In The 1970s Groups Smokie

Smokie were named  Kindness, but changed it in 1974, and the group came out of Bradford. In fact, the group were started at school back in 1964 and had several different names. In 1973 they were introduced to pop moguls Chinn and Chapman, who at first were not interested in the band at all , but after a few weeks they gave Smokey (as they were called then) a chance. In February 1974 their first album was released called Pass It Around. A single was released but failed to chart as the BBC would not play it as it could have been a reference to drugs. So the band went on the road with Pilot who of course had a huge hit with January.

Lead singer of Smokie was Chris Norman, who was born in 1950. His distinctive voice was caused by an accident and gave him a particular vocal distinction.  The main group members during the 1970s included Terry Uttley and Steve Pinnell.


The next album was called Changing All The Time which produced two singles both produced by Chinn and Chapman. The first single was a 1975 hit called If You Think You Know How To Love Me.
Lyrics to If You Think You Know How To Love Me


The second single was called Don't Play Your Rock N Roll To Me, and both made the Top Ten in 1975, and both had the new spelling of the group. Gone was Smokey and hello to Smokie. The reason for the change was to avoid any problems with Smokey Robinson.

1976 saw the release of the album Midnight Cafe album, which was recorded in California. The album continued to produce singles for the charts with Somethings Been Making Me Blue a number 17 hit. Followed by I'll Meet You At Midnight which showed the groups more ballad style of music.



  

The last single from the album was to be there first and only No. 1 and it would break into the U.S. top forty. It would also be a hit again in the 1990s by the group but a much ruder version. It was called Living Next Door To Alice.

The song was originally a hit in 1972 for an Australian group.

   

Now the group were firmly established as a chart group. 1977 kept the singles coming fast with hits like Lay Back In The Arms Of Someone, It's Your Life and a cover of the Searchers big hit called Needles And Pins.



There last hit of 1977 was a very pleasant sing a long song called For A Few Dollars More.

1978 saw the group lose the hold on the charts. Only two singles made it , one being the Mexican Girl which was very forgettable. But the next single which would be there last big chart hit in the 1970s made up for it. The song was called Oh Carol which came from the Montreaux Album.
Lyrics to Oh Carol

The next year three singles were released but failed to make much impact on the charts, although the group continued to tour with a cult status. They had eight albums released in the 70s and were huge in UK and most of mainland Europe. The group still exists in some form today.

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