heard on the wire

I’m a 50-year-old man

cricket-scores

I’m a fifty year old man
And I like it
I’m a fifty year old man
What’re you gonna do about it?

It’s my birthday and I’ll listen to the Fall if I want to.

Read the rest of this entry »

You lose your sting and die

Sinatra

A friend and reader suggested recently this week that ELO might have been better than New Order. Doctors have been called. (He’s a Brentford fan, so he has previous).

He was referring to the bands’ performances at the recent Glastonbury festival, where Jeff Lynne’s ELO, as the hirsute, prog-ish, sometimes-pretentious rockers are now known, brought lots of grey-haired, pot-bellied men of my age to the Pyramid stage on a soggy afternoon. Later New Order lit up the night sky on one of the festival’s plethora of other stages, presumably to an audience comprising, in a not insignificant part, of grey-haired, pot-bellied men of my age.

Read the rest of this entry »

And then there were 12

Twelve

I’ve now been asked twice to do this. I know it’s one of those Facebook memes, but this blog got up and running with one of those, so who am I to resist?

Anyone, the challenge, if that’s what it is, is:

List 12 albums that made a lasting impression on you, but only 1 per band/artist. Don’t take too long and don’t think too hard. Tag 12 friends to do the same, including me, so I can see what you listed. No compilations.

So without taking too long and thinking too hard, this is my list, a little predictable perhaps, but I feel that’s perhaps the point. I’m listing them as I heard them — as far as I recall — but feel free to wrest them into any order you wish.

Read the rest of this entry »

How bad are English musicians?

Wasting_away_and_wonderingWhat better way could there be to celebrate St Valentine’s Day than with a trip to a Sunderland record shop to see The School.

The Cardiff band has inherited the title of the world’s finest Dusty-tinged soul pop band from Lucky Soul and they cemented their claim with their third LP, Wasting Away and Wondering.

Read the rest of this entry »

Down beside the lake

Swan_Lake

It has been said that if something’s worth doing, then it’s worth doing properly.

So if you’re going to attempt to reinvigorate a once-again dormant blog, what better way could there be than with a song by the greatest band that ever existed.

Read the rest of this entry »

We are history and I’ve heard it all before

Jetpack

My teenage self would be horrified, but it’s occurred to me that a lot of the music I listen to these days is made by old rockers. Just this week I’ve been entertained by Costello, New Order, the Jam, Modern Lovers and David Bowie. It’s as if the 20th century never ended.

Such listening certainly puts paid to the notion that rock ’n’ roll, or pop music, or whatever you want to call it, is somehow ephemeral, a notion occasionally put forward in counterposition to the “timelessness” of classical forms. That just seems vainglorious now. It’s nearly 70 years since Fats Domino kicked off the rock ’n’ roll era and popular music; old rockers are now just another part of its rich history.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hard-boiled eggs on a beach with a Blue Flag status

Olivetti1

Well, that was all a long time ago. I left this blog in a state of suspended animation as I abandoned a lifetime of aimless career-drifting to become a teacher.

I recall a tweet from last summer that contemptuously — and quite rightly — dismissed those celebrities describing their well-remunerated appearances on Strictly… or its ilk as a journey. The Tour de France, that’s a journey, the tweet said.

Read the rest of this entry »

Shoot ’em in the back now

Harry Styles Ramones t-shirt

I harbour too many irrational prejudices. Really, why do vegetarians, tattoos, comfortable shoes, unpolished shoes, men in hoodies, comic books (as opposed to comics), ill-fitting jeans and DSLRs in the hands of amateurs annoy me so much?

The presence of any of them neither inconveniences me nor otherwise diminishes the quality of my life, but still…

I’m learning to control my pique and hide my distaste, but it’s not easy. And it’s most difficult when I see a Ramones t-shirt.

Read the rest of this entry »

Why d’you feel the need to rant and rave?

Polish postage stamps

Dear John Peel,

Nothing pleases me more, really, than to get a letter from a real fan and here’s—it would be embarrassing to him to give his full name—but Anthony of Finchley.

And he says, “For me, your programme achieves the dubious accolade of being just about the worst music programme I’ve ever heard. What a horrible, brain-jarring, nerve-rending load of pish. Is this the cream of the crop? Is this the best there is? Have you ever heard of the term ‘beauty’ or how about ‘joyfull’ or try ‘uplifting’? An awful, awful programme.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Everybody ready? Let’s go 1, 2, 3!

Lithium 3

This song means something
Every song means something

According to a Latin adage, everything that comes in threes is perfect. Two’s company, three’s a crowd, according to anyone trying to get rid of unwanted company.

All of which is little help when we assess the part that the number three has played in the history of rock ’n’ pop. Unlike one and two, it plays no part in the soundcheck and while most music fans can name a favourite chart topper or runner-up, few recall a beloved hit parade bronze medalist.

And rare is the drummer who counts one, two, three before launching into the next song. Unless four is “Go!”. Ado has three letters and without further of it…

Read the rest of this entry »

archive

about

heard on the wire is a blog about music old and new, but mostly new. It occasionally uses 21st century file formats that may not be supported by 20th century web browsers. For best results use Safari or Chrome. And If you like the music posted here, please think of the effort and expense that has gone into making it and consider buying a copy of your own.

subscribe

Hear it on the wire, by receiving email notifications of new posts.

copyright

All the music on this site is posted to encourage listeners to enjoy it and then rush out and buy as many songs by the artist as they possibly can. Any artist, record label boss, publisher or other rightsholder who doesn't want their works featured here only needs to get in touch and the offending file(s) will be removed at the earliest opportunity.