My Generation – Out one Saturday with girlfriends in the Toon, when I got talking to ‘John from Killi’ (we had never met) mainly about the state of United and then Peter Beardsley (our mutual fondness). My daughter came to seek me out after work. I introduced her to John. They shook hands and she said “Cool, t shirt!” John was wearing a Smiths t-shirt. “Thanks flower but yee’ll not have a clue who The Smiths are”? “I know who The Smiths are” she replied.
The conversation progressed into her favourite songs and then John sharing his thoughts and being genuinely impressed with her knowledge. We left with him congratulating me on my excellent parenting. The next day she recalled the conversation and although we laughed at her hilarious impression of John, “flower, flower, flower do you even know who The Smiths are”? She was a tad miffed, why do older people always presume the younger generation have crap music taste? “Don’t be daft I said, that’s not true”. But thinking about it we do tend to do that, but then so do they. I’ve done that, but then again so has my Mam and so have my kids with me. My Mam loves opera. I can tell you as a teenager growing up on a council estate in the West End of Newcastle, this wasn’t something to shout about. I often brought a pal back from school and opened the front door to Pavarotti blasting out, I would be cringing.
But really what is ‘good taste’ in music who determines that? People have said to me “you’ve got great taste in music”. Is that not just because their taste is similar? My kids like myself have been brought up in a home that enjoys music and I tell them to embrace it all, whatever they like, whatever they enjoy is that not the best way? Even Country my least pleasurable genre!!! Even Country, yes I’ve put that in writing……………Country!!
So my musical choices this week are a combination of songs that you my family and I love that maybe you wouldn’t necessarily expect. Hope we surprise you with a few of our favourites and in the words of John from Killi, “flower! flower! Flower”! Enjoy!
THE SMITHS – BIG MOUTH STRIKES AGAIN
The Smiths, love them or hate them (I love them) are an iconic band. Formed in Manchester in 1982.The band consisted of vocalist Morrissey, guitarist Johnny Marr, bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce. The Smiths had several singles reach the UK top twenty and all four of their studio albums reached the UK top five, including one which topped the charts. The band broke up in 1987and have turned down several offers to reunite. They are considered the most influential British guitar group of the decade and the first indie outsiders to achieve mainstream success on their own terms. This track is taken from their 3rd album The Queen Is Dead released in 1986. It was ranked the greatest record of all time on NME Greatest Albums of All Time list.
This is for John from Killi and all the Big Mouths who have blurted things out and presumed their music taste is the best. He said this was his favourite Smith’s and it’s also mine. From the opening chords and Morrissey’s sweetness sweetness and my favourite line “and now I know how Joan of Arc felt”. Crazy lyrics, great music and I just love it. Big mouth la la laaaaa…………
UB40 – KINGSTON TOWN
UB40 the British reggae/pop band from Birmingham surely need no introduction. The band members began as friends who knew each other from various schools across Birmingham. With musicians of English, Scottish, Irish, Yemeni and Jamaican parentage, it is Multi cultural Britain in a band. They have had over 50 singles in the UK chart and sold over 70 million records. Their Discography is quite astounding. They were influenced by the many blues parties they attended as teenagers in the multicultural Balsall Heath area of Birmingham.
My daughter studied British History 1951-2007 and I told her to listen to some of the songs by UB40 and other bands from the 80s, they gave an insight into the problems of that time like unemployment especially. This track actually had a video attached that showed Jamaican immigrants arriving to the shores of UK back in 1948. Laid back Reggae vibe and Ali Campbell’s distinctive voice, well no wonder she loves it and well so do I.
THE FLIRTATIONS – NOTHING BUT HEARTACHE
The Flirtations (previously The Gypsies) are an all-female musical group who have recorded since the early 1960s. After winning a small local talent contest in 1968 to see who could sound the most like the Supremes, they packed their bags and headed for England, where they signed to the Parrot label in 1968 they supported the label’s star act Tom Jones on his European tour. The band was rediscovered in the disco and Northern soul circuits of the UK. There very Motown sound that was never Motown.
This track was their signature recording. It is a typical Northern Soul classic and that’s how my son has come to love it. I’m a huge Northern Soul fan and this track is on a few compilation CD’s I play. He said this is his favourite. I was gobbed smacked one day to hear him singing along word for word, that’s my lad. I fail in my mission with the dancing though, he’s not having it!!! #KTF
Check out this video, they don’t make them like this any more (thank god).
THE SMALL FACES- TIN SOLDIER
The Small Faces were an English rock band from London. They formed in 1965, Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones, and Jimmy Winston. The band is remembered as one of the most influential mod groups of the 1960s.With their memorable hit songs such as “Itchycoo Park”, “Lazy Sunday”, “All or Nothing”, “Tin Soldier”, and their concept album Ogden’s’ Nut Gone Flake, they were one of the UK’s most successful bands. They disbanded in 1969. Despite the fact that they were together for such a short time in their original format the band gave us, some iconic sounds and remain one of the best mod bands ever.
Tin Soldier was originally written by Steve Marriott for singer P.P. Arnold, but Marriott liked it so much he kept it himself. P.P. Arnold can be heard singing backing vocals on the song. When Tin Soldier was released the BBC informed the band that the last line of the song had to be removed from all TV and radio broadcasts, mistakenly believing that Marriott sang “sleep with you”, when in fact the lyric is “sit with you”. Marriott explained that the song was about getting into someone’s mind—not their body. Tin Soldier reached number nine in the UK Singles Chart and remains one of Small Faces’ best known songs.
My favourite Small Faces song. Written just before I was born and one of my top 10 songs probably. I was once singing this at work at my Saturday job when I was still at school. It came on the radio and I belted it out. The man I worked with probably 30 years my senior was impressed. “How do you know that”, he laughed. I love Steve Marriott’s voice in my opinion he’s the greatest frontman of all time. I love the end line………”Cause I love youuuuu” *swoon
LUCIANO PAVAROTTI – NESSUM DORMA
Luciano Pavarotti was born in 1935 on the outskirts of Modena in Northern Italy. Pavarotti was an Italian operatic tenor who also crossed over into popular music. He made numerous recordings of complete operas and individual arias, gaining worldwide fame for the brilliance and beauty of his tone and eventually established himself as one of the finest tenors of the 20th century. Pavarotti had very humble beginnings. He only became interested in a career in singing when his dream of being a goal keeper failed. He has had an impressive career, but he shot to mega stardom in 1990 when he sang Nessun Dorma for the BBC’s theme music for coverage of the World Cup in Italy.
I remember my Mam listening to this with tears in her eyes. Now I do the same, it’s very powerful and moving music and Pavarotti’s voice it is astounding. Just sad it’s took me so long to appreciate it, back in the early 80s long before its World Cup fame. Here you go Mam and I’m sorry, you do know your stuff.
Before I go I will share this little gem with you. My Mam (87) said to my son (13) “So all your records are in that PPod thing son”? Yes Gran! Ehhh that’s marvellous isn’t it.
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