Friday, March 27, 2015

70s Artist Watch: Alice Cooper

Long before we entered the sensational 1970s, Vincent Furnier joined a group called Earwigs, a Beatles type group, and after a few name changes to the group, Vincent was inspired to call the group a name ”Alice Cooper”, who was Alice a person or a band?. The demon style dress was inspired by witches, Barbarella the film with Jane Fonda, also a bit of Emma Peel from the cult British TV programme "The Avengers" which was a huge hit in the US, and was part of that decades "British Invasion”, following on the tail end of the 1960s Beatles, Rolling stones and others.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

In The 1970s Free

Free formed in 1968 in the UK when they were all in their teenage years. Paul Rodgers was also in Bad Company in the 1970s and was the vocalist on Free's iconic singe All Right Now. Paul Kossoff another band member was the son of actor David Kossoff. Tragically  Paul died in 1976 following a drug overdose in the states.

Andy Fraser died in March 2015 from a heart attack.
 In October 2006 a BMI London Million-Air Award was given to Rodgers and Fraser to mark over 3 million radio and television plays of "All Right Now".] Simon Kirke later recalled: “All Right Now was created after a bad gig in Durham. We finished our show and walked off the stage to the sound of our own footsteps. The applause had died before I had even left the drum riser. It was obvious that we needed a rocker to close our shows. All of a sudden the inspiration struck Fraser and he started bopping around singing All Right Now. He sat down and wrote it right there in the dressing room. It couldn’t have taken more than ten minutes.

Band member Andy Fraser produced and co-wrote All Right Now for the band. Drummer Simon Kirke also went on to join Bad Company in the 1970s. It was in 1970 that the group had their biggest hit with All Right Now. This song really took off after Free's performance at the Isle of Wight Festival on August 31,1970 at the East Aftom Farm, Aftom Down, where over 600,000 people attended the festival. Los Angeles disc jockey Joe Benson told Paul Rodgers during an on air interview that "All Right Now" is playing over the airwaves somewhere around the world once every 45 seconds.

The second hit came in 1971 with My Brother Jake, which was the same year the group split up. 1972 Free still had a hit in the charts with A Little Bit Of Love from the album Free At Last recorded in 1970.

In 1973 All Right Now charted in the Top Twenty again along with a new single called Wishing Well from the album Heartbreaker.


Friday, March 20, 2015

70s Music Artist Watch: Judy Collins

This lady is pure music, she has been involved in so many types of music in her career, that its hard to put a label on her, so I wont. Suffice to say she seems at home in pop,classical music,folk and seems to have been influenced by everyone who is everyone during the 1960s, including Pete Seeger, Dylan,Joni Mitchell and on and on it goes.

After some albums in the 1960s, she moved effortlessly into the hits of 70s and appeared on the Muppet show too, singing "I know An Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly", along too with appearances on the children's TV programme "Sesame Street".

The Muppet Show appearance.

A former big smoker and a sufferer of Bulimea, and two marriages, Judy was and is a lady that really gets into life, especially during the 60s when she was an activist in many organisations.

Her album in 1971 was "Living" which had a song by Stacy Keach an actor who appeared in many films including "Jesus of Nazareth". Judy was having an affair with him at the time of making the album.

Another album in 1972 that included "Both Sides Now" and "Amazing Grace" which also appeared as her first hit single in the 1970 , and also from the album 1970 " Whales and Nightingales" with contributions from writers like Joan Baez and Pete Seeger and the one and only Bob Dylan.

Other hits in 1971 "Open the Door" and "Cook with Honey" in 1973, written by Valerie Carter and came from here album "True Stories and Other Dreams", another hit of the 70s.

But the biggest hit around the world in 1975 and in some regions 1977 was the "Send in the Clowns" from the album "Judith"The song from the 1973 musical "A Little Night Music" and was written by the great Stephen Sondheim and was also recorded by the man himself Frank Sinatra. Her version of the song was Song of the Year at the Grammy awards.

Incidentally the record of the year at that Grammy awards was "Love Will Keep Us Together" by Captain and Tenille. See video.

"Send in the Clowns", according to Sondheim, was really just about fools, and not directly related to Clowns, however when it appeared on the BBC Top of The Pops, the producers must have misread the title, as it was introduced with smoke, pretending to be "Clouds", so some people believed it was called "Send in the Clouds".

In fact one drunken night in the late 70s I remember phoning up a radio station with my friend Debbie, to ask the DJ what the title was. We did not get to air, but he did confirm on air it was "Clowns".


Part of the lyrics
Isn't it rich?
Are we a pair?
Me here at last on the ground,
You in mid-air.
Send in the clowns.
Isn't it bliss?
Don't you approve?
One who keeps tearing around,
One who can't move.
Where are the clowns?
Send in the clowns.
Just when I'd stopped opening doors,
Finally knowing the one that I wanted was yours,
Making my entrance again with my usual flair,
Sure of my lines,
No one is there.

1977 Judy released her album "So Early in the Spring" which included many of songs penned by herself, with help again from some famous friends like Tom Paxton and Leonard Cohen.

Judy Collins talks to Larry King on CNN

Top Twenty featuring Judy Collins from 1970

                Judy Collins 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Seventies Music Charts: Top Ten Hits from Jan 1975

Here are the pop charts of the week ending 4th January 1975
1 Lonely This Christmas by Mud

Article about Mud

The 1970s culture of glam rock, had one of its biggest groups in the band MUD, who had a huge hit with this song, it has entered the British charts numerous times and is played as a Christmas classic.

Written and produced by Chapman and Chinn, it certainly has the Elvis style of singing from the lead singer Les Gray (died in in 2004 at the age of 57) and drummer Dave Mount killed himself in 2006.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Seventies Music: Football-Related Songs


Back Home by the England football team
On the 16th May 1970 the "football song" was born with this sing along record from the England football team. I remember as a boy scout in Wales singing this with all my heart. Needless to say my singing did not help, as England in no way repeated the 1966 win.
But football music, amazingly had a hold on the British charts through the music of 1970s.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015

70s Music Artist watch: Queen

Back in 1971 a group was formed, the group was called "Queen", who would have thought they would have  now survived the 70s, 80s, and 90s, and were the kings of global stadium rock band? Their 70s music  hits laid the paving stones for the group, and Brian May C.B.E.( who is now married to ex British soap star Anita Dobson), and Roger Taylor already had a group called "Smile".

With Farrokh Bulsara a songwriter, they joined a group called "Queen", along with a few others, who came and went, they settled with John Deacon the guitarist, and the 70s music magic was born. Who was Farrokh?, well he became Freddie Mercury the writer and lead singer of the group.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

1970s Music Part One

Test your memory in this 70s music compilation, and just see how many you can remember. 
Take a look at the Top Twenty January 1979

Monday, January 26, 2015

In Memory Demis Roussos

Demis Roussos died in January 2015 in Athens, Greece. Demis was born in 1946 in Egypt and has sold over 60 million records as solo and in groups. In the lates 1960s he joined the group Aphrodite's Child which was formed by Vangelis.

They had a few small singles
1970"It's Five O'Clock"

1970"Spring, Summer, Winter and Fall"

1971"Such a Funny Night"


Roussos started a solo career in the early 1970s and had several Top Twenty UK singles.

In 1975 he had a hit called Happy To Be An Island In The Sun, followed in 1976 by the groundbreaking Forever And Forever, which actually was an EP with two other songs.

Forever and Ever got to No. 1 and the next single even reached No. 2 with When Forever Has Gone, this made Demis a household name, especially with his great Greek clothing being seen on TV.

Demis interviewed in 1973

Thursday, January 22, 2015

1970s Music: James Bond themes

The first James Bond movie theme in the 1970s started with the original Sean Connery, who in 1971 hit the cinema with "Diamonds Are Forever" sang so dramatically by Shirley Bassey, the welsh songstress who would later become Dame Shirley Bassey. This was Shirley’s 2nd hit f  from a James Bond theme, the first being in 1964 with "Goldfinger". The man behind the song was John Barry who died in 2011 at the age 0f 77, he who was the composer of the actual Bond theme, we all sang that in the school playground, and along with Don Black this must be one of the most powerful Bond themes.

Shirley was to have over 20 single hits in the 1970s, with another james bond movie theme too, "Moonraker".
See the Diamonds are Forever video here

Part of the lyrics

Diamonds are forever,
They are all I need to please me,
They can stimulate and tease me,
They won't leave in the night,
I've no fear that they might desert me.
Diamonds are forever,
Hold one up and then caress it,
Touch it, stroke it and undress it,
I can see every part,
Nothing hides in the heart to hurt me.
I don't need love,

For what good will love do me?
Diamonds never lie to me,
For when love's gone,
They'll lustre on.

70s awards

1972 – Best Female Singer – TV Times
1973 – Best Female Singer – TV Times
1974 – Best Female Entertainer – American Guild of Variety Artists
1976 – Best Female Singer – Music Week
1976 – 22-day British tour to mark twenty years as a recording artist
1976 – EMI Award for twenty years as a recording artist – UK
1977 – Best British Female Solo Artist in the previous 25 years – BRIT Award
1977 – Golden Rose of Montreaux nomination for The Shirley Bassey Show

New Bond in 1973, a Mr Roger Moore, formally "The Saint" from the 1960s TV series. The new film was "Live and Let Die", the soundtrack this time was performed by Paul McCartney and Wings. The song was even Oscar nominated, and it was a mini reunion in the fact that Beatles producer George Martin worked on the single with Paul. This version was not the original to be used, but thanks to Paul’s insistence that only he would do it, it became a Bond anthem, and later covered by 80s group Guns and Roses.

Part of the lyrics
When you were young and your heart was an open book,
You used to say live and let live.
(You know you did, you know you did, you know you did)
But if this ever-changing world in which we live in
Makes you give in and cry,
Say live and let die!
Live and let die,
Live and let die,
Live and let die.

In 1974 John Barry took back the control of the theme, and "The Man With the Golden Gun", this time 60s female singer Lulu, her with the big voice of "Shout" and long term friends to the Beatles. Not much to say about this record, but its still a great pop record.
Alice Cooper had a song of the same name that was to be used, but it was dropped in favour of the Lulu version. 

It was three years later that in 1977, the next Bond film hit the cinemas, this time "The Spy Who Loved Me", was the title, but John Barry brought in Carol Bayer Sager , who had her only 70s hit with "Moving Out Today", she supplied the lyrics to the theme, called "Nobody Does It Better", sang by Carley Simon, her of "You’re So vain " fame. Complicated? Well add this fact too, Marvin Hamlisch had the music score, he of other 1970s hits like "The Sting" and "The Way We Were".

Some of the lyrics
Makes me feel sad for the rest.
Nobody does it half as good as you.
Baby, you're the best.
I wasn't lookin' but somehow you found me.
I tried to hide from your love light,
But like heaven above me the spy who loved me
Is keepin' all my secrets safe tonight.
And nobody does it better
Though sometimes I wish someone could.
Nobody does it quite the way you do.
Did you have to be so good?
The way that you hold me whenever you hold me.
There's some kind of magic inside you
That keeps me from runnin' but just keep it comin'
How'd you learn to do the things you do?

Still with Roger Moore in 1979, and the last film of the 1970s was "Moonraker", again it was sang by Shirley Bassey, after Johnny Mathis turned it down. He went on to have many hits in the 1970s including "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late"."Moonraker" It was not a big hit, and is not that well remembered either.
Bond is still going and the james bond movie hits still flow.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

70s Music Artist Watch: T.Rex

T.Rex, were originally named after the prehistoric monster Tyrannosauruses Rex in the 1960s, and fronted by Marc Bolan,, who had there first album as T.Rex in 1970 with "T.Rex", and he really did change 70s music with his GLAM style..
The first single hit of the seventies got as high as number two in 1970 called "Ride A White Swan" and came from Marc's own writing ability, with a little help from his wife.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

70s Music Chart January 3rd 1970

Here are some brief news events that take you back to January 1970.   It was a time when the official population of the United States of America reached a grand total of  two hundred and three million and three hundred thousand odd. And sticking to the American point in sports Superbowl IV: Kansas City Chiefs beat Minnesota Vikings, 23-7.

The war in Biafra which was also known as the Nigerian Civil war had been going since 1967. Nigeria was formed by the British decades before and when they left in 1960 it became a civil war over religious and territorial  claims. With more British involvement the war came to an end after a December 1969 battle. The British at the time seemed to support one side only, and the small state of Biafra was engulfed back into Nigeria. The cost in human life for this war may be as high as three million people. There in the background of the dispute of course was oil.   It was the month that the US set off a nuclear bomb in the Nevada desert, and the US shows the film version of MASH at the cinemas starring Donald Sutherland. The Robert Altman film was set in Korea, but rang a big bell with Americans still suffering the problems in Vietnam. The film  also starred Robert Duvall and Eliot Gould.

 January 1970 Russia responds to the US NEVADA bomb with their own at Semipalitinsk.   Gadaffi becomes Libya’s Prime Minster and  in one form or another continued to rule Libya into 2011. His country would always be linked with terrorism and a dictatorship, he was never afraid to rub the British or the US the wrong way, and he usually won too.   London Heathrow welcomes the first commercial landing of the new Jumbo jet the 747. It was the month that Rhodesia claimed independence from the UK by Ian Smith making it a Rhodesian republic after eighty years of British involvement. Smith said  "Today is not such a tremendous day for us Rhodesians. Our Independence Day is the great day. Rhodesia did not want to seize independence from Britain. It was forced upon us." Rhodesia  stayed a republic throughout the 1970s, right up to 1979, when it became the African state of Zimbabwe. Ian Smith died in 2007. “Ian Smith lived an exemplary family life and in private was a down-to-earth, modest man. Ian Smith was not corrupt nor was he a megalomaniac. However whilst Ian Smith acted in what he thought were the best interests of then Rhodesia he made some disastrous political decisions as Prime Minister which directly contributed to the trauma that Zimbabwe is suffering from today... The policies of his Rhodesia Front party radicalized black nationalists and directly spawned the violent and fascist rule of Zanu PF.” David Coltartmember of the Zimbabwe Parliament (House of Assembly and Senate) since 2000.   We had a few well known deaths too in January 1970. The pioneer of quantum  mechanics Max Born, David McKay the president of the Mormon church.   Born in January 1970 was the actress Mini Driver famous for such films as Goodwill Hunting, another actress to share that month of birth was Heather Graham who appeared in the film Austin Powers:The Spy Who Shagged Me.

Let's take a look at the pop charts from January 3rd 1970, the music charts in the 1970s has the legacy of the 1960s included, so this makes it a very special chart indeed.
Let's look at the stars and the songs that we sang and danced to when the music charts meant something very important. These charts represent the British charts as broadcast by the BBC. The charts were compiled by the British Market Research Bureau. Part One Number Twenty To Number Eleven

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Seventies Music Chart Top Ten: January 1976

Here are the pop charts of the week ending 3rd of January 1976.
1 Bohemian Rhapsody See Queen article  

2 I believe in Father Christmas by Greg Lake
Wow what a record, this record sounded like a huge musical to me when I first heard it, all those years a go in the pop chart.
Greg Lake was in so many groups including Uriah Heap,then in 1970 he formed Emerson,Lake and Palmer, and this hit was a surprise to him, as he wrote the record as an anti Christmas song.

Monday, December 22, 2014

In Memory Joe Cocker

Joe Cocker OBE born in 1944 and died in December 2014 from Lung cancer. He had a No. 1 with A Little Help From My Friends in 1968 and appeared at Woodstock in 1969.

He toured the US again in 1970s visiting 48 cities and releasing an album. He also had several US singles hits during that period. He only had one hit in the UK in all of the 1970s which was in 1970 with The Letter a follow up hit to the 1969 hit Delta Lady.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

70s Music Christmas 1979

The 70s music Christmas charts were so important in the 1970s, with not only the prestige of getting a Christmas hit, but a NUMBER One Christmas hit was the icing on the cake, the Christmas Cake.

During this 70s music Christmas Season we look at the music of Christmas Day 1979 and highlight those Christmas records to stir the memory of the 70s music.

Having to use a bit of editorial control here to decide what was a Christmas hit, so if it does not match your criteria, apologies.

This chart comes from the 22nd December 1979.


Paul McCartney and Wonderful Christmastime

This record did not chart in the US, but in many places around the world its a Christmas must play record.
Paul was still in Wings, but this was a solo hit for him, and according to the Guinness book of records Paul has 60 gold discs, and sales 100 million just in the UK.

The very last No.1 of the 70s is the amazing Pink Floyd with Another Brock In The Wall (Part 2)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

70s Music Christmas 1970

The 70s music Christmas charts were so important in the 1970s, with not only the prestige of getting a Christmas hit, but a NUMBER One Christmas hit was the icing on the cake, the Christmas Cake.

During this 70s music Christmas Season we look at the music of Christmas Day 1970 and highlight those Christmas records to stir the memory of the 70s music.

Having to use a bit of editorial control here to decide what was a Christmas hit, so if it does not match your criteria, apologies.

This Chart is from 19th December 1970, so covers Christmas Day, although the next chart appeared on 26th of December, but with little change.

New Entry at No.34
Judy Collins with Amazing Grace
Born 1939 and a huge star in the 1960s,Judy had this worldwide hit in 1970 from her album "Whales and Nightingales".

Interview with Judy talking about "Amazing Grace"
Anne Murray and Snowbird

Written by Gene MaClellan who died in 1995, and sang by Canadian singer Ann Murray, although a hit for many, her version seems to be the best version, and most well known.


This would make Number One and will always be associated with a Grandad at Christmas.

Christmas No1

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

70s Music Artist Watch: Madness

In 1976 the future fun group called Madness were formed , they started life as The Invaders in London under the umbrella of  pop and ska on the 2tone label and had a huge influence on the late 70s on the music of the 70s..
Graham  McPherson joined the group in 1977, who would become know later as "Suggs" the lead singer.

There is no doubt that the eighties was the big time for the group, but the 70s produced a few memorable tracks too.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

In Memory of Ian McLagan of Small Faces

Ian McLagan, keyboard player for the Small Faces and the Faces, has died aged 69, due to complications from a stroke suffered earlier this week.
"It is with great sadness and eternal admiration that we report the passing of [a] rock and roll icon," read a statement on his official website.
McLagan, known as Mac, played on such memorable Small Faces tracks as Lazy Sunday and Itchycoo Park in the 1960s.
The band became the Faces when Rod Stewart and Ron Wood joined in 1969.
keyboards, vocals (1966–1969, 1975–1978; died 2014)
Itychycoo Park was a hit again in the 1970s

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

In Memory of Jimmy Ruffin

Jimmy Ruffin died in November 2014 aged 78  after working on Motown, Chess and Polydor records.His brother David Ruffin was the vocalist with the Temptations.

Jimmy lived in the UK from the early 1970s and had several hit singles. The first was in 1970 with Farewell is a Lonely Sound.

Farewell Is a Lonely Sound

(Farewell farewell my love, farewell farewell my love) Farewell is a lonely sound When told to someone you love You know, you hurt inside as you wonder why You must leave the one that you love Saying goodbye to someone you love Is so hard for any man You say it's just for a while, then you force a smile And you hope she'll understand Then a tear appears in her eyes As she tightly holds your hand Then you let her know that it's time to go You must leave while you can Oh but, farewell is a lonely sound When told to someone you love You know, you hurt inside as you wonder why You must leave the one that you love (Farewell farewell my love, farewell farewell my love)I'm leaving darling, but I'll be, back one day Ooh every silent step you take Each one hurts your heart As you board the train, you feel the pain That starts as you depart, yeah You wipe your eyes so she can't see Cos a man should never cry Now there's just a trace of her crying face As you wave to her goodbye, that's why Farewell is a lonely sound When told to someone you love You know, you hurt inside as you wonder why You must leave the one that you love I don't wanna leave you baby, I don't wanna say goodbye no, no Oooh cos it hurts inside, and you wonder why You must leave the one that you love Baby baby, farewell is a lonely sound When told to someone you love You know you hurt inside as you wonder why (fade)

Also in the same year he had a top ten hit with It's Wonderful (To Be Loved By You) and I'll Say Forever My Love.

It was in 1974 when he scored the No. 4 hit with What Becomes of the Broken Hearted.