Claustrophobes: reduce the risk of a panic attack when entering a lift by looking through the wrong end of a pair of binoculars.
The Champs are an American rock and roll band, most famous for their Latin-tinged instrumental Tequila. The group took their name from that of Gene Autry’s horse, Champion, and was formed by studio executives at Autry’s Challenge Records to record a B-side for the Dave Burgess single, Train to Nowhere. The intended throwaway track became more famous than its A-side, as Tequila went to #1 in just three weeks in the US and #5 in the UK charts in May 1958, and the band became the first group to go to the top spot with an instrumental that was their first release. The song was recorded at Gold Star Studios in fall 1957, and in 1959 won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance. It has sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.
Tequila was written by the saxophonist Danny Flores, although he was credited as Chuck Rio because he was under contract to another record label (RPM Records) at the time. Flores, who died in September 2006, was known as the “Godfather of Latino rock”, and his “dirty sax” coupled with his low-voiced “Tequila” are the hallmarks of the song. Flores signed away the US rights to the song but retained worldwide rights until his death.
This is pretty much a no brainer of a like for me. Hugely catchy, with an infectious one-word chorus (that any word can replace the original), and an great saxophone riff, Tequila is probably one of the most recognisable songs of all time, and a song that never outstays its welcome. Two thumbs up, easily.
As a bonus, here’s my favourite mash-up creator, Bill McClintock, mashing up Tequila with Pantera’s F**kinHostile. NSFW due to language, obvs.
I’ve got a book about a German composer who beats people up. It’s a hard Bach.
Today’s OHW is American Woman by Canadian rock band the Guess Who, released January 1970, from the album of the same name. The music and lyrics of the song were improvised on stage during a concert in either Southern Ontario, Kitchener (as recalled by guitarist, Randy Bachman) or a curling rink in Scarborough (according to lead singer Burton Cummings). Wherever it was, it came about after Bachman was playing notes while tuning his guitar after replacing a broken string, and he realized he was playing a new riff that he wanted to remember. He continued playing it and the other band members returned to the stage and joined in, creating a jam session in which Cummings improvised the lyrics. They noticed a kid with a cassette recorder making a bootleg recording and asked him for the tape. They listened to the tape and noted down the words that Cummings had extemporized, and which he later revised.
The song was released in March 1970 as a single backed with No Sugar Tonight, and it reached #1 for three weeks commencing May 9 on both the United States’ Billboard Hot 100 and the Canadian RPM magazine singles chart. Billboard magazine placed the single at number three on the Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1970 list, and it was listed as number five for 1970 on the RPM Year-End Chart. On May 22, 1970, the single was certified as gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It also reached the top ten in the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria, but it could only reach #19 in the UK charts in July 1970.
A slam-dunk, stone-cold classic rock song that starts off deceptively quiet and mellow before launching into that riff and proceeding to be a wonderful raucous noise for the next five minutes. Fantastic guitar sound and solo, great vocals, and still an amazing song after all these years. Two thumbs up.
Keeping tropical fish at home can have a calming effect on the brain.
This is due to all the indoor fins…
Today’s OHW is Piece of My Heart by American gospel and soul singer Erma Franklin. Despite the song, written and produced by Bert Berns, being recorded in 1967 (and was also nominated for that year’s Grammys) it didn’t make a dent in the UK charts until 1992, when it was featured in a Levi’s jeans commercial, where it reached #9 in October that year. This is Erma’s only song to reach the UK charts.
A cover version of the same song was recorded in 1968 by Big Brother and the Holding Company, with the lead vocal by Janis Joplin. Erma Franklin was the elder sister of American singer/musician Aretha Franklin.
Another corking sixties soul/r’n’b number that was criminally overlooked first time around but found new life thanks to a jeans advert. I do prefer this version to Janis Joplin’s, great as that is, as it’s a little smoother but just as powerful. Franklin’s voice is gorgeous and full of emotion that you’d have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by it. Two thumbs up and a very big like.
There is the quark gluon plasma. In the heart of the beginning, before there were atoms, in the first three hundred thousand years there was the quark gluon plasma, where the sound of the subatomic turned into the watery atomic nevermore where atoms could not evolve.
The quark gluon plasma – boiling to the nth degree. Boiling – boiling to the greatest of the gods! From the plasma, came the atoms, the quark gluon plasma. Yellow in its young, boiling in its Truth – the closet we come to Truth, the closet we come to Truth. We rise in the plasma, trillions of degrees! See the plasma! Go back fourteen billion years into the plasma. Plasma. Fourteen billion years. I stand on this mountain and I stare at the plasma. I reach to the plasma. The plasma! The plasmaaaaaaaaaaah! I love the plasma. Children of the plasma, the plasma. I love the plasma, the plasma is my friend. I love it! The Quark Gluon Plasma – Copernicus.
64. Bahamas – Bahamas
A quite enjoyable French prog-rock number that has a good beat, a nice guitar solo, and is absolutely swimming in synths! B-
65. Bang Camaro – Bang Camaro
US hard rockers with a fist-pumping, rocking instrumental number (save for the intermittent shouts of “Bang! Camaro!”) and a great guitar solo B
66. A Barca Do Sol – A Barca Do Sol
Brazilian act with a jaunty, mellow psychedelic folk number, reminiscent of Welsh folk from the 70’s. Lovely flute playing throughout as well. B
67. Bat – Bat
American act with a great Motorhead-inspired speed metal/hard rock song combing a sneering riff and a nasty guitar sound. B+
68. Battlerage – Battlerage
Chilean heavy metallers with a very good mid-paced, fists aloft number that is only let down by the slightly off vocals and silly Manowar-inspired lyrics C+
I think that the enemy of my enemy’s enemy’s enemy’s enemy’s enemy’s enemy, might be Kevin Bacon.
Eurovision is fast approaching upon us and I was thinking about featuring some acts that qualify for this section. However most of them are awful and I don’t have enough booze to deal with them right now, so instead today’s OHW is from Dutch group The Art Company, who hit #12 in the UK charts in June 1984 with Suzanne (or Susanna).
VOF de Kunst are better known in Europe as The Art Company, and were founded in Tilburg in 1983 and the single also reached #1 on the charts in their native Netherlands. The lead singer of the band is Nol Havens, and they have also toured using The Art Company name which was used for their only UK hit.
The group has released 18 albums, some of which includes traditional festive songs and songs based on nursery rhymes and the works of Annie M. G. Schmidt. Since 1996, they have also played in theatre productions.
I’ve also been partial to a little Euro-pop cheeseyness and this hit, which I’d long forgotten before researching for this post, certainly scratches that itch. A year before Opus’ Life Is Life, Suzanne has an infectious rhythm and a chorus to sing and clap along to as the singer tells his tale of trying to woo the heart of his true love. A song that puts a smile on my face. Big like and two thumbs up.
Let the rain fall on my tombstone and wash away my name, and let me lie in my unmarked grave in the earth revolving around the sun: unconscious, skinless, and at complete rest. Let the atoms that make up my bones dissipate and return to the earth; unconscious in rest returning to mother earth. Free of humanity! Free of humanity! Animals that have everything and nothing. Humanity – enemy of the earth – oh blow yourself away! Blow yourself away humanity! The sooner you turn yourself back to atoms the better. The sooner the better. Conscious life is a waste anyway, the earth can do without you. Oh let me lie in my unmarked grave, unable to see and hear and feel; revolving around the sun and skinless returning to the atomic sea, atom by atom by atom by atom. Atom by Atom – Copernicus.
59. Baader Meinhof – Baader Meinhof (1996)
From the genius brain of the under appreciated Luke Haines, and named after a West German terrorist organisation, comes two versions of the same song which open and close 1996’s self-titled album. Version 1 has a great fuzzy guitar sound, disturbing electro sounds and a good beat. Version 2 is a lot softer with some nice strings, and almost sounds jolly… almost. Difficult to choose which one is better so they both get an A-
60. Back Door – Back Door (1973)
UK jazz-rock fusion band that has a similar style to fellow Brits Soft Machine. The song’s quite busy and conjures up images of a bustling city. B-
61. Bad Company – Bad Company (1974)
A classic hard rock 70’s number with a swaggering riff that stands the test of time. Paul Rodgers voice is majestic and pairs magnificently with the guitar sound and solo. A
62. Bad News – Bad News (1987)
Parody metal (specifically NWOBHM) from the brains behind The Comic Strip Presents…which works well in half an hour on the small screen, but flags horrendously over two sides of vinyl. The programme bears repeated watching, the songs not so much. D
63. Bad Religion – Bad Religion (1979)
Taken from their first ep, this is a short fast, solid slice of Black Flag style punk. The production isn’t great but the passion and anger shines through. B+
Check the Rate Your Music list below to see possible upcoming acts (if I can find a YouTube video), and leave a comment to suggest any songtitle/band that the list and I may have missed.
Shocked to find out this morning that a local barber has been arrested for dealing drugs.
I’ve been a customer of his for years and I had no idea he was a barber.
Tonight were an English five piece new wave band, from Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England and were active from June 1977 to January 1979. Along with The Rich Kids, Tonight were the first acts to be described as power pop, a new UK music genre term in 1978, initially mentioned by Charles Catchpole, in the Evening Standard, ‘Rock Notes’ section, on 17 January 1978. Tonight scored the first hit for the power pop movement in February 1978, with Drummer Man reaching #14 in the UK Singles Chart. Their next single “Money(That’s Your Problem) charted at only #66, and two more singles were released but failed to chart. An album was recorded in 1978 but shelved by WEA due to the lack of further singles successes; the album, Drummerman, was finally released in 2010 on Angel Air Records.
A sub 3 minute piece of power pop with some snarky punk edges that is made for pogoing around the room, or school disco, but not frighten your parents or teachers. This is a song I’ve not heard since my school days (a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away) and it made me realise how much I loved this tune. Other than the laugh halfway through the song, Drummer Man doesn’t put a foot wrong, it’s got a great chorus, cool guitar solo and a fantastic beat. Great song, big like, two thumbs up.
After two thousand years of scientific discovery, all of creation can be explained by twelve subatomic particles plus five carriers of four forces. BOW YOUR HEAD TO THE UP QUARK! BOW YOUR HEAD TO THE DOWN QUARK! BOW YOUR HEAD TO THE CHARM QUARK! BOW YOUR HEAD TO THE STRANGE QUARK! BOW YOUR HEAD TO THE TOP QUARK! BOW YOUR HEAD TO THE BOTTOM QUARK! BOW YOUR HEAD TO THE ELECTRON NEUTRINO! BOW YOUR HEAD TO THE MUON NEUTRINO! BOW YOUR HEAD TO THE TAU NEUTRINO! BOW YOUR HEAD TO THE ELECTRON! BOW YOUR HEAD TO THE MUON! BOW YOUR HEAD TO THE TAU! BOW YOUR HEAD TO THE PHOTON! BOW YOUR HEAD TO THE GLUON! BOW YOUR HEAD TO THE Z BOSON! BOW YOUR HEAD TO THE W BOSON! AND BOW YOUR HEAD TO THE GRAVITON! in this cathedral of the Universe. The graviton , the w boson, the gluon, the photon, the tau, the muon, the electron, the tau neutrino, the muon neutrino, the electron neutrino, the bottom quark, the top quark, the strange quark, the charm quark, the down quark, up to the up quark. All of creation can be explained by twelve subatomic particles, in the subatomic. Your mother, your father, your baby, your home, your mind, your blood, your bones – to twelve subatomic particles. Your dream, your ideas, your feelings – to twelve subatomic particles and five carriers of four forces. Right here in the cathedral of my mind in the Universe, I take my dream joining with the world joining with the Universe joining with the sun joining with all of the galaxies in the Universe. “Hey Dad! How many tau neutrinos do you have in your eyes?” (I think my mother is made up of the strange quark.) Bring it all together… in the disappearance, the subatomic disappearance where nothing can be seen and nothing can be heard. Nothing can be touched. Nothing can be smelled. 12 Subatomic Particles – Copernicus
54. Autechre – Autechre (1990)
UK’s premier IDM/Experimental/Electronic/ambient techno act’s self-titled number is quite a subdued one. The beat is nice, there some interesting sounds and it’s hypnotic enough to hold your attention. C+
55. Automatic Man – Automatic Man (1976)
Enjoyable Zappa-esque prog rock/jazz fusion number from this San Francisco act. The bassline reminded me of Hold Out Your Love from the Hughes/Thrall album from the 80’s. This make sense as Pat Thrall was a member of Automatic Man, and he puts in a cracking guitar solo here as well! B
56. Autopsy – Autopsy (2014)
With the lyrics paying homage to previous track titles, it’s like a self-penned tribute to everything that makes Autopsy so great at death metal. The catchy mid paced riffs are fantastic and with a brilliant chorus, this a simple but very effective song. B+
57. Autosalvage – Autosalvage (1968)
Typical sixties trippy psychedelic rock that would make a great 2 minute song but unfortunately it doesn’t quit while it’s ahead. C-
58. Avantasia – Avantasia (2001)
Symphonic power metal is not a genre I’m a big fan of, I prefer it when the bands don’t take themselves too seriously (ie: Nanowar of Steel, Gloryhammer, Dragonforce), but this is quite good. It’s got a great chorus, fantastic keyboards, and glorious vocals. A surprising like. C+
Check the Rate Your Music list below to see possible upcoming acts (if I can find a YouTube video), and leave a comment to suggest any songtitle/band that the list and I may have missed.
I advertised a python for sale in the paper, a man rang up and said “What size is it?”
I replied “It’s quite big”
“How many feet?” he asked,
“None, it’s a snake…”
Bimbo Jet was a French euro disco group led by Claude Morgan and Laurent Rossi (22 May 1948 – 20 August 2015), that gained international fame during the summers of 1974 and 1975 with the song El Bimbo, popular with street musicians and orchestral composers alike, with Paul Mauriat having capitalized well from his own instrumental arrangement in 1975. The song, in a tango arrangement, was also heard in four of the seven PoliceAcademy films starting from the first film up until Police Academy 4: Citizens onPatrol as the tango song in the Blue Oyster Bar, where they have the best salad bar and maybe serve seafood.
El Bimbo was released in France in June 1974 on the Pathe-Marconi record label, and in the UK in August 1975. The track went to #1 in France and #12 in the UK Singles Chart. It sold 1.3 million copies in France alone, and throughout the world over three million discs. As well as in France, the tune topped charts in Spain, Italy, Denmark, Turkey. and Lebanon. In Argentina, it was #2, and was a chart hit in Belgium, Switzerland, Mexico, and the United States. The record reached #1 in the Billboard Disco Singles, #5 on the Disco File Top 20 chart,and #43 in the Hot 100 charts in the U.S. In Canada, the song reached #77 in the Top Singles chart, and #31 in the Pop Music Playlist.
The group had another hit in mid-1975, particularly in France, with La Balanga but it failed to hit the UK charts.
Cheesier than a four cheese pizza with its crust stuffed with cheese, El Bimbo is an early example of the classic Euro-cak holiday hit that was so beloved by British holidaymakers on their two weeks away in the sun at places like Elsbels, the Costa Plonka, or other Mediterranean hotpots… and I really like it! The sleek, catchy melody raises this song above the usual brain-dead or annoyingly repetitive holiday songs, even the occasional yelps and shouts are daft but fun. Not sure I’d play this one too often but it garners a like and a thumbs up. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find the salad bar.
I just met someone else who doesn’t know what a globe is. It’s a small world.
Violinski was a rock band formed in 1977 by Electric Light Orchestra violinist Mik Kaminski with former member Mike de Albuquerque on guitar and vocals. The rest of the band included Barry Dunnery (formerly with Necromandus), John Hodgson (drums), Paul Mann, John Marcangelo (keyboards) and Iain Whitmore (bass guitar and vocals, formerly with the fantasticly named Starry Eyed and Laughing). At one point, former Wizzard member Bob Brady was lead vocalist, and Rod Butler, who played lead guitar for a while, also appeared on the BBC show, Top of the Pops. At the time Kaminski was still a member of the Electric Light Orchestra, who were then enjoying their greatest success. John Hodgson had been a member of Rick Wakeman’s band, the English Rock Ensemble, performing on percussion. He appeared on The Myths and Legends ofKing Arthur and the Knights of the RoundTable and Lisztomania albums. He toured with Wakeman to North and South America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand during the period 1974-1976.
The group had been formed out of The Camden Rats, a group consisting of Kaminski, Hodgson, Geoff Crampton and two singers, one of them named Verdie. Kaminski and Hodgson then contacted ex-Cow member Marcangelo. The band Cow was formed while Kaminski, Hodgson and Marcangelo were students at Leeds College of music 1968-1970. With Andy Brown (bass and vocals) and Dunnery (guitar) the first Violinski line-up was complete. The first recording session started on 14 December 1977. Recordings for their first album continued throughout 1978 with Brown and Dunnery being replaced by de Albuquerque and Mann. The latter was replaced for their second album by Whitmore.
In early 1979 Violinski made the UK Singles Chart, thus becoming a one hit wonder with their instrumental single, Clog Dance, a track written by Marcangelo, which made #17 in March 1979. However, they almost had a second hit with their fourth single Silent Love, which received airplay but was not in shops due to an account problem with Jet Records. In 1984 and through to 1985, Violinski played some gigs with the British guitarist Ronnie Caryl.
They released two albums, No Cause forAlarm (1979), and Stop Cloning About (1980); and later featured on the Electric Light Orchestra’s compilation album, Friends & Relatives. The song became a favourite amongst various brass bands, and was used in the 1996 film Brassed Off.
Reality is a harsh mistress as time plays tricks on your memories. I’ve not heard Clog Dance since the year it was released and I seemed to recall enjoying a pleasant rock instrumental with violins, but this does not sound like the song that plays in my mind when Clog Dance is mentioned. It’s a little ELO-ish, natch, but very subdued, almost as if it’s a demo of ideas for other songs. The main riff is ok, and the violin bit is nice too but I’m not finding myself enjoying this. I don’t like it and my thumb remains in the neutral position.
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