Bleats

You Should Experience Baker Boy Turning Hickory Dickory Dock Into A Goddamn Hip Hop Jam

Mizzle in the hizzle!

Look, we’re the first to admit that Hickory Dickory Dock doesn’t exactly slap. The narrative is weak, the melody simple, and modern audiences are more used to checking time on their phones than via vermin-infested timepieces.

And thus we salute Baker Boy, who took to Playschool for NAIDOC Week and gave a masterclass in nursery rhyme improvement.

From now on all children’s entertainment should feature a dance break and some rhymes in language, thanks.

Hottest 100 voters, take note.

Whatever Happened To The 1980s Movie Tie In Single And Why Isn't Marvel Owning The Charts These Days?

It's like no-one's prepared to take a highway to the danger zone anymore.

Back in the 80s and 90s the release of a hit movie was almost always accompanied by a hit single from the soundtrack.

Sure, pop music was always tied to popular cinema, ever since 1955’s Blackboard Jungle gave teens their first opportunity to rock around whatever clocks were to hand, but the eighties were when it really came together.

I mean, what a playlist it makes: ‘Ghostbusters’. ‘The Heat Is On’. ‘Take My Breath Away’. ‘Footloose’. ‘Flashdance… What A Feeling’. ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’. ‘Danger Zone’. ‘(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life’. ‘Fame’. ‘Eye Of The Tiger’. Goddamn, it’s nothing but gloriously awful bangers.

And that’s before you even take into account the Bond themes that were also smash hits: A-Ha’s ‘The Living Daylights’, Sheena Easton’s ‘For Your Eyes Only’, and Duran Duran’s loads-better-than-the-film ‘A View To A Kill’.

And a lot of huge 90s hits came from the movies too. Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ was the tie in from The Bodyguard in 1992, and Coolio’s ‘Gangster’s Paradise’ blew up via Dangerous Minds – and that’s before we get to 1998 and ‘My Heart Will Go On’.

This version’s better.

So: what the hell happened? Because that just doesn’t happen nearly as often now. For one thing, every single Marvel film should have been accompanied by a global smash hit single.

And it’s not because of genre: Batman Returns gave Siouxsie & the Banshees the closest thing they ever got to a hit with ‘Face To Face’, and then Batman Forever managed it in 1994 with Seal’s ‘Kiss From A Rose’.

My theory? It’s all Will Smith’s fault.

In 1999 he released ‘Wild Wild West’, the wicky wicky tie in single to the Smith-starring flop of the same name which is notable for being absolutely hated at the time and for in not even developing a significant revisionary cult following since.

That song, which was a hit, I believe severed the previous solid thread connecting hit films and hit singles, and neither industry truly recovered.

Sure, there were a few after that – the all-star Lady Marmalade in 2001 from Moulin Rouge and Pharrell managed it with ‘Happy’ from Despicable Me 2 in 2014, but that just illustrated how unusual it had become. Even the Bond singles stopped being surefire smashes.

And while Smith might have snatched a hit out of a film he starred in, LL Cool J’s ‘Deepest Bluest (My Hat Is Like A Shark’s Fin)’ didn’t quite capture the zeitgeist, even though Deep Blue Sea didn’t flop nearly as badly.

So here’s our throw down for Phase 4, Marvel: start forcing out tie-in singles, ideally with the name of the film in the title.

I for one look forward to ‘Black Widow (Assassin of Murder)’ and ‘Magical Cheekbones (Love Theme From Dr Strange 2)’ topping the global charts.

Which Marvel Hero Had The Worst Musical Career?

There's a reason the MCU hasn't done any musicals.

The history of actors which are also musicians is not an entirely great one. There’s a reason that no-one ever says of Russell Crowe “The singer from 50 Odd Foot Of Grunt does some acting too, you say?”

And yet actors will keep thinking of themselves as renaissance artistes crossing boundaries which are in zero hurry to be crossed. And, it turns out, this is especially true of actors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

MOUSERAT 4 EVA

And it turns out there’s a lot of musicking going on out there.

Jeremy “Hawkeye” Renner has reportedly written the entire soundtrack for his forthcoming animated film Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad, Don “War Machine” Cheadle’s jazz chops got a workout on the Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead, and Peter “Eitri” Dinklage was in a punk band called Whizzy – while everyone from Samuel L Jackson to Sebastian Stan to Stellan Skarsgård have popped up in music videos.

But as per the premise of the headline, here are five musical explorations from MCU luminaries, ranked from “yeah, that’s alright” to “BURN IT WITH FIRE”.

#5 Scarlett Johansson and Pete Yorn: ‘I Am The Cosmos’

First up, it’s an inspired choice – a classic by Chris Bell, the doomed genius who co-founded Big Star, and Johansson’s twittery voice suits the song perfectly. Better than her album of Tom Waits covers, at any rate.

#4 Brie Larson: ‘She Said’

Larson had an honest-to-god teenage pop career before she was Captain Marvel, although the returns were rather lower than hoped. Insipid sub-Avril material like ‘She Said’ didn’t help. La di dah, la dee dee.


#3 Tom Hiddleston: Lovesick Blues

The wisdom of getting an Englishman to play Hank Williams, one of the most archetypical southern US musicians in history, is debatable. As is the wisdom of doing a soundtrack album where Loki does his versions of some of Hank’s classic cuts.

I mean, he’s fine – and there’s only so much damage one can do to some of the best songs ever written – but even so…

#4 Robert Downey Jr: ‘Man Like Me

His voice is… look, it’s fine. It’s appealingly husky, and he bends vowels to a degree which would embarrass Eddie Vedder, but it’s not egregiously awful. Still, his material’s nothing to write home about. And can you really trust someone who spends that much time with Sting?


#1 Anthony Hopkins: ‘Distant Star’

Supposedly if you really, really want to annoy Sir Anthony Hopkins, the man who was literally Odin, then you should be sure to mention his 1986 single which manages the amazing feat of being simultaneously Casio-keyboard cheesy and downright creepy. Hooray?

Listen to it at your peril.

BONUS: The Absolute Best One

Cobie Smulders is Maria Hill in the MCU, but she was also Robin Scherbatsky in How I Met Your Mother, which contained an inspired plot point which was that she’d had a secret Brie Larson-style teenage pop career in Canada.

And this led to the glorious magic which was her (fake) 90s single ‘Let’s Go To The Mall’. Which looked like an 80s Tiffany video because it took a few years for the 90s to get to Canada, supposedly. Burn.

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