Songs You May Have Missed #612

melody

Bee Gees: “Morning of My Life (In the Morning)” (1971)

For such an obscure song, the Bee Gees’ “Morning of My Life” has quite a long history in the Gibb family. It was first recorded by the band in 1966 during sessions for their debut Spicks and Specks album. During the period when Robin Gibb left to pursue a solo career, Barry and Maurice performed the song acoustically with their sister Lesley on a BBC-TV special. And the group recorded the song once again with Robin during the sessions for their 2 Years On reunion LP.

bee-geesWhile the song was ultimately left off that album it appeared a short time later on the soundtrack to the 1971 film Melody. It has appeared on Bee Gees compilations and box sets but never on an official Bee Gees album. Andy Gibb too recorded a version that was never released.

As a Moody Blues fan, when I first heard “Morning of My Life” I thought the similarities to the Moodies’ 1971 “Emily’s Song” were striking. Since the Bee Gees song has origins half a decade previous, if one song influenced the other it was certainly the Bee Gees tune that inspired the one by the Moody Blues, and this seems fairly likely to me.

Take note not only of the common lyrical threads but of the general similarity in feel between the song Barry Gibb seems to have aimed at a young child and the composition John Lodge of the Moody Blues wrote for his newborn daughter Emily (and which parenthetically inspired the naming of my own daughter Emily):

 

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2012/03/22/songs-you-may-have-missed-58/

Songs You May Have Missed #611

mika

Mika (featuring Ariana Grande): “Popular Song” (2015)

Cheeky British singer-songwriter Mika sells platinum elsewhere but resides in the musical margins in the U.S.

Here with the help of Ariana Grande he sings a song about fickle popularity, karma and sweet schadenfreude.

La la, la la
You were the popular one, the popular chick
It is what it is, now I’m popular-ish
Standing on the field with your pretty pompom
Now you’re working at the movie selling popular corn
I could have been a mess but I never went wrong
‘Cause I’m putting down my story in a popular song
I said I’m putting down my story in a popular song

[Chorus:]
My problem, I never was a model,
I never was a scholar,
But you were always popular,
You were singing all the songs I don’t know
Now you’re in the front row
‘Cause my song is popular

Popular, I know about popular
It’s not about who you are or your fancy car
You’re only ever who you were
Popular, I know about popular
And all that you have to do is be true to you
That’s all you ever need to know

So catch up ’cause you got an awful long way to go
So catch up ’cause you got an awful long way to go

Always on the lookout for someone to hate,
Picking on me like a dinner plate
You hid during classes, and in between ’em
Dunked me in the toilets, now it’s you that cleans them
You tried to make me feel bad with the things you do
It ain’t so funny when the joke’s on you
Ooh, the joke’s on you
Got everyone laughing, got everyone clapping, asking,
“How come you look so cool?”
‘Cause that’s the only thing that I’ve learned at school, boy (uh huh)
I said that that’s the only thing that I’ve learned at school

[Chorus:]
My problem, I never was a model,
I never was a scholar,
But you were always popular,
You were singing all the songs I don’t know
Now you’re in the front row
‘Cause my song is popular

Popular, I know about popular
It’s not about who you are or your fancy car
You’re only ever who you were
Popular, I know about popular
And all that you have to do is be true to you
That’s all you ever need to know
(that’s all you ever need to know)

So catch up ’cause you got an awful long way to go
So catch up ’cause you got an awful long way to go

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2015/09/02/songs-you-may-have-missed-545/

mika-1

Recommended Albums #72

oh-land

Oh Land: Wishbone (2013)

Danish ballet dancer-turned singer Nanna Øland Fabricius (Anglicized as Oh Land) turned in her strongest album with her third effort, 2013’s Wishbone.

A schizophrenic blend of Scandinavian electropop, this frothy funfair of a record reaches in many directions but ultimately lands squarely in smart pop territory consistently enough to make for a satisfying listen.

oh-land-2Fans of artists such as Goldfrapp and Robyn may have ears better acclimated to the chilly electronic sound collage that frames the tunes–it’s not the most organic-sounding music.

And in fact the busy, idiosyncratic electronic sound palate here has cost Wishbone more favorable reviews from some critics who seem to see it as distractive, overdone, more sheen than substance.

Yeah, I remember rock critics panning the first Boston album in similar terms. And that one found a bit of an audience if memory serves. The point being, if any artistic work delivers the hooks, well, guilty pleasures are no less pleasurable.

oh-land-3

And there’s no denying that the dizzying lyrical spit of “Renaissance Girls” and the perfect pop/funk of “Pyromaniac” are a blast to listen to.

And for change of pace, “Love You Better” will hit you in the feels with an almost too reflective acoustic guitar ballad:

I will love you better
Better when I’m blind
I will love you better when I’m blind
‘Cause you’ll always be a beauty
Living in my mind
I will love you better when I’m blind

If radio didn’t embrace songs like these (and it didn’t) it was more a statement about the state of radio than the quality of this music.

 

Listen to: “Renaissance Girls”

 

Listen to: “Bird in an Aeroplane”

 

Listen to: “Pyromaniac”

 

Listen to: “Love You Better”

 

Listen to: “Cherry on Top”

 

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2016/11/27/songs-you-may-have-missed-602/

The mystery of the phantom Billboard hit, “Ready ‘N’ Steady,” is finally solved

billboard

(via AV Club) by Mike Vanderbilt

Everyone loves a great mystery, except for the kids who used to peek in the back of their Encyclopedia Brown books. The unsolved mystery of the 1979 Billboard single “Ready ’N’ Steady” may never have garnered the interest of a trench coat-clad Robert Stack (or whatever Nicolas Cage’s name is in those National Treasure movies). Still, its existence—or rather lack thereof—confounded record collectors for over 36 years, but today, consider that mystery solved.

In 1979, “Ready ’N’ Steady” by D.A. was No. 102 with a bullet for four weeks on the Billboard charts. However, it seemed nobody had actually heard this phantom song…

Read more: http://www.avclub.com/article/mystery-ready-n-steady-phantom-billboard-hit-final-239905

Video of the Week: The Sweet Sounds of Mark White’s Chapman Stick

With only 10,000 Chapman Sticks worldwide, they are one of the most seldom seen and rarely heard instruments in the world.  With an elegant sound Mark White specializes in such music as Classical, Romantic, Celtic and Classic Rock.

Based out of Austin, Texas Mark White is one of the few Chapman Stick players in the world.  Mark was first introduced to the Stick at the age of 12 by his music teacher Matt Rogers.  Completely captivated by the sound, Mark eventually transitioned to the Stick full-time.  At the age of 17 he and Matt Rogers formed a Chapman Stick duo called “Heartstrings”.  Mark has been working as a full-time musician ever since.

http://www.markwhitelive.com/

KISS Now Sell *Official* Air Guitar Strings, Seriously

kiss

(via metal injection)

KISS are no strangers to merchandise that pushes the line of good taste, from overpriced masks to wine, to caskets and urns to disturbing looking condoms, KISS proves there is no product too crappy to have their logo on it.

But this next product is so insane, and pointless that it’s almost come back around to being sorta genius. KISS is selling air guitar strings now…

Read more: http://www.metalinjection.net/metal-merch/kiss-now-sell-official-air-guitar-strings-seriously

That time when the US Delta Force blasted Van Halen, The Clash, and AC/DC’s music for three days to force Manuel Noriega out of the Vatican Embassy

embassy

(via Vintage News)

After fleeing arrest for various political crimes, former military ruler of Panama Manuel Noriega took refuge in the Apostolic Nunciature, the diplomatic quarters of the Holy See in the Vatican Embassy. The infamous dictator thought that the Embassy, along with his top advisors and political leaders of his regime, would provide him a safe haven from the US Military.

Manuel Antonio Noriega is infamous for his corrupt political agenda, drug trafficking, racketeering, and illicit weapons, and military arms trade. He also had close relations with the CIA as their informant before the US invaded Panama.

In 1989, President George H. W. Bush administered the invasion known as “Operation Just Cause” to capture Noriega and to protect the integrity of the Torrijos–Carter Treaties, resulting in total chaos and thousands of casualties.

Read more: http://www.thevintagenews.com/2017/01/24/that-time-when-the-us-delta-force-blasted-van-halen-the-clash-and-acdcs-music-for-three-days-to-force-manuel-noriega-out-of-the-vatican-embassy/

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