Last week, with an EU-friendly €25 Golden Discs voucher on offer, I asked you to name your favourite song whose title features a European city?
You answered in your dozens.
But there could only be one winner.
Das Ist Berlin by Marlene Dietrich
‘The fabulously glamorous Marlene Dietrich. Captures Berlin beautifully.’
Barcelona by Freddie Mercury & Montserrat Caballé
Frilly Keane writes:
‘Ye’ll know it – most likely as the Barcelona Olympics (92) Grand Opener. But it was actually completed in 88 to meet the Olympic deadline. Caballé was originally invited by the Barcelona Bid Team – her home city, soon after they won the games in 87. But she immediately reached out to Freddy Mercury. And this is the result + an album. It definitely set the tone for the games. Anyone remember the diving events from Barcelona ’92? Of course Freddy never got to see the reaction as he passed in 91 But to me this is his Masterpiece. Play it at full blast.’
Paris Match by The Style Council & Tracey Thorn
‘By a fortuitous turn of events I was listening to Café Bleu by The Style Council only yesterday. It is as if the gods of my record collection were directing me. My choice number 1 would be this…”The gift you gave was desire – the match that started my fire”… Weller showing no fear – swapping Monkey Boots and Lonsdale tops for Penny Loafers,fine knits and galouise – Ooh La La – confusing and conflicting many acolytes – no power chords, no anger, no bite. New beginnings. And Tracey Thorn. what a voice.’
‘From the 1994 sophomore album “Bewitched”. A slice of dream pop heaven. Fun fact: main man Dean Wareham was firmly an East Coast kinda guy, after moving from his New Zealand birthplace he spent most of his life in New York (plus a spell in Boston). But a few years ago re relocated to Los Angeles as his son was in college there. So he made it… All the Way… to California, eventually.’
Reno Dakota by The Magnetic Fields
Specific Gravity writes:
“Reno Dakota, there’s not an iota of kindness in you, You know you enthral me and yet you don’t call me, It’s making me blue, Pantone 292.”
‘69 Love Songs is a hell of a collection of impeccable songs, running the full emotional gamut. Would be great to see them back in Dublin.’
Nebraska by Bruce Springsteen
‘Recorded on a Teac Tascam 144 Portastudio, in his living room, with a simple tape recorder, instead of the studio, he then ran these recording through a Gibson Echoolex to add reverb and echo, sent the tapes in.
It’s an essential record in the history of home recording – he wrote the songs, put them down on a demo, that demo became the record. It didn’t sell particularly well and got no airplay. The magic or genius was, with the right amount of reverb and echo, a cheap speaker in a car sounds lush and dreamy.
A great driving album, quite dark, Nebraska is the retelling of Terrence Malick’s Badlands, a film based on the 1957–58 killing spree of Charlie Starkweather. The Starkweather murders were meaningless, and the randomness of that violence and inability to explain it, is the album.’
Last week, with a tangy and ripe €25 Golden Discs voucher on offer, I asked you for your favourite song whose lyrics mention a fruit.
You answered in your citric-soaked dozens; the entries providing an orchard-like playlist of unforgettable fruity numbers.
But there could be only one winner.
Egg & Daughter Nite, Lincoln Nebraska, 1967 (Crazy Bone) by John Prine
Charger Salmons writes:
‘Deep in the Charger man cave with a log fire and a nice peaty single malt on the go I invariably play at least one John Prine song most evenings. An early victim of Covid-19 his passing didn’t get the attention it deserved – just a brilliant songwriter who walked the walk and lived the life. I figured I’d find fruit mentioned somewhere in his output but bizarrely the one song title that did – Bruised Orange – didn’t have it in the lyrics. But then I remembered this track which mentions apples once which I reckon is enough to get him into the competition. This version even has a young Steven Bannon on mandolin…’
“I wonder of our future and where it will lead to. I wonder if you’ll be laying there 10 years 20 years 30 years down the line. I’ll still be staring out at the street confused about love and life. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone ever bought those songs of mine. If anyone heard those words that I never got quite right. I think I can be honest in presuming the world is not exactly going to be leaping out its bed to make me rich using my songs in adverts selling oranges or lemons…”
Tangerine by Buffalo Tom
Ben Madigan writes:
It’s a popular fruit: “She’s a tangerine, made in California”
Last week, with a fancy €25 Golden Discs voucher offer, I asked for your most embarrassing incident of mishearing lyrics to popular songs in public.
You answered in your shameful dozens.
Alas, there could only one winner.
Cu Chulainn writes:
‘Has to be ‘Ireland’s industry’ an ad for the IDA I thought, and not Islands in the Stream…’
Brother Barnabas writes:
‘Mine goes back a bit – while the rest of Sister Teresa’s Senior Infants were singing “he’s got the whole world in his hands” I heard – and sang with gusto – “he’s got the whole world in his pants”. Even a slap across the ear from the head nun (“forever the smart alec, aren’t we?”) didn’t clarify; it was years later that i uncovered my (genuine) error.’
‘George Michael: “Cause I gotta have faith, I gotta’ have faith, Because I gotta have faith, faith, faith, I got to have faith, faith, faith.”
I heard: “Cause I gotta have Fanta, I gotta’ have Fanta, Because I gotta have Fanta, Fanta, Fanta, I got to have Fanta, Fanta, Fanta.”‘
Nick says: Thanks all (also this week’s competition coming up).
Last week, with a crotch-bulging €25 Golden Discs on offer, I asked you to name the greatest moment in heavy metal history.
You responded in headbangingly large numbers, securing for the discerning a playlist of ear bleeding riffage and manly wailing.
But there could be only one winner.
Raining Blood by Slayer
Clampers Outside writes:
‘Amid the sound of rain and eerie guitar feedback on the opening track to Slayer’s 1983 album Reign in Blood comes three quick taps of the drum…dut, dut, dut…Repeating a little louder each time, like a clock ticking down, building on atmospheric tension tighter and tighter…dut, dut, dut….dut, dut, dut…dut, dut, dut…
A sound so distinctive the entire song is recognisable from those first three beats alone.
… And then a clack of thunder, the 3 tap drum, now louder, adding a snarling guitar riff, before taking off at break neck speed. The now rampant drumming punching through that tension. It’s all hell let loose in those opening 40 odd seconds to ‘Raining Blood’.
Once heard, never forgotten. It is that 3 tap sound that can so minimally get one’s pulse racing that is nothing short of iconic…’
Let There Be Rock by AC/DC
‘Everyone always forgets about AC/DC’s original frontman. The late great, Bon Scott A man who, just exudes charisma through every pore. Look into his eyes – he’s hypnotic. A man TRULY enjoying himself. Pure joy.
Here (above) he is in one of his best performances in AC/DC’s “Let there be rock” while also dressed as a priest. It doesn’t get better than that. :)
PS: Even if you don’t like AC/DC, it’s worth watching for his performance alone and for the massive 10 FOOT JUMP over the rest of the band he makes (@4:15).’
War Pigs by Black Sabbath
‘The greatest moment in heavy metal was the formation of Black Sabbath in 1968. They went on to influence almost every heavy metal band to come. War Pigs is from their second album. It is just a powerhouse of monster riffs, bass lines and excellent drumming. This, along with Ozzy straining his voice to reach those notes makes for a top headbanger tune. A masterpiece.’