Thursday, August 16, 2018

the roth tapes

howdy pop pickers

a bit more nostalgia for you, then, look you see. well, why not - i can certainly think about the future, but i surely can only write of the past. on that note, i do believe it was in a particularly delicious interview when Ian Brown responded "well, we can't be influenced by the future" when asked if The Stone Roses were influenced by the past.

but no, not Ian Brown or The Stone Roses up for discussion here. instead, one of the single greatest rock and roll frontmen to exist, ever, and that which was once and then once again his band. yes, indeed, of course, David Lee Roth and Van Halen.

certainly, i was indeed busy on that there well known internet "auction" site, the one that is called something bay or similar. a particularly random browse revealed to me a formidable number of auctions for VHS tapes featuring primarily David Lee Roth, but also the band that was good when he was in it. the temptation was, of course, to buy all the tapes, but ultimately i limited it to three. for now, at the least. perhaps i shall go back for the rest later.

definitively, then i am happy with my purchases. there are some drawbacks, to be sure, and the biggest of those comes in the format (or fact) that we speak of VHS here. whereas home video of the VHS kind was spectacular when it came along, it is not (quite) the standard we have come to expect for entertainment. but, it does the job.

exactly how long do i intend to keep going with these alphabetical paragraphs? not all the way, i suspect. it could be quite difficult to do the whole alphabet this time. but i am pretty sure i did it once with one post not so long ago, we will see. i wouldn't count on it if i were you here.

for sure, the main one of the sets of tapes i bought that got me all excited was the Van Halen one. not that i have any issue or quarrel with the solo career (and subsequent tapes) of David Lee Roth on his own. it is just fair, i believe, to say that Roth + Van Halen the first time around was the very finest of both of them. "peak", if you like, should that term still be popular.

other (see the alphabetical paragraph thing has stopped) than it being the above, this video in itself was all nostalgia. certainly, yes, decidedly, it was a bootleg made to be sold at some profit, but a good deal more heart went into it. this Van Halen tape is three hours culled from broadcasts and fan made home videos, all in a time when obtaining such was not at all easy or straightforward.

i am particularly impressed with the conversion job, i think. even in this day and age converting a NTSC video tape (note, converting is different to simply playing it back) to PAL is tricky; with 80s technology it was far from fun. unless, of course, the US broadcasts were recorded here in the UK on PAL equipment. which would be all the more impressive, as someone would have had to have an absolutely massive satellite dish to do that with, and be most smart at shifting the alignment to pluck the correct broadcasts from the sky.

all that, just to capture the broadcasted magic of David Lee Roth. nice one.

videos like this Van Halen one were common yet not common. you had to know where to be and what to look for to get them. often the videos were sold in the classified section of the music press, back when we had a music press. normally you could find them on sale in the back pages of, for example, Melody Maker or even NME. otherwise, one found them for sale at record fairs from time to time.

my mate Ste, the music and art of whom feature on here from time to time, once got a really smart Prince one, for Prince was his favourite as we grew. it had most of the up to them promo videos on, and a rather smart (and what would turn out to be exceedingly rare) interview with him (Prince, not Ste), in Paris i think. with some of his impressive entourage around him.

yes, indeed i have converted this haul of David Lee Roth to DVD. this i did "old school" with a VHS player and a standalone DVD Recorder; the likes of which basically act as a VCR but with discs not tapes. and yet still, with some skill, i have been able to then convert some of that into snippets to share here.

for those able to play the video back, and i think that's now all of you, i did (earlier) (not later) warn of the quality. VHS, and copy off a copy too. in some instances it is clearly a copy off a copy off a copy off a copy that was not so great to start with, and so the quality goes to the extent that quite often the footage dips into black and white ("monochrome" if you like) when it should be glorious colour.

cost? well, i paid slightly north of £5, but considerably south of £10, for the three tapes, plus the postage. should you say in total i got roughly five (5) hours of David Lee Roth, each hour cost me about £1.24, or near enough. one cannot argue with this. back then these VHS tapes would have cost either £10, £15 or £20 each, depending on the seller and the popularity of the artist in question on the tape.

yes, probably is the answer to the question of whether or not i could have found most, if not all, of this stuff for free, and maybe in better quality, on that "internet" thing, specifically "you tube". but that was not the point. perhaps mostly the nostalgia thing, for sure, but it just all looked like a fun purchase.

oh, yes. that is indeed David Lee Roth dressed as Napoleon, off of the video for Van Halen's interpretation of the Roy Orbison classic Oh, Pretty Woman!. it also features one of the band as a samurai warrior, and one as a cowboy. further, it has midgets molesting a damsel in distress, and a creepy hunchback watching on a video. the personification of an 80s music video, then. and you would have to say Roy Orbison 0 David Lee Roth 1, for "The Big O" never made a smart video for the song like that.

so far as i am aware, indeed, the above should have been in colour. it is, sadly, the music promo videos which appear to be of the worst quality on the Van Halen VHS, as they will have been taken from copy after copy of a well worn tape. virtually all of Hot For Teacher plays back in black and white (monochrome), sadly. and yes, if you are not familiar with it, the song is indeed exactly what it might sound like off of the title. awesome drums on it, and remembering the misery of Don't Stand So Close To Me, you really do have to say Sting 0 David Lee Roth 1. actually, probably a lot more than 1.

every now and then, however, the video for the most splendid Panama plays in colour, and here is a still or screen grab to show that, which also features one of the other, lesser members of Van Halen, as the other members are not David Lee Roth.

what makes David Lee Roth so amazing? other than the huge amounts of sex he had and probably continues to has (it is a widely accepted fact that he is the best ever at it and has done it more than anyone else in history, in fact more than the entire population of certain medium sized nations), he is the personification of extrovert. as in, he is the extrovert's extrovert, if that makes sense.

he oozes a confidence and self belief that is both rare and absolutely required to be one of the all time greatest rock frontmen of all time. even, and let me make this clear even, when he was going through a quite, in retrospect maybe, ill-advised period of wearing cowboy shirts for interviews intended to be broadcast on major television networks.

i wonder, well, a couple of things. no, i am not sure if my nostalgia isn't free of rose tinted glasses, and maybe this was not all as wonderful as i recall. but, in memories, all piling around a mates' house who had a VHS and a tape of stuff that you were not, strictly speaking, and in the eyes of copyright holders, etc, supposed to have, was a fun time. with the proliferation, ease of access and many means to play such stuff in this day and age, i wonder further if this is all as "magical" now as it was then.

we, after all, only had four (4) TV channels, and usually whatever videos the petrol station down the road had available to rent. selections and choices had to be made. now, virtually everything ever made is available in a short space of time to all. wonderful that it is, i suppose, but it does feel like it takes away some of the wonder of watching something.

undeniably, though, the (literal) art of the bootlegger has gone. now one simply throws that which they have bootlegged onto the internet, or maybe one of them "DVD Recordable" things. look, you see, above is the tracklisting for the Van Halen VHS that someone nicely formatted and typed up, on a typewriter, for computers and printers then were not what maybe they are now.

so far i have watched the VHS as i converted it to DVD, and have sent on the DVDs of what i converted to Spiros, so he may enjoy them as a fellow fan. absolutely not, no, i am not offering to "sell" or anything my DVD conversions. but, that said, if you are a huge Van Halen fan and for some reason want to see this VHS, well, get in touch, i am sure we can sort something out for the sake of postage costs.

do these videos feature David Lee Roth wearing them smart trousers of his, the ones where his backside, or if you like arse, is hanging out the back (as opposed to the front), a bit like Wez out of Mad Max 2 and indeed Paul Rutherford out of Frankie Goes To Hollywood? yes, but not as much as you might think.

and, since i am running out of things to write, here you go, a bit of video from the above sequence, where you may get to see a peek or two at Roth waving his stuff around in them smart trousers.

no, i have never ever worn a pair of trousers like that. would i? maybe. not really sure they are intended for people with my physique, so i suspect they are not made in my size.

oh, the other tapes? not bad. the promo cassette of She's My Machine is perfect, but then it would be, for it is an "official" VHS sent out by the label to various TV stations with the intention that they broadcast it, so that the people may see David Lee Roth.

the other one is the best of times, the worst of times. considering it was made with a VHS camcorder smuggled in to a concert (somewhat more difficult that, say, filming a gig with your phone), the picture quality and stability is magnificent. alas, there are issues with the sound - for some 40 or so minutes it feels like a silent David Lee Roth concert. but, visually he is stunning.

above is a still from the David Lee Roth concert, i believe Wembley, 1991. indeed yes, as you can quite clearly see above, he does abseil down into a quasi boxing ring in order to perform Panama, because why not, when you are David Lee Roth you can pretty much do that which you like.

nostalgia again, really. VHS video cameras were massive, and in order to get a whole concert recorded you'd probably have needed to take an extra battery and an extra tape. by no means would this have been easy to get smuggled in to a venue. so, video recordings of gigs back then were extraordinarily rare. today, i imagine, that "you tube" thing is full of 100s of videos of every concert which has ever happened over the last 10 or so years, for when one sees concerts all one notices in the crowd is people filming rather than digging the gig.

yeah, this is the dull bit at the end, after the last picture, where we are at a stage that i have long since said all that i can of interest on the subject at hand.

well, anyway, then, many thanks for reading, and if some of you have enjoyed all this well then so much the better.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

borderline boring books

hello reader

well, the title pretty much just about, in a roundabout sort of way, to be sure, tells you what you need to know of the two latest books what i have read. these books were, on the whole, somewhat disappointing, look you see.

this would be disappointing at the very best of times. it is, however, all the more sad as the two novels were written by writers (no kidding) who i have a preference for. but, then again, i suppose, this is not the first time both of them have left me feeling let down; allowing for the fact that i know they didn't deliver novels i did not enjoy just to spite me.

actually "not enjoy" might be strong, but as usual, we go on with a look at the two novels, and a kind of quick, spoiler(ish) free overview.

righty-ho, The Moscow Cipher is the latest or if you will most recent Ben Hope adventure off of Scott Mariani. it's one which is kind of ok in parts, but considerably also "this will do" in nature, as if the author was knocking something out for contractual obligations or "just because". similar with The Rooster Bar off John Grisham, which is a misleading reading experience that echoes The Last Juror and i absolutely do not mean that in any good way.

anyway, from here on out please note that a magnificent, partially colourful *** SPOILER WARNING ***  is in place. further, or if you will also, the links are for pure convenience alone, dear reader, and are not any sort of endorsement, affiliation or what have you to do with me.

 to start where i started with, then, of the two, would be with The Moscow Cipher. it is, i believe, the 17th tale of Ben Hope, and i think i have read nearly all of them, maybe north of 14 but also possibly south of 16. i cannot keep track.

provenance of my copy? actually this was a Father's Day gift back in June, so values and place of purchase should not really be revealed. but, since you insist, perhaps Tesco or Asda, for £4. since Tesco appears to have stopped "2 for £7" on paperbacks. also, Tesco now charges more for cigarettes than anywhere else, so i guess Tesco are saying they want no business from me.

right, that got distracted somewhat, let us try less Tesco, more this book, shall we. plot? plot. Ben Hope is back on his farm in France training soldiers and what have you when an old, fabulously wealthy friend drops by. he has reason to believe his niece (or granddaughter or similar) has been kidnapped by her father in Moscow, and he believes only Ben Hope can find and rescue her. reluctantly, and with more money and resources than he could possibly need, off he goes to Russia to help. and, of course, discovers that the kidnapping is not entirely what it seems......

something akin to a nice touch here is the novel plays on the current flavour of the month topic, that Russia is "meddling" (or interfering) with life in the "west", and points out that Russia, or if you will the Soviet Union, has always made attempts to do such; it is nothing new and it doesn't work. yes, no, really - America elects particularly bad Presidents frequently with no need of assistance from the rest of the world. credit where it is due, Mr Mariani; this expression is not done with a heavy hand.

the book kind of falls apart with some contrived, implausible and convoluted plot developments and twists which are more ridiculous than usual. and this is in the context of a series of books which once featured a laser that was going to cut our planet in half or something. no, no, no, if the baddies are quite aware of the damage that Ben Hope can do and they capture him, they are not going to "keep him alive and turn him", they are going to kill him. but, for the sake of the plot, guess what.

after the last 3, 4, 5 or so of these novels were really good and enjoyable, this feels like a tired step backwards. some good ideas and a fair few exciting bits (if you like explosions and battles and all that sort of thing), but ultimately it feels like a "this will do" book from the author. disappointing.

which is also a very good way indeed to describe the latest off of John Grisham, coming in the disappointing form of The Rooster Bar. after the last few books - a good half a dozen or so, if you kind of make excuses for the "what the hell is this actually about" nature of Gray Mountain - were him at his best, this is his late 90s, early 00s nonsense back. sadly.

of provenance? i am pretty sure it was the Tesco "book of the week" thing for all of £3, so there you go, Tesco might want me to keep shopping with them.

 plot? well, as i said earlier, reminds me of the incident with The Last Juror. the description on the back of that novel made it sound exciting, interesting and good - yet none of the bits described happened until the last 20 pages or so. and this is exactly what happens here with The Rooster Bar. for example, the character what dominates the first 100 or so pages is not mentioned on the back. also, it mentions the FBI. by around page 300 of a 374 (or so page novel), i noted with some interest that they had not actually made any sort of appearance.

if the plot is not described on the book itself, what am i supposed to do here? there is some "classic" John Grisham on the go, for a start. and by that i mean his tendency for simplified, simplistic, idealistic and likely to upset people "assumptions" on how A or B, like, totes for real certainly leads to X or Y. basically, everything John Grisham could grab - bipolar treatment, immigration, student loans, bar exams, legal qualifications and a few other things - gets thrown at a plot which isn't really a plot, just a motion of events which takes nonsensical turns and comes to an unsatisfactory, nonsensical conclusion. even then, there's never a real sense of it being an ending. and please, no sequel to this, thanks.

he can (and has) write (written) a lot worse than this. also, he has come back with much better. i really, really hope that happens here. the latest John Grisham novel is something which always excites me, for him at his best lets me escape the realities of life for a while as i become engrossed in it. sadly that did not at all happen with this one. hey ho.

so, then, that's that. if for some reason you are a fellow fan of either or both of these writers yet felt the need to wait for me to comment on them, my comment is not so good. you can, i suspect, safely skip them and read something else. which, as hopefully has come across in the above, makes me quite sad.

anyway, on we go, or off i go, on to the next reading adventure.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

summer of swans


just another one of them posts for those of you what really like swans. and why not, look you see. they are magnificent creatures, and it is a shame that, as property of Her Majesty The Queen, us common (i didn't say simple) folk are not really supposed to look at them or admire them.

no, i am not sure what the collective term for swans is, or what you call a grouping of them. to my mind, calling them a "summer of swans" sounds right, for they are notoriously summer creatures. failing that, or if my definition (and understanding) is incorrect, then just take the title of this post as meaning it was a summer best characterised or defined by swans.

or something like that, anyway, just enjoy the picture and the brief video.

yeah, no, that's not a great picture, is it? sorry for that. i was across the river from them, and a family was gathered feeding them. i made every effort i could to give them some privacy with the picture i snapped, to be sure, but mostly this was a security issue. anyone bold and brazen enough to feed swans in broad daylight must be of a privileged family, perhaps even royalty.

indeed, yes i do continue to have a strong line of communication open with the most senior nobility within the province where this image was taken. nothing but pride oozes through the words i utter when i say that i am able to correspond with the Viscount of Stockton, the Marquess of Tees Valley and several other titles which his excellency has. but, truthfully, he does not like to make a fuss.

a recent image of me, with next to no swans visible in the image? sure, but there might be a sheep shown somewhere, and in many respects sheep are considered the "swans of the moors". except i am not certain that The Queen makes a fuss about ownership.

well, actually, you can sort of make the sea out in the background, and for all i know there is a swan or two bobbing along on the waves. to my knowledge, though, swans are more creatures prone to fresh waters than they are salty. and yes, for the regular readers, as promised i have indeed trimmed my beard down a touch.

oh, yes, that video i promised. did i promise? maybe not, but i am sure i mentioned it above, even if just in passing. no, i seldom, if ever, read that which i write; that's your end of the deal not mine.

hopefully that video has come out the correct way around. if not, well, just sort of flip your device around, or pretend they are Australian swans, i guess, if such a thing exists. any speaking on the video was the security detail for the nobility family feeding the ducks or swans, whatever they were, no doubt keeping an eye on me and being prepared to shoot if i posed a threat.

so, as ever, then, when it gets to the bit of writing here after the last video or picture, there is little else to say. also, little point, as you have already extracted the points or if you like parts of interest from whatever it is that i am going on about.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 10, 2018

if they knew, how did they know.....


it is always a most splendid thing when, to be sure, that which i write here is of interest or use to someone. one such post over the years has proven to be, look you see, unsurprisingly a look at that rarest of things in the cinematic world, the lost footage of Stanley Kubrick. and yes, clicking on the text in colour will take you back to that post, written as it was some six years ago.

seeing the recent surge in popularity for that post reminded me of something. not just anything, but something. to be specific, Mad magazine no less.

of late my parents, based down in the south, have found and forwarded to me (via the post) several editions dating from the 70s and 80s, these have all been greatly appreciated, and perhaps none more so than the one that had a Mad parody of The Shining - the Stanley Kubrick film, rather than the Stephen King novel - in it.

to be honest, i am not sure if the point or observation i shall make here is in any way valid. i am, however, certain that it is unavoidable for *** SPOILERS*** in respect of this most splendid of films to feature. should you have not yet seen The Shining, for it is not compulsory, yet intend to do so one day, then i would really suggest you skip the rest of this.

right, for those still with me here, we go on. but to where? Mad i suppose. it's a publication i have always loved, although it never seemed quite so popular across England. i mean, it sold enough copies to be published here for a while, but i don't think it was ever embraced as much as it was in America and other predominantly English speaking lands across or around the globe. hey ho.

as an aside, i've just noted that, on this Blu Ray copy of the film, the BBFC certificate for The Shining has at some stage been downgraded from an 18 to a 15. quite interesting, that. i would argue that it is one of the most disturbing motion pictures ever made. like, say, The Exorcist, what it may lack in graphic, horrific onscreen violence and images, the psychological impact of the film is quite another thing. hey ho, oh well, i am sure the BBFC know what they are doing.

back to Mad, then. the magazine was, or is, perhaps most celebrated for film and TV parodies. perhaps this is why the magazine was never all that popular here in England - often the parodies would be of films yet to be released in the UK, or of TV shows not broadcast.

please remember i did put a warning up at the top for spoilers. with that in mind, here's the last couple of panels from their parody of The Shining, called "The Shiner".

is this just me, or is it that the end of the parody relates less to the actual end of the released film and more to the famously or infamously "lost" or deleted or destroyed other final scenes Kubrick shot but ditched?

yes, i could be doing that thing where i just see what i want to see, but it's just stuck in my mind. i felt it best to add it here, then, even if it turns out only to be for catharsis or whatever the posh word is for getting things out of your system.

with spare time, i like to think of things. Kubrick was, after all, renowned for his wit as well as celebrated as one of, if not the, greatest filmmakers of all time. legend has it that during filming Eyes Wide Shut, for instance, he would appease Tom Cruise with lines like "hey, kid, stick with me, i will make you a star".

part of me, i suppose just thinks it would be somewhat wonderful if Kubrick had contacted Mad and said "hey, here's something you can stick in your parody". well, he did exert total control over his films, so why would he not provide assistance to any parodies?

so, well, anyway, perhaps it is just me with this observation, but if i don't put it out there in the world then i shall never know if the same thoughts crossed the mind of others

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 09, 2018

in august moon's surrender


not so much, i suppose, look you see. just the routine, if not exactly regular, calendar update for those of you who for some reason consider it best to use my blog to know what day it is during a particular month.

for this month i thought i would go slightly different and show off a calendar what is not in my elevated shed, but rather down in the kitchen. or dans le kitchen, for those of you who speak French, or (presumably via no fault of your own) are, as point of fact, French.

oh, yes, indeed. Winnie The Pooh (or Winnie The Pooh if italics are appropriate) it is. no real surprise here, i suppose, but if you are wondering then yes, this particular calendar was purchased down at Poundland, for the full whack price of £1.

why Winnie The Pooh? and why not, i say. for a start, my sister is quite the fan. indeed, my (considerably) better half is most enamoured with the donkey (or whatever) off of it. also, if i remember right, my choices down at Poundland were this one, Will Young, Sir Richard of Cliff, Tom "bloody" Jones or an assortment of nondescript animated television shows off of America that i had barely heard of let alone knew much about.

no, fear not, fans of that Minecraft calendar what i got for 12p or something off of Tesco. here you go.

as far as i can tell (ascertain) this depicts some sort of splendid battle, with the dude at the forefront going off to take on some other dudes. the dude at the forefront has a sword, where the others he is off to battle appear not to have such. not really fair, i guess, but i am not so familiar with the game as to be able to comment.

well, if i take it as a given you are here to check the date rather than read what i have to say about it, there you go. i am done here, for this post at the least.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

aspects of our society

greetings dear reader

for those far and wide around, or across, look you see, the world, one of the most commonly asked questions about quintessential English life pertains to the pub. why oh why, the people of the planet ask, do we spend so much of our time and social lives in them, outside of the obvious of it being the case that alcohol is available (and encouraged) in them. most would actually say the obvious is enough, but there is so much more.

a pub is a place where, for instance, one can go and easily start a fight, should they be in the mood for a bout of fisticuffs. on the other end of the spectrum, it is the single best place to go to meet someone of the opposite or same gender to engage in temporary sexual activities, or at least it was until professional footballers made car parks and "dogging" locales the place to be. further, you can buy illicit, dodgy and somewhat less than legal things there. over the years pubs have provided a most excellent trading post for everything from dodgy VHS tapes and DVDs, drugs, fake passports and various electrical appliances.

mostly, though, it is the social element of the pub what makes it popular. virtually all aspects of English life can be found within a pub at any minute of any day. and, as it happens, someone has kindly made a video of this being the case available.

no, i cannot take credit for the video. i found it on something called "Reddit", who appear to have borrowed it off of someone called "Live Leak". well, whatever. should you find this all useful, i suggest that you as a sign of kindness or respect visit either or both of them websites and click on an advert or two, so that they may receive coins of money.

unfortunately the format of the video was one what would not allow me to download and then upload here, so i had to film it off the computer screen. apologies for the quality then, but here is the video, showing seconds of life within an English pub one midday. a Tuesday, i think it said.

yes, i am quite close to being pretty sure that if you went into any pub in England (i cannot speak for other areas of Great Britain or the UK but i am sure they have pubs and blogs) at any time of day you would see similar to this.

for the benefit of those not from England but planning to visit England and go to a pub, i thought a guide to who you might, or most likely will, meet could be of value. no, usually i would not put this blog forward as some sort of "tourist guide", but in this instance why not.

The Groover

one of the most striking aspects of the video was, for some of you, the fact that women, or if you like the ladies, were present. in certain countries, and i didn't single out Australia, women are all but forbidden from pubs, with them being seen as the preserve of the male. not so in progressive, forward thinking England.

it would be wrong to call this lady, or if you like lass, the dancer. she is quite clearly grooving rather than dancing, so it is far more appropriate to call her the groover.

expressions of joy and happiness by the medium or forum of dancing and grooving are quite welcome in pubs, as can be seen here. sometimes they lead to like minded people meeting and forming friendships with physical aspects, be they short or long term. in isolated cases they can lead to the drunken, shouting along of the more prickly aspects of the Adele catalogue, but normally that is later on a night.

The Colonel

we are exceptionally proud of those who have served in the military or armed forces. although we cannot always agree with the wars the powers that be wage, it does not take away from our admiration of the brave who stand and are prepared to sacrifice to defend our way of life.

regrettably, far too often our soldiers have been called on to go and rescue the ungrateful French, as and when their arrogance has led to them being bullied. as a result, in the confusion between doing their duty and finding that their duty has been to save some Frenchie, quite a few retired military types in England elect to see their days out in a drunken haze.

here you can see a colonel, going on his hat, jacket and splendid cane, seeking a light for his cigarette. and why not. he has spent years in service of his country, who will deny him a smoke.

no, it is not always a Colonel you will see in an English pub. but, more often than not, there will be a senior ranking military figure. every now and then it will be a Major, or an Admiral, or maybe even a Squadron Leader. you should always offer to buy them a drink, and light their cigar or cigarette, out of respect and thanks for their service.

speaking of which.......

The Beefeater

i am indebted to Spiros for pointing this one out. no way am i as good as recognising a man in uniform as he is, obviously. he said it was good to see one of the Royal Guard taking a break from his busy day protecting the Queen to have a quick pint.

as a progressive nation, we are one of the few that recognise how much better the military are when the correct drinks are available. yes, normally this is tea, but we have no issue whatsoever with our armed forces having a cheeky pint every now and then.

tea would be the more prominent thing, though. as history reflects, during the years 1939 and 1944 of World War II, British tanks did not have the correct facilities installed to make tea. this was introduced to British tanks in late 1944. and by the second half of 1945 our troops had won. you do not need me to connect the dots there, you can do it.

i particularly like how this most trusted guard of our Queen is off duty, but never off duty. he shall not cease marching until a senior commanding officer tells him to do so.

The Individual

we live in interesting, delicate and sensitive times. there are legal, social and moral responsibilities placed on all of us to always respect the individual. and yet we cannot speak of the traits or characteristics which make them they individual they are, or we shall be condemned a racist, judgemental and so forth. so, we speak of respect and with respect, but do not always know why.

my best guess would be that this chap, an individual, was taking a quick break from work. it could be that he was working on a space film, or a piece of cinema intended for a more mature and discerning audience (like an Eastern European re-imagining of  Snow White And The Seven Dw...Individuals i once watched by accident), or he could be appearing in a U2 video. or maybe that his him off of that show where they have the dragons and what have you.

anyway, whatever brought him to the pub, i am sure he would have thoroughly enjoyed having a pint or two. he would no doubt have felt very safe in particular with so many military types in at the same time. as, indeed, would have

The Broken Foot

most, if not all, are quite tired of the phrase "keep calm and carry on" now. it soon hit saturation point via excessive marketing. a truth, however, is that it is an important part of the English way of doing things. when some sort of obstacle or prohibition comes along, we just press on. simply saying "it will be all right" gets everyone in the mindset that it will, and so it is.

a broken or otherwise damaged foot was certainly not going to stop this lady, or if you like lass, from going down the pub. since she is in the video, clearly it did not. and everything turned out to be just fine.

well, there you have it. should you visit England and go to the pub - any pub - it should be that you will see most, if not all, of these in there. if that doesn't happen, then you have not done it properly, or maybe need to stay in a bit longer. all of them will come, and also someone will try to sell you a "legit" toaster, as well as a video of Ghostbusters or similar.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 05, 2018

deluxe declined day after day of release

howdy pop pickers

perhaps it's just me, look you see, but for a year which started off promising much in the way of new music there has not been all that many (day after) day of release posts here. evidently, or it seems, it is in this, the second half, or if you will the "business end" of the year when the music of quality shall flow.

on, then, with the (day after) day of release at hand (sorry, just can't always make HMV on the actual day of release any more). with this, i think, coming to be "live" on this blog the day after the day after the day of release for the new one off of James, Living In Extraordinary Times.

it would indeed be fair to say that i was looking forward to this album. quite so. despite some formidable competition or challenges, not least from Suede and David Bowie, the previous album off of James, Girl At The End Of The World, was my choice for "best of" 2016. most splendid that they are back with more after such a comparatively short space of time.

often i get distracted with these things and forget or otherwise neglect to do a review of the record proper. let me try and evade such folly here. whereas this record does not immediately grab your ears and say "pay your attention" in the devastating way Girl At The End Of The World started (and carried on), this has every sense of being just as good an album. but, conditionally so, perhaps (maybe), and there is quite the clue in the title.

but first, look. bravo, HMV, well done. they have remembered that, ostensibly, HMV was, is supposed to be and well may be once more, the "home of music". all too often it's everything but music they promote, but here you go, there's this new album being promoted in the window display.

undoubtedly (and sorry to keep referring to the one before, not this) the promotion on display was in some way prompted by the widely unexpected success of Girl At The End Of The World. whereas i only purchased it as an incident of seeing it in the shop when i was in for a different record (The Cult, perhaps, or maybe the dire Primal Scream one), others came to it. the record, in the midweek charts, was well on the way to being a surprise number one, only for the-then most recent Adele offering to have a mysterious "spike" and retain the status quo what the chart people love so much.

anyway, Living In Extraordinary Times. in truth, i confess, the record starts off on decidedly dodgy ground. that would be in the lyrical form of Hank. my reaction to the words were "oh dear". yes, true, there is some relevance to the record title, but for the life of me i cannot understand (nay, fathom) why oh why so many non-Americans trouble themselves with domestic American issues.

i mean, yes. i get that some of what America does (mostly in terms of international stuff) affects people in other countries. but why would anyone not American spend time having an opinion, or commenting on, stuff such as the NRA, gun control and the other purely internal societal matters of America? it's not like American news channels, or American music acts, take the time to pass comment on things such as (to pick an example entirely at random) the evil, spiteful way in which parking enforcement officers operate in Hartlepool.

this interest in domestic America crops up again on the album, specifically on a track called Heads. whereas all and sundry are free (and encouraged) to have opinions, views, etc, for what reason is a band off of Manchester spending so much time on an album fretting about aspects of a different society and different culture which is of little obvious relevance to either them or their presumed target audience? is it because of the way our own media drowns us in irrelevant domestic issues from America and we simply can no longer escape it all?

as an aside, no - i skipped the "deluxe" or "special" edition of the album. on balance, a fancy case, one extra song and three demo recordings did not seem to justify the £14.99 requested for it, compared to the £9.99 for the standard version. sometimes the deluxe version makes sense (the last Metallica album, for instance, was exceptional value for money in the deluxe form, a rip off in standard), sometimes it does not (i remain feeling let down at how much i spent on the atrocious deluxe version of the last Depeche Mode one).

moving on, then, and track two of the album is what has been out there on the radio and that as the lead or main promo single, Coming Home (Pt 2). no, i have absolutely no idea where or what Pt. 1 was, which may well mean that i am not as big a fan of James as my enthusiasm for their recent music may suggest. unless, now that i think on, it's sort of meant to reference one of their better known songs, Come Home. maybe?

no matter, this is a lovely, beautiful song. it resonates in the same way as (sigh, to reference again) the words of Girl At The End Of The World did and does, yet gives something extra. clearly, something quite personal for the singer, but also that which resonates and resounds with most, if not all, who would hear it.

erm, no, i am not going to go track by track. but of the first two, the rest of the album is more Coming Home, less Hank, if that's a guide of any use to you. which, i hope it is. and to clarify, it also means that it is a most splendid record.

quite an interesting thing with the artwork and that with the CD booklet. yes, for sure, the cover - that of a grenade being overgrown with some splendid flowers - is a statement in itself. but this carries on. as you flick through the booklet, you cannot but help note that with each passing page more and more of the lyrics are obscured by similar flowers. this is a statement, to be sure, but what it is saying i leave to you.

as one would expect with James, there are ample moments which feature quite a splendid and effective turn of phrase. one which caught my attention was on the titular tune, with the line being "this never ending game of hide and seek". sadly, as a simple person i cannot articulate why this struck me, but it just seemed as suitable as any way to describe the modern world, or the Extraordinary Times of the album title.

listening to the album again, and flicking through the lyrics not obscured by flowers, there are many such examples. no, i am not going to sit and type and quote them here; that would be akin to or very much just going right ahead with a stack of spoilers. but, go on then, the way Booth (or if you like Tim) sings (ahem) "f****** love, before they drop the bomb make sure we get enough" could be my musical highlight of the year, irrespective of which album ends up being my "best of".

no, nothing to do with James, that picture above. i just think they look smart. they are "classics" on DVD and Blu Ray, packaged to look like "classic look" VHS tapes. very tempting, but alas i already have all of them films (in most cases twice over) and paying £14.99 each (or £25 for 2) seemed somewhat excessive.

early days to say if it will remain so, but yes, right now this record is one of the best i have heard this year. if Girl At The End Of The World was an unexpected return and unexpected success for James, mostly what Living In Extraordinary Times is would be to say they meant it, they have more, they are not leaving any time soon. which, on the whole, and with some gripes aside, is a very very good thing.

should you purchase this album, or if it is available as such "stream" it? oh my word yes, as soon as you can. it's really good. if not Girl At The End Of The World, but then so few albums recorded this century are that album.

the next (likely day after) day of release adventure? from what i recall of dates probably the next one off of Suede, due early September. but, then again. Paul McCartney has a new one, and going on the two singles off it that sounds good. also Rod Stewart has one out, and the lead single off of that suggests it continues the trend of his last two, post-autobiography albums of being outstanding. the newly reformed Live may well also unleash a full album, and rumours persist that Ian Brown has a return to solo stuff in the works.

well, until then, then,

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 03, 2018

more cricket


yeah, go on then. another update on the cricket, to be sure, whilst we have some splendid weather to enjoy it, look you see. mostly, i suppose, this is all an excuse to allow friends and family around the world to catch up with how the boys are doing, but then all lovers of cricket are most welcome here.

so, another match recently, and another game in which cricket was the winner. indeed, our team lost, but what a match.

James was in particularly fine form with the ball for this game, taking at least two wickets. i know this because i have two videos of him doing so. possibly he had another, but i did not record it.

and there above is the video of the first of them, for your viewing pleasure. nice line and length on the bowling, and surely there can be no disgrace to the batsman for falling to such a superb bit of bowling. even if i am perhaps biased.

in the interests of fairness, then, William.

no, indeed, as you may have observed, this is not at the cricket. far from it, i suppose. there was a weekend when James was off over the hills with his mates, so William and i elected to go on a jolly adventure by the sea. when the tide was, alas, in, which meant no beach fun. besides, at the seaside we got to have a bit of a gander at them wind turbine things which my Dad considers to be amazing. which they are.

how did James get on at the cricket with his batting? reasonably well to quite well.

yes, there is some footage of him deftly guiding the ball away from the fielders, enabling him and his batting partner to take a quick, or if you will cheeky, single.

and here are the two batters leaving the field with their innings over, leaving of course to the applause of their opponents in the game.

most sports, i believe, follow the civil and dignified ways of applauding your opponents and thanking them for the game. the only instances i can think of where i have not seen it is in football, when one team or the other has had their oh so fragile ego harmed by worthy opposition. hey ho.

but what of that which was promised? as in, the second wicket James took earlier with his bowling? why, sure, here you go, here it is below.

some super lovely bowling on display again there, then. and, you know, obviously it worked.

a last shot of William staring at me instead of the sea, with the wind turbines in the background doing their thing? why now.

indeed, he was a trifle miffed that the sand was inaccessible. but, we made do with various amusements and candy floss. as one does.

ok, then, that would be that for this update, no? apologies for the sparse words, but i suspect with these updates it's simply the pictures and videos which are of interest. which is, indeed, all as it should be.

until the next time, then,

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

show me the wonder


i think by now we can all safely agree, look you see, that the threshold for what is "interesting" enough to feature on this blog might (might) be lower than the commonly accepted standard. basically, anything if not everything what comes to mind is, to me, good enough to post here and trouble some random readers with.

which is how we find ourselves, right here, right now, dealing with a blog post concerning one of them machines what washes cars and similar at petrol stations, both here in England, across the wider UK and indeed all around the planet. or "across" if you are one of them "flat earth" thinkers, i suppose.

should for some reason you or anyone wish to believe that the earth is flat rather than round, curved, oval, etc, well go for it. just that so far no one has given me any valid reason at all as to why "the powers that be" would lie and cover up the shape of our planet. what possible gain could there be from the expense of doing so? anyway, car wash.

if you are reading this in the hope that something unusual, interesting, peculiar, exotic or out of the ordinary happened at the car wash, no. the above is an image of the machine doing its thing, and that is about as interesting as this will all get. well, sure, there is a video down below.

not that i have any quarrel or problem with car wash facilities, mind. far from it. they are smart, doing a useful, important and quick job. once upon a time you could rely on feral teenagers or other such urchins of the streets to earn money by going around offering to wash people's cars for them. alas, those days are no more, it seems.

a relatively recent selfie of me, for those of you what don't mind seeing me and further appreciate the occasional gander to see how i am doing? surely.

yes, that's me at a rather famous landmark, or if you like area, of this area, or just outside of it. indeed, looking at that, perhaps my beard could do with a trim of sorts. normally i wait for my Mum to see a relatively recent selfie and comment that i am looking "a bit scruffy" before i motivate myself to shave it, but in this instance i may well just go ahead and do it.

so, back to the car wash. yes, i had a vehicle what needed a wash, and so off i went. during the week, as it happened, for most car wash facilities have a lower price offer then. for some inexplicable reason a very popular thing to do here at weekends is take the family down the car wash. relatively cheap entertainment i suppose, if one is entertained by waiting for the machine to be free, then sitting in the vehicle brought to the car wash as the machinery does its thing.

and yes, here you can see some footage of the machine doing its thing.

oh! now that i think, yes i do have a semi (slightly) interesting story about a car wash. i suppose. kind of. many years ago, another time another place, someone who i worked with got very excited as they saw an advert for a "topless car wash" nearby. there was to be no stopping them, off they rushed at lunch to go and have their car washed, kind of. only to return frustrated and somewhat embarrassed, for the "topless" the proprietor of the car wash was making reference to turned out to be that they specialised in washing convertibles......

well, that's about that. if asked, i would say that i imagine it is unlikely the subject of car wash facilities will feature on this blog again, but i do not rule it out. until the next time, then,

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

introducing the band

howdy pop pickers

a little while ago i got all excited. positively giddy, look you see. why, or why in particular? because no less than Split Enz featured on the most popular section of the most widely listened to radio station in the country, no less. true, this was back in late May or at some stage of June, but it is only now i have gotten around to writing something about it.

the broadcast happened between rounds of "Popmaster" or "Pop Master", the music quiz (as the name suggests) on Radio 2 at 10:30am, Monday - Friday. it was on a Friday edition that Ken "Scotland (i think)" Bruce excitedly announced that, after one contestant had a go and the next was getting ready, the song to be played was I Got You by Split Enz. yes, the volume went up.

indeed, there is a great deal of controversy around why Pop Master is on at 10:30am every day, but we will get to that as we go. for now, and to start, i just thought this was all a most splendid excuse to celebrate a band (Split Enz) that, to me, for me, does not get celebrated anywhere near as much as they should.

oh, yes, all the images here will be in Commodore 64 mode, for fun. no, i am not going to give a history or similar of Split Enz, at least not in any detail. that's covered on other, better, dedicated sites. here is just me, a fan, happy that they came on the radio and that others got to hear this magnificent band.

with no disrespect to the rest of the band (far from it) a general association with Split Enz is for it to be called "the band Neil Finn was in before he went massive with Crowded House". technically correct. Neil Finn is now of course, bizarrely, a temporary or touring if you like member of Fleetwood Mac, a move what must be the biggest shock musical transfer since Mani joined Primal Scream.

as a new member of the band, and a male, no doubt Neil Finn will have to face trial by Stevie Nicks, which will involve (text removed on legal advice), as happened with (name removed on legal advice) and, of course (name removed on legal advice). best of luck going forward, Neil, but now let us look back.

that there above is True Colours. no, it is not my personal favourite Split Enz album, but only the foolish would say anything but this is their best, most celebrated, most successful and the best place to start off with introducing the band.

why? I Got You is on it. and the rest of the album is of the same high, exceptionally high, standard as that song. it is one of those "once in a lifetime" albums what bands produce; ones where every single track (or just about close enough) is so good and so strong the whole thing sounds like you are listening to a greatest hits set. so, yes, if you have heard I Got You and want more, then this is perhaps the best starting place.

of the controversy around Pop Master being on at 10:30am, well, that's back to the great betrayal that was the 1992 Maastricht Treaty, created by the EU and bizarrely agreed to by all concerned. a lesser known clause, or if you will concession, in it was that the workers of England had to move their traditional mid-morning break from 11am to 10:30am. why? the French. other than the fact that the time suited their frankly ridiculous obsession with the metric system, it was the time they wanted their people to stop (by French standards) working and remember the greatest French military victory for many hundreds of years, if not ever.  as you probably don't need me to remind you, that "victory" was when a group of valiant, brave and noble French (by French standards) farmers waged war on a bunch of part time employees of McDonald's in protest of McDonald's using proper potatoes to make chips with, rather than inferior French ones.

more on that in a bit, but back to Split Enz.

there are several "Greatest Hits" things available for the band. one of the better ones is History Never Repeats, but just to show off here above is a different one, a magnificent double disc set called Spellbound. as far as i am aware every single such "greatest" or "best of" set for Split Enz features I Got You, so tuck in. no matter what variation you get, they all have good songs on.

frustratingly, however, no one such set features all of my favourites. this Spellbound one just misses the one i would want to have out, but again we will get there.

the biggest problem, or most heartbreaking betrayal, of the French thing where we now have to have our worker breaks at the metric 10:30am? the loss of the word "elevensies". we English, as point of fact as far as i am aware all British, used to have a formal break at the more agreeable hour of 11am. it was called "elevensies", and was celebrated with tea. it is seldom that one hears someone use the word "elevensies". my memory may let me down, but i think the last time i heard it was in the late 80s, obviously pre-Maastricht Treaty nonsense, spoken by Vim Fuego out of Bad News.

above is probably my favourite Split Enz alum, the magnificent Time And Tide. it's just loaded with amazing songs that i connect to. chief among them is Dirty Creature, a song nearly as much of a hit as I Got You was. the masterpiece, however, is Six Months In A Leaky Boat. Tim "not Neil" Finn delivers an astonishing lyric, using the press gangs of years gone by and the discovery of his homeland as a striking metaphor for a torrid, turbulent relationship which had just ended. a masterpiece of any form of music, and yet seldom heard due to a controversial ban. between them the BBC and The Sun "newspaper" decided the song was about the Falklands conflict of 1982, and so arranged for it to be banned. let not the fact that it was written months before such a skirmish get in the way of that.

why, despite the controversy around the timing of the show (so everyone can have a go on break) (due to French interference) is it the most popular thing on the radio? well, it's fun to play along. also, lack of choice. just as MTV eventually stopped playing music so has Radio 1. Radio 3 is all classical, Radio 4 is a lot of talking and Radio 5 is not on FM. thus, Radio 2 is your only chance at decent music during the day. well, except for provincial radio stations, but there are only so many adverts for carpets, invariably followed by a selection of Phil Collins songs, one can be expected to have the patience for.

right, that there is Frenzy, which was a bugger to find. and expensive. well, i paid somewhere south of £10 for it, but most second hand copies seem to go for north of that.

i was particularly keen to get this one as it has another superb Tim "that one" Finn song on it, She Got Body, She Got Soul. this was eventually reworked as Body & Soul for the magnificent 1982 Australian film Starstruck. alas, inexplicably, the reworked version is not available on CD, so this original will have to do. which is mighty fine in itself.

so far as i am aware Neil Finn never went back and did any Split Enz numbers when he was with Crowded House. well, why would he? i mean, it is a shame not to have, but there was a wealth of just as excellent music he created with the next band.

and there you have it, although i am not sure what it is i have said here. basically, if you are tired of "new" "music" being awful, then there was a lot of stuff in the past what got overlooked by the larger audience. so, go seek out Split Enz and enjoy.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 27, 2018

still bulb

hello there

i do find it quite remarkable, look you see, to see what posts here gather more "reads" or "hits" than others. as per previous confessions i never, to be sure, actively hunt huge reading numbers, but it is always splendid when something what i do or muse upon reaches a significant audience.

and what an audience i reached, ladies and gentlemen, with a humble post on a £1 light bulb off of Pounldand. here is the link to it, although at time of going to press some 1500 of you have already had a gander.

whereas i suspect such high reading figures shall not be repeated, i thought or maybe felt that some of you that took the time to read the first post may well want an update. and here it is.

yes, indeed, quite. as you can see in the glory of Commodore 64 mode, the bulb is still performing. this is not so much not bad as it is really rather good. we are, after all, some 15 months down the road with it and still it works. splendid value for £1, excluding the operational electricity supply costs, which i cannot imagine being very much at all.

the latest thing to amuse me is the ability to make a "gif" in Commodore 64 mode. which is why the above image should be all animated for you; illustrating the vagaries of the bulb at work.

how much longer do i anticipate this bulb working for? well, i am quite pleased that it has made it this far. no doubt it shall be a sad day when it pops, but also a somewhat good one. the light emanating off of it is, shall we say, dim, and makes reading by it quite an eye straining thing. as and when it pops it shall take me some time to adapt to a brighter bulb being in, but it will be all win thereafter.

and it shall be a regular bulb installed next, for it seems these "vintage" ones are no longer available to buy. that said, i have seen some fancy "disco" ones, but i suspect they will be far too distracting to read the words of certain, or if you like several, novelists by. we shall see.

for some reason a number of you prefer pictures in non-Commodore 64 mode, so there you go. yes, indeed, i do appreciate that i could have dusted the bulb prior to taking this picture, but it was around midnight when the thought came to me to take an image, and i could not be bothered, frankly.

well, anyway, that's that, or we will call it as such. i am pretty sure that over the years, and in this post, i have said all that i possibly could on this particular subject.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

it's happening now

now then

something of an unexpected purchase, to be sure. yes, indeed, look you see, this is all showing off something what i bought, then. but you never know, it might be interesting to someone out there.

whilst i was aware of the fact that the popular compilation album series Now That's What I Call Music was heading to a landmark release of 100 volumes proper (there have been many non-numbered Now releases, meaning that the actual 100 mark was passed some time ago), i was not at all sure what they would be doing to celebrate this release. as it turned out, re-releasing the first volume on CD was what they elected to do.

since the price of this was most splendid, and volume 100 in itself looked like a poor purchase, yes i bought it, because why not.

blimey, 35 years old, now. and no, not the first time on CD for this set. i am led to believe this first ever Now compilation has been on CD before, at least twice, for certain anniversary years. but i have not seen it on sale. certainly not for £8.

indeed, it is not my favourite set of the Now series. my memories seem to sugget volume 4 was my all time favourite, followed by 6. and maybe 8. also, 3, just to break up the even side. but, with none of them currently being out on CD, i could only purchase this one, for it was all that was to be had, except the terrible looking 100. perhaps if we are fortunate they shall release the other earlier volumes on CD. and if they do that at the £8 price i paid for this one, well then so much the better.

an interesting aspect of this is the English / wider UK fascination celebrating all things decimal or centurion. whereas we are the last bastions for proper imperial measurements, every now and then we do rather like to make a nod to our Roman infused past by celebrating a 10 or 100. i suppose if you can pick and choose parts of heritage to celebrate, why would you not.

no, i wasn't tempted by the vinyl re-issue of Now That's What I Call Music, simply as i have it. my Dad bought it when it came out back in, what, 1983 (35 years, blimey), and it's safely sat here.

also, no, i am not going to do the tosser, precious thing of bad mouthing the later releases of Now, in particular 100. but it does reflect the sorry mess of the "singles" chart that volume 100 can take up just one CD, with the 2nd disc being an alleged "best of" volumes 1 - 99. we live in a time when a song can be number one as a "single" for several weeks/months without so much as one copy of the song being paid for, since it is all calculated on "streaming" and what have you. back then, people had to actually go and buy the record for it to chart.

the quality of music today, in terms of volume 100, compared to the first volume, is all for the ears of the beholder. whereas i doubt the names on disc one of 100 will remain household names 35 years from now, though, most on the first volume are. but, the honest answer is that the best ever music in the world is always going to be the music you grew up listening to. and that is how it should be.

something of a nice touch is that the booklet with the CD more or less replicates what was on the vinyl, so far as i can remember. i would have to dig it out to check, i suppose.

percentages? sure. not all labels rushed to allow their artists and songs to feature on this first compilation, for they did not see the knock on sales effect. so, you get some artists appearing more than once. if i have done my maths correctly, 1 track on this Now That's What I Call Music set equates to 3.33% of the album. with this as a frame of reference, highlights include (either alone or part of a band) -

Limahl - 9.99%
Phil Collins - 6.66%
Tina Turner - 3.33%
Australians - 3.33%
Culture Club - 6.66%
Bands Named After Characters in Barbarella - 3.33%
Non-Tubular Bells Mike Oldfield - 3.33%

and so on.

my biggest gripe with this release is pictured above. look, if you will, at track 14 on CD Two above. standards have slipped. for some reason the 2nd appearance of Culture Club is missing the all capital letters of the band name which the other 29 have. not sure how that can slip and slide past the design proof checks, but apparently it did.

everything about the tracklisting for the "best of" disc on Now That's What I Call Music 100 says less "best of 35 years", more "the cheapest songs from that time to licence". for some reason the 80s are represented by all of three songs, and even then ones by UB40, Bon Jovi and Phil Collins. i am unsure if those three are the wisest or best choices to represent an era, but as i said they were undoubtedly the cheapest to licence.

actually the percentage of Australians might be higher. i could only spot Men At Work on the tracklisting, but for all i know 1983 Simple Minds might have had an Australian in the band. also, if Limahl applied for Australian citizenship then they would probably give it to him, because of his hair.

right, well, let me go and have a listen to this, then, again, probably for the first time in 30 or so years.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!