Significant Songs (79)

Reblogging a post from 2015 about a very old song that I love so much. Apologies to those who have seen it previously.
I was thinking about this song today, and it is in my head.

beetleypete

Pennies From Heaven

This song originated as the feature track from the 1936 film of the same name. Originally sung by Bing Crosby in that film, it was later recorded by almost every famous singer since. The list of those who covered the song is too long to write here, but it includes Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, and Sarah Vaughan. For me, this is best heard sung by a ‘crooner’, and the sadness underlying the central message of hope comes over well if it is recorded in a somewhat plaintive tone.

In 1978, the BBC produced a landmark television series of the same title, written by Dennis Potter, and starring Bob Hoskins, Cheryl Campbell, and Gemma Craven. The song featured heavily of course, and the version used was by Arthur Tracy. This was also made into a -best forgotten- Hollywood film adapted by and starring Steve Martin. The TV series…

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Jamiroquai: It’s Happening Again

Back in 2016, I published a post about the British music group, Jamiroquai.

https://beetleypete.com/2016/09/04/whatever-happened-to-jamiroquai/

It was rather a niche subject, but I thought it might be of interest to other British fans of that band. I had little idea then that it would become something of a blogging phenomenon, and spawn many more posts on the subject. Regular readers are probably stifling a yawn right now, thinking ‘Oh no, not that again!’

Since that day, it has stayed as the most-read post on this blog, by far. It even leads the regularly-read ‘About’ page by more than 1,000 views.

As of this morning, that post is still proudly holding top spot, with 5,014 views in four years.

But why am I mentioning it again? (I hear you cry…)

It always has at least one view every day, sometimes as many as six. Since that avalanche of views four years ago it has slowed to a trickle, but it is always there in the stats.

Then I noticed this, number five in the most-read posts since last Sunday.

Whatever happened to?: Jamiroquai
108 views

Could it be happening again?

A New ‘Earworm’

‘Vision On’ was a British children’s television programme, shown on BBC1 from 1964 to 1976 and designed specifically for children with hearing impairment. One of its most popular features was ‘The Gallery’, where children were encouraged to send in their artwork. This would then be displayed on screen. As the camera panned across the art works, there was a short theme tune played, for the benefit of those viewers who could hear it.

Having been plagued with songs and tunes in my head of late, I thought I had escaped that when the most recent one went away.

But no. Now I have this, the theme from ‘The Gallery’.

If anyone is remotely interested, it is called ‘Left Bank Two’, and was recorded by The Noveltones in 1964.

Another Song In My Head

Regular readers will know that I recently had the song ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ stuck in my head. That took over two weeks to go away, and caused problems with concentration, and getting off to sleep too.

Then this morning I woke up with another Disney song playing on a loop, and felt sure it would ruin the Christmas festivities.

So I went to the woods in Beetley, and consulted the Beetley Wizard. After crossing his palm with a £1 coin, he told me what to do.

I had to share the song with exactly 7,047 other people. One of them would get the song transferred into their head instead, and I would be free!

So be warned. Don’t play this clip!

Significant Songs (4)

I am reblogging this 2014 post because other than Jude and Sarah, hardly anyone has ever seen it. I still love this record!

beetleypete

Woman Trouble

In the year 2000, I was 48 years old. I had just moved to Camden, and was living alone, for the first time in ages. I had a new car, and like many tracks featured in this series, I heard a record on the radio in that car, that I had had not heard before. I couldn’t keep still in my seat, and found myself jiggling around, oblivious to strange stares from other drivers, in the heavy traffic leading out to Brent Cross. I didn’t really catch the name of the song, as I was too busy humming along to it, and car-dancing like a fool, to listen to the announcement at the end. I wanted to listen to it again, straight away, and felt empty when it had ended.

I had to endure the embarrassment of going into a record shop in Central London the next day…

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Lyrically Evocative (31)

From the first time I ever heard an Al Green record, I was hooked on his smooth soul voice, and excellent vocal range. I don’t think he has ever released a song I didn’t like, and some of his recordings have remained favourites of mine throughout my life.

The lyrics of this song have always resonated with me ever since I first heard it at the age of 23. He co-wrote the song, which was released in 1975 as a single from his latest album at the time. Here are the words I always like to hear.

L-O-V-E (Love)

I started to write this song about you
And then I decided that I would write it all about love
And it appeared to me
That you wasn’t happy
And that’s for sure, positively
That’s what the world is made of
So give me more L-O-V-E, love
Love is a walk down Main street (oh love)
Love is an apple that is so sweet (love)
Love is something that can’t be beat (love)
L-O-V-E is strange to me, oh
I can’t explain this feeling
Can’t you see that salvation is freeing
It’s all in the heavens, can’t you see
You can always depend on me
To give you love
Love is a flower in my soul (oh love)
Love is a story that just can’t be told (love)
Can’t you feel it burning more and more (love)
Stop and look at the big wheel roll
I can’t explain this feeling
Can’t you see that salvation is freeing
I would give my life for the glory
Just to be able to tell the story
About love
I didn’t mean to make you mad
A sweet story, I thought I had
But maybe time will bring us together
And I can be such a happy fella
About love
Love is something that is so divine (oh love)
Love is a feeling that’s a friend of mine (love)
It can’t be measured by no sign (love)
In your heart or even in your mind
About love, Love is as bright as the morning sun
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Al Green / Mabon Hodges / Willie Mitchell
L-O-V-E (Love) lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

And here is Al singing them.

Music Production: Marc Urselli

For anyone interested in the production and record engineering side of music, here’s a good interview with Marc Urselli.

Here, There, Everywhere: Behind the Scenes with Marc Urselli

‘Marc Urselli is in demand.

To date, he’s wrapped up 3 Grammy Award wins and 6 nominations. Marc’s portfolio includes work with artists such as U2, Foo Fighters, Nick Cave, Lou Reed, Sting, Keith Richards, Kesha, Jeff Beck, Les Paul, Buddy Guy, Luther Vandross, Børns, The Black Crowes, and a plethora of other artists spread across the rock, pop, metal, jazz, experimental, avant garde, new music, urban, electronica and classical music arenas’.

A Life In Music: Roland Kemp

One of my greatest and oldest friends is Roland Kemp. Photographer, video artist, and musician, he has spent most of his life in one band or another. The first time I met him when I was just 17, it was when a friend took me to see his band play in a small hall in Eltham, South London.

Over fifty-one years ago.

His latest project is this song, called ‘The New Blues’. This is right up my street musically, and comes with an excellent video showcasing the female vocalist, Molly Alro, and many images relevant to the lyrics. If you enjoyed it, please give the video a ‘Like’ on You Tube.

Lyrically Evocative (30)

In 2004, I heard a song by the British band, Keane. It was called ‘Somewhere Only We Know’. I liked it a lot, but not enough to buy the album it came from as some of the other tracks did not appeal. Many years later, the song was covered by Lily Allen, to be used as the soundtrack for the John Lewis Christmas TV advert, in 2013.

Her plaintive vocals touched my heart, and for me they lifted the song to a new level.

Earlier this morning, I commented about her version on another blog post, and listening to the song once again, it made me remember just how relevant the lyrics are to me.

Here are those lyrics.

I walked across an empty land
I knew the pathway like the back of my hand
I felt the earth beneath my feet
Sat by the river and it made me complete
Oh, simple thing, where have you gone?
I’m getting old and I need something to rely on
So, tell me when you’re gonna let me in
I’m getting tired and I need somewhere to begin
I came across a fallen tree
I felt the branches of it looking at me
Is this the place we used to love?
Is this the place that I’ve been dreaming of?
Oh, simple thing, where have you gone?
I’m getting old and I need something to rely on
So, tell me when you’re gonna let me in
I’m getting tired and I need somewhere to begin
And if you have a minute, why don’t we go?
Talk about it somewhere only we know
This could be the end of everything
So, why don’t we go?
Somewhere only we know
Somewhere only we know
Oh, simple thing, where have you gone?
I’m getting old and I need something to rely on
So, tell me when you’re gonna let me in
I’m getting tired and I need somewhere to begin
And if you have a minute, why don’t we go?
Talk about it somewhere only we know
This could be the end of everything
So, why don’t we go?
So, why don’t we go?
This could be the end of everything
So, why don’t we go?
Somewhere only we know
Somewhere only we know
Somewhere only we know

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Rice Oxley Timothy James / Hughes Richard David / Chaplin Thomas Oliver
Somewhere Only We Know lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Mgb Ltd.

And here is Lily’s version, with the animated TV ad.