Physical – Olivia Newton John – 1982

June 28, 2012

Recently named by Billboard as the sexiest song of all time, Olivia Newton John’s #1 hit Physical spent ten weeks at the top of the US singles chart in 1982.

disclaimer

Yes, I know this falls outside the boundaries of 70s music but I could not help but make a comment on the news this week that Billboard had released their list of The Ten Sexiest Songs of all Time. And this was #1!

What is wrong with people!?!

i asked around

So, I asked around, what did others think the sexiest song of all time should be? Most people had no idea! Of the women who did answer, at least half suggested Rod Stewart’s, Do Ya Think I’m Sexy! What is wrong with people?

surely, there can be only one answer

The sexiest song of all time must surely be Marvin Gaye’s, Let’s Get it On – at least it made Billboard’s list but only at number 5.

fyi

Here is Billboard’s list of The Top 10 Sexiest Songs:

1. Olivia Newton-John – Physical

2. Rod Stewart – Tonight’s The Night

3. Boyz II Men – I’ll Make Love To You

4. Next – Too Close

5. Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get It On

6. Donna Summer – Hot Stuff

7. Captain and Tennille – Do That To Me One More Time

8. Madonna – Like A Virgin

9. Exile – Kiss You All Over

10. Rod Stewart – Do Ya Think I’m Sexy

physical fax

  • Physical was released in September 1981.
  • Physical immediately sold two million copies in the US, was certified Platinum, and spent ten weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It peaked at #7 in the UK.
  • Physical was Olivia’s biggest American hit and was nominated for a Best Female Pop Vocal Performance Grammy. The winner was Lena Horne with Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music. Olivia was nominated the next year also, with Heart Attack, and missed out again.
  • Physical may have missed out on the Grammy but it was the most successful song the entire decade of the 1980s.
  • The well-known Physical guitar solo is performed by Toto guitarist Steve Lukather.
  • Olivia may have recorded the song but it was written with Rod Stewart in mind – Olivia grabbed it before the writers could offer it to him.
  • Physical is ranked at #1 on Billboard’s Sexiest songs of all time and #6 on their list of the greatest 100 songs of all time. It was also named at #39 on AOL’s list of the 100 Worst Songs Ever. AOL stated that,

An entire generation’s leg-warmered, pastel spandex shame is laid bare in just under four minutes.

  • Kylie Minogue recorded a cover of the song for the soundtrack to the 2001 film Moulin Rouge! but it was not used. Bill Murray gave an impromptu performance of the song on the pilot episode of Late Night with David Letterman and Steve Carell and Amy Ryan sang a parody of Physical in an episode of The Office.
  • Physical lyrics.

physical – olivia newton-john – 1982 – video

physical – olivia newton-john – 1982 – LIVE video

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Roadhouse Blues – The Doors – 1970 and 1979

June 21, 2012

Roadhouse Blues, LA Woman, Riders on the Storm, Hello I Love You, Love Her Madly, Light My Fire, Break on Through (To the Other Side), Touch Me, there are a number of great songs by The Doors. I’m not saying this week’s 70s song is the best, but it’s the one I heard this week and so, here it is.

keep your eyes on the road and your hands up on the wheel

Jim Morrison and his wild and unpredictable ways ensured that The Doors became one of the most controversial rock acts of the 1960s and very early 1970s.

Jim was Jim – he moved to his own beat and his own tune. Even his band members were unsure of what he’d do next and we often annoyed when they found out.

Even as a youngster Jim was pretty bright. At school he was so widely read that one teacher claimed he used to have to check up on the books Jim submitted reports on. The teacher had never heard of any of them – but, they existed and Jim devoured all manner of literature, particular that relating to 16th and 17th century demonology – some might suggest not healthy reading for a 17 year old lad.

As a musician, he would create poems while on stage and recite them while the band played blindly on in the background.

let’s roll, baby roll

The Doors were signed to Elektra Records in 1966. Their first album, The Doors, was released the next year and there followed, 19 Gold, 14 Platinum and 5 Multi-Platinum albums in the US.

When Jim died in 1971 The Doors continued for a while but split in 1973. Their popularity has continued, however. They have sold 100 million albums worldwide.

Two band members, Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger continue to tour performing Doors songs. The Doors were the first American band to earn eight consecutive gold albums and, in 1993, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

the future’s uncertain, and the end is always near

Jim died on July 3rd, 1971. He was found in a Paris apartment bathtub by his girlfriend Pam Courson. No autopsy was performed and so the cause of death has long been disputed. Those close to Jim, however, believe it to have been related to Jim’s heavy drug use.

Jim was 27 when he died, the same age as several other famous rock stars who make up the 27 Club. Jim’s girlfriend, Pam, also died at the age of 27.

Jim was buried in Poets Corner at Père Lachaise Cemetery. The inscription on his headstone reads, “ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ”, which means, “True to his own spirit.”

morrison trivia

Many people don’t know about this – Jim Morrison learned the art of stage-persona from Van Morrison.

In June 1966, The Doors opened for Van Morrison’s band Them during their residency at the famous Whisky a Go Go. In his book Riders On the Storm, John Densmore writes of Jim’s infatuation with Van and the way he controlled the audience with very little movement or verbal contact. John Densmore writes:

Jim Morrison learned quickly from his near-namesake’s stagecraft, his apparent recklessness, his air of subdued menace, the way he would improvise poetry to a rock beat, even his habit of crouching down by the bass drum during instrumental breaks.

roadhouse blues fax

  • Roadhouse Blues was written by the members of The Doors.
  • Roadhouse Blues appeared on the album Morrison Hotel and was released as the B-side of the single You Make Me Real in 1970.
  • You Make Me Real peaked at a lowly #50 on the US singles charts.
  • Roadhouse Blues was recorded in two days to record (November 4–5, 1969).
  • A live version of Roadhouse Blues was released in 1979 from the album, An American Prayer.
  • John Sebastian from the Lovin’ Spoonful played harmonica. He is identified on the album as “G. Puglese” because he was afraid to be identified with The Doors in light of Morrison’s arrest at a concert in Miami when he was accused of exposing himself to the crowd.
  • It is claimed that the line “Woke up this morning and I got myself a beer” was inspired by Alice Cooper.
  •  Cover versions have been released by Status Quo, Blue Öyster Cult, Creed, The Jeff Healey Band, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Elkie Brooks, Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver, Eric Burdon, Bon Jovi, and Eddie Vedder (with the remaining members of The Doors).
  • Roadhouse Blues lyrics.

roadhouse blues – the doors – 1970 – video


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(You’re) Having my Baby – Paul Anka and Odia Coates – 1974

June 14, 2012

Paul Anka’s 1974 #1 hit was his first in 15 years, a duet with Odia Coates, (You’re) Having my Baby, sat at #1 on the US charts for four weeks.  It also has the distinction of being voted one of the worst songs of all time.

where was i?

I know what you’re asking – where on earth was I and what radio station could I have been listening to to have been inflicted with this?

I was in the supermarket. I was on their musak tape! I recognised the song immediately and wondered, “did Paul Anka ever regret releasing this?” Does he still sing it in concert?

I did some research – the answer to the last question is “no.” Although Paul, now aged 70, still gives the odd concert, this song doesn’t make the set-list. Maybe it’s because it’s a duet and he has no singing partner or, maybe it’s because he’s seen the error of his ways.

is it really the worst song ever?

In 2006 CNN conducted a poll to find the worst song of all time. (You’re) Having my Baby was #1 receiving almost twice the votes of the next song on the list. Then when AOL Radio compiled their list of worst songs, they ranked (You’re) Having my Baby at #48. The comment next to the song listing was, “This song would be an instant way to ensure Anka’s woman instantly regretted deciding to embark on this wonderful adventure with him.”

paul anka

Paul was a teen idol – the Justin Bieber of the late 50s and 60s. Born in Canada, he had a huge hit with Diana.

He later became a songwriter. He wrote the Buddy Holly hit, It Doesn’t Matter Anymore, Tom Jones’ biggest hit, She’s a Lady, and the English lyrics for Frank Sinatra’s, My Way.

In 1983 Paul Anka worked with Michael Jackson. Together they co-wrote a song called, I Never Heard. That was retitled This is It and released in 2009.

odia coates

Odia was an unknown singer before Paul went into the studio to record (You’re) Having my Baby. While the song was being recorded someone suggested it would be better as a duet. Odia was called into sing the female part.

Odia and Paul went onto sing a number of other duets including the minor hit, One Man Woman/One Woman Man.

Odia died in 1991, aged 49, a victim of breast cancer.

this week’s trivia

Perhaps Odia’s greatest claim to fame is that she had a very public affair with James Hewitt – close “friend” of Diana, Princess of Wales.

(you’re) having my baby fax

  • Paul was a teenage sensation in the 50s and 60s then nothing was heard from him for some time, until August 24th 1974 when, for four weeks, (You’re) Having my Baby sat at #1 on the US charts.
  • Paul wrote (You’re) Having my Baby to celebrate the joy he felt at being the father of four girls. However, he wound up being denounced by the National Organisation of Women for being sexist. Ms magazine awarded Paul their chauvinist of the year award in 1974.
  • Paul was also strongly criticised for declaring that the child was the man’s rather than the couple’s. Paul was aware of the criticism and said;

“It’s not meant to alienate anyone. I could have called it ‘having our baby’, but the other just sounded better. It’s not a male ego trip—’my baby.’ It’s not that at all.”

  • In concert, however, Paul did sometimes sing, “you’re having our baby.”
  • In October 1974 a song titled I’m Having Your Baby reached #11 on the US Country singles chart. It was Paul’s song with slightly differing words so that it was sung from the pregnant woman’s perspective. The singer was country singer Sunday Sharpe.
  • A band named, The Coolies covered the song on their 1986 album.
  • (You’re) Having My Baby has also appeared on an episode of Glee.
  • (You’re) Having My Baby lyrics.

(You’re) Having My Baby – Paul Anka – 1974 – video


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Shower the People – James Taylor – 1976

June 7, 2012

I can’t help it! James Taylor’s Shower the People is one of my favourite songs, by one of my favourite artists.

defining moments

This week someone commented on seventiesmusic that they found the blog entries were great for evoking memories of bygone days. I agree.

And I guess we all have artists who evoke deep feelings of nostalgia and longing for bygone life-moments. For me, James Taylor is one of those artists. It doesn’t matter which of his songs it is, and it doesn’t matter what year that song is from; when I hear his guitar which is almost as distinctive as his voice, I find myself back in the mid-70s – wonderful years for me.

extreme makeover

I often wonder, if in the 1970s, James could have looked ahead and seem himself as he is today, what would he have thought? I mean, the 70s James was a drug-taking, life on the edge, long-haired, hippy type of guy. The James of the 2010s is in his mid-60s. He’s balding. He tells jokes on stage that sound like they came straight from “Dad’s Joke Book.” But one thing is for certain… …he’s still way-cool!

strange beginnings

James’ journey into music begins at the McLean Hospital in Massachusetts. A mental facility; James checked himself in there in 1965 suffering from deep depression.

He stayed for nine months. He later said of his mental health struggles,

It’s an inseparable part of my personality that I have these feelings.

James’ siblings and fellow musicians, Livingstone and Kate also spent time in the same hospital.

out and onto the hard stuff

By the late 1960s well-known guitarist Danny Kortchmar had persuaded James to leave the hospital. James moved to New York City. He began to perform with various bands but also developed a taste for heroin and other illicit substances. James would say of this time,

I learned a lot about music and too much about drugs.

have an apple

In 1969 he moved to London. The short story is, he wrote some great songs, cut a great demo, and was signed by The Beatles’ Apple label. He fell back into heavy drug use and was once again forced to seek treatment.

california dreamin’

In 1970 he moved to California. It was there that he finally broke through in terms of musical success. His single Fire and Rain hit #3 on the US singles charts and was followed in 1971 by his first #1 hit, Carole King’s You’ve Got a Friend.

In 1976, he released his Greatest Hits album.  It’s since been certified diamond having sold over 12 million copies in the US.

awards

In terms of awards James’ shelves are bending under the weight. They’re holding up five Grammys, five top ten singles and 13 top ten albums. In 2000, he was inducted into both the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. In 2004 he was ranked 84th in Rolling Stone’s list of The Immortals: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

shower the people

Shower the People is not one of James’ best known songs but, if it’s not my favourite, it’s close to it. And so, what a great thing to have heard it, not once, but twice this week!

shower the people fax

  • There’s not much to say about Shower the People. It’s the opening track on James’ wonderful 1976 album In the Pocket.
  • Shower the People peaked at #22 on the US Singles chart in mid-1976. It stayed in the Top 40 for eight weeks.
  • Shower the People hit #1 on the US Easy Listening chart. It was the third of James’ song to reach top place. You’ve Got a Friend did it in 1971 and How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You) in 1975.
  • Cover versions of Shower the People have been produced by Glen Campbell, Mylon LeFevre, and Babyface.

Shower the People lyrics.

shower the people – james taylor – 1976 – video

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