Single of the week

Theme From M*A*S*H* (Suicide Is Painless) (The Mash)

An interesting theme tune this week that became a hit 10 years after it was recorded and by an act that were only assembled with the intention of recording one song thus prompting my comment and the rewarding round of applause when I appeared on James O’Brien’s LBC Mystery Hour when someone ask if any act had set out to become a one hit wonder.

M*A*S*H – The movie first saw the light of day in 1970. It was based on a novel by Richard Hooker with a film starring Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould and directed by Robert Altman. It tells the story of how staff at the 4077 hospital in a Korean War field cope with the stress and tragedy of war by using humour and winding each other up and the commanding officer, Colonel Henry Blake allows it to carry on as long as it doesn’t affect their jobs and performance. M*A*S*H was an acronym for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital and one day Captain ‘Painless’ Waldowski played by John Schuck admitted to his colleagues that he wanted to commit suicide but none of them really believed him and jokingly decided to throw him a farewell party where a fellow colleague, Private Seidman, played by Ken Prymus, sings him a farewell song called Suicide Is Painless.

The film’s director, Robert Altman, loved the song so much that he decided to use it as the film’s the tune. Two years later when the film was adapted into a spin-off television series that featured over 250 episodes and ran for 11 years with Alan Alda as Captain Benjamin Franklin ‘Hawkeye’ Pierce. CBS television, who commissioned it, refused to have Suicide Is Painless as its theme because they thought it inappropriate that young viewers should go around singing a tune about suicide. So, the composer Johnny Mandell recorded an instrumental version for TV purposes still keeping the tune a little sombre to fit the show. Mandel, who died in 2020 aged 94, was a versatile American composer who played trombone and trumpet in various jazz bands in the 40s and later became Artie Shaw’s musical arranger. He began composing film themes in the late 50s and won an Oscar for the Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor film The Sandpiper in 1965.

So, who wrote the words? Initially Altman had a go at penning them but, in an interview with Johnny Mandel a few years alter he said that he felt his output was not ‘stupid enough.’ “I wanted the song to be the ‘stupidest song ever written,’ you see. I’ve got a kid who’s a total idiot, so I gave it to my 14-year-old kid. Teenage boys are experts at stupid.”

So, Altman’s son, Mike, savouring the idea gave it a go and apparently knocked the lyrics out in five minutes flat. So the ‘idiot’ wasn’t that much of an idiot because in an interview with Johnny Carson on his own show Altman Snr revealed that he had been paid $70,000 to direct the film but his son made over $1 million in song writing royalties.

How did it become a UK hit out of the blue 10 years after it was written? It was all down to Radio 1 DJ Noel Edmonds who unearthed a copy and on his Sunday morning show continually played it. The demand was high and CBS Records were forced to release it as a single. It never received weekday radio play because, like CBS management, BBC hierarchy thought the line ‘suicide is painless’ was objectionable and might have led to listeners taking their own lives.

The identity of The Mash musicians was, for many years, a mystery. They were, in fact, a group of Los Angeles session musicians named The Ron Hickman Singers. They comprised Ron Hickman, John Bahler, Ian Freebairn-Smith and Gene Morford who all shared lead vocals on the track. In the sixties they had provided backing vocals on hits by Gary Lewis and the Playboys and in the Seventies joined David Cassidy and Shirley Jones as the other members of The Partridge Family. They also recorded many other TV theme tunes including Batman, Laverne & Shirley, Happy Days and Wonder Woman.

Many songs have a shortened radio edit version because radio never used to like any song that was more than about three and a half minutes, but the Theme From M*A*S*H has varied in length. The original version used at the beginning of the TV series was 90 seconds long and it was the only episode which didn’t open with the theme. In the pilot, it came a few minutes in. In later episodes it was cut in half to around 45 seconds, but 50 seconds in other episodes. There have also been slight but subtle differences especially in the acoustic guitar intro. Later in the 70s some more harmonic chords can be heard. The version that was released as a single in 1980 was a re-recorded version from the original.

The show is still regularly aired on various oldies channels and the theme went back into the Top 10 when covered by the Manic Street Preachers in 1992, but that was over 30 years ago, so it might be time for yet another remake.

Rainbow Valley (Love Affair)

This week’s suggestion comes from a group who nearly didn’t have a career when, at the time of their only chart-topper, they were caught out on a live television interview with Jonathan King when, after asking if they played on their own records, they admitted they hadn’t. It was the bass player, Mick Jackson, who made the revelation even though the presenter knew that was the case. Only the group lead singer was present with a bunch of talented session musicians. Fortunately, thanks to come quick thinking, their career was rescued, at least until the lead singer had had enough.

The Love Affair were originally formed in 1966 as The Soul Survivors and were a proper band with keyboard, bass, guitar and drums and were spotted and signed by Decca records in the summer of that same year. Three months later they went to Abbey Road Studios and recorded their first single, the Kenny Lynch-penned Woman Woman but was never issued, at least not until 2000.

In the spring of 1967 they changed their name to the Love Affair because they got a new manager, John Cokell, who said there was already a band in the States called the Soul Survivors and suggested the name Thin Red Line. “I was happy with the Soul Survivors,” Ellis, the band’s lead singer, remembered. “There was talk of calling us Thin Red Line, the idea being to have a painted line down the middle of our heads that went down into the suit and trousers! Honestly! This was quite radical, almost like Clockwork Orange, but we went, no way, we’re not ‘avin’ that!” They were then teamed with Decca’s resident in-house producer Mike Vernon and various other songs were recorded but nothing came of any of them and were soon dropped by Decca.

The band were very soul orientated and most of their live sets involved covering the soul tracks of the day and went into another studio to record some demo and began sending them to stacks of record companies. Eventually, Steve Winwood’s brother, Muff, who was the A&R director at Island records showed an interest. The band’s drummer Maurice Bacon said, “Because John Cokell was at Decca, he heard Robert Knight’s Everlasting Love, which was on their subsidiary label, Monument.” Ellis added, “The management put it on and we all loved it immediately. Muff wanted us to record it on our own – no orchestra, no nothing. Somewhere, there’s a version just by the Love Affair.” None of the band could read music so it was decided that Ellis would record the vocals and as Ellis recalled, “Mike Smith (now our producer) was brilliant, so talented. They had a 40-piece orchestra and you’d be in the back door at CBS Studios – bosh and you’re on, three takes and that was that. I put the vocal on and the number was a bit special so everything just clicked. Obviously, I felt odd without the band being in the studio but it was for the good of all involved.”

Next came Rainbow Valley which had been written by Buzz Cason and Mac Gayden (who had also written Everlasting Love) and, again, first recorded by Robert Knight and, again, had session musicians in the shape of Big Jim Sullivan on guitar, Clem Cattini on drums and Russ Stableford on bass. The female session singers were Sue Glover and Sunny Leslie known as Sue and Sunny. Sunny sings the ‘meet me where the rainbow ends’ bit and Sue did the spoken part. Sue left the music industry in the early seventies to raise a family and Sunny continued as a singer even managing a top 10 hit on her own in 1974 with Doctor’s Orders. Rainbow Valley was credited as Love Affair With The Keith Mansfield Orchestra as he was the man who had arranged all the session musicians.

Tying in the with the released of Rainbow Valley, they managed to get some sponsorship as Maurice Bacon revealed in the mottarchive, “We were one of the first bands to do a sponsored tour – with Yardley make-up. We did all the big Top Rank clubs and Yardley put their ‘pretty goods’ range in the foyers. I’ve got a 10-minute video that Yardley did of us. On the back of the cover of Rainbow Valley, girls could send off for a Yardley pack. We got paid a fortune, about £400 a show. I think the only act earning more money was Geno Washington & the Ram Jam Band.”

Cool For Cats (Squeeze)

Here’s a good pop music quiz connection, what do Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band, Guns N’ Roses, Duran Duran, U2, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, The Killers, Kiss, Metallica, The Lumineers, Mötley Crüe and Roxy Music all have in common? I’ll tell you at the end but this week’s suggestion of Cool for Cats by Squeeze is another act that can be added to that list.

It all began back in 1972, “I put an ad in a sweet shop window saying I was looking for a guitarist to join a band,” Chris Difford explained. “I didn’t really have a band; I just wanted to meet other people who played guitar and hang out with people and, luckily, Glenn Tilbrook answered the advert.” Apparently he was the only one, but it paid off. “We got on and started writing songs together, and that became our passion and our life.”

They had a swift meeting in a local pub and the roots of a quintessentially English writing partnership had begun. Chris had been playing guitar for three years and writing lyrics for about six. Glenn had wanted to be a rock star ever since he’d seen the film Summer Holiday in 1963. Within 18 months, the pair were playing pubs and small festivals. The photographer, Ron Reid, had befriended Glenn and had taken them under his wing. “We went around in Ron’s van and we played gigs like the Windsor Free Festival at two o’clock in the afternoon”, recalled Glenn.

Glenn’s friend, Julian Holland, then a dishevelled looking man who often ‘stunk of piss’ as Chris recalled years later, was recruited because of his impressive boogie woogie piano playing. Glenn and Julian, now known as Jools, began concentrating on their own instruments and in 1974 Harry Kakoulli was poached from a band called England’s Glory. Another friend of Glenn’s, Paul Gunn joined as drummer but he was soon sacked for bad time keeping. Whether is bad time-keeping as a drummer or always late for sessions is unclear. The name Squeeze was picked out of a hat by Glenn’s girlfriend, Maxine. The other choices were The Hubcaps, Skyco and Cum, but at the last minute the name Squeeze was thrown in from the title of a 1972 album by The Velvet Underground, Difford’s favourite band.

In January 1977, they released their first single, Take Me I’m Yours, but they weren’t happy and it was soon withdrawn. Gilson Lavis also saw an ad Melody Maker for a drummer and he soon replaced Gunn. Take Me I’m Yours was re-recorded along with a new track, Bang Bang, and both were released in 1978 reaching number 19 and 49 respectively. A year later the eponymous album followed but it failed to excite the record buying public. John Bentley took over from Kakoulli to form the permanent Squeeze line-up and work began on their next album, Cool For Cats.

Difford and Tilbrook always managed to come up with a unique formula of a catchy tune and a ‘story’ song. Glenn tends to write the music and Difford focuses on the words so which comes first? Glenn revealed to Songfacts, “It’s always in response to the lyrics. I always write to Chris’s lyrics. And what’s more, I made a habit pretty early on of never reading lyrics he gave to me until I sat down with the guitar or piano. So first response is what interests me.”

Tilbrook was predominantly the band’s lead singer, but on Cool for Cats, Difford sang lead in a half narrated and half sung cockney accent with a couple of television references thrown in for good measure, the song’s title being one of them, “I don’t know if you’re familiar with the phrase Cool For Cats, but it was the first rock ‘n’ roll television show in England during 1959, [1956 to 1961 actually]. That’s where the album and single title originated,” Difford explained in an interview with the New Music Express in 1979.” I just worked it into some personal experiences within the lyrical content,” he added. The second was The Sweeney in the second verse was a police drama series in the mid-70s that starred John Thaw and Dennis Waterman.

So how did the story develop? “We’d recorded the track sometime earlier with a completely different lyric”, Glenn told Jim Drury in his book, Squeeze Song By Song. “It had a tune that was a lot slower and not that exciting. Both John Wood, the producer, and I suggested that Chris take the track home without the vocal and come up with a different lyric.” Difford continued, “I went back to my flat in Greenwich and sat on the sofa, but my mind was blank. So I gave up turned on the telly and started watching The Benny Hill Show. I know it sounds bizarre, but I was inspired by listening to Benny Hill songs that night. I turned the telly off and within a few minutes I’d written 12 verses. I sang them into a tape machine and the next morning back in the studio we cut it straight away.” In a different interview, Glenn recalled, “I wasn’t trying to get across anything [with the lyric] other than to try to fill the gap in the music, by putting some words to it. I don’t remember there being anything other than a situation of wanting to have a bit of fun with the backing track. We were young and enthusiastic, and anything went, so I suppose the lyric was perfect for that song. There was no ambition for it, it was kind of what it was, thankfully. It was easy. I can’t say that there was any blood and sweat, it just happened. When those things occur in your life they’re the best things.”

The Difford/Tilbrook combination continued for over 15 years, “I think we evolved with each song we wrote and with each album that we made,” Tilbrook told  Songwriting‘s Aaron Slater. “They’re all different. The evolution of Squeeze has taken many turns because we’ve had different musicians in the band over the years, different producers, different record labels, and we’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by good people, most of the time, who’ve cared about Squeeze and made it a success. It’s not just the combination of myself and Glenn writing songs, it’s the combination of musicianship and good spirit.”

Squeeze never did hit number one but both Cool for Cats and the follow-up, Up The Junction both peaked at number two. The band broke up, first time round, in 1982 then reformed three years later where they had a further nine medium-sizes hits until collapsing again in 1999. Then in 2007, Difford and Tilbrook were back together with a new set of musicians and remain so to this day. In 1992, Cool For Cats  got a new breath of life when it was used in a UK TV commercial for milk, the record company re-issued it and it stalled at number 62.

Back in 1979, Cool For Cats, which was initially released on bright pink vinyl, came with two accompanying videos; The commercial one with Chris singing to the camera and the band in the background. The other had the band constantly changing hats, which was fine, but there was one shot where Gilson Lavis downed a pint of beer in two seconds flat, and that would never be allowed on Top Of The Pops.

Oh, the answer to the connection was that all those had come together as a result of a classified ad. By the time you’ve read this, I will already have used it in my quiz.

Torn (Natalie Imbruglia)



Many successful TV soaps have had their share of spin-off successes, some in the form of a spin-off show, others will be the cast members going on to other things in a different direction and very often it’s a musical career. It’s not a new phenomenon, it began in the early 60s when Chris Sandford, who was once in Coronation Street and manged a top 20 hit in 1963 with Not Too Little – Not Too Much and it’s gone on from there. The Australian soap Neighbours, which began down under in 1985 and the following year in the UK, has given many of its cast a successful musical career with Kylie Minogue leading the pack, but in the 1990s, radio stations across the world gave another cast member, Natalie Imbruglia, major airplay with a version of Torn, but it wasn’t her song.

Such was the song’s popularity that it became the only song from the 1990s decade to feature in Forbes’ list of the UK’s 40 most-played songs of the 2010s, not even Kylie managed that.

Natalie was born in February 1975 in Sydney, Australia and her father is of Italian descent hence her surname but she grew up in New South Wales. In 1990, she moved back to Sydney where she began studying tap, ballet and Highland dancing. In 1994, she landed the role of Beth Brennan in Neighbours where she remained for three years before embarking on a singing career. Her first hit was Torn which many websites, including Wikipedia and Discogs will tell you was first recorded by Ednaswap. It wasn’t.

The song was written by Scott Cutler, Anne Preven and Phil Thornalley, the later also produced the song and has an impressive array of acts he’s worked with including, as a writer, Bryan Adams, Sean Maguire and Pixie Lott and, as a producer, The Cure, Julian Cope, Orange Juice, Prefab Sprout and Ronan Keating. As an artist, he was briefly a member of Johnny Hates Jazz and has released one solo album called Swamp.

Torn was first recorded in 1993, and another version two years later which Thornalley also produced, so let’s find out from Mr Thornalley how the song began, “It was written with my American friends Scott Cutler and Anne Preven in my modest home studio in West Hampstead which is also where Natalie’s version was recorded. Anne was making demos with a view to signing a record deal as a solo artist. Scott and I had worked together writing for Johnny Hates Jazz a year before. I wasn’t getting much work at the time but Scott trusted my chops as a writer, producer and player,” he  explained an interview with Songwriting. “The song composition came together over two days. The first day of Torn, Scott and I were messing about with drum loops and it’s incredible to imagine that loop technology is available instantly with a plug-in now, but at the time this was cutting edge, state-of-the-art production, that involved stretching and correcting the audio file. The loop we chose never quite circled perfectly, it always sounded a bit lumpy to my ears, like it had two left feet. Scott played chord progressions on a warm keyboard sound and I followed on my Precision bass with a Motown Can’t Hurry Love feel, knocking a track into shape with Anne sitting at the back of the room dreaming up a melody. They are both intensely focused writers and I learned a lot from them.”

Phil continued, “In the evening, when the changes were set, Anne recorded a guide vocal with her sketched lyrics and melody. No one was jumping up and down (I write alone mostly, but still get excited when the melody and lyrics magically and suddenly appear to shine a path to where the song absolutely needs to go). The next morning, Anne was excited. Overnight she had re-written the lyrics and melody in her hotel room. ‘It’s called Torn,’ she stated as a fait accompli. I remember screwing my face and objecting. Torn? I didn’t like the title, but what a genius!”

Then came to the recording, “We recorded Anne’s newly created magic. Usually Scott and me would make suggestions about melodic changes on the hoof. I feel Scott would have scientifically manipulated the entry to the chorus so it resolves on the major note of the scale – teasing the notes in the bars before to draw out the tension. The ear wants the melody to land on the pleasing A of F major, but is held back by singing the B flat till the last beat. I don’t think one word of Anne’s lyrics was changed.”

They added guitars by flying in a guitarist called Rusty Anderson, “He played guitar parts on all our tunes,” Phil confirmed, “I wasn’t that confident as a guitar player then, I’d play the simple parts, but we knew he’d deliver the unexpected with his gifted, lyrical style of playing. I used to record any effects like delay and reverb straight to tape and played single-note bass piano notes for more drama and bottom end on the chorus. Those overdubs gave more sense of arrival in the song, that feeling of, ‘Here we are!'”

Once finished, the song was sent to a Danish A & R man called Poul Bruun who wanted it for a Dutch singer called Lis Sørensen who was recording an album called Under Stjernerne Et Sted. He asked Elisabeth Gjerulff Nielsen to translate it to Dutch and retitled it Braendt where it became a minor local hit. Two years later, a Norwegian singer called Trine Rein recorded a version but reverted to its original title. Around the same time, Preven and Cutler, in Los Angeles, formed a band called Ednaswap and invited Rusty to be in the line-up. Their version was included on their eponymous debut album. Rein’s version was produced by Thornalley and if you’ve ever heard her version and wondered why it sounds so like Natalie’s version, that’s the reason.

Thornalley’s manager, Bill Stonebridge knew Natalie Imbruglia and introduced the pair. Thornalley had signed with a new publisher, Marc Fox, and it was he who suggested Natalie should record the song. “Nat and I hit it off and we were both hungry for success, he recalled, “we were both ‘cold’ in a business sense; I was nearly out of the music business and she wasn’t nearly in it. Both seemingly out of luck but reaching for the stars. We worked hard, recording and re-recording her vocal for days, trying to find the best expression from her voice. If she sings out too much, pushes too hard, then her beautiful breathy tone is lost. We would try out phrases with added blue notes to try to capture the lyrical mood. So not a one-take wonder, a studied and contrived performance. I guess her skills as an actor helped with the patience needed to put up with my demands. He added, “On Natalie’s record, while I played most of the instruments, as I generally do on all my productions. My pal David Munday played the tricky guitar parts – the electric guitar fills and the soaring anthemic slide.

Natalie and Phil wrote virtually all the songs for her debut album, Left Of The Middle which went on to sell over seven million copies. In the UK, it was London’s Capital Radio who championed it first. The station’s controller was the notorious Richard Park, but he was a fan of a small number of the same songs on rotation which now is employed by most commercial radio stations and has become so tedious. Soon after, Radio 1 picked up on it and Phil remembered, “I turned on the car radio taking my kids to school and flicked between Capital and Radio 1 and both stations were playing Torn. What an amazing feeling to have experienced.”

The Masterplan (Oasis)

Back in the days of vinyl when that was the main format for buying music, how many people listened to the B side of a record? Well, back in the 60s probably quite a lot, but as time went on I dare say it was fewer especially when a fair number of flip sides were an instrumental version of the A side. This week’s request comes from Mark who asked, “Not sure if it’s allowed as it’s a B side, but I would like to know the story of The Masterplan by Oasis please. A song that is 100 times better than the A side. ” Well Mark, technically The Masterplan was never a B side. On the 7″ vinyl of Wonderwall the B side was called Round Are Way, but on the CD single version of that track, The Masterplan was track four. But let’s not get pedantic. Anyway, it’s only a matter of opinion as many would say that Wonderwall was better, but let’s find out about your choice.

The good news, Mark, is that Noel Gallagher, who wrote the song, agrees with you because in an interview with Melody Maker he said, “That’s my favourite song I have ever written I think. I wrote that one in an hotel room in Japan and again it was that we needed some more songs for B-sides.” The lyrics were actually inspired by the long corridor in the aforementioned hotel with Noel describing it as a “good, relaxing smoke,” and when asked what the actual song meant to him, he replied, “To me this sums up your journey through life. All we know is that we don’t know.”

At the time, the line-up of Oasis was brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher, Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs on rhythm guitar, Paul McGuigan on bass and Tony McCarroll on drums but on The Masterplan a number of other musicians were brought in namely, Phil Todd and Dave Bishop on tenor saxophone, trumpet players Derek Watkins, John Barclay and Steve Sidwell, violinists Perry Montague Mason, Vaughan Armon, Wilf Gibson and Gavyn Wright, Bill Hawkes and George Robertson on violas and cello players Paul Klegg and Tony Pleeth.

The brothers, in true style, had a row about the song. Liam liked it, Noel loved it so why did they row? well, according to an interview in the New musical Express, Noel said, “I was really f***ing proud of it and I still am, but I was gutted because Our Kid [Liam] – who loves it, it’s one of his favourites – but he was just walking around going, ‘You f***ing d***head! Why did you write that now? Why couldn’t you have waited for a year so it could go on the next album? Or why didn’t you write it for the last album, you f***ing d**k!'” Liam did have a point, but the record company preferred it as it was as it would have helped sales of the Wonderwall single. It would have given it longevity because people who bought the 7″ single, me included, then had to buy the CD single version to get The Masterplan. A possible master stroke especially as the record companies generally have a short-term view. Noel later confessed, “Alan McGee (their label owner) said it was too good to be a B-side.”

Noel, who took the lead vocal, explained at Oasisrecordinginfo, “I remember just sitting down with the guitar on a quiet night, maybe really early in the morning and I swear the things just came out. I like the sound of it. I like everybody’s playing on it. I like the singing as well. I don’t know why Liam didn’t sing that one. I love all the lyrics on that one. I think it’s the most complete sing I ever done in the studio. I don’t like playing the guitar solos on tour anymore; I used to like it at first but I don’t like it anymore cos I used to play the same thing sort of over and over on a different melody. It sounds different but it is the same. Owen suggested that we turn the tapes over and play it backwards and play just some series of random notes and then we’ll see if we could get some sort of solo out of it. We thought it was going to take hours. When we turned the tapes back over, that was it. And I think we maybe had to take a couple of notes out.”

Noel was happy enough with it being a B-side as the next album was a couple of years away, but looking back he continued in a Melody Maker interview, “I guess the masterplan was to be the biggest band in the world and we probably were for a good year and then it sort of levelled off since then. The first line, ‘Take the time to make some sense of what you want to say’, that’s probably me sitting down thinking about what I want to say I think, but that’s a good line and then, ‘Cast your words upon the waves’, means the air waves. I suppose it’s about people’s fear of growing old. Well you know, all we know is that we don’t know. You know if you wanna dance, dance. If you don’t, don’t. I suppose it’s saying that there is no masterplan.”

The Gallagher brothers were massive Beatles fans and many of the influences can be heard on various Oasis tracks, but John Lennon often felt that his stronger songs on the B-side were stronger than Paul McCartney’s A-side’s even though all their songs were credited to Lennon/McCartney, but look at Hey Jude with Revolution on the flip or Hello Goodbye with I Am the Walrus on the other side. Maybe Noel felt the same way?

Three years after the Masterplan appeared, a compilation album comprising of B-sides that had never previously been on an album up to that point and arguably the strongest song on there was The Masterplan which gave the album its title. Despite originally only intended for issue in the U.S.A. and Japan, it was released in the UK and reached number two.

Trustfall (P!nk)



This request comes from my good lady. We were driving along listening to the new P!nk album which had just been released and as soon as Trustfall came on, she said to me, “I like this song, what exactly is a trustfall?” I replied honestly, “No idea my love.” Within an hour she’d emailed, via the website no less, to ask me to find out and write about it. Of course my dear. Anything you say, especially as it’s your birthday this week. So, here goes.

Alecia Beth Moore Hart was born in Pennsylvania in September 1979. So, first of all, why is she known as Pink? “The whole Pink thing has become way more than it ever was,” she explains, “It was my nickname when I was little and it’s been following me my whole life. At school a boy pulled my pants down, I blushed, everyone called me pink and I ran home crying. Quentin Tarantino came out with the movie Reservoir Dogs and Mr Pink is like the smart-ass character and I guess I am a little bit too. Later on, I did a showcase with the first group I was originally with called Choice, I tied a pink ribbon around my microphone – Steve Tyler style – and introduced myself as Mr Pink.” Choice were signed to LaFace records by its founder L.A (Antonio Reid) and when he saw Pink’s performance he said, “‘I love that, just drop the Mr, they won’t understand that’, P!nk continued, I never liked my name Alecia anyway and then I dyed my hair pink and that’s it.”

She made her debut on these shores in 2000 with the number six hit There You Go which she co-wrote and followed it with Most Girls that went one place better. Arguably, the song that really brought her to the general UK public’s attention was her fourth hit Get The Party Started which was solely written and produced by former Four Non Blondes lead singer and songwriter Linda Perry. Over the next 23 years with almost no let up, she has charted over 40 singles including three number ones and nine studio albums with all-bar-one making the top five. Trustfall is the title of her latest album of which the title track became the second single after Never Gonna Not Dance Again.

So, it’s over to P!nk to explain where she still gets inspiration to keep writing catchy and relevant songs, “Life! I’m married, I’m a mom, the world’s falling apart and there’s a lot to talk about. It was my daughter, Willow, who suggested I write an acoustic poem because she thought it might be easier to choose single words than to write five paragraphs of feelings,” P!nk told Apple Music. The words she chose were, Truth, Reflection, Uncertainty, Security, Terror, Faith, Acceptance/Audio city, Letting go, Love, and it was the initials of those words that gave the album its title. “I think finding words is my life’s work and it doesn’t matter how many you choose, it’s always hard, especially when you want to be deeply seen and understood. You see that I couldn’t choose between acceptance and audio city.”

As for the song itself, P!nk explained that too, “I feel like all of us are walking around at this low-level trauma in our bodies and it takes a lot of trust to be a human being these days, to get out of bed in the morning and go to work and drop your kids off at school, go to public places, participate in elections and have a vagina,” (bit limited that one!), “It takes a lot of trust. I know a lot of teenagers and I think a lot of us feel like we’re falling backwards and we don’t know where the ground is, and that’s what a trustfall is.”

So, its whole purpose is to build trust between two people and is a fairly common practice used at corporate training sessions and therapy sessions. She wrote the song with the songwriter/producer Fred again and former Snow Patrol pianist and guitarist Johnny McDaid. McDaid has also written song for Robbie Williams, Lewis Capaldi and about 20 hits for Ed Sheeran.

She is seemingly fearless, her onstage and video antics prove that, she really wouldn’t be out of place in a circus. “I saw Tina Turner when she was 69 in Christian Louboutins, running around the stage, full choreography, like a crazy person. And I thought to myself, Shit,” she told Chris Willman at “So now I have no excuse. I look at the greats and I wanna keep up. I want to keep pushing it and be better — a better human, a better mom, a better daughter, a better sister, a better performer, a better writer. Age works against you, right? But at 43, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been in my life. I could kick my 33-year-old ass.” The story of the hopes and fears portrayed in the lyrics are well exhibited in Trustfall’s accompanying video.