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Archive for September, 2016

Today I thought I would share this 1973 song “Ooh La La” by the Faces, written by band members Ronnie Lane and Ronnie Wood. The Faces had Rod Stewart as their lead singer. They were formed in 1969, with its founding members coming from the Small Faces (I blogged about the Small Faces’ 1968 song “Lazy Sunday” here ). The lead vocalist of the Small Faces, Steve Marriott, left the Small Faces to form Humble Pie, so the remaining members formed the Faces, with the addition of Ronnie Wood as guitarist and Rod Stewart on lead vocals.

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“Ooh La La” is a 1973 song written by Ronnie Lane and Ronnie Wood of the Faces.

“Ooh La La”  was recorded in January 1973 and released in the March. Although Stewart was usually the band’s lead singer, for this song Ronnie Wood took the lead vocals, quite a rarity in the catalogue of Faces songs. However, Stewart has since gone on to record his own versions of the song, one of which I include below. I am not sure that I have heard Ronnie Wood taking lead vocals on a song before, but I have to say his voice is almost as gravelly as Rod Stewart’s!

The song’s lyrics talk of a dialogue between a boy and his grandfather, with the older man trying to educate his grandson on how he perceives the ways of women. The grandfather’s refrain “I wish that I knew what I know now / When I was younger” is repeated throughout the song.

Poor old granddad
I laughed at all his words
I thought he was a bitter man
He spoke of woman’s ways

They’ll trap you, then they use you
Before you even know
For love is blind and you’re far too kind
Don’t ever let it show

[Chorus]
I wish that I knew what I know now
When I was younger.
I wish that I knew what I know now
When I was stronger.

The can can’s such a pretty show
They’ll steal your heart away
But backstage, back on earth again
The dressing rooms are gray

They come on strong and it ain’t too long
Before they make you feel a man
But love is blind and you soon will find
You’re just a boy again

When you want her lips, you get a cheek
Makes you wonder where you are
If you want some more and she’s fast asleep
Then she’s twinkling with the stars.

Poor young grandson, there’s nothing I can say
You’ll have to learn, just like me
And that’s the hardest way
Ooh la la

[Chorus]

The Faces disbanded in 1975, although Ronnie Lane left in 1973. In 1975, Ronnie Wood started working with the Rolling Stones, and this led to differences between him and Rod Stewart (and other band members).

Here is the original Faces version of “Ooh La La”, with Ronnie Wood (second from the left) on lead vocal.

And, here is a Rod Stewart’s version, which he recorded in 1998 in memory of Ronnie Lane, after Lane’s death in 1997. As you can hear, the two versions are very similar, except for Stewart adding some touches to it such as fiddles and pipes which, to me, make it sound more Scottish (or Celtic) than the Faces’ version. Enjoy!

Which version do your prefer?

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Earlier this week it was announced that NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope had observed evidence for water geysers shooting from the surface of Europa, one of Jupiter’s larger moons. Here is a link to NASA’s press release. I was on BBC TV talking briefly about this on Tuesday (27 September), the day after NASA’s announcement.

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NASA has announced that the Hubble Space Telescope has observed water geysers emanating from the south pole of Jupiter’s moon Europa.

In fact, this announcement was additional evidence to add to a finding which had first been announced in 2013. In December 2012, astronomers used a spectroscope on Hubble to look in ultraviolet wavelengths at Europa. They found auroral activity near the moon’s south pole, and upon analysis of the spectrum of the UV emission from this auroral activity they found the spectral signatures of hydrogen and oxygen, the constituents of water.

Those 2012 observations have since been followed up using a different method. This time astronomers have observed how the Sun’s light, which is reflected from Jupiter, is affected as it passes Europa. As Europa transited in front of its parent planet, astronomers looked for signs of absorption of this light near the limb of the moon, which would be due to gases associated with Europa. Such a technique can, for example, be used to find and study the atmosphere of an extra-solar planet as it passes in front of its parent star.

Whilst not finding any evidence that Europa has an atmosphere, what the team found was that absorption features were seen near the moon’s south pole. When they calculated the amount and extent of material required to produce these absorption features they found that their results were consistent with the 2012 finding. They calculate that water jets are spewing out from the surface of Europa and erupting to a height of about 160 km from the moon’s surface.

We have had evidence since the Voyager mission in the 1980s that Europa has an ocean of water below its icy surface. This evidence was further enhanced during the Galileo mission in the 1990s. Where there is water there may be life, so it is possible that Europa’s ocean is teeming with microbial life. To find out, we need to directly study the water in this sub-surface ocean.

Unfortunately, due to the thickness of the icy crust covering its ocean, studying this water directly poses a huge challenge. We currently don’t have the capability to drill through such a large thickness of ice, although it is certainly something we would hope to do in the future. This discovery of water jets provides a much easier way to sample the water directly, and so it is quite feasible that NASA and/or ESA could send a probe to fly through the jet, take a sample of the water, and analyse it to see whether there are any signs of microbial life. This is very exciting, and is why this discovery of water geysers erupting on Europa is so important.

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At number 11 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “A Hard Day’s Night”. This song was recorded in April 1964 and released in July. It was The Beatles’ 7th singles release in the Disunited Kingdom, and got to number 1 on both sides of the Atlantic. It is also the title of The Beatles’ 3rd album, and the title of their first movie.

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At number 11 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “A Hard Day’s Night”

The title of the song apparently comes from a phrase that Ringo Starr would often say, with John Lennon being the main composer and singer. The opening chord is considered one of the most recognisable in rock ‘n’ roll. The single and album were both at number 1 simultaneously in both the DUK and the USA in August of 1964, something which had never been achieved before by any recording artist.

It’s been a hard day’s night, and I’ve been working like a dog
It’s been a hard day’s night, I should be sleeping like a log
But when I get home to you I find the things that you do
Will make me feel alright

You know I work all day to get you money to buy you things
And it’s worth it just to hear you say you’re going to give me everything
So why on earth should I moan, ’cause when I get you alone
You know I feel OK

When I’m home everything seems to be right
When I’m home feeling you holding me tight, tight

It’s been a hard day’s night, and I been working like a dog
It’s been a hard day’s night, I should be sleeping like a log
But when I get home to you I find the things that you do
Will make me feel alright, oww

So why on earth should I moan, ’cause when I get you alone
You know I feel OK

When I’m home everything seems to be right
When I’m home feeling you holding me tight, tight

It’s been a hard day’s night, and I been working like a dog
It’s been a hard day’s night, I should be sleeping like a log
But when I get home to you I find the things that you do
Will make me feel alright
You know I feel alright
You know I feel alright

Here is a video of this wonderful song from the album Live at the BBC. Enjoy!

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This story in New Scientist Magazine caught my attention several weeks ago – “Hunting for Mars-like life a kilometre below Earth’s surface”.  Here is a link to the original story. Scientists are using the extreme environment of Boulby mine, a working salt mine in north-east England to look for extremophiles, the kinds of organisms which are able to live (and even flourish) in environments which we human beings would simply find impossible.

Scientists believe that the environment found in Boulby mine could be similar to environments found on Mars, so studying the extremophiles found deep underground in Boulby mine should help us in our quest to find evidence for life on other planets. This work will help NASA’s various rovers (both present and future ones) look in the most promising places for alien-life on the red planet.

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