Category: Friday Flashbacks

Friday Flashback #26

Hey, just thought I’d let you know I’m still alive. Busy, but still alive.

I’ve got a truly woeful flashback to greet you all with too. One from my childhood back in the mid-to-late 1990s that I really wish I hadn’t rediscovered. But I have, so now I get to subject you to the same pain. Enjoy…

From way back in 1997, this is T-Shirt (a “band” that came and went just as quickly) with their cover version of Hot Chocolate’s “You Sexy Thing“.

Interestingly enough, this cover (it was actually one of many cover versions of this song) included Hot Chocolate singer Errol Brown in the song and film clip. The song peaked at #5 across the ditch in New Kiwiland and #6 here, staying in the ARIA charts for an unbelievable 32 weeks.

The 90s kids will note the old Video Hits graphics from around 1997 aired throughout the filmclip as well. The super-keen TV nerds (such as myself, I’m not going to lie) might also note this was recorded from Ten Victoria, the Channel Ten affiliate station based throughout regional Victoria. Funny that, given I’m sure I probably saw this filmclip back in the day on holidays in Ballarat or Gippsland myself.

I recall watching this and loving it, being a 9-year-old kid at the time. I may even have it cassette-tape recorded somewhere at home. It’s a song I haven’t heard in probably over 10 years, and while most of me wishes I still hadn’t, parts of me enjoyed the trip down pop music memory lane

Until we meet again…


Friday Flashback #25

Today I’ve brought out one from left-field. Please bear with me…

Now for those of you born post-1987, like me, the song is English novelty band The Firm‘s number one hit Star Trekkin’. For those of you born pre or post-1987 wondering why on Earth I’d promote listening to such an abstract (and that’s putting it politely) song, I don’t really have an answer.

If you want a boring story (rhetorical question), here it is. For some reason or another, I first recall hearing this song on some random video recording my mother had tape-recorded from MTV back when she was pregnant with me. Those were the days when MTV was a) in some way watchable, and b) still shown on free-to-air television (those were the days). The claymation filmclip featuring Captain Kirk inhaling from a bong amongst other humorous Star Trek overtones like it amused me as a pre-teen back then, and I guess I’ve kinda liked the song since, much for the same reasons (who says you have to grow up as you get older!)

So if you’re disgusted that I’d link to such a song, well I’m not very sorry. Remember that this song was top of the UK charts for two weeks back in 1987. Though for those of you who found it as funny and amusing as a more childish version of me did (yes, that did exist), good on you.

Friday Flashback #24

Hey, remember this blog thing I used to do? Yeah, so do I now! Probably about time I write something again, don’t you think?

I’ll start with a Friday Flashback again, largely because I can’t think of what else to write, and also because I’ve got a list of about 10 more songs waiting to be analysed (and I warn readers – many are likely to be rather terrible). Luckily today’s choice does not fall into that category. From their 1982 album The Blurred Crusade, this is The Church with When You Were Mine.

I stumbled upon this track by sheer coincidence just the other night, taken from an old episode of Countdown, while just sifting through some YouTube videos and saw a link to this. I’m quite a fan of the Church material I do know, though I must confess to being woefully unfamiliar with much other than their biggest songs. So I thought I’d check it out, and quite enjoyed it. A typical Church-type number (that is the band, not the institution, I can’t quite imagine this being played in a chapel of a Sunday morning) with its fantastic yet simple guitar-driven melody, and the excellent vocals of Steve Kilbey running the show, this track has been on a semi-constant repeat over the past few days.

The Blurred Crusade is the Church’s second album, released in March 1982 as the follow-up to their highly successful debut effort Of Skins and Heart. When You Were Mine was the second single released from this album, following the high-charting and equally impressive Almost With You which reached #21 on the Australian charts in the same year. The Blurred Crusade itself was also quite well-received, given that its predecessor had produced gems such as The Unguarded Moment, peaking at #10 on the Australian album charts.

Sadly, The Church’s future fortunes were somewhat mixed. This started by their US record label refusing to market The Blurred Crusade and subsequently dropping the band from their label, thus largely confining The Church’s success to Australia and New Zealand. Furthermore, the success of their next three albums, namely Seance, Remote Luxury and to a lesser extent Heyday, was limited. The band struggled through this time, and even went on hiatus for a period.

However, they came back with a bang with the release of their 1988 album Starfish. Sporting the band’s most successful single to date in Under the Milky Way, as well as the brilliant Reptile (whose guitar riff I to this day still am in awe of) and many other gems, Starfish was a hit both in Australia and also overseas, finally seeing that The Church obtained at least some of the worldwide recognition their work deserved.

Today, The Church are still kicking along, touring and releasing albums. Both the band and Kilbey solo have released a number of project since Starfish, none of which I am in any way familiar enough with to comment on. However, the volume of material of theirs I know makes me love them as a band, and the even greater volume of their material I do not know makes me want to explore their back-catalogue even further.

Oh, and it’s nice to be back 🙂

Friday Flashback #23

Another Friday Flashback for you now, and today’s choice could be described as bizarre. You might even ask, How Bizarre?

Yep, the song is “How Bizarre“, by New Zealand duo Otara Millionaires’ Club, more commonly known as OMC.

OMC were formed by vocalist Pauly Fuemana and producer Alan Jansson in 1993. The name Otara Millionaires’ Club was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Auckland suburb Fuemana grew up in – Otara is regarded as one of the poorest areas in Auckland, with parts of it providing the setting to films such as Once Were Warriors. They were signed to a local recording label and had put little together until the release of this song in late 1995. Upon release, its reception was huge, with How Bizarre racing to number one on the local charts, and selling over 35,000 copies in NZ alone, a record still to this day not broken. By early 1996 it had featured in charts worldwide, hitting number one in five countries, including Australia.

Sadly, at least outside of New Zealand, OMC were to remain a one-hit wonder only. The success of How Bizarre inspired the group to record a full-length studio album, the only one of the band’s career, however even it failed to replicate the success of the title single. A 2007 single titled “4 All Of Us”, which didn’t even chart, was their last release.

Sadly, Pauly Fuemana died in early 2010, aged just 40, at North Shore Hospital in Auckland. Ironically, this final resting place completed Fuemana’s rags-to-riches transformation, with the North Shore being one of the priciest, most exclusive areas in New Zealand.

How Bizarre is still one of those songs that everyone knows, yet few could tell you who performed it. It’s status as a one-hit wonder is well-renowned, with the song placing at #71 in a countdown of one-hit wonders performed in 2002 by American music television channel VH1. For me, it’s one of those annoyingly catchy songs that reminds me of being a kid, but now has almost completely faded into obscurity.

Friday Flashback #22

Back by unpopular demand, and finally a relaxed uni timetable (for now)…

Today’s Friday Flashback is inspired by the news that the band Silverchair have announced they are moving into a period of “indefinite hiberation”, which as anyone associated with music will know means that they have split. I’d like to say I’m sad to hear this, but the report goes on to say that the split occurred while the band were recording their sixth album. Short of North Korea disarming its nuclear arsenal, this means the world has dodged its biggest bullet to date.

Mind you, it wasn’t always this bad, as the above video shows. The song linked is “Anthem For The Year 2000”, from their third album “Neon Ballroom“, released in 1999. This was arguably the last album where Silverchair could claim to be a proper rock band. They got their start back in 1992 as a few high school students who jammed together. The demo of the song “Tomorrow” won them a contest on Triple J, which saw the band adopt their current name and enter a studio to record it properly.

In 1995, their debut album Frogstomp was released, first seriously putting Silverchair on the map. In addition to Tomorrow, the album contained a number of grungy gems such as “Israel’s Son” (a song with one of the most beautifully grungy bass lines ever), “Pure Massacre“, “Leave Me Out” and “Suicidal Dream“. As far as debut albums go, I’d probably rank this one up with the best of them (I’m talking Led Zeppelin I, Wolfmother and a few others I can’t think of, but must get around to doing a post on one day).

In 1997, their second album “Freak Show” was released to an arguably even better reception than their first. The big hit was undoubtedly the aptly-named “Freak” with that unmistakably brilliant riff to kick it off. Others from this album included “Abuse Me“, “Cemetery” and the rather underrated “The Door“.

Following Freak Show came the slightly different sound of “Neon Ballroom” as mentioned earlier. While tracks like Anthem retained the grunginess of their earlier albums, it was tracks like “Emotion Sickness“, “Ana’s Song (Open Fire)” and “Miss You Love” which showed a different side to the band. While still excellent songs and in at least some way still possessing the rock qualities of their earlier music, these songs were unfortunately a sign of the slippery slope into sickly pop that the band was about to make.

In 2002 came the release of “Diorama“, which confirmed the change in direction the band had started on the previous release. Although tracks like “The Greatest View” and “Without You” were still rock, songs like “Across The Night” and “Luv Your Life” showed far more elements of pop than rock, a sound that the band Frogstomp-era would have despised.

Following Diorama, Silverchair went on a brief hiatus while band members explored other projects. The most notable of these was lead singer Daniel Johns’ project The Dissociatives, which was unfortunately notable for the wrong reasons. However, even this bad music could not warn of the absolute tripe that was about to come upon their return.

Apparently at some point between 2002 and 2007 Daniel Johns and his male genitalia were parted from each other, which resulted in the rather unfortunate release of “Young Modern” in 2007. Despite this album being a complete and utter pile of felch (to steal an expression from a friend), it went on to sell hugely well and was critically acclaimed. For the life of me I still can’t figure out why. The success was largely on the back of the single “Straight Lines” (you all know it, and given how much I hate it I won’t link to it), though the equally awful “Reflections of a Sound” was also inexplicably well received.

So, based upon their last effort, Silverchair’s disbanding mid-recording does not sadden me at all. All the sadness I’d felt for losing Silverchair was felt in the years following Diorama, where the band descended from being a respectable grunge-rock band to a sickly pop outfit who played terrible music. This disbanding just grants me the relief that we won’t have to hear any more new Silverchair material anytime in the near future.

I will say one thing though – short of maybe David Bowie, Silverchair would have to be in my opinion the band whose sound has changed most dramatically over the course of their recording career. If you listened to Frogstomp and Young Modern without knowing they were both the same band, you’d probably not realise they were.

So, some fans will be sad at the loss of the former Newcastle rock outfit, but in my mind they died years ago. Let’s just hope this doesn’t mean we hear more Daniel Johns solo projects. If that happens, maybe I’ll be praying for North Korea to start firing their missiles.

Friday Flashback #19

Just a quick one today. Remember this song?

It’s The Refreshments, a post-grunge band out of Arizona, with the very clever song “Banditos”, from their 1996 album “Fizzy Fuzzy Big and Buzzy“. These guys are probably the 90’s pin-up boys for the One Hit Wonder, up there with esteemed artists like Chumbawamba and The Rembrandts. They formed in 1992, released 3 albums, of which only one was really successful, primarily due to this song, before disbanding in 1998. And yeah, they pretty much haven’t been heard from since.

So yeah, cut a long story short today, but I do enjoy this song, maybe due to the truthful irony of some of its lyrics.

Friday Flashback #18

Today’s Friday Flashback doesn’t exactly canvas a band that have been forgotten. After going to the Soundwave festival in Melbourne last Friday, I was inspired to talk a bit about one of the most enduring bands in British Heavy Metal.

Yes, the band is the one and only Iron Maiden. The song I’ve linked to was probably my favourite from their set on Friday night, The Trooper. Their set was excellent, combining a whole bunch of their classics with a few songs from the new album. And considering they’ve been kicking since 1975, the energy of their performance was amazing. They were far from crusty washed-up old wannabes, they still put on a fantastic show for a bunch of old men.

There’s way too much to talk about when it comes to these guys. In a nutshell, they formed in 1975, have recorded 15 studio albums since, sold 85 million records worldwide, despite the fact that almost no radio station will ever play their stuff.

The Trooper would be one of my favourite Maiden songs, but the list of their good songs is just too long to write here. As a quick attempt, I’d suggest that if you don’t know any of the following, you should probably do yourself a favour and check them out. Songs like Hallowed Be Thy Name, Two Minutes To Midnight, Run To The Hills, The Number Of The Beast, Wasted Years, Fear Of The Dark, Dance Of The Dead, Caught Somewhere In Time, Be Quick Or Be Dead, Blood Brothers… the list goes on (sorry for not linking to videos for any of them either, there’s just too many).

So yeah, Iron Maiden are pretty good.

Friday Flashback #17

Time for another of my world famous Friday Flashbacks. Today we’re winding the clock back to 2002 with a song that I loved when it was released, even though I never knew who performed it. Ready for it? OK, Go.

From their self-titled debut album, the song is OK Go‘s “Get Over It“. Get Over It was their first single, released by the band back in 2002 as a promotional single before shooting them to some fame in 2003. A basic but decent rock song, Get Over It didn’t set the charts on fire, but it did first introduce the world to the band.

OK Go are probably now best known for their 2006 song “Here It Goes Again“, or more precisely the filmclip to that song which contained a brilliantly choreographed video of the band members dancing between running treadmills (see below). That video alone has attracted more than 50 million views worldwide, and won a number of awards including “Most Creative Video” from Youtube, and a Grammy for “Best Short Form Music Video” in 2007. For those of you who haven’t seen it, I’d suggest checking it out – the mere idea, let alone the flawless and unedited execution of the routine (albeit after 17 attempts) are just fantastic.

After three full album releases, the band have formed their own independent recording label and are reportedly working on new material for another album. Let’s hope that it’s both musically decent, and contains a few more interesting music videos to entertain us.

Friday Flashback #16

Friday Flashback time, a day early, or two weeks late, depending on which way you look at it. Today we go back to 2004, when I was a pimply teenager, Geelong was just starting its meteoric rise to glory in the AFL, and a time when an Australian Hip Hop release actually interested me.

From their album “Breakfast at Fatboys“, this is Butterfingers with “Yo Mama”. Please spare the torches and pitchforks for just a second, and let me explain why I’ve chosen this.

While it is well known to many that I have for the most part a complete disdain for any form of hip hop music at the best of times, and I very passionately regard the Australian version of the genre as sounding more pathetic and try-hard than most, the possession of a sense of humour makes it impossible for me not to absolutely love this song. As the title suggests, this may not be the most inoffensive of songs, but it is entirely hilarious. With the chorus line of “Yo Mama’s on the top of my things to do list”, and verse lyrics describing the different times and ways this guy will be doing “Yo Mama”, the first hearing of this song had me in fits of laughter. I won’t ruin any more of the song – do yourself a favour and listen to the lyrics for yourself. Fortunately, excluding the unnecessary weird hip hop bit at the end, this song is musically quite listenable too.

Butterfingers are as mentioned an Aussie hip hop band hailing from Ipswich in Queensland (which we will try not to hold against them). In 2003 they gained a bit of notoriety with the Triple J crowd following the release of their songs “Everytime” (which is almost as amusing as Yo Mama) and “I Love Work“. These two finished at #38 and #15 respectively in the Hottest 100 countdown of 2003. However, it was with the release of their first album “Breakfast at Fatboys” and the simultaneous release of the song Yo Mama that they really became noticed. The album was nominated for an ARIA award, and the song finished at #17 in the Hottest 100 of the following year, as well as receving some huge airtime on Triple J after its release.

After that, the band worked on producing some new material, and the result was the 2005 song “Figjam” (which if I have to explain the meaning of it to you, you probably need to get out a bit more). Their second album “The Deeper You Dig…” debut well on the charts, and produced the song “Get Up Outta The Dirt” which made the Hottest 100 of the following year. The band is now on hiatus pending lead singer Eddie Mark Jacobsen releasing his first solo album later this year.

I’d probably find it difficult to call myself a Butterfingers fan just due to my dislike for the kind of music they produce, but I have to admit that some of their stuff is gold. Yo Mama will always be one of those tracks that gives me a laugh when I hear it. Maybe it’s that inner immature teenager that still lives on in me.

Friday Flashback #15

Once again, I have failed to make the self-imposed Friday deadline for my Flashback blog post. I could provide a heap of excuses, but I think I might just shut up and get straight into the already delayed piece.

Today’s flashback sees us travel both up the Midland Highway to arguably one of the coldest places on Earth in Ballarat, and back in time 13 years (though one could argue by travelling to Ballarat you are already going back in time). May I re-present to you, The Mavis’s.

The song is “Cry”, from The Mavis’s 1998 album “Pink Pills“. A synth-driven and almost boppy at times song with a heavier chorus, Cry was the Ballarat band’s biggest hit throughout their 14 year career. The Mavis’s formed in 1987, yet it took until 1996 for them to release their first full-length album, titled “Venus Returning”. The album reached #33 on the Australian album charts, and spawned the track “Thunder“, which made it into the 1996 Triple J Hottest 100 at #92.

However, it was their next release that really turned heads. Pink Pills reached #12 on the album charts, and in addition to Cry (which reached #61 in the 1998 Triple J Hottest 100 and #13 in the ARIA singles charts), contained the tracks “Naughty Boy” (a much heavier track which reached #37 of the 1997 Triple J Hottest 100), “Lever” (which the group had the illustrious honour of performing on Hey Hey It’s Saturday) and “Puberty Song“.

Sadly, as seems often to be the case, that was the peak of the band’s success. They released their third (and ultimately final) album, titled “Rapture” in 2001, to an at best moderate response. While the song “Happiness” gained notoriety due to its inclusion in a number of television commercials (I think I vaguely remember it being in a Coke ad some time back), the rest of the album failed to gain any traction. The Mavis’s split later that year, and several of the members have since become involved in other bands of varying styles.

Personally, while The Mavis’s (is that even gramatically correct?) aren’t exactly a band I’d rush out to purchase the entire discography of, I don’t mind the song “Cry”. And while it does disturb me slightly how much the vocals of of frontwoman Becky Thomas remind me of the B-52s (a “band” that anyone who knows me understands my complete disdain for), if a song of theirs happened to come on the radio (which seldom happens now), I wouldn’t immediately go rushing to change the station.