Thursday, March 31, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 48 - Erasure (Sometimes)

So here we are with my 48th track, and it's surprising that I've only had one Erasure song on the list so far considering how much of a fan I am of the synth-pop duo.  Well, here we are with track number two!

For me, 'Sometimes' is one of the defining synth songs of the mid to late 1980s.  It's amazing and deservedly sat in the UK charts for an impressive 23 weeks, peaking at Number 2 in December 1986, and only being beaten from the top spot by Europe's "The Final Countdown".

Guaranteed to cheer me up when I feel down (which is a lot these days, but hey ho),  

It does make me think back to a comment my son Kieran made a few weeks ago about how happy songs sounded in the 1980s compared to what is in the popular charts today.

"It's not the way you lead me by the hand into the bedroom
It's not the way you throw your clothes upon the bathroom floor
Been thinking about ya, I just couldn't wait to see
Fling my arms around ya as we fall in ecstasy"

You know the rest :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Game Covers - Trashman (Commodore 64)

The object of the game is to empty all the bins from each road into the dustcart which is slowly moving up the road, returning the empty bin from where it was collected, before your bonus points reduce to zero.  If you step on the grass the bonus score will reduce rapidly, but you can increase it by completing tasks you are asked to do by householders (leave the house by holding the down key).  Your score is increased for each bin emptied. Some houses will have dogs in them, which will chase you if you step on the grass, and if they bite you, your injury will result in a limp, which will slow you down. The same effect will occur if you are knocked down by a bike. If you choose to go into the cafe or pub to collect valuable bonus points, beware of over-eating or drinking too much.  If your bonus score is reduced to zero you will be allowed two more attempts to improve.  Should you mis-judge crossing the road and are hit by a car the game will end. 

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Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 47 - Sophie Ellis Bextor (Murder on the Dance Floor)

Today's track is a guilty pleasure of mine, but I am struggling to come to terms with the fact that it's now over 20 years old.  Sophie Ellis Bextor's Murder on the Dance Floor will always remind me of the time I met my wife Michelle.  It came out in December 2001 and remained in the charts for 23 weeks, peaking at an impressive number 2.  It was played on the radio quite regularly at the time Michelle and I started dating which is why I look back on this track with fond memories.

And guess who we named our daughter Sophie after?  :)

It's murder on the dance floor
You'd better not kill the groove
DJ, gonna burn this goddamn house right down.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 46 - Pet Shop Boys (Integral)

Today's song is a fantastic track by the Pet Shop Boys from their 2006 'Fundamental' album.  To be honest, I only found out about this song a few years ago, which makes it unsurprising that it only reached 197 in the UK Singles Chart of that year.  

Obviously not one of their more popular tracks, but that doesn't mean it's not any good.  Far from it.

I love blaring this one out.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 45 - The Piranhas (Tom Hark)

While searching for Zambezi by the Piranhas, their cover of Tom Hark popped up and instantly took me back in time to over 40 years ago.  Man, I forgot how much I loved this song when I was little.  It entered the charts in August 1980 (I was three years old), and remained there for twelve weeks, peaking at number six.  It was The Piranha's biggest hit.  Check the video out and enjoy the nostalgia.

"Does anybody know how long to World War III?
I wanna know, I gotta book me holiday
They want me in the Army but I just can't go
I'm far too busy listening to the radio"

What great lyrics!

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 44 - The Piranhas (Zambezi)

Flipping heck... this is a blast from the past!  I remember loving it when I was a kid

A cover of Zambezi by Lou Busch and his Orchestra, this version was released back in 1982 by The Piranhas (and featuring Boring Bob Grover - The Man With The Golden Trumpet) where it entered into the UK Top 40 in September/October.  I was but a 5 year old lad with obviously no decent taste in music.

"Well if my bank should phone, tell them I ain't at home,
Just say I packed my plastic bag and went away.
As for the landlord's rent, I spent it on a tent,
So if he's asking questions, you'll know what to say.

 You don't get lyrics like that anymore.

Wednesday, March 09, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 43 - The Carpenters (Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft)

Today, we go back to when I was VERY little with The Carpenters' version of "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft", originally released by them in September 1977 (I was only 7 months old), and is in fact a cover from a song by Klaatu which was used by the pirate radio station Radio Caroline as an opening song for their midnight transmissions - Thanks Wikipedia.  The original is not a bad version, but I prefer The Carpenters cover, especially with the All Hit Radio intro.

I vaguely remember first listening to this one night in the 80s when my Dad put it on, and I've loved it ever since.

Enjoy this, the recognized Anthem of World Contact Day.

Hey babe, what would you like to hear?

Saturday, March 05, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 42 - Phil Collins (Don't Lose My Number)

Whilst reacquainting myself with Phil Collins's excellent "No Jacket Required" album, Don't Lose My Number has given me a massive flashback feeling.  Gosh, I forgot how much I love this song, and how good an album it is.

As already mentioned, the song comes from his excellent No Jacket Required album, but wasn't actually released as a single in the UK.  It did reach an impressive number 4 in the US, and ranked 64th in the US Top Pop Singles for 1985

Anyway, here's the music video.  Stick with it...  the song begins around the 1 minute and 30 seconds mark.

Wednesday, March 02, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 41 - Nik Kershaw (Dancing Girls)

As I've probably mentioned before in a previous post, my sister was a massive fan of Nik Kershaw, and quite often when I was a young lad in the mid-80s I would be able to hear his tunes coming through the wall between our two bedrooms.  At the time, I was not a fan but over the years I've grown to really like his music.

Whenever I listen to Dancing Girls, I have a vivid memory of helping my sister write a "Nik Kershaw" lyrics program on our Commodore Plus 4 computer in BASIC, a program I still have stored on one of hundreds of old cassettes to this day, named "Nik 16"

Released 38 years ago, on April 2nd 1984, Dancing Girls was a single from his excellent "Human Racing" album and peaked in the UK charts at No. 13 around the same time as classic favourites of mine such as Queen's "I Want To Break Free", Depeche Mode's "People are People" and Blancemange's "Don't Tell Me"


Tuesday, March 01, 2022

Now That's What I Call Stuart's Favourite Music 40 - Johnny Hates Jazz (Shattered Dreams)

There are a large number of songs that constantly remind me of family walks from Leigh-on-Sea to Southend, mostly because we used to stop off at different pubs on the way, and most had the songs of the day playing over the speakers.  This was around the mid to late 1980's where we'd jump on a Class 302 from Laindon, get off at Leigh-on-Sea, and stop for a quick drink at the Peterboat, Ye Olde Smack, and then onwards towards Southend-on-Sea with a quick stop at the Cliffs Pavilion for another bevvy - or in my case, another pint of orange squash!.

Shattered Dreams by Johnny Hates Jazz is one of those songs that was played a lot in those pubs at the time.  It was released in March 1987 and went straight to number 97 in the UK charts.  Only through lots of airtime on the radio did it finally reach a deserving number 5 two months later.

An absolute stonker of an 80s track.  Enjoy.

And as a bonus for those like me who also like some classical/orchestral music, here is the track from the 80s Classical live event in 2019.