Talking Heads – Life during wartime (Leaping Ahead #242)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #242: 160829

[A song about war]

This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco,
This ain’t no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey,
I ain’t got time for that now

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Greig – In the hall of the mountain king (Leaping Ahead #121)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #121: 160430

[Favourite classical piece (2)]

From Peer Gynt, Op. 23 – the incidental music to Henrik Ibsen’s 1867 play of the same name, written by the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg in 1875 – ‘In the hall of the mountain king’ is my 2nd classical selection. I have a 1966 vinyl copy of the suite performed by the London Symphony Orchestra which I inherited from my father. There’s a lot of great pieces here, but this is my favourite. Something about the building mystery rising to a crescendo as it develops.

Mika’s ‘Grace Kelly’ (Leaping Ahead #66)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #66: 160306

[A song to bring a smile]

Titled (obviously) after Academy award-winning American film and stage actress Grace Kelly, this is definitely a song to bring a smile. Mika says it was inspired after a bad experience with a record company executive, in which he was told to be more like Craig David, but I’m really pleased he decided to ignore this and just continue to be his idiosyncratic self. A lot of influences here of course, not the least of which is epitomised by the line “So I try a little Freddie”; a reference to ‘guess who’?

Del Shannon – Runaway (Leaping Ahead #60)

Leaping Ahead Project 2016 #60: 160229

[A song from 1961]

Singer-guitarist Charles Westover and keyboard player Max Crook originally performed together as members of “Charlie Johnson and the Big Little Show Band” in Battle Creek, Michigan. They won a recording contract in 1960 and Westover took the new stage name “Del Shannon” and Crook became “Maximilian”.

After their first recording session for Big Top Records in New York City had ended in failure, their manager Ollie McLaughlin persuaded them to rewrite and re-record an earlier song they had written, “Little Runaway”, to highlight Crook’s unique instrumental sound. So, on January 24, 1961, they recorded “Runaway” at the Bell Sound recording studios. The rest is history. It was a No.1 on the Billboard top 100, a major international hit and subsequently No. 472 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Dandy Warhols – Bohemian like you (Leaping Ahead #58)

Leaping ahead project 2016 #58: 160227

[Song from a band beginning with D]

Written by lead singer Courtney Taylor-Taylor after seeing a woman pull up in her car to the traffic lights outside his apartment, Bohemian Like You was released as a single from the Dandy Warhols’ third studio album, Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia, in August 2000. On its original release, it failed to reach the Top 40 in the UK, peaking at No. 42. However, after featuring in a popular Vodafone advert, it was re-released in 2001 and peaked at No. 5.