– Blog 33 or In Praise of Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744)

Time for some Pope – “True wit is nature dressed,/What oft was thought but ne’er so well expressed” – Now Mr Pope also coined many other phrases which have found their way into everyday usage, including “Fools Rush in where Angels fear to tread” – Also, but not only a Song Lyric – “To Err is human, to forgive Divine” – & of course, rather famously and pertinent to the first track of today – “Who Breaks a Butterfly on a Wheel” – For the Rolling Stones kick us off with, “Sympathy for the Devil” – Which builds up very nicely and at the time was moving the Stones into new and darker territory – It is also contemporaneous with the famous article by William Rees- Mogg (entitled, “Who Breaks a Butterfly Oon the Wheel”) inspired by the perceived heavy-handedness of the Police in hounding both Jagger & Richards on various drugs charges – Oooh those naughty Satanic Majesties! Next we have a stormer from Barbara Mason & it’s certainly rather different, but also absolutely fantastic coming off her great Album ‘Bed & Board’ & it’s called, “Who’d Ever Think” – A wonderful Song; And following this another great tune from the Man who’s never far away in the Mix, it’s Jacques Brel with, “Il Pleut Pleuvoir” (With Glen Powell) – Rousing Stuff!! A very interesting track next from the great Jazz/Blues Guitarist Dennis Coffey doing a fabby version of the Classic, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” – Dennis is clearly getting down here with the Brothers and making atonement for his previous, ‘Sweet Taste Of Sin’ – Another Bad Lad??; Big GEAR CHANGE follows from Sinatra at The Sands singing a majestic, “Shadow of your Smile” – Oh to be in that audience – It’s a great Live Record – Git it!!; Next a true Blast from the Past from the Shuffle Monkey and once again he’s brought us back to the 1960’s with a Great Busker’s Song, “Rosie” given an inordinate amount of Wellie by Don Patridge; Another GEAR CHANGE follows with Pulp propelling us back-up to the Mid-1990’s with, “Mile End” – Sorted!; And now a great version of a great song with Nina Simone giving us her take on, “Angel of the Morning” – Love It!; Vic Damone – Oh Yes, follows with a Live version of, “They Call The Wind Maria” from ‘Paint Your Wagon’ & he’s certainly giving Old Clint Eastwood a run for his money – I do Like Vic!! We’re right back in the Groove now with a track from the excellent Production Stable of Mtume & Lucas with Mark Sadane giving great vocals; & FInally today we have Led Zepplin really whipping it up on the ole Hurdy Gurdy with, “Gallows Pole”! Keep the Faith & I’ll Keep It On Shuffle! 🙂

Advertisements – Blog 32 or ‘Open The Door – It’s The Duke Of Kent’

Not quite, but it is Dame Shirley Bassey no less who starts us off today with John Barry’s Bond Theme – The Majestic, “Diamonds Are Forever” – & I’ve just re-read the book again, to boot!; Next and continuing with a James Bond Sound Track link, it’s Paul Mc Cartney & Wings (‘Live & let Die’), but singing for us now, “Listen To What The Man Said”; Continuing in a 1970’s groove Leo Sayer gives us his, “One Man Band”; Rock-On-Next with a softer Rolling Stones track, “Dead Flowers”; & still in the 70’s Spirit follows with, “Give A Life, Take A Life”; Moving up to the 1980’s next we have Scritti Politti &, “Absolute”; SATURDAY NIGHT FOREVER now, Oh Yes, with,  “Take Me Home” – But not the rather Clinical Sohpie Ellis-Bextor update – No, this is the original Cher cut, with all the requisite Passion & it’s a little DISCO belter – I’m Dancing, I’m Prancing, I’m A Disco Bunny!; And SNF continues with, “Chains” (Disco Remix by Jim Burgess) which has Luther Vandross guesting AGAIN! with Gregg Diamon & Bionic Boogie – I’m pretty sure that the vocal set-up here was basically the Blue Print for that great Group Change, which also included Luther, of course – It would be interesting to compare Personnel? Next ABBA with the epic, “Voulez-Vous” (Extended Mix) – We’ve had a lot of this song by other means in the Mudd Household recently, as the two littlest Mudd’s have taken to watching ‘Mamma Mia’ repeatedly & singing & dancing & jumping up and down on the furniture with much Screaming!!; Placido Domingo follows though and restores some calm, &, his dueting on, “Perhaps Love” with John Denver no less – An unlikely pairing? Sounds Good, though! And talking of unlikely pairings, I’ve just heard that Lionel Ritchie & Willie Nelson have teamed-up for Lionel’s forthcoming Album – The great Willie N of course is no stranger to interesting musical partnerships and there is more than a few of these at the disposal of Mr Shuffle!; & Finally today the Great Great Rod Stewart and his great great cover of, Dobie Gray’s “Drift Away”, form ‘Atlantic Crossing’ – A marvellous LP! So, Keep The Faith Till Next Time & I’ll Keep It On Shuffle 🙂 – Blog 31 or ‘In Praise of The Walnut Whip’

An interesting fact – The Walnut was originally hidden in the chocolate base of the Walnut Whip, not on the Top! An improvement, or not? Mr Shuffle though is un-phazed by this revelation and is kicking off today with Two awesome 1960’s tunes – Firstly, we have The Spencer Davis Group hitting their stride with, “Keep On Running”, &, secondly The Seekers &, “Georgy Girl” – Swinging, Fab & Groovy!; Next and we are right into the Heartlands of Good Ole’ Country with Tammy Wynette singing with her then Husband, George Jones on, “Golden Ring” – Ye Hah!; We then go right back to the 1960’s – There is no stopping The Shuffle Monkey when his mind’s set to it – & Lesley Gore is belting out her Classic, “Maybe I Know” – Super Stuff!; A great Two-Step Classic follows with Sadane & “One Way Love Affair” – Great and You Know Where My Loyalties Lie!; & we are going the full Nine Yards now with the marvellous Freddie Hubbard and a track that is at the more commercial end of his output – As The Jazz Purists might tell you – From the early 1980’s LP, ‘Splash’ called, “Splash” – Well, I rather like it and I’m waiting for another of Mr Hubbard’s early 80’s LP’s to come out on CD – ‘Come Again” – Coz I want the track ‘Paradise’ into the Mix,  soon! – Listen up Funky Town Grooves et al!! And I’m pretty sure on background vocals on ‘Splash’ is that man who get’s everywhere – Yes, Luther Vandross? Anyone know??; Next is, “Love’s Holiday” – Written by Skip Scarbrough & covered by Earth Wind & Fire, Nancy Wilson, &, here we have Wilbert Longmire’s great version; CHICAGO ALERT – Yes they’re back, but with less Brass & Horns and a more 1980’s Power Ballad vibe going on – The track’s called, “You’re Not There” (Single Version); & Finally today the Great Great Great Millie Jackson &, ‘Loving Arms” – Also done  splendidly by the ‘Dixie Chicks – But this is Brilliant & As well as being a unique and powerful Singer, Millie’s not a Bad Radio Jock either – In 1978 I used to share a Flat in New Cross, London with three lovely young ladies & they got me into Ms Jackson – We used to put her on the turntable and listen to her before we went down The Old Kent Road for drinkees on a Friday Night – Move Up Starsky!! Keep The Faith & I’ll Keep It On Shuffle Till Next Time – 🙂 – Blog No. 30

Oh yes, Mr Leroy Hutson eases us in today with the oh so beautiful, “I Bless The Day” – Can it get any better than this? Check it Out!!; Well Mr Shuffle the Shuffle Monkey is having a bloody good shot of keeping it close to Soul Heaven (Capt) Norman Connors follows with, “We Both Need Each Other” – & Michael Henderson &, I think Jean Carn are doing the vocals – I should go and look, but if anyone knows why don’t you tell me!; No, No, No – Yes, Yes, Yes – Some More Great Soul next with the Ebonys & the fabby Summer Groove of, “Do You Like The Way I love You” – A Question none of us should never take for granted!; A very Strong Opening three then I’m sure you’ll agree & the next track up from the Shuffle Monkey would have almost won Mr Shuffle Game, Set & Match (Check out the Triology of the same name, by Len Deighton, as well!) – it’s herself, Cilla Black with, “Surround Yourself With Sorrow” – Fabby, Fabby, Fabby – But it had to be herself singing this in Italian – It’s in the Mix, somewhere – for the Big Prize! Never mind though, A valiant effort & we also have Sandi Shaw singing in both French & Italian for our future delight & when the Shuffle Monkey gets round to them! A lot of the 1960’s and early 70’s vocalists also recorded their stuff in French, Italian, Spanish – Mixed it up & Played Around with it – Early Days of Pre & Post EC Membership for the UK & all that, increased foreign travel and foreign holidays with Freddie Laker et al, & lucrative markets opening Up – There is a great version of Bowie singing, ‘Love You Till Tuesday’ in German & of course, he did ‘Space Oddity’ in both Italian & Spanish as well, &, Hero’s later in the 70’s in both German & French – Anyway, they are all at the disposal of Mr Shuffle, so Fingers & Toes crossed for the Future; And what to follow all that with then? – Oh Yes, The Van Dykes with, “Save My Love For A Rainy Day” – 4-To-The-Floor – This is Northern Soul & Saturday Night Forever & I’m Dancing, Yeah!; And it looks like there’s going to be no rest for me because now we have Nicola Conte – Big respects! – With, “Do You Feel What I Feel” – This should be on Spool, but that would be Cheating!! Anyway, the Tracks off, ‘Love & Revolution’, but I don’t know who’s singing – So Again, Anyone Out there who does Know?? A Heavy Storming Big Disco Number follows from Colonel Abrams with, “Trapped” – (12″ Vocal Mix) & very much of it’s time, but no less fabby for that!; & Finally today Michael Jackson & “PYT (Pretty Young Thing)” circa the Great ‘ThriKeep The Faith & I'll Keep It On Shuffleller’ Days – Do Keep The Faith Then & I’ll Certainly Keep It On Shuffle!! :)) – Blog 29

Whooah – We had the Bollywood Mash-Up of Bowie’s, “Let’s Dance” a few Blogs ago and now we have the real deal with Asha Bhosie & Shujaat Khan singing, “Main Tere Sangh Kaisee”; Next it’s Tres Grande AIR GUITAR time & Joe Walsh with, “Rocky Mountain Way” – This so reminds me of The Old Grey Whistle Test & Whispering Bob & it’s got a Vocooder going on too – Very Peter Frampton (mid-70’s), Very Herbie Hanncock (Mid-80’s) – it’s Ok, we can mix our styles and influences; The Great Candi Staton now and one of her less well known songs, “Someone You Use” – Class!; The Fantastic French Icon Claude Francois follows with, “Sale Bonhomme” – Oui, Oui!!; Bob Dylan’s never far away & canters back into our stable with another track off ‘Blood On The Tracks’, the Epic, “Shelter From The Storm”; Next it’s Genesis with, “I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)” – This reminds me of sharing a house in Harlow when I was studying Journalism in the late 1970’s & of one of the tenants who was always playing Genesis – I was a Big Soul, Disco, Funk Head back then & wouldn’t give Genesis, Pink Floyd, or God forbid Tangerine Dream et al House Room – The Folly and Arrogance of Youth – You can Shut yourself off from so much & not see how things connect – E M Forster wrote, ‘Connect All’ & maybe so, but I was far more interested in going to Tracey’s Night Club in Ipswich & ‘Getting Down’ – Of course, I am still at Heart a Soul, Disco, Funk Head et al today, But now I also don’t mind getting down in that wardrobe with Peter Gabriel and the lads as well & I am a much richer person for it, I think – A Life Lesson, Maybe?; Anyway, next up is the great Reel People – Saturday Night Forever – & the great track, “Amazing” from ‘Soul Togetherness’ 2008 – This takes a Luther Sample from the original cut of, ‘So Amazing’ & makes it into something else and something rather fabby – Git Down! Of course, the Soul Togetherness Brand & all the great stuff which Ralph Tee and all the crew at Expansion Records do behind that and getting onto CD for the first time some classic old vynl re-issues, is music to this Old Soul Boys Ears – All Power to them and the likes of Funky Town Grooves & their re-issues schedule as well – it all makes my little ole’ heart BPM a little faster in anticipation of what will be coming out soon!!; And finally today the great great Tony Bennett with Bill Evans on piano & the track is,”Some Other Time”- I do so love the whole Love Lost, Love Found, Love Unrequited thingy – An Incurable Romantic, but that’s no Secret & it keeps you young, which is my Story and I’m sticking to it! So till Next Time, You Keep The Faith & I’ll Keep It On Shuffle 😉 – Blog 28

We are continuing in a Northern Soul groove following on from Buddy Miles at the end of Blog 27 with the great Sid Barnes &, “I Hurt On The Other Side” – Right On Mate!; Big Gear Change now and Gallagher & Lyle – Ex of McGuiness Flint – With “Heart On My Sleeve” – A gentle ‘Looper’ & it so reminds me of a young lass Christina way back when I was a Saturday Boy with Woolworths!; Holly Johnson blasts through the Firewall now and propels us into the 1980’s with, “Americanos” – & Chinos; The marvellous Yves Montand next with, “Trois Petite Notes De Musique” – Equally fabby but in a very different groove though; Now we have Mary Chapin Carpenter with, “Shut Up & Kiss Me” – But Of Course!; Jill Scott follows with a great track, “So In Love” – Which also features the great Anthony Hamilton; Next we’re Bringing back the Funk with a Rare Grooves Classic from the JB’s Stable & Bobby Byrd hitting it Big Time with, “I Know You Got Soul” – You Got It! You Got It!!; Another Big Gear Change but nonetheless rather brilliant with Johhny Logan and his Eurovision winner, “What’s Another Year” – The First of Two back-to-back winners for Ireland in that great Competition; The mighty Edwin Starr follows this with, “I Have Faith In You” – But of course Mr Starr!; And who could follow Edwin but, yes and noneless too, Issac Hayes with, “Moonlight Loving” – A tad back into the Barry White and ‘Midnight & You’ territory, but a fabulous Cut & slightly more edgy; And finally for today, “Hug Lorenzo” by Hugo Pride & The Pimletones – A Storming Jazz Work-out!! So until next time, You Keep The Faith & I’ll Keep It On Shuffle – Laters! 🙂 – A Reminder of What This Blog is All About & A Thank You For The Comments!

This Blog is all about Keeping The Faith for All Good Music and Letting The Shuffle do it’s thing!

I now have over 10,900  tracks loaded onto my iPlayer – It’s growing All The Time!. Each carefully chosen. That’s now over 33 Days of pure listening pleasure & it sure is an eclectic mix – Personal, Quirky, Inspiring…? Certainly judging by some of the comments already being made, some of you from across the World are finding this an interesting trip and the whole idea Inspiring!! That’s great and Thank You. We’ll certainly keep doing it…

So, let’s press Shuffle and see whether today’s journey will strike a chord with “Whatever’s In My Head”.

Of course, as I’ve said before, the journey’s not just about the music, but the order in which the tracks play, &, just like Proust’s “Madelienes”, it’s the memories and the remembrances they invoke and indeed, what they inspire! The very essence of the Human Condition.

As an adjunct then to whatever else you may do, I hope this will continue to inspire you to go and search out and listen to today’s tracks when I list them in the order they play as part of a daily blog. Do so in the same order because that is where the real surprise and the real delight will be – right there in that change between one type of music, mood & tempo and another. Go with the flow and let that track that comes right out of left field catch you and put you right back in a moment when… !

And I also hope you continue to enjoy some of the stories and memories they invoke for me as well!!

Happy travelling on your “Whatever’s In My Head” journey & remember, Keep The Faith & I’ll Keep It On Shuffle!