Posted in Music Research, My Favourite South African Songs, Reviews and Interviews, Sleeve Notes & Biographies, South African Music, Videos, What Am I Listening To?

Radio Rats – ZX Dan

Radio Rats – Into The Night We Slide
Radio Rats – ZX Dan
Radio Rats – ZX Dan

‘ZX Dan’, the album’s opening track, is a wonderful piece of new wave space-rock whose similar lyrical theme is a nod to David Bowie‘s 1972 smash hit, ‘Starman’. The song was also inspired by the 1977 Stephen Spielberg film ‘Close Encounters Of The 3rd Kind‘, and has a more polished production than the rest of the album, which is a closer reflection of the band’s raw live energy.

‘ZX Dan’ is still considered one of South Africa’s greatest pop rock songs of all time. In “The SA Rock Digest/Amuzine End Of The Century Big Vote” held at the end of 1999, ‘ZX Dan’ received the second most number of votes in the “All time favourite SA song” category, just behind Bright Blue’s classic, ‘Weeping’.

‘ZX Dan’ was released as a single (backed by ‘Rocking’) and it entered the Radio 5 (now 5FM) charts at number 15 on New Year’s Eve 1978. The song implores the listener to “turn up your radio, and play me that rock and roll”, and it seems that is exactly what the public did. The song scuttled up the charts until peaking at No. 2 on 28 January 1979, where it stayed for two weeks. It was kept off the cherished No. 1 spot by Michael Jackson.

The original album version of ‘ZX Dan’ featured a brilliant, lengthy play-out guitar solo by Jonathan Handley, but sadly this was edited on the single version, which later appeared on the ‘Best Of SA Pop Volume 2‘ CD.

All the songs on ‘Into The Night We Slide’ were generally written by Handley in the Wimpy Bar, The Palladium, and a café in Springs. The album contains references to some very weird and wonderful characters and places, based on his observations of life in this East Rand town. ‘Plague Cafe’ is about a real place on 3rd Street and ‘A Visit To The Cinema’ is a reference to the old movie house ‘The Palladium’.

Lyrics

My name is ZX Dan, I am a spaceman.
My galaxy is doomed, so I’ve moved to your moon.
So turn up your radio, and play me that rock and roll,
Stop feeling so blue – I’m coming down to you.

I’ve watched you on my screen, you’re sweet, sweet sixteen
I’ve monitored your mind, You’re just the loving kind…
So turn up your radio, and play me that rock and roll,
Stop feeling so blue – I’m coming down to you.

Meet me tonight at your window;
Dress warmly for absolute zero
And I’ll come down as quiet as the snow
And we’ll go for a glide in my U.F.O.

The whole of outer space, is tuned into the human race
From pole to frozen pole, your world transmits rock & roll
So turn up your radio, and play me that rock and roll,
Stop feeling so blue – I’m coming down to you.

Written by Jonathan Handley 12 April 1978


Die Lemme – ZX Dan feat Radio Rats, released 10 October 2013


Radio Rats Family Tree
Radio Rats Family Tree | Brian Currin, November 2002

Website

radiorats.co.za

Posted in South African Music, Videos

New Radio Rats Videos

A song for the late Syd Kitchen penned by his good friend Jonathan Handley. Performed by Jonathan Rat with Dave Rat on vocals. Filmed in The Necroplis Hotel in March 2012 by Rogue Productions. Footage of Syd courtesy of Rogue. Words and music by Jonathan Handley, copyright icbm music/Radio Rats.

A song for musicians – lepers with long hair, borrowers of birdsong and so on – written by Jonathan Handley. Filmed by Rogue Productions in Room 213 of The Necropolis Hotel on Wednesday, 21 March 2012. Vocals – Dave Rat, Lead guitar – Ozzie Theron and all instruments by Jonathan Handley, copyright icbm music/Radio Rats.

http://RadioRats.co.za

http://facebook.com/RadioRats

Posted in South African Music

New Radio Rats Single released

1.Little Miss Bliss
2.Crystal Bible Girl
3.Daar’s ‘n Drol In Die Drinkwater (bonus, by popular demand)

This is disc one of the new Radio Rats ‘Love Train’ album project. Tracks will be added as “singles” as they are completed, until there are enough for an album.
Brian Currin

I believe that Pop music ought to be literary in a way, minimalistic, but not dumb.
It’s not good enough to be able to play well – the words must be even better than the pathetic playing. The words of traditional country are often superb, the playing on the other hand is standard, but still superb too. Pop can take inspiration from Country brilliance.
Well, the 7-Single project could make South Africans as good as the best Americans, if it grows.
But, I ramble . . .
J.Rat

Available from Rhythm Music Store