Songs in the Key of Lou #2


Here we are again.

This is part two of my exhaustive and, no doubt, exhausting, list of songs mentioned by Louise Wener in her wonderful memoir “Just for One Day”.

Part one featured the first forty songs and this piece takes us through the next ten.

It’s a Mystery by Toyah

The lisp.


But the thing people forget about Wilcox is that she was in not just one incredible British film but three of them.


For Britpoppers the most significant is “Quadrophenia” where she played the doe eyed “Monkey”…constantly chasing after Phil “Parklife” Daniels “Jimmy”.  But for film lovers she is remembered for the fact that she appeared in two films directed by Derek Jarman; “Jubilee” and “The Tempest”.

Also, “It’s a Mystery” is great.

Go Wild in the Country by Bow Wow Wow

Formed from bits of Adam and the Ants under the direction of Malcolm McLaren and with 13 year old Anglo-Burmese Annabella Lwin on vocals, everything about Bow Wow Wow is brilliant.

When you listen to Lwin squealing, shrieking and singing on “Go Wild in the Country” you are reminded that pop, at its best, isn’t about classically trained musicians or vocalists…it’s about desperation, dreams and desire.

Eye of the Tiger by Survivor

Hi.  I’m Max.  Let’s get to know each other.  Do you agree that “Rocky”, and all of its subsequent sequals and spin off franchises, are the high bench mark of boxing on screen or do you see “Raging Bull” as the very finest example of the art of pugilism in cinema?

“Raging Bull” you say?


Well, maybe I’ll see you around.

You can stop reading now.



Have they gone?


Pretentious dullards.

Now the rest of us can get on with basking in the warm glow of knowing that we are culturally superior to the people who prefer “Raging Bull” because we judge things on how they make us feel and not on who directed them or if they are shot in black and white.

As a side note “Eye of the Tiger” is the best song on any film soundtrack ever.

Golden Brown/Peaches by The Stranglers


Just nope.

I don’t care about Elastica being (ahem) “inspired” by them…Elastica were better.

I just don’t do The Stranglers.

I mean just listen to “Peaches”…it is so naff.  It’s the sort of thing that you would expect to hear on Nick Knowles next album.  “Cor…women’s bottoms.  Luvverly.”

You always get the feeling that The Stranglers were…poseurs too, it all sounds, and feels, a bit contrived, artificial.


Gonna Fly Now by Bill Conti

Come on!

I dare you to listen to this and not book yourself a flight to Pennsylvania so that you can run up the steps outside of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Maybe this could happen…


The Look of Love by ABC

Smooth like glass.

A look so sharp it could cut through steel.

Production so polished it acts as a sonic mirror.

I have spent a long time trying to extricate myself from the cult of Morrissey and part of that process has involved revisiting music from around the same time that I dismissed in order to prove that I was more devout in my faith than any other cult members.  What has happened during this period has been astonishing and wonderful…

It turns out that, yes, The Smiths were bloody brilliant but that, maybe, other bands were also great and, maybe, even better than they were.

ABC certainly fall into that category…their “Lexicon of Love” is a flawless, near peerless, collection of soul/pop wonders.

Town Called Malice/Going Underground/Beat Surrender/Smithers Jones by The Jam



Let’s start with this; I love The Jam.

I still have the copy of “This is the Modern World” that my dad gave me.

They were great.

I get it.

But…I really do prefer The Style Council.

Wait…hold on…put down the pitchforks.

What I mean is that I prefer the collected singles, the hits, of The Style Council to the same by The Jam.

“Walls Come Tumbling Down” is better than “Town Called Malice”.

“Shout to the Top” is better than “Start”.

I could go on…but I can already see the response to this on Twitter.

For many years I was absolutely convinced that Weller was singing “Hanging out their old Lambretta’s on the line to dry” in “Town Called Malice” and I really couldn’t work out what was going on.  That song was also the “inspiration” for some of my first attempts at writing lyrics…

“Saturday night at Caesar’s Palace, a crowded dance floor filled with malice”

Caesar’s Palace was a nite-klub in Kirkcaldy.

It was exactly as awful as you are imagining.

I don’t think I ever actually saw any fights there but I thought I was being very clever by invoking the title of The Jam song with the image of people either fighting or dancing while that song played.

I know it doesn’t work.

I understand that it is rubbish.

I was young.

Lots of people of 32 make mistakes like that.

I wasn’t really 32.

That was a joke.

Of course, it’s not really a joke if you feel like you have to explain it.

I should just go back and delete this…but I’ve made this weird decision to not do that, to let thoughts land on the screen as they come to me and then to leave them there for better or worse.

I do love “Beat Surrender”…mainly because it sounds a bit like The Style Council.

“Smithers-Jones” is just sublime, probably my favourite moment from The Jam and a clear influence on the likes of Damon Albarn, well, specifically on Damon Albarn.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s