Tuesday Tunes 77: Happy Again

One of the reasons I use Facebook is that many of the musicians I like have pages on there which I follow, and the best of them interact with those of us who leave comments for them on what they post. One such is Gretchen Peters, who I have mentioned and shared here before, and who I had the great good fortune to see live in concert before health issues prevented me from going to shows any more. The other day, she posted a new video of a song she had co-written with Bryan Adams – to me, not the most obvious of collaborations, but I watched the video and loved it. The song was called So Happy It Hurts, and it is going to be the title track of Bryan’s new album: it is out now as a single, though the album isn’t scheduled for release until 11 March next year! This got me thinking that perhaps happy, in its various forms, would make a good theme for one of these posts. Then a little voice from the depths of my memory started nagging at me: hadn’t I done this before? Yup, indeed I had, in Tuesday Tunes 23, all the way back in August 2020. But it is such a good theme that I thought, what the hell, go for it again. So, without any repetition of the songs I shared last time, this week’s theme is happy.

There is only one place I could begin, isn’t there? Say hello to Bryan – and his Mum:

How brilliant is that! It is such a fun video, a very catchy tune, and I’d have thought he has a guaranteed hit on his hands with it. There is so much joy in it all: as he says in his YouTube intro one of the things he missed most during lockdown was the ability to just get in the car, go out and drive, and this song is a celebration of the open road and what it can bring us (even if the video was shot in a studio!). I love it!

A couple of the comments left by viewers remark that Bryan was a part of their musical upbringing, so I thought that my next choice for today should be a part of mine:

Considering its vintage I think I was lucky to find a colour video of that, and one which has clearly been edited and enhanced to such a good level – especially seeing as the 2021 video above it is in monochrome! The Dave Clark Five, often known as The DC5, held a special spot for me: they were formed in Tottenham, in 1958, and as a supporter of the local football team I was bound to like them, wasn’t I? They were the second British band, after the Beatles, to appear in the US on the Ed Sullivan Show, and made a total of eighteen appearances there. This was their first hit, released in the UK in November 1963 and reaching #1 in January 1964. It was released in February 1964 in the US, where it peaked at #6. In getting to the top spot here it dislodged the Beatles’ I Want To Hold Your Hand – one up for London over Liverpool! To avoid any potential confusion, the vocalist is Mike Smith – Dave Clark is the drummer. And to this day no one has worked out whether ‘Glad’ was a real person 😉

I’m also going back to the Sixties for my next tune:

We’re back in monochrome territory again, but that kind of goes with the era, I think. There is nothing complicated in that, and no deep meaning – just the four band members having some fun. And cake! This was one of The Who’s quieter moments, but I’ve always liked this song. According to some sources, Pete Townshend has said that the song is about a man who slept on the beach near where he went on holiday as a child. Children on the beach would laugh at the man and once buried him in the sand. However, the man never seemed to mind and just smiled in response. If you’re very quick you might have picked up the shout of “I saw you” right at the end: this is apparently John Entwistle calling out to Keith Moon, who was trying to sneak into the recording session, having been barred by the others as he used to make them laugh and wreck their concentration. The track was released as a single in the UK in December 1966, where it got to #3, and in the US in February 1967, where it became their first top forty single, peaking at #24. It did best in Canada, where it reached #1.

I’m going much more recent for my next one – all the way to May 1972, when The Rolling Stones released their double album Exile On Main Street. Happy was one of the tracks on the album, and was also released as a single;

This track is notable for the fact that the lead vocal is taken by Keith Richards, who wrote it, rather than Mick Jagger, as was their usual habit. In this concert performance from 1972 Jagger can’t be kept out of the limelight for long, though! The album was #1 in both the UK and the US, but as a single the track didn’t fare all that well, only reaching #22 in the States and not charting here, though it did get to #5 in France and #9 in Canada. I still like it, though – always have done!

I never need an excuse to include the fabulous Mary Chapin Carpenter in my posts, and this is no exception, as she has a ‘happy‘ song, too. I’m giving you the version she shared in April 2020, as part of her Songs From Home series during lockdown, as it is so beautifully natural:

In her introduction to the song on YouTube, Mary says “We’re back in the kitchen, Angus can be relied upon to find his squeaky toy towards the end of the song, White Kitty is halfway through her daily 23 hour nap, and as we enter another week of lock down, it’s hard to remember what day it is around here. But no matter, as long as we #staythefuckhome, we have songs to play…we really don’t need much, do we?” That is typically her: the ability to see what is important, and what we need to get by, and that is such a lovely performance. You can find the recorded version of Don’t Need Much To Be Happy on Mary’s 2012 album, Ashes And Roses. Like every song of hers, the lyrics are intelligent and meaningful, speaking to our hearts as well as our minds. The final verse really does speak volumes, I think:

“I had to learn to be grateful
I had to learn how to see
Mistakes that might have proved fatal
Are gifts I now receive”

The Ashes And Roses album reached #26 in the UK, performing rather better than in the main US chart, where it only got to #72. It did make #16 on their country chart and #7 on the folk one, though.

My penultimate choice for this week is a kind of continuation from that, in that it questions why things which should make us happy don’t always have the desired effect:

If It Makes You Happy it can’t be that bad, right? That is something I think we all need reminding of, on occasions. Sheryl Crow has been a favourite of mine ever since she burst onto the scene with Tuesday Night Music Club in 1993, an album which accompanied me many times on the long commute to work by car around London’s North Circular Road, back in the days when it was hell on earth due to a series of major roadworks. This song was on her second album, just called Sheryl Crow, which was released in September 1996, peaking at #6 in the US and at #5 here in the UK. This was the first single taken from the album: it got to #10 in the US and #9 in the UK.

To close this week, this is the ultimate in simple messages about happy. Yes, I know we can’t always follow its advice, but wouldn’t it be great if we could;

This video has over 239m views on YouTube. There is also a video of the same song, credited to Bob Marley, which has over 161m views. Considering that Bobby McFerrin wrote this in 1988, and Bob Marley died in 1981, that would have been quite an achievement on Marley’s part: he was good, but not THAT good! McFerrin saw the phrase on a motivational poster – it had also been used on postcards – and wrote this song. It was included in the movie Cocktail, and became a big hit as a result: #1 in the US, Canada, Australia and several other countries, and #2 in the UK – the first ‘a cappella’ song to top the US chart. The other two in the video are the actor, Bill Irwin, and a certain Mr Robin Williams. Fun fact: in a piece of pure coincidence, Bill Irwin also featured in the video for a Mary Chapin Carpenter song, Let Me Into Your Heart, in 1996. If you’d like to see it, you’ll find it here – do take a look, it’s a fun video and watching it will make you happy. Bobby McFerrin is best known as a jazz vocalist, for which he has received several awards, so this was a step away from his normal territory. I have always loved its simple, happy vibe, and can’t think of a better song with which to sign off this week’s selections.

My objective today was to spread a little musical happiness. If you are now feeling cheerful, having watched and listened to this collection, then my work here is done for this Tuesday. Have a good week, try to keep Bobby McFerrin’s message in your mind if circumstances permit, and I’ll see you again soon. Take care 😊

58 thoughts on “Tuesday Tunes 77: Happy Again

  1. Pingback: October Skies | Take It Easy

  2. Hi Clive
    You are so funny with little tidbits – like who is “Glad” haha

    And the Sheryl Crow song can such an ear worm and is fun to sing around the house at random times – also – the closing song truly can be a good mantra or a tune to Jam to 365!

    The opening one with Bryan Adams was fun with his mother have that cameo – love how her head tilted at the camera a couple of times. After I watched the video I realized I had seen it before and the marveled at how short our memory can be at times

    Also – being on Facebook to connect with musicians you like is a good reason to access that platform – I might need to don’t that- 🎵🎶

    And it seems the happy theme was a great theme to feature again and could make an annual repeat in the future – but of course will depend on DJ Clive’s flow at the time

    Liked by 1 person

    • 10 year old schoolboys like me thought that was very funny when the record came out! The Sheryl Crow one does work its way into your head, doesn’t it. You’ve done well to see the Bryan Adams video before, as it has only been out a short while. His Mum is sassy, I think.

      Facebook is very good for keeping up, especially with bands who aren’t mainstream. I’ve found a lot on there.

      I try not to repeat the themes – this is the first time – but you could be right: more mileage left in this one 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think I actually was introduced to the beta adams song from a blogger – but did not know it was his mother – and I remembered that I saw it because the ending – with the tries taken off and the car looking run down reminded me of a car in Louisiana and that reminded me of a Sean McConnell song about “the wrong side of town”
        And “cuts like a knife” is a too song for me fro Bryan Adams
        And was thinking about him a while back and wondering how hard it must be at times to be such a popular artist when you get and then maybe have less sales later in life – I guess the key is to just stay doing what they do 🎶🎵
        And hope you have a nice rest of the week

        Liked by 1 person

      • That blogger was very alert: the video was only released nine days ago and already has over 350k views from his 4.19m subscribers. Your point about sales piqued my interest so I checked out his discography. You’re right about the US – his chart positions there have been fairly low, and his last one didn’t chart at all there. He hasn’t had a big hit album there since 1996. What keeps him going is success elsewhere: whilst the US is the biggest market he is still selling loads elsewhere, including here and his native Canada. Since 1994 only two of his albums haven’t reached our top ten, and they both got to #11. He’s had several in our top three, but that probably wouldn’t have been on the radar over there. So I can see why he still enjoys it!

        Enjoy your week too 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  3. A great selection of ” happy songs”, Clive is good to listen to DC5 again it has been few years and as a Stones and Who fan always a pleasurable listen…I was pleasantly surprised with Bryan Adams loved the video some good tunes here, Clive you certainly uplifted my mood for which I thank you x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bryan Adams had a string of hits, and then we didn’t hear much from him. Great tune-looking forward to listening to it again! I liked it so much (impressive for a first-time listen) that I’d put it above all the rest of the songs. The Bobby McFerrin tune was one of those songs that seemingly was continuously played on the airwaves in the USA. It’s not a bad song, but I got so tired of hearing it back then. Today, it was nice to listen to it again.

    I’m a little surprised that you didn’t go with Happy by Pharrell Williams, but maybe that one was too obvious for you, or you don’t like the tune. Have you ever seen this clip? I love the reactions of some of the patrons who clearly weren’t acting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gx6sNYUJRQ

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really liked the Bryan Adams one the first time I heard it, too, and it seemed such a good starter for the theme. I can imagine the Bobby McFerrin one would have grated after many hearings, but sometimes we can go back to a song after some time and quite like it again. The reason for not including Pharrell Williams is simple: Walk Off The Earth’s cover of the song was in the first set last year, and I didn’t want to include any repetitions. There are loads of ‘happy’ songs out there!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh Happy Day! .The colour DC5 is wonderful. As a kid I remember playing along on the drum break in ‘Bits and Pieces’. It’s a while since I’ve heard the Stones one but really enjoyed that. I always wondered who Happy Jack was and now I know. Thanks Clive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Paul. That was one that stood no chance of being selected, seeing as I’m such a heathen!

      I got really lucky finding that colour video, wasn’t expecting it. That wasn’t a major Stones track but I’ve always liked it too. Happy to clear up the Happy Jack mystery – it seems a perfectly sensible background for it, though if you look the song up you’ll see the usual cases of critics trying to justify their existence by attributing deep meanings to it and writing the usual unutterably stupid bollocks.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wouldn’t have chosen it either Clive . It just summed up the happiness vibe of Tuesday Tunes. Yes it’s amazing how some ‘experts’ fantasize / clearly make up stuff about the meaning or origin of songs.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I didn’t think you were, but it was a good summation! I think they feel they have to say something they think is deep and meaningful so that the oiks like us can marvel at how clever they are. Stupid, more like! I wrote a post after David Bowie died, which turned into a rant about how Sean Keaveny and Caitlin Moran made their obituaries all about themselves and what they thought. I did feel better for it 😂

        Like

  6. that was a good video to start things off with – a happy tune for sure.

    if I didn’t watch the DC5 video, they sound quite a bit like the Beatles to me – not a bad thing! And how your Tottenham connection with them!

    I don’t think I’ve heard Happy Jack in 50 years – still just as enjoyable. I don’t think I knew it was a Who song…

    I was not familiar with the Stones song, but it was a good one. Jagger has to be the best frontman ever…

    MCC certainly has a way with words… and she sounds great with just her guitar while standing in her living room…

    fun Sheryl Crow song…

    great closing song! fun video, and thanks for mentioning that Robin Williams was in it, I would not have picked that up.

    always nice to listen to music that boosts your mood – thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Almost as though he made it for my opener, wasn’t it! I hope his Mum got paid for the job, too.

      In their early days the DC5 were often compared to the Beatles – they were the two bands who led the ‘British Invasion’ of your charts – you don’t get 18 appearances on the Ed Sullivan show without being popular. I always had that connection with them, too.

      Possibly not a typical Who song in its sound, perhaps, but the lyrics are very much English Sixties – think Ray Davies of the Kinks or Marriott and Lane of the Small Faces as a comparison.

      Jagger is instantly recognisable: I don’t think many bands could get away with making a caricature of their lead singer’s lips into an album sleeve.

      I’ll never pass up an opportunity to share an MCC song, but that was the first time for Sheryl Crow – I should do more of hers.

      I love that final video. I wasn’t sure it was Robin Williams on first watch but the second time I noticed a brief full face shot to camera – instantly recognisable, even with that moustache.

      Glad to have brightened your day – that was the plan 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Esmé. Always happy to share, and as long as I do this series you’re guaranteed at least one post from me each week! Thank you for promoting it for me, much appreciated 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Cindy. There are some good ones in there and I really enjoyed putting this set together. The colour DC5 was a real bonus – I’d been expecting to have to make do with a grainy old monochrome one. Bands looked different back then, didn’t they? Who looks like which Paul, though? 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Really enjoyed MC Carpenter, and Angus’s attempts to videobomb her … fair play to you for liking Bryan Adams, I can’t stand his derivative, cliche-ridden, old rope … need I go on! Thank God for variety of taste I say!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for all the happiness and nothing makes me happier than a Bryan Adams song. I just love it and the video. I know he loves his mom a lot and it is so cool that she is featured. I enjoyed all the songs. Now I´m going back to listen to Bryan one more time. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Clive, I am very happy with your mix selection. From the Dave Clark Five to Mary Chapin Carpenter to Bobby McFerrin. By the way, I love the first cartoon. Too funny. Reminds me of a friend who refers to her colonoscopy doctor as the Rear Admiral. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

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