Monday, 28 May 2012

Prince, Part 2

I made the grave mistake of flicking over to The Voice on Saturday night. It was awful. It was indescribably awful. Everything about it was bad and I weep with despair that this is what Tom Jones is doing. He deserves better. It made me grateful that this sort of nonsense wasn't around in the 80s. I don't pretend the 80s were perfect, lord knows, I am aware of the flaws but at least we had Prince.

I've been meaning to do this since Prince, Part 1, but one has to be in the mood. The mood is here thanks to overblown covers of Bohemian Rhapsody having been endured. *shudders*

Prince bans his music on YouTube so I am going to respect that and not dig around for crazy links.

Girls and Boys. Another absolute classic, this is so funky in a very understated way. I love you baby, I love you so much, maybe we can stay in touch...

Sign O' The Times. Best lyrics ever, ever, ever on a Prince song. The baseline to this is brilliant.

This whole album is perfect, I've not listened to it for years. This blog is expensive, I am now downloading it since I had it on vinyl. Anyway, If I Was Your Girlfriend. I could listen to Prince all day long, he made such groovesome music.

U Got The Look - with Sheena Easton. Oh my GOD, I adore this song, it's totally fab. Your body's heck-a-slammin!

Alphabet St. How does he do it? You could just bop all night long to His Royal Highness. Such clever lyrics.

Now, I am downloading the Alphabet St album as I need to hear Glam Slam having not heard it for years.

Moving onto to the Diamonds and Pearls album (which fortunately I do have on iTunes already). I still love this album, it's so ridiculous. Gett Off, Cream and Diamonds and Pearls are all completely brilliant.

Oh, I had forgotten, Sexy MF. I love this! *grooves* Yes, I am buying this too.

So it seems I am having a huge Prince revival, excuse me while I buy his entire back catalogue and dance around the flat...

Friday, 25 May 2012

Carly Simon, You're So Vain

Oh how I love Carly. I heard this on the radio the other day and it occurred to me that it's one of the cleverest songs lyrically. I love how bitter, yet knowing, this is. It has a killer chorus: I bet you think this song is about you.

I think it has the best opening lyrics of any song:

"You walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht, your hat strategically dipped below your eye, your scarf it was apricot."

I love the way she pronounces apricot.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

RIP Robin Gibb

I've been too upset to write this post as I feel I may have tempted fate by mentioning Robin was ill in my Donna Summer post. I am not going to mention death and any other celebrities from now on.

So farewell Robin, you kind of funny looking, yet talented chap. I am feeling very bad for Barry at the moment. I'll always love the Bee Gees as I've said before.

Let's take a moment for Robin with the sublime, How Deep Is Your Love, possibly one of the best love songs ever written.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Summer songs: Astrid Gilberto, The Girl From Ipanema

It's with great excitement I bring you my first summer song of the season. Yes, today was officially warm.  I sat on a hot train and I didn't even mind as it was such a novelty. Sunshine and happiness is mine.

It's possibly going overboard to choose this great classic as it really is a boiling hot summer's day song but I am giddy and overwhelmed by the novel notion that my feet got hot today. HOT! So The Girl From Ipanema is what I bring you. A gorgeous, swaying, fabulous song that evokes palm trees, bikinis, sun tan lotion and warmth. Joyous joy!

This is a rather odd rendition of it but frankly, nothing ruins this song for me. I just adore it's summery goodness. Astrid was the very definition of cool by the way. Still is no doubt, she's very much alive. Here's to a long, hot summer my friends.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Terminator 2 is one of the best action films ever made.  If you are sniffy about it, then watch it again and come back and tell me why. And I want a full critique with references.

It's a masterpiece of suspense with a kick-ass heroine in Linda Hamilton (whatever happened to her? She was so good in this), Arnie at his finest and the most menacing villain (in T1000).  Just thinking about how he melts and gets through those bars gives me sweaty palms of fear. The soundtrack is wonderful, it gets your heart thumping. Everyone is great in this but it's Linda's film and she should have won an Oscar.

Although the special effects in this were amazing, the film wasn't all about the effects. And I know I sound 101, but really, is it that hard to write a good action script these days? This film has heart with John Connor making a connection with The Terminator. My favourite line is "Come with me if you want to live." and my favourite scene is the motorcycle chase near the beginning because it's so nail-biting. Cameron knows how to do this stuff like no other director. You can watch the trailer here which is still a really excellent trailer by the way. I might have to go and watch it again since I can as 29 August 1997 passed without event and we weren't overrun by crazy machines set to destroy us. Phew.

Friday, 18 May 2012

RIP Donna Summer

Another sad day at Teen HQ. You think they could warn us when legends are sick so we can mentally prepare ourselves. One minute, we're blissfully listening to Love to Love You Baby and the next - bam! Donna Summer is dead. Only 63 too.

Donna gave us some wonderful music and here are a few of my faves. The classic:

My desert island Donna:

A forgotten classic:


Bad Girls:

With the mighty Babs:

I adore this:

RIP Donna, you shall always be remembered.

In case you don't know, Robin Gibb is very unwell. Prepare yourself.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

90s songs: Mark Morrison, Return of the Mack

Writing about The Beatles poses a key problem - what to write about next? From the sublime to the ridiculous, I am going with Mr Mark Morrison who had a giant hit in the 90s with Return of the Mack. I should hate this song by rights but actually I don't. Whats more, I like it. I really like it. It's the definition of bling in music format and sometimes you just want blingy music.

I heard this yesterday for the first time in years and it transported me back to 1996. It's amazing how music can do that. Capital Radio used to play this all the time. I used to listen to Capital Radio, it's unlistenable now - not sure if that's me getting older or the station getting worse.

Anyway, here he is. This would be a great workout track but I am not sure I can bear to actually buy it.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

The Beatles

It's easy to forget that The Beatles were once a boy band. This photo shows us that nothing is new and boy bands have always done the obligatory 'leap in the air' photo shoot.

I am having something of a personal Beatles revival. I've always loved them and simply can't understand people who don't like The Beatles - there is such a wealth of songs to choose from. How can anybody profess to not like any of them? I actually get quite emotional when I listen to Beatles songs because they were so brilliant. For my money, they were the greatest band and I can't imagine anything better than In My Life being written.

I believe you go through a Beatles appreciation circle. You start with Love Me Do, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Help, She Loves You etc and then you discover the ballads: Yesterday, Eleanor Rigby, Hey Jude, The Long and Winding Road, Something. Then you discover The White Album (usually when you are about 19 and deeply pretentious) and claim it's your favourite Beatles album. Then you listen to Abbey Road, Revolver and Rubber Soul and say those are your favourites. Then you come full circle and realise those early joyous songs are wonderful and nowhere near as easy and effortless as they look. In between this you listen to John Lennon's solo efforts and think they are deep and wonderful and then realise, they are good but still not as good as The Beatles.

That's my theory anyway. And I have completed my circle. I am back thinking I Wanna Hold Your Hand is a work of complete genius. I have nothing new and clever to say about The Beatles. However  if I had to listen to one band only for the rest of my life, then it would be them.

Without any further ado, I present you my eight desert island discs. This is hard. This is much much harder than Abba. In no order and with no YouTube links because everyone knows all Beatles songs:

Eleanor Rigby. Genius lyrics. Pure poetry. This song is jaw droppingly sad but still wonderful. The opening alone gets it on the list: Look at all the lonely people.

Something. Frank Sinatra called this the greatest love song ever written. I live in hope that someone writes a song for me like this. A girl can dream! Also, George Harrison is my favourite Beatle and I love that he wrote this.

I Want To Hold Your Hand. This is such a joyful, happy song. More fabulous lyrics and great arrangement, if you listen to this closely you realise how complex it is.

In My Life. This is one of those songs that appears quite chirpy but is very melancholic. It's beautiful.

When I'm Sixty Four. This is such a sweet and simple song. Listen to it again and notice the instruments, they are very spare. I read that McCartney wrote it when he was 16. Imagine being that talented at 16...

Help. I think this is the best Lennon song. It's honest and again, very sad. I love it.

Hey Jude. A bit of an obvious choice but I love the emotion in this.

I am at my last choice - oh my god. So many I could pick: Strawberry Fields Forever, Paperback Writer, Blackbird, Love Me Do, Lady Madonna, Hello Goodbye, Penny Lane, I Feel Fine, Ticket To Ride, Sergeant Pepper, A Day In The Life, Get Back, Day Tripper. It's all too difficult but I am going to go with Here Comes The Sun. I have realised by doing this list that I have a biased towards the simple arrangements. This is such an optimistic song.

I leave you with my favourite photo of them and a reminder that life is never bad when you can listen to Beatles songs. What would be your eight?

Friday, 11 May 2012

Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper was the unsung Madonna of the 80s. She had it all: the look, the quirkiness, the voice and she was born to be adored by teenage girls. And for a while, she was. Cyndi was more thoughtful than Madonna, there was never the naked ambition with her, she really did just want to have fun.

For me, Cyndi's masterpiece is Time After Time and I can't believe I've not mentioned it before. It's such a beautiful song. It was a huge hit in the summer of 1984 and I can clearly remember walking along the beach at Frinton-on-sea hearing it all summer long. I love it and she sings it beautifully.

It would be remiss of me not to mention Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. This is such a feel-good song with a top video that I never tire of. She is adorable in this and I love everything she wears.

I really like this version too.

I also love True Colors. She really did have a unique voice and much as I love Madonna, Cyndi emoted much better.


Let's make it a Cyndi weekend!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Brat Packers on Twitter

I love Twitter and the reason I love it is I can follow stars I loved in the 80s and pretend they are actually my friends. One day Rob Lowe might actually tweet directly to me (@pinky71) and I will actually explode with excitement.

Here is my guide to Brat Packers on Twitter. First up has to be Demi Moore (@justdemi). She was @mrskutcher which was desperately needy and unworthy of the mighty Demi. I am glad she's moved to justdemi. She doesn't need Gorilla Face in her life. Of course her and Bruce were the perfect couple but no, they had to ruin that. *sigh* Demi radiates insecurity. Her picture is her as a kid, designed to make you think awww sweet, she wasn't that pretty as a child. However, click on her page and you get a full on sexy picture of her in over the knee leather boots and not much else. Demi, love, we know you are hot so please, stop trying so hard. Demi tweets in a limited way: a) she tweets to her famous mates to show us she is not a civilian and is actually Hollywood royalty (recent tweets are to Melanie Griffith and Miley Cyrus so she really needs to step up her famous mates for this to work effectively) b) she tweets about charitable stuff to show she is deep and has a heart c) she tweets about nature and hippy dippy shit (recent tweets about the supermoon). She is tedious and I stopped following her for a while but since she is going through a bad patch and she changed her name I figured I'd give her a chance. You're welcome Dem.

Andrew McCarthy (@AndrewTMcCarthy). I never was a big McCarthy fan but he was absolutely a brat packer so we'll include him. His profile pic is a standard shot of him taken recently I'd guess. It's a bit dull. His main photo on his page is weird, it's a painting of what looks like a mountain, I wonder if he painted it? Andrew is yawnsome. This doesn't surprise me as he was a dull actor and never seemed to have much of a personality. There is no wit to his tweets, he tweets to a lot to people so I guess if he was a crush of yours, you'd be in with a chance of a tweet if you tweet him. I've just glanced down his recent tweets and there is nothing worthy of note. Must try harder Andrew, you really should have plenty to say about the 80s for example. It's ok to relive that, we don't mind.

Molly Ringwald (@MollyRingwald). Ahhh Molly, it's good to see you love! Where have you been? She's been having children, I know this because she mentions them in about 80% of her tweets. However, I like Molly. She is a liberal which instantly makes her likeable. She has a nice pic of herself up (sadly not from The Breakfast Club but hey ho) and when you click on her page you see a book shelf. She wants us to think she is an intellectual. Never going to work, she's the high school princess for now and forever. However, she seems well balanced and she is good for an occasional flash of humour.

Jon Cryer (@MrJonCryer). I find it hard to forgive Jon for Two And A Half Men. He tweets a lot about it too. I know it's his job but they don't need more audience and it's a terrible show. Shut up Jon. However, here's the thing, Jon retweets amusing comments very well. He doesn't say much funny himself but he does show good taste in his retweets. So he's worth following. Plus, he's Ducky. Now and forever.

Emilio Estevez (@EMILIOTHEWAY). A recent tweet by Emilio: "the answer is bacon, bacon is the answer to everything" This moves him to the top of my list so far. Yes Emilio, bacon is the answer to everything. Well done sporto.

Rob Lowe (@RobLowe). I've saved the best for last. My love for Rob knows no bounds and I already know he's funny from reading his autobiography. Rob posts pictures! Rob makes jokes! Rob has a very nice picture of himself up and just a blue background (no cover of his book, he's a modest chap). Rob rules. Well, he is Billy The Kid.

I am gutted that I can't seem to find Judd Nelson or Mare Winningham. Anyone know if they tweet?

Saturday, 5 May 2012

90s songs: Duran Duran, Come Undone

I've already explained my love of Duran Duran but I focused on their hey day that is the 80s. However, this album and the song Come Undone is wonderful. I really do still love it and listen to it fairly regularly. It's so different to their 80s output but so lovely. I like Ordinary World too but this is better.

Enjoy. I would do a summer song but summer shows no sign of appearing, I've just put the heating on.

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