Category Archives: Music

Week 25 – TBT 2017 – Waterfront

Simple Minds are another one of those bands that I didn’t like, then I liked for a while, then I didn’t like them again. Now I can listen to a couple of their songs at a time, but I wouldn’t necessarily want to hear a whole album, and I doubt I’d try to see them in conert again. I went once, but was at the very back of the SECC in Glasgow and couldn’t really see them. And it took longer to get out of the car park than the gig had gone on for!

Anyhow, I chose this track because it shows that bass lines don’t have to be complicated to be effective, and I don’t think you can get much simpler than playing one note over and over! 

I hope you enjoy this blast from the past: it doesn’t seem to get played on the radio as often as some of their other tracks but is very worthy. This is the only one of their singles I bought (on 12″) and I don’t think I’ve any of their albums on vinyl.

Simple Minds – Waterfront

Week 24 – TBT 2017 – In The End

It’s hard to believe that this song is 17 years old! It appears on Linkin Park’s first album, Hybrid Theory, and is a classic of the NuMetal genre, which appears to fuse heavy rock riffs with synth sounds and rap. Linkin Park are probably my favourites from that genre, because their lyrics and musicianship come together beautifully to produce eloquent and melodic songs, some with a real cutting edge. I loved the video for this too. Incredible imagination to come up with flying things that look like whales and ancient statues. Enjoy!

Linkin Park – In The End

Week 23 – TBT 2017 – Smash It Up

Did you know that the first punk single released in the UK was New Rose by The Damned? Or that their brilliant double LP, The Black Album, had one side which was recorded live and which isn’t included in the CD version? I listen to that album a lot, and really missed the live side – until I found Spotify. Smash It Up (Parts I and II) is on there, and for as long as I can remember I’ve loved the bass line in Part I.  

This version on the video is a studio version, but it’s almost as good as the live one.  

I was lucky enough to see The Damned when I was in my teens. They released their Friday the 13th EP on the same day as I saw them, and the gig was memorable for a couple of reasons. There was a power cut during it, so Rat Scabies (the drummer) played a 10 or 15 minute solo while they got everything working again. Captain Sensible (guitarist) swapped his jacket with someone in the crowd because his original mohair one looked to be covered in spittle (not mine!) as was kind of customary (and gross) at punk gigs in those days. The support act was the Anti-Nowhere League, who found notoriety by having the B-side of their Streets of London single banned as an obscene publication, and they were very growls and menacing. 

I still follow The Damned and Captain Sensible on Facebook, though I’ve not seen them since the very early 80s. Listen to the track, and see if you can hear why I think the bassline is brilliant. 

Smash It Up (Parts I and II) – The Damned

Week 22 – TBT 2017 – Crazy

Last week I saw a clip of a video of Seal watching then joining in with a girl who was busking in Manchester. It reminded me what a fabulous voice he has, and how it’s a shame we don’t hear more of him. This was his second big hit after “Killer”, which was originally billed as Adamski, but I think this is better. Enjoy your Thursday!

Seal – Crazy

Week 21 – TBT 2017 – I Love Rock And Roll

Who doesnt love this track?  Very simple, very understated, yet with a catchy guitar riff and powering drums.  I know that Joan Jett didn’t do the original of this, but it’s still pretty cool. I have the picture disc album from Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, though I havent listened to it in many years.  

My current band play this, and it’s a lot of fun. Best of all? I don’t have to sing it!  

Did you know that Joan Jett was in a band called The Runaways, with Michael Steele (bassist in The Bangles) and Lisa Ford? Thats something I love about music, the way that bands are interconnected. Maybe one day I’ll write about that…

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – I Love Rock And Roll

Week 20 – TBT 2017 – Waking Up

If you were to hear the intro to this song for the first time, I’m guessing that you’d think it was The Stranglers playing No More Heroes. There are more than just a few similarities, there was a legal case based on plagiarism between The Stranglers and this band, Elastica, and the four members of The Stranglers now appear on the credits for this song. 

Back in the 90s at the height of Britpop, there was urgency in guitar based bands, and Elastica was one of them. I liked their sound, and I liked their vocals. I think this is the only one of their tracks that sounds like The Stranglers (or any other band for that matter), and it retains a certain freshness. Enjoy! 

Elastica – Waking Up

Week 19 – TBT 2017 – 7 Seconds

After last week’s Neneh Cherry special, I remembered that I loved this song too. It’s years since I’ve heard it, but it hasn’t diminished in that time. I don’t understand the lyrics other than those in English, but there’s some great alliteration in the French part I think. 

The sentiments in the song are very strong and pertinent today, particularly the anti racist ones. We should bear these in mind always. 

Youssou N’Dour featuring Neneh Cherry – 7 Seconds