I thought I’d take another trip into a day of the week for today’s theme, and have chosen Friday, for two reasons: firstly, there are some good Friday tunes around, and secondly it gives me the chance to add in a little section ahead of Black Friday which ‘officially’ occurs this coming Friday, though from my inbox it seems to have been here for weeks already. In previous years I’ve posted a piece especially for Black Friday, but this seemed a good opportunity to spare you some overload from me, and combine two posts into one.
I’m kicking off with the earliest of my selections:
The Easybeats were presented to us as an Australian band, but to be totally accurate none of the band members were born there: two had emigrated as children from England, one from Scotland and two from the Netherlands, and they actually met at a hostel for migrants. Friday On My Mind was released in autumn 1966 and during 1967 was the first record by an Australian rock band to enjoy worldwide success: in addition to being their second #1 in Australia, this also reached #6 in the UK, #16 in the US, #1 in the Netherlands and charted in a number of other countries. The song was written by band members Harry Vanda and George Young (who was the older brother of Angus and Malcolm, of AC/DC). There have been many cover versions, perhaps most notably by David Bowie on his Pinups album – which Vanda later described as “the only cover I liked!” There is also a video of Bruce Springsteen playing it live in Sydney in 2014 – that guy always did know how to play to the crowd!
I’ve featured this next band a couple of times, and they will be making their regular seasonal appearance next month, but for now, this is their take on what Friday Night is all about:
That is typical of The Darkness: totally over the top and a lot of fun, a description which fits every video they have made. You’ll see that says it is unreleased, which may explain the slightly fuzzy, unfinished quality of the pictures – but it comes from their own YouTube page so must be ‘official.’ This is one of the tracks from their debut album, Permission To Land, released in September 2003, which was a huge hit here in the UK, where it reached #1, and also managed to make #36 in the US. Five tracks from the album were released as singles, but this wasn’t amongst them. It seems a reasonable guess that they had planned this to be a single and made the video for it, but then the plan changed. The album still gave them five hits, though, including two #2s and a #5.
One of my all time favourites next, and one of the best Friday songs ever:
Friday I’m In Love is one of The Cure’s biggest hit singles here – they regularly featured in the charts, but didn’t often break into the top ten. This was released as a single in May 1992, reaching #6 in the UK and #18 in the US – it was a hit in many other countries, too. It was a track on their most successful album, Wish, released a month earlier: that was #1 in the UK and Australia, and #2 in the US. As finest hours go, I think this is a good one. [I’ve been advised that this one doesn’t play in the US. If you’re having problems with it, here is a link to a lyric video – it’s simply too good a song to miss out on!]
This next one will probably be new to many of you:
I included The Shires in my piece for Independence Day, and they were well received. To date, they have yet to dent the US charts, though they have toured with the likes of Shania Twain and Carrie Underwood. All four of their albums have topped the UK Country Chart though, and have reached the top 10 in the overall albums chart, three of them making it to #3. This was a track on their debut album, Brave, released in March 2015: that was the one that didn’t get to #3, ‘only’ making #10! It may come as a surprise to American readers that we have a country music scene over here, but we do, and The Shires are one of its best known acts. They have won several awards from the British Country Music Association, and I hope they go on to reach a wider audience – hopefully they can have a go at the States when the pandemic permits.
Having given you a British country Friday Night song perhaps I should give you an American one too? This was just an album track, so it’s an audio only ‘video,’ but I think it’s a great song:
This was a track on Lady A’s third album, Own The Night, which came out in September 2011. It was a US #1, and reached #4 here. The album also topped the country charts on both sides of the pond. The track rather gives the lie to them just being purveyors of twee ditties, I think, and they have used it to get their live shows off to a rousing start.
Before I move into the closing Black Friday section, I’m indulging myself with one more. This is one that I have shared before, all the way back in Tuesday Tunes 25, in September 2020. I featured Kate Rusby’s cover of Manic Monday a couple of weeks ago and mentioned then that she had included another ‘day of the week’ song on her album of cover versions, Hand Me Down. This is it:
In the lead up to the album’s release in August 2020, Kate asked via her Facebook page for people to send in photos of things they loved: humans, furry friends or places, for inclusion in her video. She was inundated by the response! It is, I think, a testament to her popularity that this happened, and she included as many as possible in the video. If you’re quick you’ll see some shots of her adorable daughters in there too. Her stripped down version of the song is beautiful, and these visual embodiments of love enhance the effect. I think it’s lovely.
Now for some Black Friday songs. These are three ‘highlights’ from last year’s post, just to remind you. This is the one which kind of gave the day its name:
Despite the linking of the name, I knew that as the opening track on Steely Dan’s 1975 album, Katy Lied, which peaked at #13 in both the US and the UK. As you will have seen from that helpful lyric video, the song is nothing to do with shopping. The excellent Songfacts site says this about it:
“Long before the term came to denote the shopping frenzy on the day after Thanksgiving, Steely Dan released this song about the original “Black Friday,” when on Friday, September 24, 1869 a failed ploy left many wealthy investors broke. The investors tried to corner the market on gold, buying as much of it as they could and driving up the price, but when the government found out, it released $4 million worth of gold into the market, driving down the price and clobbering the investors. While the song is about events in the US, it mentions a town in Australia: “Fly down to Muswellbrook.” Muswellbrook is a rural town two hours North of Sydney that is full of kangaroos (thus the line, “Nothing to do but feed all the kangaroos”). It’s possible that Walter Becker and Donald Fagen selected the name of Muswellbrook from an atlas, mainly because it worked well with the next line, “I’m going to strike out all the big red words from my little black book.” They also wanted a place far away from Los Angeles.”
So now you know!
This is another song which I have shared before and which I think is worth a repeat airing:
As I’ve said before, I don’t think Rusty Cage is likely to make it as a world class singer, but he has rather nailed the ‘event!’ He sounds an interesting character, though. His ’name’is a pseudonym, taken from a song by the band Soundgarden, and he has been very coy about revealing his real name. He has released many videos on YouTube, on which he has more than 1.1m subscribers, and to date has seven albums to his name: this song comes from Really Stupid Bad Songs That I Made, released in 2017.
I’m leaving you with a further reminder that I’ve shared before of the dangers of overdoing your shopping. This isn’t specifically about Black Friday, but it applies just as well then as on any other day:
This was a track on Weird Al Jankovic’s May 2003 album, Poodle Hat, which reached #17 in the US albums chart. The video isn’t an official one, but I think it fits the song well. Only one video was released for the album, a hastily created piece for the track Bob: the original plan to make one for Couch Potato had to be shelved after an objection from Eminem, whose Lose Yourself song it parodied. (c)Rappers just don’t have a sense of humour, do they? In case you haven’t worked it out, this one was originally I Want It That Way, by the Backstreet Boys.
That’s your lot for today. I hope you have been amused and entertained, and possibly in one case moved by the emotions on display. I’ll be back next Tuesday and will see you again before then, too. Have a great week! 😊