Inspired by the May 20 birthdays of Cher, Busta Rhymes, Joe Cocker, The Go-Go’s’ Jane Wiedlin, Haircut 100’s Nick Heyward, Shorty Long, and Paul & Paula’s Jill Jackson.
Tag Archives: Cliff Richard
Trivia Question – Who is the only male solo artist whose first eight singles all went top ten in the UK?
Elton John? No. Elvis Presley? No. Cliff Richard? No. It was Rick Astley. In the US many people remember Rick as a one-hit wonder, but that is incorrect. Rick had seven top 40 singles stateside, including five top tens, two of which, “Never Gonna Give You Up” and “Together Forever,” went to #1. He retired from recording in 1993, by which time he had sold around forty million records.
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Much has been written about “reparative therapy,” procedures that attempt to turn gay people straight. There is a growing movement to ban the practice. But what about the reverse conversion therapy?
Leading sociologists such as Anita Bryant have long claimed that gay people recruit straight people into the homosexual lifestyle, a way of living that de-emphasizes sports, prayer and vaginas and instead focuses on appearance, hygiene and brunch. Recently de-classified documents show that there may be truth to this.
In 1984, three scientists – Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman – wanted to see if they can convert millions of heterosexual men to homosexuals. Recognizing that doing this conversion one man at a time would be a time-consuming endeavor, they came up with a way to convert large swaths of men simultaneously. They did this through music.
Their experiment was a smashing success. They produced records that turned any man listening gay and any woman listening to a “fag hag.” Their hits include Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record),” Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” and Bananarama’s “Venus.” Have you ever heard any of these songs? Have you ever had brunch? Coinkidink?
Professor Nicolai Баграмя́н teaches Psychological Environmental Neurological Intertwined Studies at Moscow University. His extensive research brought the effects of Stock, Aitken and Waterman’s work to light. “Many factors contribute toward giving a man a homosexual disposition. An alcoholic parent, attending boarding school, listening to Kylie Minogue sing ‘The Loco-motion.’ Gurl.”
SAW sold 40 million records. In their home country of the United Kingdom they landed over 100 top 40 singles. If you’re an American and you’ve always wondered why every British man you meet seems gay, now you know why. They are.
The trio’s scientific formula also had an effect on the acts they produced. Kylie Minogue went from Australian soap opera star to gay icon. Samantha Fox went from being a nice teenage girl whose topless photos, taken by her father, appeared in British newspapers to being one-half of a same-sex marriage. Pete Burns of Dead or Alive has yet to be an L, but he has variously been a G, B or T. Divine became more divine.
SAW produced UK top ten hits for such unforgettable performers as Hazell Dean, Princess, Phil Fearon, Pepsi & Shirlie, Sinitta, Jason Donovan, Pat & Mick, and Brother Beyond. Emboldened by their success, in 1989 the trio tried their hand at producing someone talented. The result was Donna Summer’s first US top ten single in six years, “This Time I Know It’s For Real.” America was gayer.
Their work now done, the trio split up their partnership. In 1994, Stock and Aitken reunited for one more experiment – to up the gay factor of Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” This resulted in a worldwide top ten single for the inimitable Nicki French, who went on to perform at Gay Pride events around the globe.
Per Dr. Баграмя́н, during the ten years between 1984 and 1994 Stock, Aitken and Waterman are responsible for making 577.1 million men around the world gay, thus increasing the popularity of mimosas.
The pop charts have been less gay over the last twenty years, due to a variety of factors (lawsuits, government intervention, Hinder). Today Tunes du Jour celebrates the birthday of Mike Stock and salutes his groundbreaking work in gay recruitment. Listen to this playlist of twenty of his records and be transformed. See you Sunday at The Abbey.
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On this date in 1959, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper died in a plane crash. In his hit “American Pie” Don McLean referred to it as “the day the music died.” A little dramatic, no? The music didn’t die, but it was a tremendous loss nonetheless.
Today Tunes du Jour pays homage to these late, great rock and roll pioneers. On our playlist:
“Chantilly Lace” – The Big Bopper – The man born Jiles Perry Richardson’s only top ten hit, from 1958.
“Think It Over” – Buddy Holly – A top forty single from 1958.
“Donna” – Ritchie Valens – Valens’ only top ten hit, peaking at #2 in early 1959.
“American Pie” – Madonna – Madonna covered Don McLean’s classic for her film The Next Best Thing at the suggestion of her co-star, Rupert Everett, who sings backing vocals on the recording.
“Oh, Boy!” – Buddy Holly – A top ten single from early 1958. I recall Olivia Newton-John performing it on one of her television specials with guest stars Andy Gibb, Elton John and Cliff Richard. If memory serves, it went on for about forty minutes.
“Heartbeat” – Buddy Holly – The Knack covered this for their breakthrough album, Get The Knack.
“It’s So Easy” – Linda Ronstadt – Ronstadt had a top five hit with her cover of this song, written by Buddy Holly and Norman Petty. Ronstadt also charted with covers of Holly’s hits “That’ll Be the Day” and “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore.”
“Not Fade Away” – The Crickets – An English quintet who went by the name The Rolling Stones charted in the US for the first time with their version of this tune. Not sure what happened to them.
“Buddy Holly” – Weezer – Buddy Holly couldn’t have predicted this song’s opening lines – “What’s with these homies dissing my girl? / Why do they gotta front?”
“Everyday” – Buddy Holly – James Taylor charted with his cover of this in 1985.
“La Bamba” – Ritchie Valens – It’s hard to believe this song only peaked at #22 upon its release in 1958. “La bamba” is Spanish for “the bamba.”
“Peggy Sue” – Lou Reed – This song was co-written by Buddy Holly, who took it to #3 in 1957.
“It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” – Buddy Holly – Holly didn’t write this posthumous hit; Paul Anka did. This and “My Way” are my two favorite Anka compositions. I also love “(You’re) Having My Baby,” but in a different way.
“Words of Love” – Patti Smith – A pop combo from England covered this Holly composition on their album that in the US was titled Beatles VI. Not sure what happened to them.
“Maybe Baby” – The Crickets – The Beatles’ name was inspired by the name of Holly’s band, The Crickets.
“I’m Gonna Love You Too” – Buddy Holly – Blondie covered this for their breakthrough album Parallel Lines.
“Come On, Let’s Go” – Los Lobos – Los Lobos performed Valen’s music for the biopic of Valen’s life, La Bamba.
“That’ll Be the Day” – Modest Mouse – Written by Buddy Holly and Jerry Allison, “That’ll Be the Day” was Holly’s first hit, going to #1 in 1957. Given his immense influence on rock and roll, it’s hard to believe he died a year and half later.
“Rave On” – Buddy Holly – One of five top forty singles Holly had in 1958.
“True Love Ways” – My Morning Jacket – Holly wrote “True Love Ways” for his wife as a wedding gift. What did your husband get you?