For the love of men and music

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Children Behave

I’m a bit meh about the new Girls Aloud cover of the Tommy James and the Shondells classic; I Think We’re Alone Now (famously by Tiffanny for most folks) – but I do rather love the Pipettes version.

MP3: The Pipettes – I Think We’re Alone Now (expired)
MP3: Tommy James & The Shondells – I Think We’re Alone Now (expired)
MP3: Tiffany – I Think We’re Alone Now (2005 version) (expired)

The Night Is My World

I’m not sure whether to be aghast or secretly delighted that the latest release by Danish pop group Infernal is a cover of my all time favourite italo disco records; Self Control. Their version is fairly faithful cover of the Laura Brannigan cover of the Raf classic.

MP3: Infernal – Self Control (expired)
MP3: Raf – Self Control (expired)
MP3: Laura Branigan – Self Control (expired)
MP3: Replicant feat. Marc Almond – Self Control (expired)

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Oh Take That! I’m so disappointed – opportunities to resurrect your career do not come along that often for ex-boyband members, and rarely for the full band. With all the good will surrounding their return to centre stage and the lessons learned from the individual solo attempts, you would have thought that they would have pushed the boat out and not been so, well, boring.

Listening to a promo copy of Beautiful World, the core market seems to be less the fans that have now grown up into adults, but the mothers of the aforementioned fans.

Apart from the three tracks where Mark Owen takes lead vocals (the tracks in question are probably the most interesting tracks on the album, and sound like outtakes from his solo efforts), the album sounds like a poor man’s James Blunt – or put another way, the sort of material that was Gary’s downfall the first time round.

It’s a pity that a band that seemed like they were having so much fun reliving their youth earlier this year have decided to take the safe, predictable route which will be unlikley to give them the longevity they so desire – especially when bands like Westlife do it so much better.

I can only hope that Polydor gives them a third chance at the apple, it would be a shame for Beautiful World to be the legacy of their return.

MP3: Take That – Like I Never Love You At All (expired)
MP3: Take That – Shine (expired)
MP3: Take That – What You Believe In (expired)

buy: Take That - Beautiful World

Monday, November 13, 2006

My Name Is Sue, And I'm A Singer

As mentioned in the last post, I have been veering towards music that I know and love over the past few weeks as an audio comfort blanket. One of my favourite (and definitely cheesiest) album that I often revisit is by Aneka of Japanese Boy fame.

Aneka (real name Mary Sandeman) was a Scottish folk singer who sang in Gaelic with the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra. More as an expirement, she recorded a pop album, as detailed in 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh:

"Japanese Boy was a complete accident. I'd been working with Mary on some Scottish folk albums, when she said to me she'd love to have a bash at some Pop songs. Now keep in mind that she was almost six feet tall, spoke in a frightfully posh voice and was the respectable wife of a small town GP with two children.

I never thought in a million years that she had a chance of making it in the Pop world. Anyway, she kept pestering me and I kept forgetting to write something for her, until one day she called me to say that the studio had been booked to record a song that I hadn't written yet. To cut a long story short I wrote the chorus, and I threw the whole thing together by taking bits from other songs that I had written years before. It was recorded as a demo, and was turned down by every major company.

Then the German company took it on and it went straight into the charts, and eventually #1 all over the world. There was a massive panic as to what to about her image. Then someone came up with the wig and kimono. A complete transformation."

Sandeman found the name "Aneka" by looking through the Edinburgh phone book - the name she found was actually "Anika," but she changed it to avoid upsetting person she took it from.

The album Japanese Boy is a treasure trove of guilty pleasures bringing to mind the sounds of Kate Bush, Olivia Newton John with a sprinkling of italo disco. Whilst it’s never going to make it to anyone’s top ten list, it brings back memories of my childhood that make me grin everytime I listen to the album. Sadly, the album has since been deleted, so I’ve posted the entire LP for your listening pleasure.

MP3: Aneka – Oh Shooby Doo Doo Lang (expired)
MP3: Aneka – Tuwhit Tuwhoo (expired)
MP3: Aneka – Japanese Boy (expired)
MP3: Aneka – Put Out The Light (expired)
MP3: Aneka – Come Back To Me (expired)
MP3: Aneka – Ahriman (expired)
MP3: Aneka – It´ll Be Alright (expired)
MP3: Aneka – Be My Only Karma (expired)
MP3: Aneka – I Was Free (expired)
MP3: Aneka – Little Lad (expired)

Album: Aneka - Japanese Boy (Album)

Trying To Stay Afloat

It’s been ages since I’ve posted on here, and my posts have become more and more sporadic as work seems to take over my life (not out of choice I hasten to add) – 50 hours last week, and a fairly high likelyhood that this week will be the same – I think I may cry.

Work aside, I’ve been going through a strange period where, on the whole, new music seems like too much to contend with – the stress of work makes me yearn for music I know and love rather than introducing anything new that would serve as a distratction. Odd, I know.

That said, I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t picking up the odd new track on my journeys…

…First up, sounding a bit like The Jam, Adam & The Ants with a liberal sprinkling of rock ‘n’ roll are Vincent Vincent And The Villains – VVATV have been playing the band scene for a few years and have finally been signed with a major label. I first saw them whilst flicking through TOTP a few weeks back and loved their sound.

The Veils are a New Zealand band based in London, fronted by lead singer and songwriter, Finn Andrews. With a sound that has been likened to artists as diverse as Jeff Buckley, The Birthday Party, The Smiths, and Joy Division, I have to say I am loving their latest album Nux Vomica. Inspite of the fact that I’m a pophead most of the times, there are times (like today when it’s grey and cold) where what you want is some intense gothic melancholy rather than glitter and hotpants.

Before they teamed up with Niles Rodgers and Bernard Edwards to become the disco legends that they were destined to be, Sister Sledge were a cute though not terribly exciting Mowtown band. In between their debut album (Circle of Love) and the Rodgers & Edwards output, they put out a promo cover of Stevie Wonder’s As, which I have been trying to track down for ages – finally managed to a couple of weeks ago.

There has been a track that seems to have been played at every club that I went to all summer, that I kept hearing but forgot to download or actually do anything meaningful with – I finally got round to downloading it – the Moto Blanco remix of Mary J Blige’s ‘Be Without You’. And a super tune it is as well.

Is it odd that I find this guy adorable?

MP3: Vincent Vincent And The Villains – I’m Alive (expired)
MP3: Vincent Vincent And The Villains – On My Own (expired)
MP3: The Veils – Advice For Young Mothers To Be (expired)
MP3: The Veils – Under The Folding Branches (expired)
MP3: Sister Sledge – Circle Of Love (Caught In The Middle) (expired)
MP3: Sister Sledge – As (expired)
MP3: Mary J Blige – Be Without You (Moto Blanco Radio Mix) (expired)