“If you represent the Earth's lifetime by a single year, say from January when it was made to December, the 21st-century would be a quarter of a second in June - a tiny fraction of the year. But even in this concertinaed cosmic perspective, our century is very, very special: the first when humans can change themselves and their home planet.” – Martin Rees
“I find myself hoping a total end of all the unhappy divisions of mankind by party-spirit, which at best is but the madness of many for the gain of a few.” – Alexander Pope
Opener for Revolver, still sounds amazing (though better in mono). George’s ferocious take on a subject close to his heart. Standout bass and guitar from Mr M. Ian McDonald wrote in Revolution in The Head, “To put it crudely, the children of the 1960s, so determined to do their own thing, became the adult voters of 1980s who were determined to own their own things, and so put leaders such as Reagan and Thatcher in power.”
Obscurity Knocks (bishbosh)
From Abbey Road to Shabby Road (their studio in Kilmarnock). If you’re ever wondering who bought all those Big Star and Byrds albums back in the day, they were given out with mother’s milk in the West of Scotland. From their first album Cake (doubleplusgood). Hugely underrated band from Irvine.
And I know what it’s like to sigh at the sight of the first quarter of life...
1 hour ½ ago (ShivSidecar)
Rain Parade were part of the Paisley Underground in 80s west coast USA. In a contemporary review of their first album, Robert Christgau noted that the band imitated "dumb" music from the psychedelic era, specifically "the wimpy singing, wispy tunes, unsure drumming, repetitive guitar effects, and naïve world view of, oh, Kaliedescope, Morning Glory, Aum." Say no more, Bob, I’m sold.
Mein Herr (GreatGrendel)
Bravura performance by Liza with a Z, definitive Sally Bowles in Bob Fosse’s Cabaret.
"The continent of Europe is so wide, mein herr.
Not only up and down, but side to side, mein herr.
I couldn't ever cross it if I tried, mein herr.
But I do what I can
Inch by inch
Step by step
Mile by mile
Man by man."
Definition Of A King (pejepeine)
Described by pejepeine as having “all sorts of numerology, fractions, degrees and stuff here. And a deep Curtis Mayfield sample”. Also recommends the annotated lyric site Rap Genius for further explanation of Two Kings In A Cypher.
Love this song, though much of it goes way over my head.
Drop Nineteens hailed from east coast USA, specifically Boston, in the early 90s and gave more than a nod to contemporary British shoegaze bands. Closing lines:
“Imagine if it happens to you
And ask me if it lasts
Yesterday's home cut in half
Good night you sleep, it'll be a heavy drive back east”
99 and ½ (Seth Miller)
Seth nominates Mavis Staples “rousing inspirational song for marchers and organisers”. Journalist Renée Graham praised Staples's singing, stating "Mavis Staples doesn't so much sing a song as baptise it in truth"
44 Blues (Ravi Ramen)
Ravi nominates a great rolling version of the standard by Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon. From the forum:-
@tincanman2010: Think it's about a .44 calibre pistol though :(
Ravi: .44 is still not a whole number so turn that frown upside down tinny.”
Halfway To Paradise (Beltway Bandit)
Billy Fury: 24 hits in the 60s yet barely a footnote today. Good to know he is honoured in his home town. Could kick up a stormy tempest on stage, with looks and charisma to die for. He wrote his own songs too, but is perhaps best known for a couple of knockout covers of others’ songs – the magnificent Wondrous Place and this one, by a very young Goffin and King.
Half The Perfect World (severin)
A gorgeous performance by Madeleine Peyroux. Song courtesy of Leonard Cohen.
“Uncovering the two of us
On that fundamental ground
Where love's unwilled, unleashed, unbound
And half the perfect world is found”
A Very Small Piece Of The Real World (TatankaYotanka)
Robb Johnson’s lovely take on one particular corner of our planet. “His songs are incisive and clever and witty and you can sing them on your way to work." Boff, Chumbawamba
Tindersticks’ David Boulter and Stuart Staples joined by Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner’s inner Danny Kaye. From the album Songs for the young at heart, a blissful reading of the Frank Loesser song.
“Two and two are four
Four and four are eight”
Cassava Piece (Uncleben)
Dub instrumental from the mighty Augustus Pablo. Nominated by Uncleben who adds “Original rockers. Channel One studios. Immense.” Amen.
Thanks all for your nominations. By the time this is up I’ll be off for a few days visiting family and friends in Englandshire. May the weather gods be kind.
The Beatles – Taxman
Trashcan Sinatras – Obscurity Knocks
Rain Parade – 1 hour ½ ago
Liza Minnelli – Mein Herr
Two Kings In A Cipher – Definition of a King
Drop Nineteens – Delaware
Mavis Staples – 99 and ½
Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon – .44 Blues
Billy Fury – Halfway to Paradise
Madeleine Peyroux – Half the Perfect World
Robb Johnson – A Very Small Piece of the Real World
David Boulter, Stuart Staples and Kurt Wagner – Inchworm
Augustus Pablo – Cassava Piece
The Dominoes – Sixty Minute Man
Gary US Bonds – Quarter To Three
ZZ Hill – Three into two won’t go
Alternative TV – Splitting in Two
Monty Python – Eric the Half a Bee
Jack – Half Cut, Wholly Yours
Gene Pitney – Half Heaven, Half Heartache
OV Wright – Eight Men, Four Women
Bella Hardy – Three pieces of my heart
Thin Lizzy – Half Caste
dEUS – Quatre Mains
Joe Gibbs and the Professionals – Half Ounce
Steely Dan – Pearl of the Quarter
Guru’s Wildcard Pick:
Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) – Muzzle of Bees
“Half of it's you, half is me”
These playlists were inspired by readers' song nominations from last week's topic: Cheeky half? Semi-quaver? Songs about fractions and portions. The next topic will launch on Thursday at 1pm UK time.
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