Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Detective Songs

I've been compiling a list of my Top Ten Detectives (coming soon)... which got me wondering whether I could manage list of ten detective songs (to match my Top Ten Doctor Songs). It's amazing what you find when you start investigating...

10. Robert Palmer - Looking For Clues ( From Clues)

I'd been hired to track down a lead on why Robert Palmer was still considered uncool when he left us so many great songs like this one. I hit a dead end.

9. The Thompson Twins - We Are Detective ( From The Greatest Hits)

I'm not a Thompson Twins fan. It's just a coincidence that two of their biggest hits featured a doctor and a detective. Pity their Sexy Solicitor single was such a flop.

8. Reverend & The Makers - Armchair Detective ( From The State of Things: Parental Advisory)

Armchair detective, what you surmising?
A fountain of knowledge in times of crisis
Opinions like arseholes on days like today; everyone's got one
You'd best say it quick while it's fresh in your mind, say it before it's forgotten

Just cos you shout loudest don't mean that you're right

Sage advice from a right gobshite.

7. Dire Straits - Private Investigations ( From The Best of Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler - Private Investigations)

Yes, Dire Straits. Deal with it. You're just lucky I didn't have room for Private Eyes by Hall & Oates.

Don't worry, things get much cooler after this.

6. Compulsion - Juvenile Scene Detective ( From Juvenile Scene Detective)

Formerly known as The Amazing Colossal Men, this Irish band were part of one the NME's regular "let's create a new scene" attempts back in the early 90s... but really, 'The New Wave of New Wave'? Not a bad song though, which I discovered on one of those old Shine CDs. Guitarist Garrett Lee went on to become Jacknife Lee, famous U2 and Snow Patrol producer. I preferred him when he was poor.

5. Elvis Costello - Watching The Detectives ( From My Aim Is True [Deluxe])

She's filing her nails while they're dragging the lake.

Raymond Chandler would approve.

4. They Might Be Giants - (She Was A) Hotel Detective ( From They Might Be Giants)

She's got her ear to the walls and she's tappin' the calls
If you've got a secret boy, forget about it!

VI Warshawski would approve.

3. Superman Revenge Squad - Been A Private Detective For 17 Months

Been a Private Detective for Seventeen Months
Don't do it for money, just do it for love
Like last night when my client got over excited
When his wife had an orgy and he wasn't invited
We sat in the car taking pictures and smoking
My client just sat there eating mini cheddars and hoping
His wife was thinking of him every time she kisses someone else's lips
She's thinking of him, and in her mind's eye those groping eyes are his
And in her mind's eye those peeping hands are his
And in her mind's eye every ounce of flesh, that gets inside her dress, is his...

The story continues here.

Superman Revenge Squad win points for writing the only song I can think of that namechecks Mini Cheddars.

You could do much worse than buying this guy's entire back catalogue - it's all very affordable!

2. Arab Strap - Love Detective ( From Love Detective)

A man plays detective on a cheating lover. Don't ever read her diary, you're bound to regret it. From the undisputed kings of sleazy bedroom angst.

1. Hamell On Trial - The Long Drive ( From Choochtown)

My favourite detective song, from the Chandleresque mind of Ed Hamell. Pure bottled noir in a song. Ed Brubaker is taking notes...

Mystery solved - but do you have a favourite detective song?


Steve said...

I'm disappointed you left out Stool Pigeon by the great Kid Creole... or does that not quite fit the bill?

rb said...

ah you shouldn't have mentioned that godawful Hall and Oates track - it's a real ear worm and it is now stuck in my head.

I quite like the Thompson Twins! Well, I used to.

Surprised you haven't gone for volcanic songs. Or did I miss that?

Penelope said...

I'm going off at a slight tangent - and finding a way to introduce a dubious claim to fame...
My Mum used to be a nurse in a rather posh London hospital and I sat next to Tom Bailey in the reception one day whilst Alannah Currie was being examined during her delivery of their first child.
Aren't you glad you mentioned The Thompson Twins now?!

Jay said...

What can I say... I like Hall and Oates and Thompson Twins. Happy with everything else on your list too, aside from Compulsion, Superman Revenge Squad and Hamell on Trial, and I daresay that's just because I've never heard of them... Howzabout Rockwell's Somebody's Watching You? Stool Pigeon by August Darnell's more famous alter ego would definitely be in my top five.

condemnedtorocknroll said...

All I have to add is Raymond Chandler Evening by Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians and Private Eye by The Nips (The Nipple Erectors). I love Watching the Detectives. I hate Hall & Oates.

Rol said...

Steve (and Jay) - no, it would have done. I just forgot it.

RB - volcanic songs...? Hmm, perhaps a little late now - but when has that ever stopped me?

Penelope - you lead such a glamorous life, I'm so jealous.

Jay - don't say it too loud, but I like Hall & Oates too.

Larissa - pretend I didn't just write the comment above and all will be fine. Raymond Chandler Evening is worthy of further investigation.

Nota Bene said...

10, 9, 8, 7, songs, but may have to go on a hunt for the others...

Fanboy Wife said...

The closest I can think of is "Secret Agent Man," but I don't think that quite fits the detective genre.

Gilbert_31 said...

I've been trying to find a song similar to long drive, But I only remember the tune and the way it was done it had a detective/Private eye talking throughout the song. Does anyone have an idea on this one I had a listen to the ones listed and couldn't find it.


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