I’ve been sitting on this as a show idea since I first
started doing themed shows. I did a Name That Tune with this theme 10 years or
so ago (excuse me while I reach for my cane), and because of that I put it
off…until I had over 400 songs from which to choose for a show. So here we are.
How to divvy up 400 songs, though? I thought about doing
it by decade, but ultimately chose to do it by genre because it gives me the
freedom to jump from decade to decade. Also, had I broken things up by decade,
the distribution would be a big bell curve peaking around 1985, and we all know
I have a sheet of paper that contains all of my show ideas. There are about 20 of them. This, oddly, wasn’t one of them. This just popped into my head one morning two weeks ago. And here we are. ‘World’ songs, ‘Planet’ songs, ‘Globe’ songs, they’re all here, along with one ‘Earth’ song and a song that is none of these things, but totally belongs.
The idea for this show came around the same time as the Scotland show. I know that the timing of its release looks gauche, like I’m trying to capitalize on the horrific wildfires that Australia is enduring. I’m not; I’ve had a thing for Australia since I first read “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day.” Then MTV happened, and I wanted to move there. Still do, sometimes.
The ‘song title’ thing was painting me into a corner. I
needed a new angle, and despite doing a show about cities around the world, I
didn’t have the idea to do geographically specific shows until about 18 months
later. Sometimes it just takes that long for my brain to make the connection.
I started with Scotland for two reasons. One, I’ve
somehow managed to interview a fair number of Scottish musicians (all of whom
are in this show), and on top of that, it’s the strongest bloodline in my
wife’s family, so we’re always talking up Scotland around the house. Once I
discovered how many Scottish singers fronted non-Scottish bands, this show
practically put itself together. And I have more than enough bands for a second
volume, someday. This has been quite the educational experience.
Thank you, as always, for listening. Dizzy Heights is
taking the rest of the year off, and will resume in January. Have courage and
be kind, people.
Note: I mentioned that a band had six Top 10 singles from one album. They had six Top 40 singles. I regret the error. I also didn’t mention the Soup Dragons by name. I regret that, too.
Here’s where I take that good will I earned over the past four weeks and throw it out the window with a chill mix. Having fun yet?
This is a digital recreation of a mix tape I made in late 1995 (Maxell XL II 100, if you’re curious). Those who read my Mope Like Me column on Popdose will not be surprised to hear that four of the songs that I covered can be found here. Mixing this again, I was instantly transported back to that winter in Chicago, which was bittersweet to be sure. There are some bands here that I’ve since left behind (BNL, DMB, CTD), but it’s really nice to hear a lot of these songs after not playing some of them for decades. Decades. My god.
Thank you, as always, for listening. One more show after
this and then Dizzy Heights is taking the rest of the year off. Cheers!
We bring the ‘90s UK Alternative series to an end with, in a twist, the bands that had the most success on the charts. Several acts here – if not these songs, though most of these songs fared well – hit Number One, and strangely enough, some of these songs fared better on the US charts than they did on the UK charts. Del Amitri and White Town, we’re looking in your direction.
This series was such fun to put together, and I hope you enjoyed listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it.
For the record no, it is not lost on me that my show
about UK music opens with artists from Ireland and Germany.
This is not the first time that I’ve ventured in these
waters. In early 2011 I put together a 1991 beat mix for Popdose, and in the
interest of full disclosure, I lifted a three-song set wholesale from that mix,
along with two other songs. I also play a song that I just played two months
ago. I try to avoid that when I can, but it just belonged here.
When I was working in the clubs, well, most of these songs didn’t exist yet, but even if they had, I was working in pop clubs that only dabbled in alternative, so I would have been fired on the spot for doing a set like this. Putting this show together wasn’t just fun; it was cathartic.
Coming up next: ‘90s UK Alternative, Part III: The Pop Mix. That might sound like a contradiction in terms, but I promise you, it’s not. What is alternative, after all, if not unpopular pop? You think these bands wanted to be cult bands? They didn’t. They all wanted to be superstars.
Thank you, as always, for listening.
Oh, and as a bonus for hitting my little site, this show will be temporarily available to download here. Get it while you can. This link will not live forever.
When this goes live on Popdose, it will be my mom’s birthday, yay! She would not like this show.
I wanted to take a break from the title-themed shows, and
for whatever reason, UK ‘90s is the first thing that popped into my head. Maybe
that’s because most of the shows are inherently UK ‘80s shows, and I wanted to
share the wealth, as it were. I say that despite the fact that I’ve already
played at least three of these songs in previous shows. Still, eight bands make
their debuts here, so…progress?
Oh, and I also voice a thought that will be quite
unpopular with nearly anyone who likes this show. Hot take ahoy! Who knows,
maybe some of you will agree with me (it comes in the second talkie bit), but
I’m guessing most of you won’t, and that’s OK.
I’m going to take a small break from the word-themed
shows, but before I do so, I thought, Let’s say goodbye to summer with a show
filled with songs about summer.
This started out as a much different show, but once I
spotted the alt and alt-adjacent vibe pulsing through it, I took out several
well-known acts that no longer fit in. (It also stopped me from adding a brand-new
Taylor Swift song at the last minute.) The Kinks, America, Springsteen, and
yes, even Seals & Crofts, gone. Was that the right call? That is for you to
decide, dear listener, but opening with the Barracudas and the Undertones? I