THE JOY OF (a mixed) SEX (duet) : Couple #8

There was a couple of political references in yesterday’s offering, and I’m keeping them going today.

While I was doing a little bit of research in respect of today’s song, I came across this:-

“Saturday Night Live closed its first episode of the Trump administration with a musical farewell to President Obama. Under a portrait of the 44th President, cast member Cecily Strong sang the perfect song to say goodbye to the outgoing POTUS, the title song to the 1967 film To Sir, With Love.

The parallels were apparent to anyone familiar with the British flick. Sidney Poitier had the starring role as an unemployed black engineer who takes a job teaching an unruly class of white students in London’s East End. By the end of the film he has won over the undisciplined youngsters and has taught them to have self-respect.”

But this wasn’t the first time that this song had been used as part of a tribute to an American president.

The events around the inauguration of Bill Clinton in 1993 encompassed a few unusual happenings, not least a gig at the Washington Convention Center. The youth vote had come out for Clinton and MTV felt the occasion should be marked appropriately. In the end, the MTV Inaugural Ball was added to the official list of such events in the city – there were 11 in total, some of which were very traditional – all in honour of the president, vice-president and their families.

The cast list included Don Henley, En Vogue, Boyz II Men, 10,000 Maniacs and Automatic Baby; the last named comprised Michael Stipe and Mike Mills of R.E.M. and Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. of U2 and took its name from the two band’s most recent albums Automatic for the People and Achtung Baby.

10,000 Maniacs made use of Stipe’s participation in the event, inviting him to sing on a few numbers, including a cover of the song that had been a #1 hit ion the States back in 1967:-

mp3 : 10,000 Maniacs (feat Michael Stipe) – To Sir, With Love

Stipe and Merchant had performed together previously on a number of occasions, including when they joined Billy Bragg and Cara Tivey to end his set as part of The Big Day in Glasgow in June 1990. Here’s some footage:-

They do make some lovely harmonies don’t they?????


THE JOY OF (a mixed) SEX (duet) : Couple #7

Thom Yorke has a very distinctive voice. It only takes a few words and you know immediately that you’re listening to Radiohead, a solo effort or, very occasionally, a guest contribution. I reckon, for the most part, his voice is perfect for the songs on which he sings; but just occasionally, whether it’s because he buries the delivery with a near-mumble or, at the other extreme, goes effortlessly into OTT mode that he ends up overpowering the work of his bandmates, he ruins things.

As Radiohead became increasingly popular, he found himself much in demand for vocal contributions – for instance, there were three with PJ Harvey on her album Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea (released in 2000), but just two years earlier he had guested on this, helping to provide a band with their sole chart single:-

mp3 : Drugstore – El President

Drugstore were around for much of the 90s, formed in London but with a Brazilian born singer-songwriter in the shape of Isabel Monteiro. The band were one of those who always made for an interesting opening act and so fans of the likes of Radiohead, Tindersticks, Jeff Buckley and The Jesus and Mary Chain would have had opportunities to catch them.

El President was the first single to be lifted from their second album, White Magic for Lovers. It was written by Monteiro as a tribute to Salvador Allende, whose four decades of political involvement in Chilean politics had seen him become president in 1970 (elected in a run-off by Congress as none of the three candidates has won any overall majority) but just three years later he had committed suicide rather than give in to a military coup. It was a coup supported by the CIA, which in itself was no surprise given that Allende was a committed Marxist and the Cold War was being fought.

I’ll just mention in passing that he was succeeded by General Augusto Pinochet….unarguably one of the worst persecutors of his political opponents in the 20th Century.

Drugstore faded off the scene just after the turn of the century, but had a low-key but critically successful reunion for a few years from 2009 onwards, before the singer relocated to her home city of Sao Paulo in 2015.


THE JOY OF (a mixed) SEX (duet) : Couple #6

More duets this week as it’s another when I’m busy….hope you don’t mind.

The minute I finished writing up the first five postings, I slapped my forehead for missing out today’s offering. I immediately thought about doing a piece as a stand-alone item but instead will now offer it as the overture for this week:-

mp3 : The Jesus and Mary Chain – Sometimes Always (featuring Hope Sandoval)

A duet from 1994 between the confident and outgoing Jim Reid and the reserved and insular vocalist from acclaimed American alt-combo, Mazzy Star. It’s one that the instinctive reaction should be ‘not a chance this will work’ and yet, after just one listen, such thoughts will be forever banished.

Lyrically, it’s a bit of a strange one as it hints at the way an abusive relationship might pan out.

She : I gave you all I had
I gave you good and bad
I gave but you just threw it back

He : I won’t get on my knees
Don’t make me do that please
I’ve been away but now I’m back

She : Don’t be too sure of that
What makes you sure of that
You went away you can’t come back

He : I walked away from you
I hurt you through and through
Aw honey give me one more chance

She : Aw you’re a lucky son
Lucky son of a gun
You went away, you went away
You went away but now you’re back

He : I got down on my knees
And then I begged you please
I always knew you’d take me back

He’s quite the conniving character isn’t he?

It was actually the first of what has proven to be a number of excellent duets or guest vocals involving Hope Sandoval with the likes of Chemical Brothers, Air, Massive Attack and Mercury Rev.

Sometimes Always reached #22 on its release, which outside of April Skies and Reverence, is the best chart position achieved by any JAMC single.



Something of a brief interlude this week.

As mentioned before, Arista Records still held the rights to the back catalogue of Simple Minds and having looked with some envy at the sales generated by Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call, the decision was taken to have the ultimate of cash-in with the release, in February 1982, of the compilation album Celebration, ten tracks lifted, for the most part, from the first three studio albums.

The album even came with a very cheeky peel-off sticker on the front of its sleeve stating it was The Very Best of Simple Minds – includes I Travel, Chelsea Girl, Life In A Day’

I Travel was re-issued as a single to promote the album, with previously unreleased live tracks on the b-side of the 7” and 12”. The source of these live recordings was never revealed by Arista, but it is likely they came from the Hammersmith Odeon gig of 25 September 1981; if so, it shows that Virgin Records, who held the license for the recordings from that gig, were equally as guilty of any accusations of trying to cash-in.

mp3 : Simple Minds – Thirty Frames A Second (live)
mp3 : Simple Minds – I Travel (live)

The single, again, didn’t trouble the charts (which probably came as a relief to the band as they more or less disowned this particular 45 from the word go).



From the website of Fika Recordings on which today’s featured band, in 2017, released their first new album in a decade:-

Formed in 2005, The Just Joans have evolved from a shambling two-piece to an accomplished sextet that embrace rivalry and relationship in the vocals of siblings David and Katie Pope.

Once described as ‘the missing link between The Magnetic Fields and The Proclaimers’, the band have used self-awareness and self-deprecation to explore themes of angst, heartbreak and detachment.

From their 2006 debut album Last Tango in Motherwell through a series of successful EPs, to 2012’s compilation Buckfast Bottles In The Rain, the acerbic wit in David Pope’s observational lyrics have helped make the band a firm favourite of the indie-pop scene. Their rise has seen them play a plethora of international festivals, such as Wales Goes Pop, Indiefjords, NYC Popfest, and of course the Indietracks festival, of which they have been long-standing cult favourites since their first appearance in 2008.

The Just Joans are David Pope (vocals and guitar), Katie Pope (vocals), Chris Elkin (lead guitar), Fraser Ford (bass guitar), Doog Cameron (keyboards) and Jason Sweeney (drums).

Doog Cameron (pictured on the right edge of the above photo) actually works in the same office as me.  He’s had to, as a result of him becoming a dad to two young kids in the past few years, take time away from the band. His place has been taken by multi-instrumentalist, Arion Xenos who contributed to this 45 that was released in 2018 and whose work will be heard on an album that is due for release later this year:-

mp3 : The Just Joans – Has Anybody Seen My Boy?

David Pope described the 45 as an attempt at writing a lost 60’s girl group track…if that girl group been from Motherwell.

The b-side, he said, was a direct message to the friends who swanned off to art school and came back 3 months later with dyed hair, a Polaroid camera and a snooty attitude.

mp3 : The Just Joans – Who Does Susan Think She Is?

Two tracks that perfectly sum up what The Just Joans are all about.




I didn’t quite believe my eyes either when I picked up that Dead Kennedys had twice managed to get into UK singles charts, with the second occasion likely getting their name mentioned on the television during a Top of the Pops rundown, albeit I doubt the name of the song was read out!

First up, Kill The Poor enjoyed a three-week run debuting at #52 at the beginning of November 1980, climbing to #49 before falling to #62 and then dropping out of the Top 75.

mp3 : Dead Kennedys – Kill The Poor
mp3 : Dead Kennedys – Insight

Six months later, in May 1981, the follow-up single was released:-

mp3 : Dead Kennedys – Too Drunk To Fuck
mp3 : Dead Kennedys – The Prey

Too Drunk To Fuck entered the charts at #65, eventually climbing to #36 during a six-week stay. Not too shabby for a song that was banned from all radio play and likewise by a number of stores that sold records. It was seemingly the first song with the word fuck in its title to reach the Top 40 in the UK.

Heady times indeed.



The final single to be released by Grinderman hit the shops featured the blistering opening track from the sophomore album. It was issued in July 2011 on 12″ picture disc:-

mp3 : Grinderman – Mickey Mouse and the Goodbye Man

I always though that the Disney Corporation might have had something to say about the title of this song, but it seems Mr Cave got away with it.

A live version and a very bizarre remix were put on the b-sides.

mp3 : Grinderman – Mickey Mouse And The Goodbye Man (Live At Ce Soir (Ou Jamais!))
mp3 : Grinderman – Mickey Bloody Mouse (Joshua Homme Remix)

The former was recorded as part of a performance for French TV recorded on 27 October 2010. The latter is what happens when you let the frontman from Queens of The Stone Age loose on your work.



Yup. The song deals with being on holiday, soaking up the rays of the sun and being in love. Tailor-made for radio in July and August but released by the record company on 22 October 2001 and limped into the UK singles charts at #31 in chilly November.

mp3 : Weezer – Island In The Sun

I just don’t get how the music industry works.

Here’s the various b-sides from the 7″ and 2 x CD singles:-

mp3 : Weezer – Always
mp3 : Weezer – Oh, Lisa
mp3 : Weezer – Sugar Booger
mp3 : Weezer – Brightening Day

I was surprised, in doing a wee bit research for this post, to lean that Weezer have released as many as 13 studio albums, 6 EPS and 28 singles going back to 1994 right through to earlier this year. They’re not a band I have too much of in the collection…..surely they are ripe for an ICA. Any fans out there willing to have a go?



Notwithstanding that some of the production has dated somewhat there surely can be no counter-arguments to the motion that ‘The first Aztec Camera LP is one of the greatest albums in Scottish history’.

High Land, Hard Rain is packed with ridiculously catchy and memorable tunes and some wonderfully observant lyrics, many of which were written before Roddy Frame had reached his 18th birthday. He was also astute enough to recognise that the sublime We Could Send Letters deserved a far better fate than to wither as a b-side on an obscure and hard-to-find 45 on Postcard Records, and in doing so he takes what was already a very special song and turns it into something as beautiful as the sun going down of a late June evening off the west coast of Scotland. The album version has a slightly slower tempo than the Postcard version which enables the song to breathe a little bit more, and at almost a minute longer in length, it accommodates a cracking guitar solo:-

mp3 : Aztec Camera – We Could Send Letters

The album yielded two hit and popular singles in Oblivious (still a staple part of indie-discos the world over almost 40 years on) and Walk Out To Winter (although the remix version released as a 45 is one of those that hasn’t aged as well as others).

The track, however, I find myself most returning to is the one from which a portion of lyric was lifted to give the album its title:-

mp3 : Aztec Camera – The Boy Wonders

A joyous celebration of youth with that fearless take on things that you have in your teenage years….it’s just that Roddy was far more capable of articulating it than any of us. It’s also an absolute floor-filler with a hi-tempo tune that I feel is akin to one of those ceilidh number that leave you breathless at the end of the set dance.

And just when you need a perfect come down number, there’s the acoustic number that closes everything off:-

mp3 : Aztec Camera – Down The Dip

Allegedly named after a pub in East Kilbride whose staff weren’t that fussed about serving underage drinkers…………



Edited from all music:-

In 1977, Vic Godard, leader of the early British punk band Subway Sect, described how his band differed from the Sex Pistols and the other new groups on the scene: “They just want to revitalize rock & roll whereas we just wanna get rid of it.”

Subway Sect were one of the more distinctive acts to emerge from the first wave of U.K. punk, possessing a lean, primal sound that owed a strong debt of influence to the Velvet Underground and the Modern Lovers, but while they were playing gigs as early as 1976 and were courted by two of punk’s leading impresarios, the original band was just barely documented on vinyl. Godard (lead singer and sometimes guitarist) and Rob Symmons (guitar) were fans of Northern soul, distaff American acts like the Velvet Underground and Television, and classic crooners (particularly Frank Sinatra); they were drawn to the energy and chaos of punk, though they didn’t always care for the music. Godard and Symmons had been making noises about forming a band, and teamed up with friends Paul Myers and Paul Packham, calling their group Subway Sect. Packham was initially the lead singer, but when the foursome chipped in to buy a drum kit, it was discovered that Packham had played a bit during his days as a Boy Scout, so he became the drummer and Godard moved to the vocal mike.

When Malcolm McLaren organized a punk rock festival at London’s 100 Club in the fall of 1976, he realized he needed additional bands to fill out the schedule and took the budding Subway Sect under his wing; he booked them into a rehearsal space and ordered them to get their material together, and they played the festival alongside the Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Damned, and other punk trailblazers. With their unusual sound and stark look (their clothes were all either black or dyed gray), Subway Sect attracted the attention of Bernard Rhodes, manager of the Clash; he took on the band shortly after its appearance at the 100 Club and the group began writing and recording material.

However, it wasn’t until 1978 that Subway Sect’s first single was released, the only release ever on Braik Records:-

mp3 : Subway Sect – Nobody’s Scared
mp3 : Subway Sect – Don’t Split It

The single flopped, but not so its fabulous and timeless follow-up which came out on Rough Trade, becoming the seventh 45 to be issued by what woule become the most important indie-label of the era:-

mp3 : Subway Sect – Ambition
mp3 : Subway Sect – Different Story

Vic Godard, after an incredible rollercoaster of a career in the music industry is still, more than 40 years later, providing huge entertainment to fans of all ages.



22 August 1981.

Simple Minds finally get a single into the Top 50 of the charts. A few more sales and a Top of the Pops appearance beckons. It’s an era of great electronica pop music with Human League, Soft Cell, Depeche Mode, Visage and Ultravox all in the Top 40 while Kraftwerk had just that week dropped out. Sadly, for the band and the folk at the label, one of THE great singles of the era didn’t find enough favour with the record buying public and #47 was as good as it got:-

mp3 : Simple Minds – Love Song

I included this at #14 in my 45 45s at 45 rundown back in 2008 and it still remains one of my all-time favourite pieces of plastic. The subsequent album(s) released the following month would reveal the band had all sorts of strange and weird titles attached to a number of tracks, but here was something with a title as straightforward as it comes. It’s a pulsating, vibrant and highly energetic piece of electronica with crashing guitars, slightly less frantic than the earlier I Travel, but with a pace that fitted in perfectly with the uber-cool style crowd whose club nights, particularly in London, were centred around music that sounded futuristic. Incredible to look back and think, just four years after new-wave had bulldozed its way forward, that the death of guitar music was now being predicted.

The b-side, as with previous single The American, was another very interesting and enjoyable instrumental, highlighting that Mick MacNeil was now increasingly important to the still evolving sound of the band:-

mp3 : Simple Minds – This Earth That You Walk Upon

The hope had been that Love Song would be riding high in the charts when the new album, the band’s fourth in less than two years, was released.  Did I say fourth album?  As things turned out, the band’s fifth album ended up being issued on the same day as the fourth……

Sons and Fascination was released in September 1981. It consisted of eight tracks, including the 12” version of Love Song and to everyone’s surprise, a vocal version of This Earth That You Walk Upon. The initial copies of the album came with a free bonus LP entitled Sister Feelings Call, consisting of seven tracks and including the 7” version of The American. It was also revealed that Brian McGhee had quit the band at the conclusion of recording and that a temporary drummer would be brought in for the live shows to promote the new material. The packaging of the two albums for the price of one was a great selling point and helped it enter the Top 20 on release, where it stayed for three weeks, which was a fine achievement for a band without any hit singles to their name.

This time around, the tour included a show at the Glasgow Apollo and ended with a gig at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, a show that was recorded by Virgin records with an eye on a possible live album for future release.

In November 1981, while the band was coming to the end of an extensive tour of North America and about to head for the first time to Australia, a third single from the new albums was released:-

mp3 : Simple Minds – Sweat In Bullet

It was an excellent remix of one of the tracks on Sons and Fascination and its b-side was lifted, but not remixed, from Sister Feelings Call:-

mp3 : Simple Minds – 20th Century Promised Land

A quick PS to this post is that 1981 closed triumphantly for the band. I hadn’t got to the show at the Apollo, having just started university and taking stock of few things, but along with some old friends from school (all of whom were now working) and a couple of new student mates, we trooped along to Tiffany’s in Glasgow, at the very end of December, and were privileged enough to witness what we felt would be the band’s best ever show….little did we know what the following year would bring.




A flag flying free in a vacuum…

Fifty years ago this weekend, Apollo 11, having rocketed off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Centre on July 16th 1969, was approaching destination: Moon.

No real value in me adding to the screeds already written by those with more of a right to do so. Instead, and, aware that there are a million other great songs that could have been chosen, it’s straight into Eleven Blasts for Apollo 11…

Light side

Twenty seconds and counting. T minus 15 seconds, guidance is internal.

1. The Wedding Present: Venus

The opening track from 1996’s Saturnalia LP – whose associated artwork itself pastiches NASA’s logo – kicks us off (albeit toward the wrong celestial body). The Weddoes have a load of space-connected songs to choose from, and this robust zinger is as good as any on getting things off to a flying start.

Twelve, 11, 10, 9, ignition sequence starts…..6, 5, 4…

2. The Mekons: Ghosts Of American Astronauts

‘A flag flying free in a vacuum…’ Fragile, otherworldly and quietly cynical, this was an absolute stick-on to make the crew. Indeed, if only one song was permitted on board, this would be the one taking a small step for a giant leap. As an aside: does the intro sound a bit like the opening to ‘Talulah Gosh’?

…3, 2, 1, zero, all engine* running.

3. Ballboy: Essential Wear For Future Trips To Space

From the I Hate Scotland EP, this corking tale of space travel, polar bears and wardrobe tips is greatly elevated by thrilling, somersaulting keyboards. Planning to jet off soon? Essential wear includes: silver gloves, a visor and reflector (for your face).

* Such was the tension that the ordinarily cool-as-a-cucumber NASA Public Affairs Officer Jack King is heard to say all engine running rather than all engines running.

LIFT-OFF! We have a lift-off, 32 minutes past the hour. Lift-off on Apollo 11.

4. Slowdive: Star Roving

The well-loved Slowdive’s re-emergence – after 22 years – could have gone so wrong. But the eponymous 2017 LP, home planet of this triumphant lead-off single, urged fans out from behind the sofa even before its affirmative intro had been spent.

Star Roving popped up on the Fifa 18 soundtrack too. They shot. They scored. One-nil to the resurgent five-a-siders from Reading.

Tower cleared.

5. The Primitives: Spacehead

Despite the temptation to choose Buzz Buzz Buzz (Aldrin), Spacehead, from the superb Lovely (1988) debut LP, was cleared for take-off.

Neil Armstrong reporting their roll and pitch program which puts Apollo 11 on a proper heading.

6. Ash: Girl From Mars

Great single, and a track from the 1977 LP. According to Wikipedia, Girl From Mars has been used as hold-music on NASA’s telephone lines, which sure makes a change from Greensleeves

Dark side

Plus 30 seconds.

7. Moonshake: Gravity

This flickers and strobes and phases, and sounds not unlike Moonshake‘s 1991 influencers and contemporaries My Bloody Valentine.

The First EP, from which Gravity is taken, was even released on Creation too. The two bands were label-mates, then, at ‘round about the time when MBV were putting out the likes of the Tremelo and Glider EPs, and the Loveless album. I admit to knowing nothing more from Moonshake, but I’ve always loved this track.

One Bravo is a abort control mode

8. British Sea Power: Observe The Skies

This twitching, jittering beauty from 2010’s Valhalla Dancehall LP sees the band emerge from the sea to the land… and beyond. Observe The Skies then chops merrily away behind typically elegant BSP words:

‘Let’s watch the nebulae implode,
As dark out of the light unfolds… ’

Altitude’s two miles

9. Heavenly: Space Manatee

With Sarah Records calling it a day in 1995, Heavenly‘s last-ever release was this 1996 7″ single on Wiiija, K or Elefant depending on your earth coordinates at that point.

It’s a fine sign-off: a nice slice of quiet/loud. Space Manatee was backed by a riotous cover of The Jam‘s Art School (alongside the ace Heavenly original You Tore Me Down).

Downrange one mile, altitude three, four miles now. Velocity 2,195 feet per second

10. Billy Bragg: The Space Race Is Over

Reducing our velocity somewhat is this great track from BB’s 1996 (again with 1996) LP William Bloke – one led by a pensive, poignant lyric. Is it about the thundering pace and ill-effects of technology? Is it about being careful what you wish for? The passing of time? Or is it just about the space race being over?

‘Now that the space race is over
It’s been and it’s gone, and I’ll never get to the moon
Now that the space race is over
And I can’t help but feel we’ve all grown up too soon…’

We’re through the region of maximum dynamic pressure now

11. Pixies: The Happening

Another band with a planet-ful of space sounds, this Bossanova cut won the day. But it could have been Planet of Sound, Space (I Believe In), Motorway to Roswell... But The Happening edged it thanks to its dreamy, unusual, relentless coda.

Of course, with its references to roads and the desert, and Area 51, The Happening is actually located here on Earth. That said, its haunting close could easily be the calm, stream-of-consciousness death-throes of a cast-adrift astronaut.

Eight miles downrange, 12 miles high, velocity 4,000 feet per second…

A big thanks to JC for agreeing to this. And I’ll leave him, as he is eminently qualified for the mission, to add a Kid Caneveral track as a bonus.


JC adds….

genius idea for a posting, and tempting as it is to add a track as suggested, there’s just something perfect about an 11-song compilation for today. But I am going to add it to the ICA listing over on the right hand side…as #220.

Oh, and what about the specially-created artwork too……loving it!!

THE JOY OF (a mixed) SEX (duet) : Couple #5

Adapted from wiki:-

“Young Hunting” is a traditional folk song that has its origin in Scotland. It can be traced back as far as the 18th century, being the tale of the eponymous protagonist, Young Hunting, who tells a woman, who may have borne him a child, that he is in love with another, more beautiful woman. Despite this, she persuades him to drink until he is drunk, then to come to her bedroom, or at least kiss her farewell. The woman then stabs him to death.

The tormented murderer then throws the body in the river but in doing so is taunted by a bird. She tries to lure the bird down from the tree but it tells her that she will kill it if it comes within reach. When the search for Young Hunting starts, she either denies seeing him or claims that he left earlier, but when Hunting’s remains are found, in order to revoke her guilt, she reveals that she murdered him and is later burned at the stake.

Like most traditional songs, numerous variants of the song exist worldwide, notably under the title of “Henry Lee” and “Love Henry” in the United States.

Nick Cave decided that he’d like to record a version of Henry Lee for inclusion as part of the Bad Seeds‘ ambitious 1996 album Murder Ballads, being a work (almost) entirely devoted to asongs of violent death, most often in tragic circumstances. He recorded a vocal in Australia and brought on board PJ Harvey who recorded her vocal separately in England.

mp3 : Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Henry Lee

The results were astonishing and led to Mute Records demanding it be released as a single, for which this promo was shot:-

The couple, having met, embarked on a short relationship (seemingly just four months in length), the aftermath of which led to Cave composing a number of break-up songs that would appear on his next album The Boatman’s Call – it should be noted, however, that most of the album’s material, including the haunting Into My Arms, deals with the six-year marriage he had enjoyed with Brazilian journalist Viviane Carneiro.


THE JOY OF (a mixed) SEX (duet) : Couple #4

Anyone fancy a little bit of S&M ??????

J’aime l’odeur de ta peau le matin
Elle m’excite et je veux avoir mal
Lit chaud. air froid
Ton regard affam me brûle, et j’ai besoin de sentir plus
Le sang sur tes ongles me fait peur
Mais malgr tout je veux que tu restes
Je suis meurtrie et corche, et je devrais souffrir
Mais tu me retiens et
Tout me paraît bien
Je t’en prie, crois-moi quand je te dis “ne me quitte plus”
Tout ce que je veux faire c’est tre couche tes côts
Ici dans ce lit

I love your flirting
And I love your fingers
And I love your boots
And I love your sigh

I love your murmur
And I love your freckles
And I love the way
You say “goodbye”

I love the smell of your skin, in the morning
It excites me, and I want to feel sore
Warm bed, cold air, your hungry stare
Delights me, and now I need some more

I love your scratches
And I love your teasing
And I love your sweat
And I love your voice

I love your riddles
And I love your shivers
And I love your curl
And I love your toys

And seeing blood on your nails just never fails
To appal me, but i still want you to stay
I’m bruised, I’m cut, it ought to hurt, but
You enthral me, and that makes it okay

And please, just believe me, when I say “don’t ever leave me”
Because lying here beside you, is all I want to do

The smell of your skin, in the morning
Excites me, and I want to feel sore
Warm bed, cold air, your hungry stare
Delights me, and now I need some more

Blood on your nails just never fails
To appal me, but I still want you to stay
I’m bruised I’m cut, it ought to hurt, but
You enthral me, and that makes it okay

I love your stubble
I love your navel
I love your frown
I love your heels

I love your lipstick
I love your biting
I love your tongue
And the way it feels

I love your letters
I love your phone calls
I love your hips
Your naked wrists

I love your stories
I love your sisters
I love your tears
I love your breasts

I love your whispers
I love your dancing
I love your thirst
I love your lies

I love your tantrums
I love your perfume
I love your teeth
Your big surprise

I love your bleeding
I love your mischief
I love your eyes
Those things you said

I love your temper
I love your trembling
I love to lie
Here in your bed

I love your stubble
I love your navel
I love your frown
I love your heels

I love your lipstick
I love your biting
I love your tongue
And the way it feels

I love your letters
I love your phone calls
I love your hips
Your naked wrists

I love your stories
I love your sisters
I love your tears
I love your breasts

I love your whispers
I love your dancing
I love your thirst
I love your lies

I love your tantrums
I love your perfume
I love your teeth
Your big surprise

I love your bleeding
I love your mischief
I love your eyes
Those things you said

I love your temper
I love your trembling
I love to lie
Here in your bed

David Gedge and Emma Pollock have rarely sounded better, on this bonus track on the CD version of the single Kerry Kerry, released in 1998.

mp3 : Cinerama – Love

The song is credited to Gedge/Womack. I’ve never been able to find out why and have long assumed that orchestral intro is sampled from something written by either Bobby or Cecil Womack. Anyone got a definitive answer?

(Just realised that I’ve started and ended this posting with questions!!!!!!)


THE JOY OF (a mixed) SEX (duet) : Couple #3

Tindersticks have long been the masters of the great duet, with the baritone and velvety style of vocalist Stewart Staples just lending itself perfectly to contributions from a wide range of female companions on record. There have been a number of such recordings over the years, most of which have reflected on the inability of couples to get on.

One of their earliest releases, in 1993, was A Marriage Made in Heaven, on which there was a guest appearance from Niki Sin, from the English riot grrrl band Huggy Bear, while a later version of the same song featured the Italian actress Isabella Rossellini.

Carla Togerson, from the American indie-folk band The Walkabouts, was mournful on Travelling Light on the band’s second album released in 1995; the next album (Curtains, 1997) saw American actress Ann Magnuson join in on Buried Bones and then, in 2003, possibly what had been, up to then, the best of the duets thanks to the wry and observant contribution by American vocalist Lhasa de Sela

mp3 : Tindersticks – Sometimes It Hurts

And then in 2016, this appeared on the album The Waiting Room:-

mp3 : Tindersticks  – Hey Lucinda (featuring Lhasa de Sela)

This was something really unexpected as Lhasa had passed away, at the tragically young age of 37, back on New Year’s Day 2010 after a near two-year battle with breast cancer.

Stuart Staples, in an interview in 2016, provided an explanation:-

“When I first wrote the song, I was very excited because I broke a kind of stricture.”

“From ‘Islands in the Stream’ to Lee [Hazlewood] and Nancy [Sinatra], duets have been written the same way. The man sings a bit, the woman sings a bit, they sing the chorus together. In ‘Hey Lucinda,’ the music follows the conversation rather than the conversation being fit into the song structure. I went to Montreal, where Lhasa lived, and sang it with her, and it sounded great, but I was struggling—it was too linear, and when it feels too easy I don’t trust it. Soon after that, Lhasa became ill and we lost her, and I had to put the song away.”

“It took three or four years before I could listen to her music again, but I heard it then as a lost moment between two people rather than the song I’d been struggling with. I was able to feel the music in a very different way. Turns out it just needed a glockenspiel.”



THE JOY OF (a mixed) SEX (duet) : Couple #2

Some seven years after bursting onto the scene and being labelled as one of the key members of the ‘shoegazing’ scene, Lush released an album that was a real surprise and delight.

Lovelife hit the shops in March 1996. It came on the back of two ridiculously catchy singles, Single Girl and Ladykillers, that had raised the profile of the band to a new height. It was as indie-pop (of its time) as could be, with catchy choruses and hooks amidst rhythmic guitars that demanded you get on the floor and dance. It would become one of the defining releases of the Britpop era, and unlike many others, it has dated very well. One of its many highlights is this:-

mp3 : Lush (featuring Jarvis Cocker) – Ciao!

This was a time when many scenesters were namechecking Lee Hazelwood as an influence, often mentioning his duets with Nancy Sinatra as being among their favourite songs when they were growing up. Miki Berenyi and Jarvis Cocker really do channel their Nancy and Lee desires with a magnificently bitter song in which the two protagonists are absolutely delighted the relationship is finally over, both wondering why it took them so long and choosing to exit by throwing poisonous barbs at one another before the sign-off:-

Well, I’ve been in heaven since I walked away
I never thought that I could feel as great as I do today
‘Cause you were nothing but a waste of space
And life is wonderful now that I’m over you

It would have made for a great single but maybe Lush were a bit concerned they would be accused of jumping on the Pulp bandwagon as it was the period when the latter were enjoying, (if that’s the right word given what they did next), unprecedented chart success with Top 10 singles and millions of sales for the album Different Class.

As it turned out, when the time came, in 2001, for 4AD to release a ‘Best Of’ for Lush, it was decided to name the album Ciao! and to include it in the tracklisting.


THE JOY OF (a mixed) SEX (duet) : Couple #1

It’s a busy time for me just now, so this week will see five very short posts, all dedicated to bringing you the joy of a mixed-sex duet, the first of which will feature two singers brought together especially for the purpose while the others will see someone come in and guest with the band.

mp3 : Deborah Harry and Iggy Pop – Well, Did You Evah!

A song which was written 80 years ago by Cole Porter, initially for the Broadway musical DuBarry Was a Lady, it is best known from its inclusion in the 1956 hit film High Society, in which it was sung by Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.

Fast forward to 1990 when the Red Hot Organization, a not-for-profit international organization with the aim of using pop and entertainment to dedicated to fighting AIDS, decided that the first of its efforts should be Red Hot + Blue in which modern-era pop stars did cover versions of Cole Porter songs. It was the a fine idea and for the most part it worked well, with something for everyone within its 20 tracks.

Deborah and Iggy are clearly having a swell and elegant time on this one. It’s fun with a gigantic capital F. The lyrics are reasonably similar to that written all those years by Cole Porter, but there’s a fair amount of hamming improvisation as well that just adds to things, with digs at LA scenesters, a ridiculous amount of flirting between la Harry and le Pop and the final sign-off where the man in the leather trousers is told to sling his hook.

Most of the songs on Red Hot + Blue had specially shot promo videos thus enabling the album to be promoted as a documentary feature on television stations the world over.

This particular promo was the work of Alex Cox, the UK director who had made a name for himself in the 80s initially through the cult classic Repo Man (for which Iggy Pop had supplied the title track) and then at the helm of Sid and Nancy, the biopic that told a version of the tale of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen.



Last week’s posting took us up to April 1981 and Arista Records very belatedly releasing Celebrate despite the fact Simple Minds were now part of Virgin Records and in the studio recording their next album (part of the deal to enable the band to leave Arista was an agreement that the songs from the era of the first three albums stayed behind with the band losing control).

One month later, the first 45 under the new arrangements hit the shops:-

mp3 : Simple Minds – The American
mp3 : Simple Minds – League of Nations

It wasn’t part of the original plan to release anything on Virgin as early as May 1981, but there was a great deal of anger and resentment about what Arista had done in issuing Celebrate, as well as the fear that a further single could be issued at any point in time. It was about drawing attention to the fact Simple Minds had moved on and were, again, exploring and recording slightly different sounds in the studio. The American was one of the earliest tracks to be completed that was felt had some sort of commercial potential and so it came out on 7” and 12” vinyl. The band, however, were still very busy in the studio with new producer Steve Hillage and there was no time available to shoot any promo video, a situation that hindered getting maximum exposure for the new song.

It’s a single I fell in love with immediately. It fitted in perfectly with the increasing popularity in electronica dance here in the UK, and was a piece of music that sounded equally as good coming out of your radio as it did blasting through the speakers at the under-18s disco I frequented at weekends. It’s one that, nowadays, certainly in its 12″ form sounds just a little bit more dated than others – a mix which at the time seemed almost revolutionary now sounds very gimmicky and of its time – and this is perhaps a reflection of it being rushed a bit so as to be in the shops. One of the things I most loved, and still do about it, is Derek Forbes‘ bass playing bring such a tribute to that of Barry Adamson from his Magazine days.

The b-side was a new, near-instrumental number which showed that the band were still capable of making atmospheric almost experimental music amidst the new more pop-orientated approach.

The American didn’t really trouble the charts, reaching only #59.



Confession time.

Today’s song is one that I’ve downloaded from somewhere else many years ago, listened to once and promptly forgotten all about.  What follows are some words I’ve cobbled from pieces in the local media back in 2009:-

Julia and the Doogans are:

Julia Doogan – Vocals, Guitar, Banjo
Alan Daly – Vocals, Guitar
Ian Clyne – Bass
Carolann Mullin – Flute
Jennifer Hamilton – Piano
Renata Pilikinaite – Cello
Tadas Labudis – Drums

Gritty Glasgow’s sectarian rivalry would seem like the unlikeliest of subject matter for a multi-instrumental folk project, but in a delicate, winsome song that is their home city’s namesake Julia and the Doogans have managed to achieve just that.

The local seven-piece – who count flute, cello and banjo among their instrumental roster – have been winning over fans across the city in the past few months with their quietly charming repertoire.

Julia Doogan is the honey-voiced songstress behind the project – who, despite the name’s familial illusions, aren’t all related. “The name’s been kicking about for a while – it was something a college lecturer came up with on the spur of the moment back when introducing another band I was a part of, and it’s just stuck as time has went on,” she explains.

“At first, the band came about because I wanted a band to back my music but as time has went on it has evolved into much more,” she adds. “The reason we all do it is because we enjoy music. We also bring out the best in each other creatively, and have a good time together as both musicians and friends.”

The band’s original line-up (Julia on vocals, guitar and banjo with Alan Daly on vocals and guitar, Renata Pilikinait on cello, flautist Carolann Mullin and Tada Labudis on drums and percussion) have performed together for just under a year, with additions along the way in the form of Jennifer Hamilton on piano, and Ian Clyne on bass.

The band count “melody-driven” bands and artists such as Aberfeldy, Sufjan Stevens and Angus and Julia Stone among their influences, as well as “everyday life, and a lot of people-watching!”

Big fans of their peers in the local music scene, Julia says: “It’s a good place to be starting out like we are – everyone we meet is really supportive and the more you get into it the more it becomes a bit like an office Christmas party, where everybody knows or knows of each other and just has a good time.”

Of their “organic” sound, Julia says: “A few of us are more classically trained than others and we all have an appreciation for orchestral instruments and music.

“I don’t think we are massively unique but we aim for simplicity with every song.”

The band are “concentrating on playing shows and being creative” at the moment, with shows planned at the Captain’s Rest, King Tut’s and a live session for Glasgow PodcART on the agenda for October and November – but Julia promises “more writing and recording” ahead.

mp3 : Julia and The Doogans – Glasgow

Might end up playing it early doors at a future Simply Thrilled night…….




Where do you start when writing an Imaginary Compilation Album on a band who have roughly twenty albums worth of material to choose from? There are studio albums, live albums, singles albums, B sides albums, remix albums and countless live albums worth of stuff, all of which are worthy of consideration.

For instance there is somewhere in existence a bootleg release of The Cure’s MTV Unplugged Show in which one of the band plays a toy piano throughout ‘Close To Me’ – it is far better than any version of that song that has ever been commercially released and yet can I find it on the Internet, no I can’t. I know that the Lovely Angela had a version of it because I remember listening to it in her bedroom whilst she made me a Vodka Collins.

An hour before I sat down to write this I had narrowed it down to 43 songs which is nowhere near short enough. Then my wife comes in and asks how I was getting on – me having shut myself away for a few hours to do it and so I told her.

She sighs, and tells me and I wrote this down word for word – “If you stop your silly Goth boy reminiscing over ‘the Lovely Angela’ (she included the finger quote thing) and actually thought about it you would realise that you only actually need to own six cure albums – ‘Seventeen Seconds’, ‘Japanese Whispers’, ‘The Head On The door’, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me’, ‘Disintegration’ and ‘Wish’. There’s a cup of tea on the table there for you“ and with that she turns around and walks back out of the room.

Now, after a number of years of marriage I have learnt not to argue with Mrs Badger, particularly where ‘the Lovely Angela’ is concerned, so I reflect on her statement and I immediately stop the silly Goth Boy Reminiscing and then I focus and I remove all the tracks on my list that are not from one of the six albums she mentioned and unbelievably I am left with 12 tracks, and losing two is pretty easy.

So with no further ado, here at last is the compilation on The Cure.

Side One

Just Like Heaven (from Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me)

Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me was the sixth Cure album and is if you had to list them probably their second greatest album. This was the Cure in the pomp, comedy lipstick, massive hair and it slowly took them into a world of arenas and festival headlights. I am duty bound to include this what with it being played at my wedding, but also it has to be included because it is simply a delight and one of the greatest singles of all time.

Play For Today (From Seventeen Seconds)

In the very early eighties, The Cure went a bit weird and after drinking too much they sort of invented Gothic Rock or rather they sort of redefined Gothic Rock. They did this by recording an album in a cupboard on a shoestring budget. This result was this spooky, minimalist masterpiece and ‘Play For Today’ is epitome of that stark, elegant and probably best listened to in front of a smoke machine whilst dressed in black.

Doing The Unstuck (from ‘Wish’)

I love ‘Wish’, I think between say 1987 and 1995 the Cure did very little wrong. They sashayed between being mopey doom mongers to being gloriously playful pop superstars and ‘Wish’ gets that spot on. There is a bit on ‘Doing The Unstuck’ in which Bob sings “Its Never too late to get up and GO!” the ‘Go’ bit is almost shouted. For millions around the world, when Bob Smith was happy, pretty much all was well in the world.

Let’s Go To Bed (from ‘Japanese Whispers’)

After three gloomy goth albums, the Cure resurfaced in late 1982 with ‘Let’s Go To Bed’ a terrifically upbeat single in which they appeared to have abandoned the doom and bought a trumpet. The result was outstanding. Lovecats soon followed and The Cure cemented themselves as rocks biggest bunch of teasers.

The Same Deep Water As You (from ‘Disintegration’)

‘Disintegration’ is of course, the Cure’s best album. It is a Goth masterpiece. There is more relentess imagery of death and drama here than anywhere else. It is full of eight minute songs (or ten in this case) about drowning and at times it is unbearably sad. But push that to one side (gently, it’s fragile) and it is an album of such beauty and emotion that you really cannot ignore it. ‘The Same Deep Water As You’ is I think the stand out track hypnotic, sad, shimmering and beautiful.

Side Two

Open (from ‘Wish’)

‘Wish’ is the last truly outstanding Cure album. ‘Open’ is the first track off that and kind of sets the scene for the rest of the album. The songs here are big and designed for the arenas that they were easily filling by now. This song is a reflective look back at drinking and in it Smith’s vocals just get wilder and wilder.

Pictures of You (from ‘Disintegration’)

The story goes according to my wife that shortly before The Cure recorded ‘Disintegration’ a fire broke out at Smith’s house. In the damage he came across a collection of photos of his wife and that inspired this song.

For me I love it because of these lyrics

“Remembering you standing quiet in the rain, As I ran to your heart to be near/And we kissed as the sky fell in/Holding you close/How I always held close in your fear.”

Well it’s just beautiful isn’t it.

In Between Days (from ‘The Head On The Door’)

Another track that is truly wonderful and for years and years was the ring tone on my phone for whenever Mrs Badger phoned me. It’s just one of those songs that I will never tire of hearing.

Shiver and Shake (from Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me)

Another reason why Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me is so glorious is the way it fluctuates from being wonderfully happy to being dramatically sad before at the (near) end, you get this the angriest, bitterest, most shouty song that The Cure ever recorded. Also in the really angry bits Bob sounds a little bit like Kermit the Frog and that is worth hearing.

Sinking (from ‘The Head On the Door’)

Let’s end on a happy note, or rather lets end with a lush murmuring sigh. A song that lives up to its name, it kinds of descends with every note, and that break near the end, its just beautiful.

So there we have it. An ICA on The Cure, eventually and if that doesn’t win the next ICA World Cup then something is wrong with the world.