Sheer Gold

I MUST admit to being surprised when I read that Michael Caine was releasing an album. I didn't remember him singing School's Out Forever while educating Rita or Que Sera Sera while driving minis down steps in Italy or Nkosi Sekelel' iAfrika while being speared by Zulus.

Then I realised he wasn't actually singing on this album. He wasn't even making a pretence of singing by moving his lips in the back row of the chorus. All he was doing was compiling a few "chill-out" songs.

Good grief. I can do that. Does anyone want to buy my collection of songs gleaned from the 550 CDs I got free with the Sunday papers? Lots of these CDs have "Gold" or "Golden" in the title - words, when it comes to albums, is pretty much interchangeable with "Crap".

A quick search in the pile has revealed Christmas Gold: 10 Festive Tracks. Could just as easily have been called Christmas Crap: 10 Festive Tracks. It includes Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer by Gene Autry, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus by the Beverly Sisters, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by Bing Crosby, and - I'm not joking; I wish I were - Leave It Alone by someone called Peas and Karrots.

Then there's a compilation of blues songs called something like My Dog's Fallen Down A Well and My Kids Died While Trying To Rescue Him And Now My Wife's Left Me For The One-Eyed Milkman Blues, if anyone wants cheering up.

Back to Michael Caine. One report I read had this wonderful quote: "It wasn't until he wowed Elton John with his knowledge of downtempo ambient music that he realised he was a chill-out expert. " Downtempo ambient music! I nearly broke my CD of bird calls, Songs For Singing Plovers, I was laughing so much.

Sir Mike was, apparently, having dinner with Sir Elt in the South of France when, like Saul on the road to Damascus, he saw a blinding light of inspiration. Like Saul, who from then on was called Paul, Sir Mike The Mummer suddenly became Sir Mike The Mixmaster.

At least his album doesn't have Gold in the title, although I suspect it should. It's called Cained, which, if you think about it, with its overtones of getting hammered, is a ridiculous title for a load of "downtempo ambient music", even if it is a pun on his name.

Cained is described as "a selection of his favourite mellow tracks", "mellow" being another album word which could so easily be replaced by "crap".

In the meantime, if anyone wants to buy my compilation CD called Gold Songs By Mellow Crooners, send me £12.99 and I'll get it to you in a plain brown wrapper.


  1. I doubt it'll be worse than Beyond the Poseidon Adventure. Mr Caine never minded making crap if it produced a decent return. Get Carter was special though. "You're a big man, but you're in bad shape!". I've used that line on many occasions.

  2. I for one won't be rushing out to buy it!!!

  3. I suppose if you;re Michael Caine you can get away with anything - his agent obviously thinks so.

  4. And apparently - the promotion isn't going too well, as whenever posters get put up, fans come and take them down for their walls and such :D

    My mum and dad just tried to fob their free Telegraph CDs on me... 'Songs from Peter Rabbit' among ta...

  5. Glad to see another WritingUp member survived and moved to safer ground! I'll try to check up on your new blog, please feel free to come visit mine!

  6. My worst buy was a collection of cds entitled Ambient Heaven, which I bought whilst completely pissed and morose, watching the shopping channel. I tried to ebay them, but was unsuccessful. They're yours for a quid.

  7. Good grief! You'd have thought he was quite rich enough. What is this with being permanently dissatisfied when you already have a global film career, and are a successful restaurateur? He does appear on the Madness song "Michael Caine" which gave him some musical street cred...and now he is about to bugger it all up again. I love the idea of you producing a generic gold crap CD; a Christmas number one, guaranteed.

  8. My cheque is in the post AMKT, please would you sign the cover as well. Your blues compilation had me giggling.

  9. Michael Caine is just so versatile, he either does shite or crap.

  10. Cained?

    Surely "Taking the Michael" would be more appropriate.

    I doubt it'll be as good as Jaws: The Revenge.

  11. He wowed Elton John with his knowledge of ambient music? Elton John, Guru of Cool? Elton, piano man to the hippest chillout coffee n cocktail bars of the cosmopolitesque?
    Something here is so wrong.

  12. When me and Mike were chilling in Blick House, Neptune Street - off our tits on Ket, he always used to play this stuff. The man is a musical library.

  13. I wonder will my all time favourite be on there?

    Mary, hold the candle steady while I shave the chicken's lip.

    Not the album version by Mick Gilhooley and the Brady twins, the live version. The one recorded in McHaugh's Bar, Grill and Funeral Parlour in Ballyhaunis in 1976 when Katie Muldoon stood in for one of the twins who was sick, and Seán Ryan took the place of the other girl who was in America and the McHaugh himself swapped roles with Gilhooley just for the night.

  14. I once bought "Precious Metal", a complilation of guitar and mullet greats all wrapped up in a paisley cover with a white rose and a drumstick on the front. Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" was featured and, if I may be so bold, that alone was worth buying the abum for, if only for memories of the syphillitically awful video.

    See what I mean?

  15. GB: Loved Get Carter, didn't mind Educating Rita, hated everything else!

    Akelamalu: It's not on my Christmas present list!

    Flowerpot: Sadly, the more money you have, the easier it is to make it.

    Jo: I don't know where they're getting all those CDs from - there must be some landfill site just filled to the top with them.

    Aaron: Will be round to visit soon.

    Miss U: I really must look the word "ambient" in the dictionary as I'm not sure what it means!

    Mopsa: It's a sad state of affairs that it seems the more money these celebs have, the more they want. Sheer greed.

    Pigsy: It's on its way!

    Mr K: How can you say that about someone who was in a Jaws sequel. Wonder why he never got an Oscar for it...

    Rol: I wish someone had thrown 99 per cent of his films to a great white shark.

    Pesk: So you're an Elton fan! It doesn't seem an odd friendship - Elton and Caine.

    Dear Lord: Pity you couldn't have kept him long enough to stop him meeting Elton.

    Sneezy: Ha, ha! Love that title!

  16. TavbUS actually, that's brilliant. Thank you. I'm going to pass that on to a couple of people.

  17. actually, that's brilliant. Thank you. I'm going to pass that on to a couple of people.