February Stars

That time has come around again for my reprise of the past month’s posts. In fact, it has arrived so quickly that anyone would think this has been a short month…

The brevity of February is probably the main reason why this is only my eighth post of the month. Well, that and inertia, of course. I’ve been taking some time to plan ahead, though, and March will see the beginning of two new occasional series: I bet your excitement levels just went through the roof then, right? One of them will be music-related (naturally) but the other won’t – how’s that for expanding my horizons? Stay tuned.

Due to my scheduling capabilities, my review of January wasn’t either my final post last month or the first this month. I like to keep you on your toes! It duly arrived on 6th February, and was called January Man. As usual it contained links to all nine of that month’s posts, and the song for the month was an absolute beauty.

As ever, each Tuesday in February has seen a Tuesday Tunes post. These were:

Tuesday Tunes 42: Move which featured music from Ray Charles, The Clash, Sheryl Crow, Canned Heat, Bob Dylan, and Green Day.

Tuesday Tunes 43: Wheels, with tunes from Gretchen Peters, The Band, John Mellencamp, Linda Ronstadt, Foo Fighters, and Old Crow Medicine Show.

Tuesday Tunes 44: Cold including Foreigner, the Rolling Stones, The Chicks, Rod Stewart, Faun, and Tom Petty.

Tuesday Tunes 45: Breaking The Law which was a kind of ‘tribute’ to our government, and was probably the one I enjoyed most this month. The music was from The Clash (again), The Bobby Fuller Four, Thin Lizzy, Elvis Presley, Bob Marley, Walk Off The Earth, and Steve Earle – a real bumper edition!

There were also two other posts during February. On 4th February I marked this year’s Time To Talk Day with #TimeToTalkDay 2021. No matter how far I might digress, I will never lose sight of the reason why i began this blog: mental health is an important topic and should never be downplayed or forgotten.

For the purposes of this review, I’m leaving until last what, for me, is the best. On 13th February I posted A Special Centenary, which marked the 100th anniversary of my late Mum’s birth. It gave you an idea of a little of what life might have been like back in 1921, and included a couple of Mum’s favourite songs. It was an important anniversary for me, and I was pleased at the positive response to the post.

As always, I have ‘borrowed’ the title for this piece from a song – this one:

I couldn’t really choose anything else for this month, could I? The song comes from the Foo Fighters’ second album, The Colour And The Shape, which was released in 1997, reaching #10 on the US Albums Chart and #3 on ours in the UK.

“February stars

Floating in the dark”

That’s a wrap for this month. I hope to see you again for the next Tuesday Tunes post, for the two new series, and there will of course be the usual monthly review in case you missed anything.

In loving memory of my very own February Star.

January Man

I’m a little late with this, but wanted to space out my posts a bit, as this is the fourth in eight days. As has become my recent habit I’m giving you the chance to catch up on any posts you may have missed over the previous month. There were nine in total, so that is probably quite likely!

I began on 1 January with the appropriately named Songs For A New Year, which included tunes by ABBA, Counting Crows, Prescott-Brown, The Rescues, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Semisonic, Mindy Smith, and The O’Reillys And Paddyhats, plus an encore of the Radetzky March from the Vienna New Year’s Day concert. A real mixed bag!

The next post was the first of January’s four Tuesday Tunes offerings. These four were:

Tuesday Tunes 38: Some More Seventies Songs, which featured music by Cat Stevens, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Neil Young, Jackson Browne and Jethro Tull.

Tuesday Tunes 39: Au Revoir Seventies Albums, which included Led Zeppelin, Free, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, The Moody Blues, and Stevie Wonder. As the title suggests, that was my final return to one of the best ever decades of music, but I did reserve the right to go back again at some point – it’s my blog, so I can do what I want, OK?

Tuesday Tunes 40: Phil Spector, which was a tribute to the music created by a very troubled soul, who had died a couple of days previously. The tunes came from Ike And Tina Turner, The Crystals, Ben E King, The Righteous Brothers, George Harrison, and John Lennon.

And last, but not least, Tuesday Tunes 41: Hope For The Future, which took its theme from the way I felt watching President Biden’s inauguration, an event offering hope that the previous four years’ horror might be ending. This proved to be a harder one than I was expecting for the selection of tunes, but I was ably assisted by Travis Tritt, The Farm, Bob Marley, George Harrison (again!), and Paul McCartney.

There were four further posts last month. I’ll remind you of them in chronological order, starting with my review of the previous year, 2020 Hindsight. An imaginative title, I’m sure you’ll agree! In this, I gave you a listing of the top ten posts in 2020, along with a little trumpet blowing about how well the blog had done last year. There really is something to be said for posting more often and regularly, isn’t there? If you’re at a loose end, or need a cure for insomnia, the post included links to all of 2020’s top ten, plus a couple of others, including my personal favourite of last year.

The next one was a reblog of a post from two years ago, which itself was based on a post from 2016. I’ve never shied away from mining my back catalogue, have I? The post was Icons And Lesser Icons Revisited and contained my thoughts on how some in the media treat the passing of famous musicians as an excuse to write utter crap. It also linked back to a piece including music by David Bowie and Walk Off The Earth, which just has to be a good thing!

My next offering was a piece in which I had a little bit of fun, and which was prompted by a comment from the lovely Yvette who had invented a new word. This was What’s In A Word? and it was the most viewed post of the month. It is still picking up regular ‘likes’ and is very close to making it into my all time top ten. I’ll be sorry to see the current #10 go – it is a post which means a lot to me, as I wrote I Hope You Dance to mark my granddaughter’s birth and my hopes for her future, but she has appeared in posts since then and I’m sure she’ll be back! I considered changing things but the widget doesn’t allow me to have a top eleven, though. WordPress need to work on that!

I brought my blogging month to a close with 500 Milestone which, as its name suggests, marked my 500th post on this blog (I can think of three on others, where they have been mad enough to invite me). In that, I celebrated the millstone milestone by sharing again the very first post I ever wrote, back in October 2012. It doesn’t have great literary merits, but we all have to begin somewhere! Having ‘borrowed’ the title in part from a song I felt I ought to include that too (any excuse), so you may have seen the version of 500 Miles by The Hooters, along with a much more recent clip from John Fogerty, his children and farm animals of a song with ‘500 miles’ in the lyrics. Shameless? Me? Probably.

That was where my January blogging ended, and I hope you saw at least one of those posts – and can now take the opportunity to catch up on what you may have missed. As is my habit I ‘borrowed’ this post’s title too, so I’m giving you the song from which I purloined it, to save you having to dig into your memory. It was written by Dave Goulder, who released it as the title track of his 1970 album, and it has since been recorded by many artists who form a Who’s Who of British and Irish folk music, including Martin Carthy, Karine Polwart and Lau, Jon Boden, Damien O’Kane and Steeleye Span. This has always been my favourite version, though, as the feel of melancholy in the song is a perfect match for Christy Moore’s vocal timbre:

This was on Christy’s third solo album, Whatever Tickles Your Fancy, released in 1975. As far as I can tell, his only chart success here as a solo artist was a week in the top 40 with the eponymous follow up to that album in 1976 – I think the British record buying public has let itself down! But this is still a lovely version of a great song, the worth of which is evident from the litany of cover versions.

See you again soon, both for the regular posts and/or for the next monthly round up, if that’s what floats your boat. TTFN.