Saturday, February 13, 2010

Slade - "Run Runaway" (forgotten song)

So here's a guilty pleasure you probably haven't heard in a long time...

Slade was one of the original glam rock bands of the early 70s and while they were big in the UK, they never really became famous in the US. Kiss cites them as big influence, but they are probably best known in the US for being the writer & original artist of two of Quiet Riot's biggest singles: "Cum on Feel the Noize" and "Mama Weer All Crazee Now". Even in 1983 & 1984 I was never terribly fond of either song, though I will say the originals work better than QR's covers since Slade has a sense of humor that QR just can't pull off.

By the time of their 1983 LP "The Amazing Kamikaze Syndrome", they were about 40 years old and veterans of the music scene. The US version of that LP came out in 1984 and was titled "Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply" and from it the single "Run Runaway" was released. For a short while it received moderate rotation on radio & MTV, probably because of the recent success Quiet Riot had with their songs.

The song itself is fun and shows Slade certainly knew how to write anthems. It also has the rock/folk sound (i.e., guitar + fiddle) of other early- & mid-80s UK bands like Dexys Midnight Runners and Big Country, so it should sound familiar even if you haven't heard it before.

Run Runaway: YouTube 1, YouTube 2 (slightly better audio).

N.B. You might enjoy some of the other songs from the YouTube channel "Back Porch Video". Apparently something of a real-life Wayne's World, it has a surprisingly good selection of alternative 80s songs.

Bonus Links: The Slade originals that Quiet Riot made famous: "Cum on Feel the Noize" & "Mama Weer All Crazee Now" (featuring the finest in 1972 video technology). Maybe I'm just projecting, but I think the difference between the QR & Slade versions is that Slade knows these are silly songs...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Kinks - "Days" (forgotten song) (the song remains the same)

Although I first heard it as performed by Elvis Costello on the the 1991 soundtrack "Until the End of the World Soundtrack", "Days" was originally a 1968 single from The Kinks (it also appeared on some versions of their 1968 LP "The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society").

Before Costello, Kristy MacColl covered the song in 1989 on her LP "Kite" with an arrangement pretty true to the original. But it's the Elvis Costello version that strips away the modish production of the original and reveals yet another excellent song from Ray Davies.

And while the original single apparently did well in 1968, I don't recall it receiving radio airplay on classic rock radio stations. The Kinks canon is filled with great songs, but here's one that you probably haven't heard before, or maybe haven't heard in a long time.

The Kinks: YouTube 1, YouTube 2.

B-Side Bonus Link: The Kinks - "She's Got Everything".

Kristy MacColl: YouTube 1, YouTube 2.

Elvis Costello: Lala, Grooveshark.

Elvis Costello & Chrissie Hynde: MSN, Metacafe.