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Happy weekend festive friends and family ;) My first week back at work went very slow, then quite quick and then slow again. Although, I did get quite a lot done today so am very pleased with myself. And it's my annual Christmas party this weekend, so I have to nip to Marks and Spencers to pick up some Bucks Fizz. I hope people realise that they will be having plastic cups. I'm not bringing out my crystal glassware. Still, should be a fun evening of Christmas capers and festive frivolity. How delightfully delightful. Hope anyone near the tornado in London yesterday is ok and still full of seasonal cheer…Anyway, today's post may run on a bit as I'm only updating at the weekend to do Christmas music bits, and maybe some stuff on the spin off blogs, so hopefully this will keep you going until then. PS ~ I'm quite excited that the Beeb has renewed Robin Hood for a second season and is developing a Merlin show for the same timeslot :) PPS ~ went out into town after work tonight and not only did a young buck at starbucks call me SIR!!! but Darren was asked in Debenhams if he had a special lady in his life, to which he pointed and replied "Just him"... the audacity!

Sob. In yesterday's post, Take That split up. Sniffle. I hope you are all managing to cope with the hurt, heartache and betrayal. Rather than focus on the solo careers of Robbie, Gary and Mark, I thought I would take a look at what a fourth Take That album in 1996 might have sounded like. I have cobbled this theory together from Gary's autobiography and various interviews and articles I have read over the year. So in an alternate reality (ooo how Sliders before it went rubbish), rather than releasing a greatest hits in 1996, the That would have got on with the task of their first Robbie-free album. I like to think it would have kicked off anyway with the quite nice BeeGee's cover How Deep Is Your Love in March 1996, that no doubt would have whipped up excitement for the new album with it's smooth line in harmonies and doing-bondage-way-before-Phixx-did video. Gary stated in his biography that many of the self penned tracks on his debut were originally written with Take That in mind; there was an unreleased gem on the Never Forget collection released after the documentary last year; in an interview Donny Osmond mentioned that a festive track written by Gary on his 2004 album was meant to be a Take That Christmas b-side; and finally, although Gary hated it, I like to think that the boys would have recorded Madonna penned Love Won't Wait anyway… how all this would've affected Rob's career intrigues me, but for now here is my "partially complete, wholly imagined" Take That album circa 1996 (probably called Open Road)…
How Deep Is Your Love (mp3)
Forever Love
Open Road
Love Won't Wait
Hang On In There Baby
Everything I Ever Wanted
Today I've Lost You (
Christmas (
Donny Osmond mp3)


I wrote about this fairly early on in my blog, but now I've come completely clean about my love of Take That, Steps, Hear'say, S-Club et al, it's time to revisit the one project that bought elements of all those groups together… Love Shack was a musical that toured Britain and was the story of a couple preparing for their wedding. It starred Jon Lee (Sclub), Noel Gallagher (Hear'say) and Faye Tozer (Steps). Much of the music in it was party classics (love shack, girls just wanna have fun, etc) that provided a fun atmosphere in the theatre in a show that embraced it's cheese and didn't take itself too seriously. However, there was one main song in it – the love duet after the bride to be and her perspective groom wrongly suspect some extra-curricular hanky panky on their hen and stag nights – that was written by Gary Barlow and was classic 90s-influenced balladry. Sadly the show hasn't been heard of since the tour finished, which is a shame as it wasn't half bad and an awful lot of fun to watch. Plus there was the extra thrill of seeing an almost pop-supergroup up and performing together on stage (including a bit where they are tuning in a radio and one hit from each groups plays briefly to scorn from the others!!). Sigh. Luckily, they were selling cd samplers of the soundtrack in the lobby afterwards which you can check out yourself below…
DOWNLOAD: The Love Shack cd sampler (zip)

I knew I kinda liked Paolo Nutini's music. A lot. I was nearly strayed from the path of righteousness by James Morrison (ooo that wiley devil), but I soon realised that a) his album was not holding my interest and b) Paolo does it better. It was only when considering my top twenty songs and albums for 2006, that I realised Paolo, actually, features fairly prominently in both lists. Whether it be the heartbreaking plea of Last Request, the sweet nostalgia and hope of the gorgeous These Streets, the jaunty laddish qualities of Jenny, Don't Be Hasty, sublime languidness of Rewind or just the sound of his seemingly booze-sozzled-old-soak voice wrapped in the body of a young bloke, there's a lot to like about Mr. Nutini. It's the way he sings with a hint of hypocrisy about his own sexual exploits (Jenny), while questioning his own girlfriend's fidelity (Alloway Grove). He's open, honest and a little na├»ve and it all works so well. I love when I realise late on that I'm quite in love with an album I previously only thought I liked…
LINK: Paolo Nutini's myspace site
LINK: Purchase These Streets cd
MP3: Paolo Nutini – Rehab (Live Lounge Cover)
MP3: Paolo Nutini - Still Crazy
There is a reason why I'm Always Right's blog is called I'm Always Right. But I won't go into that now other than to say he has had the splendiferous idea of appealing across the bloggiverse to get as many people voting on what are the top ten pop albums of all time. Think of the possibilities! The Cheeky Girls album could finally get the respect it deserves ;) OK so here's the 118118 (the 411 of England!) - you need to think of your top ten pop music albums of all time (not just what the kids on the street are listening to now) and send them in order of 1-10 (with 1 being the best and 10 being the tenth best) via the magic of email to this address here by January 26th 2007. (3 days after DazParty's birthday, date fans!) Then a panel of judging "experts" will pass comment on the most popular ten. Which you know is going to be fine when it includes this fine and knowledgeable people! So I strongly encourage you to dig out that Electric Youth album and listen to it again – and that will be my only "For Your Consideration" moment :)
Boxing Day is what we Brits call December 26th, alternative name fans! And in the now canonical (new word) Last Christmas, pre gay George Michael sings "last Christmas I gave you my heart, the very next day you gave it away." Which clearly would have been Boxing Day. Hence my little sub title of this part of my little blog. Last Christmas over the 2 decades since it's release has managed to become a staple of Christmas compilation albums and a favourite to be covered by other acts. Even this year, High School Musical graduate, Ashley Tisdale, has turned in her very Hilary Duff-esque (cos she did it too!) sounding version of this amazing song. I think the sheer genius of it lies in the fact that it's not only a great pop song, has all the right festive ingredients, twinkles along like fairly lights on a festive loop yet has incredibly sad and poignant lyrics hidden within that. Abba were genius at making sad songs sound upbeat and poppy, and this ranks up there with the best of their tunes (high praise from someone who thinks Abba were the ultimate pop act ever). I think that's why it has inspired many covers – Human Nature did the boyband version, Darren Hayes did the faithful version, Le Sport did the Swedish version, Crazy Frog, er, well basically wrecked it, but oh well. All those and more can be found in the zip file below (except Darren Hayes, who you can check out at Poppostergirl's site…)
DOWNLOAD: Thezapping Last Christmas covers zip
BONUS MP3: Jimmy Eat World - Last Christmas

~ Ooo and oh. So, yes, we all thought that my fave new band of the year, The Feeling, would a) either call it quits with 12 Stops… singles after Love It When You Call or b) wisely release Strange. But no. They are releasing "live favourite" Rose on Feb 12th. Oh well. Hopefully it will come with some nice b-sides. Download the live version from the Birmingham "gig" I went to here
~ And the only reason I got into The Feeling was because one of my friends (erroneously) suggested they were the new Maroon 5. Who I adore. Whom I adore? No word on their comeback single yet, but they do have a rather fine festive sale going on over at their website…
~ Grife! I've had a LOT of emails from people asking if they can get a copy of the Shirley Bassey cover of Pink's Get Your Party Started (as used in the festive M&S marketing campaign). Well, a) thanks for all the nice comments about the site in those emails and b) here it is again –
Shirley Bassey – Party MP3. N-Joi…
~ lovely irish singer
Robert O'Connor has a new sex and the city-esque column in his local newspaper that is also available online. It's Carrie Bradshaw through the eyes of a dude!
~ Check out marvy
new blog from Dan. Its not only a great read, but thezapping loves it because it makes us feel not so alone in the world to have other people pick imaginary singles from albums :)
~ How i didn't know about this
McFly themed blog from Chris is utterly utterly beyond me. I am ashamed to call myself a McFlyian.

Coming this very weekend

~Zapping Directory; festive tv and the daily (x2) festive music section…
~Holiday Diaries from Gran Canaria finished off…
~Top ten live lounge performances of the year over at Spin Off Blog
~All the gossip from my annual Christmas party over at Holiday Diaries…


  1. xolondon said...
    You really should open a Christmas shop. You'd be happy year-round. I also love how you represent a very a contemporary thing of your mood being guided by the atmosphere at Starbucks - this is what they hope to do. To create a realllly inviting place. It works on me too and I don't even drink coffee!

    Paulie Z, what do you think of the Paolo-Amy cover? It is a brilliant concept that I am not sure was well executed. He's like 19 and his voice sounds ravaged so much that he can't really carry that song as well as he should. It's really torn up-sounding.

    Funny irony: I am now getting into James M after chastising you for thinking he might whoop Paolo Nutini.

    All this reminds me, do you like a scone with a little NUTINI spread on it? [O I am so funny. Hee hee ha ha!]
    Poster Girl said...
    Sigh...I will forever think of Donny Osmond as Joseph from the Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat CD we had lying around the house. And also on the topic of musicals: what a neat combination of people for that Love Shack one! Some more ex-popstars need to get together and put a musical together.

    Interesting choice from the Feeling, but I can't complain now that they've already released my favorite track :)
    J'ason D'luv said...
    Pablo, did you see The Holiday yet? I went today with a pal, and was pleasantly surprised at how great it was! Forget that schmaltzy Love, Actually, this one is 10 times better... In fact, I'll come chop your LA DVD in half like firewood for ya... Cool?
    Paul said...
    XO - starbucks should pay me commission! I do really like the paolo amy cover, more and more each time i listen to it. i had no idea i liked Paolo so much! It was a surprise to me :)

    PPG - ooo Donny gets about doesn't he ;)

    D'luv 2 luv you baby - i am off to see the holiday this very week though i doubt it can top Love, Actually. Ruthiepoos girlfriend revealed last night that she doesn't like Love, Actually. there may be trouble ahead ;)

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