Saturday, July 27, 2013

Musical Homonyms: Hideaway

Believe me. Fame isn't all it's cracked up to be. Especially if you're a rock star. So let me make a suggestion: while you're busy strumming your tennis racket and practicing your guitar god faces in the mirror, take a moment to consider what you will need when super stardom really strikes: condoms, a personal pharmacist and ...a hideaway.

Here are three hideways to get you in the right frame of mind.

Hideaway #1

Eric Clapton of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers grabs the spotlight in this masterful Freddie King cover (with a bit of Jimmy McCracklin's "The Walk" slipped in for fun). It's so good Mayall decides to go with the album title Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton instead of the original title Come On Feel My Goatee.

Hideaway #2

How's this for a catchy name : Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mich and Tich. It worked wonders for this UK pop sensation who, between 1965 and 1969,  spent more weeks in the UK singles chart than The Beatles if you believe everything Wikipedia tells you."Hideaway" was a Top 10 hit in 1966.

Hideaway #3


Rock doesn't get much more theatrical than it did on 1973's Cockney Rebel debut The Human Menagerie. It's an absolute delight! And it sold... absolutely nothing. But no worries for the band. As Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel,  they hit #1 in the UK two years later with "Come Up and See Me (Make Me Smile)"

Friday, July 26, 2013


This was always going to be a tough assignment. I mean, let's be honest, we could all do "Hallelujah" or "Angel", and some may curse me as I write that, but SMM is all about digging a tad deeper. (Crosses fingers that the Boss won't take umbrage at my new boy, relative, gaucheness.) So, rather than "All or Nothing", cos you all know that, how's a bit of classic jazz and a bit of classic rock'n'roll, 80s style, and add the "At All."

John Coltrane: All or Nothing at All
Purchase (single track)

No introduction for the 'Trane. Bit of a latecomer to bebop me, as it all seemed atonal yet samey to my rockist ears, until I came to an epiphany. Stuff all this earnest head nodding, fingers a clicking in eyes-shut reverie. Jazz. Is. Dance. Music. That's right. Throw your head back and your arms out. Smile. Daaaance. (I'm struggling to convince my girlfriend of this, but bear with me. Try it!) When it suddenly kicks in, it will all be understood. Problem solved. I love it. This, from 1962, is wonderful, from the drum intro, percussive piano, then suddenly, marvelously, the horn. I'm weaving in my seat, on my chair, as this glides all over and around me.Join me? Of course there are lashings of other versions, with vocals, of this tune, with both Frank Sinatra and Diana Krall coming closest to mind, with my bestest singer, Mr Chet Baker, not far behind.. They're good, but why embellish the unnecessary?

Marshall Crenshaw: All Or Nothin' At All
Purchase (whole Lp, but well worth the investment!!)

You couldn't get much different than with Mr Crenshaw, an out and out classic rock 'n' roller with hints of Buddy Holly about his stylisations. Always tastefully tunesome, somehow a shame he has always seemed somewhat of an also run, at least perhaps thus avoiding the overkill of mass acclaim. I like him and this is a good example of his style. However, in just the same way that the Coltrane is a cover, or "standard" as that genre will have it, so too this is not of Crenshaw's pen, but being a mid period, E Street Band on leave, Springsteen, from "Human Touch" (And pedants will cite there is no g at the end of "Nothin", but I am nothin' if not too well brought up to ignore such a criticism, not least as I have only realised this point at this stage, 3 paras down. Live with it. Sue me. Either way, it's great.)