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Posted by: In: Other 06 Jul 2022 Comments: 0


165-Velvet Underground-I’m Waiting for the Man.

1966-It has never charted in the UK.

Best Bit-At 3.41. On which ever day that you wait for the man, be sure that it will never be a ‘Perfect Day.’

The Velvet Underground (see also best songs 401) were formed in New York City, New York, United States, in 1964, by Lou Reed, (1942-2013) (see also best songs 131 and 58) John Cale, (see also best songs 219) Sterling Morrison, (1942-1995) and Angus MacLise, (1938-1979) who was replaced by Moe Tucker in 1965. They took their name from a paperback book published in 1963 by the journalist Michael Leigh called ‘The Velvet Underground.’

‘I’m Waiting for the Man’ was first released on the Velvet Underground’s debut Album ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’ from March 1967, and was written by Lou Reed. The production credit for the song is stated as Andy Warhol, (1928-1987) but although the band acknowledged Warhol for his insight, and financial backing, it was in fact the band themselves, and the legendary music producer Tom Wilson (1931-1978) who produced all of the tracks on that debut Album. Wilson (see also best songs 358-103-96 and 7) who was one of the most important producers of the 1960’s, and is considered by many to have turned around the careers of both Bob Dylan, and Simon & Garfunkel, by adding ‘Rock Music’ to their ‘Folk Music’ sound.

‘I’m Waiting for the Man’ is about Lou Reed’s true life experience of being addicted to drugs. The lyrics tell the story of Reed waiting on a street corner in Harlem, near the intersection of Lexington Avenue and 125th Street in New York City, and purchasing $26 worth of Heroin, (equivalent to $234 in 2022) the lyrics are sung from the point of view of the purchaser who has travelled to Harlem from another part of the city. The ‘man’ in the title is the drug dealer, and Lou Reed has said,’Everything about that song holds true, except the price.’

Although ‘I’m Waiting for the Man,’ and it’s parent Album ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico,’ only achieved a cult following initially, it has become in subsequent years to be regarded as one of the most important Albums of all time, for it’s influence on other artists, and for the development of Rock Music in general. The Album was a big influence on a young David Bowie, (1947-2016) who would play ‘I’m Waiting for the Man’ live many times over the years at his concerts. Another artist who was heavily influenced was Jimmy Page who has said,’I’m pretty certain we (the Yardbirds) were the first people to cover the Velvet Underground.’

‘Here he comes, he’s all dressed in black, PR shoes and a big straw hat. He’s never early, he’s always late, first thing you learn is you always gotta wait. I’m waiting for my man.’

Posted by: In: Other 05 Jul 2022 Comments: 0


166-Wu-Tang Clan featuring Paulissa Moorman-Gravel Pit.

2000-Number 6 single

Best Bit-At 0.25. Back in the day when Hip-Hop made sense, not cents.

The Wu Tang Clan were formed in 1992, in Staten Island, New York City, United States, by the collective of ‘RZA,’ (Robert Diggs) ‘GZA,’ (Gary Grice) ‘Ol’ Dirty Bastard,’ (Russell Jones) (1968-2004) ‘Method Man,’ (Clifford Smith) (see also best songs 359) ‘Raekwon,’ (Corey Woods) ‘Ghostface Killah,’ (Dennis Voles) ‘Inspectah Deck,’ (Jason Hunter) ‘U-God,’ (Lamont Hawkins) and ‘Masta Killa,’ (Elgin Turner) in 1995 ‘Cappadonna,’ (Darryl Hill) became the groups 10th member. In total The Wu Tang Clan have released seven studio Albums between 1993-2015, and 16 singles between 1993-2017. In America on the Billboard Hot 100 they have never had a top 40 single, while in the UK this song remains their only chart hit to date. Worldwide The Wu Tang Clan have sold in excess of six million records, but with all the individual band members also releasing solo Albums, or working with others, it is reckoned that the collective have in fact sold in excess of 40 million records worldwide.

The Wu Tang Clan are critically acclaimed among music critics, with the ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine calling them ‘The best Rap group ever. The American digital media company ‘About,’ that publishes articles and videos about various subjects agreed with ‘Rolling Stone’ by also calling them ‘The Number 1 greatest Hip-Hop group of all time,’ and in 2004 the ‘NME’ magazine hailed them as one of the most influential groups of the last 10 years. It was the groups members ‘RZA.’ and ‘The ODB’ who chose the bands name as a tribute to the 1983 Hong Kong martial arts film ‘Shaolin and Wu Tang.’

‘Gravel Pit’ was the second single released from The Wu Tang Clan’s third studio Album ‘The W’ from 2000, with all the groups members receiving the song writing credits, the track was produced by ‘RZA.’ Also credited is Paulissa Moorman who provides the female vocals on the song. The three versus are performed firstly by Method Man, then Ghostface Killah, and finally by U-God, other spoken words on the track are provided by RZA and Raekwon. The songs chorus ‘Back, back and fourth,’ is taken from the Funk group Cameo’s (see also best songs 312) 1987 song ‘Back and Fourth.’ Like many a good ‘Hip-Hop’ song the track has many samples, most notably the soundtrack to the French 1965 miniseries ‘Belphegor.’ The trumpet introduction is lifted from the 1966 James Brown song ‘It’s a Man’s Man’s World,’ and samples are also taken from the films ‘Enter the Dragon,’ (1973) and ‘Short Eyes’ (1977.)

‘Check out my gravel pit, a mystery unravelin.’ Wu-Tang is the CD that I travel with, don’t go against the grain if you can’t handle it.’

Posted by: In: Other 04 Jul 2022 Comments: 0


167-Smiths-What Difference Does It Make?

1984-Number 12 single.

Best Bit-At 2.41. Of course Morrissey performs a wonderful falsetto, one that even the Bee Gees would have been proud of.

‘What Difference Does It Make?’ was the first single released from the Smiths (see also best songs (673-222 and 42) self titled debut Album from 1984, and their third single release overall to that point. As usual the lyrics were written and performed by Morrissey, (see also best songs 940 and 72) with the music written by Johnny Marr, who also played guitar on the track. This track, and the Album were produced by John Porter, who was born on September 11th, 1947, in Leeds, England, and he would go on to work with the Smiths through until 1986.

‘What Difference Does It Make?’ is a song about being rejected by a close friend after they find out a secret about you. Although he has never confirmed it, the rumours are that Morrissey is singing about how he was snubbed by a friend, after revealing that he was gay. The line ‘What Difference Does It Make?’ was taken by Morrissey from the Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) 1958 novel ‘The Dharma Bums,’ where the character Ray Smith repeatedly says ‘What Difference Does It Make?’ Another line also from the novel repeatedly said by Smith is ‘Pretty Girls Make Graves,’ which is the title of track 4 side 1 on the Smiths debut Album. Morrissey has said that the lyrics to ‘What Difference Does It Make?’ are not amongst his favourite works, he has said,’What Difference Does It Make?’ is musically interesting, but lyrically it is very Simon Le Bon, I find the lyrics facile and mildly embarrassing. Otherwise it’s a majestic Pop melody by Johnny and, ironically, had the lyrics indeed been penned by Simon Le Bon, I would probably cover it! As it is I’d feel too ashamed.’

Johnny Marr was born John Martin Maher on October 31st, 1963, in Manchester, England, he is considered to be one of the greatest guitarists of all time, having been described by Phil Alexander, the editor of ‘Mojo’ magazine as ‘Arguably Britain’s last great guitar stylist.’ In 2013 the ‘NME’ magazine honoured Marr with it’s ‘Godlike Genius’ award, and saying,’Not content with rewriting the history of music with one of the world’s greatest ever bands, the Smiths, he’s continued to push boundaries and evolve throughout his career, working with some of the best and most exciting artists on the planet.’ After the Smiths parted ways in 1987, Marr went on to record five solo studio Albums between 2003-2022, he has also released 20 singles between 2001-2022. Immediately after leaving the Smiths he briefly joined ‘The Pretenders’ in August 1987, and then recorded and toured with ‘The The’ from 1988 to 1994, he also formed ‘Electronic’ with Bernard Sumner (see also best songs 885 and 619) in 1988, and they remained active until 2001. Marr has also performed and recorded with several other acts since the demise of the Smiths, and continues to do so to this day.

‘All men have secrets and here is mine, so let it be known. We have been through hell and high tide, I think I can rely on you, and yet you start to recoil. Heavy words are so lightly thrown, but still, I’d leap in front of a flying bullet for you.’

Posted by: In: Other 02 Jul 2022 Comments: 0


168-Plastic Ono Band-Give Peace a Chance.

1969-Number 2 single.

Best Bit-At 0.18. When John Lennon saw the television footage of nearly half a million anti-Vietnam War protesters singing this song outside the White House in November 1969, he considered it to be ‘One of the biggest moments of my life.’

As the Vietnam War was taking place in 1969 John Lennon, (1940-1980) (see also best songs-solo- 927-473-456 and 20) and (with the Beatles-599-319-238-218-157-141-80-51-10 and 6) and his wife Yoko Ono held a ‘Bed-In’ for peace in The Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada, between May 26th, 1969 to June 1st, 1969.

Lennon and Ono had been married on March 20th, 1969, and knowing that it would be a huge press event they decided to use the publicity to promote world peace. Their first ‘Bed-In’ (derived from a ‘Sit-In) took place in Amsterdam, Netherlands, between March 25th, to March 31st, 1969, which Lennon felt hadn’t achieved the desired effect, with the press not taking the point he was trying to get across seriously enough, which was why a second ‘Bed-In was arranged. This time along with the press, Lennon and Ono invited several influential celebrities to join them in their hotel bedroom during the seven days peaceful protest.

It was during that time that Lennon wrote ‘Give Peace a Chance,’ which was recorded on June 1st, 1969, in Room 1742, of The Queen Elizabeth Hotel. The recording was made by Andre Perry who was the owner of a local recording studio in Montreal, Lennon acknowledged Perry’s contribution by naming him one of the songs official producers on the songs release, alongside himself and Yoko Ono. The recording session was attended by dozens of journalists, and influential celebrities, including Timothy Leary, the American psychologist, Rabbi Abraham Feinberg, Joseph Schwartz, Rosemary Woodruff Leary, Petula Clark, (see also best songs 838) Dick Gregory, Allen Ginsberg, Roger Scott, Murray the K and Derek Taylor, many of whom are mentioned in the songs lyrics. Lennon played acoustic guitar, and was joined by Tommy Smothers of the American Folk duo the Smothers Brothers, also on acoustic guitar.

Initially the plan was to release ‘Give Peace a Chance’ in it’s original raw recorded form, but Lennon felt that there was too much background noise on the track, so back in the studio it was ‘cleaned up.’ There were also other voices added in the studio to the original recording, but all of the original vocals and instruments remained unaltered.

‘Give Peace a Chance’ although released using the name ‘Plastic Ono Band,’ was in fact the very first solo single released by any of the Beatles, and was released while Lennon was still a member of the band. The original songwriting credits as per their legal contract was given as Lennon/McCartney, but this was later changed to just Lennon, and years later to Lennon and Yoko Ono. The song continues to be an anthem for peace, as on March 4th, 2022 at, 150 European public radio stations broadcast the song for peace, and against the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, and on March 8th, at 12:00, 200 European private radio stations did the same.

‘Hit it, c’mon, ev’rybody’s talking about ministers, sinisters, banisters and canisters, Bishops and Fishops, and Rabbis and Popeyes and bye-bye, bye-byes. All we are saying is give peace a chance.’

Posted by: In: Other 01 Jul 2022 Comments: 0


169-James P. Johnson-The Charleston.

1932-Has never charted in the UK, there was no UK chart until 1952.

Best Bit-At 0.31. The majority of the older generation always dislike the music that the current younger generation enjoy, which makes me wonder what an Edwardian would have made of this outrageous song and dance of the Roaring Twenties.

James Price Johnson was born on February 1st, 1894, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States, he is considered to be one of the most important pianists in the evolution of Popular Music, who bridged the gap between the ‘Ragtime,’ and ‘Jazz’ eras. Among the musicians that Johnson inspired were names such as Count Basie, Duke Ellington,(see also best songs 1039) and Fats Waller, (see also best songs 412) who had been a student of Johnson.’

James P. Johnson was most notably a pioneer of ‘Stride Piano,’ ‘Stride’ employed left hand techniques from ragtime, wider use of the piano’s range, and quick tempos. The term “stride” comes from the idea of the pianist’s left hand leaping, or “striding”, across the piano.The left hand characteristically plays a four-beat pulse with a single bass note, octave, major seventh or major tenth interval on the first and third beats, and a chord on the second and fourth beats. This style of playing was different from the style of ‘Ragtime’ popularised by the previous generation of ‘Ragtime’ performers such as Scott Joplin (1868-1917.)

Johnson was at his most successful during the 1920’s, and early 1930’s, but was commercially less so after, as the onset of ‘Swing Music’s’ popularity took over. Johnson composed film scores for a number of movies, and his songs also appeared in many of the eras most successful films such as ‘Casablanca,’ (‘If I Could Be With You (One Hour Tonight’) and ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ (‘Charleston’) there have also been 18 official Albums of his recordings made available. James P. Johnson suffered a stroke in 1940, but he did return to composing and performing in 1942. In 1951 he suffered a paralysing stroke, which forced him to retire, and he died four years later on November 17th, 1955, at the age of 61.

‘The Charleston’ is probably the most famous song of the ‘Roaring Twenties,’ and was composed by James P. Johnson, who wrote the melody, and Cecil Mack, (1873-1944) who wrote the lyrics. The majority of the recordings of ‘The Charleston’ are instrumental, but there are some that include the lyrics, the vocal version was first performed by Elisabeth Welch (1904-2003) in ‘Runnin’ Wild,’ ‘The Charleston was written to accompany the new dance craze called the ‘Charleston Dance,’ and was featured in the American black Broadway musical comedy show ‘Runnin’ Wild,’ which had it’s premiere at the ‘New Colonial Theatre’ in New York on October 29th, 1923.

‘Charleston! Charleston! made in Carolina. Some dance, some prance, I’ll say, there’s nothing finer, than the Charleston,Charleston. Lord, how you can shuffle. Ev’ry step you do leads to something new, man I’m telling you it’s a lapazoo.’

Posted by: In: Other 30 Jun 2022 Comments: 0


170-AC/DC-Highway to Hell.

1979-Number 59 single. The song also reached Number 4 in 2013.

Best Bit-At 0.52. It’s a lot easier travelling down the Highway to Hell than it is climbing the Stairway to Heaven.

AC/DC (see also best songs 797 and 245) were formed in 1973, in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, they remain active with Angus Young now being the bands one constant. With sales in excess of 200 million Albums they are one of the best selling bands of all time. Their discography consists of 18 studio Albums released between 1975-2020, and 48 singles issued between 1974-2021, On the Aria singles chart in Australia 18 of their songs have made the top 40, while in America on Billboard it stands at 3, and in the UK they have charted 21 times. Up until the re-issue of this song in 2013 AC/DC had achieved 20 top 40 hits in the UK without ever reaching the top 10, with ‘Heatseeker’ from 1988 being their highest charting song up until then when making Number 12. AC/DC have never issued an official greatest hits Album, probably because if people want one of their songs, then they will have to go and buy the Album it is featured on.

‘Highway to Hell,’ which also served as the title track to AC/DC’s sixth studio Album from 1979 was co-written by Bon Scott, (1946-1980) Angus Young, and his brother Malcolm Young (1953-2017.) The Album was produced by Mutt Lange, (see also best songs 632-479 and 314) who was hired to give the band a radio friendly sound, which he succeeded in doing, as ‘Highway to Hell’ did finally give them the much sought after commercial breakthrough.

There are two possible explanations as to what inspired the writing of ‘Highway to Hell.’ Angus Young who wrote the tracks acclaimed guitar solo has said that the song is about the gruelling tours the band would undertake in the early days to promote themselves. The other explanation is about the ‘Canning Highway,’ which connects the Perth Kwinana freeway to it’s port Fremantle. This was the road Bon Scott would take when visiting the ‘Raffles Hotel,’ which was a big ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll’ drinking venue. As Caning Highway gets close to the pub it dips in to a steep decline. Many people were killed by driving too fast over the intersection at the top of the hill, and that it is why it is called ‘Highway to Hell.’

‘Highway to Hell’ was the last Album to feature Bon Scott as the lead singer. Scott was born Ronald Belford Scott on July 9th, 1946, in Forfar, Angus, Scotland, he died on February 19th, 1980, from acute alcohol poisoning, which was classified as ‘death by misadventure,’ he was 33 years old. In 1952 Scott moved to Australia with his family where they lived in Melbourne for four years before settling in Fremantle, Western Australia. It was while in Melbourne at primary school that he acquired the nickname ‘Bon,’ because there was another Ronald in the class, so his classmates played on the phrase “Bonnie Scotland”. Bon Scott is considered by some to be the greatest front man in a band of all time.

In the UK in 2013 in an effort to stop the British television talent show ‘X-Factor’ from having yet another Xmas Number 1 song,’Highway to Hell’ was chosen as an alternative, and after a country wide campaign the song peaked at Number 4 on that years Xmas chart, giving AC/DC their highest ever charting single in the UK.

‘No stop signs, speed limit, nobody’s gonna slow me down. Like a wheel, gonna spin it, nobody’s gonna mess me around. Hey Satan, paying my dues, playing in a rocking band.’

Posted by: In: Other 29 Jun 2022 Comments: 0


171-Dusty Springfield-You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.

1966-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 1.08. It was while performing at the 1965 Sanremo Festival that Dusty Springfield first heard this songs melody. She must have thought to herself ‘Mamma Mia, canzone fantastica.’

Dusty Springfield was born Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien on April 16th, 1939, in West Hampstead, London, England, she died of breast cancer on March 2nd, 1999, at the age of 59. She acquired the nickname ‘Dusty’ as a child for playing football with the boys in the street, where she was described as a tomboy. Springfield’s adult image of being a peroxide blonde with a bouffant/beehive hairstyle, heavy makeup, and evening gowns, made her one of the best remembered icons of the ‘Swinging Sixties.’ She was pigeon holed by the music press as a singer of ‘Blue Eyed Soul,’ which is the term used for a white person who performs R&B, and Soul Music. Such was Springfield’s impact on ‘Black’ music in Britain that she is credited in helping popularise the music of ‘Motown,’ and the ‘Northern Soul’ scene, even so not directly involved with either.

Dusty Springfield (see also best songs 882) started her musical career in 1958 as member of ‘The Lana Sisters,’ with whom she released eight non charting singles between 1958-1960. She then joined forces with her brother Tom Springfield, (see also best songs 609) and Tim Field (1934-2016) to form the Folk/Pop group The Springfields, with whom she achieved five UK top 40 singles, and also one in America, before setting out on a solo career in 1963. Dusty Springfield recorded 21 solo studio Albums between 1964-1994, and 69 singles, with this song charting the highest in the UK when making Number 1, while in America on Billboard her 1987 collaboration with the Pet Shop Boys (see also best songs 871 and 378) on ‘What Have I Done to Deserve This?’ charted highest, when reaching Number 2.

In 1965 Dusty Springfield was performing at the annual Sanremo Festival, in Liguria, Italy, where she heard the song ‘Lo che non vivo (senza te’) being performed by one it’s writers Pino Donaggio, and although Springfield didn’t understand the lyrics, she instantly realised the songs hit potential. She had the songs instrumental track recorded, and when back in Britain she approached her friends Vicki Wickham, who was the producer of the Pop music show ‘Ready Steady Go,’ and Simon Napier-Bell (see also best songs 361) who at that time was the manager of The Yardbirds, and the two of them set about writing the English lyrics.

‘You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me’ has been recorded on numerous occasions, and in several different languages, and is reconned to have sold in excess of 80 million copies worldwide. In the UK the song has been a hit on three other occasions, in 1971 Elvis Presley took his version to Number 9, while in 1976 the group ‘Guys ‘N’ Dolls’ reached Number 6, and in 1995 a recording by Denise Welch made Number 23.

‘When I said I needed you, you said you would always stay. It wasn’t me who changed but you, and now you’ve gone away.’

Posted by: In: Other 28 Jun 2022 Comments: 0


172-Vera Lynn-We’ll Meet Again.

1939-It has never charted in the UK, there was no UK chart until 1952.

Best Bit-At 0.30. On the very first UK singles chart issued on November 14th, 1952, Vera Lynn had three of the top 12 singles, ‘Forget Me Not,’ (joint Number 7) ‘The Homing Waltz,’ (Number 9) and ‘Auf Wiederseh’n Sweetheart’ (Number 10.)

Dame Vera Lynn (see also best songs 49) was born Vera Margaret Welch, on March 20th, 1917, in East Ham, Essex, England, she died on June 18th, 2020, at the age of 103. Vera Lynn began performing publicly at the age of seven, and started using her maternal grandmothers maiden name when she was 11. She made her first record on February 17th, 1935, with a song called ‘It’s Home,’ and her first radio broadcast on August 21st, 1935, singing with the Joe Loss Orchestra.

It is for Vera Lynn’s contribution to morale during the Second World War (1939-1945) that she is best remembered. In a pole in 1940 the British newspaper the ‘Daily Express’ asked British servicemen to name their favourite musical performers, Vera Lynn came out on top, and as a result became known as ‘The Forces Sweetheart,’ an honorific title she would be known by for the rest of her life. During the War years she joined the Entertainments National Service Association, (ENSA) and toured Egypt, India and Burma, giving outdoor concerts for British troops, also between 1942-1944 she appeared in three movies, all with war time themes. Vera Lynn was associated with the work of many charities throughout her life, and that along with her contributions to the war effort was recognised in 1969 when she received the ‘Order of the British Empire’, (OBE) and then in 1975, when she was created a ‘Dame of the Order of the British Empire’ (DBE.)

Of all Vera Lynn’s recordings the one she is best remembered for is ‘We’ll Meet Again,’ which was co-written by Ross Parker, (1914-1974) and Hughie Charles, (1907-1995) the track was produced by Norman Keen, who also contributed to the writing of the song. Parker and Charles also co-wrote ‘There’ll Always Be an England’ in 1939, which too became highly popular following the breakout of the Second World War. ‘We’ll Meet Again’ is one of the most famous songs of the Second World War era, and resonated with soldiers going off to fight, and their families, and loved ones. The song is an optimistic message that one day we will meet again, as many soldiers did not survive the war, presumably the meeting again will take place in heaven. In 2009 Vera Lynn spoke about the music she recorded and sang during those war years,’I always tried to choose cheerful songs, that soldiers missing their wives and sweethearts could relate to. We weren’t psychologists, but we understood that it was important to express the right meaning, and we put a lot of effort into getting the songs right.’

‘And I will just say hello to the folks that you know, tell them you won’t be long. They’ll be happy to know that as I saw you go, you were singing this song.’

Posted by: In: Other 27 Jun 2022 Comments: 0


173-UB40-Food for Thought.

1980-Number 4 single.

Best-Bit-At 3.21. It’s a shame that the majority of the general public only really know UB40 for their cover versions, because they made some of the best original Reggae Music ever committed to vinyl (see also best songs 537.)

All three of UB40’s UK Number 1 singles have been cover versions, ‘Red Red Wine,’ (1983) ‘I Got You Babe,’ (1985) and ‘( I Can’t Help) Falling in Love with You’ (1993.) In total UB40 have seen 12 different members come and go, and they remain active, having released 20 studio Albums between 1980-2021, and 62 singles in the same time period. In the UK they have achieved 40 top 40 singles, while in America on the Billboard Hot 100 top 40 they have charted five times, with ‘Red Red Wine,’ and ‘( I Can’t Help) Falling in Love with You,’ both reaching Number 1. In the UK along with ‘Madness,’ (see also best songs 801 and 69) they both share the record for most weeks spent by a group in the top 40 in the 1980’s, with a total of 214 weeks each.

UB40 were formed in Birmingham, England, in 1978, they chose their name in reference to a form issued by the British Government’s department of employment to people claiming unemployment benefits. The designation UB40 stood for ‘U’nemployment ‘B’enefit Form 40’. In order to mark the fact that the group would no longer be claiming benefits, they named their debut Album ‘Signing Off.’

The writing credits for ‘Food for Thought’ are credited to all of the bands members at that time, and was produced by Bob Lamb, who in the 1970’s had been the drummer with the British Rock group the ‘Steve Gibbons Band.’ ‘Food for Thought’ was released as a double ‘A’ side along with ‘King,’ the band thought that ‘King’ would prove the more popular, but it was ‘Food for Thought’ that the radio stations, and club DJ’s picked up on.

The lyrics to ‘Food for Thought’ were written by the brothers Ali and Robin Campbell, with significant input from their father Ian Campbell, (1933-2012) who had been one of the most important figures of the British Folk Music revival during the 1960’s.The lyrics which are often misheard are some of the most harrowing ever to appear on a hit single, having been inspired by the massacre of Kampuchea, which was a state existing from 1975-1979 in what is now Cambodia. It was run by the Khmer Rouge, a Communist group that controlled the state with an iron fist, and murdered all who opposed it. The song is about third world poverty, and the politicians refusal to relieve famine. Robin Campbell wanted to call the song ‘The Christmas Song,’ until one of the bands roadies suggested ‘Food for Thought,’ UB40’s trumpet player Astro (1957-2021) has explained the songs meaning,’The song was basically about the hypocrisy of celebrating Christmas in the West. We’re eating and drinking more than we need. There’s so much surplus food, while millions of Africans were dying of hunger due to famine and third-world poverty. It was shocking. Politicians putting politics before people, leaving them to rely on charitable institutions.’ It has to be remembered that UB40 wrote and recorded ‘Food for Thought’ more than four years before Bob Geldof conceived ‘Band Aid.’ (see also best songs 455.)

‘Ivory Madonna dying in the dust, waiting for the manna coming from the west. Barren is her bosom, empty as her eyes, death a certain harvest scattered from the skies.’

Posted by: In: Other 26 Jun 2022 Comments: 0


174-CeeLo Green-Forget You.

2010-Number 1 single.

Best Bit-At 2.53. Both the explicit version and the clean version tell the same story, but the clean version does it in a more gentlemanly manner.

CeeLo Green was born Thomas DeCarlo Callaway on May 30th, 1975, in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. His first venture in to the music business occurred in 1991 when he was one of the four founding members of Southern Hip-Hop group the ‘Goodie Mo-B,’ Green stayed part of the group until leaving during the recording of their third studio Album ‘World Party’ in 1998, to pursue a solo career. He issued his first two solo Albums in 2002, and 2004, but in between those releases he had met Brian Burton in 2003, who was working under the stage name of ‘Danger Mouse.’ The pair would team up to form ‘Gnarls Barkley,’ releasing two studio Albums in 2006, and 2008, and seven singles, including the critically acclaimed UK Number 1 single, and Billboard Number 2 hit ‘Crazy,’ in 2006. CeeLo Green has since gone on to release a further four studio Albums between 2010-2020, and there has been a total of 39 singles issued between 2002-2020.

‘F..k You,’ or ‘Forget You’ as it is alternatively known, was the first of seven singles released from CeeLo Green’s third solo studio Album ‘The Lady Killer’ from 2010, the song was co-written by Green, along with the songwriting/production team of Bruno Mars, (see also best songs 40) Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, and Brody Brown, who collectively worked as ‘The Smeezingtons.’ The song has met with great success selling in excess of 6 million copies in America, and has passed the one million mark in the UK.

‘Forget You’ has two meanings according to CeeLo Green, he has explained,’It’s a fictitious account of love lost, but it’s a trial that we’ve all been through some time or another, and I think that’s why people can relate to it. He has also disclosed that the lyrics are also aimed with his then record label, ‘Electra Records,’ and his dispute with them over creative differences.’I did ‘F— You’ to be an a–hole, to be spiteful toward the label, because it had taken about three years to do ‘The Lady Killer’, and I just felt that after recording almost 70 songs I could not please them.’ Bruno Mars has said that when he came up with the piano riff, he thought it was an old Soul riff from the 1960’s, or 1970’s, he said,’I guess I’d know by now if it wasn’t original. When Cee-Lo got in there and sang, we all got the chills.’

‘See you driving ’round town with the girl I love, and I’m like forget you. I guess the change in my pocket wasn’t enough, I’m like forget you, and forget her too.’