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Playlist: Listen, my friends! ~ June 2013

June 1, 2013

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In the words of Moby Grape… listen, my friends! Yes, it’s the (hopefully) monthly playlist presented by George’s Journal just for you good people.

There may be one or two classics to be found here dotted in among different tunes you’re unfamiliar with or have never heard before – or, of course, you may’ve heard them all before. All the same, why not sit back, listen away and enjoy…

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CLICK on the song titles to hear them

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The Left Banke ~ Walk Away Renee (1966)1

Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell ~ Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (1967)2

The Doors ~ Summertime (1967)3

Mama Cass, Mary Tyler and Joni Mitchell ~ I Shall Be Released (1969)4

Miles Davis ~ Bitches Brew (1970)

Bette Midler ~ Superstar (1972)

Cast of Bugsy Malone ~ So You Wanna Be A Boxer (1976)

ABBA ~ Rock Me (1977)5 

CJ & Co ~ Devil’s Gun (1977)6

Tina Turner ~ We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome) (1985)7

Denis King ~ Theme from Lovejoy (1986-93)

Peter Gabriel ~ In Your Eyes (1986)8

The Divinyls ~ I Touch Myself (1991)9

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1 This original version of the tune that would become a huge hit for the Motown giants The Four Tops just months later was written by Left Banke member Michael Brown of his bandmate’s (bassist Tom Finn) then girlfriend Renee Fladen-Kamm. The song’s muse was actually in attendance when it was recorded, which was such an uncomfortable experience for Brown he had to return to the studio to finish off the record hours later

2 A promotional film-version (seemingly filmed in front of a funky, urban ‘6os telephone booth) of Gaye and Terrell’s original crossover Motown hit. Terrell would tragically die three years later from brain cancer, aged just 24 years-old. It’s said Gaye never properly recovered from her passing and his downbeat, introspective classic 1971 album What’s Going On was a reaction to her loss  

3 An idiosyncratic Doors take on the George Gershwin classic, captured during a performance at San Francisco’s Matrix Club on March 7 1967; founding band member and keyboardist Ray Manzarek died last month aged 74

4 Performed on a Mama Cass TV special broadcast in 1969

5 This, well, truly rocking version of the ABBA hit was recorded live in Australia and is taken from ABBA: The Movie (1977)

6 This was the first track ever to be played at the legendary Manhattan disco venue Studio 54 (1977-81) 

7 As featured in the Antipodean post-apocalyptic adventure sequel Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), starring Mel Gibson and, of course, La Turner as Aunty Entity. The song hit #3 in the UK, #2 in the States and #1 in Canada; it was also nominated for Golden Globe and Grammy awards. Curiously, English World Cup winning rugby player Lawrence Dallaglio provided his voice for the song – as a member of King’s House School choir, to be heard towards its end

8 The tune that blares out of John Cusack’s lovelorn hero’s boombox he holds above his head to win back his sweetheart Ione Skye in the iconic scene from Cameron Crowe’s Say Anything (1989). Peter Gabriel stipulated he’d only agree to his song’s use if he was sent a cut of the movie to view first; his response was that the flick was fine, but he didn’t go on the protagonist’s drug overdose at the end – bizarrely, the film studio had sent him a cut of 1989’s Wired (a biopic of John Belushi) by mistake

9 The deliciously risqué Australian #1, US #4 and UK #10 hit that featured in the fembots-face-off scene from Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery (1997); its co-writer and The Divinyls’ lead singer Christina Amphlett sadly passed away in April this year, aged just 53

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Simon permalink
    June 22, 2013 12:35 pm

    That video of ABBA is great! Who says you can’t rock in Spandex! Only last night I went to see a mates band at a pub and they were so rock covers et al Bryan Adams, Queen etc but they did a rocked up version of ‘Does Your Mother Know’ it was great and the only tune the whole pub joined in with….. Maybe ABBA missed their calling and should have been more of a rock band, after all they didn’t achieve much….. Lol

  2. June 22, 2013 8:56 pm

    Interesting point, Simon. Always easy to underestimate ABBA and just label them as a band that came up with dance-inducing disco hits. But melodically speaking their best music was second to none and, like the best pop artists, they were genuinely varied, offering disco-style hits as well as ‘pure pop’, ballads and, yes, a bit of rock. To wit, remember reading Pete Townshend quote describing SOS as the greatest ‘white soul’ song ever written. Interesting observation… 🙂

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