Beatles – Christmas Time (Is Here Again)

The Beatles recorded this in 1967 and wasn’t released until 1994 paired with “Free As A Bird”. It is a fun Christmas song that will stick in your head. The Beatles did not release a Christmas song commercially… only to their fan club when they were active.

Recorded December 6, 1966, and November 28, 1967, in London, England, this song was never officially released until it appeared as the B-side to “Free As A Bird” in 1994. The original version was distributed to The Beatles fan club in 1967. It’s the only song ever written specifically for the Beatles Fan Club members.

Many upbeat Pop groups of this era like The Beach Boys and The Four Seasons released Christmas songs, but The Beatles never had an official Christmas release.

Christmas Time Is Here Again

Christmas time is here again
Christmas time is here again
Christmas time is here again
Christmas time is here again

Ain’t been round since you know when
Christmas time is here again
O-U-T spells “out”

Christmas time is here again
Christmas time is here again
Christmas time is here again
Christmas time is here again

Ain’t been round since you know when
Christmas time is here again
O-U-T spells “out”

Christmas time is here again
Christmas time is here again
Christmas time is here again
Christmas time is here again

Ain’t been round since you know when
Christmas time…[music continues and fades to background]

[spoken]

This is Paul McCartney here, I’d just like to wish you everything you wish yourself for Christmas.

This is John Lennon saying on behalf of the Beatles, have a very Happy Christmas and a good New Year.

George Harrison speaking. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas, listeners everywhere.

This is Ringo Starr and I’d just like to say Merry Christmas and a really Happy New Year to all listeners

[a John Lennon pastiche at this point, very hard to understand]

The Outfield – Your Love

In between new wave and hair metal, there was an occasional pop/rock hit in the 80s. This one was catchy and it stuck with you. The opening line “Josie’s on a vacation far away, Come around and talk it over” is hard to get out of your head after hearing it. It got massive airplay in my corner of the world.

The song was performed by the Outfield. Formed in Manchester, England and signed to Columbia Records as “The Baseball Boys,” the group changed their name to The Outfield.  They released their debut album Play Deep in 1985 which peaked at #9 in the Billboard Album Charts. Your Love was on the album and peaked at #6 in the Billboard 100, #37 in Canada, and #83 in the UK.

“Your Love” was written by the band’s guitarist, John Spinks, who died of liver cancer in 2014 at age 60.

I don’t know whether I like the song or hate it because I can still hear the damn thing in my head.

From Songfacts

With a distinctive guitar riff and an unforgettable opening line, “Your Love” became one of the most memorable hits of the ’80s. When lead singer Tony Lewis declares, “Josie’s on a vacation far away, come around and talk it over,” we know he’s up to something. Our hero spends the rest of the song in seduction mode, trying to convince this girl (probably and ex-girlfriend) to have a one-night-stand. He pulls every trick from the player’s handbook:

Nobody Will Ever Know (“Stay the night but keep it undercover”)
I Really Need Comfort (“Another shoulder to cry upon”)
I Don’t Know Where Else To Turn (“I ain’t got many friends left to talk to”)
It Won’t Mean Anything (“I just wanna use your love tonight”)

Does he capture his prey? We never find out, but it’s clear that Josie deserves better.

The song became an ’80s classic and the showcase song for the band, which scored four more Top 40 hits: “All the Love in the World” (#19, 1985), “Since You’ve Been Gone” (#31, 1987), “Voices of Babylon” (#25, 1989) and “For You” (#21, 1990).

In 2013, Saturday Night Live did a skit based on this song where host Josh Hutcherson speaks in the song’s lyrics, trying to convince Josie’s friend to have an affair. In the skit, Hutcherson is Josie’s younger brother. It’s a great visualization of the dynamic, as the girl rebuffs him at first, but is drawn in when he gets to the blue talk (“I can’t hide the way I’m feelin’…”).

Your Love

Josie’s on a vacation far away
Come around and talk it over
So many things that I want to say
You know I like my girls a little bit older

I just want to use your love tonight
I don’t want to lose your love tonight

I ain’t got many friends left to talk to
Nowhere to run when I’m in trouble
You know I’d do anything for you
Stay the night but keep it under cover

I just want to use your love tonight
I don’t want to lose your love tonight

Try to stop my hands from shaking
But something in my mind’s not making sense
It’s been a while since we were all alone
But I can’t hide the way I’m feeling

As you’re leaving please would you close the door?
And don’t forget what I told you
Just ’cause you’re right that don’t mean I’m wrong
Another shoulder to cry upon

I just want to use your love tonight
I don’t want to lose your love tonight
I just want to use your love tonight
I don’t want to lose your love tonight
I just want to use your love tonight
I don’t want to lose your love tonight
Use your love, lose your love, your love!
I don’t want to lose your love tonight
(I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna)
Lose your love tonight (your love)
Lose your love tonight (your love)
Lose your love tonight (your love)
(Lose your) I don’t want to lose your love tonight

The Heats – I Don’t Like Your Face / Ordinary People —-Powerpop Friday

While reading about Nirvana from other Seattle musicians…this band came up in the conversations as one of the great Seattle bands. The Heats were 10 years before Nirvana but were really popular in the Seattle area.

Before Grunge, The Heats played in the Northwest. In 1980 They were the biggest band in the area. Everyone was convinced they were only going to get bigger.

“They were top dog,” said fellow Seattle musician and KJET/KNDD personality Jim Keller. “Opening for them was like opening for a major concert artist, with barricades to keep the fans back at the front of the stage. “And more than any other group, they made it cool for Seattle bands to do original songs.”

They sold thousands of copies of the records they produced themselves. They played some big shows in Seattle and opened up for The Kinks and toured around the US with Heart and The Knack.

This song was the B side to “I Don’t Like Your Face” released in 1980

 

Big Star – When My Baby ‘s Beside Me —-Powerpop Friday

Great riff by Alex Chilton and full of the hooks that Big Star is known for. This song was the A-side to In The Street released in 1972. Both songs are on Big Star’s album #1 Record.

With the exception of some smart critics, at the time of their existence, Big Star was all but ignored. Big Star played a one-off promotional show for the Memphis Rock Writer’s Convention at Lafayette’s Music Room in Memphis in May of 1973. It cemented them into legendary status due to the writers who witnessed it and carried the message of Big Star out in their writing. Chris Bell had left the band by the time this live show was recorded.

The song is credited to Alex Chilton and Chris Bell.

When My Baby’s Beside Me

Don’t need to talk to my doctor
Don’t need to talk to my shrink
Don’t need to hide behind no locked door
I don’t need to think

‘Cause when my baby’s beside me, I don’t worry
When my baby’s beside me, all I know
When my baby’s beside me, I don’t worry
When my baby’s beside me, all I know

Read all my books and talked about
Listen to my radio
Been in school and dropped right out
Tryin’ to find out what I didn’t know

But when my baby’s beside me, I don’t worry
When my baby’s beside me, all I know
When my baby’s beside me, I don’t worry
When my baby’s beside me, all I know

Don’t need to talk to my doctor
Don’t need to talk to my shrink
Don’t need to hide behind no locked door
I don’t need to think

‘Cause when my baby’s beside me, I don’t worry
When my baby’s beside me, all I know
When my baby’s beside me, I don’t worry
When my baby’s beside me, all I know

When my baby’s beside me, I don’t worry
When my baby’s beside me, all I know
When my baby’s beside me, I don’t worry
When my baby’s beside me, all I know

Del Amitri – Roll To Me —-Powerpop Friday

In 1995 “Roll to Me” peaked at #10 in the Billboard 100, #5 in Canada and #22 on the UK charts. One of the many power-pop songs of the 90s.

Ironically it was the band’s biggest hit and they did not like the song. Del Amitri toured the US when this became a hit, but they played the song reluctantly, often telling the audience that it was something they had to do. Del Amitri wasn’t able to get a foothold in the States, and this was their last hit there.

They are a Scottish alternative rock band formed in Glasgow in 1980. In 2002 the band went on hiatus and reformed in 2014 and are now still together.

 

Roll to Me

Look around your world pretty baby
Is it everything you hoped it’d be
The wrong guy, the wrong situation
The right time to roll to me

Roll to me

Look into your heart pretty baby
Is it aching with some nameless need?
Is there something wrong
And you can’t put your finger on it?
Right, then roll to me

And I don’t think I have ever seen
A soul so in despair
So if you want to talk the night through
Guess who will be there?

So don’t try to deny it pretty baby
You’ve been down so long you can hardly see
When the engine’s stalled and it won’t stop raining
It’s the right time to roll to me
Roll to me
Roll to me

And I don’t think I have ever seen
A soul so in despair
So if you want to talk the night through
Guess who will be there?

So,
Look around your world pretty baby
Is it everything you hoped it’d be
The wrong guy, the wrong situation
The right time to roll to me
The right time to roll to me
The right time to roll to me…oooh

Rolling Stones – Dead Flowers

When I saw the Stones on the 2006 Bigger Bang tour I was looking forward to this song than any other. It was the second time I had gone to see them. This time it was in Kentucky at the famous Churchill Downs venue that is not meant for Rock and Roll but it was cool.

The lyric “Making bets on Kentucky Derby Day” drew a huge response from the rain-drenched crowd. The song was on the great Sticky Fingers album released in 1971. Gram Parsons who was into country music heavily and hanging around with the Stones probably influence this track to a point.

This song rolled during the final credits of The Big Lebowski. Allen Klein, the ex  Rolling Stones manager and owner of the song initially wanted $150,000 for the movie’s use of it. He was then convinced to let them use it for free when he saw the scene in which The Dude says, “I hate the f—in’ Eagles, man!”. The version in the movie was a Townes Van Zandt cover.

From Songfacts

In this song, Mick Jagger addresses a girl named Susie with more than a little disdain: She’s welcome to send him dead flowers, but he’ll put roses on her grave. The music and lyrics both have a distinct country vibe. Jagger explained in 1995: “I love country music, but I find it very hard to take it seriously. I also think a lot of country music is sung with the tongue in cheek, so I do it tongue-in-cheek. The harmonic thing is very different from the blues. It doesn’t bend notes in the same way, so I suppose it’s very English, really. Even though it’s been very Americanized, it feels very close to me, to my roots, so to speak.”

Mick Jagger, 2003: “The ‘Country’ songs we recorded later, like ‘Dead Flowers’ on Sticky Fingers or Far Away Eyes on Some Girls, are slightly different (than our earlier ones). The actual music is played completely straight, but it’s me who’s not going legit with the whole thing, because I think I’m a blues singer not a country singer – I think it’s more suited to Keith’s voice than mine.” >>

The line, “I’ll be in my basement room with a needle and a spoon” is probably a reference to shooting up heroin. 

Dead Flowers

Well when you’re sitting there in your silk upholstered chair
Talkin’ to some rich folk that you know
Well I hope you won’t see me in my ragged company
Well, you know I could never be alone

Take me down little Susie, take me down
I know you think you’re the queen of the underground
And you can send me dead flowers every morning
Send me dead flowers by the mail
Send me dead flowers to my wedding
And I won’t forget to put roses on your grave

Well when you’re sitting back in your rose pink Cadillac
Making bets on Kentucky Derby Day
Ah, I’ll be in my basement room with a needle and a spoon
And another girl to take my pain away

Take me down little Susie, take me down
I know you think you’re the queen of the underground
And you can send me dead flowers every morning
Send me dead flowers by the mail
Send me dead flowers to my wedding
And I won’t forget to put roses on your grave

Take me down little Susie, take me down
I know you think you’re the queen of the underground
And you can send me dead flowers every morning
Send me dead flowers by the U.S. Mail
Say it with dead flowers in my wedding
And I won’t forget to put roses on your grave
No, I won’t forget to put roses on your grave

Beatles – Polythene Pam

This song is on the B side of Abbey Road in the medley right after Mean Mr. Mustard.The song was brought up and recorded on a demo for the White Album. John then brought it up for inclusion on Let It Be. After that he made the statement that he would give it to a “Liverpool Folk Singer.”

John contributed  Sun King, Mean Mr. Mustard, and Polythene Pam to the medley.

The song was about two people… Pat Hodgett, who was a regular attendee at the Cavern Club when The Beatles played in the early 60’s. It was readily known that Pat was in the habit of eating polythene… The Beatles affectionately referred to her as “Polythene Pat”

John remembering the second girl: So this poet took me to his place, and I had a girl and he had one he wanted me to meet. He said she dressed up in polythene, which she did. In polythene bags. She didn’t wear jackboots and kilts – I just sort of elaborated – and no, she didn’t really look like a man. There was nothing much to it. It was kind of perverted sex in a polythene bag. But it provided something to write a song about.”

The poet’s name was Royston Ellis… The girl in the polythene bag could have been Royston’s girlfriend at the time…remembered as Stephanie.

Paul McCartney: “John, being Royston’s friend, went out to dinner with him and got pissed (drunk) and stuff and they ended up back at his apartment with a girl who dressed herself in polythene for John’s amusement, so it was a little kinky scene…She was a real character.”

From Songfacts

Polythene is a British term for polyethylene, a plastic polymer used in containers, insulation, and packaging. Written by John Lennon, this song has a rather strange background, and fortunately, our Beatles expert Pattie Noah has sorted it out.

Lennon sang this in a thick Liverpool accent. Like the other Beatles, his regular singing voice sounded very American because he grew up listening to US artists.

In the line, “She’s the kind of a girl that makes the News Of The World,” The News Of The World is a tabloid newspaper that specializes in risqué news reporting. Pam must have been a wild girl. 

The Beatles recorded this as one song with “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window.”

Originally intended for The White Album, this was used in a suite of songs at the end of Abbey Road.

Polythene Pam

Well, you should see Polythene Pam
She’s so good-looking but she looks like a man
Well, you should see her in drag dressed in her polythene bag
Yes, you should see Polythene Pam
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Get a dose of her in jackboots and kilt
She’s killer-diller when she’s dressed to the hilt
She’s the kind of a girl that makes the “News of the World”
Yes, you could say she was attractively built
Yeah, yeah, yeah