Happiness Dan’s 120 Songs Blog

Somebody should set up an Internet Salvage Company, like those architectural salvage companies that save old doors, window frames and garden gates for re-use. The Internet Salvage Company would save good ideas that got forgotten. Here’s an old blog which lasted for a few posts in 2006, when an iPod Shuffle held 120 songs, in its entirety. Written under one of my DJ pseudonyms, Happiness Dan.

MONDAY, JULY 17, 2006

Another Girl, Another Song
Elas, who built my PC and handles all things that make stuff possible (Microsoft, virus protection, my whizzy new wireless router), has been in touch. “You have to have ‘Another Girl, Another Planet’ by the Only Ones,” she says.

And she’s right. It will be added to the mighty Shuffle.
POSTED BY DAN THOMPSON AT 1:13 PM 4 COMMENTS
THURSDAY, JUNE 29, 2006

Odds and Ends
Also added; Monkey Gone To Heaven by The Pixies, Silver Machine by Hawkwind (after reading the Lemmy interview in Mojo, while stranded on Ford station today), Village Green Preservation Society by The Kinks.

And – strangely – I Quit by popsters Hepburn. After walking down the Kings Road a couple of days ago, I can’t get it out of my head. I’ve no idea who the singer is, but she’s got a cracking, really distinct vocal sound and a good line in wry lyrics. Under-rated … where are they now?
POSTED BY DAN THOMPSON AT 10:14 PM 1 COMMENTS
Cover Versions and More Added
I was in the Splash FM car with the radio station’s managing director Roy Stannard last week. He has a collection estimated at 10,000 CDs which – even by my standards – is obsessive. We were discussing this blog, and got talking about best cover versions. ‘Satisfaction by Cat Power,’ says I, ‘and Robert Wyatt’s take on I’m A Believer’. Both are now on the Shuffle.

I’ve added the Stones original version of Satisfaction, too; just on the off chance that they’ll get shuffled together at some point (I also added The Last Time, while I was on a Stones trip). I may add the Devo version of Satisfaction, but I downloaded it recently and it’s not the same version my dad used to play me on 7″. I’ll have to find that version – any suggestions?

Another three covers made it on; Arthur Brown’s take on I Put A Spell On You, Hush by Kula Shaker and Billy Bragg’s The Red Flag (to the original jaunty tune, not the German dirge).
POSTED BY DAN THOMPSON AT 10:06 PM 0 COMMENTS
THURSDAY, JUNE 22, 2006

21 Songs
I’ve swapped Five Years for Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide, added Gimme Danger by The Stooges, and stuck Mathar by Indian Vibes on for some sitar-tatsic times. 21 songs in, and it’s all shaping up nicely.
POSTED BY DAN THOMPSON AT 10:13 AM 0 COMMENTS
TUESDAY, JUNE 20, 2006

Quintessentially British
I’m trying to get the soul stuff down to a list of ten. Or twelve. Maybe fifteen songs, tops. Some soul songs, anyway, will appear soon.

In the meantime, the lovely Mel and the mysterious Missy P have made lots of suggestions that got me thinking about my sense of British-ness. So – some Beatles. After much deliberation, It’s All Too Much from the Yellow Submarine Songtrack album. I’ll have to add its sister track, Sorrow by The Merseybeats, too – but I’ve only got it on 7″ which won’t fit in the iPod.

Some Blur, and I followed Missy P’s recomendation of Star Shaped from Modern Life Is Rubbish. I’ll probably add some of the later, dirtier Blur too.

Some Bowie (Five Years), English, Half English by Billy Bragg, and London, Can You Wait? by Gene. Now, with all that Britishness to balance out the alt.country flavour, it feels like a more balanced 120 Songs.
POSTED BY DAN THOMPSON AT 11:28 AM 0 COMMENTS
More Julian Cope
“Julian Cope-The Greatness and Perfection of Love,” Missy P (a MySpace friend) says, “the only pop song you could ever need as far as I’m concerned. Power pop at it’s best. Whoo!”
POSTED BY DAN THOMPSON AT 10:55 AM 0 COMMENTS
I’ll Manage Somehow
“Duchess – Scott Walker” says Johnny Dean, who used to be in Menswe@r, “nothing else, just that”.
POSTED BY DAN THOMPSON AT 7:07 AM 0 COMMENTS
MONDAY, JUNE 19, 2006

Little Fluffy Clouds
6 Music DJ and really rather good writer Andrew Collins has suggested Little Fluffy Clouds by The Orb, and I think he’s got a point. I used to DJ in my student days, and Little Fluffy Clouds (the full 10+ minutes) was not only a centrepiece to the whole set, but gave me a great chance to mess around with dropping samples and beats.

It was also long enough to get from the decks to the toilets (at the other end of the Wine Lodge) and back again. I think for 120 Songs purposes I might track down the single edit that clocks in at about 4 minutes: otherwise there will only be enough room on the Shuffle for 118 Songs.

Andrew has also suggested “Try A Little Tenderness by Otis Redding, notwithstanding the fact that it fades out, like so many great soul records do.” The soul side of 120 Songs is still up for debate, but The Orb goes on later today.
POSTED BY DAN THOMPSON AT 6:58 PM 0 COMMENTS
Funky, Jazzy, Groovy
Nicola says there needs to be some soul in there. She’s right. And some funk. And probably a little bit of jazz. Some ska, and calypso, too.

I’ve always liked a bit of Northern Soul, so maybeI should start with some of that. Seven Days Too Long by Chuck Wood (which brings us back to Dexys again)? The Snake by Al Wilson (or Dodgy’s Britpop-era version)? Backfield in Motion by Mel & Tim? Hold On I’m Coming by Erma Franklin (or maybe the obscure Bette Bright version, if I can find it)?

And some Motown. I’m thinking probably Uptight by Stevie Wonder.

Uptown Top Ranking has got to go on. The Beat Goes On by Buddy Rich, too. And Be Young, be Foolish, Be Happy by the Tams. And Don’t Forget About Me from Dusty in Memphis.

This needs more thought. What’s missing?
POSTED BY DAN THOMPSON AT 8:31 AM 0 COMMENTS
SUNDAY, JUNE 18, 2006

120 Songs
It was my birthday yesterday – and I’m getting closer to the magical 33 years. So, time to start a quest.

I was given an iPod Shuffle. It holds 120 Songs. It plays them at random.

So, with just 120 Songs, these have to be the best 120 Songs ever. Every one must be a perfect slice of pop, or a quirky 3 minute slab of aural strangeness, or the best of its genre, or hold some lyrical magic to earn its place on the list.

And – to make it a little harder – there’s that randomness. So, every one of the 120 Songs must play well after any other of the 120 Songs.

First up was Teenage Kicks, followed by the MC5’s Kick Out The Jams. Jonathan Richman’s Roadrunner was next. It has to be here, as possibly the greatest rock ‘n’ roll single ever.

Jolie Holland’s Mad Tom of Bedlam and Glen Campbell’s Wichita Lineman add a different, alt-country-ish flavour. Traffic’s John Barleycorn (Must Die) flies the British folk flag.

Galliano’s Heaven Knows is on there – for the line ‘Heaven knows, and heaven ain’t telling/ god’s lost on the A27’. The A27, for those from further afield, runs across the top of my hometown Worthing.

Robert Wyatt’s Shipbuilding had to go on – genius song, from one of the greatest voices in British songwriting. And from another Brit genius, World Shut Your Mouth.

Nancy Sinatra’s Gotta Get out Of This Town is a brassy addition, which always makes me want to shimmy in a three-button-ticket-pocket-and-side-vents kinda way. For similar reasons, Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile) is on here – I knew the Dexys cover first, but this is Van the Man’s version. Mark Ronson’s cover of Radiohead’s Just also makes it on, for its sheer boogieness.

Sparks (This Town Ain’t Big Enough For the Both of Us) and Buffalo Springfield (For What It’s Worth) have a massive anthemic quality, so made it on.

That’s it so far. 14 tracks. There are lots more to add. Blur, the Small Faces, Steely Dan, Spitfire, Pulp, the Manic Street Preachers, Dusty in Memphis, Captain Beefheart, Love, Elvis Costello, The Fall, Suede. What else is missing?
POSTED BY DAN THOMPSON AT 1:36 PM 2 COMMENTS

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