Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Fish released live album Return to Childhood

Return to Childhood


Released: July 25, 2006

Recorded: November 18, 2005

Peak: --

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: neo-progressive rock

Tracks, Disc 1:

Song Title (Writers) (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Big Wedge (Derek Dick/Mickey Simmonds) (12/27/89, 25 UK)
  2. Moving Targets (Dick/Watson/Dugild)
  3. Brother 52 (Dick/Steven Wilson) (4/28/97, --)
  4. Goldfish & Clowns (Dick/Wilson) (8/11/97, --)
  5. Raingods Dancing (Dick, Tony Turrell, Mark Daghorn)
  6. Wake-Up Call (Make It Happen) (Dick, Turrell, Daghorn)
  7. Innocent Party (Dick/Watson/Dugild)
  8. Long Cold Day Dick, John Wesley, John Young)
  9. Credo (Dick, Simmonds, Robin Boult, Frank Usher) (12/2/91, 38 UK)

Tracks, Disc 2:

Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks)

  1. Pseudo Silk Kimono
  2. Kayleigh (4/7/85, 74 US, 2 UK, 14 AR)
  3. Lavender (8/27/85, 5 UK)
  4. Bitter Suite
    i. Brief Encounter
    ii. Lost Weekend
    iii. Blue Angel
    iv. Misplaced Rendezvous
    v. Windswept Thumb
  5. Heart of Lothian (11/18/85, 29 UK)
    i. Wide Boy
    ii. Curtain Call
  6. Waterhole (Expresso Bongo)
  7. Lords of the Backstage
  8. Blind Curve
    i. Vocal Under a Bloodlight
    ii. Passing Strangers
    iii. Mylo
    iv. Perimeter Walk
    v. Threshold
  9. Childhood’s End?
  10. White Feather
  11. Incommunicado (5/11/87, 24 AR, 6 UK)
  12. Market Square Heroes (10/25/82, 60 UK)
  13. Fugazi

All songs on disc 2 written by Dick/ Kelly/ Mosley/ Rothery/ Trewavas.

Total Running Time: 124:39

The Players:

  • Fish (vocals)
  • Frank Usher, Andy Trill (guitar)
  • Tony Turrell (keyboards)
  • Steve Vantsis (bass)
  • John Tonks (drums)
  • Deborah French (backing vocals)


3.962 out of 5.00 (average of 13 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Fish reached his commercial peak with the band Marillion in the 1980s. Their greatest success was with Misplaced Childhood, an album which reached #1 in the UK on the strength of two top-five hits. 20 years later, Fish celebrated the album’s anniversary by performing the album live in its entirety. He hadn’t done that since 1986 and his days with Marillion. This two-disc collection was recorded during a November 2005 performance in Tilburg, Holland.

The first disc focuses on Fish’s solo work. “It contains up tempo rocky songs from his repertoire, with only Goldfish and Clowns and…Raingods Dancing falling more in the category of ballads.” SM

The second disc features the full performance of Misplaced Childhood. “The new version works quite well, with all of the technical mastery of the familiar album but adding a bracing immediacy that dated mid-'80s production values can’t touch.” AMG It “is fairly close to the original, despite the addition of a female backing vocalist, and that it was played in a more heavy and modern way.” SM

“The highlight, as on the original album, is the unexpectedly poppy ballad Kayleigh, the closest Marillion ever came to a standard love song and by far their biggest single; in this version, the lower register that is Fish’s normal range these days allows for a somewhat bitter, rueful edge to creep into the ‘I never meant to break your heart’ refrain.” AMG

“For the encores, the Paradiso is treated to Incommunicado, Market Square Heroes and a supposedly unrehearsed Fugazi, all performed with great perfection.” SM

Notes: In 1988, Marillion released a double-live album called The Thieving Magpie, which featured a full, on-stage performance of Misplaced Childhood in 1986.

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First posted 2/24/2022.

Friday, July 21, 2006

100 years ago: Bert Williams hit #1 with “Nobody”


Bert Williams

Writer(s): Bert Williams (music), Alex Rogers (lyrics) (see lyrics here)

First Charted: July 14, 1906

Peak: 19 US, 7 GA (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 0.15 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.17 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Bert Williams composed this song with lyrics by Alex Rogers. Williams first performed the song with his vaudeville partner George Walker in in February 1906 for the Broadway production Abyssinia. WK The show sought to shoot down stereotypes about black men, embodying the struggles they both endured at a time when Blacks were openly disenfranchised. WK Williams made history when he performed the song in in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1910. His appearance marked the first time an African American performed alongside whites in a major Broadway musical production. TY2

It is “a doleful and ironic composition, replete with his dry observational wit, and is complemented by Williams’ intimate, half-spoken singing style.” WK The lyrics are about “a person who doesn’t do anything for anybody…because nobody does anything…for him.” TY2 They perfectly fit the stage character Williams created who was “a small-time, somewhat pathetic but also comic creation.” DJ He performed it “in a slow mournful style that made people laugh.” TY2

“Nobody” became his signature song. He was so identified with it that he “was obliged to sing it in almost every appearance for the rest of his life.” WK As he said, “Month after month I tried to drop it and sing something new, but I could get nothing to replace it, and the audiences seemed to want nothing else. Every comedian at some point in his life learns to curse the particular stunt of his that was most popular.” TY2

The first charted appearance of the song, however, was not by Williams. Arthur Collins hit the charts in October 1905 with a version that reached #2. It wasn’t until July of the next year that Williams charted with it, going all the way to the top and staying there for nine weeks. In 1913, he re-recorded the song and that version got to #4.

Bob Hope performed the song in the 1955 movie musical The Seven Little Foys. The song was revived in 1976 by Avon Long in the Broadway revue Bubbling Brown Sugar. It has also been recorded and/or performed by Carol Burnett, Johnny Cash, Perry Como, Ry Cooder, Bing Crosby, Jimmy Dean, Red Foley, the Four Lads, Nina Simone, Merle Travis, and even Gonzo on The Muppet Show. WK


First posted 12/9/2022.

50 years ago: Johnny Cash hit #1 on the country chart with "I Walk the Line"

I Walk the Line

Johnny Cash

Writer(s): Johnny Cash (see lyrics here)

Released: May 1, 1956

First Charted: June 9, 1956

Peak: 17 US, 23 CB, 21 HR, 16 CW, 2 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 12.2 video, 284.47 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Johnny Cash, “to many, epitomizes country music more than any other artist.” AH Indeed, he would eventually rank as one of the top 5 country artists of all-time according to Billboard magazine. However, in his beginning years at Sun Records he was “making music that was stylistically indistinguishable from any of the other rockabilly artists there.” AH As such, “his image was always a little more appealing to rock audiences” AH than most country singers. In fact, it was Elvis Presley’s “That’s All Right, Mama,” recorded at Sun, which encouraged Cash to approach Sam Phillips at Sun Records. AH

In 1956, Cash’s career was barely underway. He had charted with “Cry! Cry! Cry!” (#14), “So Doggone Lonesome” (#4), and “Folsom Prison Blues” (#4). His fourth chart entry, “I Walk the Line,” hit #1 on the Billboard country chart and #17 on the Billboard Hot 100. Over the next thirty years, he sent well over 100 songs to the country charts, fourteen which topped the chart.

The song’s unusual chord progression dated back to 1950. During Cash’s days in the Air Force in Germany, he wrote songs with the help of a tape machine. Five years later, he was fiddling around with it backstage while on tour with label mate Carl Perkins. Perkins said Cash should build a song around it. Cash didn’t come up with the idea for the song until he and Perkins talked later about guys running around on their wives while out on the road. Cash, who had a new baby and was newly married, said, “Not me buddy. I walk the line.” Perkins said, “there’s your song title.” TC Interestingly, Cash had suggested the title to Perkins for his biggest hit, “Blue Suede Shoes.” Cash relayed the story to Perkins of a buddy in the Air Force who would get all dressed up to go out and warn people, “don’t step on my blue suede shoes, man.” TC

“I Walk the Line” is “the essence of musical simplicity, yet somehow carries an aura of deep mystery, power, and total devotion but also understated menace if that devoted is ever betrayed.” SS Cash recorded the song with Perkins and his own regular Tennessee Two duo of guitarist Luther Perkins and bassist Marshall Grant. TC To get a more percussive sound from his guitar, Cash wound a piece of wax paper through the guitar strings. RS500 The melody was the result of a mix-up on a reel-to-reel tape recorder in which the tahpe got turned around and the guitar chords were played backwards. As he said, “The drone and those weird chord changes stayed with me and surfaced in the melody of ‘I Walk the Line.’” SS Bob Dylan said, “It was different than anything else you had ever heard…a voice from the middle of the earth.” RS500

Cash wanted to perform it “as a slow, plaintive, lovelorn ballad” AH but Phillips “thought it had some potential if it was sped up to the kind of tempo that ‘Hey Porter,’ “Cry Cry Cry,’ and ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ had all been performed in – a rock and roll tempo, for Cash’s rock and roll audience.” AH They ended up recording two versions but, to Cash’s dismay, Phillips released the faster one. When it became a “massive hit…Cash decided that maybe the sound wasn’t so bad after all.” AH


Related Links:

First posted 7/15/2011; last updated 8/23/2023.

Saturday, July 8, 2006

Nelly Furtado hit #1 with “Promiscuous”


Nelly Furtado with Timbaland

Writer(s): Tim “Attitude” Clayton/Nelly Furtado/Nate Hills/Tim “Timbaland” Mosley (see lyrics here)

Released: April 25, 2006

First Charted: May 5, 2006

Peak: 16 US, 17 RR, 27 A40, 22 RB, 3 UK, 11 CN, 2 AU (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 3.82 US, 0.6 UK, 5.23 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.5 radio, 636.8 video, 1133.87 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Nelly Furtado first charted with the folkie, alternative-rock “I’m Like a Bird” in 2001. That song and its follow-up, “Turn Out the Light,” were top 10 U.S. hits, but her second album failed to land any songs on the Billboard Hot 100. It looked like Furtado had already peaked, but then she teamed with Timbaland, one of the hottest producers around, for her third album. Billboard called them “a surprisingly good match.” WK

On the song “Promiscuous,” the pair lyrically flirt with each other as she initially rejects his advances. She told Blender she saw the song as being about verbal foreplay, saying that she and co-writer Tim Clayton “called it ‘The Blackberry Song’ because everything we say in the song you could text-message to somebody.” SF

Because of a lyrical reference to basketball star Steve Nash (“Is that the truth or are talkin’ trash/ Is your game MVP like Steve Nash?”), some assumed they were romantically linked. Nash said that he was “flattered that she put me in her song, but I’m completely in love with my wife and two little baby girls.” WK Furtado also denied any tryst, saying that she included him because both were from Victoria, British Columbia. WK

The New Yorker called the song a “playful update” of Janet Jackson’s “Nasty” and All Music Guide’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine compared the song to “vintage Prince,” WK although he also said Furtado doesn’t “generate much carnal heat.” WK

The song won a Billboard Award for Best Pop Single of the Year and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.


First posted 2/7/2021; last updated 4/9/2024.