July

Rather later than usual, due to unforeseen circumstances beyond my control, I’m returning after my absence with my recap of last month’s posts, in case you are suffering from FOMO. Firstly, though, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who took the time and trouble to wish me well while I was away – it was hugely appreciated! I think I managed to reply to everyone, but was unable to keep up with reading your blogs, so I’m afraid your masterpieces may have passed me by. Sorry!

I posted eleven times in total last month – one of my more productive periods! As always, the first was my review of the previous month, Rosebuds From June, which was titled after a rather lovely song by one of the pioneers of English folk-rock music, Steeleye Span. If you missed it, do give it a listen: to be honest, its probably the best reason you’d have for revisiting the post…

There were, of course, the regular set of Tuesday Tunes posts, of which there were four, matching neatly the number of Tuesdays last month. These began with Tuesday Tunes 64: Double Down, which was the second half of a two parter using down as its musical reference point. The music came from ELO, The Yardbirds, Oysterband, The Band, Steve Earle, Steeleye Span, Eric Clapton (with a stellar backing group), and Tom Petty. A pretty fair selection, I thought!

Then came Tuesday Tunes 65: Chance, which was another week in which I broke my own self-imposed maximum of six songs by choosing a seventh, which just shouted at me to include it. The theme was prompted by our Prime Minister, a man who embodies all the worst elements of the definition of a ‘chancer.’ It gave me some more good music, though, with selections from Steve Winwood, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Bob Seger, America, Chris Rea, ABBA, and John Lennon with the Plastic Ono band. A bit of an eclectic mix, I think.

I followed that one with Tuesday Tunes 66: Loud, which rather reflected the mood I was in at that time: when I need to shut out the stupidities of the world, there is nothing better than cranking up the dial to 11! I think I made my point: the music was by Steppenwolf, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Bad Company, The Faces, and The Darkness. Ear plugs were advisable!

I rounded off the month with Tuesday Tunes 67: The Eighties, which was prompted by a comments chat with my blogging friend Cindy in which she asked if I didn’t listen to music later than the Sixties or Seventies. Indeed I do – a lot of it – so I compiled a list based purely on the top forty songs of each year of the decade in the UK Official Charts. From that total of 400 I managed to whittle things down to a maximum of 23 that I might play, bearing in mind that my tastes had by then largely moved on from the pop music that filled the charts with music for weenyboppers. In this piece, I gave you the first eight of these, and intended to follow this up until real life got in the way. The tunes were by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Pink Floyd, Phil Collins, The Police, Foreigner, Queen, Bruce Springsteen, and Dire Straits. Have you spotted the connection? All but one of them were around in the Seventies, and one dates back to the Sixties, though these were all chart hits in the Eighties. Old habits seem to be hard to break, I guess.

There were three other music posts last month. The first of these was in honour (sorry, honor) of the many of you from the USA who were celebrating your release from colonialism. Imaginatively, I called this Songs For Independence Day, and in addition to a potted history lesson with a trailer from the Madness Of King George movie, there was music from The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, The Shires, Martina McBride, Gretchen Peters, rounding things off, of course, with Bruce Springsteen’s Independence Day.

The other two music posts were both from a delve back into my archives, from the time in 2016 when I began the now largely defunct #SaturdaySongs series. In these, I took a song which has some meaning for me, and explored it in more depth, giving you a glimpse into me as well as the song. The first was by a Canadian band unknown to just about everyone here, The Great Lake Swimmers, and the post was A #SaturdaySong Revisited. This gave you the story of why the band holds a special place in my heart, and you got to hear their lovely songs Easy Come, Easy Go and New Wild Everywhere too, which was a bonus!

The other piece of archive retrieval came in A #SaturdaySong Revised, which took me right back to the first record I ever bought: Eve Of Destruction, by Barry McGuire. For good measure, I also threw into the mix the song with the New Christy Minstrels for which McGuire is probably best known.

There were also a couple of pieces of light relief last month. I gave you Saturday Smiles 3, which took us back to the Fifties and Sixties, with Gerard Hoffnung, and then Flanders And Swann, plus a latter day parody/homage by Armstrong And Miller. There were also a couple of songs from the inimitable Tom Lehrer, and a piece of storytelling by the genius that was Sir Peter Ustinov.

A change of tack with the other post, in which I shared my enjoyment of the Apple TV+ show Ted Lasso, and showed how I think this can help us all laugh, cry and think. It’s a lovely show, and I hope you can get the chance to see it. If not, the clips I included in A Little Feelgood will have to suffice for now!

The final post for last month was An Apology, which explained my enforced sudden absence. I hope you missed me as much as I missed you!

I usually like to leave you in these posts with the song whose title I adapted for the piece, but this month’s didn’t need any tinkering by me:

Yes, I thought ‘Noah’ was a male name, too, but you’d have to ask her parents about that. Yes, her dad is called Billy Ray, and her older sister is the one given to swinging around naked on a wrecking ball. But this is simply lovely, with some beautifully intense and meaningful lyrics, written when she was just 19. And her clothes stay on for the video too (you have to watch the one for her song All Three if that’s what you’re looking for!).

See you next month, when my more normal schedule will have resumed. Tuesday Tunes will be back next week, and there may be a little something else in the meantime if I can get my act together. Have fun, stay well.