Saturday, July 12, 2008

Gave Battle In Vain - The Rainbow Years

As promised (threatened?) elsewhere, ToffeeBoy proudly presents a rainbow's worth of colourful music, with only a small bit of cheating to make it all fit (well, quite a lot really).

We start with a bonus track (which will be familiar to those of a certain age and mean absolutely nothing to the rest of you - the picture's a clue).

Red Sails - China Crisis I recommended this on the Mothership yesterday and I stand by that recommendation. China Crisis seem to have been completely forgotten but I really think their music has stood the test of time. Some of you might find his voice a bit annoying but I hope you'll all agree that this is a truly beautiful song.

Orange - 10,000 Maniacs Fragproncess chose Orange Crush as her nomination for this spectrum - I've gone for Michael Stipe's erstwhile partner, Natalie Merchant. This is from 10,000 Maniacs' debut EP, 'Human Conflict Number Five' which also includes the classic 'Planned Obsolescence'.

Old Yellow Bricks - The Arctic Monkeys I adore the Arctic Monkeys - partly because they're one of those acts that both my teenage daughters are into as well (do we still say 'into'?) - and partly because Alex Turner is a lyrical genius. Anyway, since fp had already taken the much-loved (!) Coldplay track, what else could I choose?

Green Coaster - The High Llamas Am I alone in RRland in being 'into' The High Llamas? I was a huge fan of Microdisney (see below), saw them live on a number of occassions way back when and was very disappointed when they split up (or rather, disintegrated). Initially Sean O'Hagan's solo work was less than inspirational, but under the banner of The High Llamas, he started to produce some gorgeous Beach Boys-esque music (notably on the albums 'Hawaii' and 'Gideon Gaye'). This is from one of the lesser-known works, Snowbug, which I didn't really know much about until I went looking for songs with 'Green' in the title.

Blue Moon - Jonathan Richman I think we could probably manage a whole top ten of 'Blue Moon' covers. This is the third version posted on the 'Spill in the past 24 hours and it's a very different take to the two previously posted (which, btw, I also love). Proudfoot was asking for more instrumentals so here we go.

Mood Indigo - Frank Sinatra I seem to remember that there are one or two anti-Frankies in the neighbourhood so I won't try to convert you. I like him - and I like this version of the song. You have to admit, he's got a voice to die for...

Talking Scarlet - Prefab Sprout Let's face it, Violet is always going to be a difficult one to fill. Fp struggled - I gave up. Here instead, is Prefab Sprout's finest hour (well, 4 mins 35 secs) from the 'Protest Songs' album.

"While moonstruck beside her,
I'll break the bonds of friendship, one by one,
I'll tell her, I'm more than some friendly fellow,
I will say 'How you doing?',
So casually, she'll never suspect,
I'm harbouring thoughts of kissing her neck."

Now that's poetry!

United Colours - Microdisney One of the things I particularly like about Microdisney is how their melodic poppy singalong songs mask some fairly dark and disturbing themes - and this is no exception. "United colours, the colours of brainrot" - indeed...

Finally, you'll all be delighted to hear that the School Summer Fair was a huge success today - and IT DIDN'T RAIN (much).


Frag. said...

A stellar list but I shall have to add a bonus track to mine -
Scarlet nights!!!!!!!!
How much do we love the Jordan album? Oooooooooh... THIS MUCH!!!!

treefrogdemon said...

There's an article about the High Llamas in the Grauniad today TB!

Frag. said...

But I love Protest Songs too. Glad the summer fair went well - got any photos?

Shoegazer said...

Good Blue Moon cover, although the Cowboy Junkies version is still my fave. Haven't heard Microdisney in ages &,of course, Talking Scarlet sounds as fresh as ever. thanks

FP said...

That went down a treat with the Sunday morning admin. Liked the High Llamas and Arctic Monkeys - both discoveries. Love anything by China Crisis and of course the Sprouts are utterly divine.

ToffeeBoy said...

@ tfd - thanks for the heads-up on the High Llamas. I share a scarily common background with Jonathan Coe and constantly find myself cursing him for his talent and success. There but for my personal limitations and bone-idleness, go I...

@ shoey2! - Microdisney deserve a greater place in the history of popular music than they currently occupy. This isn't one of their greatest tracks but it's good enough to be going on with.

@ fp - glad you liked The High Llamas - I would recommend their album 'Hawaii' if you can get your hands on it.

No piccies of the Summer Fair I'm afraid - I was far too busy entertaining the masses and making important announcements like 'all cakes now 2 for 50p', 'the dance group will be performing in 15 minutes in the main arena' and 'the pick a duck stall is now closed for reasons beyond our control' (actually, I made the last one up).

I set up all the equipment in a (fairly substantial) play house which is normally used by the Reception classes - it was the best venue I've ever performed in! I nicknamed it 'The Shack' and we had a sort of '60s love and peace thing going on. Brilliant day - can't wait until next year!

glasshalfempty said...

The High Llamas - are they any relation to the North Indian band 'The Dhal High Llamas'?