Musings on music, old, new, popular and obscure. Post punk, metal, hip-hop, funk, and rock in general. A music fan with a desire to lose boundaries on what should and should not be listened to writes about experience in music from a listener's perspective, hopefully unhindered by prior expectation.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Everybody Get Random, All Gal-Dom, All Man-Dom -- Bits and Bobs

Over the course of time, whether it's reading around the internet, reading liner notes on album reissues or talking to people, I pick up tons of weird trivia. Now, of course, I could insert it into discussions of other concepts or the bands or artists they relate to, but that's very artificial, or, sometimes, would require editing existing entries.

So, instead, here's a bunch of random bits of fluff I've found interesting over the course of time recently. Think of it as a sort of memory dump, preserving things here and there to fill the heads of anyone reading with strange points of information that will likely never serve any useful purpose...

In Garbage's "Special"--from their 1998 sophomore effort, Version 2.0, which contains probably my favourite Garbage song, "Push It"--Shirley Manson sings "We were the talk of the town," as the song begins to fade and end. Of course, it's a reference to the Pretenders hit "Talk of the Town" (originally on the March EP Extended Play--love it when they get creative with titles!--but mostly known for its release five months later on Pretenders II), which causes one to wonder if it was an off-hand reference, an unconscious lift, or a blessed addition.

Well, wonder no more, as Shirley Manson--of Garbage, the one female, and the one who hadn't been in the business and numerous bands for a decade and/or a record producer/engineer--herself explains:

"The point being that our lawyers started getting really freaked out about some of the things we were doing on the record. For instance, on one of the songs called 'Special,' I took a line out of Chrissie Hynde's 'Talk of the Town,' and it was meant as an homage to her, because the song itself is a little Beatlesque and Pretendersy. I just thought it was a nod to her. But our lawyers were like, 'You have to take it out. You're going to get sued. They'll come after you for hundreds of thousands of dollars. It has to come out.' And I was like, 'I'm not, I want it in there!' So I called her up and she took our call immediately and she was like, 'Are you kidding? I want it in there. That's fantastic!' So the next day, we came into the studio and there was this fax from her lying on our desks, and it said, 'I, Chrissie Hynde, do hereby allow Garbage, the rock band, to sample any of my sounds, my voice, or indeed my very ass.' And it was so cool. She never asked for any money. She didn't ask for any credit. Nothing. She just sent us this great fax. And the same goes for that Beach Boys thing that we told you about. We got really very lucky. People were really cool about allowing us to do something that we felt was important to us."

[Sourced from The Pretenders Archive, stumbled across while doing work to splice in details on Pretenders releases]

Thin Lizzy's cover of Irish traditional song "Whiskey in the Jar" (which they spelt "Whisky in the Jar") was not on an album, though it was a big enough hit that a large number of recordings since its November 3rd, 1972 release have been based on the arrangement singer/bassist Phil Lynott, guitarist Eric Bell, and drummer Brian Downey  put together, back when Thin Lizzy was 100% Irish (not too long after, Phil and Brian began adding Scots and Americans on guitar, after Bell left). Despite this--though many don't know it's a traditional song, or, especially, don't know that, say, Metallica's version is based on Lizzy's arrangement--the band recorded it to be a b-side as it was not one of their own songs, and was "just" an arrangement of a drinking song from their country.

Interestingly, it was the label that decided to make it the A-side, showing a good bit of taste on their part--though "Black Boys on the Corner," the intended A-side, is a solid song--though there's a tiny bit of confusion on the subject. The liner notes on the 2010 reissues of Shades of a Blue Orphanage and Vagabonds of the Western World (Lizzy's second and third albums respectively, from '72 and '73) allege that it was a "Dear God" type situation like what XTC experienced, where the single went out and radio play encouraged a flip. Devoted, and I mean devoted, Lizzy fansites maintain the "released as an A-side" version of the story. Unfortunately, no images exist with clear shots of the runout etchings to verify, and the labels Decca printed did not specify A or B sides.

The Church's Marty Willson-Piper (who, on a separate note, apparently recorded a solo version of Big Star's "Thirteen," which I naturally now need to hear) told a story of reading a review of a later Church album (perhaps 1986's Heyday or 1988's Starfish, which had their biggest hit on it--"Under the Milky Way") where the author suggested that The Smiths could be blamed for this travesty of a band and its similar contemporaries.
With the one obvious problem:
First Smiths release: "Hand in Glove" [Single], May, 1983
First Church release: "She Never Said" [Single], November 13...1980.

Oops. The fact that Marty said he'd also been informed that the Manchester formation of The Smiths may have even been associated with a Church concert there is part of what led to my decision to write about stupid, dismissive, negative reviews.
(this came from reading the liner notes to Seance, which Marty helpfully informs us is not titled Séance like the regular word, with the parenthetical "(no accent!!)"--the Church's third full-length. Which came out a month after the Smiths' first ever release, just to once again drive this hilarious point home.)

I've alluded to 90s hits wandering into my listening, and so let me just note what they are really quick as a final note here (be it for nostalgia, condemnation, or first introductions).

Geggy Tah - "Whoever You Are"

Now, before I continue with these, one of the other stories: the liner notes of The Replacements' Stink (I'm still trying to figure out if I want to go with the naming convention of The Replacements Stink or not, as obviously there's fun in that title), the origin of the recording the mini-album starts with is laid out. It's from a Replacements concert that was shut down by the police, where at the beginning someone is heard yelling "Hey, fuck you, man!"

Apparently that voice is that of Dave Pirner, vocalist/guitarist/songwriter for Soul Asylum (explaining, at least, their sudden appearance below).
Soul Asylum - "Runaway Train"
Soul Asylum - "Misery"
Soul Asylum - "Somebody to Shove"

 Lastly, there's a song by stoner metal group Monster Magnet. Their big hit (again, 90s stuff that wandered into my listening recently) "Space Lord." Now, the chorus to this song goes, "Space Lord mother mother." Naturally, one assumes that that's not quite the original wording: only it is. At least, the album version has never existed in any other form, though, indeed, the original lyrics were different. And exactly what you thought. They can be heard in live performances as well as the "Intergalactic Remix," though its original video contains the album version:

As a last bit of fun, here's something I hinted at the existence of before, for you to hate me for hearing. But you have the option not to, of course!

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