Monday, 29 April 2013

My Top Ten San Francisco Songs

It's a while since I took a stop on my American music tour... so let's take a drive across the Golden Gate Bridge...

10. Train - Save Me, San Francisco

The bloke from Train looks like a Hollywood version of David Gedge. Doesn't sound quite as good...but there are far worse ways to spend 4 minutes of your life.

9. The Flower Pot Men - Let's Go To San Francisco

This is spookier than I remember it. I'm getting acid flashbacks from the video, and I never did acid in my life. 

8. Scott McKenzie - San Francisco

If you're going, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.

7. Rufus Wainwright - San Francisco

Rufus does Judy Garland. Classic.

6. The Lucksmiths - The Chapter in Your Life Entitled San Francisco

Probably my favourite song by The Lucksmiths. If you've never heard them before and you're wondering what they sound like, the fact that they also have a song called There Is A Boy That Never Goes Out might give you a clue to their influences...

5. Tony Bennett - I Left My Heart in San Francisco

There appear to be numerous comedy routines which lead exhaustively to the punchline, "I left me harp in Sam Clam's Disco". I advise you to ignore them all.

4. American Music Club - All The Lost Souls Welcome You To San Francisco

Being that they hail from the city by the bay, it's no wonder that Mark Eitzel and co. have written a few songs about it (they even named an album after it).
A city built by fire trucks!
Dirty old bastards drunk on love
And mean old queens who never forgive
The compromises they made to live
3. Magnetic Fields - Come Back from San Francisco

One of Stephin Merritt's most beautiful love songs, as performed by Shirley Simms on the majestic 69 Love Songs...
Come back from San Francisco and kiss me; I've quit smoking.
I miss doing the wild thing with you.
Will you stay? I don't think so, but all I do is worry, 

Pack bags, call cabs, and hurry home to me.
2. Arctic Monkeys - Fake Tales Of San Francisco
You're not from New York City, you're from Rotherham... probably the lyric that made me fall in love with the Arctic Monkeys way back when. 

Sad to hear that in the video edit, they replaced the line, ""The band were fucking wank
And I'm not having a nice time." with the far less interesting, "The band weren't very good..."

1. Chris Isaak - San Francisco Days

Probably my favourite Chris Isaak record, there's a real aching melancholy to his voice.

Special mention to Weightless Again by the Handsome Family...
This is why people OD on pills and jump from the Golden Gate Bridge. 
Anything to feel weightless again.
But which San Francisco song makes you feel weightless again?

Friday, 26 April 2013

My Top Ten Tony Songs

The new Iron Man film is out - and it'll be great to see Robert Downey Jr. playing Tony Stark again. But can I find ten great songs about Tony?

Challenge... accepted!

10. The Frank & Walters - Tony Cochrane

The F&Ws go chasing a lilo, wishing they were their eponymous hero.

9. David Bowie - The Gospel According To Tony Day

The b-side to The Laughing Gnome.

Rotten old Tony Day - if you find a girl, he'll take her away.

8. Plans & Apologies - Tony Blair, Fucknut

'Nuff said?

7. The Pixies - Tony's Theme

This is a song about a superhero named Tony... whose name rhymes with pony. As does...

6. Morrissey - Tony The Pony

Just don't say I didn't warn you.

5. The North Sea Scrolls - I'm Not the Man You Think I am Karen, I'm the Actor Tony Allen

Luke Haines and Cathal Coughlan's alternate history of the British Isles throws up an unlikely hero in the shape of failed actor and Inspector Morse costume designer Tony Allen who leads a double life as "...the hidden hand behind the paintings of Sir Francis Bacon, the secret lover of Sid James, a patient of R.D. Laing, an assiduous curator of Northern Soul, and the probable catalyst for the least tedious stretches of the career of Fleetwood Mac..."
It's a Tony Allen world - but we just live in it. 
4. Billy Joel - Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)

One of Billy's best...
You should never argue with a crazy mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mind
...if that's movin' up - then I'm movin' out.

3. Belle & Sebastian - Lord Anthony

Anthony gets bullied at school, as did I, as I'm sure, did Stuart Murdoch. Bullying is evil.
When will you realize it doesn't pay
To be smarter than teachers, smarter than most boys?
"So shut your mouth, start kicking the football."
Bang on the teeth. You are off for a week, boy.
2. Patty Griffin - Tony

More bullying... with tragic consequences this time. Patty recalls the suicide of an old highschool classmate... heartbreaking stuff: and yet, it rocks.
I hated every day of high school
It's funny, I guess you did too
1. The Shirehorses (M&M) - Tony

I love Stan, I think it's one of Eminem's best songs... but I can't hear it anymore without wanting to listen to Mark & Lard's hilarious parody.
Anyway, how the kcuf are you?
I'm alright, thanks for asking
I'm listening to the new album 
By Dave Stewart and that old Barbara Gaskin
Listen to Stan first, then listen to Tony... and if you don't laugh your boils off, I'll give you your money back. (Plus, the woman from the canteen beats Dido any day.)

Which one gets your Tony award?

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

My Top Ten Let's Dance Songs

No further explanation should be required...

10. Earth, Wind & Fire - Let's Groove
Let this groove get you to move... it's all right. All right.
9. Smash Mouth - Let's Rock

Or, if disco won't get you down on the floor... how about a bit of ska-influenced moshing?

From the album Fush Yu Mang. 'Nuff said.

8. The Raveonettes - Let's Rave On

My type of rave - Spector-influenced, fuzzy guitared rock 'n' roll with plenty of feedback.

7. We Should Be Dead - Forget Romance, Let's Dance

Good advice for everyone.

6. The Wombats - Let's Dance to Joy Division

Celebrate the irony.

5. Chris Rea - Let's Dance

Wow, Chris Rea looks really young in this hilariously naff 80s video. Great guitar though.

4. Freddie Mercury - Let's Turn It On
Let's turn it on, come on all you people, get together
Turn it on, turn it on, and let's get everybody dancing!
See - it does fit the theme. I'm not just shoe-horning it in 'cos  love Freddie. 

3. Chris Montez - Let's Dance

Whether you want to do the Twist, the Stomp or the Mashed Potato, Chris is your man.

(What the hell is the Mashed Potato? No, don't answer that.)

Or you may prefer to take the Ramones up on their offer instead...

2. Nat King Cole - Let's Face The Music And Dance
There may be troubles ahead...
1. David Bowie - Let's Dance

Serious musos turn their noses up at Bowie's poppiest album, but I was just the right age for it. Plus, the opening section of the video, where Dave is performing, virtually unnoticed, in a grubby outback bar, is great. (The whole red shoes fairy tale that follows is far less interesting.)

Let's dance! Which one makes you want to put on your red shoes and dance the blues?

Monday, 22 April 2013

My Top Ten Last Time Songs

After our first time, so often comes our last time...

10. Keane - This Is The Last Time

The listeners of Radio 2 recently voted Keane's Hopes & Fears(from which this song hails) as the second greatest album of all time... after Clocks by Coldplay and just ahead of Rio by Duran Duran.


9. Glen Campbell - The Last Time I Saw Her

Written by Gordon Lightfoot, who had a mighty fine voice. But not quite as fine as Glen Campbell.

8. Eels - The Last Time We Spoke

Haunting. Seriously haunting.

7. Kris Kristofferson - The Last Time


6. Shea Seger - Last Time

If Shea wakes up with you... it'll be the last time.

5. Squeeze - Last Time Forever

From 28 years ago - when Glenn Tilbrook looked like David Coverdale, Chris Difford looked like Matt Smith and Jools Holland looked like... Jools Holland.

4. Rory Gallagher - For The Last Time

There is some serious guitar playing on this track.

3. Morrissey - Pregnant For The Last Time

The only Top 30 hit ever to appear in the UK singles chart with the word "pregnant" in the title, and it never officially appeared on an album.
Phlegm lapels for the last time
Corn beef legs for the last time
2. Joni Mitchell - The Last Time I Saw Richard
The last time I saw Richard was Detroit in '68,
And he told me all romantics meet the same fate someday
Cynical and drunk and boring someone in some dark cafe
Genius. And if that isn't proof enough, try this...
Richard got married to a figure skater
And he bought her a dishwasher and a Coffee percolator
And he drinks at home now most nights with the TV on
And all the house lights left up bright
I'm gonna blow this damn candle out
I don't want nobody coming over to my table
I got nothing to talk to anybody about
All good dreamers pass this way some day
Hiding behind bottles in dark cafes
Dark cafes
1. The Rolling Stones - The Last Time

Inevitable, I know. But still great. Just listen to Jagger's swagger...

Don't let this be the last time you leave a comment.

Friday, 19 April 2013

My Top Ten First Time Songs

If this is your First Time... I hope it's not your worst time.

10. Spearmint - First Time Music

7 minutes and 39 seconds, and not a second of it is wasted. Spearmint: should have been million sellers.

9. Foreigner - Feels Like The First Time

Yes, I said Foreigner. What's your problem? Don't you like Foreigners?

8. Mercury Rev - First-Time Mother's Joy (Flying)

The Rev at their most magical.

7. Billy Joel - Get It Right The First Time

He doesn't believe in first impressions... says the bloke who copped off with Christie Brinkley.

Still, look how that ended up.

6. Arab Strap - The First Time You're Unfaithful

As bleakly, morbidly, scathingly hilarious as you'd expect from a song with that title from this band.

5. Barenaked Ladies - Falling For The First Time
I'm so cool - too bad I'm a loser.
Great opening line, which could easily have made it onto Monday's Top Ten too.

How many extra hits will I get for featuring both Arab Strap and Barenaked Ladies in this post?

4. Bobby Goldsboro - Summer (The First Time)

Young Bobby's first time is with a woman twice his age... shocking!

I swear I've heard this covered by somebody cooler, but I can't for the life of me think who.

3. Stars - The First Five Times

I was pleased to discover that Stars are still together, recording and touring, since I've heard very little from them since this, from their excellent 2004 album Set Yourself On Fire. The First Five Times tells you about exactly what you think it's going to, right down to an old man watching from a tree. When you get to my age, you grab your thrills wherever you can.

2. Roberta Flack - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

Written by Ewan MacColl, recorded by everybody from Elvis and Johnny Cash to Celine Dion and the Stereophonics, but it's Roberta's version that beats them all... particularly for fans of Play Misty For Me. 

1. Pulp - Do You Remember The First Time?

Jarvis can't remember a worse time.

Don't watch the video if you've had too much to drink tonight.

If it was your First Time, do leave a comment and introduce yourself.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

My Top Ten Fashion Songs

From the least fashionable music blog on the net... a load of elegant, diaphonous, off-the-shoulder sartorial tosh. 

10. Campag Velocet - Bon Chic Bon Genre

Remember Campag Velocet? The NME tried to convince us they were in fashion back in 1999.

They weren't.

9. We Smoke Fags - Passion For Fashion

Gets in on the strength of the band name alone. Much better name than Campag Velocet.

8. Eels - Fashion Awards

E pops down to the fashion show, and if he doesn't win an award for best hair, well...
We'll blow off our heads in despair
7. The Frank & Walters - Fashion Crisis Hits New York

The very definition of "lost classic".
Well, fashion it moves on and on
While the things we've bought
Have been hardly worn
I still like my old three-piece suite but
It's in the shed and I've got no seat
Oh no no
6. Madonna - Vogue

Around this time, Madonna started to believe her own hype. She made some very bad decisions in the 90s and was never the same again. Still, it's a great pop song... so good, Lady Gaga couldn't help but rip it off.

5. The National - Fashion Coat

As with most songs by The National, I don't have clue one what it's about. Good though.

4. Flight of the Conchords - Fashion Is Danger

Bret & Jemaine bring us a (timely) warning about fashion from the 80s...
P-P-P-P-President Reagan
3. Suede - She's In Fashion

It's good to have Suede back, and sounding as fashionable as they did when they recorded this.

2. David Bowie - Fashion

Dave takes the piss.
Fashion! Turn to the left
Fashion! Turn to the right
Oooh, fashion!
We are the goon squad and we're coming to town
1. The Kinks - Dedicated Follower of Fashion
Eagerly pursuing all the latest fads and trends, 

One week he's in polka-dots, the next week he's in stripes. 

His world is built 'round discoteques and parties. 

In matters of the cloth he is as fickle as can be,

I know, it could almost have been written about me.

Not likely. Still, at least I'm not a dedicated swallower of fascism... as Billy famously paraphrased Ray.

Darling! You look marvelous! What are you wearing?

Monday, 15 April 2013

My Top Ten Loser Songs

 The Top Ten in which Every Loser Wins...

(Check out #3 if you don't believe me.)

10. Rod Stewart - Three Time Loser

The scary story of Rod's sex life before he became famous...

9. Fatima Mansions - Only Losers Take the Bus
I'm no loser, I'm a letch!
8. George Jones - The World's Worst Loser

Whenever you think your life's shitty... put on some George Jones.

7. Suede - Beautiful Loser

Suede have a new album out... and it's much better than the one this comes from. Still, some great putdowns here...
You belong among the wild flowers
picked at the side of the road,
You belong among the silent hours
and broken telephones,
You belong among the TV screens
with sound turned down again,
You belong where there's CCTV
watching you every day,
See also Beautiful Losers by Ocean Colour Scene. Also pretty damned good.

6. Dick Curless - Loser's Cocktail from the bartender at the Loser's Lounge. My guess is Hoyt Axton wouldn't be allowed in that bar, since Boozers Are Losers (When Benders Don't End).

5. The Dears - You and I Are a Gang of Losers
You and I are on the outside
Of all of almost everything
Don't we all feel like that sometimes?

4. Son of Dork - Ticket Outta Loserville

What do you get when you cross Busted! with Blink 182?
Pinch me, is this real?
I'm on a one way ticket out of Loserville
Now I'm off the social flat line
Things are so good that I'm
Taking down my Star Trek shrine
Much better than you'd expect.

3. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Even The Losers
Baby even the losers
Get lucky sometimes...
A sentiment shared by Nick 'Wicksy' Berry on his seminal 80s Number One... but honestly, what do you take me for? There's no place for that here. I have to draw the line somewhere.

2. Half Man Half Biscuit - Bad Losers on Yahoo Chess

And I'll keep finding a way to shoehorn this into Top Tens until you've all bought a copy.
Ernie Shackleton retreated
Close to the Pole
He didn’t want men dying
To achieve his goal
But did he get a gob on?
No he gave a little grin
Heed this Dennis Bell
When you next sign in
Bad Losers On Yahoo Chess!
1. Beck - Loser

In the time of chimpanzees, Beck was a monkey. If you don't like it... why don't you kill him?

Those were my losers... which is your winner?

Friday, 12 April 2013

My Top Ten Revolution Songs

I did consider a Top Ten Thatcher Songs but held off for two reasons.

Firstly, Any Major Dude With Half A Heart beat me to it - with 20 of the buggers!

Secondly, my take on the public reaction to this event is one of fascination rather than jubilation. I don't see much value in celebrating the death of any old lady, whatever her many sins. Especially when the policies and ideologies she promoted are alive and well today, some might say stronger than ever. When they die, I'll be first in line for a party...

I am amused by the effect on the pop charts though, with Judy Garland, Elvis Costello and Hefner (among others) all enjoying huge sales this week. As someone who used to work in radio, I can only imagine the hair-pulling that's going on about whether those records will get played during this weekend's chart countdown. It's like the reverse of what happened with Elton John's godawful remake of Candle In The Wind when Diana died, only it's led by the public rather than the record companies, and it can now happen instantly rather than us all sitting around and waiting for Elton to get in a studio. (That said, I now have a perverse desire to see Elton record a new version of Candle... dedicated to Maggie. And watch him get stoned to death in Barnsley for doing it.) 

Anyway, as I say, what's happened really doesn't change anything in our world. (Although I'll probably have to rewrite the script for Too Much Sex & Violence #6. Again.) What we really need to make things better... is a revolution. Or Ten...

Special mention to Revolution 9 (John Moore's old band) and Prince's original backing troupe.

10. Luke Haines - The Heritage Rock Revolution

It's a middle-aged rampage... now!

9. Transvision Vamp - Revolution Baby 

Wendy and co. go stealing riffs from Bolan, which seems appropriate under the circumstances. This narrowly beat The Cult, which would have been a cooler 80s choice... but less honest. 

8. The Clash - Revolution Rock

Tell your ma, tell your pa - everything's gonna be all right. Uncle Joe says so.

7. Neil Young - Revolution Blues

Neil goes all serial killer on us. Like he wasn't scary enough beforehand.

6. Steve Earle - The Revolution Starts... Now
Last night I had a dream
That the world had turned around
And all our hopes had come to be
And the people gathered ‘round
They all brought what they could bring
And nobody went without
And I learned a song to sing
The revolution starts now
5. Pulp - The Day After The Revolution

The closing track from my favourite album of the 90s. A pretty dark affair, but Jarvis couldn't help leaving us on an optimistic note...
I have waited and waited for this day to arrive.
The revolution was televised.
Now it's over, bye bye.
It's over, bye bye.
It wasn't their last album, but they couldn't have written a more fitting epitaph to Britpop. 

4. Tracy Chapman - Talkin' 'Bout A Revolution
While they`re standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in the unemployment lines
Sitting around waiting for a promotion

Don’t you know?
They’re talkin’ bout a revolution
It sounds like a whisper
3. T-Rex - Children of the Revolution

As testament to how strong this Top Ten is - in any other countdown, this would be #1 with a silver bullet.
has been covered by everyone from Lloyd Cole to the Violent Femmes, Kirsty MacColl to Soulwax... but I'm sure they'd all agree Marc did it best.

2. Gil Scott-Heron - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

One of the coolest records ever recorded, this came so very close...
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to stay home, brother. 
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip, 
Skip out for beer during commercials, 
Because the revolution will not be televised.
...but in the end, I thought I'd go for a surprise choice:

1. The Beatles - Revolution

I'm always wary about giving a Number One to the Beatles - they had plenty before I even got here. But as much as I burnt out on this ubiquitous uber-band in my early 20s and can only cope with them in small doses nowadays, I still consider this song one of their greatest achievements. That guitar intro alone is one of the most exciting noises you'll ever hear. On the other hand, much as I consider The White Album their finest hour, I always thought Revolution 9 was a bag of cock.

There are many fine covers of this song including Grandaddy, Alice Cooper (with Johnny Depp) ... and, of course, Billy Bragg. But none of them rip your heart out from the first note like this does... 

Come the revolution, who'll be first against your wall?

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

My Top Ten MF Songs (Warning - Contains Language That Some Readers May Find Offensive)

I don't approve of bad language... unless it's used creatively... in which case, I'm all for it.

10. Kid Rock - You Never Met A Mother Fucker Quite Like Me

Kid Rock wipes his bottom with Radiohead toilet paper. (See the edited-for-language, sorry, video.) For that reason alone, he squeezes into the Top Ten.

9. Girls - Big Bad Mean Mother Fucker

 Sounds like it comes from an X-rated version of the Grease soundtrack.

But come on, don't call your band "Girls" is you want to have any hope of anybody ever finding you on the internet.

8. Julian Cope -  All the Blowing-Themselves-Up Motherfuckers (Will Realise The Minute They Die That They Were Suckers)

And this is why Julian Cope was canonised.

Great harmonica too.

7. Twisted Sister - S.M.F.

Thanks again to Rob for this one. Actually, SMF doesn't stand for what you think it does. Well, the M does (with an -ing on the end). The S and F stand for Sick and Friends, disrespectfully.

6. Prince - Sexy MF

Amazed to find this on youtube... not because of the naughty word, but because Prince hates youtube. The full length video does take about three weeks to get going though.

5. Eels - It's A Motherfucker

A touching ballad about loneliness and regret.


4. Frank Turner - Heartless Bastard Mother Fucker

Dripping bile from every note. 

If you're easily amused by foul language (as I am), you'll want to play this right to the end.

3. John Grant - GMF

From his new album, Pale Green Ghosts, already a contender for the best record I've heard this year. Besides this, one of the other tracks is called Ernest Borgnine... WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?
Half of the time I think I'm in some movie,
I play the underdog, of course.

I wonder who they'll get to play me?
Maybe they could dig up Richard Burton's corpse.
Buy this record and... you could be laughing 65% more of the time.

2. The Bloodhound Gang - Fire Water Burn

Sadly, the video version replaces all the naughty words with donkey sfx. Thankfully, someone's uploaded a version that doesn't...
Yeah I'm hung like planet Pluto, hard to see with the naked eye
But if I crashed into Uranus I would stick it where the sun don't shine
Cause I'm kind of like Han Solo, always stroking my own wookie
I'm the root of all that's evil, yeah, but you can call me cookie
The very definition of "juvenile". Glorious.

1. Martha Wainwright - Bloody Mother Fucking Arsehole

Martha's heartbreaking tribute to her dad, Loudon Wainwright III is the best thing she ever recorded... Loudon should be proud.
I will not pretend, I will not put on a smile
I will not say I'm all right for you
When all I wanted was to be good
To do everythin' in truth
To do everythin' in truth

You may (not) be surprised to learn I could easily have filled another ten... although some of them would have been so loud, they'd have made Twisted Sister sound like Sister Sledge.

Still, which is your Mighty Favourite?

Monday, 8 April 2013

My Top Ten Boot Songs

Having done shoes - I had to follow it with boots. No prizes for guessing #1.

Special mentions to Little Boots and Ian Dury's New Boots & Panties which, if it had a title track, would be in here.

10. Black Sabbath - Fairies Wear Boots

Basically song about Ozzy hallucinating because he's been doing some bad shit.

9. The Auteurs - How I Learned to Love the Bootboys

Are you scared to dance with Luke Haines?

8. Sonic Youth - Dirty Boots

Great guitars!

Wikipedia informs us that, "the song lyrics contain sexually themed euphemisms, such as 'jelly roll'". Just in case you were wondering.

7. Ned's Atomic Dustbin - Leg End in His Own Boots

Undiluted hatred in every line. Wonder who it was about?

6. Iron Maiden - Die With Your Boots On

If you start to hear more Iron Maiden and Taylor Swift round these parts, blame Rob.

That said: this is grrrrreat.

5. Adam Ant - Puss 'n' Boots

Having already appeared in the Shoe Top Ten, it makes you wonder whether Adam had some kind of foot fetish?

Why does nobody make videos like this anymore?

4. Franz Ferdinand - Eleanor, Put Your Boots On

One of their best songs that doesn't mention Terry Wogan.

3. The Velvet Underground & Nico - Venus In Furs
Shiny, shiny, shiny boots of leather...
I used to dedicate this song to Gwyneth Paltrow and sing the lyrics, "Whiny, whiny, whiny Gwyneth Paltrow." But since she was in Iron Man, I don't hate her as much.

See also Venus In Flairs by Half Man Half Biscuit, because it's great.

2. Drive-By Truckers - Go-Go Boots

Just amazing storytelling here: a hypocritical man of the cloth plays around on his wife... and then things turn nasty.
Missy wore them go-go boots; it did something for him
Made him think his wife back home was homely and boring
He met these guys who didn't mind getting dirty
He was a pillar and his alibi was sturdy
It only took a little bit of cash and the deed was done
1. Nancy Sinatra - These Boots Are Made For Walking

Are you ready, boots? Start walking...

Which is your best boot?

Friday, 5 April 2013

My Top Ten Shoe Songs

I could easily have gone a Top Twenty Shoe Songs... but the rules only allow ten, so I had to throw out the rest. Here are the sole survivors...

10. Arctic Monkeys - Dancing Shoes

The only reason that I came.

9. Traffic - Hole In My Shoe

Look, kids, just say no.

Of course, you may be of the generation that prefers Neil's version. Even John Peel seems to like it.

Oh no, what a really heavy bummer.

8. Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris - The New Soft Shoe

Somehow, I've managed almost a hundred Top Tens on this blog so far without any GP. Had to put that right.

See also Lambchop - The Old Gold Shoe. Because it's ace.

7. Shed Seven - Devil in Your Shoes

A forgotten classic. So good, it also made My Top Ten Devil Songs.

6. Paul Simon - Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes
And she said honey take me dancing
But they ended up by sleeping
In a doorway
By the bodegas and the lights on
Upper Broadway
Wearing diamonds on the soles of their shoes
One thing's for certain: that's no way to cure these walking blues.

5. Kirsty MacColl - In These Shoes?

Reasons we miss Kirsty, #704.
"In these shoes? I don't think so."
4. Elvis Presley - Blue Suede Shoes

Don't feel too bad for Carl Perkins who wrote and recorded this song originally. I'm sure he never went without them on his feet after Elvis took it to the top.

3. Elvis Costello - (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes

So many songs about red shoes, I could almost have given them their own Top Ten. The best came from...

Kate Bush (not sure what's more disturbing in this video, Miranda Richardson's eyebrows or the divine Ms. B's acting)

Tom Waits

and Loretta Lynn...

...but Elvis's red shoes even beat the other Elvis's blue shoes in my humble opinion. From his debut album, and his debut appearance on Top of the Pops too.

(OK, that was a cheat, but I had to shoehorn those songs in somehow.)

My grandma had a saying about women who wore red shoes... 

2. Adam Ant - Goody Two Shoes
You don't drink, don't smoke... what do you do?
Write comics and Top Tens, mostly.

1. Johnny Boy - You Are the Generation That Bought More Shoes and You Get What You Deserve

Probably a surprising choice (given the undeniable classics below), but Johnny Boy's greatest "hit" wins out for its Phil Spector swagger and for achieving the impossible: a song that sounds even better than its title.

Which are your dancing shoes?

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

My Top Ten Chocolate Bar Songs

Ten songs about chocolate bars... well, they could be. I saved this one till Lent was over because I knew some of you were being good. 

Special mention to The Drifters, Aerosmith, The Mars Volta and, ahem,  Thom Yorkie. 

10. The Crookes - Two Drifters

Greedy buggers - one's not enough for you?

9. Thea Gilmore - Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?

Thea may be down on her luck but she still hankers after a crunchy butter-almond chocolate treat from Sweden.

8. The Ataris - I.O.U. One Galaxy

So that's about, what, 75p? I'll let you off, lads.

7. Baxter Drury - Picnic On The Edge

Ian's son prefers to eat his in dangerous situations. Suede aren't much better - they eat theirs By The Motorway.

6. Orchestral Manouvres In The Dark - Walking On The Milky Way

Seems a waste of a perfectly good sweet you can eat between meals without ruining your appetite

5. Animals That Swim - Kit Kats and Vinegar

Not the most appetizing of combinations, but apparently it helps their mate get off his head (on the cheap).

4. John Grant - Caramel

Or you may prefer the equally delicious Suzanne Vega song of the same title. Or Take It Easy by The Eagles, which must have been about the same thing. 

3. Half Man Half Biscuit - Dickie Davies Eyes
God, I could murder a Cadbury's Flake,
Then I guess you wouldn't let me into heaven.
Or maybe you would 'cause their adverts promote oral sex!
See also Flakes by The Mystery Jets (which made its way into my Top Ten Breakfast Menu Songs).

2. Heartless Bastards - Marathon

I know, they're not called Marathons anymore, they've not been called Marathons for years. But until someone writes a song as good as this one and calls it 'Snickers', they'll always be Marathons to me.

Not that I ever liked Marathons. I hate peanuts.

1. The Undertones - Mars Bar

Time to raid the Spar, Feargal Sharkey needs to work, rest and play. (Although he has had ten so far.)
To anybody out there who still eats Twix
Anybody on packets of Buttons
I gave them up when I was six
I hope your teeth are rotten
Genius. See also, Marz by John Grant, which might not specifically be about the chocolate bar... but does mention lots of other sweet treats.

Which one is your guilty pleasure?
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