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3,421: The top ten

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For the last two or three years I’ve been mostly listening to pop music. Pop music was my first love: the Smiths meant nothing to me when I was 13, I was into Duran Duran and Wham! Life goes on, your tastes evolve, and rock and indie music and then house music all took a front seat. Pop music was always there, but mostly in the background. But a couple of years ago, I heard Taylor Swift’s 1989 album and fell in love with it. It was that record, Emotion by Carly Rae Jepsen, and Sucker by Charli XCX that helped pop music resurface. Nowadays, indie and rock music are in the background.

When I was a teenager, I lived very close to my school. Back then, there was a time when the UK Top 40 was announced on a Monday lunchtime. I would nip home, listen to the charts, write it down, and pass that note around in maths. I watched Top of the Pops religiously, and then in the 90s when I worked in a record shop and subsequently at a record distribution company, the charts were still something I paid attention to. By then we’d already entered the period where records always went straight in at number one. It got boring. Life moved on, and I ignored the charts more and more, not knowing what was number one for most of this century.

Earlier this year, when the chart rules changed, I figured I should make a bit of an effort to keep up. There was a great, short-lived podcast this year called Unbreak My Chart that looked at the top ten each week. But that’s stopped now. So I’ve had to make the effort myself. So I have a quick check of the Official Single Chart every week.

I felt like a good thing to do might be to do a blog post about the chart every week. For one thing, doing this would mean I actually listen to everything in the top ten.

So, here we go! The official UK top ten, week ending 16 November 2017. The song titles link to the video on YouTube, a popular Web site. (I should note that I find writing about music exceedingly difficult, so this will be shit until I get into the swing of it.)

10
Finders Keepers
Mabel ft. Kojo Funds

Hey, it’s Neneh Cherry’s daughter! This is a good song. Not as good as her mum’s best songs, but that’s the case with every song in the top 100, really.

9
Reggaeton Lento (Remix)
CNCO & Little Mix

Boy band and girl group make fairly ordinary song. Nowhere near the heights of Little Mix’s best stuff.

8
Lonely Together
Avicii ft. Rita Ora

Low key catchy as fuck, this one. I don’t know a huge amount of Avicii’s stuff, but what I do know is he co-wrote and co-produced Coldplay’s best song, A Sky Full of Stars. I keep meaning to write a big blog post about how much I like Coldplay. Should do that soon. General gist of it: they’re better now than they ever have been.

7
Dusk Till Dawn
ZAYN ft. Sia

I like this one. I like that it sounds like a Zayn song and a Sia song. I was lying in bed last night thinking about One Direction. As you do. And I got to wondering: which former members will still be making (successful) music in five years? Boy bands don’t really have a good record in multiple members having solo success. It’s usually the obvious one, innit? The Timberlake. But One Direction might be different. I can totally imagine a scenario where at least three of them are still having hits in the 2020s. Zayn, Harry, and Niall would be my guess. Back To You by Louis was one of my fave songs of this year, but still don’t see him being arsed about being a pop star. I’ve not really liked anything that Liam has done so far, so I can see him being in the dumper.

6
Perfect
Ed Sheeran

He’s popular, isn’t he? I have tried to appreciate his music, but I just don’t really like it. Doesn’t really grab me. This song is quite nice, mind, so maybe I’m turning. I guess if I hear it after a few beers, I might start to like it a bit more.

5
Anywhere
Rita Ora

The best song in the top ten this week. I like that it’s got a really pretty chorus, then that mental bit which reminds me a bit of Gigi D’Agostino’s La Passion, a monumentally ace/stupid song from the early 2000s.

4
Silence
Marshmello ft. Khalid

I like his bucket, although one can’t help but think he looked at Daft Punk’s and Deadmau5’s helmets and thought, “I need something on my head”. Maybe while he was eating some KFC. Before doing this blog post, I’d not heard this song. Not quite sure how it has got into the top five. Doesn’t really have much going on.

3
Too Good at Goodbyes
Sam Smith

Can totally understand why this is a hit, but it’s not my cup of tea at all. This was number one for three weeks.

2
Rockstar
Post Malone ft. 21 Savage

Can’t find a video for this on YouTube. But that’s not important. This was number one for four whole weeks. How did that happen? It’s… I dunno… not bad exactly, just sounds like it might’ve been background music on the Miami Vice movie.

1
Havana
Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug

I’ve linked above to the “vertical video.” I notice Selena Gomez did one of those too for her most recent song. I like this trend. It’s a savvy move, and I like that it probably annoys those dullards who always moan about people not filming horizontally with their phones. I like this song a lot. Glad that it’s number one. But, as with many many pop songs of the last few years: I don’t need the rap interlude. For me, it adds nothing to the song, it feels like the modern pop music equivalent of a guitar solo. (Other examples: Lil Yachty’s bit on After the Afterparty, and Gucci Mane’s bit on Fetish). But, yeh, this a good song. Sounds like a number one, too. Hurrah.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
…Ready For It? by Taylor Swift

On this day
Arthur No.2, 11 November 2005

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Threads

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Written by Craig

November 11th, 2017 at 3:48 am

Posted in Music

3,402: Who’s That Girl

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Who’s That Girl by Madonna was number one in the UK thirty years ago. A long time ago, eh.

Not one of my favourite Madonna songs, and not a song I listen to very often, frankly. I never saw the movie of the same name. Or heard the soundtrack album. Kinda strange that it’s credited as a Madonna album on the sleeve even though only four of the nine songs are by Madonna. More pertinent to not listening to it very often, though, is that it’s not on The Immaculate Collection, her first greatest hits. More often than not, unless I wanna listen to specific non-singles, I will just open up either of her first two best ofs.

I like best ofs. But my brain likes them best when they follow a couple of rules: every single, and in chronological order. The Immaculate Collection does the later, but not the former. Even if we ignore her first two singles (Everybody and Burning Up) which weren’t hits in the Billboard or UK charts, It’s missing a whopping eleven singles from between 1983 and 1990: Angel, Dress You Up, Gambler, True Blue, Who’s That Girl, Causing a Commotion, The Look of Love, Oh Father (UK only single), Dear Jessie, Keep It Together, Hanky Panky.

One could definitely argue that if you were gonna drop eleven singles from a singles compilation they chose the right eleven to drop, but still.

Previous posts about number ones from thirty years ago:
18/1/2017: Jack Your Body
1/2/2017: I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
15/2/2017: Stand By Me
8/3/2017: Everything I Own
22/3/2017: Respectable
29/3/2017: Let It Be
19/4/2017: La Isla Bonita
3/5/2017: Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now
31/5/2017: I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)
14/6/2017: Star Trekkin’
28/6/2017: It’s a Sin

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Cut to the Feeling by Carly Rae Jepsen

On this day
Steven Robinson, 19 July 2012

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Mezcal

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July 19th, 2017 at 12:05 am

Posted in Music

3,398: Fun fact

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The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Bad Liar by Selena Gomez

On this day
Hopkins seascapes, 15 July 2012

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
World Heritage Site

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July 14th, 2017 at 11:28 pm

Posted in Blah blah,Music

3,393: Kraftwerk again

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The song in my head when I woke up this morning
International Space Station by British Sea Power

On this day
One pixel Beatles album sleeves, 10 July 2014

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Phylogenetics

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July 10th, 2017 at 12:15 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah,Music

3,384: 1 July 1987

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U2 at Elland Road stadium in Leeds. 30 years ago today. My first concert.

£14. Which in today’s money (according to thisismoney.co.uk’s inflation calculator), would be £37.72. I just checked Ticketmaster to look at the price of a general admission standing ticket for U2’s concert at Twickenham Stadium next weekend, and it’s £78.25.

Support bands that day thirty years ago: the Fall, the Mission, the Pretenders. So, technically, the first band I saw was the Fall, which is probably cooler, huh?

Although, actually, I’d been to concerts before that my parents had taken us to: the Spinners, the Nolans, and Showaddywaddy. This, though, was the first one I’d been to by choice, buying a ticket with my own money, queuing up early on a Saturday morning a few months earlier to buy a ticket for the concert and the bus trip from Lincoln to Leeds.

It was the first and last time I’ve ever been to Leeds United’s ground, too. I look forward to keeping it that way.

A wee bit of artwork
It’s been quite rainy in Berlin.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Half-Figured by Fazerdaze

On this day
AT&T Park, San Francisco: a pie chart, 1 July 2014

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Game & Watch

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July 1st, 2017 at 1:54 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah,Music

3,380: It’s a Sin

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It’s a Sin by Pet Shop Boys was number one in the UK thirty years ago. Magnificent song. I like the Pet Shop Boys a lot. They’ve been solidly great for a really long time. The most recent album, 2016’s Super was excellent. Just looking at their singles discography on Wikipedia, to check where It’s a Sin was in a run of great singles, and it’s a really long run of top notch singles. From West End Girls in 1985 through to DJ Culture in 1991 there’s nothing that dips below an 8 out of 10 in my opinion.

While we talk about DJ Culture, I’m always interested in the quality of the new, previously unreleased tracks on Best Of compilations. More often than not, they wouldn’t appear on Best Ofs out of merit, but twice in the Pet Shop Boys’s career, new tracks on compilations have been amongst my favourite of their songs: DJ Culture on their first one, Discography, and Flamboyant on 2003’s PopArt.

Previous posts about number ones from thirty years ago:
18/1/2017: Jack Your Body
1/2/2017: I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
15/2/2017: Stand By Me
8/3/2017: Everything I Own
22/3/2017: Respectable
29/3/2017: Let It Be
19/4/2017: La Isla Bonita
3/5/2017: Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now
31/5/2017: I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)
14/6/2017: Star Trekkin’

A wee bit of artwork
No title for this, but on my iPad it’s called Faceface, so let’s just go with that, eh?

Other business
What about, right, a fidget spanner?

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet by Gavin Bryars

On this day
The two best words are the first two words, 28 June 2007

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Super Mario 64

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June 28th, 2017 at 1:50 am

3,375: Meatwood flack

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Following on from a recent post regarding Fleetwood Mac’s name, one thing I didn’t realise was that when the band started, John McVie wasn’t a member of the band. He was a bandmate of Peter Green and Mick Fleetwood in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, but Fleetwood Mac’s first bass player was Bob Brunning. From Wikipedia:

When Peter Green left the Bluesbreakers in 1967, he decided to form his own group, naming it Fleetwood Mac after the rhythm section he wanted for the band – Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. Fleetwood joined up straight away, and slide guitar player Jeremy Spencer was recruited, but McVie preferred to stay with the Bluesbreakers, where he was earning a regular wage. In the meantime, Green hired Brunning on a temporary basis, hoping that McVie would change his mind. During this period, Brunning played with Fleetwood Mac at the Windsor Jazz and Blues Festival.

After a few weeks McVie did change his mind, claiming that Bluesbreakers leader John Mayall was turning too far in the direction of jazz for his liking. So McVie joined, and Brunning stood down. Brunning did contribute bass guitar to one track on Fleetwood Mac’s debut album Fleetwood Mac, “Long Grey Mare”.

I would assume, seeing as though John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers had about a million members over the years, he wasn’t that arsed about people coming and going, but it’s a pretty clear intention of taking another band member to name a new band after McVie. Maybe Peter Green should’ve full on flipped everyone out by calling the band Fleetwood Mayall, enticing John to leave his own band. Then Peter Green could’ve left Fleetwood Mac, and took over the Bluesbreakers. Peter Green’s Bluebreakers. I assume something like that happens in The Art of War, that book that dudes seem to enjoy (having on their shelves).

When you see a list of former members of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, it’s a pretty impressive bunch of people. The above mentioned Fleetwood Mac bunch, Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Mick Taylor, Andy Fraser, three members of Canned Heat.

There can’t be too many bands that had greater success after a founding pivotal member left. When we talk about Fleetwood Mac nowadays, we aren’t usually thinking of the Peter Green-lead era. Depeche Mode is another. And, at least in terms of sales, Suede after Bernard Butler left. Any others? Can’t think of any right now, but there must be more.

Looking at chart success of the post-Peter Green era and pre-Nicks and Buckingham era Fleetwood Mac, they released six albums, only one of which entered the UK top forty. So seeing how successful they were with Nicks and Buckingham in the band, and the fact that they’d released a (great) album together before joining, could we view it as a merger? Maybe this happens a lot, but off the top of my head I can only think of one other example: Showaddywaddy. But that was a merger of two local bands, before any success. I guess that must happen a fair bit on local music scenes. Indeed, when I was living in Lincoln in the 1990s, every band seemed to have the exact same drummer, and every band member of every band seemed to also be in another band or two.

Anyway, here’s Minipop No. 1,343: Samantha Fox and Mick Fleetwood, a pairing that may not be obvious if you’ve never seen the 1989 Brit Awards.

A wee bit of artwork
I drew a curve. Copied it, pasted it. Again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and carried on until there are about 700 curves.

Other business
And here we are. The first shitiversary of the referendum.
Going well, innit? All going swimmingly.
The future looks absolutely peachy.
Rule Britannia, gallons of nice cups of tea, and as much Arctic Roll as you can eat.
What misguided fools us Remainers were, eh?

Here’s a couple of drawings from around this time last year. First, an angry drawing done in the hours immediately following the result:

Second, a drawing I’m actually quite proud of. The water could’ve done with a bit more attention, but on the whole it would’ve made a good editorial illustration, I think:

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Ship of Fools by Erasure

On this day
Drawings in a bar, 23 June 2010

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
1985 Mexico City earthquake

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June 23rd, 2017 at 12:01 am

3,372: [Name of drummer] + [First syllable of name of bass player]

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Listening to Fleetwood Mac the other day, I got to wondering what other rock bands would be called if they had named themselves in a similar fashion: surname of drummer + first syllable of surname of bass player.

Similar to McVie’s name being used as Mac not Mc for, I assume, phonetic clarity, I’ve done the same below. And I’ve also gone with the earliest classic line-up members, ignoring drummers or bass players that we wouldn’t automatically associate with the acts in question.

For “fun” I’ve not included the real band names here, I’ve put them in the comments so you it can be a game, should you desire to play it.

1 Starr Mac
2 Adler Mac
3 Bonham Jo
4 Mason War
5 Mullen Clay
6 Wilson Wil
7 Champion Berry
8 Berry Mills
9 Rudd Will
10 Taylor Dee
11 Watts Why
12 Ulrich Burr
13 Copeland Sum
14 Cook Vish
15 Tucker Cay
16 Selway Green
17 Taylor Tay
18 Headon Sim
19 Jones Lane
20 Schock Val
21 Grohl Nov
22 Lovering Deal
23 Ward But
24 Chamberlin Wret
25 Goffey Quinn
26 Van Halen Anth
27 Peterson Stee
28 Weinberg Tal
29 Burke Harr
30 Brzezicki But
31 Porcaro Por
32 Robinson Orr
33 Frantz Wey
34 Kreutzmann Lesh
35 Ramone Ram
36 Ficca Smith
37 Henley Meis
38 Asheton Alex
39 Kramer Ham
40 Peart Lee
41 Paice Glover
42 Wren Moun
43 Hart Nor
44 Gilbert Oz
45 Moon Ent
46 Beard Hill
47 Rowntree James
48 Jansen Karn
49 Withers Ills
50 Keeble Kemp
51 Joyce Roar
52 McCarroll Mac
53 Liebezeit Czu
54 Buckler Fox
55 Welch Holl
56 Baker Bru
57 Cann Cross
58 Whitaker Cook
59 Smith Flea
60 Strode Beggs

I think that’s enough, right?

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Take It Slow by Fazerdaze

On this day
Fuck the rainbow, 20 June 2013

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Space Needle

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June 20th, 2017 at 1:24 am

Posted in Blah blah,Music

3,364: Cry

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People of a similar age to me will likely remember how incredible the video for Cry by Godley and Creme seemed back in 1985. How could they do that!? Well, Wikipedia tells us, it’s called analogue cross-fading.

I took a screenshot of every cross-fade. The above GIF is all of the cross-fades put together in order, which, incidentally, ends with the same person who is at the start of the video. Here are all of those individual screenshots, some of which are really quite interesting:

President Carter:

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Lucky Girl by Fazerdaze. Two days in a row for this one. I really really like the album, been listening to it a couple of times a day for the last week or so. Worth a listen if you’re in the mood for some indie-ness.

On this day
Pepinster, 15 June 2012

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Expo 67

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June 15th, 2017 at 1:18 am

Posted in Blah blah,Music

3,362: Star Trekkin’

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Star Trekkin’ by The Firm was number one in the UK thirty years ago. Not the hip hop supergroup, or the rock supergroup of the same name. This Firm were a shitgroup.

Maybe that’s unfair. It’s not like this Firm set out to create great music. It’s a novelty song based around Star Trek lyrics. I listened to it just before I started typing, and it’s still rubbish, but the thing that stands out is how weak it is. It’s basic as fuck. If you feel the need to listen to it, or watch its video: here it is.

I’m not being snobby about novelty songs. They have their place in the world of music, just as mosquitos have their place in nature. Novelty records aren’t aimed at me, though. But I was their audience at one point. Indeed, while the cool kids were getting into this new band called the Smiths, I was buying the 7″ single of The Birdie Song in 1983. And if people enjoy it, who am I to judge them? (This attitude does not extend to neo-Nazis, paedos, or Muse, though.)

In one way, it’s quite astonishing how Star Trekkin’ got to number one that week with the likes of Whitney, George Michael, and U2 also in the top ten. There was also Johnny Logan, Bruce Willis, and Samantha Fox in the top ten, though, so it’ll hardly go down as a classic top ten, (which I’ve just realised would be quite a good topic for a blog post).

I was never into Star Trek, so I had to check IMDB, which tells me that the fourth film was released in the UK in April 1987, so I guess that must’ve been why people were into a Star Trek-themed novelty record. The guy who made the record went on to do music for the King of the Hill cartoon series.

Previous posts about number ones from thirty years ago:
18/1/2017: Jack Your Body
1/2/2017: I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
15/2/2017: Stand By Me
8/3/2017: Everything I Own
22/3/2017: Respectable
29/3/2017: Let It Be
19/4/2017: La Isla Bonita
3/5/2017: Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now
31/5/2017: I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Lucky Girl by Fazerdaze

On this day
Jungle 2, 14 June 2016

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Expo 86

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Written by Craig

June 14th, 2017 at 12:19 am

Posted in Blah blah,Music

3,354: One Love Manchester

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I wasn’t able to watch One Love Manchester when it was on telly live, but thankfully the whole thing’s on Ariana Grande’s YouTube channel. It was a beautiful concert: perfectly judged for her audience and the circumstances.

Liam singing Live Forever was fantastic. Coldplay’s version of Don’t Look Back in Anger, too.

Coldplay showed exactly why they are so great and so popular. Fix You and Viva La Vida were fantastic.

But, of course, the star of the show was Ariana.

When I watched it all yesterday afternoon, there were many moments when I had a lump in my throat, tears in my eyes, but Ariana singing Over the Rainbow to close the show… man, that did me in completely. I have no idea how she kept it together enough to be able to sing it all.

A wee bit of artwork
Pyyramid2, drawn with the Ipad app Pixaki.

Other business
Please.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Flash Delirium by MGMT

On this day
Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and beyond, 8 June 2008

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Bosnian crisis

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June 8th, 2017 at 12:00 am

3,350: Two Tribes

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Two Tribes, Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s second single, was released on the fourth of June 1984. It was quite a thrilling time. My memory is that it was a good hot summer, we were wearing t-shirts asking/telling people to Choose Life, Relax Don’t Do It, and Arm The Unemployed.

I was 13 years old, so it’s slightly difficult to remember exactly how nuclear war seemed like it was just around the corner. But that’s how it felt. More thrilling than everyone dying, though, was this song, its video (and staying up late, I seem to remember, to watch its first unedited showing on Channel 4), and the fact that their debut single was climbing back up the charts.

It was a good time for music, looking back. There are five songs that I still listen to fairly regularly in the top ten from the week that Two Tribes entered the charts at number one (still quite a rare thing in those days): Two Tribes, Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, Smalltown Boy, High Energy, Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.

I did a chart about this in 2013. Worth another look, maybe. Bigger here.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
I Don’t Wanna Live Forever by Zayn and Taylor Swift

On this day
London 2012, 4 June 2007

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Bunker

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June 4th, 2017 at 2:47 am

Posted in Infographics,Music

3,346: I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)

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I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) by Whitney Houston was number one in the UK thirty years ago.

It is, of course, a magnificent piece of work. A teenager at the time, I had decided that Whitney Houston wasn’t my cup of tea. The whole vocal gymnastics thing. But, y’know, you can’t deny this song, eh? It’s ace.

I actually think, though, that it took me until hearing Whitney Joins the JAMs by the Justified Ancient of Mu Mu for me to properly appreciate the original.

Previous posts about number ones from thirty years ago:
18/1/2017: Jack Your Body
1/2/2017: I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
15/2/2017: Stand By Me
8/3/2017: Everything I Own
22/3/2017: Respectable
29/3/2017: Let It Be
19/4/2017: La Isla Bonita
3/5/2017: Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now

A wee bit of artwork
Following on from the drawing of Dynamo fans yesterday, here’s some pixel “art,” some adult entertainment. There’s a reason for this, not just titillation for people who like to squint. I was thinking that I need to practice drawing people in other poses, and people close to each other. This seemed like an obvious place to begin.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Kissing Strangers by DNCE

On this day
London football teams, 31 May 2014

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Saltholm

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May 31st, 2017 at 2:14 am

3,336: Bierpinsel

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In the Steglitz district of Berlin, there’s this wonderful building. It was designed by Ralf Schüler and Ursulina Schüler-Witte (who also designed the excellent ICC that I wrote about recently), built in the early Seventies, and was originally a restaurant and nightclub. It’s been closed for over a decade. In 2010, it was painted by graffiti artists. And yep, it’s cool as heck. Some poor quality photos from my crappy phone below. The Internet is full of better pics of the Bierpinsel should you feel like googlin’.









The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Carolina by Harry Styles. I’ve listened to the album quite a bit now. I like 1D anyway, and the Sign of the Times single was ace. The album is pretty good. If you heard it in a cafe or bar and didn’t know who it was you’d be interested to know who it’s by. It’s a 7 out of 10, I reckon. And there’s enough good stuff there to think that maybe he will end up having quite a long and fruitful career. Good for him, cos he comes across as an exceptionally nice young man in interviews.

On this day
It’s Grim Up North, 24 May 2013

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Love and Dancing

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May 24th, 2017 at 1:33 am

Posted in Blah blah,Music,Photos

3,333: Three

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Three is, as we are all more than aware, the magic number.
Yes it is. It’s the magic number.

First interesting thing about the number 3 is that the version you sometimes see with a flat top bit was developed to stop people changing it to an 8. Source.

Obviously, there’s the Holy Trinity: the Taylor, the Charli, and the Carly Rae.

It’s been retired six times in Major League Baseball: Babe Ruth (Yankees), Earl Averill (Cleveland’s baseball team), Bill Terry (Giants), Harmon Killebrew (Twins), Dale Murphy (Braves), Harold Baines (White Sox).

And Fun Boy Three. A fantastic short-lived group formed by three members of the Specials. I really liked them when I was a kid. I was eleven or twelve years old. They still sound ace, though. I can distinctly remember the feeling of joy I had when, after “It Ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It)” was by Fun Fun Three with Bananarama, there was “Really Saying Something” by Bananarama with Fun Boy Three. That made me happy. And even though we’d already had Motörhead and Girlschool doing a record together, but the idea that two complete bands could do a record together was mind-blowing to me.

All of their excellent singles:
The Lunatics (Have Taken Over the Asylum)
It Ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It)
Really Saying Something
The Telephone Always Rings
Summertimes
The More I See (The Less I Believe)
The Tunnel of Love
Our Lips Are Sealed

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Shy Boy by Bananarama (entirely a coincidence, by the way, but a nice one).

On this day
Ballpark in the forest, 23 May 2011

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Martin Rushent

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Written by Craig

May 23rd, 2017 at 2:10 am

Posted in Blah blah,Music

3,329: There’s a band playing on the radio

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There’s a radio in the bathroom. And there’s a bathtub in the bathroom. Those two things make for an enjoyable combo. I, as disc jockeys often tell you to do, keep it locked on one station: Berliner Rundfunk 91.4 It’s an oldies station. Back in the day, their slogan was something like “the best of sixties, seventies, eighties, and all time.” You would hope so, really. I mean, that’s what oldies stations do, innit? Apart from Craig Robinson FM which will play the most average songs of the sixties, seventies, eighties, and all time. It’s 10.34am, and this is “Living in a Box” by Living in in a Box.

Aside from the fact that they seem to play Cat Stevens every time I’m in the tub, it’s a joy-filled time for me. There’s pretty much always something I can sing along with. There are, of course, times when I wanna listen to something different, like E2-E4 for example, which I listen to in the bath at least once a month, I’d say.

But, yep, Berliner Rundfunk is the business. Oh Yeah, (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life, You Make Me Feel Brand New, Young Turks, Live is Life, Dreadlock Holiday, Forever in Blue Jeans, Mississippi, Sweet Home Alabama, Red Red Wine, . I could go on, naturally.

And once I’m done lying around doing nothing in the tub, time to sit up, clean my bits, then I’m right next to where the shower head holder thing is on the wall. It’s time for singing into the fisheye lens effect of the shiny metal. That can last quite a while, I’ll tell you that for nothing. Shrivelled skin on my finger tips, but heartily singing along – totally nude! – to Sloop John B.

A wee bit of artwork

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Live While We’re Young by One Direction

On this day
Something for the weekend, 19 May 2006

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Andrew Weatherall

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Written by Craig

May 19th, 2017 at 2:38 am

Posted in Blah blah,Music

3,313: Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now

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Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship was number one in the UK thirty years ago.

This was written by pumper-outer-of-hit-songs Diane Warren and dad-of-him-out-of-the-Strokes Albert Hammond. That’s a little unfair, as Daddy Hammond had his fair share of success. Looking at that Wikipedia page, I noticed that Albert Hammond, Jr. from the Strokes is the son of someone – this song’s Albert Hammond – already with a “Jr.” at the end of his name. Are there not rules about such things? Can a Jr. be the son of a Jr.? Shouldn’t Strokes boy be Albert Hammond III?

Anyway, this Starship song is quite nice, innit? It’s easy to be transported back to that time just watching the video. My feeling is I probably wouldn’t have admitted to liking this song back then. This was a time when my brain was, stupidly, starting to shun pop music a bit. I was into Simple Minds and U2 and Bruce Springsteen, so, y’know. There was a couple of years there when things got fairly boring. All that rocky stuff infecting my brain. Thankfully it wasn’t too long before Kylie came along and reminded me that pop music will always be number one.

The main thing that comes back, though, when I watch this video is how there was quite a few years there where music videos were barely more than adverts for movies.

Previous posts about number ones from thirty years ago:
18/1/2017: Jack Your Body
1/2/2017: I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
15/2/2017: Stand By Me
8/3/2017: Everything I Own
22/3/2017: Respectable
29/3/2017: Let It Be
19/4/2017: La Isla Bonita

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Jump (For Your Love) by the Pointer Sisters

On this day
Cafetière, 3 May 2009. I can close my eyes and still feel the pain in my feet.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Coyote

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Written by Craig

May 3rd, 2017 at 1:55 am

Posted in Blah blah,Music

3,298: Prince

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A Minipop of Prince for every year of his career, 1978 to 2016.

You can see it a bit bigger here.

For those of you keeping track, these are Minipops Nos. 1,264 to 1,302.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Big Brother UK TV Theme by Elementfour

On this day
Sine

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
21.04.16, 21 April 2016

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April 21st, 2017 at 2:23 am

Posted in Artwork,Minipops,Music

3,294: La Isla Bonita

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La Isla Bonita by Madonna was number one in the UK thirty years ago.

I assume that when Madonna was talking about a beautiful island, she wasn’t talking about the UK. Probably somewhere a bit warmer. According to Wikipedia, the instrumental of this song was offered to Michael Jackson first. Madonna ended up with it, and give it some lyrics and a melody. It also says that the San Pedro mentioned in the song is the San Pedro in Belize. Cool. I like Belize. Never been to San Pedro, though.

Not anywhere close to my top ten of favourite Madonna songs, but good enough, and way better than the awful version of Let It Be that it replaced at the top of the charts.

Previous posts about number ones from thirty years ago:
18/01/2017: Jack Your Body
01/02/2017: I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
15/02/2017: Stand By Me
08/03/2017: Everything I Own
22/03/2017: Respectable
29/03/2017: Let It Be

A wee bit of artwork
Back in 2013, I did some drawings of little pixelly diamond-y fellas, all the home kits in English football, the Scottish Premier League, and Liga MX in Mexico. Finally got around to doing another one, this season’s 1. Bundesliga teams.

Other business
For obvious reasons, and just out of interest, I filled in this thingy, to see how in line with Labour I am.

The answer was, unsurprisingly: very.

A little bit annoyed that I’m 40% Conservative, though. That’s kinda gross.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Wow and Flutter by Stereolab.

On this day
Eyes, 19 April 2005

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Semi-major and semi-minor axes

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Written by Craig

April 19th, 2017 at 3:22 am

3,280: Yacht Rock

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I’ve not watched Yacht Rock for quite some time. Still great, though. Such a wonderful idea and execution. It’s nearly twelve years old now.

All the episodes are here.

Rolling Stone article from 2015 about it here.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Amazing Day by Coldplay who are seemingly the default noise in my brain.

On this day
Pink Floid, 4 April 2008

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Tidal locking

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Written by Craig

April 4th, 2017 at 3:44 am

Posted in Blah blah,Music