America on Billboard, five of his Albums have reached the Billboard 200 Album chart top five, while as the lead artist, five of his singles have reached the Billboard Hot 100 top 40, with ‘The Scotts,’ with ‘Travis Scott as The Scotts,’ making Number 1 in 2020, and ‘Day ‘n’ Nite’ peaking at Number 3. He has also charted on a further six occasions as a featured or guest artist. In the UK, Kid Cudi has charted twice on the top 40 singles chart as the lead artist, with ‘Day ‘n’ Nite,’ and ‘The Scotts,’ (Number 11-2020) he has also charted a further five times as either the featured artist, or as a guest artist, with both ‘Memories,’ by David Guetta, featuring Kid Cudi, and ‘All of the Lights,’ by Kanye West, featuring Rihanna, Kid Cudi, and Fergie, both making Number 15 in 2010.

‘Day ‘n’ Nite’ was co-written by Kid Kudi, and the American music producer Oladipo Omishore, who is better known by his working name ‘Dot da Genius,’ the pair also co-produced the track. ‘Day ‘n’ Nite’ first appeared on Kid Kudi’s ‘MySpace’ page in 2007, and then in 2008 on his mixtape ‘ A Kid Named Cudi.’ The song was next issued as the debut single from his debut studio Album ‘Man on the Moon: The End of Day,’ from September 2009, it was the first of three singles released from the Album.

The original version of ‘Day ‘n’ Nite’ is a ‘Hip-Hop’ track. In March 2008 the Italian production duo of Francesco ‘Phra’ Barbaglia, and Andrea ‘Bot’ Fratangelo, who worked together until 2012 as the ‘Crookers,’ remixed the track, and first publishing it as a free download, before releasing it commercially in the United States in August 2008. The Crookers remix of the song is very different from the original, and can be filed under the genre of ‘Electro House.’ On first hearing the Crookers remix, Kid Cudi said that he ‘Immediately loved it,’ adding, ‘I thought they did an amazing job. I didn’t think it was going to be as ill as it was. Before I heard it I thought, ‘Ah, it’s ‘Techno’ so it’s going to be cheesy,’ but it came out really ill.’

Kid Cudi is known for wearing his heart on his sleeve musically, often ‘Rapping’ about his own personal feelings, and this is very much the case on ‘Day ‘n’ Nite.’ He has stated that when he wrote the song he was not in a great place emotionally, ‘I was going through a lot of stuff at the time in my life, and so I felt like I needed to write those things down just to get them off my chest. I wasn’t really thinking about making a hit record or anything like that, I was just making the song to get my feelings out.’ In 2004 Kid Cudi had moved from his Cleveland hometown to New York City, where he stayed with his uncle, Kalil Madi, until he was kicked by him. ‘We were actually beefing because he forced me out the house when I didn’t have another situation set up, so I was bitter.’ Kid Kudi’s uncle passed away in 2006, and he wrote this song inspired by his feelings of regret at not patching up differences before his death. ‘I never apologised for it, and that kills me,’ he has said.

‘Day and night I toss and turn, I keep stressing my mind, mind. I look for peace, but see I don’t attain, what I need, for keeps this silly game we play, play.’

Posted by: In: Other 29 Mar 2024 Comments: 0


602-Neil Young and Crazy Horse-My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)

1979-It has never been released a single ‘A’ side in the UK.

Best Bit-At 1.54. A line from this song, ‘It’s better to burn out than to fade away,’ were some of the words written by Kurt Cobain (1967-1994) in his suicide note.

Neil Percival Young (see also best songs 559) was born on November 12th, 1945, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, his often distorted electric guitar playing, especially with the American Rock band Crazy Horse, earned him the nickname ‘Godfather of Grunge,’ leading to him becoming a major influence on bands such as Nirvana, (see also best songs 788 and 9) and Pearl Jam, (see also best songs 458.) The extensive discography of Neil Young includes 46 studio Albums released between 1968-2024, and 62 singles released between 1969-2023, there are also three official compilation Albums, and 12 live Albums available. His most successful single release is the 1971 track ‘Heart of Gold,’ which reached Number 1 in both Canada, and on the Billboard Hot 100 in America, as well as peaking at Number 10 in the UK. Prior to his solo career he had been a member of the American Rock band ‘Buffalo Springfield,’ (see also best songs 559) between 1966-1968, appearing on all three of their studio Albums. He was also a member of the ‘supergroup’ ‘Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, (see also best songs 417) from 1969 onwards, appearing on three Albums as part of that quartet, there is also an Album attributed to ‘The Stills-Young Band,’ from 1976, called ‘Long May You Run.’

‘My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue’) is the first track on ‘Rust Never Sleeps,’ the 10th Album by Neil Young from June 1979, and featuring the American Rock band ‘Crazy Horse.’ The song was written by Neil Young, and Jeff Blackburn, (1945-2023) and produced by Young, David Briggs, (1944-1995) and Tim Mulligan. Jeff Blackburn receives songwriting credits mainly for providing the line, ‘It’s better to burn out than to fade away,’ which had first been used in a song by the short-lived American Rock group ‘The Ducks,’ (1977) which had featured both Young and Blackburn in it’s line up. The Album ‘Rust Never Sleeps’ was recorded live at different concert venues in America between 1976-1978, and overdubbed in the studio in order to remove as much crowd noise as possible. The Album which features both studio and live tracks opens with this song ‘My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue,’) which is an acoustic track, while the final song on side 2 of the Album is an electric version of the track called ‘Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black.’) Neil Young’s often distorted electric guitar playing, of which the electric version is a fine example, earned him the nickname ‘Godfather of Grunge.’

Neil Young wrote ‘My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue’) at a time when he thought his music might not be relevant anymore. His idol Elvis Presley (1935-1977) (see also best songs 954-64-442 and 194) had recently died, and ‘Punk Music’ was the new ‘Rock ‘N Roll.’ The song deal with the fleeting nature of fame, and how hard it is to stay relevant as an artist. The lyrics allude to three specific artists, ‘The king is gone but he’s not forgotten, is a reference to Elvis Presley. The line ‘Rock and roll is here to stay,’ is the title of the 1958 Billboard Number 19 hit for the American ‘Doo-Wop,’ and ‘Rock and Roll’ vocal group Danny & the Juniors, (see also best songs 973) where in that song they proclaim ‘Rock ‘n roll is here to stay, it will never die,’ and the line ‘This is the story of a Johnny Rotten,’ is Neil Young recognising that the next generation of artists were taking his place. Johnny Rotten was the lead singer of the Sex Pistols, (see also best songs 576-92 and 27) who at that time were at the sharp end of ‘Punk Rock,’ that Young felt was replacing him.

In 2005 Neil Young spoke about Kurt Cobain’s suicide note that contained the line from this song: ‘It’s better to burn out than to fade away.’ Young said,’The fact that he left the lyrics to my song right there with him when he killed himself left a profound feeling on me, but I don’t think he was saying I have to kill myself because I don’t want to fade away. I don’t think he was interpreting the song in a negative way. It’s a song about artistic survival, and I think he had a problem with the fact that he thought he was selling out, and he didn’t know how to stop it. He was forced to do tours when he didn’t want to, forced into all kinds of stuff. I was trying to get a hold of him because I had heard some of the things he was doing to himself, just to tell him it’s OK not to tour, it’s OK not to do these things, just take control of your life and make your music. Or, hey, don’t make music. But as soon as you feel like you’re out there pretending, you’re f–cked. I think he knew that instinctively, but he was young, and he didn’t have a lot of self-control. And who knows what other personal things in his life were having a negative impression on him at the time?’

‘The king is gone but he’s not forgotten, this is the story of a Johnny Rotten. It’s better to burn out than it is to rust, the king is gone but he’s not forgotten. Hey hey, my my, Rock and roll can never die.’

Posted by: In: Other 28 Mar 2024 Comments: 0


603-XTC-Making Plans for Nigel.

1979-Number 17 single.

Best Bit-At 1.44. The British Steel Corporation had to take drastic measures, they were worried that this song would put future employees off wanting to work for them.

XTC were formed in Swindon, Wiltshire, England, in 1972, by Andy Partridge, (guitar, and vocals) and Colin Moulding, (bass, and vocals) who had both grown up together on the Penhill council estate in Swindon. Partridge would become the groups main songwriter, with Moulding also contributing, including the writing of this song, although they rarely worked together on tracks. The duo were later joined in 1972 by Terry Chambers, (drums) and then Barry Andrews, (keyboards, and vocals) in 1976. Andrews left in 1978, and was replaced by Dave Gregory, (guitar, and keyboards) who joined in 1979. Between 1972-1974 they were known as ‘Star Park,’ before becoming ‘The Helium Kidz,’ from 1974-1975. The final name change to ‘XTC’ came about after Andy Partridge had read about the American comedian Jimmy Durante, (1893-1980) during one of his routines exclaiming, ‘That’s it, I’m in ecstasy,’ Between 1972-1976, a further five members came and went, so there have been 10 different group members in total. XTC remained active until 2006.

The discography of XTC includes 14 studio Albums released between 1978-2000, and 40 singles released between 1977-2005, there are also four official compilation Albums, and two live Albums available. In the UK nine of their studio Albums have reached the top 40, with ‘English Settlement,’ from 1982 peaking the highest at Number 5, while six of their singles have made the UK top 40, with ‘Senses Working Overtime,’ from 1982, charting the highest at Number 10.

‘Making Plans for Nigel’ was the only single released from ‘Drums and Wires,’ the third studio Album by XTC, from August 1979, the song was written by Colin Moulding, with the production being by Steve Lillywhite (see also best songs 1004-962-254 and 32.) ‘Making Plans for Nigel’ is about overpowering parents, who think that they know best for their child. The lyrics are told from the point of view of the parents, who are certain that their son Nigel is ‘happy in his work,’ affirming that his future in ‘British Steel’ ‘is as good as sealed.’As a response to the song, worried that it was sending out negative messages, British Steel gathered four employees, all named Nigel, to talk about job satisfaction, for the company’s trade publication ‘Steel News.’

‘Making Plans for Nigel’ was the breakthrough hit for XTC, peaking at Number 17 during an 11 week run on the UK top 40, although their are rumours that the track should have peaked a few places higher, with a computer glitch being blamed. Colin Moulding who wrote the song has said,’I didn’t know where it came from. That phrase popped into my head, and one line followed another. Before I knew it, I’d written three parts of the song, and the rest of it just kind of fell in line probably a day or two later. … When I was about 16, my father wanted me to stay on in school. But by that time, I really didn’t want to do anything other than music, I think. … So, in a way, is it autobiographical? Well, a little bit. I knew somebody called Nigel at school. But I think that, when you write songs, it’s a lot of things all wrapped up, like in your dreams. Your dreams are kind of bits and pieces of all the walks of life you’ve been in.’

Andy Partridge has recalled the making of that third studio Album ‘Drums and Wires, ‘Quite early on it had been decided that Making Plans For Nigel was going to be the single. We spent five times longer messing with that song than any of my tracks. At one point I was fuming because my songs were being ignored.’ The first 20,000 copies of the single came with a bonus fold-out board game called ‘Chutes And Ladders,’ (similar to snakes and ladders) built around Nigel’s mundane and mapped-out life. There were two versions of the game board, one to be played by Nigel, and the other to be played by his parents. This is obviously now a collectors item for XTC fans.

‘And if young Nigel says he’s happy, he must be happy, he must be happy, he must be happy in his world. We’re only making plans for Nigel, we only want what’s best for him.’

Posted by: In: Other 27 Mar 2024 Comments: 0


604-The People’s Choice-Do It Any Way You Wanna.

1975-Number 36 single.

Best Bit-At 0.40. It may not have taken a genius to write the lyrics, but it did take a genius to write the music.

The People’s Choice were a ‘Funk,’ and ‘Soul’ group, who were formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, in 1971, by Frankie Brunson (1929-2007) and David Thompson. Although many of their songs were instrumentals, five of the 11 members who came and went between 1971, until their retiring of the group in 1985, were vocalists. The four members at that time who played on this track, and it’s parent Album, were, Frankie Brunson, (lead vocals, and keyboards) David Thompson, (percussion) Roger Andrews,(bass) and Guy Fiske, (guitar) other musicians who played on the song were members of ‘MFSB,’ the studio band employed by ‘Philadelphia International’ records. in much the same way that ‘The Funk Brothers’ were attached to ‘Motown’ records.

The discography of The People’s Choice includes six studio Albums released between 1975-1984, and 20 singles released between 1971-1984, there are also three official compilation Albums available. In America on the Billboard Hot 100, two of their singles reached the top 40, their debut, ‘I Likes to Do It,’ (1971-Number 38) and ‘Do It Any Way You Wanna,’ (1975-Number 11) but they had more success on the Billboard ‘Best Selling Soul Singles’ chart, (now the ‘Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs’) where three of their tracks made the top 40, with ‘Do It Any Way You Wanna’ reaching Number 1. In the UK, The People’s Choice have charted on the top 40 twice, with ‘Jam, Jam, Jam (All Night Long’) being the other hit (1978-Number 40.)

The People’s Choice first came to the attention of Leon Huff, the co-founder of ‘Philadelphia International’ records, after Huff had seen the group perform in concert. The People’s Choice had just had a hit with their debut single ‘I Likes To Do It,’ (1971-Billboard Number 38) on the ‘Phil-L.A. of Soul Records’ label, and Leon Huff told Frankie Brunson, that he wished the group had recorded ‘I Likes To Do It’ for ‘Philadelphia International’ records. The People’s Choice signed to ‘Philadelphia International’ records in 1974, after their next five singles had all failed to chart, for their previous record label.

Leon Huff (see also best songs 1001-896-725-648-571-338-322 and 258) was born on April 8th, 1942, in Camden, New Jersey, United States, he is one half of the legendary song writing, and production duo ‘Gamble and Huff,’ with Kenny Gamble, who was born on August 11th, 1943, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, together they have worked on in excess of 3,000 songs. Leon Huff, and Kenny Gamble had already had success together prior to co-founding ‘Philadelphia International Records’ in 1971 as a rival to Berry Gordy, and ‘Motown’ records. Aided by the in house arrangers Thom Bell, (1943-2022) Bobby Martin, and Norman Harris, (1947-1987) they set up a distribution deal with ‘CBS’ records, headed at that time by Clive Davis. Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s ‘Philadelphia Soul’ sound evolved from the simpler arrangements of the late-1960’s, into a style featuring lush strings, thumping basslines, and sliding hi-hat rhythms, elements that soon became the distinguishing characteristics of a new style of music called ‘Disco.’ By 1975, ‘Philadelphia International,’ and the ‘Philadelphia Soul’ genre it helped define, had largely eclipsed ‘Motown’ and the ‘Motown Sound’ in popularity, and Gamble and Huff were now the worlds premier producers of ‘Soul’ music.

‘Do It Any Way You Wanna’ was written and produced by Leon Huff, and was the only single released from The People’s Choice debut studio Album ‘Boogie Down U.S.A.’ from 1975. The 10 tracks on the Album were written by the ‘A team’ of song writers at ‘Philadelphia International Records,’ which included Cary Gilbert, (1942-1993) (see also best songs 896) John Whitehead, (1948-2004) and Gene McFadden, (1949-2006) (see also best songs 258) with the in house studio band ‘MFSB’ providing backing. In 1976 the Jamaican Reggae singer ‘Dillinger’ sampled ‘Do It Any Way You Wanna,’ for his single ‘Cokane in My Brain, (see also best songs 817) which reached Number 1 in the Netherlands, and Number 2 in Belgium.

‘Do it any way you wanna do it, do it any way you wanna.’

Posted by: In: Other 26 Mar 2024 Comments: 0


605-Pulp-Do You Remember the First Time?

1994-Number 34 single.

Best Bit-At 1.08. A Gentleman never tells.

Pulp (see also best songs 285) were formed at the City School, in Sheffield, England, in 1978, by Jarvis Cocker, who was 15 years old, and Peter Dalton, who was 14 years old at the time. They were originally called ‘Arabicus,’ named after the ‘Arabicas’ coffee bean, but with a slight spelling change. They later changed to ‘Arabicus Pulp,’ and finally ‘Pulp,’ ‘Pulp’ being the name of a 1972 movie starring Michael Caine, and one of Jarvis Cocker’s favourite films. In total there have been 24 different members come and go, with Jarvis Cocker who was born in Sheffield, England, on September 19th, 1963, being the groups one constant. The five members who played on this track, and it’s parent Album ‘His ‘n’ Hers,’ were, Jarvis Cocker, (vocals, guitar, and keyboards) Russell Senior, (guitar, and violin) Candida Doyle, (keyboards) Nick Banks, (drums, and percussion) Steve Mackey (1966-2023) (bass.) For Pulp success was not achieved overnight, as the group experimented with many differing musical genres over the course of their first 16 years of existence, before finally finding the right formula with this song, and Album. In fact, prior to the success of ‘Do You Remember the First Time?’ Pulp had released three non charting Albums, and 12 non charting singles. At the time of writing Pulp remain active, having been on hiatus between 2002-2011, then reforming until 2013, and then getting back together again in 2022, although there has been no new music released since 2013. Pulp are regarded as one of the ‘Britpop’ ‘big four,’ along with Oasis, Blur, and Suede. Three of their Albums have been nominated for the UK ‘Mercury Music Prize,’ ‘His ‘n’ Hers’ in 1994, ‘Different Class,’ in 1996, and ‘This Is Hardcore,’ in 1998, with ‘Different Class’ winning the award.

The discography of Pulp, who have sold in excess of 10 million records, includes seven studio Albums released between 1983-2001, and 26 singles released between 1983-2013, there are also nine official compilation Albums, and two live Albums available. In the UK, all four of their latest Albums have reached the top 10, with both ‘Different Class,’ (1995) and ‘This Is Hardcore,’ (1998) both making the Number 1 spot, while on the UK top 40 singles chart, they have had 12 hits, with both ‘Common People,’ (1995) and the double ‘A’ sided single ‘Sorted for E’s & Wizz’ and ‘Mis-Shapes,’ (1995) both peaking the highest at Number 2.

‘Do You Remember the First Time?’ was the second of three singles released from ‘His ‘n’ Hers,’ the fourth studio Album released by Pulp, from April 1994, the songwriting credits are shared amongst all the group members at that time, with the production being by Ed Buller, who was born Edmund Wilbur Hudson Bulleron, on August 9th, 1962, in Reigate, Surrey, England. Prior to becoming a music producer Ed Buller had been the keyboard player for the English Rock band ‘Psychedelic Furs,’ between 1982-1985. As a producer his first big success was the debut studio Album by Suede, which went to Number 1 in the UK, and also won the ‘Mercury Music Prize.’ He also would go on to produce two more UK Number 1 Albums,’Coming Up,’ by Suede in 1996, and ‘To Lose My Life…’ by White Lies,’ in 2009.

‘Do You Remember the First Time?’ is loosely based on Jarvis Cocker losing his virginity at the age of 19, with him admitting that he did it because he wanted to lose his virginity as a teenager. Cocker has said, ‘I have no regrets about the first person I had sex with. We were both virgins, so neither of us were under any pressure to perform. It probably took me a long time to get any good at it, to get reasonable at sex… I still don’t know.’ ‘Do You Remember the First Time?’ tells the tale of a man informing his ex girlfriend that although she has found a new partner, she would be better off with him still being her lover, as her new partner isn’t as good in bed as he is. The narrator doesn’t appear to want her around on a full time basis, and never even enjoyed ‘the first time,’ anyway, but he likes to remind her that he is a better catch than her current lover.

In order to promote ‘Do You Remember the First Time?’ Jarvis Cocker made a short film, putting together a collection of interviews with celebrities recounting their ‘first time.’ The 25 minute film features the likes of John Peel, (1939-2004) Jo Brand, and Vic Reeves. Terry Hall (1959-2022) of The Specials has perhaps the best line, ‘She was into The Bay City Rollers, which put me off a bit, but not enough.’

‘You say you’ve got to go home, ’cause he’s sitting on his own again this evening. I know you’re gonna let him bore your pants off again. Oh, now it’s half past eight, you’ll be late.’

Posted by: In: Other 25 Mar 2024 Comments: 0


606-Arthur ”Big Boy” Crudup-That’s All Right.

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

Best Bit-At 1.04. Elvis Presley acknowledged Arthur Crudup’s importance to ‘Rock ‘N Roll’ when he said, ‘If I had any ambition, it was to be as good as Arthur Crudup.

Arthur William Crudup, was born on August 24th, 1905, in Forest, Mississippi, United States, he died of complications of heart disease and diabetes, on March 28th, 1974, at the age of 68. He was fondly known as ‘The Father of Rock and Roll,’ after Elvis Presley (1935-1977) had recorded cover versions of three of his songs, ‘That’s All Right,’ (1946) ‘My Baby Left Me,’ (1950) and ‘So Glad You’re Mine,’ (1946.) Arthur Crudup was born into a family of migrant workers travelling through the South and Midwest, and spent his formative years singing ‘Gospel’ music. In 1926 he was taught to play the ‘Blues’ by a local called Papa Harvey, (1887-1989?) enabling him to later perform in dance halls and cafes. He began his career as a ‘Blues’ singer around Clarksdale, Mississippi, then joined the black Gospel quartet the ‘Harmonizing Four,’ eventually leaving to start a solo career in Chicago in 1940.

Arthur Crudup recorded for ‘RCA Records’ in the mid to late 1940’s, and with ‘Ace Records,’ ‘Checker Records,’ and ‘Trumpet Records,’ in the early 1950’s, recording as Arthur ”Big Boy” Crudup,’ ‘Elmer James,’ and ‘Percy Lee Crudup.’ He stopped recording in the 1950’s because of disputes over royalties, saying, ‘I realised I was making everybody rich, and here I was poor.’ He continued to sing, and supplemented his income by working as a labourer, he later returned to Mississippi and took up bootlegging. In 1968 the ‘Blues’ promoter Dick Waterman (1935-2024) began fighting for Crudup’s royalties, and reached an agreement in which Crudup would be paid $60,000, however, ‘Hill and Range Songs,’ from which he was supposed to get the royalties, refused to sign the legal papers at the last minute, because the company thought it could not lose more money in legal action. By 1971 Crudup had collected a little over $10,000 in overdue royalties, through the intervention of the ‘Songwriters Guild of America.’ Recognising his fortunes would not change, Crudup said in 1970, ‘I was born poor, I live poor, and I am going to die poor.’ Arthur Crudup issued four solo studio Albums, and two collaborative Albums between 1962-1994, and there are 30 official compilation Albums available. Three of his singles charted in the top 5 in 1945, on the Billboard ‘Race Records’ chart, which is now the ‘Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs’ chart.

‘That’s All Right’ was originally recorded by Arthur Crudup in Chicago, United States, on September 6th, 1946, it was re-released in early March 1949 by ‘RCA Victor,’ under the title ‘That’s All Right, Mama.’ ‘That’s All Right’ is one of the contenders for the never ending discussion about who actually recorded the first ever ‘Rock ‘N Roll’ song. The ‘Rock’ historian Joseph Burns, of Southeastern Louisiana University has said,’This song could contain the first ever guitar solo break.’ Some of the lyrics to ‘That’s All Right’ had been lifted by Crudup from previous ‘Blues’ songs, most notably the 1926 ‘Blues’ recording, ‘That Black Snake Moan,’ by Blind Lemon Jefferson (1893-1929.)

At the age of 19, Elvis Presley (see also best songs 954-664-442 and 194) recorded his version of ‘That’s All Right, Mama,’ for his very first single, on the ‘Sun Records’ label. The song failed to chart on either side of the Atlantic, but when it was re-issued for it’s 50 anniversary in 2004, it reached Number 3 in the UK. In 1956 Presley recorded ‘My Baby Left Me,’ another Arthur Crudup song, for the ‘B’ side of his single ‘”I Want You, I Need You, I Love You,’ which reached Number 1 on Billboard, and Number 14 in the UK. Elvis Presley said of Arthur Crudup,’Down in Tupelo, Mississippi, I used to hear old Arthur Crudup bang his box the way I do now, and I said, if I ever got to the place I could feel all old Arthur felt, I’d be a music man like nobody ever saw.’ In 2004 the American music magazine the ‘Rolling Stone,’ argued that Elvis Presley’s recording of ‘That’s All Right’ was the first ever ‘Rock and Roll’ record, also in 2004 an article in the British daily newspaper ‘The Guardian,’ argues that rather than Elvis Presley’s version being one of the first records of ‘Rock and Roll,’ it was simply one of ‘the first white artists’ interpretations of a sound already well established by black musicians almost a decade before, a raucous, driving, unnamed variant of ‘Rhythm and Blues.’

‘Mama she done told me, Papa done told me too, son, that gal your foolin’ with, she ain’t no good for you. But, that’s all right, that’s all right, that’s all right now mama, anyway you do.’

Posted by: In: Other 24 Mar 2024 Comments: 0


607-The Stranglers-Duchess.

1979-Number 14 single.

Best Bit-At 1.33. Don’t take offence if your name is Rodney.

The Stranglers were formed in Guildford, Surrey, England, in 1974, by Jet Black, (1938-2022) (real name, Brian Duffy) (drums) who was joined by Hugh Cornwell, (vocals, and guitar) Jean-Jacques Burnel, (bass) and Hans Warmling (1943-1995) (keyboards.) Warmling left the group to return to his home country of Sweden within a year, and was replaced by Dave Greenfield, (1949-2020) (keyboards.) Hugh Cornwell left the band in 1990 to pursue a solo career, and was replaced by Paul Roberts, (vocals) and John Ellis (guitar.) The Stranglers, who originally started out life as ‘The Guildford Stranglers,’ were at first a ‘Punk Rock’ group, but have experimented with other musical genres over the course of their Albums, and remain active at the time of writing, with Jean-Jacques Burnel being the groups one constant.

The discography of The Stranglers includes 18 studio Albums released between 1977-2021, and 41 singles released within the same time period, there are also 28 official compilation Albums, and 16 live Albums available. In the UK, 13 of The Stranglers Albums have reached the top 40, with both ‘No More Heroes,’ (1977) and ‘Black and White,’ (1978) both peaking at Number 2. On the UK top 40 singles chart, The Stranglers have had 23 hits, with ‘Golden Brown,’ charting the highest at Number 2 in 1982.

Jet Black, a founding member of The Stranglers was born Brian John Duffy, on August 26th, 1938, in Ilford, Essex, England, he died from respiratory problems, on December 6th, 2022, at the age of 84. Prior to co-founding The Stranglers, Jet Black was a successful businessman, owning a fleet of ice cream vans, and an off-licence. In the mid 1970’s he decided to become a full time musician, and first met Hugh Cornwell of the band ‘Johnny Sox,’ after reading an advertisement in the British music weekly magazine ‘Melody Maker.’ Jet Black and Hugh Cornwell would work together in The Stranglers until Cornwell left the band in 1990, it is said that following the split, the pair did not keep in touch. Jet Black was The Stranglers drummer, and it was announced in 2007 on the groups website that he was was suffering from atrial fibrillation, (abnormal heart rhythm) and therefore would have to take a break from touring. He would perform sporadically over the next 11 years, before retiring in 2018.

Hugh Alan Cornwell, was born on August 28th, 1949, in Tufnel Park, North London, England, since leaving The Stranglers he has released 10 solo studio Albums between 1988-2022. Cornwell began his music career in the 1960’s playing bass in a band with Richard Thompson, who would later become a member of the Folk Rock band Fairport Convention. In the late 1960’s he moved to Sweden to study chemistry at the ‘Lund University,’ which was where he formed the group ‘Johnny Sox,’ who on returning to the UK in 1974, would eventually become The Stranglers. Hugh Cornwell has acted in a number of productions, in the early 1980’s he appeared in ‘Charlie’s Last Stand,’ with Bob Hoskins (1942-2014) at the Almeida Theatre, London, he has also appeared in the 1987 Peter Richardson directed film, ‘Eat the Rich,’ which was part of the award-winning BBC ‘Screen Two’ series, the successor to ‘Play for Today.’ Cornwell is also the author of six books between 1980-2020, including ‘Inside Information,’ (1980) which tells of the time he spent in ‘HM Prison Pentonville’ for drug possession, and ‘The Stranglers – Song by Song,’ (2001) which guides the reader through all of The Stranglers back catalogue.

‘Duchess’ was the first of three singles released from The Stranglers fourth studio Album ‘The Raven,’ from September 1979, with the songwriting credited to The Stranglers, and the production credited to The Stranglers, and Alan Winstanley (see also best songs 913 and 69.) ‘Duchess’ is a song about a girl who claims to be an heiress, but she has hit on hard times. She knows all of her family history, saying she descends from King Henry V111. When she was well to do, men from the lower classes would attempt to raise their profile by trying to court her, these chancers are known as ‘Rodney’s,’ of whom her parents would strongly disapprove.

‘Duch of the Terrace never grew up, I hope she never will. Says she’s an Heiress sits in her Terrace, says she’s got time to kill, time to kill. And the Rodney’s are queuing up, God forbid, and they all want to win the cup God forbid.’

Posted by: In: Other 22 Mar 2024 Comments: 0


608-Arctic Monkeys-Fluorescent Adolescent.

2007-Number 5 single.

Best Bit-At 0.09. Some good old plain, straight to the point talk, from Yorkshire folk.

The Arctic Monkeys were formed in Sheffield, England, in 2002, by Alex Turner, (lead vocals, guitar, and keyboards) Matt Helders, (drums) Jamie Cook, (guitar, and vocals) and Andy Nicholson, (bass, and backing vocals) Nicholson left the group after their first studio Album in 2006, and was replaced by Nick O’Mally, (bass guitar) and the quartet remain active at the time of writing. The Arctic Monkeys took their name from a band that Matt Helders father had played in during the 1970’s, evidently the name had been used on several occasions by other groups. Alex Turner has said, ‘He passed it down from generation to generation, like a recipe.’ The Arctic Monkeys are recognised as one of the first bands to come to the public’s attention via the Internet, with commentators suggesting that they represented the possibility of a change in the way in which new bands are promoted and marketed. The group initially began to record demos, which grew to 18 tracks, which were eventually burned on to CD’s, and given away at gigs. A fan of the band filmed one of their gigs, and posted it on his website alongside the collection of demos, and unknown to the Arctic Monkeys, they were gaining popularity via a ‘MySpace’ site set up by their fans.

The discography of the Arctic Monkeys includes seven studio Albums released between 2006-2022, and 23 singles released between 2005-2022. In the UK the first six of their studio Albums all reached Number 1, with their seventh stalling at Number 2, while on the UK singles chart, 15 of their singles have made the top 40, with ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor,’ (2005) and ‘When the Sun Goes Down,’ both reaching Number 1. In America on Billboard, they have never had a top 40 single, but all seven of their studio Albums have made the Billboard 200 Album top 30 chart.

‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ was the second of three singles released from the Arctic Monkeys second studio Album ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare,’ from April 2007. The songs music was co-written by all four band members, with the lyrics credited to Alex Turner, and Johanna Bennett, with the production being by James Ford, and Mike Crossey.

Alex Turner was born Alexander David Turner, on January 6th, 1986, in Sheffield, England, he has been named by some music critics as the best lyricist of the 21st Century. Among his musical influences, Turner cites the poetry of John Cooper Clarke (see also best songs 816) and the lyrics of the ‘Hip-Hop’ artists Roots Manuva, and Method Man (see also best songs 369 and 166.) Away from the Arctic Monkeys, Turner has released one solo Album, ‘Submarine,’ in 2011, and two studio Albums, and seven singles between 2008-2016, with his other group ‘The Last Shadow Puppets.’ Both of those studio Albums reached Number 1 in the UK, two of their singles made the UK top 40, with ‘The Age of the Understatement,’ (2008) peaking the highest at Number 9.

‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ was co-produced by James Ford, and Mike Crossey. James Ford is known for being a member of the English Electronic music duo ‘Simian Mobile Disco,’ as well as a member with Alex Turner in ‘The Last Shadow Puppets,’ he is one of the most sought after music producers of the 21st Century, with his productions including Albums by Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, and Blur. Mike Crossey is a Northern Irish record producer, and songwriter, who produced the Arctic Monkeys first EP ‘ Five Minutes with Arctic Monkeys,’ he has also produced, and written for other acts, including ‘The 1975,’ ‘Imagine Dragons,’ and ‘Twenty One Pilots.’

The lyrics to ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ are credited to Alex Turner, and his then girlfriend Johanna Bennett, who would later go on to marry the Kings of Leon’s lead guitarist Matthew Followill, (see also best songs 551 and 106) in 2009. Johanna Bennett has said,’We were on holiday and had cut ourselves off from everything. We were in a really quiet hotel and didn’t watch TV or listen to that much music. So as not to drive each other mad we started messing around with these words like a game, singing them to each other. It’s great to think that it came from something we did for fun on holiday. It’ll always be a good memory for Alex and I. He doesn’t usually write lyrics with other people, though I think he enjoyed it. ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ is a song about ageing, and nostalgia for youth. It describes a woman who dreams of her youth, while her current life is unsatisfying, and boring.

‘You used to get it in your fishnets, now you only get it in your night dress. Discarded all the naughty nights for niceness, landed in a very common crisis.’

Posted by: In: Other 21 Mar 2024 Comments: 0


609-The Seekers-Georgy Girl.

1966-Number 3 single.

Best Bit-At 1.08. With sales in excess of 50 million records worldwide, The Seekers are Australia’s best ever selling artists before 1980.

The Seekers were an ‘Easy Listening,’ ‘Pop,’ and ‘Folk’ act, who were formed in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, in 1962, they were active until 1968, but then members reformed in 1975, through until 1988, and then again in 1992, until the group were finally retired in 2022. In total there were 12 different members come and go, with the classic line up being recognised as the three founding members, Athol Guy, (double bass) Keith Potger, (twelve string guitar, and banjo) Bruce Woodley, (vocals, guitar, mandolin, and banjo) and Judith Durham, (1943-2022) (vocals, and piano) who joined the group soon after it’s formation. The Australian music historian Ian McFarlane described their style as ‘Concentrated on a bright, uptempo sound, although they were too ‘Pop’ oriented to be considered strictly ‘Folk,’ and too ‘Folk,’ to be ‘Rock.” The Seekers first disbanded in 1968, after Judith Durham left to pursue a solo career. Athol Guy went into politics, and was elected to the ‘Victorian Legislative Assembly,’ in a by-election on the 11th December, 1971, for ‘Gisborne,’ as a member of the Liberal Party. Bruce Woodley continued his career as a successful songwriter, and Keith Potger went on to form ‘The New Seekers’ in 1969. All four members would participate in the reformations of the group over the decades, as well as participating in the many re-union concerts.

The discography of The Seekers includes 12 studio Albums released between 1963-2019, and 40 singles released between 1963-2022, there are also 35 official compilations, and seven live Albums available. In Australia, 11 of their singles have reached that countries top 40, with three of those tracks, including ‘Georgy Girl,’ making the Number 1 spot. In the UK, they have had eight top 40 hits, with, I’ll Never Find Another You,’ (1964) and ‘The Carnival Is Over,’ (1965) both reaching Number 1, while in America on the Billboard Hot 100, three of their singles have made the top 40, with ‘Georgy Girl,’ peaking the highest at Number 2.

‘Georgy Girl’ was the only single released from The Seekers fifth studio Album, ‘Come the Day,’ which in North America, was re-titled ‘Georgy Girl,’ from 1966, the track was co-written by Tom Springfield, (1934-2022) (music) and Jim Dale, (lyrics) with the production being by Springfield. ‘Georgy Girl’ was used for the 1966 British romantic comedy film, also called ‘Georgy Girl,’ starring Lynn Redgrave, (1943-2010) Alan Bates, (1934-2003) Charlotte Rampling, and James Mason, (1909-1984.) The song is heard at both the beginning and the end of the film, with markedly different lyrics, to fit the films story line, many of the lyrics are not used on the commercially released 7 inch single, or Album version.

Tom Springfield was born Dionysius Patrick O’Brien, on July 2nd, 1934, in Hampstead, London, England, he died on July 27th, 2022, at the age of 88. In 1960 Tom Springfield joined forces with Tim Field, (1934-2016) and his sister Mary O’Brien, (1939-1999) who would later as Dusty Springfield (see also best songs 882 and 171) achieve international success as a solo singer, to form the British ‘Folk/Pop’ trio ‘The Springfields,’ who remained active until 1963, with Mike Hurst replacing Tim Field in 1962. Tom Springfield wrote several of The Springfields hits including ‘Island of Dreams,’ (UK Number 5-1962) before going on to write and produce many of The Seekers best known songs. After 1970, Springfield essentially retired from the music industry, as both a writer and performer. He formally changed his name by deed poll from Dionysius Patrick O’Brien, to Tom Springfield in 1977. It is said that he disliked being in the public eye, with his former Springfields member Mike Hurst describing him as ‘A recluse, a bohemian in the true sense,’ saying, ‘He led his life in a solitary way, doing what he wanted to do.’ Mike Hurst has also reflected on how little he knew of Tom and Dusty’s private lives while he was performing with them in the sixties. ‘I never felt I knew them well, there was always a distance. I had no idea back then that Tom and Dusty were both gay. They were naïve times, I just wasn’t really aware of such things.’

The song lyrics to ‘Georgie Girl’ were written by Jim Dale, who was born James Smith, on August 15th, 1935, in Rothwell, Northamptonshire, England. In the UK he is best known for his many appearances in the 31 ‘Carry On’ films between 1958-1992, while in America he is best known for narrating all seven of the ‘Harry Potter’ audio books. Jim Dale became a ‘Pop’ star at the age of 22, when becoming the first Pop singer to be produced by the legendary George Martin (1926-2016.) Dale had four top 40 UK hits, with ‘Be My Girl,’ charting the highest at Number 2 in 1957, but he always put his acting and comedy aspirations ahead of being a teen idol. In 2003, he was awarded the ‘MBE,’ as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, for his work in promoting children’s English literature.

‘You’re always window shopping, but never stopping to buy. So shed those dowdy feathers and fly, a little bit, hey there, Georgy girl.’

Posted by: In: Other 19 Mar 2024 Comments: 0


610-Beastie Boys-(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)

1987-Number 11 single.

Best Bit-At 0.07. Back of the net!!

The classic line up of the Beastie Boys was Michael ‘Mike D’ Diamond, (vocals, drums, and programming) Adam ‘Ad-Rock’ Horovitz, (vocals, and guitar) and Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch (1964-2012) (vocals, and bass.) Diamond had been part of an experimental ‘Hardcore Punk’ band called the ‘Young Aborigines,’ from 1978, and when one of the members dropped out, they were replaced by Adam Yauch in 1981, which was when the band changed their name to the ‘Beastie Boys,’ chosen by the then guitarist John Berry, (1963-2016.) Shortly after, Berry would leave the band, and be replaced by Adam Horovitz. This was the time that the Beastie Boys transitioned from ‘Punk,’ to ‘Rap/Rock,’ releasing their first ‘Hip-Hop’ single ‘Cooky Puss,’ in March 1983. It was also the final recording to feature their long term drummer Kate Schellenbach, as the band moved in a different direction. The trio would remain active through until the death of Adam Yauch in 2012, when the group was retired.

The discography of the Beastie Boys, who have sold in excess of 40 million records worldwide, includes eight studio Albums released between 1986-2011, and 40 singles released between 1983-2011, there are also five official compilation Albums available. In America the Beastie Boys were far more successful with their Album sales, than their singles, with Album sales in the States topping the 20 million mark, and four of their Albums reaching Number 1 on Billboard, with their debut studio Album ‘Licensed to Ill,’ in 1986 becoming the first ever ‘Rap’ Album to top the Billboard 200 Album chart. On Billboard three of their singles reached the top 40, with (‘You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!’) peaking the highest at Number 7. while in the UK, 13 of their singles have made the top 40, with ‘Intergalactic,’ from 1998, charting the highest at Number 5.

(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!) was the fourth of seven singles released from ‘Licensed to Ill,’ the debut studio Album by the Beastie Boys from November 1986, the song was co-written by Adam Yauch, Adam Horovitz, and Rick Rubin, with the songs production also being by Rubin. Rick Rubin (see also best songs 977-305 and 55) was born Frederick Jay Rubin, on March 10th, 1963, in Long Beach, New York, United States, he is considered to be one of the most influential music producers of all time. In 1984 Rubin co-founded the ‘Def Jam Recordings’ record label with the American entrepreneur, and writer Russell Simmons, and the pair helped to popularise ‘Hip-Hop’ music, with the signing of artists, including Run-DMC, (see also best songs 305 and 113) Public Enemy, (see also best songs 578 and 37) and LL Cool J. It was Rick Rubin who was the major player in the fusing of ‘Rap,’ and ‘Heavy Metal’ music, that invented the genre of ‘Rap/Rock,’ Rubin had brought together the ‘Hip-Hop’ group Run-DMC, and the ‘Rock’ group Aerosmith to achieve the first ‘Rap/Rock’ hit ‘Walk This Way’ in 1986 (see also best songs 305.)

(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!) lyrically, actually started out life as a joke, a ‘mickey’ take on what Adan Yauch called ‘Dumb Rock songs.’ The Beastie Boys recorded the vocals as a joke, and Rich Rubin added the loud drums, and the guitar track, continuing with the joke. The Beasties made a video where they played along with the drunken party boy image that this song had created. Soon the Beastie Boys were superstars, thanks to their new fan base, It is ironic that the song which made the Beastie Boys superstars, was thanks to the new ‘fan base’ they had set out to parody.

‘Don’t step out of this house if that’s the clothes you’re gonna wear. I’ll kick you out of my home, if you don’t cut that hair. Your mom busted in and said, what’s that noise? Aw, mom you’re just jealous, it’s the Beastie Boys. You gotta fight for your right to party.’