It’s probably obvious what topic I’m doing this week: World Chocolate Day, celebrated annually on July 7. Supposedly it celebrates the day chocolate was introduced to Europe. It should not be confused with National Chocolate Day in October and the apocryphal International Chocolate Day in September, which is only recognized by a splinter group of the National Confectioners Association.
What, did something else happen this week?
BABYMETAL — “Gimme Chocolate!!”
We can’t celebrate World Chocolate Day without the quintessential international song about chocolate.
This is, in fact, a real thing. You’re actually seeing this. In fact they’re playing the Warfield in October.
I know “Japan is weird!” is tired and overdone, and that any country is weird if you look at it from a certain angle, but kawaii metal is the sort of thing that really transcends parody. Needless to say I love it very much. That things this weird are allowed to exist gives me hope.
Hot Chocolate — “You Sexy Thing”
It can’t be a World Chocolate Day list without a song from Hot Chocolate. Not only is the name too on-the-nose to ignore but they’re British, which as of this writing, is still part of the world—though one can never be sure what referendum they’ll vote for next.
You may recognize this song from every single movie, TV show, and commercial ever made. A partial list according to IMDb includes: “The Full Monty,” “Boogie Nights,” “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo,” “Dude, Where’s My Car?,” “Legally Blonde,” “The Office,” “EastEnders” (five times), “Big Momma’s House 3,” and, of course, three episodes of “The Simpsons.”
Miles Davis — “Chocolate Chip”
Miles Davis is a legend, but his final album, 1992’s Doo-Bop, is not exactly well-regarded. An attempt to mix jazz trumpet with hip-hop beats, it did not sell particularly well and critics hated it.
I, however, always kinda liked it. It’s like Jazz Lite; it’s a gateway album, simplifying the jazz part and adding just enough hip-hop to relate it to more mainstream music. It’s an admirable effort to modernize a genre that’s more and more resistant to it from one of the all-time greats.
Which probably explains why critics hated it.
Tay Zonday — “Chocolate Rain”
Is this song particularly great? No. But do you know it? Yes. So it’s clearly good, because no song with absolutely nothing going for it gets over 122 million views. [Gokhman note: I have never heard of this song, and yet, this list does not include either The 1975’s or Snow Patrol’s “Chocolate”].
Though I admit I am a little bit bitter that he unfollowed me on Twitter at some point. I mean, I get it, I tweet too much and spend hours at a time posting things that don’t make any sense if you aren’t watching the same baseball game as me—but still. It stings to get culled, man.
The Beatles — “Savoy Truffle”
Finally, there’s no way you’re getting out of this list without a deep cut from The Beatles.
George Harrison wrote this one about his friend Eric Clapton. Clapton, you see, was fond of chocolate, and the lyrics to this song lists types of chocolate from his favorite brand and warn him that candy will rot his teeth. Because in 1968, the Beatles were on a great deal of drugs.
Harrison and Clapton’s friendship was so strong, in fact, that it survived Clapton successfully wooing Harrison’s wife Pattie Boyd. Clapton wrote “Layla” about Boyd in 1969, just a few years after she married Harrison, but she stuck with the Beatle and Clapton responded by taking up heroin. He tried again after getting clean in the mid-’70s and it worked, due in part to Harrison cheating on Boyd with Ringo’s wife. Clapton and Boyd were married in 1979… and divorced in 1989 over Clapton’s drinking and cheating.
What I’m saying is rock stars are basically living in a soap opera.
Follow editor Daniel J. Willis and tweet column ideas to him at Twitter.com/BayAreaData.