Musings on modern life, the 70's – with music.
About Tiffany Twisted 3:
Beginning in December 2013 and ending in February 2014, the third Tiffany Twisted continued on the theme of the preceding two. I discovered a few previously unheard gems as well as the usual suspects. At the end of January, I began a sort of Tiffany Twisted Sunday afternoon event with my best mate Dom Agius which I am very pleased goes from strength to strength. It gives me the opportunity to play some of these records out and gives me immense pleasure.
Both Alan Tarney moved top Australia from Workington & Trevor Spencer hailed from Adelaide, playing in a couple of Australian groups in the 60’s before upping sticks and moving to the UK in 1969. Together they produced three, great AOR LP’s of which this came from the first. They co-wrote Power To All Our Friends for Cliff and also wrote Hey Mr Dreamaker and several songs for other artists.
Tarney went on to write and arrange We Don’t Talk Anymore and produced Hunting High & Low for a-ha as well as records by Bow Wow Wow, Squeeze and the Dream Academy.
Only released in the UK, this was the first record to be played on the re-run of TOTP’s almost three years ago – I vaguely remember it the first time – Summer-y vibe, sweet harmonies – even though Trevor was ‘playing’ a drum-kit with a cardboard box over it.
This record is impossible to track down (anyone who can help can marry me). The you-tube LP version cuts out just before the end of the track and the version which I bought from Germany does exactly the same thing. Tut-tut. So when the time come to burn this list to CD, some very careful editing will be required.
With a line-up which featured Nick Lowe, Billy Bremner and Terry Williams, this came from ‘Repeat When Necessary’ in 1979. Costello was an up and coming songwriter and the record is full of gems by Graham Parker and Huey Lewis (when he was cool).
Dave has a tendency to stray into pub-rock or fifties retro but when he’s good he is excellent. His first hit was a version of the Sabre Dance when he was in the Love Sculpture which was followed by the first Xmas Number 1 of the 70’s with ‘I Hear You Knockin’. He appeared alongside David Essex in Stardust.
He occasionally tours but is now semi-retired and lives in his birth-place of Wales.
Nick wrote ‘I Knew The Bride’ for Rockpile and was married to Carlene Carter daughter of Carl Smith & June Carter.
I have a huge soft spot for Joe. Have most LP’s he has ever recorded and even though they are occasionally patchy, they often give up exquisite records such as this. Breaking Us In Two comes from the brilliant Night & Day LP (a Day side and a Night side) – this is the lead off track from the ‘Day’ Side.. (not that you would know had you only heard this on your CD or ITunes.
Much bigger hit in the States than it was over here (hurrah).. it does steal a little bit from Day After Day by Badfinger – but hey, it sounds like Elton at his finest – sublime piano playing and the lyrics are almost too painful to bear (if you have ever felt like this, you will know what I’m on about)..
Born in Burton on Trent he moved to Gosport as a kiddie, Joe is (or was) pro-smoking, pro real ale drinking , about 7 ft tall, lives in Berlin (or did) and, according to his memoirs, life as a pop star is not really worth talking about.
Co-written with Mike Hazlewood, I always thought this was a bit silly – a bit too Ed Stewart – but how wrong was that!
Originally by Les Troubadours in French as La Chaine (see below) and by The Colours of Love, a group which featured a young Elaine Paige (and this version is great – see also below).. Hammond was the first version to chart.
Albert was born in London and was evacuated to Gibraltar during the tail end of WW2. He first hit the Top Ten with The Family Dogg and ‘A Way of Life; in 1969 (bit Bee Gees-y actually). In the early 70’s he moved to the States and a legend was born (in these eyes)..
With Mike Hazlewood, he co-wrote Freedom Come, Freedom Go, The Air That I Breathe, Gimme Dat Ding and Good Morning Freedom. His solo hits included Free Electric Band, It Never Rains In Southern California and this (tough choice but maybe next year).
He also fathered a son – Albert Hammond Jnr of The Strokes fame.
And he is positively rocking that yellow shirt and denim jacket combo.
The ‘finger give me all kinds of goosies – and this is no exception (and yes Day After Day does sound like Sunday’s Selection)..
And my God, what a difficult decision! But I’ve gone with this – mainly because the LP is great and has one of the best 70’s sleeves.
Their debut hit, as Badfinger, was written by Paul McCartney (Come & Get It), followed by Day After Day (see below) and this. Ham & Evans also wrote Without You which was a huge hit for Nilsson and Mariah Carey.
Formed in their home town of Swansea, Badfinger were formerly known as The Iveys and they changed their name to Badfinger in 1969.
Royally f**ked over by their manager, Stan Pooley, together with the general chaos surrounding the folding of Apple Records – tragedy was just around the corner. Their main singer, songwriter Pete Ham (sandy coloured hair/Unfortunate fringe) committed suicide in 1975 (he hanged himself after drinking 10 whisky’s). His suicide note made some damning comments about Pooley.
Furthermore, Tom Evans, darkly brooding and beautiful also took his own life in 1983 – also by hanging from a willow tree in his back garden – he said – ‘I want to be where Pete is. It’s a better place than down here’ ….”
So very, very, very sad – and things could have been so much better. But we still have the wonderful music..
(is there a Badfinger book anyone?)
Christmas 1976. Only one LP, that I could see, under the tree. Christmas morning, I opened it and it was Hotel California (I think) but I really wanted the latest Queen LP, A Day At The Races. Being 14, I sulked a bit, refused to wear my paper Christmas hat until my Dad relented and gave me a wrapped copy of the LP, smile firmly back in place, I stuck it on and it revealed a whole host of fantastic songs and had a black sleeve rather than a white one, so was unlikely to get too grubby. Rejoice. LP’s always smelt so glorious too but why Drowse and what is it doing here. Well, I always liked Roger as a drummer, he was/is incredibly pretty, had a Californian whiff about him and Drowse is quite simply one of my favourite songs of all time. And it fits in quite nicely.
“Drowse” was Roger’s song, in it he played rhythm guitar and timpani and provides all of the vocals. May played slide guitar during this (a proper TT’ed instrument). Taylor sings octave lead vocals during the verses (except for the third and final verse).
Lazy, strummy riff, lyrics about growing up in a small town – I could totally relate to it.
His solo stuff is well worth checking out (and he smoked like a proverbial chimney).
Rumours was released two months later and my musical life took a radical turn (which led us right to the very doors of Tiffany Twisted)..
Isn’t this just gorgeous? From ‘You’re Never Alone With A Schizophrenic’ the album featured several E-Streeters (Bitten,Weinberg & Tallent), Ellen Foley on backing vocals and our very own Mick Ronson on guitar.
If you think you have heard ‘Ships’ before, it was covered by Barry Manilow and was a Top 10 US smash hit.
Who he? Well, born in Brooklyn, he was 34 when he finally got round to releasing his debut LP and achieving a Number 6 hit on the Billboard charts. This was all over Capital Radio but failed to reach our charts at all. Other than that he had another US Hit (which I have NEVER heard) and is still releasing records.
But HANG ON A COTTON PICKING MINUTE, it does sound exactly like What A Fool Believes (right down to the McDonald vocal bridge).. Robbie must have been aware of this and I like to think he called it Steal Away deliberately.
Bread ALWAYS reminds me of House Parties in the 70’s – Saturday night Fever, followed by The Sound Of Bread – where everyone apart from yours truly, copped off.. many a night I have listened to this, sipping Pomagne and smoking a few B&H whilst watching the gropings unfold in front of me.
Bread formed in 1969 and split up in 1973 after 4 short years and 5 LP’s. They disbanded the first time as Gates wrote most of the singles leaving Griffin’s song to languish as LP tracks. They re-united in ’76 , split and got together for the 25th Bread Anniversary. Griffin & Botts have both died from cancer and Gates (David) who recorded his first single way back in 1957, carved out a moderately successful solo career (Took The Last Train was probably the best song).
Great songs though – Baby I’m A Want You, Make It With You. If and Everything I Own by Ken Boothe, for example, is one of my favourite records of ALL TIME – Gates wrote that.
We all know that ABBA were expert magpies don’t we? Well, here they tackle, to these ears, Fleetwood Mac (with a bit of Sgt Pepper thrown in). You can hear it in the strumming of the guitars, the tinkling of the piano and in the girls voices – close your eyes and you can imagine it being sung by Stevie & Christine – in fact it would have fitted right in on Rumours or Tusk..thought it then and think it now.
By this point, ABBA were the biggest singles band in this country, arguably the world. The Name of the Game was their 6th Number One record and was taken from ABBA:The Album (and The Movie I assume – though I have never seen it)..and was the biggest new LP of 1978.
The video was directed and shot by Lasse Hallstrom and the group are shown playing Fia-spel, a variation of the board game Ludo. There is a hint of a crack appearing in both relationships, a few accusatory glances and some skillful poker faces.
Born Roland Kent LaVoie he began his musical career with a band called The Rumour which featured Gram Parsons & Jim Stafford. By the early 70’s he changed his name to Lobo – which is Spanish for Wolf. This spent two weeks at number two in the US Billboard Top 100 in 1972 and reached Number 5 over here when it was re-issued in 1974.
This clip is from disco the German pop programme, where the audience usually clap along enthusiastically. Here though, they seem to be averting their eyes. Must be that shirt or THAT haircut.
Having been accused of being stuck in the 70’s, of never posting anything new (and your problem with that is exactly what, dear?), along comes John Grant who released one of the Best LP Records of 2013 in Pale Green Ghosts. I must admit to being a little in love with the chap – he was great in Brighton (despite someone nicking his laptop), endearing and funny. He clearly knows his musical onions, is a huge Abba fan, lives in Iceland – in some ways he reminds me of Elton John in his support of any new music and his musical virtuosity. His previous band, The Czars were pretty nifty too..
This fits my TT’ed briefs perfectly. ( but it does contain the odd swear word)..
Forget the horrible Westlife version, this was the first UK hit for Mr Manilow back in 1974. The butt of many a joke but I always thought he was okay – he wrote Could It Be Magic FFS. He has had a string of medical problems – fractured his ankle whilst disco dancing, bronchial pneumonia, non-cancerous cyst in his upper jaw, plus a number of cosmetic surgeries. He began working with Bette Midler in the Continental Bath in NYC and he arranged her first two LP’s. Mandy was written by Scott English and Richard Kerr under the name Brandy, but became a hit for Barry – he renamed it Mandy to avoid confusion with the Looking Glass hit ‘Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl)’
Proper superstar really.
Vocalist Danny Hutton’s then-girlfriend June Fairchild suggested the name Three Dog Night after reading a magazine article about indigenous Australians, in which it was explained that on cold nights they would customarily sleep in a hole in the ground whilst embracing a dingo, a native species of wild dog. On colder nights they would sleep with two dogs and if the night were freezing, it was a “three dog night”. So there.
Easily the best version of this song – better than the original by Randy Newman and better than the Stereophonics & Tom Jones version. Three Dog Night had three full time vocalist and this came from their LP ‘It Ain’t Easy’ and features Cory Wells on lead vocals.
They also did a version of ‘The Show Must Go On’ – a hit for Leo Sayer..!
Messrs Manuel, Hudson, Helm, Robertson and Danko began their career as The Hawks backing Canadian Rockabilly Singer Ronnie Hawkins. Snapped up by Bob Dylan in 1965, they became his touring band and appeared on records up to Planet Waves in 1974.
Their final performance as The Band (with all members) was The Last Waltz which was filmed by Martin Scorsese – the seminal, definitive rock film of the 1970;s featuring a raft of TT’ed special guests.
‘The Weight’ comes from Music from Big Pink and was released in 1968 and written by Robbie Robertson. Cover painting by Dylan, it was named after the house which some of them shared in New York. ‘The Weight’ was featured in Easy Rider and gave the Scottish band Nazareth their name.
This particular clip is from The Last Waltz and features The Staple Singers on backing vocals.
And I just LOVE Levon Helm – R.I.P.
LOVE Creedence. Often overlooked in the History of Pop, but all the singles are top notch classic pop. Taken from Pendulum which was released in 1971, have You Ever Seen The Rain is another song about the Vietnam war and if you substitute rain for bombs, you get the point.
CCR consisted of brothers John & Tom Fogerty – Tom had enough of his younger brother and resigned in 1970. This line up features the remaining Fogerty, Stu Cook & Doug Clifford. Both Fogerty & Clifford did a stint of military service in 1966.
Blunstone split form the Zombies following the release of the baroque pop classic ‘Odessey & Oracle’. Written by Denny Laine, this was a Number 15 hit in the UK in 1972.
Educated at St Albans County Grammar School for Boys, he has dabbled as an actor, worked with the Alan Parsons Project and had a hit with Dave Stewart on ‘What Becomes of the Broken Hearted’.
Kept off the Top spot in the States by Endless Love, Joey had only one hit in America and NO hits over here. This reminds me of Rhinestone Cowboy which featured in TT’ed 1 – and Joey looks like he fries donuts for a living. This was also the theme to the American sitcom The Greatest American Hero.
Soul was born in Chicago and became an actor in Flipper in 1966 whilst also appearing in the Merv Griffin Show as The Covered Man singing songs whilst wearing a mask. He attained superstar status as Ken Hutchinson, one part of Starsky & Hutch. This was his third single following on from the rather wet ‘Don’t Give Up On Us Baby’ and ‘Going In With My Eyes Open’ and came as an enormously pleasant surprise to these young-ish ears.
He has been married 5 times, is (or was) a violent, wife-beating, chronic alcoholic but hopefully that period is right behind him. He became a British citizen in 2004. In my head, I always thought this video featured him riding round on a horse..
Written by Tony Macaulay & fellow Brit Geoff Stevens. This knocked Elvis off the top of the charts.
Unfortunately, I cannot find a nice clear video clip of Bob singing this wonderful song (plenty of clips of butterflies though). Bob was a singer-songwriter of some note in the 60’s, signing with Liberty Records subsidiary World Pacific Records. His material has been covered by everyone from Cher to Dolly & Glen, the Four Tops and John Otway.
Elusive Butterfly was a worldwide smash hitting number 5 in the US & UK charts. Over here it was in a chart race with a version by Val Doonican which also peaked at Number 5.
He was the staff writer at the satirical magazines, was notoriously difficult to work with (Charles Bukowski based a character in one of his novels after him) and Pulp recorded ‘Bob Lind (The Only Way Is Down)’ in his honour.
And ‘Across my dreams with nets of wonder
I chase the bright elusive butterfly of love’ has to be one of the prettiest lines in pop.
One of those songs that once it gets in your head, it gets stuck there. Forever. Never had much time for Religion (although the older I get the more interested I become (sort of)) and I flunked O’level R.E big time (possibly downgraded to CSE Grade 4)…
Steven Demetre Georgiou has such a rich seam of music (especially in the 70’s), that he is hard to ignore. Plus he works that beard and sandal look to the max. Now know as Yusuf Islam, he converted to Islam in 1977 and changed his name from Cat in 1978. Romantically linked to Patti D’Arbanville and to Carly Simon, his last solo LP as Cat was Back To Earth in 1978.
‘Morning Has Broken’ was a hymn whose words were written by Eleanor Farjeon in 1931 set to a traditional Gaelic tune. Stevens drafted in Rick Wakeman to provide the signature piano introduction (which lift the record to another level) and reached Number 6 in the States and number 9 over here. This version appears to have been filmed in 1976 for the German ‘disco’ show and features a familiar figure playing piano – whose name escapes me – anyone?
Anyway, not the last time Religion will be featured in TT’ed – my next choice is gonna be higher. Much, much higher.
Try this then. Released in 1976, with Brand X as the band, Brian May on guitar and Freddie on backing vocals. First remembered hearing this on Capital Radio (Nicky Horne?) and being a massive Queen fan instantly became hooked. I know nothing about Eddie (from Birmingham I think) but this clip was taken from the wonderful TopPop Show so it must have been a continental hit (certainly was not a hit in this country).. and what a peculiar video this is. Really peculiar. Bit obscure but sometimes TT’ed is precisely about that…
Riff to die for, this was the debut hit for Toto & I remember buying this from Harlequin Records in Welwyn Garden City (of all places).. I never visited a town without investigating the local record shop and buying a single or LP – record shops consumed my life and took all of my money.
Rollicking good fun, great swirling keyboards and high harmony vocal chorus adds up to a great number from Boz Scaggs backing band. They also featured on LP’s by Seals & Croft and Sonny & Cher. Written by David Paich who wrote Lido Shuffle, Lowdown and What Can I Say for Mr Scaggs.
Foreigner were a British-American act featuring Mick Jones – ex-Spooky Tooth, Ian McDonald – ex-King Crimson and Lou Gramm – the original vocalist and co-songwriter.
Bigger hits were scored with ballads (Waiting For A Girl Like You & I Wanna Know What Love Is), Urgent came from the hugely successful ‘4’ LP and featured an unknown Thomas Dolby on syth and the legendary Junior Walker on sax.
I know very little about Jim apart from the fact that he was more popular dead than alive. Jim was killed in a plane crash the same week that he released I Got A Name as the lead off single from his final LP. This was the second release from that LP and is rather lovely. Marrying his wife Ingrid after graduating with a degree in Psychology, he converted to Judaism, he & his wife played in steak-house before he became disillusioned and de-camped to Pennsylvania working as a trucker and as a construction worker. He decided to give music another go and the couple moved back to Philadelphia where he signed to ABC records and recorded the first of 3 LP’s – including the US number one hit – Bad Bad Leroy Brown.
Looking like an extra from the Village People, there is little footage of him in existence..
Bet you had forgotten about this one. Quarterflash come from Portland in Oregan and feature lead vocalist Rindy Ross who also plays the sax and has a mullet. Quite a rare feat really. They took their name from a description of new Australian immigrants (‘one quarter flash and three parts foolish’).
They have released 6 LP’s and this reached Number 3 in the States, the Top 20 in France and just missed the top 40 over here.
The lyrics in this song are based upon selections by the Cuban poet Jose Martin (Versos Sencillos). The version of the song by Marti was used by Pete Seeger as the basis of his reworked version and he based on a performance of the song by Héctor Angulo. Come 1966, it was recorded by The Sandpipers and became a huge international hit.
Guantanamera (or woman of Guantanama) has been covered on numerous occasions and has even made it’s way on the football terraces.
The Sandpipers split in 1975 and the budget LP version of the LP was probably the first record I actually owned..
Interesting video clip, lots of wandering around and even includes a monk sweeping up some leaves.
San Francisco September 1993, I stepped off the plane for three weeks of wonderful times in this great American city.
People told me that it was similar in style and feel to Brighton – which I guess it is – however, it doesn’t have the constantly inclement weather. Instead, the weather was lovely, unpredictable but lovely. Of course, I did all of the tourist things: The Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, Alcatraz, Golden Gate Park, The Presidio but within a week I had really settled into being a San Franciscan.. late morning breakfast, getting to know local record shop owners (I was on a mission to get Nolan Strong & the Diablos – ‘The Wind’ for a project I was working on), hopping on and off the cable car, strolling through the streets of San Francisco, smoking Marlboro lights (about £2.00 per packet) with a white tip and drinking blonde beer in the local bars. Of course, I did the Castro (although, sadly, it didn’t do me) and was incredibly moved by the sense of community I found. I suppose I fell in love a little with the place, so much so that I had a chat with the Chief Executive of Virgin USA when they were next in the UK. Sadly, I was not able to convince them to take me on (although, to be fair, there was not even a job to be had).
Dave Morrison, whom I went with, made me a TAPE which contained lots of San Francisco/flying references and obviously ended with this as we landed on the tarmac. Hey-ho.
Written by John Phillips of Mamas & Papas fame, San Francisco became a number one hit in the UK and signified the dreams and desires of a whole generation of kids from the UK. Philip Wallach Blondheim, as he was born, sadly died in August last year.
I have always fancied myself as a morning DJ, I’d make a better job of it than that Chris Evans for sure. I think I have the requisite dulcet tones, a nice bedside manner and could play the best tunes for 40 something listeners.
Harry Chapin was a bit of a raconteur himself. None of his singles are especially commercial (he wrote Circles which was a biggish hit for the New Seekers and also wrote Cats In The Cradle which was a big hit for Ugly Kid Joe). W.O.L.D is from the LP, Short Stories and was a bit of a cult hit in this country (reaching number 34 in 1974).
Harry died in a car accident in 1981. According to his daughter, he ate a really unhealthy diet, never really slept and had a mad schedule.
What a woman. Rock & Roll’s original bad girl – Veronica Yvette Bennett was born in New York in 1943 (making her 70). Tied and bound to Phil Spector for 5 long years (read ‘Be My Baby – How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts & Madness’ for the full horrific story), Say Goodbye To Hollywood was her 4th solo single in as many labels.
Written about her by Billy Joel, why not draft in the hottest band of the moment and do it yourself. Two version here – the original version with the E Street Band on full tilt and the version from TOTP’s slightly ruined by the TOTP’s Orchestra. But God this girl can sing – I could go on and on about my love for the Ronettes, my adoration of ‘Try Some, Buy Some’ and of my desire to attend Ronnie Spector’s Christmas Pasrty one day (before she gets too old – or I do). It took her until 1980 to finally release a solo LP and as can be heard on her recent LP, she still has her finger firmly on the pulse. She released a version of Back To Black following the death of Amy Winehouse and donated all the proceeds to the Daytop Village addiction treatment centres.
Tiffany Twisted 1 featured ‘Don’t Let Me Down Again’ from the only LP by Buckingham Nicks. Back than I was panting in anticipation of the rumour that it was due to be released for the first time on CD. Well, girls and boys, I’m Still Waiting.
I bought the LP back in ’77 when it was re-issued by Polydor (think it also came out on cassette) but it has been long deleted which is SUCH a shame. Full of great compostitions, all of which would have fitted in quite nicely onto any FMac LP (I prefer Crystal from this LP over the white LP version).
First released in September 1973, the two first met in 1966 at a casual school gathering and she joined him in Fritz – opening for Jefferson Airplane & Janis Joplin. When they moved to L.A to pursue their dream, they dropped out of Uni, she took a job as a waitress and a cleaner (imagine Stevie being YOUR cleaner) whilst he stayed at home writing songs and (I’ll wager) making a bit of a mess.
Lindsey met Keith Oleson who produced this and the White Fleetwood Mac LP released in 1975. And the rest is history. They briefly toured off the back of this (but not over here) – imagine if they did re-release this and did a mini world tour on their own – imagine THAT.
What a gorgeous song – from the swooping intro – you are hooked and their harmonising is sublime..
(if anyone would like a copy of the LP I’ll happily do one, shout).
From Hotel California, Life In The Fast Lane was the third single released from that LP. With don on vocals and guitar riff courtesy of Joe Walsh, this tells the story of a couple that takes their excessive lifestyle to the edge – very L.A – very Buckingham Nicks actually – rumours were going round that the couple in the song was based upon them, however, Frey revealed that the title came to him one day when he was riding on the freeway with a drug dealer known as “The Count”.
Hotel California sold in excess of 32 million worldwide, and launched Walsh to superstardom. The cover sleeve is a photo of the Beverly Hills Hotel taken by David Alexander.
Benediction means: 1. A blessing. 2. An invocation of divine blessing, usually at the end of a church service. 3. often Benediction Roman Catholic Church A short service consisting of prayers, the singing of a Eucharistic hymn, and the blessing of the congregation with the host. 4. An expression of good wishes.
And not being religious in the slightest, it remains one of my favourite nouns. So imagine my surprise when it popped up in this Jackson Browne record from 1983. I squealed.
Jackson, beloved of all Virgin Megastore (female) A.M’s in the Eighties, has extraordinarily glossy hair, the face of an angel and a glamourpuss girlfriend in Daryl Hannah.
Jackson joined the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band way back in 1966 aged 17 – by the time he was 18 he was staff writer for Elektra Records before spending a couple of years in Greenwich Village where he was romantically linked to Nico. His first LP was released in 1972 and contained Doctor My Eyes a huge hit for the Jackson 5. Signed to Asylum Records he was a prime mover and shaker on the TT’ed scene working with Eagles, Ronstadt, Zevon et al.
Swathes of stabby keyboards, great band and brilliant record. And ‘benediction of the neon light’ is SUCH a great line isn’t it?
Think what you like about Leo. He was pretty big on both sides of the Atlantic – his first seven singles reached the UK Top 10, which was the first time since Adam Faith that UK solo vocalist had achieved such a feat. I have ALWAYS adored this record. Very British and quite working class – visions of the couple trundling up the M6 (in a van), calling in on some motorway service station (just north of Birmingham) for chips with tomato ketchup, on their way to eloping to Gretna Green to get wed. Don’t think people behave in such a way any more do they?
Co-written with Frank Farrell ex Supertramp & Greenslade, this reached Number 2 in 1975 and was produced by the aforementioned Faith and Russ Ballard. If you need more proof of his TT’ed credentials, check out the eponymous LP which featured a host of American session musicians and guests (including Mr Buckingham).
Furthermore, Leo did his research – Montague Street – featured in the song is indeed in London (just north of Holborn) and is approximately 310 miles to Gretna.
And the song may be responsible for me smoking my first fag (although the French cigarettes had to wait for a couple of years (French kisses also had to wait a couple of years too.. ).
I thought that this was an old, obscure Soul records, brought back to life by Kiki in 1974. But, no. It was written by her keyboard player, Bias Bushell for the I’ve Got The Music In Me LP. It has been covered by loads of artists since – from Thelma Houston, Marcia Hines to Celine Dion.
Kiki was born Pauline Matthews in Bradford and began her musical career was back in the early 60’s, singing background vocals for Dusty, she released her first single in 1963 and had some success on the Northern Soul circuit and was the first British artist to sign to Motown in 1970. Great mates with Elton, she signed to Rocket Records and achieved a modicum of success throughout the 70’s and into the 80’s. Her final chart appearance was in 1993, duetting with Elt on True Love.
Extraordinary vocals – brilliant record – under-rated artist.
They simply don’t write songs like this any more do they? Exquisitely constructed, beautiful lyrics and wonderfully sung in anyone’s hands. Borrowing the reverb effect which was prominent in the original hit version by The Flamingos, I Only Have Eyes For You dates back to 1934 when it was used in the films Dames.
This comes from Garfunkel’s second solo LP, Breakaway, which contains some of my favourite cover versions EVER – you get I Believe When I Fall In Love, Disney Girls, Looking For The Right One and Break Away. It featured a host of top drawer musicians (David Crosby, Paul Simon, Andrew Gold, Toni Tennille, Bruce Johnson etc etc).
Very well read, Art dropped out of Law School to pursue a musical career but along the way earned a B.A in Art History and an M.A in Mathematics. He also had a film career, appearing in Catch 22, earning a Golden Globe nomination for Carnal Knowledge and in Bad Timing.
He never looked better as can be seen by the incredible cover photo for Breakway (taken by Norman Seeff). Twice arrested for cannabis possession, he claims that Rumours is his favourite LP of all time.
Simple song. Tracy was drafted into covering for Stevie Wonder for the messy Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Concert at Wembley after he had turned up, lost a hard drive missing 25 minutes of musing and ran away crying. So she had the world in her hands, and she grasped the opportunity with aplomb. There was something refreshingly honest about her performance, a little shy, quietly strumming her guitar and, for a while, she became a phenomena..
Tracy was born in Cleveland, graduated from Tufts in 1987, busked in Harvard Square and was signed to Elektra the same year.
Nominated for a clutch of music awards – including a Grammy and a Brit – Baby Can I Hold You tonight was the third single release from the LP but failed to trouble to UK Charts (I guess we were all buying the CD by then) – it was a number two hit for Boyzone.
Although Honey was his biggest hit (which I always assumed was about a dog), I’ll take Summer (The First Time) thank you.
Beautiful piano coda, the song describes the ‘sexual awakening’ of a young 17 year old Freshman with a 31 year old woman. Quite racy really. Released in 1973, when I was 11, it was enough to arouse my interest ‘under the sheets’ hearing it on Radio Luxembourg…
His last LP was released in 1982 and he has since concentrated on composing music for TV shows, writing a childrens TV series and painting – his pictures are displayed in galleries worldwide.
One of the first female Country artists to write and produce her own material, Bobbie has withdrawn from the showbiz lifestyle since 1981, living in LA, firmly out of the public eye.
Three times married (second husband was Jim ‘Spiders & Snakes’ Stafford), she had her own BBC-TV show in the 60’s.
Reaching number one in the UK, I’ll Never Fall In Love Again was not written by Gentry but by Bacharach & David and remains one of their most enduring songs. Reaching number two for Deacon Blue, it has probably the BEST rhyming couplet on record.
Giampiero Anelli or Drupi was born and raised in Pavia, Lombardy in 1947 a former plumber, he entered Vado Via into a competition but the song came in last place, yet somehow it became a huge-ish international hit. Recorded getting on for 20 LP’s in his career, this was released in 1974.
‘Vado Via’ means I Go Away and here are the translated lyrics:
‘This time I have decided to go but why didn`t you tell me
that you can`t stand it any longer
within that half-smile
a bit dull, I discovered the defects you have
but how could I ever love you?
I swear that…
I go away, your home is no longer
It`s better if I leave you
now that I can, I leave you
I am no longer the guy you know
but I would never have second thoughts
I swear that…
I go away, your home is no longer
It`s better if…
I tremble on the edge of a quiet world
my journey ends with you
but how could I love you?
I swear that…
I go away…your home is no longer
It`s better if I leave you, now that I can
I leave you now that I can
I leave you, I leave you
Now that I can I leave you’
Ignore the adverts for the Renault car, this is a great slice of pop from the late Robert Palmer. He seemed to ride the Punk/New Wave stuff quite nicely and came out the other side relatively unscathed. Uber-cool and very handsome, Robert began his musical career as the replacement for Jess Roden in the Alan Bown Set and moved onto Dada, then Vinegar Joe with one Elkie Brooks. When Vinegar Joe broke up he signed with Island as a solo singer and produced a string of classy records.
Clues, was released in 1980 and featured Gary Numan guesting on a cover of I Dream Of Wires. Johnny & Mary was recorded at the Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas (of course), and reached Number 1 in Spain but only number 44 in this country.
When Palmer died in 2003 (aged just 54), music lost one of it’s smoothest voices. Sad.
Extraordinary behemoth of a record. Bat Out Of Hell was released in 1977 and was a collaborative effort between Meat Loaf, Jim Steinman and Todd Rungren. Drafting in Roy Bittan and Max Weinberg alongside Edgar Winter and Ellen Foley – it went on to sell in excess of 34 million worldwide.
Three songs were developed in 1974 as part of a musical – and to these ears the album is crying out for a stage version.
YTTWROOMM, creepy spoken intro by Jim Steinman and Marcia McLain – which was thankfully edited out of the 7” version – it a total lusty party anthem – way filthier than the soundtrack to Grease, for example. Not reaching the Top 30 on either side of the Atlantic, but it was all about the LP. Steinman and Meat never sounded this good ever again.
Aw Linda, Linda, Linda – Queen of Tiffany Twisted.
She first came to our attention with folk-rockers The Stone Poneys and embarked upon a solo career in 1969. Providing vocals for Remington razors along the way she really hit the top gear with the release of ‘Linda Ronstadt’ 1971 which featured the Eagles – who toured as her backing band for a while. Smart artist who picked her material very carefully, her 70’s LP’s are all well worth checking out. This was written by Warren Zevon and appeared on Simple Dreams, produced by Peter Asher and with the sauciest of sleeves. Then she cut her hair and rather like Samson she lost some of her power.
She returned in the 80’s with a number of lovely LP’s recorded with Nelson Riddle and has more recorded a couple of LP’s in Spanish.
In 2011 she announced her retirement from singing die to Parkinson’s Disease – which upsets me greatly.
Ah Michael, Michael, Michael – KING of Tiffany Twisted.
The best white soul singer EVER from one of the sadly neglected greatest debut solo LP’s ever. He began his career in the early 70’s in a band called Blue (not that band obv), worked with Steely Dan on The Royal Scam & Aja before joining the Doobie Brothers for a faultless run of records which hit it’s peak with What A Fool Believes. McDonald was my first Beard in Pop 4 years ago, he had hits with Yah Mo B There (with James Ingram), On My Own (with Patti Labelle) and Sweet Freedom.
All of ‘If That’s What It Takes’ is a masterclass in great singing and musicianship..
Judy Collins is like your best Great Aunt. With a voice as clear as a bell, she began her musical recorded career back in 1961 and spent the majority of the 60’s covering songs by the greats – we are talking Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell – sometimes more effectively than the original versions (including the definitive version of Amazing Grace).
Send In The Clowns was released from her 1976 LP, Judith. From the musical, A Little Night Music, it has been covered numerous time – usually by women in the twilight of their careers. Dating from 1973, it was written by Stephen Sondheim who is one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th Century. Sondheim won Song of the Year at the 1975 Grammys.
Now 73, Judy was the inspiration behind the Crosby Stills & Nash song ‘Suite: Judy Blue Eyes’ from their second LP.
1978 was the year that Patti properly broke through. Both Horses and Radio Ethiopia are essential records, but Easter offered something more accessible. If you ignore the rather lovely under-arm hair on the sleeve, the songs on Easter range from angry to sexual or angrysexual. (don’t remember what they showed on TOTP’s though? – maybe it was the playout track).
I must also have been the year which I gave a talk in our English class on the growth of New Wave and it’s influence upon culture (well that’s what I can remember) – I proudly recorded several singles of the time – Statue of Liberty by XTC, this, Piss Factory (imagine the faces), Buzzcocks and some others, spent hours rehearsing and got an ‘A’ for my efforts (RAH ME). It went on for 10 minutes and I got a big round of applause and an invite to speak at the school’s debating society (which I hated and deliberately flunked).
Patti grew up the German neighbourhood in Philadelphia, her Mum was a Jehovah’s Witness and she gave birth to her first child aged 21 (never thought of Patti as a mother).
Briefly considered as the lead singer in Blue Oyster Cult (which would have been interesting), she spent the early part of the 70’s working as a journalist for Rolling Stone magazine. Hey Joe/Piss Factory was her first single and was way ahead of it’s time – Piss Factory especially gives me the chills every time I hear it (‘dicks like lilacs’ is my favourite line).
Springsteen was working on ‘Darkness On The Edge Of Town’ and Patti was recording in an adjacent studio. The link was Jimmy Iovine who was working on both LP’s. Iovine gave her a copy of the tapes and she recorded it and added/changed a couple of the verses. Springsteen waited until The Promise for us to hear his take on it (although he released a Live version on the boxed set). When Bruce did a version on The River tour, I thought I was going to explode.
A truly HORRIFIC version was released by Cascada.
A record which grows in stature the more you hear it. Ever since it has re-appeared in the re-runs of TOTP’s, it has been on in constant rotation down here in Brighton – even making an appearance at the inaugural Sunday Almanac.
Olivia was born in Cambridge (coming from Royston, this was quite local) to a German mother and a Welsh father. They moved to Australia when ONJ was 6. She was in a girl group aged 14 and recorded her first solo single in 1966. Really successful initially, her career was on the wane until she landed the part of Sandy in Grease. Little could prepare the youth (particularly the boys) in the UK, for the sight of her smoking in the skinniest pair of satin spandex jeans and a legend was born. For the cover of Totally Hot, the album that this came from, she was clad entirely in leather, standing against a wall, looking for trouble. Who knew that the LP would contain such a fantastic record – especially as it was written by John Farrar, her old mucker – writer of You’re The One That I Want and later Physical. Not keen on Physical, however – although the video is camp of the highest order.
VERY Bee Gees in construction, killer bassline, hair flicks galore. For a while Olivia was the foxiest chick on the block..
I don’t really know where to begin with this record. I sort of ignored it at the time (well I was only 8) and there were much more thrilling records to be had at the time – or so I thought. I then went through a stage of thinking it was too reverential and took the words too literally. I then got into New Wave and Disco and it certainly had no place there. Then came Joy Division, The Human League, New Order, more Disco, The Smiths.. My Sweet Lord was still lurking but had not full grabbed me. In fact, I’m not sure when it did fully grab me but it did. Now I regard My Sweet Lord as the finest of songs with the best key changes – if you are in any doubt re-listen to this from about 1:40 seconds when it soars. It has been there through some of the greatest moments of my life – most recently at the Wedding of the Year (2013 version), where this came on part way through my pudding. The Sun Shined, I stopped eating and the whole room was swaying and singing softly in unison. Then I welled up.
A similar thing happened at the inaugural Sunday Almanac – I welled up again and people were swaying and singing in unison and I got my first ‘Thank you very much’ of the afternoon.
I suppose it is the sheer simplicity of the sentiments and the words and those key changes. Doesn’t matter what age you are, you just know it almost instinctively.
Okay he nicked it from He’s So Fine – which in itself is a hell of a good record – but He’s So Fine doesn’t tug on your emotions in the same way that this does. Nor does it give you the same desire to press repeat immediately that the song has finished.
I don’t even profess to understand what Krishna stands for nor whether, if I did, I would be a believer – but whatever.
Taken from All Things Must Pass, which was the first TRIPLE boxed set that I was aware of, My Sweet Lord featured Clapton, Gary Wright, Peter Ham, Billy Preston, Ringo Starr amongst others and has been covered a significant number of times (yet I have never heard an alternative version which comes anywhere close) – although Boy George recorded a version for Rubytrax which makes sense as Bow Down Mister borrows from this a shade.
It’s hard to imagine just how successful this was – it was number one all over Europe, America and Australia with NO exceptions.
This year my TT’ed Top 5 are incredibly incredibly close – a 5 horse race if you will – may this should have won after all.
Hare Krishna with a big old lump in the throat.
Told you it was going to be close. I adore this and I (generally) adore Heart. ‘Little Queen’ was such a great LP and the leafy green sleeve with the Wilson sisters looking intimidating yet pouty on the front cover whilst the rest of the band potter about in the background in medieval attire.. it deserved to be put on a t-shirt.
Little Queen was the second release, following on from Dreamboat Annie which is a hotbed of TT’edness. Heart had already recorded Magazine which should have been the sophomore release but record company wranglings meant that the release was pulled.
Written about Heart’s anger towards Mushroom Records attempted publicity stunt involving Ann and her sister Nancy in a made-up lesbian affair. The song particularly focuses on Ann’s rage towards a man who came up to her after a concert asking how her “lover” was. She initially thought he was talking about her boyfriend, band manager Michael Fisher. After he revealed he was talking about her sister Nancy Wilson, Ann became angry and went back to her hotel room to write the original lyrics of the song.
Vicious, noisy with a riff that would shame Zeppelin, there was not really any other females that rocked quite this hard – nor looked this great at the time (the drummer is astonishing).
So in the 90’s I visited San Francisco and went to a ‘queer rock club’ – something which would never happen here (with the odd notable exception). It was on Haight Astbury (forget the name) but was unfortunately fairly emptyish. There was so much dry ice in the place that I struggled to see what was going on (I actually sat on someone by mistake). They played this and my night was complete as I had NEVER heard it out before – and it sounded amazing!!
And Ann Wilson was my Mum’s maiden name which etched my affection for them even deeper in to my Heart.
Ticks all sorts of boxes does this. Musically it’s superb – crescendo building, tighter than tight playing, the banging piano, harmonies which put the Beach Boys to shame – are those French Horns I hear in the intro? Aesthetically, the fawn matching suit combination, those specs & beards & of course the drummer (aka my husband) – are very easy on the eye. The lyrics are great too – the wild west, palomino horses,
The third single released from the Who Loves You LP, Silver Star was the first Four Seasons single not to feature Frankie Valli on vocals (he pops up in the harmonies at the end). Instead, the vocal duties were handled with grace by Gerry Polci – drumming and singing for his life. Following on from the brilliant Who Loves You and the equally brilliant December ’63 (Oh What A Night), Silver Star reached Number 3 in the UK charts and suffered the biggest chart drop ever (?) when it plummeted from 3 to 19. Any of these three hits – and Down The Hall from Helicon would have topped a TT’ed chart – but I went for this for it sheer breadth and symphony.
One of the greatest groups in American Musical History (I must see The Jersey Boys), responsible for some incredible, era defining singles – there is not enough space or time to do justice to Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons (Frankie is also one of the greatest singers EVER).
In the 70’s, before the Who Loves You LP was released, The Four Seasons were a struggling touring act (think The Bee Gees) – disco was just around the corner and they climbed on board. At the time Frankie was going deaf, despite the fact that he had a very successful solo career which ran concurrently (‘Swearin’ To God’ is sublime).
Gerry recorded music for TV shows (including the Barry Manilow TV specials) and retired from The Four Seasons in 1990 when he completed a Music Education degree and took up a teaching post in New Jersey.
Anyway. For now, for today – Silver Star tops this particular edition of Tiffany Twisted – the 2013/14 season.
I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have (which is a hell of a lot in fact).
My first job was in a record shop – I was aged 14 and I just loved it – one of the owners of the shop was (coincidentally) called Dennis and he seemed to be obsessed with ‘A Little Bit More’ the album, and he played it, probably, every single day I was working – so I think I could certainly sing you every single track word perfectly.
This particular video, is something I don’t remember seeing until youtube came along – I must have missed the episode on TOTP’s when it was featured (otherwise I would have remember it). Maybe they are taking the piss or maybe they were making some kind of statement about man love – I’m not really sure. I do know that Dr Hook liked a drink or five though (spectacularly drunk on an earlier OGWT performance) – Ray, with the eye patch, lost an eye during a car accident in 1968, and Dennis who lives in Worthing (gonna track that one down) – cleaned up his act, cut his hair and trimmed his beard and continued to have hits with the Hook until 1985.
Lovely, sweet song.
Just about my favourite LP of the 90’s is Ingenue. Remarkable vocalist who manages to sing rings around any other contemporary female vocalist. And doesn’t she look the business here?
Quality is a bit naff but remember seeing this on Later and literally swooned.
Great little record – out of all the Beatles, our Ringo was the most 70’s. Co-written by George Harrison and from ‘Ringo’ the LP..
Here he is goofing about in the grounds of the house he bought from John Lennon.
Perfect Summer record from Ronnie Lane (I know it isn’t Summer). Ronnie was bassist with the Small Faces, where he was nicknamed Plonk, before moving on to The Faces in the 70’s.
Lane quit the Faces in ’73 and embarked upon a solo career, releasing this in 1974. With Gallagher & Lyle on board, this video clip shows Ronnie & Ron Wood in earlier times..
Ronnie died from pneumonia as he was in the final stages of MS in 1997.
The Summer of ’76 was probably the loveliest in my life. Really hot, hosepipe bans, Scratby Beach, The Green Plunge – by then end I looked like I lived in Australia. Sherbet did live in Australia and this one hit wonder reached Number 4 in this country.
An allegory can be defined as: a story, poem, or picture which can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one
I shall leave it up to you, listener, to decide whether or not an allegory is at play in Solitaire. It surely can’t be about a bloke who enjoys a game of cards on his own can it? I have my own theories, which I’m keeping to myself..
Anyone who saw that wonderful Sedaka documentary last night will be aware of his towering influence. He’s been writing songs since before I was born (even), yet is still a sprightly 74 years of age. Extraordinarily talented, ANY of his 70’s output would fit right in to Tiffany Twisted. Recorded at Strawberry studios, with 10CC as the backing band, ‘Solitaire’ has been covered many, many times by The Carpenters (who tellingly altered the words), a big hit by Andy Williams, Gallon Drunk (like to hear that).
Clifford T Ward – ‘Gaye’
From behind Clifford resembled a 70’s Librarian didn’t he – think Judee Sill. Clifford was at college with my old Head of 6th Form, Mr Divall and he was always banging on about tales of him & Clifford in their student teacher days. He taught a baby Mrs Sting but left teaching to have a second stab at a musical career in 1972. ‘Gaye’ reached Number 8 in the UK in 1974. He died in 2001 from pneumonia caused by his diagnosis with MS in 1984.
Redbone were a Native American rock band who scored a big hit single in this country with ‘Witch Queen of New Orleans’. I think Come & Get Your Love is equally as great. Written by Lolly Vegas and produced with his brother Pat it spent 24 weeks on the Billboard charts.
A bit of it reminds me of Girls Just Want To Have Fun but obviously better.
Remember when I said that the drummer from The Four Seasons was my husband, well, I was wrong. Mick Rogers – the singer here, with a killer twinkle in his eyes, is my real husband. The Proggy side of Pop, Joybringer was based upon Jupiter by Gustav Holst and re-ignited the Manfred’s career. Always the most interesting of bands (those 60’s recordings are brilliant – every single one), Mick stuck around until 1975 before moving to Australia for a period – re-joining in 1983 (sadly missing out on the bigger late 70’s hit records).
Resplendent in Velvet loons, grey denim shirt and floppy hat. What’s not to like..
So, Tiffany Twisted is over for the THIRD year (where does the time go etc etc?). I trust you all had as much fun as I did. Thank you for listening and no amount of inclement weather will keep me from Tiffany Twisted 4.. as always, if you want TT’ed CD’s, then consider it done.
The costumes her are so bright I had to turn down the contrast on my screen. The Fifth Dimension were the soul alternatives to the Mamas & Papas. Originally known as the Hi-Fis, they brought a whole raft of TT’edness to a different kind of audience. They recorded songs by Laura Nyro, songs from ‘Hair’ the Musical, Bacharach & David and one of their earliest singles was a note for note cover version of Go Where You Wanna Go. The Johnny Mann Singers probably pipped them to it in this country with their version which is absolutely great with much bigger vocal harmonies.
Of course Up Up & Away was written by the great Jimmy Webb who also wrote the BEST songs for Glen Campbell.
With a line up which includes Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jnr, they were stalwarts of 70’s TV. McCoo & Davis left in 1975 and the rest battled on without them.