Wednesday, 28 December 2016

George Michael

Well, I went too early with my RIP post didn't I? Readers, I am ok. I appreciate the tweets, the texts, the emails and the general concern for my welfare regarding George's death. This one hurt more than any others this year and there has been an outpouring of grief at Teen Towers.

George sang like the god he is and wrote effortless pop and soul. I always hoped he could overcome his monumental writers block and stage a massive comeback but alas, it wasn't to be. He leaves us with songs that I will never not listen to. Songs that soundtrack my life and make me happy.

He didn't make many albums but whittling down my top 10 George songs has been quite the task let me tell you. To do this, I have listened to Wham and George non-stop for 24 hours. It's a tough job but someone has to do it.

In reverse order:

I'm Your Man
I didn't love this when it came out but I now appreciate it for the pure pop it is.

Jesus To A Child
This is simply beautiful. You can hear the pain in his voice.

Fast Love
I loved this from the moment I heard it and I still do.

Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
You make the sun shine brighter than Doris Day. Nobody else wrote pop like this. A video of sheer joy.

Wham Rap
Fantastic. Enjoy what you do.

Club Tropicana
This song and video sums up the 80s.

Father Figure
I still maintain this is a bit breathy but it showcases George's voice. It's the song that made me cry on Boxing Day when it came on the radio.

Last Christmas
Come on. A list without Last Christmas is unthinkable.

Everything She Wants
The finest single ever released was the double A side of Last Christmas/Everything She Wants. George did lovelorn lyrics with such heart.

Young Guns
I want this played at my funeral and I want the entire congregation to join in the rap. Don't bother turning up if you're not prepared to do this. I shall be watching.

Leaving out Freedom 90 (cleverest lyrics he wrote) and Careless Whisper (another video that sums up the 80s) is a wrench. I am not counting the duets because that's all just too difficult and I am feeling fragile.

He may have been quiet lately, his best songs may have been behind him but the world is a much dimmer place for me with no George. I am somewhat comforted by the amount of coverage his death received. It's nice to know others loved him as much as me.  I really do mean it when I say RIP George and thank you for the magic.

Monday, 19 December 2016

RIP 2016

It's with a heavy heart and a strong cup of coffee that I approach this blog post. Firstly, apologies for my leave of absence. I've not been inspired by popular culture much this year and who can blame me? The year kicked off with the devastating news about David Bowie and didn't seem to stop with the blows.

I am not going to list everyone who died this year because I don't have the whole day. I am editing it to the list of people who meant something to me.

Bowie. Obviously.

Glenn Frey. Thanks for the roadtrips soundtrack Glenn.

Prince. Prince was my proper kick in the gut of the year. Too young, too much talent and he has soundtracked much of my life.

Alan Rickman. Forget Snape and those godawful Potter films and go watch Die Hard and Truly, Madly, Deeply.

Terry Wogan. Radio 2, Eurovision, Blankety Blank, Children in Need (umm, actually I never watch that), Wogan chat show of the 80s. Terry Wogan was a complete legend and so utterly British (I know he was Irish). Hard for people outside of the country to understand the sadness that his death brought to me.

While we're in the childhood nostalgia phase, Paul Daniels. I used to absolutely love his show and remember being taken to see him live. Beside myself I was. He was funny and a great magician.

Ronnie Corbett. The Two Ronnies. They simply don't make them like that anymore.

Caroline Aherne. The Royle Family was a work of genius. Again, far too young.

Gene Wilder. What a lovely man and hilariously funny. I'll never forget watching Silver Streak as a kid.

Leonard Cohen. I didn't think he'd ever die somehow. I hope he forgave all those wannabes who ruined his song.

Finally, as of today, Zsa Zsa Gabor. She made it to 99! Great name, proper star, nine marriages. Legend.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

The Way We Were and Barbra's costumes

The Way We Were is on Netflix. Happy, happy, happy days. It's actually a bit of a mess of a film but you get two hours of Robert Redford at his finest and the title song and Barbra being Barbra. All of which is enough for me.

I rewatched it this week and was bowled over by how perfect Katie's clothes are in this. For someone who is meant to be a communist, she sure cares about her hair, her nails and what she wears. I'm not saying communists can't care about how they look and I know this is just a film but Barbra clearly said she wasn't doing this unless they glammed her up.

There is a scene where she plays beach volleyball in a silky looking floor length jumpsuit! Respect.

I don't think there is a woman who looks as good as Barbra does with her hair up. In this scene in the Malibu beach house she looks gorgeous.

You could watch the entire film with the sound off and just soak up the costumes, the cars, the beautiful locations and Robert. But then you wouldn't be able to hum along with Barbra and that would be a waste.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Frankie Goes To Hollywood

I am not sure any group quite sums up the 80s like Frankie. Recently I have rediscovered the masterpiece that is Welcome To The Pleasuredome. Have you listened to this lately? It sounds fresh as a daisy and is still wonderful. I've become a bit obsessed with it having not listened to it for about 30 years, I can't stop listening to it.

Trevor Horn was a genius. The production on this is so good, the songs transition beautifully and when the introduction to Welcome To The Pleasuredome starts, it transports me back to 1984. I think that's the best track on the album but who doesn't love Relax? That song could be released now and would be a massive hit. There's also a lovely cover of Do You Know The Way To San Jose? Holly Johnson had a great voice. I like Two Tribes but it's not my top Frankie song. What strikes me listening to it again is how well put together it is, it's a proper album designed to listen in one go rather than lift the singles out.  Even Teenboy agrees on the genius of Frankie.

They had such a stunning debut and then it all fell apart so quickly. They burned bright and faded fast but this is a wonderful album and I recommend you all listen to it again and dig out your Frankie says relax t-shirts.

Here's the best song.

Friday, 8 July 2016

My love for Will Smith

I love Will Smith's musical output. I don't know why he kept on with the acting (not that I have a particular problem with his acting) but I adore DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.

I consider Boom! Shake The Room to be a masterpiece. Honestly, is there any song finer to jump around to?

I've already discussed Summertime which I also adore.

And then there is Miami. The song I insisted on us playing as we drove into Miami on our holiday in 2008. TeenBoy nearly threw me out on the highway.

Last weekend I saw a friend I've not seen properly for years. It was apparent to me that we are soulmates when at midnight, rather inebriated, we danced around to Boom! Shake The Room and she knew every line of the rap.

That is what I call a friend for life.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016


I've never been to Glastonbury and have no desire to spend four days in mud. I watch it and I think, "don't you people realise that it's all on TV and accessible from your clean, dry, warm sofa without all those other people around you?"

This year was different. For a start the country is in despair post Brexit and it rained and rained. We all needed cheering up and there, in a field in Somerset, the stars did their best to cheer us up. I found myself glued to Glasto this year. Normally I watch the Legends act and that's that. This year I tuned into Adele and wow. I've never really got Adele before. The songs are a bit samey and I'd rather listen to Streisand. To be honest, I'd always rather listen to Streisand.

But can the lady sing or what? I found myself spellbound as she belted out her songs note perfect and with such power. She's properly talented. Why did none of you inform me of this? I know I've been quiet on here of late but you know, there are ways to let me know.

Also, she's funny. Sweary, proper funny. The bit when she said someone in the crowd looked like Brian Harvey had me laughing for about five minutes. To connect with the crowd when there's just you is no mean feat and she pulled it off and looked really emotional. Hell, I was really emotional. I finally understood why people go to Glasto because singing along with 100,000 other people is an experience like no other.

Hello Adele. I am now listening to you with an entirely new perspective.

Upcoming post-Glasto posts include the wonders of ELO and how have I not covered them yet. Plus Coldplay: maybe not as terrible as I've thought for the past 16 years? Maybe. Glastonbury changed me and I didn't even have to eat a lentil burger and stand in wellies.

Thursday, 21 April 2016


This year my blog is going to be about people who have died. Because 2016 SUCKS. Stop dying. Stop it.

I am more upset about Prince than Bowie because I have loved Prince pretty much non-stop since the 80s. A fact I talk about here and here.

I have no more words to add except I am quite devastated and I plan to listen to all his albums this weekend from beginning to end and weep a bit. Read this and cry with me.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

RIP Glen (and others)

January was a horrible month. David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glen Frey and Terry Wogan. OK, Terry looks a bit out of sorts in this list but he was a legend and I shall miss him.

I don't think I can add much to the millions of words written about Bowie. I don't claim to be a mega fan of his but he was unique and I love many of his songs. Some people you can't imagine dying and he was one of them.

Alan Rickman is like a kick in the teeth. He was a national treasure and I've loved him since Truly, Madly, Deeply, a film for incurable romantics everywhere. Alan was cool, he looked like he'd be top company and he was wonderfully British. Much too soon for him to leave us.

But Glen. Oh Glen. I think we all know how much I love the Eagles. I've watched documentaries, listened to Glen, read Glen talk about the band and finally saw Glen a couple of years ago in New York. I am now so grateful that I did because basically that's the Eagles over forever. It's the end of an era and that's what makes me so sad about Glen.

Famous people that I like need to stop dying now please.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Legally Blonde

I love everything about Legally Blonde. The title, the premise, the clothes. I am rewatching it (it's on Netflix) and it really is utterly ridiculous. This is a film that relies entirely on the charms of Reese.

She is adorable. I honestly think the film would have been a flop without her but somehow she manages to be cute, perky and funny.

And let's not forget Bruiser.

The bend and snap, the music montage when Elle decides to take Harvard seriously, Elle's room (both in LA and at Harvard) Jennifer Coolidge. It's perfection on film and I think you all need to watch it again (I assume it's again) immediately.

Also, whatever happened to Selma Blair? And, Raquel Welch!!

Saturday, 30 January 2016


I liked Oasis on the basis of Wonderwall, a song I never tire of. I think it's beautifully romantic and lovely and ignore the fact Noel wrote it for Meg Mathews.

I like a band to argue and be explosive. That's rock and roll. They have a responsibility to behave badly and be petty because if you're in a band, you are a rock god (or goddess) and behaving like a bunch of accountants is boring. We don't want everyday life. We want drama, drugs, wrecking hotel rooms and enough anecdotes to entertain us in your autobiography.

Enter Oasis. God, they were such fun. The songs were heavily influenced by The Beatles and not musically complicated but they had passion and I don't think any band sums up the 90s quite like Oasis. Noel Gallagher is a hoot, if you don't believe me then listen to his Desert Island Discs. The fighting and rivalry with Blur (urgh as I call them) was probably the last great pop rivalry we'll witness. Liam is clearly a moron but who cares? He had swagger.

Oasis songs I love: Wonderwall, Champagne Supernova, Live Forever, Don't Look Back In Anger and She's Electric (my friend walked down the aisle to this, wonderful).

Yes, I like Oasis. I am starting a revival, right now.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

The Police - Every Breath You Take

How have I not written about this yet? I'm in the sixth year of this blog and no mention of this masterpiece. I am just watching something I recorded last month about the top 10 richest song and I simply can't believe I've missed talking about this.

David Hepworth (I trust my discerning readers to know who he is) says: "this song is a masterpiece!" and I agree. I love it so much and I never tire of hearing it. If it comes on the radio, I do a little yay to myself and turn up the dial.

I know Sting annoys people. He's up there with Bono in the ranks of pompous, worthy ageing rock star but I like him. His voice is one of my favourite singing voices and he's hot.


This is by far the best song The Police every produced. The lyrics are clever, it's catchy and it sounds timeless, it's not obviously from the 80s.

David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Glenn Frey in the same week. Trust me, I am not ignoring them but I am not ready to write about it yet. 

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

RIP 2015 - I forgot someone

Back in January, Anne Kirkbride died. Otherwise known as Deirdre Barlow in Coronation Street. I forgot about her when doing my round up because to try and remember who died in any given year, I use Google. And it gives me all the Hollywood deaths but tends to overlook the home grown soap stars.

Coronation Street is the program that I have watched the most consistently in my life. I grew up with it, my mum watched and therefore so did I. I stopped watching in the mid 90s for a while but I came back to it about 10 years ago and I am so glad I did. I record it and tend to start my weekend with breakfast and a Corrie catch up. It's got some of the best writing in television, I frequently guffaw with laughter at the lines. The acting is brilliant and it can be very touching. I love that it keeps the old school characters like Rita, Ken, Emily (although she's just gone to Peru for six months - come back soon Emily!) and until she died, Deirdre.

Deirdre was always a favourite. I post this picture to prove she was beautiful. Look at her! Anne was a wonderful actress and I loved all the storylines involving her. When she died, I was quite upset because she'd been in my living room for 40 years.

And then, just when we thought 2015 was all wrapped up Lemmy died. Now, I don't claim to be a Motorhead fan. I know the same song everyone does, Ace of Spades. Lemmy is a legend. He's cool and funny. I live with a massive Motorhead fan. He live streamed the funeral from LA and stayed up to watch it. He declared January to be the month when we only listen to Motorhead (pity me readers). He's in deep mourning. Bye bye Lemmy, thanks for the rock and roll.

As if this wasn't all too traumatic enough, yesterday Bowie died. That's a subject for another post but I think we can safely say we're not just listening to Motorhead in January now.
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