Archive for the ‘Pop’ Category

Feargal Sharkey – More Love (1988)

June 12, 2016 Leave a comment

With Northern Ireland about to kick off their Euro 2016 fixtures this afternoon, what better way to get ready than to hear this classic piece of 1980’s pop from Ulster’s finest?

Definitely the best thing Feargal Sharkey recorded in his solo career and, in my view, right up there with the classics from his Undertones days.

Written for Sharkey by Benmont Tench (a founder member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), the song also features the unmistakeable sound of Keith Richards on guitar. Tricky to track down on iTunes or Spotify, Youtube comes up trumps!

Bram Tchaikovsky – Girl Of My Dreams (1979)

June 11, 2016 Leave a comment

Couldn’t resist the segue from Pyotr to Bram ….

A powerpop classic and one of my favourite songs when I was 15. Peter Bramall was originally a member of The Motors and then left to forge a new career by forming Bram Tchaikovsky to a largely indifferent world.

Released as a single, “Girl of my Dreams” was taken from the Strange Man, Changed Man which appeared on the wonderful Radar Records label (home of Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe around that time).

Perfect pop music!

Ernie K-Doe – Mother-In-Law (1961)

June 5, 2016 Leave a comment

Written by the late Allen Toussaint and released as a single on the wonderful Minit Records in 1961, Mother-In-Law is not (spoiler alert) a song that is overly complimentary about the woman in question. A few lines to illustrate this:

The worst person I know ….

Satan should be her name …

But if she would leave that would be the solution …

A jolly tune though!

Black – Wonderful Life (1986)

January 26, 2016 1 comment

I’d always meant to put this on the blog at some point but never quite got round to it.

Watching a spot of football tonight with the sound off and listening to Strauss’ “Also Sprach Zarathustra” conducted by Fritz Reiner (I know how to live!), I saw the news on the BBC website that Colin Vearncombe (aka Black) had died today, a couple of weeks after a car crash.

Never knew much about him or followed him closely but “Wonderful Life” must mean he leaves a major net positive contribution to the world (and you can trust me on that, I’m an economist).

I’m also assured that this was the first song broadcast over Romanian radio after the revolution!


Here I go out to sea again


Doug Hream Blunt – Ride The Tiger (1980s)

January 9, 2016 Leave a comment

Over the festive period, I try and catch up on all the music I might have missed over the previous 12 months. This involves forensic scrutiny of all the “best of” lists from magazines, websites, newspapers, etc. Spotify is then used to sort out the wheat from the chaff before I engage on a major CD purchasing spree – I still have to own a physical object to get full satisfaction; just knowing I could always stream a song from the cloud is never enough ….

Amongst this year’s uncovered gems is the superb “My Name is Doug Hream Blunt” CD released in 2015 on the ever wonderful Luaka Bop Records. The CD reproduces Blunt’s “Gentle Persuasion” LP/EP that was released sometime in the mid 1980s – I’ve struggled to pin down the exact date!

I could have chosen almost any of the tracks but “Ride The Tiger” is my favourite today and, therefore, is elevated immediately to the pantheon of the bestmusicofalltime. The full LP version doesn’t seem to be around on Youtube but this live version does nicely!

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – International (1983)

February 11, 2015 Leave a comment

I’ve always had a bit of a contrarian streak about me and this post gives me a chance to show it off twice!

Firstly, I am unashamed to say that I really like (early) Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – “Electricity”, “Enola Gay”, “Joan of Arc”, “Tesla Girls”, etc, really are peerless classics from the synth-pop era. All sorts of aspersions relating to geography teachers and “dad dancing” have been cast about the band but, really, this is pretty lazy criticism (and, as a king of dad dancing myself, rather offensive to boot!). Their influences are sound and their execution, largely, impeccable.

Secondly, not only do I really like Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark but I really love this album track! It’s from their fourth LP, Dazzle Ships, and, in truth, it hasn’t got the pop sheen of their earlier singles. Nonetheless, it’s a wonderful piece of (pop) electronica  with some great samples and a beautiful melody. The only downside is that, on occasions, the tune gets dangerously close to “The Bonnie Banks ‘o Loch Lomond”. However, it is also a waltz and that trumps any pseudo Scottish considerations!

Frankly, name me another blog that would bother with this? Quitters!

Neil Diamond – Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show (1969)

January 5, 2015 Leave a comment

It’s almost exactly 9 years since my dad died and I wanted to post a record that reminds me of him – a song that he would often play himself. (I’ve previously posted a couple of records that remind me of the day he passed away, here and here).

Now, to this end, I could have chosen anything from the back catalogue of, ahem, Boney M (“Ma Baker” and “Daddy Cool” being particularly strong contenders ….) or Abba, Shirley Bassey, Rumours-era Fleetwood Mac. etc.

However, my strongest musical memories of my dad are related to Neil Diamond and, in particular, a cassette of Neil’s greatest hits that we played on constant rotation while driving round the Seychelles in 1974 in a hired Mini Moke. An idyllic holiday with the sun always shining and the surf always up. I was 10.

Looking back, “Sweet Caroline”, “Cracklin’ Rosie” and “Song Sung Blue” were stellar pop records that are more than worth a place on this blog in their own right. And from earlier, Neil’s “Solitary Man” (1966) is a remarkable record that Johnny Cash rightly restored to the pantheon of pop classics at the start of this century.

However, I’ve gone for “Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show” because I love the fast/slow, loud/quiet dynamics of the record and also because it reminds me of how my dad (re-) found religion and the church in the late 1980s/early 1990s after my mum died. This I never managed to connect with but it meant the world to him.

One for you, dad.

The original studio version then live on the BBC in 1971.


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