Hideous tricks on the brain

fameFame, fame, fatal fame … and all that stuff. It’s difficult to follow frogprincess’s fine list (thankfully, the way that these new-fangled bloggy things work, this actually precedes it) so I won’t try anything too tricksy.

I will however, start my list with a response to The Velvet Underground’s Femme Fatale in the shape of Tracey Thorn‘s take on the song, from her debut album A Distant Shore. I’m that rare specimen – a Jonathan Richman fan who doesn’t have much time for The Velvets – don’t know why – I’m probably wrong but, what the hey…

Next up (and here’s a real attempt to out frogprincess, frogprincess) it’s David Essex with Gonna Make You A Star. Leo Sayer a few weeks ago – now this. I genuinely have no shame – but it’s still a great song, innit?

Microdisney‘s Singer’s Hampstead Home covers the trappings of fame and was allegedly written with Boy George in mind. Like all the best Cathal Coughlan/Sean O’Hagan compositions, it’s crystal pure pop, hiding an acerbic under-belly.

Including a Barenaked Ladies song in a ‘Spill post always does wonders for our Google hits. This just happens to be one of my favourites. A poignant look at the rise and fall of a pop star, told from the point of view of his career-spanning Box Set. Listen to the lyrics – it’s very funny.

You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby is a typically upbeat song from the late Kirsty MacColl. She was a wonderful songwriter and a great singer and I still have to stop myself wondering when her next album’s coming …

Oops – just noticed that placing Dead Pop Stars next in the playlist was not such a good idea. Sorry! Anyway, any excuse to hear the sublime Ms Grogan (who, by the way, would be my choice for the pop star I’d most like to see bouncing around on a trampoline). Just thought I’d mention that…

Crowded House? Are they underrated or overrated? Answers on a postcard to… Well, I like them and I particularly like Woodface, the album from what this track is taken. Some people, I know, find them a bit too clean and over-produced. I saw them live a few times in the late 80s and they were brilliant. So there.

I really hope you like the next track. It’s called Wheels Go Round and it’s by a band called Blue Train and as far as I can tell, this is the only thing they ever did. Shame, as it shows much promise and a good ear for a jazzy pop tune. If anyone out there involved in the band is reading this, please post a comment here. You have a fan.

Last up, it’s REM with All The Way To Reno from the 2001 album, Reveal. Overall, this is not one of their greatest works but this is the standout track – I love the corny guitar.

As usual frogprincess has taken the best supplementary question, so I’ll ask you this. If you were famous, what would you like to be famous for?