Friday, 28 September 2018

1972: Part Two
At the end of September the Melody Maker Poll Awards concert took place at the Oval Cricket ground featuring a line-up that now looks like one of those fantasy gigs that people dream up. See the poster here. And if the small print is too small, tickets were £1 advance purchase, from all branches of Harlequin Record Shops. 
While Emerson Lake and Palmer were top of the bill they actually weren't on last. That honour went to Wishbone Ash, who'd won the MM Album of the Year Award for 'Argus'.
Revisiting old records can for all their nostalgia still 
sound a bit dated. Not so this LP.
Which Star track to pick was my only problem, it's hard to select one as most of the songs on the record are equally great, and fans will no doubt have their personal favourite.
"Just a seriously outstanding rock record....this band mastered the twin-lead guitar harmonization sound that other bands emulated later"... to quote the YouTube posting.
My favourite LP of 1972 is 
Wishbone Ash and 'Argus'. This is Side One, track two 'Sometime World'

Naturally I still have the original album AND I bought it on a Remastered and Expanded CD. Big fan.
Album of the Year, you betcha !

Friday, 21 September 2018

Okay, what was the best selling UK album in 1972 ? 
'Never A Dull Moment' by Rod Stewart, maybe 'Exile on Main St.' The Rolling Stones, perhaps 'Talking Book' by Stevie Wonder, or 'Ziggy Stardust' David Bowie, how about 'School's Out' Alice Cooper or possibly 'Harvest' by Neil Young ?
Well, it was '20 Dynamic Hits', a compilation released by K-Tel Records. See left if you don't believe it ! And 2nd place was another budget K-Tel release called '20 All Time Hits of the 50's' !!!
On that 50's album was the Guy Mitchell hit 'Singing The Blues'.
I must say his version is a bit stiff, while the British cover by Tommy Steele is more Elvis like, with him slurring the lyrics in contrast to the way American Guy Mitchell doesn't !?
So I'm going with our Tommy today 'Singing The Blues'.
Both this version and Guy Mitchell's topped the UK singles chart at the beginning of 1957.

I recently read a comment that YouTube is a cultural junkyard that reduces the attention span of today's yoof to that of a fruitfly! Yet in the 50s and 60s most singles rarely lasted more than 3 minutes.
So here's a 'B' side for you, especially as I found this brilliant footage of Tommy Steele & The Steelmen in action: All faux American/London accent and more tomfoolery -

What was my favourite LP of 1972 ? - Part Two coming next week.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Let's here it for the transistor radio. (Once our main source of hearing music)
On Sunday 15th September 1968 John Peel on his 'Top Gear' show on Radio 1 played a session by Love Sculpture that included their version of 'Sabre Dance'. He was so blown away by the performance he re-jigged the last half an hour so he could play it again before the programme ended.
Written in 1942 by Aram Khachaturian for his ballet Gayane, he probably never imagined it for electric guitar.
This great video is a slightly abridged version of the single released in the November of '68. Takes me back...

For the original 'Top Gear' live take: click here >
There's a whole story and some interesting comments posted. 

Friday, 7 September 2018

A curious case of coincidence:
Last weekend I'm driving down to the van at Hurley. It's early and I'm skipping stations on the car radio. Eventually tuning into Smooth Radio they play this track just as I'm arriving. I know it, but can't put a name to it. 
Four days later I start the car to drive back and the radio is only playing the exact same song. What are the chances ?  
The connection is all the more coincidental because up the road from Hurley, in Henley, is where Dusty Springfield died and there's a grave marker in St. Mary's Churchyard.

I always thought this track was an old song from Dusty Springfield being sampled by the synthpoppers Pet Shop Boys. It isn't, it just sounds like a 60s tune. A huge worldwide hit in 1987 'What Have I Done To Deserve This?' performed here to a lack of audience reaction and with the lip sync running off track by the end (or is that me?) ! More strange goings-on.

That 60s sound I imagined, is captured by this from 1964. 'I Only Want To Be With You' >
Did You Know... ? In the US, Dusty Springfield was the second artist of the British Invasion, after The Beatles, to have a hit.