Tuesday Tunes 27: Six

©️Daily Telegraph

Last week, our esteemed, omniscient, know-it-all government changed the rules for lockdown. Again. Given that their policies of forcing schools to reopen and offering discounts to encourage people to eat out may have contributed to a rapid increase in the R rate of Covid infections – to levels last seen in May – this felt a little like shutting the stable door after the horse had bolted. But hey – what do I know? It’s not as if I have scientists giving me continuous advice that I’m free to ignore, is it? The change introduced the new ‘rule of six,’ which states that gatherings –  both indoors and outdoors – must be limited to six people, all maintaining appropriate distancing and protective measures. Except for schools, that is, which must remain open. Or offices. Or for places of worship, gyms, restaurants or other hospitality venues. There may be other exemptions but, to be honest, I couldn’t be bothered to look any further at the government website! Gatherings of more than six are not permitted within these locations, so if you have a large family you are, basically, stuffed. But you can always go grouse shooting as that, being the favourite ‘sport’ of rich Tory donors, is exempt from the new rule. Surprised? I’m not. Confused? I think we all are.

But there is one good thing that has come out of this change for me: it has given me a theme for this week’s tunes. I’m reverting for this week to a theme prompted by the news, and choosing ‘6’ seemed appropriate, somehow. So, all of this week’s tunes have a ‘6’ somewhere in their title. Opportunist? Me? Probably…

I always try to begin with a song with a bit of oomph, and I think this one fits the bill perfectly: 

As David ‘Kid’ Jensen obligingly tells us at the beginning of that clip, before the band drown him out, that was the Tom Robinson Band’s debut single, which peaked at #5 on the UK singles chart in October 1977. As far as I can tell it wasn’t a hit anywhere else, and the band had a couple of smaller UK hits before they split in 1979. Tom has established a long career as a broadcaster, and has continued making albums under his own name, but he has never enjoyed the same success as that debut. That’s a pity, as that was a guaranteed floor filler at the discos of the time.

My second choice is from a musician I have long admired, and whose albums I always bought back in the vinyl days, as they were uniformly excellent:

As you can see from the video, that was a track (the opener, in fact) on Ry’s 1980 album Borderline, which was his ninth release. According to Wonkipedia it only charted in Australia, where it reached the dizzy heights of #43. The song was written by Steve Cropper and Eddie Floyd, and was first recorded by Wilson Pickett in 1966, reaching #13 in the US. Ry’s version has never been released as a single, but it is the starting point of a very good album. It horrifies me to think that it is forty years old now, and that his debut, which I also bought, was ten years prior to that! He has made some great albums, of which Bop Till You Drop is probably my favourite, and if you can get hold of a copy of the compilation album The UFO Has Landed you’ll be doing yourself a real favour. He may not have enjoyed major chart success, but he has a loyal following and has played with a staggering roll call of fellow musicians, notably his collaboration with the Buena Vista Social Club – for which he was fined $25,000 for breaching the US embargo on Cuba! Six Grammy awards are a reflection of how good he is, too.

Slowing the pace a little now, as all the best albums do (check it out, if you don’t believe me), is one of those songs that I’ve always loved, from a superb album that went under most people’s radar outside the US. Proof, if needed, that having a fairly well-known father is no guarantee of success:

The Wallflowers are led by Jakob Dylan – can you guess who his Dad is? That song is the second track on the band’s second album, Bringing Down The Horse, which was released in 1996. The album reached #4 in the US and #58 here – my purchase must have helped! Those were the days when I had a long commute to work driving around the North Circular Road in London, and the album often kept me company on the journey. The track was the first single taken from the album, and reached #33 in the US, but failed to chart here. The follow up single, One Headlight, was a US #2 and #54 here – if they’d had six headlights I could have included it today, but do check it out: it’s a great song, and it won two Grammys.

On to tune four now. I’ve featured Steve Earle before, albeit a cover of one of his songs, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise to you that I’m doing so again:

That was a track on Steve’s second album, Exit 0, released in 1987. The album peaked at #15 on the US Country chart and at #90 on the main albums chart, but didn’t do anything here. As a single, the song reached #15 on the US Country singles chart. It is typical of much of his early work, with its story of the guy in a small US town living his version of the American Dream. This was another album which spent a lot of time with me on those drives around the North Circular, though I can’t really lay any claim to living any kind of dream with it!

This week’s final song also comes from a band who have been here before. Having just chosen a song with ‘66’ in its title I couldn’t really leave this one out, could I? There are many versions of this song, but this one just gets my vote over Chuck Berry’s:

I know there is zero synchronisation with the performance clips, and the video is a little grainy, but I used it because I like the glimpses it gives us of rock music history. The song was written in 1946 by a guy called Bobby Troup, and was first recorded – and became a hit – that year by Nat King Cole. It has been recorded by many, including Bing Crosby (also a 1946 hit), Perry Como, Them, Depeche Mode, Dr Feelgood, Asleep At The Wheel, Manhattan Transfer and John Mayer, among others, in addition to the Stones and Berry versions. Quite a roll call! The Stones’ version is the opening track on their eponymous debut album in its UK incarnation – for the US the album was retitled England’s Newest Hit Makers (yuk!) and this was track 2, after Not Fade Away was added as the lead track. The album was #1 here and #11 in the US. At the risk of annoying American readers, I’m wondering why you had to bugger about with the album, and why you still can’t get over the fact that this is the UK, not just England! To be fair, though, all members of the Stones are English, so in this case I may give you that one. It’s still a crappy title though!

That’s your lot for this week. Please keep obeying the guidelines, if you can work them out, don’t go shooting any wild birds without a licence – or a lot of rich friends – and above all stay safe and well. Apparently, we are promised another statement from our Prime Minister today, if they can find him. It is therefore quite possible that the rules will have changed again by the time you read this. If so, please treat this as a little piece of history. Till the next time…

©️Daily Telegraph

31 thoughts on “Tuesday Tunes 27: Six

  1. U.K., not England? Hmmm? Like “The States”, not the United States, or “Across the Pond”, I think the term England just places the location of the U.K., not meant to deride it.

    In the U.S., the weather maps draw Mexico and Canada, but the Radar Images are, rightfully, not shown into those areas, more so, i.e. refraining from showing Severe Weather, as Canada and Mexico are better able to manage that. But my wife and I watch a series of shows from England, none are in Scotland or the Northern Ireland, so I think England Applies, mostly Narrow Boat Shows, on a lovely nationwide range of canals. On another show from England, the man held up a map, and I was confused, looking at it. I finally caught on, the map omitted the Republic of Ireland, tsk, tsk, tsk. Back to the Location point, I realize the Republic of Ireland is not part of the U.K., but showing it there, not colored in, or hash marked, helps to make the picture complete.

    Interesting blog, music and discussion of the permanent pandemic. Fauci, our illustrious medical talking head, predicts that the pandemic will last into 2024. I think the wrong people were put in control, watch that they don’t pull the same magic on you that the U.S. Govt pulled on us, switching from the number of deaths to the number of cases. In societies with decreasing and low numbers of genuine cases, False Positives begins to rear its ugly head, and we may forever be in pandemic mode due to it. I lost an online friend, just the other day, purportedly to the virus, but Pneumonia is the 2nd most common cause of admission to U.S. Hospitals, and there is indeed a difference between dying with the virus and dying from it. Without specific culturing of the offending organism, labeling even my friend’s death, may have been from more routine causes, tragic though they may be.

    I am not a Doctor, the name is from a movie, but I read much, including medical information, and attended Pharmacy Technician and Opticianry Schools.

    Sorry for raining on your Blog on the Depressing Topic of the pandemic, I enjoyed the music clips, they are previously unknown to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m very sorry to hear about your friend. These are worrying times for us all, so no apology needed for sharing your thoughts. Our government has been no better than yours: a catalogue of lies and failure here too!

      Re. the UK thing: we are, in full, the UK of GB and Northern Ireland, but we are guilty of spreading the ignorance too – eg we appear at the Olympics as Team GB, which is geographically wrong! I know it’s a common misconception in the US that the whole country is called England – but that really annoys the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish! When I refer in these posts to the UK charts they do cover the whole UK, we don’t have them broken down by each of the four countries in the Union.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the music and found something new – that’s really why I do them 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: September, Now It’s Gone – Take It Easy

  3. Great choices again, Clive. I love the grainy video for the Stones’ Route 66! I am amused by those last few seconds of the film that show them looking awkward and frozen in some park or garden for a publicity shot of some kind. Jakob Dylan and the Wallflowers are new to me; thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. not familiar with the first two bands, and I did not know Dylan’s son followed in his footsteps. Great Steve Earle and Stones songs. Sorry about the UK/England thing 🙂

    plus, I don’t know how I missed this post last week – my apologies…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Excellent picks as always, Clive. About the only one I wouldn’t listen to was the Steve Earle tune. Great choice on the Wallflowers. I like the beat of the Tom Robinson track and who doesn’t like a little Route 66?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Clive, a great range of music in your post. As for changing the laws and directives, I’ve completely stopped trying to work them out here. Because frankly they make zero sense. Our dictator premier seems insistent on keeping us locked down with only minimal cases, while our economy is fast being decimated. I’m so over it. Take care over there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad to have made the introduction, Stevie. As I said, he and his band went under the radar for most. As with so many, I first heard them when Whispering Bob played them on his radio show. As for families with five kids – tough luck!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great song choices, Clive. The C-19 rules are confusing for everyone, everywhere in the world. We had the same daft rule, you can’t socialise with family and friends but you can get on a crowded bus or aeroplane and travel. You can’t invite your granny over for lunch but you can go to a pub or a restaurant. Lot of nonsense. We are now wearing a mask and using hand sanitiser and carrying on with our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you like them, Robbie. Sorry to hear there is as much cluelessness in your government as in ours – and I think it will be getting worse here later when Johnson delivers his next set of rules. Hey ho…

      Liked by 2 people

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