Singles Night at the Virtual Hot Tub #15

Hey folks!  How’s isolation going?  These are strange times indeed.  I hope all of you are safe and well.

I don’t know about you, but spinning wax is a great way to spend a long evening whilst in lockdown.  As regular readers will know, I often play through my stack of recently acquired 7 inch vinyl as a way to unwind.  With a few wee drinkie-poohs, of course.

What happens with Singles Night is this: I have a pile of records, all 7″ singles, that I haven’t played yet.  I play them all in order, A side then B side.  Then I list them here, in case anyone out there is as sad as me and thinks that lists like this are fascinating.

Here we go with the latest batch:

  1. Jane’s Addiction – “Been Caught Stealing” / “Had a Dad (Demo)”
  2. Boney M – “Ma Baker” / “Still I’m Sad”
  3. Madness – “The Return of the Las Palmas 7” / “That’s the Way to do it”
  4. Bon Jovi – “Livin’ on a Prayer” / “Wild in the Streets”
  5. Rainbow – “Since You Been Gone” / “Bad Girl”
  6. The Zombies – “She’s Not There” / “You Make Me Feel Good”
  7. Ace Frehley – “New York Groove” / “Snow Blind”
  8. Slade – “Mama Weer All Crazee Now” / “Man Who Speaks Evil”
  9. Pink Floyd – “Another Brick in the Wall Part II” / “One of My Turns”
  10. AC/DC – “Whole Lotta Rosie” / “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to be”
  11. Toyah – “Be Proud Be Loud (Be Heard)” / “Laughing with the Fools”
  12. Thin Lizzy – “China Town (Live)” / “Got to Give it up (Live)”
  13. The Stranglers – “Thrown Away” / “Top Secret”
  14. U2 – “All I Want is You” / “Unchained Melody”
  15. Creedence Clearwater Revival – “Commotion” / “Green River”
  16. The Sweet – “Wig-Wam Bam” / “New York Connection”
  17. The Flying Lizards – “Money” / “Money B”
  18. The Beatles – “We Can Work it Out” / “Day Tripper”
  19. Generation X – “Your Generation” / “Day by Day”
  20. Ash – “Angel Interceptor” / “Eternal” / “Give Me Some Truth”
  21. Marc Bolan & T-Rex – “Teenage Dream” / “Satisfaction Pony”

Well that was one of the best – and rockingest – Singles Nights ever.  I doubt we’ll see that amount of awesome rock again in a hurry.  Don’t forget, readers – I don’t choose the songs to play, it’s just whatever’s next in the pile.

Jane’s Addiction are one of my favourite bands ever.  Plus there were classic tracks from Rainbow, AC/DC, Pink Floyd and Thin Lizzy.  My favourite U2 song and one of my favourite Beatles songs.  Some punk, some new wave, and a more recent tune from Ash.

A special mention to Slade’s “Mama Weer All Crazee Now”, which was UK Number 1 when I was born.

A great selection.  I’ll see you soon for another Singles Night!

R.I.P. Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell

20.07.1964 – 18.05.2017

Writing this memorial piece is a hard thing to do.  I was a massive fan of Chris Cornell and had been for many, many years.  I was left stunned, then in disbelief, and finally great sorrow when I stumbled on news of his death early that morning.

I had discovered Soundgarden with their “Louder Than Love” album back around 1990.  Music back then was shifting; I’d been listening to what would become “alternative rock” for some time and Soundgarden fitted right in with my tastes.  Along with other bands of the time like Jane’s Addiction and Mudhoney, I liked these bands that were able to meld classic heavy rock with a punk approach.  Bands like Soundgarden threw influences across the musical landscape into one pot.

When “Badmotorfinger” was released, I became a full on Soundgarden devotee.  The band soundtracked the ups and downs of my student life, the good times and bad.  The excellent “Superunknown” album cemented this noise in my affections even further.

Their sound evolved as Soundgarden explored and developed.  The riffs could still be inhumanly heavy, but there other sounds filtering through – from the whimsical to the psychedelic.  Listening to those albums was an experience that took the listener on a journey through different sounds and textures, feelings and emotions.

And of course, there was that amazing voice.  Chris Cornell could croon soothingly or wail like a tormented banshee – an awe inspiring ability that added yet more colour to the band’s sound.

Following Soundgarden’s split, I followed Chris’s musical journey through his solo endeavours and work with Audioslave.  I also loved his Bond theme – “You Know My Name” from Casino Royale.  I’ve played that many times to psyche myself up before a challenging situation, I can tell you.

I’ve tried to edit these recollections down, but revisiting some of the touch points in my life – where the music of Chris Cornell (and band mates) has been integral – goes some way to understanding the respect I have for the man and his legacy.

Sadly, now he’s gone.  I never saw Chris Cornell live (I went to Reading festival in 1994 but Soundgarden pulled out at the last minute) and I’d been looking forward to more music in the future.

It’s heart breaking to know that Chris is gone, and there’s no more music.  We’ve reached the end of that journey.  But what a legacy he’s left.  I’ll revisit those records again and again.  Though full of reminiscences of my past, those songs and performances are immortal.

I won’t speculate on the nature of Chris’s death, it’s not my place.  There are dark places that the human soul can go to.  It’s just incredibly sad.

Thanks for the music, Chris Cornell.  An exceptional musician who has left an indelible mark on millions of us.

“Heaven send
Hell away
No one sings
Like you anymore”

New Year – New Playlist

What did you do on New Year’s Eve?  Did you go out partying?  Did you dance the night away in a pub or club?  Or maybe you gathered together with family and friends for a house party.  The really fancy ones amongst you may have done something extravagant, and gone away for a short break.  Perhaps somewhere with it’s own bar and hot tub.

Chez Platinum Al, we stayed in and rocked.  Drinks, food and music – that’s how we roll at the Virtual Hot Tub.  Staying in has been the new going out for a good few years for us.  No queues at the bar; no being crammed in like cattle; no paying for tickets when you’re VIPs at your own party.

Instead, Mrs Platinum Al and I sipped some fine drinks and played a music playlist game.  Here are the rules:

  1. One person starts, and chooses a band/artist beginning with a letter of the alphabet.  Start with the letter A.
  2. Pick one song by that artist and play it.
  3. The next person picks a song by an artist beginning with the same letter and plays that.
  4. Then you move on to the next letter in the alphabet, and pick one more song by a band/artist beginning with that letter.
  5. Continue in this fashion.  You can be as obvious or as random as you like in your choices.

Here’s how we got on:

  • Al: AC/DC – “Big Gun”
  • Ness: ABBA – “Happy New Year”
  • Al: Boney M – “Daddy Cool”
  • Ness: Belinda Carlisle – “Heaven is a Place on Earth”
  • Al: Creedence Clearwater Revival – “Born on the Bayou”
  • Ness: The Cure – “In Between Days”
  • Al: Donovan – “Season of the Witch”
  • Ness: Destiny’s Child – “Independent Women Part 1”
  • Al: Eagles of Death Metal – “Anything ‘Cept the Truth”
  • Ness: EMF – “Unbelievable”
  • Al: Fun Lovin’ Criminals – “Too Hot”
  • Ness: Foo Fighters – “Monkey Wrench”
  • Al: Garbage – “Queer”
  • Ness: Green Day – “Basket Case”
  • Al: Hard-Ons – “Don’t Wanna See You Cry”
  • Ness: Heart – “Alone”
  • Al: Iggy Pop – “Beside You”
  • Ness: INXS – “Never Tear Us Apart”
  • Al: Johnny Cash – “God’s Gonna Cut You Down”
  • Ness: Jane’s Addiction – “Been Caught Stealing”
  • Al: Kool & the Gang – “Jungle Boogie”
  • Ness: Kylie Minogue – “In Your Eyes”
  • Al: Led Zeppelin – “Whole Lotta Love”
  • Ness: Lenny Kravitz – “Stand By My Woman”
  • Al: Motorhead – “Killed By Death”
  • Ness: Madness – “One Step Beyond”

That was as far as we got before it was time for sleep.  We aim to complete the other half of the alphabet soon.

This is a fun game that can reveal a lot about your mood, or just your taste in music.

All selections were provided by Platinum Al’s monster iPod, Ipodicus.