Friday, September 20, 2013

Song of the Week #264

It was inevitable after last week's "Desert Island Discs" that I'd remember a track that absolutely, positively has to be in the list. Removing one to fit it in would also be a chore but I think I'll ignore that little piece of angst. I've said it before, if you think The Proclaimers are only about "500 miles" then you're missing out. They write poignant and moving songs about real people. This one sums up so much about Scotland but also Australia. Listen carefully.

The Proclaimers - Scotland's Story -

I think what I'll do with all the "Desert Island Discs" is post them in their entirety on the blog ( As well as that I'll throw some highlights in here over the next couple of weeks. Again, thank you to those who spent quite a lot of time in some cases putting their lists together.

The latest list that came in was from my Mum. It's a cracker. I found out some cool things as a result. For instance, where she grew up in Scotland there wasn't mains electricity until she was 15. Therefore I think that the first single she ever bought is noteworthy - it was when the family finally got a record player. Interestingly, my brother and I have the same single - but a slightly different version. Cliff had (has) such a smooth voice and the guitar solo from Hank Marvin is sublime.

Cliff Richard - Living Doll -

Mum chose great songs from Ella Fitzgerald, Simon & Garfunkel, Anne Murray, Creedence, Split Enz and Wham! as well. Almost all of them are songs I grew up to listening to and therefore evoke strong memories for both of us. I guess I've chosen this one to highlight for a couple of reasons. One is because it's a truly fantastic song. Another is because I have the original vinyl record that my parents would've bought when we lived in West Germany when I was very little. And the thing that floored me was that Mum wrote that I "learned to sing" this as a very small child - that's something I didn't know. I was only a wee bairn at the time. It's a song that's been with me forever it seems. Thanks Mum - your list made my day in more ways than one.

Don McLean - American Pie -

DJ McA sent me a wonderful list compiled by her and her husband. I'm worried that they thought their choices might all be too mellow for me! Life isn't all Slayer and Motley Crue you can be assured. Along with inspired selections from Gerry Rafferty, Jim Croce, Neil Young and Bread came this gem from 1988...a majestic offering from an underrated group.

a-ha - Stay On These Roads -

Look out for the full lists from my Mum and Clan McA next week on the blog.

Big news musically for me and DJ Al-Ee-Sun is that we purchased a new stereo amplifier. Whilst I love the one we have (from 1972 I think) it needs some TLC and probably to be retired to the guitar room! After a relatively easy time in the stereo shop we have a new amp that is a thing of beauty. Unfortunately, it has highlighted some serious shortcomings in my little speakers so I'm reading about options and researching a new set in my spare time. Life is too short to listen to good music on crummy gear!

Turning up the volume for a minute; Swedish hard rockers Sabaton have a new live DVD about to be released. About 550,000 people attended the 2012 Woodstock Festival in Poland - that's where the DVD was shot. Wow, looking at the footage I'm sure you'll agree that it is a massive crowd!

Sabaton - Uprising (live) -

Let me take a quick break from the music to give a shout out to my friend DJ HB who is racing this weekend in the National Road Series here in Canberra. You can see Beck at the bottom of this page:

There's been a lot of rain this week which has kept me off my bike. That's really annoying and I was glad to be able to get out last night for a head clearing 50km jaunt around Canberra. The upside, and it took me a while to find one, was that I listened to some cool music whilst caged in the car! Here's two tracks that got me to work the other day. Firstly, a rocking little number from a band called D.A.D. out of Sweden. I bought this CD in maybe 1990 and it remains a firm favourite - especially the surf-tinged lead guitar work. I'll dedicate this one to our new Prime Minister...

D.A.D. - Girl Nation -

The other track I may have played before - sorry - but it is beautiful. I got caught out at the lights this morning singing it quite loud!

Eddie Vedder and Tim Finn - Stuff and Nonsense -

I had a good old chinwag with my mate DJ SoapOnARoper outside the supermarket recently. He was pleased to find out about Billy Bragg tickets and we talked about bootlegs and the like. He's my go to guy for questions about the Beatles and Dylan unofficial tracks! Anyway, he was unaware of the stripped down version of Lennon's Double Fantasy LP. Once you delete all the Yoko Ono tracks it's a great listen - she just doesn't do it for me, sorry to all the fans. So, Steve, happy 60th as it is coming up very soon and check this track out...

John Lennon - Just Like Starting Over (stripped down) -

My Mum's list transported her here and there on her life's journey thus far. Music does that to me all the time and there are a couple of songs that I associate with particularly sad times. But today I'm feeling particularly resilient so I think it's a good thing to play them as they are great songs regardless of what they drag up for me. Music is so powerful, DJ DUG took me on his aircraft carrier a couple of times. I remember him telling me that no-one was allowed to play sad songs as the 5,500 strong crew just didn't need that vibe as they were away from home for so long. Here's my sad songs.

REM - Leaving New York -

Dixie Chicks - Cold Day In July -

Arrrggghhh! I lied, I can't listen to the REM tune!

I obviously need an upbeat song to end with. Here's one that never fails to get me tapping my feet. It's silly, the clip is silly, the whole band is silly but you know I think that's the whole point.

KISS - Crazy Nights -

Have a great weekend. GO BECK!

DJ Rob

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