Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Once you pop you can't stop

I recently went for a trip on the tube and I didn’t want to get off!  YouTube, that is, not the Central Line…

That’s the thing about YouTube though, isn’t it?… A desire to satisfy a nagging curiosity about something or other starts me off on a journey that I could never have predicted.  Just because, after finding what I originally searched for, I glance over at the right hand side (oh, those fateful ‘Suggestions’) and something catches my eye.  And then something else.  And something else.  And so it goes on.  From then on I’m enslaved. Next thing I know I’m miles away from where I began and going down Google side-streets too, amassing a load of probably useless information but feeling strangely satisfied at having crammed a few more pieces of music trivia into my poor, overcrowded brain.

Well, this time it started off with The Eyes (as so many things do…!)  The Eyes were a great ‘60s mod/freakbeat band who I’d discovered during the ‘80s when a lot of obscure beat and psychedelia was gathering renewed interest and being reissued on some brilliant and fascinating compilation albums.  Well, I fancied hearing ‘You’re Too Much’ again – it’s so good… 

Then, looking over at the right hand side, I spotted something unexpected… a track by the Nerves, who I vaguely knew to be a ‘70s band, and the song was ‘Hanging On The Telephone’.  The original.  It appeared on a Nerves EP back in 1976. I don’t know why it was a suggested track but I’m glad it was there.  I just had no idea that Blondie’s excellent chart-topping single from 1978 was a cover version, I’d always thought theirs was the first.  It’s such a great song so I was intrigued to find out a bit more about the Nerves….

To cut a longer story short, I found out that the songwriting talent behind ‘Hanging On The Telephone’ is Jack Lee, who also wrote ‘Will Anything Happen’ – again, a song I only know from hearing Blondie, as this is the B-side of their 'Hanging On The Telephone' single and also appears with that on the album ‘Parallel Lines’.  (For trivia fans, Jack Lee also wrote ‘Come Back And Stay’, covered by Paul Young – he of '80s chart fame, who had great success with it.  Lee's original is on his solo album 'Jack Lee's Greatest Hits' and is far more emotive.)  But the best part of this journey was that I found, totally unexpectedly, two other songs that I’d never before heard and now love.  I had no idea that I would fall for this '70s power pop quite so much.  So here they are for you too.

The Nerves: When You Find Out.

The Plimsouls (a later offshoot from the Nerves): A Million Miles Away

And just so you can set off on the same trip too if you like, travelling on a parallel line perhaps - although your final destination may turn out to be somewhere quite different, here's where it all started...

1 comment:

  1. I must investigate these Eyes that you speak of!


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