After four long months – that’s over nineteen weeks, if you’re counting, or more than a third of a year – I have finally returned home. Just temporarily, for now, you understand: Steve Stevingtons has an important three week “Malcolm in the Middle” conference to attend, so the place is empty. But temporarily or not, here I am. And if I am back at my desk again, you know what that means: it’s time to grit my teeth and endure another dreadful album of unknown provenance. Today, we subject ourselves to Bobby Brown’s 1986 debut album, King of Stage, released when he was just 17.
Newsboost is going to be 11 years old this year. I watched it again recently and I’m still pretty pleased with it now, but back when we made it, it’s fair to say it was the crowning achievement of my life.
Obviously we wanted to do another one, and for a while there was a short-lived plan to follow up the news bulletin Newsboost with a late night current affairs programme called Newsboostnight.
It was going to be a special programme looking in depth at a scandal surrounding The Papples. This was when the only Papples album was “Masterpiece”, and we’d realised that all the songs on that album basically had the same tune.
Since there’s nothing in my life at the moment, and I have nothing much to write about, I thought I’d post the three pages of script that were written for Newsboostnight so you can enjoy them.
Are you a fan of Our Cheryl? I have to admit I didn’t know much about her before 3 Words, her debut solo album from 2009, plopped onto my doormat in a padded envelope. Cheryl Cole (previously Cheryl Tweedy, now Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, future changes of surname TBC) started out in Girls Aloud, a band created by the ITV series “Popstars”. She then went solo and is now an X Factor judge.
As I pulled into the car park, locked the car and headed into Asda I knew I was in a rush. I grabbed the beer I was looking for, paid and made my way back to the car. Asda Radio has a habit of playing a bizarre mix of music no matter what time of day you are there. Running late to a friend’s house the unmistakable tune of ‘Ooh Aah… Just a Little Bit’ by Gina G was audible over the hubbub of other patrons of the supermarket. It took me back to 1996 when this was our entry in the Eurovision Song Contest…
Now we’ve all seen how much of a shambles Eurovision is, perhaps some more than others. As a young impressionable 13 year old I had a lot of free time on my hands. I do remember watching the whole thing because I was convinced that this song, this catchy piece of fluff, created in someone’s studio by faceless music executives and sung by an Australian, not even a native Brit, was going to win. I had a lot of faith at 13; I wonder where it went? I expect it also had a lot to do with the fact that I found Gina G insanely attractive (I was going through a red-head phase, something that has continued to this day). Still, it wasn’t enough for me to actually go out and buy the damn single when it was released, not that it mattered because it went straight to #1 anyway.
Does anyone remember what position the UK got in the 1996 Eurovision song contest? Nope, me neither. I had to look it up but I did know that we didn’t win. The lovely Ireland claimed the crown that year. In my confused teenage rage I drew a picture of a person, possibly me (?), kicking an Irish elephant in the groin. Now this does raise a few questions, the main ones for me are:
- Why didn’t I draw an animal that was native to Ireland in the first place?
- Was I convinced that elephants came from Ireland or was it the first animal that came to mind?
- I can’t draw elephants now; how on earth did I manage to draw one from memory without the aid of Google?
I can still see that elephant now, hands clutching where it’s penis should be, in extreme pain because of my kick to the cohonies. It is as if it’s been etched to the back of my mind, ready to haunt me when the time is right. Yes, I believe the elephant also had hands. Perhaps this is a rare instance of British pride where I wanted to believe that we were good at something and to share that with the rest of Europe.
By the way, have you ever read the lyrics to ‘Ooh Aah… Just a Little Bit’? My favourite line is:
“I’ll give you love you can’t ignore.”
What kind of love is that? The one where you send bits of yourself through the post? The one where you set yourself on fire and jump off a building? It seems a bit full on for what is essentially a song about having a shag with someone.
It was inevitable, wasn’t it? I should have known. It was only a couple of months ago that I wrote about the arrival of a CD box claiming to be Cher Lloyd and finding that the disc inside was actually Coldplay. Well, whoever it is that sends me these awful CDs to review (Gary Wilmot? Ian? God himself?) evidently reads the Beans, because this week another little parcel arrived in the post. Inside it, a box for a Coldplay album, and the CD “Sticks+Stones” by Cher Lloyd. I now have a complete set. Hooray.
Awful CDs continue to land on my doormat with depressing regularity. Currently queued up for your Four Word Review enjoyment are “Voice of the Violin” by Joshua Bell, a collection of Motown covers produced by Pete Waterman, and the 1997 self-titled album by Kavana.
Lined up for this month’s review was “Sticks + Stones” by Cher Lloyd, a 2011 slice of Simon Cowell pop. But when I put the CD in and pressed play, something was wrong.
Can you see it? Yes, that’s right. The case says “Sticks + Stones” by Cher Lloyd, but the CD itself is actually another album from the same year, Coldplay’s “Mylo Xyloto”.
Obviously at that point I had to call a halt to the whole business. This is too much. Two albums I don’t want to hear in one.
Now I don’t know what to do. I might just have to listen to Kavana instead.
That might be the bleakest sentence I’ve ever written. If the best available course of action is listening to a whole album by Kavana, you know you’ve hit rock bottom.
April is truly the most Christmassy month. There are several reasons for that. The first is that it just is. I mean, Christmas happens in December, obviously, but that really just makes the idea of December being the most Christmassy month a bit bourgeois and low-brow. No, April’s right on the fashions. The second reason is the weather – all that blazing hot sunshine that’s turned up in the last few days can’t help but make you feel festive. And the third reason is that it was in April last year that we listened to Mahalia’s Christmas album. (You did listen to it, didn’t you?)
Needless to say, then, this April we’re spinning another yuletide disc. This one is A Christmas Album, recorded in 1967 by Barbra Streisand.
Ah, Holly Valance. We meet again. We’ve already reviewed the living daylights out of Holly’s first album, Footprints, just a few short months ago. Now, she’s back with her second (2003) album, State of Mind, in a Four Word Reviews first. I cannot even begin to imagine how this came to land on my doorstep so soon after the first.