Tuesday Tunes 97: Dance, Part Two

I said a couple of weeks ago that I had loads more dance songs to share with you, and have managed to whittle them down to eight for part two of what I think might be a longer series. Well, I had got the selection down to eight, but then Saturday’s news made me rethink. I wanted to add in an extra one, but not to the exclusion of another, so I’m going with nine this week.

That news was the passing of Taylor Hawkins, drummer with the Foo Fighters, at the ridiculously early age of 50. Reports say that he died of heart failure, which was probably caused by the concoction of ten drugs that were found in him – the rock and roll lifestyle claims yet another victim. By way of tribute I’m adding in a song you may not have been aware that the Foos had covered. Last year, for Record Store Day, they brought out an album under the name of the Dee Gees, which contained five covers of Gibb brothers songs plus five live versions of their own. As he occasionally did, Taylor took lead vocal on one of them, Shadow Dancing, and this seems a very appropriate song to play in his memory:

That is an Andy Gibb song, though it bears all the family hallmarks. RIP Taylor.

This is where I had been intending on starting this week’s selections:

I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that this was the opening track on Lady Gaga’s debut album, The Fame, released in August 2008. It was a massive hit, reaching #1 in the UK, Canada and Germany, and #2 in the US, New Zealand and France. Coupled with the expanded version, The Fame Monster, released a year later, it has to date sold more than 18m copies worldwide, 3m of which have been in the UK, which is a phenomenal performance. It has also spent a total of over 150 weeks at the top of the US Dance/Electronica chart. This song was released as a single ahead of the album, in April 2008, and has been #1 in the US, the UK, Australia and Canada, and has sold more than 8m copies. If I’m honest, I didn’t pay that much attention to her at first until I saw her performance at Glastonbury live on tv in June 2009, and was captivated by her. The album purchase followed shortly after!

This next one has long been a favourite of mine:

Don Henley released All She Wants To Do Is Dance on his second album, Building The Perfect Beast, in November 1984. The album got to #13 in the US and #14 in the UK, but did best in Australia, where it reached #4. This song was released as the second single from the album, in February 1985, peaking at #9 in the US but not making the UK charts. I remember this video well, as it got a fair amount of airplay here: I hope you can see it, as Henley’s record label is notorious for blocking videos. If not, the official audio-only version can be found here.

Today’s next tune goes back a further decade, to 1975. Again, it is one I’ve always liked:

Dance With Me was a track on Orleans’ third album, Let There Be Music, released in March 1975. It was their first to reach the charts, peaking at #33 in the US and #71 in Canada. They have a lovely relaxed, laid back West Coast feel to their music, despite the fact that they took their name from the city whose music they were listening to at the time the band formed, in January 1972. But they come from Woodstock, so I guess they had heard music from a few other influences too. This became a single in July 1975, and gave them their real breakthrough, getting to #6 in the US and #5 in Canada. They have never had anything in the UK charts, which I think is a pity.

As you may have noticed, I enjoy playing the occasional song which I think will be new to everyone, and this is one of those:

That’s a little different from the others I’m playing today, but I make no apology for that. This is an incredibly powerful song and video, and is especially relevant in current times. Xander and the Peace Pirates are a band from Liverpool, who have in their time had a five year residency at the famous Cavern Club, and have been the support act for some well known names, including Manfred Mann and Joe Bonamassa. Dance With The Devil was a track on their first album, 11:11, which was released by a small label in 2016. It attracted a good deal of interest, but wasn’t a big seller. The band have thrived very much on live performance, and as you can probably imagine they have been badly affected by the restrictions of the pandemic, like many lesser-known bands. They are currently touring the UK with a range of club dates, ahead of their self-released second album, Order Out Of Chaos, on 6 May. A friend looks after the admin for their Facebook page, and I’m hoping that she and her colleagues will be able to generate some well-deserved and much needed publicity for the album: I think they are fantastic, and should be more widely known. They have played London’s prestigious Green Note Cafe a couple of times, and this tells you more about them, including the answer to the question you may well be asking after watching Keith Xander in that video.

Back to the well known now, and they don’t come much more famous than this guy:

I’ve known this song for more than fifty years, and for me it is still one of the most beautiful of all that Elton John has done – which is saying something. The video is a good deal more recent, and was made five years ago as one of a set of three marking Elton and Bernie’s Californian influences in their songwriting. It depicts life for the ‘L.A. Lady’ of the song from a dozen different perspectives, and I think it is a wonderful accompaniment to a superb song. Tiny Dancer was the opening track on Elton John’s fourth album, Madman Across The Water, which was released in November 1971. He was going through a poor patch with the UK singles charts at that time and the album seemed to follow that pattern, only getting to #41 here, but it did much better across the pond, peaking at #8 in the US. The song was issued as a single in February 1972, with similar results: #41 in the US but not making the UK charts at the time, though it did finally make a rather belated appearance in 2015 at #70. It is, however, one of his more popular songs in live performances, and I still think it is beautiful!

Today’s next song is one that may have gone under the radar for many, even though it was a hit both sides of the Atlantic:

Wang Chung originally released Dance Hall Days as a single in 1982, but it didn’t make the charts anywhere. The song was re-recorded for their second album, Points On The Curve, which came out in January 1984 and made it to #30 in the US and #34 in the UK. The song became a hit single the second time round, reaching #21 in the UK and #16 in the US, as well as #5 in Canada, #6 in New Zealand and #7 in Australia. The band’s name, if you were wondering, means ‘yellow bell’ in Chinese – they changed the spelling, though, having released their first album as Huang Chung. They were a British band but didn’t have any real success here to follow this one up: they did better in North America, where their song Everybody Have Fun Tonight was #1 in Canada and #2 in the US in 1986. I don’t remember it, but I’ve always enjoyed this one, which has a quirky appeal to me.

I’m going back onto more familiar ground for the penultimate song in today’s marathon. This is a classic rock record, and is another long time favourite of mine:

Moondance was the title track of Van Morrison’s third album, released in January 1970, which peaked at #32 in the UK and #29 in the US. The song later reached #92 in the US singles chart in 1977, after Van the Man decided that seven years was long enough for his fans to wait for a single version of the song. I’m not sure what the video is about – it isn’t official – but at least it gives you something to look at while you enjoy the music.

I described Wang Chung’s song as quirky, which must make today’s final song and video double quirky:

What more could you want from a pop music video? A catchy song, a beautiful girl dancing around, Morris dancers, Mummers, a Maypole, Punch and Judy – it has them all. Utterly bonkers, but a lot of fun and a good closing piece. With all that traditional British-ness Men Without Hats just have to come from these shores, right? Wrong: they are a Canadian new wave/synth-pop band from Montreal, originally formed in 1977 by the lead singer, Ivan Doroschuck, going on hiatus after their successful period in the 80s, and then reforming in 2010, and they are still going strong. Safety Dance was a track on their debut album, Rhythm Of Youth, released in April 1982, which got to #13 in the US, #15 in their homeland, and squeaked into the UK chart at #96. This was written by Ivan after he had been kicked out of a club for pogo dancing, because it was deemed too dangerous for enclosed spaces – I can somehow understand that after watching this video, as he clearly needed a bigger dance floor. It was a slow burner as a single, reaching most of its peak positions in 1983: it got to #11 in Canada, #3 in the main US chart and #1 in their dance listings, #6 in the UK, #2 in New Zealand and #1 in South Africa. The video, by the way, was filmed in the village of West Kington, in Wiltshire. Ivan is the only band member featured: the other leading players are Mike Edmonds, a tv actor, and Louise Court, who later went on to be editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine and a director of Hearst Magazines in the UK. She must have an interesting CV! [PS: I’ve been advised that this didn’t play for an American reader, which is a real shame, as it’s great fun. Jim has very kindly found a version that works over there and you can find it here ]

That’s all for my second set of dance songs. As I’ve said, I still have many more I could have played so I may well revisit this theme, unless we all get bored with it. I’ve done my best to give you my usual mixed bag, and hope that there will at least be a few for you to enjoy amongst them. And, going back to where I began today, Taylor’s passing is a reminder for us all to be good to ourselves, as well as to others. Take care, and I’ll see you again soon. 😊🎶

69 thoughts on “Tuesday Tunes 97: Dance, Part Two

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  3. Hi
    the link worked – and oh wow- that song brought me right back to a time when my friend Kelly’s boyfriend’s mother was going out partying – and she came home singing that song – she ended up getting divorced and it was kind of sad –
    but just wanted to let you know the link worked

    Liked by 1 person

      • Well the memory felt neutral – if that makes sense- it was a time when anyone over 30 seemed “old” and so briefly seeing his mom in that change of life was new to me!
        And that guy – by the way – his name was mark – he weren’t on to become a nurse and I still remember his favorite song – it was Broken Wings by Mr Mister! And once in a while I still think of that if I hear the song.
        There was an inventing commercial that used some of the lyrics and that was fun- but isn’t it fun when certain people come to mind with a song?
        And speaking of that – you mentioned the Beastie Boys a couple months ago – related to a politician – and wouldn’t you know it – heard two beastie boy songs right after that ! Crazy I tell ha
        🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶

        Liked by 1 person

  4. A nice tribute to Taylor to start things off.

    I liked hearing the songs from Henley, Orleans, Elton, and Morrison. I am surprised that Moondance didn’t chart higher, I think it is a great song.

    I was not familiar with the Lady Gaga song (I really don’t know much, if any, of her music), and I was not familiar with Wang Chung.

    Was not familiar with Xander, but that was a good song. and quite impressive to be such a good musician while using a prosthetic.

    the final video did not work for me either, so I am glad you included a link. that was a fun video and song to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. nice song to have as a tribute to Taylor.

    I enjoyed listening to Henley, Orleans, Elton, and Van Morrison. I’m surprised Moondance did not chart higher, I think it’s such a great song.

    not familiar with the Lady Gaga song (I really don’t know much, if any, of her music), or Wang Chung

    Was not familiar with Xander, but that was quite good, and how impressive to be a musician using a prosthetic!

    your last video did not play for me either, so thanks for the link. that was a fun song and video…

    Liked by 1 person

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  7. Also
    Great tribute with the opening Dee Gees! Oh wow was that fun. I showed it to someone who loves Foo Fighters and he had no idea the band did this Dee Gees project
    And they did a great job on the song
    🎶😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The van Morrison song was a little familiar but never realized it had so much flute and just a nice snappy beat.
    The Men Without Hats video didn’t play (have a link?) and by the way – I learned a bit about Punch and Judy from the antiques road show many years ago!
    Also – that lady Gaga dance song really brought me back
    Great variety for round two of dance

    Liked by 1 person

    • The flute tends to get lost in live shows, that’s why I played the original recording. The song isn’t the same without it.

      I know about the Men Without Hats video. A real shame, but maybe YouTube has a copy of it that is visible there? They’re Canadian, so you’d hope there was a version that can be seen in N America! I added in a link to a live performance when I was first told of this, and I hope that works for you.

      Glad you enjoyed the variety – that was my aim!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This is a very enjoyable way to enjoy the afternoon. Thanks Clive. Your last video did not show up so I looked it up. All are great! I look forward to listening to more of your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great dance collection Clive. It is indeed a real shame about Taylor Hawkins. Will these guys never learn? One of my favourite memories of Hawkins is when he did a drum-off with Dave Grohl at a Foo Fighters concert in Manchester. I’ve never heard that Shadow Dancing track before. Lady Gaga is quite a talent but despite having dance in the title I think she’s done much better dance records.
    I really enjoyed ‘Dance with me’. I bought the album back then on the strength of the single (still have it). Its a good album and they are a great band. At the time few of my friends had heard it but my new girlfriend at the time (now my wife) loved it. I’m quite impressed with Xander and the Peace Pirates (new to me). ‘Tiny Dancer’ is one of Elton’s best in my view. Love the last three and especially the video on the last.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A great memory to have, Paul, and sadly that’s all it can be now. I think the Dee Gees album wasn’t widely promoted – released on vinyl for Record Store Day but it is available on the streaming services too.

      I agree on Lady Gaga, but had to go with the right title. I think she’s amazing, and by all accounts a very nice person too.

      Good to know that your wife was won over by your taste in music. How could she have resisted such an invitation?

      XATPP are very impressive, and the two tracks so far released from their new album are as good as this, with good accompanying videos too.

      I agree on Tiny Dancer, quite saying something when you consider how many great records he has made.

      I’m pleased you enjoyed the last three too. That Men Without Hats video is quite something, isn’t it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have to say my wife doesn’t share my taste in a lot of music. Listening in the car requires some negotiation. I’ll try out XATPP after that introduction!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I had the same difficulty with my now ex-wife, though that wasn’t the reason for the divorce. We met at Uni in 1972 and she was the only one there I knew had a Carpenters album!

        The two new XATPP songs are both on YouTube if you want to hear more, plus quite a few live performances and ‘as live’ in the studio recordings. Their cover of Purple Rain is worth a listen.

        Liked by 1 person

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  12. The only one I couldn’t see was the last one. I knew them all except for Xander and the Peace Pirates. I loved the opening part of the video with the ceiling fan and the sound of helicopters. Dance With Me has always been one of my favorites and Orleans doesn’t get as much attention as they should for such a great tune.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many thanks, Pete, and there was I thinking that the problem one would be Don Henley! I’ve added in a link to an alternative – the band playing it live – and I hope that works for you. I agree on Orleans, they should have done better here as well. I hope you liked the rest of the XATPP song too!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Now I know why Jill and Jim have called you the Music Man! 😊 I will have to show my husband your blog. He is my music encyclopedia! LOL! I love music but don’t ask me to name albums or know dates of songs. I even mess up the names of the artists and their songs at times, much to my embarrasment. ☺ Just ask Jim about The Cat in the Cradle! Wonderful song, but I had been giving credit to the wrong artist for years!
    It is sad about Taylor, my husband and son really liked him . My favorite song on here would be Elton John’s Tiny Dancer.
    Your “retired,not expired” line made me laugh. Keep it that way. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Joy. I began this blog on mental health issues but the music has rather taken over! I hope your husband enjoys this 😊

      Taylor was a real character, and the bond he shared with Dave Grohl was a huge part of the band’s success. I’m not sure where they go from here, or whether Dave will feel like continuing.

      Tiny Dancer is one of Elton’s best, among many great songs.

      I wish I could claim that tagline as original – but I ‘borrowed’ it from a meme 😂

      Like

      • You are welcome! Been meaning to check your blog out for awhile, and glad I finally did.
        Yes, Brad, my husband, mentioned the close bond Dave and Taylor had. Does make you wonder if he will still be able to continue to play. Would be really tough!

        LOL on not being able to take credit. Well you found the meme, so you can take half credit. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, I’m pleased to see you. I’ll return the compliment.

        I think it will be very hard for them to carry on as before. Many bands have continued after the death of a member but they may not have been as close as these guys. Maybe Dave will start a new band, like he did after Nirvana?

        I think a half credit is fair 😊

        Like

      • Thanks, my blog doesn’t feature much music but there are times I throw some songs in, if it fits my story. I will warn you in advance the stories can be crazy and the comments at times, even crazier! But in this crazy world, we need laughter, right?
        Tuesday’s are quote days. There are sooo many good quotes out there, so I try to bring some encouragement and inspiration with 10 of them each week.

        Could be or maybe Dave will just decide to retire. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Clive, great choices. One of my favorite movie scenes is from “Almost Famous” as the band sings “Tiny Dancer” on the tour bus. Van Morrison deserves accolades for his song as well. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Keith. I don’t know the movie but looked it up and it sounds interesting. It’s on one of my streaming services so I’ve added it to my watchlist. Van Morrison is amazing, and I was disappointed his song didn’t win the Oscar at the weekend.

      Like

      • Clive, I think you will like it – it has a nostalgic feel along with a sense of camaraderie. The bus scene accentuates both. It is Kate Hudson’s best movie in my view. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive, I saw in my blog where you noted you saw the movie. Ironically, I was channel surfing this week and there it was from the start, so I watched the first half. I am glad you enjoyed it. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s funny how that sometimes happens, isn’t it. And yes, I did enjoy it and thought the scene you mentioned was done well.

        Like

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