If you saw my post Be A Lert last week you’ll know that the experience of being scammed left me, amongst other things, feeling angry at my own stupidity and foolishness at falling for them. When pondering what to choose for my theme for this week’s tunes it occurred that these words might be suitable: I know of loads of songs with fool in their title, though fewer for stupid. But after a trawl through my Apple Music library I decided to go with a blend of both: I’m giving you five fool songs followed by three stupid ones. The title, that is, not the songs!
As a sign of my current state of mind, there couldn’t be a better place than this to begin:
I didn’t want to short change you, so that is the full epic nine minute version of The Who playing Won’t Get Fooled Again. There is a slimmed down version that was released as a single, coming in at a shade under four minutes, but I thought I’d give you the complete version of a rock classic. Although the video is dated 1978 the song was originally released as a single in June 1971, when it made #9 in the UK and #15 in the US. It also featured in its full length version as the closing track on the band’s fifth album, Who’s Next, which came out in August of that year, topping the UK chart and reaching #4 in the US. It is a great album, just the nine tracks, but there are a couple more Who classics on it: it starts with Baba O’Riley, and also incudes Behind Blue Eyes, which was covered by Limp Bizkit in 2003, reaching #18 in the UK Singles chart, though it only made #71 in the US. For anyone who would like to see the shorter version released as a single, here is the band playing it live in 1971.
Another piece of classic rock for you next:
Fool For Your Loving was first released by Whitesnake as a single in April 1980, the month before it featured as a track on their third album, Ready an’ Willing. The single peaked at #13 in the UK and #59 in the US, while the album got to #6 in the UK and #90 in the US. They were one of the more tuneful hard rock bands of their era, as befits an outfit which included three former members of Deep Purple: David Coverdale, lead vocals and songwriter, Jon Lord on keyboards and Ian Paice on drums. I always rather liked them, and this is one of their best known songs, along with Here I Go Again and Is This Love. The band is still going, but hasn’t done much damage to the charts of late!
I’d been tossing up whether to play you the Frankie Lymon original of this one, or maybe the Beach Boys cover, but then I was reminded that Joni Mitchell had done a version. For me, this was a no brainer, even if the video is a bit out of sync with the vocals! It is still a great cover, though:
As I mentioned, the original of Why Do Fools Fall In Love was recorded by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. This was all the way back in 1956, when it reached #6 in the US and got to #1 in the UK. That really is a pop classic, but I just had to go for Joni’s version. This was released on Shadows And Light, a live double album, in October 1980 though it was recorded in September 1979 at the Santa Barbara Bowl. It was far from being Joni’s best seller, reaching only #38 in the US and #63 in the UK, but I thought it was a lot of fun. The wonderful backing vocals in that clip are from The Persuasions, an a cappella group who had formed in Brooklyn in the mid 1960s.
My next selection is from one of my favourite bands. As this was an album track and a B-side single I thought I would have to make do with an audio-only clip, but someone has made one of those dance mash up videos for it, and it is lovely:
Only A Fool Would Say That is a track on the incredibly good debut album by Steely Dan, Can’t Buy A Thrill, which was released in November 1972 and became a firm part of the soundtrack to my three years at uni, which had begun a month previously. This was the closing song on side one, but it is one of those albums on which there isn’t a dud track: all ten are superb. The album reached #17 in the US and #38 in the UK, and is one of the few to have been awarded the ultimate accolade by me: at different times I have bought it on vinyl, cassette and CD, and nowadays listen to it via streaming. This song was the B-side to the March 1973 single release of Reelin’ In The Years, which peaked at #11 in the US but didn’t make the UK chart.
I thought I’d close the fool part of this post with some class and style. This just oozes them both:
Bryan Ferry was already known as the lead singer of Roxy Music when he released These Foolish Things, his first of what are now sixteen solo albums, in October 1973. Again, this is one that I bought and played a lot while I was at uni. It reached #5 in the UK but only made #204 in the US, where he wasn’t as well known. I loved it! It was an album of cover versions of some of Bryan’s favourite songs, including by the likes of Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. It closed with this, its title track, a standard written in 1935 by Eric Maschwitz and Jack Strachey. The song has been recorded many times, by loads of crooners and jazz singers, as well as some that might surprise you: Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, James Brown, Rick Astley and even Seth MacFarlane are among those to have had a go at it. In my view, it is ideally suited to the Ferry cabaret singer style, and I still enjoy this album nearly fifty years on.
That leaves us with the three stupid songs. This is one I doubt that you will know, and it has to be an audio-only clip, I’m afraid:
As the video shows, this was a track on Richard Thompson’s album Sweet Warrior, which was released in May 2007 and got to #39 in the UK and #111 in the US. Although I’m including this in a selection prompted by scammers, Mr Stupid is actually about a guy’s reaction to his divorce. Mind you, in some cases, scams and divorce probably count as the same thing: happily, I can say that this didn’t apply for me, as the divorce was amicable though I have less kind thoughts about the scammers!
Back on better known ground for my next one:
Shania Twain released Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You) in November 1997 on Come On Over, her mega-selling third album, the one that really gave her a worldwide breakthrough. It reached #1 in the UK and #2 in the US, and has to date sold more than 40m copies. You may not know this but there were two versions of it: the US one, which was more ‘country’ in style, and the International one, which was more pop-based. This is the official video and, being American, it features much greater involvement from the fiddles, and less from the stomping disco beat, than non-American readers might have expected. If you’d like to make the comparison, this link to her appearance on the UK’s Top Of The Pops tv show will give you the idea. Whichever way you look at it, it is still a fabulous album, though, and one which I played a lot in the car – ideal driving music! A phenomenal twelve of the album’s sixteen tracks have been released as singles around the world. In the US, this was the second, while the rest of the world got it as the seventh: it reached #5 in the UK but only #40 in the US. Still, with that many album sales, I doubt Shania’s bank balance suffered from that low placing.
For today’s final tune I’m going with the one whose title really sums up what I thought of myself after my scam experience. I’m staying with what is termed ‘country,’ though I think there is more than a hint of rock about this one. His guitar wouldn’t sound out of place in any rock band you care to think of:
Stupid Boy was a track on Keith Urban’s sixth album, Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing, released in November 2006, which reached #3 in the US and #5 in Australia, two of the three countries for which he holds citizenship (the other is New Zealand): it also got to #73 in the UK. The song was a single the following month, getting to #43 in the main US chart, to #3 on their country listing and #1 in the Canadian Country rankings. It also won him the 2008 Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance. I think it is a great song, and that guitar solo is just so good. I also rather liked the comment by the guy who uploaded this to YouTube: “If you think he’s good looking, you should see his wife.” (Nicole Kidman, if you didn’t know).
That’s all for this week, and this has been somewhat cathartic for me in exorcising a few demons! Tune in next week to see what else might have befallen me about which I can find a few tunes to play. Until then, have a great time. In the meantime I’ll see you again in a couple of days for a special, and again on Sunday. Take care. 😊