Thursday, 14 April 2011

Top Ten Club Songs

For those of you frightened that I'm about to unveil my staggering lack of knowledge / interest in dance culture... quiver ye not. No banging club anthems here. As Groucho Marx put it, "I don't care to belong to any club that would have me as a member". Chances are none of these would, but I'm filing my application as we speak...

10. The Beatles - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club (Band) ( From Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band)

I tried to ignore it, but I couldn't. Bored with the Beatles I may be, but there's no denying this record was important and contained some of their finest moments - notably She's Leaving Home and A Day In The Life. I always thought the title track was self-consciously kitsch though...

9. Arctic Monkeys - Ravey Ravey Ravey Club

One of the earliest Monkeys songs, never officially released (I don't think) though they did give it away online, along with much of their early material, to help build their reputation. You know, back when tricks like that actually worked.

8. B52's - Deadbeat Club ( From Funplex)

From their 2008 album, in which the B52s came back after 16 years without releasing a new record... sounding like they'd never been away.

We're wild girls walkin' down the street
Wild girls and boys going out for a big time
We're the deadbeat club

See, I consider myself something of a deadbeat, yet nobody's ever called me a wild boy. Some contradiction going on there, Fred...

7. Little Man Tate - The Self Appreciation Club

Little Man Tate sprung up in the wake of the Arctic Monkeys success, another Sheffield band who traded in witty observational lyrics and twanging guitars. Success never really came their way though and a lot of critics unjustly labelled them Monkeys wannabes. This song, released towards the end of their career, responded thus...

And I know that it must be great
To have a friend in a higher place
But suddenly someone forgets your name
And we're another band that sound the same
And everybody's searching for the next big thing
Then they laugh and they point as they stare at them sing
Nothing worse than to just criticise
With a tongue in your cheek and a mouth full of lies

Their tongues are shaped like razorblades
You're not welcome in this place
Don't you ever show your face
Oh now listen, son, remember
You will never be a member of the...
Self-Appreciation Club.

To show my appreciation, I purposely placed them higher than the Monkeys in this list. Let them win just once...

6. Edward Ball - The Mill Hill Self-Hate Club ( From Catholic Guilt)

From Self-Appreciation to Self-Hate... two sides of the same coin?

Former member of both The Television Personalities and The Times, Edward Ball went solo in the late 80s and scored his biggest "hit" with this poppy little number sometime around the height of Britpop.

5. Wham! - Club Tropicana ( From The Best of Wham!)

Say what you like about George Michael...

OK, you can stop now.

No, really...


Anyway, Wham! were a great pop band, no arguments. Besides, at Club Tropicana, the drinks are free...

4. The Scaremongers - Grouse Beaters Boys' Club ( From Born In A Barn)

Because I haven't mentioned Simon Armitage enough this week.

3. The Dust Brothers - This Is Your Life (Theme From Fight Club) ( From Fight Club (Music from Dust Brothers))

This is your life
And its ending one minute at a time

You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake
You are the same decaying organic matter as everything else
We are all a part of the same compost heap
We are the all singing, all dancing crap of the world

You are not your bank account
You are not the clothes you wear
You are not the contents of your wallet
You are not your bowel cancer
You are not your grande latte
You are not the car you drive
You are not your fucking khakis

You have to give up

Welcome to Fight Club... if this is your first night... you have to fight.

2. Babybird - Failed Suicide Club ( From last year's excellent album Ex-Maniac)

Easy enough instructions to follow...

Step one, don’t kill yourself
Step two, don’t do yourself in
Step three, don’t play with knives
Step four, don’t trust anyone

When you’re kicked around and knocked down
And you’ve got nothing left to give
And you can’t breathe, and you can’t hear yourself think
Climb up on your box, take the rope down from the beam
Baby wake up, it’s not a dream

Yes you’ve made it, you’re here
At the failed suicide club
Sitting in a circle, crying…

I can't help but be reminded of Queen's similarly helpful ditty Don't Try Suicide ( from The Game) with its equally didactic refrain...

Don't try suicide
Nobody's worth it
Don't try suicide
Nobody cares
Don't try suicide
You're just gonna hate it
Don't try suicide
Nobody gives a damn

But enough of that. I'm saving them both for the inevitable Top Ten Suicide Songs... possibly the last Top Ten I ever write.

1. John Grant - Silver Platter Club ( from Queen Of Denmark)

If I could redo my Top Ten Albums of 2010, Queen of Denmark would have bumped Eels out of the Top Five.

I wish that I was good at football, baseball and lacrosse
Darts and basketball, and poker, golf and chess

I wish that confidence was all you could see in my eyes
Like those interviews in locker rooms with talented sports guys

I wish I had no self-awareness like the guys I know
Float right through their lives without a thought

And that I didn't give a shit what anybody thought of me
That I was so relaxed you'd think that I was bored

I'm sorry that they didn't hand it to me
On a silver platter, like they did to you
I'm sorry that I wasn't able to become
The man you think I should aspire to

And... because it's bound to come up in the comments... here are ten other clubs I'd have no objection to joining...

10. Two Door Cinema Club ( Tourist History)
9. Timex Social Club
8. Bombay Bicycle Club ( I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose)
7. Hot Club De Paris ( Drop It Till It Pops)
6. American Music Club ( Mercury)
5. Tom Tom Club ( Tom Tom Club)
4. The Cammell Laird Social Club ( Cammell Laird Social Club)
3. The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club ( B.R.M.C.)
2. Slow Club ( YEAH, SO?)
1. Teenage Fanclub ( Songs From Northern Britain)

Sorry, no room for Culture Club or S Club. Their name wasn't down, they're not getting in.

Which club would you pay to be part of?


dave said...

You missed Kenicke who were At The Club.

Damn you

Rol said...

No, I purposely avoided any tracks that just mentioned club. The top ten was about specific / weirdly named types of club - not just any song with club in the title. (Which I realise is my usual criteria... but I change the rules whenever I feel like it.)

dave said...

But then I'm a tool as that was the album not a track

Nota Bene said...

Doesn't Barry Manilow's Copacabana know you want to add know you do...

Rol said...

You're right. I do.

Steve said...

I hated Wham at the time (mainly and probably just because my sister loved them) but looking back on them now I can summon up a good deal of fondness for them. I almost hate them for that.


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