100 Songs with One Word Titles (65 – 61)

Did you guess which song from yesterday placed the highest.   It was ‘Tender’ by Blur but only just as ‘Lately’ by Sea Power reach number 9 on two separate lists (and was, despite a few lower placings, largely ignored by everyone else!).  Todays poser is which of the five tracks listed appeared in the most individual lists?  We start today with some hip hop straight outta erm, Long Beach.

65. Regulate – Warren G feat Nate Dogg (1994, Def Jam Recordings, Taken from ‘Regulate…G Funk Era’)

‘Regulate’ starts with Warren G driving alone through the eastside of Long Beach (I’ve no idea if this is rough or not) he is in his words “looking for women”.  But then he sees some dudes playing dice and tries to join in, but these dudes are bad dudes because they pull guns on him and rob him, and poor old Warren thinks he’s going to die.  Luckily for him, Nate’s in town, he’s looking for Warren.  Nate is so damn fine that a car full of women crashes just by being near him.  Nate finds Warren, shoots at the robbers.  Warren and Nate then drive back, pick up the women and go back to the Eastside Motel for a cheese and wine party.  All that in four minutes and eleven seconds.  Marvellous.

64. Hello – The Beloved (1990, East West Records, Taken from ‘Happiness’)

Put aside the fact that ‘Hello’ is a totally brilliant slab of early nineties indie house pop for one moment.  It has to be said that any song that features Liverpudlian working class soap hero Billy Corkhill in the same breath as combative Crystal Palace midfielder, Vince Hilaire and also namechecks creepy chocolate maker Willy Wonka, game show king Leslie Crowther and comedian turned god botherer Tommy Cannon deserves a place in any chart, let alone this one.

63. Sennen – Ride (1992, Creation Records, Taken from ‘Today Forever EP’)

I once got caught in a downpour that can only be described as biblical.  The sky went very black, thunder clapped all over the place, and for about two minutes hailstones the size of well massive hailstones fell from the sky and turned the road into a slippery field of small ice rocks.  I was at the time about 100 metres from my office and after hail stones I decided to peg it.  I was listening to music at the time and ‘Sennen’ came on and suddenly the rain and how wet I was getting didn’t matter, its that good a song.

62. Wildfires – Sault (2020, Forever Living Originals Records, Taken from ‘Untitled’)

 “Thief in the night, tell the truth. White lives, spreading lies. You should be ashamed. The bloodshed on your hands. Another man. Take off your badge. We all know it was murder Murder, murder, murder.”

Pretty much says it all.  Stark, haunting, political and brilliant.

61. Rubbish – Carter USM (1990, Big Cat Records, Taken from ‘Rubbish’ 12 inch)

In January 1992 I saw Carter play a secret gig at the Venue in New Cross, it was on the back of the re-release of ‘Rubbish’.  At the time it was in the Top 20 and it was utter carnage.  It remains one of the best gigs I have ever been too, but of course, this being here begs the question

What do you think of countdown so far…? 

The Sunday Shuffle – #25

Seagull – Ride (1990, Creation Records)

I dropped my iPod Nano today.

 It hit the wooden floor in my lounge with a clunk, bounced slightly, flipped and then clunked on the wooden floor again.  I was about to go for a run.  I only moved to grab my keys and the stupid thing slipped out of my hand.

I picked it up, these things are hardy little chaps I told myself it will be fine.  The screen is black, but it was switched off before I dropped it.  Was it always that black? I ask myself with a shiver.  I press the little button on the top expecting to see the little apple symbol appear and then it slowly burst back into life. 

But there is nothing. 

I do a reset or try to.  Nothing.

I rub the screen, thinking that it will make a difference, I try the on switch again, I turn the volume up and then down again.  Still nothing.  

I decide to leave it for a bit, its probably just dazed.  I go for my run and when I get back, I do all the above again and then I plug it into a laptop which tells me with an angry sounding beep that “The Device is Not Recognised”. 

Shit.

The iPod Nano is buggered. 

It’s one of my most precious possessions, we’ve travelled the world together me and that Nano.  We’ve run around the back streets of various towns, villages, cities, fields and tracks together.  We’ve clambered up rocks on Dartmoor together, we’ve walked around the chaotic old town of Tbilisi, we’ve watched street magicians in New Orleans, travelled in a lift to the top of the Calgary tower, we’ve watched the mist roll in across Lyme Bay as I sat on a well positioned bench and nibbled a Chelsea Bun. 

And I dropped you. 

Today’s track is therefore chosen by my phone and it was followed by this

The Dark of the Matinee – Franz Ferdinand (2004, Domino Records)

But frankly I’m not in the mood today.

Thanks Chris

Totally Wired – The Fall (1980, Rough Trade Records)

A year ago today, Chris, a friend of mine who I grew up with died suddenly. He was a friend that shared my passion for music, a decent record shop, Lincoln biscuits and cheap wine from Kwik Save. Today’s post is dedicated to him

Every song on this page today was a song that appeared at some point on one of the many mixtapes he made for me, which I played until the tape wore out.

Dreams Burn Down – Ride (1990, Creation Records) – This appeared on a tape, called “Grungy MuffShag Vol. 2 and in brackets after the song title he’d written (Bloody great song) and for a while until I physically held a copy of ‘Nowhere’ in my hands, I thought the actual title of this song was ‘Dreams Burn Down (Bloody great song)’.

X, Y and Zee – Pop Will Eat Itself (1990, RCA Records) – Which was crammed in the middle of Side 2 of a cassette called “Giving a Dog a Rubber Bone (Fnar!)’

Touch Me I’m Sick – Mudhoney (1988, Sub Pop Records) – Track 1, Side 1, Grungy MuffShag Vol. 1.

I’ll be raising a bottle of dog in Chris’ honour tonight.

A Linked Series – #1

Shorley Wall – Ooberman (1998, Tugboat Records)

Another day, another series that sort of tugs the coat tails of a bigger and better blog. The hat today is doffed to Jez, a guy who runs a blog called ‘A History of Dubious Taste’ It’s a blog I visit most days and one that I should add to the list of blogs that adorn the bottom of this page.  Anyway, a few years back, he did a thing called The Chain in which people had to guess the next song in a linked bunch of songs.  Kudos points were awarded for getting the right answer or close to the right answer. 

So today, I’m starting something similar.  I’ve randomly shuffled the iPod and picked the first song that comes on as the starter.  That track was Oobermans’ joyously twee indie sensation ‘Shorley Wall’.  A song so twee that it’s carrying a cuddly horse shaped bag and wearing spangly hairclips.   It’s essentially a song about escaping the pressures of life by sitting on a beach listening to the sea through a big seashell, whilst the seagulls fly around your head.  That is until you find out what you want or need.  Sounds naff but it’s beautifully done.

I loved this song when it first came out in 1998, I remember hearing it at work on Jo Whiley’s morning show on Radio 1 and then dashing to the record shops in Exeter at lunchtime to buy it.  It has this cutesy keyboard riff running through and ends with a spoken word poem read by keyboardist Sophia Churnley.  On the original E.P as the spoken word bits nears the end you can hear Sophia’s voice break as she struggles to hold back the tears. 

By the time ‘Shorley Wal’ got its inevitable rerelease the emotion put into the spoken word poem had fallen rather flat and it all sounded rather forced. 

So the question is where do I go musically from here?  There has to be a link in some way to the song, the band or the perhaps something else.  For instance (and the link won’t be these records at all), ‘Shorley Wall’ features the sounds of seagulls at the start of it so an obvious link would be: –

Seagull – Ride (1990, Creation Records)

But it also contains a poem – so we could have

Poems – Terry Hall/nearly God (1996, Island Records)

If you like you can pop your suggestions in the comment box. I may even dish out points for correct suggestions.

Give it Another Spin #1

Tarantula – Ride

Mary Anne – Ride (1996, Creation Records)

Before I start, this is a series that is inspired by reading about the Goliath Bird Eating Tarantula.  I was so impressed with the fact that there is a spider that can measure up to around 30cm in length and can weight 170grams that I wanted to write about it and somehow crowbar something musical into that. 

That, folks, is why I am sitting in the lounge at nearly midnight on a Tuesday listening to the fourth studio album by Ride.  An album I genuinely haven’t listened to in around 17 years and even then I think I might have switched it off after track six, because back then in 2005 I thought this record was garbage.  It was a record that should have come with a stamp on it saying “Nowhere near good enough”. 

So inspired am I by the brilliance of giant tarantulas that I have now convinced myself that I should reacquaint myself with the fourth (and at the time, final) studio album by Ride and that is how this series came to light.  It made more sense in my head if I am honest.  It’s also the only record I can think of with the word ‘Tarantula’ in the title.

By the time ‘Tarantula’ came out in 1996, Ride had already split up.  Gardener and Bell, the two main songwriters in the band were barely speaking and certainly getting them into a studio was proving difficult.  The album eventually got itself recorded, and it was released somewhat under a cloud, very little press, very little publicity, obviously no tours or promotional stuff.  It was largely panned by the media.  The Melody Maker called it, rather wonderfully “The Eight Legged Snooze Machine”.  Creation sensing problems, deleted it a week after it was released and literally no one cared, least of all Ride.  

But how bad was it? 

Well, if the truth be told, pretty bad.  I’ve just listened to it all the way through, trust me on this.  Oasis lite indie pop at best and I don’t mean good Oasis either, I mean ‘Standing on the Shoulder of Giants’ era Oasis.  Not good.  Lyrically it’s woeful, because Mark Gardener had pretty much lost all interest in writing songs for Ride by then and Andy Bell just wasn’t the songwriter he clearly thought he was.  Bell wrote nine of the tracks on here, and that really shows.  I’ve just thrown a bunch of magnetic letters at a fridge and I think I could turn that into a more meaningful verse than anything on ‘Tarantula’.

Sunshine/Nowhere To Run – Ride (1996, Creation Records)

I was wrong, musically, it doesn’t sound like bad Oasis.  It’s worse, it sounds like Heavy Stereo.  To put how far removed from the sound Ride (nearly) perfected in the early nineties, if you imagine a map of the UK, ‘Nowhere’ would be where Devon is (best obviously), ‘Tarantula’ is that rundown estate full of crack dealers just outside Croydon.   That’s how close it is.

Walk On Water – Ride (1996, Creation Records)

Its not completely terrible though. ‘Black Nite Crash’ the lead single is, to be honest, one of Ride’s finest singles.  All crashing guitars, angry, sarky lyrics and thumping drums.  Drums that haven’t been heard on a Ride record since ‘Dreams Burn Down’ at the very least.  So that’s good.

Black Nite Crash – Ride (1996, Creation Records)