heard on the wire

The alcohol loves you while turning you blue


Ten months ago I wrote, “And then there was one. Which, as you all know, is the most important number in the history of rock ’n’ pop music.” And now there is two, which as anyone who’s ever been to a sound check will know is the second most important.

For the commercially minded, number two may conjure up memories of those records that famously and narrowly failed to reach the top of the charts. Most famously of course was Vienna, the Ultravox single recently voted as the best number two of all-time.

Asked to choose one from that BBC Radio 2 list and I’d probably plump for a record that I’ve mentioned before, one that sits at number 34 in that list, Adele’s exceptional Rolling in the Deep. I might have picked the Carpenters’ Yesterday Once More, if I didn’t prefer the Cinerama cover. As for Ultravox’s Vienna, it means nothing to me; Vic Reeves owns it now.

But what of the best songs with “two” in the title? Where better to start than David Gedge’s masterpiece, the 2002 LP Torino that is only bettered by Joy Division’s Closer in the pantheon of the greatest long playing records of all time.

Cinerama :: Two Girls ⬇ [iTunes]

Audio MP3


I want to say that you can only admire the aplomb with which Gedge crafted the songs on Torino, but there are only certain instances in which that word can be employed.

This song should be embedded within every car’s audio system, ready to be accessed at the push of a button should a certain road sign be encountered.

Well I’m not really worried about this,
But can some one please answer me this:
Apart from on commentary
Where else on earth
Can you hear the word “aplomb” being used?

Half Man Half Biscuit :: Keeping Two Chevrons Apart ⬇ [iTunes]

Audio MP3


Ironically maintaing a safe distance requires a certain degree of aplomb, as, I imagine, did this brilliant and brutal attack on sexual predation.

Loveninjas :: She Broke His Penis in Two ⬇ [iTunes]

Audio MP3


Quite what inspired someone to describe it as “fun” I can’t imagine.

This, from anglo-Japanese outfit Hyper Kinako, is fun.

Hyper Kinako :: Two Tadgers ⬇ [free]

Audio MP3


One of the most easily recognisable intros in rock ’n’ pop history suggest that this might be fun, but Alan Rankine and Billy Mackenzie’s 1982 song about a pair of party gatecrashers hints at the despair that eventually led MacKenzie to commit suicide 15 years later. After all, what are gatecrashers but the uninvited?

Don’t turn around
I won’t have to look at you
And what’s not found is all that I see in you
My manners are failing me
I’m left feeling ugly
And you say it’s wonderful
To live with I never will

It was Associates only top 10 record, scant reward for their huge talent.

Associates :: Party Fears Two ⬇ [iTunes]

Audio MP3


There are two-titled songs aplenty: we could have heard the Fall, Mogwai, the Farmers Boys, Inspiral Carpets or even Frankie Goes to Hollywood and this post would have been just as rich and varied. Bands with “two” in their name, however, are few and far between, the B52s (*shudder*), Two Wounded Birds and the oft dull Two Door Cinema Club spring to mind. And there was one that recorded just a handful of songs before disappearing—until shortly after I’d posted this track for the second time, when I received a comment from the song writer’s brother.

Nice. My brother wrote this song.
Can’t believe this is being blogged about over 5 years later.
Can you send us the mp3 please? We don’t actually have a copy any more.

So I did, while enquiring what, if anything, the brother was doing now. I didn’t get a reply, but I’m not bitter.

And even if I were, I’d still find a reason repost the greatest unreleased pop song of all time.

Two Men in a Boat :: Raindrops and Roadmaps ⬇ [free]

Audio MP3


Photo taken from the cover of Riddles in Mathematics by Pelican Books; some rights reserved.

Related posts
One, two, three o’clock
At the sign of the swinging cymbal // Adele :: Rolling in the Deep
If this ain’t love… // Cinerama :: Yesterday Once More
Two songs about Belgium // Vic Reeves :: Vienna
We’ll have fun, fun, fun, wherever we run // Two Wounded Birds
Let’s run away and join the circus

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