Friday, 19 February 2016

50 songs to take to my grave #43: Endless Art

My first memory of this song was while listening to Janice Long in the bath. I was in the bath, Janice Long was on the radio. You knew that though, right? Anyway, I heard this peculiar song which hooked me for all of its three minutes. It consisted essentially of an Irishman reciting a list of musicians, writers, artists and poets along with their birth and death dates. There was a cello in it and a bit of Beethoven too. I stopped playing with my boats and listened intently. I held on to catch the name of the band and song... and missed it! There was no Internet in those days to look these things up, and that was it. Gone.

Then, a couple years later, I heard it again! I can't remember where or when, but this time I manage to hear who it was by. I found the 12" in one of my local indie stores and I was well happy. The first time I heard Endless Art, it was the lead track on A House's 1990 'Bingo' EP. This time it was a single in its own right, having been lifted from the band's third album 'I Am The Greatest'. It's still a great song now, 25 years on. In fact the album is superb too, one that MrsRobster and I enjoyed during our early years together.

Now, of course, some people like to moan and find a problem in everything. Some people couldn't just take Endless Art as a fine pop song, they had to label it as sexist because it only contained the names of male artists. This was somewhat rectified when the b-side of the single featured an alternative version which named exclusively female artists.

In 2006, A House vocalist Dave Couse recorded a new version with the band's former guitarist Fergal Bunbury. This time the list included artists who had passed away since the original was released. I suppose it's one that could run and run. I mean, here's my go at a 'since 2006' version...

   Dennis Hopper 1936-2010
   Lou Reed 1942-2013
   Arthur C. Clarke 1917-2008
   Etta James '38-2012
   Rik Mayall, Bo Diddley, Michael Jackson R.I.P.
   Captain Beefheart '41-2010
   Pete Postlethwaite 1946-2011
   Ian 'Lemmy' Kilminster '45-'15
   Whitney Houston 1963-2012
   Alan Rickman, Leonard Nimoy
   David Bowie 1947-2016

What do you think???


Bonus tracks:


  1. I think you missed Amy Winehouse, Terry Wogan, Anna Wing rip. Jade Goody queen of our hearts, Lord Tony Benn, Phillip Seymour Hoffman R.I.P

    1. Completely forgot Amy *shame on me*; I wrote this before Tel passed; cannot agree in the slightest about Jade Goody though. Besides, she was no artist, neither was Lord Tone (as great as he was).

    2. I have a rap album that features Lord Tony Benn. And Jade Goody released a posthumous grime album.

    3. Seriously? There's two records I never knew existed. I'll still pass on the Jade Goody, but MC Tony Benn sounds like a must!

  2. I well remember Peel saying after playing 'More Endless Art': "Aah, they should've included Margaret Rutherford!" ...