In Autumn 2011, the 3rd in my on-going …In Pop Series, was:
101 CURLS IN POP
So here they are. All catalogued nicely, saved to Notes (does anyone read notes?) and ITunes playlist created. Maybe some of these were not ‘naturally’ curly and some were, in retrospect, a bit racist but so be it. This took me right into December, throughout Halloween and Bonfire Night. The next series was the first Tiffany Twisted.
1. Joe Cocker – ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’
Today marks the SECOND
Anniversary of My Stroke (Capital letters) – bit self indulgent but wanted to
mark the fact that I am still here. I may get incredibly tired (BEYOND tired),
have incredible bouts of unexplained rage and sometimes appear that I may have
had one too many beers (which sadly I haven’t), but hey-ho (I suppose).
Certainly not the man I used to be.. But thank you all for just being here. I mean that.. xx
2. Maria Muldaur – ‘Midnight At The Oasis’
Maria Muldaur. Who?, I hear you cry. The SONG is famous but sadly this was her only hit. Dreams of languishing beneath a (plastic) palm tree, sleeping with your Camel, a Cacti AND Rudolph Valentino. The CD has been on my MUST BUY list for as while as it features (get this): Clarence White, Ry Cooder , Dr. John, David Lindley, Andrew Gold, Gloria Jones, Jim Keltner and Bettye LaVette (amongst others). The Brand New Heavies also covered.. rather pointlessly. So you won’t need no camel.
3. First Choice – Rochelle Fleming, Joyce Jones and Annette Guest – ‘Armed & Extremely Dangerous’
Rochelle Fleming, Joyce Jones and Annette Guest – First Choice. Huge hits over this with this and Smarty Pants. First Choice could have been Philly’s answer to the Supremes. Amazingly catchy and some great dancing from the Soul Train crew. ‘Calling all cars! Calling all cars!’
4. The Real Thing – Chris Amoo, Dave Smith, Eddie Amoo and Ray Lake – ‘Can You Feel The Force’
Released in 1979, Can You Feel The Force? positively rockets along. The Real Thing always had a certain style didn’t they? And were they the first Black UK Group to have a Number 1 hit? Please excuse the Dutch chap making the introductions.
5. Boston – Brad Delp and Sib Hashian – ‘More Than A Feeling’
Debut album is the second best selling LP of ALL TIME in the USA (behind Appetite for Destruction).. There are SO MANY great things about this record. Soaring harmonies, wonderful choppy, funky guitar, tailor made for great TV Drama (used both in The Wire and The Sopranos) Poor Brad Delp committed suicide in 2007.
6. Blackfoot Sue – Eddie Golga – ‘Standing In The Road’
Good old Brummie lads – I have become a little obsessed with this recently. Plumbers with guitars on German TV programme. What is NOT to like. Blackfoot Sue were twins David and Tom Farmer, Alan Jones and (I assume) Curly haired, wonderfully named Eddie Golga.
7. Linda Lewis – ‘Rock A Doodle Doo’
Bit disappointed that this is all I could find. Me and my mate were gonna see her in BURGESS HILL about 9 years ago. We bought the only tickets. She cancelled. And Wendy McCulloch, my friend from school had this on repeat, singing and laughing at the lyrics (particularly ‘Well I’ve got a crunch for you baby’)..
8. Cupid’s Inspiration – ‘Yesterday Has Gone’
ENORMOUS Fuzzy Curls in Pop. Cupid’s Inspiration hailed from Stamford in Lincs. Bet most of you have never heard of them. But also bet you recognise the song . This reached Number 4 in 1968 and is rather wonderful. . Not sure who the curly haired chap is though.. Anyone?..
9. The Chi-Lites – ‘Oh Girl’
Came from Chicago (hence the name). Formed in the late 1950’s , they had to wait until the 70’s to achieve any real success. Very little footage available but I DID find this (Pan’s People were ALWAYS dancing to the Chi-Lites). Their only Number 1 in the US too.. Great Country twang.
10. Barbara Dickson – ‘January February’
Written and produced by Alan Tarney, this was one of Bab’s biggest hits (and HUGE in South Africa). Bit MOR for some tastes but I LIKE HER anyway. She branched out into acting appearing as Anita Braithwaite in Band of Gold.
11. Cher – ‘If I Could Turn Back Time
Don’t like Cher eh? She is the only artist to reach number one on the Billboard charts in each of the previous six decades, sang backing vocals on You’ve Lost That Lovin Feelin, Da Doo Ron Ron, recorded some of the greatest singles of the 70’s, won an Oscar for Moonlighting, is a really supportive Mum, and can bring many a young sailor to the very edge of excitement.
12. James – Tim Booth – ‘Laid’
My favourite single by James by quite a long way. Saw James in Manchester at the Hacienda in 1983 which was well before they hit the big-time ( hardly anyone there ). The trouble with us blokes is your hair drops out and you become completely BALD like our Tim. Saucy lyrics..
13. Pete Wingfield – ‘Eighteen With A Bullet’
You may know this from Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels. William Peter Wingfield began his musical career with Jellybread a British Blues combo. This was a huge hit in the States also – a true one hit wonder. He went on to produce Searching for The Young Soul Rebels. Nifty lyrics too (Warning: You need to turn this UP)…
14. Wendy & Lisa – ‘Sideshow’
Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman used to be LOVERS (allegedly). I know! The scandal. What a FANTASTIC little record. Key members of the Revolution (Princes’ Golden Period), Waterfall only peaked at number 56 in 1987. Pah to that. You can practically SMELL THE HAIRSPRAY.
15. The Turtles – Mark Volman – ‘Happy Together’
Happy Together has appeared in about a MILLION films, TV soundtracks, TV commercials etc – keeping The Turtles in fresh knickers for life. Mark was one half of Flo & Eddie who were session singers with T.Rex, John Lennon, David Cassidy, Alice Cooper, Blondie, Bruce Springsteen, The Psychedelic Furs and Duran Duran. You can HEAR them on Get It On.
16. Talking Heads – Jerry Harrison – ‘Psycho Killer’
When I was at school, I did a presentation on the influence on the Punk/New Wave music scene to my classmates (hello classmates!) in English. I recorded some track and chucked them in at appropriate moments… this was one of those tracks. All about THAT bass for me… Qu’est-ce Que c’est?
17. Marti Webb – ‘Take That Look Off Your Face’
Marti took over from Elaine Paige as Evita on the London stage. She now regularly appears on P&O Cruise ships and has also appeared in Hot Flush, a new musical about the menopause, with Sheila Ferguson and Rula Lenksa. Yet more GERMAN clapping in this clip.
18. AC/DC – Brian Johnson and Angus Young – ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’
Brian Johnson was initially in Geordie (All Because of You) and, as the name suggests, he comes from Gateshead. He joined AC/DC following the death of original lead singer Bon Scott and has been with them ever since. Ball-breaking.
19. Malcolm McLaren – ‘Buffalo Girls’
I would have placed money in this little project not working, let alone becoming a huge hit and launching Malcolm on a successful solo career. Duck Rock featured an illustration by young Keith Haring. All that scratchin’ is making me itch!!
20. Neneh Cherry – ‘Buffalo Stance’
In a career which stretches back to the early-Eighties (with Rip, Rig & Panic) yet she has only released three LP’s. Taken from her debut LP, Buffalo Stance was released in 1988, this sample’s yesterday’s selection. One the earliest CD singles that I bought – and was a 3” one to boot (what happened to them?!)..
21. Jermaine Jackson – ‘Let’s Get Serious’
Talented family the Jacksons (WHO?), though Jermaine’s musical output often gets overlooked. Which is a shame as this beats anything from Bad hands down. Produced by Stevie Wonder who also provides backing vocals.
22. Soft Cell – David Ball – ‘Bedsitter’
We all know how Mr Almond feels about his videos being on You Tube don’t we. This may well be removed by lunchtime. Not sure how curly Dave’s hair actually IS – but curly enough I think. Would have preferred Torch but no joy there, so Bedsitter it is. Perfect record for my London mates. Hello London..
23. Sarah Brightman (& Hot Gossip) – ‘I Lost My Heart To A Starship Trouper’
There is something quite chucklesome about La Brightman. She was, of course, married to Andrew Lloyd Webber. ILMHTAST reached Number 6 and was written by the same blokes who wrote Barbados by Typically Tropical. In 1978, this seemed like the future. And Hot Gossip ARE fantastic.
24. Electric Light Orchestra – Kelly Groucutt and Jeff Lynne – ‘Sweet Talkin’ Woman’
From Out Of The Blue (up there for Greatest Double LP EVER), Sweet Talkin Woman was originally going to be called Dead End Street. Kelly died of a heart attack last year – didn’t know that. Great record which sounded fantastic last night at Duckie.
25. Aretha Franklin – ‘I Say A Little Prayer’
Or how to make the task of getting ready for work sound bloody marvellous. A lesson here in singing (how does she do it?) and songwriting (from Bacharah and David). Taken at a slightly slower pace, this version, from The Cliff Richard Show( I KNOW!) in 1970 also features the Sweet Inspirations on backing vocals (no Whitney’s Mum though).. Awesome.
26. Kiss – Paul ‘The Starchild’ Stanley – ‘I Was Made For Loving You’
Stanley is just about to embark on his THIRD hip replacement surgery – which he blames on years performing in platform boots (never bothered me though). The exact moment that Heavy Rock clashed with Disco. Remarkable, blood pumping, a pouty song with WHIPS. ON CASABLANCA…FIERCE!! Ha!
27. Marshall Hain – Julian Marshall & Kit Hain – ‘Dancing In The City’
Lovely AUTUMNAL sound to this – reminds me of the night’s drawing in and the occasional rain shower but still warm enough to take the doggie for a walk WITHOUT A COAT!!. Kit went on to write songs for Kiki Dee, Heart, Fleetwood Mac. Julian became a Flying Lizard who had a huge hit with Money…
28. The Strokes – Albert Hammond Jnr & Fabrizio Morzetti – ‘Last Night’
Released in 2001, research has revealed that this has a certain similarity to American Girl by Tom Petty. Well, I think it sounds exactly the same. Albert is the son of British-Gibraltarian singer Albert Hammond and Argentine former model and beauty pageant winner Claudia Fernández so he has glamour in his skinny old genes. Fab is fluent in Portuguese and dated Drew Barrymore from ET.
29. Albert Hammond Snr – ‘Free Electric Band’
Albert Hammond has carved quite a career writing (or having a hand in writing), The Air That I Breathe, When I Need You, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now, One Moment In Time and some stuff for Tina Turner etc etc etc. Free Electric Band is a REBEL song – Albert must have been such a disappointment. But it is kind of MY template. Tra-la-la-la-la.. (those bleeding clappers are back I see)..
30. Art Garfunkel – ‘My Little Town’
Released in 1975, so we waited 5 long years for this to come out. And it didn’t disappoint. It builds, then explodes in a brilliant chorus. Was on both Breakaway ans Still Crazy after All These Years. They knew it was good.
31. Janis Ian – ‘At Seventeen’
At Seventeen, I think I was a tad happier than this. No, I was MUCH happier than this – even if, like Janis, I came from a ‘small town’. No responsibilities didn’t play basketball (so no worries on that front), not really an ugly duckling either, I even got a few Valentine’s cards. And the music in 1979 was the best – but then again I didn’t know most of you lot…
32. Alannah Myles – ‘Black Velvet’
Poor Alannah, forever remembered by this, her only hit, and for countless karaoke renditions. Always thought that black velvet was some kind of Guinness based drink. But no! Black Velvet is about Elvis Presley, if you please.
33. Blancmange – Neil Arthur –’Don’t Tell Me’
Great track from Mange Tout, the second Blancmange LP. Featuring Jocelyn Brown on backing vocals. Brassy!!
34. Tom Jones – ‘Delilah’
Real name Thomas John Woodward in Pontypridd, South Wales. A Murderous tale of woe that would have sat quite comfortably on Nick Cave’s Murder Ballads. Odd that it was such a huge hit really (the 6th Best Selling Single in 1968). Ha-ha-ha..
35. Style Council – Mick Talbot – ‘Walls Come Tumbling Down’
Living under the Thatcher government in the early 80’s was akin to Titanic: The Movie – you know the bit where Kate is bobbing about in the icy cold water whilst the ship goes down – the less posh were left to sink or freeze, the wealthy climbed aboard cosy lifeboats wearing furs. A bit like that now isn’t it.. Unfortunately, we no longer have the Style Council to see us right.
36. The Passions – Barbara Gogan – ‘I’m In Love With A German Filmstar’
Echoplex galore, Barbara’s sumptuous vocals but not a paean to Bruno Ganz – this was inspired by a roadie for the Clash who appeared as a German film star extra.. Dreamy and WOOZY.. Barbara does look a bit like a FRENCH teacher though.
37. The Stranglers – Hugh Cornwall – ‘Golden Brown’
On its release, Golden Brown was declared Record of The Week on Radio 2 – quite a feat for a bunch of wannabe punk/pub rockers. The jury is out as to whether the song is about Heroin or not. But sounds great on what is surely the last sunny weekend of the year. Surely.
38. Barbra Streisand – ‘Woman In Love’
What a CHEAP old video. She could have done much better. Barry Gibb was all over everything in the 80’s but generally ALL the material oozed class.
39. Department S – Vaughn Toulouse – ‘Is Vic There?’
Vaughn used to drink in the Rockingham Pub (Inn) in Brighton back in the day. Dept S were named after the 1960’s TV show starring Peter Wyngarde. Nifty way of holding a mike too (although shamefully stolen from Ms Alvin Stardust).
40. Sparks – Russell Mael – ‘Something For The Girl With Everything’
What an incredible band and a truly great record. Blessed with the BEST falsetto voice, Russell & Sparks have been recording top quality music for over 40 years. SFTGWE (because you should abbreviate the song titles) came from the wonderful Propaganda which also contains the other hit, Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth (or NTYBOME).…
41. Ian Dury – ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’
Double sax delight from Davey Payne – Ian and the Blockheads were the best thing on Stiff Records (IMHO). Ian embraced his disability and shoved it right back in your face. I can’t think of another quite like him actually. And the Blockheads were the kind of blokes who could play with anyone. Reached Number 1 in 1979. Multilingual to boot. Je T’adore, Ich liebe DICKED..
42. Deep Purple – Ian Gillan – ‘Smoke On The Water’
The most famous guitar riff in the history of pop? Even I have attempted it. Was first introduced to this by my Music Teacher at school (Mr Nunn??) – he also liked a bit of Uriah Heep – we were practically smoking natural substances in G12 aged 13. And doesn’t Mr Gillan have amazing dimples?
43. The Three Degrees – ‘When Will I See You Again’
Prince Charles’s favourite group (did he or didn’t he do you think?). When Will I See You Again was a huge number one hit in 1974. Fayette were in the Degrees through their Golden period with Philadelphia. Hand up all those who have incorporated those hand moves into daily conversation? (Only me then…)
44. Mike Batt – ‘Summertime City’
Oh the 70’s. Remember Mike Batt, well he WAS the Wombles. He also had his own Orchestra. Bit of a chequered Pop History – but he did work with Steeleye Span, wrote Bright Eyes but is also responsible for Katie Melua.. this reeks of Saturday Night in front of the box.. And Pan’s People do an grand job as expected..
45. Tim Buckley – ‘Dolphins’
Father of Jeff, Tim died aged 28 in 1975. He continually took chances with his life. He drank a lot and took downers to the point where it nearly killed him, but he always got away with it. He got into the romantic heroin-taking thing and his luck ran out. Written my Fred Neil of Everybody’s Talking fame.
46. Sly Stone – ‘Dance To The Music’
He deserves our support more than anything else right now doesn’t he – (he is reported to be living in a camper van)? Huge influence on practically everybody, this was released in 1968, which is remarkable in itself.
All the squares go home!!
47. The La’s – Jon Power – ‘There She Goes’
Bugger those Stone Roses. These fellas produced one great debut LP and couldn’t be arsed to follow it up. Jon ended up in Cast who were not the same thing at all. Although this has been used in some dreadful ad campaigns (DHSS Sofas? B&Q Ferries?), it has survived and thrived. And yes again it is about heroin.
48. Pet Shop Boys – Neil Tennant – ‘West End Girls’
Say what you wish about the PSB’s (I have never been entirely convinced tbh), West End Girls has undeniable style, atmosphere and attitude. Re-recorded with producer Stephen Hague, this became the first of four Number One’s in the UK. It has also stood up to the test of time remarkably well.
49. Petula Clark – ‘Don’t Sleep In The Subway’
Agreed that, although she was partial to a perm, she has straight hair in this clip. This is in tribute to my Uncle Ray who died recently. He loved Petula.
RIP Uncle Ray.
50. Bruce Springsteen – ‘Glory Days’
The 5th Single out of 7 taken from the Born In The USA LP. I have probably seen Bruce more times than any other, and this was a staple from those Born In The USA dates. Nils Lofgren and Patti did not play on the track. As you get older you do understand the nostalgia which is implicit in this record. Boring stories of glory days indeed.
51 Bob Dylan – ‘Like A Rolling Stone’
Generally regarded as one of the greatest songs ever recorded. Like A Rolling Stone was a huge world-wide hit in 1965, causing panic amongst music establishment. Clocking in at over 5 minutes (unheard of in a pop single) – despite CBS wishing to cut it in half. Went off him after Desire but this is incredible.
52. Boo Radleys – Martin Carr – ‘Wake Up’
I was reminded of this during the superb Creation Records programme on BBC4 (Friday). Even though it reminds me of GMTV it’s still a lovely example of BritPop.. what happened to them?
53. Tim Curry – ‘The Timewarp’
Don’t find the Rocky Horror Show at all scary. Camp yes, scary no. Tim has released several solo LP’s (all really good), the last one in 1981. As part of the 70’s Glam Rock fabric as Gary Glitter (I mean look at those platforms)… Happy Halloween.
54. Dan Hartman – ‘Instant Replay’
Hugely influential mostly for Vertigo/Relight My Fire which is one of THE greatest Disco records ever made. He certainly doesn’t look like a disco star, rather an ex-member of the Edgar Winter Band. Great countdown in the intro (when was there ever NOT a great countdown in an intro eh?) This is joyful, exuberant and a case for the defence that white boys can (and should) dance.
55. Pilot – Stuart Tosh – ‘Magic’
Written by lead singer David Paton, Magic was released in 1974 on the marvellous RAK Records. Tosh (or MacIntosh as he was born) and Paton ended up in the Alan Parson’s Project – the Producer of this song.Tosh played drums for 10CC, and Camel. Chartwise it was all over for Pilot by the end of 75…
56. Foreigner – Lou Gramm – ‘Urgent’
Great little singer (who has discovered Christianity).. and this is one peach of a record. Featuring Junior Walker on sax (also covered by the mighty Shannon) – this was a big Number One hit Stateside. It’s a shame that they are known more for their slushier stuff this side of the Atlantic.
57. Janet Jackson – ‘What Have You Done For Me Lately’
A Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis Production who were knob twiddling on some of the best tracks of the 80’s. Janet had a complete career makeover for her big comeback (including a new Hair-do). And from this moment on she became MUCH better than her brother. If you watch carefully you can spot Paula Abdul in the intro..(never spotted THAT before)..
58. Andy Kim – ‘Rock Me Gently’
Andrew Youakim, is a Lebanese Canadian pop rock singer and songwriter who co-wrote Sugar Sugar. He lodged himself at Number 2, behind Annie’s Song in 1974. Not only does this sound exactly like Neil Diamond, Andy is a sho-in for a Denim After Shave for REAL MEN TV Ad and little known fact this is my FAVOURITE song to sing at Karaoke. No REALLY!
59. Simply Red – Mick Hucknall – ‘Holding Back The Years’
Say what you like about Mick (and I’m sure you will) – he CAN REALLY SING. The problem with Simply Red is that they became TOO successful and come the early 90’s were inescapable. Mick, it is claimed, was (or is) addicted to SEX. Any takers?
60. Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Kevin Rowland – ‘Geno’
Okay, so Kevin is responsible for Come On Eileen but surely that is forgivable. Searching For The Young Soul Rebels is one of the greatest, bolshiest debuts of all time. Geno was a tribute to Geno Washington, American Soul singer, who has bizarrely in an episode of Midsomer Murderer. Often seen wandering about Brighton actually.
61. The Associates – Billy MacKenzie – ‘Those First Impressions’
Was there ever a more beautiful boy in pop ? Listen to that exquisite, yearning voice. By this time he had stopped recording with Alan Rankine and the Associates were just him. Here he is with his beloved whippets. When he committed suicide following his Mum’s death, the thrill of hearing THAT voice again was gone for good.. Bet he would have loved being on Facebook,.
62. Depeche Mode – Martin Gore – ‘Policy of Truth’
“Policy of Truth” was Depeche Mode’s twenty-fifth UK single. Pretty good for a group of average blokes from Basildon. This video directed by Anton Corbijn. Surely the band that has had the MOST hit records but never reached the Number 1 slot eh?
63. Blue Mink – Madeleine Bell – ‘Good Morning Freedom’
Session vocalist on a number of records: Dusty Springfield, early Donna Summer, Joe Cocker, Cerrone and Giorgio Moroder to name a few. With Blue Mink she clocked up 7 UK Top 30 Hits. Why she decided to do the vocals for the Brook Bond D and the British Gas Adverts in the late 70’s/early 80’s is anyone’s guess. Perhaps she needed the money to replace this rather extraordinary trouser suit..
64. Dead End Kids – Robbie Gray – ‘Have I The Right’
Originally a hit for the Honeycombs, this was a hit in 1977 (which was right in the middle of Punk.) Lined up by record execs as the new Bay City Rollers this is proof that despite everything, you can’t keep a good (Joe Meek) song down. I know nothing about the DEK’s which might be for the best.
65. Smokie – Terry Uttley – ‘If You Think you Know How To Love Me’
Covered by Pat Benatar some years later, IYTYKHTLM was written by Chinnichap as an attempt move away from the glam-rock they were famous for. Terry still plays bass with Smokie. A change of name was required when Smokey Robinson threatened them with a law-suit. Made Denim Shirts popular in the UK…
66. Rula Lenska – or Nancy “Q” Cunard de Longchamps – ‘OK’
or Nancy “Q” Cunard de Longchamps as she was known in the Little Ladies. Both Rock Follies and Rock Follies 77 were huge hits, both LPs reached Number 1. OK was released as a single and in a case of Life Imitating Art became a Top Ten hit (I’m sure there is a clip somewhere from TOTP’s?) – here, though, is the Theme tune to the TV Show.
67. X-Ray Spex – Poly Styrene – ‘Identity’
Born Marianne Joan Elliott-Said from Bromley. The Spex recorded one glorious album and subsequently split up. She was at a very early gig by the Sex Pistols in an empty hall on Hastings Pier, playing a set of cover songs, she was so inspired that she put an ad in the paper for ‘young punx who want to stick it together’ to form a band.
68. Mud – Rob Davis and Ray Stiles – ‘Dynamite’
Remarkable run of great singles, Mud were formed as long ago as 1966 but had to wait until 1973 for their first UK hit. Crazy effects on this video though. Ray now plays with the Hollies and Rob wore the most incredible costumes whilst writing Can’t Get You Out Of My Head. Poor Les and Dave are no longer with us so a Mud reunion is out of the question.
69. The Doors – Jim Morrison and Robby Krieger – ‘People Are Strange’
Occasionally Jim was prone to producing a right load of twaddle (has anyone EVER listened to An American Prayer all the way through for example). But when they were good they were bloomin great. Never seen this video til yesterday in fact. Here is the video which accompanied People Are Strange. And let’s face it, we’ve all felt like this at one time or another. Awright yeaaah
70. Shirley Bassey – ‘The Rhythm Divine’
Dame Shirley can make every song sound like a James Bond Theme Song and this is no exception. Shirl nailed the vocals in just 40 minutes. Now that is a Superstar.
71. Carole Bayer Sager – ‘You’re Moving Out Today’
Once married to Burt Bacharach, she is the writer of A Groovy Kind of Love. This was co-written by Bette Midler. Carole’s one and only hit single..
72. Chaka Khan – ‘Heed The Warning’
Chaka has never achieving quite the level of recognition that she perhaps should have – only one Number One hit single, her last UK charting LP was 1986, Yvette Marie Stevens can sing up a storm though. Great clip from Word Up! Black American Pop at the BBC which was on last night. One thing though Chaka love – a skirt might be NICE…
73. Rosie Vela – ‘Magic Smile’
Rather TOO much hair going on here. Nice jazzy-lite number from ex-model Vela with backing from Becker & Fagan and banging from Jeff Lynne of the ELO (did I just say that!!)..
74. Tears For Fears – Roland Orzabal -‘Sowing The Seeds Of Love’
Roland Jaime Orzabal de la Quintana was raised in Bath and met Curt Smith (much more sensible name) as a teenager forming ‘mod’ band Graduate. By 1989, most thought that their career was over but they came back with this. Cold have stepped straight off Sgt Pepper or Abbey Road. Not bad for two Synth-poppettes.
75. Mungo Jerry – Ray Dorset – ‘In The Summertime’
The first Summer hit of the 70’s topping the charts for 7 weeks in May 1970. Ray still fronts ‘the Jerry’ and is responsible for writing Feels Like I’m In Love by Kelly Marie, Pop Quiz Fans!! Also used to great effect in the Drink Drive Ads from (wait for it).. 1992.
76. Jim Croce – ‘I’ll Have To Say I Love You’
Jim Croce (pronounced CROW-CHEE folks) – Poor Jim had a face only a Mother could love didn’t he? I find much of Jim’s material a bit so-so, but this is adorable. Posthumously released along with the singles I Got A Name and Workin’ At The Carwash Blues (no really), Jim met his maker following the plane he was in crashed trying to avoid a pecan tree. Way to go Jim.
77. The Knack – Preston Niles & Berton Averre – ‘My Sharona’
Inspired by Sharona Alperin, who was 17 at the time, she is on the single sleeve (as the model) and also became Fieger’s girlfriend for the next four years. Prescott changed his name from Fine to Niles (sorry that’s all I know about him)..Berton toured with Sarah Brightman.. the youngster’s possibly know this from Super 8 the recent sci-fi movie. But I am old enough to remember it the FIRST TIME AROUND!
78. OMD – Andy McCluskey – ‘Souvenir’
What I like most about this record is that they never actually sing the title (same with all of the hits by New Order). Sued by Atomic Kitten to get out of the songwriting agreement they signed with him. Unusually Andy hand over vocal duties to Paul whilst he drives about a bit in a car. Some copies of “Love Action (I Believe in Love)” were mispressed with Souvenir as the A-side. Want one.
79. Wild Cherry – Rob Parissi, Bryan Bassett, Ronald Beitle – ‘Play That Funky Music’
Never heard of any of them either. And I don’t think I have ever heard anything else by the either. This was supposed to be the B Side of a cover of I Feel Sanctified by the Commodores. It was flipped and became Wild Cherry’s only hit single. Staple fare for any Wedding DJ.
80. Eric Carmen – ‘All By Myself’
All By Myself has now become something of a standard. Eric was originally in the marvellous Raspberries (great band) until he split in ’75 and released his debut LP. Based on Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Opus 18 and voted seventeenth in Britain’s Favourite Break-up Songs. Terrific hair, terrific song.
81. Nazareth – Dan McCafferty – ‘Love Hurts’
Love Hurts was written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant and was first recorded by the Everly Brothers. I prefer the speed of this over Jim Capaldi’s version which was a hit in the same year. A brace of great singles and last seen still touring at least 40 years after formation. More great curls too. Besides, it sounds quite kinky to these ears.
82. INXS – Michael Hutchence – ‘Baby Don’t Cry’
Hutchence described as archetypal rock showman with who was ‘overtly sexual, macho cool with flowing locks, and lithe and exuberant stage movements’ (it says here anyway) – Baby Don’t Cry came from Welcome to Wherever You Are (their best imho).. We all know the end of this particular tale but he should be widely applauded for showing Kylie Minogue an alternative to Jason Donovan and SAW.. And this sounds like a late Beatles track too.
83. Thompson Twins – Alannah Currie – ‘Hold Me Now’
Those who know me well recognise that I have an irrational hatred of superfluous women in Pop Groups. That one from Deacon Blue is an example and her out of Prefab Sprout is another. Alannah Currie is undoubtedly a third (the 80’s had a rash of them). She is only here at all because Hold Me Now is a great SONG. A friend of mine covered this in concert a number of years ago in an alt-Country manner and it worked.
84. The Cure – Lol Tolhurst – ‘A Forest’
Lol was born in Horley which makes him kind of local. He met Robert Smith at Primary School and agreed to form a band (well not really). He was fired from the Cure on 1989. A Forest has real edgy, spooky quality to it – bit like being chased THROUGH a forest.
85. Edie Brickell – ‘What I Am’
Edie is married to Paul Simon I believe. What I Am was released at the arse end of the 80’s and became a huge transatlantic hit. Covered by Tin Tin Out featuring Emma Bunton in 1999.
86. Sylvester – ‘(You Make Me Feel) Mighty Real’
Incredible record, certainly one of the best in this particular list. Scrub that this is one of the best records of all time. Sylvester James moved to San Francisco aged 20 in 1967. And he never looked back. His look pre-dates those gender bender New Romantics types by a good 5 years and besides none of them quite looked THIS fantastic. Truly one of a kind. Hand me that fan girl.
87. Gordon Lightfoot – ‘If You Can Read My Mind’
Simple arrangement, wonderful lyrics and no drums. Inspired by his then girlfriend, Cathy Smith, who was later more infamously known for her involvement in the death of John Belushi. Gordon has gone on record to say she was “the one woman in my life who most hurt me.” At the grand old age of 73, Gordon continues to tour. This only reached 33 in the UK.
88. 10CC – Graham Gouldman and Kevin Godley – ‘The Dean & I’
Graham spent much of the 60’s as a writer for hire and warm up act on TOTP’s. Signed to Jonathan King’s UK Record label and renamed 10CC (from Hotlegs). The Dean and I is an overlooked, early gem. Packed full of hooks and witty lyrics, this parodies 60’s pop music. 10CC were always the brainiest of the bunch and much fun could be had by guessing who sang what.
89. Donovan – ‘Mellow Yellow’
Raised in leafy Hertfordshire (Little Berkhamstead to be exact), Mellow Yellow is either about smoking banana skins or about a vibrator (I haven’t tried either before you ask). Donovan was one of the first high profile pop stars to be busted for marijuana. Don’t get to hear Donovan that often but when I do it’s wonderful. The Sixties were incredibly groovy no? Ask your parents/grandparents. Quite right-ly.
90. Guns N’ Roses – Slash – ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’
Not sure that I have ever forgiven them for most of their recorded output and a Best of would easily fit onto a 3 track EP. This is terrific. Rockschool staple guitar solo, the original video was to depict an Asian woman carrying a baby into a foreign land, only to discover at the end that the child was dead and filled with heroin. Nice image there lads.
91. Cocteau Twins – Robin Guthrie – ‘Sugar Hiccup’
The Cocteau Twins always ploughed their own furrow didn’t they. Beautiful artwork provided by 23 Envelope and gorgeous, dreamy songs. And they are from Scotland. What could be better than that? From the Spangle Maker EP which was the Cocteaus one and only Top 30 Record.
92. Freeez – John Rocco – ‘I.O.U’
Reminds me of my first (and only) car. Driving round the Countryside with the windows rolled down and this kind of thing on my car-cassette player. Tapes were huge business – where did they all go? Not sure why Freeez didn’t spell their name the conventional way. A-E, A-E, I-O-U I sometimes cry..
93. Dean Friedman – ‘Lucky Stars’
Not quite as great as Ariel, but this still makes me smile. Much bigger over here than he was In the States, Dean ended up singing the theme tune for the TV show Boon. Denise Marsa went on to front The Flirts in the 80’s (Helpless is great!). Yes, this might be cheesy but WHO CARES!!
94. The Honeydrippers – Robert Plant – ‘Sea Of Love’
One of my favourite songs, covered by one of my favourite singers. The Honeydrippers Volume 1 was released in ’84 as a 10” EP (3 tracks one side and two the other). With Plant in the band were Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Niles Rodgers. And you thought it was going to be Led Zeppelin didn’t you? Great film too..
95. Be Bop Deluxe – Charlie Tumahai – ‘Ships In The Night’
Charlie was possibly the first Maori musician to trouble the UK Charts. Love this. And Bill Nelson is a bit of a forgotten genius imho. This clip comes from Supersonic which was required 70’s viewing for us kids.
96. Queen – Brian May – ‘Seven Seas Of Rhye’
Brian May CBE DPhil –
Queen. For me the record that started it all. March 1974 aged 12. (And Sheer
Heart Attack released the SAME YEAR was even better). Life was never quite the
same again. Queen is so god-damn THRILLING. I even painted my thumbnail black
out of respect (I think my Mum thought I had hit it with a hammer). Nothing
much to say apart from until A Day At The Races, I lived and breathed Queen .
And this still gives me goosebumps.
Oh I Do like to be beside the Seaside etc etc
97. Leo Sayer – ‘Moonlighting’
Imagine my distress. Until yesterday, I thought that the lyrics in the final verse of this song mentions BRIGHTON. But no. The real words are ‘We’re only ten miles to GRETNA etc.., there’s 300 behind’. So teenage illusions shattered right there and then. This is like a Shoreham-by-Sea version of Born to Run. Leo IS a bit of a prat, which gets in the way of his talent. BRILLIANT singer, good songwriter, huge in America, Lindsey Buckingham even appeared on one LP.
98. Roger Daltrey – ‘Giving It All Away’
‘Giving It All Away’ was written by YESTERDAY’s Curls in Pop. Roger has done it all really. Fronted The Who, acted in McVicar. Lisztomania and Tommy and is now resides locally on his trout farm in Burwash. To these eyes Roger never looked better. I especially like his shoes and, of course, his dungarees, not to mention his magnificent hair. Bastard.
99. Fleetwood Mac – Lindsey Buckingham – ‘Tusk’
It must have been brilliant being in Fleetwood Mac in the 70’s. All that cocaine for a start. I remember when this record tied for ‘Single of the Week’ with Rowche Rumble by The Fall in the NME (or was it Sounds). Mumbled verses, almost Punk feel and a bonus of the University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band on HORNS. Quite an opening shot from an LP which is the equal to Rumours. And I should have been seeing the man himself tonight.
100. Mott The Hoople – Ian Hunter – ‘All The Young Dudes’
All The Young Dudes was written by David Bowie who was sitting on the floor opposite Ian. Remarkable as it certainly has stood the test of time. In fact, I think I love it more now than I did then. Single of the 70’s (possibly..) No. Scrub that. This is Single of My Life
101. T.Rex – Marc Bolan – ‘Metal Guru’
That’s it, third of this years ‘In Pop’ lists. Couldn’t really be anyone else could it?. Marc Bolan the BRAND. Looking like a fragile little china doll, with the best hair in pop, he should never have gotten in that Mini on the 16th September 1977. In spite of the fact that his glory years were almost over, he left an incredible legacy of fantastic POP records. What IS a Metal Guru though?
I wish you a Superfunk Christmas.
Christmas Bonus – Jona Lewie – ‘Stop The Cavalry’
Jona was Terry Dactyl of the Dinosaurs who had a one off hit in the 70’s with Seaside Shuffle which was about a day trip to Brighton. Jona signed to Stiff Records in ’77 who were impossibly cool. This should have popped up on Downtown Abbey really. They could have had a good old sing song in the trenches.
Christmas Bonus –The Four Seasons – ‘December ’63.’
Thank you to David Gray. I have been searching for this clip for more than a year and hey presto, here it is. A hit in November 1975, it is no secret that the Four Seasons are a particular favourite of mine and with 35+ member since there formation, this has to tick the Beards/Curls/Blondes boxes.