101 Blondes/Blonds In Pop!!
Once Beards In Pop finished I turned my attention to Blondes/Blonds in Pop (ended around July 2011). Taking me (and you) through most of the Summer. Rather proud actually. Retrospectively, I missed some and some only had blonde highlights or were only temporarily blonde.
Anyway, after a considerable delay, here they are.
1. Debbie Harry – ‘I Want That Man’
Released in 1989 and written and produced by former Thompson Twins members, Alannah Currie and Tom Bailey, I Want That Man was by DEBORAH Harry. Here comes the 21st Century she sang – which seemed like years away at the time. Don’t much like her hair extensions though.
2. Sugababes – Heidi Range – ‘Freak Like Me’
The Best Pop Group of this decade. FACT. A fabulous blend of Are Friends Electric.Tubeway Army/Richard X/Adina Howard blah de blah. Remember the first time that I heard this when I was walking past a listening room at Virgin and the Island rep was selling this in.
3. Aerosmith – Brad Whitford & Tom Hamilton – ‘Dude (Looks Like A Lady)’
Just to prove that Blondes in Pop isn’t gonna be all girls, here is Aerosmith with the marvellous Steve Tyler, FLIRTING. This reminds me of my only trip into the Hungry Years (Brighton’s Premier Rock Club) circa 1988.
4. Human League – Susanne Sulley – ‘Life On Your Own’
Q: How do you follow one of the most perfect pop LPs of the ’80s. A: You blow it by releasing Hysteria which is frankly a bit of a mess. But it does contain this little gem (and Life On Your Own). Human League crossed with New Order bassline, slightly political lyrics and a mullet.
5. The Partridge Family – Shirley Jones – ‘I Think I Love You’
She was David’s step-mum in real life (although only 16 years separated them). A lovely song which sort of channels the Mamas and Papas. Poor Danny’s guitar is a bit too big, in fact, the whole combo looks a bit odd. But all eyes are on David.
6. Sandy Denny – ‘Late November’
Poor tragic Sandy. Had such a bright career, until she fell down the stairs and hit her head on the concrete. Within a month she was dead. She left us with a fine body of work.
7. Generation X – Bill Idol – ‘Your Generation’
Billy was “this close” to becoming William Broad QC when he studied one year of a Law Degree at the University of Sussex in 1975. He left in ’76 and joined the Bromley Contingency, before (briefly) joining Siouxsie and the Banshees. This clip is also noteworthy due to the introduction by Marc Bolan *tosses carnation over shoulder*
8. The Walker Brothers – John (Maus) Walker and Scott (Engel) Walker – ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’
I was gonna post the Walker Brothers later but have bought it forward for John Walker who died yesterday. Written by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio, originally recorded by Frankie Valli, this was a massive hit in the UK.
9. Zoe – ‘Sunshine On A Rainy Day’
Zoe Pollock was the girlfriend of Youth (Killing Joke). He produced both her solo LP’s, which included this, her only Top Thirty hit (released in 1991). She auditioned for Jimi Cauty and Youth to be the lead singer for their band Brilliant. Brilliant. She has since moved to Cornwall (yay!) and was married Scottish poet Murray Lachlan Young.
10. Mary Hopkin – ‘Those Were The Days’
Tonight Ladies and Gentlemen, for Mary Hopkin, Opportunity Knocks! One sort of gets the impression that Mary is incredibly posh but she is really only the daughter of a Welsh Housing Officer. But she IS married to Tony Visconti. And has sung with Bowie, Thin Lizzy etc.
11. Bucks Fizz – Cheryl Baker, Bobby G, Mike Nolan and JAY ASTON – ‘If You Can’t Stand the Heat’
The butt of many a joke both then and now. But hang about – this (and My Camera Never Lies) is/are fantastic. Jay looks very sultry, Cheryl looks very Mumsy and Bobby looks a bit like the AA man.
12. The New Seekers – Lyn Paul, Marty Kristian & Peter Doyle – ‘Beg Steal Or Borrow’
Loved Lyn and Eve. They were like my big sisters. This came second in Eurovision which, that year, came from Edinburgh. Vicki Leandros won and SHE was representing Luxembourg. Lyn Paul once dated Rod Stewart ffs!
13. Carly Simon – ‘Why’
Produced by Edwards & Rodgers of Chic fame, this was from the film Soup For One. What a horrible title. Agreed Carly hasn’t always been blonde, but she is here.
14. Adam & The Ants – Gary Tibbs – ‘Ant Rap’
Neither my favourite Ant song nor my favourite Ant (a bit of a pranny me-thinks). The video features Lulu (who still manages to attach herself to the dish of the day) and Blonde 80’s model (name please?) as the Statue of Liberty.
15. U2. Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jnr – ‘Gloria’
Sorry. This is for my best friend Sallie Quinlan on her birthday. Sorry. Quite liked U2 up til Achtung Baby (and Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me) actually. It’s just Bono. Larry still looks like a baby. Or a baby Boy. Up! Get Up. Up. Gloria. I give it to you. TO YOU!! Etc….
16. Polly Brown – Pickettywitch – The Same Old Feeling
Grossly underrated, Polly Brown, is not dead. There was a rumour that she HAD died but that was the singer of the NEW Pickettywitch. Polly had a solo hit with Up In A Puff Of Smoke which is great and also was part of Sweet Dreams who had a hit with Honey Honey (where she was known as Sara Leone).
17. Teardrop Explodes – Julian Cope – ‘When I Dream’
The Teardrop Explodes were named after a panel in the Marvel Comics’ Daredevil Number 77. Julian Cope was born in Mid-Glamorgan and grew up in Tamworth in Staffordshire and moved to Liverpool to study at the Polytechnic.
18. Adam Faith – ‘What Do You Want’
Born Terence Nelhams-Wright, Adam was the first UK artist to lodge his initial seven hits in the Top 5, he went on to manage Leo Sayer, starred in Budgie, Stardust and McVicar. Sounds a bit like early Bowie actually.
19. Amanda Lear – ‘Follow Me’
Cover star from the Roxy LP For Your Pleasure. Famous for being famous – muse to Salvador Dali, model, authoress, queen of Eurodisco, dated Bryan Ferry etc.. On her book ‘My Life with Salvador Dali’: “I ran into Claudia (Schiffer) at a restaurant. She said, ‘I love your book! Who wrote it for you?’ I said, ‘I did, darling. Who read it to you?’
20. The Velvet Underground – Nico – ‘Venus In Furs’
Nico. Or Christa Päffgen is another model/actress. Nico died while falling off a bike on holiday in Ibiza. From the Velvet Underground & Nico…
21. Jackie DeShannon – ‘Whenever You Walk In The Room’
Not only did she write this she also wrote Needles and Pins, Put A Little Love In Your Heart and co-wrote Bette Davis Eyes. This clip is just great, platinum blonde beehive, tight skirt, missed the cue to come in and a little wink to the camera (she should have been in the B52’s). She is also married to Randy ‘Uptown Uptempo Woman’ Edelman. Clever lady
22. Britney Spears – ‘Toxic’
Britney (only one name necessary), has been with us since 1998…. she is, though, quite mad. Who else has shaved off all of their hair, married and divorced some bloke she was at school with and annulled it 55 hours later, publicly announced she no longer studied Kabbalah explaining, “my baby is my religion”, posed nude for the cover of Harper’s Bazaar etc. Yet, YET still.
23. Electronic – Bernard ‘Barney’ Sumner ‘Get The Message’
Electronic were a collaboration with Johnny Marr and occasionally the Pet Shop Boys and Karl Bartos from Kraftwerk. This, for me, was their finest moment. Synthy AND Guitary this came out in 1991. What makes it even more perfect is Denise ‘Don’t Fight It Feel It’ on vocals.
24. Japan – David Sylvian – ‘Visions Of China’
Us boys ALL looked like this in late 81/early 82. You know the look, chequered shirt, braces, Japanese slippers, baggy trousers, lip gloss and amazingly blond (or black) ‘quiffy’ hair (feather cut of course which may or may not have been root permed). Well, I did anyway.
25. The Shangri-La’s – Mary Weiss – ‘Give Him A Great Big Kiss’
The toughest girl group EVER. Many have tried but few have come close to them for attitude. Mary was just 16 when this came out. SIXTEEN! The other girls in the La’s were are Elizabeth “Betty” Weiss (not featured here) and identical twins Marguerite “Marge and Mary Ann Ganser
26. The Bangles – Debbi Peterson – ‘Going Down To Liverpool’
The only single to feature Debbi on lead vocals. Written by the great Kimberley Rew (ex the Soft Boys and Katrina and the Waves).. they had impeccable taste in songs actually (Jules Shear. Prince, Simon & Garfunkel). And of course, Susannah Hoffs has enormous BAMBI eyes. But what is Leonard Nimoy doing In this video eh?
27. Bonnie Tyler – ‘Lost In France’
Born Gaynor Hopkins and born in Skelwan in Wales. Often described as the female Rod Stewart or the ‘new’ Suzi Quatro, this clip was taken from the German TV programme Disco…
28. Goldfrapp – Alison Goldfrapp – ‘Number One’
Can you believe that Alison has just turned 45? Really sweet but bit spooky video. Those dogs are great. Rascal is in rehearsal to play the dentist on stage…
29. Queen – Roger Meddows Taylor – ‘Now I’m Here’
Great documentary, with some superb ‘, never before seen footage’, over the last weekend on Queen. RMT was training to be a Dentist at Imperial College when he joined Queen. He always wrote a number on each Queen record.. and has a vocal incredible range (he would often reach an E5 in full voice during live performances).
30. John Miles – ‘Slow Down’
Slow Down reached Number 2 in the Billboard Disco charts. And reached the Top Ten over here. Shut your eyes and you could be in Studio 54, despite the fact that John came from Jarrow. This even features a Peter Frampton voice box thing. John ended up touring with Tina Turner…
31. Mari Wilson – ‘Just What I Always Wanted’
Or Miss Beehive, the Neasden Queen of Soul. This reached Number 8 in 1982 – right bang in the middle of the New Romantic period. She continued in her career by recording the theme tune to Coupling, has been in musicals and appeared in a documentary about Type 1 Diabetes on the Beeb.
32. Nancy Sinatra – Sugartown
Nancy will be 71 on her next birthday and what a glittering career she has had. A friend of Elvis AND Morrissey. I really must delve deeper into her back catalogue (tips please). Could come straight off the soundtrack to Mad Men. Now pop off your inflatable balloon and listen to this. If only life were THIS easy eh?
33. Moloko – Roisin Murphy – ‘The Time Is Now’
The band’s name originates from the Nadsat slang in the novel A Clockwork Orange, in which it means milk. Taken from the superb ‘Things To Make And Do’, this charted at Number 2. Nice way to start the ‘Noughties’. She’s has kind of vanished. We want her back!!
34. Marilyn Monroe – ‘Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend’
Or Blondes in a Musical. The most famous blonde in this list. Talk to me Harry Winston, tell me ALL about it. Check out the actor George Chakiris in the background… Tiffanies! CARTIER!!
35. Altered Images – Clare Grogan – ‘Don’t Talk To Me About Love’
Here we have Clare skipping around like a 4-year-old wearing a horrible top. Clare once popped up in Eastenders as Ian Beales’ girlfriend. She is now on the nostalgia circuit… This is really for Martin Rushent who produced this and died yesterday.
36. Renaissance – Annie Haslam – ‘Northern Lights’
Haslam and Wood were engaged to be married for four years, which she later described as “Four of the funniest years of my life”. Roy, of course, popped up a couple of times in Beards in Pop. Renaissance are still touring and have a *gasp* NEW WEBSITE. Lovely song, beautifully sung. Bet she wears Harmony hairspray..
37. Mick Ronson – ‘Only After Dark’
What can possibly be said about this chap? Stellar career, hugely influential, great earthy type of bloke and BRILLIANT guitarist. I didn’t hear his solo stuff until the Human League covered this in 1980. He has worked with David Bowie, Elton John, David Cassidy, Ian Hunter, Ellen Foley (ELLEN FOLEY!!), John Mellencamp, Morrissey and Bob Dylan. Mick died of liver cancer.
38. Tom Tom Club/Talking Heads – Tina Weymouth – ‘Genius Of Love’
Tina is the daughter of Vice Admiral Ralph Weymouth and Laure “Lo” Weymouth. Named after the dancehall in the Bahamas where they rehearsed for the first time, Genius of Love has been sampled most by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s “It’s Nasty” in 1982 and um Mariah Carey’s “Fantasy” in 1995.
39. The Archies – Betty Cooper – ‘Sugar Sugar’
Betty was involved in a LOVE triangle with Archie Andrews and Veronica Lodge. Which is a tad risqué. For cartoons. Her other female friends include Ethel Muggs, Midge Klump, and Nancy Wood.
40. Chris Clark – ‘From Head To Toe’
CC stands six foot tall in her stocking feet, dated Berry Gordy Jnr and was one of the only white artists signed to Tamla. This was covered by Elvis Costello. Ha!!
41. Justin Hayward – ‘Forever Autumn’
The original melody was written by Wayne in 1969 as a jingle for a Lego commercial. The voice behind Night In White Satin. I just find this record unbearably sad. And what a helmet of blond hair…
42. The Cardigans – Nina Persson – ‘Love Fool’
The Cardigans were formed in the town of Jönköping, Sweden, in October 1992. Nina even managed to make the Manic Street Preachers okay by collaborating on Your Love Alone Is Not Enough. This says 1996 as much as Pulp/Suede/Blur
43. Bananarama – Sarah Dallin & Siobhan Fahey – ‘Shy Boy’
Since 1988, Bananarama has been listed in the Guinness World Records (according to Wiki) as the all-female group with the MOST chart entries (Sugababes?). Stick that up your scrawny pop-pipes The Spice Girls. Always my favourite UK Girl Band. Even the mightly Girls Aloud could not topple…
44. Ellen Foley – ‘Stupid Girl’
Stupid Girl was originally recorded by the Rolling Stones – and I only found out that on Sunday!! You learn something new every day etc etc. Taken from Night Out which was released on the cusp of the ’80s and featured Mick Ronson (see last week) and Ian Hunter (see 3 weeks time).
45. Rolling Stones – Brian Jones – ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’
Risque little number from the Stones. Ed Sullivan told Jagger, “Either the song goes or you go”. A compromise was reached to substitute the words “let’s spend some time together” in place of “let’s spend the night together” Jagger agreed to change the lyrics but rolled his eyes at the TV camera while singing them.
Number 45. Psychic TV – ‘Godstar’ (supplementary) edition.
46. Duran Duran – Andy Taylor (And possibly Nick Rhodes & Simon LeBon) – ‘Planet Earth’
Like some New Romantics looking for the TV sound. LeBon wasn’t very good at dancing were ‘e?
47. Dollar – David Van Day and Thereza Bazar – ‘Hand Held In Black & White’
They met at 17 when auditioning for Guys ‘n’ Dolls. It was THEREZA who approached Trevor Horn to produce this and luckily for us and for him he agreed. They never did anything remotely close to this, mirror Mirror and Give Me Back My Heart. Trevor was picked up by ABC then Frankie and the rest is history. David ran a Burger van in Brighton.
48. New York Dolls – Arthur Kane – ‘Jet Boy’
Before (or after) this performance, Bob Harris described the Dolls as mock rock. Arthur liked his women tall (he dated Stacia from Hawkwind).
A Punk/Glam hybrid with handclaps.
49. Voice of the Beehive – ‘Don’t Call Me Baby’
Voice of the Beehive – Tracy and her sister, Melissa were the daughters of the Four Preps Bruce ‘Big Man’ Belland. Had a modicum of success in the late 80’s/early ’90s and featured Woody from Madness on drums. Tracy is now a teacher whereas Melissa runs an online store called Made In Heaven, which sells fairy wings etc. She is now known as Missy Beehive.
50. Madonna – ‘Papa Don’t Preach’
So, halfway through the Blondes and up pops Madonna. Possibly my favourite Madge single, Papa Don’t Preach is from True Blue and was released in 1986. Here Madge tackles teenage pregnancy head on.
Italians Do It Better as the T-Shirt says.
51. Vanessa Paradis – ‘Joe Le Taxi’
I wanted Be My Baby, but her hair is brown in that (will have to wait), Joe le taxi it is then. Released in 1987 so this predates Lenny Kravitz and Johnny Depp, this is lovely. Joe enjoys drinking rum, has a passion for Latin music and his saxophone, and dreams of going to the Amazon. He admires Spanish-Cuban bandleader Xavier Cugat and Peruvian exotica singer Yma Súmac.
52. Sheila B. Devotion – ‘Spacer’
Also from France, Sheila will be celebrating 50 years in showbiz next year. And what a beauty she is. An incredible record produced, of course, by those Chic boys. The intro is incredibly exciting and THAT piano. Well. Great big cheesy old video too. Enjoy…
53. Rod Stewart – ‘You’re In My Heart’
Legendary. In his day he was the finest British vocalist. And we know that Rod loves his football and his blondes. Hoping for a massive sing-a-long to this tomorrow with Stevie Nicks… Anthemic.
54. Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty – ‘Stop Dragging My Heart Around’
Two for the price of one. Written by Tom Petty, this was Stevie’s debut solo single. Only reached Number 50 over here and features Don Henley, Waddy Wachtel, and Roy Bittan from the E-Street Band. Bring it in Stevie.
55. Rickie Lee Jones – ‘Chuck E’s In Love’
Really love Ms Jones. Especially on a day like today. Cool voice and the sleeve to ‘Rickie Lee Jones’ is positively iconic…
‘And whatever is that he’s got up his sleeve, I hope it isn’t contagious.. ‘
56. Destiny’s Child – Beyonce Knowles – ‘Bootylicious’
What is really scary about this is that Bootylicious was released 10 Years ago yet it only seems like yesterday when I first heard it. I still think that Beyonce pips it for the prize of Pop Star of the Noughties…
57. Middle of the Road – Sally Carr – ‘Sacremento’
“Wer ist das blonde madchen? “ Ah “Das Ist SALLY”…
You may not immediately recognise the title but should recognise the song. It is a shame that Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep ended up becoming universally loathed (not round here though), as there was more to the MOR than that. Sacramento was released in 1972 and this sweet little video was filmed in Amsterdam.
58. Twinkle – ‘Terry’
Twinkle (or Lynn Annette Ripley as she was born). Her debut single and only Top Ten hit, Terry was banned by the BBC and by Ready Steady Go (too miserable) – so not much footage around. But LOOK at her.
59. Belouis Some – ‘Imagination’
Poor old Neville Keighley. He never did manage to fully ‘dip his celery’ did he? His was the first concert that I went to in Brighton (Coasters ?) back in July 1985. Everyone was dancing like they were in a Robert Palmer video and Neville was just incredibly glam.. wonder what happened to him?
#59 – Belouis Some – ‘Imagination’
The Late Night Adult Extra Long Uncensored version, Not suitable for the kiddies.No pop up Belouis. (Nipples, Buttocks and Food Sex etc)..
60. Abba – Agnetha Fältskog – ‘The Winner Takes It All’
A career that stretches back to 1968, Agnetha is now somewhat of a recluse. Rumours of a reunion comeback concert have yet to come to fruition. Famously penned about the marital breakdown between Agnetha and Bjorn..
61. Clifford T Ward – ‘Gaye’
Lovely song (on the Charisma record label), which is in keeping with a beautiful Sunday morning. Our old Head of 6th Form (Mr Duvall/Divall?) was at Teacher Training College with Clifford. Clifford also taught Sting’s wife. Clifford died in 2001 from multiple sclerosis.
62.The Primitives – Tracy Tracy – ‘Crash’
Released on single and cassette (remember them?) in 1988 and used again in the mid-90’s film, Dumb & Dumber. Tracy & The Primitives hailed from Coventry.
63. Nu Shooz – Valerie Day – ‘I Can’t Wait’
One of the finest records to be released in 1986 (IMHO) – Valerie now has her own website (www.valeriedaysings.com)
From Portland, Oregan, Nu Shooz (horrible name though), lost out to Best New Act of the year to Bruce Hornsby and the Range. According to Billboard in 2009, “I Can’t Wait” plays somewhere on Earth every eleven minutes. Pop Fact…
64. Tammy Wynette (and the KLF) – ‘Justified & Ancient’
Stand By The JAMS Most of her solo stuff is a bit too miserable (nothing wrong with that) for a Thursday. Tammy was huge in the ’70s. Country music was huge in the ’70s. Plagued with poor health and a bastard husband, she shined in this number from the KLF. Bonkers lyrics – wasn’t every line the title of another KLF song? Promoting this single almost KILLED poor Tammy.
65. The Yardbirds – Keith Relf – ‘For Your Love’
Written by Graham Gouldman of 10CC fame, this reached Number 3 in 1965. The original guitarist was Eric Clapton, he left and was replaced by Jeff Beck (seen here), then Jimmy Paige joined up. So a kind of nursery slope for legendary guitarists. Keith went on to form Tomorrow, then Renaissance but died as a result of mucking about with an ungrounded electric guitar
66. Stephen Stills – ‘Love The One You’re With’
Firstly apologies for this video – I searched for ages for a better one..some okayish shots of LA though. Featuring Rita Coolidge, Priscilla Jones, John Sebastian, David Crosby and Graham Nash on background vocal.
67. Wilson Phillips – Chynna Phillips – ‘Hold On’
Daughter of John & Michelle Phillips (from the Mamas and Papas), Wilson Phillips also featured Wendy and Carnie Wilson (Brian’s girls). Tailor-made for a ChickFlick and, look, here it is in 2011 being used in Bridesmaids. Chynna is married to William Baldwin (luckily for her, not Stephen).
68. Killing Joke – Geordie Walker – ‘Eighties’
A bit about Youth – born (rather disappointingly) Martin Glover, Youth went on work with Kate Bush, Siouxsie and the Banshees and er Wet Wet Wet. He founded Brilliant and was a member of Blue Pearl (Naked In The Rain anyone?). Jaz Coleman still sounds like he would throttle you.. the similarities between this and Come As You Are by Nirvana are quite striking..
And Georgie, named thus as he was from the North East loves to smoke on stage still. The rebel.
69. The Go-Go’s – Belinda Carlisle, Charlotte Caffey and Gina Schock – ‘Our Lips Are Sealed’
The Go-Gos. I’m sorry but this is MUCH better than the Fun Boy 3 version. Girly guitar POP at it’s finest. They look like they are having a right old laugh too. Belinda became the biggest star but Jane Wiedlin ( a name that has always made me laugh) did okay too thank you. Bouncy….
70. Van Halen – David Lee Roth – ‘Jump’
Van Halen has been in existence since 1974 and they are rumoured to be recording together again. Howard Stern in 1988, told his listeners to call him David “Weave” Roth. Bit cruel. Also covered by Aztec Camera. A Career PINNACLE. Perky AND Tarty.
71. The Ting-Tings – Katie White – ‘Great DJ’
What a fickle thing pop music today is. Only 3 years ago the Ting-Tings were (possibly) the HOTTEST act on the block. Now, where are they? Possibly due to their stuff being overused on ANY E4 youth programme/footage of Glastonbury/T In The Park/ANYTHING ELSE they are now almost forgotten, aren’t they? Katie White is 28 *coughs*.
72. Mott The Hoople – Ian Hunter & Dale “Buffin” Griffin – ‘Roll Away The Stone’
What can I possibly say about Mott The Hoople ‘cept they were one of the BEST bands on the last 60 years. Named after a novel by Willard Manus, this was on TOTP’s as a New Release. Ian is singing live over his own vocal track and Thunderthighs are doing a FANTASTIC job on backing vocals. It’s hard to believe that Ian has just turned 72.
73. Captain & Tennille – Toni Tennille – ‘Love Will Keep Us Together’
My sense is that Ms Tennille is a bit of a floozy. Nice swingy hair and a remarkably low-cut dress. Toni and Captain have been married since 1975. I wonder how he puts up with her chirpiness.
74. Patsy Gallant – ‘From New York To LA’
And certainly none as bonkers as THIS Patsy. Not many other Patsy’s in Pop. Born in Campbellton, New Brunswick, Canada of Acadian Ancestry (French?). One hit wonder in this country, she looks had one too many GINS. I know for a FACT that at least one of you likes this.
75. Gwen Stefani – ‘Hollaback Girl’
Stefani is a natural brunette, though her hair has NOT been its natural colour since she was in ninth grade. Not sure about No Doubt (don’t like Don’t Speak) and solo she is a bit patchy. “Hollaback Girl” was the first U.S. digital download to sell one million copies. Love this: Like a hybrid between Billie Jean/Ring My Bell and an Atari computer game.
76. The Police – Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers – ‘Message In A Bottle’
Released in September 1979 yet still sounds great. Great run of singles with miserable lyrics and joyful music (prostitution, unrequited love, suicide) – you have to wonder how it went so horribly wrong for Sting (in particular).
77. Hazel O’Connor – ‘Eighth Day’
Her performance as Kate, in the film Breaking Glass, won her the Variety Club of Great Britain Award for ‘Best Film Actor’ and BAFTA nominations for Best Newcomer and Best Film Score. It must be 30 years since I have seen Breaking Glass but this is a great reminder
78. Marianne Faithfull – ‘The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan’
Not only one of my favourite Blondes on Pop, but this also comes from one of the greatest LP’s of all time (Broken English that’ll be). Iconic sleeve (photographed by Dennis Morris, Art Director at Island), this was initially recorded by Dr Hook. Marianne made it her own.
79. John Leyton – ‘Johnny Remember Me’
This is even older than I am (hard to believe). Leyton began his acting career playing Ginger in Biggles in 1960. A fine example of a death song, this has been covered by the likes of The Meteors, Dave Vanian and Bronski Beat featuring Marc Almond. This was the first Number One produced by the godlike genius Joe Meek.
80. Judie Tzuke – ‘Stay With Me Til Dawn’
Born Judie Myers and married a Muggleton, she reverted to her Polish ancestral name. I dragged my Mum and Dad to see her at Hatfield Forum in 1981 – the only time, I believe, they ever went to a pop concert. What on earth is happening beneath that snow dome?
81. The B-52’s – Cindy Wilson – ‘Roam’
Much much better than Love Shack, this reached Number 3 in America. Love Wild Planet and Wig still makes me laugh hard to this day. During the live tour to promote the Good Stuff album, Julee Cruise sang as a replacement for Cindy who was on a 52s break.
Take it hip to hip rocket through the wilderness…
82. Status Quo – Rick Parfitt – ‘Rain’
Born in Woking, Surrey; Rick became an OBE in 2010. The Quo have been together since 1967 which is worthy of applause in itself. ‘Rain’ was originally intended to be included on the album On The Level, but at the time of the recording sessions Rick had not completed the song and so it was held over to Blue For You.
83. Scritti Politti – Green Gartside – ‘Absolute’
Born Paul Strohmeyer in 1955, Green has come a long way since squatting in Camden. Blessed with a great voice he has worked with Miles Davis, Chaka Khan, Eurythmics, Elvis Costello, Kylie Minogue and er Shabba Ranks. His boots though!!
84. St Etienne – Sarah Cracknell – ‘You’re In A Bad Way’
From the LP So Tough, this was released as a single in 1993 reaching Number 12. Sarah has been the permanent vocalist since 1990 for Nothing Can Stop Us Now (not the Starship song!). All around class act.
A man could lose himself in London. Lose himself. Lose himself. Lose himself in London!
85. Dolly Parton – ‘The Bargain Store’
Dolly recorded her first record and appeared at the Grand Ole Opry aged 13. This was Dolly’s fifth number one on the country chart as a solo artist. However, the song was dropped from a number of country stations’ playlists when programmers mistook the line “you can easily afford the price” as a thinly veiled reference to prostitution.
86. Transvision Vamp – Wendy James – ‘Baby I Don’t Care’
Wendy moved to Brighton (I KNOW) aged sixteen where she met her (then) boyfriend, Nick Christian Sayer. The Vamp burned brightly for a couple of records then disbanded. I always thought that Ms James spelt TROUBLE…
87. Wings – Linda McCartney – ‘Goodnight Tonight’
What an amazing record. The 12” is EVEN BETTER. Now recognised as much for her veggie pies as for being Macca’s wife, Linda married Paul after her first marriage failed.. no jokes about a Dog With Wings please, she was a proper LADY. And yet again the drummer is quite hot (Hot Drummers in Pop – next theme what do you think?).. Boogie. Woogie.
88. Nick Heyward – ‘Whistle Down The Wind’
I (once) had Nick’s hair (highlighted surely. When his solo career faltered, Nick concentrated on his second career as a graphic artist. All his solo stuff is being reissued through Cherry Red. Fine songwriter, a handsome chap, under-rated.. all these things.
Hello, Hello hope you’re feeling fine..
89. Robyn – ‘With Every Heartbeat’
She was born Robin Miriam Carlsson in Sweden (where else). This kind of appeared from nowhere when it hit number one in 2007. One of the best records of the last 5 years (or ten), this is one of the saddest records I have ever heard. When it has finished, I always find myself pressing repeat. Constantly.
90. Divine – ‘You Think You’re A Man’
Born Harris Glenn Milstead, there is little that can possibly be said about this chap except that he went too soon. They simply don’t make them quite like this anymore…
91. David Soul – ‘Silver Lady’
Imagine my surprise when THIS came out. I thought that David was only gonna release copycats of Don’t Give Up On Us Baby but instead this could easily be a Glen Campbell track. Yes it’s that good. Written by Tony Macaulay and Geoff Stephens . Apologies for the quality of this video (worth watching for the Silver Ladies) – wasn’t there one with him riding around on a horse?
92. Peggy Lee – ‘Fever’
Norma Deloris Egstrom in Jamestown, North Dakota, the seventh of eight children. Fever was originally released by Little Willie John (much better version if that is possible). Love those finger pops. Slinky.
93. Olivia Newton-John – ‘A Little More Love’
1978 really was Olivia’s year wasn’t it? Released post You’re The One That I Want and Summer Nights, this reached Number 4 in the UK & 3 in the States. Grease was out the year I did my O’Levels so that whole Grease-mania passed me by (I still don’t like it much to be honest – and there were much better records to be had).
94. The Sweet – Brian Connolly – ‘Teenage Rampage’
Connolly was affectionally known as “snowball” referring to his almost white blonde hair. And Brian was the not (according to Wikipedia anyway) the half brother to Mark McManus from Taggart. Brian’s final concert was at the Bristol Hippodrome on the 5th December 1996 with Slade II and John Rossall’s Glitter Band Experience.
95. Hole – Courtney Love – ‘Celebrity Skin’
Co-written by Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, this references Rossetti, Shakespeare and Eugene O’Neill and shares it’s the name with an indie American pornographic magazine. Love was bullied at school and called “pee girl” because her clothes were not often washed. Poor Courtney, things could have turned out much worse for her. And can you believe that Frances Bean is OVER 21!
96. Siouxsie & The Banshees – Budgie and Steven Severin – ‘Arabian Nights’
Budgie joined the Banshees during the Join Hands tour in 1979 (which btw the way was my second ever gig at Hemel Hempstead Pavillion) and ended up MARRYING Siouxsie, divorcing in 2007. Steve Severin joined the Banshees in 1976 and took the name “Severin”, from the von Sacher-Masoch character that is the subject of the Velvet Underground song.
97. The Tourists – Annie Lennox – ‘The Loneliest Man In The World’
In the days before the Eurythmics, Annie was the singer in The Tourists. Their biggest hit was I Only Want To Be With You and they actually recorded three LP’s and this peaked just outside the Top Thirty.. quite a sad song (kind of an alternative Eleanor Rigby) to start the final 5 Blondes In Pop… Let me out etc…
98. Dusty Springfield – ‘I Close My Eyes and Count To Ten’
Reaching number 4 in 1968, this sounds perfectly dramatic. Back in those days, an artist would release at least one, often two, LPs per year yet I Close My Eyes etc didn’t even make it that far. Written by Clive Westlake who also wrote How Come with Ronnie Lane. Iconic.
99. Joni Mitchell – ‘Little Green’
This is a hard one. Not because there is any doubt that our Joanie should be here, more which song to chose (or more importantly which decent video to chose – rather than a photo of the LP, (thank you In France They Kiss On Mainstreet, Free Man In Paris.. ).
100. Kim Wilde – ‘Cambodia’
Her 4th Top Twenty hit in a row. This could almost have come off Hysteria by the Human League, couldn’t it? Daughter of Marty Wilde and Joyce Baker from Vernon’s Girls… Kim took her Dad’s stage name (he was called Reginald Smith. I KNOW). She now favours gardening over singing (it runs on the family).
101. Blondie – ‘Sunday Girl’
It had to be Blondie really too didn’t it? The4th single from Parallel Lines and their second number one. I think I liked Debbie better when her hair was like this and she carries off a man’s suit with aplomb.
BLONDES IN POP! – Bonus Brighton Pride Weekend Special 1. Hazell Dean – ‘Searchin’
Hazell Dean. This incredibly went Top Ten in the US Dance/Disco Charts. I bet she is devastated about not appearing at Pride this year. Can you imagine the dance moves?!
BLONDES IN POP! – Bonus Brighton Pride Weekend Special 2 – Samantha Sang – ‘Emotion’
Like a hybrid of Barbra Streisand and Divine, poor old Samantha couldn’t persuade the Bee Gees to appear in this clip – instead, she chose to lipsync all the parts herself. Samantha frankly terrifies me.