Awesome Mixtapes #1 – Propaganda and “Duel”

If it seems I have been largely absent of late, don’t worry, I’m not giving you all the cold shoulder, instead I have a cold shoulder as a result of the ice pack currently attached to it. I don’t know about the rest of you, but too many hours spent in front of a computer really goes for my neck and shoulders. On top of it being gardening season, being busy with changeovers at the holiday hideaway, and a spot of sewing, I am currently in agony. Here is one that was largely already written however, so I’ll try and finish it off before the ice pack melts!

I recently wrote about one of the songs that featured in the second Guardians of the Galaxy movie. It formed part of the excellent soundtrack which became known as, and was released under the moniker, Awesome Mix Vol. 2. It certainly was an awesome mix of lesser-known 1970s pop hits, all carefully chosen by James Gunn, who directed and wrote the screenplay for the film.

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If like me you were born right at the start of the ’60s, you would have been just the right age for mixtapes, as we became teenagers right at the time those newfangled cassette recorder machines came into our lives. Right through the ’70s, I created many, many mixtapes by recording songs from TOTP and Sunday night’s Official Chart Show, where just before 7pm, we discovered who now held the top spot in the UK Singles Chart.

In time however, as our equipment became more sophisticated, mixtapes were made by selecting our favourite album tracks and tailoring them for specific people. Over the years many mixtapes were exchanged between friends, lovers, or more likely, potential lovers – Of all the ones I received, this one was probably the best. There was also an IC1, an IC3 and an IC4, but IC2 was my favourite, which is why I still own it all these years later despite no longer having anything to play it on. I’m not going to say who IC was, but suffice to say he was a friend with a fantastic record collection who was also a born entertainer. He was one of my first friends to own his own house, and being an excellent cook, many dinner parties were held. This mixtape was made in the autumn of 1986, when for a brief nano-second I think I became part of the city’s “cool” set. It was fun for a short time, but as a naturally “uncool” person, the pressure was on to always wear the right clothes, read the right publications and generally be on point at all times. Luckily, I got a job in another town soon afterwards, so could extricate myself quite easily from this group, clocking it up to a short-lived, but exciting time in my life when I think I did fake it by trying to be someone I was not (wouldn’t ever recommend it).

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Anyway, I am in need of a new series I think as I seem to be jumping all over the place at the moment. As a nod to the GOTG soundtrack, I am going to use this mixtape of my own, and work my way through the tracks from IC’s awesome collection. When I first started seeing Mr WIAA he picked out this tape as one of his favourites and it accompanied us on holidays, on car trips and the like. It was very much from his era as an art student and the tracks reminded him of those days. He has a great fondness for the song Duel by Propaganda, partly because it reminds him so much of how the girls at art school looked in the mid ’80s – The hair, clothes and make-up was on point (unlike when I tried to recreate the look to fit in with my new “cool” friends). So, time to find out a bit more about this band and the song.

Duel by Propaganda:

What I wouldn’t have known back then was that Propaganda are German and were signed to Trevor Horn’s ZTT label between 1984 and 1986, which is when the song Duel was released. It was their highest-charting single in the UK reaching No. 21 in April 1985. Recording music of a synthpop nature they would naturally have found favour with the art school set of the mid ’80s. Lead singer Susanne Freytag certainly did have quite a distinctive look. (If like me however you had poker-straight fine hair back then, the voluminous spikey look was a challenge indeed that required much “product”).

As for the song Duel, the reason I’ve started off with it, is because it is often played in football stadiums ahead of kick-off, where two adversaries are about to challenge each other. It is the song played at the Heart Of Midlothian stadium during home matches and only last weekend they made it to the final of the Scottish Cup at Hampden. Perhaps because they didn’t have the adrenaline rush of coming out to the sound of Duel in familiar surroundings they lost 2-1 to Celtic, after initially being ahead. Earlier this week we had the Europa League final in Baku where Chelsea won the big prize and later on today, we are to have the Champions League final in Madrid. Jez over at Dubious Towers has already written about that match earlier today and will no doubt hope his beloved Spurs will take the crown.

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Propaganda

In news closer to home, it seems DD’s boyfriend is off to join one of the country’s biggest football teams for the new season – We wish him all the best, but as DD (who knows nothing about football) seems to be going with him, it will be a big wrench for our little family. Big changes round the corner but after years of having little interest in all things football-related, suddenly it’s become a pretty big deal.

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So, “What’s It All About?”. I seem to have pulled this one off, despite my sore neck and shoulders. I will be cheering on Spurs tonight in support of Jez who has had a tough time of late and could be doing with a bit of good fortune coming his way. I doubt if we will hear the song Duel as they enter the pitch in Madrid, but good for me to have found out a bit more of the backstory, which just wouldn’t have been possible back in the day. As for the DD footballing story, there will no doubt be more on that over the next few months. Football is not coming home for her, it’s taking her away, but perhaps time to fly the nest – We hope she will soar.

Until next time….

Duel Lyrics
(Song by Claudia Brücken/Ralf Dörper/Michael Mertens)

Eye to eye stand winners and losers
Hurt by envy, cut by greed
Face to face with their own disillusion
The scars of old romances still on their cheeks

And when blow by blow the passion dies
Sweet little death just have been lies
The memories of gone by time
Would still recall the lie

The first cut won’t hurt at all
The second only makes you wonder
The third will have you on your knees
You start bleeding I start screaming

It’s too late the decision is made by fate
Time to prove what forever should last
Whose feelings are so true as to stand the test
Whose demands are so strong as to parry all attempts

And when blow by blow the passion dies
Sweet little death just have been lies
The memories of gone by time
Would still recall the lie

The first cut won’t hurt at all
The second only makes you wonder
The third will have you on your knees
You start bleeding I start screaming

Music from Guardians of the Galaxy #3 – Looking Glass and “Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl)”

Last time I wrote about my new venture I said I was a bit disappointed, but business models change and I have had to quickly adapt to a new reality. It seems the modern-day traveller/holiday-maker wants limited or no interaction with their host, but they do want all the nice touches that transform a trip from being an ordinary one, to a really special one.

So, I am now akin to the Scarlet Pimpernel (which is very apt as most of my guests so far have been French), where no-one ever sees me in person but each party now gets tailor-made treats and helpful local guides left for them. It only took a month, but already Alyson’s Highland Adventures (AHA) has had to be truncated to Highland Adventures (as Alyson is now nowhere in sight). My favourite sesame seed snack is now redundant!

The upside of this covert behaviour is that I get to spend a lot of time on my own in the holiday hideaway getting it ready for the next set of guests, and in the corner of the kitchen I have placed the high quality radio appropriated from my mum’s old retirement flat. I love listening to the radio, which is why I can’t work at home on my computer with it switched on (would be far too diverting). Listening to the radio whilst doing all those practical jobs needed to get a house ready for guests however is a totally different matter, and something I’ve been really enjoying. This week, whilst doing probably the seventh “deep clean” in a month (got to keep those 5 Star reviews coming), this song popped up on the airwaves and it was a joy to listen to. My feather duster and I had a fine old time flitting from room to room, like Cinderella without all the wildlife in tow (or was that Snow White?).

Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl) by Looking Glass:

Until I went to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 at the cinema a couple of years ago, I don’t think I had ever consciously listened to Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl) by Looking Glass before, but it played a big part in the movie, just as the songs from Awesome Mix Vol. 1 had done for the first film in that really popular franchise. I had been meaning to write more posts featuring songs from GOTG for a while, as I have a whole category dedicated to them on my sidebar (link here), and here it was falling into my lap.

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Awesome Mix Vol. 2 was also full of ’70s songs that were played over and over by the lead character on an old Walkman, as a link to his dead mother and home in Missouri. Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl) plays in the opening scene, a flashback to before the lead character Peter, played by Chris Pratt, was born. When Peter reunites with his father Ego, played by Kurt Russell, the song comes to represent their conflict. To convince his son to help him rule the universe (Ego was aptly named), he quotes the song – Just as was the sea for the sailor who left Brandy behind, Ego left Peter’s mother to die on Earth while he went off to conquer the universe.

Here is a clip of that opening scene where they make great use of the Looking Glass song. It really threw us however when we went to see it, how young Kurt Russell looked in 2017. I thought they had maybe cut and paste old footage of when he was a young buck, but I have just discovered it was 20 per cent good make-up and the rest was done via the wonders of CGI, where they used a very similar looking younger actor and mapped his features to the older Kurt’s. Of course in interviews at the time, Kurt said very little of it was down to CGI and all that was needed was a bit of make up. Tut tut Kurt, your own egotism was getting the better of you I think.

As for Looking Glass, they were an American pop rock group that formed part of a genre called the Jersey Shore sound. Although this 1972 song was a No. 1 hit on the Billboard chart, it didn’t ever feature on the UK Singles Chart, which is why I probably hadn’t heard of them before. The song was not typical of the band’s sound however, which caused a problem at concerts. Audiences expected pop songs like this one, but Looking Glass usually played rock, which left the crowds disappointed.

So, “What’s It All About?” – I have a feeling the song only appeared on the radio the other day because there is a lot of interest at the moment in all things Marvel-related. The film Avengers: Endgame was released recently and amongst many other fine actors, it stars local girl Karen Gillan from the GOTG series. I remember well going to see her in school concerts what seems like no time ago – Just look at her now. I have also noticed my GOTG posts getting a fair amount of views of late, so here’s another to add to the series.

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Karen Gillan/Nebula

I have sought out many Scottish-themed DVDs for the holiday hideaway, but perhaps I should add some GOTG ones as well. Fans of Karen/Nebula might want to travel to the Highlands to find out a bit more about where she comes from. As it turns out, just a few streets away!

Until next time….

Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl) Lyrics
(Song by Elliot Lurie)

(Dooda-dit-dooda), (dit-dooda-dit-dooda)

There’s a port on a western bay
And it serves a hundred ships a day
Lonely sailors pass the time away
And talk about their homes

And there’s a girl in this harbor town
And she works layin’ whiskey down
They say “Brandy, fetch another round”
She serves them whiskey and wine

The sailors say “Brandy, you’re a fine girl” (you’re a fine girl)
“What a good wife you would be” (such a fine girl)
“Yeah your eyes could steal a sailor from the sea”
(Dooda-dit-dooda), (dit-dooda-dit-dooda-dit)

Brandy wears a braided chain
Made of finest silver from the North of Spain
A locket that bears the name
Of a man that Brandy loves

He came on a summer’s day
Bringin’ gifts from far away
But he made it clear he couldn’t stay
No harbor was his home

The sailor said “Brandy, you’re a fine girl” (you’re a fine girl)
“What a good wife you would be” (such a fine girl)
“But my life, my love and my lady is the sea”
(Dooda-dit-dooda), (dit-dooda-dit-dooda-dit)

Yeah, Brandy used to watch his eyes
When he told his sailor’s story
She could feel the ocean fall and rise
When she saw his ragin’ glory
But he had always told the truth, Lord, he was an honest man
And Brandy does her best to understand
(Dooda-dit-dooda), (dit-dooda-dit-dooda-dit)

At night when the bars close down
Brandy walks through a silent town
And loves a man who’s not around
She still can hear him say

She hears him say “Brandy, you’re a fine girl” (you’re a fine girl)
“What a good wife you would be” (such a fine girl)
“But my life, my love and my lady is the sea”
(Dooda-dit-dooda), (dit-dooda-dit-dooda-dit)

“Brandy, you’re a fine girl” (you’re a fine girl)
“What a good wife you would be” (such a fine girl)
“But my life, my love and my lady is the sea”

Music from Guardians of the Galaxy #2 – Rupert Holmes and that Piña Colada Song!

Saturday is the day I go for my Stormfront lesson – Sounds like I’m in training to become a Marvel superhero-type figure but no, after purchasing my new Apple laptop from the local Stormfront computer shop, I thought it would be a good idea to actually learn how to use all the bells and whistles on it. It turns out you can buy a year’s Personal Trainer Card which gives you up to 200 hours of one-to-one training. No-one has ever fitted in 200 hours of training in a year to date, but I am working on being the first – Works out at 39p per session if you do, so excellent value for money (and no jokes please about the fact that I am Scottish and therefore unfairly regarded as being a bit tight with the old spondulicks).

Of course whenever anything sounds just too good to be true, it usually is, and by the time you pay for the car parking and shove in time at one of the many nearby stores (if you’ve got there a bit too early), it has already cost you about £15 before you begin but hey, it’s my new Saturday routine, and so far I’ve learnt a lot.

The shop right next door to Stormfront is Lakeland, which of course sells all sorts of highly priced but colourful kitchen accessories you never knew you needed. Last week I ended up buying Easter egg moulds and a fancy silicon pastry brush which meant we made some dodgy homemade chocolate eggs which came out at around £10 per unit as opposed to the nice shop-bought ones that could have been purchased for a £1.

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Today I had another browse, as I had again arrived about ten minutes too early, and what was piled up on a table by the front entrance, but lots of pots of ready-made frosting (or icing as we would call it) for cup cakes. Considering I wrote about cakes and icing last Saturday for my MacArthur Park post, I had to have a proper look at these brightly packaged tubs. One of the flavours was “Piña Colada” which of course reminded me of Escape (The Piña Colada Song) released in 1979 by Rupert Holmes. Funnily enough I had already been trying to work out which song to feature next from the excellent Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack album, full of lesser-known ’70s pop fodder. Here it was falling into my lap!

Escape (The Piña Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes:

I did write about this song last year (link here) as I had always thought I liked it because of the jaunty upbeat chorus. After revisiting it however I took more heed of the lyrics and realised (as often happens), that it was not really a jaunty upbeat tale at all. I even ended up having a bit of a spat with an American blogger due to our different interpretation of the lyrics. He seems to have disappeared from the blogosphere since and if it had anything to do with me I am truly sorry, but I doubt it. You need stamina to keep going with all this malarkey and it can really separate the men from the boys (or girls).

The spat came about because of our very different take on the twist to the song. After being tired of his “old lady” Rupert replies to a personal ad in a newspaper but lo and behold, who turns up for their clandestine meeting but his own “lovely lady” – What happened to the “old lady” he was so tired of?

So I waited with high hopes, then she walked in the place
I knew her smile in an instant, I knew the curve of her face
It was my own lovely lady, and she said, “Oh, it’s you”
And we laughed for a moment, and I said, “I never knew”

I know this might sound totally unreasonable but in my opinion if your other half was the person who turned up at O’Malley’s, there would be no sniggers of laughter and playful chiding about how little you knew each other, it would be curtains for the relationship. In the first place you would both have been caught out so you would become all angry and defensive, and secondly, the excitement of perhaps meeting someone with whom to plan your escape has all of a sudden dissipated. I fear there would be no turning back, from this “turn of events”.

My American blogging friend however decided that after the initial shock of finding each other at O’Malley’s, they would indeed get over it, have a laugh about it, and start to rebuild their relationship. He obviously doesn’t know Scottish women!

So, “What’s It All About?” – If you’re thinking of placing sneaky little personal ads or going down the modern day online equivalent, run it by your other half first as you just never know, they might be thinking of doing exactly the same thing! As for me, Mr WIAA has just arrived with a large glass containing a Piña Colada made with the cocktail mix I bought in the Lakeland shop today after my lesson – A pre-emptive strike is the best kind of strike but I do think that this time, I’ll give the dunes of the cape a miss!

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Escape (The Piña Colada Song) Lyrics
(Song by Rupert Holmes)

I was tired of my lady, we’d been together too long
Like a worn-out recording, of a favourite song
So while she lay there sleeping, I read the paper in bed
And in the personals column, there was this letter I read

“If you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain
If you’re not into yoga, if you have half a brain
If you like making love at midnight, in the dunes of the cape
I’m the love that you’ve looked for, write to me, and escape”

I didn’t think about my lady, I know that sounds kind of mean
But me and my old lady, had fallen into the same old dull routine
So I wrote to the paper, took out a personal ad
And though I’m nobody’s poet, I thought it wasn’t half bad

“Yes, I like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain
I’m not much into health food, I am into champagne
I’ve got to meet you by tomorrow noon, and cut through all this red tape
At a bar called O’Malley’s, where we’ll plan our escape”

So I waited with high hopes, then she walked in the place
I knew her smile in an instant, I knew the curve of her face
It was my own lovely lady, and she said, “Oh, it’s you”
And we laughed for a moment, and I said, “I never knew”

“That you liked Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain
And the feel of the ocean, and the taste of champagne
If you like making love at midnight, in the dunes of the cape
You’re the love that I’ve looked for, come with me, and escape”

“If you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain
If you’re not into yoga, if you have half a brain
If you like making love at midnight, in the dunes of the cape
I’m the love that you’ve looked for, come with me, and escape”

Music from Guardians of the Galaxy #1 – Blue Swede and “Hooked on a Feeling”

Hope everyone had a lovely Easter Monday. My day was particularly good in that it was spent almost entirely away from a computer screen. Considering that in my last post I wrote of my suspected “addiction to blogging”, this is a good thing. Instead my day was spent licking the back garden into shape, getting the outdoor furniture back in its usual spot in order to read the last few chapters of the book I’ve been stuck on for ages and having a lovely meal cooked for us by darling daughter.

The icing on the cake however was that one of our favourite films was on telly in the evening so for the first time in ages “we three” watched something together and not in different rooms of the house as is wont to happen nowadays. What was the film? – Why it was Guardians of the Galaxy which is an unusual choice for me but it is a very different animal from other films of its ilk because one of its stars is a “mix-tape”. I wrote about this mix-tape last year as the most important song on it was Hooked On A Feeling by Blue Swede and it was only after watching last year’s Eurovision Song Contest (yes I watch it) that I discovered it was actually by a band from Sweden. In the interests of continuing my detox from the computer screen for a little longer, I hope you don’t mind if I do another little cut and paste from last year:

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Those intrepid Guardians of the Galaxy!

“Last time I wrote about the Eurovision Song Contest and the show itself, hosted by Sweden this year, was possibly the best ever and had a brilliant set of very entertaining “interval fillers”. The most surprising of these was a film montage of Sweden’s contribution to pop music – Surprising, because I hadn’t realised that many of these artists were in fact Swedish. For a small Nordic country it seems to have punched above its weight in that department. Even if they had only produced Abba and then stopped that would have been enough, but no, we have also had Roxette, Europe, Ace of Base and many more that have passed me by, but the younger generation will know well.

The first of these artists to be celebrated was Björn Skifs of the band Blue Swede who hit the No. 1 spot in the US Charts in 1974 with Hooked on a Feeling. At exactly the same time, Björn Ulvaeus and the rest of Abba launched themselves on an unsuspecting world at the Eurovision Song Contest, winning decisively with Waterloo. Just to top things off, that was also the year that Björn Borg really started making a name for himself in the tennis world – So, all in all, a good year for Swedes called Björn.

Blue Swede

Looking at him now, our first Björn looks like the archetypal Disney Prince with his “Viking-esque” clothing and blond hair. The song Hooked on a Feeling was written by Mark James and was first recorded in 1968 by B.J. Thomas (he of Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head fame). The Blue Swede version that did so well in the US has the strange “ooga chaka” chant at the beginning which was originally added by Jonathan King in 1971. Until last Saturday night watching Eurovision, I hadn’t realised that this song, which has come into my life twice in the last 20 years, was by a band from Sweden.

Hooked on a Feeling by Blue Swede:

A couple of years ago darling daughter persuaded us to go and see a new Marvel Studios film called Guardians of the Galaxy. My heart sank when she mentioned the name as I am not a fan of superhero-type space films at all, but it turned out to be excellent. The writing was predictably sharp and witty, local girl Karen Gillan starred in it and best of all, the soundtrack was full of ’70s songs that totally resonated with us. Yes, it was set in space, but it took me right back to my school days and all the memories they conjure up. The ’70s songs were on a mix-tape (remember those?) played over and over by the lead character on an old Walkman, as a link to his dead mother and home in Missouri.

The main song was Hooked on a Feeling but there were also ones by 10cc, The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Elvin Bishop and Rupert Holmes. An excellent soundtrack album was released but ironically had to be downloaded with a digital picture of a cassette tape attached as no-one has the means to play actual tapes any more. The success of this mix lay in the fact that the songs chosen were, according to the director, “semi-familiar” – Ones you recognise but might not be able to name off the top of your head.

I mentioned that the song had come into my life twice before, the other time being when it popped up on the television show Ally McBeal, a comedy drama set in a Boston legal firm. The use was made of fantasy sequences and the “dancing baby” made regular appearances, always accompanied by the Blue Swede song Hooked on a Feeling. I loved that show as it came along in the late ’90s just at the time I had given up work to be a full-time mum. I think it reminded me of what life was like on the outside but thankfully I don’t remember ever feeling wistful about wanting to return to it which made for a happy time for us.

Hooked On A Feeling by Vonda Shepard:

Ally and her colleagues always frequented the same bar after work where the resident performer was singer Vonda Shepard. It was inevitable therefore that there would be an album of songs from the show and of course I bought it. Hooked on a Feeling was on it of course but again there was a great mix of lesser-known tracks, my favourite being the Skeeter Davis song The End of the World which had accompanied a particularly poignant scene in the show.

So, a song I had come across often but hadn’t realised was by a Swedish band until last weekend. Looking now at pictures of all the aforementioned Björns in later life, they could be the affluent CEOs of large multinational corporations. The Swedes are successful in music and sport but the “rock ‘n’ roll” lifestyle is obviously not for them – In view of what has been happening to so many of our idols of late, I think I am grateful.”

Hooked on a Feeling Lyrics
(Song by Mark James)

Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga
Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga
Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga
Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga

I can’t stop this feeling
Deep inside on me
Girl, you just don’t realize
What you do to me

When you hold me
In your arms so tight
You let me know
Everything’s all right

I’m hooked on a feeling
I’m high on believing
That you’re in love with me

Lips as sweet as candy
It’s taste is on my mind
Girl, you got me thirsty
For another cup o’ wine

Got a bug from you girl
But I don’t need no cure
I’ll just stay a victim
If I can for sure

All the good love
When we’re all alone
Keep it up girl
Yeah, you turn me on

I’m hooked on a feeling
I’m high on believing
That you’re in love with me

Postscript:

For those who have seen the movie, here is a wee fellow you may recognise – Made by Mr WIAA for darling daughter as she was such a fan.

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Baby Groot!

Three Björns, Mix-tapes and “Hooked on a Feeling”

Last time I wrote about the Eurovision Song Contest and how it was devised in 1955 as a means of bringing countries together, post-war, in the form of a “light” television entertainment programme. As it turned out, Saturday night’s winning song and the new more transparent voting system did the antithesis of that so a fantastic production was, for me, marred by the devisive outcome. But we move on and the show itself, hosted by Sweden this year, was possibly the best ever and had a brilliant set of very entertaining “interval fillers”.

The most surprising of these was a film montage of Sweden’s contribution to pop music – Surprising because I hadn’t realised that many of these artists were in fact Swedish. For a small Nordic country it seems to have punched above its weight in that department. Even if they had only produced Abba and then stopped that would have been enough, but no, we have also had Roxette, Europe, Ace of Base and many more that have passed me by, but the younger generation will know well.

The first of these artists to be celebrated was Björn Skifs of the band Blue Swede who hit the No. 1 spot in the US Charts in 1974 with Hooked on a Feeling. At exactly the same time, Björn Ulvaeus and the rest of Abba launched themselves on an unsuspecting world at the Eurovision Song Contest, winning decisively with Waterloo. Just to top things off, that was also the year that Björn Borg really started making a name for himself in the tennis world – So, a good year for Swedes called Björn.

bjorn 1

Looking at him now, our first Björn looks like the archetypal Disney Prince with his “Viking-esque” clothing and blond hair. Abba’s Björn was similarly blond-haired but was landed with having to wear those ridiculous outfits. Our tennis playing, blond-haired Björn became a bit of a teen idol and I remember clearly having his poster all over my bedroom wall in the mid ’70s.

But back to the song Hooked on a Feeling – It was written by Mark James and was first recorded in 1968 by B.J. Thomas (he of Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head fame). The Blue Swede version that did so well in the US has the strange “ooga chaka” chant at the begining which was originally added by Jonathan King in 1971. Until last Saturday night watching Eurovision, I hadn’t realised that this song, which has come into my life twice in the last 20 years, was by a band from Sweden.

A couple of years ago my daughter, during her last summer of living at home, persuaded us to go and see a new Marvel Studios film called Guardians of the Galaxy. My heart sank when she mentioned the name as I am not a fan of superhero-type space films at all, but it turned out to be excellent. The storyline was very clever, local girl Karen Gillan starred in it and best of all, the soundtrack was full of ’70s songs that totally resonated with us. Yes, it was set in space, but it took me right back to my school days and all the memories they conjure up. The ’70s songs were on a mix-tape (remember those?) played over and over by the lead character on an old Walkman, as a link to his mother and home in Missouri.

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The main song was Hooked on a Feeling but there were also ones by 10cc, The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Elvin Bishop and our old friend Rupert Holmes (his name just keeps on popping up – grrr). A must buy soundtrack but ironically it had to be downloaded with a digital picture of a cassette tape attached as no-one has the means to play actual tapes any more.

The success of this mix lies in the fact that the songs chosen were, according to the director, “semi-familiar” – ones you recognise but might not be able to name off the top of your head. As we all know there is a tipping point, when you have heard songs just once too often and become tired of them – This is a shame but we will never run out of material and revisiting these lesser-known songs from the past, and perhaps seeing something in them that was missed first time around, can be really rewarding.

I mentioned that the song had come into my life twice before, the other time being when it popped up on the television show Ally McBeal, a comedy drama set in a Boston legal firm. The use is made of fantasy sequences and the “dancing baby” makes regular appearances, always accompanied by the Blue Swede song Hooked on a Feeling. I loved that show a lot as it came along in the late 90s just at the time I had given up work to be a full-time mum. I think it reminded me of what life was like on the outside but thankfully I don’t remember ever feeling wistful about wanting to return to it which made for a happy time for us.

dancing baby
Ally with that Dancin’ Baby

Hooked On A Feeling by Vonda Shepard:

Ally and her colleagues always frequented the same bar after work where the resident performer was singer Vonda Shepard. It was inevitable that there would be an album of songs from the show and of course I bought it. Hooked on a Feeling was on it of course but again there was a great mix of lesser-known tracks, my favourite being the Skeeter Davis song The End of the World which had accompanied a particularly poignant scene in the show.

So, a song I had come across often but hadn’t realised was by a Swedish band until last weekend. Looking now at pictures of all these Björns in later life, they could be the affluent CEOs of large multinational corporations. The Swedes are successful in music and sport but the “rock ‘n’ roll” lifestyle is obviously not for them – In view of what has been happening to so many of our idols this year, I think I am grateful.

Hooked on a Feeling Lyrics
(Song by Mark James)

Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga
Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga
Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga
Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga

I can’t stop this feeling
Deep inside on me
Girl, you just don’t realize
What you do to me

When you hold me
In your arms so tight
You let me know
Everything’s all right

I’m hooked on a feeling
I’m high on believing
That you’re in love with me

Lips as sweet as candy
It’s taste is on my mind
Girl, you got me thirsty
For another cup o’ wine

Got a bug from you girl
But I don’t need no cure
I’ll just stay a victim
If I can for sure

All the good love
When we’re all alone
Keep it up girl
Yeah, you turn me on

I’m hooked on a feeling
I’m high on believing
That you’re in love with me