Thank you, everybody for an overwhelming response. The phone lines are now closed and the winner is....
I know you all think he's an irritating know-nothing tosser but he really does know his stuff. He got the last two right and knew every other one, too. His knowledge of popular music is second to none (well, maybe Fearne Cotton runs him close). He is an expert on Black American Music 1957 - 2003. In fact that's the title of his doctorate, although I know he's been too shy to make this known publicly. But after the press leak revealing his £600,000 salary I'm sure you'd all like to know a bit about the real Chris and judge him for his knowledge, not for his wanky persona.
Everybody's doin' it, doin' it, doin' it.
Everybody's doin' 25 first lines.
(e.g. Billy and Patroclus)
But of course I haven't got the readership to do it.
But bollocks, I'm going to do it anyway. Come on, I must have at least 8 readers, three songs each?
I've listed the first lines (or more or less) of 25 songs. All you've got to do is tell us the names of the songs and the performers without googling for them. Come on, it's only a game. You're not all cynical bastards, are you?
Some of them are easy, some of them are hard. Some of them I hate but most of them I like. I haven't got that many songs on my mp3 player so I can't do a random play and make this the real thing, but these are some songs that are in my mind at the moment.
The person who guesses most right gets to wear a smug smile like the one currently on my face. I'll get back to everybody when I can, work and shopping permitting. I will also write a little bit about why I like or hate each song. So you see, this post could run and run. But probably won't.
So without further ado, here goes...
1. In the day we sweat it out on the streets of a runaway American dream...BORN TO RUN BY BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN. Identified by Kapitano.
This always, always makes the hairs on my neck stand to attention. And it's not even from Bruce's best album which of course is Darkness on the Edge of Town.
2. Start spreading the news...NEW YORK NEW YORK BY FRANK SINATRA. Identified by Patroclus.
Yes, I hate this song for one reason. Wedding receptions. Say no more.
3. You're everywhere and nowhere, baby...HI-HO SILVER LINING BY JEFF BECK. Identified by Occasional Poster of Comments.
I should hate this song for one reason. Wedding receptions. But I don't. I love it.
4. Step right up, hurry hurry...Before the show begins...My friends...Stand in line, get your tickets, I hope you will attend...It'll only cost you fifty cents to see...What life has done to those like you and me...See the man with the broken heart, you'll see that he is sad, he hurts so bad (So bad, so bad)...See the girl who has lost the only love she ever had...There's got to be no sadder show to see...No doubt about it, satisfaction's guaranteed...SIDESHOW BY BARRY BIGGS. Identified by Chris Moyles (see comments).
5. When the night has come...STAND BY ME BY BEN E KING. Identified by Patroclus.
I know this is a classic 'n' all but I have an irrational dislike of it. I can't put my finger on it. Maybe it's because I'd rather have a nice sit down.
6. Goodbye England's Rose...CANDLE IN THE WIND (SONG FOR DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES) BY SIR ELTON JOHN. Presumably identified by everybody but I'm sure nobody would want their name against it.
We want a song for Diana's funeral, Elton. Can you write one?
I'll ask Bernie....Bernie? Can you write some words for Diana?
Our friend Diana. Princess of Hearts.
The football team?
Now you're taking the piss.
OK. But it's going to take some time.
We've got 24 hours till the funeral.
I'll come up with something.
I've never let you down yet, Reg.
7. I can't seem to face up to the facts...PSYCHO KILLER BY TALKING HEADS. Identified by Billy.
I love the first four albums by Talking Heads so much. 77 was the first alternative type album I ever bought and look at me now. The indie King! Remember the South Bank Show feature on the Heads? No sign of head shitting there, was there?
8. I was lost, lost on the by-pass road...HOMETOWN UNICORN BY SUPER FURRY ANIMALS. Identifed by Billy.
From the first album by the best band to come out of the Britpop era by a country mile. Melodies and singing that Damon Albarn could only dream of.
9. Beat-up little seagull, on a marble stair...BALTIMORE BY RANDY NEWMAN. Identified by Hannah.
My number one favourite lyricist. There is a superb reggae version of this by The Tamlins (as introduced to me by Betty).
10. Girl I can understand how it might be kind of hard to love a guy like me...I don't blame you much for wanting to be free...I just wanted you to know I've loved you better that your own kin did...From the very start it's my own fault...What happens to my heart...You see I've always known you'd go...DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO BY THE FOUR TOPS. Identified by Chris Moyles (see comments).
11. Well I used to be disgusted, now I try to be amused...THE ANGELS WANNA WEAR MY RED SHOES BY ELVIS COSTELLO. Indentified by Patroclus.
I loved Elvis throughout my twenties and early thirties. Now his voice mostly annoys me but I do still like about 15 of his songs, this one included.
12. In a little while from now, if I'm not feeling any less sour...ALONE AGAIN, NATURALLY BY GILBERT O'SULLIVAN. Identified by Kaz.
Morrissey likes Gilbert and so he bloody should. So should everyone. This is a very sad song and it makes me cry.
13. Shame on the man who pursued her, the villain who viciously wooed her...THE TATTOOED LADY BY PETER SKELLERN. Identified by Molly Bloom.
There's nothing I'd like more than to be able to walk out in the evening to nice country pub, have a few drinks and be entertained on the piano by Peter Skellern. It's not going to happen, though - it would more likely be Richard Stilgoe.
14. Well I was looking at a movie on the tv last night...Then I had a very funny notion, yeah! I really had to write a song about it...KING KONG SONG BY ABBA. Identified by DH.
I love the ABBA women but you've gotta give Bjorn his due as a singer, too. And as we say in this house, he does have a hot little ass in those trousers.
15. A seasoned witch could call you from the depths of your disgrace, and rearrange your liver to the solid mental grace...CLOSE TO THE EDGE - THE SOLID TIME OF CHANGE BY YES. Identified by Heather.
I told myself I must hate Yes for 23 years after loving them in my teens. I've just bought 5 albums by them. Oh dear.
16. Well I went to a party at the local county jail...RUBBER BULLETS BY 10CC. Identified by Kaz.
They showed 10cc live from 1973 on BBC4 last week. The audience were dead. But the band were HOT! Whatcha gonna do about it? Whatcha gonna do?
17. Uh, what's happening CC? They still call it the White House but that's a temporary condition, too...Can you dig it, CC?...CHOCOLATE CITY BY PARLIAMENT. Identified by D. Prince.
"And don't be surprised if Ali is in the White House...Reverend Ike, Secretary of the Treasure...Richard Pryor, Minister of Education...Stevie Wonder, Secretary of FINE arts...And Miss Aretha Franklin, the First Lady"........."God bless Chocolate City and its vanilla suburbs." I should really have been going to see George Clinton in the late seventies instead of Rick Wakeman and Rush.
18. When I wake up, in the morning light...JEANS ON BY DAVID DUNDAS. Identified by Kapitano.
David Dundas is a real Lord. And this song was used to advertise the great BRUTUS jeans which I loved. I love the song, too.
19. I'm the shy boy, you're the coy boy...HOMOSAPIEN BY PETE SHELLEY. Identified by Kapitano.
Pete did do some good work outside the Buzzcocks. And this was it. Great jumping around music to a rythmic acoustic guitar. The 12 inch single rocks.
20. I was born in Stratford, in nineteen thirty-four...
21. T! R! E! X!...THE GROOVER BY T. REX. Identified by Tim Footman.
No, it's not a margarine. It's the name of the band. The best of glam. There was once a fight at our junior school between two boys, because one liked Marc Bolan and the other liked Gary Glitter. I think if the kids could've joined in then, the Marc Bolan boy would've got his head kicked in. I don't think there'd be the same result with the same protagonists now.
22. Forgot my six-string razor...ALL THE WAY TO MEMPHIS BY MOTT THE HOOPLE. Identified by Heather.
You've gotta love Mott The Hoople and you've gotta read Ian Hunter's Diary of a Rock 'n' Roll Star if you want to know how things really are on the road.
23. Tell her try your best just to make it quick, whom attend to the sick...NIGHT NURSE BY GREGORY ISAACS. Identified by Molly Bloom.
NOT a song about the famous cold and flu remedy, although Gregory does need something for that throat of his. I've loved this song for a very long time.
24. When you first left me I was wanting more...but you were fucking that girl next door...What'd you do that for?...SMILE BY LILY ALLEN. Identified by Nibus.
Yes, the current number one single really starts like that. And our children are buying it! If she thinks she's Althea and Donna mixed into one, she is seriously deluded.
25. I was working part time in a five-and-dime...My boss was Mr. McGee...RASPBERRY BERET BY PRINCE. Identified by Patroclus.
See Elvis Costello - used to love him, now like about 15 songs. This is one of his best.
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