This Week’s Spotify Playlist – Jake Thackray, Sparks, Bob Lind, Wild Man Fischer

For those of you who are uninterested in my increasingly recondite ramblings on comics, continuity, canon, quantum physics and Doctor Who, here’s some music

Incidentally, I lose track of what I have and haven’t included in these, but I hope there’s always enough new stuff to keep people interested…

Come To The Sunshine by Harper’s Bizarre is one of Van Dyke Parks’ early songwriting/production works, and a little soft-pop classic.

Soulful Dress by Sugar Pie Desanto is a Chess R&B track from the early 60s, about dressing up before going out.

Vox Wah Wah Ad by The Electric Prunes is just what it says it is – the Electric Prunes demonstrating the proper use of the wah-wah pedal.

It’s A Hard Business by Wild Man Fischer and Rosemary Clooney is… wait a second… let me say that again… by Wild Man Fischer and Rosemary Clooney. Yes, that Wild Man Fischer and that Rosemary Clooney. The homeless schizophrenic outsider musician and the jazz singer who starred in White Christmas and was George Clooney’s aunt. What will I find on Spotify next – Perry Como Sings Jandek?

Mrs Toad’s Cookies by Klaatu is from the last album by the Canadian band, who were most famous for writing Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft and for many people thinking they were the Beatles in disguise. I can *sort of* see the Beatles similarity here – especially McCartney – but to be honest it sounds like a collaboration between Jeff Lynne and Mike Batt. Which is no bad thing…

Wild Man Fischer and Rosemary Clooney?!

Ahem… Lighten Up, Morrissey by Sparks is a message I think we can all agree with…

Wagons West by The National Pep is another one by my own band, but again I do actually think it’s a good song. I wrote the music, my friend Tilt wrote the words. Tilt sings and plays drums, I play all the other instruments and Laura Denison also sings.

The Father, The Son And The Friendly Ghost by The Native Shrubs Of The Santa Monica Mountains is a soft-pop/bluegrass song about Casper The Friendly Ghost, Abraham Lincoln and Trotsky, a Beach Boys-esque waltz-time middle eight (with a tiny hint of Zappa in the changes in the end) contrasting with a common-time banjo-plucking verse.

Living In Sin by Janet Klein is another of her naughty covers of songs from the early part of the last century.

Wild Man Fischer and Rosemary Clooney?

Eleanor by Bob Lind is a great little track from someone who’s mostly only known for the one song Elusive Butterfly. This one’s very, very Lee Hazelwood.

Havana Moon by Chuck Berry is one of the earliest knock-offs of Louie Louie, performed solo by Berry on guitar and vocals.

Misty Roses by Colin Blunstone is one I’m sure I’ve included in a playlist before, but it’s also absolutely gorgeous. A Tim Hardin cover, with a fantastic string arrangement, this is one of those tracks that everyone should own.

Don’t Fear The Reaper by The Beautiful South is a cover version of the Blue Oyster Cult song. I used to live round the corner from Paul Heaton, and he used to go to our local pub on quiz nights, but after my sisters started coming and blatantly gawping at him he stopped going (unsure if it was coincidence…)

On Again! On Again! by Jake Thackray has the greatest opening line of any song – “I love a good bum on a woman, it makes my day/To me it is palpable proof of God’s existence a posteriori“. Anyone who can make bilingual puns in Latin while doing Carry On style humour is all right with me. This song got Thackray pegged as a misogynist by many, who couldn’t see that it was just possibly tongue in cheek (lines like “Please understand that I love and admire the frailer sex/and I honour them every bit as much as the next/misogynist” were probably not meant to be taken entirely seriously…)

And Go Back by Crabby Appleton is a great glammed-up powerpop track, produced I think by Curt Boettcher (it certainly sounds like his work – it sounds like his songwriting as well, actually)


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6 Responses to This Week’s Spotify Playlist – Jake Thackray, Sparks, Bob Lind, Wild Man Fischer

  1. burkesworks says:

    Wild Man Fischer meets Rosemary Clooney? Now *that’s* why I enjoy the musical entries in your blog. The Crabby Appleton is definitely one of Curt Boettcher’s productions, though not written by him.

    I think I’d pass on Perry Como singing Jandek though, as much as anybody singing Jandek. Especially Jandek. A classic case of “the emperor has no clothes on”.

  2. I am ordinarily never embarrassed about my taste in music. I’ve made peace with the fact that I like what I like even if other people think it’s dorky.

    Despite all that, I am TERRIBLY SHEEPISH about “Mrs. Toad’s Cookies” whenever it comes up on my iPod. It’s charming to no end and I love it dearly (is it the chord progression? I think it’s the chord progression), but man, sometimes I’m afraid that if anyone finds me listening to it, they’ll never speak to me again.

    As for the Klaatu-Beatles thing, I really only hear it on the first album, myself. “Sub-Rosa Subway” would have me questioning it on first listen if I didn’t know any better, and there’s a voice at the end of “California Jam” that sounds astonishingly like Paul McCartney’s “Oh Darling” rocker voice.

  3. Andrew Hickey says:

    No reason to be ashamed *at all* – it’s a perfectly structured pop song with some wonderful ideas in it. It goes on a chorus too long, but other than that it’s about as good as that kind of music gets…

  4. M_Burkhardt says:

    I loooove Sparks, and will definitely have to look up that particular track for the brilliant title alone.

  5. Matthew E says:

    I think Havana Moon came before Louie Louie. Didn’t it? Let me go check. (pause) Yeah, it did; apparently Richard Berry specifically cited it as an influence.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      Wow. I’m *AMAZED* Berry and/or his management didn’t sue then, given that they sued over much less successful songs with much less resemblance…

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