Tuesday Tunes 65: Chance

Those of you outside these shores may not be aware that our government is going to remove virtually all of the remaining pandemic restrictions next Monday in England – the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland make their own decisions on this. Whilst I would normally welcome the removal of government restrictions on what we do, I am apprehensive about this one. It comes at a time when daily infection rates are increasing rapidly, and are at their highest level since February, so in my view it is questionable if now is the right time to do this. Given that their own predictions are that those daily rates could rise from yesterday’s level of 34k to more than 100k over the summer, and given that our esteemed Prime Minister has been quoted as saying that he would be happy to ‘let the bodies pile up’ if that were the price to be paid for ‘freedom,’ perhaps you can see my caution. They are yet again ignoring their declared aim to ‘follow the science,’ but I have long since given up believing anything they say. Yesterday, the Dutch government apologised for lifting their restrictions too early and reinstated them, after a large rise in infection rates: I fear that we are being set up for something similar. At best, this is one hell of a risk to take with our lives, but it gives me my theme for this week’s tunes: if the government is taking such a huge chance, why shouldn’t I feature some songs about it?

This week’s first tune appears to have been in Johnson’s mind on many occasions, as he has been a major chancer throughout his personal and political life:

This was a track on Steve Winwood’s second solo album, Arc Of A Diver, which was released on 31 December 1980. The album reached #3 in the US, #13 in the UK, and made #1 in Canada. This was the first single taken from the album, in February 1981: it peaked at #7 in the US and at #45 in the UK, but again did better in Canada, where it reached #3. I’ve always found it an uplifting song, both musically and in its lyrics.

That one may well have been a song that you know, but I suspect that several of this week’s selections will be new to many. However, they are all songs that I like, so I hope you will too. This next one is by one of my all-time favourite singer-songwriters. Last year, Mary Chapin Carpenter ran a series on her Facebook page of Songs From Home, which gave an intimate look into her own favourites from a wonderful catalogue of the music she has produced in her 30+ year career, and I thought it would be good to share one of these with you, rather than the official audio only version or one of the several other live performances available on YouTube:

Just a singer and her guitar, in her own home, with her warm voice of welcome, complete with a couple of endearing little stutters in the guitar playing – what’s not to like? This stripped down version really brings out the beauty of the song for me, and MCC’s sincerity in her work shines through. The original can be found on her fourth album, Come On Come On, which was released in June 1992, reaching #31 in the US, but wasn’t a hit here in the UK. It also reached #6 on the US Country albums chart, and #4 on the Canadian one. Seven songs were released as singles from the album, all of which made the top twenty in the US Country chart. This was a #2 there, as it was in Canada, but again it wasn’t a UK hit.

This next one is one which may well have gone under many people’s radar:

As the audio only video shows, that song was on Bob Seger’s album The Fire Inside, which was released in August 1991, peaking at #7 in the US and at #54 in the UK. His albums had been hugely successful through the Eighties in the US, and several had reached the lower/middle parts of the UK albums chart too. This was the opening track on the album: it was released as a single, but wasn’t a hit on either side of the pond, though it did get to #10 in the US Rock chart, which is compiled by Billboard based on radio airplays.

Another one which I have no doubt will be known to just a few of you is up next:

As befits its status as only having been released on an album, I’m afraid that also has to be an audio only clip. As it shows, this one comes from America’s album Here And Now, which was released in January 2007, reaching #52 in the US. You may well know them from their hugely successful 1971/2 debut – their self-titled first album was a US #1, and their single A Horse With No Name topped the charts in the US, Canada and France, and made #3 here. They were originally a trio, but have been a duo since 1977, and are still making music: every few years has seen another album released. I’ve always enjoyed their close harmonies, and they write good tunes, too: this one is no exception.

I recall featuring this next artist previously in this series, and when I checked back I found that was in Tuesday Tunes 46: Winning. Completely by coincidence that piece also included a song by Mary Chapin Carpenter, and also one by the next act after this one. It’s almost as if I planned these, isn’t it? At that time, I mentioned that Chris Rea had received almost no attention in the States, and that I was surprised at this, as I would have thought him suited to their market. I guess that just proves how little I know! Here’s another chance to enjoy his music:

That is, as the video shows, a track on Chris’ album Santo Spirito Blues, which was released in September 2011. It reached #13 in the UK albums chart, and made the top forty in a further ten countries across Europe, but did nothing in the Americas or Antipodes. To me, that is very much their loss, as he has made a lot of great music in his twenty five albums over the course of a forty three year career. You guys have some catching up to do!

I mentioned just now that a third band had also been in #46 of this series. Displaying the breadth of my musical tastes, which do occasionally take in pop music – as long as it is good – I couldn’t really leave this one out of a set of chance songs, could I:

This was a track on ABBA: The Album, which was released on 12 December 1977 in Scandinavia. It was scheduled for release in the UK then too, but the record pressing plants couldn’t keep pace with its massive pre-orders, so it was released here in January 1978. The short delay doesn’t seem to have done it any harm though: the album was #1 here in the UK and in seven other countries, made the top ten in a further seven, and peaked at #14 in the US. To date it has sold over 5m copies, of which 1.3m have been in the US despite that apparently low chart ranking. This was the second single taken from the album, and it reached #1 in the UK and #3 in the US, selling over 2m copies in the process.

That completes my usual self-appointed complement of six songs, though I have strayed from that a bit lately. There is, however, another song which has been nagging at my brain while I write this, whispering in my ear ‘pick me, pick me.’ Never one to avoid the voices in my head, I’m leaving you with this as an extra for this week, as it is the kind of chance I wish more people would take:

That was released more than fifty years ago – in July 1969 to be precise – and it is a sad reflection of our times that so many still need that reminder, a good many politicians among them. It reached #2 in the UK and #14 in the US, and became an anthem in the US for the anti-Vietnam war movement during the 1970s. It may not be the most ambitious song ever made, in musical terms, but I make no excuses for including it: we all need to hear its message.

That’s all for this week, and I hope you’ve enjoyed some songs which may have been new to you. I’ll be back next Tuesday, providing we haven’t all been swept up in a tsunami of infections by then. Stay safe, keep well, and if you think your government are a bunch of idiots use your own common sense instead of their ‘advice.’ Take care.

61 thoughts on “Tuesday Tunes 65: Chance

  1. Pingback: July | Take It Easy

  2. Pingback: Lynard Skynard Cover Band (#Treesquare July 25; Lens Artists #158) – priorhouse blog

  3. Well, I am in favour of what your government has decided, I insist that this disease is nothing more than a new type of flu, that its lethality rate is negligible, 0.15% and that they scare people with the way they declare the figures, because yes, they tell you that “so many thousands of deaths” but they fail to say that no more people are dying in the world now than in the years before the #Plandemic. Yes, yes, that’s right, when it comes down to it, there is no significant increase in mortality in the world, we are the same as in 2017 or 2018 or 2019, well, what’s more, in some countries, like mine, Spain, in the years 2018 and 2019 more people died than in 2020.

    I insist, it is a deception, this is part of the implementation of atrocities such as the famous “Agenda 2030” and its intention is none other than to end private property, individual freedom and freedom of thought, implementing the single thought, that is, the closest thing to what George Orwell narrates in “1984”.

    We have forgotten that death by disease is something normal, that it has always existed in the world and that who decides, no matter what vaccines you take or what you do, is something called natural selection.

    This is an endemic disease, like the rest of the flus and it is not going to go away as the others have not gone away, no more and no less, therefore, we have to return to the old normality and, as cruel as it sounds, whoever gets it, bad luck, it is natural selection, it may touch me, or a relative of mine, or not touch me at all, or my immune system may resist this and the other flus and then I may die of tuberculosis (and I am vaccinated against it), it is something you never know, life is like that, no more, no less and, of course, human beings are born to be free individuals, freedom is therefore what should take precedence.

    As usual, the musical selection is very good.

    Have a nice weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Clive. I have to admit I have my reservations about ‘Freedom Day’. A friend who’s had both jabs has just had covid. Fortunately he wasn’t really I’ll but it’s knocked his confidence and mine in terms of mixing more.
    Like you music choices. As you know, like Darlene, I’m a Steve Winwood fan so I enjoyed your starter. I hadn’t heard the Bob Segar one for a while. Its a good song. Similarly, I had forgotten about the Chris Rea one. I think he is an underrated song writer and great slide guitar player.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Paul. In my view, Johnson is and has always been a reckless gambler, who shouldn’t be in a job where he can use people’s lives as chips to feed his addiction. His only concern is himself, and we need a proper leader who will exercise caution rather than going hung-ho over the top. Fingers crossed it isn’t as bad as I fear. Hope your friend is recovering.

      Glad you enjoyed the music. I deliberately went for a few this week that I thought would be less familiar, particularly to American readers. I agree on Chris Rea 👍

      Liked by 1 person

  5. We went through this several times with questionable decisions of reopening things when they were as bad, if not worse, when things were shut down. This is as normal as life has felt for me in a long time here in the United States. Oh, I still wear a mask in crowded environments despite being fully vaccinated.

    I love the intro to the Winwood song. I hadn’t heard the Mary Chapin Carpenter tune (country is growing on me), but it sure is a great tune. I remember she is a favorite of yours. I own this Seger album, so I’m quite familiar with this excellent song. I like just about all of America’s songs. This is no exception. Good call of the Chris Rea song. I had never heard it, but I like it. I won’t give the Abba song a negative review, but I like some of their other songs better. Give Peace a Chance is a great one to close on. All in all, six thumbs up and one okay. Good selections, Clive.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Pete. I know that we aren’t alone in this, and there have been similar frustrations elsewhere. My understanding is that over there things are decided by individual states, which must give rise to much confusion, especially for those travelling out of state. We are already seeing resistance to what many, like me, perceive as a reckless reopening that is happening too soon: for example, the Mayor of London has announced that masks will still be required on public transport, contrary to the government’s pronouncement, and has met with more praise than criticism – so far!

      As to the music, I’ll take 6.5 out of 7 any day, especially with the ones that were new for you. Thanks as always for reading, listening, and sharing your thoughts – much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gavin Newsom, governor of our state (California), was overly cautious. He received high marks from some, but that’s true of anyone in government. I generally think he’s done well, but his hypocrisy has gotten him into major trouble, deservedly so. He had urged everyone to stay home on a holiday weekend (so long ago I don’t remember which one), but then he was photographed celebrating a friend’s birthday going maskless at a restaurant. In another incident, he implied that his own children were being taught virtually, but the private school that his children attend had resumed in-person school attendance. Both of those were huge gaffes and have led to a recall effort. I doubt it will happen, but it’s made it to the ballot.

        Liked by 1 person

      • There is something about politicians isn’t there, a gene that gives them the mantra ‘do as I say, not as I do.’ We’ve had several similar instances here throughout the pandemic, but mostly they have been from members of the governing party – the Conservatives – and they just use their oversized broom to sweep them under the carpet, along with everything else they get caught doing wrong (which is a lot!). Hopefully they all get what they deserve at the ballot box, but I’m not holding my breath…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. makes me nervous too Clive and I’m out in the world but taking a hands on and off approach which makes no sense i know./. 🤣🤣🤣🤣 my hands are now on people with mask and in the stores etc i’m distanced and masked.
    love the songs and tapping to the beat.. 🙏🙏🙏🙏nice choices.. 💖💖💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t worry, Cindy, I can make sense of that. It sounds like you’re being careful, which has to be the right thing to do. Glad you like the tunes – despite the rant as the choice for my theme it’s the music in these posts that matters most for me 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re clearly looking out for others, which is lovely to see. This whole series began from a post I made on a whim, just a few songs, but I’ve expanded it since then. Someone suggested I make it a series and it’s been going since March 2020, apart from a break in December when I did something different. I hope it brings people some pleasure in difficult times: feedback has been good, so I just keep doing it!

        Liked by 1 person

      • As long as people enjoy it that’s reason enough for me to keep going. It has become part of my routine now: decide on the theme and songs on Sunday, write the post on Monday, final edit and publish on Tuesday – I’d be lost without it!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. HI C
    ~ enjoyed the MCC song with extras – it was nice to hear her open the song with a bit of chat and the raw and natural beauty from her farm kitchen was enjoyable.
    ~ I think I might have known the Bob Seger song – as it played I wondered if I had heard it during childhood – and whew – sure did like that “Sunspot Baby”
    – As you might have predicted – the ABBA song was really well known to me – however, Neve saw the video and it was fun to see their playfulness, and the Video options they had at that time – and some of the cloths had a dated feel but also reminded me that some fashion (or hair and face makeup) is timeless or does not change too much

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hiya,

      That was her regular format for those sessions – she did around 60 of them, one a week, and they were a treat. Some also featured her dog, Angus, who is lovely, and also the sadly departed White Kitty. It really did feel like you were there with her.

      I thought you’d be one of the ones to know the Bob Seger song, as it got a fair amount of airplay over there.

      As for ABBA, they are the cream of pop acts for me, a perfect combination of great tunes, great vocals and musicianship, and Agnetha. The beginning of that video now feels like a forerunner of a lockdown video with the split screen effect!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. great song to start things off…

    I love the stripped-down version of MCC singing such a good song…

    I don’t know how I missed that Bob Seger song, since I consider myself a big fan of his work…

    same goes for that America song. I saw them n concert back in the late 70s, but I have to admit I have not kept up with them. the song does not sound anything like the America I remember, I guess that’s because they’ve gone from three to two members. still sound wonderful…

    the Chris Rea song was not available

    the Abba song is a fun, upbeat tune…

    and that was the perfect song to end your post with; love that video…

    sorry about the England vs Italy match. what a tough way to lose…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I owned a number of Steve Winwood’s CDs and played them a lot. And Bob Seger is one of my all-time favourite musicians, this is one of my favourite songs of his. A great collection! Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Clive, thanks for the memory lane. I share your apprehension, as too many do not understand their responsibilities to be good citizens and be considerate of others. As for the songs, you have complied a terrific assortment in this ear candy store. One that stood out, is Mary Chapin Carpenter, who my wife and I got to see in a small theatre venue, at a reasonably close table. It was wonderful. Of course, any list that has Steve Winwood and Bob Seger is a good list. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s my worry too, Keith. Trusting to the alleged good sense of the people who elected this bunch of incompetents doesn’t fill me with confidence.

      I’m glad you like the music. I’ve also seen MCC solo in concert, though in a bigger venue. Her style does make you feel as if you’re in her front room, doesn’t it. Winwood and Seger had to be on this list 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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