Thursday, July 31, 2014

Songs About People # 44 - Huey Newton - St.Vincent

 
This is rather nice. I'm not sure if that's St.Vincent's foot above. About, or possibly not about the Black Panther leader.
 
 

Song of the Day # 194 - Crime

 
Everything that was neglected and ignored in Rock music no matter how obscure seems to have its moment in the sun a few decades later. Such is the case now for San Francisco Punk originators Crime. Best known probably for debut single Hotwire my Heart, covered by Sonic Youth they have a career compilation out shortly. It gets an excellent page long review in this month's Mojo, written by Jon Savage who does these things best. Here's their last single, which, he says, 'pushes the riff from Lust for Life into a relentless, surging, tour de force.'
 
 

31st July 1958 - Bill Berry

 
And strangely one day younger than Kate Bush is...R.E.M's drummer. This is a picture of Mike Mills instead. You can spot Berry in this clip as he's the one behind the drum kit whose eyebrows meet in the middle. Possibly my favourite R.E.M. song.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Songs About People # 43 Nelson Mandela - Youssou N'Dour

 
Yes, the Special AKA version is great but so is this. Cheers to an old school friend Paul, for pointing me towards it.
 
 

30th July 1958 - Kate Bush

 
Happy Birthday to a true one off!

Songs Heard on the Radio # 3 Bob Brady & the Con Chords

 
From the endless seam of Northern Soul. Never heard this before as with so many of them although I have invested in a number of Northern Soul records in the last few years. What I like about the station I usually listen to is that the DJs genuinely seem to choose a lot of the records they play themselves which is the way it should be. So long as your DJs don't have horrid taste of course. This comes courtesy of Stuart Maconie who definitely knows his stuff.
 
 

The Stranglers - The Colour Black

 
The ultimate Rock and Roll colour. Here's a short documentary made in the early eighties for the BBC by The Stranglers, who never wore anything else. From Dangerous Minds. Just a wonderful website.

Song of the Day # 193 -Big Star

 
Thinking about Big Star a lot just now. There's a documentary film that has just come to Britain, and is being shown shortly, though sadly not near me. Their first two albums have just been re-released. And then there're always the records. I need to write a longer feature on here at some point. But for the time being here is this, from their first album, appropriately # 1 Record. Sadly, it was far from it.
 
 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tom Waits


Singles Runs # 2 - The Smiths

'Fifteen minutes with you...' Not all big hits. But in terms of quality, a run of singles to match that of any of the great British bands of the sixties. Which was surely what they were gunning for. And the record sleeves were a masterstroke. I've just spent a golden fifteen minutes listening to these five records in succession. You could do much worse with fifteen of your own. When I have time I'll get back to this and itemise them in all their glory.

1. Hand in Glove
 
 


 

2. This Charming Man (the game changer)
 
 
3. What Difference Does It Make
 
 
 
 
4. William It Was Really Nothing
 
 
 
 
5. Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
 
 
 

29th July 1974 - James Brown - Soul Train # 5

 
Will you look at that. Forty years ago, this was Number One on the American R&B chart. Here he is on Soul Train. Nice tash!
 

Instrumentals # 11 - Laika & the Cosmonauts

 
A wonderful conflation of the Psycho and Vertigo themes from a Finnish Surf troupe that operated for three decades before splitting a few years back.

Song of the Day # 192 - Rosetta Hightower

 
Anybody called Rosetta Hightower and looking like that deserves attention. This is originally by Eddie Floyd and was later covered by The Jam but I'm going with Rosetta
 
.

Monday, July 28, 2014

R.E.M's Catapult demo produced by Stephen Hague

 
The oddest thing. This was a demo produced by future New Order, Stephen Hague, making them sound a bit like, a bad New Order. There are all kinds of sounds and effects that you would in no way associate with early R.E.M. It is barely 'of the south'.The song goes nowhere whatsoever with this production and though I think it's one of the weaker songs on Murmur, sounds far better and much more propulsive there as produced by Mitch Easter and Don Dixon.

Songs About People # 42 Jacques Derrida - Scritti Politti

 
A song about the impenetrable French philosopher. Or maybe not. I never really understood what most of Green's songs were about though I like many of them. This has certainly got a great tune. Sounds to be strangely like a Post Modern Paul Simon. Not quite a hit in the UK.. Should have been! Meanwhile  I never had the slightest idea what Derrida was on about, am not sure it's my loss,  and as far as I knew he never wrote a memorable tune.
 
 

Singles Runs # 1 The Move

1. Night of Fear (their first single) # 2 in the UK

 
 
2. I Can Hear the Grass Grow # 5 (much beloved of Mark. E. Smith)
 
 
3. Flowers in the Rain # 2 (first song ever played on BBC Radio 1)
 
 
4. Fire Brigade # 3
 
 
5. Wild Tiger Woman (no chart position - no wonder)
 
 
6.Blackberry Way # 1 (richly deserved)
 
 
7. Curly # 12
 
 
8. Brontosaurus # 7
 
 
Then shortly afterwards they became ELO and Wizzard, and in my view, not as good. That's not a bad run of pop singles though!
 
 
 

Garage Discoveries # 10 - The Bluestars

 
There just had to be a New Zealand based Garage Band from the sixties. And here they are! From Auckland.

Instrumentals # 10 - Jacques Lasry- Baschet

 
For anyone British who grew up in the 70s and watched Picture Box at some point, and that's pretty much each and every one of them, here is the theme. Incredibly evocative!

Song of the Day # 191 - Sparks

 
For me, Sparks were always slightly hit and miss, partly due to the sheer volume of their output. Love their best stuff though. Like this.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

28th July 1939 - Judy Garland

 
Recorded this day.

The Smiths - Jeane

 
The earliest available filmed appearance of The Smiths. At their third gig at The Hacienda. Nice to come across things like this. The B-Side to This Charming Man and a wonderful song in its own right.

60s Girl Groups

Great article on a great subject. From The Guardian

60s girl groups: 10 of the best

Girl groups might have been responsible for the sweetest 60s music, but their lyrics covered everything from teenage pregnancy to frightening dogs, as this playlist shows

1. Martha and the Vandellas - Nowhere to Run

Martha and the Vandellas
Martha and the Vandellas. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives
As good as song intros get – a military stomp announced with a rattle of drums that sets up a song as purposeful as you’ll hear: Martha Reeves might have nowhere to run from the tumultuous relationship documented here, but it sounds as if she’s trying anyway. Lamont Dozier claims the the strident piano pounding was inspired by looking out of his window and seeing tanks coming down the Detroit streets as the 1960s became ever more turbulent, while the rattling percussion sound you hear is not just tambourines, but also snow-chains. Add the Funk Brothers rhythm section to the mix and you have the sonic equivalent of a punch in the guts, in the best possible way.

2. The Paris Sisters – All Through the Night

The Paris Sisters, circa 1970
The Paris Sisters, circa 1970. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives
These three sisters from San Francisco – led by the incredibly named Priscilla Paris – were Phil Spector proteges, with the young producer coaxing a sultry, slow tempo sound from them. This B-side departs from that signature style – a rattling, rockabilly number with a melody that feels as if it's been reincarnated several times over the decades of future pop, in music from Grease to Glasvegas. Lyrically, All Through the Night is purely sweet and innocent – dreaming of a date is what’s keeping the girls tossing and turning in their sleep, of course.

3. The Ronettes – Why Don’t They Let Us Fall in Love?

The Ronettes in 1964
The Ronettes in 1964. Photograph: Allstar Collection/Sportsphoto
Is it blasphemous to pick a girl group playlist without including Be My Baby, for many people the greatest pop song ever released? Probably, but by sticking only to the classics there’s a danger of us overlooking some great music – in the Ronettes' case I Wonder, Walking in the Rain and Why Don’t They Let Us Fall in Love to name just three. The latter is the first song the group recorded with Spector after he signed them to Philles Records in 1963, and showcases the full force of his production: echo-laden drums, multi-layered instruments and a swooning brass motif that has been replicated many times, including on Dion’s Only You Know (also produced by Spector) and Jarvis Cocker’s cheeky steal Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time. The song – which riffs on a common girl-group theme of how other people, most likely killjoy parents, won't accept your love – was originally set to be the Ronettes' first single with Spector, before the producer decided to go with Be My Baby instead.

4. The Blossoms – That’s When the Tears Start

The Blossoms
The Blossoms. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives
The Blossoms featured yet another Spector protege, Darlene Love, who featured heavily on his Christmas album, A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector. That’s When the Tears Start is a great example of girl groups’ knack for pairing uplifting, danceable music to lyrics of despair. This song, like Smokey Robinson’s Tracks of My Tears, concerns hiding heartbreak in public behind a fixed smile, but you barely notice thanks to a skipping rhythm ideal for sliding along the floor of Wigan Casino and an uplifting chord change during the instrumental break. I especially love the way the end of the chorus – a high pitched “over yoooou-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh” – continues into the next verse, to serve as backing vocals for the next verse.

5. The Cookies – Only to Other People

I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the Cookies, whose dorky charm chimed perfectly with their songs’ lyrics of longing and despair. They’re known mostly for Chains – a Goffin/King number that went on to be covered by the Beatles – but some of their other songs had a deeper emotional pull. Only to Other People is a ballad that sets out its gloomy stall with three descending chords before unveiling a tale familiar to any lonely teenager: “I’ve been told that dreams come true, and handsome boys fall in love with you,” goes the opening line, before such youthful fantasies are quashed: “But I’ve only seen it happen in the movies, only in fairytales, only in the books I’ve read … and only to other people.” The feeling that real love is something out of the protagonist’s reach is a theme Morrissey would pick up and run with on songs such as How Soon Is Now?, so it’s no surprise that the Smiths covered the band's equally brilliant I Want a Boy for My Birthday during one of their first rehearsals (although only a teasing 30 seconds of that rough recording exists on the web).    

6. The Shangri Las – Bull Dog

The Shangri Las weren’t just leaders of the pack, they stood out from it too, adding a dark undercurrent to the typically adolescent girl group themes of kisses and crushes on songs like I Can Never Go Home Anymore. That song’s B-side, Bull Dog, hardly showcases the same level of sophistication – it is, after all, a song about a scary dog who disapproves of a blossoming relationship – but the handclaps, punchy piano chords and cheerleader chorus chants make this a storming dancefloor number for any girl group playlist.

7. The Exciters – He’s Got the Power

Talking of darker territory, there are few things darker than domestic abuse, which the genre has always been linked with, from Phil Spector’s treatment of Ronnie Spector to The Crystal’s He Hit Me (and It Felt Like a Kiss). Many songs flirted with the fine line between obsessive love and abuse, and this Queens group – originally a girl group before Brenda Reid’s husband Herb Rooney joined – provide a great example. “He makes me do things I don’t want to do,” begins this song furiously, over drum crashes and a slide down the piano, before concluding: “He’s got the power, the power of love over me.”

8. The Supremes – He’s All I Got

Useless, abusive men might find themselves the target of many a girl group track but there are plenty of songs that reserve their venom for other women too. On this B-side – from the most successful girl group of all time – the female under attack doesn’t appear to be a love rival. Instead, she’s someone who's unhappy in love and out to spoil the happiness of others with her trash talk. It makes the song’s attack a tricky balancing act – less a character assassination, more a plea for said girl to retract her idle gossip before it causes lasting damage. The soaring strings, along with propulsive brass and drums, made this a northern soul favourite.

9. The Shirelles – Will You Love Me Tomorrow

Girl group songs were often more concerned with love and longing than white-hot lust. On Will You Love Me Tomorrow, however, pre-marital sex controversially took centre stage, although it’s not the thrill of the act that this classic is concerned with, but the cold, emotional fall-out that can arrive the morning after. Written before the swinging 60s had taken hold, Gerry Goffin and Carole King's song managed to be both taboo and prescient (as the decade progressed, the lyrics seemed increasingly to question its liberal mores, something King acknowledged herself when she recorded it for Tapestry as a wiser woman). As an aside, I have fond memories of watching Ryan Jarman from the Cribs “interpret” this song during the band’s early gigs, often while catastrophically drunk, treading on broken bottles and heckling his own crowd. Proof, if proof were needed, that songs this perfect can withstand any treatment.

10. Lovelites – How Can I Tell My Mom and Dad

Parents are the unlikely stars of many girl group songs, with the vocalist either hiding things from them, running away from them or simply hoping not to disappoint them. On this record, Chicago’s Lovelites are doing all three, stressing out – although admittedly over a laidback groove – about how to explain to their folks that they’ve got pregnant and the guy responsible has upped and left. The hook here – “somebody pleeeease help me explain” – is especially sublime, while the music itself shows how the girl group sound would adapt to more expansive styles and survive for decades to come.
The Lovelites circa 1970
The Lovelites circa 1970. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives

The Cramps Live at Napa State Mental Hospital

 
An incredible document.

Instrumentals # 9 The Advancement

 
1969 jazz album. Nothing particularly happens. But in a rather wonderful way!

Things I've Found on my Local's Jukebox # 27 Creedence Clearwater Revival

 
Best song from the last Creedence album Mardi Gras after the two other remaining band members insisted on sharing songwriter duties. Bad move. Don't really like Sweet Hitch-hiker the other big Fogerty song on the album which crosses the line towards sleazy despite a decent tune. Creedence are the one big band that never really wrote a great song about love and romance. Their concerns lay elsewhere.
 
 

27th July 1944 - Bobbie Gentry

 
Bobbie is 70 today. This seems impossible. A wonderful talent.

Song of the Day # 190 -Reigning Sound

 
Again I have my friend Rod to thank for this. He posted a recommendation for this band's new album Shattered and now I own it. A cracking, authentic Rock and Roll record.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

26th July 1941 - Darlene Love

 
Darlene Love. Born today!

Subway Sect

 
Coming out in September. With a cover like that I imagine it will need to be owned.

1,000 Posts 100 Songs


This is my thousandth post on here. So I thought I'd post 100 favourite songs by a hundred favourite artists. Not the best songs ever written necessarily but favourites of mine. Many will remain there forever. The next 100 will come a thousand posts further down the line.

1. The Go-Betweens - Cattle & Cane
2. Marvin Gaye - Inner City Blues
3. The Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever
4. Can - Vitamin C
5. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Bad Moon Rising
6. David Bowie - Golden Years
7. Vince Taylor - Brand New Cadillac
8. Toots & the Maytals - 54-46 Was My Number
9. James Brown - Hot Pants
10. R.E.M. - Harborcoat
11. Dion - I Was Born To Cry
12. Donna Summer - I Feel Love
13. Ken Boothe - Everything I Own
14. The Clash - London Calling
15. The Ronettes - Be My Baby
16. ? & the Mysterians - 96 Tears
17. Mink De Ville - Spanish Stroll
18. The Cramps - Human Fly
19. Elvis Presley - Mystery Train
20 The Shins - New Slang
21. The Ramones - Rockaway Beach
22. Roxy Music - In Every Dream Home A Heartache
23. The Jaynettes - Sally Go Round the Roses
24. PIL - Public Image
25. Television - Venus
26. Aztec Camera - The Boy Wonders
27. Anne Peebles - I Can't Stand the Rain
28. Gil Scott Heron - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
29. The Who - Pinball Wizard
30. Echo & the Bunnymen - The Cutter
31. Jackson 5 - The Love You Save
32. The Stooges - Down on the Street
33. The Velvet Underground - Rock & Roll
34. Howlin' Wolf - Smokestack Lightning
35. Scott Walker - Montague Terrace
36. Big Star - September Gurls
37. Missy Elliot - Get Your Freak On
38. The Strokes - The Modern Age
39. Pere Ubu - The Modern Dance
40. The Triffids - Wide Open Road
41. LCD Soundsystem - Losing My Edge
42. Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley
43. Al Green - Tired of Being Alone
44. The 13th Floor Elevators - You're Going to Miss Me
45.  Ice Cube - It Was a Good Day
46. The New York Dolls - Trash
47. The Smiths - Jeane
48. Subway Sect - Ambition
49. The Undertones - It's Going to Happen
50. Dexys Midnight Runners - Geno
51. The Kinks - Shangri-La
52. Frank Sinatra - It Was a Very Good Year
53. The Modern Lovers - Roadrunner
54. The Sugarhill Gang - Rappers Delight
55. The Teardrop Explodes - Sleeping Gas
56. Aretha Franklin - I Say a Little Prayer
57. Dionne Warwick - This Girl's in Love With You
58. The Byrds (So You Want to Be) a Rock'n'Roll Star
59. Patti Smith - Piss Factory
60. The Flamingos - I Only Have Eyes For You
61. The Sonics - Strychnine
62. The Chills - Pink Frost
63. Camper Van Beethoven - Take the Skinheads Bowling
64. Bob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick Blues
65. Ray Charles - What I'd Say
66. Screamin' Jay Hawkins - I Put a Spell on You
67. Nick Drake - At the Chime of the City Clock
68. Johnny Cash - Ring of Fire
69. Serge Gainsbourg - Initials B.B.
70. Peggy Lee - Is That All There Is?
71. Love - A House is not a Motel
72. Them - It's All Over Now Baby Blue
73. The Crystals - (He Hit Me) and it Felt like a Kiss
74. Petula Clark - Don't Sleep in the Subway
75. Sonic Youth - Teenage Riot
76. Talking Heads - Heaven
77. Marsha Hunt - Walk on Gilded Splinters
78. Miriam Makeba - Pata Pata
79. The Rolling Stones - Time is on my Side
80. Tom Waits - Step Right Up
81. Gram Parsons - She
82. The Everly Brothers - All I Have to Do is Dream
83. Micky & Sylvia - Love Is Strange
84. Booker T & the MGs - Green Onions
85. Joy Division - Transmission
86. Jacques Dutronc - Et Moi, Et Moi, Et Moi
87. Simon & Garfunkel - The Only Living Boy in New York
88. Suicide - Rocket USA
89. My Bloody Valentine - You Made Me Realise
90. Max Romeo - War in a Babylon
91. Kraftwerk - Autobahn
92. Pulp - I Spy
93. Lee Hazlewood - My Autumn's Done Gone
94 The Replacements - Unsatisfied
95. Althea & Donna - Uptown Top Ranking
96. The Doors - LA Woman
97. Elvis Costello - Alison
98. Pixies - Bone Machine
99. Fairport Convention - A Sailor's Song
100. The Temptations - Papa Was a Rollin' Stone

Instrumentals # 8 Alain Romans

 
Part of the soundtrack to Monsieur Hulot's holiday a real favourite of a certain generation (my father included). Also an apt accompaniment to a real scorching summer.

Record Box


Songs About People # 41 Lewis & Clark - The Long Ryders

 
One of their finest moments. A near hit in 1985. Written about the great pioneers, Lewis and Clark amongst other things. Also about the debasement of the American dream.
 
 

Song of the Day #189 - Jimmy Scott

 
One of the great voices. Unfortunately he died recently. I particularly like how he slurs, 'Why was ah born' here.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Songs About People # 40 - Alex Chilton - The Replacements

 
People really made videos like this in the 1980s. Tribute from ultimate slackers to surly, cult Big Star leader.
 
 

25th July 1965 - Bob Dylan

 
Bob Dylan plugged in at the Newport Folk Festival. Unfortunately, given Dylan's ban on YouTube you can see but not hear this.

Song of the Day # 188 - Aztec Camera

 
I seem to be thinking a lot about Roddy Frame recently. Such a talent. He's just turned 50 and I'm not that far behind him. Listening to his records, even his more recent ones, make me feel like I'm 17 again. This is from Knife, Aztec's second album which isn't as good as High Land, Hard Rain but what is. This is a fine song though. I have a copy which I got signed at HMV in Oxford Street by the band themselves in silver ink!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

24th July 1977 - Donna Summer

 
This was Number 1 in the UK in 1977. I remember hearing it for the first time at a holiday camp disco for kids. Quite an extraordinary record.

Songs Heard on the Radio # 2 Josef K

 
Josef K had a beautiful, jittery, jarring sound. Just wonderful to hear this coming out of the radio at three in the afternoon.
 
 

Songs About People # 39 Damo Suzuki - The Fall

 
I'm not always the greatest Fall fan but this is great. Also a tribute to a man who deserves a tribute if anyone does. The lead singer of Can during their golden era.
 
 

Song of the Day # 187 Sam & Dave

 
Is this song just an enormous euphemism? We'll probably never know. Still it works very well both ways.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What Courtney Barnett did next

 
 
 

Line of the Day # 1 Lloyd Cole

 
' Drinking tea and taking unpaid leave. From my women's studies uh, huh.'
 
Not enough hits on the blog today so time to start another spurious series. This is from Lloyd's fine latest album Standards. Plenty of cracking lines and melodies adorn the record. The song also namedrops legendary Edinburgh band Josef K. Good lad.

Songs About People # 38 - Morrissey - Sparks

 
Fellow travellers. Nice video. You imagine Morrissey just loved the tribute.
 
 

23rd July 1966 - Frank Sinatra

 
The album of the same name went to Number 1 in the States this day. I was surprised it came out as late as 1966.

Songs of the Day # 186 - The Mantles

 
From a couple of years back. San Francisco band. The fact that they've got such an understanding on Roky Erickson and early R.E.M. melody made me an easy victim. Thanks to Stateside friend Rod for pointing me in this direction.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Songs Featuring Recorders # 4 Because - The Beatles

 
One of their most beautiful songs. McCartney on reeds. He also pumped this instrument on Fool On The Hill.
 
 

Songs About People # 37 Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow - Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardot

 
Any excuse to play this great, great record. The lyrics are a translation of the letter the duo sent to the police eulogising their pursuits.
 
 

22nd July 1941 - George Clinton

 
George Clinton's birthday. Happy Birthday George!
 
 

Song of the Day # 185 Bill Callahan



Spent a morning with this album. Took a while to open up to it but once you go with what he's trying to do, an impressionistic expression of what it feels like being alive as a bloke drifting into middle age it's very powerful in a strange, poetic way. Also, some nice, droll lines. "You looked like World Armageddon. While you slept" or  “The only words I’ve said today are ‘beer’/ And ‘thank you’” A great review of the record here.

Monday, July 21, 2014

21st July 1939 Kim Fowley

 
Legendary scene-maker, producer of Murmaids, PJ Proby, The Beach Boys, The Runaways, Frank Zappa, Slade, Family. And this. By Cathy Rich. His birthday today.

Songs About People # 36 Gene Clark - Teenage Fanclub

 
Teenage Fanclub also wrote Neil Jung but that doesn't quite work as a song about someone real on either count. Here's their long, extended tribute to the coolest, most introverted and most troubled Byrd. Musically, just as much of a tribute to Young & Crazy Horse.
 
 
 
 

Song of the Day # 184 Townes Van Zandt

 
A sunny Sunday afternoon yesterday at the Newcastle Sage Americana Festival. I bought two absolutely impeccable records, more of which later. One of them was the third studio album by this man. A staggering artist. His songs have what I could only describe as a stillness which is in turns awe inspiring and chilling. I chose a live version of one of his darkest which was the first of his that I heard I heard, brought to my attention by a cover version from Tindersticks, (not a bad one either), in the early nineties. This qualifies as a story in song too. Quite breathtaking lyrics. Beautiful in their simplicity.
 

'It's plain to see, the sun won't shine today
But I ain't in the mood for sunshine anyway
Maybe I'll go insane
I got to stop the pain
Or maybe I'll go down to see Kathleen.

A swallow comes and tells me of her dreams
She says she'd like to know just what they mean
I feel like I could die
As I watch her flying by
Ride the north wind down to see Kathleen.

Stars hang high above, the oceans roar
The moon is come to lead me to her door
There's crystal across the sand
And the waves, they take my hand.
Soon I'm gonna see my sweet Kathleen.

Soon I'm gonna see my sweet Kathleen.'
 
C - Van Zandt

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Stories in Song # 5 Squeeze

 
Squeeze are masters at this. They chronicle London and what it feels like to live there better than any band I can think of except perhaps for The Kinks. The Who, The Clash, The Jam and The Pistols all have their moments in this respect but none of them get the ordinary and give it a kind of weary grandeur like these two do. Inner city sadness. From the East Side Story album.
 
'She left her school for the factory
From pocket money to a salary,
From a pac-a-mac to a compact case
And every morning she inspects her face.
She discovers pulling pints in pubs
That the good looks will never cover up for
Her dumbness in taking the stock
Sees her reflection in a butcher's shop.
She finds it all quite rare
That her meat's all vanity fair.

She has her eyes on medallion men
Who get her home on the dot at ten,
She combs her hair when she gets excused
The deal she wants always ends up screwed.
Paints her nails on the bathroom scales
Gargles her breath like a landed whale,
Her beauty is as deep as her skin
Keeps her eyebrows in a tobacco tin.
She poses foot on the chair
Coconut shy but vanity fair.

In her vanity case her compact case
In her compact case her eyes,
Not bad for a sister
But her vanity's fair and her sense of humour's dry.
She comes home late with another screw loose
She swears to have had just a pineapple juice,
Falls asleep fully clothed in her bed
With her makeup remover by her head.
And she might not be all there
But her dream's all vanity fair.'

Songwriters: Difford, Christopher / Tilbrook, Glenn
Vanity Fair lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

Roddy Frame of Aztec Camera on the Tube, Early 1980s


James Garner

 
So this is a music blog. But hey, James Garner has died. And this is a great tune.

20th July 1956 - Paul Cook

 
Paul Cook's birthday. I've shaken this man's hand.