Tiffany Twisted 2014-15 brought with it a fair share of personal heartache. Halfway through I lost my beloved Jack Russell cross dog. Rascal became ill quickly, thankfully no alarmingly high vet’s bills but I had no choice but to put her to sleep. Suffice to say that I took a break from everything and did not finish the list until June 2015.
Number 50. Twiggy – ‘Here I Go Again’
This year has just flown by hasn’t it? Doing the Almanac has gone some way to realise my dream of holding a Tiffany Twisted Night-club – in fact, I always take my TT’ed CD’s with me and try to play at least one track.
I had a bit of a teenage crush on Twiggy if I’m honest (and maybe still have) – she certainly isn’t the greatest of singers but this has a lovely country twang. She had a couple of records around this time and luckily for us still pops up on daytime TV – a legend really.
Number 49. Kate Taylor featuring James Taylor – ‘It’s In His Kiss (The Shoop-Shoop Song)’
Who knew James Taylor even HAD a sister, let alone a sister which had a recording contract and released a couple of albums.
He co-produced this, which came from her second LP and also appears as co-vocalist. Her first record was released when she was 15 in 1971 and even though she still tours, she has never scaled the heights of fame her big brother achieved.
Number 48 – Splinter –‘Costafine Town’
Bill & Bobby came from South Shields and released several records in the 1970’s. I must admit that I had completely forgotten about this gem until I was preparing for this edition of TT’ed.
They came to the attention of George Harrison who wanted to sign them to Apple but when it folded he set up a new label called Dark Horse and signed them to that instead. Produced by Harrison, it was rumoured that Splinter were actually Harrisons’ new band.
And it’s a bit of a prophetic song as there is now a Costa Coffee on every street in every town.
Number 47 – Greg Lake – ‘I Believe In Father Christmas’
If it hadn’t been for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ I reckon that this would have been our Christmas Number One in 1975. An incredible record from the bass player from Emerson Lake & Palmer and former singer of King Crimson.
Number 46. Peter Shelley – ‘Love Me Love My Dog’
Not the Buzzcocks Peter Shelley, let’s get that clear right now. THIS Peter Shelley had two biggish UK hits in 74/75. Peter was a record plugger for Decca before forming Magnet Records which became the home of Alvin Stardust, Guys ‘N’ Dolls, Darts and Chris Rea to name a few.
And talking about Alvin, Mr Shelley was the first Alvin Stardust – he appeared on Lift Off with Ayesha before the record became a hit but he wasn’t really interested in becoming Alvin full time so he stepped aside.
Such a sweet record which sounds like the theme tune to an American buddy movie.
Look, there’s a DOGGY AAAH
Number 45. Chris Rea – ‘Fool (If You Think It’s Over)’
Not sure how much I like Chris Rea. I certainly don’t like the incessant bottleneck guitar but when he is at the piano, as he is here, he is more accessible and likeable. This record was initially released in 1978, some years before his mega-selling 80’s days and was a bigger hit for Elkie Brooks (I much prefer this version to hers actually).
Chris almost died from pancreatic cancer some years ago but it now recovered. Son of an ice-cream entrepreneur, Driving Home For Christmas is now as familiar in December as baubles, tinsel and shopping.
Number 44. Damien Rice – ‘Cannonball’
Damien was signed to Polygram with rock group Juniper in 1997 before embarking upon a solo career with his debut album ‘O’ in 2002. Born and raised in County Kildare in Ireland, he is the second cousin to David Arnold. Cannonball charted on three separate occasions before peaking at Number 9 in 2011 when Little Mix recorded as their X-Factor Winners Single.
Number 43. Kansas – ‘Dust In The Wind’
Quite a departure from Kansas who were hitherto known as an American Prog Rock band. This was the first single where they went acoustic and it became one of their best selling US singles.
A rum looking lot aren’t they? One of them even has a false eye.
Number 42. Catherine Howe – ‘Harry’
From 1975. I always assumed that this was a smallish chart hit but can find no record of it ever charting or of any appearance on Top Of The Pops. I reckon that I must have heard it or seen it on Saturday Night Variety show.
Anyway, it’s a beautiful song, beautifully sung by a beautiful lady. And Harry is one of my favourite boys names.
Number 41. Dwight Twilley Band – ‘Trying To Find My Baby’
Who he (or they)? Well in 1977, America were in the throws of Power-Pop and Dwight Twilley & Phil Seymour released their second LP which featured this little nugget. Hopes of emulating labelmates Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (who they provided backing vocals for) global success were high. Twilley – the pretty one – looked like a ready-made pop star and their harmonies and pop sensibilities were impeccable. But somehow this failed and sank without trace. It’s great though, isn’t it?
Twilley continued to record once the band broke up but Phil sadly died from lymphoma aged 41 in 1993.
Number 40. Suzanne Vega – ‘Marlene On The Wall’
Slight hangover (but not THAT bad) plus working in an hour and a half but I shall leave you with this. Much better than I remembered it actually..actually this and the second LP contain some of the loveliest, breeziest records ever recorded.
Number 39. David Gray – ‘Babylon’
Mr Old Wobbly Head seemed to have the world at his feet then it all seemed to disappear (I blame Coldplay).
From the best selling LP, White Ladder – which finally reached the top of the LP charts some 2 and a half year after it’s release.
Babylon is his biggest UK hit singles peaking at Number 5 in 2000.
I saw him at the Concorde 2 in Brighton on the 24th April 2000 too. There was quite a buzz about it and he was very very good and wore the best polo shirts!
Number 38. Tanita Tikaram – ‘Twist In My Sobriety’
I really hated (and I mean REALLY hated) Good Tradition (‘it’s a Good Tradition between love and hate?). But I REALLY like this which was her follow up. Besides her brother is Ramon Tikaram star of Eastenders, Game of Thrones (I think) and that wonderful bisexual Ferdy from This Life.
Number 37. Little River Band – ‘It’s A Long Way There’
Can’t believe it’s taken me so long to post this clip. They would have fitted right into Beards In Pop (RIP). Both this and Help Is On It’s Way were biggish US hits (I phoned the Capital Hitline and voted for It’s A Long Way There – btw what happened to that?)
Definitely influenced by the Eagles (you can hear that in the harmonies). From Australia, they were sort of Australia’s first supergroup and have numbered 33+ members in their time including John ‘The Voice’ Farnham. Lead singer, Glenn Shorrock left, joined, left again, emigrating to Adelaide from Chatham in Kent aged 10 – and he looks incredibly Australian!
Number 36. Lone Justice – ‘Shelter’
Lone Justice only released two albums but both are brilliant. Shelter, the album, was produced by Steve Van Zandt and was released in 1986. Signed to Geffen Records with the help of Linda Ronstadt, they were touted as the next big thing
Maria became a solo artist and also released several gorgeous LP’s and is perhaps best known in this country for Show Me Heaven, a song which she has refused to play live ever since.
She also wrote A Good Heart which was a number one hit for Feargal Sharkey.
She is also incredibly pretty, isn’t she?
Number 35. Robbie Robertson – ‘Somewhere Down The Crazy River’
Inspired by Robertson spending time with his old Band mate, Levon Helm, in Arkansas. This was Robertson’s only UK hit from his debut solo LP.
Robbie hails from Canada, his mother was Mohawk. He was lead guitarist and songwriter with The Band. Friendly with Martin Scorsese who, of course, directed The Last Waltz. As well as producing Beautiful Noise for Neil Diamond, he has composed music for Raging Bull & for most of the rest of Scorsese’s’ films.
The brilliant voice in the chorus belongs to Sam Llanas from The BoDeans and Robbie gets all hot and sweaty with Maria McKee from yesterdays TTed.
Number 34. Poco – ‘Rose Of Cimarron’
You know what? I think this is the ONLY record by Poco that I know. I must have been listening to a lot of American Radio (somehow from my bedroom in Royston) in 1976, the year this was released.
Originally consisting of Richie Furay, Jim Messina and Rusty Young, by the time that they released this they had changed label and all but one had departed.
Rusty was joined Paul Cotton and Timothy B Schmit who joined the Eagles proper on the Hotel California tour in 1977,
Covered by Emmylou Harris this is a wonderful find for all Eagles fans.
Number 33. Crowded House – ‘Fall At Your Feet’
Probably the most famous musical exports from the land of New Zealand the Finn Brothers give the best songwriters a run for their money and with a population of around 4.5 million sounds a very attractive proposition).
Partially formed from the ashes of Split Enz, Crowded House formed in 1984 and changed their name from The Mullanes in 1985 at the behest of Capital Records.
This came from their third and arguably greatest LP, Woodface.
Not as dreamy as Don’t Dream It’s Over but lovely nonetheless.
Neil & Tim seem to have weathered the storms which normally effect brothers in bands and have both had successful careers away from the House.
Number 32. Squeeze – ‘Labelled With Love’
Difford & Tilbrook were the natural successors to Lennon & McCartney, weren’t they? So MANY great songs and this is another one – more Squeeze in future TT’eds too.
Labelled With Love would sound better after several pints down the pub (if you can afford it) and reeks of seedy poverty stricken Britain.
From their 4th LP, East Side Story (which I think is their best), this was their last Top 10 hit. Produced by Elvis Costello, it was also their first LP without Jools Holland so hurrah for that!
Number 31. Elton John – ‘I Want Love’
What I love about Elton is his staying power and consistency. Remarkable career and here he is again teamed up with Bernie Taupin for this wonderful tune from 2001 and his LP Songs From The West Coast. Okay, he occasionally misses the mark but generally, his output is of the highest quality. He is a huge music fan too and somehow manages to keep his private life just that.
Featured in this video is one of the finest actors of his generation doing some lip-synching. Robert Downey Jnr released a great LP on his own entitled The Futurist which is actually rather brilliant.
Number 30. Neil Young – ‘Harvest Moon’
Don’t you just HATE this video? I’ve never been very keen on actually seeing Mr Young or on about 50% of his recorded output. I saw him at Finsbury Park many years ago and have to say was bored out of my tree. But I love this. From his 20th LP, Harvest Moon is considered by many to be a sequel to Harvest. With James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt and Nicolette Larsen on backing vocals it’s a perfect Sunday kind of record.
Number 29. Nicolette Larsen – ‘Lotta Love’
Written by Neil Young and released on the Comes A Time album, Lotta Love first came to my attention in the No Nukes project of ’79. Although the song doesn’t feature in the film, it does on the TRIPLE LP. Of course, when the film came out in 1980, the only real reason why people over here wanted to see it was to catch a glimpse of Bruce live on stage – we had nuclear worries of our own back then didn’t we.
On the soundtrack, she is backed by the Doobie Brothers. Here it still sounds languid and lovely. Amazingly long hair, we lost Nicolette in 1997. She who was an accomplished singer in her own right was once engaged to Andrew Gold and was married to uber-drummer Russ Kunkel when she died.
Recently I discovered the Disco version which is, if anything, better.
Number 28 – Dr Hook & The Medicine Show – ‘Sylvia’s Mother’
Anyone who has watched the re-runs of TOTP’s will see that Dr Hook were quite hot property by 1980. They look quite clean and presentable, don’t they?
Well. This wasn’t always the case.
Looking at them here, they just look INCREDIBLY STONED. Written by Shel Silverstein: author, recording artist, actor, poet, screenwriter and songwriter (A Boy Named Sue for Johnny Cash, The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan).
Sylvia’s Mother came from their debut LP back in 1971 (Yes Sylvia’s Mother is 44 years old). A huge hit all over the world (reaching Number 2 over here) but didn’t really kick-start their career – they had to wait until 1976 with the release of the wonderful A Little Bit More for that.
Signed to CBS by Clive Davis, they toured with their drummer was called Popeye Phillips who was the session drummer on the Flying Burrito Brothers LP – The Gilded Palace Of Sin.
Impossible to imagine anyone else singing this record. Dennis now resides in Worthing which is just down the coast from here.
Should have been higher really!
Number 27. Donny & Marie Osmond – ‘I’m Leaving It (All) Up To You’
Simple little song which reminds me of my cousin, Judith. Another song which we used to sing into the microphone into my portable tape recorder and record onto a C30 cassette. I’m not sure which one played which role, but me being me thought I had by FAR the best voice and demanded that I sang all of the best bits.
I always felt a bit sorry for Marie. Always in the shadow of her older brothers and forced into wearing impossibly cutesy dresses. I feel that she wanted to embrace a leather trousers or something (although she did turn down the lead role in Grease)
Written by legendary Don & Dewey this was originally a hit for Dale & Grace in the US in 1963. Marie has been married three times to two different men, her son committed suicide and her daughter is a lesbian. Donny is still a very handsome grandfather of a couple of nippers.
One final thing – those brackets around the word All – Why?!
Number 26. Bob Dylan – ‘Baby, Stop Crying’
I’m not quite sure why this was such a big hit over here. Number 13 in fact in 1978 which for one of the old guard was huge.
The LP from which this came from was the first in his rich recorded history to feature a pop band – saxophones, trio of girl backing singles etc. So it was an absolute thrill when this popped up on TOTP’s in 2013 with Legs & Co doing their thing to it.
But this being a Dylan track and his unbelievably tight control over all things you-tube (WHY BOB?!), it’s impossible to get there in any version – so for the first time EVER I cannot upload a song – quite miserable about that (and no, not even Legs & Co)
Number 25. The Youngbloods – ‘Get Together’
You need to hear this song to realise how familiar it is. Has it been used in an advert or is it just part of our collective tapestry?
Anyway, it’s blooming great. And it was actually written by Chet Powers i the early ’60’s. Often known as ‘Let’s Get Together’ or ‘Everybody Get Together’ (by The Dave Clark 5), this version by The Youngbloods was a Billboard Hit in 1967 and 1969. Covered many times from Joni Mitchell to The Wonderstuff, it also appeared on the No Nukes soundtrack.
It was on the radio list of ‘lyrically questionable songs’ following the 9/11 attacks.
The lead singer, Jessie Colin Young, is a lesser known member of the TT’ed club but well worth checking out.
Plus there are some really peculiar videos to this on the YouTube.
Number 24. Chicago – ‘If You Leave Me Now’
Swear to God that I didn’t plan it this way. As you know Rascal is very poorly so this is for her. That horn section gets me Every.Time. Plus Terry Kath has to be the only number one singer who died whilst playing Russian Roulette.
I pay tribute to Rascal elsewhere (specifically next years series) but she, unfortunately, died within a few days of me posting this. It shook me to the core – for me, all pets are part of the family and she was part of mine. Suffice to say I did not feel like continuing this list and left it alone for a month or so before picking it up again.
Number 23. Eagles – ‘Take It Easy’
Cool as f**k here. Taken from the Hotel California Tour. Released in 1972 and written by Jackson Browne – I suppose it came to our attention properly with the phenomenal success that was Their Greatest Hits (1971–1975).
Glenn Frey on vocals who certainly did have and still has it going on didn’t he? He is bloody did. This was the look I was cultivating for Mark Wood’s Jetsetter 50th Birthday and I almost pulled it off.
Number 22 – Lesley Duncan – ‘Love Song’
Really odd that she never achieved the level of success that she was due – probably due to a crippling fear of performing live). In the Sixties, she released several singles and performed backing vocals for Dusty Springfield (who returned the favour later on).
This came from her debut LP released in 1970 entitled Sing Children Sing which is rather wonderful but very expensive to actually buy.
Covered by a load of artists including Olivia Newton-John & David Bowie and released as a single in its own right.
She appeared on Dark Side of the Moon, her final appearance on record was with the Alan Parsons Project for his Eve LP.
She retired to the Isle of Mull, raised her family and became a popular local gardener before sadly dying from cerebrovascular disease in 2010.
Number 21. The Partridge Family – ‘Looking Through The Eyes Of Love’
There were 96 episodes & 4 series of The Partridge Family spanning the years 1970 through to 1974. Thing is I can’t remember how many I actually saw and have no idea which of the three channels it was on over here. It did catapult Mr Cassidy to superstardom and pitched him head to head with Donny Osmond.
The records are something else. The Partridge Family were actually the Wrecking Crew, a group of session musicians who were behind many a chart record of the sixties and perhaps most famously, the Phil Spector Wall of Sound. Cassidy convinced Wes Farrell that he was man enough for the job.
Inspired by that wonderful band The Cowsills (fairly recent discovery but they are great). As for the rest of the Family, Mum Shirley Jones is 80 going on 81 and is David’s ACTUAL step-mum, sexy Susan Dey (Laurie), ex-model, became even more famous when she appeared in LA Law, Suzanne or ‘Tracey’ (who I hated!) no longer acts and only appears on re-union programmes, Jeremy Gelbwaks (Chris #1) left after the first series and eventually moved into computers, Brian Foster (Chris #2) took over – he is the great-great-great grandson of Charles Dickens, whereas Danny Bonadue became a bit of a drug-crazed, wrestling rebel.
Number 20. Al Stewart – ‘The Year Of The Cat’
The history of this song dates back to 1966 when Stewart watched Tony Hancock and wrote the melody for an unrecorded track called Foot Of The Stage. The melody for that song became The Year Of The Cat. Released in 1976 it was a big UK hit and caused him to relocate to the States where he currently resides.
Number 19. Warren Zevon – ‘Werewolves Of London’
With the Fleetwood Mac rhythm section on board, Werewolves of London was released in 1978 and came from the excellent Excitable Boy.
Zevon was such a prolific and respected songwriter and when he died from cancer in 2003, the musical world lost a true treasure.
Why Jon Landis didn’t pursue this for use in An American Werewolf In London is beyond me!
Number 18. Ray Stevens – ‘Misty’
Also responsible for one of the horrors of the 70’s (Yes, The Streak) – this is much better in a checked cowboy shirt kind of way. Steven’s was a producer and studio musician in Nashville turning his hand at comedy, country and musical theatre. I much prefer the song sung like this than I ever did in the much slower, jazzy versions but I guess I was the target age group for this kind of thing, wasn’t I?
Number 17. Ralph McTell – ‘Streets Of London’
Spending part of this last weekend in London, it struck me that nothing has really changed since this came out. People are still homeless on the streets with little or no hope of ever finding somewhere warm to live. And as Boris doesn’t really like homelessness does he, I fear the situation will deteriorate to the point where the centre of London will be full of commercial buildings and the rich. It’s really sad and makes me quite angry. Plus London, for all it’s fantastic points, can be the loneliest place on earth – which is why I have never lived there and am now too old to try (and the Social Housing situation in this country makes it more difficult to transfer to another part of the country that going to live in Spain).
Ralph was really phwoar-some wasn’t he? I mean look at those forearms (always my favourite bit).
Streets of London was written by McTell who changed his name from May after Blind Willie McTell. First recorded in 1968, it became his only hit single when he re-recorded the song with Prelude on backing duties. It almost became the Christmas Number One in 1974, an honour which went to Mud – ‘Lonely This Christmas’
Number 16. Randy Edelman – ‘Uptown Uptempo Woman’
Pure speculation, but as he is still married to the great Jackie DeShannon, could this be about her? In my mind, she was always older than him (in reality he is 67 and she is 73), and lived in a swanky but bohemian New York loft apartment. Of course, he leaves he high and dry in this song and Randy would never do that.
Great song, well structured and nicely sung. I particularly love the piano bit which is very delicate and practically classical. He is also wearing a brilliant jumper on this appearance on the telly (with remarkably hairy hands) and I’m quite taken by those girls dancing in a way which doesn’t happen today – I’m not sure if it even IS a dance (more of a sway from side to side) but ALL the girls danced like that it 1976 didn’t they?
Number 15. Keith West – ‘Excerpt From A Teenage Opera’
The one with Grocer Jack.
Ah 1967. This was all over the radio that Summer – I can remember it as clearly as if it were yesterday. This was in one of my first ever music posts, one of the first records I played at the Almanac and it’s one of the greatest records from the 60’s.
Peaking at Number 2 right behind ‘The Last Waltz’, ‘Excerpt From A Teenage Opera (aka Grocer Jack)’ was from a rock opera, called er ‘A Teenage Opera’ (think Tommy) by Mark Wirtz and Tomorrow. Wirtz was also the genius behind ‘A Touch Of Velvet, A Sting Of Brass’ by Mood Mosaic.
Keith was the lead singer of Tomorrow, psychedelic rockers responsible for My White Bicycle.
What a glorious record – just listen to the orchestration – plus I’m a sucker for a children’s choir.
Number 14. Tim Buckley – ‘Dolphins’
I think I came across Tim some time in or 80 or 81 – it was on a VHS compilation tape which a work colleague made for me of clips from the Mac, Bruce, the Banshees, Soft Cell and bits and bobs from various Whistle Tests – it lasted 3 hours and must have taken them ages to put together. I was immediately struck by how beautiful his voice was and how dimply handsome his face was. I bought a couple of second hand LP’s but was a bit disappointed – a bit too free-form Jazzy and some of the tracks were way too long. But this clocked in at just over three minutes and was written by Fred Neil of Everybody’s Talking fame. I have dipped in and out ever since but to be honest I’m not the hugest fan.
Tim died from a heroin overdose in 1975 just a year after this performance was filmed.
Number 13. Jeff Buckley – ‘So Real’
I think I went to see Jeff at the Astoria in the 90’s – I usually went to the pub first so was usually two sheets to the wind by the time the main act appeared and this must have been the case with Jeff. Which is a shame as I think I would have enjoyed him more if I were sober.
Grace is considered by David Bowie as one of the best albums EVER but although it sold steadily, only reached Number 44 in the LP charts.
Son of Tim, his mother raised him as a single mum, moving from State to State – he signed to Colombia records – at the behest of Clive Davies – after playing the clubs in New York for a few years.
In 1997 he died whilst skinny dipping in Wolf River Harbour.
Number 12. The Who – ‘Join Together’
I reckon Daltrey and Townsend had fisticuffs before this was filmed as they both have bandaged hands. Hardly surprising really as I’m not sure they ever got on that well. Few bands from the Sixties survived this far into the 70’s, let alone released material which was equal if not better than their 60’s output.
Only released as a single after two abandoned Who LP’s bit the dust, this has been a live Who favourite ever since. Featuring Pete on harmonica and Keith and Roger on the Jew’s Harp (which you don’t see nearly enough of).
Number 11. Strawbs – ‘Lay Down’
The Strawbs have been in existence since 1964 when they were a bluegrass group.
Since then, they have covered a wide range of music: folk rock, prog rock & even glam rock.
They had to wait until 1972 for their first top twenty chart hit with this brilliant record. The lyrics are loosely based upon the 23rd Psalm, TV audience must have been quite taken aback to see them looking like this (nice shade of eyeshadow on Dave Cousins).
Very little footage of the Strawbs and even less of Hudson Ford – but they have a really great recording history and an incredible ever changing line up.
Hudson Ford came about when they left the Strawbs in 1973 – Hudson, the drummer and Ford, the bespectacled guitarist had a couple of hits in their own right and released 4 LP’s.
Also I LOVE this audience – such joy on their little strawbs faces.
Number 10. Elkie Brooks – ‘Sunshine After The Rain’
I’ve always REALLY liked this record and particularly the LP from whence it came (the one with her sitting on the floor in her shirt – a look I regularly copy). Two Days Away also contained two further barnstormers in the shape of ‘Saved’ & ‘Pearl’s A Singer’. Produced by Leiber & Stoller and written by Ellie Greenwich back in ’69, this was Elkie’s second hit from that particular LP. She went a bit chicken in a basket in the 80’s (see Pearls 1 & Pearls 2) but for a while, the ex-singer of Vinegar Joe had it ALL going on.
Plus she always sang live on the telly – the sign of a true singer.
Number 9. The Babys – ‘Isn’t It Time’
What a brilliant record. Led by John Waite, he of ‘Missing You’ fame (UK Top 10, US Number 1 – 1984), here he looks like Bowie’s Ziggy Brother. It’s astonishing to think that this only reached number 45 in this country (although it did reach Number 1 in Australia & number 13 in America) as it is certainly one of my favourite records of the 70’s. If you look past the lovely piano build up, the lead up to the chorus – you’ll hear some sterling backing vocals from The Babettes (Lisa Freeman Roberts, Myrna Matthews & Pat Henderson who were all in the Andrea Crouch & the Disciples). Without them, this would have been a good record but with them, it’s bloody great.
During a performance in Cincinnati on 9 December 1980 (the day after John Lennon had been shot), John Waite was pulled from the stage by an overzealous fan during an encore and seriously injured his knee. Following a subsequent final performance by the group in Akron, Ohio the remainder of the tour was cancelled, and the group disbanded following the tour. Although different members of the group have given various reasons for the band’s demise, the general issue seems to have been disillusionment that the group never really achieved the success they felt they deserved given the quality of their albums and live shows. Waite later mused, “We were better than people thought we were”.
Number 8. Bonnie Tyler – ‘Lost In France’
This was Bonnie’s second single. Her first, ‘My My, Honeycomb’ bombed. She was spotted singing Nutbush City Limits in a club in Swansea by a talent scout and was invited to London to record some demo tracks subsequently signing to RCA records.
Left with a permanent rasp after an operation on her nodules – leaving her sounding not unlike Rod Stewart. This was written by THE Ronnie Scott and Steve Wolfe and peaked at Number 9 in the UK in 1976..
Her and her husband have owned 22 homes in Berkshire and a set of riding stables (65 at the last count) and through him, she is related to Catherine Zeta-Jones.
EQUAL Number 7. Fleetwood Mac – ‘Gypsy’
Mirage seems to have become the forgotten Mac record, doesn’t it? No glorious re-issues that befell the earlier three Mac LP’s – in fact it’s still available on bog standard CD (£3.25 for a new copy on Amazon currently). This is a great pity as it contains some jewels – it is a platinum seller which reached a respectable Number 5 in this country. Perhaps, the Mac had lost their edge – but I like to believe that all three songwriters were in the middle of successful careers (Stevie had already released Bella Donna which was huge).
I first saw this video whilst visiting London – I think I was off to see No Nukes the Movie and this was on a loop outside a Warner Brothers Cinema in Oxford Street – I was transfixed by the song and had fun trying to spot the rest of the Mac in their cameos.
Reminiscent of the Mamas & Papas, it recalls the pre-fame coupling of Nicks & Buckingham who shared a room in San Francisco and slept on a mattress on the floor. Stevie would never allow that now would she?
EQUAL Number 7. Lynsey De Paul – ‘Sugar Me’
Such a sweetheart. I was really sad and shocked when she died last year from a brain haemorrhage.
Her career saw her taking on many projects, including representing the UK in the Eurovision song contest, writing and appearing in telly shows, producing a self-defence video, co-hosting the Marc Bolan 35th Anniversary tribute concert with Noddy Holder and dating some of the most glamorous and attractive men of the day.
‘Sugar Me’ was supposed to go to Peter Noone but on the advice of her then fella, she kept it herself and it became her biggest chart success.
Number 6. Boz Scaggs – ‘Lowdown’
The first hit from the LP Silk Degrees, Boz was everywhere in 1976.
Already on his 7th LP by this point, he cut his musical teeth with the Steve Miller Band before teaming up with session musicians Toto for another stab at stardom.
The Saturday Night Fever crew approached him to include this in Saturday Night Fever but his manager turned down the request, allowing it to be used in Looking For Mr Goodbar instead.
Cool as a cucumber.
Number 5. Yvonne Elliman – ‘Love Me’
This incredible record was written by the Bee Gees (of course it was they wrote the best songs) and appeared on their Children of the World LP in 1976. Yvonne shared the same record label as the brothers Gibb.
She had her first hit with ‘I Don’t Know How To Love Him’ (which for personal reasons resonates today) from Jesus Christ Superstar. Her version of If I Can’t Have You for Saturday Night Fever is simply one of the greatest records ever made.
Her recording career only lasted until 1979 when she withdrew from making music to raise a family.
Probably the most successful Hawaiian chart act of all time – beautiful lady with a great fashion sense. Do you think Ponchos In Pop is a go-er?
Number 4. Gilbert O’Sullivan – ‘We Will’
Great. Gilbert wrote some beautiful, heartbreaking and funny songs in 1970/1/2. He first came to our attention dressed as a schoolboy on TOTP’s singing Nothing Rhymed – a look he kept until late 1971 when, before the release of Alone Again (Naturally), he ditched it, opened up shirt to reveal a remarkably hairy chest and ha a couple of Number 1’s with Clair and Get Down. He was never really fashionable though – too old for the teenage girl, not loud enough for the Glam Rock scene. But fast forward to the year 2016, and this look would fit right in for fans of ‘Peaky Blinders’
I reheard this as a cover by Rumer from her Boys Don’t Cry LP a couple of years ago and fell in love with the original all over again.
For all those parents out there (or ‘funny Uncles’ in my case)
Number 3 – Paul McCartney & Wings – ‘My Love’
Anyone know when/if Red Rose Speedway or Wild Life for that matter are going to be re-issued on CD? Neither are available and cost almost £30 to get either..
Anyhow, this was written for Linda – who is featured in this clip in a spectacular coat. A classic example of Macca balladry from the aforementioned LP. This reached Number 1 in the States and Number 9 over here.
Plus any song that begins with the word And is just fine with me (see also Walk Away Renee and Open Your Heart).
Number 2. Boston – ‘More Than A Feeling’
One of the greatest guitar riffs in History. Simple as that.. and much better as a single edit (what isn’t though!!).
Number 1. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band -‘Born To Run’
My love affair with Bruce began, not as you’d expect with this record, but sometime in 1981. I was working at J&J Records in Hatfield and the fellow who ran the branch in Berkhamstead (Bob was his name) was a really, really big Bruce fanatic. We spoke on the telephone regularly and he persuaded me to get a ticket for The River tour dates at Wembley Arena. So I did, with my friend Wendy McCulloch (sadly not the Wendy from this song). We had recently left school so it was good to catch up with her. My Dad (bless him) waited outside for the entire concert to give us a lift home – I even think he popped his head in to find out what all the fuss was about. I came away from there completely hoarse from singing, dancing and shouting (and probably screaming) – all for just over £6.00 too. Afterwards, I bought all the LP’s and even some bootlegs from the earlier tours (it was okay as Bruce loves a good bootleg). Anyways, I spoke to Bob and he said he knew how to get a ticket for a second gig at the same place later in the week on the same tour. So I went again. Then managed to go to all the Bruce concert tour until The Rising in Croydon. I’ve not managed to do so since as have been too late applying for tickets (I really hope I get to go one last time).
Through Bruce, I discovered a huge range of artists and even made tapes of songs which I could imagine him singing live (wish I’d not thrown THOSE away).
‘Born To Run’ was the one which got him noticed in this country some 6 years earlier. The cover was all over London for his run at the Hammersmith Odeon (ticket prices £2.20) – had I known what I know now, I would have killed to have gone but not sure my 13-year-old self could have handled it.
Allan Clarke from the Hollies was first to record it but it was released after this definitive version. Bursting, almost to breaking point, with hormones it, I think, failed to chart in this country. But it has become, like many Bruce songs, an anthem.
Who wants the CD’s then?
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