Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter track smackdown: Round nine - The Fat Tulips

With Wired already planning its next big cover story - "Internet fails to find song by bloke who used to be in sitcom" - it's up to the DNS servers and, uh, electrical... stuff... to prove that all these years building the web hasn't all been in vain.

Apart from the drumstick-as-dildo porn, of course. We'll always have that.

So, can we discover Peterborough's The Fat Tulips Where's Clare Grogan Now somewhere in our various competitor's hard drives.

Coming from the is-it-ATV, is-it-Anglia town of Peterborough, The Fat Tulips glimmered around the end of the 1980s and recorded their tribute to everyone's favourite pop star for their own Heaven Records. It's one of our first experiences of just how stupid rights holders can be, as the seven inch came with a little slip of paper which explained how they'd asked the distributors of Gregory's Girl if they could include a clip of Clare saying "goodnight Mr Spaceman" at the end of the song, only to be told no. Seriously, the rights holders believed that a small snatch on a self-released 7" would harm ticket sales for the film. Because if you'd heard a five second piece of dialogue, you wouldn't bother going to see the whole film. "I know how it ends, she says goodnight. Not worth going, is it?"

In fact, when you see how difficult to cope the music and movies found 1990, it's not surprising they'd fallen apart totally when things got really difficult, is it?

Still, with The Fat Tulips having dealt with a potential rights nightmare, has the song found its way online?

Did you mean Fat Tulip? asks Spotify. Well... let's say I did. What have you got?

Waltzing Tulip Polka by Fat Louie Szykowski.

Are you 'avin a laugh? Really?

Zero point for Spotify again.

Last FM:
No Where's Clare Grogan Now, but Last FM does have a bunch of late-period Fat Tulips stuff, in a mix of pointless thirty second clips, full tracks and even free downloads. Impressive enough to wrestle four marks from the panel of judges.

iTunes is here again with the Waltzing bloody Tulip. It doesn't even have the good grace to suggest that this is anything other than Not What We Were Looking For. A point off for insolence.

If We7 can't scrape a point this time round, it's going to have an average of one point each round, so it's got a lot to prove.

Obviously, it's not got the Fat Tulips. It doesn't even have yer man Szykowski. I try to find a way to cut a deal to allow even a head-patting single point by asking about Clare Grogan, and even then there's nothing in the vaults. Some people you can't help. Zero.

It has Clare Grogan. It has Fat Tulip's Garden. It even has a bloke apparently smoking drugs from one of the family Liliaceae. But no jangle-pop. Two strikes in a row for Google's evil musician-crushing machine, then.


At least the weight loss advert has an aura of being related advertising here, I guess. Did I mean Fat Joe? Did I mean Fat Bastard?

It does offer a tantalising glimpse of what it claims is Wham doing Young Guns on Christmas Top Of The Pops, but with a still showing Clare Grogan on Pop Quiz. But the video isn't "available", so it's not even getting a consolation point.

Nothing, but it does offer a chance to search for artists like Fat Tulips. Amongst these is Ray Charles, whose C86 work was, perhaps, somewhat cruelly ignored by the critics at the time. Zero.

So, day three of our tournament closes with another track that doesn't appear to be easily found online, legally at least.

A quick look at the scoreboard as we head into the last day:

Amazon - 43
iTunes - 33
YouTube - 29
LastFM - 26
Imeem - 20
eMusic - 19
We7 - 09

Tomorrow, we'll start with a Band Aid style social-campaigning multi-artist effort. Don't bother uploading Hear N Aid's Starz, we7, it's not going to be that...


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