Earworms 13 October 2014

Here I am, dancing in the season of mists and mellow wellingtons … take a leaf out of my book and send some more earworms to earworm@tincanland.com, we need to stock up for the cold months ahead. They’ll be very happy here, they like a nice bit of leaf mould.

The Stranglers – Always the Sun – AliM: Heard this recently for the first time in ages and can’t get it out of my head. Used to see Hugh Cornwell drinking in the Rose & Crown at Larkhall, a lifetime ago!

Cornell Campbell – Rope In – goneforeign: In the early ’80’s there was a hugely popular hit in Jamaica by the duo, Michigan and Smiley, it was ‘One love ina Jamdown’. As you probably know producers there always retained the rights to backing tracks, which they’d then sell to other artists. In 1982, Cornell Campbell came up with this song and chose to use the backing track from One Love… he called it ‘Rope In’. I think it’s a fabulous riddim, totally unique for its time, Janet Enright, the famous female Jamaican jazz guitarist, produced it. It’s been stuck in my ear for 30 odd years. If you want to check a version of the Michigan & Smiley original it’s at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2z63rnpttnM. I’m in that crowd.

Blind Melon – No Rain – AliM: Found this in my ITunes, didn’t know I had it. A great pop song, catchy as hell, have been singing it for weeks. Sadly the lead singer, Shannon Hoon, died from an overdose in October 1995.

The Game – Gotta Wait – beltway: A perfect 2 minute 60’s pop song, totally economical, not a wasted second, love the jump from the grinding bluesy verse to the moody, minor key chorus, and it just sits in your head for days …

T Rex – Sunken Rags – Marc Bolan – bethnoir: Marc played with words in a nonsensical way better than most, for some reason this B side always appears in my head if I am exposed to Oasis, something I try to avoid, but it’s fun.

Daniel James – Aint No Money – AliM: One of the better recent promos (IMHO), and very catchy. DJ comes from Northern Ireland, though is now based in London, and supported Hozier on tour earlier this year. Apparently he was brought up on his parents’ record collection of David Bowie, Van Morrison and Motown. https://soundcloud.com/thisisdanieljames/daniel-james-aint-no-money/ .

19 thoughts on “Earworms 13 October 2014

  1. Worms are in the box. If anyone fancies sending in a Halloween-related worm or two for the Earworms post on 27 October, I’ll do a “theme” week. Cheers m’dears.

  2. Hallowe’en, eh? Shall have a think.

    That Stranglers number was the first one of theirs that I consciously heard. I loved it. I bought the 7″. I had no idea of their illustrious past. I was into A-ha at the time (it would have been the mid 80s) and there were echoes of the sun always shining on TV…

    • The Stranglers remind me of old friends in Bath and decorating their various flats / houses – we were young and everyone seemed to move around a lot! There was a lot of music and beer and general debauchery – my boyfriend & I used to cycle over from Bristol, get generally wasted and (usually) cycle back again, somehow. Then go to work next day. Couldn’t do it now!

  3. “Rope In” didn’t make much impact. I think I’m not in the mood for reggae.

    The Blind Melon track is excellent.

    “Gotta Wait” was great fun. It sounded like the Small Faces to me.

    There’s no mistaking Marc Bolan’s voice. This was a B-side? Crikey.

    I like the Daniel James track. Singer-songwriter attitude. The track after it was a dramatic surprise.

  4. Jitterbug Love and Sunken Rags were the two songs on the B-Side of Children of the Revolution; the first single I ever bought. For 45 pence! I was quite peeved when I realised that other people didn’t give you two songs on the B-side. Marc abandoned the policy quite soon afterwards which was a shame. I do love Sunken Rags but it may be partly because it takes me back to another time and place!

  5. The Stranglers, a band I was never in to at the time but do like them now and love this track although this is probably at the mellower end of their stuff.

    Listened to Legend at the weekend ahead of getting stuck in to goneforeigns mix tape post. Rope In certainly continues the mood for some reggae.

    Blind Melon, yep that’s catchy indeed.

    The Game, pure sixties pop and agree with Zalamanda very reminiscent of The Small Faces.

    T-Rex, love this, unmistakably Marc Bolan, favourite so far.

    Think Daniel James will grow on me.

    Great Earworm set this week, not a dud among them.

  6. The Stranglers were never my favourite punk band although I did like about half the tracks on their first album.. Lost track of them rather after the end of the seventies. In fact, since Golden Brown in 1981 I’m not sure I could name any of their songs. This one was very very enjoyable and mellow. I just wish there was a bit of sunshine around to set the scene.

    Loved Rope In. Both the rhythm and the voice. Ditto the Blind Melon song. Great slice of psychedelkic pop/rock.

    Gotta Wait made me think of very early Who more than the Small Faces. Especially Substitute I think. Loved it.
    Said my piece about T-Rex earlier. They were my favourite band at the time and this is something of a forgotten gem.

    Daniel James sounds good. Will repay a few more listens I think.

    That was a great set of worms that was.

  7. I enjoyed the Stranglers song, I don’t think I knew it was by them, as I usually don’t like them (apart from Golden Brown). Rope In is fun, I like the squishy keyboard noises. Weirdly I have this song by Blind Melon in my iTunes library too and I often think the initial riff sounds like the Grateful Dead, kind of the same cheery sunshiney vibe as China Cat Sunflower, sadly it disappoints me after the introduction, but it’s still good.

    Great to hear your T Rex story, Severin, sometimes I feel I’ve heard the hits too often and the B sides are just as good most of the time, although perhaps when one is tired of Jeepster one is tired of life 🙂

    I may have some Hallowe’en goodness for you, Ali!

  8. The Stranglers. With a replacement drum track, this would be a really good song. I know I bang on (geddit?) about drums but, seriously, you can hear how deadly, uniformly dull these thumps are, can’t you? A metronome can supply the beat; drums should also provide structure and emphasis to support the song plus, hopefully, some light and shade.
    Cornell Campbell. I like reggae in small doses. It’s fine for dancing but much too repetitive for active listening (unless completely zonked). This one could do with a beginning or an end to wrap around the on-going middle.
    Blind Melon. See beth’s comment above. After the promising intro, it becomes one of the filler tracks that isn’t There She Goes on The La’s album.
    The Game. I agree with Severin about the Substitute echo. And the guitar sound is Keef. It was a strange, short period, when everything was recorded in a bathroom…
    T Rex. I was intrigued by Deborah and the initial hippy/weird vibe but when they slathered themselves in glam I realised I wasn’t their target audience. They didn’t miss me either. I came to rather dislike that silly vibrato.
    Daniel James. I quite like this. For comparison with above, the drums here may not be subtle but they do exactly the right job for the song: bravo!

      • Sorry, Ali. I didn’t dislike any of these – and that’s generally true of Earworms – but I seem to feel the need to explain to myself why I don’t love them (coz, fundamentally, I want to find more music I love).
        I’m being too picky, aren’t I?

        Thank you for keeping this boat floating in such a thoughtful and conscientious way.

  9. Ah, Always The Sun, a song I’d pretty much forgotten about, from The Stranglers‘ heroin years. Better than I recall it, I have to say. The reggae one was a bit anonymous, sadly, but pleasant enough. I liked the Blind Melon song, but the guitar riff is nicked from The Grateful Dead. It is basically Dark Star. I remember this from when it came out.

    I really enjoyed The Game and Gotta Wait. It is all swinging London, miniskirts and Vidal Sassoon haircuts.

    Back in the day, I was pretty much allergic to Marc Bolan but I’ve mellowed towards some of his music over the years. I doubt that I’d ever own anything of his, though. Unhappily, this one left me cold.

    I didn’t like the Daniel James record at all. Sorry. He wants to be in the same sort of place as John Grant, but he is nowhere near as good.

  10. The Stranglers: The only one of their songs I really love (sorry Maki!), though I have a soft spot for the equally lushly produced Skin Deep too. Just a great tune. And I like how Hugh Cornwell sounds like a real bloke when he sings: a bit pitchy perhaps at points but real.

    Cornell Campbell: Sounds a bit like it was recorded underwater, but that might be my laptop. Weirdly, those ‘boo-boo’ noises remind me of Kelly Marie’s Feels Like I’m In Love. Or Marshall Hain’s Dancing in the City. One of those rather camp (and fabulous) disco choons.

    Blind Melon: Two earworms I already know? Heavens. It’s not really my thing but it’s pretty good. Some nice harmony work, I think.

    The Game: Yeah, nice. A bit monotone to begin with vocally but that makes for a nice contrast when the chorus breaks out.

    T Rex: I must admit to sometimes finding T Rex a bit silly. But I really enjoyed this one. CONSIDERABLY better than Oasis.

    Daniel James: I can’t make my mind up on this. I think I’m with Carole on it. And I suspect it’s less lyrically ‘important’ than he’s trying to make it sound. It strikes me as a bit bombastic and cliched. If not meaningless. To be fair, he’s really selling it, which is something. And often works (see Ella Henderson’s Ghost, which is pretty meaningless but wins me over with mood and attitude).

    Thanks Ali (and everyone else)!

  11. Hey everyone, if feels like life is keeping me very busy at the moment. My sons have their birthday on the weekend, the house is a mess, I need to get two job applications written before the weekend (not loving my current employment arrangements) and I still have this lingering cough that hasn’t gone away – still on antibiotics.

    I still haven’t caught up with last week’s earworms yet, have started to listen to them a few times but didn’t get through them.

    Anyway, onto this week:
    The Stranglers – I know this song and I really like it, but didn’t actually realise it was the Stranglers. My knowledge of them only extends to Golden Brown, and this one too I guess!

    Cornell Campbell – I do like a little bit of reggae, enjoyed this.

    Blind Melon – I also know this one, and have it in my collection, I really like it a lot, catchy 90’s pop.

    The Game – this was Ok, but I didn’t love it (sorry Beltway). I like the Who’s Substitute, but I couldn’t hear the resemblance, maybe I need to give them more listens.

    T-Rex – enjoyed it, they are a band I really should add to my music collection at some stage, as I like a lot of the radio friendly hits they had.

    Daniel James – it was OK, didn’t really do a lot for me.

    Blind Melon probably the pick of the bunch for me.

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