Pub quiz picture round: April

Pub quiz picture round: April

In March, David Bowie released a new album, The Next Day, the cover of which was the artwork for his album “Heroes” with a big, ugly, white square on top of it. His ‘people’ said it was a deep and meaningful album cover, I thought it was lazy and off-putting. To celebrate this, for this picture round you must identify these albums which were among the top-selling albums of the 70’s and 80’s in the UK, the covers of which have been Bowified. Artist and album title needed for the point. Titles have also obscured. Answers below the picture. Steal for your own quiz, if you’re that way inclined, but it’s not very hard to create a picture round, is it? Is it? No. 

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MORE PICTURE ROUNDS:

PICTURE ROUND 2
PICTURE ROUND 3

Answers below:
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A) Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
B) Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
C) Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell
D) Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells
E) Dire Straits – Money for Nothing
F) Blondie – Parallel Lines
G) Madonna – Like a Virgin
H) U2 – The Joshua Tree
I) Phil Collins – No Jacket Required
J) Kylie Minogue – Kylie
K) Wings – Band on the Run
L) Paul Simon – Graceland
M) Barry Manilow – Manilow Magic
N) Wham – Make It Big
O) Simon and Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water

Leave a comment if you are appreciative.  It’s nice to be nice.

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Most anticipated albums of 2013 PT 2 – David Bowie

4. David Bowie – The Next Day

Release date: 8th March

 This is one we didn’t expect to be expecting two weeks ago. In a modern media world where an artist can’t usually record an album without somebody leaking all of their demos (insert GIF of Marina Diamandis running about screaming ‘WHO’S LEAKING MY TRACKS?!?’) the world’s most important living pop icon, Lord David Bowie, somehow managed to write, orchestrate and record his first album in ten years without anybody knowing, then spring it on the world as a little surprise last week on his 66th birthday. Many people had wanted Bowie to write something new since 2003’s Reality, but nobody expected it. The closest the media got to guessing was when Bowie was seen in public last year, but that was put down to him buying a sandwich. You can’t help thinking now that perhaps he was doing more than buying a sandwich, we all told off the media for overreacting but perhaps they were right after all?!. After that little event, and the world’s overblown sandwich reaction, I wrote a piece  about how I was pleased David Bowie had not come out of retirement and ruined his legacy like all of his peers, so I was in two minds about Bowie’s comeback, but this is the first time I’ve been artistically conscious enough to anticipate new Bowie music.  

What can we expect?

First single ‘Where Are We Now?’ is not exactly a disco classic. It’s a down-tempo, fairly dreary track with far too many German words than I appreciate in one song and, as much as I truly love David Bowie, I don’t think I would be interested in it if it were by anyone else. Bowie’s voice sounds quite frail, but he himself looks far from it, thankfully. However, we need not worry that the whole album will be about walking the dead and sitting in the dschungel, as we have been assured by one of Bowie’s team, all of whom were asked to sign confidentiality agreements so as not to spoil the surprise before the big reveal, that there will be more rocky tracks on the album than the first single, so all is not lost.  Track titles for the album include ‘Dirty Boys’ and ‘Dancing Out In Space’, which both sound like they would be far from ballad territory and maybe see the return of Major Tom? That’s mere speculation but who knows? Dave loves singing about space though, I wonder why he hasn’t signed up to one of Richard Branson’s voyages or jumped out of a big Red Bull balloon? Because he’s too dignified, that’s why! He doesn’t even want to tour anymore and he doesn’t need to, he probably wears diamond encrusted slippers and decorates his food with more gold leaf than everyone in the Great British Bake Off combines.
What about the artwork?
It’s the cover of Bowie’s “Heroes” album with a white square bunged on top of it and the title written on in a horrible font. Apparently it took ages to come up with the concept, and seemingly one minute for an eight year old to create the image on Microsoft Paint. The less said about it, the better really. I assumed it was a joke image at first, like when Lady Gaga released the artwork for Born This Way, everyone hoped she was having a laugh. Bowie’s people say the cover is supposed to represent ‘forgetting the past’ but I think a far more powerful image would be a 66 year old Bowie facing the camera in the same pose as the Aladdin Sane cover, but with the lightning bolt rubbed off his face, paint smeared across his cheek. That would be far more powerful.

What The Next Day should sound like.
What is the worst thing David could do now?
As much as I don’t want the album to be a disc of dreary ballads, without meaning to sound hypocritical here, Bowie does need to act his age. If he released a dubstep album featuring Nicki Minaj guest raps, about being a boy gone wild and wanting to romp and mutually swap genes with a younger generation, I would be tempted to say goodbye to him forever. I think there’s more chance of the whole album being Ziggy Stardust played backwards than that though. Artists need to realise they have gotten old, Madonna hasn’t realised this yet, but David has. Of course, an older artist can release songs that are more suitable to their age group without being as dull as Where Are We Now?, such as when Johnny Cash released his cover of Hurt at the age of 71.I would be happy if the songs were more in the vein of Absolute Beginners and Heroes, with the occasional guitar solo chucked in, rather than the industrial drum machine racket Little Wonder or Jump They Say. The best thing Bowie could do now is a Glastonbury headline set though.
How good does this album need to be?
The Next Day needs to be at LEAST a 9 to make Bowie’s comeback worthwhile, but I’m sure he wouldn’t have bothered doing all of this with a dud album.

Part 1: Janelle Monae   
Part 2: David Bowie
Part 3: Lady Gaga
Part 4: Goldfrapp
Part 5: Little Boots

Rant: Why David Bowie is an inspiration and shouldn’t come out of retirement.

Rant: Why David Bowie is an inspiration and shouldn’t come out of retirement.

 

A little while ago I read an article about David Bowie being photographed going to get his lunch. This isn’t usually something that would make the news. Perhaps it would make the news if Lady Gaga were to buy a sandwich and find a way to wear it, slapping some ham on her bosom and wiping mustard in her hair. Or Rihanna would buy a baguette only to simulate a lewd act with it. Both of them would surely follow this attention-grabbing behaviour by then taking a poor quality snap of it on their phones and posting it on Twitter, where they would then be called inspirational. However, David put his lunch (I can’t be sure it’s a sandwich and there’s no need to speculate) in a little bag and took it away to be eaten in privacy.

The reason Bowie made the news was simply for being spotted in public. NME called it a ‘rare public appearance’.  To me, public appearance would mean some kind of performance or signing, at least wanting to be seen, not wearing sun glasses, a flat cap and a hoodie and minding your own business. Are they suggesting that since he had heart surgery eight years ago, he hasn’t left the house? I’m sure that isn’t the case; a man of David’s wealth is unlikely to spend all his time at home wearing a onesie and watching E4.

David Bowie should be applauded for stepping out of the limelight. He has achieved the dream that all of us earthlings have:  earn enough money to last a life time, then retire and live off it. He occasionally turns up to do a one-off gig, such as that with Arcade Fire, or some backing vocals, but aside from that, he’s having a well-deserved rest.

Yet there are some people who want Bowie to reappear and deliver another album of pure gold.  Every time a large-scale national event is coming up, rumours begin to circulate that Bowie will make a huge comeback and perform one of his classics, presumably in a catsuit and platform shoes while little people dressed as spacemen and goblins dance around him. The jubilee concert was a no-show. Did people expect to see Bowie performing alongside JLS and Cheryl Cole, or singing a duet with Ed Sheeran?

Next came the Olympics opening and a tribute to Bowie was performed, with dancers wearing Ziggy Stardust masks while some of his mashed up hits were played in the background. It was a bit odd that a tribute was performed for someone living, but it was nice for the UK to show off David to everyone watching abroad. Then a couple of weeks later in the closing ceremony, ‘Fashion’ started playing and my ears pricked up, only for Kate Moss to be towed into the stadium by a tractor.

It later emerged in the press that Bowie was, of course, asked to do it but turned it down. And rightly so. He’s a 65 year old man. Even true king of pop, George Michael, at a spritely 49 years old, looked depressingly old when he got on stage and did his funny little dance (although 7th best pop song ever ‘Freedom’ injected some 80’s piano joy into the proceedings).  

David Bowie released a hugely important and influential back catalogue during his career and has one of the best Greatest Hits albums in pop and rock history but he thankfully retired from the scene before he destroyed his own legacy (despite a few blips towards the end). Nobody wanted to see a fat Elvis and it’s nice for someone in the music industry to be conscious of this.

As much as I love Debbie Harry and Blondie, when I saw her performing live, even though the music was great, it shattered the illusion of the saucy blonde minx who still pouts at me from my iPod. More obviously highlighting his need for retirement was Paul McCartney at the Olympics. Seeing him stumble through ‘Hey Jude’ was a terribly sad sight, yet he still turns up at any event to finish everyone off when they were already edging towards slumber. Finally, and perhaps most needing of a quiet life in New York eating sandwiches in silence, is dear old Brian May, always happy at any opportunity to pimp out the name Queen, whether it’s playing guest guitar on the singles of the youth of today (even Dappy!), selling Freddie Mercury’s soul in hologram form, or allowing absolutely anybody to turn a Queen classic into a  slut anthem. 

For those who demand new material from Bowie and want him to make non-lunch related ‘public appearances’, nobody in their right mind would try to work under that amount of pressure, and just think of what has been done to the legacies of Queen and the Beatles. Click that last link if you’re brave enough and you’ll see what I mean. I salute Bowie, he’s grown old, married a supermodel and retained dignity, and is now, I can only assume, living the life he wasted when he was taking all those nasty drugs at his prime. Finally, for those who think he is in ill health, see the picture below and compare him now to then, then try telling me he looks fragile now.

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