A Walk Down Memory Lane with Trollheart - Music Banter Music Banter

Go Back   Music Banter > The Music Forums > General Music
Register Blogging Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Welcome to Music Banter Forum! Make sure to register - it's free and very quick! You have to register before you can post and participate in our discussions with over 70,000 other registered members. After you create your free account, you will be able to customize many options, you will have the full access to over 1,100,000 posts.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-29-2022, 11:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,588
Default A Walk Down Memory Lane with Trollheart


A Walk Down Memory Lane with Trollheart

Now that I’m hurtling with unstoppable force towards sixty, I’ve started waxing nostalgic, so here is where I’m going to feature and talk about the music that was, if you will, the soundtrack to my life, or at least, the music that was on the radio, on the telly and in the charts when I was growing up, and also the records I bought once I started earning money. This period covers the late 1970s, when I would have been around twelve or so, up to the mid to late 1980s, with perhaps a little on either side, as some songs/albums from earlier periods were in vogue at the time, music that was in the charts or on the radio, but which had been recorded some time earlier. The only real criterion other than the years will be that it will be music I either liked, hated or at least was to be heard when I was of that age. I’ll ramble on about whatever I can pertaining to each track, and generally I will concentrate on one song, either single or album track, in each post. Comment is invited yadda yadda you know the deal by now.

I’ll also be taking the opportunity to try, if possible, to look at the tracks with the eyes of age/wisdom, to see if my opinion, good or bad, has changed about it over the course of the intervening years. I find that a lot of the scorn I had for your average pop band or even certain genres has mellowed as I have not, and a sort of defensive posture I maintained in my late teens and early twenties, as I jealously guarded my metal, AOR and prog rock and consigned all other music to the level of crap, has if not vanished at least been challenged, and sometimes grudgingly and sometimes not, it’s been possible, even necessary for me to re-evaluate the way I approached much of the music that surrounded me as I grew up into the failure you know today.

So, completely at random, the first song up is this.


From the album

Title: “I’ve Been In Love Before”
Artist: Cutting Crew
Writer(s): Nick Van Eede
Genre: Pop
Year: 1986
Highest chart position (if applicable) 24 (UK) 9 (USA)
Album: Broadcast
Did I own it? Yes
Album, single or both? Single
Opinion then: Positive
Opinion now: Positive
These days: You might hear it on the radio very occasionally, it may crop up on the odd love songs compilation album, but generally I think it’s been forgotten about, which is a pity.

It’s perhaps odd that an English band should make a larger impact on the Billboard chart than they did at home, but that’s exactly what happened with Cutting Crew’s second single from the debut album Broadcast. After scoring a huge hit with their first, “I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight” (a song, FYI, apparently about orgasm: bet the BBC wouldn’t have had them on Top of the Pops had they known!) everyone suddenly knew Cutting Crew. Oddly enough, even now I keep thinking they were Australian, don’t ask me why. But for their second single, it seems the UK public weren’t so interested, which I find really strange, as it’s a beautiful ballad (and you know me and ballads!) with a lovely midsection that just builds up into a hell of a release (yeah, I know: memories of the lyrical matter for their first single) and though I liked “I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight”, I was not as blown away (shut up!) by it as I was by the follow-up.

Nobody seemed to agree, or still does. If you mention Cutting Crew these days, anyone who still remembers them remembers the first hit single - not that surprising really, as it did get to number 4 here, and all the way to the top in the USA - but there are few if any people who can tell you what their second single was, and in fact the larger percentage of people, I would be prepared to bet, probably think Cutting Crew were a one-hit wonder. And yet they wrote a sumptuous ballad which was criminally ignored here (okay, top thirty is not exactly being criminally ignored, fair enough, but it’s hardly top five, is it?) and let sink down into the depths of musical history, to be forgotten forever. Meanwhile, “I Just Died” continues to be occasionally played, while DJs no doubt grin and opine “That’s Cutting Crew, from 1986, with their only hit single. Wonder what happened to them?”

Well, the answer is that they had four more albums, with over ten years between their third, fourth and final, not a single one of which even touched the charts on either side of the water, and indeed even their “breakthrough” album, the aforementioned debut, barely dented the British top 40 (coming in at 41 and going no further) while it did respectable business in the USA, reaching number 16, going Gold there and Silver in the land of their birth. No more singles were ever released, or if they were, there were certainly no more hits, and I guess in many ways you could say their first Broadcast was their last.

Or, if you want to be really smart (and who doesn’t) you could also make the case that in the end, they just died in your arms tonight. None of which takes from the splendour and majesty of their second single, which will forever remain for me the superior of the two, even if it is now completely forgotten and ignored by everyone.

Welcome to my world!
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2022, 05:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
AllTheWhileYouChargeAFee
 
DriveYourCarDownToTheSea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 1,097
Default

^
Haven't heard that song in a while. Had no idea who sang it until now.
__________________
Stop and find a pretty shell for her
Beach Boys vs Beatles comparisons begin here
DriveYourCarDownToTheSea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2022, 06:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
Music Addict
 
Norg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,257
Default

dang i was 12 in the late 90's


our musical journey is different :P
Norg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2022, 06:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,588
Default

Well duh. I came up on 78s (don't ask) then records and tapes (cassettes) then the wonder of CDs followed by the attraction but ultimate pointlessness of Minidiscs and so on to digital downloads. I remember buying styli for my record player. I remember tapes getting twisted and caught in a deck. I remember the state-of-the-artness of auto-reverse, and a walkman that was the size of a credit card almost. I remember blowing dust off albums, records that had skips in them that identified them for you, and cowboy hats. Anyone here remember cowboy hats in relation to records?
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2022, 03:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,588
Default


From the album

Title: I’m in the Mood for Dancing
Artist: The Nolan Sisters
Year: 1980
Writer(s): Ben Findon/Mike Myers (presumably not that one!) /Bob Puzey
Genre: Dance/disco
Highest chart position (if applicable) 3 (UK)
Album: The Nolan Sisters
Did I own it? Dear god no I did not!
Album, single or both? Neither
Opinion then: Positive
Opinion now: Positive
These days: You’ll hear it from time to time; it was used - partially - when the girls guested on the anarchic British comedy TV series Filthy, Rich and Catflap and it crops up from time to time, having been their biggest hit. I said HIT!

There’s absolutely no doubt that every teenage boy who saw the Nolan Sisters, and every one who bought this single, was led by hormones. I mean, for us, this was the first real girl group. The Spice Girls were still ten years away, and though we had the likes of Suzi Quatro (Rowwr!) and Kate Bush to keep us, ahem, engaged, there weren’t really any bands at this time consisting only of girls. And young ones at that. And pretty ones too, at the time. Well, to us anyway. Add in the fact that there were Irish and you could see how suddenly every Irish boy of hormonal age had a poster of them on his bedroom wall.

If ever a song sold on sex appeal alone, this was it. I mean, listen to it: it’s hardly ground-breaking, is it? But the close harmonies, the dancing, the tight costumes… er, excuse me a moment, would you? This all fed into a media push to raise (sorry) these girls to the status of superstars, and for a while it worked. The song is catchy and dancy, happy and upbeat, and there’s nothing wrong with it, but you can’t tell me that anyone who remembers it does not see five beautiful females gyrating around in tight spandex, rather than considering the song on its own merits! It’s a fun song, but for guys my age (17) in strict Catholic Ireland it was perhaps the first real introduction we had to what you might call raunch on, though there may have been others - were Girlschool around at this time? Possibly. Nevertheless, the Nolan Sisters remain a part of my early adulthood, and I can’t help but smile whenever I hear this song. It just brings back such… pleasant memories.


__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2022, 03:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,588
Default


From the album


Title: “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)”
Artist: The New Seekers
Year: 1972
Writer(s): Roger Cook, Roger Greenaway, Billy Davis, Bill Backer
Genre: Pop/Folk
Chart position (if applicable) 1 (UK) 7 (US)
Album: um. We’d Like to Teach the World to Sing
Did I own it? No
Album, single, both or neither? Neither
Opinion then: Positive
Opinion now: Positive, though slightly angry at its being co-opted by a corporate giant
These days: Only really ever remembered from the bloody advertisement, damn them.

While I retain my righteous anger, of which I will write more in a moment, I read now that this was not in fact the original song, and was itself created from the tune of a commercial radio jingle called “True Love and Apple Pie”. It was then rewritten not once, not twice, but (as Monty Burns would say) thrice! Technically, four times. The first time was by the songwriters themselves, the two Rogers, Cook and Greenaway, along with another songwriter, Billy Davis and an advertising executive (of course) with the very appropriate if funny name of Bill Backer. They turned the song into “Buy the World a Coke”, and therein lies my long-seated frustration with it, which now turns out to have been misplaced, if still righteous.

The thing is, I had always assumed, having heard the New Seekers song first, that it, being a number one hit here, had been copied and used by Coca-Cola based on its popularity, a song everyone would recognise but which the global conglomerate would shape to their own advertising agenda. Not so: the reverse, in fact. “Buy the World a Coke” was released in 1971, and it was due to its popularity that the New Seekers re-recorded it, taking out any references to Coke, replacing the words “buy the world a Coke” with “teach the world to sing”, in my opinion, a far better and more worthy message. I mean, what self-respecting drug dealer wants to buy his clients their merchandise? And buy it for the world? He’d go bankrupt in a week!

But I digress. The New Seekers, now, it would appear, latching onto the coat-tails of Coke, rewrote and recorded the song, which got them a number one hit. In the meantime, the original singers of the song, the ones who had sung “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke”, a band called the Hillside Stranglers, sorry that’s a movie, Hillside Singers (who had, incidentally and not at all I’m sure coincidentally, sung the song on, well, a hillside) re-recorded it, dropped the Coke references too, and consequently had a hit of their own stateside, though not a number one (it reached number 13). The New Seekers had been approached by Billy Davis to record the original “I’d Like to Shove a Coke Up the World’s Ahhhh sorry it’s just getting on my nerves now. But anyway, he wanted them to record the song for Coke but they were too busy. When they saw how popular both the ad and the subsequent version by the Hillside Singers was they realised they had missed the boat and jumped on the bandwagon and yes I know I’m mixing my metaphors and no I don’t care.

They subsequently reproduced, and in fact exceeded the chart performance of the American band, and the song enjoyed success both here and there, reaching number 7 in the USA, one year after the Hillside Singers had already taken their version into the chart. Got to wonder how people were prepared to buy two versions of what was pretty much the same song? It is a popular and cheerful theme though; all the world living as one, as some guy from Liverpool had once imagined (!) might happen, and you know, credit where credit is due: rather than dig their heels in about it being their property, it seems Coca-Cola actually waived the royalties to the song (about USD 80,000 at the time, equating to over half a million today, and gave the proceeds to UNICEF. Even I can’t argue with that. And I would love to. But I can't.

I guess it’s because the Coca-Cola ad was only seen on this side of the water after the New Seekers had had their hit that I jumped to the conclusion that the global conglomerate had robbed the idea from them. Well, I suppose it’s never too late to say you were wrong, even if it is fifty years later.

You were wrong.

Oh, all right: so was I. Happy? Now gimme a Coke.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWKznrEjJK4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASe7ioPis6I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VM2eLhvsSM
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2022, 06:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,588
Default


From the album


Title: “Mad World”
Artist: Tears For Fears
Year: 1982
Writer(s): Roland Orzabal/Curt Smith
Genre: Synthpop/New Wave
Highest chart position (if applicable) 1 (UK) 30 (US)
Album: The Hurting
Did I own it? No
Album, single or both? Neither
Opinion then: Negative
Opinion now: More positive
These days: Remembered more for the slower, more morose version by Michael Andrews and Garry Jule for the movie Donnie Darko, also for its use in the videogame Gears of War, and later for the version sung by Adam Lambert on American Idol. Yeah.

Now these guys were on my hate list when I were a lad. I had no time for synthpop, new wave or what a workmate used laconically term “puff bands”. I was a rocker, and those that did not rock could, quite frankly, rock off. I saw no merit in songs like “Pale Shelter” or “Change”, which is slightly ironic, as my attitude towards not just Tears for Fears, but the whole genre of music lumped in as new wave but which was mostly a mixture of that and synthpop, has undergone a radical change. This kind of happened reasonably quickly though, at least with this band, with the release of Tears for Fears’ second and indeed breakthrough album, Songs from the Big Chair, with singles which have now become iconic rising from it, such as “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”, “Head over Heels” and “Shout” forcing me to take another look at the band.

Of course, they too had somewhat changed their sound, moving into a more rock idea and away from the synthpop, but that’s another story. Back then, I found their music cold and unemotional (which is pretty silly when you consider both the title of their debut album and its now-iconic and disturbing cover) and had no time for them. When I listened to Andrews and Jule’s cover, I found myself surprised to realise I was defending the TFF version, snorting that it was not a slow, boring, depressing song (well depressing yes, as it does tackle the basic senselessness of the world) but a fast, boppy, synth-driven anthem. Of course, by now I had already been seduced by the glory that is The Seeds of Love and had bought their greatest hits compilation Tears Roll Down, so it was really a different Trollheart than the 1982 version who has scorned the original who now defended it.

But listening back to it now, it is a pretty excellent slice of synthpop and the lyric does mean something. I feel personally the cover version deprived it of its immediacy and its punch, and reduced it to a kind of moan at the world, but I guess everyone has their opinion. For me, this was a song I sneered at and hated when it was released, but have learned to see the good points of since then.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1ZvPSpLxCg
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2022, 06:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,588
Default


From the album


Title: “Suddenly”
Artist: Angry Anderson
Year: 1989
Writer(s): Angry Anderson
Genre: Pop/Power ballad
Highest chart position (if applicable) 3 (UK) 2 (Australia)
Album: Beats from a Single Drum
Did I own it? No
Album, single, both or neither? Neither
Opinion then: Positive
Opinion now: Meh
These days: I would imagine completely forgotten about, except maybe the odd time for novelty value.

If there was one person I would have expected least to have a hit with a love song, it was Angry Anderson. Born Gary Stephen Anderson, he had been the vocalist for Australian hard rock band Rose Tattoo for, at this point in time, thirteen years. Rose Tattoo had put out four albums by then, and Anderson had also had a part in the Mel Gibson movie Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, making it one of the few movies to have two singers acting, with Tina Turner having of course a more starring role. The unexpected success of this song was apparently due to a connection with Australian soap Neighbours, where it was used as the theme to the marriage between Jason Donovan and Kylie (or their characters, at least) on its release. Although there are rumours it was written for the show, Anderson had written it long before.

Why is it uncharacteristic of the man? Well, you only have to see Angry Anderson (that’s him above, in the middle) to believe that this is hardly a man who would be singing, and indeed writing, a mushy power ballad. Anderson, the shaven-headed, tough-looking, tough-talking frontman of one of Australia’s premier hard rock bands, was more used to singing about “Sydney Girls” and “Revenge” than songs about “Suddenly” finding his softer side. I will admit I don’t think the song was that great; I don’t personally think he has or had the voice for a ballad, and no matter what I did I could not get out of my head the image of him driving a post-apocalyptic buggy with a skull on a pole on his back, screaming for Mel Gibson’s blood. It just didn’t easily translate for me. For my money, it sounds forced, and I always thought maybe he had been pushed into it by his record company, demanding a hit single. Guess I was wrong.

I still prefer Billy Ocean’s song though.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ9txCCvaOA
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018
Trollheart is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2022, 08:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
...here to hear...
 
Lisnaholic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: He lives on Love Street
Posts: 4,369
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post
Well duh. I came up on 78s (don't ask) then records and tapes (cassettes) then the wonder of CDs followed by the attraction but ultimate pointlessness of Minidiscs and so on to digital downloads. I remember buying styli for my record player. I remember tapes getting twisted and caught in a deck. I remember the state-of-the-artness of auto-reverse, and a walkman that was the size of a credit card almost. I remember blowing dust off albums, records that had skips in them that identified them for you, and cowboy hats. Anyone here remember cowboy hats in relation to records?
Yep, I remember all those formats too, except Minidiscs. I also remember second-hand ex-jukebox singles with their tell-tale snap-in adaptors in the centre:



Cowboy hats, though?! What were they?
__________________
"Am I enjoying this moment? I know of it and perhaps that is enough." - Sybille Bedford, 1953
Lisnaholic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2022, 01:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
Born to be mild
 
Trollheart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: 404 Not Found
Posts: 26,588
Default

Ah yes I remember the centre things for singles. You could of course play a single without them, but you had to be very precise how you positioned it on the turntable.

Cowboy hats may have been a phrase only my brothers and I used. It was when a record was really warped but still played, so you could put it on the turntable and it would, as one of my brothers noted, wave goodbye to you as it went around, undulating like the waves of the sea. Being curved up at both sides then, this made us think of cowboy hats.

Ours would be much more warped than this, but it gives you an idea.
__________________
Trollheart: Signature-free since April 2018

Last edited by Trollheart; 10-11-2022 at 01:11 PM.
Trollheart is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads



© 2003-2023 Advameg, Inc.