As the second track to come from this band, there’s not a lot I can write, to be honest.  I still know next to nothing about them.

I think this is maybe the final recording from my very brief ‘buy-a-couple-of-CD singles-each-week’ phase from the late nineties.  I’m still very fond of this tune, although I’m not especially keen on the video.

Next, I’m going to the son of the first black player to play for Glasgow Rangers.  Or possibly Celtic.  I forgot to check.

He Got an Ice Pick

I just discovered that both Rattus Norvigicus and No More Heroes were released in 1977.  I was fairly sure that was the case for the former, but I’m genuinely amazed and thrilled that they released two such fabulous albums in the same year; the year that returns on a frighteningly frequent basis.

I remember this song being played on a regular basis in our study.  What an introduction, coupled with that massive keyboard riff (is that a thing?) holding the song together.  A masterpiece, I reckon.  They were so punk, they even knew how to play well.  Bloody marvellous.

A lovely bit of miming here.  Now that was pretty good punk, too.

I think I need another slice of Mercury Rev before I reach the end.

Have a Nice Time?

My old mate, Andy, is 52 years old today – almost a year behind me, but we do have these three weeks every year when we are in harmony.  Yikes! Just three weeks until I can put this all to bed and think about doing something else.

Young Mr Smith is quite keen on that Weller feller, so I feel honour-bound to celebrate with Andy’s favourite by The Jam.  It comes from All Mod Cons, which is their best album, and gets nowhere near enough listening to in our household.

Thought I should go for the two offerings, just to be on the safe side, not least because I recently told Andy that I wasn’t really that bothered about Weller’s latest solo stuff.  Come on, there’s a song with lots of Do Do Do Do Do Do Do Dos in it.  No, Mr So-called The Modfather, Don’t Don’t Don’t Don’t Don’t Don’t!  Ta.

That said, I heard the-same-haircut-for-35-years’d one chatting the other day. He’s so much easier to listen to now.  Mellow, funny, relaxed.  Must be something in that 6Music studio he shared with Sir Bradbert of Wigginshire a few years ago. The two of them are so similar in attitude and outlook, it’s rather sweet to witness their mutual appreciation, although in a typically rebellious Wiggins move, the skinny old pedal pusher failed to include Weller or The Jam in his Desert Island Discs.

Anyway.  Happy Birthday.

After that, I feel the need for another blast from The Stranglers.  Dunno why.

You’re having a DeLaughter

This is rather an odd one.  On one level, I find it a little disturbing.  All those people in white frock-type attire suggests some kind of bizarre cult movement (is there any other kind?), but they appear to be so happy in the video, everything seems pretty harmless.  Then there’s the song itself.  That weird stop/start stop/start always makes me wonder what exactly is going on here.  Having said all that, I love this record.  Partly, perhaps, because it reminds me of the early days of BBC 6Music, where it was played pretty often, if my memory serves me correctly.

It’s wonderfully infectious.  The fact that the front man has the rather brilliant moniker of Tim DeLaughter just adds to the appeal.  I do hope the name is pronounced to rhyme with rafter rather than water, but then again, I spent a long time in Loughborough, so all pronunciation rules are of no help here.  It matters not.  Have some of this.

Bearing in mind the date tomorrow, I have no choice about which band I will choose.  But which tune?  Bit of a sticky situation.

Noise Reduction

The name Thomas Dolby came to mind a few days ago and my immediate thought was Magnus Pyke.  He appeared in the video for She Blinded Me with Science, which is probably the song most commonly linked with Mr Dolby.  Good tune it is, too, but I think I prefer this.  Here’s a recording from Whistle Test.  By then, they had dropped the Old and the Grey, perhaps in an effort to woo a younger audience.

Funky and wearing a mackintosh.  Now that deserves some credit.

A propos of nothing in particular, I was listening to TD being interviewed a while back.  I’m pretty certain he said he was the man to blame for that Nokia mobile phone tone.

From Dolby to Polyphonic.


Here’s a song that is somehow always there at the back of my mind.  That is, I can’t remember when it first reached my ears -presumably in 1976 or 1977 – and I give it no thought for perhaps several years at a time, but once it returns to the forefront of my consciousness, I nod sagely and feel glad that it is there.  I know one thing about Al Stewart, which is that he’s a Scot.

Actually, I know two things.  He brought us this beautiful piece of work.

Another old British artist came to mind earlier.  I don’t think he has anything to do with cassette tape noise reduction.

No Sax Please, We’re British

This is one of the few exceptions.  What a fabulous song, of which Sherlock Holmes would have been proud, no doubt.  It takes me back to school – not the usual dormitory or dayroom memories, but lying in bed in the Infirmary suffering with some Godawful lurgy in a ward full of other snivelling wrecks.  The saxophone is the part that always springs to mind, but what about that guitar solo which kicks in at around 3:30?  Still brings goosebumps a-running from my neck to my ankles.

The YouTube page from which this came listed several other songs and reminded me of another unique Scottish talent and his song about a furry friend.  Actually, I have a feline it’s nothing to do with animals.


…to run.

Sorry, it’s not Born in the USA. I’m not at all keen on that one.  What can I say?

Really, I’m not a big fan of Mr Springsteen and his oeuvre, but it would be impossible to deny that this one oozes class.  I suppose you could argue that it is a tad overproduced, but it’s the combination of tune, lyrics and music – yes, the production – that raise this into the upper echelons of top rock and pop records.  I’ve just seen that it dates from 1975, when he was hardly old enough to be The Boss.  Back then, surely he was just Junior Management.

Like the man says, “The highway’s jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive.”  No idea what it means, but it sits rather nicely in here.

Air guitars ready?  Go!

It’s got a good sax’ break, which is not easy to pull off in a decent pop record.  Next, one of the great saxophone solos.

A Spot of Branson in a Pickle

I’ve certainly not seen this video before.  Really, I can’t believe they had bouncy castles back then.

Much like the previous song of theirs featured on here way back in July, there’s an irresistible groove running through this.  It’s also one of the few pop songs to properly pull-off a bit of whistling… always a risky move, eh?

The eagle-eyed among you will spot none other than Sir Dick of Branson in the video.  A wise move?  Perhaps not.

A couple of hours ago, I heard a genuinely brilliant tune by an American chap sometimes known as The Boss.  I ain’t really a fan, but he released one absolute classic, so I’d be foolish to ignore the same.  Stay tooned for more rock’n’roll.

Around the World

Around the world, around the world.

Around the world, around the world.

Around the world, around the world.

Around the world, around the world.

Around the world, around the world.

Around the world, around the world.

That’s about the size of it, but what a tune and what a piece of work for the video.  I hope it doesn’t get taken off Youtube – it seems there may be some issues – so grab a view now before it’s too late.  I remember seeing it years ago.  It’s simply mesmerising.  Simple and mesmerising.

Way back, I added a tune by XTC.  I feel I need a second before the year is out.  Stand by your beds.