I hope you enjoy this – the 4th list from FB 2012 (shame that I cannot be bothered to put the comments here – maybe one day). I was concerned that Curls In Pop was borderline racist. Much crisper writing I think. I also invented a new word too – Quiffage.
1. Elvis Presley – ‘Mystery Train’
Not the last time that Elvis will be featured. From the legendary Sun Sessions recorded in 1955, this was Elvis at his swaggering, groundbreaking best. Little did he know what lay ahead of him. And he looked bloody amazing.
2. Echo & the Bunnymen – Les Pattinson and (possibly) Pete De Freitas – ‘Never Stop’
One of a dozen plus amazing singles by the extraordinary talented Bunnymen. I was a bit of a Bunnymen stalker during the ’80s and I actually met Mr De Frietas after a gig in Leicester (I told him that he was taller than I had imagined – he did not look impressed). I think I was at this gig too with my mate Simon Abbott – dressed in ENORMOUS coats. Pattinson, on reflection, certainly had it going on. He left the Bunnymen finally in 1998.
3. Alvin Stardust – ‘My Coo Ca Choo’
Good old Alvin (born Bernard Jewry if you please). Takes me right back to the glorious Glam Rock period. This bring out some kind of animal in me (a Panther maybe). Backing track was recorded before the vocalist was found Peter Shelley (the writer of this) didn’t want to do it and Marty Wilde turned it down. In his debut performance of this on Lift Off With Ayesha he dressed all in pink (would love to see that) but by the time this has raced into the Top Ten he was wearing his trademark black leather. He also became the Green Cross Code man.
4. The Pretenders – Pete Farndon & Martin Chambers – ‘Talk Of The Town’
What beauty. Pete Farndon was sacked from The Pretenders and was found dead on 14 April 1983 by his American wife. He had passed out and drowned in his bathtub following a heroin overdose . Before the Pretenders, Martin was in a band called Cheeks with Verden Allen from Mott The Hoople and played with the Hoople for real in 2009. Taken from Pretenders II which to these years is better than Pretenders I. Nowadays the band is just Chrissie really but Martin is often called upon to when playing live.
5. The Clash – All of them – ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go’
I love this because 1} Survived the mauling of a Levi ad campaign 2) Nice to hear Mick Jones on vocal 3) Th Spanish shouty bits 4) Combat Rock (Side 1) was the soundtrack to my Summer in 1982 – living away from home for the first time in a studio flat in The Cresset in Peterborough.
6. Gossip – Hannah Blilie – ‘Heavy Cross’
Hannah is featured on the cover of the last Gossip LP, Music For Men and drums for Gossip. Disappointed that Gossip have never really made it big time in the UK. Beth is such a fabulous powerhouse of a singer, both outspoken and funny. This is currently being used to advertise some TV prog or another isn’t it?
7. Unit 4+2 – ‘Concrete & Clay’
If the time ever comes for me to make my list of fave singles from the 60’s, this would figure big-time. Just for the intro alone. Kenny Everett was instrumental in getting this played on Wonderful Radio London. Unit 4 + 2 recorded 10 singles, an EP (remember them) and a couple of LP’s for Decca before splitting up. Later they were joined by Russ Ballard. Not absolutely convinced that the one with the quiff is. I think, Tommy Moeller but as his middle name was ‘Sweat’ he gets my vote anyway – you might know differently). Filmed at Canary Wharf I think which now, of course, looks entirely different. Aaah London
8. S’Express – Mark Moore – ‘Theme From S’Express’
More of a flat top I suppose, however, this stomped all over the charts on 1988. Sampling Rose Royce and God knows what else, it was just REALLY EXCITING. Up there, in fact, with the greatest late 80’s singles. I am never sure, though, where this should be filed in my filing system – at the beginning of the S’ses or somewhere near the Sex Pistols? Uno, Uno, Uno, Dos, Trez, Quatro!!!
9. The Rezillos/Revillos – Eugene Reynolds – ‘Top Of The Pops’
The Rezillos hailed from Edinburgh forming in 1976 but waiting until 78 for the BIG hit. I chose this clip for the energetic crowd and for the sight of Jo Callis before he joined the Human League. Still performing and gigging, they looked like they came from another day-glo planet entirely. Exactly what Top Of The Pops should be like!!
10. Manhattan Transfer – Alan Paul – ‘Tuxedo Junction’
The original version of Tuxedo Junction was Number 1 on the Billboard Charts for 9 weeks in 1940. Man Tran released their version from their self titled LP in 1975. I remember thinking that Glenn Miller was another lifetime ago when this came out (there was something of a Big Band Revival about this time)..now some 37 years after it’s release I wonder if today’s kids feel the same. Probably best NOT to think about it. ANYWAY this is for my Mum, she would have been 76 today and she loved the Man Tran.
11. Swans Way – Robert Shaw & Rick P. Jones – ‘Soul Train’
The year is 1983, and this little nugget came from out of nowhere and Swans Way swiftly vanished off the pop radar until Maggie & Rick popped up again in Scarlet Fantastic. Atmospheric, doomy, gloomy, string-laden and rainy (well they were from Birmingham) – Soul Train reached Number 20 and would have been on the Tube almost constantly. Sharp suits too.
12. Roy Orbison – ‘Running Scared’
A song with no chorus, you kind of wait for it but it never does come and before you know it, it is all over. Little surprise then that Roy received huge respect from his musical peers (Bruce (see Thunder Road), kd lang and Elvis Costello would have sounded quite different without him).
13. Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Paul Rutherford & Holly Johnson – ‘Rage Hard’
The question is how do you follow that incredible trio of Frankie singles? Well, you wait a couple of years, draft in Stephen Lipton, ditch the Frankie Says t-shirts and carry on. This is right up there with Two Tribes, Relax and The Power of Love and was the first CD single I ever bought (to play on the new CD Player purchased from the HiFi Dept at Virgin in Brighton). Was listening to ‘ Tour of the Twelve Inch’ on my IPod earlier this week – who was the female announcer? I have often wondered – she sounds ever so strict.
14. Black – Colin Vearncombe – ‘Wonderful Life
Initially released in ‘86 when it crawled to Number 72, this was re-released on A&M in ’87 when it became a much bigger hit on the UK & all over Europe. The video was shot in New Brighton (not old Brighton) on the Wirral Peninsula. Used in numerous ad/awareness campaigns from human trafficking, Standard Life, an airline company and chocolate. Lovely stuff.
15. Cameo – Larry Blackmon – ‘Word Up’
That’s the way to draw attention to your talent eh? One of the greatest TOTP’s appearances of all time (but at only 2:20 hardly worth it) The eagle-eyed among you should be able to spot LeVar Burton who played Kunte Kinte on Roots as the main protagonist in this video. Still does not quite detract from that codpiece though.
16. Dion – ‘The Wanderer’
Born Dion DiMucci – in a long line of Italian Americans who have successful recording careers. And he is still knocking them out. He released Born to Be with You in 75 which was produced by Phil Spector. Quite dark, despondent lyrics for the early 60’s too. see this example: “I roam from town to town and go through life without a care, I’m as happy as a clown with my two fists of iron, but I’m going nowhere”
Close your eyes and this could actually be Bruce & the boys…
17. Curiosity Killed The Cat – Nick Thorpe ( & possibly Migi Drummond & Julian Godfrey Brookhouse ) – ‘Down To Earth’
CKTC hung around with Andy Warhol of all people and released one, pretty good LP and a further two which were frankly rubbish. I went to see CKTC with my best mate, Sallie Quinlan. It was a bit of a scream fest actually (which is understandable as they are all very handsome), but we got backstage and ligged a bit (the joys of selling tickets I suppose). BVP did have the most ridiculous name and I hated his hat but this still sounds great and deserves a second shot…
18. Jackie Wilson – ‘I Get The Sweetest Feeling’
Dubbed by none other than Elvis as ‘the Black Elvis’, Jackie was the replacement for the mighty Clyde McPhatter in Billy Ward & the Dominos. This was from the second half of his career (1966) which began with Whispers (Gettin’ Louder) and (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher (both fabulous records in their own right). IGTSF was the 3rd hit of this era. Written by Van McCoy. Jackie died in 1984 following 8 years in a semi-coma. Smell the talc.
19. Danny Wilson – Ged Grimes – ‘Mary’s Prayer’
What a glorious single. Danny Wilson were named after a Frank Sinatra film (originally they were going to be called Spencer Tracey). Good old Virgin re-released this to death until it was finally a hit in 1988 (Number 3 in fact). Gary released several brilliant LP’s both under his own name and as King L and Transistor (all highly recommended). Ged (on the double bass) has since relocated to Andalucia after playing with fellow Scots Deacon Blue and Jim Kerr. If you want the fruit to fall, you have to give the tree a shake, don’t you.. Swoonsome..
20. Billy J Kramer & the Dakotas – ‘Little Children’
The name decided after a trawl through the telephone directory, the J was added on the suggestion of John Lennon to make them harder. One of my earliest musical memories actually, and even at that small age, I was quite taken by Billy J and his twinkle. This was their biggest hit on both sides of the Atlantic. The group parted company and Billy has since only recorded sporadically. Elkie Brooks’ brother was the drummer in the Dakotas fact fans.
21. Dr Robert (feat Kym Mazelle) – ‘Wait’
Born Bruce Robert Howard from Norfolk, the Doc was the lead singer with the Blow Monkeys (not as quiffy as I had thought). Responsible for a brace of GREAT singles (see Digging Your Scene, It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way, Celebrate (The Day After You)) and the fabulously titled LP She Was Only A Grocer’s Daughter (no bonus points for guessing who that was about). Dr Robert also recorded this with Kym – a British attempt at replicating the Chicago House sound – thumping piano and swoopy strings. Guaranteed floor filler…
22. Danny & The Juniors – Danny Rapp – ‘At The Hop’
Originally called Do The Bop, At The Hop was the first of three hit singles from Danny & The Juniors. Danny was barely 16 when this record came out. He continued with the group right up to 1978 (chicken in the basket stuff no doubt) and he ended his own life in a Hotel in Arizona in 1983.
23. Duane Eddy – ‘Peter Gunn’
The original, not the one he did with the Art Of Noise. This sounds incredibly dirty/sleazy for a Monday morning, doesn’t it? Duane Eddy was the first rock and roll guitarist to have a signature model guitar (the Duane Eddy Models DE-400 and the deluxe DE-500). Eddy was an actor, married to Jessie Coulter and producer of LP’s by Phil Everly At the close of his return gig in October 2010 at a sold-out Royal Festival Hall, London at which he was given a 10-minute standing ovation before he had played a note or spoken a word. That’s kind of legendary, isn’t it?
24. Theatre of Hate – Kirk Brandon (well all of them really) – ‘The Hop’
For a good six months Theatre of Hate burned brightly. Before splitting up and forming Spear of Destiny, Theatre of Hate released one LP which was produced by Mick Jones and featured Billy Duffy who joined the Cult later in 1982. Stan Stammers (bassist) remained with Kirk throughout the S.O.D years. Kirk, I believe, lives locally. He certainly romantically wooed a member of staff at Virgin, Brighton (or was it t’other way round). In 2009 he suffered a number of heart attacks and following an operation at the Royal Sussex County, had his aortic valve replaced by a pig’s valve. I particularly like the guitar in this. (And of course, don’t mention Boy George)..
25. Matt Bianco – Mark Reilly – ‘Don’t Blame It On That Girl’
This isn’t as bad as I seem to remember – in fact it’s pretty good.. I preferred later Matt Bianco over the earlier stuff (that’s the first LP then) – which is so in your face, has terrible arrangements and awful screechy vocals (thanks Bashia) – he dumped Bashia (or she dumped him) but the band continued and released this in 1988. I hadn’t realised that Mark was formerly in Blue Rondo A La Turk (who were great in fact). They were also called a bunch of w**kers on Swap Shop in 1984. Cute dimples though.
26. Rick Astley – ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’
The first time that I heard this record was down the Beacon Royal in Brighton (a couple of pints of lagers, shirt unbuttoned, poppers) and it kind of blew my mind. I convinced myself that he was black and from Chicago (remember this was 1987, pre-Kylie/Jason and just after Love Can’t Turn Around had charted). Seems a cheery enough chap, he hails from Newton-Le-Willows and his quiff lasted for one LP precisely. Always criminally shy he first retired from the music industry in 1993. And you know what, dated as it might sound, I’d rather listen to this than 60% or the drivel that is currently in the charts.
27. Showaddywaddy – ‘Hey Rock & Roll’
I hated Showaddywaddy. They seemed to cover and ruin everything, and they didn’t even have proper quiffs (more like mullets). I do, however, love this and this only. Written by the band this reached Number Two in 1974. Two vocalists, two drummers and two bassists (the closest to a quiff here). Showaddywaddy first appeared on New Faces (the 70’s answer to Britain’s Got Talent), Actually, this could almost have been covered by the Clash.
28. Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera – Adam Levine – ‘Moves Like Jagger’
I am a sucker for a tune with a whistle. I quite like Adam too, he seems like an all-around nice man. And clearly, he likes Mr Jagger who, this year, will be celebrating 50 years with the Stones. His Golden Jubilee if you will. This was on the playlist at MY Golden Jubilee, however, Whitney died so we never got round to it..
29. Eddie Cochran – ‘C’Mon Everybody’
Poor Eddie died when in a traffic accident in a taxi in Chippenham. George Martin (not that one) was convicted on dangerous driving, imprisoned, fined 50 quid and disqualified for 15 years. Obviously loved by someone from the Sex Pistols camp but WHO CARES!
30. Duran Duran – Roger Taylor – ‘Girls On Film’
As a youngster, Roger wanted to be a goalie for Aston Villa. However, he never grew tall enough. DD hailed from Birmingham and Roger formed a band called the Scent Organs (I KNOW) in 1978. I have a bit of a problem with some of DD’s stuff (this has eased considerably over the years) – my problem with this record is certainly not the saucy little video but more that there are too many words to fit into the verses. I blame LeBon.
31. Chris Spedding – ‘Motor Bikin’’
Never the most attractive of men, Chris was, nonetheless, was a session musician with the Wombles. He also appeared on LP’s by Elton John, Roxy Music and Nilsson and produced the early demos for the Sex Pistols. Son of Muriel and Jack Spedding, Chris was back to Wombling at Glastonbury in 2011. ‘Suppose it pays the rent. Actually, this is quite punky. Punky and snarly.
32. Vince Taylor – ‘Shakin’ All Over’
That’s some outfit Vince is wearing. The majority of you have probably never even heard of Vince, although you must be familiar with the song? Vince led a colourful life, Born in Isleworth, raised in Hollywood, often falling out with band members, declaring he was the biblical apostle Matthew in front audiences, joining a religious movement, writing Brand New Cadillac, finally dying of cancer aged 53 in Switzerland. Oh and inspiring David Bowie, who, it’s said, based the entire Ziggy Stardust character on him.
33. Ike & Tina Turner – Ike Turner & Phil Spector – ‘River Deep Mountain High’
For it is, of course, as much Phil’s song as it is the Turner’s, You all know the history behind these two, so I’ll just say this is one of the greatest records ever made and leave it at that.
34. Rocket From The Crypt – Speedo (John Reis) – ‘On A Rope’
Can it be 20 years since this came out? 1995 was a great year, wasn’t it? Great music (the height of Britpop), great job. Duckie launched and met some great mates on my ‘tours’ (of the UK). RFTC were: Speedo – guitar, vocals, ND – guitar, Petey X – bass, Apollo 9 – saxophone, JC 2000 – trumpet and Atom – drums (just so as you know). I must admit that this (and Young Livers) are the only things that I know. Relentless rhythm, not too shouty for these 50-year-old years and any song with a big stab of brass is just fine with me. Nice chirpy video and a great song to drive to too.
35. The Desert Sessions – Josh Homme – ‘Crawl Home’
Sexy racket from Josh & PJ Harvey (surely one of Britain’s finest). This was released in 2003 (bit modern for me I know). This should have a been huge hit. Pretty sure that without PJ, I wouldn’t have like it at all. The bass on this positively thunders.
36. The Everly Brothers – Phil & Don – ‘Cathy’s Clown’
The first release by Warner Brothers in the UK (Cat Number WB1), Cathy’s Clown is the Everly’s biggest selling record. Hugely influential as both singers and songwriters (see also When Will I Be Loved, Till I Kissed Her). Don sings the lower harmony and Phil the higher to great effect. They spent a decade not speaking to each other for the best part of the 1970’s – brothers eh?
37. King – Paul King and Jim “Jackal” Lantsbery – ‘Love and Pride’
King were all over the charts circa 1984/85. Paul became an MTV VJ (what a great job that would be) following his departure from King. Jim has mainly worked on the bhangra scene. King were formed in Coventry in 1984, Love & Pride was rereleased by CBS until it eventually reached Number 2. Okay, Paul hair if more subsided quiff/mullet but Jim’s is much closer. I like this much more now than I did then, even if they did look faintly ridiculous.
38. The Cult – Billy Duffy – ‘Rain’
With a flourish of feathers and a whiff of patchouli oil, The Cult bestrode the mid-80’s like the Rock Gods they most certainly were. In my 50 years of Gig going, I have never caught them live (although came close once or twice). Billy Duffy began his career with the Theatre of Hate (see earlier in QIP), and despite splitting from Astbury (and yes playing with the Alarm), still tours. And yes, that is the Anadin Brothers (from Dr & The Medics) on backing vox.
39. Chris Montez – ‘Let’s Dance’
I have vivid memories of listening to this whilst in my pram, making it (probably) the first record I can remember hearing – I even think I bounced up and down a bit. Put your hands together for the producer of this video – some photos and even better some great quiffs.. Chris (Montez) had a quiff for a short while but flattened it for his comeback in 1966 (The More I See You is literally one of my favourite records of all time). Perfect song to hear on your tranny and the drummer alone deserves a pop-medal.
40. Elvis Costello – ‘Watching The Detectives’
After a brief spell as a Computer operator with Midland Bank, Declan Patrick MacManus changed his name, sign to Stiff and a second Legendary Elvis was born. Key to 1977, this was far removed from the Punk scene. Too late to be included on My Aim Is True and too early for This Years Model, WTD reached Number 15 in late October 1977. The Attractions sound fantastic and lyrically is up there with his absolute best (i.e, ‘it only took my little fingers to blow you away’). Incredible. If it ain’t Stiff, it ain’t worth a f**k, right?
41. The Big Bopper – ‘Chantilly Lace’
HELLLOOO BAAAABY, Born Jiles Perry “J. P.” Richardson, Jr, the Big Bopper was an American DJ, singer and songwriter (think the Hairy Cornflake with talent). Chantilly Lace was an American hit in 1958 for the BB and returned to charts by Jerry Lee Lewis in the ’70s). One of the three musicians who were present on the Day The Music Died (the other two are coming up later). I think that Miss C Lace was one flirty piece.
42. Mink DeVille – Willy Deville – ‘Spanish Stroll
Hey Rosita! Donde vas con mi carro Rosita?… Born William Paul Borsey Jr., his maternal grandmother was a Pequot (Native American Indian) and was of Basque/Irish descent. He married at 17 and had a son. Billy de Sade and the Marquis became Mink DeVille who were one of the original house bands at CBGB’s. Spider-thin, Willy possessed a great voice and Spanish Stroll is perhaps his best-remembered song – some great imagery (you can practically smell the paella). He died in August 2009 from pancreatic cancer…
43. Westworld – Elizabeth Westwood & Nick Burton – ‘Sonic Boom Boy’
Brill little single from ’87. Elizabeth came from America and the guitarist Bob ‘Derwood’ Andrews was from Generation X. Their sole Top 20 Hit, they reformed as Moondogg when they located to the States. In 1987, we held a live mini-concert by this lot (in Brighton), blew the speakers and took out the entire electricity supply in Spring Street next to the shop (luckily the Shakespeares Head was not affected). THAT’S Rock N Roll.
44. Jerry Lee Lewis – ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’
A Bruce-like in energy, this 7 minutes + performance of WLSGO is positively electrifying. Here, Jerry Lee probably invented the headbang, the twist, the shimmy, the rock and the roll and he also played the piano like it was on FIRE. He did marry his 13-year-old cousin though. Quiff non-existent by the end of this. Hardly surprising.
45. The Searchers – Mike Pender – ‘Needles and Pins’
This was originally by the marvellous Jackie DeShannon, Needles and Pins was written by Sonny Bono and Jack Nitzsche, became a UK Number 1 and an American Top 20 Hit. Covered by Ms Nicks, Tom Petty, and Smokie. Pender left the Searchers in 85 to pursue a solo career. There are currently two versions of the same group touring. Confusing for Searchers lovers. The influence over acts like the Byrds is obvious.
46. Prince – ‘Kiss’
Sometimes the simplest of ideas are the best. Simple video and straightforward no-nonsense pop song which announced the arrival of Parade in fine style. Did Prince ever do an MTV Unplugged session? If so, this would have fitted in quite nicely. Covered )almost immediately) by the Age of Chance and then as a big hit by Tom Jones and the Art of Noise. I miss the days of great Prince singles, and this is a GREAT Prince single.
47. A Flock of Seagulls – Mike Score – ‘Wishing (A Photograph of You)’
A few things learnt during my research: Mike was from Yorkshire and not that trendy London, he was a HAIRDRESSER before embarking upon a music career, his hair-style was created by trying to style one’s hair like Ziggy Stardust, placing a hand on one’s head, leaving only the hair on the sides of his head sticking up, Mike is now bald as a coot, Don’t snigger at that please.
48. Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps – ‘Be Bop A Lula’
Gene was born Vincent Eugene Craddock, in Norfolk. Virginia. This became a Top Ten Hit in the ’50s. He was left with a permanent limp following a motorcycle accident in 1955. By far his most famous record (not sure if he was ever able to escape its shadow), Sweet Gene Vincent died from a ruptured stomach ulcer in 1971 aged 36.
49. Bow Wow Wow – David Barbarossa – ‘C30 C60 C90 Go!’
Trust Malcolm and Vivienne to create a right old kerfuffle. Not content with ruining the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, they have another go at trying to bury the record industry by promoting home taping. EMI, typically, refused to promote the record and they didn’t even make it to their first LP with the label. And Annabella Lwin was only 14 when she joined the band. I really liked Your Cassette Pet too (maybe even more). Bow Wow Wow were made up of Lwin, Matthew Ashman (RIP), Leigh Gorman and Barbarossa who provided the fierce drumming (the boys were ex-Antpeople of course).
50. Billy Idol – ‘Dancing With Myself’
Even though he can’t sing terribly well, you can’t deny his enthusiasm. Billy was a drop out from the University of Sussex (so he is quite bright) and formed Generation X after a stint with the Banshees. He went solo in the early ’80s, re-recorded this Gen X record, hoiked in Tobe Hopper (Texas Chain Saw Massacre) to direct the video and a motorcycling, lip-snarling, slut legend was born. Huge in the States, I defy you not to at least tap your toes (even if the sings is about Onanism).
51. Bobby Darin – ‘Mack The Knife’
There are in fact TWO Bobby Darin’s. The first one, release some fluffy 50’s Pop (see Dream Lover/Splish Splash). The second one was as a rather nifty jazz/blues then a Country singer. Mack The Knife was the first time the general public heard his ‘jazzy’ side. Bobby Darin was married to Sandra Dee and died in 1973 (great film with Kev Spacey as Bobby). From the Musical ‘The Threepenny Opera’ by Kurt Weill, Mack The Knife shows Bobby vocal style (and what style) to a tee. Very under-rated, this swings in the best way.
52. Vanilla Ice – ‘Ice Ice Baby’
Born Robert Van Winkle (poor sod). Ice Ice Baby was all over the charts in 1990 when it hit Number 1 on both sides of the Atlantic. Not sure if I even like this but the bugger has been in my head all weekend.. Neither Queen nor Bowie received any royalty payments or writing credits and for that reason, I’m out. It does bounce though.
53. Sade – Stuart Matthewman & Paul S. Denman – ‘Your Love Is King’
Matthewman is aka Cottonbelly (intrigued) and lives in a New York apartment (more intrigued). He has appeared on all Ms Adu’s LP’s and here is seen on his sax (but also contributes guitar, keyboards and programming) Paul S. Denman, on the bass, also appears on all LP but doesn’t (as far as I can tell) live in NY. Anyway, they have been integral to the Sound of Sade. ‘Beige’ she may be but she always looks amazing and was with her right up to Sweetest Taboo (which isn’t very far at all). This video makes me go a bit giddy, however.
54. James Brown – ‘Please Please Please’
A Recording career which spanned from 1955 until his death on Christmas Day 2006, there is little that James Brown has not done – married three times, father of at least 12 children, convicted of carrying an unlicensed gun and assaulting a police officer. Personally, I’m not a particular fan of his late 70’s/80’s output but there was a time when James was the best singer going (you will have to wait about 15 seconds for the audience to stop screaming) If you have a few pennies, check out Star Time the 4 CD Extravaganza of a boxed set which pretty much covers everything.
55. Bourgie Bourgie – Paul Quinn – ‘Breaking Point’
The darlings of the music press, I guarantee that only a tiny of you will have heard this record (and I urge you to if you haven’t). But what a record!! Quinn has an incredible voice (somewhere between Roddy Frame and Barry White via Nick Cave), He was classmates with Edwyn Collins and sang backing vocals on Rip It Up. He collaborated with Edwyn on a duet of Pale Blue Eyes. Bourgie Bourgie only released two singles and this peaked at a paltry 46. He recorded with Vince Clark and was signed to the relaunched Postcard label in the ’90s when the Quinn trail goes cold. Fabulous quiff and fabulous bee-stung lips too.
56. Blue Rondo A La Turk – Chris Sullivan, Mark Reilly & Christos Tolera (at least) – ‘Klactoveesedstein’
This, their second release, reached Number 50 in the UK charts. They only last for one LP (Me & Mr Sanchez their first hit was used in the 1982 World Cup from Brazil. (and that is him from Matt Bianco in an earlier guise). Does anyone know what a Klactoveesedstein actually is?
57. Link Wray – ‘Rumble’
Highly influential on British, guitarists in particular (Jimmy Paige, Pete Townsend etc). Link was born Frederick Lincoln Wray, married four times and fathered 9 little Wray’s before dying in 2005. Menacing, almost threatening vibe led this track to be banned on radio stations in the States for fear that it might glorify juvenile delinquency – quite a feat for an instrumental. The video comes from a film called Delicate Delinquent and it goes rather well don’t you think?
58. Jimmy Rae – ‘Are You Jimmy Rae?’
Remember this? No thought not. Poor Jimmy seems to have disappeared from the internet (as if the internet is an actual place) into oblivion. Wasn’t he supposed to be the next big thing? I think he was from the UK, he definitely had a quiff, I thought this was a minor hit in the ’90s. A bit like Nick Kamen then (only more handsome). Anyway! I still think this sounds rather nifty.
59. JoBoxers – Chris Bostock, Rob Marche and Sean McLusky – ‘Boxerbeat’
For a moment I thought that Glam was back! This sounds like something the Glitter Band might do (or Showaddywaddy maybe). Bit Dexy’s. Bit Madness also. Bostock (blonde, quiff) was a member of the Subway Sect (no Vic Goddard here though) and has appeared with the Style Council, Spear of Destiny and Shakespear’s Sister. Marche and McLusky have boxer beat hats on so it’s difficult to judge their quiffiness. Maybe they were trying to invent a new Boxerbeat type dance? Great song. Great video. Their debut LP has just been rereleased too… Taut and stompy.
60. Richard Hawley – ‘Coles Corner’
One of a number of great acts to come out of Sheffield. Member of the Longpigs, then Pulp he began his solo career way back in 2001. He has released 6 LP’s to date. The Lp that this came from was nominated for the Mercury Music Awards in 2006, losing out to the Arctic Monkey’s. Alex Monkey famously said, “Someone call 999, Richard Hawley’s been robbed!” And he had. So, Northern, you can smell the baking Hovis. *pushes a bike uphill*
61. The Four Seasons – Bob Gaudio , Nick Massi & Frankie Valli – ‘Walk Like A Man’
Truly great clip of a marvellous example of the magic of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. An enthusiastic almost hyper crowd (why is the chap wearing a plaster cast?) with FV&TFS looking warm and snuggly on the balcony. At the recording of this producer Bob Crewe insisting upon recording the perfect take, smoke and water started to seep into the studio as the group repeated their efforts. The room directly above the studio was on fire, yet Crewe blocked the studio door and continued recording until a few firemen used their axes on it and pulled him out.
62. Edwyn Collins – ‘A Girl Like You’
What a way to re-emerge from your career in the pop dumper. Built around a sample of 1-2-3 by Len Barry, initially sounding a bit of a Motown pastiche. AGLY reached Number 4 in the UK and remarkably Number 32 in the States. It also features Paul Cook from the Pistols on the vibraphone. Bit of a fighter our Edwyn having survived a double cerebral haemorrhage (after which he was only able to repeat 4 phrases), he has also locked horns with Warner Brothers over wanting to use this song on his MySpace page allowing his fans to listen to his songs for free.
63. Depeche Mode – Dave Gahan, Alan Wilder and Andy Fletcher – ‘Shake The Disease’
There was always something about DM’s songs. They seemed to be either about Sex (kinky), God or Science, Not sure what Shake The Disease is about. 48 hits and counting, quite a feat from some fresh-faced youngsters from Basildon. Dave is at his stentorious best here, Martin – a tad too much make’up. STD was one of two non-LP singles released on their first greatest hits LP released in 1985. This video was filmed in one of The World’s Great Canals. But where? Manchester? Berlin?
64. Del Shannon – ‘Runaway’
Or Charles Weedon Westover. I too was an infant runaway. I packed my transistor radio, my teddy, a couple of my favourite cars and sat up a tree, one Sunday evening (the Charts were on) in the pissing rain for about 30 mins. I’m not sure if children WANT to run away anymore, do they? The song is told from the point of view of a man whose female lover has also run away. I think this is all rather creepy actually and is made creepier by the unique Musitron break (part fairground/part stalker). Anyway, poor Del committed suicide in 1990 with a .22 calibre rifle at his home while on a prescription dose of Prozac
65. Jedward – John & Edward Grimes – ‘Lipstick’
What’s going on here then? Personally, I would like to see Jedward enter the Eurovision Song Contest until they finally win. Even if it means them performing in their bath-chairs. Or they could enter this song every year until IT wins. Incredibly irritating, I would actually like to see them strung up but this is actually quite good. Perfect for Eurovision. Best of luck to Ukraine.
66. King Kurt – Jeff Harvey, John Reddington, Bert Boustead, Alan “Maggot” Power, Rory Lyons and. Paul “Thwack” Laventhol – ‘Destination Zululand’
Stiff were looking for a new fun band to possibly replace Madness and came upon King Kurt who normally began their gigs with a massive food-fight. Produced by Dave Edmonds, this is all rather silly in a psychobilly way. John Reddington (on guitar) is now a lawyer. Hope for us all then..
67. Hipsway – Grahame Skinner, Johnny McElhone, Pim Jones – ‘The Honeythief’
Hipsway were kind of the next big thing (in the UK, according to Record Mirror anyways).. Johnny was from Altered Images, Grahame was with the Jazzateers, Pim has the best first name ever. Johnny went on to be part of Texas and even appeared in a film. The video is very of its time – even the quality is a bit wobbly. Alternatively, you can watch Grahame showing the German TV hostess how to make the perfect Cappucino – which pops up at the end… Have often puzzled over what a Honeythief is/does. Black was very in, in 1986.
68. Wet Wet Wet – Graeme Clarke & (occasionally) Marti Pellow) – ‘Wishing I Was Lucky’
How could it all go so horribly wrong? WWW started off on the right foot with this (and particularly the Metal Mix 12”) – which my then Regional Manager, Steve Pulling, declared to be the greatest pop single of the year – and he was a massive On-U Sound fan. It went downhill from there, didn’t it… Marti had an irresistible twinkle and a great voice. Popped In, Souled Out was okay but sounded a bit rushed (perhaps they should have stuck with those Willie Mitchell sessions after all).. Me and Sallie Quinlan, even went to see them in Camden and practically wet our knickers over the excitement. He would swear by his mouth almighty. Indeed.
69. Mark Ronson – ‘Valerie’
Okay, not much of a Quiff happening here, but he certainly has a (rather unattractive) BLOND one now. Rare, in as much that a cover version (from the LP Version) betters the original. Ronson began his chart career with the brilliant Boney M sampling ‘Oooh Wee’ in 2003…Releasing Version in 2007 with a cornucopia of modern day singers, Valerie, originally by The Zutons, featured our Amy… Classy.
70. Billy Fury – ‘Wondrous Place’
Born Ronald Wycherley, Billy became Billy at the suggestion of Larry Parnes (bet that wasn’t ALL he suggested either). Clocking up 24 hits and spending spent 332 weeks on the chart (equalling the Beatles at the time), he suffered from a Dicky Heart (Larry Parnes can you SEE this?) – he popped up again as Stormy Tempest in the wonderful That’ll Be The Day. Only reaching number 25 at the time, this rose again to prominence when used in an advert for Toyota. Funny names real or fictional for 50/60’s pop singers should be posted below.
71. The Kursaal Flyers – Paul Shuttleworth – ‘Little Does She Know’
Formed in 1973, the Flyers had to wait until ’76 to achieve their one and only chart hit. Part of the Southend Pub Ruck scene, Will Birch (on drums) became a music journalist, Graeme Douglas left and joined Eddie & The Hotrods and the band split up in 1977. Full of great rhyming couplets (detergent/urgent, spin dry/tie-dye, laundry/quandary, seen me/bikini.. ) Soapy!
72. Rocky Sharpe & the Replays – Robert Podsiadly (Rocky), Johnny Stud (Rocky’s brother Jan) and Eric Rondo (Mike Vernon) – ‘Rama Lama Ding Dong’
This bloody thing has been in my head since 6am this morning. Originally by the Edsels, this cover version charted in 1978. Weren’t they called Rocky Sharpe & the Razors in the beginning? Intriugued to find out why the split from those that became Darts too.
73. The Cramps – Nick Knox – ‘Can Your Pussy Do The Dog?’
Blessed with only one eye following an infection in 1981, Knox was the drummer in the Cramps through their most successful period. The Cramps formed in 1976. When Lux died in Feb 2009. I guess the Cramps died with them. On guitar is the wonderful Poison Ivy – who really is the Queen of the Garage Punk Scene. Wonder what she is up to now?
74. Roxy Music – Bryan Ferry & Andy McKay – ‘All I Want Is You’
My favourite Roxy single by quite a long way (but somehow not quite recognised by those that are supposed to know)… Similar to Virginia Plain in structure – the ending is a masterclass in rounding off a song on a high – (2:40ish is the perfect length for any single pop kids).. it makes you want to put the needle back to the start of the record and immediately play again. Andy McKay is credited as playing the Oboe – something which you simply don’t get nowadays. Quite simply one of the most important/influential acts of the ’70s. And don’t our Bryan look dreamy… L’Amour, Toujours etc etc..
75.Wham! – Andrew Ridgley, George Michael and the DRUMMER – ‘Young Guns! (Go For It!)’
Hey SUKKA! What the hell’s got into YOU? Okay, they affair with the quiff was a bit brief (but check out the sleeve to Fantastic) – but this is one hell of a record. Back in the days when it was cool to hang around street corners smoking and scowling (no internet in those days), Wham! were briefly the future of All Things Pop Music. And the Kings of the Exclamation Mark! Wham! met at school where Andrew took young George under his *um* wing! And he bloody well lives in Cornwall with the second-best member of the greatest girl group of ALL TIME. Put Andrews’ attempt at rapping aside and you are left with a classic Number One single and one of the best TOTP’s performances EVER! The bit where they DANCE OFF is genuinely one of the most exciting highlights of the ’80s.
76. Robert Gordon – ‘Fire’
Robert’s recording career took off in the same years that Elvis died. Were they, perhaps, looking for a replacement? Well, he does have a similar voice and a similar swagger doesn’t he? Here he is with Link Wray for his version of Fire. I believe Bruce wrote it for him in mind. Features on the LP Fresh Fish Special (his second) which features the Boss on piano and the Jordanaires on backing vocals. If you do a Google Image search on Robert now, you might be a bit disappointed to see that he can no longer fit into those skinny jeans.
77. Everything But The Girl – Ben Watt – ‘Come On Home’
Tracey & Ben got together in 1981 at the University of Hull and, although they haven’t performed together since 2000, they are still a couple. I have fond memories of Tracey & the rest of the Marine Girls from the Record Shop I worked in circa 80/81 – they used to pop in most lunch-times for a chat. I am of the belief that Tracey is one of the UK’s greatest vocalists and Ben & Tracey one of pop’s great pairings. Ben is currently a Deep House DJ (Oh?!!)…EBTG took their name from a second-hand clothes shop in Hull. Come On Home was taken from the LP, Baby, The Stars Shine Bright Tonight – recorded with a huge orchestral swell.
78. Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Neal X, Roy Mahew and Chris Kavanagh – ‘Love Missile F1-11’
I was shocked to discover that SSS has released a total of 5 LP’s. Billed by co-founder Tony James as (& I quote) ‘Hi-tech sex, designer violence, and the fifth generation of rock ‘n’ roll’ – which may or not be right. Great single which comes across like a cross between I Feel Love (it was produced by Giorgio Moroder) and Rock N Roll by Glitter (see TWO drummers) Pure pop trash (didn’t come anywhere close to this again – I mean have you actually heard 21st Century Boy lately) and Martin made face-netting fashionable (briefly)..
79. Gary Glitter – ‘Rock N Roll Part 1’
Conceivably his quiff may have been a wig though (gets a bit ‘ratty’ in this video). This is a fine record (go ask the Human League, go ask your parents, go ask your Grandparents) – it still looks like the Seventies, it still behaves the Seventies, it smells like the Seventies and it helped to kick start the Glam Rock movement. I am still a fan and Touch Me remains the first LP I ever bought. On cassette. From Millers in Cambridge. Without a sleeve. So I bought it anyway and I MADE MY OWN. HYSTERIA!! HEY!!
80. Desireless – ‘Voyage Voyage
Born Claudie Fritsch-Mentrop was born in Paris in 1952, and Voyage Voyage was her only UK Hit. Recent pictures reveal that her quiff has gone and she has, like many of us, going grey. I have never heard anything else by her actually – not even ‘John’ which was the follow-up single. PSB in feeling and a huge pan-European hit and one of only a handful of records with entirely French lyrics. Here are the lyrics to one verse in English though:
“Journey, journey, Fly in the heights, On top of the capitals, Fatal ideas, Look at the ocean…”
Doesn’t have quite the same ring does it?
81. Chuck Berry – ‘Maybelline’
Debut single by Charles Edward Anderson Berry which was released in 1955. Must say that, as great as they are, most of Chuck’s songs sound exactly the same. So it’s quite interesting to see how it all started. Perhaps the audience had never actually seen a Black man performing in person before (although not sure when this clip dates from). And for that reason alone he is incredibly important. Plus the fact that he is 126 and still Rocking & Rolling. During a New Year’s Day 2011 concert in Chicago, suffering from exhaustion, he passed out and had to be helped off the stage. I shall never forgive the slight aberration that is My Ding-A-Ling.
82. La Roux – Elly Jackson – ‘Bulletproof
Whatever happened to La Roux. Bulletproof was released way back in 2009 and little has been heard of them since. Formed as a modern answer to those classic synth-pop duets (Yazoo, Erasure, Eurythmics), Elly Jackson is NOT La Roux only part of a duet. Got that? Elly is the daughter of Trudie Goodwin who played June Ackland in the Bill for 21 years. Bulletproof topped the charts in the UK and peaked at Number 8 in the US. Actually, don’t care if she makes a return or not – but I like this!
83. A-ha – Morten Harket – ‘The Sun Always Shines On TV’
A-ha’s one and only Number 1 (no not Take On Me). I have a soft spot for this lot (and it’s got softer over the years). Morten is blessed with a five-octave vocal range. Norway has never had much success musically, have they? (always coming last in the Eurovision) – I can only name Grieg and Royksopp. Morten dated Bunty Bailey – the ex-Hot Gossip, Debbie Gibson look-a-like in this video). Something in the production of these singles I can hear the influence of Phil Spector (and can see the influence over Beautiful Day by U2)..
84. Buddy Holly & (some of) The Crickets – ‘Everyday’
The pretty little noise going on all over this record is a Celeste, played here by Norman Petty’s wife – Vi. You can see Vi in this clip (plus some nice shots of the recording studio with Buddy ACTUALLY SPEAKING before the song starts at 0:25). Everything Holly ever produced was short, concise and to the point. Had he not boarded that plane on the day the music died, who knows what he might have gone on to achieve. And this wasn’t even an A-Side.
85. Imelda May – Imelda May, Darrel Higham, Al Garem Steve Rushton – ‘Mayhem’
Imelda was, rather, unfortunately, Christened Imelda Mary Clabby (I know, CLABBY) in Ireland. She is married to her Guitarist Darrel Higham & they are expecting their first child in August… Imelda has not received the recognition that she deserves (eg if Amy Winehouse had recorded this – and she could – it would have been a much bigger hit) and I fear an annual stint on Jools Holland’s Hootenanny calls. Yes, it’s retro, but I can’t think of ANY one else doing this kind of stuff in 2012. Went to see her last year and she was great. Wanted to do my hair in a quiff but don’t have any.
86. Grace Jones – ‘I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango)’
The second track released as a single from Nightclubbing, Libertango was written and recorded by Argentinian Film Composer Ástor Piazzolla. Grace added some words. Yet another iconic video (Directed by Jean-Paul Gaude), from an iconic LP and performer.
87a). David Bowie – ‘Let’s Dance
Okay, Let’s Dance is not the greatest Bowie LP but it certainly isn’t the worst. Video shot in Australia and shows Bowie playing with his band in a hot, sweaty Aussie bar and wandering the streets of Sydney. His fastest selling UK single and, I believe, his sole US Number 1 – LD (and I think this surprised him), catapulted him to a new level. Of course, his quiff got bigger in the ’80s and became one of the many iconic Bowie Hairstyles of our Times. One of the biggest regrets of my life is that I didn’t get to see him apart from on the Serious Moonlight Tour (Milton Keynes). He has a dilated pupil caused by George Underwood punched him in the left eye during a fight over a girl in 1962. Plus it is BOWIE NIGHT on BBC 4 TONIGHT and I shall be watching (and so will some of you)
87b. David Bowie/Pet Shop Boys – ‘Hallo Spaceboy’
One of the many highlights from Bowie Night was this performance from TOTP’s in Feb 1996. DB sounds amazing and has the best outfit (including those shoes) ever. Thank you to all involved.
87c. David Bowie – ‘China Girl’
Oh oh oh oh oh..
88. Shakin’ Stevens – ‘Marie Marie
Born Michael Barrett in the outskirts of Cardiff in 1948. After a stint in the Young Communist League (No REALLY), supporting the Rolling Stones and bagging one of three main leads in Elvis! – Shaky became one of the best selling stars of the ’80s, the first artist to mark their 50th appearance on TOTP’s and clocking up 33 Top 50 Hits. In 2010 he was hospitalised following a heart attack caused by some rather strenuous gardening/weeding. Poor old Shakey.
89. Fine Young Cannibals – David Steele and Andy Cox – ‘Blue’
Gift has been recording his second solo LP since 2007 and was voted in a poll by People magazine as One 50 of the Most Beautiful People in the World (1990). Steele & Cox were the most successful evictees from The Beat (I would have wagered that it would have been Wakeling or RR) and also formed Two Men, A Drum Machine and A Trumpet (Hit – Tired Of Getting’ Pushed Around). Blue did not do as well chart wise as it should have. It was, after all, a stinging indictment of the Tory government (rather than the colour/mood/90’s boyband)
“Life would be better if I never ever had to live with you, Blue – it’s a colour so cruel”
90. Little Richard – ‘Tutti Frutti’
Is there anything more joyful than seeing Little Richard perform? (The audience in this clip certainly seem to think not). 80-year-old Richard Wayne Penniman recently celebrated his 67th year in showbiz. Describing himself as omnisexual – he is the template for everything from Elvis to Prince through to any Modern Day Rap Star you could mention. A wop bop a lu bop, a wop bam boom!
91. Culture Club – Jon Moss – ‘Victims’
Written about (surely) the fractious relationship between George and Jon. Jonathan Aubrey (!!) Moss was the erstwhile drummer with the Damned and Adam & the Ants. He then met George, joined Culture Club and the rest is history. I remember this video from Midsummer Nights Tube – June 24th 1983 (5 long brilliant hours), this was the centrepiece (the first time the video had been shown I think) and I recall being quietly impressed by the songs beauty. The video also shows George being pushed around on what could easily be a Tesco trolley.
92. Elvis Presley – ‘Burning Love’
As I am almost at the end of Quiffs In Pop, it’s time for the third and final Elvis Entry. Probably my favourite Elvis song, reaching Number 2 in the States and his last ever Top Ten Hit in the US. Originally recorded by Arthur Alexander, the performance here is from Aloha From Hawaii (Via Satellite) just 4 years before he died – the biggest selling Quadrophonic LP of all time. Granted the Quiff is not as magnificent as before but he still seemed hale & hearty at this point. Love the Sweet Inspirations too.
93. The Polecats – Tim Worman, Martin “Boz” Boorer & Phil Bloomberg – ‘John, I’m Only Dancing’
The first UK group to sign to Nervous Records way back in 1979. This cover of the David Bowie song reached Number 35 in 1981. Also releasing a cover of Jeepster, Boz Borrer went on to work for/with Morrissey as co-writer, guitarist and musical director. The Polecats are still touring and releasing material.
94. Cliff Richard & The Shadows – Cliff & Bruce Welch – ‘On The Beach’
Cliff has made some truly awful records but several good ones and a couple of great ones. This is a good one. From the movie, Wonderful Life this clip features both Una Stubbs and Susan Hampshire cavorting on the beach with Cliff and the Shadows. Anyone know which beach this is? Chuck us that guitar Cliff!
95. Tenpole Tudor – Edward Tudor-Pole, Bob Kingston, Dick Crippen (Splendid name) & Gary Long – ‘Wunderbar’.
They simply do not make records like this anymore do they? Beery, Adam Ant-y chanting with a bit of medieval jousting thrown in for good measure. Released on the marvellous Stiff Record label (BUY109), Eddie was initially chased by McLaren to front the Pistols. Instead, he appeared in The Great Rock & Roll Swindle and released their first LP proper in 1981. He’s now more known as an actor (Harry Potter, Games of Thrones) and presenter of the Crystal Maze (although he was not as good as Richard O’Brien). Research has shown that Dick (ex-King Kurt) keeps in touch with Bob & Gary (who now lives in Portugal) via Facebook!!
96. k.d. lang – ‘Constant Craving’
Taken from the fantastic LP, Ingenue which means (*thumbs through OED*) “a young woman who has little experience and is very trusting, especially as played in films and plays” – and what a great, great GREAT record it is. Released in 1992, this went on to sell in bucket-loads and deservedly won a clutch of Grammies (although she lost out to Prince in the 93 Brit Awards). Maybe it was the hook up with Producer/Writer Ben Mink (they have always produced her best material) that made this so beguiling or maybe it is the fact that she is from a long line of excellent singer-songwriters from Canada, I dunno.. The refrain was blatantly stolen by the Stones (for Anybody Seen My Baby), lang remains a shining beacon in a sea of mawkish rubbish. Incredibly slinky rich soulful singer, who is even better live than on record. Fierce Animal Rights activist, ‘shaved’ by Cindy Crawford, duetted with Roy Orbison, Tony Bennett and she is of English, Irish, Scottish, German, Russian Jewish, Icelandic, and Sioux ancestry. The last female quiff in pop in this list and undoubtedly the best and I’ll wager she is a brilliant laugh too. Absolute Torch & Twang.
97. Chris Isaak – ‘Wicked Game’
Something very dark is going on here. What, at first, seems to be a straightforward love song, could, in fact, be a song about/for stalkers. And who wouldn’t like to be stalked by Isaak. Taken from Heart Shaped World, this became a huge hit following its use in Wild At Heart (David Lynch). The video is directed by Herb Ritts (astonishing fashion photographer RIP) and features Helena Christensen. Of good working-class American stock (Mum made potato chips and Dad drove a truck). He has acted (Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me), The Silence of the Lambs, Married To The Mob), had his own TV Show, supported Ms Nicks and generally looked (and sounded) impossibly cool and handsome since his first record way back in 1984. He is 56 but has (*coughs*) never married. Nobody. Loves No-one.
98. John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John – John Travolta & The Burger Palace boys – ‘Summer Nights’
I really don’t care for Grease. It ruined the Summer of 1978. Maybe I was a bit too old, or the wrong sex, but I found the idea of John Travolta & ONJ acting as High School Graduates (aged 18) improbable/implausible. Now, I can stomach it (although would never see the stage version). And Stockard Channing is great. Grease premiered in 1971 at the Kingston Mines Theater, Chicago and became a worldwide phenomenon. Henry Winkler was up for the role of Danny and Marie Osmond was up for the role of Sandy. It is DOES say as much about my 16-year-old teenage boyhood as Hong Kong Garden and You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real). I have often wanted to recreate that dance on the bleachers. Says a lot about the difference between Girls and Boys also.
99. Stray Cats – Brian Setzer, Lee Rocker and Slim Jim Phantom – ‘Stray Cat Strut’
Stray Cats were formed in 1980 in Massapequa, New York. They didn’t have to wait long at all for their first hit either. Produced by Rock n Roll fan, Dave Edmunds, the self-titled LP went on spawn three great singles. The Cats have reunited from time to time – Setzer has carved a successful career as a session guitarist and fronting the Brian Setzer Orchestra. Lee Rocker (Leon Drucker) has performed on his double bass with Carl Perkins, John Fogerty, Keith Richards (amongst others) and Slim Jim Phantom (James McDonnell) has played with Jerry Lee Lewis – and famously married a post-Rod Britt Eckland. Irresistible.
100. Johnny Cash – ‘I Walk The Line’
Heartbreaking and knee-trembling. Although on the face of it, this song is quite happy/jolly, it is actually hopelessly romantically.. simple chug-a-chug rhythm (think a freight train) and throws in some wild key changes – I Walk The Line is one of the best songs from the Cash Cannon. Even more heartbreaking is that he died whilst still furiously creating/recreating some great material and less than 6 months after his beloved June. If you know nothing about him, then just watch Walk The Line (it’s a great Oscar-winning stab). The Gilded Palace of Sin – Brighton’s Finest Alt-Country Night built a whole night around Johnny Cash (how I miss those gigs). Would love to hear this really slowed down (by the Czars or someone).
101. Morrissey – ‘The Last Of The Famous International Playboys.’
And FINALLY. In the wilderness of early ’89, (1988 was particularly bad music wise) there was not much to excite us music fans – the year got better and Stephen Patrick Morrissey released this. On the face of it the signs were not great. Rubbish sleeve, not on any LP but he was back with 3/4 of the Smiths + occasional Smith’s guitarist Craig Gannon (quiffy).. Allegedly glorifying violence and crime and with a sly nod to one Nancy Sinatra, ‘Playboys’ was his third single and reached Number 6 on the charts. By the end of the intro/first verse, when it literally smashes into life, I was hooked (once again). Thank God for Morrissey and for his Marvellous Quiff. And Thank you, you.
Bonus Quiff. Tommy Steele – ‘What A Mouth’
Cor Blimey, guvnor.
Bonus Quiffs. The Musical – The Cast of West Side Story – ‘America’
Scene-stealing performance from Rita Moreno & George Chakiris. The fun really starts @3.00 mins. Was there EVER a better Musical? And I would be in the Sharks rather than the Jets.
Bonus Quiffs. Alicia Bridges – ‘I Love The Nightlife’
I’m still buzzing from that excellent Disco night on BBC4 here is Alicia Bridges and I’m not really sure what is going on with her hair. But it is almost a quiff. Great little record used to great effect in Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
Bonus Quiff. Elvis Revisited. Elvis Presley – ‘Viva Las Vegas’
From the 1964 film Love In Las Vegas, Viva Las Vegas only reached Number 17 in this country. Elvis had an affair with Ann- Margaret (see baked beans: Tommy for more details) during the filming. The entire cast (Elvis included) certainly look like they are on something in this clip. Elvis only released two more EP’s in his career, the format was practically dead by this point.
Bonus Quiffs. Darts – ‘Boy From New York City’
One of the biggest surprises in Quiffs in Pop was noticing the lack of quiffage on Darts. In my head I’m sure that there was at least one or two – Dan Hegarty came the closest. By the time of this performance (Xmas TOTP’s ’78), even he had left to look after his terminally ill dad. Used to like Darts and this cover of the old Ad-Libs hit is fab (written by Lieber & Stoller so they could really get it wrong). Besides Rita Ray had a set of the best Pins In Pop.
Bonus Quiffs. Nick Kamen – ‘Each Time You Break My Heart’
Born Ivor Neville Kamen, two months after me, Nick came to prominence following a cover shot on the Face and an advert where he stripped to his boxer shorts in a Beautiful Laundrette. ‘Seduced’ by Madonna into releasing an LP (this was written and produced by Madge), Perhaps he should have stuck to modelling after all. Nice quiff though.
Bonus Quiffs. The Smiths – Mike Joyce & Andy Rourke – ‘There Is A Light That Never Goes Out’
Yes, I know this is actually the video for Stop Me etc but who what you gonna do, sue me? The engine behind Morrissey & Marr both went on to play on the Sinead O’Connor LP, both took legal action against Morrissey & Marr and both are Dj’s. Joyce has been slightly more successful than Rourke but it must be odd being an ex-Smith no? Anyway, this is in my Top 3 Smiths tracks from their greatest LP.