And a bonus tune for the sometime MP for my constituency…
And while we’re waiting for that to be confirmed, here’s two tunes for polling day.
A lesser-known Nina Persson recording from 2012, collaborating with New York political cabaret troupe The Citizens Band on a cover of Jack Teagarden‘s 1939 swing classic…
And Leicester’s Deep Freeze Mice with a typically tongue-in-cheek number from 1979…
Sharing thirteen versions of this song, is definitely overkill. I had planned to share a three-track single and then got carried away and started gathering all the versions I have. I will highlight my favourites as we go along…
The song in question is “Tokyo Wa Yoru No Shichiji” (literally “7pm in Tokyo”, but known in English as “The Night Is Still Young”), a 1993 single which was the first major release by Japanese alt-dance oddments Pizzicato Five after they’d slimmed down to a duo of Maki Nomiya and Yasuharu Konishi. It’s one of their straighter club dance tracks, rather than one of their quirky “modern retro” things like “Twiggy Twiggy” or “Baby Love Child”. At this stage they were still unknown in the West but the single would eventually appear on Matador’s second P5 compilation, The Sound Of Music, where I first heard it. The original version is still a favourite…
Link: Pizzicato Five – The Night Is Still Young (single version) – recommended pick!
The original single also featured an instrumental version (which I don’t have) and this mellower remix by Yukihiro Fukutomi:
Then in 1994, they revisited it in two very different versions. On the EP “A Television’s Workshop”, they did it in a more disco arrangement with rhythm guitar and strings. Nice! I suspect that if P5 themselves had to choose a definitive version, this might be the one. Probably the most immediately likeable version as well.
Link: Pizzicato Five – The Night Is Still Young (MFSB Readymade Mix) – recommended pick!
The other 1994 version was this remix (by Fukutomi again) which appeared on their album Overdose:
In 1995, during a promotional tour for The Sound Of Music, the duo did this live acoustic version for KCRW Los Angeles.
Link: Pizzicato Five – The Night Is Still Young (KCRW acoustic session) – recommended pick!
And when P5 finally split in 2001, their farewell compilation Pizzicato Five RIP (on their Japanese label Nippon Columbia, not Matador) featured yet another remix.
Since the split, both halves of the duo have revisited the song solo. Yasuharu was first, producing this 2006 version for his protege Karia Nomoto, aka Karly. “The First Cut” is the album version (the album being Dance Music, which I will share at some point), and is somewhere between the original and the Readymade MFSB arrangements:
Maki Nomiya waited a bit longer, and then put versions of “The Night Is Still Young” on four consecutive albums! The deluge started in 2012 when she marked 30 years in the business we call show by recording an album of “self covers”, including this:
I’m not sure that really adds anything to the previous versions. However, Nomiya’s more recent takes on the song, actually do something different with it. First is the swing arrangement on her 2014 live album Miss Maki Nomiya Sings Shibuya-kei Standards:
Link: Maki Nomiya – The Night Is Still Young (live) – recommended pick!
…which she also did a studio recording of for her 2015 album What The World Needs Now Is Love.
And her most recent re-invention of the song is this distinctively Japanese “bon odori” version, tacked on as a bonus track to her 2016 album Un Homme Et Une Femme. It’s a little bit cheesy, but an interesting twist all the same.
I don’t know how the weather is holding up elsewhere (it’s alternating between sunburn and monsoon on a roughly 90-minute cycle here) and I may have missed the moment, but I’ve uploaded this now, so here it is. This 1994 single is from the tail-end of cardiac groovemasters Deee-Lite‘s career, when Lady Miss Kier and Super DJ Dimitri were plodding on without founding member Towa Tei.
Deee-Lite – Picnic In The Summertime (various single mixes, 1994)
Link: Deee-Lite – Picnic In The Summertime (Ronin’s Down Tempo Mix)
Link: Deee-Lite – Picnic In The Summertime (Guru’s Jeeper Self Mix)
Link: Deee-Lite – Picnic In The Summertime (LP version)
Link: Deee-Lite – Picnic In The Summertime (H-Man Happy Trails Mix)
Link: Deee-Lite – Picnic In The Summertime (Sampladelic Jumbo Jungle Mix)
Link: Deee-Lite – Picnic In The Summertime (Picnicapella)
Here’s a Pulp single from 1991, roughly the time that they started to get taken seriously by the music press. It was also around this time that they were getting chummy with Sheffield’s FON Studios / Warp records axis, as evidenced by the B-sides here, one of Russell Senior‘s weird-outs remixed by the team of Parrot (Funky Worm / Sweet Exorcist) and Winston (Forgemasters).
Way back in the mists of time, I noted that I see “Lopez” by 808 State posted on blogs quite often, but not the other singles from the Don Solaris album, “Bond” and “Azura”. I posted “Bond” at the time and said I would post “Azura” if it turned up among my disorganised backups. Well, it has. So here it is. Lyrics and vocals by Louise Rhodes out of that there Lamb. Mmmm… minty.
I was going to write something terribly out-of-character and real-worldy and not-musical-at-all about the systemic impotence of Trading Standards, but maybe some other time. I think I need to make a few FOI requests first.
Unfortunately, as I’m not writing about that, I’m left without anything to pad this post out with.
I don’t know anything about the guy behind this. I would guess he’s a DJ and part-time Belisha beacon salesman, collects umbrellas, speaks Farsi, Tagalog and Klingon, and has a false leg made of cheese. But I am just guessing.
This is mainly generic 90s progressive-trance-house, but head straight for “The Difference Mix”, a piano-heavy choon that actually lives up to the “Discobug” title.
Freakyman – Discobug ’97 (CD single, 1997)
Well, someone had to mark his passing by posting this…
Moonshake have featured here before, with their first EP. Today, their last proper single.
I say “their”, but by the time “Cranes” came out in 1996, Moonshake were down to only one original member, David Callahan. Original co-leader Margaret Fiedler and bassist John Frennett had gone off to form Laika, taking producer and unofficial fifth Moonshaker Guy Fixsen with them. And drummer Mig Moreland had jumped ship to join original shoegazers Moose.
“Cranes” was the first and only single from the album Dirty & Divine, which pulled back from the jazzier stylings of previous post-Fiedler LP The Sound Your Eyes Can Follow. Actually, it pulled back from complex arrangements in general, sticking largely to percussion (live and sampled), bass, saxophone and of course Callahan’s vocals. It works surprisingly well.
B sides are another album track “Gambler’s Blues” and a mostly instrumental remix of “Cranes”, re-titled “Night Tripper 2”. There was a previous “Night Tripper” (it was on a bonus 7″ accompanying an Indie Top 20 compilation) but as far as I remember, it was an unrelated track.
Moonshake – Cranes (UK CD single, 1996)