Earworms 28 October 2013

Some atmospheric and possibly creepy songs for you this week, with a “Compare and Contrast” example from Blue Peter. Happy Halloween to those of you who celebrate such things – for those who don’t, lock the door and eat the treats yourself. And keep the worms crawling to earworm@tincanland.com.

D.I.L.E – Garstang – wilemena: Not surprising that a group from Hyde in Manchester – the town that spawned Hindley and Brady, and the place where Dr Shipman had his practice – would find sinister things going on in the sleepy Lancashire market town of Garstang. For example, did you know that Tupac Shakur was born and killed in Garstang, and is buried next to George Formby in Garstang Cemetery? You do now.

Nina Simone – Don’t let me be misunderstood – goneforeign: This song popped up recently on my iPod and I realized that even though I’d had the album going on 40 odd years the lyrics had never really registered with me. Long time Spillers might remember a post I did some years ago that related to an interaction ‘twixt Nina and myself when she was very confrontational. When I listened to the lyrics I thought that she must have written them, they fit her perfectly, but Wiki tells me that it was written specifically for her, presumably by someone familiar with her temper.

Teitur – The Singer – tincanman: The words are disarmingly confessional, but it’s burlesque. He reveals all, but shows nothing.

Laurie Anderson – O Superman – AliMunday: This is from a live album recorded in New York in September 2001, shortly after “9/11”. The sleeve notes say: “singing lines … like Here come the planes … felt like I had written it yesterday. In fact, I wrote that song in 1980 during the Iran-Contra affair … this war was still going on …” You can sense the atmosphere.

Cream – Sunshine of Your Love and Mother’s Lament – BluePeter: The 1967 album ‘Disraeli Gears’ had Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker together as one of the first supergroups. Most of the tracks on the album have become classics and the playing performances of the trio are legendary. “Sunshine of Your Love” is a prime example of the powerful sound they could produce. They obviously had some spare capacity at the end of the recording session and plonked a “Traditional” song on as a filler. Why on earth they chose “Mother’s Lament” remains a mystery to me to this day. It is also sung in a style that is nowhere near the image they had created for themselves.

16 thoughts on “Earworms 28 October 2013

  1. So Wikipedia is wrong again? (Yes, I looked up both Tupac and George! D’oh!). Neat tune. Hyde has always been an odd place – and the stink from the glue factory kept furriners away – but I must point out that, like its odd neighbour, Stalybridge, it’s in Tameside, not Manchester….
    I confess I’ve always believed ‘….Misunderstood’ was an Animals song. I’ll also confess to preferring their version to Nina’s.
    The Singer creates a nice soundworld but it was a bit naughty placing it just before the track it nicked the idea from. Again, though, I prefer it to the ‘original’, which goes on a bit too long.
    Sunshine OYL is a Rock Classic (c) but hearing it always reminds me of the Lulu show when Hendrix took it for an impromptu ride, at once commemorating Cream’s demise and putting EC’s guitar work in the shade. Bruce and Baker were the real talents in that band. None of them had a working sense of humour, as demonstrated by the last track.

    Ta, Ali & contributors, and Happy Halloween! Cadbury’s have solved my dilemma about what to give trick-or-treaters: they make chocolate Dead Heads!

    • Gosh – I always thought Stalybridge was in Kirklees. But then, it is really just “the place you wake up in when you fall asleep on the train home to Huddersfield.” Teitur reminded me of Laurie Anderson; and I didn’t know about Lou Reed’s demise at the time. Still love the song, though.

  2. Not a week for me, I’m afraid. Enjoyed my one run-through, but am unlikely to be putting my hand in my pocket for anything by these artists.

    D.I.L.E. – Put me in mind of HMHB’s Nigel Blackwell auditioning for The Fall (unlikely, as MES IS The Fall), or New Model Army in a playful mood. (Not as unlikely as it sounds; they have a number of sax-playing acquaintances).

    Nina – Intriguing WotW. And ticks the “You learn something new every day” box, as I always thought The Animals version was the original.

    Teitur – Fyfe Dangerfield attempts ‘coquettish’, maybe? It stood a chance to start with, but I’d well’n’truly had enough by the end.

    Laurie Anderson – Um, untouchable, I suppose, but * whispers * I never could stand this song.

    Cream – Blammin’ ‘eck, me aal china! Proto-Chas-And-Dave. Never heard Mother’s Lament before (never a big enough Cream fan to buy an LP), and fits the C&C scenario perfectly. What were they thinking?

    • And, oh yes, GF, I remember that Nina Simone post very well! She was screaming at your companion that day, I seem to remember?

  3. DsD; yes she started off screaming at my mate Bob Andy but quickly included anyone within hearing, when I told her I was looking forward to her concert the next night she said, ‘You show your fuckin’ face there and I’ll have security throw you out’, and all I’d done was introduce her to my mate Bob!

  4. Thought I was going to hate D.I.L.E. at first as it took me a while to come to terms with the guy’s voice. Started to really like it as it went on and, yes, I also looked up Tupac on Wiki…….
    Never been under the impression that The Animals wrote DLMBM but (whisper it) I actually like Elvis Costello’s much maligned version best. Love Nina’s original too though he added hastily. She wasn’t a tranquil soul was she?
    Never heard of Teitur but loved the track. Probably my favourite of the week.
    I’ve got a love/hate relationship with O Superman. Have to hear it once in a while but wouldn’t want it on the Ipod. This was probably a very powerful experience for an audience in 2001 but listening now I’d prefer to hear the original I think.
    Now then, Cream. Love songs like Sunshine OYL and Badge. Hated what I heard of their live albums with the interminable tracks and drum solos. I have heard their rendition of Yor Biby before and I have to say I rather like it.

    What a strange (in a good way) mixture. Enjoyed the ride.

  5. I knew most of these, which is unusual, though not all in these versions. The only one that was completely unfamiliar was D.I.L.E., which was brilliant. That Teitur song turned up in my iTunes the other day, so presumably was in the Box at some point? I’ve just discovered he’s from the Faroe Islands, which makes me like it all the more. I always thought Nina was covering The Animals too. Classic, anyway. As is O Superman, though not one I need to listen to often. And Sunshine of Your Love. Don’t think I need to hear Mother’s Lament again though. That song always used to scare me.

    • Scared me too. I think it must have been a Music Hall song because my parents knew it; I’m pretty sure my mum sang it to me (probably in the bath, which could account for my general fear of water / lack of ability to swim!)

  6. Ha ha ha! Oh Chris and severin! I can’t stop laughing out loud that you went to look up whether Tupac was indeed shot dead outside Popeye’s kebab take-way one Friday night in Garstang! Ha ha ha! You’ve both made my day!

    Here’s the vid for anyone interested.

  7. D.i.l.e. Not my “thang”, I have no interest in anywhere North of Ponder’s End.

    Nina Simone. Yep, O.K but prefer Animals.

    Teitur- errr…..sounds a wee bit like Kevin Coyne to me but not in a good way. Lasted about 10 seconds.

    Laurie Anderson – A “marmite” song for me, I should like it but I’m not sure I do.

    Cream – I think I nommed a Cream song on RR once…it was Mother’s Lament ! I think it was a sign of the times, a lot of albums from that era have a “humorous” “novelty” song on them.
    Sunshine of your Love is a classic riff. I can’t usually stand Cream or Clapton but there are one or two of theirs I like and this is one of them.

    An oddly mixed bag, which is fine by me.

  8. I thought it odd that everyone prefers Eric Burdon’s version since I had no recollection of ever hearing it but a trip to Spotty fixed that, it seemed familiar, I’d probably heard it on the radio. I couldn’t relate to all that static at the beginning and I think he has the tempo all wrong. To each his own.
    This is indeed a mixed bag, not my favorite set of Earworms.

  9. As others have said, a strange mix this week. Having said that I have never heard “The Singer” nor did I know of Teitur. But it was a great new find for me.

    I will not have a bad word said about “O Superman”. I have mentioned this before, either here or on the mothership, so forgive me if you have read something similar before..
    When the best reception you can get on the radio in the South East of England in the 80’s was C(r)apital Radio, and the artists of note during 1981 included Clive Dunn, Joe Dolce, Shakin Stevens and Adam and the Ants, then, when you hear something completely different, you tend to sit up and take notice.
    I was lying in bed reading late at night and the radio was on playing music that was simply wallpaper for the ears.
    “O Superman” came on and I was hooked on the sound. I was not aware (no many were including the d.j.) of the artist, but what I was listening to made me put down what I was reading, something that no other piece of music that was available at the time could do.
    There are not many tracks that I can say have had the same effect. This is certainly a stand out track of my listening life.

    • Nice to have people voicing opinions on “Earworms”, I think this is how it started, so it’s nice to have a bit of variety and comment. Thanks all, and keep ’em coming!

  10. Better never than late? O Superman was the standout for me. I don’t know how it has passed me by all these years, even tho’ it was a Peel fave. Sort of reminds me of Liz Green, for some reason. I prefer this live version too, compared to the studio recording…Another pearl in the wormy oyster.

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