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Posts Tagged ‘The Stereophonics’

At number 25 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest songwriters is American singer-songwriter Randy Newman. I must admit, I barely know any Randy Newman songs. I am aware of him, and know that he writes satirical songs, but I doubt I could name one. I have had a look at the list of singles released by him on his Wikipedia discography, and I don’t recognise any of them. I do recognise a couple of the songs written by him but performed by others, so have decided to include one of those here.

I notice in his list of released singles that only one has charted in the Disunited Kingdom, so maybe he is a much bigger artist in the US than he is in the DUK, but when I lived there I certainly was no more aware of him than I was before or since. Oh dear, I wonder what I have been missing?



At number 25 in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time is Randy Newman.

At number 25 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time is Randy Newman.



The song of his that I have decided to include here, because it is (a) a fantastic song and (b) the one written by him which immediately jumped out at me is “Mama Told Me (Not To Come)”, which was a hit for Tom Jones and The Stereophonics (both from Wales). This was released in 2000 and got to number 4 in the DUK singles charts, but I must admit that I had no idea that Randy Newman had written it! I can see that it was also performed back in 1970 by a band called Three Dog Night.


Want some whiskey in your water?
Sugar in your tea?
What’s all these crazy questions
They are asking me?
This is the craziest party
That could ever be
Don’t turn on the lights
‘Cause I don’t wanna see

Mama told me not to come
Mama told me not to come
She said, “That ain’t the way to have fun, son”

Open up the window
Let some air into this room
I think I’m almost choking
From the smell of stale perfume
And the cigarette you’re smoking
‘Bout to scare me half to death
Open up the window
Let me catch my breath!

Mama told me not to come
Mama told me not to come
She said “That ain’t the way to have fun, son
That ain’t the way to have fun, son, son, son”

The radio is blasting
Someone’s knocking at the door
I’m looking at my girlfriend
She just passed out on the floor
I’ve seen so many things
I ain’t never seen before
Don’t know what it is
But I don’t wanna see no more

Mama told me not to come
Mama told me not to come (Mama told me she said)
She said “That ain’t the way to have fun, no” (no, no)
“That ain’t the way to have fun, son”

And Mama told me, mama told me
Mana told me, mama told me
Mama told me not to come (Mama told me not to come)
“That ain’t the way to have fun, son”
“That ain’t the way to have fun” (that’s what she said, she said)
“That ain’t the way to have fun, no”
“That ain’t the way to have fun” (Mama told me)

And Mama told me, mama told me
Mama told me, mama told me
She told me not to come (Mama told me not to come)
“That ain’t the way to have fun” (that ain’t the way to have fun)
“That ain’t the way to have fun, son”
“That ain’t the way to have fun” (oh no, no)…

[Spoken:] Maybe I should’ve listened


Here is the video of Tome Jones and The Stereophonics performing this great song. Enjoy!





Which is your favourite Randy Newman song? Does he deserve to be at number 25 in this list?

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The other day I was chatting to an American friend about famous Welsh people. After the usual list of “Tom Jones, Richard Burton, Catherine Zeta Jones, Gareth Bale” (except an American would not have heard of the most expensive footballer in the World), I asked her if she knew The Stereophonics. As she didn’t, I sent her a link to their one US hit, “Have a Nice Day”. I was living in the US when this was a hit there, and it was quite a thrill to hear a band from Cwmaman (about 50 miles from where I grew up) playing on US radio.

But, today I am not sharing that song, but rather their version of“Handbags and Gladrags”.



The Stereophonics' version of "Handbags and Gladrags"

The Stereophonics’ version of “Handbags and Gladrags”



Here is The Stereophonics’ version, which is the first version I heard when it was used as the theme tune for the hit BBC comedy ‘The Office’.





Most people think that this song was originally done by Rod Stewart, but his is the most well-known version, not the original. The song, written by Mike d’Abo, was originally performed by Chris Farlowe in 1967, Stewart’s version was recorded in 1969.





This is Rod Stewart performing ‘his’ song with The Stereophonics.






Which is your favourite version?

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Today I thought I would share this great song by the Welsh band Manic Street Preachers – “Motorcycle Emptiness”. This song is in the BBC Radio 2 list of the 100 best guitar riffs at number 13, I blogged about the list here. “Motorcycle Emptiness” was released as a single in June 1992 and comes from their debut album Generation Terrorists. The song got to number 17 in the Dinsunited Kingdom singles charts. And, isn’t the name Manic Street Preachers one of the best names ever for a band? 😛



"Motorcycle Emptiness" by The Manic Street Preachers was released in June 1992

“Motorcycle Emptiness” by Manic Street Preachers was released in June 1992



The Manics are from Blackwood which is in the Gwent valleys to the north of Newport, so about 20 or so miles north-east of Cardiff. Along with The Stereophonics (who are from the Cwmaman in the Cynon Valley near Swansea), The Manics are probably the best known band to come out of Wales in the last 20 years.

This song is incredibly catchy, and to be honest I am surprised it didn’t get to higher than number 17 in the charts. But, it has certainly become one of their best known songs.


Culture sucks down words
Itemise loathing and feed yourself smiles
Organise your safe tribal war
Hurt maim kill and enslave the ghetto

Each day living out a lie
Life sold cheaply forever, ever, ever

Under neon loneliness motorcycle emptiness
Under neon loneliness motorcycle emptiness

Life lies a slow suicide
Orthodox dreams and symbolic myths
From feudal serf to spender
This wonderful world of purchase power

Just like lungs sucking on air
Survivals natural as sorrow, sorrow, sorrow

Under neon loneliness motorcycle emptiness
Under neon loneliness motorcycle emptiness

All we want from you are the kicks you’ve given us
All we want from you are the kicks you’ve given us
All we want from you are the kicks you’ve given us
All we want from you are the kicks you’ve given us

Under neon loneliness motorcycle emptiness
Under neon loneliness motorcycle emptiness

Drive away and it’s the same
Everywhere death row, everyone’s a victim
Your joys are counterfeit
This happiness corrupt political shit

Living life like a comatose
Ego loaded and swallow, swallow, swallow

Under neon loneliness motorcycle emptiness
Under neon loneliness motorcycle emptiness
Under neon loneliness motorcycle emptiness
Under neon loneliness everlasting nothingness






Which is your favourite Manics song?

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