Tuesday Tunes 78: Tuesday

Yes, you read that title right. It struck me last week that I have at various stages posted songs which have mentioned particular days of the week, but hadn’t ever devoted a whole piece to one day. What better place to begin than the day on which these are published? And it also gives me six further ideas for future posts! So, for this week, my theme is: Tuesday. There are, for me, a couple of obvious ones to begin with, and no doubt you will be familiar with some of them, but there are also some which are less well known: come with me on a voyage of discovery.

I’ll start with the one you are probably all expecting:

There’s nothing like being predictable, is there? I doubt that I need to tell you much about this song, as it is one of the best known of the Rolling Stones’ catalogue – which is saying something! This one was written by Keith Richards about his girlfriend of the time, Linda Keith, a fashion model. It was released in January 1967 as a non-album single, as the A-side in the US, and as part of a double A-side release in the UK: the other track was Let’s Spend The Night Together, which was deemed too naughty for radio audiences. The songs reached #3 in the UK and this one was #1 in the US. It also featured on the US release of the Between The Buttons album, but was excluded in the UK: in those days, we often had to buy the singles separately. The album peaked at #3 in the UK and at #2 in the US.

You may also be acquainted with the cover version of the song released three years later by the folk singer Melanie Safka. Melanie gave it a very different feel:

If I hadn’t already known and loved the Stones’ version I would have loved this one too, as I was a fan of Melanie. But this one never really did it for me – it was ok, but it just didn’t feel right to me somehow, possibly as the stripped down accompaniment missed some of the orchestration of the original. As a single, this reached #52 in the US, but was her first UK hit, getting to #9. The album from which it was taken, Candles in The Rain, peaked at #17 in the US and #5 in the UK.

This next one may well be another that you know. I think I was lucky to find this live performance, as it is fabulous:

There is so much joy and energy in that video: everyone on stage really seemed to be enjoying themselves, and the audience lapped it all up. Although that is from his 1976 tour, the song was originally to be found on Cat Stevens’ album Teaser And The Firecat, released in October 1971: it reached #2 in both the UK and the US, as well as in Canada, but was a #1 in Australia. The song wasn’t a single in its own right, but featured as the B-side to Peace Train, which reached #7 in the US but wasn’t a hit here. Did you notice that one of Cat’s guitar strings broke during the song, but he carried on regardless? Who needs six strings anyway!

Here’s one I’m fairly confident you won’t know (go on, surprise me!):

Primal Scream aren’t well known across the pond, but they have had a string of hit albums in the UK, other parts of Europe and in Australia, going all the way back to Screamadelica in 1991, in their days as wannabe Rolling Stones: that album included the top ten single Rocks, which is probably all that most people will know of them, if anything. Fewer still will be aware of their beginnings as an indie pop/rock band, which is where this track comes from: it was released as a single in June 1987, reaching #86 in the UK, and became the opening track on their debut album, Sonic Flower Groove, in October of that year. Some title, eh? It could have come from twenty years earlier, which I suspect is what the band had in mind. The album peaked at #62 in the UK. This is some way from the raucous rockers they became a few years later, but I think it’s lovely, and wouldn’t have been out of place on a Stone Roses album. There are hints of Byrds influences in there too, with those jangling guitars – it definitely has a Sixties feel to it, which is probably why I like it. [A PS: this one may not work for you in the US. A link to the official audio version may have more success: https://youtu.be/RLbqHnEEWYU ]

You may well know of The Pogues but again I’m guessing that this one may have passed under your radar:

This was the opening track on their sixth album, Waiting For Herb, which was released in October 1993: it was their first album after Shane MacGowan had left the band, and peaked at #20 in the UK. It wasn’t a chart hit in the US, but they generally fared much less well over there anyway. It was the first single taken from the album and reached #18 in the UK, thus becoming their first UK top twenty hit since the original release of Fairytale Of New York in 1987. The song was written by Spider Stacey, who stepped up from his usual tin whistle duties to take over as lead vocalist for the album, and drew favourable comparisons with The Clash’s Joe Strummer for his sound. I rather like it – it has a nice, easy feel to it – and I also like the way they worked in clips from several of their earlier videos, too. Whisper it quietly, as The Pogues were very much an Irish band, but Spider is actually English. Still, it was good to see the band having a lead singer with all his teeth.

I’ve remarked previously that I have long been a big fan of The Moody Blues, so this next choice may not come as a surprise – it is now their fifth appearance in this series:

I was expecting to have to give you an audio-only version for this one, so finding this live performance was a real bonus for me – and I hope for you, too. As you may well know, this was a track on the Moodies’ concept album Days Of Future Passed, which was released in November 1967. The album performed respectably here in the UK, reaching #27, but was a huge hit in the US, where it got to #3. The original album version of this track was called Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?) but it was slimmed down to the simpler Tuesday Afternoon for its edited release as a single – it got to #24 in the US and #12 in Canada, but wasn’t a hit here. It took until their next album, In Search Of The Lost Chord, before the British record buying public caught up with the fact that they weren’t making records like Go Now any more!

For this week’s final selection I’m revisiting another of my favourite bands: I’ve featured them here twice before, and both times they received a good response. I have actually included this song in an earlier post in this series, but I make no excuses for repeating it, as it is lovely:

As I said when I shared this song before, I find the beauty of Margo Timmins and her voice irresistible. The Cowboy Junkies come from Canada, and still have the same line up – including Margo and two of her three brothers – as when they began in 1985. They have never been a band to storm the charts, but have a loyal following who appreciate just how good their music is. I think this is beautiful, and the video has a lovely feel to it, even though the song is actually about a break up. It was on their 1990 album Caution Horses, which reached #11 in Canada, #33 here, and #47 in the US. This track was released as a single, peaking at #22 in Canada and #90 here, but didn’t make the US chart. They are very much an albums band, though: there is nothing wrong with that, and I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see this one again.

So, that was Tuesday. Not a bad day for songs, really, and I might see what I can do with the other days of the week – but not next time, as there is something special coming up. Well, it’s special for me, anyway! Covid rates are rocketing again here in the UK, and I would suggest that you take the precautions advised by the government, if they had actually done anything about the current situation. So, just take good care of yourself and your important people, or you might find me doing some more posts of lockdown music!

I hope you have a great week, and do stick around for a musical Halloween treat from me on Sunday, before I return with my special edition next Tuesday.